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18 April 2017


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Nothing says springtime in Paris like seeing a beautiful young woman in skirt and heels pushing a stroller across Pont des Arts in the early afternoon. There were many an eye drawn to the sight and a few whispered comments between older ladies. Nothing says this isn't the Paris of old like seeing another stroller heading in the opposite direction, pushed by a woman in a grey chadore, her husband at her elbow.


I find it strange that the wwiii freak out related to North Korea is on high volume, while the news of South Korean president indictment for $52million bribery scandal gets very little coverage, as if the one isnt a context for the other.

It almost looks like the military hype is a message to SouthKoreans daring to fire and jail their leaders, than a message to the North Korean regime.

...In other news, long retired major general Grazioplene got a 30 year old rape of minor charge lodged...leading to popular questions from the public circulating about how it was covered up and he was protected for so long.

scott s.

It does seem like the current events have boosted the "conservative" (as that term is understood in ROK) in the polls. Remains to be seen if that's more than a "blip". As far as Park and the chaebols, seems to be life imitating art, as Korean TV dramas have long used that as a plot device (the proverbial "box of apples" stuffed with 50K bank notes).

Doug Colwell

What? He was not in front? Stone them!


That is a helpful insight, thanks.

The deposed president was said to be a puppet representation for her father, so it sounds a bit different from the Goldman Sachs - style deposing of the Brasilian presidency. Surely a chunk of change was lost on the exploding Samsung batteries, but unfortunately investigative journalism is not what it used to be (following the purse strings in all of the shadows etc.)

The public demonstrations were the biggest since the 1980s, reportedly.


There was an interesting clip on SANA tv showing what looks like an Asian mediated Syria pow wow, but i cannot read the arabic to understand what was going on:


Maybe if it is interesting, someone can translate some details?


Even the garbage men speak French. (Laugh-In 1969)


As a retired Marine from the other side of the pond I am interested views on why the current SECDEF James Mattis decided to enlist in the USMC Reserve in 1968 & not as a regular?

The Vietnam War was in full swing.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps on January 1, 1972.

Was this simply coincidence or convenient?

Or am I about to be told 'nothing to see here ... move along please ...'

I have heard much about his 'ability' to 'slip into a foxhole' & 'chat to Marines' during the GWOT - as if this gives him some sort of mercurial status. From my own war fighting experience (11 operational tours in 24 years) I would not see this a unusual - I would EXPECT this from Officers at ALL levels.

For such a remarkable 'warrior' his career seems to have been rather 'unremarkable' in that regard until he reached very senior rank.




'Tis a terrible logic, the calculus of supremacists.

This pagan Chink sees the rationale of their arguments but...


Ah Paris. Interesting city, with great things to visit or see.

I recall eating a 'l'americaine' near Sacré-Cœur ... while watching pickpockets looting the tourists. Fortunately they spared me. In any way, the utter brazenness was something novel to me at the time.

When I went to Paris the first time I saw a shop with the title of iirc "vêtements de travail" in quarter Montmartre. The truly amusing part was that the shopping window was full of lingerie.



Having been commissioned in 1962, (if only in the Regular US Army) I remember the legal personnel strictures of those days and would venture the opinion that there was no Regular USMC commission available for him in 1968. Reserve commissions were virtually infinite in supply. He became a regular later. pl


You are clearly a much better observer then me, cp.

I know about some supposedly high crime environments around me for ages. It also is usually crowded with commuters. ...

I think one of my best defenses against pick-pockets is my basic: noli me tangere instinct. But strictly I didn't understand the 8-10 policemen assembling there recently on the above ground level of our 'U-Bahn'/tube. When I asked them why they gathered there, I once again got the answer 'high frequency crime scene'. Didn't make much sense, considering their visibility. Ok, maybe a preparation for something further down. ;)

Allen Thomson

This seems odd, at least to me. Does the readership here have any comments?


