Open Thread 28 April 2022

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54 Responses to Open Thread 28 April 2022

  1. Sam says:

    Florida public schools were open for all students in Fall 2020.

    Public schools in “progressive” areas were closed for 12-18 months, some even in 2022.

    The only people “trying to destroy public education” are those who spent the last 2 years pretending school is non-essential.

    DeSantis is definitely upping his national profile even taking on Disney. He seems to be politically shrewd and placing all his ducks in a row to capture the MAGA crowd. Will be interesting to see how the likely inevitable political conflict with Trump will shape up.

  2. Leith says:

    The Saudis are saying they are going to release 163 Houthi POWs. Trying to present a kinder, gentler persona to the world maybe; but the proof will come if they forever swear off their bombing attacks on Sanaa civilians in the future.

    Do you have any insights on the UN brokered truce in Yemen? Will it cease at the end of Ramadan or continue?

    • cofer says:

      The Saudis announced they have reached an agreement with Iran. This could be connected.

      • Leith says:

        Cofer –

        Brokered by Baghdad? Or maybe by Erdogan? I guess this means that the IRGC can now focus on Syria and Lebanon. I have been hoping they would take on the Taliban to protect their Hazara co-religionists in Afghanistan.

  3. Jose says:

    Sam, Disney is claiming that until the debts are paid their special district can not be dissolved…lol

    Simply create Geographical Area formerly know as Disney Special District until debts are paid.

    That will on top of all the County and School Board taxes imposed by the two counties.

    Go Woke, Go Broke.

    DeSantis is a genius:

  4. Degringolade says:

    Hey folks: John Helmer wrote an interesting bit over at his place. Talked about Mary Beards new book

    Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern (The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Bollingen Series 35, 60)

    I have just re-read:

    The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire : Edward Luttwak

    I am going to read Beard’s book. I have a feeling that both of these books have some insight into our current situation

    • Leith says:

      Degringolade –

      Putin would have done better if he had adhered to the first principle of Byzantine strategy: “Avoid war by every possible means, in all possible circumstances, but always act as if it might start at any time.”

      The US should also follow that precept.

  5. Mike C says:

    Here’s some music I think the committee will appreciate:

    Nashville session guitarist Tom Bukovac with a faithful take on an old standard.

    Hope all of you are well, or getting there.

  6. Al says:

    Radio data collected from space is the next frontier.
    In part:
    … declassification and the wide availability of satellite imagery also present a new challenge: how do you gain an edge if everyone has the same picture? That’s where officials hope that artificial intelligence and new forms of space-collected intelligence, such as radio-frequency data, will create new advantages.

    Frazier highlighted work that Maxar has been doing with the Army’s 82nd Airborne, as part of their Scarlet Dragon events, which occur every 90 to 100 days. Over the past 18 months, he said, they learned how to move images to troops on the battlefield in one-tenth of the time.

    The company is also putting up more satellites, which “is going to allow us to continue to collect imagery at very high resolution, so 30 to 30-centimeter resolution, but then also be able to dramatically increase revisit over areas of the world that matter.” Over the mid-latitudes, the region between the tropics and the polar circles that includes much of Asia, “We’ll have the ability to collect up to 15 times a day and then also be able to interleave that with other sources to just get persistence.”

    In the years ahead, expect an explosion in other kinds of satellite-gathered data—for example, unencrypted radio chatter from military units that are broadcasting their location via global positioning. At the conference, Annie Glassie, a mission analyst with HawkEye 360, a satellite company that specializes in gathering radio signals, showed how her firm could identify ships that had turned off their AIS receiver— in effect, trying to go dark.

    Kari A. Bingen, HawkEye 360’s chief strategy officer, said, “What we are able to detect is effectively.. those electronic warfare, those indicators, emitters, jamming GPS radars, other things that are a leading indicator of, frankly, where Russia forces are and where they’re moving.” …

  7. Fred says:

    I see Joe Biden has launched a Ministry of Truth. Now we will find out about things, like Russia Collusion
    Hunter Biden’s Laptop
    Jeffery Epsteins clients

    • James says:

      My understanding is that before 2008 the US govt was legally barred from conducting Information Operations against its own people but then Obama signed something like an executive order making it legal. Call me paranoid – but I think it has been downhill since then.

