Friday, November 4, 2022

Beating a Silver Lining out of the political clouds

Visiting with my buddy Mike a few minutes ago, in response to my noting the most recent predictions for the mid-terms being House R's 250ish and Senate R's at 54, he asked what they could do to force a policy change from the Biden admin. I suggested a 2 pronged strategy; first, if the new Speaker (presumably McCarthy) and the Senate Maj Leader (McConnell) can dig around deep enough to find the courage to refuse any funding legislation unless and until Pres Biden revokes all of the EO's he signed restricting US domestic oil production and "stop stealing the gas from American fuel tanks", along with initiating impeachment proceedings beginning in January, 2023 against every member of the Biden Admin subject to such actions, would result in a much greater willingness to negotiate honestly within the House and Senate. By initiating 25th amendment proceedings against Biden himself at the same time, the next 2 years should offer an entirely different domestic political discussion if nothing else.


My belief is that it isn't really necessary to "defeat" the Biden Admin so much as it is necessary to force the secondary and tertiary levels of federal government to operate in an unambiguous (which is to say legally attributable) fashion by tying up the Cabinet-level appointees and their immediate subordinates in defending themselves before numerous Congressional committee hearings. This potentially allows the subsequent administration obvious constitutionally sound political grounds for "corrective" legislation starting in 2025 aimed at those levels of government (not to say the Deep State :)) who expose themselves during this period of time.


Surviving the next 2 years if not a single penny more gets shoe horned into the economy will be challenging, so economic hard times are indeed at hand, but the only way to defeat an entrenched opponent is to structure events such that the opponent has no time to design and mount active opposition for long enough to effect substantive change (in classical strategic terms, by changing the ground upon which their efforts are predicated). One immediate tactic to facilitate this future effort would be to organize a letter/email campaign directed at all US Senators to vote "no" on any further monetary legislation during the current term of Congress. At all. No exceptions.


Final note; if the election predictions hold up, there is a plausible possibility for the 2024 election to empower a sufficiently numerous Republican majority at the federal government and state Governor's levels sufficient to impose Constitutional Amendment(s) in 2025/6, but it is necessary to design and organize that effort beginning now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Tulsi Gabbard - American

 My only comment about Tulsi Gabbard's political and philosophical journey is to note that no one's single step is ever "enough". The journey is the thing of consequence and must be judged in that context.

I've already stated my personal position regarding Lt. Col. Gabbard's political choices on these pages. That said, lets all just see what the future brings.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Story idea

 Given the synchronistic recent (ish) events of Daniel Craig leaving the role of 007 and the beginning of the 3rd rendition of the British Carolingian Age, is it too soon to hope that a reboot of James Bond might be in the near-term cinematic cards? Visualize this; the pre-credits opening scene introducing Idris Elbe being promoted by "M" to the traditionally vacated position of James Bond, "On His Majesty's Secret Service", cue the rising strains of the classic theme song. With Guy Ritchie in the director's chair and co-writer of the script.

F a bunch of mermaids, whatever their colo(u)r; the final opening dialogue being a voice-over of Charles III's voice saying, "Hands off the ginger 007; he's mine." and the new story begins from a clean page of paper.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Magic 8-Ball SEZ

 Staking my claim:

TRUMP/DESANTIS 2024

DESANTIS/GABBARD 2028 & 2032

We need someone at the top of the Executive Branch that has executive branch experience with US space policy ASAP, and Tulsi is gonna need a couple years yet to come to terms with how her party has left her (and so many of the rest of us) behind.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Russia/Ukraine conflict observations (from my Facebook page)

I find myself facing a bit of a moral quandary regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. I don't have a personal "dog in the fight" beyond that of any other spectator. To the degree I can trace my family history, there seems to have been no one from what is now either country, and I have no modern attachments to anyone from either country beyond my modest financial support of a certain Russian vlogger I will not identify for his/her personal security. So my approach to analyzing what I can discover about the conflict is based upon my understanding of the principles and practices developed by Sun Tzu in his seminal work The Art Of War.

In my judgement, neither country is especially admirable from a US-type constitutional republic type of government viewpoint. Culturally, both countries seem to be only slightly less culturally, politically, and financially corrupt than China is and always has been. Let me take this opportunity to observe that there are any number of personally non-corrupt Russians, Ukrainians, and Chinese (Han or otherwise) individuals. But the cultures they all live in basically assume that, given the opportunity, people will act in what a modern American would regard as corrupt - morally, financially, what have you. The concept of (national) politics being downstream from (national) culture is an important aspect of this; none of these country's are especially culturally admirable despite each being remarkably culturally interesting. That individuals from these cultures are themselves notably admirable is a testament to their personal integrity, not a reflection of the cultural standards they rise above.
Recent case in point, via the Jeff Bezos blog, which I hope will give others insight into my observations on events now occurring in Ukraine:

Thursday, March 31, 2022

"... all US citizens in Russia and Ukraine should depart immediately."

The US State Dept. has "updated" its official instructions to US travelers in Russia and Ukraine, warning all US citizens depart either country "immediately". This seems to be the news report Jack Posobiec tweeted about earlier today.

"American nationals should immediately leave Russia and Ukraine, the State Department said Thursday, citing potential arrest by Russian security officials."

So, probably not the invasion by US/NATO troops I speculated about on the Twitter.

Thankfully.

Hopefully.

I wish the Obama Curse* wasn't real.

(*"Never underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."

