by baldilocks

As ever, Mark Steyn shouts into the wilderness, noting that, in the wake of the Islamic terror bombing in Manchester, England, UK politicians are all on-message, lamenting “sowing of division” as the alleged goal of yet another set of “lone” wolves.

When death stalks the land, make no mistake: He may look like a grim reaper, but he’s really a grim sower. An entire sowing bee of experts has so decreed. Indeed, in their warnings about sowing division, our betters are so non-divided that they give off the faintly creepy whiff of fellows all reading off the same cue card helpfully biked round to them by the Central Commissar ten minutes after the “incident” occurred.

You non-experts might think this a fairly crude sleight of hand – that concerns about “division” is a not so subtle way of suggesting that the real problem isn’t guys like Salman Abedi waiting with his nail bomb at the exit to the pop concert, but divisive types like you querying whether it’s prudent to keep importing more and more Islam into the western world. Well, screw you: if you disagree that the real danger here is the sowing of division, you’re just sowing even more division.

Pace The Toronto Star, I’m not sure it is “stating the obvious” to say that Monday’s attack was meant to “sow division”. What’s going on in Britain and Europe occurs because division has already been sown. It was sown by a careless political class that insisted there could be no questioning of a reckless demographic experiment. It is being reaped, as the division-sowing pop star Morrissey has divisively noted, by the political class’ hapless citizenry.

(This zombie-like messaging reminds me of 2008, when I noted how on-message American Democrat politicians were when they all asserted that “we can’t drill our way out of this”—the ‘this’ in question having been a so-called gasoline crisis.)

Europe and her citizens, just beginning to get hot.

But, even before I got to Steyn’s conclusion–stated much more vividly that I can or want to reword here–the retort was in my mind: no, Islamic terrorists are not trying to sow division. They are trying to sow a singularity: a world that is totally Islamic. And, I contend that British and EU politicians know exactly what they are doing. They’ve planted Islam in Europe and allowed it to grow, to their own specific ends. And, when the time comes, most of them will convert–or at least wear to public face of Islamic piety. (I can’t imagine them giving up their expensive champagne.)

To these politicians, a bunch of blown-up little English girls are just the broken eggs for the Omelet of Unity. One with no ham, of course.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and while it will be the unofficial beginning of summer – marked with barbecues and special sales events, it is most importantly about honoring our American heroes who have died in our wars while serving our country.

Memorial Day was originally recognized as Decoration Day, to remember those who had fallen fighting the Civil War and to decorate their graves. Via the Memorial Day website:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In the year 2000, then President Bill Clinton issued a directive that a National Moment of Remembrance be observed at 3:00 pm on each Memorial Day (excerpt below):

In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal “National Moment of Remembrance” on each Memorial Day. This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.

Accordingly, I hereby direct all executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance (Program), to promote a “National Moment of Remembrance” to occur at 3 p.m. (local time) on each Memorial Day.

Americans are encouraged to pause their activities for one minute at that time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by the brave men and women of our military. Suggestions from the Memorial Day website for this include a moment of silence or listening to “Taps”.

I also respectfully suggest that prayer is also appropriate for this observance.

Here is a Memorial Day prayer recommended by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen

Here are two thoughtful prayers from the Archdiocese of Detroit:

Memorial Day Prayer

I. 

Heavenly Father, Today we remember and pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services who have died in the defense of our nation; from the days of the Revolution to these days in Iraq and Afghanistan. They paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we hold so dear.

In the words of Sacred Scripture we hear, “There is no greater love then this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” It is only by your grace and the love they have for you and this nation that gave them the strength to lay down their lives.

We beseech you O Lord, to receive these servants of peace into your loving embrace and grant them the eternal peace that surpasses all understanding.

We also remember the family members of these great heroes. They too suffer a great and painful sacrifice. Bestow upon them the blessings of your consolation and peace. May you ease their sadness as they continue on the road to serenity and hope.

To you we offer this prayer knowing you fulfill the heart’s desire of those who seek you with noble intentions. May our prayer for true and lasting peace be answered in accordance to your will and for the good of your sons and daughters. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Peace. Amen

II.

