Expensive, high-tech weaponry may not be what the doctor ordered in Ukraine against world-class power Russia. From The Zman at thezman.com:
Back during the Cold War, specifically in the Reagan years, the media used to love reporting on military boondoggles. The format of the story required a few budget items that would strike the normal person as outrageous. Perhaps it was a hand tool that cost tens of thousands of dollars. This tool was part of a weapons system budget that was being criticized for its cost. Perhaps it was a mundane items like a toilet seat or a hammer that would cost thousands of dollars.
The main reason for these stories was to promote the charade that the two parties were locked in serious opposition. The Democrats pretended to be against the military, while the Republicans were pro-military. In reality, both parties were fully owned by the military industrial complex, but the demands of the Cold War required the two parties to maintain the aura of a lively democracy. The free world was open and debated things, while the Soviets were closed to debate.
We no longer see stories like this, despite the fact that for the last thirty years America has spent over a trillion on war per year. Officially the war budget is a trillion a year, but no one seems to know how much is really spent. There never has been an official accounting of the Afghanistan debacle or the war in Iraq. America technically has a budget, but no one knows what is in it. At this point, it is an abstract concept even to the people who vote on it Congress.
Those old stories about military contractors ripping off the taxpayer also served as a distraction from larger issues. America had shifted after Vietnam away from fielding a military to fight a large scale war to a military built for small wars. That meant a change in the tools of war. Instead of inexpensive machines that a recruit could be quickly trained to operate, the machines would be complex and require years of training, but they would be unusually lethal.
Finally, the truth is surfacing, as the truth has a way of doing. From Sheryl Collmer at crisismagazine.com:
As more information about the Covid vaccines and other media narratives are released, those of us who’ve been consigned to the Conspiracy Theory bin for the last few years are being sadly vindicated.
High tide at Galveston Island occurred at 12:16 a.m. today. Aside from consulting a tide table, you would only know that if you were walking on the beach and saw the waves receding farther down the shore. The turning of the tide is something you only observe in hindsight, just as the moon can only be known to have reached its fullest once it begins to wane.
Are we watching the turning of the tide in our failing country?
Medical studies that call into question the Covid narrative are making it through the censors. Twitter has opened the tap on evidence of collusion between government and media to deceive the public about Covid. More and more people know someone who has been disabled or killed by the so-called “vaccine.” Are we beginning to approach a critical mass of people who understand that we have been played on a gigantic scale?
We used to call that “conspiracy theory.” Now it’s called “discernment.”
Little will change until we reach a critical mass of awareness. Congress, on both sides of the aisle, will continue to act against the will of the majority (see: Omnibus Spending Bill). Corrupt leaders will continue to be treated as heroes (see: Zelensky). Children will continue to be victimized on the altar of adult derangement (see: Gender Ideology). The world will spin on as usual until there is an armada of people who care enough about truth, children and the Kingdom of God to stand up, speak up, and fight back.
There used to be an attraction at Six Flags Over Texas called Casa Magnetica. The house was built at odd angles so that visual cues told your brain you were walking slantways. It was positively vertigo-inducing. When you emerged, the world righted itself and the brain settled down from its crisis state.
The Russians have a not-so-secret weapon that would devastate the U.S.: back the ruble with gold. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:
We have confirmation from the highest sources that Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are considering using gold for pan-Asian trade settlements, fully replacing dollars and euros.
In an article written for Vedomosti, a Moscow-based Russian newspaper published on 27 December, Sergey Glazyev, a prominent economic adviser to Vladimir Putin who is heading up the Eurasian Economic Union committee charged with devising a replacement for dollars in trade settlements sent a very clear signal to that effect. It appears he will drop earlier plans to design a new commodity-linked trade currency because it has been superseded.
Furthermore, increasing numbers of nations have joined or have applied to join the SCO as dialog members, including Saudi Arabia and other important Gulf Cooperation Organisation members. The economic benefits of discounted energy, China’s investment capital, and sound money are the ingredients for a new, Asia-wide industrial revolution, while the economies of the western alliance sink under rising prices, rising interest rates, collapsing financial markets, and collapsing currencies.
While it will mark the end of the road for the western alliance and its fiat currencies, Putin must be careful not to take the blame. Now that the alliance is racking up tanks and other equipment for the Ukrainians, they are actively promoting a new battle, with NATO getting almost directly involved. It is that action which will drive up commodity prices, undermine western financial markets, undermine government finances, and ultimately collapse their currencies.
Putin is likely to use NATO’s impetuous action in defence of Ukraine as cover for securing Russia’s future as an Asian superstate, which will be the west’s undoing.
