Fun Machine 2.0

Fun Machine

For four years, I’ve been driving a ’99 VW Cabrio.  Generally, we take one day off per week and ride around with the top down.  I adore the 2L motor and manual tranny, and we’ve spent many a pastoral afternoon before inexplicably ending up in Walkertown.

It’s got new running gear, but the top leaks, the paint is shit and the A/C is done.   But it has taken us, unwaveringly, up 89 out of Madison to Mt. Airy,  and so many more gorgeous vignettes of North Carolina.  We’ll sell it for $2000 on Craigslist.

Speaking of which, as warm weather approacheth, the Wife and I scoured the conventional online sources using things like Car Gurus, but nothing stood out.  Finally, we looked at Craigslist and Bob’s your uncle.

Low miles, Blue book price, two owners, always garaged.  The Wife made the call Sunday, two weeks ago, we drove down, put a deposit on it and sealed the deal last Friday.  I drove it this week and the Wife’s friend is in town, so they’re driving it today.

The ’99 Cabrio is simply a bucket of bolts designed to have a lot of fun.  Countless F-150s have been left sitting at a green light, while I’m 100 yards gone, in second and reaching for third.  It will be hard to put down.

Fun Machine 2.0 may as well have nuclear propulsion, from the feedback I’m getting  from the 2.5L five cylinder and 6 speed auto tranny.  This is a big car and you’re sitting on the ground.  It is difficult for non-dwarfs to enter and exit.

Word is the 2013 model was chopped and channeled by the Mexicans who made it.  The problem with driving a vehicle with such limited visibility is you’re the last to know when you’re having a wreck.

I zoom around Cornwallis and Church with no prob in old beaters, but this thing requires some forethought.  I’m not hopeful I won’t be run over by a seventeen year old leaving Page High School at 4:00, or a soccer mom picking up kids at St. Pious at 3:00.

Anyway, I’m at the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club House for the weekend.  I have my old truck and lots of patio stones, mulch, grass seed and straw have been put down.  I was told a couple of weeks ago that everyone here thinks I’m gay.

There are several reasons for that, involving rugby shorts, sandals, a Barbie Car, and my failure to consort with the locals.  If I were to walk around with my hair on fire, I could not attract more attention.

Let’s just say that while I find attractive women attractive, it’s never been sufficient to actually deal with one.  Indeed, my experience has been like Hillary Clinton: the more you know, the less you care.

OTOH, I enjoy being comfortable, and if it pisses people off, so much the better.  Especially these people, who are no less backward than I remember as a child.

The greatest gift I gave myself was the ability to make up my own mind about things.  I have no desire to belong to any club which might accept me.  And it’s not like I’m wearing my freak flag with tattoos and piercings.  I remain too much the Quaker.

Oh yeah, I work in a dress store.

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Sunni NATO

From South Front:

The United States and 55 Muslim-majority states have signed a pact pledging to provide a 34,000-strong ‘reserve force’ for defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, declaring Saudi Arabia a key regional player for conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East and blaming Iran for destabilizing the region.

The document was signed during the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh in which US President Donald Trump participated.

From the comments at The Saker:

If anything happens, it will be used in Yemen.

Introducing more nations’ ground forces would mean covering them in the air without Russian permission in Syria. That would be called target practice for Russian Aerospace pilots…

Nothing more lame than a united Arab alliance. They have not won since the Crusades…

Its a perfect plan for the US. Let the Sunni states attack Iran. And claim Iranian aggression if they strike back.

Regarding the $350B Saudi weapons deal:

The CEO’s will get salary bumps to their already inflated compensation, plus some big bonus checks. The portion of the 1% that invests their money into these “defense stocks” will do well. But the American taxpayer won’t see a penny of any of this. The American taxpayer paid the costs of the trip, and is already being told that people need to starve and go without medical care so that they can pay exorbitant costs and costs overruns to pay for the development of new weapons that some future President will help sell…

A strange geopolitical fact is, that roughly 80% of the oil in the Middle East is located in areas where mainly Shia muslims live…

Donald Trump has indirectly sold weapons to ISIS.

