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16 February 2016


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Will do.



Someone should really cut some civil service positions. I think that one in Italy ranks right up there. Imagine how much we'll save if we left NATO. I bet we could pay for all that "free" college Bernie wants the tax payers to foot the bill for by doing so.

Old Microbiologist

The very characteristics of his halting speech patterns and complete inability to speak without a Teleprompter belie that he is always reading or being fed his speech in an ear piece. I do not think he is a genius nor does he have any idea what he is saying. I think this is the reason all school and college transcripts are state secrets. I think in many ways he is a similar to Reagan in his second term suffering terribly from Alzheimer's. But, in Obama's case he never was smart. Both Reagan and Obama were/are purely actors playing a role. Just my opinion but I cannot prove otherwise.


Babak Makkinejad,

Yes, I remember seeing this during the time period that the Russians were engaged in "stealing" their own naval base. Judging by the evidence from this inconvenient little tidbit a logical question arises; who was the actual party plotting to steal the base, hmm?

A party who was counting their chickens before they were hatched would be my surmise.

robt willmann

J, annamaria, Matthew, James Loughton,

The odd conduct surrounding the death of Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia at an unknown time between Friday evening and Saturday rightfully "stunned" the former head of the Washington D.C. homicide division, William O. Ritchie, as reported by the Washington Post newspaper.

Before looking at the twists, turns, and word-stretching that obviously went on to "legally justify" not doing an autopsy or a thorough inquest, here are a few articles about the situation.

In these three, the first one quotes Mr. Ritchie, and the second one chronicles the bizarre events associated with another death in which the Justice of the Peace, Cinderela Guevara, was involved--




The economist Robert Wenzel has pointed out some interesting things about the owner of the resort ranch, John Poindexter, apparently no relation to the John Poindexter of the Iran-Contra scandal and the proposed "Total Information Awareness" program of the Bush jr. administration. Mr. Wenzel is not some poor soul shuffling along the street muttering to himself. He is a realist about politics and gave a speech at the New York branch of the Not-Federal Reserve Bank after his anticipation of the 2008 financial mess. His note is here--



The Houston Business Journal article cited starts here--


The Texas Monthly Magazine article cited is here, and mentions the resort and describes how Mr. Poindexter tried to buy 46,000 acres of the Big Bend Ranch State Park from the State of Texas for $2 million, but disclosure in the Austin newspaper slowed it down--


Described as a detail man who keeps to-do lists in his pocket, Mr. Poindexter, the owner of the resort, was said to be the captain of the Vietnam War combat unit, Alpha Troop, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, and he lobbied three presidents to award the Presidential Unit Citation for a fight "not recorded" during the Vietnam War. A "covert op", perhaps?

Now, on to the tap dancing about the so-called "investigation" of Scalia's death.

Because the county in that remote area of West Texas (most of it is remote) does not have more than 1 million people and does not have a "reputable medical school", it does not have a medical examiner, and so a Justice of the Peace (JP) deals with instances of death. Chapter 49 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure governs "Inquests Upon Dead Bodies", and Articles 49.01 through 49.24 concern duties of the Justices of the Peace. You can read all of Chapter 49 here--


A JP has a lot of juice in these situations, and can order a court hearing and even empanel a jury in an inquest. Notice that Article 49.03 gives the JP independent power: "The powers granted and duties imposed on a justice of the peace under this article are independent of the powers and duties of a law enforcement agency investigating a death."

An inquest means "an investigation into the cause and circumstances of the death of a person, and a determination, made with or without a formal court hearing, as to whether the death was caused by an unlawful act or omission" Art. 49.01(2).

A JP "shall conduct" an inquest in 8 instances. Look at Article 49.04(a)(2), (3), (4), and (6). Parts 3, 4, and 6 definitely apply, and maybe 2. The JP changed her position from a "heart attack" to "natural causes" probably to try to get around parts 2, 3, and 4, and not have an inquest at all (and also because a forensic pathologist friend of mine once said, "everyone dies of cardiac arrest; that doesn't tell me anything!"). But they were trapped by part 6: "the person dies without having been attended by a physician."

