Ukraine shite… now Seventy Seven days in.

Who knew?

Who knew the Russians would be so damn inept… and woefully ill-prepared for a foe that could offer any true resistance?  I didn’t.  None of the experts did either, as like 90% of them had the Russians either taking Kyiv in four to six days or the country in a week to two weeks.

I know I was a lonely voice among my analyst friends in saying the Ukrainians would not roll over and collapse, that they would give a serious fight…. And that the Russians had nowhere near enough assets for their plans/goals.

 But this level of fight?  It damn sure exceeded my expectations.

Yeah, yeah… the Russian army performance has been crap and their plan has obviously been proven to be crap too… but the initial weight of their assault was no joke.  I mean, the initial successes *were* successes- unfortunately for them, they were not able to capitalize on the first few hours of successful gains.

  And as the last six weeks or so have shown, Russian combat doctrine and training- along with equipment and Logistical Ability-  have NOT lived up to any sort of previous expectations.  Between inadequately trained troops (conscripts!?!), poorly maintained gear, a garbage logistics plan and zero cohesion in battle plans…  it boggles the mind how bad they have shown themselves.   Worse performance is yet to come, I think… how much worse, is a damn good question.

What my nerdy, armchair-quarterbacking self is seeing and thinking…

  The Ukrainian Resistance has done far better than expected…… and over the last two weeks, has managed to push Russians along out of places they were abandoning… and give non-retreating Russian Forces something to think about in other places. This includes giving defending Russian troops a drubbing in spots, gaining territory back from them.  This is going to snowball a bit, as the West/NATO continue to up-arm the Ukrainians.  And that up-arming is a interesting thing….

I figure the AFV deliveries should really start to be felt soon- its all tanks they know how to use and stuff that is Upgraded and Maintained…  Might be Soviet Era tanks… but they have modern Western weapon sights, updated reliable engines and electronics.   And they are not conscript troops…

  We have seen how well the Javelins work, along with so much other light and medium Anti-Armor systems.  Some say that the Era of the Tank is over because of how well they are working… I disagree.  And I disagree for a couple reasons.

  1. Armor is not a be-all/end-all martial component.  Tanks can help you in the Assault, using their weight to shove an opponent back.  But they require SUPPORT… because of the prospect of a brave defender with aforementioned Javelin or other Anti-Armor weapon who is not suppressed…
  2. Proper doctrine for their use.  As stated, armor needs to be supported on the offensive.  Motorized Infantry, tactical air elements…  all things that can be utilized to assist armor to survive and deliver its fire against a foe. Without it, you get what you get so far… and this was proven three times in the last five or so years, with both Soviet style and Western Style equipment; in Syria for purely Soviet style and Iraq twice- early on with Soviet Style armor and later with Iraqi western-style armor getting stomped by ISIS.

In my opinion, if you have properly trained crews and a good doctrine for armor use… plus supporting arms, the Tank remains very viable. The US proved this ad-nauseum (granted, twice it was against the Iraqi’s) over the years… and the Ukrainians are trying to do same to the Russians.  And they seem to have had *some* success with the same gear.
 It is a bit harder, truth to tell, with being outnumbered but they are managing.  And its going to improve, I think, as the better equipment comes into play.  The Ukrainians are better trained… and have morale on their side.  Both help immensely.

Speaking of supporting arms…  The Ukrainian Air Force apparently STILL exists and is STILL flying missions.

  Russian propaganda claims the Ukrainians have no craft left…  Considering that Mariupol resistance was being supplied by helicopter until recently… and that two SU-27’s recently hammered the occupied Snake Island (of “Russian Warship- go Fuck Yourself” fame) with a sortie…  Wow.

Now, given what both sides claim to have killed/destroyed is most likely inaccurate by a lot (or massively in the Russian case), one can draw a few conclusions as to the health of both side’s armor and air assets.

  And its not looking good for the Russians. 

Putin’s Army started out with a massive advantage in Air, Armor and Artillery.  Over the last several weeks, those advantages have been reduced greatly or worse for all but their Artillery.  And its not going to get any better.

There is plenty of concern for the possible use of nuclear weapons or Chemical Weapons.  And these are damn valid concerns.  That they have not, is a good sign.  That there has been saber rattling on their being used… Dude.  Not surprised… but using them NOW is a tacit admission to having lost/being in a losing position.

  I still expect gas to be used in the Azovstal Steelworks plant…  as Chemical Weapons can get into places that explosives cannot… It’s part of their old doctrine, as I recall… and Russia has lots of experience in using chemicals.  That it is regarded as a line that should not be crossed… well, I’m not sure Vlad cares at this point.  So much has gone wrong with this entire “Special Military Operation”, between Intelligence Failures, Doctrinal failures and the incredibly poor performance of his vaunted Military… that nothing really is off the table.  But it is a line that crossing would show exactly how desperate He is for something resembling a success.

  That it HASN’T yet, is surprising.  But either there is concern for gassing their own or there is concern over their delivery systems even being of viable function (remember the poor maintenance issue?) which makes employing them problematic.  If you are gonna use that stuff, you want to be sure the delivery systems work….

  Same goes for the Strategic Rocket Forces.  Given the 40% or so failure rate of their CONVENTIONAL missiles, it makes one wonder if the Strategic systems have the same potential problem.  40% failure is abysmal…. And that is on systems that should be far easier to maintain.  So in my opinion, despite the saber rattling, there *could* be hesitancy on using for both reliability issues… and that Red Line.

I think more the former than the latter…  I mean, the sanctions are biting Russia hard and its become apparent how much of their ability to do things or make equipment relies on Western parts. Add in the previously discussed Kleptocracy issues that undercut everything else’s capabilities… so why would *that* one facet of their forces be immune?

Pretty scary, eh?

The other thing going on… is the Home Front morale of the Russians.  With attacks on mobilization sites, mysterious fires and explosions at places FAR from the border show issues in his backfield.
  When you add in the reported VPN downloads allowing civilians to bypass the Internet Blocks the Kremlin had put up, the façade Putin has thrown up to delude his populace…. Has developed more than a few holes in it.

  That May Day parade speech…  some delusional wording that will only be believed by those without a means to access outside information.  And that number, that percentage of his populous… is going down daily.

This war is going to drag on through the Summer unless Ukraine’s counter offensive really does kick them out or something happens to Vlad to cause a pullback.  Because Vlad is not gonna back down- because he can’t.

