Midweek Update

Lots going on in the world still, but still far from one hundred percent. Started feeling bad Saturday, felt like dreck on Sunday, and still haven’t bounced back. Feeling a bit better, but not even close to where I would like to be. The news of the world isn’t helping. Thank goodness for blood pressure meds…

First, say the names Sgt. William Jerome Rivers (Carrolton, GA), Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders (Waycross, GA), and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett (Savannah, GA). I wish I had the names of all the wounded who came before them, or were wounded with them, but I don’t. If those attacks had been responded to professionally and decisively at the time, these troops would not be dead and the Red Sea would not be the mess it is.

If you really want your blood pressure to go up, check out the reports that the families had to fill out paperwork to get a call from Biden. I’m hearing that it is correct, that the Regency wanted paperwork done (and asses covered) before the call was made. If you want to know how the Biden Regency (and the Biden family for anyone but Beau) views those who serve… Wonder how many times he brought up Beau with these families? Word is the demented meat puppet will be at Dover, and I wonder how many times the POS will check his watch this time.

Fox News?

As for retaliation, I’m not optimistic on anything useful being done. Hearing a lot of what went on with the Houthi situation: give warnings, time to evacuate people and supplies, etc. Then again, ten percent of whatever cut is being gotten from the six billion is a lot of money. We really need to not do the “nice” thing this time, and a certain Iranian intelligence and control ship needs to be on the bottom of the Red Sea. Lot’s of countries who are PO’d about the Red Sea situation have subs, just sayin’… Though I would bet on it being less than 24-hours before someone in the Regency blabbed.

I wish I was up to more. Iran is pushing, North Korea appears to be preparing, and lots of other things are happening on top of that. Good news here is that some low blood ox levels appear to be more low battery level than anything else. When it comes to medical, get as much redundancy in your system as you can. Particularly in monitoring and related gear. I’m working on getting an appointment with a new cardiologist, but part of that depends on others, so we will see. I will find a way to make it happen.

Other than some cooking this weekend, only “fun” thing I’ve done is play with culturing a sourdough starter. Will share more soon, even if it goes completely south, as it has been fun and I had some amazing biscuits this morning made with the “discard” from the feedings. If it works, well, I’m going to eat well even in an emergency I think.

Working on a food preparedness idea that I may share even before I have things fully worked out. Essentially one case of canning jars and a few other items gives several people enough to last 2-4 weeks (and have a long-term reserve of certain essentials). Can augment or boost short rations for a longer time. Also, lots of options for ensuring some “fun” things as well.

So far, glad to see things not getting out of hand in Texas. FYI, Texas is not defying the Supreme Court. The ruling simply lifted an injunction, and did not prevent Texas from taking actions. The Feds can take actions, and Texas can string more wire and take other actions as well as the case winds through the courts. The only thing that concerns me right now is that the Biden Regency has a knack for picking the stupidist option in any situation, and running with it. So far, that seems to be the LNG action, but if there is a way to stick the pistol in their pants and AD, the Biden Regency will find it.


BTW, if anyone knows how to get the Buc-ee’s combat patch, do let me know as I WANT ONE! That’s just too good and mocks so mercilessly….

More soon I hope.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Things I Never Knew…

I did not make it to Church this morning, and it bothers me. Combination of things, from not feeling well to a mix of rain, snow, and 25 mph winds outside. Even with a car that would have been interesting. With bus and a walk…

Sundays I usually try to stay off social media, but I’ve hit it a few times today both checking on some events (terrorist attack on a Catholic Church, volcanic activity, etc.) and checking on some friends. Some of what I’ve seen reminded me of all the things I never knew about Scripture and Theology.

For example, right after 10/7 there were a whole bunch of influences and others popping up on social media not only shouting that Christ was King, but that Christ also wasn’t Jewish and the Old Testament had nothing to do with the Jewish faith. That a number of them also got into Blood Libels against Jews in general (and the Catholic Church to some extent) really wasn’t a surprise. Do wonder if silver is still the preferred mode of payment…

One of the most fascinating ones that has popped up is that Saul was in the service of Satan who loaned him to the Romans to pull off a con in terms of conversion and becoming Paul. This was done to destroy “real” Christianity at the start by Satan while the Romans kept it from becoming a threat to the Empire until they could co-opt it for their own. Who knew?

