Switchblade drones

Switchblade 300 from AeroVironment website

Biden announced that the US would be sending Switchblade drones to Ukraine. These are called kamikaze drones because their purpose is to crash into their target, to destroy the drone and the target. The are called “loitering munitions” or missiles instead of drones because they can not be re-used. So, please excuse me for calling them drones, but it seems everyone is calling them drones.

Per NBC new link: ” Dubbed kamikaze, suicide or killer drones, these unmanned aircraft don’t fire missiles — they are the missiles. But unlike typical missiles, they can circle above a target, wait for the ideal moment and strike with incredible precision.”

They are really small, lightweight and inexpensive. The Switchback 300 is 2 feet long, weighs only 5 1/2 pounds and can travel 7 miles to hit a target. They are called “Switchblade” because their bladelike wings spring out on launch. The cost according to Wikipedia is around $6,000. This is dirt cheap, compared to Hellfire missiles at $150,000 each.

The Switchback 300 is designed to kill individuals. The larger Switchback 600 can destroy a tank or armored vehicle and weighs about 50 pounds. Its maximum range is 25 miles.

The drones are equipped with daylight and IR cameras to help navigate the Switchback to its target. The images are displayed on a laptop, so they can be manually piloted or the mission can be aborted, and the drone can be exploded in the air. More of the technical details can be found in the links below.

If you are thinking these kamikaze drones might be great for rebel or terrorist groups on a tight budget, you are right. One example from NBC News link: “Iranian-backed Houthi rebels used them [kamikaze drones] to blow up Saudi oil facilities in 2019.” They give several other examples.

Basically, I’m glad they are going to Ukraine, to hold out against the Russian invasion.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

NBC News: Kamikaze drones

Wikipedia, AeroVironment Switchblades

ABC News:

What to know about the 100 US ‘Switchblade’ drones heading to Ukraine
Unlike larger drones, it’s not meant to return after its mission.

Aerovironment website

What Democracy brings to the Table

Before Putin, Russia seemed to be on a path to a more democratic government. Certainly under Mikhail Gorbachev (leadership positions, 1988 to 1991), a new openness and transparency (glasnost) had begun. Political reform within the communist party within Russia is called Perestroika. I note Gorbachev is still alive (age 91 years) and lives outside of Moscow. He has been critical of both the US and Putin.

I had a few conversations with friends of how democracies are terribly inefficient. The president has one agenda and Congress has another. And we may be entering one of these periods, if Republicans gain control of the Senate and/or the House. So, democracies bring with it, a lot of in-fighting between parties. Right now, very few Republicans approve of Joe Biden. They blame him for just about everything.

Companies seem so much more efficient. The CEO and Board of Directors sets out objectives, and the employees do their best to follow the plan.

We can see what a democracy brings to the table, by examining the autocracies. I will define them as follows:

“Autocracy is a system of government in which absolute power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject neither to external legal restraints nor to regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d’état or other forms of rebellion).” Wikipedia

Churchill’s quote on democracy still holds:

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

There are several pillars that hold up a democracy, to keep it from turning into an autocracy. First is the right of free speech and the right to assembly. The right to a fair trial is also fundamental to a democracy. It is the amendments of the constitution which put limits on what government can do. As Putin increased his power, critics were silenced. Television stations critical of the government were closed. Other critics have been assassinated.

The second pillar is free and open elections and term limits. They are not perfect. But they do result in no one being the leader of a country for decades. Elections should be the result of people making informed decisions. So, some awareness of the responsibility of the electorate, not to vote strictly on the basis of party line, is needed.

The third pillar is our constitution is the supreme law of our country, is not easily amended and can not be scrapped altogether. Otherwise, a strong president could be ordering changes in the constitution to favor his re-election and concentration of authority. What goes along with this, is a respect for the legal system, and the concept that no one is above the law.

The fourth pillar is our system of checks and balances, designed to keep no one branch of government as the exclusive source of power and authority. A good example is that every cabinet level nomination must be approved by the Senate. Supreme Court nominations are all subject to Senate review and approval. Yes, our checks and balances don’t work perfectly, but they are there.

