Open Thread – 3 December 2017



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74 Responses to Open Thread – 3 December 2017

  1. Tyler says:

    After taking a coues and an elk, I’m thinking of heading up to Washington to take a blacktail. Any advice from any natives up there?

  2. Serge says:

    Can anyone explain what is going on in Yemen over the past few days and expound on the relationship between saleh and the houthis? What is the balance of power,who controls what? I was under the impression that the saleh forces were the ones that controlled the ballistic missiles but today the houthis claimed to fire one at the UAE

  3. turcopolier says:

    My impression is that the media can’t tell a Houthi tribesman from a Yemeni soldier loyal to Salih. Salih is a Zeidi from the minor Sanhan tribe of the Hashid confederation. They are located just south of Sanaa. The Houthis are Zeidi and have made common cause with Salih. I would expect that the missile battalion is made up of Zeidis as well. pl

  4. Degringolade says:

    Might want to read this. I would also recommend going to the east side of Washington and try for a whitetail. They are a lot thicker on the ground over there

  5. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Re: Of Mice & Men
    Might I strongly recommend the work of John B. Calhoun to those pilgrims who are not familiar with it? An excellent summary can be found in Calhoun’s 1973 paper, “Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population” (Proc. Roy. Soc. Med. 66 (1973); ). His research might indicate that unearned affluence, not adversity, could lead to societal demise. Here is a teaser:
    “For an animal so simple as a mouse, the most complex
    behaviours involve the interrelated set of courtship, maternal care, territorial defence and hierarchical intragroup and intergroup social organization. When behaviours related to these functions fail to mature, there is no development of social organization and no reproduction…
    For an animal as complex as man, there is no logical reason why a comparable sequence of events should not also lead to species extinction.”

    I wonder why these papers are not mandatory reading in high schools of the West, and why they are being ignored by the social engineering mandarins who try to control the discourse.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  6. notlurking says:

    I have read other reports stating that Salih has turned on the Houthis….KSA fingerprints all over this…The Kingdom is saying they will help him come back…Houthies battling Yemeni army after they had worked together…situation quiet a bit messy for now…..

  7. turcopolier says:

    I have not read that but it is quite possible. Salih is as treacherous as a snake. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    I confess to having missed the split up between Salih and the Houthis but I am not surprised. The man is not in any way reliable. I was busy the last few days listening to the talking book edition of “Braddock’s Defeat, the Battle of the Monongahela” by a history professor at The Citadel. I was instrumental in the award of the Guggenheim-Lehrer Prize in Military History to Preston for this book. He does a remarkably detailed job of recounting this disastrous British effort to remove the French from the headwaters of the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania. The French then possessed nearly all of what is now the US west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River. The area west of the Mississippi was “up for grabs” at that point but the French had a lot of posts there. The “forks of the Ohio” at what is now Pittsburgh was important to French continued possession of all that territory. The British under Edward Braddock tried to remove the French from that place and failed miserably having been defeated by a much smaller force of French Marines, Quebec militia and Indians from 20 different ethnic groups whom the highly skilled French Marine officers had persuaded to come to western Pennsylvania to fight the British army and American colonial forces. These Indians came from as far away as Michigan, Illinois and the whole upper Mid-West of the present US. The lure for them was the need to prevent Anglo-American expansion west of the Appalachians. I recommend the book. pl

  9. outthere says:

    Question about the end of Diem.
    I have been reading “In the Shadows” by McCoy.
    He says that coup leaders asked USA what would USA do if they overthrew Diem, and Lucien Conein told them that USA would promptly recognize, but would not assist, which is all that coup leaders hoped for. The question then arose of what to do with Diem, and Conein says his request for aircraft for Diem exile was delayed, i.e. no USA plane was available. Conein says there were aircraft readily available that could take Diem to Philippines, but not to France. In any case his request to make possible Diem’s escape was denied. And of course Diem was killed and did not escape.
    McCoy’s discussion is in Chapter 1, footnote 15 is to Conein interview (1981), which can be found here:
    I received a telephone call from the Embassy and they said that they wanted me, this was on direct instructions from the highest authority, to locate Diem and Nhu, took a shower, went back out to the Joint General Staff and they were all in the officers’ club where they interrogating the uh ministers of the former government.
    At this time I asked about Diem and Nhu. I talked to Big Minh personally and he told me that they were, they had committed suicide and that they were behind the Joint General Staff—did I want to see them? I said, No, I didn’t want to see them and felt very disappointed that they had gotten off on that type of start because original plan was that Diem would go out of the country.
    Did you believe this story that they committed suicide?
    Of course I—d….I never for a moment…
    Could you say, This…
    I never uh for a moment believed that they committed suicide because I asked where it happened and Big Minh saying well they committed suicide the Catholic Church of Cholon. Being a Catholic I knew that if anybody had committed suicide in a Catholic Church and a priest held services that night that that story wouldn’t hold water and I so stated…And that’s it.
    So what I am wondering is how the request for exile aircraft was denied, yet at the same time the JFK administration spoke of how terrible Diem’s death was, and that USA was not a party to his death. and not a party to the coup.

  10. turcopolier says:

    No idea. I suppose the dummies in the CIA hadn’t figured out te likelihood that the plotters would kill him. that would be typical. pl

  11. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I read about that research decades ago very briefly; I well recall the degeneration of courtship rituals among the well-fed mice.
    Do you recall Aziz Nasin’s “Don’t underestimate the animal”?

  12. Serge says:

    I will check it out, seems like it is right up my alley, I’m utterly fascinated by French-Anglo geopolitical interactions during 18th century

  13. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I read that his venture was defeated and he is in his compound surrounded by Houthis.

  14. Tyler says:

    Im looking to complete a NA deer slam (whitetail, coues whitetail, mule, blacktail, sitka blacktail), which is why I ask. Blacktail are only found along the coast of the Pacific, and as your article points out, they’re a difficult hunt. That, however, is part of the attraction for me. I can get whitetail easier and cheaper back on the east coast, but thank you.
    For reference, I damn near crested Government Peak in the Dos Cabezas mountains here in Arizona pulling my little coues out of there. Worth every step tho (all 5+ miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain/loss).

  15. Will.2718 says:

    fascinating, Daniel Boone, according to the TV show “King of the Wild Frontier,” & Henry Morgan, later commander of the Virginia Sharpshooters, hero of Saratoga and Battle of Cowpens were cousins.
    “Daniel Boone, a famous American pioneer, explorer, woodsman, and frontiersman – and one of the first folk heroes of the United States – was among the soldiers involved in the battle. Boone served under Captain Hugh Waddell of North Carolina, whose militia unit was assigned in 1755 to serve in the command of General Edward Braddock. Boone acted as a wagoner, along with his cousin Daniel Morgan, who would later be a key general in the American Revolution.[17] In the Battle of the Monongahela, Boone narrowly escaped death when the baggage wagons were assaulted by Indian troops – Boone escaped, it is said, by cutting his wagons and fleeing. Boone remained critical of Braddock’s blunders for the rest of his life.[18] While on the campaign, Boone met John Finley, a packer who worked for George Croghan in the trans-Appalachian fur trade. Finley first interested Boone in the abundance of game and other natural wonders of the Ohio Valley. Finley took Boone on his first hunting trip to Kentucky 12 years later.[”

  16. Bandolero says:

    Former president Ali Saleh and his sons decided that it’s a good time to switch (again) sides from an alliance with the Houthis to an alliance with the Saudis. Saleh and his sons are therefore put down by the Yemeni armed forces and the paramilitary internal security forces, supported by some Houthis, as traitors.
    My comment: it looks a bit theatralic, something like Ali Saleh really believed the western propaganda line that the Saudi enemy in Yemen are some “Houthi militants” supported by Iran and some military “forces loyal to former president Ali Saleh.” The reality seems to be that the vast majority of the armed forces of the Republic of Yemen are fiercely loyal to the Yemeni government in Sanaa (Supreme Political Council), and so Saleh and his sons just make a last stand in Sanaa supported by no more than 1000 Yemeni soldiers and some Saudi air strikes. The Saudi air strikes to support Saleh and his guys will likely ruin Salehs reputation in Yemen completely and forever.

