Saturday Open Thread 6/15/24: Odds and Ends

Good morning! I hope everyone is having a good start on a great weekend! Don't know about you, but my work week was very busy, and I worked into the evening a couple of times. Oh, well, it cut into my critter sightings, except for the deer family of 3 that comes up in my back pasture every evening at dusk to graze. The fawn is big now.

My affinity for deer and rabbits traces back to my very early childhood, thanks Mr. Disney. (As I sort of bitched about missing my critters, a rabbit just ran acroos the front yard!)

I saw this video about food this week, ironically, which mentions food from mosquitoes right at the time I had to fire up my citronella to fend off the bastids.

From Corbett Report - The Future of Food (39 minutes):

The Future of Food by The Corbett Report

Read on Substack

Summer is upon us, and I notice how I am appreciating clothing made of cotton. Rayon/nylon/spandex clothing truly feels like what it is: plastic.

When I was a child, my grandfather, and then my Dad had cotton fields. My family picked cotton right alongside what you'd expect, black people. Grueling work, and those pods will cut your fingers to the bone if you do not know what you are doing. I think a lot of machinery has replaced the cotton pickers, but another childhood memory sticks with me, never to be forgotten.

Does anyone quite understand who proposed the ceasefire/settlement agreement to "end" the conflict in Gaza? Or what it really means, as it is so vague, so full of loopholes, as to be a joke in reality, but a nice political ploy for struggling joe?

What kind of people will be voting for him? Or, I should say, in what income bracket are the people in that will make gains by voting for an old, obviously demented man?

We need a constitutional amendment in place to prevent this from happening ever again. We know Reagan was off his rocker for 2 years, more or less, and here we go again. Round and round. Rinse. Repeat.

We figured the rain would stop, and abrupt drought would set it very soon, but we have rain in the forecast for the rest of June. If you live in a state that has the probability of hurricanes, check this out. It is a great prep list sent out to people who regularly shop at one of our biggest grocery store chains in Texas and Louisiana. Practical advice for anyone, at any time of failure of the grid, not just hurricanes. I want to share it with you.

Get Hurricane Ready

If the petrodollar goes south, which it seems to be coming soon, get prepared for a transition that will not be fun, but it can be survivable with proper planning.

I drift from cartoons to dire warnings, but in between there was music, and that is always a good approach to to life, in general.

I look forward to you all dropping in whatever in hell you want.

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Lookout's picture

Talked to a buddy at trade day. He's getting his house painted. Ten years ago it cost him $1500. Same painter told him he couldn't even buy the paint for that, it would be $3500 this year. Expect more inflation I'm afraid.

Gas is $3.10 this AM, but was $3 last week. Better than a month or two ago. My understanding is that it has to due with demand. Groceries seem to continue to climb. Oh well it is what it is.

Hot and dry here. I'm with you on cotton clothing. I go out about 7AM and am done by 10 or 11. I expect we'll finally have to turn on the AC this week. We're having to water the garden already.

Thanks for the OT, and hope everyone has a good weekend!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout The cost of any home repair is more than twice the price than the cost prior to the scamdemic.
We are told demand for fuel is a basis for setting a price. What we see is the higher it rises, the less people drive. Round and round.
At least some of the big food producers are getting a smack down through price-fixing lawsuits.
I had a consultation with a couple of retirees who bought a home for less than $200,000. The next year, their ad valorum tax on the home was assessed at $600,000. When they built a garage, the taxes were assessed at an additional $250,000. They are putting their home up for sale and getting away from here. Homeowners theoretically "own" their real estate, but with annual taxes, they are forever renters, with rent hikes at the county's whim.
Morning work, sometimes 6pm until 8pm. Work in that sun at your peril.
Stay cool! Seriously!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

earthling1's picture

@on the cusp
of Trump's vow to end taxes and go back to tariffs to fund government?
Election ploy?
At least he has broken the taboo of ending taxes. It's in the public zeitgeist now..
Saw a baby fawn w/mom this morning, couldn't be more than a few days old.
Strangely, no squirrels here at the farm, but suburban home in Vancouver is infested.
Got deer coming out our ***, rabbit , beaver, cougar, bear, and many airborne predators.
Thanks for the OT.

