Patterico's Pontifications

4/15/2022

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:50 pm



[guest post by Dana]

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First news items

Despite the low number of serious cases of Covid-19, Shanghai remains on lockdown. Residents are hungry, angry, and desperate enough to start protesting against the Draconian measures:

Video has emerged of clashes between police and people being forced out of their homes in Shanghai, as the city enters a third week of Covid lockdown.

Some residential compounds are being turned into quarantine centres.

Millions are confined to their homes as Shanghai battles a fresh outbreak of the virus. Anyone who tests positive is placed in quarantine.

But with more than 20,000 new cases a day, authorities are struggling to find enough space.

The city in recent weeks has converted exhibition halls and schools into quarantine centres, and set up makeshift hospitals…People have to order in food and water and wait for government drop-offs of vegetables, meat and eggs, and analysts say many are running low on supplies…The lockdown extension has overwhelmed delivery services, grocery shop websites and even the distribution of government supplies.

A few miles away, there was an organised protest, a bold stand as the lockdown takes hold in a country where you can be arrested for picking quarrels.

They’re angry about a local school being turned into another quarantine facility. Police with riot shields forced them off the streets in the end..

Second news item

Tragically, the number is higher than what was first reported:

The bodies of more than 900 civilians were discovered in the Kyiv region following the withdrawal of Russian forces, the regional police chief said in a briefing Friday.

Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, said the bodies had been abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating that 95% of the casualties had died from sniper fire and gunshot wounds.

“Consequently, we understand that under the (Russian) occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,” Nebytov said. “The number of killed civilians has surpassed 900 — and I emphasize, these are civilians, whose bodies we have discovered and handed over for forensic examination.”

He added that more bodies were being found every day, under the rubble and in mass graves.

“The most victims were found in Bucha, where there are more than 350 corpses,” he said.

Related:

Ukrainian President Zelenksyy has asked the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, two sources familiar with the discussions told NBC News.

Zelenskyy made the request in a recent phone conversation with President Joe Biden, the sources said.

A source familiar with the discussion about designating Russia a state sponsor of Terrorism says it was “a very brief part of the call.” Zelenskyy brought it up but there was not a long back and forth about the request.

The request did not carry the same priority as urgent appeals for more weapons and energy sanctions against Russia, the sources added.

Third news item

Zelensky warns the world:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN in an interview to air over the weekend that he believes the world should be prepared for Russia to possibly resort to the use of chemical or nuclear weapons, just a day after CIA Director William Burns made a similar statement about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “desperation” to win in Ukraine.

Zelensky reportedly told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Putin could and would use such weapons because he does not value the lives of the Ukrainian people.

Russian officials, including Putin, have threatened the use of nuclear weapons under certain circumstances, including if another country intervenes in the “special military operation,” the term Russia has used to refer to the invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February.

Fourth news item

Ohio’s J.D. Vance gets coveted Trump endorsement…after selling his soul:

Maybe this is what Trump was referring to when he said that Vance had said some not so great things about him in the past:

Vance was a critic of Donald Trump at the time, agreeing he was a “total fraud” who didn’t care about people and used issues like “the great Mexican wall” to give voters something to latch onto instead of policy solutions. Vance also told a New York City public radio host that many White working-class voters who supported Trump did not attend church regularly, making them susceptible to the sense of community in a Trump rally. At the same time, Vance argued racism did play a role in support for Trump, but not the biggest.

Additionally, Vance also said this:

After the 2016 publication of his book “Hillbilly Elegy,” a memoir about the problems in the Appalachian area where he grew up, Vance described Trump as “cultural heroin” and a demagogue who was leading “the white working class to a very dark place.”

But how quickly sacrificing one’s integrity for power happens:

Vance later became a fan of Trump and said Friday he is “incredibly honored” to have the ex-president’s endorsement.

Predicting Trump would reclaim the presidency in 2024, Vance said on Twitter that “he was an incredible fighter for hard working Americans in the White House, he will be again, and I’ll fight for the America First Agenda in the Senate.”

Fifth news item

Audio of Russian soldier admitting it was Russian troops that bombed a Russian border town:

A Russian soldier in an occupied part of Ukraine’s Donetsk region was caught telling his wife back home that Putin’s own troops were the ones who bombed a Russian town on the border this week, according to Ukrainian intelligence. In an audio clip of an intercepted call released Friday by Ukraine’s Security Service, a woman can be heard expressing concern about the attack on the town of Klimovo that Moscow blamed on Ukrainian forces, which reportedly left seven people wounded. “That was ours fucking stuff up,” the purported soldier quickly responds. “It’s necessary. They do that to provoke the [Ukrainians]. And that’s why they hit it,” he said. “We talked to the bosses and they said that’s how it is. The same shit was happening in the Chechen War, they blew up apartments in Moscow, as if it were terrorists. It was really the FSB,” he said, referring to the series of bombings in September 1999 that helped bring Vladimir Putin to power.

Sixth news item

When you look at the big picture, it’s still Trump’s GOP:

But just looking at the scorecard misses the bigger picture. These primary fights aren’t between the ‘pro-Trump’ wing versus the ‘anti-or Never-Trump’ wing of the GOP. Candidates are not debating whether the GOP should continue to associate with or make a clean break from Trumpism. GOP candidates are not debating the future identity or ideology in the post-Trump era. Instead, these primary contests have only helped to illuminate that in both style and substance, the current GOP remains Trump’s party.

The best way to see that the party remains fixed in the Trumpian mold is to, well, see it. In hundreds of TV ads, GOP candidates and outside groups that support them, are highlighting their commitment to Trump’s policies and persona. The advertising analysis firm AdImpact captures and categorizes political ads from around the country. Since the beginning of the year, the term “Trump” appears in 164 ads that collectively total $26M worth of spending. Almost all of those ads — 152 of them — and that spending ($24M) came from the Republican side.

Most of these GOP ads feature not just images of the former president, but also many of the terms associated with Trump, like “fighter,” “conservative outsider,” and “America First.” Many feature pledges to complete or finish “Donald Trump’s wall” at the southern border and to defeat “radical socialism.

Seventh news item

This from the WH press secretary who is exected to leave the White House for a job at MSNBC in the next few weeks:

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the questions posed by Peter Doocy, the Fox News correspondent who serves as her regular briefing room foil, are fed to him by his network.

She suggested that those questions make Doocy come off as a “stupid son of a bitch,” a reference to President Joe Biden’s hot-mic remark from an exchange with the Fox News reporter earlier this year. Psaki offered no evidence to support her claim about the provenance of Doocy’s questions.

“Is he a stupid son of a bitch, or does he just play a stupid son of a bitch on TV?” Pfeiffer asked.

The live audience laughed, and Psaki paused before answering the question about the reporter who’s known for needling the president and his sparring with the press secretary in the briefing room.

“Well, he works for a network that provides people with questions that — nothing person to any individual, including Peter Doocy — but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch,” Psaki said.

Eighth news item

Why? Just why??:

A Republican state senator in Tennessee invoked Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to support his argument in favor of a bill that would criminalize homeless encampments on public property.

Speaking during a Wednesday debate on the bill, which would classify camping on public property as a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine or community service work, Sen. Frank Niceley argued that homeless people can “come out of these homeless camps” and lead notable lives.

“I wanted to give you a little history on homelessness,” said Niceley. “1910, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his oratory, and his body language, and how to connect with citizens and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books.”

“So, all these people — it’s not a dead end, they can come out of this, these homeless camps, and have a productive life or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life.”

Oh my god, where do they find these people! SMDH.

MISCELLANEOUS

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

299 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. The Kyiv area may be bad, but Mariupol had 100,000 civilians stuck there, and they say it has been obliterated. Even if 90% of those folks escaped unharmed, it’s still a lot of dead civilians.

    And, for what?!

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  3. Scary if true.

    BREAKING: Intel sources say Moskva had at least two nuclear weapons aboard when it went down in the Black Sea.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  4. Obvious headline for when JD Vance loses, in the primary or the general: “Hillbilly Eulogy.”

    I’m taking suggestions for the over/under on HOW MANY such titles there will be.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  5. I’m not completely sure all that would happen after Putin used a nuke in Ukraine, but I feel certain that Biden’s feet would not touch the ground immediately thereafter.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  6. Always remember:

    Press Secretary Peppermint Patty is a cartoon.

    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, 2020.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. BREAKING: Intel sources say Moskva had at least two nuclear weapons aboard when it went down in the Black Sea.

    Here’s an amazing thought, which almost certainly is just wish-casting on my part: What if the brave captain and crew of Moskva deliberately sunk the ship precisely because it carried nuclear weapons? I would like to believe that there are plenty of Russians, including those in the military, who understand just how wretched a nuclear war started by Vladimir Putin would be, and they are resolved to do everything possible to sabotage their nation’s ability to take this fateful step.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  8. Michael Lind, a conservative intellectual turned critic of modern conservatism turned cynic towards libertarianism, has now decided it is time to unload both barrels on elite progressivism. Here is a taste of what he has written in Tablet:

    The centralized and authoritarian control of American progressivism by major foundations and the nonprofits that they fund, and the large media institutions, universities, corporations, and banks that disseminate the progressive party line, has made it impossible for there to be public intellectuals on the American center left. This is not to say that progressives are not intelligent and/or well-educated. It is merely to say that being a progressive public intellectual is no longer an option, in an era in which progressivism is anti-intellectual.

    If you are an intelligent and thoughtful young American, you cannot be a progressive public intellectual today, any more than you can be a cavalry officer or a silent movie star. That’s because, in the third decade of the 21st century, intellectual life on the American center left is dead. Debate has been replaced by compulsory assent and ideas have been replaced by slogans that can be recited but not questioned: Black Lives Matter, Green Transition, Trans Women Are Women, 1619, Defund the Police. The space to the left-of-center that was once filled with magazines and organizations devoted to what Diana Trilling called the “life of significant contention” is now filled by the ritualized gobbledygook of foundation-funded, single-issue nonprofits like a pond choked by weeds. Having crowded out dissent and debate, the nonprofit industrial complex—Progressivism Inc.—taints the Democratic Party by association with its bizarre obsessions and contributes to Democratic electoral defeats, like the one that appears to be imminent this fall.

    Consider center-left journals of opinion. In the 1990s, The New Yorker, The Nation, Dissent, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and Washington Monthly all represented distinctive flavors of the center left, from the technocratic neoliberalism of Washington Monthly to the New Left countercultural ethos of The Nation and the snobbish gentry liberalism of The New Yorker. Today, they are bare Xeroxes of each other, promoting and rewriting the output of single-issue environmental, identitarian, and gender radical nonprofits, which all tend to be funded by the same set of progressive foundations and individual donors.

    There are more sharp observations in his piece. It’s a fairly long read and frankly it deserves its own separate post, but I am in one of my lazy periods (sorry, or you’re welcome, which ever one fits the bill) so this is probably as much as I am going to say about it. I do disagree with some of Mr. Lind’s characterizations (I think National Review does a great job of representing different — and often quarreling — strands of conservatism), but overall I think he writes a fine piece.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  9. I’ll add my own wish-casting that Russia’s “nukes” (to use Putin’s words although he had a different homonym with a different spelling in mind) are far from the best in the world, just like its conventional forces, and Putin knows that if he actually shows his hand by using one, the world will go on without Russia.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. 4, Mike Gibbons auto-goaling himself with some 47 percentism/Rick Scott sentiment plus Mandel’s Jewish electrician act probably provided all the excuse needed.

    urbanleftbehind (a84d74)

  11. Lost nukes?

    https://fighterjetsworld.com/air/list-of-nuclear-weapons-u-s-has-lost-and-never-found/6093/#:~:text=During%20the%20Cold%20War%2C%20the%20United%20States%20military,the%20Pacific%20in%201950%20February%2013%2C%201950.%20?msclkid=481abffcbd3111ec9ee4cefa9d499de9

    Quite a list. This one is a gem:

    A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft Carying Hydrogen bomb Lost fell into the Pacific Ocean
    December 5, 1965. An A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft carrying a 1-megaton thermonuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb) rolled off the deck of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga and fell into the Pacific Ocean. The plane and weapon sank in 16,000 feet of water and were never found. 15 years later the U.S. Navy finally admitted that the accident had taken place, claiming it happened 500 miles from land the in relative safety of the high seas. This turned out to be not true; it actually happened about 80 miles off Japan’s Ryuku island chain, as the aircraft carrier was sailing to Yokosuka, Japan after a bombing mission over Vietnam. These revelations caused a political uproar in Japan, which prohibits the United States from bringing nuclear weapons into its territory.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  12. @7. Meh. The ‘SPECTRE’ of a little plagiarism by Ukraine and Russia from several James Bond film plots, eh? 😉

    ‘A container will be dropped off the coast of Burma, in the Mergui Archipelago, latitude twenty degrees north, longitude sixty degrees east, at twenty hundred hours Greenwich mean time on May 27th. It will hold blue white flawless diamonds, between three and eight karats, total value to be not less than one hundred million pounds present market price. After we have recovered the container and verified its contents you will be notified on radio frequency sixteen point two three megacycles where the atomic bombs may be recovered.” – Blofeld [Eric Pohlmann] ‘Thunderball’ 1965

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. Wondering aloud if Putin was arrested in San Francisco, would he be released no bail on self professed OR

    steveg (e81d76)

  14. The Tuvans with no jobs and no income from upper Mongolia are not recruited into the Russian armed forces to think, neither are the Chechens or Dagestanis.

    steveg (e81d76)

  15. Wondering aloud if Putin was arrested in San Francisco, would he be released no bail on self professed OR

    If Putin walked into the fever swamps of today’s Uber-Trumpy “nationalist” far right, he would be congratulated for his determined efforts to defend Russia’s Christian civilization from the threat posed by liberalism and globalism and NATO, and would receive apologies for America’s “proxy war” against his beleaguered nation.

    Radegunda (705a0d)

  16. #15
    Well, thats quite a projection but have to agree that the very loud, but small group of stupid people you describe as “the fever swamps of today’s Uber-Trumpy “nationalist” far right might indeed be worried about “the threat posed by liberalism and globalism and [the EU]” but no one I’ve met yet in that group wants Russia to win.
    Direct, personal, face to face, eye to eye anecdotes otherwise are welcome

    steveg (e81d76)

  17. Here’s an amazing thought, which almost certainly is just wish-casting on my part: What if the brave captain and crew of Moskva deliberately sunk the ship precisely because it carried nuclear weapons?

    Oh, heck, why not go all the way…

    Suppose that the captain secretly offloaded the two nukes to a waiting Ukrainian trawler, then scuttled the ship to hide what he’d done?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  18. Item 6 GOP party of trump. No kidding! I wish I had a dollar for every never truumper post demanding the trump populists give them back control of the republican party or else!

    asset (b9b676)

  19. Quote of the week:

    In an opinion column for the New York Post, Morgan wrote: “I can honestly say that the number of f***s I give about this shamelessly deluded and self-obsessed pair of whiny wastrels could be written on the back of Mycoplasma genitalium, the planet’s smallest living organism.”

    nk (1d9030)

  20. Here’s an amazing thought, which almost certainly is just wish-casting on my part: What if the brave captain and crew of Moskva deliberately sunk the ship precisely because it carried nuclear weapons? I would like to believe that there are plenty of Russians, including those in the military, who understand just how wretched a nuclear war started by Vladimir Putin would be, and they are resolved to do everything possible to sabotage their nation’s ability to take this fateful step.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 4/15/2022 @ 7:36 pm

    Time to reread The Hunt for Red October.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  21. How Spencer Haywood could’ve been the NBA’s first basketball billionaire, but foiled by a greedy and short-sighted agent. He was one of my favorites (Haywood, not the agent) when I was a young Sonics fan.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  22. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/15/2022 @ 10:57 pm
    NJRob (eb56c3) — 4/16/2022 @ 6:11 am

    Yep! This will serve as the inspiration for the latest woke 007 movie in which The theft is solely 007’s idea. A surprised M will be told, “you need to do better!” The name “Q” will take on an entirely new meaning, when we are introduced friends named “L,” G,” “B,” and ugh… you get the idea.

    felipe (484255)

  23. The Bond franchise already did Trans you might remember Tula: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Cossey

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  24. Quite right, AJ! But because “outed” is an operative (see what I did there?) word, the woke crowd will ignore the matter as “out of cannon” from their perspective, in the same way they would ignore any attempt to paint Milton Berle’s dress wearing as enlightened or woke.

    Basically, if they didn’t do it, it doesn’t count.

    Still, good catch!

    felipe (484255)

  25. Germany gives billions to Russia every week for oil/gas, so giving Ukraine a billion in military aid is the least they can do.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  26. During the second Chechen War, the city of Grozny was flattened. During the more recent civil war in Syria, Russian weapons including cluster bombs and thermobaric bombs were used. Perhaps, Mr. Putin simply enjoys bombing cities, killing thousands of civilians, and driving millions into refugee camps.

    Fred (cfb084)

  27. Thanks for the links, Paul. This reminds me of Trump’s (and other rich dudes) practice of enlarging both D and R people. Am I still allowed to call these beings “people,” or is that too inclusive?

    A very solemn Good Saturday.

    Trigger warning: How could anyone know, with any certainty, the following?

    On Good Saturday, Jesus descended to Sheol to give His final offer of salvation to those who had repented, but did not survive the great flood, as well as others who had perished in similar circumstances, in all of time up to that point.

    felipe (484255)

  28. @20. Might be time to reread fact over fiction: RFK’s Thirteen Days instead. So what can Vlad do other then warning Joe to butt out and knock it off directly “giving”, at a cost to the U.S. Treasury, weaponry goodies to Ukraine, NATO commitments aside?? Find and attack the new ‘Ho Chi Minh Trail???’ If you were Vlad, what would you do knowing our dementia riddled POTUS wanders on stage trying to shake hands with invisible people? Finance waves of illegals to flow across America’s southern border??? Plan to plant missiles in Central and South America w/allies??? A Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 is possible… Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua — all long-standing allies of Russia — have voiced support for the Russian leader. And this time, after Squinty tries to shake hands with himself in the mirror, worry that Mr. McStumblebum will be the one to blink. Regardless, Joey’s proxy arming of Ukraine under the guise they’re a ‘democracy,’ beyond NATO commitments, is widening the conflict from Vlad’s POV. While at the same time another ‘democracy,’ India, is still sourcing petroleum from Russia.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  29. “Germany gives billions to Russia every week for oil/gas”

    They were jiu-jitsu’d….or at least Merkel was….and Gerhard Schröder, who certainly has been making a buck with Nord Stream since his Chancellor days. Putin bet that getting countries addicted to cheap fuel was his ace in the hole. The gambit isn’t over, but it’s a stunt that can only be played once. It will be interesting to see how Germany pivots on energy in the future…it looks to be planning a gas from Qatar….though I wonder if they will be pressed to reconsider nuclear. Why have your economy held hostage by a madman without a conscience.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  30. My favorite cartoon in this week’s Politico collection.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  31. That’s because, in the third decade of the 21st century, intellectual life on the American center left is dead. Debate has been replaced by compulsory assent and ideas have been replaced by slogans that can be recited but not questioned: Black Lives Matter, Green Transition, Trans Women Are Women, 1619, Defund the Police.

    The reason intellectual life in the left is dead, or at least a rotted, zombified form of it, is because they’ve spouted the same socio-political mumbo-jumbo and methodologies for 50 years now. I can walk in to any university in the US, including nominally “conservative” ones like BYU, and hear the same quasi-religious cant about “privilege,” “marginalization,” “systemic racism,” “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” amongst various racial and sexual liberation ideologies.

    The modern university certainly isn’t dedicated to liberalism so much as it an extremely decadent, self-indulgent solipsism.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  32. Washington D.C will celebrate it — and we all should:

    On Saturday, Washingtonians will celebrate the 160th anniversary of Emancipation Day, which commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the law that freed enslaved people in the capital. But it wasn’t his first try at eradicating slavery here.

    It turns out that Lincoln had drafted a similar bill near the end of his single term in Congress.

    The struggle to outlaw slavery was long and arduous — and is not yet finished.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  33. Russians: Dual Purposed vehicle/ RPG magnet showing poor use of cannon fodder

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FQeNbrnXMAQ_qdI?format=jpg&name=small

    steveg (e81d76)

  34. steveg (e81d76) — 4/16/2022 @ 9:30 am

    Yes. Another example of the “false economy” of resources.

    felipe (484255)

  35. Some of my college friends that played Axis and Allies used to talk about the Russian Human Wave Attack, I guess it is real after all.

    urbanleftbehind (a84d74)

  36. FWO: “and hear the same quasi-religious cant about “privilege,” “marginalization,” “systemic racism,” “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” amongst various racial and sexual liberation ideologies.”

    This is probably true. It’s unfortunate that bastions of higher education aren’t more open to debating ideas and inspiring critical thinking. I found this piece from Stanford from a few years back that questioned the university’s blanket acceptance of BLM.

    https://stanforddaily.com/2020/11/15/the-case-against-blm/

    I wonder how well it was accepted and whether it produced any grudging nods. Still, I see no easy solution in academia, and I question why any young person would find some of these degrees appealing and economically rewarding. It’s a lot of propaganda and you’re being trained to go forth and spread it and plug your ears when there’s any pushback. I mean there are utterly ridiculous degrees like Women’s and Gender studies, but then even Sociology, Law, English, Political Science, and History can get infected with ideological thinking. Coming out of college, you should be skilled with arguing both sides of issues and understanding what constitutes strong and weak evidence. Why would you waste a scholarship or your own money on anything less?

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  37. Some of my college friends that played Axis and Allies used to talk about the Russian Human Wave Attack, I guess it is real after all.

    urbanleftbehind (a84d74) — 4/16/2022 @ 10:09 am

    That was the only way I ever survived when controlling the USSR in that game. Get the experimental that allowed discounted costs on troops and just build lots of fodder.

    NJRob (02bc9c)

  38. “The sound you hear is concrete breaking”
    –Ronald Reagan

    Interior Department to resume oil and gas leasing, charge higher fees

    As pressure increases on the Biden administration to lower the price of fuel, the Interior Department announced on Friday plans to hold its first onshore oil and gas lease sales since President Biden took office.

    The department said it plans to open roughly 144,000 acres up for lease next week and will charge oil and gas companies higher royalties to drill on federal land, raising the fees for the first time. Under the plans unveiled Friday, royalty rates would increase to 18.75 percent from 12.5 percent for oil and gas lease sales.

    The long-awaited announcement follows a report the department issued last fall, which called for royalty fees to be more in line with the higher rates charged by most private landowners and major oil- and gas-producing states.

    The Biden administration’s willingness to move forward with oil and gas leasing angered climate activists, who called the department’s plans a betrayal of the president’s pledge to ban new drilling on public lands.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  39. @31, 36:

    New book: David Malmut, Recessional- The Death of Free Speech and the Cost of a Free Lunch

    “Savagery appeased can only grow. Once you give in to it, it must escalate, like a fire searching for air.”

    The man who won the Pulitzer Prize for GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, who wrote the classic films THE VERDICT and WAG THE DOG sounds his alarm about the Visigoths at our gates.

    In RECESSIONAL he calls out, skewers, mocks, and, most importantly, dissects the virus of conformity which is now an existential threat to the West.

    A broad-ranging journey through history, the Bible, and literature, RECESSIONAL examines how politics and cultural attitudes about rebellion have shifted in the United States in the last generation. By screaming down freedom of thought and expression, Mamet explains, we kill invention and democracy – the foundations of security and growth.