Still trying to figure out the person going after a friend demanding that she provide the scriptures as to why the Virgin Mary had to be kept in a hidden/non-public room behind a curtain and have blood sprinkled on her by a priest once a year. Yeah, you got me on that one. Not sure, but maybe conflating the Jewish Day of Atonement with something the Catholic Church doesn’t do today? Makes absolutely no sense, has no basis in reality that I can find, and so that person went from being muted to being blocked. I had seen the friend reply to a blank spot, got curious so looked, which may have cost me brain cells to read the stupidity and bigotry (point, accurate on two uses for blank).

Have been blocking a lot of antisemites as well as certain anti-Catholics since 10/7. If there is no chance of discourse, am just blocking. There are some who simply don’t know (or have been told things that aren’t true) and I try to share with them. Then, there are those who are convinced that their particular branch of the protestant faith was the true faith all along and had been deliberately hidden from the world by corrupted apostles and such until it was brought forth blazing from the breast of Zeus (and, yes, deliberate choice of phrase there) after the Reformation. I swear, it is as if the origins of the Church and the 1500+ years of religious history prior to the Reformation aren’t taught anymore. If I’m spotting the holes despite the holes in my memory, it’s pretty bad.

Maybe I do need to do a post one day dealing with the universal (which is what the Greek word catholic means) church and some of the history before the reformation. Sure wouldn’t hurt me to review some of the various conclaves, synods, and such. Besides, always fun to read about future saints having fist fights over points of theology. Yep, that happened and more than once if my faulty memory is correct. Amuses my inner 8-year-old to this day.

Besides, might be fun to make some of the anti-Catholic heads explode by discussing the Egyptian Coptic Christian Church (first to leave the universal church, in the 500s?) and the Orthodox Church (and the schism of 1054 with the Roman Catholic Church). Along the way point out some of the practices of the early Church (who did venerate the Virgin Mary and embrace the use of icons when and where they could, and also point out the Apostle Luke was one of the first Christian iconographers). Maybe get into why certain altar covers had relics and other important items sewn into them. Could be fun. Could even be needed the way things are going.

Have to think that the only one pleased to see all the attacks on the Theotokos/Blessed Mother is the Evil One. Heck, even Martin Luther himself supported the veneration of the Virgin Mary. Maybe it is time to update and even expand my post on the Empty Vessel theory they are pushing. Might also be fun to discuss how original church services lasted hours, and the process by which they have been brought down to an hour for many, and app. 1.5 hours for TLM and Orthodox services.

The fervor with which some go after any and all other Christian faiths does remind me of this:

About the only good line from the movie

And as for those denominations that are helping push all this, they should be glad Paul still isn’t alive as otherwise they would be getting a letter I suspect. Might be all the Churches/denominations would…

No Worries

Sorry I haven’t been posting more, as there is a LOT to keep an eye on. From Texas to the Orient, things are stirring. That said, I’ve been having to deal with some things, health and other, that have been impacting my ability to post. Or at least in regards the time to post. Nothing earthshattering or urgent crisis (I hope) on my part, but a definite PITA.

If I’m offline for a bit, please be patient. For good content, allow me to recommend: Stephen Green at PJ and Instapundit; David Strom, Beege, and company at HotAir; Leslie Eastman and the fine folk at Legal Insurrection; and, my intel list at X. Those folks are doing a good job and come up with some good info and analysis.

Not planning to be offline too much, but what you plan for never happens so planning as if I were. 🙂 Hope to get a Sunday post up, but no guarantees as I’ve been cooking while I could (landlord and housemate both gone during the days) and hope to start a little preparedness project that I would like to share soon. Also trying to make my own sourdough starter with the help of some kind people. If it does culture and work out, will share.

