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DRAMA IN THE SKY: Russia Flies Long-Range Bombers Off The Coast Of Alaska! For Second Day In A Row (AP)

(snooze)

How is this news?  I thought news that which is new?

I first heard about the Russians and Chinese buzzing U.S. waters back in the mid-70’s, from a good friend who was a Marine stationed aboard the Glomar [name redacted] spy ship in the early 70’s!

Ended with the Cold War? (tsch!)

It was (and is) a standard tactic ‘testing the fences’ (think Jurassic Park velociraptors) from time immemorial.

They just want to check our reaction time and methods.

They play silly games, as do we…

I’m not worried.  Aren’t Trump and Putin bosom buds, now?

(I’m going back to watching my Fail Safe, Dr. Strangelove and War Games triple-header!)

 

The Name Game

When I was growing up, most of my friends were named after parents or relatives. A few juniors. Common Anglo Saxon names – Thomas, Susan, George, John.
Names that were from grandparents were thought of as old fashioned. Martha, Edith, etc.  Black people had Anglo names, for the most part.
Other ethnic names were just that. Guadalupe (Lupe), Juan. Not to many other options.  There was one Jesus (Hey-soos’), which the P.E. teacher consistently mispronounced!
We were a predominantly white bread college town.
As I have often said before – the times, they are a changin’…
My nieces are named Rilyn and Karsyn. A good friend’s grand baby is Sagan Universe!
Now Thomas and Susan are the old-fashioned names!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about honoring ethnic and/or family history.  I’m named for my maternal and fraternal grandfather.  German and Irish stock! (Didn’t know Guffaw was Germanic, did you?)  😛

Don’t even get me started on the ethnic names!  My favorite (oft repeated on the Internet) is the woman who named her child La-a.  Then was furious when people couldn’t spell or pronounce it correctly!  People said Luh-uh, Lay, all manner of wrong pronunciations.

Her name was pronounced LAH DASH UH!!

I miss names like Linda and Mike

Guess I’m old.

Karma Is A BITCH!

OR, it’s not just the Crusades that ticked ’em off!

HISTORY, via Sean Linnane

Historical Perspective: The Conflicts In The Middle East

If karma is real, we are certainly experiencing it on an international scale in the Middle East . . . S.L.

The Middle East is a mess, but despite our recent involvement in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, the United States is not solely responsible for the current state of affairs. The challenges inherited by the Trump Administration are complex; any solutions are elusive at best. A review is necessary.

Apart from the oil-rich Gulf nations, three countries in the Middle East stand out politically and culturally. Syria is a traditional society with a long cultural history. Damascus – one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world – has long been one of the Arab world’s centers for cultural and artistic innovation, especially in the field of classical Arab music.

Iraq was the center of the Arab caliphate during the “Golden Age of Islam”; the 9th and 10th centuries. Baghdad was the largest city in the world at the beginning of the 10th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, both Syria and Iraq were part of the Ottoman Empire.

Egypt is the most populous and most cosmopolitan Arab nation. Egypt’s interaction with the West goes back as far as ancient Greece, when Alexander the Great made one of his generals – Ptolemy – pharaoh, in 305 BCE. Cleopatra (51-30 BCE) was Ptolemy ‘s direct descendent. Like Syria and Iraq, Egypt was also a part of the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, Egypt became a British protectorate.

From 1958 to 1961 an entity existed, the United Arab Republic, a union between Egypt and Syria. Tripartite Unity Talks occurred between Egypt, Iraq and Syria in 1963, but these failed after ba’athist-nasserist clashes in Syria. Egypt continued to use the name UAR from 1961 to 1972. In 1972 Iraq proposed a restored union with Egypt and Syria, but this also failed to coalesce. These three nations, however, became Soviet client states and focused their energies against Israel, the American proxy.

To understand the vectors of the current conflict, we can look to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 as a historic point. At that time, Britain moved into Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and Iraq while France took the lands of Lebanon and Syria (the Levant).

Read the rest of it HERE

These days I’m writing for American Military News – AMN reports on global affairs, terrorism, American national security and military, politics and other happenings. Anything you’d like to see my perspective on, please contact me via the email link, and thank you for your support!

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Strombringer aka Sean Linnane is the pseudonym of a retired Special Forces career NCO (1st SFG, 3d SFG, 10th SFG). He served with honor on five continents; He continues to serve in other capacities.

He is also a student of history and politics.

Hooray For Socialism!

(joke, or sarcasm, depending on your mood)

(from my friend Joel @ TUAK)

And the sign over the bread line read, “Honk if you love Socialism…”

…but there were no cars, because there was no fuel.

Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights[*] said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

Yup. The honchos in the Venezuelan government were embarrassed by bread lines. So, in a brilliant example of historical illiteracy – dovetailing nice with their economic illiteracy – they arrested a bunch of bakers.

Yeah. We need more government controls here.

Also I’m reminded I need to buy more flour when I’m in the big town next week…
100_1645


*Dig this: The National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights is apparently responsible for arresting people who get caught exercising what, in a sane society, would be their socioeconomic rights. Must be socialism.

