Open Thread – 10 May 2024

Whatever blows your skirt up.

Big geomagnetic storm hit today. Too bad it’s cloudy and rainy in Virginia today. Might have gotten a glimpse of the Northern Lights. First time I saw them was on an ROTC winter survival weekend on a frozen lake in the Great North Woods. Magical.

TTG

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62 Responses to Open Thread – 10 May 2024

  1. English Outsider says:

    Keith Harbaugh – saw your comment on what is now a dead thread but it was too late for me to search out the references. It is in any case more of a general subject so perhaps better suited here. Relates, I believe, to the Mussorgsky you found just recently.

    The White Tiger is shorthand for what the Russians fear. The fascist predator coming out of Europe. Wrote to the Colonel about it not long after the start of the SMO:-

    I had a quick look at “The White Tiger” a little time ago but only a very quick one. It wasn’t anything I could relate to much. But I don’t like to leave stuff hanging so thought I better dig it out again and see how it ended. And then realised that although to us the Russian invasion of Ukraine is seen as just that, to the Russians it not only goes deeper, it’s been going deeper for some time.

    https://youtu.be/soRIjIJAUfA?t=5806

    It’s ’45, after victory. “He” is the White Tiger, the tank that is the embodiment of fascism deep in the European psyche. It’s coming back some time, says Ivan, maybe fifty years time, maybe longer. When it does, I’ll be loaded and ready for it.

    Putting out movies like that is called shaping the narrative. Doesn’t need a lot of shaping for Russians anyway, not when the most destructive war in their history is still a living memory. How foolish of the losers running the West, in that time before February 21st, not to look over the fence and see what the other side was thinking.

    A not very perceptive summary of the film here:-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Tiger_(2012_film)

    The tanks used for the film, the iconic T34’s, were brought back from Laos.

    https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/russia-receives-30-vintage-t-3485-tanks-from-laos

    Maybe the T34 in the Victory Day parade was one of those. Just to ram the point home.

    It’s the fashion in England to sneer at our own national legends. Has been for a while. So it comes natural for our politicians and opinion formers to sneer at the national legends of others. Big mistake. As we’re now finding out.

    • TTG says:

      EO,

      They did the single T-34 last year, too. An appropriate symbol for the Great Patriotic War and saves them the need to use tanks destined for the front, although I thought I read about tanks going directly from a Moscow parade to the approaching front during the war.

  2. English Outsider says:

    TTG – An error. Dates don’t fit for that consignment of T34’s. One review of the film claimed they came from Thailand.

    Comment taken from the Colonel’s site April 2022.

    https://turcopolier.com/isw-russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-17-april-ttg/#comments

  3. Fred says:

    Caught a couple of episodes of Babylon 5 at a friend’s place. Remember, don’t thump the book of G’Quan. It is disrespectful. Thumping the Magna Carta apparently saves humanity though.

  4. leith says:

    That T-34’s American-designed suspension system was one of the reasons that it had such good mobility. It was much faster going cross country than other tanks of that era; undoubtedly because its suspension system designer, J. Walter Christie, was a former builder of race cars. That same suspension system was also used on several different models of Soviet self-propelled artillery. Many of the early models were assembled in American built factories in Kharkiv, Stalingrad and Chelyabinsk by the same firm that built Ford’s River Rouge plant in Detroit. The V2 engine was designed in Kharkiv and built with American Aluminum. Later, the D5T cannon in the T34/85 model was produced with copies of American machine tools. Those D5T shells were filled with propellant from Dupont powder mills. The faster and more reliable turret traverse in the T34/85 was based on American improvements to the turret ring mechanism. American steel was used in the T34/85 armor. It was a good tank for its time. There are reportedly still some operational in Viet-Nam and NoKo bu probably in reserve.

    • Jim. says:

      Thank You For That Data Leith…I Never Knew any of That About the T-34
      No Wonder They Were So Good…American Technology..and Machinery..and Design…The Model T-34 Ford Tank….

