Archive for September 23rd, 2015

Explosions over, in, China, wut? (Explosion of the Month club)

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Again we go.

An explosion shook a chemical plant in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, state media said on Monday, though there were no immediate reports of casualties in a country on edge after blasts killed more than 160 people last month.

The blast caused a fire and thick smoke to bellow from the plant in Lishui city shortly before midnight, state radio said on its official Weibo microblog.

The latest incident in Lishui will likely raise more questions about safety standards in China, where industrial accidents are all too common following three decades of fast economic growth. A blast at an auto-parts factory killed 75 people a year ago.

Are we entering a news cycle called Chinese Explosion of the Month?
Better yet…why now?

German military brass living and dying large in Iraq.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Make of this what you will, and let the tin foil fly.

German Anti-ISIS Coalition Chief Found Dead in Iraq Hotel

MAINZ, Germany — A German army chief in the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq was found dead in his hotel room there Wednesday, officials said.

Colonel Stephan Spoettel was found dead at 8:50 a.m. local time (1:50 a.m. ET) in the Cristal Erbil Hotel in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil, the German armed forces said in a statement.

Spoettel was the head of the coalition’s German training contingent in northern Iraq. There was no information to suggest suicide or “third-party involvement,” the statement added.

Stephan Spöttel

Stephan Spöttel

Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. name for the coalition fighting the extremists across Iraq and Syria, said in a statement that a member of the coalition had died in Irbil on Wednesday, without providing further details.

“This incident is under investigation and further information will be released as appropriate,” the statement added.

The 56-year-old Spoettel apparently led 104 German soldiers and was tasked with “training” Kurdish soldiers in northern Iraq.

In the flurry of strange foreign news clips and disarrayed translations, this Turkish one from Hurriyet was obviously flawed on Google’s part.

The statement made by the KRG authorities, German Colonel Stephen Spöttel which remains in the early hours of Wednesday, which was announced dead in the hotel room. But the explanation was not given details about the cause of death Spöttel. Spöttel confirmed the death of the German army, but made a written statement, the incident was not suicide or murder, Spöttel of ‘natural causes’ was allegedly killed.

I always assumed military men (in all nations), even in the year 2015, lead less than glamorous lives filled with physical tribulation, primal discomforts and trying conditions bordering on the inhumane. Even the army brass. Not a journey for the weak and lazy, to be sure. So I was a little awed to discover that Spoettel’s dead body was discovered in the plush confines of the Cristal Erbil Hotel.

Sign me up for the German army!

It’s so Vegas, but so…not. I can’t imagine that boozing it up in Iraq is an inconsequential affair, like drinking a 6-pack in Columbus.

cristal erbil4

cristal erbil3

cristal erbil2

cristal erbil1

A leader of one.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Sometimes I think power would be a great thing to have and to crave. I might be a great tyrant for all I know.

I have none, and I want less of it.

Power repels me, in the hands of others, but mostly in my own. Power tarnishes the soul. It saps you of drive and mindfulness. Obsession with power and the exertion of its corrupt manifestations draws you outside your existential shell. Does this make me less “alpha?” I presume so, as alpha, by definition, infers that others are under your spell, your influence, and thus, is outwardly focused.

I hate power, the notion of it, and I think that in the perfect world, power would be unrewarded and an empty gesture of the human ego for none would want or need. The drive for human power cannot exist in a vacuum of need; those who seek power and those, who, through avoidance, seek to be powered over.

In my perfect non-binary world, there are not “two types of people” for there would be complete and utter stoicism of the moment across the collective breadth of mankind and we would all live in our heads with no need to meddle in the affairs of others.

I would be a leader of one.