Open Thread – 22 May 2024

No shortage of happenings, but I’m suffering from a shortage of free time lately. Bring up whatever you want.

I was surprised the ICC prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for both Hamas and Israeli leadership. Netanyahu is ready to pop a gasket over his name being mentioned in the same breath as Sinwar. Now he’s speaking in tongues over Norway, Ireland and Spain recognizing the state of Palestine. Don’t know why. There’s 140 other countries that have done so.


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96 Responses to Open Thread – 22 May 2024

  1. F&L says:

    Trivia: The only 5 star US generals were Washington and Eisenhower. Each name has 10 letters. No other President had as many letters in his last name as far as I can determine. Closest are Jefferson and the two Roosevelts with 9 letters.
    5 stars on each shoulder … 5 + 5 = 10.

  2. F&L says:

    Most consequential last stands of western battle history:
    Antioch siege 1098.
    Roncevaux Pass 778
    Mount Tabor 1799
    Rorke’s Drift 1879
    Malta 1565
    Tours 732
    Alamo 1836
    Vienna 1683
    Swiss Guard 1527
    Thermopylae 480 BC
    Taken from this thread:

    Do you agree? Were there no last stands in WWI, WWII or the American Civil War which merit inclusion on this list? I haven’t the expertise to say.

    • leith says:

      Consequential? 101st at Bastogne and the Canucks at Gravenstafel Ridge, or is he only counting last stands where all were killed?

      Warsaw Ghetto!

      Little Bighorn!



    • leith says:


    • Barbara Ann says:

      The list must surely include the last stand of the Gauls; the Battle of Alesia in 52BC. The siege cemented Julius Caesar’s reputation for genius, resulted in the Roman conquest of Gaul and without it I doubt we’d have Astérix le Gaulois. Also, Rorke’s Drift was not a last stand, although it’s the one the Brits like to remember and was immortalized in a great movie. Isandlwana is the one significant to the colonials of the day.

      Btw, I was once told an amusing story about the movie Zulu by a retired officer of the Gurkha regiment. Unsurprisingly the movie is a training staple of the British army and this guy was charged with showing it to a bunch of recruits fresh in from Nepal. Apparently in those days they didn’t have adequate facilities on base and used to hire a local cinema. The showing went well but on the return to the base (by foot) the recruits became very agitated for some reason. There was a debrief when they got back and they discovered the issue. The base was located in London and even in those days it was a pretty multicultural place. The recruits had seen some black guys on the other side of the street and had apparently been quite ready to close with and kill the enemy. The training program was modified to explain the cultural niceties, so as not to risk a future incident with the indigenous.

    • Fred says:


      There was a lost battalion in WW1, don’t know of the last stand other than German East Africa or some of their commerce raiders, like the Emden.

      You could also list a lot of places Hulagu visited in his campaigns in the Levant.

    • Mark Logan says:


      Where does Western history end and Eastern history begin? Are the Russians east or west? Asking because I am thinking of the WW2 siege of Sevastopol, which has (I’ve heard) Alamo level status in the Russians and that would make it a significant factor in the sense of entitlement the Russians harbor towards Crimea…and thereby consequential.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Gaza 2024

  3. Fred says:

    Spent some time camping in Coffee County Georgia recently. Nobody around but me, the dog, and granpa gator. Gave him the slip before lunch (his not mine). Very refreshing detox. I’m sure I missed all the really important things on X, tic toc, and CNN. Please don’t fill me in.

    • leith says:

      Fred –

      Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese way of detoxifying the urban/suburban lifestyle. It’s not just a feast for the eyes. A prof at the University of Washington is currently doing a study on how natures aroma benefits health. I get out in the woods as much as possible myself. Glad that the old bull gator didn’t get you.

      • Fred says:


        Thanks for the link. Japan is on my list of places to visit. Might be a year or two out. I would have to pass on forest bathing, other than maybe Itchkneetuckee (the tubing was great all the times I did it) or Rainbow Springs. Too many water moccasins around, which scare me more than bull gators.

        • TTG says:


          I’m with you on the water moccasins, but the gators aren’t too far behind. I engineered my going to winter Ranger School just so I wouldn’t have to content with johnny no shoulders or the gators on Eglin AFB. Avoided them, but two classmates froze to death in the swamps of the Yellow River.

          Congrats on your recent decompression time in Georgia. Even if you didn’t go full bore shinrin-yoku, any time away from the inter-tubes and cable news is good. My older son spends almost one weekend a month alone in a state park cabin with his amateur radio competitions. He enjoys the nature and the solitude as much as his radio contacts.

          The Itchkneetuckee looks nice. I remember visiting some of those crystal clear springs on family vacations in my youth. Even now, I’d still rather do so again in the winter.

          • Fred says:


            Come now, I’m sure you’d have been eat’n gator for a week. A Ranger would only need a sharpened stick, right?

            Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest is still a good canoe run, 4 or so hours. Sadly they let the old dock on the South bank 2 hours in decay away. Made a nice picnic spot for me and my beau when we were at UF.

        • leith says:

          Forest bathing has zero splashing around in creeks and ponds. It’s a play on words simply meaning for city folk to immerse themselves in remote and woodsy boondocks. Something country folk have been doing forever.

          As for critters, Japan has a cousin to our water moccasins. But they are tiny. Unless you go to Okinawa where I’ve seen a six foot Habu up in the northern training area. The locals pickle the smaller ones (or the head of the big ones) in Sake.

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the ICC describes the difference between the “rules-based international order” and one based on international law:

    We’re working across a range of situations, whether it’s in Ukraine or Darfur, and I’ve said to distinguish [sic] members on the Hill and to the administration that Rome Statute values are quintessential American values. It’s against bullying. It’s against the untrammeled power against the most vulnerable. It’s the rights, the dignity of the individual is [sic] the protection of babies. I mean, these are fundamental American values that should engender bipartisan support.

    Now, of course, this situation, unfortunately lies on the San Andreas fault of international politics and strategic interests. And, of course, I’ve had some elected leaders speak to me and very — you know, be very blunt. This court is built for Africa and for thugs like Putin, was what one senior leader told me. We don’t view it like that.

    Courts built to exclude the privileged group which makes the ‘rules’ should have gone out with Magna Carta. America must lead by example by upholding the quintessential American values that Khan describes – and permit enemies and allies alike equal treatment under the law. It may well take an earthquake to bring it about, but it is worth it. If America does not take the lead someone else will. Bring the Butchers of Gaza to justice, all 5 of them.

    • mcohen says:

      Earthquake will bring it about.

    • LeaNder says:

      Interesting statement, Barbara. Below his offical statement concerning Putin and Lvova-Belova one year earlier:

      Today, the Pre-Trial Chamber has issued arrest warrants in relation to the following two individuals:

      Mr Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation; and
      Ms Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation.

      On the basis of evidence collected and analysed by my Office pursuant to its independent investigations, the Pre-Trial Chamber has confirmed that there are reasonable grounds to believe that President Putin and Ms Lvova-Belova bear criminal responsibility for the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, contrary to article 8(2)(a)(vii) and article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute.

      Incidents identified by my Office include the deportation of at least hundreds of children taken from orphanages and children’s care homes. Many of these children, we allege, have since been given for adoption in the Russian Federation. The law was changed in the Russian Federation, through Presidential decrees issued by President Putin, to expedite the conferral of Russian citizenship, making it easier for them to be adopted by Russian families.

      My Office alleges that these acts, amongst others, demonstrate an intention to permanently remove these children from their own country. At the time of these deportations, the Ukrainian children were protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      How does this fit into the struggles around American adoptation of Russian children? Semi-irony-alert.

  5. d74 says:


    What’s happening in Ukraine is the result of an old anti-Bolshevik and now anti-Russian passion. By the way, this systemic hostility is probably inherited from the Britts of the Great Game. Since 1992, it should have been gradually written off as irrelevant. An encouraging sign would have been the mothballing of NATO. None of this has happened, and there is no point in regretting it. But now the Chinese threat has been added, while nothing is being done to separate China and Russia – on the contrary.

    This policy pursued in the name of the West is insane and suicidal. It’s an obvious fact: the West does not have the means to take on a country like Russia backed by China, or vice versa. Let alone a coalition of these two countries. But our extravagant threats against China by Biden, Blinken, lately Shapps, plus other distinguished ones like Baerbock can only bring China closer to Russia, even unwillingly.

    The Chinese, unless they are idiots and politically illiterate, know that a Nato victory in Ukraine would ultimately mean a deadly confrontation in the Pacific led by a confident and domineering Nato. Not immediately, but over time. That’s why they support Russia to victory. According to Khodorkovsky, who is not at all pro-Putin, Russia’s superiority over NATO in Ukraine is about 8 to 10 to 1. Even if these figures are exaggerated, Chinese aid need not be substantial.

    We lack the visionary activism of Kissinger, who was able to separate these two countries to get rid of Vietnam.

    Uncertainties suggest that a high-intensity war is possible between two nuclear-armed countries or a coalition if they agree to stay below the nuclear threshold. The Russians and the Chinese have shown themselves to be rational. All that’s needed is for the West to be rational as well. It sounds like Clancy, but it’s not impossible. NATO’s gradual involvement in Ukraine will serve as a test. A respected French military observer has put forward this thinking, which he calls the policy of the careless pedestrian. We shall see.

    And Israel? Peace in that bloody land is a lost cause. I alluded to the fate of the Frankish kingdoms in the Holy Land after the West lost interest. Then there was the end of the Algerian war in 1962, when the French fact was swept away in a few months. Metropolitan France gained 1.5 million forced emigrants. Other examples can be found elsewhere, such as the brutal end of British rule in Kenya.
    I have nothing to propose. The two-state solution doesn’t seem viable to me. Any other solution would require an open and visionary Israel. The government and the people have so far shown themselves to be helpless, and we, the West, are not doing them any favors in this respect.

    • TTG says:


      In an ideal world, the demise of NATO in the early 1990s seems like a good idea. But Europe wasn’t an ideal world in the 1990s. NATO was involved with the breakup of Yugoslavia. It became a tar baby from which NATO could not extract itself. That wasn’t all that happened in the 1990s. Soon after the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union collapsed, alarms were going off in the newly freed nations of Eastern Europe that the Kremlin would not long accept the developing situation. I was deeply involved in observing the developing democracy movements in the region and heard these fears expressed often. This was even during Yeltsin’s time. Eastern Europe wanted NATO to remain and wanted to become part of it. The Partnership for Peace program was born of these fears along with NATO’s search for relevance. Even Russia was in the Partnership for Peace program, but would not stand for having to submit to a NATO acquisition plan. Seems that Russia’s passion for empire is at least as strong as the anti-Bolshevik and anti-Russian passions in her neighbors.

      • d74 says:

        You are right. A few words cannot describe the complex and evolving situation at that time. All of these countries wanted to join the EEC for economic security, NATO for security, and a bilateral agreement with the US against an offensive return of Russian troops.

        A posteriori, an “adult in the room” could have made the voice of reason heard. This was not the case. Especially since Russia was in ruins. It would take 20 years for the country to emerge from its decline. Vigilant, attentive cooperation would have prevented this unfortunate prelude to extremes. It is too often forgotten that Putin was initially (1999) favorable to the West – the unsurpassable model – and in any case malleable. But pointless aggression from the West pushed him eastward.

        In my review, I forgot Iran. IMO, it remains in a blind spot. I read on a pro-Russian site that the Izzies boasted of having killed Raïssi. Anyone who attacks Israel is sentenced to death. The Azeris would have lent a hand as a discreet but effective ally of the Izzies.
        I hope this is a clumsy internal boast.

    • mcohen says:

      Probably move gazans to west bank and build a big ⁷gas processing plant to supply europe.Make jordan and west bank a Palestinian state.move arabs in israel in triangle to westbank move jews in westbank back to israel.Gaza will go to the gasman.

    • LeaNder says:

      According to Khodorkovsky, who is not at all pro-Putin, Russia’s superiority over NATO in Ukraine is about 8 to 10 to 1.

      That is an interesting statement, d74. Khodorkovsky may be the ultimate Russian patriot among the Oligarchs and thus even share minor aspects with earlier blog pilgrims like Andrei Martyanov but only very vague ones. Do you have a link?

      Searching his site the last item containing a reference to Nato was his article on Tucker Carlson’s Putin interview:

      • James says:


        Khodorkovsky worked hand-in-glove with the Rothschild’s to steal one trillion USD from the Russian state … out of Patriotism?

        As for ‘Putin needs Tucker because ordinary Russians love the west’ all I can say is “hah!”. Having been scowled at by numerous Russians on numerous occasions in Russia. There are people in some countries that want to be America’s bitches – Russia is definitely not one of those countries.

    • d74 says:


      I have a hateful habit of not citing my sources.
      For our ex-oligarch, I recorded his demonstration, but I can’t remember where.
      Here’s the title, if it helps:
      “Exiled Oligarch Khodorkovsky has huge prediction for Ukraine”

      A hard fact to remember, IF it’s true:
      A 152mm shell costs the Russian government $500. A similar 155mm Western shell costs Nato between $5,000 and $8,000.

      4 years ago I did a price comparison of armaments (infantry weapons, artillery, aircraft etc… but not ships where the Russians suck). I came up with an overestimate of Western prices ranging from 3 to 8. If we take into account the use and practicality of the same weapons, the ratio is even more unfavorable for us. Let’s not forget that the Russian army is very rustic, even when it comes to individual first aid kit. Of course, extremely cold clothing is widely available, as are tropical outfits, as can be seen in Syria.
      This comparative disparity (3-8 to 1) also applies to the standard of living, at least in the big showcase cities. The countryside is certainly much less well treated. In short, we grossly underestimate Russia’s GDP by an average factor of 5. The dollar, the currency of account, is useless, especially for supporting a comparison.

      After a series of twists and turns, Khodorkovski was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was pardoned by Putin after 10 effective years at the end of 2013.
      After buying Lukoil at rock-bottom prices, selling it to a US oil company was not a good idea.
      Live In UK. Not a friend of Putin, of course.

      • F&L says:

        Found it for you. English subtitles as he speaks. Summarized below for those who don’t use Telegram.
        I found a video of foreign agent Khodorkovsky. It is here that he says that Western countries (note that the pronoun “we” sounds, that is, he completely identifies himself with Western society) almost lost in the Ukrainian conflict.
        Khodorkovsky predicts:
        ▪️ by the end of 2024 Ukraine will lose Kharkov;
        ▪️by mid-2025 – Odessa;
        ▪️by the end of 2025 there will be 1 VSUshnik for every 10-15 Russian soldiers;
        ▪️by mid-2026 Ukraine will only be able to carry out partisan attacks
        ▪️Lviv will remain if NATO troops represented by Poland enter there.
        And this is all, in his opinion, the “best scenario” if the Ukrainian Armed Forces heroically resist, despite the hopelessness of the situation.
        Let me remind you that in April 2022, in an interview, he said that Russia will most likely lose the war in Ukraine, which in the future could result in a regime change in Russia, and in December 2022 he discussed what possible scenarios for Russia’s defeat exist.

      • James says:


        After buying Lukoil at rock-bottom prices? You mean paying $200 million dollars for something worth $800 billion in a closed government auction in which he was the only one allowed to place a bid?

        I wouldn’t call that “buying something at rock-bottom prices”, I would call that “stealing”.

  6. Christian J Chuba says:

    TTG said that if Iran can build their own ballistic missiles then they should have been able to build their own passenger aircraft.

    Building passenger aircraft is very difficult because of safety regulations and agency approvals required to land in international airports. Missiles go on a one way trip and if a few misfire, oops, doesn’t really matter all that much. Are there any passenger aircraft sourced 100% by their country of origin? China, Boeing, Airbus, all use a large percentage of non-origin parts. This tells me that it must be really hard.

    The only country close to doing this is Russia and they are not scheduled to release it until 2025.

    Iran could eventually build their own avionics but it’s a herculean task. They are the only country in the ME (+ Asia) that might be able to do it but are better off just buying Russian aircraft as soon as they can. IMO Iran and Turkey have the best industrial capacity in that part of the world. Israel is in the mix but even they use Boeing for El Al.

  7. drifter says:

    How do you guys think about nuclear strikes on your family?

  8. Yeah, Right says:

    Is it just me or do others get the impression that Netanyahu is sounding more and more deranged with each passing day?

    • Christian J Chuba says:

      Whenever he is interviewed he has a smile glued to his face. It looks forced to me. Some consultant must have told him to do that for appearance sake and it works on friendly interviews but I find it off putting. I bet he doesn’t smile that much off camera. I don’t smile much either. I was told to smile ‘once in a while’ when I go on job interviews. Taking profile pictures is a real chore for me, anyway, this isn’t his worst character failing, just an observation.

  9. F&L says:

    You posted an article on Orcas attacking boats in the Mediterranean awhile ago. Saw this today. Something I learned which I didn’t know before … Orcas are not whales but rather belong to the Dolphin family. If this reported research is right then the intelligence people can sleep peacefully.
    Killer whales keep attacking and sinking boats. Scientists now know why, study says.
    An international group of orca experts met to determine why orcas are attacking boats. The leading theory: They’re bored and playful.

  10. F&L says:

    Here’s something this morning that the folks here likely want to look over.
    Exclusive: Putin wants Ukraine ceasefire on current frontlines.
    Russian sources indicate Putin ready to halt conflict at front
    Putin to take more land to pressure Kyiv to talk: sources
    Does not want another national mobilisation: sources
    Putin has no designs on NATO territory: sources
    Russia concerned about nuclear escalation: sources
    MOSCOW/LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, four Russian sources told Reuters, saying he is prepared to fight on if Kyiv and the West do not respond.
    Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin’s entourage, said the veteran Russian leader had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s decision to rule out talks. (Continues at link..)

    • Barbara Ann says:

      “Putin has no designs on NATO territory: sources”

      That can’t be right, I’ve been reliably and relentlessly informed for more than 2 years now that Putin wants to dip his toes in the Atlantic. Anyhow, I’m sure he’ll get over his frustrations.

      • Keith Harbaugh says:

        “I’ve been reliably and relentlessly informed for more than 2 years now that Putin wants to dip his toes in the Atlantic.”

        That’s quite an accusation.
        Care to give some supporting evidence for that?

  11. Keith Harbaugh says:

    The IC and AI:
    Here is an article on that:

    The operation’s results far exceeded human-only analysis,
    finding twice as many companies and 400% more people engaged in illegal or suspicious commerce in the deadly opioid.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      TTG, just a thought:
      Would this article, and issue,
      make for a good top level post?
      Just asking 🙂

  12. F&L says:

    This is your department, TTG. You might want to take a look.

    Ukraine’s Guerrilla Warfare! The Game-Changing Tactics Explained. (Peter Zeihan)

    See phoenix ghost shoulder launched drones used by U special forces. (minute 4 et seq). A factor in the decision reported by Reuters that Putin is ready to stop fighting? You’d think possibly yes.

  13. Landis says:

    A thought hit me this morning, it really is inappropriate to call what is happening in Palestine a genocide. It confers far too much respect for the Palestinians from the perspective of the Israelis than exists. I don’t think the Israelis actually care enough about the Palestinians to want to systematically kill them, no they just want to displace them and get them off their land. What is happening is ethnic cleansing, because again the goal is not murder, it’s to literally cleanse the land of the arab stain.

    The goal of Bibi and Likud has always been to do just that, ensure there will never be a future for the Palestinians in greater Israel. This is why they propped up Hamas against secular opposition and they approach the whole population with such indifference that would be insulting to call disdain.

    When you spray RAID on ants you aren’t committing genocide, you are simply conducting pest control. This IMHO is the true Israeli perspective. In case it’s not obvious I find this all abhorrent on more levels than is practicably communicable, but also find the discussion and bleating of genocide to be counterproductive to the point of actually bolstering the Israeli position through obfuscation.

    • TTG says:


      That thought occurred to me as well. Genocide, even by current legal definitions, is a term that I believe is too widely applied today. I doubt the majority of the Israeli people or even the current Israeli government want to literally wipe out all Palestinians. It’s just as you say, they want the Palestinian problem to go away.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        The views of the majority of Israelis or even the Israeli government are not at issue. The ICC has “reasonable grounds to believe” that Bibi and Gallant want to make the Palestinian problem “go away” via the deliberate a use of

        – Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare
        – Wilfully causing great suffering
        – Using murder as a war crime
        – Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population
        – Extermination and/or murder

        Got that? The charge is intentional starvation, suffering, murder and attacks on civilians. Hey, they are innocent until proven guilty of course but let them at least face justice, along with Sinwar and his buddies.

        The “in whole or in part” bit of the definition of genocide is too broad? Fine, the nations constituting the UN can change it for the future. But as it stands if the 1948 definition was good enough for 8,000 Bosniak Muslims why not 35,000 (and counting) Gazan Palestinians? You either respect international legal authority or you don’t. If we are already at the point where we do not we are on the fast track to Hell.

