Today (Thursday) is SCOTUS Day
Two significant Supreme Court decisions are pending regarding Roe v Wade and NY City firearm laws. Imagine SCOTUS declaring the obvious: Abortion isn’t in the Constitution, and the 2nd Amendment is. Thus, not being a constitutional issue, abortion is a matter that is given to each state to decide what to do. Firearm ownership being a Constitutional issue means that it may not be infringed upon by states or cities. Grab that popcorn!
Inflation & Recession & Depression
The Federal Reserve wants to curb inflation while at the same time the Federal government is unwilling to reduce spending. Inflation is reduced by cutting the amount of broad money in the economy, and if government spending remains the same, the efforts to reduce inflation will only come from obliterating the private sector through a higher cost of debt and a collapse in consumption.
You know that the economy is in trouble when the fiscal deficit is only reduced to $360 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year 2022 despite record receipts and the tailwind of a strong recovery in GDP. Now, with GDP growth likely to be flat in the first six months but mandatory and discretionary spending still virtually intact, government consumption of monetary reserves is likely to keep core inflation elevated even if oil and gas prices moderate. And that is a very big IF.
Markets have lost more than $7 trillion in capitalization in the year (2022) so far with a very modest move from the Federal Reserve. The impact of these losses is not evident yet in financial institutions, but the write-downs are likely to be significant as we move into the second half of 2022, leading to a credit crunch exacerbated by rate hikes.
Stimulus plans of 2020 created the worst outcome: stubbornly high core inflation with weakening economic growth. Supply shocks are addressed with supply-side policies, not with demand ones. Now it is too late. Fed Chair Powell will have to choose between the risk of a global financial meltdown or prolonged inflation.
What is Best in Life?
“To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.”
You understand why their men drink…
Those faces would make a train take a dirt road.
The Disney Adventure
(more here) Get woke, go broke. Disney stock is in freefall and it is amusing to me. The current Buzz Lightyear with his inner-city sidekick and the lesbian kiss scene is floundering with a loud belly-flop. It’s not just that – it’s the whole franchise.
Disney has done what it could to drive away its audience in order to embrace a political message that the majority of America isn’t buying. They will have to rely on the 81 million Biden voters to save them…
Supposedly Lucas is talking to lawyers and in talks to buy back Lucas Films.
Cartoon of the Day
“How many times… have you encountered the saying, ‘When the student is ready, the Master speaks?’ Do you know why that is true? The door opens inward. The Master is everywhere, but the student has to open his mind to hear the Masters Voice.” ― Robert Anton Wilson
German sentry stands next to the turret of a French APX-R turret armed with the short-barrelled 37mm SA18 gun, repurposed as a fortification on the Atlantic Wall, France, May 1943
I’d rather not be stuck in the turret when the Allied ships appear on the horizon. Though equally risky, I’d rather be the American soldier with the flame thrower strapped to his back, squirting flaming napalm on the turret.
It came out in February that since taking office, the Biden regime forced the military to spend nearly six million man-hours on wokeness/diversity training.
Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the documents from government watchdog group Judicial Watch, which had to sue the military twice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get the information.
“Our military is under attack – from within,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in the press release. “These documents show racist, anti-American CRT propaganda is being used to try to radicalize our rising generation of Army leadership at West Point.”
US Navy vs House Armed Services Committee
(Defense News) WASHINGTON — After two of the four congressional defense committees have debated their fiscal 2023 bills, two key U.S. Navy issues have surfaced as the most contentious: the Navy’s plan to decommission 24 ships in one year and its decision to cancel a sea-launched low-yield nuclear weapon.
On the nuclear weapons program, the Navy is arguing it does not want a new mission of hauling around nuclear weapons similar in size to those dropped on Japan in 1945, arguing its attack submarine and destroyer fleets are busy enough with their traditional mission sets. Some military leaders, though, say they should have another option at their disposal to deter Russia and China, which field low-yield tactical nuclear weapons.
Honk if you love the TLAM-N
The Suwalski Gap
(Stars and Stripes) Lithuanian officials have downplayed concerns about an imminent Russian attack over the ban of goods going from Russia to Kaliningrad, saying Russian forces already have their hands full fighting in Ukraine.
“We are not particularly worried about Russian threats,” Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament’s national security and defense committee, said as quoted by The New York Times. “The Kremlin has very few options for how to retaliate.”
Kasciunas added that an attack is “highly unlikely because Lithuania is a member of NATO. If this were not the case, they probably would consider it.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the situation as “more than serious.”
In response to concerns of a Russian attack originating in Belarus to support or relieve Kaliningrad, NATO established multinational quick-reaction battlegroups. One of them, based about 50 miles from Kaliningrad, is manned by roughly 800 U.S. soldiers and a few hundred troops from other countries.
ARLAMÓW, POLAND — Hundreds of troops from the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division have deployed in the forested mountains of eastern Poland, just a few kilometers from the Ukrainian border. That puts them in close proximity to recent Russian airstrikes on targets in western Ukraine.
The contingent is part of a wider deployment of some 5,000 U.S. troops sent to Poland in recent weeks and is in addition to the 4,000 American soldiers already in the country.
The U.S. Army is weighing options for fast-tracking the delivery of M1 Abrams tanks to Poland to boost the NATO nation’s armor capabilities and replace old tanks donated to Ukraine for use in the war against Russia. Through new pathways opened by Congress, including the recently revived Lend-Lease program, Poland could take possession of U.S.-built armor years ahead of current schedules, the Army’s chief weapon buyer told lawmakers yesterday.
Having already donated about 240 Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukraine, Poland needs U.S. tanks sooner than 2025 to “backfill” its armor capabilities, Rep. Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican, said during a May 17 hearing of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Systems. The Polish government signed a foreign military sales deal in April with the U.S. to buy the 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks for $4.75 billion, but under the current schedule those tanks won’t show up in Poland until late 2024 or early 2025.
I can’t argue that Poland doesn’t need the tanks, but USGOV is pushing Russia toward World War III. What role would the Chinese play in such a war?
Chinese Agricultural Espionage
(Epoch Times) China is the world’s largest agricultural importer with imports totaling $133.1 billion in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Plagued by shrinking arable land, natural disasters, and with swelling demand for food to feed one-sixth of the world’s population, the country has for years shown considerable interest in U.S. agricultural assets, among which, the “most valuable and easily transferable property are seeds,” a May research report (pdf) by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) states.
Seed innovation has generated billions of dollars for U.S. agricultural biotechnology firms such as Monsanto. In 2021, the United States exported around $174 million worth of seeds to China, accounting for 15 percent of its total exports, according to the report.
The importance of advancing seed technology is not lost on China. Chinese state media have described seeds as “chips” of agriculture, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has long elevated grain security as a “core basis of national security.”
In an inspection tour of a seed lab in China’s southernmost province Hainan in April, Xi called on the country to “hold Chinese seeds tightly with our own hands” to “keep the Chinese rice bowls steady and achieve food security.”
But some Chinese scientists have taken a shortcut by outright stealing the U.S. agricultural trade secrets.
Understanding psychological warfare and behavior manipulation is probably one of the most important things a person could do these days.
This is an interesting article, maybe worth your time reading.
Yet don’t be fooled into thinking these psyops (psychological operations) campaigns are only aimed at foreign enemies. The government has made clear in word and deed that “we the people” are domestic enemies to be targeted, tracked, manipulated, micromanaged, surveilled, viewed as suspects, and treated as if our fundamental rights are mere privileges that can be easily discarded.
Or you can convince yourself that there are no conspiracies, Epstein killed himself and creepy, corrupt, senile old Joe received 81 million votes.
