Russia/Ukraine/Lithuania

Since the last update, the only thing that has changed in terms of Russia/Ukraine is that Russia is pushing hard in more areas in an effort to seize territory and cut off reinforcements from counter-attacking. Of course, that works both ways and the recent deep drone strike(s) by the Ukraine are designed to put the Russians on the defensive. Expect it to get even more brutal and nasty here soon, and for the latest information on the combat check out the OSINT people I link to on Twitter (@laughingwolfone) as a good start.

Not exactly a daring prediction, but expect the Russian push to intensify so that Vladimir can “annex” the most possible territory even if he doesn’t really control it. The announcement of annexation is also likely to declare that any attempt to defend (in areas he doesn’t really control) or to take back what they have seized will be an act of war by Ukraine and NATO.

Yes, I expect Vladimir to expand things as they’ve spent the last 20 or so years preparing the populace for war, even nuclear war, with NATO and the U.S. If you aren’t familiar with some of this, check out Kamil Galeev’s extensive work on this and related subjects.

Right now, Lithuania is pushing as hard as it can to make this a NATO/EU war by cutting off access to the Kaliningrad enclave. For those who know not history, Commander Salamander points out a rather unpleasant historical parallel.

The Baltic states have been pushing for this to be a NATO/EU war from the start, and on some levels it is hard to blame them. They know they are on the list to be brought into Russkiy Mir by force. Vladimir has just reinforced that with a series of comments and provocations against them and Denmark. That said, I am less than thrilled with their efforts and this latest by Lithuania has the potential to go sideways in a hurry. Then again, that’s why they are doing it.

There are those who are already calling this the Cold War 2, and saying it could last generations. On some levels, I hope they are right. There is far too great a potential for this to become a hot war on levels no one will like. It will take competent, knowledgeable, and strong leadership to navigate either a cold war or a hot, and frankly I don’t see that leadership anywhere in sight right now.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

How To Spy On The Russians

Here’s Hoping I’m Wrong

Pins And Needles Time

Mock Away

Intel Wars

The Revenge Of HUMINT

A Funny Thing Happened

Rumors of Rumors

Ukraine, Uvalde, Oh My

Very Interesting


A Quick Russia/Ukraine Update

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Learning from what they don’t say

What leftists aren’t saying about the controversial lesbian kiss in Lightyear shows that they know the truth about conservative racial beliefs — and always lie about it.

I know conservatives are supposed to be racist scum, but look at what doesn’t get said about the controversy surrounding Disney’s new movie, Lightyear.

The Daily Mail’s headline: “Disney’s Lightyear FLOPS in opening weekend that saw it fail to topple Jurassic Park at box office after controversy over lesbian kiss and decision to ax conservative star Tim Allen as voice of Buzz”

Variety, in March: “Same-Sex Kiss Restored in Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ Following Staff Uproar Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill (EXCLUSIVE)”

The LA Times reports: “…it was reported that a previously cut kiss shared by queer “Lightyear” character Alisha Hawthorne and her wife was reinstated in the film….[I]ncreasingly loud conservative voices [] try to foment irrational outrage over any acknowledgement of the actual reality of LGBTQ people existing.”

And on, and on, and on.

Of all of those articles posted above, only the Daily Mail shows a picture of the couple in question. Notice anything?

Why aren’t the bigots overreacting to this? I was told there would be bigots!

Yes, they’re an interracial couple.

But the horrifyingly evil conservatives who hate the entire LGBTQIA2SNPZ spectrum, people of color, women, and the poor equally, aren’t saying “boo” about this interracial couple — even though overturning Roe v. Wade would apparently lead us to overturn interracial marriage.

And no leftist (a.k.a. “mainstream”) outlets have even tried to claim that horrifyingly evil conservatives might say such a thing. You’d think that one of us vicious racists would have said something racist about queer miscegenation, and that some leftist paper would have picked it up — and if we didn’t say it, they’d make something up and claim that we were thinking it. But we didn’t say anything, and they didn’t report on anything, and they didn’t even think about accusing us of racism because, well, it’s such nonsense that even they couldn’t dream it up.

