Introductory Post and Table of Contents (Public Access)
I'm not fond of the concepts of skeptic, critic, curmudgeon, et all. The best I can do is misanthropy. It used to be focussed and targeted. Since Covid, and now, Rukrane, my misanthropy is blurry and generalized. It's now truly blunt; transformed into an instrument of war.
Don't you find that if you think about it, that possessing some purpose as some skeptic qua skeptic of things is kind of puerile...hubristic in an arrogant way? It's like proclaiming that since you didn't come up with the idea, it just must be shit. Well, some ideas are better than others for some things, that's clear enough. But, purposeful skepticism, criticism, and curmudgeonry for its own sake just shits, at least for me. There has to be an essential point to it or it's just a temper tantrum. It doesn't plant and harvest food, nor nourish the body or the soul; nor the mind. It's more akin to manure. Just manure. It's a wank.
Its aim is to kill all aspiration while offering zero as alternatives. It's nihilistic in body and soul. It's the difference between a film critic and an astute reviewer with helpful hints for next time and for other writers and producers working on current projects.
It's a lazy, parasitical path—where one elevates himself above anything created, nurtured, and fostered through tough work, contemplation, risk taking, organization, management, and face-to-customer...by the mere easy act of poking holes in anything and everything. It's a wank.
Curmudgeons, critics, and skeptics are the quintessential IT'S NOT PERFECT!!! lazy "geniuses."
They're scam artists. They're wankers. There are zero exceptions.
Sure, I got sucked into this many years ago. Because, I could no longer bring myself to believe the bible as so many do, literally. So I sought out similar mind-created delusions in an effort to understand this proclivity of humans to believe the most unlikely of things...because they have peers who believe it. Publications like Michael Shermer's Skeptical Inquirer is crack for young people, as was I—late 20's, early 30s—just discovering that you've been raised in parallel with Muslims and Jews. The same, only different.
We live in a natural world all of our lives. But people—the people we encounter from the moment of our birth—seem to be so unsatisfied with it. They're compelled to concoct and dwell within unnatural and supernatural realms at most times rather than make best use and purpose of the cornucopia of stuff we all have have before our actual eyes—with 4 other senses to boot. That's how powerful the clamoring for illusion is. Its chief manipulative mechanism is to entice you to waste the very time of your life in subservience to their illusions over and above the plain evidence of your five senses.
A slim analysis will offer the clue that dealing with reality requires discipline, thought, and control. Fantasy is mind-created, so it's easy. The hard-working human path is in body and we've all observed it a million times. The farmer. The grocer. The repairman. The nurse. The cook. The homemaker. The home provider. The mind is not absent in any of these.
It's just compartmentalized.
Where minds are laser-sharp for everything that entails all of the foregoing—because it's based upon the clear evidence of 5 senses and their reasoned integration—get out of that defined realm where they competently shine, and they're praying, foaming at the mouth, beating their children to submission, saying "amen preach it!," speaking in tongues, and indulging in all manner of lazy-&-stupid-mind bullshit. I can't emphasize that enough. Give me a hard-working, dutiful, restless God & Country type, and I'll show you someone with a great homestead on the viewable surface; but underneath, abject mush for brains when it comes to anything beyond the concrete tasks of surviving as a human animal on planet earth.
...And yet, millions worldwide make not only livings, not only prosperity, but downright fuck you money by promoting fantasy, illusion, falsehood, narrative. Some of these morons buy themselves private jets so they can evangelize moronity at other people's expense.
They do it so effectively and easily because almost everyone is stupid.
...And don't get me wrong. You can prosper very handsomely and to wildest dreams by exploiting the fucking stupid who possess a penchant for faith, blind trust, and a giddy sense of belonging. There's probably more characteristic markers for all that, but I'm no expert.
It's crazy ironic to me that the Siren Song to encapsulate a general view of human advancement is that of the Age of Enlightenment.Read More
Well, unless it's just as OK for one black guy to cold-cock another on national TV as it is to 2 or 3 pop 'em in the hood.
I don't need to say much about this but, Smith's wife has been open about her problem, she has her own professional career, she puts herself out there, so she's on her own in that way and her signal to Will that she didn't like the joke was that she wanted him to bear the costs in what is, for both, a multi-million-dollar business.