Seriously, be prepared. There are multiple possible Sandstones and Firelights out there, and I’m not even having to try hard to see ways they and more could go sideways. FWIIW, the ability to purify (not filter) water should be high on the list, as food and more follow it. Food is negotiable to some extent, water is not. Just a thought.

Again, not planning to be offline too much, but trying to cover a base just to be safe. Be prepared, keep your things where you can find them in the dark, and keep your friends close. Let’s rock.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Russia Wants Alaska Back?

Saw this good post by Leslie Eastman over at Legal Insurrection. Has Vladimir been making noises about re-acquiring various former territories that were sold, lost, or otherwise no longer Russian? Yes. He has.

Most of the noise is aimed at an internal audience, as with most of the talk on Ukraine, use of nukes, etc. It does, however, establish claim (as the Russians see it) for eventually going after all former territories. I keep telling people that they need to pay attention to Russkiy Mir (much as Cdr. Salamander keeps tapping his sign that NATO has an Eastern front, not a flank) as it does indeed call for re-acquiring former lands (including Alaska).

Thing is, it is not happening anytime soon. Again, that was for an internal audience and not focused on any outside audience. Though, to be honest, if the Biden Regency were to respond in any way that they see as providing a good precedent or possible concession, Vladimir is not going to object. And, yes, I do suspect the Regency is stupid enough to do such, even if they don’t realize they are doing it.

As for trading California for clear title to Alaska, well, I don’t think Vladimir is that stupid though we could hope…

Meantime, go enjoy a good post but remember that the whole concept of Russkiy Mir is driving not only the invasion of Ukraine, but a lot of other stuff going on internal to Russia. Western politicians write off the document and the concept as bombast or posturing, but Vladimir and other Russian politicians do indeed see it as a guide who’s implementation will be their legacy.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Transportation Update

For now, I still have the car able to limp to PT and back. It can take about a gallon of coolant a trip sometimes, but it gets me there and back. For pretty much everything else, I take the bus and even have a bus-friendly grocery cart now. Only problem is that using the bus literally takes about four times the amount of time, which impacts writing time.

A reader made a very kind and generous offer in regards getting a car from them. Unfortunately, getting the car from where they live to here proved to be a non-trivial challenge. By the time everything was added up, it just wasn’t doable though my sincere and profuse thanks go out to them for the offer. I really do wish it could have worked out.

For a while this weekend, it looked like we might have a solution. My landlord let me know that someone his niece knew was selling her “old” car since she had just bought a new one. He pulled up the ad on FB (since I don’t have an account) and we started checking it out. Sadly, it was indeed the hack and sell scam. Not sure how many if any fell for the ‘send a deposit to hold and I won’t talk to anyone else’ line, but the landlord quickly smelled a rat and let his niece know to contact her friend to advise the account had been hacked.

So, back to trying to raise $8k and going for a rebuild (unless a real deal shows up). Any and all help appreciated.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Some Snow Memories

Growing up in Macon, Georgia, snow was a bit of a rarity. When it did hit, a quarter inch could effectively shut down the city. There were no plows, salt trucks, or even snow shovels unless someone had moved there with one. I didn’t have my first white Christmas until I moved up here to Indiana. Been there, done that, a couple of times now and am good with not doing it again to be honest.

Our recent snow here was not bad by local standards, but the sub-zero temps were not fun. Something to do with critters sparked a bit of memory from the one real snow Macon has gotten in my lifetime. The great snow of ’73.

When I say great snow, I’m not joking. Here, 20+ inches in a bad storm isn’t really uncommon. In Macon, getting around 18 inches (what we measured, not sure the official measurement) was catastrophic. That’s what hit us, and everything did indeed shut down, including the power. Think that’s where I got my first large lesson on practical preparedness.

When my parents built the house, Dad had insisted on gas lines being run with outlets in key spots. Out in one of the utility rooms, we had old-school gas radiant heaters. They got cleaned up, brought inside, and hooked up so our house stayed warm. Had some of the neighbors come over for warm-up sessions since they had no heat. The government not having f’ed up gas stoves in the name of safety and efficiency at that point, our gas stove with those evil pilot lights worked like a charm, as did the oven. So, hot food, hot drinks, warm-up spot, we did right by the neighbors. Between flashlights, candles, and lamps, we had light too.

