There are many descriptions for politics, one of them being that it’s what people do, instead of smashing each other’s skulls open with a club.

For the record, I’m instinctively the club (wooden, heavy) kind. Partly because I hate and despise mean girls and their cliques. I think life would be much easier if people who have trouble with other people got in a fist fight.

I’m also aware that’s not the way to run a society, unless you have a codified way to go about fist fights, and their resolution, afterwards. Which societies used to, mind you. But that too is politics.

As much as some of our founding fathers imagined a revolution a year or so, there really is no way to make a society work with that, not in actual functioning.

People like to know the next day will be more or less like today (weirdly, no matter how bad today is, until it gets to the point of no return.) And that dictates all sorts of compromises and accomodations.

I suspect this is a way in which my brain is more hunter-gatherer than settled agricultural person. Besides the ADD, that is.

Which brings us to the fact that bizarrely I’m a politics addict, and follow it way more than is good for my brain and blood pressure.

This is precisely because I don’t fully understand it, and don’t trust those who engage in it. I’m not fond of politics (which is why we’re not at home to anyone insisting that I should run for office in any way shape or form.) I’m just …. um interested in it. Or at least accurately aware that it’s interested in me. I’ve been bitten by revolutions, uprisings and riots before, and now, like someone in an area with unstable weather, I refuse to look away.

I want to have warning to grab that club and or run away, you see?

But the one thing I’ve never done, until very recently, is let politics rule my life or my associations.

In college, where I kept my politics strictly under cover, my friends ranged from the preppy “right wingers” to the communists, and each group was absolutely sure I agreed with them. I was even part of the (in retrospect I think we impressed other people as mildly creepy, but I don’t care) hyper religious group who headed for the nearby church before attending classes. (Usually at 7 am, when the services were.)

Here’s the thing, I was friends with a small number of people in each of those groups, and they were generally people I could trust not to want to — much less do — bash my skull in.

I tried to maintain the same balance and stay in the closet politically, in my career. That didn’t work, because by then it had become absolutely necessary to vocally endorse everything of the left to stay in the good graces of the establishment. Oh, and those things changed. And we were supposed to change with them. We were also supposed to banish anyone who didn’t.

I don’t work that way, which is why I hate politics and politicians.

But because practically everyone on the left whom I’d considered friends banished me when I came out of the political closet (I was on the suspicious list, for insufficient enthusiasm before, mind.) I’ve been worrying lately that I let politics dictate my life.

I do, also, instinctively flinch away from people proclaiming certain politics, because I’ve found I can’t trust them. So I’ve been wondering if I actually have become a political fanatic and the mirror image of the left.

I’m glad to report I haven’t. And I thank the current international situation for doing the clarifying.

There are some of you who are friends as well as fans, and with whom I’ve found in the last week that I have a very significant political disagreement with.

You see, I have — malgre moi — become something of an isolationist. While I think that the US should have a strong defense, and a policy of “Don’t start none, won’t be none” Aka “Touch us and die” aka “So much blue glass.”, I don’t think we should be the world police. I think internationalism, in the form of very strange alliances has been the industrialized world’s bane.

That said, I do recognize the arguments of the other side, including “But they won’t leave us alone.” It’s the mirror image, in fact, of self defense vs. an active and intrusive police protection which can go sour on you.

While this disagreement with some of you is pretty significant, it is also completely irrelevant for the fact I still consider you friends and allies. It doesn’t affect my feelings for you.

While I have decided opinions on it (When don’t I have decided opinions) and am ready to talk your ear off in all conditions, I can see your side of it. I think you’re wrong, but only by a whisker.

The problem I have with the left, is that I can’t be friends with people who wish me dead, despoiled or permanently silenced.

Barring that, I’m open to discussion and argument. Mostly because politics is always interested in me.

But a large portion of the population has decided it’s my way or the highway, and we’re supposed to be obedient widgets, who own nothing and like it (That is to say, slaves. If you own nothing, you’re dependent on others for your very existence, and therefore can be absolutely controlled by government which even at its best is never made of angels.)

And that’s why we’re in mid-fall, waiting for the parachute to engage.

It very well might not. May G-d have mercy on our souls then.

All we can do is wait and see if it does, and then decide appropriately.

I feel a hard crash and the sort of scouring that will make me overnight a hard leftist, without ever changing my positions.

Brace. Times are about to get even more interesting.

444 thoughts on “Politics

  1. “Marxism brought into the world the idea that there are different classes and that one can, without any compunction, execute the other, because that is the only way humanity can shorten its birth pangs and advance toward freedom and happiness.” Isaiah Berlin: The Impact of Marx on the Nineteenth Century

  2. I think if TPTB would just leave me alone, I wouldn’t have any interest in politics at all. Things being what they are, I’m obsessed, but mostly because I just want to be left alone and not impeded in any of my activities.
    And I’m currently sick of the cultural norm that says we can’t just blow up people who try to screw with us. It’s all they understand.

    I’m hanging on to a world that’s being pulled apart at the seams. Ho!

    1. We’ve done a lot of talking here, Kathy, about setting up routes parallel to the official, political, government controlled whatevers. The two Canadian brothers at their Academy of Ideas site present some interesting explorations of that theme:https://youtu.be/wJr7awWGWAo

      1. Psssst. Inter-library loan. That’s how I got $$$ law books and $$$ history books for the cost of postage (three to five bucks.)

          1. Which county library???

            This is a serious question. You may be able to get a legit library card from alllll the surrounding counties and city library systems. For example, I know a woman who had library cards for every locality from Dayton to Cincinnati, and then she expanded to the entire state when the regime loosened up under Coof rules. And she pretty much used all her library cards for interlibrary loan and Ohiolink loans, too.

            Now, obviously the usual reason for multiple library cards is state library funding rules… and usually people are only using the electronic lending of ebooks and media… but as long as you get the books back on time, you would be amazed at how many library cards one can use.

            I know it can be a really really long trip between towns… but maybe not all that long.

            1. Completely unrelated– I’m getting stuck in your blog’s spam filter.

              We now return to the regularly scheduled comments.

      2. Your local library may have a certain nu!ber of inter library loans on offer. Mine gives 25 a year. If ypu can find it on World Cat ot can usually be sent. gpt one from the antipodes once.

          1. Random idea, but… see if there are any homeschooling groups in the area, maybe online, and see if they have a work-around?

            (Yes, I homeschool. Yes, I have offered suggestions to folks who don’t even have kids, because researchers hit a lot of the same roadblocks.)

              1. I have used him as a powerful emotional argument in support both of home schooling and of being able to “challenge the course” to be certified in a profession. 😀

              2. He bought a barrel of odds and ends and turns out one odd was Blackstone’s Commentaries. . . .

            1. …can I pick your brain? Teen ADHD daughter who is driving me slowly insane WRT math? /puppyeyes

              1. I’m totally willing to try, yes!

                We just had to switch son’s booklet, he was using the…I think it was Signal or something like that, I could look it up… and flipped over to Kumon’s workbooks, because they way they explain stuff makes more sense to him.

                Can you describe what is going wrong?
                (Folks watching, yes, I’m using that phrasing on purpose; one of our kids just *dissolves* into tears when she has trouble, calms down, and sails through; one has issues with not checking that she didn’t turn – into + or *, or follow order of operations, or will randomly swap out numbers … you get the idea; or another will just LOCK DOWN and not try for about an hour, trying to get you to DO IT, and then something clicks and it works… it can be hard to figure out what they’re actually having issues with!)

        1. Project Gutenberg is a whole complex of rabbit holes. 😀

          All of the E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith books, H. Beam Piper, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and lots more…

          1. Project Gutenberg is the advanced version. The complex of rabbit holes is the starter set.

            1. Indeed! And for the extreme version, the online database of newspapers going back to the late 1700’s at the Library of Congress website could take a person forever and a day to go through! You can find old comics, stories, and just bizarre stuff.

              My favorite is the thing I found was on “how to jump from a train” during the 1850’s. they don’t recommend it, but if you do, tuck in a ball and try and land on your bum!

          2. Almost all of Piper. Ace didn’t renew the copyrights, so anything that, under the old law, needed renewal went PD, so Gutenberg could legally grab it. But Lord Kalvan came out after the effective date of the new law that didn’t require renewal, so it’s not PD, and Gutenberg doesn’t have it.

            And only a limited fraction of Doc’s output, although a lot of it is also legally available for sale. And note that their text for Skylark of Space is the magazine version — Doc rewrote is for the Pyramid editions, and that’s what he considered the preferred text.

    2. We’re most of us in the same place…but marxists never leave anyone alone, and harassing ordinary people is their whole way of life, it seems…My approach to all their insanity is simple–I will not comply…and someday that may get me killed, but so what…

  3. “Poli-tics” is a compound word signifying “Many Involuntary Spasms” …

    I have always been fiercely isolationist. When I was a kid, my older brother used to beat the snot out of me every day. Literally. Like he had. “To-Do” list he was marking it off on. Until the day I hid an aluminum baseball bat in my room, and hit him in the head, then the knee, and then kicked him down the stairs. But I did it in MY room. Not his.

    Teddy Roosevelt was wrong to build the Great White Fleet. Woodrow Wilson compounded TR’s sins. We have spiraled downward ever since.

    I think, if it came down to the USA-ians against the rest of the world, we’d have them both outgunned and out-moraled. (Yes, that’s totally a word.)

    Just Leave Us Alone.

    1. Teddy’s tendency to want to meddle in just about everything was a fault. But a nation with large coastlines, and that depends heavily on sea-going commerce, needs a powerful navy.

        1. A merchant marine is not a navy, and won’t protect against high-seas piracy. A coast guard is also by definition useless against such things as it is, by definition, restricted to a country’s coast. As a reminder, one of the reasons why the War of 1812 started was because British warships were stopping American ships (including the Navy warship USS Chesapeake) on the high seas, claiming crew on those ships were deserters from the British Navy, and taking the sailors back to their own ships.

          There was also the battles we had against the Barbary Pirates. If we hadn’t had a navy, we wouldn’t have been able to put a stop to the piracy.

          1. They were never meant to. Even their largest ships didn’t match well with destroyers.

            1. I was pointing that out for anyone who thinks we don’t need a navy just a Coast Guard.

              1. And its only gotten worse post-Cold War, with most of the serious armament removed from the cutters. I think their ASW capabilities were nerfed, too.

      1. ‘The influence of Sea Power upon History’, Alfred Thayer Mahan. He was right for the early part of the 20th Century. Teddy followed that advice, in his own way.

        1. The Kaiser and the Imperial Japanese all treated Mahan as gospel. Teddy may have influenced Mahan as much as Mahan influenced him. Roosevelt’s “The Naval War of 1812” predated Mahan’s books, and I believe Roosevelt guest lectured at the Naval War College while Mahan was there and writing his books.

        1. Or for discouraging other powers from engaging in foreign adventures on your shores. Where would we have been in World War 2 without the U.S. Navy? The Imperial Japanese Fleet would have taken Midway and Hawaii without a fight, and been poised to invade the mainland.

          Even without the threat of war, a nation’s navy has to be able to go where its merchant ships go. If your merchant ships never get more than 20 sea miles from your own shores, a Coast Guard is adequate. If they go farther, so must your navy.

          1. Exactly. We sent warships to the Barbary Coast because our merchants were being attacked in the waters near their shores.

  4. I am more with you these days as an isolationist, Sarah. I can’t see spending one dollar or one American life for Ukraine’s border–no matter how plucky or stirring their story may be–when our own Southern border is wide-ass open and being invaded by tens of thousands of illegals every month. When our own energy independence is under attack by the same people that want us to go to war over Ukraine. When those people who think I’m a racist sexist homophobic transphobic *inserthere*phobic un-person want me to spend my tax dollars to escalate tensions with Russia and potentially spark a larger crisis. No. Not happening. Europe, this is on you. Put on your big boy pants, NATO, it’s time to pull your own weight. Instead of escalating we should be pulling our troops OUT of Germany and bringing them home so maybe they’ll actually start taking responsibility for defending their own soil.

    We actually partially caused this problem by trying to shove NATO right up to Russia’s door. We exacerbated it by pursuing energy policies that caused the price of oil to skyrocket and filled Russia’s coffers. Now with Senile Joey Twoscoops in the White House, Putin has his opening to attack, and the Bidens are freaking over losing that sweet Ukrainian kickback money.

    Even if we still had President Trump in the White House, we’re still not going to be able to solve every problem in the world. I’m sorry, Ukraine, but there are limits to what we can do, and we’ve reached them.

    1. And I’m going to disagree with you. Because I can.

      What goes on in Ukraine has nothing to do with our southern border. It is, imo, a false comparison. The reasons why our southern border is in the shape it’s in have nothing to do with a natural scarcity of resources. It is entirely imposed on the border by those in Washington.

      Meanwhile, Putin is attempting to forcibly add Ukraine to his empire. The Ukrainians don’t appear to want this, and are willing to resist him. Given that Putin is a troublemaker whose ripples can cause all sorts of unintended consequences, and who has attempted (clumsily) to sow political chaos in the US, there is good reason to not want him to amass more power.

      The Ukrainians are willing to try and stop him. For what is – for the US, at any rate – the national equivalent of pocket change, we can improve the ability of the Ukrainians to resist this invasion, and put a dent in Putin’s power.

      We should take this opportunity.

      1. Some Ukrainians.

        A sizeable chunk to the East want to be Russian.They claim that honest-to-Hitler neo Nazi soldiers from the west have been attacking them and homes and institutions have been shelled for years. Is it FiCUS stole the election true?Preggers Maria shot at the protest “true?” IDK. Very shades of the Kurds.

        Meanwhile check out Los Colonias on AINO’s Southern border, La Raza, and the atrocities *our* leaders have been committing against American citizens. From using vivisected babies for research, to forcing hospitals to poison sick patients with remdesivir, while denying them life-saving drugs. From the Tea Party to the Jan 6 political prisoners; and the seting of Cossacks and Freicorps against the people in their own cities! From the forced poisoning of children and teens with experimental drugs for profit, to running child sex rings.

        Compared to AINO’s corrupt oligarchs and their court eunuchs, Putin is a piker. Small beer.

        We have more than enough on our plates.

        1. As I noted elsewhere, if the Russian hat had just formally occupied the separatist regions, this would be over already. But that’s not what happened.

          And again…

          Will anything we do in Ukraine affect our ability to protect our southern border? You and I both know that the answer to that is a resounding “No!”. Trying to connect one to the other is a pointless distraction.

          1. I thought so too. Tonight I remembered when the U.S invaded Kuwait, and did not move on to take out Hussein, and everyone said afterwards, “stupids, you left him alive to keep up his mischief”. Go noodling around the internets with “Ukraine baddies” and “Nazi” and “Donbas” (keep the dates pre-Trump-ish) and…Heyo, you get stuff like this: https://www.sott.net/article/317103-War-crimes-White-phosphorus-bombs-used-on-public-schools-in-Zaitsevo-Ukraine

            Is it real? If so, Zhe v. Putin is like Iran v. Iraq: Bad cess to both, and pity the poor people getting killed. And since Zhe is on the side of the people oppressing *our people* root for Putin! 🙄 Maybe it will hurt the Bidenreich, Trudesceau, and rest of their gang? 🤔

            IFF. Big fat “if.”

            Since the Southern border is part of the occupied country formerly known as the U.S., quite a lot of things AINO does on Ukraine can affect AINO which includes etc. Especially if beating the war drums gets the ruling class war criminals off the hook.

            But I grok. Not a *direct* affect. Agreed. I was making a comparison of how they’re similar, kind of rhyming. Invasion by colonization, including enemy actors. Agitation for self government, civil war… Old sniffy Joe’s handlers are making claims about what fedgov and the American people *must* do about Ukraine’s border. “Okay. Fine. But do *our border* first.”

            It is not really a 1 to 1 equivalence, I know, mostly because I know I really do not know about Ukraine.

            (Also, this conversation is wierd considering what Ukraine means)

            1. The source you linked is entirely questionable. We have seen Putin lie about Ukraine repeatedly. Putin’s boys in the Donbas, and the so-called separatists are actually Russian troops and mercenaries, have created many false flags, which greatly accelerated after Putin’s “recognition” of his puppets in the Donbas. Putin kept two regiments of Mech Infantry stationed in the Donbas since 2014. He’s done the same in Moldova.

              And, no, the majority in the Donbas are not Russian, but Ukranian. Putin has done one thing he could ill afford, and that is forge a Ukrainian nation.

              1. To be fair, I remember the seventies, which might be an issue.
                The Soviets used the same techniques everywhere from Africa to the rest of Europe. In that time it was “communist” movements and separatist movements, instigated or outright created by Russians as an excuse to take over the country.
                Putin is KGB so he’s playing the old game.
                I BEG the Russians to get rid of the bastard, before the world is engulfed. Because no sane place WANTS to be Russian.

                1. You and I come of an odd generation.

                  Old enough to have been alive in the Seventies. Not old enough to have been on hard drugs at the time. We’re the exception to the rule that ‘if you can remember it, you weren’t there’.

                    1. Which makes a lot of kids that grew up through the seventies, eighties, and nineties ever so slightly Odd. Because “everyone else was doing it.” If I want to experience something mind altering I’ll read a book.

                    2. Graduated HS ’74. I grew up in ’70s. Agree. If I wanted mind altering activity it was reading, not drugs or alcohol (not before age 21, even then it takes very, very, little to be sick, and I remember every single minute). I do not like not being in control.

                    3. Agree on roller coaster. Learned to be okay with passenger seat. Hubby is worse than I am. I mostly just sleep. Joke used to be “Who dosed off first. Me or our infant/toddler/young son.” Over the years I’ve gotten better and don’t sleep most of the commutes when we go somewhere. Partly because it took both of us to stay safe with the RV combo. Which part of truck towing trailer doesn’t dodge or stop on dime don’t people understand? Thank goodness for (anti) sway bars, leveler, and trailer brakes.

                    4. Um…. so…. if in US system, I’d have entered high school 76.
                      I’ll point out that REALLY when I talk, grosso-modo about generations, I’m talking about experiences, not the mass of people. A lot of millenials are pissed at the vocal commies. As are a lot of Zs.
                      They’re not the ones we hear about or who have power and influence. And that’s the point. The rest of us are not in control, and frankly, we’re pissed.

                  1. Ayup. Same generation here – old enough to remember the 1970s, not quite old enough to have had my mind altered by … stuff.
                    In fact, I was out of college and already in the military before I ran into people who used marijuana, and even showed me their stash. (People from whom I immediately disassociated myself. The PTB brought in the routine wiz quizzes about five years later… and use of recreational drugs plummeted through the floor. One of the big horselaughs that us mil-bloggers got was when some fool in Hollywood thought to do a series about troops in Iraq in the second Gulf war, and featured a scene of some troops toking up. Yeah, you could hear vets and active duty chortling all the way from the middle east… )

              2. Fair dinkum. It’s more that it’s hard to figure who’s correct and who isn’t, what’s real, and what’s fake. Keeping in mind that most of those dissemination the fakery do honestly believe it is real.

                Just try figuring out what’s true about Ivermectin, and that one is pure scientific fact, not regional divisions, war, and faction going back 100s of years.

      2. The cartels have a deal with Putin to smuggle Spetznaz troops into the US. They are using the chaos on the border to cover their activities. It is important that we get the border under control and start to seriously seek out the illegals present and deport them.

    2. I’d be pleased as punch if all that military hardware we left in Afghanistan went to Ukraine instead of where it ended up. If they’d have paid the freight, heck even cut them a deal on the freight, have at it friends.

      But now? Now we have problems a-many. Self inflicted wounds a-plenty. Well. Backstabbing b*stards in office isn’t self inflicted- we know whose bloody hand prints are on the hilt. But as things stand now? Clean the rats from our bilge, stop up the leaks, patch up the sails and untangle the rigging. We need to right our ship of state. That’s a murthering great job that *needs* doing, and we can’t really do anything else ’til it gets done.

    3. Bull, this has been building since 1991. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Russia. There was no way Putin was going to leave them alone long term. You talk about pushing NATO up against Russia, what about all the pushing RUSSIA has been doing? For decades, minimum. They didn’t stop pushing when they had the full extent of the Soviet Union they kept pushing. Why on God’s green earth do you think he’d stop NOW? Why are we to blame not them?

          1. That’s exactly how I described this argument to my wife. the Russians are rapists saying the damned slut had it coming. I honestly cannot wrap my head around that kind of thinking.

            I’m for bed, it’s been a day and if the futures are anything to go by I’m going to have an “interesting” day tomorrow.

      1. Embrace the healing power of AND.

        The only “us” is actual Americans, Ukrainians, and Russians. The “them” is the TWANLOC ruling caste. Loads of blame to go around there, of which NATO is a small part.

        The one lie about Putin I have on layaway, is that like Trump, despite his myriad vices, he’s on the side of his countrymen. Greater Russia with a secure deep water port and a breadbasket, as you’ve called it, is great for Russia. Rubbish for most of Ukraine. Probably*

        Not that it will stop either from screwing the pool, mind you. Get out of cities.

        *I keep thinking about where the word “slave” came from and why everyone forgot. It’s not always “death or boursin”

        1. He is not on the side of his countrymen. He is on the side of Putin and always has been. His countrymen aren’t even slaves, they’re cattle to be used and discarded as he sees fit. He’s not even a good farmer in that respect.

          I admit this is a hot button for me. I’m so sick of people trying to make excuses for the evil bastard. He has made pushes like this EVERY SINGLE TIME he has seen the slightest opening.

          1. “He is on the side of Putin and always has been” I see that part. This part “they’re cattle to be used and discarded as he sees fit” I have not.

            Sorry. I’m open to it being true, if only because it’s hard to imagine a leper changing his spots. I look across the world and just see a vast abyss of bad.

            1. I recommend elsewhere looking at some of the BBC articles on Russia. I did a lot of cross referencing and the general overview is accurate as far as I could ascertain.

              Please realize I’m running off memory and about decade old memory as well. There was one election that Putin had a serious challenger. The reaction was a more effective version of what our elites were trying. He was arrested, and I couldn’t find out what happened to him after that (no one else seemed to be able to as well) for ‘collusion with Chechniyan revolutionaries’ if I recall correctly.

              An independent news station was bombed by “Chechniyan terrorists” after saying unflattering things about Putin.

              If you COULD track down who went to what rallies from this side, the ones that went to anti-Putin rallies tended to completely disappear from the internet.

              On the church side of things. The church that I grew up in had a church they were helping in Russia… they were burned out several times because they were 1) not orthodox, and 2) unwilling to toe the political line from the pulpit. The pastor, last I heard had not been disspeared, but he had precautions in place for when (not IF, WHEN it happened.) And this wasn’t a particularly prominent church. His congregation was only a couple hundred at the time.

              These are just the incidents I know off the top of my head. There are some I’ve read about since, but haven’t been able to verify (Hikers going up the wrong mountain and dying of ‘exposure’ with enough rad count to glow in the dark.) Russian College students not wanting to go back. TERRIFIED of going back. One of my Russian teachers (from Russia, he left when ‘Jew’ became a more important part of his identity than “useful’) was flat terrified of Putin, though he would never say why beyond ‘A dangerous man, a very dangerous man. Now back to your studies.”

              1. Thank you. What got me in trouble backing the Iraq war was the that people attacking GWB and our mission there were egregious. Liars, fakers, false media, America haters, the “Its the JUICE!!!!” crowd, Code Pink. I didn’t understand they could be right about something (Russia needs to stay corralled in this case) and wrong about why, how, and the sun coming up in the west.

              1. This. Putin’s running an old Soviet program, with old Soviet tactics, and in some cases at least, old Soviet equipment. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who lived through the era when the Soviet Union was doing Soviet Union things to everyone around.

              2. It makes sense. Wyrdbard’s description of the Russians reminds me of my dad’s commentary on the arabs, specifically the Saudis. They do what they do, and people discount that at their peril. Makes sense that Putin is the same, even if he had a “come to Jesus” moment where “Jesus” = “I want my country to be controlled by my countrymen (and specifically me) and not the bugmen”. Tsar Putin. And that’s the best case scenario. In some ways it’s just hope. Hope that Trump isn’t the Clinton/Democratic tool I thought he was back in 2016. Hope that Zhe is better than he is, hope that Putin.

                Well, if wishes were horses, beggers would ride.

                  1. You know, I read Coutines’ book and I did not see that. So much of the top leadership at the get go were freaks like Marx. But yes. It’s the same. Though I always figured Putin for a wanna-be Tsar.

                  1. That’s too far. But “everyone else who used to be properly under Russia’s dominion and had the temerity to say [Let’s go Brandon]”. Oh yes.

                    I don’t think Putin is like the neo-Caliphates. I can recognize that shape from the

                    1. Trouble is, that takes you right up to the 1945 borders of the Soviet empire. And the Russians felt massively insecure then, and had immediate designs on taking over the whole of Europe (plus their grand design in China, which backfired by creating a rival Communist behemoth).

                      Every new conquest creates a new border, new neighbours, new potential enemies, and new excuses for paranoia. There is no end of this short of ruling the world.

                    2. No, it’s not even close to too far. Even under the Soviet Union, where they controlled all the accesses to their country they expanded wherever they could. They were expanding into AFRICA. They are not in the same strategic position as the old British Empire. First off he owns the largest country in the world in land area wise even after the losses of the now former Soviet territory. He has far more resources to work with than Britain ever did.

                      Go read what Sarah says in Pudding Heads about what Russia was doing in Portugal. What possible threat was Portugal to them? Reclaiming territory is a start. He’s after EMPIRE in the very old meaning of the word (Think Alexander the Great and Rome. Peter the Great in Russia’s history who was expansionist as all get out), which means perpetual expansion, which has only one logical end. Either they control everything or someone smacks them down so hard they shatter.

                      Putin doesn’t have the religious end of the nut jobbery that the neo-Caliphates do. He’s a good old fashioned emperor. He is Tsar. It’s a different mindset. He’s more Rome than the Ottomans. Including the ‘conquer and loot to keep us going.’ But that means there always must be somewhere else to loot. Which was the soviet interest in Africa: New place to loot.

                    3. I always thought the communism was an import layer on Russia. The shape of rule-everyone-everwhere is the same for it as Islam. Add an autocracy and heyo, CCP / Caliphates.

                      I just do not grok that the metastasizing need to absorb everyone (Islam, communism, new world order) is the same as Russian imperialism. The which I missed (obrigada, Mrs Hoyt)

                      Not vital to the security of the Empire as my old D&D pals used to say. Imperial Russia is an existential threat to Finland, Poland et al.

                    4. The Soviet Union was just the best at the expansion game since Ivan the Terrible. Communism did not drive Russia to Empire. (See aforementioned Ivan the Terrible, and Peter the Great. And Catherine the Great…) Communism just gave Russian Expansionism a nice fresh shiny coat of paint and a point of contact with several parts of the world. Communism was an opportunity not a motivator.

                      Go study Empires. Rome. Alexander the Great. Babylon. Persia. Ancient Sumer. The Mongols. Imperial Japan (hope you have a strong stomach). You will see much that is similar in what we see out of Russia.

                      Why do you have a burning need to make excuses for Russia, and what about them pushes you to think they would be less expansionistic than religiously motivated empires? Humans have been conquering their neighbors as far as they could push as far back as we have records. You say you do not grok the similarities… I don’t grok how you think Russia merits some form of special treatment.

                      The ideological expansionists overtly want to own the world. The Ottomans were both imperially and religiously driven. The Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians (and the Medes), and the list goes on and on and on and on.

                      For crying out loud. After the Korean War, the Koreans expected us to annex them. (My grandparents were there. My grandfather was doing a lot of the translating.) They were floored when the US pulled the bulk of the troops out like they said they would. Because that’s not how it works normally. Normally you come in, fight in and for a country and win, you own the country. Too bad for the people living there. Korea had been under both China and Japan repeatedly, why would we be different? It’s how much of the world STILL thinks. Including Russia.

                      I bring this up to demonstrate that what Putin is doing is not new. It’s old. It doesn’t require Islam, or communisms, or a new world order, though those make it WORSE. Yes, he’s a robber baron, but when he’s looted his people out (soviets took care of that) he needs someone else to loot.

                    5. “Why do you have a burning need to make excuses for Russia”

                      I have a moderate need to understand. I appreciate your patience in explaining, and apologize for testing it.

                    6. Russia took communism as a layer on RUSSIA. and communism lasted long enough to become part of them.
                      Putin is and will always be a communist in that sense. iT’s his culture. It’s part of him.

                    7. This paragraph:
                      The ideological expansionists overtly want to own the world. The Ottomans were both imperially and religiously driven. The Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians (and the Medes), and the list goes on and on and on and on.

                      Should be concluded:
                      They were not religiously motivated, but they expanded with great vigor.

                      And on that note, I think I need to go to bed. I am dropping sentences and portions of sentences. I shall check this in the morning.

                    8. No worries. Appreciate the input. I do not have the time to do the original research as am still up to my eyeballs in covidiocy and house stuff. I appreciate your taking time to explain.

                    9. I have a somewhat redacted edition of La Russie en 1839 where the foreword talks about how the American embassy staff regarded it as the best guide to the USSR.

      2. Putin is at fault for the invasion of Ukraine, and it did not start last week, but in 2014. The planning for it started in 2010, and Yanukovych running and abandoning his office allowed Putin to accelerate the time table for his evil work.

    4. NATO has nothing to do with Putin’s desire to recreate the Russian Empire. He’s using that as an excuse (and you’ve apparently bought into his lies). The USSR created the Warsaw Pact as an “answer” to NATO. Unfortunately for the USSR, NATO is a *voluntary* alliance, while the Warsaw Pact was forcibly created by the Soviet Union. Putin is trying to do that again with Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and now Ukraine.

      The US created NATO along with Britain and France. When you say “put on your big boy pants, NATO” you’re talking to the US as well. NATO is structured so that the US holds the majority of command and control. The rest of the members are pulling the weight assigned to them by the US.

      And when it comes to Europe “taking responsibility for defending their own soil.“, they tried that in 1995 in Yugoslavia. The EU specifically told the US and NATO that it was a “European problem.” That turned out well. NATO had to step in when it became clear that the EU can’t make decisions in a timely manner when it comes to military matters.

      1. Moldova’s not (currently) in the same spot as Belarus and the others. There’s a “separatist” region, but my understanding is that otherwise Russian influence is fairly weak. Moldova is close to Romania both for cultural and historical reasons, and will likely rejoin Romania at some point in the coming decades, barring Russian interference.

        It probably helps that there’s no common border with Russia, as Ukraine is in the way. If Putin wins his current war, this will likely change, of course. If that happens, I would expect Moldova to quickly become an area of focus in order to block any attempt to reunify with Romania.

      2. The USSR created the Warsaw Pact as an “answer” to NATO.

        Exactly backwards. Whether the name existed or not (as Thomas Sowell is wont to quote Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr: “Think things, not words.”) the reality was that the structure existed from the time the Soviet Union remained in occupied Eastern Europe after WWII. NATO was a response to that reality on the ground.

        1. No, Prof. Ornery is exactly right. The Warsaw Pact was created as a propaganda exercise in response to the establishment of NATO (and the admission of West Germany thereto). Khrushchev wanted a fig-leaf to cover the already existing occupation of Eastern Europe by the Red Army. For the next 35 years, Soviet propagandists (and their Western stooges) consistently drew a false equivalency between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. They shifted between pretending that the Soviet satellites joined the Warsaw Pact voluntarily, and pretending that the European members of NATO were forced to join by the wicked American imperialists – or both lies together – depending on what propaganda line they were trying to push at the moment.

          Since the Warsaw Pact only ever existed as a name and a propaganda exercise, there is no ‘thing’ and no ‘structure’ for the name to correspond to. It was a lie, and the lie was told to sway gullible European Leftists and thereby undermine NATO.

          1. The day after the Warsaw Pact was signed, two Poles are walking down the street. “Comrade,” asks the first, “Are the Russians our friends, or our brothers?” “Why, Comrade,” the other replies, “The Russians are our brothers!” He looks around, leans in, and whispers, “You get to choose your friends.”

            1. An old lady from the country came to Warsaw for the first time and saw a statue of Stalin.

              ‘Who is that?’ she asked.

              ‘Why,’ said a bystander, ‘that is the great Comrade Stalin.’

              ‘What makes him so great?’

              ‘Why, don’t you know? He got rid of the Germans for us!’

              The old lady nodded emphatically. ‘Good for him! Now maybe he can get rid of the Russians for us.’

              1. Oh, I’ve not heard that one! Prof. Vejas Leulivicius at University of Tennessee loves Soviet jokes. I’ll have to share it with him.

                1. *Liulevicius. Should not have tried to spell that from memory. He also does a lot of work for The Teaching Company, specializing in Eastern Europe and Communism. And not as a fan; he’s the son of Lithuanian immigrants. More as a “I study the things I love and the things I hate. “

        2. I take your point but my comment is not exactly backwards. The Warsaw Pact wasn’t an “official” organization until after NATO was formed. Stalin occupied the eastern European countries as a buffer at the end of WWII. There was no formal organization to it. Yes, NATO was a response to the situation on the ground, but that was viewed as an ongoing occupation, not a formal treaty alliance between those countries and the USSR.

