Checking In

Blog Post


Bullet Points:

** In a discussion, there was a comment made that we were taught to fear witches and not the people who burned them. I’ve never been pro-witch. Point of clarification: In Europe, some accused witches were burned. It is possible that in areas of the Americas controlled by the Spanish, witches were burned. However, under British rule, no witches were ever burnt in the American colonies (British North America). Those who were executed were hung. I don’t know if they were burned after they were executed or not. Records aren’t clear on that point.  (The graphic is from the new blackwashed movie Wicked)

** General Robert E. Lee, CSA – A moment in time.

Robert E. Lee with eldest son Maj. Gen. G.W. Custis Lee and aide-de-camp Lt. Col. Walter H. Taylor. Richmond, 1865.

** (Mail) Beijing could plunder more than $100billion from US taxpayer funding thanks to a ‘naïve’ plan by Joe Biden to boost the American renewable industry, can reveal.

Exclusive industry data shows China has already planted its flag on a dozen green energy projects that could benefit from uncapped tax credits.

The scheme, which could cost US taxpayers $ 1.2 trillion overall, was designed to improve American competitiveness in sectors that China currently dominates, including solar and electric vehicles.

** SteveH reminded me of SGT Chuck Mawhinney, USMC, who died at home in Oregon last Monday, 12 February 2024, at 75 years of age. At the risk of sounding old, Chuck was part of my generation, which is humbling because we’re all knocking at heaven’s door. A book detailing the service of this legendary man can be found here. When a man like Chuck passes to the next life, it’s like having a library burn down.

** In response to an e-mail, yes, I do have an office that opened in Athens, Greece, at the first of the year. EU-related business is routed through that location.

** Here’s a plug for the American Legion. I have been a member of China Post 1 for more than thirty years.

China Post 1 is an American Legion post, unique in that it is the only post within the American Legion operating in exile. China Post 1 was formed in 1919 at the American Club in Shanghai during WW II. Today, China Post 1 is part of the Department of France and a member of Foreign Departments and Posts of The American Legion (FODPAL).



Part One

A Sequential Fictional Short

Telemetry reflected that Fleet Fast Patrol Picket Uro Mawer was boarded. Its fleet crew of six was presumed to have been spaced by the pirates who took it. Uro Mawer was on an inspection/possible rescue mission to Hel 3 Station manned by clones located on a small, irregularly shaped moon in a stable orbit around LSR J1835+3259, also known as Hel. Hel is an M-8.5 Class ultracool dwarf star in the Lyra constellation about eighteen light years from Earth. What pirates might have wanted with the Uro Mawer or the tiny research station is anyone’s guess. A response from the fleet required retasking of “nearest asset.”


With a transit time of over twenty-seven Earth Standard Years (all of it in full hibernation), Fleet Corvette Chang, carrying a crew of fifteen with a platoon of marines, embarked, was dispatched from their location in space to determine whether the Uro Mawer was still in the Hel system and to use all force necessary to recover it.

The Chang’s A.I. handled the braking maneuver and the retasking without the knowledge of the hibernating crew, who thought they were still in formation with the fleet headed to Sheliak, 881 light years distant from Sol to support colonization efforts.

Fleet Corvette Chang

The archives detailing why Hel 3 had been established as a research outpost in the first place didn’t explain as much as one would have expected to find, so Chang’s A.I. directed the crew to land and investigate the station itself. Uro Mawer was not on the scene, nor were pirates.

Upon landing, the station’s inter-system scout/utility craft was located and docked at its mooring station as it should have been. In most situations where salvage piracy occurs, these small craft are either stripped or taken. Neither of those things happened here.


One clone had been automatically grown and decanted in the intervening time period.

The Chang’s ship’s medic examined the sole survivor and only occupant of the Hel 3 Station. She identified herself as Sola (a name she gave herself) and would have been indistinguishable from the other occupants of Hel 3. She underwent automatic conditioning, including education modules that would allow her to maintain the station before our arrival. Prior to interacting with the ship’s crew and twenty-seven Maries, she had only had sims for companionship, and our presence on the station disrupted her routine severely.

