The humanitarian community loses another freedom fighter in combat. Unless a warrior is an official government combat soldier or someone well known to the powers that be, the public will hear not one word from the mainstream media or government sources. Tragically a 13-year veteran combat medic and cameraman fighting with the Free Burma Rangers (FBR) unit has lost his life in Northeastern Syria.
During daylight fighting, on 3 November 2019, Zau Seng, of the Free Burma Rangers died of his battlefield wounds, mortar fire from Turkish alliance Syrian fighters in Kurdistan.
Read the story posted by Shadows of Hope on their Facebook page and website telling the story of Zau Seng’s last moments in life. Links to the Free Burma Rangers website and Facebook page also goes into more detail of that fatal day.
(Click the picture to go directly to Shadows of Hope’s Facebook page and visit them there and at their link below. Doing so will also link you to Free Burma Rangers, Zau Seng’s team.)
I have been a strong supporter of President Donald J. Trump long before most Americans ever seriously considered him to lead our country.
I started supporting Trump in April of 2011. I vocally condemned Trump’s sudden pullout of Syria. As a result, I had lost many friends or went into conflict mode with them when they supported the pullout of Syria saying we shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
I tired of armchair analysts that know nothing of what they talk about and my hot temper let them know I didn’t think much of their statements. An isolation attitude pacifies those that don’t hear the screams or pleads for mercy. They don’t smell the blood or battle smoke or human death. They don’t have the lingering haunting for the ones they couldn’t save whom they think far more often than the ones they did save. It’s a battle you don’t want to go to, the War of Words because they hurt the very soul of ones who were once friends or family or loved ones. But sometimes a man has to stake his claim and stand his ground on issues. Especially issues when innocent women and children die from being slaughtered by ruthless terrorists and evil forces.
The point is not rather we should, or should not have been fighting there, but the fact we were there and then right out betrayed without warning, the world’s most valuable asset in fighting the Daesh terrorists–the Kurd of Kurdistan. Among those brave freedom fighters were thousands of Kurd women who fought beside male fighters, including U.S.Special Forces. We could not have brought down Daesh without them. The pullout was a betrayal and a green light to open slaughter on the fighters and the innocent people of that region, men, women, and children, mostly the latter of whom had already experience atrocities for years. Too, thousands of hardcore terrorists would escape only to renew their onslaught of terrorism in the world.
The abandoning of the Kurds, our most trusted and loyal allies in the fight against Daesh (ISIS or IS) terrorist was irresponsible, irreversible and reprehensible. I am nauseated by the ignorance of that decision. Many U.S. Special Forces and Special Ops, as well as a host of high commanders in the American combat zones, were equally appalled.
It was Trump’s Bay of Pigs.
I will continue to support Trump, but in a much less vocal manner. We have no choice. There is no sane alternative. Unity seems distant. We are a nation in peril. We might come to understand what the rest of the world and her people experience every day of their lives.
Many of us in tune with what is going on and what has been going on in that region, especially in Iraq and Syrian Kurdistan, knew the pullout would be tragic and fatal to many decent and innocent lives, and/or for the warrior the same.
When we hear about the loss of life by such freedom fighters as Zau Seng knowing the mainstream media won’t mention a word about it, we feel compelled in doing our part–our duty–in letting the world know the real stories that come from the dark corners of this planet. The darkness that just grew darker.
We will continue to focus on our humanitarian and human rights objectives despite the interference, displays and divisions and commotions that cause such disruption to our mission. Our operations are decades old and will continue for as long as we are able to continue. If we must stand alone, then so be it. We’ve stood alone before. We’ve never been afraid to be outnumbered. While pigeons flock together, Eagles fly alone.
In the dark corners of this earth are innocent people still oppressed by evil and tyranny. They do not know the freedom and independence that we Americans take for granted every waken hour.
Liberating the Oppressed with my theme song, The Green Beret, echoing from the darkness.