Out of Sight
I am not endorsing any company in particular, and there are regional companies that do this sort of work. https://hiddenpassageway.com/ is located in Arizona and they do good work. They also sell components semi-finished for you to use yourself in construction. Pricing is mild to wild. I have no problem with banks but they have their limitations. It’s true of gun safes as well. It’s better if nobody can FIND your gun safe, or your food storage, or whatever.
A Bastard and a Traitor
On this day in 1776, the Provincial Congress of New Jersey declared William Franklin, the son of Benjamin Franklin and the last royal governor of New Jersey, to be “a virulent enemy to this country, and a person that may prove dangerous.”
It asked the Continental Congress to imprison him.
William was the son of a living legend, which couldn’t have been easy. He was also the illegitimate son of an unidentified woman during an era when that was viewed unfavorably.
Franklin did his best to help his son anyway. For instance, in the early 1760s, he helped secure his son an appointment as New Jersey’s royal governor.
William was a popular governor. At first, he was sympathetic to colonial concerns with British oppression, but he ultimately could not take matters as far as his fellow countrymen. He thought that British taxes had to be tolerated, even if they were unfair. Over time, his popularity began to wane accordingly.
After Lexington and Concord, William became involved in covert operations to undermine the revolutionary cause. In January 1776, a letter was intercepted, confirming that he was passing on intelligence to the British. William was briefly arrested, but then he was released.
In May 1776, William decided to make another attempt. Using his title as royal governor, he ordered the General Assembly to convene. One small problem: This order stood in stark contrast to the existence of the (colonial) Provincial Congress then meeting in the state. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Provincial Congress ordered William’s arrest, declaring him an “enemy to the liberties of this country.” It then asked the Continental Congress to confine William. On June 24, Congress agreed, ordering that “William Franklin be sent under guard to [Connecticut] Governor Trumbull.”
William was initially paroled in the town of Wallingford and treated rather generously at first. The area was very pro-Patriot, however, and he feared retaliation.
He probably deserved the Patriots’ suspicion. It turned out that William was *still* helping the Loyalist cause through the power of his pen and paper. He was caught during the spring of 1777.
On April 22, 1777, Congress took further action. William was sent “into close confinement, prohibiting to him the use of pen, ink, and paper, or the access of any person or persons, but such as are properly licensed for that purpose by Governor Trumbull.” This time, William was locked up in jail. He sat in that jail cell in July 1777, when his wife died, it was said, of a broken heart.
William was eventually released in a prisoner exchange, but he remained undeterred and continued to work against the American cause.
William ended life as an exile, having never reconciled with his father, Benjamin Franklin.
How Pirates get their crew members
Pirate crews needed frequent replenishing. Most pirates were volunteers, but casualties from combat, disease, accidents, and occasional desertions took their toll. So pirates took every opportunity they could to acquire new men. Since able seamen, maritime carpenters, coopers, and navigators were preferred, it was sensible for pirates to seek recruits from among the crews of the ships they took as prizes. Pirate crews boarded merchant vessels that surrendered to take the ship AND the crew if practicable. Pirates did not like risking injuries to themselves or their prizes, so the captains or owners of ships that ran or fought were frequently punished. For the rest of the men, the pirates tried persuasion first.
Black Sam Bellamy on the hunt
The pirate quartermaster or captain might oﬀer them arguments much along the lines of Bartholomew Roberts’ well-known statement that “In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labor. In this [piracy], plenty and satiety.” Merchant crews were often overworked, underpaid, and unhappy. Other arguments might include praise for the democratic life of piracy, the promise of better food, clothing and accommodation, liquor, and, of course, wealth. For the potential recruits to accept these reasons, the pirates themselves would need to be better dressed and nourished than them, which argues against the popular image of pirates as gaunt and ragged vagabonds. Of course, if time was short or their arguments unconvincing, the pirates would then resort to force in order to fill out their crews.
Artillery (tube, rocket, missile)
LSP recommended that I read this article. It’s worth your time and puts a spin on the situation in Ukraine that we sometimes overlook. It’s always about logistics.
China’s near monopoly on rare earth materials is an obvious challenge here. Stinger missile production will not be completed until 2026, in part due to component shortages. US reports on the defence industrial base have made it clear that ramping up production in war-time may be challenging, if not impossible, due to supply chain issues and a lack of trained personnel due to the degradation of the US manufacturing base.
“Free Gas” Rebate Cards
Yes, they really want the recession to turn into a full-blown depression – with all firearms and ammo confiscated along the way.
The Situation in Kaliningrad, Russia
Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian province of the same name, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. It is surrounded by NATO members and is cut off geographically from Russia.
A wave of panic buying spread across the Kaliningrad region after a rail blockade imposed by neighboring Lithuania on Saturday threatened to isolate Russia’s strategic Baltic exclave. Kaliningrad is home to Russia’s Baltic Sea Fleet, as well as an arsenal of nuclear-ready Iskander missiles.
But with no ground connection to the mainland, the region relies on rail links through the Baltic states for the transportation of goods and services.
“We consider this to be a most serious violation … of the right to free transit into and out of the Kaliningrad region,” said Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov in a video posted to messaging app Telegram on Saturday.
According to Alikhanov, the ban will affect up to 50% of the products that are imported and exported from Russia through Lithuania.
Everyone knows that Lithuania and Poland take their marching orders from the USA. Is it an American provocation? I’ll let you speculate.
As well as food and building materials, consumers also rushed to buy gasoline, fearing that pipelines that run from Russia to the exclave would be cut off.
The bulk of Russian exports to Kaliningrad is transferred via rail lines between the exclave and mainland Russia, meaning that Russia will now be forced to increase its air and sea shipping traffic to transport sanctioned goods.
While Moscow had been preparing for such a rail blockage, the restrictions are still likely to cause disruptions and temporary shortages, according to sanctions expert Dionis Cenusa at Lithuania’s Eastern Europe Studies Center.
This is not the first time Kaliningrad has felt pressure from the Western response to the war in Ukraine.
The European Union’s ban on Russian planes earlier this year meant planes flying between Kaliningrad and Russia have been forced to reroute over the Baltic Sea, adding at least 40 minutes to flight times.
The First Noble Truth – Unsatisfactoriness and suffering exist and are universally experienced.
The Second Noble Truth – Desire and attachment are the causes of unsatisfactoriness and suffering.
The Fall from the Bicycle
Jimmy Carter didn’t know what he was doing and was president at a time when everyone thought the nation was going down the tubes. He was weak. (who can forget the “killer rabbit” who attacked Carter? Joe Biden is in the same boat. We have endless domestic and foreign policy crises, and he’s just too weak and stupid to do anything about them.
Both men had failed outdoor excursions that put the final note on their presidencies. They were both weak. Biden’s slightly worse in the sense that he’s weak, old, and impossibly corrupt.
Everything “Woke” turns to dreck. But why?
PaulM sent this to me and it’s worth viewing.
Why it is that the Liberal Left of my youth reliably produced works of popular art, even works of genius, whereas the Progressive Left of the present day cannot make art, cannot tell stories, cannot even generate convincing propaganda using the intellectual property inherited or purchased from their forebears.
The Progs lack talent and so their only tactic is to destroy the works of others, scribbling graffiti over the creations other men made. The Progs hate life, and so their art reflects that hatred to the point that none can pen a convincing plot or realistic character.
Look at what became of Hollywood.
The “Woke” as these sleepwalkers absurdly call themselves are heretics who hate the transcendental world. It is not just the Christian religion they hate, or Western civilization, but anything that serves as a structure for moral order, anything that might check or hinder the mob rule in its passions.