Though their mission had been classified, the clones explored a previously occupied area populated by extrasolar beings. Some of what they left behind in etchings had probable translations. We examined these immediately to determine whether they connected in some way with the taking of Fleet Fast Patrol Picket Uro Mawer.



Identify the Vehicles:




Identify the Aircraft



Parting Shot

59 thoughts on “Checking In

    1. It’s an interesting evolutionary path from the Hun to the first dart to the Starfighter to the Thud to the second dart to the F-110 which became the F-4 Phantom. Some general got an extra star by deciding that they needed to re-number. Such are the ways of the Pentagon.

  1. Whoever thinks that modified crop duster (50’s technology) is gonna be an improvement over the A-10 has been smokin’ something that ain’t doin’ them no good.

    1. Are you impuning the wisdom of the Military Industrial Complex? How DARE you. I’m sure that the crop duster company offered much larger kickbacks + 10% to the Big Guy.

    2. Without getting into the merits as a military aircraft, those Air Tractors are very good low and slow work horses. Several are based at Ft Morgan as wildfire slurry bombers and have proven to be capable.
      I know one aerial applicator (crop duster) who operates two. He says the operating and maintenance costs are quite low for the work he does. Of course, there is the $1 million purchase price.

      1. I have no beef with crop dusters. I just don’t think that they stack up next to an A-10 in ground attack and survivability.

          1. We need a head-to-head duel between a cropduster and an A-10 (it is not fair to use the AIM-9s)—just guns. The winner would be the production aircraft, and the loser would just go back to making cropdusters.

    1. You got it. I first saw them when I was seconded and ended up in N. Ireland mid-70s. Since then I’ve wanted one to play with. Now that I can afford one, I think that it would be more work than it’s worth.

      1. If you are ever in Phx near 7th st and Thunderbird there is a self storage place that has a rig that looks a lot like a Ferret sitting out front as a display…maybe they will take an offer…

        1. I’ll keep that in mind. There’s a Mex food place in that area that I want to try out.

          Ferrets are available for sale in the US. The question of what I’d do with it does come to mind other than just driving around and looking exceptionally cool. I’d need to buy a flatbed trailer if I’m going a long way.

          IF the grandsons were up here more often I might do it just to amuse them.

          1. Suggest buying the grand kids some ATVs or such that they will be able to learn to drive, maintain and command their own vehicles. The armored car will end up sitting in the garage once the initial novelty wears off.

          2. We have cycles and ATVs. I agree, they’d tire of the armored car eventually unless we could get one with an operational machine gun. They wouldn’t tire of driving around the back of the Navajo Reservation machinegunning stuff. (with permission of course)

  2. IDV-
    1. British Ferret Armored Car MK-1
    2. British Valentine Mk-1
    1. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
    2. A-10 Thunderbolt II
    3.Air Tractor-L3Harris AT-802U Sky Warden

  3. Just because the Chinese signed up for free taxpayer money shouldn’t bother us at all. During the SARS, Washington State gave away tons of money to foreign scammers who just filled in the paperwork. Not much of it was recovered.

    Don’t forget how many US green companies got huge government loans and then went out of business before producing enough product to repay the loans.

    There is nothing new under the sun.

    1. Follow The Money has taken on new meaning with the Government criminal element. Now they don’t even care to hide their grift-age…taunting us as the reprobates they are with Go ahead, stop us! (Bankman-Fried/Freed/Fryed is not fearing for his life in jail.)

      I keep thinking of the recently re-watched movie, Peppermint, except the criminal element are office-holders, not Cartel scum. The same result would be refreshing. Problem is: Thou shall not murder…so what does a decent citizen do?

