Closing Thought–31May18

The one country that gets our aid without question is Israel and those funds were to be spent on American made equipment so Israel gets out taxpayers funds and spent in American to enrich the M-IC……but it seems that Israel wants to change this program…..

As the record-large 10-year US military aid package to Israel is set to go into effect, Israeli MPs are lobbying the Trump government to make substantial changes. In particular, they object to the made-in-USA rules.

The $38 billion aid package is to be spent on US-made equipment. This has been a common way to make foreign aid politically safe, as it means that money is ultimately going to US arms makers who have a lot of influence.

Israeli officials, however, see this US armament as a problem for their economy. The Israeli Knesset Finance Committee is estimating that 22,000 Israeli jobs would be lost if the US doesn’t just send Israel the money straightaway and let them spending on Israeli-made arms.

Yet this was the agreement all along, back to when President Obama got the Israeli government to finally, grudgingly agree to accept $38 billion worth of equipment. While President Trump has suggested the aid couple end up being even bigger, as part of a desire to throw more arms at Israel, the desire to keep growing US weapons exports means he’s probably not going to be eager to send Israel the cash instead.

(antiwar.com)

I do not like the idea of my tax dollars being sent to the thugs in Israel…but since I have no say in where the money goes I’ll just say “Screw Israel”…..you do not like the way things are done then we will keep our cash and they can go f*ck themselves….put that in your matza ball and shove it!

Peace Out…..chuq

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Back in the 1990’s the US built an airplane that was virtually invisible on radar….our stealth technology…..it was held as the grand achievement in warfare tech……basically it was a flying wing.

But in reality the low profile of such an aircraft is what made it almost invisible……but years before the US had built a flying wing, the YB-49.

….we tend to associate the flying wing design of aircraft with stealthy planes like the B-2 and the upcoming B-21 bomber. But the world’s first jet-powered flying wing emerged 70 years ago, and it was not designed to be stealthy but instead to conquer the problem of drag.

The Northrop YB-49 “Flying Wing” bomber prototype flew flight tests with the Air Force for several years before a fatal crash and basic problems with the aircraft led to its cancellation in 1949. A documentary from the late 1940s shows the optimism around the fresh design as the Northrop aviation company tried to explain the new YB-49 bomber to the masses.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a20874478/yb-49-northrop-first-flying-wing-jet/

The year was 1949 and it was a marvel according to some in the day…..but this idea was NOT an American idea.

Ever heard of the HO-229?

Probably not for it was conceived by those bastards of the day, the Nazis and the Horton Brothers.

Some historians claim that if the Nazis had put this into production sooner it could have well made all the difference in the outcome of WW2….in Germany’s favor.

America’s flying wing was not the first of such aircraft. In fact, one such plane nearly darkened the skies over Washington at the end of WWII with a nuclear present from the Fuhrer.

The head of the German Luftwaffe, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, was a notorious stickler, often demanding exceedingly stringent performance standards from the aircraft under his command. In 1943, he unveiled his most ambitious requirement set to date, quickly dubbed the “1000/1000/1000 rule”. It dictated than any future aircraft purchased by the German air force must be capable of hauling a 1000 kg load over a distance of 1000 km at a speed of 1000 km/h. And given the state of jet engine technology at the time, that requirement eliminated just about every aircraft currently in development.

https://gizmodo.com/the-first-flying-wing-jet-could-have-won-wwii-for-the-n-1649401748

After the war, the latest scientific improvements prompted the idea of planning an airframe that could sidestep radar. It was found that a jet-powered, flying wing design, just like the Horten Ho 229 will have a little radar cross-area to traditional contemporary twin-motor aircraft. This is because the wings were merged into the fuselage and there were no extensive propeller disks or vertical and horizontal tail surfaces to give a locatable radar signature.

Reimar Horten said he blended charcoal dust with the wood paste to soak up electromagnetic waves (radar), which he accepted could shield the aircraft from identification by British early warning ground-based radar that worked at 20 to 30 MHz (the top end of the HF band), which is called Chain Home radar.

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/the-only-surviving-horten-ho-229-hitlers-stealth-fighter.html

The Nazis were great innovators and it they had a leader that was more anchored in reality then we all might be speaking German to this day.

Fascinating stuff…..history is so much more informative than anything else these days…..but then it takes commonsense to appreciate this stuff and that is sadly lacking in today’s American society.

ISIS: The Rest Of The Story

There is a name that we seldom hear any more…..ISIS.  You would think that the lack of information would signal the demise of this barbarous group, right?  You would be mistaken.

