Open Thread – 27 November 2023

I have places to go, people to see and things to do. Thus the open thread.

I do notice that Kim Jong Un is feeling his oats lately. He’s joined the “space race” with his polar orbit satellite and started remanning his DMZ guard posts. I wonder what uncle Vovo promised him for his old stocks of artillery shells and artillery pieces. That had to be an embarrassing ask.

BTW, that’s a Rasberry Pi above set up as an Open Thread Border Router.


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53 Responses to Open Thread – 27 November 2023

  1. English Outsider says:

    I’ve just seen a comment on MOA on the current madness that has seized the West. It returns attention to what will happen when the Ukraine war is finished with. I believe there’s already a divergence between the European political classes and those in Washington. Washington seems to want to move on to conflict with China. The Europeans aren’t so interested in that and wish to focus still on the conflict with Russia.

    That could have disagreeably consequences for us in Europe. The MOA comment underlined that and I attempted to set those consequences out.

    The comment together with my attempt was as follows:-

    “There is currently a madness about, it goes for climate, it goes for Covid and it goes for the two major wars, the one in Ukraine and the one in Israel.”

    “I don’t know if the stupidity has stopped yet, but sooner or later the sentiment will turn.”

    Posted by: g wiltek | Nov 27 2023 12:21 utc | 6

    I’m not sure. Sentiment turning on the Israeli war is already happening. Washington seems to be backpedalling in response. But at least in Europe I believe public sentiment on the Russian war is locked in and will remain so. The Russians are the enemy and in future we must ensure we can defend ourselves against them.

    The latest Ramstein showed that that’s the way public opinion will be steered. “Freezing Winds” shows the same.

    We are gearing up for Cold War II after Ukraine. The Scholz/ Stoltenberg plans for a Rapid Response force of 300,000 men, though impracticable at least in the short term, showed that some time ago. The EU has always wanted to develop military force to match its commercial weight and the UK, “Brexit” or no, intends to be part of that. We want our share of the resultant defence projects.

    Whether it will work depends on the Russians.

    Remnant Ukraine will be neutralised. We don’t yet know how but the Russians can’t afford to leave that remnant as a NATO spearhead and after all this they’re unlikely to do so. After that the Russians will return their attention to their late 2021 European security demands.

    Those Russian European security demands are not compatible with the European plans for further NATO pressure on Russia. If the Russians decide that that NATO pressure is unacceptable they can enforce their security demands by cutting off supplies to Europe.

    So far the damage done to the European economy by the EU/UK sanctions packages has been self-inflicted. The sanctions were tailored to hurt the Russians to the maximum without damaging us too much.

    That didn’t work and the European economy has already been damaged. Further reduction in supplies from Russia would damage us considerably more. If the Russians decided on insisting on their 2021 European security demands that would severely reduce the ability of NATO to finance the projected Cold War 11.

    I don’t see the European politicians considering this possibility. The “current madness” – and it is no exaggeration to call it just that – could in that event backfire on us severely. The European economy is still dependent on those Russian supplies.

  2. F&L says:

    Watch the video with subtitles in English. Makes Hitler youth look mild by comparison. Ron Unz has a fine piece today on his site. My favorite line is “Nazism is Judaism for wimps.” He said he wrote it “half in jest” in 2018. Ron is Jewish.
    Scroll r or l.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      Is anti-Zionism antisemitism?
      So this lawsuit seems to aver:

      “Conditioning a Jew’s ability to participate in a student group on his or her renunciation of
      a core component of Jewish identity
      is no less pernicious than demanding the renunciation of some other core element of a student’s identity —
      whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual identity,”
      the lawsuit said.

      Support for Israel is “a core component of Jewish identity”?
      I think identifying Jews with Zionist is something dangerous.
      One may reasonably oppose Israel’s actions without hating Jews, which is often used as the definition of antisemitism.

      • F&L says:

        This is a brief intro to this man’s thinking which well summarizes his thesis that it is in reality Zionism which is antisemitic. His terminology is not ideal, IMO, I’d prefer it formulated as .. Zionism is anti-Judaism, whereby it’s meant that Zionism in large part originated with the revulsion with Orthodox Judaism on the part of many Jews who considered Judaism too weak and cowardly. There’s much room.for debate. There are other longer expositions of his thought on YouTube, such as his interview with Kim Iverson below and some other lectures of over an hour.
        His take is quite personal and though full of insight and deeply informed, would not be considered a valid overview by professional academic historians, as you no doubt know.