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Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

@earthling1 Trump can get some votes just on his promise to end taxes. I doubt he could make it happen, and can't grasp how tariffs would hit the budgets of the working poor.
If you run across any articles that address this, please post them for us.
We are getting nightly visits from a raccoon. Squirrels are in the pecan tree in front of my yard fence, so they stay there, seldom come into the fenced yard.
I wonder when Biden will drop out and Hillary steps in? After all, she purchased the DNC. It is Her evil call.
Fun times---NOT!
Have a wonderful weekend, friend.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout @on the cusp

Demand has little to do with the price of gas. Gasoline prices are set based on what the oil companies think that the market will bear. There has been plentiful reason to suspect this for ages, and it is really fundamental to the so-called "capitalist" model as well; but way back when, the oil companies were investigated by Congress for "price fixing" and they admitted what the real pricing method was in their defense: "what their in-house analysts think the market will bear". Hence, they all arrive at similar prices, because, with small variations based on brand and marketing particulars, experienced long time prognosticators will pretty much all arrive at the same general price line.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

@enhydra lutris
of "gas wars" between service stations. They fought for customers by lowering their prices to beat out local competition. But back then most station were privately owned affairs that contracted with the major oil companies for bulk gas and signage.
Nowadays, the overwhelming majority of stations are corporate owned, or heavily controlled by Big oil.
Not hard to see collusion between big oil corps fixing prices.

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Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

@earthling1 I remember it well, when our town's 2 gas stations would go to price war from time to time. I also remember that back in the 50s, we had a 250 gal. gas tank in the yard, up about 6 ft. off the ground. Dad was a mail carrier, had to keep the tank filled, and the gas co. sent out a big truck to fill our tank every few weeks.
Imagine that now.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1

majors won and then ended them. Companies with huge assets and reserves, including cash reserves plus economies of scale can easily survive long periods with negligible and even negative margins, small fries cannot. In the end, the small fries ended up killing each other off and we wound up with an oligopoly market. Once that had occurred, price wars became idiotic, all of the majors quickly realized that price wars simply hurt everybody's bottom line equally and they stopped engaging in them and began competing on the basis of branding and marketing. They don't need to actually collude in order to understand that each of them is better off if prices stay high.

When you have a few large companies and one pulls off a stunt allowing it a short term price jump among it's captive and semi-captive customers, the others will soon copy that action without the need for them to call each up and discuss it. We saw a lot of that in California years ago dueing the so-called "energy crises".

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris as not including working people filling up their tanks. Everyone, including myself, limits any riving that is unnecessary, and fill up at service stations with the cheapest gas. Consumption (demand) always drops as prices increase.
I have never grown apricots, but I had 2 producing peach trees for 4 years. After a stupendous first year yield, I watched March and April winds blow every bloom away. My yield was one edible peach that last year, so I gave up, cut them down.
The water bill is a huge consideration. If I decide on expanding my food production, I will have a system set up to catch rain water.
Dear One is doing the cooking this evening. My contribution will be to wash a few dishes, get out of his way, and to lend him moral support. It will not in any way interrupt my consumption of some really cold beer.
Good to "see" you, dear friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

it has to be a form of price times quantity across all product lines and customer classes, but there are captive customers, baseline volumes, and a lot of other wrinkles that go into it. Plus, of course, they have global markets and some non-gasoline petro product lines. They've got whole departments who spend full time working on this crap.

When there have been real market disruptions, like 73-74 and 79-81 they get really creative. Al least one of the majors, for example was delivering bulk volumes of its product to all the mom and pop and fly by night discount retailers who could then sell unusually massive volumes at their discounted prices that they would not have been able to with their normal supply chain. Meanwhile, they kept their own owned and operated and franchise retailers level with the higher tier price market in order to preserve their brand's reputation and cachet.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

quietly contains a provision that implements mandatory and automatic draft registration for 18-26 year old males:

https://x.com/mtracey/status/1801674395683066299
https://nodraft.kucinich.com/

Just another reason to be glad that I’m old and child-free. Perhaps now Joe and Mary Sixpack will, at long last, begin to pay attention. It will soon be *their* young oxen being gored. I’ve always said that there would be no governmental change until they fired up the draft again.

And now, we wait, to see if anyone notices. We shall see.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables Is it in preparation for war, or is it to scare Russia and China?
One thing is does do is scare the absolute shit out of me.
FWIW, my secretary has a 12 yr old and 9 yr old. One day, she and her kids just might go to the wilds in Idaho, live off the land, or head to Canada.
It will be interesting to see what exemptions are in those bills. We all know rich legacy children will never have to dodge a bullet fired by a foreign enemy.
Thanks for dropping in, friend.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

to get back to the yard, until it becomes time to start dinner. Yards and gardens are nice to have, but ...