Heavenly Father,

On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down

their lives for the cause of freedom. May the example of their sacrifice

inspire in us the selfless love of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their

lives with your strength and peace.

In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to

answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end

to violence and conflict around the globe.

We pray through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Image result for memorial day

*************

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Yesterday the NY Daily News joined the list of groups pulling out of NY’s Puerto Rico Day Parade for honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera:

by lionizing López Rivera as the parade’s preeminent figure, organizers have inescapably compelled sponsors and participants to join in honoring a man convicted of abetting violent terror to achieve his aims.

As Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill aptly said in declining to participate: “I cannot support a man who is a co-founder of an organization that engaged in over 120 bombings.”

The growing number of people pulling out of the parade has angered NY City Counsel speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who blames the “ultra right”

“A lot of the campaign putting pressure on the sponsors to withdraw, etc., is being manipulated and organized and orchestrated from an ultra-right wing element on the island,” she told reporters at City Hall Wednesday.

However I think she’s off target, If she really wants to blame someone rather than pointing to right wingers either in the US or on the Island of Puerto Rico I think the person most responsible was born on an Island thousands of miles away from NY or Puerto Rico.

Namely I think the person most responsible is the late Salman Abedi.

Before he decided to turn an Ariana Grande concert into a graveyard for teens and children it was still possible for some sponsors to count on the fading memory of the FALN bombings and Mr. Lopez-Rivera’s part in them to inoculate themselves from any possible outrage and to make sure that liberal Hispanics who voted overwhelmingly for the president who pardoned him, knew they were with them.

However,  despite the MSM valiant efforts to change the subject back to their crusade against Donald Trump as soon as possible, the images of teenage concert goers killed and maimed were broadcast all over the world,  The anguish of parents pleading for news of their daughter and then finding she was murdered in the blast could be felt by any mother or father of a child who could easily imagine themselves in that situation.

Suddenly the world was reminded of the consequences of that little old bombmaker Oscar Lopez Rivera actions and the cries of the relatives of the dead and those still alive that were maimed by those he led were not distant echos of the past but the horrifying present.

So perhaps Speaker Viverito should direct her anger not at folks on the Island or the various groups who have withdrawn their support but to the Manchester Bomber who didn’t bother to take into account the plans of people like her to normalize and honor murders before slaughtering their infidel enemies.

Closing thought:  I submit and suggest one can separate those companies, individuals and groups who are actually bothered by honoring those who mastermind mass murder and those who aren’t by noting who declined to march before the bombs in England went off.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

If the person involved was a 27 year old Trump supporter named “Bob” CNN would be running the story hourly breathlessly telling you of the police’s discovery of a private arsenal:

Minneapolis police uncovered an arsenal of guns and bomb-making devices during a routine arrest last week.

According to police, a man walked by a parked car in north Minneapolis about 5 p.m. Thursday and confronted the people inside after they threw food wrappers on the ground. They ignored him until he paused to get the car license number. The men then got out of the car and indicated they had guns, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

The man flagged down officers, the complaint says, but the men from inside car continued to yell at him and resisted the officers’ attempts to control the situation. The men were insistent they needed to be near the car because a drone was coming to deliver a package, the complaint said. Because of the suspicious circumstances and fear for the man’s safety, the men were placed in the squad while officers searched their car.

Inside, the officers found a hand grenade, handgun, assault rifles and magazines and a large quantity of ammunition, the complaint said. They also found cellphones, computers and electronics equipment, including drone parts.

But because this story  is about a “Minneapolis” man named Abdullah N. Alrifahe you won’t find the story on NBC, CBS, ABC or CNN.  It will be considered a local story not worthy of any attention from the National Press who would much rather report the latest breathless story from from unnamed sources that will supposedly bring down Donald Trump.

Unexpectedly!


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

by baldilocks

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.  –Leon Trotsky, allegedly

Noble sentiment.

Look, the Hard Right has no desire to fight in the streets. No sane person wants to live in a society where there [are] constant, realistic expectations of ongoing bloodshed. That is why we advocate the removal of undesirables. We do not want to kill anyone. We want them to simply go away. Go home. Go back where you came from. Just leave us alone. In fact, if there is an overarching theme to the Hard Right position, it is that we just want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit.

