The history of old and feeble men as head of state is a tragic one

Paul von Hindenburg

By John Ruberry

As president of the United States we have a man in the White House who has moved well-beyond his autumn years. That man of course is Joe Biden, who even when he was at his best was simply a mediocrity. 

Other men–no women that I can recall–who were just too old or sick to perform their duties have been heads of government. I’ll get to them in a bit. But the story usually ends bad for those countries. Sometimes, such as with the Soviet Union, that nation ceases to exist.

But back to Biden.

Much was said–but not on the Democratic protector networks CNN and MSNBC–about Joe Biden falsely claiming during a video conference last week with some Jewish leaders that he visited a Pittsburgh synagogue shortly after a deadly mass shooting in 2018. 

He did not. Biden merely called that synagogue’s rabbi the following year.

But as is often the case with Sleepy Joe, the story gets worse. In an attempt to bond with the participants on the call, Biden spoke of his daughter, who is married to a Jewish man, while–gasp!–off of the teleprompter. 

Imagine Superman after being buried in Kryponite–times 1000.

“There’s a psalm based – there’s a hymn – my favorite hymn in the Catholic Church based on a psalm, and it’s – it’s a psalm that talks about life. And – and so, I – I asked if that psalm – that hymn in the Catholic Church.

Biden then unsteadily recalled some lyrics but then he couldn’t remember the name of that song–or psalm–or hymn. Or whatever.

And then Great Grandpa rambled further into incoherence. 

You know the thing.

And they played – and I’m – my mind is going blank now.

What’s the song that is played where everybody is on the chair? 

Everybody, you know – what – what – I can’t remember it. 

Anyway. And that’s the song that was played. So, you know, I don’t know what the hell is going on here.

Yeah, Biden said, “So, you know, I don’t know what the hell is going on here.” And after exclaiming, “And I’m – my mind is going blank now.

You don’t believe it? Click here for the video.

I’ve heard enough. Biden has to go, and yes, that means Kamala Harris will be president. But I’ll take my chances–even though I may eat these words–with a cackling leftist over a faded mind in a frail body. Conservatives, even non-religious ones, believe in conversion. Although converting Harris into a moderate is the best outcome I can imagine. And yes, that’s a big stretch in the hope department. 

Back to the USSR:

In the last years of his life Leonid Brezhnev was clearly physically unwell. Since Soviet leaders didn’t do press conferences or give impromptu speeches, we don’t know about his mental health. His doctors, who probably are all dead now, didn’t talk. Brezhnev died in 1982, he was replaced by Yuri Andropov, who spent half of his 15 months as Soviet leader living in a hospital while he was being treated for kidney disease. Andropov’s successor, Konstantin Chernenko, a mediocrity like Biden, albeit without the jocularity or the gaffes, barely made it past a year in the Kremlin before dying of emphysema and heart disease. 

C’mon man! Who chooses a man suffering from emphysema to lead a government?

In 1985, the healthy Mikhail Gorbachev, took over. But the rot had set in and the USSR collapsed six years later. 

Here are some other sad examples of ill men in power. Paul von Hindenburg, a German World War I hero, wanted to retire after his term of office as president of Germany was winding down in the early 1930s. He was 84. But after Hindenburg ascertained that “the Bohemian corporal,” Adolf Hitler, would be elected as his successor, he ran again and defeated Hitler in a runoff race. A year later Hindenburg appointed Hitler as chancellor. You know the rest of the tragedy. Some historians believe Hindenburg, who died of lung cancer in 1934, was senile late in his life. 

His titles varied but another World War I hero, Philippe Pétain, was the head of government of Vichy France. Pétain was 84–the same age as Hindenburg when he was reelected–when he took control of the Nazi puppet state. After the Nazi defeat Pétain was diagnosed as senile, which today is not considered a medical term. But was Pétain senile earlier? 

There’s a tragic example in American history of a man who was too ill to serve. As he was running for his fourth term as president in 1944, those close to Franklin D. Roosevelt knew he was a sick man and strongly suspected he would die before his next term in office expired. That is why Democrat leaders pressured FDR into dumping his leftist vice president, Henry A. Wallace, for someone more centrist. Good for them! Harry S. Truman was chosen.

Roosevelt died three months after his fourth inauguration at the relatively youthful age of 63. But not before getting swindled into condemning most of eastern Europe to communist totalitarianism for over four decades at the Yalta conference by a healthy Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. While no Americans were left behind millions of Poles were. Remember, Britain and France declared war on Germany to save Poland from tyranny.