And he fell for it.Read More
Never been a fan, been aware of their—to me—pop-like music, which I can enjoy from time to time but can not really be a big fan of.
"Pop" means popular, and that generally gets a meh-no from me. I tend to associate popular with dull and stupid, though while recognizing that nuggets of exception exist.
I'd heard about it a few days back, reports indicated the typical thing. Hotel suite, lots of drugs and alcohol, etc. OK, pretty much like it always is. The only thing that gave me a bit of pause is that my spidey sense from these sorts of stories over the decades is that performers on tour generally tighten the belt to get through the tour.
Maybe my impression is off and lots of this happens mid-tour and not sometime during the months and years between tours, or when their last album that hit the charts was a way long time ago.
I'm often amazed at how, if these guys and gals are so drugged up all the time, how in the world do they manage to put on impressive performances and give so many reasonably cogent interviews and other appearances?
“Colombian authorities found: an empty beer can, an opened bottle of vodka, a Coca-Cola bottle, and some ‘other articles’ being analyzed by authorities,” Velez reported.
AN EMPTY BEER CAN AND OPENED BOTTLE OF VODKA!!!Read More
No truly thinking person wants to restrict relevant information on any topic of interest. Remember back in the Paleo Daze when many of us often exposed ourselves to things put out by vegans?
Dr. Michael Greger was one such MD vegan for me. For one, his videos are rather entertaining, he's very engaging with good delivery, and so that made it easy to access really decent info on things like blood sugar regulation and control from the perspective of beans and certain herbs.
- The Ukraine (on fire)
- How the US CIA has been supporting Ukrainian Nazis since the end of WWII
- Curious juxtaposition-association (Russia sanctions associated with Palestine)
- Jeff Childers on the Russia and China cozy
- Sean Ring on the Got Rubles?
- My thoughts on the diminishing status of the US Dollar as the World's Reserve Currency
I put posts together like this because you will get it nowhere like this, anywhere else, in this combination. Almost everyone will be touting just an alternative narrative to believe in, and not how to deconstruct and think about all of them...whether dietary or global geopolitics. Like a paid subscriber dropped in comments a few days ago.
You compromise a whole host of things if you shoot messengers because of their overall beliefs or ideology. Pus, you can be better than them by actually sifting a bit to find the nuggets or the 2x D stopped clock stuff—when they'll never give you the same dispensation.
Being honest and objective as basic life policy is a Golden Helmet. You're 90% there on being a good person and the other 10% isn't too tough to work on.
...That said, there is such a plethora of information from a million sources that you have to set limits on raw time, attention, and focus constraints alone. So, one thing you can do is begin with stuff you dismiss out of hand—flat-earth and moon-made-of-green-cheese stuff. Another category is the conspiratorial stuff where you couldn't even pull off the grand scheme in the light of greased skids.
So let's begin with the video, my commentary on it, and then a couple of related things having to do with the unintended consequences of the half-globe (important) performative moral exhibitionism against Russia.
The video is an Oliver Stone piece and no, it's not one of his fictionalized drama pieces like JFK or Nixon. it's quite a deep and legitimate documentary where most are 1st-hand sources in one way or another. No real hearsay at all. A good half of it is in Russian and Ukrainian with subtitles, including Putin. It's serious work. It takes us up through 2015 but as you'll understand, it's all simply a continuation of the same stuff brewing for a long time since after the end of the Cold War in 1992 and the US and NATO continued their endless expansion Eastward, never letting up the pressure on Russia.
It also contains a really thorough prelude about the history of Ukraine going back hundreds of years. One thing of many I wasn't aware of was the from-where and how of today's Ukrainian Nazis half the globe is falling head over heels in supporting indirectly, probably ignorantly.
Turns out that they came from the same batch as German Nazis and did the same shit exterminating Jews during WWII (and still call for their extermination to this day). The thing is, the world got what it wanted with the Nuremburg trials of the German Nazis. Behind the scenes, the US Government and allies were busy at work protecting the Ukrainian Nazis because they also hated the Soviets, so the-enemy-of-my-enemy stuff. And this is stated explicitly in declassified CIA documents from the time.
There's much more, so give it a watch and read lots of subtitles. This isn't a merry-go-round of a bunch of people who just opine or give expert analysis. It's horse's mouth stuff.Read More
The best thing about the mess is that it came right in time as everyone was getting bored with Covid. So this is a mostly-funny post.
