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New Further to NATO expansion; J.H. Kunstler is a loon
It appears that the Finns and the Swedes are prepared to dive in together. Well, after all, they’ve been wading around the shallow end for years, and this’ll get them that Article 5 secret sauce. As The Guardian put it elsewhere recently, Putin’s invasion, intended as a shot across NATO’s bow, looks more like a precision-guided boomerang. What thinks our Man from Helsinki?

In other news, I recently made the mistake of looking in on American prophet-of-doom James Howard Kunstler, who has been—rather gleefully—predicting civilizational collapse since Hector was a pup. A dozen or fifteen years ago, the last time I checked him out, he appeared merely eccentric. Today, batshit crazy. Here is his “analysis” of the conflict:
…It looks like America is about to be treated to some shocks. Will they break the mass formation psychosis that styles itself unironically as “progressive politics?”

The first shock will be the painful recognition that Ukraine is not prevailing against Russia’s Operation Z, despite the combined efforts of the US news media and the Intel Community to put over that narrative. True, it took Russia more than a few days to overcome Ukraine’s NATO-fortified defenses, but now most of that has been neutralized, and we’re into the final weeks heading towards resolution — which will be a Ukraine that is unable to make any more trouble in that corner of the world.

That’s right, hard as it is to accept, Operation Z came down on Ukraine because it misbehaved badly, egged-on by delusional war-gamers in Washington, who could only pretend to support Ukraine once the real action started. No amount of chanting Putin-Putin-Putin availed to stop the grinding Russian advance. State’s Antony Blinken and DoD’s General Austin were in Kiev over the weekend on a face-saving mission. My guess: they tried to persuade Mr. Zelenskyy to throw in the towel. He may be too desperate and crazy to listen, but it’s truly game-over. The Russians will treat him with kid gloves, perhaps give him leave to settle in Miami and enjoy the American dream with the fortune he has squirreled away. There will be changes in the map. Ukraine will sink back into peaceful obscurity while the US and Europe have to struggle with the impoverishing blowback from wrecking the global trade settlement system.
I ain’t gonna provide a link, but anyone wishing to find and turn over that rock will find observations like “the demonically-installed harms built into the vaccines will keep killing and disabling people for a long time to come.” It scarcely needs be said that he is way toward the QAnon end of the MAGA spectrum, if it makes sense anymore to distinguish between the two, since the GOP, now a Trump subsidiary, appears to have absorbed most of Q’s tenets.

Actually, let’s evaluate Kunstler’s prognostication chops by means of a quick review of his predictions for last year, shall we? Here’s what he assured us we could look forward to in 2021:
The election is re-adjudicated, fraud subtracted from the tally, and President Trump is declared the winner.

The mail-in vote for the Georgia Senate seat runoff is disqualified as systematic fraud is revealed. Stacy Abrams is indicted for organizing the fraud.

A number of political celebrities, DC swamp rats, K-Street hustlers, media figures, and tech company executives are arrested and charged with serious crimes around election fraud.

The CIA is purged and reduced to a strictly analytical role for advising the executive.

The FBI is likewise purged; Director Wray is charged with obstruction of Justice.

Following the reversal of the news media’s election narrative (and the actual election results), Black Lives Matter and Antifa are loosed upon a number of cities and wreak considerable destruction, but eventually get their asses kicked by federal troops. City mayors who allowed the havoc to proceed are arrested, charged with abetting insurrection, and removed from office pending trial.

Nancy Pelosi replaced as Speaker of the House. Mitch McConnell replaced as Majority Leader.

US Attorney John Durham brings charges against lawyers involved in the Mueller Investigation, including Andrew Weissmann, Aaron Zebly, Brandon Van Grack and Jeanie Rhee. Mr. Mueller is named as an unindicted co-conspirator due to mental incompetence.

A special Prosecutor is named to investigate the Biden family business operations; indictments follow late 2021.

Stock market enters long, deep asset value deflation through first and second quarters and bottom-bounces the rest of the year. S & P falls to 550 range; DJI under 10,000; Nasdaq under 3000.

The dollar DXY index falls under 80 by 2nd quarter, 60 at year end.

US GDP down by 40-percent year end 2021.
Lemme see, I make that (reviews notes) zero for twelve. Makes me feel a bit better about Ukraine’s prospects. “Mental incompetence” indeed—it’s always projection with these people.

cordially,
New Just finally getting around to it; been coming since forever.
It appears that the Finns and the Swedes are prepared to dive in together. Well, after all, they’ve been wading around the shallow end for years, and this’ll get them that Article 5 secret sauce.
"Years"? At least as far as the Swedes are concerned, decades. Going back pretty much to the founding of NATO, or shortly thereafter. It's just been an open secret. Back in basic training, 1983-84, the mantra from the officers was "Of course we're officially 'neutral', but if and when they1 attack, we'll just have to hold out for a few weeks, until NATO arrives".

The infantry sidearm we used at the time was the "AK 4", the Swedish military designation for the Heckler & Koch G3 (manufactured on license in Sweden), which among others the Bundeswehr also used. Chambered for 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, introduced sometime in the 1960s IIRC. By 1991 it had been replaced by the "AK 5", again license-manufactured, but originally a design by Fabrique Nationale ("FN") of Belgium. For 5.56 mm NATO ammo.

As The Guardian put it elsewhere recently, Putin’s invasion, intended as a shot across NATO’s bow, looks more like a precision-guided boomerang. What thinks our Man from Helsinki?
What thinks? This thinks: https://twitter.com/ChrisRConrad/status/1497279011134881800

Kunstler
The name sounds familiar; think I read some stuff by him years ago. Seemed (at least semi-)rational to me then, but... Like Giuliani, just going ga-ga in his old age?



1: Never any doubt about who "they" were. In larger exercises, Sweden was always Blue Force, defending against Red Force attacking from the East.
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who Apparently Still Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
New My hazy recollection is that marlowe was a fan.
I think I enjoyed a few of his pieces back then, when I was (still) too easily impressed by "good" writing.

I'm not at all surprised that he's revealed himself to be a crank.

Cheers,
Scott.
     Further to NATO expansion; J.H. Kunstler is a loon - (rcareaga) - (2)
         Just finally getting around to it; been coming since forever. - (CRConrad) - (1)
             My hazy recollection is that marlowe was a fan. - (Another Scott)

Happy happy joy joy!
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