Catching Up

Yes, I’ve been off routine. Yes, I’ve been off posting. Things have been interesting. Time to catch up a bit.

Monday was another doctor day, this time with my GP. The first time I went to see him a few years ago, we got to joking around and as a result my lab results now come with a letter grade. Monday was an A-. Most of it was very good, but my triglycerides spiked. Hopefully, it boils down to my cheating a bit on keto and getting told to stop that.

Afterwards, decided to stop by the cigar store to check up on a few people, including the person with cancer for whom I asked for prayers. Did get to meet up with them and others, and while it’s rough the cancer is being fought. Hard. Got to see another who’s been having some health issues as well, along with just some of the regulars. Good to catch up. My budget does not miss smoking my cigars, but I do really miss the camaraderie. It’s not like I smoked a lot either, but good sticks tend to not be in the $3.99 bin… 🙂

Upon attempting to leave, the car wouldn’t start. No joy on jump with the jump pack from the battery store in the shopping center. No joy on new battery I bought at said store. Finally got it jumped in the most expensive jump I’ve ever had from the tow truck that was going to haul it to the mechanic for me. Kept it going, got to a different mechanic who was recommended, and he confirmed the alternator is dead/dying and I did make it home by keeping the RPMs up above 2000 for as much of the tip as possible as that got a little juice to the battery.

Taking it to the new mechanic tomorrow to get the new alternator installed. Just finished double-checking my fluid levels and getting the new battery out so I can charge it overnight. With that, and keeping the RPMs up at or above 2000 as much as possible, hope to make it.

On top of all those joys was the horrific school shooting. I’m beyond disgusted with corporate media and others trying to make the murderer the “real” victim in all this. Also with all those doing the “Christian children slaughtered, Trans community hardest hit” bullshit. And, no, I will not say the name. No attention, no publicity, no nuthin for that miserable despicable creature. I’m still looking for confirmation that the nine-year-old girl was shot because she was trying to pull the fire alarm to summon help. No greater love. If true, shades, a warrior walks among you.

I am watching things in Russia and elsewhere. On the fighting front, the battle with the beaver has been some much needed comic relief. Great play on the Texas Ranger motto: One trenchline, One beaver. Yes, a beaver has occupied a section of trench on the front, and so far is holding it against all comers. Go Beaver!

The storage unit insurance company also contacted me. The limit on the coverage means I’m getting less than a third the value, but it will be enough (I hope) to cover the car repairs. Need the car for just a bit longer, say a year or so. That, or I need to win the lottery so I can get a truck. For the record: I would rather have Flo back than the money, but so far no joy. I’ve called metal recyclers and others, and am trying to figure out where else I should look or call.

There’s more, but those are the major points. Hope to get back to regular posting here soon.

Be alert. Be prepared. Keep the essentials where you can find them in the dark at need.

Hate To Do This

For a number of years, I have volunteered time, expertise, and encouragement to individuals and groups involved with first time buyers of firearms. It has often been fun, and it is nice to help people get into responsible firearms ownership. The fact is, I think the more hard-targets out there, the better — particularly in minority communities.

As a part of that, I have offered my time to Pink Pistols/Operation Blazing Sword a time or two. I like and even admire what Erin Palette is doing there/trying to do. It is something that is needed. Let me be very clear: Erin and her organization are focused on defensive and lawful use.

Unfortunately, I now have concerns that any number of programs focused on defensive and responsible firearms ownership and use could be being exploited by those gaming the system to develop an offensive capability. As a result, I am stepping back from all organizations until matters are resolved and I can be more confident that efforts to game the system are being appropriately dealt with.

With everything that is going on, and the Trans Day of Vengeance coming up, I just want to say: Be Careful Out There. Be prepared, keep your head on a swivel, and your things where you can find them in the dark.

Good News

Yesterday was another medical day, as I had a visit with my cardiologist. I had hoped for routine, and got something better.

Based on the data and trends, she has decided that she doesn’t need to see me for a year. Not months, or six months, but a year. On some levels, I feel like someone has thrown open the jailhouse door.