Friday, March 25, 2022

Scary Story Time

How implausible is it that Russia possesses the capability to successfully imitate an Iranian submarine?
Diesel/electric boat presumably, something that puts out a mix of known Iranian boats drive and powerplant noises. Have it show up on US sonar technology initially somewhere in the south Atlantic. Finally goes silent west of the Azores maybe. Briefly heard for the last time due south of Cuba. Two to three days later a complex nuclear device detonates 100 miles due south of New Orleans, Louisiana. The resulting tsunami would stretch from Key West, Florida in an uninterrupted wall of water all the way to the north-eastern point of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Cuba wouldn't actually cease to exist.

I sincerely doubt Iran has the capability to even approach pulling off a scenario like this, but I'm reasonably certain Russia does

I have heard others now describing what's happening in and around Ukraine as forcing Vladimir Putin into deploying tactical nukes in Ukraine, if only to have some expectation of surviving. At all, not just politically. According to that Fount of All Knowledge, Wikipedia, tactical nukes can range in explosive power between tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons and delivered by hand or, as noted above, torpedo. If two 500 KT tactical nuclear devices were situated approximately 200 feet from each other on a true east/west alignment and detonated simultaneously, the physics of the resulting mushroom cloud would make clear the number and thus the size of the devices involved to anyone 50 miles away or so. The point is, Ukraine might not be the most advantageous spot on the surface of the Earth for Vlad to pop off a nuke.

Plausibly pointing the finger of guilt at somebody else is a critical touch for long term success, but Vlad's almost 70, so maybe a Highly Important secondary consideration then.

To the extent any of these maunderings has any such thing, the point of all this is that, as the level of violence deemed acceptable ramps up, so too does the range at which inflicting that violence reach further. If Vladimir Putin decides that the end of Russia as an independent country is a possible result of the combat in Ukraine, then the potential target list expands beyond that country's borders. This is the point of the decision tree where things start to get messy.

A plausible story is essential to success. Obviously, the more plausible the better, but how much is enough? In how much time? Added to this, tactical nukes usually don't require National Command Authority for tactical release as prescribed by doctrine. Only Putin can decide if/when to detonate this weapon though, which circumstance already attracts too much attention as is. Presumably Russian bureaucratic lethargy is no worse then our own, so the mascarovka should mostly be in place. 

In order for a plausibly deniable story to exist the supporting elements have to be put in place which takes time even in bad fiction. If the Russian Navy needs 10 days to do their part, that means the Russian Army has to wander around Ukraine not winning anything for an extra week or so, at least. If that all starts to look a lot like losing, the device is already in place.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Whither war now?

I posted the below as a comment to a Facebook posting by Stephen Michael Stirling and wish to preserve easier access to it for future reference and discussion. My intention is to inspire discussion of ways and means whereby this, and potential future, combat can be resolved in a positive and self-sustaining manner if possible.

******

Coming up on a full month of active combat between Russia and (reinforced) Ukraine, I think it is no longer deniable that neither country either possesses, or is willing to expend, the military assets necessary to militarily defeat the other. Discussion of that circumstance will no doubt go on for years, if not decades, and the potential for catastrophic misinterpretations of same will continue to exist for at least as long.

That noted, both sides can effectively maintain the current pace of infrastructure and population destruction essentially for ever (that timespan being measured in the endurance of those not actively fighting). Stipulating all that as true, now is the point in the conflict when active support efforts should begin to publicly bombard all parties with proposals structured to be at least minimally acceptable to both of the main combatants as well as their separate supporters internationally. Herewith my initial suggestion:
The Black Sea is a unique body of water in many ways. All countries directly bordering on the Black Sea to participate directly in a joint research project structured to maintain (or restore where technologically able) that body of water to known historic conditions. Additionally, there be created a joint search and rescue organization to monitor and support general maritime operations on the Black Sea and all connecting waterways. All direct bordering countries to jointly coordinate sponsorship or other diplomatic support efforts from other national or private parties by mutual negotiation between the directly involved parties.
******


Friday, March 18, 2022

Declaring My Position

 It's too late on a Friday night to even think about linking sources, but I want to state publicly my belief that the end of the active combat phase of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is steadily approaching. Sadly, such a process inevitably takes far too long in the best of circumstances, but I believe an end to active combat will have been mutually declared by not-later-than the end of April, 2022.

Everybody hauling there stuff back home will probably go on for years, though hopefully the overwhelming majority of materiel will be crossing somebody's border before Autumn arrives. Those with the talent to do so probably ought to be arranging to keep an eye on on-line trading sites/pages for war-related equipment being put up for offer. Maybe set up something for the US .gov to use to just buy it all. What they choose to do after taking receipt is on them.

Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men is completely ban worthy, non-PC Wrong Think, but maybe we can dust it off before December this year.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Strategic Fail

I wrote this in response to something famed SF/AH author Stephen Michael Stirling posted on Facebook and wanted to archive it here:


Maajid Nawaz has been making the point (most recently on his appearance on Tim Pool IRL, combine that with his name to find the relevant episode) that the fighting in Ukraine is becoming a radical activist factory on a scale at least equal to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Given the percentage of Islamic practitioners in modern European countries (he cites France as being +10% for instance, with similar numbers for Britain), how many of these "freedom fighters" flocking to Ukraine for experience will reappear in their home countries (or someone else's) once the active phase of the current combat ends (or only begins to taper off militarily)?

This isn't only an "Islamic" problem either; see the video of Azov Bge personnel dipping their rifle ammo into pork lard "for the Chechen Muslims". How does one go about making sure the people one is shooting at amongst all of the other "Russians" are of a specific religion?
That aside, a significant percentage of these people can be expected to survive combat and return - further radicalized, regardless of ideology - to "continue the fight" with whoever happens to be available to fight with at home.
Any strategy which doesn't actively take this circumstance into account while the fighting is on-going is a failed strategy.