And that the west is STILL more or less on the same page… makes it that much worse for him.

New stories to post within the next few days. Possibly by Saturday.

More musing on Ukraine.

Where we’re at, a month in.

Kyiv- still not surrounded.  For a stated goal going in, that it still is not taken a MONTH into this war speaks a few volumes about a good many things.

Mariupol…  surrounded and defiant (“Russian Warship, Go Fuck yourself”- the land version) but running out of food/water and places not bombed.

Belarus still not in (“We might, we might not…  Depends if we got an Army to use or if they have deserted)

The Vaunted Chechen Force hunting Zelensky…  bulk of them Killed (“liquidated” was the term used) and the rest left to go home.

The Russian Army…  still suffering supply issues as well as severe morale issues.  No secure Coms, no reliable supply chain, and no real reinforcement.  And being held in check by a force comprised of mostly infantry…. With the Ukrainian Farmers taking ANYTHING not guarded or really disabled. (DUDE!!!!)

Its not all bad news for the Russians though.  They still (sorta) control the air, still know how to bomb civilian targets really well (hospitals, schools, theaters marked as Shelter for Children, etc, etc…) and their Artillery Corps are still pretty good with Mariupol being turned into a pile of small rocks like Grozny and Aleppo….


Ok….  Real talk.

  The Russian Army is in shambles at this point.  Yes, they have made serious headway in areas (mostly out of Crimea) but even that is stalled now.  Hell, the long-expected push at Odesa just happened- and was repulsed… with reports of the defenders actually pushing the Russian forces back.

  The attempt at Kyiv…  has also suffered.  As per recent reports, the towns of Makariv (west of Kyiv) is back in Ukrainian hands (though not safe for Civilians to return yet) as well as parts of Irpin.  Some effective counter-attacks… not as successful as the Ukrainians would like or have you believe… but its far more than what the RUSSIANS claim they are doing.  Its another sign the Invaders are on the back foot here.

  Recent reports just in and confirmed are the capture/find of a Krasukha-4 Mobile EW System.  Mind you, it was not the entire system, just the command module… but this is a big deal.  A very big deal as there is likely some serious intelligence to be found in its databases and documentation. 

  Add in the capture of one of the mobile command post carriers from a week ago and these are substantial setbacks.  When the Enemy has access to important data like command frequencies and plans, your ability to engineer success takes a hit.

And the Ukrainians have gotten two (known) windfalls with these. 

Russian Troop morale is in the toilet…  with reports of troops turning on their officers, extensive medical problems from the environment (frostbite) and inadequate gear…  its affecting performance and ability to fight.  I’m pretty sure there would be a higher rate of desertion (always an issue in Soviet armies) were there an ability to get away reliably.

  But outside the columns, there are lots of Ukrainians who they (the Russians) are told would just as soon shoot them (not completely wrong- the Ukrainians just might but they are also big on showing compassion for the common grunts)… and of course, if caught by their own, there would be a bullet waiting for them.  Tough choices.

Then there is the ongoing issue with Russian Secure Coms… as in they have almost been non-existent per a good number of reports.  Between compromised networks, non-functioning equipment and use of commercial gear, the Russian ability to pass information and orders securely… is a mess (and that’s being kind).

  Ukraine has also been pretty successful with taking out senior Russian officers through these compromised networks, it seems.  Six General Officers and one Naval Officer have been killed in this war.  Granted, one was an Airborne officer who was killed in the fighting at the airport… but the rest?  All targets of anti C-n-C efforts.

  Its said that senior officers are balking at being sent to Ukraine now because of these successes.  And to be fair, can’t blame them too much- I’d be worried about being assassinated by an enemy you were told in the beginning of the “Special Operation” that they couldn’t hold a candle to your Army- but apparently has.  That has got to be a big worry…

  Other items of note in all this-

  The quality of Russian Gear.  I had initially noted the shabbiness of the armor and vehicles…. But those with a more critical eye really noted it… and what has been pointed out to me (and is only hitting media now) is the very shoddy maintenance of their equipment. 

Rusty, paint-flaking, bad tires…  All signs of a force that has NOT been maintained.  Both a consequence of bad morale (if you don’t wanna be there, you aren’t cleaning/maintaining gear) and a sign of the lack of discipline within their armed forces.  Maintenance requires a measure of discipline and professionalism- both items in short supply along with the shortages in actual supply.

  Dude… that the Russians have even managed what they have so far with all these issues…. Is damn amazing.

  The Ukrainians maintained their equipment and if they had more of it….  I think the embarrassment of the Russians would be higher.  Like it isn’t high already.

 Another item becoming apparent is the cracks developing behind the lines.  Putin is channeling his inner Uncle Joe and instituting serious efforts at culling “traitors” and “undesirables” from the Defense Ministry as well as his Intelligence Apparat.  You know… all those folks who told him that this Military Adventure was a sure thing and the West would fall apart as Ukraine was overrun.

All those things… that have NOT happened.

Vlad is mad.  Vlad is nervous… and those combined are not good things.  I did note his attire during that big Rally he had conducted and caught part of his speech.  I didn’t listen to its content- it was reported on as well as the glitches in the video feeds.  What caught my eye was his body language… and what he was wearing *under* that parka.

What I noticed was the artificial bulk under that coat.  Putin, in all of the pictures I’ve ever seen of him, even in a damn winter coat, has never worn anything bulky that could hide a vest.  Until now.  His movement around that stage and stiff-ness of motion…  To some, they might think it was the cold affecting him… or age.

Vlad is a fairly healthy dude… and has NEVER shown any impediment to ambulation.  He also never has shown the cold to affect him over much.

So him possibly being encased in a ballistic vest- is an important detail.  And as much a sign of worries internal on potential civil strife as the purges for Loyalty…

I really think this is all over by Easter.  The only real questions… is will Putin still be in power by then, will he still have an army to speak of for whatever other plan he has in mind?

(for readers of the stories… they are resuming sometime in the next 24 hours.  Maybe sooner.)

Ukraine- Two weeks in and where I think things are… and may go. By the gods, I hope I’m wrong.

 Day fifteen….


 The resistance by Ukraine to the Russian invasion has been pretty epic… and has decidedly defied the experts on how everything was going to go.  Just wow.

 What helps is the apparent ineptness of the Russian effort, their piss-poor logistics and the outright unexpected poor performance of their ground & air forces across the board.