  5. The “vaxxed” versus “unvaxxed” narrative was supposed to create a class of people who would be shuffled off to the gulag with the enthusiastic cheering of the “vaxxed” crowd. The commies even used the same tactics as they did for the Kulaks in the Ukraine, and Hitler to the Jews, by claiming the unvaxxed were dirty, diseased, evil people.

    And it didn’t work. Heh. The jabs didn’t stop people from getting Covid, and because they were ineffective (and very dangerous), the narrative fell apart. It’s still falling apart. The vax mandates are being dropped everywhere. Mask mandates are falling. Their entire house of cards was built on creating a social credit system that would silence and enslave us. They’re still going to try, but their grand plan using the vaccines is smashed to bits. Good. More of this, and faster, please.

    1. >> “The “vaxxed” versus “unvaxxed” narrative was supposed to create a class of people who would be shuffled off to the gulag with the enthusiastic cheering of the “vaxxed” crowd… And it didn’t work.”

      Not only that, it may have actively done the reverse. Given the vaxx’s effects on health and reproductive ability, people in some circles are promoting the unvaccinated as SUPERIOR. As in, being more desirable as mates.

  6. Who pushed nato on whom? A question I’ve not seen asked but an interesting one nonetheless.

    1. An interesting question and I don’t know the answer…whether Ukraine was agitating for it or whether NATO itself was trying to sell them on membership. I’ve always assumed it was the former hoping that it would deter Russia from continuing to supply/assist the Luhansk and Donbas separatist movements. But I don’t know that for sure.

      1. If I were Vlad’s neighbor I’d be looking for any port in a storm and so they did. Sure there are Americans dreaming their neocon dreams but I think the push came from them.

        1. Pretty sure it was from them, just like the Warsaw Pact states and the Baltics pushed for it the moment they could. Because otherwise they would just be waiting around until Russia got over its temporary weakness and ate them again.

          According to several analyses I’ve read by now, the penultimate act in this drama was Biden fecklessly suggesting that sure, Ukraine might join, without setting up a plan to make it a fait accompli before the Russians could react.

          I believe Claire Berlinski is correct here:

          Can we bear the costs of not stopping Putin? Putin’s track record is clear: Every war he wins is followed by another war. He certainly won’t stop with Ukraine; read for yourself, below, what he envisions.


          This may sound like the Domino Theory Redux, but psychotic bully gonna bully unless he’s stopped.

          1. Excellent article, particularly the Kremlin analysis: Russia for the Russians! And bugger the rest of you sorry bastards.

            Mrs Berlinski, a third culture kid, is equally honest that her ideology, her caste, and her New World Order, is at risk. She hasn’t got a country, but what she does have, by whatever name it goes by, is real, and she’s as loyal to it as any man would be to his homeland.

            Notoce that the neither the U.S. nor Chrisendom is of interest

      2. I would also point out that the world isn’t big enough to contain Putin’s paranoia. They demanded that NATO be dismantled and all the ex Warsaw Pact countries be essentially disarmed. Paranoid and hubristic is no way to go through life.

        Let’s put the blame where it belongs, on Putin specifically and authoritarians generally.

        1. Where are you getting your info? Sounds like your parroting MSM, pardnah. If the 11 US-owned biolabs in Ukraine story continues to pan out, and it has increasingly more traction as the days wear on, then its the kind of paranoia that might save your life and your country’s life.
          One thing I’m sure of- very little if anything being promoted by MSM is real, truthful, or presented to help anyone truly understand anything.


          1. ‘Biolab’ is a hugely broad category.

            There would be a lot of them in any country with a lot of modern medicine access.

            Canada and the Ukraine are about the same population size, and for all I know have the same standard of living wrt healthcare.

            The questions are ‘labs at what scale’, doing what sorts of activity, how well equipped for safely doing those activities, and how effective the actual people in those labs are at safe practice.

            I would expect quite a bit more than 11 US owned biolabs in Canada, mostly doing utterly harmless things. The most dangerous biolab in Canada seems to be owned by the Canadian government, be employing a lot of PRC origin scientists, and doing things at the direction of the Canadian government.

            US owned in the Ukraine does not necessarily mean /anything/. 11 is maybe about the number I would expect, with the distance, and the level of close personal interaction. The important detail is whether the labs were doing anything. There are two paths to knowing what a lab has been doing. a) ask the people who were doing stuff. A problem if they are dishonest or coerced or dead. b) Ask outside experts, with access to the lab and the materials. Which means trusting Ukrainian or Russian government experts. I hope it is obvious why you should not expect a random American to automatically trust either of those sources of experts?

            If you kill the staff of a hospital, and bring in your own experts of the sort needed to verify biological warfare activities, you should i) expect that maybe your expert selection, and implicit messages to them, might possibly bias their conclusions ii) expect that maybe the killing might predispose people to be skeptical of anything your experts allege.

            1. True. U.S. owned biolabs probably helped create S2C19. The bar for for “invade suicidally dangerous state-sanctioned biolabs” is very high “We invaded to save you from the slavik Wuhan is Ghost of Kiev level propo.

              It’s flack

              All the players and their NPCs are keeping the disinfo level at maximum.

              Makes me wonder what it is expected to accomplish.

              1. I have a theory about this. The regime are a bunch of empty souls. They try to fill this emptiness and cover their inadequacy by stirring up chaos, which puts them at the center of attention. They’re addicts and every crisis is a hit. Take away the crisis and they’re nothing.

                They’re to be pitied, really.

          2. The Russians sent a couple of treaty drafts to the US and NATO in December. I read through both of them yesterday (they’re not that long). One of the items in the treaty is that there will be no foreign forces in Europe above the numbers present on March 27, 1997. Given that it’s 2022, you might be wondering why a treaty would list a date over twenty years ago. The reason is almost certainly because 1997 was when negotiations started to add the first three former Warsaw Pact nations to NATO (Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, iirc). Or in other words, the treaty basically forces NATO out of the former Soviet puppet states.

            There are other sections in there that would effectively force the USAF and USN to stay home permanently, and our nuclear-armed SSBMs would be restricted to our own coast. Russia would, of course, technically be under the same restrictions. But in practice, it wouldn’t do much since Russia doesn’t maintain forces outside of it’s national territory.

                1. Ummm here I have to disagree at least with respect to WMD. We shut down our Bioweapons plants even when were relatively certain Soviets and Later Russia were violating the accords left right and center. We have nearly completed destroying our stockpiles of chemical weapons (yes it’s like 15 years late). We have obeyed SALT I, SALT II, START and New START even though I Think all but SALT I were never ratified. we have obeyed the CTBT, the IRNF and ABM treaties. We notified the Soviet Union’s successor as specified in the treaty when we moved to abrogate the ABM treaty. Many of the changes made for START/new START strongly affected our nuclear posture. We have in general abided by the portions of the Geneva accords which we have ratified . There are treaties we have felt free to violate (e.g. those with native American peoples) but in general treaties with respect to weaponry and warfare we have kept.

                  1. As a Note New Start was ratified both by the US senate and signed by then president Obama in 2011. The Duma ratified it and it was sign by then Russian president Medvedev. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_START#Treaty_activities_and_status_of_New_START) It was only for 10 years with the possibility of a 5 year renewal if agreed by both parties. The Trump administration made overtures in 2020, including bringing China into the treaty and restricting non strategic weapons to a greater extent. Russia basically dawdled and China outright refused. The Turnip administration pretty much did nothing in 2021 (I may need the use of our Hostess’ shocked face even as overused as it is). I would say currently the odds of anything happening on the treaty are 0 and so it will expire although we continue to follow its restrictions.

                2. Actually the West has a better track record with that than most. To the point that several places in the world LAUGH at how serious we are about keeping our treaties. After all what intelligent person actually means a treaty with a total stranger? And yes, that is a very scary thought.

                  Side note: No clue on the acronym.

                3. Yes, we do. we almost autistically try to keep them.
                  The Russians never gave a damn. they’re like Muslims in that.
                  Friend, you’re listening to deeply compromised people.

                  1. It’s Hobbit.

                    This is Hobbit’s MO.

                    She has a theory of who is on Her Side, wants to be friends with /everyone/ who should be on Her Side, and is puzzled and troubled if we all are not mutual friends in conformance with her theory.

                    Sometimes a firm explanation that someone here is not on Her Side, despite having common enemies, sends her packing.

                    Then, after we’ve ‘forgotten’ she shows back up, peddling the same idea.

                    It seems like the nicest explanation is that she has memory issues.

          3. The one thing we can be certain of with the biolabs is that they were not weapons facilities.

            Mostly because even Lord Brandon isn’t stupid enough to stick a sensitive weapons factory on a contested border.

              1. Thing is, there’s a lot easier way to “attack biolabs.” You dress people up in nice suits and/or labcoats, and you provide them with nice fake credentials, and you don’t need to spend a billion zillion dollars on it. Maybe there are some unfortunate “lab accidents” or mysterious disappearances. But that’s all.

                Come on, people, Putin used to be KGB. Do you really think he’d be opposed to sneaky spy killing stuff, when that used to be his profession?

                1. And indeed as the old cliche goes “To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail”. Putin’s default solution to in issue is to sneak, or lie, or create a maskirova. And he truly does seem to have delusions of resurrecting the “glory” of the Russian/Soviet empire. Hell he’s nearly as unbelievable as Ming the Merciless and yet he’s real. I some times wonder at the Authors intent in plotting, it’s just fricking weird.

      3. “… the Luhansk and Donbas separatist movements.”

        Self-determination for me, but not for thee.

        1. If Russian troops had advanced into those areas and stopped at the border, the world would have called Putin mean names, and then shrugged it’s collective shoulders and returned to what it was doing before. Ukraine would have been forced to accept it due to Ukraine’s inability to do anything to stop what the Russians had done.

          But Russian troops didn’t stop at those areas.

          1. Yep, especially since he’d just be formalizing what was already true in practice. Russian troops are all through Donbas.

        2. Russia’s been funding ‘separatists’ (usually their own agents up until they declared they were TOTALLY locals, totally… Only there aren’t any locals, alive, to ask. Or the locals are going ‘yes, he’s local, please don’t hurt me!’ which makes them ever so trustworthy.) They pulled the same BS in Georgia (country not state). They’ve been ginning up the same issues in the ‘Stans. They were making runs at the Balkans back in ’00 and ’01. Why should these be any different?

      4. Once again, you can tell what the Left is doing by what they accuse the other side of doing. “Putin Installs Puppet Government in Ukraine”… That’s true, at least he’s planning to. But, the Obama Administration & the CIA installed an anti-Russian puppet government (Yatsenyuk), throwing out the duly-elected Ukrainian President, in favor of alleged Neo-Nazis. This is a mess and we could legitimately call it a mess that Joe Biden and his cronies made. They’ve been pushing Putin into a corner and “you don’t put Baby in a corner,” as Patrick Swayze said. Speaking of Dirty Dancing.

        So it’s an open question who wants what and even more, it’s in a sense meaningless, in that either regime would be the same sort of autocratic, kleptocratic mess that both the Ukrainians and Russians have been swimming in for centuries. Neither has ever been a “free” country by any rational standard. And the West has not only done nothing to change that, the CIA approach has been to install their preferred strong man. Kissinger and his Realpolitik cohort (since Allen Dulles & before) have always preferred dictators as easier to control than free people. The US has long exported dictatorship in the name of freedom and “democracy.”

        I am very sorry for the Ukrainian people and I wish them well. I am enraged at our own puppet President and his handlers for pushing Putin into a corner and fomenting this invasion, I think more to get out from under the Covid debacle and to have give Biden “Presidential moment”, to allow him to posture as a Strong Leader in his SOTU speech. Although there’s more to it, THAT, really, is the reason for this mass murder and destruction of whole cities; so Biden could rescue his poll numbers in time for the elections.

        There must be one more even lower level of Hell in Dante’s Inferno for the people who would do that much evil for such trivial pursuits.

        1. ‘Pushing Putin into a corner’ is probably a bullshit model.

          There is zero reason to think that Biden appointees could make so effective a use of Federal bureaucrats as to engineer such a situation.

          1. Biden is not mentally competent.
          2. There is some sort of committee feeding the nominations to Biden, and that committee is not picking people who could be potential threats to their influence over Biden. There may be competent people slipping through that process, but Biden’s appointees are largely neither competent nor in real contact with reality. One with contact with reality would not accept a nomination from Biden, without the awareness that the politics around Biden would make it difficult to do lasting good in any of the positions of influence. The sanest possible appointee is more or less someone who sees that Biden is plausibly impaired, and is determined to sacrifice their own potential future public career in order to i) keep Biden in office with the public less aware ii) minimize the damaging consequences of this utterly foolish stunt. It seems like few of them are the sanest possible appointees.
          3. With a competent President, and a competent set of appointees, the American federal bureaucracy simply is /not/ that good at foreign policy. In particular, the bureaucracy of the Department of State is notorious for being nuts when it comes to overconfidence in manipulating foreign regimes. The bureaucrats appear to either a) have no idea what is going on in the thinking inside a foreign organization b) think that declaring a US policy somehow magically causes the desired results to occur c) or both wrong ideas.

          There may well be US bureaucrats somewhere who i) have a sane understanding of how some group thinks ii) are actually employed at a policy making level using that understanding.

          There is no reason to think that they could predict the Russian decision making state space, that they could have information enough, to know which inputs (beyond Biden’s weakness) would result in another military adventure by Putin.

          FRankly, the only people with enough of that information to really form conclusions about the consequences of the decision inputs from the US are the Russians. Yeah, I would really trust Putin’s judgement about what the US ‘forced’ Putin to do.


          He may well think that UC actors have enough information to do that on purpose. His whole background primes him to think insanely along those lines.

          1. I know it’s something of a catchphrase, but you’re making sense. Excellent sense.

          2. We didn’t force Putin to do anything. Neither us nor the Ukraine were wearing short skirts.
            Putin is a paranoiac in possession of a loaded (in all senses. Dear Lord, the drinking) country.
            That’s all.

        2. “Pushing Putin into a corner?” Bullshit. In case it escapes your notice, he invaded Georgia while we were in a contentious election and there ware signs we’d be looking else where. We were paying enough attention that we made him give it back. This time he waited. Frankly, I think he did it becuase he KNOWS we have no one at the wheel with 2 working braincells so this is his best chance to actually make territorial gains. Putin’s goal is the goal the Russia has had for decades (and frankly centuries). 1) To rule as much of the world as they possibly can. 2) To get the rest of the world to take them seriously as a civilized nation without actually having to act like a civilized nation. Quit sucking up to the bastard.

          1. There was no “pushing into the corner.” There was a pattern of taking actions that Putin would likely be offended by, acting shocked when he reacted (e.g. by invading or funding “separatists” in regions of neighbors), and then ineffectually responding to his reactions. Worse, our Western so-called “leaders” enacted policies that increased dependence upon Russian oil and gas, and overall market prices for those commodities, thus funding Putin’s war machine. Putin bears near total responsibility for this mess. Western “leaders” do bear a tiny bit of responsibility for poking the bear numerous time without punishing the bear when he swipes back, thus failing to discourage future swipes. So, it is Putin’s fault, but our so-called “leaders” spent decades effectively encouraging and enabling his behavior, rather than discouraging it.

            But I wonder if this isn’t part of a wider partial reversion to an earlier world system. Have we perhaps gone back to the multi-polar “Great Powers” system from the bi-polar (Cold War) and uni-polar (post-Soviet) system that most of us have known? The bi-polar and uni-polar models largely relied upon the US and USSR, and then the US, acting through the UN, as enforcement for international law. Has the US frittered away enough of its power or inclination since the Soviet fell that the uni-polar model is failing and a multi-polar model is coming back? I have no answers, just questions the came to mind as I was walking earlier.

            1. There is, supposedly, a plan to revert the world to a “great power” system. Each region in the world would have a great power to maintain and safeguard that region. From what I’ve heard, the people who came up with this scheme would like the regional great power in the Middle East to be…


              Yeah. No.

              1. Good point, that’s a bad plan, but also not quite how the old “Great Powers” system worked, either, though, as some of them neighbored each other and they competed for colonies and spheres of influence and such. I was referring not so much to a plan as to an outgrowth of less American interventionism to maintain the existing order, and failure of a coalition of others to fill that role. Will we see the EU manifest the will to take up that role, or somebody else do so, or a reversion to “sovereign nations in an anarchic world?”

      5. I’ve seen arguments that it goes back to 1994, when the US and others were trying to keep former-Soviet nukes from getting into the hands of Not Nice people (or rotting in place and causing environmental messes), and we agreed to protect those places that had nukes if they’d give them to Russia or the US (or Britain? I don’t remember) to take apart and dispose of. I don’t have hard sources on that at hand.

