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Memorial Day

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“Either we shall employ our strength, power, and conscience boldly and righteously in defense of human dignity and freedom, or we shall waste these reserves for peace and default to the forces that breed new wars.

(Each soldier) we bury is partly the victim of your folly and the folly of all peace-loving peoples who turn their backs on the ills of the world.

Secure in distant and peaceful towns…clinging to comforts, refusing risks, seeking refuge in words, we recanted power and conscience to side with those who sought peace at any price. Too late we discovered the price was too high, and to keep freedom we paid in the bodies of our young sons…”

General Omar Bradley Memorial Day 1948

 

Final Frontier?

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Looking for…

…Space Aliens?

(more here) Experts say, “look in the mirror.” It’s difficult to quantify what makes an expert or why one expert’s opinion should be weighted more heavily than another’s. I tend to get my space alien information at the same place the Men in Black did – supermarket tabloids. The truth is out there.

 

And while we’re on the Subject of Space:

This appears to be the best we can do, even having had men walk on the moon in the late 60’s… yes, I do understand that it’s a political boondoggle, but even taking that into account, shouldn’t we have done better?

 

 

 

Sort of a Sermonette

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A Progressive Prayer

Of course, we know that the woke only pray to their reflected image in the mirror or to the half-blood prince perhaps.

but…they are known to bray…and cackle. They have the cackle down cold.

and they’re all real fans of build-back better…which works as well as everything else that they set their hands to. To the woke, it is never about making people’s lives better. Their horrible records in the American inner cities are monuments to their results.

And that is the sermonette.

 

Ancient Tech

A question that has always intrigued archaeologists is how past civilizations made their objects and monuments.

I want my mummy…

Works such as the exquisite staircases of Machu Picchu, the geoglyphs of Acre, and the pyramids of Egypt raise questions about the use of technologies and tools.

The lack of understanding usually leaves room for hypotheses about contact with space aliens or the idea that these people were beyond their time. Those are all dangerous arguments when it comes to a faithful understanding of the past.

The ancient Egyptians, known for their temples, pyramids, and hieroglyphic writing, have always been a challenge for researchers.

And a skill that still intrigues many people is the ability to carve objects in granite – rock much harder than limestone or sandstone.

So, what tools did they have to hand? How long did the carving process take?

Egyptian artisans, the working class responsible for all the grandeur that has come to us, used instruments depicted in paintings that resisted time, showing the use of axes, saws, and bows, among others.

The most accepted theory is that these builders used wooden, bronze, and copper tools to carve the granite, mastering strict rules that allowed them to do remarkable work.

Are we relying too much on our own technologies and applying contemporary ways of seeing the world and trying to fit them into the past? Or maybe it was space aliens…

 

Radiation and the Ukraine Invasion

The Russian Army made a conscious decision to entrench around the Russian nuclear accident site at Chernobyl.  There were reports of around a regiment of Russian soldiers suffering from acute radiation sickness. I’m sure that there general was fine. If form follows the pattern, he was likely promoted and given a medal.

They remained for more than a month, some Russian soldiers bunked in the earth within sight of the massive structure built to contain radiation from the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor. A close inspection of their trenches. subsequently has been impossible because even walking on the dirt is discouraged.

When the Russians hurriedly departed March 31 as part of a withdrawal from the region that left behind scorched tanks and traumatized communities, they took more than 150 Ukrainian national guard members into Belarus. Shevchuck fears they’re now in Russia.

 

Do you Recall Syria?

Zones of control in Syria, as of May 16, 2022.

For quite some time Syria was in the news and now, you don’t hear much about it because Ukraine sucked all the air out of the news. It’s not even clickbait anymore. As the Ukraine front stalls and becomes static you never know when it will become popular and a topic of interest again. It didn’t go away. Now if you were to ask me how I felt about the war there, I would tell you that I could frankly care less, except that I keep tabs on places like that because these topics recur in some of the work that I do.

Is there any interest on the blog in a dive and discussion into Syrian politics as they now stand?

 

The Map (below)

The number of firearms in private hands in the USA is grossly underestimated in this 2017 study by at least 3x. The same would be true of Mexico,  where cartel imports have made their way into civilian hands over the past decade. Presidents like Obama and Brandon have caused the demand for firearms to expand along with the demand for ammunition – even at today’s extortionary prices.

A Few Thoughts

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Mental Health

A review of key indicators of despair over time in the U.S. — including suicide rates, drug overdoses, and reports of anxiety — shows that the intensification of America’s mental health decline coincides almost perfectly with the invention of smartphones and the popularization of social media. The number of mass shootings, especially those conducted by young males, also ticks up in the same time period.

The first iPhone was released in the United States in June 2007. Facebook was opened up to anyone aged 13 or over in 2006. Instagram launched in 2010, and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were released in 2005 and 2006, respectively. The mental health of teenagers and young adults has plummeted rapidly since the mid-2000s, as screen time and social isolation have skyrocketed.

Can you imagine what would happen if the researchers established a direct link between Smart Phones and mass shootings? Would they ask for them to be banned?

When you add in the dreadful government policies like isolation, masking and business shut downs ruing the plague, everything has been magnified. The woke policies that essentially emasculate young men that are promoted by the media and the left must be added into this calculus.

Two generations ago there were just as many firearms in the hands of people and nobody heard of mass school shootings.

 

Xi May Not Survive

I hear a lot of chatter these days leaking from behind the Bamboo Curtain that President-for-Life Xi built around the ‘new’ PRC.

When China’s position as an economic powerhouse was secure, so was President Xi Jinping’s position. Now structural issues within the country’s financial system & lockdowns of essential hubs and even entire provinces pose a threat to Xi’s tenure.

The real question is whether the People’s Liberation Army will continue to support Xi.

The PLA, the PLAN and the Chinese Public Security Bureau derive much of the money that funds leadership from their commercial ventures – hotels, whorehouses, manufacturing for export, etc. feeds the generals. They’re not being fed today.

 

POWs

Colonel Brownrigg and two young Russian POWs (Alma and Inkermann). Crimean War, 1855

 

Lunch Idea

First, a disclaimer – cooking with LSP is better than anything you’ll see on this blog –  ok, on with the suggestion.

Cook a chuck roast in a crock pot, adding french onion soup. and dry Italian dressing packets, pepperoncini, and Italian seasoning to the crockpot.

Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for about 8-9 hours.

Then shred the beef removing any fat, gristle, and cartilage. Then toast the buns in a toaster or under the broiler adding cheese to both sides of the bun and place back under the broiler on low until melted.  Top with shredded beef, pepperoncini, and onions.  Serve with small bowls of au jus on the side for dipping.

