You know you read some news story that makes you laugh and then consider how does someone explain the incident……well I read one of these recently……

Russian news reports say the hatch of a cargo plane carrying precious metals accidentally flew open upon takeoff—scattering at least 3 tons of gold on the runway. An investigation is underway after the incident Thursday at the airport in the far east city of Yakutsk, according to the Tass news agency. Sorry, treasure hunters: Authorities recovered 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tons, Tass quoted Interior Ministry officials as saying, per the AP.

The An-12 plane operated by the airline Nimbus took off for Krasnoyarsk carrying 9.3 tons of gold and other precious metals, according to a statement from the state Investigative Committee quoted by Tass. Damage to a door handle caused it to fly open and spill some of the metal. No one was hurt in the incident.

The plane’s cargo ramp was somehow damaged during takeoff, causing gold to litter the runway and precious materials to rain down behind the vehicle for up to 16 miles before the plane made an emergency landing in Magan.

What the story does not touch is that diamonds were also on the load that flew out the ass end of the plane with the gold…..not all have been located…….

Okay who the Hell was flying around with that much gold?

Sounds like chump change for a Saudi prince….or maybe the pocket change for a Russian oligarch….

Speaking of a Saudi prince………

Fourteen current and former senior US officials tell NBC News that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has been hiding his mother from his father, King Salman, for more than two years. The officials say intelligence shows that Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, initially placed his mother under house arrest at a palace over concerns that she opposed the idea of the king appointing MBS crown prince and might seek to prevent him from doing so. King Salman did indeed appoint his son crown prince in June, stripping his nephew of the title; MBS was quick to consolidate power. (This week, it was reported that MBS had seized executive control of businesses linked to people he recently had arrested.) The officials say that over the past two years, MBS has kept his father from seeing his mother, using various excuses—such as claiming his mother is getting medical treatment.

The 32-year-old MBS, who revealed in a recent interview that Saudi Arabia would develop a nuclear bomb if Iran did, will be meeting with the US president next week. As NBC reports, he’ll likely be touted as “a reformer who’s expanded women’s rights” in Saudi Arabia, but the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said his treatment of his mother proves the lengths he’ll go to to ensure he is the country’s next king. US officials have also told NBC that, based on interactions with King Salman, he may not be “consistently lucid”; they say he has told those around him that he misses his third wife, but he does not appear to know where she is. The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington denies that she is separated from her husband.

What a great son!  These are quality of people we are in bed with…..

My weekend is gonna be a quiet one….with wine and snacks….hope everyone joys their day…..chuq


Another BS Story From A Preacher

Another Saturday and time to dial back the political observations…..

Recently there have been several news stories about some religious leaders caught with their pants down…in more ways that one….

A pastor from Pennsylvania has denied any wrongdoing after police discovered him in a car with a naked man. George Nelson Gregory of Munhall and the unidentified man have been charged with lewdness and indecent exposure after they were discovered in the vehicle on 9 February.

According to a complaint made available to CBS Pittsburgh, authorities received a call regarding a suspicious car that was parked in from of a home on Beechland Street. On arriving there, officers found Gregory sitting in the back seat while a naked man bound with nylon rope was seated in the front.

In their criminal complaint, the officers mentioned that Gregory told them that they “were just playing” and normally “meet up from time to time to play with each other.” The naked man confirmed as much and added that their actions were consensual.

However, the 61-year-old now claims that the police report was incorrect and that the said conversation did not take place. “I have nothing to hide. I did nothing wrong,” Gregory said, explaining that the police had come to the car because they thought someone inside had passed out.

“I was counselling a young man with a drug problem,” he explained. “It did turn strange, but it wasn’t my doing, OK? And I was adamant that I’m not participating in that way. And so that’s when the police pulled up, and they assume things, but I’m standing by my story. It’s not true.”

The pastor revealed that the man did take off his clothes and proposition him. “I will deny, on a stack of Bibles with God as my witness, that I did nothing,” he said, pointing out that he was fully clothed at the time and did not deserve to be charged with public lewdness.


And we all know that preachers do not lie….like Swaggart, Bakker and a hundred others….and they all used the Bible to prove their innocence….and none were….

I will be off for awhile……try to enjoy your day and your time……chuq

Inequality: How Bad Can It Be?

