Open Thread – 21 February 2021

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41 Responses to Open Thread – 21 February 2021

  1. Deap says:

    If one ever gets to Santa Barbara CA, head to McConnell’s and try their Espresso Coffee ice cream. Redolent with tiny coffee grounds for deep flavor. Or the rich, lush, almost chewy vanilla gelato Bob’s WellBread in Ballard, CA uses in their affogato .

  2. Deap says:

    Bob’s WellBread – Ballard, California. (Santa Ynez Valley, near Solvang off Highway 101) One or our regular lock-down jaunts of late:

  3. Fred says:

    Good thing there’s no mention of Friday’s Supreme Court docket. Otherwise we might conclude we had a fair press.

    • Chuck Light says:

      Actually, Fred, I think that the cases mentioned in the article were simply discussed by the Justices at their Friday Conference. They do not appear on any calendar for argument on February 19.

      As I understand it, the Court holds Friday Conferences in order to decide, inter alia, which petitions for certiorari to take, and which to reject. Their determinations made on February 19, 2021 should appear on tomorrow’s Orders calendar reporting on the cases considered at the Court Conference on February 19.

    • Chuck Light says:

      Further to your comment, Fred, the SCOTUS Orders sheet this AM addressed some of the cases referred to in the article to which you provided a link.

      SCOTUS denied the Petitions for Certiorari in two Pennsylvania cases which had been consolidated, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Degraffenreid, and Corman, et al. v. Pennsyvania Democratic Party, et al.. Justice Thomas wrote a somewhat lengthy dissent, and Justice Alito, joined by Justice Gorsuch, also wrote a dissent. You can find the dissents either near the bottom of the Orders list or by searching the SCOTUS docket for docket number 20-542.

      The Court also denied the Petition for Certiorari in Trump for President v. Bookvar, et al., docket number 20-845. No dissents to the denial were filed. It also denied an Emergency Petition for Stay filed by Congressman Kelly from Pennsylvania, docket number 20-810.

      There may have been other petitions that the Court denied, but I cannot tell without a more extensive search of the docket.

      • Fred says:

        Surprising no one it was not in the press Friday as I pointed out. Equally surprising to no one the court ducked the issue.

        • Chuck Light says:

          No offense intended, but I think your objection to lack of press (MSM) coverage of the Friday Court conference calendar is misplaced. I cannot remember one instance where any press coverage was afforded to matters being discussed at the Friday Conference, except possibly for online blogs such as, and such.

          The press does in fact report the Orders that come out of the Friday Conference if they are of public import, as it did today with the Pennsylvania cases, and the case involving the New York AG’s subpoena of Mazars seeking the tax records of the former president and his company.

          Please correct me if I am wrong, but you probably found few, if any, other sources of information other than NewsPunch which reported the information.

          Regarding whether the Court “ducked the issue,” I can only say that the cases no longer had any relevance, and that six of the Justices must have felt that the chances of a repeat scenario were slim. The Court does not often take cases which are moot.

  4. BillWade says:

    Anybody hear anything about this year’s “State of the Union Address”? Supposedly it’s this coming Tuesday, the 23rd. Hmmm

  5. Escarlata says:

    Pat…te has fijado que Diana Croissant todavía no ha aparecido en el nuevo blog?

    Me pregunto si es porque no tiene nada que decir….o es que aún no se ha enterado…
    Como es muy mayor y no ve bien…igual tienes que ir a buscarla al viejo blog…

    Yo casi nunca estoy de acuerdo con ella, es demasiado categórica con la gente de izquierdas, jamás les da una oportunidad, pero, bueno, parecía que pasaba algún tiempo aquí.. y quizás lo echa de menos…

    Take a look…

  6. Escarlata says:

    No publiques ese comentario que he enviado, Pat…

  7. mcohen says:

    concrete fruit

    I got call from the devil the other day
    He had a hand to play
    I said it was a bit late
    He said to listen is my fate

    A prophet is coming to town
    So don’t let me down
    Just show him around
    To the task you are bound

    Now the devil and I 
    You could ask why
    We know each other so well
    Well It’s because I ring the judgement bell

    That summons the judges 
    From there chambers
    Below the cities streets
    Where the heart beats.

    Anyway I went down to the park
    It was getting quite dark
    A small oasis of green
    Sometimes a  bird might be seen

    I sat on the bench
    Mumbled a little French
    To no one in particular
    The usual peculiar

    A dog came up to me
    Looked me in the eye
    A look I had not seen recently
    Then he let out a long sigh

    He proceeded to enquire
    Where had all the trees gone
    I said I don’t know squire
    You had better ask the Don

    I started to wonder about that prophet
    Could this be him in disguise
    I felt around for a blessing in my pocket
    When I began to realize

    I was in the company
    Of the Lord’s right hand dog
    Not some low level flunky
    But a righteous cog

    We came upon a statue
    Of an important man
    A paragon of virtue
    One of the clan

    He sidled up
    Laid down his mark
    Could have filled a judas cup
    We headed back to the park

    On the way  he said
    Why are there no trees
    Just statues of the dead
    Must be some industrial disease

    The fruit of knowledge
    Will not grow
    On a concrete hedge
    You will reap what you sow.

    People will turn to rock
    There will be mountains of them
    To late to turn back the clock
    Said the Shem.

  8. longarch says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen:
    I am not a military person of any kind, and I have not visited the USA for years. Thus I cannot judge the reasonableness of claims allegedly made by a USA military planner. The claims can be summarized as follows:

    In the USA, the moment civil war is declared, the government loses. No scenario or outcome ends in their success. It’s just a matter of how long it takes. 30% of the American population will actively revolt. Historically, you only need 10% of the population to actively participate in a rebellion to successfully overthrow the establishment: We only had 15% of the population actively attempting to throw out the British during the Revolutionary War; roughly 70% of what remained was neutral and simply stood by. By contrast, 30% of Americans in modern America would support a revolution to stop their own government if it happened tomorrow. That’s how discontent the people are and how much the people don’t support the government.

    The government would need infrastructure more than rebels would. The establishment would need electricity, access to the Internet, bridges, and airports to coordinate any active campaign against the rebellion. By contrast, the rebellion can work in the dark. Considering how easy it would be to sabotage US infrastructure, one of the first things the rebellion would do is collapse bridges, destroy, or seize power plants, and cover the Interstate in IEDs. This is relatively simple to accomplish, and it would inflict enormous damage on the establishment’s ability to restore order. It would also cost an enormous amount of time and effort to fix any sabotage, because the establishment would need to provide military protection to any workers attempting to rebuild, which is a drain their active fighting personnel resources that they could not afford.

    For an army to conquer America in a land war is almost impossible. America is big and full of mountains, rivers, and bad roads. A significant majority–between 55 and 75%–of the military would defect to the side of the citizens. The problem with suppressing the people with a military, is that the military is the people, too. In order to get any military to fight their own, you first have to convince them that it is necessary to do so–that it is justified. The Communists also ran into this problem, but they overcame it with psychological conditioning and creating a dog-eat-dog atmosphere within the military. The American government having actively recruited people who are patriotic, practical, brave, who have civilian families, and having reinforced those values throughout their training process, lacks the ability to convince the majority of their fighting force to engage against their own people. The moment a civil war breaks out, over half of the American military will defect to the rebel side. They will bring military gear with them and, more dangerous, military training. lt only takes one Navy Seal or Army Ranger to potentially train hundreds of civilians into a dangerous resistance force. They’ve done it before, in other nations. You can be damn sure they can do it on their own home turf. At least 10% of the people who defect to the civilian side would not do so openly, and they would not abandon their posts.

    The moment a civil war starts, not only does America lose over half its military to the cause, but their own command structure will suddenly be infested with moles, plants, and “traitors.” There would be almost no way of knowing who is actually on their side and who is supporting the uprising. Worse yet, if one of those people happens to be the captain of one of the nuclear submarines on standby in dark water, the civil war is already lost before it even gets started. Additionally, there is an assumed 25-50% desertion or outright betrayal rate in three letter government agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, ATC, TSA, etc.). It is assumed that 5% of the initial 50% betrayers would stay in their job and become saboteurs. 10% of that 50% would contain key information that would be of critical danger to the US government.

    • Chuck Light says:

      I guess that is why the North lost the civil war, and slavery of African peoples still exists in North America.

      BTW, who exactly is this military planner?

