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This and That

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Monday Sermonette: 
There are lots of memes out there. This is one of my favorites (left). Life produces only two things – time and the choice of how to spend it. There are lots of people with other ideas, but it comes down to that. Wise use of that time requires that you be true to yourself. Loving and being loved without condition is the key to happiness and friendship. 
Thus ends the sermonette.
My son-in-law took a photo of my oldest daughter and his three boys/my grandsons for Mother’s Day. She’s a professional photographer and he’s taking credit for having pulled off a miracle. He told all three boys to look at him and smile and they did. Yes, raising three boys is akin to herding cats.
The corrupt, elite, smug, lying mainstream media irritates me.  And it irritates my family, whose political belief follow closely in line with my own. Thus, some of the Mother’s Day talk around the table was devoted to blaggarding the network news and the Democrat Party – which is the same thing, for being generally full of deceit. The only thing that is certain is that they hate President Trump more than anything else. It becomes a ringing endorsement for Trump, who may not be the ‘ideal president’ – somebody define that for me without bringing up the infinitely corrupt Hillary R. Clinton, Bitch of Benghazi, or the equally corrupt, metrosexual, social justice warrior, Barack Obama.
North Korea

On 14 May, North Korea conduced a successful ballistic missile launch.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported: 
“A test-fire of a new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12, was successfully carried out on Sunday, 14 May, by scientists and technicians in the field of rocket research, who are bravely advancing toward a new goal to be proud of in the world, true to the far-sighted idea of Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, for building a nuclear power.” 
“Kim Jong Un guided the test-fire on the spot.” 
“Looking at the Hwasong-12, he expressed his satisfaction over the possession of another ‘Juche weapon’, a perfect weapon system congruous with the military strategic and tactical idea of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the demand of the present times.” 
“The test-fire was conducted at the highest angle in consideration of the security of neighboring countries.” 
“The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly-developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.”
“The rocket accurately hit the targeted open waters 787km away after flying to the maximum altitude of 2 111.5km along its planned flight orbit.” 
“The test-fire proved to the full all the technical specifications of the rocket, which was newly designed in a Korean-style by defense scientists and technicians, like guidance and stabilization systems, structural system and pressurization, inspection and launching systems and reconfirmed the reliability of new rocket engine under the practical flight circumstances.” 
“It also verified the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and the accurate performance of the detonation system.”
Hwasong 10 missile – which looks a lot like the variant
fired in the general direction of Russia on Mother’s Day.
Kim warned that the US should not underestimate North Korea’s capability to strike the US mainland and its Pacific Ocean operations.
The Allied experts told the press that the missile flew 700 kms (430 miles) from the launch site, but reached an altitude of more than 2,000 kms (1,245 miles). They supported the accuracy of the North Korean statement. Several analysts judged the missile could have flown at least 4,000 kms in a standard trajectory.
South Korea’s newly elected President Moon Jae In said it was a “reckless provocation”.
The KCNA article has the same style of the past reports on successful missile launches. It contains accurate information on the missile’s altitude and range. The North Korean engineers also specified the subsystems this launch tested.
This missile incorporates the new rocket engine that the North Koreans tested successfully in March. It probably can carry a heavier nuclear warhead.
The missile test signifies continuing progress towards developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. Technically, this missile has the range to reach Guam, which is about 3,400 kms from Pyongyang.

The test also means the end of the incipient efforts to arrange talks. 
Last week, North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly sent a letter to the US Congress requesting relief from sanctions. On 13 May, a North Korean official said direct talks with the US were possible under the right circumstances. On 14 May, the South Korean delegation to the Chinese infrastructure summit in Beijing spoke briefly with the North Korean delegation. 
The actions of the North Korean diplomats and the non-military officials appear out of step with those of the military missile lobby. Kim Jong Un evidently cares more about missiles than diplomacy. The missile launch undermines the talks initiatives and restores the atmosphere of hostility. 
As for South Korean President Moon, the timing of the launch makes his promises of more conciliatory policies towards North Korea appear to have been rejected. 
The defector website The Daily NK published a report about malnutrition in the Korean People’s Army in a North Korean province that borders China. The source reported that a significant number of the officers and soldiers are malnourished, but were forced to continue working. Army units keep a log of those who are malnourished and senior officers manipulate the distribution of food based on the work performed.
Malnutrition has been a recurring problem in the North Korean army since the mid-1990s, just as it has been for the general population. The malnutrition of the soldiers starkly contrasts with the health of Kim Jong Un and his missile program, neither of which appear malnourished.