Notes:

You can use whole pepperoncini or sliced pepperoncini.  The sliced ones are better because you can add them to the sandwiches after being cooked.  Of course, you can also cut whole peppers down if you’re not lazy.

Chuck roast has fat and cartilage and that is what makes it so tender after it is slow simmered. Top round is great but it’s a lot more expensive. Do not use the Bill Gates “artificial meat” whatever you do.

Buns, hoagies, french bread, Bolio rolls, and even toasted white bread make great sandwiches with this recipe.

Any cheese that melts well works on this sandwich including but not limited to Swiss, mozzarella, provolone, Pepper Jack, and Monterey Jack.

 

Historical Interlude

History of Rome: According to the traditional story, it was in the 6th century BC that an enclosure (the Servian wall) was built. During the republican period Rome was covered with temples, it became the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the western world.

Today Rome is still well worth a visit now that the covid plague is no longer an issue.

 

A New Remix (h/t Frank)

 

Tiger 2

I ran onto this photo of a Tiger II. I’m not going to make you guess the tank, besides, you’d get it right off – way too easy. The spin is the pre-production turret, (circa 1944). If the Germans had these tanks in large numbers in 1939, just like their later U-Boats with air independent propulsion, jet fighters, etc. the war would have taken a different turn.

 

Last Call

When you consider that the last dozen plus mass murders by vehicle and firearm have been committed by Democrats & Communists (difficult to tell the difference), it might be a good idea – just to keep us all safe, if they were all disarmed and if they walked from now on.

 

The Long Weekend

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OPEN FORUM

 

BBQs, loud music, fast driving down mountain roads…

The Invasion began in earnest on Thursday with the massively long Greyhound style busses pulling trailers full of side-by-sides and ATVs – fifth wheels longer than the Greyhounds, and so forth as people from the Phoenix valley invaded for a long weekend of BBQs, beer, and whatever they do. Sometimes there are upwards of 60K people here in this general area (within about 20 miles from me) camping. In this area, there are no designated campgrounds and they fill the place.  On average, their attitudes go from moderately respectful to obnoxious. Sometimes they leave unattended fires that consume the place.

If I’m home, I avoid leaving the place because of the traffic, the visitors, and so forth. There are always fatalities on mountain roads when drunk side-by-siders hit trees at 100+ MPH, medivacs, they give the car keys to children and off THEY go. Sometimes over the rim, 1000 feet to splatter on the bottom or bounce 20 times on the way down.

Do I sound like an old man shouting at the kids to stay off the lawn? Am I turning into a curmudgeon?

How many of them are thinking of our honored war dead? Damned few. Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May. All gave something, some gave everything.

It’s an open forum for you to rant as you will about whatever you want to.

Riddle Me This

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Navy Missiles for the US Army? 

Read about it at Commander Salamander’s blog. It’s an interesting confluence. With the bevy of high-ranking army generals who are heavily pro-China, Gen. Milley not the least of which, it’s interesting to see that they are taking the threat posed by the PRC seriously.

 

 

The blockade of Libyan oil fields and terminals in mid-April 2022.

Libya’s parliament-appointed PM, Fathi Bashagha, attempted to seize power and oust Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s rival administration in Tripoli, bringing about military clashes in the capital. A new spate of violence is coming?

 

Where do Europeans go on Vacation?

 

The War in Ukraine

Simplified map of decreasing Russian objectives in Ukraine.

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Finland’s Perspective – h/t Claudio

RFE/RL: Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer land border with Russia. Is that not a cause of concern if Russia is making mischief?

Toveri: The thing is that 90 percent of that border is wilderness, it’s just forest…no road, no network, no anything. Attacking with land forces across the border is mostly impossible…. They don’t have any land force [to do that]; 80 percent of their combat-capable land forces are in Ukraine. The garrisons next to the Finnish border have been emptied…. They don’t have anything.

Of course, they could look to air attacks over that long border, but our air defenses and air force are in pretty good condition, and we’ve seen the quality of the Russian Air Force in Ukraine — it’s really not too impressive. So it would be a very big risk for Russia to try something like that.

Russian problems at home as the war grows unpopular.

 

The Uvalde Shooter

 

Why not?

The Friday Fling

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If Gun Free Zone signs worked, they would have worked by now…

 

Your Question-of-the-Day

How did an 18 year-old living with grandma have access to 2 new Daniel Defense AR-15 rifles worth almost $5,000? Add to that the ammunition, optics, and body armor costs? How did he afford a new $70,000 F-250 pickup? What about his therapist who specializes in hypnosis? It’s just a couple of questions. I know what you’re saying, “nothing to see here, move on.”

 

Entropy

I went out to my 2007 Toyota FJ and tried to unlatch the aftermarket swing arm on the bumper that holds the spare tire, 10 gallons of fuel/water, and the Hi-Lift jack. The latching mechanism was frozen/rusted in place. It struck me as weird because I had it open two or three weeks ago. No problems. It’s spring loaded and maybe the spring broke and is keeping the latch from coming out and allowing the locking lever from coming down.

Now I’m on the hunt to source a replacement locking mechanism. I’ll tell you, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. When I take off the existing locking mechanism I will need to take off the spare fuel carrier and punch it out. When that happens, I won’t be able to lock it again until I obtain and install a replacement part (unless I content myself with a tie strap or wire – sort of a redneck catch-all solution). All that the frozen part does is keep me from loading gear in the back. A cage behind the rear seat allows me to pile gear in. I could remove that if I had to. Fixing by replacing is the first and best option.

My old, go-to supplier for these parts went out of business with Covid.

 

Identify the Tank

 

Supplies

(IWA Intl.) Miami-based internet retailer IWA International now sells 3 unrestricted military-style flashbangs to civilian buyers.

These grenades are imported from UK-based manufacturer TLSFx Pyrotechnics, which builds and sells simulated munitions to a variety of customers including military simulation (MilSim) enthusiasts, as well as movie/television special effects crews.

1. Are our pyrotechnic devices legal and for civilian use?

Yes, all our products are legal for civilian use and approved by the A.T.F.

2. What is the shelf-life?

2 years from manufacturer date, 5-10 years when stored in a cool and dry place.

3. Are any Permits/Licenses required to purchase? 

No, permits or licenses are not necessary to purchase our products.

4. What are the shipping restrictions?

Hazmat items cannot be shipped to a PO BOX

We ship Hazmat goods to the lower 48 states ONLY: NO Hawaii or Alaska

An adult signature is required.

 

Abomination

 

War Surplus

Ukrainian Territorial Defense Force member with a WWII-era SVT-40 equipped with a suppressor and thermal scope.