    A wickedly funny, wistful and wry appeal to the free-thinking citizen, RECESSIONAL is a vital warning that if we don’t confront the cultural thuggery now, the commissars and their dupes will transform the Land of the Free into the dictatorship at which they aim.

    Get it from Amazon through the box on the right (assuming that still works).

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  40. “”I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter,” wrote Max Boot, columnist for The (Jeff Bezos–owned) Washington Post, on Twitter. “He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”

    Boot is a longtime apocalyptic troll—past lowlights include declaring that “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump,” and advocating the Federal Communications Commission go after Fox News to forestall “the plot against America.” But his anxiety about allegedly unfettered free speech is revealingly common in media, academia, Silicon Valley, and the government.

    https://reason.com/2022/04/14/gatekeepers-very-afraid-that-elon-musk-will-remove-the-gates-from-twitter/

    The damage done by Never-Trump conservative voters is just getting started and yet they insist on doubling-down.

    Obudman (929f6c)

  41. Malmut cancelled in 5 .. 4 .. 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  42. The damage done by Never-Trump conservative voters is just getting started and yet they insist on doubling-down.

    Casting this as Trump vs not-Trump is not at all helpful.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  43. It’s another classic invidious overgeneralization, that Max Boot speaks for or represents all NeverTrump conservatives. It’s akin to saying that every Trumpist is just like Marjorie Greene.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  44. Roasted fodder.

    The neo-Soviets lost another General.
    Not that the Generals have been stellar, but to be fair, they are hobbled by… well… Russians.

    steveg (e81d76)

  45. But it is troubling that 57% of Republicans saw the rioting on 1/6/2021 as more an act of patriotism than insurrection.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  46. Here’s one story of one murdered civilian in Bucha. The enormity of Putin’s atrocities is that there are tens of thousands of other stories a lot like it.
    Putin does need to pay.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  47. Time to reread The Hunt for Red October.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 4/16/2022 @ 6:11 am

    Time to re-read Red Storm Rising.

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  48. Fun fact:
    Moskva sinks on April 14, 2022.
    Titanic sinks on April 14, 1912.

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  49. Time to re-read Red Storm Rising.

    Easily Clancy’s best book. BTW, just finished “Ghost Fleet”, a novel of the US-China War. Not nearly as good, but it does explain why utterly no Chinese-sourced components are allowed in US military equipment.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  50. But it is troubling that 57% of Republicans saw the rioting on 1/6/2021 as more an act of patriotism than insurrection.

    Patriotism is working for the benefit of the nation, insurrection is working to tear the nation down.

    Why is it so hard to look through both of those glasses? If one truly believes that the election was dishonest, which is the patriot and which is the insurrectionist?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  51. Ominous rhetoric gains grounds in Russia as its forces founder in Ukraine
    ……..
    On state television, a military analyst doubled down on Russia’s need to win and called for concentration camps for Ukrainians opposed to the invasion.
    ……..
    And on a talk show, the editor in chief of the English-language television news network RT described Ukrainians’ determination to defend their country as “collective insanity.”

    “It’s no accident we call them Nazis,” said Margarita Simonyan, who also heads the Kremlin-backed media group that operates the Sputnik and RIA Novosti news agencies. “What makes you a Nazi is your bestial nature, your bestial hatred and your bestial willingness to tear out the eyes of children on the basis of nationality.”
    ………
    In late March, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a probe into whether Ukrainian students’ textbooks “target children with hatred of Russia and the Russian language” and “distort history.” There already is evidence, (Eugene Finkel, an expert on genocide at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy) noted, of Russian soldiers in Ukraine going through libraries and schools and destroying books in Ukrainian or those about the country’s history and struggle for independence.
    ……..
    The chances that Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man with no history of reversing course when cornered, might back down as his military’s effort faltered were never very great, and U.S. officials have questioned Russia’s seriousness about peace talks. Yet after Moscow’s failure to take Kyiv, the shift to a harder line in state media suggests that the Kremlin is girding the population for a tough and potentially long fight in Ukraine’s east, one that could see even greater destruction and casualties.
    ………
    The threat of Nazism is one of the Kremlin’s most brazen themes. Last week, RIA Novosti ran a prominent opinion piece by pundit Timofei Sergeitsev, an outspoken supporter of Putin, that urged the liquidation of the entire Ukrainian elite, the division of the country, destruction of its sovereignty and even the abolition of its name.

    “Denazification will inevitably be de-Ukrainization,” Sergeitsev wrote, requiring years of ideological repression and severe censorship in political, cultural and educational fields. Ordinary Ukrainians were complicit and must suffer the “inevitable hardships of a just war” before total submission to Russian power “as a historical lesson and atonement for their guilt.”
    ………

    With the atrocities in Bucha and other places, and the targeting of hospitals and civilians, to call Ukrainians the “Nazis”
    Is typical of authoritarian propaganda. when alleging atrocities that the authoritarian regime is actually committing.

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  52. $100 Billion. Russia’s Treasure in the U.S. Should Be Turned Against Putin.
    ……..
    Even if the Justice Department were able to sell every yacht and mansion it seizes over the coming months, earmarking the profits for military and humanitarian aid, the process would be too slow, and the proceeds too insignificant, to meet Ukraine’s growing and urgent needs: for tanks, antiaircraft missiles, food and medicine. And as the war enters its eighth week and its costs balloon, the American people may not be willing to foot the bill much longer.

    An obvious solution is staring us in the face: President Biden could liquidate the tens of billions of dollars the Russian central bank has parked in the United States as part of its foreign exchange reserves; by some estimates, those funds may total as much as $100 billion. These assets are already frozen at the Federal Reserve and other banks thanks to Treasury sanctions banning transactions with the Russian central bank. With new details of Russian atrocities making the prospect of lifting those sanctions increasingly untenable, those funds have, in effect, been seized indefinitely. …….
    ………
    ……… Mr. Biden already has ample statutory authority to liquidate Russian assets under a section of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, enacted in 1977 to clarify the previously overbroad and tangled mess of presidential emergency economic powers. As the Supreme Court affirmed in a landmark case about the Iran hostage crisis, the act gives the president “broad authority” to act in times of national emergency and the power to “nullify, void, prevent or prohibit” any foreign country from “holding” or “exercising any right, power, or privilege” over property in which it has “any interest.” It also authorizes the president to “direct and compel” the “transfer, withdrawal” or “exportation” of such property.

    Since the reserves in question are Russian state property — unlike the assets of oligarchs — they are not shielded by the usual protections our legal system affords private property. The Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against government seizure of property “without due process of law” applies only to “persons” — not foreign governments — as the Supreme Court suggested in 1992 and multiple federal courts have since held. …….
    ……….
    Congressional Republicans might push back, claiming that any such seizure would constitute a grand expansion of presidential power at Mr. Biden’s behest. But the act’s clear grant of authority should alleviate any genuine concerns. So too should the clear precedent of similar moves by presidents of both parties who have seized the central bank assets of human rights violators like Venezuela, Iran and Iraq.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  53. Spencer Haywood destroyed his talent – and he was an amazing B-baller – and has no one to blame but himself and his dealer. In my high school days, two BB teammates and I snuck into the Anaheim Convention Center to watch him and team play Rick Adelman and the Anaheim Amigos (yay, ABA!).

    The guy was unbelievably skilled and freebased his way clean out of the NBA.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. Steven Seagal travels to Moscow for a 70th birthday party with some of Putin’s closest henchmen and promises to stand by them ‘through thick and through thin’
    …….
    Video circulating on social media shows the former Hollywood action man giving a speech at the function on April 10, surrounded by several Russian elites targeted by Western sanctions amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
    ……..
    Dressed in his customary black shirt and yellow-tinted glasses, the action star declared to the pro-Putin audience: ‘Each and every one of you, you are my family and my friends. And I love all of you and we stand together, through thick and through thin.’
    ………
    Seagal has previously described Putin as ‘one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today’, and in February said in an interview with Fox News Digital that a propaganda from an ‘outside entity’ pitted Russia and Ukraine against each other.

    ‘I look at both as one family and really believe it is an outside entity spending huge sums of money on propaganda to provoke the two countries to be at odds with each other.’

    On April 10, the day Seagal celebrated his birthday with Russia’s elite, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol said that more than 10,000 civilians had died after enduring weeks of Russian bombing raids and hunger due to the siege.
    ………..

    To paraphrase the late Bircher (and bigamist) California representative John Schmitz (when speaking about Nixon’s trip to China), I don’t object to Seagal going to Russia, but I do object to him coming back.

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  55. A Kentucky steakhouse put up a Ukrainian flag. For a month not much happened. And then, one customer complained, and an avalanche followed.

    It wasn’t. About a half-hour later, hate started coming from all fronts — the restaurant’s phone, Facebook page and reviews on Google. Over the past week, the firestorm has kept raging in Bardstown, a city of about 13,500 in central Kentucky. Ashlock, describing himself as an uncontroversial person, said he had planned to keep the flag up until Russia left Ukraine.

    Ben Ashlock has a personal tie to Ukraine:

    Ashlock and his wife of 19 years, Darrci, forged lifelong friendships in Ukraine while there to adopt their son. The 16-year-old is one of the couple’s 13 children — eight biological and five adopted or in the process of being adopted.

    Apprently, Putin still has fans in the United States.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  56. Max Boot is irrelevant.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  57. @49. ‘Not nearly as good, but it does explain why utterly no Chinese-sourced components are allowed in US military equipment.’

    Hmmmmm…

    The U.S. Military’s Greatest Weakness? China ‘Builds’ a Huge Chunk of It

    Despite political, military and trade tensions between America and China, Chinese or Chinese-owned firms play a dangerously large role in U.S. defense production, according to a new Pentagon report.

    For instance, most U.S. military solid rocket engines use a substance called Dechlorane. However, “there is no domestic supplier for this material; the sole source is Occidental Chemical in Belgium,” warns the Department of Defense’s FY 2016 Annual Industrial Capabilities report. “Even more concerning is that the pre-cursor to make Dechlorane came from China. The Chinese source can no longer produce that pre-cursor and so there is now no source for Dechlorane in the world.”

    Another example is how America’s war machine runs on advanced electronics, most of which are made abroad. Ninety percent of the world’s printed circuit boards are manufactured in Asia, and more than half in China. This is a consequence partly as a result of China’s determined effort to build up a domestic research and manufacturing base for their own advanced technologies. Meanwhile, Chinese direct investment in American companies topped $64 billion between 1990 and 2015. While this lags behind Europe and Japan (Japan has invested around $400 billion), it does give Beijing a sizable stake in the U.S. economy and industries.

    As if the prospect of American weapons being dependent on Chinese-made parts is bad enough, there are already worries that Chinese-made electronics may be infected with computer viruses that would let China spy on or disable U.S. military, commercial and consumer products. All of these concerns will only feed ammunition to President Trump and others who advocate a get-tough trade policy with China and other nations. But this toughness may be more smoke than fire. Short of nationalizing American defense contractors, the U.S. will depend on private industry to satisfy its military production needs. And private industry — or their Wall Street shareholders — will insist on minimizing costs and maximizing profits.

    That’s the essence of globalization, and the impetus for the relentless outsourcing of American manufacturing. That why Chinese goods have so captured so much of the U.S. market: not because they are good, but because they are cheap, which keeps American manufacturers and consumers happy. Made in America makes great sense in terms of national security, but American taxpayers will have to be willing to pay extra for Made in Seattle instead of Made in Shanghai. Finally, one of the last and biggest concerns is whether it is even possible anymore to make purely American weapons anymore? As with the U.S. food supply system, it gets harder every year to be sure of where products really originate from. The Pentagon tries to save money by buying commercial-off-the-shelf technology instead of custom-made gear, but the commercial sector relies on Chinese-made components, especially electronics. Eventually, these questions will need to be answered as the military grapples with how to maintain both security and keep down costs. The fact remains that while Made in China may be a danger for U.S. national security, transforming into Made in America will not be cheap or easy.

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-militarys-greatest-weakness-china-builds-huge-chunk-25966

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  58. Reminder: Our response to COVID is nothing to boast about*. A better one would have saved at least a half a million lives.

    But we look good compared to Putin’s Russia, which has about 44 percent of our population, and about the same number of excess deaths (approximately 1.1 million in each nation). So, there have been about 7,500 deaths per million from COVID in Russia, a nation which already has severe demographic problems. For that Russian failure, Putin deserves the largest single share of the blame.

    It is likely that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will spread COVID and other diseases in Russia.

    (*If we had done as well as Canada — as some American states did — our death toll would be a third of what it is; if we had done as well as Germany (a more densely populated nation) our death toll would be about half of what it is. As a patriot, I refuse to believe that America can not do as well as Canada and Germany.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  59. Apparently, Putin still has fans in the United States.

    Some of them are in the US Congress:

    Who’s Soft on Russia? Meet the Republican Anti-Ukraine Caucus!
    …….. In polls, Republicans are more dovish on Russia and Ukraine than Democrats are. And in Congress, the purveyors of isolationism, appeasement, and Russian propaganda are on the right, not the left.

    Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the House of Representatives has voted on three measures specific to the war. The first vote, taken on March 2, was on a resolution that endorsed sanctions against Russia, reaffirmed Ukrainian sovereignty over territory seized by Russia, advocated military aid to Ukraine, and pledged to support the Ukrainian resistance. All six members of the progressive “Squad”—Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib—voted for the resolution. So did Rep. Barbara Lee, the Democrats’ foremost opponent of military spending. Not one Democrat voted against the resolution. But three Republicans did: Reps. Paul Gosar, Thomas Massie, and Matt Rosendale.

    On March 9, the House passed a bill to suspend oil and gas imports from Russia. Five of the seven Democratic leftists voted for the suspension. The two who voted against it—Bush and Omar—were joined by 15 Republicans who also voted no. In addition to Gosar and Massie, this time the list included Reps. Andy Biggs, Dan Bishop, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, Scott DesJarlais, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Glenn Grothman, Clay Higgins, Bill Posey, Chip Roy, and Tom Tiffany.

    On March 17, the House passed a bill to end favorable trade relations with Russia and its accomplice in the war, Belarus. Eight Republicans voted against the bill. Every Democrat, including the seven leftists, voted for it.
    ………
    ……….(Ten) Republicans have signed on to a bill that would bar any delivery of military aid to Ukraine until “a border wall system along the United States-Mexico border is completed.” The cosponsors include Reps. Bob Good, Jody Hice, Mary Miller, Ralph Norman, and Randy Weber. (Don’t bother trying to square this demand with Trump’s insistence that he has basically built the wall, except for a couple of tiny spots.)

    Altogether, that’s 21 Republicans who have opposed, or at least sought to constrain, aid to Ukraine or sanctions on Russia. That’s a group three times the size of “the Squad,” which Republicans claim is in control of every aspect of Democratic policy. Imagine how much power those 21 Republicans would wield in a GOP-controlled House.

    The other side of the equation is the near-unanimity of support among Democrats, even from very progressive members, for standing up to Russia. Leftist Democrats generally oppose armed intervention, yet nearly all of them voted for sanctions against Russia and military aid for Ukraine. Why is that?

    It’s because they recognize the war as a showdown between right and wrong. …….

    Many of the 21 House Republicans, however, don’t see it that way. They’ve swallowed a cocktail of isolationism, defeatism, partisan paranoia, and Russian disinformation. Here are the main pillars of their reasoning:

    America has no responsibilities in the world. …….

    America should worry about its own borders, not Ukraine’s. ……..

    Russia is powerful, so America should retreat. …….

    The invasion was provoked. ………

    Sanctions on Russia are a Democratic plot to hurt Americans. ……..

    Sanctions on Russia are part of the gay agenda. …….

    Ukraine is a tool of the Biden family and the Democratic party. …….

    Everything Russia said about Ukraine is true. …….

    Russia is no worse than Canada or the United States. …….
    …….
    …….. Some of these Republicans see themselves as an antiwar caucus. They denounce “war hawks on both sides of the aisle,” and they protest that “the left is so addicted to war.” But what they’re preaching isn’t pacifism. It’s nihilism, cynicism, cowardice, partisan derangement, and a loathing of contemporary America.
    ########

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  60. Why is it so hard to look through both of those glasses? If one truly believes that the election was dishonest, which is the patriot and which is the insurrectionist?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/16/2022 @ 12:18 pm

    So, my true and sincere belief that I am doing good excuses any amount of evil that I do?

    Demosthenes (5aec69)

  61. 50 years ago today, April 16, 1972, when America was still truly great; the United States flawlessly threw another 36-story building into the sky- as Apollo 16 headed for the hills; the Descartes Highlands of the Moon. Of the crew, Charlie Duke and Ken Mattingly are still with us; John Young has passed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYQZzD6nfu0

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  62. Putin Wants to Break NATO. Republicans Want to Help Him.
    ……..
    ……..(Sixty-three) House Republicans, nearly a third of the GOP conference, voted against a resolution of support for NATO.

    The House vote, taken on April 5, is a warning sign. Putin may be losing ground in Ukraine, but he’s gaining ground in the U.S. Congress. Three years ago, 22 House Republicans voted against pro-NATO legislation. That number has nearly tripled.

    The “Putin wing” of the House GOP—useful idiots such as Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who openly spout Russian propaganda—is only a tiny fraction of the Kremlin’s target audience in Congress. They’re joined by a larger crowd of Ukraine bashers, hardcore isolationists, and right-wingers who say we shouldn’t worry about anyone else’s borders until we “secure” our own. Together, that coalition adds up to more than 20 lawmakers.

    …….. (W)hen you combine them with the NATO skeptics who voted against last week’s resolution—another 40 or so House Republicans who don’t trust alliances and who view Europeans as America’s rivals or adversaries—the problem gets a lot bigger.

    The GOP’s turn against NATO is particularly worrisome because Congress has been warned, explicitly and repeatedly, about Putin’s goal of dissolving the alliance. ……..
    ……..
    ……..(In January 2019), House Democrats filed and brought to the floor the NATO Support Act, which reaffirmed that the U.S. was “solemnly committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s principle of collective defense as enumerated in Article 5.” The bill couldn’t completely bind Trump, but it expressed the sense of Congress that “the President shall not withdraw the United States from NATO” and that American policy was “to reject any efforts to withdraw the United States from NATO.” It also prohibited the use of federal funds “to take any action to withdraw the United States” from the alliance.

    Every Democrat voted for the bill; 22 Republicans voted against it.
    ………
    Why did so many Republicans vote against the latest pro-NATO resolution?

    Some openly reject the alliance. “NATO is a relic of the Cold War,” said Rep. Thomas Massie. “Why should Americans pay for Europe’s defense?”

    Others said the U.S. should be wary of overcommitment. “We shouldn’t say that our support for NATO is unconditional,” said Rep. Warren Davidson.

    But others, including (Rep. Scott Perry) complained that the resolution threatened American sovereignty.In a video statement, Perry told his constituents that the resolution “politicizes NATO” by saying “if you’re not supporting socialism, then we’re going to use NATO against you.”

    This is a bizarre misrepresentation. The resolution affirmed that NATO was “founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.” Those words are literally in the alliance’s founding treaty. The resolution also called for “unwavering support to the people of Ukraine.” And it endorsed a project, jointly proposed by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, to build “NATO’s capacity to strengthen democratic institutions within NATO member, partner, and aspirant countries.”

    To make sure nobody misconstrued that language as an attack on sovereignty, the resolution stipulated that any NATO monitoring of “challenges to democracy” within member states would be undertaken only “when requested.”

    ………. Representative Chip Roy described the resolution as “empowering international organizations to target the internal activities of sovereign nations.” Davidson described it as “using NATO to try to undermine America’s sovereignty.”

    Some members who opposed the measure also expressed hostility toward Europe. Davidson said “global commitments” to accords on climate, banking, and other issues were forcing the U.S. to adopt the “inferior system” of “the Europeans.”

    Roy fretted that NATO, empowered by the House resolution, would subject Americans to “the leftist orthodoxy that now unfortunately permeates most of Western Europe.”

    These lawmakers think they’re patriots. ……..It’s so much easier to serve evil when you think you’re doing good.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  63. American Buffalo’ Playwright David Mamet Tells Fox News That Teachers “Are Inclined” To Pedophilia

    ………(P)laywright David Mamet seems to be doing his best — or worst — to make headlines. The latest: The conservative Mamet told Fox News’ Mark Levin on Sunday night that “teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia.”
    ………
    Speaking on the hot-button topic of community and parental control in schools, Mamet said: “We have to take back control. If there’s no community control of the schools, what we have is kids being not only indoctrinated but groomed in a very real sense by people who are — whether they know it or not — sexual predators. Are they abusing the kids physically? No, I don’t think so, but they are abusing them mentally and using sex to do so. This has always been the problem with education, is that teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia. And that’s why there were strict community strictures about it, thank God. And this started to break down when the schools said, ‘You know what? We have to teach the kids about sex. Why? Because what if they don’t do it at home?’”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  64. stevemg –
    It isn’t “projection” when I’m speaking about the far-right fringe. “Projection” means ascribing my own viewpoints or motives to other people — i.e. the opposite of referring to viewpoints that appall me.
    For some years now, tradcons have seen Putin as a defender of “Christian civilization” against globalism and liberalism. For example (with internal links):

    It’s no secret the alt-right lionizes Putin as a defender of traditional values and ethnic nationalism. Nor is it a secret that President Trump finds much to admire in the Russian leader.
    But it’s not just Trump or the alt-right. For a growing number of Christians concerned about the erosion of traditional values and issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, Putin’s cultural conservatism has a certain appeal as a bulwark against the moral relativism of progressivism. Christian leaders like Franklin Graham have praised Putin for “protecting traditional Christianity,” while Pat Buchanan has said Putin is America’s ally against ISIS.

    From time to time, I’m confronted with what’s coming from the crowd at the ironically titled “American Greatness,” particularly the guy who runs it, and my jaw just drops to the floor sometimes. One might have thought the brutality of Putin’s unprovoked invasion would have inspired some moral revulsion, but no — he and others on the fringe are clinging to the notion that “Russian civilization” is genuinely threatened by NATO and the West; that the Maidan revolution was a U.S.-sponsored “regime change” operation; that what’s happening now is a U.S. proxy war against Russia; that European countries are helping Ukraine not because of their own moral and strategic concerns but because they’re obeying Anerican imperial power; that the “legacy media” are lying to us; and that the whole affair is another example of “elite” propaganda manipulation.

    Then there’s Tucker Carlson.

    The most die-hard Trump apologists include some of the people most inclined to make excuses for Putin, to denigrate NATO, and to dismiss any concern about the right of Ukrainians to be free of Russian domination. These are also people who believe that U.S. institutions are basically all corrupt, and that “elites” are all corrupt except for the ones they agree with.

    When all the “legacy media” are reporting on the horrors that Putin is inflicting on Ukraine, and when a Democratic administration is trying to help Ukraine defend itself, a portion of the right-wing commentariat reflexively comes out on the other side — especially the ones who were previously touting Putin’s commitment to defending religious values.

    Radegunda (fdec91)

  65. Still, I see no easy solution in academia, and I question why any young person would find some of these degrees appealing and economically rewarding.

    To answer the first part, academia got to its current state over a very long process that began with radical left students taking college deferments during Vietnam, then ensconcing themselves there and training the next vanguard. This is why I say that any esoteric ideology going through there gets mainstreamed in about 20 years. What we call “woke” today was “political correctness” 30 years ago, but “woke” pretenses were already being introduced and suffused through the curriculums in that same decade and in to the 2000s.

    To answer your second question, for a long time, a college degree was seen as a gateway in to society’s upper tiers. Get a degree, and you won’t have to break your back working in a factory in the 1960s-70s, or working in construction or other blue-collar trades in the 1980s-2000s. The current push to wipe out student loan debt is a tacit admission that a degree doesn’t provide the return on investment that it used to (the supply has exceeded the demand), but the perception that a college degree is necessary to have a “good life” persists.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  66. If one truly believes that the election was dishonest, which is the patriot and which is the insurrectionist?

    Well, that’s the problem, if said belief has no basis in fact, and instigated by a con man and serial liar.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  67. “If one truly believes that the election was dishonest”

    But based on evidence, was this a reasonable claim? And isn’t the usual way to protest to go to court and present your evidence? This is the problem when you have an ex-President unwilling to tell the truth. A complicit partisan media who has no interest in holding him to account. An internet information incubator that traffics in conspiracies and self-serving harangues. And a majority of elected representatives that simply have no courage to right the ship. The result: over half of a political party willingly believes what it wants to believe…a huge distortion.

    Obudman: “The damage done by Never-Trump conservative voters is just getting started”

    I don’t understand….Max Boot having problems with Trump and the FNC creates existential damage? How exactly? Is free speech that scary? And other Trump skeptics are somehow complicit by virtue of having not bent the knee….obediently…servilely? It sounds perfectly delusional. I’ve never proclaimed myself Never-Trump because the Moniker seemed like a cheap impotent way to cast aspersions without having to seriously grapple with the case against Trump. You know, “those turn-coat Never Trump let the GOP down and now we’re stuck with Biden.” Well, sorry about that but welcome to the consequences of elevating a deeply flawed man to head of the party. Repent.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  68. So, my true and sincere belief that I am doing good excuses any amount of evil that I do?
    Demosthenes (5aec69) — 4/16/2022 @ 1:42 pm

    This is the position that pro-abortion advocates take, except they would argue that what they do is not, in any way, evil.

    It is possible to pursue a good objective that unintentionally produces an otherwise evil outcome; a surgeon successfully operating to save a pregnant woman, but causes the child to die, is not guilty of sin because the loss of life is not intended.

    This is why abortion is always, and everywhere an evil, regardless of belief, because its intent is to end the life of a human being.

    felipe (484255)

  69. Popular right-wing podcasters spread Russian disinformation about biolabs in Ukraine. Particularly Bannon, Charlie Kirk, and Dan Bongino.

    Why were so many good conservative voices so eager to promote the idea that Russia had good reason to invade Ukraine because of something very bad that America was doing in league with Ukraine? I thought those guys were supposed to be the patriots?

    Radegunda (fdec91)

  70. Twitter and Facebook and the rest do pose a problem, for which I have, as of now, no simple solution: They are neither common carriers, nor publishers. As a common carrier, they would not be responsible for the content on their sites, and so would not control it; as a publisher, they would be. They seem to switch back and forth between claiming to be one, or the other, depending on which is to their advantage at the time.

    Full disclosure: I am not on either Twitter or Facebook, and don’t intend to be. I think there is evidence that too much time on Facebook may be bad for our mental health, especially the health of adolescent girls.

    (There are some interesting ideas in Jonathan Haidt’s recent Atlantic article, WHY THE PAST 10 YEARS OF AMERICAN LIFE HAVE BEEN UNIQUELY STUPID. I am still thinking about them, and would like to hear the thoughts of others on the article.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  71. The damage done by Never-Trump conservative voters is just getting started and yet they insist on doubling-down.

    Obudman (929f6c) — 4/16/2022 @ 11:05 am

    I think you meant to say, “The damage done by Trumpistas continues apace and yet they insist on doubling down.”

    If you actually meant what you said, then you are part of the problem with this country.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  72. Radegunda,
    Thanks for your measured reply. I should not have characterized your thoughts as “projection”.

    It looks like I have not spent as much time as others on the subject, because I don’t watch Tucker Carlson.
    What I have seen is that there is a substantial group of Americans of an isolationist bent who do not want WW III over Ukraine. Some of these isolationists are well educated in the history that is driving Putin and they understand Putin is likely to be willing to fight all comers rather than let his beloved Russia suffer humiliation on the world stage.

    The isolationists do see this as a proxy war that is cornering a dangerous man who believes he is acting righteously for Mother Russia and I can’t say they are entirely incorrect even if by technical definition its not a proxy war, because I am confident Putin sees it as one.
    Its clear that Russian propaganda news is saying that Putin has the right, the duty, to take the war to the true enemy (NATO and the USA) and I think its a crude bluff, but I also know cornering an angry paranoid Putin is extremely dangerous.

    There are a lot of scenarios where this ends very badly. Who wins? China

    steveg (e81d76)

  73. Emphasis is mine

    If you actually meant what you said, then you are part of the problem with this country.
    Demosthenes (3fd56e) — 4/16/2022 @ 3:26 pm

    Demos, that was an unnecessary personal attack. It would be better to attack the position or attitude, by use of phrases such as “this thinking” or “this attitude.”

    This site has, already, enough personal rancor, good minds should not add to it.

    felipe (484255)

  74. steveg (e81d76) — 4/16/2022 @ 3:46 pm

    Well said, steveg. I respect the thoughtful tone of your discourse.

    felipe (484255)

  75. “The current push to wipe out student loan debt is a tacit admission that a degree doesn’t provide the return on investment that it used to (the supply has exceeded the demand), but the perception that a college degree is necessary to have a “good life” persists.”

    I think the value of the degree varies with the major. I don’t hear about many pharmacists, veterinarians, aviation techs, accountants, engineers, or programmers that struggle with loan repayments. I’m sure some are out there, but much fewer than the English and Women’s Studies majors. I’m no fan of loan forgiveness because we can’t afford it and, more importantly, it removes the responsibility from the parents and students for making poor decisions, whether it’s choosing a major, choosing a non-community college to start with, or not applying oneself to his/her studies. I get that it’s hard for an 18yr old to know with certainty…well anything….and parents may have uncalibrated expectations….but that’s the deal….choose wisely.

    Now whether a degree is “necessary” again depends. I always advocate that students who are not mature enough or don’t have a good sense of what to study, should figure that out before making the big investment…either by doing something like join the military or taking some time and gaining work experience. There is a lot of pressure to do college. “Free” college will just exacerbate the problem and create more education-cost inflation. As an economy, we do need people to get degrees and then some of them to get advanced degrees….with an eye to supply and demand. The problem is not thinking it through or researching the opportunities. High schools could be more useful in this regard.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  76. It is always chancy trying to guess what a “former” KGB operative like “Czar” Putin actually believes, but there are serious scholars who think Aleksandr Dugin’s ideology is the key to Putin’s thinking:

    Considered by some in the West to be “Putin’s brain,”[12] or “Putin’s philosopher,” Dugin is believed by some to have been the brains behind Russia’s annexation of Crimea[13] as part of Dugin’s advocacy for Ukraine becoming “a purely administrative sector of the Russian centralized state”, which he refers to as Novorossiya.[14] Dugin is also believed to have provided Putin’s playbook on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.[15] Dugin calls for an illiberal totalitarian Russian Empire to control the Eurasian continent from Dublin to Vladivostok to challenge America and “Atlanticism”
    . . .
    Dugin published Foundations of Geopolitics in 1997; this work has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military, and alarms political scientists in the US,[35] sometimes referenced by them as “Russia’s Manifest Destiny”.[36] Also in 1997, his article, “Fascism – Borderless and Red”, described “national capitalism” as pre-empting the development of a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism” in Russia. He believes that it was “by no means the racist and chauvinist aspects of National Socialism that determined the nature of its ideology. The excesses of this ideology in Germany are a matter exclusively of the Germans … while Russian fascism is a combination of natural national conservatism with a passionate desire for true changes.”[37] The “Waffen-SS and especially the scientific sector of this organization, Ahnenerbe,” was “an intellectual oasis in the framework of the National Socialist regime”, according to him.

    Those don’t sound like the views of a man who believes in the Golden Rule.

    (“From Dublin to Vladivostok”. I guess that means that we could keep Alaska, but that Ireland might find itself part of an empire, again.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  77. It’s not too late. You too could get in on the ground floor and be a potentate of your own micronation, just off the coast of Belize.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  78. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 4/16/2022 @ 3:56 pm

    No flattery is intended, but…

    I enjoyed reading your comment. It made very good observations, some of which caused me to chuckle in agreement. Even when you brought up the subject of parents – a topic that puts me on edge – you managed to win me over. That was no mean feat considering my obstinacy.

    Thank you.

    felipe (484255)

  79. #75 AJ_Liberty. One reform I am very much in favor of: Putting colleges and universities at risk for the money they lend to students.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  80. #72 “because I don’t watch Tucker Carlson”.

    steveg – I’ll bet you have many other good habits.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  81. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 4/16/2022 @ 4:02 pm

    Yikes! I hope a mosquito coast is not in their future!

    felipe (484255)

  82. Demos, that was an unnecessary personal attack.

    Was it a personal attack? It was clearly phrased as a conditional.

    Was it unnecessary? Bad-faith comments like Obudman’s frequently go unanswered. They persist and multiply. You don’t get rid of weeds in your garden by leaving them alone and hoping they die away.

    It would be better to attack the position or attitude, by use of phrases such as “this thinking” or “this attitude.”

    felipe (484255) — 4/16/2022 @ 3:51 pm

    Your suggestion has been noted, considered, and rejected by our editorial department.

    Demosthenes (fdbac3)

  83. Truth

    For all those saying it’s wrong for the West to supply Ukraine with heavy arms, let me remind you these simple words:
    If Russia stops fighting, there’ll be no more war. If Ukraine stops fighting, there’ll be no more Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  84. “This is why abortion is always, and everywhere an evil, regardless of belief, because its intent is to end the life of a human being”

    Still if it’s always an evil, then why not jail the woman? It seems to tacitly admit that something here is materially different. I can’t think of many examples involving murder or manslaughter where we say, in effect, “you’ve suffered enough, no penalty”. Yes, part of it is the price of getting consensus to make the public practice illegal, but another part is that we recognize that taking a pregnancy to term is hugely intimate, and has social, psychological, and economic costs….that are disproportionately imposed on the woman…often a single woman…and sometimes a woman ill prepared to accept those costs.

    It would also seem questionable why exceptions should be granted for rape or incest if the act itself is always evil. Why should one evil demand a second? Now I may not share this conclusion, but the argument is that in the first trimester, a pregnant woman can have a miscarriage….so a pregnancy may not result in a live person and that this then grays the practice a bit, especially with the psychological needs of the woman in play. Yes, it can be a tremendously selfish decision….and in other cases maybe it’s more of a gut-wrenching call. Many people….some who share your opinion about the act’s evilness….just have doubts about making such an intimate and consequential decision…..for women who want to control their life’s trajectory. It’s going to continue to divide us which makes laws a tough way to resolve it. Hearts must be changed.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  85. Here’s to a nuclear Ireland. Germany and their illiberal eco wing should take note.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  86. For all those saying it’s wrong for the West to supply Ukraine with heavy arms, let me remind you these simple words: If Russia stops fighting, there’ll be no more war. If Ukraine stops fighting, there’ll be no more Ukraine.

    Simple indeed. But truth? Bull.

    “The first casualty of war is Truth.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  87. I read an article that said in the east part of Germany, Saxony in particular, the people are 50-50 Russia-Ukraine.
    I wonder where Angela Merkel would poll

    steveg (e81d76)

  88. Truth:

    Pentagon to meet with military contractors to discuss ongoing aid to Ukraine

    The Pentagon is convening eight of the top U.S. military contractors to discuss the assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

    Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks announced the meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, during a Tuesday event with the Defense Writers Group, according to New York Times. Representatives from Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Corporation will be at the meeting, the outlet noted, though it’s unclear who else will be present. The United States has provided $1.7 billion in military aid since the start of the invasion and $2.4 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration. The most recent package was announced last week, and it was for $100 million for the use of Javelin anti-armor systems.

    This military assistance has come in more than 1,400 Singer anti-aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti-aircraft systems, and 7,000 other anti-armor systems, according to a new fact-sheet from the administration. Hicks did not specify what weapons the Pentagon wants these companies to provide to Ukraine. – source, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/pentagon-to-meet-with-military-contractors-to-discuss-ongoing-aid-to-ukraine msclkid=f850d229bb5111eca8074be246dd68e0

    Madness.

    This is why European nations have modern infrastructures with efficient transit systems, national healthcare systems and can take all of August off for vacations— they sucker the U.S. carry the bulk of the cost burden- and it is a 20th century mind set that has to end.

    America has bailed out Europe with blood and treasure three times in 100 years or so through two hot land wars and one cold war. This one is not America’s war to meddle in. NATO commitments aside, it is a European problem to manage. Start w/France. Airbus produces some fine military helicopters; check out the list of French weaponry: let Putin pal Macron of France send Les Freebees:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equipment_of_the_French_Army?msclkid=5d8f6e40bb5411ecbeb448e3f988112

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  89. Truth: Just peruse all the conflicts raging in the 21st century- most of which are not being looped 24/7 on your gadgets.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars:_2003%E2%80%93present

    No less tragic than Ukraine. But the debt and deficit burdened, post-Cold War 21st century United States is not the world’s policeman; never has been. And ‘policing’ anything by America costs treasure and blood when serving U.S. interests. So who in America is going to pay for all these goodies “give” to Ukraine? Borrow more $ from China?? Where are the inflation battling, ‘Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds’ from Ol’Joe? They can raise billions of dollars to finance the ‘help.’ Hit it, Bugs:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TUPUbvO0eU

    War Bonds

    The last time the United States issued war bonds was during World War II, when full employment collided with rationing, and war bonds were seen as a way to remove money from circulation as well as reduce inflation.

    https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1682.html

    ‘During WWII the United States issued war bonds that were labeled Defense Bonds. They were later relabeled war bonds, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The war bonds sold in the US helped the government raise about $185 billion. Bonds were bought by over 84 million Americans. There was a nationwide effort to advertise the bonds, ranging from sports events to radio show promotions. The purchase of the bonds was largely linked to patriotism and to people’s feeling of “doing their part” in the war. Let’s say you have a $500 Series E bond from May 1941. Using the calculator, that bond would be worth $1,811.80 today (January 2021), having earned $1,436.80 in interest.

    Modern-Day War Bonds

    One of the mechanisms that governments use nowadays to finance increases in military spending is printing more money. The caveat of printing more money is that this increase in the money supply leads to inflationary pressure. To mitigate the effects of inflation, the government issues bonds, which then reduces the money supply and reduces inflationary pressure. This improves the speed that the government has capital readily available for military spending.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars:_2003%E2%80%93present

    Poop or get off the pot, Joe. But stop “giving” stuff away to other nations while American citizens and cities struggle. The Bankers Creed holds: “Pay Yourself First.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  90. DCSCA,

    billions spent in the Ukraine prevent Trillions later. Also the sinking of the Slava with its latest chinese anti missile defenses just invalidated the entire Chinese navy. that 1980 era missiles can sink their entire fleet.

    Thats worth billions in itself

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  91. @AJ@75 (warning for discussion of inside baseball education politics)

    California has school choice within the public and public charter system. (with some limitations based on absenteeism, educational progress, and behavior) The student’s money from the state travels with them.

    How do parents know which schools are ones they want to choose? There’s a rating system basically made up of state standardized test score, graduation rates, and rates of students who attend 4 yr colleges after graduation.

    How do you improve your rating?

    Well, you can improve your test scores, which is either complicated or expensive. The most expensive and most effective way is to reduce your class sizes, provide small intervention classes to help struggling students. To do this you have to offer more sections of classes and so you have to hire more teachers and maybe even have bigger facilities. Very expensive.

    The second is to teach the test information better at your current class size in your current facility. This means one of two things, either you acquire all truly excellent teachers who teach quickly, thoroughly, and inventively or you teach the test. We don’t currently have enough teachers to fill open positions in most places in the country. Anyone who ever thought about getting a teaching degree is getting offers from multiple districts. Schools are full of teachers on temporary credentials and intern credentials or even long-term substitutes. We are all very limited in the amount of pickiness we can afford. Teaching the test is more realistic, but functionally means you are graduation less well rounded and less able students and most reasonably decent teachers would prefer not to do that.

    So, if you are only really going to make incremental movement in your test score, you might look at the other pieces of the puzzle. What about increasing graduation rates? This is very difficult. Kids from families that value education don’t generally drop out and generally pass enough classes to graduate. Even in families that don’t value education, most kids manage to eek their way through. So the kids you are working on are kids mostly from families who don’t care about education, who have some other block to keep them from getting to school as well. Maybe they have a drug or alcohol problem, maybe they are single teenage moms, maybe they need money so badly that they took two jobs the moment they turned 18 and aren’t awake to do school when they aren’t working. Most districts have already spent time putting money into alternative education programs to try to get these kids through and have had these programs mostly in place since the 80s/90s (with some variation due to technology developments in the last 20 years.) so you aren’t going to get many marginal gains there because the schools were already supporting those kids.

    So you are left with improving 4 year college attendance rates. This is relatively cheap AND easy. All you have to do is make everyone on the graduation track meet all their A-G college admittance requirements in order to graduate, remove your expensive and small sized career and technical education classes (lower equipment costs, lower insurance costs, fewer teachers so lower staffing costs), have every senior homeroom class simultaneously fill out their state college/university applications en-masse and later get everyone to fill out their FAFSA forms (financial aid) forms together and even later have them fill out their acceptance responses and dorm paperwork together. (and not spend too much time mentioning your local community college). This is why all the CTE courses disappeared in the mid 2000s. However, the result of this is that graduation rates actually went down slightly, making this a two steps forward, one step back proposition for schools, which is why you have seen CTE classes returning over the last 5 or so years (not that there are any teachers who can teach them anymore).

    I assume similar issues take place in other states as well, so that is one reason a larger percentage of students are getting very expensive degrees.

    Another is that parents and students want their kids to get “the full college experience”, so they want them to attend a regular 4 year college instead of halving their costs by attending community college before (or instead of) a 4 year.

    In fact there are community colleges in CA that offer full 4 year degrees in certain fields, which means a student may only be paying 20% of the cost of someone attending a state 4 year. Does anyone hear about those? No. They don’t count as part of a school quality score. Schools don’t push job-corps for the same reason. If a student discovers and wants to talk about any of these options, the educators themselves are more than happy to talk about them, but there is no institutional incentive to project that information. And for parents, a traditional 4 year college seems “safer” as well.

    Beyond that, obviously, is that businesses often use having a 4 year degrees as a gatekeeper for positions and promotions, even if those positions and/or promotions don’t require a degree, so for those people a degree in underwater basketweaving bought for tens of thousands of dollars from a diploma-mill is as good as a physics degree from MIT.

    Nic (896fdf)

  92. @90. Bull. Ike warned of this shell game. Billions snookered out of the Treasury by the MIC and their intel buddies fearing an overrated Russian military that appears to operate more like F-Troop than Hitler’ blitzkriegers– in Russia’s own neighborhood no less. We’ve seen how easily modern warships can be sunk- revisit the Falklands War back in ’82. Six British ships were sunk during the Falklands War that was fought between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands Islands. And a British submarine sank the ARA General Belgrano, a massive but aging destroyer nearly as big as the Moskva. N ot long after, an Argentine aircraft fired an Exocet missile at the HMS Sheffield, crippling the destroyer. Abandoned, it sank less than a week later while being towed. If anything, the U.S. military budget should be cut 15%. A nation that spends $15 billion-plus for an aircraft carrier that can be sunk by $2 million Exocet missiles is wholly out of whack. During WW2, acquiring weapon systems- aircraft, ships, etc., were designed and costed out to be affordable losses. What we have in place today is just nuts and unaffordable.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  93. Congrats to those who wanted the invasion on our southern border. It’s going fantastically for you. Another record for Biden.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  94. @njrob@93 The “invasion” has been going on across our southern boarder at similar numbers since the early/mid 70s. They come here because big business employs them. Have you considered reducing the supply of jobs available to them or is your solution to continue to try to catch sand with a sieve? Because the catching the grains of sand solution hasn’t seemed to work out, especially after the grains of sand have already entered legally.

    Nic (896fdf)

  95. A flourishing nation builds navies, a declining nation builds walls. I’m happy that we still build navies, and our “walls” are cheap, shoddy, rows of cheap, shoddy, Chinese, hollow fence posts put up by a huckster to fool the credulous.

    nk (1d9030)

  96. Simple indeed. But truth? Bull.

    Yes, truth. Putin can end this with a phone call.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  97. Nic, Biden has encouraged the invasion and it’s clear you want to make excuses for him. It’s an invasion. Show some concern for your fellow citizens unless borders only matter when they’re far away.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  98. Nk,

    is that another cheap backhand at Israel?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  99. Those who want to reduce illegal immigration will support making E-Verify universal.

    Research shows that E-Verify harms the labor market outcomes of illegal immigrants and improves the labor market outcomes of Mexican legal immigrants and U.S.-born Hispanics, but has no impact on labor market outcomes for non-Hispanic white Americans.[6] A 2016 study suggests that E-Verify reduces the number of illegal immigrants in states that have mandated use of E-Verify for all employers, and further notes that the program may deter illegal immigration to the United States in general.

    A program in Norway requiring immigrants to have official permission to work . . . resulted in many self-deporting.

    Everyone should know this, but many don’t: A wall does nothing to block illegal immigration by those who overstay their legal visas.

    And we should recognize that our immense appetite for illegal drugs is the reason that law and order has broken down in much of Mexico and Central America, driving people to leave their homes and flee to a safer country.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  100. is that another cheap backhand at Israel?

    No. It was a contrast between the Athens of Themistocles and the Constantinople of Constantine XI Palailogos the last Roman emperor. With a cheap backhand at Trump’s cheap “wall” on our Southern border.

    Why would you even think I meant Israel?

    nk (1d9030)

  101. #94 Nic – There was a fascinating graph in the New York Times some years ago. (I’ll see if I can dig it up by next weekend.) Briefly, it showed that illegal immigration had been cut sharply while George W. Bush was president, had risen slightly during Obama’s 8 years, and then had not changed much while Trump was president.

    (I think if Bush had been able to pass his compromise immigration package, illegal immigration would have fallen even further. But it was blocked by a coalition of extremes against the middle, with the “Freedom” Caucus holding hands with the far left.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  102. But since you bought it up, I think all the aid we’re giving to Ukraine should come out of the $3.8 billion we give to Israel and the $1.3 billion we give to India. Let them go ask their buddy Putin for it.

    nk (1d9030)

  103. Leave aside the host whose voice is on the high-pitched side, who wore bow ties and probably has a flabby rack, my questions are these: (1) who is he the person to talk about masculinity and (2) what is that device shining the glowy light on the guy’s nards?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  104. Remember when a certain commenter was telling us how competent Putin was? That competence claim doesn’t seem compatible with Putin’s failure on COVID, and now the incompetence shown by his army in their invasion of Ukraine.

    (Don’t hold your breath waiting for a confession of error, though.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  105. I won’t mention any particular commenters, in fact I’ll state explicitly “present company excepted”, but what I sense about Putin’s apologists across this fair land of ours is jealousy. That’s right! Jealousy. Of Zelensky. Because Putin got caught with his pants down. And they wanted to be the ones to catch him. In a private suite at a Sybaris hotel.

    (And I also blame Paul’s #103 for the direction this comment took.)

    nk (1d9030)

  106. And it’s too horrible to be funny. It’s not The Three Stooges starting a pie fight at a fancy dinner party. It’s a murderous attack by barbarians on Western civilization.

    nk (1d9030)

  107. @NJRob Not everything is dependent on who you or I support politically. The method you want to use to reduce immigration is very expensive, probably not legal, and doesn’t work. Reducing the jobs available to them would because the reason they come here is for jobs. Building a wall is security theater, I want something that works.