        • Landis says:

          I don’t think anyone disagrees that Bibi employs these abhorrent means to achieve his end but I think the question is what is his end? and I don’t think it is simply murder ie genocide. If it entails murder maybe he sees that as a bonus, but I think he would happily take displacement over murder if it meant he could get his “solution” to the Palestinian problem.

          With respect I don’t think there is such a thing as “international legal authority”. In the strictest sense none of the countries that matter ( the US or Israel) are signatories to any of these courts, and maybe more importantly the enforcement mechanisms for these courts are either essentially voluntary or in the case of UN backed court essentially rests solely both explicitly through veto and subversively through funding and administration with the United States. There is no international court in the world that is going to tell the US what to do. Period.

          • TonyL says:

            “I don’t think anyone disagrees that Bibi employs these abhorrent means to achieve his end but I think the question is what is his end? ”

            It does not matter WHAT Netanyahu’s end goal is. And it does not matter WHY the IDF has been killing Palestine civillians. What they havve been doing to Gaza population is genocide.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Ignores that Israel has delivered may tons of food and medical aid to Gaza since the invasion. Also ignores that the “Palestinians” + many Muslims supporting them would like Israel and the Jews living there to just go away, with the Palestinians being the frontline grunts of the conflict. It’s an existential conflict. The Palestinians/Muslims are just bad at fighting it. I guess some people are suckers for underdogs even if they are evil. Who cares what the ICC says? They have a lot of stupid Marxist ideas. It’s an activist, political “court”.

        • d74 says:

          Barbara, well said.

          TTG, “they want the Palestinian problem to go away”.
          Cannot be done without extreme measures. Precisely those listed by Barbara.

          The image of ants exterminated by a pesticide reduces Palestinians to a plague. Is that so? Good heavens, they’re human beings like you and me.

          In the French military rules of general discipline, collective punishment is a crime, because it equates the innocent majority with the guilty.
          Being unable to identify the guilty and find them will remain a major failure of Izzie intelligence. Whereas Hamas was created, or favored, and financed by a brilliant political Izzie.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            “Good heavens, they’re human beings like you and me”

            Yes, not ants, not rats and maybe not exactly like you and me, but equally human. There is no racial or religious hierarchy in the value of human life. The Golden Rule must apply to everyone. Collective punishment is abhorrent. These fundamental moral absolutes are not contingent on the circumstances or subject to alteration or attenuation in any way.


            I’m all for diversity of opinion but civilized discussion can only take place within a more or less common ethical framework. If this blog’s framework is other than what I’ve set out above please let me know and I’ll bother you no more.

            That said, if it was my “mud throwing” which prompted you to shut down the other conversation I apologize. I’ll try and keep my opinions of others commenters to myself from now on.

          • TTG says:

            Barbara Ann,

            It was absolutely not any mud throwing on your part. It was your and Landis’ mature and thoughtful comments that inspired me to post them as a separate article. Keep commenting. Colonel Lang would approve.

      • F&L says:

        Yes it’s becoming as overused as the term “fascism.”

  14. Christian J Chuba says:

    Financial topic, here is a column by PCR,
    Synopsis: ‘the national debt is no big deal because the Fed (I know he meant Treasury) can print USD to finance it since the debt is in USD. The big threat is the U.S. losing its status as the global reserve currency. Since the Fed cannot print (or control) foreign currencies this will cause massive inflation.’

    I have no axe to grind here. I am simply curious. The balloon has to pop but I don’t know how it will happen. I am not convinced of PCR’s premise but I do believe that inflation will be the final result.

    How can other countries can dump the USD? We are the only country that runs massive trade deficits so this means that other countries are flooded with $. They use $ to trade with each other because it is convenient. If a country wanted to get rid of excess dollars by buying gold that just means that some other country gets stuck with $. It doesn’t go away. Venezuela bought lots of gold held by the Bank of England and they were robbed.

    • Landis says:

      The reality is that there is no such thing as a “global reserve currency” what there is is a basket of currencies weighted by their use and fungibility, of which the dollar is the largest percentage. When ppl talk about the dollar losing reserve currency status what they are really saying is that the dollar percentage of the basket will shrink, and that is true, and is on a slow process to diminish over time. But that does not mean that the dollar is suddenly going to lose its importance or more importantly that it will have some negative effect on our domestic economy. Also importantly, because this is just an expected developed in an established paradigm there is no reason to feel that things have to “pop” and we reach some tipping point.

      Who owns US debt? most of it is owned by ourselves, and our public and private institutions including social security. The largest “private” holder of our debt is the US Federal Reserve. The second largest are in some order depending on aggregation and timing: China, Japan, and the Oil Exporting countries.

      Why do these foreign entities hold so much US debt? For mostly two simple reasons, 1 the US government’s creditworthiness is unassailable, in particular because we have the ability to essentially “monetize” the debt and print money (we wont ever do this (outside of crisis times for short periods) but we have it in our back pocket) and 2 for just as good a reason there is nothing else for them to buy!

      They have so much dollars because their economy naturally generates them through exports, they would love to buy more bespoke assets (and trust me they have through semi-secret entities) but the only thing they can get scale in is US debt, so really all these dollars are a liability to them!

      PCR makes a salient point about ppl moving away from US and western intuitions due to sanctions and related threats. The rest I think has a more facile understanding of how global central banks manage their own reserves and use US dollars in that process, and also how global monetary authorities invest trade imbalance, a separate topic that he seems to conflate.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        I agree with a portion of what you say. However, you are ignoring the impact of inflation on the attractiveness of holding US debt. Also, you are ignoring the threat of even greater inflation/decrease in relative value of the dollar/US that would occur if the emergency need to just print more money (as you put it) was deemed a necessary last resort that should be utilized. By the time the situation deteriorated to that scenario, other countries would see it coming and shy away from US debt.

        Of course, the US could always increase interest rates (rate of return on US debt) to make it more attractive, but we both know that there are political limitations to just how far that can go – and there is the threat of recession, or even depression.

        Contrary to what you might like to think, I believe the US economy is in serious trouble and headed for a painful and lengthy correction because interest rates were held too low for way too long and simultaneously there was a massive increase in monetary supply.

        In man on the street terms, inflation is outpacing wage growth by leaps and bounds. That means people can’t afford to purchase anything but the necessities. In fact, they have to borrow hard money – like credit cards – just to buy the necessities (credit card and other household debt currently at record highs). That means businesses fail. People default on leases, mortgages, car loans, etc. Tax revenues to the govt decrease; the same tax revenues that are used to fund the government spending and pay the debt.

        Either rate of return on US debt is increased, or investors look to other countries’ instruments. But if returns on US debt are increased in the face of lower tax revenue and constant levels of government spending, then how is the higher debt interest to be paid?

        Furthermore, it is fair to predict that the socialists in DC, the ones essentially buying votes with various handouts, will enact economic relief policies that will further devalue the US dollar. Nope, we are screwed and screwed well and hard. In fact, this vicious cycle is already beginning. This will accelerate the move away from the US dollar. Who wants to hold onto worthless promissory notes?

        • Landis says:

          Sorry for taking a moment to get back here. I think first in terms of our debt, its important to illustrate how sustainable the situation currently is. We aren’t close to being close (to being close to being close) tf having to run the printing presses to pay debt. Remember debt is due on a set schedule, purposely spaced out and not lumped together, and of many different maturities, including rolling borrowings of terms as short as a few weeks. There is a huge amount of transparency in how the government borrows and it really is in no danger at all of any of these events. And if you look at covid, we issued huge huge amounts of debt, and it was fine. The Federal Reserve did essentially monetize some of it which is what I was referring to in an earlier post but it really changed nothing about how well it worked.

          All domestic borrowing (corporate, mortgage, asset-backed) is benchmarked off of US debt. So any inflation that would be evidenced there would be evidenced in all of the other asset classes as well, making inflation not a detriment to owning US debt relative to other instruments that have precisely the same dynamics. Global interest rates and economies are all different but you will notice that of developed nations the US has amongst the highest interest rates (as well as a gov’t that protects dollar denominated assets and property which is why you see so much overseas investment in things like real estate). Further, it is not possible for there to be massive inflation in the US and have it not be exported to other developed nations, all of which makes demand for our debt robust. This even leaves out the points I made in prior posts where the majority of global financial institutions are essentially required by law to hold large amounts of US debt as collateral.

          As large a spike in inflation we had during Covid, for a number of reasons (realistically combo of massive global stimulus and supply chain issues) inflation is now largely under control. Yes prices are high and its expensive to live but that is not because of our debt, its just the bifurcation in our economy, because the aggregate numbers and wealth are there. Inflation is no longer outpacing wage growth by a noticeable amount and while there are lags on things like housing and rents, we are on a path towards lower and more sustainable (2%) inflation, due to a combo of monetary policy and the abatement of supply chain issues.

          Finally want to note something you said because I hear it a lot and I think the level of understanding of the important dynamics imparted by the powers that be like the Federal Reserve has left this one by the wayside which is an indictment of them and not you or the reader:

          simultaneously there was a massive increase in monetary supply

          This is hard because it flies in the face of all lay understanding of economics, but the reality is that monetary supply is now (emphasis on now, because before it wasn’t) meaningless and irrelevant. How? How could that be?

          The answer lies in the question of what is the price of money and how is it determined? The textbook (and now incorrect) answer is something like at the crossroads of supply and demand we find the marginal borrower and lender and there is the price of money. In monetary policy terms, prior to the 08 crisis, the Fed actually actively managed the supply of money (by acting in short term interest rate markets) in order to have the interest rate consistent with their policy target rate.

          Importantly during this time, the Fed did not pay any interest on balances held there, so if a bank had excess reserves at the fed they earned nothing on them and therefore were incentivized to lend that money to earn some interest, therefore allowing the traditional supply/demand dynamics to dictate.

          Enter 08, where we actually started paying interest on reserve balances at the fed and moved away from target reserves/monetary supply regime, to one that we call “excess” or “abundant” reserves, because what was less than a trillion in money held at the fed when accts paid no interest) ballooned to several trillion when the fed started paying interest.

          Ok so if we dont use supply and demand to dictate interest rates, how does the Fed actually control interest rates and how did they raise them so much over the last year or so?

          The answer is that they now “administer” the rates in a range using two key facilities. The first is as mentioned the account that BANKS (and only banks) have at the fed that pays the highest level of interest in a corridor (currently 5.4%), with another facility called the Reverse Repo Pool which pays a lower level of interest (currently 5.3%) on balances parked there by mutual funds and other (institutional) investors. By administering these rates and providing (functionally unlimited) economics at these rate levels they are able to control interest rates. So how does the fed raise rates now? They literally pay interest at the rates they want and force the market to interact with those more advantageous rates or lose out tremendously in opportunity cost. The supply of money is so large that the level of interest rates absent this administration would likely be (a lot) lower and therefore more inflationary than their current target. So long story short while it may seem in vogue to talk about increased monetary supply it is actually functionally meaningless and doesn’t factor much at all into the price of money despite how counterintuitive it all seems!

          • Eric Newhill says:

            First, thank you for your well written and detailed reply. I have been exposed to outlooks very similar, perhaps even identical, to yours. Those other sources are US government economists in the Biden administration. I had suspected you might be in such employment previously – or at least are aligned with that school of thought – and your reply strengthens my suspicions. I do not mean that as an insult; merely a context.

            While I understand where you’re coming from, I disagree with you on some important points. One of those is your assertion that inflation is now under control. That is a Biden admin talking point that most of us “on the street” can see is patently false. Sure, if you edit that “basket of goods” you can come up with a favorable inflationary outlook. Meanwhile, every day Americans are facing prices that not only never came down post-covid panic, but have increased, albeit at a slower rate. So prices of essential items (housing, food, transportation, etc) are way above where they would have been sans covid years jump – meanwhile, wages have not experienced a proportional increase. Furthermore, employment levels are not good. The government’s statistics on that metric are also jerry rigged to Potemkin proportions. Again, people are borrowing hard money just to make ends meet. That is a foundation for house of cards that cannot sustain.

            On another point of disagreement, I do not believe that the fundamentals of economics can change. Every time such a notion is floated, some of disaster eventually results. I am referring specifically to your, “This is hard because it flies in the face of all lay understanding of economics, but the reality is that monetary supply is now (emphasis on now, because before it wasn’t) meaningless and irrelevant. ” I guess time will tell, but I’m betting I’m right and you are another dreamer.

            And, on that note, “They literally pay interest at the rates they want and force the market to interact with those more advantageous rates or lose out tremendously in opportunity cost” speaks to a top down/command economy. A scheme like that is always divorced from where economics actually happen, which is on the street among millions of every day working people making microeconomic decisions as best they can and in their own best interest. Thus, top down command eventually fail, usually horribly. We have ample examples throughout history as well as currently.

            At bottom, I am a practical analyst working from economic fundamentals and metrics/evidence based on good old fashioned, time proven, nuggets of wisdom, whereas you seem to be one of those high flying wizards manipulating markets from the rarified heights of your isolated and protected castle. IMO, you live among the unaccountable trouble makers. Again, no offense intended. And, again, time will tell.

          • leith says:

            Thanks Landis. You bring some good insight to the discussions here, especially on the financial side. More please in the future.

  15. Lars says:

    There appears to be a power struggle between the security services and the military in Russia. In such a system, which is essentially corrupt on all levels, that could have far reaching consequences. This may also contribute to the indications that Putin is looking for a ceasefire that would also let Russia keep the territory that they occupy. Which would be a big mistake, since the empirical urges are strong among many in Russia. But it appears that there are some undertones of discontent that that can easily grow substantially in such a political system. Add to that the huge housing problem China has and all of a sudden the perceived threats from both are not as urgent. In the US we have only one problem and it is Trump. Hopefully that will be dealt with by the judiciary that has not been corrupted by him.

  16. Barbara Ann says:

    Meanwhile, in the other Georgia: “You’ve seen what happened to Fico and you should be very careful” says an EU commissar commissioner.

    Georgia’s PM receives a death threat because Georgia tries to introduce its own FARA legislation (to enable it to be more Westphalian). The EU once again demonstrating it’s in the front line in the fight against authoritarianism \s. When it comes to the EU I have to say I’m with Toria Nuland.

  17. Keith Harbaugh says:

    If anyone is interested in the B-21,
    here is a good story on it:

  18. JK/AR says:

    As it is Memorial Day weekend, I figured I ought to drop by if only just to let y’all know my last scheduled radiation treatment is Tuesday next. And I hope y’all here are well. I’m hoping to drop in abit more regularly, it’s been awhile.

    And as I’ve mentioned Memorial, perhaps this lil’ ol video is apropos?

  19. Barbara Ann says:

    ..the Biden administration has failed to provide the necessary U.S. military involvement for fears of Russia using nuclear weapons against Ukraine or taking action against U.S. forces. Such fears are overblown: such escalation would be dangerous and undesirable for Russia. The Biden administration should increase the intensity of its military activities and thereby enable a Ukrainian victory.

    It does not seem to occur to the author at RAND that Russia might well perceive a greater danger from failing to escalate, especially given Ukraine (presumably with the Pentagon’s blessing) is currently endeavoring to destroy Russia’s strategic defense early-warning radar.

    What was the exact point at which we crossed over in to the world of Dr. Strangelove?

    • TTG says:

      Barbara Ann,

      “What was the exact point at which we crossed over in to the world of Dr. Strangelove?”

      24 February 2022

      The three day SMO failed and, instead of pulling back from the brink, Putin doubled down for two plus years. The Kremlin cares little about bombing of apartment blocks, shopping centers and churches. Putin should not surprise them that something truly dear to him, his strategic defense early warning radar, is struck in return by Ukraine with Ukrainian weapons. I doubt the Biden administration approved of that radar strike. It’s still wed to the policy of escalation management, a policy that only encourages the Kremlin to keep fighting and to keep bombing those apartment blocks, shopping centers and churches.

    • leith says:

      Barbara Ann-

      Those Russian over-the-horizon radars are used tactically as well as strategically. Those radars provide early warning against UKR cruise missiles and short range Hrim, Tochka & ATACMS ballistic missiles with which Ukraine has been attacking RU airfields and ammo dumps, etc. They can also direct RU fighter aircraft or tip off S400 SAMs against UKR sorties in Ukrainian airspace or over the Black Sea. Zelensky’s Air Force perhaps asked they be taken out in order to shape the battlefield for the soon to appear F-16s?

      BTW they recently took out another of those radars in Orsk. That’s two so far.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        I don’t know if you’ve seen Dr Markus Reisner’s opinion:

        One might now speculate that Ukrainian forces may have targeted Armavir because they feared that the site could help provide advance warning of their attacks with US-supplied ballistic ATACMS. However, Armavir is almost 700 kilometers away from possible ATACMS launch sites near Kherson. i.e. Due to the Voronezh-DM radar horizon, it is difficult to detect ATACMS missiles flying at low apex altitude at this range. For accurate measurement, the targeted incoming rocket should be at least at an altitude of over one thousand kilometers. Intercontinental ballistic missiles usually fly at altitudes of up to 2,000 kilometers – i.e. within the optimal detection range of the Voronezh-DM radar. Other radar systems are intended for short-range tactical missiles such as ATACMS.. ..It is therefore entirely logical that with the attack carried out by Ukraine on the Voronezh DMs in Armavir, the USA wants to show Russia that it no longer wants to accept the intolerable situation of Russian threats with nuclear weapons.

        My emphasis – and WTF is he saying..?

        When I see this coincident with Lady G screaming like a banshee that Israel should use nukes to defend itself you’ll forgive me for suggesting we have entered Strangelove territory. (in German)

        • TTG says:

          Barbara Ann,

          I doubt the Ukrainians are using Ukrainian weapons to hit any US designated targets. Because of our insistence on “escalation management,” they are much more prone to tell us to pound sand to such a request. They are hitting this radar site because it suits Ukrainian objectives. These quotes explain the reason for striking the radar site.

          “GLSDB problems, communication problems near Kharkov. This is all the work of the “spark” radar “Voronezh-DM” and electronic warfare 14Ts227 “Tobol”. The radar continuously transmits the control center to the electronic warfare station, and the electronic warfare precisely jams any satellites that emit something. Communications, navigation and transmission of intelligence data.”

          “Two early warning radars were destroyed in Krasnodar Krai, 500 km outside Ukraine. This part of the ongoing campaign is aiming to reduce Russia detection and air defense systems… – but also the capability to disrupt the work of GPS-assisted weapons.”

          “The Voronezh-DM radar was serving as a control centre for the 14Ts227 Tobol electronic warfare system, which was jamming multiple satellite signals (see: communication, navigation etc.). The Tobol proved powerful enough to disrupt StarLink – which in turn prompted Musk into announcing something like that he’s going to spend a lots of money to fight it now”

        • leith says:

          Barbara Ann –

          I suspect TTG is correct. For example it’s known that the Tobol EW system at the Voronezh radar site in Kaliningrad is the one that’s been jamming GPS in the Baltic region.

          But getting back to Colonel Reisner. What does he believe is the range of the Voronesh radar horizon? Russia’s Radio Zvezda bragged that the radars can see a soccer ball from 8000 km. Now that’s pure horsepucky. But other sources ( says 4000 km. And at Armavir’s 800 km they could easily detect an ATACMS whose flight ceiling is 160,000 feet (50 km). Ukraine’s Hrim-2 SRBM has a similar profile. Probably so does the S-300 when used in the ballistic missile mode instead of as a SAM.

          And BTW, isn’t Reisner’s background and experience in special ops – not missile tech?

          • Barbara Ann says:


            I suspect he is too, but if (not saying it has happened) Russia’s early warning capability is compromised any dual/tactical use of the radars becomes irrelevant – in fact so does the whole Ukraine war. Only a MADman would seek to ‘blind’ Russia and the fact that I’m still able to write this suggests we are not ‘there’ yet, thank God.

            I freely admit Reisner personally may not be a technical expert on this stuff, but he presumably has access to and consults with folk who are. As you know, the pool of anything resembling independent military analysts is vanishingly small.

          • leith says:

            Barbara Ann –

            Only a madman would use electronic warfare to jam the GPS on civilian airliners over Poland, the Baltic nations and Finland.

            And only a madman would invade his neighbors and use hypersonic ballistic missiles on urban apartment buildings, hospitals, schools and shopping centers.

    • English Outsider says:

      The Ukrainians and some European countries are hoping to provoke a Russia response sufficient to force the Americans to fight directly in Ukraine. Since the Europeans have no significant military power nor, now, the Ukrainians, getting the Americans to come in in force is the only hope left to them.

      Won’t work. The Americans don’t have sufficient conventional military power to make a difference to the result in Ukraine. American military technology is inferior to Russian and it would be impossible in any case for the Americans to send in enough troops, let alone equip and supply them.

      Just as many in England still cherish the illusion that the British army is as it was in the old BAOR days, most still believe that the US is the military superpower it was in the ’90’s. It isn’t. It’s the most powerful army in the West by far – very much so – but it’s no match for the Russians in a conventional European land war.

      But the hope is that if the Americans can somehow be got to put troops at risk in Ukraine the Russians won’t dare tangle with them for fear of the Americans going nuclear. A dumb gamble – the Russians have made it clear they’ll tolerate no such intervention – but it’s the only Hail Mary left for the Kiev regime and the more militant Europeans.

