Monday, August 17, 2015


I know this part of Bangkok very well. The Erawan shrine is in the heart of the business and shopping area . . . S.L.

Bangkok bomb: Deadly blast rocks Thai capital

A bomb exploded close to the Erawan shrine in Bangkok's central Chidlom district, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 80.
Reports say a second bomb has been found in the area and rendered safe.

The shrine is a major tourist attraction. The Thai government said the attack was aimed at foreigners. Local media reports that tourists, including Chinese, are among the casualties. Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwong said: "It was a TNT bomb . . . the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy."

Analysis: The bombs were obviously placed in an area of high foot traffic to ensure maximum # of casualties. the second bomb would have been intended for the emergency response personnel; a classic terrorist tactic dating back to the 1970s. Domestic Thai political violence is normally restricted to direct confrontations that get out of hand, i.e. riot control (police or military) firing into crowds; terror bombings are not a feature. In determining who placed the bombs or why, suspicion falls upon the Islamic extremist terror movement - aligned with IS - which has emerged from the Muslim south. It is also significant to note that foreigners may have been intended targets.

It is also noteworthy that Thailand's recent political struggles are directly related to an act of vandalism against the Erawan Shrine ( ศาลพระพรหม - San Phra Phrom ) - on March 21, 2006, a Thai man smashed the statue of Brahma with a hammer, and was himself subsequently beaten to death by angry bystanders. The tie-in of this action to the political struggles and violence that have since plagued Thai politics is explained HERE

I recently discussed the probability of IS-aligned terror cells from southern Thailand becoming operational in Bangkok and directing their actions against foreigners. Unfortunately, I was correct.


Saturday, August 15, 2015


A windfall came my way . . . S.L.

These pieces come from an old sawmill up on the Brandywine River, 2" thick oak and walnut planks, 50 to 100 years old.

I can produce coffee tables, bars, counter tops and shelves.

I can make designs that are "knock down" for easy transportation. I'd love to hear from you, let me know what you want . . .

I'm between contracts right now so the time is right - contact me via email, twitter or on Facebook.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015


SGM Ernie Tabata, Legend in the Special Forces community, departed on his Final Infil 10 August 2015 . . .

SGM Ernie Tabata is an SF legend, is Distinguished Member of the Regiment, his service, military and as civilian instructor spanned 59 years. He trained and was loved by legions of SF demo men.

Sergeant Major Ernest K. Tabata began his military career in June 1946 as a volunteer in the Hawaiian Territorial Guard. Two years later he enlisted in the U.S. Army at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and completed the advanced combat engineer school at Fort Belvoir, Va. On June 1950, SGM Tabata found himself among the first American Soldiers sent to South Korea to repel the invasion by the North. He was assigned to the 14th Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.

Following Korea, SGM Tabata returned to Hawaii and received an honorable discharge in September 1952. He re-enlisted in the Army in January 1955. SGM Tabata served the next six years as a paratrooper in the 82nd and 11th Airborne Divisions. In January 1961, SGM Tabata became a “triple volunteer” when he applied for duty with the U.S. Army Special Forces. After his Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, SGM Tabata volunteered for a clandestine mobile training team, named “White Star.” Led by then-Lieutenant Colonel Arthur “Bull” Simons, the team arrived in the Kingdom of Laos in October 1961 and began training the Royal Lao Army.

In August 1964, SGM Tabata received orders to the Republic of South Vietnam. There, he joined the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and trained the Montagnards. In January 1965, reassigned to the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, SGM Tabata served as a team sergeant on a HALO team. A few months later, SGM Tabata and his detachment went to Korea to prepare South Korea’s elite White Horse Division for combat prior to its departure for South Vietnam the following year. SGM Tabata returned to South Vietnam in November 1965, his third combat tour, for assignment to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group, or MACV-SOG.

Returning to Fort Devens, Mass., in August 1970, SGM Tabata served with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and with the 12th Engineer Battalion. Upon his promotion to sergeant major, he served as the senior enlisted advisor to the assistant division commander, 8th Infantry Division, in Mainz, Germany. His return to Special Forces came in 1978, with an assignment to the 7th Special Forces Group.

SGM Tabata retired in December 1981 after 30 years of active-duty service. In November 1984, he returned to the Special Forces Training Group as a civilian instructor. SGM Tabata also participated in static line parachute jumps as required in the course of his duties, well into his seventies.

SGM Tabata - known affectionately as "Sensei" (teacher) to Green Berets assigned to 1st SFG in Okinawa - taught generations of Special Forces engineers. Tt was an honor and a privilege to be his student.

Memorial service information is forthcoming.

We will miss you Sensei, see you at the Final Rendezvous Point . . .