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08 September 2019


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Barbara Ann

I'd advise anyone in need of some light relief (which I suspect includes everyone here) to check out https://www.donaldjtrump.com/ and in particular try and navigate to a non-existent page. For example, just add some nonsense after the "/" at the end of the URL. Love him or loathe him, Trump's campaign team have a sense of humor.


A IMO very pretty lady Ludmila Nikolaeva. Enjoy :

Людмила Николаева "Золотая ярмарка"


Here's another one I hope you enjoy:

Reelroadъ - На море орёл

JP Billen

My son, who has been wanting rooftop solar for years, is now going to go with Elon Musk's solar-rental-system. Free install and $50 bucks a month rental. If he signs up this month then he gets free removal of the system if he decides not to continue with it, or for roof repairs, or other reason.

Sounds like a great program. But there is no long-term lease, just month to month. In which case they could raise the rent dramatically in the future. Perhaps the free removal offer will keep prices from spiraling out of reach.


The Northwest Territory and how the Continental Congress started the long road to the abolition of slavery.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was passed by the US. government under the Articles of Confederation to create the Northwest Territory out of land gained by Great Britain. It was important because it established the precedent by which new states could become part of the union. The ordinance stated that the new territories were to be administered by the Congress, not by other states, and that the territories could petition for statehood once they reached a population of 60,000 people. The ordinance stated that no less than 3 and no more than 5 states could be created out the territories. The first state to be admitted into the union from the Northwest Territory was Ohio in 1803, followed by Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin (about one third of what became Minnesota was also in the territory). (Although Iowa was not part of the Northwest Ordinance it gained statehood in 1846 and was culturally similar to the five states that were made from the Northwest territory.
Many of the rights later given in the Bill of Rights were given by the ordinance, including the freedom of religion, habeas corpus rights, and property rights, among others. Finally, the ordinance prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory, which made the Ohio River (which ran along the southern boundary of the territory) the de facto dividing line between slave and non-slave states as the union developed. It should be noted that the Northwest Ordinance was passed when slavery was still legal in all 13 original states.
The ordinance of Congress called for a public university as part of the settlement and eventual statehood of the Northwest Territory, further stipulating, "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

This land was immensely productive and was quickly settled by hard scrabble New England farmers, and German, Irish, Scandinavian and English immigrants. The Ohio River and its tributaries made for easy transportation to the Mississippi. Cities on the Ohio such as Cincinnati quickly grew in importance in manufacturing and population. Once the Erie Canal was completed in 1825 the northern part of the Northwest Territory also grew with cities such as Cleveland and Chicago becoming important manufacturing and shipping centers. By the middle of the 19th century the states made from the Northwest Territory could be called the breadbasket of the nation.

The Civil War’s most celebrated general, Ulysses S. Grant, was from this area, born in Ohio, and commanded the victorious Union army during the American Civil War. In terms of success, Grant was the only general during the Civil War who received the surrender of three Confederate armies. His most brilliant campaign was Vicksburg and is studied as a masterpiece of military operations and a major turning point of the war, cutting off Texas and Arkansas from the rest of the confederacy and opening the Mississippi River for northern commerce to reach the Gulf of Mexico, and as a supply line for the Union Army.

After Vicksburg, Grant took command at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The following month, from November 22 to November 25, 1863 Union forces routed Confederate troops in Tennessee at the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, known collectively as the Battle of Chattanooga. The victories forced the Confederates to retreat into Georgia, ending the siege of the vital railroad junction of Chattanooga—and ultimately paving the way for Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's western army to take Atlanta and march to Savannah, Georgia, in 1864.
After the Confederate defeat at Chattanooga, President Lincoln promoted Grant to a special regular army rank, General-in-chief (Lieutenant General). With the new rank, Grant moved his headquarters to the east and installed Maj. Gen. Sherman as Commander of the Western Armies.
Grant subsequently forced General Lee and the Confederacy to surrender in April 1895. A note about Iowa: Though the total number of Iowans who served in the military during the Civil War seems small compared to the more heavily populated eastern and southern states, no other state, north or south, had a higher percentage of its male population between the ages of 15 and 40 serve in the military during the course of the war.
Altogether, it could be said that these western armies from the Northwest Territory states (and Iowa) played the major role in ending the civil war.


