el Día de los Muertos

Happy dead day. It’s a two-day holiday that ends today, so if you planned on celebrating and missed yesterday – you can still participate. It is celebrated partially in the USA, but they make a fiesta in Mexico. It’s big in Vietnam during the Lunar New Year (Tet) with similar celebrations, burning Hell Money, setting off fireworks, shooting in the air (invading Hue City), etc.

In Italy, November 2 is All Souls’ Day, colloquially known as the Day of the Dead or “Giorno dei Morti.” In Sicily, families celebrate a long-held Day of the Dead tradition called The Festival of the Dead or “Festa dei Morti.” The pupi di zucchero, thought to be an Arabic cultural import, is often found in the shapes of folkloric characters who represent humanized versions of the souls of the dead. Eating the sugar dolls reflects the idea of the individual absorbing the dead and, in doing so, bringing the dead back to life within themselves.

I’m trying to hit all of the celebrations here at Virtual Mirage. We did celebrate the Japanese Penis festival here if you’ll recall.

“Death smiles at us all. The only thing that we can do is smile back.” –Gladiator


Identify the Aircraft





PLA Armor Guide


Bullet Points & Housekeeping

** This blog has been attacked and many of you have taken note of it. On November 10 it will change hosting. That may or may not help.

** Movie News: Sicario 3 – Josh Brolin is undeterred by potential delays. He eagerly anticipates returning for Sicario 3, even if it means waiting for an extended period. The script for the third film has already been written and revised, and the team remains determined to create it according to their vision.

** Ah, the Swiss: (h/t Claudio) Switzerland has signed a contract to buy the most advanced version of the Lockheed Martin-made Patriot missile as an add-on to the country’s Air2030 program, the company announced Tuesday.

Between Putin and Xi, the world is turning against them and toward re-armament including the NATO expansion. They shifted the tide on their own and should take a lap.

Lockheed did not detail the number of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement weapons Switzerland plans to buy. But the U.S. State Department previously approved a series of Swiss requests for Patriot equipment.

** Jules wants to tempt you with an apple…it’s been done before.

** In Iceland: The exact spot where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates almost meet. It’s believed to be the only place in the world where 2 continents can be touched at the same time.

** (h/t Claudio) WASHINGTON — After L3Harris Technologies acquired one of the two U.S.-based solid rocket motor providers in July, the new division’s chief embarked on a barnstorming tour of the sector.

For nearly two months, Ross Niebergall bounced from one newly acquired Aerojet Rocketdyne facility to another, he told Defense News, spending just two days in his home office as he reviewed propulsion production processes for critical weapons such as the Javelin, Stinger and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System. One of his goals: finding ways to open up the military’s constricted pipeline for rocket motors.


Live Ready

My good friend, Sam Rosenberg, has a book coming out (don’t we all?) Called Live Ready that will be recommending to you. I’m writing a review of his book at his specific request. Sam is a close protection expert. He knows his business. He’s worked with me, or I’ve worked with him. This is an excerpt:

In a perfect world, you actually only have about four-and-a-half seconds to get into motion and save your client or stop the threat once you recognize the attack for what it is. And that’s being very generous, as we haven’t accounted for the element of surprise.

Given all that, what do you think are your chances of success?

Most people answer, “Not very good…” This answer is often followed by some variation of the question “Who the hell would do a job like this?”

In reality, the only reason it looks like the Bad Guy holds all the cards is because most people consider the situation from the wrong perspective. Here’s the correct perspective: the stopwatch isn’t racing against the protectors; it’s racing against the Bad Guy.

You see, in the mind of the Bad Guy, he only has one chance to pull off his mission. One chance to get it right, or he gets stopped. Maybe he gets hurt, or caught, or killed. Whatever the case, the target escapes, and he fails in his mission. To the Bad Guy, the notion of failure is ever present, and this fear (or lack thereof) is what ultimately determines whether or not he launches an attack.

But don’t feel bad. Almost everyone arrives at similar feelings of powerlessness when I ask the question about the fictional scenario above. This is the crux of the myth of helplessness to which we’ve all been conditioned. It comes from the erroneous belief that you are incapable of defending yourself. It suggests to you that the Bad Guy holds all the cards—the physical upper hand (whether he is bigger, younger, stronger, or armed); the opportunity to choose the time and place; or the element of surprise. That Bad Guy has total control of the situation.

The reality is that you control the most important situational factors. You just have to understand what those factors are and then consciously never relinquish control of them. By under- standing and accepting your own power, deterrence is not only possible; it’s probable.

I’ve done (police) combat gun take aways from armed suspects. One particularly busy night I did three. I’ve prevailed in a lot of physical confrontations as evidenced by the fact that I’m alive. So when I recommend Sam’s book, filled with first-hand stories and good advice, I do know what I’m talking about.

Oddly enough, I was initially recommended to Sam by then Senator John (Swiftboat) Kerry who asked around about somebody who could solve specific problems. I think that the recommendation came because I taught a (classified) course on planned political kidnapping – how to do it – to USGOV people back then. Sam had a corporate client who experienced problems in PR China.



Gaza Shrinks


CDRSAL mentions at his blog: Almost all of our strategic petroleum reserves was sold off to the People’s Republic of China by Pedo Joe (10% to the big guy). We produce enough for ourselves – especially if we husband a portion of our exports – but our global economic partners outside North America do not. That is where the danger lies.


    • Thanks Ed for the CDR reference. I’m being schooled here by you elders, in comments and sources shared. Of note in the comments in Sals reserves post was another commodity we are vulnerable with. Would the choke point of fertilizer imports cripple our export market AND food supply of our allies?
      Our author’s label of P.J. taking the credit for such treason to our economy, and perhaps the obvious reveal of weakness to inviting attack (s) reminded me of another despot who passed this year. P.Wee, should I be so ashamed to even be mentioning his name, long listed and convicted offender, even though he professed innocency. I am so ready for the second coming!

