Open Thread – 21 March 2021


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28 Responses to Open Thread – 21 March 2021

  1. EEngineer says:

    I’m curious, what percentage of the traffic here is from a smart phone vs a proper computer (as indicated by browser type and or screen resolution)? I ask because I’m trying to figure out how so many people could be so utterly disconnected from the reality that we here see so clearly. One of my hypothesizes is that smartphones run in the “walled gardens” of Android and iOS and their app systems. I have a $50 smartphone but use it only as a phone. I interact with the world through a CAD station with two huge monitors. It lends itself long detailed analysis. I assume most here are at least using a laptop for the same reason. Those small screens require any information presented on them to be filtered down to size. Hence the literal 140 char limit on Twitter and the editorial condensation of FB. If this is indeed the case, the only way to break through is with a similar counter narrative dispenser.

    • Fred says:


      The search engine Google, and the also rans, as well as the contrained world of FB and Twitter filter the news sources, ban many from being linked, and effectively eliminate competitive narratives, and serendipitous acquistion of knowledge. The IO of android and apple products aid in doing so, though I’m sure Microsoft is joining in with the growing realization of the power and profit of data mining their users.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      I’ve been using an iPhone almost exclusively for several years. Necessitated by various physical discomforts. I’ve decided I like it more than a laptop though didn’t think I would. Biggest drawback is limitation on typing. Automatic translation in most iPhone browsers a big plus.

    • james says:

      i use a dual boot system.. one computer not for internet, the other with a 27 inch monitor for internet.. i run linux – ubuntu open source with brave browser.. interesting question… i can’t fathom anyone reading via a cell phone, but apparently it happens a lot..

    • akaPatience says:

      I have a very nice home office (separate from my husband’s home office) so I mainly rely on my desktop computer because, as you’ve mentioned EEngineer, smartphone data are sometimes abridged versions. Plus, I’ve noticed countless times that I get better search results when using my desktop rather than my smartphone. Bing used to offer better results than Google but lately I’ve notice Bing has become more censorious/”selective” in its results as well, so I’m using DuckDuckGo much more often these days. Lengthy articles are so much harder to read on a damned phone so it’s no wonder that people who rely exclusively on theirs for internet connections are likely not as well or as comprehensively informed.

      We ducked into a bar early Friday evening after a long walk in glorious spring-like weather, only to be instructed to use some convoluted means of ordering and paying for our cocktails, all via smartphone. I’m sure once the process becomes habitual it’s easier than what we experienced, but what’s wrong with just telling the bartender what we want and handing over a credit card – which only takes about 10 seconds anyway??? I swear, babies are going to be born with smartphones as appendages before long, the way people just can’t stop holding them and looking at them.

  2. J says:

    Court sentences Estonian marine scientist to 3 years in prison for spying for China.

    “Tarmo Kõuts Estonian politician and former Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, was arrested by the Internal Security Service on September 9 last year. From 2006 to 2014, Kõuts was a member of the scientific committee of the Ministry of Defense, and from 2006 to 2012, a member of the scientific committee of NATO’s Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation, previously named NATO Undersea Research Center.”

    “Aleksander Toots, the deputy director of KAPO and Tallinn’s top counterintelligence official, said Kõuts was recruited in 2018 by China’s Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission—as Beijing’s military intelligence agency is known—along with an alleged accomplice who is yet to be tried in court. Both were arrested on September 2020, with no publicity or discussion of the case in the Estonian media. His role at the NATO center gave Kõuts direct access to Estonia’s and NATO’s confidential military intelligence. He was recruited on Chinese territory.”

    “Chinese intelligence used a think tank organization as a cover for his recruitment in China”

    • Sam says:

      These arrests are just tip of the iceberg. Entire university administrations; many on Wall St including top hedge fund managers with large AUM from China and bankers selling deals to China, the PE guys backing offshoring; all these think-tankers funded by CCP entities that then roll into top government positions; so many politicians on the payroll through business “deals”; and what about retired military officers who join lobbyists funded by the CCP?

      And when Strzok represented the apex of the crack counter-intelligence guy that the US has, how is it possible to track down and eliminate this massive infiltration?

      • Fred says:

        China’s decade old OPM hack combined with the info gained from acquisition of data sold by social media sites aided them in determining the soft underbelly of the deep emotional needs of the corrpuptable government and military staffs. They’ve had years to ply their trade and arrange the movement up the org charts of the corrupted. Ours efforts in China being wiped out in the process during the glory years of Barack and Biden. I’m sure “Standdown” Austin will straighten out DOD in a mere 60 days. Wray will have the FBI whipped into shape by then, too.

    • Leith says:

      Bulgaria just arrested a ring that was alleged to be spying for the G.U. (formerly the GRU), Russia’s main military intelligence directorate.

      According to the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office the spy ring consisted of six people. It included a former high-ranking military intelligence officer within the Defense Ministry and his wife who has dual BG/RU citizenship and was the intermediary with & courier to the GRU.

