Random crap…

Over 200 yesterday in a ‘combo pack’… Russian, Chinese, ??? beats the hell outta me…

A little ‘sample’ Engrish is obviously a second thir somewhere down the language list.

Literally from ‘Cletus’- Post writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with afterward you can write if not it is difficult to write

‘Simone’- No matter if some one searches for his required thing, thus he/she wants to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

‘Houston’- I have learn several just right stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you put to create the sort of wonderful informative website.

And those are just a few that are in Engrish… Sigh…

And my new hat came in today. Wish I’d had it yesterday!

Working on the last chapter of TGM- Sunset. Hope to have it out to the Alpha readers this weekend. 🙂

Globull warming???

I @#$%^# think not…

70 degrees day before yesterday, 32 yesterday morning. Spitting snow a couple of times.

This is frikkin’ North Texas in FALL… NOT WINTER…

This morning, NINETEEN!!! I think winter shivved fall and shoved her under a bench somewhere…

And of course I had to be up and out to help a friend out. Sigh…

11/11/11…

Eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month…

Words that bring a chill to anyone who studies history… 9,000,000 overall war dead, 21,000,000 wounded, 117,000 Americans dead and 5,700,000 civilians estimated dead…

At 5 a.m. that morning, November 11th, 1918, Germany, out of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The decision was made to hold the notification of the signing until 1100 to provide the symmetry that we know today.

It all started on June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

It led to trench warfare, biowarfare, with the gassing of troops on both sides, and battles across Europe and the Mediterranean, including the infamous Battle of Gallipoli, searing that name for every in the history of Australia and New Zealand, HERE.

Germany, France, Britain, and other countries lost pretty much an entire generation of young men, and scars from WWI still mar the landscape in Europe. Supposedly the war to end all wars, sadly became merely a prelude to WWII, around 20 years later.

My dad served in WWI as a rifle and pistol instructor at Camp Beauregard in Louisiana, because he was an expert with rifle and pistols prior to joining the Army. He also suffered from Influenza during the time, and that may have contributed to his early death in 1959.

The first unknowns were selected from among the British, French, and American war dead.

Following the custom inaugurated by other allied countries in World War I the Congress on March 4, 1921, approved a Resolution providing for the burial in Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater on Armistice Day 1921 of an unknown and unidentified American soldier of World War I. The Secretary of War delegated to the Quartermaster Corps the duty of selecting the Unknown Soldier and accordingly the Quartermaster General directed the Chief, American Graves Registration Service in Europe to select from among the burials of America’s Unknown Dead the bodies of four who fell in the combat area in order that one from among them could be anonymously designated as the one for burial in accordance with the provisions of the Resolution. Four bodies of Unknown Soldiers were selected, one from each of the following cemeteries Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, Somme and St. Mihiel–and brought to Chalons where they were placed in the Hotel de Ville. The fact that the bodies selected were those of Americans was determined by the location of place of death, original burial and uniforms. The utmost care was taken to see that there was no evidence of identification on the bodies selected and no indication that their identity could ever be established.

After the four bodies were arranged in the Hotel de Ville, the next step was the matter of selecting the one from among them to represent all the Unknown American Dead. This ceremony though simple was most impressive. In view of his outstanding service,  Sergeant Edward Younger, on duty with the American Forces in Germany, was given the honor of making the final selection. On Monday morning, October 24, 1921, at 10 :00 A.M. in the presence of The Quartermaster General, the Commanding General of the American Forces in Germany, the Mayor of Chalons-sur-Marne, high officers of the French Army, distinguished French citizens and eminent American and French civilians the selection was made. While a French military band played an appropriate air, Sergeant Younger slowly entered the room where the four caskets were placed. Passing between two lines formed by the officials he silently advanced to the caskets, circled them three times and placed a spray of white roses on the third casket from the left. He  then faced the body, stood at attention, and saluted. He was immediately followed by officers of the French Army who saluted in the name of the French people.

The rest of that story is HERE.

TODAY is the day to thank those veterans, and say a prayer for those currently serving in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. To my fellow veterans, I would propose the toast, “Absent Comrades”, for those who did not make it home.

And to the families- No one says thank you for your sacrifice. So let me say thank you to all of the significant others that hold the fort down while we go on long deployments. Thank you for putting up with all the moves. Thanks to all of the dependents who step up and do the extra chores around the house. When the veteran is deployed the budget has to be stretched. The significant other becomes the banker. Thanks to all of the families that hope for only good news. Thank you families for your service.

