A few passing thoughts shared just for the heck of it.


Cat’s Paws

My friend Claudio pointed to this article and took note that I’d explained PRC methodology in the past. I thought that I’d share my experiences for the benefit of this blog’s readership.

The Chinese Ministry of State Security recruits former US police officers who are also private investigators to handle matters of State interest for them in the USA. It is not uncommon for them to kidnap/abduct Chinese citizens on US soil for return to the PRC. There are different motives for this but extortion is always part of it.

I was specifically aware of these abductions in the San Gabriel Valley area (Los Angeles County, CA), but they took place elsewhere as well. The families of abductees were sometimes left alone so the extortion could be paid. At the time I ran the Orange/LA County Regional Task Force and while the families didn’t speak to law enforcement, they poured their hearts out to friends and through informers, we became aware and investigated the situations. We followed the breadcrumbs to the Ministry of State Security.

The Chinese Ministry of State Security tends to prefer to recruit Australian nationals overseas. They do use Americans at times, but for some reason, Australians appeal to them. I am aware of their use of former Canadian RCMP officials at times. Sometimes the RCMP officials were sitting that they were acting on behalf of the Chinese and at times there was an Australian recruiter who didn’t disclose that the work (espionage, extortion, kidnapping, etc.) was being done for the Chinese government.


A Problem at Whiteman AFB?


If St. Patrick arrived at the DC Beltway…

Could he drive all of the snakes out of the nation’s capital? I realize that wish is more aspirational than practical, but it would be a sight to behold.


15 March satellite imagery of Kherson Airport appears to show a number of Russian helicopters destroyed or damaged following a reported Ukraine ballistic missile strike.

(46.67358° N, 32.50764° E)


September 7, 1847 – “Nooned at Snake River. Watered our cattle and moved on two miles and camped.

Two men were left behind, which was always the case with them, they had such heavy loads. They came up afterward, and while watering, some of their cattle swam over the river. One of the men swam after them, and before he got across sank to rise no more. He left a wife and three small children. The other came running up to camp to let us know. Some went back and stayed with them. By this time another company had overtaken them. The next morning my husband took a horse and went back to swim a horse over after the cattle. The man who owned the cattle took the horse and swam after the cattle, and while coming back by some means got off the horse and sank and was seen no more. He left a wife and six helpless children. My husband stood watching him. It is supposed that there is a whirlpool at the bottom of the river.”

Journal of Elizabeth Smith


  1. Was reminded while watching ‘1883,’ and by reading Elizabeth Smith’s journal entry, that a lot of pioneers and adventurers left their bones out on the Plains and in the mountains. They literally laid a foundation for whatever we consider civilization in America.

    • The women and young children suffered disproportionately. A lot of the graves astride the pioneer trails were children and women who died in or as a result of childbirth.

      • Far too many emigrants had no idea what they were in for. Those who didn’t learn fast didn’t make it. There is probably a parallel today of third world people enticed to emigrate (illegally) to the USA.

        • Young women, in particular, crossing Mexico to enter the US illegally are very likely to be raped. As I recall, the number was about 80%.

  2. Don’t know the date of the B2 photo but one did declare and emergency and land with damage. Perhaps a ground loop resulted from the damage. Gave the recovery guys and gals a chance to really recover an aircraft with all those fancy airbags. Apologies for sexist remark but oh well, I didn’t know the gender self identification of everyone involved.
    For those who have not been to Whiteman it has a rather unlevel runway. When I was there the runway had a couple of very sizeable dips. Don’t know how deep they were but if you were looking longways down the runway a B-2 would disappear in the dip when the plane was taking off. That was in the late 90s so perhaps that would have been fixed by now.

      • With Admiral Dick Levine now the woman of the year, the pronoun thing becomes very confused. That didn’t apply to the military in my time does now.

  3. 1887- cast iron, not brass, balls. we should hang our heads in shame…..bombed theater being used as leverage. be aware the asov brigade of the ua is not above false flags. they have done it before. now the talking heads have somehow integrated possible chemical attack into the “omg the putin is evil” bull scat. secstate said that. we are so hosed. i’m going to the store to stock up on beer, if the nukes are accurate it’ll take a while to get a lethal dose. all i ask of the LORD is that he destroy the bastards too. i can never understand these people. they are more than willing to kill millions of people, for what exactly?

    • Riverrider
      Could not tell from your post if you knew but back in the day, well up to 2000 when I retired, beer was part of the prescription for dealing with a radiation overdose.

