sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Oh, the Insanity

Mount Holyoke College - Massachusetts

The all women school is opening its doors to men, but only if they say that they're not. That's the conclusion of the gender inclusion task force. 
While Mount Holyoke maintains it is committed to its historic mission as a women’s college, it says it recognizes that what it means to be a woman is always changing. “Traditional binaries around who counts as a man or woman are being challenged by those whose gender identity does not conform to their biology,” the policy states. 
The college formed a gender inclusion task force to assist with the changes. 
Any “biologically born female” can apply for admission, but only a “biologically born male” who “identifies as other/they/ze and when ‘other/they’ identity includes woman” and one who “identifies as a woman.”
But what if a normal guy lied to get in to go to school and get laid a lot? How would Mount Holyoke handle that? I find this whole progressive cant ludicrous and -- if I'm being honest -- it's also entertaining. Who doesn't find a freak show interesting when the freaks keep trying to be freakier?

He's Back

This story received some traction on Fox News, where they've been ridiculing Indiana University. Apparently the publicity had some impact
Lake Ingle, a (male) religious studies major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was kicked out of Christianity class earlier this month for saying there are only two genders. He is now allowed back in. 
IUP President Michael Driscoll announced at a press conference Monday his decision to go against Professor Alison Downie’s controversial request to ban Ingle from class for “disruptive behavior.” 

Ingle told Fox News he was booted out of Downie’s classroom for challenging the feminist theology professor on the biology of males and females and the gender wage gap during a Feb. 28 lecture in which she allegedly asked only women to speak following a TED Talk by transgender ex-pastor Paula Stone Williams. Williams discussed the “reality” of “mansplaining,” “sexism from men,” and “male privilege.”

Downie kicked him out of class and asked him not to come back, which would have postponed his graduation if not for the college president’s decision.
Therapy Pets

I am not anti-pet. I do think that hauling your pet on the airplane with you in the passenger compartment is too much of a good thing, because others don't necessarily want to deal with your duck, rat, squirrel, snake, turtle, dog, hedgehog, cat, etc...and we know that the pets don't do well in the overhead compartments where they suffocate.

And before you jump my frame about seeing-eye dogs, seeing-eye cats, veteran's PTSD pets, I suggest that if airlines want to haul pets that they put them in a compartment separate from passengers where they can bark, quack, howl, meow, hiss, etc. Charge full fare to stack the cages, etc.  And before you ask me about squalling babies, I have no problem with a 'family seating area'. Put it in the back, board them first like they do now. Have the seats face forward and backward.

United (not my favorite airline), famous for "Chinese take-out" has killed somebody's hound and that will cost them another million. All this could be fixed with a pet compartment. If you love your frog or your parakeet enough, pay the full fare ticket for them. If not, put them in a pet hotel, leave them with a friend, drive your car, or don't travel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

White Wolf Mine Knife

A friend of mine who served with Third Special Forces (ODA3110) lives in the general region where the White Wolf Mine is located. He inspects the building site for me from time to time and keeps the trades honest. He asked me about a month ago whether or not I had a White Wolf Mine Knife. I told him that I own more than one knife but didn't have a dedicated knife to the place.

Today I received a knife that IS the official White Wolf Mine Knife, a one-off pattern welded blade that started off with nine layers of 1095 and 15N20 steel, folded to 288 layers. Hardened to Rockwell 60. It has a scrimshaw wolf on the grip. While it's significantly fancier than most of my blades, which were strictly designed for combat, it screams WHITE WOLF.

It's one of those blades that I'll bring out for ceremonial purposes like the thoracic cut on the first elk that is killed and cleaned on the property. Otherwise, it will enjoy a position of honor in my trophy/I love me area in the den.

CW Swanson (Daily Timewaster) suggested that I give it a name. What about Ulvens Tann (Wolf's Tooth - in Norwegian)?


Here and There

North Korea

North Korea published an official comment about relations with South Korea and with the US. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published an English-language commentary on 21 Wednesday that read a “dramatic atmosphere for reconciliation has been created in relations between the North and the South of Korea and there has been a sign of change in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea --North Korea) -U.S. relations.”

I don't know whether the rapprochement is sincere or not. I don't think that anyone knows at the moment. However the US is going ahead with scheduled military exercises beginning April 1, and sanctions are still in place. I don't think that China will blink and lift them and that may have the attention of the Norks even more than what the US and its allies have done.

The commentary on improving relations coming out of North Korea is without precedent and important as an acknowledgment of a change in North Korean tactics, if not policy. North Korean media have published nothing else like it, according to an analysis posted by the Daily NK on 20 March.

Putting their Snouts Under the Tent

The Russian Far East Development Ministry announced on 20 March that a delegation led by its minister, Alexander Galushka, is now visiting Pyongyang.

The delegation is scheduled to meet with North Korean External Economic Affairs Minister Kim Yong Jae on 21 and 22 March to exchange views on cooperation in the fields of energy, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transportation and science technology.

This is vintage Russian behavior whenever North Korea reaches out to South Korea and the US. The timing is perfect.

The Russians tried to shoehorn themselves into the Agreed Framework arrangements during the Clinton administration and were one of the parties in the Six Party Talks. The distinguishing features of Russian involvement were that they never committed resources or finances, but always had much to say.

Russian meddling has important implications. It means that the Russians see opportunities for increased influence at no cost to them by pretending to be friends with Kim Jong Un’s regime. 

They also see opportunities for possible financial gain, for example, from a relaxation of sanctions as a reward for improved relations and eased tension. The Russians also appear to be trying to position themselves to capture a larger share of the North Korean energy market, at China’s expense. Russian fuel smugglers are competing with Chinese smugglers for North Korean customers.

Russian intrusion, such as this, is a positive indicator. It implies that the leaders in Moscow have concluded that the North Korean outreach is at least superficially genuine and will last for a while. 


News services reported that Turkey intends to create its own local government authorities in Afrin District, replacing the councils created by the Kurds. One of their tasks will be managing humanitarian assistance.
The images of Turkish-backed forces looting Afrin suggest healthy skepticism about Turkey’s good intentions is justified.
Syrian Kurdish sources reported that the Turkish proxy forces, the Free Syrian Army, is capturing the remaining parts of Afrin District. They also are preparing to attack the Syrian Kurds at Tel Rifaat, which is the only sizeable town left in the region.

The People’s Defense/Protection Units (YPG) withdrew from Afrin to Tell Rifaat and to Manbij. Tell Rifaat is reported to be no longer a Kurdish-controlled town. In late February, the YPG supposedly surrendered control of the town to Syrian government forces. The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army has had limited contact with Syrian-backed forces. When incidents occurred, the Syrians retaliated forcefully.

Bitterness among the Kurds. 

The Syrian Kurds said they feel that they have been stabbed in the back by the US and the international community. "The silence of the international community is complicit in the macabre plan of Erdogan. Silence means acceptance," a group of Kurds originally from Afrin and now living in Europe told the French daily Le Monde on 20 March.

"Don't abandon your allies!" they said. "The same fighters who fought courageously against Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) are today left to the mercy of the Turkish army," said Khaled Issa, the official representative in France of Syria's Kurdistan. "What is happening in Afrin is ethnic cleansing and the great powers are spectators," he said.

The Usual Searing Analysis

The Kurds in Afrin chose defeat by the Turks over compromise with the Sunni Arabs and the Alawite Arabs. Syrians and Russians tried, but failed to persuade the Kurds to accept Syrian authority with the prospect of armed assistance. The rest of the Kurds talked about coming to the aid of Afrin, but did not, most likely on outside advice (from the US). They stopped at Manbij.

The Syrian Kurds did not learn from the experience of the Iraqi Kurds in the independence referendum in September. Somehow, they believed that their version of autonomy within the Syrian state would be acceptable to the Damascus government and to the Russians. It was not. 

No country with a large Kurdish population will permit the emergence of an independent Kurdish state. That Kurdish dream of statehood is dead for another generation.

President Trump did the right thing by keeping the US out of the fighting. The US forces in the general area are mopping up ISIS and have advised the Kurds to make friends from the national forces in Syria and Iraq, respectively or to accept that they are fighting a war they can't win. The US is not interested in fighting a proxy war against Turkey or anywhere else in the Middle East. That is a change in approach from the Bush and Obama years.


Israel officially confirmed on 21 March that Israeli air forces destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007. The announcement said the air strikes removed a major threat to Israel and the region and was a “message” to others.

The Israelis released declassified materials related to the attack. They included photographs and cockpit video of the moment that an air strike destroyed the Al-Kubar facility in the desert near Deir ez-Zur. The facility was located more than 480 km (300 miles) inside Syria. “This was our message in 2007, this remains our message today and will continue to be our message in the near and distant future.” 

The message is a warning for Iran. Israeli air strikes have destroyed at least two suspected Iranian facilities in Syria. All parties are on notice that the attacks on suspected Iranian facilities will continue. 

North Koreans were building the nuclear reactor complex at Deir ez-Zur when it was attacked in 2007. The main buildings were copies of those at the North Korean complex at Yongbyon.

Altered Carbon (a review)

The Journey

There I was, casting about on Netflix and I ran onto a new series: Altered Carbon. So I watched it and it was ok, but there were parts that I found a bit over the top. Still, I'm always in the market for a good novel and I found the the series was based on a book. The book, written in 2003 by Richard K. Morgan won the coveted Phillip K. Dick award for Science Fiction. Awards don't blow my skirt up but it had 650 reviews (+/-) and most of them were positive, so I got closer to pulling the trigger on the Kindle version on 

The Book - Altered Carbon

Then I bought the book even though I did not and have not moved past episode 1 on Netflix. And I really liked it. There was something in the story that resonated for me and I found myself laughing, which I seldom do while I read. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a comedy. It's a murder mystery set in the 25th Century, and it's very well written. Here's the plot: Netflix Tag Line: In the distant future, human consciousness can be digitized and downloaded into different bodies. Brought back to life after 250 years by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) the richest man on Earth, ex-Envoy soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman / Will Yun Lee) must solve Bancroft's attempted murder for the chance to live again in a world he doesn't recognize. (trailer)

The Sequel - Broken Angels

The main character is the same, but the story is different. It's a war story and the same brittle edge that I found appealing with Altered Carbon was there in Broken Angels. Some reviewers didn't like the change in plot from detective novel to futuristic war novel, but it's a unique view of "the future" while being an interesting commentary on warfare without being preachy.

The Current Read - Woken Furies

I just downloaded this story which is third in the series and I'm possibly a quarter of the way into it. You will either get totally sucked in and miss days of your life, OR you will run screaming. I can't say what your reaction will be, but these books on Kindle are $12 each and I usually don't spend that much on a digital book. But the previous two were worth it. And this one is very good so far.

Will you like the series? I can't venture a guess, but think on it - you might like it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Those Lovable Turks

Turkish President Erdogan said the war against the Kurdish People would continue to the Iraqi border.
"Now we will continue this process until we entirely eliminate this corridor, including in Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday in Ankara. 

(Press comment: Ayn al-Arab is known to Kurds as Kobane; Tel Abyad’s Kurdish name is Gire Spi and Ras al-Ayn is Sari Kani in Kurdish. All of the towns are located along the Syria-Turkey border within Rojava, the self-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria.)
Erdogan said that capturing Afrin was a “comma” and “God willing, a full stop will come next,” but he insisted that Turkey is not invading Syria. “Our intention is not to invade, but to carry out operations to cleanse (Kurds) terrorists and eliminate terrorist threats to our country,” he said. 

Erdogan also threatened to fight anti-Turkish Kurdish fighters in Iraq. 
“We told the Iraqi government that they were trying to form another Qandil in Sinjar (Shingal). If you do not solve it, we can enter Sinjar and clean it up there,” he said, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The reference to Qandil is to the base of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) which is a terrorist organization. Qandil is located in northeastern Iraq, whereas Sinjar is located in northwestern Iraq. 

Buoyed by the capture of Afrin in Syria, Erdogan is talking boldly about solving Turkey’s Kurdish terrorism problems, despite the humiliation of Turkey’s immediate neighbors and their allies.

He also is challenging Iran. The Turkish border campaign is an embarrassment for Iran because Iran is an ally of Syria and Iraq. Iranian volunteers were the only fighters who came to the assistance of the Kurds in Afrin. 

The Turkish and Turkish-backed forces are operating with impunity in Syria. Turkish air power, armor and artillery make them unstoppable by the Syrian Kurdish militias, unless they receive US air support.