Obama vs US Navy SEALs

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It’s not easy becoming a Navy SEAL. The screening is intense, the training grueling, the rigor of deployment and re-training for deployment will destroy most family relationships the sailors form. The pay is slim and what is expected and accomplished is done from a sense of patriotism and duty to country, the Navy and fellow operators.
A platoon from Navy SEAL Team 10 were dropped into harm’s way to capture Ahmed Hashim Abed, mastermind behind the killing, burning and mutilation of four American contractors working for Blackwater USA in Fallujah, Iraq, in March 2004. Their bodies were then hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River.
Fortunately for Ahmed Hashim, he seems to share the same faith as the US Commander-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama – who may not be Muslim by his profession, but seems to be through his actions, by his obvious lack of concern over the Ft. Hood murders by Army Officer and Jihadist Nidal Hasan.
Petty Officer 2nd Class McCabe, 24, of Perrysburg, Ohio, and Petty Officer 1st Class Huertas, 28, of Blue Island , Ill., were arraigned. The third SEAL, Petty Officer 2nd Class Keefe, 25, of Yorktown, Va., will be arraigned at a later date. All are charged with dereliction of duty and making false official statements. McCabe is also officially charged with punching Abed “in the midsection with his fist” while in custody.
I know we live in a politically correct age where it’s glossed over by the Chief Executive of the United States when a (brother) Muslim murders over a dozen and wounds a dozen more in an unprovoked killing spree. I understand (not really) the overarching need for Barack Hussein Obama to bow deeply to his Islamic masters. I hear the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Military bow, scrape and whine apologies for America. I see the US administration, consumed with apologetic fervor, officially pronouncing that the architect of 9/11’s massacre, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, must be given all the constitutional rights and privileges of the Americans he murdered. Our justice system, we are told, must be an example to the world, as if that will impress jihadists making IEDs in some faraway hideout.
We ask SEALs to do very dirty, extraordinarily dangerous work in secret, without fanfare or bands. None have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for stopping wars or taking out people who would murder thousands. The media and the Navy, under pressure from the White House attacks the SEALs remorselessly for punching a terrorist. I’m sure they brought him back for interrogation. On hindsight, they should have cut his throat, bled him out and left him where they found him.
The mainstream media pines over the future of Tiger Woods, whose career has absolutely no value to our country’s future. What happens to Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe will matter to the entire special warfare community who is watching. They are taking note and in the future, will remember not to bring the bastards back for interrogation… People are more likely to recognize the names of Tiger’s (alleged) bimbos than the names of these three Navy SEALs we sent into battle. They are not household names in a nation consumed with the sexual antics of billionaire athletes.
McCabe, Huertas and Keefe neither need nor deserve to be made examples to impress anybody. If they are court-martialed, the only thing impressed upon foreign terrorists will be U.S. weakness. And that will invite more terrorism as surely as our shameful withdrawal from Somalia after Americans were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu inspires Osama bin Laden.
I am disgusted with the conduct of the United States Navy in this matter, and shamed by the conduct of the Commander-in-Chief.  I wish God would find it in his heart to resurrect Ronald Reagan.
These matters need to be set right.

The Sun Also Rises?

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The Clouds Part, the Sun Shines

(from the Spectator) The fog of the Trump wars is lifting, the road from COVID-19 rising before us, the outlines of the 21st-century American system emerging. Like the bankruptcy in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, the change has happened ‘Gradually, then suddenly.’ The age of the democratic republic is over, the age of the American oligarchy beginning.

Oligarchy is the ‘rule of the oligos’, the few: the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a self-sustaining elite. It sounds quaint, classical even, as though it couldn’t happen here because it already happened there. But it has, in fact, already happened here. Augustus Caesar, who made himself Rome’s first emperor in 27 BC, would recognize the symptoms of our American novelties. The cult of the founding fathers and the cult of entertainment. The elites divided by violent factionalism and united by naked venality. The decay of republican virtues. The widening of the wealth gap and the rise of the populares, the members of the ruling class who rebel in the name of values already overthrown. And then, when all seems lost, the rise of the imperial oligarchy that offers to restore law and order, but installs a different law and a new order.  (keep reading – link above)

And who best to lead the sham republic? They’re calling Uncle Joe, “America’s Brezhnev”. Brezhnev may have had more on the ball than Uncle Joe. Both are said to shat in the swimming pool, but I wasn’t at the pool and can’t affirm any of those rumors as true. And frankly, who’d want to visit the pool? The oligarchs have a front man that will sign whatever they put in front of him and that’s the point.

Some cynics opine that Slow Joe may not make it until June and Camel-A will rise as the new representative of the Oligarchs – Indian-American, woman of color, etc. But she’ll just sign what they put in front of her. Just the same as Barack.

The Obama legacy was one of a man who entered the presidency with a net worth of a couple hundred thousand, read from a teleprompter, signed what the oligarchs wanted and left office worth a billion. Nice work if you can get it.

 

 

The Arizona Weather Gods spoke:

2007 Toyota FJC – Scorpion

They park at the ridge line when snow is forecast. If they need to crawl up the driveway, they leave ruts that I then have to repair.

The wind tends to blow snow off the ridge and it drifts up lower, so it’s not as deep up where the rigs are parked.

 

 

Handicapping the Superbowl

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I don’t bet unless I’m positive that I’ll win, so I don’t have any money on this Superbowl Game that will be going down tomorrow. 
The bookies have Denver to win, favored by either 2 or 3 points, depending on who you talk to. Seattle has the best defense in the league and Denver has the best offense. I always err on the side of the team with the better offensive game because they tend to win. If two teams have equally good offensive games, defense becomes incredibly important. But that’s not the case with Superbowl XLVIII (48).
Your thoughts?

At the moment, I’m working on getting a head-count for those who will be here at the casita watching the big game with me because I need to get my rear to Costco before all of the Superbowl munchies are sold out. Women are welcome only if they cheer and wear suitable game day attire. They are more welcome if they bring delicious snacks. Women with small children are welcome if they entertain the small children in another room while the game is on in the man cave.  Small children are welcome if they are willing to watch the game without interrupting.

The commercials are not “break time”. They are equally important to viewing pleasure. Fist fights over referee’s decisions are allowed so long as they don’t interrupt my viewing pleasure. (take the fight outside)

Sunday Sermonette – Find your Safe Space

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TRIGGER WARNING: a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material.
I never knew what a trigger warning was, but from what I’ve been told, university classes can be dedicated to discussing them. Such is the tender nature of progressive feelings and sensibilities. I think that every blog posting on Virtual Mirage should contain a trigger warning, but since I’m not a prog, it won’t.

Students at UC Santa Barbara passed a resolution in support of mandatory trigger warnings for classes that could contain potentially upsetting material. Professors would be required to alert students of such material and allow them to skip classes that could make them feel uncomfortable.

