Paper Targets

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Something fell into place with me, this morning, about this fun little start to a WWIII we have. And it makes sense.

Like the meme posted later on in this post, I want to warn you if you read this post, it’s one of those “Once you see it you can’t unsee it” and it might cost you sleep. Or not, if you’re one of those people who needs things to make sense. It might also allow you to prepare.

One of you surprised me a few years back by saying my style, my — for lack of a better term — natural voice, when I’m not being one of my characters (it’s complicated. Think of me as a radio that types, channeling narratives from parallel worlds. No, that’s not true, but my subconscious is a stone cold b*tch) reminded her of Agatha Christie, specifically in the Miss Marple stories.

It surprised me because while I read Agatha Chris obsessively for years, I read her mostly in Portuguese.

However, Miss Marple was so much like my (paternal) grandmother, that I couldn’t help but be influenced by her. Or by grandma. It’s hard to tell which. Both of them could figure out the rational explanation to something, because a fact didn’t fit, and they’d dig, and dig, and dig, and create analogies for what was happening, in search of an explanation.

I have the same need to make sense, to see “reason” out of things that don’t seem to. And I can’t stand it when something doesn’t FIT. If you want to drive me insane, you do something completely out of character for which there is no rational explanation. I’ll obsess over it for years, whether it’s in my favor or not.

This is why I knew the covidiocy was a sham of some sort. Not only weren’t the homeless dying like flies; the third world, despite some reports, also weren’t dying like flies. And the big cities in the US were encouraging homeless to crowd and congregate while everyone else was locked up. It didn’t add, unless the whole thing were a sham perpetrated by several groups for several related goals. (A prospiracy more than a conspiracy. I could expound on the cross-purpose goals I’ve uncovered so far, but that’s another post, right?)

In the same way, this whole “We really are in a shadow war with Putin! The cold war is back! Putin is crazy! He’s invading the Ukraine for funsies! Putin is invading because we crowded him! Biolabs in Ukraine!!!!!!” But at the same time — to give Trump his due — Putin, in this head to head (supposed) context, hasn’t dumped the contents of Biden’s laptop (of course they have it. I mean our FBI has it, and they are rapidly approaching status of enemy, domestic) into our national discourse. (I mean, it would complete disorganize us, and lose us whatever international prestige we still have, such as it is.) Or Putin could have dumped all the other Kompromat I’m sure they have on the not-very-bright and not particularly stealthy Biden crime family. Why hasn’t he?

And Biden, despite his continuous gaffes that take us to the brink of nuclear exchange, at least in theory, is STILL USING PUTIN TO BROKER THE SUICIDAL IRAN DEAL. And hasn’t opened up the keystone pipeline and started authorizing drilling,which would sink Putin and possibly save the democratic party. (Yes, Greens, but seriously. It’s either a war and an emergency or it’s not.)

This morning, this thread hit my mailbox from three separate sources (and if you’re not following Trent Telenko on Twitter, create a burner account to do so. I’m going to need to do it, since I refuse to log in to my real account (I just use it to echo my blogs) and Twitter is getting pushy about logging in. It’s worth dipping a toe into the sewer for the man’s insights, honest).

You should go and read the whole thing, but until you do, let me quote a bit, so you get what we’re talking about. Again, the thread is here:

Alright, this is the promised thread🧵explaining the “Irrational Regime Hypothesis.”
This is a national/institutional behavior template.
Warning: once you see this template. You cannot unsee it.

The basic concept is that for certain unstable regimes (or even stable ones with no effective means of resolving internal disputes peacefully, particularly the succession of power) domestic power games are far more important than anything foreign, and that foreigners are

…only symbols to use in domestic factional fights.
The need to show ideological purity & resolve – “virtue signaling” in modern terms – as a means of achieving power inside the ruling in-group becomes more important than objective reality
Only the internal power matters

…as outside reality is merely a symbol to be used in the internal power game.

The ruling Imperial Japanese military faction of 1931 – 1945 was a classic example of this irrational regime hypothesis.

Trent Telenko, on twitter

And suddenly the back of my mind clicked. Not conspiracy, which is hard on this scale — Not kabuki which didn’t feel quite right — but like the Covidiocy? Prospiracy. “We’re all going this way because we think it fits our goals.”

Now I want you to consider that it’s not one, but two irrational regimes, we’re dealing with.

This has been bothering the heck out of me, because it smells like they’re cooperating, only that’s not QUITE the right pattern.

None of this makes sense, unless you have TWO irrational regimes (Ours and Russia’s. China is too, but it’s another ball of wax. China doesn’t really believe other nations are real, anyway. They’re just Barbarians and China is all-under-heaven, so this is all much of a muchness on that front.) that are using each other as scarecrows to quiet the opposition at home.

Yadda, yadda, sure, the great reset and depopulation is part of the plan, but look, this is not actually throughout the left, and I bet 90% of the Biden Junta (as a handle for his handlers) isn’t committed to it. The plan exists out there as a wished for exegesis that makes them be “on the right side of history” but most of them are running on what they heard in college was good, and are not committed to the great reset world.

Why do they act like they’re simultaneously enemies and besties, and all the while are bringing us closer to nuclear war than we’ve been in 40 years?  What sense can we make of this?

This is not about Ukraine. This isn’t even a shadow war between us and Russia.

This is two, enormously unstable regimes, who don’t understand why the internals of their country aren’t conforming to their theories and things aren’t falling into place as their ideological certainty tells them they should, trying to stomp on internal enemies and keep/increase power. 

The other/opponent is just a paper target, something to focus the eye on, but it’s not really what they’re shooting at. I submit to you that Biden’s supporters really, truly thought that the “right” (for lack of a better term) would not just say “Well Putin has a point” (Which is the worst I’ve heard) but fall in, vocally, ecstatically, behind Putin.  That because they’ve been told Trump is Putin’s bud (And remember the left assumes that the right in the US goes for cult of personality as much as they do) we would all rush to vocally support Putin.

And then, as they did during the two world wars, and claim was done during the cold war (waggles hand. Sometimes. Inconsistently) they could righteously suppress the opposition as traitors in a time of war and paint them as evil to the populace.

Meanwhile Putin thought that he could have a short victorious war, start on his dream towards greater Russia, and cement the suppression of opposition, and his cult of personality at home.

Those were the actual goals, and that explains the “we wouldn’t object to a small incursion” and the crazy cakes way Putin went at the war.

It didn’t work, on either end. So now the only thing the two can do is escalate, in pursuit of their real goal: the cementing of internal support/suppression of opposition. This is the only thing that explains why Biden is still making obvious “gaffes” that take us to the brink, and why Putin, reportedly is conducting the war from a nuclear-proof bunker.

Will they go that far? I don’t know. Grandma was fond of saying “I’d not go anywhere – even to heaven – with a madman, because he might push me down.”  And we’re dealing with two insane regimes.

May G-d have mercy on our souls.

441 thoughts on “Paper Targets

    1. Missed the key quote:

      “Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, the DOI must formulate and publish five-year plans detailing prospective offshore oil and gas lease sales.

      Without such a plan, no federal lease sales would occur. The current five-year plan expires at the end of June.”

    2. Yes, the left is causing an immediate crisis…But the long term reality is that North America is the most explored oil province in the world, and there isn’t much of significance left in the way of major drilling prospects..Fracking peaked in 2018, while losing several hundred billion for investors, and has the same problem that most of the really productive prospects have been drilled..What’s left is mainly ANWAR, which is currently a sacred cow…Russia has not only the most abundant current reserves of oil and gas but also, thanks to Soviet neglect, the largest potential reserves (resource) in the world..Hence the great interest by every major oil company in helping to exploit Russian fossil resources…Russia also has huge mineral deposits that are in demand by most advanced countries…No change in regime is going to change these facts on the ground…

        1. And fracking — if allowed — puts a ceiling on oil prices. So it might have “peaked” because the price of oil went down and made it uneconomical… until the price goes back up again.

            1. And that’s why I put “if allowed” in there. If leasing/drilling/fracking were proceeding as normal, the price of oil would be coming down right now.

              And as for the people left holding the bag and losing umptzillions of dollars on the downward side, that’s made up for by people making umptzillions on the upward side when prices overshoot the fracking ceiling.

            2. Even worse, they are doing an Operation Chokepoint style cutoff of financing for the oil and gas extraction and refining sectors, so that even if they can legally drill or frack, or develop new resources, they don’t have the lines of credit and financing to do so.

              The HarrisBiden junta is engaged in a designed attempt to shrink the available supply of oil enough so that they can use the resulting shortages as a pretext to declare an emergency, impose rationing, and exercise power by controlling distribution of the ever shrinking amounts of fuel.

              As I have noted, the entire reason that the HarrisBiden junta has been egging Putin on (and keeping him as the their point person with the mad Mullahs of Iran) is to weaponize the actions of Putin for use against domestic political opponents. They dream of jailing and simply killing opponents the way Putin has.

              Of course the reason they are in a mad rush to help the Mullahs is that they see them as the ones who will actually act on their declared desire to “wipe Israel off the map” and the HarrisBiden junta is all on board with the Mullah’s goal of global genocide of Jews. Of course the more radical wokersters in the junta want the genocide of more than just Jews, as they gleefully send out tweets with hashtags such as #endwhitepeople and #cancelwhitepeople.

              History has proven time and time again that those who proclaim the desire for genocide will seek to accomplish it if they have the means and opportunity to do so.

              1. The HarrisBiden junta is engaged in a designed attempt to shrink the available supply of oil enough so that they can use the resulting shortages as a pretext to declare an emergency

                I think it’s much more likely that they’re shrinking the available supply of oil because Carbon Bad Oil Bad on behalf of their radical greenie base, full stop.

                We’ve seen before that every time the left generally and this moronic administration specifically tries to plan more than one step ahead, the second-order effects of step 1 bite them in the ass.

                1. The two are not mutually exclusive. Nuke power is CO2 emission free. They expressly oppose it because “it doesn’t advance the cause of social justice”.

                  Meanwhile Granholm is yet another junta official who openly proclaimed openly the desire and intent to use the invasion of Ukraine to impose the Green Leap Forward in the USA.


          1. Every oil well ever brought in has been fracked- It’s a contraction of “fracturing” (the formation around the steel casing- which is cemented in), in order to allow the oil to flow into the pipe. You can’t have one without the other.

            1. Not exactly. Fracking as being used is referring to the use of fracking liquid sent down the well to shatter the surrounding material, like a hot glass into cold water to allow the gas and oil to flow. This allows productive wells in areas which previously were unusable because the surrounding material was not porous. Porous material does not require fracking.

              1. It is also confused with Enhanced Oil Recovery, where water or something else is injected down to force the oil to flow towards the well at a higher pressure once the natural gas pressure has bled off. The purpose again is not to break the rock.

      1. This was my job. There are something like 60 YEARS of drill sites just based on existing plans. Even if there are NO advances in either imaging (for finding new stuff) or drilling (for accessing stuff that wasn’t worth it before). We’re no where near depleting anything here.

      2. Gosh- those drilling rigs I’m seeing in West Texas must be a hallucination!

        1. Pyrrhus tried to claim he was one of us, but then he says things like this and it’s clear he has no clue what he’s talking about, and someone not in the area has fed him a massive lie.

      3. “But the long term reality is that North America is the most explored oil province in the world, and there isn’t much of significance left in the way of major drilling prospects”

        You might benefit from certain parts of this:

  1. For myself, I’ve been wondering all along since the Russia-Ukraine hostilities opened – where are all the lovies with peace signs, holding candlelit vigils for peace, signing long petitions and holding sit-down protests at the gates of military bases, chanting that war is not good for children and other living things … where are they? Why are they so echoingly-silent. I mean, they were protesting for peace before the rubble at the World Trade Center even stopped smoking. Why the silence now?

      1. And got disappeared on the regular because Kleptocracy. The pro-peace prospiracies are ballsy though, I’ll give them that. Given the current state of things.

        But sometimes you have to be a little crazy to effectively oppose the Kleptocracy, I suppose.

      2. There still are some in Russia. And they are truly brave people, both morally and physically, being shut down pretty brutally.
        Hell, the Russians have made saying the word “war” illegal, when used in the context of their “special operation.” Listening to some interviews, when they superimpose white noise over “war” in order not to violate the new law, is rather surreal.

        1. I watched some of the Moscow protests, yes they were hustled off but (I admit I only see some.) but they seemed to be handled more humanly that the Ottawa police handled the Freedom Convoy folks.

          1. Some of it is what happens to them away from the cameras.
            But yes, Canada (or Australia, or U.S. on 1/6/21, for that matter) has certainly broke quite a few stereotypes.
            When you make Putin look good…

              1. Full disclosure, my parents had the piney woods and swamp land in south Florida, as far as my 12 year old self and my Red Walker foxhound Pal, were concerned, that was heaven.

          2. That’s the oldest trick in the book. 99% isn’t filmed. They’re humane until they’re out of the shot. Then people are in the hospital

        2. And then people on FB tell me 70% of Russia’s army are volunteers. I understand they were given a paper saying they were now volunteers. (Rolls eyes.)

          1. People with no experience of a state run media (or not realizing their own mass media is in lockstep with the state already) often fail to notice the staggeringly obvious. I am given to understand that this is a problem with cult members, too…

          2. I believe even the official Russian Party Line no longer insists it is a “contract” (volunteer) military operation (and boy, does their performance prove the point).
            I have no idea what the real breakdown is, but yes, judging by some interviews I saw, whole companies of draftees were given those papers and ordered to sign.

            As an aside, one of the things that really depressed me about one of those interviews, with a woman representing the Committee of Solders’ Mothers, was her describing mothers of Russian soldiers currently in Ukraine. During the Chechen Wars, when her organization started up, mothers were, naturally, up in arms about it all, doing all they could to keep their sons out of the war, get them out of it, get them back in a POW exchange if they had been captured, or, in worst case, get back the body to bury.
            This time around it sounds like some of those mothers are just… almost ambivalent, I guess. One would say something like “I decided to get in touch with you because my son hasn’t called in three weeks”. She used to speak with him daily (it’s the age of cell phones, after all), the war (excuse me, “military special operation”) starts, he stops calling and doesn’t pick up, but it takes her three weeks to come to the conclusion that something might be up.
            It’s like they have been turned into cartoon characters staring at TV with blank eyes and lapping up whatever pours out of it.

              1. There was just as much, if not more, vodka in the 1990s. And yet mothers cared for their sons.
                The way their population is brainwashed right now… I am still shell shocked about it.
                Then I look at the type of sheep our covidiots made out of our own population, and it gets really depressing.

                1. If it’s vodka and meth, or vodka and opiates, then sure.

                  Or if the mothers started by calling the police for wellness checks, and the police were ordered not to say anything or to give soothing stories. Heck, people’s employers could have been ordered to tell soothing stories. On the scale of missing persons investigations of adult males, three weeks is not all that long before finding out what’s going on.

                  1. It is probably all of the above.
                    But what surprised me (and the interviewee and the interviewer) is that it wasn’t 3 weeks to find out what is happening to their kids.
                    It took them 3 weeks to start wondering why they can’t reach those kids. With whom they have been speaking daily before. With the “special military operation” raging on.