However, it does look like we might get a bumper crop of apricots this year, so extra worth it, if so.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

that is a first for me.
Any trial ends with a judge making a ruling. The rulings must be inserted into a document that has standard statutory language.
A paralegal sent me a 25 page document I would not sign due to 4 items in dispute. We went back before the court, and my 4 objections were sustained by the court, and he ordered my 4 changes be made to the document.
The paralegal made the changes, sent it to me for inspection and I signed the signature page approving the order.
However, she submitted the first 24 pages of the document with the 4 errors to the judge, along with my signature page, who signed it without reading it carefully.
Follow up emails with that paralegal said I was wrong, she was right, because I and the judge signed it.
WTF? I will consult with the State Bar ethics hotline, as this just might be beyond a greivance against the attorney, and might go all the way to criminal charges being brought against that smart ass paralegal for felony barratry.
If it ain't one gd thing, its' another.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Genocide!

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@humphrey government is criminal. That is advocacy for genocide. PERIOD.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

decided.

Sanctions will not stop the inevitability of this happening.

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@humphrey is too little, too late for our hegemony.
China promotes education, our government promotes eating at McDonald's.
The stuff you find on X is awesome, humphrey.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Cassiodorus's picture

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"Our national nightmare is over -- time for a new one." - anonymous response to "Biden's" statement

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus and want to watch it before I wade too deeply into opinion formulation. I will say I have long appreciated Matt, and have never felt very strongly positive toward Gray. I also see Matt has written more positive articles about righties in recent years, and see that Gray is a staunch defender of Democrats, never seeing anything positive about righties.
I will not come down on who won the debate, however, until I watch it.
Who's side are you on, boys, who's side are you own, as the song says.
Thanks for stopping by with this interesting media personalities dust up
Enjoy your weekend, friend.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Gray made an ass of herself.
Matt stayed neutral on Musk, as did his co-authors on The Twitter Files, to keep information coming in. The instant they got the cache of info, Musk was taken head on for his censorship by the team.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

9 minutes, check out what is said aroung the 4 minute mark by Col. Larry Wilkerson in this interview with Dima.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

@on the cusp

They are doing it this way, because "that's how we've always done it." "They're smarter than us." That's a pretty low bar for the Washington crowd. This is a short outtake of Ted Postol taken from a week old DW interview.

This is the link to the long video from today.

Devastating Escalations Between Russia and NATO - Ukraine is Being Decimated | MIT Prof. Ted Postol

I have to say the whole thing is worthwhile if you have time. In the last 28 minutes Postol tells some personal stories and views. He demolishes a couple of know it all national security security experts, came down hard on Stanford in recent times, and discussed his own experience challenging the establishment at MIT. I found this very interesting because it reminded me of Chomsky's theory on informal sanctions as a way to manufacture consent.

Nima really is an extraordinary interviewer. He has great guests and makes CBS 60 minutes look like balloon poop.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@on the cusp .I intended to watch after dinner tonight.
Dima is a superb interviewer. His guests are of the highest quality.
I fear the future when his vids are unavailable to us. Let's get educated and prepared while we can.
Could you give Smokey a kiss for me? I would appreciate it, like on the top of his head, as much as I appreciate your dropping in on this thread, my friend.
Have a good weekend, friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

@on the cusp

I walked smokey Thursday and Friday at the park. Didn't go today, it was threatening to rain but never did. The heavy rains in South Florida didn't affect us, they had quite a bit of flooding.

This is off topic but since Li Ziqi the most popular Chinese youtuber ever has been off the radar due to her legal disputes with her agency, this woman 乡愁沈丹 Shen Dan is her replacement on the big screen in our home. She has the same skill set as Li Ziqi but is not as aesthetically inclined as a handycrafter. Her farming, food processing, and cooking skills are impressive though. She's quite the worker too. Her videos are very appealing nonetheless and the village scenes are authentic I think. I haven't figured out where exactly she lives yet.

Ms. So (and me sometimes) watch these rural youtubes from China, Vietnam, Laos, etc. A South Korean travelogue from Laos today, told a sad story of 374 villagers including all the children from the local school in Ponsaban, Laos, who died while sheltering in a mountain cave that caved in when it was bombed by US bombers in 1968. It reminded me of accounts of the No Gun Ri massacre of civilians in South Korea by US aircraft in 1950. In another part of the Laos video, they showed the old scrap remnants of cluster bombs there which seemed to available in large quantities. One village industry is to melt these down in a primitive foundry and make spoons and small decorative trinkets with the metal.

I'm looking for the Shen Dan title I saw on another of her videos- 生活中其實處處是美好 只是需要我們善於去發現 In fact, there is beauty everywhere in life, we just need to be good at discovering it. I had to use the google translator. I use naver and google, and my book dictionaries all day.

My favorite South Korean retired general Kim Byong-ju joked today, that since things seemed to be calming down on the DMZ since Yoon left on his foreign tour, maybe he should stay away longer. The top US general there, Paul La Camera, Commander USFK reportedly had a meeting with the SK Defense Minister Wednesday asking that they act with restraint to reduce tensions with North Korea, ie no leaflet balloons, no propaganda loudspeakers just because Yoon is coming back.

Thanks for your OT! Have a good weekend, 친구.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang my Asian experience is China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, so I haven't visited S. or N. Korea. Or Japan. Limited, but some experience.
Something is better that nothing.
Enjoy, love, be comforted that you know what is happening.
Great to "see" you, friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

@on the cusp

You've traveled more than anyone I know. I don't travel anymore. I've only been to S.Korea, and Taiwan in Asia. Living in S.Korea for three years wasn't enough really to learn much about it because of the cultural barrier. I would like to visit China.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang as they have visited 175 countries vs. my 76, thus, I am a novice.
The typical Europe stuff was great and expected, the former Soviet countries was interesting from former Soviet Union countries point of view. And then, I go to Russia, a capitalist economy, in the process of removing Stalin's tomb from Red Square when I was there.
I saw the work being done. They are capitalists, not that is the best solution.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@soryang and it is so measured, intellectual, informed, a must-see.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

janis b's picture

@on the cusp

Larry Wilkerson makes so much sense it's not funny!

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@janis b Insanity everywhere!
Except Russia, a/k/a The Bad Guys!

Hugs, chica!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

janis b's picture

@on the cusp

I am hoping and trusting the saner head of state in Russia acts in the way Wilkerson projects.

Thanks for the dedication to peace.

Cheers you two!

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Pluto's Republic's picture

I'm guessing that if you are born in Texas, then by age four, you are a dedicated Texan-American with a cap-gun, a fringe jacket, and a durable Western identity. Being a Texan is a lot more "American" than being from the East coast or the West coast.

Texas is the iconic place to hold a Presidential convention. The Federal government would do a better job if it were located to Texas. That way voters in the other states would only be about three hours away from ringing the neck of their Congress-person. The population living on the Left coast and the Right coast often seem to develop American-Identity issues. The Coasters would rather be part of something more "global. They want to identify with something smarter and elite. The problem with the Texas is that it has no identity problems at all.

If the nation's capitol was relocated to Texas, the next time Texans decided to secede, they'd probably take the Federal Government with them. (Some might regard this as a potential win-win for the entire world.) In truth, Texas has what it takes to become a stellar foreign nation. It would instantly become one of the most powerful nations in the world, based on its demographics. Maps would show Texas' location as a critical geopolitical location with the power to influence the region. It's not hard to predict what "Texas the State" would say about the limited sovereignty of American individuals. But its a mystery how "Texas the Nation" will resolve its views on citizen self-determination as a Human Right. All of North America will gain a fresh perspective in International Relations. Wiithin a year, Texas would be a Member of the G8.

What kind of people will be voting for him? Or, I should say, in what income bracket are the people in that will make gains by voting for an old, obviously demented man?

We need a constitutional amendment in place to prevent this from happening ever again. We know Reagan was off his rocker for 2 years, more or less, and here we go again. Round and round. Rinse. Repeat.

.
People who live in a country that allows the population to have only two political parties, and no political choices — ought to have the dignity not to vote in Federal elections. Stop pretending. No one believes the US is a Democracy.

Fun read, OTC.