I think our beagle, Ralph, was over the whole thing before anyone else. When it first was snowing and all were home safe, it was a great adventure. The dog and I both had a blast playing in the snow. Soon enough, however, the snow was so deep we could barely see the tip of Ralph’s tail moving across the back yard. Could not see him at all, other than the tail. When he made it to the sliding glass door to come in, the look on his face clearly conveyed his opinion that this was bull****. He only went out when he absolutely had to go after that point.

For some reason I think Dad did have a scoop shovel, so we could clear a little bit at need. However, we and the rest of Macon pretty much had to wait for things to melt before the city could reopen. I remember that some smartass town in Alaska sent the mayor a single snow shovel as a gift to help with next time.

Just an odd memory that popped up, and one that made me laugh remembering the dog having to play snow shark…

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Quick Thoughts

Sorry to be lite with posting, but things are still more interesting than I care for. Personally and in terms of world events. Let’s start with the latter.

If you have missed seeing the video of the person illegally entering the country who told a reporter they were too stupid to know who they were, but to wait as soon all would know who he is, I’m not surprised. See here, here, and here for more and watch the full video and analysis. Corporate media is ignoring as hard as they can, so what little coverage of this and all the military-age muslim/middle-eastern men from places like Syria, Jordan, Afghanistan, etc. are getting is coming from new/alternative media. Which makes it a target for corporate media members and other influences to poo-poo you crazed conspiracy theorist you… Sigh. No matter how low an opinion you have of corporate media, it is not low enough. Also, can’t believe how many are claiming that the government has him under surveillance and won’t let anything happen — just like they’ve done with all those mass killing known wolves. Right. Keep your eyes open and be prepared, for this guy does plan to make himself known and unlike our government I suspect he’s competent. Which is sad as we will be the ones paying the bill.

Also in the news this morning is a report of a Russian Il-76 going down in Russian-controlled territory. The Russians are claiming it had POWs from Ukraine on board, while Ukraine says it had S-300 missiles. Some sources are saying Ukraine shot it down, but there is good reason to believe the Russians took it out by mistake (wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened). Keep an eye out as the tap dancing on this one is probably going to be impressive. Have to wonder if Ukraine hasn’t found an exploit given that there are still some persistent rumors that they tricked Russian air defense into shooting down their own AWACs plane… If I were Vladimir or other top leaders, I’d think twice before flying anywhere near the front right now. Oh, be sure to keep an eye on how Ukraine long-range attacks are forcing Russia to deploy/re-deploy AAD assets deeper and deeper into Russia.

Speaking of Russia, the politics continue. One of the more interesting things I’m noting is that people are no longer quite so cautious about attacking Kadyrov. A number of interesting people have begun not just talking in private, but in public (or encouraging others to do so) questioning how much if anything Kadyrov was doing to help win the war. This wasn’t helped by having a couple of his top people appear to consider shooting a Russian soldier who not only dared stop them at a checkpoint, but pointed out their paperwork was not in order. Kadyrov has not been tactful in his responses, which isn’t helping. Nor is it limited to those attacks. Recently a member of the Duma made some comments about muslims and islamic extremists, and predicted there could be clashes coming between Orthodox Christians and muslims. Kadyrov called for the member to be ousted and has blustered — and initial reports are it’s not going over well. We will see. For now, Vladimir is safe in power though April may be a different story.

Also, I’ve spoken highly of Kamil Galeev on here before, and I think his work on Russia, Russian history, politics, etc. is outstanding. His work on who in the West is providing advanced machine tools and more is very good and should be required reading for politicians and others involved with sanctions. That said, I’ve been made aware of some comments made by him in regards the Middle East and Israel and while disappointed (to be polite) it is a reminder than knowledge in one area often does not translate into other areas. If he goes into open antisemitism, I will be dropping him as a resource and can’t recommend his work outside of his specialty on Russia. Caveat Emptor.

