Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Seekers

All nations need their soldiers. The American Empire definitely does.

The American Empire enjoys the finest military on the planet, and this is something that will continue for as long as our Empire endures, even though it is crazy expensive. 

Our military is also one of the economic engines of the American Empire, and a large slice of the American people pay their bills working for the military industrial complex.

So we got that going for us.

America can enjoy our fine military because America is a large country and our country has a population large enough to provide enough soldiers to fill the ranks.

Our large population has another positive side-effect: the best of these soldiers volunteer for the most hazardous duty, they seek it out, and they compete, in fact, to earn the honor of going to war on behalf of the American Empire.

America has a praetorian class. Think on this. There is a segment of the American praetorian class that repeatedly volunteers for the most hazardous duty, and it competes for the honor of going to combat.

I call these men the seekers. I cannot tell you what we seek, but I know that we do it, and when we find it, we cannot explain to you what we found. But we can find what we seek, if we are not killed in the act.

Believe it or not, this actually makes sense, but only prospective members of the praetorian class who are seekers can understand it. You will not fully understand it until you survive your first combat, and even then, you still cannot explain what you found.

If you are not a member of the praetorian class and you seek these things, you are potentially a criminal. Regardless, if for reasons of your own you yearn for a military life but you cannot pursue one I know that you are unhappy and dissatisfied. If you are able, join the Army. Things will come into focus for you.

America knows this praetorian class as Army airborne Rangers, as Green Berets, as Marine Corps grunts, as Navy SEALs, and as Air Force PJ's and CCTs. And now we have multiple squadrons of exquisitely polished operators at JSOC.

Then the military industrial complex provides the finest weaponry, and the martial institutions themselves provide the finest training known to mankind, and they continually refine our leadership castes to ensure that our soldiers have competent leaders at all echelons of command.

America appears to be militarily unbeatable, but we are our own worst enemies and we must keep politicians out of the affairs of commanders: No more micromanagement and absurd ROEs written by lawyers who should not even be involved in the equations of warfare.

When America goes to war, we must unleash our commanders to do what we created them to do: to kill people, to destroy things, and to seize and hold terrain.

Militaries can do things like this. Militaries cannot do things like nation building, and militaries cannot impose democracy at gunpoint. So our history shows us.

If you want us to break things, then unleash us. If you want us to do impossible things like change cultures that are locked into a 7th century mindset, then you need to create a different organization. That is not what armies do.

Unless you want us to perpetrate genocide and slaughter those cultures that are fundamentally incompatible with our own. That, we can do. It may break the hearts of the soldiers that do it, and history would never forgive us, but the logistics and the forces needed to do it exist.

We may be able to quarantine incompatible cultures and societies, but that is a big job, one more fit for jailers and police, and less for armies. We happen to be failing at this as I write these words, and I do not think that we should be trying to do it.

We can control where humans can physically go, given sufficient forces and resources. We cannot control ideas, particularly in the age of the internet, though many try. What is culture? What is a society? They are, fundamentally, ideas, among other things.

We are failing because politicians ordered soldiers to do things that they failed to honestly define. Our generals are wrong because they agreed to attempt things that were never put into words.

It would be very difficult to defeat America militarily, but  America can be defeated politically, and we have been, repeatedly, since WWII. Defeat is still defeat, regardless of how it happened. 

Our gravest threat comes from domestic enemies who subvert our own values and our own institutions, and from neoconservative ideologues who foment Empire and campaign for endless war, which they are doing at this very moment.

This is our current form of civilization, and I know that our Founders never imagined that we would evolve into a self-destructive and conflicted Empire that deploys military forces worldwide for few critical reasons of national importance. 

At this precise moment, while you relax in your bed, while you enjoy a quiet dinner, while you enjoy that fragrant cup of coffee, while you sleep soundly, while you watch a movie, or while you commute to your home to do all of these things that define the lifestyles of Americans, a soldier somewhere is pulling a trigger on your behalf.

Somewhere in this wide world, a soldier is risking life and limb so that you can enjoy that American lifestyle. 

Most of the time, we confront no grave threat of national importance. 

Somewhere, in some mountainous redoubt, a soldier is humping a giant ruck and heavy weapons up a ridge line. Somewhere, a soldier is cursing insects that are literally feeding on him.

Somewhere, a soldier is driving through a place where he can get ambushed and be blown up at any moment. Somewhere, a soldier is freezing his ass off, he is starving, he is soaking wet, he is sleepless, all so that he can earn a small piece of cloth that grants him the privilege of leading soldiers in war for your benefit.

I have been in combat many times. Over years of reflection, I realized that I repeatedly volunteered for combat out of love for my comrades. I am no war junky. Indeed, I have never been so pacifist in my life, and I am repulsed by the hypocrisies at the heart of our societies.

I did not volunteer for combat for the abstraction that is America, though I do love the Republic. I did it for a teenaged waitress who served me coffee in a diner in the hinterlands of Kansas in 1984. She asked me, "where are you going?"

I told her that I was going to Fort Bragg, for training. I did not tell her that the schoolhouse of the Green Berets is at Fort Bragg.

She told me, "take me with you."

I should have. She was adorable, and I am sure that she made some fortunate man a fine wife, and she may even be reading these words at this very moment. Honey, I never forgot you.

I cannot tell you why an anonymous girl from my past became so emblematic for me. But I can tell you without reservation and without shame that love of my brothers kept me volunteering for elite units. 

That is why I repeatedly volunteered to go to combat. That is what a member of the American praetorian class does. He volunteers for war.

While America continues to be an Empire, it will need its soldiers. As long as the military industrial complex continues to be a major engine of the American economy, America will need its soldiers.

My personal belief is that we should get back to being a Republic, but that is a subject for another essay.

Even if we renounce Empire, and we revert back to being a simple Republic, we will still need our soldiers.

It is part of the human condition.

This article was a rant on my Facebook page.

ETA: After an exchange with a reader, I changed this article to reflect the possibility that some seekers fail to find a martial path in life. 

It is my experience that true seekers, pilgrims on a martial path, put themselves on that path deliberately, and very often, they make sacrifices to find that path. 

Some seekers are then bounced off the path, because the path is brutally selective. Others exit the path of their own accord, because the path is a teaching experience, and they may realize that they fear the path, or they fear what they seek, or they are actually seeking something else. 

I thank my correspondent, as it did not occur to me that there may be a large number of men in America who crave the mystery of the path, but fail to find it, for whatever reason. 

I call these men potential seekers. They definitely deserve a better term than that. I will give this some thought. 

ETA: I cleaned up some stylistic issues that bugged me. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Revel in the Hatred: Get Me Roger Stone

My friend Abbi alerted me to this biopic of Roger Stone last week. I watched it last night, and I am watching it again, as it is that good, and that informative.

Many media outlets are reviewing the video. Just google Get Me Roger Stone, and you will see them. 

For your convenience, here is a list of reviews that are posted in no particular order. 

Consequence of Sound:
"...admirable enough as a documentary, but its existence alone plays right into the hands of its subject, a man who loves to drink liberal tears with all the glee of a five-year-old with a Capri Sun."
"He absolutely wears his infamy, and is only too happy to be the despicable villain that everybody hates."
"I revel in your hatred,” he says. “Because if I weren’t effective, you wouldn’t hate me."
The Guardian (epic snowflake butt-hurt in this review):
"...he remained a not-so silent partner all the way through to Trump’s eventual victory, denouncing the Donald’s opponents on live TV, spreading wild conspiracy theories about Hillary and Bill Clinton on Alex Jones’s grotesque Infowars network..."
"...if you call Roger Stone a liar, a cutthroat, a slimy prince of darkness, or anything else, after saying “Thank you” he’ll reply with utter implacable calm that the fact that you hate him so much is the proof that he’s done his job well. You can’t argue with a man like this."
The Atlantic:
"The “Lock Her Up” chant is Roger Stone. So were the guests Trump brought to a presidential debate to claim the Clintons were victimizers of women..."
The NYT:
"The movie doesn’t at this point identify Alex Jones, the radio host and conspiracy theorist (the “Pizzagate” hoax), who can be seen hovering at Mr. Stone’s side."
Rotten Tomatoes:
"...A master of creating controversy and manipulating the media, Stone's career is a window into the last 50 years of politics that led to this pivotal moment in history...."

Yes, I read them all. Even though I already knew what they would say.  

Roger Stone is just a man, but he has lurked behind American politics for the past 35 years, and it is impossible to verify exactly what role he played. 

Some of this is due to Stone's own disinformation, and more is due to partisan criticism of him and his actions. This video includes both, and more, so it is an excellent introduction to a seminal figure in current American politics. 

I am an unabashed fan of Roger Stone. Like the dark prince himself, I make no apologies. 

Here is Roger Stone's personal site, The Stone Zone, and here is another site called Stone Cold Truth.  