  17. Ed Jewett says:

    When the problems was first identified, it was published in the popular computer users’ press (along with the fix, whixh was simple for the system’s administrator to do). Apple had an automatically-installed patch the next time I signed on. I have never had a problem with any Apple product. I put my kids through high scholl and college on them (one of whim has two masters’ degrees), and I own a 10.13.1 HighSierra desktop. In the 80’s, when I worked for a high-end business association, my first task on my first day was to get oput the annual membership invoices for #135K worth of income. The refrigerator-sized unit that used 78-rpm-sized floppies from the outfit across the street, whose Int’l VP was our past president, would not merge mailing list with invoice despite technical heklp dispatched by him, The hastily-acquired $3,500 desk cube with $1,000 worth of association mgmt. software got the job done in two days.

  18. Appreciate your work Pat. Per your open thread illustration:
    A constitutional essay for common people
    Yep, I have a small qualification; was adjunct professor at Johannes Gutenberg University law school, taught USA constitutional law (for English credit) summer semester, 2008. Not bad for a layman (published in international law, as well.)
    Beat the heck out of my 11F40 days…

  19. Stray notes from the city of the living dead. The Westminster zombies are on the prowl. The BBC has announced it’s on board with a project to protect us from fake news. They’re worried that we might get hold of “fake news from a bedroom in Moldova” and they’re going to put a stop to it.
    The most cheerful item I’ve heard on the BBC for a long time. One small step for mankind but a giant step for the BBC. When they’ve got the hang of it in Moldova they can make a start on Broadcasting House.
    And they are making a start. Turns out we’re helping out with the Jihadis in Syria. Sorry, fake news. I’ve just done the fact checking and it turns out we’re helping the Jihadis in Syria. Glad I got the difference right:-
    There’s an MP called Owen Patterson talking about Brexit who is, as far as I can see, an absolute fraud. Principled, bright, bags of common sense. That’s not a Westminster fit and somebody should tell him before he’s found out. He’s been looking into the fuss the Irish are making about the border. There’s some background here. Seems that if we don’t put in customs posts Auntie Angela and her pals get upset. If we do the IRA or their pals will shoot the border guards. Sounds like the Irish have got all angles covered so tough, no Brexit.
    Patterson says the bulk of the trade doesn’t go across that border anyway, and what does is easily checked without the need to turn customs officers into target practice. Sounds like a bit of common sense and horse trading would sort it out. Not much hope there then.
    Lovely border, that used to be. Take the back road through Forkhill and the Irish could smuggle diesel, booze, fags, to their hearts content. Surprised they’re not jumping at the chance to do it again. Not that surprised. They will, once we’re out of Angie’s Hotel California.

  20. georgeg says:

    CBS Early Morning News showing US jet fighters “rehearsing for WAR”. This is journalism?…..

  21. Annem says:

    The irony here is that the ONLY force taking on AQAP and ISIS in Yemen is the Houthis. Not so, the forces backed by the Saudis. The UAE for a while had an Aden grouping centered around a local governor it preferred, but haven’t heard much about that in a while. Currently, the only notable news about the UAE in Yemen is the torture and killing of prisoners by their foreign mercenaries.
    I believe that the Houthis took Sanaa a while back for the nominal alliance with Saleh, but that patriot, seeing what has happened to his country through the fighting, is now trying to wrest the capital and other territory from the Houthis. Saleh may well have convinced the Saudis that he is the man of the hour to reunite the country. They may believe that he could rally that part of the army now serving the current government of “al Hadi” now in Saudi Arabia to rejoin their comrades who remained loyal to Saleh. This could be done with a change of address for the checks coming in from Saudi for payment of the military.
    A new Saleh government would unlikely stop the unrest for very long. The Houthis will not go quietly and all the other Yemenis that participated in the 2011 uprising across the country will remain restive. Another thing to remember is that Saleh talked big about confronting terrorists, but it was the US and its drones that took on AQAP and ISIS. If nothing else, Saleh should be encouraged to get the Saudis and other Gulfies to halt their funding to these organizations. Good luck.
    This might [temporarily, at least] allow MBS to turn this quagmire into a victory. I hope that Saleh would send him the bill for rebuilding the country they have leveled.

  22. Annem says:

    Reports: Former Yemeni President Killed Fighting Houthis
    The country is being ravaged by war.
    Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television on Monday quoted sources in former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party as confirming he had been killed.
    The Dubai news channel said the sources said Saleh was killed in fighting against the Iran-aligned Houthi group in the capital Sanaa, but gave no further details.

