I don’t know how long this will be left up by Youtube.
I don’t know how long this will be left up by Youtube.
I submitted my paperwork for my Firearms License (LTC) at my interview with the town police, finally! Covid ! delayed the town police from scheduling all interviews for firearms licenses.
( I wonder if criminals have to schedule their crimes and/or arrests?)
I paid my $100 license fee, and was fingerprinted, then the officer examined my paperwork; one of the ‘good character’ letters was rejected, from my primary care doctor, because “they don’t except doctors notes”. Well, he is someone I’ve know for over twenty years and I have no other friends I’ve know as long living locally since (oddly) all my other close friends have moved out of state as soon as they retired. And he specifically attested that he has known me very well for a long time and that I had no medical or mental impairment that would prevent me from being a responsible gun owner.
“Nope. Doctor. Not accepted.”
Then there was the matter of residency. I provided my property tax bill, recent gas and electric utility bills, water and sewer bill.
“Not enough. We like to see a mortgage payment or rent receipt”.
But I own the house and paid off the mortgage long ago?
“Well, go down to Town Hall and get a letter stating that you are a registered voter, we like to see that”.
So I go down to the Town Hall and into the Town Clerks office. Explained what I wanted.
“Nope, we have you listed as inactive on the voter list’.
Gee, I voted in the last election ( and every other election, plus worked the polls last year).
“You probably didn’t return the Town Census form, we’ll drop you for that”. “But write a letter to the Clerk and ask to be restored and we’ll get back to you”.
Seriously, could I make this sh*t up?
I’ll keep you apprised
It’s a sure sign that the summer is drawing to a close; this weekend is for many college students the date that they quit their summer job and head back to school.
We were on Cape Cod one summer at the end of August. Back then I was drinking beer (and it’s heavier cousins). From the short list of brews on tap there was one brand I liked, a stout. I ordered it from the menu. What arrived at the table was a golden hued liquid and a sip indicated that it was in fact an ale.
Catching the harried waitress as she passed by, I told her I had not received the stout I asked for. She told me “Oh no, that is the stout”, I prepared to strongly disagree. My girlfriend interceded and nicely suggested that the waitress check with someone at the bar. A while later, the manager came by with my stout, nicely cold, dark and foamy. He apologized and explained that all his experienced summer help, all college students, had left on Friday to head back to school. He said that every summer he dreaded this weekend because the smooth running operation that he had built fell apart as he tried to find warm bodies to fill the gap until after Labor Day and the crowds stopped coming, when he could get by with his few permanent employees.
So I made a notation on my calendar, annually, to recognize the start of the period when I needed to keep my patience in hand and expectations low until after Labor Day.
I named this period, “Ale vs Stout” weekend. So join me in throttling back your expectations of timely service and cultivate patience for incorrect food orders (dressing on the salad instead of on the side, fried not grilled and Ale instead of Stout.) or receiving the wrong brew.
I’ll be the guy ordering the unsweetened Ice Tea.
THOUGHTS ON AFGHANISTAN, from a senior military officer with whom I am acquainted:
I ask that you not use my name. I am a currently serving General Officer and what I have to say is highly critical of our current military leadership. But it must be said.
I don’t blame President Biden for the catastrophe in Afghanistan. It was the right decision to leave, the proof of which is how quickly the country collapsed without US support. Twenty years of training and equipping the Afghan army and all that they were capable of was a few hours of delay in a country the size of Texas. As for his predecessor, the only blame I place on President Trump was that he didn’t withdraw sooner.
We should blame President Bush, not for the decision to attack into Afghanistan following 9-11, but for his decision to “shift the goalposts” and attempt to reform Afghanistan society. That was a fool’s errand any student of history would have recognized. And yes, we should place blame on President Obama for his decision to double down on failure when he “surged” in Afghanistan, rather than to withdraw.
However, most of the blame belongs to the leadership of the US military, and the Army in particular. The Washington Post’s “Afghanistan Papers” detailed years of US officials failing to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan, “making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” That report was two years ago, and the stories within it began more than a decade before that. Afghanistan was, and always will be, “unwinnable”.
