The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I have Blogged several times in the past about the Falkland War, it was the first war to me that I really paid attention to.  I was a sophomore in High school and also in JROTC and we used the lessons of the Falklands as lessons, especially with logistics and what is called "The Intangibles" in this case morale and fighting spirit.  By all rights the British should have lost the war, they were operating on shoestring logistics string, their military was worn out by years of neglect because the British government had other priorities rather than their NATO commitment.  It was a malaise that had affected all of the west.  The United States had started to rearm under President Reagan after years of neglect and Britain had just elected Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady", and she was trying to bring back the British after years of failed socialist policies. 

The Falklands War is looked back on by many as a foregone conclusion. Lasting only ten weeks, and it resulted in a clear British victory. But this war between Argentina and Britain could have gone either way. As Major-General John Jeremy Moore, commander of the British land forces in the war, put it, “It was a very close-run thing.”

Before the war, Britain was reducing its commitment to the Falklands and nearby South Atlantic territories. Many Falkland Islanders had lost their British citizenship in the 1981 British Nationality Act. More important militarily, British naval power was being withdrawn from the region. Ice-breaking ship HMS Endurance, the only Royal Navy ship permanently stationed in the South Atlantic, was about to be scrapped. Wider cuts, including the impending loss of two aircraft carriers, indicated a retreat by Britain’s navy.

Argentina had a huge advantage in manpower. During the initial invasion, the Argentines committed 600 ground troops against a British garrison of 85 Royal Marines, 25 members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF), and around a dozen retired members of the FIDF.

With their homeland so much closer, the Argentines were more easily able to get troops into the combat zone.

HMS Sheffield, which was sunk during the conflict. Wikipedia / NathalMad / CC BY 3.0
HMS Sheffield, which was sunk during the conflict. Nathalmad – CC BY 3.0

Faced with overwhelming odds, the British put up little defense. Sir Rex Hunt, the British Governor, negotiated a surrender within 12 hours of the invasion. Though a group of Royal Marines initially remained uncaptured, they destroyed their weapons and surrendered rather than risk civilian lives in a fruitless fight.
In less than a day, the Argentines had gained control of the islands, and so the advantage of holding defensive positions.

Given the distance from Britain to the Falklands, the Chiefs of Staff of both the British Army and the Royal Air Force believed that retaking the islands was unrealistic. Lack of political confidence could have led to an instant Argentine victory, if not for the strong views of others, in particular, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

French-built Super Étendard of the Argentine Naval Aviation
French-built Super Étendard of the Argentine Naval Aviation. Martin Otero – CC BY 2.5
The Falklands War was enough of a conventional conflict for bombing raids to be important, against both enemy ships and land-based targets. Again, geography gave the advantage to the Argentine forces. Bombers could reach the Falklands from Argentina and hit their targets in a single run. Reaching the Falklands from the UK involved a complex refueling operation, in which around a dozen aircraft set out for every one that got as far as the target.

The British forces suffered several setbacks. An attempt to retake South Georgia, another of the islands seized by Argentina, led to failure on 21 April. Elite troops were landed, but had to be picked up again due to extreme weather, and two helicopters were lost in the operation.
Plans to attack the air base at Tierra del Fuego, on the Argentine mainland, were abandoned before they even began, and a similar mission led to a British helicopter crew surrendering themselves to Chilean authorities.

HMS Antelope smoking after being hit, 23 May 1982.
In the Falklands, the British Royal Navy suffered its first losses of ships since the Second World War, nearly four decades earlier. The HMS Sheffield was lost on 10 May, HMS Ardent on 21 May, HMS Antelope on 24 May, HMS Coventry and MV Atlantic Conveyor, a cargo vessel carrying helicopters and other important supplies, on 25 May. The loss of the Atlantic Conveyor was particularly significant, as it forced the army to advance on Port Stanley by foot.

Superior morale helped bring the British victory, but even in this, the sides were closer than expected. When the British attacked Mount Longdon on the night of 11 June, they expected little resistance due to poor morale.
The spirit of the Argentine defenders was strong, and instead of an easy victory the attackers faced a grueling twelve-hour battle, from which Brigadier Julian Thompson almost called the retreat.
The war was fierce and brutal, often fought at close quarters with bayonets and grenades. During the fighting at Two Sisters, Private Oscar Ismael Poltronieri held up a whole British company with gunfire, for which he won the Heroic Valour in Combat Cross, Argentina’s top medal for courage.

The Battle of Goose Green was the first major British victory of the war, but it was almost blown by a news report. The BBC World Service, hearing of plans for the attack, reported them to its global news audience. This almost led to the assault being called off. It could easily have led to stronger resistance at Goose Green, if not for the fact that the Argentinians believed the report was a British bluff.

British Helicopter Dropping Supplies. Wikipedia / Public Domain
British Royal Marines arriving at Goose Green.

If the British were expecting an easy win at Goose Green, then they were mistaken. Argentine troops put up a strong defense, stalling the initial assault. The first attempt to give the attack fresh energy failed, and its leader, Lieutenant-Colonel “H” Jones, was killed in the fighting.

Conducting a war so far from home, the British could not easily be resupplied. By the end of the war, they were low on food and ammunition, many down to a handful of bullets. If the Argentine forces had held out a little longer, the British troops would have run out of resources with which to fight.

