Go Hard like Vladimir Vladimirovich…

RFE/RL Interview of US General Ben Hodges USA –

RFE/RL: The cities of Bakhmut and Soledar are under relentless assault from Russian forces, or to be more specific, Vagner mercenary forces. Why is Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine so important? What is Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Vagner mercenary group, trying to achieve there?

Ben Hodges:It’s taken me a while to figure out why Russia would put so much emphasis on Bakhmut, especially the forces led by Mr. Prigozhin. And I do think there is a symbolic aspect of this — this is almost like a vanity project for him.

Putin clearly doesn’t care how many people are killed. They’ve been at it now for five months, and they still have not been able to take Bakhmut. And they just continue pouring untrained, recently mobilized soldiers into that fight.

But it’s recently come to light also that there are significant salt and gypsum mines in the region. And Mr. Prigozhin even talked about securing the resources there. But I don’t know if that will be very comforting to the families of the thousands of people who have been killed there to know that Mr. Prigozhin’s real objective was not a strategically important crossroads or intersection, but he wants to capture gypsum mines….more.

During the first day of the Battle of BannockburnRobert the Bruce and his rival Henry de Bohun engaged in an isolated combat or duel which ended with Bruce killing Bohun on the first day of the Battle of Bannockburn, June 23, 1314. Riding in the vanguard of heavy cavalry, de Bohun caught sight of the Scottish king who was mounted on a small palfrey (ane gay palfray Li till and joly) armed only with a battle-axe. DeBohun decided to take advantage and engage in a duel.

De Bohun lowered his lance and charged, but Bruce stood his ground. At the last moment, Bruce maneuvered his horse nimbly to one side, stood up in his stirrups, and hit de Bohun so hard with his axe that he split his helmet and head in two. Despite the great risk the King of the Scots had taken, the only regret he expressed was that he had broken the shaft of his favorite axe.



Bullet Points:

* Hunter Biden recorded monthly rent payments of $49,910 while living at President Joe Biden’s residence, according to a document unearthed by New York Post’s Miranda Devine. On a document titled “background screening request,” it appears Hunter paid $49,910 in monthly rent for one year while living at Joe Biden’s Delaware residence, where the president kept classified documents alongside his Corvette in the garage.

* LOTR – Why did Tolkien decide to include Tom Bombadil? What an interesting decision. 5 minutes out of the Shire, Merry & Pippin almost get eaten by a sentient evil willow tree but there’s just some guy who’s in charge of the trees and tells it to let them out. He’s older than elves and the river is his wife. Also, he’s immune to the ring, the thing that the preceding 120 pages and the following 800 pages are entirely about and he literally never shows up again. Tolkien said, NO he’s not God he’s literally just a Guy and I don’t know what he’s doing there either he just wants to be.  – Ok.

* “Woke” ideology also known as Cultural Marxism as summed up by conservative commentator Jon Gabriel: A religion with many paths to damnation, but none to redemption.

* British MP Andrew Bridgen has been suspended from sitting as a Conservative MP and is likely to be permanently cast out from the party after questioning the safety of covid vaccines.

Bridgen has been putting his head on the line to get the truth out about the experimental ‘covid vaccinations’ and had recently called for the jabs to be suspended claiming a report linking heart problems to the mRNA jab had been deliberately suppressed. Bridgen was suspended after he tweeted an article by ZeroHedge that detailed American CDC statistics showing Covid jabs are far more dangerous than previously reported.

* No women claimed to have had sexual relations with Barack Hussein Obama – not that it’s any of my business.



Mail Bag

Q – Do CIA case officers have a military rank as well as a Government Pay Scale Rank?

A –  As with the federal government now there are GS/IS scales and Senior Intelligence Service scales that compare to senior service grades at the State Department and elsewhere. During World War 2,  those civilian service grades had military rank (Army/OSS) equivalents and CIA officers could and sometimes did wear a military uniform with a rank that corresponded to their pay grade.

The CIA is described as an un-uniformed military service with considerable justification. It has a different mission than military service sometimes. Sometimes it directly supports military activities such as we’ve seen in Ukraine.


Q – What is the difference between the CIA Paramilitary Officers and their counterparts in the special operations forces?

A – Paramilitary Officers (PMs) tend to focus on denied or restricted area activities. Often they work in an operational setting in conjunction with case officers who are working under the authority of a Memorandum of Notification, also called a Presidential Finding or a Lethal Finding. Current use of the presidential finding stems from the Hughes–Ryan Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibited the expenditure of appropriated funds by or on behalf of the CIA for intelligence activities “unless and until the President finds that each such operation is important to the national security of the United States and reports, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of Congress” (section 662).

