Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2022

Weekend Open Thread: Ukraine to the (State of the) Union

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:23 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Dana has the day off today and is using the Patterico’s Pontifications luxury yacht to run guns, granola, and Gatorade to the brave people of Ukraine, so here comes another Junior Varsity Writing edition of the Weekend Open Thread.

UKRAINE & RUSSIA
Item One:
Kevin Williamson points out that Xi Jinping and his crew are quite certainly monitoring this situation closely and drawing lessons from it that they may wish to apply to Taiwan. He also points out how troubling it is that China appears to have very closely collaborated with Putin’s Russia over the past few months, including sharing with Moscow pre-invasion conversations Beijing had with Biden Administration officials.

At the same time, Xi has to be somewhat concerned with the way in which the West has united against Russian aggression: Germany is rearming, Sweden and Finland are mulling over allying with NATO, and even Switzerland is ditching strict neutrality in order to help put pressure on Russian financial systems. An invasion of Taiwan by China’s military would likely be far more practical than Russia’s invasion of a large country like Ukraine, but Xi has to be calculating that it would come at a far greater cost both militarily (Taiwan, though a small country, has a robust defense system even if the sheer size of China’s military would eventually overwhelm it) and economically. Williamson closes his column on a note of optimism:

A reinvigorated and possibly expanded NATO buoyed by a revivified Germany — and an energized Europe that has seen players such as Sweden and even Switzerland come off the sidelines — is a nightmare for Vladimir Putin. But it also frees up American resources — financial, military, political, moral, and intellectual — to support Washington’s turn to the Indo-Pacific. Putin’s war will be a setback for Moscow, but it will also be, in that respect, a real loss for Beijing. In ten years, Beijing may see this not as a masterstroke but a misadventure.

Item Two:
It would appear that the ominous 40-mile long Russian military convoy poised about 20 miles outside of Kyiv is, for the time being, stuck in place. Rumors have it that Russia did not expect such stiff resistance and thus did not provide enough fuel for the convoy to idle for several days, and Ukrainian air attacks on the convoy have apparently caused some damage. Despite that welcome news, at this point most military experts expect that Russia will eventually level the city in a month-long siege, no doubt inflicting thousands of deaths on armed resistance fighters and civilians.

(By the way, those people who donned whimsical hats and attached a trendy hashtag to their social media bios should be ashamed to have appropriated such a heroic term which truly best belongs to brave people who are laying their lives on the line in defense of their homeland, not needy narcissists desperately in search of “Likes.”)

Item Three:
If you are looking for a jaundiced take on events — and who loves a jaundiced take more than I do? — then read Peter Van Buren over at The Spectator (it probably requires a subscription, come to think of it). I’m pretty positive that nobody here will agree with 100% of what he writes, but there may be parts of his piece which have you quietly nodding in assent. He laments that Ukraine is not a worthy object of the West’s efforts, complains that misleading social media stories about acts of great heroism and hot Ukrainian women arming up is giving us a false view of what is truly happening, then goes through the ways in which he believes we are being propagandized into caring about a matter that is best left to Eastern and Central Europe and allowing this to be turned into a Trump/Biden partisan dust-up at home. Here is his thesis, which he saves for the final paragraph:

Trump has nothing to do with Putin, or Ukraine, and the latter two have nothing to do with American democracy. As in Orwell’s world, our thoughts are no longer our own. We are told how to think, and groomed how to vote.

By way of contrast, over at NRO, John McCormick declares that the neo-isolationists in the GOP are being marginalized.

Item Four:
An old Cold War-era Russian joke is resurfacing.

In Moscow, a man walks to a newsstand, purchases a newspaper, briefly scans the front page, then crumples up the newspaper, throws it out, and walks away. He does this the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. Finally, the vendor asks the customer why he wastes his money each day looking only at the front page. “I am looking for an obituary,” replies the customer. The vendor reminds the man that the obituaries are found in the back pages of the paper, which the customer never opens. “Believe me,” replies the customer, “the obituary I am hoping to see will be on the front page.”

SUPREME COURT
Item Five:
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is President Biden’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. The President thus makes good on his promise to nominate a black woman to serve on the Court. Dan McLaughlin seems to think that Judge Jackson is about the best that conservatives can hope for, given the narrow constraints Biden agreed to in order to secure the African-American vote. In the press conference announcing her nomination, she thanked God and affirmed that her faith had been important in molding her character. She also saluted America as “the greatest beacon of hope that the world has ever seen” and made a point to mention her brother and two uncles who are law enforcement officers. She is a wife and a mom which — at the risk of coming across as quite indelicate — contrasts her with the two justices whom Barack Obama got seated on the Court.

But that shouldn’t lull us into believing that she will be the second coming of Justice Byron White. McLaughlin also points out that in her one year on the bench in the D.C. Circuit, Jackson consistently ruled against former members and policies of the Trump Administration, and at times used the sort of heated rhetoric one expects from the New York Times Editorial Board or the ACLU. She is not a Horatio Alger success from hard work story like Clarence Thomas; rather, she’s the daughter of two upper-middle-class professionals (a lawyer and school principal) and was herself educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law, so you can be sure she is dialed into the same ideological bubble that gave us Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (if Judge Jackson is confirmed, Amy Coney Barrett would remain the only justice with no rooting interest in the annual Harvard-Yale game). Her rulings are uniformly pro-labor, so don’t expect her to be a voice for reform of the federal bureaucracy. And, McLaughlin reminds us, she countenanced the Biden Administration’s cynical and knowingly illegal move to use the CDC to impose a national rent increase moratorium.

McLaughlin doubts that Judge Jackson would develop her own novel (if perhaps peculiar) judicial theory as Breyer did, nor does she seem likely to try to serve a role as a bridge between the progressive bloc and the Roberts/Gorsuch/Kavanaugh school of thought as Elena Kagan has endeavored. Perhaps, he muses, Clarence Thomas or Amy Coney Barrett might try to convince her of the beauty of originalism, but McLaughlin fears that in the end it is probably more likely that she becomes another Sonia Sotomayor, if to be sure a less strident one. In any case, given that this could very well be Joe Biden’s one and only Court nominee, McLaughlin believes that progressives might come to regret that he chose from such a narrow field.

Item Six:
Speaking of the Supreme Court, it reinstated the death penalty for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a 6-3 ruling divided along the expected ideological lines:

[. . .] The sentence had been vacated by the First Circuit, which questioned the selection of the jury and the exclusion of evidence from the death penalty phase that Dzhokhar wanted to use in order to show that his brother was the real mastermind. The Supreme Court rejected both arguments; Breyer dissented only on the second issue, and did not address the pretrial publicity question.

The article in the link (by Dan McLaughlin again) has a really interesting encapsulation of the various arguments made by the justices, covering all of the hot-button topics such as the fairness of the death penalty, how juries are selected, how a judge manages a trial, what rights to submit evidence do defendants have, and other interesting issues. I do not support the death penalty and would prefer that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rot in prison for the rest of his life (or until President Ocasio-Cortez pardons him), but I won’t lose any sleep over him ending up with the needle in his arm in Terre Haute.

MISCELLANY
Item Seven:
Progressives discover that that the laws they championed in the past might be blocking their present goals, immediately declare “that’s not real progressivism.” This with respect to Berkeley residents using the California Environmental Quality Act to prevent the University of California from building more student and faculty housing:

It’s all about “protecting the environment” until sacrifices are demanded of the higher education cartel.

Item Eight:
Rob Manfred is the worst commissioner in baseball history, and that says a lot when you consider that he is following in the footsteps of Keenesaw Mountain Landis and Bowie Kuhn. Last year we had his utterly asinine decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of the new Georgia voting laws, a move that hurt the predominantly-black city of Atlanta (the counties surrounding and including the city went overwhelmingly for Joe Biden in 2020) more than anywhere else in the state and was generally panned by both sides of the political divide. He follows up that epic failure this year by holding up a new collective bargaining agreement, even to the point of delaying the opening of the season, and then being lighthearted about it during the press conference announcing the delay. What a jerk, what a guy completely overmatched in his job. Say what you will about Bud Selig, and his decisions were not always good ones, but the man truly understood that as commissioner he was the steward of the game and he always tried to do what was best for the fans. MLB needs to get rid of Rob Manfred as soon as possible and get the players back on the field.

Item Nine:
Remembering the loss of my all-time favorite libertarian humorist P. J. O’Rourke, my second-all-time favorite libertarian humorist Rob Long has a beautiful remembrance published yesterday, recounting one of their last email exchanges:

We had been talking, off and on, over the past few years about how his blockbuster book Holidays in Hell might be a television series. It would be set in various global hot spots, we decided, and feature the adventures of a recurring group of journalists.

“It’ll be challenging,” P.J. wrote, “but we really need to be as accurate as we can be.”

“What’s the hardest thing to capture about journalists?” I asked.

“The cowardice,” he said. “The cowardice is key.”

I laughed when I read it the first time. And I laughed when I read it the day he died.

Do yourselves a favor and read the whole thing. It’s a long piece, but P. J. deserves no less.

Coda:
NRO had an article up on the Biden State of the Union Address the other night. It included an interesting picture of a moment shared between Vice-President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. One commenter suggested that conservatives try to meme it, so I gave it the old college try:

Kamala, Joe, & Nancy

OK, that’s enough of that. I have a huge amount of respect for the work that Dana does to compile these Weekend Open Threads every Friday. Believe me, it’s not an easy task, especially if you are completely incapable of writing succinctly like I am. And I dread contemplating the number of misspellings and grammatical errors this post is bound to have, since I have no real interest in carefully copy-editing it beyond a quick cursory glance. As always, feel free to suggest your own topics in the comments.

Have a happy weekend everyone.

– JVW

532 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread: Ukraine to the (State of the) Union”

  1. In the words of our President, now go get ’em.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. Ditch Israel! Strategic albatross? Nope! Just a leech.

    nk (1d9030)

  3. RIP Sally Kellerman (84). Good night Hot Lips. Also Lt. Elizabeth Dehner in the second pilot of Star Trek.

    RIP Alan Ladd Jr. (84). Son of legendary actor Alan Ladd, “Laddie” greenlighted Star Wars as head of Fox:

    “My biggest contribution to ‘Star Wars’ was keeping my mouth shut and standing by the picture,” Ladd told Variety, recalling that he ignored a research report that said “the worst words to use in a title are ‘Star’ and ‘War.’”

    ……..[A]s president at Fox, the studio released hits such as “Alien,” “Julia, “The Turning Point” and “An Unmarried Woman” — as well as bombs such as “At Long Last Love” and “The Blue Bird.”
    ……..
    “I just couldn’t take it at Fox anymore, with [Chairman and Chief Executive] Dennis Stanfill and his corporate ‘management by objectives’ crap,” Ladd recalled (when he left Fox to form the Ladd Co.)

    During the early 1980s, the Ladd Co. produced films such as “Body Heat,” “The Right Stuff,” “Blade Runner,” “Night Shift” and “Police Academy.” And, in conjunction with Warner Bros., it obtained North American distribution rights to “Chariots of Fire,” which won a best-picture Oscar.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. Putin’s War Has Isolated America’s Neo-Isolationists

    ……..On February 8, Representative Matt Rosendale (R., Mont.) even introduced a bill that would “prohibit the U.S. government from providing military and security assistance to Ukraine until the border wall system on the southern border is completed.” Given that Republicans failed to build the wall when they controlled Congress and Trump was president — the plan could never get the 60 votes it needed in the Senate — and that the project would take months to complete, the only practical effect of Rosendale’s bill, which earned nine other Republican cosponsors, would have been to deny any military aid to Ukraine.
    ……….
    ……..Back in 2019, Carlson said he was totally opposed to Russian sanctions: “I think we should probably take the side of Russia, if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine.” As recently as last week, after Putin had made it clear that he intended to escalate his war against Ukraine but before the invasion began, Carlson was still telling his viewers to ask themselves why they should hate Putin more than they hate the American left. But this week, Carlson told his viewers: “I think Biden — I never say this, but [he] is taking the right position right now on this.”

    Missouri Republican Josh Hawley isn’t an isolationist, but he is the most prominent populist in the Senate GOP. Before the invasion, in February, Hawley was one of only twelve Republican senators who declined to sign a letter laying out the sanctions Russia would face if it invaded. Despite his strong non-interventionist streak, Hawley came out in favor of tough sanctions after the invasion.
    ……..
    (Former President Donald) Trump has at other times opposed America’s membership in NATO. In 2000, his book The America We Deserve asserted that “America has no vital interest in choosing between warring factions whose animosities go back centuries in Eastern Europe. Their conflicts are not worth American lives. Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually. The cost of stationing NATO troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use.” He privately discussed pulling the United States out of NATO after becoming president, and said in 2020 that he would do so in his second term, according to the book I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post.
    ………
    ……[W]hat does (Senator Rand) Paul himself think about the NATO alliance? Asked if he supports maintaining America’s role in NATO, Paul declined to discuss his views on the matter. “It’s a longer sort of debate than we can have in the hall in a minute,” he said.
    …….
    In short, Russia’s invasion has “reminded every member of NATO how valuable the asset is,” as Representative Tom Cole (R., Okla.) put it. “In some ways, it’s Vladimir Putin’s worst nightmare come true.”
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. For Xi and Taiwan, what is ON Taiwan is far more important to Xi (and the world) than the island itself. The TMSC fabs make nearly every microprocessor and graphics engine used in modern electronics. Except for a a few lines at Samsung, no one else makes anything under 10nm design rules — TSMC is 2 generations ahead of anyone else. Without those fabs, there is no AMD, no Nvidia, no Apple. Most every chip made a the cutting edge is made there. Even Intel is going to make some stuff there.

    Two things are important here: 1) The rest of the world could not tolerate losing those fabs to China and 2) the rest of the world could not tolerate China hiving those fabs.

    This is one of the reasons that Biden was so gung-ho on Intel getting it’s fabs back in the game in the SOTU speech. Intel stumbled in the last decade due to a beancounter-CEO cutting costs and refusing to invest. Now they are spending many billions trying to catch up.

    So, there are lots of calculations to be had about Taiwan, but most of them are entirely new ones.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  6. Fearing martial law or conscription, some Russians try to flee abroad
    As Russian troops slowly advanced on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Thursday, some people back in Moscow were attempting to flee to destinations abroad that have not banned flights from Russia, stomaching soaring prices in the rush to escape.

    The Kremlin dismissed speculation that Russian authorities plan to introduce martial law following the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”, or that they will stop men of fighting age leaving Russia, but some did not want to risk staying.
    ……….
    The cost of plane tickets has leapt since Russia closed its airspace to airlines from the European Union and many other countries in a tit-for-tat response to sanctions imposed by the West, severely limiting Russians’ ability to travel.
    ……..
    Some 7,669 people have been detained at anti-war protests since the invasion began on Feb. 24, according to the OVD-Info protest-monitoring group.
    ……..
    The Kremlin dismissed speculation that Russian authorities plan to introduce martial law following the invasion of Ukraine……

    Yeah, just like they denied for weeks they were going to attack Ukraine.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. A Letter to Andrew Hill | Dr Tess Lawrie – Ivermectin Suppression Likely Killed Millions

    https://rumble.com/vwg569-a-letter-to-andrew-hill-dr-tess-lawrie-ivermectin-suppression-killed-millio.html

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  8. Yeah, just like they denied for weeks they were going to attack Ukraine.

    I remember Nixon denying for weeks that he was going to impose wage-and-price controls.

    I expect the no-fly zone over Ukraine to start by St Paddy’s Day.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  9. Ivermectin Suppression Likely Killed Millions

    Salk wept.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  10. What the LA Times thinks is important: Will Russia bring its war on LGBTQ people to Ukraine?

    Zi Faámelu wants to escape the war in Ukraine, but her identity will not let her.

    The 31-year-old singer, who is transgender, has a passport that says she is male, the sex assigned to her at birth, and Ukraine has prohibited men of fighting age from leaving the country.

    That paradox has left Faámelu hunkered inside her Kyiv apartment as missiles soar all around her. She is considering following other transgender women who have crossed into Poland illegally through the woods in the week since Russia invaded.

    Well, honey, maybe you need to choose between your pronoun and your life.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  11. BBC revives shortwave radio dispatches in Ukraine, and draws ire of Russia
    ………
    The BBC said this week that it would use radio frequencies that can travel for long distances and be accessible on portable radios to broadcast its World Service news in English for four hours a day in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and in parts of Russia.
    ……..
    Over the last week of February, viewership of BBC’s Ukrainian language site more than doubled from a year earlier to 3.9 million visitors, the broadcaster said on Wednesday. The BBC also provides news coverage in the country via its website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Viber and Espreso TV.

    Millions of Russians are also turning to the BBC, the broadcaster said. The audience for the BBC’s Russian language news website reached a record 10.7 million in the past week, more than tripling its weekly average so far in 2022, the company said. Visitors to BBC’s English language website from within Russia surged 252 percent to 423,000.
    ……..
    The BBC’s coverage has led to complaints from Russian officials. Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said during a briefing broadcast by RT, the Kremlin-backed Russian media outlet, that Russia was the victim of “unprecedented information terrorism” that was “devoted to discrediting Russian actions” and “creating hysteria around Ukrainian events.”
    ……….

    “Demain la mélasse donnera naissance au cognac.” (Molasses tomorrow will bring forth cognac.)
    “Jean a de longues moustaches.” (John has a long mustache.)
    “Blesse mon coeur d’une langueur monotone” (“Wounds my heart with a monotonous languor”)
    “J’aime les chats siamois” (“I like Siamese cats”)
    “Daphné à Monique: Il y a le feu à l’agence de voyage. Inutile de s’y rendre.” (“Daphne to Monique: There is a fire at the travel agency. It is no use to get there”)

    Coded messages from the BBC to the French Underground at the beginning of The Longest Day, 1962.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  12. Pence hits Trump: No room in GOP ‘for apologists for Putin’
    ………
    Pence, in a speech Friday evening to the party’s top donors in New Orleans, will take on those in his party who have failed to forcefully condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

    “Where would Russian tanks be today if NATO had not expanded the borders of freedom? There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence will say, according to excerpts from the speech. “There is only room for champions of freedom.”

    Pence does not directly reference the former president in excerpts shared ahead of his remarks. But Trump has repeatedly used language that has been criticized as deferential to Putin, including calling the Russian leader “smart” while insisting the attack never would have happened on his watch.
    ………..
    “Elections are about the future,” Pence will say. “My fellow Republicans, we can only win if we are united around an optimistic vision for the future based on our highest values. We cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles, or by relitigating the past.”
    ………..
    Ouch!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. Kremlin TV Tells Ukraine to Listen to Fox News Guest and Kneel to Putin
    ……..
    While guests and pundits on multiple state TV channels expressed frustration with the world’s unity in opposition to Putin’s aggression, translated clips from Fox News continued to spark joy for them. On Tuesday and Wednesday, multiple state media channels broadcast translated video excerpts from Fox News’ Sunday night segment with Trey Gowdy. In these clips, Ret. Col. Doug Macgregor suggested that Ukrainian troops lay down their guns, retreat, and let Russian President Vladimir Putin have his way with Ukraine. He also complained that Putin is being “demonized” by the United States and opposed any U.S. involvement in helping Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression.

    Macgregor, who previously supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea, argued, “What is happening now is the battle in Eastern Ukraine is really almost over, all the Ukrainian troops there have been largely surrounded and cut off… and if they don’t surrender in next 24 hours, I suspect the Russians will ultimately annihilate them… The game is over.” Russian state media flooded their programs with translated clips of Macgregor’s proclamations, using them in support of their own messaging designed to demoralize the Ukrainians.
    ………
    Host Vladimir Soloviev was especially torn up about RT (formerly known as Russia Today), which was dumped by multiple broadcasters in Europe, Canada, and the United States……

    …….Tigran Keosayan (husband to RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan) emerged in the studio. He hypocritically exclaimed, “No one here wants war.” Blaming the West for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Keosayan opined, “Their biggest fear is that sooner or later they will have to fight against Russia. If they don’t stop Russia now, it may later be dissatisfied with something in Latvia, Lithuania, or Estonia. And then everyone in the world will find out that there’s no such thing as [NATO’s] Article 5, because no one will step in to defend anybody else.”
    ………
    During Soloviev’s show (Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov), Keosayan admitted that even pro-Russian voices in Ukraine were stunned by Russian troops invading their country: “Since your program is being watched in Ukraine, I have a sad story to tell. I purposely watched a lot of Ukrainian television for the last several months, and there were some conscientious guys… and now I see their shock and astonishment: ‘You attacked my country.’ I want to address all of them, since they’ll later snap out of it… You were just sitting on your butts, talking… Now Russia is doing for you what you should have done for yourselves!”

    Other pundits in the studio were likewise appalled that even pro-Russian Ukrainians weren’t more appreciative of Russia’s military assault on their country……..
    ………
    ………Instead of blaming Putin, (Nikolai) Starikov condemned the United States for helping Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. He alleged: “Those who send weapons to Ukraine need more destruction and more victims” and threatened: “American protectorate will be publicly destroyed.” Having said too much, Starikov snapped back to the approved propaganda line: “It will be liberated. There will be a free Ukraine… U.S. plans have been destroyed for decades ahead.”
    ………
    During Friday’s broadcast of 60 Minutes, host Olga Skabeeva said, “Biden announced the goal of our special operation: He said that Putin wants to restore the USSR. As though there’s anything wrong with that.”
    ##############

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. White House weighs ban on Russian oil imports amid growing bipartisan call from Congress to act

    While imported Russian crude makes up only a small fraction of the U.S. oil market, the move could have broader implications for energy prices if countries in Europe and elsewhere adopted similar sanctions. Biden administration officials have been debating how to respond to bipartisan calls for retaliation against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine without driving up the already-soaring cost of oil, which will in turn boost gas prices.
    ……..
    The administration will not try to block other countries from buying Russian oil through sanctions, according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Instead, this staffer added, officials are exploring how to limit what the United States would buy from Russia.

    At the moment, many international oil traders are shying away from buying Russian oil. One said that prices were $25 to $30 a barrel lower for Russian oil than for comparable grades of oil from other countries…….

    Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm, said in an interview that a U.S. ban on oil imports from Russia would not make a major difference in the global outlook for supply and demand. Russia accounted for about 3 percent of the nation’s imported oil in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    “Russia will sell that amount of crude and product elsewhere. We will be able to buy somewhere else,” he said. …….”
    ………
    Meanwhile, Europe could feel the brunt of an international ban. Overall, Russia exports about 5 million barrels a day of crude oil, and about 60 percent of that goes to Europe. “Crude [prices] will keep rising until the risk goes away or there’s a recession,” McNally said. “That’s the brutal math of it.”
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. @11. Plagiarism, Rip? You’re a thread behind. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  16. White House weighs ban on Russian oil imports amid growing bipartisan call from Congress to act

    Use Iranian oil instead, eh Joey? Back in the day Exxon put a tiger in your tank. Of late it’s been a bear. Soon, a terrorist, eh Joey? Don’t bother with Yankee Doodle Light Sweet Crude, eh Joey?!

    $5.95/gallon yesterday at a fill-up; ‘tanks’ a lot, Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. At the same time, Xi has to be somewhat concerned with the way in which the West has united against Russian aggression: Germany is rearming, Sweden and Finland are mulling over allying with NATO, and even Switzerland is ditching strict neutrality in order to help put pressure on Russian financial systems…

    He’s likely using Russia as another resource by watching his back door; and to monitor what not to do when ‘liberating’; Taiwan. That New World Order thingy. They’ve said it’s their plan. There’s even chatter of the two setting up their own reciprocal financial system. NATO is Vlad’s bugaboo. There is no SEATO any longer to bug Xi; it’s defunct– so the only real concern is w./any nations with commitments to defend Taiwan.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. Bloomberg, CNN, BBC halt operations in Russia

    ‘Bloomberg, CNN and the BBC on Friday announced that they would be halting operations in Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that makes independent reporting in the country a crime. “CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” the network said in a statement.

    BBC Director-General Tim Davie issued a statement saying that the British-based broadcaster’s service in Russia would now conduct its operations outside of the country.“This legislation appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism. It leaves us no other choice than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development,” Davie said. “The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs,” he added.

    People urging for sanctions against Russia or those found spreading “fake news” about the Russian forces can be sentenced up to 15 years in prison under the legislation, according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait similarly said that the legislation signed by Putin would make it hard for them to be able to continue producing journalism within the country. “We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia,” Micklethwait said, according to Bloomberg. “The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country.”

    The news comes as Russian independent news outlets have announced they have suspended coverage—a rapid change of events that have taken place in the last week since Russia began its invasion into Ukraine. The Hill has reached out to Bloomberg for comment.’

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/596945-bloomberg-cnn-bbc-halt-operations-in-russia

    Shade’s of Vlad’s new-best-bud, Xi, who’s got his back. Remember when China pulled the plug on CNN?

    … and Jinping grinned.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. Sky News team details taking Russian fire in Ukraine

    A team of reporters with the British publication and broadcast service Sky News came under fire from Russian soldiers in Ukraine on Monday, with at least one journalist wounded in the attack.

    In an article and video published on their website Friday, chief correspondent for Sky News Stuart Ramsay recounted the Russian ambush of his five-member team near the capital of Kyiv. Reporters cried out “Journalists!” to the Russian troops, thinking they might be Ukrainians, but failed to stop the soldiers from firing. “Somehow we have to get out of this, but the bullets keep coming,” Ramsay said in a narration of the video. The team fled down an embankment, barely escaping gunfire, and into a nearby facility, where they hid out until local police escorted them to safety. Later, Sky News learned they were attacked by a saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad.

    A camera operator took two rounds to their body armor, while Ramsay was struck in the back by a bullet, but the team otherwise escaped safely.

    https://news.yahoo.com/sky-news-team-details-taking-233234682.html

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. Can anyone who has been categorically against tariffs (aka sanctions) on China and who is now in favor of sanctions (aka tariffs) on Russia help me understand the distinction?

    Also can anyone in favor of them on Russia because they are evil help me understand why they aren’t in favor of them for China?

    And yes, I know some of you are in this thread.

    frosty (0dec90)

  21. Item Eight: Rob Manfred

    He’s doing what his bosses want him to do.

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  22. Friday-Gold: $1,966.60/oz., – Brent crude oil: $118.11/bbl.

    Attaboy, Joe. Another Wilmington Weekend.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  23. JVW, item 8: You said it. ******

    Bench him.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. baseball fans, all three of them, are probably pissed

    JF (e1156d)

  25. @20 spot on, frosty

    no one will answer

    JF (e1156d)

  26. Why should anyone care to?

    nk (1d9030)

  27. Exactly nk

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  28. The Two Blunders That Caused the Ukraine War

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted from two immense strategic blunders, Robert Service says. ……
    …………
    …………Mr. Service says, Ukraine is “one of the hot spots in the mental universe of Vladimir Putin, and you don’t wander into it without a clear idea of what you’re going to do next.” The West has known that since at least 2007, when the Russian ruler made a speech at the Munich Conference on Security Policy that was, in Mr. Service’s words, “a rage against Ukraine ever joining NATO.” He was about to step down from the Russian presidency (to become prime minister for four years), “so it was his last lion’s roar in the jungle.” When he returned as president in 2012, he made it clear again that “the Ukraine-NATO question wasn’t negotiable.”
    ……….
    It rankles Mr. Putin that Ukraine would seek to join the West—and not merely because he wants it as a satellite state. He also “can’t afford to allow life to a neighboring Slav state which has even a smidgen of democratic development. His Russian people might get dangerous ideas.”
    ……..
    The second strategic error was Mr. Putin’s underestimation of his rivals. “He despises the West and what he sees as Western decadence,” Mr. Service says. “He had come to believe that the West was a shambles, both politically and culturally.” He also thought that the leaders of the West were “of poor quality, and inexperienced, in comparison with himself. After all, he’s been in power 20 years.”
    ………
    “Putin despises democracy,” Mr. Service says. “He believes in the right of the leadership to impose the authority of the state on society.” In the Russian president’s view, this is good for citizens because it brings stability and predictability into their lives. He also believes in the importance of the secret police as an adjunct of government. In this, Mr. Service points out, many of his methods are “reminiscent of the Soviet period,” even if his ideology isn’t.
    ……..
    Looking to history for analogies, he rejects Czechoslovakia in 1968, preferring instead the example of Hungary in 1956, when Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to quell a major uprising. “When the Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution, they had to pay for it economically,” Mr. Service says. “They had to subsidize Hungary with oil and gas.” Moscow bore a huge economic burden for “the retention of Hungary within its political orbit, and that would be the case with Ukraine. And they’d be hated at the same time—hated.” Not to mention taking on the weight of appeasing a conquered people at a time of impoverishment in Russia itself.
    ……….
    For a palace coup to succeed, there would need to be palpable disaffection in the Russian establishment. Mr. Service notes that the Russian Orthodox Church hasn’t yet condemned the war, nor has the Academy of Sciences. “By and large, the establishment has been quiescent.” But the “personal and collective interests” of the ruling elite are at stake. …….(T)hey’ll have to line up behind “a really reckless line of policy, which will require Russia to patrol the biggest state in Europe, now full of angry, vengeful people.”
    ……….
    There have been frequent uprisings in Russian history, and Mr. Service lists them……..
    …………
    He acknowledges that only twice did opponents succeed in toppling the political establishment, but he says that “if there’s a combination of political disorder on the streets and political unease in the ruling group,” as in 1917 and 1991, these factors could converge to powerful effect: “This is a distant possibility at the moment, but it can’t be ruled out.”

    Mr. Service is certain, however, that the Russians will find conquered Ukrainians as difficult to control as free ones. “The Ukrainians have become more nationally conscious over the 20th century, and they’re a proud people who’ve seen what happened to them when they were subjugated by the U.S.S.R.” It is inconceivable that they will accept subjugation again.
    ………

    Robert Service, 74, is a veteran historian of Russia, a professor emeritus at St. Antony’s College, Oxford and a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He has written biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky…….

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  29. baseball fans, all three of them, are probably pissed

    Now you’ve torn it.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  30. @frosty@20 I’m not particularly for or against tariffs, depending on circumstances, but my guess is that given that the entire world seems to be on board, tariffs have a hope in hell of doing something in Russia, while most other aren’t on board with punitive tariffs on China, so it’s not just that they against them in theory, but also tariffs would be very much less useful in practice.

    Nic (896fdf)

  31. The U.S. Shouldn’t Interfere While Putin Loses in Ukraine
    ……..
    …….. Mr. Putin’s latest war of aggression is motivated by a toxic mix of nostalgia and fantasy that seems likely to prove self-destructive. Mr. Putin has so far behaved like a man blind to the true stakes and probable consequences of this conflict.……President Biden’s response must continue to be informed by a realistic appraisal of the ways the U.S. can (and can’t) defend its security interests and help the Ukrainian people.
    ………
    The Biden administration should see this conflict for what it is: a big Russian mistake. Mr. Putin is a revanchist leader, seemingly driven more by resentment than reality, who is reaching beyond his grasp. He can’t stamp out Ukrainians’ persistent desire for independence or inspire allegiance to Moscow on the strength of his military might alone. Hearts and minds aren’t won with bombs and bullets. The best he can hope for is the installation of unpopular pro-Russian political leaders propped up by a costly occupation. All the while, crippling U.S. and European sanctions will jeopardize his support among wealthy elites, and Russian military casualties will jeopardize his popularity with the Russian public. …….
    ………
    Mr. Biden will surely face political pressure to “do more” to help Ukraine. The administration just approved hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate arms sales to Ukraine, whose military has mounted an impressively stiff resistance. But doing more isn’t necessarily doing better. The president has wisely pledged not to send combat troops to Ukraine or even initiate rescue operations of Americans who are trapped there. …….

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake,” Napoleon Bonaparte advised. Mr. Putin appears to be in the middle of a major strategic miscalculation. His overconfident assessment of his own power has been matched by his underestimation of Ukrainian resolve. Tempted by visions of Russian troops being greeted as liberators, Mr. Putin has exposed himself as a naive idealist. Mr. Biden may yet prove to be the true realist.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  32. 28 & 31. The way Neville Chamberlain allowed Hitler to commit a major strategic blunder … my, oh my … didn’t we all see it coming?

    Ukrainians are being slaughtered, the country is being devastated, and these assholes are pushing appeasement from behind out-of-context Napoleon quotes in the guise of how bad it will be for Putin. They’re morons and worse than morons.

    nk (1d9030)

  33. Tempted by visions of Russian troops being greeted as liberators, Mr. Putin has exposed himself as a naive idealist.

    Good grief!

    nk (1d9030)

  34. I would not discount Robert Service’s view, since he actually understands Russia.

    So does Condoleezza Rice in this podcast from 2/15/22

    Kevin M (38e250)

  35. Tariffs are merely a sin tax involving foreign trade. Arte they good or bad? As much as any sin tax is — it depends on who is labeling what a “sin”.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  36. The Two Blunders That Caused the Ukraine War:

    1. President Joe Biden.

    2. Vice President Joe Biden.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  37. Never forget:

    “Because Putin knows if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over. I’m going to stand up to him. He’s a bully…” – Joe Biden.

    Vlad doesn’t.

    And neither does Xi.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. @8. I expect the no-fly zone over Ukraine to start by St Paddy’s Day.

    Not a chance. Pretty useless by then anyway, over a land full of rubble. Encircling artillery and missile strikes will do the job to finish this up for Nostalgic Vlad’s celebratory Soviet-styled May Day Parade through Red Square.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  39. Anecdotal. You know Joe’s in deep do-do when you’re masked up, standing in the grocery store checkout line and strangers are muttering to each other about the prices of the food, gasoline, the war and what bunkered up incompetent Joe is. Men and women middle-aged and old. Unusually vocal; pretty amazing to listen to.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  40. — Dear, about that fox that’s been raiding our chicken coop ….
    Vulpes vulpes fulva the North American subspecies of the red fox. It is the largest of the true foxes and one of the most widely distributed members of the order Carnivora.
    — Yes, dear, I know you know a great deal about foxes but it’s eating all our chickens. Don’t you think we should do something about it?
    — It’s making a strategic mistake, dear. It should be eating its natural prey, field mice and rabbits and other small animals. It’s not only making itself dependent on humans by eating domesticated animals but it’s also putting itself in danger from dogs and shotguns.
    — Oh, you’re so smart, dear. I feel so much better knowing how much you know about foxes.

    nk (1d9030)

  41. John Bolton says Trump wouldn’t have stood in Putin’s way if a Russian invasion of Ukraine had happened during his term
    ………
    Well, I’m not sure he would have done much of anything, frankly,” Bolton said in an interview with Vice published March 1, responding to a question about what Trump might have done had Russia attacked Ukraine while he was president.

    “But you never know with Trump. It depends on what time of day it is, it depends on what he thought his political benefit would be at any given moment. I don’t think ultimately he would have stood in Putin’s way,” Bolton told Vice.

    Bolton said he thought Trump’s glorification of Putin was “embarrassing for the United States.” He also said that he did not think that Trump cared about Ukraine in the first place.
    …….
    In the same interview, Bolton criticized Trump for his lack of understanding of “what the stakes were in Ukraine.”

