Rimworld Militia Up!!!

I can haz books!

You can also click the cover to order directly from Amazon.

I’d like to apologize for the delay in getting them out, that was an issue I had to work through with KDP. If you were an alpha or beta reader, I’ll be getting your books out next week, if you haven’t provided me an address, please email that to me.

For those readers that would like a signed copy, $15, and how you would like it autographed. I’ll get those out as quickly as I can.

Thank you too, to those who’ve posted reviews. Still looking to get to the magic 50 reviews, but I do believe I will get there. Honest reviews are appreciated.

FWIW…

My thoughts on the shutdown…

I’ve experienced this a couple of times, both in the military and as a civilian contractor. It sucks, no question. But contrary to what the media is reporting, organizations ARE working with the people who are being impacted. NFCU, USAA, and Wells Fargo that I have verification on are working with members/those who have loans and mortgages and are also offering 0% loans to those in need. Navy Relief has also stepped up for those veterans who are working for the government and not getting paid. They are not being totally ignored, unless it’s by BofA…

One point many seem to be missing is the congress has to pass something to send to the President, and they have yet to do that. Zip, NADA… Nothing… They are blaming the president, yet they haven’t even put a bill forward that could pass both the House and Senate, much less go to committee, OR get to the president’s desk.

The so-called negotiations haven’t been productive as Pelosi et al have backed themselves into a corner by outright refusing to bring anything to the table that provides any money for the wall or whatever you want to call border security.

They are not even listening to CBP/DHS or anyone else, and have apparently said publicly they ‘dispute’ facts provided. Even after CBP provided evidence of the amount of drugs coming across in the McAllen area outside the ‘checkpoints’, none of the media are reporting that. They are sticking with the fact that ‘all’ of the drugs are coming through checkpoints…

Anybody with ANY common sense knows the smugglers will take the easiest path to get drugs across, and there is a lot of desert in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, in addition to the tunnels they routinely find in California and other locations. This is documented and has been previously reported!

My feeling is the Never Trumpers really don’t give a shit about the working folks, especially since it’s those that DO the work on the border and the USCG, which also is heavily into the anti-drug arena at sea. This as they pander to the loyal media about the ‘pain’ being suffered by the estimated 800,000 people put out of work by the president. To me it’s pretty telling when they drop the whole immigration argument and pivoted to out of work people in the middle of this.

When you add that to the fact (again those pesky facts), Pelosi, Schumer, et al have not only called for but VOTED for border walls when ‘their’ guy was in office, and even when Bush 43 was in office smacks of petty politics. And Hoyer (MD) got caught out last night in an interview and had to admit that walls to work, and they had voted for it in the past. To see him sputtering and trying to dodge the question was pathetically funny.

And watching the dems talking heads on the various shows has been educational, as they absolutely REFUSE to answer straight questions, instead falling back on talking points and becoming more and more strident when pressed to give a straight answer.

One thing many have forgotten is that any shutdown longer than 30 days, then departments can RIF non-essential personnel, which might be an interesting way to get rid of some of the deadwood/deep state/embedded bureaucracy in some of these departments!!! Article HERE on what must occur.

YMMV, IANAL, and I welcome comments and discussion. If you post a diatribe or talking points, I will delete those. I’m old, grumpy, and tired of the BS on both sides. Forewarned is forearmed…

TBT…

Back in the day, we ‘occasionally’ got to do some fun flying against our ‘adversaries’…

Many times those flights originated from Kef. This is obviously nice weather, and you can see a couple of P-3s parked on the ramp. The town of Keflavik is in the background.

These were fun flights, we’d take pictures of them, they’d take pictures of us, we’d show them Playboys, they’d show us bottles of Vodka… The fun part was trying to figure out ‘which’ one of the Tupolev Tu-142 (Bear F) variants each one was (you had to get pretty close).