And to my shipmates in the P-3 all those years, and those onstation today in the P-8 and other airframes from all services…

Wirecutter’s blog is down…

http://knuckledraggin.com/  blew up on him yesterday…

Posting this as a PSA…

The blog was up but I couldn’t post or do anything but moderate comments. Luckily, I already had the day’s posts scheduled.
My host was outdated so they had to transfer the entire site over to a new one, then the domain name has to be transferred and that’s where I’m at now. They said it could take up to 24 hours, so it may be down through Monday. Hopefully I can get posts up for Tuesday.
Because everything will be changed on my end, especially my posting window, things are going to be funky for a while until I get everything ironed out. Posting will be light probably for the rest of the week once it does come back up. New format and all that on my end, you know.
So he is aware, and working with his provider on it.

Makes one wonder…

Why is the media and the left working their asses off to protect Eric Ciaramella?

Is he the ‘whistleblower’? Based on any number of articles, most probably…

Some interesting background, HERE, and some interesting pushback from NBC on whether the rules had changed, HERE. Public Law 101-12, the Whistleblower Protection Act, does NOT provide for anonymity for the whistleblower, only that there can be no reprisals against him/her from the employer. Nothing about not allowing the name to become known.

Yet Facebook is deleting any articles or mention of his name, citing harm-

So I put up a simple one line post- Why is facebook protecting Eric Ciaramella? An hour later, it was gone…

Facebook says it is deleting the name of the person who has been identified in conservative circles as the whistleblower who triggered a congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions.

The company said Friday that mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates Facebook’s “coordinating harm policy,” which prohibits material that could identify a “witness, informant, or activist.”

Full article, HERE. And Breitbart, HERE, which is actually a feed to Facebook… Interesting…

And his lawyer Zaid is apparently a piece of work, and avowed Never Trumper too…

Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys representing the intelligence community whistleblower at the center of the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, tweeted conspicuously in January 2017 that a “coup has started” and that “impeachment will follow ultimately.”

Article, HERE.

And I’m not even getting into the whole cluster with Schiff’s staff ‘assisting’ the whistleblower, etc… But it is enough to make one wonder… NO first hand info, all second/third hand, VERY professionally written/footnoted/etc. Looked more like something a lawyer would do rather than an actual complaint, etc…

And now Schiff et al are saying the whistleblower is no longer needed, yada, yada, maybe because they don’t want him questioned about who/how he came to find out the ‘information’ he supposedly got.

Where does this crap end???

Edit- Schiff will not allow the Republicans to call the whistleblower as a witness. Kangaroo court anyone???

Gah…

Down with food poisoning, go read the folks on the sidebar. I’ll hopefully be back on Monday.

Grey Man snippet…

I know I said I wasn’t going to post any more, but I need input…

Does this one work at all? There will be additional ‘discussions’ in the next chapter closing the holes left as to what the FBI screwed up…

Comments/recommendations appreciated, as always.

Visitors

The old man’s cell rang and he snatched it off the desk, hitting speaker. “Cronin.”

“Jesus, you sound grumpy. What’s got your panties in a wad, John?”

He scrubbed his face before he answered. “Ah, going back through cold cases, Billy.”

“Mind if I come over? Spend Thanksgiving with y’all? Mama and her clan don’t really do Thanksgiving and I don’t want them to do anything special for me. Besides, I’m letting the pilots use the airplane to haul their families to Arizona for the weekend, so they could drop me off and pick me up on the way back.”

The old man shook his head. “You know damn well you’re welcome anytime. When are you going to get here?”

“Well, now that I know I’m welcome, probably around three. I’ll bring a dessert,” Billy said with a laugh.

“You show up with something with tentacles again, you can sleep in the barn.”

“No tentacles, I promise. See you around three.”

The old man replied, “I’ll be there.” He punched the phone off and gathered the file, putting it back in the accordion folder and shoved it back in the bottom of the file cabinet. He got up with a groan, prompting Yogi to woof as he woke up. “C’mon dog, you can go out.” Picking up his coffee cup, he followed Yogi into the kitchen setting his cup on the counter and opened the back door, letting Yogi and Boo Boo out as Jesse came into the kitchen followed by the kids. “Billy’s showing up this afternoon. I hope to hell we’ve got enough food. What’re you planning for supper?”

Jesse fed the kids lunch as she replied, “Comfort food. Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and Felicia is doing Flan. There will be plenty, because I’m figuring left overs for y’all in the morning.”

The old man nodded. “And Billy says he’s bringing a dessert.”

Jesse rolled her eyes at that, then asked, “Want a sandwich? I’m making myself one.”

“Sure, I’ll make another pot of coffee.”

***

The old man sipped a cup of coffee in the FBO as he watched Billy’s Lear jet touch down and turned to the ramp rat standing by the door. “He’s going to just drop a passenger, so no point in parking him.”

The young girl smiled. “Okay, Mr. Cronin. I’ll just bring him up right in front of the lounge. Think they’ll need gas or anything?”

He smiled at her. “I doubt it. But if you want to get a look inside, we can probably arrange that. Um… maybe have you check with the pilots if they need anything?”

