Open Thread – 14 May 2017


I need  a day off.  It rained here for four days.  My basement started leaking water.  The roof leaks in a place I just had repaired.  The house was built in 1913.  I suppose that if you insist on buying old houses (we do) you have to expect this kind of thing.   The sun will shine for the next week.  The workmen will come back when things dry out.  pl

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101 Responses to Open Thread – 14 May 2017

  1. John Minnerath says:

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

  2. BabelFish says:

    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.

  3. mauisurfer says:

    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)

  4. Linda says:

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

  5. Bill H says:

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

  6. Bill H says:

    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.

  7. Degringolade says:

    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”.

  8. Gene O. says:

    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

  9. Tyler says:

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

  10. Tyler says:

    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.

  11. Tyler says:

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

  12. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    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

  13. b says:

    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.

  14. Allen Thomson says:

    > 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.

  15. BraveNewWorld says:

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Stumpy says:

    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.

  19. Thomas says:

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

  20. Fred says:

    Only if you shoot straight.

  21. Fred says:

    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).

  22. Fred says:

    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.

  23. John_Frank says:

    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
    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?

  24. turcopolier says:

    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

  25. Kunuri says:

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

  26. turcopolier says:

    i have an old deer gun in .270 Win. It is cheap version of a much more expensive Remington. It has a junk scope on it. Until my eyes gave out I could hit small targets at 300 yds after a couple of ranging shots. I seldom ever “doped” a scope” Actually I prefer iron sights. Farrell says that means I can actually shoot straight. I you remember Basilisk’s short story “Targets” that is the rifle I was shooting that day. pl

  27. sid_finster says:

    Because congresscreeps still need Israeli/aicap/whatever money.
    Good way to make any remaining support in Congress go away.

  28. Tyler,
    If your house’s construction allows, I suggest you spend some time in the attic with a good flashlight once the rains hit. I do that now and then and it has paid off.

  29. b,
    That’s beyond shortsighted. It was a stupid and dangerous decision on CENTCOM’s part. I imagine the Kurds and the embedded SF are cursing a blue streak about this. This could very well cost lives in the future. The reconciliation/amnesty program is one of the smartest things Assad and the R+6 have done.

  30. BraveNewWorld,
    I agree with Fred here. If anyone could walk away from the Saudis and Israelis, it is Trump. I sincerely hope he tells them that he wants amicable relations, but beyond that, they’re on their own.

  31. John_Frank says:

    “America’s main military ally in Syria agreed to let Islamic State fighters escape from a key battle earlier this week without conferring with its U.S. partners who targeted the extremists as they tried to flee, Pentagon officials said Friday.”
    So, the truce was between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Islamic State. If the IS forces wanted a truce with the US and its other coalition partners they should have asked for one. Since the United States and its other coalition partners were not a party to the truce, the Defense Department was free to act as they deemed fit. Besides, even if the US and its other coalition partners had agreed to the truce, what about the Russian led coalition forces?
    As such, what is the basis to suggest that the local forces aligned with the United States or Russia will somehow pay for the decision by the IS forces not to seek a truce with the US and its other coalition partners in this instance? IMHO None.

  32. John Minnerath says:

    My Dad was doing stuff like that when he was 85, I don’t believe I’ll be able to follow in his footsteps. He was one tough old Montana cowboy.
    My chimney is going to need a good brushing this summer, there’s a big stout 16 year old up river from me, I think I’ll have him do it this year.

  33. John_Frank says:

    How do we know that the special forces working with the Syrian Democratic Forces opposed the decision by CENTCOM?
    The agreement between the SDF and IS forces was neither an amnesty, nor a reconciliation, but simply a truce, allowing the remaining IS forces to withdraw.
    The only party which has the authority to grant amnesty, or enter into a reconciliation is the Syrian Arab Republic.
    The US and its other coalition partners, nor the Russian led coalition were not a party to this truce.
    So, even if the US had agreed to the truce, that would not have stopped the Russian or Syrian Air Forces from carrying out attacks.

  34. Fred says:

    Remind me how well Trump’s legislative agenda is going? I don’t think getting a shiv in the back from Netanyahu is going to make Trump’s dealings with Congress any worse. On the other hand it will give him a great excuse to say “to hell with you settle this yourself” to Bibi.

  35. Fred says:

    Any suggestions for getting past writer’s block?