The word heretic here is used advisedly. Heresy is any deviation from an organic body of sacred learning and practice which takes one element of that learning or practice, elevates or inflates it to an absolute in order to denigrate or jettison other elements. Heresy is always like a half-man who solves a quarrel between his left and right arms by having one amputate the other. Orthodoxy hence tends to be balanced, based on tradition, and contain compromises or even paradoxes between competing elements; heterodoxy is refreshingly simple or even simplistic.
Wokeness is Cultural Marxism, that is, the application of Marxist analysis of all human life into two elements, the oppressor and the oppressed, locking in a Darwinian and inescapable struggle for power, which is the sole underlying reality of all human institutions and passions. Marx himself used the economic institutions of his day, and the alleged conflict between labor and capital, as the basis for his Apocalyptic vision of world revolution and utopia; Cultural Marxists use alleged conflicts between races, sexes, classes, and between human decency and sexual perverts — with the perverts in the starring role as the oppressed and exploited proletarians — to break down all peace between races, disrupt the family, abolish public decency.
The modern Woke have no vision. That was swept away in the nihilism and paradoxes they adopted once their faction, once the counterculture, became the establishment. The modern Woke are a strange and horrible combination of anarchist totalitarians, socialist plutocrats, jihadist atheists, racist anti-racists.
Pulling down monuments to erase the past is the act of the revolutionary once he has achieved his final stage, when, sensing victory close at hand, he no longer masks his purposes and no longer pretends that compassion is in his heart or utopia in his dreams. He destroyed for the joy of destroying and calls it deconstruction.
A Korean in the Wermacht at Normandy
In June 1944 a young Asian soldier surrendered to a group of American paratroopers during the Allied invasion of Normandy. At first, his captors thought he was Japanese, but he was actually Korean. He was called Yang Kyoungjong.
In 1938, at the age of eighteen, Yang Kyoungjong had been forcibly recruited by the Japanese to join their Kwantung Army in Manchuria. A year later, he was taken prisoner by the Red Army in the Battle of Khalkhin-Gol and sent to a forced labor camp. The Soviet military authorities, during a period of crisis in 1942, forced him, along with several thousand other prisoners, to join their forces. Later, at the beginning of 1943, he was taken prisoner during the Battle of Kharkov, in Ukraine, by Nazi troops. In 1944, wearing a German uniform, he was sent to France to serve in an Ostbataillon that was supposed to reinforce the Atlantic Wall from the Cotentin Peninsula, inland near Utah Beach. After spending time in a prison camp in Great Britain, he moved to the United States, where he would not say anything about his past. He settled in this country and passed away in Illinois in 1992.
In a war that killed more than sixty million people and was global in scope, Yang Kyoungjong, a reluctant veteran of the Japanese, Soviet, and German armies, was comparatively lucky. Yet his life story still provides perhaps the most striking example of how helpless most ordinary people were in the face of what would be historically overwhelming forces.
Korean citizen Yang Kyoungjong, who had been successively recruited by the Imperial Japanese Army, the Red Army of the Soviet Union, and the German Wehrmacht, was captured by the Americans in Normandy in June 1944.
There is currently a run on the banks. People are reportedly lining up for hours in China to obtain money from their bank accounts in China.
After years of COVID mandates and a government that the average Chinese down deep doesn’t trust, the people of China are scared that they will not be able to retrieve their life savings. In some cities, people are standing in line for hours to receive their money from their bank.
Freezing depositors’ accounts by four rural banks in Henan has become a hot topic on social media. As a result, customers of these banks could not withdraw their money which led them to move to Zhengzhou, Henan to claim their rights. Following Henan, banks in Shanghai and Dandong (Liaoning) also witnessed long lines in front of their headquarters.
It will get worse there and I expect that the People’s Armed Police (a subset of the People’s Liberation Army) will get involved, disbursing the crowds. More banks will close until they can get more fiat currency from the central government’s printing office.
The debt ratio in China at present is unsustainable. The situation will grow more perilous for Beijing.
Texas Republicans formally rejected Joe Biden’s election in 2020 as president in their convention this past weekend. More than 9,000 Texas Republicans came down to Houston for the annual GOP convention. The latest blow to the legitimacy of the 2020 election was presented in the documentary “2020 Mules” on widespread ballot trafficking…
Never fear, the donkeys will have a plan in place to steal the midterms. If they do, the question becomes what to do about it.
Explaining the Senate Majority Leader
The Saab 21R was a Swedish fighter/attack aircraft developed and produced by Saab. It was a jet-powered development of the piston-engined SAAB 21 and was the first jet aircraft to be produced by Saab.
I received an e-mail asking me about my mother and why I never mention her on my blog. Sort of odd on the heels of Father’s Day. As a matter of fact, I have – on the blog. I don’t mention a lot of family things because it’s not facebook or parler or that sort of thing.
My mother didn’t raise me and there is baggage there but I have a good relationship with her. The picture (right) is of my mother and me, taken at her home in Redding, CA.
The first decade of Italian armored evolution. Starting at left: Fiat 3000, Renault FT, Schneider CA-1 and Fiat 2000. I thought about asking you to ID the tanks and then I thought that it might be too tough/unfair because the CA-1, for example, is pretty obscure historically.
Using a different flag than one actually has or needs has been known for a long time. Showing a false flag was also known as ruse de guerre, which actually means following the rules of war. But it also means disguising one’s identity under certain rules.
Disguising one’s identity did not just mean flying a different flag of a different nation, e.g. England sailing under the French flag to deceive the enemy or vice versa. Entire ships were also sailed to deceive, such as the ships of the Indian Company pretending to be a warship. The rigging was altered to hide the actual type of ship. A frigate could pretend to be a schooner, or disguise itself as another ship with civilian clothes or foreign uniforms. This was fine as long as the rules were followed, the Gentlemen’s Rules of Civilized Warfare.
These rules said that a ship had to reveal its true identity before the actual battle took place, which could sometimes be only seconds. Incidentally, it was not allowed to combine a false flag with the before-mentioned possibilities above. One had to choose one thing. This was not always done, however, and could sometimes result in not receiving any prize money. It was also forbidden to lure an opponent onto the rocks. This was considered highly unfair.
The first written record of flying a false flag dates from the 16th century and describes the case of Captain John Hawkings and Captain Francis Drake, who raided the Spanish-ruled Mexican coast in 1568. They did not fly an English flag. They did the same in 1587 in the Bay of Cadiz and were successful both times. In 1772, Captain James Cook was hit. Or rather his companion Captain Furneaux. HMS Resolution was off Portugal with HMS Adventure when three Spanish ships pretended the Adventure was British. They captured the Adventure and asked Furenaux who was in front of him, and when he said it was Captain Cook, they released him, wished him bon voyage and disappeared again. They only did this because they appreciated the work Cook was doing.
During the American Revolution it was the Americans who tried to deceive their opponents with British flags and a master at this was John Paul Jones. He did this frequently and one instance even resulted in him and his team not receiving prize money because he had behaved unfairly. In 1790 there was a skirmish between several ships and a British ship escaped, but he faked a surrender to the British and captured the enemy ship. This was most unfair.
These are just three examples and there are many more. The use of false colors was used until World War II, when the electronic recognition systems made the flying of flags obsolete.
Joe and Ashley
(Daily Mail) The diary’s explosive contents include Ashley’s speculation that showering with her father, then-Senator Joe Biden, as a young girl may have contributed to her sex addiction. ‘I remember having sex with friends at a young age; showers with my dad (probably not appropriate),’ she wrote in a January 2019 entry.
Third Party Popularity
Map of which 3rd-party got the highest % of the vote in any single Presidential Election from 2000-2020. 6 different 3rd-parties had the top performance in at least 1 county: Libertarian, Green, Reform (Buchanan’s 2000 run), Constitution, Natural Law, & Socialism/Liberation Party
A lot of the “leaks” are clickbait – guerilla propaganda dreamed up by one company to undermine another and spread rumors about others. Take this for what it is worth.