                    1. Even in the US military, I’d sometimes drop off the earth as far as my folks were concerned when there was Stuff going on– not because I was involved, or inside of days’ travel of it, but because the bandwidth is limited, what bandwidth is involved can tell people things, and military gossip networks exist.

                      And we didn’t have the issue of trying really hard to pretend that during the last “totally wasn’t us” invasion of the Ukraine, the “totally wasn’t us” Russian military twits were tweeting and re-tweeting about it when they shot down a civilian airliner.

                    2. “Even in the US military, I’d sometimes drop off the earth as far as my folks were concerned”

                      And speaking of you dropping off the face of the Earth: welcome back. Hope the new kid’s not causing you TOO much trouble.

                      Also, regarding your 7th child: congratulations on catching up to your hero Molly Weasley. I await with bated breath the day you finally surpass her and become the new legend. 😉

                    3. Thank you for the congratulations, but let’s get 7th established and toddling before we go plotting out any more! 7th Son is legendary enough on his own. 😀

                    4. “but let’s get 7th established and toddling before we go plotting out any more!”

                      I thought it only got WORSE once they start toddling around on their own?

            1. The mothers of the current crop of conscripts trend heavily towards ethnic minority peasants. These mothers have way less clue about a lot of things than the more urban/middle class mothers that formed the Committee of Solders’ Mothers have

              1. Could be. But that’s not the impression I got from watching the interview. Or, to be precise, she didn’t posit that as one of the reasons.

          3. Perhaps they’re volunteers in the way some military vets have spoken about in their own careers… when they were voluntold to do something? 😉

        3. Apparently there’s a lawyer in southern Russia who’s defending some Rosgvardia officers who refused to deploy to Ukraine. Under Russian law, if it’s not an “armed conflict” they can’t be deployed out of country without their consent, and it’s only a “special military operation”.

            1. Yeah, I’m definitely following him, although I’ve heard intimations that he’s not always perfectly accurate, but I’ve heard those intimations from people who aren’t Russian and haven’t lived there.

              Nevertheless, I saw the thing about the 11 officers in a different tweet that specifically mentioned deploying without consent and not the passport thing, so maybe it’s two different aspects of the same story.

            2. Remember you can say that twits can’t set cookies on your box and then just bookmark the feed.

    1. Yeah, I noticed the conspicuous absence of the “anti-war movement” as well. Indeed, the American Left seems oddly thrilled about the prospect of war with a nuclear superpower.

      Strange days indeed.

      1. Wars only kill flowers and other living things when Republicans do it.

        Leftie wars bring peace, prosperity, and long lives.

        1. Some of the hardcore peaceniks are doing peace stuff, but it is not getting covered. And they are being shamed for it. The useful idiots are doing Ukraine charities for refugees or hospitals or food. The shameless NPCs are just doing whatever is approved this week.

          1. OMG. The hardcore peaceniks apparently have been replaced by NPCs, over at our local “Peace Museum.” I mean, it used to be useless but terribly earnest people. So I checked in, to see what kind of earnest and stupid thing they were advocating.

            Now it’s got this Twitter feed that is nothing but every conceivable leftist cause, including some professor flogging a book about how Angela Davis, terrorist, is awesome and a role model.

            They do have some speech coming up at one of their events, asking what Gandhi would have done in Ukraine. Buuuut that’s about all that they have on their feed that is “old school” peace stuff.

            1. What Gandhi would’ve done in Ukraine? SMH…

              Gandhi only got to be GANDHI because India and Britain weren’t at war and his enemies were relatively humane and (as far as oppressors go) not all that determined. In Ukraine, he either gets jailed by Zelensky for sedition or shot by the Russians, and either way he gets nothing useful done and nobody cares, except maybe to think “screw that guy” for a moment before moving on.

              I dunno…am I not giving them enough credit? Maybe there’s a useful angle I’m missing.

              1. …or if it’s Gandhi from the Civilization games he gathers an army and conquers his enemies. Or nukes them. 😀

                1. Foaming-at-the-mouth Gandhi is a strong contender for “most amusing underflow error in computer history.” 🙂

              2. Pacifism is a noble sentiment. Noble sentiments are of little value when the brain holding them has been beaten into a paste by a rubber truncheon.

                1. I honestly spend a LOT of time arguing with myself on if pacifism is actually noble, or just very rarely can have a noble motivation. (Mostly centering on restraint in defense of self, vs dropping obligations.)

                  1. “(Mostly centering on restraint in defense of self, vs dropping obligations.)”

                    As long as you’re using enough force to successfully defend yourself, I wouldn’t equate restraint with pacifism.

                    1. I know some of the sworn pacifists will take up arms in defense of the innocent– just not of themselves. That’s the argument that got… arg…. War hero, Sabaton song… Sgt York! Got him to bear arms.

                    2. “I know some of the sworn pacifists will take up arms in defense of the innocent– just not of themselves.”
                      Unless you think you’re evil and deserve whatever you get, this seems like a very screwed up set of principles. If I’m not even worthy to defend myself, how am I worthy to have others risk their own necks to defend me?

                    3. Oh, for fuck’s sake. WordPress, would you leave my formatting alone?

                      The part of that which WASN’T intended to be a quote was:

                      Unless you think you’re evil and deserve whatever you get, this seems like a very screwed up set of principles. If I’m not even worthy to defend myself, how am I worthy to have others risk their own necks to defend me?

                2. I don’t think pacifism per se is noble, neither is war mongering. There’s a time for peace and a time for war. The pacifist counts on other people defending his right to be a pacifist.

                1. Still neatly illustrates the point that “peace” is for useful idiots to believe in. Now go away until convenient, silly believer.

                  I despise these people. It’s not even hate..

                  1. Indeed. I read these comments before I read Knuckledraggin’ today, and I saw something relevant:

      1. On the Western side, hanging out on Twitter, with a Ukrainian flag in the header, doing their best to encourage the sons of the deplorables to volunteer to fight Putin.

        I get a huge sense of “let’s you and him fight”.

        1. Given who tends to enlist in the US and the pushback I’m seeing on Republicans who are pro-War without a service background (ask Romney how many of his kids served) Lefties may finally answer that classic 60s question: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

    2. Where are they? I’ve noticed a lot of the Usual Suspects one normally sees hating on WarMonger Trump and WarMonger Booosh!!!! have lately all got Ukrainian flags on their Twitler feeds and they post lots of vids of Russian tanks getting blown up.

      Almost as if those tanks didn’t have conscripted Russian teenagers driving them and getting burned to death…

      The AntiWar crowd are now the WarWarWAR!!! crowd. Oh, and they also like the Chicoms. WorldCon is going to be in frigging Chengdu. So there’s that. (You notice nobody said anything about the sudden wave of Chinese members? I noticed.)

    3. As Rush used to love to quote a leftie whose colleague got mad at the military preparing a fly-over for Clinton’s first inaugural: “Those are our planes now.”

      Notice that peace protesting ended on January 20, 2009, and only started, haphazardly in 2016 because unlike Obama or Clinton (or a Bush), Trump didn’t bomb much.

      Trust me, the GOP gets the WH in 2024 and you’ll see it start back up on January 20, 2024.

      1. This. And the riots will come back. All the things that Biden did will now be Trump’s fault. It will be Trump’s bad economy (yeah, it’ll rebound, but a lot of businesses that failed in this economy ain’t coming back). It will be Trump’s failing foreign policy, despite the peace that comes when America is strong. It will be Trump’s poor approval rating, no matter how they have to torture the demographics to make it happen.

        Insert DeSantis for Trump, or whoever else, so long as it isn’t another Jeb! Establishment quisling that somehow stumbles his way into office. Which I highly doubt will occur, because the base ain’t having it.

          1. I would not be displeased with that outcome. Then DeSantis/Blackburn or Gaetz or someone like that.

            Cruz disappointed me deeply in his reaction to the J6 idiocy. He’s not a stupid man, but he missed that one by a mile. I still think he’d be a good Supreme Court justice, though.

            Florida doesn’t want to lose DeSantis and I can see why. Our political representatives, the good ones, haven’t done a good job in training up their replacements. Yes, I know, that doesn’t happen because reasons. But does anyone honestly think that Obama, Hillarious, and Zou Bai Din aren’t basically on the same page?

            I want representatives that represent me. I want my guy to be ballsy enough to start shuttering departments and cutting out the rot that infests nigh every single bureaucracy.

            And if that happens I want the Secret Service to be superhumanly vigilant, because somebody will undoubtedly try to kill him before he gets the job done. Bureaucrats get mean when you threaten their paychecks. And I mean to do more than threaten.

            1. Cruz was my next-to-last choice in the 2016 primary season (the previous ones crashed and burned…), but I kept noticing that he’d tend to go for a GOPe attitude against Trump. GOPe is a dirty word in Flyover County, since they really see themselves as the junior partner in Oregon’s politics.

              I took a chance on Trump, and haven’t regretted it since.

          2. A Trump/DeSantis ticket would be problematic if President Trump remains a Florida resident at election time, because the 12th Amendment would sacrifice some of Florida’s electoral college votes. “The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.”

  2. Makes sense, and fits the behaviors.

    There’s also another aspect to the Ukraine mess that hasn’t gotten much attention: the part of the Ukraine that Russia is invading has enough untapped natural gas reserves (2nd largest known in Europe actually) to break Russia’s natural gas control over Europe, and because the fields are near the existing pipe lines, they’d be very easy to integrate into the network.

    Most of Russia’s current power and income come from their gas fields, and the Ukraine fields would cut them off at the knees.

    The up shot is, even having Crimea and Donbas in ruins and continual warfare still serves Putin’s needs of keep control of Euro NatGas.

    I think the entire whole UA push was just him thinking his army was up to it, and that there wouldn’t be a better chance in his lifetime to do it. The latter is definitely true, though the former is now looking very doubtful.

      1. The Reader thinks that is a tough call. It would cause a lot of Europeans to freeze in the dark next winter. It may be that that is the ‘Great Reset’ that is needed for Europe to come to its senses, but still…

          1. Oh, no no. Don’t believe their press. People are coming to their senses. Even my mom said “Fools” were protesting the quarantine. Given how controlled the media is, I only imagine the size of the protests.
            I just wonder how large and horrible.
            Yes, they still buy some of the lie. And they’ll always be socialistish. But the people ain’t happy.

          1. My first real break from environmentalism indoctrination was doing a report on nuclear power back in grade school, and discovering just how good it really was, and realizing the greenies had torpedoed it because of a scary movie, not anything real.

            1. And Three Mile Island revealed that a halfway decent design, even mis-managed to Hell and back, still did… nothing much. Now, Chernobyl was [manure]show from design to location to operation and even THEN it took a failure of EVERY. LAST. DAMN. DECISION. to make it go that bad. There is a chance that even the shutdown could have worked if it wasn’t SCRAMble-ALL but a shut-down in phase might have left things in if not great, at least not disastrous condition. As for Fukushima.. remember there were TWO reactors like, but one (the one you do NOT hear much about) had a Stubborn Cuss of an ENGINEER who INSISTED a proper seawall be made to deal with the unlikely but historically confirmed waves. The wall he insisted on, did its job, the Forgotten Reactor was unaffected… as it was supposed to be.

              1. Chernobyl was designed and built and managed with reckless disregard for human life. It should be offensive to all engineers everywhere.

                From what I understand, Fukashima was a threading of the cheese failure. As I understand it, the sea wall infront of the reactor that failed not because it was not high enough for the tsunami, but because they had not anticipated that the earthquake would drop the seawall by about a meter.

                Further, the pumps that failed had been already planned to be replaced with a passively cooled system years prior, but that had gotten derailed by greenies who didn’t want new nuke plants.

                And finally, even with the failure and release, as near as anyone can tell, it didn’t actually impact anything.

                1. I was impressed by the fact that the plant seems to have survived the earthquake, as strong as it was, OK, but the tsunami getting the backup generators is that did it.

                  But the Germans closed their nuke plants despite having neither earthquakes nor tsunamis.

                  1. And are now burning coal in order to not freeze to death in the winter.

                    The reason the greenies don’t want nuclear energy is because it provides large scale plentiful energy, and thus there is no basis for them to impose energy rationing. It is about power over others, not energy power.

                    1. I suspect they are also burning trees from the city parks, as has happened in the past. (Strange that. Limbs, and sometimes entire trees started vanishing in the night, and No One Saw Anything.) I wish I’d saved that article. It was about the unanticipated consequences of going super-green.

                    2. sometimes entire trees started vanishing in the night, and No One Saw Anything

                      Or heard anything. Taking out trees is not a quiet activity.

                2. The Fukushima operators knew that a maximum possible earthquake would swamp the diesels and fuel, and strip the plant of emergency power. They played a probability game, and banked on it not happening during the remaining life of the plant. When the possible did happen, the results were exactly as imagined.

                  On the other hand, in the wake of Fukushima the US nuclear plant fleet re-examined not only maximum flood possibilities, they completely revamped the beyond design basis procedures to provide guidance for every conceivable event. Nobody wants to be in the spotlight for overlooking something.

              2. One thing I remember, a day or two after the Fukushima earthquake, was the doom-and-gloom announcement: “In two weeks the emergency generators will run out of diesel fuel, the coolant pumps will stop, and the reactor cores will melt down.”

                So, with a mostly intact 2 GIGAWATT nuclear power station and two weeks notice, NOBODY could improvise some way to generate a few hundred kilowatts and keep the pumps running? Or could they, but didn’t dare break a few rules to jury-rig a fix? “The reactor will melt down, but I won’t get in trouble for breaking the rules!”
                People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

                1. There was a point at which TEPCO management were in some kind of analysis paralysis and needed the Prime Minister to kick butt and tell them to do the thing (I forget which thing) and then handle the consequences of having done the thing instead of wondering whether doing the other thing was better or explaining that they should have done the third thing yesterday.

                  But yes. Fukushima caused between 1 and 10 deaths while the rest of the quake/tsunami killed ~20,000

                  And note that the quake was the fourth biggest globally since records began in about 1900 and would probably have killed an order of magnitude more if it had hit a less well prepared country such as Japan’s neighbors to the south and west

              1. I recall the timing of the movie and the TMI failure was, er, unfortunate. A friend worked for General Atomic at the time, and went to see the movie. On his way home from the movie (I assume it was some weeks after it premiered), he heard the news about TMI on the radio.

    1. When I see all the “don’t appease Putin, remember Hitler” memes I think “this isn’t 1939, but 1914 with Russia in the “war sooner is out best chance” position.

      1. Well, I’m not sure that they didn’t try. The Ukraine war seems to be a race between who can f’up the hardest/most completely, wrapped in a turducken of lies, propaganda, incompetence, and random speculation, with a heavy glaze of fog of war for good measure.

  3. “Putin thought that he could have a short victorious war, start on his dream towards greater Russia…”

    I came across this guy Peter Zeihan just when the war started, giving a talk a few days before it started. He makes some excellent points.

    The whole talk:

    The Russia section:

    Russia has nine invasion points, and having been invaded so many times, is rightfully paranoid about controlling them. When the USSR broke up, it had one. All of the political machinations since have brought it up to five, and if they can take Ukraine, they’ll have seven. Putin’s been recreating greater Russia for two decades now.

