Monday, June 13, 2016

Arnaud Paul Charles Marie-Philippe de Borchgrave d’Altena....and Benghazi?

 - written and first published JUN 13 2016; [Revised SEPT 2017]

In 1985, when I was an elevator mechanic, I was discovered bent over around a failing giant DC commutator which helped run a large hospital elevator. I could not get it to work properly even after five attempts at cleaning the brushes and windings and tightening the electrical connections, and I called for help. Mike Hsia, the fabulous Chinese engineer who was hired by my father, tapped me on the shoulder. He spoke broken English.

"Got something wrong, George?" he quipped. He had a wry sense of humor which belted through the broken English.

"I sure do, Mike," I bemoaned. "This bloody thing doesn't work, no matter what I do."

"Aw, easy to fix. I know just right person who can." I thought he was joking.

Well, call him then, please!"

"Very good person, but REtired." And that was the end of that. He was joking. Engineer Mike came up short. I think another crew had to come in and replace it.

Arnaud Paul Charles Marie-Philippe de Borchgrave d’Altena is gone too, retired permanently from this planet. And Donald Trump might sometimes feel like I did that day.

Trump desperately needs Arnaud now, but he departed this life at 88 in 2013. I'm not sure Donald will be able to find anyone else so well suited to fill his considerable void of foreign affairs knowledge. Arnaud would have done that for him in a heartbeat. He became a legend in his own time, when most of his fellow journalists barely could be much more than a rumor.

He was the best that conservatives ever had to offer up, and were he around today, Donald Trump could have replaced his entire advisory and press team with him alone. His advice would probably ensure Mr. Donald a win. And, for certain, Trump would be all ears and no mouth.

Born into Belgian aristocracy in 1927, de Borchgrave renounced his elite title to become an American citizen at age 50. By his own account, he covered nearly 18 wars. He took a bullet in more than one of them, but he never really shed his aristocratic genes, once handing his boss the bill for some new suits after his suitcase took a bullet through his hotel window. It's not clear whether the expense report included the suitcase.

“Arnaud once told me that all he needed to bring when he traveled on assignment was a tuxedo and a safari suit,” Dorinda Elliott of Newsweek recalled to the New Yorker. Peter Greenberg, also of Newsweek, said, "Back then there were three reporting budgets: foreign, domestic and Arnaud." Trump would have paid him well, and the two would surely have been at home in Trump's high rise Versailles.

One of Arnaud's last letters popped up in Sidney Blumenthal's email to Hillary Clinton on Feb 25, 2011. I just discovered it last night. After doing the [then intellectually brain-dead snowflake] "Bernie thing" for months - stupidly ignoring the email issue - I started my digital dumpster dive, and there he was. I nearly fell off my seat. I hadn't thought about Arnaud since I studied him 46 years ago as an International Relations student at Lake Forest College. He was a middle aged man in the late 60s, but he was finally off and running in the good 'ole USA. I used to lean toward socialism, but de Borchgrave's wisdom and wit often just blew my [lazy socialist liberal] thoughts out the window. That was good thing for a leftist radical student like me to be subjected to in the 60s. [God Himself had to have been setting that table for me; there is no other good explanation I can offer; I was far too lost in the idiocies of my boomer generation, and God and Jesus were afterthoughts].

Hillary Clinton has always kept her cards as close as a kleptomaniac in the KGB, but, in an ironic twist, in June, 2015, she had to prod the House Select Committee on Benghazi (through the committee democrats and Blumenthal's lawyer) to release this one, along with dozens more that had been withheld from the first batch. In this email, Blumenthal begins a series of Libya related communications with Clinton, and he informs her of Arnaud, who was then Editor at Large for UPI (United Press International). In this email, Blumenthal states to Clinton, "You must know this, but detailed by a well-informaed journalist [Arnaud de Borchgrave] with much experience with Q [Moammar Gadhafi]". He pasted the de Borchgrave's entire (Feb 25, 2011) article about Moammar Gadhafi, "Manic depressive megalomaniac" in the email. It is not clear whether Clinton had previously read Arnaud. But she surely read this email.

After reading this one and the other emails between Blumenthal and Clinton, who is a very quick study, I really wonder whether she didn't just revert to one of her famously long naps to effectively ignore what she already read or told and presumably understood. She did the same thing after she spoke with Elizabeth Warren in 2004 on the PBS show with moderator Bill Moyers (Transcript-video clip). Clinton appears to want to collect information not so much because she has the responsibility to make decisions but because she wants to keep those sources ready and at hand to be of service to her at some later time. She makes fools and enemies of many people whom she initially befriends. The fools hang around for years; the enemies leave for good. I'm not so sure she doesn't equate actionable intelligence with disposable intelligence.

Hillary Clinton apparently slept, literally and figuratively, right through the buildup before the Benghazi event itself, ignoring all advice, and its attendant brutal reality, as Obama has famously done as well, until yesterday in Orlando. The two of them are similar in this respect. They solicit advice usually to avoid it unless it inures to their own political gain. Their unspoken agreement might be summarized thus: Let's find out everything, but do nothing unless it suits us first, and if the surrogates don't like it, to hell with them. Remember when Obama fired Dennis Blair? Same thing.

And people say Trump is the megalomaniac? He can't even get a fresh deck of cards to play the reality game with Hillary Clinton. Miss Remote is finally dealing some out, though. And we will see what we will see.

Will Rogers said, "I only know what I read in the newspapers."

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Come home, Americans

The always-on news media is in hyper-drive today. From FOX to CNN and beyond, they are blaming religion, guns, ISIS, and everything else they can drag out, save for one issue. It's a verbal assault on any moving target of the hour - everything and everybody except for the one and only person who is nearly the quietest and most to blame - President Barack Obama, the Commander-in-Chief.

And why not? There are lots of people who dislike him. The press is afraid to expose the dirty wars Obama has waged against all the innocent people who have been killed as collateral damage in his five-year failed escapade to get the bad guys. The military-industrial complex corporate and and PAC monies have flowed like the Nile, and the forgotten stream of the unknown and innocent dead are becoming almost biblical in proportion. They die daily all over the world without notice, and their relatives become our enemies for life. Eventually, the relatives appear on our expanded target lists, Obama's gift to America as new Muslim families bury their innocent dead, along with those who were  the targets. The press argues unrelated, unimportant diversionary subjects like Sharia law, the ease of getting weapons, the FBI investigation of the endless new minutia, the need for a "plan" for attack, and worst of all, what clueless politicians have to say about it. Ad nauseum.

In all the babble, I have yet to hear three sentences that indicate that any of them realize what the problem really is.

The problem is us, and our denial of the truth that we must now face. Obama has led us like orphans down this road. We have left our military troops and weapons all over the world, in order that the president can carry out his little daily dirty war of targeted assassinations. So, it is thus that we are now made to pay.

The solution is not necessarily simple nor complicated. But at the crux, we must totally withdraw our troops from every Muslim country on all continents. All of them. Let's drop the T-wall and the Forward Force mentality which is now killing our own innocent people. Terrorists come from somewhere for a reason, don't they? Now you know why they do. They hate us because we are there. Those are the words spoken by the only politician with enough guts to state them this year: Rand Paul.

Bring our troops home, now! Let the arguments begin over that issue, and I will start to believe that Americans are finally coming to their senses.

I will dream about those dead tonight and the sad cellphones ringing in their pockets as the forensic technicians entered the place, and I will pray that the country finally focuses and holds its president accountable for his dispicable decisions.

Radical Islam, Gays, Guns, Missions and Drones: Obama Spells Orlando

It's pretty clear what caused this attack. Hate, but more to the point, hate framed by an enemy we have made for ourselves. And we've let the president have pass after pass; now he's brought it to bear in Orlando.

This act of religious war is a result directly attributable to the inevitable. Albeit delayed, the Orlando bloodbath is a direct counterattack for President Obamas' five-year cloak and dagger dirty wars. His ongoing mission-and-drone targeted attacks ordered up for his virtual private army of JSOC operatives caused Orlando. No lax gun laws caused this. Gun laws don't prevent religious enemies from their missions.  Not in Paris, and not on our shores, either.

Yes, the blame for Orlando rests solely with President Obama, although it would be incorrect to not include Hillary Clinton. Together, through years of rubber-stamping these endless attacks, they have brought us thousands of dangerous new American terrorist and jihadist recruits. So, who are these people? The vast majority are converted radical Muslim and Arab enemies, legal residents and immigrants whose families and friends still reside in the dozens of Muslim countries, in places where they regularly hear of Obamas' killings of their "collateral damage" relatives. Do you think they do not read the news of their own families in social media and in the press in the languages of their own countries? Apparently that question never entered the equation in Obama's bubble of strategic misinformation as he formulated his "go-get-the-bad-guys" strategy. Zorba said it perfectly: "It's the full catastrophe".

I wish I were a bug on Obama's strategic Bubble Wall. An unknown target gets killed. No press. Good. Inside the wall, people ask: "Was he an ISIS target this time? Which page is he on on this endless damned list?...It's getting bigger every day....So, what country was it today?....Oh, in Africa this time?....Did we get him?...Good...Way to go Africom...And what about the innocents killed?....Oh, only five.... That's a lot less than the last one in...where was it, yesterday, right?...."

Wrong! There's nothing more scary than karma from a policy which ignores collateral damage and kills freely throughout the world. Karma is another way of saying, in agnostic terms, repercussions. Irrespective of terminology, the results are in; the bloodbath is here to stay. It's just beginning to arrive, like spaceships of aliens, picking their first eye-popping spot most appropriately near America's beloved Disneyland. So the terrorists have moved from one icon to another, from the Twin Towers to Disneyland, from the Wall Street barrons behind the high rise towering glass to the infidels at the bar. There is really no difference to them - just which point they want to make, and when. There logic is violence against innocents, much as they perceive the logic of Obama's policy of acceptable collateral damage. Is Obama completely deaf in his famously quiet intellectual heart? He is far too hard to understand; that is for sure. Even Jeffrey Goldberg, an Obama genius, doesn't completely get him.

What idiocy, this horrendous policy. Yet no liberal or neocon, practically no one, has the will to say it. For years, Obama has had free rein and virtually no critical press; no one in Washington, save Ron and Rand Paul, has even peeped.

We're all now stuck in the weeds this president has allowed to grow for at least the last five years! Few have had the guts to acknowledge the truth of the 2013 Sundance movie, "Dirty Wars". Perhaps now they might. Obama will still turn his head; he cannot face the truth.

Wasn't it enough to kill Bin Laden and be finished with making more enemies the same way? No, it wasn't. Admiral William H. McRaven poured the Kool-Aid, and Clinton and Obama drank it without thinking about our future. Together, they decided to secretly "get-em all". Bin Laden's death made it a lot easier to hide this terrible decision. When you strip down the overbearing analytics and the reverse mirror logic, that is the long and short of it.

So as we see this very day, one of America's home-grown haters, converted and born from the effects of Obama's mutating list of new terrorist targets, leapt to Orlando. I have been forecasting this eventuality since I returned from Iraq in 2011. It was clear to me even then, and there, that Obama's hidden war would eventually bring the war to our homeland, as sure as the sun comes up. Now, we all know. I couldn't have devised a better policy to get them here faster. Or to convert peaceful American Muslims to violence without ever leaving the country. If it was your family getting killed and quickly and secretly written off as "collateral damage", what would you think about the country that did it? Obama famously said, early-on, as a basic tenet for action, "Don't do stupid shit". How much he has ignored his own advice is readily becoming apparent.

Before blaming the gun and the hate, blame this president's cataclysmic foreign policy. He simply ignored this emerging reality! His policies have brought on the hate, not his JSOC Special Forces "messengers" who were following the commander-in-chief's orders. I saw those messages years ago.

Obama now spells Orlando, and it is truly disgusting.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Chic Prison-Style Manhattan: Manhattan Insanity in the 21st Century

With apologies in advance to the New York Times and any number of offended Manhattan-ites/ers/ists/men/women, I post this, my first of my series entitled Manhattan Insanity in the 21st Century
If the toilet was out in the room next to the bed, a tenant might complain. It's hidden, of course. But if you can still pack 6 little women over for dinner in an apartment the size of a large storage unit in the suburbs and pay $2446 to $3195 a month, you are one of the lucky ones. Ten by 30 square feet - it's the minimum mandated size for apartments by city ordinance, and not much larger than some of the big freight elevators I repaired at the dying steel mills in Pittsburgh. And in the one shown in the New York Times video, the women inch by each other for a potty break in their sanitized exclusive prison for the intellectual, Carmel Place. There's probably more space than that around town for each and every single sewer rat to live quite comfortably. With all the extra money they can manage to save, maybe they can buy one of the "Drive de Cartier" watches being advertised in the accompanying NYTimes video. After all, a two thousand dollar watch won't take up much space.

These people are the ones who will vote for Hillary Clinton. Everything in the apartment is as scripted as the way Hillary looks, speaks and acts. You've got to move one thing to get to another. And all the gals look like they are ready to flee the prison as soon as dinner is over. That is perhaps the only vestige of humanity I can find struggling in any of them, at least from their expressions.

And it is hardly an irony that in the same town, by virtue of his wealth, Donald Trump resides in a Manhattan prison of his own, one of Versailles proportion. A fifteen thousand dollar book, Vogue Living, sits on the central table. It looks interesting. I wonder if Donald could lend it to me.

If there is even a slice of Americans who can relate to this prison life, it must be women who are happy to live in such surroundings. Urban Americans have largely turned inward from the years where developers raped the entire country of farm land and fossil fuels for suburban parking lots, endless shopping centers and 4000 square foot suburban McMansions, cheap-ass condos and endless neighborhoods of identical apartment boxes. American Ugly for all.

One thing, however, has remained exactly the same, whether it is in the tiny living or the large living. Banks and corporations still rule the country, down to the last square foot, and it is in the existential metaphor of the mortgage or rent payment to the owner's bank that both living-large and living-small people can understand. Inner cities are no different from the clogged suburbs. Big city centers have gone insane as they gentrify. Tiny, skinny, lives stuffed with tiny plates of tiny dishes. It's the full catastrophe, a total washout of anything traditionally American. This build-down chic-prison mentality is more akin to the billionaires who build Shanghai ghettos than anything most Americans like me would recognize.

But then, I don't live in a box. Well, yes I do. One I built myself, suitable for the desert pack-rat I am.

I have a lot of faith in America, but not much in this tiny chic-prison life. Anything thought up by an OZ-land developer for intellectual munchkins is bound to be deafening to the human spirit; yet the resiliency of the thin and hardy new feminine elite is truly amazing, as these six women must be proving.

My bet is that all of these women are much better humans than I am, even if they hate men (but I doubt they do). They enjoy more with less stuff, even if it takes them 10 to 20 times my puny retirement income to enjoy it. They watch their weight with a microscope, but dress like charlatans, gypsies and hippies. That's kind of cool. After all, 60,000 of them applied for residence for one of the 19 "affordable" comfy prison cells in Carmel Place, and that surely means something. The lowered rent is $914 to $1,873 monthly. Whew!

All of them probably use the 10 dollar word "mysogynist" and they can surely spell it correctly, but it's doubtful that any of them have ever uttered the word "misandrist". After all, there are a lot more woman haters than man haters, aren't there?

I suppose I get new hints every day of the kinds of places I do not fit in. Carmel Place is certainly one of them. As my stepmother used to say, "Each to their own, George". She was a lot smarter than I gave her credit for being. But I think she would be rolling in her grave to see what her old "fabulous" New York has become. But maybe not. I never really did understand women too much.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Obama, the new elitist!

Obama is really starting to piss me off. He thinks everyone is running in lockstep with him because some poll says so. The latest is his condescending pronouncement that people like me ought to regard the election as a serious one, as if we hadn't considered it so.

He is a worse elitist than some of my bloody blue blood ancestors who came from the Boston Brahmin, Salem witch hunt politics, and from German immigrant military officers in pre-Revolutionary times. We have been around this land for a little while longer than the current president.

I can assure President Barack Obama that Donald Trump is actually taking this country a hell of a lot more seriously than he is. The president has turned to a dismissive switch-plate smile politician with a hole in his bell. He's become hollow to the core.

This latest blabber he just dealt from his pussyfoot suit of cards has no import beyond the garbage dock. In 2016, Americans of all political persuasions are sick of pandering identity politics, all perfectly wrapped up in that supercilious thin veil of "serious intent", double-wrapped in the guise of a high profile political wisdom imparted from the Ivy League-educated.

I'll admit it. I have little but contempt left for people like Obama who think that by virtue of position, his words should be spoken as if they were akin to the arrogant Nixonian elocution, spoken as if his words deserved to be simultaneously etched in stone. My two bit response is the same as it was for the Nixon pronouncements: "Screw you, Mr. President!"

I used to actually like this president. No more.

By sticking his nose in the election, Obama has become a disgusting, putrid odor lingering from what used to be the sweet scent of 2008, when he planted the seeds of what we believed would be hope. What a total withering on his own vine, he has become. A shill for Hillary Clinton. It turns my stomach.