It was an ailing Brezhnev who made the disastrous decision to invade Afghanistan.

Joe Biden never should have run for president in 2020. And those close to him, such as his wife, should have said convinced him to ride out the rest of his life as a has-been.

Biden needs to resign. Or the 25th Amendment must be utilized to remove him from office. 

And why am I the only person wondering if Biden’s doctor, Kevin C. O’Connor, who is now the White House physician, was being honest when he said in 2019 that Biden is “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.” 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Mind of Russia & China

Once Senator Milton Young of North Dakoda said to him: “You people of the South are much more militarily minded than in the North.” “Milt”, Russell replied, “you’d be militarily minded too if Sherman had crossed North Dakoda

Robert A Caro: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , Master of the Senate 2003 page 180

There is no denying that both China and Russia (but especially China) has been our primary enemy for decades. I had military men during the height of the Cold War tell me that China was in fact our primary problem, but as we deal with what they are doing and why we have to keep two things in mind.

We look at all of these things through an American lens, but for a moment consider this lens that the Russians and Chinese use.

In each of the last two centuries Russia has been invaded by the premier military power of the age, Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941, and these invaders pushed deep into the country Napoleon even taking Moscow.

Driving them out took millions of lives and tons of treasure. While most ordinary Russians didn’t have a lot of use for the communists they knew what is was to be invaded and what it meant. This trauma was the single most unifying force within a country for a government that was oppressing its own people and was used to the hilt and I’m not even dealing with the trauma of losing wars to Poland and Japan AND Germany (remember before the Communist revolution Russia had surrendered to Germany) early in the last century.

Now the Russian empire is gone, the Soviet Union is gone and historic parts of even the pre-soviet empire are gone but you better damn well believe that Russia has not forgotten these things and that when Putin acts to subdue and compromise Europe the Russian people have in the back of their minds the idea that everything that slows them down means that much less of a chance that they will have do deal with this cycle again.

China is a tad different, you had the great attempt to carve up China in the late 19th and early 20th century which subordinated China for the sake of trade to foreign powers is an annoyance but like other colonial enterprises brought both technology and as evidenced by Hong Kong advancement, but if you want to find something that unites ethnic Chinese, both Communist and anti-communist its the memory of World War 2 and their occupation by Japan.

American and British POW can testify to the cruelty of the Japanese toward them during World War 2 but that pales compared to what China suffered during that time. Japan moved without mercy against and who stood against them or were even just in the way. This cruelty is in living memory and the Communist Party having murdered tens of millions of their own people has every reason to highlight these acts by Japan to keep their mind off of what they have done and are doing themselves. (This incidentally is why China’s move to threaten Japan, while foolish, is good PR internally because while Japan fell and was occupied, China didn’t get the revenge they wanted and I suspect will not forgive us for rebuilding them into one of the greatest technological powers of all time. You only have to look at their reaction to Japanese victories at the Olympics to see that this hatred is alive and well.

The Best part for both Russia and China is that what they suffered was so horrible that they don’t have to exaggerate it to sell it to the people. They’ve heard the stories from parents and grandparents and don’t need to state to color it.

Does any of this excuse the actions of Putin or Xi? Nope, but if you’re going to check their ambitions to surpass and subordinate us it’s useful to know what makes them tick and one of the things that makes them do so is the determination that NOBODY is ever going to do what the French, Nazis and Japanese ever did to them again.

I think half the battle for us is to (correctly) assure the people of both of those nations that nothing is farther from our mind.

Russia takes Trump’s advice on the Arctic

Some major Russian features on a chart, because I didn’t know the Gulf of Ob was a thing, and you probably didn’t either

Maybe Democrats got it right. Maybe former President Trump really was a Russian puppet. If you were to compare the Arctic policy that President Trump pursued with what Russian “President-For-Life” Putin is pursuing, you would see some strong similarities.

In the Arctic regions of America, meaning Alaska, President Trump sought to overturn the former legal restrictions on utilizing resources in the region. Trump’s legal team struck down restrictions related to Pacific Walruses and began issuing drilling leases, only to have President Biden withhold those leases. Supposedly, this was done to protect the walruses, but lets be honest, its a communist plot. See, walruses were being trained by the US government to attack communists. They accidentally got released once and managed to sink a Russian vessel, which was covered up by blaming Russian vodka day drinking, something that is totally believable. When President Biden babbled on about walruses amidst his corn pop and lifeguard references, well, now you know why.