So, the JP was supposed to do an inquest. But we are told that she did it by telephone, perhaps talking to the sheriff, a person(s) from the U.S. Marshals service, and possibly others.

An inquest by telephone?

Art. 49.05(b) says the JP may conduct an inquest: "(1) at the place where the death occurred; (2) where the body was found; or (3) at any other place determined to be reasonable by the justice".

Apparently, the "place" that was "reasonable" to conduct the inquest was with the JP in one location, talking on the phone, and the body, scene, and law enforcement somewhere else. But law enforcement "may not move the body or any part of the physical surroundings of the place of death without authorization from a justice of the peace"(Art. 49.05(e)).

You can read Article 49.10 on autopsies and tests. Notice that even if the JP does not want to do an autopsy, the district attorney or county attorney for that area can direct the JP to order one (Art. 49.10(e)(3)). Where was the DA or County Attorney?

A U.S. Supreme Court judge is found dead in the jurisdiction and the sheriff, U.S. Marshals, or others do not tell the DA? Or the DA finds out and does not get the word out immediately that no one touches anything or the body until forensic pathologists are there and an MRI is arranged, and if anyone fiddles with anything they will be charged with a crime, whether they are a federal employee or not?



Even if the JP decides that a complete autopsy is unnecessary, "the justice may order a physician to take or remove from a body a sample of body fluids, tissues, or organs in order to determine the nature and cause of death" (Art. 49.10(i)). This also was not done, apparently. And the embalming basically wipes that out.

Silence everywhere. Nothing on the television networks, except, who will replace him? will there be a filibuster? blah, blah blah. Nothing by the "investigative reporter" Bob Woodward. Nothing by the American Bar Association. Nothing by the other Supreme Court Judges. Nothing by Donald Trump. Nothing by the so-called "smart lawyer" Ted Cruz. Nothing by the Attorney General of the U.S., Loretta Lynch. Nothing by James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General (the number two person) and now FBI Director. And nothing by the U.S. Congress.

Antonin Scalia, in legal work, demanded thoroughness.

Who will speak for him now?


Just heard on NPR on the car radio -- Kerry will meet with Hollywood executives to discuss how Hollywood can help U.S. "get its message out."

William R. Cumming, you may be interested in Lynne Olson's "Those Angry Days," the story of FDR's efforts beginning in 1940 to "educate" the American people on the urgency of going to war against Germany. I don't recall if Olson discussed the propaganda campaign regarding Japan, and if it was quite so strident. (The 1940 date is a bit misleading: according to Olson, Hollywood began forming anti-German organizations, staging anti-German rallies and producing "kill the Hun" scripts and newsletters at least as early as 1935. )


I never patronized either the Inn or the restaurant but did enjoy stopping to admire the well-maintained establishment with its flower-bedecked balconies on trips between Charlottesville and points NE. It was a bit out of the way but worth it to enjoy the ambience of a very small town. My understanding at the time was that dinners were booked many months in advance, that only one or two parties were seated on any evening, and that the menu was whatever the chef decided to serve, but it was superb.

re Applied Memetics -- on more closely studying my notes I think the situation is that the business location for the LLC is in Arlington, VA; a principal with the firm, Dan Gabriel, has an address in Little Washington. Gabriel volunteers his services to the Ted Cruz campaign:

"a volunteer working in public relations for the Cruz campaign, Dan P. Gabriel, is a former CIA covert action officer and a founding partner of Applied Memetics, a company “focused solely on developing engineered influence for clients seeking to alter their tactical or strategic operational environments,”according to its webpage. The company specializes in propagating memes that ”can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus,” in other words Applied Memetics specializes in propaganda." http://www.infowars.com/the-men-behind-ted-cruz-neocons-and-a-cia-propagandist/


Many years ago when I asked my father how he had voted in the Nixon/Kennedy election of 1960, he told me that although he favored Nixon he was not much alarmed by the election Kennedy, but he had not voted for either because he was still on duty, at that time active reserve duty. I believe that he did not vote until 1964 when he was about 38 years old. He thought that unremarkable.