          1. Castle Law comes to mind…our sheriff told MrsPaulM when we had an unsavory neighbor who was an intermittent psycho (always one no matter the sample field). He had a herd of starving horses, so as a vet she was involved with the State vet and Posse during a tough animal rescue. Also why the Brand Inspector always “carries”.

            The guy never challenged me (apparently I was the only one) but he was a potential threat…and the sheriff knew I was away each week as this guy got more and more amped as the pressure was brought to bear:

            “No messing around here…forget the snake shot, get hollow points and use them until the threat is eliminated…if on your property near the house or barn it’ll be self defense, you have my word.”

            (Ps. I know these Castle Law/Self Defense situations can be a fine line, especially with some Lefty Junior DA trying to make a name for themselves…but the sheriff was serious and would vouch for us….they just couldn’t “get him” on anything despite some of his girlfriends being abused over the years. Eventually the rescue and eviction worked out and he was convicted and spent a stint in jail, a rarity in animal cruelty cases. Once out he left the state.)

          2. Paul M, all decent sheriffs in the small rural areas I have lived in was a standard response in my experience. I always made it a point to request an appointment with the local sheriff to introduce myself and make myself available should the need arise. Being a nurse and an Army MP who was willing to lend my experience and skills just enhanced my initial credibility with him/her and the department.

  4. Wicked Movie– Yeah, no…they just had to rework the cast to fit social norms. BUT…there’s this from an obvious chickeepoo:

    Women all over the world have loved wicked for decades now. Old, young, and the middle-aged, women LOVE the show and will be taking their families to it [the movie]. As Barbie proved, women want to see our stories portrayed on the big screen.

    Pretty much says it all and why our society has tipped over the edge staring into the Abyss of No Return.

    Oh, and it’s a 2-Parter…Oh Joy!…2 years of this drivel…as my gag reflex twitches…reminding me of the lousy coffee service at the office, those ubiquitous smallish heavy ground foil packets. I was usually in early so made the coffee. One morning decided to make a stronger brewski so put 2 packets into the Bunn basket. No Maas!…TWICE as bad!

    1. I took my daughters and sons-in-law (10 of us) to see Wicked on stage. I enjoyed the production and thought that it was well done. I doubt I’ll watch the new film, and it’s not just about the blackwash. Everything is blackwashed now, as you point out. Surprisingly, they didn’t make the Barbie movie with an all-black cast.

      It would be refreshing to see something NEW come out, creatively different from the same old thing.

      1. Translating a play production to screen gives The HollowWeird production people too much leeway to screw it up, but if people need an escape it certainly beats Meth.

        Seems what I see “up” on streaming is often a rehash of a rehash, very little in the way of new ideas (or the same plotline but with a new location or character age group). Have we reached the end of human entertainment creativity? Doubtful…which means they are just lazy.

        1. They want a sure thing. But a lot of the blackwashed sure things have flopped. It’s like rainbow flagging an old classic and hoping that people will go to watch sexual deviants and freaks and will find that entertaining. The recent Snow White disaster with homosexual dwarves and a black Snow White comes to mind.

          1. These people are mentally ill, no other way to describe their “off” behavior. Yup…did it again…listened to The Five yesterday while finishing up a few outside chores…and like clockwork Tarlov spouted every false flag Trump indictment/crime/accusation with “proof” despite just hearing the others state the facts and truth of the matter. She then had the unmitigated gall to defend her whacked thinking as if it were truth. How does a mind get so twisted? Too many College degrees is the likely culprit.

            I was laughing…well, right after talking out loud in not so kind terminology. Glad the neighbors couldn’t hear me…I think…otherwise they might call the Red Flag Squad and have me committed. Heh.

          2. Very few liberals who are seriously and violently victimized remain liberals.

            They’re often damaged and go through life with that psychological burden. I know people like that. Usually, they favor the death penalty.

          3. MrsPaulM says (to the Liberal), “Oh, easy for you to say!” [pick a Liberal feel-good thing, like “shoot to wound” – or – the sexual predator “has rights too”…often more than the victim because…they’re Liberals]. “Wait until you get attacked, you’ll change your tune.”

            Thing is, some of them are so brain-ingrained they can’t change their warped tune.

      2. Not sure how best to locate this in the thread. OpenAI just released a version 1.0 of an AI that can take text and make a movie called SORA. It is very capable tech; LL previously linked some golden retrievers created by the program. There are and have been some efforts in this area. Last year’s efforts were pathetic. The significant point is how fast the tech has advanced. Almost photo realistic now. It is reasonable to expect next year or the year after LL will be able to release his writings as full videos. Looking forward to LL’s movies.

  5. Regarding the graphic (previous blog) of the gold bars in the 40-yard bin, they’re doré bars (semi-refined). Saddam Hussein had gold dealers all around the world who represented him. I knew one of them who turned to work for USGOV (or maybe he was a double agent?). Saddam (AKA Sodomy Insane) had a lot of hallmarked gold. He had mints that he preferred. He liked Johnson Matthey from Canada among others.

    1. Depending on the gold ratio in them that dumpster picture looks like $300 to $400 million in gold @$1,500 Troy ounce. Imagine being on patrol and finding that while searching a random truck.

  6. Got another dumb question for the rest of the Grammar Nazis:
    a person to be executed will be hanged by the neck until dead, however, once dead that person then becomes an inanimate object and inanimate objects are hung.
    As the garage mechanic said: “Just a matter of timing.”

      1. The term of art is, “You shall be hanged by the neck until you are dead-dead-dead.” I realized that the Westerns often get it wrong – except in the case of Mike_C’s citation of Blazing Saddles, where there is an acknowledgment not accompanied by proof.

        1. No proof? You are no gentleman, sir, if you do not accept the testimonial of Fraulein Lili Von Shtupp. No gentleman at all, sir!

          As to dead dead dead, Robert Anton Wilson related the tale of Wing Chee, a Chinese circus strongman in the days of the old west. After having an eye knocked out in the process of being restrained for using a White drinking fountain, Wing Chee beat up the cop who put his eye out. He was sentenced to be “hanged by the neck until you are dead dead dead!” by the judge. Wing Chee gave an impassioned speech about justice, ending with “And you, you collupt judge, you can kiss my yerrow ass until it is led led led.” A dozen deputies were torn limb from limb in the hanging of Wing Chee.

          RAW’s interlocutor responds, “But they knew they hanged a Man, didn’t they?”

          RAW: What? No! As far as they were concerned, they hanged some crazy Chink!

    1. Well that’s a can of worms but definitely not dumb.

      Hanged is the act of hanging and reserved for people (“He was hanged” or “He hanged himself”). Hung is as you say, past tense of “to hang” (to suspend, “He roped up and was hung off the building”).

      That, of course, has nothing to do with “He is well hu…err…never mind.”

  7. I have opined before on the idea of the Air Farce turning the A 10 over to the army/marines. It makes so much sense is likely why it won’t happen. Does Air Farce have reason not to, or is just it so obvious no one brings it up ?

    1. USAF has turf. Can you imagine what would happen if the Army was responsible for its air support? I’ll tell you what, sir. CHAOS. USAF’s current plan is to use an air armada of F-35 stealth aircraft to support ground troops (don’t take my word for it). The enemy won’t be able to see them or something and they only cost $102 million each and $42,000 per flight hour. What a bargain. The A-10 costs $12,000 per hour to fly and a paltry $18 million to buy. The Army has helicopters. What more do they want?

    1. When she’s older and fatter, I can see her engaging in some sort of lesbian liturgical interpretive dance, wearing comfortable shoes. I don’t know why my mind jumps there, but it does. By that time she’ll have been passing her 1,000th boyfriend that she sings mean songs about.

      1. She could then join the newly formed NYPD Dance Squad…and she sings too…which offers the added benefit of scaring away the criminal element. Win, win.

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