    Nic (896fdf)

  108. https://www.dailywire.com/news/a-professor-was-punished-for-refusing-to-use-preferred-pronouns-he-sued-and-just-settled-for-400k

    It’s insane that it’s come to this. Good for the professor for speaking the truth.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  109. Nic,

    what are my methods? Thanks in advance for explaining them to me.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  110. More sads for DC.
    Item 1:

    India Today reports that India has withdrawn the tender to purchase 48 Russian Mi-17V5 helicopters from the Kazan Helicopter Plant, and will instead focus on an indigenous program.

    Item 2:

    This is a total of 17 stars (total experience of general and flag officers) killed in five weeks.

    If this happened in the U.S. or NATO militaries, we would consider it a catastrophe. A monument to the unbelievably bad training and corrupt leadership of the Russian armed forces.

    Frolov was killed in Donbas with few extra details. Frolov was part of the 8th army of Russia’s Southern Military District, the same unit as Lieutenant General Andrei Mordichev, who died in Kherson last month

    Item 3:

    As of today # russian/ Belarusian trucks and logistic companies can no longer stay or operate in the #EU. Photo from yesterday: lines of #Russia trucks in #Poland as they tried to leave the country before sanctions kick in

    Item 4:

    Russia’s Uralvogonzavod shuts down production. It will no longer be able to assemble any of T-72 tank (main RU tank) or newer T-90 & T-14 tanks (Armata). Reason: lack of imported components. It means more saved UA lives, is direct result of Western sanctions which should continue

    Slava Ukraina!

    One other thought. Back in the early Clinton era, the US had a Peace Dividend which we used for domestic spending and cutting the deficit. This time around, we have Biden’s Surrender Dividend, meaning that we’re not spending $14 billion on Afghan operations anymore, so a portion can be used to send Ukraine the military aid they need.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  111. @NjRob@110 You were/are(?) a wall supporter.

    Nic (896fdf)

  112. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 4/16/2022 @ 4:30 pm

    Still if it’s always an evil, then why not jail the woman?

    Why would you suggest that?

    It seems to tacitly admit that something here is materially different.

    Yes, that this man is made of straw.

    I can’t think of many examples involving murder or manslaughter where we say, in effect, “you’ve suffered enough, no penalty”.

    One will do. Then it would be good to list the particular details of this crime, exactly who has suffered, how “enough” has been determined, by whom, and by what authority a penalty is abrogated according to a just system of laws.

    [emphasis in the quote is mine]

    Yes, part of it is the price of getting consensus to make the public practice illegal,

    Consensus is a rejection of objective truth in favor of subjective desires. That said, what do you mean by “part of it?” You have yet to state an object that you can now refer to as “it.” To my ears, this sounds like the beginning of an ambiguity in thought.

    but another part is that we recognize that taking a pregnancy to term is hugely intimate

    This phrase seeks to stretch my sense of ambiguity far beyond any credence than I can accorded to it by the fact that it is a simple truism.

    and has social, psychological, and economic costs

    Followed by another truism, that, for me, only raises the question of “costs to whom?”

    that are disproportionately imposed on the woman…

    Using “imposed” and “disproportionately” to attach weight to an understandable concern about biology being a burden, seems too much. To characterize the fact that 100% of women and 0% of men may gestate a human being as imposed, disproportionately, at a cost, is mistaken, when it is just evolution.

    often a single woman…and sometimes a woman ill prepared to accept those costs.

    Is that sad violin music I hear? If so, then that is on me! If only emotions were a substitute for an argument. This quaint and common narrative might persuade one given to guilt unearned, but I think today’s women would not appreciate the patriarchal undertone it evokes.

    It would also seem questionable why exceptions should be granted for rape or incest if the act itself is always evil.

    Indeed! A human being conceived by rape has done nothing to deserve a death sentence. Why should an abortion be permitted to end that life?

    Why should one evil demand a second?

    To what two evils do you refer? I can see rape as an evil and then an abortion following conception as evil. But I do not see abortion as a demand. On the contrary, the proper reaction to a rape is apprehension of the rapist with a swift and just trial. The proper reaction to pregnancy is mercy for the innocent human being thus conceived. Not a sentence of death.

    Now I may not share this conclusion, but the argument is that in the first trimester, a pregnant woman can have a miscarriage….so a pregnancy may not result in a live person and that this then grays the practice a bit, especially with the psychological needs of the woman in play.

    What practice, exactly, is grayed? The “matter” of pregnancy, or the practice of abortion? Why conflate a miscarriage, something that is unplanned, with the practice of abortion which is definitely planned? A need in play? When an innocent life is at stake? Playing with a life? Why would a psychological need result in the termination of the life of another human being. I can see the mother having the choice to risk her life for her child, but who has the right to chose to end the life of an innocent human being? Only if I possessed – or were possessed by – a disfigured and unrecognizable sense of justice would I ever entertain the idea that the mother has that right.

    Yes, it can be a tremendously selfish decision….and in other cases maybe it’s more of a gut-wrenching call. Many people….some who share your opinion about the act’s evilness….just have doubts about making such an intimate and consequential decision…..for women who want to control their life’s trajectory. It’s going to continue to divide us which makes laws a tough way to resolve it. Hearts must be changed.

    It is not my opinion. It is an innocent human being whose life is purposely ended; it is properly called murder.

    “women who want to control their life’s trajectory.” What a horrible way to describe abortion as a benefit.

    “Hearts must be changed.”

    I completely, and wholeheartedly agree with you.

    I appreciate the time and care with which you composed your comment. I wanted to take as much care in my response.

    felipe (484255)

  113. EPWJ (0fbe92) — 4/16/2022 @ 5:42 pm

    I think EPWJ is correct. We either pay now, or we pay later.

    felipe (484255)

  114. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/16/2022 @ 5:57 pm

    What you say is true, but the way things are going, and please forgive my crude analogy here:

    There’s a mess of a vehicle that had been badly damaged and we as bystanders debate whether taking it to a certain mechanic will result in a tragically large bill, or not. We cannot rely on our own history of dealing with mechanics – this vehicle could be unique with unique requirements, stakeholders with their own history, and compelling needs.

    I don’t mind putting in my oar, but I have no illusions about giving advice, much less possessing a better plan

    felipe (484255)

  115. @114/@115. Nah. The best plan is to force Europe to stand on its own.

    Spooking Americans is classic 20th century saber-rattling BS and Ike called this for what it is. America has paid three times in 100 years for European squabbling with blood and treasure; WW1; WW2- and the Cold War. Enough of this scam; when the quality of life in Dusseldorf is better than Detroit, it’s time to wake up and start following the banker’s creed: “pay yourself first.’ If it’s so damned important- have Joe issue war bonds. Let Macron’s France “give” Les Freebees. Airbus makes some fine military equipment.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  116. @104. He’s competent enough to have Europe by the short-and-curlies when it comes to energy dependence and has the U.S. wasting more $ on ‘giving’ free arms as both sides turn the citiesd of Ukraine into rubble. Ukrainians are fighting a defensive conflict; they ain’t invading and taking territory from Mother Russia, are they. He’s competent enough to wage a war and not to try to shake hands with invisible people on a stage, Jim. That should terrify you.

    Never underestimate your opponent. Ask a Syrian. He can attack Biden’s ‘Joe Chi Minh Trail;’ finance waves of illegals to flow across America’s southern border and plan to plant offensive missiles in Central and South America w/his allies. A Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 is possible… Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua — all long-standing allies of Russia — have voiced support for the Russian leader. Corner a rat and you’ll get bitten.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  117. To paraphrase the late Bircher (and bigamist) California representative John Schmitz

    He was never a bigamist, and he wasn’t a Bircher then either. He had been kicked out of the Birch Society for “extremism.”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  118. But based on evidence, was this a reasonable claim?

    I did not say it was. Belief is not always rational. Look at the evidence on socialism.

    But stop and consider: If, on Jan 6th, you firmly believed that the election was as crooked as Trump was saying, wouldn’t making a stink seem reasonable?

    Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you cast them into the outer darkness.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  119. @96. A phone call to cut off energy flows to Europe end it… it’s not simple at all. He’ll end it when he can claim victory for Russia, Paul. China is watching. North Korea is watching… if he craters like Biden did in Afghanistan– or Khrushchev did after Cuba, the impotence of the so called ‘superpower’ is punctured and he’s toast. He’s all in. He will never quit without some kind of ‘win’ -even if he reduces what he wins to rubble. You know- the ‘Nixon Strategy’… “Peace With Honor.” 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  120. So, my true and sincere belief that I am doing good excuses any amount of evil that I do?

    Breaching the capitol was many things, but “evil?” You have a low bar for evil and apparently a very unforgiving mind.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  121. Rip Murdock (cbadfd) — 4/16/2022 @ 2:16 pm

    I told you that Mamet would be cancelled. Speak out against the anti-free-speech thugs and your speech is throttled. Twitter will block him next.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  122. I’m no fan of loan forgiveness because we can’t afford it and, more importantly, it removes the responsibility from the parents and students for making poor decisions

    You miss an important player here, one who is probably the big winner: The colleges and college programs that benefit from the cheap credit. There would be far fewer fine art departments in major colleges without student loans, and damn few ethnic studies programs (although some of them would persist, raking guilt subsidies out of the engineering school).

    I think that student loans should be dischargeable in BK (maybe after half is paid back), and the loss should be shared by the school that allowed this person top matriculate with such an unwieldy burden.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  123. Alleluia! He is risen! A Very Happy Easter to all.

    Kevin, may I suggest something, in the spirit of charity?

    Breaching the capitol was many things, but “evil?” You have This is a low bar for evil and apparently a very unforgiving mind intolerant attitude.
    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/16/2022 @ 11:27 pm

    Just a friendly suggestion.

    felipe (484255)

  124. “Spooking Americans is classic 20th century saber-rattling BS and Ike called this for what it is. America has paid three times in 100 years for European squabbling with blood and treasure”

    Wait, the lessons of WW1 and WW2 were that we must let Europeans handle it?! Wasn’t that precisely what led to two world wars….sitting on the sidelines, using the great oceans as a buffer while watching fascism swallow up country after country? No, the true lesson was to confront aggression early, be vigilant, draw clear lines, and lead from the front, pulling our allies along and stiffening their spines.

    DCCCP regularly deploys the banker maxim, “pay yourself first”. Well, isn’t that precisely what military spending is about, the bulk of which is salaries, benefits, and training going to an all-volunteer military. The remaining ~$200B is going to U.S. defense contractors….read U.S. citizens doing the engineering, science, assembly, and management….performing the research, prototyping, and development of the high-tech systems that make military ambitions of our geopolitical competitors more expensive and difficult. Is it a command sub-economy? Yes, and we should always be mindful of the tension between under-spending and over-spending and hire political over-seers who are serious, smart, and thoughtful people….not reality TV hucksters and their attendant fluffers.

    Are there great risks and inefficiencies in this process? Certainly. Look at the F-35 and DDG-1000 over-runs and the latter’s over-aggressive reliance on technologies that were not quite there yet and a changing world where its mission disappeared. But building submarines, fighters, and tanks is a specialized domain. You scale it too far back and you lose capability that you end up spending much more to re-establish it. A NASA-phile should appreciate this and should understand that R&D promotes dual-use technology that germinates across our economy. I would also like to reject the notion that our military systems are hostage to Chinese technology. That assertion is ignorant rubbish.

    The notion…that Trump asserted…that our military leaders and political over-seers want war to feed the insatiable appetites of defense contractors is hyperbole at its worst. Yes, there are most certainly congress critters that bring home the bacon for their local Raytheon or Lockheed facility, greenlighting projects that are too risky or too ill-conceived. We should force some individuals to recuse themselves from such decisions. The military also wants to be the biggest and the baddest to discourage any opposition and for it to never be a fair fight. That helps with recruitment and retention. But to assert that these individuals want us in fights that are not in our national interest is scurilous and ignorant. Rejecting Russian expansionism is in our national interest. Providing stability to Europe in the face of Russian expansionism is in our national interest. Showing leadership on those questions…with China and North Korea watching…is unquestionably in our national interest. Failing to lead to gain political advantage is NOT in our national interest.

    This is less to engage DCCCP, as he will just repeat his talking points…war bonds, etc….but is just to provide some site pushback and offer some opposing views. DCCCP wants the U.S. to adopt Democratic Socialism like Germany….and AOC. I do not. Germany is a great place to visit…and I love her people….but I don’t want to trade freedom for the allusion of security. But that’s another post….

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  125. He’ll end it when he can claim victory for Russia, Paul. China is watching.

    They are watching, which is exactly why Ukraine should get what they’re asking. Your tacit support of Putin’s illegal, unjust and unprovoked invasion (and for our disengagement from NATO, which is also a pro-Putin position) continues to be noted. I really don’t know why you’re being so un-American and unpatriotic.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  126. Just a friendly suggestion.

    Yes, maybe. I just dislike the debasement of words like “evil.” Putin is evil. Trump might be evil (I’ll say bloody-minded for now). A few of the crazier people on 1/6 might have been evil, but most of it was unpremeditated and much of it was non-violent. Painting them all with the same brush as the guy who tried to impale a cop is unfair.

    Refusing to consider their understanding to measure their actions, and instead just calling it crazy, may let one takes sides easier, but it misses the meaning of the thing. Like Trump’s 2016 insurgency, a fuller understanding is better than just picking a tribe.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  127. Wait, the lessons of WW1 and WW2 were that we must let Europeans handle it?! Wasn’t that precisely what led to two world wars….sitting on the sidelines, using the great oceans as a buffer while watching fascism swallow up country after country?

    Ha! Thank you for another good chuckle, as I nod in agreement.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/17/2022 @ 8:13 am

    I agree with you and hold a similar position about the events.

    felipe (484255)

  128. #103

    The only thing missing from that video was It’s Raining Men” as performed by the London Gay Mens Chorus:
    https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/1093042

    steveg (e81d76)

  129. Rip Murdock (cbadfd) — 4/16/2022 @ 2:16 pm

    I told you that Mamet would be cancelled. Speak out against the anti-free-speech thugs and your speech is throttled. Twitter will block him next.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/16/2022 @ 11:32 pm

    Mamet hasn’t been canceled. There currently is a revival of American Buffalo on Broadway starring Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne to great acclaim.

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  130. @126. ‘Wait, the lessons of WW1 and WW2 were that we must let Europeans handle it?!’

    Yes. And the permanent residents of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery- the largest American military cemetery in Europe- and the Normandy American Cemetery would agree.

    ‘…regularly deploys the banker maxim, “pay yourself first”. Well, isn’t that precisely what military spending is about.’

    No, it’s not– particularly if you’re ‘giving it away’ to Ukraine and putting it on the credit card financed by borrowed money from China. ‘The United States spends more money on the military than any other country in the world. The country’s large budget goes to purchasing arms, to paying salaries to personnel, and to other military expenses… [and] the United States will still likely account for a larger share of global military spending than any other country for many years to come.’ – worldatlas.com It also pays for billions of dollars worth of weapons abandoned to the Afghan Taliban. France’s Airbus makes some swell military equipment– let Macron burden the French taxpayers with the costs of ‘Les Freebees’ – especially as the Froggies are a lot closer to the problem and amidst the Russian energy dependency zone Europe put itself in. It’s their problem.

    ‘The notion…that Trump asserted…that our military leaders and political over-seers want war to feed the insatiable appetites of defense contractors is hyperbole at its worst.’

    Except it’s not. See #88. Hardly hyperbole.

    And BTW, it was a ‘notion’ President Eisenhower – an ex-general who’d know- not President Trump– who warned about it: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/president-dwight-d-eisenhowers-farewell-address?msclkid=7d9dec9cbe7111ecbb273a796ae8e795

    ‘I Like Ike’… Apparently you don’t.

    “I would also like to reject the notion that our military systems are hostage to Chinese technology. That assertion is ignorant rubbish.”

    Except it’s not: See #57; The U.S. Military’s Greatest Weakness? China ‘Builds’ a Huge Chunk of It… not that the Pentagon/MIC/intel crowd would want hype this policy; bad PR… and very bad for business. And lest you conveniently forget, this is the same crowd that abandoned billions in equipment just six months ago to an enemy and now wants billions more w/a budget bump for more toys. Keep milking that cash cow.

    ‘….but I don’t want to trade freedom for the allusion of security.’

    LOLOLOLOLOL Security??? Been to America’s southern border lately? Wake up and smell the imported Columbian coffee, kid.
    ______

    Happy Easter to all.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  131. Voter fraud:

    Mark Meadows removed from NC voter roll amid election fraud investigation
    ……..
    “What I found was that he was also registered in the state of Virginia. And he voted in a 2021 election. The last election he voted in Macon County was in 2020,” (said Macon County Board of Elections Director Melanie Thibault).

    The state law under which he was removed was General Statute 163-57, which says, “if a person goes into another state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district, or into the District of Columbia, and while there exercises the right of a citizen by voting in an election, that person shall be considered to have lost residence in that State, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district from which that person removed.”
    ………
    Thibault said Virginia records show that when Meadows registered in that state he did not include information about his Macon County registration. Because of that, Virginia election officials did not notify N.C. officials about the double registration, she said.

    It is a normal practice to remove voters such a way, Thibault said.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  132. Yes. And the permanent residents of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery- the largest American military cemetery in Europe- and the Normandy American Cemetery would agree.

    DCSCA speaks for the heroes who saved the world. He said they would say they shouldn’t have done what defined their lives. DCSCA knows a lot about military heroism because he’s a prolific troll on the internet, which is basically the same thing.

    Dustin (75d8ff)

  133. I won’t mention any particular commenters, in fact I’ll state explicitly “present company excepted”, but what I sense about Putin’s apologists across this fair land of ours is jealousy. That’s right! Jealousy. Of Zelensky. Because Putin got caught with his pants down. And they wanted to be the ones to catch him. In a private suite at a Sybaris hotel.

    (And I also blame Paul’s #103 for the direction this comment took.)

    nk (1d9030) — 4/16/2022 @ 8:00 pm

    Indeed, riding horses with no shirt, or Trump’s weirdo groupie photos in golf attire do not compare to Zelensky holding the fort against a brutal invader.

    I don’t even like Zelensky and I find his behavior through most of the invasion to be heroic.

    Dustin (75d8ff)

  134. I think the story about Snake Island F and U set the tone of defiance. Zelensky and the military prepared well and were determined to fight.
    The Ukrainians made themselves easy to support and Putin is an easy person to detest, Russian military is as well (at the start of the war I saw some professionalism from the Russians, but then the riff-raff got on scene and it turned into an episode of Russian Dashcams).

    I’ve seen Zelensky interviewed, speaking a lot. Most recently I saw him with Jake Tapper.
    There is something about him that makes me wary, sort of a note to self to go back to being skeptical ASAP

    steveg (e81d76)

  135. Agree, SteveG. Both about the dashcam joke (LOL) and the concern that Zelensky should be regarded with a little caution.

    Regardless, Russia’s the bad guy and I hope they work out a different government soon.

    Dustin (75d8ff)

  136. @134. Pfft. Lest you forget, Dustin: Uncle Sam peddled WAR BONDS; treasure to accompany the blood spent. Bought any U.S. issued ‘Ukrainian Freedom Fighter Ward Bonds’ from invisible man hand shaker Uncle Joe yet? Nope. Sober up, kid; the only ‘trolling’ going on is by the entrenched, 20th century mindsetters well into the 21st century addicted to out-of-date policies for power and profit: ‘fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us; three times, we’re damned fools.’ Name calling only reveals you have no argument to defend the indefensible.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  137. Sir, this is a wendy’s

    Dustin (75d8ff)

  138. Protestors stop oil truck in global warming protest. Reporter explains this to driver. His response?
    Yeah, but thats cooking oil

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1515304343121108994

    steveg (e81d76)

  139. Regarding Snake Island:

    “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  140. What Do We Do if Putin Uses Chemical Weapons?
    ………
    ……… (In 2013, following a warning from President Obama in 2012), reports emerged that al-Assad had begun using chemical weapons, culminating in a sarin gas attack in a suburb of Damascus. Obama hesitated, fearing a wider war. The British Parliament voted against taking military action in Syria. Congressional Republicans switched overnight from hawkish interventionists to skeptical isolationists. Vladimir Putin intervened with a face-saving offer to get al-Assad to voluntarily divest himself of his chemical arsenal.

    The Obama administration crowed that it had achieved the best possible result. But it later came to light that al-Assad had not given up his full arsenal, and he continued to use chlorine gas against his adversaries without consequence. Putin consolidated his alliance with al-Assad, eventually leading to the introduction of Russian forces in Syria in 2015.
    ………
    This is not a scenario the Biden team can afford to repeat. What should the administration do?

    Make only promises it intends to keep.
    …….

    The U.S. response should be asymmetric.
    ……..

    Bring maximum diplomatic pressure to bear on Germany and other European states to end oil and gas imports from Russia.
    …….

    Tear apart Russia’s supply chains.
    …….

    Arm Ukraine with offensive weapons.
    ……..

    Target Belarus.
    ……..

    Expect the worst.
    ………

    Plan for a long war.
    ……….
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  141. I’ll add my own wish-casting that Russia’s “nukes” (to use Putin’s words although he had a different homonym with a different spelling in mind) are far from the best in the world, just like its conventional forces, and Putin knows that if he actually shows his hand by using one, the world will go on without Russia.

    nk (1d9030) — 4/15/2022 @ 7:56 pm

    Tom Nichols, who has some expertise in the area, recently did a Twitter thread refuting the speculation that negative inferences about the efficacy, modernity and/or safety of Russia’s nuclear arsenal can be drawn from the shocking underperformance of its conventional forces in Ukraine. According to Nichols, Russia’s nukes are no-expense-spared modern, well-maintained and professionally manned. He didn’t say they were the best in the world — I’d be surprised if he believes they are — but he was clear that Russia’s retrograde, hollowed-out-by-corruption conventional forces bear no similarity to its nuclear forces.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  142. AJ_Liberty @126

    Now that is a great comment. Standing ovation from me.

    norcal (68b459)

  143. ‘What Do We Do if Putin Uses Chemical Weapons?’

    “We???”

    NATO chief: Use of chemical weapons by Russia would violate international law

    https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/598939-nato-chief-use-of-chemical-weapons-by-russia-violates-international-law/?msclkid=5556fb47bea611ecb73af48e59854d7c

    Enough of the ‘we’ stuff. America is not the world’s policeman and in the 21st century, can no longer afford to selectively play at it w/borrowed Chinese financing as if it was the lone colossus strutting the world stage circa 1950. Post WW2/Cold War American influence on global events is waning; as embodied by America’s pitifully weak, dementia riddled POTUS- whose watch was launched this conflict. Ukraine is not a U.S. territory. And as such, Ukranian security is not the responsibility of the United States of America. Ukraine is a sovereign nation; a member of the UN. They do not pay U.S. taxes and do not geographically border the U.S. proper. But as a non-NATO member bordering NATO member states as it does, the security of the defensive alliance does trigger due concern; certainly w/t EU-Russian energy- dependent countries. But it is their problem. The place to prattle on over CWs is the courts in the The Hague and the United Nations. But ‘WE’ isn’t spelled USA.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  144. @145. Pffft. Standing ‘O’ stands zero, norcal: bought any ‘Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds’ issued by Joe Biden today to pay for the war play?

    Nope.