      • Pat Lang says:

        Chuck Light

        What an idiot Response, Why would you think that
        African slavery would still exist in the US/Confederacy. It had died out in the North and in Brazil later. The advance of mechanization in staple crop farming would have mde the use of slaves too costly in comparison. Ah, you think that American whites were inherently evil. Is your name Gates?

        • Chuck Light says:

          Apologies for my obviously failed attempt at sarcasm. I cannot deny that I am an idiot.

          I am still interested in knowing the name of the military planner, but I guess that will not be known, at least in the short term.

      • longarch says:

        who exactly is this military planner?

        The writer was anonymous, and wrote in a rough-and-ready fashion. He introduced himself with a sentence fragment:

        Former red team planner for the government here.

        And we only have his word for it. Actually, come to think of it, there is nothing in his original text talking about his military service. I had assumed “red teams” were only used by the military, but the writer might work for any government agency that does this type of planning. Possibly Dept. of Homeland Security might do such wargaming.

    • Rick Farmer says:

      longarch, I do not expect any overt combat. The “build back better” crowd think they can collapse the economy and magically institute whatever they’ve dreamed up. They can destroy, but not create. We just moved to Dallas Texas, from Portland, Oregon because we could see that the city was doomed. Another family just moved in across the street. We went over to help them. Just nice folks helping other nice folk. The world will not end. The entire CV-1984 overreaction is specifically intended to demoralize and automatize the population to prevent it from coming together to resist. I think that it will eventually do just the opposite, but it will take some time for people to admit they were snookered.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Congratulations on escaping CHAZ-land.

        Destroyers, yes. The Great Reset’s stated goals of a woke, global technocracy ruling us all in place of national governments is the most extreme kind of fashionable, radical experiment Burke wrote of in Reflections... If they are not stopped, the result will be as he described. Perhaps that is the aim.

        “By this unprincipled facility of changing the state as often, and as much, and in as many ways as there are floating fancies or fashions, the whole chain and continuity of the commonwealth would be broken. No one generation could link with the other. Men would become little better than flies of a summer.”

  9. Rhonda says:

    @mcohen I enjoyed your poem. I don’t think I understand it very well, but I really like it. It rolls around in the mouth.

    To no one in particular
    The usual peculiar

  10. Ishmael Zechariah. says:

    I have been reading about issues such as:

    These, coming after the Shakespeare “cancellation” program discussed here makes me wonder what is going on in “higher education” in the US of A, and in the West, in general.
    Seems like some folks need to come down a layer or two on Maslow’s pyramid to reconnect with “reality”.
    Ishmael Zechariah.
    P.s: I highly recommend reading Sergei Lavrov’s latest speech. Here is a synopsis:

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Yes, the crux of the problem is that the “reality” the woke cult has created for itself includes a pyramid of needs which is radically divergent from ours from the psychological tier up. I see someone has had a stab at describing it:

      The only sure way this ends is if (when) we are all dragged down to a common lower level. I’m kinda hoping a cure for the mass psychosis can be found before that happens.

  11. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    A few minutes ago SWMBO was hyperventilating about a program she’d just watched on PBS about Assad gassing 4k people in Syria, supposedly recently. Has anyone here seen that program, or seen or read about anything of the kind? I asked if they’d mentioned anything about sources, and whether the likes of Bellingcat or White Helmets had been mentioned but didn’t recall hearing those names. It’s probably not a coincidence this appeared just as the USA is doubling down on the occupation of eastern Syria.

    • JohninMK says:

      No recent gassing is known about. The only mention of the subject in the last two weeks or so is that the Russians are accusing the terrorists in Idlib of planning another false flag, probably using chlorine again.

      Similarly, there is little evidence of the US cranking up yet in eastern Syria. The only very unusual move is that at the end of last week, a convey with at least four Avengers (a short range air defence truck carrying 8 Stinger missiles) was spotted heading for Syria fron Iraq. Quite who’s airforce the US wants to defend against is unknown.

      Also in Syria the Russians have told the Israelis in pretty strong words to stop attacking Syria or Syria will be forced to react, which it hasn’t done to date. There was a report that the Russians had gone further, threatening to attack Israeli aircraft themselves, even in Lebanese or international airspace i.e over the Mediterranean. They also moved more aircraft into their Syrian base at Hmeimen as well as Orion drones into T-4 airbase, close to where the ISIS upsurge is as well as their probable rat run routes in and out of al Tanf. Russia now has considerable assets of all kinds spread all over the vulnerable areas of the country and continue to use every opportunity to test new weapons there.

