Open Thread – 12 April 2014

Open thread  pl

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90 Responses to Open Thread – 12 April 2014

  1. Looking more like Jeb and HC may lock up the nominations early! Ron Paul and outlier for Republicans. Events that might cause trouble for one or both parties by fall 2016?
    1. Putin takes East Ukraine! Likelihood on 1-10 scale IMO 6!
    2. Republicans take Senate and House in 2014 but make fools of themselves! Likelihood–7!
    3. World wide economic recession–9!
    4. One or both Castro brothers die and Cuba restores democracy–5!
    5. Revolutions in MENA of various kinds-9!
    6. 2016 Olympics removed from Brazil after World Cup fiasco!–6!
    7. War over Taiwan-3!
    8. Military confrontation between Japan and China!–4
    9. Impeachment of Obama in House in 2015!-3!
    10. First conviction of Federal Reserve official for insider trading!–7!
    11. Republicans reorganize Congressional Committee structure in 2015!–9!
    12. President Obama resigns the Presidency early!-3!

  2. DoD will create an Artic Area Command based in Alaska!

  3. Walrus says:

    Putin appears to be running rings around the Obama Administration.
    First the nicely worded threat to Ukraine and Europe about gas supplies, then the spontaneous demonstrations and civil disobedience in Eastern Ukraine. In support of Russia.
    One has to wonder if Obama has any arrows left in his quiver?

  4. Tyler says:

    The bees are here and they sound like a helicopter when they chase you.

  5. b says:

    A question to the Navy types here.
    When Obama threatened to attack Syria the Russians called up a fleet of their ships and positioned them at the Syrian coast. Though little or not at all reported there were at least some 10-15 Russian ships there. It was the biggest fleet Russia had assembled in the last 25 years.
    How much had these ships to do with the decision not to attack?
    What dangers did these ships and their anti-missile and anti-air capabilities present to the attack and to those ships who would have launched it?
    How was this “tripwire” fleet perceived by the Joint Command?

  6. Trillium says:

    Colonel: I’ve enjoyed reading your trilogy, especially the parts relating to Maj Farinelli and LCol Balthazar. As someone of broad military eperience do you recommend any books (in addition to knowing the relevant manuals) to those wanting to learn more about infantry tactics and leadership at the section to company level?
    All: An article on Hezbollah you may find of interest.

  7. samuelburke says:

    It’s almost fun watching our foreign policy develop right before our eyes. Its a Neocon world.
    The Victoria Nuland-Embasador Pyatt phone call episode really is a gamechanger. Thats just how they roll!
    How can anyone be wrong for so long in Washington and still have a seat at the table?
    How does Neocon-ism do it?

  8. zanzibar says:

    An academic central banker breaks ranks and claims that the unprecedented and experimental easy money policies of Bernanke, et al are not all peaches & cream.

  9. Charles I says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your book, but I’d love to read one about your farming experience as well.

  10. Charles I says:

    On a subject I now decline to comment on, I thought someone would be all over this, tho it is kinda springy after along winter:
    Justice Stevens: The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment

  11. samuelburke says:

    Great quote by Glenn Greenwald at the Polk Awards “I hope that as journalists we realize not only the importance of defending our own rights, but also those of our sources like Edward Snowden.”
    The ongoing battles of the sates vs the Individual and the road to tyranny.

  12. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    SCOTUS has already ruled that the 2nd Amendment denotes an individual right and that in the original intent all male white adults were considered to be members of the militia. There is zero chance that the 2nd Amendment will be amended. pl

  13. Fred says:

    “…they sound like a helicopter when they chase you” Run Forrest, Run!

  14. turcopolier says:

    Rommel, Erwin; Kidde, G. E. (2006) [1937]. Infantry Attacks. OCLC 22898178

  15. Tyler says:

    Its a lot of pain and “ohmygosh did he really do that?” I’m sure laughs will be had.

  16. Tyler says:

    My wife looked out the window and saw me running at a dead sprint with a cloud of bees in hot pursuit. I didn’t have a clue how many were chasing me, but apparently it was a lot.

  17. Tyler says:

    Interesting. This is exactly the same point I was making on another thread.

  18. Tyler says:

    The big statists always want to disarm everyone else before they decide they’re going to make the rules via force majeur.