While ISIS may be dying slowly in Iraq and Syria that does not mean the this group is dying out completely……not at all…..

Since ISIS has slipped from the headlines maybe now would be a good time for a refresher course…..

Bottom Line: The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has experienced significant territorial losses in its former self-declared caliphate that once spanned large swaths of eastern Syria and western Iraq. However, the group remains a potent international threat as it increasingly adopts conventional insurgent tactics, increases its focus on executing terrorist attacks in the West and doubles down on supporting affiliate organizations across the globe as well as lone wolf actors pursuing inspired attacks in their home countries.

Background: ISIS is the third reincarnation of al-Qaida in Iraq, a group that was originally formed in the aftermath of the Iraq War in 2004 and later changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2006.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/threat-report-2018-isis-spotlight#.Wvnnf6psq-0

Before ISIS there was al-Qaeda (AQ)……with ISIS getting most of the press for the last several years ….has AQ disbanded?  Has AQ decided to play nice?

What happened to AQ after the death of Osama?

And I have found an answer to your questions……

In the past five years, only one attack in a Western country — the Kouachi brothers’ attack against Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 — can be connected to al-Qaeda. Why did the once infamous and feared group halt its terror campaign in the West? Part of the explanation is that al-Qaeda has indeed suffered from targeted killings of senior operatives, making it harder for the group to plan and execute international attacks, and that regional events in the Middle East have enhanced the attractiveness of a local focus as opposed to conducting attacks in the West. Equally important to understand al-Qaeda’s changing priorities, however, is the rise of the Islamic State as a competing jihadi outfit and its ensuing terror campaign in the West. Intra-jihadi dynamics affect rival jihadi groups’ priorities for attacks. I outlined this argument in a recent article, Jihadi Competition and Political Preferences, which contends that intra-jihadi competition has played an important role in the changing enemy hierarchies of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State since 2014. Now, with the decline of the Islamic State, will al-Qaeda once again focus on launching attacks in (and not just against) the West?

https://warontherocks.com/2018/04/with-islamic-state-in-decline-whats-al-qaedas-next-move/

As you can see if you have read these reports…..these groups may be out of mind but they are not gone……

Do not let our attention be diverted…..please.

Remember That Opioid Abuse Thingy?

Closing Thought–30May18

Since 2016 there has been a big push to end the opioid abuse problem this country is having…..seem that overdose deaths are increase and something needs to be done….

One of the most abused drugs is “Oxy” and the maker of that drug has made the news….news they probably would have wanted to keep to themselves…..

The company behind OxyContin may have a little secret—that it knew early on about people abusing its powerful painkilling drug and said nothing, the New York Times reports. Purdue Pharma executives received reports of “significant” abuse soon after Oxycontin’s 1996 release, including people stealing and snorting the drug, according to a confidential Justice Department report. But when a four-year federal probe recommended felony charges against three senior Purdue Pharma executives, Justice officials in George W. Bush’s administration didn’t back the strategy and opted to settle in 2007. Three executives took sole responsibility, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor “misbranding” charge, and with the company paid $634.5 million in fines.

The Times chronicles OxyContin’s journey through the marketplace, from its questionable FDA approval to Purdue salespeople claiming OxyContin was less addictive than other opioids (despite its high narcotic levels). Reports emerged of Oxycontin’s predecessor drug, MS Contin, being abused, and by 1999 Purdue officials apparently learned that OxyContin was called “the hottest thing on the street—forget Vicodin.” Then came the 2007 case, which Justice officials called a win, while others saw an opportunity lost. “It would have been a turning point,” says a former DEA official. “It would have sent a message to the entire drug industry.” Meanwhile drug companies fueled the opioid crisis by sending pills to areas plagued by drug abuse, supplying West Virginia with enough to give each person 433 pills over a five-year period, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports.

Does this really surprise anyone?  This company had enough money to buy their way out of this situation……does not surprise me in the least.

Stay tuned for more stories on the developing saga of the Chase of Opioid Abuse.

The “Pink and Greens”

I bet right now you are thinking that this is some sort of Code Pink and the Green Party collaboration…..well you would be sadly mistaken…..this is about the new colors for the uniforms of the military…..Pink?

Not long ago the US Army replaced the green dress uniforms with a dark blue….which was stupid for the Air Force has blue uniforms….the Army distinction was gone…..now they are at it again……

Army leadership has been saying for months that a decision on bringing back the World War II-era pinks and greens uniform was due this spring, but with May underway, officials say a decision is still forthcoming.