Unfortunately, the left has horribly misread the situation. Rather than realize the superiority of our position, they have chosen to bring the fight to us. They have mistaken our forbearance to this point for weakness. That is dead wrong. It is not that we are not capable. It is that we do not want open conflict. But if we are forced into a corner, all hell is going to break loose, and the left is not going to like the result.

It is each person’s legal right, in this country, to assemble peaceably. This is true for both right and left. But if the other side is going to incite violence, I can categorically state that the Hard Right is more than able to finish the fight.

I pray the left realizes this before it is too late. If their past performance is any indication, however, they are going to have to learn this the hard way.

This writer gives the Organized Left too much credit.

The Organized Left wants us all—Left, Right, Center, No Preference–to learn this the hard way. It funds anger and feeds resentment for the Hard Way. And what will the Hard Way achieve? The Organized Left’s Big Goal; the thing which every bit of advocacy it propagates has as the target. Are you ready? Here it is.

The Organized Left wants fewer human beings on earth.

Anything the OL advocates–from the destruction of the black family, which is directly related to the mindless, rampant violence of today’s blacks; to the promotion of abortion like unto a sacrament–and everything else in between, has death of most humanity as its final solution. Pun intended.

And it isn’t as if it’s a new thing, nor has the OL been hiding it. The ramping up of any type of new Civil War–Right against Left, white against black; the “sides” don’t really matter to them–would be just another successful tactic in the Long Strategic March.

There’s another entity that has long pushed for the destruction of humanity. Maybe that’s just a coincidence.

UPDATE: Just another dupe.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

We’ve just passed the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, which certainly is no cause for celebration.

Although the U.S. formally declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 — unlike the speedy action after Pearl Harbor, it took Congress four days to concur with Woodrow Wilson’s request for action — American troops didn’t actually engage in combat until a year later.

By the time the guns fell silent on Nov. 11, 1918, nearly 117,000 members of the American Expeditionary Forces had died. While that figure pales in comparison to U.S. casualties in the Civil War and World War II, it’s a horrendous total for just over six months of fighting.

The man responsible for the war’s worldwide death toll of 38 million is someone you’ve probably never heard of : Gavrilo Princip, a young Bosnian Serb fanatically dedicated to ending Austria-Hungary’s rule of his homeland.

On June 28, 1914, Princip and five co-conspirators set out to assassinate Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand on his visit to Bosnia. A planned attack on the archduke’s motorcade in Sarajevo failed. One conspirator chickened out and didn’t throw his bomb when he had the chance. Another tossed a grenade, but it exploded under another car, seriously injuring two members of Franz Ferdinand’s entourage.

The opportunity for assassination seemed lost, but Princip was lucky — unluckily for the rest of the world. Franz Ferdinand wanted to visit his friends wounded in the grenade attack, but his driver made a wrong turn en route to the hospital.  When the driver put the car in reverse to get back on course, it stalled — right in front of Princip, who had stopped at a cafe for a meal.

Princip seized his chance, stepping forward and firing two shots into the car. One bullet fatally wounded the archduke, and the other killed his wife, Countess Sophie. Thanks to monumental stupidity by Europe’s monarchs, the murders ignited the fuse for the carnival of carnage that came to be known as the Great War.

The assassination led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, which was thought to be behind the murder plot. When Serbian ally Russia mobilized for an attack on the Habsburg empire, Germany demanded Russia to stand down. On Aug. 1, Germany declared war on Russia, then promptly invaded neutral Belgium as the launching pad for an invasion of France. Within days, what had been a dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia grew into a continental conflagration.

By the time the United States entered the fray, millions had died on the battlefields and in the trenches. Although Russia essentially gave up the fight after the Bolshevik revolution, freeing up German armies from the Eastern Front, the infusion of American doughboys played a key role in forcing the Central Powers to accept an armistice.

To understand how the civilized Western world collapsed into murderous madness, you have to know Europe at the start of the 20th century. For almost 100 years after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Europe had enjoyed unprecedented peace, progress and prosperity (outside of the Balkans, a string of unsuccessful revolutions in 1848 and two conflicts involving Prussia).