      • TTG says:


        The target audience of this “Disinformation Governance Board” are the people of Central American countries where human traffickers and coyotes operate, not US persons or citizens. The goal is to counter the sales pitch of the traffickers. That’s why it’s a DHS initiative. I have no idea how they came up with that 1984-like name or why they chose Jankowitz to lead it. Granted she is an established expert in IO and countering disinformation, but she is currently politically radioactive to many.

        • Fred says:


          “The target audience of this “Disinformation Governance Board” are the people of Central American countries where human traffickers and coyotes operate, not US persons or citizens.”

          LOL Thanks, I needed a laugh to end the week on a high note. Less than a week after Musk makes a bid for twitter, days after the company releases data showing lots of fake accounting on user metrics and the ever so mysterious rise in ‘followers’ for so called conservatives. Not to mention repeated polling showing democratic ratings amongst Hispanics is tanking faster than the Biden economy. But yes, the ‘IO expert’ is only gonna target ‘Central’ Americans.

        • different clue says:

          I personally don’t believe that or trust it. That may be the official excuse as of now, but I would expect this ” Board” to try polluting and strangling and disinforming and corrupting information-flows across every channel it can reach and pollute within the borders of the US itself as soon as its leadership think they can figure out how to get away with it and make it work.

          • TTG says:

            different clue,

            The future actions of this board do bear watching. As long as they concentrate on countering the human smugglers and Republican line of propaganda that it is easy to enter the US at the southern border, I’m for it. I haven’t heard of any outrage over the existence of the far more robust counter-propaganda effort run out of the State Department even during the entire Trump administration.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        I fear you may have been the victim of misinformation ;-). However, in its infinite wisdom Congress did grant the State Dept the power to propagandize the citizenry in the 2017 NDAA. Clearly they felt the American people were at such risk from “foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts” that a domestic propaganda agency was required. Fred’s news is another step towards Orwell’s Minitrue becoming a reality. Read about the Global Engagement Center‘s origins here:

        • TTG says:

          Barbara Ann,

          That State Department outfit is much more likely to be used to propagandize the citizenry than that Disinformation Governance Board in DHS. But it hasn’t done much in over five years of its existence. Commercial outlets like Facebook and Twitter have been much more effective in spreading disinformation. Good luck to Musk, if the deal does go through, in his effort to rid Twitter of bots and authenticate all users as real people. If anyone can do that, it would be Musk in a privatized Twitter.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            I wish Musk luck, he’ll need it. TPTB want social media censorship under their control and Musk will have very powerful enemies if he really does intend to remove the current ‘content moderation’ policies. Who knows, if he is successful I may even be invited back..

          • JK/AR says:

            Not to worry The Ministry of Truth is gonna be doing anything other than ‘advising illegals not to walk to our border’ because after all, all this stuff really began under Trump.

            (And we all remember how frequently he personally directly addressed would-be illegals.)

            Just ask WH Press Sec Psaki

            ” Psaki said the board’s efforts are part of “a continuation of work that began at the Department of Homeland Security in 2020, under former President Trump.”

            Asked by Heinrich how Jankowicz can serve as an effective board leader based on prior comments, which include public support for the Democratic Party and dismissal of the Hunter Biden laptop story, Psaki reiterated that the work began under the prior administration.

            “For anyone who’s critical of it, I didn’t hear them being critical of the work under the former president, which is interesting to note contextually,” Psaki said as she outlined a fact sheet released by the department that explains the board’s mission.”


        • James says:

          Barbara Ann,

          I stand corrected. So does this mean that US govt agencies have the legal authority to say, penetrate Twitter and get … for example … Scott Ritter banned from Twitter? Can they penetrate the New York Times and influence which journalists get fired or which articles get run?

          It seems like a very slippery slope to me.

        • James says:

          Biden’s head of the new “Disinformation Governance Board”. I do not like where our society is headed.

  8. Mark Gaughan says:

    President Biden wants another $33 billion for Ukraine.

  9. Fourth and Long says:

    Biden’s new appointment as US ambassador to Ukraine has a very interesting name:

    Bridget Brink.

    Very subtle, Joe. Can we call you just plain Joe BuyDem?

  10. James says:

    Southfront has an article on how the IRGC is, in Syria, training Iraqi fighters to use manpads:

    Could this be Russia saying “oh you want to play the ‘supplying manpads’ game”?

    • TTG says:


      Seems more like an Iranian/IRGC initiative. But I’m sure they’re watching Ukraine for lessons learned.