Different areas of specialty within the PM world. The Directorate of Operations (DO) oversees covert/clandestine action. Within the DO the Special Activities Center center handles some aspects of covert/clandestine activity. PMs provide direct action capabilities for high-risk missions that require specialized skillsets not found within traditional military units.




  1. “prohibited the expenditure of appropriated funds by or on behalf of the CIA for intelligence activities “unless and until the President finds that each such operation is important”
    Bay of Pigs comes to mind.

    • There have been many thousands of Presidential Findings/Memos in this regard. Some are lethal findings that authorize a “license to kill”. Some are not. Even in those that are not, there are “incidental deaths” that occur and they must be reported to Congress in a timely manner.

      THEN there are situations where POTUS might not want to sign a classified finding and suggestions are made to America’s allies that, “it would sure be nice if _________”. Congress has no oversight when it comes to, say, Israel.

      There are also sheep dips. In those situations, US Service Members (and CIA is a non-uniformed military service) are separated from employment, go do something, and then are reinstated and that’s outside of Congressional oversight according to the letter of the law. You can’t swing a dead cat around your head at the CIA without hitting a lawyer or a shrink.

  2. But is Andrew Bridgen still a member of Parliment? Bakhmut: Salt for the wounds and gypsum for the drywall to be used in the reconstruction business when it is all over. Or as some would say, “win-win”.

    • Yes, it’s going to be a good time to be in the construction business when the bullets stop flying. You know that there will be hundreds of billions from the US alone to rebuild Ukraine. The firms that win contracts won’t forget the Big Guy…

  3. Hunter’s “Rent” is merely a Grand Jury deflection tactic to secret what was really payback to The Big Guy. Someone posted a meme of Joe riding his beach bicycle around Rehoboth with a box on the back rack marked ‘Classified’ on the side, looking like Pee Wee Biden. Funny, but not funny when the result is “We’re fully cooperating” while using their lawyers to cull anything corrosive to TBCF and the DOJ is giving it lip service. Scumbags target PDJT with some play for CNN raid at MaL but sit on this for months. This has got to be a planned Op to get rid of the guy.

    BHO is in his 3rd term running things from down the street to the WH. Despite going to prestigious universities on someone cashola, people can never him in their class. A true Manchurian.

    Gas Stoves- another attempt to force us into their unreliable renewables and EV’s that don’t work so as to subvert The Constitution and control us freedom lovers. To that end I’m ahead of the curve, have a full arsenal (another trigger word) of UNREGISTERED CCGS’s with a store of gas canisters.

    I like Heinlein’s admonition…Sheepdogs gotta stay sober in the chaos.

  4. So, Hunter ‘paid’ $600,000 to rent a room at home? Interesting… And yes, I agree the whole gas stove thing is to push other things (border, FTX, etc.) off the front page, which it succeeded in doing!

  5. Tom Bombadill was in LotR because Tolkien wasn’t writing The Great American (British) Novel For Stoners and Dorks, he was telling his kids bedtime stories. He also could have used an editor.

    I quite like Hobbit and LotR, but reading too much into them is navel-gazing.


    • I found (for my children and grandchildren) that The Hobbit+ was an easy-to-digest series of fairy tales crafted/combined into a novel/saga that can be employed to teach children as young as three the difference between Good and Evil; it appeared to provide them with values and insights their compeers lacked.
      Just my very humble opinion.

      • I discovered The Hobbit in college, by accident. I recall mentioning to a classmate that I read it and enjoyed it. He was flabbergasted that I had not read it before and explained that he played dungeons and dragons. I was invited to engage in the game with him and his friends but I declined.

  6. You could almost say that Tom Bombadill was a black swan event in the story. Something totally unexpected. The Hobbit is a read out loud story, and I did that with the kids when they were small.
    Almost as much fun to narrate as it was for the kids to listen.
    We didn’t have a TV when the kids were small and it really showed. When they started school the teachers always commented on what a great attention span they had.

  7. That cartoon isn’t by “Tom Gauld for New Scientist.” It’s by an OpenAI instance designed to make people look at all the junk mail their filters throw away. The spammers are threatened by filters, so they’re using OpenAI to find ways around it.

