Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day

If you are able, save them a place inside you

And save one backward glance when you are leaving

For the places they can no longer go.

Be not ashamed to say you loved them,

Though you may, or may not have always.

Take what they have left, or what they have taught you

With their dying, and keep it as your own.

And in that time when men decide, or feel safe,

To call the war insane, take one moment

To embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.

                    - Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell

                      KIA, Cambodia, March 1970

We'll remind those who need it that this day is not to wish any veteran a "thank you" for their service.

Unless you're doing it while laying a wreath at their gravesite.

But it's okay to enjoy a ball game, a picnic, a long holiday. They'd not begrudge you that. Just take a moment to recall that they bought it for you, and gave up all their tomorrows, to pay for your today.

And take a moment, if only in your heart, "to embrace those gentle heroes left behind".

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sunday Music: Danger Zone


Monster 1986 soundtrack hit (peaked at #2), back in play this weekend as the sequel soars to record opening numbers worldwide, even without Russia and China box office. And because there hasn't been a Navy pilot in 35 years who doesn't hear this in their head every time they do a carrier cat shot. You had to know this was coming today, right?

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Good News

 h/t B

Get To It


Given his unfortunate recent travails, Mike at Cold Fury kicks the hell out of some asses long overdue for it. RTWT.

The question of the day isn't whether we vote for full-bore communism, or the kinder, gentler, light beer slow-roll of the same thing, just with more subtlety.

The question is how long until you fire all the sons of bitches outright, and vote in a party that aligns with your values, and will actually DO something about supporting them, come Hell or high water?

If you can't figure out the answer to that, you're the walking definition of Insanity:

Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

If that's your cunning plan, TINVOWOOT.

And "doing something" isn't going to be a slightly more strident form of the republic.

It's going to mean trials and gibbets in job lots. Or far, far worse. Once you break the rice bowls and invalidate those EBT bribe cards, and start rounding up the Usual Suspects just for the crimes committed against the Republic in only this century, things will get sporty rather rapidly.

The Pipe-Hitting Years are approaching. And not the ones Hunter Biden means. Best get ready for that.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Bring It

h/t Bennett's Phylactery 

Top Gun: Maverick

(No spoilers. Okay, almost.)

Most sequels suck. Even more so, sequels based on 36-year-old original material.

Hollywood usually - in fact reliably - screws the pooch on nearly all of them, because they can, and because most producers aren't even 36 years old. Now you know why they screw the pooch so often.

This is the exception that proves that rule. Cruise wouldn't let them screw this one up, not least because he was one of the producers (and let's face it, without him, as producer or not, there is no Top Gun sequel.)

This was in the can 2½ years ago, but COVID kept getting in the way of its release, and it was pushed from a year ago to last Thanksgiving to, finally, this Memorial Day weekend. It was worth the wait.

If you didn't like the original, don't bother. If you really liked the original, and saw it in the theaters, get yourself back to one now, and see this film. Ideally, in an IMAX theater. This movie is was what IMAX was made for, and this movie was shot for IMAX. You've never seen flying sequences like this, and as Jerry Bruckheimer said in lead-in interviews, you probably never will again either.

It tells a new story, but wraps itself in enough of the original to be satisfying. They couldn't get Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Clarence Gilyard, or Rick Rossovich back for this one, let alone older-than-dirt dinosaurs like James Tolkan (90), Tom Skerrit (88), or Michael Ironside (72) but the use of Val Kilmer was priceless.

And if Jennifer Connelly had been cast as the original Penny Benjamin and seen in the original film, we'd get why Maverick broke rules for her, but she'd have been jailbait at the tender age of 16 when the original premiered (she did Labyrinth that year). And we've been in hardcore lust with her since at least 1991, when she did both Career Opportunities and The Rocketeer (both of which you should catch some time, even if just for her). It also helps that at 51 now, and 48 when this was filmed, time has been far kinder to her than it has to currently best-left-in-your-80s-memories Kelly McGillis, now 64, and looking like somebody's cat-lady box wine granny. >shivers<. (Don't look. You were warned.)

You want to know spoilers, beyond the eleventeen trailers released over the last two years? Okay: you haven't seen your last Tomcat dogfight. Want more? Go. See. The. Movie.

You won't be disappointed. 

Our Rating: Fleet Admiral - 5 stars.

"Maverick is cleared for launch on Cat 1..."

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Who Run Bartertown?

The first two Godfather movies should be required viewing for Political Science 101. It's Plato, Machiavelli, von Clauswitz, and Sun Tzu, in Technicolor.

Case in point:

Bonasera comes to America and finds freedom, peace, law and order, circa 1990.

Then young punks (Putin) rape his daughter, twice, once by taking Crimea back, and again by putting paratroops in street clothes into Donetsk and Luhansk, and claiming they wanted "independence".

Finlly, Putin comes back to rape and pillage a third time, and Bonasera goes to the Godfather (the West) for justice.

The Godfather sends a couple of Clemenza's people, Javelin, NLAW, etc., over to break the punks' legs, and now Bonasera finds himself forever indebted to the Godfather.


Putin hasn't been able to take Ukraine in three months and tens of thousands of casualties of trying, and he's bleeding himself white for the effort. And the Godfather is upset with him for disrespecting his protection.

All Putin can do is scorch the earth, endlessly, and win a mouthful of ashes. He's a proud fool, and a slow learner. When broken knees don't get the point across, the arms will be next.

But the West could snuff out Ukraine's candle with the snap of a finger, merely by withdrawing any further aid.

That's power.

90 Minutes


The chickensh*t douchebadges in Uvalde who stood around
"just following orders" deserve so many white feathers over this,
 they could make a whole chicken. What a waste of skin and oxygen
that Fate lets them live who stood by as little kids were slaughtered.