  23. turcopolier says:

    it is a truly fascinating book. French and Indian victory was complete at the Monongahela but the British thought it over and decided that they would not accept containment of their colonies on the eastern seaboard and renewed the attack on Ft. duquesne after a year or so. Avoiding Braddock’s error in crossing the Alleghenies cross compartment they used a new road built by Pennsylvania that went west from Carlisle through better ground and the French were pushed out of the headwaters of the Ohio very quickly. pl

  24. Lord Curzon says:

    Further to your last, Saleh just bit the dust after turning on his erstwhile allies. I can’t see Hadi holding it together. Back to the drawing board for Crown Prince et al…

  25. The Beaver says:

    Colonel ,
    Unconfirmed (rumours):
    Supposedly that the General People’s Congress has announced the death of Ali Abdallah Saleh. Reports emerging that Saleh’s son Khaled was wounded & captured by Houthis.
    However, a Yemeni lawyer who i follow on Twitter is saying:

    Bizarre : No Houthi celebrations, no celebratory gunfire, nothing. Why? . No announcement yet from the Houthi-run Saba News Agency on Saleh’s death. Nothing on @YemenTodayTV1 channel either. #Yemen “>”

  26. Lord Curzon says:

    I take it you heard Owen Patterson MP on Radio 4 this morning? I agree, there was nothing his interlocutor could get him with on Ireland.

  27. turcopolier says:

    Lord Curzon
    When I was DATT in Sanaa many, many years ago, I was a hunting partner of Salih and the MI-6 station commander and came to know Salih well. Salih lives in a very Yemeni Kiplingesque world of tribal politics and scheming in which he is quite willing to lie, cheat, murder. He actually killed one of his predecessors. He is or was a thoroughly bad and rather charming man in his own way. He always reminded me of the Mexican bandit chief played by Eli Wallach in the movie “The Magnificent seven.” pl

  28. notlurking says:

    The situation is very fluid…..Houthies supposedly have take over the capital…Salih may have died…one thing for sure is not to mess with these Houthies they are fierce fighters very unlike the coward KSA army…

  29. Martin Oline says:

    Thanks for the link. I have an ancestor who lived in Winchester, Va and who was compensated for the wagon he supplied to Gen. Braddock’s force. Whether he or his sons participated I have not been able to discover.
    In my genealogical research I came across a reference to a Virginia militia member who was ousted from the militia after the engagement. The unproven story is that his brother, a fellow militia man, was firing at the attacking forces from behind a tree and Gen. Braddock ordered him to join the standing ranks in the open. When he refused, the General shot him. The brother claimed he witnessed this and he then shot General Braddock. There were no witnesses available to the militia afterwards so they decided not to prosecute the soldier but to eject him from the force.

  30. John Minnerath says:

    Reference French and Indian wars and John Finley.
    Finley’s descendants reached the Wyoming Territory in the late 1800’s, wintering at a spot just across the Wind River from me. Fur trappers and explorers had established a route through here.
    In 1901 they established a ranch up on the East Fork of the Wind River in a part of that valley that came to be known as Little Scotland.
    The ranch is still there, though much diminished in size from what it once was.
    Owned now by another John Finley.

  31. nard says:

    “Zed is dead”. No more Saleh.

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    All: From the BBC
    “The problem is, Minister, that one Arab looks very much like another Arab: we can’t tell them apart, our Arabs, the good ones, and their Arabs, the bad ones.”
    Sometimes, I wonder whether those Olympian Western, politically correct aid organisations and the pompous officials that support them have ever set foot in the Middle East and have any idea what/who they’re dealing with.
    Extract (Surprise, surprise!): One police station in Koknaya in Idlib province was supposed to be the base for 57 police officers. But the documents show that when ASI’s staff visited in September 2016, they couldn’t find a single officer.
    UK aid ‘diverted to Syria extremists’
    A foreign aid scheme is suspended by the government, following a BBC Panorama investigation.