 As things moved(?) along, there has been much written within the Media and as much or more talked about behind the scenes as to what drove this invasion.  And no one has a sure concrete answer… though there have been some major findings and developments no one expected.

The following is my takes on all of it.  I am by no means an expert on ANY of this.

  What I am, though, is someone who does pay attention, reads up on situations/subjects and tries to have it make sense…  An Informed opinion, as it were.  And some of my observations made early on have been far more accurate than *I* expected in some cases.  I really didn’t expect to be this right on some things.  And even where I was wrong, I was not wrong by much.  Wow moment for me, lemme tell you.



 Early on, discussion with friends who are and were in the Analysis Biz has debated on that question…  One of the theories is a desire for a return to the Cold War….  Because traditionally, the Russian mindset and people unite around the concept of “Everyone Is Against Us” otherwise known as Siege Mentality. Its fact that Putin’s hold on the country has been slipping and a rise of a questioning of his position has reared itself in Russia- and using a real or imagined belief in Us Versus Them can strengthen one’s rule.

 Can.  Not always…. But it can.

  Some may disagree as to how prevalent it is… but with all the poisoning of Opposition Leaders and or Critics of his regime, there is strong support for the notion that he’s not as secure as he may have been.

 So, it was my thought that he was combining both his Known Desire to re-establish the Glory Days of Russia with a return to a Cold War mentality along with using the inherent Nationalism of the Russian to rally around the flag.  It was also thought that this invasion would help splinter the West even more, so skittish as they are about pain/personal suffering and the possible amplification of its internal divisions.

Instead…. What this invasion as done is pretty much the opposite.

 It galvanized the West into working together truly for the first time instead of splintering them.  I mean, The Germans, considered the weak link in NATO due to the Pipelines and their reliance on Russian Gas; declared they would take the pain in order to help stop Russia.  They also have reversed major policies on Defense Spending and shipment of Lethal Aid…  This is pretty damn huge for anyone who paid attention to their self-disarming semi-pacifism of the early part of this century.  The Germans had a proud military tradition once.  And Vlad’s shenanigans have reawakened something in the Krauts.

 Another unexpected event is in that it’s had traditional Neutrals pick a side.  My god… the SWISS have not picked a side in any major European Conflict since the 1500’s…  That’s FIVE HUNDRED YEARS.  The Finns and the Swedes are looking at Nato membership; while a big deal, its not as big as Switzerland no longer remaining its traditional Neutrality and picking a side in all this.

Might be a sign y’all messed up huge if they are against you.

The only countries who seem to be on his side… are places with dictators (Syria) or who pretty much are puppets (Belarus). And even among the Dictator Set, there are not terribly many supporting this invasion.

No one knows what really is driving this. Whatever the true reason, it is costing Russia far more than what he and his advisors likely expected.


Vlad’s military has shown that it apparently ISN’T all that as many thought- and may be less able then believed.  It has me a touch surprised about things I never expected to be surprised at.

  Remember, so many experts thought 200k troops would roll over the Ukrainian army like they weren’t there…. And that three to five days would be enough to take the entire country.  I disagreed vociferously against my analyst friends on this…  I didn’t see it, as this was not the Ukrainian military of 2014 and their will/morale/desire to resist was far higher than experts were thinking.  The Ukies were not going to roll over… and in my opinion, were going to do far better than anyone expected them to.

To say I was a minority opinion on this would be an understatement.

   As events have shown, despite being outgunned, the Ukrainians have not only given the idea of Russian Might a black eye, but you could also say they have utterly wrecked it.  Again, Russian errors have helped in this matter…. But as the saying goes- Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.  Based on what I am seeing, its is very much Amateur Hour in the Russian High Command.  And this is surprising as hell to me- at least initially.

  Further thought…. Did not lessen the surprise but it did allow me to clarify the WHY it happened.

  Analysis/discussion of their tactics show them using methodology that was Doctrine from the mid 70’s to 80’s for a European War… so you are talking about war plans that were considered adequate or good for enemies and equipment then.  This war has shown their shortcomings…. And really solidified the shortcomings of Soviet Era Equipment.  And I say Soviet Era because for the most part, the armor and gear in use dates to the heyday of the Soviet Army which was (drum roll, please)…  1960-1985.

  This is not to say the equipment isn’t capable; it is but the strategies and battlefield plans/doctrine being used has proven not to be in the CURRENT Era.  Things in a modern western army that are down at the troop level (night vision!!) and squad level (reliable communication) are NOT found in the Russian forces attacking Ukraine.  Hell, as hodgepodge as the Ukrainian resistance is with gear, there is decent reliable comms along with some Night Vision capability among them…  And these items are proving to be giant advantages against the Russians.

The strategy and doctrine might have worked in the 1980’s (and I emphasize MIGHT…) but given all that has been learned about the old Soviet Doctrines, the equipment being used and adjustments to Western Fighting styles, Putin’s Generals thinking they were going to use Tried and True to stomp on Ukraine was fantasy.
  Some of these strategies were used in Hungary and Czechoslovakia back in the day.  But you also had a bit more pliable populous in those countries…  especially compared to Modern Ukraine.

  Change is Scary.  And to the Russian High Command, it would seem any deviation from Doctrine or attempt to Make New Doctrine was ignored or stomped out.  The current Defense Minister- Sergi Shoigu- is/was supposed to be a lead figure in the modernizing of the Russian Army and its Doctrinal Thinking…  but right now, either all the money that was spent to do so went into the hands of those other than enacting modernization or it was all a sham.
  What is being shown in terms of plans/procedures…  is what may have been current 40 years ago.  Hardly modern, if you ask me.  If I recall correctly, the US Military has undergone at least two doctrinal changes as to how it fights wars… and is in the middle of a third (more like a reversion to a modified earlier version but still, change)

  Some of what I have read via media (non US media- American sources are far too biased in odd directions) is that Putin was told by his Generals that the Army was Ready and Able to meet the expected timetables (taking of Kyiv within three to five days) and from what was predicted by them, the expected capitulation of Ukraine not long after.

Events have proven that they sold him a bill of goods.  Sergi’s still alive so far… so Vlad, a purported Stalinist, has not gone Uncle Joe on him.  Yet.  Time will tell.

Another aspect of the Military Analysis is the sheer unreliability of the forces being used.

Granted, its 3rd hand reporting in some cases, but according to the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) experts, morale among the Russian forces is pretty low.  Reports of many not even knowing they were going to war are rampant and there are many stories of troops being told they were on a three day maneuver on the border as a show of force.
  Some of the higher officers knew, of course- though (according to reports) the orders to cross the border were given mere hours before.

