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Messages - Crafty_Dog

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1
Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science
« on: Today at 02:20:38 PM »
Whoa , , ,

2
Politics & Religion / Re: The Globalist Conspiracy
« on: Today at 02:16:50 PM »
ChiCom logic is winning , , ,

3
Politics & Religion / WSJ: Lumber back to normal
« on: Today at 02:14:56 PM »
By Ryan DezemberFollow
 | Photographs by Landon Speers for The Wall Street Journal
Updated Sept. 27, 2022 4:36 pm ET



Lumber prices have fallen to their lowest level in more than two years, bringing two-by-fours back to what they cost before the pandemic building boom and pointing to a sharp slowdown in construction.

Lumber futures ended Tuesday at $429.30 per thousand board feet, down about one-third from a year ago and more than 70% from their peak in March, when the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to fight inflation.

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Wood prices crashed in the early days of the 2020 lockdown, but they exploded that summer when stuck-at-home Americans remodeled en masse and suburban home sales surged. Two-by-four prices nearly tripled the prepandemic record in an early sign of the inflation and broken supply chains that would bedevil the economic reopening.

But lumber has led the way down for commodities since the central bank took aim at rising consumer prices and the overheated housing market. For two years, climbing lumber costs lifted home prices. Now home builders say that cheaper wood is giving them wiggle room to offer buyer incentives and to trim prices without crimping their profit margins.

Wood-pricing service Random Lengths said its framing-lumber composite index, which tracks cash sales in several species, fell last week to $529, down more than 60% from early March. Now that supply issues have eased and the highest mortgage rates in more than a decade have slowed home sales, buyers are no longer hoarding lumber for fear of running out.

“All the urgency over the past two years—‘give me everything you can’—that’s basically over. Lumberyards are not scared of the price going up,” said Michael Goodman, director of specialty products at wholesaler Sherwood Lumber Corp., which his family owns and operates. The Melville, N.Y., distributor sells framing lumber and plywood to building-supply companies, truss manufacturers and shipping-crate makers around the country. “The sexy lumber world is coming to an end, unfortunately,” he said.

A Massachusetts facility of Sherwood Lumber, which says the urgent demand for lumber over the past two years is over.

Lumber has led the way down for commodities since the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to fight inflation.
The rate at which new U.S. housing is being built is down about 13% from April, when residential construction activity hit its highest level in more than a decade, according to the Census Bureau. An increase in new multifamily buildings has offset a sharper decline in the construction of single-family homes, which typically use about three times as much lumber per unit as apartments.


The issuance of building permits for residential construction has declined steadily since March. The National Association of Home Builders said its measure of builder confidence declined in September for the ninth straight month, to a level of pessimism not registered since 2020’s Covid-19 lockdown and the 2008 housing crash. 

Mill executives, analysts and timber consultants who gathered last week at a World Forestry Center conference in Portland, Ore., said the lumber sector is bracing for recession, though not a severe one.

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Paul Jannke of Forest Economic Advisors LLC said his firm forecasts that lumber consumption will decline by as much as 2.5% this year and up to 4.5% in 2023 as home construction stalls and remodeling demand reverts to normal following the pandemic renovation boom.

Despite the steep drop in consumption, Mr. Jannke and others expect wood prices to be much higher than during previous downturns—in the $400s per thousand board feet, rather than the $200s—due to record-low inventories among dealers and rising mill costs, especially in British Columbia, where forest fires, wood-boring beetles and conservation efforts have reduced the supply of logs.

The lumber price that mills in western Canada need to break even is about $500 per thousand board feet, which means that they are likely to choke back output whenever cash prices for the spruce, pine and fir boards they saw drop below that, Mr. Jannke said.

Mills there, as well as in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and the South, have already begun cutting back. Canfor Corp., one of North America’s largest lumber producers, said it began a two-week curtailment Monday at most of its facilities in British Columbia. Work will resume at reduced operating schedules aimed at trimming the Vancouver firm’s production capacity by about 200 million board feet, or about 15% of last year’s fourth-quarter output.


Pressure on lumber prices is down as supply issues have eased and surging mortgage rates have slowed home sales.
The consolidation of North America’s sawmills by a few big firms, such as Canfor and West Fraser Timber Co., has hastened the speed at which production is choked back in response to falling prices and should buoy prices, said Håkan Ekström of Wood Resources International LLC.

“Markets are a little more controlled with fewer mill owners,” he said. “When there were more owners, everyone waited for someone else to slow down.”

Dealers like Sherwood’s Mr. Goodman say that the quick curtailment triggers are reason to load up on wood. “There’s upside risk of waiting and really no downside to buying right now, that’s what we’re telling our customers,” he said.

4
Politics & Religion / Follow up to the Swedish election
« on: Today at 02:03:45 PM »
Sometimes Tucker has on this super hot Swedish blond who is a PhD or something.  She's bright and articulate , , , and damn fine.

Anyway, she said the recent election victory by the Right was due more to the Muslims no longer supporting the left but instead forming their own party and by so doing diminishing the vote for the Left.

5
     

IMHO we need BOTH to continue outreach with proof that the "Emperor has no clothes" AND to be fully ready to defend our Constitutional Republic against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

6
Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues
« on: Today at 08:26:02 AM »
Very glad to see people working on this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7
Politics & Religion / Re: Politics
« on: Today at 08:25:23 AM »
Saw a clip of Joe Scarborough today played on FOX of him saying the Dems have been seriously wrong on the Border issue!

8
Politics & Religion / WSJ
« on: Today at 08:22:29 AM »
"And no, I don't support endless, limitless amounts, just saying we haven't hit that level yet IF these numbers are accurate.  But, from my secure midwest location, I shamelessly take some solace in seeing Putin's violent trampling on international law and neighbor sovereignty turn into a losing quagmire for him."

YES.

With variations in how we articulate it, this forum has had consensus that America has considerable responsibility for provoking this war. 

My personal term was "feckless stupidity".

That said, there is more variety among us concerning what to do now.

I continue to think it was feckless stupidity to have provoked all this, and that it was done with astounding incompetence (e.g. green lighting Nord Stream 2, cancelling the missile defense deals with Poland and Czech Republic, cancelling Navy movements in the Black Sea, etc etc etc).  Contrast the way that Trump had SOCEUR train up the Ukes during the entirety of his term-- and witness the results from this in the quality of the Uke military and population!  Contrast MREs and Javelins!

IMHO IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE GRASP THIS AND ARTICULATE IT SHOULD THINGS GO WELL NOW SO THAT BIDEN ET AL'S CLAIMS GREAT WISDOM IN CONTRAST TO PUTIN LOVER TRUMP- which are sure to come- ARE PROPERLY REFUTED

WE ROOT FOR AMERICA, AND IF THINGS GO WELL NOW, IT WILL ACCOMPLISH MANY THINGS-- RE-ESTABLISHING CREDIBILITY FOR AMERICAN ARMS AND RELIABILITY, AND LIKELY PUTTING HESITATION IN CHINESE THINKING FOR TAIWAN AND GREATER CONFIDENCE OF OUR ALLIES IN THE INDO-PACIFIC.  Yes, yes, we have driven Russia into China's arms-- and this will have grave consequences that likely will go uncredited, and much of Ukraine has been leveled, and uncounted numbers have died of famines that all this has provoked, but these are no small thing!  As the saying goes, "Better lucky than good!"

Pulling the rug from under the Ukes now would be an even bigger act of feckless stupidity.

I love Tucker, but on this he is utterly wrong.

OTOH if things go bad (the Iranian drones turn things around for Putin, things go nuclear, etc, we can still say-- "We told you so!"

================

Ukraine’s New Offensive Threatens Moscow’s Control of Lands It Seeks to Annex
Wrecked Russian armor and corpses of Russian troops line the roads in northern Donetsk as Ukraine pushes deeper into Donbas
By Yaroslav Trofimov
WSJ
Sept. 27, 2022 9:36 am ET

RUBTSY, Ukraine—The Ukrainian military offensive that ousted Russian troops from the Kharkiv region early this month has now crossed deep into the northern part of the nearby Donetsk region, increasingly threatening Russian control over lands that Moscow seeks to annex as sovereign territory in coming days.

Here in Rubtsy, a village in Donetsk that Russia captured in late April, advancing Ukrainian forces stream east past burned-out carcasses of Russian tanks and the bloated bodies of Russian soldiers that remain on roadsides. Trophy pieces of Russian armor are being towed in the opposite way, to be repaired and reused.

The Ukrainian push here, east of the Oskil River, aims to encircle the strategic town of Lyman, where street battles have begun, and ultimately target the northern parts of the nearby Luhansk region. Russia is wrapping up sham referendums it is staging in Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as Donbas, and two occupied regions of southern Ukraine, aiming to formally incorporate them into Russia as soon as this week.

Demoralized by recent defeats in Kharkiv, Russian soldiers on this front line continue to retreat, despite arriving reinforcements. On Sunday, Ukrainian forces took several prisoners in a nearby village because many of the Russian soldiers were drunk, said a Ukrainian soldier. “The ones who were sober ran away, and the ones who were drunk didn’t even realize that the village was being attacked, and got caught,” he said.

The soldier showed off two recently captured Russian T-80 tanks that had been towed to his position, the Russian tactical sign Z on their armor overpainted with the white cross marking Ukrainian armor on this front. One only needed a battery change, he said. The other would require more intensive repairs because the retreating Russian crew had thrown a hand grenade into the barrel. “We’ll fix them and use them against the Russians,” he said.

In addition to the offensive in northern Donetsk, Ukrainian forces in recent days also expanded their foothold east of the Oskil river in the area of Kupyansk, the seat of Russian administration for the roughly 3,500 square miles of the Kharkiv region that Ukrainian forces liberated this month. That defeat forced Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to mobilize hundreds of thousands of reservists, and to call the annexation referendums. A separate Ukrainian push south of Lyman this month reclaimed the town of Svyatohirsk that Russian forces seized as recently as July.

Ukrainian forces remain on the defensive in other parts of the Donetsk region, such as the city of Bakhmut that Russian troops led by the Wagner mercenaries have been trying to storm for over two months, and Avdiivka near the regional capital. Russia currently controls about two-thirds of the region.

9
Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2022, 03:43:00 PM »
Your words placed blame squarely on our military.

"(T)he US military has demonstrated that despite its ability to win battles, it cannot win wars."

Fair of me to ask whether the blame was always theirs or sometimes it belonged to the civilian leadership.


10
Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left
« on: September 26, 2022, 03:40:42 PM »
Why Haven't Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib Even Mentioned Iran's Hijab Protests?
by Phyllis Chesler
IPT News
September 26, 2022

https://www.investigativeproject.org/9263/why-havent-linda-sarsour-ilhan-omar-rashida-tlaib

11
Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2022, 11:59:50 AM »
1) Were the various absences of victory the fault of the military or the civilian leadership?

2) Here, it aint the US military that is fighting overseas.  It is the Ukes fighting in and for their homeland against an enemy they know well.

12
Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« on: September 26, 2022, 11:57:41 AM »
Non-responsive.

I'm not talking about persuading the MSM, I'm talking about persuading those whose impressions are fed in part, be it small or large, by the MSM.

13
Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« on: September 26, 2022, 11:56:27 AM »
On the reputation with me of the person who posted that article I posted it here-- perhaps I should have been more careful , , ,

14
Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« on: September 26, 2022, 09:47:05 AM »
Well duh, but not responsive to my point/question-- How to spread the info in these articles without losing credibility in the eyes of those whom we wish to inform?




15
Politics & Religion / GPF: Why would Poland spurn Germany?
« on: September 26, 2022, 09:44:56 AM »


September 26, 2022
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Why Would Poland Spurn Germany?
The answer is domestic and, to a lesser extent, European politics.
By: Ryan Bridges

“We were dependent on Russia, but today we are cutting this dependence,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week while inaugurating a new canal to the Baltic Sea. The canal’s contribution to this goal is dubious, but it will enable vessels to reach or depart the Polish port of Elblag without needing to traverse Russian territorial waters around Kaliningrad. More interesting was Morawiecki’s next statement: “We are cutting our dependence on both Russia and Germany.” This comes just a few weeks after Poland demanded $1.3 trillion in World War II reparations from Germany.

Warsaw’s reasons for distancing itself from Moscow – a hostile power with a proven history of invading its neighbors – are clear, but Berlin’s offenses are less obvious. Germany is Central Europe’s strongest country, with a latent capability to dominate most of the Continent. The Western powers’ strategy toward Germany since World War II has been to smother it with friendship – integrating its military into a U.S.-dominated alliance with its neighbors and, beginning with the European Coal and Steel Community, giving its economy the keys to a market of more than 450 million consumers and their countries’ resources. Germany’s docility today in the face of Russia’s attack on the NATO-Russian buffer shows that the Western strategy was, if anything, too successful. When it comes to the immediate threat to Poland, Berlin is a friend to Warsaw. Why, then, is the head of Poland’s government trumpeting cryptic plans to reduce ties with Germany? The answer is domestic and, to a lesser extent, European politics.

The German Question

The roots of the European Union lie in predominantly U.S. efforts to find a way to unleash German economic potential while calming German anxieties about potential encirclement. For reasons having to do with geography, climate, culture, history and probably countless lesser factors, the Germans are experts at producing complex industrial goods – far more than the German population could possibly consume. This raises two problems: First, the resources necessary to produce all these unparalleled goods exceed Germany’s own resource pool. The German economy has to get them from somewhere else, whether via cheap trade and investment or conquest. Second, a population of approximately 80 million couldn’t possibly consume all the vehicles, machinery, etc. that German industry can produce. The German economy needs easy access to foreign consumers – again, through preferential trade arrangements or conquest – to offload the excess. The U.S. strategy, which Washington advanced through deft diplomacy, economic incentives and security guarantees despite the reluctance of France and Britain, successfully resolved both German problems peacefully. The European common market was born, nestled in a political framework that had to grow with economic integration.

The resulting union is what Poland and other newly independent Soviet satellites and republics were desperate to join as the Soviet Union started to disintegrate. The EU all but guaranteed explosive economic growth and could open the door to NATO membership – that is, American military protection. Poland applied for EU membership in 1994 and joined in 2004 alongside nine of its neighbors. As expected, NATO invited Warsaw into its ranks in 1997, and the marriage was sealed less than two years later. The Polish economy saw 28 years of economic growth – even through the 2008 recession and Europe’s own subsequent crisis – before shrinking briefly in 2020.

But while this was happening, the post-Cold War world was taking shape. Politically, economically and militarily peerless on the world stage, the United States scrambled to capitalize on its advantage. It pushed for a more globalized world, with more and stronger political and economic bindings. Militarily, it enlarged the trans-Atlantic alliance and, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, embarked on an ill-fated campaign to spread democracy by force in the Muslim world. The shock of the 2008 Great Recession gravely wounded social cohesion, not only in the U.S., and raised serious questions about the attractiveness and viability of the U.S.-led economic order and leadership. At the same time, America’s disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its chaotic interventions in Libya and elsewhere undermined domestic support for military adventurism. By 2022, after some three decades of U.S. preponderance, the world is riddled with crises, and Americans’ willingness to pay the cost of being the world’s policeman has receded. (By how much is an open question. U.S. assistance to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia suggest it’s still higher than some observers believed.)

The Sovereignty Question

Where do Polish-German relations fit into this well-known history? Just as the Americans had their phase of overexuberance after the Cold War, so did the Europeans, including the Poles and other newly independent peoples. EU enlargement wasn’t an especially difficult sell. Incorporating much poorer ex-Soviet satellites and vulnerable states would be expensive, but the potential payoff was irresistible. Western European investors could snatch up cheap land, resources and companies, yielding a healthy profit, while Eastern European workers could flood the EU with cheap labor. Bureaucrats in Brussels gave considerable thought to how best to politically integrate the former communist states. It was not enough to make them see European integration in the same light as the founding members.

From the world wars, many Europeans and most Germans learned that European nationalism must be contained in the name of peace. During the Cold War, the early members of what would become the European Union got decades of practice trusting one another and cooperating for mutual benefit. But across the Iron Curtain, Moscow was stamping out European nationalism in its own way: using brutal covert and overt repression. While Western Europeans were discussing deeper political, economic and monetary integration in the late 1980s, the Soviets’ dire economic situation was depriving them of the ability to contain nationalism in Eastern Europe. By 1990, nationalism and democracy had won out in Central and Eastern Europe.

But democracy alone is not enough. Whereas Western Europe’s collective identity over decades had focused on multilateralism and compromise, its liberated neighbors to the east had been learning the value of cohesiveness, national pride and sovereignty. Without those things, they would not have regained their autonomy. Where a West German saw the loss of some national sovereignty to Brussels as the price of prosperity and peace – and thus a net positive for Bonn’s sovereignty overall – a Pole was mistrustful of any appeals to share decision-making power.

