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06 May 2016


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Regarding the NYT article & picture of the young ladies who will be graduating in a few months I can only ask the West Point leadership to give these successful individuals a break and let them graduate and move onto their individual careers. The contrast with the prior group of graduates holding sport balls was excellent. It shows the solidarity of potential graduates leaving behind a memento of their time at the school, one that all may not appreciate, but one that will be remembered for years to come. Oh, for those that may have concerns rest at ease as these individuals will be monitored for life by their previous graduates.


"I don't know whether this is just more grifter bluster by the gifted conman or an indication that he would actually be willing to pull the trigger if his manhood is challenged. I hope it's the former."

Difficult to say at this stage, but fact remains, The Donald does think about the world in somewhat simplified manner. General Ivashov who is not a big fan of USA, to put it mildly, recently revealed that during contacts between Russian and US militaries in former Yugoslavia both sides usually had no problems finding common language. But he noted, it was after the input from State Department or CIA people that previously settled issue would rise again and sometimes became unsolvable. I do not want to idealize or overplay this military-to-military format but I would rather have professionals dealing with each-other than some "policy making" ego-maniacs who have no clue about military realities "on the ground". Life proved to me the correctness of such a view not for once.


This piece is up today on the NYTimes site today: http://tinyurl.com/z3hahwc. It reports on a photo of female cadets at West Point and has generated a great deal of controversy over their raised clenched fists. One defender of the women, a female graduate, has interpreted it as follows: “’These ladies weren’t raising their fist to say Black Panthers. They were raising it to say Beyoncé,' said Mary Tobin, a 2003 graduate of West Point and an Iraq veteran who is a mentor to some of the seniors and has talked with them about the photograph."
I am aware of current policy in such matters, but I would appreciate opinions and interpretations by others here. http://tinyurl.com/z2mpn5u.

ex-PFC Chuck

re: "John Kerry Tells College Grads To Prepare For A ‘Borderless World’"

How's that working out over there across the pond?


Recommended reading if you would understand the Trump phenomenon better.

Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War by Joe Bageant.

Joe does a good job explaining this part of the electorate, comprised essentially of those whites with an income under $40k with both working, usually without a college degree, though not always. A similar class exists among blacks and Latinos. Altogether their numbers are in the 50-60 million range and growing.

Trump's appeal is limited pretty much to the whites because of his penchant of making unnecessary enemies but he could change that, given the forgetfulness of our people (Vidal called us the United States of Amnesia for good reason).

You can get used copies for a couple of dollars on Amazon or Half.com ... Worth your money and your time.

Here's a too short review


Max H,

Kerry's boss is busy running down the Republic on his foreign "pilgrimage to Canossa" (to paraphrase a comment by our host). This comment by Kerry at Northeastern is the 'new' speak soundbite masquerading as wisdom. Northeastern is one of the many universities that are attempting to eradicate the cultural past of the Republic so as to shape it's future. To quote Dr. Helm's insight:


The left knows the real history of the Republic. We'll know too, once they get done re-wrting it.

Babak Makkinejad

I think many people in Iran, when they look at Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, are quite happy that there are borders in the world.

I wonder if Kerry would say this if he had ever visited Tijuana....

Babak Makkinejad


The Persian proverb: "The illiterate is blind." ought to be replaces with:

"There is no substitute for ignorance."



Tidewater to LeaNder,

Thank you very much for your obervations about Berlin. I was amused to realize that "Kuckuk" was surely the name. After all, the cuckoo lays its eggs in another bird's nest! Which is exactly what a "squat" is. And there was a famous movie named that about a big sister desperately taking care of her younger siblings. So the idea of "Children of the Zoo Station" was already out there in the ether when it came along later... Of course, THEY came along later, as it happened, many of them from the east.

I heard that the famous "Berliin lufte" was not improved by the brown coal of a very poor quality that was used by East Germany in power plants, and homes as well, in those years. Like the bitter stench of (fuel saving) retarded spark plugs of Black Cab diesel engines in London back in the seventies. I was once up on Cape Breton and noticed a kind of cloud that seemed unfamiliar. This was a very small white cloud puff; these very small clouds filled the entire sky in the millions, sweeping overhead from low on the horizon. I saw the same thing in Berlin. Perhaps they are called altocumulus of some sort. That cold wet or wet cold you are talking about. It was December by the Pergamon and the canal. Landwehr? I was thinking: "Aha, the sea! Berlin is not actually all that far from the sea!"

And the Quadriga faces East!

Yes, I could see how you might prefer the region you have mentioned you grew up in. I was surprised to see berets worn in your fair city.

Thanks again for your response. It is very interesting to me.


Tidewater to Tidewater,

OK. Let's keep trying to get it right: "Berliner Luft."

Heh. "Du hast keine chance, darum nutze sie." As the SPONTI were fond of saying: "You don't have a chance, make the most of it."


Really? You believe this fabricated story for the purpose of trying to bash Trump? Oy. What's scarier than the uneducated and illiterate are the educated and literate who will readily believe something-- which is conspicuously bogus-- in order to accept some narrative. I.e., seeing what you believe is worse than not believing what you see. The former used to be called mental illness. Now it is simply labeled as progressivism (liberalism).


Trump was a juvenile delinquent as a youngster, so got sent to New York Military Academy for his high-school years. He learned to look good in a Napoleonic uniform with lots of medals, brass, and a shiny sword. He was real good, getting promoted to Captain, but some allege he overlooked hazing going on in his ranks. The military academy was run by drill sergeants who practiced "being cruel to be kind".

IMO Trump has major problems with respect. Everything has to be gold-plated. Over decades, he has habitually sued and attacked anyone who dared to cross him. He never forgives, and never forgets. He sues to be vindictive, not to redress economic injustices. IMO.

Also, as a junior military academy graduate, he thinks he understands the armed forces.

In military academy, you learn pecking order. The drill sergeants abuse you; you abuse people who disrespect you, while secretly despising the townies. Trump has projected consistently that other countries disrespect America, for the reason that America's military is not strong enough and does not threaten them sufficiently.

This is the world view of a junior military academy graduate.

The first time a country dares to disagree with him, it's likely he will attempt to cut them off at the knees. This will not end well.

C Webb

Following Obamas visit...

The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover



Your comment is very condemnatory and contemptuous of military high schools. You imply that such places are institutions created to warehouse "juvenile delinquents." I am curious to know if you have actual experience of such a school or if not what your disdain is based upon. I am a product of a poor quality catholic parochial high school in rural Maine where I didn't learn much at all. Fortunately the local Anglo mill barons had funded various institutions of public good including an excellent library. I went from there to VMI where there were very few cadets who had been to military high schools. There were certainly no "drill sergeants" at VMI. I was later a professor at USMA for several years. There were no "drill sergeants" there either. Actually at neither of those military colleges, were more than a few enlisted soldiers in contact with cadets and it would have been inconceivable for one to have attempted to discipline a cadet. It would simply not have been allowed. Perhaps the military high school experience was different. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, really.

And then there was the poor chap that was denounced to the cabin crew because he was reading a book in Arabic.

Turned out that the bloke was a Thai reading a book in Thai script; but not before the plane had turned and he had been interrogated by TSA.

For such reasons, I only carry English language reading materials when I travel.

I was not making a comment in connection to Trump. Just that there are a lot of ignorant, ill-informed, feeble-minded people on this planet and the frightening about them is that they can vote and do vote.


Former U.S. Diplomats Decry the U.S.-Backed Saudi War in Yemen


You would think that this crew would understand the situation better than most. When this group says this war isn't the US's interest or the Saudis fo that matter, you would think people would listen.


A while back, there was a post on Yemen on the blog. One point that probably isn't all wrong, namely the prominence of totally-not-Qaida-type militants there is confounded in this piece here:


One of those outfits' names is dropped, as well as how they are received by locals:

"Residents worry that the growing Salafi movement is laying the groundwork for even more conflict among religious groups. According to several local residents, Homat al-Aqida fighters, the largest of five Salafi factions in Taiz, resemble al Qaeda-linked groups.

Some residents “see the Salafis as synonymous to al Qaeda,” said Mohammed al-Azaazi, a Taiz university student. “The Salafis have detained several people and carried out public executions, while claiming they apply the Islamic Sharia.”"

And some of the BS those fellows appear to spew is related:

"While the Salafi factions in Taiz deny they have links to al Qaeda, their fighters spearheaded the attack on the central prison last year, which led to dozens of prisoners escaping, including al Qaeda members.

The Salafi fighters’ presence is still relatively new in Taiz, but is rapidly transforming the city, according to Baleegh al-Zuraiqi, 34, a local resident in downtown Taiz. The Salafis have been based in four neighborhoods since the fighting started, al-Zuraiqi said, “including Bab Mosa, where they have established an Islamic court to solve issues and cases among the local people.”

According to local sources, the Salafis now account for nearly half of the anti-Houthi alliance in Taiz, which consists of thousands of fighters. One member of a Salafi faction in Taiz, who asked to remain anonymous, said his group acquired some weapons from the Saudi-led coalition, but insists they “will return the arms after the war is over in Taiz.”

The member said his faction, which consists of more than 500 recruits, will continue to fight the Houthis until they’re driven out of Taiz. “Then,” he said, “our war will end.”

Yet residents of the city worry that the growing religious factions have permanently altered the city.

“Taiz is no longer ‘the city of dreams,’” said Abdurraqib al-Majeedi, a local poet and writer who left the city for Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, escaping the fierce fighting and the crippling siege. “It has become a city of war — a hub for extremist fighters and militias.”"

Sanaa still was under Houthi control, no? it is telling that the man would leave for those parts rather than somewhere else.

different clue


No, he isn't. Even if the R+6 cannot restore SAR sovereignty to the whole of Syria so totally and comprehensively that Assad remains physically safe and free within the borders of Syria, they will make sure he is well protected and safe in some other country, perhaps Russia itself. The Global Axis of R2P won't be able to kidnap Assad from within Russia. And it would demonstrate that Russia does not discard a personal partner even if it cannot quite preserve his power-position.

So, no. No Rendezvous with the Hague for President al-Assad.


This is why we fight: Man to be charged with hate crime over pug...unbelievable


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