  36. Barbara Ann says:

    For any economists/mathematicians out there: Came across the following from NN Taleb* who was actually quoted a couple of posts back.
    Next time a liberal economist tells you that resisting globalization is contrary to economic theory & therefore illogical, you may want to quote Dr. Taleb to them. The extract, which seems highly pertinent to the current state of affairs, is actually from a book he just reviewed – 2nd link. Disclaimer: I’ve not read it, but I might now.
    *For those that don’t know; author of The Black Swan (2007) the origin of the label ‘black swan event’ (events that are unpredictable, but nevertheless possible) often used to describe the 2008 financial crisis. Taleb’s influential work also came to discredit conventional financial risk management theory – which previously held that such events were near impossible.

  37. elaine says:

    b & TTG, Recently I saw a story about ISIS surrenders on tv (maybe on BBC, not sure} & the number of surrenders was too large to hold them; amoung their ranks were families
    with woman & children…they were about to be released. I doubt the US military
    unloaded on this group. Apparently surrender en masse is a new tactic. Many in the story I watched were western in origin & whining regrets into the camera about leaving France & other western European countries.
    Being allowed to leave with Yezidi female slaves is highly disconcerting.
    Sweden is repatriating her ISIS fighters, giving them housing, stipends…treating
    them like they’re homegrown juvenile gang members to be rehabbed.
    I completely understand your concerns about having one faction freeing them & another faction mowing them down, however allowing them to drift into Turkey &
    up into Europe does not bode well in the long haul. Can’t some of them be held
    to trade for Yezidi slaves or other ISIS captives? Are any of these vipers ever
    going to be prosecuted? Recently I read Justine Trudeau announced Canada is
    not @ war with ISIS. Can that possibly be true? Is he welcoming them into Canada?

  38. Chris Chuba says:

    Wanna Cry Virus
    I’m amused by the utter lack of remorse at the NSA sourced Malware that has wreaked international havoc. Being masters of the universe, we don’t even have to say ‘oops’ anymore. It’s as if we are saying, ‘It was meant to fight terrorism, we’ll get it right next time, just be glad we are doing this instead of the bad guys’. I was wondering how we would react if the Russian or Iranian govts were in our position. I bet we’d be calling for sanctions, at the very least Haley would be doing a Chicken Dance at the U.N.
    The Assad/Russian theory at Khan Shaykhun
    While there are many holes in the White House narrative that a Syrian jet delivered Sarin to Khan Shaykhun, I found it interesting that the Borg and their allies have only found one in the Russian/Syrian claim that a conventional bomb released poisonous gas from a rebel warehouse. They jump on the fact that Assad said that the Syrian Jet made the attack at 12:30 while social media started reporting victims as early as 6:30am.
    Here are some things I found.
    1. Al Masdar News reported the Syrian attack at 12:30pm
    Since reporting the attack is not instantaneous with the attack, the attack was obviously earlier than 12:30pm.
    2. The video of the warehouse bombed by the Syrian Jet with conventional bombs, analyzed by Postol was posted on Twitter at 9:21 am and was sourced by the Jihadis themselves from youtube. If it gives a different time, it’s because twitter presents the time in your time zone. You have to adjust it to reflect Syria’s local time.
    It’s looks to be sourced from the Jihadist media blitz, here’s the youtube link
    (charming fellows posting on youtube)
    Since I do not have any technical background on weaponry, I do not want to be another Bellingcat fool but I don’t see why the Jihadists would post this to prove it was a chemical attack. I thought the whole point of chemical WMD’s was to aerosolize Sarin, not to make a big boom. When I read Postol, he mentioned that the Ghouta attack just left a big liquid pool that then vaporized. These are big billowing mushroom clouds. The WH report even made a big deal about the bomb crater being too small for conventional explosives.
    My point is that Assad just made a mistake. He didn’t fly the mission. This does not disprove the Russian/Syrian theory.

  39. BabelFish says:

    I shoot .270 at 130g. but that is for whitetails. Max shot distance would be 100 yards and more likely near 40-50.