We celebrate people like the members of Tim Ballard’s groups, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) and The Nazarene Fund. Robert Hoey’s people of Shadows of Hope (a Vegas Valley-born global humanitarian organization that began working in the hundreds of miles of tunnels underneath Las Vegas supplying humanitarian and medical aid to the thousands of homeless that live–and die there.) Now based in the State of Washington, it has grown to a multi-purpose humanitarian and human rights organization. And People from units like those of David Eubank’s, a former U.S. Army Special Forces and Ranger officer, the founder and leader of the Free Burma Rangers (FBR)in which Zau Seng was a 13-year member of. They all sing to the tune of the same song, and conviction: Liberating the Oppressed: The Ballad of the Green Berets
These Are the Alpha Teams
The Elite of the Elite, the Liberators of the Oppressed:
Operation Underground Railroad
Free Burma Rangers
(Grab the FBR Newsletter, it is a fantastic read. One of the best I’ve seen in newsletters. At the Free Burma Rangers site when you click on the link above; scroll down to the very bottom of any page at the FBR website and see “Subscribe to our newsletter”. Type in your name and email and you’ll have the newsletter soon.)
Free Burma Rangers Teams Memorial
Memorial for FBR Team Members
Global humanitarians going into action with commandos in places where others won’t or can’t go deserve the highest of respect and support. They bring food, medicine, rescue and evacuation in a hopeless dark corner of the world. They are the real-life Rambos on operations and missions that be their last. Operations and missions that would scare the pants off the strongest of will. We cannot forsake them into anonymity, nor shall we.
We will be working more, longer, faster, pushing harder, in the days, weeks and years to come, trying our best to bring public awareness and support to these vital groups that risk their lives rescuing others.
The test of character is when someone risks their life or lay down their life for someone they don’t even know, only knowing the oppressed or endangered is a fellow human being. A human being deserving liberation from oppression and tyranny.
Almost nobody will thank them for their service, except those who know them personally and know what they do.
There will be no flag folded in a symbolic triangle and placed in the wooden display box with the military honor awards, war medals, and decorations. The will be no honor guard funeral or military spokesperson for the President to hand the widow the folded flag. No brass bands will play, no drums will beat or bagpipes will scream and cry. But maybe, just maybe we ought to start such service for the mercenaries, private contractors and freedom fighters among us who die in the same battles and wars as the rest of our heroes. Just maybe…
John 15:13-15 King James Version (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Zau Seng was such a man. And tragically his death arrived on the 1-year birthday of his baby daughter. What could bring more sorrow to the hearts of the hearty?
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
10 November 2019
The age-old hotel and casino was recently purchased by the owners of the D, the former Fitzgerald. Several commenters on the Las Vegas Review Journal thread mentioned they’d like to see the name “Las Vegas Club” stay, but that won’t happen. Derek and Greg Stevens owners of the D Las Vegas said they only purchased the real-estate and structure, not the business, the name or the player database. So that means the Las Vegas Club will open somewhere else and some other name will be attached to the new business when upgrades are completed.
The Stevens brothers also own 60% of the Golden Gate which is across the street, one of the original, if not the original casino in Downtown Vegas. The Stevens Brothers have renovated a few properties downtown and intend to continuing like transaction in the Fremont Street Experience area which has just had new rules put in place for the over abundance of street buckers that the City and casinos have been trying to run off for years.
Numerous complaints come in about the buskers, although for many we find them to be pleasant attractions. The city has been unable to drive the street entertainers out completely because the ACLU protects them for free speech. The Fremont Street Experience is private and public which makes it a complicated situation. But rumors have it that they will again attempt to drive off the buskers by creating expensive permits. When selfishness and greed dominates there’s little room for the little guy to survive. In the 86 years the Las Vegas Club has been running countless street performers made a living along its shadows. It wouldn’t hurt to just make some practical rules everybody can live with and then just get along. There is enough cash flow coming into town everybody can win. And the street buskers are like everybody and everything else, some people love them and some people hate them.
