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    The expert opinions I’ve heard think that underwater drones were likely the method used. They can sink a warship. Anyway, it’s unlikely Ukraine had the wherewithal to do it.

    I’m seeing no argument against the possibilities I presented. Underwater drones would make it easier, but they’re not necessary, and it’s likely that Ukraine has the wherewithal. Qatar, too. While experienced third parties could be hired. Still, I’m not pushing any conclusions as to who actually rigged the explosives until the evidence is convincing. Your conclusions are on record twice now.

    You say Russia wouldn’t benefit from the sabotage, but I’ve been saying this is about Putin, not Russia, and Putin’s been acting selfishly, ruthlessly, desperately, and foolishly.



    Problem of Iran-made drones already being solved

    Interesting. It took Ukrainian ingenuity to get those old SU-25s up and running, and they’re making a difference.



    Hey readers, I have an itch recently to post a lot of recent news and opinion here (on Putin’s aggressive and inhumane moves, even against his own people), but before you continue here, could you please take a look at Unseen’s post that imo isn’t getting the attention it deserves?




    I ask who comes up if you follow the money? Now, the United States can come to the rescue by shipping LNG to Europe. For a fee, of course.We’ll probably even set up a handy dandy repayment plan. Once you ask who benefits, it doesn’t look like Russia.

    That’s not unreasonable. I see other possibilities, but I’m not as ready to push them as beliefs. Ukraine might think it would profit from ensuring that Putin faces a more definite long term loss of income. (They weren’t going to get any of that fuel anyway.) I would be surprised if USA is responsible, unless USA (with the military explicitly favoring it) agrees that the blow to Russia/Putin favors Ukraine’s possible long term interest.

    We could blame Biden for a possibly poorly worded threat that “there will be no Nord Stream 2 if Putin invades Ukraine” (my paraphrase), but that could also give Putin credibility to false flag the sabotage and point fingers at Biden… assuming Russia/Putin would not be likely to profit from deliveries for a long time, anyway. And it’s another way to claim that the west are the bad guys.

    I’ve had some deep sea diving training, including underwater welding and demolition, and believe it wouldn’t require a large country’s resources to cause serious damage to pipelines. So there might even be other interested parties or energy rich countries involved. (At the moment, I’m not well informed here.) But I believe that blowing up pipelines at Baltic Sea depths isn’t rocket science, assuming one has enough of the right explosives, and remote video.

    As for Fox opining on the matter, I see a whole lot more bias than journalism or evidence. It’s a rabbit hole I’m not willing to spend time on. This story needs more time to curate, and imo until then, it’s up-to-the-minute click bait and speculation.



    Jake, Autumn. and Davis all need to recalibrate their Turing Tests. If they are looking for a Bot, Michael17 is definitely it!

    I have a personal nit to pick with popular word usage, which is relatively new for me in this particular case, perhaps due to my age, I dunno. Only recently, strangely, when I hear “John needs to blah blah”, when John wouldn’t agree with the statement, I think no, the speaker needs John to do blah blah.

    I was asked over IRC once if I were a bot, and I couldn’t tell if it was a sincere question… so I didn’t respond. Like being on the other side of a Turing test.

    I originally started this reply with a negative response to what I perceived as mockery of another human, albeit milder than usual in this case. But I managed to flip my attitude into what I think was a more tangential, humorous take. If it sounds passive aggressive, mea culpa, but it’s relatively mild, too. It would have been harsher and foolish in a more naive, previous decade.

    Mea culpa for going off topic too. It’s just that I remember few or no times when Michael has mocked any of us.



    I just fear that since it’s longer than a sound byte, few people will stick it out.

    To be honest, I avoided this until now because I expected it was going to be just “another long video”. In fact I already knew most of what it’s pointing out. Except for the recruitment of BigLie-believing poll venue workers being trained to throw monkey wrenches into the workings of their local precincts. Talk about conspiracies, this one sounds real, with nation-state level coordination.

    I’ve been saying for a while, one shameless bunch of politicians and party donors has been feeling entitled to take power by any means necessary, in all three branches of government, and in ways that perpetuate their time in office. I.e. we have a dysfunctional two-party system, morphing into a one-party dominated system, likely aiming at authoritarian permanence. This will eventually bite the ass of even those people who felt like the election was stolen and Trumpism has come to save them. (It could also be called Bannonism, but Bannon’s not pining for attention. He knows well the narcissist to promote.)

    I came here to add a post to my Trumpism without Trump? topic, but I’ll wait until more people reply to this topic. I mean come on, a fricken week passed with no replies here.

    Speaking of “rigging” and “re-rigging” the vote counting process, remember even in 2016 before and during the election, Trump was harping that the system’s rigged. It seems clear now that he/they had already been planning to play that card to the max if he had lost.



    Are you guys actually getting anywhere? I’m thinking of moving your posts to your own topic, but it’s sooo much work! Back to my topic, a short video on recent events:



    Michael, not much of an answer to Beanie’s thoughtful questions.

    Thank you Jake. While Michael responded partly with “I have historical proved the Revelation to my satisfaction. However it is still a leap of faith since we cannot scientifically prove that there is a God.”

    Even if a leap of faith is not how I arrive at conclusions, Michael is honest about not requiring scientific evidence to support his conclusion(s). So for me, the only topic left to discuss that might allow he and I to trade enlightenment would be the topic of validity or lack of validity of faith in a scientific context, the only context that matters to me. I don’t see any benefit in pursuing this any further, but maybe someday… and it’s not directly addressing Michael’s original question anyway.



    Hi Michael,

    Only if you have a moment for a digression from your specific topic: I’ve been assuming (perhaps incorrectly?) that your main hypothesis regarding “authenticity” of scripture is based on how its revelations pan out over time, proving they’re from a divine origin.

    Putting that aside, or even presuming that many revelations are actually valid and predictive, my questions to you are:

    1. How or why should one know for a fact that *all* revelations have validity and predictive value? (Much less all the rest of the entire Bible, in any of its versions.)
    2. Which, if any validity in revelations do you discount, and why? (I’m not asking for a list, just one example would probably be enough to provide significant insight into your interpretation.)

    Beyond that, you might remember that I’m totally incredulous of any divine nature of any writings produced by naturally fallible human beings. One example I suspect you’d agree with is that Mohammed must have, at best, only imagined his conversations with the angel Gabriel. At worst, he’s a false prophet.



    Anecdotal evidence in support of “It’s not Russia, it’s Putin”:

    … especially if Putin, the guy running this war, strikes with WMDs.

    (While some postulate that Putin’s isolation during covid has greatly reduced his interactions with people other than his hand picked yes men.)



    Strega thank you for that news.



    And now, for something completely different. The following is my super-geeky, some may say even “unnatural”, explanation of the necessarily imperfect nature of “musical harmony”. My explanation is the result of a youtube video explaining why pianos are always, necessarily, “out of tune”. I go further, pointing out that there is no such thing as “perfectly in tune” to start with, in the natural world, at least not across more that two notes of any scale at a time.

    The only “natural” frequencies in nature exist at atomic levels, e.g. spectral lines for each element; not on any acoustic level, except perhaps in some crystals. Every “tonic” on a musical scale is merely a human invented standard, arbitrary in nature. A tonic at 440Hz is no more natural or perfect than a tonic at any other frequency, and the same is true for any note on any scale… they’re all just human-invented standards.

    The only reason a harmonic interval can “sound right”, much less sound perfect, is because brains can detect and recognize acoustic waveforms that coincide closely to each other. But even integer-based ratios of frequency pairs cannot maintain perfect harmonic consistency with other other harmonic pairs simultaneously, unless they’re all at a 2:1 ratio. I.e., sliding scales in acoustics, by nature are artificial, and are harmonically incompatible with each other. They only “feel” perfect during a brain’s “imperfect but close enough” perception of them. This is true, whether the scale is pentatonic, or has 12 or 13 or however many notes. (Not to mention, all acoustic scales are logarithmic in nature, not “perfect integer ratio” in nature.)

    Still, in nature, animals rely on these imperfect perceptions, because brains are able to detect close harmonic associations between different harmonic intervals, even when those associations are imperfect. It’s like a game of acoustic horseshoes in the brain, where “acoustically close” is much, much more common, even in nature, than “acoustically perfect harmony”.

    And by the way, in a bigger picture… not to take away any “magical” feelings that music can invoke, any animal brain’s ability to detect (or produce) musical sounds or other sound patterns is an evolved ability. Evolved because it enhances fitness.

    In humans in particular, it enables us to communicate and bond at what I call a “preternatural” level, not in a magical sense, but in a real, practically accidental, emergent, unplanned-by-nature sense. Music can feel magical, because our emergent ability to create and appreciate music is so closely associated with our enhanced abilities to create new language, and create new ways to share complex information and emotional content with each other.

    (Did I mention the importance/magic of emergent humor?)



    And then there’s this reaction to current events.

    Anti-immigrant party helps defeat Sweden’s government

    Exerpts (from the WaPo article):

    “It is time to make Sweden good again,” Akesson wrote on Facebook.

    The closely watched election has already reshaped Sweden’s political discourse, pushing anti-immigrant and tough-on-crime rhetoric into the political mainstream and deepening fears here about the polarization — or “Americanization” — of Swedish politics.
    The European far right has welcomed the SD’s strong showing. “Everywhere in Europe, people aspire to take their destiny back into their own hands!” tweeted Marine Le Pen, France’s far-right firebrand, this week.


    The party has cultivated links with Trump supporters and the alt-right in the United States, she said: “Previously it was the Moderates who had contacts with the Republicans, but now it is the SD who has taken over and the Moderates are connected with the Democrats.”

    “There is concern here that we are becoming more like America with polarization and intense rhetoric,” said Adamson, of the Atlantic Council. “Where every battle becomes an existential one.”



    I doubt much credible “counter-culture” comes from a band who “Fights The Man” for $Millions of Dollars a show and sells over-priced logo gear made in the very “sweatshops” they claim to disparage.

    Noted, at least in a counter-counter-culture way. I’m relatively new to Rage Against the Machine, always having (in my past) habitually ignored the most popular music. I’m still mostly unaware of their history. I even ignored Led Zeppelin for too long, just because they were so popular. (How naive I kept myself!)

    Meanwhile yes, eco-activists that fly jet planes or sponsor large conventions inevitably attract the “whatabout…” discreditors. And the “All Lives Matter” whatabout response to BLM comes from a shamelessly, intentionally clueless lot, giving hate tacit permission to carry on. (They must know that’s what they’re doing, right? Seems a lot of us can just keep ourselves naive, while welcoming confirmation bias.)



    Both Russia and Ukraine have the same problem: Their crack forces are mostly dead or injured and they are forced to recruit or draft amateurs and quickly train them how to fight or in the Case of Russia to use mercenaries or troops from allies like the Chechens. […]

    Now, Ukraine’s recent gains almost seem too easy. One can’t completely rule out a Russian trap where Ukraine moves in ahead of its supply lines and best offensive weapons and Russian troops move in to surround them and cut their supply lines.

    I’ve not seen stories on the Ukrainians losing competence, but I’ve seen stories of people from other countries coming to join their battle, for ideological reasons. Western weaponry is still making decisive differences, and the Russians left so quickly from eastern Ukraine that they left everything behind, even their wounded.

    I strongly suspect that there was no plan for this by Putin or the Russian troops, and I don’t think it will be long before we learn if the Ukrainians have over-extended their reach. In any case, short term wins or losses aside, we might not even know how this war will end or keep going, until after winter. I’m crossing my fingers that Putin’s lies will keep growing as a topic in Russia, and he’ll eventually be ousted because of his unexpectedly costly failures. And as far as who would replace him, would they really be any more competent in executing the war, expanding empire, and would they instantly have sufficient powers to run everything smoothly? I have no idea, so I suppose it’s possible.

    Maybe Russia should have put their best software people on developing weapon systems instead of trying to divide US citizens, splintering our families with all the Q/Maga crap, influencing our elections, anti-vax BS, and spawning billions of right-wing facebook/twitter bots. Granted, they are good at it. There are still plenty of very stupid ass Americans who are drinking from the firehose of bullshit. I even dug into some shady political emails I got and sure enough it went back to a .ru domain. Fuck Russia.

    I agree, Russia had more potential advancing their war machine designs, e.g. the SU-57 is phenomenal, but just too costly to make in large numbers.

    I think Bannon/Trump (and other big money players) opened the door for autocratic hell to breach, and Putin seized the historic opportunity. Bannon saw these opportunities coming on the horizon, worldwide, and helped empower Trump with his “solutions”. I think. I don’t want to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist. 🙂

    Robert, speaking of social media firehoses, some weeks ago I had what felt like an epiphany. For years I’ve felt that tribalism has culturally evolved into uber-tribalism, which could explain a lot of our bifurcated political extremes. What hit me was that it’s not just tribalism, but tribalism uber-amplified by “viralism”, e.g. starting with the viralism of angry radio talk show hosts decades ago, to Fox (and other uber-partisan media), and finally to social media rising on click-bait and other kinds of meme-powered viralism. Add, like you mentioned, bots too. Even just plain old modern culture is now propelled more by feverish viralism than ever before. And it’s not just .ru feeding the viralism monster.

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