Color Me Shocked:

Chickenshit douchebadges in kevlar vests and with rifles on, stood around "forming a perimeter" while 18 y.o. mental defective slaughtered children unhindered in Uvalde elementary school, as kids' parents futilely urged cops to "do something" for an hour and a half.

The. SPECIAL. Hell.

Because if spectating while children are being gunned down, just to save your pension, isn't child molestation, strike the phrase from the lexicons. Uvalde badged chickenshits, consider yourselves served with the Official White Feather of Cowardice. Please, we besech you, do the right thing: go home and eat your guns, if you have a shred of dignity left.

Those gutless m*****f*****s, from chief to lowest beat cop, should be fired for cause, and en masse, and all policing duties turned over to the county sheriff and Texas Rangers, until they can find some non-chickenshits and train them to do the job correctly, from scratch.

All their names and likenesses should be memorialized on a plaque in perpetutity at Cowards' Park, erected on the school front lawn, publicly identifying every single one of them as the cowards they are, for all time, with a giant white chicken atop the marble marker.

They were more afraid of a tranny shooter than they were the endless lifetime of shame of being cowards when it mattered.

And they should be rewarded by the city and its citizens for that behavior for all time.

Teaching that lesson to generations of school kids would be worth gold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Um, No


Angus has undertaken to give historical background to the Ukrainian artillery tactics we described last week.

I am sure his artillery history per se is excruciatingly correct, and beyond dispute, and you are unhesitatingly recommended to read the exposition given.

The problem, however, is that his explanation of how this current thing is not new, basically did a face plant.

Firstly, what he describes, a Time On Target (TOT):

Multiple guns in multiple batteries fire all their tubes at different times (based on flight time) such that all the rounds land on that single target nearly simultaneously, or at least, close enough as makes no difference. Infantry mortars and even air-to-ground munitions can be added, just for grins. Any way you do it, at any size, it's Hell, in a very small space.

Each battery of 6-8 guns fires their rounds the indicated number
 of seconds prior to the planned TOT.
Think "Whump...Whump......Whump.....Whump...Whump....."
Then all 30-40 of those shells impact within 1-2 seconds.
The only thing more awe-inspiring would be God's own
thunder from a lightning strike (or 40 of them in
a second or two, at one spot), but the devastation is
near identical for anything at that address.

Having participated in everything up to a regimental TOT, where every tube in the 10th or 11th Marines (90+ tubes, from 16 batteries with 6-8 towed and SP pieces each, at the time) dropped their shells from 105s, 155s, and 203s all on one specific given point within 1-2 seconds of each other, I will allow that they are properly glorious for everyone involved, other than anyone inhabiting said target. Which is rather the point.

They do that because artillery per each is inherently inaccurate, and thus an area weapon, fired like a shotgun. A TOT is like firing all the rounds in a single shotgun at once, at whatever poor SOBs are in that impact area.

That is NOT what Herr Oberst Reisner was describing in the linked video.

The Ukrainians spread those 6-8 gun batteries down to 1 or 2 tube sub-units, all linked on StarLink, and all using the GIS ARTA targeting program, (neither of which anyone had before) and each one picks an identified target, and shoots at it as soon as they're ready. Then they look at the update, and see what hasn't been waxed, and shoot at that, until there's nothing left to shoot at. Each sub-unit shoots when it wants, and then the guys (as we covered in an earlier ITC video) scamper in the rare case of counter-battery return fire, while other sub-units pick up the fight from a different position until there are no more Russians to shoot up, either from their destruction in smoking heaps, or their hasty retreat. Usually a couple of minutes either way.

Counter-battery fire is somewhere between pointless to impossible, both because Vlad's artillery counter-battery assets work as well as the rest of his Potemkin military to date, and because hitting 10, 20, 50 or more different single-tube targets would take hours, and require more artillery than there is in the entire Russian Army, and metric fucktons of ammo to splatter-fire an entire grid square just to take out one single tube, and 3-6 guys, plus a couple of dozen unfired rounds. If Vlad wants to try and use 500 rounds to kill one gun, even the Ukes (hell, even Ewok log and rock catapults) can play that game all week long, and twice on Sundays, from here to the next millenium, and come out ahead.

That looks like this:

Ukrainian artillery bushwhack ca. 2022
AKA: How To Erase An Enemy Regimental Task Force,
In 5 Minutes Or Less

The Ukes DGAF when rounds land on the multiple targets, nor are they synchronizing any attacks (which is the entire point of doing a TOT), nor are they having all tubes/weapons impact the same rough patch of real estate. Their only concern is that all visible targets get serviced as rapidly as possible. The whole point is to get first- or second-round direct hits.(Word To Your Mother: Until very recently, artillery doesn't GET first-round direct hits. Period.) They're inviting, via that GIS ARTA app, every single weapon system that can be brought to bear to hit anything and everything within their own range fan, which targets are also dispersed, and which is something nobody did with arty before now, including us, because now arty can drop a shell with accuracy rivalling that of tank cannon in direct fire, so that instead of shooting up a vehicle from a couple thousand yards, they're dropping heavy arty on a target from a dozen or more grid squares away. (Our preference to date is to do that with LGBs from aircraft.) 

It is exactly the company of long range snipers I described in the OP, rather than the historical artillery idea of a mob of musketeers doing a group mugging, which ain't nobody been able to do before now, and you can't "invent" that if you can't do it. This is why Edison gets credit for inventing the light bulb, and the Wright Brothers with inventing the airplane, because their versions worked, and which is why we don't give the credit to some nameless fantasizers who thought "Wouldn't it be great to light the room with electricity instead of fire?" or "Wouldn't it be cool to fly a heavier-than-air craft wherever you wanted?"

The Ukes are thus not doing anything like a TOT. So thanks for playing, but we know whereof we speak, from firsthand experience, and we know the difference between this, and a TOT. The two are worlds apart.