      Red Racers…Right Past those White Tigers…and Shoot Them in The Back..

      American Tanks Did The Same…White Tigers.and Red Tides..in Blue Water..
      Check…What is War..? Political… Elevation…and Windage..and
      Uncaged Tigers…
      Jim

    • English Outsider says:

      Leith – not only Russia. You’ll know about Hobart’s Funnies.

      https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160603-the-strange-tanks-that-helped-win-d-day#:~:text=The%20tanks%20were%20known%2C%20collectively,landings%20were%20a%20massive%20success.&text=more%20tank%20support-,Hobart%20had%20realised%20that%20an%20invading%20force%20would%20need%20a,they%20were%20coming%20to%20shore.

      Hobart continued improvising and developing after the landings. I read somewhere he sent his drawings off to the States. Even allowing for the sea voyage it was quicker getting the final product from the States than from the over-burdened and less flexible British manufacturers. Another part of what I think of as the US “Willow Run” type explosion in US manufacturing capability at that time. Matched by an explosion in recruitment that marked a generation.

      The equipment for Russia, that would have been sent in via Murmansk? Not a lot was sent through the Bering Strait. Someone in the family, now long departed, came out of retirement for the Murmansk Run. Served until the end. Almost certainly would have delivered some of that American equipment to the Russians. A little later another of the family was hauled out of school and sent off to the ever closer Eastern Front, in the last desperate effort to hold back the Russians. Too late to see action and a long walk home from the Sudetenland for a fourteen year old. But both quite lucky, really, old or young, to make it back at all.

      • leith says:

        Thanks EO for the Hobart’s info. I’m liking his Crab Tanks and the sapper versions. But those DD amphibious tanks were death traps, weren’t they? All would have been much better using light tanks in the amphib role. Like the Japanese and the US did in the Pacific.

        Glad your relative survived the hellish Murmansk runs. Not enough escorts. Convoys scattered. Sunk by U-boat wolfpacks. Bombed and strafed by Luftwaffe. And not even safe when they arrived in Murmansk, which averaged three air attacks per day from Kirkenes, just a few minutes away in northern Norway.

        I’m a bit confused though about your other relative who you mention was sent off to the Eastern Front. Are you a dual British/German national, does that account for the “outsider” half of your online identity? Or perhaps I misunderstood your comment. If so, you have my apologies.

        Regarding US Lend-Lease to the Soviets, there were several routes. The largest was via the North Pacific to Vladivostok on Soviet flagged ships as Stalin had his Neutrality Pact with Hirohito. Hundreds of those Soviet flagged ships were US made Liberty ships or older merchant vessels. There were also close to 8,000 military aircraft flown from Alaska to Russia’s Far East, known as the AL-SIB Route. You are right that not a lot was sent via the Bering Strait, but it was critical as it carried fuel for those aircraft being flown from Alaska.

        Second largest route was the Persian Corridor. Millions of tons were shipped to Bandar Abbas and then shipped north to the Soviets by road and rail. Douglas Aircraft Company built a fighter aircraft factory there; as soon they rolled of the production line Soviet pilots flew them north without even a test flight. My daughter’s father-in-law, now long deceased, was there in ’45 as a teenaged USAAF signalman.

        • English Outsider says:

          Leith – I didn’t know any of that. Thanks. Hope more follows.

          Me? English born and bred but relatives in a fair few countries. Germany among others. Have lived there, visit frequently, and love the place, though one or two reservations about their politicians. Empress Merkel I always found dodgy.

          But I don’t talk politics much when in Germany. You don’t, when you’re abroad. On the rare occasions the subject comes up I’ve always told ’em their country has been going downhill for a good two decades now – but will they listen? Never.

          Though they’d had the awful warning right in front of their eyes of what happened earlier to the UK when we’d deindustrialised. Giant sucking sounds all over the place. Yet they still went on their outsourcing spree from the ’90’s on. In their case finding themselves subsidising their ramshackle trading empire that is the EU to boot.