  11. Jose says:

    TTG, you night be misinformed:

    IMHO, the goal is to target Tejano/Mexican American voters (who are abounding the Democrats) and Russia (the narrative just changed with the funding request).

    This is a clear violation of free speech against the American people by the government.

    The lady assigned to head the Board is nothing more than misinformation herself concerning the 50 NATSEC personal and Hunter Biden (they lied) and she is part of the collapsing Russian narrative.

    I can not believe this is happening in America.

    • TTG says:


      Do Republicans want the human smugglers to continue convincing Central Americans to move to the US? I would think they would be happy to throw a monkey wrench into the smugglers’ business model. Tejano/Mexican American voters are already here and are citizens. They don’t need to be convinced of anything. It’s the potential immigrants and asylum seekers that need to be convinced that the smugglers are lying to them.

      If this Board also addresses Russian propaganda, that’s fine with me. I would think the State Department outfit would take the lead on that one. Do you believe Moscow’s claim that there is no war in Ukraine? That’s Moscow’s version of the truth. Why not have the USG confront that blatantly false propaganda?

      • Fred says:


        “…human smugglers to continue convincing Central Americans to move to the US?”

        You seriously think some IO expert is going to convince smugglers to stop when zero of them get apprehend or prosecuted?

        • TTG says:


          The aim is to convince the people being smuggled that it’s a bad idea, not to convince the smugglers.

          • Fred says:


            Sending 10,000 illegals back home every month is a lawful and much more powerful message. No advertising or IO required, just law enforcement.

          • TTG says:


            We’re sending a lot more than that home every month now. That’s not stopping the flow of people coming north or the smugglers’ influence on those people.

          • Fred says:


            We are? That’s news to me. Where might that list of 120,000 per year be and how does that relate to 2,000,000 illegals/year coming?
            Not here:

            Not here either:

            Perhaps we should spend $33 Billion fixing our border, then work on regime changing all those corrupt Central American governments rather than the Ukrainian and Russian ones.

          • TTG says:


            These are the USCBP figures for total encountered at border and turned back including title 8 enforcement actions and title 42 expulsions, well over your 10,000 per month figure. This does not include undetected illegal entries or illegal visa overstays.

            FY17 526,901
            FY18 683,178
            FY19 1,148,024
            FY20 646,822
            FY 21 1,956,519
            FY 22 1,217,802 (year to date)

            I haven’t found any figures for those allowed in legally, undetected illegal entries or illegal visa overstays. I did find these excerpts on asylum seekers let in or granted asylum. The chart in the Time article showing asylum under Obama, Trump and Biden is eye opening. Was all that talk about Trump’s closed border just bullshit propaganda?

            “Between December 1, 2020, and December 1, 2021, AOs received 57,405 credible fear cases, and in 38,713 cases, credible fear was found — a credible fear approval rate of approximately 67.4 percent. On review in FY 2021, IJs found credible fear (reversing a negative credible fear determination by an AO) in roughly 29.3 percent of cases.”

            “The denial rate for such cases in FY 2021 was just over 22 percent. That is the lowest denial rate since FY 2016, when just over 18.2 percent of all asylum applications originating with a credible fear claim were denied. By contrast, the denial rate in FY 2020 was almost 37.5 percent.”


            “Asylum case success rates jumped from 29% to 37% between Fiscal year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021, during which Biden took office, according to a new report published Wednesday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data and research organization at Syracuse University. Looking only at the period Biden has been in office, the success rate has been 40% — and as high as 47% in September.”


          • Fred says:


            “I haven’t found any figures for those allowed in legally, undetected illegal entries or illegal visa overstays.”

            The latter to kind of matter, don’t they; right along with the lack of the USG under this administration doing something about that.

          • TTG says:


            Absolutely. Those are the most important numbers. We should certainly know how many we let in legally and have a damned good idea of those overstaying their visas. The number crossing the border undetected is a problem. If they’re undetected, they can’t be counted by any administration. But now you see how many this administration are turning back from the border. Biden is wrong about soft selling the border problem. The number trying to get in is astounding.

          • Fred says:


            You left out those illegally crossing over at places where the border patrol doesn’t catch them. Multiply that by a decade and then divide that number by 761,179 to see how many congressional districts that represents.

          • TTG says:


            I didn’t leave them out. I just don’t see any count of them, just wild-assed and unsubstantiated guesses. If they were counted, they would have been seen if not caught.