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Zionists Behind the Curtain

Nothing I’ve read recently has stayed with me nearly so much as
The history of the Neocon takeover of the USA at The Saker:

Senator J. William Fulbright identified their irrational system for making endless war in Vietnam 45 years ago in a New Yorker article titled Reflections in Thrall to Fear.

“The truly remarkable thing about this Cold War psychology is the totally illogical transfer of the burden of proof from those who make charges to those who question them… The Cold Warriors, instead of having to say how they knew that Vietnam was part of a plan for the Communization of the world, so manipulated the terms of the public discussion as to be able to demand that the skeptics prove that it was not. If the skeptics could not then the war must go on—to end it would be recklessly risking the national security.”

Fulbright realized that Washington’s resident crazies had turned the world inside out by concluding, “We come to the ultimate illogic: war is the course of prudence and sobriety until the case for peace is proved under impossible rules of evidence [or never]–or until the enemy surrenders. Rational men cannot deal with each other on this basis.” But these were not rational men and their need to further their irrational quest only increased with the loss of the Vietnam War.

Requiring the opposition to prove a negative is also known as McCarthyism.  More recently, the Deep State media insist on Russia proving it did not hack the election or collude with Trump.  This has been going on since WWII in an effort to justify military spending.  But whereas the Soviet Union ultimately failed, Russia has been building on their successes for twenty years and boasts an array of battlefield defensive weapons.  At the same time, the US military has gone insane with focus on special forces fighting asymmetrical warfare by winning hearts and minds.  We can pretty much hang that on HR McMaster.

The Pentagon Papers revealed the extent of the U.S. government’s deceit and incompetence but rather than concede that defeat and chart a new course, its proponents fought back with a Machiavellian ideological campaign known as the experiment in competitive analysis or for short; Team B...

Rooted in what can only be described as cult thinking, the Team B experiment tore down what was left of the CIA’s pre-Vietnam professional objectivity by subjecting it to politicization…

The campaign was driven by the Russophobic neoconservative cabal which included Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pipes, Richard Perle and a handful of old anti-Soviet hardliners like Paul Nitze and General Danny Graham…

Peace was only a disguise for war and that war would be fought with politics, subversion, terrorism and psychological warfare.

The article and the blog are devoid of comments which might be anti-Semitic.  And yet there is Larchmonter 445 in the comments:

The ideology of neoconservatism is a euphemism for Russophobia…

Neoconservatism became the Deep State.  And always there was Russia.

Hatred, fear, envy, lies, false flags became the means to the Neoconservative end…

McMaster, Mattis, Tillerson, Pence, McCain, Graham, Pentagon, NSA, CIA, all wear the uniform of Neoconservatism…

Their allegiance to Zion, to the Hegemon, to militarism is well-established. They have the vassals of the EU and NATO as proxies, the vast radical Islamic proxy armies of ISIS and AQ al Nusra, and the Nazis of Ukraine and other Eastern Europe countries to use against Russia. And they have used them for at least four decades.

Zion is also served by the Military-Industrial Complex and their vassals, the media and DC politicians.  This also includes right wing media.

Christians are useful idiots for Zion and the Libertarians, but the paleocons – a nasty lot in their own right – prefer nonintervention to permanent war. Even Sunni Muslims serve Zion in their holy war with Shia Iran.

So when I hear the media and pols lament the despicable terrorist attack in Manchester and question how we can put an end to such acts, I am unconvinced.  None dare point out the insane reality that terrorism has always been in the toolkit of Machiavellian neoconservatives.  The inconvenient fact of ISIS driving brand new Toyota trucks is overlooked.

Wahhabism was installed with the direct assistance of the British army in the 1920s by supporting the Al Saud family.

This has progressed to today, when Trump approves Obama’s $350B weapons sale.  And rather than mention the atrocities in Yemen perpetrated with US weapons, they accuse Iran and the mullahs of being terrorists.

Persians aren’t blowing themselves up in Europe.  These are all Sunnis, just like ISIS and al Qaeda.  The Alawites in Syria descend from Shia and are allied with Iran.  They are allied with Russia, so the neocons hate them.