  40. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Need for an SST post on Afghanistan:
    Might I suggest Colonel Lang author a top-level post
    on the current push for an expansion of the American war effort in Afghanistan?
    That’s a really important decision,
    and I am sure that the various contributors to SST
    have some valuable things to say about it.
    Why not give them the chance,
    and a post on which to place their thoughts?
    BTW, here is a fairly detailed history of the Brit./USSR campaigns in Afghanistan:
    “President Trump: Afghanistan is your easiest task — GET OUT”
    by Michael Scheuer, 2017-02-17
    And here is a past SST post on the subject:
    “… Now it might take decades.”
    by Patrick Lang et al., 2016-01-28

  41. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Turcopolier and All,
    I think that there has been a revolutionary breakthrough in roofing coatings. I have recommended this before here (to TTG), and I am comfortable in doing it again. It is called GACO. It was recommended to me by a roofing contractor down at the island. I suspect I may be rolling some of this on in the near future. Yes, you can roll this stuff on if you have a flat roof. I don’t, but if you have degraded asphalt shingle roof, then you can also use something like GACO Flex SF2000 seam seal. My guess is that you might want GacoRoofUltra. This runs about a hundred dollars a gallon. The product description is of a 100 per cent silicone roof coating which is “a proven solution to renewing a weathered roof…[it] “creates a monolithic, weather-tight seal protecting pre-existing roofs against damaging leaks, permanent ponding water and degradation caused by severe UV rays and temperature extremes.” Yes, a flat roof covered with GACO could have standing water!
    I have a whimsical idea to build a little cardboard toy boat and paint it with GACO and set it afloat to see how it does. In theory you could build a little dingy out of cardboard that would last a while, I would hope, if coated with GACO. We used to have a Captain John Wright, Deltaville built, rowboat, which I remember noting we were letting go when the Boston Whaler took everything over. Sad. I actually think that GACO inside a leaking wooden rowboat will probably fix all problems. Probably on any material. I brushed some on my roof at the edges, and later found a grouping of little rounded beads of silicone on the deck below, that had splashed off and bonded. I had to use a putty knife to get it off. It bonds nicely. It is tough. Mexican roofers know about it, or ought to. I would make inquiries of any roofing contractor about GACO, and if they didn’t know about it I would want to know why. They might not like the expense. It comes in several colors including a dark green.

  42. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    OK I will write something tomorrow maybe. I tried in 2009 to stop the surge and failed miserably. Obama’s ego was entrapped by the WP cabal that went after him and HC, whom I thought a friend, was really one of the worst hawks,but I will try again. pl

  43. turcopolier says:

    I suppose you are shooting offhand (standing) I was talking about bench shooting. What kind of gun? As you know I have not hunted in forty years. I can’t stand the thought of killing something, anything unnecessarily. I was telling your cousin, my wife, today that for some reason I thought of my old friend, General Jack Galvin, now long dead. He was in the town of Song Be in Phuoc Long Province the year after I was there. He was province senior advisor or some such thing as a LTC. At dinner in NY City he told me how quiet it was in Phuoc Long the year after I was there. We both knew why. In my year there we wiped out three infantry battalions of VC. 1200 enemy soldiers maybe? Mostly NVA fillers by then. Foemen worthy of our steel. They outnumbered us badly and kept attacking and attacking.I have no taste for unnecessary killing. Necessary killing is bad enough. pl

  44. Chris Chuba says:

    (Coma alert: if you don’t care about driveway surfacing don’t read)
    Do you have a recommendation for driveway cracks that are too large for standard driveway sealer? BTW I always use top of the line driveway sealer, the one with the maximum life span that I can find. These are 1/4″ – 1/2″ cracks that are quite long. I haven’t tried asphalt yet, I thought that would be overkill and a lot of work. I was hoping that there was some miracle rubber fill material or something. Could I cheat and use one of the roofing products you mentioned and then apply driveway sealer over the whole thing?

  45. Chris Chuba,
    There are two solutions available in any of the big box stores. One comes in a pail and looks like tar infused sand. You apply it with a trowel to large cracks, holes and low spots. The other is a thickened version of the standard driveway topper that comes in a half gallon squeeze bottle. It’s good for cracks and may take two applications. Between the two, you can fix damned near any condition driveway. Both these products should be sold next to the standard five gallon sealer containers. I’ve used both products with great success.

  46. different clue says:

    If ISIS is not/ are not sophisticated enough to make or understand these fine distinctions between who did or did not grant a truce . . . or who was or was not asked; then ISIS will simply think they agreed to surrender a position and walk away without fighting and after cleaning up the area and then got hunted down and killed anyway. If they see it that way, then they won’t accept any more local surrender-and-leave offers and will instead fight to the death and leave behind as many booby traps and homemade-bombs as they can.

