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14 May 2017


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John Minnerath

And then when you reach our age those things seem to increase in frequency and at the most inopportune times.


For those who have watched the first two seasons, the third season of Bosch is available on Amazon. This one has a more linear feel to it, closer to the first season. Harry Bosch is effective but morally and ethically compromised and the bad guys are all repugnant. Still enjoyable, IMO.


Review of Paul Johnstone's book
after the demise of the Soviet Union, the U.S. moved quickly from “MAD to Madness.” Madness refers to plans for a knockout nuclear first strike on Russia, aided and abetted by the latest missile defense boondoggle.

A central message of the book is the inevitable failure of intelligence. This aspect of the memoir is hard to apprehend in all its facets without actually reading it. Why can “intelligence” not be trusted? First the intelligence agencies lie – and do so quite consciously when it suits those who command them or the desires of those who command their commanders. Anyone who does not recognize this by now has not been paying attention. Intel did this most notoriously in recent years in the case of the non-existent WMD that led the US to a multitrillion dollar war on the innocent people of Iraq – which we fight to this day even though Barack Obama declared the war “officially” over.

Steve was the first of several Central European émigrés I met in the next few years who passed as experts on Communist Europe….Others were Stausz-Hupé, Kissinger, Brzezinski and many lesser lights such as Leon Gouré and Helmut Sonnenfeldt. In every case I felt that they were thinking, consciously or otherwise, as representatives of a lost cause in their native land, and I always believed that they were used by the military because their ‘obsessions’ were so useful.”

we can think of a latter day equivalent in Bush 2 time when neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz dominated the Pentagon. As they ginned up the War on Iraq, it was all too clear that their loyalty to Israel came into play. For while the wars in the Middle East and North Africa did little to advance the interests of the US, costing it blood, treasure and new enemies like ISIS, those wars left in ruins potential adversaries of Israel in its neighborhood. There can be little doubt that the interests of Israel were served by these American “strategic thinkers.”

every year that appraisal forecast a massive Russian land attack on Western Europe the following year. Several of us began to laugh about it after a while, but the forecast was always intoned awesomely and with superficial plausibility. I do not know whether many people who heard the briefings really believed the forecasts. I suspect many doubted it would really be next year, and thought it more likely the year after or even later. But even doubters approved the forecast because, they reasoned, it was better to err in this direction than to minimize the danger. Above all, it was good to say things that emphasized the need for strong defenses.” (And I might add big military budgets, jw)



I don't have leaks, but we have had almost no sunshine for weeks. Very depressing

Bill H

Just finished watching it. At least as good as the first two, and maybe the best of the three.

Bill H

Similar problems even in a house built in 1973 in "sunny" Southern California. Contrary to common belief, it does rain here. The infrequency of rain is a drawback when you are looking for a good roofer.



You have my sympathy...Living in Oregon gives one a keen insight concerning moods during an extended rain.

I personally recommend science fiction and the concurrent escapism. Serious thoughts in an extended gloom tend to be, well, gloomy.

My specific recommendation for you would be Neal Stephenson's "Anathem".

Gene O.

Regarding the final liberation of Tabqa City and Dam from Daesh in the last few days: some reports say the SDF borrowed a tactic from Assad. They allowed the last 70 Daesh fighters to leave the town and the dam. Conditions were they had to dismantle all IEDs and booby-traps and release their 100(?) Yezidi women captives. There was no bus, they had to leave under their own power. And they left at night to avoid air attack as the CJTFOIR coalition was not party to the agreement.

On another Raqqa front to the east, the SDF took the Raqqa Cotton Center from Daesh and are now within four km from the city center


Cow elk. .270 with 130g or 150g using Federal's partition round?)


Bill H, Babel,

It had its moments but I thought the plot was a little farfetched and it descended into farce when the military was involved. Specifically the scene in the logistic dude's apartment with the black female soldier standing at parade rest calling everyone sir.

Second season was the strongest for me.


I just bought my first brand new house. Lets see how the roof does when the monsoon comes through.

Hood Canal Gardner

Pat, your three of a kind beats my/our pair: a chunk of our backward decided to move down to the Canal and a 40k remediation. ted


The SDF(Kurds) around Tabqa offered ISIS safe withdrawal if they leave the city and dam and disable their IEDs. The ISIS fighters did so.
When they left the U.S. military tracked them and killed them.

The Wall Street Journal found this, like me, rather odd:

The Pentagon had no real answer to the question about the issue.

The breaking of the Kurdish word towards ISIS means that ISIS will no longer trust such deals in similar situation. The next dam WILL blow up as it makes no sense for ISIS fighters to make any deal.

That was a very shortsighted decision by the CentCom and the Kurdish and Iraqi fighters on the ground will have to bleed for it.

I wonder how the special forces that are embedded with the Kurds feel about the issue.

Allen Thomson

> moods during an extended rain.

Curiously, the past couple of winters in San Antonio have been quite gloomy, if not all that rainy(*). I'd never gotten SADed before, but was feeling kind of down at times because of the persistently gray days. Fortunately, things are lightening up now.

(*) Actually, they have been more rainy than the long term average, but that's not much by Pacific NW standards.


Trump is off to the Middle East this week and is going to take a stab at Middle East peace. (Nobody knew it could be this hard!) The Israelis are digging in their heals and looking for a fight. This sets up 2 possible scenarios. Trump comes back with his tail between his legs or the Israelis go around him to Congress and get Congress to tell him to back off. In either case Trump will be weakened. And every time the US pretends to want peace in the Middle East a lot of Palestinians get killed.

"White House: Trump to push Palestinian ‘self-determination’ on Mideast trip"


"US envoy said to advise Israelis to cooperate with Trump on peace"


"Top Likud minister: No point talking about peace at this time"


"PM: US embassy move will ‘shatter Palestinian fantasies’ that Jerusalem not Israeli"


"Anxiety high among Israeli right as Trump visit nears"


Glad to hear it drying up for you Col. Good luck with the repairs, hope the water damage isn't to bad.

The Twisted Genius

I believe we've made up our rain deficit for the year here in Virginia. My lawn, trees and flowers look great. SWMBO has certainly appreciated the lower temperatures. I did some repair work on my son's roof in Richmond and his ceilings have remained dry as a done during the recent rains. Started repairing the ceilings after a VA appointment down in Richmond last week. I hope I'm not getting too cocky about my roof repairs, but I'm getting to the point where I can spot shoddy craftsmanship pretty quickly.

The house I grew up in was built in the 1840s as the glebe house for the Congregational Church. The foundation was dry laid stone with dirt floors. During prolonged rains and Spring thaws there would be a stream flowing from one end of the cellar out of the garage door at the other end. We just lived with it. I even sent little balsa boats down the stream as a kid.

The Twisted Genius

John Minnerath,

That's why I'm doing as much as I can now while I'm young enough to do it. I can't see myself laying tile or climbing to the top of the roof fifteen years from now. My father's 87 and he shoveled, yes shoveled, snow after the late storms this Spring in Maine. I hope I have close to that kind of stamina when I'm his age.


Colonel, as one who lives in the same general area weatherwise, I would offer the thought that the MTBF of a house built in 1913 vs. one that was built in 1986 crosses the fail curve at roughly the same time. Probably the same reason why my 1982 lawn tractor outlived my 1992 model by about 4 years, and still running. Will probably outlive the house.


Someone previously questioned how the usual suspects would throw a monkey wrench into solving the Syria problem, so here was wrench number 1.



Only if you shoot straight.



had the maintenance guy in the apt today replacing a water line for a leak. Had the same thing happen on the condo I just made an offer on (Won't be closing on that on Monday).



Why would Trump be weakened? He didn't need donor money to get elected and the percentage of Israeli American voters that voted for him is was not significant.



Colonel, trusting everything dries out.

In other news, did people know that the State Department has not designated Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (the Organization for Conquest in the Levant) as a terrorist organization?

Why Syria's al-Qaeda affiliate is no longer on Canada's terror list http://www.cbc.ca/1.4114621

On May 11, Daniel R. Coats Director of National Intelligence delivered the following Statement for the Record Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

At page 4 of that Statement we are told:

"The worldwide threat from terrorism will remain geographically diverse and multifaceted—a continuing challenge for the United States, our allies, and partners who seek to counter it. Sunni violent extremists will remain the primary terrorist threat. These extremists will continue to embroil conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Some will also seek to attempt attacks outside their operating areas."

Whether linked directly to al-Qaeda or not, how does Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham not fall within the category of "Sunni violent extremists?"

The statement goes on to read:

"Iran continues to be the foremost state sponsor of terrorism and, with its primary terrorism partner, Lebanese Hizballah, will pose a continuing threat to US interests and partners worldwide. The Syrian, Iraqi, and Yemeni conflicts will continue to aggravate the rising Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict, threatening regional stability."

By not designating Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization, even though the core military leadership is affiliated, associated or has ties to al-Qaeda, is US policy not following the path of the prior administration, which suggested that the Sunni States needed to develop non-state organizations to counter Hezbollah and related organizations?

While the Intelligence Community says that Iran is the primary state sponsor of terrorism, what about Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, given their ties with "violent Sunni extremist organizations?"

- Despite claims that the Muslim Brotherhood acts as a moderating influence, IMV, this organization is a violent Sunni extremist organization;

- Is it not fair to state that any non-state actor which relies on violence to achieve its political goals is a terrorist organization?

- It seems that whether a non-state actor is designated as such rests on whether the authority doing the designating agrees or disagrees with the stated political goals?

Further in the statement we are told in part:

"In 2016, al-Nusrah Front and al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) faced CT pressure in Syria and Yemen, respectively, but have preserved the resources, manpower, safe haven, local influence, and operational capabilities to continue to pose a threat."

By not designating Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization, is the State Department helping to perpetuate the threat of al-Nusrah Front?

Despite the effort to remove the "global terrorist" involved with this group, have we not learned that simply killing the leadership of violent organizations, which pursue a political ideology wrapped in religion, does not end them?


John Frank

IMO the pool of potential recruits has to be weeded out until the rest decide that it is not only suicidal by also futile to continue the struggle. Then there will be an abatement until living memory of defeat passes from collective memory. pl


Thank you for reminding, I will binge watch it tomorrow, I loved the first two seasons, wasn't aware there was a third one.

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