I would be curious to see what people with real world experience think of the information in this article:


Webb's series on Epstein was excellent, knitting together 30 years of reporting on the a criminal nexus within intelligence, banking, and organized crime. This article focuses on the overlap with Israeli intelligence.


How and why did we ever sucked into the Middle East cesspool and why do we continue to be fools?



post each item only once. Each is moderated by a human.

English Outsider


I read on your site recently that there were some eighteen thousand Uighurs settled in Northern Syria.  Elsewhere I've read that there are three to four thousand Uighur Jihadi fighters.  I doubt such figures are accurate but they are perhaps indicative. That means presumably that there are several thousand Uighur women and children trapped there. I have also read that Jihadis are not being allowed back through Turkey and that the Turks have shot at some who have tried that route.  So trapped is the correct term.

They come from a troubled area.  The chief defence priority of the Chinese, according to a study I read a while ago, was keeping control of the huge non-Han periphery.  Roads run directly into the non-Han territories built for the purpose of moving troops in fast.  They were extending the periphery road, partly to make troop movements easier that way too, partly to stop easy access across the border for arms, support and movement of dissident elements either way.  I expect that's continued since.  Plus direct suppression of the Uighurs that one reads about and is never sure quite how much of to believe.

They can't have done that much stopping of movement because some Uighur Jihadis got out and made for Syria, families and all it seems.  One used to read, on unreliable sites of course, that a Uighur suicide bomber cost around $2,000 - $4,000 sold in from Turkey.  On the same unreliable sites one reads that the Uighurs still make the most committed suicide bombers and are generally used as battle fodder - put in harm's way but not given encrypted communications.  The Chinese listening posts that the unreliable sites say are in Syria can detect them easily so the Uighurs get hammered more than most.  I expect bits and pieces of that are true but as ever one never knows which.  I shan't believe any of it, for safety, until and unless TTG gives such information his imprimatur in one of his updates on SST, but the Uighurs seem to be the PBI of the Jihadi war effort.

Moving away from the unreliable sites it's reliable information that there are now Uighur speaking settlements in Northern Syria.  Have been for some time.  There's a real tragedy on the cards there and I'm not going to blame the Uighur dependents.  One can scarcely blame the Syrians.  I think one ought to blame those who got them there.  Us, if the BBC sponsored documentary I submitted to your site some time ago has the truth of it.  Us being the US, UK and other countries' Intelligence Services  sending arms and men through to the "moderate rebels" a while ago. 

Many of these Uighurs are civilians, thrown around half the world in the course of a vicious and complex war.  How will they get out?

Babak Makkinejad

Answer to question 1: Scofield Bible
Answer to question 2: Innocents Abroad



I leave it to TTG to respond.

Babak Makkinejad

They likely will never get out of Syria.

China almost certainly will not take them back and I doubt Kyrgyzstan could be persuaded to take them.

Barbara Ann

Well you've sure come to the right place with those questions. I'd recommend reading some old posts, they are tagged by category.

Barbara Ann

To expand on Babak's answer #1



Bolton causing trouble... again... Pompeo too?

Highly-Placed Leakers, Swamp Creatures Blast Trump-Taliban Deal https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/highly-placed-leakers-swamp-creatures-blast-trump-taliban-deal/
Pundits and politicos’ efforts to frustrate the president’s designs are greatly aided by highly placed leakers. A piece in Time titled “Exclusive: Secretary of State Pompeo Declines to Sign Risky Afghan Peace Deal” quotes people familiar with these secret negotiations. They lay out for the magazine, point by point, exactly why Pompeo won’t sign the agreement.

... And who would have authorized the leaking of such confidential information to the press, within hours of President Trump meeting with the Secretary of Defense?