  33. Serge says:

    They released pics,100% him, shot to the head. That escalated quickly

  34. turcopolier says:

    Martin Oline
    This piece of family mythology is incorrect. Braddock was mortally wounded late in the three hour battle by Indian fire from the woods while trying to rally his force. He was taken to the rear and died several days later. pl

  35. Lord Curzon – yes. Car radio. Can’t find it on the BBC website, but they did come up with this very touching photo op. I’ve never tried brandy in the morning but it seems to work for some.
    Also did some more research and came up with the EU anthem. Can’t be sure but I think the guitarist in the bandana at the end may be Guy “Maidan” Verhofstadt, MEP. Great playing. Reminds me of his 2014 Gala performance in Kiev. The Greeks know the new anthem as Angie’s Song. A little creepy perhaps but on balance a fine choice for an anthem.

  36. phugh says:

    Bring good rain gear and polypro underwear. Sight distance varies from a few yards to 300 plus if you’re shooting across clearcuts. They have been in rut for over a month now, so the bucks aren’t in great shape, and they are not big deer to start with. East side of the cascades is more open country, colder, drier and has mule deer also. You want a scope on the east side, on the west side in the brush, my buddy likes his 45/70 lever action.
    Last year on the coast of Oregon it rained 11 inches in November, I’ve been in southern Puget Sound when it rained 11 inches in December. The rain creates a lot of background noise, so you don’t have be so careful to be quiet. It’s really nice to have some dry clothes, and towel in the truck (pack towel in a ziplock if you have room in your pack.) If it’s blowing hard, stay out from under the trees, the falling limbs and trees can ruin your day.

  37. turcopolier says:

    Martin Oline
    Yes, Braddock went north from Winchester to Cumberland and then across even more mountains to within ten miles of Ft. Duquesne (Pittsburgh). pl

  38. The Beaver says:

    I saw the pics and the SUVs before I posted but since it was not confirmed I didn’t want to refer to them.
    This is what went down as per what I could gather:
    He was reportedly assassinated by Houthis as he was leaving Sanaa towards UAE forces in Mareb.
    General People’s Congress says Saleh’s convoy was ambushed by Houthis south-east of Sanaa in Sanhan district, ironically where he was born.
    Ansarullah ( Houthis) spokesperson on Saleh death:
    Thank God, the biggest conspiracy by (Saudi & co.) to prolong & turn war into civil war has failed.
    UAE led Saleh to shameful end. Houthi leader tried to persuade him to no avail. 50 airstrikes were carried out to help Saleh

    The GCC ( or KSA-UAE) is without an ally now: back to square one for MBS who was trying to get out of the mess he put himself in in March 2015j. MBS seemed to have accepted UAE’s argument that Saleh could be part of a political deal to end the war.

  39. Will.2718 says:

    made some errors. Of course Henry Morgan was the Welsh-Jamaican privateer, Steinbeckek’s Cup of Gold, but he was related to Daniel Morgan.
    Interesting about how Braddock got shot, similar to Fraser
    “Passing through the Canadian loyalists, Morgan’s Virginia sharpshooters got the British light infantry trapped in a crossfire between themselves and Dearborn’s regiment. Although the light infantry broke, General Fraser was trying to rally them, encouraging his men to hold their positions when Benedict Arnold arrived. Arnold spotted him and called to Morgan: “That man on the grey horse is a host unto himself and must be disposed of — direct the attention of some of the sharpshooters amongst your riflemen to him!” Morgan reluctantly ordered Fraser shot by a sniper, and Timothy Murphy obliged him.”

  40. turcopolier says:

    IMO Salih has been irrelevant for a long time. pl

  41. Joe100 says:

    Salih dead? AFP has a plausible sounding report (Huthis in control, of Salih’s house, showing a dead body, etc.)
    “Yemen’s Huthi rebels claimed Monday that ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh had been killed as fighting shook the capital Sanaa following the collapse of his alliance with the insurgents.”

  42. notlurking says:

    You are correct…his followers who before numbered in the thousands this time around were not there to protect him…

  43. Fred says:

    There should have been proper testing prior to releasing a system wide update with a root command problem. You left out the part about the “fix” creating further problems for all those not having installed “High Sierra”. But Apple’s Grrrrreeat! I’ve got two of them and they are well advertised but their performance has never matched the hype.

  44. dilbert dogbert says:

    Please don’t shoot a local out walking her dog.

