“An Army Travels On Its Stomach”

Closing Thought–12Jun18

Who the Hell said that?  Oh yeah…the Little General or as you probably know him, Napoleon….his point was too make sure that the army was well fed so they would be ready for a fight when needed.

When I was in Vietnam our rations were those magic things called C-Rations…….such great canned stuff as Lima Beans and Ham, Ham and Eggs, Spaghetti in meat sauce, and my favorite Pork and Beans. Plus the best part of C-Rations were the canned fruit, peaches, apricots and fruit cocktail.  The truth of the matter is that only a few of the canned entrees were actually palatable.  The cigs were the best part of the package.

Then came the MREs, Meals Ready To Eat, that was after I left service so my only exposure to these was during Katrina when our food supply was kinda limited.  For the most part they are pretty palatable….only a couple would not make my top 10, like the veggie burger, it tasted like sawdust….there was a Thai inspired meal that was very tasty and spicy…..these are the food sources of our troops in the field these days.

Taking Napoleon at his word the US Army is testing new form of MRE for the Infantry……

The prototype Close Combat Assault Ration on display at the Pentagon on May 24, 2018, includes a tart cherry nut bar, cheddar cheese bar, mocha dessert bar, vacuum-dried strawberries and trail mix of fruit and nuts, among other items that were vacuum microwave dried. (U.S. Army photo by Gary Sheftick)

U.S. military nutrition experts hope to start testing a new assault ration, known as the Close Combat Assault Ration. that is drastically lighter than existing field rations by 2020.

Ten years ago, the Defense Department’s Combat Feeding Directorate began fielding the First Strike Ration, which was designed to give combat troops the equivalent of three Meals, Ready to Eat a day in a compact, lightweight package.

At about two pounds, the FSR is about half the weight and size of three MREs.


An Army Travels On Its Stomach…..so do the right thing and make a good meal.

US-DPRK Summit Results

Kim and Trump have concluded their “summit”….we got the ever present photo op and the presser after the deal was struck….

In keeping with my small attempt to be fair to all sides I would like to give my readers a look at the 4 point deal that has been inked by the two leaders…..

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit–the first in history–was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-up negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.


President of the United States of America

Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

June 12, 2018

The points are vague…but to be honest most of these things have always been vague….

This “summit” did not disappoint me for I never thought there would be a definite end to the hostilities….this is an adequate start….but I do hate to piss on the parade but we have had numerous adequate starts in the past….the proof will be in the pudding if there is a final deal to be made.

Is this a good deal?  Yes, because any form of diplomacy is more favorable than the alternative…..but is it a done deal?  Not by a long shot.  We have been close on several other occasions….so do not read too much into this vague statement.

A Trade Update

We all have heard or read or watched the game being played with international trade…….BAM!  Trump has levied tariffs on international steel ans aluminum….and then the president goes to the G7 and blows up everything…..

First floated the idea of scrapping all tariffs……

President Trump reportedly asked world leaders at the Group of Seven Summit on Friday to consider “no tariffs” at all amid growing tensions over the administration’s trade moves.

Politico, citing officials who listened and took notes of the discussions, reported that Trump told assembled world leaders that “we should at least consider no tariffs, no barriers — scrapping all of it.”


Did I miss something?

After saying that nugget……Trump threatens to end ALL trade……

Leaving the G7 summit on Saturday, President Trump said that the U.S. might end all trade with America’s closest allies if those countries don’t submit to his demands over reduced trade barriers. Trump also confirmed that he had told the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Italy that there should be no tariffs between them and the U.S. of any kind. Whether Trump’s characteristically hyperbolic threat, or overarching proposal, will be taken seriously is another matter.

Referring to what he called “ridiculous and unfair” tariffs on U.S. imports, Trump said, “It’s going to stop — or we’ll stop trading with them. And that’s a very profitable answer, if we have to do it.”


Okay what part of any of that sounds like something that would be taught at the Wharton school?

Why did he waste time pissing everybody off?

BTW just a reminder where the trade goes here in the US….

Then there was some good news (at least for me)….

Before I begin let me say…..my more Right leaning brethren have accused me of hating our president, Donald J. Trump.  They are mistaken I may dislike the man but I hate very few people.

With that said there are a few policies that Trump espoused that I could agree with….some of his campaign thoughts on war and foreign policy and a few domestic things…the problem is that when he became president he back peddled on the ones I liked….that fed my dislike.