  47. EasyARB says:

    I am late to this (very late), but I had a question for Tyler. During the election, Tyler (in both posts and comments) laid out his beliefs/the nature of the Alt-Right ideology. One of the things I didn’t understand was the reference to a closer connection with Eastern European ideas/peoples. What does that mean exactly? How do they differ from Central or Western Europeans excepting for geography? Any writings to look at are appreciated.
    Being a child of the late cold war, I had a surprising shock seeing that idea put forward. Then again, the late cold war was probably the last time I’d given them thought for some 3 decades. Thanks

  48. BraveNewWorld says:

    The reasons Trump will be weakened is that he has his people going around talking a lot of smack to the various players in the Middle East including Israel. When Netanyahu laughs in his face every one will understand just how impotent Trump is on the international stage. Trump could threaten this or that but any real threat he could make would require congress and they won’t do any thing to back Trump up against Israel. So Trump will have made a bunch of threats and nothing will have come from it. Does that make his stronger or weaker?
    As for Trump putting a wedge between US and Israeli Jews that happened long before Trump ever dreamed of politics. Israeli Jews don’t view American Jews as real Jews. They are just disposable Goyum like the rest of us. When congress members pledge elegance to Israel they aren’t doing it for American Jews they are doing it in spite of American Jews.

  49. BraveNewWorld says:

    From a story on the CBC about Canada’s failure to properly designate terrorist groups in Syria. The most interesting part of this story is the CBC finally coming around to the idea there might be terrorists in Syria.

  50. asx says:

    Col. et al,
    Have you all chewed on the OBOR launch by the Chinese and its implications for our force structure? Does it accelerate the Asian pivot? It is not hard to envision a maritime situation where China fields twice the number of CBGs as us in couple of decades.
    Or Is the Borg quietly giving up on manifest destiny in exchange for some beef sales, copyrights for Ivankas handbags and more consulting fees for Kissinger?
    Dysfunction in D.C could not have come at a more inopportune moment.

  51. BabelFish says:

    Tyler, agree on the logistic guy apartment scene. Got a little upset about the military being bad guys but the Bosch charecter was Special Forces during Desert Storm (if I have that right) and it is a touchstone of his integrity.

  52. BabelFish says:

    Pat, I picked up a Remington 770, chambered in Win 270, at about 25% of list. Not as well made as the 700 but the SOB can drive nails at 100 yards. Given that I am not a good shot, I am pretty happy with that.

  53. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater advises Chris Chuba,
    I have ignored my driveway for thirty-three years, but hey!, I think I see what you mean.
    My advice would be. Go to Home Depot and get rubberized sealant rope. You can remember it by the fact that it is not Chick-Filet or Chapstick but more like CRACK-STIX. Next clean the driveway crack with a wire brush and remove all loose particles. Then use a hose with a power nozzle on it to flush the crack. Then dry it with a leaf blower. Then go into house and remove the Windex from the medicine cabinet. Clean a little something with the Windex to ease the pain of throwing away the rest of the magical blue elixir. Cleanse the plastic Windex container. Remember to take outside. Using a small funnel, fill the Windex container with gasoline. Remember to use the gas can that doesn’t have the premixed fuel for the yellow Poulan chain saw. (While doing this, remember to ache for the Stihl. That means one day you will get one.) Spray the gasoline into the dry, cleaned driveway crack. Press in the CRACK-STIX using a screw-driver. Do not smoke as you do this. It will have a bead of either one-half or one-forth inch. I don’t know about putting in two or three layers. It would be interesting to see. I’ve gotten away with a lot of shit like that over the years. Remember, you can even pull CRACK-STIX out like taffy. Put your propane torch away, as it takes too much time and by now it’s too late, anyway. Summon from the house any of your menage you want to mess with. Wife, girl-friend, small child, dog. Make an incantation, wave one hand distractingly, use other hand to toss lighted match into the end of the packed Crack-Stix, and step back. Kaboom! This should impress everyone. Leave the melted rubberized sealant rope as is and do not use putty knife to smoothe. It will resemble something geological like basalt. You can point this phenomenon out to family and friends from time to time coming and going. With irritating patriarchal satisfaction.
    I don’t know how gasoline and silicone mix. Or if GACO comes in tubes, which I doubt. And it is expensive. Crack-Stix is $4.95 a tube.
    I would be curious to know how it goes.

  54. BabelFish says:

    Pat, it is the 770 Remington, a poor man’s 700. Shooting from a blind most of the time. I elected the Win 270 chambering for the flat ballistic profile.

  55. Tyler says:

    That’s a pretty conservative estimate. I’ve seen 200-300m thrown out there as reasonable ranges, but not looking for that kind of ranging Hahah.

  56. Tyler says:

    I’ve got a Tikka T3Lite with a Vortex Crossfire scope in .270. Tikka is the scaled down version of Sako – same barrel, but some of the trigger mechanisms are different. Beautiful rifle.

  57. Heros says:

    For the coming times I would take an old Engandiner house from the 17th Century:
    These intricately decorated old houses have 3 foot thick stone walls with massive window shutters covering windows that double as shooting ports, and often massive steal clad front doors. Of course there are pantries, root cellars, and attics for smoking meat. They were built that way because this is the route that the Spanish Hapsburgs used to communicate with the Austrian Hapsbugs, landing in Genoa and proceeding through the Valtellina over the Bernina pass through Engadine and into Austria. Roving brigands and foraging armies during the 30 years war forced the industrious Germans to build massive houses like this across southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Each one is a small fortress.

  58. b says:

    Good luck explaining to ISIS takfiris the legal fine print of who can make what kind of deal to avoid unnecessary casualties in the field.
    No ISIS fighter will care about it. They made a deal with the U.S. proxy force on the ground, the U.S. broke it. The proxy force will feel the consequences.

  59. MRW says:

    You live in Arizona don’t you? If so, keep your eye on the door (and window) seals. They degrade quickly–faster than moister climates–and you can lose both a lot of air conditioning and a lot of heat depending on the season. Also once a decade the sand storms come in from China on the Jet Stream, and whip through the tiniest cracks. Oil your garage mechanisms twice a year…good job for the days the clocks change time, altho’ I don’t think Arizona honors that, does it?

  60. MRW says:

    Yeech. Painful.

  61. turcopolier says:

    Yes. Betrayal is betrayal, even to creatures such as these and as someone observed, there were women and children with them. pl

  62. MRW says:

    Well, the heat is coming this week in the east. I watch Jos Bastardi’s free Daily Update every day. (They are very short, but highly informative.) Have done so for three years, and he has rarely–I mean, rarely–been wrong. It’s flipping this week: cold and rain/snow in the west and heat in the east. 90 degrees in DC he says.

  63. Eric Newhill says:

    The old eyes giving out is a sad thing to a marksman. I had an M1 Garand, match grade, issue iron sights, with which I won a couple of tournaments. Pretty much a clover leaf in the ten ring at 200 yards and all shots within an area the size of the palm of the hand at 300 yards. Sold that rifle and a few others when I fell on hard times many years ago. Should have found another way to cover the bills.
    Now I have to wear prescription glasses and it is tough to focus on both the front site post and the target at 200 yards with iron sights on my mini 14. A Remington model 700 in .308 with a scope though, and I’m back to driving tacks. Like you, I never preferred a scope.
    I just shoot for fun. I haven’t hunted in many years. It would be so easy. I could literally lie in bed with the window open and bag deer all day long as they cross my farm daily right in front of it. 100 yards away or closer. They have learned they are safe here during hunting season. There was a big buck that used to show on or about opening day for several years in a row. This morning there were two big geese on the garage roof. But I like the wild too much and feel too close to them after seeing them every day to want to do them harm.

  64. turcopolier says:

    Mine is an even cheaper version of the Remington classics. It is called a Remington Sportster. .270 Winchester is very fast and very flat. Eric Newhill mentioned that he can’t stand to shoot them any longer. I understand that. When I was a kid at ROTC summer camp at Ft. Bragg a white tail buck ran across a known distance range on which my serial was firing the M-1 Garand, The range fell silent as the deer crossed before us. When it was gone, the range officer said through his megaphone – “Whenever you are ready, gentlemen.” pl

  65. BabelFish says:

    Tyler, yah, my bad. I meant that there wasn’t any hunting ground where more than 100 yards of open ground would be available. Mostly dual use logging land, where the longest shot would be down an old access road, usually full of young alders. I would agree on the ranges you quoted.

