17 thoughts on “Random Pic”

  1. I have maintained that the artist sees things in everyday life that has beauty – things that 99% of the people ignore

  2. You know it can’t be in the U.S., possibly some alternate universe where unattended bicycles don’t instantly evaporate unless chained to some immovable object.

  3. Well that thread about Ukrainian equipment and logistics went pear-shaped and got locked, so I’ll put this here:
    “Barely a month since their delivery, the first German armored self-propelled guns have already ceased service in Ukraine, according to a report by German newspaper Der Spiegel.
    The German Ministry of Defense was informed by Kyiv last week that an error message appeared on the cannons and that several of them needed to be repaired. According to the Bundeswehr, the reason behind the malfunction may be that the Ukrainians are firing the guns more intensively than the technology is capable of.
    This means that the stress on the loading systems may be too high. Another problem could be that the soldiers reportedly fire the units from too far away with the special ammunition; the smart grenades used by these cannons were meant for shorter-range, precision hits.”

  4. The most concerning element of that Zerohedge report does not relate to the deficiencies of German weapons — it relates to the outflow of easily-portable weapons from the corrupt & disrupted Ukraine.

    “At the same time, the arming of Ukraine by the West raises several problems. The unlimited flow of weapons can see arms easily end up on the black market or lost. Several European countries have already warned that weapons have on occasion been redirected to other nations. The authorities in Sweden, for example, revealed that anti-tank weapons have already appeared in the circles of criminal gangs in Sweden.

  5. Would it really be too hard to have put tracking technology on these weapons? Like we can’t put an RFID tracker on an anti-tank launcher?
    If it is too hard, then maybe we shouldn’t be just dropping them into the Ukrainian black hole?
    If it’s not too hard, then that raises some questions about why it’s not being done, no?

  6. So the question isn’t is this true, it’s why is Amnesty International saying this now? You’ve got the White House telling Tom Friedman Ukraine is hopelessly corrupt and untrustworthy, and now you have AI basically calling them war criminals. Why now?
    Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas.

  7. Brian: “You’ve got the White House telling Tom Friedman Ukraine is hopelessly corrupt and untrustworthy, and now you have AI basically calling them war criminals. Why now?”

    An observation: The conflict in Eastern Ukraine seems rather similar to the trench warfare of World War I. During the prior 8 years, the Kiev forces had reportedly been digging in and preparing solid fortifications — obstacles which seem to have worked in terms of slowing down the Donbas/Russian advance. Now there are reports (reliable? Who knows?) that the Kiev fortifications are finally crumbling. In 1918, when the German Hindenburg line of trenches was finally breached, the last ~100 days of WWI switched from grinding trench warfare to rapid movement. (Cousin Eddie could undoubtedly fill in the story).

    A hypothesis: Perhaps US/NATO is concerned that something similar is about to happen in the Ukraine? A rapid breakthrough of Russian forces would put an end to the Western media stories that Kiev is winning, and make Western continued support for war very difficult. So US/NATO are now planting the seeds that if the proxy war in the Ukraine goes pear-shaped, it was all Zelensky’s fault. The West then excoriates Zelensky and encourages his replacement to negotiate a deal with Russia.

  8. I appreciate the serve, Gavin.

    I can think of some big differences between now in the Ukraine and the last few months of the Great War– the biggest being, who does Russia use as their Americans, and where is the overwhelming materiel advantage? For that matter, the Russians might find a breakthrough to be as empty of positive result as the Kaiserschlacht offensives proved to be. Ground gains that are hard to reinforce, supply, and hold.

    The flip side would be, since the Ukes won’t have overwhelming advantages either–like the Brits and French in 1918 if they hadn’t had US men and money . . . stalemate and settlement that solves little. Continued low-grade little war in the more ethnically mixed areas.

    My understanding of Uke organization and defense doctrine is that it’s largely based on West German and Swiss conceptions of local defense against mass. If so, it seems to have worked pretty well so far.

    It is entirely possible that Zelensky and Co wear out their welcome and good will. That Vogue photo shoot was risible at best, and a gift to Putin at least.

    It is not clear to me that Russia has won (or lost, though I suspect a victory will prove pyrrhic). That’s a non-political observation.

  9. Curiouser and curiouser!

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a Thursday night address lashed out at the European Union for what he called an “artificial delay” of 8 billion euros (or about $8.2BN) in financial assistance to the war-ravaged country. … “8 billion euros for Ukraine are currently suspended,” he continued, and then charged: “And such an artificial delay of macro-financial assistance to our state is either a crime or a mistake, and it is difficult to say which is worse in such conditions of a full-scale war.”

    Setting aside the jokes about Zelensky overdoing the coke or desperately needing funds for the Big Guy’s 10%, the implication is that even the EuroScum are reluctant to keep throwing money & weapons to Kiev unless Zelensky can demonstrate something better than continuing slow retreat of his forces.

  10. If weapons or other material is not being diverted, that would make it the first war in American history where that is true. And while this thievery was far from an exclusively American enterprise, Americans certainly held their own in the competition. As it is, I expect the Afghan cache will depress prices for years to come.

    I have no idea of Zelensky’s true rectitude let alone for his entire government and doubt that anyone here has any actual information. What we have are rumors of rumors of innuendos.

    To paraphrase myself, when the whore house catches fire, you don’t wait for the whores to reform before you call the fire department.

  11. “when the whore house catches fire, you don’t wait for the whores to reform before you call the fire department.”
    I have no idea what this analogy means–Ukraine is the whore house, their politicians are the whores? Who’s the fire department? Their politicians? No, because they’re the whores. I don’t get it.

  12. And the “Breaking News: Ukraine is insanely corrupt” media campaign continues:
    The new CBS Reports documentary, “Arming Ukraine,” explores why much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines: “Like 30% of it reaches its final destination.”

    Here’s another odd twist. How are we supposed to interpret this?
    “Ukraine is seeking an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end its war with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.”

  13. Attention citizens! We gravely apologize for the mistaken impression we recently may have given that the Current Thing is not in fact gloriously and unimpeachably pure and perfect and correct in all ways! Please be assured that this terrible shortcoming on our part will never be repeated! Carry on, citizens!
    “We removed a tweet promoting our recent doc, “Arming Ukraine,” which quoted the founder of the nonprofit Blue-Yellow, Jonas Ohman’s assessment in late April that only around 30% of aid was reaching the front lines in Ukraine.”

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