Alex Berenson has a Word Perfect new piece about that: The Covid vaccine era is ending already. So delicious. So many levels. So essentially Darwinian. I laughed throughout. Schadenfreude.
For me, it's at least a welcome relief, because tech and media have made it such that all the performative moral exhibitionism of Covid is easily repurposed by simply clicking other links in apps.
In this unfiltered, brunt, brutal, honest, and no-shit post:
- The Great New Liberal Democracy of Ukraine
- How Ukraine is Newly Creating and Encouraging Sources Of its Own Political Opposition
- Ukraine has a Nazi or Neo-Nazi Problem or Issue. How They're Completely Fixing It
- Ukrainians Migrating Across Europe Are Getting Shit Tons of Sun Exposure
- Go To Ukraine, Get Performative Moral Exhibitionism Plus Selfie, Then Die
- A Russian-Born Guy, Dmitry Orlov, is Crazy Bright-Eyed, Exuberant, and Cocksure
- Fun With Kid Rock
So here we go.Read More
The pork in Thailand is astounding.
For two years I've asked around and have been told a million stories, but nothing I can even begin to verify. My favorite is that Germans showed them how to raise good pork and they took it from there. Can't verify it, so it's just one of many stories.
But it doesn't matter because the pork is good anyway.
Living in Thailand quickly disabuses you of any notion that any vegan anywhere is right in their minds or honest in any way. They use Thailand mercilessly for their propaganda, simply because Thailand does plants very well and beautifully—always colorful and delightful. They dishonestly use that for their health-crashing evil in order to imply That thailand is largely plant based. It's the farthest thing from the truth—I have NEVER had a meal from Thais anywhere in thee whole country that's not highly inclusive of animals, fish, and shellfish. Animal protein is the very bedrock basis of their diets. Nobody even knows a vegan in this country of 70 million people. If they did, they wouldn't even tell you.
Thais hate vegans, because this is how they will always represent them, as evil to the core that they are.
But here's the whole meal, and that's right in front of my house in Si Sa Ket. Home cooked, and example of every damn day.
That is a simple illustration of how fucking ideological, religious, and pure evil all vegans are. There is not a single exception on the entire planet.
I'll introduce this post in a most peculiar way. Unless you're deaf, dumb, and blind you know I live in Thailand. Right here.
I've also lived in Chiang Mai in the northwest and the Isan area, which comprises the northeast between Cambodia and Laos.
The pork is fantastic everywhere.
Now we get to peculiar. Though I've had my love affair with pork all over Thailand, it recently became pronounced. Do I tell the story first, or show the picture?
The story is that a few months ago
A few days ago I took account that paid membership is getting up there. I began this almost a year ago, now, as simply a means of slowing the erosion of savings because Covid. Lots of people in that boat. I feel your pains. It was up-and-down going over the year but I've reached parity. I haven't liquidated a financial asset in a couple of months.
Up to know, I've had a sort of "sales funnel" method, where I write public posts so they become free members and then write free member posts so they become paid. Fine and dandy and that works to reasonable extent.
But it completely fucks my product delivery, which is the written word!
I can't even begin to describe the agony or angst I'd go through just to write a damn post.
I solved it.
From a few days ago into the foreseeable future all my posts are for my employers.
I'm suddenly happy, clear minded, buzzing with ideas...but most importantly, a zeal to write in a way where I feel that I've under promised and over delivered.
Thank you for hiring me.Read More
A fun one to put out there. Wholesome. Something to take your mind off perpetual global crisis and refocus on what it is you truly want in your one and only life.
...I arose yesterday morning, Friday, and did what I do the first thing every Friday morning (it's ritual now and sometimes I even know what day it is here, solely because of it). I make coffee and enjoy Mike Eades' latest issue of The Arrow. It arrives here 6.30-7.30am typically, which is Thursday afternoon for you States peeps. I think my time of arrival is better than yours neener neener.
In yesterday's issue, #63, he included a section I didn't expect to see from a renowned low-carb doc.
One of the things I was reminded of in reading the book is the value of vitamin C. I've always know this, of course, but I've never really taken vitamin C on a regular basis because it's water soluble, which means the body uses what it needs when you take it and you pee away the rest. If you take a gram of it, you'll get rid of most of it.