In the meantime, Marlow White has been building excitement about the prospect of a new service uniform, creating a prospective rollout timeline it last updated on May 2.

The release pegs Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley making a final decision on the uniform and its fielding plan by Nov. 11, with several events leading up to that.

One is a wear test during spring or summer of this year by a recruiting battalion, followed by ― if Milley approves ― an initial rollout next June, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/05/14/is-this-the-rollout-plan-for-the-pinks-and-greens-the-army-says-nothing-is-final/

Again?

If I recall correctly the army changed uniforms just 5 or so years ago….so why not spend some of the land fall funds that the Pentagon seems to get whether they want it or not.

What was wrong with the Army green dress uniform?  Not a damn thing…..so did we really need to waste tax payers money?

A question for the ages.

The Impeachment Trial

There comes a time when the actions of a sitting president make it necessary for the Congress to act to impeach the person for the good of the country.

Good God…..Do not get your pants in a twist….this is not about some Trump crap…this is a history of the impeachment trial of Pres. Andrew Johnson…

In May, 1868, the Senate came within a single vote of taking the unprecedented step of removing a president from office.  Although the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson was ostensibly about a violation of the Tenure of Office Act, it was about much more than that.  Also on trial in 1868 were Johnson’s lenient policies towards Reconstruction and his vetoes of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act and the Civil Rights Act.  The trial was, above all else, a political trial.

Andrew Johnson was a lifelong Democrat and slave owner who won a place alongside Abraham Lincoln on the 1864 Republican ticket in order to gain the support of pro-war Democrats.  Johnson was fiercely pro-Union and had come to national prominence when, as a Senator from the important border state of Tennessee, he denounced secession as “treason.”

On April 11, 1865, Abraham Lincoln gave his last major address.  Lincoln congratulated Lee on his surrender, announced that his cabinet was united on a policy of reconstructing the Union, and expressed the hope that the states of the confederacy would extend the vote to literate negroes and those who served as Union soldiers.  Then came the tragic events at the Ford Theater.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/impeach/imp_account2.html

History is fascinating……learn something today!

It’s On! Again?

Waited…..will this be over or will they pull the summit out of the rubble?

Off again, on again…the Korea Summit appears to be back on tract again.  I will admit I was quick to jump on the chance that it might fail….I may have been mistaken to do so….with that said the news is that the plans are being made for the summit to go forward and the president is his usual talkative self…..

A US team is in North Korea to plan a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to President Trump, raising expectations that the on-off-on meeting will indeed take place. Both the State Department and South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the American and North Korean officials have been engaged in talks at the Korean village of Panmunjom, which straddles the border inside the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. One can cross the border simply by stepping across a painted line, but moving beyond several footsteps into the North at Panmunjom would be rare for US officials, the AP reports.

Trump withdrew from a planned June 12 Singapore summit with Kim last Thursday, but quickly announced it could still happen. His tweet Sunday afternoon, which offered praise for the longtime US adversary, was the latest signal that his concerns about the North’s stance toward the summit had been allayed. “Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself,” he tweeted. “I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”

The huge term being batted around for this summit is Denuclearization….(not a recognized word but what the Hell)….

South Korean president seemed to have saved this summit from disastrous end…..and he assures the US that NK is serious…..

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has given new comments following Saturday’s surprise summit with Kim Jong-un, saying the two agree about wanting to see the Kim-Trump summit happen as planned on June 12. President Trump cancelled the summit last week, but has since suggested it may happen after all.

Moon says Kim reiterated to him his support for a deal on Korea-wide denuclearization, as well as a commitment to meet President Trump. South Korea was instrumental in getting the Trump-Kim summit set up in the first place.

(antiwar.com)

There is that word again……Denuclearization.

Hopefully Kim is not a student of history or this dream will be nothing more than a new word for the lexicon.

Why would I say such a downer of a thing?

I kinda want to pee on the parade……just think back about 20 years ago then forward think after that……

Libya and its “denuclearization”…….a graphic from my friends at Geopolitical Futures and their fine work……

Kim may want to take this under consideration before he inks any deals…..the thought of no nukes on the Korean Peninsula may be a good idea it could be a death sentence for Kim…not that anyone would cry…..

There ks a reason that leaders need to be informed and know their history….they could live a bit longer.

Just a thought.

Closing Thought–29May18

This is a story that appeared while I was on my walk about…..something kinda scary if you think about it…..the drug culture takes hold in the military…….just what we need a bunch of strung out dipsticks in control of our nukes……

It was a story but it did not to be a big deal at the time……

One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America’s arsenal. Air Force records obtained by the AP show they bought, distributed, and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. A slipup on social media by one airman enabled investigators to crack the drug ring at FE Warren Air Force Base in March 2016, details of which are reported here for the first time. Fourteen airmen were disciplined. Six of them were convicted in courts martial of LSD use or distribution or both. None of the airmen was accused of using drugs on duty.

The service members accused of involvement were from the 90th Missile Wing, which operates one-third of the 400 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles that stand “on alert” 24/7 in underground silos scattered across the northern Great Plains. Documents obtained by the AP tell a sordid tale of off-duty use of LSD, cocaine, and other drugs in 2015 and 2016 by airmen who were supposed to be held to strict behavioral standards because of their role in securing the weapons. For the inexperienced members of the drug ring, Airman 1st Class Nickolos Harris, the ringleader, had set out several “rules” for LSD use. Rule No. 1: “No social media at all.” But social media proved their undoing. In March 2016, one member posted a Snapchat video of himself smoking marijuana, setting Air Force investigators on their trail. The AP has much more, including testimony from the airmen at their court martial proceedings, here.

Busted by Social Media……dumb asses.

Once again it shows just how stupid the American people have become….placing everything on social media is STUPID!

Who Is James Puckle?

This post is for all my gun nuts.

Ever heard of the M-60, Ma Deuce, Tommy Gun, Grease Gun or Hitler’s Buzz Saw?

What do all these “guns” have in common?

On May 15, 1718, James Puckle of England patented the first machine gun.  This English lawyer reflected his times by designating the ammunition for his flintlock fired 11 shot machine gun to be loaded with normal musket balls for use against Christians and with fiendish cubical bullets for use against Muslims!

One of the most diabolical inventions has been the invention of the machine gun…..killing more people quickly……it made a big difference in the First World War……

But with that said let us look at the 10 biggest machine guns……

Here we list 10 of the greatest machine guns throughout history, with consideration of innovation, historical impact, effectiveness, longevity, reliability and perhaps even “coolness” as criteria. With so many different makes and models to choose from, many of which are worthy competitors, you might not find your favorite listed, so please share your thoughts about guns that should be added to the list.

https://www.historyandheadlines.com/history-may-15-1718-10-greatest-machine-guns/

Man is always looking for a better way to wage war or to kill and the machine gun fulfilled that niche well.

Special Operations Command is planning to release solicitations next year for machine guns that are expected to give warfighters expanded capability, a SOCOM official said May 24.

One is a lightweight medium machine gun that must provide commandos with a 2,000-meter engagement capability, be of comparable weight to the current M240B weapon and offer advanced barrel, suppressor and thermal mitigation technologies, said Lt. Col. Mark Owens, program manager for ammunition and weapons at program executive office SOF warrior.

“We’re not looking for the same barrel technology in this body of weapons that we have seen in the last 50 years of machine guns,” he said during a panel discussion at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Florida. “We’re looking for a barrel that has higher endurance, higher operational ability, greater availability for sustained fires.”

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2018/5/25/new-machine-guns-on-the-horizon-for-special-operators

Like I said always looking for a better way to kill.

History lesson is done……be well…chuq

The Saudis

You want to know the key to all the problems in the Middle East then look no further than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia…..

Think I am smoking some weird shit?

Let’s look at Islamic terrorism…..ther brand of Islam that these creeps follow is an extreme form of Islam…Wahhabism which originated in Saudi Arabia….let us jump on the “way back” machine to the 18th century……and the new prince of the year MbS is cited as the savior of the House of Saud from itself……

Wahhabism, cited as the official Saudi religious doctrine for which the country’s leadership has been so vehemently criticised and which MBS is looking to rebrand, is based on the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792).

Abd al-Wahhab was an Islamic scholar from the Nejd region of the Arabian Peninsula, an avid traveller and the author of The Book of Unity, which was rejected by most of his contemporaries in Mecca and Medina. Abd al-Wahhab preached returning to the Quran and the Hadith, rejected religious innovation (bidaa) and advocated eliminating practices (such as Sufi rites and veneration of saints) that are not grounded in the Quran. He even accused other Muslims of being infidels for following practices that were, in his opinion, un-Islamic and called for strict adherence to traditional Islamic law (sharia).

There was nothing new in Abd al-Wahhab’s teachings which were based on some old ideas and constituted a revival of the Hanbali doctrine in the most ultraconservative form. It was, however, his religious zeal that ultimately drove him close to the Saud family.

https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/can-mohammed-bin-salman-break-the-saudi-wahhabi-pact.html

More reference into the marriage of the Sauds and Wahhab…..

http://countrystudies.us/saudi-arabia/7.htm

The US has been drawing closer and closer to the kingdom for about 30 years….at the same time Americans are ignorant to the fact that Saudis made up the biggest ethnic group of the 9/11 terrorists……and the creeps in ISIS and Al-Qaeda are followers of this extreme form of Islam….and yet we keep them close as an ally……and now people are putting all their faith in the next and future king….MbS……

Liberalization but democracy will not be a thing of the future……

Saudi Arabia’s leadership is coming under growing pressure to address significant economic and demographic challenges so it can remain a stable, prosperous country. These include:

• Nearly 45 percent of the population (currently about 26 million) is under the age of 25.

• Although the official unemployment rate is less than 6 percent (private estimates are significantly higher), nearly one-third of young Saudis are unemployed.

• As demand for jobs grows, the traditional employers—the public sector and the energy sector—are increasingly incapable of providing opportunities.

• Young, urbanized Saudis are demanding reforms that will relax the country’s highly restrictive social climate, especially in regard to gender issues.

http://afsa.org/saudi-arabia-liberalization-not-democratization

But in the long run the “new” Saudi is just the same as the “old” Saudi…..

For months, Saudi Arabia had been enjoying a public-relations windfall. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS, the kingdom’s charismatic future leader, seduced the world with his vision for a new, modern nation. There have been live concerts, and cinemas are opening, with many more planned. Women can attend soccer games. Last September, MbS announced a bold promise to overturn the country’s ban on women driving, a change that is set to go into effect on June 24.Then, late on Friday, it all came crashing down: Reports emerged that the women activists who pressed for the policy change had been arrested and imprisoned. As of this morning, 13 are reported to have been arrested; most are women. Apart from the driving issue, they have campaigned against so-called guardianship rules which require Saudi women to receive permission from a male relative before making many life decisions, like traveling. One of those detained was Loujain al-Hathloul, who was photographed at the 2016 One Young World Summit with none other than Meghan Markle, who married Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/05/saudi-arabia-hits-the-brakes-on-reforms/560870/The PR blitz the Saudis have used for months started off with a bang but the the true nature of the “royals” came forth and NO amount of PR can change it.

The future looks like the kingdom is trying to become a player in Iraq once again……

Saudi Arabia is re-engaging with Iraq after nearly a quarter-century of broken ties. The rapprochement began in 2016, sharply accelerated in mid-2017 and stands to move even faster after Iraq’s general elections in May 2018, particularly if politicians open to reconnecting with Saudi Arabia succeed in forming a government. Riyadh’s strategy is to ride a wave of Iraqi national pride, reinvest economically and build relationships across ethnic and confessional lines. If its objective is to roll back Iran’s influence in Iraq, however, it will find that many Iraqis – even those who are critical of Iran’s overweening influence – view that as a red line, a way of turning their country back into an arena of regional combat. If it moves too fast and favours infusions of cash over carefully calibrated and targeted economic assistance, it will fuel rather than curb rampant corruption. And it will need to silence sectarian rhetoric to reach out across Iraq’s ethnic and religious spectrum.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iraq/186-saudi-arabia-back-baghdad

I do not see this working…..the new Iraqi PM is of Shia sect and unless you have been asleep for 15 years Iran is Shai, Saudis are Sunni….and the two have been enemies since 8th AD……and now we think that an extreme sunni sect will become friends with the shia in Iraq, who now control the strings of government.

And there is the call for a palace coup in the kingdom by a royal…….MbS is seen as doing more damage than good to the royal family by members of the family……

A dissident Saudi prince has called on his uncles to depose King Salman and take over the country.

Prince Khaled bin Farhan made the appeal to Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, saying that the damage being done to the Saudi royal family and the kingdom by Salman’s “irrational, erratic and stupid” rule had gone beyond the point of no-return.

In an interview with Middle East Eye, Prince Khaled, who was given political asylum in Germany in 2013, said that if Ahmed and Muqrin were to unite ranks then “99 percent of the members of the royal family, the security services and the army would stand behind them”.

http://theantimedia.com/coup-saudi-prince-khaled-bin-farhan/

Saudi may be a source of international intrigue in the coming months and years…..will be fascinating to watch this drama play out…..but no matter the outcome the one thin g that will not change…..the nature of the “royals”.