      The runway at Hmeimen is being lengthened, the supposition being that they want to handle detachments of their big tactical and strategic bombers there. Having Tu-22M3 Backfire/Tu-160 Blackjack/Tu-142 Bear there would present new problems for NATOs southern flank. The Tu-142M marine reconnaissance version could harry NATO just like the P-8 Poseidon has been roaming around off Syria and Crimea, whilst the TU-22M3 could hammer targets in Syria.

      Israel regards itself as part of Europe and will no doubt be caught in the backwash of the hardening Russian attitude to the EU in particular. The reluctant Bear is slowly and mainly under US pressure, turning its face east, leaving Europe exposed to whatever comes out of its rear end.

  12. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Matt Stoller today put up a good piece on fraudulent and monopolistic practices at Facebook. Have Zuckerberg and Sandberg finally jumped so high over the shark that there are orange jumpsuits in their futures?

    • ex-PFC Chuck says:

      OK. SWMBO had recorded the program. It wasn’t on PBS but on CBS 60 Minutes. The main person interviewed was Stephen Rapp of the International Commission for Justice & Accountability, which the moderator disclosed as financed by the US and European Union. Also mentioned was the fact Rapp is a former US Ambassador regarding war crimes or some such. The events described allegedly took place beginning with the onset of the uprising ten years ago. Two witnesses allegedly involved in smuggling out the photos were shown but with identities hidden to “protect their families.” A third was said to be a US citizen of Syrian origin who was arrested and interrogated and tortured for several weeks before being released.
      It smells to me the opening salvo on a major info op timed to coincide with the US buildup in the east.

      • Walrus says:

        I have a feeling the Biden Administration is going to try and destroy the Syrian Government.

        • JerseyJeffersonian says:

          And I in turn, have a feeling that the US is about to find out what a “no fly zone” is all about, but on the business end this time.

          The Russians have been, to me at least, sending clear signals that they have had quite enough nonsense (on multiple fronts), and attacking a nation with which they have a defense treaty will not be tolerated. The defense of Syria is a matter of their own national interest.

          Insofar as possible, they have put the major onus of the defense of Syria on the shoulders of the Syrians, with their assistance and training, of course. But if Syria is attacked by the US or ilk by means against which the Syrians have inadequate defenses, I believe that they will act, in a measured fashion at first, but ultimately in an open-ended manner, responsive to the provocations offered.

          Biden’s goon squad may get to see if the Saker’s dictum about the Russians – “Slow to saddle, but quick to ride” – holds water.

        • Chuck Light says:

          Walrus: Just curious. Is it your view is that destruction of the Syrian (Assad regime) government would be a bad thing?

          • Pat Lang says:

            Chuck Light

            It is certainly mine. The SAG with Russian help fought a good fight aginst the salafi jihadia and has protected all the minority groups. The entire chemical warfare thing has been a fabrication.

      • fanto says:

        I saw the beginning of that 60 Min program and switched off – it reminded me of the “atrocity factor” which was propagated by the great war propagandist Bernays – recent information in another blog is very instructive about his methods how to engineer consent and get the stupid people indoctrinated into the ´just´war. It seemed another round of “babies in the incubator” in Kuwait .
        Walrus (below) is correct that the current people in DC will push more to remove Assad.

  13. BillWade says:

    ex-PFC Chuck, My wife had it on while I was cooking our dinner. I overheard some of it and remarked to her, “sounds like war propaganda, I wonder what we’ll be getting up to in Syria now?”.

  14. Ed Lindgren says:

    Over the weekend I have been re-reading my (well thumbed) copy of Kemp Tolley’s book ‘Caviar and Commissars’, in which Tolley describes his experience as a naval attaché in the Soviet Union from mid-1942 until mid-1944.

    Tolley didn’t ‘go native’ (although he did meet and marry his wife Vlada in Moscow), but was a hard-nosed observer of the Soviet people.

    He ends his book with the following words following a brief geopolitical summary of the state of Soviet/Western relations in the early 1980s:

    “As for the Soviets, it is not what we think, not what we think they think, but what they think that must be cranked into any peaceful solution – take that mile walk in the other fellow’s moccasins.”