  19. fasteddiez says:

    Herr B:
    I think that Seymour Hersch’s expose, tied in with the Chairman of the JCSs’ warnings of impending Siryan doom and quagmire, should Obama commit, was the most important factor. You are right however, with the Russian naval gambit; Putin knew the US government would fold if push came to shove. On the ground, Putin could get to any battlefield fustest with the mostest.

  20. Fred says:

    Looks like the anti-Russian backlash is helping spur US employment. Though I’m sure that’s not quit in the way the administration or its NYC supporters would like.

  21. walrus says:

    I am extremely worried by Bidens forthcoming visit to Kiev on April 22. This is both a direct provocation and a horrific risk of a false flag attack on him or his aircraft.
    Biden = Archduke Ferdinand?

  22. Fred says:

    I stepped on a nest of ground hornets on summer near Ft. McHenry when I was about 6. Spent a day in Walter Reed. The bees and I reached a delicate peace.

  23. Fred says:

    Didn’t the British try that in 1775, back when “Boston Strong” meant something completely different than it does now?

  24. robt willmann says:

    Action heating up in Ukraine.
    The unelected coup government in Ukraine has given demonstrators until 0600 GMT tomorrow, Monday, 14 April, to lay down their weapons in Slaviansk (Slavyansk), or else force will be used against them; this will be 1 a.m. central daylight time–
    The United Nations has a closed door meeting of the “security” council at 8 p.m. tonight to talk about Ukraine.
    This morning on the ABC television show This Week, Ukraine was discussed, including the rumor that CIA director John Brennan had slipped into Kiev or somewhere in Ukraine to talk to the unelected coup government, which the U.S. is not confirming or denying (one rumor is that Brennan encouraged the sock puppets to use violence against the separatist demonstrators); and Samantha Power also appeared on the program–

  25. Tyler says:

    I learned the bees will thock themselves against you several times before deciding to sting. No stings yet, but several thockings by pissed off ladies telling me go away.
    Currently everything is beginning to come into bloom around here. The lime tree, the prickly pear cactus, and one of the heritage tomatoes (Mr. Stripy variety) have begun to show fruit. Meanwhile our squash is putting out little crooknecks that are two or three inches in length.

  26. The Twisted Genius says:

    robt william,
    IMO what we’re seeing now in Ukraine is UW Russian style. Russia denies it, but the signs are there. When this whole mess started, I suggested that Spetznaz GRU was all over Ukraine conducting strategic reconnaissance, gauging the status and leanings of Ukrainian military and police units and preparing for a follow on invasion. I still believe all that is going on. I also think whatever Russian Spetznaz unit(s) responsible for UW are now guiding the already identified military and police units and the civilian groups in eastern Ukraine in a developing armed resistance. The only forces the coup leaders in Kiev can totally trust are the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda armed groups and the CIA controlled SBU.
    A video recently showed up on YouTube showing the “polite armed men in green” in action in Crimea. Seeing this video, I revise my initial view that it was mostly local forces with some Spetznaz GRU support and guidance to seeing the Crimean operation as a Spetznaz GRU direct action mission with some local support.

  27. The Twisted Genius says:

    Luckily, I haven’t run into any bee swarms. I did see the season’s first bumble bee two days ago. A few weeks ago I was surprised to hear the peeper frogs filling the evening air when I walked out on my deck. I think there was still a little snow hiding under the blue spruces when the peepers started peeping.

  28. The Twisted Genius says:

    This Arctic Area Command seems to be a NORAD-like setup involving the Canadian Forces under NORTHCOM. NORTHCOM shares territorial responsibility for the Arctic area with EUCOM, but is assigned the responsibility of advocating for Arctic capabilities.

  29. steve says:

    I don’t believe I’ve seen a honeybee in years.
    When I was young, every kid knew not to run barefoot through a yard full of clover because you were sure to get stung by the bees.
    Not nowadays.

  30. Fred says:

    “POWER: I think there are elections coming up. The leadership in Ukraine have made very clear that they’re prepared to have a conversation about autonomy and decentralization. And that’s what makes, again, this action so outrageous and so ironic, because just at the very time…” …. “this kind of action takes place.” ” And it makes you think that they — that a military solution is what…” Yep, just makes you wonder what Power/Nuland etc wanted in February.
    Just what makes the US government think the rank and file members of the Ukrainian armed forces want any part of a civil war brought about by an un-elected right wing government or a war with the Russian Federation?

  31. b.! Today’s US Navy very vulnerable to the “sea skimmers” IMO!

