Open Thread – 17 November 2017

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122 Responses to Open Thread – 17 November 2017

  1. BabelFish says:

    Just got back from deer hunting in the Eustis, Maine area. First day was 11 Fahrenheit, with a steady 15 knot wind and frequent gusts to 30. I am absolutely getting to old for that merde. 5 layers of high tech clothing made me feel like an astronaut with a rifle.
    Lots of sign, for the first time in 15 years, as the devastated herd comes back. Could have shot many doe or coyotes. The bucks were elusive, some of our party got shots off but no joy.
    Maine remains a beautiful place and my heart’s home. Can’t wait for next year!

  2. The Beaver says:

    Saad Hariri:
    إقامتي في المملكة هي من أجل إجراء مشاورات حول مستقبل الوضع في لبنان وعلاقاته بمحيطه العربي. وكل ما يشاع خلاف ذلك من قصص حول إقامتي ومغادرتي او يتناول وضع عائلتي لا يعدو كونه مجرد شائعات.
    From what I got from machine translation and Twitter:
    my stay in Saudi was for consultation on the future of Lebanon and its relation with Arab neighbors.
    He has three citizenships: Lebanese/Saudi and French .
    His wife is Syrian
    Will be heading to France today. Don’t know if MBS will let his family leaves.

  3. Fitzhugh says:

    Dear Colonel,
    Since the publication of your late friend’s book, Come Retribution, has any new information come to light regarding the Confederate Secret Service(s)? I wonder if there are any records buried in an archive somewhere in London or Paris.
    Yours sincerely,
    Fitzhugh

  4. turcopolier says:

    Fitzhugh
    I would think that there probabaly are, especially in London. pl

  5. Walrus says:

    president Trump has removed the ban on importing hunters Elephant trophies. Allegedly the money made from killing Elephants will be spent on conservation. Fat chance.

  6. turcopolier says:

    Babelfish
    How had the herd become decimated? pl

  7. BabelFish says:

    Pat, the opinion from the biologists is a) epically bad winters with very deep snow cover and bitter cold, b) the return of the coyote as an effective predator and c) some intense logging that eliminated feed and cover areas for a chunk of time. Of course, it is multi-use land and the logging is expected. One winter die off was severe enough that the game folks pulled hundreds of deer carcasses out of the woods. There is no reported sign of wasting disease and the deer we saw looked very healthy.

  8. different clue says:

    All or Any,
    A little over a week ago while walking home for work, I heard and then saw a bunch of snow geese flying along over head. Is “seeing snow geese” any sign or indication of the winter to come?
    Also, I saw a couple of woolly bears and they were only the size of tent caterpillars. I have never before seen woolly bears that tiny. I think it means the dry summer around here resulted in little enough caterpillar-food plant growth that “tiny” was the biggest they could get this year. It makes me wonder if some animals will find their winter food shortaged enough that they invade peoples’ yards or even houses more than normal.

  9. Laura says:

    Fat chance, indeed. I feel like I’m living through a time when bad decisions are enshrined as gold.
    Greed is Good…for some.

  10. SRW says:

    Coyote getting a deer, well maybe a fawn. Here on the great plains about the only natural predator for a grown deer is a mountain lion. A neighbor took a picture of one walking past a brush pile back of my house this spring. I live in a subdivision near a waterway to the Missouri river, not country but not city either. We have had several instances of coyotes taking small dogs or pups in the city, one even while the owner was watching her pup take a leak in the backyard. I hear them most every night but hardly ever see one. They especially like to howl after taps from the local air base at 22:00 hrs. As for the mountain lions, they come out of Colorado down the Platte river or out of the Black Hills into waterways that have an abundance of deer. One hardly ever sees a mountain lion or evidence of their presence but they are around as the game folks can attest to. I’m all for them taking deer as during rut season there are alway lots of collisions with deer. Over the past ten years I’ve read of at least three motorcyclist fatalities hitting them. Another reason I’ve had to reconsider getting another motorcycle.

  11. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    The moose population in NE Minnesota has been in decline for at least a decade for reasons that had stumped the biologists and authorities until recently. Last week the results of a study were published that attributed root cause of the decline to a parasite which deer carry but are not affected by. The moose, however, are made ill by it and either killed by it or weakened sufficiently to make them more vulnerable to the substantial to predation by indigenous wolf population. Deer are not native to the area. They began moving in only when significant European settlement began in the area early in the 19th century.
    http://queticosuperior.org/blog/scientists-northern-minnesotas-rising-deer-population-blame-dwindling-moose-numbers

  12. Norbert M Salamon says:

    All:
    It appears that King Salman likes chit chat with Chinese
    President:
    http://www.atimes.com/article/china-debunks-theory-saudi-arabia-wants-regional-war/
    Interesting

  13. BabelFish,
    My youngest brother, living in Center Sandwich, NH, says the ticks up in that area are out of control and are taking a real toll on the moose population. There have been some odd winters lately. Last year was unusually mild. The year before was a killer. A late extended freeze hit here in Virginia that year and killed all my holly berry blossoms leaving nothing for the robin flocks the following winter. The up side was that it also killed off the bagworms in my spruce trees. I’ve been fighting them for years and this year nothing. It also killed off the Washington Hawthorne and golden rain tree blossoms This year we have a bumper crop of holly berries which are turning red now with the arrival of cold weather. The robins will be pleased. My 88 year old father in Fryeburg, Maine was tuning up the snowblower this week. He doesn’t hunt anymore, but he does still fish.

  14. John_Frank says:

    The decision was made under the auspices of the Secretary of the Interior, in accordance with existing guidelines.
    Hunting Can Contribute to Biodiversity Conservation
    https://www.fws.gov/international/Permits/by-activity/sport-hunted-trophies.html
    Import of Hunted Elephants
    https://www.fws.gov/international/Permits/by-activity/sport-hunted-trophies-elephants.html

  15. Fred says:

    BabelFish,
    Heading out for the Suncoast Kingfish Classic tommorrow. The weather looks perfect. Wish us luck.

  16. turcopolier says:

    All
    My summer birds are all gone now and I am in a survival support mode for the overwinter hardasses, the squirrels and chipmunks. I have found that I can buy seed, suet and in shell peanuts on line at good prices. pl

  17. Virginia Slim says:

    Slow trolling with live bait? That’s fine sport right there. Good luck!