      Between a US Senator calling for the assassination of Putin and what the current President and SecState are saying I have to agree with you; we are so hosed. May have to pick up a case or two of beer myself.

      • ed, yes i knew that. i worked with tritium a lot when i did artillery/tank repair in the military. the briefing nurse, a colonel, kept telling us not to cause an accident just to get free beer, lol. only works for alpha particles though. my thesis in college taking a “war and peace in the nuclear age” was how to react to the 20 minute warning. mine was “trot down to the corner store for a sixpack and watch the pretty lights”. it was the only “a” in the class.

  4. That painting is stunning. It captures the majesty of the scenery in a way that photography (without post-processing) can’t do. I’ve tried to photograph scenes like that “out here” (still getting used to it) using every lens I have at various focal lengths, and unless you blow one up to wall-size, it just doesn’t capture the grandeur of the setting. It’s just “too big”….

    • By 1883 or in this case, 1887, the plains and the mountains were devoid of human life. Stories paint the Indians/First Nation/Native Americans as being everywhere, but for the most part, the land wouldn’t support them once the buffalo had been killed off. Hunger and white man’s illness from Europe finished the Indians.

    • The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, has a fantastic selection of paintings like that. Worth the visit if you’re ever in the area.

  5. The average person has no idea about the PRC. Not that I have much idea, but I’m not totally naive. Years ago during the early parts of my medical training I became friends with a PRC national. (This was quite atypical; usually they have negative interest in socializing with me.) One day he was visibly shaken, and incandescently angry in his low-key, repressed way. He explained that the guidance counsellor (a well-meaning German-looking woman who wore lots of natural fibers and given herself a Sanskrit first name — you get the mental picture) had found out that my friend had been an undergrad at BeiDa during the Tienanmen Square thing. In her excitement, she arranged for him to address the student body about his experiences, and had called him to her office to announce his wonderful opportunity to be heard. Friend tried to explain that he didn’t want anyone to know that he had been within 100 miles of the whole thing (and he was not even a demonstrator, he was hunkered down in his college dorm the entire time), because it could make trouble for his family. “Oh, no. That wouldn’t happen. Why would they do anything to your family? That’s silly!” said the counsellor. Friend said that he had a hell of a time talking our well-meaning but thoroughly goofy counsellor out of her plans for him.

    In the same vein, some fellow students talked of going to certain countries, including the PRC and Turkey (sorry, “Türkiye”), to protest various policies of those governments regarding homosexuals. I suggested these were not good plans. One woman rounded on me angrily. “We have our first amendment rights! What could they do against that?”

    My friend also said to me one day, “At least one in ten of students from China reports to the government. So you have to be very careful about what you say. Well, maybe YOU personally don’t have to be that careful because you’re an American. But *I* have to be careful. Around anyone from China.”
    MC: What about [mutual friend] X?
    F: Yes, X is a very nice person, and I like her. But you never know. Here’s the thing. Most of them are not spies or anything like that. But maybe their father is “under investigation” and things will go more easily for him if they just give a quick monthly report to a certain someone. That sort of thing. Anyone from China could be one of those.
    MC: Then why should I trust you?
    F: Well, you probably shouldn’t. I could be one of them. But I’m not and you have to decide if you trust me or not. Hell, YOU could be one of “them” too, for family reasons even though you were born here. But I doubt it. If you are, you’re a really good actor and I don’t think they’d waste someone like that to get close to me.

    All this dovetailed very nicely with what my parents had told me years earlier. It was however interesting and useful to hear it from a PRC national of my own age.

    Americans tend to be open, trusting people. This is a good thing, an excellent thing. But it does leave us open to exploitation by persons who are unscrupulous by our standards.

    • My friend also said to me one day, “At least one in ten of students from China reports to the government. So you have to be very careful about what you say. Well, maybe YOU personally don’t have to be that careful because you’re an American. But *I* have to be careful. Around anyone from China.”

      Those who are on the payroll/are directly managed are force multipliers. They’re expected to recruit stooges. So the real number is greater than 1:10.

      As to Türkiye (the country, not the bird), Midnight Run is still somewhat instructive. Woke Hollywood types expressed their regret about how Turkish people were portrayed in the film. I thought that the film went soft on the situation. I recall taking renditioned Muslims to Egyptian prisons. They were interrogated there because the rules were different than in American custody. I never saw an Egyptian prisoner with fingernails… The same was true with Turkey, Jordan and Israel, where the extraction of information is an art. Drop them and then our “allies” would tell us what they said during the interrogation process. The less said of that the better.