  45. Since a bunch of you are talking in and around the general subject area, I’d be very interested to get your opinions of the books written by Allan W Eckert on the Ohio Valley history.

  46. Serge says:

    Article in NYT on how the houthi missile launched at Riyadh last month was not intercepted as claimed

  47. Ed Jewett says:

    Fred, the way I read it is that the company is under a great deal of performance pressure as a whole, but also with regard to iMac desktops which have been left (until recent upgrades and the announcement of a forthomcing new model), so yes they rushed the “product” (in thsi case an new OS version for that device). There is also a new iOS for their phones that people are saying “don’t upload!” (I don’t own a smart phone; I still drive one of those old flip phones.)

  48. Valissa says:

    “Worms for Mars” 🙂
    A ‘Martian’ First: Earthworms Born in Mock Mars Soil
    In what could be an important milestone for future farmers on Mars, two healthy baby worms were recently born in simulated Martian soil. The births took place in an experiment that is helping scientists understand how human settlers might one day grow crops on the Red Planet. … The appearance of baby worms seems to indicate that at least in the short term, the worms are thriving in these closed ecosystems. The goal of the experiment is to find out how well worms break down old waste to produce food for bacteria and plants in the mixture of soil simulant and pig slurry (or manure). Various flowering plants were allowed to germinate in several pots of this mix, and adult worms were then added.
    … A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to continue experiments on these hardy worms. “Worms for Mars” has already raised more than half their funding goal of €10K, and with the public’s help, Wageningen University and Research hopes to continue testing out different crops along with their crawling assistants. There is the possibility that sharp edges in non-Earth soil could damage the guts of the critters, the researchers said in another statement.
    When worms eat organic matter, they also eat the soil. Since there isn’t much weathering of Martian terrain, sharp edges in its soil do not get worn down (the way they do on Earth) and may cause worms harm, according to the statement. The presence of heavy metals in Martian soil could also be a long-term problem for worms, which would require lengthier experiments to address properly, the researchers said.
    Reminds me of the first Heinlein book I read when I was about 10, Farmer in the Sky
    Silly worm cartoons

  49. Martin Oline says:

    I’ve read nearly everything he’s done. The Dark and Bloody River is an excellent book regarding the settlement of western Pennsylvania and the areas of Kentucky and Ohio adjacent to the Ohio river. He has a series that starts with the New York Hudson river valley during the French and Indian war and continuing book by book to the west, culminating with the Black Hawk rebellion in Illinois and Wisconsin. Two books each in the series tell the same events from the settler’s side and the Indian side, so there are some repeated events. The special bonus of his books are the footnotes. They will tell you where the sites referenced in the novels are today. For instance, a footnote may say (making it up here): this Indian village stood behind the K-mart store parking lot at the intersection of Hwy 42 and Bakers road in Anytown, Ohio. This would be of interest to anyone who grew up or now lives in western New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and to some extent Illinois. He is hard to find now but libraries that haven’t yet discarded his books would be a good source.
    True historical fiction, his books only create the conversations. My favorite was the story of an early settler of Kentucky who was fishing near the Ohio shore with his sons. He got a huge catfish on the line and, during the struggle, when he was landing the fish, got shot by some braves on the northern bank. His sons rowed him to safety and several days later, when he regained consciousness at the settlement, the first words he said was, “Did we get the fish?”

  50. pl,
    Well I’m sure that was a worthwhile endeavor. From the reviews I read, it’s a very good book filled with well researched military detail. I’ll have to read it. I’m enamored by that period of American history, but I confess I know little of that battle. I can vouch for the difficulty of the terrain. I’ve driven the interstate between Williamsport and Hagerstown many times. I took the shortcut to Pittsburgh past Fort Necessity once. That road is hellacious, especially in the fog.
    I’m more familiar with the French and Indian War battles in upstate New York spending a lot of time around Fort William Henry at the southern end of Lake George. I ran in a showshoe/ice skate race commemorating Robert Rogers battle of the showshoes. I’m in awe of the men who fought in this terrain in that time. period.

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It would be more interesting if the worms were in simulated Martian gravity.