  18. Haralambos says:

    This is what a Google search brought up for Maine this year with some history: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/10/28/maine-hoping-hunters-harvest-at-least-7000-does-this-fall-to-cull-deer-herd/

  19. John_Frank says:

    Also, at today’s White House press briefing, in response to a question on the topic, Press Secretary Sanders pointed out:

    Steven.
    Q There’s been some extraordinary pushback on the administration’s decisions with respect to elephant trophies and hunting of lions and elephants in Africa. Can you shed some light on the decisions the administration has made? And will you make that pushback?
    MS. SANDERS: Yeah, this is actually due to a review that started back in 2014, under the previous administration, done by career officials at the Fish and Wildlife Service. This review established that both Zambia and Zimbabwe had met new standards, strict international conservation standards that allowed Americans to resume hunting in those countries.
    A ban on importing elephant ivory from all country remains in place. But again, all of this was based on a study that was conducted — that started back to the previous administration and done by career officials.

    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, 11/17/2017, #33
    http://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-press-briefing-by-press-secretary-sarah-sander-1820558155

  20. Mark Logan says:

    Walrus,
    Elephants kill about two or three people a week. Cull hunting is a big revenue generator in the project to save some of them for at least the time being. They would be extinct if Westerners had to share their own back yards with them, that much I am sure of. The money IS spent on conservation. This in no way approves of the tone deafness involved in the changing of a rule simply to help one’s own sons enjoy their experience, there aren’t many hunters like that for whom not being able to bring back a trophy is a deal breaker.
    Unrelated, Some dog-tired Samoans revive themselves with a song. A moment of Zen, I guess, for a fellow downunder-er of theirs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFe97vHRvIE
    Oh to be young again…

  21. BabelFish says:

    TTG, winter ticks are playing hob with the Maine moose population as well. The estimate is 70% of the calves are dying from them. We used to see moose often when grouse hunting. Not anymore.
    This is supposed to be a ferocious winter in New England but October was exceptionally warm. Fingers crossed your dad has minimal use for that blower. We did have 3 inches of snow last week and Flagstaff Lake and the Chain of Ponds were skimmed with ice.

  22. BabelFish says:

    SRW, I agree on fawns being their primary prey. Or the injured or infirm. In places we’ve lived like eastern PA, their numbers are controlled only by trucks and cars colliding with them. The numbers of the hits is staggering.
    I had a friend who lived near Cooperstown, NY and called the state biology folks to tell them he had Mountain lions hunting deer on his property. They assured him there were none in the area yet. He sent them a picture of a beautiful specimen sitting on his back porch, probably waiting for them to let their dog out for the evening.

  23. dilbert dogbert says:

    Back when we lived in walking distance of downtown Palo Alto a young mountain lion was shot near a school that the children went to. The creek across the street from our house was the pathway for it to come down from the hills to the west.
    Now we live in deer, coyote, bear, coon and mountain lion country. There are many stories on the local internet about folks having their animals killed by lions.

  24. eakens says:

    Well if China wants to break the petrodollar, the fastest way to do it is via KSA.

  25. Given the concern over “Russian meddling” and “influence” in the US, in browsing my computer security news, I find this:
    Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets
    Dozens of terabytes exposed, your tax dollars at work
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/17/us_military_spying_archive_exposed/
    Apparently the US military is expending enormous effort to (allegedly) “a social media monitoring and influencing campaign designed to target overseas youths and steer them away from terrorism.” Which entails capturing terabytes worth of social media posts that are then analyzed by special software that builds up “social networks”.
    How this translates to anything that effectively “steers overseas youth away from terrorism” is unclear to me.
    As an “influence operation” (whether or not it works) is pretty clear to me.

  26. John_Frank says:

    Even though the decision is justifiable, about an hour ago, Mr. Trump posted:
    Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/931685146415255552

  27. turcopolier says:

    richardstevenhack et al
    I have said many times that the the whole IO thing is a bad path that the US armed forces went down after VN. pl

  28. Steve G says:

    In the inner city of Mpls we have the usual critters
    squirrels chipmunks, I named ours Alvin, and
    assorted winter characters including foxes and
    the occasional coyote plus a few circling hawks
    and bald eagles. Within the last few years we now
    have groups of wild turkeys parading through the
    neighbor hoods foraging for whatever they can
    scrounge. Have personally feed them bread scraps
    multiple times as they remember where the chow
    halls are. Last week counted 16 sauntering through
    the park across the street. With no predators around
    and dog lease laws they have free run to include
    a busy intersection with shops eateries etc. They
    walk down the sidewalks like they own the place
    paying little or no attention to humans. Must say
    the are the most fearless wild urban animal I’ve
    ever seen.

  29. Fellow Traveler says:

    A young mountain lion was captured in Diamond Heights, San Francisco last week.

  30. mikee says:

    Richard: It seems about as effective as junk mail in your mail box. It’s dumped in the shit can.

  31. mikee says:

    The black walnut tree in the backyard had the largest yield of nuts in its 40+ year existence, the squirrels should not lack for food here.

  32. dsrcwt says:

    Yesterday I stalked up on a little Columbia Black-tail buck and surprised him in his bed. I had a 10 yard shot on him, but let him go with a warning. I was so pleased with my stalk that it seemed a shame to spoil it by having to clean and butcher him. Beside he was the only witness who can testify to my stealth.

  33. confusedponderer says:

    When I was an audacious teenager I liked to go by bike to a nearby large forrest.
    It was a magnificent place. A large and very old forrest with old and splendid beeches. The floor was filled with the golden dropped leaves. To walk in that forrest was like walking a colourful cathedral, with the trees being the columns and the braches being the arch.
    Sadly, that forrest was cut down a few years later to make place for a coal mine – so the grand, ancient splendor was replaced by an abysmal 450m deep dirt pit. A sacrilege IMO. These primitive barbarians eventually even blowed up some hundred years old trees to ‘stay in time’. May they burn in hell.
    Anyway, one day I went there to enjoy myself in that beautiful forrest and I met a grand tusker, who found interest in me and followed me coming closer and closer, grunting.
    The beast scared me, as it was something like 300kg of dangerousness in an ill moot and so I preferred to find myself a safer place than on the ground. Taking my bike was not a solution since the beast likely was faster than I. Luckily I found a tree where I could hide on.
    So I did climb on it, and the tusker entertained himself with watching me from the ground, grunting some more. It took him two hours to get bored of this and leave. His leave was a relief. I waited a little after that and then ran away as fast as I could, and then used my bike.

  34. jld says:

    I find it VERY weird that Russia Today has a nearly total blackout on the “Mugabe Exit Saga” while this is front page on the BBC.
    There has been rumors of China involvement, could this explain the shyness of Russian medias?

  35. Anna says:

    Meanwhile, Mrs. Haley has given a lesson in international law to Russkies and Syrians: https://www.rt.com/usa/410261-us-fight-justice-without-un/
    “The US does not consider itself constrained by the United Nations Security Council and might seek “justice” in Syria on its own terms, the US representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, has said.”
    It seems that the Lobby has found a creative solution to prolong the Syrian war.

  36. Anna says:

    It is surprising that the Weinstein story did not bring focus on Epstein and Dershowitz. Compare the treatment of these sexual predators and abusers of the underage “comforting staff” of Lolita Express and Lolita Island with the treatment of Assange. Both Epstein and Dershowitz should have been served in a regular prison for a dozen of years. Mr. Clinton, as a repeated offender, should have been given a harsher sentence: http://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971

  37. J says:

    One has to wonder just what is Kelly Barracks AFRICOM’s take on China’s military investments in Africa? Is that why AFRICOM was created? Hmmm….. China broke ground a while back in their naval base in Djibouti.
    Here’s a Jane’s article about the Chinese Marine dispatch to Djibouti for security:
    http://www.janes.com/article/72247/china-sends-first-troop-contingent-to-djibouti-base
    Jane’s Defense Weekly is saying that Chinese manufactured armor is involved in the ‘Zimbabwe Coup’ as they put it.
    jld, Russian TV’s VESTI has included a take on the goings on in Zimbabwe and Mugabe in their today’s broadcast. They talked about and showed both Russian and Chinese working within the country, along with a brief history with Mugabe’s rise to power.

  38. J says:

    Zimbabwe’s military chief said that last week’s Chinese visit was just a normal visit.
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1DF0UB

  39. J says:

    According to RIA Novosti, the spouse and likely successor to Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe fled the country.

  40. Morongobill says:

    By any chance was that a javelina?
    If you have a second, checkout this video for a couple of seconds.The javelina seemed grateful for the food left out.Just something to get folks minds off of geopolitics for a minute.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nfenysl3kQ

  41. jpb says:

    I noticed the heavy black walnut production this fall and spent a few days picking up nuts in a five gallon bucket and planting the walnuts in openings in the wood lot. The walnut trees grown from nuts I planted in 1999-2000 produced nuts for the first time this fall. They are 6 to 8 inches in diameter and 30 feet tall. It is a pleasure to start another generation of black walnuts in the timber project in Southern Iowa.
    I used to bow hunt whitetails, but I eventually tired of the hunt with the explosion of the whitetail population, as trophy hunters rented or bought hunting land and kept out the locals. The locals shoot does, which is necessary to control the population.
    The increased deer population brought lots of deer ticks, which are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (Borrelia burgdorferi), which causes lyme disease. I stay out of the woods now, except in the winter months.

  42. outthere says:

    Review of Stephen Kinzer’s new book about Teddy Roosevelt
    The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer
    quote
    Roosevelt, a sport killer of animals, was bloodthirsty. A Harvard friend wrote that “he wants to be killing something all the time.” Before the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was bored with peace. “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one,” he wrote. At first, he wanted to fight indigenous people in faraway lands because “the most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages.” Then he spoke of fighting the Germans, welcoming an attack for its educational value. “The burning of New York and a few other seacoast cities,” he wrote a friend, “would be a good object lesson in the need of an adequate system of coastal defenses.”
    endquote
    https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/americas-turn-toward-empire/

  43. Croesus says:

    Close-in suburban back yards 10 miles NW of Washington, DC are home to more deer than anyone wants. Not uncommon to see 7 – 10 deer grazing from one quarter-acre lot to the next, then take their afternoon siesta. Fox are not common but have made appearances.

    On another topic from another DC suburb: the Westminster Institute just posted this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfAInKhBTGk Michael Pregent on “After ISIS, the Future of Iraq in the Hands of Iran.
    This small outfit operates out of lower-level storefront in a nondescript shopping strip in McLean, VA. Participants are present or former foreign service officers; apparently pretty well connected to the neocon pantheon — James Woolsey, Josh Muravchik, Sebastian Gorka, Pete Hoekstra, Hudson Institute members have been guest speakers at Westminster. The storefront boasts a sizable collection of books and artifacts about Islam, fuel for the Institute’s generally phobia outlook on Islam.
    Westminster HATES Iran. Pregent’s talk focused on US efforts against the “Iran land bridge.”
    Numerous Israel firsters speak at Westminster, but it’s hard to know if Israel is a CAUSE — this is NOT an evangelically-oriented Christian zionist group; rather, there’s a vague connection to a Catholic parish in the area. As far as I can figure out, they haven’t gotten the memo that war in Iraq was a blunder from which US ought to extract itself; they can’t stand that US is not “winning.”

  44. kooshy says:

    Unfortunately this people(animals since thy still feel they are living in jungle), have destroyed this nation’ much respected international standing. Shame

  45. outthere says:

    James Petras analyzes Saudi Arabia under MBS. The whole piece is worth reading, here is the conclusion:
    quote
    Conclusion
    Saudi Arabia and Israel play the key roles in anchoring the ‘arc of reaction and terror’
    in the Middle East. Both foment wars, finance terrorism and spread ethno-religious
    fragmentation leading to millions of refugees.
    6
    Saudi Arabia’s ‘Crown Prince MBS’ competes with Israel’s Netanyahu in concocting
    the most outrageous warmongering slander against Iran, preparing the world for global
    conflagration.
    MBS is actively serving the Israelis by fomenting sectarian divisions in Lebanon to
    provide Israel with an excuse to attack Hezbollah and millions of Lebanese civilians. MBS
    claims that a single missile from Yemen that hit the Riyadh airport was a full declaration of war
    by Teheran . . . as if the Saudis’ starvation blockade and daily bombing of Yemeni cities would
    not warrant any counter-attack.
    The war fever in Riyadh is a cover for MBS’s political impotence and a ‘clever ploy’ to
    distract from the infantile game of rotating princes and clan intrigues.
    MBS, for all his modernizing clichés and carefully groomed public relations persona,
    circulated by the corrupt Western media, is still the aspiring head of a tribal army, dependent on
    a fragile alliance with unreliable allies: The Egyptian high command and troops despise the
    bloated Saudis; Bahrain’s ruler is propped up by Saudi mercenary forces; the Saudi masses are
    held in check by tribal warlords and their torturers; and the imported workforce and armies of
    foreign domestic servants are brutalized, raped and cheated. Hardly an inspiring leader of
    Saudi Arabia’s emergence from the Middle Ages.
    The Crown Prince is sitting on a powder keg threatening to shatter the political
    alignments in the Middle East and the global financial and oil markets. Saudi Arabia is a
    fragile regime with a long and scrawny reach. The current rulers imagine their borrowed power
    and palace intrigues can flourish on such rotten foundations and with a despised oligarchy.
    The first missile that MBS dares to direct at Teheran will mark the downfall of the
    House of Sand. The entire Middle East and global markets will plunge into a profound crisis.
    Oil prices will soar, stock markets will crash and Israel will go to war against Hezbollah.
    Donald Trump will send US forces to confront with the well-armed and highly patriotic
    Iranians on their soil. Iraq and Syria will confront the US regional puppets, the Kurds. China,
    Russia and India wait to sign on huge oil deals. The US fracking industry will celebrate as oil
    prices set new highs.
    Saudi Princes will flee to Europe, leaving hundreds of thousands of servants in the
    lurch. Perhaps they will have to prepare their own coffee! Trump will issue a ‘Tweet to Action
    to All Americans’ – Marines to the oil wells! Makes America Great Again on the tired backs of
    our GIs! AIPAC will secure a unanimous vote in the American Congress declaring that Saudi
    Arabia’s oil fields are really part of the Greater Israel.
    With historic high oil prices, Venezuela will recover, pay its debts, finance its social
    agenda, re-open its schools and clinics and re-elect a socialist president.
    A consortium of western investors will take over, after the Saudis have folded their tents
    and fled to Central London, and flood the oil markets. But that is a long-term scenario…or is
    it?
    endquote
    https://petras.lahaine.org/saudi-arabia-regional-and-global-linkages/

  46. JamesT says:

    Anna
    Russia has its oligarchs that are above the law and so does the US. The craziest thing about Epstein isn’t that this guy who prosecutors believe had sex with 35 minors only served a year in country jail.
    From the page you linked to:
    “The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein’s legal team negotiated with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida immunized all named and unnamed “potential co-conspirators” in Epstein’s child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and also any powerbrokers who may have molested them.”
    That gives blanket immunity to a lot of very powerful men.

  47. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    IIRC, CP is from Germany so the hypothesis that it was a javelina, an animal native to the USA southwest and Mexico, is unlikely to be correct.

  48. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Re:

    fast forward to 2017 and the finger pointing has begun and no one knows where this is going.

    Somewhere on the ‘net yesterday I saw a catchy phrase encapsulating this phenomenon: “Weaponized Sanctimony.

  49. outthere says:

    Hello Neighbor
    I lived on Alpine Road, right alongside the San Francisquito Creek, before the Foothill Freeway was built. Rode my bicycle to class, through the gold course, past the stable. It was quiet, peaceful, wonderful place/time. Never saw a mountain lion, but lots of wild critters.

  50. fanto says:

    PA,
    how did you find that forum?! It is very interesting and the links within it open another “can of worms” as far as the origins of species is concerned, especially the Scythians and their connections with Celts. The tombs of ´celtic princes´ (as the one in Hochdorf near Ludwigsburg) and the tomb of the ´Ice maiden´are quite similar.

  51. Anna says:

    Another British degenerate: “Downplaying Nazi crimes to pursue Russophobia – neocon revisionism hits Britain” https://www.rt.com/op-edge/408368-nazi-communists-crimes-neocons-west/
    “Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan claimed in a British Sunday newspaper column last weekend that while the Nazis had killed 17 million, communism had killed 100 million. … In November 2015, he wrote an article for a Conservative website entitled ‘Why we must back Turkey against Putin,’after Turkey had shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 flying over Syria and its pilot was killed by ‘rebels’ on the ground. In September of that year, he attacked the anti-war movement for not protesting against Russia’s (legal) intervention against terrorists in Syria.”
    This Daniel Hannan MEP: “We need more Jews” https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2015/07/daniel-hannan-mep-we-need-more-jews.html
    How come that the ziocons/neocons have found their bosom buddies among neo-Nazis, like Nuland-Kagan and McCain found their friends in the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi Paruby and Biletski?
    “The shocking truth is that Nazism is being rehabilitated at the very highest levels. In 2014, the Western elites supported an illegal ‘regime change’ operated in Ukraine in which neo-Nazis provided the cutting edge to anti-government protests. An EU and NATO member-state Latvia, Waffen SS veterans openly hold marches, and to the best of my knowledge, there’ve been no protests from ‘crusaders’ for democracy…”

  52. Mark Logan says:

    J,
    If I had to bet getting her to leave was the main goal of this “coup”. The military developed a vision impairment: They could not see taking orders from that person.
    It’s hard to imagine the Great Powers giving much of a rip about Zimbabwe. The business interests aren’t large. Stranger things have happened though.

  53. SRW says:

    The Trumpster was also a friend of Epstein’s and a frequent guest at his parties or so he has claimed in the past.

  54. different clue says:

    dogear,
    Let the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate point and point and point some more.

  55. Anna says:

    Still, the revelations are precious:
    “Dershowitz told the American Lawyer, he is loyal to his wife, who is always by his side: “I’ve been married to the same woman for 28 years. She goes with me everywhere…. But according to the flight logs, Dershowitz was close enough to Epstein to have accompanied him on a flight from Palm Beach to New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport as early as December 1997. On that flight, the pair was accompanied by a number of people, including one unidentified “female,” a “Hazel,” a “Claire,” and Maxwell. The logs also show Dershowitz on a flight with Epstein from Bedford, Mass., to Teterboro in October 1998, and a flight from Teterboro to Martha’s Vineyard in 1999. And a 2005 trip from Massachusetts to Montreal shows him traveling with Epstein, “Tatianna,” and others.
    One things the logs don’t show: Dershowitz’s wife traveling with him.” Liar. A dirty liar. And a pedophile.
    Moreover, Dershowitz “along with a dream team of attorneys that included Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, and Ken Starr, was successful in getting federal investigators not to charge Epstein with moving his victims across state lines and other associated crimes.” Here is the name of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida during Epstein’s criminal investigation: R. Alexander Acosta.

  56. Anna says:

    “Saudi Arabia and Israel play the key roles in anchoring the ‘arc of reaction and terror’ in the Middle East. Both foment wars, finance terrorism and spread ethno-religious fragmentation leading to millions of refugees.” – True.
    The pampered prince, MbS, is allowing Israelis to toy with himself. As a result of the toying, Israel and Israel-firsters could get their wish and bring up a war with Hezbollah. This stupidity would lead to a proper bloody lesson to the supremacist boil on the Middle East.
    American ziocons have become spoiled with their success in subjugating the US Congress (and Pentagon?) The ziocons, with their abnormally low moral quotient and opportunistic mode of operation, are not able to imagine the dignity and courage of those in the Middle East, who are ready to defend their patria and their millennia-old and rich culture.
    We live in interesting times when the US destiny depends on the valiant and principled US brass able to confront the Deep State’ moral and intellectual feebleness

  57. ISL says:

    Not blacked out. Just not highlighted. Type mugabe in the search on rt.com and anyone can find.
    https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/410265-zimbabwe-issue-morgan-tsvangirai/
    https://www.rt.com/news/410183-five-notorious-african-rulers/
    Given his age and the level of importance of Zimbabwe outside of Zimbabwe, not sure why it should be highlighted for a global audience.