    1. No. That’s rationalization. Putin idolizes the Soviet union, and the soviet union wanted to control the WORLD.
      Russia is paranoid, sure. But its paranoia is out of proportion. Americans think “has invasion points” is super convincing. ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES have been invaded multiple times and have multiple invasion points.
      Russia is just historically NUTS.
      Look, they invited the Vikings to rule them. THE F*CKING Vikings.

      1. Oh I don’t disagree that their policies are nuts. The more I learn about Russian history and culture, the more I’m convinced that cultures can be schizophrenic.

        My point, and I believe Zeihan’s as well, is that by understanding their paranoia, we can predict their targets. They’ve already either invaded or set up proxies to control four of those invasion points, creating the foundation for a Greater Russia. This invasion of Ukraine is a straight-line continuation of that plan. It’s a bat-shit crazy plan, but it is a plan.

          1. They might if any of these assholes were serious about stopping them. But as you say, Sarah, this is an instant replay of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy was surfing a nuclear war threat to get votes in the Primaries for his election campaign. This is exactly the same shit. We dodged the bullet last time because Khrushchev finally understood that Kennedy was insane. Putin has got to be thinking that right now about Mr. Sniffer.

            By the way, did you know that the Chicoms just made a deal to provide “military services” to the Solomon Islands? Uh huh, they did. Belt-and-Road, baby.

          2. Well, they have to succeed in Ukraine first which seems harder than they thought.

            Also, time isn’t on their side. They’re not having enough teenagers to replace their losses in this war easily.

            That’s why I’m still “Eastern Europe needs to sort itself out, let them fight, and develop contingency plans for all the possible winners.”

          1. “They invited themselves to rule themselves”. I mean, the aristocracy of the area has always been Viking, hence their name: Rus, which is of Nordic origin.

            They were also the traders of the region so were going to rule, invite or not.

            1. The Rus tribe was invited in. (To put down local quarrels.) Granted, this was like inviting Romans in for the same purpose, which the Portuguese did, but a tad crazier.

              1. The reason I prickle at “invited in” is it carries a sense of no prior connection. The Rus were very much creating the trading links along the river system.

                I see it less invited and more logical endpoint.

                1. Their first arrival was not because they were trading there. The Rus raided WESTERN Europe. That’s where my accent come from. Tons of colonies in Northern Portugal. (The consonants are the same.) It’s the reason “pig” in Portuguese is “Russo” which is also the slang for Blond. (But only in the North.)
                  Look, I’m handicapped because my books are in a storage unit and I haven’t touched them in…. 40 years? But Russian history was an obsession for me in the mid to late eighties.

                  1. Then you’re misremember.

                    The Rus traded and raided east as well, mostly down the various river systems. They eventually reached Constantinople where Nordic mercenaries formed an elite united of the army, the Varangian Guard (Varangian being the Greek word for the people we called the Vikings in that period). They were recruited for the Emperor’s Guard due to being disconnected from local politics.

                    While Rurik was said to have been a member of the Guard during the mid-9th century, the known Rus establishers, Oleg, expanded south along the existing trade routes between the Baltic and the Black Sea in order to secure the trade (or more likely his taxes).

                    He and his successors may have been invited, but invited or not they were going to control that area in that time period as the most organized powers with interests in those areas.

                    1. I picked most of my knowledge up late Cold War/early post Cold War via SCA interests as my persona was in the Guard.

                      Could also be emphasis of our sources.

                    2. And when the tales got back to the Northland, you had Vikings of every stripe coming to enlist; most notably, the future King Harald Hardrada of Norway, who was allocated “seven feet of English ground” at Stamford Bridge. He eventually left the Emperor’s service and took the tactics and troops he’d acquired back to Norway to make himself king after “convincing” the current King to make him his heir.

                      That was where John Ringo made his famous mistake with the Keldara: he tied them to an actual confirmed group in history that COULD have resulted in exactly the backstory of “Irish Vikings in the Varangian Guard” he outlined…..

                    3. Since you brought up the Conquest, there were a large number of Anglo-Saxons in the Guard, especially post 1066 when a good number of Harold Godwinson’s huscarls made their way to Constantinople to join up.

                    4. And since we’re talking Harald Hardrada, it’s time for a music video:

                      The entire album The Last Viking by Leaves’ Eyes is supposed to be the death vision of Harold as he dies at Stamford Bridge.

                2. Slaves. The Rus were all about trading slaves. All the Scandinavians were. Dublin was the biggest slave market in Western Europe, that’s why the pope asked the English to come in. The Rus were the same, selling Slavs to the Greeks for gold.

              1. That’s always been a problem for the blood and soil types over there: the Rus were never more than Normans who spoke Swedish instead of French. A very small group who instead of trying to seduce Saxon or Slavic girls tried to keep them as thralls. Eventually, you just can’t keep the “pure Rus” from falling in love with the impure Slav beauties.


                I followed my Duke ere I was a lover,
                To take from England fief and fee;
                But now this game is the other way over–
                But now England hath taken me!

                I had my horse, my shield and banner,
                And a boy’s heart, so whole and free;
                But now I sing in another manner–
                But now England hath taken me!

                As for my Father in his tower,
                Asking news of my ship at sea,
                He will remember his own hour–
                Tell him England hath taken me!

                As for my Mother in her bower,
                That rules my Father so cunningly,
                She will remember a maiden’s power–
                Tell her England hath taken me!

                As for my Brother in Rouen City,
                A nimble and naughty’ page is he,
                But he will come to suffer and pity–
                Tell him England hath taken me!

                As for my little Sister waiting
                In the pleasant orchards of Normandie,
                Tell her youth is the time for mating–
                Tell her England hath taken me!

                As for my comrades in camp and highway
                That lift their eyebrows scornfully,
                Tell them their way is not my way–
                Tell them England hath taken me!

                Kings and Princes and Barons famed,
                Knights and Captains in your degree;
                Hear me a little before I am blamed–
                Seeing England hath taken me!

                Howso great man’s strength be reckoned,
                There are two things he cannot flee.
                Love is the first, and Death is the second-
                And Love in England hath taken me!

              2. The Rus were aristocracy who wound up adopting local language so could be what you see a lot of places where a foreign aristocracy gets “localized”.

                Also, the steppes made a huge change in government about 500 years after this period. That’s when the Mongols overran everything and Russian culture shifted to Moscow over Kiev as the center.

                I’m be surprised if there wasn’t plenty of Steppe Asian genome.

      2. This whole notion of them seeing NATO on the horizon and panicking themselves into attacking is sheer nonsense.
        It ignores the fact that Russia has already had NATO on its borders for 23 years, what with the Baltic states having joined in 1999.
        But Ukraine contemplating it (with NATO not admitting it) is suddenly the final straw, and we are supposed to sympathize with Putin?

        1. “Sympathize with Putin”

          Don’t be a bigger fool than God made you. No one here sympathizes with Putin. The question is who among our government is using that silliness to provide an excuse for their own tyranny.

          1. Take a breath.
            “Here?” No.
            But I see plenty of that, for instance, in comments at Insty. I suppose that mostly it grows out of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and “if they are lying to us about everything else, they have to be lying to us about this.”

            1. Of course they’re lying. The Ukrainians are lying, the Russians are lying, NATO is lying, and the US government is lying. They are all most definitely lying. They’re lying about everything else too. This is not news.

              This fact does not make Putin and his actions in any way acceptable. Nor, to my mind, does it make the Ukrainian government acceptable. Putin appologists and Ukrainian flags on Twittler are just more of the lying activity. They’re all lying for clicks. Duh.

              1. Everybody is lying. I tend to take Ukrainian propaganda with a jarfull of salt because they did so in 2014 and thereabouts.
                Russia’s lying is more brazen because they control their information flow internally a lot more. They are rebuilding the Iron Curtain, and they are getting rather successful at it.
                Yes, we lie, and NATO lies. No doubt.
                But there is no question that it is a real war, and Russia is doing terrible things, targeting apartment buildings, etc.

        2. Sympathy for Putin and knowing the original center of Russian culture was Kiev (until the Mongols came) and realizing there is an older, deeper conflict that Putin is exploiting to justify his war for his reasons are not the same thing.

          But running around like Putin is Hitler and canceling everything is as foolish as Bismarck’s enemies relishing in canceling his Reinsurance Treaty. I hope we don’t pay a similar price.

          1. This cancelling nonsense is just as much virtue signaling garbage. We are surrounded by garbage. Drowning in it.

        1. Could you summarize some of the highlights (or lowlights) so the rest of us don’t have to suffer through it? Talk about taking one for the team! 😛

          1. Quite the reverse. He doesn’t toot his own horn; if anything he’s a bit retiring and self-effacing. One thing that stuck in my mind was that when he was assigned to East Germany, he was, his word, shocked that they seemed to actually believe and live the communist bullshit (that’s about how he put it) that was already fading away in the USSR. He was not, contrary to what some contend, a fan. In fact he’s said flat out that having been on the inside, he knows how bad it was, and does not want to go down that path again. (Yeah, I’ve watched a lot of interviews, speeches, and whatever else. I think it behooves one to take a fair measure of those in power, and not just dismiss them as crooks and thugs.)

            The book is in interview format. some with his wife (now ex, they grew apart) and one of his schoolteachers. Otherwise it’s a straightforward account of what he did and how things fell out. Unfortunately it’s from about 20 years ago, but he doesn’t seem to have changed, other than having since grown disillusioned with the west, for much the same reasons you and I are unhappy with our politicians and the socially-destructive woke crap.

            Russians are no more monolithic than are Americans. While not presently in thick with any live Russians, I do follow a variety of Russian sources, of varied opinions. Why should I not??

            1. Oh, Dear Lord. “Shirtless Putin” “Doesn’t toot his own horn.” Who wrote the book? And who translated it? And where is the marketing aimed.
              Please, be your age.

            2. It is possible that the translator missed some of the nuances, or purposefully softened the language. Naming your autobiography “First Person” is… not humble.

              From the first chapter of a later Putin bio written in the West:

              “These basic facts have been covered in books and newspaper articles. Yet there is some uncertainty in the sources about specific dates and the sequencing of Vladimir Putin’s professional trajectory. This is especially
              the case for his KGB service, but also for some of the period when he was in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office, including how long he was technically part of the KGB’s “active reserve.” Personal information, including on key childhood events, his 1983 marriage to his wife, Lyudmila (whom he divorced in 2014), the birth of two daughters in 1985 and 1986 (Maria and Yekaterina), and his friendships with politicians and businessmen from Leningrad/St. Petersburg is remarkably scant for such a prominent public figure. His wife, daughters, and other family members, for example, are conspicuously absent from the public domain. Information about him that was available at the beginning of his presidency has also been suppressed, distorted, or lost in a morass of competing and often contradictory versions swirling with rumor and innuendo. Some materials—related to a notorious 1990s food scandal in St. Petersburg, which almost upended Putin’s early political career—have been expunged, along with those with access to them. When it comes to
              Mr. Putin, very little information is definitive, confirmable, or reliable.”

              1. Yeah, I skimmed several western bios (can these people write in some style that isn’t downright turgid?). The consensus was “Since we have mostly speculation and the occasional scandal, this means he’s the greatest threat to the west.”

                My cynical little voice opines that repainting Putin and Russia as Satan and Hell is a great distraction from the more imminent threats of economic domination by the Chinese and political domination by Euro-socialists.

                1. Oh, I’m sure Chyna has bought up a lot of people in the West, and that the CCP is having fun making Putin and Russia the villains, while officially keeping their hands clean.

                  But of course it’s sus, if you can’t find out even the normal facts about a guy, when he’s been in the public eye for over twenty years.

                2. My dude.

                  Intel officer.

                  a) there are ways to modify behavior to create a great deal of ambiguity in the face of any investigation. This deliberate approach can also be used to create a very strongly consistent appearance. Consistent is useful for politicians pulling a long con, systemic ambiguity is more of either an intel trick, or someone who plans to pull many short cons. b) His implementation of ambiguity speaks to either some purpose, or to doing it reflexively, after so long as an intel officer. c) In either case, he is squirrelier than a nut’s bottom.

                  ‘A few scandals’. Let’s suppose that Bill Browder really is a con man, and that US congress conspired to screw Putin over. There is still the pattern of murders. Look at the effin’ poisoning at the Ukraine-Russia peace negotiations.

                  The combination of i) he is taking these active precautions ii) he is having a lot of flamboyant murders carried out is absolutely a legitimate pattern to conclude monster from.

                  There may well be a lot of rote group think about Putin. It can overlap with a valid analysis of him.

                  1. There may well be a lot of rote group think about Putin. It can overlap with a valid analysis of him.

                    If the guy trying to control conclusions has more brains than a wren, it’s GOING to overlap with the valid analysis of him, and they’ll actively work to tie the crazier stuff to the most valid and concerning items.

                    1. See Florida “No sex-ed for third grade and under” being conflated with Pizzagate/QAnon.

                    2. On the other hand, it DOES eventually wear out– see how the long-lasting lie about the desire for morally licit vaccines (most famously desired by Orthodox Jews and observant Catholics, though not exclusive to them) got countered with factchecks about ‘baby parts in vaccines’… which kinda fell apart with the kung flu vaccines and suddenly people DID find out about fetal cell lines being ‘required’ for the production of (these approved) vaccines.

                      The pediatrician in my clinic network has had signs inviting people who don’t want to follow the ‘suggested’ vaccination schedule to go elsewhere, since we moved up here. A lot of people have been taking her up on it, especially since the family practice folks in the same network are not hanging up similar signs.

                  2. “there are ways to modify behavior to create a great deal of ambiguity in the face of any investigation.”

                    Such as…?

                3. He’s not Satan. He’s a shitty little tyrant and KGB boss, and all too human.
                  And economic domination by China? Do you actually believe that? You are not well. As for political domination by Euro Socialists….. Oh, for f*ck’s sake. I give up on talking sense to you.

                  1. So, what else would you call the Xiden-and-whoever and Hairboy cabals? When they’re not stuffing their own pockets, they’re telling us how much better EuroSocialism is, and trying to make it so. And as it happens, they’re in charge.

                    And China does not need to be an economic powerhouse to dominate our economy; indeed, look where most of our manufacturing went. Unless and until we can get geared back up, and have the balls to inform China that they’re nothing without us buying their junk, just who the hell would you say is dominating the relationship??

                    1. They’re shitty too. Do you think there is a “good guy” in this? But the truth is if Ukraine gets stomped, Poland is next. In fact, it’s been announced.
                      WHY do you wish for that.
                      China is not a powerhouse of any kind. China is on the verge of collapse.
                      So is Russia. So are we. And the EU is worse.
                      WHY would you want ANY of the tyrants to succeed?
                      And what citations did you give us, other than the asshole’s self-bronzing?
                      That poor Russia has been invaded and has an “unprotected border”? Yeah, it’s one of the longest because it’s a massive country, but most borders in Europe are unprotected. GB was the only one with a barrier, and the chunnel destroyed that.

                    2. BTW, that you’ve decided one of them is going to win over us is REPULSIVE and also stupidly bizarre.
                      That you further decided murderous thug Putin is who you want to live under is … Indecent.