    =mike-drop=

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  145. I don’t even like Zelensky and I find his behavior through most of the invasion to be heroic.

    The man rose to the occasion. It’s one of those things you never know will happen, until it does. Not even when it’s you, yourself.

    Trump is jealous because he did not. Could not. Didn’t even try.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  146. ‘What Do We Do if Putin Uses Chemical Weapons?’

    “We” have long held that weapons of mass destruction are fungible. We may not respond in kind (and indeed, since we have abandoned them, we would have to). In Gulf War I, James Baker went to Baghdad to explain this to Saddam. Use chemical weapons, we use nukes.

    Considerations in Ukraine would be different, of course, but what would NOT be different is this: whatever we did would be viewed as “second use.”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  147. I would also like to reject the notion that our military systems are hostage to Chinese technology. That assertion is ignorant rubbish.

    As much as the can be made so, there isn’t a gram of Chinese technology in them. That we embargo certain technologies from China itself (e.g. EUV lithography) should make it clear that we have stuff they don’t. Still.

    Our basic problem is that we have inertia. We have dead weight that is more interested in selling what they’ve got, that making something new. But when push comes to shove, this always changes. They railroaded Billy Mitchell for promoting air power and saying that battleships were junk, but in January 1942 no one was disputing that much.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  148. @149.

    Hmmmmm…

    ‘Q: What warnings were sent to the Iraqis about using chemical weapons?

    Baker: The President’s [GHWB] letter to Saddam Hussein which Tariq Aziz read in Geneva, made it very clear that if Iraq used weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, against United States forces that the American people would demand vengeance and that we had the means to achieve it. I also reinforced that message in my presentation with Tariq Aziz at Geneva and we made it clear that in addition to ejecting Iraq from Kuwait, if they used those types of weapons against our forces we would in addition to throwing them out of Kuwait, we would adopt as a goal the elimination of the regime in Baghdad. And we never did that, we never expanded our war aims or our political aims to include that — we never went beyond the scope of the United Nations Security Council resolutions but we made it very clear to them that if they used weapons of mass destruction on our forces that would be one thing we would consider doing and further that we had the means to obtain vengeance.’

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gulf/oral/baker/1.html?msclkid=878c623dbeb011ec9acfb0510306ae81

    Do see decapitating the Baghdad regime mentioned; don’t see ‘nuke use’ specified by Jimmy; but do remember his war means ‘jobs’ quip. 😉

    OTOH, in an earlier conflict w/o US troops involved:

    Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/?msclkid=a3bba8f1beaf11eca816270dbaf9e3f2

    The U.S. knew Hussein was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in history — and still gave him a hand.

    ‘The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

    In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

    The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.

    U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.’

    So depends on the ox getting gored.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  149. Obama Pentagon Waived Ban on Chinese Parts in U.S. Weapons

    Even as top officials in the communist regime ruling over mainland China were spewing increasingly militaristic anti-American rhetoric — not to mention the Beijing-based dictatorship’s massive espionage operations against the United States — the Obama administration reportedly waived laws prohibiting certain Chinese-made parts on U.S. weapons systems. Experts say the apparently unprecedented move represents a major national-security risk and is part of a troubling trend.

    Among the biggest concerns expressed by critics of the waivers so far is the fact that Chinese manufacturers — much of the economy, including “business,” is owned and controlled by the barbaric regime — have developed an international reputation for providing poor quality products. Indeed, official investigations have revealed that military hardware components made in China have a tendency to fail. A recent congressional report, for example, found that there could be over a million counterfeit Chinese electronic parts on U.S. military aircraft.

    Also troubling is the prospect of the U.S. military becoming even more dependent on a potential adversary to keep its weapons systems operational. In the event of a war, the communist autocracy could, and presumably would, simply refuse to supply the needed components. With the Chinese dictatorship and its allies becoming increasingly belligerent, more than a few analysts have noted that eventual conflict is certainly a realistic prospect.

    Even more alarming to national-security advocates is the potential for spying and sabotage. The communist regime ruling mainland China has become infamous worldwide for its gargantuan intelligence-gathering apparatus. Multiple reports, meanwhile, have suggested that Chinese products are already being used to steal sensitive information. When it comes to the U.S. government’s key weapons systems, of course, the implications are enormous.

    According to official documents cited by Reuters, which first exposed the administration’s controversial issuance of the waivers, the Pentagon allowed two U.S. arms manufacturers to avoid sanctions despite legal restrictions on using Chinese components. The parts in question include important magnets used in the controversial F-35 fighter (shown) program, already under heavy fire for cost overruns, delays, being unnecessary, and more.

    The military aircraft program, run by Lockheed Martin, is expected to cost U.S. taxpayers close to half of a trillion dollars. Two of the firms supplying the F-35 program, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc., were reportedly allowed by the administration to use Chinese-made parts in the new fighter planes’ radar systems, landing gear, and other important hardware. Depending on the situation, malfunctions of components or even espionage and sabotage could prove deadly.

    According to the documents cited in news reports, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ investigative service, is probing at least three instances of Chinese-made parts being used in the F-35 program. The investigation was reportedly requested by U.S. lawmakers concerned about damage to American industry — and especially the prospect of having the U.S. military become more dependent on a potentially hostile foreign power just to produce its weapons and keep them operational.

    Experts suggested the administration’s decision was unprecedented. “It was a pretty big deal and an unusual situation because there’s a prohibition on doing defense work in China, even if it’s inadvertent,” explained Frank Kenlon, described by Reuters as a recently retired senior Pentagon procurement official who now teaches at American University. “I’d never seen this happen before.”

    Other former defense officials highlighted some of the myriad dangers of the scheme to use Chinese parts — even when U.S. companies could have reportedly supplied them. Michael Maloof, who served as a senior security-policy analyst in the office of the secretary of defense, called the news a “very serious development.” He also warned that the potential for problems was more than theoretical, with almost “all of the breakdowns” on U.S. weapons systems being attributed to components made in China.

    “Of course, the Chinese look upon the U.S. military as an adversary,” he explained. “They know that the components will inevitably get into U.S. defense products, and consequently, this gives them some kinds of capability over U.S. systems — especially if those systems are used rigorously and vigorously. There is some indication that they can actually control the use of those components within those systems.”

    That could mean bad news for U.S. troops and even, potentially, U.S. independence. “From the U.S. defense standpoint, this does not make you feel warm and fuzzy,” Maloof noted. “There have been recent Senate investigation studies in the U.S. Congress showing that Chinese components that went into military hardware were insufficient, they broke down or in some cases they could be used to spy, and actually break down a weapons system.”

    The problem, Maloof added, is systemic. “The Chinese have entire industries that do nothing but build these fraudulent components — electronic components — and they export them,” he explained. “Lockheed Martin is not paying any attention to the concerns from the U.S. Congress, and they ought to be severely reprimanded for that.” Neither is the Obama administration, apparently. The federal laws prohibiting such machinations have been on the books for some four decades.

    While the Chinese-made magnetic parts in the F-35 reportedly do not contain programmable elements, making them less risky for national security than other components from China, the waivers highlight what experts say is a deeply troubling trend. A study released last year found the U.S. military is dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers, including the communist dictatorship in Beijing, for its equipment. The United States is completely dependent on China for fuel needed to power “Hellfire” missiles, for example. The Communist Party-state is also among the top investors in key U.S. industries critical to national security, according to recent reports.

    Separately, U.S. military leaders have blamed a combination of massive Chinese espionage and U.S. government machinations for putting huge amounts of the most sensitive American defense technology into the hands of the regime in Beijing. Officials have long said that the totalitarians ruling China represent the most serious spying threat to the United States. As documented in the February 15, 1999 “Chinagate: Treason in the White House” issue of The New American, however, even former President Bill Clinton played a key role in supplying U.S. military technology to the mass-murdering communist autocracy.

    Among other top officials, former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer lambasted Clinton’s machinations. “President Clinton promised to restrain those who ordered the Tiananmen Square massacre, but he has now allowed these men whose hands are stained with the blood of martyrs of freedom into the highest reaches of our military defenses, and made available to them significant portions of our advanced military technology,” he wrote in a letter to congressional leaders at the time.

    Under Obama, the trends have continued. The latest China scandal, for example, came just months after another major controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s troubling cooperation with the ruthless Chinese tyrants. Following an outcry over unprecedented terror drills with Russian troops on U.S. soil, the administration then came under heavy fire for inviting communist Chinese troops for “exercises” with American forces in Hawaii. While the Pentagon brushed off national security concerns when contacted by The New American, the Chinese regime boasted of “weapons demonstrations” and “cooperative action.” Critics said the scheme illustrated the acceleration of the dangerous trends.

    Especially troubling to analysts is the Chinese regime’s rapid military build-up and its increasingly hostile anti-Western rhetoric. Among the countless examples that could be cited are the statements of Communist Chinese Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, who threatened to destroy “hundreds” of American cities with nuclear weapons if the U.S. government adheres to its defense pact with free China, known as Taiwan. The same official who threatened to nuke the United States led a Chinese military delegation to Washington, D.C., last year.

    More recently, the communist regime’s propaganda organs have been openly calling for a “de-Americanized” so-called New World Order. The dictatorship’s military, meanwhile, has been boasting that its warships can rival the U.S. Navy, even as the top tyrant in Beijing ordered his communist “People’s Liberation Army” to prepare for war. The regime has also reportedly been discussing the deployment of military assets to the moon — with the capability of striking any target on Earth. Experts say the troubling developments show no signs of slowing down and that Congress must take action.

    https://thenewamerican.com/obama-pentagon-waived-ban-on-chinese-parts-in-u-s-weapons/?msclkid=601649c5beb211ec9d367827b15c829f

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  150. ‘Dueling headlines: Grassley says Republicans won’t repeal Affordable Care Act if they retake Senate; Sen. Ron Johnson says Obamacare should be repealed if GOP wins power back.’

    Dueling ages:

    Grassley will be 89 in September.
    Johnson just turned 67 on April 8.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  151. Latest in COVID crazy

    In case of nuclear explosion:
    Go to the basement or middle of the building. Stay away from the outer walls and roof. Try to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household. If possible, wear a mask if you’re sheltering with people who are not a part of your household. Children under two years old, people who have trouble breathing, and those who are unable to remove masks on their own should not wear them.

    steveg (e81d76)

  152. I’m assuming Trump is quite jealous of Stacy Abrams’ ability to monetize her claim that election fraud stole her Governors seat away. It’s been 4 years and the revenue stream still may not have peaked

    steveg (e81d76)

  153. Geesh, it’s hard to argue with a story from 2014. Next up announcement of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian getting married.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  154. Nic,

    a wall is a good symbol stating we are no longer allowing an invasion. It’s also just a start. I’d go after businesses that encourage illegal aliens, same with politicians. I’d make sure that every alien caught knows they will never be granted citizenship or legal status even if married. I’d make it painful. Stop the invasion.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  155. *invasion* … *commie* … *groomer”

    You make Humpty Dumpty look like William Safire.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  156. Forgot the Abrams link
    https://www.ready.gov/nuclear-explosion

    steveg (e81d76)

  157. Or the nuclear shelter link… I think that is my cue to stop for the evening

    steveg (e81d76)

  158. @156. =yawn= Even harder to argue then deny that a., the parts weren’t bought and used in U.S. defense systems and b., they’re still in place– or is the Pentagon/MIC/intel club now into the lucrative, one use, replace and spend more, more, more, ‘disposable razor’ mode. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  159. Breaching the capitol was many things, but “evil?” You have a low bar for evil and apparently a very unforgiving mind.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/16/2022 @ 11:27 pm

    Oh, dear. Forgive me for using the common contrasting words of “good” and “evil.” Perhaps I should have used “right” and “wrong” instead. Or would you have preferred “nice” and “naughty”?

    I also notice that you didn’t answer my question, which was asked in response to your attempt to — let me check my notes — paint in an unreasonably favorable light the mindset of rioters who broke into our Capitol in order to stop the counting of votes in a legitimate election.

    I do hope none of what I just said causes you to become so lexicologically inclined that you dodge my question again. Cause I’d like an answer.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  160. I just dislike the debasement of words like “evil.”

    I dislike the making of excuses for riots. Didn’t like the excuses for BLM. Don’t like yours either.

    Refusing to consider their understanding to measure their actions, and instead just calling it crazy, may let one takes sides easier, but it misses the meaning of the thing. Like Trump’s 2016 insurgency, a fuller understanding is better than just picking a tribe.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/17/2022 @ 8:13 am

    Their understanding was based on lies that were publicly disproven multiple times…and the proofs were readily available to them. The actions they took based on those false beliefs literally got people killed.

    I am not calling that crazy. I am calling it criminal. And I am pleased that it is being prosecuted accordingly.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  161. Some of it was criminal. Not all. Not even most. People say “don’t equate all conservatives with MTG”, yet you call anyone who doubted the election results to be a criminal.

    As for what was disproven, you are choosing to hear what you want to hear. Yes, the dimwits who thing that the ballots were miscounted are stupid dimwits. But TRUMP never claimed that. What he claimed, and was is actually true in places, is that ballots were being given out unlawfully.

    There was, at the end, no way to correct that, but that did not make the claims untrue. The PA constitution has strict rules for absentee ballots and the law that was adopted for Covid purposes did not meet those requirements. A challenge following the election was thrown out, not because it was wrong, but because it was untimely as no corrective action could be taken. A later court decision struck down the mail-vote law for future elections. Now being appealed to the state supreme court.

    In any event your assertion that the claims about these ballots were “publicly disproven” is wrong. Before you call something untrue, you should first check to see if it is.

    The fact of the matter was that about 2 million illegal votes were cast in PA, and people were upset. Even though there was no real way to back them out, they still had a right to protest.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  162. Oh, dear. Forgive me for using the common contrasting words of “good” and “evil.” Perhaps I should have used “right” and “wrong” instead.

    OK, Demosthenes, wherever you are wrong, I will call you “evil.” Good to know it’s all the same to you. It isn’t to me, btw.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  163. And no, I don’t play the trollish “answer my question” game. And CERTAINLY not if you wan to make me scroll back up the page for it.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  164. So, my true and sincere belief that I am doing good excuses any amount of evil that I do?

    OK< I lied. I went and looked for your precious question. Here it is. I think. Not much of a question, actually since it loads itself up with it's own answer. It's bullsh1t mostly.

    Were the Founders evil? King George and the Brits thought so.
    How about the Irish Republicans in 1916?
    Nagasaki?
    How about the US westward expansion? There's a few points of view on that one.

    But backing this down a notch, Jan 6th was about trespass. "Trespass" and "evil" are not synonyms. They are not even closely related. The vast bulk of charges leveled on the Jan 6th folk are misdemeanors (or will become those with any sane examination). The few who actually engaged in assault will be charged with other crimes, but still I balk at "evil."

    Evil is raping babies, or running concentration camps, or killing fathers in front of their wives and children.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  165. @164 Telling citizens who have a right to vote (no one says these votes were cast by non citizens) That your votes are illegal because you didn’t jump thru the right hoops and not letting the voters know their votes aren’t counted so they won’t get angry only works if corporate establishment democrats like biden/clinton can control the left. Vote suppression only works if the democrat party and their corporate masters can convince the left that they are doing something by saying shame. shame. A quarter of the votes in this years texas primary were thrown out because of new laws passed by republicans. Beto should tell bozo biden to declare martial law in texas and have the votes counted at bayonet point. Unfortunetly beto is an establishment democrat and jessica cisneros has not yet won her run of election and has no power. This is why the establishment wing of the democrat party fears AOC in 2024. She will demand action on vote suppression not whining!

    asset (cfe34f)

  166. @152, well, from the New American no less….not a cover story from CNN, Time, the NYT……but a John Birch Society expose. Interesting choice….going back to your roots maybe. No overstatements from that organization. /sarc

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  167. …yet you call anyone who doubted the election results to be a criminal.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/17/2022 @ 10:52 pm

    This is the only thing in your last four comments I will respond to. And I am only responding to it to point out that it is a filthy lie, easily disproven by reading what I wrote.

    Have fun sparring with DCSCA.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  168. What Do We Do if Putin Uses Chemical Weapons?

    The question should also be what do we do if Putin uses tactical nuclear weapons?

    Rip Murdock (cbadfd)

  169. The question should also be what do we do if Putin uses tactical nuclear weapons?

    Nuke the motherf***ers!

    nk (1d9030)

  170. The weather is noticeably colder and more rainy than it should be since early March and I think this is very probably due to the war in Ukraine. It’s gone on too long. This also happened in 1991, when Sadddam Hussein set fire to oil fields (but not in 2003)

    This is a lot pf particulate matter being released into the atmosphere.

    https://www.wired.com/story/ukraine-is-in-an-environmental-crisis-too

    MAR 3, 2022 7:00 AM

    Air pollution won’t just be localized to the area around a given attack. Consider that wildfires on the US West Coast have grown so powerful that they’re now sending smoke all the way to the East Coast, 3,000 miles away. That’s because the heat of a wildfire propels the particulate matter from burned vegetation high into the atmosphere. Explosions and fires in Ukraine are doing the same, only not for organic material, but for those complex mixtures of synthetic materials, chemicals, and heavy metals. Depending on the prevailing winds, extremely small particles might travel hundreds or thousands of miles—the very specks that are the biggest threats to respiratory health because of their ability to move the deepest into the lungs and bloodstream.

    I think the chemical pollution isn’t much of a problem far away, because it is greatly diluted, and much of it falls into the ocean or into uninhabited and uncultivated areas, but the particulate matter is cooling the planet and causing a polar vortex. And also, in conjunction with added di-hydrogen monoxide (water vapor) is creating additional precipitation.

    If this goes on into the late fall, we will experience a very cold winter in the northern hemisphere.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  171. But we cannot afford to dither for even a second. Forget the fallout shelter comedy. Our nuclear forces have to be DEFCON 1, Cocked Pistol, Maximum readiness, Immediate response; our hunter-killer submarines on Soviet missile subs like white on rice; our missiles aimed at every known Soviet nuclear weapons site. The minute the Tartars launch a nuclear-capable missile, we push the button. Bang, kaboom, kablooey!

    nk (1d9030)

  172. Npbody needs to use nuclear weapons.

    Besides the destruction that would create radioactive fallout – like the bomb tests in the 1950s and early 1960s – and partial nuclear winter. Maybe Putin can be threatened with some intervention. Putin is probably more scared of nuclear warfare than we are, and also his military probably tells him Russia will be defeated if conventional aerial warfare is used.

    Just tell him the atmospheric cooling he is already causing – and he is – is getting close to being considered intolerable and will lead to something if it continues.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  173. The thing is, Sammy, that Putin is a rabid weasel who lives in his own world. Which makes him no different than any other Czar, boyar, or commissar who has risen to power in Russia. With no vestige of conscience or bond with humanity.

    There is only one check to their murderous paranoia and that is their sense of self-preservation. And we cannot count on that, because they are not capable of rational risk assessment.

    nk (1d9030)

  174. Dustin (75d8ff) — 4/17/2022 @ 1:40 pm

    First time I heard the phase. The etymology is brilliant.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  175. Alex Jones is Exhibit A for why the US can use bankruptcy reform. It’s fairly obvious that he’s trying to skip out of paying court-mandated damages for his defamations.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  176. Ah, yes, the automatic stay. Somebody pulled it on me once. I went to bankruptcy court and had it lifted. Caused me all sorts of bother. [irony alert] I had to draft a motion and mail it to the defendant’s attorney and step up on the motion call in bankruptcy court and get the judge to sign an order lifting the stay and then I had to remember to bring the order with me on my next state trial court date.

    nk (1d9030)

  177. Nah, I’m good with “Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

    A telling quote from the Russian ambassador to the US: “It’s a very narrow approach to say the ‘Russian invasion of Ukraine. We are talking about changing the world order that was created by the United States, by NATO countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union,” he said.

    I’m sure Putin wants to make his land-grubbing imperialism a bigger thing than it is, but he really should’ve butted out and taken stock of his sh-thole country.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  178. “Nuke the motherf***ers!”

    What could go wrong? I tend to remember something about the Butter Battle Book. Of course Geisel was a commie liberal, so there’s that.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  179. Of course Geisel was a commie liberal, so there’s that.

    He probably did believe that the only difference between the Soviet Union and Western democracies was on which side we buttered our bread. Or maybe he just wanted to write a book because that was how he earned his daily bread (and butter, if you wish).

    And look where the West thinking the same thing about Putin got us.

    nk (1d9030)

  180. nk (1d9030) — 4/18/2022 @ 6:39 am

    It was the IRS who finally got Capone! Breaking climate laws is how the UN will get Putin!

    felipe (484255)

  181. More on Testicle Tanning Tucker here. And here. Target-rich.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  182. It’s nice to see that Tucker Carlson has decided to become a foil for Gascon.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  183. Demosthenes

    filipe said that I was too harsh when I said you had an unforgiving mind. Clearly I was not. You hate people and are mean about it. You take anyone who transgresses your high principles and wish the full power of Leviathan upon them.

    Bah. Have fun in your echo chamber.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  184. Npbody needs to use nuclear weapons.

    Besides the destruction that would create radioactive fallout – like the bomb tests in the 1950s and early 1960s – and partial nuclear winter. Maybe Putin can be threatened with some intervention. Putin is probably more scared of nuclear warfare than we are, and also his military probably tells him Russia will be defeated if conventional aerial warfare is used.

    What’s the point then of having 2,000 battlefield nukes if you don’t intend to use them? Low yield battlefield nukes won’t create a “nuclear winter” and would be smaller than the nuclear tests of the ’50s and ’60s.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  185. This is the only thing in your last four comments I will respond to.

    You cherry-pick the hyperbole and color the rest of it by that. Classy. I answered you precious “question” in detail, and you refuse to even comment on that answer.

    You asked: So, my true and sincere belief that I am doing good excuses any amount of evil that I do?

    I responded:

    Not much of a question, actually since it loads itself up with it’s own answer. It’s bullsh1t mostly.

    Were the Founders evil? King George and the Brits thought so.
    How about the Irish Republicans in 1916?
    Nagasaki?
    How about the US westward expansion? There’s a few points of view on that one.

    But backing this down a notch, Jan 6th was about trespass. “Trespass” and “evil” are not synonyms. They are not even closely related. The vast bulk of charges leveled on the Jan 6th folk are misdemeanors (or will become those with any sane examination). The few who actually engaged in assault will be charged with other crimes, but still I balk at “evil.”

    Evil is raping babies, or running concentration camps, or killing fathers in front of their wives and children.

    You still have not shown any willingness to listen to anyone outside YOUR tribe, or to try to understand WHY they might believe what they do. Nor do you seem to care which of your opponents you call “evil.”

    This is the last question of yours I will answer, as you don’t ask them with any intention of listening to the response.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  186. What’s the point then of having 2,000 battlefield nukes if you don’t intend to use them?

    The only point in having them is NOT to use them. The idea is that you CAN use them, so that deters their use. We had poison gas capabilities in WW2, so did the Germans (obviously). No one used them on the battlefield. Even in an existential war like that, not all weapons are used; some are so dangerous that their local benefit is greatly outweighed the by near-future disaster their use would lead to.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  187. Of course Geisel was a commie liberal, so there’s that.

    Geisel was a racist commie liberal.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  188. Telling citizens who have a right to vote (no one says these votes were cast by non citizens) That your votes are illegal because you didn’t jump thru the right hoops

    Citizens who “don’t jump through the right hoops” do NOT have the right to vote. They have the right to jump through the hoops. If those hoops are onerous, they can get a court to change the rules, but that is not what happened here. There was a state constitution, with limits on absentee ballots that the legislature IGNORED. If legislatures can ignore constitutions, with an answer of “because!” then anything goes (and shortly will).

