Sunday, December 31, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR

In that vein, a word of advice from Big Brother and the City Mothers.

I always wonder what The Heights were thinking when they post these signs at lakes and libraries

Saturday, December 30, 2017

AS THE SNOW FALLS MY THOUGHTS ALWAYS TURN TO


I've always enjoyed my vacations in Hawaii. Working there, not so much.

My last Pan American flight originated in Rome and flew us the rest of the way home from Bahrain after an epic series of engine fires and crash landings that finally killed the plane we were on when it crash landed in Naples.

Friday, December 29, 2017

ALL THE SHIPS AT SEA

Things have improved a little in the Navy since Joe Fyffe's day. All The Ships At Sea was in my father's library when I was young and I read the stories and the rest of William Lederer's books by the time I was 12. The story below was memorable because that's pretty much the Navy I joined.

I reported to my first ship after graduation, commissioning, 20 weeks of school in Newport and a trip to the far side of the world. I didn't get paid my travel claim for months after I submitted it. When it was paid the Disbursing Officer had a chat with me and told me I was not eligible for per diem the whole time and thus owed the Navy a lot of money and instead of getting a lot of money he was forced to take it out of my pay checks for the next year, he said. I allowed as how he was wrong and told him so.

About 2 months later, still steaming around in the Indian Ocean he and I talked again. He told me that he was mistaken and my order modification canceling Legal School left out the per diem I was authorized and he gave me a huge check and said it would be simpler all around if I just cashed this and let the dead horse continue to deduct pay from my checks for the rest of the year. I was OK with that.

When I went to Department Head School years later the same sort of thing happened. I didn't get paid my travel and per diem for about 5 months of school and travel. I waited several months, patiently, and then went to the disbursing office where a vicious civilian clerk from Hell assured me that she would get around to me when Hell itself froze over. I was left not unmoved by her sneering contempt and asked where I could find the CO's office. She didn't want to tell me so I said just point to his office and she sneered that he was a she.

I went down the hall and around a few corners and found the CO who listened to my complaint, called in the supervisor for the Clerk who Sneers and ordered her to cut me a check for the full amount. About a week later she contacted me to tell me that the holdup had been due to waiting for a receipt for my lodging in Newport and that it turns out that all of those receipts went up in flames when the building they were in burned to the ground.

I ran into something much worse that year I spent in Bahrain as a LCDR on the Staff of NAVCENT. I coudn't get paid. I had to fly back to Moffet Field and flame spray some people to get them to pay me.

Oddly enough, once I moved up one more time in rank I didn't run into any of these little problems ever again. It was weird because one of my skippers, upon his promotion to Commander, handed me his LCDR shoulder boards and pronounced as how Lieutenants, Junior Grade, Lieutenants and Lieutenant Commanders were all  the same, they were just Lieutenants. I sure got treated the same by every pay clerk and office until I reached Commander.

The Navy vs. Joe Fyffe 

Shortly after she steamed slowly into
the Whangpoo River, the Coolidge was met by the pilot
boat. Customs officials, newspapermen, and travel
agency representatives came out at the same time. So did
Ensign Hymie O'Toole, my official welcoming party.
Hymie had arrived in Shanghai a month ahead of me
and was the communications officer in the USS Dale.

None of the passengers could disembark for two
hours; Hymie and I sat in the bar talking over old
times and planning liberties of the future. "You know,"
said Hymie, looking over the luxurious lounge in the
Coolidge, "it's pretty damned marvelous that the Navy
sends you out this way. And all for free. You even get
an allowance for tipping the servants."

"It's nice all right."

Hymie said, "It didn't used to be this way. Formerly,
if you came by commercial, you paid your own way
and then tried to collect later."

"This cost the Navy about six hundred dollars; I
never could have scraped up that much cash."

"Think of the old days, though, said Hymie dream-
ily. Every time an officer had orders, especially if he
had a family, he put out a couple of thousand bucks.
That's why officers were always in debt. A distant rela-
tive of mine, Commodore Joe Fyffe, was the first one to
fight that system. In fact it was through his efforts that
legislation finally got passed."

I said, "Commodore Fyffe a relative of yours?"

"He was my grandfather's third cousin on my fa-
ther's side and he was always fighting with stuffed
shirts/' Hymie's eyes misted with sentiment. He or-
dered a couple of neat whiskeys. "To Commodore Joe
Fyffe" he toasted, "the Paul Bunyan of all the
oceans!"

He called for more drinks. Between the six or eight
toasts which followed, Hymie told me about Commo-
dore Fyffe's fight against the old law which decreed
that officers under orders lay out the money for their
own expenses.

When, in August, 1870, Lieutenant Commander Jo-
seph P. Fyffe, USN, received orders to the Orient via
San Francisco, he was a happy guy. It meant command
of a fine frigate, an independent command.

The only leak in the bilges was that travelling to San
Francisco cost money and Joe Fyffe didn't have any.
He already was in debt and didn't want to borrow any
more.

"The Navy should pay for my transportation" he
said, and forthwith wrote a statement to the paymaster
at New London requesting that his travel expenses be
paid ahead of time by the Navy. The paymaster en-
dorsed the statement: "Custom and Regulations have
determined that the officer pay his own way and sub-
mit an expense account upon reaching his destination."