Cossacks by an armored car, Ukraine, 1919

 

The She-Devil (captioned)

My 2015 Ducati Diavel 2 gen Strada aka She-Devil is running fine. When I bought her from the slave auction in Brea, California (showroom) my driveway was connected to a paved road. Now, a long graded dirt road.

How do I keep dust off the bike since I bounce over the dirt road to get it to State Route 87? I pay attention to the drive chain, keep it as clean as possible, and just accept that the black bike will be a little dusty. Unlike the photo above, it has a small windshield and sissy bar (aka Strada) now as in the caption. I added those things so that MRSLL could ride on behind and the windscreen deflects bugs – a bit.

The bike has 4,000 miles on it so no, it doesn’t get heavy use. And it still runs like a hound from hell.

 

Random Topics

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Size Matters?

Sukhoi-30 MKI size compared to a bus.

 

Do you ever feel this way?

 

The War in Ukraine

Rough map of the Russo-Ukrainian War front, represented in Ukrainian subdivisions, raions and oblasts.

 

Higher Inflation=tax income for government

Tax burdens across the country in 2020, 2021, and 2022 are all higher than in any other year since 1978.

 

Pigs

I haven’t seen wild pigs in Arizona. We do have a lot of javelinas here and while they aren’t pigs technically, they do fill that niche.

 

The ten largest gold mines in the world, by production.

The Muruntau gold deposit is situated in the Qizilqum Desert of Uzbekistan. It has been in operation for more than 50 years.

Discovered in 1958, the surface mining operations at the giant open-pit gold deposit started in 1967. The mine is 100% owned and operated by Uzbekistan’s state-owned Navoi Mining & Metallurgy Combinat (NMMC). Few of the profits from the mine make it into the hands of the Uzbek people even though they own the mine collectively. That notwithstanding, there has been a national effort to raise the literacy rate in the nation and it stands at 99%.  That rate is much higher than that of inner city high school graduates in the US. that are little more than gladiator academies.

 

It’s an Intriguing Thought

Float

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In preparation for the arrival of grandchildren this summer, I drove to the Salt River, outside of Mesa, AZ, rented an innertube, and did the locally-famous Tube Float.

The current starts out a bit more robust and then it peters out and that’s when I emerged like a huge albino salamander sporting a bit of a burn and caught the shuttle bus back to the tube rental headquarters. You don’t need to rent anything or use the bus but I did this time.

When the kids come, I’ll bring the canoe and other floating stuff for everyone to enjoy. This time I did the rental because of the recon value.

I wore a boonie hat but may need to go with more of a sombrero next time.

Rumor has it that the river gets its name from all the beer that is consumed while floating – and is subsequently recycled, being discharged into the river.  How woke and green can you get? Bobbing down a river of locally brewed and responsibly recycled beer…what a country!

 

Meme-of-the-Day

 

Sig 716-G2

 

Arizona Landscape

Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Slot canyons are usually not this exotic, but I have made a point of exploring them.

 

Ukraine War

Amid massive tank losses in Ukraine, Putin is now deploying old and outdated Russian T-62 tanks (below).

There are different views of these facts. First, the Ukrainian T-62s are scoring against the more modern Russian tanks. Much of this advantage comes from using them in defensive roles. There is nothing wrong with a T-62 and the Russians are saving their better tanks in the event of (another) war. For Putin’s finest, the T-62s will have to be good enough.

Referring to the map below:

The Russian Army withdrew from their positions on the Bakhmut – Lysychansk road. While the route can still be shelled, it is back in use by Ukraine for logistics and troop movement.

Russian forces are advancing West from Troits’ke (South of Popasna) in the only significant Russian advance in the theater. When you consider the number of Russian troops in Ukraine, it’s a very small move.

Mid-Week Madness

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Ukraine War Update

There have been headlines suggesting that the long-awaited Russian summer offensive began and that Ukraine is close to losing the whole game. That appears to be clickbait.

Russian armor, supported by infantry and artillery advanced further South of Popasna and captured Myronivs’kyi.

There is fighting ongoing in Lyman after Russian forces entered the city’s outskirts. (see the map below)

The advance into the suburbs of Lyman was about a one-mile push from where static lines had been. The move into the Popasna area was about four miles. Ukraine has at least four divisions in this general area. It’s far from being a ‘pocket’ and to date Russian Armor, liberally used, has taken some hard beatings to achieve very modest success.

The Russians have reportedly used thermobaric weapons, and artillery to pound Ukrainian forces into submission, but their accuracy is not good. They hope to make up in quantity what they lack in quality.

If that’s the best that Russia can do, then they’d best cut their losses and go home. The overall map is very static with little pushes here and there. The Russians gave up their ambitions to seize Kharkov/Kharkiv, in the same way, that they gave up on Kiev. They still hold a lot of the Black Sea coast and have devoted heavy forces to keep it. The borders of Donbas – long contested territory is the only place where they are trying to implement some sort of offensive strategy and they lose a battalion of armor every time they push. It’s not like they don’t have old tanks to push into the wood chipper, and expendable draftees to use as cannon fodder, but they spend a great deal to accomplish very little. Nothing has changed in that regard.

This just in (a further update)

Russia took control of Lypove and Vasylivka (NW Popasna) and have taken up positions on the Bakhmut – Lysychansk road.
Ukraine counterattacked in Toshkivka after having lost the town and retook it. There is a pincer movement underway south of Lysychansk in an attempt to surround a Ukraine strong point. 

The red aircraft icon is discussed below.

 

Russian Loss of Aircraft and Pilot in combat over Ukraine

(Daily Mail) A Russian Air Force Major General has been shot out of the sky above the Luhansk region (about 100 miles southeast of Kharkov/Kharkiv), marking the latest in a long line of high-profile military losses sustained by Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.

MGEN Kanamat Botashev

Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, was enjoying retirement when Russian tanks rolled across the border on February 24 and had not flown since 2012.

His Su-25 fighter jet was hit by a US-made Stinger missile at around 8:25 am on Sunday morning in the Donbas skies, and he was unable to eject.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported a Su-25 had been downed in Luhansk, and one of Botashev’s former colleagues confirmed his death to BBC Russian Service.

It is unclear why a retired general – the highest-ranking pilot to have been shot down in the war – was at the controls of a fighter jet worth £9million.

Su-25 Frogfoot

Botashev’s former colleague told the BBC that ‘he simply could not stay away’ when offered a chance to fly, but the loss of such a high-ranking, elderly, general suggests the Russian air force does not have enough pilots capable of conducting sorties over Ukraine.

The retiree is the 10th Russian general believed to have died in Ukraine, while more than 40 colonels have been killed in bloody fighting.

 

Succession in Russia

Vladimir Putin has promoted his former personal bodyguard to be the Kremlin’s new Emergencies Minister, months after his predecessor mysteriously fell to his death from a waterfall.