    (Now, maybe there is a better system than the 19th-century voter roll system we continue to employ, but it has the advantage of being a simple system. We’ve tried worse.)

    Some of those hoops that were ignored were things like the “60-day residency rule” that is in alignment with Supreme Court precedent. When you have election districts it is actually a good idea that the people voting in those districts have some connection to them. Not so much for fraud, but for relevance and to avoid voter tourism.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  189. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/18/2022 @ 8:46 am

    Demos’ comments prove you right, Kevin. I am still pained at how demos’ good mind labors at misspending the the goodwill previously earned.

    felipe (484255)

  190. …at misspending the the goodwill …

    ugh! The double “the” is evidence of a poorly executed edit.

    This is why I can’t have nice things.

    felipe (484255)

  191. We have a big problem in this country, and it isn’t actually “Trump.” Certainly he exposed it and used it as a wedge, but the problem was actually there; the elephant in the living room.

    There are indeed “Two Americas” (there are actually several sets of “Two Americas”) and they are increasingly divergent. The number of things we disagree about, and the gap between us on each of them, is growing. It is a greater threat to us than “climate change” or “the deficit” or that assh0le in Russia.

    And few care to listen to the other side. They’re just WRONG. Or they’re “evil.” Or the increasingly strident rhetoric, protests, and budding direct action of the Others prove to us that they just need to be put down.

    There are folks here who STILL do not admit that Trump had resonance with a large portion of the population (and/or that those folks had valid points). There are folks here who refuse to look at why some are upset at the unique methods used in the 2020 election and how those methods favored the Democrat. After all, the right guy won, so what’s the issue!?

    And there are folks here who seem to think that there were no solid reasons for erstwhile Conservatives to go out and vote for Biden, calling them “the 81 million traitors” and such. Trump was a TERRIBLE president and no amount of policy preference could change that.

    If we stay as two tribes, locked in rhetorical combat, Jan 6th will be the good old days soon enough.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  192. @192:

    I’ve calmed down. I have no with to continue this fight. I am just tired of all the fights.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  193. Speaking of goodwill, I thank, first, all the commenters who respond civilly in their comments; especially when sorely vexed – your fellow commenters quietly credit you. Second, I thank all those commenters for restraining themselves, even if by silence, when presented with the task of reading my stupider comments. You know who you are!

    Happy Easter, and onward to Pentecost!

    felipe (484255)

  194. @169. Pfft: a., you’re in a hole; b., stop digging…

    Exclusive: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After discovering China-made components in the F-35 fighter jet, a Pentagon investigation has uncovered Chinese materials in other major U.S. weaponry, including Boeing Co’s B-1B bomber and certain Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters, the U.S. Defense Department said. -reuters.com

    U.S. military comes to grips with over-reliance on Chinese imports

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Pentagon-led review ordered by President Donald Trump has identified hundreds of instances where the U.S. military depends on foreign countries, especially China, for critical materials, U.S. officials said. The focus on China reflects an effort under Trump to address the risks to U.S. national security from Beijing’s growing military and economic clout. Pentagon officials want to be sure China is not able to hobble America’s military by cutting off supplies of materials or by sabotaging technology it exports.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-military-china-idUSKCN1MC275

    Trump Wants Chinese Parts Out of American Weapons

    https://www.defenseone.com/business/2018/10/trump-wants-chinese-parts-out-american-weapons/151821/

    ______

    Russia launches missile attack on Lviv train station to disrupt the ‘Joe Chi Minh Trail.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  195. First Ukraine, now we’re heavily arming Taiwan?

    …….China has once again stepped up its rhetoric regarding Taiwan, issuing statements suggesting that military action might take place in the near future. They’ve simultaneously been running military exercises in the region, even as American lawmakers were visiting the Taiwanese government. Seemingly in response, the White House just approved another $95 million dollar arms package to Taiwan. And earlier this week, Senator Josh Hawley declared that we need to get that equipment to Taiwan “as quickly as possible.” Of course, the last thing we need at the moment is another invasion and another war on the opposite side of the world. (Free Beacon):

    The United States must arm Taiwan “as quickly as possible” in response to China’s renewed threats to invade the country, Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday.

    Hawley, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is spearheading legislation that would expedite U.S. arms shipments to Taiwan amid the Communist Party’s latest threat to unleash “violence” in the region. Hawley’s bill comes just days after the Biden administration approved a $95 million arms package to Taiwan, the second in recent months, to help defend the territory from a Chinese incursion. Hawley’s bill would fast-track the delivery of these arms.

    The weapons package prompted a flurry of threats from China, which warned on Wednesday that any U.S. effort to support the island’s independence will “push the Taiwan people into the abyss of disaster.”

    ………
    ………But we seem to be (transferring arms to Taiwan) in a particularly aggressive manner at the moment, almost daring China to do something about it. Is that wise?

    ………The United States has long maintained that we support the “One China” theory, while simultaneously promising to help them defend themselves against any potential Chinese invasion. But helping them defend themselves is very different from agreeing to send our military to their rescue and defend them. China is aware of this distinction. There seems to be an eerie parallel between our stated position on Taiwan and Joe Biden’s promise to not send our troops into Ukraine to fight Russia even as we arm the Ukrainians to the teeth.

    Personally, I’d hoped that China would take note of the massive global sanctions that are fracturing the Russian economy at the moment and conclude that invading Taiwan would provoke the same response, making it a bad idea. ……..[O]ur traditional policy toward Taiwan could be seen as a similar free pass to invade the island and a belief that they could survive the same sorts of sanctions. …….

    Since 1977, the US has sold or transferred some $70+ billion in ships, aircraft, weapon systems, and support to Taiwan, either through the DOD foreign military sales program or direct commercial sales. To date, the Biden Administration has authorized $945 million. Better issue those Taiwan War Bonds soon!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  196. Law becoming a moral code is hardly a new thing. What number Commandment do you think “Thou shalt come to a full stop before making a right turn at a red light” will eventually be?

    nk (1d9030)

  197. Russian wife to soldier husband: If you rape any Ukrainian women, make sure to use contraception

    I’ve gone back and forth and back again on whether to take this at face value after listening to the audio of the phone call, which Ukrainian intelligence claims to have intercepted. It could be a very, very dark joke; the woman giggles during part of it. Maybe she heard the rumors that Russian troops are raping Ukrainians and, disbelieving them, teased her husband about it. It’s possible.
    ………
    The other possibility is that Ukraine and its inhabitants have been so thoroughly dehumanized in Russian media that the wife’s point was made semi-seriously. I.e. “do what you’ve got to do to subdue the Ukrainian Nazi savages but spare me the details.”

    Would anyone put anything past these people at this point?

    “So yeah, do it over there … Ukrainian women there. Rape them, yeah,” the woman is heard saying, the Daily Mail reported.

    “Don’t tell me anything, understand!?” she adds, laughingly.

    “Uh-huh. So I should rape and not tell you anything,” the hubby inquires, clarifying that she was giving him the green light.

    “Yes, so that I wouldn’t know anything. Why do you ask?” the woman says.

    “Can I really?” he asks again, incredulously.

    “Yeah, I allow you — just use protection,” she tells him with a giggle.

    ……..But lest you assume it’s just Ukrainian propaganda, Radio Free Europe dug into it and claims to have tracked down the two people on the call. They really are a Russian soldier and his wife, not actors. The intercepts Ukrainian intelligence keeps posting to YouTube and other social media platforms may well be authentic, in other words.
    ……….
    Whether the call between husband and wife was a joke or not, rapes by Russian troops are happening and will certainly keep happening. They may even increase going forward now that Russia has been humiliated and is seeking to ramp up the cruelty to reestablish its dominance over Ukraine.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  198. Joe Chi Minh Trail.’
    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/18/2022 @ 9:40 am

    Did you mean “trial?”

    Have you heard that Ho Chi Mihn was a contemporary of Escoffier, and may very well have worked under that august chef as a dishwasher? From dishwasher in New York to President of North Vietnam. I guess it’s true; if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

    felipe (484255)

  199. JVW (ee64e4) — 4/15/2022 @ 7:36 pm

    What if the brave captain and crew of Moskva deliberately sunk the ship precisely because it carried nuclear weapons? I would like to believe that there are plenty of Russians, including those in the military, who understand just how wretched a nuclear war started by Vladimir Putin would be, and they are resolved to do everything possible to sabotage their nation’s ability to take this fateful step.

    That’s not the only place Russia has such weapons, and they probably weren’t ordered to use them.

    In the beginning the United States had no confirmation that the ship was hit by a Ukrainian missile. But there was agreement on all sides that there was a fire aboard ship. Russian claimed it sunk because of structural damage. Probably true.

    The missile seems to have been a Ukrainian missile that only went into service last year

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-360_Neptune

    The Russian claim is that the fire was an accident. Also that all, or almost all crew members survived, But they showed only about 120 at some memorial ceremony. Russia (Putin) doesn’t want people in its military to rate their chances of dying in the war too high.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  200. What number Commandment do you think “Thou shalt come to a full stop before making a right turn at a red light” will eventually be?

    Please see some of my rants about replacing religious moral instruction with humanist moral instruction, and barring the former from the premises of the State while promoting the latter.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  201. felipe @ 201.

    Have you heard that Ho Chi Mihn was a contemporary of Escoffier, and may very well have worked under that august chef as a dishwasher? From dishwasher in New York to President of North Vietnam. I guess it’s true; if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

    I never heard of Escoffier but Escoffier is in London not New York, and anyway wasn’t Ho Chi Minh in Paris?

    I researched this quickly. The account is disputed:

    http://awedacity.blogspot.com/2007/08/escoffier-ho-chi-minh-or-vietnam.html

    Unknown said…
    Dispite the long standing myth, there has never been any evidence found to support the claim that Ho Chi Minh ever worked under or with Escoffier. He may have worked as a chef at the Drayton Court Hotel on The Avenue in West Ealing, though this is also in contention. There may be some credibility to the claim that he worked at the Carlton Hotel in the Haymarket in Westminster where once Escoffier ran the kitchen. The only known evidence though, is a plaque on the the wall of the New Zealand House, which occupies the site of the hotel today, which states that in 1913 Minh worked at the hotel as a Waiter, not as the oft reported Chef. The plaque sites no references and gives no exact dates.

    April 25, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Now Hitler was in England in 1912. If he’d stayed there, at worst he maybe could have killed two or three people there – and the world would never know what it had avoided.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  202. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/17/2022 @ 10:52 pm

    Yes, the dimwits who thing that the ballots were miscounted are stupid dimwits. But TRUMP never claimed that. What he claimed, and was is actually true in places, is that ballots were being given out unlawfully.

    Trump did claim that ballots were not counted right, but not when he got into court. In Pennsylvania he wanted most votes thrown out.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  203. Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:11 am

    Yes, it is contested, Sammy. I identified it as hearsay.

    felipe (484255)

  204. Well, I am asking the phrase “Have you heard” to do the heavy lifting there, and I would be diminishing the intended humor by spelling it out.

    felipe (484255)

  205. Heh, now I know how nk feels when I ruin one of his jokes!

    felipe (484255)

  206. 157. NJRob (eb56c3) — 4/17/2022 @ 7:10

    I’d go after businesses that encourage illegal aliens, same with politicians. I’d make sure that every alien caught knows they will never be granted citizenship or legal status even if married. I’d make it painful. Stop the invasion.

    Those totalitarian measures will never be tolerated. They will, in fact, never be enacted. But talking about them can prevent revisiting the law.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  207. Lemme rephrase that:

    Heh, now I know can imagine how nk feels when I ruin one of his jokes!
    felipe (484255) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:26 am

    felipe (484255)

  208. The Jolt: Marjorie Taylor Greene outraised by Democratic challenger in 2022

    Friday’s deadline to report fundraising for the first three months of 2022 has given us more information to sift through in some of Georgia’s most contested federal races.
    ……..
    Democratic challenger Marcus Flowers outraised U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. He raised $2.4 million in the first three months of 2022, compared to her $1.1 million. And Greene spent about $300,000 more than she raised during the quarter. Still, she has $3 million in cash on hand, compared to Flowers’ $1.9 million. She has raised a total of $8.4 million for her reelection bid, while he’s raised about $7.1 million.

    ……..
    Related:

    Herschel Walker’s campaign raises $5.5M for Senate bid
    ………
    The campaign’s haul lags far behind Warnock, who collected $13.6 million during the first quarter. But Walker wound up with one of the highest fundraising totals of any Republican U.S. Senate candidate — and far outpaced his GOP rivals in Georgia.

    Walker’s campaign Friday said he received contributions from more than 50,000 donors from all 50 states and ends the quarter with roughly $7.4 million on hand.
    ………
    He’s ignored his GOP rivals and skipped debates and forums, running his campaign as if he’s in cruise control ahead of the May 24 showdown against rivals including Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, contractor Kelvin King and former Navy SEAL Latham Saddler.

    His GOP opponents badly trailed him in fundraising. Saddler reported raising roughly $650,000 in the first quarter. King collected about $200,000 in that timeframe. Black, the best known of the Walker rivals, also took in about $200,000 and ended with less than $800,000 in his account. Both Black and King spent more than they raised over the last three months.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  209. But talking about them can prevent revisiting the law.
    Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:27 am

    Good point, Sammy, but I think it could also encourage revisiting the law.

    felipe (484255)

  210. There’s another call in which a wife encourages her husband to steal.

    o reason to doubt it. The people involved know the war is wrong. Everything else follows.

    Thw wife told the husband it was OK to rape because she didn’t want to lose the affections of her husband. The fact that rape is discussed indicates that it is a new possibility.

    She doesn’t appear to seriously thought through the rape or that it would be rape and possibly thought it was a code for philandering. Because “protection” would only be needed where the woman might sue the man for support.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  211. We’ve got Ukrainians on the Mexican border who have pets with them and don’t want to come in if they cant take their dogs and other animals.

    Two pets per person can be imported into Mexico (higher fees apply if there are more) but to take a dog into the United States, a certificate of rabies vaccination obtained within the past 12 months but at least 30 days prior to entry or re-entry into the U.S in needed, and the dog needs to pass a physical examination as well.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  212. Because “protection” would only be needed where the woman might sue the man for support.

    Or protection from STDs.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  213. Because “protection” would only be needed where the woman might sue the man for support.

    Or protection from disease.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  214. Two weeks ago ore morea Russian soldier said in an intercepted phone call that he had taken vitamins and make-up. He couldn’t take more because he didn’t have a bag big enough. He had to leave behind a laptop, which the wife notes could have been useful for their daughter for school because he might have been busted for that..

    He said the clothing there was better than what they had. He mentioned a gazebo. His wife urged him to get the gazebo somehow.

    A newspaper adds that Russian soldiers were mailing big packages home from Belarus.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  215. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:46 am

    Or protection from disease.

    Could be yes, maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  216. Is this the Moskva before sinking?
    ………

    max seddon
    @maxseddon
    This appears to be the first, unconfirmed video of the Moskva, Russia’s now-sunken Black Sea flagship, after it was hit by Ukrainian missiles.

    It’s three seconds long and the last two are someone saying: “You f**king idiot! What the f**k are you doing?”

    I phrased the headline as a question because no one’s been able to confirm for sure that that’s the Moskva before it sank. But those who know better than me say that the ship in the photos and video is indeed a Slava-class cruiser, of which there are only a few in the world. What are the odds that another Russian ship of the same type was recently on fire somewhere?

    Professional sailors spent the weekend sleuthing, studying the photos and offering their best guess as to what happened. One commercial captain pointed out that the lifeboats on the port side have been deployed, which would explain how some sailors escaped alive. The thick black smoke suggests a major fire, “a result of the burning of heavy fuels or synthetic materials and incomplete combustion.” The scorch marks around the portholes indicate a bad scene below deck:

    Evergreen Intel
    @vcdgf555
    Smoke out of portholes. Hangar door open (perhaps to get a helicopter off ship).

    All of these may be indications of attempts at getting help, or perhaps air, to sailors trapped below.

    The most striking thing, though, is that the ship isn’t horribly damaged the way you might have expected. The Ukrainian missile strike obviously took a toll, but if the ensuing fire had reached the ship’s ammunition compartments we’d expect the Moskva to be shredded and to have lost buoyancy. So, while remaining on board and attempting to fight the fire would have been dangerous for the crew — what if the fire spread to the ammo while they were on deck? — there’s at least a chance they might have doused the flames and saved the ship if they had tried.

    The commercial captain’s verdict: The Russians abandoned ship too soon.
    ………
    Yesterday Russia’s defense ministry published images of what it says is the crew of the Moskva taking part in a parade in Sevastopol. Around 100 sailors are seen in the images. The ship’s typical crew was 500+. Where are the other 400?

    The most interesting consequence of the Moskva’s sinking is that even Russian propagandists aren’t willing to accept Moscow’s official explanation that a fire aboard the ship spread to the ammunition and caused an explosion, rendering it unsalvageable. Which, at face value, seems like a positive development: Even Kremlin stooges are coming around towards believing they’re being lied to and that things are going worse for Russia than the authorities are letting on.
    ……….
    But they may have an ulterior motive for insisting that Ukraine sank the ship. Namely, escalation:
    ……….
    If Russian authorities have concluded that they can’t win without full mobilization then they need to pivot from “the war is going swimmingly” to “our nation’s honor is under attack.” Acknowledging that Ukraine, not a fire, is responsible for the sinking of the Moskva is a step towards that.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  217. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:46 am

    Or protection from disease.

    Could be yes, maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:55 am

    I doubt any Russian soldier is concerned about a paternity suit.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  218. 183. felipe (484255) — 4/18/2022 @ 8:21 am

    Breaking climate laws is how the UN will get Putin!

    Not climate laws, as there are no laws here. Damaging the climate. Get hm..to stop.

    Putin may not be capable of rational risk assessment – but that works both ways. One thing he is afraid of chemical or nuclear warfare and how the U.S. may react to it. He is even afraid to bomb too much in the western third of Ukraine

    So if some people start noticing that he’s cooling off the climate, and the United States complains about it, he might begin to think that even the city destroying warfare he is engaging in now, might cause the United States and NATO to do unpredictable things because they can’t take it any more. All they need to do is little bit of attacks from the sky.

    They might even do it without complaining.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  219. 220. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2022 @ 12:03 pm

    I doubt any Russian soldier is concerned about a paternity suit.

    I thought his wife might be, not fully sizing up the situation.

    She didn’t want to know about the sex.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  220. Nic (896fdf) — 4/16/2022 @ 5:51 pm

    excellent teachers who teach quickly, thoroughly, and inventively

    You won’t find them be hiring teachers with the best credentials

    They need to hire people without credentials (and use student tutors) and increase pay for teachers who get better results.

    or you teach the test.

    Which is horrible and not even a shortcut.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  221. Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 4/18/2022 @ 12:06 pm

    I deserve this…

    I hear you laughing, nk.

    felipe (484255)

  222. Biden ally floats idea of US troops in Ukraine — Analysis

    US Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware), a politician described by media outlets as President Joe Biden’s closest Senate ally, has raised the idea of deploying American troops to fight Russians in Ukraine, saying he fears the former Soviet republic will “become the Syria of Eastern Europe.”

    https://www.massnews.com/biden-ally-floats-idea-of-us-troops-in-ukraine-analysis/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  223. Elizabeth Warren doubles down. “More cowbell!”

    We can also act quickly to rein in costs for middle-class families. In the very short term, that means stopping companies from jacking up prices to boost their profits. Price increases are driven by many factors, including pandemic disruptions to global supply chains and Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. But when the Kroger chief executive, Rodney McMullen, said “a little bit of inflation is always good in our business,” it’s no surprise that, by a margin of two-to-one, American voters don’t buy the explanation that companies are just passing along costs. Instead, they blame corporations for raising prices to boost their own profits. Even Fed Chair Jerome Powell, a conservative Republican, acknowledged that giant corporations raise prices simply “because they can.”

    The president deserves enormous credit for advancing an ambitious agenda to promote competition and appointing effective regulators to enforce our antitrust laws, and it’s time for congressional Democrats to have his back. According to Data for Progress surveys, eight in 10 Americans believe Congress should pass laws to reinvigorate competition and three-quarters strongly believe that oil and gas companies should not make gobs of money off this energy crisis. Beefing up regulators’ authority to end price-gouging, breaking up monopolies, and passing a windfall profits tax is a good start. Only in Washington, where America’s biggest companies spend billions to drown out reality, are these controversial ideas. Across America, these are popular plans.

    That’s a big legislative agenda, but it isn’t big enough. We also need to use every tool of the presidency to deliver for working people.

    For example, by a margin of more than two-to-one, Americans support providing some student loan debt cancellation — an action the president could take entirely on his own. Doing so would lift the economic outlook for too many borrowers who weren’t able to get a college diploma, for the millions of women borrowers who shoulder about two-thirds of all student loan debt, and for Black and Hispanic borrowers, a higher percentage of whom take on debt to attend college compared to white students, and have a harder time paying it off after school. With the stroke of a pen, the president could make massive strides to close gender and racial wealth gaps.

    And he can do more. Decisive action on everything from lowering prescription drug prices to ensuring that more workers are eligible for overtime pay can be executed by the president alone, using the authority already given to him by existing laws, without rounding up 50 Senate votes.

    Guess who’s running for 2024, and lining up her “I told you so” list from 2022. Given that there will be a wave election, she’s going write the premortem now: “You didn’t listen to me!”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  224. In Pennsylvania he wanted most votes thrown out.

    Yes, and of course they would not do that. My point is, however, that the argument that “it was all disproved” conflates dismissal reasons. Many, possibly most, were either standing issues or lateness issues; they did not reach the subject matter and therefore “proved” very little except that Trump hires stupid lawyers. There were valid complaints, but at that point in time that’s all they were: complaints.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  225. excellent teachers who teach quickly, thoroughly, and inventively

    The kind of public school teachers I had (except for the ones who were idiots, of course). I’m not sure which group to put my 8th-grade science teacher who dropped an ounce of sodium metal into a fishtank. It WAS instructive AND stupid.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  226. 220. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2022 @ 12:03 pm

    I doubt any Russian soldier is concerned about a paternity suit.

    I thought his wife might be, not fully sizing up the situation.

    She didn’t want to know about the sex.

    Given the fact that Russian soldiers are apparently not wearing any personal identification which would be required for a paternity suit, I would go with Occam’s Razor and conclude she was more afraid of her husband catching a disease rather than someone showing up at the door with a half Russian baby.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  227. U.S. Postal Service to Slow First-Class Package Delivery

    The U.S. Postal Service said Monday that it would slow delivery times for nearly a third of all first-class packages as part of its effort to lower costs and reduce its reliance on air transportation.

    The new service standards, scheduled to go into effect May 1, will add up to one or two days to some packages traveling long distances. Most package delivery times will be unaffected, and a small amount will arrive one day sooner.

    The longer delivery times are part of the Postal Service’s plan to reduce more than $160 billion in projected losses over the next decade Postmaster General Louis DeJoy introduced the plan last year, which broadly called for slower delivery times, higher shipping rates and pivoting the Postal Service to deliver more packages.
    ……….