After the sleazy Democrat super-delegates steal the election from Sanders, this lifelong Democrat will be voting Trump, and let the chips fall where they may. I expect millions of others feel the same. I'll vote for a reality show Manhattan building developer living on the 54th floor before I vote for more of the same old bozos coming back up the toilet like old turds in different empty suits and skin colors for the last 40 years.

We are overdue for real change. It is time for a new America, and I think Donald has his finger on the pulse of the angry but innocent newborn.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Now what?

Ted Cruz just pulled the plug. He backed off, finally. With the discharge to the sewer, what's next?

Nothing from Cruz, but a lot from Donald. 52.7 percent to Sanders.

OK, be surprised or ignore it. Not important, but go on, be dumb and blind. Not my road.

The biggest question now is what will the Bernie do about it. He has to come out from the fraud of his past. Trump will kill him otherwise. Sanders needs to do it, now.

I do not care how many millions of voters thinks Sanders walks on water; he doesn't. But if he faces facts, he might.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Will the Real Bernie please stand up?

The whole country is bonkers, and it’s still months away from the first Tuesday in November. I’ve never seen time fly by slower, and the country more manic, confused and beaten down. Especially manic are those of us boomers old enough to still hate socialists, if that’s our thing. I happen to be one of the hated, but I'm liking the oligarchs more and more these days.

Why? I got bamboozled by Bernie. It looks like we have yet another Senator's sword lurking behind the red flag in the bullfight.

I used to like Bernie Sanders, but now I wonder which version is him. After reading recently about his checkered past in a 1999 article, Bernie the Bomber’s Bad Week by Sanders' Vermont contemporary, Will Miller (who died of cancer in 2005), I have some serious reservations about his character. Sanders surely abandoned the socialist creed he says he espouses now, and it gives me pause: is he not really in some sort of Washington beltway deal with the corporation Clintons? Probably not, but in this season, who can say for sure? You most certainly will never see much of this in the press.

Sanders' volunteer call system (which I stupidly helped, in addition to donating) is probably filled with the data he received from the supposed inadvertent data breach he had into the DNC Clinton database back in December. Maybe Hillary was lovingly behind the breach after all. The massive amount of money Sanders now receives from the love and the suckers of all sorts is going almost exclusively to ads and rallies. Sanders has yet to even purchase a full version of the Slack software which underpins a considerable part of the calling system he uses. One old article in a Vermont independent newspaper dubs him, El Cheapo, pronouncing "...some things never change: Bernie Sanders is still a cheapskate."

The cliquey "NOT ME - US " chorus of callers is just clueless. That's OK; they are mostly all really nice people. The paid operatives are more secretive and secluded than anyone I ever knew in Iraq. They are getting rich, fast. I could name them, but who cares? They exist.

With egg all over my investigative face, I have been remiss in not researching this probable purveyor of phony baloney before I jumped on board. As usual in Washington, the PACmasters and OZland wizards are fast at work. I also find it interesting that Sanders' 98 percent voting record with the Democrats is better than many of his Democratic Senate colleagues. But he sat in the remote, supposedly independent corner of the House for years, apparently in masquerade for when he would be needed by his Democratic operatives. If he wins this nomination, my name is Ronald Reagan. He probably is in there to do a front end load for any Republican who may attack the woman who as Secretary of State helped give away a third of America's uranium production to the Russians. Oh well. Stranger things have happened in American politics - but not too much stranger than this.

Please read those links. They are an eye opener.

Regarding Trump, I'm a little concerned I haven’t been able to buy enough popcorn to digest him yet. He’s like Chinese food, as they say. You can eat a plate full and be hungry again in 60 minutes. I’m sure there are plenty of liberals and neocons who disagree; they just hate him. I don’t. He opens mouth and inserts foot, but no one seems to mind. He is not a politician - just a billionaire despicable misogynist developer. But Donald is not beholden to PAC money and party politics, except for a couple of advisors he recently hired from the ranks of the PAC firms in DC. You just can't get away from the slime when you go to DC, can you? No one would ever accuse Trump as being as pure as the driven snow, but as for Bernie Sanders....well the pedestal has been raised to new heights for him. When you get that high and mighty by deception, the fall is always more abrupt and hurtful to all.

But who am I to judge? I got snookered like millions of others. These times are probably necessary for some grander purpose, and I was always a lousy student of history, even though I have recently tried to bulk up on that diet, a little at a time. In the meantime, remember, words are cheap. Check history if you really want to know.

Onward, Americans. It's no time for reflection. If anyone has a line on this election, he or she would be wise to discard it. All bets are off.