This story is made all the more interesting because there have been several stories, again sourced by unnamed, again highly placed officials, that Bolton was cut out of National Security Council meetings on the future of Afghanistan because there was concern he would derail the peace talks. A senior White House official told the Washington Post that Bolton’s “team have a reputation for losing and leaking.” Bolton only got a seat after one of his aides told chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and the meeting opened with Bolton and Trump disagreeing with each other on policy.

With all these leaks, it’s small wonder that the special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly refused to allow Bolton to leave the room with a copy of the nascent deal. Even that alleged action was leaked to the press.

Then this…
Donald Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David days before 9/11 anniversary - but cancelled the meeting after they admitted to recent Kabul attack that killed a US soldier and 11 others https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7439525/President-Trump-cancels-secret-meeting-Taliban-Camp-David-Kabul-attack.html


For anyone into old film archives, two fascinating videos. Each is about 15 minutes.

1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FE30a4J38Q

1928-1930: More Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cGEe2makeM

This YouTube channel has many fascinating pieces of film from the early 20th century.


A little bit of Civil War history for those so inclined:

The Big Parade

When the Civil War sputtered out early in May 1865, there were two huge Union armies within a few days’ march of Washington, D.C. One was the Army of the Potomac, winner of the war in the East, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade. The other was the Army of the Tennessee, or the Western Army, the men who had marched through Georgia to the sea, commanded by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. What to do with these two very different bodies of men was a problem that vexed politicians in Washington. A Victory Parade was scheduled for Washington DC while the nation mourned Lincoln.

May twenty-third dawned oppressively hot and dry. Clouds of choking dust filled every street as chaises and carriages and wagons carried spectators to Pennsylvania Avenue. At nine o’clock a signal gun boomed, and the Army of the Potomac headed down the wide street. It was inevitable that they would be given the privilege of marching first. This was Washington’s own army, the men who had defended the city from the oncoming Confederates in a score of desperate battles. Their commanders and many of their lesser officers were well known to every Washingtonian.

Not a few politicians and generals hoped the Easterners would shame Sherman’s marauders with the precision of their marching and the magnificence of their uniforms. The first impression tended to fulfill this expectation. ‘The swaying of their bodies and the swinging of their arms were as measured as the vibrations of a pendulum,” wrote one eyewitness. “Their muskets shone like a wall of steel.”

Uniforms were spotless, shoes gleamed, and every man gripped his musket with a white-gloved hand. They came down the avenue in formation, twelve men to a file, while two elaborate bands, each the size of a symphony orchestra, played “When Johnnie Comes Marching Home,” “Tramp Tramp Tramp, the Boys Are Marching,” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

At the head of the column rode the army’s commander, Major General Meade, the hero of Gettysburg. Cheers rang out, and people pushed forward to deck garlands around the neck of his horse. Meade, known to his men as the Old Snapping Turtle, managed a frosty smile. He had had the difficult task of commanding this great army in the shadow of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who was its real director in the convulsive, costly battles of 1864 that had loosened Robert E. Lee’s grip on Richmond.

Precisely at 9:00 A.M. the next day the Army of the Tennessee rounded the corner of the Capitol and headed down Pennsylvania Avenue. The weather was not quite as warm as the day before. As for the spectators, their numbers had, if anything, grown. The New York Times man ruefully estimated them at two hundred thousand, glumly noting that “thousands left the city after the first day but their places were taken by newcomers.”

The pundits and politicians were finding out that however much they might deprecate Sherman and his soldiers, to the public they were the supermen who had somehow marched undefeated and unsupplied through the heart of the South. The Army of the Potomac had earned their affectionate admiration. But the Army of the Tennessee had an aura that virtually compelled people to come see it.

Sherman rode at the head of the column, wreaths of roses around his horse’s neck. His old slouch hat was in his hand, and his red hair glistened in the bright sun. Behind him came the plowboys from Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa. They took furtive, astonished glances at the signs arched over the avenue: HAIL TO THE WESTERN HEROES. HAIL, CHAMPIONS OF SHILOH, VICKSBURG, CHATTANOOGA, ATLANTA, SAVANNAH, PRIDE OF THE NATION.
The Westerners marched with a rolling, springy stride, perhaps two to four inches longer than that of the men of the East. They were “nothing but bone and muscle and skin under their tattered battle-flags,” said Brie. Gen. Carl Schurz, who had marched with them. Another man thought they marched “like the lords of the world.” The New York Tribune reporter believed their faces were “more intelligent, self reliant and determined” than those of the Army of the Potomac. The New York World’s man found them “hardier, knottier, weirder.”
Within minutes the Westerners had won their last victory. The spectators went wild. Sobbing women held up babies; others simultaneously praised God and wept. Thousands of white handkerchiefs waved from the sidelines. Rooftops, windows, even the trees were full of cheering civilians.

