Not a bad likeness

Stemming from the gilets jaunes protests in France, someone drew this portrait of President Trump.  I received it via e-mail, so I don’t know who the artist is.  French, perhaps?  Click the image for a larger view. Yellow?  Well, sacred blue and all that sort of thing! Peter

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Is Colombia’s civil war moving to Venezuela?

There’s an excellent in-depth article on the current situation in Venezuela over at Strategy Page.  You should read the whole thing – it contains far more information than you’ll get from the mainstream media.  Among the nuggets in the article was the fact that Colombian leftist rebels are moving their operations to Venezuela, because it’s a safer area for them to operate than their own country. There has been an enormous increase in crime, both official (government employees demanding probes for any reason) and unofficial. Gangs are taking control of many areas, often despite opposition from the security forces. Some of these

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A rose by any other name . . .

. . . would smell as sweet, according to William Shakespeare.  Clearly, he wasn’t thinking of Star Wars when he said that – unlike the parents of a hapless felon in Tennessee. The Force was not with Luke Sky Walker when he was arrested this week by Tennessee police, according to a report.Walker, 21, of Johnson City, Tenn., was arrested Thursday on a charge of violating probation, WJHL-TV reports … He was arrested in 2017 on charges of stealing 46 road signs with three cohorts, the Elizabethton Star reported at the time. There’s more at the link. Actor Mark Hamill played the character Luke Skywalker in the Star

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A new potential war trigger in the Middle East?

I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, but Strategy Page claims: Syria is apparently granting citizenship (and Syrian passports) to thousands of Iranian mercenaries like Hezbollah from Lebanon, some Iranians and Shia from other countries Iran recruited to fight in Syria. These newly created Syrians will be wearing Syrian Army uniforms as they take up position near the Israeli border. Israel suspected that Iran was planning this and now has to respond before these Iranian forces can carry out any attacks (as Iran has vowed to do) on Israel itself. Iran is desperate for a win because their recent efforts to

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On the road again

Miss D. and I are driving home today, after a brief but enjoyable research trip which included meeting some friends.  It’s going to be a long day on the road, about 11 hours including stops, so we’ll make an early start. Prayers for travelling mercies are, as always, appreciated.  Blogging will be light today (and, as usual on Sundays, tomorrow too).  Regular service will resume Monday, the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Peter

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Venezuela’s starting to look a lot like tribal Africa

The internal collapse of Venezuela continues apace.  This description of life there at the moment is depressingly reminiscent of conditions I encountered in tribal Africa over many years. It is quite interesting to hear what they have to say about the role of the law “enforcement” corps. They kidnapped people, asking for ransoms in foreign currency. The situation in the imprisonment facilities was . . . apocalyptical. Once they have collected enough money from the ransoms and what not, almost the technical stuff LEOs all of that city flee the country for good, and they are now in some place in Latin

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A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all my readers

Miss D. and I are several hundred miles from home this Thanksgiving, but we’ll be joining many of her family to celebrate the season.  We had a safe (albeit long and tiring) journey yesterday, and are looking forward to some fun and interesting times over the next couple of days as we do some research for a future book and also meet interesting people. Despite all the challenges of the past year, we have a lot for which to be thankful.  So does our nation, despite the many things wrong with it that seem intractable amid the political polarization and meanness

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The tenuously United States of America

Yesterday’s mid-term elections have highlighted one factor in particular:  the fact that the United States are only barely united, with many influences dividing her people.  A big part of that divide is urban versus rural;  people in the latter areas appear to be far more conservative and “traditional” than those in the former.  Since cities are growing at the expense of smaller towns and the countryside, that divide is going to favor them to an ever-increasing extent . . . but what about the rest of the country?  Can urban voters override rural ones, and expect to get away with

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Pakistan: the epicenter of instability in South Asia?

Strategy Page points out that Pakistan’s own internal instability is destabilizing South Asian nations around it.  It’s not a hopeful picture for US involvement in Afghanistan. Imran Khan, the newly elected prime minister of Pakistan, has proved himself very much a tool of the Pakistani military. Khan openly and enthusiastically supports the Islamic terrorist violence in Indian Kashmir and denies any Pakistani responsibility for it. The Pakistani military can now do whatever they like without any risk of criticism from Pakistani politicians. The new head of the ISI is noted for his enthusiastic support for Islamic radicalism and the use of Islamic

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