Halloween–2022

Today is the day we set aside of observe some pagan ritual that we have re-labeled as Halloween.

In that vain I would like to offer up a ‘spooky’ post in honor of this day.

Have you wished you could somehow access the thoughts of your dead loved ones?

If so I have a post for you……

On its face, it’s not that strange that James Vlahos can talk to his father, John, any time he wants to on the phone. He can ask him about his favorite sports team when he’s curious. Or when he wants to ask him what his favorite song is. When the feeling strikes, Vlahos can just shoot his dad a message to see how he’s doing. Whatever it is, his dad is always quick to respond—sometimes with a straightforward answer, and sometimes with a joke.

But here’s the thing: Vlahos’s dad is dead. He passed away in February 2017, due to stage-4 lung cancer. The person Vlahos can chat with today on his phone isn’t his father exactly. It’s an AI chatbot that father and son created after the family learned about John’s terminal diagnosis.

“We knew we were going to lose and were scrambling to find ways to remember him,” Vlahos told The Daily Beast. “Meanwhile, I was working on a book about conversational AI, so I was learning about all of these ways that we can teach computers to talk in human-like ways.”

Vlahos came to the idea rather suddenly. Instead of simply recording John’s memories and stories on audio or video, he could have a more interactive way to revisit his father’s memories and personality through the same AI technology he was already exploring. “That was what gave me this idea that I could make this memory-sharing chatbot that I came to call Dadbot,” Vlahos said.

 

He went on to pen a story about Dadbot for Wired in 2017. Then word started to spread. Emails and calls came in from people from all over the world who were dying or who had dying loved ones that wanted to create similar chatbots of their own. Would you make a Mombot for me? Would you make a Dadbot for me? This became the inspiration for HereAfter AI, a web app created by Vlahos that lets you “preserve meaningful memories about your life and interactively share them with the people you love,” according to its website.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/chatbots-by-james-vlahos-and-hereafter-ai-are-letting-you-talk-to-the-dead

Interesting, eh?

I do not need this ‘service’ for I was close with my father and knew full well what his thoughts were….he was a screaming bigot, he was also commenting on the female anatomy….and those were the main themes of his thoughts.

Check it oit and tell me your thoughts.

Happy Halloween

“lego ergo scribo”

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Progressives Are An Embarrassment….

Yes I am a Progressive (if you need more info try the search feature here on IST) and I was offended when Dems started using the term liberally, which is a lie they are just trying to sound as if they actually care about this country or its people…..and then there were some candidates that weer ‘true’ Progressives that won their local elections…..and then they went to DC and became what we now know as the “Squad”.

When they began in DC I was proud of the policies they were following and introducing into the process…..slowly they started showing signs of caving to the pressures of special interests and cash…..and now their decline has almost become complete……

They recently had a letter that voiced their displeasure with the Biden and his cronies over the war in Ukraine and the wasting of cash……but they pussied out…..

Progressive Democrats in the House have retracted a letter to President Biden calling for talks with Russia after facing backlash for suggesting the idea of pursuing diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine.

The letter was signed by 30 lawmakers and was led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In a statement, Jayapal said the letter was drafted several months ago and blamed its release on her staff.

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine,” Jayapal said. “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this.”

A source familiar with the matter contradicted the statement in comments to Politico, saying the letter’s release was personally signed off by Jayapal. The letter was initially drafted in June, and some signatories publicly said they wouldn’t have endorsed it today.

“I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then. I wouldn’t sign it today,” Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “We have to continue supporting Ukraine economically and militarily to give them the leverage they need to end this war.”

In the letter, the lawmakers made clear that they support the Biden administration’s policy of shipping tens of billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine but said diplomacy should be pursued due to the risk of nuclear war and “catastrophic escalation.”

Jayapal said it was retracted because it was being conflated with comments made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who said a Republican-controlled House wouldn’t be willing to write a “blank check” for Ukraine.

“Because of the timing, our message is being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican Leader McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over,” Jayapal said.

Jayapal pointed out that there has been no opposition to the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy from Democrats in Congress. She said Democrats “have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people.”