Now, this did come with some admonitions in varying degrees of sternness. There are a list of things that if I experience them I am to call her ASAP. There is a shorter list that if I experience them, or even think I might be starting to experience them, I am to go to the nearest ER immediately and then contact her afterwards. I am required to continue being a good boy on various levels.

We both agree getting rid of an inch or three is a good idea, but I have to be careful about that. In the past, I’ve done some fairly high-intensity workouts that combined cardio with strength training. I’ve been able to support workouts that put me above 160 BPM for extended times, as in an hour or more.

I’m pretty much not allowed to do that any more. I am to ease into things, keep my pulse what others consider reasonable, and also have to accept that not only do I need to modify cardio routines, the joint and other issues are going to curtail strength routines. The local Y has some e-machines I’ve used before that with a couple of exceptions should continue to be good for the joint/mobility issues. Short of regenerative medicine becoming available and working very well, or the joys of replacing both shoulder joints, my range of motion is going to continue to blow. The e-machines not only force me to do things right, they make it almost impossible to screw up.

So, going to be looking at that even as I hopefully can get back into more regular walks here soon. It being Indiana and springtime, that’s likely to be after April, as I’ve seen it snow even in fairly late April. The balance and coordination issues are also going to have to be factored in. There are days I have few obvious problems, then there are days where there is no way to hide them. When I went in for the SSA physical, the doc asked me if I could do X, Y, and Z. I said lets find out. Let’s just say that if I have to have a field sobriety test, call me Boston as I am scrod. The heel-toe thing had me falling over. The other items also showcased balance and coordination issues. Glad I have my walking stick!

I also got an unexpected kudo yesterday. Back when I had to have the open heart surgery, the ICU night shift (accidentally or “accidentally”) put the bed control/call button out of reach. Given my thoughts about the night shift nurse (I was underwhelmed by him to the point I actually said something about it), who knows. I rarely used it, but that night I did need some help. However, since I couldn’t move at that point to get it, I did something many talk about but apparently few do: I unplugged the cable for the 12-lead. Once I was sure help was on the way, I plugged it back in having made my point.

The nurse (tech?) I had yesterday was new to me, but she was delighted with what I had done (and I suspect why I did it). Got told I was her type of patient. Have to admit, it made me laugh.

So, the challenges continue but there is good news to share. Here’s hoping I don’t have to see her again for the full year.

The Smell

I’m so glad my sense of smell did not take a hit from the lightning strike. Saved my bacon earlier today, well, the chicken at least.

The short-term memory issues are fun. I use routine, notes, and reminders to get things done, and my breakfast routine is focused more on being sure things are cut off, which leads to sometimes forgetting to cut burners on at the start.

Today, I wanted to cook some chicken so I can make chicken enchiladas tomorrow. So, the breast I got on sale went into a pan with green enchilada sauce and tomatillo salsa to cook at 250 for a few hours. Got to working on the previous post, forgot about the chicken, hadn’t made notes, so… Few hours later, was wondering what the landlord was cooking (he rarely does) as it smelled good. It was then that I remembered the chicken, which got about an hour or so extra time. Didn’t hurt it, didn’t dry it out, so still on to make enchiladas tomorrow.

Just a little bit of a typical day to share.

Complex Reality II

My post last week on Complex Reality did not go over well in some quarters. In fact, only David Strom at Hot Air got it at all, and his twitter thread was a good take. Much appreciated too. Several took me to task for failing to provide good counter-options to the Chamberlin Brigade and the War Brigade.

There are no good options to suggest.

Give me a moment here and let’s review a few things. There are indeed options, but none of them are what I would call good options.

First up, we would not be in the mess except for the fact that we have incompetent leadership. The Biden Regency is corrupt, incompetent, and unswervingly bent on ideological matters (fundamentally transforming America). Our military leadership is equally incompetent and all in on the religious conversion (on the religious aspect, see Glenn’s take here). We are well past the point any remaining competent GOFOs should have been putting stars on the table (and, honestly, even birds and bars). If any have, it’s not made the general run of RUMINT yet. The current lot of GOFOs couldn’t organize a drinking party in a distillery (yes, tempted to use a different analogy but the Pentagon is already one of the largest whorehouses in DC), and actually winning a war is not even on the table. Proper party indoctrination takes time and money, and, who needs a training budget anyway given they see time spent on struggle sessions as being far more important than actual combat training. Before I go on a rant about this and other things, here’s a point to consider: name me one thing of importance our so-called elites have been right about in the past year; the past three years; the past five years; or, the last ten years.

Then again, Russia has its problems too. Oligarchy and a system that puts a very different take on doing in the competition (and extends it to all walks and levels of life) tends to stifle innovation and competition. Corruption at all levels, and in all branches of service, tends to give you a military that can’t live up to the hype.

Add to it a leadership and population who absolutely believe that the West invaded them after the fall of communism and that they are literally at war with the West, and it makes the situation even touchier. This, and other memes, are often dismissed as propaganda by well-educated idiots in said West, but are the real cultural belief of a complex people who are not ‘just like us but speak funny.’ The roots of this really do go back to the Enlightenment, and to the decision to go with the German model rather than the British when the Czars (Czarina) decided to “modernize” Russia a few hundred years back. And, yes, the anti-British/anti-West roots of the modern Slavophile movement do go back that far.

Now, throw in this little ice water douche into the mix. The argument is often made we have no viable reason to support Ukraine as they are not a member of NATO, etc. Back when the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine suddenly found itself the third largest nuclear power in the world. For a number of reasons, pretty much nobody was happy with that, so the United States and other countries and entities stepped up to guarantee Ukraine’s safety if they gave up all those nukes. Now, the fact is we pretty much abrogated our responsibilities under those agreements back in the wake of the first Russian invasion. Yet, they do still bind us as a matter of honor. While honor is in short supply in political and military leadership around the world, it is something a country should be very careful about discarding completely. It takes generations to rebuild the trust that is lost, and as David and I discussed on Twitter, I don’t think we’ve got those generations.

The magic money press the Biden Regency is running flat out is flat out running us into the ground. We literally can’t afford to keep it running as the bills for that magic money are already past due. We also are facing shortages of critical weapons, as I noted last week. Beege Wellborn has been all over this on Twitter, and courtesy of an exchange she had, I suggest you read this and consider the following.

We are talking about years to decades (and if you want to see schedules slip, look at any military procurement schedule) to restock to peacetime levels. Way things are going, we don’t have that much time. We also need to be building up to wartime levels and training/recruiting to fight a two front war, as that is the quickest way to stop any number of aggressions. Right now, the Brits are facing running out of critical supplies in one day (HT Instapundit). I’ve been hearing for a while that we are looking at doing so in three days. I will simply note again (and again and again) that peacetime stocks are a joke, and anyone who tells you they are sufficient is also a joke.

A good solution to the current situation would be to cut spending, use the Defense Production Act for actual military supplies and needs, and supply actual arms to Ukraine with audit and oversight to ensure they don’t end up on the black market. The billions need to stop. At least from us. Oh, and we need to get back to training to win wars, not how to win a drag show.

That radical Jazz Shaw actually proposed something along those lines, with having other NATO members actually step up to their obligations. I think that’s a great idea, and Germany should take the lead. Then again, in some ways I’m a radical too.

Given our leadership, as well as theirs, that’s not going to happen. The Regency is fine with the billions and the money laundering. If you don’t think there is any, you might want to look at Sam the Scam and how many funds went into his crypto operation from Ukraine. Just a hint, but that’s the tip of the iceberg.

Until we can sustain what we are doing, we need to cut back on what is going to Ukraine. We need others to step up and match deeds to words when it comes to supplying arms and funds. Where there are roadblocks to them doing so, we need to remove those roadblocks if we can do so. This is not a good solution, but it is workable — sorta.

The fact is, if Vladimir and Russia are not stopped now, we are going to have a bigger problem later when they go after all the former republics. And, yes, they will do so. And go for even more besides. For all that many here deride Russkiy Mir as a joke, it is not such to the Russians. It is the blueprint for Slavophile redemption, and they will pursue it religiously unless they are unable to do so. I agree with Kamil Galeev that the only way that happens is if the Russian Federation breaks up or is broken up. On the latter, no “safe” way to do that and on the former odds are against it despite certain areas being restive in regards rule by Moscow. For all that China wants certain areas back, and Russia seems to be willing to risk the China trap (and Xi appears to be pulling out the stops to get Ukraine to fall completely into the Chinese Road trap), I wouldn’t count on external factors yet.

Quick aside for Zelensky: be careful, China will offer all sorts of loans and massive rebuilding for a fee. When you can’t pay, they seize and either retain — or sell it to Russian ownership. Just a hint, as even I can see that one coming.

Again, reality is complex and rarely subject to simple or simplistic solutions. There is not a good solution to the problem that is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There are varying degrees of unpalatable solutions, none of which address many of the real if underlying issues at play. Trust me, if I spot what I think might be even a glimmer of a realistic solution to restore peace and prevent the next war, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Until then…


Flo in happier times

My Saturday afternoon was interrupted by a call I first thought was a telemarketer, and now really wish it had been. Instead, it was the manager of the storage facility where I have most of what’s left of my life put away for now. Not a huge thing, less than half the normal size, but packed full of memories and the few things I’ve been able to hold onto these last few years. Including my books.

One of those things was Flo, officially named “Flowing in the Wind” by Phigmuth (also spelled Fhighmuth), a five-and-a-half-foot tall bronze statue that came into my life via 9-11. I used to have a small art collection, mostly paintings, but also three bronzes that came out of my first visit to NYC after 9-11.

Let’s just say that New York was not itself in those early days. Among other things, everyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop. As a member of NYPD put it while we were out on the river checking some things out, including a possible dead body, “Take a look at it while it’s still here!” The “it” in this case was the Statue of Liberty, which he made sure I and the crew got a good look at, just in case.

It wasn’t just the tourists not crowding around, as the natives had a tendency to do what was needed and get home as well. It was almost like I had the streets to myself (at least compared to normal) as I wandered around between meetings and such. Walking around after one such meeting, which had taken me from various points south and much closer to Central Park, I spotted a place who’s name I actually recognized, and as they were open, I decided to go in and browse the art.

I was all but tackled in welcome, and actually did finally whip around holding my hands up in a cross and hissing like Dracula at them as they hovered over me. We talked a bit, and they explained that I was the first major customer that had had come in since 9-11. My immediate response was to ask what made them think I was a major customer?

“You are in here!”

As a NASA contractor, I wasn’t exactly rich or even well off. That said, I saw and fell in love with Flo. Problem was, there were many other items and if I had been rich I could have made out like a bandit on bronzes, paintings, and more. On my more modest means, I ended up being made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got a nice price on Flo, and they essentially threw in two other small bronzes (a statue and a lamp). According to them, it was their first sale since 9-11. Over the years and ups and downs, the other two left but I have managed to hold on to Flo no matter what.

Until Saturday. Despite video and alarms, a crew got into the fenced storage site, inside a building, and hit around 13 units. From what I was hearing, they didn’t dig in deep, but just took one or two things from each unit from near the front. In my case they dug a bit, but that was because I had two empty gun cases in there that they must have thought were the motherload. One day soon will need to get some boxes, bags, and tape and go down and clean up.

I found some of my stuff in the mostly vacant unit next door, where they had pulled out enough stuff to get Flo’s crate open and her out. Sort of suspect they may have used it for some other units too. It was the bedspread that had been in the crate as padding that caused me (and the uniform taking my report) to look into that unit. An empty storage tote of mine makes me think they got some other stuff, but I don’t have a clue what it is or could be. Stupid lightning.

My first thought was to reach out to various contacts to spread the word of my loss, and to see if anyone might have any idea of someone who might possibly hear of artwork on the market (your friendly local Fence). That appears to be a dwindling occupation, as I learned that often bronzes and such are often chosen because they can be quickly sold with few questions to metal recyclers. A 200 pound statue gets not nearly the money it’s worth as an artwork, but more than enough to make a smash-and-grab profitable.