Amazon is facing a looming crisis: It could run out of people to hire in its US warehouses by 2024, according to leaked Amazon internal research from mid-2021. If that happens, the online retailer’s service quality and growth plans could be at risk and its e-commerce dominance along with it.
Raising wages and increasing warehouse automation are two of the six “levers” Amazon could pull to delay this labor crisis by a few years, but only a series of sweeping changes to how the company does business and manages its employees will significantly alter the timeline, Amazon staff predicted. […]
In the Inland Empire region of California, for example, Amazon may cycle through every worker who’d be interested in applying for a warehouse job by the end of 2022, the internal report warned. One of the reasons is that Amazon is increasingly finding itself in a bidding war for workers with rivals in the area, which is a key logistics region because it is within a two-hour drive of 20 million potential customers and two of the largest container ports in the US.
“We are hearing a lot of [Amazon] workers say, ‘I can just go across the street to Target or Walmart,’” said Sheheryar Kaoosji, co-executive director of an Inland Empire nonprofit called the Warehouse Worker Resource Center. Kaoosji added that Walmart is offering some workers with past warehouse experience as much as $25 an hour. Amazon pays $18 an hour.
An Armed Population
US statistics show over time that about two-hundredths of one percent of all firearms in America are used in a crime. When you think about the gun control mantras that circulate in progressive circles, they make as much sense as me self-identifying as a 25-year-old Eskimo woman.
(Gateway Pundit) Mao Zedong, the founder of Communist China, once said, “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The Communist Party must command all the guns; that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” Mao knew what he was talking about. Privately owned firearms in the US have been used to effect regime change. Through the course of the war of Independence from Great Britain and during the War of Northern Aggression/Civil War (1860-65) a combination of foreign-made military firearms and privately owned weapons including cannons were used. The War of Independence in Texas, when Texas broke off from Mexico, and the Bear Flag Revolt in California against Mexico are other examples.
In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and Moses Austin negotiated a contract with the new Mexican government that allowed him to lead some 300 families to the Brazos River. Under the terms of the agreement, the settlers were to be Catholics, but Austin mainly brought Protestants from the southern United States. Subsequently, primarily privately owned firearms allowed Texas to seize its freedom from Mexico. I’m sure that you remember the Alamo in 1836.
However, with the exception of those formative events, armed Americans have been quiescent.
Over the past 100 years, America has been at war more often than it has known peace and the male population underwent military training that sometimes turned kinetic during those foreign wars. It’s good to remember that millions of mostly men served under arms as trained soldiers whether or not they are currently with all of the skills that their nation could cram into them. Not all soldiers are warriors, but enough are. Add to that, police officers – current and retired. Then there are the conscientious armed citizens who never served beneath the standard but train to a high degree of proficiency.
It keeps crooked politicians awake at night.
You don’t think gun rights is an important topic, this is a picture taken the next after the famous picture of the student staring down the tanks in Tiananmen Square.
Sunflower Oil Exports
Cargo ships that are currently waiting to enter the Danube through Sulina Romania. They arrive to collect grain and sunflower oil from Ukraine in the Danube ports. Some have been waiting for almost 3 weeks.
The Port of Sulina is a Romanian port situated on the Black Sea, close to the northern border with Ukraine. It is the last city through which the Danube flows before entering the Black Sea.
TV Series Review – The Old Man
Tag Line: “They should have left him alone.”
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Thomas Perry, The Old Man stars Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, and Amy Brenneman. The Old Man centers on Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) who left the CIA decades ago and has been living off the grid since. When an assassin arrives and tries to take Chase out, the old operative learns that to ensure his future he now must reconcile his past.
Bridges, whose cancer is apparently in remission, gives a good performance. The plot development is a little thin in places. I could pick it apart (I sort of do in my head) but in general, it’s entertaining, which is what they were going for – not reality. Given that I’ve only seen the first two episodes, I can’t tell you whether the whole thing is going to be excellent – but from what I have seen, it’s recommended. 8 out of a possible 10 .
The Government of Canada has confirmed that the vaccinated population accounts for 4 in every 5 Covid-19 deaths to have occurred across the country since the middle of February 2022, and 70% of those deaths have been among the triple vaccinated population.
I didn’t find it surprising in the least.
I’m working on the next LL novel. It demands characters that resonate. I was listening to Black Crowes and said to myself, “they nailed it”. There’s always that lady, sitting on a stool in the back of the bar at closing time.
She Talks to Angels (The Black Crowes)
Maybe she dropped acid one too many times? Maybe lost a child and it drove her to talk to angels to keep a grip on her sanity – but it’s slipping all the same? Still, there she sits, carrying on a conversation with the angels that nobody else can see.
German magazine Katapult visualizes the length of the frontline in Ukraine for German readers.
Cause and Effect
A South Carolina Republican who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol demonstration paid the price on Tuesday night.
According to The New York Times, Rep. Tom Rice lost in the Republican primary to state Rep. Russell Fry. Rice, and he is the fifth of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump who will lose their seat — as four others have chosen to retire.
With 95 percent reported as of Wednesday, Fry had received 51.1 percent of the vote. Rice, meanwhile, only garnered 24.5 percent.
A Neo-Pagan Doomsday Cult
That’s how the Green New Deal mavens in government present it to the public. We will all be dead in (the number keeps changing as we pass the goal posts again and again) a few years if we don’t do what they say.
Of course, the threat of doomsday means that any measure, no matter how absurd or destructive is perfectly justified. It’s a thinly disguised power grab that has been promoted by academia for decades.
The ORIGINAL Tommy’s
My favorite chiliburger – hands down. There are many other delicious hamburgers out there but if you’re going to eat it topped with chili, Tommy’s is the only option.
The Last Word
There is much that I would say to my father if he was still alive. I believe that is universal to all of us who have had our fathers pass beyond. I’m a few years older now than my father was when he died and it’s interesting how much smarter our parents get as we grow older isn’t it?
Fathers are precious gifts to their sons and in the right circumstances, they teach us how men are expected to behave through their examples. For the most part, I was raised by my grandfather, who was very much a father and an example to me. I hope that my life will be a credit to him and to the standards that he set for me even though he died when I was 13 years of age.
A word says nothing
Una palabra no dice nada
And at the same time hides everything
Y al mismo tiempo lo esconde todo
Like the wind that hides the water
Igual que el viento que esconde el agua
Like the flowers that the mud hides
Como las flores que esconde el lodo
A look says nothing
Una mirada no dice nada
And at the same time says it all
Y al mismo tiempo lo dice todo
Like the rain on your face
Como la lluvia sobre tu cara
Or some old treasure map
O el viejo mapa de algún tesoro
Like the rain on your face
Como la lluvia sobre tu cara
Or some old treasure map
O el viejo mapa de algún tesoro
A truth says nothing
Una verdad no dice nada
And at the same time hides everything
Y al mismo tiempo lo esconde todo
Like a fire that doesn’t go out
Como una hoguera que no se apaga
Like a stone that is born dust
Como una piedra que nace polvo
If one day you miss me I will be nothing
Si un día me faltas no seré nada
And at the same time I will be everything
Y al mismo tiempo lo seré todo
Because in your eyes are my wings
Porque en tus ojos están mis alas
And there is the shore where I drown
Y está la orilla donde me ahogo
Because in your eyes are my wings
Porque en tus ojos están mis alas
And there is the shore where I drown
Y está la orilla donde me ahogo
The Shrinking Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world, but due to irrigation projects and desertification has shrunk to nearly nothing. (youtube)
The Aral Sea has continued to decline so dramatically because the irrigation diversion that caused it to happen in the first place has never been reversed. The Syr Darya (north) and Amu Darya (south) rivers are heavily dammed and diverted upstream to use for things like cotton crops that were used to make ammunition for the Soviet war machine.