So Joe communicated with the Secretary of the Navy
and complained over the financial hardships heaped
upon naval personnel. He requested that the Navy De-
partment either lay out the money, or supply him with
railroad tickets or transportation via naval vessel.

The reply to his letter came, not from the Secretary,
but from the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, a can-
tankerous old admiral.

To: Lieutenant Commander J. P. Fyffe.
In reply to your letter of the i8th. Your request is
contrary to Navy Regulations. Carry out your
orders.

Joe Fyffe cursed. Then he took a magnifying glass
and carefully studied his orders.

ON OR ABOUT 1 8 AUGUST YOU WILL DEPART FROM
THE NAVAL STATION NEW LONDON FOR SAN FRAN-
CISCO X UPON ARRIVING THERE REPORT TO THE
SENIOR OFFICER PRESENT FOR TRANSPORTATION VIA
NAVAL VESSEL TO THE ASIATIC SQUADRON. UPON AR-
RIVAL IN SHANGHAI . . . [and there followed several
paragraphs giving instructions about what to do in the Orient]

The orders terminated with the normal paragraph,

WHILE CARRYING OUT THESE ORDERS YOU WILL KEEP
THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION INFORMED OF YOUR WHERE-
ABOUTS. There was nothing in his orders that stated
when he was supposed to arrive in San Francisco or by
what means he must travel.

Joe donned his best uniform, put his orders in a
waterproof envelope, and strapped his sword to his
small handbag. At sunrise on the 25th of August, he
walked out of New London and headed westward for
San Francisco.

By sundown he reached East Haddam where he sent
the following telegram to the Navy Department, Wash-
ington, D. C.

25 AUGUST 1870

TO: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
FROM: LT COMDR J P FYFFE USN
COMPLIANCE ORDERS NUMBER 1998 LT COMDR
FYFFE EN ROUTE NEW LONDON TO SAN FRANCISCO X
ON FOOT X THIS TELEGRAM TO KEEP BUREAU IN-
FORMED MY WHEREABOUTS X MADE GOOD TWENTY
TWO MILES THIS DATE X SPENDING EVENING IN HAY-
LOFT IN MT PARNASSUS X VERY RESPECTFULLY
FYFFE

Every evening for the next few days he sent a tele-
gram.

26 AUGUST 1870

TO: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
FROM: LT COMDR J P FYFFE USN
COMPLIANCE ORDERS NUMBER 1998 AM EN ROUTE
NEW LONDON TO SAN FRANCISCO X ON FOOT X KEEP-
ING BUREAU POSTED MY WHEREABOUTS X MADE GOOD
THIRTY ONE MILES THIS DATE X BY GRACIOUS CON-
SENT MAYOR OF BRISTOL AM SPENDING NIGHT IN
MAYOR'S STABLES X HAVE NOTICED HE HAS HYBRID
MULES SPECIALLY BRED FOR TROPICS X SUGGEST
NAVY INVESTIGATE X VERY RESPECTFULLY FYFFE

27 AUGUST 1870
TO: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
FROM: LT COMDR J P FYFFE USN
COMPLIANCE ORDERS 1998 AM EN ROUTE NEW
LONDON TO SAN FRANCISCO X ON FOOT X KEEPING
BUREAU INFORMED MY WHEREABOUTS X MADE GOOD
ONLY FIFTEEN MILES THIS DATE X RAINED ALL DAY X
STAYING OVERNIGHT AT LITCHFIELD WITH MY FA-
THERS FRIEND GENERAL HOLMES X I FIND STANDARD
BOOTS WORN BY NAVAL OFFICERS INADEQUATE FOR
PROLONGED WALKING X SUGGEST SURGEON GENERAL
INESTIGATE X VERY RESPECTFULLY FYFFE

28 AUGUST 1870
TO: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
FROM: LT COMDR J P FYFFE USN
COMPLIANCE ORDER 1998 EN ROUTE NEW LONDON
TO SAN FRANCISCO X ON FOOT X KEEPING BUREAU IN-
FORMED MY WHEREABOUTS X SPENDING NIGHT
LAKEVILLE X LOVELY COUNTRY EXPECT BUY HOME
HERE SOON AS GET REIMBURSED TRAVEL VOUCHER
SUBMITTED BY ME TO NAVY THREE YEARS AGO X TO-
MORROW I ENTER NEW YORK STATE X VERY RESPECT-
FULLY FYFFE

29 AUGUST 1870
TO: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
FROM: LT COMDR J P FYFFE USN
COMPLIANCE ORDERS 1998 AM EN ROUTE NEW
LONDON TO SAN FRANCISCO X ON FOOT X KEEPING
BUREAU INFORMED MY WHEREABOUTS X MADE
TWENTY EIGHT MILES THIS DATE DESPITE BADLY
WORN SHOES X PEOPLE NOT FAMILIAR NAVY UNI-
FORMS THIS AREA X GREAT CROWD WALKED PART
WAY WITH ME X I SANG THEM SEA CHANTIES X POPU-
LACE THINKS IT GREAT SIGN DEMOCRACY FOR COM-
MANDING OFFICER OF SHIP TO WALK THREE THOU-
SAND MILES TO NEW STATION X POLICE CHIEF HUD-
SON NEW YORK HAS GIVEN ME BEST CELL IN JAIL FOR
OVERNIGHT X HE HAS DELOUSING LIQUID VERY EF-
FECTIVE X MAILING QUART SAMPLE WASHINGTON
FOR TRYOUT ONBOARD SHIP X VERY RESPECTFULLY
FYFFE