There has been a lot written, said and thought about inequality in this country, especially with this last election….the populist resurgent has come on the heels of the inequality in the US.

Both Right and Left emphasizes it at every turn…..but is it as bad as they claim it is?

The answer is yes it is and believe it or not kt is worse than you think….

The more the ultra-rich prosper, the less they’re burdened with taxes, the greater the benefits for society as a whole. If you’re familiar with Republican economic theory of the past 40 years, you’ve probably heard this line of reasoning. In fact, just the opposite is true

Take it from the world’s third richest man, Warren Buffett, who recently noted that between 1982 and 2017, “the wealth of the 400 [richest people in America] increased 29-fold—from $93 billion to $2.7 trillion—while many millions of hardworking citizens remained stuck on an economic treadmill. During this period, the tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward.”

The reality is the United States is now home to some of the worst income inequality in the developed world, and thanks to the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this wealth gap will grow exponentially wider.

Few want to believe the tale of the tape… inequality continues to grow and as it grows so will the outrage…..eventually that outrage will effect the results of elections….and that outrage will fuel the programs that address the inequality.

But can that outrage eliminate inequality?

I think it can but unfortunately not in my lifetime…..hopefully my granddaughter can see an end to the inequality.

My Lai–50 Years On

Closing Thought–16Mar18

Your Daily History Lesson…….

When I was teaching class at university I asked my class to find Vietnam on a map….15 students…..14 wrong answers….the only correct was a vet of that war… their defense they did not know the name Arafat or Begin…..I would bet that it is not much better these days of the information revolution.

How many people remember a Lt. named Calley?  How many remember a town named My Lai?

When I ask a class of college students how many have heard of My Lai, only a few if any raise their hands, tentatively. Even they are unsure what it was, or where, or when, or who was involved. Why have we forgotten the nadir of the Vietnam War? Is our collective amnesia accidental or willful?

March 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the date that does not live in infamy. Does it for any Americans? In 1968, American soldiers slaughtered animals, raped villagers, and murdered 109 “Oriental human beings” in My Lai. That was the number cited in a court-martial 18 months later.

Today is the 50th year anniversary of the massacre……

Americans, including GIs, were losing their once reflexive faith that the U.S. military, with all its skill and firepower, would prevail in Vietnam as it had so often throughout history. Also shattered was the faith that America’s fighting forces were inherently more virtuous than their enemies. The unraveling of that conviction began in earnest in 1969 with the revelation that American soldiers had murdered hundreds of unarmed and unresisting women, children, babies, and old men in the village of My Lai.

For many people, the shocking news came first in the form of several horrifying photographs. One shows almost two dozen dead Vietnamese bodies on a dirt road. Many have fallen in a twisted pile; some are partially naked. Another photograph shows a woman lying in a field with her legs drawn up under her body. Her conical straw hat has flipped off her head. If you look closely you can notice that a large portion of her brain lies exposed beneath the hat.

To be fair……we must hear from the people that were there….the survivors…..

It was the sweet potato harvest season, so Ha Thi Quy woke up early to find a good spot in the village to dry slices of the delicately flavored tuber to sell.

She noticed some American soldiers in the village, but that didn’t alarm her.

“There are no Vietnamese troops here, so why should they start shooting?” Quy recalled her self-assurance in a bitter question that she still has not found the answer to……

Scars of war are the worse to bear…..

I begin my weekend…..lost in memories to times long ago…..chuq

It’s The Second, As Always!

The mass shootings lately, 18 of them so far in 2018, has  Americans yelling and thinking about the 2nd amendment…..this amendment to the Constitution has its uses…..

What about the days of the Founding Fathers, this is where the amendment came from……

In the days since the tragic murder of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, the number of people clamoring for tighter restrictions on the right to purchase or otherwise obtain a firearm crescendos daily, sometimes hourly.

Of course, those familiar with the Second Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America (that is the official name) would never support such tyrannical proposals, particularly those well-versed in the nearly 1,000-year history of the Anglo-American protection of the right of self-defense.

There is an urgent need for Americans to refamiliarize themselves with the wisdom of the Founding Fathers on this topic, as well as the wisdom of those writers whose words inspired and informed our Founders.