Can you Identify the Aircraft?
Black Sea Update
In the photo below, a Russian Buyan-M class corvette is under tow after having been damaged in combat.
It is not clear when the corvette was struck.
This photo was misidentified as the Russian seagoing tugboat Vasiliy Bekh, which sank with all hands after being struck by two Harpoon missiles.
Between naval losses at sea and the losses to Russian naval infantry units fighting on the land, there should be a clarion call to the Russian navy in general to both improve their point defense systems on their ships and to better equip and train their naval infantry.
In Addition to being the Border Czar
VP Camela Harris has been dubbed to take over the online harassment task force that was launched yesterday at the White House. My groceries cost 25% more and I’m spending twice as much to fill my gas tank but at least we’re focusing on the real problems.
Children playing on an abandoned Tiger tank from the 504th Heavy Tank Battalion (504. S.Pz.Abt.). The tank stands near the gates of the Rohan Palace (Palais Rohan) in Strasbourg. France, 1944.
The tiger that Kelly’s Heroes left behind after the bank heist?
Saturn’s Polar Vortex
Saturn’s north polar vortex compared to the continental US.
Saturn’s hexagon is a persistent approximately hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet Saturn, located at about 78°N. The sides of the hexagon are about 14,500 km (9,000 mi) long, which is about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) longer than the diameter of Earth. The hexagon may be a bit more than 29,000 km (18,000 mi) wide, maybe 300 km (190 mi) high, and maybe a jet stream made of atmospheric gases moving at 320 km/h (200 mph). It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn’s radio emissions from its interior.
This is the six thousandth blog post on Virtual Mirage.
It started in 2009 at the encouragement of Opus #6, a blogger who no longer blogs. I wanted to state for the historical record that not everyone loved the Half-Blood Prince or his policies. Thirteen years later, here we are. I’ve been threatened and cajoled to discontinue the blog at times but you can see that didn’t work.
37,138 separate individuals have visited this blog. In the blogosphere, it’s not a huge number, but to me it shows that there remains an interest even after all this time.
Blogging has changed, and the number of independent bloggers has decreased. Maybe it’s the discipline required to keep the ball rolling? Maybe there are other issues? Some of the original bloggers who I knew when the Tea Party was real (before it was corrupted) and Andrew Breitbart was still alive – are as dead as Breitbart is today. Some of them became preppers and fled the grid. Others simply lost interest.
The .458 SOCOM (redux)
The round’s development and incorporation into an M-4 framework were “cobbled together” by people who needed a bit more punch than that offered by the 5.56mm round. It single stacks into an existing magazine.
Are you .458 (11.63×40 mm) shooters bothered by the smaller magazine capacity or is the trade-off worth it?
Should Silencers be (more) legal?
He had soldiers from Ft. Hood visiting the compound and said that regular people can’t afford beef, so he fed them BBQ Chicken. I thought about this.
Cultured meat is made by taking cells from an animal, often via a biopsy or from an established animal cell line. These cells are then fed a nutrient broth and placed in a bioreactor, where they multiply until there are enough to harvest for use in meatballs or nuggets.
Memphis Meats, which counts Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and traditional meat manufacturer Tyson Foods among its many investors, has teamed up with a number of other firms, including Just and cultured-seafood makers BlueNalu and Finless Foods, to form a lobbying group that is working with US regulators to get their products to market.
Maybe it’s time to shift to vat-grown or cultured meat (mystery meat) instead of real beef?
Soylent Green – a delicious option during the coming government-created famine.
If you have a modern diesel engine, it requires Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) – made substantially of urea – to operate.
More than 90% of world industrial production of urea is destined for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer. Urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid nitrogenous fertilizers in common use. Therefore, it has a low transportation cost per unit of nitrogen nutrient. Urea breaks down in the soil to give ammonium. The ammonium is taken up by the plant. In some soils, the ammonium is oxidized by bacteria to give nitrate, which is also a plant nutrient.
Natural gas is the key raw material in urea production. Urea is primarily exported by Russia, Qatar, and China. Like fertilizer, DEF is made with urea, and the United States imports most of the urea that it uses.
The next part of the DEF puzzle has to do with a dispute between Union Pacific Railroad and the Pilot/Flying J Corporation. If you’ve ever done a long road trip, you’ve probably stopped at a Flying J travel center. Flying J “is one of the leading suppliers of fuel and is the largest operator of travel centers in North America.” Flying J sells 30 percent of ALL the DEF consumed in the United States.
Flying J gets seventy percent of its DEF via Union Pacific Railroad. Due to distribution points controlled by Union Pacific, Flying J cannot go to another supplier. Union Pacific is in control. In April, Union Pacific told Flying J to reduce its shipments of DEF by 50 percent, or else they would be embargoed, which would effectively bankrupt Flying J.
If this ultimatum is enforced, Union Pacific’s restrictions on Flying J will cause shortages, since this would cut the national supply of DEF by 15 percent. In his testimony, Mr. Konar explained that a single rail car provides 3000 trucks worth of DEF fills (2.7 gal DEF/ per 100 gal of diesel). Every missed rail car will reduce trucking potential by 5 million miles!
A DEF shortage is a big deal. The trucks won’t move without DEF. And, while it might be physically possible to disconnect the regulator, any operator would face fines and other possible penalties if caught doing such a thing.
The urea fertilizer shortage which is a component of the DEF situation will not resolve quickly, and it is going to impact both food production and the transportation sector. These shortages will drive inflation even higher.
(Zero Hedge) Every few years, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul puts forth a quixotic proposal to balance the federal budget. It’s not the financial math that makes it a daunting task, but rather Washington’s bipartisan addiction to spending.
It predictably fails each time but accomplishes two things in the process. First, it puts senators who’ve espoused fiscal discipline on the record as opposing it when the rubber meets the road. Second, over time, Paul’s proposals illustrate the insidious effect of kicking the can down the road—as each new proposal requires bigger cuts to push Uncle Sam to break even… you should read the whole thing.
There is a BBQ going this afternoon for the locals and whereas there were tomahawk ribeyes, there are now sirloin burgers, tube steaks, chips, salad, and dessert. That’s just how it’s going. The crushing cost of good, aged, steak for 25 people was more than I was willing to spend. Call me a miser if you must. Times are changing. This time next year, I’ll be serving poached elk steaks or venison because that’s the way the world is turning.
Housing Sales in Decline – and Mortgage Rates Increase
(link) In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Compass announced a 10% cut to its workforce, and Redfin announced an 8% cut.
Mortgage rates have taken off since the start of this year, rising from 3.29% in early January to 6.28% now, according to Mortgage News Daily.
Home sales have been dropping for several straight months, and the fall is expected to worsen.
“Due to the clear signals of slowing economic growth we’ve taken a number of measures to safeguard our business and reduce costs, including pausing expansion efforts and the difficult decision to reduce the size of our employee team by approximately 10%,” a Compass spokesperson said.
The Redfin filing had an attachment from CEO Glenn Kelman, who writes a regular blog on the company’s website. In the blog posted Tuesday, Kelman wrote, “With May demand 17% below expectations, we don’t have enough work for our agents and support staff, and fewer sales leave us with less money for headquarters projects.”
Kelman went on to say that with mortgage rates increasing faster than at any point in history, “We could be facing years, not months, of fewer home sales, and Redfin still plans to thrive. If falling from $97 per share to $8 doesn’t put a company through heck, I don’t know what does.”
Olive Oil Crisis
The troubles began just over a decade ago when a bacteria known as Xylella fastidiosa began killing olive trees in Italy — particularly an estimated 20 million in Puglia, per Atlas Obscura. The brutal blight turns trees an unhealthy pale color and leaves them with “no chance of survival,” according to the outlet.