National identities form over generations, and changing them is hard. Poland’s current leadership, the Law and Justice Party (PiS), is particularly committed to Polish nationalism and conservative values. Its largest political opponents are pro-European liberals and centrists, closer to the prevailing politics in Western Europe, where the bulk of EU decision-making power lies. Drawing on their cultural and historical memory, Polish national-conservatives are xenophobic, especially Islamophobic, and generally intolerant of social diversity. (The Western European experience, despite its imperfections, is simply different.) The prevailing ideology in Poland, while reserving its most intense disdain for the Kremlin, is highly mistrustful of Germany’s relative social liberalism.

More important, PiS wants to make fundamental changes to the Polish judicial system, but it has failed to convince most of the EU that its intentions are good and its concerns legitimate. Brussels and most Western European capitals suspect PiS is working to weaken or eradicate Polish political and social liberalism, a challenge to their own regimes but also to the EU, which is founded on liberal ideas like compromise, diversity, civil rights and the rule of law.

Germany Is the Rock, Russia Is the Hard Place

The main battlefield between PiS and Brussels is over the reversal of some Polish judicial reforms and the delivery of 35 billion euros ($34 billion) of EU money for Poland’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The European Commission set milestones for the reversal of PiS’ judicial reforms that it says Warsaw must meet before it will transfer the funds. Obviously, PiS wants to concede as little as possible, but the economic slowdown, rising interest rates and the war next door are pressuring it to get the funds soon. What’s more, Poland is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections by November 2023, and if it doesn’t receive the assistance before then, PiS will be gambling its electoral fortunes on an orderly end to the war in Ukraine and an economic rebound, ideally by the summer.

The Polish government’s rhetorical assault on Germany, therefore, is part of its power struggle with the EU, as well as a backup campaign strategy. Germany is the most influential member of the European Union, but it cannot single-handedly decide whether Poland will receive its 35 billion euros. Poland’s prime minister knows this. But Berlin is a popular object of antipathy for his party’s base – much better than targeting the EU itself, which is immensely popular with Poles. Anti-German rhetoric signals PiS’ resolve while leaving the EU room to maneuver. And if the EU calls PiS’ bluff, then as a last resort it could go into the election blaming the Germans for allowing Russia to invade Ukraine, not doing enough to stop the war and withholding needed financial assistance that rightfully belongs to the Poles.

Whether this strategy will work depends on how the economic situation evolves in Poland, as well as political and social stresses in Europe as a whole. At the moment, there’s little reason to expect a dramatically improved economic situation over the coming months. And EU institutions, with sufficient backing from the member states, do not seem to be in a compromising mood. The United States could try to intervene, but Washington usually steers clear of EU internal politics, and the Biden administration would likely prefer a more liberal government in Warsaw anyway. Most important, the U.S. does not want to risk widening any rifts in Europe at a time when its days of significant involvement on the Continent are ending. If the U.S. is going to reduce its trans-Atlantic commitments while leaving Europe intact and able to defend itself, then it will need the Germans to take the helm.

Poland is unlikely to make a full climbdown on its judicial reforms, but Brussels has most of the leverage. A cease-fire where the EU gets most of what it wants and PiS lives to fight another day – after next year’s elections – is probable. Most important, even a PiS-led Poland is unlikely to actually reduce its dependence on Germany. This would be tantamount to reducing ties to most of Europe, and with the Americans having one foot out the door to Poland’s west and the Russians knocking on the door to its east, that is not an option.

16
Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2022, 09:26:31 AM »
Here is the completely opposed POV.

This piece comes to me with high praise from someone highly qualified and seriously experienced:

===================

Open in browser
Ukraine Can Win This War
The experts said Ukraine was was ill-prepared, ill-equipped, and Russia’s military was simply too powerful. They were wrong.
Liam Collins and John Spencer
Sep 26
 
▷  LISTEN
SAVE
 
Ukrainian soldiers ride in an armored tank in the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, in the Kharkiv region. (Oleksii Chumachenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the conventional wisdom among military experts was that it would all be over for Ukraine in a matter of weeks. Here was Russia, one of the world’s ostensible superpowers, its military five times the size of Ukraine’s, and with nuclear weapons to boot.  At the start of the conflict, Russia maintained an advantage of nearly ten-to-one in defense spending and weapons systems. Ukraine, they said, was ill-prepared, ill-equipped, and Russia’s military was simply too powerful.

It hasn’t turned out that way.

Since Ukraine’s counteroffensive began nearly three weeks ago, the country has reclaimed more than 3,400 square miles. By contrast, Russia’s offensive in the east gained only 2,000 square miles in the past five months. Ukraine continues its advance via a successful offensive in the Kharkiv region (in which they launched a massive surprise counterattack to overwhelm unprepared and unmotivated Russian forces) and through its ongoing success in the Kherson region (where Ukrainian forces have basically encircled and cut off up to 20,000 Russians).

Then there is the panic in Moscow. Days ago, Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists while also threatening nuclear war. The draft—Russia’s first since World War II—will force thousands of Russians who had previously served to report for duty, receive two weeks of refresher training, and immediately deploy into Ukraine. Russian conscripts' time of service has been extended indefinitely, meaning they will not be able to leave the fighting when their time is up. It’s hard to conceive of how much lower the morale of Russian troops can get.

All of this indicates that Putin is deeply concerned about Ukraine’s ability to win this war. He is right to be.

It has now been seven months since the war began, and signs from Ukraine and Russia indicate quite the opposite outcome that most experts predicted. So, how did all this happen? 

Success in warfighting is a function of much more than the size of a nation’s military. It is also a function of strategy, allyship, doctrine, culture, and the will to fight, among many other factors. And Ukraine—not Russia—holds the advantage in every category except for military size.

Let’s take each in turn.

Strategy

Since Ukraine’s victory in preventing Russia from decapitating the capital city of Kyiv in April 2022, Russia’s strategy in eastern Ukraine can best be described as a war of attrition. Russia massed its combat power and conducted large artillery barrages. These battles were temporarily effective, as Russia was able to make incremental gains in the Donbas. But it came at great cost: Russia expended massive amounts of ammunition and soldiers to make those small gains.

By August, the Pentagon estimated that as many as 80,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded. They lost thousands of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery pieces, and have expended or lost tons of ammunition and supplies. They also lost at least a dozen generals and countless lower-level leaders. It will take Russia decades to train, educate, and ultimately replace these people. For Russia’s officer-centric military, these losses are particularly devastating as it greatly impacts their ability to mobilize a coherent fighting formation on the battlefield today. Military analysts were also surprised at the health and order of Russian equipment and positions—many resembled homeless encampments more than military outposts.

Ukraine had a very different strategy.

Over the past several months, Ukraine—being a much smaller military—wisely decided to surrender some territory in the East, pulling back to more defensible positions so that it could maintain the necessary combat power to fight another day. That day came on August 29, when Ukraine launched its massive counteroffensive. This offensive has been successful because Ukraine has a superior military by every measure other than quantity. As the war has progressed, Ukraine has also been able to replace worn down arms and ammunition, while at the same time acquiring new ones thanks to its relationship with the U.S. and other key allies.

Allyship

Western aid has been critical to Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive. They’ve been able to strike Russian ammunition depots, command and control centers, and supply lines thanks to weapons provided by the U.S., the U.K., Poland, and others. These weapons include HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems), counter artillery and missile radars, HARM (high-speed anti-radiation missiles) air-to-surface missiles, and other superior long-range weapons.

Western aid has not just been about weapons. It has also included battlefieldintelligence, planning assistance, and training for thousands of Ukrainian soldiers outside of the country. The Ukrainians have put that aid and know-how to work to immediate effect on the battlefield.   

NATO Doctrine

Just as critical to Ukraine’s success was the decision nearly eight years ago to have a professional force designed and trained so it could defend itself from Russian aggression. In 2016, Ukraine committed itself to building a modern military capable of meeting NATO standards. With the help of hundreds of Western trainers and advisers, Ukraine built an army that could execute maneuver warfare involving large-scale combined arms operations by the start of the most recent invasion. One of us was among them, and we were deeply impressed by their commitment to make such difficult reforms.

While Ukraine was adopting a NATO force and doctrine, Russia doubled down on their Soviet-era approach—a doctrine that relies on officer-centric orders and rigid, artillery-dependent formations. As Ukraine built a smaller, more nimble military, Russia continued to adhere to the outdated idea of amassing firepower and armor to overwhelm a stationary force.

Culture

In 2014, Ukraine’s military culture was much like Russia’s today: a highly centralized command structure where all decisions flow to the top. Risk-taking and battlefield initiative were not part of its military culture. But Ukraine learned through its experience in the Donbas in 2014—when Russia overwhelmed defending Ukrainian forces to take control of most of eastern Ukraine—that initiative was required when initial battlefield orders no longer fit the changing situation. Now, when the unexpected happens on the battlefield, lieutenants and captains are free to act immediately rather than having to seek permission and receive it after it is too late.

The second important component for Ukraine’s success is a national culture of military volunteerism. Russia’s active military may have been five times that of Ukraine at the start of the conflict, but few anticipated how significant a role volunteers would play in the defense of Kyiv. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who were civilians on February 23—the day before Russia invaded—went to recruiting stations on February 24, or simply used their own arms to support the war effort. The Territorial Defense Force now numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and these volunteers have allowed Ukraine to commit most of its active duty military to the current counteroffensive.   

Will to Fight

When the U.S. offered to evacuate him at the start of the conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is famous for responding, “I need ammunition, not a ride.” The sentiment is common to many Ukrainians. Despite facing what was ranked as the second most powerful military in the world, ordinary Ukrainian men and women have demonstrated a strong will to fight for their country.

There is no greater test of a soldier or a people than war. The story of the Ukrainian people’s heroism is too rich to truncate here, but we are thinking of how thousands of civilians took up arms in February and March 2022, blocked streets, destroyed convoys, blew up bridges, and flooded rivers to prevent the fall of Ukraine’s capital. Or how just a few thousand men and women fought and held down 20,000 Russians for over 80 days in the city of Mariupol, ultimately withdrawing into their own version of an Alamo in the underground tunnels of a steel plant.

The most important difference between a Ukrainian soldier and a Russian one is their determination. Ukrainians prove every day that they are fighting for their freedom, families, and nation. By contrast, Russian soldiers have demonstrated their lack of motivation by refusing to fight, abandoning their positions when in danger, and attacking their leaders.

Despite Ukraine’s recent success, it’s important to remember that wars ebb and flow, and this war has been no different. Ukraine may be able to retake Kherson, but its current counteroffensive is not going to expel Russian forces everywhere. Ukraine’s military will eventually exhaust its capacity to continue this massive counterattack, and the larger Russian military will regroup and establish more effective defensive positions.

Nonetheless, the success of this counteroffensive provides a roadmap for Ukrainian forces: holding where they need to, slowly retreating where they must, and quickly counterattacking when the conditions are right. The ongoing offensive has demonstrated that Ukraine has a superior military that can overwhelm and defeat Russian forces, at scale, when they can achieve more favorable conditions. It has also provided a window into Russia’s military status: Russia cannot sustain their losses in this war.

If the West continues its level of aid and support, while Ukraine continues to build military capability and execute a superior war plan, the path to victory is clear. Under those conditions, it's only a matter of when—not if—Ukraine will win this war.

About the authors:

Liam Collins is the executive director of the Madison Policy Forum. He served as a defense advisor to Ukraine from 2016-2018 and is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces colonel with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Horn of Africa, and South America. He is co-author of the forthcoming bookUnderstanding Urban Warfare.

John Spencer is the chair of urban warfare studies at the Madison Policy Forum. He served 25 years as a U.S. Army infantryman, which included two combat tours in Iraq. He is the author of the book Connected Soldiers: Life, Leadership, and Social Connection in Modern War and co-author, with Liam Collins, of Understanding Urban Warfare.

If you appreciated this piece and the work that we do every day at Common Sense, please subscribe:


17
Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« on: September 26, 2022, 07:26:31 AM »
Whoa.

Super frustrating that this comes to us via a site of such , , , unserious appearance.  Hard to look credible sharing this forward , , ,

19
Politics & Religion / FDR and the Jews
« on: September 26, 2022, 06:57:33 AM »
https://jimleff.blogspot.com/2022/09/blacks-standing-up-for-jews.html?fbclid=IwAR2Evo8ncN4UP4CrcfOSTS28I6QcMokkoDJn4uiq44nMwUGN2gvkXJkNoiM

================

A poster on my FB page:

.There are new books coming out all the time talking about FDR and the Holocaust. It seems that documents are being found that shed light on his administration and his hatred of all things Jewish.

For fifty years FDR has been almost a G-d to most dems. It is understandable, after all he was the leader of the country when the war began, and he led it almost to the end. But on the issue of minorities, he falls short of G-dhood. He did next to nothing to stop the transportation of Jews to the death camps, and in America he rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in camps. Every year from 1933 to the end of the war the US had left over immigration visas that could have saved Jewish lives. Only after the war did the US suddenly grow a conscious and let in Jewish refugees.....

And what did US Jewry do to push for more immigrants? Well Rabbi Wise was the de facto head of US Jewry and he was told to not make waves. "Three days before Yom Kippur in 1943, more than four hundred Orthodox rabbis marched to the White House to plead with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to rescue European Jews from the Nazis. For a cause which on its merits would seem unobjectionable, the march encountered a surprising amount of opposition. The president refused the rabbis’ request to hand him a petition. FDR’s Jewish advisers denounced the protesters. A prominent Jewish member of Congress urged them to cancel the march. Some Jewish leaders publicly condemned them. Why did the march provoke such criticism? Why did the organizers insist on going ahead with it, nonetheless?

In a generation that has seen hundreds of thousands of American Jews protest in Washington for Soviet Jewry (1987) and Israel (2002), a march by hundreds of Orthodox rabbis may not seem impressive. But it was the only such protest in the nation’s capital during the Holocaust. The very fact that it was so unusual contributed to the wave of alarm that it triggered in official Washington.

President Roosevelt’s decision to snub the rabbis was based on cold political logic. Jewish leaders in congress put down the demonstration as a stunt. The era’s most prominent American Jewish leader, Rabbi Stephen Wise, criticized the march in somewhat similar terms. Wise, who headed the American Jewish Congress, the World Jewish Congress, and the American Zionist movement, wrote that “the orthodox rabbinical parade [ sic]” was a “painful and even lamentable exhibition.” He derided the organizers as “stuntists” and accused them of offending “the dignity of [the Jewish] people.”https://associationforjewishstudies.org/.../the-1943...

Wise was a staunch supporter of President Roosevelt and his administration and did his best to counter or suppress Jewish criticism of the president." Only after the war and the full truth of the destruction of European Jewry come out did Wise admit that he was wrong....


https://associationforjewishstudies.org/publications-research/ajs-perspectives/the-protest-issue/the-1943-jewish-march-on-washington-through-the-eyes-of-its-critics?fbclid=IwAR2FoaOCaDrgncRuiVIw5Fxm_Si4J9VzoHtHYROLYR8yfoSgWQTog6PzAyM

==========

Another poster adds:

The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust https://a.co/d/9ds1ERW

20
Politics & Religion / WSJ: Good news for Free Speech in the Goolag!
« on: September 26, 2022, 02:43:09 AM »
GOOD NEWS!!!
================
Big Tech Has No Constitutional Right to Censor
That’s the upshot of recent court cases in Texas and Florida, testing state bills that curb such activity.
By Allysia Finley
WSJ
Sept. 25, 2022 3:58 pm ET

Social-media stocks have taken a beating this year, but it’s nothing compared with the smack-down their companies have recently received in court. “We reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared in its Sept. 16 decision upholding Texas’s anticensorship law.

The legal fight over whether states can restrict such behavior could soon be headed to the Supreme Court, as Florida last week appealed an 11th Circuit ruling that struck down its anticensorship law.

Social-media companies are also asking the justices to provide desperately needed constitutional clarity. They argue, in short, that removing user content from their platforms is an exercise of editorial judgment and expression protected by the First Amendment. Ergo, states can’t tell them they can’t censor.

Not so fast, writes the Fifth Circuit’s Judge Andrew Oldham for a divided three-judge panel in an excoriating 90-page opinion. Texas’ law prohibits large social-media platforms from blocking speech based on viewpoint. So users couldn’t be deplatformed by Twitter for professing skepticism of vaccines or climate change. Nor could YouTube demonetize such videos.

The law, however, excludes speech that isn’t protected by the First Amendment, such as incitement, as well as speech that is covered by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—i.e., speech considered to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”

Users who believe they were illegally discriminated against could sue the companies. While they wouldn’t be eligible to receive damages, they could be reinstated if they prevail. Many users would nonetheless lose if a court determines their expression is “objectionable” under Section 230’s catchall. But social-media companies wouldn’t be the final arbiters of what is objectionable.

Judge Oldham stresses that Texas’ law seeks to regulates business conduct—not speech—under the “common-carrier doctrine,” which holds that government can impose nondiscrimination obligations on businesses “affected with the public interest.” During the 19th century, states imposed common-carrier obligations on telegraph companies. “Western Union, the largest telegraph company, sometimes refused to carry messages from journalists that competed with its ally, the Associated Press—or charged them exorbitant rates,” Judge Oldham notes.

States, and later Congress, intervened to prohibit telegraph companies from discriminating against dispatches. The Supreme Court in 1896 rejected a constitutional challenge to a state common-carrier law.

Justice Clarence Thomas last year wrote that “the long history in this country and in England of restricting the exclusion right of common carriers and places of public accommodation may save similar regulations today from triggering heightened scrutiny” under the First Amendment, “especially where a restriction would not prohibit the company from speaking or force the company to endorse the speech.” Texas’ law does neither.

The Fifth Circuit cites two high-courts precedents that support the constitutionality of Texas’s law. In PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins (1980) a mall challenged a California law that required privately owned shopping centers to permit the distribution of pamphlets on their premises. The mall argued that a “private property owner has a First Amendment right not to be forced by the State to use his property as a forum for the speech of others.” The court disagreed.

More recently, law schools in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (2006) challenged a federal law that denied funding to schools that didn’t give military recruiters “access to students that is at least equal in quality and scope to the access provided other potential employers.” The court unanimously held the law didn’t violate the schools’ speech rights.

Social-media companies cite Miami Herald v. Tornillo (1974), which struck down a Florida law requiring newspapers to print candidates’ rejoinders to critical editorials. But in asserting a right to editorial control, they’re trying to have it both ways. As Judge Oldham notes, “they’ve told courts—over and over again—that they simply ‘serv[e] as conduits for other parties’ speech.’ ”

Newspapers and broadcasters exercise strict control over the content they promulgate and are legally liable for defamation. Social-media platforms don’t and aren’t. Section 230, in protecting platforms’ right to block and screen objectionable material, specifies that they shall not “be treated as the publisher or speaker” of content generated by users.

Social-media companies want to be able to censor speech they don’t like without bearing legal risks and responsibilities attendant to being a publisher. But why should courts let them?

Judge Oldman points out that Texas’ law differs from Florida’s in a few key respects that may make the latter more legally vulnerable. For one, Florida’s law specifically prohibits platforms from censoring candidates for public office or content about them as well as “journalistic enterprises.” This content-based regulation could trigger heightened First Amendment scrutiny.

Both Texas and Florida laws are innovative solutions to tech censorship, and they may not get it entirely right. But state laboratories of democracy are meant for experimentation.

22
Politics & Religion / Noonan
« on: September 26, 2022, 01:59:39 AM »
It’s a Mistake to Shrug Off Putin’s Threats
As we saw before World War I, it’s easy to become complacent as trouble builds into catastrophe.
Peggy Noonan hedcutBy Peggy NoonanFollow
Sept. 22, 2022 6:47 pm ET

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Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, Sept. 21.
PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine must be received soberly, if for no other reason than that leaders occasionally do what they say they’ll do. There are reasons beyond that. He has lost hardware, soldiers, ground and face. He is cornered and escalating, increasing the odds of mistake and miscalculation.

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Great care is needed now, the greatest possible. Wednesday this week came the famous (though not first) threat of nuclear use. In a rare speech to the nation from the Kremlin, Mr. Putin said: “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect Russia and our people—this is not a bluff.” He announced referendums in occupied areas that will presumably result in declarations that they are Russian territory. Ukraine’s attempts to push back Russian troops can then be defined as an invasion of Russia, which Mr. Putin must defend by any and all means.

He also called up 300,000 reservists. There is reason to doubt this will appreciably improve Russia’s position. The motley new troops will be blended over months into an army that doesn’t work. This is one reason we can’t be certain Mr. Putin will lean most heavily on conventional methods of war.

Russia is long thought to have about 10 times as many tactical nuclear weapons as the U.S., with delivery systems ranging from mobile ground-based launchers to ships. These weapons are smaller than strategic weapons, with shorter range and lower yield. The Times of London provided a map with concentric circles to show potential blast radiuses if a tactical nuke were trained on London—it was like something out of 1958. Such weapons are built to take out specific targets in specific areas without widespread destruction. But yes, radioactive debris in Ukraine would waft this way or that with wind currents, possibly west toward Poland, possibly toward Mr. Putin’s own troops. Not that he’d care; not that they’d think he’d care.

American diplomats have believed Mr. Putin will never use tactical nukes because he’d fear the price. But they can’t know that, especially if they’re unclear what price they’d exact. They hope Russian officials in the command structure would thwart such an order, but they can’t be certain of that either. They believe they can’t bow to nuclear blackmail because that would bring a whole new order of international chaos with it, and that’s true. All the more reason the greatest care is required now.

The atmosphere around Mr. Putin appears increasingly fevered. His enemies keep falling from windows and boats. This week the former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, an erstwhile Putin supporter, reportedly fell down “a series of flights of stairs,” resulting, according to the announcement on Telegram, in “injuries incompatible with life.” Antiwar demonstrations broke out in 37 Russian cities, according to the Associated Press. “Send Putin to the trenches,” they chanted in Moscow. Wednesday’s address was scheduled for Tuesday, postponed and given 13 hours late. Airline seats out of Moscow are famously full and not round trips. There are reports Mr. Putin himself is bypassing his generals and sending direct orders to the field.

Maybe he’s finding that fewer of his countrymen than he’d supposed share his mystical vision of a greater imperial Russia restored; maybe it’s just him and 50 intellectuals. Maybe that will intensify his bitterness and nihilism.

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But all this speaks of growing disorder around him. His most eloquent critics and foes in the West call him a liar and murderer, and he is, but it’s worse now than they think. This isn’t Syria; it’s not the joy of poisoning your enemies or jailing dissidents. Ukraine is the ballgame for him. The whole meaning of his adult life is his war with the West, and this is the battlefield. He is about to turn 70, closer to the end than the beginning. He alone drove this thing and he’ll drive it into the ground because, I believe, he doesn’t care anymore, and he can’t lose.

All this is apart from other unconventional means of trouble at his disposal, from cyber and infrastructure attacks to fighting near nuclear reactors, as has already occurred. There is the economic and political turmoil that will follow his cutting natural-gas supplies to Western Europe.

I spent the spring and summer reading about World War I, all the big, classic histories, but drilling down even into the memoirs of the tutor of the czarevitch in the last years of Romanov rule. I’ve done such regimens before. I like reading about epic catastrophes: It’s encouraging. We got through that. We’ll get through the next thing.


It reminded me of the obvious, that peacetime governments rarely know exactly what to focus on in real time. They don’t like to think imaginatively about the worst. The leaders of the nations that would go to war in August 1914 were certain in July that there wouldn’t be a war—there couldn’t be, because everyone had too much to lose. Tensions had risen in the past and been soothed. There was the sense of sleepwalking toward war, and indeed a great modern history of the era is called “The Sleepwalkers.” They stumbled in. Paul Fussell, in “The Great War and Modern Memory,” wrote of the horror of the trenches and the hopeless charges into the new weapon called the machine gun, and saw irony. “Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected.” The means are always “melodramatically disproportionate” to the presumed ends.

I hope our leaders are groping toward something, some averting process, maybe along the lines of French President Emmanuel Macron’s urging for a negotiated peace. What shouldn’t fully settle in is the idea that conceding the need to pursue every avenue is somehow letting down the side, and showing insufficient fervor for the Ukraine, that has so moved the world.

I sense people are afraid of looking afraid. But when a bad man who’s a mad man says he’ll do something terrible, it’s not wrong to think about every way you can to slow or stop him.

We live in a funny world that’s at bottom anxious and sad and yet insists on a carapace of cheer, or at least distraction. We’re losing a sense of tragedy.

The other night the great British playwright Tom Stoppard spoke movingly, in New York, of how nations often don’t get the governments they deserve. Russia, he said, is a landmass alive with history and literature and occupied by a people whose suffering and endurance echo through the ages. And look what they’re stuck with. Tolstoy biographer A.N. Wilson, in his recent autobiography, says something similar, describing Russia as an ancient “God-bearing” people whose meaning is located in survival.

If you think of it this way, it’s all the more tragic. Good people all around, bad trouble here and looming.

I’m not a prophet, and I don’t know what to do. But I know the size of this war and this time in history. It’s not the same old, not the usual. It feels like a turning point. We have to get serious in some new way.

28
Politics & Religion / Gen Keane
« on: September 25, 2022, 02:52:20 PM »
https://www.foxnews.com/world/putin-losing-war-ukraine-forcing-annexation-referendum-secure-political-victory-keane-says?fbclid=IwAR3VGK1D8NF4D8wcyDs7xOJXkYb0B8iuYmdnL1ZoCByml2t8Ns95GyB0B0s

What if Putin were to nuke Odessa as response to Ukes going to retake Donbas, which he is now about to assert IS part of Russia?

29
Texas Father Fears Custody Ruling Could Mean Chemical Castration for 10-Year-Old Son
Jeff Younger wants to block any attempt to move his son to California
By Darlene McCormick Sanchez September 24, 2022


A Texas father embroiled in a high-profile custody battle fears a court ruling this week could allow his ex-wife to move to California and medically transition his 10-year-old son to a girl.

Jeff Younger, who lives in the Dallas area, told The Epoch Times on Sept. 23 that he will fight the Sept. 21 ruling by Dallas District Judge Mary Brown, and vows he’ll continue to fight for his son, James.

The parents have been engaged in a custody battle over James for most of his life. The mother, Anne Georgulas, started questioning James’s gender when he was a toddler. She argues that from a young age James chose to identify as a female, wanted to wear dresses, and eventually wanted to be known as Luna.

She eventually socially transitioned the boy, and presented him at school as a girl. The school supported that after the couple separated.

Younger accused his ex-spouse of leading their young child to socially transition before he could understand the concept or its implications. He said James rejected being female and did not wear dresses when visiting his home after the parents separated in 2015.

“I had a dress at my house, but he threw it in the trash can in the middle of the night when he thought I wasn’t looking,” Younger said.

Younger is concerned that his ex-wife now will transition James medically. He says documents he obtained during court proceedings show she took James to a therapist who recommended the family “explore” gender transitioning at the Dallas-based Genecis medical clinic.

Younger intends to file an emergency stay in response to the Sept. 21 court order. He’ll ask that a previous jury verdict, allowing 50-50 custody and no child support, be reaffirmed.

Brown, a liberal Democrat sitting on the bench for Texas 301st District Court, ruled that Younger’s ex-wife could move James and his twin brother, Jude, anywhere in the continental United States. The judge said her ruling was for the “safety and welfare” of the twins.

The order also said Younger would have to schedule supervised parental visits in the county and state where the children reside.

In her ruling, the judge “ordered” the mother not to reveal their future whereabouts to the boys’ father. And the judge allowed her to apply for new passports.

Georgulas, a Dallas-area pediatrician, indicated earlier this month that she intends to move to California, Younger said.

The move is consequential because lawmakers there have passed a bill that, according to a California Senate Rules Committee explanation, would enact “various safeguards against the enforcement of other states’ laws” that would “penalize individuals from obtaining gender-affirming care that is legal in California.” The bill was delivered to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 9 and, if not vetoed, will become law.

The legislation would prohibit medical providers from releasing information in response to lawsuits originating in other states that oppose “gender-affirming” care for children.  It also would bar California state and local police from arresting or extraditing someone for violating other states’ laws regarding treatment.

“As soon as she’s there for a year, my sons will become citizens of California,” Younger said. “And then it becomes legal for them to castrate James. So they’ll chemically castrate him.”

In 2021, Brown stripped Younger of most parental rights, giving full custody in a temporary order to Georgulas, after Younger was late making child support payments, medical support, and interest, as ordered. Then, he only paid his past-due support after the motion for enforcement was filed, according to the judge’s ruling.

Younger believes the new California law will allow his ex-wife to get around a previous Texas court order preventing either parent from treating the child with hormonal suppression therapy, puberty blockers, or transgender reassignment surgery without both parents’ consent or a court order.

In the Sept. 21 ruling, Brown said Younger ignored her instructions to attend therapy sessions. and failed to see his children in the past 13 months.

Younger said that he was not allowed to see his children individually, and had to see them together. The judge ordered him to pay hundreds of dollars for each supervised visit. The judge also ordered him not to change James out of a dress when he visited, which Younger refused to do.

“I’ve told the judge I’ll just go to jail over that,” Younger said. “I’m not harming my son.”

The court also issued a gag order against Younger, forbidding him to talk to the media. He defied it.

Younger believes the supervised visits ordered by the judge were “a setup,” so the observer could make adverse reports about his refusal to call the boy Luna.

“We have reached a point of absolute despotism in the Texas courts,” said Younger, who in the spring ran unsuccessfully for the office of state representative on the issue of making gender transition illegal for minors.

“This is directly the fault of the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature,” he said, noting that attempts to pass such legislation in 2021 failed.

When reached by The Epoch Times, Georgulas declined to comment on the ruling or her plans to movea

30
Politics & Religion / ET: Rumors around Xi's absence
« on: September 25, 2022, 11:56:53 AM »
Xi’s Absence From Public Eye Ahead of Third Term Bid Sets Rumors Flying
By Eva Fu September 24, 2022 Updated: September 25, 2022biggersmaller Print
Just over a week ago, Chinese leader Xi Jinping embarked on a three-day trip to Central Asia to mark his sphere of influence. He has since been out of the public eye, skipping a high-level military meeting and the annual United Nations assembly.

With China only weeks away from the 20th National Congress, where Xi is set to pursue an unprecedented third term, his absence has been long enough to attract attention from keen political watchers, with some even speculating that he has been placed under house arrest.

By Sept. 24, Xi Jinping had become one of the top trending topics on Twitter. His name appeared on hashtags more than 42,000 times and the term “China coup” circulated 9,300 rounds on the platform.

“New rumour to be checked out: Is Xi jingping [sic] under house arrest in Beijing?” wrote Subramanian Swamy, a former Indian cabinet minister and parliamentary member until April.

Such speculation also came as Chinese nationals noted mass flight cancellations across the country. Nearly 10,000 flights—almost two-thirds of those scheduled for the day—were called off on Saturday, the same day a key conference on national defense and military reform was convened in Beijing. Weibo, China’s top social media platform, swiftly censored discussions around the flight cancellations, declaring them to be “rumors.”

Xi, who arrived back in China’s capital on Sept. 16 after meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin at a regional summit in Central Asia, didn’t appear at the Beijing meeting but relayed instructions that the armed forces should focus on preparing for war. Similarly missing was Wei Fenghe, his handpicked Chinese military general currently serving as the country’s national defense minister.

Epoch Times Photo
China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe (front L) attends the Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore on June 12, 2022. (Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)
His public activities since then have chiefly consisted of a greeting letter to mark the Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival on Sept. 22 and another on the following day to the Chinese state media China News Service, congratulating the outlet on its 70th year anniversary.

No major Chinese outlets nor officials have come out to refute the rumors floating around, but the reach of the theory, however unsubstantiated, reflects a certain degree of anger inside the country, some analysts said.

“It’s a show of discontent,” Wang He, a U.S.-based commentator on China’s current affairs, told The Epoch Times. “It seems that people are counting to the day for him to fall from power.”

Although Xi has all but secured his third term, many people have not reconciled with his continued stay in power, he added.

China analyst Gordon Chang deemed a coup unlikely, pointing to the lack of supporting evidence on the ground.

“I don’t think there was a coup,” he told The Epoch Times. “Because if there were a coup, we would see, for instance, a lot of military vehicles in the center of Beijing. There have been no reports of that. Also, there probably would be a declaration of martial law that has not occurred.”

“So it seems that something is happening, but we don’t know exactly what,” he said, adding that the only thing that can dispel some of the speculations is if Xi comes out to speak in public.

Zhang Tianliang, a writer and author of the Chinese language book “China’s Path to Peaceful Transition,” similarly dismissed the house arrest theory as not conforming to common sense.

During the past week, six senior Chinese officials, including two former cabinet-level officials, were handed heavy sentences for corruption-related offenses, adding to a string of officials purged in Xi’s anti-graft campaign he launched after taking office in late 2012.

How would Xi have the capacity to punish them if he has lost his grip on power, Zhang argued in his show on Sept. 22.

Whether or not Xi makes a public appearance, though, holds little significance, Wang said, noting that such an extended absence from public attention hasn’t been unique for Xi.

To Wang, Xi’s overseas trip ahead of the Party congress was a projection of confidence.

“Without absolute assurance, this man will not take risks easily,” he said of Xi.

31
Politics & Religion / The Border Crisis is just the tip of the iceberg
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:05:05 PM »

https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/23/the-border-crisis-is-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-in-mexico-a-cartel-crisis-looms/

The Border Crisis Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg. In Mexico, A Cartel Crisis Looms
BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
6 MIN READ

This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that apprehensions of illegal immigrants surpassed 2.1 million for the fiscal year in August, with more than 203,000 apprehensions last month alone, marking six straight months of southwest border arrests exceeding 200,000.

Nothing like this has ever happened before. The 2.1 million figure represents an all-time high, surpassing the previous record of 1.7 million, set in fiscal year 2021. That is to say, every year President Joe Biden has been in office has been a record-breaking year of illegal immigration. Biden’s policies are directly responsible for the ongoing border crisis, which will continue unabated until those policies change. Whatever the number ends up being for 2022, the number for 2023 will almost certainly be higher.

But the shocking volume of arrests at the border, and the dramatic footage of illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande or lining up by the hundreds along stretches of the border wall (or scaling it), can blind us to another, less obvious crisis unfolding on the Mexican side of the border that we need to understand if we hope to craft policies that will put an end to mass illegal immigration.

That crisis, put simply, is the gradual takeover of the Mexican state by cartels. I hesitate to call them “drug cartels,” because what these criminal organizations do goes far beyond the manufacture and trafficking of narcotics. In addition to drugs, Mexican cartels are now involved in industrial agriculture, port operations, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and even the control and distribution of water in drought-stricken parts of the country.

These twin crises are connected. Although the border crisis is a direct result of Biden’s policies, the cartels are exploiting those policies for profit. One estimate from Homeland Security Investigations puts the figure at $13 billion annually, up from just $500 million in 2018. That is to say, illegal immigration has been industrialized by these cartels and their smuggling networks. It is not too much to say they have turned the southwest border into a vast black market, not just for deadly drugs such as fentanyl, but also for illegal immigration.   

A new report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation (where, full disclosure, I once worked and am today a senior fellow) sheds some much-needed light on how the cartels have accomplished this. Their involvement in migrant smuggling — a vast enterprise that involves transportation, surveillance, logistics, accounting, and stash houses on both sides of the border — is a natural extension of their increasing involvement in nearly every facet of Mexico’s economic and political life.

The report, whose author has remained anonymous for safety reasons, chronicles the recent history of deep collusion between the Mexican state and the country’s most powerful drug cartels: “The unfortunate reality is that criminal cartels have burrowed their way into the government — and vice versa. Well-meaning public servants, of whom Mexico has many, are powerless against a nexus of senior officeholders, societal elites, and criminal cartels.”

The rot in the Mexican state, the report makes clear, goes to the very top. In 2018, just before President Enrique Peña Nieto left office, Ivan Reyes Arzate, a high-ranking member in the Mexican Federal Police, was found guilty in U.S. federal court on charges of obstructing a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation of international drug trafficking and money laundering. The case “represented the first time a high-level foreign law enforcement officer was held criminally accountable in a U.S. courtroom for interfering with a transnational organized crime investigation,” according to the TPPF report.

But if Peña Nieto’s time in office was marked by a curtailment of U.S.-Mexico law enforcement cooperation, Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has sought to shut down such cooperation almost entirely. Thanks to a new law pushed by López Obrador’s administration aimed at curbing the operations of foreign agents (clearly aimed at the DEA), decades of U.S.-Mexico bilateral cooperation has been effectively ended. In addition to this new law, López Obrador in April shut down an elite anti-narcotic unit that had worked with the DEA for 25 years.

Since taking office, López Obrador has pursued a posture of passivity toward the cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, the country’s most powerful. In so doing, Mexico’s president has transformed his naïve campaign slogan, abrazos no balazos (“hugs not bullets”), into a policy framework that can only be understood as a rebuke of the United States in favor of the cartels.

What is also different now than in the past, the TPPF report explains, is that the cartels “increasingly supplant the legitimate sovereignty of the Mexican state with their own — often in cooperation with major elements of that state. The qualitative difference since 2018 has been the near-open role of the current Mexican president in allowing, and perhaps even participating in, that cooperation.” Indeed, by some estimates cartels now control up to 40 percent of Mexican territory.

If that sounds outlandish, it is not because the facts don’t support such a conclusion but because corporate media in the U.S. are for the most part unwilling or unable to cover the issue in depth or accurately convey its implications for America.

The implications are this: As the Mexican state succumbs to the cartels, Mexico’s problems will become America’s problems. That doesn’t just mean a worsening border crisis but a breakdown of law and order all up and down the border, on both sides of the Rio Grande, and a worsening drug crisis in American cities far from the border. It means the corruption of Mexican officialdom will gradually spread to American officialdom, just as the operations of Mexican cartels have spread to every corner of the United States.

What to do about all this? The first step is for the United States to stop treating Mexico like a partner or a peer with whom we can work together to address common challenges. Our entire posture has to shift. We have to begin treating Mexico less like an ally and more like a hostile neighbor. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to his credit, this week took the extraordinary step of issuing an executive order designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations. While that might not do much on its own, it at least sends a signal to Washington that it is time for the federal government to do the same.

There is of course a historical precedent for this, and indeed the relatively peaceful interregnum of the past 80 years is a departure from the historical norm of U.S.-Mexico relations. We are now returning to the norm, whether policymakers in Washington realize it or not.

32
Politics & Religion / The Border Crisis is just the tip of the iceberg
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:04:25 PM »

https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/23/the-border-crisis-is-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-in-mexico-a-cartel-crisis-looms/

The Border Crisis Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg. In Mexico, A Cartel Crisis Looms
BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
6 MIN READ

This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that apprehensions of illegal immigrants surpassed 2.1 million for the fiscal year in August, with more than 203,000 apprehensions last month alone, marking six straight months of southwest border arrests exceeding 200,000.

Nothing like this has ever happened before. The 2.1 million figure represents an all-time high, surpassing the previous record of 1.7 million, set in fiscal year 2021. That is to say, every year President Joe Biden has been in office has been a record-breaking year of illegal immigration. Biden’s policies are directly responsible for the ongoing border crisis, which will continue unabated until those policies change. Whatever the number ends up being for 2022, the number for 2023 will almost certainly be higher.

But the shocking volume of arrests at the border, and the dramatic footage of illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande or lining up by the hundreds along stretches of the border wall (or scaling it), can blind us to another, less obvious crisis unfolding on the Mexican side of the border that we need to understand if we hope to craft policies that will put an end to mass illegal immigration.

That crisis, put simply, is the gradual takeover of the Mexican state by cartels. I hesitate to call them “drug cartels,” because what these criminal organizations do goes far beyond the manufacture and trafficking of narcotics. In addition to drugs, Mexican cartels are now involved in industrial agriculture, port operations, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and even the control and distribution of water in drought-stricken parts of the country.

These twin crises are connected. Although the border crisis is a direct result of Biden’s policies, the cartels are exploiting those policies for profit. One estimate from Homeland Security Investigations puts the figure at $13 billion annually, up from just $500 million in 2018. That is to say, illegal immigration has been industrialized by these cartels and their smuggling networks. It is not too much to say they have turned the southwest border into a vast black market, not just for deadly drugs such as fentanyl, but also for illegal immigration.   

A new report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation (where, full disclosure, I once worked and am today a senior fellow) sheds some much-needed light on how the cartels have accomplished this. Their involvement in migrant smuggling — a vast enterprise that involves transportation, surveillance, logistics, accounting, and stash houses on both sides of the border — is a natural extension of their increasing involvement in nearly every facet of Mexico’s economic and political life.

The report, whose author has remained anonymous for safety reasons, chronicles the recent history of deep collusion between the Mexican state and the country’s most powerful drug cartels: “The unfortunate reality is that criminal cartels have burrowed their way into the government — and vice versa. Well-meaning public servants, of whom Mexico has many, are powerless against a nexus of senior officeholders, societal elites, and criminal cartels.”

The rot in the Mexican state, the report makes clear, goes to the very top. In 2018, just before President Enrique Peña Nieto left office, Ivan Reyes Arzate, a high-ranking member in the Mexican Federal Police, was found guilty in U.S. federal court on charges of obstructing a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation of international drug trafficking and money laundering. The case “represented the first time a high-level foreign law enforcement officer was held criminally accountable in a U.S. courtroom for interfering with a transnational organized crime investigation,” according to the TPPF report.

But if Peña Nieto’s time in office was marked by a curtailment of U.S.-Mexico law enforcement cooperation, Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has sought to shut down such cooperation almost entirely. Thanks to a new law pushed by López Obrador’s administration aimed at curbing the operations of foreign agents (clearly aimed at the DEA), decades of U.S.-Mexico bilateral cooperation has been effectively ended. In addition to this new law, López Obrador in April shut down an elite anti-narcotic unit that had worked with the DEA for 25 years.

Since taking office, López Obrador has pursued a posture of passivity toward the cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, the country’s most powerful. In so doing, Mexico’s president has transformed his naïve campaign slogan, abrazos no balazos (“hugs not bullets”), into a policy framework that can only be understood as a rebuke of the United States in favor of the cartels.

What is also different now than in the past, the TPPF report explains, is that the cartels “increasingly supplant the legitimate sovereignty of the Mexican state with their own — often in cooperation with major elements of that state. The qualitative difference since 2018 has been the near-open role of the current Mexican president in allowing, and perhaps even participating in, that cooperation.” Indeed, by some estimates cartels now control up to 40 percent of Mexican territory.

If that sounds outlandish, it is not because the facts don’t support such a conclusion but because corporate media in the U.S. are for the most part unwilling or unable to cover the issue in depth or accurately convey its implications for America.

The implications are this: As the Mexican state succumbs to the cartels, Mexico’s problems will become America’s problems. That doesn’t just mean a worsening border crisis but a breakdown of law and order all up and down the border, on both sides of the Rio Grande, and a worsening drug crisis in American cities far from the border. It means the corruption of Mexican officialdom will gradually spread to American officialdom, just as the operations of Mexican cartels have spread to every corner of the United States.

What to do about all this? The first step is for the United States to stop treating Mexico like a partner or a peer with whom we can work together to address common challenges. Our entire posture has to shift. We have to begin treating Mexico less like an ally and more like a hostile neighbor. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to his credit, this week took the extraordinary step of issuing an executive order designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations. While that might not do much on its own, it at least sends a signal to Washington that it is time for the federal government to do the same.

There is of course a historical precedent for this, and indeed the relatively peaceful interregnum of the past 80 years is a departure from the historical norm of U.S.-Mexico relations. We are now returning to the norm, whether policymakers in Washington realize it or not.

33
Politics & Religion / Re: Making the Case that there is electoral fraud
« on: September 24, 2022, 02:51:47 PM »
YES, this is the sort of thing we are looking to compile  8-)

34
Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« on: September 24, 2022, 02:51:06 PM »
Very irritating and frustrating just how PITA so many of "our" sites are hard to read! All the clickbait horseshit makes it embarrassing to use as a tool of persuasion of others too.

35
Politics & Religion / Re: The Way forward for Republican party
« on: September 24, 2022, 02:48:08 PM »
Romney's capacity and his willingess to be a cunt is never to be underestimated, but I disagree completely with the idea that the NRO folks would not be with us on this.

36
Politics & Religion / Making the Case that there is electoral fraud
« on: September 24, 2022, 12:39:35 PM »
GM and I were talking earlier today. 

I want to make the case for the existence of electoral fraud in a way that will communicate to a large, generic audience that has been breathing in the noxious fumes of the Goolag and the Pravdas and does not know any better.

At first this thread is to serve as a dumping ground for the raw material for making the case.

Specifically, I am looking for:

a) the numerous clips/quotes from Dem luminaries (circa 2006?) such as Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, Jimmy Carter and others that mail-in ballots are the path to vote fraud.  (Bonus points for examples of this being done (e.g. 2008 the Senate race that gave Dems the margin for Obamacare by giving the victory to the SNL comedian)

b) clips/quotes from MSM showing how easy it is to hack Dominion and other vote machines;   

c) clips/quotes from various Dems in support thereof;

d) history of vote fraud:  For example, working from memory, decades ago a Philadelphia mayoral election was overturned, a Miami FL mayoral election was overturned (this was prior to 2000);

e) Peter Navarro's piece making the case for fraud in 2020

f) The Time Magazine article by Progs bragging on how they manipulated the coverage

g) We here all know the story of Hunter's laptop being stuffed in 2020.  We need serious SCHOLARLY citation of the facts how who/when/where/how this was done.

h) Serious scholarly citation of the facts of Zuckerberg's $400M and the precise details of how it was spent

i) Serious, scholarly citation of Dem/Deep State comms with FB et al to manipulate the news

j) not central to our case here, but a precisely written of the LEGAL issues and shenanigans by the FBI with regard to Hillary in 2016

When we make contributions here, please begin with a brief statement of to which of these it is directed.

Thank you.

37
Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Ron DeSantis
« on: September 24, 2022, 11:45:21 AM »
Thank you.

Kusher is such a cunt, though I must say he is coming across very well now in his TV appearances pushing his book etc.  Very much looks like he is up to something.

38
If we draw a line from the lows of 2019 and 2020 it looks like we are on it right now , , ,

39
Politics & Religion / Re: China Chinese penetration of America
« on: September 24, 2022, 11:34:28 AM »
Pursue each individual case on its individual merits.

40
Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues
« on: September 24, 2022, 11:32:43 AM »
IIRC Sen. and then VP Hubert Humphrey were from the "Farm & Labor Party" (or some name like that) from MN.

41
Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Ron DeSantis
« on: September 24, 2022, 11:26:33 AM »
"That is why Kushneck had to criticize DeSantis sending illegals to MV . Trump team could not give him credit for it since it was so successful - and trump could not take the glory"

I was on the road and did not see this.  Is there a convenient citation?

42
Politics & Religion / Re: The Way forward for Republican party
« on: September 24, 2022, 11:23:37 AM »
A fair zinger, but OTOH getting rid of Obamacare would have required real legislative work and here all that is needed is just denying the money.

43
Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan
« on: September 24, 2022, 11:22:30 AM »
But is it subject to constraints by the US Navy and as such requires a Chinese Navy that breaks out of the South China Sea?

What I am seeing here is the beginning of the Belt Road Initiative and preparation for taking hold of Bagram AF Base.

46
Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Turkey, Georgia, Caucuses, Central Asia
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:19:22 AM »
Free trade. The foreign ministers of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova signed a protocol to create a free trade zone during a meeting on Thursday. They also discussed ways to increase cooperation and development on trade, energy and transport infrastructure.

47
Politics & Religion / First land container shipment from China arrives
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:18:37 AM »
New route. The first shipment of containers using a new road and rail route through Central Asia arrived in Hairatan, Afghanistan, on Thursday. The corridor starts in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang, passes through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and ends in Afghanistan. It’s an alternative to the traditional sea routes, which take longer to traverse.

48
Politics & Religion / GPF: Taiwan upping live fire drills
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:16:51 AM »


More drills. Taiwan plans to increase the frequency of live-fire drills, according to recent reports. Exercises will be held once every month in Penghu county in the Taiwan Strait and once every two months on the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, close to China. Previously, drills took place every three or four months on Penghu. The reports follow massive Chinese military maneuvers held last month.

49
Politics & Religion / GPF: Russia-- Moldova
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:12:28 AM »
Gas prices. Moldova’s National Energy Regulatory Agency said the price of natural gas for consumers will increase by 27 percent beginning Oct. 1, as a result of the rising cost of Russian gas. The government in the Eastern European country is coming under increasing pressure with anti-government protests erupting there already this month.

50
Politics & Religion / GPF: Israel to share air defense system with UAE
« on: September 24, 2022, 04:10:59 AM »
Israel and the UAE. Israel has agreed to sell an advanced air defense system to the United Arab Emirates, according to a Reuters report. The Rafael-made SPYDER mobile interceptors can defend territory against drones, cruise missiles, attack aircraft, helicopters and bombers. Reuters’ sources said the deal also included acquisition of Israeli technology capable of combating drone attacks. It’s a notable development considering newly forged Israeli-UAE ties had previously focused on economic matters.

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