Jayapal said that the war in Ukraine will only end with diplomacy after “a Ukrainian victory.” According to the Ukrainian government, victory means driving Russia out of the territories it has captured since February 24, all of the Donbas and Crimea.

(antiwar.com)

By the time I learned that the Progressive Caucus had issued a letter calling on Biden to pursue negotiations with Putin for a path toward ending the Ukraine war, the letter had already been withdrawn, retracted and renounced. There wasn’t even a momentary endorphin rush that at last someone in Congress had shown a little fortitude. Like a V-2 rocket, the Ukraine letter had exploded in the Democrats’ faces before most people had even heard the sound of its flight.

It got worse–or at least more absurd–when Progressive Caucus head Pramila Jayapal came forward to explain the inexplicable. Jayapal promptly turned the Caucus’s about-face into a faceplant when she graciously “accepted responsibility” for the near instantaneous retreat and then promptly blamed the entire episode on the Caucus’s staff. Talk about displaying the cowardice behind the lack of your convictions!

Then along came Bernie Sanders to lend his sanctimonious imprimatur to this bizarre charade. Asked about the Progressive Caucus’s Ukraine letter, Sanders snorted: “I don’t agree with that, and they don’t agree with it, apparently. It was withdrawn today, so it becomes a non-issue.” A non-issue!

These ‘Progressives’ are an embarrassment because they have now compromised their principles in the name of politics and cash (no doubt).

The ‘Squad’ is  nothing but a typical Dem now….NO SPINE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Dementia–A Growing Problem

It is Sunday and I would like to offer up a little FYI to help my readers navigate life and its pitfalls.

A growing problem with the elderly is the growing incidents of dementia among the retired and elderly.

It appears that 10% of our seniors are fighting dementia…..

The first nationally representative study of the prevalence of cognitive decline in the US that has been carried out in more than two decades found that 10% of Americans over the age of 65 have dementia and another 22% have mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The study, published in JAMA Neurology, specifically aimed to find out how prevalent cognitive issues were by age, education, ethnicity, gender, and race, and it found that Black people were more likely to have dementia (their rates were 15% for dementia and 22% for MCI), CNN reports. Hispanic people were found to be more likely to suffer from MCI (28%, and their rate for dementia was 10%), and both conditions were more common in people with less than a high school level of education (13% for dementia, 30% for MCI).

“Dementia research in general has largely focused on college-educated people who are racialized as white,” the lead study author says in a statement. “This study is representative of the population of older adults and includes groups that have been historically excluded from dementia research but are at higher risk of developing cognitive impairment because of structural racism and income inequality.” The randomly selected sample of study participants completed a survey and had neurological testing done between 2016 and 2017. Among white people, 9% were found to have dementia and 21% were found to have MCI. Those same rates were also true of people with college degrees.

The study found that each year of additional education was associated with a diminished risk of dementia, the Hill reports. No significant difference was found in the rates of men versus women with dementia or MCI. The rates did, however, change dramatically with age: 3% of those between 65 and 69 were found to have dementia compared to 35% for those aged 90 or above; a higher risk of both conditions was found with every five-year difference in age. While it is not uncommon for people with MCI to go on to develop dementia, not everyone does, and interventions related to diet, exercise, sleep, and stress can improve MCI. Another recent study estimated that if more isn’t done, dementia cases could almost triple by 2050.

There are many people that have the answer as to why dementia is gaining on our seniors….this is one of those possible causes…

Before they plop on the couch to engage in some “leisure-time sedentary behaviors,” adults over 60 may want to pay attention to a recent study linking increased dementia risk to watching TV. In short, per the Washington Post, “those whose time sitting was primarily spent watching television had a 24% increased risk for dementia.” But wait, that’s not the only takeaway. The peer-reviewed study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that computer use was associated with a 15% reduced risk of dementia. The simple explanation is that nothing beats television when it comes to cognitively passive activities; by contrast, using a computer requires at least some level of cognitive engagement, not unlike the antiquated activity known as reading.

Researchers tapped the UK’s Biobank to build the study cohort of some 146,651 individuals, whom they tracked for about 12 years, controlling for numerous lifestyle and demographic variables along the way, according to MD Edge. High use of TV—at least 4 hours per day—correlated to the highest risk of dementia, while as little as 30 minutes of computer use yielded reduced risk. “What we do while we’re sitting matters,” study lead David Raichlen noted, per Science Daily. “This knowledge is critical when it comes to designing targeted public health interventions aimed at reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disease from sedentary activities.”