We forget, perhaps, that from 1 March 1950 the Soviet rouble was on a gold standard at 4 roubles 45 kopecks for 1 gram of pure gold until 1961, when Khrushchev devalued it and refixed it to the dollar. Stalin had been a signatory to the Bretton Woods agreement but refused to join it and make the rouble subservient to the dollar as its intermediary for a gold standard.
A jury took only an hour to decide that federal officials conspired to kill Martin Luther King. That’s one of those facts you don’t hear much about. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
Today, federal officials stumble over themselves to show how much they revere Martin Luther King. They’ve even created a federal holiday to honor him.
Not so back when King was alive, however. During that time, U.S. officials were convinced that King was a Red, and they were also convinced that the Reds, especially the Russian Reds, were coming to get us.
Do you remember the movie The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!? The title of that movie captures perfectly the mindset that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the American people. Everyone was convinced that the commies were everywhere and that they were going to take over the federal government and teach communism in America’s socialist public-school system.
The Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI were also convinced that the civil-rights movement was a communist front, one that was preparing the ground for a Russian invasion of the United States. The leaders of the civil-rights movement, especially King, were considered to be covert, unregistered agents of the Russian Reds.
In 1999, King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, filed a lawsuit in Memphis against a man named Loyd Jowers and “other unknown co-conspirators,” in which she alleged that the official story of King’s assassination in 1968 was false. According to Wikipedia, King’s attorney, William Pepper, presented 70 witnesses and thousands of documents. After only one hour of deliberations, the jury reached a unanimous verdict finding that federal officials conspired to assassinate King.
Wouldn’t it be great if Congress critters, Senators, and high executive branch officials periodically had to undergo Q & A sessions with members of the public? From Karen Kwiatkowski at lewrockwell.com:
Dear Representative and Senators,
As we approach twelve months of the Russian SMO to end Kiev’s war on Russians of east and south Ukraine, and resolve the NATO head fake of Minsk II, it’s question and answer time for London, Washington, and Poland – and each of you.
The US Congress approved over $100 Billion in arms and aid to Ukraine in the past year. At the same time, Russian forces have secured 20% of the former Ukrainian landmass, nearly everything east of the Dneiper River, and have established not only a formidable defensive line, they have begun rebuilding political, economic, defense and civil society in the eastern Republics.
First question: What, in your opinion, will the next $100 Billion – gain for the United States?
My apologies. It isn’t fair to state that $100 Billion in US aid to Ukraine actually went into the Ukraine war effort. Over half of these funds went directly into US defense contracts.. A reasonable percentage was defrauded along the way, or lost somehow in Ukraine. In any US government operation there is also predictable waste and loss. It is not clear whether Joe, his family and his friends in Ukraine and New York City got their 10%.
Beyond this, all of this aid arrived in Ukraine piecemeal. As the Pentagon raided the back of their closet for Ukraine, random supplies, materials and ammunition – useable or not to Ukraine – were sent. NATO countries simultaneously did the same thing, amplifying the randomness and often pointlessness of such aid.
The US Inspector General admits that this aid and the weapons shipped in cannot be tracked. Neither US or NATO had a system of logistical tracking or feedback in place prior to the shipments of weapons, materials and ammunition, and to date they still don’t.
SACRAMENTO, CA — After years of taxing California citizens to capacity and still not having enough in the state budget, Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a brand new tax on people who live in Florida.
“Look at all those people in Florida with all that money. They aren’t even paying California taxes! Like, how selfish can you be, right?” said Newsom to the pastry chef who had just brought out his gold-leaf Tarte Tropézienne at French Laundry. “It’s high time for Floridians to pay their fair share of California taxes. This is a matter of basic human decency.”
The new proposed tax plan will add an additional 10% income tax on anyone who lives in Florida and makes above $9,000 per year. It will be enforced by an army of illegal immigrants and homeless people from Southern California who will break into Floridians’ houses at night to collect the tax.
“With this long-overdue tax on Floridians, we will be able to fill potholes, fix bridges, and fund our preschool queer studies program,” said Newsom in a statement. “The time to act is now. If we do not pass this, climate change will get worse.”
At publishing time, Newsom had also proposed a tax on cowboy boots sold in Texas.
Without the reserve currency, U.S. power will be greatly diminished and the government will have to come to terms with a multipolar world. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
The U.S. government is hostage to its financial hegemony in a way that is rarely fully understood.
It is the miscalculation of this era – one that may begin the collapse of dollar primacy, and therefore, global compliance with U.S. political demands, too. But its most grievous content is that it corners the U.S. into promoting dangerous Ukrainian escalation against Russia directly (i.e. Crimea).
Washington dares not – indeed cannot – yield on dollar primacy, the ultimate signifier for ‘American decline’. And so the U.S. government is hostage to its financial hegemony in a way that is rarely fully understood.