From Wolfgang Streek:

As a process of institutional and political regression the neoliberal revolution inaugurated a new age of post-factual politics.  This had become necessary because neoliberal globalization was far from actually delivering the prosperity for all that it had promised…

Instead of trickle-down there was the most vulgar sort of trickle-up: growing income inequality between individuals, families, regions and, in the Eurozone, nations…

It began with the Laffer Curve, which was used to prove scientifically that reductions in taxation lead to higher tax receipts…

Zion is served by elements of the Left and the Right, Christians, corporations, the military and the media.  The cause of peace is overwhelmed not just with apathy and ignorance, but endemic allegiance to hysterical paranoids promoting terrorism and lies to maintain permanent war.

In the comments at a lot of these sites, you’ll find Jew bashing allusions to Satanism.  I say evil is as evil does and I’m not alone.  Russians and Chinese are utterly appalled at the unhinged saber rattling, especially when everyone who’s paying attention knows Israel’s proxies, the US and NATO, are in pitiful states of readiness.

The US is fatally infected with warmongering Zionism.  So is Europe, which is especially pathetic given their fatal liberalism.  Opponents of globalism/neoliberalism find themselves enemies of Zion on Wall Street.  It’s no wonder Trump rolled over after campaigning against them.

It’s an inconvenient truth that 80% of the world’s Muslims are Sunni, thus ISIS in the Phillipines, Indonesia and Malaysia.  It’s simply neo-colonialism.

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Trump’s Train Wreck Abroad

Just when I had consigned myself to the inevitability of Trump’s impeachment, he puts on a shit show for the Saudis, flies to Israel and kisses the fucking wall.

For all I know, he sucked Bibi’s dick to save his presidency.

Zionists on the Left and Right are apoplectic with joy.

Rush can’t be bothered while bestowing accolades to mention the untold dead Yemenis.

Agent Orange just went all in on the Sunni side of Muslim Holy War.

The Kagans had sex tonight for the first time in years.

Trump is a total pigeon, having responded perfectly to the trap laid before him.

Mike Pence is inconsolable at the tragic turn of events.

The neocons couldn’t take down Iraq, Libya, Ukraine or Syria, but they damn sure just pawned a POTUS.

The Left is left to ponder Seth Rich.

Populists feel like Sanders supporters, sold out.

Christofascists are encouraged, always a bad thing.

Libertarians are pissed.

Never Trumpers have been handed a victory.

The GOP establishment prevails.

Everybody but rich white men are doomed.

 

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Interregnum

From Wolfgang Streek:

Neoliberalism arrived with globalization or else globalization arrived with neoliberalism; that is how the Great Regression began…

Heathen practices such as controls on the movement of capital, state aid and others were to be tracked down and eradicated; no one must be allowed to escape from ‘global competition’ and sink back into the cushioned comfort of national protections of whatever kind…

As a process of institutional and political regression the neoliberal revolution inaugurated a new age of post-factual politics. [5] This had become necessary because neoliberal globalization was far from actually delivering the prosperity for all that it had promised…

Instead of trickle-down there was the most vulgar sort of trickle-up: growing income inequality between individuals, families, regions and, in the Eurozone, nations…

It began with the Laffer Curve, which was used to prove scientifically that reductions in taxation lead to higher tax receipts…

From the perspective of neoliberal internationalism, of course, which had developed the propagation of illusions into the fine art of democratic government, the post-factual age began as late as 2016, the year of the Brexit referendum and the smashing of Clintonism by Donald Trump…

The fact that the Great Unwashed, who for so long had helped promote the progress of capitalism by passing their time with the Twitter feeds of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber e tutti quanti, had now returned to the voting booth, was registered as a sign of an ominous regression…

One of the reasons why this took so long was that those who had earlier spoken up on behalf of society’s losers had ended up joining the fan club of globalization, by the late 1990s at the latest. For a while, then, those experiencing globalization as a problem rather than a solution had no one to stand up for them…

As a concept, ‘populism’ has a long history, one that goes back to the Progressive Era in the United States and to the likes of Robert M. La Follette (1855–1925; presidential candidate for the Progressive Party in 1924). Later on, populism was something of a neutral name for an ideology especially of Latin American political movements, which saw themselves as representing ‘the people’ in opposition to a self-selected and self-enriching ‘elite’. [15] In recent years, populism has been used by the parties and media of liberal internationalism all over the world as a general polemical term for the new opposition which is pressing for national alternatives to that internationalization declared to be without alternatives…