Major-General Alexander Kurenkov, 49, nominated today by Putin, is the sixth bodyguard of the Russian president to be appointed to a high government office.

The last man to hold the post was Yevgeny Zinichev, also an ex-Putin guard, who died falling down a 90ft waterfall amid suspicions of murder.

 

USS Connecticut Grounding Report

(The Report) (h/t Claudio for bringing this to my attention)

Disciplinary Action: Rear Adm. Christopher J. Cavanaugh, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, further recommends that the Commanding Officer (CO), Executive Officer (XO), Navigator (NAV), Officer of the Deck (OOD), Assistant Navigator (ANAV) face “nonjudicial punishment” for violation of “Dereliction of Duty” and “Improper Hazarding of a Vessel” for negligence and that the administrative chain of command initiate detachment for cause.

 

Pelosi’s Fate?

Last week, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion.

Cordileone has written to the Speaker of the House, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself.

Based on Catholic doctrine: If Nancy Pelosi dies outside the church, she goes to hell. This is a core belief of the Roman Catholics, which makes them unpopular in various parts of the world.

I have never known a left-wing Catholic when push came to shove, and he/she/it absolutely positively had to choose between his love of leftism and his lukewarm loyalty to Christ, to choose Christ over politics.

Judging by past actions the Catholic Church will cave on this issue before any left-wing leader will cave. But miracles have happened before, and we can pray for them to happen again.

 

A Mystery at the White Wolf Mine

I am in the process of thinning the forest on the mine property. The area is heavily forested primarily with Ponderosa Pines, Noble Fir, Various Juniper, and a few Pinions. As part of the process, I marked some 500 large trees that I want to keep with bright plastic tape.

Some of that tape has been ripped off the trees, or maybe it fell off? I didn’t know what was going on until I arrived home yesterday evening and an elk was next to the house. Note the photo.

Elk

She posed for a picture next to the tree with the ribbon on it. I snapped it with my cell phone and then she reached up (brazenly) and tore off the ribbon.

In the picture, the elk is standing next to the old logging road that divides the upper and lower property.

More Health Emergencies?

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Monkey Pox and other STDs

I’ve read that experts are saying that syphilis is surging and that it will be the next national health emergency. I hate to point this out, but there is an easy way to prevent contracting syph…

Arguably, one of the next public health emergencies will be responding to the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, STI rates were on the rise.

As health systems return to pre-pandemic delivery of services, the ongoing upward trajectory of STIs is coming into focus.

Most alarming is the resurgence of syphilis, known as the “Great Imitator” for the challenges it presents to clinical diagnosis. The latest rates suggest that far from the plans to eliminate syphilis in the 1990s and the 2000s, the disease has once again emerged as a public health threat.

According to recently released CDC data, cases of syphilis increased 52% from 2016 to 2020, and congenital syphilis cases are up by 235%.

Preliminary data for 2021 show yet another increase of congenital syphilis, considered a sentinel event in the healthcare system.

The spread of Monkey Pox (apparently first transmitted to humans through an African having intimate relations with a monkey) in Europe is connected with two rave-style sex and drug orgies. Again, maybe I’m simple, but it shouldn’t be that difficult to slow the spread.

 

From Davos

Know what’s even more fun than eating bugs and owning nothing?

Tracking your personal carbon footprint!

That’s right – according to J. Michael Evans, president of the Alibaba Group, a new social compliance platform tested in Chinese cities might be the wave of the future. More here…

If any of you are interested in buying carbon credit, I am selling forest carbon credit in exchange for one ounce Krugerrands. Buy now before I sell it to somebody else… hurry! The supply is limited.

 

Cartoon-of-the-Day

 

Combating Racism requires a Chart

For the present national forum on racism, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, East Indians (red dot), Eskimos, etc. are all deemed to be racially “white”. Rooftop Koreans are especially considered to be “white”. Shooting inner city people who are intent on looting their stores and killing them is deemed to be “white supremacy and terrorism”.

Open Forum

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It’s an open forum, meaning that you should feel free to discuss whatever you’d like. Contemporary topics, historical rants, and grievance grinds are all on the table.

 

Just because, I thought I’d add a little piece about Persian Caphracts.

 

Party Armor

PUSHTIGBAN-SALAR OF THE SASANIAN EMPIRE OF PERSIA

The pushtigban was an elite military unit of the Sasanian period, which acted as the bodyguard of the shah (the Persian king) and were equipped as heavy cataphracts. The pushtigban-salar was the commander of this unit. Thus his armor was fancier. The depiction of the armor above is based on historical artifacts.

The Sasanian Empire is also known as the Second Persian Empire (the first one being the Achaemenid Empire, the nemesis of the Greek city-states that was finally conquered by Alexander of Macedonia). The Sasanian dynasty of Persia ruled an empire that lasted from the 3rd to the 7th centuries (the time known as the Migration Period). During this time the Sassanids were the main Asiatic enemies of the Roman Empire, but also fought wars with steppe nomads such as the Huns and the first Turkic khanates. The Sasanian Empire finally collapsed in the mid-7th century with the Arab conquest of Persia.

The Arab conquest ended the Zoroastrian religion that the kings of Persia had practiced since the Achaemenid period. As you know, it was replaced by Islam, and Persia became part of a gigantic caliphate, heavily influencing the subsequent Early Medieval Islamic world which is not all that different than the Islamic world of today.

Following the Islamic conquest, many Persian Zoroastrians that refused to convert fled to India, being the ancestors of the modern Parsi community of India, and the last members of the Sasanian royal family fled in exile to the court of the Tang emperor of China.

Where’s Hillary?

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I’m with HER!

The rolly-polly former first lady made her bones with graft and corruption that morphed into the Clinton Global Initiative. CGI was a slush fund, promoted as Hillary globe trotted with Huma Weiner (wife of disgraced politician Anthony Weiner and lesbian lover of Hillary) dragging the sack at every foreign capital.

In recent years after her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump, she’s dropped out of sight, dumped Huma, and many suggest that she’s drunk most of the time…becoming a type of old cat lady.

Old, fat, and alcoholic

The Clintons know where a lot of bodies are buried and they’re not above ordering more bodies to meet the soil, so nobody in DC thinks that she’ll do a day in prison no matter what she did – and what the evidence suggests. If she were to go inside and threaten to sing, she’d likely meet the same fate as Epstein…

Today politicians are distancing themselves from Hillary. Nobody is suggesting that it’s her turn anymore.  Except for Hillary.

 

Monkeypox (the great plague hope)

(Gateway Pundit) In February 2022, Virologica Sinica published a recent gain of function research project performed by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in August 2021 while the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging around the world.