                    3. @AccordingtoHoyt

                      Earlier you claimed to know what I believe, and what sort of person I am, none of it correct (you don’t know me better than that by now??) Now you’re putting words in my mouth, not only twisting what I said, but absurdly so, approaching mortal insult. Maybe you’re having a bad day and my disagreement made me a convenient target. I am trying not to be “testy” in return. But if I’m unwelcome, just say so, don’t throw rocks.

                    4. I claimed what?
                      This is where you’re going to go?
                      I am not putting words into your mouth. Just re-read what you wrote. It boiled down to “I have to choose whom to surrender to, and obviously Putin is the best.”
                      No, that’s not what you wrote, but it’s what it meant.
                      Think about what you’re putting out there.
                      You’ve been STUNNINGLY dishonest throughout all this, including relativistic moving goal posts. You might want to ask yourself WHY. What do you have so invested in PUTIN of all people? WHY?

                    5. :Shakes head: While Sarah’s obviously quite spun up, she hasn’t been reading your mind– she’s been reading your posts.

                      As far as twisting what you say… what is it with the folks who keep pushing “let the KGB thug take what he wants, poor baby is just scared, and look at how bad his victims are accused of being” all using that phrase, especially when people are responding to what THEY WROTE, with something but agreement?

      3. Can’t quite agree with you on this Sarah.

        500+ years before WW II, Russian had an invader on their soil every generation. WW II: look to the left, look to the right of you, one of you three will be dead in a year, true of folks in many Russian cities. If I remember right it was 1 in 5 nationally over the years of the war.

        Idolizes USSR? If anything I feel he idolizes imperial Russia. I’m not in Putin’s head but I suspect he does what he thinks is best for Russia, as well as himself. I wish at least a few of our ‘leaders’ felt that way about the US.

        Yes he wants to be the Czar, the little father in Moscow. Russia is fewer generations away from feudalism than any of the other ‘civilized’ countries. My impression is the Russian people want a Czar, their choice, not my business.

        Hum. Looking at the EU and the duly appointed leaders, perhaps most of Europe, yearns a return to feudalism.

        Me, pro Putin? No. Pro Russia? No, not especially, but I’ve been there and like a lot of the people I met and the country, I mean country not the country, I didn’t like most of the cities, I saw. I’ve been to the Ukraine too and all I’m suggesting is there are two sides to most every story.

        1. Jim, seriously. You think that makes Russia the lone ranger. EVERY COUNTRY IN EUROPE HAD AN INVADER. OFTEN EVERY 100 years. What in actual hell.
          Only Russia is a paranoid nutter, though.

          1. Only Russia has several thousand miles of non-defensible borders, and would need about another 200M population to have enough young men to properly defend them all.

              1. That would be several years your senior. But since my contrary cites are invalid and my contrary opinions childish, henceforth I shall express only correct thoughts.

                1. No one is asking you to express correct thoughts. You are being asked to reality check and be your age in the sense that I assumed you lived through the cold war.
                  I mean, maybe you slept through the cold war.
                  Don’t come here and demand I respect your years, when you believe China is an economic power house. You didn’t live through Japan will bury us all?
                  If you insist on being a gullible fool, I’ll assume you’re on your second childhood.
                  I mean, I saw my parents revert to childhood and believe the covidiocy with religious fervor.
                  IS THAT YOUR PROBLEM?
                  You’re dismissing reality for “but I read his autobiography! He’s a great guy.”

              1. To be fair, yes, I’m being testy with Reziac. It also makes me think meanly of his other opinions. Note the only “reference” he gave us was Putin’s bio. (Rolls eyes.) And that there are others, non-regime controlled.
                BUT THIS PARTICULAR PIECE OF BULLSHIT they’re all running around repeating really takes the cake.
                As someone who grew up in Europe: Russia was invaded every 500 years? I guess it was protected by the weather.
                EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN EUROPE was invaded every 100 to 200 years, like clock work, and many were erased forever.
                Just because Russia says “we’re totally reasonable to want to own the world. The world invaded us” doesn’t mean they’re reasonable. It means they’re f*cking nuts and you’re buying their bullshit.

                1. Depending on how carefully one defines war that one did not launch, America has been dealing with ‘incursions’ basically our entire history.

                  My godfather’s dad was killed in the last Indian raid in California, for example. (I’m fairly sure it’s technically in Nevada, honestly, but at this point I get to annoyed with historical hijackers taking the term for when the monday-friday murderous bandits got killed to fiddle with it too much, but they were self-claimed acting as a foreign national power, in violation of the negotiated peace.)

                  It’s not even news when some poor farmer is killed by the functioning warlords crossing the Mexican border, and hasn’t been for generations.

                  When do we get victim points?

          2. No Sarah, and I appreciate our difference of opinion. You make me think and reconsider but… Right now… EU, I’m not convinced Russia’s the only paranoid nutter.

            Thanks for your insight (far closer understanding of/to Europe than I’ll ever have/ be,).

            Hum, hum, hum hum, hum. Part of our different view is, admittedly, my worldview is now the Ring Of Fire, the Pacific rim. Right or wrong my sense of future importance is anything of note is twix the Pacific coasts, that Atlantic nations are trading stones, ballast, while world shakers, future makers, are all west of the Rockies and east of the Urals.and the Himalayas. Yes, you can fault my position, shucky darn, I can fault it, but I can understand why i lean such.

        2. I suspect he does what he thinks is best for Russia, as well as himself.

          Yes he wants to be the Czar

          He thinks he is the state and has a very Louis XIV attitude about the state as a result.

          1. THIS

            People up above have mentioned reading what he writes and listening to what he says. He says he wants to recreate the greater Russia of the Tsars and that he admires them (and IIRC some commie Tsars too).

            Maybe we should believe him. Kind of like we should believe the Mullahs when they say Death to Israel and America

      4. Less rationalization and more Putin using genuine Russian fears to quell initial opposition.

        Replace Putin with someone who was anti-Soviet, like Solezhenzen if he were still alive, and you’d still have the underlying reality. The Soviet borders will go away and one of the traditional powers will come to dominate the region.

        ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES have been invaded multiple times and have multiple invasion points.

        Yes, and all are paranoid to different degrees. France remained out of NATO due to its paranoia while German is still trying to hide behind America’s skirts out of paranoia, Poland joined NATO and kept pushing it East out of paranoia.

        This is the first of a few wars based on that paranoia.

        Russia is paranoid, sure. But its paranoia is out of proportion.

        It is the only European nation that suffered for 7 decades under the new regime installed by the next to the last invasion. The USSR was the product of an internal uprising over an invasion, unlike Germany’s current government (they had theirs in the 1930s). Plus, overly paranoid or not you can only meet people where they are.

        I’m not saying this to say we give Putin Ukraine, but to understand why no one we can replace him with will be much better on the issue. I think we have two choices: back a candidate of our own to rearrange the borders and dominate the region (likely Poland of the three semi-viable choices) or stay the hell out period. Of course, having brought Poland into NATO we forestalled the latter.

        What I can’t figure out is why we’re backing Ukraine as the dominant power candidate (which is de facto current US policy) instead of the actual NATO member.

        1. a) there’s the kill them all option. Okay, not currently feasible.
          b) It is the Department of State. In ordinary circumstances, it is full of fruitcakes and lunatics with no grasp of reality. In current circumstances, it can be expected that policy will only ever match reality by accident.

            1. It is absolutely moral, if it is preceded by their refusal to leave us the hell alone.

              If it is so preceded, not doing something about it is the immoral option.

                1. Steve, Steve, Steve! Stop that. You’re agreeing with Bob AND WHAT’S WORSE? I agree with both of you. I’m going to…. I don’t know. Reset the universe. I think it’s out of cheese

                  1. I warned you that “Steve is right” might become the next “Bob is making sense,” didn’t I?

        2. During the last Russian election (for whatever that may be worth, like we have room to talk after the 2020 debacle) I took the time to look up the opposition candidates (as best could be found from non-Russian sources), and developed a horror of Putin being replaced. The alternatives were various sorts of crooks (the best of the lot was a convicted fraudster) and outright communists.

          And why is it our right to foist regime change on other sovereign nations? That’s been workin’ out real well, eh??

          1. As Kamil Galeev explained not too long ago, Navalny and most of the other other national Russian opposition people don’t particularly disagree with Putin’s goals and methods, they just want to be the ones on top doing them to everyone else.

            There are very few (if any) prominent Russian opposition figures who actually want a reformed, democratic etc. Russia

            1. Anyone reasonable and democratic who shows up as a candidate probably gets yeeted from a window, or otherwise gets gently persuaded to remain in local politics.

        3. What I can’t figure out is why we’re backing Ukraine as the dominant power candidate (which is de facto current US policy) instead of the actual NATO member.

          Because that’s where the fighting is, and there is no good reason to not grind the alleged Russian army to dust. Especially when you get to have a non-NATO country be the proxy.

          And it’s not like Poland is lounging on the beach taking a nap while this is happening.

      5. I’m not so sure the “invitation” was really their idea, though.

        “Hear, all citizens of Novgorod! You may lately have noticed our new … friends! from the North coming down the river to our fair city. We, the nobility of fair Novgorod have, uh, invited our new, big, imposing, and very very heavily armed friends to rule over us from now on! Please carry on just as before! Did I mention very very heavily armed? Alright, good.”

        1. Agree “not yet”.

          Which is weird. Because we didn’t steal or conqueror Alaska. Steward bought it, because Russia offered it up for sale. Called Steward’s Folly by US citizens. Russia was unloading Alaska, didn’t want it. Alaska is too far from the eastern center of Russia and too close to the “worthless” western section. Putin wants it back? … Okay. Things have changed in 100+ years. Now Alaska is the gateway into Canada, eventually the US. I can see why he might get greedy. But Russia was paid for Alaska when it was offered up for sale.

            1. And … rereading my post. The Russian population centers are on the west coast of Russia. Alaska is close to the empty arctic east coast (Swapped Them) … sigh.

              Agree that Putin will say: “I want Alaska back”, our worthless POS (cough PTB) will say “We can talk about it”, and the Alaskan’s? “Not even in your dreams” (either party).

              I hear there is something called the Alaskan Triangle that swallows people and does not spit them back out.

        2. Yeah, I can see how that would go over:

          The Washington Left: “Okay, we can have a discussion about that.”

          Alaskans: “Come git some.”

          1. Other states: “Oh, so the federal government is saying that being in the union ISN’T permanent? Then let’s talk succession while we’re at it…”

            1. [facepalm]

              Sorry, that was meant to be “secession,” not “succession.” I was tired.

              Although given the election theft, we kinda need to talk about succession issues too…

  4. The thing that’s had me shaking my head has been the whole, “Russia! Russia! Russia!” thing coming from the Democrats. Really? The guys who never saw a left-wing (real or alleged) regime they didn’t like? The party where Ted Kennedy tired to cut a deal with the Soviets to beat Reagan? The one that mocked McCarthy for being “alarmist,” and right -wing and crazy for “seeing Communists under every bed”?
    It just made no sense to me that they went full-bore anti-Russia….unless they thought that would make them more attractive to the dumb rubes “out there.” A case of, “Look, these idiots still hate, “Commies,” right? And they’re too dumb to realize Russia isn’t commie any more. So we’ll destroy Trump’s support by telling the rubes he’s really helping the Russians.” It wouldn’t surprise me at all if, originally, the Ds sent very quiet messages to Putin saying, “Look, it’s all for show, as soon as Hillary gets in it’ll go away.” But Trump was elected, and they were stuck with their campaign.
    Because you’re right, way too many people honestly believe the US is invulnerable and immortal, so it won’t do any harm if they just….tweak things a little. For our (their) own good.

      1. They would have gotten away without all those clips of Obama’s debate snark and all the saved Tweets and articles lauding that snark.

        It wasn’t just that he said it, but the dismissive nature (although with the “we have ships called submarines” bit) reinforced by the press. They were trying to reverse and ignored the exact kind of behavior that gave Trump so many votes and found they couldn’t.

    1. Actually, I was mildly impressed by the audacity of going from “The 80s called, they want their foreign policy back” to “Russia, Russia, Russia” in under five years (about four years and two months).

      1. Maybe it is less audacious, more dumb as a post. They honestly think that nobody remembers what they said in the last campaign season which was… about four years in the past (sometimes less).

        True, there are people that blinkered. But more and more, people are paying attention as prices rise, the mask masquerade falls apart, and the stupifyingly obvious “pay no attention to the senile man on the podium!” stunts that keep occurring. That isn’t good for democrat polling. They’ll have to fraud even more than 2020 to win 2024 at this rate.

    2. That’s the point of the Irrational Regime Hypothesis. For them, “the Russians” only exist as an abstraction, to be used for domestic point-scoring. Consistency is entirely irrelevant.

  5. “This is two, enormously unstable regimes, who don’t understand why the internals of their country aren’t conforming to their theories and things aren’t falling into place as their ideological certainty tells them they should, trying to stomp on internal enemies and keep/increase power.”

    At least three. You forgot Canada, the little brother partner in North America that Americans always forget. I can tell you right now that the Canadian government is -desperate- to get itself on a war footing. They are drooling over the Emergencies Act, that little hit wasn’t enough for them. Being able to seize bank accounts and -force- towtruck drivers to do work they don’t want to do, at gunpoint in a lot of cases, they LOVED it!

    They’re junkies, they want more. And they are going for it. Hammer down, pedal to the metal, this is their big chance.

    Also, and this is more evidence to your point on the unstable/irrational inward-looking lunacy, Canada has more proven oil reserves than Russia. Like, way more. And better infrastructure to dig it up.


    Canada bought $500 million bucks worth of crude from Russia last year. Also crude from the Middle East. And we still are. Right now.

    Why? Because all the oil consumption in the country is in Ontario and Quebec, and the Liberals (and the NDPee) have consistently blocked the building of any new pipelines from Alberta and Saskatchewan (where the oil is) to Ontario and Quebec. Which is one major reason why pretty much ALL industry in Canada moved to the USA and off-shore to China, Vietnam, India and places like that. We don’t even make hockey sticks here anymore. (I’m not kidding. The very last hockey stick maker in Canada was Sher-wood, and they moved their plant to China in 2011.

    Why did the Liberal Party of Canada do such an irrational and damaging thing to their own country? To get votes from the liberal/leftist minded sheeple in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, who for about four generations now have faced nothing harsher than the odd snowstorm.

    There were some pretty shocked faces two years ago when it was discovered that not only did the government NOT have the stockpile of personal protective equipment for hospitals that they were supposed to have, Canada did not have any factories to make more. And we don’t. We still don’t. We have zero companies making PPE products, masks/gowns/gloves in Canada. They can’t. It is economically impossible to do it here.

    Why is it impossible? Because A) fuel costs, B) electricity costs [windmills!] C) labor costs, D) CORRUPTION costs, E) REGULATION. The last two are the real killers. You can’t because you can’t, basically. Unless you have a lot of money and a lot of Friends in High Places, it ain’t happening.

    Fascism, basically. Fun right?

    1. Whatifalthist put up a fun video a couple of weeks ago on how he thinks Canada could explode:

      His basic point is Canada is really three countries who hate each other and are United only in their “I’m not American”ism. And its not much of a unity at that…

      1. Having been in Canada many times, it’s been obvious for decades that Western Canada should secede because it has few common interests with the rest if the country…

        1. It’s funny, because if I recall, he’s thinking it’ll probably be Quebec that blows it all up, with Western Canada falling off in the aftermath.