30 AUGUST 1870
TO: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
FROM: LT COMDR J P FYFFE USN
COMPLIANCE ORDERS NUMBER 1998 AM EN ROUTE
NEW LONDON TO SAN FRANCISCO X ON FOOT X KEEP-
ING BUREAU POSTED MY WHEREABOUTS X ARRIVED
ALBANY THIS DATE X REQUESTED RECRUITING OFFI-
CER BE AUTHORIZED ISSUE ME NEW SHOES X SHOES
FELL APART NOON TODAY X ENTERED ALBANY BARE-
FOOTED X WILL REMAIN SEWARD HOTEL TWO DAYS
AWAITING ANSWER X COMFORTABLE X EARNING MY
KEEP AS BARTENDER X LOCAL RUM FAR SUPERIOR
THAT SERVED IN NAVY X AM SENDING SAMPLE X VERY
RESPECTFULLY FYFFE

The next evening the recruiting officer sent a messen-
ger to the Seward Hotel requesting Lt. Commander Joe
Fyffe's presence. In full uniform, wearing borrowed
shoes, Joe went to the recruiting station.

"I have a telegram for you sir," said the recruiting
officer. "Here it is."

31 AUGUST 1870
TO: RECRUITING OFFICER ALBANY
FROM: CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION
PASS FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO LIEUT COMDR J P
FYFFE USN NOW AT SEWARD HOTEL BAR QUOTE I
STRIKE MY COLOURS X SECRETARY OF NAVY AUTHOR-
IZES RECRUITING OFFICER ALBANY ISSUE YOU SHOES
AND PROVIDE YOU QUICKEST TRANSPORTATION FROM
ALBANY TO SAN FRANCISCO X DELOUSING LIQUID SUC-
CESS X ANTICIPATE MAKING IT STANDARD NAVY ISSUE
X EVEN CHIEF BUREAU NAVIGATION CAN LAUGH
WHEN OUTSMARTED X USS TUSCARORA DEPARTING
SAN FRANCISCO FOR SHANGHAI TWO WEEKS FROM
TODAY X UNQUOTE X RESPECTFULLY BUREAU NAVI-
GATION

Between hiccups Hymie O'Toole concluded, "And
that's how it is that guys like you have their first-class
passage on the Coolidge prepaid by the Navy."

Those interested in reading some of the rest of the stories in All The Ships At Sea can find an online copy here.

A FAMILY POORER FOR HATING TRUMP

I must admit, I laughed as the enemies of civilization plunged deep into the depths of despair after realizing that Trump won the election and that their Queen of Darkness had massively failed the test.

From instapundit.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

A PRESIDENTIAL KNIFE FIGHT RUNDOWN

Found this tonight at instapundit but here is the link to the story, An amazing look at presidential combat. If you enjoy the world of maybe, this guy has a pretty funny rundown on how a mass presidential knife fight would play out in the coliseum.

In a Mass Knife Fight to the Death Between Every American President, Who Would Win and Why?
To begin, here were the original conditions of the hypothetical, as suggested by the redditor Xineph: Every president is in the best physical and mental condition they were ever in throughout the course of their presidency. Fatal maladies have been cured, but any lifelong conditions or chronic illnesses (e.g. FDR’s polio) remain.
Each president has been given one standard-issue Gerber LHR Combat Knife. Assume the presidents have no training outside any combat experiences they may have had in their own lives. 
There is no penalty for avoiding combat for an extended period of time. Hiding and/or playing dead could be valid strategies, but there can be only one winner.
Each president will be deposited in the arena regardless of their own will to fight, however, personal ethics, leadership ability, tactical expertise etc., should all be taken into account. Alliances are allowed. 
With the scenario set, here’s my take on it: 
1) George Washington – Commanding presence, strong physique, military training, viewed as a hero by everyone asked to shank him: He makes Top 10 without question. Of the guaranteed top three (I’m going to call them the Holy Trinity for the purposes of this rambling rundown), my money is on Jackson being the one who murders him; he wouldn’t blink, either. They were closer in age, and the hero myth wouldn’t be quite as firmly set. Besides, I’m pretty sure Jackson didn’t blink when he sneezed… 
2) John Adams is going out early. Nothing against the man, but portly well-spoken lawyers bring lampoons to a knife fight. It doesn’t end well. 
3) Thomas Jefferson. I’d like to say he’d make a good show of it, but he was a bit of dandy… Middle of the pack, but his dying words would be incredibly quotable. 
7) Andrew Jackson –It’s already been said: The man’s nickname was Old Hickory because he walked around town with a bludgeon that to the untrained eye was a walking stick. A man who can beat a would-be assassin within an inch of his life with a cane is going to be a murder machine when provided with an implement designed to end a man’s life. I think of the Top Three he’d be reckless enough to go down first, but he’d also probably have the highest overall kill count. 
13) Millard Fillmore. Let’s be honest: Weak character, unmemorable fellow, a little stout all his life, boring. No part of this guy suggests he’s going to come out well. Dead early, and only the presidents alive during his lifetime are even going to know whose corpse they keep tripping over. 
19) Rutherford B. Hayes was wounded five times in the Civil War. He was a big guy, and he didn’t lack for courage. That said, he was a bit of a straight shooter and more than a little bit of a straight arrow: Principles can get in the way of winning in a knife fight. Also, that beard is begging someone to take it in their fist and throw him off balance. I see him making the later half of the scrap, but not the Top 10 unless he catches a lucky break. 
27) William Howard Taft. What did that man look like in his prime? I suspect even at his most physically fit he could go toe to toe with the stereotypical 21st Century Wal-Mart patron. I just don’t think he was ever healthy enough to make a good showing in this arena. Dead early, and his corpse might well be used as a low wall or some sort of artificial hill to lend advantage to his conquerors. 
45) Donald J. Trump will be tremendous in a knife fight to the death. Everyone says so. Believe me. People say that all the time. Lots of people. Winners. The rumour that his hands are too small to even hold a knife is just fake news. Very bad. You can’t listen to that. Trump is high energy, not like those loser presidents. Even when you hear he’s been stabbed over and over and over again, that’s just Alt-Facts. Sad! The truth is, Trump is going to make knife fights great again. Big League!
We laughed out loud as we read it aloud. Read the whole thing. It's worth a couple of minutes.

FACEBOOK AND ME

I only signed up for an account to keep a channel open to Texas and the West Coast and one particular little person. Today I found this waiting for me when I did my quarterly check to see what insane gibbering and Trump hatred my friends had come up with over the last 3 months:


















I was happy to oblige.


They said they would get back to me after they checked it out and meanwhile they were closing my account for my security.

The warm fuzzy from that exchange is only starting to slowly fade away. Thank God that facebook is there to look out for my security. I mean, if you can't trust facebook, who can you trust?

EXTRAORDINARY LENGTHS

The NFL has taken the unprecedented step of canceling Sunday night's games. They claim they are doing this because they reckon the games are boring and nobody would bother to sit down and watch them anyway but we know the real reason they cancelled the games. They wanted to spare the Browns the agony of total humiliating defeat and an 0 - 16 season. No more Lions!

UPDATE: The teams will play, they'll just be spared the embarrassment of having their play broadcast to their dozens of fans.

UPDATE UPDATE: The Browns have finally joined the Lions of Detroit in the ignominy of defeat and an 0-16 season. Let's hope that, mutatis mutandis, the Browns can win one in 2018.

It's kind of a pity. I was actually planning to watch the game. I used to be a Steelers fan and what they could do to the Browns would make Attila cringe. C'est domage.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS WHEREVER YOU ARE

Dad meeting his baby for the first time after returning from deployment

CAN YOU HEAR ME

I found this at Worldless Tech. It's pretty cool. Based on my result, I think it probably coincides with reality fairly well. The actual hearing test starts at 2:21 into the show. The rest is just bumfff.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

BRUCE McCANDLESS II

Retired Navy Captain and Astronaut Bruce McCandless II stepped into the clearing at the end of the path on Thursday. He was the first man to fly untethered in space and had a remarkable life. A step further out than most of us will ever make, he stepped off with a quip for his wife, "It may have been a small step for Neil, but it’s a heck of a big leap for me."


AS SILENT AS A MARIACHI BAND

Bloomberg wrote this pathetic story about Silent Bob Mueller and it is remarkable how far the famed press has fallen. They can't even see the truth from the pit they now dwell in. Here's the headline:
Mueller's Silence Cuts Through Noise of Trump Russia Inquiries
Through all the controversy, threats and noise surrounding the Trump-Russia investigation, one person has been conspicuously silent: Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The former FBI director hasn’t uttered a single word in public since he was appointed in May to lead the probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election despite increasingly combative attacks by Republicans and their allies on the FBI, the Justice Department and the integrity of his probe.
There is not a single word about the fact that Mueller's probers are leaking like the Titanic at every opportunity and have, in fact, never missed an opportunity to leak any damaging little thing they turn up so the press always knows what Mueller's up to even if he keeps his own dishonest lips zipped.
It’s an intentional strategy meant to convey the investigation’s credibility and seriousness in an age of 24-hour noise, amplified by cable news shows and Twitter, according to current and former U.S. officials who know Mueller personally or who have followed his work.
Mueller has avoided those pitfalls. He’s provided no ammunition to fuel Trump’s tweets and given no traction to Republicans who are trying to discredit the investigation of Russian interference in last year’s presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it.
Srsly, Bloomberg has joined the New York Times, Newsweek and Time as a worthless waste of time, money and paper. They claim that Mueller's personal silence conveys the probity and seriousness of the bogus Russian Trump collusion and fail to note that it was the FBI and Democrats who created GPSFusion and it's dossier and brought the whole charade to undead life. It's no longer even worth opening the link to a Bloomberg article on anything. If they can miss the entire story about the insane bias of the team Mueller hand-selected to go after Trump and claim that Mueller is above it all, they can probably fail to notice a 3,000 point drop in the Dow.

Friday, December 22, 2017

THE REAL DEPLORABLES

The UN voted today to kick America's figurative butt because they don't like us. Our ambassador warned them that there would be consequences to any sort of administrative and figurative butt kicking and a number of our friends and allies and other diseased loathsome hellholes that vote in the UN elected to ignore a very pointed warning.

Those marked in green prefer terrorists to America
I'm optimistic by nature so I expect to see the anti-Trump forces of darkness rally their troops to continue to fund 35% of the UNRWA  effort that aids the PLO and Hammas when the President drops that line item from the budget next year and when he slashes our contribution to the United Nations. I'll be fascinated to see which of the Democrats stands tall and denounces President Trump for cutting funding for terrorists who live in and around Gaza and the West Bank. Why not spend that money on our kids here in America?