We’d be working hard to keep up with them as their cruise speed was 30 kts faster than ours, and their top speed was about 90 kts faster than we were. We’d play a while, and then they’d get pissed a pull away from us…

Spoilsports… sigh… 🙂

Not the first time…

I’ve seen this crap before on a Navy ship…

The probe exposes how personal distrust led the officer of the deck, Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock, to avoid communicating with the destroyer’s electronic nerve center — the combat information center, or CIC — while the Fitzgerald tried to cross a shipping superhighway.

This is so far beyond the pale as to be unbelievable! That ship channel is one of the busiest in the world, I think in the top five. It’s not as bad as Singapore, but close. They NEEDED every asset available for safe navigation through there. I’ve been through there in the daytime and was thanking my lucky stars I went aviation rather that SWO.

The RADM Fort report on the USS Fitzgerald incident is damning, make no bones about it. The entire chain of command, all the way up to C7F was complicit in driving the OPTEMPO/PERSTEMPO to and past the breaking point to meet ‘required’ evolutions. More specifically, CO/XO who were derelict in their duties (not supporting bridge/watch teams), lack of training, broken equipment, lack of qualified operators, etc. All in the ‘interests’ of getting that check in the block, rather than standing up and saying no, we need to stop and take a training stand down, or no, we are not able to conduct the mission due to equipment status.

Full article, HERE from Navy Times.

Now the incident I had was only a couple of years after the Holly Graf debacle, HERE. We were actually in a meeting with the admiral when the JAG came and got him to go relieve her. That was an interesting day…

This ‘catfight’ between the OOD and the CIC officer is sadly reminiscent of one that happened on another Navy ship in 7th Fleet when we were running testing out there. I had a female reserve LT (SWO) on this particular DDG during the ops, and we were using their CIC and helicopter to ‘prosecute’ the target. After multiple failures, I started directing the ship’s helo from my location and we got repeated hits on the target.

After the exercise, I met with the LT I’d put on the ship. As it turned out, that instance was a three way pissing contest between two female officers, one the OOD, another the CIC watch officer, and a female E-6 ASW specialist. According to the reserved LT, at one point there was literally a screaming match on the internal ASW circuit as the E-6 tried to get the ship to turn into the wind to launch the helo on our cueing, with the OOD refusing because she had ‘other’ things to do. Apparently when the CICWO got involved, it went even further downhill, the ship systems lost contact due to lack of maneuvering, and the helo was never launched.

The ‘reason’ according to what the reserve LT found out was that the CICWO’s E-6 female had been higher rated than the OOD’s E-6 female in the enlisted rankings. She said point blank she had outbriefed with the CO and told him what she’d seen/heard and the CO had shaken his head, saying it would be addressed. It apparently was, as the next trip out there, I met with the CO, and he remarked that the ‘situation’ had been resolved by transferring one of the female officers.

I’m not saying men don’t get in pissing contests, but they are usually resolved MUCH more quickly, at a lower level, when the CPO mess takes them out for a ‘quiet’ talk on the fantail and don’t involve hazarding the ship or jeopardizing mission success.. If they tried that with the female officers (and have), the women scream sexism or harassment and the CPOs get in trouble.

Grrrr…

This is just… I literally have no words…

Overwhelmed by billions of dollars in claims from the Camp Fire and the 2017 wildfires of Northern California, PG&E said Monday it plans to file for bankruptcy, but insisted it will not go out of business.

Full article, HERE.

Once again the guilty go free, and those who lost everything will get pennies on the dollar, IF they get anything, while the company keeps on making money and raising rates to make the end users pay for what they are now going to have to do to comply with what SHOULD have been done long ago.

And the State of California is complicit in this duping of the public.

I REALLY need to get the kids out of there. Dammit…

h/t Wirecutter

More Grey Man…

A number of readers have expressed an interest in some of John Cronin’s back story…

And the muse is whipping me like a rented mule…

Usual caveats, comments/recommendations appreciated!

Prologue

The old man just shook his head, thinking back forty plus years to his introduction to working with the DEA. 

      It’d all started over Christmas dinner in 1975. Amy and Ana had been in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on supper while John and Billy sat on the front porch sipping coffee as Jack shot cans off the fence posts with his new .22 rifle. It’d been an amazingly mild day for Christmas, with bluebird skies and temps near 70.