The study was published in February 2022.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology assembled a monkeypox virus genome, allowing the virus to be identified through PCR tests, using a method researchers flagged for potentially creating a “contagious pathogen,” The National Pulse can reveal.

 

Tanks and Planes, Mostly

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Antonov An-225 Mriya 

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy recently announced that Ukraine will build another MRIYA aircraft.

Russia destroyed the Original when they invaded Ukraine. My sense is that cost is no object for the rebuild since the US taxpayer will foot the bill.

 

Identify the Aircraft – two shots for reference

 

Identify the Tank

I think this is a tough one – ok,  it would be for me. There are telltale hints in the photo.

 

Ok, now a couple of freebies – would you have ID’d them?

This is the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X G-EIMS start up & take off at Nancy airport. On route to Friedrichshafen airport. It’s a serious departure from the old Jet Ranger. (Not your daddy’s Kiowa)

The photo above is of an improvised waffentrager disabled near a Flakturm (FLAK tower) in Berlin. It consists of a Panzer I chassis and a Panzer IV’s 7.5cm KwK 40. (1945) It’s illustrative of another effort by German armaments to slap together what they had as the war ground on.

The photo above is of a  captured British Bren Carrier/Universal Carrier armed with an Austrian Böhler 47mm anti-tank gun. Highly improvised, but if it works, it works.

 

New Gun Control Legislation (proposed)

Senate Democrats introduced a strict new gun control bill on Thursday that would require all Americans to obtain a five-year federal firearm license before purchasing a single gun. The bill also authorizes the government to confiscate an individual’s firearm if the license is revoked. You can read more details at the link.

The legislation was introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

 

Sea Witches

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the superstition that women on board ships brought bad luck became a hunt for witches. The belief in witches has always been present and sometimes seen as something positive but also negative among sailors.

Many a captain resorted to the arts of a witch to buy a breeze with wind knots. This was a ribbon with three knots woven into it. When the captain needed it, he untied one knot and could call the wind with it, but he had to be careful not to overdo it because if he untied all three knots at the same time, he would call a storm.

Sunday Sermonette

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Night Sky

 

Thought of the Day

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

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Mobs always raise a Caesar to be king and then they worship him as divine.

Your rights restrain your Caesars from oppressing you. But if he has the power to protect your rights, he has the power to dissolve them when he sees fit. Such a situation greatly pleases a Caesar, or else he is not a Caesar after all. What is it, besides their forbearance, which holds him in check?”

When the agents from the government come to take your family away, you may assert yourself. “You can’t do this!” You’ll shout angrily to the calm-faced federal man directing the arrest. “They haven’t done anything! They haven’t hurt anyone! You can’t arrest people without cause! You have to read him his rights!”

The man will look down at you with polite contempt. “Sir, we’re acting under the authority of the National Initiative for Coordinated Emergencies. We can only protect your family’s rights by suspending them. The emergency is permanent. Volunteer cooperation is mandatory.”

“Let them go! Don’t you need an arrest warrant?”

His face will grow cold. “Warrant? That is anti-government language. It is dangerous disinformation! Silence is violence! Questions are insurrections!

“Show me your badge!”

Instead of being shown a badge and credentials, you will be handcuffed and hooded, thrust into the vehicle, never to be heard from again.

And when you arrive at the re-education camp and are given a bunk, you might notice a black dog laying next to the stove, wagging his tail, with the name “Banner” on his collar… And that’s the Sunday Sermonette.

 

(Banner is WSF’s dog)

 

 

 

 

 

Night Sky (series review)

trailer 

Night Sky is science fiction series on amazon prime that I’ve been watching. I haven’t finished it but I have enjoyed what I’ve seen. I suspect that there will be a second season but it was just released to good reviews.

Irene and Franklin York are a lot like other older couples. They keep on top of each other about following doctor’s orders, joke about their complicated daily intake of pills, and, when the mood is right, they put on some Sam Cooke and dance in the living room, just like in the good old days. In short, they’re adorable. But there’s one key difference between the Yorks and most retired couples: hidden away in their shed right behind a wooden sign that says “to the stars” is a portal to another world.

 

The Survey Says

 

Thoughts on Crime

Solving the “crime problem” isn’t the challenge you might think that it is if you focus on the demographics, reflective of the true source of the problem.

 

Formerly Vichy French Air Force airfield, with French Potez 630 fighter-bomber, at Aleppo, Syria, following its capture by Australian Army during the Syria-Lebanon Campaign against Vichy French forces in Lebanon and Syria (June 8th – July 14th, 1941).

The Potez 630 was not a well-known aircraft, flown here by the Nazi occupation government.

 

60cm self-propelled mortar Karl-Gerat “Adam” at Kubinka Tank Museum, Moscow, Russia. The Maus prototype can be seen behind it.

Two 60-cm self-propelled Karl-Gerat mortars with their munitions carriers. (below)

 

Saudi-Iranian cold war

The geopolitical rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is nothing new. Even before the 1979 revolution, which saw the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Iran under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi has been largely viewed in the Arab world as a regional rival except that, back then, Iran had robust relations with the United States and Israel.

 

Income (average)

 

Map of Alexander the Great’s invasion of Persia from 334 BC to 323 BC.

 

Cuban Food Riots

Cubans have experienced shortages of basic goods for more than two years. The government turned to Russia for help, and although Moscow responded with food and other shipments, the volumes are insufficient for the problem.

The Forever Wars

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People Ask Me

“When will the war in Ukraine be over?” I reply, “How long did they stretch out Afghanistan?” It’s all about money – lots of money.

This is the situation (below) and it has not changed significantly. The Russians will push forward a mile or two here and there and the Ukrainians will do the same. Small gains and losses.

Kharkov/Kharkiv (below) is one area where Ukraine has made significant progress with very little Russian presence beyond its national border.

The bigger game is being played outside of Russia as sharks smell blood in the water with a weakened Russia. China finds itself shackled to a Russian corpse even as Chinese national credit problems spiral completely out of control. There is a lot of loose talk on the streets about replacing Chairman-for-Life Xi and while that sort of sedition is often punished, people are fed enough to do it anyway.

Ukraine is preparing for a summer offensive using newly arrived equipment and newly trained soldiers but I can’t tell you where that push will be made or when it will come. Russia has tried to break out with armor but every time they do it, the butcher’s bill is very high both in men and equipment.

Ukraine would love to cut south to the Black Sea east of Crimea and cut off the Russian troops there that Moscow would have difficulty supplying. It’s not that they couldn’t supply them, but it would be lean(er) days for the cut-off Russians.

