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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

To the Year 2016: Let's all hope that it's better than the past seven or eight, but . . . who knows?

I am going to try not to think about politics for a couple of days--although I am working on a much-too-long post on oil and terrorism: unless I can shorten it, it won't see the light of day. I bore even myself after a bit.

Bought a car yesterday to replace the one totaled December 6. The Diplowife is very happy with it, so I am happy, too. She did her usual "no prisoners" negotiations with the car dealers. It was masterful; she should have negotiated the Kerry "deal" with the Iranians. Nukes? They would have been lucky and grateful if she had left them candles to lighten their Mediaeval darkness.

The car, you ask?

A truck, really. It is a huge vehicle: a steely grey Ford Expedition EL Limited with all the bells and whistles one can imagine. Remember, I like my cars from 40-plus years ago, hence, I am truly frightened by the cockpit of this beast; it requires Bill Gates to fly co-pilot. Press the wrong button . . . and who knows what will happen? The whole space-time-continuum-Dr. Who-Isaac Asimov-PK Dick thing, you know, a story with an alternate implausible universe where Emperor Barack rules over us taking away our rights and wealth, couldn't happen . . . . This new machine even has drink holders; lots of drink holders. I guess people in the modern age are much more thirsty than when I was a young'un.

Drink holders?

Drink holders, yes, that's where I draw line. That's where I go toe-to-toe with modernity. Up to here and no more! Drink holders? Really? That's why God gave you two hands! One to shift and drive with, the other to drink with . . . You can have my drink when it you pry it from my cold dead fingers! {Note From Management: The Management of Diplomad 2.0 in no way condones drinking while driving. All drinking should be done PRIOR to driving to avoid possible damage to the upholstery from spilled drinks.}

Anyhow, I hope to pass a quiet evening as my cars depreciate. The Diplowife is talking about pizza and binge watching Broadchurch--we just got through binge-watching a wonderful and weird Romanian crime series, Umbre, kind of an offbeat Sopranos or Breaking Bad in a post-Ceausescu world. I certainly have spent New Years' Eves in worse ways . . . yes, I remember, there was that time in Pakistan, when . . . nah. . . I bore even me . . . 

28 comments:

  1. That Land Yacht you just bought will take some getting used to. My Silverado crew cab is big enough. Tonight my favorite wife and I will begin watching "Mr. Selfridge" on DVD. For our evening meal we will have shrimp cocktail and baked salmon. Lasting until midnight has become a challenge for us.

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  2. Happy wife, happy wife, Mr. Mad. Also: Happy New Year--to you, yourn, and all the gang here too numerous to mention.

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  3. I bought a Honda Pilot a month ago. I am getting used to it. It replaced a Toyota Highlander which was 10 years old and had lots of miles. The new Highlanders are getting bigger and uglier.

    I am working my way through the Daniel Silva series of Gabriel Allon novels. He really writes well and I usually do not like fiction. I am also reading "Black Flags." Football season is coming to an end and my wife is depressed as she loves football.

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    Replies
    1. have had a pilot for a decade.. fantastic vehicle... *great* snow vehicle, plenty of room to makeshift-camp in the back.. mine has been getting mice lately though... so I need to go through and button things up.

      - reader #1482

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  4. Re the cockpit controls (which I assume include the now mandatory MFD/touch screen), last October, drove from Albuquerque to Reno for the annual Tailhook confab. The guy at the rental car desk begged us to take this land yacht, a Cadillac XTS, as it was originally rented out of NV. Against my better judgement (and after he gave us a break on the rental), off we motored, westward.

    The car had the most involved, most convoluted, least intuitive MFD I'd seen to date...and, of course, no owner's manual in the glovebox (although we probably could've found one online). We did eventually decipher the device enough to get the radio and HVAC to work, but otherwise it proved a royal pain in the keister and gave me a good reason to avoid most modern cars...particularly Cadillacs.

