Question O’ The Day:
Having found out how weak, unprepared and frankly defenseless the Soviet Union was — i.e. driving trucks with long tubes around to pretend to have a lot more missiles — I’ve begun to wonder if anything — any story ever told by international media — was ever true?–Sarah Hoyt


Now the smoke is dissipating, and the mirrors are broken. What comes next?


Former Kremlin mercenary: Russian army was not prepared for a real war; Kremlin propaganda’s Janus face.

I’m traveling for work, with limited internet access. A couple things though:

(a) A former mercenary with the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group, quoted on the Telegraph’s live blog today:

Russian forces were “caught by surprise” by the fierce resistance of the Ukrainian army, according to a former mercenary who fought with the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group.

Marat Gabidullin took part in Wagner Group missions on the Kremlin’s behalf in Syria and in a previous conflict in Ukraine, before quitting the group in 2019.

“They were caught completely by surprise that the Ukrainian army resisted so fiercely and that they faced the actual army,” Mr Gabidullin said about Russia’s setbacks in Ukraine.

He said people he spoke to on the Russian side had told him they expected to face rag-tag militias when they invaded Ukraine, not well-drilled regular troops.

“I told them: ‘Guys, that’s a mistake’,” said Mr Gabidullin, who refused a call from a recruiter inviting him to go back to fighting as a mercenary in Ukraine several months before Russia launched its invasion.

(b) The head of GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA (and the successor organization to the GCCS which cracked Enigma) says out loud what has been obvious for weeks: Western SIGINT [signals intelligence .ed] agencies like GCHQ are passing tactically relevant info to Ukraine in real time.

(c) Russian vlogger Roman, who has fled to Georgia, calls himself a “Bernie Bro” in US political terms (most unlike this blogger here — OK, he has the excuse he’s young enough to be my son ;)), and used to think Russian propaganda abroad only panders to “the right-wingers”. Then he discovered that Russian propaganda efforts actually are Janus-faced: different propaganda trolls pander to left-wing and right-wing audiences. The former carp on again Western imperialism, “Palestine”, social “justice”, a… and sandwich their Russian propaganda ham between slices of that; the latter instead put the ham between slices of anti-woke, anti-CRT, pro-nationalism,… bread.

Question O’ The Day

How many U.S. Presidents in modern history have announced ‘food shortages’ before they occurred?

The answer is: Only President Biden.


Quip O’ The Day

At one point I would have dismissed this sort of thing as conspiracy theory. But the conspiracy theorists’ track record isn’t bad, these days . . .

See: Did We **** Up (Again)?
QOTD:
Now we have a new potential issue showing up with severe hepatitis in young people which has no reasonable link to covid vaccines, since in nearly all people of that age they’re not eligible to receive them.  But, ominously, it is linked to an adenovirus that, in the past, has no known causation for hepatitis.

This raises a questionHas co-infection with another adenovirus, along with the vector being introduced to an unwitting person either in the form of the J&J or AstraZeneca vaccines, resulted in reassortment in the body and a transmissible adenovirus that causes liver damage?


11 countries now reporting outbreak of hepatitis in children.

The World Health Organization said it is investigating an outbreak of acute hepatitis among children that now involves 11 countries, including the United States.

Among the 169 reported cases, at least one child has died from this inflammation of the liver and 17 children needed liver transplants, the WHO said Saturday in a statement.

“It is not yet clear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go undetected,” the WHO said. “While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations are ongoing for the causative agent.”

The symptoms “among identified cases is acute hepatitis with markedly elevated liver enzymes,” the statement added.

Hepatitis is typically caused by a virus. Adenoviruses are common, can spread between people and can cause people to be mildly or severely ill. Among these recent infections, adenoviruses have been detected in at least 74 cases, but they typically don’t cause severe hepatitis in healthy people. The common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis, including hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E, have not been detected in any of these cases, according to the WHO.

While most of the children did not have a fever, many reported gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting “preceding presentation with severe acute hepatitis,” as well as increased levels of liver enzymes and jaundice, CNN reported.

Most of the 169 cases were reported in the United Kingdom, which had 114. Nine cases were reported by the Alabama Department of Health last week.

Investigators are also aware of 13 cases in Spain, 12 in Israel, and smaller numbers in Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Romania. The children are between the ages of 1 month and 16, CNN reported.

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Question O’ The Day
‘If gun control works so well, how does this happen?’


Violent Crimes Up 60% in LA According to Latest LAPD Data Since 2019
There has been an increase in the levels of violence and and firearm use during robberies

During a Los Angeles Board of Police Commission meeting earlier this week, LAPD Chief Michel Moore revealed that violent crimes have risen exponentially in the past year, moving the city closer to San Francisco in terms of the highest crime rates in the country.

According to the LAPD, citywide robberies are up 18% compared to this time last year, and up 5% compared to 2020. City wide robberies with a firearm also went significantly up, climbing 44% from this time last year, 57% from 2020, and 60% compared to 2019. While 36% of robberies and 74% of all robberies as part of the increase from last year used a firearm, the LAPD also got into specifics, such as noting that those who wore expensive jewelry in  public have been targeted more often in armed robberies.

“Over the course of this year, the Department has experienced an increase in robberies taking place in various communities in the City of Los Angeles,” the LAPD said in a press release on Tuesday. “Most concerning is that there has been an increase in the levels of violence used during these robberies and the frequency in which a firearm was used. During the Board of Police Commission meeting on March 22, 2022, Chief Moore discussed citywide robbery statistics, crime prevention techniques, situational awareness, and mitigation.”

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Question O’ The Day

The real question is, did Ukraine hold any back when it “disarmed?”
What would you have done?


Here is Ukraine President Zelensky’s speech
A salient piece

Has the world forgotten its mistakes of the twentieth century? What do attempts at appeasement lead to? As the question ‘Why die for Danzig’ turned into the need to die for Dunkirk and dozens of other cities in Europe and the world. At the cost of tens of millions of lives. These are terrible lessons of history. I just want to make sure you and I read the same books………….

The security system is slow. It crashes again. Because of different things: selfishness, self-confidence, irresponsibility of states at the global level. As a result, we have crimes of some and indifference of others. Indifference that makes you an accomplice. It is symbolic that I am talking about this right here. It was here 15 years ago that Russia announced its intention to challenge global security. What did the world say? Appeasement. Result? At least—the annexation of Crimea and aggression against my state……..

Ukraine has received security guarantees for abandoning the world’s third nuclear capability. We don’t have that weapon. We also have no security. We also do not have part of the territory of our state that is larger in area than Switzerland, the Netherlands or Belgium. And most importantly—we don’t have millions of our citizens. We don’t have all this.

Therefore, we have something. The right to demand a shift from a policy of appeasement to ensuring security and peace guarantees.

Since 2014, Ukraine has tried three times to convene consultations with the guarantor states of the Budapest Memorandum. Three times without success. Today Ukraine will do it for the fourth time. I, as President, will do this for the first time. But both Ukraine and I are doing this for the last time. I am initiating consultations in the framework of the Budapest Memorandum.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs was commissioned to convene them. If they do not happen again or their results do not guarantee security for our country, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and all the package decisions of 1994 are in doubt.

Ukraine intends to develop its own nuclear weapons, and it is not an empty bravado. Ukraine indeed has Soviet nuclear technologies and delivery systems for such weapons, including aviation and Tochka-U tactical missiles, developed back in the Soviet; their range is over 100 km, but they will develop even longer-range ones, it is only a matter of time. There is groundwork from Soviet era………..


Claire Belinski:

Is it empty bravado? I don’t know. But we know this: For years, leaders around the world in Japan, Germany, South Korea, even Taiwan—have asked themselves this question: Which is safer? If we build the Bomb, we will enter an arms race that encourages our adversaries to obliterate us in a first strike. But if instead we shelter under the American nuclear umbrella, the Americans may not have our back. The NPT has held, more or less, because countries with the technical ability and resources to build the Bomb have considered this question and concluded that on balance, it’s best to trust us.

This is what we really mean when we talk about the “international order” and the “rules-based security system.”
It’s a shame we don’t speak of it plainly, because high school intellects the world around will always pipe up, “What international order?” “What rules-based security system?” They are always pleased with themselves; they always think it a clever thing to say.)

The balance is very fine. France, Israel, India, and Pakistan all considered the matter closely and concluded that however often Americans declared our fealty to the rules-based international order, when push came to shove, we’d forget we’d ever heard of them.

Fair? Unfair? Our record is mixed.

If we allow Ukraine to be gobbled up, in pieces or in whole, it may not change the world. But conversations in defense ministries the world around will surely take this into account. No one wants to be invaded by a bigger, stronger, rapacious neighbor.

There are only two solutions to the problem of a bigger, stronger, rapacious neighbor: a big, strong ally, or Shiva, destroyer of worlds.

The miserable, needless human tragedy engulfing Ukraine matters in its own right. It should matter to any sentient human even if American national security interests weren’t at play. But American national security interests—the security of the whole “rules based international order”—are very much at play, and Putin proposes to destroy that order, which will, ultimately, destroy everything.

Yes, well, this is what happens when the Pax Americana breaks down. And it breaks down when America is weak, and under Biden America isn’t just weak, it’s chosen to be weak.  

Question O’ The Day

Did Biden secretly agree in advance to allow Putin to do this? Or are we to believe this is a coincidence?


What’s next from Russia, Ukraine and the new Cold War?
Putin’s land grab in Ukraine is a grim reminder of a new world order under Biden’s watch

“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine,” President Biden said on Tuesday in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of Ukraine’s two breakaway regions. Putin’s decision was quickly followed by the movement of thousands of Russian troops to the region to enforce that land grab, a sobering reminder of the emergent new world order.

Moscow’s invasion of eastern Ukraine is déjà vu 2008 with the Republic of Georgia [seizure of Abkhazia and South Ossetia] and Ukraine in 2014 [annexation of Crimea], and if I were in the Baltics [Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania] and the balance of Ukraine, or perhaps even Poland, I’d watch carefully movements to my east. Putin is poised to push west against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to recover lost ground which he considers part of the historic Russian Empire.

Putin’s aggression should alarm westerners who naively cling to NATO’s prowess. Years ago, during the Cold War (1948-1991), the West was much stronger and more able to stand up against Soviet aggression but not so much now. I doubt anyone who truly understands NATO’s capabilities believes the alliance can really defeat the Russian army. The numbers just aren’t there anymore.

Meanwhile, Putin long ago planned to create the pretext to move against Ukraine’s east via misinformation about alleged atrocities. That’s been building now for weeks: hybrid warfare with psychological operations, cyberattacks, and cease-fire violations. Recently the evacuation of civilians into Russia was a clear indication Putin’s plan was falling into place. Those actions remind me of Germany in 1939 and Poland.

Has Putin set his sights on NATO member states?

What now? Putin didn’t need 190,000 troops and a phalanx of tanks, thousands of artillery pieces, and a shipment of plasma to declare the eastern Ukrainian region independent. No, there is much more and this was long ago planned.

Looking into the future, expect Russia to keep large numbers of troops in Belarus, and many thousands inside eastern Ukraine. Also, recall that Putin and Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko declared the formation of a reaction force, a key indicator that Russia will hold its ground. Further, expect the geopolitical temperature to rise, subject in part to NATO and the West’s response, if any.

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1
Question O’ The Day
Why is this person speaking in Moscow?
Answer?
She’s just another commie who is pushing a line of propaganda.

2
It is nice of them to self identify like this.


Speaker: Militias not protected by Second Amendment
Law professor Mary McCord tells a Moscow audience why they frequently go unchallenged

MOSCOW — Contrary to widespread beliefs about the right to keep and bear arms, unauthorized paramilitary organizations, also known as militias, are unlawful in every state.

These groups, often dressed in military uniforms and armed with semi-automatic rifles, are not protected by the Second Amendment or its interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Mary McCord, a visiting law professor at Georgetown University and executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.

So why do these groups typically go unchallenged?

During the latest League of Women Voters of Moscow speaker series Wednesday, McCord said the answer lies in the widespread belief that private militias are constitutionally protected.

“There is a misunderstanding, including among law enforcement and even prosecutors, about the scope of the Second Amendment and the scope of the First Amendment,” McCord said. “Sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding, but sometimes it’s because even law enforcement is supportive of militias and has a different view about what the Second Amendment protects. Sometimes I think it’s a misunderstanding about the First Amendment and that some of it protects the expression militias are conveying.”

Despite the misconceptions, militia groups have proliferated across the country.

One year ago, during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, armed militia members traveled from as far as the state of Washington in an attempt to “stop the steal,” in response to Joe Biden’s triumph over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Other times, militia groups have sought to oppose government policies or protect property at riots.

In Louisville, Ky., heavily armed rival militias faced off at demonstrations following the police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

While these groups have a right to make their views known, they don’t have a right to deploy in public as private armies. According to McCord, the Supreme Court has been very clear — through upholding anti-militia bills and laws — that even conduct with an expressive aspect can be regulated in the interest of public safety.

“The Second Amendment does not protect this activity, but there has been such a mythology that has grown over the last several decades,” she said. “When you’re deploying to protect property or engage in security — that is usurping law enforcement functions.”

These groups decide when and under what circumstances to deploy lethal force against other people, and they’re not accountable to any higher governmental authority.

All of this results in an infringement on other people’s constitutional rights, McCord says.

“This notion that militias are there to be a bulwark against tyranny is very popular in areas that are quite anti-government,” she said. “People even say to me, ‘That goes back way before the founding of the country. That’s exactly why it was put in the Constitution.’ Well, that’s not right.”

While there are comments in the Federalist Papers about state militias being a necessary defense against a tyrannical central government, there are no such comments in the Constitution about private militias doing so.

After the American colonies won their freedom from England, they decided to become states.

The new states decided to work together by forming a weak federal government, leaving most of the power with state governments. At the time, there were fears of a tyrannical central government.

“But nothing there ever said, ‘Private individuals, you don’t like what you’re seeing? Form your own private army and take up arms against your government,’ ” McCord said.

“That was not part of our constitutional history.”

McCord is a former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice and a former principal deputy assistant attorney general for national security.

Quote O’ The Day

“Beverly Hills residents have organized themselves, block-by-block and in nine city zones, for self-defense. The emergency preparedness committees, Just in Case Beverly Hills, were started by Vera Markowitz, a former 1960s radical who was a member of the New Left Students for a Democratic Society before moving to Beverly Hills.”

(Sound a lot like the Grupos de Autodefensas down in Mexico, doesn’t it?)

Question O’ The Day
I wonder how many of them didn’t realize that California has a 15 day waiting period before they could get their guns?

I have no sympathy for them. They sowed to the wind when they voted their proggie politics into office.


Beverly Hills residents arming themselves with guns in wake of violence

“I’ve always been anti-gun,” said Debbie Mizrahie of Beverly Hills. “But I am right now in the process of getting myself shooting lessons because I now understand that there may be a need for me to know how to defend myself and my family. We’re living in fear.”

During Black Lives Matter protests last year, Mizrahie told The Post, her neighbor’s home was firebombed with Molotov cocktails.

“My kids were outside and they saw a huge explosion,” she said. “[The neighbor’s] backyard went up in smoke. Trees burned down … But it’s only gotten worse. Beverly Hills has been targeted.”

Mizrahie, a 40-something mother of two teenagers, isn’t alone. Ever since the protests last year descended into riots and lootings, a growing number of Beverly Hills residents have been buying weapons.

“It’s gotten to a point where residents feel insecure even going from their door to their car,” said resident Shirley Reitman. “A lot of residents are applying for a concealed carry weapon permit, even though that’s a great challenge in LA County.”

According to LA County Sheriff Alejandro Villanueva, the department has received 8,105 concealed carry weapon applications and approved 2,102 of them since he took office in December 2018, compared to his predecessor having issued 194 permits in four years.

“Even hardcore leftist Democrats who said to me in the past, ‘I’ll never own a gun’ are calling me asking about firearms,” said Joel Glucksman, a private security executive. “I’d say there has been an increase of 80 percent in the number of requests I’m getting this year.”

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Question O’ The Day
So… what’s the point of this article? They’re arguing that self-defense cases involving guns demands a higher level of scrutiny than self-defense cases that don’t involve guns, then seem to imply that there is a systemic issue of allowing judges to determine foregone conclusions (like they can in many contexts) when deciding the facts of a case. Then they proceed to use two high-profile cases as an example, then admit that neither case involved a foregone conclusion.

Seriously, what point are they trying to make, exactly?


Both the display of a firearm and the pointing of a firearm at another person are threatening acts that ordinarily would create a reasonable apprehension of death or serious bodily injury in another person, and thus should be viewed as prima facie evidence of aggression.

This is their point:
They want the mere existence of a visible gun on your person to remove your right to defend yourself.


When it comes to guns and claims of self-defense, juries need guidance
As a general matter, a criminal defendant loses the right to claim he acted justifiably in self-defense if he was the initial aggressor or provocateur

Jurors in two recent high-profile homicide cases involving guns and claims of self-defense have spoken. In one case, the jury found the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse, not guilty on all homicide charges. In the other case, the jury found Greg and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Important factual differences contributed to the different verdicts in these cases. The skill sets of the attorneys and dispositions of the judges involved played a role as well.

One thing both cases had in common, however, was that each judge gave the jury an initial-aggressor or provocation instruction. The fact that the juries in the two cases were given such an instruction yet reached opposite conclusions indicates that the mere giving of such an instruction in self-defense cases will not predetermine the outcome.

Until these two cases, few people were aware of the initial-aggressor limitation on the defense of self-defense. Now, that limitation has become part of the national conversation.

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Question O’ The Day

Which is more offensive, Harris pretending she was born a poor, black child, or pretending that she’s Jewish, or believing that people are actually stupid enough to believe her BS?


Question O’ The Day
If CRT isn’t real then why are they so against banning it from schools?


Glenn Youngkin Defeated Terry McAuliffe Because Democrats Betrayed Parents.
From COVID-19 closures to critical race theory, Republicans can fix schools by giving families more choice.

While former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s loss to Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin was cemented very late on election night, in practice the day that he forfeited the gubernatorial race was September 28. That was when, during a debate with Youngkin, McAuliffe, a Democrat, made the statement that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

That was his response to questions about school curriculum and the fury that had taken hold at many local school board meetings, where irate parents assailed education leaders for allegedly supporting what has been termed “critical race theory” by right-wing activists who oppose it. CRT is a divisive concept, in part because progressives and conservative disagree sharply about what it even is. Many members of the liberal media don’t even believe it exists, and have accused the GOP of fabricating the issue. As Youngkin’s victory became apparent, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace lamented that critical race theory, “which isn’t even real,” had swung the suburbs 15 points in Republicans’ favor.

Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist and the architect of the current CRT framing, has claimed a well-deserved victory: There’s no question that his efforts to supply a memorable name—critical race theory—for the series of semi-related, clumsy diversity initiatives and questionable curriculum choices in some public schools helped raise the salience of the issue.

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