China’s Belt Road Map (below) lays out its plan for Imperial conquest. Pres. Xi came up with the concept and it also stretches into the Pacific. They’ve been having difficulty executing in some places, and there are nations that don’t want to be China’s satraps. I don’t think that the Russians see themselves in that role, but that’s where they’re headed because their population is aging and they’re not having enough children to sustain particularly Eastern Russia.  In time, China won’t have to invade. In 100 years the Russians will diminish themselves all on their own.

 

Identify the Aircraft

This aircraft was flown by the US Army Air Force early in the Second World War with many of them ending up being given to the Chinese National Army for use against the Japanese. I’m giving the hint because it is not that well known.

 

DNA Distribution

 

Every Day in the DC Beltway

Donkeys are giving up American sovereignty by encouraging unrestrained illegal immigration or scheming with the WHO. Whoever is controlling Joe Brandon is the worst president in American history. There is a limited amount that we can do except…

 

Snitch Lines

(National Public Radio) NPR agrees with Biden’s initial call to “unity,” and as they seem to know, if you can’t get everybody on board, those non-compliers need to be ratted out. How do you openly show obedience to the Brandon Regime? Wear a mask of course. The non-maskers (I’m thinking of you, Mike_C) are natural rebels to the new world order.

NPR maintains a very strict mask policy and has set up an HR tip line for employees to report on colleagues who are not adhering to guidelines—with the possible result of discipline and even termination.

 

From Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Joe Biden’s “Disinformation Board” is nothing but an Orwellian tool for censorship.

When I had the chance to question the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, he all but admitted it was bound to fail.

After all, the very same people put in charge of determining the truth are the ones who believed the Steele Dossier was “Russian propaganda.” That turned out to be completely false.

They released the information on WMDs in Iraq. That were never actually there.

The same government behind the mask mandates, the Pentagon Papers, and Iran Contra think they’re going to suddenly monitor what is true and what is not? They’re simply not equipped to do that! 

Let’s just face the facts: the US government is the biggest propagator of misinformation out there and we can’t trust them to tell us the truth.

But (it’s me writing now), if you hold your mud, they let you steal as much as you want to and they’ll give you the same medal that they give to everyone who went to Epstein’s Island.

Along with a solemn promise that you won’t do a day in prison.

The Dirty 51

40

 

The poem begins not where the knife enters but where the blade twists.

 

The Dirty 51

(NY POST) I hope that we see a reckoning with the Dirty 51, but given the record of justice in America where progs are involved, I strongly doubt it.

One of the most galling aspects of the Hunter Biden laptop saga is that the 51 former intelligence officials who played such a critical role in suppressing The Post’s stories and giving Joe Biden cover before the 2020 election have never been brought to account.

The “Dirty 51” lied by painting our stories as Russian disinformation in an Oct. 19, 2020, letter they signed and delivered to Politico five days after The Post exposé and three days before the final presidential debate of the election campaign.

They used the institutional weight of their powerful former roles to legitimize partisan political propaganda designed to smear The Post and everyone associated with the story and dissuade the rest of the media from looking deeper into the laptop.

 

From Gateway Pundit

(link) Joe Biden looked lost. His mouth was gaped open. He had a glassy-eyed stare and shuffled along mumbling something when he got to the table. This was at 1:30 PM after a 15-minute flight!

He needs somebody in an Easter Bunny suit to lead him around.

 

One Russian Ship’s History

The Russians tried to copy the American command and control ships<i>Mt. Whitney</i> and </>Blue Ridge</i> and it never worked.

SSV-33 was nuclear powered, being built off the hull of a Kirov-class battle cruiser. SSV-33 was assigned to the Pacific Fleet, but there was no pier large enough for the ship. She was forced to anchor out. Machinery had to remain running while at anchor to support other systems and its crew; the ship became a floating barracks. She never went to sea, while her powerful radio-electronic equipment never worked well. What they did have gradually began to decay. Finally, she was scrapped.

 

Talent

 

We’ve talked about Farming Lately

 

The WHO and CCPare on the move

Conspiracy theories abound and sadly,  they can be checked and rechecked and when you do, you find that they’re true. And since it is the lead story on Fox News, well it’s not exactly a secret conspiracy theory.

 

Karine Jean-Pierre

Yes, she’s the negro lesbian (who self-identifies as female) who ascended to the job of press secretary to the demented and failing Joe Brandon.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

She may be a female, negro, lesbian, but her performance as press secretary has caused the Brandon Administration to pull John Kirby (an old white person who self-identifies as male) from his job as Pentagon Press Secretary and transfer him to the White House.

WaPo’s reporting indicates Kirby would make “regular appearances at the daily press briefing,” though some indicated he would not be sharing duties with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds a news briefing at the Pentagon on March 09, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. Kirby spoke on various topics including Russia’s invasion to Ukraine. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Some critics have said Jean-Pierre is off to a rocky start, pointing to an exchange she had on Monday with Fox News’ Peter Doocy about a tweet Biden made suggesting higher taxes on wealthy corporations is the answer to combat inflation.

“Are you talking about a specific tweet?” Jean-Pierre asked Doocy after flipping through the pages of her binder.

“He tweeted, ‘You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,'” Doocy read Biden’s tweet.

“Well, you know, we have talked about — we have talked about this this past year about making sure that the wealthiest among us are paying their fair share,” Jean-Pierre responded. “And that is important to do. And that is something that, you know, the president has been, you know, working on every day when we talk about inflation and lowering costs. And so it’s very important that you know, as we’re seeing costs rise, as we’re talking about how to, you know, you know, build America that safe and that’s equal for everyone and doesn’t leave anyone behind. That is an important part of that as well.”

When pressed how raising taxes on corporations will lower costs on things like gas and food, Jean-Pierre pointed to efforts to pass a “fairer tax code” so that ordinary Americans aren’t paying higher taxes “than the folks who are not paying taxes at all.”

Yeah, Jean-Pierre is an idiot. Cut from the same cloth as the Veep.

Working Title

23

Caption: Russia destroyed Mariupol, killing thousands of civilians in order to “protect it” from Ukraine. That’s just how they roll.

 

128,000 Hunter Biden e-mails

More than 120,000 emails from the notorious Hunter Biden laptop have been published on a searchable online database anyone can access.

bidenlaptopemails.com, allows users the option to download all 128,00 plus emails from Hunter’s hard drive onto their own computer.

The emails were uploaded by former Trump White House staffer Garrett Ziegler.

“Here are the 128k emails from the Biden Laptop, which is a modern Rosetta Stone of white and blue collar crime under the patina of ‘the Delaware Way’,” the site said.

 

The New Law of the Land

(Domestic Terrorism – Gateway Pundit) House Democrats on Wednesday passed a Domestic terrorism bill to silence conservatives and those Americans who disagree with them.