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  5. Oh those teasers you throw! Tell! Tellll!
    Prove that your boringness is truly better adventure than 'our' boringness!
    But yes... all 31 fans you have, me too, got together secretly, via internet*, and unanimously declared(rare indeed!) this:
    Your efforts in educating us AND sharing your thoughts, are sincerely appreciated!
    Wish you endless merry motoring and another Happy New Year!
    ~:)

    *sarcasm aside... internet and secret in same sentence,ha!

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  6. Those cupholders are vital. You can't text and drive with Starbucks in your hand.

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  7. Those cupholders are vital. You can't text and drive with Starbucks in your hand.

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    Replies
    1. ... can too... that's what knees are for!!
      but not while shifting your standard transmission..
      - reader #1482

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  8. Happy New Year to you and yours, Dip, and to your commenters. May 2016 be better than 2015 (not hard) and may Hillary get everything she deserves (very hard).

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    1. Do I understand you to say that you think Hillary, like H.L. Mencken's common people, deserves to get it good and hard?

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  9. ...2016: Let's all hope that it's better than the past seven or eight...

    Hear Hear! and let's Hope the Schmuck in Chief hasn't swiped all of our all-American values, along with the rest of the treasure he's pissed away over his 2 terms... Keep your powder dry Pats, whilst tending to our moat! 3 Cheers for the Red, White n' Blue!(Pabst Blue Ribbon) and The Donald too! ;) Hic~~~
    On Watch
    "Let's Roll"

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  10. Whistles the Wind.

    2016 is the hundred year anniversary of 1916.

    It was Easter Monday, April 24rd 1916. 200 everyday men walked down Sackville Street in Dublin led by schoolmaster and Irish language activist Padraigh Pearse, joined by James Connolly and his small band of labour unionists, along with 200 members of Cumann na mBan, nurses and women of menial employment, and seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the Irish Republic independent of the United Kingdom.
    POBLACHT NA H EIREANN
    ___________________________
    THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
    OF THE
    IRISH REPUBLIC
    TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND
    IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.
    Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

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  11. Whistles The Wind, Part II

    We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.
    The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.
    Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.
    We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God. Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, in humanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.
    Signed on Behalf of the Provisional Government.
    Thomas J. Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh,P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett

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  12. Whistles The Wind, Part III

    All of the above men were executed by the British Government for their efforts in trying to secure a free Ireland.
    The guns of Brittanie responded in brutal retaliation; naval monster guns available to only the great powers of the time, aimed at fewer than 500 husbands and wives and teachers and architects and millers and nurses occupying the General Post Office building near the banks of the river Liffey. What did Pearse and his boys have? Not much. Fewer than 100 rifles and a few Webley revolvers.
    For six days they bombarded them and killed many of them and afterwards they executed Pearse and tied a dying Connolly to a kitchen chair and shot him as well.
    They buried Pearse and Connolly along with Tom Clarke, Joseph Plunkett, Thomas McDonough, Éamonn Ceannt and Seán MacDiarmada, the 7 signatories of the Irish Proclamation, covered in quicklime, as was a traitor’s wont at the time, to destroy the bodies, as a signal to the Irish of the terrible punishment facing those who rebelled against the Crown.
    Eamonn DeValera narrowly escaped execution in large part due to his being born in the United States of America. The Crown was cognizant of the power of the significant Irish voting bloc in America and the Crown desperately needed America, its manpower and resources to offset its massive losses of both on the battlefields of Europe in 1916.
    Why do I bring this to your attention? There is a greater combination of communistic and islamic evil manifest in the current government of the United States than the despotic government American patriots rebelled against in 1776.
    The small band of Irishmen and Irishwomen who walked resolutely to their inevitable death in 1916 – only 100 years ago, followed a 1000 year cycle of never-ending refusal to accept an occupying regime of slavery. Ireland achieved its independence in 1923. America, I say this to you: If you do not rise up now and confront the tyrant resident in Washington your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will live in slavery to socialism and Sharia, in perpetuity.

    The Irishman.

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    Replies
    1. Not with you on this Irish thing, Asker, to me it was a forerunner of the terrorism we see today.

      But I respect your view as an Irishman, and expect that we are still compatriots in our concern over what is going on today in this great nation, and in her allies in the civilized world.

      Graham

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    2. If you ask me, the Irish would've saved themselves a whole lot of grief had they only accepted the Reformation en masse. They'd have ended up vying with the Scots in running Britain's empire.

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    3. Obama will leave office in January of 2017. He's telegraphed *no* intention of doing otherwise. Misadminsitration? Yes. Wholesale revocation of voting enfranchisement? No.
      America gets the politicians is deserves. From the number of adults playing video games and indulging themselves in 'recreational whatever' when they should be raising children and working for the good of others, it seems apparent to me that while Obama is a horrible downslope for the former USA, this republic currently *DESERVES* Obama.

      Please show me to be wrong. I'm begging.

      - reader #1482

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    4. Their timing also stunk. There were more Irish fighting in the trenches in 1916 (including my Great Grand Dad) that took part in the rising. Soliciting help from the Germans in time of war didn't help.

      Luckily for the rebels, British mishandling of the aftermath made a group of not very popular people into martyrs. Such are the vagaries of history.

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  13. We must learn from history. Published with your indulgence and Happy New Year Mr. Anselem. The Irishman.

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  14. Happy New Year Mr. Mad!
    Re: The new car. In Texas the left lane is dedicated to the exclusive use of women in SUVs and woe be unto the hapless fool who gets in their way.
    Happy New New Year to all the scamps, rapscallions, varlets, cutpurses, highwaymen, bushwhackers, blaggarts, blackguards, villeins, bog jumpers, and otherwise fine upstanding inhabitants of this beautiful blog- James the Lesser

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  15. Happy New Year, most Honorable Mad. And to your family, as well.

    I agree with all those bells and whistles being a tad too much ... My '06 Silverado Pickup has some buttons that I still haven't figured out, and the newer vehicles are worse.

    With respect to that Expedition, though ... Ford has a deal for shareholders (and they must own the shares directly, not in a retirement fund) that isn't well known. 100 shares, held for more than a year, and the dealership starts with the invoice, and includes all promotions. And the stock has a decent dividend, too.

    The deal won't beat what the Diplowife does, I'm certain, but for others ....

    Green Bear

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  16. Happy New Year to all readers of this blog. While our host often grouses about the Foreign Service,I'm of the mind that he exemplifies a lot of what is good about it and why I consider it to have been a privilege to have served a short time in that particular shop.

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    Replies
    1. I have been to a few Foreign Service parties. The dynamics were amusing. Senior elements, typically well-groomed elites with attractive femes on their arms; Mid-level elements, with a mixed ensemble cloying At their arms and the left-overs who couldn’t get a date at a Nevada bordello but targets for insta-American citizenship candidates, the ones who retruned to the US with a Mrs. Desperation.

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  17. Happy New Year!
    New Tundra Crewmax (fits two extremely tall people one behind the other, no other vehicle on the market does that). 4x4 gives extra height to get the wife/kids a small advantage over idiots driving sports cars way too fast on very dangerous roads. *No* bells or whistles... hard to get an auto mfg to even make something like that these days... 6 months waiting, but budget is everything!
    Yeah, FSO would've been pretty much my dream job back in the day.
    Waiting for a candidate with a reasonable foreign policy to draft Mr. Mad. Or wait, do they even need to do that? As an FSO, can the state dept simply recall/reinstate an FSO's commission?

    - reader #1482

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  18. re:cupholders.

    I drove Volvos for years. They are great cold weather cars. I was astonished when I rented one a year or two ago and found cupholders ! Obviously Swedes are now debauched and that may be why the Muslims are taking over.

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    1. https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/01/01/overwhelmed-by-migrants-sweden-throws-in-the-towel-as-europe-faces-general-permanent-terror-threat/

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  19. I definitely look forward to your oil and terrorism piece regardless of length. Might as well add something about the impacts of fracking evil you're there. And the new Saudi aggressiveness against Iran ...

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