From what I was hearing yesterday, Flo is probably already broken up and sold. Possibly before I even got down to the unit. Recyclers who don’t ask questions (and also often buy catalytic converter cores without proper paperwork) also have a tendency to crush/cut/etc. to get rid of evidence as quickly as possible I hear. So, despite the quick response by Greenwood PD, odds are I will not be reunited with Flo barring a bit of a miracle.

I’m having a hard time praying nicely for the thieves, as the nasty part of me both wishes they had tipped over the stack of very heavy crates onto themselves when going for the gun cases, and that poetic justice pays them a visit. An old part of me wouldn’t mind witnessing, or even assisting, that poetic operation. The rest of me remembers I’m old, don’t get around well, and am a nice wolf now.

Flo at Christmas

Besides, Flo herself epitomized the freedom of letting go, casting aside your fears, and making the most of the moment that is now. For all that my now has brought back some of the absolute horror that was 9-11 and the aftermath, it has also brought back the memories of how she came into my life, of the beauty, resilience, and even niceness that peeked through New York in those days. And of the moments where her beauty enriched my days, and often made me smile. A few small long-term memories restored is a nice thing, though I wish circumstances were different. Remember kids: getting hit by lightning sucks. Don’t do that.

Yes, I can get a cheaper casting but it won’t be the same. The casting I lucked into would never have been mine under other circumstances, given the normal price. And, yes, quality matters. If things ever work out where I could find a casting of the same quality, I would have to think about it. If there is a small miracle, and she finds her way home, I will be beyond delighted. She also won’t go back into storage, as I will find a way to get her into my room.

Even if I can’t move to the SW yet, need to find some place to call my own. Some place I can have my books out, hang what little art I have left, and get the other bits of beauty and the past out of storage. If you are the praying kind, please ask that I be shown what I should do and where I should go. Thanks.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, 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.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Had planned to do more today despite it being a medical day, but I fell in with evil companions who plied me with Iris “water” good food, and some good conversations. I’m even now home with a bottle of good Irish “water.”

May your day be blessed, and may it have been as good a break for you as it was for me.

Complex Reality

I’ve been watching both the Chamberlin Brigade and War Brigade go at it for the last few weeks, and shaking my head. We are well past the point where adult discussion is needed, but we also appear in no danger of such taking place anytime soon. Instead, there is a whole bunch of reeeeing within the Beltway involving Presidential politics while the American public outside the Beltway is just looking at those inside the beltway like the purple-clothed guy in the meme.

The Chamberlin Brigade is breathlessly touting peace-at-any-price because oh my stars we might have WWIII and it might go nuclear. No shit! Really? That was a possibility from the start, and Vladimir has played it to the hilt because that threat has worked for him on many levels and with far too many leaders. Let’s just say that when one world leader tells another he’s scared to death of nuclear war and will do anything to avoid it, it gives the other a tremendous amount of leverage. Especially when the one with the leverage knows that the other leader is a demented meat puppet who’s Regency is incompetent and more focused on day-to-day venality.

It also doesn’t help that quite a bit of the world remembers the guarantees made when Ukraine gave up the nuclear weapons on its soil. Those watching now know exactly what those guarantees were worth, and the quicksand on which current promises are made. Especially when one looks at the divisions within NATO. Particularly the division between those newer members who have been serious about their commitments and readiness, and those older states who have chosen to ignore those commitments and count on the United States to fund (directly and indirectly) their social programs and provide true defense for them. Particularly one member who rather cheerfully bet their whole future, energy and otherwise, on partnerships and other agreements with a known unfriendly power — and who’s companies continue to defy sanctions to provide that unfriendly power with tech and more. In regard that member, this is an interesting read. Of course, they are not alone on that and it is amazing the number of companies around the world cheerfully joining in on that short-sighted effort, including (apparently) some in the U.S.

The Chamberlin Brigade lives in the fantasy that since the U.S. is the major provider for the Ukraine, that it can impose an immediate cease-fire and settlement. That they can force Ukraine to cede territory, stop the fighting, and all will be well. Peace, light, joy, all joining together to sing Kumbaya, and cute fuzzy predators and prey frolicking peacefully together in the fields. This, of course, demands ignoring things starting with 2014 and going backwards. It also demands ignoring most world history of the last 300 or so years, especially the politics of the region.