For some regiments the excitement was almost unbearable. Wild cheers burst from their throats. Hearing those yells, Sherman rode in an agony of uncertainty. He could not break his own order and look back. He could only pray his legions had not become the undisciplined mob that the Army of the Potomac considered them. Finally, as his bay horse mounted the slope before the Treasury Building, Uncle Billy could stand the suspense no longer. They were only minutes from the presidential reviewing stand. He whirled in his saddle as he reached the crest of the rise.

What he saw made that “the happiest and most satisfactory moment” of his life. Every man was obeying the order to keep his eyes rigidly to the front. They all were marching to the same beat. “The column was compact,” he wrote in his memoirs, “and the glittering muskets looked like a solid mass of steel, moving with the regularity of a pendulum.”

As Sherman passed the presidential reviewing stand, he raised his sword in salute. The New York World reporter said the acclamation was “without precedent.” Every man, woman, and child in the crowd shouted his lungs out “as if he had been the personal friend of each and every one of them.… Sherman was the idol of the day.” This was the same man newspapers had called a traitor only ten days before when Sherman had sat down with his fellow West Pointer, confederate general Joseph Johnson, and signed a document that endorsed the legitimacy of Southern state governments as soon as they took an oath of allegiance to the United States..following Lincoln’s policy of reconciliation.

Behind Sherman his massed bands burst into “Marching through Georgia.” Flowers poured down like raindrops from the roofs and trees, until the street was ankle-deep in blossoms. As the XV Corps passed the reviewing stand, the officers shouted an order. They whipped off their hats and bellowed a cheer for the President. But their eyes remained locked to the front.

For the Westerners, saluting a new President was the hardest part of the march. A boy from the 12th Wisconsin said: “We couldn’t look at the reviewing stand.” Had Lincoln been there, he added, “our line would have broken up.”
Sherman swung his horse into the White House grounds, dismounted, and joined the dignitaries on the reviewing stand. He embraced his wife and son for the first time in eighteen months and shook hands with his father-in-law, Thomas Ewing, and with President Johnson and General Grant.

The Army of the Tennessee continued its triumphant progress along Pennsylvania Avenue. Not only the rolling stride and the resolute frontward gaze hypnotized the spectators; equally interesting were the accouterments the men had carried with them through the South. The New York World’s reporter was intrigued by the signalmen carrying sixteen-foot staffs with mysterious flags like “talismanic banners.” Behind almost every company was a captured horse or mule loaded with cooking utensils, captured chickens, and an occasional pig on a rope. Here was the explanation of how they had marched through Georgia unsupplied except, in Grant’s words, by “sweet potatoes sprung up from the ground.”

Behind each division came living evidence of why they fought, proof that the war had been, as Lincoln had hoped, “a new birth of freedom.” A pioneer corps of black men marched in double ranks, with picks, staves, and axes slung across their brawny shoulders. Behind them came six horse-drawn ambulances for each division, their bloodstained stretchers strapped to their sides. At the sight of them the cheers died away and a hush fell on the nearest spectators.

To complete the unorthodox aura, riding sidesaddle beside the ambulances was the angel of the army, sunbonneted Mother Mary Anne Bickerdyke. More than once she had taken on Sherman himself to demand better food and more medicine for the wounded.

On the reviewing stand, as the first divisions passed, the German ambassador reportedly said, “An army like that could whip all Europe.” A half-hour later he gasped, “An army like that could whip the world.” An hour later: “An army like that could whip the devil.”

For seven and a half hours the men of the West strode down Pennsylvania Avenue on those sinewy young legs that had carried them farther than most armies had marched in the history of warfare. In the end the cheering spectators realized the aura of invincibility came from something invisible, intangible, something profoundly connected to the idea of freedom. Lincoln had summoned these grandsons of the pioneers from the nation’s heartland to settle the ancient issue between the founding sections. More than one spectator sensed it was the martyred President himself in his Western prime they saw striding past them on May 24, 1865.

David Solomon

Your son's biggest problem in the future might well turn out to be a corporate bankruptcy by Musk's company. In that case, good luck getting the solar panels removed.

The Twisted Genius

EO, as for al the specific rumors about the Uighurs in Syria, I have no idea. It might be, it might not. You might want to keep in mind Robert Service's description of strange things.

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

I haven't seen anything on where the Uighurs' loyalties lie. Do they answer to Turkey and/or the Turkish backed jihadis or are they closer to the HTS jihadis? I wouldn't doubt they're being taken advantage of by all groups. They will certainly not get any sympathy from the SAA or even the SDF/YPG. They won't get out unless the Turks or Saudis think they can be used elsewhere like in Africa.

The Russian arranged ceasefire is ending and the SAA is massing at several points around Idlib. There's even an AMR report that Russian commandos are included in this massing. The speed of the the last advance by the SAA gave Ergogan the squirts. He's watching his dreams of the annexation of Idlib go up in smoke. I'll write more on this soon.


3 years after the British people voted in a referendum to exit the EU, the UK parliament continues to thwart the will of the people in the referendum. The politicians in the House of Commons wants another delay and don’t want to take it back to the people to decide in an election. Whose side are they on?


Article by David P. Goldman about consumer confidence and tarrifs.


I don't like Mr Goldman politics. But regarding the economy and stock market, he is one the best analysts out there, IMO.


I see the dictator of Zimbabwe kicked the bucket. Good riddance.


On the reviewing stand, as the first divisions passed, the German ambassador reportedly said, “An army like that could whip all Europe.” A half-hour later he gasped, “An army like that could whip the world.” An hour later: “An army like that could whip the devil.”

Many would argue that the army in question only became as it was because it had succumbed to the sin of unconstitutional warfare against its own people - thus the Devil had already seduced the politicians who commanded the war. By my reading of the Thomas Jefferson, "scission" was intended to be a power of the states, and thus the secession of the CSA was Constitutional and the Civil War was not.


We often speak of the Uyghurs in China, and there are about 8 mllion of them, and most of them are Muslim. We seldom speak of the Hui, who are also Chinese and mostly Muslims, and there are 11 million of them, including the wife of my close friend. If you are interesting in knowing more about these minorities, and their relationships to the Han who are the majority of China, read this informed article.
"The differential treatment of the Uyghurs and the Hui is linked to this basic logic: the Uyghur have mostly failed to fully assimilate into Chinese culture and thereby represent a potential threat, while the Hui tend to be more politically unengaged and have assimilated into Han culture. As such, they have won unusual tolerance from the Chinese government, which has previously ignored isolated instances of religious fundamentalism amongst the Hui. The Chinese government has attempted to fashion the Hui into exemplars of legitimate Chinese Islamic expression as political counterpoints to the Uyghur separatists."


Another article on the same subject - Uyghur, Hui, Han -with more depth, written by an Oxford professor can be found linked here:
"Sino-Muslim relations rest upon an informal socio-spatial hierarchy according to which some Muslim groups are more of an asset and others more of a liability. In this informal hierarchy, Hui Muslims are closer to the center than any other Muslim group because they are Sinicized, seen as religiously moderate, and mostly live in proximity to non-Muslim Chinese neighbors. Central Asian Muslims, most notably Xinjiang’s Uyghurs, are more distant from China’s notional center and seen as culturally more alien and prone to religious extremism. This article discusses the historical roots of this socio-spatial hierarchy and systematically examines Sino-Muslim relations in political, economic, and societal terms. It concludes that, despite problematic features from a western-liberal perspective, the hierarchy continues to enable the Chinese majority to manage a set of otherwise challenging relationships."

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