TOC Ready Room 28 March 2022: Russia-Ukraine and the breakup of NATO; Biolabs and viruses

What’s wrong and right with the world.

Two main points for this post regarding Russia and Ukraine.  One is that, as most readers will be aware, Russia has declared a new phase of operations, which according to the Russian video brief is to concentrate on consolidating Russia’s territorial gains in Donbas.

This is being presented by Western media as evidence that the invasion so far has been an unmitigated disaster for Moscow.  That’s obviously not true.  An unmitigated disaster would be one in which Russia, after suffering some apparently significant personnel and equipment losses (I remain wary of going with either side’s numbers on that), had no territorial gains to consolidate. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 28 March 2022: Russia-Ukraine and the breakup of NATO; Biolabs and viruses”

TOC Ready Room 8 Feb 2022: Domestic terror alert results “changing quickly,” says Google

What’s wrong and right with the world.

Just a short update for Tuesday, as sites across the Web take note of a new National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin published on 7 February 2022.

The bulletin is not hard to interpret.  It says the following in the first paragraph:  “The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”

The bulletin goes on to say, Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 8 Feb 2022: Domestic terror alert results “changing quickly,” says Google”

TOC Ready Room 5 Dec 2021: Iran, nukes, Turkey, Ommy-cron – and DeSantis, oh my

What’s wrong and right with the world.

This Ready Room installment will be a little different, functioning more as a way of getting some headlines out there than as a more select batch of analyses.  Events are flying thick and fast, and in some ways it isn’t useful to keep going over the same old ground with them (e.g., “Iran nuclear negotiations,” which are lame and tired and haven’t changed in character for at least 18 years).

Nothing has changed with Iran negotiations, except the level of uranium enrichment

In fact, let’s just start with that.  Back in 2013, when the pre-JCPOA “Petunia” was being negotiated with Iran – what became known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) – I pointed out that Iran was participating in talks in order to delay decision points for the West. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 5 Dec 2021: Iran, nukes, Turkey, Ommy-cron – and DeSantis, oh my”

Football Follies 2021: NCAA week 8

Week 8 upon us…can CFBP+ breakout be far behind?

Appalachian State already knocked off #14 Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, which is one of those schadenfreude type of thinger-doos.  We’re all, like, shucks, it was fun watching the Chanticleers go to town, but also like, Take that, CCU.  Hah.  Ain’t no bag of chips.

On a serious note, we have nothing against Coastal Carolina and continue to wish them well.  We just feel their crib in Conway, SC may be situated a little too close to Ketchup Town. Continue reading “Football Follies 2021: NCAA week 8”

TOC Ready Room 19 Oct 2021; *UPDATE*

What’s wrong and right with the world today.

[Updates added at the bottom. – JED]

Greetings, readers.  This is the inaugural edition of the TOC Ready Room, which will be an open thread and drop-by briefing space in the spirit of the ready rooms used by military aviators.

My experience being with U.S. Navy ready rooms, the feature image is of a ready room on the carrier USS Constellation (CV64) used by a squadron from Carrier Air Wing 2.  The image is tagged as being from March 2003, when Constellation was on her final operational deployment supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  (The CVW-2 patch is visible on one of the flight jackets, incidentally.)  Constellation was decommissioned only a few months later, in August 2003.

On a carrier, the ready room is used for planning and squadron briefings, but also serves as a gathering space subject to availability.  It’s the center of squadron life during underway periods and deployment.

The Ready Room posts will be added at least once a week, Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 19 Oct 2021; *UPDATE*”