        2. Being a Real Live Canadian, I can tell you that Western Canada has few common interests with the people calling the shots in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Those three population centers suck up all the political oxygen in the country, with Toronto being the biggest noise.

          The rest of us in Ontario, those living outside the 905 area code, have all the same political and cultural interests as Western Canada. Really, it breaks down to Toronto vs everyplace else in the country.

          There are only 30 million people here. Most of them live in three cities. You could literally light off a nuke in northern Ontario and no one would ever know.

          1. Oh, come on, a few hundred people would see the pretty light. 😛
            Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

          2. Really liked the people in Alberta, enjoyed northern Bring Cash ( that’s what the girl at the Alberta welcome center at Glacier National Park called it), thought Yukon was magnificent.
            Couldn’t get through Toronto fast enough, was sick all through Ontario and Quebec (oddly, the “swallowed ground glass,” -level sore throat I’d had for a week vanished within an hour or so of crossing into Vermont. Go figure).
            Was OK with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI were, “meh.” So were Saskatchewan and Manitoba, in our run through them.
            Spouse would love to visit Northwest Province and Ninuqvit (?), and maybe Labrador/Newfoundland, just for completeness. Given the current situation, don’t know if it will ever happen.

            1. We were just in Alberta via the entry station just east of US Glacier and east of Canadian Waterton National Parks. Didn’t go into Waterton that time. Destination: Get on Hwy 1 west of Calgary to Banff, then north on the Glacier Parkway to Jasper. Total time 10 days. This was 2019.

              Planned to go again late July 2022 with Sister and BIL immediately after mutual niece’s wedding. That has been cancelled, but them. It is the “high” cost of fuel.

              Granted Canada fuel is going to be horrible. Looks “good” until one realizes it is $1.98/Liter is $7.529/gal (exchange rates in Aug 2012 were 1:1, ish); this is when it was $3.60/gal average in US in 2012. 2019, fuel was a lot more reasonable, especially with the 2019 exchange rates, but not US reasonable. 2019 we had the Santa Fe. 2012 we had the truck and trailer. We were hitting the $100 CC cutoff when fueling, and had to restart to get truck fully fueled … since we were often down to fumes by the time we hit next fuel stop off Hwy 1, it Had to be FULL. We saw more than a few “15 miles to no fuel” on the dash (maybe two gallons left, truck towing trailer remember, up hill at high elevation the dash reported 6 mpg more than once). When they proposed the trip we knew fuel was going to be high.

              But regarding them canceling due to the high cost of fuel. They are the ones who have a 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid. But gee, turns out that 1) the Camry isn’t as comfortable of a vehicle for long trips. (No comment.) and 2) The electric portion of the Hybrid does not get used at freeway speeds, or always at highier elevation (guess the engine needs actual power), not even Canadian Hwy 1 speeds. (Um, DUH. The absolute reason we didn’t go Hybrid with either of our last two vehicles, cost of the actual vehicle aside. Paying more for limited benefit. At least in our minds.) This is the not liberal sister and BIL.

              What is interesting is current April fuel costs (Gas Buddy) in Alberta is $4.00/gal (US) while we are paying $4.44/gal (Costco).

              We, hubby and I, are still planning on going this fall. We’ll make reservations we can cancel, JIC.

          3. Are the people of Ontario north and west of Lake Nipissing content to be controlled by Toronto, or do you think if Canada split Ontario might as well?

    2. That explains most US governance since the 1960s. Create a crisis (environment); drum up a very vocal but highly misinformed activist minority who foams at the mouth about it; ram misinformation through media and academia so that most of the middle class are at least apathetic towards it; then throw that activist minority a bone (selling out your own raw material harvesting and manufacturing sectors) so you can point to “progress”; scream that anyone not voting for your pet issue is a bigot; reap votes come election time.

      This works especially well when you can drum up a war to fight.

      Problem is, just like the Church and the printing press, leftism is getting more and more desperate because of the rise of the information age. Hence the Public Health Crisis that Must Not Be Named, and jumping on the bandwagon with Russia.

      Coincidentally, it works the same with Russia, with the added bonus that any protesters can be rounded up and “shot while escaping.”

    3. Far as I can tell from across the border, Hairboy is just a mouthpiece who pretty much does as he’s told. The real power is in the vice premier, who is a WEF plant.

            1. How . . . appropriate. (Beggarticks are what cured me of ever wearing a fleece vest on a hike in the woods. Ever. Again.

              1. Those are the one (new to me) plant I’ve found in Iowa that I really do not like. Imagine a pack of adventurous kids… who REALLY like fuzzy shirts. /whoof

  6. It makes perfect sense to me. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish and Cersei Lannister are perfect avatars for our self-anointed ruling caste.

    1. Justin Bieber Trudeau reminds me of Prince Joffrey…

      I lost interest part-way through the second season. Wish I could change the channel on our ‘Ruling Elites’ as easily.

      1. Ha! Yes, indeed. Not as crazy as Joffrey, but the same type of character for sure.

        I read all but one of the Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones books, but didn’t make it through the first season of the show. The books were riveting, but I found after a while that it was a world I didn’t want to spend any more time in. Too dark, with nothing and no one really good in it. Martin sure did have his finger on the pulse of the kind of closed-loop-of-crazy we’re dealing with, though.

            1. “Don’t know how to make the video show up.”

              Just put the video/image link in a paragraph by itself.

              1. Oh, and if you’re trying to post an image the link must end with an image extension (.png, .jpeg, and so on). Gifs need a .gif extension.

                1. Doing it that way won’t count against the one-link-per-comment limit – for reasons I still don’t understand and would very much like to know – so it can be useful. But if you don’t need extra links I find it easier to just copy-paste the address bar.

          1. I was visiting family earlier this week and there was a restaurant with a big sign which most prominently and centrally said “Poutine.” I couldn’t help but imagine “Vladimir” tacked on to the left, and I started laughing, which earned me a strange look from my wife.

  7. We’ll keep the exchange of nukes as limited as possible.
    Obviously we get to cancel the elections this year. “We just had nuclear war, fer chrissake!”.
    All future elections for everything are mandatory nationwide mail-in ballots. “There’s all that radiation out there!”.

    You know some people in the Deep State think like this…they all know in their hearts they are smarter than the W.O.P.R.

  8. I think someone’s pulling Zelensky’s strings, and I’ve got a pretty good idea who. I was willing to assume his earlier actions – such as banning other political parties, and apparently instituting some sort of social credit app – were him taking advantage of the chaos to tighten his control. But an endorsement of green energy?

    The tells me that nearly all of his moves (beyond the initial decision to fight) have been at the instigation of the Davis crowd, who are having him use Ukraine as a test of their policies in exchange for support in the war against Russia.

            1. I mean, she might have been graced by divinity recently. But I wouldn’t know. Probably a wee typo? Or prescient? shrugs

    1. I’ve seen more than one place that Zelensky was a Soros plant following that CIA-sponsored color revolution. “Soros” being sort of a stand-in for the whole Davos/WEF crowd.

      1. Yeah, I’ve seen people claiming that. The problem with that theory is that Zelensky wasn’t installed by the color revolution in Ukraine. Zelensky is the guy who beat the guy installed by the color revolution, and subsequently brought him up on corruption charges.

        Do I trust Zelensky?

        Absolutely not.

        But I’ve been seeing over the top and (easily provable) bad info about him trying to paint him in a negative light since practically the moment Russian troops crossed the border. My gut feeling is that we’re currently caught between two competing propaganda campaigns regarding him. And this pronouncement about green energy (something that would not benefit Ukraine’s survival) that I saw at Instapundit this morning makes me suspect that the Davos crowd is pulling his strings in exchange for vague assurances of assistance to Ukraine.

        He’s not the saint TPTB would have us believe. Nor is he the devil that a number of commenters on right-leaning blogs seem to believe. He’s a politician in a corrupt country who has to deal with a bad situation due to a problem neighbor who’s much bigger than him.

        1. The green nonsense makes perfect sense if looked at from his position.
          It ingratiates him with powerful Euro-greenies, and it speaks to them in their language, but that’s a minor part of this.
          More importantly, Europe does currently desperately need Russian oil/gas if it doesn’t want to literally freeze when the weather (excuse me, “climate”) gets chilly. Plus, that oil/gas is what is paying for Putin’s “special operation.”
          Zelensky likely (correctly) sees Europe’s dependence as a major reason why Ukraine is not being supported the way he thinks it should be.
          So it is in Ukraine’s interest to push a green agenda in Europe.
          It is not in Europe’s and certainly not ours. But he doesn’t have to be a Soros/Davos/Schwab/Lizard plant to advance an agenda that he sees as beneficial to his country.
          Of course, if I were in his shoes, I’d be screaming for the “all of the above” approach and highlighting nuclear power instead of pelican blenders, but that is probably too much for tender Euros just yet.

          1. THIS. Just like I don’t blame Trump for saying nice things about Putin or Kim while he was trying to get something out of them, I don’t blame Zelensky for sucking up the the Eurogreenie agenda while he needs arms shipments. It’s not like he’s signing any binding treaties, and if postwar the Euros say “hey, what about that renewable energy stuff you promised?” he can point to all the rubble and reply, “still rebuilding, sorry, ask again later.”

          2. Getting Europe off of Russia’s oil and gas is important. But he’s got muchore pressing matters to attend to. The Russian oil and gas can wait until after the war. Also, I’m not just looking at the green energy thing by itself. I’m also noting other things he’s done, such as the apparent implementation of a social credit scheme in Ukraine.

            1. He is grasping at every straw he can reach. If he can get Europe you stop buying Russian gas now, it will hit Russia now. If he can get them to do it in five years, Ukraine will be more secure in five years. There is no downside for Ukraine in him running around calling for this.

              I really don’t like some things he is doing, such as suspending opposition parties and basically nationalizing TV channels. And I am sure he is corrupt enough to have made it in Ukraine.
              I haven’t read about the social credit scheme, but given the above two, I am not surprised.

              However, his advancing of the green nonsense is a very smart way of playing the Euros into doing what he thinks will benefit his country.

              1. Well, except that he ought to know better because the evidence is already in front of him that it’s a mistake. Germany has been trying to go green, and the result has been a an energy system that’s even more dependent on Russian gas.

                1. Except you forget their press is way more controlled than ours, all over Europe.
                  My parents — MY PARENTS — still believe we’re all going to boil and that green energy works.
                  At least mom has stopped with the covidiocy.

                  1. “My parents — MY PARENTS — still believe we’re all going to boil and that green energy works.”

                    It could be worse. My mother simply refuses to consider that people like us could be right about anything, swallows whatever CNN tells her and has openly wished death on those who disagree with her. If I weren’t her son I have no doubt she’d wish death on me too.

                    1. I still envy you. My mother’s thought she’s one of the anointed ones for as long as I can remember, and I’d much rather she only be wrong on one or two specific things.

              2. The TV channels nationalized themselves a month before the speech– Feb 28th, the four Ukrainian networks did a big thing founding that station and calling on cable companies to stop broadcasting Russian stations.

                Most of the parties (11 of the over 300, right?) that were suspended, I couldn’t find where they’d ever elected anybody, but the one I did find has “rejoin Russia” as a major platform and last year kicked one such elected guy out for (according to him) not liking Putin, personally.
                I still don’t like it, but when they’re invaded by a nation who likes to install puppet governments, silencing the most likely choices for such a position is not irrational.

                I also noticed a lot of reporting that made it sound like he’d jailed every party but his own, going off of what theoretically well informed folks had heard.

        2. The two things that matter about Zelensky is that he is a Ukrainian patriot and that he didn’t cut and run as predicted (and as offered by the US State dept)

          He’s probably somewhat corrupt and/or beholden to corrupt influencers but then so is every single country around Ukraine with the possible exception of Poland and Hungary. He’s almost certainly not a liberal internationalist “democrat” of the form that the EU and so on like. But so what? He’s leading a country that is fighting for its existence against invasion and he’s doing a fine job at it.

          1. And the “Ukraine is totally corrupt bro!” narrative doesn’t get to the conclusion the peddlers want.

            Of course Ukraine has serious corruption problems, lots of Eastern European countries do. There would probably be a lot of interesting research that could be done to figure out what the common factor is to make them like that. Something like a shared history or something, like all being vassal states of………


                1. This. There is a great difference between the sort of corruption that penetrates every level of the culture, which is where the problem is rooted so deeply that merely pruning the government will not work, and the kind of corrupt individuals that gain power in an essentially anti-corrupt framework (the Constitution, the three branches of gov’t, the Bill of Rights, reserved to the States and the People respectively, etc).

                  It is the difference between changes of power that involve assassination being accepted as at least somewhat normal, bribery and black market economies at every level being the only reason things actually work, and peaceful changes of power with rule of law.

                  Our problem is with corrupt individuals and a relative few institutions that have been taken over and worn as skin suits. The Constitution itself is sound. The rule of law is as relevant today as ever- moreso, as we are seeing with our own eyes what happens when it gets perverted.

                  We need to remember the direction things were going during the Trump years. It wasn’t just the man himself. He had a lot to do with it. But it was millions of everyday working people that made the economy bounce back so bountifully. Do not forget that hope. That drive. That possibility.

                  It is still there. Despite all of this.

                  1. I wonder if that reflexive rejection of corruption is why the Progs are so desperate– for at least the last 50, 60 years– to FORCE everyone to believe that no, really, the US is totally corrupt and it’s all normal.

                    The fact that when they get caught, it’s actually a problem, has got to be pretty annoying when one is using a playbook where not only is everyone still in the running also actually doing it (did most of y’all flinch at the “everybody does it” type phrase? I know I did!) but you can apply the methods of that corruption to those who found it, with impunity.

                    As we’ve been pointing out to the “I’m being oppressed” screamers– if you’re able to casually talk about it at the coffee shop, especially if it’s without fear of being contradicted much less vanished, you are not living in your chosen LARP of oppression.

                    1. “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

                      Funny how they were allowed to criticize The Great Tyrant Trump on the news every day for years…

                    2. Yeah.

                      But complaining because one isn’t allowed to make claims without a peep edgewise, especially when they show the facts are different than the outrage!!11!11!, is sadly common.

                  2. ‘all of this’ has occurred precisely because Trump’s fans and supporters are more than the opposition can cope with, and they are desperate to make something, anything, work.

                    We are the Jason Vorhees bringing their degenerate asses to judgement, metaphorically speaking.

              1. I haven’t heard of a serious corruption problem in Andorra or Samoa, but I just might not have been paying enough attention.

  9. i don’t think you are thinking big enough. putin is being played just like us and the west, maybe china too. the ptb are engaged in a game, no rules, no limits. they just used us to crush putin and putin to crush the dollar. but if china keeps their word, wouldn’t bet, but if they do and india and west africa can afford to pay , the joke will be on us. that’s why it must go nuk-u-lar. biden doesn’t want to go along so hunter laptop, clotshot number 4, or 25th amendment to replace him. this satisfies the gates cult, destroys both countries and leaves china to clean up, maybe. i think they forgot the law of unintended consequences.