          Oh well, we all have our various but always interesting ways of going to hell. As for “English Outsider”, I chose that when first submitting comments to the Colonel’s site. Turned out to be appropriate. Brexit came along and I found myself at odds with half my fellow countrymen. Then the SMO and I found myself at odds with all of them.

          Khalkhin Gol was all I knew of the war in that area. Zhukov’s victory being significant in that it allowed the Russians to transfer troops across at a critical time. But it seems also to have led to the Japanese deciding not to attack the Russian flagged ships taking those all-important US war supplies to Russia.

          I wonder if Hitler had worked that out when he decided to declare war on the US after Pearl Harbour. That the flow of vital American supplies to Russia would continue unimpeded along that route even though Japan and the US were at war.

          There was a lot Hitler didn’t work out. His logistics experts had said in terms that logistics for Operation Barbarossa would be difficult after the first few hundred miles in. He ignored or didn’t get the warning.

          He must have known from his Intelligence the Soviets were building massive military industrial facilities beyond the Urals, for all he told the Finns in that famous recording he hadn’t. So that was something else he hadn’t bothered to work out, though it was obvious enough.

          There was a lot Hitler didn’t work out. He did a straight “it’ll be alright on the night” gamble that Russia would collapse and was left flat footed when it didn’t.

          His spiritual heir, now ever to be known as mini-Barbarossa Scholz, screwed up in exactly the same way. And as ever his fellow Europeans cheered him to the rafters as they played White Tiger alongside. You’re pretty lucky, really, having several thousand miles of water between you and that ever festering heap of tribal animosities we call Old Europe. We’ve only got twenty.

          • TTG says:

            EO,

            I think your comparison of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union to Sholtz’s support for Ukraine is off. A better comparison would be Hitler’s banking on a short war to topple the Soviet Union to Putin’s gamble on a short SMO to topple Ukraine. Both were disappointed. Hitler was fatally disappointed. Putin adjusted and may not be eventually disappointed. For another comparison, we can see Stalin’s banking on a quick victory over Finland in the Winter War. His miscalculations and the dogged skill and heroism of the Finns led to Stalin’s massive losses in men, material and reputation. Putin lost the same in his invasion of Ukraine. However, like in the Winter War, Putin adjusted just as Stalin did and he may yet prevail in Ukraine. But he cannot erase his losses in men, material and reputation.

      • leith says:

        EO –

        That Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact was signed 13 April 1941. It was less than two years after Khalkin Gol where Zhukov and the Mongols put a hurt on the Kwantung Army and their Manchukuo allies. And just two months before the start of Operation Barbarossa.

        Speaking of Zhukov, in 1963 he was quoted: “People say that the allies didn’t help us. But it cannot be denied that the Americans sent us materiel without which we could not have formed our reserves or continued the war. The Americans provided vital explosives and gunpowder. And how much steel! Could we really have set up the production of our tanks without American steel? And now they are saying that we had plenty of everything on our own.”

        I reckon the biggest British aid route to the Soviets was the Arctic Convoys to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. But you Brits also participated in helping out in the Persian Corridor. It was the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in August 1941 that opened up that corridor. The British provided several divisions & brigades plus your Royal Navy for that invasion. Without that invasion the 8-million long tons of military weapons and supplies that were sent thru that corridor never would have happened. It was the “only viable, all-weather route to supply Soviet needs”.

  5. F&L says:

    Doing a Times Mini crossword from their archive this afternoon and came across this Clue: First President from the first state in the union. (5 letters).

    Answer is Biden. I thought to myself that 1: I hadn’t known that and 2: wondered why I hadn’t seen that fact discussed or even mentioned. I then wondered if some people might consider it an omen of some degree of significance.

    • TTG says:

      F&L,

      Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, thus the nick name. I am surprised that Biden was the first President born in Delaware. I just assumed the first 13 states would have provided more like Virginia with 8. Don’t know what kind of omen that would be.

  6. drifter says:

    Ukrainians are Slavs, genetically, culturally and ethnically Russians.

    • TTG says:

      drifter,

      You got that slightly wrong. Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians are all considered East Slavs. There are also West Slavs and South Slavs. Russia does have separate terms for slavic Russians and non-slavic Russians.

      • LeaNder says:

        Russia does have separate terms for slavic Russians and non-slavic Russians.
        Look, no harm meant–genetically, culturally and ethnically–is quite a challenge, but should they have different terms for the three listed Eastern Slavs too? Genetically, culturally and ethnically?

        • TTG says:

          LeaNder,

          Within Russia the term “Русские” refers to Russian citizens of slavic origins. The term “Россияне” refers to all Russian citizens including Buryats, Tatars and others. I’m not sure if one would refer to a slavic Russian as a “Россияне” or not.

  7. drifter says:

    The battle lines we see at the present moment will be completely different from the lines when it matters. For merc, it’s how to evolve. For civilization it’s what will happen next.

  8. drifter says:

    Take your pick! leith from the Pacific Northwest could also be your friend if he gives you some cash.

  9. F&L says:

    You have to wonder if in fact there might be a God. Why – given all the injustice and misery? Because simultaneously (now) we have: A) Nuclear sabre rattling B) Extreme atrocity (Gaza, Rafah) ongoing. So? Oh, forgot. The clinching is that record setting magnetic storms are ongoing and set to increase in magnitude further. It could be the opening of the deity’s cosmic weapons system located within the Sun. It’s almost screaming out: “You bloody rotten no good murderous baby killing profiteers. I am set to destroy the earth unless you repent!”

    It’s the coincidence of it all the classic elements. It’s like a gunfight in a western.

  10. babelthuap says:

    The song ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ by Tears For Fears was originally titled, ‘Everybody Wants To Go To War’.

    I found this gem while shopping around for a Hofner guitar which are impossible to buy in the US. I had one in my youth. I do have a relative in the UK. I plan to buy one when I visit but here is the Tears for Fears song fact 2:18 mark:

    https://www.hofner.com/en/blog/hofner-artists-4/curt-smith-tears-for-fears-77

  11. Barbara Ann says:

    Gazing upon the strange red hue across the sky yesterday and the dead fish (sand eels) washed up along the shore today has caused me to ponder the portents of doom. Science will no doubt provide an explanation, but that misses the point. It is science itself which has led us into the present eschatological cul-de-sac and doom will only be avoided by finding our way out of it.

    Leith on the previous thread illustrated the issue perfectly with the sentence “Humans should be smart enough to overturn the kaleidoscope of horror”. This is the wisdom of the Enlightenment – that sufficient application of rational thought will eventually yield solutions to the the problem of evil. So how much closer are we, what does “Progress” look like in 2024?

    I’m an unapologetic panglossian and AFAICT the true nature of our progress is that we are closer than ever to the Apocalypse. The triumph of rationalism over belief is leading us inexorably towards the worst of all worlds, a kaleidoscope of horror almost beyond imagination and the destruction of Man. Evil is simply not a scientific concept and so the real problem today is the problem of science – how to regain our moral compass in a world dominated by scientific language and modes of thought, of “is’s”, and not “ought’s”. Real progress will be made when we can address that problem.

    I’d echo F&L’s sentiment above. Magnetic storm or angry deity, repentance is in order.

    • jld says:

      The triumph of rationalism…”

      I disagree, you are confusing rationalism with materialism (which is indeed a nuisance and will bring a kaleidoscope of horror almost beyond imagination)

      True rationality does not entail materialism.

      “Real progress will be made…”

      Huh? I didn’t expect you to be a progressive.

      “repentance is in order.”

      Repentance is only good as a stage of grief, your choice, not mine.

      • mcohen says:

        Repentance is on order

        The 42 sins

        For the sin of unfolding the colours inside
        Holding the edges too soon
        For deceit hastily denied
        Forsaking the light of the moon
        Holding an answer with no excuse
        The question abandoned
        In essence of time a ruse
        For the sin of underhanded

        For the hoarding of dust
        Gathered in pools
        That the innocent trust
        Taken from gullible fools
        The cutting of rope
        Work of a blunt knife
        A mirror with no hope
        The tears of a life.