SAFE SPACES: Safe spaces are meant to provide a degree of shelter from emotional trauma. Safe spaces are public “spaces” for people to feel “safe” in, without needing to fear about being judged or subject to offensive persons and material. Safe spaces would include groups like LGBTQ meetings, student unions comprised of minority races, rape victim support clubs, and other activities that involve intimate personal knowledge, sharing and understanding, and where any comments formed out of prejudice and/or ignorance are called out. 
I have noted in my reading that nowhere in progressive literature is there a safe space discussed for freedom loving, Trump supporting, constitutionalists, and heterosexuals on campus.  Why is that? What about the need for combat veterans, cops and steel workers to have a prog-free environment where they can relax with their favorite beverage in company with attractive heterosexual women and say what they really feel about the freaks in society who they’re compelled to be nice to by social conventions? (yes, I know, it’s called “a bar)
CNN WEIGHS IN ON THE RAPE CULTURE
Now there is a progressive war against lyrics (more here)
(CNN) A couple from Minnesota has re-imagined the classic Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” for a 21st-century audience, changing the song’s lyrics to emphasize the importance of consent.
Singer-songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski, both from Minneapolis, said they were inspired to rework the song after bonding over a mutual dislike of the original’s lyrics, which were penned in 1944 by Frank Loesser. The duet features a man trying to dissuade a woman from leaving a party despite her repeated protestations that she has to go home. “What’s in this drink?” is one of the female lines. “What’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?” implores the male voice.
The progs felt that “Baby it’s Cold Outside” was a prelude to rape. These progs, presumably egged on by others of their ilk, looked at the most sensual, seductive song in Christmas history and pretended that the comments and responses of a man seducing a woman is the same as coercion, that is, rape. 

Bullying and feminist hysteria followed, asserting that the song was designed by “the patriarchy” (whoever that is) as a weapon to force womyn to ‘give it up’. They contend that flattery is rape. The mating game is a prelude to rape.
MYSOGYNY AND THE RAPE CULTURE
The progs have even turned on Lady Gaga for her rendition of “The Lady is a Tramp” with Tony Bennett in an ongoing effort to damn the classics for their promotion of a rape culture. The lyrics are suggestive that a woman who likes doing various activities must rely on a man to pay her way and is therefore a sex slave to “the patriarchy” (that word surfaces again). 

Progressive icons used President Trump’s marriage to his wife, Melania, as an example of this sort of reprehensible behavior. Clearly there was some sinister misogyny at work when a billionaire male courted and married an attractive female, who was younger than he was.

In this way Tony Bennett displays unabashed mysogyny. Complicit, Lady Gaga, a victim of a male dominated culture and androcentrism, is dominated and forced to ‘give it up’, to an older male of means – compelled to admit that she is a tramp.

Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogynycan be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification.

I don’t know whether or not Lady Gaga is a tramp, but her progressive credentials were tarnished. But the performance was masterful. Enjoy.

Memorial Day Weekend 2012 – #1

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Memorial Day 
The End of the Secret War 