The war by the White House on commercial space (and Elon in particular) continues. However, there is some good pushback and a reminder we need to push our congrescritters and others to prevent over-regulation and halt efforts by the White House to curtail commercial space. Hat tip to Instapundit for that one. Remember, as long as we are in the cradle of humanity, crib death is a possibility. We need to be out and exploring, for that is the only way to start to guarantee a real future for humanity.

I will add that if I could go up in space, I would. I would love being a part of the SpaceX human spaceflight program, though I fear at this point all I might contribute is ‘He survived launch.’ Wish protein crystallography out of UAB were still flying, as I think I remember how to operate their flight gear. I would seriously consider the moon or Mars, even if I knew it would be one way.

As for some of the personal stuff, my effort to get the heart diagnosis proven or disproved have hit a roadblock. I was under the impression that tomorrow’s scheduled meeting with the cardiologist was to answer the question. However, the doc got sick, and the person working to reschedule with another doc informed me that no it wasn’t, invasive tests were/are needed, and a bit more. Seems my visit was only scheduled for 20 minutes anyway, just long enough to make it a full-cost visit for insurance filing.

I am less than happy, to the point I’m considering looking for a new cardiologist, especially since this is not the first time I’ve been disappointed/less-than-impressed with her. I’m also having to do a bit of thinking since the mystery diagnosis (reminder, it showed up in another hospital’s online system but no one can tell me who made it, on what basis, etc.) is confirmed, there is no current treatment. Too bad, so sad.

Between that and some other stuff, been a little preoccupied. On a good news front, physical therapy is progressing as we can start doing more strength and related, which lets me actually do things with the extremely good range of motion. It also makes the sessions run a little long (at this point I’m mostly self-directed as I know what I’m to be doing and so start then get checked on every now and then. We tend to add in new stuff towards the end, and then next time I know to do it. It does make PT days a bit intense and tiring, however. So, that’s cut into the writing a bit.

May get more into some of the health stuff later, but for now just going to focus on getting done what I can while I can. I’m actually doing some things at the Church I’ve been attending, and enjoying them. We are not rushing my joining, though I very much appreciated the priest giving me a book to read for Christmas. Going to Church is dangerous to my wallet, as they have a bookstore there… 🙂 My Christmas treat to myself was a book on The Inklings that I’m hoping to start soon.

Hoping to get more writing done in the days ahead, though PT and health will have to come first. More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Some Thoughts On The Bible

Continuing my series of posts on faith and related, as I explore the holes in my memory and try to be sure I’m not missing anything important, at least in regards Faith. My explorations are my own, and in no way, shape, or form represent the official position of any denomination of Christianity — only my imperfect understanding of God and Faith. If anything here does help someone else, and does not distract or otherwise damage faith and belief, that’s a good thing. Bread upon the waters should never be considered a bad thing.

The Bible and scripture are where I’m finding a lot of holes in my memories. I know I’ve read several versions of the Protestant Bible in whole or in part, have read at least parts of the Catholic Bible (NAB version), and think I’ve read some or all of the apocrypha. I do remember enough to know that a favorite translation of mine is the King James version, though I’ve also read portions of the Revised Standard Version, Living Bible, and a few other hip and modern translations. I don’t recall being terribly impressed with the hip and modern translations. Guess I am old fashioned that way.

While I can’t remember reading a lot, I am pleasantly surprised at what scripture does pop up as I’m reading and studying. Which leads me to think that some of those memories are still there, somewhere, and that even damaged as my mind may be, guidance is happening.

No, my readings are not a nod to Sola Scriptura. While I think reading scripture is important, as is developing a personal understanding of scripture and Faith, I find the concept of scripture alone being enough/all that is needed much like eating the dry ingredients of a cake and declaring that to be the same as eating the final product. From what I have read, Martin Luther himself did not intend for this concept to be taken as far as it has by his followers. Even growing up in the Methodist Church, the lessons where we read the Bible were paired with presentations by various theologians and others on what the lesson meant.