    This will drive away Ebay shippers to other transportation options, furthering the decline in postal revenue. I can see Amazon or FedEx establishing rival delivery services with “first class like” delivery times.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  228. Supreme Court Rules Against Airman Who Refused Vaccine
    ………
    The court’s brief, unsigned order gave no reasons, which is common when the justices act on emergency applications. The court’s three most conservative members — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch — noted dissents but did not explain their thinking.
    ………
    (Lt. Col. Jonathan Dunn), who has received many other vaccinations without objection, said he decided that the coronavirus vaccine violated his faith after seeing President Biden speak about it, leading him to conclude that “the vaccine ceased to be merely a medical intervention and took on a symbolic and even sacramental quality.”

    This was, he said, “akin to the ancient Roman laws requiring that sacrifices be made to Caesar.”
    …….
    (Elizabeth B. Prelogar, the U.S. solicitor general) added that Colonel Dunn had exhibited poor judgment that justified his removal from command for reasons independent of his refusal to be vaccinated.

    On being ordered to choose among being vaccinated, submitting his resignation or refusing the vaccine in writing, Colonel Dunn instead sent a one-word memorandum to a two-star general several steps above him in the chain of command: “NUTS!”

    The memo echoed Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe’s famous response to a German surrender demand in 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. Colonel Dunn’s lawyers told the justices that he had used the term “to demonstrate resolve, not disrespect.”

    His direct commander disagreed, saying the message was a “highly disrespectful affront to the chain of command” that showed “a shocking lack of military decorum.” Ms. Prelogar noted that the American officer who delivered General McAuliffe’s message had added an explanation. “If you don’t understand what ‘Nuts’ means, in plain English, it is the same as ‘Go to hell,’” the officer said.
    ……….
    (Solicitor General Prelogar) noted that the military had long required vaccinations, starting in 1777, when George Washington ordered the inoculation of the Continental Army against smallpox. As of early 2021, she wrote, nine vaccines were required for all service members.

    In August, the Defense Department said it would add the coronavirus vaccine to the list. According to court papers, 98 percent of Air Force members have been vaccinated.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  229. @230. Reaganomics.

    Newtie and his nutbag rightie Blowfish began pushing this ‘privatization’ crap on government services back when Ronnie was beginning signs of slipping into Dememnita Joe Mode … particularly on the USPS, the DoD outsourcing [hello, Haliburton!] — even NASA, SS and other government agencies long ago- and in the case of NASA, pressuring operations at a R&D organization to be managed like a tight margined grocery store chain was part of reason Challenger was lost. A lot of Reagan’s minions were zealous, ideological idiots. The USPS pension program w/t legislated long term [75 year] mandatory pension funding– is wholly unnecessary; then once privatized, these Reagan whack jobs wanted that fund to be managed by Wall Street speculators. It’s losing money because in 2006, the Republican-led Congress passed a law forcing it to prepay its pensions for 75 years, which no other corporation does. This was meant to bankrupt it so it’s business could be privatized for profit. Operational transportation costs aside due to fuel costs [the USPS contracts w/private carriers as is- such as FedEx to move mail.] Without this law, the Postal Service would be turning a profit.

    https://www.truthorfiction.com/is-usps-losing-money-because-of-a-2006-pension-law/#:~:text=It%20requires%20the%20self-supporting%20U.S.%20Postal%20Service%2C%20which,rate%20of%20more%20than%20%245%20billion%20per%20year.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  230. Snow along the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border. Heavy rain later tonight moving south to north and west to east after 9:45 pm. Heavy rain 10 pm to 3 am and 3 am to 6 am, then ending.

    Temperatures tomorrow could reach 60 but we’ll be left with gusty winds.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  231. Russians being Russians. Which is to say murderers, rapists, and thieves. In Chechnya, oriental rugs were the prized loot.

    nk (1d9030)

  232. @196

    Speaking of goodwill, I thank, first, all the commenters who respond civilly in their comments; especially when sorely vexed – your fellow commenters quietly credit you. Second, I thank all those commenters for restraining themselves, even if by silence, when presented with the task of reading my stupider comments. You know who you are!

    Happy Easter, and onward to Pentecost!

    felipe (484255) — 4/18/2022 @ 9:31 am

    You’re a good egg felipe.

    I refrained from posting last week (and weekend) because something fundamental broke within me, and I didn’t want to post anything at the time as it was too much for me to confront at the moment.

    I now harbor such an indescribable rage I cannot hold it in and “moveon.org”. This molten-hot ire needs a target.

    And that target is most of the Democratic party and even some corporatists GOPers.

    My son’s best friend od’ed last week and he succumbed a few days later. He accidently OD’ed on fentanyl. Which he bought weed from some rando, who didn’t realize that the weed had a lethal amount of fetanyl (the police tested the weed that was found near him).

    That could’ve been my son.

    I know, that if it wasn’t THAT, the drug dealers would likely have found an alternative way to send the drugs into the US, or there would be some other flavor of street drugs that this kid could’ve gotten his hands on.

    But, right now, it’s too bloody EASY for the Chinese/Mexican Cartel to send fentanyl across the border.

    I want candidates who’d treat that as a NATIONAL SECURITY issue and really work with the Mexican government (with coercion if necessary) to tamp this down.

    Yes, that includes a physical barrier as much as possible on the southern boarder.

    Yes, that includes a more massive boarder security agency task with technologies to stop the influx of these narcotics.

    Yes, that includes being more forceful with China regarding these illicit transfers to Mexico, that often finds its way into the cartel’s hands.

    I don’t care anymore about the minute politics anymore.

    I don’t care about the J6 bruhaha.

    I don’t care about Russiagate.

    I don’t care about being over taxed.

    I don’t care about pro/con covid shutdown crap.

    I. DONT. CARE.

    What I want, is politicians who approach this as a national security issue and leverage the entire might of the US government to combat the influx of illicit narcotics, particularly fentanyl.

    If that’s a 2nd term Donald J. Trump, or Ted Cruz, or Ron DeSantis, or whatever nationalist right-winger that decides to throw their hat in the ring: I’d crawl bloody broken glass to vote for that candidate.

    Zero democrats gets my vote. Zero open-border GOPers gets my vote. From national to local elections.

    For the forseeable future, I’m a single-issue voter. I’m not only voting for GOP, but nationalist GOPers. If that happens to be some MAGA blowhard, so be it.

    I don’t look for candidates who needs to aspire to some grandeur or eloquence befitting the political office. My candidate of choice? Must address these issues, and personal baggage be damned.

    whembly (7e0293)

  233. @235. whembly…. {{whembly}}. Just awful. What a tragedy. Awful.. Painful. Horrible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlT5iLICBiM

    Direct your rage where it belongs and never, never, ever forget: Ukraine’s kids and Ukraine’s borders are more ‘important’ to Joe than America’s. Then we’ll hear about Beau…

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  234. Tragic death.

    I understand your strong emotions right now, whembly, but emotions are not a good basis for making wise decisions. In order to enact the kind of drugless world you imagine, there would have to be a police state the likes of which we have never seen.

    We tried Prohibition before. It didn’t work.

    Rather than strive for an even more powerful War on Drugs, why not try legalization? If recreational pot were legal, your son’s friend would have known that it wasn’t laced with fentanyl.

    norcal (68b459)

  235. Furthermore, we can’t even stop drugs from getting into prisons; keeping them out of the U.S. is impossible.

    norcal (68b459)

  236. Those totalitarian measures will never be tolerated. They will, in fact, never be enacted. But talking about them can prevent revisiting the law.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 4/18/2022 @ 11:27 am

    Sammy,

    Other than you being an open borders absolutist, what makes it totalitarian? I’d gladly take the immigration laws Mexico currently has. Are they totalitarian?

    NJRob (2be94d)

  237. Norcal,

    Politely, it’s beyond repugnant of you to tell someone they should support legalization of the drug that just causes a family friend’s death. Getting people high and hooked on narcotics isn’t the answer. Crushing China and the cartels deliberately flooding our border woth poison is the answer.

    NJRob (2be94d)

  238. My condolences as you grieve, whembly.

    mg (8cbc69)

  239. Whembly- what mg said.
    That is awful.

    I agree that if we organized the border, we could have orderly immigration and force fentanyl to at least take a round about route into the country.

    You are a good person, with a big heart.
    thanks for letting us know

    steveg (e81d76)

  240. Politely, it’s beyond repugnant of you to tell someone they should support legalization of the drug that just causes a family friend’s death.

    I’m pretty sure Norcal was talking about legalizing weed, not fentanyl, Rob, but if whembly’s son and friend were under 21, still a problem.
    I sympathize, whembly, we should all be more diligent about enforcing the law–all of it–and our southern border.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  241. whembly,

    My deepest condolences. I’ve been to enough drug-related funerals, including those of friends of mine, to know just how impossible it can be to come to terms with such a senseless death. A decade ago it was oxycodone, often by prescription, now it’s fentanyl (which at least is not prescribable).

    And yes, the blind eye turned to pot is allowing pot to be used as a cover for moving other drugs. This is the first I’ve heard though of fentanyl-laced pot. Not that that means a damn thing to your son, to his friend, or his close call.

    Is legalizing pot a good thing? Probably not, but it may be the least bad thing. The legal system was ruining more lives than the drug was. I don’t like the way they’ve done it — there is really no structure. The liquor laws would make a better model than this wild-west stuff.

    But enough rambling from me. Again, my condolences.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  242. So, suppose Putin nukes Kyiv. DO you think that Biden has a plan, or will he fascillate for a week?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  243. https://www.masshist.org/database/viewer.php?item_id=97
    Happy Patriots Day. Thanks Paul.

    mg (8cbc69)

  244. NJRob (2be94d) — 4/18/2022 @ 5:52 pm

    Other than you being an open borders absolutist, what makes it totalitarian? I’d gladly take the immigration laws Mexico currently has. Are they totalitarian?

    The methods used to enforce the law (combined with the kind of law it is) – you’re for putting alarge number of people out of business and out of work.

    There is no weighing of ends against means.

    The same thing can be said of the Chinese Covid lockdowns.

    You seem to be an enforce the law absolutist – except I don’t think you really apply it to all laws.
    ,

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  245. @236 DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/18/2022 @ 4:29 pm
    Thank you.

    @237 norcal (68b459) — 4/18/2022 @ 5:37 pm
    Thank you. I am absolutely onboard with legalization of weed (I was ambivalent in the past).

    @240
    NJRob (2be94d) — 4/18/2022 @ 5:54 pm
    Rob, I didn’t take it that way. While I’d vastly PREFER that our kids don’t do weed (and any other drugs), we must be clear eyes that there’s a very good chance that they’ll have opportunities to use them. At the end of the day, I’m on the side that keeps the safe from all possibilities as feasible. And if that ensures a system whereby the weedshop is managed in a such a way that reduces accidential fentanyl (and others) poisoning? We’d have to consider it because legalization would push downward pressure on the market for the cartel’s illicit products. But legalization MUST be coupled with policies to target the source/distribution as well.

    @241 mg (8cbc69) — 4/18/2022 @ 6:29 pm
    Much appreciated mg.

    @242 steveg (e81d76) — 4/18/2022 @ 6:50 pm
    Absolutely and thanks for kind word.

    @243 Paul Montagu (5de684) — 4/18/2022 @ 7:40 pm
    Thank you so much Paul.

    @244 Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/19/2022 @ 12:26 am
    Thank you Kevin, your “ramblings” are the kinds that I’ve enjoyed over the years. Accidental fentanyl OD is on the rise, and it’s such an insidious tactics by these drug dealers to get their customers hooked on the harder, more profitable stuff. Fentanyl is NOT an easy product to manipulate (I work with pharmacists) as we’re dealing with a product that’s leather in doses of MICROgrams. I’m on team “treat week as if it’s liquor” camp for sure.

    @247 Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de) — 4/19/2022 @ 4:46 am
    To be fair, there are EXISTING laws the US can use. IT’s really down to matter of will and funding.

    whembly (7e0293)

  246. Kevin: “lethal” not leather.

    I blame the wonky website. XD

    whembly (7e0293)

  247. Fentanyl is not an illegal drug. It is a prescription drug.

    It is used in combination with Versed and propofol in surgeries. It is used in transdermal patches for the alleviation of severe chronic pain for around the clock treatment of persons with high opioid tolerance.

    It is also commonly stolen from hospitals, clinics, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. Either from the patients’ dosages or from leftovers from surgeries. It’s not at all hard to do.

    I know of these things from face to face (my face and their face) confessions from health care workers who did these things.

    It could very well be that a Mexican drug cartel smuggled the stuff that killed whembly’s son’s friend over the border. It could just as easily be that the cartel is the Health Services Union (ethnicity of drug thief optional).

    nk (1d9030)

  248. PS Fentanyl transdermal patches are also prescribed for outpatients. When I took my father out of rehab after his hip surgery because, among other things, he was in constant pain and I suspected the Florence Nightingales of stealing the fentanyl out of his patches, and took him home with a private caregiver and a visiting nurse, he was still prescribed transdermal patches.

    nk (1d9030)

  249. In the 20th century, Churchill said, “Hence, we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks.” In the 21st century, we will not say that Ukrainians fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Ukrainians.

    Russia tells Ukrainian forces to surrender Azovstal plant by noon

    Actually, Mariupol (which is a Greek word BTW) has Ukraine’s largest concentration of ethnic Greeks, so there’s that, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  250. U.S. Postal Service to Slow First-Class Package Delivery

    They already limit it to 13 oz (to guard against the Unabomber). Within that, however, prices are not much higher than the much-slower “parcel post” rate, and noticeably cheaper than any other shipper’s rate. Perhaps they are changing service to meet price when they should be raising the price to meet the service.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  251. Public service announcement: There are organizations to help parents and other family members of drug users cope with their loved ones’ behavior. One such is Families Anonymous. Note that their focus is on helping the family cope, not in “fixing” the drug user.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  252. Fentanyl is not an illegal drug. It is a prescription drug.

    You are correct. I was thinking along the lines of it not being something you typically get at a pharmacy, like oxycodone. I don’t usually think of hospital-administered drugs as “prescription” although your are of course correct that they are. I am perhaps showing my age here, too.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  253. “Hence, we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks.”

    I think that’s been noted since Thermopylae.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  254. If you consider that a fentanyl transdermal patch is
    1. recommended only for opiod-tolerant patients,
    2. and the fentanyl is released slowly over 72 hours through the skin,
    and then some opioid-naive person syringes the three-day dose out of the patch, rolls his weed in it, smokes it, and in three heartbeats or so his blood has carried it from his lungs to his brain ….

    nk (1d9030)

  255. Hmmm: US to train Ukrainians to use American artillery systems “within days”
    ……..
    It’s a significant move, one that may escalate matters with Vladimir Putin. Ukraine’s unexpectedly robust defense has had one unfortunate effect, which is that they have run out of heavier artillery ammunition necessary to stop and then to roll back Russian invaders. Over the weekend, that supply issue became critical, especially with the looming Russian offensive in the Donbas region.

    It looks like NATO has run short as well on the Soviet inventory:
    ……..
    ……..Until now, we have mostly supplied Ukraine indirectly by allowing our allies in eastern Europe to send their old Soviet-era arms without explicit NATO involvement, and then backfilling them with newer US systems. That was a cautious strategy aimed at holding down the potential for escalation directly with NATO.

    Of course, that cat’s been out of the bag for a while as NATO-alliance leaders go public with the extent of support we have already supplied Ukraine. …….
    ……….
    We’ve hit the fish-or-cut-bait point on Ukraine: either we keep arming them or we don’t. The former option means we’ll have to start arming them with US and NATO systems, which would essentially be the de facto outcome that Putin claims to want to prevent — NATO systems on his border facing his troops. The latter option is a surrender of Ukraine to the invaders and the betrayal of Volodymyr Zelensky, a political disaster that won’t wear well in any Western country at this point…….[T]he West and especially the White House now recognize that incrementalism has largely failed to restrain Putin.

    …….How will Putin react when Ukraine starts using not just old Soviet arms that are technologically inferior to Putin’s armaments, but Western heavy arms that will likely prove superior? ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  256. The U.S. will boycott some G-20 meetings to protest Russia’s invasion

    Yellen will attend the opening session of the G-20 finance ministers’ meeting Wednesday to show support for Ukraine’s finance minister, who has flown in from Kyiv for the conference, according to a Treasury Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of internal planning. But Yellen will skip other sessions over Russia’s presence, the official said. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is expected to attend the conference virtually. Siluanov was hit with U.S. sanctions earlier this year.

    Dear Anonymous: Please see what you can do to assist Russia’s telepresence. Maybe merge in that baby-rape video behind him.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  257. I do think it’s clever how we finally managed to move 40yo Soviet “technology.” Finding tubes for some of it must have been hard.

    I’m also at the point were I would TELL Israel to deliver some Iron Dome systems. #Pickaside.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  258. I’m also at the point were I would TELL Israel to deliver some Iron Dome systems.

    Especially since we pay for most of it (without issuing Iron Dome Bonds).

    [F]unding for additional Iron Dome systems [beyond the initial two systems funded by Israel]— along with repeated funding for the supply of the interception missiles — has been provided by the United States. From 2011 to 2021, the US contributed a total of US$1.6 billion to the Iron Dome defense system, with another US$ 1 billion approved by the US Congress in 2022.

    Footnotes deleted.

    Israel has picked a side-Russia. It has not provided any weapons to Ukraine, and refuses to sanction Russian oligarchs. Some have dual Russian-Israeli citizenship (as well as dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  259. “So, suppose Putin nukes Kyiv. DO you think that Biden has a plan, or will he fascillate for a week?”

    It’s inconceivable that the military and National Security office wouldn’t give the President multiple options and game out possible outcomes…weeks ago…..with a response package in place. And it’s equally inconceivable that we’re not in constant communication with our allies about the response options both military and political. Heck, we would probably have a line open to China to put back channel pressure on Russia. As diminished as Biden in, we shouldn’t assume the entire security establishment is enfeebled.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  260. Here is some Obama in-law news:

    They are suing their kids former private school because:

    “The use of the word ‘plantation’ and things of that nature. In addition to the racial and ethnic stereotypes, there was an insensitivity to socioeconomic status,”

    “The University School of Milwaukee had in their fourth-grade curriculum, that students reenacted the underground railroad, and students dressed up as slaves and ran through the school in the dark and the teachers were actually the slave masters who captured these students”

    They will get paid because no private school in blue Milwaukie wants this kind of Obama related press, but this sounds like they are parents that are a giant pain. “Plantation” heaven forfend!

    steveg (e81d76)

  261. What are some possible pick a (wrong) side consequences for India?

    Whembly 2024! Not to make light of what you’re going through, but even your mad as hell is far more rationally presented than any MAGAn I know.

    Now to drink my coffee on the train without sneaking sips under a mask.

    urbanleftbehind (a84d74)

  262. How to Deter Nuclear War in Ukraine
    ……….
    If Ukrainian forces push Russia out of the Donbas and even Crimea, there would be no way for Mr. Putin to hide Russia’s humiliating loss from its people. If such an outcome became likely, would he use one of his thousands of “tactical” or “battlefield” nuclear devices to take out Kharkiv, Odessa or even Kyiv in an attempt to save face and end the war on terms he dictates? This possibility is surely on the minds of President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and his staff.
    ………
    America and its allies shouldn’t retaliate in kind, with nuclear weapons. The U.S. should, however, be prepared to take other serious actions quickly. Among the options:

    • Clear the Russian navy’s two remaining Slava-class cruisers, their escort ships and submarines from the Mediterranean. …….

    • Eliminate Russian air and military assets in Syria and Libya on the same basis. ……..

    • Entirely dismantle all pipelines used to transport Russian oil and gas to the West……

    • Advise all non-Western nations, including China, that purchasing Russian oil would result in massive punitive tariffs…….

    • End Russian dreams of earning hard currency by servicing Iran’s nuclear industry. ……[K]ey elements of Iran’s nuclear program could be dismantled by the full air power of the regional alliance arrayed against them.

    These are only some of the steps that could be taken if Mr. Putin employs nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The urgent priority is to communicate them to the Kremlin now……..
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  263. An Iron Dome battery could have save Mariupol. Now it’s too late. Anything Israel does from here on will be an empty gesture, just something for AIPAC to hang its hat on as it continues to occupy Capitol Hill.

    nk (1d9030)

  264. Biden and Trump release very different Easter messages
    ……..
    Biden, who wished the nation a “Happy Easter” on Twitter, invoked the teachings of Christian savior Jesus Christ in his missive.

    “As we reflect today on Christ’s Resurrection, we are reminded that with faith, hope, and love — even death can be defeated,” the president tweeted. “From our family to yours, we wish you hope, health, joy, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding. Happy Easter and may God bless and keep you.”
    ………
    Former president Donald Trump used the holiday to launch a passive-aggressive attack on his perceived enemies on Earth, including New York attorney general Letitia James, whose office is investigating Trump.

    “May she remain healthy despite the fact that she will continue to drive business out of New York while at the same time keeping crime, death, and destruction in New York!” reads a message from Trump’s Save America political action committee, which also calls James a “racist.”

    “Happy Easter to all including the Radical Left Maniacs who are trying everything to destroy our country,” reads a second message Trump’s PAC. “May they not succeed, but let them, nevertheless, be happy, healthy, wealthy and well!”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  265. A word about Germany from Mr. Astlund…

    Germany’s whole foreign policy, “Ostpolitik” and “Wandel durch Handel” have collapsed. The new German government appears to do the best to improve Germany’s situation, but poor things they have a lot to do.

    1. We have all known for years that the Bundeswehr has been a joke in terms of skills, equipment & financing. Now, poor Scholz has to admit that he has nothing more to give Ukraine. He is not stingy but truthful. Germany has gutted its military trusting Putin.

    2. Germany’s energy policy is the biggest scandal in Europe. Through her “Energiewende” in 2011, Merkel demolished Germany’s nuclear power out of sheer populism. Instead, she opted for dirty lignite & Russian gas. Truly awful in both regards.

    3. She accepted that her predecessor Gerhard Schröder worked against her and Germany for Putin. All Western jurisdictions should sanction this odious Putin agent asap! The SPD should kick him out of their party. Schröder is unacceptable in a democratic society.

    4. The ultimate embarrassment of Merkel & her German government was that they fought tooth & nail for Nord Stream 2. To its disgrace, the Biden administration accepted Merkel’s insistence. My suspicion is that this was a major cause of Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

    5. Therefore, Germany is highly guilty of Putin’s war on Ukraine & it must therefore do everything it can to stop it: Stop ALL payments to Russia, notably for oil, and deliver the little arms you have to Ukraine, since you won’t use them sensibly in any case.

    6. The immediate consequences of Putin’s outrageous war on Ukraine are that Finland & Sweden will join NATO, all European countries will swiftly rearm & the whole of Europe will stick to the US for security.
    Dumb, dumber, Putin!

    I doubt Biden’s lifting the Nord 2 sanctions were a green light for Putin, but who can say for sure.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  266. Ex-Secret Service agents say a Biden trip to Ukraine would be reckless and impossible to pull off
    ………
    ………[A] trip by Biden to Ukraine raises almost insurmountable security issues, former Secret Service agents told Insider. It would leave the American leader in a wartorn country and highly vulnerable to Russian attack, without the US military control that has accommodated his predecessors’ trips to conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, according to former Secret Service agents and others familiar with White House travel logistics.

    ……..In addition to risking lives, such a trip would also require US personnel and equipment that Russia would likely view as an act of aggression and in a war the US has assiduously avoided entering.

    Between the thousands of troops and Russia’s well-documented disregard for shelling civilian targets, “it’s just too much of a risk,” said Bill Pickle, a former Secret Service agent who once headed the vice presidential protective division.

    “You can’t control the environment. You’ve just set yourself up for so many bad things if the president goes,” Pickle said.
    ………
    ………[T]here would be no chance of evading Russian radar and reconnaissance and covertly slipping into Ukraine or a neighboring country under the cover of darkness. And that’s just the beginning of the challenges such a trip would pose.

