Sitzkrieg

2021 April 10
by drdog09

The situation in in the Ukraine – Russian is similar to the period between the fall of Poland and before the attack on France, the phony war. Phony in the sense that there is really no force on force engagements, merely positioning. What is going on is similar to the The Troubles in Northern Ireland with the Brits, a lot of insurgency attacks on soft targets or individuals.

The Area

What is in question is the Donbass, a region in Eastern Ukraine that is principally ethnic Russian. From a strategic perspective it makes sense that the Russians would be interested in the area as it is a backdoor to the Crimea that they annexed in 2014. Of even greater interest to Russia is the ethnic mix. Russia has a policy to be willing to come to the aid of any ethnic Russian region, part of The Rus ethos. Ironically derived from the old Polish kings that settled in the Kiev region of Ukraine.

To the Ukrainians the area is vital as much of the heavy industry is located in this area. Approximately 16% of the Ukrainian economy was located here. The Ukraine from a diplomatic matter contends that the region was ceded per a 1954 agreement between the two countries during the Khrushchev era.

The Stakes

For Ukraine its simple, it wants its resources back.

For Russia its more complex. Leadership knows that demographically they really only have another decade before human resources become a critical issue to defend the country. Napoleon and Hitler still loom as part of Russian strategic defensive postures. To that end they wish to consolidate the approaches into central Russia. Georgia, Crimea and soon Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania are all at issue as part of that posture.

American Involvement

In full disclosure – I don’t trust the entire Foreign Services staff located in Ukraine. It was clear they were all snakes in the grass during the Trump administration and see no rationale that would have changed their tune.

From the Russian point of view, the US is meddling in affairs not of its concern. There is some validity to the claim. Back during the Reagan-Bush time frame we had clearly telegraphed our lack of interest in the area (Belarus, Ukraine) and essentially lied about it from the beginning.

From an American point of view, NATO would like to see Ukraine as a member. Principal consideration is having a modicum of control of the gas deliveries into Western Europe. Which when you consider that Nord2 pipeline will be online in less than a year and there is already planning for a Southern route thru Turkey and the Med the strategic importance of the right of way control thru Ukraine becomes a moot point.

Regardless we seem to be playing at least a sideline role in the whole affair. Three flights do not constitute engagement, but they do show a preferred sentiment for the current administration to stir up a fight. NATO’s stance for your interest.

The Forces

From the Ukraine:

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Russian Khomchak has said Russia pulling troops to the Ukrainian border is no case a hopeless situation for Ukraine.

“We are really seeing intensified shellings. To say it is a hopeless situation would probably be an exaggeration. Because outside of Ukraine’s borders we’re seeing a buildup of Russian troops moving from different parts of Russia under the guise of military drills. But today their numbers don’t allow saying it’s an imminent threat,” he told a panel show on 1+1 TV on April 8, 2021, as reported by the Ukrainian TSN TV news service.

Khomchak assured the situation is under control, and the Ukrainian military is ready to respond to the escalation both in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions and along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.

Read more

Here’s the tape:

This is the equivalent of the Baylor Bears taking on Ohio State when Woody Hays was coach.

Russia has moved forces from the Siberian region to bring their alignment along the Donbass border to approximately 85000 strong.

Aims

US:

  • Be a pain in the ass to the Russians.
  • Attempt to extend NATO influence.

Ukraine:

  • Get the Donbass back.
  • Keep the corruption going.
  • Acquire more aid from the US.

Russia:

  • Maintain the pressure using the separatists.
  • Destabilize the Ukrainian political scene.
  • Devalue the pipelines into Europe.

Outcome

From a military perspective its a done deal. The Ukrainians have little chance of defeating the Russians in an all out engagement. Best outcome for them is a stalemate and a ramp down of civil unrest in the region as unlikely as that is. For the US ego and regional security is at stake. The only way for the US to come out on top the Russians must lose big. Any other outcome puts American strategic security agreements at stake worldwide. That is not a good position to be in.

For the Russians, win or lose, they win:

  • They annex the Donbass. A lot of diplomatic chatter but a result very similar to the Georgia campaign.
  • They don’t annex the Donbass but continue separatist support. Its not a loss.
  • Ukraine shuts off the pipeline. Price of Russian gas goes up. 6 months from now its a moot point.
  • Ukraine somehow beats the Russians? Well the infrastructure will be destroyed and not having been annexed saves the Russians the cost of rebuilding it all.

Diversity “Trumps” Safety at United Airlines

2021 April 9
by bc3b

It’s insane, but the woke are in total control.

United Airlines has decided that it’s time for a little makeover.  The airline is not going to do that by changing its paint scheme, its in-flight service, or its billing structure.  No, it’s got a much more ambitious objective in mind.  United will polish its woke credentials by giving its clientele what it wants most — diversity in the cockpit.  United has announced that 50% of its new pilots entering training will be females or people of color.

Not the most qualified, but females and people of color.

When things go wrong in the sky  weather-related or severe mechanical problems, that’s when you need the most qualified people in the flight deck, not pilots and first officers hired because of their color or gender.

I have no doubt that any qualified pilot can fly from point A to point B and land an airplane.  However, the danger in diversity thinking becomes apparent when the job differs from the routine.  In 1983, Captain Bob Pearson had the unfortunate experience of being the command pilot of a Boeing 767 that experienced total engine failure.  He did something that the Boeing engineers said was impossible — he glided the plane, without power, to a landing with no injuries.  The plane became known in the aviation community as the Gimli Glider.  It turns out Captain Pearson’s qualifications exceeded those required of airline pilots.  He was also a highly experienced glider pilot.  In this case, was having the “best” somewhat better?