Loose Ends

The Communists were closing in. People were packing up, hoping for a government evacuation before the end came. Those who couldn’t get a flight out of Watay Airport packed their things and were crossing the Mekong River into Thailand. The scene was chaotic. The Royal Laotian Army was gone. All that were left were kids, armed with government rifles, riding Coca Cola trucks out to the front, now closer than ten miles away, to get killed.
I found Ming sitting in the bar at the Settha Palace Hotel. The staff hovered around him like attentive bees around their queen, knowing the hive would be smashed very soon. He was dipping a rice ball into papaya pok pok, a Thai sauce made up of a variety of ground up chili and papaya. Moving the rice ball expertly to his mouth with chopsticks, he chewed like a man eating a spam sandwich. There was no joy in the meal. A waiter delivered raw minced toad and spring onions as I gestured a greeting to the morose Mr. Ming, and sat across the table from him.
“I need a new girlfriend to take my mind off my wife.” Ming lamented.
I was in a hurry that night but Ming was in the depths of financial despair. Even though he was worth a few million US dollars.
A waitress arrived over my left shoulder to take my order but Ming beat me to it. “A Jamison’s whiskey for my friend and a double for me.”
The silence hung heavy in the humid monsoon air, no breeze, only a languid fan overhead, rotating slowly to dissipate the heat.
Water beaded on the barrel of my Karl Gustav submachine gun, laid across my thighs. I looked down at the oiled metal, hypnotized by the slow accumulation of moisture. Ming finally spoke and it made me look up.
“Living with a woman from Chouzhou is like living with a dragon that requires tributes of gold to keep her satiated.” Ming nipped at his drink, finishing it. Glancing furtively for the next one, the drink he ordered. “Love and suicide are just different sides of the same gold coin, which makes me think of an old school Japanese woman. They’re the most twisted creatures on the planet but one of those ladies would take my mind off my problems.” He popped a few fried grasshoppers into his mouth from a bowl that sat on the table between us.
“Until Mrs. Ming found out.” I offered.
“She’d slice my fragrant stem from my body while I slept. She’s a Chouzhou woman and she has a reputation to maintain.”
“I’m in a bind at the moment and I hate to impose.” Ming looked at me with pathetic blood shot eyes that gained some sense of purpose.
I smiled. “It would be no imposition to help. If I can.”
The Pathet Lao and their Vietnamese keepers pose no problem for me here in this place, but you need to leave and take your girlfriend with you tonight. She’s been spying on you. She’s my wife’s sister’s daughter. The problem is that she loves you and wants to get out of the trade and be your wife and bear your children.
It took a moment for me to connect the dots. “That’s complicated.”
“And in a sense it isn’t. The world is a small place and karma holds sway upon the whole of it.” Ming said sanguinely.
“So I have my hand upon an elephant’s tail and think I am holding a snake.” I said, reciting a proverb.
“Precisely.” Ming said, happy that I, though an American, could grasp the situation so completely.
Reading my mind, Ming said, “A masterpiece is rarely recognized in the day it is painted.”
She gave me a gold cormorant earlier in the week, fishing bird with a ring around its neck. I wore it from a thick, gold rope around my neck. I touched the gold cormorant; “And this? What does it mean?”
“It is a statement on the condition of a man who is not free. Understanding your karma is a gift. And once understood, you can live harmoniously with it. Choice is an illusion in the ultimate sense. Nothing in the universe stands outside karma’s domain. Even the concept of the independent, autonomous “I” we so dearly cherish is nothing but the product of karmic forces.”
I translated it to US Military English. “So you’re saying that my head is so far up my ass that I need a glass belly button to see out.”
Ming thought about that for a moment and then winked a ‘yes’.
I ate a few dried grasshoppers without the use of chopsticks.
“There are two types of karma. The first is the karma of effect. This addresses the age-old question of why our life is this way and not some other; it shows us that every aspect of our lives is the result of actions we have performed in past lives. It’s,” Ming struggled for the English word, “comprehensive. Think of your body, your parents and all other elements of your history, your relatives, your life situation and general state of mind. All of these come about because of specific actions that you have carried out in the past. They represent what is given in our lives and, as the fruition of past actions, stand beyond our ability to make them more or less than what they are.
“The second type is the karma of cause. This addresses the question of you or even whether you influence the future. It says that every action in the present is going to produce results of some kind further down the road.
“Everything you do affects the future in ever-widening ripples of cause and effect. If you are virtuous, then the karmic results will be positive, whereas if you are not virtuous, the results will be negative. Positive results include fortunate life circumstances, experiences and opportunities, while negative results include various forms of suffering, including poverty, sickness, oppressed circumstances, calamities and so forth.”
“You said our astrology was not compatible.” I grasped at elusive threads to justify what she had done to me and to understand why she wanted to stay with me.
Months earlier, Ming said that the woman I knew as Mai, born in the year of the Iron Dragon, and I, who was born in the year of the Earth Tiger, were both dynamic in astrological terms. He advised caution in such a relationship. But things had gone too far between us by that time. I didn’t like what I heard him say, which meant that I intended to disregard his warning. I asked if there wasn’t some sort of Buddhist magic available to modify my karma where Mai was concerned.
Ming said, “You may be quite attracted to one another. Both signs possess magnetic personalities but attraction will give way to irritation. The Dragon likes to be in charge of everything and the Tiger insists on autonomy. It’s like pouring kerosene from two cans into a jar and adding a match. The result is inevitable, its resulting karma unappealing.”
I ignored Ming back then.
“Just like a Tiger,” Ming told me.
However things were different then. Vientiane wasn’t in artillery range of the big NVA guns back then. I was in love, Ming urged caution but I wasn’t fighting Communists in Laos because I was a cautious man.
A waitress refreshed my drink and I was brought back to the present suddenly.
“I have decided to move to Bhutan.” Ming said abruptly.
“I thought you planned to stay on. The trade is profitable, you’re juiced in.”
“The King of Bhutan is my personal friend. In that country I will be treated like a living divinity and will want for nothing. When I go on a drunk, they will sit with ten scribes to take down every slurred word as if it were golden. When I get sick, they will send in doctors who don’t need an x-ray to see inside, and give me medicines that won’t make me sick. If my rivals or my wife’s relatives come to visit the entire Bhutanese Secret Service Special Unit will swing into action: 12 black magicians and 1 skilled marksman who would rather throw their own children down deep wells than permit my tranquility to be disturbed will deal with the source of my discontent.”
“Did your wife’s family come to visit again?” 
Ming frowned and said, “Yes and her shiftless Teochau aunts as well. They eat as much as four water buffalo. The only thing they do all day is eat, dung, and complain about me. They are having a private party now to welcome in the new Communist regime.”
I brimmed with sanguinity. “You should stay in Vientiane and throw your wife’s family out into the river in weighted sacks.”
Ming drifted back to Bhutan, ignoring his fervent desire to follow my advice. “If I decide to embrace woodworking in Bhutan, a Royal Woodworking Shop will be established, and thereafter, as I walk through the town, dozens of men and women will shyly let it be known that they like woodworking too. If I later say, ‘fuck woodworking,’ there will be bonfires wherein tools are destroyed.”
I thought it was a joke. “Really?”
Ming was serious. “In a previous incarnation, I am credited with single-handedly saving Bhutan as a nation. That act cursed me for centuries, and is why Tibetan Buddhists understand my strange ways and curious lifestyle. Of course, relocation to Bhutan does have a downside. If there is a big storm, I will be expected to subdue it, or if one is required, I will be expected to produce it and I can’t do that in this incarnation.”
I drank my Jamison’s in one gulp. “Time for me to go. Mai’s fate is to remain in Laos.”
“You knew?” Ming wasn’t surprised. It was a statement as much as a question.
“The cormorant. It was a dead give-away.”
“If you understood that, you’ve been in Asia too long.”
I kicked the chair back and stood. As I did, I brought the muzzle of the Karl Gustav low and left and squeezed the trigger. Nine-millimeter slugs tore Ming from low and left to high and right, across his chest.
The Communists were coming and there were loose ends that needed to be cleaned up.
This is a fictional story.

Chinese Gunboat Diplomacy

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China keeps expanding its territorial claims in the Pacific. They stretch all the way to Malaysia now. On March 25, Malaysian authorities detected about 100 Chinese fishing boats, encroaching on waters near the Luconia Reefs or Shoals, which Malaysia administers. The flotilla of boats, cleaning out all of the game fish on the reefs, were protected by two Chinese Coast Guard vessels. Malaysia’s navy monitored the situation, threatening legal action if the boats trespassed into its exclusive economic zone. China’s Foreign Ministry again reiterated Chinese fishing boats’ rights to operate in the area.

In times of war or crisis or as directed, Chinese fishing boats come under the control of the navy. They have mounts for machineguns and places for depth charge racks. They receive orders, weapons and ammunition from the Chinese navy. 

The Luconia Reefs are more than 1,200 miles from mainland China and 60 miles from the Malaysian state of Sarawak. This incident reinforces our judgment that China can be expected to challenge every disputed claim in the South China Sea with a show of force. The Luconia Reefs are rich fishing grounds. Extensive fossil fuel deposits reportedly lie under the seabed. I expect that the Chinese will soon be building an “artificial island – then an airbase” on the reef. That’s their pattern. 
This is the second confirmed instance that a Chinese Coast Guard ship that was guarding fishing boats entered Malaysian claimed waters around the Luconia Reefs. The prior incident occurred in June 2015. There have been some rough exchanges between Malaysians and Chinese fishing boats, but no actual violence.