        For the sin of offering cause
        Non to collect
        Not giving a pause
        To the effect
        Deaf to the shriek
        The tearing of veil
        Forsaking of the meek
        The oil of a whale

        For the silencing of bells
        None shall toll
        The casting of spells
        Placing pins in a doll
        Who shall place a rock
        Upon a sapling
        To mock
        Those that come crawling

        The sin of twisting
        Words of the innocent
        In falsely resisting
        The gestures of the decent
        The splitting of hairs
        With no regard
        The graceless airs
        A Piercing shard.

        So hurry not on the road to hell
        The gatekeepers await
        For they can foretell
        The story of your fate
        The final ring of the bell
        As the hour grows late

      • Barbara Ann says:

        jld

        Thanks for the link to Husserl’s work, I’m not familiar with him and I’ll need to look it over before I understand why you think I’m confusing rationalism with materialism (the latter in the having stuff sense?). I confess to finding phenomenology opaque so if you know of an ELI5 explainer on the topic I’d be grateful. My counter-Enlightenment mini-polemic meant to contrast the rationalism which underlies scientific thinking with faith-based belief – two mutually exclusive modes of thought. Perhaps “empiricism” may have been more accurate.

        I’m certainly not a progressive, hence I used “real progress” somewhat ironically to describe the sense of undoing the modern trend of exclusive emphasis on empiricism – and the concomitant devaluation of traditional faith and beliefs. Faith-based beliefs cannot be rationally defended by definition (Leibniz was foolish to try and Voltaire punished him for it) and dogmatic belief* in some absolute values is necessary to avoid descent into the infinite moral relativism which permits evil to emerge (as it is right now). And absolute values can only come from God. I’d therefore rephrase F&L’s “..there might be a God” to “there had better be a God, or we are all screwed”. Or as Heidegger – a phenomenologist to some extent himself I beleive – put it Only a God Can Save Us.

        *In his indispensable essay The Abolition of Man C. S. Lewis says “A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery”.

        • jld says:

          “(the latter in the having stuff sense?)”

          No, a more “philosophical” stance, the fact that almost all philosophical, scientific or religious dogmas/explanations are framed in the language/ontology of “ordinary objects”, atoms are little balls, Jesus was born did this or that, ethics is about permissible/impermissible physical actions etc…

          I am of the radical opinion that there are actually NO objects in the Platonist/Aristotelian sense.

          “finding phenomenology opaque…”

          Stanford Encyclopedia is as good as any.
          https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/

          “dogmatic belief* in some absolute values is necessary to avoid descent into the infinite moral relativism which permits evil to emerge”

          I don’t trust dogmatic belief since there could be many different ones (as we currently see…) I don’t trust rationality either because it gets too complicated to be shared by all.

          I do not have any answer to our civilizational predicament, I am leaning toward Taoism.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            jld

            No objects eh? Sounds like good subject matter for a separate post 😉

            Lewis’ argument is that the dogmatic beliefs that have come down to us from many different traditions all share certain fundamental truths:

            It is the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true, and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kind of things we are. Those who know the Tao can hold that to call children delightful or old men venerable is not simply to record a psychological fact about our own parental or filial emotions at the moment, but to recognize a quality which demands a certain response from us whether we make it or not

            And yes, he refers to this as the Tao.

            You hit the nail on the head with that word “mistrust”. Whether it is trust in the Lord, trust in science or something else – we all must find something to trust in order to avoid the debilitating nausea which existence otherwise entails. Lewis concludes the book by saying unapologetically that the validity of the Tao cannot be deduced.

            I see around me today a society in which ugliness, aberration and relativism are all celebrated. This is quite simply demonic. No amount of logical argument will persuade me that the quality of “beauty” is other than an objective concept. And IMO there is no need to even trust the truth of the Tao, it simply must be. Objective values are a necessary condition for good to exist in the world and denying them condemns us. If there is an answer to our civilizational predicament, this is it. Dostoevsky was right.

    • Fred says:

      Barbara Ann,

      “science itself which has led us into”

      Another vaxx and a few million immigrants who are superior to the posterity the founders spoke of in the constitution and declaration of independence ought to save us.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Fred

        The Vaxx was a watershed event. Along with everything else, science has been weaponized. The result is trust in science itself is being eroded and the consequences will be dire. Thankfully the eternal wisdom the founders enshrined in that beautiful document is incorruptible.

  12. Jim. says:

    There is Nothing Humans can do About all of The Dynamic Events Going On All Over Earth..or In Our Solar System…You Cannot Worry Them Away…They Are Happening..

    Any Every Event of Every Kind..Including Human Behavior..Good And Bad..Is
    revealed With Precise Detail…In The Old And New Testaments of the Bible..After Israel was Restored In 1948…The Bible Says One Generation Will See All The Evil and Chaos. thatFree Will of Mankind has enabled..
    We Are Seeing Now…There is No Real Answer For Mankind to Survive Except..To
    consider Gods Saving Grace..and Protection..

    Everyone Else Wants WAR..Not Peace..Its OK to Have Awareness..Discernment..But Please Know..There is Hope..

    Love the Hands…That Rocked The Cradle..Love the Mothers..With Those Hard
    Working..Busy Hands…Mom…Proof..Love is a Real..Condition..Mine Had Faith..
    Jim

    • TTG says:

      mcohen,

      This is crazy if true. If the US is truly concerned about the civilians of Gaza, why would we withhold critical information on the location of the terrorists. That info would take the heat off the Gazans and put it properly on Hamas.

    • leith says:

      There has been no withholding of critical information on the location of the terrorists. Kirby clearly stated that we are already doing that on an ongoing basis. The only withholding being done is the stopping of a shipment of 2000 pound MK-84 bombs. Many 2000 pounders have already been dropped on northern Gaza by the IAF in attempts to demolish Hamas’s deep tunnel networks, but instead causing massive civilian casualties above ground. Why are they not sending in the Yahalom sapper commandos into those tunnels instead? I had thought that was the IDF’s original plan. Or maybe that was just PR?

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2024/05/09/on-the-record-press-gaggle-by-white-house-national-security-communications-advisor-john-kirby-11/

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/spotlight/your-support-helps-yahalom-win-the-war-against-hamas/

      The bigger issue is pushback against the lack of a strategy by Netanyahu and BenGvir. IDF is having to go back into northern Gaza as Hamas has re-emerged there. The IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, and even Defense Minister Yoav Gallant a member of Likud are berating Netanyahu for his lack of an end game strategy and deferral of decision making.

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-chief-said-to-unbraid-netanyahu-for-failing-to-lay-out-post-war-plan-for-gaza/

      https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/tragedy-and-folly

      • Stefan says:

        It is more proof that the “total victory” Netanyahu has promised Israelis is a pipe dream. Hamas cannot be beaten, not militarily. 7 months, some 40k dead Palestinians and they still havent beaten Hamas. Israel has already lost whatever the end of the conflict is. Lets also keep in mind those 40k dead Palestinians are the tip of the iceberg. They are not counting bodies under the thousands of residential buildings that have been destroyed. The 40k are just the bodies they have recovered. The real numbers are like tens of thousands higher. Experts have said that it is unlikely even 1/4 of Hamas fighters have been killed.

        At this point the Israelis will be lucky to gain even a pyrrhic victory, never mind the Nazi images evoked by talking about “total victory”.

        10/7 was a crime and a disaster for the Israelis. Their response to it has become a self inflicted wound of monumental proportions that will haunt them for generations to come and be a turning point with how the world, including the US, deals with them.

  13. d74 says:

    Ancient antiphon.
    The organization of the US presidential primaries works in reverse. It selects the worst. This is a very worrying sign, as if the resources were exhausted.
    Nothing but old men… bad omen. Not that old people aren’t capable (I’m one, after all), but here the age is such that intellectual abilities, including memory, are clearly declining.
    In this regard, Biden’s recent interview on CNN was disastrous. I only saw excerpts on the economy and domestic policy, and Biden got away with lying, denying, and fabricating. Appalling.
    For the man whose orange hair hides the emptiness between his 2 ears, the problems are different but no more reassuring.

    I don’t understand why the Democrats and Republicans couldn’t come up with young people, 40 to 50 years old. But not too young, as Minimac shows here in France…

    • Christian J Chuba says:

      Hamas offered to release all hostages and a ceasefire if Israel withdrew from all of Gaza. This should have been acceptable because even if Hamas attacked Israel again, they would have all of their people back again and the IDF would be able to kill them without ‘human shields’, but it is much more fun to blow up apartment buildings and bury children under apartment buildings.

      • TTG says:

        Christian J Chuba,

        Hamas has sworn to repeat the terrorist attack of 7 October. Israel is correct to pursue to total defeat of Hamas military capability. Agreeing to a full ceasefire and leaving Gaza before Hamas is defeated would leave Israel open to further Hamas terrorist attacks. However, the seemingly indiscriminate destruction of apartment blocks and killing civilians by the IDF is just as counterproductive as Russia’s bombing of apartment blocks. Granted going into the tunnels would be a tough go, but that’s where the IDF has to go. I’d be hard pressed to suggest the IDF do this, but I’ve run into dark cellars to face the enemy. Sometimes you have to do the tough things.

        • Christian J Chuba says:

          There are a small number of Hamas fighters in a confined, easily defended area. So yeah, you can attack 1.5M people to get at 40,000 fighters, and kill your own hostages OR get your own hostages back unharmed and then kill the 40,000 fighters when they try to attack you again. Why the rush, which is the lesser of two evils?

          Are these 40,000 fighters going to sweep into Megiddo valley and destroy Israel anytime soon? Anger and other agendas are getting in the way

        • Stefan says:

          Israel has sworn to continue their crimes and increase them. This conflict did NOT start on 10/07.

          The issue is the Israelis have given the Palestinians nothing to live for. 10/07 was a crime, but when one looks at the numbers, the deaths of Palestinian civilians over the last few decades dwarfs those of Israelis.

          Israael will not be able to beat Hamas militarily. They might degrade their ability to attack further, for awhile, but that is it. The children living through the mass murder of their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers? What is coming will make Hamas look like school yard bullies.

          Israelis have two options, complete genocide and ethnic cleansing, completely remove Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, or a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians, a Palestinian state and peace with their neighbours.

  14. Mark Logan says:

    Over the last couple decades in this region (PNW) I have most years made at pilgrimage to Aasgard pass, the “back door” to the Enchantments of the North Cascades. The normal Snow Lakes route is 20 miles, but the “back door” of Colchuck Lake/Aasgard Pass is only 9, and the Lakes can be reached in a single (rather brutal) day. https://explorewithalec.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/colchuck-lake-6S7A7472-1024×683.jpg

    The brutality had always meant we had it to ourselves, pretty much. Might encounter a couple people. Might not. Not anymore. Now, in summer it looks like this: https://images.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/07182023_enchantments_151657.jpg?d=780×520

    And yesterday I discovered even going in early May did not result in privacy, but there were several dozen people already at Colchuck at a time that I have never encountered anyone before. The population has grown in this area but not this much, and the demographic was quite young. Not a bunch of grizzled old hikers like us, nearly all were in their early 20s. Is this is evidence our new 20-somethings are not all spending their days playing with their phones?? Whodathunk?
    Sometimes, despite my better judgement, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, the “kids (might be) alright”.

    But I would prefer to have fewer of them, nonetheless…

  15. Jovan P says:

    Shoigu is no longer minister of defense of Russia. For the Russians, this looks like a pretty good sign.