Of course, I blame President Biden for the disastrous retrograde operation still unfolding. But let us not allow that to deflect us from heaping even more blame on military leaders. They stonewalled President Trump rather than beginning deliberate preparations to exit the country when he told them to. They thought that they could outlast him and then talk sense to his successor. Then after the inauguration, they pressed the new president to reverse course. He wisely chose withdrawal. Then and only then did the generals begin their preparations in earnest. But it was too late to do it well.
The war in Afghanistan lasted more than twice as long as the Vietnam War. Although the cost in terms of American blood was thankfully far smaller, the mistakes are the same: America got involved in a long land war in Asia, in a peripheral region, in order to prop up a floundering and unreliable government, and at a time when there was a much bigger looming threat. In fact, Afghanistan was worse than Vietnam in that at least the Vietnam War was tangentially related to the effort to stop the global spread of communism during the Cold War. Afghanistan was worse than Vietnam in another respect: the military’s leaders of the Vietnam era had no precedent to dissuade them from a disastrous path. Today’s military leadership has the precedent of not just Vietnam, but also Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. That much obtuseness must be punished and removed from the system.
General Milley must resign. Not only is he the Chairman of the Joint Staff, prior to that he was the Chief of Staff of the Army. While all services share the blame, the Army is the land domain proponent. The 20 years of failure in Afghanistan is an Army failure. Scores of other generals also deserve a thorough evaluation; many of them are complicit in the lies to protect a decades-long failed strategy.
Secretary of Defense Austin also must be fired. The recently retired Army general and former CENTCOM commander was, and still is, part of the culture that is impervious to the fact that 20 years of trying it their way did not work.
Just as it did after Vietnam, the military, and especially the Army, must conduct a comprehensive review of why it exists. The purpose of the Army is to visit profound violence on our nation’s enemies; it is not to rebuild failed states. We have decades of experience: counter-insurgencies and nation-building does not work for America. We do not have the stomach for long wars of occupation—and that is a good thing. We are a nation of commerce, not conflict. A constellation of retired stars will tell you that the two can coexist. They are wrong. Retired Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Jack Keane said only two months ago that because Afghanistan consumes just a small portion of the force, America “can afford the cost of fighting” there. What he does not see is that for 20 years, that “small portion” was the most important portion of the military. Everything else necessarily is subservient to the portion of the force in conflict. It has altered who the Army is and how it thinks. There exists only a handful of officers below the general officer ranks who served during the Cold War and who have lived through an era of great power conflict. From private through brigade commander, virtually every Army Soldier serving today has experienced little other than counterinsurgencies or nation-building while operating out of secure FOBs. Large scale combat operations and insurgencies require different cultures and mindsets. In a resource constrained environment, the same service cannot do both well. The Army today could not win a major war. Yet, winning a major war, is the number one reason why an Army exists. It will take a generation to break bad habits, to think in terms of closing with and destroying the enemy versus winning hearts and minds. Keane sees raw numbers (and ignores the stark evidence that there was no progress over 20 years) and thinks that America’s Army can sustain that level of commitment. It cannot, and the opportunity cost to the culture of the force is much too great. Ignore him. Ignore Petraeus, McMaster, Stavridis, and the rest of their ilk.
Concurrent with its review of purpose, the Army must reevaluate its size and how it is organized. The active component is much too large. That makes it too eager to get involved in irrelevant theaters where failure is likely or even preordained. It should be very difficult for an American president to deploy the Army without the National Guard performing most combat operations. You argue that that takes time? Yes, that’s the point: it should take time to make the case to the American people that war is worth it.
The Marine Corps must provide the nation’s rapid response forces. It is a self-contained deployable multi-domain force. Some would argue that the service has both insufficient combat power and staying power. However, that is a feature, and not a flaw, as it forces the nation to rely on its Army—and hence its reserve components—before engaging in heavy combat or lengthy operations. The current Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Berger, already seems to recognize his service’s role—hence his decision to eliminate armor from the Corps.
Congress must reevaluate the authorities contained within Sections 12301 through 12304 of Title X. The president has too much latitude to, on his own authority, mobilize tens or even hundreds of thousands of Guardsmen and Reservists without congressional approval. It must be the policy of the United States that we do not place our service members in harm’s way without first making the case to the American people. This also means ending the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force as well as strengthening Congress’ role in the War Powers Act such that, absent an actual declaration of war, there can be no war.
Some would argue that such a constraint would limit the nation’s ability to respond to a Russian incursion in the Baltics or a Chinese attack on Taiwan. However, recent open-source studies conclude that the US military already is unable to defend against either attack. Pretending otherwise while not having the means to back up our assurances unnecessarily emboldens our partners and allies, making such an attack more likely. We lose nothing by making the law match the reality.
Let us not forget the intelligence agencies. They reported that Kabul was at risk of falling in as little as 90 days. That report was from last Thursday! The capital fell in less than 90 hours. Failure must be punished. And punishment in a bureaucracy means mass firings and a smaller budget—not more money so that they might be better the next time. Congress must consolidate and collapse our intelligence agencies. And when its reorganization is done, if the overall size of the nation’s intelligence apparatus is a quarter of what it is now, that still is too large.
And while we are on the topic of “too large,” DoD must be halved. There are too many flag officers, too many agencies, departments, and directorates. It is the only secretariat with independent but supposedly subordinate secretaries. There are too many Geographic Component Commands—each led by a 4-star virtual proconsul whose budget dwarfs what the Department of State spends in their regions. The result is a foreign policy that is overly military and underly diplomatic, informational, and economic. Congress must revisit the 1947 National Security Act and the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act. Both were good for their times, but after decades of experience, there clearly are new reforms necessary.
Unreformed, DoD is an inscrutable labyrinth which invites fraud, waste, and abuse. The excess attracts unscrupulous camp followers. Amazon did not choose Crystal City to locate its new headquarters because of low rents and ease of transportation access for its 25,000 employees. It chose the Arlington, Virginia neighborhood because it is two blocks from the Pentagon. That building controls the distribution of three-quarters of a trillion dollars every year. Most of it is wasted. The excess is apparent in the scores of class-A high rises housing defense contractors just blocks from the Pentagon. To end that waste, nothing so concentrates the senses as austerity.
Let me conclude with one last thought: the generals, the intelligence analysts, the defense contractors, and the pundits all leveraged America’s rarest resource: the American serviceman and woman. They are the ones who fought, and sweat, and bled, and died for what is now clearly a failed strategy and a doomed mission. Even after its failure was apparent to their leaders, they continued to enlist and reenlist, largely because their superiors—the experts—assured them that success was possible. It was not. It never was. Absent American support, Afghanistan collapsed over the length of a long weekend. That is proof enough that the last 20 years were in vain, and proof enough that the system is broken from within.
“Failure must be punished.” An idea so crazy it just might work.
The lives of the men and women being politically persecuted for standing up to what they believe was a fraudulent election has been DESTROYED! There are women and children literally in peril because of the wrongful detention of their husbands. There are children without a father at home and we as Americans must rally around these families and help TODAY! We must speak out! We need to stand up and demand the release of ALL the political prisoners!
There are many men suffering inhumane disgusting unsanitary conditions in these jails! Some of these prisoners are VETERANS and ACTIVE MILITARY who are being horribly mistreated. There are also many more men and women on home confinement who are facing long prison sentences. They cannot work and properly provide for themselves and their children due to these conditions. This means even more children will be impacted! This is not the American Way! We are supposed to live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty! These men should be out on bond so they can support their families, but sadly this government wants to continue to exact revenge on Donald J Trump, and his supporters have now become collateral damage. These men, women, and their families need financial help TODAY! Can we count on you and your donation?
Unbelievably hundreds of American Citizens are falsely imprisoned without due process for the Political Protest of January 6th at the Capital in Washington DC. This is a cause I’m contributing to, that I believe every American opposed to the illegal regime in Washington should contribute to.
Problem, I went to the site and wasn’t able to complete the donation process, the site (for me) was badly flawed. Or sabotaged ?
Update: The charge showed up on my credit card, so it went through. The flaw was a false error message.
‘s Viral Thread On Why So Many Trump Supporters Have Questions About The 2020 Election & Their Distrust Of The Mainstream Media
I think I’ve had discussions w/enough Boomer Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent to extract a general theory about their perspective. It is also the perspective of most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6, and probably even Trump himself. 1/x
Most believe some or all of the theories involving midnight ballots, voting machines, etc, but what you find when you talk to them is that, while they’ll defend those positions w/info they got from Hannity or Breitbart or whatever, they’re not particularly attached to them. 2/x
Here are the facts – actual, confirmed facts – that shape their perspective: 1) The FBI/etc spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day 1 (see: Brennan’s July 2016 memo, etc). 3/x
These are Tea Party people. The types who give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday and have Founding Fathers memes in their bios. The intel community spying on a presidential campaign using fake evidence (incl forged documents) is a big deal to them. 4/x
Everyone involved lied about their involvement as long as they could. We only learned the DNC paid for the manufactured evidence because of a court order. Comey denied on TV knowing the DNC paid for it, when we have emails from a year earlier proving that he knew. 5/x
This was true with everyone, from CIA Dir Brennan & Adam Schiff – who were on TV saying they’d seen clear evidence of collusion w/Russia, while admitting under oath behind closed doors that they hadn’t – all the way down the line. In the end we learned that it was ALL fake. 6/x
At first, many Trump ppl were worried there must be some collusion, because every media & intel agency wouldn’t make it up out of nothing. When it was clear that they had made it up, people expected a reckoning, and shed many illusions about their gov’t when it didn’t happen. 7/x
We know as fact: a) The Steele dossier was the sole evidence used to justify spying on the Trump campaign, b) The FBI knew the Steele dossier was a DNC op, c) Steele’s source told the FBI the info was unserious, d) they did not inform the court of any of this and kept spying. 8/x
Trump supporters know the collusion case front and back. They went from worrying the collusion must be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to realizing it was a scam, then watched as every institution – agencies, the press, Congress, academia – gaslit them for another year. 9/x
Worse, collusion was used to scare people away from working in the administration. They knew their entire lives would be investigated. Many quit because they were being bankrupted by legal fees. The DoJ, press, & gov’t destroyed lives and actively subverted an elected admin. 10/x
This is where people whose political identity was largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in Civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed all institutional boundaries. Because it had stepped out of the shadows to unite against an interloper. 11/x
GOP propaganda still has many of them thinking in terms of partisan binaries, but A LOT of Trump supporters see that the Regime is not partisan. They all know that the same institutions would have taken opposite sides if it was a Tulsi Gabbard vs Jeb Bush election. 12/x
It’s hard to describe to people on the left (who are used to thinking of gov’t as a conspiracy… Watergate, COINTELPRO, WMD, etc) how shocking & disillusioning this was for people who encourage their sons to enlist in the Army, and hate ppl who don’t stand for the Anthem. 13/x
They could have managed the shock if it only involved the government. But the behavior of the corporate press is really what radicalized them. They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or gov’t official, because they feel most betrayed by them. 14/x
The idea that the press is driven by ratings/sensationalism became untenable. If that were true, they’d be all over the Epstein story. The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime they now see in outline. Nothing anyone says will ever make them unsee that, period. 15/x
This is profoundly disorienting. Many of them don’t know for certain whether ballots were faked in November 2020, but they know for absolute certain that the press, the FBI, etc would lie to them if there was. They have every reason to believe that, and it’s probably true. 16/x