She grinned at him. “Sure, I can do that.” She glanced out at the runway. “And speaking of Lears, I think that’s the one you want, just touching down now. No point in you going out in the cold, you can wait here.” She shrugged into a light jacket and slipped her ear protection off her leg and put them on, as she opened the door.

Five minutes later, Billy stomped through the door, overnight bag and briefcase in hand. “My ass hurts.”

The old man shook his head. “Hello to you too. Why are you griping about your ass?”

Billy looked at him with a wry grin. “I forgot how many kids there were. I ended up riding out here sitting on the toilet.”

The old man coughed to cover his laughter, then gave up. “Billy, Billy…it’s those little details that are important. When are they going to pick you up?”

“Sunday.” He handed his bag and briefcase to the old man. “Hold this, I gotta piss.”

“I’ll be in the truck. It’s right out front.” He took Billy’s bag and walked out of the FBO chuckling as Billy faked a limp on the way to the bathroom. A half hour later, he pulled into the yard and said, “You’re in your usual room in the old house. Supper will be around six, if your tired old bones need a nap.”

Billy grabbed his bag, shot the old man the finger, and said, “I’ll be in as soon as I dump…dammit! I left the dessert on the airplane!”

The old man snorted. “Probably just as well. Think they’ll find it?”

Billy pulled out his cell and hit an autodial for the pilot. “Not taking a chance. I’ll leave him a message.” He headed around the side of the house, the phone to his ear as the old man walked up the steps onto the porch.

Walking in the kitchen, Jesse asked, “Where’s Uncle Billy?”

“Putting his bag away. And he forgot the dessert, left it on the airplane.” Jesse laughed as she mixed the meat for the meatloaf. “How many are you cooking for?”

Jesse said, “The usual, plus Uncle Billy, and Clay and Ronni. And I think Aaron said something about Tiny dropping by. Ronni called, they’re on their way back from seeing their boy and his wife up in San Antone, I guess the boy has the duty tomorrow. I told her to come on.”

The old man wrinkled his nose. “Well, guess I better put the leaf in the dining room table, hadn’t I?”

Jesse laughed. “You were going to do that for tomorrow anyway, so no big deal.”

***

Everyone was gathering in the dining room and the kids had just been fed, when the dogs charged the front door, barking. Aaron said, “I’m betting that’s Tiny. I’ll get it.”

Billy looked at the old man. “Tiny?”

He grinned. “Tiny, or more correctly, Deputy Sheriff Darrell Watson. He’s called Tiny because—”

Tiny, all six feet eight inches and two hundred fifty-five pounds of muscle, in uniform walked into the dining room and Billy said, “Damn, you’re a big boy aren’t you?”

Tiny’s laugh was a rumble. “And you’re a little shrimp aren’t you?” Then he looked again and said, “Aw shit. Sorry Mr. Moore, I didn’t mean—”

Billy said, “Hey, turnabout is fair play. And I deserved that. Can we eat now?”

The old man said, “You going on at midnight?”

“Yes, sir. Doing a double, so Danny can have the morning with his family.”

Clay reached over and shook hands, “Good to see you Tiny. They ever get you something you can drive?”

Tiny chucked. “Well, they gave me a Tahoe without a cage, and extended the seat rail so I can drive it without my knees being up around my ears.”

Felicia and Jesse started bringing platters of food to the table, and Felicia said, “Sit. We didn’t cook all this for you to eat cold food!”

After supper, Felicia, Ronni, and Jesse were dishing up the flan, brewing fresh coffee, and loading the dishwasher as the men sat around the table. The old man asked, “So, Mr. Watson, where is Kenisha?”

Tiny shrugged. “Well, Captain, she’s staying with Aunt Bea down in Austin. Actually, it’s great aunt, she’s eighty-five, and determined to serve dinner tomorrow. Kenisha wanted to come home, but—”

“You can call me John. How is her school going?”

Tiny’s smile lit up his face, the white teeth standing out against his dark skin like beacons. “She’s on full scholarship, and holding down As in all her classes, plus teaching a basic geology class for Doc Evans. And the oil company is talking to her about continuing for her PhD, which they will pay for.”

Billy asked, “What is her major?”

“Geology. That’s what she was doing up in Midland for the oil company, which is why I was allowed to live up in Monahans. It split the distance each of us had to drive to work. She’s been working on Wolf Creek for two, no three years now.”

Billy stuck his tongue out the side of his mouth, deep in thought, then looked sharply at Tiny. “Why didn’t you go pro out of UT? I remember you being quote highly recruited unquote.”

Tiny grimaced, “Knees. I joked with Trey that his locker was jinxed. I got the same one, blew out my right knee next to last game of my senior year. Got it fixed, but the ortho said if I continued to play, I would be a cripple. I finished my degrees, and Kenisha and I got married after graduation. She had an offer from the oil company, so we took that, and I went and got my peace officer certification. Pecos County was the closest hire to Midland, and I’ve been here ever since.”