The UN was given many chances over the decades to prove itself and it has proven to be corrupt, incompetent and venal beyond belief. I don't think anyone will miss it when it goes the way of the League of Nations which, come to think of it, is just about where it stands now in terms of utility, function or purpose.

As for the crappy little hellholes that voted to kick ole Uncle Sam? I expect the President is going to zero your funding too. You really should have listened because so far President Trump has been doing what he said he would do.

SNOWFLAKES

In an interesting departure from the expected, the modern snowflake comes in all colors. Can you spot the snowflakes in the picture below?

Snowflakes appear shorter than they actually are

Thursday, December 21, 2017

PARADISE ON THE GERMAN PLAIN

When the snow lays around all cold and frozen, wouldn't it be nice to have one of these nearby?



It's hard to believe the Soviet Union left something nice in its wake. I think this might be the first time.

NEW TERMINAL MCCAIN

The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to name a terminal in the city’s airport after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
If we're lucky, it will look like this.



McCain being McCain had this to say about the 'honor'.
“I have rarely felt at once so honored and yet so unworthy of an honor as I do today,” McCain said in a statement.
For once, he nailed it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

DESERT PASSAGES

I went to Las Vegas about 15 years ago and the person I was with wanted to see the local Bebe store which was located in this strange place called Desert Passages. We tracked it down and entered and I was entranced. It's not everyday (never) that one enters a world out of fairy tale.






It's an amazing place and well worth a couple minutes of your time in Las Vegas the next time you're there. What can I say, painted sky, twilight, a river running all the way around it and it rains from time to time. My kind of place. Civilized.

I hope that it has borne up well over the last 15 years. It's not the kind of thing we'll ever see again.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

SCREWING THE SICK PEOPLE

I laughed as I read this pathetic story about how the poor DEA has dozens of traumatized agents and lawyers who were rolled over by the bureaucracy above them who decided to not press for any $1 billion fine against a legal drug manufacturer and distributor. How could one not laugh at them?
‘We feel like our system was hijacked’: DEA agents say a huge opioid case ended in a whimper 
After two years of painstaking investigation, David Schiller and the rest of the Drug Enforcement Administration team he supervised were ready to move on the biggest opioid distribution case in U.S. history. 
The team, based out of the DEA’s Denver field division, had been examining the operations of the nation’s largest drug company, McKesson Corp. By 2014, investigators said they could show that the company had failed to report suspicious orders involving millions of highly addictive painkillers sent to drugstores from Sacramento, Calif., to Lakeland, Fla. Some of those went to corrupt pharmacies that supplied drug rings. 
The investigators were ready to come down hard on the fifth-largest public corporation in America, according to a joint investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes.” (WT: this article is well worth the read, which includes an interview with retired DEA Agent David Schiller) 
The DEA team — nine field divisions working with 12 U.S. attorney’s offices across 11 states — wanted to revoke registrations to distribute controlled substances at some of McKesson’s 30 drug warehouses. Schiller and members of his team wanted to fine the company more than $1 billion. More than anything else, they wanted to bring the first-ever criminal case against a drug distribution company, maybe even walk an executive in handcuffs out of McKesson’s towering San Francisco headquarters to send a message to the rest of the industry. 
“This is the best case we’ve ever had against a major distributor in the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration,” said Schiller, who recently retired as assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Denver field division after a 30-year career with the agency. “I said, ‘How do we not go after the number one organization?’”
I have a number of problems with the idiots involved and with the idiot who wrote and published the piece about their effort to levy a billion dollar fine against a company who will simply turn that fine into higher costs for buyers of their drugs and simply not even feel the breeze as that pathetic lame ass shot goes by.

The investigators were 9 DEA Field Divisions of Agents and their lackeys and minions plus 12 U.S. Attorney's offices with all their lackeys and minions and they ALL TOOK 2 YEARS to come to the conclusion that a case could be made to sue McKesson Corp after two years of detailed investigating and digging. Why would they expect McKesson to have to delve that deep into their orders and stock management system in order to comply with the law? That seems really hugely intrusive and far beyond the capabilities of a mere corporation. I mean, just look at the level of effort it took the DEA and US Attorneys to figure out that something may not be alright in Livonia.

I'm sick and tired of paying the fines for all the corporations and their lawyers who walk away uncharged and unaccused after committing massive crimes and frauds on the people. The government lawyers always settle for a handful of dollars when the guilty parties are wealthy, well known, their guilt well established and yet they pay no penalty at all for screwing and stealing from the people and the government lawyers always help them get away. That's getting old.

Some of this is allegedly reported by The Washington Post and 60 minutes and therefore doesn't pass the smell test. I prefer honest sources for my facts and information and I'll pass up any that have a long history of lying and making stuff up and pawning it off on us as actual 'news'.

And finally, I realize that the government's helping hand is meant to be extended only to women, minorities, disadvantaged folks, illegal immigrants, dreamers and lone wolf terrorists but couldn't somebody in the DEA have simply picked up the phone, called McKesson and told them the DEA was concerned about some of the drug shipments they were making and in that way solved the problem? Wouldn't that have saved the millions of manhours they and the US Attorneys blew over 2 years trying to make a case against the company?