 As such, reports of desertions are plentiful.  And the Ukrainians have been able to make some hay out of those units that Surrendered to *them*.  Denials by Moscow, of course…   but the evidence is absolutely there.  It also explains WHY, to some degree, they didn’t have the supplies for more than three days of operations.  No one trusted those below a certain level with plans for the op, which is indicative of how much Russia trusts its smaller commands.

Which, to me, says not at all.


  This is not my strongest area and I had to do more than a bit of reading to understand a few items.  But the potential effects on Russia of all the sanctions was understandable.  To say that Vlad’s country is in danger of insolvency is an accurate statement and potentially an understatement.

  Russia has been cut off from Export Revenue of its products, is having Sovereign Assets frozen in international banks and the Energy Sector is now getting moved on.  They have lost the ability to perform international money transactions and secure funding due to being booted from SWIFT… and their elites are rapidly finding all their assets being seized all over the world. Based on my reading of various economist articles and the informed opinion of one of my analyst friends, Russia’s economy is d-o-n-e done by next week.
  Default on loans, inability to pay for goods/services and a lack of ability to GENERATE revenue via international means… will destroy their economy and potentially collapse their government.  There is many schools of thought on who really holds power in Russia- Putin/the Party or the Oligarchs, those very rich men/families who provide a large amount of support to the Government via patronage.  Money Talks- especially over there.

  With the Oligarchs being threatened with loss of assets, it threatens their positions and their power.  None of them are going to like it much and I believe that they fully are aware of the threat to their lifestyle, assets and power stems from the actions of one man.  And if he doesn’t come up with a means to arrest the freefall of their situations (along with the country’s- some of them are loyal Sons of Russia), they may act.
  Vlad knows this… and may preemptively act to remove a potential threat to HIS position.  The Oligarchs know this could be a thing.  And in my mind, this could cause a Civil War there of the likes not seen since 1918.

Every Day that Ukraine holds out and fails to give up, its another day of damage to Russia and added impetus to remove the Architect of this War who is also the reason the West has completely turned on Russia- which in turn increases the possibility of Insurrection in Russia.


 There is no Political “Out” for Putin from this invasion.  The West has solidified its nerve and its stance, reinforcing it all the time with additional measures designed to make Russia (and its power base) cry “uncle”.  And that day is closer than one might think- though how close no one really knows.

  Militarily, there are two options that are available to Vlad.  The first… is adding more troops to the effort.  A large amount more.  Yes, the efforts in the South of the Country have been more successful in their objectives than the North and East.  Still not incredibly successful as it took too long to capture certain places, Like Kherson, but moreso than in the North/North East.

  And in that vein, that some locations STILL have not fallen in the South is incredible.  As of this writing, Mariupol is still not taken.  Surrounded, battered extensively but not taken.

  How much longer they can hold out… is a big question.

North and East, Some important cities have been surrounded but again, not taken. And every day they don’t fall… it’s a morale boost for Ukrainian resistance. 

More troops would help Russian Efforts…. But as far as I can determine (public source- not the most reliable but major movements show up there), no more Russian troops have been earmarked for the invasion.  Which is mixed news- the Russians seemingly cannot support properly what’s in play NOW, so more would make it that much harder to do.  The thought of Belarus committing troops looked probable a few days ago and their being committed would increase pressure on Ukraine.

  But it would seem that the desertion and morale issues that has affected the Russian Effort has also hit Belarus’s military- and a lot harder.  There are reports of mass desertions (ten to fifteen percent or more) in the units earmarked for use, as well as a general resistance to being committed against a country that was a friend until a few months ago.  So the More Troops angle has some major hurdles to enact.

  The second option is the big unthinkable one- and it’s a Military as well as a Political Decision to boot.

Deciding to Use a Weapons of Mass Destruction on a Civilian Target to try and force the West to back off their measures… and make Ukraine surrender is absolutely not a good idea.  Doing so is an act of Desperation.  It is an Unthinkable Act.

  There are many who think he’d never do it, never use Gas or a Nuke.  But then, there were many who thought he’d never invade Ukraine at all, many who thought he’d never go for more than the eastern third of the country (I was one of these) so the thought of the use of WMD is on the table where he’d concerned.

  I brought up the prospect he might a few days ago in a roundtable discussion….  Was told I was nuts.  Then about a day ago, Putin raised the spectre of their being used….

To my mind, they are only gonna get used if he can’t break the Ukrainians through standard means.

Right here, right now, the Ukrainian Resistance is showing the world that they will not fold, they will not break…. And the recent striking of a Children and Maternity Hospital via artillery along with the breaking of Humanitarian Cease Fires…  is only strengthening resolve to not give in.

  Using a WMD on them, in my opinion, will not achieve the cracking of their resolve that Vlad needs… if anything, it will likely strengthen it.  Putin already said a great many things pertaining to his belief Ukrainians are not who they are and are really Russian. That’s not the way to win friends and influence the populous to come to your side…

  It also may absolutely be the Red Line that brings the West into this war on a physical troop level.  NATO and the West have held their hands so far for political reasons…  But gassing Civilians would be a step too far and be the Political Cover needed to Do Something more than what they have.

Oh sure, Russia will claim it was the Ukrainians.  But there will be far too much evidence otherwise that would debunk Putin’s assertions- as hiding such an act is a lot harder here than in Syria.  Add in Ukraine doesn’t have any makes such a claim even more absurd.

No…  I well and truly think the longer Ukraine holds out, the higher likelihood of a Desperate Act…. And an act that would get NATO to intervene, causing the war to widen.

By all the Gods in existence, I well and truly hope it doesn’t happen… that the sanctions cause an upheaval there and ends this.  But it needs to happen soon as the prospect of World War Three is very much a possibility…

No one knows what is driving Putin to do this.  Lots of theories…  from Mania to Glory Days to some sort of Mad Prophecy to him having some sort of malady that is killing him and he wants to take everyone with him (sounds crazy but its possible!)….  But whatever the reason, something has to give before this gets worse in a way everyone loses.

Observations and thoughts- Ukraine shenanigans going on now…

Real World shit…

By now, everyone knows the Russians have started their movement into South Eastern Ukraine with their nonsense claims on those regions and Ukraine in general.  Right now, it’s the two south eastern provinces… and there is a ton of questions galore about what comes next.