  66. LeaNder says:

    Chris, I had a comparative inner response to Tidewater’s recommendation. Maybe based on what Pat wrote: “The roof leaks in a place I just had repaired.” Of course I have no idea what Pat referred to with “just”, but there could be a solid claim for a recompensation or doing it more solidly now against whomever involved? 😉

  67. turcopolier says:

    You win. Leander – The roof was fixed two weeks ago. The roofers are coming back at no charge to us. pl

  68. Eric Newhill says:

    I saw this the other day and thought about you and your rabbit hunting adventures. Maybe for next season?

  69. confusedponderer says:

    This morning I had some time and had a look at the St. Kunibert church, or basilika, in Cologne’s northern old town. I saw a funny thing – a solar clock built of stone and steel, in the side of one of the entry building.
    The solar clock was dated to 1496. Fortunately it has survived WW-II, and ‘it still works’.
    I took two photos of that, one around noon – with sunlight and the time indicator visible. When I have enough pics of such things I’ll post something on that.,_Cologne

  70. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    The great Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, “went to work” each day. He sat down at his work desk every morning at the same time, broke for lunch, then returned to his desk for the afternoon. Sometimes ideas relevant to his intended project came, sometimes not. At other times, he re-worked a previous composition, or novel notions unrelated to his intended project emerged suitable for future use. This worked for him, no telling if something similar would work for you.

  71. LeaNder says:

    I wished i could have followed the experienced gun talk, but you lost me there. 😉

  72. Fred says:

    “As for Trump putting a wedge between US and Israeli Jews ..”
    Those are your words not mine.

  73. r whitman says:

    How many illegal immigrants were employed in building your new home??

  74. Tyler says:

    I didn’t mind that. I thought that storyline was neat if a ridiculous with how cut throat everything got. Just it was obvious they hired someone who got all of their military knowledge from Tom Clancy novels to advise them,

  75. Tyler says:

    Yeah I’m seeing ranges of 400yds for Coues white tail. Desert hunting tho.

  76. Tyler says:

    I have no clue, but you are still a sad little worm.

  77. Tyler says:

    Because eastern euros lived under the communist yoke and can easily recognize the dressed up Marxism coming from Brussels.

  78. Tyler says:

    So many rabbits up here.

  79. MRW says:

    Taleb’s book Antifragile is worth the time.

  80. Thomas says:

    “So, even if the US had agreed to the truce, that would not have stopped the Russian or Syrian Air Forces from carrying out attacks.”
    The Russians and Syrians would not need to be part of the truce to allow its fulfillment, because, unlike the Imperial Imbeciles for Creative Reality, they understand that in Arabian culture the most hideous thing to do is break the parameters of a truce. Which is why I believe who ever order it knew this and did it on purpose. Another Neo-Con mole abusing authority.

  81. Gene O. says:

    Major cholera outbreak in the Yemen.

  82. lally says:

    As a fellow desert rat dwelling in the lands of searing sun, I would hazard a guess that any suspicious cadre of illegals in the building trades would be found in the roofing aspect(s) of home construction, renovation and/or repair. The poor bastards.

  83. Valissa says:

    “Don’t try this at home… I am a professional Russian”
    ROFLMAO… that guy is hilarious!

  84. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    I’ve just finished reading **The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story Of Espionage, Adventure, And Betrayal,** By Howard Blum. It’s a biography of Elizabeth (Betty) Thorpe Pack, the American wife of a minor British diplomat, Arthur Pack. Although born in Minneapolis (the dust jacket breathily refers to her as “the Mata Hari of Minnesota”), she grew up around the USA and the world as her family followed her father, a career officer in the USMC, from post to post.
    She was brought to the attention of MI-6 as a potential asset while her husband was posted to Spain in the mid 1930s, during the tumult leading up to that country’s civil war. What piqued the agency’s interest was the aplomb and daring with which she pulled off several clandestine affairs, as well as the separate rescues of lovers and from the clutches of Republican incarceration, and her husband and his fellow diplomats from being held incommunicado in a hotel San Sebastian. From then on she was recognized by MI-6 as a “symbolized agent.”
    It was because of Betty that Arthur was posted to Poland in late 1937, where she took up with Count Michal Lubienski, a senior diplomat at the Polish Foreign Ministry, while her husband was convalescing back in England from a collapse believed to have been caused by collateral damage from having been severely gassed during The Great War. It was then, after she began obtaining valuable information from pillow talk and documents Lubienski brought home to his apartment, that she formally became a British intelligence asset. And it was through her relationship with the count that, less than two months before World War II began, a meeting was brokered between the Polish and British cryptography teams that provided the latter with information that was critical to the success of its Enigma project. The Poles had obtained manuals for the German machine from which they built a copy.
    After a restless interregnum out of the action back in Chile, where Arthur had been posted immediately after their marriage, he was transferred to Washington after the fall of France in order to position Betty to take advantage of her family’s social connections to penetrate the Vichy French embassy. (Her maternal grandfather was a successful Minnesota industrialist and her mother devoted her life to leveraging the resultant wealth into the social prominence.) Once again Arthur was totally oblivious to the real reason for his posting. “Cynthia” was assigned the formidable mission of obtaining the French naval codes, which were also used by the Vichy diplomatic service, in advance of Operation Torch in North Africa. On the last of three harrowing tries she succeeded, and along the way she succeeded in turning the senior French diplomat she had seduced, Charles Brousse.
    Shortly after the beginning of the Americans’ North African campaign, during which the allies’ access to the French codes she spearheaded wss credited with saving thousands of lives, the Vichy regime severed diplomatic relations with the United States and their DC legation was packed off to Hershey, Pennsylvania, where they were interned until agreement was reached for the repatriation of the American diplomatic mission in France. Betty went with them and was in the process of building a plausible legend prior to being inserted into France with her turned lover. Before the agreement with Vichy was reached, however, her cover was totally blown in an amusingly French way and her clandestine career was over, much to her disappointment.
    Blum draws heavily on the notes made by her first biographer, Harford Montgomery Hyde, shortly before her death from cancer in the early 1960s. However he was not allowed to include much of this content in the book that was published soon after these interviews. Fortunately many of the restrictions had been lifted in the subsequent half century, enabling Blum to structure the book around those conversations.
    As one can well imagine Betty was quite a psychological piece of work. But when she was in harness on an op, no one could be more in the groove. In his biography of William Stephenson, aka “Intrepid,” the head of British Security Control (i.e. the MI-6 outpost in North America), Hyde quotes his subject as telling him that Betty was “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.”

  85. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    A 21 minute under cover video taken in Idlib, Syria. No sound but commentary in English subtitles. The link was in a Jenan Moussa Tweet. Her comment: “Al Qaeda very much in control.”

  86. SAC Brat says:

    “The videos feature Kyle Myers, an American born in Lavonia, Georgia, USA, playing the role of Dmitri Potapoff, a heavily accented Russian from Moscow.”
    As someone from Alabama now living in Georgia I have kept an eye on local Russians ever since Senator John McCain reported that there are columns of Russian tanks in Georgia.
    No word yet if Myers was involved in influencing local Georgia voters in the last presidential elections but suspect he is likely guilty until exonerated.

  87. YT says:

    Col. TTG,
    Sir, just for laughs.
    I don’t know about your experiences in the forces.
    But Jane here making strong argument.

  88. SAC Brat says:

    There are several products to help us older folks shoot iron sights in competition. Creedmore has some products but the Euro shops like MEC, Gehmann, Anschutz etc have stuff too to get the best sight picture.
    While I compete in Precision Pistol competition (we have our own points adding eyeware) I like to look over the fence at the Service Rifle shooters to see what the have and what they are doing with it. I also am fascinated by the 1000 yard iron sight competitions using Service Rifles like M-16/AR-15, M1A and M1. A few years ago two Army team shooters had clean 1000 yards targets in competition but the iron sight shooter had 1 more X than the scoped rifle shooter.
    I always get a giggle at watching local shooters shooting rifles at 25 yards off a bench while thinking of what the Service Rifle and High Power rifle shooters do at 200 yards Slow Fire. Participation ribbons for everyone.

  89. anonymous says:

    i had a lee enfield .303 with a weaver scope and rubber guard over the steel butt..shot a matchbox at 100 m.used to hunt impala and warthog with it .best rifle i owned.that and my .22 bruno my father gave me for my 13th birthday.