The benefits to a democracy are best understood by looking what an autocracy lacks and how it can bring ruin to a country. We now see this nightly, as we follow Putin’s war. Putin is looking for support and he really hasn’t found it. No functioning democracy supports Putin’s invasion.

Putin is not faced with massive opposition to his war, because he controls the news stations. Anyone who protests the war will be jailed. No court is going to dare not convict protestors. No Congress is going to impeach him for abuse of power. No checks and balances. No fair elections. And way to transfer power when one day Putin steps down.

So, remember the 4 pillars, (1) The civil liberties from our bill of rights (2) Free and open elections, (3) Our constitution is the supreme law of the country and can not be easily changed and (4) Our system of checks and balances.

Giving up democracy to make the system more efficient or effective, is a terrible idea.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia Autocracy

Wikipedia, Mikhail Gorbachev

Javelins and Stingers

Javelins are portable anti-tank missile. Stingers are portable anti-aircraft missiles.

A Javelin missile costs about $80,000 (Wikipedia) and weighs 49 pounds. It can be fired by one person. It has infrared radiation tracking to locate its target, which can be a tank or low flying aircraft such as helicopters. Per Wikipedia: “The missile system is most often carried by a two-person team consisting of a gunner and an ammunition bearer, although it can be fired with just one person if necessary. While the gunner aims and fires the missile, the ammo bearer scans for prospective targets, watches for threats, such as enemy vehicles and troops and ensures that personnel and obstacles are clear of the missile’s backblast.” Also, Wikipedia notes that the exhaust from firing the missile contains lead. Gunners are instructed to hold their breath during firing. The Javelin is a “fire and forget” weapon as after firing, the team can quickly relocate to avoid enemy fire. See links:

It is unclear how many Javelin missiles and launchers Ukraine currently has as they are actively using up their supply and more missiles are likely being sent from the neighboring countries. Wikipedia states Ukraine has 377 launchers and 1200 missiles. The actual number is likely higher than this as there has been air shipments from Poland.

Stingers are portable surface to air missiles, and similar to Javelins, they can be fired by one person, but usually a team of two is used. A stinger weighs 33.5 pounds, and has IR and UV detectors to track the target. Apparently, adding UV detection increases the reliability of target seeking electronics. The missile is also capable of being deployed from a Humvee Stinger rack, and can be used by airborne troops. A helicopter launched version exists called Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS).

Stingers are also “fire and forget” missiles giving the team an opportunity to relocate after launch.

As shown above, a small ejection motor in located behind the missile. The motor pushes the missile out a safe distance from the operator before engaging the main two-stage solid-fuel sustainer, keeping the gunner safe from the missile thrust. (Wikipedia) The cost of stinger missile is $119,000.

Wikipedia reports that the US has sent 2,000 stingers to Ukraine. It is always difficult to know how many Ukraine has available at any moment, as they are being used and more are being slipped into Ukraine.

More technical details can be found in the links.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia, Javelins

Wikipedia, Stingers

There are many informative websites on these missiles, and their use in the Ukrainian war.

On the Ukraine War

The Ukraine war is a lose-lose proposition. It is a modern war, with cyberattacks and footage of the fighting streaming over the internet. It is an unprovoked and unnecessary war. Every war is bloody and inhumane, in terms of loss of civilian life. I’ve seen the results of war, and it is extremely sad.

This war began with a very wrong assumption from Putin. In view of the vastly superior military force of Russia, he thought Kyiv would quickly surrender. After surrender, a puppet government would be installed. Over time, Ukraine would take their orders from Moscow. It was all in the mind of Putin. He could go back in time, and redraw the borders of Ukraine. This is Putin’s personal and deranged fantasy.

Putin’s justification for invasion is founded on the idea of the redefining Russia along historical borders of the Soviet Union about 30 years ago. A full generation has past. In fact, he goes so far back in time, that he recalls World War II in a very twisted narrative, to somehow paint Russia as a victim for which he must now extract revenge on the grandchildren of those who fought in the great war. Wars should not beget wars. Wars should beget peace.