 

The Price of a Big Mac

Why so expensive in Lebanon?

 

A Tradition of Mistreatment

The Russian military has a long history of mistreating its personnel and their concerned families. During the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, many conscripts were not informed before they left the USSR and were sent into combat. When they died or disappeared, Soviet authorities were curt and dismissive to grieving parents, particularly mothers who organized to get answers. In the 1990s, the Russian military sent unprepared conscripts to Chechnya for grueling urban warfare in cities such as Grozny. Many of these troops were killed, wounded, or captured.

Soldiers’ mothers looking to secure the release of their imprisoned children often pleaded with base commanders for help, only to be ignored. Many mothers traveled directly to Chechnya to find their sons and occasionally brokered deals or arranged prisoner swaps with Chechen militant groups for their release. In 2014, when Russia secretly sent forces into eastern Ukraine, military families were again bullied or lied to about the status and circumstances of their sons. Some, for example, were told their sons died in training accidents in Russia instead of in eastern Ukraine.

This culture of disregard has clearly extended to Russia’s latest invasion. Because it was worried about leaks, the Russian military kept its plans a secret, jeopardizing readiness and handicapping itself. Similarly, if Moscow wanted to avoid high casualties, it would not have proceeded with the same strategy once it became clear that Western intelligence had uncovered and published its invasion plans. But the Kremlin proceeded with the war as planned, sending its troops to face off against Ukrainian forces that were, in some cases, lying in wait.

It’s difficult to make sense of Russia’s preinvasion strategy unless one assumes that operational security trumps all and that soldiers are easily replaced. Commanders engaged in abstract war planning inside the Ministry of Defense’s headquarters might logically conclude that they should invade through the Chernobyl exclusion zone because, on a map, it is the most direct and undefended route from Belarus to Kyiv. But if they cared about their troops, they could have taken a different path—or at least prepared their soldiers for what was an incredibly hazardous task. Instead, according to workers at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, Russia sent its troops through the zone without protective gear to shield them from the radioactive dust kicked up by hundreds of their military vehicles. It didn’t tell the soldiers occupying the plant about the significance of their deployment. And it had its forces dig vehicle revetments deep into some of the most irradiated soil on earth, where troops reportedly lived for a month before growing sick and being medically evacuated.

Soldiers have reportedly called home to say they were considering shooting themselves so they could leave.

Radiation poisoning is a particularly extreme example of how the Russian military’s mistreatment of troops undermines its fighting capacity. But there are plenty of others. Soldiers became affected with frostbite thanks to poor planning and then were treated by Russian medics with 44-year-old field dressings. Some Russian commanders simply disappeared in combat zones, leaving their subordinates with no shelter, food, or water. The military sent expired field rations to some troops, not enough field rations to others, and field kitchen trucks filled with bags of potatoes, pickles, and oatmeal, most of which rotted within a few days.

The Russian military’s disregard for its soldiers has done more than undermine their combat performance. It has also tanked their morale and will to fight. Officers steal the contents of care packages so routinely that some soldiers have called their mothers and told them not to bother sending anything. Officials forget to pay soldiers their entitled combat pay, and units abandon the bodies of the fallen. It is little wonder, then, that some Russian troops simply melted away from the conflict, deserting fully functional modernized equipment in Ukrainian fields.

With discipline and morale faltering, Russian troops began looting what they could from Ukraine and shipping it back home—including washing machines, frying pans, televisions from Ukrainian schools and even used mascara. They raided Ukrainian convenience stores for meat, cigarettes, and alcohol. When they ran out of food from markets, they stole it (along with livestock) directly from the Ukrainian people. According to intercepted phone calls released by Ukraine’s intelligence services, some Russian soldiers have even eaten dogs.

Given how the Russian military mistreats its own personnel, it is also no surprise that Russian soldiers have engaged in widespread crimes. None of this is justifiable, and in multiple Ukrainian villages and cities, Russian troops have engaged in unspeakable atrocities—including torture, rape, and executions. But the fish rots from the head, and rather than showing concern about these abuses or issuing directives ordering them to stop, the Kremlin bestowed an honorific title on one of the units accused of committing atrocities in Bucha.

It will be nearly impossible for the Russian military to fix its internal cultural problem during this war. Indeed, even when the invasion ends, it will be difficult for the Russian military to reform, as it did in the aftermath of its five-day war against Georgia in 2008. Unlike the Georgian war, Moscow cannot blame old equipment; the problem lies with the decision-makers and their decisions, and these individuals have not admitted that the military still has a systemic personnel maltreatment problem.

The current leaders of the Russian military may even have been willing to actively overlook systemic personnel maltreatment as long as it was kept quiet, rubles flowed into the defense budget, and weapons procurement continued as planned. Russia’s top commanders are not apolitical warrior scholars; they earned their positions by understanding that loyalty is more important than speaking truth to power. They approved the invasion plan despite all its clear flaws, the most obvious being that it could stretch the professional fighting force to the point of breaking. There is no ready follow-on force to relieve the 190,000 troops Russia committed to this war, which means the troops will fight until exhaustion unless the Kremlin declares a mass mobilization.

The father of a conscript who disappeared aboard the sunken Moskva cruiser, for instance, went to the naval base in the Black Sea to ask where his son was. The local commander replied with a shrug: “Well, somewhere at sea.”

 

Knoll Lake

I went to Knoll Lake (local to me) for the heck of it the other day. It’s a very pretty “alpine” lake. What appeared:

The guy from AZ Fish and Wildlife showed up to stock the lake. 2,600 rainbow trout in the 12″ range. They’ll plant 10,000 fish in the lake before Memorial Day. Woods Canyon lake received fish in the 14″ to 16″ range, called “super stockers.”

There’s always something cool going on.

 

Of Passing Note

41

 

NATO – Interesting moves

Leslie Eastman writes for the LI Blog. I don’t know if any of you know Leslie. She has a son just finishing his plebe (first) year at the USAF Academy. She’s a very bright lady and wrote an interesting article (linked above) about Swiss thoughts of standardizing equipment with NATO. It wouldn’t mean that Switzerland joins NATO and abandons neutrality, but it would mean that they’re re-thinking tooling up in a different direction.

Turkey is always a spoiler. The Turks and Greeks are going at it inside the DC Beltway. I’ve mentioned that I have close relationships with Greece and at the moment, I’m trying to determine if there’s a place for my company in that fight. More on that here. The article in defense news is well written and represents the situation. At present we’re working on placing small nuclear generators in remote locations in Greece to create a robust power grid — but there may be something to this arms contest that we could add to. I’m working on that.