    While the marginal cost to add one more spam to the billion they’re mailing is negligible, the billion still costs money and those damned users spend their time and money deleting all those spams.

    Mostly they use OpenAI/artificial intelligence because there’s no real intelligence within a mile of spamming.

  8. wagner is at bahkmut because the ‘kranians are there, defending it to the death with everything they have left, for some unknown to us reason. there is nothing there but the miles of salt mine tunnels, some rumored to hold stolen nazi treasure, biolabs, huge gold stash etc etc, even the ark of the covenant. maybe that’s where they discovered the lithium deposits that karl rove was talking about a few weeks ago. could be the “key” terrain that unlocks the ‘krain defenses, idk. but there’s something there that they want to keep, at all cost.

  9. My distant ancestor Roger Kirkpatrick was at Banockburn with the Bruce. Minor Scottish royalty . Borderers, cattle thieves most likely. The family crest Says “I Mac Sicur ,, I make sure. “ Supposedly stated after The Bruce failed to kill the Red Comen in church. The. Bruce wasn’t sure he’d killed him, So Great Grandpappy went in and finished him off. The Bruce was excommunicated for that. No record of Pap on that score.

  10. Tom Bombadil. Hmmm… Tolkein was a Scandinavian liturature professor, so here’s my explanation. In Scandinavian, and really all European early lore, there exists a fairy land where often the hero is offered a place to go to rather than go on whatever quest the hero is on. This fairy land is separate from the elven lands, kind of, sort of. Both lands co-exist with the mundane Earth, sort of like parallel mini-dimensions, and have entrances from here to there. Going into There often distorts reality, time goes by differently, eat there and you’re possibly stuck there forever.

    This is such a part of European folklore that Tolkein may have been unaware of it. It used to be well known, but was disappearing from all the cultures around WWII, which destroyed a lot of European folklore.

    There’s a lot of hate towards Tom Bombadil, but I always liked him. Frodo is offered an easy out, to stay someplace not touched by evil nor ever will be touched by evil. Kind of like Switzerland in Europe before and during WWII. Considering how many travelled through Switzerland in order to escape the rising national socialism of Germany and Italy, and the increasingly-crazy international socialism of the Stalinist Soviet Union, Bombadil is Switzerland. Kind of.

    And without the choice of Bombadil’s lands, Frodo’s heart would never have been strengthened enough to make the trip. And, of course, the hobbits would never have encountered the Barrows and the Barrow Wights and gotten some essential loot from said barrows.

    Seriously, a lot of myths and such have an easy out situation. Goes all the way back even to Homer’s “Odyssey” and before.

      • To further elaborate, the Fae or Fairy-folk are NOT elves. Elves are Alfar, either light or dark (goodish vs evilish.)

        Fae are Fae. Inscrutable. Not even close to human. Even the lowest fae are nowhere near human, in thought patterns. The more powerful? The more they think far differently than humans. The more cruel (in human terms) they are towards humans. Humans are tools and playthings of the Fae. Cold Iron (not steel, which is hot iron) is poisonous to them. They use bronze and copper weapons that are as strong as iron or steel. They kidnap children for reasons we don’t understand and reasons we do. Like pulling wings off of flies, except with a human baby.

        Elves are elves. An alternate human, so to speak. They do use iron. They think (mostly) like humans. They do things (mostly) like humans. They farm, make stuff, trade, invent, ponder (mostly) like humans.

        You can trust an elf (light or ljosalfar) (mostly.) You can’t trust a fae, at all, even when they’re helping you.

  11. As to Robert the Bruce, one of the little known facts was that the Scots had better armor than the English. What??? Seems the Scots were receiving lots of ‘foreign aid’ from France, and many of the Lowland and Midland nobles still had serious ties to the Continent.

    Back in the SCA, some guy named XXXXX the Bruce was wondering how to say his name in the original Scots-Gaelic. Asked him what century his persona came from. 1300’s was the answer. I laughed and told him his name was, in a French accent, XXXXX de Brussey. So, yeah, Robert de Brussey was Robert the Bruce’s correct name.

    French was the language of Robert’s court. All the Lowland and Midland nobles had Frenchified or fully French names.

    Which makes sense, as all those lowland and midland nobles, including Robert, were Scots-Norman.

    History is so fun, isn’t it?

  12. The Name Kirkpatrick is said to have come from living by st Patrick’s church or Kirk . The Kilpatricks lived on the hill or kil , where the church stood but not right by it . Same family just some were more up town. I guess all Scotsman with balls died out.


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