If not for a failure of discipline, the Argentine forces would have held out long enough to wear down the British. Their Army Code forbade surrender while they retained 50% of their men and 25% of their ammunition, and on 14 June they were specifically ordered not to surrender.
They surrendered that very day, rather than face the poorly supplied but fierce looking British.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Music"Far from Over" from Frank Stallone

This song popped up in my 80's channel on my Sirius/XM and it is one of the forgotten hits.  I actually liked the song, but the movie that it was based off of was horrible.  It was the story of John Travolta character after Saturday Night Fever and it probably would have been a good movie, I guess but they released the movie during the anti-disco backlash that was prevalent in the 80's.  The movie got panned brutally and even now it is considered one of the worse sequels ever.  

"Far from Over" is a song by Frank Stallone that appeared in the 1983 film Staying Alive and was also featured in the film's soundtrack. The song was written by Stallone and Vince DiCola. It was a top-ten U.S. single in September 1983, peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his only major hit. The 7" single version is slightly different from the LP version, and it was the 7" version which was played on most radio stations in the US while on the Billboard Hot 100.
The instrumental version was used as the theme for Starrcade from 1983 to 1987, and makes a memorable appearance in the famous 1984 Saturday Night Live "synchronized swimming" segment with Martin Short and Harry Shearer. Also, WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina used it for their Football Fridays broadcasts during the mid-1980s. as did WDIV-TV in Detroit, Michigan for its Sunday sports wrap-up show Sports Final Edition, which is still currently used today. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. The song had renewed popularity in 2010 when Australian comedy duo Hamish & Andy proclaimed on air that the song gave the listener an extra burst of energy and dubbed the phenomenon as "The Frank Effect". A special one time concert was held in Australia as a result.
In the U.S., the song became RSO Records final top 10 single and top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Staying Alive is a 1983 American dance film starring John Travolta as dancer Tony Manero, with Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes, Joyce Hyser, Julie Bovasso, and dancers Viktor Manoel and Kevyn Morrow. The sequel to 1977's Saturday Night Fever, it was directed, co-produced and co-written by Sylvester Stallone. The title comes from the Bee Gees song of the same name, which was used as the theme song to Saturday Night Fever and is also played during the final scene of Staying Alive. The choreography was arranged by Dennon and Sayhber Rawles It also goes hand-in-hand with Tony's new lifestyle, in which he is barely surviving as he pursues his dream of making dancing his career. This is along with Homefront, one of only two films which Stallone has written without being the star (although he does have a cameo).
The film received generally negative reviews from critics, and holds a score of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes as of 2016.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

New Book!!!! and I got a story in it!!

A couple of goings on, I went to a Band performance of my son's High School Band, and they won, they were the "Grand Champions" of the competition.  I recorded the video and disregard the occasional yelling, the parents are very enthusiastic, LOL, . 
   I went and found the performance on Youtube, My recording because of the wind picked up the video, but I lost a lot of the sound.   Here is the performance "The Last Train Out"

According to my son, even with the audio limitations, he said that it was a better video.
My blog buddy the "GodFather" Old NFO, whom is a class act by himself but we don't tell him this BTW.  Old NFO published a book called "The Morning The Earth Shook", The book talked about the Calexit movement from the Military point of view around San Diego after California seceded from the United States.   The book was well received and rated well.  Well Old NFO mentioned to me that he was thinking about doing another book with other people writing stories based on the book.  I was intrigued and came up with a story and sent it to Old NFO whom edited my random brain squeezing into a workable story.   I was totally humbled that my story made the cut, the people in that book are very good.   Go buy the book Calexit "The Anthology"

I cut and pasted this from the Amazon link

When California declares independence, their dreams of socialist diversity become nightmares for many from the high Sierras to the Central Valley. Follow the lives of those who must decide whether to stand their ground, or flee!

In San Diego, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group One finds his hands tied by red tape, even as protesters storm the base and attack dependents.
In Los Angeles, an airline mechanic must beg, borrow, or bribe to get his family on the plane out before the last flight out.
Elsewhere, a couple seeks out the new underground railroad after being forced to confess to crimes they didn't commit.
In the new state of Jefferson, farmers must defend themselves against carpetbaggers and border raiders.
And in the high Sierras, a woman must make the decision to walk out alone...

Featuring all-new stories set after Calexit from JL Curtis, Bob Poole, Cedar Sanderson, Tom Rogneby, Alma Boykin, B Opperman, L B Johnson, Eaton Rapids Joe, Lawdog, and Kimball O'Hara.

Friday, October 27, 2017

A favor for a friend.

I cut and pasted this from "Old NFO" you know the "Don" and we cannot refuse the reasonable request of our "Godfather".   Seriously if y'all can throw a few bucks at this it will be appreciated.  I will post occasional reminders to keep it in peoples mind.