In the end, wouldn't it have been better if the DEA stopped acting like the gestapo and tried acting like an agency concerned with the health and well-being of the citizenry of the United States?

AROUND THE WORLD IN 42 DAYS

It's hard to imagine going that fast that long sailing alone around the world.

Aerial view of the Maxi Trimaran MACIF with french skipper Francois Gabart
We recently sailed from New York City to Southampton and it took us a full 7 days at an average SOA of 22 knots to cross the Atlantic and the Atlantic tis but a puddle compared to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. That's roughly how fast MACIF sailed every hour of the voyage for 42 days.

Typical route for a racing circumnavigation of the world

I once sailed with another person from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, just over a thousand miles and I was wiped out by the 5th day. On the other hand our Kettenberg had oil lit running lights, a chip log, a 100 year old navigation chart of the area and an old copy of Charlie's Charts. That was the sum total of our navigation equipment. There was no auto-helmsman or any of the scary new-fangled stuff aboard. We were the equivalent of Joshua Slocum but without so many sharp tacks. It was mostly downwind all the way. (there are a couple of puns in there that the discriminating history minded sailors will pick up on)



Since there are very few operational navigation aids on the Baja coast, we figured we were safest about 100-200 miles offshore and out there we could hail passing commerical ships and ask them if they knew where they were and if they would share that information with us. They were all most obliging. On the other hand, all we had to do to find Mexico again was turn to port and keep our eyes open.

I look forward to reading more about the voyage when Francois Gabart writes it up and publishes it. I might have to dust off my French.

Monday, December 18, 2017

SLAYER WARMING UP TO FIRE MUELLER

As with the inevitable tragic suicide of Donna Brazile, it's just a matter of time.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

NINNIES AND MORONS

I find the discussions I read about net neutrality amusing because I was there at the beginning as were many of you. I started up on the internet with a 2400 baud modem I got from my brother-in-law who had just upgraded. After a while I upgraded to a faster dialup modem because that's how my finances rocked. I could have paid over a $1000 for a T1 line but it probably wasn't available in my neighborhood and I couldn't afford it and I moved often enough that it was too ridiculous to contemplate.

The FCC repealed Net Neutrality today and returned the internet to the shape it was in before fascists struck and took over running everything for their benefit and their profit under Obama. We have returned to the light and I can't see why so many people are caterwauling about how the internet is ruined now, just ruined!

I don't see exactly why people are moaning about having to pay for what they get. The ISP spent the big bucks, in fact, the only money, to install internet service across the country and then they lose customers who whine about the slowness because everybody and his uncle is downloading movies. Everybody in the real world knows that you pay for the bandwidth you use. (Does not apply to radio or TV stations that don't have to pay a dime).

I looked at the NN rules Obama threw into the gears as nothing but a very serious attempt by him, to force ISPs to upgrade their networks in order to accommodate more and more traffic driven from google, netflix, amazon, facebook and the rest of the billion $ companies who won't be required or expected to pay a dime to subsidize the network infrastructure. That's what net neutrality was all about. It was seizing control of the assets of the ISPs and turning them into unpaid adjuncts of the DNC funding giants of the internet.

The toll road analogy is pretty much spot on. You can take the interstate or you can go faster and save time by paying extra $ to the company that built the toll road and get to the same destination faster. The thing about the analogy though, is that we all pay for the interstate at different rates. Tractor trailers pay a lot more money to use the highway than you or I do because they cause significantly more wear and tear on the roads. That sounds fair to me and,

The truckers aren't really the ones paying those higher fees and tolls because the trucking companies pass those right along to the businesses that hired them to move heavy bulky goods over the roads. In other words, it's about as neutral as you can get and the options are reserved to the consumers. Why would anybody think that was some sort of nightmare scenario?

I listened to NPR again this morning and yes, I know, it's bad for me, but they had on the usual gaggle of ignorant pissant experts from the extreme left who argued that we should be more like parts of Europe where the internet consumer is protected from the thieving ISPs by being able to take their business to other vendors and say that we in 'merika can't because thieving ISPs and consolidation of ISPs.

They all think we're rubes but they never lived in small towns in America and I've lived in a bunch of them and I know for a fact that as the internet was rolling out those towns all viewed it as a one time cash cow and so they all SOLD the rights to install to one vendor who made the 'best offer' to pay for the privilege of wiring up the place. In some they sold it to different ISPs one neighborhood at a time.

You should see the crap they pulled when it came to overheading the internet on municipal utility poles and how every single time the vendor included a non-compete clause restricting net access to just his/her service. Gads, before the real broadband I used to move frequently and every time I moved I moved to a neighborhood that, as usual, had just one provider and it was always a different provider.

I moved from West Oakland to Emeryville and from there to Solana Beach and from there to Del Mar Heights and from there to Encinitas and every single time, I left my email address behind because it could not be transferred into the new town until yahoo and then google mail rolled out. My employer was our Uncle Sam and his IT people did a lot more than frown at people who used .mil accounts for personal business.

In what other realm do these ninnies who are outraged at the revocation of NN object to pay to play? They eat it up if it means bribing Hilary Clinton to get access to the State Department and change our policy all over the world. They have no problems with pay to play at the DNC or whatever the rethuglicans call the losers running their national campaign. Every single person in America knows that people only give money to congressmen and senators because they expect and get a quid pro quo.