        1. Clinton admin with the Russian Gov’t and it’s hard allies assured Ukraine that if they gave up their stocks of Nukes (The Reds had put a LOT of them in the area . . . A: closer to the target area. B: any accidents were not in Mother Russia) that the US would help defend in some nebulous unspecified way, and Russia (and Belarus signed as well) promised to not attack. Putin got around it with his support of “Separatists” who often were Rus military with insignia removed. The former Pro Rus gov’t were heavily protested against, then anti-Rus more pro US gov’t were about as corrupt, and got voted out, leading to the current Prez, who might well be corrupt, but has worked some to clean things. His biggest crime in Putin’s eyes, though is his stand-up act was often critical of Vlad, who has skin thinner than 0bama, and a willingness to off those he dislikes enough to make Hillary go “Whoa, Dude, calm down.”

      6. Clubs are usually better than swords.
        First, you can’t accidentally cut yourself on a club. Sure, you can drop it on your foot, bang yourself in the leg with it. I supposed you could even hit yourself with it if you were doing something foolish; but you’re not going to seriously injure yourself or kill yourself with it, short of throwing it high in the air and trying to get hit in the head as it comes down.
        Second, never had a problem with clubs getting stuck in a bone or between the ribs.
        Third, you don’t have to spend time sharpening your club.
        Fourth, unlike swords, clubs usually don’t rust.
        Fifth, clubs are cheap. Take a log or stick, trim it up with your jackknife or hatchet, and you’re in business. Swords take weeks from raw materials; still takes a day at the least if you have metal stock and a modern workshop.
        Sixth, clubs work better to subdue non-lethally than swords. Sure, you can try knocking them out or down with the flat of the blade, but that’s tough to do with a narrow blade like a saber or rapier. And mistakes happen.

        * * *

        I think Teddy Roosevelt got the foreign policy bug during the Spanish-American War. Winning a war of foreign adventurism would do that. Had he been captured and incarcerated by the Spanish/Cubans; I’m sure his opinions would have been vastly different; not to mention that he’d probably never have become President.

        * * *

        Most countries, even in eastern Europe, want to join NATO for both economic and security reasons. Perhaps a little less since Trump has been trying to wean them off American dollars to fund it. Doesn’t take a huge amount of push from the U.S., just cash.

        * * *

        I’ve got no problem with young Americans volunteering to go help the Ukrainians, or even the government or private companies from providing arms and ammunition for them. Biggest problem is that most of the Ukraine uses AK-47s or derivatives chambered in 7.62 while most of NATO and the U.S. use 5.56 cartridges.

        * * *

        Wars rarely have a clear demarcation of when violent hostilities need be started. More like, how much pressure can the boiler withstand before it fails and blows? Easy to point to after the fact, nearly impossible beforehand.

        * * *

        Yep, Ukraine is the perfect distraction from ill deeds of the Demoncrats. Unfortunately, my co-worker’s brother still lives in Kiev. They’ve got food and water, but electricity is unreliable and heat is tough too.

        1. “I think Teddy Roosevelt got the foreign policy bug during the Spanish-American War.”

          Having read several books by and about Theodore Roosevelt, I think you have the causation reversed. We got the Spanish-American War (at least in the form we had it) because Theodore Roosevelt had long had the foreign policy bug. He wrote “The Naval War of 1812” as a young man, and in the years before the Spanish-American War was serving as McKinney’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy, in which position he was advocating for a stronger navy. Roosevelt was often Acting Secretary of the Navy while his boss took months-long, in which capacity he manipulated the assignment of George Dewey as commander of the Asiatic Squadron, and issued the orders that in the event of war with Spain Dewey was to take the Philippines. Roosevelt and his friend Leonard Wood, then Assistant Attending Surgeon to President McKinney, spent months arguing for war.

      7. After the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO created the partnership for Peace and both Russia and Ukraine were invited in. Ukraine was the first country in the post Soviet space to accept. Russia rejected. Ukraine has wanted to join NATO for years, and has worked with NATO on many things.

        Putin supposedly asked how NATO would accept a Russian application for admission and said he was treated coldly. The reason for that was simple. You don’t invite a fox to take up residence in the chicken coop. He was already rattling sabers and he isn’t so stupid as to not realize the problem he presented for NATO.

        1. I ran into this recently– I was told Putin and Russia had been treated poorly, and someone said it was because they weren’t allowed to join NATO.

          The Labour peer recalled an early meeting with Putin, who became Russian president in 2000. “Putin said: ‘When are you going to invite us to join Nato?’ And [Robertson] said: ‘Well, we don’t invite people to join Nato, they apply to join Nato.’ And he said: ‘Well, we’re not standing in line with a lot of countries that don’t matter.’”

    2. Truman pushed NATO on us, that’s who! He should have just nuked the Soviet Union into oblivion before they had the bomb!

  7. What we really need is a clear demarcation to determine when we’ve reached the limits of politics and it’s time to break out the war clubs.

    The clubs are always implied. Politics is the practice of talking about the clubs instead of using them.
    Judge: “Why did you shoot the councilman?”
    Defendant: “He was practicin’ politics.”
    Judge: “Oh. Case dismissed.”

  8. “While this disagreement with some of you is pretty significant, it is also completely irrelevant for the fact I still consider you friends and allies. It doesn’t affect my feelings for you.”

    OK I’ll run this up the flag pole; Putin’s the good guy in the Ukraine activity. The nationalist against the globalists. Oversimplification of course, with plenty of room for yea buts, but, but, but…

    No I wouldn’t suggest seriously he’s a good guy but in these days of 24/7 propaganda, these days where every member of congress, democrat and Republican, wore a Ukraine flag lapel pin attending our appointed president’s State of the nation address, when facebook, who banned Ukraine’s neo Nazi Azov Battalion, suddenly allowes them access again, I’d really like to know where I can buy a program so I can tell the bad guys from the badder guys.

    1. I automatically assume everything on the mainstream media is a lie anyway, but lately I now assume EVERYTHING reported from or about Ukraine is a lie. Source doesn’t matter…MSM, alt-media, Ukrainian or Russian government, all of them. Both those governments are excellent at using and spreading propaganda and since most media sources just parrot what one or the other government is saying, I just assume everything is false. CNN could tell me the sky is blue and I’d look out the window four times to make sure.

      Snake Island, the “Ghost of Kyiv,” so many other things have turned out to be propaganda or at best inaccurate when initially reported. So I just figure that everything is a lie and only keep up with the broadest strokes of what is happening.

      As for Putin…he’s a Russian nationalist. He unapologetically does what he thinks is best for Russia and Russians (and himself). That’s not necessarily evil, it’s pragmatic. Maybe that’s why he and Trump could work together, because they both understood each one was working for their country’s best interests as they saw them and they shared a common pragmatism. And a lot of people are seeing Russia, with all its flaws, as a defender of Christianity and nation-states, as opposed to Ukraine being a more modern “decadent” world republic. I don’t know how much of that is true. But demonizing Putin as Hitler 2.0 (or, given how often leftists use the analogy, Hitler 432.0) is way too simplistic.

      1. Quite agree. & a few moments ago I just read that President Zelenskyy is calling on US and NATO to shut skies to Russian forces. Is this 3 September 1939?

        1. Zelensky asked NATO to shut down the skies way back right after Russia invaded. There’s been no indication that any NATO members have given this request serious consideration.

      2. Putin is just a KGB thug. If the USSR were still around he’d be an internationalist not a Russian nationalist..If we’re expecting Putin to defend Christendom, then we’d better start memorizing other’s scriptures. Nope he’s a gangster, as are they all admittedly. The only reason the west’s leaders don’t act the same way is lack of opportunity — Trudeau, Cuomo, and all the rest of the Hitler youth showed us that. Let’s not make our disdain for sleepy Joe and the regime blind us to the reality.

      3. Putin likely “worked well” with Trump because Trump implemented policies that boosted US oil production, and dropped Russia’s only significant cash export through the floor. Or in other words, Putin didn’t have any choice. Russia couldn’t afford to do what it’s now doing in Ukraine.

        1. ^^ THIS ^^

          The US becoming a net exporter of oil was a world historic event. Giving that up again has turned out, potentially, to be another one.

          Putin assessed Biden quite well I think. Where he blundered was in his assessment of Zelensky and the imponderable that his paras would be shot down. had Zelensky run or been taken them this would all be over beyond huffing and puffing and strongly worded notes. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

        2. Can’t argue with that one bit. Now that The Coof + Joey Twoscoops have doubled the price of oil, Putin’s got the money to ride through the sanctions and finance his war.

        3. Putin can’t afford what he is doing now, but that matters little. For Russia, this is their twilight war. It’s an attempt to beat back the circumstances that are dragging Russia to its doom and buy a little more time.

      4. If Putin were purely a Russian nationalist, he would not be murdering dissidents Bond Villain style, in other people’s jurisdictions. The murders are hugely destructive of Russia’s social capital. It is simply flaunting the illegality of the killing to Russians.

        He is not a defender of Christianity. He is a defender of the position of those who murdered the Christian martyrs during the early church period. He believes in a Christianity where Christians carry out rituals worshiping state power.

        1. Looks at Pope climate change and the thou shalt be masked addition to many bibles in this country…

          Pootypoot not a good guy but I’ll take him over any person in DC and maybe all the “free world”

          1. If you call him pootypoot he’ll have you fined and imprisoned or have his Chechen boys disappear you.

            1. He is thin skinned, uses government agencies as his shock troops and will destroy your life in his country if you make large enough waves to get attention…so he’s like almost any of the current gen politicians except he is not protected by media when he destroys his enemies. Again, not a good guy but it’s just reversion to the mean.

              I just note that it’s just a different flavor of the same. Might not get extra polonium sprinkles here but they’ll send the kings agents to search for any fig leaf to harass you. Get any form of notoriety? Their propaganda houses can slime you with almost no consequences. Get made unemployable by it, get savings destroyed with malicious prosecution, be made to tug your forelock til it breaks your mind and it might not be one of the don’s men killing you but your own hand. Still just as ded.

              1. Again, you are incapable of distinguishing between different grades of evil. Harassment and assassination are not even remotely equivalent, and your attempt to depict them as the same is disgusting.

                    1. There’s legit room for confusion on this point, because by Biden do we mean the man himself, or the forces behind him?

                      Hillary may well be a force behind him.

                      Basic issue, Biden’s formal position charges him with the responsibility of seeing laws duly executed. And, he got into office on the back of his party selectively refusing to enforce the law wrt to a terrorist conspiracy.

                      Epstein’s death was hinky as all, and definitely the failures there speak to a federal conspiracy. (Albeit one occurring under Trump administration.)

                      Ashli Babbit, in particular, also reeks of a murder conspiracy involving federal law enforcement.

                      RICO seems to be a funky law. More widely applicable in practice than solicitation.

                      Biden’s failures (so far) to see the law duly enforced makes him look a lot like a co conspirator.

                  1. Capital hill execution (s). Granted that was called for by miss Lindsay and nanzi but Biden is just another cog in the US oligarchy run by tech and media.

                1. Vince Foster, Jeffery Epstein, et al could not be reached for comment. And your deflection to Biden only is noted, when my specific contention is that he’s too incompetent to manage what other Leftists have managed.

              2. Another point about Putin, he really will use nukes; fallout and radiation don’t matter to him, he can just move to a cleaner zone. Witness his attacks on Chernobyl and the other nuke sites. In addition to being able to cut electricity to the rest of Ukraine, it also gives him access to more plutonium producing reactors while taking them away from his opposition.

                1. The plant they (allegedly) attacked was 25% of the Ukraine’s electric power. In the modern sense of total war it is almost by definition a a military target that will cripple your opponent. There is the preference to take it intact as in general winds blow west to east so if if gets damaged lots of that ends up in Russia’s lap.

                  Last I heard Ukraine was still operating the other plants at Chernobyl too. Trudging your troops through the restricted zone is a bad idea as although here nearly 40 years later the overall levels are lower (though outside the very conservative western limits) there are almost certainly nasty hot spots. And carrying radiation around is subtle. If you’ve ever worked with glitter or had live Xmas trees in your home you KNOW how long you find stupid bits of glitter and pine needles and that they’re everywhere. And almost certainly the Russian troops are using NO masks or similar. They’ll be inhaling Alpha emitters, so although its not enough for a prompt kill or even radiation sickness expect to see LARGE increases in lung cancer lukemia and other assorted blood cancers in those troops presuming they (and we ) make it 30 years out.

                  One more bit of proof Putin is a real sweetheart of a guy 😦 .

                2. Since apparently the only thing that matters is that we defeat Russian man bad and that we rally behind those who hurt us to do so, perhaps we should just lauch our nukes. That’ll solve the problem since the only mindset seems to be destroy putin. When US serfs are in prison for protesting this junta, committing suicide because their lives have been destroyed by the ruling class over not saying the right woke shibboleths and so forth we can take solace that we defeated Russia man bad.

                  1. Some idiots picking up a few of the same things I’ve been pointing out for years does not mean that *I* am rallying behind THEM.

                    Same way that Putin occasionally saying something factually accurate didn’t make him a Truthspeaker, nor someone to be trusted.

                    1. As far as I care, since all the mainstream voices are calling putin a nazi, comparing him to Hitler, and calling for his assassination for doing the same thing America has done three times in last twenty years (invading a foreign nation; Libya, Syria,Iraq) and these same voices call me a nazi for not being all in on wokery, I just fall back on my default of not my circus, not my monkeys.

                      I don’t trust putin, but he has stated rational reasons for his actions (NATO has attacked Russian interests before and in doing so unleashed much bigger problems in ISIS). Reasons that could have been dealt with if the interest was to actually not have war. Instead we push the mob boss nation into corner and tell him to pound sand. Meanwhile the west enriches him with oil, gives him every signal that they won’t oppose him for Saber rattling (nordstream green light) and negotiates with even worse actors. If I could trust that the western oligarchs could fight putin (drill, pipes, export, do the ‘nice doggy while reaching for stick’, etc) I would be more accommodating but my trust in western institutions has been spent.

                      Between Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria the west has proven that it cannot be trusted to start fights. It withdraws and lets worse actors gain power, upsets balance of power and then ignores the aftereffects, and gets to toss others under the bus.

                      I can understand how Russia had issues with nato on its doorstep, just as the US jumped into ww1 after the Zimmerman telegraph, blockaded Cuba (an act of war), and followed domino theory. Competent statesmanship and realpolitik could have prevented all of this but the west wanted this. And given the results of western military action over the past half century, Ukraine would be better served working with Russia than trusting the west (we screwed over south Vietnam, Iraqx2 and Afghanistan)

                    2. *reads the first paragraph*

                      What the ever loving F are you doing listening to “mainstream sources” that are calling Putin a Nazi?

                      Why is YOUR self-inflicted wound MY problem?

                      And yes, you are insisting on making it my problem, because you go and inflict nonsense on yourself, then take it out on people without regard for if they are talking sense or not.

                      STOP LETTING INSANE PEOPLE CONTROL YOU, or at the very least quit demanding the rest of us follow along with you!

                    3. Because those mainstream voices include posters here. And it affects a sizeable minority of this country if not a true majority. Seeing as I’ve lost multiple friends over this garbage, and have immediate family members I do not speak to because I want to be left alone and nor need to jump thru woke or covid hoops I can guarantee its not as minor as people think.

                      My point is that since we won’t use effective economic tools, getting people killed is morally wrong. Letting Kiev think we will do more than put a flag on a Twitter handle, even if that is done at the potatus level, when we will not will get people killed. Treating Russia with less respect than any other oil producer (given the ruling US oligarchy see kashoggi) will piss them off and for no benefit.

                      Maybe I’m jaded because I think the mullahs are a greater threat to status quo peace (oh, a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race with Israel, Qatar, Saudi, and others, ho hum, Russia opposing a western alliance on its doorstep, kill em all) than putin formenting another coup and the only thing that this media onslaught will do is make sure to push the Iran nuclear pathway v2 (don’t want rooskie oil, there’s a fix).

                      No one that reaches the level of a national leader is a good person in terms of letting people alone. I just don’t want to get in a spitting match with one of them that has a mirv icbm targeted 5 miles from my house over something that there is no willingness to solve. When I 54S I’d rather it be my call.

                    4. Because those mainstream voices include posters here.

                      You claimed:
                      and these same voices call me a nazi for not being all in on wokery,

                      You’re going to have to actually support that.
                      With links.

                    5. Look up at the Munich analogies. It’s in this thread. Yes, I’m associating folks calling putin a nazi with the media calling him one and then with the media calling me one. Still fewer degrees than Kevin bacon (I’m at 4).