  58. JamesT says:

    General in charge of US nukes says he can defy an ‘illegal’ strike order from Trump.
    “Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), said he would not blindly follow whatever order comes from US President Donald Trump, noting that the law of armed conflict that prohibits the use of disproportionate force and inflicting unnecessary suffering would be a higher authority when it comes to decision-making.”
    https://www.rt.com/usa/410307-general-trump-nuke-order/

  59. J says:

    Mark,
    Zimbabwe is sitting on $11B in precious minerals according to a mining expert at the University of Zimbabwe. I’d venture to say that (now this is IMO) the reason that DoD created MAJCOM AFRICOM was to get ahead of the curve regarding future conflicts in Africa that would be about control of the precious minerals, metals, and resources that Africa holds.
    The problem with Africa, (and Britain knows this all too well) if one isn’t really careful, Africa can quickly become quicksand that will gobble you up before you know what hit you.

  60. turcopolier says:

    James T Hyten
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Hyten Harvard? The ultimate staffie. Does not appear to have any combat experience, not even an aviator if I read his bio correctly. Strategic Command exists to deter. You don’t deter by saying at an international meeting that YOU would decide on operations, not the CinC. He should be removed from command. pl

  61. J says:

    Some see Trump falling victim to a Coup:
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/410176-trump-nuclear-military-coup-opponents/
    Russia and China take things like this very seriously and will plan their countermeasures accordingly, like how their response to a first strike against them by Coup parties. Is this a mirror of the 1934 Business Plot that was launched against FDR revisited?
    See also:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-17/pentagon-mistakenly-retweets-message-calling-trump-resign
    Bets are both Russia and China aren’t viewing it as a ‘mistake’, but Treason in the works against a sitting U. S. President. They will also take safety precautionary actions accordingly.

  62. J says:

    Colonel,
    If you notice, in addition to Hyten having NO combat experience, it appears he ALSO has NEVER ventured outside of the States in any of his assignments since his Officer Commission.
    Gunter AFB Ala.; LA AFB Calif; Huntsville Ala.; LA AFB Calif.; Pentagon; Pentagon; Maxwell AFB Ala.; Cheyenne Mountain Colo.; Offutt AFB Neb.; Univ. Illinois; Pentagon; Pentagon; Peterson AFB Colo.; Schriever AFB, Colo.; Schriever AFB, Colo.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; Pentagon; Pentagon; Pentagon; Pentagon; Peterson AFB, Colo.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; Offutt AFB Neb..

  63. confusedponderer says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    indeed, I live in germany and the boar was a normal domestic european wild boar, just a pretty, large, splendidly toothed male exemplar that was quite assertively telling me that I was in his forrest.
    http://1b.yt/eYitM
    Likely a tusk lady with a band of little tusks to protect would likely have been more assertive, and I’m happy I didn’t meet such one. After all, when my old and sadly late cat had her seven kittens she attacked a shepard dog that had wandered into our garden – and that lovely and fierce cat won.
    That written, I was not like my old cat. Except for hiding and running away, I could, of course, have tried to fight the tusk with my swiss pocket knife, and in that fight I would have had poor chances. Fleeing was not exactly heroical, but at least it was rather sensible.

  64. John Minnerath says:

    An unconscionable statement by Air Force General Hyten.
    He should not only be removed from his command but forced to resign his Commission.

  65. turcopolier says:

    John Minnerath
    Amen. The USAF occasionally creates hyper-nerd generals. I knew a two star in the Pentagon who used to dress up as the bunny rabbit at Easter and come to work that way. He eventually killed himself. He wasn’t an aviator either and was an MIT product. pl

  66. turcopolier says:

    J
    He could have gone to Canada or the UK at least. pl

  67. ked says:

    Col, Over the years you have (I think) pointed out that officers make an oath to uphold the Constitution. If a Pres is acting in violation of the Constitution and our laws, what are members of the armed forces to do? Is there a process provided under the UCMJ? In the event of launching an attack having a less than 30 min window from command to mass destruction, is this a case of technological capability (if not complexity) overwhelming policy, habits & behaviors of a bygone circumstance? Or is this another one of those, “if you don’t like it – change the laws or amend the Constitution” cases?

  68. turcopolier says:

    Paul Mckeigue
    What you are talking about is no different from refusal of any other order(s) on the basis of your judgment of its illegality. If you choose to do that and the coup against the president succeeds you are in good shape, if it does not … We have nor faced the situation in which you are called in the night and asked which side you are on. We have always been insulated from that affliction by the tradition of political neutrality of the armed forces. That tradition has been steadily eroded over the last fifty years but still exists except for Mattis who is now a political figure as Powell was before him. As for the
    khan shaykoon matter, the operational chain of command clearly and correctly reported all the way up to Mattis the extent of their prior and concurrent coordination with the Russians on the conventional air attack in the area. The US command had made no objection over this with the Russians and had a recon drone in the area to observe during the attack. DoD knew very well at the time of the attack that there had been no air chemical strike. The jihadis seized upon the occasion of that onventional attack on an arms depot to stage yet another IO chemical propaganda strike, providing themselves the media material to support their claim. DJT watches too much TV news. Based on the media coverage and projection of the image they had created and his daughter’s sentimental tears which conveniently support Israeli policy, he decided on his own to ask for punitive options from DoD. Once those arrived at the WH Mattis and McMaster argued for the least extreme option and DJT ordered the attack. Should these generals have resigned rather than participate? Well, you only get to resign once. You have to pick the occasion when you wish to fall on your sword. pl

  69. turcopolier says:

    All
    One may ask how the jihadis knew of the coming Syrian Air Force air attack at Khan Shaykoon. The possibility of a compromise to the rebels from the Syrian government side is obvious. pl

  70. J says:

    Hyten has given Command enough rope to hang him for Sedition and Treason, and they could turn the dogs of the UCMJ against Hyten and there wouldn’t be much left of his carcass when they finished with their legal mauling. BUT that is a political, and a Command decision.
    I wouldn’t have wished that on my worst enemies, (the U.K. or Canada), of course Canada DOES have GOOD Moose burgers.

  71. Linda says:

    Then why are elephant populations de.clining in all countries?

  72. outthere says:

    Part 2 of Gareth Porter
    How Syrian-Nuke Evidence Was Faked
    November 19, 2017
    Exclusive: In joining Israel and the White House selling military intervention in Syria, the CIA and international inspectors hid key evidence that would undermine the case, says Gareth Porter in a second part of a two-part series.
    By Gareth Porter
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/19/how-syrian-nuke-evidence-was-faked/

  73. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    What I found interesting in that book, among other things, was how TR late in life had second thoughts his previous aggressiveness, notably in the Philippines.

