How I Know Things Aren’t Too Bad In Odessa (yet)

I don’t watch a lot of TikTok, but somehow the algorithm one day put me onto a sandwich shop in Odessa. They do a live every morning (afternoon/early evening over there) which shows them making sandwiches, and transacting per normal. I hope that live is on every day.

This indicates that supply chain is still working as all of the ingredients seem to be in ample supply, the grid is up for electricity/internet, and the monetary system isn’t broken down as people seem to be transacting per normal.

Coming from a supply chain perspective, this seems to be good news for now.

106 thoughts on “How I Know Things Aren’t Too Bad In Odessa (yet)”

  1. Odessa, Texas?

    There have been reports that the water supply system in Odessa, Texas is near breaking down. Inadequate investment & maintenance over the years.

  2. Well hopefully the folks who handle logistics in Odessa are more competent than those who do school security in Uvalde…but I honestly wouldn’t really count on it.

  3. Well the bar is pretty low for the Uvalde cops. I had a feeling that something was up when the first thing out of their mouths was how brave and awesome they were at the presser right after the shooting.

  4. “the door wasn’t even locked”
    I feel like someone smarter than me could turn that into a political ad, an indictment of the entire system, like “all we had to do was open the door, (to lower regulations, more freedom, etc.), and they didn’t even try to open it” or something…

  5. it was the blood price, to get the possums to disarm us, while they played the off broad Delta House vaporings, on the main stage, the metaphor to concentrate on, is we are locked in the classroom with the maniac

  6. They’re going to regret getting our attention. The grift could have gone on for generations at a lower level, but this crap is pure ‘effing stupidity and arrogance.

    What blows my mind is how blatant they are about it, and how disconnected from reality. BidenCo. openly says they’re gonna kill the petroleum industry, goes about doing it, and then is puzzled when the industry takes them at their word. They’ve also signally failed to have anything, anything at all ready and waiting in the wings to replace it. There are no crash programs to build nukes, no crash programs to build out even the fantasy “alternate energy” sites they would need, or the grid. The whole enterprise reeks of the South Park Underpants Gnome’s business plan…

    The massive amount of stupidity and inability to foresee consequence is what I find most stunning. What do they think is going to happen, when the store shelves are empty not just in the cities, but out in the countryside? They’re chopping the underpinnings out from under everything at the same time, and think they’re going to remain in charge of it all? That there’s going to be anything left, to be in charge of? How stupid are these people?

    Gotta wonder if there wasn’t a similar dynamic going on in the Mayan civilization when it all caved in–Some dumbass getting a quasi-religious idea like the enviros have going, and then deliberately crashing everything because “reasons”. Likely the same in what was Kampuchea.

  7. Kirk: “Gotta wonder if there wasn’t a similar dynamic going on in the Mayan civilization when it all caved in …”

    This has all happened many times before. Recommended reading: Joseph Tainter, “The Collapse of Complex Societies” (1988), which, interestingly enough, was published as part of the series “New Studies in Archaeology”.

    Short version — the rulers of every civilization allow unproductive overhead to build up. Eventually, the burden of this overhead reaches a point where it becomes unsupportable, ending in a variety of collapse mechanisms such as the peons leaving, civil war, invasion, infrastructure collapse, or some such. Tainter specifically discussed the Mayan collapse.

    The positive, very long-term spin on this is that all individual civilizations die, but the upward progression of the human race will continue despite the immense & damaging gyrations about the trend. Still, it is no fun to be us at this point in that repeated cycle.

  8. @Brian,

    All y’all voted for this when you elected Obama. That’s when they started purging anyone with “traditional values” and replacing them with the “woke”. This is the natural outgrowth of that, along with the inept leadership demonstrated in Afghanistan.

    Frankly, I’m kinda laughing. The activist chicklets were asking for this without really grasping what it was they were asking for; you want to be out where the promotions are, you gotta go combat arms in the Army or Marine Corps. There’s not a hell of a lot of room for squeamishness or any kind of accommodation out there in the weeds; I can remember the days when that crap first started, and the female soldiers were horrified to discover that daily hygiene mostly consisted of a canteen cup of warm-ish water to shave with and good intentions. The majority of them had the good sense to avoid all that, but the activist types insisted on getting them jobs and positions where that was mandatory. They weren’t happy. They really weren’t happy when it turned out that chemical decon facilities were not procured with any sensitivity at all, with regards to sex. First time we ran through one of those with both girls and guys, the majority just gritted their teeth and dealt with it, while the few who objected were, of course, “outraged” that they were getting just what they’d demanded, a full measure of the misery men had been dealing with for generations.

    At one and the same time, I feel for those women of good intent who had nothing to do with this idiocy being made policy, and I also am giggling at the activists who’re gonna get it good and hard. Of course, those young women who’re likely to be the actual rape victims in all of this are going to be the ones who had nothing to do with this being done, but… Still. Schadenfreude.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You could make women in the combat arms and the military work, in general terms. You just can’t do it in the American military because the people running it are f*cking idiots without the common sense generally ascribed to domestic turkeys. I presume that the Pentagon has teams of junior enlisted on hand to direct the dipshits in out of the rain, in order to prevent them drowning.

    Personally, I think we’re going to be forced to rip out all this crap by the roots, and probably will the next time we have a serious war on our hands. Unfortunately, lots of lessons are going to have to be relearned, all over again. Lots of dead bodies are going to be put in body bags before anyone does anything effective, though… It’ll be Kasserine Pass or Pearl Harbor, all over again.

    Funny story about the activists… One of the loudest mouths I had in my unit about “Grrrl Power” and “the patriarchy” was a young lady who also complained about having to endure gang-style latrines while we were on an exercise. For her, it was an affront to her dignity and privacy that there weren’t individual shower stalls in the barracks we were assigned. Me? I was grateful we had a roof and flush toilets…

    Couple of months after that, I’m tasked with surveying social media in the unit for OPSEC. Lo and behold, what do I find? Said chicklet’s naked titties hanging out on her MySpace page, because that was still a thing. She’d put up her pictures from Mardi Gras, which she’d gone to while on exercise down at Fort Polk. I was further tasked with having a “chat” with her about military professionalism, and how that wasn’t compatible with her tits hanging out. She was outraged, outraged I tell you, that I had been looking at her tits on the internet, and did not see the contradiction in terms RE: her complaints about the shower situation on deployment and her (obvious) public display of her tits. That was supposed to be “private”, see, for her friends only. I’m still a little puzzled by this, because we only knew about her MySpace account because we’d asked the troops for their social media account information, and she’d given it to us. Oh, and it also showed up under a Google image search with her name as a search term…

    Kids, these days. Swear to God, I don’t know what the hell has been going on in the schools, but it’s clearly schizophrenic. Gotta have separate showers with curtains and privacy, but we’re also gonna assert a right to hang our tits out on the Internet, whilst being clearly identifiable as a soldier… Yeesh.