If the fallen soldiers of decades gone by could speak, they would be begging for peace.

In Putin’s mind, he is correcting the errors of the past when Ukraine won its independence. Peace among nations must be founded on respect of international law and agreed upon boundaries as they exist, no matter how long ago or ill advised they have been drawn. It is the principle that we may not socialize with each other or even like each other, but for our continued survival, we must respect each other, and the territorial boundaries. Otherwise, we return to the law of the jungle.

This perspective was brought forward by the Ghana representative to the UN in the Security Council and later repeated by Fareed Zakaria on CNN. He observed the African continent was subdivided by European colonists, disregarding cultural and linguistic differences. Yet, these border have remained. Respect of territorial boundaries is imperative for peace and disagreements are settled by dialogue not weapons.

The leaders of Europe and United States gave Putin full notice that they would do everything within their power to resist the invasion within the law. However they would not escalate the conflict. No boots on the ground was the right policy. Ukraine is not a member of NATO and as Biden said, once Russians and the US are fighting on the same battlefield, then you have World War III.

Weapon systems have increased, and the potential of escalation is really frightening. Cluster bombs are meant to keep on killing long after a bomb has been dropped. Vacuum bombs (“mother of all bombs”) with the intense heat, are similar to nuclear bombs, designed to wipe out entire populations in a large area.

Our planet in the last 20 to 30 years seems to have gotten much smaller. Cyberwarfare is real and powerful. It is a new element of aggressive military action. Drone warfare is also new and lethal. These are both offensive and defense weapons. These are new elements might seem more humane, but the war is still as bloody and brutal as ever.

The invasion of Ukraine was immediately condemn by world leaders, The Secretary-General of the UN Security Council Antonio Guterres said it best nearly a week ago, “Bring the troops back to Russia” – see link. Unfortunately, although countries like Russia, Iran, North Korea and China still will still find ways to censor the news to create their own alternative facts. It feels like part of our planet is fully illuminated or at least truth is very available and others parts are kept in the dark. Information and misinformation travel fast, at the speed of light. To Putin and others, truth is just another enemy. Anti-war protesters were beaten by the police in the streets of St Petersburg.

Putin’s war further advances the militarization of our planet. It is a huge step backwards. The UN was formed to prevent conflicts like this one. I feel no safer if in the future, the western border of Ukraine is heavily armed by NATO forces against military bases of Russia on the other side. I felt as if when the windows were being blown out of apartment buildings in Ukraine, as if the windows on the UN were also shattering.

I kept thinking of how beautify and perfect our blue planet looked, when we saw it from space without any boundaries. Just water and land. In the words of the late Elijah Cummings, “We can do better.” How to get back to a more demilitarized world, I’m not exactly sure.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

I will not list a long list of links, as these can easily be found on the internet.

Antonio Guterres, Statement to the Press

(Antonio Guterres is the former Prime Minister of Portugal. He has been the Secretary-General of the UN Security Council since 2017. He chooses his words carefully. He was pleading with Russia to reverse course, to no avail.)

Ukraine End Game

Invasions don’t end very well. War is always a “lose-lose” proposition. Putin is discovering that his invasion of Ukraine is not easy to implement. As I see it, there are two “end games” and I hope the second one prevails.

Putin wants to eliminate (murder) the president and all important leaders of Ukraine. With control of Kyiv, he will find someone who will be his puppet president in Kyiv. Then, the puppet president will ask Russia for assistance in bringing order to Ukraine. At that point, Ukraine is effectively controlled by Russia.

The puppet president of Ukraine will, with Putin’s blessing, be as corrupt and uncaring about Ukraine. There is no way that Ukraine will accept Russian rule.

The country may be split, east and west, with Putin firmly in control of the east. This will never be a satisfactory outcome for Putin, who will continue to attack the west. He will reduce Lviv to rubble. He must control the entire country to secure his gas pipelines.

