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27 November 2017


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The Porkchop Express

That's fair. Though, the Lebanese in Akkar and Tripoli are a little more sympathetic to the Syrians. Not culturally. They still crack jokes about them and treat them generally in an undignified manner but the idea of more Sunnis than Shi'a is definitely something that appeals to them on a base level, not a political one.




there even is a special name for what the Britsh blockade did to German civilians, "Steckrübenwinter", or 'turnip winter'.

"For the duration of World War I, Germany was constantly under threat of starvation due to the success of the British Naval blockade. Whatever meager rations remained were sent to the troops fighting the war, so the civilian population faced the brunt of the famine. The winter of 1916–1917, later known as the "Turnip Winter", marked one of the harshest years in wartime Germany. Poor autumn weather led to an equally poor potato harvest and much of the produce that was shipped to German cities rotted. Germany's massive military recruitment played a direct role in this, as all areas of the economy suffered from lack of manpower, including agriculture.[1] The loss of the potato crop forced the German population to subsist on turnips as an alternative.

Traditionally used as animal feed, the root vegetable was virtually the only food available throughout the winter of 1917. Malnourishment and illness claimed thousands of lives, mainly those of civilians, and wounded soldiers who had returned to the home front. A distinct example of the conditions at home in Germany was the spike in female mortality, which when compared to pre-war rates, increased by 11.5% in 1916 and 30% in 1917.[2] This rate increased due to malnutrition and disease that was commonplace amongst the German populace. The famine and hardship of the Turnip Winter severely affected the morale within Germany, revealing to the Germans just how hard-pressed the nation-state had become under the duress of the war."


That said, in the high moors of the 'Hohes Venn' in Belgium there are areas that still cannot safely visited even now, since there WW-I ammo has not been recovered and/or defused since 1918.

And that, what, about a hundred years after that war? It gives an indication what a hell place the battlefields of WW-I must have been.

Likely, one of the next books I'll read is about Colonel Bruchmüller, who greatly influenced the development of modern artillery tactics.


I am also still searching for a descent book on the siege of Przemyśl, a severe defeat in which Austria lost to Russia 86,000 dead and 117,000 captured (including wounded) soldiers - commented, somwhat understated, in Austria's military museum as 'a hard time for all'.


Nakib Ahmed

Dear Colonel,

I request you to write some articles beyond this blog. I find your comments lucid, crisp, seasoned and insightful. How about a full length op ed on a topic of your interest in a mainstream newspaper. May be your best writings are yet to be penned.
Thank you for your service to humanity, where truth still resonates. Cheers.


Couldn't resist the name. I thought you'd like it ;)

English Outsider

If I may add a note to the above comment, the writer of the above piece linked to may not be superficial. She makes her points by juxtaposition and inference rather than by formally stating a direct connection. By the time she has finished the piece the back and forth connection between gaining political influence and making advantageous commercial deals is clear.

And this could not be more explicit:-

"At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets."


oh please, one may agree or disagree with me and like or dislike what I type - fine, or not fine. Presumably what it is depends on the readers preferences or point of view.

But a troll? Seriously? IMO that's rather insulting.

When I read two days or so ago a post asserting that Germany was not conquered after WW-I I asked the poster and myself why then there were foreign troops stationed in Germany after the war and how that was not a conquest.

Was that an exaggeration? Hardly. It's about getting history right, and in this particular case, it is incidentally part of the history of the city I live in.

Incidentally I pass my city's cathedral, the Dom, every day. Now, just as incidentally, I have seen pictures of a british Mark IV or Mark V tank, accompanied by foreign troops in front of Cologne's cathedral, the Dom. See for yourself.


Whatever you may or may not think about that I don't care. It doesn't matter.

What matters is this: The question is what did the tanks and these troops do in Cologne in 1919, after WW-I, and why and how was that presence not a conquest?

And why again was the british army sent here called 'BOAR' (British Army of the Rhine)? To my best knowledge the Rhine is not a river in Great Britain. So why did they name an army that way then? And how was their presence not a conquest?