While I don’t think that America has an interest in being the “world’s policeman” and if Malaysia wants to allow China to walk all over them (as the Chinese are want to do), it’s up to them. However it’s good to keep in mind that China’s territorial interests keep expanding and they back up every move with military force. The time will come when Malaysia or Japan will decide that enough is enough and will sink a few of the offending Chinese fishing boats or coast guard warships.  US is still a member of SEATO (Southeast Asian Treaty Organization), and that will draw us in — unless it’s during the Obama presidency… He’ll fly to a communist country and party.

First World War – YouTube Series

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This is an ambitious program that began two years ago and might be worth sharing here for those of you with a taste for history. It’s a YouTube series that is taking the First World War one week at a time – 100 years later.
The history of the First World War is largely lost to the present generation so I applaud the efforts of the producers of this excellent series, designed to educate.
This is the most recent entry, published on Jun 6, 2016
Aleksei Brusilov was the mastermind of Russia’s finest moment in World War 1: The Brusilov Offensive. Although it didn’t achieve it’s planned objective, it broke the back of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The life of Aleksei Brusilov was an interesting one between the cultures and even after Imperial Russia was gone, his career was not over.

Then there is Lawrence of Arabia.

The Law vs Hillary Clinton

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Former SECSTATE Hillary R. Clinton
There has been a standard set and a legal precedent established during the Obama Administration that we the people and the Justice Department should look to in deciding whether or not to charge Hillary R. Clinton with a felony. Drop by fellow blogger, Race for Justice‘s blog and see what his take on it is.
My take on The United States vs Hillary Rodham Clinton is that it is the single most important case in US history that any of us will ever witness. The Republic stands at a crossroads regarding the rule of law vs rule by  executive fiat. It’s literally that important. 

Fishwrap

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MANDELA INTERPRETER


Maybe the US Secret Service was asleep at the switch or maybe they hoped that Jantjie would take President Obama out. We’ll never know which it was. Icing Obama at the Mandela funeral would have been ironic. And Slow Joe Biden would have become Commander-in-Chief and Leader of the Free World.
JOHANNESBURG – The bogus sign language interpreter at last week’s Nelson Mandela memorial service was among a group of people who accosted two men found with a stolen television and burned them to death by setting fire to tires placed around their necks, one of the interpreter’s cousins and three of his friends told The Associated Press Monday. 
But Thamsanqa Jantjie never went to trial for the 2003 killings when other suspects did in 2006 because authorities determined he was not mentally fit to stand trial… 

(for more on this: Fox News

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA POLICE DEPARTMENT
BRIEFING… or, Santa on Patrol

OLD FAITHFUL

The Yellowstone Volcano erupts about every 600,000 years and we’re living on borrowed time.

HELENA, MONT – The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 1/2 times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park’s supervolcano has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens, according to a new study. 
By measuring seismic waves from earthquakes, scientists were able to map the magma chamber underneath the Yellowstone caldera as 55 miles long, lead author Jamie Farrell of the University of Utah said Monday. 
The chamber is 18 miles wide and runs at depths from 3 to 9 miles below the earth, he added.
An eruption would likely herald a new mini-ice age as the Earth’s surface temperature dropped. We’d have to take the catalytic convertors off our cars to try and balance things out.
MALE MENOPAUSE

(Web MD) WASHINGTON DC – Vice President Joe Biden, lately a presidential hopeful for 2016, has been diagnosed as undergoing the heartbreak of Male Menopause. Hillary Clinton has been silent on the matter since she has long since gone through the female equivalent. VP Biden’s advice to fire a shotgun into the air at night if you hear a prowler is said by prominent psychiatrists to be “acting out an orgasm fantasy”. Dr. Herman Schiller explained to Web MD that VP Biden is in need of hormone replacement therapy if he intends to ‘butch-up’.

As noted in the first article in Fishwrap (above), VP Biden is a heartbeat away from the presidency BUT the only way he’s likely to beat Hillary to the job is if he ‘inherits’ the slot.

Making Sense of It.

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You’ve seen all of those ‘falling rocks’ signs on the roadside, right?

This is from Oak Creek, AZ.
I suspect that it augers well. It’s a landslide, and portends positive results in the 2020 re-election of President Trump.
I know, I know, I should be a fortune teller.

If you look closely, there’s a coyote tail under the largest rock. 

Happy New Year

The Courts are Playing Possum.

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Just when you thought that things couldn’t get any weirder North Carolina Judge Fred Morrison ruled against the North Carolina tradition of the bringing in the new year by “dropping a possum”. The judge said, “Citizens are prohibited from capturing and using wild animals for pets or amusement,” 

I guess that rules out pet possums too?

“It ain’t the new year until the possum drops” has been the saying around Brasstown, North Carolina for two decades — but not anymore. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) complained that the annual tradition was illegal and cruel. So they filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, which had issued a permit for the event every year.
Clay Logan, the owner of  Clays Corner Store – and the organizer of the annual drop explained it this way, “It’s just a lot of good, clean, family fun,” he said. “It seems like everybody always wants to jump on the clean family fun part. If we were all a bunch of drunks down here nobody would probably say nothing about it.”

Logan said they still plan to hold a New Year’s Eve celebration – and their working on an alternative plan. “It’ll either be a stuffed animal or road kill. We’re not gonna break no laws.”
Logan said he just doesn’t understand all the fuss about using a life possum. For years, they put the critter in a decorated cage and lowered him down at the stroke of midnight. Afterwards, they released the possum into the woods.

PETA argued that it was cruel. “That’s a matter of opinion,” Logan said. “He’s (the possum) treated good. Their destiny in life is to be run over,” he said. “So if you don’t get run over in 2012, I’ve extended his life to 2013.”

He said the New Year’s Eve celebration at his store is the one of the highlights of the year for Brasstown – population 240. Last year as many as 3,000 (boozed up participants) attended the festivities. 

For PETA, and those of you carnivores, I offer a few possum recipes. You don’t need to kill the animal in the wild. As Clay Logan pointed out above, their destiny is to end up as road kill. If you choose to eat a possum found dead on the highway, try to make it a fresh kill.
Gladys Nelson of PETA defends even innocent fun with possums that may
just prolong their lives. Gladys is a vegetarian.
No, I have never personally eaten a possum and don’t intend to. However, if it fits your taste and your lifestyle:

Cajun Possum Chili – NUCLEAR HOT !!!

Ingredients: 
Tomato Sauce (depends on possum) 
1 tsp.-1 cup Chili Powder (Depends on Taste and possum) 
1 Large possum or 3 small (If you ran over the possum better make it 4) 
1 large pot or two large ones if the first isn’t enough. 
5-10 chili peppers (depends on taste and possum) 
5-10 red peppers (depends on taste and possum) 
5-10 jalapenio peppers (depends on taste and possum) 
How ever much Cayenne Pepper you like, it depends on your taste and possum. 
1 tsp. Black Pepper 
a pinch of salt 
Chili Beans for extra flavor 
And whatever other ingredients that are hot and spicy you would like to add. 
Directions: 
1. Skin possum(s) 
2. Remove internal organs, head, claws, and bones. There is no flavor or use for these. But if you want to add them, Go ahead. 
3. Put some tomatoe sauce in the pot(s). Then add the possum. 
4. Chop peppers 
5. Skip step four if you don’t want chopped peppers; it doesn’t matter. 
6. Put the rest in and let set for a long dang while. 
7. Before serving make sure you have enough bread, Milk, and Toliet paper for after dinner. 
8. Serve. Enjoy 
9. Race for bathroom. Whoever is first will make a large stench. Have enough air freshner. 
Serving size of Meal-depends on how much you put in and on the possum.
Possum and Taters 



Ingredients: 
1 young, fat possum 
8 sweet potatoes 
2 tablespoons butter 
1 tablespoon sugar 
salt (to taste)
Directions: First, catch a possum. This in itself is excellent entertainment on a moonlight night. Skin the possum and remove the head and feet. Be sure to wash it thoroughly. Freeze overnight either outside or in a refrigerator. When ready to cook, peel the potatoes and boil them tender in lightly salted water along with the butter and sugar. At the same time, stew the possum tender in a tightly covered pan with a little water. Arrange the taters around the possum, strip with bacon, sprinkle with thyme or marjoram, or pepper, and brown in the oven. Baste often with the drippings.

Different Topics

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Body Cams

The Black Community (whatever that is) is now upset that police are using body cameras. They don’t show police officers gunning down negroes, but they do show inner city people acting like a bunch of savages, aiding the police in convincing juries to convict.
Many black leaders are now calling for the elimination of body cams because – wait for it – they’re racist.
Isn’t that just precious?
My personal feeling about body cams is that they are generally a negative thing that causes officers to be less diligent. However, the police have found that cameras in the cars that cover traffic stops and body cams have kept them from being sued and they work out well in court. So there’s that. They also film drunk drivers taking a field sobriety test and later when the drunk claims to have passed, or that the police were racist, they just bring out the film and let the jury decide. 
Alexa

My daughter bought me an Echo for Christmas from Google. She and my son-in-law use theirs at home and they have a particular love for tech. 
I do to, but have concerns that it may be used for unholy purposes. So I’ll wait until I’m at the White Wolf Mine permanently to switch it on. No bandwidth, no problem with Alexa telling tales out of school. But Alexa may not take direction in those circumstances and I may just need to operate my phone’s music play list manually. There are benefits to no bandwidth.
(Fox News) White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders took to Twitter to call out Amazon after her young son inadvertently ordered an $80 toy using the the company’s Echo device.
“Alexa, we have a problem if my 2 year old can order a Batman toy by yelling “Batman!” over and over again into the Echo,” Sanders tweeted on Sunday. 
Amazon has not commented on her tweet.
Naturally, the venal, filthy, sly, smug, elite media is outraged that Sanders used her twitter account to express outrage. They would never approve of something like that would they – unless NBC was pimping “Our Candidate (Oprah) for President”? Then it would be cool.

Consulting

Disgraced former FBI Director James Comey reportedly received US$ 6 million for security consulting work from Lockheed Martin after he was removed from office.

Comey is said to have been made wealthy during his time at the FBI. I don’t have any details on this and can’t say whether the rumors circulating are true. Make of it what you will.

The question in my mind is not whether this is hush money or not. We easily surmise that it is.

Did disgraced former Director Comey know that Clinton Foundation money was funneled (laundered) through the law firm of Perkins Cole to retain Fusion GPS before they created the phony Trump dossier?

Did Director Comey sign off on it? We don’t know those answers yet, but the ball of yarn is beginning to unravel. Did former President Barack Obama know about it/sign off on it? Whose finger prints are on the dossier and when did they know? This is significantly worse than Watergate, yet much of the press is suspiciously uninterested in it.

h/t Brig

Bandwidth Discussions

First off, thank you to Jeff and others for making some really cool suggestions for keeping the compound connected to the world. By way of update, I’m edging toward setting up a relay that would simply act as a tower clone to boost the signal with a directional beam rather than an omni directional boost so that I can get the gain I need (in line of sight) from the repeater. Will it require two repeater/relay towers? I don’t think so… Other solutions may present themselves going forward but I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible.

The masonry is within a few days of completion and we’ll be pouring concrete slabs within a week. The first snow of the year will hit the area this week but I don’t think that it will stick. That may delay the pour for a few days. But warm weather is predicted after the snow.

I’m very close to finalizing cabinet design. And there will surely be other things that will need attention moving forward. The windows were ordered to avoid a 10% price increase. Lumber is more expensive as well with the demand for reconstruction in Texas and Puerto driving the price higher (thanks Houston). The steel came in on budget and the steel roof should be in on budget as well. Things like the bandwidth issue mean that I’m sweating some other aspects of the build past the basic hovel. With luck, new work will come in and I’ll remain on target.

The Fat Little Dictator

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The Interview (coming movie)

Kim Jung Un – No sense of Humor


(Fox News) SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea is warning that the release of a new American comedy about a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un would be an “act of war.”  