Putin will use the Wagner Group’s mercanaries to carry out the assassinations. The “Wagner Group” operates for profit, benefiting from conflicts around the globe, including Syria, Crimea, Central African Republic and Libya. And of course, Ukraine, initially in the Dunbas region. It is likely that the Wagner Group is or will become just an extension of Russia’s GRU (international intelligence service). It has been reported that the GRU basically hands out Russian passports to members of the Wagner Group. (see links below). The GRU is responsible for the cyberwarfare being conducted against Ukraine.

There can even be elections, like in Belarus, with the puppet president gaining the vast majority of the votes. The Russian government can not control the flow of information, in this day of internet and satellites.

The second end game, is that there is enough pressure from within Russia, to reverse course. Kyiv is not captured. The Russian convoy suffers massive damage, and there is little will to fight an urban war in Kyiv. The armored column can not enter the narrow streets of Kyiv. So, some face saving peace plan is devised for Putin to withdraw his forces. The next few days will be critical.

I am hoping and praying for the second end game.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia, Wagner Group.

Wikipedia, Russia’s GRU

Fox News – Mike Baker, former CIA

It is rare that I include the very biased Fox News station as a source. I note Fox News contributor (former CIA officer, Mike Baker) added valuable information on the connection of the GRU and the Wagner Group. The Wagner Group was battling ISIS in Syria and then in Libya in support of the Tobruk faction. His views on Chechnya’s involvement and use of these forces as “plausible deniability” for war time atracities is also consistent with other experts in the area. Kennedy’s glib remarks were annoying but I guess that’s her style.

Friends of Putin

The invasion of Ukraine is such a blantant unproked act of aggression, that is would seem no country on our planet would support Putin’s war. But, three countries have, Belarus, Iran and Chechnya. And I suspect others will follow, such as Syria and North Korea. Other countries will simply look the other way, such as India, China and UAE, which abstained when a vote was taken in the UN Security Council.

Chechnya and Belarus are essentially corrupt puppet regimes of Putin. Currently, Chechnya is now under the rule of its Russian-appointed dictator, Ramzan Kadyrov, with no respect for human rights and will plunder his country just like multi-billionaire Putin (see links). Belarus president . Alexander Lukascheko won his sixth term in office in 2020 in a rigged election (links below).

No need to go into detail on Syria’s and North Korea’s presidents. They have little respect for international law. Iran is a supporter of terrorism, in Iraq and Lebonon.

We shall see after the General Assembly votes today, which other countries support the invasion of Ukraine and which ones would prefer to look the other way. As members vote, the war will rage on.

The news is filled with the 40 mile long convoy of Russian tanks and armored vehicles, all headed to Kyiv. Today could be the bloodiest day of all. My prayers go to the brave Ukrainians as they defend their country.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus

Ramzan Kadyrov, President of Chechbya

The Russian Military Leader Wears Prada (Ramzan Kadyrov)

Ukraine wipes out ‘bloodthirsty’ Chechen special forces sent to assassinate Zelensky (other sources state that there have been some causalities, so wiped out may be an exagerration)

Iran’s Khamenei: ‘Mafia regime’ of US created Ukraine crisis

Cyber Warfare

The potential of Russia to invade Ukraine is red hot news. Experts speculate the first wave of attacks from Russia will be “cyber attacks” which I really had to do some research on this topic. Computers have always had some vulnerability to outside interference. What changed in the last two decades, is that everything is very interconnected, so the network security has real vulnerabilities. It really is machine verses machine, but because humans both code software to attack network servers and to defend them, it is all about people in countries openly violating international norms supported by their government.

A website can be flooded with requests and this can cause time-outs, or denial of service (DoS). It happened to me when I was trying to get an appointment for the first Covid vaccine. This was unintentional and the result of requests greatly exceeding the capacity of the overall system. It can happen intentionally also, and an individual website can be disabled. Frequently, this is called a “distributed denial of service” or DDos attack.