The bacteria, which is carried by insects that consume tree sap called hilaenus spumarius, has since spread beyond Puglia, which is responsible for 12% of the world’s olive oil supply. Now, it’s reached the whole of Italy and other Mediterranean nations are at risk, according to Atlas Obscura.
Billions have funneled money into covid research and “climate change” studies. However, there doesn’t appear to be the same effort to study how to combat the bacteria destroying the trees.
There are other cooking oils – I buy the avocado oil at Costco. But nothing can replace olive oil.
The Personality of a Potato (out in the sun too long)
A White House reporter pressed President Joe Biden on why he will not answer questions from the press moments after signing legislation Thursday.
Biden signed S.3580, titled the “Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022,” into law that adds “additional requirements and prohibited conduct for ocean carriers and authorizes the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) for fiscal years 2022 through 2025, according to the White House briefing room.
After the signing, the president ignored questions from the press.
“Why have you stopped taking questions from the press?” a reporter shouted. “What are you afraid of?”
Too many morons refuse to accept that government policies influence speculation and the market price of commodities like oil. Add in unfriendly policies toward the production and exploration of fossil fuels and a global reduction in supply and you have Biden’s America. This potato is rotten and it needs to go.
Brandon reminds me of the man who stepped on a fresh cat turd in the middle of the night. Wanting to get it off as quick as possible, he spins and kicks out his foot hoping to dislodge the turd thereby succeeding only in getting scat all over the walls.
Caption: Russian naval tugboat Vasiliy Bekh sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey January 7, 2022. Picture taken January 7, 2022. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik
The Russian Navy – in the Black Sea
A number of sources have reported the demise of the Russian seagoing tugboat Vasiliy Bekh.
KIEV, June 17 (Reuters) – Ukraine said its forces hit a Russian naval tugboat with two Harpoon missiles in the Black Sea on Friday, the first time it has claimed to have struck a Russian vessel with Western-supplied anti-ship weapons.
The tugboat, identified as the Vasiliy Bekh by the Odesa region’s governor, had been transporting soldiers, weapons, and ammunition to the Russian-occupied Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian navy said.
Ukraine’s Naval Command said the Russian tugboat had a TOR anti-air missile system on board.
It’s not clear whether the Russians wheeled a tracked vehicle onto the tug with the SA-15 Gauntlet anti-aircraft SAM mounted onto it or whether they actually mounted the SA-N-9 Gauntlet naval variant onto the tug. I suspect the former. In any case, it’s an anti-aircraft missile, not a point defense system designed to stop sea-skimming cruise missiles like the Harpoon. The Naval variant of that missile uses a rather large fire control radar antenna system – may be too large for the tug. In any case, it’s at the bottom of the Black Sea and somebody can take a look at it when the war is over if they should want to.
Because of the danger to Russian large surface combatants and landing ships in the war zone, they’ve been running the Vasiliy Bekh back and forth to Snake Island to support the garrison there. They may have thought that it wasn’t worth the price of a missile, and under other circumstances, that might be the case. However now, Ukraine has land-based Harpoons from Great Britain (Old Blighty) and Denmark, so lighting off two to send the Vasiliy Bekh to the bottom with the crew, troops, and supplies was more worth it.
My sense is that going forward, the Russians will resupply Snake Island by submarine. They have six conventionally powered Kilo-class/Varshavyanka-class boats that can undertake the mission.
In a PR move after the sinking of the Moskva, the Russian submarines (youtube) fired Kalibr cruise missiles at Ukraine. Presumably, they had targets in mind and didn’t just lob the missiles but who knows?
Jet Blue says NO to FISH!
Friends returning from Cabo San Lucas on Jet Blue traditionally brought the catch in sealed coolers with them, but they can’t do that anymore. US Customs says no now and so does Jet Blue.
Ukraine War Update
This is the overall map showing the occupation and zones of control today. Breaking it down below:
Sumy is north of Kharkov/Kharkiv and the Russians have made forrays across the Ukraine border in order to pull troops away from other areas. I wish that I had a detailed satellite overlay to show the Russian troop disposition on the other side of the border. Is it serious or not? I can’t say, but there is a large border area of Ukraine where the Russians have not been attacking. It puts defensive pressure on them.
Russian forces are continuing to push from Izyum towards Slovyansk. Fighting continues on this axis in the settlements of Bohorodychne, Dolyna, and Krasnopillya. This sounds worse than it is because they are small unit clashes and the Russians are making cross-border raids north of Kharkov/Kharkiv. The areas represented in pink represent contested areas but they all used to be areas of almost total Russian control.
The Ukrainian propaganda machine doesn’t want you to believe that they are “winning” because it suggests that they don’t need more outside assets to continue the fight.
The area around Severodonetsk has seen heavy fighting and this is where the Russian army has been putting the most pressure by way of counterattack. As you can see by the map, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men are not able to do much. This region has seen a lot of push and pull over a relatively small area of real estate.
Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson Oblast have taken back control of Soldats’ke, Pravdyne, and Oleksandrivka.
It’s one thing to fight a defensive war against the Russians, and it’s another to go on the offensive. The Ukraine Army has suffered losses that come with offensive attrition that is expected in any war, but those losses are keenly felt in this situation in the flat land around Kherson.
Remote viewing (RV) is the practice of seeking impressions about a distant or unseen subject, purportedly sensing with the mind. Typically a remote viewer is expected to give information about an object, event, person, or location that is hidden from physical view and separated at some distance.
In the early 1990s, the Military Intelligence Board, chaired by Defense Intelligence Agency chief Harry E. Soyster, appointed Army Colonel William Johnson to manage the remote viewing unit and evaluate its objective usefulness. Funding dissipated in late 1994 and the program went into decline. The project was transferred out of DIA to the CIA in 1995.
In 1995, the CIA hired the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to perform a retrospective evaluation of the results generated by the Stargate Project. Reviewers included Ray Hyman and Jessica Utts. Utts maintained that there had been a statistically significant positive effect, with some subjects scoring 5–15% above chance. Hyman argued that Utts’ conclusion that ESP had been proven to exist, “is premature, to say the least.” Hyman said the findings had yet to be replicated independently, and that more investigation would be necessary to “legitimately claim the existence of paranormal functioning”. Based upon both of their studies, which recommended a higher level of critical research and tighter controls, the CIA terminated the $20 million project in 1995. Time magazine stated in 1995 that three full-time psychics were still working on a $500,000-a-year budget at Fort Meade, Maryland, which would soon be closed.
A photograph showing the size comparison between the Titanic and a modern-day cruise ship.
I suppose that the cruise ship industry will eventually bounce back from its disastrous years during covid in the same way that the world reconciled the Titanic disaster. Cruising is not something that I particularly enjoy though a lot of people seem to prefer it to other forms of vacations.
Let’s Go Brandon!
It’s the meme-of-the-day. I wonder if creepy old Scarecrow Joe understands that his green new deal (which would see the end of cows as a species worldwide) would also mean the end of ice cream? Has anyone told the Europeans?
Flies Drawn to Refuse
A bipartisan group of senators announced a “commonsense” agreement on a gun package Sunday.
“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” the group of senators said in a press release on the announcement.
The senators include Chris Murphy, John Cornyn, Thom Tillis, Kyrsten Sinema, Richard Blumenthal, Roy Blunt, Cory Booker, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, Martin Heinrich, Mark Kelly, Angus King, Joe Manchin, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Debbie Stabenow, and Pat Toomey.
Mitch (War Turtle) McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney are always running with the same crowd, aren’t they?
