Bullet Points:

** When life closes a door, breach the wall and walk through like you own the place.

** “Without even a superficial understanding of the murky stew of clans and tribes that govern the ragged edges of the world, the United States isn’t capable of efficient political murder. If we can’t tell a Baluchi from a Pashtun, how can we decide who deserves it and who doesn’t? This is one reason why the murders of Saddam, bin Laden, and Gaddafi produced nothing other than more bloodshed.

As Wall Street would put it, the United States mispriced violence.

It’s not that I don’t understand the attraction of drones, how they give the White House a bump in the polls and Americans the illusion that they’re being kept safe, but the point is that the United States has confused ideas with people. Assassinating bin Ladin never stood a chance of driving a stake into violent jihad, just as Rome did not kill Christianity when it killed Christ. In other words, there’s no point in killing the Clausewitzes of the world but, rather, the general who’s mastered his tactics and is about ready to rout you on the battlefield.” -Baer, Robert B., The Perfect Kill (p. 310). Penguin Publishing Group.

** “The greater part of the population is not very intelligent, dreads responsibility, and desires nothing better than to be told what to do. It is perfectly happy to let itself be ruled if the rulers do not interfere with its material comforts and cherished beliefs.”  — Aldous Huxley.

** An Interesting Article – The intensity of our division springs from a federal government operating far beyond the limits of the Constitution — fueling a fight for control over powers that were never supposed to exist at the national level.

** So much of what happens here involves the politics of oil. President Trump promised that in his next administration, his mantra will be “drill baby drill,” and the Federal Government will get out of the way and allow the petroleum exploration, development, and refining process to be expanded to make much of what happens in the Middle East less impactful to the world’s energy infrastructure.

 

 Enjoy the Propaganda 

 

Pink Panthers

During the “Gulf War,” the British SAS changed the paint scheme of their Land Rovers from green to pink. Pink becomes almost invisible beyond a certain distance in the scorching desert.

The fact was discovered when the SAS themselves came into contact with the wreckage of a pinkish aircraft they had not spotted.

According to them, the paint had deteriorated over time, transforming it into a pink mixed with metallic, which in the desert conditions was invisible at long distances.

The Land Rovers were called “Pink Panthers”.

 

 New All Wheel Drive Rides 

The new Toyota Land Cruiser is scheduled to be available in August. I’m not trying to peddle cars. I’m only throwing it out there for those of you who may be interested in new offerings. I drive a 2007 Toyota FJ and don’t plan on dumping it.

 

Sawbones

Medical practitioners go by many names. Surgeons are cowboys, while internists are fleas. ER physicians are triage monkeys, and obstetricians are baby catchers. Urologists are plumbers, and anesthesiologists are gas passers.

 

A Fictional Short (republished on VM)

The upper Mississippi lay behind him, and with it, the cloud of mosquitos rose above it every evening like the locusts of mighty Egypt. Though summer temperatures climbed above ninety degrees, he needed to sleep. A successful attempt required repose wearing full clothing and a muslin hood draped around his face to fend off the blood-sucking insects. Though he didn’t know what lay ahead in the West, emerging from the ‘Zone of the Mosquito’ made life far more tolerable.

The vast plains stretched for days behind and days ahead, and he reasoned that the great barrier that kept people from making the trek was not hostile Indians or natural obstacles but one of grinding loneliness. He hadn’t seen another soul since he had been three days west of Independence. Not a wagon rut, not a buffalo track, nothing but endless land and clear skies. There had been a snake that made his saddle horse and pack mules shy two days before. As strange as it may sound, he’d hoped to cross the path of another rattler if only to break up the monotony.

He heard their clang and rattle and the tramp of their horse’s shod hooves long before he saw them emerge from a copse of cottonwoods near a meandering stream. The Army moved south; men coughed and talked, pots and sabers made a familiar army symphony, and horses whinnied a welcome to his. An element of men wearing faded blue blouses and straw hats rode straight for him as he sat on a hill astride his bay Morgan.

“Good day, sir,” The man wore new yellow sergeant stripes on his faded and patched uniform. “May I ask you your business?”

“My name is James Abner Wilson, and I’m a doctor on the road west.”

“There is no road here, and this is the Indian Nation.”

“I have heard that there is peace on the prairie.”

“If there is peace at the moment, it is because we brought it.” The sergeant scrutinized Wilson’s tack. “You were in the Army?”

“I started with the Eleventh Pennsylvania. I joined the regiment under Colonel Coulter as his surgeon, and when it became part of the First Corps, I transferred to divisional surgery. I was not a fighting man.”

“The General is in need of a doctor. His quacksalver died in Wichita one week past.”

“Which general?”

“Major General Christopher Columbus Augur. That’s him, coming out from yon woodland.”

Wilson saw a man of average size clothed in a new, fancy, brass button uniform, wearing a hound dog gaze on his face, mutton chop whiskers, and a thin, unlighted cigar clenched between his teeth. As the general drew nearer, James could see intelligence and cunning in his eyes.

“What have we here, Sergeant Dall?”

“I found this here, a former Army surgeon on his way west, and offered him our company if he wished to travel south with us.”

General Augur spoke with his cigar still clenched in his teeth. “That would be fine.” The general moved on, gilded staff in tow.

“What is happening, Sergeant?”

“Indian treaty council at Medicine Lodge. Big treaty. The government is changing its strategy. Now they plan to keep the red men on a plot of land and have them raise crops like proper white men.”

“Does the government think its strategy is sound?”

Sergeant Dall pursed his lips, then smiled. “I’m only a sergeant.”

Dr. Wilson joined the mounted soldiers, riding next to Sergeant Dall.

Dall offered, “You could join us for lunch. We have Cincinnati Chicken and hard tack on the bill of fare.”

Bacon, dipped in brine referred to as ‘Cincinnati Chicken,’ usually eaten raw on Army biscuits, didn’t appeal to Wilson, but it wouldn’t do to offend his hosts. He smiled and nodded.

“The food hasn’t changed.”

He’d ended the war as a major and saw the transformation from wartime to peacetime military. The change shocked him. The officers remaining were a blend of competent men with substantial wartime tradecrafts and deadbeats who remained due to political patronage. Gone were the conscripted soldiers. Shiftless men had replaced the impressed men. Some were escaped convicts, and a substantial number were immigrants who spoke no English—their present inclusion in the old Grand Army of the Potomac made it something different.

“What do they call this army, Sergeant?”

“This is the Department of the Platte, and we are the Second Cavalry Regiment, twenty-seven officers, six hundred twenty sergeants, and troopers under the immediate command of Colonel Randolph Dunning, who rides at the general’s right.”

A disastrous love scandal, a less-than-successful return to civilian life after a three-year military career as a human butcher, and a desire to travel and see what so many wrote about in dime novels resulted in his decision to go West. Doctor Wilson bought a mule and a pack frame, saddled his horse, slid two Colt Model 1862 revolvers into gun pocket holsters on his belt, and his Prussian Jaeger Dreyse needle gun into the scabbard on the horse. His shotgun for birds, varmints, and such stayed on the packhorse. He bought a second mule on the banks of the Missouri River at the urging of a buffalo hunter that he befriended.

“You could turn to drink.” Clem Harper, the buffalo hunter, offered, tossing a jug of corn liquor his way. “Most doctors I know are servants of pop-skull. I fear that if you cross the prairie alone you will be shot full of arrows and scalped.”

James declined politely. “I’d have to work at being a drunk, for I do not favor the taste of strong drink.”

“It do take the pain away,” Clem advised. The doctors tell me that I have a tumor, which causes me great anguish. Oh be Joyful is the only thing that cures the pain.”

“What did the doctors prescribe for you?”

“Quinine and Epsom salts.”

James dug into his bag and handed Clem one of several bottles of opium pills that he’d packed. “Take these when the liquor no longer works to dull the ache.”

The recollections of the recent past stopped when General Augur’s party stopped at a commissary wagon, and the general himself invited the doctor to dine with his staff. Sergeant Dall tipped his hat and rode off to a small gathering of dismounted cavalry, some of whom had already begun to eat.

“Good doctor, if you would attend me?”

“It would be my pleasure, General Augur.”

“The cook will prepare Chicken Marengo, which has been canned. It was the meal favored by Napoleon, and if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for this army. It is made from chicken, crayfish poached in white wine, white pickled onions, mushrooms, garlic, spices and tomato sauce.”

Wilson dismounted and sat across from General Augur in one of a number of canvas camp chairs, which were being assembled in the officer’s mess. The General had an orderly remove his left boot and showed a mangled ankle to the doctor. “What do you make of this?”

“The bone has been improperly set. Did a horse roll under you?”

“It is as you say—the very thing. My physician set it while he was in his cups. Poor bastard was also feverish with malaria, and we’d run out of quinine.”

“An ankle is a touchy matter. At the very least, it will need to be re-broken and reset. I am not an orthopedist.”

“Something for the pain, then? We have this matter of the treaty signing at Medicine Lodge, and I have no time to recuperate.”

General Augur’s eyes brightened, not quite the hound dog sadness anymore as Wilson unpacked the mule he called Jehoshaphat and handed the general three bottles of medicine he’d made himself. Augur untied the glass stopper and sniffed the first bottle. “No alcohol?”

“No. It is a prescription of my own making, but it will ease your suffering.” He’d blended fresh rosemary, sugar, laudanum, cloves, pulverized lemon peel and cinnamon. The sugar offset the natural bitterness of the opium.

“How much should I take?”

“This is enough for two weeks. Drink it along with coffee. You can even mix it with Army coffee, improving the flavor. I call the mixture the General’s Friend. I made it for General Wadsworth as his surgeon during the Gettysburg campaign and until his death in The Wilderness. I was recommended to General Wadsworth by his wife’s family in Philadelphia.”

General Augur whistled. “I always wondered how a man as old as James Wadsworth could command from the saddle day after day, campaign after campaign. It makes sense that he had a talented surgeon.”

 

Identify the Aircraft

1

Note the counter-rotating props.

2

3

Not a Lancaster

 

A song for the moment

39 COMMENTS

  1. That “interesting article” was interesting… Jefferson, Madison and all those past great men who gave us this Constitution must be rolling in their graves over how it’s turned out.
    That talk of a “Constitutional convention” scares me, the people who put the United States of America & it’s Constitution together are gone. A new Constitution would be written by the cabal who own/control everything from the 99% of the media to who gets to run for election, freedom would be restricted even more by the loss of the “Bill of Rights” (not that anyone really notices it anymore).

  2. Internal Medicine (term of art for a specialty) doctors are not fleas but FLEAs. Which stands for “fucking little esoteric asshole” as from the surgeon’s perspective of “why do you care what he had for breakfast three days ago?” The IM subspecialty of Infectious Disease are considered FLEAs even among us IM people. Cardiologists are the most “surgical” of the IM subspecialties, in terms of personality and preference. The Surgical perspective is: “The way to heal is with cold hard steel.” And “A chance to cut is a chance to cure.” All broad-brush stereotypes of course, but stereotypes don’t come from nowhere.

  3. “the murders of Saddam, bin Laden, and Gaddafi produced nothing other than more bloodshed.
    As Wall Street would put it, the United States mispriced violence.”

    Maybe more bloodshed is the actual goal. Maybe certain parties WANT the Muslim world to distrust the US. And other but overlapping groups want the average American to reflexively hate and despise Muslims. This mutual antagonism is certainly good for MIC profits, for justifying illegal overreach of governmental power, for curtailing of fundamental rights, and to make certain nations look like wonderful allies, despite the fact that if we applied the same (meddling, sanctimonious) standards that we claim to expect from every other nation, on how minorities are treated, on human rights, and on genocide, we’d be at the least sanctioning them, and possibly even agitating for some kind of UN intervention.

    So if our foreign policy’s main goals are first to make the Republic and its citizens more safe, free, and prosperous, and second to extend those benefits to the rest of the world as possible, then of course we are on the wrong track. If on the other hand “our” goal is to increase corporate profits, to cause citizens to live in fear and thereby induce them to gratefully give up rights in favor of a paternalistic and overbearing State, and finally to increase human misery in at least a quarter of the world out of some deep-rooted psychopathology ultimately predicated on the squabbles of a bunch of throughly unpleasant and possibly fictitious assholes from millennia ago, Things Are Going Great.

    • You’re way too close to the mark, Mike_C.

      PaulM appropriately felt outraged at the way Kari Lake was treated. “Do you want the carrot or the stick?” To a Party Boss, it would be business as usual – BOTH PARTIES. The democrats are more likely to send you onward to the next life if you’re tinkering with a national candidate, and the Republicans are more likely to see that your child is never admitted to a four-year university outside of Mississippi, where they’re gang raped. And I’m not joking. That is why so many people rubber-stamped the last rigged election. I’m an old man with too many firearms who lives on a remote mountain with the elk and has an Internet connection. They hack my blog from a distance through denial of service or dire warnings of contamination at a level that I have difficulty addressing, but I’m not a thorn in their side the way that a Kari Lake is.

      So there we are.

      A business recently asked me if I could get a couple national level politicians to serve on the board of their company. It’s a legitimate company. I asked, “What’s your budget?” Everything is pay to play. They’d pay me, or in this case, somebody like me, a princely sum to get these people to “serve on their board.” It’s no different than what Hunter Biden famously did for The Big Guy for decades. In this case, they’ll pay a royalty through a PAC—all legal. You could ask me why I would do that. I will likely demur, but, that is how it was done with FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2, Clinton, Obama, and Biden. Not Trump but the down-ticket Trumpers, yes. Ted Cruz, yes, Tricky Nikki, yes, etc. It’s America. It’s who we are. It’s what my brothers died to defend.

  4. You both have expounded well enough on the subject that, for once, I don’t have to use up my daily word allotment. I will add this bit from my back channel comment to our Host after listening to the [galactically disgusting] full 10 minute Lake/DeWit conversation:

    Scary version” is this is only ONE candidate/race…what else is The Swamp doing to subvert The Constitution? Don’t want to entertain that wormhole, might need a shower afterwards.

    We are in a world of hurt if these people [again] steal the election in November.

  5. Funny how Interesting Article didn’t mention en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_and_Sedition_Acts of 1798, which banned accurate criticism of government, and somehow all the founding lawyers were willing to obey it. Constitution was the sales pitch, AaSA was the ground truth; a huge difference between.

    More importantly, Interesting Article is following a red herring. The actual terms of government were set by the Whiskey Rebellion, which gave East coast banking families a controlling interest over the entire GDP in 10 years. Fiat currency backed by national debt backed by tax collection was the actual delegated power. Hamilton knew what he was doing. If you want to claim George Washington didn’t understand what he was doing, then you further have to claim nobody who did understand was able to get a letter to George for decades. Same argument for so-called ignorant mistakes by mainstream media. Meanwhile the libertarians have been yelling at people for decades, and many of their books are free for the downloading, such as this one: mises.org/library/mystery-banking

  6. We have a couple of good schools In Mississippi. Not woke , most kids come home not indoctrinated . Unfortunately many leave the state for better opportunities . Your welcome.

  7. On the Toyota offerings:
    – I owned a 1995 Toyota pickup with a V6, 5 speed stick, 4 WD, the usual. It threw a rod at about 180k miles in 2011.
    – I’m now driving a 2014 Tacoma that I bought in 2016 and it is super dependable. Last Friday we had snow on top of a half inch of rain and our 10 miles of dirt road (between Snowflake and Concho, AZ) turned into a morass. I did fine and actually was able to pull out two different F350 trucks out of the ditches. Nothing against the FJ and new LandCruiser, but I know what I can do with my Tacoma and that suits me. I do wish it was a diesel, but whatever.
    – The wife wanted a vehicle and we got a used 2021 RAV4 which has been good so far. I’ve forded a couple of monsoon streams without a snorkel just fine. It gets 40 mpg on the highway which is awesome. I’m learning how far to trust its AWD modes in mud and snow.
    Cheers

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