  74. J says:

    Colonel,
    Seems that China has made a nice chunk of change investment in Zimbabwe helping to build their hospitals, schools, and $46 1/4 Million to Zimbabwe’s Parliament. Seems that Mugabe’s VP Mnangagwa and his Intel/Military Chief Gen. Chiwenga went to Beijing and informed them of their little Coup plans and got Beijing’s backing.
    Chiwenga and his wife are on the U.S.’s do not allow entry list.
    Remember how Beijing’s Communist Central Committee has been routing out corruption in China and putting to death those who have stolen from the Central Committee funds allocated for the nation, well it appears that they are using as their tools in Zimbabwe (Mnangagwa and Chiwenga) to route out Zimbabwe corruption against the Chinese 元 (Yuan), that has netted the arrests of politicans and government ministers including Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Ignatious Chombo.

  75. John Minnerath says:

    ked,
    Not following an unlawful order is covered by the UCMJ. Fortunately it’s seldom had to be addressed, which points to the overall high quality of those in our military who give commands, from NCO’s to Officers.
    This man is wearing 4 stars on his shoulders and knows the protocols about speaking of orders from his CIC, the President.
    In his speech he did make some clarifying statements, so, do we have a case of the media cherry picking certain words to run with to push their own agenda or did he know full well how it would go and wanted to express a personal dissatisfaction with his CIC?
    Whatever it was, he went way out of bounds and should be removed. General Officers are voted on by the Congress and serve at the convenience of the Government.

  76. All,
    Yesterday, Philip Weiss posted a piece on his ‘Mondoweiss’ site entitled ‘The Clinton scandals entailed violent threats against people who knew about his sex life.’
    (See http://mondoweiss.net/2017/11/clinton-scandals-entailed/ .)

  77. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Re:

    “That tradition has been steadily eroded over the last fifty years but still exists except for Mattis who is now a political figure as Powell was before him.”

    Make that seventy years. Gen. George Marshall also served as a civilian in the cabinet, as Secretary of State during the last two years of the term President Truman served out after President Roosevelt’s death in 1945. He was also Secretary of Defense for a year during the full term to which Truman was elected in his own right. However I don’t think that either Powell or Mattis were cut from the same cloth as Marshall in terms of either competence or integrity.

  78. J says:

    Oh, the pangs that Hytek inflicts on us all with his Seditious comments, how I long for scenes of the better side of life, the sweetness of life. I know……here’s a song that I really enjoy, titled Jogi Mahi from the 2008 Bollywood movie Bachna Ae Haseeno.
    The song begins
    “There was a delicate little doll, She was a bundle of love, I bestow over that love. There was a fearless lion, He came wearing the nuptial garb, I bestow over that beloved……
    Jogi Mahi Heer, Raniha I’ll tell everybody…..”
    Enjoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKyMgyNsRKI

  79. J says:

    Making no denigration towards their investment, just noting it for your information you can take or discard on your whim.
    China has been investing, the same as our U.S. (and Russia, etc.) in various and sundry nations, for various reasons pertaining to that nation’s interests. They protect their interests, just like we protect ours.
    There is NO f****ing problem, so don’t try and make one.

  80. aleksandar says:

    Joint Investigative Mechanism report about Khan Shaykoon.
    There is so much stupid assesment in it that it make me laugh.
    Especially annex, paragraph 77 ans so.
    http://www.un.org/fr/documents/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2017/904&TYPE=&referer=/fr/&Lang=E

  81. Fred says:

    BabelFish,
    It was a lucky day. A 42 pounder! A good shot at the $20,000 jackpot. Looked great coming off the gaff, rolling an eye to scan his erstwhile captores before he shot back down to the depths. Yep, a $20,000 fish. If he had only been a Kingfish instead of an Amberjack; and those are out of season. It was a lucky day.

  82. Fred says:

    David,
    Congress has apparently been paying off people making sexual abuse allegations against members and staff for years:
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/politics/settlements-congress-sexual-harassment/index.html

  83. outthere says:

    my view of bill clinton is that he was/is a jfk wannabee
    thinks he can get away with whatever jfk did
    i really appreciate the dignity that obama brought to the presidency (i know some of you disagree)
    tho i disapprove of some things Obama did

  84. Fred says:

    J,
    It seems even the Chinese have gotten tired of the corruption of Mugabe’s government.

  85. outthere says:

    another possibility
    russia gave usa forewarning a couple days ahead of strike
    perhaps someone in usa military “leaked” it

  86. turcopolier says:

    outthere
    Much more likely to be the CIA who would have liaison people throughout the military chain. pl

  87. outthere says:

    OK, makes sense.
    Do you have a view for who decided to bomb the Syrian army at Deir Ezzor? I know we have discussed this before, but just wondering about your view now that the dust has settled.

  88. turcopolier says:

    outthere
    IMO probably CENTCOM. pl

  89. Mark Logan says:

    John Minnerath,
    I watched a fair bit of his testimony and questioning, and IMO yes, we do have yet another case of cherry picking by media. He qualified his statements carefully. It has been widely reported in the press of late that there was absolutely nothing between a POTUS and, say, ordering a massive strike on Russia on a whim. As if a POTUS is in direct contact with the young LT’s manning the silos. He corrected that impression, and always included a mention that if the officers in that chain did not follow such an order it would be a constitutional crisis.
    The full context is some Senators are so worried about Trump’s mental state they were considering making new laws based on the impression there is nothing which stops a POTUS from “pushing the red button”. Hyten played a significant role in talking them out of that. “Hard cases make bad law and this is a hard case.”
    Not bad…for a nerd. I say give the man a latte.

  90. Nigel Farage gunning for Soros’ Foundation, with Guy “Maidan” Verhofstadt getting an honourable mention. Again. That and the Uranium One article on Zero Hedge – is that for real? – reinforce the call for a properly regulated and transparent market for these transactions. My suggestion that politicians should be auctioned off at Sothebys was not well received here earlier, Colonel, but it must be the way forward. Who knows, if we knew how much they went for and when the sale was on maybe we the people could club together and buy one or two ourselves.
    https://www.sott.net/article/368158-ACTUAL-international-collusion-Nigel-Farage-exposes-massive-Soros-network-of-MEPs-spreading-gender-theory-open-borders-and-russophobia-VIDEO

  91. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    Bull! He has set a precedent for the refusal of orders by anyone who wishes to do so. Would an infantry battalion commander or a destroyer missile shooter captain who refused an order in combat have your support even though he was not a Harvard nerd? BTW I was admitted to Harvard College in 1958 and chose not to go there. pl

  92. fanto says:

    …#Steppe confederacies ..vastly neglected in our Western European estimation of History.”
    I agree completely. I have started to realize this several years ago after I began to read more about Scythians. Unfortunately I am not a ‘professional’ ,only a bloody layman in history. Thanks for the link.