    1. You’re making the Classic Mistake, assuming any of these retards know what they’re doing. Nobody has perfect information AND perfect execution. Most of the Big Guys can’t see beyond their next ice cream cone or visit from their mistress of the moment. They’re in it for the perks, this other shit is all pretty much going along on its own. Cracks in the machinery.

      And -nobody- is worried about the Hunter Biden Laptop situation because everybody knows the law does not apply when you are rich enough and big enough. It literally doesn’t matter if there’s a snuff film on there. It will never, ever, ever come home to roost on him.

  10. It occurs to me, Louis XIV’s statement: “The state is me.” Is this the way Putin seems himself? Do dictators and boar hogs have the same retirement plan? Sure it’s a good job, until the very end when it the choice is die of old age or get made into sausage.

    1. Or head into exile in a foreign country.

      That doesn’t work so well, though, these days since the moment your successor takes over, proceedings start to have you extradited back home to stand trial. And your successor isn’t always the one pushing for it.

  11. We don’t go with madmen (or women), we go with God.


    You will not be afraid of the terror of night,
    Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

    Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.

    A thousand may fall at your side
    And ten thousand at your right hand,
    But danger will not come near you.

    You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes
    And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].

    Because you have made the Lord, [who is] my refuge,
    Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

    No evil will befall you,
    Nor will any plague come near your tent.

    1. Thus, Covid doesn’t scare me. Joey Leg Hairs and bare-chested Vlad the Invader don’t scare me. They can’t hurt me without God’s permission.

      Mind you, my wife “scares” me; but that’s mostly because I hate to see her upset more than any damage she could do.

  12. Yeah, this has basically been my model for a while.

    Okay, not the Russian side until very recently, when it became clear early on that they had probably misjudged the invasion.

    For longer, the democrats have conveyed some information about their thinking and intentions. In particular, the stage management around January 6th in DC revealed much. They have thrown away consent and trust, and are wildly overconfident in fear, coercion, and force.

    Basically, from that point we can infer the unstable regime behavior, and that it is futile. Because Americans are not sufficiently terrorized, disarmed, and mind bent to react the way they expect.

    But wait, there’s more.

    The establishment Republicans are pretty clearly screwy in their thinking and tactics. They don’t realize that we have seen behind the masks, so they think it is possible to persuade us back into meek unthinking compliance. Furthermore, to some degree they believe that the Democrats have won, and that the Democrats will behave stably.

    The strength of the faction that had condensed around Trump is likewise a bit unclear. Those people are fundamentally lacking in guidance, and in a clear idea of what happens next, and how.

    So, right now, the Republicans aren’t quite able to be a force for stability.

    Additionally, the doomers and the security service glowies think they have an understanding, but if profoundly wrong may not have the insight to rationally pick sane courses of action.

    PRC? Nuts and desperate.

    Other regimes? Lots of interesting twitches and stresses.

    But they all fundamentally misread the potential of the American people to surprise.

    Ukraine was a similar mechanism of surprise. Russian intelligence expected, based on “Ukrainians are part of Greater Russia, and really Russians”, and their understanding of current Russians, for Ukrainians to be a bunch of beaten down little thieving bullies. So they misread a population because it was insufficiently terrorized.

    There is a lot of crazy all over the place right now. We don’t need symmetric tactics, both because we don’t have symmetric goals, and because the situations are in fact not symmetric.

  13. I quite agree, the paper target. However I see it the globalist vs Russia.

    Our Republic? It seems none of our elected support the concept, lip service, some, maybe, but all activity seems aimed at creating The New World Order.

    Sadly today the United States seems a shawl covering, hiding the world kleptocracy, or a temporary banner for such to march behind.

    “I’d not go anywhere – even to heaven – with a madman, because he might push me down.”

    OK but a choice of nothing but madmen, might be a good idea to head towards heaven, even with a madman, you just might be able to push him up. On the other hand, heading toward hell, with or without the madman, the only route is down.

    Having read Paper Target and said what I said, none the less I’ll sleep well and soundly tonight, but I can find all the stuff I need in the dark, if necessary.

      1. yeah.

        Globalist thinking, I have my local power base, but I get so much more when I broker things across international borders.

        So, Americans that are big on that sweet sweet foreign money, despite it being possible to make decent money domestically? Globalists.

        If Putin actually wanted to grow his domestic power base, he would have to stop robbing folks internally. So, Russia is poor, and doesn’t have enough for his thieving ambitions.

        He likes weird post national hypothetical stuff, that will never be real, so long as he is the One True Ruthless Man, and can position himself as the one robbing people blind.

        Globalists in other countries are people he can get along with, because he thinks he can simply use them, because they aren’t thuggish enough for him to respect, because he is the one doing the Bond villain murders. He doesn’t see Xi as his equal or superior in that respect, because Xi’s murdering is not flamboyant, in the ‘in your face’ way that Putin grew up valuing. Xi’s murders are perfectly ‘in your face’ in terms of Chinese culture, but Putin doesn’t really think from that perspective.

        Putin likely prefers globalists to nationalists in other countries, who are additionally seriously anti-Russia as a result of that nationalism. The globalists will have little hesitation in making deals with him by way of the back door.

        1. Dear Lord. Have you heard Biden say he’s for fiscal responsibility? As lying as Biden is, trust me, Putin is worse, and enforces the lie better.
          AGAIN, I repeat, please, for the love of heaven, be your age.

          1. Which is why I find the conservatives saying “Putin is a Christian* and anti-woke so we loves him, and Ukraine was bribing Biden so we hates them! Boo Ukraine! Go Russia!” to be perfectly contemptible.

            Because crushing the world’s 55th largest economy is something something sticking it to Davos. Um, sure.

            (* couldn’t help snorting when I wrote that)

            1. I’m still trying to figure out the one where promoting a military culture of conscripts ass raping each other is anti-gay and standing up for family values.

        2. He’s the type of person who can be very calculated in his speech.

          Paying a lot of attention to words is only useful when someone is either honest enough, or uncalculated enough, that their words reliability translate into information about their thoughts. And material produced in a language one doesn’t think in is always more calculated.

          Someone like Putin, you look at things that are harder to deliberately falsify to specification.

  14. They are creatures of The System. They have adapted themselves to existence within The System, and nothing outside The System is real to them.

    There are no absolutes. Everything can be manipulated through the use of influence and propaganda. They need only find the right lies, repeat them loudly and frequently enough, to make the world conform to their beliefs. Science, history, biology, technology, economics; indeed, the very laws of physics can be bent or broken at their whim.

    They are smarter than everybody else, because they have achieved success within The System, and those other morons have not. Obviously, they deserve to rule those dull creatures, to dictate their lives in minute detail. For their own good!
    ‘Progressives’ believe everybody else is even stupider than they are. This explains a lot.

    1. I figured out that the “darlings” in science fiction thought I was stupid, because I as too dull to mouth the right platitudes and cash in.
      They really don’t understand not selling your soul.

      1. They weren’t selling theirs. They expected -you- to sell -yours- like a proper smart person ought to. Virtue is positional, to them. “Suck up/kick down” is simple common sense to a Leftist. We’re like aliens to them, they can’t understand our thought processes.

    2. Everything can be manipulated through the use of influence and propaganda.

      Note that when anything goes wrong, they never talk about fixing the problem, they talk about improving their messaging about the problem.

          1. :instantly accuses the Republicans of whatever the Progs got caught doing, and flatly ignores that the Progs are actually doing it, broadly, and consistently, rather than just being accused of it:


            Hm, no wonder the accusations against that comedian president guy are so familiar. “Someone says he may be doing something like what Russia has been doing for DECADES, now!”

  15. I am not a writer, so articulating it all was beyond me. But this fits really really well. My sense has been that the Russia/Ukraine stuff is entirely for other purposes because for all the blather about the democracy, the actions of the powers in the US have consistently been against democracy under the executive in power. And since when did a kleptocrat care about bioweapons? I thought he just wanted to keep his hold on the hot seat.

    I figure we’ll die, or we won’t. But I’ve got a life I’ve got to manage right here. I’m about done with worrying. COVID used it up. Used up a lot of things in my life. The group of people and reports I trust shrank due to that. My impulse to follow the rules shrank too. Wuflu rules showed that the rules were being manipulated, not set up for us all to play by the same ones. I hate that.

      1. I became a great-uncle again about a month ago. I do not want my grand nephew to have to claw out of slavery, IF he survives. If that means having a thousand murders on my soul? Better me than him.

      2. I have kids. I’d like them to have a future. But all I can do is manage the family level things. Find a good place to live. Teach them the things my husband and I have found important (keep them out of schools with teachers from the educational establishment). Try to give us enough margin that we can weather short troubles. The level up I’d like to have is being able to grow a bit ourselves and maintaining extra house so that family has a landing place if they have troubles where they’re at. We’re working on the first two though. The last is hard when you can’t sleep through the night because of children’s persistent eczema.

  16. Saw something yesterday about Putin pegging the Ruble to gold and requiring gold/rubles for petroleum. The side effects of that were proposed to be hyper inflation here due to countries dumping the dollar – I’m curious what the smarter people here think of that.

    1. They can only dump the dollar if they abandon international trade. The thing about the dollar is it’s efficiency. There’s not enough gold and it’s not flexible enough to sustain the volume of trade we have.

      I guest posted a piece about this two years ago, back when the oil price was negative.

      1. Germany is reported today to be paying the Russian intermediary in dollars, which it then converts into rubles. It was either that or Russia shuts off the pipeline (what, they’re expected to let it flow for free?)

        1. What this means is that Russia is selling gas to Germany for dollars, same as before.

          We all need to calm down and think. Let’s take the gold thing. If Putin was buying gold in size, never mind replacing dollars, the price would have had to go up, a lot. As of todays close, it’s $1,935.73, roughly, per ounce. That’s a grand total of $5.15 or 0.27% higher than it was when he invaded and down from the $2,050 it spiked to early on. Putin isn’t selling dollars and buying gold, he’s selling oil for dollars because that’s all he has to sell.

          Same thing with China, Germany and France too for that matter. They would like the dollar monopoly ended, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get what they want. Could it happen, certainly, but I would be willing to wager a great deal that the US would be the one to come out best even should that happen. The key is that the US can still feed itself and no one else can, so long as that remains true we have little to fear, unless some idiot drops the bomb, but that’s outside analysis.

            1. Yes, but Gold is fungible and the total amount of it is fairly well known so the price is very demand sensitive and there really no excess demand since neither the Chinese nor the Russians are buying gold in size. I actually can’t find anything beyond rumor that they’re doing so. There’s nothing tangible, just chatter.

              It’s worth keeping an eye on the price of gold since it’s an excellent gauge of currency risk, in this case dollars, that’s it’s primary economic function. If there were a serious threat to the dollar, gold would explode, it hasn’t so their isn’t, admittedly yet, but I really don’t think so.

              Russia is selling oil for dollars and there is no way to do it otherwise. Selling rubles for dollars and getting the rubles back is just a roundabout way of selling oil for dollars. That could change, but not easily or quickly.

          1. It’s priced in dollars, everything is priced in dollars. The dollar is the common unit of account. As John Connolly said when we came off the gold standard, “our currency but your problem.”

            For what it’s worth, about as many dollars are created by European banks as by American banks, both of which dwarf anything the FRB might do.

    2. Dumping the dollar would be hugely deflationary in the short run. What it would do in the long run, who knows? You could make any sort of case.

      I would note that I’m not pulling for Putin but Biden sanctioning the way he did was a blunder. it’s really not clear to me what national interest of ours it served. The Germans will betray us anyway.

    3. First you’d have to have a currency other than the dollar which is in even faintly decent shape.

      No, I know what the common opinion of the dollar is. Everything else is worse. And not by a small amount.

  17. Ah, this makes so much sense. These people are stupid, and they’re doing stupid things. And they’re failing, badly, and they can’t figure out why their grand plans aren’t working.

    Sometimes I wonder if the Biden puppeteers realize how very large this country is, and how much the engine of free enterprise just refuses to be stopped. We ended up at the Black Bear Cafe in Thermopolis, Wyoming last week. It was packed. It’s taken over three abandoned storefronts and you can tell they’re eyeing another one. The green chili was homemade and so was the hot sauce. Service was prompt and excellent. They didn’t get the memo that our middle class is supposed to be wrecked. I think you can repeat that all over the country, other than the pockets of disease that are leftist cities. We are refusing to comply with their plans for us.

    1. They don’t. Most of them have never left the urban centers. They literally have no clue. The Green New Deal assumes everyone in dense urban centers, using public transport. It’s risible.

      1. They have never seen a tractor, or smelled a cow. They don’t have a clue how food gets to store shelves. They assume it appears magically overnight, brought by elves, not trucks. They believe they can impose their urban tyranny on the farmers, and the truckers, without penalty.
        There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

          1. There was a rather sad thread from a doctor in Colorado yesterday. In 2020, he was working, he and his wife had a toddler and they tried to get the kid into play dates with their neighbor’s kids. The parents kept “forgetting,” to invite them, because he was a doctor! He was being exposed to the plague! He might give it to his kid, who would give it to their kids and everyone would die!
            He said on the whole, health care workers and folks who HAD to go out every day and work with the public were relatively sane. It was the work from home crowd, with the lowest risk, who were (and are) the most afraid, anxious and controlling. And the ones pushing the “mask your toddler, get vaxxed every time they tell you, avoid the unclean (unvaxxed,)” and so on.
            He also confirmed a lot of health care workers are fleeing the system. None of it surprising, but sad.

      2. And finally even Seattle/King County has had a small population decrease (which means Seattle proper almost certainly had a large decrease that was mostly people moving to other parts of King County).

        Cmd-F “crime” or “homeless” on the Seattle Times article talking about it: 0 results.

        1. Eugene cleared out the big blight pockets of homeless … Not gone. Just forced them to move out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Why now? Doesn’t have a thing to do with the upcoming World Track Championship Summer 2022. They said so. They are implementing solutions. Honest.

          JIC, to be clear sarcasm is now off

          1. Amazon is moving its offices out of the city, because the aggressive homeless were beating up Amazon office employees. Apparently some male computer engineer got a baseball bat to the head, and that was the last straw.

      3. Which is why Yellowstone has to have notices to hand out that:

        “Buffalo are not fluffy tame cows”
        “This is not a petting zoo”
        “Mama Bears will Eat your children”
        “Elk are more dangerous than Bears” (absolute truth if only because Elk are more likely to be seen).
        “Bison are more dangerous than Elk”
        “Deer are just as dangerous as Elk” (Rainer has had more injuries to death from deer than they have from black bears, same with Yosemite, not from suicide by vehicle deer)
        “Thermals are NOT natures hot tubs. You will die. So will your pet.” (they are natures death by scalding and probably dissolve)

        Where “What in the Hell are you doing!” to a father taking his toddler to sit on the bull elk, in full antler, in the fall, because it was laying down in the timber off the parking of one the thermal springs, so mom could get a picture, happens. True story. I’m sorry. We kept the toddler and the father alive, at least a little longer. Had no authority. But at worse could have gotten someone with authority attention if enough fuss (by them) was made. Works better (without the “Hell”) when 5 year olds do this (“What are they doing?”, with pointing, “whispering” … the whole parking lot turns and stares.)

