Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Don't Be Surprised

Today's riff-tastic starting point:
Of major trends to miss, underestimating the amount of energy available for society was a doozy, even though he had the CIA, NSA, and every military intelligence agency working on that question.
Looking at a prediction success rate of the above that makes weather men and stock market analysts seem like Nostradamus, if anyone can’t take that data point and extrapolate the predominant maximal stupidity and mental powers of the above-referenced groups, I cannot help you any further.

(For Reference:
 Major Missed Calls
Iron Curtain
fall of China
Korean War
Berlin Wall
Missiles In Cuba
Vietnam debacle
at least three Mideast wars
Rise of OPEC
Berlin Wall coming down
Fall of Soviet Union
Invasion of Kuwait
And that’s just the major cluelessness since 1945, not even getting into the everyday weeds where they’re less informed than most).
So if the "experts" have no clue, what can you do?
Most major life emergencies can best be solved with a passport, a credit card, and $20K worth of small bills in cash, in your hand.
(Concealed pistol optional.)
Everything else is second best.

But that’s still only most emergencies, not all.
For the rest, canned goods (both #10, and the olive drab kind) take rather more precedence.

A prudent person who prepares for not only the worst case imaginable, but also for the unimaginably bad case (what Mr. Sec. Rumsfeld referred to perspicaciously as unknown unknowns), will always do the best, overall. Because the main preps for SMOD versus looting at the local Food King versus an F5 tornado coming up the road are remarkably similar.

This is why your great-great-great-grand-relative and mine all still trace their ultimate ancestry to Noah & Sons Cruise Lines, LLC.

So, for anyone's general reference, a cubit is a unit of measurement 18 inches long.
And you should know a wee bit about marine architecture, in a metaphorical sense.
Because everyone laughs at the ark-builders.
Until it starts to rain.


Fred ∆ said...

I burned my passport. A Sweet F5 Tornado of Death would be a blessing. We've known since the early 70's and the Church Committee on MkUltra that the IC was more of a domestic threat than defender of the Republic. Vietnam.

I eat, drink, find joy in my daily toil to hold my few acres and water supply until my corpse is eaten by vultures.

There is nothing new under the Sun, Utopia is a shithole in south Texas, there is no safe place.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

I visited the USSR as a tourist in 1988 and enjoyed my visit thoroughly. The Russians and people in other parts of the now defunct USSR were universally friendly, gracious, intelligent and helpful. The Ukrainians, Estonians et al. let me know (politely) that they weren't Russians and certainly weren't Communists.

The first night I arrived in Moscow I travelled on the Moscow Metro from my hotel to Red Square. Less than fifty yards from one of the gates to the Kremlin on a beautiful summer night the Soviet citizens immediately identified me as an American tourist and freely spoke to me without an ounce of fear. "Communism sucks", America number one! were things I commonly heard near the Kremlin gates and 50 feet from the tomb of Lenin. I heard similar things throughout my travels in the USSR. To say I was dumbfounded would be an understatement.

No one in the USSR I met was a Communist or seemed to have any fear of the KGB or other government officials. My Intourist guide was somewhat embarrassed by this sort of thing but took it in stride, he was used to this. I also attended an Orthodox Mass in a chapel in what was then Leningrad and received communion. My taxi driver and guide attended Mass with me but declined communion as he hadn't been to Mass in a long time although he had been baptised into the Orthodox Faith.

My experiences may have been different had I visited at other times but I found my visit enlightening. When I told people back here in the U.S. about my experiences including attending an Orthodox Mass and receiving communion some people refused to believe me. The fact that not fifty yards from the Kremlin people spontaneously told me that Communism sucks was impossible for some people to believe also.

Shortly after my return to the U.S. the Berlin Wall came down, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and the USSR collapsed, peacefully. All of this was a great surprise to the so-called "Intelligence Agencies". The "intelligence Agencies" apparently were unaware of the complete lack of popular support for the Communist government of the USSR and its implications. A simple walk around the major cities of the USSR as a tourist provided more useful insights into the future of the USSR than all the billions of USD spent by the U.S. Government with all their high tech bullshit.

Since my visit to the now defunct USSR I disregard what government officials and "experts" say. There are genuine experts in technical fields e.g. medicine, engineering etc. but the rest are stuffed more full of shit than a Christmas turkey. YMMV but take the views of "experts" with a grain, maybe a pound of salt.

NE Heretic

John Wilder said...

Perfect answer. There are problems that can be solved with a kind word. There are MANY more problems that can be solved with $20K in cash, a .45 ACP, a kind word, and a flexible mind that can adapt to the situation at hand, realizing the days of Ruffles, PEZ, and Netflix is over.

Perfect answer.

Anonymous said...

Your EDC travel kit sounds like a very good item to have if you driven to ground. I'd add a good multi-tool and windbreaker to it as well. How would you carry that much $$$ in small bills on your person ?

McChuck said...

We still use cubits. They're 16" now, and carpenter's squares are based on them. Stud spacing and block sizes are all based on the modern cubit.

A standard, once established, lasts forever.

Pat H. said...

I've seen a figure of 30 billion dollars as the budget aggregate of the expenditure on intelligence agencies. Your list of their major failures is accurate. A long time ago I was a field "pawn" for the NSA, you have it right. I remember well the video of the radar image of the Soviet Union's aerial invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the US government did nothing.

Peter B said...

CDR Salamander's piece today expands on the issue of women in the navy.

That, and the depressing litany from Aesop doesn't even mention the maintenance problems though Sal goes into that in other places.

For example, from September of last year:
"1. We have a huge backlog of deferred maintenance and gundecked maintenance needing correction that needs funds.
2. We are not properly budgeting (though indications are improvements are being made here in the last year+), in time or money how much it is going to take to make sure our ships last as long as some want them too."

Aesop said...

I'm aware of the maintenance issue; most of our ships coming into port look like rustbucket refugees from the Russian Navy.
But it barely makes the Top Ten list of current problems, because there are so many bigger issues.