With a satphone in hand, I’m going to head out to the Mogollon Rim today to get even further away from it all. I can work while I’m exploring.

The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature cutting across the northern half of the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles, starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico.  I live atop the Rim & Colorado Plateau.

 

Ukraine War Update

Ukraine POWS are being transported from the Azovstal plant to Russian concentration camps. Organized resistance in Mariupol appears to have now ended.

 

Andrew JacksonGeneral and President of the USA

President Andrew Jackson was captured by the British when he was only 14 years old. His older brother Robert was also captured at the same time.

Jackson’s childhood, including his imprisonment during the Revolution, no doubt explains his feisty nature. He once said of himself: “I was born for a storm and a calm does not suit me.”

Jackson was born in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas. His Father passed away before his birth, so his mother was left to raise him and his two brothers with the help of relatives. She must have been pretty feisty herself. Reportedly, Jackson once described her as “gentle as a dove and as brave as a lioness.” When the Revolution began, his mother helped as a nurse, taking care of wounded and sick soldiers.

Some of these Revolutionary battles in the South were particularly brutal. At the Battle of Waxhaws (May 1780), British Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton ruthlessly slaughtered or wounded nearly 300 Americans, despite the fact that these Americans were trying to surrender. The massacre caused a great deal of outrage. Soon, a small fighting force was being organized and the 13-year-old Jackson signed up, as did his older brother Robert. (Their older brother, Hugh, had already passed away following the Battle of Stono Ferry.)

Andrew and his brother Robert were too young to serve as part of the regular militia, so they were probably errand boys and messengers. Unfortunately, a Tory neighbor gave away their location to the British. The British raided the home where they were hiding and took them to a British prison camp in Camden, South Carolina.

Jackson was defiant, even as he was being captured. Presumably, to humiliate Jackson, a British officer ordered Jackson to clean his boots. Jackson refused. The officer raised his sword and swung it at Jackson, who had his arms up in a defensive position. Jackson’s forehead and hand were scarred for life as a result of the incident.

Jackson was eventually released from the prison camp when his mother arrived and convinced the British to include Andrew and Robert in a prisoner exchange. Mrs. Jackson must have been feisty! By then, both boys had been exposed to smallpox in the camp and were very ill. Robert died of the disease shortly thereafter. Andrew recovered, but it took several months. His mother soon made another journey in an attempt to save her nephews from another prison camp, but she ended up contracting cholera and dying.

Thus, the future 7th President of the United States was an orphan by the age of 15.

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USMC 2030

A group of retired Marine Corps senior leaders are in a custody battle with the service’s current leadership over ongoing efforts to redesign the force for future combat much like grandparents fighting with parents over what’s best for the child.

That’s the description laid out by four senior defense officials who debated the topic Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies event, “On the Future of the Marine Corps: Assessing Force Design 2030″.

But one of Commandant Gen. David Berger’s strongest critics had a more strident description. “And those other retired generals who are concerned don’t believe the Marine Corps will exist if (Force Design) 2030 is fully implemented. said retired Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, former commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command. “That’s how seriously we take it. So, not a custody fight. It’s a fight for the life of the child.”

The question put to you readers of this blog is whether you think that Force Design 2030 is a good idea or not.

 

The Hovel

I received a few e-mails asking for photo views of shack at the White Wolf Mine, where I live. It’s difficult to get the angles without a drone, so I pulled some images from engineering. It looks like the plans…obviously. You also get the elevation effect. I have no idea what it would cost to rebuild it at today’s material prices. The steel roof alone would be 3x what I paid for it three years ago.

There are larger and more impressive homes in the area, but few of them are occupied for more than a couple of weeks or so each year. They’re second or third homes – mountain cabins belonging to rich people from Phoenix or Scottsdale. The only landscaping is the natural flow of native plants, I vowed that I wouldn’t make the place too civilized.

The lower floor is the guest area and to some extent, mirrors the upper floor where I live. There is a large game room whereas there is a great room on the main floor. 10′ ceilings. If you’re going to be remote, you need to make the place comfortable. The upper deck is an outdoor living area that extends out from the great room. The sliding Pela glass doors fold back on themselves and it makes for a large entertainment area inside and out.

I have four married daughters with children. The place needed to be large enough for them too. If the world goes to hell, they need a place to go.

Midweek Muse

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A cat lady... (bottom of the blog)

 

 

According to Musk

(daily wire) Billionaire Elon Musk on Monday slammed President Joe Biden/Brandon, saying he’s not really in charge.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder also said that inflation could spiral out of control if the U.S. government keeps simply printing money.

“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” said Musk, who added he has voted “overwhelmingly for Democrats.”

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter,” he said. “I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like Anchorman,” the CEO added, referring to the 2004 film in which Will Farrell’s character Ron Burgundy will read whatever’s on the teleprompter.

“This administration doesn’t seem to get a lot done,” Musk said on the “All-In” podcast. “The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done.”

Musk also commented on fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos’s assertion that the White House is using “misdirection” to “muddy the topic” of inflation.

“I mean, the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously,” Musk said.

Amazon founder Bezos had said: “The administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only [Sen. Joe] Manchin [D-WV] saved them from themselves. Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country.”

Said Musk: “So it’s like the government can’t just, you know, issue checks far in excess of revenue without there being inflation, you know, the velocity of money held constant.”

 

Meme-of-the-Day

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter can’t move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam. In his tweet Tuesday, Musk said that “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be much higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.”

 

Is CNN Circling the Drain?

DC and New York are flooded with speculation that a major shakeup is coming to the low-rated CNN. New CNN Worldwide CEO Chris Licht has reportedly asked underlings for all options on the table to include completely rebranding CNN back to an all news format from whence it came.

This would include a possible name change and a personnel bloodbath of opinion show hosts including Don Lemon and Jake Tapper.

 

Russian T-90 

It’s sort of a re-built T-72 but the Russians had a high opinion of its capacity to fight a NATO tank. It hasn’t done well in Ukraine, the graveyard of Russian armor. And there are a few of them at the bottom of the Donetsk River. They were touted as capable of crossing rivers…not so much and upside down when the bridge was shelled and gave way.

The Raconteur Report reminded me of something graphically in this regard. He compared the attractive Kelly McGillis when she starred in Top Gun and aggrieved and bitter Kelly McGillis today, turned lesbo, comparing them to the Russian Army when it was the USSR, 40 years ago, and today. The age gene took both Kelly M. and the Russians.

When I’m feeling particularly frosty toward a female of the species, I don’t refer to her as a cupid stunt, I refer to her as a “cat lady” – with no reference to the hot cat women in the Batman series. As a circumspect metaphor,  the Russian Army has become a “cat lady”.