                    6. Look up at the Munich analogies. It’s in this thread. Yes, I’m associating folks calling putin a nazi with the media calling him one and then with the media calling me one. Still fewer degrees than Kevin bacon (I’m at 4).

                      Some hysterical screamers recognizing water is wet does not invalidate that fact, nor does it cause everyone else who has recognized that fact to be somehow responsible for every insane thing the screamers have said, nor even required to pay any attention to it. Because the screamer’s words have no value. They are noise, if they’re pushed as mainstream or not.

                      Looking at “the Munich thread,” the worst you could say is that you were accused of being English.
                      Which, while it’d be fighting words to my late, very Scottish, grandmother– is not being called a Nazi.

                    7. My point was that it’s attaching putin to nazi (Munich analogy. What is difference between putin saying no nato on my border and Wilson saying that the Germans offering reconquista is an act of war) which I then attach to oligarchy media and their extension of nazi from reality to ‘anyone that opposes us’. And that attaches the accuser to the mainstream media that sees nazis under its bed.

                      My point is that as soon as the tanks rolled over border we were screwed. Putin did what is normal historically in that he is trying to make a weaker nation his vassal. Further proof pax Americana is dead. The west has proven itself a paper tiger at best as long as you can last a decade.

                    8. You doing horrible stuff to yourself is not the fault of anyone but you.

                      As for Putin’s behavior being normal– so was the behavior of the Nazis. Historically speaking.

                      Putin did what is normal historically in that he is trying to make a weaker nation his vassal. Further proof pax Americana is dead. The west has proven itself a paper tiger at best as long as you can last a decade.

                      That doesn’t even make sense…..

                    9. Per current US law and jurisprudence self inflicted injuries are the fault of people disagreeing rather than the person committing self harm. See current US gender jurisprudence.

                      The US fought the north Vietnamese army. Vietnam is one country under north Vietnam. The US fought the taliban. The taliban now run Afghanistan. The US tried to westernized Iraq. While they managed to debaathicize the country it is now a Iranian vassal, after being an isis nation. Fighting wise the US has had positive outcomes against Grenada, Iraq in Kuwait, and various parts of the Yugoslavia morass. Current military doctrine seems more targeted against subjects within us borders than against foreign nations. Actual great powers conflicts such as against China are doomed to fail as US military leadership is subservient to China, see JCS Trump promise.

                      Germany was run up until what, last year by an east German who was more interested in importing the middle east than with the existing German people. We have gone from a pope who helped run a anticommunist labor insurgency to one that is 110% behind “from each, to each” philosophy and is completely behind environmental out of sight out of mind industrial destruction that results in handing over power to nations like Russia and China that don’t care.

                      If pax Americana existed nations wouldn’t be pushing like this. The country should have more than enough economic power to prevent both putins and other adventurism without needing to perform saber rattling with the decrepit sabers they seem to have,but they don’t. They do circus tricks that do nothing in reality at best and think that since the US versions of RT (CNN, CBS, FOX, NBC, ETC) support them they are good.

                    10. Per current US law and jurisprudence self inflicted injuries are the fault of people disagreeing rather than the person committing self harm.

                      Nope, not going to play with the nonsense.

                      I can’t stop you from hurting yourself, I don’t have to let you hurt me.

                    11. I can’t stop you from hurting yourself

                      Well, sometimes you can, but it’s not your responsibility, and not your fault if you can’t. ‘Progressives’ don’t get to project guilt on you for somebody else’s actions.
                      There but one greater sin than to be right when those in power are wrong — proving it.

                  2. Why use nukes when assassination is cheaper and cleaner? It’s Putin’s favorite tactic. It would be poetic justice if that’s the way he got taken out.

                    1. Assassinating a foreign official for invading a sovereign country for “defense against genocide/self defense/etc”…So every US official since Reagan basically.

                      I guess the CIA could fortify the next Russian election…

      5. Same here – we’re being played, big-time; by the Ukrainians, by the Russians, by our own media (social and mainstream establishment) our government, and likely by the Chinese as well.
        I trust a couple of my co-bloggers at Chicagoboyz, my daughter trusts a couple of mil-bloggers she knows who have familial connections in the Ukraine – but as far as we are concerned, everyone else is lying their fool heads off.

      6. Putin is only a Russian nationalist because as far as he’s concerned he IS Russia. He doesn’t care what happens to Russians. They are peasants who live to serve him. Which is why the 9mm brain hemorage, radioactive tea, and being sent to Gulag are still all around, just a little quieter. He’s not Hitler 2.0. He’s a KGB thug. Now quit carrying water for the ass hole. He doesn’t defend Christianity unless the church is working for him! (Not falling inline with him is a good way to get your church burned down. As is speaking against him. Not saying which one, for the same reason I don’t ID actual helpful Iraqis from when I was deployed.)

        Putin ‘worked with Trump’ because, as is typical when there’s a non-democrat in office, Putin’s calculus was that Trump was every bit likely to do to him what we did to ISIS if he pushed too hard. Quit shilling for Putin. Just because the Ukrainians are out propagandizing him (because they understand the west better) doesn’t mean he’s in the right or somehow someone noble. He’s not. He’s a thug who’s trying to expand his turf. he’s just got a whole friggin’ country to play with.

        1. Putin ‘worked with Trump’

          Can I point out here how very very tired I am of the “Trump fawned all over dictators” trope?

          Because if I’m the President, and I’m going to have to negotiate with a nuclear-armed, touchy, possibly crazy, foreign dictator, I should make sure to insult him and call him the offspring of Hitler and Genghis Khan first? How the hell does that make sense? Has nobody ever heard the phrase “butter them up”?

          1. You and me both. And from what I saw of how he handles North Korea, he also set South Korea up as the Elder Statesman in the region.

        2. What stopped Putin from doing what he is doing now while Trump was in office was the genuine threat of mutually assured destruction and that Trump had proven that he would give the order to bomb/shoot/otherwise kill those who went after the US and US interests. Putin like all thuggish dictators is a bully, and as such he didn’t want to fight someone who would punch back twice as hard.

          Putin feared Trump. He does not fear HarrisBiden, just as he did not fear Obama. We all see that Biden is mentally incompetent just from watching him on TV. Putin has met Biden face to face, which means he knows fully well how utterly senile Biden is and how utterly feckless, incompetent and USA-hating the people that surround Biden are. Given that, why wouldn’t he get hyper-aggressive.

        3. I’m not “carrying water” for Putin at all. I don’t like him, I don’t trust him. Notice I did say he’s doing “what *he* thinks is best for Russia and Russians.” Somehow I don’t think turning the entire world against his country, being unable to move his oil at even $28/bbl below market price, and sending home hundreds or thousands of his young men in body bags is actually what’s best for Russia and Russians. But for whatever reason, he does. And personally I don’t buy the “defender of Christianity” angle but there are people who do, to me that’s a bit extreme. It’s possible to hate what woke Western society is turning into, and still realize that Russian society is not the alternative we want.

          I probably should’ve just kept my mouth shut, I seem to have stepped on too many toes. But, it’s done.

          1. I’ve opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut, it happens. Doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, a comment on a blog doesn’t really lend itself to fine shadings of meaning. If I got out of line, I apologize.

          2. He does because people are widgets to him.

            You said this:
            “As for Putin…he’s a Russian nationalist. He unapologetically does what he thinks is best for Russia and Russians (and himself). That’s not necessarily evil, it’s pragmatic.”

            He is not some noble leader doing what is best for his people. This isn’t pragmatic. This is opportunistic. Pragmatic would be to build his industrial base and build up his people.

            He is not a Russian nationalist beyond believing that he IS Russia. The Russian people? Tools to get where he wants to go. Uncooperative tools as often as not, so who cares what happens to them. See several of my responses to Overgrownhobbit for some examples.

            Putin was expecting this to be Georgia 2.0 where he basically rolled through the country and conquered it within less than 24 hours. He waited until the West firmly established we had squishes in charge. figured it would take a few of days to roll through the Ukraine since it was bigger, and no one would make him give it back this time because it was the US that led the ‘give it back’ under Bush. And Biden is a turnip.

            It’s the EXACT same play book. The “separatists” who usually have a Russian army uniform at their real home or at least have russia signing their paychecks. The “Ethnic Russians” who were only there because Russia wiped out the locals and moved them there. The manufactured incident that ‘forced’ Putin to act. This is ‘here we go again’. And Putin expected it to actually work this time. Now he’s committed and places like Khazakhstan are arming up as much as they can and his own allies are starting to sharpen knives. He isn’t judging what is best for Russia, he is juding what is best for his personal profit and survival.

          3. I said back in the Obama days that I’d rather have Putin as American President than BHO. That’s all the water I’ll carry for him though.

            1. At least Obama left office when his second term was up. Putin will leave office in a pine box. Are you quite sure that’s preferable?

        4. If the oligarchs expect to remain oligarchs, they need to treat Putin to a 9mm brain hemorrhage. There are signs the Oligarchs are turning on him, and those are the people he actually serves and have made him fabulously wealthy. He could have quit before, or shortly after 2014 and enjoyed his ill gotten gains, but he is to much a megalomaniac to enjoy such a life.

      7. Putin is a fascist and Russia’s welfare is the least of his concerns. Russia is not a defender of Christianity. Putin is an inveterate liar, and thus not a Christian, and the Russian Orthodox Church kneeled at the gates of the Kremlin and was co-opted by Stalin for his own purposes. The corruption of the ROC in Russia lead to the break with the ROC outside Russia.

        Making comparisons between Hitler and Putin is not inapt. Putin is fascist to his core and his regime conducts its domestic life very much like the Nazi regime in Germany.

            1. I’ll have a bash, and Mrs. Hoyt can say whether she agrees or not:

              Fascism and Communism are two heretical forms of socialism. Both are based on the assumption that all power belongs to the State,

              The Communist wants to shoot all the capitalists and confiscate their businesses at gunpoint. The businesses then do what the State tells them to.

              The Fascist wants to confiscate the capitalists themselves at gunpoint, while leaving them nominally in possession of their property. The businesses then do what the State tells them to – or else.

                1. The heresy lies in believing that a violent revolution by a conspiratorial Party is what brings about the perfect state. Your orthodox Marxist (a breed that no longer exists) was supposed to believe that it was inevitable and required no organization, because the proletariat would rise up spontaneously.

                  In other words, the heresy is an inevitable result of contact with reality – a thing Marx himself shunned like seven kinds of plague.

                  1. Oh. Then they’re all heresies by now, including the Gramscians, who think that the other races will rise up.
                    As for Marx….. His followers like him try to spin their own reality. It doesn’t work.

                  2. Yup. But it was not so when Lenin and Mussolini invented their heresies and seized power. Rosa Luxemburg did a great deal of tut-tutting at Lenin because he wasn’t a proper Marxist. Then her comic-opera uprising failed and she was shot – which shows just how valuable orthodox Marxism was.

                  3. That would make it a heresy of Marxism, not of socialism. There were other socialists prior to Marx. He touted “scientific” so strongly precisely to try to capture the field.

            2. Communism: the state owns the means of production.
              Fascism/socialism/everything short of open communism: the state controls the people who own the means of production.
              Right now most of the Earth is a form of fascism. The communists, former and present are the hardest fascists of all. (Mostly because they have found communism fails rapidly and flagrantly. Fascism — looks at Russia, or for that matter at Portugal’s old regime — can keep going for a while. It just becomes either a military Empire to canibalize other countries or like Portugal poorer every year.

    2. It’s possible to simultaneously believe that Putin is a murderous thug with delusions of world domination and his attack on Ukraine was entirely unjustified, AND that the bandwagoning is a moronic reaction to it.

      That the NPCs are all suddenly shouting something does not necessarily mean that the shouted thing is wrong and should be opposed. Don’t be a differently-colored NPC.

      See this guy’s substack about the symbol of the day to be smashed, and especially his chart of mimetic societies. He’s been banging this drum since he started a year ago or so, and he ain’t wrong. https://chrisbray.substack.com/p/you-have-to-smash-something

      1. Just to get away from political pissing contests for a minute, He’s quoting from Luca Dellana who is well worth reading. His book on ergodicity is a good intro into the subject and why it’s so critically important. I’m pretty sure he’s a lefty, but an honest one.

      2. Correct. Putin is evil, he’s not particularly good for Russia, and I wouldn’t turn my back on him for a bag of gold. He’s had every chance to do lasting good for Russia, and he’s always chosen to be a thug or kill somebody.

        Ukraine has become the cause celebre, and the usual BS about the cause celebre has been turned up to eleventy to avoid nasty questions about Coof being over, and Brunel being dead, and so on.

        1. Up until a few weeks ago, I’d say Putin was no worse for Russia than Biden for America, but Putin had to go proving me wrong by dropping below that very low bar. Now that takes effort!

            1. Trump is alive and out of jail because Biden and the rest of their cabal are too incompetent to arrest and kill him, especially without a guarantee of civil war. No other reason. Not that they don’t want to.

              1. Which New York state prosecutor vowed to arrest President Trump for something — anything — as soon as he was out of office?

                And how long would he spend in jail before ‘committing suicide’?

              2. Nobody is too incompetent to hire a hitman. The fact is, Biden and his handlers won’t go there – for whatever reasons. Putin started there.

                1. “Never underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to fuck things up.”

                  And you’re right, anyone can hire a hit man; it’s hiring a competent one that’s out of reach.

                  1. The CIA has done assassinations before. It’s not out of reach – if the President of the United States wanted to use assassination as a political tool. Putin uses it regularly. There’s no comparison here; stop trying to manufacture one.

                    1. Pointing out that our current Ruling Class is incompetent requires no manufacturing; it requires being conscious.

                    2. Putin isn’t competent either. He’s a murderer, that’s all.

                      What you are ‘pointing out’ is your belief that Biden would have his political opponents assassinated if only he weren’t too stupid to arrange it. This belief is gaga.

                    3. Which part is gaga? That the Left hasn’t been open enough about their desire to kill their opponents? Or that Biden isn’t too much of a drooling idiot to make his malice effective?

                    4. A Russian billionaire now resident in the US has put a $1 million bounty on Putin, dead or alive.

                    5. The latter. When we say ‘Biden did X’, we really mean ‘Biden’s handlers did X using him as a figurehead’. How much Biden drools on a given day has absolutely no bearing on whether his handlers are capable of hiring a hitman. They are, but they have not done so.

                      American Leftists gassing about killing their opponents are no more truthful or reliable than American Leftists gassing about moving to Canada, or, well, anything else that they gas about. They are malicious but totally ineffectual. The people with actual power are not totally ineffectual, so it is logically necessary to conclude that some other limitation restricts them from acting on their malice.

                      I would propose that that limitation is the orneriness of Americans and the instinct of the English-speaking peoples to cheer for the underdog. When Putin kills an opposition leader, he is feared for it. If Biden killed an opposition leader, he would be hated for it and a thousand new opponents would spring up overnight. It would be politically counterproductive, and even the Democratic Party contains people with a sufficient grasp of reality to understand this.

                    6. Epstein didn’t kill himself.

                      The thing you are overlooking, from inside America it isn’t clear that the politicians haven’t been murdering anyone.

                      Yes, they haven’t been successfully murdering establishment Republicans. The establishment Republicans appear to cooperate with them, and only make a pretend show of opposing them. Killing some of them would screw up that arrangement.

                      The guy who beat up Rand Paul, the shooting of the Congressional Republicans at a baseball game, these things are not unambiguously an absence of politician sponsored murder of political opponents.

                      The outward facing narratives tend to spin it purely in terms of racism, but there have in fact been periods in US history with a /lot/ of killings that were in part politically motivated. These are things that a lot of people quietly know about. We know that they occurred.

                      The questions are a) at the time. what information would we have to tell whether they were happening b) what information do we have now?

                      The BLM riots were a very clear message, deliberately sent, when interpreted in American.

                      The Democrats seriously intend mass murder, but the shooters that they have been able to scrape up haven’t been able and willing. The willing shooters, the ones ready to go back to prison and then get improperly released again, are mostly ineffective garbage. The competent shooters are mostly wary of prison, and of getting themselves killed doing stupid things.

                  2. There’s also the question of whether your hitman is more competent than the target’s security. Consider the assassins Stalin kept sending after Josip Tito until Tito sent a message “suggesting” he stop or he’d send one of his own. One.

        2. “he’s not particularly good for Russia”

          Yes. My default take.

          The problem is I’m deep in the Woke, so I’ve heard the “is evil” descriptions of: Mitt Romney, GWB, Trump, and Jair Bolsonaro. I’m now sympathetic to the notion of Mitt’s evil, GWB’s complacent adjacency to same, and not convinced at all viz Trimp and Jair. What all four have in common is all serious vices, usually passed over in preference for over-the-top claims of spiritual turpitude that are hard to prove. And with crimes out of context. Makes it so much more likely to approve what one ought not, and condemn the wrong thing.

