Jews On First

Morning all….the weekend begins and I will be busy these days….I have a garden working with tomatoes, radishes, asparagus, onions and chard….I will also be doing some work in the orchard with the tangerines, limes, satsumas, plums, pears and peaches and a few figs…….damn….forgot the grapes…….it is a lot of work but well worth it.

I am old enough that I remember a routine by Abbott and Costello, the “Who’s on first” routine….it was brilliant….back in the 80’s I was a fan of the Wayans and “In Living Color”….some excellent humor and they did an update of the Abbott and Costello routine only theirs was called “Jews On First”……it has Sharpton and Farrakhan as the talkers…….

Hope you guys appreciate how well these guys did this piece……

Terrorism: Is Bureaucracy The Answer?

There is so much being written right now about who did what and why they did it…….so I will leave that for another day….

The recent attacks in Brussels will probably have wide ranging implications….especially for travelers.  We already know that the naysayers have come out of the cesspool to blame everyone for the despicable acts of a few slimy toads……

But let’s talk about if you will be traveling any time soon.

Security will become tighter and will lead to many other problems….I fear.

Take JFK as an example…..

All of them have something to prove and in the end they prove very little…..each wants to be the “hero”……and in the end nothing is secure.

You see the problem is that since 9/11 there has been a web of agencies that seem to get in each others way and in the end very little is done to make things secure….but don’t take my word for it……

Travelers passing through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport this week witnessed a show of force following the Brussels airport attack: U.S. Army soldiers in khaki camouflage bearing assault rifles, police officers in black bullet-proof vests and private security guards directing traffic in neon-yellow vests.

Source: Web of agencies at U.S. airports could hinder security overhauls | Reuters

Okay, what have we learned from the most recent attack?

The vicious attack on the Brussels airport and metro underscores the futility of focusing on the Syrian “Caliphate” as the epicenter of terrorism: as I’ve been saying in this space since 2001, the snake has no head. Both al-Qaeda and now ISIS are protean entities with a vast geographical spread, and what the Brussels attack […]

Source: Lessons of Brussels – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

I sorry to inform my readers but the acts of terrorism will not go away with the defeat of ISIS or AQ…..

America–Pushing And Shoving

My last post of the day is about something that I have been writing about for months now.  This situation is very indicative of our society and the direction it is traveling….

I have had conversations on here and around my part of the country and I have said that America has lost all sense of community and nation……I feel that Americans now would step over a neighbor if it somehow benefited them….of course most responses have something to do with perceived attacks….like the bad guys are hiding in the sewers just waiting to march down Main Street….

Last weekend was Easter and I found a report that sort of illustrates what I feel America has come to…….

This is why we can’t have nice Easter egg hunts, kids: Your pushy parents. An Easter egg hunt organizer said the alleged adults in the crowd acted “kind of like locusts” and turned the hunt into a shoving match at the Pez candy company. Saturday’s event in Orange, Conn., drew hundreds of people, some of whom couldn’t quite abide by the rules or the starting time, reports the AP. Pez General Manager Shawn Peterson told WFSB-TV that people “rushed the field and took everything.” Event organizers placed more than 9,000 eggs on three fields with the intention of having staggered start times for each age group. But Pez officials say parents didn’t wait. No injuries were reported.

Pez released this statement: “We made efforts to get everyone something before they left and passed out tons of candy and coupons and the front entry and tried to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Due to the actions of a few, the good intent quickly turned into a mess. I would like to sincerely apologize to each of our guests, this was not something created to frustrate or make people angry. We only wanted to do good for the local community,”

An Easter egg hunt is for children…….if adults are willing to stampede over children to gain a few colored eggs what would they be willing to do in an emergency?

Very telling on where this society is going.  This is pathetic!

Spies Like Us

Another Saturday and another weekend begins…..

In my youth I was a big fan of spy fiction….Ian Fleming’s James Bond and a pulp fiction series about a CIA spy Sam Durell…..I have always liked spy thrillers….I enjoy the series The Americans, it is about spies in the 70’s in the US……

So back about a decade ago when that Russian was poisoned in London renewed my interests in the spy game…..and there was the Russian spies found here in the US especially the extremely nice looking red head……

And then I read another story and once again the whole spy then became all too important……

Russia-watchers—or readers of spy novels—may be unsurprised to learn that the sudden death of a former Vladimir Putin aide in a Washington, DC, hotel last fall now appears a little fishy. Mikhail Lesin, the former Kremlin press minister who helped set up Russia Today and spent more than a year as chief of the powerful Gazprom-Media group, was found dead in the Dupont Circle Hotel in November. Russian media reported at the time that the 57-year-old heavy smoker and drinker had died from a heart attack, but the DC medical examiner’s office announced on Thursday that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, the Guardian reports.

