Chinese Logistics

I had the pleasure to spend the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend with both sides of a major American logistics firm that is expanding into the Chinese market. I met several of their experts from Shanghai, and had just a wonderful time. Texas Hold ‘Em, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty provided the entertainment, as did several delightful young children.

I probably would have done better at Hold ‘Em if I had bothered to learn the denominations, instead of just calling the chips blacks, reds, blues, and whites. Still, my strategy of making sure that some of every color were in each pot made for an interesting game, worthy of Wall Street (or my new favorite boardgame, Credit Derivative Monopoly).

Love

With my brother gone off to Iraq, I’m reminded of how much I love my family, and those around me. My wife is just wonderful,, and a workday apart from her feels like an eternity. My brother-in-law is graduating from a demanding program in Iowa next month, and we are invited to both the ceremony (and ensuing karaoke). My sister is a wonderful and successful person, and in nursing school (in spite of her fascinating with Twilight…. sigh)

And of course wonderful friends, who are now scattered all over, and some of whom will be back in South Dakota around the holidays.

I love you all.

Influential Operations

If you haven’t been reading The Committee of Public Safety, you are missing out. There are too many interesting threads to mention (you can easily browse the archives to read thoughts on Howard Bloom, John Boyd, the financial crisis, and other topics), but for now I’ll simply link to the CSP’s take on the xGW Model of War.

Also now’s a good time to give a shout out to HG’s World, which celebrates one year of blogging this month. Happy anniversary!

5GW Weapons Test?

From Slashdot, this story of a conference of people who believe they are being systematically stalked by the government as part of a weapons test:

Health Professionals Fear Web Sites That Support Theories on Mind Control – NYTimes.com
“It was a big relief to find the community,” said Derrick Robinson, 55, a janitor in Cincinnati and president of Freedom from Covert Harassment and Surveillance, a group that claims several hundred regular users of its Web site. “I felt that maybe there were others, but I wasn’t real sure until I did find this community,” Mr. Robinson said.

There is no concise survey of mind-control sites or others describing gang stalking — whose users believe that groups of people are following and controlling them, as part of a test of neurological or other kinds of weapons likely conducted by the government — on the Net. But they are easy to find. Some have hundreds of postings, along with links to dozers of similar sties. One, Gangstalkingworld.com, welcomes visitors with this description: “Gang Stalking is a systemic form of control, which seeks to destroy every aspect of a Targeted Individual’s life. The target is followed around and placed under surveillance by Civilian Spies/Snitches 24/7.”

“By and large, most people are sane and coherent and can relate exactly what’s happening to them,” Mr. Robinson said. “They can say the things that would otherwise get them labeled as delusional.”

His group of self-described “targeted individuals” met offline in Los Angeles last month for their inaugural conference, he said, where they attended a meeting to share stories, including the humiliating experiences of being told they are insane.

Of course, it would be interesting in a 5GW sense to see how long it would take a random assortment of individuals subjected to a covert war to realize it… and organize…

Related: The Taos Hum

The E85 Lifestyle

I discovered that our new used car is a flex-fuel vehicle that runs on E-85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). I’ve decided I now need to be smarmy. All those Prius hybrid drivers have been feeling good about themselves by halving their use of foreign hydrocarbons. But I’m walloping them!

Of course, E85 still requires energy to refine from corn. Still, I’m very happy to substitute American coal, American hydroelectricity, etc. instead of importing foreign hydrocarbons from the Gap.

Ethanol has come a long say since E10 first came on the market, and it’s still a growth industry. It’s important that our vehicle fleet get off foreign hydrocarbons, so we stop propping up dangerous regimes such as Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Plugins like the Chevy Volt, hyrbids like the Toyota Prius, and E85 cars like mine are all part of the solution.

Indeed, if there is going to be any Detroit bailout, the government should use its bargaining power to maximize the number of E-85 plugin hybrids produced.