In a slight twist compared to previous studies, researchers found that participants’ level of physical activity did not affect their odds of developing dementia if in fact they also watched a lot of TV. As for why computer use is beneficial, one notable neurologist—Dr. Andrew E. Budson, who was not associated with the study—explained to MD Edge that even light cognitive activity on the computer engages important parts of the cerebral cortex. While Dr. Budson emphasized that physical activity is always preferable to sedentary behavior, he added, “This is one of the first times I’ve been convinced that even when the computer activity isn’t completely new and novel, it may be beneficial.”

I know with all that nay-saying….what can we do to prevent the slide into the dark world of dementia?

Glad you asked….

https://bestlifeonline.com/daily-flossing-dementia-prevention-news/

I hope this info will help you now or in the future….since as we grow older there are many obstacles that seniors need to overcome….

I just try to help.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Usual Saturday News

The weekend once again….time for relaxation and entertainment….time for my usual post on news that most of my readers missed….enjoy.

First a couple animal attack stories….

A dude is out hunting and is attacked by a bear….

A Wyoming hunter managed to scare off an attacking grizzly bear Friday night in an area south of Grand Teton National Park—but in the process, he shot himself in the leg. Lee Francis, 65, was hunting with his 40-year-old son in Rock Creek, along the Sawtooth mountains, when the bear attacked around 6pm, NBC News reports. The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office says Francis “was able to draw his handgun and fired several rounds, which caused the bear to disengage and flee; however, one of the rounds struck Francis in the lower leg.” His son called for help using a satellite phone, USA Today reports.

Francis’ son provided first aid and, after coordinating with rescuers, he got Francis, on horseback, to a rendezvous spot near Water Dog Lake. More than three hours after the attack, Francis was taken via helicopter from there to a hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was discharged Monday. Authorities are searching for the bear involved in the incident. Days prior, a grizzly attacked two college wrestlers in Wyoming, and the state said there has been “an abundance of bear activity” in the national forest where they were attacked. “Game and Fish will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to make management decisions in the best interest of public safety,” a supervisor at the state agency said.

Next a woman is on her way to work and then….

It’s an occurrence so chilling and rare that it’s being reported around the globe: An Indonesian woman apparently lost her life to a python, with local reports confirming her body was found in the snake’s stomach. The Guardian reports a woman identified as Jahrah, 54, left for work at a rubber plantation on the island of Sumatra on Sunday morning but did not return home as expected. While looking for her that evening, her husband reportedly found a number of her items, including her sandals, headscarf, jacket, and work tools. The next morning, a search party came upon a 22-foot-long python with an enlarged midsection.

“After we caught him, we found the victim’s body in the snake’s stomach,” local media reported the police chief as saying, with the BBC noting he said the victim’s body was mostly intact. The New York Post (which has some photos of the scene) quotes a villager as speculating the woman was first bitten by the snake, which then would have wrapped itself around her to suffocate her prior to swallowing her, in a process that could have taken two hours. The Guardian notes known cases of humans being swallowed by pythons are rare, though Newser previously reported on cases in 2017 and 2018.

Finally another bad day…..

An Arkansas biker is expected to survive after he was tased earlier this month by police and burst into flames. Citing a release from Arkansas State Police, CNN reports that the incident took place in the early morning hours of Oct. 13 in Little Rock, when a cop tried to pull over a motorcycle that didn’t appear to have a license plate. Police say the rider, IDed as 38-year-old Christopher Gaylor, wasn’t keen on getting pulled over and instead sped off, with the police officer taking pursuit.

The release says Gaylor “ignored multiple traffic stop signs and traffic lights” and tried to flee at speeds of up to 100mph, making his way to Interstate 30. Police say a second officer then came across the biker, who soon turned off the freeway, then jumped off his bike in a residential neighborhood and started running. Police dashcam video sent to 40/29 by ASP shows what happened next, as one officer who was running after the suspect tased him, causing a fireball to erupt. Per 40/29, troopers started screaming, “He’s on fire!,” then put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. The release notes they provided medical assistance to Gaylor until an ambulance arrived.

As for why Gaylor turned into a walking fireball: “An investigation has since revealed Gaylor was carrying approximately 1 gallon of gasoline in a backpack,” the ASP release notes. Police say there was no signage or any other indication that Gaylor was carrying fuel in the backpack, and that he didn’t say anything to that effect when he jumped off the motorcycle. An ASP spokesperson say no personnel have been disciplined or investigated for the incident. Gaylor remains hospitalized but is said to be in good condition. However, he now faces charges of felony fleeing, failure to register a vehicle, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, and having no liability insurance.

A couple great definitions of ‘having a bad day’……

I admit it I try to do my part for the environment by recycling…..and then I read the news that I might be ‘fartin’ into the wind’….

“Plastic recycling is a dead-end street.” So proclaims a new Greenpeace report that makes that very case using an underwhelming set of stats regarding the scant amount of plastic that’s recycled in the US. Per the report, at our peak in 2014, America recycled 9.5% of plastic waste, though that number was inflated by the way in which it was calculated—plastic exported to China to be “recycled” was included, though much ended up incinerated or in landfills. The figure in 2021: some 5% to 6%. In Greenpeace’s telling, the issue isn’t a lack of effort, so much as an impossibility: “Most plastic simply cannot be recycled.”

Per the report, two common plastic considered the easiest to recycle here—PET #1 and HDPE #2—are recycled and reused at rates of just 20.9% and 10.3%, meaning even if you dutifully directed all of your use of these plastics to recycling plants, the vast majority wouldn’t be recycled. Why? The report finds that the plastics “being accepted by a recycling processing plant does not necessarily result in them being recycled—effectively negating the recyclability claim.” NPR gets at some of the drivers of that: It’s cheap to make new plastic; it’s anything but cheap to recycle due to the sorting required. “There are now thousands of different types of plastic, and none of them can be melted down together,” NPR explains, and after plastic is reused a time or two, it starts to degrade.

So what’s a planet-conscious person to do? A Greenpeace rep offers a dig and some advice: “Corporations like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Unilever have worked with industry front groups to promote plastic recycling as the solution to plastic waste for decades. But the data is clear: practically speaking, most plastic is just not recyclable. The real solution is to switch to systems of reuse and refill.” As the Guardianobserves, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass are recycled much more successfully.

That news just sucks….so basically my recycling is just a feeble ‘feel good’ effort on my part.

That just sucks!

Have a great weekend….be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Principles Are Forever

I have stated many times that in my politics I have formulated my principles and I have never wavered from them….until too many that ‘go with the flow’…..I am antiwar, I think we all deserve health care, and adequate education…on and on….

This is a open letter from Roger Waters that says it so well….

Roger Waters?

Pink Floyd you barbarians!

Today, we are standing on the edge of a precipice, staring into the abyss. The end of all life on earth is a very real possibility. The reins of power have been purchased by the oligarchs and ideologues and they are hell bent on the end of times. Make no mistake. This is not a drill.

Some say the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is the closest we have come to a nuclear catastrophe, but at least then, JFK and Nikita Khrushchev were in communication. In our current crisis, our leaders are not even talking to each other. We human beings must communicate with each other if we are to survive. We here in the West are drowning in a sea of pro-war propaganda and presumably the Russians are too. How are we the people to make sense in this maelstrom of misinformation? SUPPORT ANTIWAR.COM!!!!!!

“The Powers That Be,” our “Masters,” the self appointed “Ruling Class” want to keep us squabbling, at each other’s throats, to be used us as cannon fodder or slave labor. When a great journalist and truth-teller like Julian Assange is imprisoned for sharing vital information, the time has come to man the barricades, to stand shoulder to shoulder with all our brothers and sisters all over the world in defense of our beautiful planet home.

As I told the audience on every night of my recent tour of the United States and Canada and Mexico we will never sell out. We, and here I include my brothers and sisters at ANTIWAR.COM, will keep speaking Truth to Power.

Sincerely,
Roger Waters

No matter how much one hates the idea of diplomacy….there needs to be more concern for crap than the wars we start and we seem to start a new one every year.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Nuke Hysteria

Recently there has been many words written and said about Putin and the use of nukes….I have made my feelings known on several occasions….now there is a new story line about the use of a dirty bombs which is a nasty piece of work but it is not as devastating as a nuclear bomb.

I have found a couple of reports on these two story lines….

First Putin has made a statement on the use of nukes…..

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that Moscow has no plans to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and warned the world is facing the most dangerous decade since World War II.

“We see no need for that,” Putin said of the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine in a speech at the Valdai Club, a Moscow-based think tank. “There is no point in that, neither political, nor military.”

Putin recently warned that Russia could use all the weapons at its disposal to defend its “territorial integrity,” and other Russian officials made clear that included nuclear weapons and applied to the territories Moscow recently annexed in Ukraine.

But there’s been no sign that Putin has made a decision to use nuclear weapons, and he said Thursday that Russia’s recent talk of nuclear weapons was a reaction to remarks from Western officials.

Discussing current global tensions, Putin said that the world is facing “probably, the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of World War II.”

(antiwar.com)

But we hate Putin so that would be a lie, right?

The State Department has made some intel available to us peasants on the Putin nuke thing…..

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters Thursday that the US has still not seen anything to indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to use a dirty bomb, per the AP. He said there are continued concerns that the conflict could escalate, and he said that’s why it is critical for the US to keep the lines of communication open with allies and with Russia. “We’re going to continue to communicate that any type of use of a weapon of that sort, or even the talk of the use of a weapon of that sort is dangerous and irresponsible,” said Austin, who spoke with his Russian counterpart twice in the last week.

“It’s important to make sure that we’re talking to adversaries and allies alike and making sure that that we’re tamping down dangerous talk.” Asked if there are concerns Russia might use its upcoming nuclear exercises as a cover for a strike inside Ukraine, Austin said, “it’s something we continue to watch. And we haven’t seen anything to cause us to believe at this point that that is some kind of cover activity.” Moscow has repeatedly made the unfounded claim that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb,” an explosive devise with radioactive material, on its own territory. Western officials have dismissed the claim as misinformation possibly designed as a pretext for Russia to justify its own military escalation.

The State Department would not lie…so that is good news, right?

Just to let you, my readers, know what is being said….but remember actions speak louder than words.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Warning: Democracy In Peril

Just days away from the choice we must make about our government….

There has been a wealth of concern about the future of this country and our democracy (of wait for those semi literate Righties) (I realize this is a constitutional republic and not a true democracy) is in danger of collapse under the weight of the attacks from the Far Right.

Many Americans think our way of politics is broken….and now there can be a fix if we truly want to save the country and our way of life….

CNN brought some experts together to offer some solutions….

 

Though Americans don’t agree on many political issues, there is one issue both Democrats and Republicans acknowledge poses a major problem: the state of American democracy. According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 69% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans think the nation’s democracy is on the brink of collapse. And the figure for independents, 66%, isn’t much better.

This fear, if actualized, would have ripple effects around the world, given that so many nations look to the United States to be a global leader in democratic efforts. But it also has very real implications for our country’s immediate domestic politics and policy – as evidenced by the recent attacks against election officials across the country.

The threats after the 2020 presidential election were so serious, writes Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, that “I had two plain-clothes Philadelphia police officers assigned to follow me wherever I went – including the bathroom.”

We turned to a group of experts and asked what can be done to fix what is broken and restore faith in democracy.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/14/opinions/american-democracy-broken-solutions-roundup/index.html

I personally think changes in our current voting rights thing….and the shared experience will go a long way to repair that is needed.

You can be part of the solution….VOTE!

Think what this country has given you….now do you part to repair our riffs…..vote for the future not the problems of the past.

Just days before the decision….time to pay attention and do the right thing.

Do you want a future or do you want to live in the past?

It is your choice…..and I doubt we will work for the future….to be truthful.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Nukes….More threats

WE all know, well those that can read, know all about the threats Vlad the Invader has made about the use of nukes….and we all know of the response to those threats.

Then there is the use of long range missiles by Lil Kim of North Korea….and of course that has South Korea and Japan scrambling…..