They didn't invent all the components, but they synthesized those other things together into a coherent whole like no one has ever done with artillery, and when they do it well, they're erasing Russian units up to regimental level (1000-2000 guys, and all their equipment larger than a Toyota) in a few minutes.

We don't even do this now. (Nor, AFAIK, does anyone else. YET.) We drop a round, adjust, drop another round, adjust, and so on, and then fire for effect (i.e. drop a shit-ton of rounds on the last spot) once we're on the bullseye. If we had this level of artillery accuracy (which two words, to this point in history, were generally understood to be an oxymoron on the level of jumbo shrimp, government help, or military intelligence) in Iraq/A-stan, we would have deployed all our available arty assets in firebases, along with Predator drones to spot, and simply erased the Taliban and Iraqi insurgencies one shell at a time, with virtually zero risk, unless they tried to mob attack a FSB, and walked into interlocking fields of fire from miniguns.

Traditionally, artillery is a shotgun, fired by a blind man, and coached by someone nearby; the Uke concept of operation is using it as a sniper rifle, and it's kicking the shit out of Vlad's minions, over and over again. The observable secondary explosions after arty impacts on video after video are the proof of the pudding. Welcome to the Big League, rookies.

Anybody who still thinks this current employment is a TOT, or has been done before as-is, is free to specify who made it work like this, and explain why it isn't therefore the universal artillery tactical rule, instead of the exception, being some mythical number of decades old, for all artillery since whatever mythical invention date so specified, and how come it's become so devastating to the Russians, who should have known better, being formerly thought of as the world Subject Matter Experts on artillery usage in combat up until 1945, or even 1985.

This is like explaining that Moses and the Israelites really only escaped through a marsh a few inches deep, and then having to explain how that water level drowned all of Pharoah's pursuing army and charioteers.

Sorry, but that's how it works. It's theoretically possible that I got it all wrong, along with the Austrian Army's head of R and D, and that despite his PhD, and everything he used to illustrate the point, he's historically ignorant about his entire profession.

But that's not where I'd put my chips if the wheel was spinning.


Something else Angus gets right is this news:

Russia is bringing T-62 tanks out of mothballs to replace the loss of T-72s and T-80s, which indicates that

1) The Russians aren't "winning" for any value of that word other than either "Pyrhhic" or "Mariupolic", and

2) They're now being forced to rely on vehicles that the Israelis were bitch-slapping around the Middle East 50 years ago, because modern AT missiles ate their lunch. Which things were what made those T-62s obsolete in the first place.

They're more advanced than lawn tractors, but if you couldn't win with top-tier gear, you aren't going to get it done against the same Javelins and NLAWS that kicked your ass earlier by using machinery that was obsolete almost before Vlad was born.

This is annoying for the Ukrainian forces, but mainly only if they run out of Western-supplied AT missiles before Russia runs out of mothballed crap from the 1970s to throw at them.

If Russia gets down to pulling T-34s from WWII out of museum displays, dollars to donuts they'll be using them for advancing on the Kremlin, not the Donbas.

But if Russian troops keep attacking, and can sop up enough AT missiles faster than they can be replaced, they might start to outlast the Uke resistance, and start to get some traction. It's unlikely given their past performance, but the law of averages says they can't stay incompetent forever.

Their attack is going to become a scorched-earth offense, which is going to tear the hell out of all the formerly Russia-friendly areas they hold now, which is where the war is being fought to a slogging standstill.

Remember please that Russia has no stomach for this endless slog; only Putin does. Putin's gamble is that he can maintain his tenuous grip on power long enough to eke out something like a win (which bus left the depot on about February 26th of this year). His victory conditions are not Ukraine's, and they only have to continue to exist. If/when Putin gets whacked or dies, the Ukes have an excellent shot at evicting what's left of the Russian incompetent and unmotivated hordes out of Crimea and the eastern districts forever, and based on current performance, the blood feud is going to make de-Russification of the entire Ukraine a territorial imperative they'll pursue with gusto.

And then join NATO, just for spite, making Putin's failure absolute.


And for those that need this explained in explicit detail:
This means Ukraine's continued existence is now at the whim of the West, not Putin.
Putin hasn't been able to overcome them in three months of trying.
The West, OTOH, could make Ukraine's candle wink out with the snap of a finger.
Now you know the answer to "Who run Bartertown?"

And you also now know why Gondor didn't want to ask Rohan for help against Mordor.
The fear of "strings attached".
In the real world, "help" always comes with strings. Of steel.

UPDATE II: Color me shocked!, Angus is butthurt that his sup-par mis-explanation of what the Ukrainians are doing got taken to task in painstaking detail. I laid out the substance a successful counter-argument would need to provide, above. With the whole internet to drop a link to, if any such existed. But no. Instead, we get a pigeon playing chess: knock the pieces over, shit on the board, and pretend you won. Well-played.

The Ukrainians aren't doing a TOT, nor anything like it. 
They aren't using tactics from 75-100 years ago that nobody could ever make work. 
They're doing something in combat that hasn't been seen before, because they can, and making it work, like no one else has done, for the first time in military history. Having a metaphorical sword at one's throat makes people do things like that.

(And no, Angus, I let the nonsense slide, but we didn't widely disperse individual tubes; not in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or any other place you could name. We don't do it now, either {Yet.}. And yet we have computers and GPS that would supposedly "make it easy". So why not? Because it would take 6-8 times as long just to lay the battery, and then you'd have to register each individual gun, just to know WTF you're hitting. But you don't know that, because you never had to lay a battery, or register a gun, and don't know what you don't know. And a TOT was and is multiple batteries, which were already dispersed, firing at a single target. Not single dispersed tubes from the same battery. It wasn't done to avoid counter-battery fire, it was done to provide a devastating effect on a single target, before people could dive for cover, so that instead of the first round, they got 30-50, or more, all at once, which is exactly NOT what the Ukrainians are doing in any way, shape, or form. 
They also aren't doing "shoot-and-scoot", which we did practice {it was SOP in the 1980s}. They're doing "shoot and take shelter in place while waiting to see if Ivan can even do counter-battery fire". Which lesson has been overwhelmingly, "No, he can't do that, and he can't even find his own ass with both hands and a map."} Not knowing any of this is why you should have stayed in your lane, or at least watched the Austrian Army video and learned a thing or two. You didn't set a clever trap; you simply don't know what you're taking about, but worse than that, you don't know what you don't know.)