While such augmentation did not extend back to the Fathers of the Church that I remember (and especially not to Catholic traditions and scholars), it added some leavening and richness that would otherwise have been missing. Again, what I remember of the past was that anytime there was that additional perspective presented, it boosted what was obtained from the Scriptures almost immeasurably. After all, to treat Faith as a purely intellectual exercise is to miss out on the depth, beauty, and love that transcend mere rationality and logic.

To my mind as it currently exists, I think that reading Scripture along with the thoughts of the Fathers of the Church and related sources is crucial to getting the most out of the experience. To put those words into the context of how and why things were done as they were boosts faith and adds to the experience of worship. It helps me to better develop my Faith and live the life I should be living.

That said, I would offer caution on some of the more modern takes being presented today. When it comes to prosperity and getting rich, rich, rich through Christ, I would simply suggest a search on the topics of rich men, wealth, and such then reading said scripture. Eyes of needles is perhaps the mildest of what will be found. Why no, I’m not a fan of prosperity gospel.

When it comes to the extremely modern take that Christ is your friend, your good and mellow buddy who is really laid back, ready to give you anything you need or want, share his stash, etc., with never a need for repayment, might I suggest running a search in the King James or RSV for all the times Christ called someone friend? Think you are going to have fingers left over, and it is worth considering his comments in those instances. For what it is worth, I do think Christ is our friend, just not in the modern meaning of such and very much in a more old fashioned way.

On a more fun note, I do remember an exercise that I was given somewhere around the ninth grade. For it, I was asked to read the Bible (any edition) as if it were a novel. While that was a bit of a challenge, doing so was a very interesting and positive experience. By starting with Genesis and working forward, it was interesting to see the developments and how much reading that way brought out the foreshadowing of Christ in scripture. I remember being very surprised by how much this exercise brought out.

More recently, I had the Book of Luke brought to my attention for a couple of reasons. One was the thought by theologians and historians that Luke interviewed/talked to not just some of those still living who knew Christ, but also the Virgin Mary herself. When you look at Luke, note the stories of his youth which are only located in that Book, and think of the stories only a mother could and would tell.

There is something else about Luke I was going to discuss here, but now can’t remember what it was. I miss, very much, having working short- and long-term memory. There are days it does get a bit frustrating, but I also have faith that it is for a reason, and there is something I am to learn or do as a result of this. I try not to let the glitches, and having my train of thought go off the rails, the bridge, and smash into the gorge, get to me. Too much.

I do remember that I wanted to say a few words about authorship and something for which I am thankful. As someone who has spent a good bit of my career translating scientificese and engineerese into something vaguely approaching American (gave up on English years ago, no one here speaks it anyway), I simply am glad that the Apostles were honest fishermen and such, and not academics or other such “learned” types. By the time the “learned” got a hold of their words, Tradition was already set for the most part. My opinion is that we are much the richer for it.

And, yes, I do realize that Luke was a physician and scholarly. He was not, however, an academic as we think of such and thankfully not an engineer. As a result, we have two books that are different from, but complementary to, the Books of Matthew, Mark, John, etc. Can you imagine the results if you were to turn most modern woke academics loose on Scripture? Shudder.

If I do remember the other item I meant to share, I will try to work it into a future post. For now, I am at peace with the gaps in my memories of reading the Bible given that somehow I am having the needed scripture (or info on where to look) pop up as needed. Yes, I do plan to add some reading of Scripture to my list regardless. Such reading and re-reading is a good thing, and I commend it to all.

The Series Of Posts:

Exploring Faith, Christianity, and Theology

Some Thoughts On God, And Man

Some Additional Background Memories

What Is Christianity?

A Different Type Of Irrational Actor

In several of the posts in my category on nuclear use and/or war, I talk about the “actors” involved. No, not the Hollyweird types but the (so-called) leaders of various nuclear powers.

Back when such was primarily the U.S. and Soviet Union, the basic feeling was that both parties were rational actors. That is, they were of reasonably sound mind, had rational interests in protecting the lives and livelihoods of their respective countries, and were not bent on destroying the world. Even as the club grew, this remained the basic framework for evaluation and consideration of the actions of those people.