So many claim that the 2nd is what keeps our politicians honest….(pause here for laughter)….our reps are just as corrupt with or without the 2nd in place…..with that in mind…….

As the subject of the Second Amendment reenters the public discourse, the question of whether or not the right to keep and bears arms is an effective deterrent against tyranny must be examined. In the days of drones, fighters, and tanks, what good is a semi-automatic rifle? This question is typically posed by those who envision pitched battles between US Army forces and rebels. That isn’t how wars are fought anymore. Any uprising in the United States would be in the form of an insurgency. During an insurgency all of those high tech toys aren’t government assets, they’re insurgent assets. This doesn’t imply US soldiers would defect en masse to the rebels.

I guess goes along with that quote that has been attributed to Jefferson about the tree of Liberty and the watering with blood….or something like that……

(I expect the readership to go up because my more right wing brethren will have lots to say when it comes to the gun thing)

Are The Generals Failing Our Troops?

I will not lie to my readers….I am an anti-war proponent and have been so since the 1970’s….I see our military personnel being pushed to their limits by the multiple deployments and the multiple wars been fought and to what aim?

In the past generals have gone to the president and told him what needed to be done and what wars we needed to fight….those days are gone with the promise of cushy jobs awaiting the generals upon retirement….

We need generals with a backbone that cares more about the troops than his retirement……

September 2006. Iraq was falling apart. Nearly 100 American troops were being killed a month. The war seemed hopeless, unwinnable (because it ultimately was). So the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Peter Pace, convened a “council of colonels’ – purportedly some of the brightest minds in the military – to recommend new policies. Only three, reportedly, had any combat experience in Iraq, but still, these guys were sharp. The group debated endlessly and eventually reached an impasse. They had three separate proposals and the group generally divided along service lines. Some Air Force and Navy guys wanted a phased withdrawal – the “Go Home” option – but their ideas were promptly dismissed. Other (mostly army and marine officers) wanted to “engage in prolonged conflict – the “Go Long” option. Finally, the most prominent army officers – including America’s current National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster – wanted to “Go Big” and heavily reinforce the troops in Iraq with a “surge.” You can guess which side won out.

George W. Bush liked the can-do optimism of the “surge” team and doubled down. Violence briefly dropped, a couple thousand more American troops died, and the military promptly declared victory. We’re still dealing with the fallout.

We need generals that will do what is needed to keep the country from fighting unnecessary wars ….wars of profit……

Yes we now have entered into a time of perpetual wars…….the costs of these wars have made the country less safe and a falling apart infrastructure……

I’m in my mid-thirties, which means that, after the 9/11 attacks, when this country went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq in what President George W. Bush called the “Global War on Terror,” I was still in college. I remember taking part in a couple of campus antiwar demonstrations and, while working as a waitress in 2003, being upset by customers who ordered “freedom fries,” not “French fries,” to protest France’s opposition to our war in Iraq. (As it happens, my mother is French, so it felt like a double insult.) For years, like many Americans, that was about all the thought I put into the war on terror. But one career choice led to another and today I’m co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Our generals should remember the old slogan from the 70’s…..”War  is good business….Invest your children”……

…..But He Plays One On TV

Pres., Trump recently lost his economic adviser over his, TrumP, deal with tariffs….the prez has picked his new adviser…….who is not an economist but he plays one on TV……Kudlow.

“I’m looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly,” President Trump said the other day, and as a result of all that strong, powerful, muscular looking, Trump finally selected Kudlow to be the new chief of his National Economic Council. It was a decision perfectly in line with Trump’s general philosophy of personnel, which is that he turns on Fox News, decides who sounds good, and then hires that person. In fact, when Trump called to offer the job, he told Kudlow he was looking at his picture on television. “You’re looking handsome, Larry,” he said.

We’ve gotten so used to cable television being the primary means through which Trump gets information, decides what’s important, and determines who should advise him that it’s become almost cliche, a source of easy jokes. But it’s yet more evidence that the most powerful person in the world views everything through the lens of a forum where our worst impulses are cultivated and the shallowest people are given the most exposure and influence.

The perfect choice….not an ounce of expertise like most others on his, Trump’s, cabinet….amateurs playing governance…..classic Trump!