Good and Balanced Analysis from RFL/RFE

read it here

Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking steps to escalate the invasion of Ukraine and his standoff with Kyiv and the West, including a “partial mobilization” that he announced on September 21, following a stunning military setback in Kharkiv that has sparked nationalist backlash at home and raised the prospect of defeat.

After months of reported delays, the Kremlin-designated leaders of Ukrainian regions that are partially controlled by Russian forces abruptly announced on September 20 that they will hold so-called referendums on joining Russia from September 23-27, even as fighting rages.

The combat loss of fully one half of the First Guards Tank Army in Ukraine provided credible proof that given time, Ukraine could push Russia out of occupied territories, and back into Russia. It’s a humiliation that is now conceivable in the Kremlin. The national disgrace would be too much to bear.  Is it bad enough for Russia to use theater nuclear weapons? Would that escalate into a World War 3 scenario?


H/t Frank – good grab!

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In China

The Worker’s paradise has foreign currency reserves (used to buy oil) for 9 months and the financial situation is critical. I received a report from Southern China that the police are shaking down businesses for money. The Central Government is no longer kicking down money for the payroll. President Xi announced that Chinese should avoid contact with foreigners because they carry monkeypox. It’s very difficult for Chinese (PRC) citizens to leave China and an initiative is in the works to compel all PRC citizens living overseas to return to China (with their money). The dire financial situation in China is being blamed on “western scams” that are destroying the economy. The collapse of the Belt Road Initiative and the trillions spent on it is now obvious.

Those of you who watch China need to watch closely.

The US and the West is heavily dependent on Chinese products, on Chinese pharmaceuticals, and so on. If China suffers an economic collapse while building their Bamboo Wall, it will trigger ripples throughout the world even though we like to think that we all operate independently.

Rules restricting and curbing manufacturing in the US makes it very difficult for American companies to produce what we buy from China now. And with the Green New Deal, we wouldn’t have the energy to do it even if we wanted to.


Dragonfly fossil, 250-300 million years ago with 2 ft. wingspan.

There are fossils around the White Wolf Mine (AZ) but they are not easy to find. The Petrified Forest (Not far from me) is one source. Fossil Creek (in the other direction) is named for fossils exposed in the river gorge. The East Clear Creek gorge is another spot for cave paintings and the odd fossil, but it is very difficult to get into. Have you ever marveled that not a single cave painting exists where a caveman is eating a salad? Judging from local paintings, big horn sheep were the prey of choice.



  1. Beautiful fossil. Be nice to see what it looked life in real life.

    Ukraine. What a cluster grope. Russia and the west have put Russia in a position where they cannot back out gracefully. I think the best we can realistically achieve is to go back to the original borders as they were before the invasion. Doubt if either Russia or Ukraine will accept that. I still wonder what percentage of the aid is going to munitions on the front line and what percentage is lining peoples pockets.

    Here is a thought. Instead of another war on cancer why don’t we spend the money to reestablish pharmaceutical manufacturing in the US?

    Belt and road collapse; good. it will be a painful but necessary lesson for everyone.

    • Russia has no intent to return to the pre-2014 invasion borders (that happened during the Obamanation). They have a LOT of face involved here. Russia traditionally invests a lot of national pride in its military prowess. The truth for all to see is that it’s been a long time since the Great Patriotic War (WW2). Ukraine has stated that its goal is the repatriation of all lands seized by Russia (to the 2014 borders).

      The US inserted itself and now we have national pride staked on the outcome too.

  2. The dire financial situation in China is being blamed on “western scams”

    Well, yes, broadly speaking; the majority of those most responsible for the global(ist) mess do indeed reside in the West. But whether those persons truly consider themselves to be OF the West is an entirely different question. As for China’s specific financial problems, they own those.

    Fossil dragonflies: O2 percentage was higher (~30%) back when that big ol’ boy lived. That probably helped them get so big, because (so far as I know) dragonflies don’t have an active heart/lung-based circulatory system like humans. Diffusion driven by concentration gradients is more the way many insects operate, so a higher partial pressure of O2 would help them muchly. Anyway, while a dragonfly with a 60-cm wingspan would be neat to see, I’d rather see them in a museum than have to deal with them swooping around, snatching up puppies and kittens, or sandwiches out of the hands of picnickers. Seagulls are bad enough.

  3. West of Springfield, CO is a place called Picture Canyon straddling the Oklahoma border. In addition to cave pictographs there are what some call runes. Further west is the Army’s Pinion Canyon Maneuver Area. Per my late son who was there several times, there are several sites with old pictographs. Also, many empty two story buildings behind barbed wire fences.

  4. I’ll bet cavemen ate salads, but harvesting salad greens isn’t something that can be portrayed heroically in a cave painting the way hunting mammoths can.

    • You, dear Sir, have never tried to harvest a garden in Florida. Mosquitoes, biting flies, fleas, tics, ants, spiders, snakes, birds, lizards, feral hogs, feral people and other hazards all make gardening ‘sporty’ here in the Sunshine State.

    • Things never change, fake news even back then. (“Grog tells his buddies he is a vegetarian, but they know better, he’s just a lousy hunter”)

  5. Read somewhere that Putin Inc. has cancelled all outgoing air travel (and I assume out-going ground travel) for all military-aged men in Mother Russia.

    Seems as soon as the rumors leaked about his speech, even before he actually spoke, lots of military-aged males tried to boot-scoot out of said Mother Russia.

    Not a popular war, not amongst the people. Popular amongst the elites, who aren’t getting killed off like the people (well, except for all those unusual ‘suicides’ that are going on.)

  6. Been watching the collapse of Red China for the last 5 years or so. It started at a glacial pace but it seems to be turning into a waterfall.

    As to all those Red Chinese outside of Red China, I am sure the CCP is holding their relatives still in Red China as hostage.

  7. What a great fossil photo, and we have to ask, why aren’t insects as large now? And megafauna. To the point, “there were giants in those days,” perhaps literally.


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