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Populations don’t like wars. They have to be lied into it.
That means we can be “truthed” into peace. — Julian Assange

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic fringed jackets, not all guns are meant to be lethal to something or someone. Warning shots work.
My family (Dad and brother) has had to shoot someone who shot at our house first. No charges filed.
I shot at an in-law who attacked my late paraplegic husband.
No charges,no regrets, point made.
Texans might be portrayed as a bunch of cowboys and cowgirls, but we are much, much more than that.
Don't Mess With Texas, as the signs say.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

janis b's picture

@Pluto's Republic

So you think the wild west is more american. If I’m reading you right then that is some fine satire.

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Plutos Republic, Texas is huge. It has resources, oil, most importantly, among them, but also farms, cattle, etc... It has population. Self-sustainable.
Most importantly, Texas has a history unique to the US. It is hard to explain, but US soldiers from Texas would defend the State in some secession event. Whereas, colonies banded together to fight the Brits, a portion of Texians fought against Mexico alone, with the drift of people who loved the freedom idea, such as the heroes of the Alamo. I won't discount the guys who came from around the US to fight. They helped. The gave Texas the idea we would die fighting, rather than succumb.
There is much history being discussed about Great Britain screwing the US about the slave trade when The South had no economy without slavery. Hence, the south seceded, if you go along with that theory, Civil War ensued.
Recent historians are pointing out that the Texians got very pissed off at Mexico about the illegality of slavery. "Come to the Texas part of Mexico, but those Negro slaves coming with you will be free."
That is true, hell broke loose shortly afterwards. Fact, not interpretation.
Not a good reason for the fighting spirit, but the fighting spirit is infused in the society and it is of importance to the history of this state. Blue or Red, Come and Take It.
Thanks for stirring my memory and my Texas heart and spirit.
This is the state that will go all out Texas first, United States later, if at all.
One walk through the Alamo would explain this 'tude.
We will secede, or attempt to do so, one day.
The anti-litter sign, "Don't mess with Texas" is much more than littering the highways.
Have a great Sunday!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Pluto's Republic's picture

@on the cusp

...and experienced impressions and views. There is something veery important locked up inside American history. Things that people need to come to grips with to understand what's really happening to them.Don't you think so?

"Now is the time of monsters" said some philosopher I can't name right now.

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Populations don’t like wars. They have to be lied into it.
That means we can be “truthed” into peace. — Julian Assange

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/us-navy-warships-stuck-red-114701567.html

The US Navy has spent over six months battling the Houthis in the Red Sea.

It's a resource-consuming conflict with no end in sight, raising questions about sustainability.

Experts say the Houthis are managing to threaten shipping lanes despite the US Navy's efforts.

The US Navy warships deployed to the Middle East have found themselves locked in a high-tempo operating environment as they work around the clock to battle unprecedented attacks from a restless enemy.

The Houthis have proven to be a wily and formidable foe. Five months after rounds of US-led coalition airstrikes to "disrupt and degrade" their capabilities, the militants continue to wreak havoc. They're routinely forcing the US-led task force to intercept their missiles, bomb boats, and flying drones that have turned shipping lanes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden into a dangerous — and deadly — corridor.

The Houthis have struck multiple ships in the last week, and US officials say these attacks are unlikely to end anytime soon, raising concerns the US is stuck in a costly and unsustainable standoff.

The Houthis have managed to drag Washington into a prolonged, expensive, resource-depleting conflict and driven shipping costs much higher. While no American warships have been hit, the US must bear the growing financial costs and wear and tear to its warships.

Through their campaign, the rebels have not only proven their role as a formidable asset in Iran's proxy network, but they've also demonstrated that they're more than capable of threatening commercial shipping again in the future.

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@humphrey are de facto Iran. According to the US. Except, no proof, and Iran denies the ties, blah blah...
Great info you brought us!
As usual!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

.

b has been gone for weeks and once he posts an essay the MoA trolls climb out of the woodwork without pausing for breath.
Canuck argues with everyone he disagrees with and the anti Putin trolls tell us how weak he is. Or how he needs to do this and that to satisfy their bloodlust.

But Putin deflated Zelensky's peace conference in epic fashion! He knows that any agreement between countries won’t mean jack became Russia isn’t involved in the negotiations. But here he is offering an easy way for peace between the countries, but Ukraine has already told him to pound sand. All the gathering will accomplish will be people who think they are important to gather at an expense resort and party on the tax payer’s dime.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

@snoopydawg but hadn't kept up with the trolls in the comments.

He is alive and well, can manage bots and trolls when he is better.
Moon of Alabama is a treasure, and it is Bernhard's baby.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981