Charging an electric car in 1905
It’s the photo-of-the-day…
This Week in History – June 15, 1215
King John put his seal on the Magna Carta
Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John put his royal seal on Magna Carta, or “the Great Charter,” on June 15, 1215. The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.
John was enthroned as king of England following the death of his brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, in 1199. King John’s reign was characterized by failure. He lost the duchy of Normandy to the French king and taxed the English nobility heavily to pay for his foreign misadventures. He quarreled with Pope Innocent III and sold church offices to build up the depleted royal coffers. Following the defeat of a campaign to regain Normandy in 1214, Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the disgruntled barons to demand a charter of liberties from the king.
In 1215, the barons rose up in rebellion against the king’s abuse of feudal law and custom. John, faced with a superior force, had no choice but to give in to their demands. Earlier kings of England had granted concessions to their feudal barons, but these charters were vaguely worded and issued voluntarily. The document was drawn up for John in June 1215, however, forced the king to make specific guarantees of the rights and privileges of his barons and the freedom of the church. On June 15, 1215, John met the barons at Runnymede on the Thames and set his seal to the Articles of the Barons, which after the minor revision was formally issued as the Magna Carta.
The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimized…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).
In immediate terms, Magna Carta was a failure—civil war broke out the same year, and John ignored his obligations under the charter. However, after his death in 1216, Magna Carta was reissued with some changes by his son, King Henry III, and then reissued again in 1217. That year, the rebellious barons were defeated by the king’s forces. In 1225, Henry III voluntarily reissued Magna Carta a third time, and it formally entered English statute law.
Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, as some have claimed, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. However, as a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England. Four original copies of Magna Carta of 1215 exist today: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral, and two in the British Museum.
But will the PRC’s bubble pop?
(link) h/t Claudio – The slump in demand for Chinese goods is a blow to the economy, which is already forecast to grow at the slowest pace in decades this year due to a property market slump and the government’s aggressive Covid-related restrictions.
Where are the UFOs
Map of UFO sightings per capita by US state. Green = above average UFO sightings, yellow = below average. Washington State had the most UFO sightings per capita, with 8.8 sightings per 10,000 people. VT, MT, & AK were next. TX had the lowest sightings at 1.95 per 10,000 population.
Why are UFOs avoiding Texas and the American South?
Brown vs. blue eyes in Europe; the browner the country on the map, the more brown-eyed the people.
Uncle Joe reminds you to remain calm. It’s all going according to plan. 81 million people voted for him, the most popular president in US history. His staff reminds you that the economy is the best economy in US history. Inflation is only an illusion created by the Orange Man to deceive you and distract you from the grand globalist vision.
94 major food processing facilities have been destroyed within the past year, and tens of millions of poultry and other farm animals killed, don’t worry about it. The FBI is investigating. Arrests are imminent. Shortages and massive price spikes are figments of your imagination.
“The Biden administration has previously provided Ukraine with over $5.3 billion in military assistance, of which $4.6 billion has come since February 24,. The $1 billion announced Wednesday is on top of these numbers.”
Biden’s announcement comes after his rant about reckless spending on Tuesday. Joe Biden began screaming out of nowhere and scolded critics for claiming his reckless spending caused inflation rates to spike.
“I don’t wanna hear any more of these lies about reckless spending!” Biden shouted.
We now return to our regular blogging.
What will the Bitcoin Billionaires do?
Bitcoin fell again on Wednesday to yet another 18-month low, spurring a sharp drop in crypto markets, made even worse by crypto lending giant Celsius freezing all customer withdrawals.
Are you Depressed
Why does the FDA not expose the link between psychiatric drugs and violence? A clue could be in the numbers. The global market for antidepressant drugs is worth around $14.5 Billion Dollars and is estimated to surge to $16.8 Billion Dollars by the end of 2022; the global antipsychotics market is $11.7 Billion Dollars much of which is prescribed for conditions that have little to do with psychosis and which have very toxic side effects. That’s almost $30 Billion reasons to keep the public ignorant about any connections between mind-altering drugs and violent behavior.
The FDA appears to see the drug industry, not the public, as its Deep Pockets Client because drug industry user fees provide a substantial portion of the agency’s budget.
Is there a correlation between mass shootings and these medications? Here are some thoughts on the matter.
The Most Popular Vice President in History — has a problem
(Breitbart) Nobody wants to have dinner with her.
I can’t blame them. The Democrat National Committee (DNC) reportedly had to reschedule its Woman’s Leadership Forum fundraiser on May 25 and 26 with Vice President Kamala Harris for lack of ticket sales.
It would be like JEB! (do you remember him) at a JEB! for president rally and two people showed up for the snacks offered. Even snacks are not enough to induce progs to go to a fundraiser. Maybe they need to lower the price of the tickets or pay child actors to show up and adore her.
Geo RR Martin
The issue Martin ran into with ASOIAF [A Song of Ice and Fire] is, ironically, one of his own makings. He spent five books subverting expectations, killing key characters, torturing and scattering the survivors to the ends of creation… and only now realized that there’s no way in hell he can actually bring them all back in one place and piece together a story that makes sense in just two books. The problem with endless deconstruction is that, eventually, you have nothing left to build with.
I tired of his books because every time I liked a character, Martin killed that character off.
Yes, I realize that Game of Thrones is popular and that a new season is coming. That’s sort of why I wrote what I did.
U.S. stock futures looked set to break below the lows of May, as financial markets continue to reel from a surprise acceleration in inflation just days ahead of a Federal Reserve interest-rate decision.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 880 points, or 2.73%, to 31393, the S&P 500 declined 117 points, or 2.91%, to 3901, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 414 points, or 3.52%, to 11340.
The S&P 500 ended Friday only fractionally above the May closing low of 3900.79. The Dow and the Nasdaq also are in danger of falling below May’s lows.
The Federal Government will not allow interest rates to match or exceed the inflation rate, but that’s what is necessary to bring the death spiral under control.
On This Day
On this day in 1898, the “Rough Riders” — the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt — sailed from Tampa, Florida bound for Santiago de Cuba. The Rough Riders were legends during the Spanish–American War (April-August 1898). Roosevelt had resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in May 1898 to join the volunteer cavalry. Roosevelt and the commander of the unit, Colonel Leonard Wood, trained and supplied the men so well at their camp in San Antonio, Texas, that they were allowed into the action, unlike many other volunteer companies of the day. A few days after the Rough Riders’ charge up San Juan Hill, the Spanish fleet fled Cuba.
Image: Colonel Roosevelt (center, with glasses) and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill which they captured, Battle of San Juan. Photographed by William Dinwiddie.
A New Panther
EUROSATORY 2022: It’s not often that a new tank, with tracks and all, appears on the market. Hence, Rheinmetall’s unveiling of the KF51 Panther on the first day of the Eurosatory show in Paris was quite an event.
The German company said the Panther KF51 (KF is short for Kettenfahrzeug, or tracked vehicle; the number indicates it falls into the 50-ton plus class) “is destined to be a game changer on the battlefields of the future.” It sets “new standards” in “lethality, protection, reconnaissance, networking, and mobility,” the company boasted in a statement.
It is designed for the export market.
All-in-all, it’s a brick in the Wall…
Freeport LNG represents a critical piece of infrastructure in Europe’s divestment from Russian oil. Yet the story of the explosion is almost nowhere in the mainstream news. Freeport represents over 20% of US natural gas exports. A ten billion plus+ CapEx project, the plant processes two billion cubic feet a day of pipeline-quality natural gas. The plant spits off $7.4 billion in revenue yearly… [and] 80% of its shipments are direct to Europe.
As Europe attempts to divest from Russian oil, it becomes increasingly reliant on the constant stream of cargo ships from ports like Freeport. So what exactly happened at Freeport?