After getting re-motivated to take it after reading Dr. Johnson's book, I set about figuring out a way to take it so I could take it here and there throughout the day a bit at a time. I got some pure vitamin D, ascorbic acid, powder. (It's dirt cheap; you don't have to get the more expensive natural kind.) I shook out a little into a tiny bowl--MD has bowls of every imaginable size--and whenever I thought about it, I licked my finger, stuck it in the vitamin C powder, and stuck it in my mouth. The vitamin C was absorbed by my oral mucosa without even having to be swallowed.
When we measured out--by approximating--what I got in each dip of my finger, doing it 10-12 times per day gave me about a gram. But it was a gram taken a tiny bit at a time spread over the entire day. It doesn't take much. If you don't have the massive bowl inventory MD has collected over a lifetime, you can use a twist-off bottle cap for the same thing. It is very sour, so don't get too much at any one time or it will pucker you.
I thank Dr. Johnson for reminding me of the importance of vitamin C.
I read it and moved on since I've been on my own method of steady small-dose vitamin C throughout the day for some years. Yea, I have a big bottle of Kirkland Vit-C in the 1-grams you can get for cheap even here in Thailand, but I only pop one now and then because exactly what Mike says, "...the body uses what it needs when you take it and you pee away the rest. If you take a gram of it, you'll get rid of most of it."
What's my own method?
Orange Juice Shots!
I guarantee you'll like my method more than Mike's sour-finger method! But, with all respect to the low-carb doc, I'm writing this in a way where I hope for a "sounds perfectly reasonable" from low-carbers.
So here we go, from this rainy Saturday morning in south Phuket...Read More
My problem with this is the same problem I've been having with every "crisis" for years, especially pronounced since 2015 and Trump.
Approved Narrative Only.
Back in the day—even though the media was left and overwhelmingly Democrat—there was only the prevailing narrative. Even to Democrats, the notion of Approved Narrative would have seemed as something straight out of the Soviet Politburo.
And yet here we are, living in a Western time and place that seems so fucking weird, for lack of scientific or social terminology. Who have thought we'd be here in a million years where, because the force of dissenting opinion the biggest tech-platforms for free speech have become the Soviet Politburo? We don't have words for it because to a man, nobody envisioned it.
...Which tells you something. Dissenting opinion in the ways, strength, and breadth we have it was always there. Before, it was simply edited out and ignored. But when social media came around, all bright eyed about giving everyone a voice, they ended up noticing it was fucking huge and plus: the dissenting voices were far better at conveying their ideas than was the general fucktard scene of leftists and Democrats. They got embarrassed.
The rest is history and here we are.Read More
Even if it's only $50, what is the real cost?
I got my first mobile phone from the Cellular One outlet in a Circuit City store in late 1992. It was a Motorola but not like the super big ones in American Psycho. (408) XXX-4167. I still remember the number because it's still my number 30 years later. I have a dual SIM phone, so I also have a Thai number for various service needs here.
It was cool. One of my early memories is of driving back from Reno where my grandmother held a party on a Sunday afternoon. During the drive back to San Jose I was listening to an afternoon talk show on KGO 810 out of San Francisco. I called in. I can't recall the host's name, but when I was on the air he made a specific point that I was calling from a cellphone—which I suppose was intended to add weight to my expressed opinion.
Cellphones were fantastic. How far we'd come.
And now here we are.
...It was before my time but back in the day, telephone communication didn't have automated switching. It was literally manual and human.
Back in the day, your phone number was the name of the switchboard and the number of your particular plug. So, like Fairview 1234. When you wanted to make a call, you picked up the phone and told the operator "Sterling 4321, please." It's an interesting history because electromechanical switching was invented in the late 1800s. But human operators persisted in many places into the 1950s. I guess it was good enough, and they had lots of sunk investment in it. Plus, maybe they liked the pretty operators around. I know I would.
I actually know a bit about this technically because as electrical officer on USS Reeves in 1986, I got to oversee the replacement of our ancient electromechanical telephone system with a digital one. The old one was a bit fun, though. Each switching unit was a barrel of discs, 4" diameter, 8" high, and each disc would physically rotate around independently to make the necessary precise connection from one telephone to another, all over the ship.