What leftists aren’t saying shows us that they know the truth about conservative racial beliefs, even though they normally say the exact opposite.

[Laughing in Clarence Thomas]

A Quick Russia/Ukraine Update

As I said a while back, I am happy to have been wrong about May. That said, while I have dropped the use of special weapons to 40 percent, I am not inclined to drop lower yet. Why? Internal rhetoric and the fact that things stood up have not been stood down. Until I see the internal discussions change, and things stood down and locked back up, I have to consider such things as still on the table. Not likely currently, but things change and they can change in a heartbeat.

The demented meat puppet is NOT helping things. Someone yesterday said he was trying to finesse things, which scares the everliving out of most sane people as he and his handlers don’t have a clue of how to do that. He and his administration continue to both needlessly antagonize Vladimir (and miss a lot of what is needed to deal with him and the situation) and present challenges to our allies.

In other words, pretty much same old, same old. No real change over the last few weeks. As for the actual combat, it is the grind previously discussed. The OSINT crew out there is doing an amazing job of not only covering the combat, but also the history, cultural, and other factors that go into this conflict. If there is an interest, I will put up a list of the OSINT people I follow. I will also say (again) that back in the early 80s I would have just about killed for some of the resources OSINT has today. And, not surprising, OSINT is largely beating the various agencies and organizations on a consistent basis. Only other thing is that so far the Ukraine has fought very smart. Conventional wisdom and a lot of current military planning is getting stood on its head and smart people are paying attention.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

How To Spy On The Russians

Here’s Hoping I’m Wrong

Pins And Needles Time

Mock Away

Intel Wars

The Revenge Of HUMINT

A Funny Thing Happened

Rumors of Rumors

Ukraine, Uvalde, Oh My

Very Interesting

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Wheat supplies at 10 weeks

Farmers and agricultural publications continue to provide detail that shows the seriousness our politicians aren’t yet really facing.

Menker’s team at Gro Intelligence finds, as of May 19, global inventories of wheat amount to 20% of annual consumption, meaning the world has just 10 weeks’ worth of global wheat consumption in storage.

“Conditions today are worse than those experienced in 2007 and 2008,” she says. “The lowest grain inventory levels the world has ever seen are now occurring, while access to fertilizers is highly constrained, and drought in wheat growing regions around the world is the most extreme it’s been in over 20 years.”

AgWeb, Is the World Really Running Out of Wheat? 06/07/2022

Note that AgWeb doesn’t answer the question that they ask. The answer appears to be, “Yes, we are running out of wheat.”

More specifically, the world would probably be okay if we were getting bumper crops in the US and Canada, but we’re not. We’re lucky in that the over-wet weather finally broke long enough for us to get wheat, corn, and soybeans planted, but we’re not going to get a crop that will compensate for the lack of wheat elsewhere.

Also worth noting: The price of beef is not looking too expensive right now relative to expectations. Unfortunately, that appears to be because beef farmers are afraid that the cost of fodder and grains will go high enough that they won’t be able to keep their cattle profitably, so it’s better to slaughter and sell them in the short term than raise them longer term. That keeps a lid on prices right now — higher supply — but reduces supply in the future dramatically, because we’re killing tomorrow’s stock today.

I reiterate that I’m not an expert on this stuff and am only repeating what I hear from people in the business who seem to know better. Feel free to argue: I’d love to find out that I’m wrong.

Very Interesting

The Russian Orthodox Church has removed it’s chief ecumenical official and effective foreign minister Metropolitan Hilarion. He’s to take over the Diocese of Budapest and Hungary.

It is worth noting that he came out against war just before the invasion. It should be noted that Patriarch Kirill (who I think had input to Russkiy Mir and has endorsed it) is pro war and pro Vladimir. Probably a good thing I’m not a good Catholic these days, as my thoughts on Kirill are not kind. There is already schism brewing in the Russian Orthodox Church over the war, with the Ukranian branch declaring themselves independent of Moscow and a surprising number of priests within the Russian Church that have not only come out against the war but condemned Patriarch Kirill.