There was always at least some (lip) service given to the potential for madmen to get control of a weapon or even a missile or plane. Or, that some form of technological failure would set things off. The presumptions behind Fail Safe (book and movie) was about the former, while the satire Dr. Strangelove presented the latter. That said, both dealt with larger-scale events and both led to efforts to prevent or mitigate same. Twilight’s Last Gleaming looked at someone gaining control of a nuclear missile command post/silo. The ridiculous The Manhattan Project looked at a student building an atomic bomb. Dawn’s Early Light examined rogue Soviet agents firing a missile from Turkey to provoke an exchange.

As far as the public (and media of the day) were concerned, the real problems lay with rational actors and the chance for mistakes or other to lead to an exchange. The public sentiment seemed to be that rational actors would otherwise never consider a nuclear exchange. The chance of a madman/terrorist getting a bomb was not considered real in terms of public perceptions. For those actually involved with security and proliferation, it was a larger concern than was generally shared with the public. So, between the perceptions of the public outlined above via movies, and concerns for safety, as weapon design advanced so did the safety mechanisms. PIDs (which could be snap hooks or cheap padlocks) were replaced by PALs. At least for some weapons, which is why the loss of the Soviet arms depot just before the Soviet Union came apart was (and is) worrying to the pros. Odds of any such weapons still being viable, if they ever existed or were missing, is slim. That said, the materials and parts within them are potentially a different matter. If they were there, real, and missing that is.

So, what happens when a state with nuclear weapons is not a rational actor in accordance with the basic framework? What happens when it’s not one madman who gets in charge, but rather an entire government that has a very different take on the world and what is rational within it?

It’s a very interesting question, and one we may get to explore more than theoretically in the coming days. A certain degree of lip service, if that, has been given to the concept of a state that has a very different take on politics and religion, but the “experts” have tended to push that they would behave as rational actors. My thoughts on that have never been in full (or most other) agreement as the leaders of such a country would not think as we think, within a framework of thought crafted by Western civilization. Pretty much the “mores” argument on dealing with the Soviets/Russians, but with added mayhem.

So, in the last week we’ve had a country, that if it is not already a nuclear weapons power is extremely close to being such, attacking multiple countries not just by proxy but directly via ballistic missiles — including three that are believed to be nuclear powers. This on top of conducting “covert” operations on a wide scale, possibly into the Americas. A government hanging on in many ways by a thread with a population that is a powder keg looking for a spark. A government that is a theocracy that makes typical repression look tame. A government that advocates and works for their version of Armageddon as it will bring about the return of the hidden imam and the creation of a world-wide Islamic caliphate.

By no measure can Iran be considered a typical rational actor in terms of nuclear use/non-use scenarios. In fact, I consider them far more unstable than North Korea, and that’s saying something. Especially given a number of rather troubling developments with Kim and the North Korean government/military that don’t bode well for a peaceful 2024. That’s a nightmare that I will leave for others to explain. In regards Iran, you have a regime that has no regard for human life on any level. Such is a Western concept they reject completely and totally. They consider lives outside of themselves as even less than those they wantonly kill or maim to stay in power.

Aside from the U.S. and Israel, Iran has chosen to attack Pakistan, which is a nuclear power. Which has responded with attacks of its own that may be just the start of retaliation per various declarations. While some are saying they won’t really go at it as both are Islamic, the fact is they are two different “flavors” of Islam and they are not compatible. This has the potential to get very, very interesting on its own.

Now, let’s look at a known feature of Iranian activities: the use of proxies/catspaws. Something I’ve brought up from time to time is a concern that this would apply even to nuclear operations. To make it even more fun, I can think of several ways they could make such a use appear to be the result of others being careless, such as China or North Korea. There is growing evidence that both the latter have supplied weapons (and more) to Hamass, Hezbowlah, and the Houthi/Hootie. Or, despite their apparent closeness to Russia, suspect that they would be more than glad to set them up as well.