          1. We just paid close to $2k for one in 2021 for our spring Teton trip. Plus hubby’s 3rd digital SLR camera since 2005. Larger sensor. Nikon. Just got a second body, same camera ($999). Not his first telephoto. Just his first very, very, large telephoto. (We have more than a few prints, slides, electronic pictures, where we point to the blurry black spot an exclaim “That is a bear! Honest!”, taken with telephoto. Deer/Elk/Bison you start passing up opportunities with “Have better closer/light pics” comments. ) Got very nice pictures of Grizzly 399 and her yearling quads, spring 2021 (as well as her swarm of followers).

            Not our video. I don’t have a method to post hubby’s pictures here other than FB links.

          2. Speaking of– NHK has an adorable little series going on right now where a world-traveling wildlife photographer who is… er… many years experienced, and with the kung flu and all he hasn’t been able to travel.

            So he’s using all that well-used equipment to photograph cats at famous places in Japan.


            I think this is the one where the old monk doing the rounds of his temple scoops up a lovely little calico cat…who puts up with it for like a minute, then climbs up on the monk’s widower’s hump and makes herself comfortable before he continues on his way. 😀

        1. “Which is why Yellowstone has to have notices to hand out that:”

          On the days when my misanthropy runneth over (I know, day ending in “y”), my reaction to said notices is something like “If we believe in Evolution, why do we work so hard to keep it from succeeding?”

  18. And hasn’t opened up the keystone pipeline

    Point of order on the Keystone Pipeline. Biden cannot reopen it even if he wanted to. The backers have moved on to different projects, reusing pieces that can be reused and abandoning the rest. My understanding is most will head to the West Coast to head to…well, you can guess.

    A new pipeline to do the same thing could be done but it’s back to square zero including all-new environmental assessments which would then be the same political football (after squeezing out multiple millions in graft to the people who prepare the damn things). Why would anyone do that while Biden is in the White House.

  19. I think it’s a mistake to call them irrational. They may be stupid, they may be evil, but they’re not irrational, it’s just that their interests are not the same as ours, they’re largely psychopaths and/or malignant narcissists. Even Biden in his dotage is being rational in trying to achieve his goals. We may think his goals are nuts, but we aren’t salient. Only his self-interest and the competition among the political class matter. Same with Justin Castro, damaging the common people is very much in his, and his class’s interest so he did and took pleasure in it.

    To take an example. Gaddafi was entirely rational when he murdered and repressed, his taking his foot off their necks and playing nice with the US that caused him to have a close encounter with a bayonet was irrational.

      1. They’re not normal human beings and that’s important. To quote Thomas Sowell “one of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to understand how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.”

        The only difference between Putin, Biden, Xi, Trudeau, Johnson, and the rest is opportunity.

        1. Having recently dealt with breaking all ties to a clinical narcissist (no, not family) realizing this was not a normal human being and his decisions made no sense to anyone normal helped. That’s kind of what I meant in this post, I think. By “irrational”

          1. OK. I tend to think of rationality in terms of means, ends are entirely different. It makes the analysis simpler, but then I’ve spent my life working with psychopaths and narcissists so the distinction is important to me — more psychopaths to be honest and the thing about them is that you can work around that if you understand it. I suspect you find more narcissists in the arts and I find them more dangerous since I don’t understand their motivation.

            My FIL was both and did an immense amount of damage.

            1. The truly bizarre thing was my understanding this person was willing to make his own life miserable, to make us miserable too. I don’t think the Bidenites are THAT irrational.

            2. Narcissist motivations are apparently pretty straightforward to understand, if you are one of the victims they have curated.

              In that case, what they want, what they live for, is making you react.

              Making you suffer, get upset, or react, is like a hit of drugs for them.

              Okay, if you are one of their regular victims, simple and easy are not the same. Because they have had time to work on you, and mess with your thinking.

              I expect it would be harder to track what is going on with them, if you are not someone they see as a consistently useful victim. Because sometimes they will only steer you away from noticing or protecting their regular victims.

              Apparently, they are addicted to the hits they get from making others suffer, and nothing else can matter to them much in comparison.

              1. Rob Henderson, the luxury beliefs guy, has been on top of this. Very interesting young man. Foster homes to Yale then Cambridge via straightening his life out in the military.

                1. Getting reactions and attention (“fuel”), and being in control of other people and their reactions. Sometimes they want people to like them, and sometimes they want people to hate them. But whatever they want this minute, they must have.

                  1. Also, anything that happens to them that they don’t want to happen to them, is somebody else’s fault.

                    It’s basically being an adult toddler.

                    1. I have too many friends with narcissist exes. This is exactly what happens. As one said about her divorce: “I suddenly realized it couldn’t always be my fault.”

  20. 1 month into the invasion … and I’ve seen a lot of strawmen erected and burned down …

    Putin expected it to be over in 48 hours, therefore Russia is losing …
    The 40 mile convoy is stuck …
    The Russians are taking huge losses …
    Russia will use chemical weapons …
    Russia will use nuclear weapons …
    There are no Nazi Brigades in Ukraine …
    There are no US funded bio-labs …

    Putin may very well be crazy but he’s not crazy because he’s a communist, he isn’t a communist … he’s a criminal thug exercising power …

    In their own mind everyone behaves rationally … everyone … when you think someone is behaving irrationally you simply haven’t figured out what the person believes that motivates them to act the way they do … IT DOESN’T MATTER if what they believe is not actually true … they believe it and act on that belief … (look at the people who believe in the Green New Deal for example)

    Thats why you can’t get them to change their mind when you start out telling them what they believe is not true …

    1. Communist and criminal thug exercising power may be functionally identical.

      Looking at many many things, and integrating them, why on earth would we assume that communist means anything beyond criminal thug exercising power (or seeking to exercise it)?

      The arc of communism bends towards criminality, and enabling.

      Sometimes folks are crazy enough that their ‘rational pursuit of objectives’, can not seem rational to anyone sane. See, junkies with screwed up thinking for relatively common examples.

    2. I’ve seen a lot of strawmen erected and burned down …

      Putin expected it to be over in 48 hours, therefore Russia is losing …
      Well losing from the prestated war aim of “denazifying” the entire nation by installing a pro-Russian government. So kind of yes

      The 40 mile convoy is stuck …
      It was and still is

      The Russians are taking huge losses …
      They are. Even at low end we’re looking at c.10k KIA and 20-30k WIA etc. That is 15-20% of the initial invasion force. At the high end we’re looking at losses approaching a third of the force. In WW1 terms those are not huge losses. In terms of any war after, say, 1990 those are enormous losses

      Russia will use chemical weapons …
      Russia will use nuclear weapons …

      Well they haven’t YET but who knows

      There are no Nazi Brigades in Ukraine …
      I’m not sure who claimed that, but it’s a kind of partially true thing. There certainly are neo-Nazi brigades in Ukraine, the Azov brigade being the obvious one. BUT in recent elections the political wings of those neo-Nazi groups got under 5% of the vote so Russia’s claim that the entire government was Nazi etc. was also complete hogwash.

      Plus the other Nazi brigades in Ukraine today are fighting for the Russians. Russia’s Wagner mercenary company is notorious for its use of Nazi sumbols (A search for “wagner neo-nazi” in your search engine of choice will pull up lots of documents, images etc.

      There are no US funded bio-labs …
      There are bio-labs and bio-labs. The implications of the “bio-labs” thing is that there are Ukrainian research institutions that are creating bioweapons or wuflu like viruses that are sponsored by the US. That seems to be untrue. There are laboratories doing biological research that has been sponsored by the US, but most (all?) of them are doing entirely benign research. The research has been outsourced from the US because Ukraine is cheaper and (I suspect) because there are fewer idiotic Diversity etc. mandates that lower research quality and raise prices

      1. The annoying thing about the biolab claims is that if someone claims they’re making weapons, and you counter with the information you provided, the other side pretty much always responds with, “And you believe the government!?” and views that as a winning argument.

        1. Well, that’s because our government, under the current management, has lied to us at least as much as Putin has. They’ve lied to us about our – Fauci’s, specifically – involvement in the Wuhan lab and gain-of-function research into coronaviruses. They’ve certainly blown smoke and tried to minimize its, and other US entities’, involvement into those labs in the Ukraine.

          (IMHO, said smoke-blowing and obfuscation is not necessarily because of bioweapons, although disease pathogens are involved in at least some of those labs. I think that, as with Wuhan, certain avenues of research were being explored that could not, for legal and/or political reasons, be done in the United States. And they’re also obscuring just how much graft stuck to the greedy, grasping fingers of certain members of our own oligarchy.)

          And they’ve told all sorts of lies about Ukraine, Russia, and both nations’ involvement in our politics, to the point of attempting to overturn an election and overthrow a duly and legitimately-elected President.

          Under the circumstances, why would we believe our own government, when it lies to us on a daily basis? It would be easier to ask: When has the current crowd last told us the truth?

          On ANYTHING?

          It’s not a matter of believing Putin more than our own government. It’s a matter of our political class and oligarchy being every bit as untrustworthy as Putin’s. They’ve not only lost whatever credibility and moral authority it ever had; they’ve thrown it away. The incessant lies are part and parcel of the manipulation of our society that Sarah was talking about in her original post.

          It may not be a “winning” argument, but it is IMHO a truthful one.

          1. It’s not whether it’s a winning argument or not. It’s that there is quite literally no evidence of the existence of weapons labs being offered. Their sole ‘evidence’ is that the government says there is not, and the government lies.

            Of course, if the government were to actually say, “Yes, we have weapons labs there,” the government’s pattern of lying would swiftly be ignored.

            1. But there are BIOLABS, ooga booga!

              CLASS THREE biolabs!

              :point out that every college with even a pet-level veterinary program, or agricultural program, has the same thing– and link to the contract request for the University of Iowa to have a mobile one:

              But government LIES! … like Russia doesn’t. /eyeroll

              1. Nah, BOTH of them are lying,

                Any lab doing “biological research will have a stock of whatever it’s researching upon or against…. whether it was built for weapons research or not, something that can be USED as a weapon against people or crops or both will be there.

                Why would we believe either side?

                1. Then “biolab” or “bioweapons lab” become meaningless terms. Because every house in flyover country has a stock of stuff that can be used as a weapon against people or crops.

                  1. Why, yes. They do become meaningless. Much like “gun manufacturer”, or “explosives manufacturer” when it comes to BATFE. They are a term of convenience used to justify attacking people someone doesn’t like..

                2. A bioweapon lab would be a place which is creating bioweapons.

                  Not someplace that you can use to cause bio-damage.

                  This is why my kitchen sink is called a kitchen sink, not a chemical warfare laboratory, although I could make chlorine gas quite easily in it.

          2. The US government can be stupid enough to have weapons labs in Ukraine, crazy enough to have weapons labs in Ukraine, and dishonest enough to lie about having weapons labs in Ukraine, and yet not have managed to have any weapons labs in Ukraine.

            There are three questions relevant here. Who made the initial claims, and in what context did they make them? How does it change what courses of action we should favor? What should we do regardless of what the truth is?

            First, it was one of several claims made by Russia as a justification for its invasion, and many of the claims appear to be false, or ambiguous. Starting from Russia’s apparent claim that it would be immediately successful. “Denazification?” a) since when have the Russians replaced Nazis with less destructive regimes? b) “Where ever Russian is spoken, that is Russia”, if you substitute German? The Russian complaints about labs included the belief that US owned or funded labs in the Ukraine must be an aggressive act. Issue is, objectively, US economy is large, invests everywhere, and would you expect a country Canada’s size to have /zero/ biolabs? This thinking about the significance of US funding makes sense from a Russian intelligence perspective, because they are psychotically paranoid.

            Second, it does not change what we should do. If Russia had made an attempt to broker a third party inspection, maybe we could have known from the actual labs. As it is, we cannot trust the Russian reports on lab investigations. “We get our own house in order” takes priority over most foreign policy goals. If there are/were US weapons labs in the Ukraine, that does not make our own internal housecleaning any more urgent or more important. Whether the Russian war justifications were 90% or 99% bogus does not make war with Russia a greater priority for us then housecleaning. If we did have weapons labs, we will have to address that later, probably starting by seeing if it shows up during the housecleaning.

            Thirdly, whatever the truth is in the Ukraine, we have serious concerns that we need to act on in the US with regard to university access to biolabs, medical professional access to biolabs, and federal funding of biolabs. Each of these institutions or groups has proven themselves untrustworthy, and continued access to pathogen samples poses a significant public health risk.

            One bit that is not relevant, it is pointless to develop a weapon if you don’t have the infrastructure to produce enough to deploy it in the field. We probably could not have operated that infrastructure secretly in the Ukraine. So maybe it doesn’t exist? This is not relevant, because it is also pointless to mandate EVs when the power generation capacity is not being procured, and we are in exactly that situation.

  21. So, first, I am surprised this is a new theory to you. The biggest change in it is this is the first time in my lifetime it arguably applies to the two big nuclear powers are simultaneously irrational regimes. I know plenty of lefties will tell you Reagan was, but really the US has been pretty stable until one side decided “our power or nothing” in late 2016.

    In fact, I blame lefties in the media and punditry in 2017 for our lack of stability more than Biden and his handlers today. The whole nonsense from “influencing electors” (which became evil when Trump tried four years later) to Russiagate did more damage than frauding in Biden IMHO, but that’s another story.

    . I submit to you that Biden’s supporters really, truly thought that the “right” (for lack of a better term) would not just say “Well Putin has a point” (Which is the worst I’ve heard) but fall in, vocally, ecstatically, behind Putin.

    I’m honestly surprised we’ve got that much. Even though I think Putin is making use of reality and thus has a point I’ve only mentioned it here twice or thrice and nowhere else, not even Insty. Even then I’ve said “this is going to be sorted out because 2-4 nations tend to swap out dominating Eastern Europe for an extended period with rough parts in between. We’re in a rough part” not “Putin has a point.” he’s just exploiting that reality.

    The problem is the Left and the elite in the US, in general, have forgotten, assuming they ever knew, that other nations have both agency and their own concerns. If people remembered that and acted accordingly instead of these stupid “if we this it signals that and therefore they must do the thing we want” games.

      1. Right? They’re not SMART enough to collude.

        It just occured to me that this thing behaves like an ant hill. Contrary to popular belief, ant’s do not cooperate. They can’t. They’re not smart enough for that. Each ant just does what it does. Reacts to stimuli, runs a program. New stimulus comes either internal or external, new program.

        And out of that, you get an ant hill. Because a billion years of debugging the program with the force of Nature, if you’ll forgive the pun.

        Governments, from a distance, seem to roughly act the same way. It takes a lot to get them to change behaviors, and it takes a long time. Humans may be smarter than ants, but the average government worker certainly seems to operate at about the same level. Absent any sort of immediate threat like “do this or you’re gonna die” they just don’t move. Sometimes not even then.

        1. I’m smarter than an ant, but I’m not so smart that I would want to be making every decision involved in shipping a random package across the country to me.

          One guy trying to sell, another running an online market place, a third running a package delivery business, and me trying to buy, also have an emergent behavior.

          Emergent human behavior works differently than the emergent behavior in a bunch of widgets.

          Widgets, we are still working on improving the mathematical models that can describe what in the world is going on.