If the U.S. government doesn’t block the movie’s release, it will face “stern” and “merciless retaliation”, an unidentified spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in state media on Wednesday.  

He didn’t mention the movie by name but was clearly referring to “The Interview,” which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as a producer and talk-show host who land an exclusive interview with the North Korean dictator and are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him.  

The “reckless U.S. provocative insanity” of mobilizing a “gangster filmmaker” to challenge the North’s leadership is triggering “a gust of hatred and rage” among North Korean people and soldiers, the spokesman said, in typically heated propaganda language.  

—– 

The film’s release would be considered an “act of war that we will never tolerate,” he said.

Hillary Clinton-
Earned $100 million over the
past decade. Declares it
‘chicken feed’.

Finally there will be a movie that the likes of Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice can point to as starting a war. They’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival to vindicate their assertion that a “hateful video” will lead to a shooting conflict —- ever since the Benghazi Scandal made them out to be buffoons. Their cover-up was only swallowed by the liberal “progressive” elite in the nation. The rest of us know that it was pure hokum. It’s funny to watch her blame President Obama for “making her lie to the American people.” 

Meanwhile, the USA quakes as North Korea threatens merciless, unrestricted warfare if the film is released. And the movie producers are ecstatic over the free publicity and advertising that they’re enjoying both from Fox News and this very blog.

WW2 and Memorial Day

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It’s your Memorial Day Sunday Sermonette! Memorial Day is the day set aside for remembering those among us who died for the nation. President Obama spent last week honoring the Japanese and apologizing for the US ending the Second World War with two atomic bombs instead of firebombing more cities and carpet bombing what was left of them (bombing them back to the stone age). 
I’m of three minds:


One -The atomic bomb was too good for them, and that the use of incendiary bombs to wipe out the wooden cities could have gone on for months until there were no cities. If they had not relented by then, we could have used the Atomic bomb.   The Japanese were desperately trying to surrender to the Russians at the time and deny the US a victory. Sneaky little bastards.

Hirohito

Two -It would have sent a clear message if we would have dropped the atomic bomb on the Son-of-Heaven (The Emperor) himself. You can see the photo of Emperor Hirohito to the  right, wearing a lot of medals that he never earned…but when you’re a living God, I guess you can do whatever you want to. You also have the right to be turned into radioactive dust…Clearly it was a good idea to keep the emperor alive long enough to have him authorize articles of surrender to the United States and its allies, so while option two was appealing, it was not practical.

Three -The US had the capacity to engage in germ warfare on top of the incendiary bombs that were dropped on the wooden cities. If we’d used weaponized smallpox or Variola major on  them, there would have been a lot fewer left. I realize that the Japanese aren’t sufficiently appreciative, but that’s the nature of people in general. Did the Japanese have it coming? I leave it to you to decide. But I think that we acted in the best interest of the Japanese people — and I feel that a little gratitude is in order. Maybe instead of blaggarding us for dropping two atomic bombs on them (remember Pearl Harbor), they should thank us for not wiping them out to the last person and turning the island into a resort for Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, the Frogs and our other allies (excepting the Russians – sorry Vlad).

Contemporary Japanese Narrative

The Japanese monuments to the dropping of atomic bombs on them and their Imperial War Museum both neglect to mention that they started the war with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The official history in Japan suggests that the US started the war. Isn’t that strange?  It also makes no mention of their close alliance with Hitler’s Germany. Coincidence? Hardly.
Barack apologized on our behalf last week for starting the war against the Japanese. Well sure, why not, Barack? Thanks for that, but no thanks. I have no axe to grind with the Japanese at this point in the game, but I’m not the least bit sad about the war being ended by two nuclear bombs.
Based on what Barack said, the Japanese are concerned about a potential Trump presidency and US moves to balance trade between the US and Japan. Naturally, it favors Japan to the tune of roughly $70 billion per year. Evening out that number is something that Japan would rather not deal with. Barack promised the Japanese that Trump would never be president (suggesting that either the game is rigged or Obama is clairvoyant).

My father fought the Japanese (he called them “japs”) during the Second World War. I’m glad that he is not alive to see an Obama presidency and what our ObamaNation has degraded to. He wouldn’t have kind words for Barack.

Confidence Men

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The Obama White House has a long record of mis-steps, of bungles and blunders. There have been a number of books that have come out about Barack Hussein Obama jr. from the tell-all book written by Larry Sinclair, his homosexual lover: Cocaine, Sex and Murder to Ron Suskind’s new book,  CONFIDENCE MEN, which will be coming out next week. 
Suskind had unique access to the White House, interviewed staffers and now the White House is unhappy because he’s printing what they told him and naming names. Obama can take the author’s to court for libel if what they write is false. But that hasn’t happened with any of these books. And it’s unlikely to happen with Suskind’s account of sausage making in the White House.
Obama the man simply isn’t impressive.
Obama the leader is less impressive.
Obama the visionary has a vision that is strongly at odds with the vision that most Americans have of themselves, of their country and of their history.

Hump Day Follies

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Those Amusing Progressives

At the end of 2015, even the Democrats were conceding that ObamaCare was bankrupt. Fewer and fewer insurers were accepting it and in some states there were areas where NO insurers accepted the flawed program at all. The price of ObamaCare skyrocketed. It was just another tax and that tax money was wasted. What a surprise.
There is an option for progressives who pine for the joy of national healthcare insurance. Immigrate to Canada. They’re accepting anyone these days including terrorists.
Some smaller nations with big incomes from oil and other natural resources can afford to fund generous national healthcare programs. I’m happy for them and wish them all the very best, but it won’t work in the USA. Not now anyway. It’s important for the US to have a national safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable among us, but that’s it. Charity for the lame, sick and lazy has always been available and it’s appropriate. 
ObamaCare will be repealed along with the underlying tax, and what takes its place will be better with an emphasis on opening up the entire nation to all insurers (not the case now) and allow them to compete to give better service at a more affordable price. Capitalism works if you allow it to. The progs will protest and tear their clothing in anguish, but the country will move on.
Meanwhile in California, there are ads running on radio primarily, telling people that ObamaCare is wonderful, vibrant and encouraging people to sign up to enjoy the benefits. The ObamaCare outlet in California is “Covered California”. I want to reply to the radio, “Have you heard the news?” Then I realize that they only listen to the corrupt, elite, smug, progressive, self-satisfied, deceptive, nasty mainstream media, which assures them that President Trump will be impeached before ObamaCare can be repealed.
No More Black Targets?