13 Indians reported killed in U.S. MOAB bombing
Special Correspondent
New Delhi April 18, 2017 23:14 IST
Updated: April 19, 2017 09:45 IST

An Afghanistan-based news agency said on Tuesday that 13 Indians were killed in the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) attack by the U.S. military in Achin district of Nangarhar province last week. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it was not sure of the claims and was still verifying it.

Last year, as a well thought-out conspiracy, 21 men, women and children from Kerala had left for Afghanistan via Iran to live in the IS-controlled territory. Mainly comprising defectors from Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), the Wilayat Khorasan of Islamic State in Afghanistan came into existence in 2015.

The NIA was investigating the case and over the past two months, at least two of them Mohammad Hafezuddin and Murshid Mohammad have been killed in drone attacks.

Quoting a credible source, the Afghanistan news agency said, “13 Indian Daesh militants were also among those killed in the attack. Daesh commanders Mohammad and Allah Gupta were from India.”

An NIA official said they were in touch with the families of the missing Indians.


It looks like Mattis took the commissioning path available to students at colleges that did not have NROTC programs (which led to regular commissions). In this program ( I can't remember the name) students went through Officers Candidate School (OCS) during the summer before their senior year and were commissioned upon college graduation. Once commissioned, their first duty assignment was the six month "Officer Basic School" (TBS) course at Quantico, VA.

Nothing unusual about this commissioning path.


Recently finished reading "They Fought Alone", by John Keats, that tells the story Wendell Fertig's role in organizing and "sort of" leading the resistance to Japanese occupation on Mindanao during WW II.

One hopes many lessons were learned that folded into SF doctrine from this challenging experience. Curious what the SF community hear thinks of Fertig? He appears to have down a remarkable (if unassigned) job, despite the apparent lack of thoughtful support from MacArthur's team once they became aware of Fertig's role in the Mindanao resistance.



having researched and written about the origins and creation of the Green Berets (USSF) I would say that although Aaron Bank took notice of the Philippine experience his focus was much more on the European OSS experience. pl



I presume you are a Marine. I seem to remember that NROTC then produced both Regular and Reserve officers depending on whether or not you had a full scholarship. pl

The Twisted Genius


I agree with Colonel Lang about Aaron Bank and his European OSS experience. That shaped the organization of SF. Fertig's and Volkmann's experiences were influential in formulating UW doctrine for SF. Volkmann wrote a lot of the doctrine. I think the combined influences of the OSS European experiences and the self-organized Philippine guerilla forces were instrumental in producing the finest UW force in the world. DOL



I wouldn't argue with your blend of the two influences but the OSS one was dominant. You would also have to include OSS in China and Burma. But, IMO the long term disaster contained in the founding was the admission of a lot of Rangers from the Korean War Ranger companies. In the end they were a virtual Trojan Horse. pl



I was spared by them today too; the artists were not so forgiving; but it's only little pieces of colorful paper...



Folks should understand that the president/CinC of the US has the power to order war on his/her own even though he/she does not have the right to do so without congressional approval. pl


I stand corrected, you are right that NROTC awarded regular commissions only to full NROTC scholarship students. I was commissioned through NROTC in June 1968, did my Vietnam tour in 69-70, serving initial for three+ months as an artillery FO with D 1/5 while Jim Webb was a platoon commander. I most likely taught the 106 RR and other weapons odds and ends to Mattis's basic officers class during the end of my time as an instructor at TBS.

Gene O.

Mattis enlisted as a USMC-R Private in 1969 while he was attending college at Central Washington University. This was somewhat common at the time for kids wanting a Marine commission but attending a college that did not offer NROTC.



OK. I remember this because I looked at NROTC when Tulane offered me a lot of money to go there. Like a typical kid I wondered what I would do with two scholarship. Where did you go to college? pl


Gene O

That makes sense. VMI did not have naval ROTC when I was there, but there were a number of cadets in the Platoon Leader's Class and they were legally Marine Reserve enlisted men. pl

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