Open Thread

You read about the Great Terror during the French Revolution and from your safe, prosperous American home you wonder how people could act like that? I mean, you understand that there was injustice and even cruelty in the Ancien Régime, but you still look upon it in shock. And then you read a piece in Bloomberg opinion which has an upper class twit telling us to eat lentils and let the dog die to deal with inflation.

And then you understand.

Cruelty and injustice can be dealt with – it is having people treat you with contempt that gets the blood boiling and makes cheering as a noble’s head comes off something understandable.

And there is monumental contempt for us.

When the Hunter Biden story was actively suppressed by the MSM and the Tech Giants in 2020, do recall that 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter stating that the Hunter story was Russian disinformation. It was this letter which allowed Team Pudding Brain, the DNC and the MSM to justify spiking the story. People actually got banned from social media for bringing the story up! The MSM and Tech efforts were bad enough, but the crucial thing was the bald-faced lie by the intelligence officials…without that, the rest wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. But really grasp that: the organizations charged with protecting American national security produced 50 people to lie in print. When you add in the fact that the FBI knew all about this months before it broke and not a single person there blew the whistle you really see our problem: they are against us. They hate us. They hold us in contempt.

I pointed out on Twitter earlier that the same MSM and government agencies who assure us the 2020 vote was legit are the same people who lied about Hunter Biden.

And, yet, you still can’t get through to Never Trump on this. I’m not talking about those Never Trump who have morphed into Never Republican…I’m talking about those who remain Republican and are already largely lining up behind DeSantis for 2024: they remain impervious. One of the more famous said today that he’s backing DeSantis because he doesn’t have the character flaws of Trump. Which is a sort of reverse lie: what character flaws does Trump have? The only one’s we know about are those told to us by government and MSM sources which are proven liars. I mean, seriously: maybe Trump is an immoral man, but nobody can really know. He’s been so consistently lied about that no outsider can sift it and determine what might be true or false (though we can rely on it that Trump has never broken a law – if he had, even in the most trivial manner, he’d already have been tried for it). But, also, for all we know, he’s a moral man. Sure, he had his divorces and his playboy days when young…but young billionaires tend to do that sort of thing and in the year when we have drag queen story time, I’m going to place getting busy with a super model rather low on the moral outrage scale. And rely on this: were Trump still playing around on the side, we’d know about it…I’m sure the MSM has people watching him 24/7. So if he was a bit of a cad from 25-50, he’s not today.

Dr Oz is still rolling along in the Pennsylvania Senate race. I get the doubts about him – he’s from Oprah Universe, something I hold in utter contempt. Over the years, as part of the price of being part of that universe, he staked out positions which are pretty much anathema to anyone on the right, especially on issues like “red flag” laws for gun ownership. But, I also don’t automatically condemn him for that. Lets face it: we’ve all had an education the past 7 years. Perhaps Oz has looked around and figured a few things out? He’s presenting himself as the Trumpist candidate. So far, Trump hasn’t endorsed him – but the rumor from Trump World is that Melania, who apparently is a good friend of Oz, is pushing for him. We’ll see how it comes out – to me, the most important thing is getting the (R) to victory. Is Oz that guy? Don’t know. But I can’t see how he’d be worse than Toomey…who took our Tea Party movement to get into office and then became a colorless GOPe Establishment guy once in, going as far down as to vote to convict Trump in the second trial (and that vote sunk his career in the GOP).

The war with the Ukraine continues to drag on – and Putin, so far, shows no sign of quitting. Ukraine still stands firm and there are even reports of local Ukrainian counter-attacks. OTOH, a recent video of Zelensky in Kiev looked a little photo-shopped. Like they had him in front of a green screen that they projected Kiev on to. I still hold it isn’t our fight – but it does affect the world. In one case, over food supply. The Ukraine is one of the world’s bread baskets. The Ukrainian farmers should be starting to plant their crops right about now. If they aren’t – and it looks like they’re not – then the world is going to have some serious problems in the Fall.

In other news on that front, China and India are working deals with Putin – China and India do need Russian oil and other raw materials, after all. From a geo-political standpoint, our obsession with Putin is taking us out of the global equation while a should-be ally (India) and our definite rival (India) are cutting deals which undermine America’s overall position. My view: we should have declared absolute neutrality in the Russo-Ukrainian war, holding ourselves willing to host peace talks and providing humanitarian aid to both sides.

Open Thread

A lot of journalists are pretending to be shocked (shocked, I tell you!) that the New York Times has now confirmed the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop. It is all so ridiculous – but, they’re gonna go with that. “What? I had no idea! They said it was Russian disinformation!”. Its ok to tell the story now because, well, 2020 is long over.