Now the US has made it’s ideas known….

The US makes its threat….

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said the US would be willing to deploy nuclear weapons against North Korea under certain conditions. During her recent trip to South Korea, Vice President Kamala Harris called for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 

Washington “will use the full range of US defense capabilities to defend our allies, including nuclear, conventional and missile defense capabilities,” the deputy secretary said during a meeting with South Korean and Japanese officials. Sherman added that the US security commitment to Seoul and Tokyo is “ironclad.”

The threat to use the bomb against North Korea comes nearly a month after Harris traveled to South Korea and demanded Pyongyang abandon its nuclear arsenal. The government led by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has consistently maintained that its nuclear forces are a deterrent against US-led military action.

In recent months, military activity on the Korean Peninsula has seen a significant spike, with Washington and Seoul conducting provocative live-fire war games, while a US aircraft carrier recently made a port call to South Korea for the first time in several years. 

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo signed a trilateral agreement to step up security ties in June. The three countries recently held joint military drills. North Korea denounced the agreement as an American effort to create a NATO-like alliance in the Pacific.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/news/white-house-threatens-to-use-nuclear-weapons-against-north-korea/

Now back to the nuke threat from Vlad…..

The US is running nuke drills close to the Russian border…..plus the US is upgrading the nukes in Europe….The revelation of the plan comes as both Russia and NATO are conducting nuclear exercises. President Biden recently said the risk of nuclear “armageddon” is at its highest since the end of the Cold War, but his administration has shown no interest in pursuing diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine or ease tensions with Moscow.

The US has accelerated plans to deploy an upgraded version of its primary nuclear gravity bomb to Europe amid heightened tensions with Russia over the potential use of nuclear weapons.

A cable obtained by Politico reveals that US officials told NATO allies in Brussels this month that they will send an upgraded version of the B61-12 air-dropped gravity bomb to Europe by December. The upgraded bomb was originally set to arrive in Europe next spring.

The plan involves replacing older weapons with upgraded bombs at US storage facilities in Europe. The US keeps about 100 nuclear warheads at air bases in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Turkey.

(antiwar.com)

As a response from Vlad was predictable…..

Russia has notified the US that it has started its nuclear exercises, two US officials said on Tuesday, according to CBS News.

“Russia is complying with its arms control obligations and its transparency commitments to make those notifications,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.

Russia is holding its annual Grom exercises that will be held for several weeks, and the US says they will include the launching of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. The drills coincide with NATO’s nuclear exercises, known as Steadfast Noon, that are being hosted by Belgium and held over the UK and the North Sea.

Both exercises have been described as “routine” but come amid soaring tensions between the US and Russia over the potential use of nuclear weapons. President Biden recently warned that the risk of nuclear war is higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

NATO’s Steadfast Noon exercises do not involve live-fire drills, but 14 alliance members are participating. The US, Britain, and France are NATO’s only nuclear-armed powers, but five other alliance members host US nuclear warheads under NATO’s nuclear sharing program; Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

You know that all this sounds like of couple of sex crazed gorillas circling each other thumping their chests.

All the threats…..sorry but it is all so silly if it were not so scary.

The nuclear ballet has begun…..where will it end?

Apparently the anti-nuke sentiments of the 70s and 80s in Europe has been buried….

The US’s European allies are concerned that the US may dial back its support for Ukraine if Republicans are victorious in the upcoming midterm elections.

That would mean they would have to cough up more cash in the support of this war.

Finland will not make things better…in their desire to join NATO they will allow nukes on the Russian border….

NATO nuclear weapons could potentially be placed on Russia’s border with Finland if Helsinki joins the Western military alliance, Newsweek reported on Wednesday, citing a Finnish newspaper.

The newspaper Iltalehti reported that the bill the Finnish government will put before the country’s parliament on joining NATO doesn’t include any opt-outs for hosting nuclear weapons.

Finnish military sources told the paper that Finland’s foreign minister and defense minister committed to NATO back in July that they wouldn’t seek “restrictions or national reservations” if their application to join the alliance is accepted. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said earlier this month that Finland had “no preconditions” for joining NATO.

While Finland may be willing to host nuclear weapons, it’s unlikely they would be placed in the country after it joins NATO, at least in the near future. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has previously said the alliance has expressed no interest in placing nuclear warheads in Finland.

Currently, the alliance keeps no nuclear warheads in countries that joined NATO after the end of the Cold War, although Poland recently said it’s had discussions with the US on hosting the weapons.

(antiwar.com)

Some sanity needs to prevail….but I doubt it.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Russia Wants Talks

A great headline but as usual is not anchored in reality.

An adviser to Ukraine has said some stuff about negotiations…

Dan Rice, an American serving as an advisor to the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, told CNN’s Outfront on Tuesday that he believes Russia is looking to negotiate to return to positions it controlled before the February 24 invasion.

Rice made the comments when discussing Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and outlining what weapons he thinks Ukraine needs. “They are attacking the cities, trying to attack the grid, making it a very difficult winter,” he said. “They are trying to, in my opinion, trying to get to the negotiating table, to try to go back to the 2014 lines.”

A return to the “2014 lines” would mean Russia keeps Crimea, and Kyiv would have to cede the Donbas region, or at least a portion of it, to the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). But Rice said those terms wouldn’t be acceptable for Ukraine.

“Ukraine won’t have it. Ukraine wants all of their land back to the ’91 lines. They really need air defense systems and aircraft,” Rice said.

(antiwar.com)

Rice’s comments come as the prospects for a diplomatic solution to end the war seem slim. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently signed a decree ruling out talks with Russia as long as Vladimir Putin is president, and US officials have reportedly ruled out pushing Ukraine to negotiate even though they don’t think Kyiv can win the war “outright.”

There will be NO negotiations….and the nuclear game of chicken will continue….

The U.S. and NATO have been preparing to fight Russia on the plains of Ukraine for some 70 years (the fall of the Soviet Union, terrorism, Iraq, etc., notwithstanding). In such a war, the 19th Artillery duels that characterize the current conflict would be replaced by endless U.S. precision air strikes. Imagine American A-10s, or even B-52s practically at the edge of space, tearing into those long Russian columns. About the last thing Putin wants is to fight NATO directly over chunks of the Ukraine, instead of by (weaker) proxy.

All the chest thumping about nukes….Putin has roughly four options.

One would be a demonstration nuke, say a sea-level low-yield blast outside Odessa designed to rattle the windows, maybe shut off the lights, but otherwise do little harm. As the U.S. concluded late in the Second World War, demonstrations effectively prove you lack resolve, not that you are committed to nuclear war. Plus, the mere use of the nuke likely pulls the U.S. into the conflict with nothing gained by Russia.

Second would be a nuclear attack against a large concentration of Ukrainian troops. Apart from irradiating the territory he hopes to conquer, Putin could achieve something similar, close enough for government work, with an extreme massing of artillery and airpower. A big boom to clear a path, but without the U.S. coming in as an aftereffect. Why go nuclear when the same outcome is available via conventional weapons?

Third would be a leadership-decapitation strike based on good intelligence that would eliminate President Zelensky. This one presumes a) near-perfect intel (see the Americans’ failure trying the same gag at the start of two Gulf Wars, shock and awe, which missed Saddam despite all of the resources of the United States), b) that the same could not be accomplished with massed artillery, and most importantly c) that Zelensky is really the one-man Washington-Churchill-Patton the Western media portrays him as—in other words, that his loss would have the impact the Western media believes it would. If a Zelensky deputy rises from the ashes and demands revenge, the gambit fails, maybe even backfires.

Last would be the destruction of a Ukrainian city, causing mass civilian casualties and creating nuclear terror, forcing a swift surrender as did the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the other Japanese cities, which would have fallen if they had not surrendered fast enough. Despite the firebombing of Tokyo (never mind Coventry and Dresden) the Second World War proved to America that nothing raises terror levels like the use of nuclear weapons. Skin melted in Coventry the same as in Hiroshima, but it is Hiroshima we remember. In Ukraine this would be intended less as a Strangelovian exchange than as a tactical escalation.

I realize that most Americans hate Putin….most think he is deranged….I do not think Putin is so stupid as to unleash the nuke option….big talk is just that….

I will apologize when he makes good on the threats and uses a nuke.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

P.S.  Has anyone noticed how no one really gives a sh*t about Ukraine anymore?