The American Poolplayers Association (APA) finals saw its last event at the Riviera on 3 May 2015 held at the Top of the Riv, in the Penthouse. The APA has been holding their annual events at the Riviera for at least a decade and a half. Today at noon, the Riviera closed its doors for good. Future APA meets will be held at the Westgate (Formerly LVH and the Hilton, 3000 Paradise Road) which can be seen from Las Vegas Blvd or Riviera Blvd which runs along the north side of the Riv.
Riviera Closing, 4 May 2015 at high noon… One of the last Old-Vegas Strip casinos remaining, I can think of only two others Strip properties left, Tropicana which has been sold or is in the process of being sold, and is probably lined up for implosion as well, and the Flamingo, the third casino to open on the Strip and the oldest surviving casino today. Mafia money-spender, Bugsy Siegel in 1945, after acquiring the El Cortez, took control of the Flamingo, opening it the day after Christmas in 1946. There is plenty of history and writing on Siegel and his death, and only one needs just to take to research for their answers.
The Sunday, a Las Vegas Greenspun (Las Vegas Sun) publication reports the Riviera as being “the oldest operation casino on the Strip.” I don’t think so. Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo is a decade older. But they are the last of the Old-Vegas casinos in operation, the Tropicana on the Strip and the El Cortez downtown are also among the last.
The Riviera is expected to be imploded sometime this summer, conflicting reports claim June to August. They are killing Vegas, but then, who are we to complain about how “They” spend their money?
60 Years of Las Vegas history comes to an end at high noon tomorrow.
The American Poolplayers Association (APA) finals saw its last event at the Riviera on 3 May 2015 held at the Top of the Riv, in the Penhouse. The APA has been holding their annual events at the Riviera for at least a decade and a half. Today at noon, the Riviera closed its doors for good. Future APA meets will be held at the Westgate (Formerly LVH and the Hilton, 3000 Paradise Road) which can be seen from Las Vegas Blvd or Riviera Blvd which runs along the north side of the Riv.
Riviera closing today, 4 May 2015 at high noon.
Ironically, after the Riviera closing, two of the last three surviving Old-Vegas casinos outside the Fremont Street Experience, The El Cortez and the Flamingo, were slain mafia kingpin Bugsy Siegel’s innovations. Dozens of newer casinos have fallen to implosion.
After 27 years Crazy Girls comes to an end and goes dark permanently. Crazy Girls Topless Showgirl Revue was one of the leading adult attractions on the Strip for nearly three decades. Featuring some of the most studding showgirls in Vegas history with beauty, music, dance and comedy, their show goes on no more as the curtains to the Riviera close with its doors for the final time.
The Riviera was the main filming location (of 33) for the mob film “Casino” starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci based on the true Las Vegas story involving now imploded Stardust Hotel and Casino (which was still standing and in operation at the time of the movie’s filming and was located directly across the street from the Riviera. In the movie, the Stardust was portrayed as the teamster-funded Tangiers Casino.) and mafia life of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, his wife Geri McGee and mob enforcer Tony “The Ant” Spilotro.
The purpose of the video and its length is to show the world that Americans were not all born with silver spoons in their mouths nor live in gold mansions on the hills over looking valleys of green meadows, butterflies and rainbows and milk and honey. Nor is Vegas, the land of fame and fortune. We here in Vegas, that live on the wrong side of town, are probably more alike those of you who live in the four corners of the earth where poverty and despise is as abundant as grains of sand in a desert without oases, than not. We have the same frustrations, the same political discontent, the same dangers of loss of life with crime as high where 1 in 5 people can become a causality. We are not at war. We are at peace. No civil war rages through our community like many overseas, yet focus on survival is not only an everyday thing, but an hourly thing.