  3. carl says:

    Speaking of Chinese words, what about Guanxi? This one concept sums up the difference between China and America thinking.

    • jld says:

      Your link is malformed (double http://https://), it triggers redirection to spam sites.
      The correct one is https//

    • Deap says:

      US public employment is riddled with nepotism – same effect. My own recipe for instant third world status: raid the treasury and hire the relatives. Learned that from watching California……. and Detroit schools. Other examples abound.

      Just wait until Biden exempts government employees from his new “wealth tax” on family incomes over $400K – that will impact thousands of dual income public employee spousal units in this state.

      Government “civil servants” will howl not fair, and poof, those $400K plus public employee families will suddenly become exempt.

      Biden meant it for the private sector; the real fat cats who are stealing from their employees, not the government employee fat cats who are just stealing from the taxpayers.

  4. Deap says:

    Biden dazed and confused. Does the extended video support the narrative? You decide.

  5. J says:


    If OSD Austin forces COVID inoculations as ‘mandatory’ beginning in July as some active duty are saying, Austin will be violating the Nuremberg Code.

    Israelis have petitioned the International Criminal Court saying that Israel’s mandatory COVID vaccines violate the Nuremberg Code. The Israelis are saying they are being experimented on en masse in a program similar to the Nazi regime in Germany.

    Could DoD personnel not say the same regarding OSD Austin’s
    ‘mandatory’ July COVID vaccines edict?

    The 21 page Israeli petition

  6. Deap says:

    Jovan Pulitzer defends staying on Twitter – use it hone your own debating skills by taking on these online SOB’s.; don’t run away from them.

  7. Leith says:

    GASWEX 21 underway in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Used to be primarily a French Naval anti-sub exercise, but now international and includes air and surface as well as anti-sub.

    This year it includes French carrier strike group, auxiliary ship FS Var (A 608), frigates FS Provence (D 652) and FS Chevalier Paul (D 621), Belgian frigate BNS Leopold I (F 930), and Japanese destroyer JS Ariake (DD 109).

    U.S. forces include the Makin Island amphibious ready group (ARG) with embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) and various aircraft including F-35, P-8, MH-60, Air Force F-16s, E-3 and tankers.

  8. J says:


    This is the correct link of the Israeli suit before the ICC.

    I was working on another piece that dealt with the other link.

  9. J says:

    What’s on the menu for Sunday supper?

    I was considering making a pot of beans with ham hock and cornbread.

    • Leith says:

      My daughter’s home made pesto tortellini braised in the remains of last nights Chicken/Andouille-Sausage soup. Asparagus on the side sauteed in butter with lots of cracked pepper.

    • Martin Oline says:

      Stuffed bell peppers – ya know leftover chicken stock and meat w’ fried vegetables. It has greatly improved since the day I figured out the rice needs to be cooked before you stuff the peppers.

  10. Fred says:

    Red Snapper with S&P, butter and a touch of lemon juice. Rice and broccoli. A nice chilled white wine.

  11. scott s. says:


    The “controlling legal authority” is 10 USC 1107 passed as part of the 1998 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 98). This apparently as a result of “Gulf War Syndrome” and possible linkage to vaccinations.

    The law requires SECDEF to request a waiver for Presidential approval for vaccines that haven’ t been through final approval by FDA.

    A case Doe v Rumsfeld was brought in 2004 and decided by our favorite DC District Court Judge Sullivan. It was widely reported as affirming 1107, but my reading of it was that it primarily was about whether FDA had in fact approved the vaccine for inhalation anthrax. At the time the case was first heard, Sullivan ruled that the vaccine was investigational and hence a Presidential waiver was required. Subsequently FDA did approve the vaccine but litigation continued over the propriety of FDA’s determination, with courts upholding FDA through the DC Circuit, current USAG Garland writing the opinion.

    10USC1107 was enacted under Congress’ Art I power “To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces”

    The case was eventually appealed to the DC Circuit and now USAG

  12. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Scale model of B-17 Flying Fortress
    Some pilgrims might enjoy this:
    I had seen an original one at an airshow in the USA a decade ago.
    Amazing machines.
    Ishmael Zechariah

    • LeaNder says:

      Hi, Ishmael,
      love those people they come with all type of projects and ideas. They always make me a little jealous. 😉

  13. Sam says:

    Did the Republican “god”, St. Ronnie, get the ball rolling?

    Anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American. We draw our people, our strength, from every country and every corner of the world.

  14. J says:

    Just as my taste buds were priming for beans and cornbread, my SWMBO spoke…”Let’s have Chickenfried Beef Steak with Pepper Gravy, and Sweet potato fries. ”

    Needless to say, the beans are still soaking ready to cook early tomorrow morning along with the cornbread. We’re sleeping tonight with full tummies and smiles on our faces.

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