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think women in US spend more than that on their attire, shoes, and makeup annualy.

  94. J says:

    Colonel,
    KGB spy George Blake Russian interview
    https://youtu.be/W5x-3zMT3rM

  95. Mark Logan says:

    turcopolier,
    I had been unaware he went to Harvard.
    My impression was he merely re-iterated the long standing issue of not having to obey an illegal order. A tricky concept, swearing the oath to the constitution and not the man, but IMO there is no way to have that in our system without setting that precedent to some small or theoretical degree. He is not responsible for that and set no precedent in explaining it to ignorant senators.
    He was addressing the issue of a POTUS unilaterally launching nukes at another country with no evidence of any attack underway and no prior deliberation, which was the hypothetical posed by some senator. I don’t see an equivalence between actions of field officers in combat and the launching of our nukes with no declaration of war or attack.

  96. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    If you look in the archive you will see that I long ago argued for restricting the power of the president to make war without authorization and specifically concerning the nuclear force. But, I could not disagree with you more that there is any difference at all in commanders’ minds between their responsibility to judge the lawfulness of an order with that of the commander of Strategic Command. The senate should not have asked the question and Hyton should not have responded to the question at Halifax. Some things are best left unsaid. pl

  97. different clue says:

    Fred,
    The Chinese might be afraid of some kind of popular ” fed up/ had enough” uprising making the situation hard to control. Currently the ZANU Party with Army support is working to remove Mugabe in an orderly way in order to preserve the One Party Rule state with Army support. The Chinagov would support a sort-of Chinaform One Party State retaining control, de-corrupted just enough to restore stable rule and keep Zimbabwe safe for Chinese investment.

  98. Mark Logan says:

    turcopolier,
    Yes, I must agree my “no equivalence” was ill-considered. There is an equivalence in the thought process.
    I must also re-consider that my view of his testimony may have been shaped by a loathing to change anything about the office simply because of Trump. Yet he is certainly not the first naif to be placed there and is unlikely to be the last. I also wish to see Congress assume their intended role. Thanks.

  99. Bandolero says:

    All
    Last night there has been a major political earthquake in Germany. Angela Merkel failed to form a coalition government with the Greens and the pro-business party FDP.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-politics/merkel-signals-readiness-for-new-election-after-coalition-talks-collapse-idUSKBN1DJ0I3
    FDP boss Lindner pulled the plug on these talks, allegedly together with FDP vice boss Kubicki – of whom some pro-Israel zealots say he has lobbied for the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. Lot of big business in Germany is hurt by the sanctions on Russia.
    The SPD doesn’t want to continue a government with her CDU/CSU neither. So there may be new elections, but it seems unlikely Merkel will come out of this in a way that she can form a coalition government after that.
    It’s quite unclear what will happen then, but my speculation is that the current process may mean the end of Merkel and a more Russia-friendly chancellor in Germany in a couple of months. Though officially denied, my guess is it may lead to kind of a FDP-SPD understanding to elect a Russia-friendly chancellor together. FDP-SPD is lacking the votes, but two other small parties left and right would be very happy to see Merkel go, too.

  100. As part of my continuing noticing of the rise of censorship by (allegedly) private corporations in the US, there is this:
    Eric Schmidt Says Google News Will ‘Engineer’ Russian Propaganda Out of the Feed
    “It’s basically RT and Sputnik,” he said on Saturday.
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pa39vv/eric-schmidt-says-google-news-will-delist-rt-sputnik-russia-fake-news
    Despite the suggestion that this is just “spam filtering”, the fact remains that it is outright censorship. That it’s by a private (near-monopoly) party does not change that.
    When you consider that even the Washington Post ran an article explaining that RT’s main “news” is mostly entertainment and non-political-related, with only one percent of its Youtube posts being “political” in nature, this sort of thing is simply unjustified.
    Remember, Google was sponsored and supported in its creation by the CIA… And according to Sy Hersh, the entire Russiagate meme is a CIA disinformation operation.
    So who does Eric Schmidt really work for?

  101. J says:

    Why doesn’t DoD relieve Hytek of command, and then proceed to demand he resign his Officer Commission?
    Politics, right?

  102. Fred says:

    Bandolero,
    So the coalition said “You’re fired”. According to Reuters “The major obstacle to a three-way deal was immigration, according to Merkel, who was forced into negotiations after bleeding support in the Sept. 24 election to the far right in a backlash at her 2015 decision to let in over 1 million migrants.” It doesn’t say anyting about Russia.

  103. different clue says:

    I was reading Reddit and I found this computer-people-email-comment from Linus
    Torvalds posted, along with ways to view the next ( and I presume) the last emails in the series.
    I am just a lost analog refugee in this digital world, but I believe Linus Torvalds is considered important in the field of computer programming. So I thought I would offer his comment in case any of the computer security people here might think it interesting.
    He was saying that the security people he knows of approach the problem of cyber security from what he considers an entirely wrong viewpoint. I don’t know enough to even have an opinion about that, but it read “interstingly” somehow, so I offer it here just in case people who know enough to have an opinion find it worthwhile to have one.
    http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1711.2/01701.html

  104. different clue says:

    And here is a story which makes me think about past posts and threads regarding how to transport equipment for several soldiers over bad country. Big Dog offered hope but I ( civilian though I am) thought wheeled vehicles could be better, and perhaps NASA were the people to figure out how. Then Big Dog was ruled out, I forget whether by Boston Dynamics or by the relevant DoD group.
    Now here is an article about NASA engineers inventing a new type of wheel for future rovers which can withstand extremely deforming rocks and other landforms and not get deformed. Perhaps it could help in designing “Earthside Rovers” for transporting soldiers’ equipment over bad country.
    Titled ” Chainmail Tires re-invent the wheel to get future NASA rovers rolling”, here is the link.
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/20/nasa_nickel_titanium_spring_tires/

  105. J says:

    Special Report
    Should The FBI Be Abolished?
    https://spectator.org/should-the-fbi-be-abolished/
    “Abuses from the likes of Comey and Mueller are just the tip of the iceberg. We need to be reminded why the founders opposed having any sort of national police force.”

  106. J says:

    Colonel,
    IMO our Intel employing Operation Paperclip has come back to haunt our nation and bite US in our arse.
    The Soviet’s did similar with their Operation Osoaviakhim.

  107. turcopolier says:

    different clue
    The army decided that Big Dog’s internal engine made too much noise. pl

  108. charly says:

    Immigration is the political advantageous answer for all sides that doesn’t mean it is the true reason.

  109. Bandolero says:

    Fred
    Yes, and no. The major obstacle to a three-way deal to keep Merkel chancelor seemed to be immigration. And that was hotly contested between Merkels conservative CDU/CSU, especially the CSU, and the socially progressive Greens. However, that was not on what the coalition talks broke down. Both, CDU/CSU and the Greens appeared in good mood, that that problem could be managed. And both, CDU/CSU and the Greens, were also in good mood, that all their other differences could be managed. There were still lot’s of small things open between CDU/CSU and the Greens, and talks were several days over an arbitrary self-set deadline, but it all looked as it would succeed, though may be one or two weeks later than best estimations had hoped for.
    That is, until suddenly late on Sunday night, Lindner, boss of pro-business party FDP, and vice FDP boss, left the table, telling noone at the table why and what it meant, collecting their FDP party delegation outside the room, and then went outside the house, giving a press conference to waiting reporters on national TV. Lindner said there the FDP left the talks and declare them failed. The British Express is correct in reporting it this way – it’s exactly as I saw it live on TV – quote:
    The FDP leader, Christian Lindner, said: “The four discussion partners have no common vision for modernisation of the country or common basis of trust.
    “It is better not to govern than to govern badly.”
    Quote end, source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/881741/angela-merkel-germany-coalition-talks-Christian-Lindner-FDP-walk-out-CDU-Greens
    Merkel, CDU/CSU and Greens inside the building were completely surprised by that. They needed an additional hour before they went out, in sheer disbelief, that the FDP just pulled the plug, telling no-one before they went live on TV. CDU/CSU and Greens in the negotiation room later said, they got know the end of their talks and hopes from TV.
    Think about Lindner’s statement. It says nothing and everything. Since the FDP got almost everything what they said they wanted in the talks Lindner didn’t even try to make a point that he didn’t get this or that. There is just no trust and no common vision for modernisation he said. It’s a phrase one can use everywhere.
    Lefty Green negotiator Trittin, who was most difficult to handle for CDU/CSU, just said in an interview, that the most difficult technical questions were all as good as solved, and when that happened that was the exact moment when the FDP left the room, so his conclusion is, that the FDP was simply not willing to join a Merkel government again at all, and just wants to bring down Merkel. FDP just hoped the Greens and the CDU/CSU couldn’t agree on a coalition anyway, so the FDP wouldn’t be blamed for the end of Merkel, but in the exact moment when it became clear that the Greens and the CDU/CSU would agree, the FDP left the talks.
    I find it hard not to agree with that analysis – whether you like Merkel or not. Well, and that leads to Kubicki, Lindner’s right hand in the negotiations.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/17/questions-over-german-ministerial-hopefuls-links-to-russian-pipeline
    And that leads to former chancellor Schröder, who gave a very special interview to Joffe a couple of days ago, which I couldn’t see as anything else than promoting a Russian-friendly FDP-SPD unterstanding.
    http://www.zeit.de/2017/47/gerhard-schroeder-spd-bundestagswahl-wladimir-putin-donald-trump/komplettansicht
    Schröder didn’t explicitely say who shall be next chancellor, but lauded pro-business positions of the SPD and his old friend Sigmar Gabriel very much in that interview.

  110. Mark Logan says:

    J,
    IMHO, the DoD is very happy with the job he did. The Senate was considering passing new laws which would change the strategic nuclear weapon protocols, an odious process indeed. No doubt a lot of work has gone into the existing one, that would all have to be revisited…and explained at length to the public and congresscritters.
    However valid the criticisms of some of the things Hyak said in the process, he successfully and in one short hearing, managed to nip that happy horsepoo in the bud.

  111. Cee says:

    All,
    Any truth to the rumors of US troops being at Langley?

  112. J says:

    Wishing one and all
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  113. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater, noticing C-Ville Indian summer today, thinks of:
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    Autumn Day (Herbsttag)
    Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
    Leg deinem Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
    und auf den Fluren lafs[?] die Winde los.
    Befiel den lezten Fruchten voll zu sein;
    gib ihnen noch zwei sudlichere Tage,
    drang sie zur Vollendung und jage
    die letzte Sufse [?] in den schweren Wein.
    Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
    Wer jezt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
    wird wachen, lessen, lange Briefe schreiben
    und wird in den Alleen hin und her
    unruhig wander, wenn die Blatter treiben.
    Lord: it is time. The summer was so huge.
    Let your shadow fall upon the sundials,
    And over the fields let go the wind.
    Command the last fruits to ripen;
    Give another two warm southern days,
    Force your completion into the heavy vine.
    Who’s homeless now, won’t be building any more.
    Who’s alone now, will be alone for a long time,
    will stay awake, read, write long letters
    and along the avenues to and fro
    restlessly wander, when leaves are drifting.

  114. Tidewater says:

    One of those fine Indian Summer days here today (November 22) that I have been told some UVA alumni remember all their lives.
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    Autumn Day (Herbsttag)
    Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
    Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
    und auf den Fluren lafs [?] die Winde los.
    Befiel den letzten Fruchten voll zu sein;
    gib ihnen noch zwei sudlichere Tage,
    drange sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
    die letzte Sufse [?] in den schweren Wein.
    Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
    Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
    wird wachen, lessen, lange Briefe schreiben
    und wird in den Alleen hin und her
    unruhig wandern, wenn die Blatter treiben.
    My translation. [Playfully, without knowing German.]
    Lord: it is time. The summer was so huge.
    Let your shadow fall upon the sundials,
    and over the fields let go the wind.
    Command the last fruits to ripen;
    give another two warm southern days,
    force your completion through and drive
    the last sweetness into the heavy vine.
    Who’s homeless now, won’t be building any more.
    Who’s alone now, will be alone for a long time,
    will stay awake, read, write long letters
    and along the avenues to and fro
    wander restlessly, when leaves are drifting.
    I think those last five lines are so cruel and so compassionate and so true and so amazing. And so sort of funny. He was a Parisian, too, wasn’t he, really. And now I have a long letter to write.
    Good Thanksgiving.

  115. J says:

    Saudi arrested #2 moneybags. Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi a duel national with Saudi and Ethiopian citizen and is reportedly the second richest Saudi, after Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
    Also a  senior Saudi official told Bloomberg that the authorities have arrested 14 retired officers who had worked in the defence ministry and two retired officers who served in the National Guard on allegations of corruption.
    The most prominent of those arrested is Prince Mutaib Bin Abdullah, who headed the National Guard.

  116. J says:

    There are reports that U.S. Mercs formerly known as Blackwater now going under the name of Academi are being used to torture the Saudi detainees, including hanging Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal “just to send a message”.

  117. different clue says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I haven’t properly ordered my thoughts on possibly achieving low enough noise from an engine to escape unwanted notice. But I have run across a video about that new NASA wheel. If it makes noise going over obstacles that is yet another noise problem. But maybe it can be muffled somehow.
    Here is the video.
    https://imgur.com/gallery/Qsf1wpa

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