After an interruption with my photo sideshow because of an inferior and flawed WordPress platform system, I had to find other ways to route my photos. I attempted to route it through my Facebook photo page. That proved futile. The video came up, with the music but was black screened with no pictures. FB is an antiquated system and always has been. I refuse to be forced by communists abroad or at home. So that the world may know and fully understand, I know the true meaning of communism and force is an identical characteristic. I view anyone who forces someone to do something or suppresses someone to something is a communist. Now that we understand communistic problems, let us clarify one more thing. I’m not here to make friends. You won’t invite me to your backyard barbecue this weekend and I’m not going to invite you in for a sammy and cup of mud. Now that we have that out of the way, I can go ahead and finish my story. As a few of you know from the Devil Follows Me days, and my column on the Dark Prince, he continues to encircle me, more than any other soul on earth. But I’ll never surrender to that POS in a pig yard. Now, I can tell the rest of my story… until Lucifer decides it’s time for round 6 trillion, 6 hundred thousand and 6. Then we’ll be down again, until we figure out a way around his trap. Read the quote I wrote this morning. It’s down there, below, the way of the inferno.
Last week I started writing about crime in our neighborhood of which is rapidly escalating. In 2010, three Las Vegas neighborhoods were on the FBI’s top ten most dangerous neighborhoods of the top twenty-five. Vegas neighborhoods, from where your present company publishes deep inside his bunker, ranked 3rd, 4th and 8th on that list. Then we went off the map and for the most part Chicago and Detroit neighborhoods kept us off that crime map. As Kicking the Can Down the Road explains, I like to use visual art with my stories. I’ve done that since the very first story I wrote to publish when I was probably 9-years-old. WordPress doesn’t allow videos from your own computer to be loaded up to their blogging platform. They own it, I don’t. I couldn’t run the video through one of my current blogs within the Blogger’s system because they are enhances by AdSense commercial advertising which WordPress doesn’t like and prohibits in their Terms and Conditions. There for I exercised a legal way to get around technical BS and arrive at the same results, that could have been avoided if WP wasn’t so damn greedy and stubborn. I have nothing but good to say about WordPress and I’ve been with them for years in paid and non-paid blogging and website experiences. But the need to purchase and add plugins is a wee bit silly for a normal blog. Okay, enough ranting about WP substandard policies, unless I’m missing something and research shows I am not, it’s time to move on.
The links to the video and story that shows the visual graphics that go with the starting story, Fire in the Valley: The Poverty Among Us is ready, is below. Read the story and the watch the video, neither are strength upon their own, but support each other.
Wouldn’t it have been great if I didn’t need to go through all of this?… a simple video upload without need for a plugin and all that sort of stuff would have been REALLY NICE! I would have been done a week ago. Now I can get back to my stories… hopefully. Some of the timely events will be untimely by the time they get published, but that’s the way it is on this side of the tracks…
“The second mouse always gets the cheese…don’t fall into a trap. Learn your way around all traps and make yourself victorious.” ~ Cliff Harrison
…and the world thought we Americans all lived in multimillion-dollar mansions. They imagine we live on hills overlooking the valleys of prosperous economies that belonged to us alone. That our homes were lined in silver and gold and our land stretches for as far as the eye could see to the nearest neighbor. Milk ponds abound swam by white swans and pink flamingos, and that we had two cars on each side of the driveway, his and her side. And, outside our doors and windows are the manicured lawns and gardens with dozens of immigrant labors landscaping our property to preserve our worth and status in society. That these imagined workers keep every blade of grass as groomed as the supposed hair upon our heads. Reality tells those who are outside looking in a very different story. Here is the reality…
Vegas is just as much an illusion as America herself is. The poverty here isn’t nearly as bad as it is on Pine Ridge. On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to Wounded Knee, the poverty is much worse. There’s higher unemployment and far more sorrow–but still, some of those among us aren’t far behind them, and in some cases they may even be a tad bit ahead. Poor is poor. Hungry is hungry. Homeless is homeless. Sad is sad. No matter what corner of the world one lives in, the destruction of life and property spells disaster and it hurts all the way to the bone. It ruins to the heart and the core of the soul.