And rather than shrug off the mistake, some people aren't happy until they aren't happy. Okay. Whatever floats your boat, chief, but you're still wrong, and now just being deliberately ignorant when corrected. This is what happens when apes read philosophy: they don't understand it. Best wishes with that plan going forward. 

Push That Button, Jack(hole)

h/t  Miguel

Idiots like Jim Barkley remind us of this guy:

Except not as funny, and we won't stop at just taking a finger.
Stop teasing us.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Where Your NPC "Logic" Sails Right Off The Cliff...


"Wait, what?!?

A Cautionary Tale

h/t Wilder


Also razors, soap, deodorant, and the Lever. Including the one on a toilet tank.

A picture may sometimes be worth a thousand words, but a bad one is never worth 1000 IQ points.

So if you're going to tell a story in pictures, select them carefully. And beware of memes you didn't make yourself.

And never ask rhetorical questions you haven't thought about, or to which you do not know the answer(s).

John knows better, but the genius who came up with the original meme clearly never took a chance on the second grade.

Not so funny when you turn up the brightness.

Making a meme, like everything else, is harder than it looks to the Dunning-Kruger crowd.

The essence of comedy is Truth. Stupidity is just farce, where you're the punchline.

Always, always: Make Good Choices.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday Music: Tin Man


America's fourth Top Ten hit, from November of '74, when fittingly, it made it to #4.

Friday, May 20, 2022

King Of Battle


(Shout out: I forget who tipped me off about this source, 
but many thanks. Pure gold.)

Assuming there are folks out there still interested in information, rather than posturing, empty gainsaying, and reflexively giving Putin his daily tongue-bath:

Why Vlad Is getting his Ass Kicked, Day 82

Oberst (Col.) Reisner of the Austrian Army giving a thoroughly professional and easily understandable briefing on why Ukraine keeps kicking the shit out of inferior Russian forces with artillery tactics hitherto largely unknown, and capabilities that are even better than us at our best to date, especially so for a fourth-rate military cobbled together under constant attack and three months of invasion by a nominally far stronger power.

(Click on YouTube to turn on CC, then go to settings, and select English captions, and Bob's your uncle, you've got the briefing in real time. You can even turn off the sound.)

In short:

1. Ukraine developed a simple program (GIS ARTA) which anyone, even people who are essentially untrained national guardsmen conscripts, can use to upload target info to the network in seconds, to within a couple of meters of accuracy. This wiped out any requirement for highly trained FOs, and shortened required competency at that task from months to minutes. That's world-beating.

2. Elon Musk's 1760-satellite multi-redundant and unjammable Starlink system communicates that data to every weapon system user on the network, in real time.

3. Ukraine deploys its artillery, not in traditional "Come counter-battery the shit out of me" compact battery formations, but rather in highly dispersed packets over wide areas, making counter-battery massing of fires immensely more difficult. Used to be, an artillery gun or rocket battery fit inside an acre or two, and Ivan's counter-battery would wipe out that whole grid square within 3 minutes. Now, the Ukes have dispersed their weapons over entire square miles and miles, and anything over everywhere can get the target, and open fire, and the fires are massed on the impact area, without the tubes or systems being massed from the launch point. This isn't evolutionary, it's revolutionary. It's the difference between taking a Napoleonic company of riflemen blasting away with smoothbore muskets, and transitioning your force to 200 guys with Barrett .50BMG sniper weapons, and scattering them from hell to breakfast, and having them pick off people from a mile away. Good luck returning that kind of incoming fire. (It was last tried by the US 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. Spoiler Alert: This did not go well for them.) 

(UPDATE: Sorry, Angus, but natzsofast: this is not a Time-On-Target (TOT), which item is pretty glorious, and in which we participated multiple times; that is a wholly different thing from what is being discussed here by Herr Oberst. See follow-on post.)

4. The Ukrainians are using laser-targeted and GPS guided projectiles, and getting first-round hits with artillery. Russia is getting, in their laps, what happened to Saddam's army for the first time in 1990, where you had LGBs going into truck windows, and through ventilation shafts at HQ, and precisely targeting anything you can see. And Ukrainian drones are seeing everything.

5. Turning this level of targeting on Russian HQ, and any massed forces. In the video, Col. Reisner notes 13 Soviet generals, and 30 colonels are now good Russians, courtesy of the Ukrainians shellacking the hell out of any Russian HQ they find. (FTR, IIRC, the US hasn't lost 13 generals in battle in the last century.)

The Ukrainians also wiped out the best part of two entire Russian assault battalions in that famous disaster of a bridging operation in Donetsk. When your forces are knocking the enemy's attacks out in job lots of 1000 men at a time, it's become less a battle, and more a harvest of baby Harp seals.

Ukraine is now visiting on Russian troops the sort of artillery bitch-slapping smackdown Russia was formerly famous for, only by using targeted sledgehammer blows, instead of dropping a bus on the target. And it's kicking Ivan's ass all the way back to the Russian border, chewing up the best he's got, and spitting out nothing but scrap metal and bloody bits of corpses. No wonder the Russian troops don't want to play any more. This is like playing Army, and you draw Iraqi Republican Guards, against the other guy's choice of US 1st Armored Division. The Washington Generals have a better chance against the Harlem Globetrotters.

But hey, why worry? This isn't really the Austrian military college's analysis, this is all "Globohomo propaganda", those 13 dead Russian generals and 30 colonels are all secretly massing for the Big Russian Counterattack, any day now, and everything is going according to Vlad's brilliant 97-dimensional master plan. (That's what you get when you listen to people who put the "anal" in "analysis", because that's where their heads are.)

For those of you still believing your lying eyes, instead of the World's Foremost Internet Experts, this is why the number of people still talking about Pee Wee Putin's Big Adventure are getting quieter and quieter, and turning into the Chicago Cubs Fans of Russian Cheerleading and Current Affairs.

From  Lenin to Putin, when your head guy is named Vladimir,
it's not going to go well.

And FWIW, mad props to the Austrian Army, which is putting out weekly Master's level commanding general briefings for free, on the internet, just because they can. And I don't know how large or ferocious the Austrian Army is, but if this guy is representative of their competence level, you do not want to f**k with them.

Thursday, May 19, 2022



Data Points




I. (US News - LONDON) Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost faith in his top general and has fired other senior commanders for their high-profile and embarrassing failures on the battlefield in Ukraine, British intelligence believes.

U.K. military intelligence reports Tuesday morning that the Kremlin has fired Lt. Gen. Serhiy Kisel, commander of the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, for failing to capture Kharkiv. International attention has focused on the strategically critical northeastern Ukrainian city in recent days following news Ukrainian forces capitalized on Russia’s retreat and had pushed the invading troopss back to their border. The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, has also come under suspension likely for allowing the flagship cruiser Moskva to sink in April from an apparent missile attack – for which the Ukrainian military claims credit. 

Perhaps most notably, Valeriy Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff – a position roughly analogous to the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs – remains in his post but, British intelligence believes, “it is unclear whether he retains the confidence of President Putin.”

The damning assessment follows reports that at least a dozen Russian generals have died on the battlefield – a seemingly stunning fact that the Pentagon has downplayed as indicative of how the Kremlin goes to war combined with the dysfunctional state of a Soviet-era army.


II.  (Metro-UK)Putin ‘facing a coup after his closest allies accept they’ve lost the war’

Vladimir Putin's top security officials think the war in Ukraine is 'lost', making the chances of a coup more likely, an analyst in Moscow says. The chances of the Russian tyrant launching a nuclear strike are receding as it is likely people would refuse to carry out his order. That's according to expert and investigative journalist Christo Grozev, who suggests Putin is losing his grip on power. He says leading officials are unlikely to obey Putin's commands to launch nukes as they don't trust he will still be in power in three months time. 'I think that it is the informed elite within the security forces who understand that the war is lost,' Grozev told Radio Liberty. He said Putin's inner circle understand the president would need a full mass mobilisation to win the war, but this would cause a 'social explosion' in Russia. Some hardliners may pressure for use of nuclear or chemical weapons, Grozev warned. But others will say 'enough is enough' and 'it is better not to waste another 10,000 lives of our soldiers and officers'. Grozev, lead Russia investigator for investigative journalist group Bellingcat, said one or more of the 'five hands' needed to launch Russia's nukes could end up defying Putin. 'And this refusal will be the trigger, most likely, a coup d'état, because after the refusal to comply with the order of the king, everything will go down very quickly,' he added. 'If Putin decides to give an order to use nuclear weapons, he must be sure that everyone along the chain will carry out this order'. If one person does not comply, Grozev says this will be a 'signal of insubordination' which could lead to the 'death of Putin'. 'So until he is sure that everyone will comply, he will not give this order,' he added. It is known that defence minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the defence staff Valery Gerasimov would both need to sanction a nuclear strike. The journalist said senior figures from the FSB security agency and the GRU military intelligence organisation are preparing for life after Putin. He said the 'FSB elite' knows exactly how many Russian troops have died in Ukraine and knows that the loved ones of the dead or missing 'do not stop asking questions'. 'They know that this situation will eventually get out of hand,' Grozev added. 'This is already a kind of betrayal by these people, because they do not follow the ideological orders of the Kremlin, but are preparing for an alternative reality'.

Bummer for Vlad. 


"From Elsewhere"

"Russia’s military BS, its inflated readiness and pencilwhipped training & inspections, deceived the worst targets possible: their own high command.

It’s pretty obvious that Russia thought they would pin the bulk of the Ukrainian army’s best units in the Donbas and trap it with a double envelopment, preventing it from pulling back to reinforce the capital, which would be seized by a coup de main striking south from Byelorussia linking up with the airhead at Hostomel.

All very Shock & Awe. Very lighting warfare and deep battle. And literally none of it came true because it was all wishcasting based on undertrained troops and fantasyland readiness reports.

We're curious, because a quick quote search on Gulag and Bing revealed no matching language, presumably anywhere (or at least, anywhere its search engines chose to reveal). And Tam, usually happy to post a link, has none for this snippet, merely heading it "From Elsewhere". So our interest is piqued, but we'd rather see the primary source ourselves.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Mariupolic Victory


Finally, Some Good News For Putin's Fanboys!


За здоровье!

Glorious Russian Army Finally declares victory in Mariupol after 21 33 45 days of trying!

Russia reports 265 Ukrainian fighters, most of them unwounded and fully able to continue to resist, bored and tiring of waiting nearly six weeks for the Russians to finally win on their own, decided to shorten the contest, and under direct orders from their own military command, walked out and surrendered instead. Which time period is slightly longer than it took the U.S. to militarily defeat the Afghani and Iraqi armies, depose Noriega in Panama, and free Grenada from a communist coup, combined.

Better news: at that rate of attrition, and after the expenditure of tens of thousands of rounds of artillery to not kill any Ukrainian fighters, Russia can look forward to conquering all of Ukraine, in only an additional 16,272 years, 1 month, and 18 days.

It looks like it will be a fine day for Mother Russia on July 6th,18,094 A.D., when they finally get the last Ukrainians to walk out and give up.

Of course, that assumes Russia can ever cut the rest of Ukraine off as rapidly and totally as the six weeks it took to do so in Mariupol, to achieve this stunning victory over one single steel plant in a single mid-sized city. If, on the other hand, they fail to cut off all further military re-supply from the West, it may take Russian military incompetents considerably longer to conquer all of Ukraine than a paltry sixteen millennia.

Walk tall, Ivan! A Mariupol "victory" is now orders of magnitude worse than a mere Pyrrhic one.

But seriously: Watch what happens next. If Vlad was serious, rather than just offering a pizzling excuse as a pretext for a naked land grab, now is the perfect opportunity for Russia to declare victory over the Nazi bastards, and get the hell out of Ukraine, before risking any more blood and treasure while they embarrass themselves in front of the entire world. If they do that now, they solve a ridiculous number of self-inflicted problems, and scrape a lot of egg off their faces. Not all, but a lot.

If, instead, they redouble their flailing efforts, that crapola was just boob bait for the bubbas, and they're going to keep shooting holes in their own junk until they run out of sausage, until someone gives Putin a 9mm Q-tip, or until half the northern hemisphere glows in the dark.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Why Is That?

 h/t My Daily Kona

The Russian Army of 1980 called. From the convalescent hospital.
On life support.

As in, "Why do we keep getting it right, and the Putin-fanboys keep doing an endless faceplant?"

How The Soviet Army Fights: RTWT  

Go read Mr. Garibaldi's accurate 30-second thumbnail on how the Soviet Army trained to fight.

That was exactly the Soviet model doctrine. We knew it backwards and forwards. Hell, I read the whole collection from the S-2's open shelves while I was on battalion guard duty. It's not that complicated, and was written at a high school grade level, like most military manuals.

And that was great, when Ivan had 50,000 tanks to our 10,000, and his senior generals had no-shit fought German panzers at Kursk, and crushed them.

That was in the 1980s. When Russia was the Soviet Union.

But what too many fanboys forget, is that was then.

Here's a not-so-subtle clue:

This is 1980s heartthrob Kelly McGillis, co-star with Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise from movies like Witness and Top Gun, in a t-shirt and shades:

Hot stuff in 1986.

This is her in t-shirt and shades now:

There ain't enough lipstick to put on that to make anybody want it. It's box wine and cats forever. Time is cruel to women. They shine brightly when young, but biology's payback for that is that they age like milk, not wine.

Now imagine that as the entire Russian Army, after divorcing from Daddy Warbucks in 1990, living not in a Black Sea dacha on champagne and caviar budgets, but on vodka and cabbage soup and dwindling government handouts for forty years. And haven't won a war in 70+ years.

That's the force you were so certain was going to stomp Ukraine in 2022.

Ukraine, conversely, dumped Russia in 1990. At the same time Russians were siphoning alcohol from missiles to drink, Ukraine started beefing up its forces with Western technology. They accelerated this when Putin invaded once to steal back the Crimea (because he wanted it), and again when he invaded Donbas with soldiers in civvies. Both those illegal invasions took place under Putin, and both before 2022. So when the war drums were pounded again (mostly by D.C., and by Putin, not by Kyiv) they started getting their hands on mil-tech with a vengeance, and they'd spent years preparing for Russian grabbiness when it came calling the third time.

And once all of Europe, and most of the rest of the world, saw Russian military adventurism as a direct threat, the floodgates really opened, to a country neither as tiny as Chechenya, nor as backwards as Georgia, and the results in Ukraine have been anything but spectacular for Russia, but phenomenal for an army nominally outnumbered 10:1 by Russia.

Take another look at Kelly McGillis now, and see why.

Things get old. Rust never sleeps. People joining the army literally for the potato soup and a bed aren't as motivated as people fighting for their own homes, farms, and country.

The Russian troops rapidly don't want to be there, and sure as hell don't want to die there.

The Ukrainian troops are on the exact opposite end of that spectrum.

The Russians have no NCO cadre, and no junior leadership. When their senior leadership is incompetent, or takes a bullet in the head, they lose their collective shit, and they get slaughtered. They've been taking it in the head for going on three months, and they aren't getting better, they're getting worse, with less equipment, zero morale, and fewer leaders who have a clue, rather than a bullet in the head. And Vlad's not helping by shooting the old ones when they fail him either.

This was both predictable, and predicted, to anyone not taken in by knee-jerk anti-Biden responses, and people pimping an army that ceased to exist 40 years ago as being a world-beater. It's more of a wife-beater: fine for putting down tiny republics with disarmed citizens, but hopelessly outclassed by 40 years of military technology advances from the West, in the hands of a motivated people with a hard-on for payback for Stalin's Holodomor. Anyone who couldn't see that coming a mile off is simply too short to be talking geopolitics and military affairs with grown-ups.

Was this war cobbled up by Poopypants' minions in D.C., as a distraction from 57 massive failures, from election fraud to rampant inflation and looming economic collapse?

ABSOLUTELY IT WAS. We've never made any secret of that, nor failed to call it out.

But Russia remains in only one sense anything more than a Turd World failed state: they still have nuclear-tipped ICBMs in substantial numbers. Because they're drunken paranoid fucks with a pathological inferiority complex, have been since the 1400s, and getting invaded by Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and Hitler over the centuries hasn't helped their mindset or disposition. Even though their artillery can only hit minute-of-Mariupol, for a 10MT hydrogen warhead on an American city, that's close enough.

And that's the only reason why nipping their military escapades in the bud is important. They can stew all they want; they can beat their chests all they want; they can even beat up their subjugated client-state constituents all they like, as they've done for centuries. But once they step outside their own territorial boundaries because they think they CAN, they're a bully in need of getting their dicks kicked up to their throats.

History teaches this lesson with excruciating clarity, over and over again.

Which is why we will cheer Ukraine and jeer Putin's warmaking until we are hoarse, and why anyone with a lick of sense should do so as well.

The sooner Putin either quits, or dies, the better for humanity. Then we can go back to letting Ukraine make its own way in the world, and go back to largely ignoring Russia as the vodka-soaked incompetent irrelevancy it has been and will be again, left to its own devices. Until they stop hugging dictators, keeping their heads down, and just following orders, as they've done since the czars, they will continue to be a failed state. Nothing has changed just because Emperor Poopypants and his minions needed a proxy war with them as a political tampon, to staunch the flow of blood from their pussified regime.

If you're butthurt by that, you've been on the wrong side of this since the outset. Sorry there's no nice way to say that. So just stop already.

Know When To Say When


Stop buying it by the case.

Just quit cold-turkey.

Your life will improve immeasurably.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Lakehurst, N.J.: LZ Hindenburg Coming In For A Landing

h/t WRSA


Item One:

On Sunday, the foreign policy blogs were abuzz with the news that Scott Ritter had done “an about-face in his assessment of the war”. It appears that the ex-Marine had examined recent developments in Ukraine and concluded that it’s going to be much harder for Russia to win than he had originally thought..

O, ye gods and little fishes, if only someone, somewhere, ANYWHERE, had told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, that Putin had massively miscalculated, and that he and his assclown minions were merrily shooting themselves in the feet so many times they were running out of toes, based on report after report after video after video ad infinitum.

But wait! There's MORE!

Item Two:

Scott Ritter — “The thing that frustrates me… is that, it was my assessment that it would be very hard for Ukraine to absorb this new equipment and material (Material– the additional lethal weapons that have recently been shipped to Ukraine) but the howitzers are already operating against Russia. They are having an effect in the Kharkov region. Not all 90 of them, but they have several batteries in place that are being used.

The fact that these advanced howitzers are operating on the front lines right now, shows there’s something wrong with the Russian methodology. And–unless they alter that methodology– I think we’re in for a very long summer.

Sweet blistering fuck! Aiyee, the humanity, O the humanity! If only someone, maybe with a tad bit of artillery experience, had told you firsthand how hard learning field artillery work IS NOT, and had then gone on to point out that such could be accomplished in days, not months.

If, If, If. If only the World's Foremost Experts had stopped listening to the sound of their own awesomeness for thirty seconds, they wouldn't fully deserve the catastrophe of Reality now cudgeling them about the head and shoulders with 20-pound iron kettlebells.

Me? I'm laughing my @$$ off right now!

Could this two-course feast of Crow possibly turn into a three-course banquet?

Item Three:

And the fighting that’s taking place right now –even though it is slaughtering Ukrainians– it isn’t cost free to the Russians. They’re losing equipment, they’re losing men, they’re losing material, and unless Putin mobilizes or transfers forces in, those aren’t being replaced. So, instead of having 200,000 online, Russia might have 180,000 men. And if you don’t think removing 20,000 men doesn’t change the options available to the Russian leadership, then you don’t know anything about war.”


Waitwaitwait. You're saying that Russia losing substantial numbers of front-line troops - which Russia swears, cross our black hearts, hasn't happened - could seriously get their military dicks chopped off? Who knew? Who could possibly have foreseen that Russian military strength wasn't endless, and that losing the tiger's teeth and claws would relegate him to a zoo curiosity instead of a fearsome predator in mere days?

Who indeed.

blog comments that didn't age well

Maybe some folks might begin to twig to the reason why I've tagged multiple posts regarding events in the Ukraine with

Cleat Marks In Your Dick Are Hard To Heal

Clever readers, who knew this all along, will thus be in no wise shocked that this post is tagged:

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Music: A Taste Of Honey


The second big hit for Herb Alpert (the "A" in A&M Records) and The Tijuana Brass, this one from 1965 hit #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and stayed there for five weeks, and made it to #7 on the Hot 100, and the song and album won four Grammy awards.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Recharging Batteries


As in mine. Thursday was more trauma classes. New toys, new procedures. Don't go into the medical field if you hate school: learning never stops. Never. And just for more fun, an entirely new computer system, which they've been threatening/promising since before COVID, will apparently finally be dropped on us by the end of this year. Oh goody.

Meanwhile, stocking up hereabouts. On everything. Pushing months of redundancy into years is slow, steady, work. Which will be followed by another weekend of saving lives. Which is sometimes an inside joke, and far more frequently of late, exactly what's going on. Warmer weather and longer days means people are out and about more, doing stupid things and winning stupid prizes. The only constant is the constant conga line of illness, accident, and on-purpose mayhem, for most of the next week.

And the big wide world seems locked into SS,DD Mode, so it's not like I'm missing anything there.

So I'm taking the morning off. Y'all have fun, and amuse yourselves. We expect we'll be back when the spirit moves.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


 h/t TBC

The Rugged Life: Book Review


We accidentally picked this up yesterday at Big Box Bookstore, who had it (purposefully?) misfiled under Arts and Crafts, which is a bizarre choice for shelving a book on Day One of release from a multiple NYTimes best-selling author. "Accidently", because we were going to get it from the 'zon a couple of bucks cheaper, but a bird in the hand, and all that, so it followed us home, which gets it out of our online "Want This" queue, where it's waited patiently for the book's release date.

His earlier works are nearly all go-to pure gold (Deadly Skills and Deadly Skills: Survival Edition are five-star recommendations; Deadly Skills: Combat Edition decidedly less so, chiefly because Emerson farmed it out to a bunch of people who had varying levels of actual skill, widely varying abilities to explain or teach combatives with the written word, several who are quite frankly full of crap, and none of whom have Emerson's ability to convey the subject, nor the real-world back-up to tell what works from crapola. But I digress.)

This work, being completely outside Emerson's SEAL skillset and wheelhouse, is one where he nonetheless learned from his mistake with the Combat edition, and rather than dealing the authorship out to less-qualified others, he took it upon himself to learn firsthand from subject-matter experts, and then distill the key points down himself.

A few hours in, we're not quite halfway through the 270-something pages, and what we've read so far is worthwhile. As we'd expect, he presents the topics logically, and in the manner of former MagPul trainer Travis Haley, doesn't present things in a "This is the only way to skin a cat" method, but rather, treats the reader as if they had a brain, by saying "This is what you'll need to do if you're going to do this all-out, but if you're not, you can try Option B or Option C, and find out what works best for you, at whatever level you need or want to be." Would that all instruction took that approach as often as possible. Sometimes, there is only one right way to do it, but in many things, there's quite a range of what works, and what doesn't.

Emerson lays out those options, with text, tables, and illustrations aplenty, and whether you're new to the ideas, or just want to check yourself and what you've already gotten going against some solid lists and suggestions, the book is worth the trouble, and the cover price. Many aren't, but this one is a keeper.

We get $0 from recommending it here, and paid for it with our own cash, which is why we do it. We don't recommend books we didn't buy, don't own, and/or haven't read ourself. If you have the desire to take care of your own business, and prepare for any number of bad things that may or may not happen, you're our people, i.e. the ones who'll generally be part of the solution, and not part of the Free Sh*t Army problem, in anything from a minor local mishap to a global calamity. Hopefully you never need any of this, and just benefit from a more connected life, less dependent on distant supply chains and the vagaries of political stupidity from our would-be overlords.

Recommended without hesitation.

That's Not Frustration

 h/t Wilder

Turns out not everything tastes like chicken.

Naked Men Should Not Do Magic Tricks

Some people disagree, fallaciously.

Because we can see where you're getting that rabbit, and now we know why it's brown.

Sorry to have to point out the obvious, but this is bassackwards, and btw, no, wet streets do NOT cause rain, and roosters crowing don't make the sun rise. That's reasoning on the level of an immature and ignorant child.

The recockulous and asinine implication stated therein is that "NATO and the US giving military aid to anyone is going to cause WW III".


This is like footnoting your thesis that short skirts cause rapes.

How fucking retarded is it?

It's as retarded as saying that you buying more guns and ammo is going to cause feral monkeys to do a home invasion on your place, kill you, rape your wife, kidnap your children, and sell your stuff at the pawn shop.

It's your fault.

The feral monkeys will stand blameless.

So might there be a WW III? Certainly.

Because Russia, (by which I mean PUTIN) is an expansionistic dictatorial terrorist state, attempting to grab every bit of not-its-territory it can steal, and sees the rest of the world, let alone the wishes of the object of its obsession, as no brake on its intentions.

It's not working out like he planned (gloriously!), and apparently he hasn't been kicked in the dick enough times to want to cease and desist. Yet.

When a pitbull has your neighbor by the throat, do you stop trying to change his plan because he's latched on like a tick, and the first ten whacks with the baseball bat to doggo's head haven't fully gotten his attention yet? No, you do not, unless you're a lazy worthless asshole.

Sending Ukraine whatever we can to deal with Russia's unconscionable invasion is what you do unless you're a lazy worthless asshole neighbor. If Russia(Putin) thinks nuclear war is the answer to that (rather than letting go, and knocking that off), then we can all worry about who rules in Hell, but clearly, anyone that insane isn't going to respond well to tender entreaties, they'll be emboldened in their insanity by your weakness, and you don't let them walk around on the loose either. (And we still suspect that at that point, Putin gets the 9mm Q-tip he's been begging for since late February, courtesy of someone within his inner circle with more of a grip on sanity, and less wedded to the idea of restoring the Soviet Union's full glory, even at the cost of global thermonuclear annihilation.)

To those who think this unreasonable:

Those who think otherwise would bargain with a crocodile in order to be accorded the privilege of being eaten last, and not see the problem there until their leg was in process of being bitten off up to their own ass.

Such people should be accorded no attention, and in fact ridiculed as harshly as is possible, commensurate with then ignoring any further babblings they might make. They are idiots. When in positions of decision, they are dangerous idiots.

Chamberlain's stupidity and France's cowardice plunged an entire continent into war. But, we almost forget, there was this feral asshole (or four) who may have had a wee bit more direct role in all that, wasn't there?

We tried isolationism in the 1930s. It got us precisely the World War of the 1940s almost nobody wanted. Because the fascist axis (which included Russia, until the honor among co-thieves caught up with them) were expansionist dictatorial terrorist states. And they would have happily taken everything without that war, but in the end, they wouldn't have settled for not getting what they wanted, and if all it took was a war, they thought the lemon was worth the squeeze.

Isolationism isn't an option ever, and in fact is even less of an option now than it was 80 years ago, when it was merely stupid and short-sighted. Now, it's suicidal. 

If you're still suffering from Stockholm Syndrome after nine decades of socialism lite here, it's time to seek professional help. (Or maybe a stout crowbar and some vaseline, to pull your head out of a very dark and smelly place. Dealer's choice.)

If you think arming your neighbor is what's going to cause bad people to attack them, and/or you, you're quite frankly around the psychological bend, and should be locked up for your own good, and heavily medicated, because logic and reason has left your zip code.

And concluding that helping somone else out to prevent a war here by letting them fight theirs there might not avail, does not therefore make that aid a cause of such a war, if it afterwards occurs.

But don't take my word for it. The fallacy underlying that sort of logical idiocy is well known;  you could look it up.

If someone wants to make the case that we're broker than broke, to the tune of negative trillions, and shouldn't be throwing around even more billions we don't have, make that argument. But you'd better be prepared to show the money we'll spend giving Social Security to illegal aliens and fake refugees, and handing out free crack pipes, which money will be spent, and without you raising a peep, is a far better investment of money-we-don't-have.

Otherwise, raise ten times more hell over that, or else STFU about the relative federal pittance "wasted" kicking Vlad in the nuts.

He needs it, and to the degree it's actual aid and not grift-bait, it's money well spent.