I know this is a lousy time to ask for money, but one of our extended Blogarado family is in need. FarmFam’s daughter-in-law, Andi, 33 and the mother of two small boys, suffered a stroke in mid August. Unfortunately, it wasn’t diagnosed correctly for two weeks, delaying treatment.
She’s facing a year to 18 months of physical therapy to get back to full function. 
Therapy costs are running $200-500 per session, and she needs therapy once a week. Andi has not been able to afford health insurance, because she her husband own a small business that makes too much money for them to get assistance with health insurance, but not enough for them to be able to afford health insurance, and raising two boys.
Any help will be much appreciated, as Andi has begun physical therapy, and without health insurance she has to pay the full cost of every session.
In order to help her out, we are doing another gun raffle to try to help her with her therapy. One change from what we did for Tam is to run this through a Go Fund Me, https://www.gofundme.com/andrea-keenan-medical-fund, so that the money is immediately available to her for her therapy. One IRS change is that Go Fund Me $$ are now counted as income for the family, so we are shooting for a goal of $25,000 to offset the tax burden they will be hit with.
Here are the ‘rules’ $10 per chance, $50/6 chances, $100/12 chances, etc. Make your donation to the Go Fund Me above, and copy your donation receipt to 4anditherapy@gmail.com. This will count as your entry into the raffle. If you have already donated, we will accept prior donations to the Go Fund Me.
The raffle will run from now through the end of November, with the drawing to be held 1 December via a random drawing program. First number gets their choice, second gets their choice, etc.
The raffle packages are-
Note: All guns are used, not new.
  1. Taurus .44 Magnum pistol
  2. Ruger MK-II bull barrel .22
  3. Custom sub-MOA AR-15
  4. Remington 870 pump in 20ga
  5. Chinese copy of a 12ga coach gun
  6. Springfield Range Officer .45 with 7 magazines and custom holster
  7. Springfield Range Officer 9mm with 7 magazines and custom holster
  8. Lawdog’s personal Rock Island 1911 9mm, reworked by Joe Speer with 6 magazines
  9. A ladies package consisting of a ring (late-Victorian-style design with either high-quality glass or mid-grade garnet stones. The mount is jeweler’s metal, size 6 3/4 or 7).  A unicorn necklace, late 1980s-early 1990s James Avery sterling silver charm on a silver chain. A coin necklace, an 1904 Indian Head penny, silver dipped in a gold-plated mount with a gold-plated silver chain. And a handmade necklace and earrings from Phlegmmy.
  10. Signed copies of Lawdog’s, Peter Grant’s, Dorothy Grant’s, JL Curtis’, and Tom Rogneby’s books
  11. TBD (other possible packages are being discussed)
All guns will be shipped FFL to FFL for winners. Pictures of the various packages will follow in the next couple of days.
Thank you in advance, I know she will appreciate the help, and this will take a little pressure off the family!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I got this off "Angry Staff Officer", Like I have stated in the past, you can blame my friend Mack for steering me onto this guy.  He likes to use Star Wars and other cultural icons like Harry Potter.  I thought it was a pretty good transferring the change of command ceremony from the Star Wars era and modern Army issues.     The Pics are Compliments of "Google"

Scene: Interior of a First Order Star Destroyer. A First Order Army officer takes a seat at a desk, apparently well pleased. There’s a knock at the door and another officer walks in.
Captain Arlis: Come on in XO, how are you today?

Lieutenant Fivret: Good morning, sir, I’m fitter than a Mandalorian helmet, thanks. Congratulations on taking command of the armor company of the 501st. As you know, this unit carries on the lineage of the 501st Imperial Legion, “Vader’s Fist,” so you’ve got command of the best unit in the entire First Order Army.

Captain Arlis: Thanks, LT. Really excited to take over this outfit and work with you. So what I really want to do is start implementing some of my ideas for training that I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

Lieutenant Fivret: Yes, sir, I understand that. But as a new commander, you’ve got about 150 appointment memos to sign, for everything from Droid Inspection Officer to Blaster Maintenance NCO. You’ve also got to get your policy memos out there. Battalion is really pushing to see your policy in reference to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, based on the last time one of our troopers was found operating under the influence of too many Bantha-blood Fizzes. Had to impound his speeder and resulted in a lot of paperwork. And then there was the fight that shut down the cantina…needless to say, you’ll need to sign the memo that places it off limits, as well as a policy memo dictating the need to respect Navy personnel and not call them “filthy Calamari.”

Captain Arlis: Oh, okay, yeah, sure, I can get on that.

Lieutenant Fivret: Good, sir, because you also need to get your command hologram done. According to your First Order Officer Record Brief, you are entitled to an additional star on your Death Star II Campaign Medal from when you were enlisted and another First Order Commendation Medal, so we’ll get supply to get you hooked up with those. A protocol droid from the S-1 will be in later to take care of the hologram.

Captain Arlis: Ok, yep, I’ll go do that.

Lieutenant Fivret: But also, sir, we’ve got that New Equipment Training for the AT-M6 which we’re getting fielded in the next quarter. That’s a full replacement of the old AT-ATs, by the way. So you know what that means: new gunnery tables, new equipment for the maintenance section, reorganization of our table of organization & equipment. So that’s beginning tomorrow.

Captain Arlis: Wait, tomorrow? But I thought tomorrow was a field day where I could observe training?

Lieutenant Fivret: No sir, tomorrow the company begins the new equipment fielding and as part of that we have full components inventory. Which works out well, since you need to conduct your change of command inventories. And yes, you’ll have to inventory all of the AT-ATs prior to turn in and then the AT-M6s.

Captain Arlis: Got it, inventories until I’m more tired than a Hutt after a brisk walk. That should keep me busy for the foreseeable week or two.

Lieutenant Fivret: Well, it would, sir, but you’ve also got your command climate survey to do for the unit. Battalion wants to know what the feelings are down at the trooper level, so we’ll be hosting several droids down here that will be initiating feeling scans on our troopers right after first formation. Should be able to see the results of that by tomorrow afternoon in time for the safety briefing.

Captain Arlis: Safety briefing? What the hell is happening to this force? Back in my day we loaded up in our walkers and went out and broke things and killed people!

Lieutenant Fivret: Yes sir, but then Yavin 4 happened and then our armor failed at Endor, and so the First Order Center for Lessons Learned has us do mandatory safety stand-down once a week to examine our armor tactics. Lose a few death stars, as you know, not to mention all your key leaders, and it’s no wonder that the present leadership requires safety briefs. Well, that, and all the lost trooper-hours from twisted ankles when troopers dismount their walkers improperly.