“What are you going to do, John,” Billy had asked.

“Not sure. Since mom passed, I’ve…been at loose ends. I know I’m getting on Amy’s nerves because I don’t have enough to do, and I take it out on her or Jack, or both. The ranch isn’t that hard, and all the oil stuff is contracted. All we do is collect the royalties. I finished my peace officer certification, but it doesn’t look like anybody is hiring.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve been pretty grumpy the last few times we’ve talked. I thought the county was always hurting for people?”

He’d chuckled, “Oh, they are, for anybody not named Cronin.”

Billy had cocked his head. “Say what?”

“It goes back a long time, I think my grandfather or possibly a generation earlier. Nah, probably grandpa. Simonson’s family came into this part of the country back then and had money. Not sure from where, although grandpa always thought he was probably a crook. He tried to buy grandpa out when they found oil, but grandpa wouldn’t sell.”

Billy laughed. “Stubborn seems to run in the family.”

John winced, “Maybe… Anyway, Simonson tried bribes, and tried to muscle grandpa and grandma off the place. There was some shooting at cows, and some shooting at the house. That prompted grandpa to go to town and he confronted Simonson, apparently daring him to draw. According to reports, Simonson took a swing and grandpa pistol whipped him in the middle of the street, then walked over to the police station and turned himself in, telling the chief the next time he was going to shoot Simonson on sight.”

Billy shook his head in amazement. “And he was serious?”

“Apparently as a heart attack. Grandma came in to get him, and apparently told the chief the only way he would get the shot was if grandma didn’t get him first, because she’d been cut by flying glass when they shot at the house.”

“Damn.”

“Supposedly the chief had a talk with Simonson, telling him it was in his best interests to leave town while he could. Simonson apparently left the next day, and moved up to Pecos, but he kept the land he’d bought in the county.”

“Smart move, I’d say.”

John nodded, “Yep, and dad had problems with the next generation, and now the grandson, Burt is the sheriff. The only way I’d get hired is over his dead body, and I don’t dare speed or anything else. Pay all the bills early, and make damn sure we don’t step out of line.”

“You ever think about going back in the Army?”

“Nah. And you know why. Everything is winding down, and I’d lose a bunch of rank. Hell, I’m thirty-two. I’m not sure they’d even take me back.”

“Nothing with the state? Troopers or Rangers?”

“No, but I’ve got an application in with the troopers.”

“City?”

“Nope. They’ve actually got enough folks.”

“What about the Feds?”

John shrugged. “Don’t think they have anything I could do. Certainly not in law enforcement. I don’t have the right degree. A bachelors in ranch management isn’t worth much.”

“What about that new Drug Enforcement Agency? They had people on campus last week recruiting. They’re recruiting a lot of ex-military. You’d go in as a GS-nine, pays about fifteen thou a year.”

“You thinking about it?”

“Nah, I want to finish school and get my law degree. This is my last year of pre-law, then four years of law school. Ana would shoot me if I did that. Staying in the reserves is bad enough. You didn’t even do that, did you?”

John shook his head, “No. Mom would have had a hissy fit if I’d done that. Drug En—”

Amy came to the screen door, “Jack, come wash up, John, Billy, five minutes. I need your help getting that damn bird out of the oven.”

They got up as Jack came quickly back to the porch. John said, “Leave the rifle here. It’s empty right?”

Jack racked the lever down, turned it on the side and looked, “It’s empty, Dad.”

“Okay. We’ll clean it after supper.”

***

Two months later, John had kissed Amy good bye at the Midland airport, “Thank you for letting me try this, Hon.”

Amy smiled, “If this makes you happy, it’s good. Jack and I can manage, and it’s not like you’re going to be gone all the time, right?”

“Not according to the folks I talked to. I may even end up in Laredo or El Paso. I have to go to Quantico for a training class and to do paperwork. I should be home in a month or two. Remember, if you need help, Scotty Halvorson is only a phone call away.”

