Manic Monday

Blog Post

Housekeeping – Calling out a typo.

Several of you call out typos in comments. That’s cool and I can and will fix them with edit functions. Sometimes when I create blog posts, I’m jet lagged. Sometimes it’s just late at night and sometimes I’m distracted while I type by phone calls or people. Keeping the blog going is a bit of a chore at times. As a result, proof-reading is not as good as I’d hope that it would be.

So let me know WHERE the typo is rather than just mentioning it in comments. It makes hunting them down easier.

Kermit, the pop-ups are a fact of life that I don’t know how to fix. They’re baked into the software that I struggle with.


Book ReviewAnd commentary

The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins, by Robert Baer

This book by Bob Baer (21 years at CIA) provides a window into America’s war with militant Islam, and of the role of assassination as a political tool.

I used to teach a (classified) course on “Planned Political Kidnapping”, which was a how-to course which combined a classroom element and a practical field element. The class began with the explanation that the only difference between a political kidnapping and an assassination was that the subject was supposed to live in a kidnapping, which made it more difficult.

Col. Borris Pash, US Army

There is a significant difference between criminal kidnapping or criminal murder and planned political kidnapping and political assassination, though the lines can blur to people outside of the business. While Bob Baer’s book is well worth reading and is highly recommended, if you have a deeper interest, I suggest that you research Colonel Boris Theodore Pash, US Army,  (20 June 1900 – 11 May 1995), who was America’s expert on the subject. Today and even more, during the Obama years, political assassination was carried out by General Atomics surveillance aircraft, the MQ-9 Reaper was especially adept at harvesting flesh, precisely. The captioned photo above is Australia’s MQ-9B Sky Guardian, an improved Reaper. Australia has gone big into this capability.

Should President Trump be re-elected, you can expect Iran to look for a path toward rapprochement, if not, expect instability in the Middle East to increase. There are global interests which would like to see that. Hillary Clinton, for example, would have had the US in a shooting war in Syria (forever).

The Israelis, who carry on war-as-politics out of necessity, with a meta-germanic efficiency that is always impressive, will continue doing what they do absent a consensus toward peace.


And now, let’s throw up a few maps:

Largest Source of Foreign-Born Residents by State, in 1900



19 thoughts on “Manic Monday

  1. The Baer book looks interesting so I ordered up a Kindle copy.
    Typos don’t bother me. Unless they alter the meaning of what’s being said I simply roll on.
    I’m okay with the pop ups. This blog has been around a lot longer than I’ve been reading it and sometimes the pop up will steer me towards an earlier post that intrigues me. I read it on a laptop so it doesn’t interfere with anything.

  2. the army standard for writing is: clear, concise and easily understood in one or two readings. if we can figure out what you’re saying typos are insignificant, drive on.

    1. Hopefully the blog is clear and to the point without being windy. This Sunday has a piece that is a bit preachy, taking shots at the political left, who are really filthy humans.

  3. I appreciate the information and insights. The quality of the information is more important than the typos! Thanks for the time and effort you put into keeping us informed.

  4. “I used to teach a (classified) course on “Planned Political Kidnapping”

    No surprise there…you do have a unique skillset. Maybe I need to get the book, considering the climate we find ourselves and far too many out there projecting their self-loathing hatred onto others “not them”.

    x2 Jim…I too find the pop ups afford some necessary reads, even if the s/w doesn’t work as well with smaller screens (can’t be everything to everybody). It’s a great site, clean, and solid content.

    1. BTW, typos are a nit on the scale of importance…we all do them, and self-editing is not easy. Never detracts from the gist.

    2. I am certain that you, and many if not all of this blog’s readership would greatly enjoy Bob’s book. He wrote one movie (Syriana) after leaving CIA and a handful of books.

      One of the few movies on planned political kidnapping, at least in recent times, was Sicario 2, Day of the Soldato. I recommended it for summer viewing a week or two back.

      Most people don’t understand political assassination. Bob’s book explains it with first hand accounts, which is rare, given the topic.

  5. Typos I understand, the amount of work it takes to put a blog out as often as you do I can only marvel at! You entertain, educate and do it regularly on this blog, I appreciate your time & effort.

    The foreign born map, Germany? Who knew?

  6. Typos don’t bother me. Sometimes they can be enlightening and/or humorous.

    The pop-ups are annoying, but I’ve got things sized so they only consume a small amount of real estate, and I, too, have jumped to an older article that popped up.

  7. As perhaps one of the most strident grammar-ists, typos are of two classes; one which bothers me not in the slightest. The fat finger typo is (relatively) easily ignored. The other is the message made minimally readable by far too many typos. The latter seems more than simply a typo but indicative of intellectual sloth. I have not witnessed such egregious error that here.

    I just became aware that at the NW reaches of Texas, the north-south boundary between New Mexico and Texas make a jog. I am somewhat surprised by my former oversight given my deep fascination and appreciation of maps and charts.

    I seem to recall that a place name by Biblos, or name of that sort, was the source of the very best papyrus. The place name became the root prefix for a host of words, Bible being one.

  8. Can’t write without typos and you write a lot and well. So.

    Proofing/Editing can be a chore though, especially when people send in articles that might as well be written in pidgen. Well, whoever said life’d be easy?

  9. We pay a hell of a lot more attention nowadays to uniform spelling and grammar than people used to.

    I am unclear as to whether that is an improvement, or not.

  10. Back in the latter half of the last century i was passing by a table in the student union that had a pile of for free used books.
    One of the books was about political assassinations. Not only results, but techniques.
    I remember an account where a politician was taken out while riding in the back seat of his limo.
    The device used was the first time i had heard of an explosively formed projectile (EFP). It was triggered by an infrared switch when the limo passed a bicycle chained to a traffic sign with a briefcase hanging on the handle bars. The briefcase contained a sheet of copper backed with a sheet of plastic explosive.
    The hit was clean with only the politician as a casualty. His driver/bodygaurd was unharmed.
    Somewhere in my travels the book disappeared. Seriously!
    I will have order Baer’s book and research Col. Pash for entertainment purposes only, of course.
    I am on some list somewhere, so i do not think that will raise the ante.

    1. That account is close to the one where the president of a German bank was taken out by an EFP. There was a bicycle parked across from his house and the explosive was in the saddlebag of the bank. EFP’s are really nasty, cut through armor like it’s not there.

  11. Maybe somebodies have been reading the same book?
    IIRC the account i cited was in a country in South America.

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