        And you are 100% correct. Identifying jews with Zionists is very dangerous – especially to jews who want nothing to do with them and who consider their entire project criminal and blasphemous.
        Einstein, for example was entreated to become the first president of Israel. He refused in a brief letter which described the political leadership as terrorist criminals. In one of these the Rabbi explains how the whole Masada story was an invention of Zionist propaganda. That’s not far off. The jews have had many brilliant individuals but in the field of foreign policy and international relations their record historically is very poor. Kissinger is not a counterexample because he represented the USA, not either the contemporary Israel or the ancient versions which insanely rebelled against the Roman colossus.

        Rabbi Expodes Zionism’s Antisemitism with Yaakov Shapiro.

        Zionism’s search for an identity. (Kim Iverson w Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro)

      • F&L says:

        This is a link to a video of a 90 minute address by a younger Rabbi Yaakov. Removed from the constraint of an interview, it’s very interesting. His concept is that Zionism is quite literally anti-judaism. It was Herzl’s “plan B” which was invoked because of thr failure of “Plan A” which was to either convert to Christianity or otherwise assimilate, which he said proved to be futile after the 1881 pogroms in the western areas of the Tsar’s empire which lead to the emigration of two million jews.

        Has Zionism Hijacked Judaism? – Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro.

      • F&L says:

        PS to KH

        One of the most interesting segments of the longer video (Has Zionism Hijacked Judaism?) comes at t = 44 minutes or so and on for the next 3 minutes till he finishes his exegesis on why in his opinion the rebellion and defense of the Warsaw ghetto was NOT in fact heroic. It will be scoffed at and denigrated by some readers of this forum, no doubt, because of their martial training and sympsthies, and a skeptical philosopher who was impartial in that regard would object anyway and say “no no no, Rabbi, don’t you see that humans are in fact also animals?” His argument is that it is not heroic to defend yourself from viscious animals such as lions and tigers and bears and that antisemites and the Nazis of that historical episode are in fact animals, and not worthy of being considered human. His image of Judaism is highly ideal, one of “a people apart,” those who received the law from god on Mount Sinai and those who till this day keep the 613 commandments are Jews, and it has nothing to do with ethnicity, language, national origin; for instance King David was descended from Ruth the Moabite who was a convert. In short Zionism is the furthest thing possible from Judaism in Rabbi Yaakov’s formulation.

        • English Outsider says:

          Have put it aside for when I’ve got some free time. You do come up with some heavy duty stuff, F&L. At the moment my free time is mostly going on Avdeevaka. I don’t spend much time on the back and forth of the fighting but Avdeevka and nearby means a lot to anyone who’s been watching events in the Donbass since 2014.

          As for Herzl, I believe he was also much influenced by the Dreyfus case.. That and the pogroms you mention led him to think there wasn’t a lot of hope for Jews in Europe generally so they’d better look for somewhere else.

          I had a vague memory that he did visit the then Palestine so I checked.

          He did. And therefore knew it was no land without a people. But those days the “natives” were so much livestock so the fact that there were people there already wouldn’t have bothered him much. It was left to Jabotinsky to work out the practical implications of settling an already settled land and, these days, to such as Benny Morris to agonise over those implications. Not that Morris spent that much time agonising, as noted here before.

          You know, reading that and similar material I’m no longer sure the two state solution is a runner. There will always be Israelis wanting it all, and always Palestinians wanting it back. Long term, looks like it’s going to have to be one side or the other getting their dream.

  3. leith says:

    Those Rasberries are versatile my grandson tells me. Any dual use weaponization being done?

    • Condottiere says:

      Yes. A Pi can be used offensively and defensively. It can be used like depicted as a thread border router. You can also use it as a travel router to segment your devices while using public WiF. You can configure the travel router with VPN so all your devices go through one encrypted tunnel. You can use it as a DNS sinkhole. You can host your own cloud service to avoid ECPA 3rd party doctrine(get a warrant Asshole) . You can set it up as a honeypot. You can install Kali on a Pi which is an untraceable disposable platform. You can turn it into a hotplug, Pineapple or a LAN turtle. You can turn a Pi Pico into a Rubber Ducky. You can use it with a HackRFOne SDR and do anything a Flipper Zero can do and more. With a Proxmark3 you can do more than Flipper with RFID/NFC/weigand clones, replays, and mfkey attacks. With a HackRF SDR can literally conduct EW on anything RF from 1MHz to 6GHz. There is software for Pi and HackRF for hacking streetlights, stoplights, TouchTunes jukeboxes, aircraft ADS-B, garage door openers, maybe even one day MLB PitchCom (918.23 MHz 😉 ). You can also use the HackRF to remotely hack into a car CAN bus through TPMS, unlock the doors, open the trunk, start the car, maybe even control the brakes, steering, ESC, ABS, CAS. You can bust out a headlight and hack into the CAN bus through the wiring harness. There are so many things you can do with a tiny Raspberry Pi.

  4. James says:

    Leaked audio of Jonathan Greenblatt freaking out over the fact that the ADL and its allies have lost control of the narrative:

    • F&L says:

      Yes, I’d say they lost that awhile ago. And the Democrats better wake up but there’s little sign they have. If younger people voted as frequently as more elderly folks it would be over for them. They can always fix an election though.

      I don’t know yet how to get yarmulkes on the reptiles. Cheap commercial iOS AI software. (nothing is for sale despite tag).

  5. leith says:

    Black Sea storm: Snow in Odesa – electricity outages in Crimea, half a million affected – flooding in Sochi.

    • Fred says:

      So much for global warming! I wonder how Germany’s natural gas costs and supplies will look in mid February?

      • different clue says:

        Oh, I don’t know . . . .

        The next time someplace has an amazing heatwave I could say . . . So much for global no-warming!

        So who is right? The people who think global warming is a real thing? Or the people who think global warming is a fake thing?

        Let Darwin decide.

        • Fred says:

          Yes, lets bankrupt the middle class, consolidate power to shape the economy in the hands of the unelected, and let ‘Darwin’ decide who lives and dies because of a ‘theory’ that justifies shaping the economy, destroying the middle class, and concentrating power. What’s not to like about that?

          • jld says:


            Oh! But ‘Darwin’ WILL decide who lives and die in the New World Order but the “planners” are in for some surprises.

            To clarify my position, I think the very complexity of the bio-social sphere defies ANY attempt at engineering for desired outcomes*, nature toolkit overwhelms the engineer toolkit by a humongous number of orders of magnitude (above 10^23…)

            *) Please lefties take notice that this applies no matter “well-meaning” you are or pretend to be. 🙂

          • TTG says:


            I disagree. We’ve done very well at engineering for desired outcomes. We wanted an industrialized world based on profligate burning of hydrocarbons and we got it along with a substantial increase in CO2 through a century and a half of engineering. We created a hole in the Antarctic ozone and we repaired it all through our engineering.

          • jld says:


            Of course you disagree, I knew that. 🙂

            Forcefully “managing the world” will bring terminal disasters even without nukes.

            How do you like the new Drones Wars?

            For sure this is not the Tao.

          • TTG says:


            Man has been managing the world for centuries. How do you think we got to the industrial revolution and the atomic age? You are right about this possibly leading to terminal disasters. Are you a luddite?

            I prefer the newest drone wars to the earlier one sided one. I also prefer them to nuclear war, artillery barrages an strategic bombing.

          • different clue says:

            Reality is the stuff that stays real no matter how hard you try to pray it away, handwave it away, troll it away, ridicule it away, etc.

            There is a saying . . . ” You can’t bullshit the ocean. It isn’t listening.”

            Is man made global warming a real thing? I think it is. You think it isn’t. One of us is right and one of us is wrong.

            Nothing real is going to be done “about” global warming. The global will keep right on warming or it won’t, depending on if global warming is a real thing or not.

            I will plan my life expecting more of the predicted geo-physical outcomes of global warming. I suppose you will plan your life expecting none of those geo-physical outcomes.
            Which one of us will be prepared for what will or won’t happen? Let Darwin decide.

      • F&L says:

        The question is “what’s cooking?”
        As the number of people who cook increase, the quantity of heat generated by cooking increases proportionately. Therefore since the population of the earth is increasing, the earth will increasingly warm. QED. Of course that assumes that other things are held constant such as the amount and intensity of the sun’s radiation incident upon the earth. The problem reduces to boilings of rice and baking of breads, muffins, scones and pizzas, with the occasional fried chicken, baked ham and breakfast of eggs over easy. The noble Japanese people and the Danish solved the problem of global warming long ago with Sashimi and schmorgasbord. (Sushi doesn’t count due to the necessity to boil rice). The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is bad for your wasteline but easy on the ecosystem. Bananas, apples and other fruits even better. The noble Hindus worshipped cows, thereby reducing cholesterol and frying hamburgers which consume energy. Fred, you know the answer to this question I bet – do dogs, cats, lions and tigers cook their food? No, neither in the wild nor zoo nor in domestication. Do bees fricassee pollen, does a seagull bake the morsels of trash from the cabana? If so it hasn’t been brought to my attention.

        Fred, I wonder if young Greta might be interested in marrying an old codger (me)?

        • Fred says:


          “do dogs, cats, lions and tigers cook their food? ”
          As Gollum put it, give it ’em “raw and wriggly!”
          Important historical note. The buffalo hunters gave us an extra hundred years of CO2 output. If you thought Dutch cows were CO2 dangerous, just imagine the output of a herd of buffalo!

    • leith says:

      Got to wonder what happened to the air defense systems Putin had installed on the beach at Sochi to protect his billion dollar plus palace there?

  6. Rob Waddell says:

    Deer Turcopoliers..

    I serendipitously stumbled upon this extremely well produced audio series about deer hunting in the wild mountainous regions of New Zealand. It starts (episodes 1 & 2) with the land based ‘deer cullers’ and progresses to the helicopter period where wild deer were exported for meat and later when deer were captured live for the deer farming industry (episodes 3 to 9). It’s a lot to get through but I found it unmissable.

    Its nearly all contemporary interviews with the shooters, pilots and their partners so you will hear some original colloquial kiwi accents if you haven’t heard these before. Its funny and tragic at the same time; I am quite sure some of you will enjoy it. This link is episode 3 which is the beginning of the helicopter period:
    Radio New Zealand National Program

    Cheers.. RW (listen with headphones if you can)

    • TTG says:

      Rob Waddell,

      Good find. I thoroughly enjoy these PBS-style extended historical studies. The early situation seems to be akin to the feral hog problem here in the States or even our suburban while tail deer problem due to our culling of predators. The comeback of coyotes here in the East may have an effect on controlling the deer population, but the jury is still out on that. I had two friends at DIA who culled the deer in an organized program providing the venison to food banks and kitchens.

      Here’s a link to the entire RNZ series. Hit the “read more” link in each of the episodes to get a synopsis of the programs.

      • Rob Waddell says:

        Thanks TTG..

        My dad used to tell a story where a young US scientist ensconced by the NZ Forestry department seriously recommended that cougar be introduced to solve the deer problem. Not undertaken by the way.

        Deer, tahr, pigs (hogs), goats and now wallaby are serious mammalian pests in New Zealand and irradication or even control is proving difficult. More hunters please (or even some small cougar).

        • TTG says:

          Rob Waddell,

          Doesn’t look like you have any predator species there. I’m leery about introducing them, even cougars uless they were there before. Seems they always lead to further unintended problems. Our coyotes reintroduced themselves naturally. I often cut across the ranges of Quantico Marine Base. One day I saw a deer run across the road followed at a distance by a coyote. Didn’t look like he was putting 100% into the chase. That was my first sighting of a coyote here. The deer are always strolling through our yard at night. I had to fence off my young trees to give them a chance.

        • leith says:

          Tasmanian Devils? They recently re-introduced them to the Australia mainland. But if you brought them to NZ they’d probably take down more sheep than your pesky deer.

    • leith says:

      Thanks Rob –

      We’ve come a long way since my Grampa who used to cull deer that invaded his garden. He shot them from his back porch using an old Remington pump-action.

    • F&L says:

      I’ve seen films of hunters viciously attacked by deer. This 30 sec clip puzzled me until I read the blurb and found out that the vehicle had struck the deer. Feisty!
      Deer and Man in Roadside Fight

  7. F&L says:

    Since this is an open thread it occurred to me to recommend this. A distinguished professor of sociology from Sweden, Jan Oberg. He explains, in mild, rational and very civilized fashion (frowned on in the US) why comparitively the United States has become and is on a deadly course to continue being indistinguishable from the ancient biblical beast of the Apocalypse. I especially enjoyed his characterization of our outwitted president recently who closed his three day encounter in homeless and drug addict infested San Francisco with President Xi by insulting President Xi and the intelligence of the whole assembled world with a crude, uninformed and very prejudicial remark. Par for the course unfortunately. 16 minutes but you needn’t watch the whole thing.
    US is Militarizing Itself to Death While China Emphasizes Cooperation. (Thinker’s Forum)
    Let us present you with Jan Oberg, political science academic, peace researcher, the director of Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research
    Follow him:

  8. jld says:

    Any problem with my reply to Fred?

    • TTG says:


      My favorite is ZZQ in Richmond, Virginia. My younger son brought up a five plus pound smoked turkey breast for Thanksgiving this year. I think it’s going to be a new tradition at our house. Their brisket is magnificent and their various sausages are unique religious experiences.

    • leith says:

      I have to drive over a hundred miles to Portland or Seattle to get any Carolina BBQ. It’s rare here near the western ocean. Same for Texas style brisket my other favorite. But we do have some good Hawaiian style BBQ in every town and city on the coast from Bellingham to San Diego, or Samoan; even if it’s just off a food truck.

      • TTG says:


        I haven’t had Hawaiian style BBQ since… Hawaii. When I ran the Recondo School, I was in tight with the local pig hunters and pakalolo growers. We ran our patrol through their hunting/growing grounds so I made it a point to stay on good terms with them. Ate a lot of pig. Didn’t touch the pakalolo.

        I remember Columbia, South Carolina was split down the middle with ketchup-based in the west and mustard-based in the east. Most in Virginia is ketchup or vinegar-based. ZZQ is Austin-style. Sauces are really optional. I’ll never go back.

        • leith says:

          Best Carolina BBQ I ever tasted was vinegar-based. It was on the coast in a little cafe off of rte 17 somewhere south of Wilmington. But I can’t remember the cafe name or town, it was ~60 years ago. If you wanted to add more zing it was served along with a small vinegar flask that was infused with those tiny yellow peppers. My Aunt Rosa from East Boston would have called them pepperocini, but I’d guess they were a different variety down there.

  9. rick says:

    Any thought on the passing of Dr Strangelove Kissinger?

    • ked says:

      Musician Tom Lehrer famously said: “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” (via Reuters)

    • rick says:

      For myself, it’s hard not to think that the world’s karmic burden is lighter for his death, in case the way I asked for comment was not clear.
      As a middle aged white guy living in the US, who did not serve in the military, intelligence, or foreign policy fields, it is difficult to tease out his direct effect on my life. I get that I lived in the US and he shaped the foreign policy that had a significant effect on the country generally, and I benefitted and/or suffered from those effects.
      As any person living outside the US, the fucker would have terrified me, and I would as likely as not have some direct connection story about the policies that he helped shape in action, probably involving the death of a relative.
      I don’t think that he ever set out to make the world worse, as his lights showed him good and bad. I just think that he was really unconcerned with lives; what was good for America was good, what was bad for it bad, and the costs to the rest of the world for good for America was not his problem.
      In the abstract, “friction free world of high school physics”, this is a proper attitude for a US security official. In the world it can prove counter-productive to the goal which it seeks to achieve, and that’s really a primary issue with policy: does it do the thing?; will it keep doing the thing over time, and at what cost?
      I am not a pearl clutching moralist, but the Kissinger Era was lubricated with an awful, awful lot of blood, seemingly preferentially. I am not sure that the benefits of those policy at the time outweigh the cost in consequences for the world that we have paid and continue to pay. I do also find him morally reprehensible, but that is usually no bar to greatness, unless your are morally reprehensible and unsuccessful, and I question how successful history will judge him to have been.

      Also, Ian Dury and the Blockheads for the occasion.
      Ladies and Gentlemen. I give you Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3

  10. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Although not of interest to those obsessed about Eastern Europe or the Middle East,
    for those interested about the ability or willingness of U.S. corporations and the USG to work together in a way which respects each others legitimate needs, the following should be of interest:

    A key issue mentioned by the article:

    “Boeing isn’t alone in its opposition to fixed-price development contracts.
    L3Harris Chief Executive Officer Chris Kubasik, for example, has vowed that his company will refuse to sign contracts with such terms.

    Negotiations between industry and the government on data rights are often sticking points for programs, which the government usually seeks to enable service-led maintenance.”

    My opinion: I don’t give a **** about who controls Ukraine.

    But I do care about what is happening in the good old USA.
    Can the “Sierra Nevada Corporation” really compete with Boeing?
    Seems unlikely to me.

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