Captain Arlis puts his head in his hands

Lieutenant Fivret: I understand, sir. You wanted to come in here and make change and conduct training, but really, the only thing the First Order needs you for is as someone to sign things and take the blame when things go more sideways than a Jawa crawler. It’s not you, it’s the system.

Captain Arlis: Thanks, LT. I really thought this would go differently.

Lieutenant Fivret: I know, sir. But that’s just the way of the Army. Now, here’s the counseling packets for all the troopers who failed height/weight and can no longer fit into their armor, as well as the discharge paperwork for a trooper who was found trying to have intercourse with a Bantha. If you can get all those signed before our Unit Training Plan meeting in half an hour, I’d appreciate it. Also, you’ll probably be wanting to do your initial counselings, but unfortunately the first sergeant will be unavailable today due to a custody battle over a droid. Oh, and Captain Phasma stopped by from battalion S-3 – she said she’s reviewed our training records and has some suggestions to make concerning indoctrination of new troopers to the First Order. Oh, and there’s a new First Order Policy Directive out forbidding the kind of swearing against higher that you’re doing right now, sir. Welcome to command, sir.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Doings on at Casa de Garabaldi

Several things going on here, I was feeling under the weather and went to the Dr. and I hate Dr visits.  Well anyway I have an ear infection and bronchitis and pneumonia  That sucks.
     Also some background on a situation, I have a good friend that is the Assistant Chief for the County Police department where I live and I asked him to run a Serial number for my .45 that got stolen in 1992 from my truck in the county seat of the neighboring county.  I have been contacting the police department over there every 4 or 5 years making sure my address is current and checking on it.  I have this hope that one day I will get that pistol back.  That was the pistol that I used for single stack competitions in Europe while I was stationed there.
   Well I got the feeling that the police department there was blowing me off so when my friend ran the number it came back with nothing at all, no Stolen, no nothing.  I had memorized the S/N long ago and I still have the USAREUR registration with the S/N on it along with my information when I was stationed .  My friend who is on good terms with the Chief there asked the chief to dig into the records back in 1992 and it came back with no information.  So either they destroyed the records and not entered it on NCIC or they never took a report.  All these years I have been getting shined on by the police Dept and it pissed me off.  I wasted all these years on the hope of getting that pistol back.
    Next week I will go to the county seat and go to the local paper there, back in 1992/1993 the local paper printed the Crimes of the day/week and I used this to plot the crime pattern so I knew where I could warn my delivery drivers where to avoid or be careful.  I recall people coming up to me after the theft and vandalism and commiserating with me on the incident.  I will dig through the archives and see if the information was there and where they got the information and if I can prove that, then I can force the dept to put the S/N in NCIC.  This really pisses me off
   And speaking of guns, I am looking to saving toward my next purchase, and I have 3 choices that I am looking at.  I will post the choices and the pro's and cons for each purchase, perhaps y'all can give me your opinion.

    Choice #1 is Rock Island 1911 .45 ACP

Pro's                                                                  Cons..
 It is a .45 ACP                                                   Another caliber of ammo I will have to buy
 A little over $400 from Buds Gun shop           Basic .45, I will have to upgrade the sights and fit
                                                                            For Accuracy

My Second choice is a Carbine

Pro's                                                                                                               Cons:
  .40 caliber which matches 2 other pistols so I have less logistic issue     Ugly as Homemade sin
  Actually has a good reputation....For a Hi-Point                                         Ugly as Homemade sin
   Cheap                                                                                                         Fit and Finish is lacking
  You can customize it with optics and other offerings.
    Dad owns one and he loves it, 

Number 3 is a Lever action .357
Pro's:                                                                                                  Cons:
Same caliber as my wheelguns, can plink with .38                         Expensive as hell $1000 minimum
Lever action, less likely to "scare people"                                       Did I say "expensive as hell"?

       What say you my faithful readers....?   Keep in mind, I have a limited budget and to keep the spousal unit happy, I don't use "house money" for my gun purchases

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monday Music "Burning Love", By Elvis Presley

I am still feeling under the weather, I have this cough that will not go away.  This is why my Monday Music is going up today on Tuesday...Well it happens.   I remembered where I was when I got the news of Elvis Presley, we were stationed in Fort McClellen Alabama and My brother and I were over at our friends "Gilbert's house" and we had constructed "Wind Racers",

Yeah, kinda looks like that...and were using a box fan to race them across the floor when Gilbert's mom walked into the room in tears and told us that Elvis Presley had died.  I knew of him since he was one of my Dads and mom's favorite performer. This album was stolen like all the others from my Dads record collection.

"Burning Love" is a song written by Dennis Linde and originally recorded by country soul artist Arthur Alexander, who included it on his 1972 self-titled album. It was soon covered and brought to fame by Elvis Presley, becoming his biggest hit single in the United States since "Suspicious Minds" in 1969 and his last Top 10 hit in the American Hot 100 or pop charts.

Elvis Presley's cover version became much more popular than the original version, and was released as a single on August 1, 1972, with the B-side "It's a Matter of Time", and it reached the Top 40 on the country charts, peaking at #36. Elvis had recorded it at RCA's Hollywood studios on March 28, 1972. It was his last big hit. The electric guitar opening and riffs were overdubbed and played by Dennis Linde himself.

For the week of October 21, 1972, "Burning Love" rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, being kept from #1 by Chuck Berry's novelty song "My Ding-a-Ling."However, it reached #1 on Cashbox's Top 40 Charts for the week of November 11, which gave him 20 US #1 hits. The song was Elvis's 40th and last Top Ten hit on the US charts. It was also one of the last real rock songs in the last years of his life; from 1972 to 1977 the majority of his songs were ballads, and many of those placed on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart. "Burning Love" was one of the few exceptions, along with "Promised Land" in 1974.

He performed it in at least two high-profile productions: the concert film Elvis on Tour (during which he had to use a lyric sheet as the song was still new to him), and the later Aloha from Hawaii concert.
The song was also released on an album titled Burning Love and Hits from his Movies: Volume 2 on November 1, 1972. Despite this album's subtitle, none of the movie songs on it were ever hits. The only actual hit on the album was the title song, "Burning Love"

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hillary and the Uranium One scandal

This is a touch on from my Friday Post, Andrew McCarthy did a heck of a writeup with the players involved, I just added the pics compliments of "google".  I am surprised that this story hadn't really hit the media circuit, but I surmise that it is  involving their heroine and they are part of the #theresistance they will not publish anything negative about her since they hope that she can run in 2020.  Here is the Link to the story on National Review.

Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads — the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump. The Facebook-ad buy, which started in June 2015 — before Donald Trump entered the race — was more left-wing agitprop (ads pushing hysteria on racism, immigration, guns, etc.) than electioneering. The Clintons’ own long-time political strategist Mark Penn estimates that just $6,500 went to actual electioneering. (You read that right: 65 hundred dollars.) By contrast, the staggering $500,000 payday from a Kremlin-tied Russian bank for a single speech was part of a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton. At the time, Russia was plotting — successfully — to secure U.S. government approval for its acquisition of Uranium One, and with it, tens of billions of dollars in U.S. uranium reserves. Here’s the kicker: The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal. The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their “public service.” The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.

The Obama administration also knew that congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer. Consequently, the Justice Department concealed what it knew. DOJ allowed the racketeering enterprise to continue compromising the American uranium industry rather than commencing a prosecution that would have scotched the transfer. Prosecutors waited four years before quietly pleading the case out for a song, in violation of Justice Department charging guidelines. Meanwhile, the administration stonewalled Congress, reportedly threatening an informant who wanted to go public. Obama’s ‘Reset’ To understand what happened here, we need to go back to the beginning. 
The first-tier military arsenal of Putin’s Russia belies its status as a third-rate economic power. For well over a decade, the regime has thus sought to develop and exploit its capacity as a nuclear-energy producer. Naïvely viewing Russia as a “strategic partner” rather than a malevolent competitor, the Bush administration made a nuclear-cooperation agreement with the Kremlin in May 2008. That blunder, however, was tabled before Congress could consider it. That is because Russia, being Russia, invaded Georgia. In 2009, notwithstanding this aggression (which continues to this day with Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia), 
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton signaled the new administration’s determination to “reset” relations with Moscow. In this reset, renewed cooperation and commerce in nuclear energy would be central. There had been such cooperation and commerce since the Soviet Union imploded. In 1992, the administration of President George H. W. Bush agreed with the nascent Russian federation that U.S. nuclear providers would be permitted to purchase uranium from Russia’s disassembled nuclear warheads (after it had been down-blended from its highly enriched weapons-grade level). The Russian commercial agent responsible for the sale and transportation of this uranium to the U.S. is the Kremlin-controlled company “Tenex” (formally, JSC Techsnabexport). Tenex is a subsidiary of Rosatom. Tenex (and by extension, Rosatom) have an American arm called “Tenam USA.” Tenam is based in Bethesda, Md. Around the time President Obama came to power, the Russian official in charge of Tenam was Vadim Mikerin. The Obama administration reportedly issued a visa for Mikerin in 2010, but a racketeering investigation led by the FBI determined that he was already operating here in 2009. The Racketeering Scheme As Tenam’s general director, Mikerin was responsible for arranging and managing Rosatom/Tenex’s contracts with American uranium purchasers. 
 This gave him tremendous leverage over the U.S. companies. With the assistance of several confederates, Mikerin used this leverage to extort and defraud the U.S. contractors into paying inflated prices for uranium. They then laundered the proceeds through shell companies and secret bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the Seychelle Islands — though sometimes transactions were handled in cash, with the skim divided into envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash. The inflated payments served two purposes: They enriched Kremlin-connected energy officials in the U.S. and in Russia to the tune of millions of dollars; and they compromised the American companies that paid the bribes, rendering players in U.S. nuclear energy — a sector critical to national security — vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow. But Mikerin had a problem. To further the Kremlin’s push for nuclear-energy expansion, he had been seeking to retain a lobbyist — from whom he planned to extort kickbacks, just as he did with the U.S. energy companies. With the help of an associate connected to Russian organized-crime groups, Mikerin found his lobbyist. The man’s name has not been disclosed, but we know he is now represented by Victoria Toensing, a well-respected Washington lawyer, formerly a federal prosecutor and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee. When Mikerin solicited him in 2009, the lobbyist was uncomfortable, worried that the proposal would land him on the wrong side of the law. So he contacted the FBI and revealed what he knew. From then on, the Bureau and Justice Department permitted him to participate in the Russian racketeering scheme as a “confidential source” — and he is thus known as “CS-1” in affidavits the government, years later, presented to federal court in order to obtain search and arrest warrants. At the time this unidentified man became an informant, the FBI was led by director Robert Mueller, who is now the special counsel investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia. The investigation was centered in Maryland (Tenam’s home base). There, the U.S. attorney was Obama appointee Rod Rosenstein — now President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and the man who appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate Trump. 
 Because of CS-1, the FBI was able to understand and monitor the racketeering enterprise almost from the start. By mid-May 2010, it could already prove the scheme and three separate extortionate payments Mikerin had squeezed out of the informant. Equally important: According to reporting by John Solomon and Alison Spann in the Hill, the informant learned through conversations with Mikerin and others that Russian nuclear officials were trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons. Uranium One, Russia, and the Clintons There is no doubt that this extraordinarily gainful ingratiation took place. I outlined some of it a year ago in suggesting that the Justice Department should be investigating the Clinton Foundation, and its exploitation of Hillary Clinton’s influence as secretary of state, as a potential racketeering case.
 In 2005, former President Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire friend and benefactor, Frank Giustra, obtain coveted uranium-mining rights from Kazakhstan’s dictator. The Kazakh deal enabled Giustra’s company (Ur-Asia Energy) to merge into Uranium One (a South African company), a $3.5 billion windfall. Giustra and his partners thereafter contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Besides the valuable Kazakh reserves, Uranium One also controlled about a fifth of the uranium stock in the United States. Alas, Putin, the neighborhood bully, also wanted the Kazakh uranium. He leaned on Kazakhstan’s dictator, who promptly arrested the official responsible for selling the uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company. This put Uranium One’s stake in jeopardy of being seized by the Kazakh government. As Uranium One’s stock plunged, its panicked executives turned to the State Department, where their friend Hillary Clinton was now in charge. State sprung into action, convening emergency meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that the crisis was resolved (translation: the shakedown was complete). Russia’s energy giant, Rosatom, would purchase 17 percent of Uranium One, and the Kazakh threat would disappear — and with it, the threat to the value of the Clinton donors’ holdings. For Putin, though, that was just a start. He didn’t want a minority stake in Uranium One, he wanted control of the uranium. For that, Rosatom would need a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would be a tall order — not because of the Kazakh mining rights but because acquisition of Uranium One’s American reserves required U.S. government approval.
 Uranium is foundational to nuclear power and thus to American national security. As the New York Times explained in a report on the disturbing interplay between the Clinton Foundation and the transfer of American uranium assets to Russia, the United States gets a fifth of its electrical power from nuclear energy, but only produces a fifth of the uranium it needs. Consequently, a foreign entity would not be able to acquire rights to American uranium without the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. CFIUS is composed of the leaders of 14 U.S. government agencies involved in national security and commerce. In 2010, these included not only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had cultivated a reputation as a hawk opposed to such foreign purchases, but Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department (and its lead agency, the FBI) were conducting the investigation of Rosatom’s ongoing U.S. racketeering, extortion, and money-laundering scheme. In March 2010, to push the Obama “reset” agenda, Secretary Clinton traveled to Russia, where she met with Putin and Dimitri Medvedev, who was then keeping the president’s chair warm for Putin.
 Soon after, it emerged that Renaissance Capital, a regime-tied Russian bank, had offered Bill Clinton $500,000 to make a single speech — far more than the former president’s usual haul in what would become one of his biggest paydays ever. Renaissance was an aggressive promoter of Rosatom. The Clinton speech took place in Moscow in June. The exorbitant speech fee, it is worth noting, is a pittance compared with the $145 million Newsweek reports was donated to the Clinton Foundation by sources linked to the Uranium One deal. The month before the speech, the Hill reports, Bill Clinton told his wife’s State Department that he wanted to meet while in Russia with Arkady Dvorkovich, who, in addition to being a top Medvedev aide, was also a key Rosatom board member. It is not known whether the State Department gave clearance for the meeting; the question appears to have become moot since the former U.S. president met directly with Putin and Medvedev. You’ll be comforted, I’m sure, to learn that aides to the Clintons, those pillars of integrity, assure us that the topics of Rosatom and Uranium One never came up. Keeping Congress in the Dark Meanwhile, congressional opposition to Russia’s potential acquisition of American uranium resources began to stir. As Peter Schweizer noted in his essential book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, four senior House members steeped in national-security issues — Peter King (R., N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), and Howard McKeon (R. Calif.) — voiced grave concerns, pointing out that Rosatom had helped Iran, America’s sworn enemy, build its Bushehr nuclear reactor. The members concluded that “the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency . . . would not advance the national security interests of the United States.” 
Republican senator John Barrasso objected to Kremlin control of uranium assets in his state of Wyoming, warning of Russia’s “disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States, specifically Iran and Venezuela.” The House began moving a bill “expressing disfavor of the Congress” regarding Obama’s revival of the nuclear-cooperation agreement Bush had abandoned. Clearly, in this atmosphere, disclosure of the racketeering enterprise that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was, at that very moment, carrying out would have been the death knell of the asset transfer to Russia. It would also likely have ended the “reset” initiative in which Obama and Clinton were deeply invested — an agenda that contemplated Kremlin-friendly deals on nuclear-arms control and accommodation of the nuclear program of Russia’s ally, Iran. That was not going to be allowed to happen. It appears that no disclosure of Russia’s racketeering and strong-arming was made to CFIUS or to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, not by Attorney General Holder, and certainly not by President Obama. In October 2010, CFIUS gave its blessing to Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One. A Sweetheart Plea Helps the Case Disappear Even though the FBI had an informant collecting damning information, and had a prosecutable case against Mikerin by early 2010, the extortion racket against American energy companies was permitted to continue into the summer of 2014. It was only then that, finally, Mikerin and his confederates were arrested. Why then? This is not rocket science. In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Putin also began massing forces on the Ukrainian border, coordinating and conducting attacks, ultimately taking control of territory. Clearly, the pie-in-the-sky Obama reset was dead. Furthermore, the prosecution of Mikerin’s racketeering scheme had been so delayed that the Justice Department risked losing the ability to charge the 2009 felonies because of the five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes. Still, a lid needed to be kept on the case.
 It would have made for an epic Obama administration scandal, and a body blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, if in the midst of Russia’s 2014 aggression, public attention had been drawn to the failure, four years earlier, to prosecute a national-security case in order to protect Russia’s takeover of U.S. nuclear assets. The Obama administration needed to make this case go away — without a public trial if at all possible. Think about this: The investigation of Russian racketeering in the American energy sector was the kind of spectacular success over which the FBI and Justice Department typically do a bells-n-whistles victory lap — the big self-congratulatory press conference followed by the media-intensive prosecutions . . . and, of course, more press conferences. Here . . . crickets. As the Hill reports, the Justice Department and FBI had little to say when Mikerin and his co-conspirators were arrested. They quietly negotiated guilty pleas that were announced with no fanfare just before Labor Day. It was arranged that Mikerin would be sentenced just before Christmas. All under the radar. How desperate was the Obama Justice Department to plead the case out?
 Here, Rosenstein and Holder will have some explaining to do. Mikerin was arrested on a complaint describing a racketeering scheme that stretched back to 2004 and included extortion, fraud, and money laundering. Yet he was permitted to plead guilty to a single count of money-laundering conspiracy. Except it was not really money-laundering conspiracy. Under federal law, that crime (at section 1956 of the penal code) carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment — not only for conspiracy but for each act of money laundering.
 But Mikerin was not made to plead guilty to this charge. He was permitted to plead guilty to an offense charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy provision (section 371) that criminalizes agreements to commit any crime against the United States. Section 371 prescribes a sentence of zero to five years’ imprisonment. The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence way below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major. Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. (See in the Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement is careful not to mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before CFIUS approved Rosatom’s acquisition of U.S. uranium stock. Mikerin just had to plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge. This insulated him from a real money-laundering sentence. Thus, he got a term of just four years’ incarceration for a major national-security crime — which, of course, is why he took the plea deal and waived his right to appeal, sparing the Obama administration a full public airing of the facts. Interestingly, as the plea agreement shows, the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann, who is now one of the top prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s ongoing special-counsel investigation of suspected Trump collusion with Russia. There was still one other problem to tamp down. That was the informant — the lobbyist who alerted the FBI to the Russian racketeering enterprise back in 2009. He wanted to talk. Specifically, as his attorney, Ms. Toensing, explains, the informant wanted to tell Congress what he knows — about what the FBI and the Justice Department could already have proved in 2010 when CFIUS signed off on Russia’s acquisition of American nuclear material, and about what he’d learned of Russian efforts to curry favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton. But he was not allowed to talk. It turns out, the lawyer explains, that the FBI had induced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The Justice Department warned him that it was enforceable — even against disclosures to Congress. (Because, you know, the FBI is opposed to all leaks and disclosures of confidential investigative information . . . except those initiated by the FBI, of course.) In addition, when the informant was primed to file a federal civil lawsuit to recover his own losses from the scheme, he claims that the Justice Department threatened him with prosecution, warning that a lawsuit would violate the non-disclosure agreement. The Hill reports that it has obtained emails from a civil lawyer retained by the witness, which describe pressure exerted by the Justice Department to silence the informant. What a coincidence: That was in 2016, the stretch run of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 
 This stinks.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pithy Friday Musings..

This post will be kinda short, I am feeling under the weather a bit and my motivation is lacking, kinda like the Puerto Rican politicians...Oh wait did I just say that....well anyway..

    There is a bit of a kerfluffle going on right now, apparently President Trump called the widow of a serviceman that was killed and apparently she had the local cuukoo for coo coo puffs congresscritter listen on another line whom immediately went for political points on Trump...Really?  Apparently she is known for being strange.  I surmise because they have been trying to score points on Trump about Puerto Rico and "dissing" brown people  and that area of Florida is heavily "brown".  They are pushing the "white supremacist " angle on him again.

   And speaking of political points, apparently the local Puerto Rican politicians in the finest tradition of the 3rd world are taking the food aid and other things and either keeping it for themselves or are passing it only to their political supporters.  Between the politicians blaming Trump and rewarding their followers...wait that sounds like California and Chicago.  Oh well gutter culture is as gutter culture does. 

    And it has come out this week that the Clintons sold a chunk of our Uranium to Russia and Bill got a huge speaking fees payout and the Clinton Crime syndicate foundation got a huge payout and finally people are making noise about the Russia angle with the Clinton's.
And apparently there have been calls from the WSJ and"The Hill" that Robert Mueller witch hunt is going farther and farther afield looking for "Russian interference in our election"  there is a great fear that now that if there is no crime found, they will "find" one to justify the Witch Hunt and this is bad when you use the judicial system to go after your political opponents.  This is the stuff of 3rd world banana republics, this is where the rule of the mob replaces the rule of law.

    On a different note, and people are not really talking about it, the Economy seems to be doing much better we have had 3% growth and that hasn't happened in 16 years or something like that and the Establishment GOP is waffling on the Tax cuts that Trump wants to further expand our economy and bring back to the United States all the money that the companies have stashed offshore to avoid the punishing tax rates the United States has against American businesses.  I keep hearing that  it rewards "The Rich", well Duh...The Rich have the money and capital.  The poor don't have that.  The Tax cuts also will benefit the middle class that have been getting hammered on taxes and because they are the middle class they don't get the subsidies to their Obamacare premiums and they don't get subsidies from the tax system because they are not "unfortunate" and get subsidized by the system. 
   Perhaps I am sounding hateful but it does gall me to see people making poor decisions and getting rewarded for it.  When does stupid going to hurt?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Kamikaze

I had done a post on the Wildcat and earlier I have completed several post about the Invasion of Japan and the resulting fanaticism of the Japanese, their total resistance and willingness to die for the Emperor.  I honestly believed that this fanaticism was part of the reason for the dropping of the Atom bomb.  When allied planners predicted 1,000,000 allied casualties for the invasion of Japan and the eradication of the Japanese culture to get them to quit.

