Monday, 10 December 2012

Simply Observations

In the last month, there was an assassination attempt in Afghanistan.  The story?  Some Muhammad-Joe character attached some TNT to his groin area....using the Shia law "no search of private areas" and literally brew himself up in an attempt to kill a upper-level Afghan guy.  No....he apparently wasn't close enough to kill the guy....so other than dismembering himself.....that was the extent of the attack.  Naturally, intelligence folks investigated the whole thing to prepare and prevent such an attack in the future.  Sadly, there is this Islamic law about checking out groin areas....which you just can't do.  I sat and pondered over this....some nitwit was talking into attaching some TNT to his groin, and hooking up a detonation device.  You have to have a pretty lousy view of life to get yourself talked into something like this.

Our Senate guys have been busy on a budget bill for the military.  So they've prepared this 'hook' to the bill....the military has to cut five percent of their civilian and contractor force per year....for five years.  So you sit and ponder over this.  Commander Joe gets this order....700 civilian workers on his base....so 35 have to go.  Naturally, you don't dismiss the IT guys, the upper level management guys, or your fancy-pants mechanics who repair aircraft, tanks or helicopters.  So you finally decide that of the sixteen folks who handle dish-washing over at the chow-hall for the twenty-one meals a week....you dismiss six of them, and then order your military guys to start pulling Saturday KP (something they done in twenty-five years).  Then you turn and let three guys go from grounds shop, and order three military guys to pull grass-cutting duty each week to make up for the loss of the civilians.  Then you order let two librarians go and shut down at 6PM the post library each night of the week.  Eventually, the military guys start to whine about this extra duty that halted back in the 1980s....and some Senator feels sorry for them and gives them sixteen new positions a year later.  So for every billet they delete....they merely wait a year and recreate it....out of thin air.  Pretty simple.

There's been this overhaul committee of security going on for the intelligence world.  For fifty odd years, we've existed with Top Secret, Secret, and Confidential.  The committee somehow woke up and realized that Confidential is more or less of zero value.  So they've suggested....just two levels of classification: Top Secret and "lower level" (probably a new fancy term).  The odds of this being accepted?  In my entire life and writing material for the intelligence world....I have to admit I've never used the classification confidential in my life.  I doubt if anyone has.  So it probably could go, and none of us would ever miss it.

Finally, at my old base....Ramstein...the wing-commander woke up this past week and issued a directive....no selling of booze after 1AM (until 6AM).  Neither of the clubs can sell booze....nor can the twenty-four BX shoppette operation.  The Stars and Stripes folks went back over and asked for the logic in this, and haven't really been given any clear answer.  So here's the deal....you drink, and drink, and drink....up until 1245, and then go and buy a six-pack or a bottle of Jacky D's....and go drink more (just do it prior to 1AM).  I sat and pondered over this....there just aren't that many folks I ever hung out with....who bought beer or booze at 6AM.  Typically, you'd walk over to the Chow-Hall at 6AM on a Sunday and have breakfast....not sit and drink another beer.  I'm guessing someone ran a party one night and ran out of beer at 3AM....drove over to the Shoppette, and bought another case or two of beer....before the cops grabbed them.  It probably bothered the wing-commander to have folks sitting around at 3AM....buying beer, so he just issued the order.  How long does it last?  Figure three or four months, and it'll just disappear one Friday afternoon as someone issues the quiet change.  The funny part to the story?  There's really no place off-base at Ramstein to buy booze at 1AM....even the Germans don't operate anything but five or six bars or clubs at that time of night.

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