      It’s a very rough world. The peaceful, bucolic, life in America is an exception on the planet, not the rule.

      In Mexico, the state transit police will stop cars at roadblocks for the Army (SEDENA) who take people at random, shove a dirty rag into their mouths and pour tehuacan (seltzer water) into their noses as a poor man’s waterboard just to see if they’re transporting money. It’s easier than trying to find the hidden compartment. If there is money, it’s confiscated.

      In the Third World it’s REALLY a matter of juice. And if you don’t have it, you’re everybody’s bitch. And it never makes the news. That’s the reality.

      • I led a very sheltered life while in the military, nuke weapons guy could not deploy to a bunch of places and had travel restrictions to a few more but even I realized the American people, well let’s call it North American and Western European people, have it exceptionally easy. Watching a Turkish sergeant beat the ever loving crap out of an abbi (conscript) for not working fast enough when the abbi was busting his tail was a real eye opener.

      • Awhile not entirely naive, after reading that overview I’m staying home…have zero desire to go to those places that continue to live in the 15th century, treating people accordingly.

      • Ah, Midnight the Instructional Video… So many think Turkey or the New Ottoman State is horrid for the treatment of law abusers and breakers.

        Personally, I found the movie to be quite funny, almost a comedy. Dumbass white boy from ‘Merica doesn’t believe all the signs saying “We will break you in two and use you as a butt-boy before starving you to death.” Oopsie poopsie.

        There was another show on National Geographic about stupid idiots getting in trouble overseas. An amazing number of stupid Brits on the dole being offered an all-expense paid vacation to Columbia or Peru or other drug-infested crap hole and then, surprise, get arrested for transporting (gasp) contraband and then finding out that said countries’ prisons are nothing like the cakewalks back home (well, as long as you’re not an IRA member or a right-wing bigot…)

          • I handled a murder-for-hire investigation many years ago now. The details, while interesting, are not the point here. The principle hitter (Korean) who ran a crew of Italian button men, spoke (during interrogation) of having been arrested for murder in Panama and incarceration in a central prison there – and associated horrors. He never wanted to go back THERE.

          • Knew a guy who taught classes at a prison to help ‘rehabilitate’ the inmates. At least he did until he found out the recidivism rate for the newly enlightened was the same as the not taking classes.
            Anyway, they brought in a guy from Central America who had served time down there. The US inmates wanted to argue with this guy about how bad they had it – he just didn’t know the things they had to go through, and how rough it was.

    • I had just started graduate school at a university here in Canada during the Tiananmen Square protests. There was a young Chinese girl in our office. I forget the exact details now but in passing during a student protest or something a student from the school newspaper happened to ask her a few questions about the protests and also got her name. So of course they published her comments along with her name in the school newspaper. I was nothing damning but I remember how upset she was at the time, frightened. I didn’t understand then.

      A few years later I ended up working at Nortel Networks in Ottawa and got to see Chinese infiltration and subversion first hand. Then all over again at a California based telecom company.

      I was totally naive then but have a better understanding of the world now. But I am still stunned at how many people will sell out their company, their country, really anything, just for money. We see today how much the Canadian and American governments, Australia probably, too, have been subverted by Chinese infiltration and bribes. How can people sell out for so cheap? For just money? I will never understand that.

        • Something I’ve often said (in the context of our petty academic squabbles) is “I’m not surprised that he did [bad thing]; it’s in his nature. But I’m embarrassed for him that he did it for so little.”

    • Mike, I am sorry that I do not remember the title. There is a movie, which was newly released circa 2014, which featured a caucasian student and a Chinese student at an American university. Their relationship began by the one becoming an informal cultural advisor to the other, the former to the latter. The twist was the PRC student, risking dishonor to his family and by extension, the state, educated the caucasian in the tenants of Christianity.
      We all are in peril.

      • Oh, I forgot to mention; the Chinese student had his cadre of Chinese students. He was caught twixt and tween hiding and revealing his true affiliations.

        This is not me recommending a cinema oroduction yet rather to point that one must, unfortunately, become wary and guarded while remaining true.
        Many speak of virtue, all would agree that truth is a virtue. Or would they?

        We harken to the times of the early church. Having been beaten and imprisoned and now twice told, Do not speak in that man’s name. There stood Peter and Andrew to boldly proclaim; We can do nothing but speak in His name.

        Let us speak. Let us have the courage of conviction.

    • Interesting, thanks for chasing it down. That was the incident that I recalled. Good to hear they found the causes. Hard to believe that the aircraft are all around 30 years old.

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