    • leith says:

      Jovan –

      Bigger news is that Shoigu appears to have gotten Patrushev’s job. So what is happening with Patrushev: sick? promoted? or put out to pasture with an honorific post?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tr30fL8_Yo

    • ked says:

      Putin’s put an economist in charge. I expect that to go as well as what CFOs, MBAs, Hedge Funders, VCs & Trust Fund Babies have done for our industrial might.

      • TTG says:

        ked,

        An economist to put the war economy in the face of sanctions into full gear is probably just what Putin needs right now. Shoigu was never a military man either. I’m more interested to see where Patrushev lands.

        • ked says:

          he’ll fail.
          a) in the style I described, or
          b) in the style you described.
          to be successful, he’d have to Stalinize Russian society. & that’s Vlad’s bag. on the bright side, in the attempt Russia may finally get the revolution it has long deserved.

      • Fred says:

        Any day now the sanctions that have given the world $80+/barrel oil has done what to the Russian economy? How is Europe’s looking with all that commodity price inflation + the oil impact? Not to mention natural gas…..

        Any day now the Russians, who we have been assured for two years are already defeated, will rise up and overthrow Putin. Of course $80/barrel equates to $3.45/gallon here, which does wonders for our economy.

        • TTG says:

          Fred,

          It gave Gazprom a substantial loss last year due to its having to rebuild its distribution network to the east instead of the west.

          • Fred says:

            TTG,

            That’s not the entire Russian state budget. The latest from the EU is they need more money, and new bonds (which they have no legal authority to issue nor tax in order to fund) to keep going ‘green’.

    • drifter says:

      How important was Shiogu? How important is Austin? Somehow Austin is important, yet Austin could be replaced in the flick of an eye, and nobody would take note.

      In Russia, it seems that the heads of departments are actually responsible for what happens. In our country they are not.

      • TTG says:

        drifter,

        I doubt Shoigu had anything to do with the conduct of operations in Ukraine. I’m not even sure if the Chief of the General Staff is calling the shots except in a general way. Much like in the US, there are theater (combatant command) commanders or their equivalent to do that.

  16. drifter says:

    Wrt Cohen’s testimony today, he’s a man trying to stay out of jail. Aren’t we all.

  17. Keith Harbaugh says:

    A range of issues, i.e. problems, affecting shipbuilding for the U.S. Navy are presented here:
    https://www.politico.com/live-updates/2024/05/16/congress/senate-hearing-armed-services-del-toro-sullivan-shipbuilding-00158422

    Personally, I wish the USG would pay more attention (and money) to fixing problems with DoD procurement
    (see also https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/air-forces-b-21-raider-bomber-nightmare-has-begun-210707 )
    than subsidizing *!#@ Ukraine.
    Let the Russians worry about that mess.

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      It’s cheaper to give the outmoded weapons to Ukraine than to demilitarize them ourselves. DoD has saved a fortune by giving stuff away and has aided our modernization in the process. But our shipbuilding is definitely in a sad state of affairs. And we are well behind both Ukraine and Russia in the use of drones.

  18. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Yet another DoD procurement problem:

    “F-35s are piling up on Lockheed tarmacs, presenting ‘unique’ risks to the Pentagon”

    https://www.defenseone.com/business/2024/05/f-35s-are-piling-lockheed-tarmacs-presenting-unique-risks-pentagon/396646/

    Last July, the government stopped accepting new F-35s because of hardware and software delays with Technology Refresh-3, a $1.8-billion effort to enable new capabilities for the jet.

    The proposed bill would take the resources that were allocated to buy more jets and use them to create a digital twin of the F-35 and an integrated software laboratory.
    It’s “astounding” that Lockheed hasn’t modernized how it develops software and hardware for the program, Wittman said.

    “We also believe that the resources from the 10 aircraft that will go to an integrated software laboratory, to digital twin testing, to additional test beds—all those things are capabilities that should have been done years ago and haven’t been done and that’s why we’re so far behind where we are today. So we are saying, you know what, we’re not going to leave this to chance anymore. We’re going to take an active role,”
    Wittman said.

    The complaint here is that LM made the wrong decisions re SW development.

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