          Given Russ’s gangster- and Sorosiam-run state when Putin manoeuvred his way into power: “He’s had every chance to do lasting good for Russia,” what opportunities did he miss? A search term or a article, book reference would be much appreciated. Though in fairness, it is unlikely to affect my agnosticism, so bo worries if I’m asking for something complicated.

          The onus is on me to do the homework.I’m just very slow.

          1. Honestly, finding search terms and such is very difficult even if you speak/read Russian, and wading through the Russian sources can be rough because you have to read between the lines most of the time. Here’s my grain of salt: My sources are not the ones you can check out at the library. Not sure what the current designation is, but I was an army Linguist.

            Summarizing some history here: after the fall of the Soviet Union Russia was in an economic and political death spiral. The folk up through Yeltsin managed to pull it out of that spiral and Putin inherited a fractious, divided country that wasn’t quite actively heading towards sepuku, but was very angry that things weren’t magically awesome now that the Soviet Union was gone. They were at what appeared to be rock bottom.

            There were many opportunities available, some he took advantage of (a lot of the work in the natural gas field of Siberia) many others he took no advantage of. He could not afford to be wholly benevolent even if he’d desired to be. I will acknowledge that here and now. But he was in a rare position where a strong but non-bully boy would have been accepted. Russia has quite a bit in the way of natural resources. If he could have cranked around Russian pride to get people to work WITH him he probably, by now would have at least a workable industrial base and motivated technicians. It would have been a lot of work against parts of the culture that the Soviet Union fostered and encouraged, but he could have pulled back to some of the older aspects of Russian culture.

            That was a big one he missed. There are a lot of industrial opportunities he missed because it’s a pain in the derrière to work with Russians on most ventures. (Experience from the oil industry there. NO ONE wanted to take Russian contracts because of endless problems with them that seemed, to me, to be based around a ‘bilk the ignorant foreigners for all they’re worth’ mindset, including demanding ownership in at least one of the companies they were negotiating with. The authorities appeared to encourage the attitude.)

            Some of the Southern regions of Russia are reasonably good farm land (though there’s a fair bit of issue with Chechnya down there). He had the opportunity to get that going, and refused to relinquish much central control. Less wheat and more Rye, but it would have been a step towards feeding his own people with far less dependence on the west.

            He could have actually played savvy business man and taken advantage when places like China and Mexico were horrifying the west with their working conditions and gone ‘start your factories here, we’re more technological and still cheaper than what you can do at home.’ Made some of the same deals that other countries (such as India and Indonesia) are now making.

            He could have imported actual experts and invoked what the Russian cultural myths say Russians have always done “they teach us what to do, later we will show them how it’s done.” To get the locals on board with it. Paid the experts well (also a tradition) so they don’t feel cheated, thereby encouraging OTHER experts to work with them and catch them up on the tech gap faster than they’ve managed.

            Russia is odd. They don’t follow local leaders. They follow The Leader (usually the tsar) and that individual sets the tone for the country. He could have set that tone at one of proud determination. Instead he set it at bitter resentment. I would be less hard on the man if he had been trying. Instead he’s acted, not like a Leader, but like a gang banger bully boy. (Ex-KGB so no surprise.)

            Now, the next question is one I don’t have an answer for: Did he see those opportunities he missed or is he so mired in the cold war KGB mindset that it never occurred to him to actually lead his country rather than loot it and use it to loot others?

              1. You asked an honest question. You could try going back through old BBC articles on Russia. I was cross referencing many of those with various other places up to about 2012 and the things they reported happened, again it’s a lot of cross referencing and reading between the lines. I would not recommend looking at old issues of Izvesti and Pravda (2 main Russian news papers) last time I went there was around 2012 and my anti-virus nearly choked on all the malware. They don’t have a lot of independent bloggers or news the way we do to get word out. (Some of why is covered below.)

            1. Fits with my understanding of the culture and history of Russia as well. To your last, I believe Putin is as you say, and Ex-KGB thug. He is not alone in being an Ex-KGB thug. Russia is also not politically monolithic. Early on I’d wager there were quite a lot of internal threats he had to consider as well as the external ones. That may even be true today, even with his penchant for offing those that he sees might prove a threat.

              Trust is low in Russia compared to the US. The culture has several issues that would need to be addressed and would probably take a long time to fix. Individual Russians can be indomitable, reliable, tough, and hard working. They can also be malicious and violent, drunk and untrustworthy, mistrusting of others and always looking for an angle they can use to claim superiority. The challenge is to encourage the positive aspects and suppress the negative. That is no small thing.

              1. The best way to do it would have been, when he took over, to start turning that Propaganda to one of the aspects the Russians were hungry for especially at the time: Family and faith. Do what he could to encourage the family. Take the obvious thumb off the Orthodox church and keep pressures that direction subtle. There was a bump in the birthrate after the Soviet Union collapsed, and it was tapering off by the time Putin took over. He could have goosed it again playing his cards right. Let the Catholics encourage big families. Encourage the Russian Orthadox church to do the same.

                I’m not sure how well he could have SUCCEEDED, but the opportunities were there to be siezed. The irony is he could have gone down as Putin the Great, if he hadn’t wanted to be Putin the Great and had actually focused on rebuidling Russia.

                1. Yeah. That… might well have done it. And, sucker that I am, I don’t think that hope is completely lost. Well, Putin is not going to do it- but who knows? His successor might take that chance.

                  It would by far be the braver choice, I think. It would take more balls and brains than simply running things as Putin has.

            2. This seems like an opportune place to link to Kamil Galeev’s twitter feed: https://twitter.com/kamilkazani

              He’s a Kazan Tatar who grew up in Russia but is not of Russian ethnicity. I suggest everyone scroll back as far as Twitter will let you and just start reading chronologically. There’s a LOT of very very interesting stuff there:

              • medieval history that I was unaware of
              • analysis of old organized crime vs. new organized crime
              • the reasons why Russia has always been a resource-extraction state
              • why Russia accuses everyone of being Nazis all the time
              • the relationship of Party/Army/KGB during the USSR, and why the KGB ended up running everything since
              • what’s up with Chechnya
              • why the Donbas is ethnic Russian
              • relationship of the various Orthodox/Uniate churches
              • the political rise of Putin
              • much, much more

              I got back as far as February 16 before Twitter stopped scrolling and there are literally thousands of tweets since then. I’m only up to February 27 and the actual start of the war. So far I haven’t found anything that I can even quibble with.

              1. Unfortunately, I can only read about half a dozen tweets before Twitter demands that I create an account, and I refuse to cooperate with that hive of scum and villainy. Is Galeev’s stuff available anywhere else?

                1. If you’re on Brave you can use an incognito window and it won’t block you. Otherwise you can go into the inspector and delete the dialog and override the “overflow” style for the “main” tag.

                  1. Also, you can block cookies from twitter dot com. It stopped bugging me after that.

              2. Oh, yeah, this one should amuse you:

                While the term for the “nation” is the same in Polish in Russian and the difference in connotations isn’t obvious, the difference between Russian and Polish terms for the “state” is just too clear

                In Polish it’s “panstwo”. In Russian – “gosudarstvo”. “Pan” = gentleman, an upper class person. “Gosudar” now means “sovereign” but originally it’s how slaves холопы addressed their owner. So while being a neutral term for the state, technically Gosudarstvo is the “Slavelordship”

                1. I wouldn’t lean too heavily on etymological meanings if I were you. ‘Candidate’ originally meant ‘man whose toga is artificially whitened with chalk’. I haven’t seen too many of those in recent election years.

      3. :nod:

        “But there’s a bandwagon, you must shut up!” is nonsense.

        I’m getting kind of tired of being told how I’m jumping on a bandwagon for saying things I’ve been saying for many years now.

        “Why are you siding with [Bad People]!??!”
        “Why do you expect me to be controlled by what morons who can’t build an argument are wound up about?”

        1. On the one hand : Guilt by association. On the other, “Birds of a feather flock together”

          Heh. Explains the all-fronts war on “judgmentalism” a couple of generations ago.

          1. On the third hand, “they both push little old ladies.” Details matter. 😀

            Much, much better to look at the arguments actually made, and past behavior of the birds involved.

              1. Not managing to get through my pre-coffee fog isn’t necessarily a sign of doing something poorly. ;D

                I wonder how much of it is because judgement, by the Jesus standard, means that one must apply the same rules?

      4. I have an unfortunate tendency to buck the bandwagon even if the bandwagon is right. The bigger the stampede, the harder I push back. And this bandwagon is rocketing down a hill with no horses hitched to the front and no brakes in the back..

      5. Yep. & it’s possible to simultaneously believe that Putin is a murderous thug with delusions of world domination and to simultaneously believe the other side, aided abetted by the Davos Agenda, New World Order folks are murderous thugs with delusions of world domination. At this point I wonder which devil’s more devilish.

        1. Both can screw themselves over with their own stupidity.

          The basic thing that can be done is recognize the nature of the paths that they have traveled, and avoid traveling down them oneself.

          If you can minimize your own screw ups, you can keep your head down and position yourself to take advantage when they screw up. It is a waiting game, with trust that the other people they have alienated may also be waiting to take advantage of the screw ups.

  9. I personally resent the amount of time I have to pay attention to the doing of politicians at various level of government in self defense. It’s time I could use for useful things.

    Back in 92 I remember the Hippy Dude (Rush played this clip a bunch of times) asking Bush the Elder and Clinton to think of us as children and tell him what they as father figures were going to do for their children’s.

    My comments on that are 1. Hippy dude is pathetic. 2. Question for the candidates: What are you going to do to make the Federal government as irrelevant to my daily life as possible?

  10. In its essence, you are saying you maintain an open mind while understanding your own biases. Which, like common sense, is so rare anymore. Look at every product ad, every political ad, the way the “news” from MSM is presented. All of it, structured on emotions, feelings, not a scintilla of facts and data. In fact, facts and data are such an anathema to a large percentage of the populous, I despair often of how we get all the remaining normies their very first clue. But the thing that keeps me sane presently is realizing that, with the level of global corruption we have, what with the media, our schools, all levels of gov’t, etc. in order to have a chance of keeping the Davos crowd plans from succeeding, we will unfortunately need more pain, perhaps a lot more pain ( I would love to be wrong of course ). We are truly at war, there is no denying the clot shot is a weapon of mass destruction, people have and will continue to die, and they know we know, they are cornered in that respect.

    So being cornered, expect , well, like you saying politics is very interested in you… yeah, head on a swivel at all times.

  11. Just the fact that Ukraine is the latest cause-de-jour is enough reason to stay clear of things. Emotion alone is not a good reason to do anything, as anyone who has bipolar can tell you. From a practical point of view, I can see why former Soviet states would have reason to worry, but they should have had reason to at least be prepared the whole time Putin has been in office.

    1. They’ve been preparing. If you believe the folk up thread it’s them PREPARING for this that sparked it because ‘nukes on his border’ and ‘troops on his border’. They’ve been preparing for it since 1991, but they’ve also been crawling out of the hole the USSR dug for them for that same amount of time. And places like Ukraine have also been dealing with population crashes thanks to things like the Holdomor, WWII, various sweeps through to squash ‘dissent’. It’s going to be several generations before they recover, even if they can.

  12. Two weeks ago, Lesko Brandon authorized a minor incursion for Russia to take the break-away provinces. Last week, he conceded sanctions were not intended to deter invasion. This week, he wants America to unite against the true evil – global warming. He depends on us to have short memories. I do not.

    I feel sorry for the ordinary citizens of Ukraine caught in the middle as two Great Powers divvy up their territory; and if you want to volunteer for the Ukraine Foreign Legion to fight it, go right ahead; but this is not my circus and those are not my monkeys. I’m sitting this one out.

  13. I’m something, but not totally isolationist. I dislike being the Cop of the world, but dammit that beats being it’s assassin, and I find a large many could do with being fed a Pb pill at or above the speed of sound.

      1. ““When a place gets crowded enough to require ID’s, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.””

        Lazarus Long

      2. I understand some fellow is working on that but pointed out it was going to be a vegan life once moved. Guess grasing land on Mars is short. Mars Needs Fish and Game, Now!

        1. Seems like a better idea would be to work on terraforming as much as possible BEFORE anything alive goes over– as I understand it, there’s a horrible poison in the soil on Mars, and this is great.
          Because when you run electrical current through it, it releases oxygen. (and chlorine) So get robots over there, installing air-domes, and solar-powered-electrifying stuff!

        1. Roughly 4500 voting age, legal residents here. I know of at least 3 totally looney tunes people where rational thought of any kind isn’t part of their make-up. If it weren’t for the fact that they seem to be able to function on a day to day basis, I’d suspect them of extreme dementia or schizophrenia.

  14. Noooo, not more interesting times….

    What’s worse, we could come to the attention of the wealthy and powerful. Brr.

    I have to agree that the whole Russia/Ukraine mess makes we want to throw in the mental towel.

    1) I have no idea where to find actual facts on what’s going on.

    2) Even if we could find them, I wouldn’t trust the current DC crop of politicians to do anything moral, ethical, or successful with them.

    Hence my impulse, too, is to keep us the heck out of this fight, rather than put any of our troops in harms’ way. I still recall that NATO boasted that “an attack on one member nation is an attack on all member nations!”

    Until 9/11 happened, and then the rest of NATO’s reaction was “shrug, you had it coming.”

    So. Yeah. Plan to watch, with a heavy blunt object handy.

    1. Seeing the level of competence that the United States showed in Afghanistan and Iraq and staying out is probably the best option for everyone involved. Sorry, but there are great power concerns that have a lot more effects on me than which set of oligarchs runs a small European country. As opposed to the foreign oligarchs running my country.

    2. Article V of the treaty states the attack against a member state is an attack against all. There are currently 30 member states. Until 9/11 none of the (then current) member states had been directly attacked. NATO members did participate in the invasion of Iraq and in Afghanistan in response to 9/11.

  15. “Until 9/11 happened, and then the rest of NATO’s reaction was “shrug, you had it coming.”

    I distinctly remember lots of American flag waving and sad condolences for our dead.

    The same kind of flag waving that we saw at the SOTU. And just as effective I’m sure.

    The stuff that needs to be done to mitigate what’s coming, such as growing our own food, manufacturing, mining and drilling on our own soil doesn’t require the rest of the planet to agree or help.

    And if they concentrated on helping themselves they wouldn’t need us either.

    That’s not to say we can’t be friends. I have friends. I don’t expect them to feed, clothe or shelter me or set up patrols on my property’s perimeter. In fact, if I got lazy and tried to get them to do those things when I am perfectly capable, I’d expect a kick in the butt from the instead.

      1. We Canadians went into Afghanistan as soon as you did, and lost a lot of lives there. The British went with you into Iraq as well. Fuck your lies.

            1. 457 British, 157 Canadian, 88 French, 59 Germans, 53 Italians, 44 Poles, 35 Spaniards, 25 Dutch, 14 Czechs, hell 9 Estonians and 32 Georgians. That’s just the dead. Another 179 Brits were killed in Iraq.

        1. First off, shame on you for not being able to make a point without foul language.

          Second off, you’re talking military action. I’m well aware Canada, the U.K., and other nations sent forces to Afghanistan. If you had read my remark instead of getting your exercise jumping to conclusions, you would know I was talking about general public opinion. Two vastly different things.

          Seriously, did you read the various invectives coming across the ocean from France, Britain, and elsewhere, which I can only politely phrase as “Well, now you know what it feels like to be bombed by terrorists, sucks to be you”?

          1. I lived in the UK in 2001. I worked with people from all over the world. I received many, many notes and call all expressing sadness. The only people who had anything like that to say were lefties, I got to see an Irish woman smack a RC priest across the face — think about that — for telling us we had it coming from the altar, he was a lefty of course and got done for the usual thing. The only people in the US who had that to say were lefties. For that matter, outside the Muslim territories, everyone who said we deserved it were lefties. I think we ought to reserve our indignation for lefties, yes?

            I would also note that I am from NYC, I grew up in cop and fireman land and am related to a number of cops and firemen who responded and were still dealing with the aftermath. I knew at least a dozen people who died, and knew of a great many more. if there’s a 9/11 bloody shirt, I suspect I have more right to wave it than any others here.

          2. First off, shame on you for not being able to make a point without foul language.

            I would be making the point with my fists if you made such accusations to my face. Consider yourself lucky, you lying filth.