IMO it is quite remarklable to speak of 'non conquesting' in light of the presence of such foreign troops (belgians, frence and british) in Germany after WW-I.

IMO, when these 'guests' came with tanks, uniforms and rifles, they likely didn't come as tourists, or for seeking nice girls or our descent 'Kölsch' beer.

So, how do you 'not do a conquest' when you have foreign troops occupying parts of a defeated country that just lost a war? That's an interesting question that deserves an answer IMO.


thnx- i had forgotten about Polk. great reading. there is a lot to learn from the tapes and transcripts of the Cuban Missile Crisis discussions. Books have been written about the foretelling, gambits, the way the discussions were conducted. Some good samples.

""JFK: Why does he put these in there though?
Bundy: Soviet-controlled nuclear warheads [of the kind?] . . .
JFK: That's right, but what is the advantage of that? It's just as if we suddenly began to put a major number of MRBMs in Turkey. Now that'd be goddam dangerous, I would think.
Bundy?: Well, we did, Mr. President.""


Kennedy declines Curtis LeMay's gambit. Why we didn't glow in the dark in October 1962:
"A skeptical JFK interrupted to ask, "What do you think their reprisal would be" if we attacked Cuba? There would be no reprisal, LeMay asserted without missing a beat, as long as Kennedy told Khrushchev again: "If they make a move [in Berlin], we're gonna fight." He added, "Now, I don't think this changes the Berlin situation at all, except you've got to make one more statement on it."
The general moved in for the verbal kill: "So, I see no other solution. This uh . . . uh . . . blockade and . . . and political action I see leading into war. I don't see any other solution for it. It will lead right into war. This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich. I just don't see any other solution except direct military interv . . . intervention, right now."
The Joint Chiefs of Staff must have held their collective breath. LeMay had gone well beyond merely giving advice or even disagreeing with the commander-in-chief. He had taken their generation's ultimate metaphor for cowardice, the 1938 appeasement of Hitler at Munich, and flung it in the president's face. Everyone at the table knew that JFK's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, had been a supporter of appeasement as ambassador to England between 1938 and 1940. President Kennedy, in a remarkable display of sang-froid, refused to take the bait; he said nothing."

maybe the above came from Polk. i've lost the source


But a troll? Seriously? IMO that's rather insulting

Not meant as such. I mentioned my own prejudice and as an exclusion 'real emotions'. Have you noticed that you are the only one responding?

The exercise was finding possible trolls using the typelist mentioned in the post. You do have characteristics in the post that are similar to behavior of a type.

If you really are insulted. In the next few months I'm coming to Cologne and my blood will probably flow when sparring full-contact at a German martial arts school where I will be guest-training. Hope that is penitence enough, otherwise we can meet up at the Devil's Dom and I buy you a candle to break ;-)

different clue

Sid Finster,

The R + 6 won't give up so easily either. And now that the R + 6 appears to have won some solid victories upon which further victories may be built, the Borg will find "not giving up so easily" to be an ever more futile gesture.

Perhaps the R + 6 might begin referring to themselves as the COLA (stands for Coalition Of Lawful Authority). That would be a further move in the public mind-space brain war. " Things go better with COLA."

different clue

English Outsider,

I voted "for" Trump in order to vote aGAINST Clinton. There are large parts of Trump's domestic agenda which I never supported but merely accepted as part of the pain necessary to defeat the Clinton and begin a process of purging and burning the malignant clintonoma and all its metastases out of the Democratic Party. If I come to think that the Clintonites have had their power and influence degraded too much to ever launch a comeback within the Democratic Party, then I will feel free to begin voting for no-Clinto Democrats if they support what I support.

If the next Presidential election features a radioactive toxic-waste Clintonite ( or Obamazoid )on the Democratic side yet again, then I will vote for Trump yet again. If the Dems nominate a safely mediocre nothing, I will feel the Prez-level DemParty has been declintaminated enough that I can vote for some Third Party candidate.

different clue

David Habakkuk,

I have always thought that a major goal of Margaret Thatcher was to exterminate the industrial trade unions in Britain. I think she reasoned that if the only way to exterminate the industrial trade unions in Britain was to exterminate the industries which employed the working members of those unions; then achieving the goal of no-more-unions would be worth the price of having no-more-industry.