          There is a very wide range of emergent human behaviors, for good, for ill, and for ‘who can tell?’ They also can change.

        2. I don’t know about “collusion,” but Biden’s infamous “minor incursion” comment back in January (and his tendency to say the quiet part out loud and pass it off as a “gaffe”) has had me wondering if there wasn’t . . . not a “gentlemen’s agreement,” exactly, but perhaps an “understanding among bastards” . . . that such a minor incursion into Ukraine was the price for Russia brokering the insane Iran deal.

          I can see Biden’s handlers believing that a “peace in our time” Iran deal coupled with a show of force (and subsequent pullback) by Russia against Ukraine could be spun into a story of successful diplomacy from the Biden Administration while providing the Administration cover for its mismanagement of the economy. Especially if their focus is primarily on domestic issues.

          Except I think Putin figured that, given the fecklessness, weakness and wokeness of the current administration – especially after the shameful way we bugged out of Afghanistan – he’d just go ahead and take Ukraine once and for all. He probably figured that Biden would bug out of Kiev as quickly as we did Kabul (and that’s precisely what the administration tried to do in the early days of the Ukraine War. But Zelensky said “No thanks” to a seat on the last helicopter out of Kiev and asked for ammunition instead.)

          Putin also probably figured that Europe would do nothing more than complain about it (given how dependent they are on Russian energy) and that most of the Ukrainians would either stand aside or welcome their Russian liberators with open arms in a spirit of Slavic brotherhood or whatever.

          Well, he got the last two wrong, anyway. Clearly the Ukrainians aren’t interested in going gently into the night, and NATO has finally woken up to the threat on their eastern border. I rather think they’ve also come to doubt whether they can ultimately count on the support of the United States, at least under the current management. (You can see that, for example, in how the deal with giving Ukraine those old Polish Fulcrums played out.) Not to mention that the Middle East CLEARLY doesn’t trust the current management in DC, to the point that Saudi Arabia and the UAE aren’t taking Biden’s calls anymore (but they are talking to China, and apparently considering alternatives to the dollar in the oil trade).

          Then again, all of this just gives our political class even more fear, instability, and economic chaos to exploit for domestic political purposes. I’ve believed for years that they don’t care what damage they do to America, as long as they can have unchallenged rule over the wasteland afterward like Lord Humongous.

  22. This rings true with my experience and what I know.
    My trouble is that, while this is interesting, my curiosity is always asking me “How are we going to put this back together?”

    How in heaven’s name will we put this back together? I want the fools to get their silliness over, break everything, so that we can get on with important business: repair/restore.

    1. a) they misread the potential for other people to oppose them
      b) we can’t perfectly predict opportunities from theory in advance. Also, sometimes they adapt and find a countermeasure. See Honk, Honk.
      c) it is a game where a heavy watching and waiting strategy can work
      d) We are fed up with the unending changes,and accompanying destruction. If we intentionally change things, we may piss each other off.
      e) It’s partly coalition building, and partly figuring out options that don’t stress our allies too badly.
      f) I do not understand the remaining elements.
      g) I do not need to understand the remaining elements. Answers can still be found.

      1. Sometimes, the rule of “don’t just do something, stand there” is the best answer. Observe, decide what the real problem is, calm down other people (or let them get out of your/our way) and then act/depart/repair/remodel/scrap/nuke from orbit if it’s the only way to be sure.

    2. We won’t know how we’re going to put it back together until we know what’s still left. We’re still in “wait and see” mode on that. No sense in worrying about it beyond what you personally can do to safeguard things.

      1. From your lips to my brain. You know that’s true. I know that’s true. My imagination likes to swirl and imagine everything coming true, and then fixing it all.

        1. What is the thing (Thing?) that the LORD has placed in front of you? Do that, for His glory. Then the next thing. Soli Deo Gloria. I’m not a theonomist, by any means, neither am I a lunatic dispy, but it is going to work out – God is sovereign.

          1. Thanks Irish. It’s obvious and I still need to hear/read it to go “Oh yes of course.” I think things had to happen this way for things to get set right but damn.

    1. They’re not hosted by wordpress, so that’s just the software. That’s interesting….
      In my case, I;m not visual, and I’m completely stupid about tech. So, asking me to roll my own website software would just stop me.
      My sons can do it, but they have lives or something.

  23. I haven’t thought about it too hard, but at first glance I think Trent’s Irrational Regime Hypothesis is a corollary to the Mimetic Society chart that Chris Bray has been posting about on his substack:

    1. I don’t really like that model.

      Humans make tools, including theory.

      We look around us, come up with theoretical explanations for behavior, and engage in magical thinking about that theory.

      Any group situation with behavior, you get people who only understand it by rote, in terms of magical use of the explanation they have been provided.

      ‘What is really happening?’ and ‘can different choices be made?’ are some of the counterforces to the rote magical stuff. Sometimes the factors that improve organizations win for time, sometimes the factors that ruin organizations win.

      Ritual behavior is pretty much universal. It is one of many things that seem to be very important for how groups work.

      I think this summary of an alternative may adequately explain the factors the mimetic model is trying to explain.

      Most of my objections to the provided ‘mimetic’ model are in the last three items.

      The leading/lagging explanations are cute, but are obviously not one of the first explanations that comes to mind for explaining those terms. When you talk to electrical engineers about time series, they use lead/lag to describe the time series. An indicator is simply a statistical correlation or coincidence. You choose a time you think the event happened, a leading indicator happened before that, a lagging indicator after. 14/15 are assuming causation with the correlation, and encouraging you to take the causation assumption seriously. Okay, yeah, we don’t cause events to occur in the past. Everything else implied in 14/15 can be false, and definitely is misleading if you have any sort of complicated event you want to understand or deliberately influence.

      16 is not something that the list proves. It feels like a leap. a) Is it defined carefully enough that it is a falsifiable prediction? b) Does it actually hold? Sure, cults and mass suicides. But can we classify groups as mimetic that do not commit suicide?

      1. I like Dellana, he wrote a good intro to ergodicity. For mimetic society read Rene Girard, he’s really the originator.

        I think Dellana is right in his focus on lagging indicators. We humans are too fond of things we can count, which is great for simple, stable processes, like those described by physics, but useless for anything else.

  24. Did anybody catch the big ceremony, yesterday or the day before, of Biden signing the ‘Lynching is a Hate Crime’ law? With a dozen big-shot Democrats standing around looking Important?

    Because in the middle of Bidenflation, supply crisis, $7.00 gas, unemployment, bankrupt small businesses, Americans STILL stranded in Afghanistan, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the Biden* Regime’s floundering failure to deal with any of the above, THAT was The Most Immediate Priority In The World.

    Why did nobody ask them, “How long has it been since the last lynching in the United States? 60 years? 70? Longer?”

    Everything they do is to gain status among the insiders by virtue signaling. Nothing else exists for them. All of their failures and catastrophes are mere publicity problems, which can be solved with the right propaganda.
    Does the Left drive those idiots barking mad, or were they drawn to the Left because they were already batshit crazy?

    1. No, actually, it is legitimate partial success for them.

      They want to prevent us from killing criminals.

      Gun control, BLM, and various farcial things with the formal legal system all point in that direction.

      So, they’ve messed up those efforts, and might sanely be expecting worse results. What to do about that? Well, they have added more criminal penalties, and in more normal circumstances that might be expected to work.

      The problem is that criminal penalties are a result of the formal legal system, and that this is simply further discrediting the formal legal system.

      So it isn’t a smart idea. It does make sense that if you want to prevent yourself from being brought to justice by informal trial and summary hanging, that you order people not to carry out informal trials with summary hanging. Every one of those Democrats, with the possible exception of Biden, wishes to avoid being so brought to justice.

      1. I think Miguel at GFZ has the right idea here: It also gives the feds a big hammer to (selectively) go after anybody they want, should (for example) their target have a political rally or demonstration and somebody “gets hurt.”

        “(T)his reads generic enough to pretty much to consider any gathering they dislike a Lynching if somebody gets hurt. Do notice that does not mean that the direct actions of those in the “conspiracy” are the trigger, just that somebody gets injured or dead . . .

        Imagine some Liberal operative getting “hurt” during a DeSantis re-election event and suddenly the FBI starts a lynching investigation of the candidate and anybody else involved.

        Do not forget this is the same people who transformed a D.C. trespassing case by a group of protesters into a sedition “investigation” and mass arrests, solitary confinement and possibly kangaroo courts with eerily draconian judgements.”

        And now consider that the Democrats have a well-documented, at this point, history in inciting violence at conservative rallies. And that they passed this “law” just in time for what is shaping up to be a really contentious, to put it mildly, election cycle.

        1. You mean the “Good Guys” will help enforce unequal justice under the “law”?

          Say it isn’t so!!!!!
          /s is for shouldn’t be necessary to label sarcasm.

    2. Strictly speaking, the most recently videoed attempting lynching I’m familiar with was in Kenosha.

      The target resisted, effectively.

        1. “Lynching” isn’t a crime. Murder is a crime, “lynching” is the subgroup of non-judicial execution by mob judgement. Not infrequently resorted to when local courts were known to be unable to deliver justice.

          It’s difficult to get good information, though, because the Progs try to hijack the term for any killing of a minority they want alive. (I’ve seen it accused in self-defense cases.)

          1. In short, then, that bit of political theater was even stupider than I initially thought.

            Unless Bob is making sense again, and they were prompted to this idiocy by an uneasy itchy feeling around their own necks.

            1. Might be a defensive move so they can pretend the next Kyle isn’t an attempted lynching, because he’s not black.

        2. Making allowances for Foxfier’s comment, the most recent “successful” lynching (which also leads to convictions) is likely the black guy that was shot and killed by three white guys, possibly during a bungled “citizens’ arrest” in a case that was high profile enough to make the national news. I’ll be the first to note that the race of the victim probably didn’t have anything to do with what happened. Rather, it was the fact that he’d been caught (repeatedly, I’ll note) in places that strongly suggested he was a burglar. And it doesn’t appear that the initial intent was to kill the victim. And yet, he ended up dead. And from what little I’ve heard (I largely ignored the case), it doesn’t appear to have been due to “resisting arrest”.

          1. Well, it made the national news until the three were arrested, tried and convicted of murder. Then it was ignored good and hard because it didn’t jibe with the Leftroids’ ‘systemic racism’ cant.

    3. Biden’s confused because he remembers lynchings were still a thing when he was a kid nearly 80 years ago and he just assumes they’re still a big problem. His advisors are afraid of what will happen when he finally learns that the Russians have the H-bomb.

    4. As Insty sometimes notes, the worse things get, the more the government focuses on trivialities.

  25. About thirty-five years ago, James Dunnigan wrote “How to Stop a War”. An excellent volume on why wars start. One of the most common reasons is to divert attention from internal problems…and both Putin and Biden are dealing with internal problems.

    My own assessment? Putin badly overestimated the fighting power of his own forces (in particular, the competence of their logistics), and underestimated the willingness of the Ukrainian people to resist (they will concede that their government are crooks…but they are THEIR crooks, not Moscow’s). He’s bogged down.

    Biden just plain needs a whipping boy and a decoy…otherwise, the economy and the Hunter Biden scandal are at the top of the news, followed by Biden’s mental state.

    1. From what I can tell, while Ukraine War (Biden’s whipping decoy), neither the economy, Hunter Biden scandal, nor competency of Biden himself, the Harris Follies, nor what they try to pull off domestically, are being shunted aside. That is something I was afraid would happen. Seem to for a minute. Not now. Whether the sound bites are misleading, that IDK. But definitely being reported, analyzed, etc.

  26. This hypothesis absolutely explains the virtue signalling we see from DC and woke corporations/institutions. They are competing with each other in a purity spiral and judging their success by the reaction of twitter.

    As David Cameron (former UK Prime Minister) put it in one of his two* notable twitter remarks: “Your twitter feed is not your country”

    The whole wuflu crisis and everything else has increasingly separated the virtual laptop twiterati classes from the physical work classes. The physical classes can see what the twiterati want because they keep shouting it, but the twiterati pay no attention in the other direction and name the physicals as “deplorables”, “clingers to religion/guns” etc. This is going to bite them good and hard, indeed is starting to IMHO which is why they are so happy to have a war to distract attention. Unfortunately for them people are getting daily reminders at the supermarket and gas station that things are effed up and won’t be distracted.

    *The other one being “Too many tweets might make a twat”


    I think streiff is saying a lot of true things here.

    I’m also not sure that I agree with how he puts it together.

    Nor am I sure I want NATO trying to supply weapons systems for offensive war. I don’t really have an opinion, and even if I did, I would not trust my current thinking or state of mine.

  28. I’m currently in a reread of a Modesitt series, and myopic government leading to poor but forseeable results is a common theme in his various series. Almost as though he’d seen it a time or ten. 😉

  29. “Those were the actual goals” how the fuck would you know that? Or what Putin “thought”. Oh that’s right, you don’t. You’re just making shit up.

    1. What the actual fucking hell? I know that because it’s the only thing that fits the evidence.
      Are you actually able to think or only of running around crying you were banned from a blog, you repulsive little troll?

    2. Is it guaranteed to be true? No. But it’s more than likely right, because it’s the ONLY theory that fits the evidence.
      Let me introduce you to this thing called “logic” and “deduction” Neat concepts when your brain is used for something more than preventing your skull from sounding like an empty box. Sorry you weren’t issued a brain. Or it withered from lack of use.

        1. One is reminded of Screwtape’s observation on the “dinner souls” in “Screwtape Proposes A Toast”.

          Or Tomlinson…..

        2. Well, the poor drones only have the script they’re given so they post it all over the place hoping to get others to believe. All while fearing it not working and they end up hearing the Dreaded Words…

            1. Okay. So for once it’s not WordPress it’s “Patrick had something saved to clipboard and the new thing he copied didn’t end up on it” again. facepalm

      1. “Almost” being the relevant word. Swat away, and “curs’d be him who first cries ‘Hold! Enough!’ “. (Sorry; couldn’t resist…) 😉

    3. Uhhh, she’s a novelist, asshole. Making shit up is her job. People pay her to make shit up.

      Thing is, she can’t get away with making up stupid shit that doesn’t make sense. Like what we’re hearing from Teh Authoriteez and their media mouthpieces.

      When a novelist does a better job making sense of what’s going on than Les Professionale Journalistes…

  30. “Neverland”

    The news said that he died in his sleep
    But it wasn’t really true
    He’d been dead for a long lot of years
    And never said a word to you
    He tried to tell you but you never understood
    You never listened when he cried
    You never held him when the dark was closing in
    And you weren’t with him when he died.

    His whole life was mere ash in the wind
    Ephemeral as rain on sand
    Burning out in the pyre of his youth
    Washed away like waves on land
    He chased the waning embers drifting through the night
    Firefly remnants of his dreams
    They chilled to icy cinders filling up his heart
    And flowed away in bloody streams.

    The news said that he died in his sleep
    But it happened long ago
    When he last whispered into the night
    Of fading promises and hope,
    “I pray they bury me beneath the grassy plain
    Where I can see from sky to green
    I want to watch the sunlight dancing on my grave
    ‘Cause it’s the first I’ve ever seen.”

    “Neverland” Copyright 2001 Offworld Press (that’s me)

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