A more recent example is that of Captain Sully Sullenberger.  In 2009, shortly after takeoff from New York City, Captain Sullenberger’s Airbus A320 experienced a double bird strike.  After total engine failure, Sully successfully landed the aircraft on the Hudson River with no casualties.  It became known as the miracle on the Hudson.  It turns out that Captain Sullenberger’s qualifications exceeded the minimum requirements for airline pilots.  In addition to being an experienced Air Force pilot, he earned an advanced degree from Purdue University (my alma matter), was an accident investigator for the NTSB, and was an expert in the psychology of air crew functioning during a crisis.  That last item may not be very important during a pilot’s normal day at the office, but it comes in rather handy when landing on a river — no?

One of the additional problems United Airlines has created is damage they are doing to truly qualified female and minority flight crew members. Now, when airline passengers see a female or minority getting into the cockpit, it’s only normal for passengers to question – is this person really qualified or an affirmative action hire?”

Since the Biden Regime took control, airlines seem to have jumped off the woke charts. Delta, American and Southwest have all joined  in condemning laws requiring voter ID and now this from United.

Hat tip: American Thinker

At least the flight crew had the right boxes checked.

All-Star Game Decision Won’t Go Away

2021 April 7
by bc3b

In an unprecedented move, former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal criticizing current MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for his decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver. Vincent’s greatest criticism was this move is the MLB took sides in partisan politics, on the side of Democrats. Vincent also expressed concern that baseball and other professional sports may be weaponized by those who want to cancel culture.

The MSM is solidly lining up behind Manfred and his decision to move the game from Atlanta to Denver. As is typical, the media is being very selective (if not outright dishonest) with its coverage. The MSM, including MSM sports media claims this is about equality. What it consistently refuses to cover:

  1. Colorado’s voter ID laws are virtually identical to what has been proposed by the state of Georgia
  2. Denver is one of the whitest major cities in the US – less than 10% of Denver’s population is black, compared to 51% in Atlanta. The move is expected to cause a $100-million revenue loss for Atlanta, much of the brunt of these losses will be borne by black businessmen and blacks they employ.
  3. Manfred is a member of the Augusta National. If he was truly outraged, wouldn’t he cancel his membership? Naah, that would require a personal commitment and sacrifice
  4. If Manfred is so concerned about baseball’s values, why the new partnership with Communist China and its continuing partnership with Cuba?
  5. If Manfred is so concerned about baseball’s values, why did he ditch Majestic and select Nike as its new uniform partner last year? Nike has made billions off sweatshop labor, child labor and slave labor throughout its history. No company in the history of the world has made more money off sweatshop labor than Nike.

Fortunately, there is a new conservative sports media outlets taking form. You have non-woke shows like Outkick the Coverage, Black & White Sports and others that refuse to follow the work line pushed by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports 1 and others. As one of these new startup states, this was never about inequality or voter suppression. It was about pushing a woke social narrative to appease Two-Ton Stacey Abrams and other Democrats, who want to ensure that voter fraud will be a key component of future Georgia elections (so no Republican presidential candidate will ever win the Peach State’s electoral votes again).

It will be interesting to see how the All-Star Game fiasco affects MLB attendance and TV ratings.

Georgia Governor Blasts Stacey Abrams 'Flip Flop' on Voting Law Boycotts

For many life-long baseball fans, the fat lady has already sung.

We Must Start Fighting Back

2021 April 4
by bc3b

Donald Trump, once again, is leading the charge, asking Republicans to boycott MLB and corporations that are trying to enforce a corporate dictatorship that robs citizens of their rights. Driven by the radical left, CEOs of major corporations are blackmailing state and local governments into turning their backs on citizens and ignoring the people’s will.

Corporate America is even willing to alienate its own consumer base to placate the radical left,  Obviously, the MLB moving the All-Star Game is the latest example. Baseball fans tend to be primarily center right. They are turned off by players taking a knee or some snot nosed 22 year old who thinks he has “a platform” because he can throw a 97 MPH fastball.

New polling data shows that almost three out of four Americans approve of voter identification laws.

The Associated Press released new polling data on Friday that illustrated the fact that the majority of Americans are behind laws requiring photo identification to access the ballot box.

The data show the vast majority of Republicans are in favor of requiring an ID to vote with over half of Democrats joining them in backing the idea. Only 24% of Democrats opposed the laws.

Overall, 72% of American adults approve of requiring photo identification to vote, illuminating a sharp contrast between Democratic voters and the message the party has been pushing in the wake of Georgia’s new voting law.

So, MLB is not only going against its fans, but also working to thwart the will of nearly 3/4 of Americans, including a majority of Democrats, whose party uses voter fraud as a key element in its election strategy.

While MLB claims it’s racist to require an ID to vote, its own website states a photo ID is required to pick up tickets at will-call. Also, fans get “carded” when buying beer and other alcoholic beverages at the stadium.

By moving the All-Star Game Rob Manfred openly sided with the Democrats. Not even Adam Silver is dumb enough to do that.

There are hundreds of companies working to force a woke agenda on America. One example is P&G, whose Jill-ette brand has been preaching about “toxic masculinity.”

Until the majority  of Americans start fighting back, nothing will change.  Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit – P&G. P&G has over a dozen product categories. There’s something (actually lots of somethings) every American can boycott  laundry, dishwashing, grooming, dental, household cleaning, etc.

Hat tip: Fox News

 

Have a Blessed Easter

2021 April 3
by bc3b

Happy Passover

2021 April 1
by bc3b

See the source image

Happy Passover to Eph and our other Jewish friends.