But nationalism still percolated in the fat and happy countries. Africa sated much of the ambitions, as Britain, France, Germany and lesser powers grabbed colonies, but the continent was pretty much divvied up by 1900. Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution had brought bright, shiny weapons to large armies that had nothing to do. All it took was Princip to fire his pistol to bring down empires and forever change the world.

Perhaps war still would have come without the assassin, but it probably wouldn’t have been the same war on the same fronts with the same results. But think about what Princip did set in motion.

Without Princip, there would have been no World War II because Germany would not have been seething over unsettled grievances. There would have been no Hitler, no Holocaust.

Without Princip, there would have been no Russian Revolution, no Lenin, no Stalin, no gulag. As a result, you can erase, Mao, Fidel and other Red revolutionaries from the history books.

Without Princip, the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires might still exist, leaving many ethnic groups under imperial control. The dissolution of the Turkish empire is at the heart of today’s troubles in the Middle East, as the British and French made a total mess overseeing Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Without Princip, the lives of at least 150 million people would not have been snuffed out on the battlefield or by their own totalitarian governments.

As the year 2000 approached, a number of groups hailed Albert Einstein as the Man of the 20th Century. Without doubt, the physicist was a remarkable genius whose revelations changed the course of science and will reverberate for generations to come.

But if the Man of the Century is the one who had the biggest effect on the world, for better or worse, the title has to go a 19-year-old killer from Bosnia, Gavrilo Princip.

by baldilocks

Donald Herbert Walker Trump–Zman on the American missile strike in Syria:

Trump won the nomination and the presidency on one core issue. He would be the President of the United States, not the President of the world. That was his line. He repeated it often. It allegedly captured his one core belief. What is good for America is what is good for Americans and the government should always be working to further the interest of Americans, over the interests of foreigners.

The fact that something so obvious and sane has to be explained speaks to the degeneracy of our age. But, we live in a time when we have to debate physical reality with people who insist things like biology and math are a plot by a mystery cult of white men to keep down women and non-whites. Still, Trump running on a platform of rationality, and winning on the platform, gave a lot of people, including me, a spark of hope. Maybe what comes next does not have to be what always comes next.

Yesterday, the alt-right and even many seasoned geezers like me took a body blow when Trump abandoned everything he said over the last two years and embraced the idiocy of yet another war in the Middle East. Not only is he embracing the lunacy of the traitorous neocons, he is risking war with Russia. His “reason” for condemning himself to ruin is that his daughter got the sads over seeing pictures of dead kids in Syria. She takes to twitter over this latest agit-prop and in a day daddy is launching missiles at Assad.

Many who were gung-ho for the Trump candidacy and presidency are ticked off about this or at least questioning it. Thus, they are catching a lot of flak from the true believers, the Trump-worshipers.

Michael Savage is one of President Trump’s solid supporters and he believes that the basis for the missile strike is phony. A microbiologist by training, he says that sarin—a nerve agent–wasn’t even used and, while I’m no microbiologist by any stretch of the imagination, I received NBC training courtesy of the USAF—something which all troops stationed in Cold War Era Europe received–and Mr. Savage’s logic is sound. He posits that some other chemical agent was used. (By the way, in 2014, the Obama Administration asserted that Syria had no chemical agents.)

As a Trump-skeptic who voted for him in the general election—like Zman–I’m not upset that he broke a promise. After all, it isn’t the first one he broke. And, for certain, President Trump is, by far, not the first president to break a promise.

However, I am upset that he chose to break this particular one. What this strike looks like to me: another step in the “Arab” “Spring.” And I’ve always suspected that the purposeful destabilization of countries with large Muslim populations has one goal: clearing the deck for the New Caliphate.

I hope I’m wrong and that Peter is right.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Everyone is focused on Syria.  Literally, everyone.  To be honest though, was anyone surprised?  I wasn’t.  Syria’s best bet would have been to lay low and stay off the radar.  Instead, they became a very convenient way for President Trump to prove he was serious about the Middle East, show President Xi he was comfortable with military action, and distance himself from Russia.

If the video doesn’t make you say “‘Murica!” and love the Navy, you need to check your little red book at the door 🙂

But why is no one focused on this?

North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile,” the statement read, according to CNN. “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”

On top of that, President Trump says he is not afraid to act alone on North Korea.

None of this is accidental.  If you care about human rights, North Korea routinely ranks lower than even Syria.  It imprisons its own people on a massive scale, has massive issues providing enough food and medical care, yet finds the money and effort to build nuclear weapons.

From cartoonmovement.com

China has chosen to do nothing about North Korea because the country is convenient for them.  Not only does North Korea routinely rattle Japan, but they keep South Korea (with a very capable military) totally focused on the peninsula and not on China’s repeated expansion elsewhere.  With the rest of the world willing to condemn North Korea but take no actions, China is sitting pretty, able to continue expanding in the East and South China Seas, as well as in their western territories, while cheaply distracting Japan, South Korea, and to a lesser extent, the US.

Until now.

President Trump’s willingness to go it alone hits the soft underbelly of politics with China:

  • It would unite Japan and South Korea in a conflict.  China has always cited past Japanese aggression whenever it conducts diplomatic talks with South Korea.  A conflict would put Japan and South Korea working together, something that would likely bolster the stalled improvement of relations between both countries.
  • It would give China a massive immigration crisis.  There are easily over 200,000 people imprisoned in camps, and most of the ~25 million people in North Korea live in dirt-poor conditions.  China has always been a destination for illegal immigration, and if the North Korean state collapses, you would likely see a massive migration north.
  • It would create a low cost competitor.  When East and West Germany reunited, there was a massive economic boom in East Germany.  Although it’s likely the South Korean economy would take a bit of a hit, China is much more vulnerable, having based a large amount of its economic growth on low cost manufacturing.  An open North Korea would be a magnet for manufacturers and would likely tank the Chinese economy.
  • It would damage China’s reputation.  Asian culture in general is much more concerned about ‘saving face‘ than Western cultures.  China is trying to prove it is an international power, but to have the US walk in and clean up problems in its backyard is damaging to that image.
  • It puts the fight where China doesn’t want it.  China stations its best military units near Taiwan and (increasingly) in the South China Sea, and believes that in a fight there it will win.  Putting the fight squarely in their backyard, and with a combined South Korea and Japan, places them at a significant disadvantage.

We can joke all we want about North Korea being the short bus of nations, but a fight there would be nasty, and the humanitarian reconstruction afterwards would be massive.  Syria’s end state won’t change the map much, but Korea’s end state could significantly change the balance of power in that region.

Trump’s pivot to the Pacific has already begun.


This post represents only the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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“Bring up the turnover blog on the big screen”

The first time I said those words on the US Pacific Fleet watchfloor, I got a weird look from my Intelligence Specialist, a Navy Sailor who only recently joined our team from his basic school.  “A blog?  Sir, we work in intelligence, not blogging.”

My watchfloor, a small group of 4 enlisted Sailors and one officer, maintained the intelligence plot for Commander, US Pacific Fleet (at first Admiral Harris, and later Admiral Swift).  We watched all of Pacific Fleet’s area, a huge swath of the world that covers everything from Pakistan to China, North Korea and Russia to Indonesia, and up to the west coast of the US.  When I came to the team, I learned how we partnered with a lot of other organizations and put together one neat picture for the Commander to make decisions.  It was (and still is) a really important job.  I watched our Commander use our information to make decisions that I would read about later in the news.

What I like to THINK I do, but in reality I point at a screen. A lot. Image from Wikipedia.

One of our biggest challenges was turnover.  When you turnover what is happening in about 50% of the world, it’s a daunting task, and it’s easy to miss something.  People before me had created turnover sheets that covered most things, but as the world got more complicated, it often fell short, especially for smaller countries.  Most importantly, it was a paper sheet.  Nobody outside our organization ever saw it.

I thought it was a weak spot, especially since many other organizations cued from us as to what was important in the world.  So I persuaded my team to start writing our turnovers using Intelink’s blogging service.  Intelink is a suite of sharing tools we have on our classified networks.  The government buys a license for a tool, puts it on the network, and everyone can use it.  The most well known is Intellipedia, which looks exactly like Wikipedia, except that you have to portion mark every paragraph with the proper classification.  We also have WordPress for blogging, Pintrest (called IntelPin), Twitter (called Chirp) and a few others.