The fact is, that even before Russkiy Mir, the Baltics, Poland, and others were inclined to look at Russian promises askance, if not flat out disbelief. They know very well what Russian promises of peace, of friendship, and other such things are worth. As it is, they have paid far more attention to the efforts to create the new Russian Empire than the over-educated idiots in DC who are far more focused on internal politics and empire building than in external affairs or even rudimentary competence. The memories of what it means to be a neighbor and then vassal of Russia linger, and the centuries do not dim them. Most have experiences far more recent, and if you want but one example ask an Estonian about the Soviet bombing of Tallinnn during WWII, and the interesting targeting of same. These are people who know in the marrow of their bones what any Russian peace or non-aggression pact or promise is worth.

They are also well aware of current Russian efforts to destabilize their countries. If you think Moldova is the only country where such efforts are underway, again I have a bridge for sale cheap. It even extends beyond the former client states, as seen here. All of the former Soviet-occupied countries are aware of such fifth columns, just as they are all aware of Russian intelligence and sabotage efforts, such as what was just broken up in Poland. This is all a rich tradition that goes back decades, and is far more extensive than many realize. Just look at Soviet involvement with the environmental movement, Greens, Green Party, etc. If it would destabilize the West and undermine the concepts of the Enlightenment, they were and are all-in.

The War Brigade is just as willfully short-sighted in their efforts. They see an “easy” proxy war fought under many of the same rules as Vietnam et al, not accepting that the world has changed a bit since then. Heck, or even since the proxy wars in Central and South America, some of which technically are still going. A good proxy war could last a long, long time and offer all sorts of opportunities for graft, money laundering, and other delights. That assumes that everyone is willing to play by the old rules, and Xi and others haven’t shown a particular desire to do so. Yep, bringing up Winnie the Xi as this is NOT just a regional conflict.

It is already WWIII on many levels, as the players extend far beyond just Russia and Ukraine. It extends well beyond the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia. It includes North Korea, China, Iran, and even a few others. Both the Chamberlin Brigade and the War Brigade are ignoring that reality for all they are worth. Just as they are humming and drumming their feet over the reality on the ground in the region. They are ignoring the fact that the Ukrainian people, not just their leadership, are pissed off and fighting the invasion. They are ignoring that the Baltics and others would rather slag their own countries than return to being any part of the new greater Russian empire. They are ignoring that the last time this was tried we went from less than a million dead to tens of millions dead in less than a generation. They ignore that peace-at-any-price has never worked at any time in history.

What is the answer? I don’t know. The worst long-term outcome is for the Chamberlin Brigade to win, as it guarantees a much worse bloodbath not too far in the future that is likely to include non-limited use of nuclear or other special weapons. The worst short-term outcome is likely to be if the War Brigade gets its way, as things may escalate in ways not anticipated. My take remains that if Vladimir can’t take Ukraine, he will make sure no one gets it via using the destruction of the nuclear plants to render it, and even parts of the Baltics, a wasteland. That it might do so to parts of Western Russia is just the cost of doing business.

Factor in that the U.S. can’t afford to keep sending billions of dollars and tons of weapons to the conflict. Our economy and banking system are a tottering house of cards. We have already sent critical stocks of multiple weapons/systems that will take us years to replace. If we got into a shooting war with a major power (cough, China, cough), we are like NATO in that we will be doing good to have three days of critical supplies. We are well below critical levels in a number of areas, and that fact has indeed been noted by our enemies. While there are some token efforts to boost production, at current levels it will take not years, but decades, to replenish peace-time stocks. Here’s a clue for free: peacetime levels are always massively below wartime needs. In peace, the beancounters rule and why maintain massive stocks when DIE and other nice-to-dos need funding? War requires massive amounts of stocks, unless you are willing to expend troops in place of munitions. Might want to ask the Russians how that’s working out for them. The War Brigade might also want to look at our falling recruitment and retention numbers, and may also want to look at the percentages of same going back a decade or so that involve actual combat troops and leaders.