            Second off, you’re talking military action. I’m well aware Canada, the U.K., and other nations sent forces to Afghanistan. If you had read my remark instead of getting your exercise jumping to conclusions, you would know I was talking about general public opinion. Two vastly different things.

            You know nothing about ‘general public opinion’. In all the allied countries that sent forces to Afghanistan, public opinion was strongly in support of participation.

            Seriously, did you read the various invectives coming across the ocean from France, Britain, and elsewhere, which I can only politely phrase as “Well, now you know what it feels like to be bombed by terrorists, sucks to be you”?

            Here is something I keep having to explain to fools like you: In free countries, idiots are free to say idiotic things. Not everything said by an Englishman, for instance, represents the opinions of every Englishman or the policy of the British government.

            You have been blaming entire countries for the reactions of a small minority, and in so doing, blatantly disrespecting the sacrifices of blood, treasure, and yes, lives that your allies made in your support. Foul language is the least you deserve for that level of insulting poltroonery.

              1. I’m not threatening you. I’m saying that your degree of mendacious rudeness deserves consequences, and I deeply regret that I do not have the access to treat you as you richly deserve.

                As it happens, I read every word you wrote. It is all bollocks.

                1. Tom and Crossover, you are both very fine people, but this is a day of a lot of tension.

                  Plus it’s Lent. Lent on the Internet is often a time of crankiness.

                  9/11 was a day when I had an Internet fight just like this, while very worried over a family member, with a very fine person who was very worried about a family member, over a subject that I doubt anyone but us remembered afterward. I don’t think either of us really got over it.

                  Yes, many people of many countries banded together with us over 9/11, and very many trolls and haters of very many of the same countries mocked at us. Americans were not alone, but very often we felt alone. And very many American politicians didn’t really care for anyone but themselves.

        2. Tom,

          You’re angry and thus taking offense where no offense was intended or deserved. Sleep on it, calm down, and tomorrow you can apologize for jumping all over someone who was merely guilty of a small mistake. Namely, thinking the opinions of the loud minority were representative of the whole, when the larger majority were not speaking where she could hear them. I.e., the US media was amplifying the negative and not emphasizing the positive. Are you really going to blame someone for not being in Canada and therefore not having access to the real information?

          You would have done better to politely correct the mistake, instead of leading with your verbal fists. By initiating hostilities, you have ensured that your point will not be listened to.

          1. Offence certainly was intended and deserved. The offence was denying that the U.S.’s allies did anything to help after 9/11. That information was in my interlocutor’s possession – or damned well should have been before he opened his yap.

            1. Then she (not he) was right when she said “not listening to a word I wrote”. She never said that the U.S. allies did nothing to help after 9/11, she was specifically talking about the opinions being expressed in public fora. Opinions NOT shared by the Canadian military, who as you correctly pointed out (and she agreed) did contribute a lot in Afghanistan.

              As I said, you’re angry and not thinking straight right now. Sleep on it and come back to this conversation tomorrow, and see if you don’t realize how you’re misinterpreting things.

              1. She specifically said that by way of arguing that NATO had never done anything to meet its treaty obligations when the U.S. was attacked. Try to keep up.

                1. Okay, I missed that. SusanM’s comment was at the top of the threading, so I assumed that the line about “shrug, you had it coming” that SusanM quoted was something from Sarah’s post. Now, scrolling up, I see that crossovercreativechaos did write that line. So I understand your reaction better now. You did not misunderstand what she wrote; my apologies.

                  However, I still believe that her intent was not to insult the military of the NATO countries, but rather their leftists, and she miscommunicated badly. She did acknowledge the military aid in her followup, and had nothing negative to say about it. She also made the mistake of confusing the loud leftists with the general public opinion. (Though I believe that you are mistaken when you claim that “In all the allied countries that sent forces to Afghanistan, public opinion was strongly in support of participation.” In Canada, certainly. You’re absolutely in a position to know about that. But in France, the country I know most about (having grown up there), I believe majority public opinion was more as crossovercreativechaos described, that the U.S. somehow had it coming.) But since it’s easy to make that mistake about foreign countries (if someone overseas thought American journalists were broadly representative of American pubic opinion, they’d have a highly skewed view of America), I think that’s a mistake that you should be willing to forgive, and correct gently rather than harshly.

                  1. To tell you the truth, I had forgotten that France participated in Afghanistan, so your objection on that point stands.

                    As to the rest, supine ignorance is no excuse, and affected ignorance only increases guilt. It is perfectly easy to find out which NATO countries actually gave military support to the U.S. after 9/11. To claim that none of them lived up to their treaty obligations is a damned lie and there is no excuse for telling it. When someone is employing that level of libellous rhetoric, the time for gentle correction is past.

                    1. a) In hindsight Bush was running internally directed scams.
                      b) There was a bunch of suspicious hearsay wrt to Germany and Iraq.
                      c) Merkel’s Germany was most definitely an enemy power.
                      d) The EU
                      e) Bush was very likely selling out US interests to the other members of NATO, and publicly pretending to be on the side of the American people.
                      f) By Jacksonian standards, /none/ of the NATO ‘partners’ could have possibly lived up to treaty obligations, because Bush was preventing the war from being waged for those goals. NATO ‘partners’ fundamentally do not have the cultural underpinnings for a native Jacksonian political faction, and will not come through on that if they are not even asked.
                      g) Bush was implying to us that his failure to do the job properly was the fault of accommodating our so called allies.

                    2. Have you continued to miss her acknowledgment (in her 7:58 PM post) that she didn’t intend to dismiss the military help, and was talking about the public statements?

                      By now, having slept on it myself, I’m convinced that you both owe each other apologies. You, for jumping to harsh rhetoric instead of gentle correction (your sentence that “the time for gentle correction is past” is wrong; one should always use gentle correction first when talking to a stranger whose opinions you don’t know), and her for unknowingly stepping all over your hot buttons.

      2. To be fair, we heard the same from many anti-American and Communist circles here in America. The foreigners espousing that tended to be the same types, and a few Leftist legislators. Most of the European government officials were at least official more sympathetic, as were much of the citizenry, and the NATO members responded per the treaty. Alas, some of their response was hampered by underfunded military logistics and by adherence to some inane treaties that America of the time was not foolish enough to sign and/or ratify.

      3. So, has anyone else noticed how many articles have come out in just this past week about “what to do if a nuclear bomb drops”?

        I mean, since 9/11, I have expected someone to nuke us. And I don’t think that it will be a long distance missile or a plane. There are lots of container ships just sitting off our shores.

      4. I didn’t get to see the week after– I was in bootcamp for a good month on either side of 9/11, talk about the world’s best excuse 😀 — but once I did get out, I noticed a lot of talk about how the US had provoked Osama, the Middle East (usually in relation to not letting Israel be wiped off the map) and such. Generally along political lines, and often with reactions the speakers clearly didn’t expect, such as “any resistance at all.” Happened when smoke was still rising over the rubble, and after folks didn’t have the excuse of being driven somewhat nuts by the shock.

        Yeah, there were soldiers. Supplies, and support staff from countries that didn’t really have the ability to project force.
        …one of the biggest complements I heard offered to the Canadian soldiers, when they weren’t around, was how dang much they managed when their government couldn’t be bothered to support them.
        Heard similar stories for the other soldiers sent in– their countries generally didn’t bother to support them even half decently. I know I’ve told about the Brit guys raiding a museum to get airplane parts. (We raided the base museum, but that was for a vacuum tube for a substitute standard that hadn’t been replaced yet, and it was replaced by the next time it was needed.)

        When the UNITED STATES ARMY guys are saying “wow, your system treats you guys like crud,” there is an issue.

    1. I remember Palestinian exchange students running across campus cheering and flying their flag behind them.

  16. I think I’m in the camp of, from what we believe we know, the invasion of Ukraine is really bad, but our leaders here was far far to gleeful at the prospect of us fighting it. They look like toddlers who just got a new cookie, not someone contemplating a situation where, if the f- it up badly enough the Beltway could be glowing by Tuesday.

    With these fools driving the bus, I begin to wonder if a nuclear war can even be avoided at this point.

    Funny thing, Heatblur was going to be releasing the F-4 Phantom for DCS later this year. But if this isn’t resolved before going boom, I kind of figure either one half, or the other, or both, of the dev team is going to end up in a smoking crater.

    Just tired of it all.

    1. Too gleeful, possibly. Definitely too incompetent to be trusted not to ruin any effort.

      Sending troops to Ukraine, and then hitting our troops with our own nukes, etc.

      I’m persuadable that our most urgent national priority must be the complete extermination of the Russians.

      However, if this is so, the path to implementation absolutely does not travel through letting the Democrats have their fingerprints on anything.

      1. Get the current bunch of US Democrat politicians out of power.
      2. Kill them, so that they cannot return to power.
      3. Proceed to exterminate Russians.

      After Afghanistan, if it really is urgent that we do something about Russia and the Ukraine, then it is urgent that Biden fire Harris, appoint Trump VP, and then resign. No other American politician can be trusted to accept Miley’s resignation, as well as the resignations of every other officer contributing to that debacle.

      If we can wait to get Biden out of office, we can wait for any foreign policy priority.

      1. >> “then it is urgent that Biden fire Harris, appoint Trump VP, and then resign”

        Isn’t the VP an elected official in his own right? I’m not sure the president CAN just fire him.

        Also, doesn’t Congress get a say in appointing a new VP?

        1. If those people won’t cooperate, they do not really care enough about doing ‘something’ wrt to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

          1. Okay, but saying so doesn’t get Trump back in the White House before 2025.

            Though I admit I’d love it if he somehow got reinstated on Jan. 21 next year and we got six more years of him instead of four. And we’d get to thank the Dems for making it possible. 😉

            1. My goal here is demonstrating that my opponents are not willing to pay a serious cost in order to get action on their alleged interest with regard to the current matter.

              This undermines their case for punishing me for my lack of interest.

              Trump being in office or not would fall under ‘first, we get our own house in order’, and is very far from being the most important element of that.

      1. I’m also moderately bumbed we weren’t able to digitize the Wright-Patterson Power Plant Lab results. It’s not people, but once it’s gone, I don’t think it’s possible to get it back.

        They apparently tested pretty much every since aircraft engine the US got its hands on from about 1917 to 1948, so pretty much every single piston engine ever used for aircraft, from both sides in both wars. All just there in 175 cubic feet of test data.

        All sitting at the Smithsonian in DC.

        1. Chinese probably have copies. Probably do a better job with it than Americans have in last 20 odd years. 919 a bit more delayed but probably won’t be grounded in the first 6 mos like the last two American birds

            1. Well they have our more recent plans too. The f35 ones probably set em back a decade. Never mind that our cutting edge vehicles predate the first Benz by 30 years

    2. I don’t play DCS (CMO is more my style for modern air combat), but I did watch the trailer for the Phantom II. It looked impressive. I hope it gets released.

      1. Yep. Heatblur did really good things with the F-14, especially the Pilot to RIO interaction, and I expect they’ll be able to just as well with the Phantom II.

        We’ve got, now, two little girls, and I’d been slowly working on getting them interested in planes. My great and devious plan was to get one or both of them to learn the RIO role. See, in Navy doctrine, the RIO is the officer in command 🙂

        1. Heh. Cute. Also would mean that she wouldn’t need to master the intracacies of flying a jet fighter.

  17. I’m not an Isolationist, I’m not sure what we should do, honestly. I don’t think we should get directly involved in the Ukraine as things currently stand, but I don’t have any of the information I’d need to make an informed opinion. Isolationism has bitten us hard in the past. Jumping in to other folks’ trouble has done the same. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, but I’m not sure which route to hell is worse or if there’s a third option.

    1. I think what we’re doing now is about all that can be or should be done.

      Russia can’t even sell oil at the moment, no one will buy it. It’s absolute carnage out there. Lukoil, the biggest private oil company in Russia, has just condemned the war as have several senior orthodox clerics. The rubble no longer trades, the stock market is gone, the banks are insolvent. They’re actually not far from starvation. We may think that doesn’t matter, but it does, a lot.

      People think Putin is omnipotent, no he’s not. He’s only in power as long as he can hold onto the people who keep his enemies from killing him. At some point that price will be met, especially as he’s gambled and lost and severely damaged a group of people not known for taking losses lightly and who have the resources to meet most any asking price.

      For those who are saying that Vlad is good because Ukraine is bad. Stop, just stop. There’s a great shortage of Ukrainian tanks killing civilians in Russia and spare me Russian paranoia about encirclement and all the rest, the whole wide world entire isn’t enough to assuage it.

      1. It is absolutely of primary importance that we hold strong opinions at all time, and get really salty at people who happen to disagree with us at the moment.

        This should be our fundamental guiding principle in all circumstances.


      2. Like it or not Russias concerns are identical to one’s that drove the united States for centuries. Monroe, Zimmerman, Cuba (Batista and blockade), all our lil cold War Flashpoints that were just coup vs coup. Given that in my lifetime it seems that the US involving itself in a war just results in death and destruction without benefit, intervention is to no ones benefit. See Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The only difference is that putin will have to deal with Ukraine regardless of how war ends rather than the US just destroying a country and hopping away and leaving massive humanitarian disaster in wake.

        As for areas east of the dniepr that supposedly wants to be independent, a breakaway province that the politically powerful see as being coerced by a larger, more powerful ally into being a vassal sounds very familiar. Oh, it’s the Taiwan song. And the complaints that the ukranian west is oppressing the minority Russians in east? Just look to America’s hat. There are political blood feuds. And they will try and destroy you. And cops nor army will protect you.

          1. More that western governments do hate parts of their population and will apply draconian punishments against them for not being the same as the ruling class zeitgeist. If you had asked me two years ago if I would have believed a westernized govt was oppressing populace, using both official and unofficial means I would have given benefit to the govt over Russia or other more autocratic nations. Today, I give credence to neither side and after Trudeau went nsdp I assume western governments and employees hate me and want me dead more than putin does

            1. There is a big difference between Trudeau ‘going NSDAP’ (I think that’s what you meant) and invading a sovereign country because he claims it has no right to exist at all. —Or assassinating his political opponents, for that matter.

              You need to learn to distinguish between grades of evil. Putin is malicious, murderous, belligerent, and well-armed. Trudeau is merely malicious, and too stupid to exercise his malice effectively.

              Believe me, Putin hates you and wants you dead (or enslaved to him). He just doesn’t have the means to go after you – yet. Remember, his hero is Stalin, for whom the Soviet empire could never be big enough and Communism was destined to rule the world forever.

              Russian apologists are already spreading crap about how much more logical and defensible the Soviets’ 1945 borders were – with the clear implication that it would be right and just for them to reconquer all of Eastern Europe. Putin has no intention of stopping with Ukraine.

              1. Whereas I think Russia’s western border should be pushed eastwards to the more defensible Ural mountains. Just think how much safer from invasion Russia would be then. Poland and Lithuania could split Kalinin oblast between them.

                But I am unwilling to spend American lives to make it so.

                1. Oh, I’m in favour of breaking up Russia outright. I always had a soft spot for the Republic of Novgorod, and I’m sure the Mordvins, Ingush, Kalmyks, Karelians, Mari, and many other nationalities could be much happier without a job lot of Muscovites squatting on their heads.

                  I consider it a high tragedy that the princes of Muscovy, who started out as tribute-collectors for the Mongols, got control of all the Russias. It’s right up there with the tragedy when the cultured and intelligent German people were conquered (officially ‘unified’) by the barbarous and belligerent Prussians.

                  The world would be a happier place if both Moscow and Berlin had remained backwater regional market towns.

              2. I really cannot give a darn about putin because he doesn’t affect me. He gets pissy, pushes his neighbors around until they fall in line, etc. Its mob boss at a nation level but that tends to stay at high level. The oligarchs in this nation do affect me and seem to enjoy stepping on the little folks. His soldiers don’t have reason to be in my streets or excuses to cause me difficulty. Meanwhile the US cops and military would put a bullet into my skull if king Joe ordered it. US corps will click their heels together and hop to an order from this government even if it harms them solely because this government can harm them more. On the same note, these companies are tearing up contracts with Russians without a second thought. So they obviously don’t see the same threat. Meanwhile they jump at opportunity to trade with nations that do see me and this country as enemy.

                This is standard great powers belligerence. One side reacts to the other. Ukraine bet that Russia was bluffing regarding their demands and that the west would come to rescue. On the same note Russia underestimated the resolve of the Ukrainian west that they were not already in control of. This is the way of the world, smaller nations are bullied by the larger and more powerful and the full court press to again put putin into crosshairs (last time was when the west was mad that he was defending his client state from us) from the usual suspects does make me root for injuries.

                Whether or not the arguments of bad promises between east and west Ukraine, of government oppression by Kiev on the east Ukraine, and everything else is true or not, I don’t know. All I know is that the people telling me it’s all lies have been lying about everything else so I trust none of them.