    Most of the women in the military I worked around were like Sgt Mom and her daughter; professionals who added to what we were doing, contributing solid service and hard work. Then, there were the other 10-20% who made everything that everyone else was doing exponentially harder, and who had me wondering if having to deal with them was worth the trouble… Swear to God, the stories I could tell you about the drama queens and activists. Some of whom were putatively male, BTW…

  9. I feel like someone smarter than me could turn that into a political ad, an indictment of the entire system….

    Exactly. But since the uniparty likes things just the way there are, no ad will appear and the victims of the Uvalde massacre will get an endless runaround by the regime.

    Another ad idea- a genuine opposition party could point out that Uvalde was a situation where the gun banners had all they wanted. That is, only authorized minions of the regime were allowed to use guns, which allowed a criminal to commit a massacre.

    This is yet another reason to oppose gun control.

    Instead of anything like that, we had geee ohhhh peeee stab its supporters in the back once again. Despicable.

  10. Xennady, you really need to disabuse yourself of the notion that the GOP in DC is an actual opposition party, as opposed to being what they really are… Partners of the Democrats, and completely complicit with them. Note how few protest at the ever-increasing infringements on our rights, and how ineffectual they are when given power. Did they live up to their promises during the years when they had Congress and the White House…?

    Telling, that. They’re not opposed to the Democrat agenda; it’s all theater. Sooner we all realize that, and throw both parties out of power, the better off we’ll be.

  11. Kirk,

    I’m well aware that the gop is no sort of genuine opposition party, alas. That was the point of my comment, in that obvious political responses to the left somehow never get made, even though they are readily apparent even to random people on the internet. If that wasn’t clear- well, it’s just one of many reasons why I’m not a professional writer.

  12. Wasn’t calling you on it, Xennady, just reinforcing it for the as-yet unconvinced that might read this. Or, any iArcheology types that unearth the digital remnants of our once-successful civilization in some unknown future…

  13. “All y’all voted for this when you elected Obama”
    lol what are you talking about? No one here voted for Barry. (I am happy to report I refused to vote for Mittens in 2012 though…)

  14. Things were a lot worse in Odessa after the 1917 revolution. See “Cursed Days” by Ivan Bunin. There’s no guarantee they won’t get that bad again, and not just in Odessa.

  15. This is hilarious. The G7 dwarves have got to be the 7 stupidest people on the planet.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/26/proposed-price-cap-on-russian-oil-moves-closer-at-g7-summit
    “A proposed cap on the price of Russian oil and pipeline gas to slash the Kremlin’s revenues and reduce inflationary pressures in the west gathered support on Sunday as G7 leaders met in Bavaria.

    The gas cap would operate simply by European countries refusing to pay above an as-yet unspecified fixed price for Russian gas. It is argued Russia in the short term has no alternative market to sell the pipeline gas, and unless it was prepared to take a huge hit to its revenues by shutting down the pipeline altogether would have no option but to sell at the price dictated by Europe. Liquid gas would be exempted from this maximum price.”

    I honestly hope they do this. It’d be amazing to see something so catastrophically stupid get tried.

  16. The G7 dwarves are at it again, this meeting literally is the funniest thing ever.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/g7-unveils-600-billion-global-infrastructure-plan-counter-chinas-belt-and-road
    “President Biden and G7 leaders pledged $600bln to a new global infrastructure project for emerging market economies to counter the Chinese regime’s Belt and Road initiative…
    Since its launch, Western officials have accused Beijing of pursuing “debt-trap diplomacy” by providing countries with financing to build infrastructure that benefits China more than the countries themselves.”

  17. ” Biden and G7 leaders pledged $600bln to a new global infrastructure project for emerging market economies to counter the Chinese regime’s Belt and Road initiative…”

    Sadly, we all know how this is going to work out. An emerging market economy will do a deal with China under the BRI. China will loan them lots of money to do something essential — build a port, an airport, a railroad, electric power plants, roads. The money that China lends to the country will be spent on Chinese suppliers and construction companies. At the end of the day, the emerging market economy has some needed infrastructure which generates income; China has the profits from building the infrastructure; and China has effectively a mortgage on the infrastructure.

    Or the emerging market economy goes to the Biden G7 cabal. They lend them not quite enough money with a whole lot of strings attached. Some of the money has to be used to build abortion clinics and universities which teach racism — and of course 10% has to go straight to the Big Guy. Everything which is built will be built by Chinese contractors. At the end of the day, the West is deeper in unrepayable debt; the emerging economy is not much better off; China has earned profits from the West’s money; and the Big Guy has his 10%.

  18. I have no idea how this “new global infrastructure project” is supposed to be any different from the World Bank or IMF or any other Western “lending” institution that China has been able to replace in so many countries? Plenty of countries ran into China’s arms rather than keep going there…out of the frying pan, into the fryer…but why would they suddenly come running back?

  19. This article is so head-shakingly infuriating.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-officials-doubt-ukraine-can-take-back-territory-white-house-losing-confidence
    US Officials Doubt Ukraine Can Take Back Territory, White House “Losing Confidence”

    Anyone who ever thought Ukraine could “win” was, is, and will always be a moron. A grinding conflict in Eastern Ukraine is going to bad for Russia, catastrophic for Ukraine, and potentially disastrous for the West and most of the world, as the economic consequences spiral and accelerate out of control. There’s no “good” answer but the West’s Plan A isn’t working and never was going to work, and there’s no sign of a Plan B.

  20. zerohedge has to translate from stark crazy land, miss bertrand who was promoted from msnbc?? bless her heart, she bought the whole stroganoff plate, steele dossier, et al, until american forces come under fire, it’s just grift off the top,

  21. Brian: “There’s no “good” answer but the West’s Plan A isn’t working and never was going to work, and there’s no sign of a Plan B.”

    That assumes we know what the West’s Plan A was. Do we?

    When Russia publicly sent its list of demands to the US & NATO at the beginning of the year, “Our Guys” could easily have avoided conflict by negotiating a reasonable deal: (1) the Ukraine stays out of NATO, and (2) the Kiev authorities actually implement the Minsk Accords they had previously signed, which would have kept the Donbas in the Ukraine and given the Russian-speakers there something analogous to the status of French-speakers in Quebec. Instead, “Our Guys” pushed the Ukraine into war. And “Our Guys” did this knowingly.

    Now the Biden puppet is planning to spend money the US does not have to put the US military threateningly on Russia’s border in Poland.

    Either “Our Guys” are extremely stupid or they are deliberately trying to start a wider war with Russia, which would inevitably become a war with China too — a war we would lose if it stays conventional, and really lose if it goes nuclear.

    Plan A all along has probably been to get that wider war, hopefully keeping it conventional so only redneck military white guys get killed far away overseas while the DC Swamp Creatures stay safe — and use that wider war as cover for “Our Guys” to renege on the debts that the US cannot pay. Our government at work.

  22. As far as anyone can tell, Plan A was to impose massive sanctions and crush the Russian economy and inspire a “color revolution” in Russia that would oust Putin and put in some Western-friendly replacement. It was the stupidest plan ever, thought up by the morons who run everything.
    (I’m not cynical enough to think that the entire Plan was massive corruption in Ukraine. That’s just a part of the plan, and a nice fringe benefit for the right people. I think the above is what they’ve been planning for for a couple decades now.)

  23. Brian: “As far as anyone can tell, Plan A was to impose massive sanctions …”

    That is possible. In which case the implementation was awful … even by the very low standards of the Swamp Creatures.

    Recognizing that Russia exports oil, gas, metals, grains — surely a competent planner would have taken steps over the last couple of decades to make some obvious preparations: expand the US Strategic Oil Reserve; encourage US fossil fuel production; encourage US metals mining & processing; squash the Greenies and embark on a Chinese-scale program of nuclear power plant construction. Maybe even cozy up to China to drive a wedge between them and Russia. Basically, set the US (and even the Euroweenies) up to be moderately resistant to the inevitable consequences of imposing massive sanctions on Russia.

    Given that there are well-credentialed morons running everything, I guess we should not be surprised at their incompetence. It is just unfortunate that we peons are the ones who are going to suffer.

  24. in all these discussions, have you seen any strategic planning worth a darn, the caucasus dustup, happens to coincide with schwabs scarcity plan, and he’s stacked the deck all through out the West, btw Pakistan will be buying Russian oil after all, so why did they get rid of imran khan,

  25. …..put the US military threateningly on Russia’s border in Poland.

    If this refers to Kaliningrad, Russia surely has troops there. Matching a threat is fair and prudent.

    I recall that after the end of WWII, 22 million east/central europeans were expelled to the west.

    If Ukraine prevails, moving the eastern Ukraine Russian speakers to the east would resolve that issue. Russia would benefit, they need more people.

    My first job post-college I worked in a research group. One female collegue from Ukraine was expelled at the age of 2 with the rest of her family. They made their way by horse drawn wagon to Italy. Took 2 years to get there. Her mother spread out her soiled diapers on her shoulder to dry in the sun as they travelled, then scraped them for reuse. These are tough people with a long memory of living under the Russian boot heel. They know that ‘denazify’ is code for genocide.

    Did the Quebecois face genocide?

  26. gerald seymour wrote a tale about kalingrad, some 15 years ago, the protagonist in retrospect was someone like christopher steele, and his asset was someone like litvinenko, yes the history in that region, the clashes between the swedes and the poles go back hundreds of years, and Russian school children, are aware of the crushing of the razin cossacks as well the bulovin offensive,

  27. “Pakistan will be buying Russian oil after all, so why did they get rid of imran khan”
    because now the crooks who have always run Pakistan are back in charge? (no idea if Khan is a crook or not, but he was at least different, and presumably less in bed with the CIA)

  28. The aharifs are among the biggesr crooks only exceeded by the zardari benazir bhuttos inlaws

    You mispelled isi

  29. LOL is this a joke?
    “The fact is all agencies such as CIA, RAW, are the same, except for interfering in politics, which only the ISI does.”

  30. Well it an indian prospective, yemens central security and the various general intelligence mukharabats work the same way.

  31. As for the CIA, that statement was certainly a lot more accurate, at least relating to domestic politics, before Barry corrupted everything.

  32. Let’s be brutally honest… While Ukraine has something to do with the price of gas, the bigger components of that price rise are domestic policies that the BidenCo. Crime Crewe has put in place since day one.

    Example? The EPA screwing around with the ozone rules in the Permian Basin.

    Raw facts are that the current oncoming disaster in agriculture and the economy are solely due to BidenCo. domestic policies, which have been aided and abetted by fellow-travelers like the guys behind Blackrock and Warren Buffett. Both of whom profit whenever they immiserate Americans.

    Ya really think the damage done to the petrochemical industry by Biden is either accidental or unintentional? Christ, he told us he was going to do what he did, and idiots still voted for him.

    Mencken was right…

  33. “Ya really think the damage done to the petrochemical industry by Biden is either accidental or unintentional”
    Nope. But every time he says that you rubes just have to pay more and like it, it needs to be taken advantage of. There’s a couple decades of democrat energy secretaries, senators, etc., saying this, but having “the big guy” say it is when you have to ruthlessly exploit it.

  34. no personnel is policy, cheerleader granholm (who wrote a ditty about abolishing fossil fuels)
    gina mccarthy, sky dragon high priestess, haaland, heep big trouble, well you get the picture,

  35. yes you see what happened to tiny sri lanka, that’s what they want here, which would be catastrophic, hence the epa decision may provide some protection,

  36. This is the collapse as envisioned by The Fourth Turning

    The regime is ruled by fools who have no idea what to do to salvage their political fortunes, because nothing can.

    I’ve had the notion- I certainly won’t attempt to dignify it as a theory and may even be obvious to everyone else- that the violence in these turning events happens after the regime change, and the regime change itself happens because the regime made a catastrophic political miscalculation.

    The Dredd Scott decision was one such miscalculation, and the ham-handed political response to the 1929 stock market crash was another. Note the new regimes didn’t bring sweetness and light- they respectively brought a bloody civil war and a decade of economic disaster followed by WWII. But the new regimes survived.

    The disastrous consequences of the myriads of idiotic decisions made today by Biden’s handlers and the imbeciles ruling the EU are not survivable, in my opinion, for swarms of ugly biting reasons.

    The whole post-WWII international order is imploding in real time.

    Question, to get back to Odessa.

    Would that city be better governed by Russia? Or by the globalists who want electricity to expensive and rare, who tell their people that they will own nothing and like it, and who have a weird fixation with promoting the consumption of insects as a source of protein?

    Alas, I have to suspect that they’d be better off with Russia.

    I find that disgusting- but I will express that opinion regardless.

  37. I rather doubt that the Russians are going to be in Ukraine at all much past this fall, let alone Odessa.

    The withdrawal from Snake Island is a tell; so is the fact that there are good reports that less than 30% of the spring conscript class is showing up. The Belarussian ammo transfers? Another tell. My guess is that you’re probably going to start seeing phased “tactical withdrawals” in the Donbas before the end of July, similarly framed as “goodwill gestures”.

    All of the people who’ve been saying what geniuses the Russians are very much need to recalibrate their measurement systems, because geniuses they emphatically ain’t. Putin started this war to push NATO back; he’s now got a vastly longer border with NATO, the Ukrainians are shortly going to be applying infantry attacks all along the Donbas, covered by the fact that they’ve successfully blown up a huge amount of Russian ammo stocks, and there’s really no depth to the Russian artillery supply system. My guess is that the invasion of Ukraine is going to be a dead letter by about September-October timeframe, and where it goes from there is the real conundrum. I suspect that the Russian generals are telling Putin some interesting things about force generation and weapons production/stocks that he’s not going to like hearing… If you see them try for a mass mobilization, then odds are that the month or so after that, you’re going to see some political blowback on the regime.

    One of the major tells about how badly this whole thing was calculated was the failure to mobilize; I suspect that they know bad things will happen if they try it, and won’t ever even consider that option until they have no other choice.

    Russians in Odessa? Probably likely, but as POWs or refugees. Or, on trial for war crimes…

    Whatever transpires, Russia ain’t going to be what it was on the 23rd of February.

  38. “I rather doubt that the Russians are going to be in Ukraine at all much past this fall, let alone Odessa.”
    LMAO. Do you never read the links? Ukraine is getting pulverized, and no one except you believes otherwise.

  39. Really? Well, we’ll see. I know rather more about military affairs than most of the cites you keep bringing up, like the vaunted Scott Ritter. So far, his predictions haven’t been eventuating in real life.

    Remember this one?

    https://twitter.com/alexgarcialonso/status/1542069451020984322

    That was one of the “authoritative sources” cited on here, a known convicted pedophile… Suuuuuure, you guys fluffing Putin know how to pick ’em.

  40. Also, to forestall tiresome replies of me being a Putin lover, Russia was entirely unjustified in invading, their initial lightning strike plan was stupid, and they’re never going to conquer and occupy the whole country. But they’re grinding down Ukraine’s forces and they’ll almost certainly be able to do so for longer than the US can justify sending billions upon billions of dollars while in the middle of a recession.

  41. oh well I was too late. Please show me anywhere I ever linked to Scott Ritter. I’ll wait. But not hold my breath.

  42. Kirk: “I rather doubt that the Russians are going to be in Ukraine at all much past this fall, let alone Odessa.”

    Time will tell. Certainly, by fall the temperature in Europe will be going down and German people will be facing cold dark nights and closed factories unless they abandon Biden’s sanctions. EU/NATO are already starting to creak. It is interesting that we are beginning to see a new narrative being floated in rather unexpected places — Putin stinks, but it is time for Zelensky to start negotiating.

    As to what is going on in the Ukraine, reality is that none of us know. The Fog of War is thick, and most of what we see in the West is propaganda, probably produced for Kiev by the Biden Administration. Maybe Russian conscripts are not showing up; maybe Zelensky’s thugs are pulling old men & women off the streets to send to the front. Unless we want to assert that everything on Twitter is unimpeachable fact, we are groping in the dark. The Ukraine has pumped out obvious lies, such as the Ghost of Kiev shooting down dozens of Russian planes and the Ukrainian troops on Snake Island dying like the Alamo instead of surrendering. Russia has said very little about events such as the sinking of the Moskva.

    Trying to see through the murk, both sides have had their wins and losses, but the tide is clearly running against Zelensky on the military campaign and the US/NATO economic warfare against Russia has clearly backfired on us Western peons big time. The only clear winner in the conflict to date is Turkey, although China & India are also doing rather well, thank you.

    Will the situation escalate to all-out thermonuclear war? Or will Zelensky (more likely, his successor) get a tap on the shoulder from US/NATO telling him it is time to stop fighting & start negotiating? Time will tell !

  43. LMAO. Do you never read the links? Ukraine is getting pulverized, and no one except you believes otherwise.

    Ahem- speak for yourself.

    As in most things, there is conflicting and contrary reports in the war news. Who to believe?
    Again as in most things, people tend to believe what they want to believe. That meaning history link from Miguel yesterday mentioned 3 ‘Influencers’ you might call them, one a retired FBI agent, one a gold bug, and Sundance from CTH. Don’t know who he is, but his commenters sound about the same as the commenters on Zerohedge. Definitely Russophiles. No hint of relevant experience/expertise from any of them.

    For myself, I’ve enjoyed following Trent from the beginning of the invasion. He has introduced his readers to Kamil Galeev, Phillips P. OBrien and Jack Detsch, among others.
    Kamil especially is worthwhile to read. He is a Russia born Kazan Tator (west of Moscow), and provides great insight into Russian Culture.

    As far as perseverance goes, the US spend rate in Ukraine is trivial compared to our GDP, and compared to the potential future spend rate if Russia prevails, and keeps biting off more chunks of eastern/central/western Europe. The Ukrainians aim for one million troops under arms in July and 1 1/2 million troops under arms in 2023. That has to be a chilling prospect for Putin. Of course, YMMV

  44. I see no one answered my question so I’ll ask it again: Are the people of Odessa better off being ruled by a Western elite that wants them to eat bugs, or Russia?

    My answer should be implicitly obvious. One of the most fascinating things I’ve seen lately was a video some European made in a Russian grocery store. Despite almost a decade of endless sanctions, that store was very well stocked. Western brands were available but expensive, with local products plentiful and much cheaper. Meanwhile, in the United States, prices have vastly increased for almost everything assuming any given item is available, which many items aren’t.

    Bluntly, the rulers of the Western world hate their own people and want us to starve. They’ve been working assiduously towards that goal for years, creating all manners of crises to punish their enemies, to quote Barry Obama. To the topic at hand, they’ve quite deliberately blundered into a war which is destroying the economies of Europe and is severely damaging that of the United States. They justify this as necessary to get to that wonderful green future of peasants eating bugs in the dark.

    Again, this isn’t going to work. The various governments of the EU are all in serious political trouble. Boris Johnson is a goner, having too narrowly survived a no confidence vote. In the US, Biden is famously unpopular, despite endless fluffing from his media pals.

    I’d bet the various governments of the EU will collapse long before Russia- and the US government isn’t doing much better. Plus, they’ve come close to running out of weapons to gift Ukraine and can’t make more soon enough to matter, having abandoned the ability to make things to China.

    I don’t think Ukraine will survive much longer. They certainly aren’t going to put a million men in arms this month, to put it mildly.

  45. Kirk, I don’t know what the Generals have been telling Putin, if anything. They keep getting stitched by the Ukrainians.

    The latest one to get the job promotion is shaped like a beach ball. Looks to be 500#
    Real easy for the snipers to pick out. I pity the stretcher bearers.

    I’ve seen the guys pic a couple of places. If I can find it again, I’ll post it here.

  46. Notice Kirk always disappears when challenged. I think he probably can’t keep “Brian” straight from “Gavin” but it’s hard to tell.

    “the US spend rate in Ukraine is trivial compared to our GDP”
    The questions isn’t CAN “we” keep sending Ukraine a hundred billion dollars every few months, it’s how long will it be tenable politically? That’s an advantage Putin does have–Russians can take a lot of punishment, even/especially from their own government, and shrug it off. Similarly the Chinese accept that their government is perfectly willing to kill them. Westerners are a bit more difficult, at least historically. After the last few years it’s apparent that that’s not really the case anymore, but if they can’t afford food and heat in six months, you’re going to see 7 different faces at the next meeting of the G7 dwarves.

    “The Ukrainians aim for one million troops under arms in July and 1 1/2 million troops under arms in 2023.”
    Sounds awfully similar to stories about the Afghan army. Are these “aims” connected to reality at all? Again, I know no one apparently reads the links, even when they’re to “respectable” sources, but even by Ukrainian accounts their troops in the East are dying by the hundreds per day and are grossly undersupplied and outgunned.

  47. Raymondshaw: “For myself, I’ve enjoyed following Trent from the beginning of the invasion.”

    Trent’s methodology closely follows government “Intelligence” approaches — compiling public domain information. This unintentionally makes him little more than a mouthpiece for officially-inspired propaganda. Recall how far wrong Trent was about the CovidScam!

    It is a challenge to see what is actually happening through the torrent of misinformation and wishful thinking.

    “As far as perseverance goes, the US spend rate in Ukraine is trivial compared to our GDP”

    Spend rate does not mean much when we are printing the money. What matters is the Real Economy — can we make the weapons and ammunition Our Betters are sending to the Ukraine? The evidence there is that the attrition rate far exceeds our manufacturing rate — not sustainable. And our manufacturing rate depends on inputs such as titanium (from Russia) and electronics (from a deliberately reluctant China).

    The war in the Ukraine is exposing the gap between our Financial Economy with its impressive GDP and our Real Economy with its shuttered mines and factories. That may turn out to be one of the most significant outcomes of the conflict (assuming Biden’s handlers don’t stumble into global thermonuclear war).

  48. Brian, it is called attrition. Both sides are experiencing it. It is going to be a hard slog.

    A nation of 40 million citizens can easily produce 1 1/2 million persons who, if equipped and trained, can fight. The US, in WWII had 16 million serve out of a nation of ~130 million.

    If Putin’s position was so strong, why doesn’t he declare war and mobilize?

    The G7 is Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, so no. The non-stalwarts are obviously the western Europeans, as the eastern and central european nations are a buffer for them. But the eastern and central europeans are not going to go wobbly. Don’t forget, Gasprom 1 goes through Ukraine. So the winter season will be interesting. Buy coal futures.

  49. Gavin, since you view this as a battle between Russian Conscripts (the invaders) and
    Zelensky’s thugs (the defenders), I am not going to be persuaded by anything that you might have to say.

  50. “it is called attrition. Both sides are experiencing it. It is going to be a hard slog”
    Yeah, no kidding. So maybe the Western leaders should have told people that, instead of acting like, haha we’ve destroyed the Russian economy, they can’t possibly keep this up for more than a few weeks!

    This isn’t WWII. There aren’t vast armies of millions of men sweeping across the countryside, and aren’t going to be. Any claims of that sort of numbers of men under arms will be some combination of fantasy and outright corruption.

    We in the US are going to “go wobbly” you can be sure of that. There’s not going to be any appetite for keeping shoveling billions of dollars their way as the economy continues to tank and inflation continues to bite, and we’re essentially paying for the entire government of Ukraine right now. There is absolutely zero public support to do that “For as long as it takes” as Brandon says.

    “the winter season will be interesting”
    Hopefully not Paris in 1792 interesting. They don’t have six months to prepare, they have to be getting ready now, and there’s zero sign of that.

  51. We in the US are going to “go wobbly” you can be sure of that.

    Ahem. Speak for yourself. Again.

  52. LOL. What do you think is going to happen if in September Brandon and Congress try to give Ukraine another few hundred billion dollars while gas is still >$5/gallon, the economy is officially well into recession, and inflation continues to be 10% or more? You think people are going to say, yeah, that sounds like a great idea, let’s do that!

  53. With more stories like this, how do you think patriotic Americans are going to react?
    https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1542443650679963648
    “NEWS: At a dinner for NATO foreign ministers Tuesday, at least four FMs aired concerns about the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, according to one of the only two Americans in the room, in the latest show of European doubts about U.S. reliability.”

  54. I dunno if this guy is working for Putin or what, but this is not going to make Americans want to keep shoveling cash to Ukraine, sorry it’s just not:
    https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1542684948519419908
    CNN: “What do you say to those families that say, ‘listen, we can’t afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years?’”
    BIDEN ADVISOR BRIAN DEESE: “This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm.”

  55. “NEWS: At a dinner for NATO foreign ministers Tuesday, at least four FMs aired concerns about the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, according to one of the only two Americans in the room, in the latest show of European doubts about U.S. reliability.”

    Then they should throw us out of NATO- oh wait….

    Fun fact about our new “ally” Sweden- their goal in joining NATO was to be able to cut defense spending from 4% of GDP to 2%.

    That’s the Liberal World Order right there- we pay and pay so the Zeropean Union can spend more on their endless welfare programs, or maybe give themselves another 4 weeks of vacation.

    No thanks.

  56. Raymondshaw, pledging his undying allegiance to Zelensky: “Ahem. Speak for yourself. Again.”

    If you look about yourself, it is really obvious that the media-fired Ra! Ra! Ukraine enthusiasm has died down. Many of the Ukrainian flags have gone. People are more concerned about inflation, layoffs, abortion, travel disruptions, etc. The US Powers That Be are still happily throwing printed Bidenbucks at the Ukraine (minus the usual 10%), but the US population is moving on. The situation is trending the same way in the important parts of Europe — Germany, France, Italy.

    If you are really gung-ho to go fight & die for the kind of Ukrainian “democracy” where Zelensky jails elected members of the parliament and outlaws opposition political parties, take the time to listen to this talk by Prof. Mearsheimer. “Our Guys” have been meddling in the Ukraine and setting it up for failure for nearly two decades. The least “Our Guys” should be doing now to make amends is trying to negotiate a settlement before many more Ukrainians die. Or many Americans die, if things really get out of hand.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qciVozNtCDM

  57. If you look about yourself, it is really obvious that the media-fired Ra! Ra! Ukraine enthusiasm has died down.

    I’m not sure it ever existed in the first place. Sure, I saw all the billboards- but I also noticed that no one I normally talk to about events had much to say about the Ukraine War, if anything at all. I also noticed a few weeks ago that when I had cause to walk through a neighborhood the only two houses I noticed with the Ukrainian flags also were festooned with BLM-related media. Perhaps this was evidence of declining enthusiasm but I also wonder if the folks backing the Ukraine adventure are mainly run-of-the-mill NPC-leftists who can be counted on to support the latest thing, whatever that thing is. I don’t know, and I certainly wouldn’t put the pro-Ukraine War folks here in that category.

    If you are really gung-ho to go fight & die for the kind of Ukrainian “democracy” where Zelensky jails elected members of the parliament and outlaws opposition political parties…

    More of the Liberal World Order- jailed political opponents, banned opposition parties, etc- no wonder the globalists heart Zelensky so much- he’s obviously one of them.

    The least “Our Guys” should be doing now to make amends is trying to negotiate a settlement before many more Ukrainians die.

    Except they’re viciously incompetent, and have no idea what to do, as well as having no concern at all for the fate of actual Ukrainians. Liberal World Order, again.

    It reminds me of the efforts the American political class made to get rid of Trump. At long last they succeeded- but in the process they did enormous and perhaps mortal damage to American institutions, including the idea that American elections are real.

    On that note: https://emeralddb3.substack.com/p/how-did-a-zuckerberg-charity-stooge

  58. For anyone who has any doubts about which way the tide is running, here is an article from Asia Times about top graduates in US and China making career choices:
    https://asiatimes.com/2022/07/a-tale-of-two-talents/

    The Chinese PhD: “… China’s military and aerospace sectors have the pick of the country’s best engineering graduates – and there are a lot to choose from. China graduates six times as many engineers each year as the United States, and a third of its undergraduates major in the field.”

    The US PhD: “The [US] defense projects that he would undertake involved technology older than what he’d learned in his undergraduate classes. Programming technologies within the military and aerospace AI projects were several generations behind the Silicon Valley standard … In many cases, the software technology for new hardware is up to 20 years behind leaders in the US because the engineers that are already employed in the military and aerospace ecosystem are not skilled in the latest generation of AI technologies.”

    This kind of reporting is accurate but discouraging. “Our Guys” have put the US into a hole … and they can’t stop digging. Events in the Ukraine are showing, for example, that the US does not have hypersonic technology, while Russia and China do. When the rest of the world starts to recognize that the former champ is now old, bloated, and out of condition — the ramifications might be quite severe for all of us. It is time for us in the US to start focusing on correcting our problems; let the guys in the Ukraine deal with their own issues.

  59. miguel: Plenty of us were saying months ago that a global food crisis was going to happen, that the West isn’t nearly as strong as it thinks, and that there was no evidence the smart people who think they run the world have a clue. “It’s all Putin’s fault” isn’t going to work well for starving Middle Easterners any more than it’ll work with freezing Europeans or broke Americans.

  60. “The [US] defense projects that he would undertake involved technology older than what he’d learned in his undergraduate classes. Programming technologies within the military and aerospace AI projects were several generations behind the Silicon Valley standard”

    That comes down to the difference between weapons with decades of history and successful deployment and weapons that exist as press releases and possibly prototypes. There’s a lot that separates a “proof of concept” and a working, deployed system.

    NASA has compiled an intimidating 20odd years of singular non performance in space flight that seems headed for an inglorious conclusion. Even if SLS manages to deliver something to the moon, they’ll have to get in line to land. I don’t think a lot more freshly minted PhD’s would have helped. I’d be hard pressed to name any useful project that has suffered from a shortage of PhD’s.

    Just not seeing anything here beyond China fanboi propaganda.

  61. MCS: “I don’t think a lot more freshly minted PhD’s would have helped [overcome NASA’s abysmal performance in the post-Appollo decades].”

    That’s for sure. NASA’s post-Appollo problems start from the top — venal politicians, greasy-pole climbing managers, hiring diversity over competence.

    But let’s get optimistic for a moment and suppose the US can flush the incompetents from the system and put NASA back on a highly focused path to clearly defined goals in an environment where competence is valued more than sexual organs. At that point, we would indeed find that the next problem in line would be the lack of an adequate pool of technical graduates from our dysfunctional universities.

    Indeed, if we go back to the glory days of Appollo when NASA was doing things right and the universities still were institutions of learning & research, the US even then was not producing enough bright technologists. Hence the “Brain Drain” which Europeans complained about as their Best & Brightest got onto flights for America.

  62. From the Asia Times link: “But the decisive element is not the quantity but the quality: China’s aerospace and military sector hires the most talented engineers. Their American competitors can’t.”

    There is no law that says that long-established companies…whether old-line defense contractors or SV companies that think they are too virtuous to do such work…are the only ones that can play. When General Bernard Schriever was running the early ballistic missile program for the Air Force, he assigned the systems engineering for the project to a small new company called Ramo-Woodridge (later TRW) specifically because he didn’t think the incumbent aircrafft manufacturers were up to it.

    A recent startup, in which Andreessen-Horowitz is a major investor. is specifically focused on defense: Anduril. They have a sort of position paper: Reboooting the Arsenal of Democracy:

    https://www.rebootingthearsenal.com/

    There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about China, but many commentators remind me of Lindberg in the 1930s, who claimed Germany had such a strong lead in the air that the US would never be able to catch up.

  63. That comes down to the difference between weapons with decades of history and successful deployment and weapons that exist as press releases and possibly prototypes. There’s a lot that separates a “proof of concept” and a working, deployed system.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think the embarrassing fact that the US relies upon decades-old weaponry despite having the largest defense budget on this planet is a sign of strength.

    Worse, often the new expensive replacement are expensive failures and/or never produce anything useful. I’m thinking of you, DDG-1000. And you, LCS. And also this:

    http://www.military-today.com/artillery/xm1299.htm

    During the recent years countries like China and Russia developed indigenous long-range howitzers that out-range and outperform the current US M109A6 and M109A7 systems. With the cancellation of US XM2001 Crusader program in 2002 the US Army ended up without a cutting-edge artillery system and instead relies on upgraded versions of the ageing M109 155 mm howitzer, which entered service back in 1963.

    I’ll let that speak for itself.

    Just not seeing anything here beyond China fanboi propaganda.

    Let me fix this for you: Just not seeing anything

  64. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about China, but many commentators remind me of Lindberg in the 1930s, who claimed Germany had such a strong lead in the air that the US would never be able to catch up.

    I may or may not be one of those commenters, but I’d just like to point out that in many ways the US did not catch up until after a swarm of German engineers were imported into the country after the allies finished burning Germany to the ground.

    In any case, it isn’t about China. It’s about the United States, and the endless idiocies the DC regime imposes upon Americans, including endless and ever-expanding requirements to hire people based upon everything except competence.

    Unless and until we can solve that problem, the US will continue to stumble from disaster to disaster.

    They may well be a lot of ruin in a nation- but only so much.

  65. Xennady…I was speaking especially of David Goldman (‘Spengler’) and his frequent articles on this theme in the Asia Times.

    “I’d just like to point out that in many ways the US did not catch up until after a swarm of German engineers were imported into the country after the allies finished burning Germany to the ground.”

    But it was. specifically. US/Allied superiority in weapons/munitions..including things like radar and electronic warfare techniques/equipment…that allowed that burning to the ground to take place in the first place.

    True, the V-2 was technically ahead of anything our side was doing in rocketry, but its overall impact on the German war effort, given its resource-intensiveness, was probably negative. The jet fighters were a great technical achievement. but with something like a 10 hour overhaul requirement on the engines, could they have really impacted the outcome of the war? (And I suspect the Germans made a mistake in going with the technically-superior axial compressor design. rather than the probably-more-robust centrifugal compressors like the Brits)

    And if the German surrender had been delayed another year, they would have been subjected to that considerable technical advance, the atomic bomb.

  66. of course Oberth and his protege Von Braun, made great use of Goddard’s patents, bought for a song, the Guggenheim had given him some attention at the New Mexico test center,
    Our best technical minds, are bedeviled by the zombie (woke is a marxist rhetorical concession) furies, and skydragon energy schemes, the wind and solar gossamers, that’s among the small cohort of native born engineers being ground down by a blizzard of H1 visas,
    the Brits had a similar problem (as the series closer to the enemy reminds) the Air Ministry didn’t want to commit any money to their top designer, name escapes me right now, as opposed to the Messerscmitt designers, also that flying wing seen in the First Avenger, was a real thing, the Brits had a unit called T Force that did technological exploitation during the war, like the American Paperclip program* this was the effort that ian fleming was also part of

  67. David F: “But it was. specifically. US/Allied superiority in weapons/munitions.”

    It did not hurt that the USSR sacrificed millions of men grinding down the Germans on the Eastern Front. The USSR arguably had better tanks too — but forget I said that; I don’t want to be accused of being a USSR fanboi.

    Stalin reputedly said “Quantity has a quality all of its own”. And that is essentially what Victor David Hanson concluded in his book “The Second World Wars”. The Axis powers were simply out-numbered, out-resourced, out-produced. Technical superiority was a minor element in the outcome.

    Since WWII has come up, shouldn’t we all be concerned that the US has not won a war since 1945? And that was only with the assistance of the USSR!

  68. I was speaking especially of David Goldman (‘Spengler’) and his frequent articles on this theme in the Asia Times.

    Well, this is awkward. That’s the exact same reason I eventually stopped reading him. However, I still have great respect for him despite that.

    …that allowed that burning to the ground to take place in the first place.

    I note I said in many ways and certainly not in all ways. I’ve long been amazed that the B-47 first flew in 1947, for example.

    But I also would like to note that the wikipedia article I googled to verify the date of the first flight- December 17th, 1947- claims part of the design was based on captured German research. To my surprise, I should also note. But this was also an example of competence.

    Would the American engineers of today be similarly competent? Hmmm…

    True, the V-2 was technically ahead of anything our side was doing in rocketry, but its overall impact on the German war effort, given its resource-intensiveness…

    No disagreement here, with this or the rest of your comment.

    Resource-intensiveness…

    This strikes me as an invocation of the truthful cliche that professionals study logistics, etc. Again, no disagreement intended.

    So, at the risk of merely stating the obvious, the Western allies had vastly more resources than the honest-to-God Nazis ruling Germany. Thus, the atom bomb project, the more expensive B-29 project, I’m sure you know all about that.

    Let me discuss all this in regards to the United States, today. We have an ability sans pareil to produce US dollars. That’s about it.

    We do not have much ability to mine or manufacture most anything. If we invent something, odds are it will be produced somewhere else, and few Americans will know anything useful about it. The various natural resources that exist in the sliver of this planet that is under the suzerainty of the US government may as well be on Venus, because the present regime does its level best to ensure they remain untouched. So much so that people who could in fact arrange to economically exploit them do not, because they quite rationally conclude that they will never actually be allowed to profit from their efforts.

    This is not a recipe for national success. Further rambling deleted.

  69. “But let’s get optimistic for a moment and suppose the US can flush the incompetents from the system and put NASA back on a highly focused path to clearly defined goals in an environment where competence is valued more than sexual organs.”

    NASA stopped mattering beyond the odd planetary robot about the time the first Falcon 1 reached orbit. You could even put that back when they went ahead with the ruinously expensive Shuttle program in the name of “economy”. NASA present day has no real purpose besides keeping people employed in certain congressional districts. Every day the dissonance between the government funded SLS that will fly any day now on a completely pointless flight and might manage one or two flights a year for several more billion each on top of the billions poured into its development and SpaceX grows louder. Hell, they can’t even build the launch platform for the full up rocket without monumental cost overruns and indefinite schedule delays.

    “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think the embarrassing fact that the US relies upon decades-old weaponry despite having the largest defense budget on this planet is a sign of strength. ”

    We should all be duly thankful that some portion of that defense budget goes into making what already works, work better. The names are the only real thing that’s old, everything else is new, replaced and upgraded as new materials and techniques become available. You want new, when was the last time a new weapon system ended up costing less than a multiple of its original estimate and took less than many years longer to materialize? You’re not going to convince me that Chinese are doing any better until we get a chance to see some of their wonder weapons in actual use.

  70. This all gives me an idea for a story, except that I’m not a writer–a bunch of late-period Romans sit around saying the Goths will never match the Roman accomplishments of old, they’ll never be able to build aqueducts all over Spain, France, and Italy, only Romans and their superior system could do that, then a Goth raiding party breaks in and murders them all, except for a few traitors. Because who care about stupid aqueducts?
    Similarly, what do the ChiComs care about going to the moon? They want to remain in power, and to weaken the US and the West so they can’t remove them from power. Whether the US did cool stuff 60 years ago is irrelevant. We’re not that country anymore anyway, and the ChiComs don’t have to be to compete with us or accomplish their goals.

  71. MCS: “You’re not going to convince me that Chinese are doing any better until we get a chance to see some of their wonder weapons in actual use.”

    Personally, I hope we never get that chance. I wish “Our Guys” were working hard to defuse conflicts and vulnerabilities instead of … doing what they are doing.

    We first need to recognize that the main Chinese “wonder weapon” is sitting in plain sight — moored off the coast of California, patiently waiting to unload the next batch of goods that the US used to make for itself but no longer can. Wars can be economic as well as military.

    Our Betters should be learning from their sanctions debacle on Russia that economic wars are easier to declare than to win. If they are smart (empty hope! I know) they will be recognizing that it will take a quarter of a century of hard work before the US could climb back even to the same weight class as today’s Chinese Workshop of the World.

    Maybe the US could win a military war with China, or maybe not. But we have zero ability to win an economic war with China. Acknowledging an obvious truth does not make anyone a fanboi.

  72. The chinese want to be hegemons in space as well as land* the backstory to firefly , and they wont give it up easily as the us has

  73. We should all be duly thankful that some portion of that defense budget goes into making what already works, work better.

    Does it? Or does it just provide a better return to the various shareholders of the various defense contractors?

    The names are the only real thing that’s old, everything else is new, replaced and upgraded as new materials and techniques become available.

    I suspect not. I note the harpoon and tomahawk missiles may have much more expensive guidance systems but are still sub-sonic. I further note that the B-52 is still an important weapon system, despite having a radar signature approximately the size of Mars. I further suspect that these aircraft won’t last long in a fight with any nation that possesses anything vaguely resembling a modern airforce.

    You want new, when was the last time a new weapon system ended up costing less than a multiple of its original estimate and took less than many years longer to materialize?

    I’m glad we agree that the astonishing cost of modern weapons is a problem. For the US, that is. Somehow Russia managed to produce and deploy a working hypersonic missile system, despite having a defense budget that would almost be a rounding error for the United States.

    You’re not going to convince me that Chinese are doing any better until we get a chance to see some of their wonder weapons in actual use.

    A fair point, except I do not want to see how well Chinese weapons work, because that implies war has broken out. That would be bad.

    But I’d also like to note that China has the ability to do things the US simply cannot. For example, build ships. In the US, shipbuilding is something that happens at only a few sites, badly, at great expense. In other words, it’s a typical defense program, intended to enrich shareholders and nothing else.

    Anecdote time!

    Years ago I was discussing this online, somewhere. Thus I had reason to investigate this particular topic. I noted that while the US was somehow struggling to produce a class of 12 coast guard cutters, China was churning out dozens of ships, larger and smaller, with a similar purpose.

    I recall reading a story of an English ship designer who visited the US, prior to WWI. He was shocked to discover how many large naval vessels were under construction simultaneously at American shipyards.

    Advantage England- back then, I should note- because apparently there is quite literally nothing that can happen today to make the modern American elite stop patting themselves on the back about the accomplishments of people long dead, even enough to make them suspect anything has gone wrong.

    Again, this is not a recipe for national success.

  74. Its easy when they have lesuo (blackmail) on everyone of note.

    This will work swimmingly, until it doesn’t work at all.

    I think the present day Chinese regime has been busily creating mortal enemies who may or not be hostile now, but certainly will be in the future.

    For example, I note that they are apparently still quite peeved about the Opium Wars, which happened almost two centuries ago.

    Why should they expect that future non-Chinese will be less angry about fentanyl?

  75. The opium war is their central grievance against the west everything flows from that these lesuo are the middlemen that the pla (the oligarch class use to transact business)

  76. Far be it from me to sing encomiums to the military-industrial complex. Every high visibility development I can bring to mind has had big problems with budget and schedule. This isn’t anything new. Some of these present apparent disasters will eventually surmount their teething problems to enter the process of incremental development and improvement, some won’t. Not many of us have more than a vague memory of the bombers that succeeded the B-52 before the B-1 and disappeared almost instantly.

    The B-1 was not a particular success. I don’t believe that any still exist. What’s flying today is the B-1B an economy version with cloth upholstery and most notably, no supersonic capability. Even these proved so expensive that few were built and they are, at this point, worn out and must be replaced. The B-52 flies on with each having virtually not a single rivet that came from the factory and now planning a re-engine. The B-1B, being mostly composite is blocked from a similar refurbishment.

    The Tomahawk, slower than the few existing alleged prototypes in Russia and China and thus much smaller and cheaper, is by virtue of its small size, smaller radar cross section and ability to fly 50 feet off the ground a very hard target to hit. Because of its cheapness with the cost declining even now, the few that do get shot down are redundant. While hypersonic approach is seemingly desirable in an anti-ship missile, the truth at present is that none of our probable opponents have a blue water navy. China may survive long enough to acquire one but they have a long way to go. The cheapest hypersonic weapon remains a re-entering ballistic missile.

    You fight a war with the weapons you have, not the weapons on the drawing board.

  77. was the B 1 derivative of the backfire bomber, one wonders because one followed the other, and they have a similar configuration,

  78. There’s the US govt and its corrupt military-industrial complex epitomized by NASA and Boeing, and there’s the competitive US private sector epitomized by SpaceX.

    US society is supremely productive when it’s allowed to be. The USA has handicapped itself for reasons that have been discussed at length on this blog and elsewhere. The big question is if/when there will be sufficient national will to remove the handicaps.

    Some sectors of Russian and Chinese industry may look good by comparison when we stumble, but they appear to have structural impediments to productivity that are not likely to be removed in the foreseeable future. The USA remains a better long-term bet.

  79. Jonathan: “The USA remains a better long-term bet.”

    Let’s hope so! The question we need to grapple with — How do we turn that from a hope into a reality? And how do we do it, starting from where we are with all the obstructions we all know about? We can turn this around! We need to turn this around! But it is not going to be easy.

    On this day, I recall a gentleman — a mechanical engineer — recounting his visit to the battleship Texas, on display at San Jacinto. The ship was built in 1911/12. What really impressed this gentleman was the pipework down in the depths of the vessel — battleships were a maze of pipework. And every joint had been made so carefully, every pipe bend had been perfectly done. The modern industrial plants in which he worked seldom reached that standard.

    It is like a flabby former champion seeing a photo of himself back when he was fighting fit. We did it once; we can do it again; but let’s not underestimate the amount of sweat, tears, and pain it is going to take to regain that condition.

  80. was the B 1 derivative of the backfire bomber, one wonders because one followed the other, and they have a similar configuration,

    My recollection is that the Soviet airframe given the NATO codename of “backfire” entered service after the B-1 was designed and subsequently cancelled by the Carter administration.

  81. You fight a war with the weapons you have, not the weapons on the drawing board.

    True statement, and I don’t have much to disagree with in this comment, except this:

    China may survive long enough to acquire one but they have a long way to go.

    China already has a larger navy than the US and its fleet is still growing rapidly. The US navy is busy trying to figure out what pronouns to use.

    I’ll spare everyone further rambling on this topic. You’re all welcome.

    Also, happy Fourth of July to you all.

  82. “The USA remains a better long-term bet.”
    Our “elites” are all today still wearing masks every time they leave the house, think women can have penises and men can get pregnant and anyone who says otherwise is a monstrous bigot, want to shut down all fossil fuel usage immediately, etc. There is no long-term prospects for success until after we get purged with fire.

  83. Circling back to Ukraine, you can dismiss this as “just politico” but they’re neither conservative nor “pro-Putin”, so it probably makes sense to believe that this is in fact accurate, as most anyone who’s been paying attention for the past couple months knows:
    https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/1544031169196556290
    I spoke today with a long-time Ukrainian soldier & contact who’s been in Donbas since 2014; he’s now in a leadership role. He was wounded by 82mm mortar days ago & hospitalized. 2 pieces of shrapnel remain stuck in him. He confirmed Ukrainian forces are suffering huge casualties.
    Three weeks ago, he had 60 soldiers in his unit north of Popasna. Today he has 20; 40 have been KIA or WIA; 3 KIA last week. They were nearly caught in the kettle as Russian forces captured Severo & Lysychansk; they’ve been pushed 30+ miles east from their original positions.
    They haven’t gotten any new Western weapons or ammo & rely on Ukraine’s Soviet-era stockpile which is running dangerously low. But there’s been some success — they shot down a Russian Ka-52 with an Igla 2 weeks ago. But another returned to shoot up their position the next day.
    He said Russian tanks & artillery are the biggest problems facing them; the number of tanks & artillery barrages hitting them is crazy & the amount of Western aid being given right now is not going to be enough to turn the tide in Ukraine’s favor. “We need more, more, more.”
    He said morale is falling and the loss of Luhansk Oblast has been demoralizing. His company has been at the frontline in the Donbas since well before Feb. 24 and not had a break. Only the wounded get a break, he said.

    OK, we’ve “done something”–now is there a Plan B, or are we going to keep “doing something” and blathering about this “liberal world order” while looking pitifully weak until global economic disaster continues, and countries keep moving to align with Russia and China rather than a West that struts around like it’s America 1945 even as it gets results more like end-stage empires throughout history?
    Like, what’s the plan for if/when Brandon gets humiliated in Saudi Arabia during his upcoming trip? Just pretend it didn’t happen, and talk more about January 6? Please tell me there’s another plan…

  84. we’re not defined by the elites, if they told me the sky was blue i’d double check, so where are those weapons going, if not to the front,

  85. miguel: “so where are those weapons going, if not to the front,”

    Lots of rumors that some of the weapons are going to the black market — not really a surprise in a country as corrupt as the Ukraine. Think about a terrorist with a Stinger missile the next time you are taking off from a European airport.

    Let’s get realistic. It does not matter how many weapons the Kiev group get, the Ukraine is not going to push Russia back to the pre-2014 borders. This is clearly an existential conflict for Russia, and they will escalate to nuclear rather than lose. “Our Guys” could escalate to nuclear too, but that is not much of a solution.

    In the meantime, the US is losing the economic war, and Europe is beginning to fall apart — all except mighty Lithuania, which has pissed off the Chinese over Taiwan and Russia over Kaliningrad. (Lithuania is like the dumb little strumpet getting her boyfriend into a fight with a biker gang). Smart thing would be for US/EU/NATO to start pushing the Ukraine to seek a negotiated compromise — because the longer the fighting goes on, the worse that compromise is going to be for the Ukraine.

  86. Well an awful lot of the money was literally a blank check to the CIA so there’s zero way to ever trace where it’s gone.

  87. Will the profits Zelensky’s buddies make on reselling weapons to terrorists on the black market count towards the $750 Billion?

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