My personal take remains that I hope Ukraine kicks Vladimir’s ass and gets back ALL their territory. Russkiy Mir needs to be stopped, not encouraged. I also still feel that this is not a fight that needs even one drop of blood from our troops. Our ability to continue to provide funds and war stocks to the Ukraine is already well beyond unsustainable. We can’t fight a one front war under current circumstances, much less a two-front war as called for. What is done and how do we do it? I don’t have an answer. Of those I’ve seen who say they do, reality doesn’t seem to be a factor in those plans.

There is more I wanted to get into today, such as demographics, the role of prison culture in Russian life and high-level politics, the Enlightenment and why Russia hates the British, and other factors, but the above is where my Muse led me. Tomorrow is not likely a day when I get to delve into any of those areas as it is a medical day. Joy.

In this, as in all of life, there are no easy answers. Beware anyone who tells you there are such. The best I can offer for now is to be prepared, be patient, keep your things where you can find them in the dark.

NOTE: If you need anything else to disturb your sleep, read this.

SVB And Other Thoughts

Since I’m still dragging, this may not be to my normal level of in the weeds, but we need to cover the current financial issues that start with SVB. Well, it really starts with the Federal Government and certain former members of same including Barney Frank, working hard to avoid or even roll-back provisions of Dodd-Frank. Yep, same person who helped regulate the banks worked against that same regulation while on the board of a bank that just got shut down. More on that in a bit.

First, let’s review some of the information out there. Start with this piece by Francis Turner guest posting at Sarah’s. Good overview, good links, and as always with something by Francis some good food for thought. One thing to add: anything by Francis is worth reading, as even if you end up disagreeing with his conclusion(s), you get a lot of food for thought and additional points for consideration.

When it comes to SVB, Signature Bank, and others, keep an eye on Hot Air, Instapundit, and on Twitter I’m finding Frog News/Frog Capital to be an interesting and occasionally contrarian take on things. Pretty much have to agree with David Strom that this was truly the dumbest take on SVB out there. Recommend reading the posts by Beege Welborn in chronological order. This post by the inimitable Stephen Green, and all the links in it, are well worth the read.

My short take is: against every rule, law, and promise, the Federal Government has stepped in to make everyone right in regards SVB, including Democrat megadonors, the Brit Twits, and others including the Chinese economy which was seriously impacted by SVB; the Signature Bank action is interesting since the trigger(s) for such actions did not appear to be reached and even Barney Frank himself noted that it might be related to the creation of a Federal Cryptocurrency; and, we are not done yet.

Is the U.S. banking system and economy in trouble: yes. Are there going to be a massive number of bank failures? Not at this time. Personally, I would be unsurprised if a few more U.S. banks did not go under. Where I expect to see more impacts are overseas, particularly if opposition prevents making fully right the Chinese investors and companies. The Brits seem to have acted to prevent serious issues there, for all that my thoughts about HSBC and their activities are not printable. Am I concerned about what is going on and could happen? Hell YES! All the more so since Jim Cramer has come out saying everything is going to be okay. If I had made investments by going against his recommendations, I’d be richer than Elon Musk right now.

I’m broke, so any investments I make are likely to be in canned goods and ammunition (joke for the humor impaired). If you do have an investment advisor, might not be a bad idea to talk with them about options for dealing with bad economic times. In other words, be prepared, be patient, and be careful.

Also, if you are working with or invested in ANY institution that is heavily into DIE, a la SVB and others, allow me to echo Kruge from Star Trek III: Get out! Get out of there! Get out! There is not a single institution involved or in trouble, including the Federal Government, that was not far more into DIE than into their fiduciary and regulatory responsibilities. Incestuously so in many cases. Seriously, look at where you have your money and if they are heavily into DIE, some thinking may be in order. This is not financial advice nor do I offer such. It is, however, a suggestion to think, get advice, and act in YOUR best interest at every level of your life.

Keep your eyes open, the important things where you can find them in the dark, and be prepared. Economically or otherwise, things are likely to get wild.

Update: BINGO!

Update II: Things are interesting and going to remain so. First Republic is in trouble, but also note the non-U.S. banks getting heat. Expect to see that accelerate.