I noted a couple of months ago that had seen a change in Vladimir a couple of years ago. Formerly he was (coldly) calculating, sharp, and a master manipulator of people. More than ever I’m convinced that something happened 2-5 years ago that changed that. When you see a change that big, it most often involves something that makes you face your own mortality. In Vladimir’s case, I also admit it could be demographic and other data that shows the window rapidly closing not only on Russkiy Mir, but Russia itself.

I mention this because the removal of Metropolitan Hilarion would not have happened without Vladimir’s full knowledge and approval. I also think this shows his decline as a manipulator of people even more than the way he’s been treating subordinates in public and in private.

I also noted the other day that there was a lot of jockeying around in the Kremlin. More than ever, it looks as if people are trying to shore up positions and prepare for the departure of Vladimir. It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays into that, and the impact on the Russian Orthodox Church’s relations with the world and with its own discontent.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

How To Spy On The Russians

Here’s Hoping I’m Wrong

Pins And Needles Time

Mock Away

Intel Wars

The Revenge Of HUMINT

A Funny Thing Happened

Rumors of Rumors

Ukraine, Uvalde, Oh My

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Too Stupid to Govern, 2

Regarding the shooting at Uvalde, Pete Buttigieg asks, “Will anything be different this time?”

“But you’re also looking at Washington to say ‘Will anything be different this time?’ Will we actually acknowledge the reasons why we are the only country, the only developed country where this happens on a routine basis?” he asked.

“And the idea that us being the only developed country where this happens routinely, especially in terms of the mass shootings, is somehow a result of the design of the doorways on our school buildings, is the definition of insanity if not the definition of denial,” he said.

Pete Buttigieg

We would provide better physical security for Congressmen if there were an attack on Congress.

We would provide better physical security at stadiums if there were attacks on sporting events.

We would provide better physical security for the President if there were attacks on the President.

But, as you can see from his comments, we don’t need to change physical security at schools when there are attacks on schools. In fact, to suggest that we should is the definition of insanity.

So apparently not, Pete. Nothing will be different this time.

Putting numbers on the wheat shortfall

McCormick says the demand [for wheat] sits around 1-1.2 billion metric tonnes and where the numbers sit now as far as potential available product, is somewhere around 700 million, which will no doubt have the potential to drive food prices even higher than what is being experienced right now.

RealAgriculture.com

If you want to put a number on the crisis we’re facing, here’s one estimate.

Ukraine, Uvalde, Oh My

Just a quick update today, more regular posting soon I hope as the medical sagas seem to be slowing down. We are working to take care of everything that can be taken care of, and ensuring no new problems, so I can move in the best possible health. Also, want everything done that can be done as both I will have to get new docs and my insurance will not transfer so will have to find new insurance as well.

As for the Ukraine, it remains and looks to remain, a long brutal slog. The people I recommended last time are offering a lot of good insights into the war I highly commend. As for the long-term intentions of Russia they remain the same: Russkiy Mir. If Vladimir can’t take the Ukraine now, he’s going to go for all he can and wait for another chance. Don’t expect a change in leadership to change that goal. Even the loyal opposition there tend to be in the nationalist camp, and some names popular in the West are bigger nationalists than Vladimir.

As before, rumors continue to swirl. It’s interesting that there are suggestions that some of the more interesting ones come from Vladimir’s office — which means I trust them not at all. Others are clearly trying to push people into making moves or stands that can be exploited in the Russian version of the Great Game that is politics. Others are clearly aimed at a Western audience. Forget a grain, treat them all with a tun of salt.

For now, I expect Vladimir to continue with the long campaign. The worst part is that the Russians have learned some lessons and gotten in some good leadership that are adapting. Now, the Ukraine is having to adapt and react. It truly sucks when your enemy gets smart, for all that the Ukraine has rather gleefully potted as much of that leadership as they can. Both sides are fighting smart now, which is only going to make a long campaign even longer if all things stay equal. Unless the Ukraine significantly screws up, I see internal Russian issues being what causes any change to the long campaign.

With one exception: outside aid to the Ukraine. Vladimir hates it, blames all his military problems on it, and it could end up changing some of the internal calculus in Moscow. Also, don’t expect all the losses, corruption, and other minor issues like Sweden and Finland asking to join NATO to force a retreat. A double-down perhaps, but not a retreat.

I am unsurprised to read that the Uvalde LE, local and school, are no longer cooperating with the State probe. I also expect to find out that all of them are lawyering up, which I reluctantly must admit would be the smart thing to do. Well, the truly smart thing to do would be to quit and move, and armor up, as the local citizens are a bit irked with them, especially since there appears to be confirmation that some of kids bled out while they waited. I also note that in more than one society/civilization, when one screwed up this badly, one was expected to fall on a sword and explain the failure to one’s ancestors.

More soon.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

How To Spy On The Russians

Here’s Hoping I’m Wrong

Pins And Needles Time

Mock Away

Intel Wars

The Revenge Of HUMINT

A Funny Thing Happened

Rumors of Rumors

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Snipers behind every grain silo

We need to be wary for the things that are going to kill us, because I do believe we’re in the middle of a war. But we have to beware of seeing snipers in every tree.

I feel like I have to say this, because otherwise people will take this post the wrong way: I believe that food cost and availability is going to be much more of a problem than it currently is, particularly outside of North America.

Okay, then. Now, someone I respect recently posted this article as an example of the ongoing war on food.

100-year-old Prosser grain silo destroyed in dramatic fireball

But a grain elevator explosion isn’t new or surprising. Fine dust from organic materials is always an explosion hazard. According to the Kansas State University, there were sixteen agricultural dust explosions in 1997, and a ten-year average prior to that of thirteen agricultural dust explosions per year. Of the sixteen in 1997, nine occurred in grain elevators.

So the raw fact of a single explosion needs to be put into context.

Are we seeing double the number of grain explosions? Triple? 100 times? Or, perhaps, half the usual number? One tenth?

And how much of our food supply chain does this affect? 1%? 10%? 0.001%?

My source shared this explosion because he sees that there are a large number of fires in our food supply chain. He’s not the only one. Here’s an article that points to a variety of fires that have hit food processing plants.

Fires at Food Processing Plants Result in Reduced Capacity, Delays, and Layoffs

The headline talks about “fires” (plural) resulting in reduced capacity (a general quantity), which makes it sound like the totality of the fires will cause a general reduction in capacity. And it must be a newsworthy reduction, or why would it be in the news?

But in fact when you look at the article, there’s literally no sign of significant capacity problems beyond the single-plant level, and even the single-plant capacity problems are relatively few. Here, for instance:

Oregon-based Shearer’s Foods laid off its entire workforce—about 230 people—after a fire ripped through the Hermiston plant in late February.

“After assessing the damage, it’s clear that the destruction is too great to rebuild and begin production in the near term,” Shearer’s Foods CEO Bill Nictakis said in a March 8 statement.

Damn, sounds bad, right? But wait:

“Unfortunately, it would take at least 15 [to] 18 months before we could resume production,” Nictakis said. “We have not yet decided [on] the future of the Shearer’s Hermiston site. [It] has led to the very difficult decision to end employment for our team members.”

There’s more than one plant?

He said the company was “exploring opportunities to relocate team members interested in working in our other plants.”

Yes. And the others are still operational, which means Shearer didn’t lay off its “entire workforce”, but only the workforce related to that plant.

What about the four-alarm fire at Taylor Farms?

“This was an unfortunate event, but thankfully there were no injuries. We have a strategic network across North America where this will not impact the availability of fresh foods from Taylor Farms,” Rachel Molatore, the company’s director of communications, told The Epoch Times. “No employees were laid off; we are already underway to rebuild the facility, and the investigation is still going on regarding the cause of the fire.”

And so on.

On April 30, a soybean processing tank caught fire at a Purdue Farms plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. However, company officials said the facility would continue operating.

Even the poignant and sad event that leads the article, a fire at Wisconsin River Meats, shows how devastating such an event can be for…20 people.

Company owner David Mauer said the Mauston-based company “lost everything” related to production in the fire, and more than 20 people lost their jobs.

I have immense sympathy for everyone involved, but a 20-person company is a single sodium ion in the ocean of the US food supply chain. This is not a significant event — and the others mentioned appear to be even less so.

I haven’t even begun to try to do the full amount of research needed to quantify the impact of fires at food processing plants in an ordinary year, but it’s pretty clear from a quick overview that it’s pretty close to zero. But the people sharing stories like this seem to have even less of a baseline to work from, and they’re brought up short when confronted with the fact that the collection of fires they’re looking at represents a negligible fraction of our food supply chain.

I think we should be watching out for potential evil around us. We need to be wary for the things that are going to kill us, because I do believe we’re in the middle of a war. But we have to beware of seeing snipers in every tree. Focusing on what’s important means ignoring the unimportant, and these fires are unimportant.

Institutional/Authority Collapse

This wasn’t the down week in medical terms it was supposed to be, but all seems to be working out. It was, however, a very horrible week as the institutional/authority collapse that is proceeding apace resulted in a catastrophic loss of life.

I first got into disaster preparedness in high school, even designing a shelter to keep a number of people alive for up to five years in the face of nuclear war as a science fair project. I got into it formally when I took on disaster preparedness duties for a job (and sadly got to practice them in real life) and started writing/consulting on same. I also went through Air Force Security Police Augmenter training. Which is to say I do know a bit about preparedness and the plans to prevent/stop school shootings.

I’m torn between being horrified and outraged over what has happened in Uvalde, Texas. If there is a single civic authority that did not abjectly and utterly fail those children, I’ve yet to find it. From the teacher who propped the door open then failed to close it when they had the chance, to the contemptible response of law enforcement, they all failed to do anything close to their duty. I agree with something that was said on Twitter, that the police chief needs to go to prison and those that followed his orders need to personally apologize to their ancestors for doing so. Frankly, the members of Law Enforcement at the scene — especially those Federal and local who attacked the parents — would in a just world be dangling from lamposts. Anything less than that which happens to them, should be considered a blessing by them. As it is, I really don’t expect any real consequences to happen to any of them. I expect an investigation, a report full of handwringing, shows of sorrow, and not a damn thing done to those who failed of oaths, courage, and manhood.

For all that I am glad the Border Patrol team defied the cowardly and incompetent (to be polite) order of the police chief and went in. They waited to long, but at least they acted. The locals, federal marshals, and others who stood around waiting? They have shown they are manifestly unfit to wear a uniform or carry a badge. They should be named and shamed, especially those who attacked the parents trying to save their children. They deserve neither pity or consideration, as they showed none to those they were sworn to protect. They are at best oathbreakers and cowards.

There was a young lady inside who showed she had a bigger pair than all the LE present combined. Big Brass Ovaries that have to clank when she walks. She covered herself with her best friends blood, played dead, and repeatedly called 911 to ask for help and to update on what was going on. She is a hero. The zeros of law enforcement and civil authority there are not.

Yet, Uvalde is symptomatic of our country and government at all levels. The public health community made its grab for power and has wrecked any and all trust with the public. They looked the American citizenry in the eye and lied to them, not once, but multiple times. The FDA is so busy trying to expand its power and mandate it neglects its real and official duties. The baby formula issue is just the tip of the iceberg there. Energy, borders, national security — there is no aspect of authority/institutional competence there. There is only the growing signs of authority/institutional collapse.

The public is very right not to trust authority/institutions at any level. That trust gets people killed. It gets lives, fortunes, and sacred honor destroyed. What can be done? Forcing accountability would help, but is going to be fought tooth and nail by those in authority. Be prepared is the only other option.

Meantime, pray. Pray for this country. Pray for the victims in Uvalde. And please do pray for the survivors, like that wonderful and brave young lady, for survivor’s guilt is a terrible thing. Pray for us all, we’re going to need all the prayers we can get.