Over the years they had begun to cannibalize it. Parts were no longer available, so the IC (interior communication) mates would take the worst switching barrels offline and use the parts to repair the others. Well, that goes only one way and that was to laughable unreliability. It's ridiculous to have party lines on a warship.
"No, it's the ship's mini mart."
So after years of praying, we finally got the DIMENSION 3000!!! No shit, that's what it was named. One day in Yokosuka a Japanese contractor came to deliver and install it over a few day's time. We had to cut a 4x8 hole in the top deck of 3/4" steel to hoist up the old and lower in the new.
I can visualize it as though it was yesterday. Two slight of stature Japanese dudes in full Asian squat meticulously sorting and labelling every single of the hundreds of telephone nodes on the whole ship. As is the typical experience with competent Japanese labor, it worked flawlessly. We now had modern digital switching and also, reliable ship to shore and shore to ship communications when in port. Just like in a hotel, you preface with a number to go off ship and you're smilin' and dialin'.
...My most memorable incoming was one night, just after arriving back in port from somewhere.
"LT Nikoley, phone call in the wardroom."
"Hello, it's Nikoley."
"Hi Rick. It's Letty. Can you come see me?"
There's a saying in the Navy in those parts that if you want the most up-to-date ship's scheduling information, ask the nearest Filipina.
...Telephones were such good tools that they enjoyed the embrace of everyone. How crappy would movies be if there were no telephone booths? By contrast, the endless stream of phoneshit in movies now is often endlessly annoying. Back in the day, not being able to reach someone from a phone booth or courtesy phone at the bar didn't spell disaster for the plot. It was a bump in the road. Now, can't get through on the cellphone or text? It could very well spell the death of the planet and human civilization.
Oh, planet saved by a last-second cellphone connection! You're welcome, sponsors.Read More
Well, I hit the bed at 8pm last night, got up at 5am, and I finally felt 100% for the first time in five days. My last post gives the details of my bout with viral gastroenteritis.
I have some pictures to show of what Thai ceremony looks like. It's not unlike ours in any sense that's essential—that which is being celebrated. It's just all the trappings that are quite different, which signals our stark cultural differences.
But one thing you can count on about Thais—and celebrate in itself—is that they know their culture and traditions, practice them often, and there is no compromise. They are traditional, conservative, and modest.Read More
Three days ago to the hour I got up, did my morning rounds of emails, reading, catching up...but feeling off in a weird way. I'd just slept but felt tired. That feeling can come and go so I dismissed it and carried on. But it persisted and deepened. There was no other sign, just increasing tiredness and fatigue.
I'd published my last post the day prior and was anxious to finish my next. So even having just gotten up a few hours earlier, I laid down for a nap. It was a long one.
24 hours.Read More
I have a substantial post in the Prosper Anyway Series just about ready for release and I've gotten myself sidetracked with a simple question. We're jumping to the front of the line. This shouldn't take long, because the question is obvious and simple.
...But first, I ered in the title. I meant to ask why does the USA have biolabs in China and Ukraine?
It seems to me that in terms of the Wuhan biotech lab, the essential question to ask was ignored or obfuscated by everyone; and no, I'm not going to make meaningless distinctions over news media outlets, especially in the revelation that Fox News Whores shared in the $1 Billion that NIH spent on vaccine ads and promotion. Our tax dollars. No wonder vaccines weren't questioned. That would have been like CNN doing pieces on why toilet paper is not good for your butt hole, while taking in millions to advertise Charmin.
It doesn't work that way.
[I use this analogy because I haven't used TP in over 2 years. I use the ubiquitous Bum Gun. There is TP, but that's to dry. I don't bother.]
...So the narrative tit-for-tat over two years was whether the NOVEL virus—with patented and HIV code in it—came out of the Wuhan lab or a market down the street. So everyone argues about that.
But the real question is obfuscated: why does the US have a bio-lab in Wuhan, China?
Now, it's revealed that us US taxpayers are funding them in Ukraine too.Read More
I have a low regard for that quote for the simple reason I've seen it breathlessly posted for decades as though it's some new discovery or insight, when the simple fact is that nobody gives an eff, really.
I suppose it's the same sort of psychology of not paying too much regard to accident scenes with mangled human bodies strewn all over, because that's the shit that happens to other people.