    Good advice then and good advice now!

    Source: Kemp Tolley – Caviar and Commissars: The Experience of a U.S. Naval Officer in Stalin’s Russia – U.S. Naval Institute – 1983 – page 250

  15. Deap says:

    RE: Environmental impact of “covid” masks.

    ………..”There is another aspect of masks receiving scant attention, concern over the environmental impact of abandoned face masks. If masks are actually capturing COVID virus, are the masks being disposed of as medical waste or simply dropped in the trash or in parking lots?

    COVID can persist on inanimate surfaces for up to 9 days, yet infected masks are being discarded anywhere and everywhere like cigarette butts. The UK alone will generate, in one year, mask waste equivalent to over five Eiffel Towers. Add in the rest of the world and it could be an Eiffel Tower of masks every few days.

    Masks take 450 years to biodegrade. How many will end up in oceans and landfills, contaminating water and food chains with micro-plastics? Will sea animals become entangled in elastic mask straps as they are with plastic six-pack rings?

    Where are the environmentalists? While AOC and the Green New Deal harpies are busy defending frozen windmills in Texas’s cold dark winter last week, they show no concern over the environmental effects of gazillions of discarded masks.

    So here we are, not following the science on whether masks provide a clinically significant benefit based on mask type and circumstances of use, how many are necessary, or when multiple masks morph from virtue signaling to suffocation. And ignoring the environmental science as well.

    The carbon footprint of a backyard grill is of concern to NPR but not the effects of discarded masks. The so-called experts can’t seem to make up their minds on all of this.

    Which raises the age-old question about COVID: Was it ever about the virus?

    Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.
    (American Thinker)

  16. fakebot says:

    I don’t see how Biden can summon the public’s support to put tens of thousands of troops on the ground in Syria. Obama balked at the idea during his presidency. Biden does that, he will make Trump look like a saint. The only alternative to that is supporting the Kurds, which creates further issues with other US allies in the region, and/or supporting jihadis, which would only exasperate the ISIS problem.

    These attempts to sell a chemical weapons pretext are falling deaf ears. Whatever credibility the government has with the public set sail long ago with claims of Iraqi WMDs.

    Biden will continue to put pressure on Assad and bleed this war out for longer, but he does so at a great cost to the Syrian people and to the continued instability of the region. How long will Europeans tolerate the Syrian crisis given that it continues to push migrants into Europe? Biden talks big about a transatlantic partnership, but the migrant crisis created by these wars threaten to fracture it for good.

    • Ishmael Zechariah says:

      re: ” How long will Europeans tolerate the Syrian crisis given that it continues to push migrants into Europe? ”
      As La Nuland, recently re-authorized to distribute cookies , so aptly said once: “Fcuk the EU”. The europeans will do as ordered by the biden regime’s new-old MENA team. No more, no less. Problem: things are no longer the way they were.
      “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
      Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
      Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
      Khayyam/Fitzgerald translation. 1859.
      Be ready, if these folks have their way, for a great wailing, gnashing of teeth followed by the wearing of sack-cloth and ashes. Perhaps then, ” shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father”

      Ishmael Zechariah

      • joey_n says:

        I interpreted Nuland’s “F*** the EU” as an indicator of how much disregard she and the neocons have towards the well-being of the citizens of the vassal states of the USA. If the whole plan was to use Europe as a dumping ground while the USA proper remains unscathed, then it’s not ironic that what she said was part and parcel of it.
        Ironically, if I’m not mistaken, Nuland sad “F*** the EU” the first time around during the Ukrainian coup d’etat in 2014 when the EU had second thoughts and wanted to hold elections, which Nuland herself had no patience for.

        • Pat Lang says:


          So the EU are vassals of the US and the US is a vassal of Israel?

          • JohninMK says:

            Some of our countries in Europe seem to often receive orders directly rather than via the US.

            I would suggest that Germany is the only actual Israeli vassal in the EU given the amount of money etc it has sent over the years. The rest are just very careful not to do anything that would harm Israel.

  17. different clue says:

    Here is an interesting-looking low-cost replaceable and replicatable mine-remover device. The title is . . . A lifesaving land-mine detonator that resembles a tumbleweed and is powered by the wind.
    link here . . .

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