“What were your degrees?”

“Criminal Justice and Pre-Law.” He smiled again. “Four point oh in both programs.”

Billy shook his head disgustedly. “Why are you not in law school?”

Tiny cocked his head. “Well, I told Kenisha that her career was the priority, because she’s the main breadwinner. If we get somewhere that I can go to law school, I’ll do it, but right now we need what little I’ve got coming in, since she’s on sabbatical from the company until she finishes her degree.”

The old man glanced at Billy and smiled at Billy’s concentration on Tiny, Here we go…Billy’s about to get the bit between his teeth, and I have no idea where this is liable to end up.

Tiny shifted uneasily and looked at the old man asking, “Captain, I always wanted to ask you if you knew anything about the Esteban case. Part of that took place down here, didn’t it?” Clay snorted coffee out his nose and started coughing, as Billy roared with laughter. Tiny looked around bewildered as the old man shook his head sadly. “Professor Torres said it was one of the best federal cases against a drug ring in years.”

Billy banged his coffee cup down. “Juan Torres? That little…I wondered what happened to him.”

Tiny held up his hands, “Well, he told us about the trial and—”

“Told you about the trial, huh?” Billy interrupted. “Did he say what part he played in it?”

“That he was part of the prosecution team.”

Billy shook his head sadly. “That little shit was third chair. At best he was a gopher. At best!”

The ladies delivered the flan to everyone and Ronni sat back down as Felicia and Jesse took care of the kids. Clay sniffed. “Tiny, the truth is that was John’s case from the git go. The Feds—”

The old man finally said, “The Feds came in and fucked it up. The cluster surrounding the second and third drug stops in two days, and suddenly they had six illegals all in jail for smuggling. Going to Sheriff Carson and recommended felony charges against all six of them, saying he hoped he could try to flip one of them. The sheriff had agreed, gone to the DA, and the indictments were filed the next day. The biggest fish in the bunch was one Miguel Guiliar, skinny, mid-twenties, pockmarked face, and snake mean. He’d had to be separated from the other five, due to trying to beat up the kid that had been driving when they got pulled over for speeding.

      Guiliar must not have been in the country long, or not understood that all phone calls were recorded, because he’d called a number in El Paso for his one call. That call had been interesting, to put it mildly, as he’d basically ordered the person on the other end to get a lawyer over to Fort Stockton and get his ass out of jail. It had taken the old man a day working with Southwestern Bell to get a location and assignment for that number. It turned out to be an auto repair shop in south El Paso, in the barrio.

Billy and Clay were talking over each other and the old man interrupted. “Well, it all started with three traffic stops in four days, two Hispanics in each car, late at night, for speeding. All three had over sixty kilos of cocaine in them. We charged them all with felonies, and one little shithead made the mistake of forgetting phone calls were monitored. Got a lead that pointed back to El Paso, but the lawyer that showed up was from Austin.” He motioned with his coffee cup at Billy. “Billy did some digging for me, and found out that the lawyer was the sole point of contact for the company…Automotive—”

Billy chimed in, “ARI, Automotive Resources, Incorporated. Hidden owners, repped by one Guillermo Gonzales, showed up to represent all six of the arrested Hispanics.”

The old man nodded. “His appearance before the judge didn’t go well, since the judge didn’t care for drug dealers or drug runners, and set a high bail for all of them, prompting Gonzales to threaten to go to the State about his conduct. The bottom line was that none of the six walked out on bail. I called Billy, asking him to find out what else could about Gonzales, figuring he could come up with something more than what I had.”

Billy laughed. “Gonzales was a sleazeball. His shtick was representing the oppressed minorities, but he had some questionable money behind him. Most of his cases seemed to be drug runners and dealers.”

“And somehow, you got his phone records.” Billy shrugged eloquently. “Anyhow, turns out this Guiliar supposedly worked at a body shop in the barrio in El Paso, but his attitude and directions on the phone call said he was more than just an employee. I went to the sheriff and asked about going undercover down there, since we didn’t have a high opinion of El Paso PD.”

Aaron snorted. “And still don’t.”

Everybody laughed as the old man took a sip of coffee. “Anyway, I didn’t shave for a week, took the old Ford pickup we had on the ranch, threw a set of tack in the back, and limped that sumbitch to El Paso. Now this was right around roundup time, so I called old man Borregos over in New Mexico to get him to vouch for me, if anybody called.”

Tiny asked curiously, “How did you know him?”

The old man grinned. “When I was a kid, I punched cows for him during a couple of roundups. He and Manny Casaba. Manny was his foreman. Manny got on the phone and said he’d say I was down in the brakes the whole time. When I mentioned the body shop, Manny said they’d had pickups repaired there after getting dented up by the cows.”

He shook his head and grimaced. “That old pickup was on its last legs. Needed the engine rebuilt. I blew a damn head gasket just on the west El Paso at the old truck stop out there.”

Clay laughed. “I remember that! You called me seven kinds of pissed. Especially when the trooper started questioning you.”

“That’s a story for another time. Anyway, I got a Mexican to tow me to the body shop, and I slept in the truck that night in their driveway. Next morning, they drug the truck in, mechanic, Guillermo, nice older guy, looked at it, and said he could fix it in a couple of days. I played the down on my luck cowboy, and they sent me to a boarding house a half block away.”

Clay snickered. “Boarding house my ass. That place was a hot sheet place.”

The old man waggled his hand. “Eh, a few of the rooms. Anyway, I got the tack, my old single action, and my canvas holdall, and walked up there with Enrique, Guillermo’s boy helping me carry stuff. If it hadn’t been for Enrico, I wouldn’t have gotten a room. And the abuela running it didn’t like a white boy in there, even if I spoke fluent Spanish.” He smiled. “She gave me the worst room in the place. Upstairs, fronting on the street, furthest from the bathroom.”

Everybody laughed at that, and he continued, “Perfect for surveilling the body shop, which I did for a couple of days. I’d get up, go down the street to the tacqueria, grab a burrito and coffee, then wander down to the shop. They did good work, but I also saw some interesting modifications being done to some cars. The interesting part was that they were all from Paco’s used cars.”

Clay laughed. “And I got a phone call. Did I know anything about that place, yada, yada.”

Billy said, “Yeah, you and me both. Turned out it was also owned by ARI. And good ol’ Gonzales made or got almost daily phone calls from them.”

Tiny looked around at them, shaking his head. “Um, all this off this one guy?”

The old man laughed. “Well, I’d also called Bucky, he was still at EPIC, and got a hit on Guiliar. He was illegal, and they had him as an enforcer for Los Zetas, when they were just enforcers for a couple of the cartels. They were just moving into the drug trade for themselves. And Bucky gave me a data dump on the amounts of coke coming in that matched the packaging on the stuff we’d gotten. They were estimating two hundred to five hundred keys a week were coming into El Paso and disappearing.”

Felicia came around with the coffee pot and the old man held his out. “Thank you. So, I go back to the shop and talk to Guillermo, he tells me it would be cheaper to replace the engine, and they had a wrecked Ford out back that he could take the engine out of, but it would take a couple of more days. We discussed a price, and I told him to go ahead.” He sipped his coffee, then went on, “I try to get them talking about Paco’s used cars, but they clammed up, which made me wonder. That night, I stayed up and watched the gate. Saw two newer Mercedes come in real late, get put inside the fence, and the drivers get picked up by a fat, bald Hispanic that chain smoked in a new Lincoln.”

The old man shook his head. “Didn’t have a damn camera, so no pictures, but I figured I’d recognize him if I saw him again. Had a thought that I’d seen him before, but couldn’t place where I’d seen him.” The old man chuckled. “The next morning I do my routine, wander down, and watch as they push a new Mercedes into the paint booth. I walked over to a Riviera the body guys were working on, and saw they were putting a concealed compartment into the trunk/backseat area. The body guy chased me off when he saw me looking, and I went back to my truck. Guillermo was in the process of pulling the engine, and said the boss wanted the money up front for the new engine. I took the bus downtown, got the money, and made some more calls. I also called the sheriff and had him send somebody out to check and see if the cars we’d impounded had Paco’s used car stickers. They did.”

Clay nodded. “And John called me, saying this was at least one part of the smuggling ring’s operation. I didn’t tell El Paso, kept it in house, but got our folks watching both the dealership and coordinating with DEA.”

Billy cocked his head. “Turned out ARI was funneling money through the dealership, the body shop, and a repair shop that exceeded any possible sales income. Gonzales was drawing just under ten k a week, and investing it in various locations, including moving some of it offshore. I passed that to Clay, and I guess y’all got a tap, right?”

Clay shrugged. “Yeah, but didn’t really get much off it.”

The old man laughed again. “I didn’t know about that part, but I did see a couple of cars leave the following nights, after a parts truck showed up at the shop. I remembered them being worked on when I was in the shop. In both cases, there were two Hispanics in the cars. Wasn’t much I could do to pass that along, real time. Two days later, Guillermo finished the truck, I paid them the rest of the money, and hoofed it back to Fort Stockton.”

Aaron looked at him. “And? What happened next?”

“I told the guys on second shift to be alert for the list of cars and license plates or paper plates from the shop, especially those with two male Hispanics in them. Two days later, Paco Ortiz, Danny’s daddy, called in the Riviera. I turned around and we chased them down just short of where three eighty-five cuts off. Paco initiated the stop, and I backed him up.”

Clay started laughing. “This is where it gets good!”

Everyone looked at him as the old man smiled. “Yeah, I was on the passenger’s side, asked Paco if he had an estimate of the time.” He shook his head. “And that opened the flood gates. Jorge Aguilar was in the car, and all of a sudden started babbling at Paco. Paco’s eyes got big, and he gave me the zip lip signal, so I shut up. We pulled them both out, and I took…Delgato…Felix Delgato in my car while Paco took Aguilar who was singing like a bird.”

Tiny’s eyes got big. “Singing like a bird?”

The old man and Clay both laughed. “Oh yeah. Booked Delgato in, and it was interesting to watch Guiliar’s response. He tried his damnest to hide in the corner. Put Aguilar in solitary, and Paco took me outside. He said Aguilar was pissed! Turns out he was the number two man, from the cartel, and thought when I asked Paco for the estimate, that I’d said Paco Esteban flipped him. Apparently Aguilar was angling to take over, the cartel thought Esteban was stealing money, and he knew Esteban didn’t like him. We gamed it out, and got Clay to come up and listen in on the interrogation. Paco threatened him with a superseding indictment to hit Aguilar with more and worse charges, but at that point he was so pissed he didn’t care and was ready to flip right then and there.”

Billy smirked and interjected, “All because of me.”

The old man shot him the finger, and replied, “Well, granted you did help. Clay got the ball rolling, and I called Bucky too. We came up with a joint Ranger and DEA raid on all of the locations the next morning, before the rats had a chance to disperse or they could get rid of the drugs and money. Clay even got the lawyer, Gonzales picked up the next morning. The sheriff was very happy to get that midnight call.”

Clay added, “So, I’ve been up all night, so has John. We take my car and haul ass for El Paso about zero three hundred. We meet at Company E’s headquarters, Major Sutherland has every available Ranger there, and Bucky, bless his heart, had two full Tac teams there. We hit the used car lot just as they opened, and I realized the bald, fat Hispanic I’d seen at the repair shop was Esteban. The other teams hit the second car lot, the auto repair shop, and the body shop. Then it got really interesting.”

Matt leaned back. “Interesting? How?”

The old man chuckled. “The Fibbies showed up.”

Aaron asked, “Fibbies, as in FBI?”

Clay nodded. “Fibbies. A shit ton of them. Accused us of blowing their surveillance.”

Tiny raised his hand. “Uh, I’ve never heard about any of this.”

Clay smirked. “For good reason. They claimed they’d had Esteban under surveillance for months based on a confidential source.”

The old man nodded. “I got Clay to run me over to the body shop, so I could brief the team over there on the cars I’d seen being modified. When we got there, another bunch of Fibbies didn’t want to let us have access. That kinda blew up—”

Clay spit, “Major Sutherland threatened to arrest the Fibbie in charge if he didn’t get out of the way. We got in, John showed us the three cars he’d seen being modified that were still there, and the Mercedes that had been repainted, which was still sitting in the back of the shop. Funny thing is, one of the Fibbies was showing around a picture of John, wanting to know if we had any idea who he was, that they wanted him for questioning.”

Jesse burst out laughing. “Papa? Why?”

Clay grinned at the old man. “Well, they thought John was a higher up or possibly a major customer for the drugs.”

Tiny asked, “Why did the feds prosecute this then, if it was your case?”

“Well, it turned out that the total take was something over…five hundred keys of cocaine, and two hundred keys of grass, along with a bit over a million in cash. Plus, the body shop was also apparently a chop shop on the weekends, with a different set of people working there.”

Jesse asked, “What happened to the guy, Guillermo? And what was his son… Enrique?”

The old man smiled. “They were released. They weren’t involved in the drug operation, he was strictly a mechanic. Apparently Guiliar thought he was too dumb to bring into the scheme. And Enrique just ran parts.”

Clay said, “Bottom line, Major Sutherland got direction from Austin to turn it over to DEA and the Feds. They swept up the prisoners John had over here, Gonzales, and the ones in El Paso. They never even looked at the rest of the distribution network, just took them out and called it good. They deported, I think, fifteen, and another five or six went to prison with Esteban getting twenty to life. He lasted six months in Huntsville before the cartel got to him. Same thing for Aguilar. Guiliar picked a fight with the wrong guy in prison and got shanked. He didn’t survive it. Gonzales died of a heart attack before the trial ever started.”

Billy, under his breath, said, “Heart attack my ass.”

Tiny rocked back in his chair, making it squeal. “Wow. Totally different from what the professor presented.” He shook his head, then looked at his watch. “I guess I better get my fat ass in gear. I want to get in early and check the boards before I go on patrol. Thank you for feeding me and,” he looked around the room, “Thank you for the education.”

He got up and Aaron walked him out the front door, as Clay and Ronni got up. “Time for us to take our tired butts to the house.” He chuckled. “Fond memories. Some of the shit we did—”

The old man got up, rolling his shoulders. “Will stay unsaid. Great to see y’all, and you know you’re welcome any time.”

There were handshakes and hugs around, with everyone realizing they had been sitting for almost two hours. Billy walked out with Clay, Ronni, and the old man. “Gimme a call next week, Clay. Got a couple of things to discuss with you.”

“Will do, Billy.”

They watched them leave, then walked back to the porch. Billy said, “I think I’m going to call it a night. Good times. If only the kids knew—”

The old man interrupted. “They don’t need to know. What did you think of Tiny?”

Billy responded without a pause. “He’s wasted out here. He needs to be in school. Period. ‘Night, John.”

The old man grinned as Billy headed around the house. “Good night, Billy.”

Stolen Valor…

Apparently the scheduler decided to post this yesterday morning too… sigh… Sorry about that!

Interesting article in Military Times about stolen valor and its impact…

It was a sweet assignment right up my writing alley: A narrative about the D-Day invasion to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Allied attack that marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. My newspaper, the Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia, published an open invitation for those who had taken part in the grand and awful amphibious assault to contact us and share their stories. In the military-rich Hampton Roads region, we struck gold: From the pilots who flew the paratroopers to the infantrymen who stormed the beaches, I was able to relate the entire D-Day narrative chronologically, all through veterans’ eyes.

Full article, HERE.

I have personally encountered two actual cases, oddly enough about the Mayaguez rescue, when the guy KNEW I had been there. He swore his squadron was there, and took a round through the vertical stabilizer (it was actually VP-17). My buddy asked me why I didn’t go off on him, and honestly, it was because I felt sorry for the poor bastard… He wasn’t hurting me. The other one was a supposed Vietnam Vet, 173rd Airborne, who begged at the Vietnam Memorial. He got a LOT of donations, and had his spiel down pat. I found out later from a Park Ranger, it turned out the guy had been kicked out of boot camp, and never even served, he saw an easy way to feed his habit, and made out for probably four years…

BUT, there are any number that have ripped off the VA and other military assistance groups. I find this unconscionable, and I truly hope they get prosecuted for it. And it’s not just the ‘little’ people.

Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) has also been guilty of it. Blumenthal received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, obtaining first educational deferments, and then deferments based on his occupation. In April 1970 Blumenthal enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, and he served in units in Washington, D.C., and Connecticut from 1970 to 1976, attaining the rank of sergeant. During his 2010 Senate campaign, news reports that Blumenthal had claimed that he’d served “in Vietnam” created a controversy. Blumenthal denied having intentionally misled voters, but acknowledged having occasionally “misspoken” about his service record. He later apologized for remarks about his military service he said had not been “clear or precise”.

LBJ was another one with some ‘strange’ service… Commissioned as a LCDR, (a tad odd, with no indication of any qualifications), he was ordered to the Pacific to ‘observe operations’ from his duty station of the Undersecretary of the Navy. He ended up with a Silver Star under ‘questionable’ circumstances, just for being on an airplane that took damage. Article, HERE. And he only served a little over 7 months of ‘active duty’, before being ordered back to Congress.

Narco terror deaths…

US victims of Mexican cartel massacre range from 8-month-old twins to 43-year-old mother

This happened Monday in northern Mexico, article HERE.

It’s time to take off the gloves… From a friend who is conversant with the situation south of the border…