  32. TTG,
    You write:
    “When this whole mess started, I suggested that Spetznaz GRU was all over Ukraine conducting strategic reconnaissance, gauging the status and leanings of Ukrainian military and police units and preparing for a follow on invasion. I still believe all that is going on.”
    I simply do not think we can be clear as to what is going on.
    For one thing, it not certain that the Russians need Spetznaz for ‘gauging the status and leanings of Ukrainian military and police units’, as these are likely to be honeycombed with Russian informants – and double agents – anyhow.
    From what the Russians have repeatedly said, they clearly have contingency plans to intervene if the ‘putschists’ in Kiev attempt a crackdown. However, it is also clear both that their preferred objective is regionalisation, rather than annexation, and that they have a good deal to lose if their people are captured and definitively exposed as Spetsnaz.
    An interesting ‘take’ comes from the NYU academic Mark Galleoti, who certainly thinks the Russians are stirring things, but is cautious about claims of direct military involvement:
    ‘When the so-called “little green men” deployed in Crimea, they were very obviously Russian forces, simply without their insignia. They wore Russian uniforms, followed Russian tactics and carried the latest, standard Russian weapons.
    ‘However, the situation in eastern Ukraine is much less clear. US Secretary of State John Kerry has asserted that it was “clear that Russian special forces and agents have been the catalyst behind the chaos of the last 24 hours.” However, it is hard to find categorical evidence of this.
    ‘In the main, press and other pictures of supposed “Russian forces” actually do not stand up to detailed scrutiny. Even where groups of men with similar uniforms are shown, these are typically not in modern Russian camouflage, and there are other details which do not add up. Some may be in beards, for example, or maybe they wear police rather than military issue body armour with military uniforms.
    ‘Furthermore, many Ukrainian police have defected to the anti-government side, including members of the infamous Berkut public order force. So too probably have local officers of SBU, the Ukrainian Security Service. Berkut and SBU special forces deploy in camouflage and body armor and carry modern assault weapons. They would also be expected to demonstrate the kind of tactical proficiency observed among some of the anti-government forces – and be in a position to transfer weapons to the paramilitary irregulars.’
    ( )
    You will have seen the reports to which robt willman refers that the decision to use force in the Eastern Ukraine was taken by the Kiev authorities – following signs of a more conciliatory approach – as a result of a visit by John Brennan to Kiev under an assumed name on Saturday.
    (For another such report, see )
    My principal worry remains that many in the U.S. have no sense of the complexities in the South and East of Ukraine. So it appears that the State Department regards the fact that some of the armed units calling for referendums wear ‘black and orange St. George’s ribbons associated with Russian Victory Day celebrations’ as evidence that they must be ‘Russian agents.’
    (See )
    If people in Washington really are so stupid that they cannot understand how someone can identify with one of the classic symbols of the Red Army’s destruction of the Wehrmacht, and still prefer to live in an independent Ukraine, then the mind frankly boggles.
    It is precisely this kind of stupidity which has led to the disastrous empowerment of the ‘Banderistas’ in Kiev. If one the basis of such stupidity, Brennan is encouraging the West Ukrainians to play with fire, heaven help us.

  33. Fred says:

    So the neo-cons have managed to lose yet another war that never had to be started in the first place?

  34. Tyler says:

    Varroa mites have wrecked the honeybee population and are the likeliest cause of CCD. A lot of it has to do with the over reliance of American apiasts on the Italian strain followed by the use of chemical treatments in order to fight the mites. My understanding is this has been a fifty year problem that only recently came into the open.
    Feral honeybees have been fighting the mites on their own for this time, so they’ve adapted where commercial strains have not. Its only been recently that varroa resistant breeds have come onto the market, in addition to the rising popularity of Russian & Carniolan breeds. My bees are Italians Varroa Resistant, which means they’ve been bred for those varroa resistant traits.
    The Africanization of honeybees is also a blessing, as so called killer bees go after the mites with the same fury they do intruders. So there is hope that the honeybees will return.

  35. IMO Northcom will be disbanded by the end of the decade!

  36. Tyler says:

    Apparently there’s still snow up in Apache – Sitgreaves Forest. We are planning an overnight trip to camp in that area, either at Blue Crossing or Hannayan campgrounds.
    We have already seen our first hundred degree day. I’m curious how the monsoons will be this year. With the rains comes the arrival of the Sonoran frogs, or as I call them “Friend Fat Toad”.
    Saw one snake at work, but I’ve yet to lay eyes on a scorpion or tarantula yet. The flock seems to deal with dangerous pests in short order.