From the perspective of holding what you take, the 190k+ troops he allegedly has available will have its work cut out for them if he tries to go for the whole of the country.  Its really not enough to do so and keep it- technology and weapons are far different now than when the area was claimed/held all those years ago.

In theory, some folks think he has enough to GET to the Polish Border.  I disagree for several reasons- notable among them being a march to the Ukie/Polish Border requires the Ukie Military to collapse fully and the population not being willing to fight.

Just no way- and I will explain

While I do not think the Ukranians can stop an invasion, I also do not believe they will collapse.  This is home ground, this their lands… and there is NO LOVE for the Russians.  Among my friends I talk about this with, at least two think the Ukie Troops will collapse like a house of cards under the onslaught. I agree that they are outclassed on the Firepower and Aviation fronts…  But there is a level of “Oh you Think So” that will be prevalent among them.  No one gives them a chance in hell among the talking heads…  and as a former grunt, I can tell you the one thing that will fire them up… being told no one thinks they can do shit.

They are gonna know they can’t stop them…. But then, they also know if they make them bleed bad enough, it may give subsequent resistance a chance to stop them… or even push ‘em back a bit.

  Remember, taking ground is one thing… but to claim it, you gotta hold it.

On the second point, the population being willing/not willing to fight…

Any push past the River Dnieper runs the risk of being an overextension… 190k is a large number of forces… but at this point, they would be going into far more hostile territory past that point.  You gotta remember, the Soviet Union did a whole resettlement thing with pushing Russians *into* their border countries while pushing *OUT* natives.  It happened to a degree in the Baltic States and it happened in Ukraine too- though mostly on the eastern side of the country and not as a whole…  And that area it was done in, is on the Eastern Side of the Dnieper River.

  Think on that a minute…

It is this built in Russian population, (which was planted years ago…)  that is helping to serve as a basis for Vlad claims of protecting the Russian Speaking folks there… and his manufactured (somewhat) stories of oppression of Russian Speaking Peoples for a partial justification.

 Dude… this was all set up YEARS ago, though I don’t think Russia ever expected to not be controlling that area when it was done.  And the Russians are not the only ones guilty of it.  The Germans did it too under Adolf… and well, I won’t discuss the shenanigans the US did with our native peoples. 

But yeah…  Eastern Third of Ukraine has partial support in place among the residents.  It’s a big part of how he managed Crimea and almost managed Donbass; the Ukrainians managed to stop him on that last part… but it was a bit closer than one might think.  To think they might have the same support past that river is crazy talk.

There are numerous geopolitical maps out there that key in on the predominate language of an area… and in the Eastern Third, Russian is a pretty common thing for speaking.  And many who do also claim kinship with Russia versus Ukraine.

Once you get past the Dnieper, this paradigm changes the other way…  And folks are more pro-government (within reason).  Add in a large number of veterans in their populous and trained persons were WERE military at one point, the prospect of Native Resistance goes up.  And Effective Native Resistance at that.

  One of the more neutral news sites I read had an article where several veterans of their military were interviewed, with an emphasis on their thoughts with the Russia situation.  Almost universally, the vets indicated they’d go back in to the Army to fight if able or pick up weapons at home and resist if not.  As one put it…  “Why wouldn’t I shoot Russians?  This is my home, not theirs… and how often can one mix business with pleasure?”  (no lie- the sentiment was stated (my words are wrong but they do relay the content of what was said))

And I am pretty sure they weren’t the only ones.

So any push past that river…. Will have more to worry about than just Government Forces.  And 190k troops…. Is not enough to make a push and secure what was taken.  Its just not…  especially in areas where the population just isn’t that into you (At a minimum.)…

ALL that said, its my thoughts that Vlad will likely go after the eastern Third as early as the Weekend, depending on how this “peacekeeper” force he’s sending into the Provinces goes…  Past the Eastern Third, he is going to need far more troops than he has, for the reasons stated.

What About Nato, you ask?  Can’t/Won’t they get involved?

Well, that’s complicated, as you might expect.  And not just on a political level.

Anything NATO has within the area (with the exception of the Poles!!) is simply not capable of slowing down an invasion.  The Polish Army is very capable, and they have a large reserve.  But mobilization takes time…. And if the end goal is Poland too, they are going to be hard pressed.  They have the manpower- it’s the airpower they need help with and Air can/will complicate response.  In theory…

Force-wise, NATO can’t stop him from doing much were he to go for all Ukraine because World War politics….and if he tried to go for Poland, we can hurt him.  Bad….  But NATO isn’t going to be able to contribute much in Ground Troops cause of the across the board Drawdowns of land forces.

But what about Reforger?

Sure… what about it?  We can send all the manpower we want… but we do NOT have POMCUS available in Germany anymore.  Haven’t for a few years, actually.

  What CAN be done is making it expensive, manpower and equipment wise…. Through the use of Tactical Air and SpecWar in their hit/run/sabotage roles as well as guerilla/partisan activity

 Though from an Air Perspective, there may not be enough available to even do more than contest air.  The assets simply are not there outside of what the Poles have as well as rushed over US assets.  We cannot get enough in the area fast enough to do MORE than that- though the longer it takes for Vlad to move, the more we *can* get there.

  Nato for the most part let their Airpower degrade (dude, the Germans use to have a PROUD military…) as much or more than their ground forces…  Exceptions being the French (a so-so capability or so its said) and the Polish (they remember live under the Red Banner and don’t like it much…).  The Baltic Three also have robust (for their size) militaries but they aren’t scary- though any occupier is going to have a metric shitton of problems.

  Remember, all the warfighting plans for NATO/WP were based on everyone having assets to contribute.  Right now….  The most we can hope for is contested airspace.  At least initially.

Our pilots overall are better- we get more flight hours than Russian counterparts do and that will be the bigger edge.  IF it came to that and that is a BIG if as it means it is now no longer a Small War thing but  now a World War Issue.

Reforger isn’t possible right now.  Assets for it would have been needed to be moving two months ago… if the shipping hulls were available.  And if the hulls were available, one had better hope Big Army and Big Navy is willing to pitch some of the rules preventing fast loading of ships.

And that is a topic for another day…  cause as I read up on all this, y’all cannot believe how mad I got.

Its for sure that more is going to happen over there.  What past what’s going on as of this morning is the big question.  I just know it looks like (based on Moscow Rhetoric/theater) that the Eastern Third is getting taken…. And the prospect exists for more.

Time will tell… and for those who remember the Doomsday Clock, I am pretty sure that sucker just moved…. And in the wrong direction.

Historicon… the Grey Lady of HMGS runs again- and has questions about growth for the future.

(I will apologize now for the soap box aspect of this post, but while it wasn’t intended to be, it morphed into it.  All because of a discussion in the wee hours of Friday Night/Saturday morning…)

(I want to stress that these are My thoughts only- they do not represent the views of the company I was working/volunteering for in any way or shape.)

The Great Gray Lady of the historical wargaming scene, Historicon was held this past weekend over in Valley Forge at the Convention Center/Casino by the park.  It was the first time since March of 2020 that HMGS, the group that runs it and its sister events (Cold Wars and Fall In) ran an event. As such, there was a large amount of apprehension and anticipation in the air. Couldn’t cut it with a knife but it WAS present and only the most blind-to-energy would miss it.

This was the second event I’ve been to this year (Origins was the first) and Plague Precautions were in place (mask in convention spaces, sanitizer stations) and for the most part, these were followed. Not everyone, of course, but enough cared to follow ‘em. I didn’t see anyone deliberately flouting or being a dick with coughing on people so I suppose its encouraging. 😊

My event started Wednesday night with set up of the Dream Pod 9 booth- who I was there to work with/for.  Once we were set up, it was dinner and tour of the event spaces; there was a few games running, even in the earliest moments of the show.

 Plenty of pretty models and the like, with was great and the Dealers area was well populated with vendors of new and old. Which is Pretty standard, actually, for an HMGS show though I think Cold Wars had a better selection of vendors…

 But I quickly got the sense of finding games here was gonna be a challenge- the play spaces were scattered all over the site and the signage… needed help.

But hey, it was the first go in over a year (18 months actually) so I forgive this.  For the most part- they knew the site from past use so I would think tehy’d have planned better. For all I know, the venue may have forbidden it for concern of damage to walls by taped signs- strongly possible but I don’t know.

We at the DP9 booth were busy enough, with large amounts of traffic and no few demonstrations of the game.  As the show progressed, it became apparent that we could have brought more of the singles and blisters of other units… and made a killing.  As it is, what we DID have just about sold out by the end of the event Sunday. We were also the only pure Sci Fi vendor here… and this is kinda what sparked a discussion written about later in this post.

There was lots of discussions with players and other con goers over many subjects- from the typical commentary about stuff for games to politics to the weather to the site…  but the one that gave me pause to truly ponder was “how do we get younger players into historicals?”

This is an interesting subject for a couple reasons. Most notable is that the overall population of people who RUN games sent in historical eras is greying… and greying rapidly. The majority of those who run such games are older (50’s to 60’s and older) and as they age, the fear is not enough younger folks are joining the hobby- either as players or as Game masters.

From my perspective (and there was agreement here when it was mentioned), the Historical Side of the wargaming hobby… had a serious problem with Elitism back in the day. Elitism in looking down on the Sci Fi players and their games… and all too often, gate-keeping what they viewed as Riff-Raff out of their Hobby, lest they pollute it.  With what, I have no idea… but that was a prevalent feeling. I know I experienced this attitude more than once when I first started with wargaming thirty-five years ago.

I started with Sci-Fi, with Battletech being the first game I played and did so with friends. I branched out into Warhammer 40k just before I went in the army, liking the models and the genre (it was tons looser back then). I tried to get into some of the historical games later on after I returned, but finding a welcoming group was a right bitch. And it really should not have been- the community is damn small and it needs to grow.  But back then, people had their biases… and sometimes it set up some lessons in humility…


One of the times I encountered this attitude wound up being a funny memory for me.  At this one convention (non historical based one) in the late 90’s, there was a big Battalions in Crisis game my buddy and I went to go look at and maybe play.  We were both 40k players and history buffs… so why not try the historical side of things?  And based on the game blurb, we figured we could do something different versus the historical outcome.

The game was Germans v French and the scenario was a small battle at a village crossroads on the way to Paris.  Nothing earth shattering but historically, this village crossroads was important to the Wehrmacht’s rapid advance.  We were the Frogs for this game and our opponents were very experienced players who knew this scenario well (as we learned at the start).

  The Elitism was strong here but more from the opponents than the GM- I think he was happy to have players… and I think he wanted to see how this was going to play out. But yeah, the attitude from the other side was special.

My buddy and I were recently out of Active Duty military and both of us were history buffs.  We knew the French were badly led; both of us felt that had they better leadership or commanders with more tactical/strategic acumen than a gold fish, the French may had done better in 1940…  Here, our knowledge of tactics and stuff might be enough to win or just poke a hole in the ego balloon of the German players.

  And after seeing what we had for units, we knew we could not win but we could put that hole in that balloon…. Remember, destroying the enemy is not always the means to win a battle- though it is a good way… but mission and situation dominance are very much conditions for a win.  Real Life is like that…

  And boy did we poke that hole in their balloon.  Being allowed to set up hidden, we applied our knowledge of infantry tactics/defensive strategies and set up our limited assets the best we could to inflict maximum carnage or preserve them in case of retreat.  Remember, our job wasn’t to die needlessly, it was to slow them down…

 Ambushes, shoot and scoot, even an assault on a too-confident German Scout biker…. We caused our opponents tons of headaches and no little frustration- they were used to winning against noobs and were super confident our non-historical-playing asses were more meat or fodder for the Grinder. Arrogance was there in spades, guys… and we used their attitude as a club.

 At the end of the game, the GM ruled that the French had done such a number on the German advance that had this been the historical result, it was possible that the taking of France may have been delayed a few weeks to a month due to having to commit far too much assets to ensure the advance or even re-route.  Which, if you think about it, is a win.  And the GM made it point to say to his buddies that if this had been the actual historical outcome, they might have been relieved of command…. Or moved to driving trucks.



But yah…  back in the day, this was the prevailing attitude towards the non-Historical crowd.  So you could say the lack of overall new blood is self-inflicted.  And in many ways, in spades.

Even with the advent of some of the easier to learn historical games that have come out in the last fifteen years like Flames of War and Bolt Action, there is *still* bias- which is plain stupid.  To some of the Historical Crowd, those games are too simplistic and not “real” games….  Which is bullshit- not everyone likes the Uber Complicated… and while simple systems, they are *still* games set in those eras….You can say this poo-pooing of those games as example of more shooting oneself in the foot.  And its out there on social media too.

