My car club has had a First Sunday Drive for a number of years. The name is as it implies – a drive somewhere at the first Sunday of each month. And it has always been popular – because people don’t have to make reservations – they just show up at the appointed time and place for a drive of approximately 2 hours. Followed by a no-host lunch somewhere.
The lunch part is always the fun part. At least from a planning perspective. I’ve always told the manager that I don’t know how many will attend. But it will probably be somewhere between 5 and 30. Among my records for both the low and high end have been 3 and 60. I always let them know the count 2 hours prior, when we leave at 10AM.
I just had an interesting experience today. I’ve seen it in regards to others, but this is the first time that it hit me. I managed to hit a traffic cone in the middle of a freeway onramp a few weeks ago, and decided to pay for the damage out of pocket. I knew of this body shop 50 miles south, in Stockton. Over the years they had done some things for various cars of mine – I believe I came to know them through their affiliation (at the time) of the Stockton Mercedes-Benz dealer.
I think it can be said that countries have at times won or lost wars based on efforts by their intelligence agencies. I remember reading one of Lex’s posts on the subject of the US nuclear submarine Scorpion. I doubt that we will never know what caused her sinking.
Reading up on John Walker awhile back, I shudder to think had we been at war with the Soviet Union, what would have been the outcome with our naval forces. He had given them the same kind information that we had on the Japanese in WW2 – cryptographic codes that let them know of not only naval unit movement, but intentions such as orders to launch missiles from our submarines.
I wrote on the Marburg Files, and how the efforts of Edward VIII may have helped the Germans in their invasion of France. One of the most amazing successful intelligence efforts was convincing the Germans that the D-Day invasion would occur at Calais, and not Normandy. It was so successful that even when Normandy was underway, Hitler believed that it was a feint and held his armor back waiting for the Calais invasion. Stalin refused to believe his spy telling him that the Germans had planned on invading the Soviet Union.
Aldrich Ames decided to betray his country – knowingly causing the deaths of 13 CIA assets in the Soviet Union, because he was going though a costly divorce and had a Columbian girlfriend with the tastes of Imelda Marcos.
Money was also the motivation of Robert Hanssen, who informed the Soviets of our counterintelligence efforts of the FBI. He cause the deaths of a number of Russians who were working with us. He was finally caught by the smallest of oversights.
I just finished a fascinating miniseries on Spycraft, which dealt with techniques, means of communication, and motivations of spies. It includes interviews with former CIA officers, and a colleague of Ames. It’s on Netflix.
I will also have to reread a book I read years ago, Secrets of D-Day. There were some surprising revelations. One of the biggest mysteries to me was the loyalties of the head of the German Abwehr, Wilhelm Canaris. How much he helped the Allies will probably never be known. He was executed by the Nazis in the closing days of the war.
State unions protested in force in response to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s actions to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector employees, stop automatic deduction of union dues from payroll payments and allow members to opt out, saying that the governor’s reforms were anti-labor.
Those reforms having passed after some prolonged theatrical kabuki that included state legislators absconding across the border, the Wisconsin Education Association Council just laid off 40% of its workforce:
WEAC Executive Director Dan Burkhalter said Monday that the layoffs and budget cuts are based on a projected loss of revenue as a result of Gov. Scott Walker’s “union-busting legislation.”
Burkhalter said WEAC’s membership decreased because of extra retirements last year and districts limiting their hiring of new employees this year.
He said the cuts were not related to any prediction that there would be a further drop in membership as a result of the upcoming re-certification elections for local unions around the state.
Faced with budgetary pressures and declining revenues, the WEAC made a business decision to cut headcount. For the workers!
Your host is winging his way in a rented Cessna 182RG to Las Vegas (baby) to catch the last day of an airborne networking conference, so you are left chiefly to your own devices . I’d ask you not to make a mess, but the 75 comments attached to the post below (as of 0600 Pacific time, 1300 Zulu) render this a vain, futile gesture.