  37. Tyler says:

    TTG, Sir, et all,
    How do y’all Special Forces feel about the capacity of US SF vs Spetznatz in the UW sphere, or has that capacity been degraded by the focus on direct action commando tactics?
    The “polite green men” seem to be a total contrast from the ballcap wearing, beard spouting “Operators” that appear to be the public face of US SF.

  38. Thanks Zanzibar for the excellent link!
    Is this the first time in history a single nation-state’s Central Bank, and its influence on multilateral organizations, attempted to manage the world’s economy [economies?]?

  39. Charles I says:

    pain and hard work aside, as a zone 5 gardener I am a deadly envious sinner.

  40. Charles I says:

    In this case, the UW is being carried out in what is considered part of the homeland, amongst fellow slavs, so I would think that variable must be figured in when making any comparisons.

  41. John Minnerath says:

    I asked a friend of mine, who runs the honey business his father started right after WWII, about that. He tells me he’s seen no real impact on his hives here in Wyoming. Location, weather?, I dunno; but it doesn’t seem I find as many wild bee trees around my place as I used to.
    However, last spring when my apple trees were in blossom many honey bees were working the flowers.

  42. TTG,
    If RT is to be believed, President Turchinov has just signed a decree authorising a ‘special anti-terrorist operation’ in the East of Ukraine, and appointed the acting Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, to oversee the operation.
    (See )
    From the Wikipedia entry on Parubiy:
    ‘In 1991 he founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok; the party combined radical nationalism and some neo-Nazi features (by its name and the “Wolfsangel”-like sign). In 1998-2004 Parubiy led the paramilitary organization of SNPU, the Patriots of Ukraine…
    ‘In February 2010 Parubiy asked the European Parliament to reconsider its negative reaction to former Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko’s decision to award Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the title of Hero of Ukraine.’
    (See )
    Whether the claims made about Parubiy by the former SBU head Oleksandr Yakimenko in the interview he gave to RT on 13 March are or are not disinformation is an interesting question.
    If however Turchinov’s walking back from Yatsenyuk’s earlier apparent willingness to discuss federalisation seriously has anything to do with a visit by John Brennan to Kiev on Saturday, then the grounds for dismissing Yakimenko’s claims as disinformation become weaker.
    (See )

  43. Tyler says:

    Well right now the issue is keeping things alive until they “establish” and hoping the sun doesn’t crush them. Can’t even begin to tell you how many seedlings I’ve lost even with shade cloth. Its a game with the sun, at least until the monsoons hit. If it makes you feel better tomatoes are miserly work to grow out here.
    Is squash the kind of plant where the more you harvest the more it grows?

  44. TTG,
    Given that it is now possible that events in Donetsk may spiral out of control, and particularly in the context of the ongoing discussion of Scottish independence, some comments on the links of my father’s native Wales to that city may be relevant.
    The most significant Western reporting on the ‘Holodmor’, which was done by the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, is now available on the net.
    (See )
    His interest in Ukraine was unsurprising, because what is now Donetsk was originally Yuzhovka – the city, together with the Russian iron and steel industry, had been founded by the Welsh engineer John Hughes in the 1870s. In the 1890s the mother of Gareth Jones, Annie Gwen Jones, had tutored the grandchildren of John Hughes.
    In October 1941, the Germans took the city, then called Stalino. In September 1943, the Red Army took it back.
    (For a contemporary American report, see,241317 )
    By then, Gareth Jones was long dead – he had taken one risk too many in trying to find out what was hapening in Manchukuo in 1935, and been murdered.
    That December, his mother gave a broadcast on the BBC, talking about the memories the Russian recapture of the city had brought back.
    (See )
    Is there any of this history that John Brennan, or Jen Psaki, are capable of understanding?

  45. ALL: Over 500 species in the Order Hymenoptera–bees and hornets. The danger of analaphtic shock from a sting is different with each version!

  46. The Welsh are following Scottish devolution closely! I was almost named OWEN!

  47. Tyler says:

    That’s excellent news. Iirc cold weather slams the mites as well, so I imagine location and good husbandry play equal roles.
    It seems likes the mites are most prevalent where it is easiest to raise bees, while tough places with challenges makes for tougher bees. “Life will find a way” etc.