Amy stepped back, hands on hip, “John Cronin, you’ve told me that a hundred times already. Jack and I will handle things with Enrique and the hands.” She kissed him and he held her a moment longer, until they called for the flight to Dallas. He walked slowly across the tarmac, and climbed on the Convair 600, stopping in the door to turn and wave.

The next morning he started class with twenty other candidates, and they spent all morning filling out paperwork. That afternoon, they did the physicals with a government doctor, and he picked up all his books after the physical before returning to his room in the barracks.

The following morning was the PT testing, and he noted two people were already missing. He asked Agent Ramirez and was told they’d failed the physical and sent home. After the PT, they spent the rest of the day on laws, ethics and conduct. As the days turned into weeks, the class shrank, and at the end of the third week he was pulled in, “Cronin, you speak Spanish, right?”

“I speak border Spanish, its close and I have no problems making myself understood in Mexico, if that’s what you want to know.”

The agent made a check on a form, looked up and said, “I think we’re going to push you out early. Your military experience and shooting ability mean you don’t need the rest of the BS, and we need a Spanish speaker to fill in. The combination of those is going to bump your pay. You’ll qualify for a nine step ten.”

“Where will I be going?”

“Florida first, then forward from there. You’re going to a FAST team.”

“FAST Team?”

“Foreign-Deployed Advisory and Support Teams”

“When do I have to be there? I’d like to go back to Texas and see my family.”

“We can probably get you five days, since your class isn’t supposed to graduate for another two weeks. Turn your shit in, do your checkout in the morning, and I’ll have you some plane tickets for tomorrow afternoon.”

“Thanks.”

Three days at home were a blessing, as short as it was. Amy was smiling the whole time, and Jack got sent to bed early the first and last nights, as John and Amy enjoyed each other’s company, with Amy joking that if they weren’t careful, Jack might have a little brother or sister.

Three days later, he’d shown up on a Monday in Jacksonville, FL was issued gear, two passports, one in his courier cover and one in his primary cover, and was on his way to South America on Tuesday morning as a “courier” for a diplomatic pouch carrying his equipment.  When he’d arrived in Brasilia, he was promptly driven to the embassy, changed clothes, turned over his courier passport, and was back at the airport in three hours.  Put on a Heli-Courier and flown out of Brazil to a camp in Guatemala, via Panama, he’d been dumped on the side of an unimproved runway and sat for two hours until someone had shown up to pick him up.  It wasn’t until he’d been in the camp that anyone actually questioned him about his qualifications, and he was told his training consisted of OJT in the jungles and a passing grade was that he survived.

The second night, John was sitting in the jungle camp in Guatemala, looking across the fire at a bull of a man, Jorge Ortega. “What the fuck they sending me a damn white boy gonna stick out like a sore thumb out here. You even speak Spanish, boy?”

John had seen these dick beating games in Special Forces, and he casually pulled the Bowie knife he carried, using it to carve off a piece of the meat roasting over the fire. He’d mimed burning his fingers on the meat, thrown the Bowie, sticking it in the crate Ortega was sitting on, just below his crotch. As Ortega had jumped, John drew his 1911, snicking the safety off as he stepped around the fire and planted it between Ortega’s eyes so quickly that nobody else even had a chance to move.

Ortega’s eyes crossed and he started to raise his hands until he saw John’s finger tighten on the trigger. He stopped moving as John told him softly in Spanish, “You won’t be the first man I’ve killed up close and personal. I like it up close and personal. You fuck with me again, and I’ll shoot you like the fucking dog you are.” He poked a little harder with the barrel, starting a little blood running down Ortega’s face, “And don’t think you can fuck with me in the jungle. I spent two years with the Montagnards in ‘Nam on the trail. I’m better than you’ll ever be.”

Darrell Mason, the senior DEA agent said, “John, please put the damn safety on before you slip. Please?”

He took a step back, put the safety back on, reached down and pulled the Bowie out of the crate, then stepped around the fire. He resumed his seat, picked up the piece of meat that he’d flipped away, brushed it off, and ate it, “Not bad. Needs a little better seasoning.”