They watched the press behave like animals for four years. Tens of millions of people will always see Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, based on nothing, because of CNN. And CNN seems proud of that. They led a lynch mob against a high school kid. They cheered on a summer of riots. 17/x
They always claimed the media had liberal bias, fine, whatever. They still thought the press would admit truth if they were cornered. Now they don’t. It’s a different thing to watch them invent stories whole cloth in order to destroy regular lives and spark mass violence. 18/x
Time Mag told us that during the 2020 riots, there were weekly conference calls involving, among others, leaders of the protests, the local officials who refused to stop them, and media people who framed them for political effect. In Ukraine we call that a color revolution. 19/x
Throughout the summer, Democrat governors took advantage of COVID to change voting procedures. It wasn’t just the mail-ins (they lowered signature matching standards, etc). After the collusion scam, the fake impeachment, Trump ppl expected shenanigans by now. 20/x
Re: “fake impeachment”, we now know that Trump’s request for Ukraine to cooperate w/the DOJ regarding Biden’s $ activities in Ukraine was in support of an active investigation being pursued by the FBI and Ukraine AG at the time, and so a completely legitimate request. 21/x
Then you get the Hunter laptop scandal. Big Tech ran a full-on censorship campaign against a major newspaper to protect a political candidate. Period. Everyone knows it, all of the Tech companies now admit it was a “mistake” – but, ya know, the election’s over, so who cares? 22/x
Goes w/o saying, but: If the NY Times had Don Jr’s laptop, full of pics of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, lots of lurid family drama, emails describing direct corruption and backed up by the CEO of the company they were using, the NYT wouldn’t have been banned. 23/x
Think back: Stories about Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact, and the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its source. The NY Post was banned for reporting on true information. 24/x
The reaction of Trump ppl to all this was not, “no fair!” That’s how they felt about Romney’s “binders of women” in 2012. This is different. Now they see, correctly, that every institution is captured by ppl who will use any means to exclude them from the political process. 25/x
And yet they showed up in record numbers to vote. He got 13m more votes than in 2016, 10m more than Clinton got! As election night dragged on, they allowed themselves some hope. But when the four critical swing states (and only those states) went dark at midnight, they knew. 26/x
Over the ensuing weeks, they got shuffled around by grifters and media scam artists selling them conspiracy theories. They latched onto one, then another increasingly absurd theory as they tried to put a concrete name on something very real. 27/x
Media & Tech did everything to make things worse. Everything about the election was strange – the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, the delays, etc – but rather than admit that and make everything transparent, they banned discussion of it (even in DMs!). 28/x
Everyone knows that, just as Don Jr’s laptop would’ve been the story of the century, if everything about the election dispute was the same, except the parties were reversed, suspicions about the outcome would’ve been Taken Very Seriously. See 2016 for proof. 29/x
Even the courts’ refusal of the case gets nowhere w/them, because of how the opposition embraced mass political violence. They’ll say, w/good reason: What judge will stick his neck out for Trump knowing he’ll be destroyed in the media as a violent mob burns down his house? 30/x
It’s a fact, according to Time Magazine, that mass riots were planned in cities across the country if Trump won. Sure, they were “protests”, but they were planned by the same people as during the summer, and everyone knows what it would have meant. Judges have families, too. 31/x
Forget the ballot conspiracies. It’s a fact that governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures (the Constitution states that only legislatures can do so) to help Biden to make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system. 32/x
They knew it was unconstitutional, it’s right there in plain English. But they knew the cases wouldn’t see court until after the election. And what judge will toss millions of ballots because a governor broke the rules? The threat of mass riots wasn’t implied, it was direct. 33/x
a) The entrenched bureaucracy & security state subverted Trump from Day 1, b) The press is part of the operation, c) Election rules were changed, d) Big Tech censors opposition, e) Political violence is legitimized & encouraged, f) Trump is banned from social media. 34/x
They were led down some rabbit holes, but they are absolutely right that their gov’t is monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them getting it. Trump fans should be happy he lost; it might’ve kept him alive. /end