AH!  Government at it’s best!  I would have said ‘at HER best’, but that would be insulting all femininity.

They’re NOT Sore Losers?

(from Free North Carolina, in part)

Trump isn’t up against “sore losers.” He’s facing an army of saboteurs bent on destroying the elected government.

Via Billy

As I predicted in my best-selling book about President Trump’s plan to save America, the Democrats and their media accomplices have declared all-out war on the Trump White House. Under the guise of “resistance” – as though the Trump was the head of an occupying army rather than an elected president – they have set out to destroy his administration. They are not “sore losers,” as many had surmised when their hysterical attacks on Trump as an American Hitler began, they are an army of saboteurs bent on destroying the government the voters preferred. Their general, Barack Obama, is an unrepentant radical who abused the office of the presidency when he was in power, and as ex-president is now leading a war to overthrow his successor.

More @ Front Page
Is this hyperbole, or fact?
What do you guys think?
AND – what do we, as citizens of a Constitutional Republic, DO about it?
(I’m convinced their vanguard is roughly 3% of the Democratic Party.  Old hippies who believed in the Weathermen, race-baiters, other radicals searching for a cause (rebels w/o a clue!), unemployed – because employed folks have to work!)
PS – I am not a Trump supporter.  I think the last election was Hobson’s Choice – an unrepentant criminal Marxist versus a Huey Long copycat with lots of money, playing to the Silent Majority.  Trump has some good ideas, but seems less educated regarding how the Constitution works!

What To Do? Put ‘Em In The Corner?

(from Kenny)

The Australian school board condones this?

Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job.

Students as young as those in Year 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, are making the violent threats and pressuring others to read the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney.

Documents given to the newspaper allege that three staff members have taken a leave of absence owing to stress, received counselling and been awarded compensation after bullying from Islamic students.
MORE

Political Correctness is killing Europe, Asia, and has landed here.

Teachers not allowed to control their classrooms?  Of course, we are seeing that here, as well.  Just not to THIS degree (yet).

At least we have a Bill of Rights.  Australia has none – although some of their States have ‘something’.

You know I’m all for property trained personnel with guns in schools.  Australia, not so pro-gun.  If a terrorist presents a viable threat against an administrator, teacher or student, there would be a solution here.

I don’t care is they are another student!  If they are armed and refuse to stand down and be arrested…

Staff members being bullied?

I don’t think so…

You Use A Word I Don’t Think You Know The Meaning Of…

Now, I’m not advocating unclean, inhumane conditions or torture, or even some current facilities in the U.S. (Angola?), but prison should be something more than denial of freedom – although most penologists would probably say their main function is not rehabilitation (given the recidivism rate) but simply to separate those convicted from potential victims, for a while.

What do you guys think?

h/t Wirecutter

 

Fuel To The Already Dead Fire

(from Wirecutter)

Obama’s brother produces THE birth certificate

An Obama has joined the birther movement.
Malik Obama, Barack Obama’s half-brother, tweeted image of what appears to be Barack’s birth certificate.
Except it’s not from Hawaii, but rather Kenya.
MORE

From the Day Late Dollar Short, or the What Took You So Long Department!

Seriously – How many birth certificates ARE THERE?  And how did he get a Connecticut Social Security number?  And why are his school records sealed?

And, why would one’s half brother do such a thing?  Now?

Inquiring minds want to know!

(Just because sometimes, I like adding fuel to the fire! – Guffaw)

The Californian Confederacy?

Peter, of The Bayou Renaissance Man, brings us this:

The inimitable Victor Davis Hanson sees many parallels between California today and the antebellum South.

In December 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union in furor over the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln did not receive 50 percent of the popular vote. He espoused values the state insisted did not reflect its own.

In eerie irony, liberal California is now mirror-imaging the arguments of reactionary South Carolina and other Southern states that vowed to go it alone in 1860 and 1861.

. . .

Of course, this is 2017, not 1860, and California is super-liberal, not an antebellum slave-owning society.

Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the U.S. are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.

. . .

California is becoming a reactionary two-tier state of masters and serfs whose culture is as peculiar and out of step with the rest of the country as was the antebellum South’s. The California elite, wishing to keep the natural environment unchanged, opposes internal improvements and sues to stop pipelines, aqueducts, reservoirs, freeways, and affordable housing for the coastal poor.

California’s crumbling roads and bridges sometimes resemble those of the old rural South. The state’s public schools remain among the nation’s poorest. Private academies are booming for the offspring of the coastal privileged, just as they did among the plantation class of the South.

California, for all its braggadocio, cannot leave the U.S. or continue its states’-rights violations of federal law. It will eventually see that the new president is not its sickness, nor are secession and nullification its cures.

Instead, California is becoming a reactionary two-tier state of masters and serfs whose culture is as peculiar and out of step with the rest of the country as was the antebellum South’s. No wonder the state lashes out at the rest of the nation with threatened updated versions of the Old Confederacy’s secession and nullification.

But such reactionary Confederate obstructionism is still quite an irony given California’s self-righteous liberal preening.

There’s much more at the link.  Recommended reading.

I think Mr. Hanson is right.  The current frothing-at-the-mouth hysteria in California over President Trump’s policies reminds me of George Wallace’s inaugural address as Governor of Alabama on January 14th, 1963.

  • Insistence on doing things as Alabama wants them?  Check.
  • Refusal to kowtow to federal authority?  Check.
  • Warning Washington that the next President would be determined by voters who shared Wallace’s and Alabama’s views?  Check.

Well, guess who won that fight?  (Hint:  see the outcome at Appomattox.  Wash, rinse, repeat.)

California might want to think about that . . .

Peter

I’m torn on this issue.  States should be free to separate from the Republic as they wish.  Certainly California has been one of the leaders in thinking and acting different from the Constitutional Republic in which I was raised.
But, secessionCalexit?
It is interesting how in one week they ‘rattle their sabers’ for becoming a separate entity.  Then beg for federal help when their infrastructure continues to crumble.
I’m thinking you cannot have it both ways.

Our Tax Dollars At Work, Again

(from Judicial Watch)

JW Files Suit For ‘Refugee Travel Loans’ Information

Tightening our immigration and refugee programs is a matter of national security (despite what some out-of-control judges may think), and it is also a matter of cost.

In this regard, we have filed a lawsuit against the State Department for records on the number of “Refugee Travel Loans” issued by State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration from 2010 to the present.

We are also seeking the number of loans defaulted upon and the amount of money written off on each defaulted loan. We filed the suit on January 24, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-00157)).

Judicial Watch filed the suit after the State Department failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on February 5, 2016, seeking the following:

  • All records reflecting the number of Refugee Travel Loans furnished by the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) per year; the number of travel loans that are defaulted upon per year; and the amount of money written off per defaulted loan.

The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provides funding for aid and relief work abroad and the bureau’s admissions office handles settling refugees in the United States. According to the agency’s website, it spent nearly $545 million “to provide new beginnings to the world’s most vulnerable refugees” in 2016 and more than $2.8 billion to “humanitarian assistance overseas.” It provided $103 million directly to the UN’s International Organization for Migration.

The International Organization for Migration, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has an annual budget of $1.4 billion  and (as of 2014) a staff of 9,000 throughout the world. According to the International Organization for Migration website, the organization provides interest-free loans “furnished by the Department of State” to “all refugees arriving in the United States:”

All refugees arriving in the United States are offered interest-free travel loans by IOM.  Refugees who accept these travel loans are required to sign a promissory note prior to departure, committing themselves to repayment of the debt within 46 months after arrival in the United States.

IOM arranges for refugee travel using funds furnished by the Department of State, and is mandated to subsequently effect collections on behalf of the Department of State.  Repayments made by refugees toward their loans are returned to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to defray the cost of future refugee travel.

In July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution making the International Organization for Migration part of the UN.

Even The Washington Post reported that the nine resettlement agencies contracted by the State Department to help resettle refugees in the U.S. actually make more than $5 million a year in commissions on refugee debt collection.

The State Department has stonewalled our request for refugee loan information and associated taxpayer losses for a year – an unlawful delay that screams “cover up.”  This is an opportunity for the Trump State Department to come clean and clean up this refugee welfare program.

And there’s a lot more for the Trump administration to clean up when it comes to “refugee loans.”  In June 2016, Judicial Watch reported:

The U.S. government gives refugees on public assistance special “loans” of up to $15,000 to start a business but fails to keep track of defaults that could translate into huge losses for American taxpayers, records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The cash is distributed through a program called Microenterprise Development run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.

***

HHS is not the only government agency doling out huge sums of cash for this cause, though its focus on refugees appears to be unique. Others, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) also dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to various microenterprise causes. For instance, in one recent year alone USAID spent $223 million  on microenterprise development activities, according to figures released by the agency. The USDA also allocates large sums to provide loans and grants to microenterprise development through a special “Rural Microloan Revolving Fund” and the DOL regularly pours lots of money into various microenterprise projects that are promoted as workforce investments in areas with high rates of poverty.

So the debate about refugees is more than about keeping dangerous refugees out, but there is also the matter of asking just how much it costs to make politicians to feel good about themselves by using our tax dollars to provide special assistance to these foreign nationals.

I have no problem with legitimate, vetted refugees or immigrants following protocols for legal residency and eventually even citizenship.  I used to know a guy who, with his family, escaped Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali’s tyranny, to arrive here, become a citizen, and open a liquor store.  He practically hugged every customer who walked in!

And I remember wondering where Lee Harvey Oswald got the ‘Traveler’s Aid'(CIA) funds of $200, after renouncing his U.S. citizenship and living in the Soviet Union.  And was allowed to return back to the United States after purportedly giving away military secrets to the Russians.  With nary a hitch.

Much has changed since the 1960’s.

And not for the better.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…