The explosion occurred at 11:40 a.m. CT on Quintana Island, 65 miles south of Houston. The explosion caused a fire that sent black smoke billowing into the air and could be felt from dozens of miles away. Analysts believe that the outage will take 12+ cargoes off the market this summer, amounting to nearly one million tons of LNG that will not be available to Europe before winter.
Natural gas spot prices in the UK have jumped more than 30 percent on news. As we find out exactly what caused Freeport, it’s a shocking reminder of the fragility of our core energy infrastructure. A constant reminder that we are only a few bad actors away from total collapse.
I’m sure that the FBI is on the case and that arrests are imminent.
And in a shocking development
Peaky Blinders Series Review – Season Six
The series begins in 1919 Britain, a mixture of despair and hedonism in the aftermath of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly minted revolutions, and criminal gangs are fighting for survival in a nation rocked by economic upheaval. One of the most powerful gangs of the time is the Peaky Blinders in Birmingham, run by returning war hero Thomas Shelby and his family.
Thomas has bigger ambitions than just running the streets. When a crate of guns goes missing, he recognizes an opportunity to advance in the world because crime may pay but legitimate business pays better. Trying to rid Britain of its crime is Inspector Chester Campbell, who arrives from Belfast to try to achieve that goal.
The series ends with Tommy Shelby, who has been a gangster, an entrepreneur, a captain of industry, a spy, and ultimately a Member of Parliament and OBE. In the course of this odyssey, he has taken on numerous criminal organizations, business adversaries, foreign insurgents, and the British Establishment itself. Now, in the 1930s, as the clouds of the coming storm gather, he faces the consequences of his experiences and his actions.
It should have been a good closing season, but it was a disappointment. The whining music and dark mood may have been where the show-runner wanted to take it, but whereas I enjoyed the series, I didn’t enjoy the last season. The acting was good, and the plot line was average but it really didn’t work the way the first three seasons in particular did.
(Memorable movie soundtrack)
Claudio brought this RFE/RL interview to my attention. It’s a very good take on the situation in regard the war in Ukraine and a possible pathway to ending the war, allowing face saving. There are elements to the interview that could have been expanded upon. Edward Luttwak’s take on Putin as a man is 100% spot on in my opinion.
How Many Biolabs did USGOV fund in Ukraine?
Even though the mainstream media is closely focused on Pride Month and the necessity of disarming honest citizens, the question remains. Does Uncle Joe have a personal financial stake (10% for the Big Guy) in any of them? I can’t give you clear answers but I’m just this guy who lives in Arizona.
Ok, I can give you a few clear answers because they come from the US Department of Defense (June 9 statement) “The United States has also worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health, providing support to 46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades. The collaborative programs have focused on improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.”
The framework is open for your discussion today. Pick your topic. I’ll throw out a few thoughts.
The question of whether being a “prepper” is overkill and a waste of money or a prudent investment is a fair one and frankly, I struggle with it at times. To me, storage means that I plan to keep it for a rainy day and not rotate it. There are a number of companies and organizations that sell food staples that are packaged with a shelf life of twenty years or more.
Those blog readers who know me, know that I live in one of the more remote areas in the US, have access to fresh water off-the-grid, and while I don’t consider myself to be a “prepper”, I also choose to be prepared. So back to food. Figure out what you need for a rainy day and hope that over the next twenty years or so that it doesn’t rain. (Noah built the ark before the flood)
Part of smart food storage is storage against an absence of food but also the capacity to insert storage items into your daily uptake if things become outrageously expensive.
One Adult Portion for one year – guideline
Grains—400 pounds (181 kg); includes wheat, flour, rice, corn, oatmeal, and pasta
Legumes—60 pounds (27 kg); includes dry beans, split peas, lentils, etc.
Powdered Milk—16 pounds (7 kg)
Cooking Oil—10 quarts (9 l)
Sugar or Honey—60 pounds (27 kg)
Salt—8 pounds (3.6 kg)
Water (2 weeks*)—14 gallons (53 l)
Arms and Ammunition
Everyone reading this blog will have a different take on the basics – what do you think a baseline number for self-defense and hunting would be if you were giving advice to a novice?
Slow Joe (caption)
Democrat insiders say that Creepy old Joe Brandon fully intends to run for president in 2024 if he lives that long. (old father time might stop the clock on the geezer at any moment) He reasons that he received 81 million votes in 2020, the most popular president in American history and all he did was cower in his basement. Who knows how he’ll do if he campaigns? He may get more votes than America has voters!
And it’s summer – vacation time.
The Coming Black Sea Conflict (h/t Claudio)
NATO has been preparing a plan, that would establish a safe corridor from Odessa via coastal waters of NATO members Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey to the Turkish straits so that grain shipments can make it to market. Russia is expected to oppose the move with the four conventionally powered submarines that it has in the Black Sea.
For this NATO plan to work, Ukraine must have the weapons to keep Russian surface ships and submarines out of that corridor until it reaches Romanian waters. That means Snake Island must be retaken. If Russia tries to attack the grain ships off the coasts of Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, NATO can fight back. The Ukraine/NATO “humanitarian corridor” is seen as a lifesaver for millions of people worldwide.
In the next few months, there will be a battle for control of that coastal corridor and Russia will have to send its Black Sea Fleet ships to sea to do it, which means those must get close enough to make them more vulnerable to anti-ship missiles.
Submarines are another issue. The Romanian Navy is small, and its ASW capacity rests with 2 old British frigates and three helicopters. It might be possible to flag grain ships with British colors and have them send their newly acquired (US-built) P-8 Poseidon ASW aircraft into the area to escort “their” ships through the maritime corridor. The British have already provided the Ukrainians with anti-shipping missiles.
Sinking Russian submarines in the Black Sea (flagged grain ships notwithstanding) is a risky matter and could lead to an expanded war that would lead to World War III.
We live in interesting times.
Eggs meet the Sunrise in Finnland
Ice eggs form because of wave action on pieces of sea ice that formed. Once washed ashore they have their own look, don’t they?
Can THEY pull it off?
Facing what should be a catastrophic political defeat in November, Team Biden is “plotting to transform federal agencies into corrupt ballot harvesting operations. And much worse–all while hiding their plans from the American people.” He has the backing of the media and the J6 made-for-TV drama.
Katie Britt – in Alabama
“I’m thankful to have President Trump’s endorsement and strong support,” Britt in a statement. “President Trump knows that Alabamians are sick and tired of failed, do-nothing career politicians. It’s time for the next generation of conservatives to step up and shake things up in Washington to save the country we know and love for our children and our children’s children. In the Senate, I will fight to defend Alabama’s Christian conservative values, advance the America First agenda, and preserve the American Dream for generations to come.”
I think that President Trump’s endorsement of Katie Britt for the US Senate, representing Alabama, was a good one.
Taiwan has been home to the Nationalist Chinese people (Kuomintang) since the Chinese civil war in the 1940’s. The PRC claims Taiwan but they claim almost everything on the planet in their secret hearts. As Celestials, it’s theirs and you are subject to them (whoever “you” happen to be). It’s an interesting take on the world. Keep it in mind when thinking of the Communist Chinese.
(BBC). Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said yesterday, “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will have no choice but fight at any cost and crush any attempt of ‘Taiwan independence’ and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Surveys conducted by the National Chengchi University since the early 1990s indicate that the proportion of people who identify as Chinese, or both Chinese and Taiwanese, has fallen and that most people consider themselves as Taiwanese.
Ah, the British
Paratroops of the 22nd Independent Parachute Company, British 6th Airborne Division, with their plush toy mascot ‘Pegasus’ at RAF Harwell, 5 June 1944. At least it wasn’t a rainbow unicorn…
This is WSF, throwing his cracker in the soup…