I mean, just LOOK at all the patriotism bursting from this defender of the US Constitution!! (Image from Eye on the Arctic)

On a more serious note, when we look at the Russian arctic, we see President Putin pursuing a policy that looks a lot like Trump’s policy. He’s developing Arctic infrastructure, building a huge terminal at Sever Bay. He’s dredging new or existing shipping lanes to let in larger vessels. He’s got more leases on the Yamal Peninsula then Alaska could ever dream of. All of these big projects are going to companies like Novatek and Gazprom, and if they sound familiar, its because these companies use the oil and natural gas as economic leverage in Europe.

Remember when Poland signed a 5 year deal with the US to get natural gas? You don’t? Oh, that’s right, that story got totally buried in 2017, because it was good news related to the Trump administration, and “orange man bad” won the day in the media. Searching for it now, it comes up on obscure media outlets, not the CNN’s and FOX News of the world. It also comes up on a lot of Russian outlets, because it was viewed as a big deal.

Russia has made no secret of its plan to lead the world in LNG and oil. Its a bit grandiose, and might not fully come to fruition. But they saw what happened in a Trump America. They watched how American LNG and oil exports diminished the importance of Iranian oil while strengthening the will of former Eastern-block countries against Russian influence. Iran got placed in a bind: if it pumped more oil, it would bring down the price, making Russia angry, while pumping less would threaten its financial sovereignty. For an America that seems to get bogged down in the Middle East all the time, this is a perfect way to leave the region, which is exactly what Trump did. Not bad for someone who gets made out to be a bumbling fool by the media.

So Russia took that page from Trump and made it their own. They’ve been eyeing the Arctic for a while, but now is as good a time as any, and with a (hopefully temporary) reprieve from the pressures of US oil and LNG exports, Russia can bounce back from low prices and COVID-19. While the US wrings its hands over environmental issues, despite having solid rules in place, Russia knows that the Arctic is savage. It suffered an invasion of polar bears, something I once thought possible only if National Geographic started making horror films. Maybe they were radioactive bears from all the nuclear testing the Russians perform in Arctic? Maybe they will begin attacking US outposts in response to the walrus attacks?

Let’s be honest, the current policy of restricting drilling is done to punish “evil” US oil companies. Even Norway is drilling more, because their welfare state depends on it. But restricting US oil and LNG output is short sighted. It takes away an effective tool of Middle East policy, where every nation and fake nation involved wants to paint you into a corner, and the only way to cut the Gordian Knot is with economics. It cedes more ground and influence in Europe to Russia, who is all about taking more influence and ground when it can. And for a growing China, it makes it easy for Russia to keep them in check with higher prices, even if only for a little while longer. While this policy appeases a certain political class of people, history will later reflect the foolishness of this choice.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

GOP senators knock down walls of Biden’s Potemkin Village at the border

By John Ruberry

One of Joe Biden’s first acts as president was to end construction of the wall at the southern border, a project heartily championed by Donald Trump.

Instead a different kind of wall has replaced it.

The Trump of the late 18th-century, in regards to what we now call fake news, was Catherine the Great of Russia. Historical gossip has it that Catherine was killed as a horse was lowered on to her for carnal purposes. Not true, as is the milder version of her demise that claims she died of her wounds after her bulk–she indeed was quite heavy– forced the collapse of the outhouse she was using. 

A stroke is what killed the empress of Russia.

Besides the urban legend about the horse, Catherine is best-known for the term “Potemkin Village.” Her governor in southern Russia–and her onetime lover–Grigory Potemkin, supposedly built facades of prosperous villages that hid the reality behind the proto-Hollywood sets. One of abject poverty that Catherine otherwise would see as she toured Potemkin’s region.

Most modern historians believe that these Potemkin Villages were either a myth or a gross exaggeration.

What is not a myth is that the Biden-Harris administration is attempting to hide a crisis at the southern border. Not with wooden facades, yet there is a metaphorical Potemkin Village there. Those figurative walls were knocked down Friday when a group of Republican senators, led by Texans Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, visited a detention facility in Donna, Texas, one that Cruz said was built for 250 people but is now holding 4,000

Cruz brought his smartphone as you can see.

