US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo is on a Middle East tour. The way US policy changes so often, he's obviously in those countries to reassure them. If I was him, I'd simply say: "If you don't like our current policy, don't worry! Tomorrow, it will probably be different."
Another reason he's over there is to confirm that we got their backs if Iran gets more aggressive. There's even talk of a new regional defence pact. Why, IDK. Iran is a basket case. Their military is crap, a large army and no way to project power. Iran's economy is feeble. And, their government is unstable.
That said, I have real sympathy for the Iranian people. They overthrew the totalitarian puppet Shah in 1979, and have since had a totalitarian theocracy. Iran is a noble country with a rich history. They deserve better.
The US Government (partial) shutdown continues. No progress at all. Trump keeps threatening to take money from other departments and projects to build his "wall". Meanwhile, the House Democrats keep saying they will approve zero dollars for any barrier at the border. The damn hypocrites just a few years ago were in favor of a physical border barrier. Each side pandering to their base. This is like watching toddlers fight.
Which leads to a personal observation. On other content / comment boards, I'm seeing a lot of anti-government bias. Some of you don't remember the early 90's. Ruby Ridge, Waco... and we got militias and Tim McVey. This toxic environment is scary. I was berated from here to eternity after I revealed on one board that I worked for the government (in the shipyard). "...Get a real job...Union turd...we don't need no government workers..." And a bunch of stuff I can't post. Combine this with the anti-police rhetoric I see (seriously), people are losing it. I don't like the way this is heading, and if you don't see it, you're not paying attention.
On a related note, the protests in France continue. Nine weeks now, I think. Irony? While protesting the high costs of gas, a natural gas line explodes nearby. Three dead. Callous to say, but it could have been much worse.
In better law enforcement news, a girl missing for almost three months (Jayme Closs) escaped from her captor to safety. Thank God she is alive and physically unharmed. Her captor (I will not use his name) had NO criminal record. We all tend to have the bias that those that commit horrendous crimes (like murder and kidnapping) are monsters with years of jail and prison time. Some are like this guy. He kicked-in the door, killed both parents and took the 13 year old. I don't know if it would have helped in this case, but I'm saying it again: Be armed and ready. At home, and away.
The Chinese proudly displayed their new DF-26 missile, capable of flattening Guam or a US carrier with conventional warheads. The US deployed two B-2 Stealth Bombers "to the region". And the US continues to conduct it's "freedom of navigation" exercises within China's "9 Dash" line.
Meanwhile, North Korea sits quietly, waiting for Trump to make the next move toward de-escalation. Perhaps Kim should talk to Pelosi, and ask how that's working for her.
Russia continues to feel the economic pressure of sanctions. They may just be tired enough of it to do something soon. The Ukrainians have stopped the flow of water to Russian occupied Crimea.
I just took a deep breath. It didn't help.
All you folks in the Eastern US, you have my sympathy. Up here in Western Washington, it's mostly clear, with the sun burning off the light morning frost. We would have liked some snow this Christmas, but y'all can keep that mess you have.
Time to get out and Carpe that Diem. A new week awaits. I hope it doesn't suck.