    “He once asked (then-White House Chief of Staff) John Kelly if Finland was part of Russia. What he cared about was the DNC server, and Hunter Biden, and the 2016 election, and the 2020 election,” Bolton said.

    Bolton said in an interview on Newsmax this week, that Trump “barely knew where Ukraine was,” pushing back on Newsmax host Rob Schmitt’s assertion that Trump, as president, would have handled Russia better than Biden.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  42. KH: “Did you understand a word of that?”

    NP: “What? No. Sorry, I’m drunk.”

    I’d have gone with, “No, sorry, I’m not drunk.”

    But that may just be me channeling my inner DCSCA.

    lurker (59504c)

  43. @42. Walrus Gumbo is a Neocon.

    “Jean a de longues moustaches.” (John has a long mustache.) -‘The Longest Day’ 1962

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. @32. nk:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzqn-bXTq0k

    Feel better now.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  45. Sean Penn walked to Polish border to leave Ukraine

    ‘(CNN)Sean Penn says he and his colleagues ditched their car on their way out of Ukraine. The actor, activist and director was reportedly in the country working on a documentary when Russian forces invaded.’

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/03/entertainment/sean-penn-ukraine-border/index.html

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. putin would never nuke d.c. Our biggest weakness and his biggest and best comrades.

    mg (8cbc69)

  47. Some good news for the US on COVID: Cases and hospitalizations are down in the seven-day averages, and deaths are down 19 percent to a daily average of 1571, still far too high, but moving in the right direction.

    (Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will make COVID even worse in both Russia and Ukraine. I am worried that older diseases, often associated with wars, such as typhus, may also reappear.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  48. US job creation was good in February:

    The U.S. economy created a blockbuster 678,000 jobs in February, adding momentum to a robust recovery that is rapidly returning the labor market to its pre-pandemic boom.

    As the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus receded, the unemployment rate fell to a new pandemic low of 3.8 percent last month, from 4 percent in January, the Labor Department said Friday.
    . . .
    The rosy picture caps off 10 straight months of strong growth, with the economy picking up a record 7 million jobs over the past year and setting the stage for a full recovery by this summer, a little more than two years after the pandemic plunged the country into recession.

    By “full recovery”, I assume they mean we will finally get back to the number of jobs we had before COVID. That is more impressive than it may seem at first glance, since both COVID and “long COVID” are making it harder for many to work.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  49. Can anyone who has been categorically against tariffs (aka sanctions) on China and who is now in favor of sanctions (aka tariffs) on Russia help me understand the distinction?

    Also can anyone in favor of them on Russia because they are evil help me understand why they aren’t in favor of them for China?

    And yes, I know some of you are in this thread.

    frosty (0dec90) — 3/4/2022 @ 6:36 pm

    Trade restrictions make ppl poorer in general, but may benefit protected industries at the expense of consumers.

    That’s /why/ sanctions work. They’re going to make us all poorer but it will have a much larger impact on Russia.

    In the case of Russia it’s not a moral judgment where we levy sanctions because they’re evil. It’s a practical measure to try to reverse / limit their military expansion.

    Honest question: was this really not clear?

    Time123 (59cf00)

  50. No, no, no!

    Tariffs on China are the best thing in the world because The Real President Whose Election Was Stolen From Him By 81 Million With Fake News Mean Tweets Donald Trump made a beautiful trade deal with Xi Jinping in a perfect telephone call.

    Tariffs on Russia are bad because Sleepy Joe Brandon is hiding in his cellar and making no telephone calls at all.

    nk (1d9030)

  51. I think you’re being charitable, Dana, calling Van Buren’s article “jaundiced”. A better word is one-sided, because there’s not a word of criticism for Putin’s propaganda, which has been ongoing against Ukraine since he first invaded in 2014, or of Putin expanding his invasion of a sovereign state, or his war crimes against Ukrainians, which are confirmed. No, it’s all about a place of “little importance” where its people embellished in a fog-of-war situation. Completely unfair, and practically pro-Putin.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  52. Oops, not Dana, JVW.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  53. Has anybody else read Commander In Cheat by Rick Reilly? It’s centered around the amazingly gross manner and extent that Trump cheats at golf, and it has good deal of other interesting and funny things as well which help keep down the Orange nausea.

    nk (1d9030)

  54. @42 the “this mess should’ve happened when trump was president” narrative won’t let up

    JF (e1156d)

  55. By “full recovery”, I assume they mean we will finally get back to the number of jobs we had before COVID. That is more impressive than it may seem at first glance, since both COVID and “long COVID” are making it harder for many to work.

    Jim Miller (406a93) — 3/5/2022 @ 5:11 am

    Basically, it means that anyone who wants to get a job has one, since the employment-population ratio remains below what it was before the pandemic.

    Not that it matters all that much when the money you are making isn’t covering what it did in March 2020. That figure ramped up during the late 1970s, too.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  56. According to Josh Rogin, the Biden administration wants to “beat” China, not change it.

    During his four years in office, President Donald Trump tried to execute a sharp pivot in U.S. policy toward China, abandoning a 45-year-old foreign policy consensus aimed at persuading China to become more like the West. His administration’s strategy checking Chinese military and economic expansion through sanctions and tariffs was a sensible response to the regime of Xi Jinping. But the erratic and sometimes clumsy implementation by Trump’s dysfunctional mix of GOP hawks and MAGA aides prevented it from gaining broad acceptance in Washington or around the world.

    To the surprise of many in Washington and Beijing, the Biden administration has largely followed Trump’s lead, keeping U.S. policy toward China on a more competitive — if not confrontational — footing, an approach now favored, in varying degrees, by lawmakers in both parties and likely to last as long as China continues its great leap backward.
    . . .
    As Biden’s second year in office began, U.S. tariffs on China were still in effect. U.S. and allied ships traversed the South China Sea more often. Sanctions for China’s human rights violations and restrictions on its technology and investments continued to pile up.

    So, similar aims, but more intelligent foreign policy actions. Biden, for example, understands that the US needs allies against China, something Trump never understood, and never will.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  57. @61 demented joe doesn’t understand the difference between ukrainians and iranians

    JF (e1156d)

  58. Although there is a degree or two of separation involved, you can say Paul Manafort shares responsibility for Ukraine’s unpleasantness. After all, it was he took money from the pro-Putin Party of Regions and it was his political counsel that helped elect Yanukovych to the presidency.

    In effect, Manafort was basically worked for Putin, one degree removed, since the Party of Regions are basically stooges for Putin. In effect, no Manafort, no Yanukovych elected president, no Maidan protests, no popular revolution, no fleeing to Russia by Yanukovych, no invasion of Crimea, no invasion of Donbas. And it flows from there.

    Manafort was still consulting Yanukovych during the Maidan protests, and the former Trump campaign manager only lost his job because Yanukovych fled to Russia. And let’s not forget who worked side-by-side with Manafort for nine years, Kilimnik. Manafort shared Trump’s internal polling with Kilimnik and, after the 2016 election, they forged a “peace deal” and presented it to Trump, which would basically give eastern Ukraine to Putin and put Yanukovych in charge of the region.

    Manafort set to work rebranding the party with poll-tested messaging and improved stagecraft. Before long, the Party of Regions was in power in Kyiv. One of his key aides in Ukraine was, allegedly, a Russian spy. The Senate Intelligence Committee report on Trump and Russia said Konstantin Kilimnik was both “a Russian intelligence officer” and “an integral part of Manafort’s operations in Ukraine and Russia.”

    I won’t call Manafort a traitor, but he betrayed American for tens of millions in cash.

    Giuliani also betrayed America, aligning with a Russian spy, Andreii Derkach.

    In December 2019, as an impeachment inquiry was at full tilt, Giuliani flew to Ukraine and met with a member of Ukraine’s parliament, Andrii Derkach, in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation of Trump’s actions. Derkach, a former member of the Party of Regions, went on to release a trove of dubious audio “recordings” that seemed to be aimed at showing Biden’s actions in Ukraine, when he was vice president, in a negative light.

    Within months, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Derkach, describing him as “an active Russian agent for over a decade” who tried to undermine U.S. elections. Derkach has called that idea “nonsense.”

    Derkach was also a source for Ron Johnson’s report. I won’t say Ron Johnson is a traitor, but he betrayed America, working with a guy who literally attended a Russian spy school.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  59. A Letter to Andrew Hill | Dr Tess Lawrie – Ivermectin Suppression Likely Killed Millions

    There are no randomized clinical trials that show ivermectin to be effective against Covid or against BuDuh’s outbreaks of sketchy sources. Tess Lawrie is part of the pro-HCQ and pro-ivermectin Bird Group, which is the UK equivalent to the American cranks at Frontline Doctors.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  60. Can anyone who has been categorically against tariffs (aka sanctions) on China and who is now in favor of sanctions (aka tariffs) on Russia help me understand the distinction?

    I don’t consider tariffs to be sanctions on the other country, because they involving increasing taxes on us Americans, which is why I oppose tariffs. We’d be better off sanctioning specific ChiCom or Russian companies and individuals who are cheating/stealing, IMO, because it makes the bad actors pay.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  61. Why should anyone care to?

    nk (1d9030) — 3/4/2022 @ 7:05 pm

    Exactly nk

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f) — 3/4/2022 @ 7:07 pm

    Middle School Girls rock!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  62. Regarding Yanukovych and the Maidan protests: I once saw a Trumper list Ukraine among the places where the “American empire” had staged a “regime change” operation. I thought it was weird, and then I found someone else claiming that the Maidan protests were provoked, if not engineered, by the CIA.

    It was just one example of how the “America First” crowd can slide into “Blame America First.” Maybe this person knew very well what Manafort was up to — and knew that Yanukovych was Putin’s arm in Ukraine — and it was either a case of “Manafort worked for Trump, and therefore he was on the right side in Ukraine,” or maybe just a result of romanticizing Putin as the savior of traditional Russian culture against a corrosive “liberalism” injected into Ukraine from the west. (Never mind that Ukrainians say they have always been oriented toward Europe, of their own will.)

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  63. Paul, one way to look at sanctions is a non-kinetic means to degrade a counties ability to wage war and reduce their will to fight. A factory idled by sanctions and a factory idled by bombs have still been idled. Although a bomb will create additional damage.

    Not sure that’s a great mental model.

    Time123 (59cf00)

  64. America First defines “America” in Nick Fuentes terms.

    Time123 (59cf00)

  65. The former US Ambassador to Russia has some good bullet points on what Biden should do.

    Sign an executive decree ordering Mastercard and Visa to halt all transactions in Russia now. NOW.

    End all imports of Russian oil to the U.S. today.

    Allow/pressure/encourage Poland to give Ukraine 28 MIG 29-s fighter jets. Push for Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria to do the same (70 fight aircraft in all). In return, the US and other NATO countries should enhance the air defenses of these countries. [Some American A-10s, too.]

    Suspend Russia’s Most Favored Nation status, making the import of all Russian goods more expensive.

    More drones (especially from Turkey), more Javelins, more Stingers.
    […]
    PS Biden says he’s worried about gas prices going up? Then we should buy more oil for Canada! We can’t keep funding Putin’s war when could be buying more energy for democratic Canada.

    I would add one more thing: Kill the Jones Act, because doing so would cut oil shipping costs, and the added benefit would be the stimulus of the domestic cruise ship sector.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  66. If only Ms. Grier had “heart medicine” or steroids on her person, she might’ve made it past customs. Instead, Putin is holding this American hostage.

    The Russian Federal Customs Service said Saturday that its officials had detained an American basketball player after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  67. Why is there another Batman movie?

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  68. Griner, 31, a member of the 2014 WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury and the 2016 Olympics gold medal team, has played during the WNBA off-season for the Russian team Ekaterinburg in the Euroleague since 2015.

    I’m looking for my violin.

    nk (1d9030)

  69. Margaret Thatcher once made this astute observation:

    “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

    Sometimes the childish personal attacks one sometimes sees on the Internet come from people who could make a rational argument, but often, I think she is right, and that those personal attacks implicitly concede defeat.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  70. The Russian Federal Customs Service said Saturday that its officials had detained an American basketball player after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.

    Oh, well, if the Russian Federal Customs Service said it was true, it must be so, because the Russians never arrest anyone on false pretexts.

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  71. @42. Walrus Gumbo is a Neocon.

    I’ll take that over Paleocon or Moronocon any day. And then there’s Trump, a straight-up con, and with any luck at all a “con” of another sort soon.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  72. Given there are probably thousands of Americans still in Russia, they are all potential hostages.

    Russia Travel Advisory-March 5, 2022
    ……..
    U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately. Limited commercial flight options are still available. Overland routes by car and bus are also still open. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make arrangements on your own as soon as possible. If you plan to stay in Russia, understand the U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may change suddenly. U.S. citizens who are able to depart Russia for another country and are in need of emergency assistance upon arrival may contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in that country.

    U.S. citizens should note that some credit and debit cards may be declined as a result of sanctions imposed on Russian banks. Also, there are some reports of cash shortages within Russia. U.S. citizens should make an alternative plan for access to money and finances if remaining in Russia.

    Due to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, an increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. In addition, airspace around southern Russia is restricted, and a number of airports in the area have closed. U.S. citizens located in, or considering travel to, the districts of the Russian Federation immediately bordering Ukraine should be aware that the situation along the border is dangerous and unpredictable.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  73. By “full recovery”, I assume they mean we will finally get back to the number of jobs we had before COVID. That is more impressive than it may seem at first glance, since both COVID and “long COVID” are making it harder for many to work.

    Not really, as they redefine anyone unable to work as “not in the workforce.” As for the absolute numbers of jobs, more youngsters enter the workforce every year than old folks retire and leave. Especially when starting wages are high and the resulting inflation is still lagging.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  74. Good response from the Germany Embassy in South Africa.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  75. Trade restrictions make ppl poorer in general, but may benefit protected industries at the expense of consumers.

    This is simplistic. It ignores short-tun/long-run issues, environmental and ethical issues (e.g. is slavery something we will countenance for a lower price) and the mistake of outsourcing critical industries to people who will hold you up later.

    Tariffs are sin taxes on foreign trade. What is a sin, is of course subject to debate. Is it a sin to buy foreign steel? Probably not. Is it a sin to buy from a country cutting costs through forced labor? Probably yes.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  76. I’m sure that’s what Russia is worried about, that Stinger missiles sent to Ukraine could end up in the hands of terrorists, who would then shoot down airliners. It couldn’t have anything to do with those missiles shooting down Russian choppers and tanks and jetfighters.
    And I guess it’s only okay when Russians shoot down airliners.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  77. Question: Does a tax on hard liquor make us all poorer in general?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  78. U.S. officials fear Putin’s government may arrest Americans in Russia
    ……..
    The Biden administration has started notifying some major businesses with operations in Russia that, depending how far the situation escalates, Putin could start taking Americans hostage, two people with knowledge of those conversations said.

    It’s unclear whether the Biden administration has specific reason to believe Putin may take U.S. hostages or is merely anticipating potential worst-case scenarios. But discussions about mitigating the risk for Americans in Russia have involved multiple U.S. national security agencies as well as U.S. Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, officials said.
    …….
    There’s a long history of Russia detaining American citizens, often under purported espionage charges, and detaining them for long periods of what the U.S. has described as wrongful imprisonment.

    That includes two former U.S. Marines currently held in Russia: Trevor Reed, sentenced in 2020 to nine years in prison on charges of assaulting a police officer, and Paul Whelan, sentenced to 16 years on spying charges. The U.S. has called for the immediate and unconditional release of both Americans.
    ……..
    “This is what will happen: They’ll get arrested on trumped-up charges,” said Marc Polymeropoulos, a former senior CIA officer who oversaw Russia and Europe operations. “There’s always a concern that Americans doing business in Russia are caught up in the bilateral tensions and can be unjustly imprisoned — sometimes for long periods of time.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  79. 72/nk – Griner is a convergence of couldnt care lesses (a real Amazon at 6′ 10″, an alphabet who went to a no_dancing private Baptist U, probably militant, weed smoker, Wnba etc all). In the Soviet days of international sport, they would be scraping her egg cells to achieve the flava version of Ivan Drago.

    urbanleftbehind (c6f17b)

  80. The Russian Federal Customs Service said Saturday that its officials had detained an American basketball player after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.

    Griner, 31, a member of the 2014 WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury and the 2016 Olympics gold medal team, has played during the WNBA off-season for the Russian team Ekaterinburg in the Euroleague since 2015.

    Ugh, Brittany Griner is a mess, and she has been her entire basketball career, even going back to college. She’s proof positive that a WNBA player can be every bit as dysfunctional as a NBA player, so at least she’s a beacon of equality in that regard. I know we have an obligation to help our citizens when they are stuck in a situation like this, but even though its not at all out of the question that the Russian are lying here it is undoubtedly more likely that Brittany Griner really was stupid enough to smoke (vape) hash in a repressive autocratic country like Russia and then not just throw out her device and get a new one back home. She is an absolute idiot.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  81. I’m sure that’s what Russia is worried about, that Stinger missiles sent to Ukraine could end up in the hands of terrorists

    It doesn’t matter what Russia is worried about. They are our enemy.

    But it’s legitimate that I’m worried about that. Ukraine’s government is no friend to America. We have learned the hard way with Turkey, that letting corrupt and frankly evil governments into NATO doesn’t help the world at all.

    We helped Russia’s enemies in the 1980s. 9/11 would not have happened if we had not done so.

    Right now, most politically involved Americans see everything as ‘blame Trump fans ‘ or ‘blame Biden voters’. It is extremely fashionable to support the Ukrainian government, wave its corrupt flag around, worship the movie star president they have, and his photo ops in military uniform.

    But I only support the civilians over there. And a lot of the military leading the civilian fighters there trained very hard to kill me and my family in the 80s and 90s. It’s just a fact that they aren’t my friend. If the outcome of this war is nuclear chaos that kills millions of Americans, they will be pleased. That’s a horrible truth. Most of the news I get is exclusively one side’s propaganda, and much of it we know, for sure, to be lies. Ghost of Kiev, 13 sailors killed for saying ‘Russian Navy Go F yourself’, etc etc etc.

    The truth is nuanced, there are three sides to all he-said / she-said stories, and we’re definitely going to see the amazing weapons given to the Ukrainians used to kill good people one day. Those Javelins, AT-4s, Stingers, they were a necessary evil at best. Better than Americans enforcing a no-fly zone by far.

    I will say some of the video of Russian choppers getting shot down is amazing.

    https://twitter.com/markito0171/status/1500035933218955265

    And I’m sure that pilot was well aware of what he was doing. Russian pilots aren’t the low-info conscripts, and they kill many civilians brutally, particularly in Syria.

    the real outcome, though, should be to change leadership in Russia, perhaps break the country down even further. I think Lindsey Graham is right for once.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  82. Ukraine sinks its own flagship frigate in port to avoid possible capture

    The pride of the Ukrainian fleet, the Hetman Sahaidachny flagship, was undergoing repairs in Mykolaiv, a port Russian forces are advancing on. The ship’s commander gave the order to sink it so it “would not be captured by the enemy,” Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote on Facebook. -source, London Telegraph and National Post

    Literally “going down without a fight.” But did they scuttle the cannoli, too? 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  83. I’m sure that’s what Russia is worried about, that Stinger missiles sent to Ukraine could end up in the hands of terrorists

    Especially when they define the Ukrainian resistance as “terrorists.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  84. Ukraine’s government is no friend to America. We have learned the hard way with Turkey, that letting corrupt and frankly evil governments into NATO doesn’t help the world at all.

    Ukraine is a much better ally than Turkey, which did only one good thing when they closed off military vessel access to the Black Sea. Other than that, Erdogan has been a NATO Ally In Name Only.
    This talk about Ukraine’s corruption is way overblown. They’re less corrupt than Russia and 58 other nations. Not only that, they threw out a president who rejected the EU in favor of Putin’s Eurasian dictators’ club and elected two that sought closer ties to the West.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  85. Question: Is is likely that the West will avoid war with Russia during this decade?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  86. Ukraine’s government is no friend to America. We have learned the hard way with Turkey, that letting corrupt and frankly evil governments into NATO doesn’t help the world at all.

    Bollocks. When Turkey joined NATO it was a staunch ally. What turned Turkey wasn’t Erdogan, but the EU that repeatedly refused Turkey membership for what appear to be racial and religious reasons.

    Erdogan, like Trump, was a reaction, not a cause.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  87. Turkey was such a strong ally during the Cold War that it allowed us to base nuclear missiles there. Up until Erdogan, it was functioning secular democracy. Was it corrupt? Well, sure, but what isn’t. Was it more corrupt than New York City, Illinois or Italy? Hard to say.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  88. @85. ‘I will say some of the video of Russian choppers getting shot down is amazing.’

    ‘Sunk On Purpose’: Ukrainian Navy’s Flagship Hetman Sahaidachny Seen Partially Submerged

    https://www.ibtimes.com/sunk-purpose-ukrainian-navys-flagship-hetman-sahaidachny-seen-partially-submerged-3423699

    Shooting down a chopper w/a $40,000 U.S. made Stinger missile may be neat-o video, but sinking your own multi-million dollar warship- your navy’s flagship no less, without firing a shot at ‘the enemy’- shows a much sadder picture, Dustin.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  89. Ukraine is a much better ally than Turkey, which did only one good thing when they closed off military vessel access to the Black Sea. Other than that, Erdogan has been a NATO Ally In Name Only.
    This talk about Ukraine’s corruption is way overblown. They’re less corrupt than Russia and 58 other nations. Not only that, they threw out a president who rejected the EU in favor of Putin’s Eurasian dictators’ club and elected two that sought closer ties to the West.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 3/5/2022 @ 11:06 am

    Erdogan is indeed an awful ally. I disagree with your defense of Ukraine’s government. I hope the people prevail (and realize this is very unlikely). I appreciate they had a good reason to flood the internet with propaganda and lies, simply because it was a good way to reduce the impact of Russia doing the same. But they are basically the same as Russia’s government, just less of a threat to the world.

    Whoever is ranking this crap can’t be trusted any more than anybody who fawned over the ghost of kiev. Too many liars out there.

    I think Putin should be removed from office, the best way to achieve peace, and we should do all we can to cripple his military (which is much better than anyone on twitter would think today, given the endless hysterical propaganda about it).

    Dustin (47bccc)

  90. But they are basically the same as Russia’s government, just less of a threat to the world.

    No, they’re really not “basically the same”, Dustin. Ukraine is a partly free and imperfect democracy while the Putin regime is not free. There’s no comparison.
    With Putin’s shutdown of any media that would dare call an invasion an invasion, he just took his status from authoritarian to totalitarian. Ukraine is nothing close to that.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  91. Question: Is is likely that the West will avoid war with Russia during this decade?

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/5/2022 @ 11:06 am

    I think we’ve done our best to avoid it, but it’s beginning to shape that way. Putin’s power is more secure if this conflict includes Americans.

    but sinking your own multi-million dollar warship- your navy’s flagship no less, without firing a shot at ‘the enemy’- shows a much sadder picture, Dustin.

    DCSCA

    no idea what you’re talking about but I assume you are cheering the good guys losing right? How edgy.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  92. @89. Question: Is it likely that the West will avoid war with Russia during this decade?

    Never punch down; Reaganomics:

    U.S. companies with an existing presence in Russia include, PepsiCo, Procter&Gamble, McDonald’s, Mondelez International, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Cargill, Alcoa, Microsoft, Airbnb, Baskin-Robbins, Google… General Electric. GE recently signed a joint venture with oil firm Rosneft in expectation that Washington will actually one day lift sanctions on oil firms. -Forbes.com

    Business will be chilled, but not killed:

    https://nypost.com/2022/03/02/here-are-the-companies-that-have-cut-ties-with-russia-over-the-ukraine-invasion/

    American companies in Russia

    https://companylist.org/Russia/Keywords/American/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  93. Ukraine is a partly free and imperfect democracy

    That’s putting it mildly.

    Granted, Putin kills a lot of his critics. He’s very bad.

    I’m not concerned with ranking systems. Ukraine’s government is not our friend. The people leading their military literally grew up training to kill you and everyone you love.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  94. @95. no idea what you’re talking

    No surprise; read and find out, Dustin:

    https://www.ibtimes.com/sunk-purpose-ukrainian-navys-flagship-hetman-sahaidachny-seen-partially-submerged-3423699

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  95. Don’t care, DCSCA.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  96. It’s not about the ranking systems, Dustin, it’s about the rationale (which you didn’t read) that brings them to their conclusions.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  97. “Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men. Courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace. And the vices of peace are the vices of old men. Mistrust and caution. It must be so.” – Prince Faisal [Alec Guinness] ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ 1962

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  98. I think we’ve done our best to avoid it

    I quibble over the word “best” in that sentence. Putin is blooding his army and will have a next goal, and a next. What looks prudent now will be seen later as surrender, and the fight later will be far worse than a fight now.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  99. It’s not about the ranking systems, Dustin, it’s about the rationale (which you didn’t read) that brings them to their conclusions.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 3/5/2022 @ 11:34 am

    Read the whole thing.

    They are indeed extremely corrupt and their elections are BS. Do not care about some number ranking them as a relatively great nation, lol.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  100. It is amusing how sensitive people are to criticism of corrupt soviets who dream of killing the sensitive people off in nuclear hellfire.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  101. No surprise;

    None here, wither.

    read and find out

    Is that drivel any better than the exerpt you posted?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  102. Putin is losing the information and propaganda war. An essential part of warfare.

    Aside from some despicable quislings at Fox News nobody is buying his BS.

    The snake island story produced a rallying cry for the Ukrainians.”Russian warship go F### yourself” it did not go down as reported but that is unimportant.

    Was thinking that one reason Zelensky comes off so well is, like Reagan, his background as an actor.

    Echo (dffc56)

  103. I quibble over the word “best” in that sentence. Putin is blooding his army and will have a next goal, and a next. What looks prudent now will be seen later as surrender, and the fight later will be far worse than a fight now.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/5/2022 @ 11:35 am

    Our best isn’t great I suppose. I don’t see how we arrive at a place where Putin is losing and doesn’t recognize his power is more secure if we’re drawn into a full blown war.

    Obviously those who have stand to lose much more than those who don’t have. Russia loses less in a horrible outcome than America does, and it’s always been that way. It’s always been a problem with mutually assured destruction.

    If we were to drop a JDAM on his head from a stealth drone that self destructs I would really like that. Probably not a great move, but I would still like it a lot.

    Putin is the bad guy. My point is that the only good guys here are not affiliated with any government. The people defending their homes, or getting families to safety, etc. Nobody else is a good guy in Ukraine. Their government is not our friend, and this will be eye-roll common sense obvious in 20 years, same as it is with the Taliban.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  104. They are indeed extremely corrupt and their elections are BS. Do not care about some number ranking them as a relatively great nation, lol.
    And yet you’re likening them to Putin’s Russia, as if there’s no difference. You’re making no sense.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  105. They are indeed extremely corrupt and their elections are BS

    But they were not so in the post-WW2 era when they joined NATO. Your argument was that they were too corrupt to join NATO and that is blatant nonsense. Italy was more corrupt then, by large amounts. The US had a failed election in 1960, for that matter.

    Three things changed for Turkey.

    1. In the early 70’s, a conflict with Greece over Cyprus left them somewhat estranged from Europe.
    2. After the Soviet Union fell, their need for NATO was greatly diminished.
    3. In the 80’s and 90’s, they repeatedly attempted to join the EU and were just as repeatedly rebuffed. It was pretty obvious that the reasons were mostly bigotry. So, again their interest in NATO diminished.

    NOW, of course, Russia is a threat again and they are running home to Momma.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  106. @99. Ukraine sank their own navy’s flagship, Dustin, to avoid capture rather than give it a fighting chance and risk losing it in battle. So give them $10 billion more in aid courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. The Biden Administration plans to start selling the Ukrainian relief War Bonds to pay for it, right? Wrong. Charge it- to Uncle Sam’s credit card, financed by $ borrowed from China.

    “Madness! Madness!” – Major Clipton [James Donald] ‘The Bridge On The River Kwai’ 1957

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  107. Their government is not our friend, and this will be eye-roll common sense obvious in 20 years

    Their government is, and has been for some time, attempting to join the EU and the West. The people there clearly want this. The EU has standards for democracy and Ukraine would have to meet those. The current president was willing to stand up to Donald Trump even when doing so had negative immediate consequences. I believe the word for that is “integrity.”

    The same president has managed to rally all of the West behind him, and were it not for the misplaced fear of global nuclear war*, NATO would have forced the Russians out of Ukraine (and probably Belarus) by now.

    Putin has clearly read up on Nixon’s “Madman Theory.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  108. @106. Alexander Dubcek was a darling in the ‘Prague Spring,’ too. Until Russian tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia in ’68. If you caught the video of Zelensky on a big screen TV being cheered by thousands in the streets of Prague the other day, you’ll understand why.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  109. The snake island story produced a rallying cry for the Ukrainians.”Russian warship go F### yourself” it did not go down as reported but that is unimportant.

    That Russia took the prisoners alive, but might as well have killed them all off, and the Ukrainian government put out a message they will not take prisoners, is important. That Ukraine’s government lied about this to get a twitter meme going, means Russia has no reason to be merciful.

    This is a larger issue. A lot of stories of indiscriminate shelling, with surprisingly low civilian casualty rates (no doubt this has already changed). No one in western media pointed out that this is inconsistent.

    Russia can live down to expectations now. I have the lowest opinion of them so don’t misinterpret me, but it is actually very important. In particular, I noticed which of my friends bought lie after lie. Few of them even realize they were lies, but those who do all seem to agree it doesn’t matter. That the truth doesn’t matter will tend to benefit the bad guys.

    Ukraine’s government told the lies because they do not mind as much as they should if Russia becomes truly brutal in this conflict. What they didn’t want was for Russia to enter the nation, surgically replace the government, and the people become pragmatic and complacent in exchanging one corrupt government for another.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  110. Their government is, and has been for some time, attempting to join the EU and the West

    Kinda. And maybe the final outcome is that the people there demand a much more western government, rooting out government corruption (putting corrupt leaders in prison, and permitting open criticism of the corrupt, with accurate elections). I hope so.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  111. Ukraine sank their own navy’s flagship, Dustin

    Don’t care.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  112. Dustin,

    You seem to think that Erdogan and his government are indicative of Turkey’s 20th century history. It isn’t. It’s not even similar. Up until Erdogan, bringing “Islam” into politics was an impeachable offense. He broke with 80 years of Turkish history and politics.

    So, conflating Erdogan with Turkey/EU/NATO since WW2 is (how to say this politely?) crap.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  113. Erdogan is to Turkish politics as Donald Trump is to the Reagan/Bush/Romney GOP.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  114. Ukraine to israel we need help not statements of goodwill! Statements of goodwill and praying for them didn’t help in world war II.

    asset (f59697)

  115. And yet you’re likening them to Putin’s Russia, as if there’s no difference.

    And to the Taliban.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  116. @111 what happens if you are wrong?

    asset (f59697)

  117. @109. NOW, of course, Russia is a threat again and they [Turkey] are running home to Momma.

    Erdogan says Turkey plans to buy more Russian defense systems

    WASHINGTON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey still intended to buy a second batch of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, a move that could deepen a rift with NATO ally Washington and trigger new U.S. sanctions.

    Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defense systems. Turkey says it was unable to procure air defense systems from any NATO ally on satisfactory terms.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/turkeys-erdogan-says-intends-buy-another-russian-s-400-defence-system-cbs-news-2021-09-26/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  118. You seem to think that Erdogan and his government are indicative of Turkey’s 20th century history.

    Note that I was pretty specific that Erdogan isn’t our friend. I actually am quite disappointed Turkey took this turn. Use to have family stop there on the way to other places, but the country isn’t what it was or could have been. Hindsight is 20:20, but that hindsight that Turkey shouldn’t be in NATO is pretty clear to me.

    Similar in some respects (and different in plenty) from Iran with the Shah, or in the 1950s when they took a stab at being democratic.

    I’m not sure why you think I conflated this with Turkey in WW2.

    Like with Ukraine, it would be great to see Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Satan’s 7th circle, the Crips, cancer, and AIDS, all embrace democracy and freedom and ethics and accountability. And it would also be great to recognize why that does or doesn’t happen, before we just hope for it. We keep making this mistake.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  119. @Dustin In all fairness our military was also trained to kill them and their families. Nature of the Cold War.

    Nic (896fdf)

  120. @123. He doesn’t care. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  121. And to the Taliban.

    Radegunda (c970ff) — 3/5/2022 @ 12:07 pm

    Well let’s put it more simply. Was it a mistake to give military aid to a nation Russia invaded in 1979? (the answer is yes). why?

    And yet you’re likening them to Putin’s Russia, as if there’s no difference.

    There are differences. do these differences mean enough to make this a good or bad decision?

    I think the case for giving Javelins and AT-4s to Ukraine is a strong one, but we should be cautious. Those weapons will kill Americans one day. Perhaps a necessary evil, but an evil.

    Why is Ukraine’s government so much like Russia’s? If you don’t realize the similarity, explain why. I hope it’s not that a website ranking puts one over the other.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  122. Sank their own warship.

    Scuttling is not a new naval tactic. In WW 2 Japan, Germany and France all did that. Ukraine doesn’t stand a chance against the Russian navy. At least this way you avoid capture which could be used by the enemy.

    Same things happen in a land war. If your situation looks hopeless and you can’t get all your stuff out you destroy it before retreating.

    “Russians took prisoners alive.”

    They are useful for propaganda. Ukraine is taking prisoners and using them for propaganda. They just released a list of 100 of them for propaganda purposes.

    War sucks this is all what happens.

    Echo (dffc56)

  123. @Dustin In all fairness our military was also trained to kill them and their families. Nature of the Cold War.

    Nic (896fdf) — 3/5/2022 @ 12:11 pm

    Indeed, and I don’t think both sides were equals in any way during the cold war. To me, there was a clear good guy and bad guy. And Ukraine stands in an awkward position where they basically agree with me, and were in some ways trying to become more like the good guys, while the corrupt were weasels about it.

    He doesn’t care. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/5/2022 @ 12:19 pm

    I don’t care about your endless dumb comments, but I do care about Nic and Kevin’s points that are not dumb. Keep being edgy and trying to get attention, desperado.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  124. Scuttling is not a new naval tactic.

    They did the same thing to their own airports. And I agree it’s a smart thing to do. Almost obvious. Not that interesting honestly.

    They are useful for propaganda. Ukraine is taking prisoners and using them for propaganda.

    And it is really foolish for Ukraine to discredit the value in taking their people prisoner, same as it was foolish for their government to claim they would not take prisoners (undermining the issue of war crimes).

    We’ll see that more clearly in a few months, I expect.

    One issue I’m thinking about but not really explaining is that Ukraine’s leaders obviously want a shooting war between the Americans and Russians, and the rest of the world finds that to be a really terrible thing to happen. They have understandable reasons for it, and they encourage it through lying about what’s happening, because they do not care about America as much as America cares about them.

    *again I think Russia and Putin are the actual bad guys here. I will probably be misinterpreted for nuance because that’s what it means to have a discussion on anything controversial.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  125. I think the case for giving Javelins and AT-4s to Ukraine is a strong one, but we should be cautious.

    Give??? Let’s raise your taxes across the board w/a 10% Ukraine War Aid excise tax to pay for them first. Ukraine sank their own navy’s flagship to avoid capture rather than risk losing it in battle, Dustin. But then, you don’t care; those neat-o shoot down videos are so much cooler to watch, aren’t they.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  126. @127. Pfft.

    See #73. =mike-drop=

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  127. Dustin, it’s hard to know what are lies and what are fog-of-war situations, but you keep assigning moral equivalency to both sides, and that makes no sense.
    What is easy to know are Putin’s lies, such as the one that Ukraine needs “denazifying”, a nation that elected a Jew to run the country, or that his invasion is a “special military operation”.
    What’s also easy to know are Putin’s war crimes. I’ve seen too many residential buildings struck by missiles and too many dead civilians in the streets to believe that the Russian dictator is not deliberately or indiscriminately targeting civilians for death.
    And even if there is an Azov Battalion roaming around the country, so what, it’s not casus belli. Ukraine is an independent sovereign state, recognized as such by Putin’s own Russian Federation and formalized by 1994 memorandum and 1997 treaty. Putin has no business and no right to invade. He didn’t have that right in 2014 when he invaded two regions of the country, and he still doesn’t. They’re not his vassal.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  128. @126. Disagree. You can’t tout the faux scenario of Snake Island, then sink your own navy’s flagship- in port no less- w/o firing a shot at an enemy amidst a war then turn around and beg NATO, the EU and the U.S. for more weapons and help– and in America’s case, $10 billion in aide up for debate, no less.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  129. @132 ship was disabled it was scuttled to prevent falling into russian hands like french fleet at toulon in 1942.

    asset (f59697)

  130. How many here still support russia? Even tucker carlson is no longer supporting putin. (he says)

    asset (f59697)

  131. Ukraine has not started any wars of aggression (that I remember). They do not sponsor or support international terrorism. They do not meddle in our elections. It is unlikely that Ukraine’s political leaders endorse cyber attacks to press our defensive and infrastructure assets. Ukraine does not have nuclear weapons and voluntarily handed over the ones that were placed on its soil. Ukraine does not seek to eliminate or suppress minorities. Yes, Ukraine is internally the most corrupt country in Europe, but this means bribes and political preferences not concentration camps and political opponents disappearing. They want to be part of the EU….they want to be part of NATO. It’s not a question of “do we want to live there”, probably not, but does a sovereign country that we have no major spats with, deserve our support against a thuggish authoritarian regime which is lying about Ukraine being imminently let into NATO.

    I’m with Ukraine. The stories coming out are heart-wrenching. These are normal people trying to live their lives the best they can. We shouldn’t risk WW3 for Ukraine, but as it slowly dies, is decimated, and the jack boot pressed down, a small part of liberty goes down with it.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  132. @131. Correct, Paul.

    Never lose sight of his plan/desire to reconstitute the ol’Soviet Union in some way, shape or form. His snout should have been soundly smacked post/Georgia– certainly Crimea. But it wasn’t. He’s been relentless at sticking to his plan for 20-plus years; and now with the ‘New World Order’ pronouncements w/China at his back, they’re rolling it out. He was going to do this eventually- the question is why now and not last year, the year before– or next year. A weak POTUS? A terminal illness? The off ramp is a divided east/West Ukraine, a la Cold War Germany as hinted in Dr. Kissinger’s analysis:

    https://www.henryakissinger.com/articles/how-the-ukraine-crisis-ends/

    Expect a split Ukraine as a path to peace w/ Kyiv the ‘East Berlin’ pro-Russian capital and Lviv the prowest ‘Bonn’ capital. But without a possible off-ramp to save face, Vlad’s all in and will roll through Ukraine completely up to the NATO line and stop, thanks to Article 5. Ukraine is toast. But China is watching how the West reacts and will avoid the errors Putin makes as they target their Taiwan takeover.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  133. @135: “The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia.” – Kissinger

    [Note: Fished out from moderation. – JVW]

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  134. “The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709” – Kissinger

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  135. “like french fleet at toulon in 1942.”

    Or the German fleet at Scapa after WW1. More cannoli nonsense.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  136. JVW- there’s some ‘expletive deleted’ term in the Kissinger quote posted #137 that sends it into moderation. Don’t know what it is but it is Dr. K’s words.

    [Yeah, I don’t know why it ended up in moderation, but I did fish it out. – JVW]

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  137. @Dustin@128 One issue I’m thinking about but not really explaining is that Ukraine’s leaders obviously want a shooting war between the Americans and Russians, and the rest of the world finds that to be a really terrible thing to happen. They have understandable reasons for it, and they encourage it through lying about what’s happening, because they do not care about America as much as America cares about them.

    I think that Zelenesky thinks that the NATO allies have a better chance of surviving, intact, a shooting war with Russia than Ukraine does. Maybe he thinks that Russia wouldn’t use their nukes or that their nuclear arsenal is in such bad repair that they would fail, or maybe he doesn’t care, or maybe he figures that tactical nukes are likely to be used in Ukraine so why not elsewhere, but we certainly aren’t willing to risk it. Zelenesky is using all the tools at his command to save his country, and I can’t blame him, but that doesn’t mean that we should do everything he wants, either.

    All things being equal, an independent Ukraine is a better option IMO than a Ukraine as part of a Russia conglomerate.

    If I’m really being cold, it’s more in our interests for Russia to spend its remaining military might trying to crush its neighbor than playing in the rest of the world arena, provided Russia isn’t successful. And if they fail, their military will be crippled for a generation or more and it won’t matter which ambitious oligarch or military leader eventually succeeds Putin because they will have to brood inside their own borders. So it’s very much in our favor to keep providing aid to Ukraine to help them extend and eventually win their fight as long as we can keep out of a shooting war with Russia and, at the end, hopefully help Ukraine restablize their country back into some semblance of functional.

    Nic (896fdf)

  138. In his 1947 book, Inside U.S.A., John Gunther describes the widespread corruption in the US at that time, especially in the larger cities.

    Example:

    “In 1936, the St Louis Post-Dispatch won a Pulitzer prize for exposing “padded registrations”, of which there were found to be 45,000 in St Louis alone. It printer picture after picture of deserted empty houses–each the address of a hundred “voters”.

    The corruption then was not limited to big cities with large immigrant population, but was found in many rural areas, too, especially in Appalachia, and the deep South.

    How did we decrease corruption since then? By citizens working together.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  139. @133. Nonsense- it was in port in ‘drydock’ -so they say- and quite capable of using its weapons to fight. Guess those ‘drydocked’ ships in Pearl Harbor had an excuse not to shoot back at the attacking Japanese, too.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  140. @139. Pfft. The scuttling of the German fleet took place at the Royal Navy’s base at Scapa Flow, in Scotland, after the end of the First World War AJ. Not amidst a desperate war to defend their country.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  141. The US has been helping Ukraine fight corruption, and has had some success:

    There is no question that corruption is prevalent. The 2018 Transparency International corruption index ranks Ukraine 120 out of 180 countries. The 2019-2024 USAID Country Development Cooperation Strategy for Ukraine categorizes Ukraine as the most corrupt country in Europe and sets anti-corruption as one of four strategic objectives for its assistance programs for Ukraine. However, there has been improvement, with its CPI (Corruption Perception Index) score improving from 27 in 2015 to 32 in 2018.

    In 2016, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) granted the Eurasia Foundation a 5-year, $13 million award for TAPAS (Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services Activity). Subsequently, UK AID made two contributions totaling $10.4 million and USAID an additional $960,00, bringing total funding to $24.4 million. The goal of the project is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government and reduce corruption through transparent, open electronic processes. The project has three objectives: deployment of large-scale electronic procurement; open data; and electronic services.

    As I understand it, that anti-corruption aid is one of the many things that Putin objects to. It is not hard to understand why.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  142. Ukraine has not started any wars of aggression (that I remember). They do not sponsor or support international terrorism. They do not meddle in our elections

    All good points. No doubt Russia’s government’s actions are worse. They are a large once-superpower and they really never stopped being our enemy from the moment Stalin allied with Hitler.

    However, these good points are not good things. They are bare minimum things.

    I’m with Ukraine.

    I support the people of Ukraine, though I’m not sure how exactly, beyond saying this on the internet.

    We shouldn’t risk WW3 for Ukraine, but as it slowly dies, is decimated, and the jack boot pressed down, a small part of liberty goes down with it.

    I guess that’s true, but not a huge part. Ukraine’s government could have been in NATO a while ago if they did the right thing for the right reasons.

    Dustin, it’s hard to know what are lies and what are fog-of-war situations, but you keep assigning moral equivalency to both sides, and that makes no sense.

    Except the part where I say Russia’s worse, I guess I basically said they were the same, which I didn’t say. Just be careful about this defense of a very corrupt government. the people are indeed being victimized here, and it is sad and worth our attention.

    It is not that hard to know what are lies. Practically every important thing Ukraine’s government has gotten traction with was not offered in good faith. If you are still believing them and trusting them, no wonder you think criticizing them is moral equivilance to the Russians.

    . I’ve seen too many residential buildings struck by missiles and too many dead civilians in the streets to believe that the Russian dictator is not deliberately or indiscriminately targeting civilians for death.

    You’re wrong. And this is an even more nuanced point so I’m sure you will not appreciate it at all, but look at what russia did to Syria. Look at the initial dead civilians, I believe in the hundreds. That’s an abhorrent act of war by Russia, but it does show some discrimination against civilian death. Not on USA levels, but it’s actually so obvious that your insistence this isn’t true kinda proves my point. Propaganda worked on you.

    Ukraine’s government did necessarily have military targets in civilian areas, due to the nature of their defense. This isn’t ‘human shields’ like Russia claims, but it’s still basically impossible to fight them without civilian death (which you’ll probably point out, is still Russia’s fault since there is no legitimate reason to invade… that’s right).

    If Russia were being indiscriminate, what we see over the next two months will be similar to what we saw last week. An easy test.

    *again, Russia is the bad guy in this invasion and I hope Putin is removed from power at best, and I hope the Ukrainian people win, though this is very unlikely. I’m just repeating this point because nuance is dead on the internet.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  143. @141. Nic, peruse Kissinger’s analysis.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  144. I think that Zelenesky thinks that the NATO allies have a better chance of surviving, intact, a shooting war with Russia than Ukraine does.

    Nic, he doesn’t care if my friends die as much as he cares if his own people die. I guess that’s natural. I disagree that NATO has a better chance of surviving outright nuclear war than his citizens have right now. We really shouldn’t be sending USAF to shoot down Russian aircraft (AKA no fly zone). Granted, no one disagreeing with me here is asking for this as far as I can tell (I tend to scroll fast when DCSCA is active so I miss some arguments).

    All things being equal, an independent Ukraine is a better option IMO than a Ukraine as part of a Russia conglomerate.

    No doubt. And that’s what Paul probably means to say. My point isn’t that Ukraine’s very corrupt government trying to con its way into the EU is the worst outcome. I still think it’s a pretty meager one, and one lesson here is that if you have a shot at cleaning up your government to get into NATO, better get clean and democratic fast. I hope Kosovo is paying attention.

    Looking at it from the idiot POV (the tucker carlson POV that damn it sure is bad for Russia to have good guys on its border) is another point for hoping Ukraine’s government somehow prevails. Might as well surround the bad guys.

    But the real winner here is Taiwan (and I mean that sincerely, and I think it is a good thing). The world is recognizing its instability, and to the extent it can, it’s speaking out against invading neighbors with severe economic consequences. With China, I’m sure the consequences would be tempered on the good guy side and still unacceptable to the bad guy side. A good lesson.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  145. Of course, the fight against corruption in the US never ends, as this recent indictment reminds us.

    CHICAGO — A federal grand jury in Chicago today indicted former Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives MICHAEL J. MADIGAN on racketeering and bribery charges for allegedly using his official position to corruptly solicit and receive personal financial rewards for himself and his associates.

    The 22-count indictment accuses Madigan of leading for nearly a decade a criminal enterprise whose purpose was to enhance Madigan’s political power and financial well-being while also generating income for his political allies and associates.

    (For some years I have been charmed by the fact that he was protected from state prosecution by the fact that his adopted daughter, Lisa Madigan, was the Illinois attorney general.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  146. @147. Postscript; Nic, no doubt the backroom Pentagon analysts are giddy over the data they’re collecting on Russian military hardware performance, tactics, logistics and procedures. Even a basic public overview reveals an essentially a regional power that with basic logistic problems entering a region literally adjacent to their own country and uses the nuclear threat to stave off overt aid from NATO/EU sources.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  147. @148. Don’t care, Dustin.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  148. you don’t care; those neat-o shoot down videos are so much cooler to watch, aren’t they.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/5/2022 @ 12:26 pm

    yes

    Dustin (47bccc)

  149. Everyone just imagine that the Russian piloting that helicopter was well aware of the big picture geopolitically, probably killed a huge number of civilians in Syria, and due to the relatively low speed and location of the fire on his helicopter, was fully aware he was dying and possibly even survived the impact with the ground. One crispy commie. As DCSCA cries, it was cool to see. We might differ on Ukraine’s merits, but I hope all of us except crybaby over there agree that the Russian military who understand what they are really doing should pay the price.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  150. @DCSCA@149 I suspect they aren’t sad about it and the satellite boys are probably working double shifts.

    Nic (896fdf)

  151. Why is Ukraine’s government so much like Russia’s? If you don’t realize the similarity, explain why.

    How about explaining all the ways that Ukraine is just like the Taliban?

    [AJ_Liberty:] Yes, Ukraine is internally the most corrupt country in Europe, but this means bribes and political preferences not concentration camps and political opponents disappearing.

    A crucial distinction, I would say. When the Ukrainian government starts poisoning critics and rivals with radioactive agents, and starts invading and bombing other countries, then we can reconsider the question.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  152. Nic, there’s probably some intriguing covert teams on the ground at work, too, which we’ll never know about- nor should- until their memoirs are quilled 40 years from now.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  153. Except the part where I say Russia’s worse, I guess I basically said they were the same, which I didn’t say.

    Dustin, you said “they [the Ukraine government] are basically the same as Russia’s government, just less of a threat to the world.” I have to take that to mean that if Putin didn’t meddle in Ukraine and in other parts of the world, there is no difference between Putin and Zelenskyy.

    Did Zelenskyy murder one political rival (Nemtsov). Did he poison another rival and send him to a penal colony on bullsh-t charges? Did any of Zelenskyy’s critics inexpicably die from defenestration incidents?

    I hate to keep belaboring, but your equivalency statement makes no sense to me. I’m under no illusion about Ukraine’s government. I just think they have a right to keep it.

    Regarding Syria, it’s not a few hundred, the number is closer to 23,000±. This is not a small deal. There are multiple accounts of attacks in residential areas with no military targets in the vicinity, in both countries.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  154. Regarding Syria, it’s not a few hundred, the number is closer to 23,000±. This is not a small deal. There are multiple accounts of attacks in residential areas with no military targets in the vicinity, in both countries.

    Right. Difference, of course, was it was Syria, not Europe, and not being broadcast ‘live’ 24/7 on every cable news channel daily full of cellphone video and clips of shootdowns and explosions on loops.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  155. Dustin, you said “they [the Ukraine government] are basically the same as Russia’s government, just less of a threat to the world.”

    Exactly. It’s the difference between a weak bully who isn’t hurting others, but is not worried about the welfare of others, and a strong one, who is hurting others.

    I have to take that to mean that if Putin didn’t meddle in Ukraine and in other parts of the world, there is no difference between Putin and Zelenskyy.

    But I didn’t say that and you compared the whole of Ukraine’s government in your defense, a website ranking that admitted the government is very corrupt and their elections and justice for government corruption have a lot of problems. Strange you thought I was just talking about the actor/president/commando guy.

    One is a murderer, the other isn’t, and I said the best outcome would be putin to lose power or be killed, so your interpretation of my remarks (That Ukraine’s government is not trustworthy, generally) is frankly not based on my remarks. It’s based on Ukraine’s propaganda, that any skepticism about anything they lie about = defending Putin.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  156. When the Ukrainian government starts poisoning critics and rivals with radioactive agents, and starts invading and bombing other countries, then we can reconsider the question.

    Radegunda (c970ff) — 3/5/2022 @ 1:33 pm

    I guess your bar is fairly low then. Trump didn’t poison anybody with P-210 so I guess he’s basically a great leader.

    Always thought P-210 was intended as a phonetic reference to Putin btw. Anyone else think that?

    Dustin (47bccc)

  157. The way I feel right now, my preference is to unleash NATO and let Putin wonder if we’re going to stop at Ukraine. I’d also use airstrikes on all the staging bases. He threatens nukes, but no one is going to let him do that, even if he’s crazy enough to do it himself.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  158. Nic, peruse Kissinger’s analysis.

    Kissinger is a senile sociopath. He has yet to be right on anything.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  159. @111 what happens if you are wrong?

    Well, right now what happens is a nation of 43 million people (roughly the size and density of California) is being killed or driven from their homes.

    How many people have to be enslaved before you are willing to fight?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  160. Hindsight is 20:20, but that hindsight that Turkey shouldn’t be in NATO is pretty clear to me.

    They joined NATO at the beginning and were (and are) a strategic necessity. They hold the exit from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and that even works today. THey allowed the US to place Jupiter missiles on their territory and, until Erdogan, were staunch allies not only of us, but of Israel.

    Similar in some respects (and different in plenty) from Iran with the Shah, or in the 1950s when they took a stab at being democratic.

    We should have backed the Shah to the hilt. He may not have been democratic, but his Iran was a far far better place, even with Savak, than the current regime. The Shah busted the 1973 oil embargo, and if he hadn’t done that things would have gotten very bad. Possibly war.

    I’m not sure why you think I conflated this with Turkey in WW2.

    I said (or meant) post-WW2, which is when NATO happened. IN many senses WW2 never ended, it just got Cold.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  161. Like with Ukraine

    Ukraine has embraced democracy as much as any Eastern European country. If they had not, do you think that the virtue-signalers in the EU would be giving them the time of day? Would Germany be willing to give up their Russian bedfellows?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  162. I don’t care about your endless dumb comments

    You forgot “superficial”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  163. @137, in which Kissinger is exposed as a Realpolitick echo of Putin.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  164. @162, B-b-b-but Kissinger and Nixon ascribed to you Madman Theory, Kevin:

    ‘Nixon’s and Kissinger’s Madman strategy during the Vietnam War included veiled nuclear threats intended to intimidate Hanoi and its patrons in Moscow. The story is recounted in a new book, Nixon’s Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War, co-authored by Jeffrey Kimball, Miami University professor emeritus, and William Burr, who directs the Archive’s Nuclear History Documentation Project. Research for the book, which uncovers the inside story of White House Vietnam policymaking during Nixon’s first year in office, drew on hundreds of formerly top secret and secret records obtained by the authors as well as interviews with former government officials.

    With Madman diplomacy, Nixon and Kissinger strove to end the Vietnam War on the most favorable terms possible in the shortest period of time practicable, an effort that culminated in a secret global nuclear alert in October of that year.’- source:

    https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb517-Nixon-Kissinger-and-the-Madman-Strategy-during-Vietnam-War/

    =mike-drop=

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  165. in which Kissinger is exposed as a Realpolitick echo of Putin.

    See above, Kevin.

    Sad.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  166. The problem is that Ukraine cannot win militarily, and a long guerilla struggle will kill millions. Picture a post-secession California or Texas fighting a guerilla war against the United States military. Not only would they lose, but the devastation would be beyond horrific. Add to that the probability that Putin would take reprisals.

    We will be at war with Putin’s Russia before the next election here. If you accept that, why wait until he’s consolidated Ukraine and moves on the Baltic states or Poland? Because if we temporize now, I assure you we will find a way to temporize then (“Oh, admitting them to NATO was a mistake…”)

    Kevin M (38e250)

  167. See above, Kevin.

    Sad.

    I’ve seen your posts and I agree. Very sad.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  168. @162, B-b-b-but Kissinger and Nixon ascribed to you Madman Theory, Kevin:

    I didn’t say it was a good idea, I said that was Putin’s game. I think it’s BS like Nixon’s was.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  169. Dr. K forgives you, Kevin.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  170. But Nixon is your hero, Kevin.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  171. Shell buys Russian oil days after saying it would limit business with the country for its ‘senseless act of military aggression’ against Ukraine

    https://www.businessinsider.com/shell-purchases-russian-oil-after-limiting-business-with-the-country-2022-3

    =mike-drop=

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  172. The problem is that Ukraine cannot win militarily, and a long guerilla struggle will kill millions. Picture a post-secession California or Texas fighting a guerilla war against the United States military. Not only would they lose, but the devastation would be beyond horrific. Add to that the probability that Putin would take reprisals.

    We will be at war with Putin’s Russia before the next election here. If you accept that, why wait until he’s consolidated Ukraine and moves on the Baltic states or Poland? Because if we temporize now, I assure you we will find a way to temporize then (“Oh, admitting them to NATO was a mistake…”)

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/5/2022 @ 2:35 pm

    Interesting points. And it’s not like Paul’s crazy to side with Ukraine’s president against Putin, if you have to see it as one or the other. I just don’t trust either government at all. If we have to pick a side, one is our enemy and the other is ambivalent about ww3 happening.

    If war with Putin’s Russia is inevitable, then I guess we have to side with Ukraine’s government much as we’ve sided with imperfect friends for our whole history. Is it better to starve them out for a couple of years, and risk them making the first devastating strike? Tough call. I would hope we are finding disloyal Russians and infiltrating them as much as we can, because I doubt the last administration was effective in this important task.

    I just plain don’t want our military in this conflict. Ukraine isn’t worth it. Iraq, Afghanistan, they were only going to be worth it if we had follow through our society lacks. No more. Anybody saying otherwise needs to do some pushups and enlist, be willing to have their sons enlist.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  173. The way I feel right now, my preference is to unleash NATO and let Putin wonder if we’re going to stop at Ukraine. I’d also use airstrikes on all the staging bases. He threatens nukes, but no one is going to let him do that, even if he’s crazy enough to do it himself.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/5/2022 @ 2:15 pm

    Tom Lehrer quilled a tune just for folks like you… ’bout 60 years:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrbv40ENU_o

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  174. As Robert Service noted in my comment above , what Putin will “win” are millions of Ukrainians who will “never forget” and cost Moscow billions annually in reconstruction and general support, bleeding dry a Russia still under sanctions, along with a guerrilla war knocking off collaborators. Some victory.

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  175. If we have to pick a side, one is our enemy and the other is ambivalent about ww3 happening.

    Well, to be fair WW3 is happening in Ukraine. No one wants to fight a war with nukes, not even “little” ones — anyone sane knows that’s not how that ends. “WW3” will not be a nuclear war, not even if it’s with China. Nukes are just the bogeyman that stopped conventional war all these years. But Putin seems to think that one side can fight a conventional war and the other side will remain cowed. That can only last so long.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  176. Hi Dustin
    Very much appreciate the discussion.
    I’ve really enjoyed the videos of Ukrainian farmers towing off Russian vehicles and tanks.
    To be honest, even if they were all from other incidents at other times and places, I’d still laugh.

    I can’t help but think that if these videos are real, that Putin s not happy. It is a humiliation on an international stage. Brutality with a splash of vodka seems to be the preferred Russian antidote for humiliation.

    I’ve read that Russia has lost one high ranking general and possibly two or lesser rank.
    The story has been that due to the stalled nature of the “40km column” the Generals have moved to the front to sort it out and were exposed. That sounds right, but if we were to find out they were shot out of a fit of Putin pique it wouldn’t shock me.

    steveg (e81d76)

  177. I prefer either “The MLF Lulaby” or “We’ll All Go Together When We Go”

    And we will all go together when we go
    Oh, what a comforting fact that is to know
    Universal bereavement, an inspiring achievement
    Yes, we all will go together when we go

    We will all go together when we go
    All suffuse with an incandescent glow
    No one will have the endurance to collect on his insurance
    Lloyd’s of London will be loaded when they go

    Oh, we will all fry together when we fry
    We’ll be french fried potatoes by and by
    There will be no more misery, when the world is our rotisserie

    Yes, we will all fry together when we fry
    Down by the old maelstrom
    There’ll be a storm before the calm

    And we will all bake together when we bake
    There’ll be nobody present at the wake
    With complete participation in that grand incineration
    Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak

    Oh, we will all char together when we char
    And let there be no moaning of the bar
    Just sing out a tedium when you see that I-C-B-M
    And the party will be “come as you are”

    Oh, we will all burn together when we burn
    There’ll be no need to stand and wait your turn
    When it’s time for the fallout and saint peter calls us all out

    We’ll just drop our agendas and adjourn
    You will all go directly to your respective Valhallas
    Go directly, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars

    And we will all go together when we go
    Every Hottentot and every Eskimo
    When the air becomes Uranius
    And we will all go simultaneous

    Yes, we all will go together
    When we all go together
    Yes, we all will go together when we go

    Kevin M (38e250)

  178. For Kevin:

    “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” – Tom Lehrer, 1973

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  179. Well, to be fair WW3 is happening in Ukraine. No one wants to fight a war with nukes, not even “little” ones — anyone sane knows that’s not how that ends. “WW3″ will not be a nuclear war, not even if it’s with China. Nukes are just the bogeyman that stopped conventional war all these years. But Putin seems to think that one side can fight a conventional war and the other side will remain cowed. That can only last so long.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/5/2022 @ 4:44 pm

    I understand your point that this seems existential and dire to Ukrainians and therefore it’s as bad or something, but it’s obviously not as bad. Thousands versus billions lost is a distinction even Ukrainians should understand. hoping this evolves into a horrible war so Ukraine gets allies it didn’t actually do anything to earn is not a reason to trust anybody.

    I’ve really enjoyed the videos of Ukrainian farmers towing off Russian vehicles and tanks.
    To be honest, even if they were all from other incidents at other times and places, I’d still laugh.

    I can’t help but think that if these videos are real, that Putin s not happy. It is a humiliation on an international stage.

    Same. I love that.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  180. Oh
    No amount of pushups, burpees, MMA, farmers carries would get me ready to go to Ukraine to fight.
    That bloom is off the rose.
    I’d be willing to carry/pass ammunition, but I remember the story of a US Marine sniper who spent days on top of a water tower in Iraq… whne he was asked about his targeting of said ammunition carriers he said something like “by the end of the second day, I’d hit all the slow ones”.
    That puts me in the first day dead group

    steveg (e81d76)

  181. White House weighs three-way deal to get fighter jets to Ukraine

    The U.S. remains in discussions with Poland to potentially backfill their fleet of fighter planes if Warsaw decides to transfer its used MiG-29s to Ukraine, four U.S. officials tell POLITICO.
    ……..
    As Poland weighed sending its warplanes to Ukraine last week, Warsaw asked the White House if the Biden administration could guarantee it would provide them with U.S.-made fighter jets to fill the gap. The White House said it would look into the matter. The Biden administration didn’t oppose the Polish government giving Kyiv the MiGs, which could potentially escalate tensions between NATO and Moscow. Poland, for now, has held on to its fighter jets.
    ……..
    Several Eastern European countries like Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia retain dozens of Russian-made aircraft in their inventories and have been hesitant to give up those planes without guarantees from the U.S. that they could replace them.

    Poland has been modernizing its aircraft fleet since 2006, when it first started flying F-16s, and in 2020 signed a $4.6 billion deal for 32 F-35s, the first of which will arrive in 2024, making those older Russian-made planes expendable.

    ……. A steady stream of U.S. and British military planes have been landing in Poland in recent days filled with those missiles, along with other munitions, rations, and small arms and ammunition.
    ……..
    After Zelenskyy’s impassioned Zoom call with senators on Saturday, during which he urged the U.S. to send planes, drones and Stinger missiles to Ukraine and impose oil sanctions on Russia, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) sent a letter to President Joe Biden throwing their full support behind backfilling Poland with F-16s if they were to hand over their Russian planes, saying they would work to ensure there was funding to finance the transfer.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  182. And, yes, I hope that Russians will overthrow Putin, withdraw from Ukraine and seek the world’s forgiveness and an end to the terrible sanctions. I can see that actually happening. But we need a Plan B.

    Scenario 2: Putin conquers Ukraine and makes it a Russian territory, ruled under martial law. He responds to guerilla action like the Nazis did — any village thought to harbor guerillas is collectively executed — and he does it a lot. In fact, he says that he’ll shoot 1000 Ukrainians a day until sanctions are lifted. Then what?

    I favor being prepared. Send an additional Army Corps to Germany and Poland. At the very least this will deter further attacks, and give us options if things get really bad.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  183. ‘I Just Can’t Stand By’: American Veterans Join the Fight in Ukraine
    ……..
    (There is a) surge of American veterans who say they are now preparing to join the fight in Ukraine, emboldened by the invitation of the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier this week announced he was creating an “international legion” and asked volunteers from around the world to help defend his nation against Russia.
    …..
    All across the United States, small groups of military veterans are gathering, planning and getting passports in order. After years of serving in smoldering occupations, trying to spread democracy in places that had only a tepid interest in it, many are hungry for what they see as a righteous fight to defend freedom against an autocratic aggressor with a conventional and target-rich army.
    ……..
    A number of mainstream media outlets, including Military Times and Time, have published step-by-step guides on joining the military in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government instructed interested volunteers to contact its consulates this week.
    ……..
    The outpouring of support is driven, veterans said, by past experiences. Some want to try to recapture the intense clarity and purpose they felt in war, which is often missing in modern suburban life. Others want a chance to make amends for failed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and see the fight to defend a democracy against a totalitarian invader as the reason they joined the military.

    ……… Americans watching real-time video in Ukraine can, with a click, connect to like-minded volunteers around the globe. A veteran in Phoenix can find a donor in London with unused airline miles, a driver in Warsaw offering a free ride to the border and a local to stay with in Ukraine.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  184. Here is a site that tries to document equipment losses on both sides using photos and videos

    https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html

    steveg (e81d76)

  185. Arlington suspends substitute teacher who backed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
    …….
    The substitute, John Stanton, 65, made the comments during an eighth-grade Spanish lesson on Friday at Swanson Middle School. Stanton said in an interview Tuesday that he spoke about Russia and Ukraine for the first 10 minutes of a 90-minute class and that he hoped to offer students an opposing viewpoint that he said is rarely heard.
    …….
    “I said, ‘Here’s what’s going on,’” Stanton said. But “the statement I think that got me was I said, ‘I personally support the logic of Putin,’ and what I meant by that is, he made a rational decision from his perception.”
    ……..
    The Friday lesson prompted parents of a student in the class to write to the School Board raising concerns about Stanton. In the email, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, the parents wrote that Stanton “told students he supported Russia, asked whether anyone in the class ‘hated Russia,’ and complained about rising gas prices, presumably as an effect of the current crisis.” The email noted there was a Ukrainian student in the class.

    The parents wrote that Stanton’s comments amounted to “advocacy of political positions, and Russian propaganda” and called the remarks “wholly inappropriate.”
    ………
    In a Pravda opinion piece published Feb. 28, Stanton wrote that the United States owns “every country in the NATO alliance” and called the Russia-Ukraine conflict “great news for the West’s defense contractors” who will earn “billions of profit.” He also wrote that “any support aired by anyone on the West for the Russian position gets mauled and derided by pro-West pundits” and that “self-censorship by Western media will only get more wicked.”

    From 2016 to 2018, Stanton said, he worked as a reporter for Sputnik News in D.C. ……
    ……..
    Stanton said he understands why some feel that a lesson on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is not an appropriate topic for a Spanish class. But he also said that, if he had another chance, he’d give the same speech again.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  186. Does anyone know where DCSCA lives? Arlington?

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  187. Putin warned that Ukraine will be ‘blamed’ for losing its statehood if its leaders ‘continue doing what they are doing’
    ………
    Putin, increasingly isolated from the West as he continues his military advance throughout Ukraine, rejected the country’s resistance against his escalating invasion.

    “The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,” Putin said during a meeting in Moscow. “If that happens … they will have to be blamed for that.”
    ………
    As if the current independent Ukraine government is under any illusions of what a Russian occupation of Ukraine would be like. There is no difference between a puppet government or being subsumed into “Mother” Russia. A distinction without a difference.

    Rip Murdock (d35ab2)

  188. #190 steveg- Thanks for that link. I was most struck by the large number of weapons abandoned or captured by both Russia (147, 290) and Ukraine (44, 98). That’s out of 734 Russian losses and 234 Ukrainian losses.

    If either side had been having a continuously successful advance, we would expect it to suffer fewer abandonments, and almost no weapons captured.

    Note also that, if the numbers are roughly correct, then Ukraine has more weapons now, than at the beginning of the war.

    (This is a little unfair, but do you have any idea just how accurate those numbers are?)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  189. I think Patterico laid out a pretty solid case about Putin. There’s really no comparison with Ukraine, IMO.
    If we’re to compare Putin to anyone, the closest should be someone like Xi, given his crimes against his own people and his cheating ways abroad, and that he runs a major power, nukes and all.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  190. I have no idea if the photos on that site are all accurate… actually it is a safer bet to say that some portion are likely inaccurate.

    Comedy wise, here is why Western people might think Ukraine is capturing more than they lose. Go through the entire thread

    https://twitter.com/StrictlyChristo/status/1499200835695169539

    The amount of abandoned and captured war material by Ukraine has to be concerning to the NeoSoviets.
    Parts of the ground invasion seem mishandled and I see no explanation why Russia does not absolutely rule the airspace

    steveg (e81d76)

  191. That’s a crude basis to compare them, but I think you give away the game, Paul. By that metric, running a nuclear superpower is the only way to be bad, yeah, I guess Ukraine’s government is not bad. Neither were the guys we helped in Afghanistan before 9.11.

    What is happening to the domestic opponents of Ukraine’s government, Paul?

    Dustin (47bccc)

  192. To be brutally honest, I think we will find that Stingers will have been sold by corrupt Ukrainians to groups similar to ISIS. Sophisticated anti tank missles as well

    steveg (e81d76)

  193. (I should have added that it may not make much sense to total such different types of weapons, even though the author did. Still, it is startling to see that the Russians have abandoned 24 tanks and had 50 captured.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  194. Ukraine would not have needed A-10s to have taken out that convoy if the Israelis had agreed to provide them with Harop kamikaze drones. “Harpy, say hello to the sitting duck!”

    nk (1d9030)

  195. Jim Miller if you click on the individual destroyed, damaged,etc, they provide photo/video links

    steveg (e81d76)

  196. Instead, Bennett met with Putin.

    nk (1d9030)

  197. George Will still has a way with words:

    Floundering in his attempts to wield political power while lacking a political office, Donald Trump looks increasingly like a stray orange hair to be flicked off the nation’s sleeve.

    Do I agree with that 100 percent? No, but it is a funny thing to say.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  198. Those drones are expensive to use for suicide missions on a convoy
    https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/india-to-buy-15-harop-suicide-drones-from-israel-578947

    steveg (e81d76)

  199. #201 steveg – Thanks again. I understand what you are saying, but I don’t have the expertise to judge those videos and photos.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  200. Ukraine would not have needed A-10s to have taken out that convoy if the Israelis had agreed to provide them with Harop kamikaze drones. “Harpy, say hello to the sitting duck!”

    nk (1d9030) — 3/5/2022 @ 6:46 pm

    The Soviets had an aircraft similar to the A-10 called the Su 25, but the factory in Georgia was blown up by Putin in 2008. Our country should have handled things a lot differently with Putin in 2008. He didn’t show his true colors recently.

    I think the Georgians wanted to start building those planes again. Given the problems we’re seeing with Russia’s logistics, large amounts of staged vehicles is a predictable future opportunity Russia’s enemies will have, so perhaps Russia’s neighbors should invest in that old SU-25 plant.

    Though I think an asymmetric tactic would just be to keep hitting supply lines of fuel and medical supplies.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  201. Those drones are expensive to use for suicide missions on a convoy

    Just 100 or so on artillery, rocket launchers, and ammo carriers?

    nk (1d9030)

  202. By that metric, running a nuclear superpower is the only way to be bad, yeah, I guess Ukraine’s government is not bad.

    No, Dustin, because you haven’t made a serious comparison to Zelenskyy, one that shows any sort of equivalency to Putin, even if you take out Putin’s malfeasance outside his borders.

    If you want to raise “domestic opponents”, the one I know about is the Ukrainian case against Medvedchuk (who the US had sanctioned), under house arrest and his pro-Putin media outlets shut down. The reason is simple: He was indicted for treason. The man is a close longtime friend of Putin (and Putin is godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter), for colluding with his Russian dictator friend against the legitimate Ukrainian state. To date, Medvedchuk is whereabouts unknown, not poisoned or shot or defenestrated.

    This isn’t like the US relationship with Russia, where we’re adversarial but not on a war footing. Putin’s Russia is an enemy of the Ukrainian state, for taking Crimea and for waging war against eastern Ukraine for 8 solid years. I guess what gets me here is that there should be no comparison. One party (Putin) is the bully and the other party (Ukraine) is the victim, the kid who keeps getting his lunch money taken.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  203. If we’re to compare Putin to anyone, the closest should be someone like Xi, given his crimes against his own people and his cheating ways abroad, and that he runs a major power, nukes and all.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 3/5/2022 @ 6:22 pm

    Wouldn’t rule Der Fuehrer out of that mix. He wrote a book, spelled out a plan and more or less stuck to it; some read it with concern; many ignored it; others warned of the Gathering Storm until it was too late. Putin pretty much made no secret of his dreams to reconstitute some semblance of the once the Soviet Union- and given Ukraine’s history w/Russia- as Dr. Kissinger so clearly spelled out- he’s been fixated on it being a part of it again.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  204. Wait, someone wrote that on a Civic?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  205. Paul- see Dr. K’s observation noted in #137. From Putin’s POV, essentially, “Russia” began there.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  206. SNL cold open: hilarious. Best in years.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  207. “Every time I laugh an angel dies.” – Laura Ingraham [Kate McKinnon] SNL cold open, 3/5/22

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  208. George Will still has a way with words:

    I think George Will is a very talented wordsmith, but I find the whole “Orange hair, Trump” thing to be kind of lazy and weak. It’s been way too overplayed. Surely he could have come up with a fresher and better metaphor.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  209. The worst is a prolonged war ;but the people fighting it especially on the losing side don’t think so. If the cities fall will just mean partisan warfare or a spanish civil war scenario. Abraham lincoln brigade soon? Flying tigers anyone?

    asset (f570cf)

  210. From reading military sniper blogs there is a lot of interest from the worlds sniper community to go and practice on russian conscripts and especially their officers.

    asset (f570cf)

  211. What we are seeing is a full-blown alignment of interests between globalist government and their partnered multinational corporations and financial institutions. The dollar will not be the worlds currency much longer. Buh bye petro dollar. “Cash Money Homey”

    mg (8cbc69)

  212. putin still has his twitter account….
    priceless

    mg (8cbc69)

  213. I’d like to throw some chin music to George Will.

    mg (8cbc69)

  214. As for China, it is being inconvenienced by the sanctions against Russia and wants a negotiated end to this. What China wants – China gets.

    mg (8cbc69)

  215. The price of oil, empty shelves, inflation, Biden’s oatmeal brain, Critical Race Theory, teaching kindergartners how to put a rubber on a banana, the invasion over our southern border, and all the rest are critically important, but not as important as staying out of another stupid g.d. war we cannot win.

    mg (8cbc69)

  216. JVW @ 214. The dingleberry in Lady Liberty’s underdrawers?

    nk (1d9030)

  217. They let a Honda Civic ride with them? That model’s great grandpappy the CVCC was the proverbial camels nose of Japanese imports. I guess that’s the Disney Cars animated movie version of Enrique Tarrio and Nick Fuentes.

    urbanleftbehind (c6f17b)

  218. This may be a good time to recycle some of those old Cold War jokes.

    For example, in 1987 Boris and Ivan are discussing how the Soviet Union works. Boris says, “You know, Ivan, I think this must be the richest country in the world.”

    “Why do you say that, Boris?”

    “Because for seventy years, everyone has been stealing from it, and there is still stuff left to steal.”

    (More seriously, for a moment: I have a collection of Russian political jokes compiled in 2017 — and it is disturbing to see how similar many of them are to the jokes told 40 or 50 years ago.)

    Cross posted at Political Betting.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  219. “Donald Trump looks increasingly like a stray orange hair to be flicked off the nation’s sleeve.”

    I think JVW is latching onto “orange”, but the point is irrelevance….and how when war and threats of nuclear first-strikes are front and center…..Trump becomes an indulgence we can’t afford. His obsession over his stolen election….punctuated by absurd players like MTG and the Pillow Guy….accentuates how little the man actually brings to complex problems….where being an adult is kind of the point. He had his “perfect call” to Ukraine and his “perfect rally” at the Capitol, now it’s time for someone who is more strategic and smarter. Will nailed it…as always

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  220. Dustin, I agree that like much of Eastern EU Ukraine has a problem with corruption compared to Western EU. But it seems silly to put them in the same category as a Afghanistan.

    Ukraine has (had) a modern economy, a history of secular government, recent progress in corruption reduction, a coherent national identity, and had been actively trying to modernize and align with the west. They had democratically elected leadership that and a population that viewed both the leaders and the process as legitimate. Above all they seemed to be making progress away from kleptocracy towards a more open and democratic society.

    I’m not saying they’re like the UK or Germany. But the EU includes Italy, Greece, and pile of corrupt states in Central Europe, all of which are a long way from Afghanistan (or any of the central Asian counties) in terms of legitimacy and rule of law.

    That’s not to say I’d be willing to go to war with Russia over Ukraine, but I’m happy to help them in other ways; providing safe haven for their refugees, arming them against Russia, and paying higher prices from sanctions.

    Time123 (59cf00)

  221. Please GOP, don’t nominate this guy.

    The F-22 fighter jet is exclusive to the United States, but of course Donald Trump thinks painting them with Chinese flags constitutes masterful deception.

    Trump mused to donors that we should take our F-22 planes, “put the Chinese flag on them and bomb the shit out” out of Russia. “And then we say, China did it, we didn’t do, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch.”

    [Note: Fished out of moderation, though I just saw that Paul Montagu repeated this comment with the profanity edited out. – JVW]

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  222. But it seems silly to put them in the same category as a Afghanistan.

    Russia did invade Afghanistan and it was a disaster for them, and we helped the Russia’s enemies who turned out to be corrupt and bad guys.

    Ukraine has (had) a modern economy, a history of secular government, recent progress in corruption reduction

    It’s easy to have recent progress.

    That’s not to say I’d be willing to go to war with Russia over Ukraine, but I’m happy to help them in other ways; providing safe haven for their refugees, arming them against Russia, and paying higher prices from sanctions.

    I think you should be more clear about whether or not you’re willing to go to war, instead of sidestepping the most important issue that causes me to distrust zelinksy’s government, which has lied to us to attempt to draw us into a war that could kill an enormous number of people.

    Instead, you’re stating the obvious. Yes, of course we should provide safe haven to the citizens of Ukraine, clear victims of Putin’s brutal invasion. Anyone disagreeing with that is extreme. We probably should help arm them to a very limited extent, knowing those weapons will probably be used to kill Americans one day. We should be cautious and knowing about it. When people say ‘no-fly zone’ we should recognize they are asking for Americans and Russians to start shooting eachother (and return to the question you need to be more clear about). As for paying higher prices through sanctions, I definitely agree we should take that cost very gladly. We should also be smart. We’re forging some things here. China and Russia were already on the same side here, they have some things in common. Perhaps the only argument in favor of Americans fighting Russia is that it would prove that China can’t invade Taiwan, for example (I’m not in favor of that).

    I’m not saying they’re like the UK or Germany.

    They are not. But they look a lot more like them. I hate to play that card, but that’s one reason why people are so upset about this oppression in particular.

    No, Dustin, because you haven’t made a serious comparison to Zelenskyy

    Paul, you’re the one defending a corrupt world leader. I don’t trust him. History will vindicate my concern. You should not conflate the people of Ukraine with their corrupt and awful government, and Zelinksi’s government has lied to us repeatedly. You’ve had a day to come up with a good reason people are fawning over Zelinski on the TV and the internet. But it will be tough to come up with reasons I should trust him, when we know this government is attempting to escalate the conflict, with endless propaganda, almost all of which turned out to be dishonest.

    I’m also jaded by how our politicians consumed all this American life and then gave up, over and over. Let Ukraine fight Russia itself. If it’s any consolation, they claim they are doing an amazing job so I guess russia is losing. Unfortunately, I doubt it. The people of Ukraine and the people of Russia have already lost in my opinion, and they lost several years ago.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  223. Please GOP, don’t nominate this guy.

    The F-22 fighter jet is exclusive to the United States, but of course Donald Trump thinks painting them with Chinese flags constitutes masterful deception.

    Trump mused to donors that we should take our F-22 planes, “put the Chinese flag on them and bomb the sh-t out” out of Russia. “And then we say, China did it, we didn’t do, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch.”

    And please don’t nominate Mark Meadows for future office, a guy who backed Trump’s “massive fraud” lie while committing voted fraud his ownself.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  224. However, do we go to war for Latvia or Estonia? What’s the prime difference between Latvia and Ukraine? Is the corruption noticeably different? One has a piece of paper; one doesn’t. In fact, Riga is closer to Moscow than Kyiv….so if Putin is looking for genuine buffers, ought we equally respect those demands? Hey, I’m not a saber rattler, and I’m quite sensitive to what we will or won’t send our young people to die over, but there is a potential domino theory at play here….and we have to be thinking about whether we will honor our security commitments for a place that is possibly as corrupt and culturally split between west and east as Ukraine. “Corruption” sounds to me convenient in this case, though certainly economically we have little at stake here in comparison to Taiwan. It’s also the EU’s backyard and probably a good wakeup call for them to start taking their own self defense more seriously. But morally there’s little difference between an attack on Ukraine and an attack on Latvia…..both are wrong for the same reasons and both destabilize the world and risk horrible escalation.

    Hopefully this is a wakeup call for the far right fanatics that praised Putin’s ability to get things done and suppress opposition. Hopefully this jolts some seriousness into the far right.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  225. Trump muses on war with Russia and praises Kim Jong Un
    Former president Donald Trump mused Saturday to the GOP’s top donors that the United States should label its F-22 planes with the Chinese flag and “bomb the s — t out of Russia.”
    ……….
    “And then we say, China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch,” he said of labeling U.S. military planes with Chinese flags and bombing Russia, which was met with laughter from the crowd of donors, according to a recording of the speech obtained by The Washington Post.
    ………
    After coming under fierce criticism for praising Putin as “savvy” and “brilliant” for the Russian leader’s moves in Ukraine last month, he struck a tougher tone on Saturday — claiming Putin never would have invaded the country if Trump was president of the United States.

    But he spent far more time blaming President Biden than Putin, and often spoke in vague platitudes without specifying what he would have done differently.
    ……..
    He espoused praise for North Korea’s brutal leader, marveling at how Kim’s generals and aides “cowered” when the dictator spoke to them. “Total control,” Trump said of how Kim ran the country, describing generals snapping to attention and standing up on command.

    “His people were sitting at attention,” he added.

    “I looked at my people and said I want my people to act like that,” he said to laughter.

    Trump also spent a large portion of his speech falsely claiming that he won Georgia, Wisconsin and other states in the 2020 election, offering unsubstantiated theories about how he won. After not touching on the election until minute 45 — a win for some of his advisers — he finished the speech with a long jeremiad about it. ……
    ……..
    “We’ve already won two presidential elections,” Trump falsely stated. “And now I feel obligated that we have to really look strongly at doing it again. … We are looking at it very, very strongly. We have to do it. We have to do it.”
    ……..
    Trump spent much of the evening talking about the fighting in Ukraine and sought to project strength on his foreign policy record, regaling the crowd with a long story about how his administration took on the Islamic State militant group.
    ………
    He mocked Biden for continually saying the United States would not militarily attack Russia but offered ambivalence on exactly what he could do. “We’re not spreading democracy at the point of a gun,” he said. Trump said Putin had talked more about nuclear power recently because he did not respect Biden, but he did not offer proof. And he said Biden should take a more belligerent tone.

    “At what point do we say can we not take this massive crime against humanity? We can’t let it happen. We can’t let it continue to happen,” he said.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  226. of course Donald Trump thinks painting them with Chinese flags constitutes masterful deception

    Another great example of an “instinctive” understanding of what’s best for America where all the “experts” with all their “knowledge” have failed! (And yes, I’ve seen the argument made that “expertise” has been the problem, and that we were blessed to have a president with such spot-on “intuition.”)

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  227. Paul, you’re the one defending a corrupt world leader. I don’t trust him. History will vindicate my concern. You should not conflate the people of Ukraine with their corrupt and awful government, and Zelinksi’s government has lied to us repeatedly. You’ve had a day to come up with a good reason people are fawning over Zelinski on the TV and the internet.

    You’re burden-shifting, Dustin. I challenged you why Zelenskyy should be put on the same level as Putin, even after taking out Putin’s foreign policy skulduggery, and then you likened Zelenskyy to the Taliban, that his government is just as much an ally to the US as a group of 13th century Islamist barbarians. I still haven’t heard a good answer from you.

    I’m under no illusion that there’s corruption in the Ukrainian government, and I acknowledged that, just not on the level you’re inferring. Do I agree with Zelenskyy’s call for a no-fly zone? No, but there’s good reason to supply lethal aid, at the very least to make Putin pay for his bullying and belligerence. It doesn’t mean they’re “no friend to America”, IMO.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  228. regaling the crowd with a long story about how his administration took on the Islamic State militant group.

    When someone asserted that ISIS had territory the size of Ohio (or whatever) when Trump came in and defeated them, I recalled that Obama had launched a military campaign against ISIS. So I did a bit of searching and found the website mappingisis.com. It uses data from DoD and other agencies to set out a detailed analysis of the rollback and create some handy visuals.

    It shows that half of the ISIS caliphate had been retaken by the time Trump came into office, and much of the remaining half was taken by Putin and Assad.

    Trump basically took over the Obama strategy, but with more damage to civilian lives and structures. Conservatives’ complaints about RoE under Obama may have had some validity, but Trump’s callous disregard for civilians wasn’t necessarily the answer.

    Another thing: Obama started his presidency with a surge against the Taliban. Trump ended his presidency by surrendering to the Taliban.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  229. ‘People’s Convoy’ en route to D.C. Beltway, plans to loop slowly
    Organizers of the “People’s Convoy” are en route to circle their armada of trucks, cars and SUVs around the Beltway on Sunday morning and into the workweek at the minimum speed limit to slow traffic and get their message to lawmakers.

    They plan to drive around the Beltway twice before returning to the Hagerstown Speedway, where the protesters have spent the weekend so far. The convoy, which recently numbered about 1,000 vehicles, intends to repeat that ritual each day this week until the group’s demands are met, said convoy organizer Brian Brase.
    ………
    He has said the group wants an end to the national emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus — first issued by President Donald Trump in March 2020 and later extended by President Biden — and for Congress to hold hearings investigating the government’s response to the pandemic.

    He said organizers are working with local law enforcement to identify weekday times that would have a minimal impact on traffic. They plan to increase the number of loops around the Beltway each day to pressure lawmakers and public officials, he said.

    “We are law-abiding citizens that are just exercising our rights to this protest,” he said. But “every day is going to elevate what we do.”
    …………
    Pretty lame when compared to the Canadian truckers, eh?

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  230. Fascinating video of a Russian POW saying that his government lied and calling on his fellow Russian soldiers to defy their commanders.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  231. A chilling counterpoint is the Russian soldiers who are deliberately targeting civilians as they try to flee.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  232. You’re burden-shifting, Dustin. I challenged you why Zelenskyy should be put on the same level as Putin

    Nope. I don’t trust leaders of governments you admitted are very corrupt. I pointed out his propaganda isn’t accurate and that it could cause great harm. You want to prop up a politician, give me a reason.

    If you’re just admitting that you consider el presidente in uniform to be ethical until proven otherwise (and you will not accept any evidence), then just say so. You have been all over the place here, earlier arguing I can trust Zelinksi because his nation is weaker than Russia’s. And this whole conversation started with your conflation of the terrible harm to the Ukrainian citizen with the government (which you keep conflating with Zelinksi in order to say he must be better than Putin). You’re all over the place because the propaganda is working. My position, that I don’t trust any of these guys enough to risk my own people, is secure, and given what’s happened to Zelinski’s dissidents, history will vindicate my point of view.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  233. A chilling counterpoint is the Russian soldiers who are deliberately targeting civilians as they try to flee.

    Radegunda (c970ff) — 3/6/2022 @ 8:45 am

    First thing I saw on twitter today was that story of a fleeing family targeted by a mortar. I believe that this kind of thing is happening. I don’t think it’s yet the policy of Russia because the death toll is not in the hundreds of thousands. Russia has done this elsewhere so I guess I’m not too worried that this pressures Russia to see civilian death as something they need to avoid. On the other hand, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m concerned that Ukraine’s propaganda tends to be unreliable.

    It doesn’t mean they’re “no friend to America”, IMO.

    Paul, you need to enlist and go fight over there for your friend if you trust him. Diagram this sentence though. ‘Doesn’t mean he’s not my friend’ is an admission you can’t prove your point. You don’t seem to trust Zelinksi any more than I do. You just hate Putin, which I do understand.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  234. I don’t trust any of these guys enough to risk my own people

    Meanwhile, Russian citizens are risking 15 years in jail to protest against Putin’s savage, unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people — instead of saying “Well, their president isn’t perfect, is he? Is he?”

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  235. Russian citizens are risking 15 years in jail to protest against Putin’s savage, unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people

    That is very admirable, Radegunda. It’s not an argument to consume more enlisted American troops, who are still being killed from Iraq and Afghanistan (suicide just a few days ago in my circle).

    Their thanks is to come home and see democrats urge student loan forgiveness, which basically cancels their GI Bill. Some of them became cops, and society hasn’t been great to them either lately. And every time twitter makes it fashionable, it’s time to go to war. Not time for you to go, just them again and again.

    I know a few commissioned officers who are on board with going to war, but virtually all of my enlisted friends are sick of this. The people who would do the fighting, and were let down by Obama abandoning Iraq, Trump abandoning the kurds and afghanistan, Biden abandoning afghanistan, they know their lives are cheap to politicos.

    unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people — instead of saying “Well, their president isn’t perfect, is he? Is he?”

    I make the distinction between the Ukrainian people and the corrupt, dishonest governments of Russia and Ukraine, crystal clear. And I blame Putin and think the correct outcome to this conflict is his removal from power and hopefully his death. But America and Russia should not engage in a conflict over this.

    A chilling counterpoint is the Russian soldiers who are deliberately targeting civilians as they try to flee.

    Radegunda (c970ff) — 3/6/2022 @ 8:45 am

    This is the latest meme from twitter. A photo of a mortared family. But if Russia is deliberately targeting all the civilians fleeing, how are the death tolls so low? It’s like all those palestinians being ‘targeted’ by Israel with proof photos. I’m sure it’s true in a certain sense, but it’s also hard to believe. If Russia really were deliberate in targeting fleeing civilians, the deaths would be in the hundreds of thousands. As horrible as Putin is, he was hoping to conquer a prize, not ruin it. Thanks for spreading this propaganda uncritically while rolling your eyes at my criticism of it as ‘well he’s not perfect’ (for encouraging a conflict that would kill millions of people).

    Dustin (47bccc)

  236. “I pointed out his propaganda isn’t accurate and that it could cause great harm”

    My only counterpoint would be that Zelensky is literally fighting for his life and his countrymen their freedom. If you were going without electricity, heat, and running water…..and missiles and artillery were indiscriminately landing in your neighborhood, would you do everything in your power to get help or get an advantage (like a no-fly zone) or would you meekly submit? The Ukrainians are severely out-gunned and out-manned. All they can do is launch a guerilla campaign and make it as costly as possible and hope something happens to draw in NATO. Maybe that’s not in our best interest, but I can empathize with their position. Their country is literally being decimated for no reason other than Putin can’t have freedom any where near Moscow. Zelensky’s not perfect…but I would hope to fight with such courage….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  237. My only counterpoint would be that Zelensky is literally fighting for his life and his countrymen their freedo

    this is true. I think I also mentioned this a while ago, in one of the threads about this, before this became a fight to prove that there’s any reason to distrust him. Indeed this is actually a really good reason to distrust him.

    One of the lessons we’ve learned about Russia is they will fill the world with lies. Ukraine’s government (obviously with a lot of help) filled the world with their story, leaving very little energy for Russia to get their narrative out there. We did this early, with talk of false flag operations (I believed this stuff, and still do I guess).

    So Zelinksi is desperate, fighting for the survival of his nation. As the meme goes, if Russia stops, the conflict is no more, if Ukraine stops, Ukraine is no more.

    Zelensky’s not perfect…but I would hope to fight with such courage….

    I get that notion, but I resist worshiping leaders like this. I thought George W Bush landing on that aircraft carrier was the low point for him. It’s really obvious to me the trajectory he’s
    on now. That part of the world loves its strongman rulers I guess. He’s a good actor, a combination of Ronald Reagan and some less awesome European leaders.

    All they can do is launch a guerilla campaign and make it as costly as possible and hope something happens to draw in NATO.

    Succinct, and basically what I’m saying, just better said (and more tolerated). I don’t want NATO drawn in obviously. Those who are OK with that need to get their ass to a recruiter, or follow the link upthread where you can join the Ukrainian military. Recognize the scale of the harm that conflict would cause.

    Putin already lost. He can’t win Ukraine the way he wanted it, and his nation is in deep trouble for a long time now. I suspect militarily he’s likely to win (though it’s hard to say… information about this conflict is extremely unreliable). there is no need to draw NATO into this. It’s not like Hitler taking over country after country. all these fears that Putin will invade NATO nations next are absurd. Perhaps they weren’t a month ago, but come on.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  238. You want to prop up a politician, give me a reason.

    “Prop up” is your phrase, Dustin, not mine. I’m defending Ukraine the Government and Ukraine the Country because…
    (1) they’re a democracy, albeit imperfect; the US has a long history of relating amicably with other free and partly free democracies. Implicit in this is that democracies are inherently more trustworthy than authoritarian dictators who suppress or don’t reflect the Will of the People.
    (2) they’re an ally, yes an ally, and they’ve had friendly relations with us since the early 1990s, and vice versa. Friendly relations don’t happen in a vacuum or for no reason, they usually occur because a basis of trust is formed;
    (3) Zelenskyy is democratically elected, and he actually confronted oligarchs with legislation; Putin has used his oligarchs, uh, differently, to put it mildly;
    (4) they seek to align with the EU, a sign that they’re willing to enact the reforms that would make them worthy of entry; I not aware of other EU members who are “not a friend” to the US;
    (5) Zelenskyy has not only been under constant attack from Putin (through the constant state of war in Donbas, his propaganda campaign against Ukraine, and cyber-attacks), he was treated like an errand boy by Trump (“do us a favor”); to me, that’s worth defending. What can I say, I don’t like bullies;
    (6) the Ukrainian government has a right to exist, recognized internationally and even by the Russian Federation;
    (7) if Ukraine is so much like the Putin regime, why is Putin even invading? The better comparison to Putin is Lukashenko in Belarus, who is a good dutiful Putin subject who imprisoned and then kicked out the person who beat him in a democratic election.
    (8) this isn’t just about Ukraine, it’s about Putin. He’s established that he seeks to control the former Soviet republics. The man is an imperialist and hegemon.
    (9) this isn’t just about Ukraine, it’s also about the Xi regime. The ChiComs have to be watching our response, the supplying of lethal aid and our special financial operation against Putin, and thinking twice about their ambitions for the ROC on Taiwan.

    Paul, you need to enlist and go fight over there for your friend if you trust him.

    And here I was, thinking that the chickenhawk argument died in the aughts. Disappointing, Dustin. I don’t have to convert to Judaism and join the IDF to support Israel against Hamas.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  239. I agree that Russia in a global sense has already lost. Putin will at best have a broken country with the people viscerally hating him. He has a buffer but world condemnation, an invigorated NATO, and much higher military costs than most would have predicted.

    The thread is fragile for NATO having to act. The nuclear plants in Ukraine were attacked this weekend….and it doesn’t require much damage to cause a calamity that now goes beyond the border. These things aren’t always clean. One mistake and we have world war.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  240. Police arrest more than 3,000 people as protests grow across Russia.
    Despite the threat of yearslong prison terms, thousands of Russians joined antiwar rallies across the country on Sunday in a striking show of the pent-up anger in Russian society about President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The police reported more than 3,000 arrests across the country — the highest nationwide total officially reported in any single day of protest in recent memory. An activist group that tracks arrests, OVD-Info, reported detentions in 49 different Russian cities.
    ……..
    The thousands of Russians who protested on Sunday represented only a slice of those furious over the invasion. Thousands more fled the country in the last 10 days, as their savings evaporated amid the collapse of the ruble and the West’s crushing sanctions.
    …….
    “An end to the special operation is only possible if Kyiv stops its military action and fulfills Russia’s well known demands,” the Kremlin said.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  241. Blinken says Poland sending fighter jets to Ukraine gets a ‘green light’ from US
    …….
    Host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” asked Blinken, “If, for instance, the Polish government, a NATO member, wants to send fighter jets, does that get a green light from the U.S.?”

    “That gets the green light. In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to backfill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians. What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians?” said Blinken……
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  242. New Jersey drivers may have to learn to pump their own gas
    ……..
    For 73 years, drivers in New Jersey have been barred from pumping their own gas. It’s the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow it at all. Now, after an aborted attempt in 2015, the state’s gas station industry is again pushing to repeal that law, endangering the state’s unofficial motto: “Jersey girls don’t pump their own gas.”
    …….
    Under the new bill, New Jerseyans would be allowed to pump their own gas, but stations with more than four pumps would be required to have a full-service option, presumably at a higher price. Those pushing the change say a national workforce shortage has made it more difficult to hire station attendants, a reality that can lead to long lines at the pumps or even force some stores to limit their hours.
    ……..
    Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie, while not opposed in principle, also threw cold water on the idea in 2016, saying his own polling showed New Jersey voters — and especially women — just didn’t want to pump their own gas.

    “We polled this over and over. The last poll we did on this question, 78 percent of New Jersey women said they were opposed to self-serve gas — 78 percent. You can’t find 78 percent of people in New Jersey who agree on anything,” Christie said at the time, adding that 52 percent of men also opposed self-serve. “The reason it’s not happening is, no one will vote for it.”
    ……..
    To have any chance at passage, the New Jersey bill would need a commitment from legislative leadership and, eventually, (Governor) Murphy. It’s not clear it will achieve that.
    …….
    I wonder what NJRob thinks of this break with tradition?

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  243. Host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” asked Blinken, “If, for instance, the Polish government, a NATO member, wants to send fighter jets, does that get a green light from the U.S.?”

    “That gets the green light. In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to backfill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians. What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians?” said Blinken……
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (32617c) — 3/6/2022 @ 10:26 am

    That’s just more pressure for the Americans to give Poland free F-16s to replace the Migs. I think Poland’s been free to supply the planes. It’s awfully lame of Poland to act like they are being generous here. They could give the planes away today, but they want Uncle Sam to do the actual generosity part. I think at best we should split the cost. Germany gets it.

    I do think this is a pretty good idea regardless, giving Ukraine more Russian aircraft they can fight their own war with, while also sending a clear message that Migs are less desirable than the USA’s cheap, small fighter. Any near-Russian state becoming more dependent on western weapons is pretty good for us, long term. Russia outsources the cost of its weapons development to corrupt regimes around the world, and hopefully that industry is damaged by this war.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  244. I’ll tell you what, comrades. I am now an opponent of fossil fuels, and it’s not because of climate change. It’s because oil has given mugs, thugs, pugs, and sh!tkickers of all ushankas and kaffiyehs inordinate wealth and power in the world and it must end. Five generations of imbeciles (that would be the industrialized countries who have become dependent on them) are enough.

    nk (1d9030)

  245. nk gets it, energy independence is a bipartisan aim. Break the dependence on the Middle East, Russia, China, Venezuela….of course we will have to buy our solar panels and rare earth materials (i.e., batteries and electric motors) from somewhere….darn it

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  246. Dustin – I hesitate to bring this up again, but you puzzled me: Why do you think Volodymyr Zelenskyy is corrupt? Could you link to some evidence, please, if you have some?

    I looked through that biography and found only dubious thing, offshore accounts, something I might consider prudent at the time, given the problems with Ukraine’s government. His estimated wealth does not seem out of line for a very successful entertainer.

    And he has had some success in reducing corruption.

    (Kudos to Paul for spelling his last name right, though apparently there are a number of acceptable alternatives in both Ukrainian and Russian. I have to admit I have been missing the double “y” at the end, probably because it doesn’t occur in any English words I’ve seen.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  247. nk – A Venezuelan exiles calls his site “The devil’s excrement”, after a name given to oil by an earlier critic of how oil money corrupts.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  248. Lest you forget:

    Ukraine crisis: Don’t create panic, Zelensky tells West:’Ukraine is not the Titanic’
    1/28/22

    This was a slightly surreal encounter. One after another, journalists asked Ukraine’s president about the threat. But Volodymyr Zelensky batted away the questions, accusing the press itself of causing panic. On the other hand, he wasn’t contradicting the US intelligence: “I can see the 100,000 soldiers,” he eventually clarified. But he went from hinting that Russia was simply scaremongering, getting a “sado-masochistic” pleasure from seeing Kyiv sweat, to admitting that Ukraine was preparing for the possibility of all-out war.

    Still, Mr Zelensky reminded people that his country has lived with the threat of Russian aggression for years – it goes in cycles – and despite the unusual size of the current deployment, he seemed determined to play down the danger. When it came to the evacuation of some staff by some embassies, Ukraine’s leader was openly peeved: “Diplomats are like captains,” Mr Zelensky said. “They should be the last to leave a sinking ship. And Ukraine is not the Titanic.”

    On Friday, US President Joe Biden said he would send a small number of troops to Eastern Europe in the “near term”, to strengthen the Nato presence in the region. He did not specify where they would be stationed or when they would arrive. Earlier this week, the Pentagon said there were 8,500 combat-ready troops on alert, ready to be deployed at short notice.

    The US has rejected a key Moscow demand that Nato rule out Ukraine joining the defense alliance – but insisted it was offering Russia a ” serious diplomatic path”. Russian President Vladimir Putin later accused the West of ignoring Russia’s security concerns.

    But he said he would study the US response before deciding what to do, according to a Kremlin readout of a call between Mr Putin and his French counterpart. France said the two leaders had agreed on the need to de-escalate and its President Emmanuel Macron told Mr Putin that Russia must respect the sovereignty of its neighbouring states.

    ‘No decision made’

    On Friday, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia had amassed enough military capacity to attack Ukraine. He said the US was committed to helping Ukraine defend itself, including by providing more weaponry. “Conflict is not inevitable. There is still time and space for diplomacy,” Mr Austin said. Meanwhile the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service said Russia was prepared to attack Ukraine, but had not yet decided whether to do so. “I believe that the decision to attack has not yet been made,” Bruno Kahl told Reuters.

    Russia last month made wide-ranging security demands from the West, including that:

    -Ukraine should be barred from joining Nato; Nato should end military activity in eastern Europe, pulling troops out of Poland and the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; The alliance should not deploy missiles in countries near or bordering Russia; The US and Nato responded by saying Ukraine had the right to choose its own allies but offered Russia talks on missile placements and other issues.

    If Russia were to invade Ukraine, it would not be the first time. Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula in 2014. It is also backing rebels who seized large swathes of the eastern Donbas region soon afterwards, and some 14,000 people have died in fighting there.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60174684

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  249. @250/251. Going ‘green’ with envy. 😉

    Petroleum is in virtually everything, children:

    Oil Is In Everything, From Shampoo To Vitamins

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/oil-is-in-everything-from_n_608751

    “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word… Plastics.” – Mr. McGuire [Walter Brooke] ‘The Graduate’ 1967

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  250. 248, I wonder how many small fires to explosions and the odor of gasoline on people in public places in the first few months of self-serve?

    urbanleftbehind (c6f17b)

  251. Putin is actually, so far, avoiding hitting the western Ukraine (3 bombs or missile struck there the first day, but nothing since) as well as the land corridor from Poland to Kiev – he really, really, does not want to risk any NATO military intervention.

    This is probably partly because he cannot trust his military to never let anything fall across the border with NATO.

    There is a buffer zone now between the Russian military forces and NATO.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  252. @258. Yep. That’s his bluff. And should an inadvertent “accidental” incursion occur -a la the U-2 shootdown iover Cuba in ’62– any NATO response would be measured accordingly- accompanied w/t standard diplomatic protest. They want to keep this fire contained.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  253. 252. .Jim Miller (406a93) — 3/6/2022 @ 11:56 am

    I have to admit I have been missing the double “y” at the end, probably because it doesn’t occur in any English words I’ve seen.)

    The official U.S. government spelling seems to be Zelenskyy,

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/03/05/readout-of-president-bidens-call-with-president-zelenskyy-of-ukraine-6/

    …but nobody much else uses it except Wikipedia. I think the spelling Zelenskyy came from the Ukrainian government and it’s supposed to represent something in the Ukrainian alphabet I would assume.

    It’s like Usama bin Laden instead of Osama bin Laden except there the U.S. government doesn’t even have Wikipedia going along with it.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  254. Russia’s Military Chief Promised Quick Victory in Ukraine, but Now Faces a Potential Quagmire
    ……..
    In his decade at the head of the Russian military, (Defense Minister Sergei) Shoigu, who has never been a professional soldier but holds the rank of general of the army, has worked to modernize and professionalize the armed forces, and build their image as an effective fighting machine and foreign-policy tool.

    Victories in Crimea and Syria helped propel Mr. Shoigu and the military to the center of Mr. Putin’s Kremlin power structure, with an upper hand over the feared intelligence services that had previously been the main supporters of the Russian president, who is himself a former spy.

    Russian troops’ failure to quickly seize Ukraine, however, has shown Mr. Shoigu’s changes, while real, didn’t create the fearsome fighting force he touted. Poor logistics, flawed strategy and ill-prepared troops mean any victory will be immensely costly, and an occupation hard to sustain.

    Experts on the Russian military place some of the blame on Mr. Shoigu’s willingness to back Mr. Putin’s plans, even if they are unrealistic. That has meant agreeing with assumptions the Ukrainian military would quickly fold in the face of a superior force and that Russian troops would be greeted as liberators.
    ………
    It is hard to predict how this plays out for Mr. Shoigu. His acquiescence to the invasion demonstrated loyalty to Mr. Putin’s political objectives in Europe. But if the operation fails, the Kremlin leader would likely look for a scapegoat. …….

    ……. After 11 days of fighting, Russian troops have failed to take any major city and have suffered unexpectedly heavy casualties. Ukraine has gotten global support and Western sanctions are on track to cripple the Russian economy. To make up for its military setbacks, Russia has increasingly resorted to indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilian areas.
    ……….
    The resurgence has made the military the primary tool of Mr. Putin’s foreign policy and made Mr. Shoigu a key member of his inner circle. Mr. Shoigu was sanctioned by the U.S. and the European Union last month, along with Mr. Putin and other close associates.

    “He’s long been seen as the most likely successor to Putin should the latter drop dead,” said Sergey Radchenko, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
    ………
    If the Ukraine invasion continues to go poorly, it could unravel years of image-building for the military and Mr. Shoigu, and show that earlier victories were less impressive than they seemed.

    Crimea is less than one-twentieth the size of Ukraine and even under Ukrainian rule, it was a stronghold of pro-Russian sentiment. And the Syrian effort was mostly aerial bombing.
    …….
    Mr. Shoigu has been one of the most visible proponents of the Russian version of events before and after the invasion of Ukraine. When the U.S. warned of an imminent Russian invasion, he said that Moscow’s intelligence showed the U.S. was helping Ukraine develop nuclear weapons and that Washington was preparing for a chemical weapons attack on the Russian-backed militants in Ukraine’s east.
    …….,,

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  255. oil saved the whales

    mg (8cbc69)

  256. VISA/MC and AMEX cut off their CC biz in Russia.

    But what of the Discover Card…

    Russia may be the only place left in the world where it’s accepted. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  257. @249 demented joe did promise to bring america and our allies closer together

    he never said anything about a brutal war, mass slaughter, a refugee crisis and a potential thermonuclear apocalypse to make it happen

    but, full credit for promise kept

    JF (ccced3)

  258. Putin’s Henchmen Rage About Getting Trolled With ‘Endless Photos’ of Dead Russian Troops
    …….
    On Thursday’s episode of The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, state TV propagandist Vladimir Soloviev complained that he and editor-in-chief of RT Margarita Simonyan are being terrorized by unknown individuals, receiving endless calls and texts about Russia’s military activities in Ukraine. He griped: “Margarita and I can show our telephones to demonstrate that we’re getting a thousand calls and texts per hour.”
    ………
    Popular state TV pundit Karen Shakhnazarov conceded on Friday that, “It seems to me that we’re losing the information war. Our info-operation wasn’t thoroughly prepared, unlike the Ukrainian side—and whoever is standing behind them.”
    ………
    Alexander Khinshtein, head of the State Duma’s information committee, said, “This is a blatant, overt information war that is being waged for hearts and minds, to make people not only abroad, but within Russia to believe in these horrors and to experience fear, panic and hatred, to start a psychological war over here.” …….
    ………
    The impact of the war on Russia’s economic crisis is already starting to manifest, as the government and major supermarket chains have agreed to restrict the amount of food staples sold to each customer in an effort to limit hoarding.
    ……….
    Appearing on Soloviev’s show on Wednesday, political scientist Sergey Mikheyev predicted: “The situation here, internally, may deteriorate once the people start to feel the impact of sanctions… even those people who agree with us right now… It won’t be enough just to tell them that this is our life now, because we had to undertake the denazification of Ukraine… We should have been preparing for this moment ten, fifteen years earlier, with a different economy, but even now, we need to communicate to people about this… We can’t just say that this is our new reality and we must live in it… We can tell them how hard this will hit America—which is also necessary—but that alone won’t suffice.”
    …….
    Even the most ardent Putin supporters sounded irritated with his government—not for waging war against Russia’s innocent neighbor, but for being unprepared to face the economic fallout. Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean of world politics at Moscow State University, noted: “Our government seems to be impotent. We’re never prepared for anything… How will people fix their cars without automobile parts?” Evoking the story of Cinderella, Soloviev bitterly pointed out, “And our phones are about to turn into pumpkins.”
    ###########
    The complaining commentators better watch their tongues or they may not have them for long. Sad!

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  259. Visa/Amex/MasterCard no longer accepted. In Europe. No loss to Discover, since it isn’t accepted in Europe.

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  260. That leaves American Express – Don’t commit genocide without it.

    mg (8cbc69)

  261. Ukrainian protesters take to the streets in occupied Kherson.

    Kherson, in southern Ukraine, was the first major city to fall to Russian forces and now popular street protests are presenting a challenge to the new authority there.

    At around 10 a.m. on Saturday, people started gathering in Liberty Square, the central square in the city center, according to video streamed live by protesters at the scene. There appeared to be hundreds of people, chanting and holding Ukrainian flags.

    One video verified by The New York Times showed a man on top of a Russian armored personnel carrier, waving a Ukrainian flag as it drove down the street, prompting cheers from onlookers.

    The mayor of Kherson, Igor Kolykhaev, said that at one point Russian forces fired into the air to disperse the crowd though protesters initially remained rooted to the spot. There were no reports of casualties, the mayor said. The mayor estimated that about 2,000 people attended.

    The protest was the most visible example yet of resistance to Russian occupation, and a direct challenge to the Russian forces that Kremlin officials claim were sent to liberate Ukrainian cities.
    ……….
    The protests underscore the challenges facing Russian forces as they move to capture and hold Ukrainian territory. Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, insists that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people,” and has described resistance to Russia’s incursion as the product of brainwashing by nefarious western operators. But if there was sympathy for Russia before last month’s invasion, it has no doubt eroded steadily as Russian forces increasingly target civilians in large urban areas.
    ………
    After Russian forces secured control of the city, Mr. Kolykhaev said he was visited by the Russian commander, who informed him that they were setting up a military administration to govern the city.

    After wrecking city services and destroying supply lines for medicines and other essential goods, the Russian forces, whom Mr. Kolykhaev referred to sarcastically as “the kind liberators,” were trying to present themselves as saviors.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  262. @266. No loss to Discover, since it isn’t accepted in Europe.

    =sigh=

    https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/help-center/account/international-use.html

    A Discover card is accepted in 200 countries and territories internationally. That includes India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates and most other popular destinations for American business and vacation travelers. But just because a Discover card is accepted by at least some merchants in a given country does not mean you should rely on it exclusively. Even Discover classifies its acceptance as low in places like France and Russia. So, you may want to bring a Visa or Mastercard along, too. Those two networks are accepted worldwide.

    Here’s where Discover cards are most & least likely to be accepted internationally:

    High Merchant Acceptance: Argentina, Dominican Republic, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, Chile, Spain (it’s in Europe)

    Moderate Merchant Acceptance: Brazil, China, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany (it’s in Europe), Ireland (it’s in Europe), Italy, Mexico, Netherlands (it’s in Europe), South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (it’s in Europe)

    Low Merchant Acceptance: Australia, Egypt, France (it’s in Europe) , and Russia… it ain’t in Europe

    No Merchant Acceptance: Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, most of Africa and the Middle East

    https://wallethub.com/answers/cc/where-is-discover-card-accepted-internationally-2140664322/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  263. 258. 259. Either thatm or Putin;s military is more stretched out than we think.

    In a WSJ article, a member of a small specially trained unit that attacks the convoy north of Kyiv and killed more than 60 Russians while losing only two of their own men says they are shocked at how dumb the behavior of the Russians is. They are now going after new supplies of gasoline because that’s the limiting factor.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  264. ^ oh yeah, Italy (it’s in Europe, too.)

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  265. That leaves American Express – Don’t commit genocide without it.

    mg (8cbc69) — 3/6/2022 @ 2:11 pm

    AMEX is American Express, and they are out.

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  266. That leaves American Express – Don’t commit genocide without it.

    No, they’re out, card wise. Don’t know about their travellers checks situation, though.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  267. 8. Kevin M (38e250) — 3/4/2022 @ 4:07 pm

    I expect the no-fly zone over Ukraine to start by St Paddy’s Day.

    The supply of military equipment thar’s being delivered now
    will be completed by Friday, so they’ll have to do something else after that and it looks like it’s the planes.

    I think the first A no-fly zone was over Iraq in 1991. It’s done when the United States doesn’t want to risk any combat losses and it has air superiority. To get complete air superiority in Ukraine you’d have to destroy air defenses including what it is Russia and in Belarus. And that does not take account of missiles.

    But Kurt Volker, you may remember him from the first impeachment, as I understand him (he was on CBS) says we don’t need to do a “traditional” no fly zone. We should simply declare a no fly zone over Kiev and points west, and say:

    1) We will not fire at anything on the ground

    2) We will only fire if fired upon

    3) We will escort planes put.

    He believes Vladimir Putin will honor this no fly zone – and he’s playing with out minds.

    This is certainly better than Trump’s idea (which he may have said to get applause from his donors)

    Paint Chinese marking on U.S. planes and have China and Russia go to war with each other.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  268. Correction: Discover is not accepted in Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus, so they are not affected by any sanctions.

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  269. There were 1 million refugees who had left the country of Ukraine by March 2, and now there are 1.5 million.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  270. @267. American Express Travellers Checks presents an interesting issue for the user as they’ve already purchased them for use ahead of time -no credit involved- and AMEX honors the checks when used. So would they be denied for goods and services in a ‘boycotted region’ or simply held for future redemption and/or transferred to another banking venue for cashing.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  271. I expect to be corrected more than twice.

    mg (8cbc69)

  272. U.S. Officials Meet With Regime in Venezuela, to Discuss Oil Exports to Replace Russia’s
    ………
    U.S. officials began rare face-to-face meetings with Venezuelan officials in Caracas over the weekend, with a view to allowing Venezuelan crude oil back on to the open international market, these people said.
    ………
    The proposals being discussed in the Venezuelan capital would ease sanctions for a limited period on U.S. national security grounds. Since the Trump administration began turning the economic screws on Venezuela in 2017 and then leveled sanctions on the oil sector in 2019, Caracas has come to rely on China, Russia and Iran to keep its oil sector afloat. As of 2020, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, the country’s state oil company, was producing about 300,000 barrels a day.
    ………
    It also would peel Caracas out of the political orbit of Russia, which has helped Venezuela sidestep U.S. sanctions by putting its financial system to work processing payments for PDVSA, as the Venezuelan state oil company is known.…..

    With the help of its allies, Venezuela’s authoritarian regime—which the U.S. accuses of widespread rights abuses—was able to increase production to about 760,000 barrels a day in 2021. That is only a quarter of what it pumped in the 1990s. But Reinaldo Quintero, president of the association representing Venezuelan oil companies, estimated that the country could get production up to 1.2 million barrels a day in under eight months, particularly if Chevron, the only major American oil producer in Venezuela, can jack up pumping.
    ………
    Mr. Quintero said with the U.S. weighing cutting off Russian exports, Venezuela could in time replace Moscow. “How are they going to resolve the issue of the crude they need if they don’t consider Venezuela, which can replace a good slice,” Mr. Quintero said.
    ………
    (Francisco Monaldi, a Venezuelan who is director of the Latin America Energy Program at Rice University’s Baker Institute) said its production is a “drop in the bucket in the world oil market.”

    “This won’t help ease the pain at the pump for American consumers,” Mr. Monaldi said of the possible lifting of oil sanctions.
    ……..
    Even before the war in Ukraine, intermediaries for the regime and the Biden administration had been discussing the detained Americans, sanctions and the proposed resumption of talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition to pave the way for free and fair presidential elections in 2024, people who know about the discussions said. ……..
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  273. Has Russia been removed from Google Maps or Apple Maps?

    mg (8cbc69)

  274. Barkley’s Travellers Cheques present an interesting issue as well.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  275. ^Barclays

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  276. Interesting…

    After the SWIFT ban, can Russia find other routes for its money — including crypto?

    Russia is exploring a myriad of ways to reroute its currency after the US and European nations imposed financial sanctions on the country for invading Ukraine; the sanctions include a ban from the SWIFT financial messaging network… Emerging methods such as cryptocurrencies and other digital assets like private coins would be explored by Russia to try and avoid any conversion to US dollars, said Ronak Doshi, a partner at the research firm Everest Group. “Russia is also experimenting with the launch of its own central bank digital currency that it could use with countries that are willing to accept it,” Doshi said…

    Top cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, saw their values soar after Russian banks were removed from the SWIFT system and Ukraine’s monetary system took a nosedive… After a massive selloff of Bitcoin last week, the price jumped by more than 9% to reach $41,300. Speculation about the jump in prices centered on assumptions that traders were responding to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis… Cryptocurrencies represent just under 11% of the $19.4 trillion in circulation round the globe, but the digital cash is growing in value quickly. Mainstream corporations, investors and financial institutions are increasingly buying in… Coca-Cola, Stella Artois, Visa, and many other consumer product companies already have digital nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and are leveraging the intangible value of their brand for marketing and to drive new revenue streams… nd the amount of stablecoins, or cryptocurrency backed by cash, has more than quintupled from $20 billion to $110 billion in the past year because they are stable in value, and support more transparent and efficient value transfers than do legacy payment networks… As for Russia, it’s been hedging its bets against the US dollar for some time now… “In 2018, it reduced the holding of the US Treasury bonds by 84%. It also announced that it was completely removing US dollars from its sovereign wealth fund….”

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/3651361/after-the-swift-ban-can-russia-find-other-routes-for-its-money-including-crypto.html

    “Life, uh, finds a way…” – Dr. Ian Malcolm [Jeff Goldblum] ‘Jurassic Park’ 1993

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  277. Russia Recruiting Syrians for Urban Combat in Ukraine, U.S. Officials Say
    An American assessment indicates that Russia, which has been operating inside Syria since 2015, has in recent days been recruiting fighters from there, hoping their expertise in urban combat can help take Kyiv and deal a devastating blow to the Ukraine government, according to four American officials. The move points to a potential escalation of fighting in Ukraine, experts said.
    ……….
    According to a publication based in Deir Ezzor, Syria, Russia has offered volunteers from the country between $200 and $300 “to go to Ukraine and operate as guards” for six months at a time.
    ………
    “The Russia deployment of foreign fighters from Syria into Ukraine internationalizes the Ukraine war, and therefore could link the war in Ukraine to broader cross regional dynamics, particularly in the Middle East,” said (Jennifer Cafarella, national security fellow at the Institute for the Study of War).
    …….
    Syrian fighters have spent nearly a decade fighting urban warfare, while Russia’s largely conscripted force lacks this skill set. Ms. Cafarella said Syrian forces deployed to Ukraine could also be asked to work a support role, based on how they worked in Syria with the Wagner Group, a mercenary force that some see as a proxy for the Russian government.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (32617c)

  278. They should rename Russia as Ukraine

    steveg (e81d76)

  279. I meant to say Google maps and Apple maps should call Russia Ukraine

    steveg (e81d76)

  280. Will mask-wearing damage little children? By, for instance, making it harder for them to learn to speak?

    What research there is, suggests that it won’t. But taking the masks off, later, may be a problem for a few kids.

    Worth nothing (sic) is that the nascent research on this topic relates to children who are developing normally. Peter Smith, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago, says while mask-wearing isn’t cause for too much concern in terms of child language development, removing masks in the future could be difficult for children with anxiety or children fixed on routine, such as those on the autism spectrum.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  281. Putin dying from terminal colon cancer. (daily star) hope their right!

    asset (2670cf)

  282. @231. Lest you forget:

    Trump Orders Missile Attack in Retaliation for Syrian Chemical Strikes

    “Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically,” Trump said. “As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.” Trump called on all civilized nations to join the United States in seeking an end to the slaughter in Syria, and to end the threat terrorism poses in the blighted nation.

    https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/1144601/trump-orders-missile-attack-in-retaliation-for-syrian-chemical-strikes/

    U.S. fires missiles into Syria in first attack on Assad regime

    ‘President Donald Trump cast the U.S. assault as vital to deter future use of poison gas and called on other nations to join in seeking “to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.”

    he U.S. strikes — some 59 missiles launched from the USS Ross and USS Porter — hit the government-controlled Shayrat air base in central Syria, where U.S. officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off. The U.S. missiles hit at 8:45 p.m. in Washington, 3:45 Friday morning in Syria. The missiles targeted the base’s airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, officials said.

    Trump ordered the strikes without approval from Congress or the backing of the United Nations. U.S. officials said he had the right to use force to defend national interests and to protect civilians from atrocities.
    he U.S. assault marked a striking reversal for Trump, who warned as a candidate against the U.S. being pulled into the Syrian civil war that began six years ago. But the president appeared moved by the photos of children killed in the chemical attack, calling it a “disgrace to humanity” that crossed “a lot of lines.”

    U.S. officials placed some of the blame on Russia, one of Syria’s most important benefactors. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Florida with Trump, said Moscow had failed in living up to a 2013 agreement that was intended to strip Syria of its chemical weapons stockpiles. Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of the agreement,” Tillerson said.

    https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/1144601/trump-orders-missile-attack-in-retaliation-for-syrian-chemical-strikes/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  283. @289. asset:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17833943/vladimir-putin-ill-sick/

    The tale of his tail that ailes has been whispered since 2020.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  284. @289. Consider Biden’s repeated weekend trips to Wilmington, too. All joking aside, something is not quite right about that. Given his age and past medical history publicly known, who knows what medical set up they have for him in his compound there; or what meds he’s getting– or weekly transfusions or such. Who knows? It would be harder to hide him making trips to Walter Reed every weekend.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  285. They should rename Russia as Ukraine

    Tartary.

    nk (1d9030)

  286. Russia is recruiting Syrian fighters to aid in the Ukraine invasion and help take Kyiv: report

    “Russia is recruiting fighters from Syria to aid in their invasion of Ukraine, four US officials told The Wall Street Journal.

    Moscow is interested in Syrians who have experience with urban combat in hopes they can help Russian forces take Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital and largest city, the officials said.

    It was not clear how many Syrian fighters had been recruited or if any had already been deployed to Ukraine, though one official told The Journal some were already in Russia preparing.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on The Journal report…”

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-recruiting-syrians-to-fight-in-ukraine-report-2022-3

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  287. Ukrainian girl in a bunker sings something from Frozen.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  288. @294. THAT would be funny.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  289. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2022/03/06/gas-price-tops-4-dollar-gallon/9402743002/

    About to be all time highs.

    I watched a gas station raise its price by $.30 a gallon today. Unreal.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  290. https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/chris-queen/2022/03/06/food-prices-up-20-over-the-past-year-n1564213

    If your grocery bills continue to frustrate you, you’re not alone. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its report on worldwide food prices for February, and prices hit a record high last month. The February FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) reached a new high of 140.7 points, which reflects an increase of 3.9% over January and a whopping 20.7% over this time last year.

    The FFPI serves as a “measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities,” notes the FAO. This month’s increase was largely due to “large increases in vegetable oil and dairy price sub-indices.” Cereal and meat prices are up as well, though not as high, while sugar prices are down.

    Want to blame this one on what?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  291. https://www.bizpacreview.com/2022/03/06/priest-reminds-good-catholic-biden-of-confession-schedule-after-angry-response-to-abortion-limits-1209318/

    Biden continues his attacks on the unborn and states that want to protect innocent life.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  292. “The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,” Putin said during a meeting in Moscow. “If that happens … they will have to be blamed for that.”

    The words of every drunken wife-beater everywhere. “Look at what you made me do.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  293. Can someone please explain to me why Putin, doing what he’s doing, is not risking war with the United States? Or at least why he doesn’t worry about it like we worry about even the mildest intervention (e.g. flying drones for the Ukrainians).

    It seems like very asymmetric rules. At the very least we should clean up Cuba.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  294. I think we will find that Stingers will have been sold by corrupt Ukrainians to groups similar to ISIS.

    Allegedly, bin Ladin had US Stingers and such. Why weren’t they a problem for us?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  295. However, do we go to war for Latvia or Estonia?

    Yes, we do. Otherwise we’ll still be moving the goalposts when we get to Lisbon. But the idea is that our economic power is such that we will not have to fight. We can debit Russia into the Stone Age.

    I don’t disagree with that plan either — it’s a lot less traumatic at our end — although I note that Putin is saying we might as well be at war and there may be another shoe to drop. If he’s so crazy that he’d use nukes for a conventional intervention, why is he not crazy enough to blow up Manhattan to “even the score”? Or decide that, if he’s already at war, to invade a few more countries before we get our spit together.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  296. I meant to say Google maps and Apple maps should call Russia Ukraine

    And follow up by calling this the Ukrainian Civil War, and denounce Putin for his insurrection.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  297. After the SWIFT ban, can Russia find other routes for its money — including crypto?

    Barter.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  298. Can someone please explain to me why Putin, doing what he’s doing, is not risking war with the United States?

    Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  299. I watched a gas station raise its price by $.30 a gallon today.

    In Jersey? Ugh. It jumped $.70 a gallon here near SD in 10 days – did a fill-up on Thurs., at $5.95/gal. Next delivery it’ll jump again for sure.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  300. @300. When the Iran deal is in place, the WH is going to move to back ban importing Russian oil and make up the difference w/imported Iranian oil w/o easing domestic U.S. energy restrictions to keep[ his green left happy. So the Exxon that once put a tiger in your tank and of late put in a bear –will swop it out for a terrorist. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  301. And follow up by calling this the Ukrainian Civil War, and denounce Putin for his insurrection.

    The UCW- that actually works; it could be called that.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  302. Brent crude oil surged over $10 early Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude was up nearly $9 at more than $124 a barrel.

    TOKYO (AP) — The price of oil jumped more than $10 a barrel and shares were sharply lower Monday as the conflict in Ukraine deepened amid mounting calls for harsher sanctions against Russia. – AP.com

    And still no change in U.S. domestic production restrictions.

    And Gold Futures, 3/6/22: $1,992.90/oz.

    Attaboy, Joe!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  303. Dearly every gas station in San Diego is under $5.99, even for premium.

    https://www.gasbuddy.com/gaspricemap?fuel=3&z=13&lat=32.8424312609894&lng=-117.107862945144

    There’s really no need to lie about it.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  304. *Nearly

    Kevin M (38e250)

  305. @312. Lie? $5.95/gal;., Shell Premium, Thurs., afternoon, Kevin, dear.

    Too bad the pump price wasn’t a lie– but then, Royal Dutch Shell’s a big, bad oil companr, right Kev?!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  306. @312: Just checked the station on GB, Kevin:

    CREDIT
    $5.79/gal., Regular-3 hours ago;
    $5.89/gal., Midgrade-3 hours ago;
    $5.99/gal., Premium-3 hours ago.

    Up $.04 in three days. Really no need to apologize about it, Kevin, dear.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  307. Then you go to the most expensive station you can find. Please stop whining about your choices.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  308. @316. No, dear, the one in the neighborhood close to home rather than wasting gas and time driving around to save pennies which get burned up in the search and time lost forever. Yopu should work for the government, Kevin. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  309. So many Shell stations in San Diego are under that price for Premium with a credit card. You have to really try to find something that expensive.

    https://www.gasbuddy.com/home?search=san%20diego%2C%20ca&fuel=3&brandId=122

    Kevin M (38e250)

  310. It is dishonest to present your super-expensive station, with all the more-expensive options, as “typical”. But then intellectual honesty is not your strong suit.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  311. @318. Again, your government minded rationale is to waste gas driving to other stations and time lost forever– to save a few pennies. Just buys less gas. Give it up, Kev; stop embarrassing yourself- you’re better than that.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  312. @319. Dishonest??? It’s the station in the neighborhood, Kevin dear. What’s disingenuous is your government mindset suggesting wasting time lost forever and more gas to save a few pennies. Just buy $20 worth of gas and consolidate trips. We could user Kevin government rationale and save plenty of gas and money walking the four miles to the grocery store, too. Or jsut buy an electric car. But then, those CA electric rates. Give it up, Kev. Stick to naming wars: UCW was a good one.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  313. Putin’s extreme isolation leaves few world leaders to convince him of a peace deal

    After over a week of devastating war, the race is on to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine. But what world leader could earn the trust of both Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine suggests a paranoid and aggrieved mind-set, and his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, who has made clear he is willing to fight to the end for his country? – WAPO.com

    Interesting piece… France’s Macron; Israel’s Bennett; Turkey’s Erdogan.. even mention of China.

    But no POTUS. The times, they-are-a-changin’.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  314. @kevin@302 Because he also knows the rules. If he doesn’t attack NATO, NATO doesn’t attack him.

    Nic (896fdf)

  315. Dishonest??? It’s the station in the neighborhood, Kevin dear.

    But it is not representative of gas prices in your area, which is what you are trying to present it as. Obviously you cannot understand why I am upset, but then I didn’t expect you to.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  316. If he doesn’t attack NATO, NATO doesn’t attack him.

    And if NATO attacks him he blows up the world? Where is that written? No one who has ever gamed the setup has assumed that global thermonuclear war is a viable option.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  317. @324. Not true, Kevin. Simply posted what we paid for gas Thurs., afternoon locally. YOU extrapolated it into something else. It’s what we paid in the neighborhood and regionally it is high; it would be absurd to drive further away and waste time and gas to try to save pennies. And frankly, why would anybody lie about something as simple as that– no reason. And regardless, plus or minus 10 or 20 cents, it’s high — and higher up north. And going up. ‘Course it’s free if we grab a hose and syphon it out of the neighbor’s Honda overnight. Jeez.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  318. @323. Nic, so how does Putin react to NATO ‘greenlighting’ getting the old Soviet-era fighter planes that Poland inherited over to Ukraine to do battle? A bluff called? Raised stakes? Or a propaganda coup affirming his assertions of NATO acting as an offensive alliance after all to justify w/the Russian people- given his bellicose rhetoric about any ‘help’?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  319. Rip,

    Full service is a tax on the public. As long as the savings are returned to the people, self service is preferable.

    NJRob (1a167d)

  320. The Ukrainians may have sunk a Russian warship — with a captured Russian rocket.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  321. More likely, the probably just damaged it severely. But it is still a good story.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  322. Here’s Trump’s plan to bomb the sh-t out of Russia. All that’s left is for him is to pull out his Sharpie and write “China” on the side of the jet.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  323. Oh, come on! Bomb the poor Russians for engaging in legitimate political discourse during a normal tourist visit? What kind of a totalitarian regime, are we?

    nk (1d9030)

  324. It’s not an invasion, nk, it’s a contested arrival.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  325. It’s a police action to root out hooligans, and in the nick of time, too.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  326. It’s what we paid in the neighborhood and regionally it is high; it would be absurd to drive further away and waste time and gas to try to save pennies.

    Why do you even need gas then? I mean if you never travel so far as to encounter a better price during your journey, you don’t really need a car.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  327. even the price of “i did that” stickers is getting out of hand

    JF (ccced3)

  328. I meant to say Google maps and Apple maps should call Russia Ukraine

    steveg (e81d76) — 3/6/2022 @ 3:39 pm

    In a year they will be calling Ukraine Russia.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  329. Rep. Van Taylor apologizes for affair with ‘ISIS bride,’ abruptly drops reelection bid

    Rep. Van Taylor (R-TX) apologized Wednesday for an affair with an ex-jihadist dubbed the “ISIS bride” by British tabloids and abruptly dropped his bid for a third term, conceding the GOP runoff to rival Keith Self, a former Collin County judge.

    A Plano resident named Tania Joya — widow of the most infamous American to join the Islamic State — contacted (Suzanne Harp, a candidate in the race) last Thursday, hoping she would confront Taylor privately and persuade him to drop out and resign from Congress.

    Instead, Harp sent a supporter to interview Joya, who has been profiled in the The Atlantic and tabloid fodder for years in her native Britain.

    On Sunday afternoon, two days before the primary, a right-wing website, National File, posted audio of that 35-minute interview full of salacious details about the nine-month affair. The next day, the conservative site Breitbart posted a similar story that it labeled “exclusive.”
    ………
    Although Taylor has enjoyed stellar ratings from the NRA, Heritage and other conservative groups, he was one of five Texas Republicans who voted to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in every state. Self and (Suzanne Harp, a third candidate in the race) had made that vote central to the campaign.
    ……..
    On Monday night Harp, having orchestrated the publicity about the affair, pounced.

    She called the revelation of the affair “shocking…disturbing and unbecoming of a sitting U.S. Representative” and warned that it would be “dangerous to have compromised and corrupt representation in Washington.”
    ………
    Joya said she and Taylor met through her work as an ex-jihadist helping to reprogram extremists, and the affair lasted from October 2020 to June 2021.

    “We were very close,” Joya told The Dallas Morning News on Monday night.
    ……..
    Joya said she didn’t intend to inject herself into the election and didn’t even realize the primary was five days away when she contacted Harp. She was just annoyed at having to see her ex-lover’s face on billboards as she drove around Plano.

    “All I wanted was for Suzanne Harp to just say, ‘Hey, I know your little scandal with Tania Joya. Would you like to resign before we embarrass you?’ But it didn’t happen like that,” Joya told The News.

    Taylor led in early voting with 51.8% in a five-way race, enough to secure the nomination outright. But as it turned out, nearly half the votes were cast on Election Day, and he hadn’t banked enough of a lead to withstand the fallout.

    After Joya’s revelations surfaced, his election day share of the vote plunged to 45.2%.

    Out of 63,981 ballots, Taylor fell 823 short of what he needed to avoid a runoff.

    Support for Self, who served a dozen years as the chief executive of fast-growing Collin County, held steady. He ended up with 26.5% to Taylor’s 48.7%.

    Harp ended up with 20.8% — enough to play spoiler but not to make the runoff.
    …….
    Self called Taylor’s decision to suspend his campaign “appropriate” because “conservatives who believe family values are the backbone of our nation are held to a high standard.”

    Comedy Gold!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  330. Regarding Yanukovych and the Maidan protests: I once saw a Trumper list Ukraine among the places where the “American empire” had staged a “regime change” operation. I thought it was weird, and then I found someone else claiming that the Maidan protests were provoked, if not engineered, by the CIA.
    Radegunda (c970ff) — 3/5/2022 @ 8:13 am

    “So far as Ukraine is concerned, U.S. intrusion into its domestic politics was deep—to the point of seeming to select a prime minister. It also, in effect, supported an illegal coup d’etat that changed the Ukrainian government in 2014, a procedure not normally considered consistent with the rule of law or democratic governance.”
    Jack Matlock, US ambassador to USSR (1987-1991)

    scrutineer (5daa50)

  331. Jack Matlock is a sly one with words. I like “to the point of seeming” and “in effect”. Well, he was a diplomat, though I am not sure he was ever on our side, so you would expect him to be good with words.

    Calling the 2014 changes in the government of Ukraine a “coup d’etat” come pretty close to outright lying, without that tricky “in effect”.

    This Wikipedia article gives some background.

    I doubt Matlock has mentioned these events:

    In an interview on 20 February, a retired[59] colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia (GRU), Aleksandr Musienko, said that the conflict could only be solved by force, and that Ukraine had proven it could not exist as an independent, sovereign state.[59][60] According to government documents released by Ukrainian former Deputy Interior Minister Hennadiy Moskal, Russian officials served as advisers to the operations against protesters. Code-named “Wave” and “Boomerang”, the operations involved the use of snipers to disperse crowds and capture the protesters’ headquarters in the House of Trade Unions. Before some police officers defected, the plans included the deployment of 22,000 combined security troops in Kyiv.[61] According to the documents, the former first deputy of the Russian GRU stayed at the Kyiv Hotel, played a major role in the preparations, and was paid by the Security Services of Ukraine.[62] According to Reuters, the authenticity of the documents could not be confirmed.[63] Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the conflict had been provoked by a “non-Ukrainian” third party and that an investigation was ongoing.[64]

    On 21 February, after a failed crackdown that killed as many as 100 people, Yanukovych made some concessions. In response, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia said that Yanukovych needed to stop behaving like a “doormat”, and that further loan installments would be withheld. A Russian political adviser, Sergey Markov, said, “Russia will do everything allowable by law to stop [the opposition] from coming to power.”[65] On 24 February, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement urging Ukrainians to “crack down on the extremists who are trying to get established in power”,[66] and Medvedev refused to recognise Ukraine’s provisional government as legitimate.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  332. Anyone know what it costs to print a 1 ruble note? Each ruble is now worth less than a penny, which makes me wonder whether Putin can match what the Venezuelan regime achieved, where the cost to print their paper money was more than the bills were worth.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  333. scrutineer (5daa50) — 3/7/2022 @ 9:18 am

    Matlock is writing for a website that spotlighted Steve Cohen, an unrepentant Putin apologist who intellectually soiled himself after Putin invaded the Crimean region of Ukraine.
    Of course, Matlock and Cohen and other Putin supporters never mention the vast amounts of meddling Putin was engaged in, starting with the dioxide poisoning of President Yushchenko after the Orange Revolution, or the $15 billion bribe Putin pledged to Yanukovych to incent him away from the EU and toward Putin’s Eurasian dictators’ club.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  334. Rep. Van Taylor apologizes for affair with ‘ISIS bride,’ abruptly drops reelection bid

    My take-away? Even in Texas half the GOP voters reject Trump’s lies.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  335. illegal coup d’etat

    The then-President was removed in 2014 by a vote of Parliament, and a replacement vote was scheduled (and held later). The next day Russian troops entered Ukraine and seized Crimea.

    Which was illegal again?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  336. Anyone know what it costs to print a 1 ruble note?

    It’s cheaper just to print over the note with some extra zeroes.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  337. “to the point of seeming”

    I am so stealing that.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  338. “Matlock is writing for a website that spotlighted Steve Cohen, an unrepentant Putin apologist”

    I’m pretty sure Cohen has been dead for a couple of years.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  339. I do recall that Mr. vanden Heuvel died a year or two back, AJ.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  340. My take-away? Even in Texas half the GOP voters reject Trump’s lies.

    I agree. He would have coasted (no runoff) without the dark-eyed lady. Although, personally, I bemoan his lapse of hygiene, it was not Trump who “primaried” him, it was the ghosts of LBJ and Lee Atwater. Good old-fashioned Texas politics.

    nk (1d9030)

  341. Morgan Ortagus Demonstrates Limited Knowledge of Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District She Seeks to Represent

    Live from Music Row Monday morning (March 3rd) on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former Trump administration Department of State Spokesperson (and Trump-endorsed) Morgan Ortagus in studio to answer questions about Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

    Leahy: It’s that time of day again, not for “News Potpourri.” We have a candidate for the 5th Congressional District in our studio, and we’re going to play a different game called “Taking the Fifth.”

    All right. You’re a good sport here to play the game. Morgan Ortagus is here. We have candidates come in and we ask them their knowledge of the 5th Congressional District. Are you ready?

    Ortagus: Yes.

    Leahy: Here we go. What three interstate highways are located in the 5th Congressional District?

    Ortagus: I’m a terrible driver. (Laughs) I don’t know that……
    ……..
    Leahy: A country music superstar, a famous, multi-Grammy-Award-winning performer, has a popular winery in the center of the 5th district in Arrington, Tennessee.

    Ortagus: I have been to that winery. It’s great – I love that winery. I bought some wine.

    Leahy: Who owns it?

    Ortagus: I don’t know who owns it…….
    ……..
    Leahy: Here’s one: Who was Brigadier General Robert Reese Neyland?

    Ortagus: Fifth.
    …….
    Leahy: There are four previous Republican governors who are still living, and live in Tennessee. Can you name them?

    Ortagus: Well, let’s see. All four of them. No. ……
    …….
    Leahy: One of the most famous NASCAR drivers living today lives in the 5th District and has a large auto dealership in Franklin. Who is that?

    Ortagus: My husband is the car guy. He used to race. He knows all of the racing stuff.
    …….
    Leahy: ……. Who was the only Tennessee governor who ever served time in prison for crimes committed while in office?

    Ortagus: Ooh.
    ……..
    Leahy: A rather well-known Confederate general – one whose name and history have been a source of enormous controversy in Tennessee the last few years – was born and raised in the community of Chapel Hill, in the 5th district. Who was he?

    Ortagus: I don’t know.
    …….
    Leahy: What county is Chapel Hill in?

    Ortagus: I don’t know.

    Leahy: Marshall County. It’s in your district.
    #########

    You should cut her some slack. She’s only lived in the district for eleven months.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  342. When Russia recruits Chechens and Syrians to fight they’ve moved to the point of seeming deperate and punitive.
    Russians are actually looking like a second rate military with nukes, which seems dangerous.

    steveg (e81d76)

  343. We probably heard enough from old Cohen, may his soul rest in peace.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  344. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/7/2022 @ 12:23 am

    . Nic, so how does Putin react to NATO ‘greenlighting’ getting the old Soviet-era fighter planes that Poland inherited over to Ukraine to do battle? A bluff called? Raised stakes? /blockquote> Putin, or his laxkeys, have now tried saying two or three things could lead to escalation (read: nuclear war)

    Je knows how wary U.S/ officials are of it.

    So he said economic sanctions could amount to a declaration of war. Here he had a military officer say – I think – that if planes toook off from a NATO country that would be entering the war. Except that the plan is to raake off and land in Ukraine first. Putin’s more scared of nuclear war than we are. He’s

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  345. How are they going to get the newly painted Ukrainian aircraft into the country without Russia attacking them?
    Russia has AWACS. I’m sure we could try to jam or spoof their AWACS, but that might be considered an attack.

    This is an escalation, and it will be interesting to see what Putin does

    steveg (e81d76)

  346. I doubt any Soviet jet fighters will be transferred to Ukraine. They require long runways-around 2,500 feet-and by this point I’m sure most of Urkraine’s airbases have been destroyed or are contested.

    Putin’s more scared of nuclear war than we are.

    I doubt that. Use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield are integrated into Russian ground warfare, and given that fact that NATO is completely outnumbered (2,000 Russian v. 200 NATO weapons) why would he give up that advantage? If push comes to shove there really is no weapon that Putin would not use to achieve his goals.

    Russia is believed to have what is called an “escalate to deescalate” doctrine for its battlefield nukes. Indeed, this doctrine might be better called “escalate to terminate—and win.”

    The idea is Russia might employ one (or more) tactical nuclear weapon during a conventional conflict with NATO forces to prevent a defeat, consolidate gains, or even freeze a conflict in place without further fighting.

    (Putin) said economic sanctions could amount to a declaration of war.

    He needs to put up or shut up. If that were true wouldn’t he attack the West? What is surprising is that there has not been a major cyberattack on the US so far.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  347. SF: Putin’s more scared of nuclear war than we are

    I think he is scared of what happens. It shows because he keeps on saying everything is a possible nuclear war

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/03/world/europe/russia-ukraine-propaganda-censorship.html

    On Thursday, the pillars of Russia’s independent broadcast media collapsed under pressure from the state. Echo of Moscow, the freewheeling radio station founded by Soviet dissidents in 1990 and that symbolized Russia’s new freedoms, was “liquidated” by its board. TV Rain, the youthful independent television station that calls itself “the optimistic channel” said it would suspend operations indefinitely.

    Echo of Moscow is actually now owned by Gazprom

    Echo of Moscow is owned by Gazprom, the state energy giant, but has often broadcast sharp critiques of the Kremlin. Analysts believed the station survived thanks to Mr. Venediktov’s personal connections to the ruling elite and Mr. Putin’s desire to maintain a veneer of pluralism amid his creeping authoritarianism.

    TV Rain is the one where all the people working there left. They played Swan Lake, which was the music broadcast when Brezhnev died, and Andropov died and Chernenko died and Gorbachev was made incommunicado during the attemoted Soviet coup August 19, 1991.

    ..TV Rain was founded in 2010 by a media entrepreneur, Natalia Sindeyeva, and a TV director, Vera Krichevskaya. It became a symbol of free-minded journalism, and a place where young journalists could launch their careers.

    Though the Kremlin created challenges for the channel, it always found a way to persevere. In 2014, cable networks removed TV Rain from their bundles, costing the channel about 80 percent of its audience. It then pivoted to a subscription model.

    On Thursday, TV Rain broadcast a full news report on YouTube, after which Ms. Sindeyeva announced that the outlet was shutting down, at least for the time being.

    ALso in that article:

    And Dmitri A. Muratov, the journalist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said that his newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which survived the murders of six of its journalists, could be on the verge of shutting down as well.

    Novaya Gazeta decided it would not publish anything about the conflict.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/04/world/europe/russia-censorship-media-crackdown.html

    Mr. Putin signed a law that effectively criminalizes any public opposition to or independent news reporting about the war against Ukraine. Taking effect as soon as Saturday, the law could make it a crime to simply call the war a “war” — the Kremlin says it is a “special military operation” — on social media or in a news article or broadcast. Announcements that the law was coming had already pushed Russian independent media outlets to shut down in recent days, and more followed on Friday.

    In addition, the government blocked access inside Russia to the websites of major Russian-language outlets that are based outside the country, and to Facebook, the social network popular with the Westward-looking urban middle class where many have posted fierce criticism of Mr. Putin’s war….

    ….For now, popular Russian social networks like VKontakte remain accessible, along with Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. But analysts expect a further crackdown, heightening the importance of the messaging and social networking app Telegram, which the Kremlin tried and failed to block in 2018.

    Russian officials claim that journalists writing critically about the war — or calling it a “war” or an “invasion” — are undermining the national interest, even referring to them as traitors.

    The lower house of Parliament, the State Duma, passed the law criminalizing “false information” about the armed forces on Friday by a unanimous vote, and Mr. Putin signed it later in the day. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Duma speaker, said that under the new law, “those who lied and made declarations discrediting our armed forces will be forced to suffer very harsh punishment.”

    ….Then, on Friday, the government said it would block access to Russian-language media produced outside the country: the websites of the Voice of America, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the popular Latvian-based news outlet Meduza. The reason: the systematic distribution of what it called false information about the “special military operation on the territory of Ukraine.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/07/technology/russia-ukraine-internet-isolation.html

    TikTok and Netflix are suspending their services in the country. Facebook has been blocked. Twitter has been partly blocked, and YouTube’s future is in doubt. Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco and others have pulled back or withdrawn entirely from Russia. Even online video games like Minecraft are no longer available.

    The actions have turned Russia into a walled-off digital state akin to China and Iran, which tightly control the internet and censor foreign websites and dissent….

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  348. You DO realize that one Ohio-class submarine can launch 288 500-KT warheads? By itself it can kill everyone in Russia west of the Urals. And it’s not by itself.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  349. This is an escalation, and it will be interesting to see what Putin does

    Putin has been doing nothing but escalating, on a daily basis. How would you tell if his, say, bombing dams was in reaction or just something he thought of in the shower?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  350. Fro, the second article: Novaya Gazeta, said it was deleting its content about the war in Ukraine. The Village, a digital lifestyle magazine that moved its operations from Russia to Poland this week, said it was retroactively editing its articles to change any mention of the word “war” to “special operation.”

    I read also that Amazon had discovered that people were posting comments about the war in its reviews and it removed them. I’m not sure where.

    Because of Putin’s new criminal law, some news organizations withdrew their correspondents or stopped airing anything in Russia. The BBC, CNN ABC More stop broadcasting than tell correspondents to leave.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/04/world/europe/russia-facebook-ukraine.html

    Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet regulator, said in a statement that Facebook would be blocked for what it said were 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media. It also cited Facebook’s steps to restrict Russian media outlets including Zvezda, RIA Novosti, Sputnik, Russia Today, Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru.

    Instagram and WhatsApp, which are also owned by Facebook’s parent company, Meta, are unaffected, the company said. Both are more popular in Russia than Facebook’s main blue app.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  351. Putin escalates when he doesn’t win.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  352. I think I put this censorship material in the wrong thread,

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  353. Russia agreed to a humanitarian corridor (in the south) but lied. From Kiev it leads only to Russia or Belarus I think I heard.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  354. Is Russia preparing a dirty-bomb escalation in Ukraine?
    ……….
    Russian state media is suddenly reporting that Ukraine is angling to go nuclear against Russian troops. The country has no nuclear weapons so it can’t mount a conventional nuclear attack, but it does have nuclear power plants. Ukrainians could theoretically pack radioactive material into conventional bombs to create so-called “dirty bombs” that would disperse radioactive material widely after detonation.
    ………
    But these obviously bogus reports are still newsy because they may signal the Kremlin’s own intentions. U.S. intelligence spent weeks last month insisting with specificity that Russia was preparing a false-flag attack attributable to Ukraine which it would then use to justify invading. The new dirty-bomb allegations may be an updated version of that strategy. Russia could disperse radioactive material, blame Ukraine, then cite it as an excuse to do God knows what.
    …….
    Yesterday Russia’s foreign ministry tweeted that the sinister Ukrainians were plotting to blow up an experimental nuclear reactor at the university in Kharkiv:
    ……
    Coincidentally, there was an attack on the university’s nuclear research facility yesterday. According to Ukraine’s government, it was Russian forces who fired on the building. Kharkiv also happens to be close to the Russian border in northeastern Ukraine; a majority of the city’s residents are Russian speakers. If Russia wanted to stage a provocation designed to warrant heavy-handed tactics in retaliation, you’d expect it to be in a city with lots of ethnic Russians like Kharkiv.

    But the Kremlin wasn’t done. Russia’s foreign minister has also been accusing the U.S. lately of basing WMD facilities on Ukrainian territory:
    ………
    If a mysterious virus were to suddenly afflict the people of Odessa — the next expected target in Russia’s southern assault — I suppose the world will just have to blame Uncle Sam and Ukraine for not securing their bioweapons labs, no?
    ………
    ……..Why turn to WMD in Ukraine?

    One possibility is sheer brutality, a motive that can never be ruled out in Russian warmaking. If in fact Putin has concluded that he won’t be able to subdue Ukraine and is headed for some meaningful degree of humiliation on the battlefield, terrorizing Ukrainians with dirty bombs might be his idea of a parting gift.

    Another, maybe related to the first, is that he wants to justify more aggressive tactics on the ground and needs an alarming pretext to do so. A false-flag op involving nuclear material would provide that…….
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  355. The Little Red Lyin’ Twit Says Biden will try to reduce rising oil prices, and won’t open U.S. energy resources.
    Not only did putin smiled he laughed all the way to the bank.

    mg (8cbc69)

  356. ‘Little Evidence’ Keystone Pipeline Would Level Prices Despite GOP Claims
    …….
    …….James Glynn, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, said the Keystone pipeline—even if operational—likely wouldn’t have had an impact on the global energy markets.

    “There is little evidence to back up the argument that Keystone XL would have averted some of this price spike,” Glynn told Newsweek. “The Keystone pipeline capacity is less than one-tenth of Russian oil exports.”

    “Even if Keystone XL was filled with fully additional Canadian export capacity, which would have been an unlikely scenario, it would not balance the global oil markets where the price of oil is set through a global arbitrage of the last marginal available barrel,” Glynn continued.
    …….
    ……. [T]he Keystone Pipeline was never running, and was less than 10 percent completed when the project was shut down, amid criticism from the Republican Party.
    ……..
    “The Keystone pipeline is not a viable solution because you can’t build a pipeline in an hour, right?” David Sacco, a practitioner in residence in the finance program at the University of New Haven, told Newsweek. “The company that was building it shut it down a year ago. So that’s not viable. But I think the argument that our energy policies have been a pretty significant contribution to this [crisis] are certainly valid from an economic standpoint.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  357. In its righteous fury, America has sometimes overreached. Don’t make that mistake in Ukraine.

    “Beware the fury of an aroused democracy,” Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote at the beginning of World War II. His warning was apt: The United States would mobilize to defeat both Germany and Japan. But in later years that same warlike impulse would lead us into misbegotten conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq. The fury of an aroused democracy needs to be carefully channeled and controlled lest it draw America into wars that we don’t need and can’t win.
    ……..
    U.S. attempts to overthrow or kill foreign leaders during the Cold War seldom achieved the results we were aiming for. When such plots failed, as with Fidel Castro, they resulted in embarrassment for the United States and a dangerous escalation of tensions. …..
    ……..
    The only thing worse than U.S. plots that failed were those that succeeded……
    ……..
    A no-fly zone is another extraordinarily dangerous idea. ……Are we really prepared to go to war with a nuclear-armed state? The United States wisely resisted that temptation during the Cold War even when it meant standing by and watching Russian tanks snuff out rebellions in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The same calculus applies today.

    It’s not even clear how much a no-fly zone would accomplish, since so much of the damage on Ukrainian cities is being inflicted by Russian artillery and rockets, not aircraft. If we really want to protect the Ukrainians, U.S. aircraft would have to attack Russian ground columns……..
    ……..
    Some are alarmed that if we don’t get directly involved in fighting Russia, NATO states will be next. But Russia is so bogged down, it’s impossible to imagine Putin attacking anyone else anytime soon. ……..
    ……….
    I’m not so sure Putin wouldn’t attack the Eastern European and Baltic NATO members using tactical nuclear weapons to intimidate the other NATO members, since one of his goals has been to roll back NATO. Putin has always been underestimated.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  358. The elitists here at this site don’t seem affected by high gas prices and food prices continuing to soar. You people are always trying to defend the high prices and pretend joe fluck up had nothing to do with it. You elites belong to a pathetic clique.

    mg (8cbc69)

  359. https://theaspenbeat.com
    81 million of you people

    mg (8cbc69)

  360. Dustin – I hesitate to bring this up again, but you puzzled me: Why do you think Volodymyr Zelenskyy is corrupt? Could you link to some evidence, please, if you have some?

    I looked through that biography and found only dubious thing, offshore accounts, something I might consider prudent at the time, given the problems with Ukraine’s government. His estimated wealth does not seem out of line for a very successful entertainer.

    And he has had some success in reducing corruption.

    (Kudos to Paul for spelling his last name right, though apparently there are a number of acceptable alternatives in both Ukrainian and Russian. I have to admit I have been missing the double “y” at the end, probably because it doesn’t occur in any English words I’ve seen.)

    Jim Miller (406a93) — 3/6/2022 @ 11:56 am

    Let me link 100 insane Russian posts about him.

    Just kidding.

    It’s probably hyperbolic to say I just don’t trust him or Putin. Obviously Zelinksi (however you spell it you know who I’m talking about) has not invaded a peaceful neighbor or killed thousands of people. Putin’s the real bad guy in this event.

    However, priorities are important in leaders. Ukraine has known this was coming since 2008 or perhaps much earlier. They need to be transparent about justice, accountability, and money. Zelinksi hasn’t been great about how he treats press critics. He’s not great about traitors today (though I get that in war). And when it was clear he wasn’t truthful about his finances, in a nation where everyone in government is hopelessly corrupt, he didn’t explain it or fix it. He obfuscated and of course his family got wealthier. That sounds like a minor thing compared to killing thousands. I suppose it is minor. But it also reflects a choice that put Ukraine exactly where it is, outside the free world, outside NATO. He put himself ahead of his nation, and yet he loves his country so much he’s willing to embellish events just a bit, here and there, and openly advocate for NATO and the USA to be drawn into open conflict with Russia. He’s the strongman war hero, and I never like that, and when I try to empathize with his decisions, it just works out that I don’t trust him. He has that link to that oligarch, and there are some other things on the internet, but I don’t really know what to trust and don’t want to muddy waters with Russian propaganda. Obviously they will lie to us about him.

    And I suppose my point is simple: I support the Ukrainian people, not the government. I urge caution in trusting anything said about the war, a few days to verify claims before I get too amped up about claims. A little common sense about fantastic claims. And definitely being careful how we arm Ukraine. I am not saying we shouldn’t. I’m saying we should be aware of the next ten and twenty years.

    Dustin (150498)

  361. However, priorities are important in leaders. ……

    That’s a good opinion, but what exactly are the facts that support your conclusions?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  362. Putin escalates when he doesn’t win.

    Which is why I think he will use his tactical nukes sooner rather than later.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  363. Fast-food chains and food producers stay open in Russia, and mostly quiet about Ukraine.

    ‘While technology giants like Apple and luxury retailers like Hermès have quickly moved to pause sales or shutter stores in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, most U.S. food companies and fast-food chains have remained open — and largely silent.

    Many large food manufacturers, including PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, and fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Yum Brands are facing growing pressure on social media platforms and from large investors to halt operations in Russia.

    Companies “need to consider whether doing business in Russia is worth the risk during this extraordinarily volatile time,” the chief of one big investor, New York state’s pension fund, said on Thursday.

    McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Mondelez International, the maker of Oreos and Ritz Crackers, did not respond to messages seeking comment about their operations in Russia. Starbucks and Yum Brands, whose chains include KFC and Pizza Hut, have said in response to the invasion that they were supporting humanitarian relief efforts.

    But unlike the retailers who have announced that they’re pausing operations in Russia, some fast-food companies do not actually own the restaurants that operate there under their names. In Russia, Starbucks, Papa John’s and Yum Brands chains including KFC and Pizza Hut are mostly run by franchisees, who often have close ties to Russian banks or investors.

    Franchise experts say that, depending on the agreements, it is probably up to the franchise owner to decide whether to close a restaurant because of political turmoil, rather than the brands themselves.

    Fast-food restaurants and food and beverage companies were some of the earliest entrants into the Russian market, and many have nimbly operated there for decades. Even during other times of political turmoil and tensions, the companies still found consumers eager to buy American soda and gobble up burgers, chicken and pizza.

    When McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Russia — in Moscow’s Pushkin Square in 1990 — an estimated 30,000 Russians lined up to sample its hamburgers for the first time. A few years later, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the Soviet Union, appeared in a commercial for Pizza Hut.

    Unlike other chains, McDonald’s owns the vast majority of its 847 restaurants in Russia. According to a page for investors, Russia accounts for 9 percent of the company’s total revenues and 3 percent of its operating income.

    McDonald’s has made no statement about the invasion. A company spokesman did not respond to questions about whether its restaurants in Russia were open, and how they are receiving supplies or handling payments. Global logistics and freight firms have halted shipments to Russia and access to critical international financial and payment systems is shut down in the country.

    PepsiCo has also not made a statement about its operations in Russia, and spokesmen did not respond to multiple emails seeking comment. The company says on its website that it is the largest food and beverage manufacturer in Russia, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in three manufacturing plants in the country. Last year, Russia accounted for $3.4 billion, or more than 4 percent, of PepsiCo’s $79.4 billion in revenues.

    PepsiCo struck an agreement in the early 1970s that allowed Russia to bottle Pepsi, becoming the first American consumer product manufactured and sold in the Soviet Union. In exchange, a company subsidiary, which already marketed Soviet vodka, got the exclusive rights to also sell Soviet champagne, wine and brandy in the United States. In the late 1980s, the Soviets, in renewing their agreement with PepsiCo, gave it a fleet of ships.

    In a statement to global employees on Friday, the chief executive of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, condemned the “unprovoked, unjust and horrific attacks” on Ukraine by Russia.

    Mr. Johnson added that the company would donate any royalties it receives from its operations in Russia to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine along with other financial contributions. On Saturday, a cheery website for Starbucks in Russia, which is operated by the Kuwaiti conglomerate Alshaya Group, showed the roughly 130 stores in the country open and operating with normal business hours.

    Yum Brands, which has more than 1,000 KFCs and 50 Pizza Huts in Russia — all owned and operated by franchisees — said it was making financial donations to various humanitarian relief organizations.

    As for the operations in Russia, the company said in a statement that it is “monitoring the evolving situation very closely” and that it was too early to discuss the impact.’

    – source, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/05/world/europe/russia-food-ukraine.html#:~:text=In%20Russia%2C%20Starbucks%2C%20Papa%20John%E2%80%99s%20and%20Yum%20Brands,have%20close%20ties%20to%20Russian%20banks%20or%20investors.

    Sanctions??? “Go get’em!”

    Attaboy, Joey!!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  364. @367 don’t worry, mg

    if putin uses nukes it’ll be more evidence around here that demented joe outfoxed him

    JF (ccced3)

  365. That’s a good opinion, but what exactly are the facts that support your conclusions?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/7/2022 @ 4:00 pm

    Do you dispute the facts I relied upon? Which?

    Dustin (150498)

  366. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/03/revealed-anti-oligarch-ukrainian-president-offshore-connections-volodymyr-zelenskiy

    Note this behavior with media investments is probably related to this:

    https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-zelenskiy-bans-three-opposition-tv-stations/a-56438505

    It’s just how it works. Like Mayor of Chicago, I don’t need to trust the leader of Ukraine if I don’t want to.

    Turns out a lot of what they say is intended to manipulate me, so … just have some skepticism. I’m not trying to go qanon with conspiracies here. He’s the victim too of Putin’s conduct. But like all politicians that get glorified, common sense will eventually prevail.

    Dustin (150498)

  367. JF – and these fools want us to believe its for the good of the working class. Thanks to the 81 million I have to work 60+ hours a week instead of the old standard 40 to pay the increase in gas, food, medical, automobile parts, its flucking insane.

    mg (8cbc69)

  368. Well, there’s also the matter of prestige. If the Germans, philosophers and … beer lovers, have found that kind of nerve, to stand up to a doddery old dwarf of a KGB apparatchik, how can America do less?

    And, seriously, we’re not Ivan Ivanovich Ivanokovich in a one-room Moscow apartment dreading a knock on the door in the middle of the night. Putin can take his tactical nukes and stick them up his strategy. Like Kevin said above, just one of our nuclear submarines can make Russia the historical abortion it should have been in the first place.

    nk (1d9030)

  369. Do you dispute the facts I relied upon? Which?

    What I am looking for are facts to go with your conclusions that make Zylensky different from other world leaders. In fact, nothing you say above (and previously) can describe any other country’s leader (including our Presidents since World War II). Hypocrisy is the social disease of politicians.

    You say Zelensky is corrupt, but you don’t provide specific facts, just general conclusions. The fact he has access to offshore accounts or an oligarch isn’t really evidence he is more corrupt than the hundreds of politicians, current or former world leaders; other public officials and hundreds of celebrities, businessmen, and other wealthy individuals caught up in the Panama Papers or Pandora Papers scandals.) Ukraine politics are probably corrupt, but so are most politics in democratic countries.

    The Ukraine of the 1980s or 90s is not the same Ukraine of today. They left the USSR and formed an imperfect democracy. They are not invading any of their neighbors who want to live in peace. Ukraine is working toward forming that “more perfect union” as most democratic countries are.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  370. U.S. officials deploy more troops to Europe as Russian advance stalls

    The U.S. military ordered the deployment of 500 additional troops to Europe, pushing the total number of American forces on the continent to about 100,000 as it seeks to deter Russia from broadening its unprovoked war in Ukraine, Pentagon officials said Monday… “The bottom line is, more civilians are being killed and wounded, more civilian infrastructure’s being damaged or destroyed,” Kirby said. -source, LA Times.com

    The ‘bottom line’ is NOBODY is demanding the DoD reveal what ‘the bottom line’ is costing the United States Treasury- and the American people.

    When do the Ukranian Relief War Bonds go on sale from Uncle Sam, Joey??? Or is this another ‘charge it’ to Ol’Whisker’s credit card, financed by borrowed $ from China?!

    … and the MIC smiled.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfJb-g6_wS8

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  371. he’s willing to embellish events just a bit, here and there, and openly advocate for NATO and the USA to be drawn into open conflict with Russia

    Dustin (150498) — 3/7/2022 @ 3:57 pm

    This is the part I don’t understand. When we’re at war I expect our government to mislead our enemies — in fact I count on it. If we’re willing to kill people but not confuse our enemies with disinformation, our priorities are seriously effed up. And misleading our enemies requires misleading the rest of the world. I wish we could just make our enemies leave the room while we level with everyone else, but as far as I’m aware no one’s figured out how to do that yet.

    Now obviously any time a democratic government is less than frank is corrosive to its accountability. But threading that needle is one of the unavoidable challenges of democratic governance. I’d say some of our propagandizing wartime leaders have done it well (Lincoln, FDR), others abysmally (LBJ, Nixon). Either way, striking that balance is a matter between the government and its electorate. I don’t see why Zelinksi is obligated to say or avoid saying anything beyond what protects his people and his country.

    I call what he’s doing propaganda. I won’t call it lying to the extent “lying” has a negative moral connotation. (I note you didn’t call it lying here either, but I seen to recall you doing so earlier in the thread.)

    lurker (59504c)

  372. he’s willing to embellish events just a bit, here and there, and openly advocate for NATO and the USA to be drawn into open conflict with Russia

    So? US intervention is the only way Ukraine will survive. The country is being sacrificed in the name of world peace.

    China, take note. Uncle Sam may not come to Taiwan’s rescue.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  373. Turns out a lot of what they say is intended to manipulate me, so … just have some skepticism. I’m not trying to go qanon with conspiracies here. He’s the victim too of Putin’s conduct. But like all politicians that get glorified, common sense will eventually prevail.

    You’re catching on. Go back and review his comments less than a week before the invasion. For months as the build up was assembling– and every intel source was telling him invasion was coming if not imminent – he lambasted the western media and leaders for being overly alarmist and to chill out- even to the point have encouraging his people to keep going to the night clubs and cafes just a few days before the tanks rolled in. ‘Churchillian’ comparisons by media and pols evaporated after a few days when they realized that unlike Zelinskyy, Winnie had been warning his people of the “Gathering Storm” for years and made every effort he could to encourage the Home Front to be prepared.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  374. The U.S. Military couldn’t beat cave dwellers. And now you want to nuke Russia.
    Must be different lawyers running a democrat war.

    mg (8cbc69)

  375. In Russia, Comrade mg, nobody have to worry about price of gas or price of food. Because nobody have car and stores have no food to sell.

    nk (1d9030)

  376. So?

    So I advocate skepticism based on deceptive behavior. (lurker, you could call some of it lying for sure).

    Avoiding WWIII is a lower priority than Ukraine’s security to Zelinksi. He is very upfront about hoping to draw that in. Yet concealing profitable and unethical behavior was a higher priority than steps needed to make Ukraine much safer two years ago.

    It’s funny how cheap the lives of Americans are to a lot of folks around the world.

    This is the part I don’t understand. When we’re at war I expect our government to mislead our enemies — in fact I count on it. If we’re willing to kill people but not confuse our enemies with disinformation, our priorities are seriously effed up. And misleading our enemies requires misleading the rest of the world. I wish we could just make our enemies leave the room while we level with everyone else, but as far as I’m aware no one’s figured out how to do that yet.

    Now obviously any time a democratic government is less than frank is corrosive to its accountability. But threading that needle is one of the unavoidable challenges of democratic governance. I’d say some of our propagandizing wartime leaders have done it well (Lincoln, FDR), others abysmally (LBJ, Nixon). Either way, striking that balance is a matter between the government and its electorate. I don’t see why Zelinksi is obligated to say or avoid saying anything beyond what protects his people and his country.

    I call what he’s doing propaganda. I won’t call it lying to the extent “lying” has a negative moral connotation. (I note you didn’t call it lying here either, but I seen to recall you doing so earlier in the thread.)

    lurker (59504c) — 3/7/2022 @ 4:52 pm

    Yeah this is 90% my view. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, and flooding the internet with the most extreme and emotional psyops, propaganda, whatever, that’s apparently a very good way to limit Russia’s ability to do it.

    With that in mind, we know we definitely can’t trust this guy. We should be skeptical, expect the next ghost of kiev to be a lie, the next atrocity from Russia to be exaggerated or BS (or maybe true…they are really bad after all).

    And we know our lives aren’t worth anything to them right now. Maybe we can debate the ethics of that, but we can’t debate that trusting the Ukrainian government is incorrect.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  377. Very sad.

    nk (1d9030)

  378. And another one bites the dust

    It’s their second in a week. On February 28, Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky was killed by a sniper. He was the commander of Russia’s 7th Airborne Division and deputy commander of the 41st Army.

    I have considerable sympathy for most of the Russian privates, but almost none for their commanders.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  379. “Sh*t is so fake that the minute an outsider took office
    we got cheap gas, cheap food, became energy
    independent, no wars and focused on our country’s
    own issues.

    Establishment hacks get back in and we have inflation,
    medical tyranny, world war 3, need to take a mortgage
    for gas.”

    —- Julia Song

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  380. Is Russia preparing a dirty-bomb escalation in Ukraine?

    Maskirovka

    Kevin M (38e250)

  381. It’s their second in a week. On February 28, Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky was killed by a sniper. He was the commander of Russia’s 7th Airborne Division and deputy commander of the 41st Army.

    Sad!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  382. Interesting review of Russian and Ukrainian armor.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  383. ‘Little Evidence’ Keystone Pipeline Would Level Prices Despite GOP Claims

    If it had been built 10 years ago, it would have made a difference. This is always what the environmentalist rear guard claims: “Oh, but it would make no difference now because it would take so long to build.”

    The fact is that the posture of the government makes a huge difference as it determines the futures markets.

    The price of oil at any time depends on market participants’ expectations about future supply and demand. The role of expectations makes the oil market very different from most others. In the market for fresh vegetables, for example, prices must balance the supply and demand for the current harvest.

    By contrast, oil producers and others in the industry can keep supply off the market if they think that its price will rise later, or they can put extra supply on the market if they think the price will fall. Oil companies around the world keep supply off the market by reducing the amount of oil that they take out of the ground. Oil producers can also restrict supply by holding oil inventory in tankers at sea or in other storage facilities. Conversely, producers can put more oil on the market by increasing production or by running down their inventories.

    Martin Feldstein, 2014

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/oil-prices-geopolitical-stability-by-martin-feldstein-2014-11

    Kevin M (38e250)

  384. Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a corrupt US President — who wanted to trade foreign aid for his false witness — to go F himself. By being noticably less corrupt than the US President, Zelenskyy seems to be well above the par in Eastern Europe.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  385. However, priorities are important in leaders. ……

    I could tell you things about Churchill. Are you saying that dirt on Winston should have meant that we didn’t help him against the Nazis? Hell, we helped STALIN.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  386. I could tell you things about Churchill. Are you saying that dirt on Winston should have meant that we didn’t help him against the Nazis? Hell, we helped STALIN.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/7/2022 @ 6:11 pm

    I’ve said we should help Ukraine in numerous ways short of putting our forces in the conflict or getting into WWIII. so… no, I’m not saying that.

    I think most of these strained defenses prove me right on this issue. It’s not good when a leader gets this kind of thing.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  387. People need a banner to rally around. Some Russian said it, actually.

    nk (1d9030)

  388. I think most of these strained defenses prove me right on this issue.

    This is not a strained defense. It’s a response to a silly attack, pointing out that EVEN IF what you say is correct, it’s not a problem. Just painting the floor here.

    But you construct these questions by means of innuendo and factless cynicism, so I really doubt it is so. Has he gotten richer while in office? Every US President and every US Senator seems to do the same. Even honest thrifty Bernie. It’s a fact that people who obtain power are also good at obtaining income, business partners, etc. It may be cause they are in power or it may be because they aren’t idiots.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  389. Q: How does an attorney sleep?

    A: First he lies on one side, then he lies on the other side

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  390. My ex-wife still misses me. But her aim is starting to improve
    *******************
    The guy who invented the door knocker got a no-bell prize
    *******************
    I saw an ad for burial plots, and I thought: “That’s the last thing I need!”
    *******************
    Need an ark? I Noah guy

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  391. What Vladimir Vladimirovich might already justifiably consider a major victory against the United States is that now Iran will give up its nuclear aspirations only when the Angel Gabriel tells them to.

    nk (1d9030)

  392. And I am really really tired of “Oh, if we don’t walk on eggshells around Vlad, he’ll nuke us all to death!” At some point his demands will rise to the point where we won’t listen to the threats. Suppose he says “Give me Poland! Or else!” Then what?

    As I said yesterday, some would keep moving the goalposts until they were in Lisbon. Or maybe Dunkirk.

    Virtually no war planning of the Cold War era assumed that a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict would turn into global thermonuclear war. Of course they considered that, but for the most part plans ended there.

    But go read the classics.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  393. Wait, what did Iceland and Liechtenstein do to get on the “unfriendly to Russia” list, and how do I get on it?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  394. Defense Stocks Soar $69 Billion On Russia’s War 3-3-22

    Investors have already posted $69 billion in stock gains on the 33 major defense and aerospace stocks in the largest ETF of its kind, the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA), says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.

    https://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/sectors/sp500-investors-gain-69-billion-dollars-off-russia-war-and-upside-remains/

    … and the MIC smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  395. Paul @ 402. Did you intend to link something like this? Your link @402 goes to a 2014 article about the Cohen vanden Heuvels.

    nk (1d9030)

  396. @kevin@325 That is the theory of mutually assured destruction, yes.

    @DCSCA@327 he yells about it and maybe there’s an “accident” but he doesn’t do anything really significant.

    @kevin@401 This is the war we were concerned would happen in the early 90s. They absolutely considered it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  397. Nic,

    MAD says that if anyone uses nukes, the other side uses nukes. It does not say “If you fire a rifle, we will blow up the world.” MAD allows for nearly anything short of nuclear weapons.

    Consider, the USSR did not use nukes — although they had thousands — when they were hauling down their flag. What would be the point? Nuclear weapons are only for not using.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  398. If there is anything that Boomers understand, it’s nuclear weapons and MAD. We lived with that hanging over our heads for decades.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  399. Vladimir Vladimirovich did not invest $10 million in Alina Kabaeva to see her and their two kids go up in smoke.

    nk (1d9030)

  400. Thanks for straightening me out, nk.
    Taiwan is on that list, too. I guess Xi whispered in Vlad’s ear.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  401. Putin can shut down social media in Russia, but he can’t stop the world from seeing this, nor from unseeing it after it’s been seen.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  402. @kevin@406 Conventional war only stays conventional if one side isn’t going to lose everything. Russia can’t take us tank to tank any more. He11, apparently they are having trouble taking Ukraine tank to tank.

    Nic (896fdf)

  403. Ms. Matvienko, head of Putin’s Federation Council, has a nice 8,300 square foot Italian villa on 10½ acres, with 2,200 feet of waterfrontage in the town of Pesaro, easily findable on Google Maps.

    Take the villa, Italy.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  404. Don’t think ‘personal sanctions’ on Vlad mean much to him anymore, especially at 70– and particularly if he’s terminally ill. Can’t take it with him.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  405. Nic (896fdf) — 3/7/2022 @ 11:41 pm

    Conventional war only stays conventional if one side isn’t going to lose everything.

    It *can* stay conventional. The theory is there can be miscalculation. And is losing in Ukraine acceptable to Putin? It is more likely if ittakes some time for him to come to the conclusion that he is.

    Russian planes have been sot down by a NATO country Turkey, after a plane in Syria took a shortcut over Turkey. A U.S. civilian airliner was shot down by Soviet air defense in 1983. Both isolated incidents. U.S. troops fired on Russians in Syria. But they were officially mercenaries advancing on an outpost where some U.S. troops were also. The United States fought Chinese divisions in Korea 150-1953. But maybe the war didn’t get bigger only because President Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur. But China, at that time, did not have a nuclear bomb and had thrown everything (?) into it. Extreme sanctions were maintained in China by the United States from 1949 to 1972, but they weren’t joined in by too many other countries – not that Mao was much interested in trade.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  406. 313. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/8/2022 @ 1:51 am

    Don’t think ‘personal sanctions’ on Vlad mean much to him anymore, especially at 70– and particularly if he’s terminally ill. Can’t take it with him.

    That;s where family comes in.

    But the worst situation is if he only thinks he is terminally ill.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  407. 81 million human beings have a resilience in being able to deny consequences.

    mg (8cbc69)

  408. 313. Russian planes have been sot down by a NATO country, Turkey…

    I should add, that in 2014, a Malaysian civilian passenger jet flying from the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, (Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17) was shot down by Russian forces firing within Ukraine. It was denied, and also allowed to be attributed to Ukrainian rebels backed by Russia, but it was almost certainly Russia outright but left unresolved.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/07/10/889953353/nearly-6-years-after-mh17-was-shot-down-dutch-prosecutors-say-they-will-sue-russ

    It was also assumed to be an accident, which maybe was good as Putin could not repeat it. But he almost certainly did it on purpose (the cover-up was too carefully planned) and designed so that people should think war is more dangerous than they thought.

    The United States fought Chinese divisions in Korea 1950-1953.

    They were officially “volunteers, in an attempt by Communist China to avoid all out war. This was the time when the United States enunciated the doctrine of “limited war” which MacArthur didn’t like.

    The Korean War ended only because Eisenhower threatened to escalate (dropping nuclear waste in Korea)

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  409. The Russians can pull out any time, with or without a “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner. They can simply say they degraded Ukraine’s ability to Nazificate, punished it for its crimes, and left it too weak to be a further threat, and that’s all they wanted in the first place, not its territory.

    nk (1d9030)

  410. What? They’ve been doing this for 500 years. The Tartars ride in, burn, loot, rape and pillage; the Cossacks mount up and chase them back to their yurts and hovels; and then they all drink themselves to a stupor.

    nk (1d9030)

  411. Now, Tartars not being the brightest bulb in the Denisovan chandelier, many would get their “burn, loot, rape, and pillage” mixed up. Terry Pratchett, in the novel Interesting Times, partially described remedial training in the field by NCOs. It went something like this: “Look! This is a match. This is your ….”

    nk (1d9030)

  412. Democracy Dies in Dem D-bag Douchery…

    https://freebeacon.com/media/lincoln-project-democrats/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  413. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/ukraine-has-nazi-problem-vladimir-putin-s-denazification-claim-war-ncna1290946

    …But even though Putin is engaging in propaganda, it’s also true that Ukraine has a genuine Nazi problem — both past and present. Putin’s destructive actions — among them the devastation of Jewish communities — make clear that he’s lying when he says his goal is to ensure anyone’s welfare. But important as it is to defend the yellow-and-blue flag against the Kremlin’s brutal aggression, it would be a dangerous oversight to deny Ukraine’s antisemitic history and collaboration with Hitler’s Nazis, as well as the latter-day embrace of neo-Nazi factions in some quarters.,,,But even if some elements of the country have been entangled with one of history’s most loathsome movements, standing with Ukraine is without doubt the honorable posture to take in this drama. Right now, every day that Putin ratchets up his assault against the Ukrainian people with scorched-earth zeal, it’s hard not to see who truly deserves the N-word.

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/don%E2%80%99t-let-revisionists-derail-ukraine%E2%80%99s-babyn-yar-holocaust-memorial-194509

    ….Historical consensus maintains that eighty years ago during World War II, Nazi collaborators in Ukraine helped shoot nearly 34,000 Jews in Kyiv’s Babyn Yar forest. The Nazis then also put 600 of their fascist allies in that same mass grave—from the group that organized local Nazi auxiliaries: the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

    But since the 2000s, glorification of such local Nazi henchmen has become a trend in Eastern Europe, where the Holocaust by Bullets killed 1.5 million Jews before any death camps even began operation….Nevertheless, Balts and Ukrainians have spent decades doing just that—trying to convince Western anti-communists that consensus history is wrong and that no locals volunteered to aid the Nazis in perpetrating mass killings.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  414. Putin lies ad betrays so much that we have lost the power of speech as far as talking with Russia is concerned. People can only, maybe, communicate with the government of Russia by signalling, like animals.

    Here is an example of what happens when you try negotiating right now.

    https://nypost.com/2022/03/07/russians-plant-landmines-in-ukraine-safe-corridor-report

    Note: Actual words printed – the online link here seems to be a slightly different version of the article

    Russian officials assured Ukraine hours earlier that they would clear paths in its besieged cities of Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy to allow civilians to pass safely.

    But a senior Red Cross official later told the BBC that agency workers trying to use a safe corridor out of Mariupol — where food, water and medical supplies were scarce — discovered it was booby-trapped with land mines

    Kyiv and western officials had dismissed Moscow’s offer to establish humanitarian corridors, noting that the plans proposed escape routes would funnel refugees to Russia or its ally Belarus.

    It is useless- – even worse than useless – to negotiate with Russia under Putin.

    (Biden should not have taken phone calls from Putin before the war. It served to reduce his uncertainty, which was bad. It is very unlikely that Biden would have hit on the right attitude.)

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  415. @kevin@406 Conventional war only stays conventional if one side isn’t going to lose everything.

    In 1991, the Soviet Union lost everything. They didn’t fire a shot. Also, “not getting their way in Ukraine” the not the same as “losing everything.”

    Other than that, your point is well-taken.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  416. In the United States, the president does not have unilateral authority to order a nuclear attack. Further, there is a chain of command that may thwart an insane president. This was made fairly clear during Nixon’s final days.

    I am told that the Russians have similar safeguards. Now, maybe Putin has put equally crazy people in those positions, but judging from the way his spy chief balked when Putin was discussing the invasion, his control is less than perfect.

    In any event you cannot conduct foreign policy if you assume that the other guy is one drink away from launching Armageddon. A nuclear state needs to be sure that the people with authority are not effing nuts. If the top guy cannot be so selected, the institutional system needs to compensate. Pretty sure we did that with Trump.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  417. Kevin M (38e250) — 3/8/2022 @ 8:23 am

    I am told that the Russians have similar safeguards. Now, maybe Putin has put equally crazy people in those positions, but judging from the way his spy chief balked when Putin was discussing the invasion,

    Technically, the subject was recognizing the independence of Donesk and Luhansk. But the next thing would be sending in the military.

    his control is less than perfect.

    In public, he gave an order for a nuclear alert. His general didn’t look happy, and according to leaks from the Pentagon, nothing happened.

    https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/no-changes-in-russian-nuclear-force-posture-seen-by-u-s-pentagon

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  418. it would be a dangerous oversight to deny Ukraine’s antisemitic history and collaboration with Hitler’s Nazis

    Just as it would be an oversight to forget to mention that the other choice was Stalin, who had killed 4 million Ukrainians in the prior decade while forcing the survivors to give up their centuries-old farms to the State.

    It turned out that Hitler was indeed worse, but that wasn’t entirely clear at the start.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  419. It figures, that the UN would ban staff from saying that Putin’s invasion and war against Ukraine is an “invasion” or “war”, for the sake of being “impartial”.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  420. Dustin (150498) — 3/7/2022 @ 3:57 pm

    Your analysis of Zylensky’s/Ukraine’s “corruption” applies to many other governments and leaders. For example, Benjamin Netanyahu is a very corrupt Israeli (in addition to other Israeli political leaders accused/convicted of corruption). He has amassed substantial wealth (but still qualifies as only the fourth richest Israeli politician). He even had his own oligarch, Sheldon Adelson. And Israel targeted, killed, and stole secrets from Americans to protect its own interests. (For comparison purposes, the US ranks 25th, Israel 60th, Ukraine 117th, and Russia 129th on Transparency.Org 2020 Corruption Perception Index.)

    But no American politician would dare deny Israel the ability to defend itself if its survival is at stake. They would be tripping over themselves to arm Israel with the latest US weaponry.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  421. People are trying to make this avoidance of the term “war” or “invasion” make more sense, like it’s a legal distinction. But Putin is trying to deny, or hide, the underlying facts. I’d say that referring to it as a “conflict” or a military offensive’ is still not giving Putin what he wants.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  422. Winston Churchill had private help from some people. Not, as far as is known, in exchange for anything except better efforts for a change in policy.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  423. Winston Churchill also got lots of leaks about military preparedness from inside the government in the 1930s

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  424. In the United States, the president does not have unilateral authority to order a nuclear attack.

    Actually, he does. From the Nuclear Matters Handbook (2020) published by the Department of Defense:

    The decision to employ nuclear weapons requires the explicit authorization of the President of the United States. In a crisis, the President will be briefed on the likelihood of achieving national or military objectives using nuclear weapons as well as the diplomatic, strategic, operational, and legal implications of such use. The President bases this decision on many factors and will consider the advice and recommendations of senior advisors, to include the Secretary of Defense, the CJCS, and CCDRs. Depending on the crisis situation, the President may consult with U.S. allies during the decision-making process. The Nuclear Command and Control System plays a critical role in enabling decision-making conferencing and, if determined, receiving presidential orders to conduct a nuclear strike.

    Also:

    The President, however, does not need the concurrence of either his military advisors or the U.S. Congress to order the launch of nuclear weapons. Neither the military nor Congress can overrule these orders. As former STRATCOM Commander General Robert Kehler has noted, members of the military are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice “to follow orders provided they are legal and have come from competent authority.” But questions about the legality of the order—whether it is consistent with the requirements, under the laws of armed conflict (LOAC), for necessity, proportionality, and distinction—are more likely to lead to consultations and changes in the President’s order than to a refusal by the military to execute the order.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  425. Shell, BP to Withdraw From Russian Oil, Gas
    ……..
    Shell had previously said it would pull out of a number of joint ventures in the country. On Tuesday, it said it would also shut its service stations and aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia, and it won’t renew any Russian term contracts. It said it would find alternative supplies of oil as soon as possible, though it cautioned it could take weeks to fully make up the difference, leading to reduced production at some refineries.

    Shell faced a backlash last week and over the weekend when it snapped up a cargo of Russian crude at a bargain price, after many other players had started to curtail their purchases, creating an informal embargo from some buyers in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    …….
    BP won’t charter Russian-owned or Russian-operated vessels where possible, the spokesman said. In cases where it already has, the company “will continue to monitor their safe passage and comply with all applicable sanctions and local restrictions.” The spokesman said the decisions were made in the middle of last week, calling the situation a “rapidly changing and complex area” that BP continues to review. Previously, BP said it would relinquish its nearly 20% stake in oil giant Rosneft, following pressure from the U.K. government.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  426. Winston Churchill was a writer.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  427. The small “g” “gathering storm” story about Winston Churchill I like is that he could possibly have kept Edward VIII from abdicating, by letting him know that Wallis Simpson was sharing her affections with von Ribbentrop and some car salesman at the same that she was making a fool of Edward, but he didn’t do it because Edward was soft on Nazis, so Churchill kept quiet while Edward traded the hat for the hussy.

    nk (1d9030)

  428. US nuclear command and control aircraft have increased flights since Russia’s Ukraine invasion, official says
    The US military’s nuclear command and control aircraft have increased their number of daily flights since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a US official tells CNN, a sign that the US strategic force has responded in some way to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The fleet of Boeing E-6 Mercury aircraft has flown more frequently since the invasion, which has not been previously reported. The commander of America’s nuclear weapons says the posture of the US strategic force has not changed, but the increased flights mark a shift in the last week, even before Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would put his own strategic force, including nuclear weapons, on heightened alert.
    …….
    Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said the E-6 flights happen routinely. The increased flights, he speculated, may be an extra precaution given the risks involved with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so close to the US’s NATO allies.

    “You could imagine there’s been an order that’s gone out that says we need to have this command-and-control system up and ready in case there are any crazy, unforeseen scenarios happening,” said Kristensen. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that therefore there’s a heightened nuclear alert status compared to what we normally have, but you can imagine they have that enhanced communication system up and running.”

    Kristensen also said the increased flights may be a way of sending a message to Russia that the US is watching.
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  429. But no American politician would dare deny Israel the ability to defend itself if its survival is at stake. They would be tripping over themselves to arm Israel with the latest US weaponry.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/8/2022 @ 8:55 am

    This kind of strained defense proves my point. I have not ‘dared deny ukraine the ability to defend itself.’

    If fawning over the next fashionable strongmen is so drastic that even saying ‘hey, use some common sense and healthy skepticism’ is conflated with something unreasonable and horrible, there’s even more reason to be cautious. War is stupid, this is why.

    Dustin (150498)

  430. If you are right, Rip, then the Constitutional requirement that Congress declare war is a dead letter. We’re not talking about a second strike here, but a first. In the case of a second strike, where the President might be dead, there are other protocols, even if it means making the Postmaster General the new President.

    This isn’t really something that is openly discussed and anything you or I read is potentially disinformation, but anything that is less than a two-key system is utterly bugf**k crazy. There have been a number of suggestions over the years, and I assume that (after the Nixon episode) that they have chosen something. But you are right that I don’t know.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  431. @437:

    The worst near-miss of Churchill’s ascent was that the first choice to succeed Chamberlain was Lord Halifax. Halifax, though, though Winston would make a better wartime leader. This is lucky, as Halifax later argued strongly for a negotiated peace with Mr Hitler as the way to save the forces at Dunkirk.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  432. Dustin,

    The problem is that we are already at war with Russia, according to Putin at least. The sanctions we have imposed amount to a virtual blockade, and a blockade has always been an act of war. In any event they are doing more damage to Russia than any number of conventional bombs could do.

    We do not have to shoot at them for Russia to consider military retaliation.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  433. If fawning over the next fashionable strongmen….

    What is the evidence that Z is a strongman? He can’t even hold his country together for the last eight years.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  434. “I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home…” – Squinty McStumblebum, 3/8/22.

    Liar.

    _______

    Fearing Russian retaliation, cold-footed NATO Poland passes hot potato: ‘deploys’ the old Soviet MIG-29’s to U.S. base at Rammstein, Germany. Let America take any Putin heat on sending them to Ukraine, eh.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  435. For a legal analysis of the Commander in Chief’s authority see here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  436. Well, that’s an issue. Suppose that Poland said that they were going to send these planes to Ukraine and then Russia attacked the Polish base before they could move them. Is this now an “attack on NATO”, or is it Poland’s fault for getting involved?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  437. Rip, I get it. It is still bug-f**k crazy. Is it too much to ask that he get SecDef to sign off? In the Nixon situation, the then-SecDef ordered the military commanders to ignore any order that he or Kissinger had not countersigned.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  438. In any event, that analysis is about the President’s ability to respond to attack. But suppose a President Trump just, out of the blue, wants to nuke Mexico City? You’re telling me there is no one who can say “HEY!”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  439. But suppose a President Trump just, out of the blue, wants to nuke Mexico City? You’re telling me there is no one who can say “HEY!”

    Yes, unless the law is changed.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  440. “It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production… that’s simply not true.”– President George Costanza, 3/8/22

    “It’s not a lie… if you believe it,” eh, Georgie?!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  441. Is it too much to ask that he get SecDef to sign off? In the Nixon situation, the then-SecDef ordered the military commanders to ignore any order that he or Kissinger had not countersigned.

    Gen. Milley said the same thing about Trump, and it just as wrong.

    Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”

    The chairman knew that he was “pulling a Schlesinger,” the authors write, resorting to measures resembling the ones taken in August 1974 by James R. Schlesinger, the defense secretary at the time. Schlesinger told military officials to check with him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs before carrying out orders from President Richard M. Nixon, who was facing impeachment at the time.

    My emphasis.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  442. 244. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 3/6/2022 @ 9:51 am

    Lukashenko in Belarus, who is a good dutiful Putin subject

    Now.

    who imprisoned and then kicked out the person who beat him in a democratic election.

    No, he imprisoned a would be candidate. His wife ran instead, and won (in reality) and was allowed to flee the country.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  443. 450. Biden then followed up with a “proof”:

    Oil production was higher in his first year, despite the pandemic why should that reduce it?) than in Trump’s first year.

    It screams lying with statistics. A true statistic but, overall, a lie.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  444. More re 244:

    (5) Zelenskyy has not only been under constant attack from Putin (through the constant state of war in Donbas, his propaganda campaign against Ukraine, and cyber-attacks), he was treated like an errand boy by Trump (“do us a favor”);

    If it is a favor, it means he doesn’t have to do it.

    Trump was more interested in Zelensky keeping out of his government the people, whose names Giuliani had, who had supposedly tried to prevent him from becoming president in 2016.

    This had actually already been prevented but Trump didn’t know it, since he wasn’t in frequent routine contact with Giuliani.

    The “favor” was getting to the bottom of the allegation that Biden had single handedly caused a supposedly good prosecutor to be fired because he supposedly could get his son Hunter into trouble, (or at least cost him money)

    I am sure that in some way Vladimir Putin had something to do with Trump hearing, or maybe even seeing, a video of an excerpt from former Vice President Joe Biden’s appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations on January 23, 2018 – to which he supplied a malicious twist because Biden never said he got him fired to stop an investigation Trump never noticed that the tape never supported such an allegation. (although Giuliani did and thought Biden was omitting a crucial fact)

    https://www.cfr.org/event/foreign-affairs-issue-launch-former-vice-president-joe-biden

    ….I think the Donbas has potential to be able to be solved, but it takes two things. One of those things is missing now. And that is I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. They made—I mean, I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine.

    And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

    The whole anecdote is a lie! The chronology of the loan guarantees and the firing doesn’t fit. And Biden was there only a total of six times. Nobody can assign any date for this episode or bring any corroborating evidence,

    Here’s one attempt to reconcile this with reality:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/03/what-really-happened-when-biden-forced-out-ukraines-top-prosecutor/3785620002

    But Biden couldn’t say: Now wait a second: I made the whole story up! All he could say was that firing Viktor Shokin was Obama Administration policy.

    Most people didn’t dream how big a whopper Biden had told and the few Democrats who did protected him.

    As I said, Putin then gave it a twist. Giuliani had two scamster friends (whom he didn’t realize were scansters, of course) who had become close to him by contributing other people’s money – probably originating with the Russian government in the end – to various Republican Party causes and then hiring Giuliani privately as a lawyer – and they supplied him with sources in Ukraine who told him various things that I assume Putin wanted them to tell.

    The first success was getting the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine fired. Mike Pompeo tried to prevent that but eventually couldn’t but he did avoid leaving any reflection on her.

    We don’t know if anyone suggested to Trump he place a hold on the aid appropriated to Ukraine, but Trump never explained it, and for over a moth nobody informed the Ukrainians because they hoped to get this reversed. And Trump never mentioned it to the Ukrainians either. It was like he was secretly testing them. (the Ukrainians found out and for various reasons never mentioned it because they oped it was temporary and they knew they were not supposed to know. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sundland mentioned it at the beginning of Sept 2019 and linked the Biden matter to the aid. Sundland had earlier (July 10, before Trump placed the secret unjustified hold) tried to link Zelensky getting a telephone call to investigating the Biden allegation and Bolton shut him down.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  445. @446. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin reports the U.S. was ‘blindsided’ by the Polish decision and is considetedf ‘public negotiations’ via the news media. They already made public their ‘fear’ of Russian retaliation on any direct help to Ukraine and Putin played a Polish threat card as well. The Poles want their new F-16s and dump off the old MIG-29’s problem to the U.S. But again, the cost of the F-16s to the United States Treasury– and American taxpayers– is never broached.

    Joe’s inflation was already making prices rise– he can’t blame it all on Putin’s war, too– but he’ll sure try. Where are Joe’s ‘Ukranian Freedom War Bond’ sales… American citizens are footing the bill at the gas pump, the grocery store and with the plethora of freebees being handed out overseas.

    This depth and breadth of administrative incompetence in government is rare– and flabbergasting with so much blood and treasure in play. Biden makes Carter look like Lincoln. Never forget:

    “Because Putin knows if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over. I’m going to stand up to him. He’s a bully…” – Joe Biden.

    … and Jimmy smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  446. Zelenskyy says no longer interested in NATO membership

    ‘Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he has “cooled down regarding the question of a NATO membership for his country”, which was a key reason why Russia went to war with its neighbor, the US’ ABC News reported on Tuesday.’

    https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskyy-says-no-longer-interested-in-nato-membership-122030801616_1.html

    “We shall fight on the beaches; We shall fight on the landing grounds; We shall fight in the fields and in the streets; We shall fight in the hills…” sort of, eh, Z?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  447. Zelensky is just trying out one thing after the other.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  448. “Joe’s inflation was already making prices rise”

    What does this mean? How much of world-wide inflation is because of Joe Biden?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  449. Texas Man Convicted in First Jan. 6 Trial
    ……..
    The guilty verdict against the defendant, Guy Wesley Reffitt, came only about three hours into the first day of jury deliberations and after a weeklong trial that included testimony from police officers, a Secret Service agent, one of Mr. Reffitt’s compatriots in the Texas Three Percenters militia group and Mr. Reffitt’s son.

    The jury also convicted Mr. Reffitt of wearing an illegal pistol on his hip during the attack and of later threatening his teenage son and daughter to keep them from turning him in to the authorities. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the obstruction count alone.

    The trial, in Federal District Court in Washington, was a victory for the Justice Department, which has only just begun the marathon process of bringing to trial scores of rioters accused of storming the Capitol or assaulting the police outside it on Jan. 6, 2021.

    The jury’s decision validated the prosecutors’ move to use an unusual obstruction count to charge hundreds of defendants in riot-related cases and could provide an incentive to some who are awaiting trial to consider pleading guilty.
    ……….
    Prosecutors introduced a staggering amount of evidence, including private chats between Mr. Reffitt and other members of the Texas Three Percenters before the Capitol attack, a recording of a Zoom call they conducted after the riot and a 30-minute video that Mr. Reffitt made of himself — with a camera mounted on his helmet — just before he led the mob up a staircase outside the Senate chamber and confronted the police.
    ………
    Documenting his actions with a GoPro-like camera mounted on his helmet — or what he called his “bump cap” — Mr. Reffitt filmed himself moving among the crowd outside the Capitol, repeatedly urging people to storm the building and drag lawmakers like Speaker Nancy Pelosi out by their hair or their ankles. He then led a section of the mob up a staircase of the building, pushing through a hail of pepper balls and other projectiles until he was finally subdued with chemical spray, according to the officers who fought him off.

    Some of the most dramatic testimony at the trial came from Mr. Reffitt’s 19-year-old son, Jackson, who, during more than three hours on the stand, told the jury about how the toxic politics of the Trump era had caused a painful rupture in the family. The tensions boiled over, Jackson said, after a boastful Mr. Reffitt returned to Texas after storming the Capitol and told him and sister not to sell their father out to the authorities.

    “He said, ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor,’” Jackson Reffitt testified as his father sat across the courtroom unable to meet his eye. “‘And traitors get shot.’”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  450. Leader of Alabama Chapter of Oath Keepers Pleads Guilty to Seditious Conspiracy and Obstruction of Congress for Efforts to Stop Transfer of Power Following 2020 Presidential Election

    A regional leader of the Oath Keepers pleaded guilty (on March 2, 2022) to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding for his actions before, during and after the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

    Joshua James, 34, of Arab, Alabama, pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol breach. As part of the plea agreement, James has agreed to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation.

    As described in court documents, James is the regional leader in charge of the Alabama chapter of the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias. Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, they explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel.

    In his guilty plea, James, a military veteran, admitted that, from November 2020 through January 2021, he conspired with other Oath Keeper members and affiliates to use force to prevent, hinder and delay the execution of the laws of the United States governing the transfer of presidential power. He used encrypted and private communications, equipped himself with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and was prepared to answer a call to take up arms.
    ……………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  451. Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland in connection with the statement by the US Secretary of State on providing airplanes to Ukraine

    The authorities of the Republic of Poland, after consultations between the President and the Government, are ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America.

    At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes.

    The Polish Government also requests other NATO Allies – owners of MIG-29 jets – to act in the same vein.
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  452. It’s happening: Poland to send MiG-29 fighters to U.S. for Ukrainian transfer in return for F-16s
    ………
    ……Poland would want to remove any classified technology from the jets before transferring them to Ukraine for fear that downed aircraft would be salvaged and analyzed by Russia. The U.S. would also want to remove its own classified avionics from the F-16s before sending them abroad. And, as is true in so many industries in 2022, there’s a supply-chain issue: “There is also an F-16 production backlog, which means the countries that potentially give away their MiGs and Su fighters to Ukraine would need to wait for the backfill for some time.”
    ……..
    Poland isn’t transferring any jets to Ukraine. It’s transferring them to the United States, at one of its bases in Germany. The United States will then transfer the jets to the Ukrainians, who’ll presumably travel to Rammstein and fly the jets back to Ukraine themselves.

    That’s no different in substance from the Ukrainians traveling to Poland and flying the jets out of Warsaw. They’re simply taking a longer route, from Poland to Germany and then from Germany to Ukraine. The expectation — or hope, rather — is that Putin might have been tempted to swipe at Poland if they allowed the Ukrainians to use one of their bases to pick up the planes but he won’t dare swipe at the U.S. for letting them do it at Rammstein.
    …….
    For how much longer will Ukraine continue to have operable airfields? Maybe the gamble here is that Russia is simply too weak to push west towards the Polish border if and when it takes Kiev and therefore Ukrainian jets will have safe haven in the western half of the country.

    Relatedly, do we think the Poles ever would have agreed to this deal if the Russian military hadn’t underperformed over the past two weeks? ……. Maybe the Poles have concluded that a very risky provocation like sending a fleet of fighter jets to a country under Russian invasion isn’t as risky as it was a week ago. If Russia can’t subdue the Ukrainians, how will it subdue the Ukrainians plus a NATO-backed Poland?
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  453. Suppose that Poland said that they were going to send these planes to Ukraine and then Russia attacked the Polish base before they could move them. Is this now an “attack on NATO”, or is it Poland’s fault for getting involved?

    It would likely trigger Article 5 as Poland is a NATO member. But the level of response would likely be measured accordingly; Nic probably has some details on that. When the U.S. was attacked on 9/11, Article 5 was invoked. Poland’s NATO genealogy is described here:

    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/pl-nato.htm

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  454. Relatedly, do we think the Poles ever would have agreed to this deal if the Russian military hadn’t underperformed over the past two weeks?

    They want the F-16s. Trading off the old Soviet MIG-29s and passing the hot potato to the U.S. is the deal they wanted.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  455. It figures, that the UN would ban staff from saying that Putin’s invasion and war against Ukraine is an “invasion” or “war”, for the sake of being “impartial”.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 3/8/2022 @ 8:48 am

    Did the UN ban its staff from describing Russia’s war as a “war”?

    ………
    This morning the Irish Times claimed that the UN had also slapped a ban on the word “war” in this case:
    ………
    But is it true?

    Snopes dug into the story and found that it is — sort of. The email seen by the Irish Times is authentic. There is an advisory in place not to call the war a “war.” But that advisory doesn’t extend to the entire UN; it was sent by the department of global communications at the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, a branch of the United Nations. In fact, some top UN officials have already used the word “war” in reference to the conflict:
    ……….
    Even the email sent by the branch didn’t permanently ban use of the word “war” to describe Russian activities. It did so provisionally, while “waiting for updated guidance on specific terminology following the General Assembly resolution, which notably uses the word ‘aggression.’”

    Which is a relief. But why is the branch of the UN based in western Europe, of all places, holding off on using the word “war” when major UN officials aren’t? Given the show of solidarity in Europe on Ukraine’s behalf, the western European wing of the organization should be leading on calling Russia’s invasion what it is, not holding back.
    …………
    Just a low-level bureaucrat getting ahead of the curve……

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  456. 455 The usatoday.com article does not do anything at all to link Biden’s story to any dates or confirm anything about it – it has no specific dates just says that Shoken was not investigating corruption. Yes, if Biden would have done that, it would not be to protect corruption ad Biden never boasted that it was.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  457. At least Alvin Bragg, in his desire to protect potential defendants from prosecution, did not make an exception for one Donald J. Trump

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/05/nyregion/trump-investigation-manhattan-da-alvin-bragg.html

    But Mr. Bragg and his senior aides, masked and gathered around a conference table on the eighth floor of the district attorney’s office in Lower Manhattan, had serious doubts. They hammered Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Dunne about whether they could show that Mr. Trump had intended to break the law by inflating the value of his assets in the annual statements, a necessary element to prove the case.

    The questioning was so intense that as the meeting ended, Mr. Dunne, exasperated, used a lawyerly expression that normally refers to a judge’s fiery questioning:

    “Wow, this was a really hot bench,” Mr. Dunne said, according to people with knowledge of the meeting. “What I’m hearing is you have great concerns.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  458. WSJ Poll: 79% of Americans Back Ban on Russian Oil Even if Energy Prices Rise
    …….
    The new Journal poll showed broad support for the energy ban across political breakdowns. The ban had support from 77% of Republicans and 72% of voters who said they would support former President Trump if he ran again in 2024. Among Democrats, 88% said they favored the moratorium on Russian oil imports, including 94% of Democratic men.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  459. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703712504576235683249040812

    I asked several statisticians to offer definitions of statistical significance. Shane Reese had the briefest one, tailored for a clinical trial for a drug: “It is unlikely that chance alone could have produced the improvement shown in our clinical trial. Because it seems unlikely that chance produced the improvements, we logically conclude that the improvement is due to the drug.” Reese and other statisticians noted that this definition is backwards: It is based on assuming there is no link, then finding the probability that chance alone could have produced the experimental results seen.

    Reese and Brad Carlin, who also offered a definition, suggest that Bayesian statistics are a better alternative, because they tackle the probability that the hypothesis is true head-on, and incorporate prior knowledge about the variables involved.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  460. @468. It’s half a question; banning it is just one part– but what source replaces it– that’s tghe tail of the devil; U.S. consumption is not going to decrease.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  461. NATO Members Mount Huge Operation to Resupply Ukrainian Fighters
    ………
    By road and rail, the Czech Republic sent 10,000 rocket-propelled grenades to Ukraine’s defenders last week alone. In Poland, the provincial airport of Rzeszow located about 60 miles from the Ukrainian border has been so crowded with military cargo jets that on Saturday some flights were briefly diverted until airfield space became available.
    ………
    With Russian warships holding the Black Sea coast, and Ukraine’s airspace contested, the U.S. is rushing to truck weapons overland before Russia chokes off the roads as well. Pentagon officials said most of what will total $350 million in arms and assistance the Biden administration pledged late last month has been delivered. Congress is considering authorizing billions more. The Defense Department has described its efforts as unprecedented.
    ……..
    The allied effort is buttressed by ordinary citizens in Europe and the U.S., who say they are buying hunting-grade gear online—to circumvent rules against shipping military equipment—and funneling it to friends headed into Ukraine. In Warsaw, a 67-year-old woman is in charge of smuggling night-vision goggles to the country’s defenders. Packed hotels near the Polish-Ukrainian border cater to men asking each other how they can ship body armor to major cities, before Russian troops seize the roads.
    ………
    The dollar value, U.S. and allied officials say, is almost certain to grow if the war continues. On Capitol Hill, legislators are considering a bill for when the $350 million designated for Ukraine runs out. That legislation provides $12 billion for Ukraine and its Eastern European allies, roughly half of which would be dedicated to supporting Ukraine militarily.
    ……..
    U.S. officials warn that the pace of resupply would likely slow if Russian forces grab control of the highways and cities of western Ukraine, where the weapons are received from convoys rolling in from Poland, Slovakia and Romania. But judging the pace of Russia’s advance and when the supply lines may be cut is hard to assess, defense officials have said.

    ……..The U.S. says that Washington and its NATO allies have sent 17,000 antitank weapons into Ukraine, mostly provided by the Czech military.
    ……..
    “Everything that Ukraine’s allies ask us to do, we do it ASAP,” said Czech Deputy Defense Minister Tomas Kopecny. “When it’s used in Ukraine it means it’s not used in our country.”
    ……..
    One senior Ukrainian military official…….added: “I’d like to see more Russians in graves.”
    ##############
    That’s the spirit!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  462. Putin ‘angry and frustrated,’ CIA director says, likely to ‘double down’ in Ukraine
    ……..
    Adding that the U.S. is seeing an “ill-constructed plan, morale issues and considerable logistical issues” among Russian troops, (Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines) said it is “unclear” whether Russia will pursue a plan to capture all of Ukraine, but that it’s already loosening its rules of engagement.

    “Russian forces are at the very least operating with reckless disregard for the safety of noncombatants, as Russian units launch artillery and airstrikes into urban areas as they have done in cities across Ukraine and near critical infrastructures such as the nuclear plant, and the IC is engaged across the interagency to document and hold Russia and Russian actors accountable for their actions,” she said.
    ………
    “He’s likely to double down and try to grind down the Ukrainian military with no regard for civilian casualties,” (CIA Director William Burns) testified. “He has no sustainable political endgame in the face of what is going to continue to be fierce resistance from Ukrainians.”

    “Putin has commented privately and publicly over the years that he doesn’t believe Ukraine’s a real country,” Burns continued. “He’s dead wrong about that — real countries fight back. And that’s what the Ukrainians have done quite heroically over the last 12 days.”

    “I think he’s been unsettled by the Western reaction and allied resolve particularly some of the decisions the German government has taken. I think he’s been unsettled by the performance of his own military,” he said. “The big countries don’t get to swallow up small countries just because they can.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  463. U.S. intel agencies: Up to 4,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine invasion

    U.S. intelligence agencies estimate that between 2,000 and 4,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the two-week invasion of Ukraine — possibly more than the number of Americans killed in the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
    ……..
    “We assess that Russia does not want a direct conflict with U.S. forces,” the document by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said. “Russia seeks an accommodation with the United States on mutual noninterference in both countries’ domestic affairs and U.S. recognition of Russia’s claimed sphere of influence over much of the former Soviet Union.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  464. Gold/oz: $2,056.90 ▲ $61.00 so far today; March 8, 4:11 PM EST
    Oil (BRENT CRUDE ) $128.92/bbl., +$4.55 so far today; March 8, 04:06:00 PM EST

    https://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/oil-price

    The average price for a brand new electric car is roughly $55,000. [Check your local electric rates, too.]
    https://walletgenius.com/money/save-money/electric-car-vs-gas-costs-which-truly-saves-you-the-most-money/

    50 years of swampy, government domestic and international “experience” at work: “Attaboy, Joe!”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  465. Relatedly, do we think the Poles ever would have agreed to this deal if the Russian military hadn’t underperformed over the past two weeks?

    From the paranoia bunker:

    Suppose that the Russians are just playing possum, hoping that one of the NATO allies [e.g. Poland] steps over the line. Then Russia responds to the [unauthorized] attack and invades [Poland] while claiming that Article 5 doesn’t apply.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  466. I am willing to bet that the ripping sound you hear is West Texas oil wells being uncapped in quantity. At $130/bbl (and rising) there is a strong incentive to pump oil that wasn’t there at $50/bbl.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  467. In many places an electric car only saves you a lot of money if you charge it from solar, but it can save you some.

    Top tier electric rates are about $0.35/kWh in Los Angeles, with all taxes and fees. About 20% more in the summer. So, the Tesla S’s 100kWh battery costs about $40 to charge, more if you use a less-efficient charger. That will take you about 400 miles, so (ignoring the cost of the car, charger and home wiring upgrades) it’s cheaper than the $60-70 of gas you’d use in a hybrid to go the same distance.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  468. Yes, unless the law is changed.

    This is like Daffy winning the argument with “Duck Season!”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  469. Here’s a crowd-sourced map of the Putin invasion of Ukraine from Bellingcat.

    (Bellingcat)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  470. Essentially, the West has pulled the plug on Russia’s economy. Sometime soon the wheels start coming off there. Back during the original Arab oil embargo, the US considered military action against the economic attack on the West. These sanctions are 1000% more than that. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor over a much smaller embargo. We should be ready for any eventuality. We shouldn’t assume that just because we aren’t shooting that Russia won’t feel under attack.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  471. Under Secretary Victoria Nuland Admits U.S. Funded Biological Research Labs Exist in Ukraine
    wtf

    mg (8cbc69)

  472. No woman can keep a secret, mg.

    nk (1d9030)

  473. After losing Russell Wilson to the Broncos, the deal with the Polish MiGs is the 2nd worst trade of the day.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  474. @485. LOLOLOLOL *****

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  475. Then Russia responds to the [unauthorized] attack and invades [Poland] while claiming that Article 5 doesn’t apply.

    I don’t think the NATO Charter gives Russia a say whether Article 5 applies.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  476. Under Secretary Victoria Nuland Admits U.S. Funded Biological Research Labs Exist in Ukraine

    Given the source for this are mostly conspiracy websites, I would take it with a grain of salt.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  477. ‘Surprise move’: U.S. stunned by Poland’s fighter jet offer
    ……..
    A senior administration official told POLITICO that the U.S. intelligence community and the Defense Department have been opposed to the transfer of the Polish planes to Ukraine, due to the complications in getting them over the border and into the hands of Ukrainian pilots. The Polish government also didn’t consult with their U.S. counterparts before making the announcement.

    A statement by Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby reflected that deep concern late Tuesday, saying “we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one,” and it is “simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  478. Michigan GOP candidate says he tells daughters to ‘lie back and enjoy it’ if rape is inevitable
    ……..
    Robert Regan, who is running to represent Michigan’s District 74 in the state legislature, made the comments during a Facebook live stream Sunday. The discussion was hosted by the Rescue Michigan Coalition, a conservative group that supports former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. The Justice Department found no evidence to support Trump’s baseless allegations.

    During the discussion, fellow panelist Amber Harris, a Republican strategist, told the group that it is “too late” to continue challenging the results of the 2020 election, suggesting Republicans should instead move on and focus on future races, to which Regan replied: “I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.’ ”
    ……….
    A shocked Harris, however, tried to cut in as Regan and the discussion’s host, Rescue Michigan Coalition founder Adam de Angeli, moved on. When de Angeli gave Harris the chance to speak, she said Regan’s comments were “shameful.”

    “I’ve got advice to give to your daughters: Don’t do that,” Harris said. “Fight all the time.”

    Regan’s three daughters urged voters not to elect him to office in a viral tweet during his 2020 bid for the state House.
    ………
    During the discussion, Regan also said that, if elected, he’d push for the decertification of the results of the 2020 election in Michigan. Under both state and federal law, a state can’t decertify an election.
    ………
    Other comments by Regan surfaced online after a clip of the live stream went viral, including a 2021 Instagram post from the candidate in which he claimed that feminism is a “Jewish program to degrade and subjugate White men.” Regan has also called the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “fake war just like the fake pandemic.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  479. Paul @485. That was a hare-brained idea from any perspective, Paul. Like the Russians would sell MiG 29s to a NATO member (Poland has been one since 1999) without a remote destruct feature in the first place.

    nk (1d9030)

  480. nk (1d9030) — 3/8/2022 @ 6:00 pm

    Like the Russians would sell MiG 29s to a NATO member…..

    They were inherited from the previous Polish regime and acquired from other countries. Russia doesn’t sell weapons to NATO.

    The first 12 MiG-29 delivered to Poland were nine MiG-29As and three MiG-29UB in 1989–1990. …… In 1995–1996, 10 used examples were acquired from the Czech Republic (nine MiG-29As, one MiG-29UB). After the retirement of its MiG-23s in 1999, and MiG-21s in 2004, Poland was left for a time with only these 22 MiG-29s in the interceptor role. Of the 22 MiG-29s Poland received from the German Air Force in 2004, a total of 14 were overhauled and taken into service.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  481. I don’t think the NATO Charter gives Russia a say whether Article 5 applies.

    No, but they can help the goal-post-movers find an argument.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  482. No, he imprisoned a would be candidate. His wife ran instead, and won (in reality) and was allowed to flee the country.

    Sammy, she was detained by Lukashenko after the election and basically given no choice but to leave.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  483. Foreign Affairs: How the War in Ukraine Could Get Much Worse

    The West and Russia may now be entering into the terminal stages of an insecurity spiral—a series of mutually destabilizing choices—which could end in tragedy, producing a larger European conflagration even if it doesn’t go nuclear.

    Indeed, the coming weeks are likely to be more perilous. The United States should be especially attuned to the risks of escalation as the next phase of conflict begins, and should double down on finding ways to end the conflict in Ukraine when a window of opportunity presents itself. This may involve difficult and unpleasant choices, such as lifting some of the worst sanctions on Russia in exchange for an end to hostilities. It will, nonetheless, be more effective at averting an even worse catastrophe than any of the other available options…

    [T]he United States and Russia have been engaged in a slow-motion spiral throughout the post-Cold War era as each sought to refashion European security to its liking and tried to limit the other side’s inevitable response. Recent events highlight the trend: the 2008 Bucharest summit, at which NATO pledged to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance, was followed by Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia. A 2007 dispute over the Bush administration’s plans to base missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic was followed by Russian violations of related arms-control agreements. In 2014, the EU’s offer to Ukraine of an association agreement precipitated the Maidan revolution in Kiev, heightening Russian fears of Ukrainian NATO membership and prompting the Russian seizure of Crimea that year.

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, has dangerously upped the ante and accelerated the spiral’s pace. In response to Moscow’s wanton and illegitimate aggression, the United States, NATO, and EU member states have sent Ukraine significant quantities of lethal weapons, placed draconian sanctions on Russia’s economy, and launched a long-term military buildup. Currently, Moscow sees the United States and its partners threatening to make Ukraine into a de facto ally—a situation Moscow’s own aggression helped cause—whereas the United States sees Moscow threatening the core principles undergirding peace in Europe.

    For sure, Russia has been dramatically less restrained in military terms than the West —shelling Ukrainian cities, for instance—while the Biden administration has gone out of its way to signal its unwillingness to directly intervene in the conflict. Based on this, one might infer that one side is willing to escalate and another isn’t. Still, spirals are defined by their tragic nature: even states that might not want to directly confront one another end up competing and risking war. As Russia’s invasion continues, Western arms flood into Ukraine and sanctions threaten to collapse the Russian economy. Each side appears committed to ratcheting up the pressure further. It may take just a single spark to ignite a broader conflagration.

    For example, what happens when Russia, squeezed badly by sanctions, decides it’s already at war with NATO? Might as well do the crime if you are going to get hanged for it anyway. Maybe they can trade the Baltic states back for an end to sanctions, or maybe they just rattle the nuclear saber some more. The sanctions now on the Putin regime are existential — if they continue until next winter there will be serious deprivation, with food shortages to follow. The worst thing that we could do is to drag this out.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  484. He’s all in. Has to be; if he even hints at pulling a Khrushchev a la Cuba ’62 he’ll follow Nikita into “retirement.” More likely, he’s terminally ill and doesn’t want his Soviet-redux dreams to die with him. And at 70- especially if ill- isn’t fazed by ‘personal sanctions;’ – can’t take it with him. Regardless, he’ll be dead within a decade– so the question is, who in Russia is on deck to pick up the pieces from this mess.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  485. Top U.S. lawmakers reach $ 13.6 billion in Ukrainian aid; $1.5T spending

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal early Wednesday providing $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies plus billions more to battle the pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the rest of this year…

    President Joe Biden last week demanded $ 10 billion in military, humanitarian and economic assistance. Democratic and Republican support was very strong, rising to $ 12 billion on Monday and $ 13.6 billion the next day…

    Over $4 billion of the Ukraine aid was to help the country and Eastern European nations cope with the 2 million refugees who’ve already fled the fighting. Another $6.7 billion was for the deployment of U.S. troops and equipment to the region and to transfer American military items to Ukraine and U.S. allies, and there was economic aid as well.

    The huge overall bill was stocked with victories for both parties. [oink-oink!!] For Democrats, it provides $730 billion for domestic programs, $46 billion, or 6.7%, more than last year, the biggest boost in four years. Republicans won $782 billion for defense, a $42 billion increase that’s 5.6% over last year’s levels.’

    source, https://kstp.com/associated-press/ap-regional/top-lawmakers-reach-deal-on-ukraine-aid-1-5t-spending/

    WTF: WHO pays???

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFFl4FPDc0A

    When do the Ukrainian Relief War Bonds go on sale, Joe???

    Oh. Right. “Charge it to Uncle Sam’s credit card, financed by China. These two political parties are destroying America before your very eyes.

    … and Xi grinned.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  486. Kevin M (38e250) — 3/8/2022 @ 3:16 pm

    kudos for an apt simile, Kevin.

    felipe (484255)

  487. DCCCP REALLY wants us to not help Ukraine and let it fall. He wants to re-focus the discussion over to Taiwan. Why do you think that is?

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  488. Why do you think that is?

    Borscht. Beets are very high in monosodium glutamate and it can have unfortunate side effects.

    nk (1d9030)

  489. Too good not to share. This proposed headline: “McDonald’s Establishes No-Fry Zone”.

    (Turns out that Russia is the third biggest market for McDonald’s, and that most of the 850 outlets there are company owned. Assuming, of course, what I have been reading on the Internet is roughly correct, and I think it is.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  490. Is man stop comrade in Moscow and say please can you tell me where is McDonald’s. Comrade say is no more McDonald’s because of war. Is trick. Man is really secret police who arrest comrade for spread fake news. Send to gulag for fifteen years. Very sad.

    nk (1d9030)

  491. Megan McArdle passes on a solution to the crime paradox:

    People were convinced in 2020 crime was getting worse. But when you asked them if they themselves were more likely to be victimized, they weren’t noticeably more alarmed. Yes, homicides were increasing, but as a report last year from the center-left think tank Third Way noted, homicide is “the rarest of crimes.” Many other kinds of crime had gone down in 2020.

    (Links omitted.)

    The solution, from researchers Maxim Massenkoff of the Naval Postgraduate School and Aaron Chalfin of the University of Pennsylvania?

    This is where the work of Massenkoff and Chalfin comes in. Instead of just looking at the gross number of crimes, they looked at the ratio of crimes to the amount of time people spent in public. And they found that even though the number of crimes fell, the chance of being victimized if you were out on the street rose significantly: “In 2020, the risk of outdoor street crimes initially rose by more than 40% and was consistently between 10-15% higher than it had been in 2019 through the remainder of the year.”

    That seems plausible, to me.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  492. Iconic Russian Car Maker, Known for Cold War Self-Reliance, Halts Production
    …….
    On Wednesday, Lada’s factory floors ground to a halt as Western sanctions deprived its parent company of the parts and supplies it needs to make cars, according to people familiar with the matter. Thousands of workers have been placed on leave.

    Such a stoppage was once unthinkable. During Soviet times, Lada’s parent company AvtoVAZ erected a giant factory on the banks of the Volga River, capable of nurturing a homegrown supply chain.

    Today, however, AvtoVAZ is owned by French car maker Renault SA and the Togliatti plant relies on a Renault factory in Romania for subassembly and components. More than 20% of AvtoVAZ’s parts—from connectors to key electronics—come from outside Russia, people familiar with the matter said.

    “If trade stops, AvtoVAZ stops,” said one former AvtoVAZ board member. “Putin knows that he can’t do it by himself.” It would take months or even years to get production up and running again without the support of Renault, the former board member added.
    ………
    Russia is facing a new-vehicle shortage if car makers like AvtoVAZ remain paralyzed. Lada is Russia’s only homegrown brand with significant market share, accounting for 21% of auto sales in Russia last year, and many foreign car makers have suspended production of vehicles at their factories in Russia. The country has around 46 million passenger cars, which are an average of close to 15 years old, according to Thomas Besson, an analyst at brokerage firm Kepler Cheuvreux.
    …….
    Lada and AvtoVAZ are also part of Russia’s national psyche, much like General Motors Co. in the U.S. “For Russia, Lada is a symbol of the rise of the industry,” said Nikita Novikov, an editor of the automotive publication speedme.ru.
    …….
    In the early years, it sold all of its output domestically. Russians often had to wait years to get a car. The brand became known world-wide for its durability and enjoyed golden years with the iconic Lada Niva, a boxy vehicle that some consider a precursor to the modern SUV.

    Lada cars were often unreliable but their simple designs made them easy to fix.

    “I drove my own car, fixed it myself, did not take it to a garage. It was cheap in fixing, cheap in driving, simple in upkeep, and comfortable,” said Vadim Ivanov, 57, a street cleaner who lives in the village of Bolshaya Izhora outside St. Petersburg, and who has owned five older-generation Lada models.

    By the mid-2000s, however, AvtoVAZ was struggling with issues familiar to many of Russia’s big firms: rampant corruption and a lack of productivity and investment. In 2007, Russia put a stake in AvtoVAZ up for sale, which was acquired by the French car maker Renault.
    ……….
    “The machinery was like Detroit in the 1920s,” said a former Renault executive who was on the AvtoVAZ board. “Everything was manual. There were no robots.”

    The production lines—rather than being arranged in a serpentine pattern like in European and Asian plants—were straight and long, the former executive recalled. “If you stood at one end of the line, you could see the curvature of the earth,” he said.
    ………
    Last year, AvtoVAZ sold about 350,000 vehicles, accounting for 12% of the cars sold by the French car maker and making Russia its second-largest market behind France. Renault’s operations in Russia made a net profit of €166 million, equivalent to around $181 million.
    ……..
    Sad!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  493. A no-fly zone is no panacea. Not when weapons with guidance systems can be delivered from just across the border.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  494. Numbers could be better with all polled, but it would appear that Democrats pose a national security issue for America. They would rather flee than fight.

    “If the U.S. were attacked, 55 percent of Americans say they’d stay and fight, while 38 percent said they’d leave and get out of Dodge, according to poll conducted by the university. But when analyzed on a partisan basis, a majority of Republicans and independents — 68 percent and 57 percent, respectively — said they’d stay and fight, while 52 percent of Democrats said they’d opt to leave.

    However, 40 percent of Democrats say they would stay and take up arms. Twenty-five percent of Republicans and 36 percent of independents, conversely, would flee.”

    https://news.yahoo.com/amphtml/more-republicans-democrats-theyd-stay-191953892.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  495. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 3/9/2022 @ 10:25 am

    A no-fly zone is no panacea. Not when weapons with guidance systems can be delivered from just across the border.

    It doesn’t do anything against missiles. In 1991, in Iraq, the coalition had previously destroyed all of Saddam Hussein;s air defenses, as well as surface to surface missiles. What he had left were planes and helicopters. The Kurds in the north could be protected against that by a no-fly zone.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  496. Here’s a great crowdfunding idea for Ukraine.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  497. 496, DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/8/2022 @ 8:28 pm

    He’s all in.

    Thomas Friedman in the New York Times says:

    Putin Has No Good Way Out, and That Really Scares Me

    … Wait until Putin fully grasps that his only choices left in Ukraine are how to lose — early and small and a little humiliated or late and big and deeply humiliated….In the coming weeks it will become more and more obvious that our biggest problem with Putin in Ukraine is that he will refuse to lose early and small, and the only other outcome is that he will lose big and late. But because this is solely his war and he cannot admit defeat, he could keep doubling down in Ukraine until … until he contemplates using a nuclear weapon

    Which is another way of losing, of course, only astronomically.

    Incidentally, the way things are going on the ground in Ukraine right now, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Putin could actually lose early and big. I would not bet on it, but with every passing day that more and more Russian soldiers are killed in Ukraine, who knows what happens to the fighting spirit of the conscripts in the Russian Army being asked to fight a deadly urban war against fellow Slavs for a cause that was never really explained to them.

    They are surrendering. Can’t say on the scale of 1917 and 1918. The occasional general is getting killed, or any rate Ukraine announces that.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  498. Has to be; if he even hints at pulling a Khrushchev a la Cuba ’62 he’ll follow Nikita into “retirement.”

    That was two years later, and Nikita Khrushchev really did retire, as he’d allowed Molotov and others to do. That wasn’t really the reason. It was probably because Khrushchev was threatening to abolish the Soviet Academy of Sciences. That was why Alexei Kosygin n joined in with the plot to retire Khrushchev.

    Putin might find such a fate acceptable, but he’s be lucky to get it. He has no real political organization behind him – he has a party, but except for Dmitri Medvedev they’re non-entities, and it would be military people who might pull the hook on him.

    Other precedents cite in a Washington Post op-ed are: that Friedman cites are:

    “Virtually every major defeat has resulted in radical change,” added Aron, writing in The Washington Post. “The Crimean War (1853-1856) precipitated Emperor Alexander II’s liberal revolution from above. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) brought about the First Russian Revolution. The catastrophe of World War I resulted in Emperor Nicholas II’s abdication and the Bolshevik Revolution. And the war in Afghanistan became a key factor in Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms.”

    This guy Aron is trying to generalize too much.

    Friedman writes:

    When you get that many things wrong as a leader, your best option is to lose early and small. In Putin’s case that would mean withdrawing his forces from Ukraine immediately; offering a face-saving lie to justify his “special military operation,” like claiming it successfully protected Russians living in Ukraine; and promising to help Russians’ brethren rebuild.

    But he says the humiliation would be too intolerable for him. More likely, he just wouldn’t want to do it. How he feels not how others might see him.

    He says Putin got all kinds of things wrong:

    Putin completely underestimated Ukraine’s will to be independent and become part of the West. He completely underestimated the will of many Ukrainians to fight, even if it meant dying, for those two goals. He completely overestimated his own armed forces. He completely underestimated President Biden’s ability to galvanize a global economic and military coalition to enable Ukrainians to stand and fight and to devastate Russia at home — the most effective U.S. coalition-building effort since George H.W. Bush made Saddam Hussein pay for his folly of seizing Kuwait. And he completely underestimated the ability of companies and individuals all over the world to participate in, and amplify, economic sanctions on Russia — far beyond anything governments initiated or mandated.

    I don’t think Biden organized anything. He was carried along by the other NATO countries, and NATO or other unity, usually an excuse to do less, became a reason to do more here.

    Regardless, he’ll be dead within a decade

    If he doesn’t change his doctors, because he seems to be getting crazy medical advice,

    so the question is, who in Russia is on deck to pick up the pieces from this mess.

    Believe it or not this s what Thomas L/Friedman is most worried about. A power struggle “with all of those nuclear warheads, cybercriminals and oil and gas wells lying around.”

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  499. @499. Prattle; only faux, bogus conservatives, who perpetually whine about United States government debts and deficits, would ignore questioning the costs to the U.S. Treasury- and Amerivan taxpayers- of FREELY forking over BILLIONS of dollars– borrowed from China no less- to other lands while endlessly complaining of how that same government would dare to help those same U.S. citizens with stipends- such as $2000— or is it $1400– and so on. Why do you think this is? A late relative, a banker, always said, ‘pay yourself first.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  500. Pentagon says nyet to Polish plan to send MIG-29s to Ramstein Air Base. Kirby announces intel suggests Ukraine already has adequate number of aircraft; says a ‘sovereign nation’ [aka Poland] is “free to do what it wants” but U.S. is assessing other weapons systems to make available. Hot potato back in your hands, Poland.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  501. @510. The Politburo began circumventing K w/t differing letters in the CMC, Sammy- hence the U.S. ignored one and went w/t other as the off ramp to defuse the crisis. But that was the beginning of the end for him. Putin is all in on this now- fewer and fewer off ramps– but they have to keep trying to give him one to save face– partition, perhaps, but the window is closing. Never corner a wounded animal.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  502. Sammy, Friedman’s not exactly a go to source; he’s discovering the world isn’t all the flat after all:

    Have Two McDonald’s-Containing Countries Ever Been at War with Each Other?

    In 1996, economist Thomas Friedman came up with what is known as the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, the notion that no two countries with McDonald’s franchises have ever gone to war with each other. People in McDonald’s countries, he said, “don’t like to fight wars. They like to wait in line for burgers,” and “countries with middle classes large enough to sustain a McDonald’s have reached a level of prosperity and global integration that makes warmongering risky and unpalatable to its people.” Although Friedman’s idea was somewhat tongue-in-cheek and not necessarily meant to be taken literally and absolutely, it does not seem to have held true in all cases.

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mcdonalds-countries-war/

    The flaw of ‘free marketers’ has always been the belief that bad guys will abandon their ideologies, cultures and history, and see the light once they taste the pleasures of decadent indulgences like Big Macs, Coca-Cola, blue jeans and KFC, the NBA and so on. Doesn’t work. All you get are oligarchs of sorts. Just look at the crack-downs in Hong Kong – and the current mess in Europe. It’s a hard lesson.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  503. R.I.P. Conrad Janis, actor who played Mindy’s dad on “Mork & Mindy”

    Icy (98b9a2)

  504. An attemopt to explain guess what’s going wrong with the plane transfer to Ukraine:

    https://www.newser.com/story/317860/why-getting-jets-into-ukrainian-hands-is-proving-so-messy.html

    It’s a problem where they would be based in Ukraine. Ukrainian pilots would have to fly them into Ukraine. There are Ukrainian pilots who were being trained in Poland how to fly the planes. Kamala Harris has been sent to Poland to try to solve the conundrums they have.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  505. The U.S. federal debt is not borrowed from China in particular. It’s auctioned off. It owned just t 3.68% of the $23 trillion or so outstanding when the pandemic started.

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/080615/china-owns-us-debt-how-much.asp.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  506. @517. Semantics. We borrow to pay the interest, Sammy– dumping the dollar as the currency reserve of choice– as what happened to the British pound in the 20th century– can happen.

    __________

    Saudi Arabia, UAE leaders not returning Biden’s calls, disappointed with US – report

    ‘The leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been declining calls from US President Joe Biden for several weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing officials in the Middle East and the United States.

    The messages of dissatisfaction sent by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and Emirati Shiekh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan come as the two leaders share concerns over the American response to recent missile and drone strikes from Yemen, claimed by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.’

    -source, Jerusalem Post/WSJ

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  507. Russia’s stranded troops face dying in tanks that become ’40-ton iron freezers’ during -20C cold snap – after warnings cornered Putin could detonate mini-NUKES in worst-case scenario as ‘clusterf**k invasion’ fury grows

    Russian troops stranded in the 40-mile long convoy of tanks and armoured vehicles stalled on the outskirts of Kyiv could face freezing to death in their vehicles this week as temperatures are set to plunge.

    A pronounced cold snap in Eastern Europe will see temperatures drop to -10C (14F) overnight in the middle of the week around Kyiv and Kharkiv – down to -20C (-4F) when wind chill is taken into account.

    The icy conditions are expected to make a difficult situation even worse for the invaders, who have been stuck roughly 20 miles from Kyiv for days amid mechanical problems, fuel supply issues and solid Ukrainian resistance.

    Former British Army Major Kevin Price said the occupiers’ tanks will become nothing more than ’40-ton freezers’ as the mercury drops, commenting that the bitter conditions will destroy the morale of troops not prepared for Arctic-style warfare.

    Price declared that life for Russian soldiers not expecting to be confronted with such low temperatures in March is set to become ‘unbelievably tough’, while Glen Grant, a senior defence expert at the Baltic Security Foundation, said a tank ‘is just a fridge at night if you are not running the engine’ – something the Russians simply cannot afford to do given the fuel scarcity.

    Grant said that unless the convoy is quickly supplied and is able to get moving again, many of the Russian soldiers may be forced to give up to avoid freezing to death.

    ‘You just can’t sit around and wait because if you are in the vehicle you are waiting to be killed. They are not stupid,’ he told Newsweek.
    ………
    My schadenfreude runs deep. Sad!

    The nice thing about Daily Mail headlines is that they perfectly summarize the article.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  508. The number of refugees counted by the United Nations exceeded 2 million on Tuesday, an increase of a quarter of a million over Monday. People are preparing to flee Moldova – preparing just in case.

    The city that was captured in southern Ukraine, Kherson, was given up to save other places.

    At some point 14 hospitals had been attacked (this became standard in Syria) The latest was a children’s hospital, or maybe it’s a maternity hospital, in Mariupol. Huge destruction.

    https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-kyiv-europe-2bed71c00916d44ea951c5809b446db3

    The ground shook more than a mile away when the Mariupol complex was hit by a series of blasts that blew out windows and ripped away much of the front of one building. Police and soldiers rushed to scene to evacuate victims, carrying out a heavily pregnant and bleeding woman on a stretcher.

    Another woman wailed as she clutched her child. In the courtyard, mangled cars burned, and a blast crater extended at least two stories deep.

    The Chernobyl plant site was disconnected from the electric grid. Ukraine warns of radiation risk

    In another site, where a building used for training had been set on fore, a shell landed on a soter but did not penetrate it – probably they hsd been hsrdened against the possibility of terrorist attacks, but nobody thought of this.

    Some ceasefires now may be real.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  509. We’ve got a war going on in Ukraine.” – Nancy Pelosi 3/9/22

    “WE????” No, you old bag, ‘WE’ don’t. Pelosi also made direct calls to Zelenskyy from Washington. WTF- she is the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, NOT the Secretary of State. Nor the POTUS. This is the problem– everybody is trying to pick up the glaring slack in doing other people’s jobs because the breadth and depth of incompetence in government is so gob smacking. It’s a rare confluence, but in this case, the timing is just horrid.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  510. Yesterday night I received a robocall from some Jewish organization (I would have had to press 1 or called back to find out more) that was raising money to pay for evacuating people. It didn’t say from where, but Odessa best fits. It said that it cost $200,000 a day for expenses that included things like hiring buses and also gave a figure of $500 per person. Which works out to 400 persons a day.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  511. China is refusing to supply Russia with aircraft parts after aviation sector was hit by Western sanctions, Moscow admits in another sign of cracks in Beijing support for Putin
    …….
    China’s apparent refusal to supply parts for Russia could be a sign of another crack in support for Putin in Beijing, after it said the invasion was ‘deeply worrying’ and that it would take a lead in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
    …….
    Russia’s foreign ministry warned this week that the safety of Russian passenger flights was under threat amid the crippling sanctions, which has also seen the country’s banks and oligarchs targeted.

    (Valery Kudinov of Rosaviatsia, the Russian air transport regulator) said Russian companies are now registering their planes in Russia after the US and European Union’s sanctions, whereas many of the aircrafts had previously been registered abroad.

    The Rosaviatsia official said he expects some other airplanes to be returned to leasing companies, as Moscow continues to feel the strain of the harsh sanctions, with UK foreign secretary Liz Truss warning that they would ‘choke off funds to [Putin’s] brutal war machine’.
    ………
    Meanwhile, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has declared that it will now be a criminal offence for any Russian aircraft to infringe on UK airspace.

    ‘I have made it a criminal offence for ANY Russian aircraft to enter UK airspace and now HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) can detain these jets,’ Shapps said in a tweet posted this evening.

    ‘We will suffocate Putin’s cronies’ ability to continue living as normal while thousands of innocent people die,’ he added.
    ……..
    ‘UK air traffic control and UK airports are not to provide access to any aircraft which they have reason to believe is a Russian aircraft, being: 1. an aircraft registered in Russia, 2. an aircraft owned, operated or chartered by an individual designated in respect of the aviation sanctions under the legislation, 3. an aircraft owned, operated or chartered by persons connected with Russia,’ the document read.
    ……….
    Sad! I wouldn’t fly a Russian airliner under any circumstances.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  512. The woman trying to leave the city of Irpin, near Kyiv, over the remnants of a bridge, who was killed by a mortar that fell not 30 feet from reporters whose picture was on the front page of the New York Times was the chief accountant (working remotely) of Palo Alto startup SE Ranking. About half of the company’s 110 workers were based in Ukraine. Actually it was kind of an international company and one of its founders lives in Ukraine. Its founders were originally from Belarus. It “develops tools for search engine optimization” (news story from the San Francisco Chronicle.)

    They held a corporate retreat in the nation of Georgia the weekend before Russia started its invasion.

    There’s one employee that had fled on Feb. 23, the day before the war, and she is now in Dubai.

    Tatiana Perebeinis, 43, along with her daughter, Alise, 9, and son, Nikita, 18, and an unrelated 28-year old man were killed. I think they had two small dogs with them, one of which was killed and the other of which lost a leg.

    Perebeinis initially stayed in Irpin because her mother was sick and her son, at 18, was in the age group of males not allowed to leave the country in case they are needed to defend Ukraine (not a complete explanation because it took the Ukrainian government a day or two to announce it)

    She decided to leave a bomb hit the family’s building, right above their apartment. “They spent all their time in the basement where it was cold with no food, light, heat, anything.” (quoting the employee in Dubai)

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/california/article/Silicon-Valley-tech-worker-was-the-Ukrainian-mom-16990037.php

    . Perebeinis decided to use the promised “safe passage” that Russia had agreed to for civilians to flee.

    “But then Russian troops started firing on innocent civilians, and that’s how they got killed,” Khirvonina said. She doesn’t know where the family was headed.

    Sergii Perebeinis, Tatiana’s husband, who was not with them as they tried to flee, shared photos of his wife and children on his Facebook page.

    I think he was in the Donbass region, where he had apparently gone to check up on family, but the company has since helped Sergii Perebeinis arrive in Kyiv, to try to arrange a funeral for his wife and children. They had left it in 2014.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  513. Tatiana Perebeinis worked in an office in Kyiv and took her daughter to work the last day before the war. She was like the chief financial officer. In addition to that she gave advice to other employees about “personal finances or taxes or how to upgrade your visa cards”

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  514. I learned today from a Wall Street Journal op ed piece that the triangle on the dial of my parents’ table radio on a night table in their bedroom was not only on that radio, or pointed at WOR 710 AM – a very strong signal and New York’s earliest station or one of the earliest, but was pointed at 640 and was on every single radio sold in the United States from 1953 through 1963.

    (There was also one at 1240, and I do kind of remember seeing another one way up in the dial there. You could only see a little bit of the band at any one time.

    I thought the radio stations paid for it, or they had a deal with the manufacturer of that radio. WOR, after all, originally had been put on the air in 1922 to sell radios, if I am correct. They were connected with Bamberger’s department store in Newark. I learned that later – maybe in 1972, the 50th anniversary. WOR had recordings of just about everything they put on the air (I learned later, in case of complaints to the FCC)

    I thought that triangle was a special thing to point to WOR. You couldn’t tell where on the band you were exactly.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  515. Around 6,000 Russian soldiers have been killed (or 5,000 to 9,000) which is more than was lost by the United Statesd (2,400) in the entire almost 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

    9 Russian generals have been fired, according to Ukraine but there is no confirmation of this, and the Pentagon says it knows of no names (at least, I guess, of generals involved in the battle)

    Russian tanks outside of Kyiv are scattering themselves a bit. Russia has four separate logistical lines to supply. It’s not as capable an army a had been thought.

    There was some bombing in the western and central parts of Ukraine not get bombed, but this is limited to airfields. Ukraine has some 50 plus planes still flying — very carefully, and not more than 5 or 6 sortiers s fay, because they can be shot down.

    The explanation for the Mig-29 fiasco is that probably everybody else but Joe Biden wanted to accede to the Ukrainian request, but Biden didn’t want it to look like he stopped it.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  516. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/10/politics/russia-trade-status-us-g7-eu-biden/index.html

    Mos favotrf nastion status being revoked for Russia, (almost every country has it or better) North Korea and Cuba doe instance, do not,

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  517. Jewish evacuation from Odessa after the war started:

    https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/deep-shtetl/621eb2869277230021afbdc5/what-putin-denazification-of-ukraine-really-looks-like-odessa

    On Twitter on Friday morning, anticipating the difficult sabbath ahead, Kruskal wrote in Hebrew: “Tonight, many Jews from Odessa will have to be on the road to evacuate to a more secure place. I ask our brethren in Israel who do not keep Shabbat to keep this Shabbat for us.”

    It was a difficult journey. “Every 70 miles, we stopped to see which roads were being mined by the Ukrainians so the Russian tanks couldn’t progress, and which roads were being bombed by the Russians, where it was less safe to go,” Kruskal recalled.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  518. “Because Putin knows if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over. I’m going to stand up to him. He’s a bully…” – Joe Biden.

    “I’m not going to speak about intelligence, but Russia would pay a severe price if they used chemical weapons.” -Joe Biden

    Pfft. And Corn Pop smiled.

    ______

    American astronaut may get stranded in space station over Russia tensions

    https://nypost.com/2022/03/11/american-astronaut-mark-vande-hei-may-get-stranded-in-space-station-over-russia-tensions/

    And who will the Russian space agency turn to, to partner with in space?

    An eager and welcoming China. Attaboy, Joe.

    ‘C’mon, man… gimmie a break…’ – Squinty Mcstumblebum

    IDIOT.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  519. American astronaut may get stranded in space station over Russia tensions

    That statement was made back on February 26. It only now hit the news. We ignored it, so they dropped that half threat, and if we would ignore other things, they’d probably drop that, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)


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