Two weeks later, the situation was moot, as Ortega tripped a grenade that killed him instantly as they approached a coca processing camp deep in the jungle. John’s ability to get along with the remaining Hispanic members of the team, and his ability to move through the jungle, and ability to handle everything from intel to taking out sicaros led Mason to recommend John be given more responsibility. Two months and quite a few successful operations later, he was moved down to the embassy in Quito, Ecuador, ostensibly as the assistant to the Ecuadorian Opportunity Liaison officer.

John’s first meeting with the new team at the safe house the first night proved to be interesting, when the first person he saw was Hector Velazquez. “Hector? What are you doing here?”

Hector had jumped up. “John! Madre Dios, it’s been… what, ten years,” he said as the handshake turned into a back pounding hug.

“More like fifteen, and my original question stands, what are you doing here?”

Hector laughed. “Apparently the same thing you are. Fighting the damn drug runners.”

The other three stood, watching the two of them with smiles on their faces. Hector turned, “This is the crazy Norte Americano I’ve been telling you about. His family raises longhorns too! We’ve known each other since we were kids.” He turned and pointed, “John, this is Pasquale Arrego, he’s a Kaibil- Guatemalan Special Operations. I warn you, he is also a devout catholic and does not like cussing.”

John said, “Pleasure Pasquale,” as he shook hands with him, seeing a squat powerful man who moved like a panther.

“The lazy one by the couch is Fernando Duarte. He is a Costa Rican cop from San José. He does not like the jungle. He’s a big city guy, and likes his comfort,” he said with a grin.

“Fernando, glad to meet you.”  Fernando was the best dressed of the four, with a pencil line moustache and long hair.

Fernando laughed. “Don’t believe a word that puta says. He is the one useless in the jungle. He gets lost in the first hundred yards. Yes, I do prefer my creature comforts, but I also know the jungle.”

John laughed. “I know to take Hector with a grain of salt.”

“Maybe a bit more, maybe a kilo or so…”

Hector jumped in. “Insults. These minor slings and arrows one must endure against their betters. I am an officer. These others not so much,” he said with a twinkle in his eye as the others laughed. Pointing to the last man who leaned quietly against the wall, “Felix Obregon. He’s one of yours.”

Felix pushed off the wall and surprised John when he said in a broad New York acccent, “Felix, I’m from Brooklyn. Former Marine, one tour in Nam, medical discharge for leg wounds. I’m off the books, so don’t expect me at the embassy.”

The next four hours passed in a blur as they brought him up to speed on what they were doing, including having convinced the neighbors they were small time smugglers, and they also told him about the smuggler’s track into Colombia that was totally and purposefully left unguarded by both Colombia and Ecuador’s border patrol.

This won’t be a full length book. It will be at least a short story, maybe a little longer…

7600 words in four days, only problem is it’s in THREE different books, cause the muse can’t make up her mind!

Border walls…

Work! Plain and simple. They work.

I’ve seen the border wall in Israel, and saw the wall in Germany. I’ve flown over the border wall in Spain.

Why are the dems so afraid of admitting that? They’ve voted for it in the past… MULTIPLE times.

Part of this is, IMHO, the fact that they are losing their traditional black base as they get jobs and get off welfare, realizing they CAN earn a good living and not be dependent on the government for everything. This means the dems need a new base, and they believe the illegals are it. Stop them from coming and you stop them ‘growing’ that new base…

And Pelosi, Schumer, et al are catering to the progressive left in their party to remain in nominal control. THEY are the ones holding the American people and the 800,000 people not getting paid hostage.

From Neontaster

Sigh…

Is it going to get ugly???

Probably…

Remember Operation Choke Point?

California Democrat Maxine Waters is the new chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. To judge from the party’s past behavior and the various proposals emanating from the left, Waters’s Democrats are going to pressure banks, credit unions, and payment companies to severely curtail and even terminate their relationships with firearm manufacturers, licensed gun retailers, and law-abiding citizens exercising their right to purchase and own firearms. In other words, they will use political pressure to force private institutions into creating social policy that threatens constitutional rights.