Am I wrong to think so?

different clue


If it leads to America cancelling its membership in NATO and evacuating all its military personnel from Europe, then that would leave Europe free to create its own NEATO, if Europe wants to.

And that would be a good thing.

different clue


I will quibble with a very narrow and single-item part of your comment. I believe bitcoin is scam and a hustle and its rise in price is just a bubble. Of course the only proof of that would be if it pops. Unless it pops I can only say that "its a bubble" is just my opinion.

I would say this: if bitcoin pops, then every dollar everyone has in bitcoins at the moment of their popping will disappear. But if bitcoin pops, every sardine inside my cans of canned sardines will still be right there inside the cans. And since I put some of my few spare dollars into cans of sardines ( when they came on special sale) rather than into bitcoins, I don't care if bitcoin pops.

different clue


A way to understand the Russia-hate might be to carefully study who fostered it and who keeps pushing it today. Then one can try to work out why they diddit and why they still do it.

I speculate that some of it is just an inertial carryover from the conflict with USSR-based Communism. Some people conflated USSR with "Russia" and culturized-ethnified their opposition to Communism. When USSR collapsed, they lost their beloved enemy and have been bereft ever since. Now that Putin can be hatefulized and evilized, they can feel they have a new beloved enemy to fill the hole of bereavement left when the USSR went away.

Then there are the ethnic grudgeholders. Out of many, I will just refer to one . . . in case it gets somewhat forgotten about. And that would be the antirussianitic racist antirussianite Zbigniew Brzezinski. He carried his hatred to the point of seeking the destruction of the not-USSR-anymore Russian Federation.

And all the Clintonites hate Russia for "stealing the election" from their Great Dear Leader Clinton. And all the millions of Jonestown Clintists in the field . . . all those millions upon millions of Pink Kitty Caps . . . share this hatred for Russia and Putin for depriving their Precioussss the One's rightful victory in the election.

So that's a lot of long-lasting Russia-hatred right there.

different clue

Nakib Ahmed,

Colonel Lang has done that very thing at times in the past. Here is a wikipedia article with some links to such beyond-the-blog articles which already exist, and also titles of some others which may be websearched.




American troops also did occupation duty in Germany in 1919. My grandfather Clarence was there before he shipped home. Not sure where exactly, but somewhere on the Rhine.

I am a bit of a kibitzer. As boys in the 1950s, my brother and I used to be known in the neighborhood as Heckle and Jeckle the old movie magpies. I have tried to tone it down in respect of my SWMBO's wishes. But it sometimes still pops out. So perhaps I fit the profile that our troll hunter uses?

An old retort or quip from the 1950s comes to mind when speaking of trolls. "It takes one to know one" So perhaps Adrestia has a touch of the troll in his own psyche?


From that Middle East Monitor piece:

"More than half a million people are believed to have been killed since 2011, the vast majority by the Assad government and allied forces. The regime has also used chemical weapons against civilians and prevented aid from reaching those affected on the ground."

Always helpful when the ideology behind a publication is so crudely and blatantly expressed.


well, happy time in Cologne.

I propose to visit the cathedral, and, while there, to also visit the Roman-Germanian museum. The latter has lots of interesting art and especially a beautiful mosaic from roman times, which was found when building a bunker during WW-II.


Also, I made a mistake in my post above, and that was that I asked whether the 'armed tourists' came for Cologne to get Kölsch.

Well, that's impossible because Kölsch was only 'invented' in the 1960s. When the guests were here Kölsch simply didn't exist. Before that there was a lot of beer in town, but nothing specific 'colognian'.