In threatening Sinjar, Iraq, Erdogan would commit Turkish troops and proxies to operate more deeply in Iraq than they did during the tenure of Saddam Hussein. Once again, they would operate with impunity because Iraqi forces and Iraqi Kurdish forces could not repel the Turkish army.


Darwin never said the strongest of the species survives. He said the “most adaptable” to change survives. And the fastest to adapt not only survive, they thrive. That was certainly true in the age of British America when the staid and established British lost the New World. 

Note how the so-called "deep state" that actually runs America does the same thing by refusing to adapt to change. "How can a non-political real estate mogul become President? Why that's un-American," poor old Jeb! laments to his friends in the club from an alcoholic haze. Hillary (Jeb! without a dick) blames white women who are browbeaten by their husbands for her loss. How could anyone not recognize her political superiority over an outsider - somebody who doesn't belong to the club? Let's get Mueller in there to discredit the President and try to get him ousted.

Deep state manifestations peak out of the ooze and some of them (mostly in the FBI these days) are netted out and examined like some species of Neanderthal discovered living in a cave. The only problem is that the deep state was bruised (not killed) by the Trump election and they yearn for the good old days of Bubba and George W.

The socialists on the left took a drubbing and plan to double down on their loss rather than looking out across the nation. Those in the know within the deep state are bothered by the fact that "the deplorables" who elected President Trump are armed to the teeth and if counted as a militia army (which they are not but hang with me for a minute) due to numbers, arms and ammunition, outnumber the standing military by at least 50 to 1. (Active US Military in 2017 was 1,281,900)

Deep state efforts to disarm those deplorable Constitutionalists who cling to God and guns during the years of ObamaNation were anemic. Barack is often held to be the best firearms salesman that the world has ever known. Is it any wonder that the progressive left funding mechanisms were ready to pounce on a tragedy to try and do something about the deplorables and their firearms?

The NRA has not been able to handle all of the membership applications that they received from the latest anti-firearms craze. The deep state folks should recognize cause and effect by now, but they don't. 

Many who read this blog are disorganized minutemen - simply by default and training. It's not a militia, but it could be. This keeps members of the deep state up at night.

The current thoughts of many in California to break away and form a new state (read more here) reflects the discontent with the progressive movement which draws its strength from inner city people and coastal liberals. Enough of this discontent has to do with California's increasingly restrictive policies toward private ownership of firearms. Maybe this move would stop a CALEXIT? Maybe it will hasten it? Likely it's only noise, but California legislators have a tin ear when it comes to Constitutionalists. History shows that hasn't worked well in American history.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vote Called For!

Death Wish
It's time to take stock:

Whiskey in the Jar -- Thin Lizzy   or   Metalica  ???

Ok, I think that Metalica kills it, but that's just me.

Some of you may recall the War Tunes post from St. Patrick's Day. There was come contention. What do you haters think of Thin Lizzy playing The Emerald?

And for this historical record, the first time I heard "The Emerald" was at Plymouth, England in the barracks of 62 Commando circa 1976 and they LOVED IT. See, the War Tunes among people who were killing Irish for a living (or throwing them in prison hulks - which was the same thing), were popular. They were more popular when the lads were tipping the bottle a bit. And everyone loved Thin Lizzy (a pro-IRA band). Who doesn't love The Boys are Back? Disco was big and when anyone returned from leave, we had that played before we busted the club up - and the Bobbies were called - and we left out the back with the young birds and groupies who wanted to do it all night long.

LL Circa 1976
I realize that some of you may see it differently, but you may not have been at the point of the spear at that time.  

In those days Ford was president and you could DO SHIT under the rubric of counterterrorism and everyone back home thought that was cool including Democrats. The USGOV decided to second some officers and a few senior enlisted to go to the UK and watch what was going on first hand and report.

That evolved into other jobs with the Brits, and more exotic jobs ending America's enemies -- until they almost ended me. And I decided to become civilized rather than kill people for Uncle Sam.  If you're going to ask how all that worked out, the jury is still out. Civilization is over rated. Whatever you do, don't fear the reaper.

Go ahead and vote. Thin Lizzy or Metalica?