The beauty of Intelink is that the services are reliable and make it really easy to share and discover.  If you tag your products on IntelPin or Intellipedia, suddenly others who are creating intelligence on the same issue can easily find them.  Too many people have this idea that everyone in intelligence is on the same page and somehow has access to all the information about a topic, but in reality the landscape is divided among the 16 Intelligence Communities, and someone in the CIA could be working on the same thing as me and have no idea what I’ve done.

“This is how I build the daily brief,” said no person in Intelligence ever.

So we started the Pacific Fleet Intelligence Blog.  It started as just my team, but soon it caught on to the other teams.  They liked that we could hyperlink products, add images, and that you could easily pull up previous turnovers.  It gave my boss and other organizations the ability to see what we were working on remotely.  Soon my Intelligence Specialists were blogging like professionals.

Intelink came under fire in a recent article on Wired, which said it mostly failed and may have been manipulated by the outgoing Obama administration to spread disinformation about Russia’s influence in the 2016 election.  Wired said that bureaucracy killed Intelink as a way to build a better National Intelligence Estimate, conjuring images of some creepy old guy in a suit holding folders of classified information yelling the spy equivalent of “Get off my lawn!” at some younger analyst.  But as Hanlon’s Razor teaches us, the truth is probably much simpler.

The reality is that most older analysts don’t know how to share.  They are very used to email.  I managed a group inbox on the watchfloor, and it was constantly deluged with intelligence reports from all over the world.  We would send out our brief, a 100 slide monstrosity, over email to customers.  I started posting our brief on a document sharing site (called IntelDocs) and sending out a link.  I swear, some people’s minds were completely blown that you could actually do that.

Yes, there are people like that in Intelligence.

When money is tight, the first thing to get cut in the military is training, and I think we’re seeing that now.  We have a lot of older analysts that we should be training on how to effectively use these tools, but we don’t.  They aren’t stupid, they simply need someone to show them how to use these tools.  But it’s not just the older folks.  My junior analysts are smart people, but they are third generation users of the internet.  Most never built a website from scratch on Geocities like so many of us did back in the day.  Their internet usage consists of Facebook, Snapchat, Google and Tindr.  We simply assume that Millenials have these skills, an assumption that I see proven false on a daily basis.

I think the future is bright for Intelink.  The Pacific Fleet Intelligence Blog continued after I left, a good sign that it wasn’t just my “good idea fairy.”  They also extensively use SharePoint, something I had helped setup with our network people in the last two months of my time there.  My boss, who had started his career building briefs on paper, was regularly surfing our sites and pulling information down by the time I left.

Change it would seem happens one person at a time, and even those in intelligence can learn to share.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, US Pacific Fleet, or any other government agency.  And please note that I use the word “spies” liberally, “intelligence professional” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Did you hit up Da Tip Jar yet?  Did you check out my blog?  Because what else are you doing on a Saturday?

Never Forget. That’s what we said after the islamic terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, but many barely remember anymore, to our great disgrace. That was the second time the Twin Towers in Manhattan were attacked, but it seems the world was eager to forget the first World Trade Center bombing, which happened on February 26, 1993 – twenty-four years ago this Sunday.

St. Peter’s Church is near the World Trade Center; here is what they have to say about that day:

February 26, 1993, a truck loaded with bombs, parked in a public garage below the North Tower of the World Trade Center and exploded.  Terrorists set of the powerful homemade bomb by way of a twenty-foot fuse.  The blast killed six innocent civilians.  The bomb was powerful enough to create a 200 by 100 foot hole in the building.  Approximately a thousand office workers suffered smoke inhalation injuries.  One hundred and twenty four of those injured were rescue personnel.  Seventeen kindergarteners were trapped when the electrical power line was knocked out and one woman in labor was airlifted out of the area to a hospital.

The terrorists intended for the North Tower to come crashing down and topple the South Tower. Seven men have been convicted for their role in the attack but only six have been caught.

Many have forgotten the first truck bombing of the World Trade Center in the wake of 9/11.  A son of a victim in the attacks, Stephen Knapp Jr., is quoted in the New York Times:  “It started on Feb. 26, it played out on 9/11, and it is still going on now.”

Our Parish has not forgotten.  Every February, the families and friends of people who died and those who were injured, hold a memorial Mass at St. Peter’s Church.

The person credited as being the mastermind behind this evil act of islamic jihad, the so called “blind sheikh”, Omar Abdel-Rahman, died this past Saturday in prison, but he was treated to a grand funeral that was attended by thousands of admirers in Egypt:

He was convicted in the World Trade Center bombing—as well as plotting a wider “war of urban terrorism”—in 1995. His death was met with statements of mourning from al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, his hometown was filled with chants of “we will defend you with blood and soul, Islam” for his funeral. “If he were a bad man, people from all over the country wouldn’t have came to attend his funeral,” said a lawyer who traveled more than 100 miles to be there.     MORE

Here  is some more information about the attack, via History.com:

In September 1992 explosives expert Ramzi Ahmed Yousef arrived in New York City on a flight from Pakistan and began planning an attack on the World Trade Center, with the alleged goal of toppling the north tower into the south tower. He received help from followers of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind, Egyptian-born Muslim cleric who spoke in sermons of destroying the “edifices of capitalism.” The plotters rented a storage locker in New Jersey, where they stockpiled urea, nitric acid, sulfuric acid and other ingredients for making bombs. They simultaneously concocted a nitroglycerin trigger at a nearby apartment and scouted out the World Trade Center’s underground floors.

On February 26, 1993, the plotters loaded their homemade bomb, which weighed about 1,200 pounds, into a yellow Ford Econoline van they had rented from a Ryder dealership in New Jersey. Two of them then drove it across the Hudson River into Manhattan, made their way south to the World Trade Center, entered the basement parking garage between the north tower and a hotel, parked in an illegal spot on a ramp, lit four 20-foot fuses, got into a car that had trailed them and sped off.

At 12:17 p.m. the bomb exploded, knocking out the World Trade Center’s sprinklers, generators, elevators, public address system, emergency command center and more than half of the high-voltage lines that fed electricity to the complex. The FBI later called it the “largest by weight and by damage of any improvised explosive device that we’ve seen since the inception of forensic explosive identification.” Six people died, including a pregnant woman. More than 1,000 others were injured, mostly from smoke that snaked its way up the stairwells and elevator shafts. Yet both towers remained standing.

As rescue workers dug for victims, survivors began making their way out by any means possible. A woman in a wheelchair was carried down 66 flights of stairs by two friends. A class of singing kindergartners descended from the 107th floor. A group of engineers stuck in an elevator pried open the doors and then used car keys to cut a hole in the sheetrock walls leading out to a 58th-floor women’s bathroom. Nearly 30 people with medical conditions were taken to the roof and whisked away by police helicopter. By late that night, the buildings had been completely cleared. They would not reopen for nearly a month.

Investigators sifting through the rubble soon came across the vehicle identification number for the rental van, which had been reported stolen the day before the attack. FBI agents then arrested Mohammad Salameh, who had rented the van under his own name, when he returned to the Ryder dealership to ask for his $400 deposit back. Subsequent arrests were made of Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad and Mahmoud Abouhalima. In March 1994 a federal jury convicted the four of them for their role in the bombing, and they were each sentenced to life behind bars.

Meanwhile, authorities uncovered a related plot in which followers of Sheikh Abdel Rahman planned to blow up the George Washington Bridge, the United Nations headquarters and other New York City landmarks. In that case, the sheikh and nine co-defendants were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other terrorism-related charges. A third case led to life sentences for Yousef, who was captured in Pakistan in 1995, and the driver of the rental van, who was captured in Jordan that same year. Only one suspect, who fled to Iraq after being questioned and released by the FBI, remains at large.

Heckuva guy, that Rahman, huh? This is who they celebrate, as our own murdered dead are largely forgotten by our country.

This Sunday, please remember: John DiGiovanni, Robert Kirkpatrick, Stephen A. Knapp, William Macko, Wilfredo Mercado, and, Monica Rodriguez Smith and her unborn child. Please remember their families, and remember all who were wounded that day as well. Please pray for an end to islamic terrorism.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla of the Resistance at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents. 

See also by Zilla at DaTechGuyBlog:

Remembering Saint Scholastica

#NYCatholic: St. Peter’s Church