It is not everywhere- oh no.  But it is common enough to give folks pause.

Myself, I think games like those are useful as a steppingstone for the more complicated games.  Everyone has to start somewhere… and I know I’ve looked at other systems so I can use my Flames of War stuff (American Airborne, for those curious).

But it has happened, continues to happen and unless some minds get with the program, will happen again. It is NOT the Way to get folks in; it just isn’t…

Some of the suggestions that did crop up over discussion on how to grow things were the usual Outreach efforts to game clubs and schools. Historicals can be used to show what happened in certain places and battles in history for class…  and can inspire a desire to read up on it.  I know it did for me in instances.  Other ideas… is really encourage the grey beards to reattempt to bring their kids in, engage them… because its is something that one can do with their kids- male, female or in-between.  While this is usually done, I know it isn’t always the case when the children are female; there is still bias there even though its likely unintended.

 I’ve seen far less of it on the Science Fiction side in my experience.  In the various events I’ve been at, I’ve seen almost as many father/daughter as I have father/son teams among attendees…. Or a Dad being there to encourage his little girl to kick butt.  And that’s a good thing.

The other idea that was tossed around is trying to welcome the Sci Fi crowd more.  Conventions require attendees and sci-fi genre has many games with fans out there…. Which if you have these games at the show, you can get bodies. And those bodies can and will spend money at the vendors in one’s dealer’s room as well as go play one of the Historical games at the show.  But there is a fear of having the convention be overrun with the Sci Fi crowd, which would dilute the “integrity” and feel of the Historical Gaming Society’s flagship. I get the fear… and while I think its misplaced and irrational as hell, I get it.

There is SciFi being played now at the HMGS events… and they are getting players. But those games are NOT generally in high traffic areas.  For this event, the games I knew that were Sci Fi were tucked way off in the back in rooms one almost needed a Sherpa to find.

 And that…. Is kinda crazy.

By discouraging the sci fi crowd from running events or shunting them to the Back 40, you are hindering growth and exposure.  In kicking them to the dark recesses of the gaming halls, you also risk getting a negative taste in their mouth over being willing to run something again.  And they have friends…

One has got to remember- Some of those Sci Fi guys are going to play the historical games as a change of pace… And it might be enough to get them to really jump in. (Hell, its how I even decided to give historical games a second go.)  And not welcoming them as one would new players to Gaming in general, it can and WILL give a bad feeling.

  All gamers talk.  And when you are treated like a second class or worse person by an org, it will get spread around.  And right or wrong, those negative reviews will spread- especially when they get reinforced by actions/attitudes of staff or stories of others who experienced it.

HMGS is welcoming of the Science Fiction Wargames.  Have been for a few years, as it is a resource for events and attendees. And as mentioned earlier, conventions need folks to come to their shows. But if this event is any indication, there still may be a bias in room placement for events. I hope not, of course… but I do wonder.

 In their defense, this site’s layout was INSANE- in talking to some of the long time GM’s for this event, I was told this was one of the worst locations that has been used for these shows (both smaller HMGS shows have been here before).  “Damn rat warren” was a comment heard… but this was a temporary relocation/use as the Org elected to do historicon here instead of running Fall In (which had been the original event for here).

  Next year is a return to the Lancaster County Expo Center in Lancaster- and that will be a welcome thing. Its an excellent site and has access to a large number of places of interest within walking distance or a short ride.

All this stuff got discussed amongst us gamers and game masters Friday night as we were sitting around. And at least among our small group, we see/know what has to happen.  Outreach is part of the solution; Attitude adjustment of a segment of the community is another.

That last is the hard part. Easiest to pursue and yet, the hardest to implement.  Everyone has biases- its part of being human. However, when those biases hinder growth, they gotta change.  Of be mitigated and that is on the person with the bias.

All agreed it has to happen.  Some still are concerned about Historical being pushed out- to which I replied with “It won’t as long as folks are encouraged to pick up the genre to play or run in…”

Both genres need each other- to grow, to educate and to help improve the overall. The faster everyone gets on the same sheet, the better for the hobby. And all its varied genres.

speaking of that Beirut Explosion

I wrote this the day after the explosion and the conclusions/opinions I have in this writing… I still maintain as my overall opinion.

The entire event was a mess…. and preventable as hell. But it’s Beirut….


Thoughts.  And I have been musing on this all morning.

Ok…  dunno how much there needs to be analysis for this event on what caused it because *every* bit of non-US news I can find is saying more or less that this was a honest-to-gods accident that was preventable- and happened because of corruption/ineptitude of certain parties in Lebanon since the Ammonium Nitrate was off loaded into that building.

The paper trail pertaining to attempts to get the nitrate moved apparently is quite substantial.  Bless bureaucracy for its paper generation for a change, right?

Where things go from here is really the big issue.

Immediate issue looks to be medical and food supplies.  I had the BBC on today and a doc at one facility said they went through almost a month’s worth of supplies in a day and they are extremely low in general first aid/trauma supplies.  Considering how many facilities were damaged, it may be worse than stated.
  That they are accepting help from everywhere, including Israel, says a lot and the supplies issue may be a temporary thing.

Food…  85% of their grain storage was in port.  We have stuff sitting in silos here, doing nothing last I knew.  I should hope someone is thinking on that- offering up excess means its doing something rather than rotting away.  I hope the US is offering up some of that…

Political over there-

  President Aoun…  is in a bind.  On the one hand, he had an economic crisis and a pandemic he had to deal with while a hand was tied behind his back, like almost all presidents there have because of Hezbollah… and now this.

Some of the commentary I’ve read is that the port authority is apparently in the thrall of Hezbollah to a degree via suborning or outright cajoling of officials.  Or even plain old Mob-style owned.
  Corruption was apparently the norm there and given how much a paper trail of circular-filed requests to get the Nitrate moved there is, the backlash is going to be substantial… cause my take is there is a no-party-line condemnation of what led to the stuff being left there… and Aoun’s statement of Punishment for those who enabled this to happen is bold and dangerous.

Dangerous…. Because there is is commentary that he was bought by Hezbollah a while ago or they have heavy hooks into him as theoretical .

If he plays it right, this tragedy can be a way to outright force a bit of reform within the port (estimated  1.5 billion in tax revenue lost every year) and potentially shake lose some of the hooks Hezbollah may have in him.

