Archive for February, 2022

I offer thee Lord Jesus this eighth decade in honor of the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven and I ask of thee through this mystery and through the intercession of thy Holy Mother the ability to see the works of God all around us

The introduction I use when praying the 3rd Mystery of Light of the Rosary

Let me direct you to something from the Original Bill James Baseball Abstract concerning Joe Morgan and pitchouts which never seemed to work on him:

An announcer asked him about it one time—this was years ago and I’m paraphrasing the answer as I remember it–but as I recall he said that somebody would always give it away, and usually you could pick up three or four clues. The pitcher would not throw over to first like he usually would, or he’d look at you a little bit different, or he’d rush the delivery home or the first baseman or second baseman would try to cheat toward the bag. or the catcher would look down at you right before giving the signal or would set himself up a little different so he could get up and throw. He said once you picked up on one thing you would look for the others and you’d see them too. I used to play cards with a guy like that. He’s read your eyes and knew what you had. Drive You Crazy

The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract 1995 P349

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Well Fifty two years ago or so at the Vatican some priest, or Bishop or Cardinal involved with the making of the New Roman Missal for the mass was composing opening prayers for the mass for every single day of the year. Occasionally the same opening prayer would be used on multiple days. Here is the opening prayer that was composed to be used from the Sunday before Ash Wednesday to the Tuesday before the feast:

Grant us oh Lord we pray
that the course of the world
may be directed by your peaceful rule
and that your Church may rejoice
untroubled in her devotion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son
Who lives and reigns with you in the Unity of the Holy Spirit
One God forever and ever, Amen!

This prayer was said at every Sunday mass yesterday and at every daily mass today and will be prayed at every daily mass tomorrow before Ash Wednesday which the Pope has asked the faithful to be a day of prayer and fasting for peace.

Now to those who have trained themselves to be blind to the works of God in their midst it’s a complete coincidence that a prayer written over five decades ago might be appropriate for the situation today.

But to the faithful who like Joe Morgan could see what was happening around him, it’s yet another example of the providence of God providing man with what they need just when they need it.

And like Joe Morgan once you pick up on this you’ll be surprised at what you see and notice all around you..

Six Things to Keep in Mind Concerning Ukraine and Russia

Posted: February 28, 2022 by datechguy in war
Tags: , ,

Getting invaded doesn’t confer sainthood:

As noted at the Tablet (via Instapundit) Ukraine is knee deep in corruption of both the Biden and Obama administrations (the latter who put it in power. Being corrupt in financial and other matters does not preclude being brave and patriotic in others so keep this in mind when you react.

A Nation fighting for it’s life isn’t going to prioritize facts over survival

As I noted two days ago both Russia and the Ukraine have a vested interest in spreading a message favorable to their cause. Depriving Russia of that ability in the west or in Europe does not mean Ukraine is not going to do it’s best to spin news. This of course is a perfectly legitimate tactic in a war, particularly when a nation is fighting for it’s life against one of the world great powers but we should be very careful about simply believing everything we hear over the next few days.

The Media has Suddenly not become Honest or credible

A second thing to consider concerning the War in Ukraine is the media. There is no reason to suddenly attribute credibility and/or honesty to US or international media when they have spend decades demonstrating their dishonesty and lack of credibility. American media in particular are going to do their best to protect this administration for any responsibility for it’s failures of diplomacy and helping to create the conditions for this war. That’s been their primary concern for years and I see no reason why a war would change this, in fact I suspect they will do their best to not: “let this crisis go to waste.”

The End of the War will not be the end of it:

As Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire for a century before anyone heard of the Soviet Union the problems there will remain no matter how this ends. There is a large Russian minority in Ukraine and short of them migrating out it is going to remain there. How that minority is treated after the war is over if the Ukrainian government stands or how that minority treats ethnic Ukrainians if the Russians win will be a significant human rights issue that is going to be a real problem when it’s all over. (Side note to a lesser degree this is a common problem in former eastern bloc nations and likely drives Russia’s policy more than we in the west understand).

Both Europe and Russia will look at this differently than folks in the US

There is a famous exchange in the US Senate last century where someone noted to Richard Russell (D-GA) a hawk on defense hat the south was very military minded. Russell replied to the effect that if Sherman had marched through your state you’d be military minded too. This is in play both in Putin’s Moves and in Europe’s sudden willingness to make a unified response. In each of the last two centuries Russia has been invaded by the premiere military power of the day with the intent to conquer it. Meanwhile while there are very few left in Europe who served in World War two there are still plenty who remember living in the rubble of it trying to survive and the memory of being under the Soviet’s thumb during the cold war is very much in the living memory of those in Poland, the Baltic States and the other unwilling client states of the old Soviet Union. Dealing with Russia without taking that history into account would is a grave error with a competent administration, with this load of idiots it could be fatal, likewise Putin failure to take into account the reaction of a Europe suddenly facing a war without strong leadership from the US might actually undo all the subtle moves he has made for decades to emasculate the European West.

In the end it will all come down to will

No amount of writing, opinions, speeches or seeds brought to embassies is going to change the bottom line military facts on the ground and those facts depend on military reality not speeches by pols and Pundits and the two key realities have been pointed out by Stacy McCain who as usual has gotten to the the heart of the matter:

  1. If the Russians can fly in reinforcements rather than having to go in on the ground the entire game changes:

What I eventually concluded was that Russians were still in control at Gostomel or, at least, that the Ukrainian counterattack had not “destroyed” the Russian paratrooper force (as had been claimed), and when I woke up Friday, it was clear that not only had the Russian paratroopers held on, but that they were being reinforced, as helicopters were seen flying in low over the area. The most definitive report I found was from the Wall Street Journal:

Russian forces pouring in from neighboring Belarus through the Chernobyl nuclear disaster exclusion zone reached the outskirts of Kyiv. They took over the Hostomel airfield following an airborne assault on Thursday, and by Friday morning Russian armored forces reached the area. Heavy combat continued through the day, and Ukrainian troops blew up several bridges leading into Kyiv from the northwest.

If this is correct, then a Russian armored column has now reached Gostomel, so it’s no longer just paratroopers holding the airfield, which means that soon the Russians will be flying in all kinds of equipment, and this is less than 20 miles from downtown Kyiv.

2. If Kyiv (or Kiev as I’ve always known it) is encircled then it’s only a matter of time

Ukrainian resistance is still fierce and effective, and the Russians have failed to take Kyiv. On the other hand, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, the city is now “encircled” by Russian forces — i.e., the invaders control all the routes into the city. Kyiv is now besieged, in other words, and such affairs do not usually end well for the defenders. Western talk of sending military aid to Ukraine is thus rather belated, if there is no feasible way to deliver these materials to the Ukrainians now holed up in their capital.

I find it highly unlikely that Polish armor will suddenly appear to relieve the city nor do I think that the moves in place will be enough to change Putin’s mind. It comes down to this. If Putin has encircled Kyiv he can starve out the city which means it falls. That’s not going to stop resistance in fact it could become Afghanistan on steroids meaning that a Russian military victory followed by the installation of a pro-Putin government, while hell for Ukrainians might bleed Russia for years in a way a defeat might not

The real question is who will blink first Putin or the West. Presuming the City doesn’t fall this week that’s what it really comes down to and unlike the West Putin has a built in out but that’s a post for tomorrow.

In peace we can make many of them ignore good and evil entirely; in danger, the issue is forced upon them in a guise to which even we cannot blind them. There is here a cruel dilemma before us. If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy’s hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behaviour, this sooner or later produces (for He permits it to produce) a war or a revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor.

C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters #29

One of the most interesting side effects of the war in Ukraine is the sudden shift in the left on several things.

Last week the left was telling us that armed citizens are dangerous and no regular person needs a gun

This week the left suddenly deciding that civilians armed with military weapons as a good thing.

Last week “Toxic Masculinity” was a curse that universities needed to purge using tools like Critical Race Theory to get this poison out of society.

This week the Masculinity of standing up to Tanks, Air Bombings and Fleets demanding surrender is something to produce awe and admiration.

Last week running away from Truckers who were honking horns at people was a good thing as US democrats overwhelmingly supported Trudeau

This week not running away from bombs etc and declaring “I don’t need a ride I need ammunition” is the template for how leaders should act.

This week you see everything from the Simpsons to Hollywood stars to members of congress celebrating the brave Ukrainian people.

But last week if you took the average Ukrainian now fighting the Russians, a white Christian who doesn’t believe in gay marriage, defines a woman by her sex and if asked tells you there is only two genders in the US, those same people celebrating them today would demand they be cancelled and or fired from any public position they hold.

The optimist in me would like to say this is because reality tends to trump woke stupidity and the realty of an actual war causes one to brush aside all the foolishness that people insulated from danger embrace.

But the realist tells me that the left understands that the fall of Ukraine would be a disaster politically for the left and their message worldwide and so they will jump with enthusiasm to defend them. That is defend them rhetorically, not in person of course That’s just as well a person who needs counseling for microaggressions is not likely to cope with battlefield conditions.

BTW if you are a true believer in the whole woke canon and are shocked and disgusted by this sudden volta face of the elites and their followers have no fear. Once the war is over and the danger to Ukraine the left’s political viability is past, all of those things that they are now celebrating will once again be beyond the pale.

Unexpectedly of course.

A Dozen Hard Facts Concerning Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Posted: February 26, 2022 by datechguy in war
Tags: , ,

Fact 1: We aren’t going to do anything beyond loud noises (and Russia knows this)

The Biden all but invited the Russians to take pieces of Ukraine and Putin took him up on it. With the weak response given to his initial moves Putin knows that if he wants the whole shebang the time to take it is now not only because Biden is weak but more importantly he understands the 2nd fact in play…

Fact 2: We couldn’t do anything even if we wanted to at this point. (and Russia knows this)

It takes time to mobilize troops, to gather munitions, to send them places and to have all the logistical means to fight a war. To do it right takes months, to do it fast takes weeks. None of this prep work has been done so if somehow we decided Ukraine was worth fighting for Putin knows he has a MINIMUM of a three week window to finish the job to the point where he would have a fait accompli meaning we would have to literally counter invade. Even if it was possible that we might get our machinery of war moving Putin understands a more basic fact concerning us…

Fact 3: We are not culturally prepared to do anything. (and Russia knows this) Our post Christian ME society is not up to the task of fighting a war with Russia, the people very happy to answer Ukraine’s call to send angry tweets to Russia but when it comes to actually standing up against aggression, hell we aren’t willing to stop people from burning our own cities. Putin knows this but there is something he knows even more…

Fact 4: The only enemy our Military Leaders are Prepared to Fight are Conservatives: (And Russia knows this) Ethan Saunders might have been speaking tongue in cheek when he said: “Our military leaders will run away at the first sign of a microaggression or a misgendering. This isn’t the same kind of war their 2 mommies fought in.” but the reality is that the leadership of our Military has been pretty much at war not only with severing members of the Armed Forces but with those who would normally be the primary candidates to enter the military service. They are ready to go after conservatives on CNN or Twitter but to face Russia in battle? Forget it Of course the Russians aren’t surprised by this because…

Fact 5: All of this is by design (and Russia knows this) Our foes figured out long ago that there was no way they were going to outspend us so instead of trying to outdo us on the weapons side they invested in people, our people, professors to teach our children that America was evil, and/or not fighting for, environmentalists (green on the outside red on the inside) to make the idea of energy production something evil and all kinds of activists to attack the family , religion and all the things that make a strong society. And of course they bought people, pols and reporters and the fruits of these investments both long term and short are now coming into play. They know the US isn’t coming and without the west almost nobody is coiming.

Fact 6: The Biggest Danger to the Russians are the Poles: (And Russia knows this) The reason the last section says “almost” is the Pols. The Pols have a long history of enmity with Russia not only a ton of it in the last hundred years but much more that goes back centuries . The Pols have resisted the EU trying to go after their Catholic faith and impose the culture wars on them. They know what it’s like to be subjected by Russia and have built an Army strong enough to keep it from happening even without NATO. If the Pols choose to mobilize every single dynamic that Putin is counting on changes.

Fact 7: Ukraine isn’t going to roll over either. The Ukrainians hate the Russians and the feeling is mutual Stalin did a number on them and because of that quite a few joined up with the Germans to fight Russia after they invaded. As demonstrated they are quite willing to fight and die rather than be subjugated and they are in a position to make the Russians pay a very high price to take and keep their country.

Fact 8: Protests not withstanding this isn’t going to be an unpopular war with Russians at the start. Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire for a hundred years before the Soviets took over and I suspect most Russians consider this taking back what’s theirs. As long as the war doesn’t drag on too long and the price in bodies isn’t too high Putin will get away this this domestically. if the Ukrainians are able to hold on and make Russia and their proxy soldiers pay this could change.

Fact 9: Most Americas don’t understand how real war works. When my grandparents got here in 1906 it had been 40 years since the last full scale war on American soil and over two decades since the last serious Indian wars. It’s been 50 years or so since the last draft and we have young people whose concept of war are video games where the bodies fade away and you have automatic Ammo and food and don’t have to find a way to make sure your troops can eat, sleep and shit securely. Even if everything breaks Russia’s way it’s going to be a long hard slog to conquer 41 million people dead set against being conquered, particularly when they’re led by a guy who when offered help in getting out of the country answers: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Fact 10: In the end the Average American doesn’t Consider Ukraine worth fighting for. In the end there isn’t a huge Ukrainian population in America. There is no tie of religion and culture, there is very little interest in the county, most Americans couldn’t find it on a map. They are not a NATO ally and the only reason why the US has any obligations in this direct is Bill Clinton’s promise to defend them if they gave up their Nukes, proving once and for all that trusting Bill Clinton is still one of the dumbest things a person can do.

Fact 11: Everyone knows the easiest way to hurt Russia but the left opposes it The bottom line is the easiest way to hurt Russia is to ramp up energy production from Coal to Fracking to Pipelines to Nuclear. However the left as already noted is too invested in this so it will not happen.

Fact 12: We don’t know all the facts or the endgame Even forgetting that you never know what the spin from a war zone is from either side one must remember that the same press that insisted that Trump was in bed with Putin and has been lying to us concerning just about everything over the last several years is the primary source of our info. Lord Miles Routledge not withstanding take everything else you hear with a grain of salt. We don’t know Putin’s or Russia’s endgame nor do we know Ukraine’s endgame. With a competent intelligence agency and a strong President this would not be a good place to be in. With a weak president and an incompetent intelligence community it’s a recipe for disaster Doing the wrong thing for the sake of doing something is not better than doing nothing. What’s the best thing to do? I don’t know.