  90. turcopolier says:

    Post things once. Comments are moderated. pl

  91. SAC Brat says:

    At the gun club I belong to a group of rifle shooters like to meet to see who can shoot the smallest groups. A retired good old boy tends to gather his lunch money from the group using an old Remington 788 ($200 rifle) with a Nightforce scope ($2000 optic). The 788 was a sleeper as it was known to have a fast lock time that aided accurate shooting.
    I always get a kick out of finding a firearm where all the manufacturing tolerances add up in favor of accuracy. It is very frustrating to test everything and end up with a dud.

  92. Annem says:

    The way I heard it, when al Nusra changed its name and assimilated other jihadi groups, the US DID designate HTS by virtue of the Nusra element within it. Then, recently, it was delisted. The reasons suggested by others include the expanded group has lots of US moles, that the CIA secretly provides it with assistance to fight ISIS AND the Assad regime, and to appease our Arab and Turkish “allies” who still back either Nusra secretly or the other jihadi groups that joined HTS. A final, even more ludicrous suggestion is that unlike ISIS, Nusra does not attack the West.
    Any idea of just what is going on and why? It seems to run counter to the US-Russian agreement on coordinating some aspects of the Syria fight. Twilight Zone!

  93. LeaNder says:

    Been to St. Maria in Capitol, cp? I love the surprise on the way to the choir space. Musicians, I once discovered, may well love it for its acoustics.
    It doesn’t quite show here, as equivalence of the spatial experience:

  94. confusedponderer says:

    I read something amusing in the newspaper during breakfast this morning.
    Apparently whitehouse press secretary Spicer saw some media folks in the whitehouse garden and, assuming they would, again, ask inconvenient questions about Comey. He thus … cunningly … escaped from the threat and their persistent questions … by hiding in a hedge.
    Brilliant move, especially when coming from a press secretary … whose job it is to answer reporters questions.
    “Sean Spicer hid behind bushes near the White House as reporters clamoured to question him over James Comey’s sacking, it has been reported.
    The White House press secretary was much in demand on Tuesday night and, after giving a TV interview on an outside set, retreated to the safety of a nearby hedge, according to the Washington Post.
    After several minutes conferring with aides Mr Spicer emerged ready to provide answers, as long as they were not filmed, the Post said.”
    So, anwers he gave only when not filmed when giving them? Hilarious.
    It was so funny I initially didn’t believe it, but … alas … apparently it’s a case of reality as absurdity.

  95. anonymous says:

    When I post with my android tablet the comment box never works properly .with windows it apologies

  96. r whitman says:

    Your ignorance and bad manners are appreciated by all.

  97. r whitman says:

    Roofing and concrete work

  98. confusedponderer says:

    “St. Maria in Capitol”
    I know the church, and have been there, but never had my camera with me to take pictures. I will go there in ‘near time’.
    I’ll likely go with my prother, who is an excellent photograph, and a brilliant photo lab magician. Sadly, he now has a cataract (the one of the two that can be operated) and thus he now needs me to set the images sharp both in the lab as when taking them. He has now a hard time of doing that hinself.
    When I was 16 we both developed and printed on paper some 10+ films every weekend so a weekly newspaper could print them. That was exhausting, but also teaching. It was impressive to see what excellence my brother could get out of rotten negatives.
    For one I now know that reporters often are horrible photographers, and I learned how to fix the screw up shots in the lab. It was a good time. The time has come when I sometimes make better images than my brother does, because, well, I can better see. I have a habit of focusing on details that I like. He is still better at larger scale images.
    So, and anway: Good luck and good recovery to him.
    Well, getting distracted while I all that said – St. Kunibert has quite practical advantages for me:
    * It is on my way,
    * I like the church,
    * I like the excellent bells it has,
    * usually I have some time when I am there, and
    * I now have at least always a descent smartphone with me, so taking good pictures (and sharp, good high resolution pictures) is no problem,
    * and I always find details on St. Kunibert that I like a lot.

  99. Martin Oline says:

    It was reported this morning (Friday) that Swiss authorities have dropped the investigation of rape charges against Julian Assange. Britain still has charges of jumping bail against him. I would bet that they will find some way to charge him with the hundreds of thousands of pounds they have spent surveilling the Ecuadoran embassy. I would appreciate if the British contributors to this site could keep us posted on the news from there as to the reporting on this developing story.

  100. In disclosing currently classified info are President’s required to determine NEED TO KNOW?

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