Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ken Kohl "Purposefully" Screwed The Blackwater Case???

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ken Kohl

So, talk about a "News Dump"!

Blackwater manslaughter case dismissed!

"The case against the five men fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.

The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.

Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said."

"The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements."

So who is this guy Ken Kohl?????

Didn't he blow the Anthrax case too?

What gives here?
Later note: Records at the Baptist Press indicate that Kenneth C. Kohl was advising the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees on March 21, 1990.

Death Undisclosed

Looking at the statistics of my generation, and the statistics of those exposed to war I should have been expecting to find out that people I knew and even were close to or cared about at sometime during the last six and a half decades were dead and I did not know it. It is happening more and more frequently.

It happened again today.

I got this newsletter I get quarterly from an organization for which I once sat on the board and in it was an obit about a person I knew and trusted for the past 24 years. Looking up other obits on line, I couldn't even find out what she died from or what happened to her two cats.

It just feels strange to know that those who have populated your world are leaving it and you don't even know about it.

It just goes to show another truth in that old adage, old age is not for sissies.

RIP ya'll.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Republic of Viet Nam Photos Proliferate

So the Wife (SWMBO) cleaned out a closet and dumped boxes of stuff at my feet. Include were several hundred slides and negatives from my RVN tour of duty. Many are duplicates, or near duplicates of others I have. But there are also many that are shots I had forgotten about or misplaced. So this winter I will add them to the 10,000 or so slides and negatives not yet digitalized and work on them some. I will share with you if I find anything interesting.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Security Solution for Airline Passengers

The recent attempt to blow up a Delta plane while it was landing has generated some of the dumbest regulations yet. Like, they want you not to go to the rest room or get out of your seat the last hour of a flight. In that some days the "last hour" of the flight is often 2 or 3 or 4 hours long, will we have to raise our hand and ask permission to keep from peeing in our pants? What if the flight attendant is feeling mean just then and says no?

And then there is the new rule that you can't have anything in your lap for the last hour of the flight. Say what? I can just see all those 14 year old boys being arrested at the end of the flight for refusing to shut down a video game when they are just about to achieve their highest score ever.
How about those two year olds? Yes, you must take their blankey or boobear away from them for the last hour of the flight! It is regulations you know.

Let us just cut to the chase shall we. The only way we will be able to achieve a high security on airplane trips is to start treating the passengers like packages. So first we have to restrict what can fly. No passengers under 10 years of age. No passengers under 60 lbs or over 300 lbs. No passengers with any assisting device such as a wheel chair, sight dog, air tank, etc. that may be able to harbor an explosive device. No passenger that can not hold their bladder for the duration of the flight for flights under 4 hours (On longer flights passengers will be given supervised potty breaks). No passengers without an official doctor certified medical permit can be permitted to fly.

Next step is to contain and regulate the packages , er, the passengers. There will be no carry on items of any kind. All passengers will exchange all of their clothing for a standardized jump suit and slippers. All passengers will then go through a complete scanning process to determine if they harbor within their bodies any harmful devices. They will then be seated in clear-view-self-contained plastic cubicles stacked three deep and facing towards the isle. For those with mental conditions suppressing drugs will be made available. (Actually the jump suits themselves will be impregnated with a light tranquilizer)

Each plane will be equipped with a passenger suppression systems that can render any or all passengers unconscious in case of mis-behavior by merely pushing the right button at the attendants station.

Even so these new efforts may not be sufficient. For example, we will need to ascertain for each passenger if there has been any unusual genetic flaw in their family background. For example, has any relative been known to spontaneously combust?

And oh yes, you must check in 24 hours before your flight and receive a laxative to purge your digestive system of any possible chemicals that might interact with anyone else's chemicals in the toilet to cause an explosion or deadly gas attack.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

This my 64th Christmas.
I have celebrated (endured and tolerated) this day in so many places and so many ways.
Let's see, one was in Ethiopia, Actually I got to do it twice in three months there because their calender was wacky because the Emperor left the country during WWII and time stop while he was gone.
One was in Nam.
One in Mananas, Virginia.
In 1957 Christmas brought a Chemistry set and the worst blizzard in Oklahoma history with 12 foot snow drifts and being stranded for 8 days on a farm West of Frederick, Oklahoma.
Ten Xmases were celebrated on one farm and 3 on another farm west of town.
Remember those cellophane wrapped candy-orange-apple-nuts packages the school system gave out.
All sort of Christmases were passed in Fullerton, California with the obligatory trips to Disneyland and the tide pools at Little Corona Beach.
A half dozen Christmases I was by myself, alone no other person around. (Wife gumply disputed this until she counted up the times she took the kids and went to see California mom and pop while I stayed home and worked, it now sums to 7 times)
Several down in Tuttle with Aunt Chris and family.
One down in Mission Texas, and one in Arvada Colorado.
I've had real Christmas trees, aluminum trees, trees made of tumble weeds, one of cardboard, one made from a ladder, and several pseudo trees of polymers of some sort.
I've almost never felt "merry" on Christmas except for that time....forget it.
I've had Christmases when all the toys I bought kids came from a thrift store, and Christmases when I spent way far too much.

The day before Christmas we had a ice/snow blizzard with 60 mph wind and drifts up to six feet.
Now the sun is about and the world is bright cold white.

This Christmas I spent the day sitting in a chair with the winter sun streaming though my living room windows and warming me in its rays as we paralleled played. My wife is here and my youngest son. It is a mixture of calm, rest, and a little sadness that others are not here. Good food, new music, new books to read. It was a good Christmas as Christmases go.

So what did you do today?

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

AVATAR: A Rambling Review

Here is a review of the Movie AVATAR by a 65 year old male fantasy and science fiction fan.

My Rambles:

I give it 7 out of 10 stars. (frame of reference: "Close Encounters" 10 and "Serenity" 9)

Two of the stars are for audacity.

Story: Cowboys and Indians, shades of Sand Creek and Little Big Horn with a touch of a "Man called Horse". Some parts seemed interminable (total length 3 hours). At the same time some scenes move too fast so that you don't see what's going on.

Villains: Think Halliburton and Black Water in Space.

Heroes: Spiritual ecologically savvy electrically connected to mother earth soft hearted savages and a paraplegic ex-marine shunned by the VA and mistreated by corporate world saved by native princess because of lightening bugs.

3D: If you wear glasses take some duck tape to tape the 3D glasses to you own. They fit over your glasses but there is nothing to hold them in place against your lenses. If your vision is not corrected to 20/20 the you will lose some definition of the picture.

The 3D made the movie less than bright. It was indeed much like watching a movie through sunglasses because that is exactly what you are doing. The 3D did enhance the special effects, especially in the long and medium shots. For close ups it was problematic. Film makers are used to sharp focus on the foreground of close ups and out of focus in the background. That's not they way we actually SEE in 3D. Then there are the gratuitous bugs and stuff floating in 3D between you and the scene.

In the balance I would trade the 3D for a sharper and brighter movie. The trade off of 3D for its inconvenience was skewed towards the inconvenience.

As a scifi movie it was pretty good. As a New Age movie it was OK. As a fantasy it was better.

Recommendation: Go see it. Take duck tape. Arrive in a slightly altered state. Piss before you go in. Imax version, expect vertigo and/or disorientation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Madewood Plantation and Mr. Pugh's Cemetery Cat

Madewood House

Mr. Pugh's Cat

Mr. Pugh's Home

The Pugh Family Cemetery

Cat of the Cemetery

No you can not go home with me.


The Mother-in-law house.

My Place

Crawdad for dinner?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hiatus for the Holidays

Holidays are such a busy time are they not? To much to do, so little time. So maybe one thing that can be taken off the list for a while is this blog.

Pronunciation: \hī-ˈā-təs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from hiare to yawn — more at yawn
Date: 1563

1 a : a break in or as if in a material object : gap b : a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ
2 a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted .

So a hiatus for the holidays: yawn.

(Junior the Bear says he may blog some this month, but I wouldn't bet on it. Word is he's been down in Louisiana and Fatman says he is stuffed with crawdads and may go into hibernation if the weather gets too cold.)

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Tov Hanukkah, Kwazy Kwanzaa, Salaam!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obama and Afghanistan (for those who have ears to hear: LISTEN)

Did you see all those cadets at West Point LISTENING to Obama? Did you see how the Senior Class (those were the ones seated on the front rows) came down to shake his hand and say something to him?

It has been so long since a Commander in Chief knew what he was doing that the Pundits did not hear what he said. But those cadets did. The Generals did.

What he gave was a straight un-impassioned War College Plan of Attack, Destroy, and Hold.

Read the damn thing.

He said the thing he is really worried about is the Pakistani Nukes.
He said, we are going to sanitize the provinces all along the Pakistani/Afghan border.
We are going to cut off the Taliban flow across the border and isolate the Pakistani Taliban.
We are going to make deals and bargains with the interior Afghan Taliban leaders to not harbor Alkida and not attack the central government.
Then we will, in concert with Pakistan squeeze the Pakistani Taliban between us until they are crushed along with the Alkida harbored by them.

Then we will pull out most of the troops and leave NATO/U.S. Urban garrisons at the two major cities and protect the road between them. This will assure Pakistan that India will not fill a vacuum with the Taliban.

He said to Afghanistan, Pakistan, NATO, and the Pentagon, "I'll give you 18 months then we are coming home." "Get it done, period !"

That's what I heard.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Bears are Gone, Gone and Going: A JTB Post

As I reported a few weeks ago, the bears in the house have been round up and sorted. The PURGE is well under way. Boxes, and boxes, and sacks of bears have already been disposed of.
Yes, She claims, all in the name of good to those who received them, but they are still GONE!

I helped Raul and others hide themselves in nooks and niches upstairs but I'm afraid She will seek them out. She is ruthless in her disposal. Hugs, and Hugs, and Hugs of bears have been carried out of the house.

She even has the gaul to BLOG about it.

---Junior The Bear