On Mexico…Tourism, Commerce, and War
                                 **
It’s time to get ‘real’ about the U.S. Government’s relations with the the country of Mexico!
The deaths of several U.S. citizens yesterday in a drug cartel shoot-out in the Mexican state of Sonora, less than one hundred miles south of the U.S. (Arizona) Mexican border should be a wake-up call for anyone who remains in denial about what a clear and present danger Mexico and its ruling drug cartels is to the United States and its citizens.
Recent (in)actions and malfeasance by Mexico President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador (“AMLO” to  those American hipsters who are ‘woke’ by applying cute nicknames to their cultural heroes – about whom they know nothing except that they seem ‘cool’ and ‘woke’ themselves) after the arrest and subsequent release of ‘El Chapo’s’ son in Culican, Mexico, last month, are evidence that he has ceded effective control of the social and political apparatus in Mexico to the bloodthirsty terrorists who control the drug trade there and in the United States. 
There are simple elements to this situation that can no longer be ignored and swept aside by for purposes of political expediency or potential gain. There is enough blame to go around on both sides. There are also short and long term solutions to the problem.
SHORT TERM:
1. The killings of the American family (including small children!) are proof positive that Americans are not safe in Mexico. The U.S. State Department should immediately begin an official process to discourage American citizens from non-essential travel into Mexico. In addition, it should remind the thousands of Americans who are living as expatriates in Mexico that their lives are in potential danger and the American Government can do little to protect them. American tourism is the heartbeat of the national economy of Mexico and any significant reduction of such will have an immediate crippling effect on their economy which would require the government of Mexico (if there is one) to make some hard choices.
2. The president should immediately take steps to deploy the National Guard (and in the case of California – whose governor will refuse such an order – the U.S. military itself) along the U.S. Mexico border to ‘seal’ the border and restrict entry to only those foreign citizens who have official visas to enter the U.S. This is a legitimate national security issue confronting the President of the United States and he has every right to do this. Who in America will object to such action with any veracity?
3. Redouble (re-triple?) the efforts by the U.S. agencies responsible for the interdiction of illegal drugs in such efforts. If Congress refuses to fund such efforts, President Trump should go around them and declare a national emergency and spend whatever it takes to fund these efforts.  
LONG TERM:
1. The U.S. government (Executive and Legislative branches) needs to come to grips with the reality that with no demand, there would be no supply of illegal drugs and the cartels would forced to market their products elsewhere. One way of dealing with this is to make the sale and distribution of illegal drugs in the U.S. a felony (not subject to being pleaded down to a misdemeanor by a prosecutor). We are already in the next national election cycle. Let us see those on the political left defend the sale and distribution of illegal drugs with no effective penalty consequence on national TV. Simply put, support for the use of illegal drugs in the U.S. is tantamount to the support of the drug cartels (and their methods) in Mexico. 
2. American companies have shown that they either cannot or will not cease to manufacture products in Mexico and bring them in for sale to the United States at the ultimate expense of jobs for Americans. Trump has tried the outmoded concept of ‘moral suasion’ with these companies with no positive result – indeed he has been subjected to public ridicule for it. It’s time for him to once again impose meaningful tariffs on goods brought in from Mexico to the effect of discouraging American companies from manufacturing there. Tariffs DO work (like a sledgehammer driving a nail!), draconian as they may seem by those squinty-eyed economists at Harvard who proclaim from their ivory towers that “this isn’t how we do it anymore.” 
3. Going back to ‘AMLO’ and his hand-wringing and ham-handed ways of governing Mexico: If he can’t bring the lawless drug cartels under control with his own law enforcement and military, then he should turn to the U.S. for help (Is there any doubt who would prevail in a gun-fight between some cartel thugs and American military special operators?)
4. China is also part of this problem. Manufacturers of synthetic drugs (Fentanyl, etc.) are partnering with the drug cartels to use their channels of distribution to flood the U.S. with their products. Trump should place this on his punch-list of issues he has with President Xi and move it up in terms of priority. Xi and his dictatorship (BTW, to those still starry-eyed about our relationship with China, that’s what their form of government is) could put a stop to this in a heartbeat if they had the incentive to do so.
5. Finally, the American people (including those on the left who see illegal drug use as a cute, harmless manifestation of a liberal, progressive attitude that somehow sets them apart from the staid old, boring, ‘unwoke’ lifestyle of their conservative counterparts) need to come to the understanding that illegal drug use by their friends and acquaintances – as benign as it may seem at the moment – has consequences that began many miles and passages of time away from that moment. The people who profit from the activities of the cartels are smart and ruthless. They will not stop with controlling the drug trade; they want complete control of the Mexican political and economic apparatus to the end of having control of the activities of all legal businesses (they are now targeting even avocado growers!) in Mexico. How long will it be before the successors to ‘El Chapo’ will be negotiating with Ford and General Motors about the terms and conditions about new manufacturing plants in Mexico? How long will it be before they are occupying the Mexican seat at the U.N. or the Embassy of Mexico in Washington? How long will it be before they have seats on the Board of J.P. Morgan Chase or Bank of America?  
There may not have yet been a ‘Pearl Harbor’ type incident (although the survivors of the family killed in Sonora yesterday will see that as such), but Americans must come to the realization that we are at war with insidious outside hostile forces (Mexico, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea – all of which are dictatorships), that want to destroy America and its historic values by non-military means if possible. The question for each American is, do we fight back, or simply lie down and take an ass-beating from these people? 
I can’t find anything he says to disagree with… And stay the hell out of Mexico. No vacations, no running across the border to shop, zip, nada…

This…

Is enough to make one wonder about the ‘sanity’ of SFO and the people there…

Thanks to the tech crowd, San Francisco is now home to more dogs than children—and the city is forever changed.

Full article, HERE.

The gushing over ‘dog friendly’, the specialty stores, special foods, etc… And not a word one about the crap (literally) flooding SFO’s streets, or the homeless, or the drugs…

The mind truly boggles at the disconnect between the people in this story and reality…

Speaking of reality… Michael Ramirez says it all…