Given the reported involvement of China with Iran’s nuclear weapon and missile development, do you think it would be hard to get enough material to obfuscate the origins of a nuclear weapon? Or that others might share material (or help obtain such) to use for such a purpose from others? While analysis can often tell us where the nuclear materials in any device, dirty or otherwise, came from there has always been the possibility of spoofing that, or at least to providing enough to put the analysis into question. Remember that arms depot and that there is potentially a fair bit of nuclear materials available for use/reuse, from every major nuclear power. Just a thought to brighten your day.

Now, let’s kick things up a notch. Imagine if a nuclear weapon detonated within Yemen, or after being launched by the Houthi at a ship in the gap. On the former, I would expect to see Israel blamed and the large number of governments demand (or even execute) attacks on/destruction of Israel. The huge amount (and growing) of antisemitism is not an accident or otherwise unplanned. Even if it was clear the detonation came from a missile or drone launched from Yemen, expect a large and coordinated push to blame Israel. Now, to kick it up even further, consider what would happen if the Biden Regency, which is not terribly pro-Israel (and has a number of antisemites within it) has to react to American warships, or even a CBG, caught in such a blast.

Or, while less likely image if something were to happen in or near Venezuela where both China and Iran have been busy, busy, busy. Imagine it happened to a British ship or ships, or to the capital of the country they want to invade. Far fetched you say? Not as much as I would like.

Because it all comes back to Iran being a non-rational state actor. They are an Islamic theocracy driven by religious beliefs and more importantly goals. Their actions have to be analyzed and considered in that light. To continue, as some “experts” seem determined to do, to treat and analyze them as rational actors is ridiculous. Even absent nuclear intents, it is foolish in the extreme to consider them a rational actor and treat them accordingly.

That the Biden Regency/Obama II The Dementia Boogaloo will continue to do so, and work for them instead of against them, is a given. Once bought, they do tend to stay bought… Which is all the more likely to escalate the situation. It is also driving a wedge into a number of long-term and/or important alliances. This fracturing is very detrimental to the concepts of peace and stability, be it deliberate or otherwise. It also means anything done by another that might be effective will be resisted if not prevented by the Regency.

Meantime, Iran will continue it’s international game of chicken and work towards its own ends. While for many in the West the attacks on three nuclear powers makes no sense, it did and does make sense to the mad mullahs in Tehran. I strongly suspect we would be a lot better off if our experts would start trying to look at it from their viewpoint rather than continuing to try to shoehorn it into the rational actor box. They are not rational actors as we think of it, and failure to acknowledge that is going to have very bad results.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Shoulder Update

With the car iffy, and the car door still not working, decided to walk to the doctor’s appointment this morning. It’s not far, and usually just about a fifteen minute walk (20 if traffic is interesting). With single digit temps and below-zero wind chills, I dressed in layers and even put on the neck gator, face saver, and broke out Fluffy into full cold combat mode. Had to open up a bit to get the phone and yes I forgot to hit the glasses with anti-fog…

Got there early as had allowed a good bit of extra time just in case, and the doc was able to see me early. Short version: he’s very happy with how things are going, and said he was good with no restrictions and starting to move into building strength in both arms. Still a ways to go on stretching out muscles and tendons in both arms, but now we can truly start to work it.

Heard back from the insurance company on the change in my PCP/GP. They are blaming it on a system update that somehow mysteriously caused the change. Purportedly they have changed it back. Still have the doctor’s office checking things just to be safe, as aside from some COVID-related issues, I really like this doc. One of his goals is to get me into good enough shape that I can stop taking some of the medicines I’m currently prescribed. He’s into whole-body health, prevention, and other things I think are good things. Would like to keep him for a while longer.

Tomorrow, will take the bus and go get more anti-freeze and see if I can get the car thawed out and the door to close. Really don’t want to drive it holding the door shut manually, though I have had to do that before. Am also going to check into taking the bus to PT, just to be safe. I really don’t want to miss another day.

Meantime, Iran is feeling frisky, the Biden Regency/Obama II The Dementia Boogaloo is a laughingstock to our enemies (and even to many allies), and the enemies of civilization are parading openly in Europe, Canada, and here. Hope to get to some of that later today, but will see how it goes. Be warm; be safe; and keep your friends and family close, and your things where you can find them in the dark. Be prepared.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.