The bromide I've always prefered is the one where the power to burn the books you don't like is the same power to burn your Bibles.
This all speaks to operating by principles but the so-called principled actors—Republicans, conservatives, religious—only give lip service to their core principles. They have little choice. While most can respect another's religious or core beliefs, it's hard to take seriously stuff like God said or The Bible says.
1 - In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.
2 - In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.
"The Anatomy of Compromise," Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand, p. 145; bold emphasis mine for differentiation
We've been watching that play out since 1917 globally. The above was written many decades ago. Do note that capitalism has zero to do with statutory and/or publicly traded corporations. That's corporatism, i.e., fascism, properly defined—an alliance and partnership between state and big business. Does that ring a bell?Read More
Well I stumbled into something that seems to energize folks. I had intended to do a one & done the other day with my post on the definitive thinking in all of this.
Then I followed it up with a post citing something astute and prescient that Noam Chomsky said about it. That riled up some folks. I went even further and asked you to watch a speech Vladimir Putin gave on the situation.
In the aftermath, there are comments on the most two recent posts, but also about 40-50 unsubscribes from the newsletter. I've had a number of excoriating emails, all from people on the newsletter, but not paid, or even free Members.
I've only had a single membership cancellation, and that was a free-level member. Conversely over this period, I've gleaned 7 new paid memberships—six of them annual at $50, and one of them monthly, at $6/mo.
Doesn't seem to me like I'm doing too much wrong here. I've always thought of this blog as a revolving door. That was especially true during the intense Paleo blogging days. Get what you need, move on. Come back and visit now and then. I've never wanted to create or engender dependency. The best business strives to put itself out of business by making its services no longer needed by those it serves to help fix problems.
One very good thing about this blog going membership-mostly is that comments are fewer and high quality. I shut some comment ability down so that even on public posts where anyone can comment, you have to be at least a free member to comment. Trolls with their made-up email addresses went away overnight with that one check of the box.
So, the inspiration for this post comes from none other than Chief Master Sergeant Tim Steele (USAF, ret). He's vacationing in Cabo right now, so he probably won't get to reading it until after the poolside massage and an undisclosed number of margaritas.Read More
We're all guilty of creating content about bad news...from you're gonna get heartburn or pimples to the world is coming to an end and by the way, you'll probably die.
How about something cool for once?
The other day, I had just written the post about Noam Chomsky's take on Russia and Ukraine. Since it was in the 2 daily time zone windows of shooting it out in email (where American readers get it in their inboxes either early morning or late afternoon...I'm 15 hours ahead of the west coast) I ginned that up and during the process, it failed. I had just updated the FluentCRM plugin in Wordpress I use to do this.
I retried again and again. No joy.Read More
It's a fucking remarkable speech that lays it all out—or at least the preponderance—in 30 minutes.
I chose to watch this rather than America's—most vote-getter ever LOL—senile old fuck read from a script he had little to do with writing. Putin likely wrote every word of this.
It's a fucking solid speech that covers swaths of Russian and Soviet history. He mentions Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula a number of times. I spent a week there in 1991 and was rather enchanted by both the Soviet Navy and the citizens. Amazing the difference, between narratives and first-hand accounts.
His speech wholly signals that I have been dead-on right in my previous two posts on this matter.
Who's afraid to get it straight from the horse's mouth? Or, would you rather listen to talking-head ignoramuses on your TVs? Even Tucker Carlson on Fox is not great—though he's about the only mildly counter-narrative guy out there. But he's unsatisfying, because he's not being fully honest—which means he's lying, too. Maybe he doesn't know it. That's not good, either.
Why do so many people sit down in comfy chairs to watch people lie to them with great production value?Read More
The history is 30 years old and while it was happening in the early 1990s, I was a US Navy officer on exchange with the French Navy.
Here's how it sorts out from my recollections.
I was attending Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA in the spring, summer, and fall of 1989 before taking up duties with the French, one of the 30 members of NATO (L'OTAN—l'organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord) when toward the end of the French course, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in November.
After a month of R&R in Thailand I began a gauntlet that would put me in Washington DC at the Pentagon and French Embassy, then the US Embassy in Paris to get all checked in an situated, then NATO HQ in Belgium. This wasn't high-level stuff. I was a junior officer just doing the rounds, being briefed, and taking it all in.Read More