Monday, February 28, 2022

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Winning Hearts And Minds (of Cat Lovers)

Oh, well, that's why: Just gonna say, I don't give a ๐Ÿ’ฉ about Biden's "approval rating." Trump's never got above 45%, and yet he won a massive popular vote count (voter fraud!!!!!). I'd rather have a quietly confident and wholly competent POTUS than one obsessing over his polls. Some say the Russians expected the Ukrainians to welcome them. And they have. They have welcomed them as children misled by their elders. Which, sadly, they are: The rest they welcomed with molotovs.... And directions: Let's go, Brandon!

And you know, even Switzerland and Sweden are in; but crapto crypto?  It stands with North Korea and Iran:
And this: Makes me think I know understand why Abbott did this: "Look! Over there! VODKA!!!!" Or it's primary time, and he wants a few more votes. Lots of tee-totallers among Republican voters in Texas. He's probably going for them.

What was that Napoleon said about an army traveling on its stomach? Oh, well, he was French!

Caveat Emptor ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Let's start there: that none of us want to attend "Twitter war college." For one thing, it's not accredited! For another, you get what you pay for. That said, consider the facts on the ground as we can know them (accepting, again, "fog of war," Twitter is not journalism, blah blah blah.) I'm old enough to remember the egregious "Red Dawn," where the only thing that stopped Russian tanks was a handful of Colorado kids with bows and arrows. We all thought it was ludicrous at the time. How were we to know the Russian military really was that weak? These Urkrainians don't even have weapons!* And yes, the Russians do appear to be getting grimly serious: But still, the question lingers: is the Russian military bear a myth? It's certainly going slowly: And not going as expected: And what is the endgame here? Install a puppet government? It's clear Ukraine will never accept that. Occupy Ukraine? Russia can't even blitzkrieg it; how would they occupy it? Not exactly working out, is it? This is an extremely cogent thread; although it may be complete shit. How would I know? But it seems valid and fairly carefully reasoned. And the conclusions are in the first tweet.  I think the thread presents a cogent argument.

*I'm also old enough to remember the collapse of the Soviet Union, an event that caught U.S. intelligence absolutely flat-footed. No one in U.S. intelligence (no one taken seriously, anyway) saw that cataclysm coming. You'd have thought it was an earthquake, which we can't much predict, either. Except it should have been as predictable as a hurricane in the Gulf. That abject failure brought into question assessments of Russian military might, a re-assessment that was quickly abandoned because the military industrial complex demands an enemy to fear, and Middle East terrorists just weren't going to fill that bill. Once again we see the Russian military in action and, once again....nobody seems to believe what they see right before their eyes. What's that quote from Orwell about seeing what's right in front of you?

Stand With Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Is this supposed to be a deterrent to sanctions? Or does opposition to the invasion of Ukraine represent an existential threat to Russia? Or is it just the empty threat of an abuser called on his abuses? I guess when you’ve roused Sweden to action it’s time to get nervous. But when you get Switzerland to act: Be careful what you wish for….

Useless Asshole

Let's pause there and go to the tape: Now, what were we saying? I call it the Iago Effect: society functions on the assumption we all act for reasons plain from our actions. Iago, the great villain of "Othello," purposefully acted in a way that hid his intentions. This is what makes Iago Shakespeare's greatest villain (IMHLiteraryOpinion): It is only after the corrosive damage of Iago's actions is plain that he is revealed for what he is, but by then the tragedy has unfolded and nothing can be remedied. And Iago succeeds because we cannot questions the intentions of everyone we meet, doubting what they do is done for the reasons they profess, else society itself comes to a complete halt in a paralysis of paranoia. No social system can function with a madman or a figure of pure evil (Iago inverts the statement of God to Moses: "I am not what I am," he tells Roderigo in Act 1) in power or near enough to it (Othello is the military governor of Cyprus, Iago his trusted aide). The lesson of Trump is not the inherent weakness in the system; it is that people like trump can never be allowed even near the center of power, much less being the center of power themselves.

Just saying, this: Is not going to win friends and influence people, If anything, it's going to remind 81 million people why they didn't vote for Trump when they had a second chance.

Postcards From The Edge Of An Alternate Reality

And this is how we did it: The bookend of the convention turned out to be Mike Lindell. Lindell closed CPAC that way, too: Why does anyone give this man the respect of treating him like a serious person? Or even a rational human being?

I’ve seen ten-year olds on a school playground behave with more dignity. CPAC, by the way, loved it.
Which is why we should just ignore them, too.

Welcome To The Party. But We Drank All The Beer And The Band Went Home Hours Ago

Nobody could have foreseen: One does wonder what his first clue was.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Modern Warfare ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Russian generals begin to realize Putin is Trump? This continues to raise the question: why? Why is Russia so bad at this? SO SAY WE ALL! Very big, if true. Thanks, Vlad!

Mad Dogs And Englishmen

The panel on MTP mostly agreed even the SWIFT sanctions won’t be swift and won’t be absolute enough.

Somebody forgot to tell the Russians.

The same panel said there was nothing the Allie’s could do to stop trading in rubles. Well, maybe not directly:
Meanwhile, we are proving we don’t need Russian help to be stupid, conspiratorial, and weak. Compare and contrast with Ukraine at your leisure. (And no, it’s not all of us; but it is a major political party. And here’s where I remind you some of those yahoos were in office before Trump.) I think “the American people” is a vague and glittering generality there, meant to mark “us” off from “them” without any fury evidence except the implicit “Trump won in 2016!” Yeah, not the explanation for all of Americans it’s supposed to be. Yes, it’s a “toxic stew,” but if it literally wasn’t for Twitter, I’d be wholly unaware of it. And being aware of it now, I discard it. Yes, that’s how they see Putin. That’s also how we know who the crazies are. They aren’t exactly hiding in plain sight, IOW.

I just come back to this:
It’s another way to keep the pro-Putin American faction (there were those who argued Hitler wasn’t that bad in America and England) down to the howling of mad dogs. Which is really all it is.

Swords In Scabbards And Paper Tigers ⚔️ ๐Ÿ… ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

That's one way to put it. This is another: Nixon had his "madman" theory. He wanted the USSR to think he was insane enough to start a nuclear war. Is Putin using that playbook, or is he propagandizing his people? Is he trying to scare the world, or is he playing on Russian paranoia about “the West” always being arrayed against Russia? Russia’s foreign minister said Russia was being afflicted by “the Western collective,” and had to invade Ukraine to fight back. Putin faces protests in Moscow and banks collapsing next week. He’s not going to start a nuclear war; but he’s going to do what he can to rally his country. Sanctions clearly won’t work. This raises certain questions, like:  where is the expected cyber attacks in Ukraine? Right next to: where is the expected Russian military might in Ukraine? Or the intelligence, propaganda, financial subversion, and political manipulation? Yes, that worked in the Y.S. But what does that say about us?

Germany has, today, announced it will raise its defense budget above 2% of GDP; for the first time since WWII.

Trump couldn’t do that. Putin, and Biden rallying NATO (Trump actively worked to undermine NATO), did that. Putin is left with saber rattling. And in part it’s because he’s shown the world, including his country, that the Russian military is a paper tiger.
As is Putin.

War In The Information Age ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, but it’s hard to find evidence to contradict this. At the very least, they've got attitude.
"Find" and "under the law" are not to be glossed over lightly. This is not Trump’s “lock her up!” The law will not allow “seize it now/prove ownership whenever.” This may do something. Just don’t expect it to be tomorrow.

I know someone earlier mentioned the use of the Chechens with some foreboding.
That’s gonna leave a mark. Desperately trying to stay in front of a parade no longer there.

Stand And Deliver ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Trump insists Putin is “smart.” Fuck Trump; cand the horse he rode in on.

Saturday, February 26, 2022


(Most appropriate SNL cold open I remember. And I remember back to the original Not Ready For Primetime Players. All the way back.)

War Always Has A Human Face ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

There are people in this country still praising Putin. They need to be shunned. War slways has a human face.

Let’s You And Him Fight!”

Actually the logic of that argument is that our military should be fighting in Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ against Russia. Which would put us at war with a nuclear power.   ☢️ 

But at least we’d prove we were manly and un-woke, right?
Maybe we should test-drive the argument that way.

Twitter Has Made Armchair Generals Of Us All

Yet there is something emerging: 

a) It does seem Russia expected this to be easy.  Topple Zelensky, set up a puppet, withdraw. After all, Crimea was a walk-over, right?

b) People of Ukraine are not so compliant (neither are the people of Moscow, apparently.  Yes, there are people in the countryside;  but the Revolution against the Tsar was in the cities long before the countryside knew about it.)

c) Resistance is the primary issue.  Will Russia just knock down buildings, a la Grozny?  Or with the whole world watching, will they be more circumspect?  Either way, they aren't winning hearts and minds, and they need that to set up a government with fealty to Putin and then claim everything is "normal".

d) I understand sanctions aren't all they're cracked up to be.  But seizing property, as the Swedes just did, can focus the attention like sweeping actions cannot.  Still a lot of cards to be played there, methinks.

Hell, let's all admit we're just spectators at the gladiator games of nations.  We can support the voices in Moscow and elsewhere.  I understand from personal connections that people are being swept off the streets for protesting a la the days of the Tsars.  That's deep in Russian culture.  But that's also part of what undid Nicholas.

One never know, do one?

Whitesplaining Racism

The only real blacks are poor. And to be real blacks with the real black experience, they must remain poor.

Says the rich white man.

You know, if it wasn’t for school today, we wouldn’t know to call this “racism.” Don’t take my word for it, ask MTG. She’s at C-PAC, too. Or she should be.

Still Unclear About The Concept

"It's this country we stand with and are willing to die for," Reffitt said of himself and his wife. "I am prepared to stare down the barrel of tyranny to receive the bullet of freedom."

Yeah, that's...not how that metaphor works. 

Getting kicked off a platform for violating its terms of service is no more censorship than not being able to (still!) say the 7 words you can't say on TeeVee (although I do think it's down to six by now), on TeeVee. That one had a certain inevitability about it. What part of "rule of law" does not demand this be investigated and prosecuted? Heh. Hitting the Russians where it hurts. In the crotch. Isn't anyone going to comment on the irony? Well, that’s even better.

Last but not least: I think people are noticing: