More to ignore, Book 94.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Russia wants out of Kherson, as the reality of their trap finally dawns on them

kos

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Working the southern Kherson front

Remember when Russia walked into an obvious trap in Kherson Oblast and everyone knew it except Russia? Well, they finally caught on.




Rumors about this have swirled for the past several days, with reports of entire units abandoning their positions or of Russian forces collapsing their lines closer to Kherson city, so that artillery on the other side of the Dnipro River can help support them. But this isn’t a rumor. It’s sourced to the Ukrainian military itself. So several things might be happening:

1) It’s psyops. It’s all fiction, meant to pressure Russian units in the area into quitting. If they believe their fellow countrymen are negotiating a way out, they might not want to be left holding the bag.


2) It’s true, but it’s
some units negotiating. There’s no single command for this axis—there’s Rosgvardia (Putin’s personal national guard), VDV airborne, Russian naval infantry, regular Russian army, proxy forces from Luhansk and Donetsk, and who knows what else, and all answer to different commands.

3) It’s true, and somehow, Ukraine is negotiating with that entire mishmash of an occupying force.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych thinks it’s the second option.




Assuming it’s the second or third option, Ukraine’s negotiating position should be simple: Russian forces can happily withdraw into a POW camp after handing their equipment over. Seriously, “We’re out of ammo, please let us out with all our gear” is not a particularly well-leveraged negotiating position. There’s no plausible “or else...” that is even remotely compelling to Ukraine. The only one that applies here is “or else the occupiers die.”

So yeah, this:



Arestovich says that “In places where Russian forces demonstrate resistance, Ukrainians are firing shells with leaflets calling for surrender. An unofficial report says there are 5,000 Russian POWs in Ukrainian hands.” This pause to rest, refit, refuel, and repair forces used in the Kharkiv offensive is a great time to coax Russian and proxy forces to surrender.

We’ve seen Russians overrun, and we’ve seen them run. We hadn’t seen them play dead though:




This is pretty:



That chunk of red in the northeastern corner of the country will soon be blue.

As for the current situation on the ground, it’s mostly mopping up in Kharkiv right now. Lots of rumors on other fronts, but I’m not sure most are believable. What better way to sow panic in Russian soldiers than to tell them that all the fronts are collapsing? Ukrainian forces will need a week or two to catch their breaths after that Kharkiv sprint.

The one rumor I’ll mention, because it’s all over Russian Telegram, is that Ukraine is massing forces around Vuledar, presumably for a push toward Mariupol. If true, and not saying it is, why would anyone assume that Ukraine would do the obvious thing? Hasn’t Kherson-Kharkiv taught us that Ukraine thrives on misdirection, and is quite capable of pulling it off? If Ukraine is genuinely massing forces around Vuledar, nothing guarantees that’s where Ukraine will launch a major attack.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Monday, Sep 12, 2022 · 8:36:53 PM EDT · kos
Remember the video of the American gunner on a Humvee storming a village? That was Ternovy Pod, and it was declared Ukrainian liberated. Just a couple of hours ago, Ukraine’s Southern Command (Kherson area) released its operational update, which included this:

During the battle day by storming in the directions from Ternovy Pod to Lyubomirivku and from Chkalovoy to Bezimenne, the opponent tried to improve the tactical position of forces from two platitudes to the mouth supported by tanks. In both cases, he didn't succeed, took losses and fell back.

It’s hard to believe that units are started of ammunition and negotiating surrender if they are on the offensive in multiple locations in Kherson. And given that Russian forces attacked from Ternovy Pod, looks like Russia has clawed back some of its earlier losses. If some units are trying to surrender, they are isolated instances, and not a general trend.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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QAnon strikes again: Conspiracist Michigan father guns down family in election-denialist rage

David Neiwert

For decades, people have thought of conspiracy theories as harmless amusements. But the past six years have demonstrated their extraordinary toxicity: They are incredibly dangerous to democracy, primarily because they destroy the shared reality necessary for it to function. By untethering people from reality, they poison relationships on every level, from national to local to the family itself.

As a recent incident in Michigan demonstrates, their ability to tear families apart is especially devastating. In the town of Walled Lake, a 53-year-old man named Igor Lanis became so wrapped up QAnon and other Trumpist conspiracy theories—particularly his claims to have won the 2020 election—that he finally erupted at his family because they failed to fall down the rabbit holes with him, went on a rampage with a handgun and a shotgun and gunned them down before being shot by police on his front lawn.

His wife, 56-year-old Tina Lanis, was killed, as was the family dog; both were shot multiple times. His 25-year-old daughter, Rachel, was also shot but managed to survive her wounds and call police. She was too distraught to give them their address, but police were already on the scene, having been summoned by neighbors.

Lanis then walked out the front door of the home and began shooting at police, who returned fire, killing him.

His younger daughter, 21-year-old Rebecca Lanis, was staying overnight with friends and survived the massacre. On Reddit Sunday, only hours after the killings, she posted her account.

“My Qdad snapped and killed my family this morning,” she wrote on the QAnon Casualties subreddit.

She wrote that “growing up, my parents were extremely loving and happy people. I always had a special bond with both my parents.” However, she wrote, that all began to change after the 2020 presidential election.

“In 2020 after Trump lost, my dad started going down the Q rabbit hole,” she wrote. “He kept reading conspiracy theories about the stolen election, Trump, vaccines, etc. It kept getting worse and he verbally snapped at us a few times. Nothing physical though. He never got physical with anybody.”

Rebecca Lanis told Will Sommer of The Daily Beast that her father’s mental health worsened the farther he succumbed to the conspiracist alternative universe. She said he tried to force family members to watch videos on a variety of theories—vaccines as social control, 5G cell towers as the cause of COVID, tales of a secret cabal of lizard people running the world. He was particularly focused on election-denialist theories.

Lanis explained in a later Reddit thread that her father’s behavior and personality had completely changed.

“He would spend all day and night reading stuff on his phone and laptop and would get really pissy over the smallest things. His carefree and fun persona was gone. He started talking about 5G and EMFs being bad, and modern medicine being a sham,” she said. “It's like he got possessed by a demon.”

She told Sommer that family members had tried persuade her father to return to reality, but arguing with him was “pointless.” Indeed, it may have spurred him to violence.

At around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, after her parents had argued over his beliefs, Rebecca Lanis wrote at Reddit, her father “decided to take our guns and shoot her, my dog, and my sister. My mother succumbed to her wounds and my sister is in the hospital right now.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office received a “chilling” 911 call shortly afterward from Rachel Lanis, who told them her father had shot her and killed her mother. She was too distraught to give them an address.

Responding officers first spoke with neighbors who had also reported gunfire. As they were doing so, they heard a gunshot from the Lanis’ house next door, and began moving toward it when Igor Lanis emerged from the front door armed with shotgun. He reportedly fired at them, and they fired back, killing him.

It was the first time any Walled Lake police officer had ever shot anyone, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

“I think there was danger to anybody,” Bouchard said. “He had his keys with him so who knows where he was headed. ...This is terribly sad on so many levels."

Officers found Rachel Lanis attempting to crawl out the front door; she had suffered what Bouchard described as “super traumatic injuries” to her back and legs. After emergency surgery at a local hospital, was updated from critical to stable condition. Rebecca Lanis told Reddit readers that “there's a possibility she won't be able to move her legs again.”

Rebecca Lanis explained in a later Reddit thread that her family was religious but that “Q turned my dad away from our religion. I believe that God has a plan for me and I will not be the next casualty to this actually demonic Q cult.”

This incident is only the latest of a long litany of murderous violence inspired by QAnon conspiracy theories, and all too often—as in the case of the California man whose QAnon-fueled beliefs in “lizard people” led him to murder his two young children—family members are often the first people in their line of fire.

The Jan. 6 insurrection demonstrated that, on a meta level, QAnon conspiracism can be a serious national-security threat. As Amarnath Amarasingam and Marc-André Argentino explained in a study for the CTC Sentinel, “QAnon is arguably no longer simply a fringe conspiracy theory but an ideology that has demonstrated its capacity to radicalize to violence individuals at an alarming speed.”

And it can spread like wildfire among authoritarian personalities, leading to both political and interpersonal violence. A December 2020 Ipsos poll taken shortly before the insurrection found that even before the attack on the Capitol, one-third of respondents falsely believed that voter fraud helped President Joe Biden win the election.

Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson told National Public Radio that poll results such as these showed that an increasing number of people were losing touch with a "baseline reality."

"Increasingly, people are willing to say and believe stuff that fits in with their view of how the world should be, even if it doesn't have any basis in reality or fact," Jackson said. "What this poll really illustrates to me is how willing people are to believe things that are ludicrous because it fits in with a worldview that they want to believe."

Political scientist Michael Barkun explains in his book Culture of Conspiracy that conspiracists love what he calls “stigmatized knowledge,” sources that are obscure or even looked down upon. In fact, the more obscure the source is, the more true believers want to trust it.

As Donovan Schaefer observes at The Conversation, this kind of appeal is how “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast operates on a daily. Rogan regularly invites “scientists” who present themselves as “lone voices” oppressed by the Establishment because they’ve been repudiated by their colleagues onto his program. Somehow, these figures are presented as more credible than the people who debunk them.

The conspiracist mindset is so obsessed with this kind of selective skepticism—with views that support their predisposed beliefs winning out—that scientists or other authorities may concur 98% of the time, but conspiracy theorists believe the other 2% are really on to something. The result is that they see themselves as “critical thinkers” who have outsmarted everyone else, who they dismiss as hapless “sheeple.” Eventually, they come to see those “sheeple” as active participants in the conspiracy, fully dehumanized.

"It's really so shocking but it really can happen to anybody," Rebecca Lanis told The Detroit News. "Right-wing extremism is not funny, and people need to watch their relatives and if they have guns, they need to hide them or report them or something because this is out of control."
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Paul Krugman weighs in: "Ukraine Deflates MAGA Macho Myths"

xaxnar

It is becoming a problem for the Right — Ukraine is causing them a sad over the troubles Ukraine is making for their “strong leader” and role model, Vladimir Putin.

Dr. K. has been paying attention, and their idolatry for ‘strength’ is not holding up all that well. Here’s a trip through The NY Times pay wall to Paul Krugman’s latest.

On Aug. 29 Tucker Carlson of Fox News attacked President Biden’s policy on Ukraine, asserting among other things: “By any actual reality-based measure, Vladimir Putin is not losing the war in Ukraine. He is winning the war in Ukraine.” Carlson went on, by the way, to assert that Biden is supporting Ukraine only because he wants to destroy the West.

Carlson’s timing was impeccable. Just a few days later, a large section of the Russian front near Kharkiv was overrun by a Ukrainian attack. It’s important to note that Putin’s forces weren’t just pushed back; they appear to have been routed. As the independent Institute for the Study of War reported, the Russians were driven into a “panicked and disorderly retreat,” leaving behind “large amounts of equipment and supplies that Ukrainian forces can use.”

Oh what a difference a few days and hundreds of square miles of territory recovered make. Krugman doesn't neglect the tankies and friends either.


To be fair to Carlson and other right-wing cheerleaders for Putin, they aren’t the only people clinging to delusions of Russian success. There’s a whole school of self-styled “realists” who considered Ukrainian resistance to Russia futile and who, despite the failure of Putin’s initial assault, have spent the past six months calling on Ukraine to make big concessions to supposedly superior Russian power.

When it comes to equating MAGA Macho-ness with military might, well…

On the right, however, approval of authoritarian regimes is all bound up with assertions about their military prowess. For example, last year Ted Cruz tweeted about a video comparing scenes of a tough-looking Russian soldier with a shaved head with a U.S. Army recruiting video featuring a female corporal raised by two mothers. “Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea,” opined Cruz.

Actually, the U.S. military is sort of woke, in the sense that it is highly diverse and inclusive, encourages independent thinking and initiative on the part of junior officers and is, at the higher levels, quite intellectual.

The Russian Army, on the other hand, definitely isn’t woke. Conscripts face brutal hazing. According to Mark Hertling, a former commander of U.S. forces in Europe, it’s riddled with “mafialike” corruption and its officers are terrible.

READ THE WHOLE THING

While the war in Ukraine is a brutal struggle and the Ukrainian people deserve full credit for what they’ve been able to accomplish so far, the war has also become something of a proxy for the political struggles here in America. There can be little doubt if the former guy was still in the Oval Office, Ukraine would have been crushed by now, NATO would be in shambles, and the right wing would be blaming it all on Liberal decadence that only they can fix.

Krugman’s conclusion bears some thinking:

The result is that the war, while it is of course overwhelmingly a fight for Ukrainian freedom, has also, weirdly, become a front in America’s cultural and political wars.
There’s growing speculation about what will happen inside Russia if the invasion of Ukraine ends in outright defeat. But you also have to wonder how the U.S. right will handle the revelation that sometimes tough guys finish last.

Good question.

Enjoy!

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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TTM note: A story of the insane....



Texas woman charged in issuing death threats to Judge Cannon. This story exploded out of nowhere

novapsyche

.....If I am wrong, I will amend this. From what I can tell, however, it appears that the threats were made on behalf of Trump. As Trump’s PROXY.

In the voicemails, Gish allegedly said she was "Donald Trump's hitman, so consider it a bullet from Donald Trump himself."

That’s from CBSnews.com, which goes on to report that Gish “also alleged that Trump was ‘responsible for 9/11’ and that she was a federal agent.”.....
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The death of a Russian energy executive over the weekend adds to a list of mysterious deaths of high-powered national businessmen since prior to the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Ivan Pechorin, 39, managing director of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, reportedly fell off a boat at full speed and died Saturday near Russky Island in the Sea of Japan in Primorsky Krai, Russia, near Vladivostock, about 5,800 miles east of Moscow.

Pechorin worked under Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Russian publication Komsomolskaya Pravda, modernizing aviation in eastern Russia while developing resources in the Arctic in light of heavy sanctions.

Pechorin's last public appearance reportedly occurred at the Eastern Economic Forum, held from September 5 to 8 in Vladivostok. The Daily Mail reported that Pechorin spoke during a session called, "Everyone has their Own Route: The Logistics of a Changed World."

His death follows that of the corporation's former CEO, Igor Nosov, 43, who reportedly died suddenly from a stroke in February.

On September 1, Ravil Maganov, 67, an oil tycoon and former head of Russia's second-largest oil company, Lukoil, reportedly fell to his death from a sixth-floor window of a Moscow hospital. Unconfirmed reports allege that Maganov was "beaten" and "thrown out of a window."

The oil tycoon had previously expressed his opposition to the invasion of Ukraine. Lukoil, meanwhile, said his death came "after a serious illness."

Other similar deaths have occurred over the years.

In December of 2021, Yegor Prosvirnin—founder of nationalist website Sputnik and Pogrom—fell out of a residential building in Moscow and died.

A similar incident occurred in October that year, when a Russian diplomat was found dead after a fall from a window at the Russian Embassy in Berlin.

Russia Posts English reported that Pechorin's aviation prowess included the support of passenger air transportation, the modernization of airport infrastructure, and the construction of new runways. He also was part of the development of the United Far Eastern Airlines that was created in 2021.


"Ivan's death is an irreparable loss for friends and colleagues, a great loss for the corporation," read a statement from the corporation. "We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends.".....
 

McCloudersportLion

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That time in Forrest Gump where Bubba and Forrest wander too far into Cambodia and get taken POW by Marlon Brando.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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DELMONT, Pa. — A man in a rainbow wig was arrested in Delmont after he walked into a Dairy Queen with a loaded handgun.


According to the Delmont Borough Police Department, someone traveling south on State Route 66 called 911 to report an erratic driver. The caller said they saw the car pull into the parking lot at Dairy Queen and saw a man, dressed in a “bright yellow safety vest and a rainbow wig,” get out of the car with a gun in his hand and walk into the store.

The responding officer arrived at the scene less than a minute later and saw the man still inside the store, police said. Several other people were also inside.

The man exited the store out of the side door and the officer approached him.

Police said the man had a loaded .40-caliber handgun in his pocket, as well as several rounds of loose ammunition.

According to police, the man said he was “undercover” and that he was “working to restore Trump to President King of the United States.” He said he was armed to “Kill Democrats and liberals” and to protect himself from “drug traffickers.”

He was taken into custody without incident.

Police searched his car and found two more loaded handguns, a 9mm and .22 caliber. All three guns and 62 rounds of ammunition were seized.

The man is facing felony charges.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate claims made by former US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in his forthcoming book that Trump-era officials in the Justice Department pressured his office to “aid them politically.”

“Throughout my tenure as U.S. attorney,” Berman writes in the book according to The New York Times, which obtained a copy of it, “Trump’s Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining – in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired.”

Berman, the former US attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump appointee, was later fired by the former President.......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Justice Department subpoena storm broadens Trump’s potential legal woes​


A strikingly broad subpoena sweep against more than 30 former officials and campaign aides of ex-President Donald Trump represents the clearest sign yet of the seriousness of the Department of Justice’s criminal probe into events surrounding the US Capitol insurrection.

The gambit, revealed on Monday, also shows that while Trump may succeed in slowing a separate investigation into the retention of classified information at Mar-a-Lago, his potential exposure to legal consequences is deep and threatening. Trump has not been charged with a crime in either probe.

But the subpoenas show that the DOJ’s investigation, which has proceeded behind the scenes for months and caused Trump critics to express frustration with Attorney General Merrick Garland, is far more expansive than was previously known. And it appears to be intensifying, with investigators apparently narrowing their focus based on other subpoenas, evidence and witness testimony......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Opinion: Look! It’s the winged monkeys of the Wizard of Trump​

A “big lie” needs a small air force working behind the scenes to divert, obfuscate and defend the absurd claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

Trump’s acolytes in this effort worked in Washington and around the country, in government and the media, to perpetuate the fraud. They made up false stories, spread dubious claims and swarmed anyone who suggested that truth mattered in the land of make-believe......
 
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