Joe Biden promised transparency as president. That’s not happening at the migrant facilities at the border, where the media is banned. “What is occurring here at the border is heartbreaking and it’s a tragedy,” Cruz said shortly after his visit. “It is striking that not a single one of these cameras is allowed in the Donna facility. We requested media to come inside and the Biden administration denied us.” 

A day earlier during his only press conference as president Biden was pressured, gently of course, about when the media would be allowed at the migrant facilities. He unsteadily answered, “This is being set up and you’ll have full access to everything once we get this thing moving.” Translation: The situation at these camps will embarrass the Biden-Harris administration and as soon as we clean it up–or we are able to hide the worst scenes at these facilities–we’ll let reporters in.

For now, as Kevin Bacon laughingly said during the riot at the end of the movie Animal House, “All is well.”

Expect four more years–whether Joe Biden or Kamala Harris is in charge–of such opaqueness. The lapdog media–which only bares its teeth when a Republican is president–will guarantee it. They are the contributing architects to the Biden-Harris Potemkin Village at the southern border–and others that are likely to come.

All will be well.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

20 Reasons Why They All Hate Trump So Much

I saw this tweet from Donald Trump Jr when I woke up

Although he has a point about war inc I disagree that this is the primary reason why some in this system hate President Trump but rather than address this solely let me make some more general statements.

The NeverTrump Consultants Hate Donald Trump Because…

…he won without then and recognized right at the start that like Groucho Marks Otis Driftwood, all they manage to do is draw a handsome salary without worrying about results.

The Deep State Hates Donald Trump Because…

…as Dan Akroid’s character pointed Dr. Raymond Stantz pointed out he is focused on results rather than jobs and incomes for members of the bureaucracy

The Military Deep State Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he defines the strategic national interest narrowly rather than broadly which decreases their power.

The Republican Establishment Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he has established that many of that they merely talked about for years were actually doable.

The Religious Left hates Donald Trump Because…

…he has used empathy as an excuse for action rather than as an excuse for inaction.

The Religious Self Righteous hates Donald Trump Because…

…he does not judge those they they condemn.

The Radical LGBT Movement hate Donald Trump Because…

…he displays tolerance and acceptance of Gays as individuals without imposing their agenda on the nation.

The Diplomatic Establishment Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he has solved problems and taken actions that if left to them would have remained impossible.

The Obamas and Members of his Administration Hate Donald Trump Because…

…his administration record of success is a complete contrast to his record of failure.

The Clintons Hate Donald Trump Because…

…he destroyed their dreams of returning to power and destroyed their ability to fundraise nationally and internationally

The Hollywood left Hates Donald Trump Because…

…through his blunt hits on Bill Clinton exposed them for the misogynistic enablers of perverts they’ve always been.

The Media left Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he is able to completely bypass them via twitter and thus set the agenda.

The Socialist Communist Left Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he keep refuses to give them power by taking the bait other “conservatives” have for years.

The Pelosi’s and Schumers Hate Donald Trump Because…

…he exposed their “initiatives” and actions as all theater and no substance

The Democrats in Washington Hate Donald Trump Because…

…not only does he keep them out of power but forced them to pass on solutions to problems they they’ve been promising various allies for decades

The Black “Leadership” Hates Donald Trump Because…

…because rather than bend at the knee to them he actually tackled problems facing the black community

The Feminist “Leadership” Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he is the most pro-life president in the history of the nation.

The Chinese Leadership Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he is dismantling the economic, social, government and academic tentacles they spent decades putting in place to make this country their own.

The Antifa left Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he is the greatest thread to their goal of communist revolution since Harry Truman.

The Russians Hates Donald Trump Because…

…he projects American strength around the world.

And these are reasons why I love the presidency of Donald J Trump

Was I right on Russia?

Russian consulate in Svalbard, which looks like my kid built it out of Legos. From The Barents Observer.

Russia continues to make big news that stays under the wave tops of COVID-19 news. I’ve written about Russia many times in the past, and made a few predictions:

I’ve also said that Russia would never give up footholds in Ukraine and Georgia. So, how is that playing out? Sadly, I’m not far off.

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is facing a spread of COVID-19 in its country. Who has lined up to help? Russia, of course. They’ve done this while trying to find ways to boost Turkmenistan’s economy, all while Turkmenistan gets closer to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which is Russia’s stand-in for the USSR.

Belarus

Belarus recently arrested a number of Russians that it accuses of inciting riots ahead of its 8 August election. Not surprisingly, Russia asked those people be released. There was in fact a large rise in the democratic movement that seeks to unseat the 5-term Belarussian President Lukashenko. With a soon-to-be contested election and shared border with Russia, what could go wrong?