  48. Tyler says:

    Mr. Habakkuk,
    I am currently forced by circumstance to watch headline news. The trending news involves Oscar Pistorious, a girl sending a tweet to American Airlines, a teacher fondling her students, and repeating the clip of the Kansas shooter yelling “Hall Bitler!” while trying to be more shocked than the other anchors.
    Oh and Obama’s tax return. This is considered news today. Idiot prole culture has infected our masses, and they’ve believed their own propaganda thinking that making some vague statements about freedom will make everything better.
    To answer your question, no they don’t. However, the future belongs to me.

  49. robt willmann says:

    Well, now, the White House has confirmed that CIA director John Brennan was indeed in Kiev in Ukraine over the weekend “as part of a trip to Europe”! The confirmation was made in part because of the “false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA”. This would all be quite funny if it was not so serious.

  50. optimax says:

    Concerning the three killed by the crazed gunman in Kansas outside the Jewish Center and Jewish Rest Home: the grandfather and grandson killed were Methodists and the woman killed at the rest home was Jewish. The shooter probably thought he was killing Jews but the MSM reporting makes it seem like all the victims were Jewish. And of course the Ziocons are using this as justification for their paranoid fantasies that excuse their oppression of Palestinians.

  51. Jack says:

    The Fed over the last century has eroded the purchasing power of the savings of our earlier generations on the basis of all kinds of “technical” jargon laced rationalizations. Hardly anyone points out that at the Feds 2% target debasement rate a worker will lose half their purchasing power in 30 years.

  52. Fred says:

    To say that Brennan was in Kiev to meet with his counterparts, as if there had been no turmoil in the past months is just insulting to one’s intelligence. More troubling is just what is Obama going to have the Feds do with all the violence in his home town:

  53. Alba Etie says:

    We are seeing greater numbers of honeybees in Central Texas due to the Africanized colonies becoming more rooted here. Not only are the African hybrids better able to find off the mites – they seem to be much more drought tolerant . Other good local news – we may even have better outcomes on rain here and the Greater South West – because the El Nino climate pattern seems to be setting up in the Pacific quite nicely – or so says the Texas State Climatologist . The other empirical evidence that we are going to have a wetter winter is that the bobwhite quail population in our immediate countryside seems to be really rebounding as well . Growing up we would observe quail populations would go down in drought – and rebound when we got more rain . Hopefully the returning El Nino will help your garden grow with more rainfall in this years Arizona monsoons . By the way how is Dexter doing ?

  54. The Twisted Genius says:

    David Habakkuk,
    Appreciate your thoughts and the links. The situation in Ukraine is indeed convoluted and murky. Gareth Jone’s and his mother’s accounts of old Ukraine are enlightening. I’m convinced John Brennan and Jen Psaki aren’t capable of understanding any of this even if a mujik came up and bit them in the ass. I haven’t heard that term myself in quite a while. Years ago when I was in frequent contact with old school Russian hackers, we threw the term mudak at each other quite regularly. Such a colorful language.

  55. The Twisted Genius says:

    I don’t know near enough about the Spetznaz to compare their UW capabilities to Special Forces capabilities. The Russians are clearly better at the art of STFU than we are. Spetznaz UW capabilities are probably in one or a few Spetznaz GRU and FSB outfits, but who knows. Spetznaz is really an overarching term similar to our special operations. The units and their missions vary greatly. Most of the Spetznaz units are more like our Rangers, Delta and DEVGRU. There’s a wide range of capabilities just in those three units. Why the “operators” of Delta and DEVGRU sport beards is beyond me. They certainly don’t blend into the populations where they’ve been operating. I think it’s primarily due to their contrariness.
    The environment for UW in Eastern Ukraine is as close to perfect conditions for Russian UW as they can be. The language, the culture, the presence of trained police and military units already on the side of the locals, the ineptness of the Kiev freaks, the proximity of overwhelming conventional support (if needed) all add up to a perfect storm… for Kiev. Our Special Forces have never enjoyed such perfect conditions.

  56. Charles I says:

    not really where I live its only a fall crop, a runner for sure but whatever you do don’t grow eggplant zucchini or any of that stuff for some reason they runaway up here.
    Tomatoes, last year I had this one big indeterminate plant, it was like something outta Day of the Triffids. One thing you can’t buy, a good tomato. What I got going is raised beds for asparagus, beans of every kind, beets, raddish, peas, potatoes, corn, carrot, tomato, peppers, onions, brussels sprouts, don’t bother with broccoli any more, a whole salad mix thing, a few squash, a few cauliflower, grow a few strawberries. Keep the milkweed, bergamont and other butterfly plants spreading wherever there’s not garden, pines or rock.
    Grow some catnip for kitties, but that stuff really does spread like the triffids.
    What it comes down to is I’m mad for beans, brussels sprout, salads and pickled beets and peppers. All of this just came over me in an instant one fall about 4 years ago and I can’t spend enough time farting around out there.

  57. Charles I says:

    This article was about an amended amanedment and not precedent notwithstanding it will never happen.

  58. Charles I says:

    All the reporting I’ve seen and heard in Canada points out the perverse irony as a central aspect of the story.

  59. Charles I says:

    Back then, a lot of very strategic things were about steel, grain, coal and oil. The Kulaks and Japanese came to know it, we forget. Today’s strategic commodities, worth dying over, whatever they are in the neobrain, hardly seem to be centered in Ukraine.

  60. zanzibar says:

    Philosophically I am always incredulous that central planning institutions have the conceit that they can “manage the world’s economy”. IMO, the Fed governors truly believe they have the mandate and ability to turn and twist the knobs to tune the economy to perfection. In reality, I contend, that over the past half century, they have fostered asset and credit inflations that have increased financial fragility and economic instability. And each time these bubbles burst they order more of the hair of the dog that bit them.
    Rajan’s speech at Brookings last week is important. He was the chief economist at the IMF for several years and remains a professor at the University of Chicago. He was on the Jackson Hole circuit and to his credit raised the flag as the mortgage credit bubble inflated. As a card carrying member of the academic interventionist club, he is now calling into question Bernanke’s “peaches & cream” policies. He notes: “A first step to prescribing the right medicine is to recognize the cause of the sickness. Extreme monetary easing, in my view, is more cause than medicine.”
    The real question is, have central banks trapped themselves, where they may feel compelled to rescue large financial speculators whenever leveraged assets crack. Greenspan’s and Bernanke’s asymmetric response policy. What happens if and when they can’t?

  61. zanzibar says:

    You make a very important point. The loss of purchasing power to the tune of 95% since the formation of the Fed has whittled away the wealth created by our forebears. While their rhetoric as you note, couched in incomprehensible language seems to be in the cause of the middle classes & working classes, their actions clearly point that their primary focus is the well being of the large leveraged speculator class & the profligate government.

  62. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    I can understand that Japan felt pushed by the US over resources and that this influenced Japan’s decision for war with the US, but explain to me how resource concerns were at the root of the origins of WWI. pl

  63. IMO the USA is about to find out the cupboard of our wealth is bare, and the FED the main culprit but after all the banksters own it.

  64. Charles I says:

    I can’t, never attempted too and won’t. My utter confusion is what on earth be it commodity or fantasy is worth fighting a foreign war for?

  65. optimax says:

    Charles I
    The local evening news didn’t mention the victims religions. The evening news did and had two clips of the woman who lost her father and son in the shooting. She is an incredibly strong woman grounded in her faith in God and love of community.
    There are many comments on the web connecting the shooter’s Christian beliefs with his insane actions and prejudice. People need to see this woman as a true Christian who does more than fear the world of the Old Testament by living the words of Christ. I don’t even consider myself a Christian but still do judge people.

  66. Medicine Man says:

    That is quite practical of the bees. While they can sting other insects and survive, the skin of a large mammal is too thick and they will disembowel themselves when attacking us. While quite final for the bee, it is a quite nasty offensive adaptation; they leave behind their stinger and venom glands when they sting an animal our size, just to make it really hurt.

  67. John Minnerath says:

    You can’t? Japan at the time, a resource poor nation, was struggling to make it’s way into the big time; the world of the industrialized west.
    How they went about it was a mistake and cost them dearly. For the past 60+ years they’ve worked at getting even.

  68. Fred says:

    Charles I,
    Don’t you remember the gas lines from the ’70’s? That almost got us into a war.

  69. turcopolier says:

    You must have misunderstood. I think Japan attacked us because of US embargoes over China. pl

  70. John Minnerath says:

    It came to that, but I think their brutal operations in China were part of what their government saw as an imperative to obtain more raw materials to supply their expansionist policy.
    Had they not signed off with the Axis in Europe and then made the foolish mistake of attacking the US, their Greater Co-prosperity Sphere may have succeeded, to some extent.