‘Populism’ is diagnosed in normal internationalist usage as a cognitive problem. Its supporters are supposed to be people who demand ‘simple solutions’ because they do not understand the necessarily complex solutions that are so indefatigably and successfully delivered by the tried and tested forces of internationalism; their representatives are cynics who promise ‘the people’ the ‘simple solutions’ they crave, even though they know that there are no alternatives to the complex solutions of the technocrats…

In response, losers and refusers of internationalization try to elude moral censure by exiting from public media and entering the ‘social media’. In this way they can make use of the most globalized of all infrastructures to build up their own separatist communication circles in which they need not fear being reprimanded for being culturally and morally backward…

To describe this phase I have proposed Antonio Gramsci’s term ‘interregnum’, [20] a period of uncertain duration in which an old order is dying but a new one cannot yet be born…

The financialized crisis capitalism of the present is no more governable nationally from below than internationally from above…

The utter destruction of national institutions capable of economic redistribution, and the resultant reliance on monetary and central-bank policy as the economic policy of last resort, have made capitalism ungovernable, whether by ‘populist’ or technocratic methods…

Anyone in favour of humanitarian intervention in the broadest sense may well lament this.

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Absolute War

From Daniel Bessner:

H.R. MCMASTER FIRST ROSE TO PROMINENCE during the Gulf War, when in February 1991 a small armored unit he commanded destroyed astonishing numbers of Republican Guard armored forces in the Battle of 73 Easting. Over the course of two days, McMaster’s unit demolished dozens of Iraqi vehicles, killed scores of enemy soldiers (and captured many more), and suffered no casualties…

As Alex Roland, a professor of military history at Duke University, put it, by the Gulf War’s end McMaster was seen as a “war hero, the brilliant and daring young captain [who] dominat[ed] the famous Battle of 73 Easting.” But instead of continuing in a command position—the traditional means through which officers rose through the ranks—McMaster chose to pursue the study of military history at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill…

DERELICTION OF DUTY (1997), the book that emerged from McMaster’s dissertation, is the foundational text of his worldview. In it, McMaster laid out the argument he had intuited in the Iraqi desert: that technological might was not the key to military victory. This critique would animate him for the next twenty years…

After teaching history at West Point from 1994 to 1996, McMaster returned to troop duties. His next major work, Crack in the Foundation (2003), which was released by the US Army War College’s Center for Strategic Leadership eight months after the United States invaded Iraq, applied Dereliction of Duty’s lessons to the modern American military. The paper’s message was simple:

The intellectual foundation for building tomorrow’s military force rests on the unfounded assumption that technologies emerging from the “information revolution” will lift the fog of war and permit US forces to achieve a very high degree of certainty in future military operations…

In 2004, he assumed command of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which in 2005 was charged with carrying out counterinsurgency (COIN) operations in the small city of Tal Afar in northern Iraq…

McMaster’s theory of counterinsurgency was premised upon the notion that ordinary people desired security, respect, and municipal services above all else. If a foreign military force was able to provide these, it would be possible to reduce sectarian tensions by helping previously warring groups achieve political accommodation with one another…

McMaster’s version of COIN explicitly relied upon a large and years-long commitment to a given region—an enormous financial, materiel, and human burden unlikely to be supported in a political climate increasingly hostile to prolonged foreign entanglements…

McMaster would have been an adequate, perhaps even excellent, leader if American imperialism had proven to be an unalloyed good. Recent history, though, has demonstrated that ours is a moment that requires a new, post-imperialist understanding of the US’s role in the world…

Unlike the Nazis or Soviets, neither ISIS nor the Taliban (nor associated states like Iran) have the institutional or materiel capacity to overwhelm any western power, let alone the United States. Even if these groups are able to carry out the occasional terrorist attack in the United States or Europe, they are simply not existential threats to the west. In an era in which the United States confronts state and nonstate actors who express allegiance to ideologies that will not be eradicated any time soon, McMaster’s logic of absolute war, in which an enemy is not considered defeated until he is annihilated, is in reality a logic of permanent war…

His history is a circumscribed one, rooted in the belief that US hegemony necessarily makes the world a better place…

One of the starkest examples of McMaster’s limited perspective was displayed in a 2013 essay, in which he and two co-authors commended the US Army for “provid[ing] advice and assistance to the Saudi Arabian National Guard’s military schools, brigades, and headquarters for the past 39 years.”