Here is a list of Stone aphorisms called Stone's Rules. I make no guarantee that this list is comprehensive or correct. 

Unless you can fake sincerity, you will get nowhere in this business. 
Politics is not theater. It is performance art. Sometimes for its own sake. 
Do not order fish at a steakhouse. 
White shirt + tan face = confidence. 
Undertakers and chauffeurs are the only people who should be allowed by law to wear black suits. 
Hit from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side. 
Always praise them before you hit them. 
Be bold. The more that you tell, the more that you sell. 
Losers do not legislate. 
Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattacks.
Nobody ever built a statue to a committee. 
Avoid obviousness. 
Get your carbs from booze, not from sweets. 
Never do anything until you are ready to do it. 
Look good = feel good. 
Always keep the advantage. 
He who speaks first, loses. 
Attack, attack, attack, never defend. 
When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun. 
Democrats are the party of slavery, Republicans are the party of freedom. 
Folks want government out of the bedroom and the boardroom. 
Roy Cohn was not gay. He was a man who liked sex with men. 
Lay low, play dumb, keep moving. 
Never turn down the opportunity to have sex or be on TV. 
Nothing is on the level. 
I believe that this video is exclusively shown on Netflix. If you do not have a Netflix account, you can follow this link, sign up for a free month of Netflix, and then watch the video. 

Before your free month expires, if you do not wish to renew your membership, you can cancel, and pay nothing. Yes, you can watch Get Me Roger Stone for free, if you so choose. 

I am sure that this great man would not only not mind, I suspect that he would approve. 


ETA: This is the first Netflix production that I ever watched. This is what it took for me to click on a movie produced by Netflix. Roger Stone

This article is based on a rant originally posted on my Facebook page. 

Mike Yon & I Discuss the Deep State

Michael Yon sent me this link back on 2 April.

WikiLeaks’ latest Vault 7 release contains a batch of documents, named ‘MARBLE’, which detail CIA hacking tactics and how they can misdirect forensic investigators from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to their agency by inserted code fragments in foreign languages. The tool was in use as recently as 2016.

I replied as follows:

Saw it. I have been calling for new Congressional hearings like the Church Committee and Pike Committee hearings of 1976 for a long time, but nobody in the intelligence community has any stomach for that, they fear it, though the outrages and abuses facilitated by the cult of secrecy are manifesting almost daily now.

WikiLeaks now wields more credibility than the intelligence community, an indicator of a neo-imperial dystopia where the remnants of the Republic are beset by enemies foreign and domestic.

The Gang of Eight exercises fake oversight, it is literally incapable of overseeing the intelligence community in an effective fashion that protects American democracy from the deep state.

Worse, nobody denies the existence of the deep state, everybody realizes that the American deep state is real, and it is a mortal threat to the Republic.

It is in fact these vast black budgets which the Congress passes for the intelligence community which resulted in the rise of FVEY. NSA funds it, and yes, the other members of the SIGINT alliance spy on the citizens of the other members, precisely as Judge Napolitano accused GCHQ of doing for NSA.

Seeking more precision regarding the deep state? By definition a deep state is agnostic, it acts for its own purposes and it has many factions, but the defining characteristic of the American deep state is that it persists regardless of who occupies the Senate or the House with majorities, as well as who sits in the Oval Office.

The retention of high security clearances by neoliberals and neocons loyal to Hillary and to Obama and their agendas illustrates the persistence of the deep state. Though both Clintons and Obama himself are now out of power, repudiated at the ballot box, their aides retain their security clearances, purportedly so they can consult for the US government.

These partisan agitators act for malign motives and they should lose their security clearances immediately, but they retain them, despite the fact that they committed crimes, and are continuing to commit crimes, felonies that would result in severe administration sanctions and prosecutions for lesser ranking actors in the intelligence community.

Donald Trump was surveilled. No question. GCHQ made a rare public statement saying that Judge Napolitano was wrong, and the consequence was more leaks *by loyal patriots* in the intelligence community, to Congressman Nunes, and to others.

As I said, there are factions within the deep state. The problem for the neoliberals and the neocons is that there is a strong conservative current within these agencies, and these folks are leaking carefully to 4chan, to Alex Jones, to Rudy Giuliani, to Judge Napolitano, to Steve Pieczenik, to Steve Bannon, and to Roger Stone.

The answer is obvious: exercise appropriate Constitutional oversight of the intelligence community, and cease the endless black budgets which permit no oversight and literally, no audits of any kind.

Evidence that POTUS 45 and his staff were illegally surveilled is now in the public domain.

The globalists hate that we are defeating them in the information wars, and this is triggering Google and Twitter in particular to attempt to censor so-called “alt-right” news sources, insisting on making all of us read the failing NYT, CNN, the WaPo, and all other discredited purveyors of the real fake news.

We live in incredible times. I would like to see a Combined Permanent Select Committee on Mass Surveillance and Other Intelligence Activities empaneled before I die, one that sets up appropriate oversight over the intelligence community, and most of all, one that drags every single one of the black budget activities into the harsh sunlight for disinfecting and necessary purges.

When POTUS 45 says that he is proposing to decrease the size of the federal budget, he is attacking the largess that enables the deep state to fund itself.

The only way to get our secret government under control is to audit it, to audit it without mercy, and that means that there is a host of mandarins in the intelligence community who need to go to jail, to real prison, not to country club incarceration.

Because these slimeballs committed felonies, and their successors are committing felonies even now.

Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez

PGP Fingerprint:
1B92 CCE6 D7FD 8AC4 7E0B
661D AC2E 605D AA73 5DF0

“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

—Thomas Jefferson & Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Rant by Fotis Dee on SLS

I am very much in-favour of this idea, of not launching SLS (Space Launch System) on it's maiden flight as a crewed one. Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) has plenty of objectives that will be carried out and does not require a crew.

There are those who laugh and think that it's a snub at President Trump. No. His administration asked if it was possible to make it crewed and accepted NASA's judgement. This EM-1 mission has been considered on and off at times in the Obama administration as a possible crewed one as well. 

Though cost may be the main cited issue, it's also about safety and the timing and training of the assigned crew in time. SLS, and the Orion capsule are still facing delays even with an aggressive program to try and meet a 2020 deadline, or even 2023.

The Europeans, through Airbus are part of the problem with delays and trying to make the Service Module work as designed. Honestly it feels like anything Airbus touches that is not an airliner goes to hell with delays, cost jumps and technical issues, so no surprise that Lockheed Martin - the capsule maker is only part of the delay.

Even if Orion and SLS were fully ready for launch by 2018, it would be a bad idea to send the first all-up launch crewed. Why risk human lives on still prototypical systems? 

The Space Shuttle launched for the first time on April 12, 1981 with John Young and Robert Crippen because the Shuttle was not then equipped for fully remote flight control, as would be possible in the event of an emergency in the wake of the loss of Columbia in early 2003.

Besides the Shuttle, all other programs - Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launched with unmanned capsules atop of properly instrumented test rockets - the Redstone/Atlas D, Titan II and Saturn V respectively.

Do not rush human spaceflight, especially when the problems will take many months to come up with a fix or solution, and to test it, validate it and implement the changes. 

In 1967, the Block I Apollo 1 capsule with Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White was engulfed in flames, and the three astronauts suffocated within the sealed capsule during a launched rehearsal test. 

Why? Because everything had been rushed. The design was flawed, quality control was sub-par with exposed wiring and a hatch that took over a minute to open. The astronauts suits, and the capsule's material was full of flammable material such as nylon, which burned, melted and gave off overwhelming toxic fumes. And this is what was termed - Go fever.

The urgency to meet a deadline, North American Aviation dropped the ball on the design and construction and QA. NASA did not do exhaustive check-outs of the arriving capsules, and the urgency to meet President Kennedy's challenge of reaching the Moon by 1969 was such that even raising concerns of safety issues could land one in hot water with NASA administration.

The same could befall SLS and Orion if a crewed launch was shoehorned in before it is all ready. It's a phenomenal system, and while yes, it is the creation of the US Senate in many ways - SLS is also going to be the most powerful rocket ever built by a fair margin. 

And if we are to go to the Moon, Mars and beyond, the incredible power and flexibility of SLS is what will be needed to heft such weights to vast distances in deep space.

Rant over... I think you figured out who typed this... :)


- Fotis

Presenting Judge Reed Chambers II

With apologies for the delay, I present here a post by Judge Reed Chambers II that he posted to my Facebook page on 10 May. Sorry for the delay. I had a bunch of teeth pulled so my administration of the page has been a bit slipshod. 

Here is what Judge Chambers shared, which I am honored to post:

"Why don't we just have an Independent Counsel appointed to take a critical view of the Clinton Crime Cartel of Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, the Clinton Foundation, and their codefendant accessories before and after the fact(s), their foreign and domestic racketeering conspirators, and all related bribery, sex crimes, "leaks" of classified matter, national security breaches, acts of treason, the apparent complicity in the Benghazi murders, arming the Syrian al Nustra Front of Al Qaida as being lawful enemies of the United States of which the US Congress has in fact by Joint Resolution previously authorized military force to destroy, money laundering, fraud, tax fraud, charitable fund personal inurnment of $900,000.00 unreasonable salary to Chelsea--an inexperienced college kid otherwise without a visible means of support, use of computer devices to facilitate a crime, wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to sustain an illegal alien without US Natural Born Citizenship to usurp the Presidency of the United States and 50 States participation in massive election fraud, together with the fund raising perpetrated by emails and direct mailing to defraud Presidential Campaign Fund Contributors to seat a Usurper in the White House.  
Jailing all of the Clinton Crime Cartel and Obama Racketeering Codefendant Democrats would instantly drain 85% of the D.C. Political Swamp and District of Columbia Felonious Cess Pool!" 
Judge Reed Chambers II State Admin. Judge (Ret.)

This article was originally posted as a rant on Facebook.com/MagicKingdomDispatch.  

New Thinking is Needed for a Real War on Drugs

Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch talks about the synthetic opioid Fentanyl

As if all the opium in the world is not already stockpiled in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, now Chinese chemists are flooding the Mexican cartels with synthetics, simplifying their logistics and boosting their profits. 

Why smuggle heroin when you can import Fentanyl and press pills in any basement? More, why smuggle Fentanyl when you can make your own using simple precursors? 

Real heroin from the poppy is no longer needed. All that the cartels need is chemists. People. And they smuggle people all day long.

For me, I continue to marvel that only the heroin market can literally kill its customers and still continue to grow. 

Mr. Farrell talks about "public corruption" as though it is the reason why the decades long War on Drugs has failed. A real war on drugs would focus on the demand side, not supply side interdiction. 

But this would upend untold programs and interfere with grants and an official government supply of funding that is more addictive, perhaps, than the drug itself.

Our entire system of drug interdiction has failed. But no one will draw the obvious conclusion, and admit that the US government must compete directly for the arms of addicts on the streets.

That is a bridge too far. I will write more on this in coming days.

Transcript follows.

"I've discussed how public corruption is fueled by the flow of Mexican drug cartel heroin across our southern border. Be sure to go back and watch earlier episodes of On Watch, specifically, our premier show and episode 3 to get up to speed on those subjects.

Today, we’re going to talk about fentanyl. Fentanyl is a narcotic. A very powerful synthetic opioid that’s properly used as a pain medication. It works quickly and has a relatively short duration of action in the body. Most often, it’s used to alleviate pain after surgery and with late-stage cancer patients. 

For the past few years, there has been increasing evidence of heroin being cut with fentanyl. Additional analogs or permutations of fentanyl – more powerful and deadly – have been appearing with increasing frequency and variety. Perhaps most alarming, a lethal fentanyl dose is only about 2 milligrams—that’s a very small amount.

Outlaw laboratories in China have been creating new, unregulated variants of fentanyl, some of them even more potent than the original. 

China’s chemical and pharmaceutical labs have few regulations and operate with the cooperation of corrupt government officials. The Chinese fentanyl variants make it easier for drug traffickers to elude law enforcement and create new challenges for both public health and law enforcement officials.

A few days ago, I met with a toxicologist who works in the Coroner’s Office for a major American city in the Mid-West. The toxicologist told me that all of the heroin overdose deaths in that city involved heroin cut with fentanyl or one of its variants.

Heroin is no longer just heroin. That's the disturbing trend over the past few years. The toxicologist told me that a fentanyl analog called carfentanil – elephant tranquilizer – was in every overdose death the Coroner’s Office was currently investigating.

The magazine, Science, reports that Chinese internet sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other variants, are labeled as "research chemicals," and sold through the mail to the U.S. On one website, carfentanil sold for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

Mexican drug cartels continue to grow and harvest poppies, but now, like the Chinese, they can also get their hands on precursor chemicals and create fentanyl in their own labs.

The direct threat to American lives and communities could not be any graver.

According to the CDC, the U.S. consumes 85% of all the world's natural and synthetic opiates. Opioid overdoses have quintupled since 1999.

Our decades-long “War on Drugs” has been a half-hearted cat-and-mouse game. We’re losing.

Vigorous prosecution of a TRUE war on drugs and ALL of the related public corruption attached to it must begin now. 

I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch."


ETA: This piece was originally a rant on my Facebook page, Magic Kingdom Dispatch: