Enemies Foreign And Domestic

Current events are, to be honest, overwhelming. From the rule of executive order to open efforts to censor anything non-progressive, there is so much going on that it is hard to keep up with all of it, even for dedicated political/informational junkies. I do find it interesting (and a few other terms) that the noted right wing (cough, cough) author and Obama advisor Naomi Wolf was on Tucker Carlson warning that America is becoming a “totalitarian state) under Biden. Hate linking to Fox, but necessary in this instance.

Indeed, I could go on and on about all that is going on, from cancel culture to full-out assaults on the Constitution. I will note my own observation to the testimony of FORMER U.S. Capitol Police Chief Sund that if what happened was a “military style coordinated assault” and that those who took part came “prepared for war” that he knows as much about war and combat as he does fornicating, to borrow from Patton. For all that we are watching a massive “big lie” event in operation, those statements are laughable.

It is easy to get focused on the domestic, but don’t get tunnel vision. While most of what is going on domestically is indeed domestic, some is being driven and encouraged by other actors who do not have the best interest of the Citizens of the United States, or the Constituion, at heart. Russia remains a threat and between its activities here and at home, bears (all puns intended) considerable watching. The semi-recent nuclear exercise is but one part of the threat to the region and the world, especially given Putin’s continuing lowering of the nuclear threshold.

China, however, remains the largest threat. Keep in mind that China continues to use Iran as a catspaw, especially against the U.S. Yet more Iranians have been caught coming across the border, and I highly recommend reading this post. Chinese on the West Coast, Iranians on the Gulf Coast into Central. This is long-term, both encouraged by China, and I still ask what else besides people has been smuggled across the border? Also, don’t forget the SCS, Taiwan, and everything else China is doing to go after us.

There were things afoot well before the election that still are lurking out there in the dark. To be honest, I’m surprised (and pleased) that some of them did not take place as expected. That, however, doesn’t mean that they won’t still take place.

For all of that, I need to get back to Preparedness Pays as I think good, solid preparation is something we all need to be thinking about, for both domestic and foreign events.

Coincidence? Hmmmmm

While I firmly believe in Occam’s razor, and the theory that one should not ascribe complex motives when (governmental) stupidity is far more likely than a complex conspiracy, the news yesterday was fascinating. I also find it interesting that Iran and China are linked to sites and countries where odd things are happening.

First up, the original primary explosion followed by the massive blast in the port of Beirut, Lebanon. I agree that the red cloud on the second blast indicates nitrates of some type were involved, but am invoking the 48-hour rule on speculation for now. That is in part because some details don’t add up and in part that some other interesting things have been happening.

It seems that Iran suffered several mysterious fires in industrial and food and electrical warehouses. Given some of the photos of the fire, it seems very engaged for food supplies. The fires outside Tehran are quite interesting.

While it could be just chance, there was also a fire in a closed food market in the UAE.

Also, there was an explosion and fire in a North Korean town on the border with China. At least one South Korean media outlet has reported that a gas leak caused the explosion, though again I think the 48-hour rule is good on anything involving the Hermit Kingdom.

It could be, and likely is, random chance that all these happened over a large geographic area in such a short time. The fires inside Iran? Well, the safe bet is that those fires were not chance but yet more in the series of debilitating “accidents” that have hit Iran and crippled some of its more interesting activities. Hitting at food, if that is what it was, simply continues fires and possibly other attacks on crops and food that were also seen in 2019.

Still, interesting to see and worth noting for consideration.

Pity. Another Accident In Iran

Seems seven ships caught fire in a port. Media is concentrating on the fact that it happened a dozen miles from Iran’s only nuclear power station, of course. Remember, take nothing from the Iranian government as the truth, they wouldn’t know what it was if it bit them on their rumps.

Sadly, they have executed a man they claim was a spy for the CIA. IMO, the odds against him truly being guilty are large. The mullahs have the habit of finding a scapegoat, saying they are a spy, and executing them anytime things go badly for them. There is another man accused of being a spy who allegedly helped us get Soleimani. Interesting fact about their legal system: defense lawyers are seldom allowed to see charges, evidence, or anything else they might need to defend their clients. See the case of the three protestors who were to be executed before mass outcry at home and abroad forced a new trial where their lawyers will be able to see at least some of the charges and evidence against them.

Other posts in this series:

Iran In Syria: Israel Strikes Back

The Data Oddities Continue, And Three Iranians Arrested After Illegally Crossing The Border

Quick Update

Two Decent Reads

More Soon


Would Love More Eyes

Some Quick Thoughts on Iran

Iran In Syria: Israel Strikes Back

In light of yesterday’s post on Iran, China, and odd patterns of data around the world, this post is most interesting (hat tip to Powerline). Seems Israel is systematically gutting Iranian efforts to provide precision guided missiles and production technology to various non-state actors in Syria and Lebanon including Hezbollah.

Fox News is catching up on things as well, talking about the events covered in this post along with some new attacks. While no one knows who (or how many whos) are involved, someone is systematically gutting Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. While I strongly suspect some non-state actors may be involved, there really is no way to know right now. Nor is that a bad thing, as some secrets really do need to be kept to protect sources, methods, means, etc. Really do hope that for once the bureaucracy keeps its collective mouths shut.

Other posts in this series:

The Data Oddities Continue, And Three Iranians Arrested After Illegally Crossing The Border

Quick Update

Two Decent Reads

More Soon


Would Love More Eyes

Some Quick Thoughts on Iran

The Data Oddities Continue, And Three Iranians Arrested After Illegally Crossing The Border

In this post, I noted some “odd and interesting swirls and flows” in the data patterns in several parts of the world. That post came, in part, from this post on Iran. In the first post, I asked why the cartels were smuggling Chinese nationals across the western border, and what else were they smuggling?

Now, there’s a bit more. Three Iranians were arrested illegally crossing the border. Yes, it was a family, but I do wonder how old the “child” was given that the term has been applied in the past to “children” who were 21 or over. The thing is, other people from the Middle East have been apprehended, including one female who happened to have a map of the region’s gas pipelines.

Chinese nationals in the west, Middle Eastern in the east. How many of each are the cartels getting across? What else besides people is being smuggled into the United States? Who is behind the explosions and fires that have just crippled several projects related to nuclear weapons and advanced rockets and missiles in Iran?

Keep in mind that China is tied to all the areas I mention in that first article. The actions of the Chinese government, open and clandestine, are not the actions of a strong and confident leadership, but those of a very desperate leadership.

Also, while the data patterns on the Indian border are interesting, not elevating that to something to keep a strong eye on yet. Yes, it is worrisome, but some of what happened may have been a miscalculation on the local/regional level. If things start to stand down, that’s likely the case. If we start seeing it ratchet up, then it joins the others.

Again, keep an eye on these anomalies in the pattern, and be prepared. Remember, preparedness always pays.

Other posts in this series:

Quick Update

Two Decent Reads

More Soon


Would Love More Eyes

Some Quick Thoughts on Iran


I was going to link to several stories, but P. David Hornik at PJ Media has a decent wrap up that included most of them. I will add that there are reports of some non-standard denials from Israel that they were behind this. Frankly, I suspect quite a few hands may be involved with this one, directly and indirectly, possibly including some non-state actors. The patterns in the data are swirling strongly, and there is much currently unknown about who has done what, where, and why. Keep an eye on it, and also remember to keep an eye on the Mexican border (and the Caribbean).

More Stories In This Series:

Would Love More Eyes

Some Quick Thoughts on Iran

Would Love More Eyes

Sorry for the lack of posting, but things have been interesting. I’m afraid we do live in interesting times, and the Chinese curse is a real thing. And I’m not just talking about the Chinese Flu/Winnie The Flu.

In this post on Iran, I mentioned that there were a number of sites where the data is making odd and interesting swirls and flows. All of them are tied to the Chinese government, which right now is desperate. Almost all of their recent actions reek of desperation, not strength.

If anyone is interested and willing, here are the areas I’m trying to monitor as much as I can, but can’t do as much as I would like. There are some other areas, but right now they are still small.

Iran I’ve talked about a bit, but beyond the obvious there are several oddities in the South China Sea. Malaysia and Vietnam both seem to be at stronger than normal odds with China, and China is very unhappy with Vietnam in turn. Net result, several oddities in the South China Sea outside of the obvious. Some of them literally in the waters off Vietnam and Malaysia. The obvious continues to be the expansion, but also consider that China is also apparently trying to create a shooting incident with the U.S. (and others).

The Caribbean is another area to watch. There are odd naval movements and sweeps, from the U.S. and others. A lot of the data oddities involve Venezuela (and Cuba), and keep in mind that Venezuela is hand-in-glove with both Iran and China. There is also extensive Chinese influence in Cuba, more than either will admit. Some of the data oddities seem to be headed up and across to Mexico. If it is just smuggling, what is it that is being smuggled?

The Mexican border is the final one for now. Why were Mexican drug cartels smuggling Chinese nationals across the border? What else were they smuggling? Drugs are obvious (if you don’t know why, might want to check where a lot of the fentanyl in the U.S. comes from), but what else? Why does whatever is going on seem to be tied to Venezuela? Why the warnings from Trump to the drug cartels and others?

There are a couple of areas that could clear up or could get worse. Right now, these seem to be the key. Any eyes on them would be appreciated.

Some Quick Thoughts On Iran

Looking around the world, there are some potentially interesting ebbs and flows in data in various regions. Interestingly enough, all of them have ties to China. I’m leaving out The Hermit Kingdom, as the black hole that is still semi-operational has a lot to do with internal, and there seems to be some confirmation that it may have indeed been an effort to see who was disloyal and/or who the rest of the world sees as replacing him. In the past, those speculated upon usually met grim fates, remains to be seen what happens this time.

I’m going to start looking at some of these interesting places with odd data by focusing a bit on Iran. The mullahs are hanging on, though it may well be by the fingernails. The economy is shattered, COVID has run rampant, and they have so far not been successful in their effort to force the return of the Hidden Imam.

Many in the West, particularly politicians, fail to grasp how important that last fact is to the mullahs. It is both a case of mores, the cultural blinders we all wear though some seem to never take them off, and of a mindset that equates religion with superstition. For progressive and related belief systems, religion is foolish and something to which only lip service should be paid because it is important to the stupid proles. For them, their mores don’t allow them to consider that the mullahs, and many others, take it very seriously and aren’t simply using religion to gain temporary power.

The fact is, the mullahs and those who support them see the power they now have as temporary. The solution lies in past prophecies that state when the Hidden Imam/13th Imam returns, their power will not only be greater, but permanent as his return will usher in a golden age of a world-wide caliphate. Yes, that’s a simplistic statement of the view, but it is accurate for this discussion.

The Iranian Revolution was not just about Islamism, it was an effort to gain the power needed for a particular sect of Shia to bring about the conditions for the return of the Hidden Imam. It has been a driving force behind all efforts, as the right set of conditions has to be in place for that to happen.

What conditions? There are several, but the key one is, there has to be their version of Armageddon. There has to be a major war that sets the mullahs against all other religions. There is a reason the mullahs refer to the United States as The Great Satan.

They need the war, but also don’t want to lose. If they can be attacked, hold their own or not get wiped off the map immediately, then those conditions will bring the return, and the Imam will lead them to victory despite the odds. Again, I’m simplifying things, but it is accurate for these purposes.

Now, nevermind if they provoke the attack, for any response to anything they do counts as an unprovoked attack. Don’t ask me to explain that, it is twisted but it is how they think. I really wish I had been able to get back from Iraq with some of the artwork related to this that we captured on a raid. It would convey a lot if I still had it.

Thus, we have everything from the Embassy Takeover to the efforts to develop nuclear weapons. It is also the reason for the provocations in the Straights; and, it is the reason for the extensive clandestine network and operations that now span the Middle East, parts of Africa, and even into Asia. $130 billion buys you a lot of clandestine activity…

Ironically enough, there is reason for me to believe that COVID came into Iran not by an innocent merchant, but through that clandestine network. Without going into some details, consider a hypothetical.

You are working on nuclear and other weapons, but have been having a rough go of it. Your rockets don’t work reliably and don’t perform as advertised. Your nuclear program has been thwarted, or seriously delayed, by actions from Israel and the United States. Your population is restless, and quite a few of your non-covert operations have ended badly. You need help, and help from an almost neighbor on the nuclear part has, to some extent, dried up. What do you do? Where can you go for help on all the technical and production issues?

Where indeed. Wouldn’t it be very ironic if you had people in for meetings and more in a country where a major epidemic has broken out? And wouldn’t it be even more ironic if your (semi) clandestine air flights brought back more than your people and items?

Is there reason to believe that this could have happened? Yes. Amazing how much info on flights there is out there in the open through sites that track pretty much all flights that leave the ground; and, there is other open-source intelligence as well. Good enough to take to court? No, but interesting none-the-less. Keep in mind that we are limited on humint from China, indeed we have effectively none right now, because the Chinese hacked the allegedly secure server that they were using to communicate with the CIA. They were rolled up and pretty much all are presumed dead at this point.

Now, for fun, look at the spread of COVID-19 from Iran via that same semi-clandestine airline and from covert meetings. As I noted a while back, a good counter-intel type could have a field day with that.

Now, not for fun, look at some sudden improvements to missile and other technology that has come out recently. The largest being that the Iranians just put a satellite into orbit. Why is that important?

First, any rocket that can put a satellite into orbit is by definition an ICBM that can hit almost anywhere in the world. If you start producing large numbers of them, you have a way to deliver nuclear weapons to any target almost anywhere in the world. You are no longer limited the near neighborhood.

Second, you also now have the means to deliver a FOBS strike. The nightmare for most of the Cold War was having a nuclear weapon disguised as a satellite launch exploding over the middle of the United States at high altitude. The resulting EMP burst would disrupt or destroy the electrical grid, most civilian electronics, more military electronics than anyone still wants to admit, wipe computer records even as it destroys the computers. With communications, command, and control severely damaged or destroyed, a first strike would be devastating.

Now, think about how much damage such a strike could do in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Now, spend a moment thinking about how much more our world depends on advanced electronics, communications, and computing power for everything from our phones and cars to financial markets. Computers run a good bit of our manufacturing, logistics, and even farm operations. Not sure there is a good word other than devastating, but also feel it needs to be taken up a few orders of magnitude.

You want to kick off Armageddon and cripple your enemy with the first blow? FOBS will do it. Provoke an incident in the Straights (or elsewhere), get hit, and retaliate for the unprovoked attack by the Great Satan in a way that could put us back several hundred years in one blow. And, in the process, set the conditions for the return of the Hidden Imam.

What could China gain from helping Iran? Keep in mind, they declared a People’s War against us more than a year ago. If you clandestinely help an enemy of your enemy, surely you can’t be directly blamed for what they do with suddenly improved tech in several sectors.

How likely are the two paragraphs above? They are not improbable. In fact, on some levels they make almost too much sense. Is this what is going on? That remains to be seen. Right now, there is just some strange ebbs and flows in locations on the moving picture of the world. It remains to be seen what happens, but it needs to be watched.

COVID-19 15Mar20 It’s The Rate Of Spread Stupid

The Game Of Loads And Vectors is a game of numbers. Sadly, far to many in the media and online are playing a very dangerous game with the numbers. One group uses each new case, each famous person (or even people related to or vaguely related to a famous person) to stoke fear and panic and/or for personal gain. The other group of idiots is using numbers to claim this isn’t a real threat.

As I’ve noted before, it is not the total number of cases or the number of deaths that truly matters right now. The outcome for people with COVID-19 is going to be vastly different from the outcomes in China, Iran, or elsewhere. Here, the most at-risk population is going to be 70+ with underlying health conditions, and/or those who smoke cigarettes heavily now or previously. A good bit of that has to do with the ACE2 binding previously discussed. For most in the U.S., it will likely be much like having a regular flu.

The real threat we face is in controlling the rate of spread. Why did China, Iran, and Italy have the outcomes they have/are having? It spread rapidly, and overwhelmed the health systems. They simply did not have the beds, the ICU beds, or the supplies to handle the huge number of cases that hit.

Right now, according to the American Hospital Association, there are 924,107 staffed hospital beds in all types of hospitals including psychiatric and other specialty hospitals. There are 792,417 staffed beds in community hospitals. Where there are 97,776 staffed ICU beds in the U.S., only 46,825 of them are medical/surgical intensive care.

While many will have very mild symptoms, there is a percentage of patients that require time in the ICU. This paper looks at data from China (and acknowledges that the official data is problematic) to try to estimate how many that will be, and comes to a max of 2.6 – 4.9 per 10,000 adults. This report looks at Italy and reports a rate of 11 percent needing ICU. This report lays out why COVID-19 is worse than the flu, and looks at the impact on the healthcare system — and on the rate of spread and how it could spread exponentially as in Italy and elsewhere.

So, using the 11 percent figure, there being curretly 2,952 cases in the U.S., that means approximately 325 patients will need long-term (days to weeks) of ICU care. With 46,825 staffed beds, we’re good, right? Yes, we are — today. Will that hold true tomorrow or even next week? The magic ball says maybe. Let’s look at the following two graphs.

This is from the Johns Hopkins interactive graphic that I’ve linked to in almost every post. Note the significant rise associated with the spread of COVID-19 in almost every location. Where spread has not been controlled, there is effectively exponential growth. Now, let’s look at the U.S.

This comes from the CDC, and while not interactive it does have a lot more data than I can show. I would urge you to scroll through the number of cases and watch how it jumps.

Again (and again), there was never any chance to prevent it from getting here, as the Chinese government has lied from the start and used it’s considerable power to prevent other nations from responding by stopping travel. There is no doubt that if President Trump had not — despite howls of outrage from China and the leaders of the Democratic party — put in place a travel ban things would be much worse.

All we can do now is slow the rate of spread. We have to do this to:

• Prevent the spread from overwhelming ICU beds, ventilators, and other medical treatment. Keep in mind that right now Italy has ordered hospitals to stop treating the elderly.

• To buy time to overcome bureaucratic and other roadblocks to testing. Effective, efficient, and fast testing is essential to being sure those who have COVID-19 get treatment and are prevented from helping spread the disease.

• To push the spread out into warmer weather, a time when colds and the flu normally drop off.

• To buy time to develop effective vaccines and treatments and get them made here since the Chinese are now threatening to cut off drug exports to the U.S. (even as they try to blame COVID-19 on us).

What is going on now is not an overreaction to “the flu” as many idiots are claiming. It is a needed, indeed almost a desperate, attempt to prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed like far too many others. The number to watch in the days ahead is NOT the number of cases (or who has gotten it), and it is not the number of deaths. It is the rate of spread. If the rate of spread drops, and the total number of cases stays low, we will be in very good shape from a healthcare perspective — and that will drive financial and other perspectives.

Right now, we are in good shape. Let’s all be smart and work together to help keep it that way.

If my posts are enjoyable, helpful, or otherwise a benefit, please consider hitting the tip jar. With the levels of stupid out there, really do need to up the strategic alcohol and tobacco reserves…

•My Amazon Wishlist

As always:

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed: call your state health department and work with them so that you can be dealt with in a way that minimizes the chance of spreading the virus to those helping you and to the general public. Can’t get them? Call your local department or see if your health service has online/telemedicine screening set up; or see if one who has will let you use it even if you are not in their network. Do not go out in public, and don’t go to an ER or other facility without calling ahead. Be smart.

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NOHELL NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.

Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.

Avoid travel if at all possible. Right now, there is no way I’m going to a trade show, major convention, etc. If you can telecommute, get that set up now. If you have to travel, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc.  Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc.  Not many actually do it, but…  

If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.

Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:

COVID-19 14Mar20

COVID-19 13Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors Gets Real For America

COVID-19 12Mar20

COVID-19 11Mar20

COVID-19 10Mar20

COVID-19 9Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors

COVID-19 8Mar20


COVID-19 7Mar20 How To Do It Right If You Have/Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

COVID-19 6Mar20

COVID-19 5Mar20

COVID-19 4Mar20

COVID-19 3Mar20

COVID-19 What Am I Doing?

COVID-19 2Mar20

COVID-19 1Mar20

COVID-19 29Feb20

Quick Additional Thoughts On The Bureaucracy

Panic Is Off And Running

COVID-19 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear

COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)

COVID-19 27Feb20

COVID-19 Breaking A Chain?

COVID-19 26Feb20

COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder

COVID19 25Feb20

COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON

COVID19 23Feb20

COVID19 22Feb20

COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear

COVID19 Update 20Feb20

COVID19 Update

Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness

Expansion On A Theme

Well Maybe I Was Wrong

Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Why Should You Be Prepared?

Keeping Alert

Coronavirus And Practical Preparedness

The Trump Doctrine In Action

Two of the three principles of the Trump Doctrine I discussed here are that if you harm/kill an American the you will die; and, if you use a proxy, both you and the proxy will die. Simple, straightforward, and a good and much needed thing.

While the media highlighted the attack (and some ongoing), they seem to be downplaying the fact that we did retaliate. What’s more, according to Gateway Pundit and other sources, guess what, we did it again.

It seems that our strike took out General Siamand Mashhadani, one of the top leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who just happened to be in Iraq. Pity about that. Seems some people just can’t get their head around the fact that there has been a change in leadership, and that he means what he says.

Reminds me, I need to go back and do a more detailed post about the Trump Doctrine, as it is in action on everything from the defense front to the coronavirus fight. I truly do believe it is one of the most profound doctrines to come out of the White House since the original Monroe Doctrine.