Svalbard

Russia has started the messaging train once again for Svalbard, this time demanding that Norway comply with Russian demands on Svalbard. Which they still call Spitsbergen, just to make the Norwegians angry.

Georgia

Russia continues to manufacture a “border crisis” in Georgia. It’s slowly stopping any aid from reaching the breakaway sections while not removing troops in accordance with the cease fire.

Russia isn’t pulling any “crazy Ivan” moves. It knows that the US and Europe just don’t care enough (with the exception of Norway in Svalbard) about Georgia, Belarus and Turkmenistan. If Americans can barely find these places on a map, they certainly won’t care enough to risk their sons and daughters in the military to save them. In truth, if we want to stop this, we have to ask ourselves if we’re willing to go to war with Russia to save some territory in Georgia. And because the Russians think we won’t, they aren’t likely to stop taking that territory.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Statue wars come to Alaska

By John Ruberry

There was no post from me last week here as I was on vacation in Alaska with Mrs. Marathon Pundit celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and getting away from all of the craziness in what Alaskans call “the lower 48.”

Surely leftists’ obsession with tearing down statues hadn’t come to the Last Frontier?

Wrong. It is there too.

While listening to a Talkeetna, Alaska NPR station–which was apparently the only FM station I could pick up in “Gateway to Denali”–I heard a Native American artist from Sitka say, “Take them all down.” The statues, that is. Well, presumably not all of them, just ones of old dead white guys.

A friend of mine who lives in Anchorage urged me to get a photograph of the Captain James Cook statue in Resolution Park, where the bronze likeness of the English explorer, who led the first expedition of Europeans into what is now known as Cook Inlet in 1778, looks over his eponymous bay.

Why?

“Before Cook is taken away,” he warned me.

I believe the Cook statue is a goner. A Change.org petition to remove Cook from Resolution Park, which is named after his flagship, went online last month and attracted a lot of attention, including that of Anchorage’s Democratic mayor, San Francisco native Ethan Berkowitz. He’s a weasel and he punted the decision to an Anchorage native community of 70 to decide the statue’s fate.

Cook haters and everyone who despises white explorers should be able to take solace in knowing that the captain was killed by native Hawaiians on the Big Island several months after sailing into Cook Inlet. But no.

Anchorage is a sister city of Whitby, England, the town where Cook began his maritime career, and the Resolution Park statue is a replica of the Whitby one. Yes, there is a drive in the UK to topple that Cook statue, although the member of parliament who represents Whitby says it will be removed “over my dead body.”

But like hungry sharks, the first kill is never enough for that haters of white man statues. Even in Alaska. What was then known as Russian America was purchased by the United States in 1867; the driver of that purchase was William H. Seward, the US secretary of state. Seward, a rival of Abraham Lincoln for the 1860 presidential nomination, was seen as more anti-slavery than Lincoln. Along with the Great Emancipator, Seward successfully used diplomacy to keep Great Britain and France from recognizing the Confederacy and intervening in our Civil War. On the night Lincoln was assassinated Seward was seriously wounded as well.

In short, most people agree Seward was one of history’s good guys.

We stayed in the village of Seward for a couple of days last month–there’s bust of him there, which is so far safe. That is not the case with the Seward statue in Juneau, Alaska’s capital. Yes, there is a Change.org petition calling for getting rid of it.

Seward’s Day is a state holiday it Alaska, it commemorates that signing of the Alaska Purchase treaty. There is a Seward Highway–which we traveled on last month–and a Seward Peninsula in our 49th state. Clearly, the usually overlooked Seward is a noticeable presence in Alaska. If Juneau’s Seward statue goes, which Seward remembrance will be next?

In Sitka, there is a Change.org petition to remove the statue of Alexander Baranov, who once headed the Russian-American company.

Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I journeyed to the Last Frontier, among other things, to get away from the craziness in the continental United States.

But that was not possible.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Open Skies, Game Theory, and what’s next for treaties

The OC-135, the (very old) airplane the US uses for OPEN SKIES flights, from Wikipedia

Recently President Trump pulled the United States out of the Open Skies Treaties, continuing his push of leaving treaties he feels aren’t useful. Given that we’ve pulled out of the INF Treaty, redone NAFTA, and scrapped a few other treaties (like the JCPOA), are we closer to war, and what treaty is next on the chopping block?