I spent the bulk of my life shooting holes in black paper targets for a living. Now progressives are trying to change the tradition. A group of artists is urging law enforcement and the military to stop using “menacing black silhouette” targets at the shooting range, claiming they contribute to “unconscious bias” and ultimately violence against black people.

“The campaign seeks to eliminate the use of these targets, forever,” the initiative’s website says. The petition calls on the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors to start “getting rid of black targets at shooting ranges and replacing them with variations of more diverse target designs.”

Discriminatory toward terrorists?
The petition references a November 2015 University of Illinois study that found people were faster to shoot black targets than white ones, and that they also unloaded more bullets into black targets. I find this interesting because I never equated shooting a black paper silhouette target with shooting a person of a particular race.
No More Black Targets did not respond to e-mail, so the editorial staff at Virtual Mirage called them and spoke with Elliot, who answers the phone. VM asked Elliot if they opposed silhouette targets that depicted terrorists (see right). 
Discriminatory toward
American Indians?
VM asked if having people shoot at red targets instead wasn’t potentially inviting them to slaughter American Indians – it’s been done before…
Elliot seemed confused when VM equated his employment with somehow opposing anti-terrorist targets. So Virtual Mirage asked him about the movement’s progress. He said that they were doing well. Virtual Mirage noted that to date the Change.org petition has garnered about 250 signatures on it. Elliott wasn’t aware but said, if true, it didn’t bode well for his minimum wage employment.
Massachusetts law has long banned the use of targets at shooting ranges “that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties.” I’m surprised that California hasn’t done that too. Maybe somebody needs to call the legislature and get them on it.
As far as I know, there is no move in either Texas, Wyoming or Arizona to ban lifelike paper targets.
The Pope Weighs In (again)

The Pope opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline because it runs across Indian land…except that it doesn’t. Never did and the Indians are upset because they didn’t get to dip their beaks into the pot of real estate money paid for other land access.

The Missouri and Mississippi rivers have over 400 pipelines of different sorts crossing under them at present and there are no problems with THOSE.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.

President Trump doesn’t care.

The Grand Mufti was Punked

France’s populist candidate for President, Marine Le Pen (the French Donald Trump) was in Lebanon this week to meet Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who is a Christian. She also had a session scheduled with the country’s top Sunni Muslim cleric, Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, the Grand Mufti. 

The Grand Mufti of Lebanon
The Mufti’s staff told Ms. Le Pen that women were required to don headscarves before entering the presence of the Mufti. Le Pen refused, and after a few awkward moments between her staff and the sheikh’s, abruptly called off the audience and left. “I consider the headscarf a symbol of a woman’s submission,” she said afterward. “I will not put on the veil.”
Marine Le Pen

Le Pen is leading in the polls and is ardently opposed to more Muslim immigration into France – where they have caused a great deal of trouble and bloodshed. She’s a hard liner who wants to make France great again.


Le Pen’s timing could not have been better. On the same day that she snubbed the Muslim mufti, police arrested three suspects in southern France for plotting what they called “an imminent terror attack.” That headline, juxtaposed with Le Pen’s face-down of a Muslim grandee, will reinforce her warning that France already has too many immigrants.
Le Pen considers the obliteration of ISIS to be one of France’s primary missions. Part of that plan requires the expulsion of illegal aliens from France.

The Recount (Supplemental Blog Post)

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Recount Observers are Needed

 

If you can spare three days or more, the Trump Campaign and the RNC are in need of poll watchers to observe the ballot recounts in several battleground states such as PA, GA, WI, MI, NV and AZ.

Your expenses will be paid for by the RNC including airfare, hotel, meals and airport transfers.

If you are interested, please contact Republican National Committeewoman Janet Fogarty – janet@massgop.com

Include your full contact information: name, address, e-mail, phone number as well as your earliest available start date and the amount of time you are willing to serve.

These recounts will take time, but they will not be done fairly without sufficient scrutiny. This blog has readers, some of whom have time on their hands. Think about volunteering a few days of your life for a good cause.

 

 

Prescription Glasses

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A lot of people need prescription glasses. At age 60, I find that I need reading glasses for close-up work that includes tying a fishing knot on a lure with monofilament line. Mia culpa. That’s not unusual.

Hillary’s Fresnel Prisom glasses are something all-together different, and yet, the media says nothing about the cause – we can see the effect.  (Daily Mail) reports that she’s wearing glasses on the campaign trail for the first time. I am not going to make a hemianopsia diagnosis here on Virtual Mirage, but it’s time that America demanded a THROUGH PHYSICAL, with results made public as more and more information surfaces about Candidate Clinton’s deteriorating condition.
Is it the same old mental instability or is it something more: organic brain damage and a blood clot, the old drug and alcohol abuse and is she suitable to serve as President?
https://youtu.be/OqbDBRWb63s

Serious Re-enacting

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Neustadt-Glewe is a small German town, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in the district of Ludwigslust-Parchim. Last year, some serious re-enactors gathered together with seriously authentic arms and armor to relive the bloody past of that area in the age of Vikings. Live steel re-enactment is not a high school prom – not in the least.
The armor used by Vikings was no different than that used by English or German warriors of the same era. There were no horns on the helmets, and the blades were similar. Armor went from padded gambesons, to chain male, to laminar, to boiled leather curasses. The age of uniforms was still centuries in the future. 
Most warfare was fought from the shield wall. If your wall held and your brothers protected you as you protected them, they you might live to fight another day. Centuries later, the yew bow would render those sorts of formations less effective, as did the introduction of the handgun and Swiss pike – but those were also in the future.