  52. Patrick Armstrong,
    I haven’t read those books, but I think I’d enjoy them. I am a great fan of James Fenimore Cooper and Kenneth Roberts “Northwest Passage.” My team passed around a copy of that book during the Robin Sage training exercise. It made for fitting reading. I still have that dog eared paperback.
    Do the Eckert books convey the same atmosphere as Washington’s orders to General Sullivan for his 1779 expedition against the Iroquois Nation?
    “The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.
    I would recommend, that some post in the center of the Indian Country, should be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provisions whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.”
    Orders of George Washington
    to General John Sullivan
    At Headquarters
    May 31, 1779

  53. turcopolier says:

    I think you will be struck by the French Marine officers. These were people of established military families in the St Lawrence Valley. Service in the Troupes de la Marine ran in families with fathers obtaining appointments as cadets for teenage sons. These fellows spent their lives in far flung French outposts all the way out to Idaho and ad far south as St. Louis. they spoke the languages and knew the Indian people well. They brought the eight hundred Indians to Ft. Duquesne to fight the British Army and American colonials and then fought with them in the great battle often stripped to the waist, painted like the Indians and wearing their gorgets. Sound familiar? pl

  54. pl,
    Yes, very familiar. DOL

  55. Poul says:

    Ex-president Salah killed after switching sides. Will his supporters fall in line with the Houthis or continue figting on the Saudi side?

  56. Will.2718 says:

    Yet, the young United States almost lost its westward expansion toward the Ohio valley in the war of 1812. A British war aim was to guarantee an area for their Indian allies. The British abandoned their allies during the peace treaty negotiations and the First Nations ultimately lost their lands, emigrated to Canada, or wound up on reservations.
    Daniel Morgan is one of the most interesting Revolutionary War commanders. He suffered from severe sciatica but pulled off a double envelopment at the battle of Cowpens. I have watched animations. It looks like some of P.G.T. Beauregards plans- too many moving parts to actually work, but it did.
    Physical condition of leaders can often decide battles. I read somewhere that Bonaparte was trying to pass kidney stones during his ill-considered Russian campaign.

  57. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    1-re:‘Do you recall Aziz Nasin’s “Don’t underestimate the animal”‘
    I know the book well, have an old copy. I did not know it was translated.
    2-re: “I well recall the degeneration of courtship rituals among the well-fed mice.”
    True words!
    Degeneration, indeed.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  58. A.I.Schmelzer says:

    My understanding of the Yemeni situation is this:
    -Saleh lost much of his relevance without him noticing it. The issue was that the fealty of his troops depended on his ability to provide either safety or some type of material aid to his troops families. When he teamed up with the Saudis, also known as the invaders killing and starving Yemenis, many simply deserted him.
    -His backstab attempt may have worked 2 years ago, when the Saudi campaign just started and he still commanded sizeable forces and the Saudis were not as hated as they are now.
    -Another factor is that he was likely perceived as “giving in to the Saudis” and thus as “weak”. Yemenis dislike following weaklings.
    -I believe that, in the eyes of the Yemenis, the Saudis simply moved beyond the pale in their starvation campaign. Saleh didnt get that, likely because he was immersed in his own entourage.
    -From what I get of Yemeni stereotypes of the Houthis, they are kind of seen as the Arab peninsulas hillbillys. Somewhat loud, obnoxious, drunk and fighty but not particularly corrupt and usually good to their word. In a fight, most Yemenis would want them on their side.

  59. John_Frank says:

    Yesterday morning Professor Alan Dershowitz was interviewed on Fox & Friends. The President watched or heard of the interview and posted a tweet, encouraging people to watch the interview.
    Follows is a link to the interview as posted by Professor Dershowitz:
    Claim of obstruction of justice on the part of POTUS reflects “hope over reality.” I explain why
    Later on Monday he was interviewed by a reporter at Slate, resulting in the following blog post:
    An interview with Alan Dershowitz On Trump and the Mueller Investigation
    People might find both the Fox & Friends interview and the Slate interview of interest.

  60. LondonBob says:

    The Seven Years’ War is fascinating. Just don’t neglect the global nature of the war. You will miss out on some big characters like Clive of India, Maria Theresa and Frederick the Great.