Trump renegotiating deals, and in some cases leaving them altogether, isn’t a surprise. A quick read of his book The Art of the Deal, or a study of his real estate deals, or just watching a few episodes of The Apprentice, would tell you that Trump is all about big deals. He doesn’t nibble at the edges of a small deal. He goes in for the big deal, or nothing at all.

A big reason for that is waiting for the big deal typically maximizes the leverage he has. If you give something away first, and the other side doesn’t reciprocate, you lost a portion of your negotiating power. It’s like giving your kids dessert before dinner on the promise they’ll eat both. Sure, it could happen, but if the dinner isn’t finished, you can’t threaten to withhold dessert.

President Trump always looks to maximize leverage, which means pressing on points that do something while ignoring those that don’t mean anything. For example, very early on he called out a number of NATO countries and threatened to withhold US defense money. A critical media made it out to look like he was threatening to leave NATO. Ironically, this worked completely in his favor. The chances of Trump leaving NATO were pretty slim, because it wouldn’t gain much (by the way, the only country to have done so was France when it left the military portion of NATO). But with the media making it look like he would, and a re-surging Russia acting like it wants to re-establish the Soviet Union, many NATO nations upped their funding. Trump won pretty “bigly” in that case.

If you think the whole “negotiating” piece is a sham, you shouldn’t. In fact, Trump has said on many occasions exactly what he’s doing. Here’s a NYT piece from 2016, where Trump was being interviewed by David Sanger and discussing missile defense and Japan:

TRUMP: Or, if we cannot make the right deal, to take on the burden themselves. You said it wrong because you said or — or if we cannot make the right deal for proper reimbursement to take on the burden themselves. Yes. Now, Hillary Clinton said: “I will never leave Japan. I will never leave Japan. Will never leave any of our ——” Well now, once you say that, guess what happens? What happens?

HABERMAN: You’re stuck.

TRUMP: You can’t negotiate.

HABERMAN: Right.

TRUMP: In a deal, you always have to be prepared to walk. Hillary Clinton has said, “We will never, ever walk.” That’s a wonderful phrase, but unfortunately, if I were on Saudi Arabia’s side, Germany, Japan, South Korea and others, I would say, “Oh, they’re never leaving, so what do we have to pay them for?” Does that make sense to you, David?

It’s crystal clear: President Trump will threaten to leave, and then ACTUALLY leave a deal, if it’s not to his liking. That gives him the most leverage to get the other side to comply.

Open Skies is no different. The deal was first brought up in 1955, but was only recently ratified in 2002. It’s supposed to allow unfettered access to anywhere in the signatories countries. The US upholds that end, and as a military member, I’ve been notified before when the Russians plan to fly over an installation I’m working at. Russia began denying access to key areas, including exercise areas and parts of Georgia.

From President Trumps point of view, Russia gets a good deal and the US is slowly losing any advantage for the deal, so he pulled out. Both sides can pull other intelligence assets to make up the loss, but Russia will take a harder economic hit to do that than the US. This gives the US an advantage, and makes a subsequent deal easier. But the next Open Skies deal, if it was to happen, wouldn’t look like the old one. Trump will drive a hard bargain. I wouldn’t be surprised if he demands something completely absurd, like a drawdown of Russian forces from Kaliningrad and the Arctic, with verification flights to ensure compliance.

Now the Open Skies is going away, what’s next? My first thought was Nuclear Test Ban, since the US never ratified it, but the President already beat me to it. Expect the media to really blow this one up, which again plays right into the President’s hand. I would expect him to use this as leverage over China, because he could:

  • Threaten to arm Japan and/or Taiwan with nuclear weapons
  • Threaten nuclear weapons on hypersonic missiles
  • Change US policy and bring back tactical nuclear weapons
  • Negotiate a better nuclear deal with India, to include selling them nuclear submarine technology. Not only would that make China angry, but it would strip Russia of arms sales!

Another deal on the chopping block is the Outer Space Treaty. Trump already announced moon mining. I’d expect him to be looking for partner nations to mine the moon and asteroids. It’s a good chance to bring in non-traditional partners like Brazil, India and Japan that have this technology, but also places like Indonesia and parts of Africa where geography makes launching satellites easier.

The last one I’d expect to see go away is our treaties on drugs. This goes beyond legalizing marijuana. The drug enforcement cost in America is massive and yet is not particularly effective. Legalizing and taxing the drug trade could not only take money away from cartels, but also increase the safety for drug users. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t come up yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Trump proposed big changes to drug control.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Russia’s Hunger Games

Images from Kadykchan, Russia

While debates continue to rage online about what the true death toll of COVID-19 is, one thing is for certain: Russia and China’s numbers are 100% false. As of this morning, the John Hopkins COVID dashboard is recording 2,537 deaths for Russia and 4,637 deaths in China. If you trust those numbers in countries with 144 million and 1.44 billion, then I’d hate to see your investment strategy.

For Russia, the virus is particularly deadly. Russia’s demographics have all the wrong characteristics for resisting the disease. Russia’s population is considerably older, with an average age around 40 years old. This is skewed heavily, with women living on average almost 10 years longer than men. Stereotypes aside, Russian men have considerable alcohol problems, and compounded by a high smoking rate, the population isn’t exactly healthy.

All of this is made worse by a crumbling hospital infrastructure. While Russian health care is universal and government funded, it suffers from a high level of bureaucracy and lack of funding. Worse still, because of the high concentration of the countries wealth in Moscow verses the rest of the nation. This causes health care to decline significantly the farther away you get from Moscow, causing places like Siberia to suffer considerably more. If you needed a place that resembles The Hunger Games, Russia would be a great fit.

We won’t get the true COVID-19 numbers from Russia, as the government will clamp down on them considerably. But given their setup, be ready for true devastation. Personally I would watch satellite pictures of light intensity, because I would expect areas, especially remote ones, to become uninhabited.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

CNN Letter to Sean Davis (with apologies to Abe Lincoln & Horace Greeley)

There are many who seem confused by the MSM’s behavior toward China, Russia Iran and even towards the efforts to arrest the spread of the Corona / Wuhan Virus in the US. This behavior has drawn harsh responses from conservatives and confusion to those who believe the media operate in the pubic interest. For those who might be confused this letter might explain their actions:

CNN offices,
Atlanta, March 22, 2020.

Sean Davis The Federalist:
Dear Sir.

We have just read your tweet of the 21st. addressed to ourselves through that medium & previous statements through the Federalist. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which we may know to be erroneous, We and other mainstream media do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which we may believe to be falsely drawn, We do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, We waive it in deference to a fellow member of the media although as you are on the right you don’t really deserve such deference.

As to the policy We “seem to be pursuing” as you say, we have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

We would save the Union from Donald Trump. We would save it the shortest way under the Constitution or outside of it. The sooner the national authority of our allies in the Deep state in general and the Democrat party in particular, can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” before those horrible days of the internet, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge in the days before he decided to join our noble cause.

If there be those who would not save the Union from Donald Trump, unless they could at the same time attack Communist China or Putin Iran and save the nation from the spread of the Corona Virus , We do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Communist China, Putin or even Iran, We do not agree with them.

Our paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union from Donald Trump, and is not either to save or to destroy Communist China, Putin Iran or even the Corona Virus. If we could save the Union from Donald Trump without helping Communist China, Russia, Iran or even the spread of the Corona virus we would do it, and if we could save the Union from Donald Trump by directly helping Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the Corona Virus we would do it; and if we could save the Union from Donald Trump, by helping Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the corona virus in some cases and hindering Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the Corona Virus in others we would also do that.

What we write, broadcast and report about Communist China, Russia, Iran and the Corona Virus,we do because we believe it helps to save the Union from Donald Trump; and what we forbear, we forbear because we do not believe it would help to save the Union from Donald Trump.

We shall do less to help efforts to fight the Corona Virus in the US whenever we shall believe what we are doing hurts the cause of defeating Donald Trump in November, and we shall do more to help efforts to fight the Corona Virus whenever we shall believe doing more will help the cause of defeating Donald Trump in November. We shall try to correct errors when shown to be also errors in our efforts in obtaining that goal of Trump destruction; and we shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be in aid of that effort to destroy Donald Trump.

We have here stated our purpose, shared by other members of the media on TV, online and in print according to our view of the official duty of the media to destroy conservatism in general and Donald Trump in particular; and we intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free of Donald Trump in particular and conservatism in general.

Yours,
CNN.

If you wish to read a slightly modified version of this letter which was sent by some fellow named Abe Lincoln to a newspaperman by the name of Horace Greeley on August 22nd 1862 in response to critiques of his actions concerning fighting of the American Civil War you can read it here.