At this point, I will pause and listen to what you have to say.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NATIONAL REVIEW BLOWS IT AGAIN

It was once an interesting magazine back when all that mattered was beating on democrats. However, after the selection of Donald Trump as republican candidate the NRO jumped the shark and headed out to sea.

They published a masterful article on the disease known as Mueller and carefully laid out what a complete partisan hack he was who carefully selected inside the beltway crony democratic party Trump haters and after carefully describing the way the special investigator hihjacked the special investigation, the National Review concluded:
What then is going on here?   
No one knows. We should assume that there will be almost daily new disclosures of the Mueller investigation’s conflicts of interest that were heretofore deliberately suppressed. Yet Donald Trump at this point would be unhinged if he were to fire Special Counsel Mueller — given that the investigators seem intent on digging their own graves through conflicts of interest, partisan politicking, leaking, improper amorous liaisons, indiscreet communications, and stonewalling the release of congressionally requested information.
They still don't get President Trump and it looks unlikely they ever will understand the man. I think he probably has Sessions and the DOJ carefully laying out indictments for all of the people involved in the Special Counsel hitjob and they probably include wiretaps.

I wouldn't want to be Mueller, Comey or any of the counsels and investigators on the hijacked special investigation into collusion with Russia. They're going down and perhaps Hillary, finally, as well.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

IMAGINE CARRYING THE MAIL

IF, I had a time machine. I really like history. I'd delve around the neartime and then reach into the deep time before english or french and find myself dead. I don't speak the lingo. My brother-in-law thinks he knows attic greek and I tell him his office is in the attic and he doesn't. I once found myself on a bus to Cadiz with a much more senior officer who swore he knew spanish. We went to a lot of places before we got to Cadiz, which was closed for the day, because Sunday. Not in a hurry to go there again.




The Fall of Civil life happened once and I regret to see it happening again today. The so-called refugees and migrants are bringing the death of civilization with them and as with Rome, none can see it.

And yes, I posted it once but I think it is worth watching again and so should you.



Oh, and two women in my life have now sent me copies of Ancillary Justice. If they weren't relatives I'd hope I run out of women who want to send me a book I'll never ever read. Ever.

ADEPT PEACE KILLERS

I kept hearing this again and again today as if peace there was something that was in our hand to give.



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

THE PHONE SLAVE

I see a lot of people who propel  themselves about the nation and drop whatever they're doing when their phone rings. I tend to laugh.

I've been living here for 6 years and I could not tell you what the house phone number is and, to be honest, should I ever learn it, I won't ever tell anybody else what the number is.

I have a cell phone I bought in the last century, I think. It is still a San Diego # and I get random calls with messages announcing the end of the universe if the wrong number guy doesn't instantly return the call.  It goes without saying, I don't bother.

I remember one worthwhile time management course I sat through and the only think I took away from it was never ever answer somebody else's phone. Don't do it.

I had a new boss who was in my office and was trying to puzzle out what my exact role was in the world before time, back when I was running things and we sure as hell didn't have patrol boat officers who surrendered to Iranian surfboards armed with a Persian and a gun. The phone was ringing in the office as we conversed and he wanted to know why I wasn't answering it because, 'dammit, the phone is ringing'! 

He was an 05 and I was on 03 at the time and I said, 'why don't you answer it?' It wasn't my phone.

I remember my last conversation with him, many years later, when he was commodore and I was a CO and he asked me if I was going to go to Congress about the issue we were talking about and my answer was, maybe. The phone was right there on his desk.

I answer the phone once a day. That seems to be enough.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

IT WAS THE KNIVES

I saw this picture at Daily Time Waster and it brought back a memory of attending the Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Panama City. I was greatly entertained by the Army general from TRADOC who got up and gave his speech while weaving in two or three other threads as he talked about training and doctrine. He babbled on very happily and without any hint of PowerPoint and introduced us to the Chief of Staff Army of the United States, who, after the War Between the States, decided that something had to be done about the multiplicity of knives that the soldiers were forced to carry.



He helpfully listed them: gutting knife, skinning knife, bayonet, hunting knife, hoof knife, oh there were a lot of knives in the Army of 1870, and working with others, he set out to reduce the number to the essential knife.

As a tiny detour he then talked about the wonderful breech loading rifle the Army had just equipped its soldiers with and what a marvel of technology it was. It was new and cool and the Army had perhaps fired as many as 100 rounds out of any of those shiny new rifles when they shipped a load out west to equip General Custer's 7th Cavalry. Everybody was impressed with the shiny new rifle and promptly tossed the old guns.

At this point, he detoured once again and talked about some really smart Germans in 1914 who invented a railroad gun that could shoot up targets over the horizon. The Germans carefully took into account the curvature of the earth, the atmospheric density, the wind and just about every other thing that could turn a ballistic solution into a miss and they even calculated the wear and tear on the bore of the gun and had made precision shells for the gun that would, as the bore wore down, increase in size and so still achieve the precise muzzle velocity that would let them hit targets in France.

Now the general was not anti-technology. That's not TRADOC's job. He just liked history and liked to talk.

The upshot of course is that when Custer and his bit of cavalry got to Wounded Knee and found every single armed indian in the West and started to use those new rifles, they found that the brass shells had a nasty tendency to split which fouled the breech and basically left the cavalrymen with some very expensive clubs. Because, the Army had also come through on the Army Combat Knife which was, as usual, one size fits all and could be used to cook, dig latrines and pick stones out of horse's hoof but which, in the event, was way to big to be used to dig out the little pieces of brass bullet that had been stripped off by the extractor when the guns fired their 101st round and the barrel had heated up and nobody knew the extractor suffered a fatal heat casualty because nobody had test fired the guns until they got that hot because, after all, how many indians could there be?

We were all laughing at this point but, it wasn't really anything to laugh at and those of us who were program managers decided to take another look at what we were building for the fleet or the Army and maybe make sure we weren't repeating an old mistake.

Germany's Prince of somewhere was inspecting the giant gun which was fired twice and he admired how the 1200 men it took to man and fire the gun went about the task with precision. The gun fired two rounds and stopped. The Prince asked the gunnery commander what he hit over the curve of the earth and the German commander was kind of stymied. He had no idea. He knew what they were aiming at but since they could not actually observe the fall of the shot, didn't know if they hit it.

A junior staff officer told the Prince and the general that if he gave him until morning he could tell them where the shells landed. He then got on a bike and cycled a few miles closer to the target city and waited patiently until the French delivered the morning newspapers which went in to some detail about the damage in the city caused by mysterious explosives that appeared to have come out of nowhere.

You know we have now an entire useless class of destroyer. The damned things cost billions of dollars and are practically worthless because they don't do air defense and the amazing scientifical gun they were built to carry costs as much to fire as it costs to open the Stargate. Every round costs as much as an actual Tomahawk missile and so, of course, Congress said it wasn't going to buy any of those things because the Navy would just waste them.

We have an F-35 which is the all-in-one cheapo fighter that was going to replace everything in the air and be cheaper than the ridiculously expensive F-22 which, as you know, actually seems to have come in at about half the fly-away cost of one F-35 but was considered unaffordable at the time.

We really need to take the Department of Defense down to the river and throw in all their current program managers. They can be like our modern version of witches. If any of them float we know they're a witch and we can dry them off and burn them at the metal stakes we'll erect in the Mall.

SHARK SCREAMS

Stolen ruthlessly from the bayou dude's place because it's just that funny and I've always said fishing is dangerous.

Monday, December 4, 2017

FAKING IT

I was led to a column in the Washington Post today that indicated that Sessions was really doing an awesome job at Justice even though he was all alone and surrounded by progressives who like to sue nuns for not providing abortions. It took me a couple of seconds to realize where the drizzle of praise for Sessions was coming from.

Found it!
But despite a dearth of confirmed assistant attorneys general and other aides, Mr. Sessions has largely succeeded in shutting down much of the Obama-era leftism that was so alive in the Justice Department when he got there and setting it on a Reagan-like path.
In a front-page story just last week, a Washington Post headline announced that “While eyes are on Russia, Sessions dramatically reshapes the Justice Department,” going on to say that “the attorney general has been among the most effective of the Cabinet secretaries — implementing Trump’s conservative policy agenda even as the president publicly and privately toys with firing him over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia case.”
If you hit the link you'll find yourself at the Washington Times. For some reason, the Washington Times is now quoting the Washington Post in its stories. I suspect that the Times has by now been fully co-opted and is part and parcel of the media giant that reliably furnishes this country with fake news.

It's kind of saddening that if I want to read reliable, accurate, honest news, I have to read the UK Daily Times. Say what you will, if I want a report that includes the who, what, where, when, I have grown accustomed to looking for it in the British papers because our journalists are unfamiliar with the concept of reporting the news.

Sessions has not done anything right in his current job. Making a major play to squash drug dealers when most of the states have all moved forward and legalized one of the controlled narcotics because there is no way to keep the people from buying grass is just a part of his failure to come to terms with actual law enforcement.  No no, I'm not urging him to act on grass. It's a slippery slope, he's an old man and I'm sure he'd slip and do himself an injury if he tried. I'm just saying,  The country would get a kick out of an Attorney General who actually made a point of going after the big time criminals like Hillary, Cheryl Mills, etc and threw them in jail after a SPEEDY trial.

Why the hell does it take these guys years to make a case a child could have made in a week? It's not like they even ever intend to go to court but they assure us all that justice and it's wheels are finely grinding to the truth of the matter and that the guilty shall be punished. I'll believe it when Hillary is in federal prison for countless violations of the National Security laws she didn't think applied to her, her friends, her assistants, her computers, her email, her servers. She exploited national security the way Bill Clinton exploited interns.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

MOTIV8

Guy I used to know had that as his license plate. He was a SEAL.

I wondered tonight, after a wonderful night out, just how does a modern day football coach motivate a whole flock of prima donna millionaires he can't fire, can't send to Iraq, can't torture/torment or send to Cuba, when his peers all agree that they can't make the lousy little dirtbags stand up for the national anthem? It does pose a question.

What does it take to get the 'average' man on the Cleveland Browns to stand up and actually play football? I don't know and I don't care as the famous Carl used to say. More intrinsically, what made the Cavs win against the Golden shower when any and all observers could see that one set of men were playing as a team that knew how to pass, advance, score and rebound and the other team had never been introduced to the idea of playing as a team?

Just some late night thoughts before I start my zen moment of cleaning a floor.

Friday, December 1, 2017

PLAY THE MAN RIDLEY

It is, I suppose, fitting, for the general  to go the flames for the boss.

With this boss, I expect a reprieve but I've been wrong before.