“Transcend life and death. Eliminate all thoughts about your life and your death. Only then you will disregard your earthly life totally. You will be empowered to focus your attention on eradicating your enemy with unwavering determination. In the meantime, reinforce your excellence in flight skills.”
Text from the manual of the Kamikaze pilots, located in their cockpits.

The Mongols invaded Japan in 1281. The powerful warlord Kublai Khan led the attack. Just when the Mongols were on the verge of defeating the Japanese, a destructive typhoon swept through the land. This typhoon, named Kamikaze (Divine Wind) by the Japanese, eliminated the whole Mongol army.

After the fall of Saipan (July 1944), the Japanese restored the memory of Kamikaze by ascribing it to the suicide attack missions of their air force. The commander of Japan’s First Air Fleet in the Philippine Islands, Vice Admiral Takashiro Ohnishi, had pointed out that the best way to inflict maximum damage on the warships of the Allies was to deliberately crash aircraft into them.

Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex.
Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi’s Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) “Judy” in a suicide dive against USS Essex.
He also pointed out that one plane crash targeting a ship could cause more destruction than 10 planes firing relentlessly at it. Based on this combat observation, it was decided that pilots would deliberately crash their planes into the warships of the Allies.

St Lo attacked by kamikazes, 25 October 1944
St Lo attacked by kamikazes, 25 October 1944
In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Philippines, the Kamikaze Special Attack Force began the first of its suicide missions. On October 25th, 1944, 5 Zero airplanes were escorted to the target by the top Japanese pilot Hiroyoshi Nishizawa. USS St. Lo, an escort carrier, was the first important warship that was sunk by a Kamikaze attack.
The Kamikaze strike resulted in massive fires that led to an explosion in the ship’s bomb magazine. The carrier sunk within an hour. Kamikaze pilots scored several direct hits that day. They caused severe damage to other warships of the Allies as well.

Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill
Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill


The average Kamikaze pilot was a university student. Loyalty to the Japanese Emperor, family, and nation were his key motivations. He was in his early 20s and pursuing science. He prepared for his worthy destiny by writing farewell poems and letters to his loved ones, receiving a 1000-stitch sash, and taking part in a final ceremony.

The 1000-stitch sash was a garment in which thousand different women put in one symbolic stitch each. The final ceremony included a drink of spiritual concoction that’d ensure success in the mission. Then, he’d wedge himself between 500-pound bombs.

USS BUNKER HILL hit by two Kamikazes in 30 seconds on 11 May 1945 off Kyushu. Dead - 372. Wounded - 264. (Navy) NARA FILE #: 080-G-323712 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 980
USS Bunker Hill hit by two Kamikazes in 30 seconds on 11 May 1945 off Kyushu. Dead – 372. Wounded – 264.
The Kamikaze artists were told that they’d be fighting for God, their Emperor. And their supreme act would bring deliverance to Imperial Japan as it’d done in the 13th century.
Calls for Kamikaze pilots received a great response. For every available Japanese plane, there were three applicants. Experienced pilots were refused the chance to become Kamikaze pilots because they were needed to train the raw volunteers.

Like other regular military personnel, the Kamikaze pilots were also indoctrinated with the following oath:
  • Loyalty is your obligation.
  • Propriety is your way of life.
  • You must esteem military valor highly.
  • You must have the highest regard for righteousness.
  • You must live a simple life.

The Mitsubishi A6M2, nicknamed the Zero, was the Kamikaze pilot’s premium machine. Its range was a decent 1,930 miles. The Zero could hit a maximum speed of 332 mph. This flying coffin was almost 30 feet long, and its wingspan was about 39 feet. The Japanese modified this aircraft to accommodate one 500-pound bomb.
The Zero had been the main strike plane during the Pearl Harbor attack. But other sophisticated planes forced the Zero to this humble role. And you can take many Pearl Harbor tours that show the destruct the Kamikaze attacks can truly cause.

April 6, 1945, is perhaps, the biggest day in terms of Kamikaze attacks in WWII. Over 350 Kamikaze aircraft made a desperate dive at the Allied fleet in the crucial Battle for Okinawa. This simultaneous Kamikaze wave drove several Allied sailors almost insane.
Twenty Kamikaze aircraft made a simultaneous lunge toward USS Laffey. Her gunners took out nine within seconds, but six rammed into her. Fortunately, the USS Laffey had a world-class Commanding Officer. The ship came back to fight in the Korean War.
USS Laffey Kamakaze attacks featured on The History
channel "Dogfights"
The USS Laffey is in Charleston South Carolina
at Patriots Point as a Museum ship
Although Kamikaze attacks dominated the final Japanese defense of Okinawa, the Allies gained victory at a heavy price. The Allies lost almost 13,000 personnel but killed 110,000 Japanese in this operation. Imperial Japan had set aside several thousand Kamikaze planes in the event of an attack on the Japanese mainland.
Little Boy (Hiroshima) and Big Man (Nagasaki) ensured that this wouldn’t be necessary. Kamikaze pilot trainees are alive even today 70 years after the war to tell the tale.