                1. I really cannot give a darn about putin because he doesn’t affect me.

                  The standard excuse of the idiot: ‘I’m in no danger of sinking. The leak isn’t in my end of the boat.’

                  That’s what Chamberlain thought at Munich. As he said in September 1938: ‘How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.’

                  Two years later, the Luftwaffe was pounding London to rubble. He did not long survive what he thought was his triumph, but he did live long enough to see that ‘a quarrel in a far-away country’ did directly affect him and his people.

                  It doesn’t matter which end of the boat is leaking, the whole boat sinks or floats together. And we are all in the same boat. Pity you don’t realize it.

                  1. Except that part of why Munich was necessary was from the fallout from a bunch if interlocking defense pacts where a bunch of autocrats got overly cocky, went all into a fight over a tiny vassal and plunged Europe unto the first world War and then decided to pile onto Germany once defeated. That drove the discontent and animus that led to the conditions allowing ww2.

                    The US and North America in general has the benefits of two oceans, plentiful resources, and relatively few powers at odds with each other. Europe has a lot more nations in less space and a lot more history and resulting bad blood. Someone ends up being the ocean in that case, the buffer between feuds. Ukraine is in that position right now. Russia has survived by giving up territory until could counterattack in winter. Thus they like having neutral nations beside them, of which Ukraine was one until just before all this began 8 years ago. Now Ukraine looked like they were picking a firm side and Russia thought they had advantage and could either freighten them or at least get eastern Ukraine as a subservient buffer.

                    There is a definite whiff of let’s you and him fight in all of it and we will root from sidelines coming from western governments and oligarchs as well that is keeping me guarded and firmly isolationist given the recent success of similar events as well.

                    1. Except that part of why Munich was necessary

                      Stop right there. Munich was never necessary. Hitler did not have the firepower or logistics to beat Czechoslovakia in a straight fight, and his generals repeatedly warned him of that fact. The only reason he was able to take the Czechs over is that Britain and France colluded with him to force their surrender.

                      You know who else has the history of being a buffer between two feuding nations? Belgium. Would you approve if France went to war to annex Belgium with the excuse of protecting itself from the Germans?

                    2. I am saying necessary in the argument of Germany was demanding it and history was on way to ww2. Another case where off ramps were ignored until guns came out.

                      And understanding doesn’t mean approving. And not wanting to get involved once everything is too forgone to stop isn’t either. Preemptive war against another nation that you see as associating with a rival has a long history. Especially when that rival has made you into a boogeyman thanks to their domestic political machinations and has been pretty upfront about wanting to see you deposed for stuff less significant than they shrug off for themselves or others.

                    3. “We pulled out of Afghanistan with maximal incompetence. We can’t afford any more foreign policy actions done with maximal incompetence.”

                      Is not a wrong position to take now.

                    4. History wasn’t “on the way to WW2.” Western European nations were being very very lazy, and many of their younger leaders were Soviet sympathizers and/or Nazi sympathizers. And so they were willing to sacrifice smaller countries for the “greater good” — which turned out to be nothing of the sort.

          2. Plus I’m pretty sure we lit it on fire. Was why they did us the favor in 1812

          3. Apropos barely, of the general discussion of natoins and war, I hope you will allow me to thank you and every Canadian who braved our mutal enemies, some of whom rule your nation; who risked their fortunes, and their honor, in defense of the cowed and down-trodden.

            Whatever your chattering class, CINO, or ruling caste does or has done or will do, Canadians have covered themselves in glory. “Ton histoire est une epopee des plus brilliant exploits!”

            1. Thank you, on behalf of all Canadians who served. I was not one of those, for reasons largely beyond my control; but my oldest and closest friends served for many years.

            2. I’ve actually a coworker who is retired Canadian Army, and is trying to convince his wife to let him go to the Ukraine to train people.

          4. As a former Quebecker, I need to say….

            Do you think we could get away with that?

    2. All one can do is proceed with the best information one can acquire in the moment and act accordingly. Sometimes “act” really means “hold in readiness.” Know that no one can have perfect information in the moment. The misinformation and maskirovka is flying thick right now. My personal policy is, absent clear and present dangers, give it two weeks.

      Experience has shown that the freak-out shrieking heads (they’re not talking heads any longer, they gave that up to become partisan shills) are wrong around 80% of the time. What facts I can find are often inconclusive. Neither side is composed solely of saints or bandits. We don’t always (or often) have the luxury of having such clear distinction.

      My current take would be that the US condemns the invasion of Ukraine, but does not get involved. If private citizens choose to do so, that’s on them. If somebody sets up a givesendgo to support Urkaine, that’s on them.

      If we were still a net exporter of oil, if the pipeline were finally complete and flowing, we could offer Europe another option than Russian oil and gas without sending so much as a single warplane, tank, or warship. Thanks to the drooling fool in chief, we’re not.

      Scuttlebutt has it that Putin’s on shaky ground at home. Plenty of folks within Russia are not best pleased with him right now, from what I’m hearing. What worries me is that he doesn’t have a solid exit plan right now. That is not a good thing for anyone.

      1. I’m starting to think we’re in “The Apocalypse Troll,” timeline. (Wherein Col Ludmilla Leonovna learns she’s in the early 21st century, blanches and starts talking about the Wars of Soviet Succession).

  18. People like to know the next day will be more or less like today

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.”

  19. The problems now are a case of our (all of the west) oligarchs vs. their oligarchs. They don’t play nice with each other just as socialist/communist honchos didn’t get along with our honchos in the 20th Century. Then we have the educated morons of both sides going along to get along. Fix? That large club sounds great, but who is wielding it now? I think a reset is in the works but is it going to come from the globalist side, our “betters”?

    Then we have the whole food situation. Russia & Ukraine out of the food production and distro business means problems for huge chunks of the global population. We formerly supplies grains to the USSR and Soviet Bloc. Now we waste it diluting our gasoline and diesel. That will need to change tout suite, but we can’t because of the polar bears.

  20. If the reports are to be believed, the Russians have shelled and set alight the biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and are not allowing firefighters through to put it out. If it goes up, well Russia is downwind of it.

    For those who lack moral clarity, what price your boy Putin now?

    1. You have to wonder why the Russians made such a big deal of occupying the ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. What use is it to anybody?

      1. It’s being used as a containment area for nuclear waste, which would be mighty handy to someone who wants a ‘dirty’ weapon.

        1. But Putin has real atomic bombs. No need for half-assed contamination spreaders. The contents of Chernobyl might be useful to terrorists or third-world warlords, but not to the second-biggest nuclear power in the world.

          1. They might very well be useful to a dictator who likes to give polonium-210 cocktails to his political opponents. Gee, I wonder who fits that description?

            1. But why wouldn’t he just use Russian sources for that?

              Here’s a stray thought, and one that gives Putin a possibly face-saving way out –

              Russian troops seize any and all Ukrainian nuclear plants (including Chernobyl). “Inspections” of the sites are carried out by Russian nuclear engineers who “confiscate” all of the fuel and waste and send it back to Russia. Putin announces that this war was conducted to stop nuclear proliferation in Ukraine under the influence of the US imperialists. Then, even if he’s forced to pack up and go home, he can still declare a partial victory. And it’s one that all would agree is for a good cause (if it were actually true, of course; which it is not).

        1. It’s on fire. Sense seems to have broken out and they’re dealing with the fire.

          It takes a special kind of stupid to shell a nuclear power plant.

        2. They just shelled Zaporizhzhia today. They occupied Chernobyl 3 days ago. It don’t make sense.

          If somebody wanted radionuclides for whatever reason, extracting them from the spent fuel of their own reactors would be much simpler than rooting around in the ruins of a destroyed one. Russia even has reactors dedicated to producing radioisotopes for things like, oh, nuclear weapons. There’s nothing they can get from Chernobyl they can’t get easier from their own resources.

          1. They don’t need the material. I have no idea why they might want Chernobyl.Taking Zaporizhzhia makes more sense, but shelling a nuclear power station downwind of your own country requires a very special kind of stupid.

              1. Oh blast. I think / thought that Downwind means it blows toward you. It’s like using the accusative in Latin for motion toward and the ablative for motion away, I could never keep all that straight. I’m a city boy.

                Doesn’t change that it takes a special kind of stupid to shell a nuclear plant. A just came out of the Caucasus kind of stupid. Looking at history, a very Russian kind of stupid. This is the nation that marched an entire guards regiment off to Siberia because they’d screwed up close order drill. There’s something about autocracy that makes everyone involved with it stupid.

              2. FWIW, Zerohedge has updates. I gather that the shelling was of a training/education building *not* the containment structure. The fire is reported to be out. No idea what technology they’re using at that site, but if it’s like the US plants, there’s a lot of real estate on those sites where a shell won’t cause massive radiation problems.

                For the boiling water system in the US, the relevant portion is the (frequently) dome-topped building surrounded by the cooling towers. (The venturi-shaped structures.) A hit on the cooling towers would likely force a shut down, but the containment building is the only spot that’s going to have high radiation potential.

      2. Mostly, it’s a psychological boogeyman for two generations of European Greens.

        “Give me what I want or I’ll unleash the Kraken!”

  21. In my twenties, I read “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72”. I got into the idea of watching politics as a game, predicting things & seeing how they turned out, assessing strengths & weaknesses of certain pols, what power & what weak points they had, etc.
    It was a great deal of fun, but I got out of it, or perhaps grew out of it. That sort of thing is for the kind of people who can recite current sports statistics, follow games, I no longer have the time to expend on that, and don’t think I could do it now. F&G World has become the norm, and even the players don’t know what they might do next.

  22. This is interesting, if true –


    According to the comment, the Russian troops are using a particular commercial radio. It’s apparently good-quality, rugged, inexpensive… and completely unencrypted.

    Has anyone in the HAM community heard anything about this? A comment on someone’s blog is hardly authoritative. But this sort of thing should be fairly easy to confirm for any private citizen radio operators near that part of the world

    1. I saw that and found the company that purports to be behind it. It’s a small company with 4 listed employees located with no address in London. The principal is a 20 something IT guy who’s had several start up’s in IT cyber security and intelligence. If you want to start a real conspiracy going, he seems to have been involved with Israel or at least plotting missiles into Israel. On the one hand, it could well be true or it could be total BS. if it’s BS, it’s very elaborate BS. they’re hiring, by the way. Company is called ShadowBreak and the principal is Samual Carrillo, he’s Belgian but seems to live in Dubai.

      1. It would seem like it ought to be easy to verify, though. If you’re in that part of the world, it should be easy enough to find a channel the Russians are using. I would expect word to then spread quickly through the ham community, which is spread throughout the world.

        And if it isn’t happening, I would similarly expect word to spread quickly as operators discuss the rumor.

  23. I’m no isolationist…when you’re the world’s leading trade power and cultural leader, you’ve got globe-spanning interests. But if you are going to use force, you MUST be able to describe the specific national interest that you are protecting.

    What bugs me is that our ruling “elites”, on both sides of the aisle, cannot do so coherently. Time to trade them for better options. I’m available.

  24. I am newly converted to from watching Trump. I used to be “cop on the block”, but watching Obama and Trump I realized the commander in chief has too much to do with execution. It is t just “should we support Ukraine “ but “how would Biden and his people execute a war” and the answer is: poorly enough that I think intervening is a very bad idea.

    Remember Obama and his rules of engagement? We were never allowed to win and if we did we’d beg forgiveness. It was heartbreaking and frustrating to watch our military under him. And, as others have pointed out, we need objectives. We need to define winning. I am not bothered with the idea of having bases in perpetuity all over the world, but if we’re actively engaging in projecting bullets I want to know who we are trying to kill or what we are trying to break.

      1. Saner energy policies and sanctions would probably suffice for the long term strategy. Russia’s been estimated to be suffering 7% annual population decline, and before Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine had about the same GDP as New York state. That might not be enough to save the Ukraine in the short term, but it does greatly reduce the threat Russia presents to Europe overall. Maybe the US could offer some material support to help Ukraine in the short term, but I believe direct US military intervention is a bad idea, particularly with present leadership.

        1. 7% annual population decline? That would require the highest death rate in the entire world coupled with no births whatsoever – or else several million Russians emigrating every year, which is seen not to be happening.

          A quick check on statistics shows that the population of Russia declined by 0.07% in the most recent year for which figures are available. I don’t trust that figure either, but it is at least demographically possible, and it has a 7 in it.

          Possibly your number came from someone whose arithmetic skills fall short of being able to figure percentages correctly. There are sadly many such people in journalism, and not all on the Left.

  25. When it comes to parachuting, there are plenty of songs. “Blood on the Risers” is the anthem of the US XVIII Airborne Corps. “High Speed Dirt” by metal band Megadeth. “Hello From the Sky” is I believe how it translates from the Russian for their VDV troops. Whether the parachute opens or we all go splat is sadly up to some of the most incompetent, incontinent, insecure leaders in the history of the world. There have been plenty of worse leaders over the millennia (cf. Will Cuppy’s “The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody”) but not in all countries all at once.

  26. I’m a bit of an isolationist as well. I know that Putin is an evil murderous thug but I don’t want to see the U.S. military involved in this conflict. After the utter catastrophe of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, I don’t think it would go well at all. And I am very suspicious of all the media and politicians cheering for war. Especially since it wouldn’t be a defensive war on our part. I will pray for the people of Ukraine.

    This quote keeps coming to mind, “Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her [America’s] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

    – John Quincy Adams

  27. “… While I think that the US should have a strong defense, and a policy of “Don’t start none, won’t be none” Aka “Touch us and die” aka “So much blue glass.”, I don’t think we should be the world police.” THIS!

    I’d prefer not to pay attention to politics, I find it distasteful (in school, office, overall), however, when you don’t pay attention to things, they have a habit of harming you.

  28. I saw the Lindsay Graham tweet calling for assassination this morning. From the horse’s mouth ass:

    Sundance at CTH has a very *yikes* reaction. Hell, even the Squad is freaking out over it.

    I gather that Hannity is going along with Graham.

    OTOH, AC at anonymousconserviative dot com thinks that Senator Graham might find some polonium in his morning tea. I suspect so would Hannity and any other prominent people joining in for that call. Don’t they consider how much Vlad uses assassination as a tactic?

    The CTH take is more complete. The relevant portion of the link (from March 3) is:

      1. He should have feigned a fever. “Will no one rid me of this turbulent Russian dictator?”

      2. Putin is a fruitcake.

        US domestic politics has a very high fruitcake component, ATM.

        Graham has gotten fame and/or influence from being willing to work with the Democrats. At this point, with current Democrat shenanigans, that means Graham is a sociopath, or is being coerced by threats to the lives of loved ones.

        Graham is either taking Democrat dictation on this, or has long been nuts, and reliant on others coercing him to appear sane.

        This is not something a Senator should say in public. a) It makes internal assassinations less politically defensible after the fact. b) Politics by assassination is not great. c) It makes too much concession to the US not having other options on the table. d) confirming the brain dead theatrical idiotic showmanship of the American political class has an incrementally destabilizing effect on US politics.

        1. I think that Graham is under threat of his private habits being exposed.
          He’s either delusional that we care if he’s gay, or he’s less than “standard gay” which could be anything from a leather lifestyle to well…. more unsavory stuff.

          1. Graham’s, ah, proclivities have been rumored for a VERY long time. I remember living in SC when he first got elected and the head of the state Democratic Party had to resign after calling Graham “light in the loafers.” Talk about a different time…nowadays the Democrats would never dare say that and it’s the right of the Republican Party that says it!

            Doesn’t matter to me. My beefs with him are political, not personal.

              1. One wonders if its Barney “My boyfriend runs a male escort service” Frank’s trouble. Or if Graham is of the “No don’t bother with a bookmark I’ll just bend a page” model. He definitely has a seriously creepy, ought to be driving a white van and offering candy and asking for help finding his puppy kind of vibe.

                  1. All this gives me bad vibes about Sean Hannity. Well, even more bad vibes. Local radio had him on after Rush Limbaugh’s (RIP) show, and I’d usually switch to the PNW focussed talk show. Lately, I seldom have the radio on, preferring my own choice of music. On the gripping hand, there’s a trio (Markley, Van Camp and Robbins, possibly with misspelling) that are at least entertaining, so I’ll catch a bit when they’re on.

    1. On the bright side, if Putin assassinates Graham we might get a better senator. Maybe.

      1. And I’m not sure that an open season on politicians, no bag limit, isn’t a bad herd management strategy. The current herd of politicians have grown far too authoritarian, and some culling is probably in order to improve the overall health of the herd.

    1. Perhaps she’s a relative to the Joker? That laugh and smile seem deeply familiar…

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