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Al-Tanf

Syria Map

From Moon of Alabama:

Yesterday a small battalion size force (~2-300 men) of the regular Syrian army, Syrian National Defense Organization volunteers and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU of the Kata’ib al-Imam Ali) marched on the road from the west towards al-Tanf. They were about 23 kilometers away from the border station when they were attack by U.S. aircraft coming in low from Jordan. The U.S. jets directly fired at the convoy, allegedly after earlier giving some “warning shots”. At least one Syrian tank and several other vehicles were destroyed. Six Syrian government forces were reported killed and more were wounded.

The U.S. command claimed that this was a “defensive” move to “protect” its soldiers at the al-Tanf station. There are U.S. and British special forces stationed near the station who lead and train the NSA contingent – all together a few 100 men.

The U.S. attack was clearly a willful, illegal attack on Syrian ground against legitimate forces of the sovereign Syrian government. (The Iraqi PMU contingent in Syria is a legitimate allied force under control of the Iraqi prime minister.) There is no clause in international law, no UNSC resolution or anything similar, that could justify such an attack. The U.S. military has no right at all to be at al-Tanf or anywhere else in Syria. There is nothing to “defend” for it. If it dislikes regular Syrian and Iraqi forces moving in their own countries  towards their own border station and retaking it from Jihadi “rebels”, it can and should move out and go home. Moreover – the U.S. claims it is “fighting ISIS” in Syria. Why then is it attacking the Syrian government forces while these launch a large operation against the very same enemy?

From the comments:

The House of Representatives? Their opinion is clear:

For six years, we have watched the Syrian regime launch wave after wave of unrelenting destruction on the people of Syria. Airstrikes, chemical weapons attacks, forced starvation, industrial-scale torture, and the deliberate targeting of hospitals, schools and marketplaces with precision bombs and crude barrel bombs are what Syrians suffer every day.

Just last month we saw footage of entire families snuffed out by sarin gas – a chemical weapon that Assad supposedly gave up under a deal brokered by Russia and the Obama Administration.

The number of dead is estimated at close to 500,000. Another 14 million have been driven from their homes.

And while ISIS plays a role in the violence in Syria, it is Bashar al-Assad and his backers – among them Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah – who are the main drivers of this death and destruction. ISIS has no airplanes. No, it is Russian and Syrian fighter planes and helicopters that drop bombs on hospitals and schools. It is Hezbollah and IRGC fighters who attack cities, burn crops and prevent food, water and medical supplies from reaching vulnerable civilians.

It is Assad’s secret police and intelligence groups who kidnap, torture and murder civilians from every ethnic group and political party. Sunni, Shia, Christians, Alawite – none are safe.

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press-release/house-passes-syria-sanctions-bill/

So all of south east Syria to the Jordanian/Iraqi border is now “reserved” by Israel for future growth. Any further attack by Assad in this region, just like his shooting down of an Israeli F16, will lead to disproportionate response by Israel’s vassals…

They are going to lose the ISIS supply corridor unless they do something drastic, so expect the worse…

An Abrahamic regional Holy War is the most apt description of the blood flowing onto concrete and sand there. An Apocalypse is a self-fulfilling prophecy. A guarantee with an Empire that learns nothing and remembers everything…

CENTCOM leaders are treasonous Israeli-firster, Saudi-firster psychopaths. Trump supposedly gave them a long leash (vs. Obama’s micro-managing). I could possibly see them going to extraordinary lengths to ‘hold’ al Tanf just because they’re sore losers. And you just know they have plenty of troops ready to invade Syria (invade ‘more’, I guess…) if the SAA had the audacity to defend themselves against a coalition air attack and actually took out a jet or two. CENTCOM seems perfectly willing to start WW III over Syria/Iran despite their hollow claims otherwise.

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