Police haven’t said whether they suspect a crime was committed, though it’s not clear what else would explain the blunt force injuries to the Russian’s head, neck, torso, arms, and legs. Moscow says it’s seeking “clarification from Washington and relevant official data on the progress of the investigation,” reports the BBC, which notes that some US lawmakers had been calling for an investigation into Lesin and the vast fortune he amassed while working as a civil servant in Russia, including $28 million in Los Angeles real estate.

Was this an assassination?  Maybe the Russian mob is behind it……maybe he forgot who he owed his loyalties to for favors of the past…..

Any ideas?

Granddaughter Punks The Old Guy

I do not write much of my personal life but from time to time I like to share some of those moments in life that make one proud.

I am a fortunate person….my granddaughter lives less than 2 miles from me and I get to spend time with her often.

Last year she made me a video for Veterans Day about my time in Vietnam and in service to my country….her and her mother were putting some of my pics from those days together in a frame for me…..let me say her vid made this old fart a bit teary.

She had asked me about those days….I told her about the mud,  the rain and the heat….I left out some of the more gruesome parts of those days.  Her interest was for the Monsoons and the mud…..she could not believe how much it rained in those times or just how deep the mud could get thanks to all that rain.

I told her that my unit worked mostly in the Mekong delta of Vietnam and even when it was not raining it was deep mud and rice paddies and WET.  She was grossed out by the leeches that seems to attack from all sides.  To use her words…….eeeeeeewwww!

She came by the other day and showed me this report that she saw in the paper…..

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) – Vietnam’s southern Mekong Delta, the country’s main rice growing region, is experiencing the worst drought and saline intrusion in recent history that has affected more than half a million people, officials said Thursday.

The drought could result in the loss of up to 1 million tons of rice, but is not expected to affect Vietnam’s status as the world’s third largest exporter of grain, said Ma Quang Trung, a department director at the Agriculture Ministry.

The water shortage could drive many farmers into poverty, especially if there are no rains between now and the peak of the dry season in late April, Trung said.

He blamed the drought on the El Nino weather phenomenon and excessive construction of more than 10 hydropower dams on the upper stream of the river.

The level of inland saline intrusion was unprecedented, resulting in damage to some 180,000 hectares (444,780 acres) of paddy fields, Trung said.

This is where she punked me.

She said…..”See if you had waited for 40 years then you would not have had to put up with all that rain and mud.”  “Timing is everything, Popi!”  She laughed out loud and patted herself on the back for being clever.

This tickled her and she went and got a water and some of my cookie stash and returned and grinning from ear to ear for what seemed like hours.

How could I get pissed?  A 12 year old that reads the paper and is clever enough to relate a tale of her grandfather to a situation in the news.

What can I say….she is my girl!

Who Is That Masked Man?

I have reading the bin Laden papers, those documents that were taken in the raid that killed Osama….fascinating stuff……there are some that I question are original…..the context is not the same as some of the others……anyway….time for a couple of days away from the stuff……

The weekend and I will write about something that hits dear to my heart…..ART.

Me?  I can screw up stick drawings….but my daughter and granddaughter have all the talent……I have several of their pieces hanging in my living room…..

I like art a lot…..impressionism and abstract are my two faves….I also like art that has social commentary value….and there is where this post is going…..

To me the best social commentary artist is the Graffiti artist, Banksey….if you are unfamiliar with his work let me introduce you to it……

Photo from www.banksy.co.uk

Opposite the French Embassy, Knightsbridge © banksy.co.uk

Banksey travels the world and painting his stuff in some of the most desolate places…..like Gaza….

He has been an enigma for years….but that may be about to be resolved……

Reclusive street artist Banksy has been playing hide-and-seek with British authorities for years, in an effort to conceal his identity. A new study claims to have identified him, using a technique developed in criminology to track down serial offenders.

A group of scientists at Queen Mary University of London explained in their study (in the Journal of Spatial Science), they had used the so-called “Dirichlet process mixture (DPM) model of geographic profiling.” This is a mathematical technique developed by criminologists. Researchers analyzed the spatial patterns of Banksy’s artworks in Bristol and London and matched them up to places where a short list of suspects lived and worked. All the locations, a pub, playing fields and several residential addresses among them, led to a man called Robin Gunningham. The researchers concluded, with a fair degree of certainty, that Mr Gunningham is Banksy.

“Our analysis highlights areas associated with one prominent candidate (e.g., his home), supporting his identification as Banksy. More broadly, these results support previous suggestions that analysis of minor terrorism-related acts (e.g., graffiti) could be used to help locate terrorist bases before more serious incidents occur, and provides a fascinating example of the application of the model to a complex, real-world problem,” they wrote.

Publication of the study, entitled Tagging Banksy, was delayed after Banksy’s lawyers reportedly contacted the university, apparently voicing concerns over how the study would be promoted.

The first report claiming to identify Banksy as Gunningham, an artist originally from Bristol, appeared in 2008 in the Daily Mail. The newspaper said it managed to identify the “guerrilla artist” from an old photograph taken in Jamaica, showing a man kneeling by a spray can.

Banksy made his name as an unconventional, daredevil artist in 2006, when he “smuggled” a life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner into California’s Disneyland. He was aiming to raise awareness of the plight of suspects held at the notorious US detention center in Cuba.

“Our analysis highlights areas associated with one prominent candidate (e.g., his home), supporting his identification as Banksy. More broadly, these results support previous suggestions that analysis of minor terrorism-related acts (e.g., graffiti) could be used to help locate terrorist bases before more serious incidents occur, and provides a fascinating example of the application of the model to a complex, real-world problem,” they wrote.

Publication of the study, entitled Tagging Banksy, was delayed after Banksy’s lawyers reportedly contacted the university, apparently voicing concerns over how the study would be promoted.

The first report claiming to identify Banksy as Gunningham, an artist originally from Bristol, appeared in 2008 in the Daily Mail. The newspaper said it managed to identify the “guerrilla artist” from an old photograph taken in Jamaica, showing a man kneeling by a spray can.

In a way it is sad…..I prefer NOT to know who he is……his work should be appreciate as art and not concern one’s self with his identity…..I love his story and his attitude……leave him alone!

Thoughts?

To Boldly Go

The weekend and I will jump off my high political horse and come down to earth for a couple of days….

If you are an old fart like me then you will remember the words “To boldly go where no man has gone”…..or  “space the final frontier”…..or maybe “life here started out there”……that is right the great scifi from days past…..

We are preparing for a trip to Mars…..there is lots of research going on about how to get there and what to do while there and then the trip back….all in all it is said to be a 1 to 1and half year trip, round trip……

Is it possible that the time constraints could be overcome?

Uh-huh…at least so says one scientist……

A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space travel speeds, reports Reuters. Science Alert explains it like this: Particles of light from lasers in Earth’s orbit would reflect off a “large, reflective sail” on a spacecraft and produce a thrust capable of sending it toward a destination at insane speeds. Lubin estimates a 220-pound probe could reach Mars in as little as 72 hours, reports Wired. A bigger, manned spacecraft would take about a month; experts believe the Space Launch System currently in development could take humans to Mars in about five months.

If all that isn’t intriguing enough, Lubin says “photonic propulsion” opens up the possibility of travel outside our solar system, per Space.com. “The human factor of exploring the nearest stars and exoplanets would be a profound voyage for humanity, one whose non-scientific implications would be enormous,” Lubin writes in a study. “There are recent advances that take this from science fiction to science reality,” he adds in a YouTube video. “There is no known reason why we cannot do this.” (NASA says there will be humans on Mars by the 2030s.)

So why not…..Boldly Go?

Now for something extra……

Since early childhood I have been a Formula One fan….especially Ferrari teams……now that is racing!

It is March and next month the F1 season will start…..below is the schedule of races……

THE PROPOSED 2016 F1 CALENDARApril 3 — Australia (Albert Park)April 10 — China (Shanghai)April 24 — Bahrain (Sakhir)May 1 — Russia (Sochi)May 15 — Spain (Barcelona)May 29 — Monaco (Monte Carlo)June 12 — Canada (Montreal)June 26 — Britain (Silverstone)July 3 — Austria (Red Bull Ring)July 17 — Europe (Baku)July 31 — Germany (Hockenheim)August 7 — Hungary (Hungaroring)August 28 — Belgium (Spa)September 4 — Italy (Monza)September 18 — Singapore (Marina Bay)September 25 — Malaysia (Sepang)October 9 — Japan (Suzuka)October 23 — USA (Austin)October 30 — Mexico (Mexico City)November 13 — Brazil (Interlagos)November 27 — Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

This is racing at its finest……

Enjoy your weekend……