  12. Leith says:

    Poland has announced it is sending 200 T72s (25% of its inventory) to Ukraine. Although some twitter sites are saying Poland is too smart to telegraph their intentions to Putin ahead of time and that the tanks are already in Ukraine. Seems to me that 200 tanks could add up to six tank regiments i.e. 18 tank battalions. But I assume that Ukraine’s Army will use many of them as replacements in existing units instead of forming new armor brigades. Along with the T-72s they are sending (or have sent) 152mm SP howitzers, BM-21 Grads, UAVs, and Air to Air missiles.

    Putin’s agitprop is claiming it’s all part of a devious plan of the Poles to annex western Ukraine.

    Also, in Gdansk Poland, they are trolling the Russian Consulate located there. The city has named a square “Heroic Mariupol” just down the street from it. Plus lots of graffitti showing a blue and yellow Ukrainian fist smashing the ‘Judo Dwarf’.

    Poland will be receiving Natural Gas from Lithuania via the LNG import terminal in Klaipėda.

  13. mcohen says:

    Some light entertainment i wrote on site

    She’s got the snakeskin boots
    Showing her roots
    When she walks down the street
    She’s a force of heat

    Don’t ask me why
    But she fires up my day
    As i watch her go by
    From my doorway

    Dressed in tight black leather
    Lips painted red
    I snap my tether
    Tied to the bed

    Oh baby set me free
    I’m all beat
    I just want to be
    Your force of heat

  14. JK/AR says:

    Of course I understand its ancient history but, the NMSFPD only very recently released videos. Here’s Andrew Branca’s analysis – looks to me that a finger was definitely on the trigger:

    • TTG says:


      That’s a good article, but I and Colonel Lang want to see your commentary along with the link.

      • Degringolade says:

        I’m sorry, I won’t let that happen again.

        OK: Here we go. I think that I have been coming around to this point of view lately. The way that I see it, we are in the middle of transition to being comfortable at being “Byzantium: and we are seeing ourselves less “Rome” every year.

        I am writing a piece over at my place and will e-mail you guys the link. I am doing some more reading and doing some fact-checking on my current assumptions.

        Thanks for being patient with me. Hope everyone is well.

        • Deap says:

          I get triggered by the mere word, since it recalls one of my favorite sailing to mortality poems:

          Sailing to Byzantium

          That is no country for old men. The young
          In one another’s arms, birds in the trees,
          —Those dying generations—at their song,
          The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
          Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
          Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
          Caught in that sensual music all neglect
          Monuments of unageing intellect.


          An aged man is but a paltry thing,
          A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
          Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
          For every tatter in its mortal dress,
          Nor is there singing school but studying
          Monuments of its own magnificence;
          And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
          To the holy city of Byzantium.


          O sages standing in God’s holy fire
          As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
          Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
          And be the singing-masters of my soul.
          Consume my heart away; sick with desire
          And fastened to a dying animal
          It knows not what it is; and gather me
          Into the artifice of eternity.


          Once out of nature I shall never take
          My bodily form from any natural thing,
          But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
          Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
          To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
          Or set upon a golden bough to sing
          To lords and ladies of Byzantium
          Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

  15. Al says:

    Russia avoids default with debt payments in dollars
    In part:
    … Why it matters: It made the payments in dollars and euros, despite a decree from Russian President Vladimir Putin in early March that Russia and Russian companies would only pay foreign creditors in rubles. Moscow took the stance after Western sanctions on its foreign reserve currencies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    By sanctioning its reserve currencies, the U.S. and its allies hope to force Russia to prioritize its foreign currencies for debt payments and not for funding its war effort in Ukraine…

  16. Jovan P says:

    A few days ago there was an exchange – the USA handed over the pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko to the Russians (sentenced to 20 years jail time in 2011), and the Russians vice versa handed over Trevor Reed, a US Marine (jailed since 2019).

    It’s nice to know that some phones are working.

  17. Deap says:

    A welcome coalescing of forces is taking place: Elon Musk -Twitter- Babylon Bee – Tucker Carlson – mocking; rather than just reacting defensively to leftist slurs. One feels a collective psychic weight being lifted.

    Making the internet fun again:

    NB: BabylonBee is a satire site.

  18. Deap says:

    More good news – what issues will make blue border districts in Texas now turn red: God, country, hard work and family.

    Recognizing of course that Austin, Texas now stands for just the opposite, as it gets more Californicated every day.

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