USA spent $10 trillion in the Middle East

Are U.S. taxpayers getting good value for that expenditure?

NO. The USA should QUIT the Middle East.

The U.S. gets only around 10% of its net oil and natural gas from the region.

David Vine:

With the launch of a new US-led war in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State (IS), the United States has engaged in aggressive military action in at least 13 countries in the Greater Middle East since 1980. In that time, every American president has invaded, occupied, bombed, or gone to war in at least one country in the region. …

As in prior military operations in the Greater Middle East, US forces fighting IS have been aided by access to and the use of an unprecedented collection of military bases. …

In the Persian Gulf alone, the US has major bases in every country save Iran. …

Members of Congress spend billions of dollars on base construction and maintenance every year in the region, but ask few questions about where the money is going, why there are so many bases, and what role they really serve. By one estimate, the United States has spent $10 trillion protecting Persian Gulf oil supplies over the past four decades. …

On their own, the existence of these bases has helped generate radicalism and anti-American sentiment. …

Mother Jones – America Still Has Hundreds of Military Bases Worldwide. Have They Made Us Any Safer?

David Vine, associate professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the US Military Base on Diego Garcia.


The USA has about an $18 trillion dollar debt. Canada, by comparison, will run a surplus budget this year,

All in the Family – far, far ahead of its time

All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. …

Produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin and starring Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, and Sally Struthers, All in the Family revolves around the life of a working class bigot and his family.

The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, rape, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television’s most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with more realistic and topical conflicts.

The show ranked number-one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. …

This is one of my favourite scenes.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Norman Lear, age-92, just published his autobiographyEven this I get to experience.

Lear is extremely liberal, the opposite of Archie. Actually, Normal Lear had Maude, Bea Arthur, represent his personal views.

In some ways Archie still symbolizes the old white male conservative dinosaur. Carroll O’Connor died 2001.


Archie Bunker’s ideas should have died with him.

no phone? … or Wind Mobile?

Of the crappy Canadian companies, Wind Mobile comes out best value in a recent survey.


I’m most interested in “International Roaming“, especially their UNLIMITED US ROAMING ADD-ON for $15 / month.

I’ll go visit Wind Mobile when I get back to Calgary. To see if they can convince me to sign on.

If not … I’m very happy with NO PHONE. :-)

Kathmandu photos

Kathmandu should be the most interesting and surprising tourist city in the world. There’s something astonishing around every corner.

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Shame it’s so polluted. So disorganized. :-(

see the last of my high resolution Kathmandu photos

Patan in Kathmandu

Patan, Kathmandu … was initially designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness). The four thurs or mounds on the perimeter of Patan are ascribed around, one at each corner of its cardinal points, which are popularly known as Asoka Stupas. Legend has it that Emperor Asoka (the legendary King of India) visited with his daughter Charumati to Kathmandu in 250 BC and erected five Asoka Stupas, four in the surrounding and one at the middle of the Patan. The size and shape of these stupas seem to breathe their antiquity in a real sense. There are more than 1,200 Buddhist monuments of various shapes and sizes scattered in and around the city.

The most important monument of the city is Patan Durbar Square


I arrived at dusk, my favourite time of day. Ticket takers were happy to collect the $5 entry fee … then told me that the museum and some of the other attractions had just been locked up. :-(

Still, it was lovely watching the light fade over antiquity from my rooftop restaurant.


Bhaktapur is easily the best of the 3 major Kathmandu former capitals. Patan is a pale second best.