86 Comments

Re the Tweet from Adm Stavridis, is there much reason to believe Russian amphibious assaults would be more competently waged than Russian armored movement?

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Given that amphibious invasions are notoriously complex and that Russia has more experience with aircraft carriers than amphibious landings, I'd say there'd be reason to believe that they'd be less competently waged. Especially if we're talking about a serious invasion that could affect the strategic situation. Landing some troops close to your border in the first day of a surprise invasion is one thing. Landing troops someplace distant against an enemy that is prepared and ready to defend? Well, there's a reason places like Gallipoli, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, and Normandy (among many others) will last a thousand years or more in history books.

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This is undoubtedly an unfair comparison given the different languages, but I couldn’t help but think of Churchill’s defiant speeches during WWII when I read Zelenskyy’s comments. As Churchill did, Zelenskyy gives no quarter to his country’s enemies. It doesn’t translate to the same soaring rhetoric as Churchill’s, but the message it just as firm and resolute.

As refreshing as it is to read Zelenskyy’s remarks, I can’t help but be at least somewhat rueful when thinking about the parallels between Trump and Zelenskyy. Both were media stars with zero government experience and, therefore, pretty much complete ciphers when it came to how they would govern. But Zelenskyy (improbably) rose to the occasion when Russia invaded. He has been a steadfast, brave, and visible presence in rallying his country. To the contrary, when Trump faced a real crisis (COVID isn’t on the same level as an invasion, but it was a crisis), he visibly shrank. Instead of worrying about how to keep his fellow citizens alive, he worried about how the crisis would impact his reelection. Instead of letting the smart people provide the information to the public, he had to hijack the daily briefings just because others were taking too much attention away from him (but on the positive side, at least we got to hear about the possible benefits of bleach injection). Instead of working with those same smart people, he not only didn’t defend them, he took the side of those denigrating them (all in an attempt to shift the blame to others).

Many on the Right claim that America holds a special place in God’s heart. After all, many believe that the Constitution was divinely inspired. But I have to ask – if that is true, how come we got Trump and they got Zelenskyy?

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founding

Despite rumors to the contrary, God seems to have a sense of humor...twisted though it may be. ;-)

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You're forgetting the part about the British royal family being fact German, and needing to re-name themselves after their house in 1917. Prince Phillip was Greek.

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There have been many emperors, kings, dictators, and authoritarians throughout history whose reign only ended after losing a war of choice, whether by their nation being conquered or by being overthrown by their own people after the hardships they endured only resulted in failure. Putin may try to resort to one or more of the many various horrific doomsday scenarios in an attempt to upend the chessboard before checkmate, but fear of the retaliation that would come after such an attempt might finally focus the minds of Russians enough to motivate them to remove him.

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Re Ukraine, by June it would have been obvious to ALL RANKS in Russia's Army of Invasion that the reasons given for the special military operation were complete BS. TBH, over half of the original invasion force probably recognized it as complete BS from the outset. Now everyone in Russia knows it.

Ukrainians are not their cousins who yearn for a return of the Soviet Union and are only thwarted from that by a series of 'nazi' governments intent on, dunno, polluting Slavs' precious bodily fluids.

Also have to wonder just how many COMPETENT field grade officers Russia had back at the end of February and how many of them have already died in Ukraine. I'll take reports of Russia lacking any meaninggul cadre of experienced and effective NCOs at face value, but if useful sergeants are few and far between, colonels, lieutenant colonels and majors become the backbone of an army. How much of that backbone remains? IOW, has the Russian army become a slug, albeit a slug which could use tactical nukes if it believed it had to?

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Actually, I heard recently that Vance lives in San Francisco, but would never hope to be elected anything there. So, Ohio or bust!

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Don't states have any residency requirements?

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Ohio has all the residency requirements for Vance that Pennsylvania has for Oz.

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In reading the batsheet-crazy comments the Sessionist-in-Chief makes on an almost a daily basis, continually of the last court scene of "Inherit The Wind," based on the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of the 1920s

In it, after a null verdict came in the William Jennings Bryant character started babbling biblical quotations apropos to nothing until be collapsed.

The difference between the film and Trump is that the religious loon's supporters walked away from him after realizing he was crazed.

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That J D Vance comment is simply pathetic and inexcusable.

There are real people in real danger in this world who did nothing to deserve the views of this jerk or to ever see him gain any type of power over public policy.

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My greatest fear has yet to play out. I do believe that Putin is losing the war and I think that to be something different than Russia is losing this war.

Putin and Trump have this thing in common which is lashing out in denial. I believe that Putin is incredibly dangerous right now in that this is personal for him. In that regard, I doubt that he would care at all if the last act was to directly attack the nuclear plant and unleash a far greater event than Chernobyl.

There is only one way I see to stop him and it would have to come from within The Kremlin itself in taking his life. Keeping people around who are as toxic as either Trump or Putin will end in outsized tragedy.

Both are ticking time bombs and they aren't imaginary.

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Whenever you have an autocrat in power and making the decisions, the danger of policy or state action being "personal" is always MUCH higher--and the dangers of that policy being personal are much higher.

Most autocrats are not in a situation WRT personality/psychology or in an information space that is truthful enough to let things go or to eat their losses and change course. This is a general danger for all governments but I think doubly so for most autocratic governments.

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LBJ?

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LBJ chose not to run for re-election when he saw the tide turning against him regarding the war in Viet Nam. Not something Dumpster would do.

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American Presidents in the era of the Imperial Presidency (Which LBJ was on the cusp of) tend to have some of the same problems as autocrats because we have turned them into autocrats within certain limits... which continue to be eroded.

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Simply put: 'L'etat c'est moi'

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So heartening to read Morning Shots this morning. Loved reading Zelenskyy’s words. Had to watch this again several times over.https://youtu.be/tLv9IqcoNe8

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The link is to the famous “Here” video with Zelenskyy showing that none of the leaders had decamped. They were all there fighting.

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A thought over the weekend as I was reading about the Russian rout, in Ukraine.

How do we handle a collapse of what is left of the Russian empire? A string of failed states from the Ukraine border to the Pacific ocean. worries the mind.

At least it will keep China occupied for the next century, moving in and taking over. With Siberia, China would solve most of it's resource problems.

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Kamil Galeev says in his excellent Twitter posts that the Russian threat will exist until the federation is broken up.

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Sep 12, 2022·edited Sep 12, 2022

What worries me most is that short of somebody plugging Putin there is no winning this war--no defeat of Russia. Negotiated settlements must have something for everyone: I suggest Ukraine get all of its territory back, get reparations; and that the Russians be allowed to lease back their Black Sea naval base, Gitmo style.

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I think it would not be possible to count the number of times that people have put someone into power who they thought would do their bidding, only to find out that the "patsy" they backed had plans of their own.

The "adults in the room" seem to lose control more often than not.

Many revolutions seem to end badly, one of the rare exceptions being the American Revolution... only history seems to be catching up with that one as well.

Authoritarianism looks very attractive if you can get the perfect person to run things. That is extremely rare. Most of those who are attracted to such situations are usually NOT the type of person that you want running things--just as (most of the time) the type of person that runs for elected office is basically NOT the person that you want in office.

WANTING and working for either of those jobs (dicatator or elected official) should, IMO, be an immediate disqualifier for it.

As a culture we need to move away from the idea that voting for politicians is somehow "democratic." The Athenians (and other earlier democrats) would disagree with that idea. It is a popularity contest for the elite, rich, and powerful (or their bought tools)--a trophy to hang on their wall and an object of competition for the sake of status rather than good governance. If your society does not have an elite, institute elections for office and it soon will have one.

personality and politics need to be kept at a distance from each other. One of the beauties of the English system (where the head of government and head of state are different people--and the head of state has no real power) is that you can get the show and entertainment and personality--the grand spectacle of nationhood, without some of the pernicious effects of the entertainment/power/politics complex.

It isn't fully that way 9witness BoJo) but they have tended to do a better job at it than us most times.

Ideally, people should be voting on policy, not on popularity/entertainment masquerading as policy.

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Your post reminds me of lyrics from The Police that seem apt for so much of our modern politics, from Trump and the GOP on down.

You consider me the young apprentice

Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes

Hypnotized by you if I should linger

Staring at the ring around your finger

I have only come here seeking knowledge

Things they would not teach me of in college

I can see the destiny you sold turned into a shining band of gold

I'll be wrapped around your finger

I'll be wrapped around your finger

Mephistopheles is not your name

I know what you're up to just the same

I will listen hard to your tuition

You will see it come to its fruition

I'll be wrapped around your finger

I'll be wrapped around your finger

Devil and the deep blue sea behind me

Vanish in the air you'll never find me

I will turn your face to alabaster

When you'll find your servant is your master

You'll be wrapped around my finger

You'll be wrapped around my finger

You'll be wrapped around my finger

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Listen hard to my tuition about occasional split rhymes, Gordon. D minus.

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No one is qualified to rule. Thus voting is not "for" but "against" the most unqualified, most dangerous.

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Apparently not, looking at recent US election results--because there are a LOT of people voting against good governance in favor of things that they like (like racism, sexism, and corruption).

Therein lies the rub, people are not voting about governance at all, except in some vague sense. They are voting against the people they do not like and for people that they DO like,

It is a mix of both voting for and voting against... and it is usually popularity and cultural factors that decide things, not governance or the quality of governance.

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Sep 12, 2022·edited Sep 12, 2022

Regarding the "failure" of Truth Social, I just don't get it. Trump put in no money of his own, got paid up front by investors for use of his name and doesn't manage it day-to-day.

Where's the failure? The only people who are losing out on this are people like Devin Nunes and the investors. Nunes is the day-to-day guy and, although he was promised a big payday, is probably not going to get it. The investors' money is gone. Easy come, easy go.

This thing will ultimately collapse under its own weight and the money Trump made on it will finance his next scam.

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Never-Trumpers don't bother with Truth-Social. Thus it is no fun for the Trumpers who are not happy unless they are "owning the libs" by saying vile things.

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founding

Just The Donald doing business pretty much as he always has...

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Actually, not really. In the past he was able to bank on his name to get investors. In this case they set up an investment fund which was supposed to then go looking for the best investment to make. It looks like this might have been a con to get people who would never have invested in truth social voluntarily to do it anyway. It seems that a bunch of the investors were really unhappy from the start.

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founding

Didn't follow the details of the story too closely when this was happening, but that it may have been an outright con is certainly of no surprise.

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One would think that these savvy investors and job creators would have figured this pattern out by now.

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founding

It seems pretty clear and well established, so, yeah...one would think...

But I expect a lot of them believe that even though this is a predictable result, they themselves are smart enough that it just won't happen to them. But from my experience at the betting window at the track, there are also some guys who'll buck the odds no matter what their *horse sense* tells them about the likely payoff...or lack thereof.

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I wonder how much it is structured to take advantage of the rubes. The big money gets things going with Trump's name. The rubes invest on the buzz and the big money sells off at inflated prices. What looks predictable as shit to the rest of us takes the rubes by surprise, since Dear Leader is such a great bizznuz man.

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founding

A *business formula* as old as they come...

greed + gullibility = Cha Ching!!

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That quote from President Zelenskyy is amazing!

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While reading it, I was thinking of the Beatles song with the sitar--With you or Without you?

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The Beatles and Paul McCartney are hugely important in the post-Soviet world and Ukraine. Don't be surprised to find out it was an intentional allusion.

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The A-ha song "Forever Not Yours" is also apt.

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JD Vance not caring about the war in Ukraine is pretty representative of conservatives IMO. It goes right along with America First. If elected Republicans seemed to have shifted this stance in the last 40 years, I think it was only from societal pressure to appear to care about genocide, hunger, etc.

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