Today, I am close to certain that the military has a political base. There is little doubt that the military had a say in how the Obama Administration dealt with Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the popular press included stories about Gen. Petreaus taking the helm and leading us to the sunlit uplands of victory everywhere.

Many of your correspondents betray an incredibly accurate and objective view of warfare, but a very naive, and subjective view of negotiation. /do you think that secretary Kerry is unaware if the situation on the ground?



The military had nothing to do with the decision to go to war in Iraq. that was entirely a product of the Bush/Borg government. In fact the military was at cross purposes with the Rumsfeld command of the armed forces. Once the thing got started and blood had been spilt the various, often ignorant, interests of generals became a major factor in policy in Iraq usually to the detriment of the effort to pacify Iraq. In Afghanistan the plotting and persuading by Petraeus, Rodrigues and McChrystal played a major role in persuading Obama to reinforce in Afghanistan and pursue a COIN strategy. IMO these men acted from ambition rather than politics. pl



I have been at the Inn many times as well. On two occasions I rented the whole place for business retreats. It would be excessive to say that reservations were made months in advance. Weekends were the most heavily booked because the place has long been a trysting spot for couples. I have been there for dinner a number of times when the whole place was filled. pl



It's bad policy to help the unicorns, and farcical to help the unicorns and the Kurds at the same time, but it's better than supporting the unicorns only. In this sense, the dissonance in Obama's policy is simply the middling foreign policy performance of an average intellect caught between the hammer of reality and the anvil of ambition.

Obama's heart is with the unicorns and he doesn't want to rattle impudent local allies, so he has the CIA support the unicorns. On the other hand, regardless of why he has the DOD assist the Kurds, this assistance creates leverage for the U.S. against Russia that would've extended this kind of support to the "U.S. Kurds" as well, had it not been for the U.S. initial move.

Also, Obama may find assisting both sides rational. After all they're both expendable local allies, assets, dogs or some such; he hasn't bet much on either, and is not being grilled on his wrong bets by Missus America. So he can bet on both sides and, Borgist-in-chief that he is, claim that the goal was for the winner to have won all along.



We are naïve about negotiations? How amusing! You display the frequent civilian condescension towards soldiers. Yes, I know, we must be limited or we would have dome something else in life. This is especially evident among lawyers like you. Because we do not wish to say openly that Kerry is a knave, liar and underhanded schemer, you think that means we do not know it? You think that when Lavrov talks to him they do not both know that Kerry is trying to make something out of nothing for his pathetic boss? As for what Kerry knows, it is probably limited to what the Obama group think allows itself to know and admit. pl



He is not capable of that level of sophistication and neither are his henchmen. pl



"Gabriel volunteers his services to the Ted Cruz campaign: "a volunteer working in public relations for the Cruz campaign, Dan P. Gabriel, is a former CIA covert action officer and a founding partner of Applied Memetics, a company “focused solely on developing engineered influence for clients seeking to alter their tactical or strategic operational environments,”according to its webpage. The company specializes in propagating memes that ”can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus,” in other words Applied Memetics specializes in propaganda." http://www.infowars.com/the-men-behind-ted-cruz-neocons-and-a-cia-propagandist/ " It would be fair to wonder who or what really owns Applied Memetics. pl

The Twisted Genius

b et al.,

I think many of you have a skewed view of how things work in the byzantine world of DC and the Pentagon. I certainly don't claim to be an expert, but I've make a few expeditions into the bureaucratic jungle. I suggest reading the below articles on General Mike Nagata, the officer in charge of the ill-fated program to arm and train the Syrian unicorns. I have crossed paths with Mike several times over the years. I'm sure he doesn't remember me. He is not some incompetent fool. He is a smart and accomplished officer, a former Special Forces ODA commander. He created the current coordination/liaison methodology used among military units and government agencies involved in special operations missions. But he spent ten years in one special mission unit which we often referred to as The Secret Army of Northern Virginia. He also spent a lot of time in the Pentagon and at Langeley. His "fault" lies in the time, effort and experience spent in learning how to successfully navigate the tracks of the bureaucratic jungle. That is time, effort and experience not spent in learning how and why terrorists, guerrillas and irregulars operate at the grazing fire level.

Perhaps there are one or two battle scarred, ill-tempered, old centurions who have the emperor's ear hidden somewhere in the deep recesses of the Pentagon, but I doubt it. Even if they were there, they would be spending their time trying to get back to their legions.

My team sergeant had a different solution. “First thing we do after we get off the god d_mned DZ is put a god d_mned round through that god d_mned radio.”






A link to the homepage of Applied Memetics LLC doesn't disclose the principals, but some light is perhaps shed on the principles:


If you scroll all of the way to the bottom of the homepage, and click on "About" some information may possibly be gleaned. Their blog section may also be worth a perusal. Not what you wished for, but something, hopefully.



Dan Gabriel is the one that retweeted the false information that Ben Carson had dropped out of the race at the Iowa primary.

In a plea for money, Cruz said he would not take money from D.C. lobbyists and billionaires. The facts say otherwise.


Makes you wonder about his true religion.


While I generally value b´s input, I do not believe direct specops support for the Kurds in the Azaz theatre to be likely for the reasons already mentioned.

I for one would guess that these were PKK commandos who received some new toys and some specific advice courtesy of some polite green men who were displeased about a certain air traffic incident.

PKK`s hard core are some pretty tough mountains Guerilla fighters from a pretty martial culture, give them access to some tier 1 equipment, a 1-2 month special instruction course by the friendly neighborhood Speznaz and they will likely perform pretty well, since those are not civilians starting at zero. One should add that their opposition is not exactly top tier either.

The broadcasted "absence" of actual speznaz from direct fighting would then become a direct message to Turkey as in "Dear Tayip, watch and see how properly equipped and trained Kurds operate. Unless you change course, your opportunities to observe such properly equipped and trained Kurds will soon increase exponentially. Love, Russia."

If Erdogan gets more paranoid and thinks the Americans want to screw him, well, even better.
I would not discount the possiblity that the friendly neighborhood Speznaz equipped the Kurds with some tell tale US weaponry, because using Erdogans rampant (and by now not unjustified) paranoia against him while also sowing distrust between him and the US factions is cheap, usefull and hilarious.



"“First thing we do after we get off the god d_mned DZ is put a god d_mned round through that god d_mned radio.”

I think Alan Farrell, whose presence on these pages I very much miss, wrote some fine lines of poetry expressing this same sentiment.


This post was bait for all the President Gay Urkel true believers to come out and push their insane theories about how Obama is secretly pursuing 3D chess anti-Neocon policy.

HA friggin HA.

Trump is going to be your next president.


So Trump has said he is neutral on Israel-Palestine. Will announce foreign policy team in about a week. I always look at the people one surrounds oneself with, interesting to see who emerges.

William R. Cumming

IMO you are correct since the DoJ has not prosecuted violations for a long time!

William R. Cumming

Thanks very much!


Ted Cruz at the CNN town hall last night singled out John Bolton as someone he would tap as Secretary of State. Scary stuff.


Anyone other than Trump for the GOP pick and you will lose battleground states like NH, PA, VA, WI, et al. Cruz or Rubio could not win them. With Trump, not only are battleground states winnable, but blue states like NY and NJ are in play. I'm afraid the GOP establishment would rather lose with a Rubio than win with Trump. It would have been the same if Rand Paul had won the primary. March 2 is when I re-register as independent.

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