  71. That visit demonstrates completely Biden does not get “it” and never will!
    Do you know what a “Kennedy father” is? Is Biden?

  72. John Minnerath says:

    Bloomberg on announcing a new $50M anti-gun campaign. ” We’re going to go after you,'” he said of the NRA. “‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.'”
    The ranting of an angry old man.

  73. Tyler says:

    We have had amazing success with broccoli out here during the winter. Greens of all sorts, from butter lettuce to kale, seem to just love the cool season here.
    Our zucchini and squash have exploded in the past few days. The peppers (bell and jalapeño) have started to bloom. I hope to see fruiting from there as well as our beans, who are showing little white flowers. There’s a seed dispensary that specializes in desert seeds, and I got those little beauties from there.

  74. Tyler says:

    I came across them swarming a wasp yesterday, and was glad I read your bit of info before I worried about them going to war.

  75. Tyler says:

    My personal observation is that the hotter it gets, the less intense the monsoons around the Phoenix Metro Area due to the heat bubble. I’ve seen blue skies over Phoenix while storms rage on the periphery. However a few evening monsoons can pop the bubble, but it comes down to a matter of timing. Hopefully a good wet monsoon leads to a powerful pollen bloom and all that honey waiting for my knife ahahaha.
    I am selling the bull calf this weekend, after two false starts with buyers bailing at the last moment because they’re ridiculous. I’ll need to get another cow next month, because a lonely cow is trouble. Maybe a Corrientes or Jersey steer.
    Good to see you back Alba. Hope you’ve been well.

  76. Tyler says:

    Fair enough. I imagine an analogous situation would be if US SF operated in an environment like one where the Soviets came through the Fulda Gap.

  77. Charles says:

    Young Bucky, isn’t he?

  78. Charles says:

    up here, both the spring and fall unfrozen cool seasons are getting shorter so its timing and work with some of the cool crops, but you’ll never get me to grow more zucchini, just too fecund a producer. Fortunately, I have some different exposures so if I plan carefully I can time and plan for some shaded period, but the conditions don’t last as long as I take yours do in the desert. I do also have to rotate heavy/light feeders and givers which limits my flexibility tho when I moved I made bigger beds to facilitate this.
    Complete learning experience every year.

  79. Charles says:

    I was thinking of answering the Colonel’s question in terms of 1914 Europe, per Ukraine discussion.

  80. Charles says:

    So we are on WWII, while PL I read asked about WWI, that’s where I was confused.

  81. Medicine Man says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about them too much. They can handle most of their insect rivals. They are really fascinating creatures though. Did you know that some species actually kill enemy insects by piling on and overheating the intruder?
    Beware industrious and unassuming insects.

  82. MM! Some members of the Order can repeatedly sting humans. That is also why those who argue they have never had a serious reaction to bee stings just might not have met some of the scarier members of the order. It took a great deal to get rid of them but two summers ago I had 4 inch long hornets invade the outer shell of my concrete block home!
    At first I thought I was surrounded by drones! Thankfully not. But took NO chances with those formidable critters.

  83. Tyler says:

    Bucky indeed. Got offered a free horse today as well.

  84. Tyler says:

    I remember seeing that on a similar documentary and being impressed by that AND the fact the Japanese share their island with mutant death hornets who spit acid as you.

  85. Medicine Man says:

    I keep reading from people inside the beltway that centrist democrats are just as on board with the notion that Social Security must inevitably be “reformed” as their colleagues on the right. It is apparently the conventional wisdom in Washington.

  86. Alba Etie says:

    Thanks I have been having to grieve our Dad’s passage from March 25 . Plus our busy season has hit here early for ground transportation – seems I have been ‘adopted ” by the local bachelorette party planners- they say they like the ‘married old guy with the 2006 E 350 who does not care about wet seats from boat rental bikini outings ” . It is a charter service van & not a limousine …Praying for rain- the more water we have in lake Travis the better the revenue this summer for the service industry .

  87. Medicine Man says:

    Well whaddya goin to do? If you abandon the island, the mutant death hornets win. I bet there’s a line in Hagakure somewhere about stoicism in the face of freaking terrifying insects.

  88. Fred says:

    Meanwhile back home – terrorist’s in the US. And it’s not even Sarah Palin making that statement this time:

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