      “Look no hands” Western missile attacks on Russia strategic facilities will also not be tolerated. All such provocation will do – has done already – is ensure than remnant Ukraine will be neutralised in order to remove the possibility of the Ukrainians being used for such purposes in the future.

      The Ukraine scam is over. We’ll see the Western politicians thrashing around furiously for a while yet in order to save face with their electorates but barring nuclear it’s over and has been since February 2022.

      • leith says:

        @EnglishOutsider: ” American military technology is inferior to Russian “

        ATACMS is a weapon of the previous century. Designed in 1980 and put in service 33 years ago in 1991. And yet Putin seems powerless to stop it. Why is he holding back EO?

        • English Outsider says:

          Leith – I thought the Russians could only stop most of them. As with Taurus it’s the ones that might get through that worry the Russians.

          It’s only a very limited war. More like a mass execution of what forces we in the West can muster in that theatre – mostly proxies but some of ours – than anything resembling “proper” war. Washington and Kiev sending in batches of men to be processed for execution until, presumably, they run out of men or those men left decide not to be sent in for the processing any more.

          Washington’s rationale, expressed by the politicians and sometimes the military, being that we’re degrading Russian military strength at little cost to our own manpower.

          I don’t think we’re actually doing much “degrading”. Looks to me as if we’ve caused the Russians to put their military in better fettle. But if we have done some damage to them it’s not much. Certainly not anything resembling defeating them. We lost any chance of defeating Russia when the sanctions war failed so that claimed “degrading”, and saving face, is all that’s left for us.

          So it has been since early 2022. So it’ll continue until the collapse. I’m seeing it said in England that we in the West should learn from this war and gear up to fight better next time round.

          Utter rubbish. We’ve only seen a tiny fraction – minute – of America’s formidable military power deployed and not that much of the Russian. There’s little to be learned from observing a mass execution conducted within the tight constraints of proxy war.

          In the process, however, we can slip in the odd blow without going too far outside the deconfliction arrangements that are in place, and without bending too much those constraints of proxy war.

          That’s where the longer range and more powerful missiles we’ve considering supplying come in. There’s an outside chance they’ll do some real damage. Get in some real “degrading”. That’s why Putin’s warning us off in that Tashkent statement and Peskov’s been underlining the warning. Play time is over, they’re saying. Any more and it’s for real.

          Though it’ll be useful, in the coming blame game, for us to be saying “Well, we tried. We did all we could.” We in the UK can and do blame the Americans for delaying their latest aid package – as if that package will make any difference other than prolong the execution process – and you in the States can blame the Europeans for not sending more in. That’s all the wild talk about escalating really amounts to on both sides of the Atlantic. Saving face for the blame game. That’s why Macron’s strutting his stuff so bravely. Means nothing but will look good for the post mortem.

          Maybe a little more than that. There’s heroism enough, both sides, on the front line but for all that it’s scarcely a heroic venture, looked at in the round. Batch executing masses of fellow Slavs in the killing fields of the Donbass. 150 million with the best land army in the world beating up the 25 million shrimp.

          But what we’ve done, with all our wild talk of the Combined West coming in more heavily, is make it look as if we’re pitting pit that 150 million against a billion of us. A far more heroic venture and the Russians will complete their task in Ukraine in better heart.


          But Leith. Dumb question.

          Returning to the question of armaments, old or new, for the coming Cold War. The current military action we’re seeing is a one-off. A limited war that’s ballooned more than expected, no more. Any real war, one with both the Americans and the Russians all out, and it’d go nuclear as soon as one side or the other started losing. So as far as old-fashioned full scale conventional warfare goes, what does it matter which of you has the most modern or the “best” armed forces?

  20. LeaNder says:

    American military technology is inferior to Russian and it would be impossible in any case for the Americans to send in enough troops, let alone equip and supply them.

    EO, I probably shouldn’t ask, but what exactly makes you think so? Are you relying on the expertise of our earlier US based pilgrim expert on Russian superiority with a background in the Russian Navy? You rely on expert news from Russia around the topic during the last a decade?

    Ok, why shouldn’t I ask, because I consider your Europe & Ukraine trying to pull in US troops bull-shit. You may cite me if it happens.

    • English Outsider says:

      Not ALL Europe, Leander. The Italians are dead against it, Scholz doing his usual this way that way act, even the Poles not keen on further escalation.

      Berlin/Brussels and Washington aren’t best buddies, LeaNder. Don’t be fooled by the happy talk. A couple of rogues using each other for their own dubious purposes, HMG doing its squalid best to use both. Not a seemly business, the current Rules Based International Order.

      Main thing is, I don’t think most of the hawkish talk abut giving Ukraine missiles for deep strikes is genuine. Just a load of politicians talking big in the hope their electorates won’t understand they’ve utterly screwed up on the Ukrainian venture. If I’m wrong it’s mushroom clouds so let’s hope I’m not. Take it you’re aware of Putin’s Tashkent press conference?

      My second point is that the final target selection and what is known as launch mission can only be made by highly skilled specialists who rely on this reconnaissance data, technical reconnaissance data. For some attack systems, such as Storm Shadow, these launch missions can be put in automatically, without the need to use Ukrainian military. Who does it? Those who manufacture and those who allegedly supply these attack systems to Ukraine do. This can and does happen without the participation of the Ukrainian military.

      Launching other systems, such as ATACMS, for example, also relies on space reconnaissance data, targets are identified and automatically communicated to the relevant crews that may not even realise what exactly they are putting in. A crew, maybe even a Ukrainian crew, then puts in the corresponding launch mission. However, the mission is put together by representatives of NATO countries, not the Ukrainian military.

      So, these officials from NATO countries, especially the ones based in Europe, particularly in small European countries, should be fully aware of what is at stake. They should keep in mind that theirs are small and densely populated countries, which is a factor to reckon with before they start talking about striking deep into the Russian territory. It is a serious matter and, without a doubt, we are watching this very carefully.

      You’ll also have read the NYT and WAPO stuff that shows we’ve been deeply into sabotage and assassination missions inside Russia using Ukrainians for the “look no hands” cover. All very mucky and the Russians are warning us off more of the same.

      Not always sure what the worst of it is. The fact that the way we’ve been using the Ukrainians is evil and has, as usual with our proxies, cost them dear. Or the fact we’ve done it so incompetently.

      But LeaNder, don’t let’s you an’ me pretend that the Heimat comes out of it with hands any cleaner than the rest of us. There’s a tendency in Germany for people to play the injured innocent and pretend “it was them in Washington made us do it”. Not so. The Association Agreement was Merkel’s baby and so was the deception with Minsk 2. Barbarossa Scholz, if we have to make excuses for him, was just dutifully trailing along in Mutti’s wake. “Nie Wieder” my foot!

      But no German I know or have heard of is going to admit they’ve been going hell for leather Wieder for a decade and more. Just as few care to discuss North Stream. The famous Omerta politics the Heimat specialises in. If we don’t talk about it didn’t happen. At least the Americans have got a lively contingent examining what their neocons got up to in Ukraine. Where’s our equivalent in Europe? Where in Germany?

      • LeaNder says:

        You didn’t answer my question about the superiority of Russian weapons. You did indirectly? Via the Russian Tzar?

        But curiously enough it took you rather long to circle in on the predictable culprit trying to wag the US poodle into WWIII (IV?) who else could that be but “die Heimat”. 😉

        • English Outsider says:


          The picture generally held is of Scholz, the new boy on the block, being conned into this disastrous venture by the wicked American neocons. To the detriment of his country’s economy.

          I don’t buy it. The Euros were playing their own hand, not Biden’s. And Scholz was scarcely a new boy. That the Euros got their fingers burnt was their own fault.

          On Martyanov, yes, he’s brilliant but unfortunately I wasn’t reading him at the relevant time. So the crass ineptitude of the NATO command, and the fact that European NATO is mostly talk and no do, did come as rather a surprise to me. Kujat, another brilliant man, was I suppose making warning noises from 2016 on but I was slow picking them up. The military’s not my scene, is my excuse.

          On “The Heimat”, I shouldn’t really be lumping all in that complex country together like that. “We the People” there know as little of what their masters are getting up to as babes unborn. German/EU politics is, as often said, opaque to inspection. Almost as bad as us Brits!

          However, I did note that the AfD was protesting about Scholz backing neo-Nazis so obviously not all in the Heimat are, politically speaking, dead from the neck up.

  21. ked says:

    I understand a convicted felon has made reservations at the Idi Amin Hilton in Riyadh.

  22. Barbara Ann says:

    I read that Canada has just pledged CAD 4M for “Gender-inclusive demining for sustainable futures in Ukraine”. The initiative includes “..establishing a gender and diversity working group to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine”. If mine action results in one’s gender transformation, doesn’t that mean you’re doing it wrong? Anyhoo.

    Canada has long pioneering the evolution of Woke as a new language and after reading this I think we can safely say that it should now be formally recognized as such – alongside French Woke of course. My brother in law was actually forced to leave BC as a result of being discriminated against as a non-Woke speaker (he speaks American) so rights for the non-fluent are well overdue. I also hope Google Translate will eventually offer a service so that English speakers like myself can understand this strange new tongue.

    • TTG says:

      Barbara Ann,

      That particular project is by the HALO Trust, a humanitarian NGO which primarily works to clear landmines. The trust also lists empowering women as something they do. Don’t know what “gender-inclusive demining” involves other than the rust’s literature pictures a lot of women doing the demining.

      Here’s the complete paragraph on this project. Seems it’s much more about demining than gender or wokeness.

      Gender-inclusive demining for sustainable futures in Ukraine

      Funding: $4 million

      This project from the HALO Trust aims to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians, including women and internally displaced persons, by addressing the threat of explosive ordnance present across vast areas of the country. Project activities include conducting non-technical surveys and subsequent manual clearance in targeted communities; providing capacity building to key national stakeholders; and establishing a gender and diversity working group to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine.

  23. Christian J Chuba says:

    Trump verdict

    We are a banana republic. It was a bad prosecution. I do not fault the jury. I have served on multiple juries and it is an overwhelming experience that compels you to agree with the prosecution.

    They bring you into a grand hall. You see well dressed courthouse employees who fill your head with the wonders of our system. I do not fault them either. The point is that it is hard to disagree with people in that environment.

    Yes, Trump is a douchebag. I am not going to vote for him or Biden. I’m voting for Jill Stein. You can make a technical case for Trump’s guilt but it reminds me of Beria’s quote, ‘show me the man and I will find the crime’. The legal theory was very convoluted and it favors a prosecution that is boxing you into the tiny role of, ‘is this true’ without seeing the big picture.

    BTW I’m a believer in jury nullification. Jury nullification is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If a case is too complicated, then I say nyet.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      The democrats are doing all they can to make us into a banana republic, that is for sure. But Trump will come out of this stronger than ever. He is now a martyr. He will gain an even greater share of the black vote because he has now been unfairly prosecuted for shit that white rich people do every day and protect each other over with no prosecution. Congress even has a slush fund for the elected to utilize when they are accused of inappropriate sex acts, etc.

      Anyhow, when Trump is re-elected this November, I imagine he will tear Washington bureaucracy to pieces. That will be a long overdue event. On the local level, there will be backlashes as well. If that does not come to pass, then we are headed toward societal collapse and civil war. Col Lang put the possibility of civil war in the next ten years at 50% in the early Trump first term days. I’d say that it is now at 80%. It almost like the left/deep state wants it. Probably so they can implement their UN/Globalist scheme, which is really a China world domination plan. The US will have to implode and conservatives/patriots be killed off first.

      Folks here, this having become an anti-American, one worlder/progressive forum, will surely decry my comment as a hillbilly racist insane rant, but that’s what Chinese agents, globalists and deep state operatives, former and current, do.

      Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime, indeed.

      Those damn Rooskies are so terrible that way. We need to fight them at all costs!

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Eric Newhill

        This is a very sober assessment of the likely future and your comments on this subject are one of the reasons is far from becoming a one worlder/progressive forum. I read that Trump raised $39M immediately after the verdict and that 30% of contributions to WinRed were from new donors. The power Trump draws from his ongoing, slow motion martyrdom is extraordinary to witness. His enemies are so blinded by hate that they just can’t help themselves.

        Colonel Lang liked the analogy of Moby Dick – with Trump playing the part of the whale and the Deep State as Ahab. Just ‘cos they’ve got a harpoon in him doesn’t mean it will end well for anyone.

    • Fred says:


      We obviously served on different juries.

      “Overwhelming experience “? You should have demanded to be excused if you felt that way. “Compells you to agree with the prosecution. ” it is inexcusable to have a juror that incapable of deciding on evidence. Presumption of innocence didn’t appear to high on this jury’s, or judge’s, list of guiding principles. Michael Cohen must be mighty glad someone finally believes him.

    • ked says:

      when wealthy / powerful / connected operators commit enough crimes & manage to squirm their way out of justice as a core career skill, eventually they might get caught-up in something, even a minor felony, they don’t get away-with. it is instructive that he was convicted in a non-Federal court in his home city by a jury of local citizens. I give them credit for being attentive & smart people placed in a risky circumstance. in complicated times we must assess complicated crimes – & they did. {it is revealing (to me, anyway) that trump kept referencing Al Capone… who went to prison for tax evasion rather than conspiracy to murder.}

    • TTG says:

      Christian J Chuba,

      I’m with Fred on this one. The few juries I’ve sat on were certainly not intimidated by the prosecution or any trappings of the court. Each one focused on the presumed innocence of the accused and questioned the prosecution’s case ruthlessly. In other words, we took our jobs seriously. After serving on these juries, I was more impressed by our system to rise above the very real prosecutorial trickery.

  24. leith says:

    80 years ago today on 1 June 1944, the Free French at Radio Londres broadcast the first three lines of an 1866 Paul Verlaine poem, Chanson d’automne. It was a signal to La Résistance that D-Day ops would soon begin.

    “Les sanglots longs /
    Des violons /
    De l’automne”

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