Everyone knows about the trade war that Trump is about to start with the rest of the world, right?  Well he has made a statement that I fully agree with….he has said that he wants to ban German luxury cars.

President Donald Trump is hoping to effectively ban sales of Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and other German cars, according to reports from a German magazine.

A report in WirtschaftsWoche cites unnamed diplomatic sources who say Trump told French president Emmanuel Macron he would maintain his trade policy “until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York.” The trade policy would seemingly affect any German automaker, though, putting sales of Porsche and Volkswagen (and its Audi luxury division) at risk as well as Daimler.

Trump has long held a hardline position toward German automakers. Last January, he underscored this in comments that appeared in the German magazine Bild.

“When you walk down Fifth Avenue, everybody has a Mercedes-Benz parked in front of his house,” Trump said, according to a Wall Street Journal translation of the comments. “You were very unfair to the U.S.A. It isn’t mutual. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not many, maybe none, you don’t see anything at all over there. It’s a one-way street.”

(yahoo news)

This will not sit well with the pretentious twats that own one of these cars….I say let these self-centered slugs buy American.

Since I am an Italian sports car enthusiast, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfas I cannot disagree or fault Trump for his vendetta against the Germans.

Let me leave you with a small joke…..

What is the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?

A porcupine has all the PRICKS on the outside.

(rim shot)

Not to worry if you are wealthy enough for one of their pieces of scrap metal then you will find a way around the ban…..they always do.  Their money will buy lots of privilege.

More bad news about these new tariffs….economist say that the dollars saved by people because of the tax cuts will be taken away because of increase in prices…….

Your trade moment is done….I return you to your regular reading habits….

Be well, be safe…..chuq

Then There Is South Sudan

The newest country to enter the UN was the country if South Sudan……a little history of world’s newest independent nation…..

Egypt attempted to colonize the region of southern Sudan by establishing the province of Equatoria in the 1870s. Islamic Mahdist revolutionaries overran the region in 1885, but in 1898 a British force was able to overthrow the Mahdist regime. An Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was established the following year with Equatoria being the southernmost of its eight provinces. The isolated region was largely left to itself over the following decades, but Christian missionaries converted much of the population and facilitated the spread of English. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system. When the Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) in which perhaps 2.5 million people died – mostly civilians – due to starvation and drought. Ongoing peace talks finally resulted in a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005. As part of this agreement, the south was granted a six-year period of autonomy to be followed by a referendum on final status. The result of this referendum, held in January 2011, was a vote of 98% in favor of secession.
Since independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has struggled with good governance and nation building and has attempted to control opposition forces operating in its territory. Economic conditions have deteriorated since January 2012 when the government decided to shut down oil production following bilateral disagreements with Sudan. In December 2013, conflict between government and opposition forces killed tens of thousands and led to a dire humanitarian crisis with millions of South Sudanese displaced and food insecure. The warring parties signed a peace agreement in August 2015 that created a transitional government of national unity in April 2016. However, in July 2016, fighting broke out in Juba between the two principal signatories, plunging the country back into conflict.
Now you have a grip on the situation in South Sudan….there is a war going on within the borders ans no one cares especially the West……they give it a bit of lip service but that is as far as it goes…..

The accounts are horrific. A young girl strangled and gang-raped. Children burned alive as government soldiers blocked the door of their hut and set it aflame. These are some of the atrocities revealed in 14 reports, seen by the AP, that have not yet been released by the independent body charged with monitoring a failed cease-fire imposed in December in South Sudan, where civil war is now well into its fifth year, has killed tens of thousands, and has created Africa’s largest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. The reports should have been released last month at a meeting led by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission but South Sudan’s government did not attend, preventing the accounts of abuses from being made public because there was not a quorum.

The unpublished reports describe violations by both government and opposition forces but most of the accounts blame the former. One report describes a disabled woman who, unable to flee the fighting, was thrown into a burning house by government soldiers. The US, South Sudan’s largest aid donor, has increased pressure on the Juba government amid widespread allegations that its officials are profiting from the conflict instead of working to end it. Last week the UN Security Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution that warns of an arms embargo and sanctions against six high-ranking officials if the fighting doesn’t stop. The US and others, however, insist that the East African regional bloc, along with the African Union, should take the lead in finding peace and holding perpetrators of abuses accountable.

I have said on many occasions….”No one cares about Africa”……