But as one guy I know pointed out – if the laptop is valid (and it is) then Joe Biden is compromised…lots of foreign powers have sufficient dirt on Biden’s son to pretty much force Pudding Brain to do what they want. And this goes a long way towards explaining things like the US easing sanctions on Russia so they can build a $10 billion nuclear plant for Iran. You know, Russia: the ultimate Bad Guy right now? That Russia.

China and Russia have worked out a deal to denominate their trade in yuan rather than dollars. This does put at risk the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This is a watershed moment, folks: the final end of the post-WWII system.

Do keep in mind that the US dollar became the world’s currency because after WWII it was still at least partially backed with gold, the US was economically dominant and you could rely on the American government not confiscating your dollar-denominated assets at will. Here in 2022, the dollar is backed by nothing, the US is not economically dominant and we just demonstrated vis a vis Russia that we’ll confiscate assets (and civil asset forfeiture has been leading us this way for a while). Given all this, unless you have to trade in the USA, what purpose does a dollar have? There is a non-zero chance that the US dollar goes rather Weimar here.

A look ahead to Trump’s 2024 prospects.

The Ukraine war grinds on – I was disgusted yesterday at Congressional GOP hawkishness on the issue. And, also, I don’t get it: the GOP base is entirely unwilling to go to war over Ukraine. We don’t like Putin. We favor Ukraine…but we don’t want to fight. But there was the GOP yesterday acting like it was 2001 again. It is just stupid: and the whole Ukraine issue merely provides cover for Democrat failure. Leave it alone. Let the Democrats talk tough about it.

Open Thread

At a rally on Saturday, President Trump said that the President should have the power to fire all Executive branch employees. This is crucial to the survival of the Republic.

Civil Service reform in the 19th century was in response to what was known as the Spoils System – to the victor goes, ya know? It was under Andrew Jackson that the Spoils System became the rule. Often at the change of an Administration there would be massive turnover in the bureaucracy as the new guy replaced everyone with his cronies. The system was used to garner and retain political support and it often led to a well-connected dimwit being in charge of some particular part of the government apparatus. It was also, of course, massively corrupt, with the jobs often going to whomever gave the most. The idea behind Civil Service reform was to institute competitive exams to ensure only highly qualified people were hired and then to insulate them from being fired at the whim of the President. It was, ultimately, part of the Progressive program to place Experts in charge who would ensure good, honest government no matter how corrupt or stupid the elected officials were.

What happened, of course, is that the bureaucracy became self-perpetuating and mostly interested in protecting itself. The worst example of this was Hoover and his FBI – taking a small part of of the Justice Department and turning it practically into an independent branch of government with its finger in every pie. This is just normal for human nature: people want more and always find ways to justify getting more. The trouble with this appetite is that if it is government, it can only get more by taking away from the people. Having a set of people who can’t be fired means you’ve got yourself what amounts to a colonial occupier always looking to protect itself by taking away ever more of what you have.

Oh, and as an aside, the competitive exam part of it? You know, the bit where we’re supposed to ensure that only smart people are in charge? Yeah, that bit ended in 1981. Class action lawsuit claimed that the exams adversely impacted minority applicants – a consent decree ending the exam requirement was entered into. No vote. No law change. So, now we’ve got bureaucrats who can’t be fired and to get hired they’re not required to be high quality. In case you were wondering why our government agencies seem increasingly stupid year by year.

The harsh reality is that government is force – the power to kill and to jail. We try to keep control of this power by putting into the hands of people who must face the voters. The Civil Service reforms practically placed the power of the Executive in the hands of people who are un-elected. Trump found out that this means when the Executive is held by someone the civil service doesn’t like, the civil service will attack the Executive. You know: the sole person empowered by the Constitution to hold Executive power. There are risks in the ending of civil service protections – but the greater risk is continuing to allow un-elected bureaucrats to rule us.

The war in the Ukraine grinds on. What is amazing me is that the Ukrainians, the MSM and the government all admit that they are engaged in a propaganda effort to boost Ukraine and suppress Russian views and yet it seems that most people believe they are getting the truth.

Here’s the reality: the amount of money well-connected Americans have made in Ukraine is the primary reason to oppose involvement.

As the polls cause Democrats to lift mask mandates, a lot of people are confused. This is because they were suckered by a very stupid story…and now that the truth is obvious, they have two choices: either willfully remain blind, or become Republicans. Most will remain willfully blind.

Guys, the biggest worry about a nuclear war is how it will effect climate change.

We’re Governed by Morons

We know that Pudding Brain is barely coherent but then we saw Kamala in Europe and she’s clearly dumb as a brick. Then Nancy came out and said that the government spending is lowering the deficit. So, great week for the Democrats. But then I read that the mayor of NYC says it is “time” for women to be allowed into major league baseball and that really made me sit back for a moment.

There is no restriction against any woman trying out for baseball. No law or league rule. If there was a law which said you can’t even try on account of sex, it would be struck down. But it isn’t law or custum which keeps a girl off the mound and away from the plate. What keeps them away is the fact that the very best female ball player on her best day and with everything clicking for her isn’t capable of playing even at a minor league level.

And we all know this. We don’t guess. We don’t need to wait for the studies to come in. We know it. Its a fact of life. My mother loved baseball with a passion. Loyal to her Cubs to the very end. Knew the game backwards and forwards. If she by some miracle could have made hit happen she would have loved to have hit a home run for her team. But she was a girl. The chances that she could even hit a ball thrown by a male player were low, let alone hit it out of the park. If you really want to see the difference between male and female athletic prowess, the best place is at a tennis tournament – just watch a few seconds of the ladies playing and then a few seconds of the guys. You can barely even see the ball when the men hit it. They don’t play a little faster than the ladies, they play vastly faster. The 20th fastest male serve is about 143 mph. The fastest female serve, 136 mph. This is, of course, why we have men’s and women’s tennis. And golf. And basketball. And soccer. Women can’t compete physically with men. The end.

But here’s the mayor of NYC saying it is “time” that women play baseball. To what purpose? So we can see how well someone can hit a 70 mph fastball?

But he is sincere. This is important to him. He’s already getting positive write-ups about it. And its stupid. He’s an idiot for making the statement. And there is our real problem: the people running the show are idiots.

You might have heard of the Florida law which bans teaching sexuality to kids kindergarten to third grade. The Democrats dubbed it the “don’t say gay” bill and that’s what the entire MSM is running with…the allegation is that that mean, old DeSantis won’t even let you say the word “gay” in school. Celebrities have picked up on its (Mark Hamill did a Tweet which merely repeated the word “gay” until he ran out of characters). Of course, the bill doesn’t even mention the word “gay”. It just says you can’t teach about sex to 3rd graders and starting in 4th grade any such instruction has to be age appropriate. That anyone would think in any possible circumstances a 4 or 5 year old kid should learn about sex is insane: but that is the hill the Democrats want to fight on. I think it’ll cost them, a lot. Even liberal parents are going to mostly be, “you know, I don’t want my 5 year old learning about sex”. That aside, the CEO of Disney decided to make an issue of it – first writing a letter to DeSantis and then having a meeting with the governor about it. Then making a statement that he’s going to stop giving money to politicians and announcing that he was sorry for not fighting harder and earlier against the bill.

These are the actions of an idiot. Disney’s brand is wholesome family entertainment for kids. He’s taking the side of people who seriously want a 5 year old to learn about transgenderism. The man who’s sole job is to get parents to shell out huge money for Disney products is telling parents to get stuffed – we’ve got some gay sex to teach about! And he’s picking this fight, which will infuriate his customer base, over something that doesn’t exist! There is no law to ban the word gay. No law which bans talking about homosexuality. You just can’t teach sex to third graders. People who want to abuse kids talk to them about sex when they aren’t of the age to understand it. And here’s Disney’s CEO…taking the side of the most insane proponents of the dumbest idea.

And then you step back a moment and look at the condition of the world. Nothing really works, right? We’ve all got the story of our local town and the endless road repairs (they’ve been working on the US-95/I-15 interchange here in Vegas since I moved here in 1995). Things don’t work well. Weird power surges and outages. And that’s relatively small stuff – taking the larger picture, we’ve still got ships backed up off our ports.

The first transcontinental railroad took six years to build. Hoover Dam took five years to build. In July of 1962 NASA put out the word they needed a Lunar Excursion Model. Gagarin had been launched into space 15 months prior. We only had the haziest notion of how to get to the Moon. Seven years later, the LEM landed on the Moon. Sensing something here? That maybe in the older days we had people in charge who knew what they heck they were doing? Do you think that anyone in government or corporation alive today could complete a rail line from Los Angeles to New York in six years? The Artemis program to return us to the Moon started in 2017. They hope to have a crewed launch later this year. I don’t think they’re going to beat the time frame 1961-1969 that the first Moon missions had.

I think that what we’ve had for some decades now is that morons have governed us and have continually selected even dumber people to succeed them. What we see now – this utter disaster unfolding on every level – is because in our government, our corporations and all institutions, very stupid people are in charge. They really don’t have any idea of what they’re doing – I mean, other than raking in money (they like money!) and, if they’ve got that bent, getting to be sexual degenerates. That might have been one of the things which startled everyone about Trump. I don’t know if he’s really a “stable genius”, but he’s clearly no idiot…he could see through the scams. And all he wanted for America was for it to work – you know, be powerful and rich and free. But the morons who govern us couldn’t deal with that – because in any system where competence rules, they’re out.

Russo-Ukraine War (Part 2)

The Russians continue to grind slowly ahead:

Not a lot, but no apparent ability by Ukraine to stop the advance. There was a story that Poland would turn its old Mig-29s over to us and then we’d hand them off to Ukraine. I don’t know who came up with that stupid idea but my bet is the Russians told us they wouldn’t go make believe on it and so the idea was scotched by DoD.

Pudding Brain banned the import of Russian oil without, of course, any effort to ramp up American production: no, he’s going hat in hand to Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia to beg them to boost production. This does require him to lift the sanctions on Venezuelan oil. I guess this means that whether or not you’re a bad guy depends on the Narrative of the Moment. And right now that Narrative is Putin Bad.

Read that a restaurant in Brazil will stop offering Beef Stroganoff. This is ridiculous. But, also, think about it: this level of xenophobia against Russians has been generated globally and in mere weeks. And you know they can turn this on anyone who displeases them. Heck, we already saw it: they turned it on Trump and got the whole world to hate him. I mean, the whole world open to Western propaganda, that is. Places where this is lacking or where there remains independent press were more friendly to Trump (India, Israel, eg).

It occurred to me that while Putin is in the wrong – starting hostilities unless you are faced with obvious and imminent attack is morally wrong – we are not looking at it from his perspective. And I thought we were always supposed to do that? I guess not. At least, not in come cases. But Putin’s perspective is Russian. This doesn’t make it right, but it does make it something we should understand.

First thing: that massive nation we can see on the map looming over Europe and Asia looks a lot different from the inside. It is all frontier. Vulnerable frontier. Open to attack at scores of points at any given time. And then outside the Urals and the Volga River, Russia lacks any obvious defensive line: it is all flat, open country easy to traverse by an enemy.

Second, there have been attempts to conquer Russia from Europe. The most recent is the most telling, but prior to it there were French, Swedish and Polish efforts along these lines. Russians don’t see Europe as the home of brothers and sisters…but rather as the home of rapacious conquerors who must be kept at bay.

Third, the Russians don’t see the Ukrainians as a different nation. It was called “little Russia” in Imperial times. Here:

That is a 1904 map. And I’m not saying the Russians are right nor that Ukrainians don’t have a right to be – just pointing out relevant historic facts. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you and I believe about it – in this case, the crucial person is Putin and what he believes. And I read his article just before the war: he asserts very firmly that Ukrainians are Russians. And he further believes that the only reason there is a Ukrainian identity apart from Russia is because of influence peddling from the West. Also, he’s probably only barely heard of Stalin’s famine in the area (its not like Soviet textbooks covered it when Putin was growing up); and even if he did, he would probably view it as a sad necessity. Ukraine was liberated from the Muslims by Russians. Kiev is the cradle of Russian civilization. The Battle of Poltava which secured Russia as a Great Power was fought in Ukraine. In other words, there are solid reasons for the Russians to believe what they believe.

Anyways, that would be the Russian perspective – and now add to it the entire world becoming overtly hostile not just to Putin, but to Russians and all things Russian, and you’ve got the perfect potion to turn even Putin-doubters into loyalists.

It ain’t just oil – Russia and Ukraine both provide a lot of wheat on the global market. We here in the USA will be fine – I’m confident our wheat and corn farmers can see how things are going and are doing what they can to maximize production. But for the poor in Africa and Asia, this could spell famine.

Ilhan Omar (D-MN) made a statement against cancel culture a few weeks back and I was all, “busted clock, twice a day”. Well, the “twice” just happened when she pointed out the risks of willy-nilly flooding Ukraine with weapons without accountability and the presence of militia groups of, shall we say?, questionable loyalty. If she’s right about a third thing, I’ll faint dead away. What you’ll find strange (ie, not strange at all) is that the MSM seems to have forgotten to cover Omar’s statement on this. Almost like she went off script and is, at least temporarily, aligned with White Supremacy or some such.

Open Thread

Pudding Brain is set to surrender entirely to Iran on nuclear weapons and is now trying to curry favor or Venezuela. These guys will do anything other than pump American oil. Remember: their belief is that they must end oil to Save The Planet…and they are going to stick with that. OTOH, they are heading for a shellacking in November and so want gas prices down. Their solution is to buy the dirtiest oil in the world from two of the worst regimes in the world.

Yes, they are insane.

That’s the latest ISW map of Ukraine: the Russians have been forging ahead, but only in little bites, it would seem. The Russians, themselves, have a map showing much more Ukrainian territory under their control. I go with this as even if it is wrong, it is wrong out of caution. But you can see the Russians are clearly going for the territory east of the Dnieper River. Whether this is all Putin wants or just the prep for taking the rest remains to be seen.

Pro-Ukraine forces on social media get very mad at you if you point out that Ukraine is trying to start WWIII. I don’t think the Ukrainians want WWIII…but they are clearly willing to risk it. They pretty much have to: without outside intervention there is no way they can physically keep the Russians out: they simply don’t have sufficient weight of material for that. My bet is that they hope a bit of NATO vs Russia brinksmanship will bring Putin to the table as he won’t want a larger war. This may be correct. This may also end up in WWIII. There’s no shame in Ukraine trying this – the life of their nation is at stake. But everyone better understand what’s happening and not get all starry-eyed about Ukraine to the point where all common sense is lost.

At the University of North Texas the students (well, the idiot, Commie students) shouted down a speaker. Remember: this is Texas. Ever more Red Texas. But, its like that all over, isn’t it? No matter how Red the State, the Commies still control education and media at the bare minimum. And this is because the feckless GOP simply let it happen. Didn’t want to fight. Not the hill to die on! Well, turns out it was: and now we’re starting to see pushback against it. This is good, but it is also showing that many State GOPers are RINOs as bad as any Congressional GOPer.

This plus the Latino shift to the GOP is what terrifies the Ruling Class – and that includes the GOP part of the Ruling Class. Turns out, Latino voters are in favor of border security. This seems bizarre to Progressives, but that’s because Progressives are stupid. No sane person wants an unending flow of unvetted people coming in. And, sure, Pedro down there in south Texas doesn’t want cousin Julio deported…but he also wants good schools, well paid jobs and low crime…and he knows he can’t get that if the border isn’t secure. What do they fear? A GOP with increasingly strong working class support across racial lines starts enacting laws that working class people want: no more CRT, at least late-term abortion bans, no more teaching 3rd graders about transgender issues, secure borders, Made in America…the stuff of Establishment nightmares.

Gas here at my local Vegas gas station went from $4.09 a gallon on Monday to $4.69 a gallon today. And it was something like $3.79 a gallon about two weeks ago. This is an economic killer – we’re getting into a risk of hyperinflation. Still a low risk, but what is normally a 0.01% risk in the USA is now about a 10% risk. These prices (and the massive spikes in wheat and corn prices) are going to ripple through the economy over the next six months and I do expect a very sharp recession out of it.

Team Pudding Brain and the MSM are blaming Putin for this.

Open Thread

In general, these days – and long before Putin invaded Ukraine – I have been opposed to alliances and supra-national organizations (NATO and UN, eg). They tend to hamstring national policy and, especially as they’ve been construed after WWII, they are usually a one-way street: we take on an unlimited obligation to defend other nations without reciprocity. We can see what that has got us: weak “allies” in Europe and around the world. We are committed to the defense of nation after nation and they are not committed to rise to our defense. So, on the whole, I would end all alliances and withdraw from all international organizations.

But if we are to retain them, then they have to be iron-clad and reciprocal. If we’re going to rush to Poland to defend them from Russia, then I want the Poles to send an army to help us fight China. Any such alliance should really be spelled out: how much GDP is spent on defense, what sort of military force each party is to maintain as a bare minimum and plans already made for deployment anywhere around the world as circumstances warrant.

Furthermore, if we go to war with any nation, then I want us to impose the full financial cost of the war on them after they are defeated. No more free rides: no more forcing us to go to war and then after putting us through death and destruction, we rebuild them. No: they can rebuild themselves while also shelling out 10% of their annual GDP to us for 50 years after the war.

Aside: I’m tired of the American Empire.

As for Ukraine: the Russians seem to still be grinding ahead with some big gains in the south and nearly none in the north. I think the Russians took too big a bite of the apple: going after geographic locations rather than seeking to destroy Ukrainian military power. But I suspect there’s a reason for this: Putin wants the Ukraine physically intact as far as possible. A great deal of Ukraine’s military force is concentrated in point defense of major cities: to quickly destroy this military power would have taken massive, destructive bombardment of the cities. This is cruel, but clever tactics on the part of the Ukrainians – they are essentially using their civil population as a human shield, knowing that any civilian killed by Russia will be written down as a war crime, thus increasing sympathy for Ukraine internationally. But I suspect we are getting close to the end: the increasingly shrill calls for a NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine (which would amount to a de-facto declaration of war by NATO against Russia) indicates that the Russians do have air supremacy and the Ukrainians are simply being ground down by superior weight – unless the pressure can be removed, it is only a matter of time.

On the other hand, some are saying that Russia is running out of first-rate material. Not so sure about that: and in second-rate material, Russia is well supplied – but that second-rate stuff is old style artillery, the use of which would cause immense destruction and loss of life. Meanwhile, there is some growing domestic opposition in Russia. Putin better wrap this thing up pretty quick. I don’t think his power is at risk, but the longer the war drags on, the more difficult it will be for him.

What has astounded me is the number of voices on the Right who are taking Ukrainian propaganda at face value. All of a sudden, they’re quoting MSM sources as if they are reliable. I think this is psychological for some of them: being overtly pro-Ukrainian provides distance from the allegedly pro-Russia Trump and supporters (a ridiculous view, but it exists out there). In short, it allows these people to make friends with their Progressives pals again. There is one thing which can save the Democrat’s political bacon in November: the GOP signing on to a Biden war for Ukraine. I think some on the right are willing just that: they fear the sort of GOP which is likely to emerge after the mid-terms…far more Trumpist, far more America-First, far more conservative (they despise GOP moves to enact pro-life and ant-CRT laws at the State level). They hate people like Greene and Boebert; and they can see in the GOP candidates more and more like them. And they hate them because the more we get people like that, the more the GOP will be forced to enact laws the GOP base wants. A war with Russia may deflect or at least delay that.

The joke of the week is that Putin is going to get the Nobel Prize for medicine for having cured Covid. Its like it dropped off a cliff, isn’t it? People were asking where the ubiquitous Fauci had got to and one guy looked it up: basically reduced to appearances on public access cable. The (political) Science has spoken: Covid is political death for Democrats and so we won’t be hearing much about it. At least, not right now: if Ukraine folds in the next week to ten days, they might have to bring it back to distract us from rising prices. We’re up a bit more than 20 cents a gallon for gas in the past week while oil and food staples climb to near-record highs.

In the world of unintended consequences: people around the world are looking about for alternatives to financial securities which can be frozen or seized. You know: like the Russian assets have been. A lot of people thought it cool the way Apple Pay was shutdown for Russians with a flip of the switch at Apple…but a lot of us were like, “WTF – they can freeze me out of my money if they decide they don’t like me”. America is kept going financially by people buying our bonds…and they will keep doing that, at least for now. But if you’re a foreign government or rich guy, do you want your money tied up in an asset that the United States can destroy at a whim? If the world does stop buying our bonds, then we’re financially ruined. And I mean completely. It would make the Great Depression look like a minor correction: one of the strength of Rule of Law societies is the security of wealth under it…that no matter what happens, your property is safe unless you actually break the laws of your host nation (or the host nation of your assets). Now, its funny to watch them seize yachts of Russian oligarchs…but where was the law in that? Some decree of some official. No court. No charges. No conviction: just stroke of the pen, your property is gone.

And that brings me to a point I’ve made recently and for years: national wealth is not dollars. It is what you make, mine and grow. Russia doesn’t just provide us oil, but also fertilizers and other crucial materials. Of course, a huge amount of our manufactured goods come from overseas. Suppose these people decide not to take our dollars in payment? What do we have then? We don’t even seem to make basic things like screwdrivers and scissors any longer.

Gold standard, guys: we have to get back on the gold standard. If our money is backed by gold, everyone on God’s green Earth will accept it no matter how much they hate us. And we must go back to Protection. No more of this “free trade” chimera…massive tariffs to force a rebirth of American farming, manufacturing and mining.

Open Thread

Why haven’t the Russians finished off the Ukrainians? Short answer: they’re Russians.

Anyone who knows a bit of history knows the Russians have never been first rate at offensive operations, especially early on. It took some real effort for the Russians to produce Tannenberg with the Russian 2nd Army being essentially wiped out in a few days, but it does give the flavor of how Russia goes to war. It is part of the Russian natural character, I guess: being slipshod.

A guy who claims to be an expert on logistic matters (and he seems like he knows what he’s talking about) took a look at all that Russian transport that got bogged down in the mud and noticed that it was the tires causing the problem – they had fallen apart. He then noted that when he was in charge of the American version of such vehicles, they had to be continually maintained to avoid just that: tires blowing out the minute you go off road or otherwise hit something rough. Now, you can bet on it that the commander of those Russian vehicles reported himself 100% ready to go…which means he gundecked his readiness reports and had his fingers crossed when they invaded. This, to be sure, isn’t a disease just of the Russian army – all peacetime military forces suffer from it. But sorta double it for the Russians (and I’ve also heard tell that their Defense Minister is a Court favorite…another common failing in Russia is putting the lives of soldiers in the hands of the guy who can best entertain the Tsar).

So, Ivan did his usual. He did this in 1940, too, and got whacked from pillar to post by the Finns. The Russians left about 150,000 dead on the field there. And I think what a lot of people up high were expecting was for the Ukrainians to do the same as the Finns. Rely on it: our military intel people know the capability of the Russian army: in between lectures on pronoun usage, they still actually gather and assess data. Because of this, we and our allies went rather whole hog for Ukraine. But the Finns didn’t show up. The Ukrainians did. And, hate to break it to everyone, they’re just Russians with a different accent. With juicy, road-bound targets all over the place, the Ukrainians made no real move against them. And now the Russians have sorted out their issues and are starting to roll ahead – latest map I saw from UK MoD indicates a rapidly unfolding offensive which seems to be set on taking over all territory east of the Dnieper. Whether the Russians will go further remains to be seen.

Pudding Brain gave his speech. I didn’t watch. From reactions, it didn’t go over well. You know that if the Morning Joe people are praising it to the skies, it was a dud. Here is Joe’s problem:

The Mrs went out to get gas today and it was more than $4 a gallon. When she got to Ross to shop, she saw a man waltz out of the store with an armload of stolen goods…right past the security guard who is under instructions not to interfere. So, our budget is getting stressed by high food and energy costs and I’ve got to worry that my wife will be rubbing elbows with criminals when she goes shopping.

That is the State of the Union. There is no other State of the Union. And no amount of Pudding Brain/MSM gaslighting will change this.

After my wife told me that, my blood went into slow boil. I admit to actually getting feelings of hatred for those responsible. This was un-Christian of me and I’m sorry for it. But it was there. And I at last realized that even someone as relaxed as me has a limit. Our opponents have ruined this nation…and it is just getting worse and worse. Can you imagine what things will be like after 3 more years of this? I can’t – and I wonder just when those vastly less patient and merciful than me will get to their limit?

Manchin sat with the GOP during Pudding Brain’s speech. My guess: he switches either right before or just after the mid-terms.

The Russo-Ukraine War

As I sit down to write, there are reports that Kiev is surrounded and not surrounded and that Zelenesky has agreed to talk and not agreed to talk. In other words, nobody really knows what is going on. This is the most talked-about but least reported-on war I’ve ever seen. I think this is because we lack any real war correspondents – people who would actually go into the combat zones and see what they could see. Those old reporters would get things wrong from time to time, but not usually: the willingness of people to pay them to risk their lives for a story was dependent upon accurate reporting. These days, the reporters all stay where they can get an easy TV hookup and a drink after their daily 20 minutes of broadcasting the latest rumor they picked up over lunch.

The MSM is filled with stories of glorious Ukrainian victory. Social media has a plethora of accounts putting out alleged video of the fighting. But I’ve literally seen the exact same picture described as Russian and Ukrainian troops surrendering. Part of our problem here is that there’s no physical difference between Russians and Ukrainians and their military equipment is similar. Anything can be anything and none of us can really tell if a particular armored column driving through a non-descript Ukrainian town belongs to either side.

That said, the Russians clearly have advanced, and in some cases pretty deep into Ukrainian territory. The eyes of the world are fixed on Kiev but the real action is the Russian advance out of Crimea towards Mariupol in the east and Odessa in the west. Especially towards Mariupol because if the Russians get there, we might find a significant portion of the Ukrainian army is encircled. And that might be why Zelensky wants to talk (if those reports are correct): work a deal before the Ukrainian army in the east has to capitulate (in the face of Russian air power, a withdrawal is probably not feasible).

Part of the problem the world has in dealing with this is that we don’t know Putin’s intentions. He hasn’t really stated them. My thinking when it started is that he wanted the line of the Dnieper: essentially taking the part of Ukraine where ethnic Russians make up the bulk of the population. That still might be it – with the moves towards Kiev and Odessa merely to obtain bargaining chips to obtain Ukrainian agreement to surrender the Donbas. But there is a chance he wants the whole of the Ukraine. That, I think, would be foolish on Putin’s part as he’d be taking control of a hostile population and pretty much force Poland and Romania into massive military build up and close alliance.

Naturally, the Democrats are trying to pitch this in a manner which forces us to back them politically. We have to rally ’round the flag, right? If recent polling is correct, that isn’t happening: Pudding Brain is cratering to his lowest ratings yet. I know some people who have become emotionally invested in opposing Putin and this has made them turn the Ukrainians into pure heroes. I’m not having any of that. The Ukrainian government has been corrupt to the bone since it was set up after the fall of the USSR. They had 8 years to prepare for this and it doesn’t look like much was done – they should have had layered defensive positions and a plan to mobilize the entire population at need. But I guess giving no-show jobs to Hunter Biden was the best they could do. I am sympathetic to their plight, but only to an extent – the people of Ukraine are ultimately responsible for the sort of government they endure. If they truly loved their country, they would have made sure that no matter what else happened, national defense was carried forward with conviction. They didn’t and now Ivan is knocking at the gates.

On the other hand, I also know people who are making a hero out of Putin and so they cast aspersions on the Ukrainians. Putin’s propaganda is that he’s only going in to rid Ukraine of neo-Nazis. This is based upon the Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian militia and the actions of Ukrainians during WWII.

The Azov Battalion originated in the 2014 conflict – and it clearly has links to white nationalist groups and some of its symbols are obviously based on Waffen-SS symbols. But I doubt they hope to revive a Nazi empire. The symbols they use are more for anti-Russian than pro-Nazi reasons. This is because during WWII quite a lot of Ukrainians did work with the Germans against the Soviet government. They also fought the Germans quite a bit. In the end, the outside observer can only look with a bit of sympathy on people who were caught between Nazis and Bolsheviks. If you were Ukrainian in 1941 you had family members who had been starved to death, murdered or otherwise brutally oppressed by agents of Soviet power. It wasn’t just a portion of the population: all of them had reasons to hate the USSR with a white hot passion. In come the Nazis and the Bolsheviks are gone…the Nazis then proceed to murder, rape and loot to their hearts content. This did cause some Ukrainians to become pro-Soviet partisans…but quite a number let that Nazi brutality roll right off their backs and they became ant-Soviet partisans. If you ever wanted to know how bad Stalin’s rule was, there’s your answer: some people would rather help Nazis if that meant keeping Stalin out.

And they kept up the fight – for ten years after the end of WWII, Ukrainians continued a forlorn struggle against Soviet power. Without any outside support they were eventually crushed…but the memory of them endured and their symbols remained potent to Ukrainians who remember and dislike Russian rule. And, so, there you go: the Azov Battalion. So, I don’t put much stock in pro-Russian claims that Ukraine is a neo-Nazi hotbed.

I think that this is one of those events where we’re just going to have to see how it comes out. It is, though, a war I want no part of. I don’t even want to arm the Ukrainians at this point as I’m concerned that we’ll just end up supplying the Russians as we did the Taliban. The Europeans can provide all the aid Ukraine needs – let them do it. Keep our soldiers home – at most I’m ok with providing humanitarian relief.

Open Thread

Why do we hate Russia? Because they attacked our Democracy! Keep that in mind: our panties are in a wad in 2022 because Team Hillary blamed Russia in 2016. It really is nothing more than that – this is just the op taking on a life of its own and driving a Narrative in ways that are amazing to see. I mean, we let Russia waltz into the Crimea. If we were going to fight a war to defend the sacred borders, that was the time to do it…not years later when Russia has Ukraine in an impossible strategic situation. But, we’re going with this…because part of the op for 2022 and especially 2024 is to keep Russia, Russia, Russia going. It is an excellent distraction from China, after all.

We’re very much in a Twilight Zone here – but we’re only here because we keep going along with it. Or, at least, most of us do. While McConnell and Graham are playing the tired, old Neo-Con record vis a vis Russia, plenty of us are all “just why do I care about Ukraine?”. We can’t get an answer to that: all we get is we must defend Democracy and International Norms. Well, if we’re going to defend Democracy, then lets invade Canada and depose Trudeau.

But we know that is all drivel. We’re not defending anything other than a corrupt and dying Ruling Class. I think our best Rule of Thumb going forward is to assume that anything we’re told to care about is the exact last thing we should care about.

One of the recalled San Francisco school board members is blaming white supremacy for her ouster. Because of course. Had nothing to do with having the kids wear masks while telling white kids they are born racist.

They’re putting up the fences and calling in the National Guard to DC for Pudding Brain’s SOTU. Are they really scared, or are they just trying to drive a Narrative? Probably a little of both. But this is not the action of a government which says it got 81 million votes.

I’m not sure what is more amusing here – Hunter Biden blowing his money on crack or the fact that it’s being spilled by a lady with the on-line handle of “Weed Slut 420.” But here’s the thing – if this was a Republican’s son, this would be 24/7 in the MSM. Because it is Hunter Biden, only a few news outlets are covering it. The bottom line is that Hunter is a massive national security risk and the Chinese probably have their hooks for far in him that Pudding Brain is powerless against them.

Ace has an insight:

The tactic employed by the Democrat Party seems to be 1, creating a “Person of Color” category, 2, assuming that all “Persons of Color” have the political priorities that black progressives do, and 3, use the most militant and extreme fringe of black progressivism to define black progressives.

Thus, the Democrat Party is selling a fringe ideology of decriminalizing crime and taking the education of out schools to Asians. And then saying, “You’re Persons of Color. You like this.”

But they don’t like this.

In fact, most blacks don’t like this. This isn’t the politics of blacks. It’s the politics of the Black Panther Party.

Which is then sold to Indian immigrants as somehow representing their interests.

More and more people, and more and more Democrat constituent groups, are waking up to the fact that Wokeness = Death. And that sacrificing your life, or your child’s life, for Twitter Virtue Points is a bad deal.

It really is that, isn’t it? Democrats have taken the most extreme views of people like Angela Davis and Bobby Seale and said that all non-white people are 100% that. Doesn’t make the least bit of sense, but that is what we have. And now it is starting to bite the Democrats. That SF school board recall was driven by Asian-Americans while Latinos are shifting to the GOP as they reject woke ideology in favor of law and prosperity.

A Democrat Congressman – who is both fascist and insane – wants the government to seize the trucks of protestors and pass them out to other people. Never mistake it: they are bad guys. They will tell you they’re the bad guys. Don’t act like they are reasonable people you can work with.