The Biden Team cannot withdraw its fantastical narrative of Russia’s imminent humiliation; they have bet the House on it. Yet it has become an existential issue for the U.S. precisely because of this egregious initial miscalculation that has been subsequently levered-up into a preposterous narrative of a floundering, at any moment ‘collapsing’ Russia.
What then is this ‘Great Surprise’ – the almost completely unforeseen event of recent geo-politics that has so shaken U.S. expectations, and which takes the world to the precipice?
It is, in a word, Resilience. The Resilience displayed by the Russian economy after the West had committed the entire weight of its financial resources to crushing Russia. The West bore down on Russia in every conceivable way – via financial, cultural and psychological war – and with real military war as the follow-through.
As the establishment piles lie upon lie, aided with their AI gizmos, the demand for verifiable truth will skyrocket. From el gato malo at boriquagato.substack.com:
AI wars are a staple of science fiction, but they are rapidly becoming science fact. these new self learning intelligences have become remarkably good at mimicing human speech, parsing human concepts, and producing images that look awfully real or (at least) human made.
DALL-e is not even a particularly powerful one.
yet prompt it to draw “a giant cat seeks to take over the world” and…
“surely you exaggerate señor cat,” one might be tempted to exclaim.
The government’s campaign to fight “misinformation” has expanded to adapt military-grade artificial intelligence once used to silence the Islamic State (ISIS) to quickly identify and censor American dissent on issues like vaccine safety and election integrity, according to grant documents and cyber experts.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded several million dollars in grants recently to universities and private firms to develop tools eerily similar to those developed in 2011 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program.
DARPA said those tools were used “to help identify misinformation or deception campaigns and counter them with truthful information,” beginning with the Arab Spring uprisings in the the Middle East that spawned ISIS over a decade ago.
is that boldfaced bit sounding worryingly familiar to anyone?
Patrick Lawrence reflects on Prime Minister Kishida’s radical turn toward the militarism his country’s pacifist constitution forbids.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida with President Joe Biden at the White House on Jan. 13. (White House, Cameron Smith)
It is always the same when Japanese premiers travel to Washington to summit at the White House. Nothing seems to happen and nobody pays much attention even when important things happen, when we should all pay attention, and, when we do pay passing attention, we usually get it wrong. In January 1960, when Premier Nobusuke Kishi visited Washington, President Dwight Eisenhower blessed a war criminal and signed a security treaty the Japanese public vigorously opposed. That week Newsweek marked Kishi down as “that friendly, savvy Japanese salesman.”
Kishi proved a salesman, all right. Three years later he used armed police to clear the Diet of opposition legislators and force ratification of the Anpo treaty, as the Japanese call it, with members of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) the only ones present to vote on it. “A 134–pound body packed with pride, power and passion — a perfect embodiment of his country’s amazing resurgence,” TIME wrote of the man who ought to have been hanged a decade earlier.
Now we have Premier Fumio Kishida, who summited with our asleep-at-the-wheel president in the Oval Office a week ago. I do not know how much Kishida weighs or how proud of himself or his nation he is, but, in an uncanny echo of the Kishi–Eisenhower summit, Joe Biden blessed his radical turn toward the militarism Japan’s pacifist constitution forbids.
The U.S. will do whatever it takes to maintain its unipolar hegemony. That’s why some of us worry about nuclear war. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:
Behind Washington’s desperate appeal for tanks and other lethal weaponry for Ukraine, looms the nagging prospect that Russia’s winter offensive may have already begun in the south where heavy fighting has broken out along the Line of Contact in the Zaporizhia region. While the information from the front remains sketchy, some analysts think that Russia is planning to send its troops and armored units northward in order to block vital supply-lines and trap Ukrainian forces in the east. A Russian blitz northward would likely be synchronized with the movement of a second large grouping pushing south along the Oskil River. These two dagger-like thrusts would be accompanied by multiple missile strikes aimed at strategic bridges and railway-lines crossing the Dnieper River. If the Russians were able to succeed in such an operation, the bulk of Ukraine’s army would be effectively encircled in the east while Moscow would have regained control over most of its traditional territories. The offensive might not end the war, but it would end Ukraine’s existence as a viable, contiguous state. This is an excerpt from an article at Aljazeera:
Moscow’s forces are pushing towards two towns in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhia region, where fighting intensified this week after several months of a stagnant front… Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in the region, said offensive actions were concentrated around two towns: Orikhiv, around 50km (30 miles) south of Ukrainian-controlled regional capital Zaporizhzhia, and Hulyaipole, further east….
The Russian army later claimed for a second day in a row that it had taken “more advantageous lines and positions” after “offensive operations” in the Zaporizhia region…. In its daily report on Sunday, the Ukrainian army said “more than 15 settlements were affected by artillery fire” in Zaporizhia…. He also said this week that fighting has “sharply increased” in the southern region.” (“Russia advances towards two towns in Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region”, AlJazeera)