  61. turcopolier says:

    As a Canadian citizen (dual) of French (and Anglo) heritage I am increasingly aware of the baleful effect that the world-wide nature of the SYW had on my mother’s people. The defeat at Quebec was expected in Canada to be something corrected at the peace negotiating conference but instead the french Government bargained away all of New France in return for a few sugar islands. pl

  62. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    This disturbing story was posted at The Intercept late yesterday evening:

    The Trump administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency.
    The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.
    Some of the individuals involved with the proposals secretly met with major Trump donors asking them to help finance operations before any official contracts were signed.
    “I can find no evidence that this ever came to the attention of anyone at the NSC or [White House] at all,” wrote Michael N. Anton, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, in an email. “The White House does not and would not support such a proposal.” But a current U.S. intelligence official appeared to contradict that assertion, stating that the various proposals were first pitched at the White House before being delivered to the CIA. The Intercept reached out to several senior officials that sources said had been briefed on the plans by Prince, including Vice President Mike Pence. His spokesperson wrote there was “no record of [Prince] ever having met with or briefed the VP.” Oliver North did not respond to a request for comment.
    According to two former senior intelligence officials, Pompeo has embraced the plan and has lobbied the White House to approve the contract. Asked for comment, a CIA spokesperson said, “You have been provided wildly inaccurate information by people peddling an agenda.”
    At the heart of the scheme being considered by the White House are Blackwater founder Erik Prince and his longtime associate, CIA veteran John R. Maguire, who currently works for the intelligence contractor Amyntor Group. Maguire also served on Trump’s transition team. Amyntor’s role was first reported by Buzzfeed News.

  63. LondonBob says:

    Sugar was the oil of the 18th century though. The peace treaty was unusual in that normally highly lenient terms were imposed on the loser, the Treaty of Paris saw France cede great swathes of territory, even considering the crushing defeat they suffered. Prussia, despite all their sacrifices, only got a traditional status quo ante bellum.

  64. turcopolier says:

    The expectation in Quebec was for a deal similar to the one Prussia got. In fact, the Spanish got all of New France west of the Mississippi and the Brits got all the rest to the east and north of the Spanish possessions in Florida. The Indians who had previously been allies of the French became allies of the British in order to continue to resist American expansion. pl

  65. JamesT says:

    Southfront is reporting a Houthi claim that they launched a cruise missile against a nuclear power plant under construction in UAE:
    This is the first I have heard of the Houthis launching a cruise missile. Such missiles are of course very difficult to intercept.

  66. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I read it in Persian, like his other works.
    The link reminded me of the scene outside of the Sultan Muhammad Mosque in Istanbul; with all those men of European extractions being forced to wear skirts in order to enter the mosque – served them right.

  67. outthere says:

    Excellent discussion of Masterpiece Cakeshop case now before the Supreme Court, written by David Cole who is one of the attorneys in the case. He explains the central issue, which is “public accommodations”, an issue ignored by past discussions on this blog.
    Likening its cakes to the art of Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian, Masterpiece Cakeshop claims that they deserve protection as free speech no less than Pollock’s canvases. But whether the cakes are artistic is beside the point. As an individual artist, Pollock would not have been subject to a public accommodations law and could have chosen his customers. But if he had opened a commercial art studio to the public, he, too, would have been barred from refusing to sell a painting because a customer was black, female, disabled, or gay.
    . . .
    Under Colorado law, as under most public accommodations laws, a bakery can decline to place any messages on a cake that it finds offensive, as long as that policy applies to all customers and is not a pretext for discrimination on the basis of identity. What it cannot do is refuse to provide to a gay couple the very same product that it will sell to a straight couple. In this case, moreover, Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to provide even a nondescript cake if it was to be used for a reception celebrating a same-sex couple’s wedding. What triggered the objection was the identity of the customers, not any requested message. In fact, Craig and Mullins did not request a message at all.

  68. ked says:

    Arguably, when did pursuit of advanced research not endanger humanity? Alternatively, one could simply curl into a fetal position after reading that website for more than a few minutes.

  69. Will they ever let her go? Good try, but brandy won’t do it. Drunk or sober this man’s no pushover. The photographer catching Mrs May beginning to realise that at 60 billion and counting the only way to get out is if we give the whole damn country away –
    Come to think of it, why not? Not as if we’re not doing that anyway.

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