Weapons For Ukraine

Yes I have been bitching here on IST about all the money were are wasting on Ukraine…yes I said wasting.

Then why are we so damn generous?

I have the answer……

As Russia’s attack on Ukraine drags on, the world is dealing with a lot of uncertainty. At every stage, predictions about the war have done poorly when met with the cold, hard reality of modern conflict. But one thing has been certain from the start: the U.S. defense industry is going to cash in.

A recent example of this came last week when Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) proposed a new amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The proposal would give the Department of Defense wartime powers that would free it to buy huge amounts of artillery and other munitions using multi-year contracts, according to Defense News.

Here’s the important part: the amendment would also authorize the Pentagon to skip competitive contracting for Ukraine-related deals (including billions of dollars worth of contracts to refill U.S. stockpiles), and it would waive other provisions aimed at stopping weapons makers from overcharging taxpayers.

Defense contractors eye long-term profits from Ukraine war

All those weapons sent….where do they actually go?

For around 60 years, the United States published an annual study called the World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT) report. The document provided detailed information on global arms transfers, defense spending, and a range of other military-related topics.

For reasons that remain unclear, last year’s defense spending bill put an end to the report. The State Department published its final edition last month, quietly marking the end of an era in military disclosures.

“At one point in history, the WMEAT report was the model for transparency around the world,” Jeff Abramson of the Arms Control Association said, noting the importance of its Cold War-era origins.

Of course, the report wasn’t perfect. Experts say WMEAT tended to overcount military sales in misleading ways, among other things. But its demise is part of a larger shift away from transparency in military affairs, according to experts who spoke with Responsible Statecraft. In recent years, civil society has lost access to some of the most detailed information about which American weapons are being exported, where they’re going, and how they’re being used — crucial gaps given that U.S. companies account for almost 40 percent of global arms exports.

Where are our weapons going? US transparency is taking a nosedive

Just FYI I will give the list of what we are sending to Ukraine…..I would give a link but NO would bother to read it is….

Here you go…..

• Over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
• Over 8,500 Javelin anti-armor systems;
• Over 37,000 other anti-armor systems;
• Over 700 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• 142 155mm Howitzers and up to 903,000 155mm artillery rounds;
• 3,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;
• 7,000 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems;
• 36 105mm Howitzers and 180,000 105mm artillery rounds;
• 276 Tactical Vehicles to tow weapons;
• 22 Tactical Vehicles to recover equipment;
• 38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition;
• 20 120mm mortar systems and 115,000 120mm mortar rounds;
• 1,500 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;
• Four Command Post vehicles;
• Eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and munitions;

• High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs);
• 20 Mi-17 helicopters;
• Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);
• 44 trucks and 88 trailers to transport heavy equipment;
• 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
• 440 MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles;
• Mine clearing equipment and systems;
• Over 10,000 grenade launchers and small arms;
• Over 62,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition;
• Over 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets;
• Approximately 700 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Laser-guided rocket systems;
• Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• 15 Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Two radars for Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels;
• Over 50 counter-artillery radars;

• Over 50 counter-artillery radars;
• Four counter-mortar radars;
• 20 multi-mission radars;
• Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Ten air surveillance radars;
• Two harpoon coastal defense systems;
• 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats;
• M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
• C-4 explosives, demolition munitions, and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing;
• Obstacle emplacement equipment;
• Tactical secure communications systems;
• Thousands of night vision devices, surveillance systems, thermal imagery systems, optics, and laser rangefinders;
• Commercial satellite imagery services;
• Explosive ordnance disposal equipment and protective gear;
• Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protective equipment;
• 100 armored medical treatment vehicles;

• Medical supplies to include first aid kits, bandages, monitors, and other equipment;
• Electronic jamming equipment;
• Field equipment, cold weather gear, and spare parts;
• Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

And none of this includes the ‘aid’ that our so-called allies are sending as well.

And yet Zelensky demands…..Ukraine demands new air defense system.  (Demands?)

There is where your tax dollars are going….not to worry Taiwan will soon join this long list…..and yet more cash will disappear from the treasury with the approval of BOTH parties.

Screw that!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”