Because if some of them *are* responsible for this, he now has to take their heads/nail them to the wall because of that statement or he potentially wrecks the cross-faction of support for answers.  Dangerous position for him… but potentially good in establishing himself as not beholden to them.

Right now… this is a fast moving situation and that country cannot afford to NOT find who enabled this and pursue restitution/criminal charges.

What I am reading is folks there want answers and someone to pay for the inaction.  Aoun might get the public cover he needs to fix things and give the people what they want.  The question is can he do it and does he have enough backing to do what he needs to?

I don’t know… but I do know that right now, he has capability and support of the people.  If he does, its in the US’s interest to help support him bringing in those responsible for the material lingering there.

Sometimes good can come of tragedy.  Here is hoping some does here.

Lebanon- can they move forward?

I wrote this back in July when that country put in place a new PM.

Najib Mikati is about as good a choice as one gets there right now. While some might say he’s a Hezbollah Stooge, since I wrote this, he’s told them to pound sand at least twice which is in keeping with some of his history.

I’ve long had interest in this country. A proud people and a very culture rich place, though the religious/political battles make its history a sad one. Its on my list of places to go visit actually… as a very good friend is FROM there… and has told me if I do manage to travel to his home country, he’d make sure I had a guided tour. And something to carry as a just in case (Americans are not super popular still…)

Funny thing- when the explosion happened in August 2020, I watched with interest over what was developing… and I had predicted a request for France to take over would happen. A friend who does international analysis as a profession who I said this to told me no way…. not 24 hours later, said request was made and he was quite shocked- and offered me a job. 🙂

It didn’t pan out- both the Job or the French taking over- but it was nice to know my methodology for puzzling this stuff out had some validation and was viewed as valuable.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote….


A development today was the naming of Najib Mikati, Billionaire businessman and two-time PM, as Prime Minister Delegate.  Its an auspicious announcement and the task of forming a reformist government a daunting one.  Given that he has done so two other times in his political history… is something of a positive though how much is the question.

  That he has some baggage pertaining to corruption allegations is not unusual for political figures in the Country, much less the region, as a whole.  That he’s been selected/picked/nominated to try and rebuild the Government in a manner that is both effective and reform-minded speaks a good deal as to either how true/untrue the allegations are and how effective he was in his two previous stints.

His first Prime Minister term in April 2005 was one where he oversaw the creation and administration of what were perceived to be pretty fair elections that to the Lebanese Government of July 2005.  That he didn’t stand as a candidate is interesting as his stated reason was to assure the neutrality.

His second stint in June 2011 through March 2013 was marred by political strife between accusations of favoritism (or lack thereof) and betrayal of Hezbollah- of which seemed to be baseless as Mikati maintained from the onset of “All for the Country, All for Work”.  In a quick read of who said what against him, the appearance of attempts to influence him without success (for the most part) is the reasoning behind allegations of betrayal or favoritism.

  Again, this would seem to indicate he still maintained a stance of neutrality despite the hem and haw of various factions levying accusations and congratulations at different points.  Which may speak of his actual neutrality and attempting to live up to his stances.  In the end, Hezbollah and Syrian actions, among other things such as infighting among the factions, contributed to his surprise resignation in March of 2013. That he managed two years in the role with all the chaos and antics of the various factions hindering anything productive may actually be a testament to his abilities or stubborness.

With this recent designation-nomination (he received 72 votes in parliament for being appointed out of 118 possible) time will tell if he can manage to build a potential government out of the chaos that is Lebanon right now.  Given that the overall power of Hezbollah (while still dangerous) appears to be weaker, his past success may mean something does appear which can perhaps right the floundering ship that is the Sate of Lebanon.  The people cry for help and for something to be done.  He was the right man in the past, perhaps he is the right man for now.  That he even has the best wishes and confidence of an Opposing Party who didn’t vote for him could be a positive sign; given this is Lebanese Politics, one never knows but it does seem encouraging.

In any event, the next six to eight months will ultimately determine the fate of that nation.  Mikati has a track record, if spotty, and that goes a long way towards prospects of some sort of success.  He needs to move fast- otherwise there may not be a country by the end of the year.

The Plague

You know… the problem with saying “Plague” nowadays is you have to clarify which plague we are talking about.

Is it the Virus? Or the disinformation surrounding it? Or is it about the supposedly stolen Election nonsense (If even his bag-man said it was a clean election, you gotta wonder) helping to drive everything crazy?

I’m going to stick with the virus for now… COVID19 is a Real Thing(tm) and its unpredictability in how it affects humans should be a item of concern for EVERYONE.

But it has a high survival rate, you say…. Yep. With medical treatment and being one of the lucky ones to potentially not get it in a bad way, it does have a super high survival rate. The after-effects though… can be worse than having it.

I know for me, I had it and have suffered a number of issues since. One of which is a more than normal fatigue level. Its like everyday I’ve been up for twenty four hours…. and I could just be getting up from an normal night’s rest. Its insane… For a friend, joint aches are magnified. Another friend… has breathing issues that he’s fighting back against hard (he used to run half-marathons all the time) and his goal is to get back to his old fitness level pre-bug. He’s halfway there.

It amazes me that so many folks just don’t take this virus serious enough. Or that learned and reasonably intelligent individuals buy into the insane assertions or crack pot cures-that-aren’t, thinking folks with zero or questionable at best knowledge know more than the collective whole of the medical community on this.

That angry part of me hopes these folks get to experience this virus first hand… and the part of me that gives a damn about people hopes they don’t have to experience it in their lives or experience losing a loved one to it.

Statistics are impersonal. Statistics can be taken out of context and used/misused to further agendas. Part of life there, I guess. All those people who want to work cross purpose to the common good- some for nefarious reasons- are part of the price of a reasonably free society. Call it an undocumented feature- for that’s what it is.

But for me, who has been on the front lines of this from the start… and has also survived having the virus… all those people who are working cross purpose to the common good need a reality check- applied with a baseball bat, preferably. But however they get it, they absolutely need that reality check.

And unfortunately, that reality check could cause some really sick folks… to not get timely assistance. Or have resources available when its a critical time.

It’s happened elsewhere in the world. And its happening now in some places in the US.

There is going to be more death here than needs to be. And fingers are going to be pointed in lots of directions. In my view, I know where the fingers need to be pointed. And I hope they get what they deserve and that they don’t take innocent lives when just deserts show the fuck up.

My two cents.