The sorrow drips from the eyes of the citizens of the world, who dwell in such destitution, here, in America and abroad. Pain is pain. Misery is misery. Some adjust and some don’t. Some escape it and some never do. Poverty is nothing more than an attitude, yet some can not cope with the misery of it. Only the genius among the poor know how to adapt and adjust. When you live in a world where the loudest scream in never heard one can only do with what one has to do with. After one has lost everything, one can loose no more. But make do, one must. Only then can one make life grand. Grandness among the poor is something to behold. But it can be done. To become free of the shackles around the ankles and the steel collars around the neck one must desire liberation from suppression more than anything else in the Alley of Frustration. Freedom comes to those who persevere and prevail in a steadfast manner without ceasing a single moment, until the restraints of slavery are broken and the chains fall free.
The struggles of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas could give a glimpse of the future of Vegas. It was much easier to unload an unprofitable casino back when casinos were only valued in the multimillion dollar range. There were far more eligible buyers. There were far more opportunities to the seller. The Cosmopolitan is playing roulette and it has all its bets on just one number.
Now that casinos in Vegas are in the multi-billion dollar class when they get in trouble it will be much harder to find willing buyers brave enough to part with their money on losing casinos. The Cosmopolitan has never done well. It’s never made money. The Cosmo is a loser–for six years out of six years in business, it’s been losing. From day one it never turned a profit. It was a foreclosed property with the original developer going south and then the bankers took over and completed the project.
When you run a casino that big you better have experience running big casinos, because the competition around you does have that kind of experience. Usually, when a casino magnate has billions of dollars to invest, he’ll build his own casino rather than inherit someone else’s problems, unless of course he tears one down and builds a new one.
To risk nearly your entire net worth on a casino doesn’t seem likely nor make much economical sense. It’s not a wise investment. It’s like putting your entire bankroll on a single game and a single bet. Even the dumbest gambler isn’t that stupid. Billionaires don’t become billionaires by making stupid moves, they become billionaires by making brilliant moves and buying low and selling high and managing right. They are winners. There is a reason they are winners. It’s not because they make bad investments that can wipe them out. With a 4 billion-dollar value/price tag on the Cosmopolitan, Australian billionaire James Parker is only worth a little more than a couple billion more, 6.5 billion dollars to be exact. Too much leverage and putting too much into gambling and hoping could spell doom for any future owner.
The Cosmopolitan won’t clear 4 billion or even half that. If Deutsche Bank gets anywhere between 1 billion and 2 billion for the Cosmo, they’d better take their money and run, and fast. When you lose your money, learn to lose.
At stake is the future of Vegas itself and if one compares the performance of the last decade, there is nothing there to brag about–or invest in. Vegas has been a loser. Nothing indicates that is going to change except piss in the wind. Big casinos spell big trouble when things go south. The era of the multimillion-dollar casinos were much easier to handle in the day of gloom and bust than the big billion dollar casinos which are not too big to fail. Despite what some sources claim, the Vegas valley has never fully recovered from the Great Recession.
During the 20-year boom, Las Vegas was the fastest growing city in American. People won more often, were comped more and had more fun. People came back to Vegas more frequently. Slot and video machines were looser and table games were easier to win on and when you won you won more. The current management of Vegas casinos took all the fun away from the world’s number one gaming mecca. And in the end, they, and not the people who play here, will pay for it.
If Vegas returns to a recession as some indicators point to the idea that it will, or at least might, then big casinos will be extremely hard to unload, much harder than the multimillion dollar casinos were that preceded them. There comes a time when those of us who preferred the Old Vegas, and the way things were, can wink and say, “The old way was better for everybody.” The bigger the chips, the harder they fall. The bigger the chips, the louder they fall, too.
I have a feeling there are going to be some very hard and loud falls coming to the future of Las Vegas.
When those too big to fail corporations lose, there is going to be a lot of noise.
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