  1. Gaza Strip- I would have preferred (assuming “appropriations” are a given despite Horatio Bunce explaining otherwise in 1884 to Col. David Crockett) all that “humanitarian aid” freely given to “Palestine” was instead given to Palestine, OH, & Maui. Nah, can’t have that could we?

    As Gaza shrinks I believe it should be under Israel’s borders to eliminate the constant idiocy over that strip of dirt.

    OIL- The New Speaker should (hahahah…choke…spit…gag) start eliminating Biden’s EO’s and unshackle American oil production, undermining The Magical Mr O’s destruction of our culture and energy independence. Then impeach the senile bastard…see what his handler’s do with that running up to next year’s election. But for The Feckless Weakling R’s, that would be a righteous move. Enough of this demented idiocy trashing our infrastructure.

  2. Oil.
    I’m reminded of my Dad’s “Belly Flapping Principal”. If you are hungry enough, you will do anything.
    Wasn’t Roosevelt’s oil embargo the tipping point for Japan to start their aggression?
    An oil war will upset a lot of long term plans. Why, the elite might not be able to fly their private jets to Davos.

    • Roosevelt’s oil embargo. Another example of Roosevelt’s across the board bad leadership. Makes you kind of wonder what would have happened if he would have left things alone. Would have Japan entered the war otherwise?

      • There is no telling, but they only had enough for the Combined Fleet to make one sortie to Hawaii. Desperation leads to cold and calculating measures.

        • FDR had been spoiling for a fight with Japan since the 1920s.
          Turns out he probably picked wrong, and should have let them just screw with China. Worst case scenario, Imperial Japan takes the place over, and I bet we could have worked more easily with those jerks than with the PRC jerks we got instead.

          On the bright side, that imbecile Hitler declared war on us after Japan did, so we could shut down his horror show in Europe w/o any real home front resistance.

          – Kle.

          • The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes gives an excellent appraisal of how great a jack-azz FDR was and she doesn’t even cover WWII.

  3. My first day in the Italian Army was November 2nd.

    Live Ready is on my ever growing must read list.

    The AMX was called the F-32, or half of an F-16 for twice the price. It turned out to be a very competent all-in attack aircraft, who was purchased in too few numbers.

  4. So oil flow to Europe (good thing they knocked off Quadafi and prevented that pipeline to Italy) and China are at risk? Why should we yet again have to bail them both out at our, and our posterity’s, expense?

    • I don’t think that anyone TODAY (meaning NOW) plans to bail the Chinese out. They’ve been booted from Africa and most of Europe. South America takes their money insincerely with a wink and a smile. The US is planning WW3 over the Taiwan issue, and the Russians are unreliable. The Stans are Muslim and hate them worse than anyone. They have an insatiable need for oil from the Middle East, which they don’t trust.

      The PRC brought this all on their heads. Most of the Celestials are mystified, but a few clear-headed people see the place circling the drain.

      • I’ll add that he West’sxreaction to exiting the Russian and Chinese markets is doubling down on investments and trade in the US. This means EU companies setting up shop and creating lots if jobs in the CONUS. This involves imported technology to rebuild local supply chains that reach back to Europe. Massive win win scenario to all involved, but you must play by Western rules.

        • China has some mechanisms that it can use to forestall “collapse,” including turning the People’s Liberation Army into the streets, which has been done before. Their currency doesn’t float, so it’s worth what they say it is. There are other social mechanisms they can use. It’s a communist country.

          As I’ve mentioned to Claudio before, back channel, the Chinese are concerned. I won’t go into detail here, but they are. They are trying to take steps to fix the situation and have yet to land on a strategy.

          And they’re amazed at Pedo Joe and the Ho running the US.

  5. Good grief, another book to read. Glad it is the time of short days and long nights. I have enjoyed each of your book recommendations and have learned a bit along the way. I do need to build yet another bookcase and then find a place to put it.

    Receive food as a guest. Makes me feel doubly blessed for the hospitality from the folks I worked with for a bit up in Norway.

    Death by drug overdoses. Despite the billions we have shoved into drug treatment this is the result? Just maybe we should try something else.

    • There are people who say legalize everything and let fentanyl clean them out. If that were to happen, we’d need to eliminate socialized medicine so that they’re not saved and Narcanned.

      Just the inner crack baby situation taken as an isolated problem (which it isn’t) is a story in human tragedy.

      The US has a consumption problem and with 20% of the population smoking, injecting, snorting, etc. it’s a tough nut to crack.

      Yes, alcoholism is just as big of a social problem.

      • I don’t know what is the best way forward but the first rule of holes is that if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. I don’t even pretend to understand the mindset that taking something that has a statistically really good chance of killing you is worth it, well other than bacon, bacon is definitely worth it and my doctor keeps telling me it will kill me. Cholesterol at last physical was 152.

        • DrMrsPaulM scoffs at the cholesterol thing, says your body will automatically compensate if taking drugs to counteract “high cholesterol”. Ever see a Vegan…supposedly “super healthy diet” (I’m not a cow, but hey, to each his/her own)…they always look really unhealthy and gaunt to me.

          Balance…oh, and lots of bacon, either preceded or followed by dessert and with a steak. Life’s too short and unpredictable…so live in the now (isn’t that a Buddhist thing?).

  6. Blog attack:
    I just tried to send this blog post re. Rosenberg’s new book to some people including a link to both Virtual Mirage and Rosenberg’s site.
    No bueno for one of the people.
    Apple says nope, nopety nope nope.
    I do not know how Apple entered into the picture.

    With this much flak you must be over the target.
    Steady as she goes!


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