    A trip would require weeks of advance work that could quickly be rendered moot in the fluid, fast-changing war. Russia cruise missiles still menace cities like Kyiv and Lyiv that are now far from frontlines in the country’s east and south.
    ………
    “Even though we’ve been to warzones in the past where the US was involved and in control … when visiting with a president or a vice president we never took anything for granted. It was important to remember it was still an active warzone. It’s still on,” (said Charles Marino, who served as a supervisory agent on Biden’s Secret Service detail during his vice presidency.)

    “We’re still targets. There’s still a war. So why introduce, in Ukraine, a high-value US target without US military support directly involved?”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  267. “Wandel durch Handel”
    “Change through Trade”

    A long, long time ago, in a spy thriller the title and author of which I have forgotten, a spy was asked by his deep cover publisher employer to suggest a title for a new book by Stalin’s daughter, and he suggested “I Want To Hold Your Handel”. I finally got the joke. Thank you, Paul!

    nk (1d9030)

  268. You’re welcome!

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  269. Israel has picked a side-Russia. It has not provided any weapons to Ukraine, and refuses to sanction Russian oligarchs. Some have dual Russian-Israeli citizenship (as well as dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship).

    Not sure I’ve ever seen a modern state do something so harmful to their long-term interests. Israel’s foundation is its moral capital. Siding with the US and Europe here would go a ways in rebuilding that, but instead they choose to side with this year’s Hitler.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  270. As diminished as Biden in, we shouldn’t assume the entire security establishment is enfeebled.

    But, Afghanistan.

    I’m also reminded of the goal-post races they had in the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack, where — several times — they were at “If we’d acted a few hours ago … but now it’s too late.” Inaction breeds further inaction.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  271. “Plantation” heaven forfend!

    Try “picnic.”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  272. @265: Some of that would require an AUMF, and possibly a declaration of War.

    A nuclear attack on Kyiv would abrogate the NNPT safe-harbor provisions for non-nuclear states, and possibly the post-Soviet agreement that got Ukraine had over its Soviet-era nukes.

    As such, I’d advocate giving Poland and the Baltic states a few thermonuclear gravity bombs set for F15 delivery. Then demand that Russia return to the NNPT.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  273. Poland has proved true blue, but both NATO and the EU should consider cutting Hungary loose. It showed itself a broken reed that cannot be leaned on. Let it drift off on its own.

    nk (1d9030)

  274. We’ve called the Iranian theocratic regime a state sponsor of terrorism, and now it’s time to say that Russia is engaging in state-sanctioned terrorism, under Putin’s own definition.

    As originally enacted in 1994, Russia’s criminal code defined terrorism as “bombings, arson, and other acts causing a threat to human life, major property loss, and other negative consequences committed against public safety or with the aim of influencing decision-making of the government authorities.” The law was revised in 1997 to include reference to “the aim of spreading fear among the population.” It was revised again in 1998 and 2006, after which it defined an “act of terrorism” as “perpetrating an explosion, arson or other actions connected with intimidating the population” to influence public officials.

    That’s exactly what Russia is doing in Ukraine, and what it has done in other wars.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  275. #268 Paul – Astlund’s indictment of Merkel is powerful, and persuasive.

    I have been wondering for years why Merkel changed her position on nuclear energy — she had been a proponent earlier in her political career.

    (My rule of thumb is that — if a person fears global warming, and can do arithmetic — then they will favor more nuclear power. Obvously, with her advanced degree in quantum chemistry, Merkel can do arithmetic. And I don’t doubt that she is telling the truth when she says she is worried about global warming.)

    I finally concluded, tentatively, that she was tempted by the 5-10 percent of the German electorate that believes in various Green superstitions, and would vote for candidates who oppose nuclear power, GMOs, and the rest.

    As for her willingness to cater to Putin, I can only explain that by projection and wishful thinking. She thought he would understand, as she does, that war was a losing propostion.

    Unfortunately, the coalition that replaced her includes the Greens, which will make rational German policy harder to achieve.

    (It would be great if some tough interviewer would ask her about these matters. But I suspect she retired just in time to escape the scrutiny she deserves.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  276. Here’s an interesting thread on looming Xi regime food shortages, all arising from his Covid lockdown.

    Trucking volume is down 87% in China’s agricultural heartlands.

    Further a third of farmers in Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang can’t get fertilizer or seeds for the spring crops.
    Because said fertilizer and seed is stuck in cargo holds in Shanghai.

    Authorities are also sealing off access to rural villages. Meaning the seed and fertilizer which got off the ships can’t get to the cities.

    But, its not like that would matter anyways.
    Local authorities are arresting farmers for being on their tractors.
    In a field.
    By themselves.
    Due to Zero COVID policies.

    And now truckers are just dumping food on the side of the road because they’re being told they will have to be locked down in their trucks for weeks if they enter the city.

    Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Shanghai, Anhui, Hebei, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Jilin, Guangdong, and Fujian have all gone a step further and shut down access to highways entirely [there are hundreds of millions combined in those provinces].
    […]
    Seems Bloomberg has picked up statistically significant amounts of chatter regarding food shortages coming out of major cities in China.

    For all the folks reading this and assuming some master plan, Xi is facing his third term.
    If he fails in his bid to secure that term, he’s a dead man. And if he admits he was wrong about Zero COVID, he looks sufficiently weak he may lose his bid.

    There is this myth in the west that the CCP is some forward looking chessplayer able to look far into the future. The reality is they are just as reactive as Western powers – and are more likely to choose wrong due to information isolation.

    The logic of dictatorship turns subordinates and advisors into christmas tigers and mires leaders in the sunk cost fallacy.
    Which is what we’re seeing here.
    COVID isn’t a zombie plague.
    Xi isn’t trying to f–k over the world.
    He’s trying to stay alive. Literally.

    I hope his observations are true and, if so, Xi has bigger things to worry about than allying with a thuggy Russian despot.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  277. I recall an earlier argument about gas prices in CA, so here’s my summary from a roadtrip earlier this month.

    Roseburg OR, $4.26 (and I didn’t have to get out of my car)
    Sacramento, $5.20
    Laguna Niguel, $5.40
    Santa Maria, $5.40
    Richmond, $5.10
    Crescent City, $5.76

    All the gas was non-premium, and all but Crescent City were from Costco. My car was a Hyundai Ioniq, a rental from Enterprise, and I got just under 49 MPG, three times better than my gas-hogging Xterra. They offered that I leave the tank full or leave it empty and they’d refill it for $4.38, and I picked the latter since the price at the nearby Safeway in Snohomish County was $4.80.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  278. I have been wondering for years why Merkel changed her position on nuclear energy — she had been a proponent earlier in her political career.

    Jim, I read somewhere that Fukushima completely changed Merkel’s stance on nuclear energy, which isn’t rational because Germany isn’t prone to earthquakes or tsunamis.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  279. @269:

    So, if Biden went to Ukraine and was killed by Russian action, I guess the downside would be Kamala Harris as a wartime leader.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  280. Germany isn’t prone to earthquakes or tsunamis.

    It’s never had the former and the latter would require a difficult asteroid shot.

    But the German Greens are not known for their numeracy, or any historical knowledge preceding 1933.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  281. #281 Paul, if I recall correctly, Merkel changed her position on nuclear power after Fukushima, but that is consistent with both the possibility that she did so because of a changed assessment of the risks — and the possibility that she saw that the German Greens had became more numerous, and more likely to vote on the nuclear issue.

    And, of course, it could be both.

    (We now know that far more people died because of the panicked evacuation at Fukushima than have died from radiation.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  282. More on Germany’s lies about Ukraine…

    (1) At the end of February Germany’s defense industry sends Scholz a long list of all available weapons.
    (2) Scholz doesn’t share the list with Ukraine.
    (3) Scholz says that there are no more weapons left in Germany to give to Ukraine.
    (4) Germany’s defense industry leakes the list to Ukraine’s ambassador.
    (5) Scholz says that the weapons on the list don’t work.
    (6) The defense industry denies this and leakes the list to the press.
    (7) Scholz states Ukrainians can’t master the weapons in the available time.
    (8) German defense experts tell the German press that Ukrainians can master the weapons in 2-3 weeks.
    (9) Scholz says the weapons are needed by NATO and NATO must approve their transfer.
    (10) NATO officials and German generals deny this.
    (11) Scholz says no other NATO/EU ally is delivering heavy weapons to Ukraine.
    (12) The US, UK, Australia, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Romania, Netherlands, etc. publish the lists of heavy weapon they deliver to Ukraine.
    (13) Under pressure Scholz announces €2 billion for Ukraine’s military.
    (14) German parliamentarians find out that it’s really just €1 billion, which won’t be available for another 2-3 months, and then Scholz can veto or delay indefinitely every item Ukraine wants to buy.
    (15) The US, France, Poland, Romania, Japan, the UK and Italy, plus the heads of EU and NATO spend an afternoon trying to talk sense into Scholz.
    (16) Scholz makes a statement and says Ukraine can have the €1 billion now and order whatever it wants from the list.
    (17) Ukraine’s ambassador says that Scholz removed all the items Ukraine actually wants from the list before giving it to Ukraine and what remains on the list is just a fraction of the €1 billion.

    Scholz isn’t incompetent or mendacious… he just works for the russians.

    It truly is baffling that a country that instigated in a 20th century genocide is so reticent to help a country that is undergoing a 21st century cultural genocide by Putin.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  283. If Richard Nixon had given Lt William Calley a medal for his actions at My Lai, Nixon would be justly held responsible for those actions. It would be an admission that the massacre had approval from the top.

    So, when Putin gives medals to the soldiers who raped and killed in Bucha, he signs his own confession.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  284. It truly is baffling that a country that instigated in a 20th century genocide is so reticent to help a country that is undergoing a 21st century cultural genocide by Putin.

    It is more baffling that the country founded by survivors of that genocide is so reticent to help a country that is undergoing a 21st century cultural genocide by Putin.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  285. Even if Russia Uses a Nuke, We Probably Won’t—but Putin Would Still Pay Dearly
    ……….
    …..[I]t would be expected that the first use of a nuclear weapon would be as a “warning shot,” likely the detonation of a device in the upper atmosphere. ………
    ………
    (Jon Wolfsthal, who served as senior director for arms control and non-proliferation on the Obama administration’s National Security Council) concluded, “As for whether we use nukes, I think the answer is no. Ukraine is not NATO. In the event of a first use, we step up military support even more and make clear any use of nukes against NATO would mean a massive expansion of the conflict.”
    ………..
    “As far as I know,” (said Joe Cirincione of the Quincy Institute) “The smallest warhead they have in their arsenal is a 10 kiloton warhead, or about two-thirds Hiroshima size. This would be many times more destructive than the largest conventional weapons in our arsenal. Further, Russian doctrine doesn’t dictate the size of the warhead. If they’re using it to cause a shock and try to force the west and the Ukrainian forces to immediately sue for peace then they are going to want to use a large enough warhead. There’s no reason to think that they will go small. Exactly the opposite.”
    ………..
    Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute, a former U.S. Army lieutenant general, echoed the importance of communicating clearly the consequences of any such attack now. Lute says, “As for advance notice, we should make clear that the response would include unprecedented military, economic, cyber, and diplomatic measures, but not be more precise. Ambiguity could enhance deterrence and complicate Russian attempts to avoid our response by navigating around specific if-then conditions.”
    …………
    ………There is a belief among U.S. officials that Putin thinks the end of the war will bring him a “get out of jail” card, a reprieve from international pressure. Use of WMDs would likely reduce the odds of that substantially.

    Says Lute, “Crossing the nuclear threshold, no matter the target, should cause a precise conventional attack on the origin of the Russian attack, even if it is on Russian territory, which it likely would be. If the origin cannot be determined, then an attack on a similar capability (Iskander short range ballistic missile (SRBM), cruise missile, submarine, bomber site) should be conducted. Further, the US along with others should launch air strikes in support of Ukrainian ground forces with the aim of defeating the Russian forces in Ukraine, the proximate cause of the nuclear strike. A complete economic blockade of Russia should be emplaced immediately, enforced by NATO naval and air forces.”

    Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder goes further, saying that if WMDs are used by Russia, “NATO should be willing to intervene directly and defend Ukraine. The stakes change dramatically if they use a nuke or actual chemical weapons [as opposed to industrial chemicals]. Whether to communicate this publicly is less important than that they (a) agree and (b) tell Putin directly ………

    Dr. Kori Schake, who directs defense and foreign policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and who has served in significant Defense Department, NSC, and State Department posts advised, “What the U.S. should threaten in advance, and actually do if the Russians are preparing to use nuclear or chemical weapons in Ukraine is to (a) make clear that doing so would trigger direct U.S. military retaliation against Russia, and that retaliation would be directed at the Russian leadership and any policy officials or military officers the transmit or carry out the order; (b) pursue those officials until all have been either killed or tried for war crimes; ( c) share first privately with Ukraine, then NATO allies, and then publicly the intelligence about Russian preparations and plans; (d) interdict—that is, attack—the units involved to prevent the use.”

    It is important to reiterate that in none of the above cases (except for the use of multiple nuclear weapons) is a nuclear exchange considered a possibility by current or recent top officials and experts. As one senior U.S. official said to me, “We’ve been very careful to maintain our ‘Vegas rules’ discipline. That is, we very much are trying to limit the consequences of this war so that what happens in Ukraine stays in Ukraine.” ……….
    …………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  286. West sends Ukraine fighter jets, heavy weapons as fighting intensifies in Donbas
    ……..
    President Biden approved a new $800 million aid package last week that dramatically expanded the scope of weapons Washington has supplied to Kyiv. The package included 155 mm howitzers — a serious upgrade in long-range artillery to match Russian systems — 40,000 artillery rounds and 11 Soviet-designed Mi-17 helicopters.
    ……..
    Ukraine has also received fighter aircraft and related parts from other nations, (Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday). He declined to specify what kind of aircraft has been supplied or which countries have provided them.

    At the start of a visit to the three Baltic states that are NATO members, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Wednesday that Germany has delivered antitank weapons, Stinger antiaircraft missiles “and other things that we didn’t talk about in public so that the deliveries could be carried out quickly and securely.”
    ………
    Other Western nations have also moved to deliver more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine as the war evolves. Britain in April pledged a defense support package worth some $130 million that includes more antitank missiles, air defense systems and nonlethal equipment. Norway announced Wednesday that it would donate 100 Mistral air defense missiles on top of the light anti-armor weapons it promised late last month. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Tuesday that his government is sending “heavier” military equipment soon.

    Farther afield, the Australian government has started sending Bushmasters to Kyiv after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked lawmakers in Canberra for the armored vehicles last month. The 20 promised Bushmasters will protect Ukrainians from explosives, artillery shrapnel and small-arms fire, Canberra said.

    Ukraine will require arms deliveries well into the future if it is to fight off Russia, and analysts say the 40,000 rounds Washington has promised would last no more than two weeks on the battlefield……..

    Although some equipment — such as the Bushmasters — is advanced, much of what the West is providing is not as sophisticated as the weapons in Russia’s arsenal. ……..
    ……….

    Related:

    US prepping another $800 million weapons package for Ukraine, multiple sources say
    ……..
    Details of the latest package are still being privately discussed and could change, but earlier Tuesday, President Joe Biden said the US plans to send more artillery to Ukraine.

    Upon arrival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Biden was asked by reporters on the tarmac if he plans to send more artillery to Ukraine.

    Biden told reporters, “Yes,” before boarding his motorcade.
    ……..
    The latest package would come a week after the Biden administration authorized another $800 million security package, which included artillery and anti-artillery radars for the first time since the Russian invasion began.
    ……..
    If approved, the latest package of $800 million would mean the US has committed approximately $3.4 billion dollars in assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on February 24.

    This would be the last presidential drawdown until Congress approves more money for weapons to Ukraine. In a presidential drawdown, the Defense Department pulls weapons and equipment from US inventories to send to Ukraine instead of purchasing new weapons from manufacturers.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  287. Kevin:

    The true founders of Israel…the Sephardim of the Levant and Mediterranean who had to deal more with day to day Muslim aggression rather than maniacal facism…have tended looked at the largely Ashkenazi survivors of the Holocaust as anything ranging from simps to complicit in their own persecution. Also a lot of ethnic Russians since the fall of the Soviet Union have stretched 1/16 Jewish bloodline into per.anent settlement in Israel.

    Despite these rationales, I personally do not excuse them and do entertain the thought of “consequences” – for Israel this would be largely financial as in reduction of foreign aid, but what effect would an combined Anglosphere pause on H1B and similar would have on India?

    urbanleftbehind (a84d74)

  288. #281 and #284 – “We never guess, we look it up.” That (or something similar) was the message I got from a children’s supplement to the family’s World Book encyclopedias many decades ago.

    And I should have remembered that, rather than relying on my increasingly fallible memory. So, for the record, here’s when Germany turned aginst nuclear power:

    During the chancellorship of Gerhard Schröder, the social democratic-green government had decreed Germany’s final retreat from using nuclear power by 2022, but the phase-out plan was initially delayed in late 2010, when during chancellorship of center-right Angela Merkel the coalition conservative-liberal government decreed a 12-year delay of the schedule.[26] This delay provoked protests, including a human chain of 50,000 from Stuttgart to the nearby nuclear plant in Neckarwestheim.[27] Anti-nuclear demonstrations on 12 March attracted 100,000 across Germany.[28]

    On 14 March 2011, in response to the renewed concern about the use of nuclear energy the Fukushima incident raised in the German public and in light of upcoming elections in three German states, Merkel declared a 3-month moratorium on the reactor lifespan extension passed in 2010.[29] On 15 March, the German government announced that it would temporarily shut down 8 of its 17 reactors, i.e. all reactors that went online before 1981.[30] Former proponents of nuclear energy such as Angela Merkel, Guido Westerwelle, and Stefan Mappus changed their positions,[31] yet 71% of the population believed that to be a tactical manoeuvre related to upcoming state elections.[32] In the largest anti-nuclear demonstration ever held in Germany, some 250,000 people protested on 26 March under the slogan “heed Fukushima – shut off all nuclear plants”.

    So, when Merkel came into office, she began by delaying the shutdown that had already been scheduled by her predecessor. Not being able to read her mind, I can not say for certain whether she hoped the delay would give her time to change public opinion, but that seems likely.

    If so, she must have been disappointed:

    Worldwide media coverage of the [Fukushima] incident has been described as “ten years of disinformation”, with media and environmental organisations routinely conflating the casualties of the earthquake and tsunami, with casualties of the nuclear incident. The incident dominated media coverage while the victims of the natural disasters were “ignored”, and a number of media reports incorrectly describing thousands of victims of tsunami as if they were victims of the “nuclear disaster”

    There were significant environmental costs to Germany from her switch:

    The nuclear electricity production was primarily replaced with coal electricity production and electricity importing. One study found that the nuclear phase-out caused €3 to €8 billion in social costs per year, primarily due to increases in mortality due to exposure to pollution from fossil fuels.

    To be blunt, more people died in Germany (and neighboring countries) because of the dirty air. But Merkel stayed in office, and she might have consoled herself by thinking (probably correctly) that the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, would be worse.

    Germany shut down three of its remaining six nuclear power plants at the end of 2021 — note the timing — and is scheduled to shut down the other three at the end of this year. (rcs1000, the administrator of the Political Betting site, who appears to be well informed on these matters, says that it would relatively easy to restart two of the three that were closed at the end of last year. (The third was an old poor performer.) During 2021, even after so many plants were shut down, Germany was still getting more than 13 percent of its electricity from nuclear.

    (I assume everyone knows that, after he left office, Gerhard Schröder went to work for a Russian fossil fuel company.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  289. https://twitter.com/Liveuamap/status/1516037482386763782?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Bodies of former vice-president of Gazprombank Vladislav Avayev, his wife and daughter was found in his residence in Moscow in suspected murder-suicide

    https://russia.liveuamap.com/en/2022/18-april-bodies-of-former-vicepresident-of-gazprombank-vladislav #Russia

    I heard something on the radio (not sure of its accuracy) about his wife bebng pregnant by another man. All kinds of stories have been spread

    https://www.the-sun.com/news/5152984/russian-banker-found-dead-moscow-gazprombank

    Unconfirmed rumours have swirled online that the family may have been experiencing a financial crisis.

    Another source alleges Azayev murdered his family after discovering his wife was five months pregnant with someone else’s child, although this hasn’t been proven.

    A neighbour of the family, Kristina, said: “I heard three shots and shouting. A woman was screaming.

    “Then two more shots were fired. No one else was screaming. I looked out the window – I thought it was fireworks.

    “It turned out they weren’t, my mother told me it was definitely gunshots.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  290. We keep on hearing “Border, border border” This is not to honestly inform people.

    They talk about Biden abolishing Title 42b (a Covid deportation rule that exists on shalky legal authority), but it hasn’t been abolished yet so all this that they are complaining about is taking place with the rule in place.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  291. Has anyone here noted the closing bell on Nick Kristof’s candidacy for Oregon governor?

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/nicholas-kristof-oregon-governor.html

    He comes off looking like a holier-than-thou tool in the article.

    norcal (68b459)

  292. Olberman/Mittens/2024

    mg (8cbc69)

  293. https://www.dailywire.com/news/rush-limbaugh-prediction-clip-resurfaces-as-mainstream-media-confirm-hunter-biden-info-obama-returns

    …A resurfaced clip of late radio icon Rush Limbaugh’s broadcast hit social media last week as legacy media finally started to confirm contents from Hunter Biden’s laptop.

    Limbaugh, in a clip of December 2020, asserted that President Joe Biden would “serve at the pleasure of Barack Obama,” predicting that the media would turn on Biden and start to reliably report on the Biden family’s questionable business dealings when Obama and leading Democrats thought he was doing too much damage.

    “They cannot be critical of Biden,” Limbaugh said of legacy media on his radio broadcast. “They will not be critical of Biden. They’re gonna prop up Biden until, until — I’m gonna tell you, folks, I think we’re seeing enough information on the Bidens now to safely say that Biden will serve at the pleasure of Barack Obama.”

    “If Obama gives the green light to Democrats to take Biden out, there will be ample evidence that Biden has lied about his knowledge his family was selling his name and office with his permission, and if that’s in fact the case, then there’s likely unreported money that will be found,” Limbaugh said.

    “The fake news media will temporarily become hard news media if the decision is made that Biden has to step down,” the host predicted. “Until that time, they will be covering for Biden, they’ll be making excuses for Biden, they’ll be ignoring all the negatives. You wait and see. And then watch what happens to their ratings when that happens.”

    This is the original:

    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2020/12/15/joe-biden-will-serve-at-the-pleasure-of-obama/

    There’s plenty wrong there with what Limbaugh said. Ad I don’t think Biden lied about his knowledge his family was selling his name and office with his permission. He never outright denied that. He said he never discussed business with Hunter Biden. And that may be true. He discussed it with his brother Jim and with Tony Bobulenski. And he wanted too make sure that they stayed within the law.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  294. There really is no excuse for Kevin McCarthy. His career should be toast. Whether it actually gets toasted, we’ll see.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  295. So CNN was a victim of the free market because it couldn’t sell its product. Don’t forget, your liberal viewers believe that they shouldn’t have to pay for anything: healthcare,college,housing,food,entertainment…, thats what the people at CNN preach. McCarthy would fit in at cnn.

    mg (8cbc69)

  296. cnn+ did last longer than Scaramucci.

    mg (8cbc69)


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