Full article HERE, at National Review.

You can go HERE and get the pdf of letters Feinstein et al sent last year from Senate Dems, trying to pressure Mastercard and others into stopping transactions involving guns/gun shops, etc.

I’m betting they will also try to go after the bulk ammo shippers like Luckygunner.com, Ammoman.com, Sgammo.com and others. California has managed to outlaw bulk ammo purchases via the internet, and we know damn well other ‘bastions’ of liberals are working on doing the same thing.

Yes, there will probably be lawsuits, but how long will they take to wind through the system when .gov doesn’t want them to actually go to court? And how many of those cases will be shunted to places like the 9th circus???

Dammit, I’ve lived through ONE round of interesting times, didn’t really want to do it in my old age too…

YMMV, IANAL, and I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

h/t Larry, Mongo, Frito

Book Promo…

Alma Boykin continues her series with the fourth book, Merchant and Empire.

As always, click the cover for the link.

The blurb-

Do Not Waken the Gods…

Tycho Rhonarida spent his life blending in and staying out of notice. Now he travels with the Great Northern Emperor’s Progress, the only southerner in the company. The farther from the Free Cities they travel, the more and more corruption, warped magic, and unrest the emperor discovers. Tycho senses something very wrong, something coming from the kingdom of Liambruu, something only he can recognize. What has King Sanchohaakon done, that even the gods take heed?

Tycho Spellbreaker the emperor named him. Now, Tycho must balance his duty to the emperor and his desire for commercial success. He who has avoided notice for so long, the only man without magic, may be the only person who can see the truth and stop Liambruu. 

When the gods of the north walk, the world trembles.

Next up- Lloyd Behm II with his first book in a new series- Shadow Lands.

The blurb-

A universe out of time…a land of no return…

Jesse Salazar is a priest of the Church Militant, who spends his days—and nights—hunting and re-inhuming the monsters that bump humanity in the night. He’s good at his job and gets paid very well to do it. But when the skies go gray, he wakes up to find himself in the Shadow Lands—the world an ancient Akkadian god uses to feed his minions their favorite food…humans. 

Stalked by Abzu, the lord of the realm, and all his minions—including his wife, Tiamat—Salazar must figure out a way to stay out of Abzu’s clutches while assembling a team of survivors and putting together the clues to find a way home. With only limited weapons to protect themselves and no visible means of returning home, Salazar will have to use all of his God-given talents to keep everyone alive.

Especially if there’s no way back. 

And last but not least- Ron Freidman’s audiobook of Typhoon Time!

The blurb-

The Hunt for Red October meets Timeline! 

Martin Richter, a pacifist history professor specializing in pre-WWII Germany, has two passions in his life: history…and opposing nuclear weapons.

Eric Sobol, a terminally ill Holocaust survivor billionaire, learns of a wormhole that leads back in time to 1938, and he decides to do everything within his power to change the past. 

Thanks to their efforts, a modernized Russian Typhoon-class nuclear submarine jumps the time barrier and appears in 1938, manned by 21st-century multinational experts and equipped with the best technology money can buy. But when a saboteur steals a nuclear warhead and delivers it to the German navy, all of history is at stake. 

As the crippled Typhoon is ambushed by a U-boat wolf pack, Hitler contemplates how to use his newly acquired weapon to make all of Europe fall to the Third Reich….

Y’all enjoy, and have a great weekend!!!

Rimworld update…

Rimworld- Militia Up is now available in paperback!!!

Click the cover to go directly to it!

Finally… sigh… Had some issues with Amazon over the cover sizing and petty BS, but it’s all fixed now, thanks to a damn good tech that took responsibility and helped get the issues sorted!

I’ve also reissued the Kindle version, correcting some errors my readers have found. I truly appreciate your willingness to help me get it right, and that is once again proof that regardless of how many eyes go over the book, things still get missed…

I would appreciate your honest reviews if you have time, as always trying to get to those 50 and 100 review markers, which then allows more free advertising and gets the novel out to a wider audience.

Now back to work on the other three books in the cue, muse dependent of course… LOL