English Outsider

Different Clue - I believe it goes deeper than the corruption of any one particular politician. I believe it's part and parcel of modern machine politics. Here, from the crony press itself, I found the best account of how central it now is:-


As the article indicates we can forget about the Bilderbergers. Forget about this or that grand plan for our downfall worked out behind closed doors by some faceless and omnipotent “they”. If we want to know what's really changed politics we need only look at everyday things - TV, social media, and the fact that there's a deal more money swirling around at the top than there used to be. The NYT article spells it out. It spells out how the street-wise machine politician - the example used is President Obama but it could have been anybody – now gets power. And what he or she does with it.

First, the NYT article describes how the old way of getting votes failed -

"Gradually, Chicago caught up with the rest of the country and media-driven politics eclipsed machine-driven politics. “It became increasingly difficult to get into homes and apartments to talk about candidates,” Rose said. “High-rises were tough if not impossible to crack, and other parts of the city had become too dangerous to walk around in for hours at a time. And people didn’t want to answer their doors. Thus the increasing dependence on TV, radio, direct mail, phone-banking, robocalls, et cetera—all things that cost a hell of a lot more money than patronage workers, who were themselves in decline, anyway, because of anti-patronage court rulings.” Instead of a large army of ward heelers dragging people to the polls, candidates needed a small army of donors to pay for commercials. Money replaced bodies as the currency of Chicago politics. This new system became known as “pinstripe patronage,” because the key to winning was not rewarding voters with jobs but rewarding donors with government contracts."

"Money replaced bodies as the currency of - politics." Trump himself, or Sanders, couldn't have put it better. Direct large political donation had always been important, maybe to a greater extent than most of us realised in the past, but now it was the central key.

"At the time, Obama was growing closer to Tony Rezko, who eventually turned pinstripe patronage into an extremely lucrative way of life. Rezko’s rise in Illinois was intertwined with Obama’s. Like Abner Mikva and Judson Miner, he had tried to recruit Obama to work for him. Chicago had been at the forefront of an urban policy to lure developers into low-income neighborhoods with tax credits, and Rezko was an early beneficiary of the program. Miner’s law firm was eager to do the legal work on the tax-credit deals, which seemed consistent with the firm’s over-all civil-rights mission. A residual benefit was that the new developers became major donors to aldermen, state senators, and other South Side politicians who represented the poor neighborhoods in which Rezko and others operated."

"A residual benefit." One hell of a residue. As Trump said, with that outrageous habit he has of letting the cat out of the bag, the developers give the politicians money. The politicians give the developers building permits.

Then it becomes merely a question of who can get the most money in -

"“Then he just laid out an economic analysis. It becomes about money, because he knew that if people knew his story they would view him as a better candidate than anybody else he thought might be in the field. And so he said, ‘Therefore, if you raise five million dollars, I have a fifty-per-cent chance of winning. If you raise seven million dollars, I have a seventy-per-cent chance of winning. If you raise ten million dollars, I guarantee victory.”"

That's it. When it gets to donors at the national level it's not so much the property developers who are centre stage but the big corporations looking for legislative easements, or the other interest groups looking to push their case. All grist to the mill, wherever the money comes from, and all now central to the job of winning in politics.

That, in a nutshell, is how our democracy, never that thriving a growth but it was all there was, gave up on us and became just another part of the money-go-round.


I wonder how China is going to fare in Syria now they're sending in Chinese PLA to fight alongside Syrian Forces. This will be the first actual combat that Chinese forces have faced since Korea if I'm not mistaken. Should be interesting. Syria has been good for both honing Russian war-fighting capabilities even more, plus providing a test bed for Russian weapons systems and their developments.

On the other hand our U.S. forces haven't had a break since WWII, as it seems that D.C. has come up with one excuse or another to use and misuse U.S war fighting skills and test out new weapons systems.



Confusedponderer has been commenting here for a number of years.



Thank you for your reply. I don't disagree here. Looks like interesting times ahead.


different clue

Well, yes, there seem to be a lot of good developments in the making.


similar thought came to me - ´obedient towards the president´ - does that mean that Americans are getting more like Germans, obedient to the `Führer`? Not a pleasant thought, I hope not. Obedient to money - sounds more likely. The president is not a Führer, but money which controls the Congress, "the best Congress money can buy" - I did not invent this phrase.

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