Wikipedia (see link below) states:

“In computing, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to a network. Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled.[1] In a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources. This effectively makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source.[2]

A DoS or DDoS attack is analogous to a group of people crowding the entry door of a shop, making it hard for legitimate customers to enter, thus disrupting trade. Criminal perpetrators of DoS attacks often target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks or credit card payment gateways. Revenge, blackmail[3][4][5] and activism[6] can motivate these attacks.”


The DDos attacks have many different forms of attack and defenses. Attacks are meant to disrupt normal communications. The more technical details are provided in the Wikipedia summary as provided below.

As I prepared this post, cyber attacks by Russia had begun. Ukraine’s banks and Ministry of Defense reported the attacks. The impact is not considered serious. Hopefully, the international community is helping keep Ukraine’s cyber defenses in a high state of preparedness. See links.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Threatpost, “Ukrainian DDoS Attacks Should Put US on Notice–Researchers“, This is reporting from 2/16/2022 and the situation is highly fluid. There are US laws against cyber attacks, and European accords, but this is really very limited.

Wikipedia, Denial-of-service attack, There are many sites covering the cyber attack and defense issues. The summary goes into detail how network attackers look for any means to disrupt internet services through examining potential vulnerabilities. The cyber-extortionists profit by demanding payment in the form of bitcoins to call off the attack. Russia, North Korea and China may be training the next generation of these criminals. The cyber attacks can cause major disruption the telecommunication system, and weaken defenses. I am hoping that the NATO countries have already helped Ukraine to prepare for these attacks.

Trump’s Legacy

Three organizations (APSA, Siena and C-Span) provided rankings of US presidents. These rankings were based on surveys of historians, generally from well known universities. The APSA (American Political Science Association) and Siena (Siena College Research Association) were done in 2018, so they do not reflect the last two years of Trump’s term in office.

Donald Trump was 45th president of the United States, however since Grover Cleveland was the 22 and 24th president, it means there were really 44 presidents. It is convenient to divide these rankings by quartiles, as ranks 1 to 10 are the top ranked presidents and 34 to 44 are the lowest ranked presidents. Wikipedia has consolidated these surveys and also provides a breakout of the ranking of various factors, such as integrity and leadership of each of these surveys.

Trump is considered one of the five worst presidents in these three surveys. C-SPAN rates Trump as the fourth worst president in history.

SurveyTrump (#45)Pierce (#14)Buchanan (#15)Andrew
Johnson (#17)
Harding (#29)
APSA (2018)4441434039
Siena (2018)4240434441
C-SPAN (2021)4142444337
Ranking of Donald Trump in the lower fourth quartile

Since Harding’s term was from 1921 to 1923, the surveys rank Trump at a level not seen about 100 years. So, what qualities are lacking in Trump and the other presidents in this table? Siena ranks Trump as the worst (rank = 44) in the areas of background, integrity, ability to compromise and executive appointments. Interestingly, he has high rating in “luck” and is in the third quartile in “willing to take risks.”

Similarly, C-Span (2021) puts Trump last of all presidents in the category of moral authority and administrative skills. He is in the bottom of the fourth quartile as are Pierce, Johnson and Buchanan in all categories (crisis leadership, economic management, international relationship and relations with congress) with the notable exception of public persuasion, where he is the ranked in the third quartile.

His continual stream of lies did not go unnoticed by the scholars. Getting the lowest ranking of any president in integrity (Siena) and moral authority (C-Span) reflect this. Donald Trump was never very interested in the truth, as his narratives were generally built on a stack of lies.

Being ranked lowest in “background” is pretty bad, but I believe accurate, as he never held office prior to being president.

The president is elected to do what is best for the country and not himself. This is part of the moral authority that great presidents have displayed. The January 6 committee will have public hearings in the spring, and will, I am certain, show Donald Trump had total disregard for the constraints of presidential power in his attempt to alter the outcome of the 2020 election. It is unprecedented in American history.

So what is this quality missing from these surveys? I guess it is “humility and respect” which Trump was not. He was arrogant and disrespectful of the system.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia: Historical Ranking of US Presidents

Siena College US President Study Historical Ranking

Covid-19 Personal Experiences

I thought 2 doses and a booster would protect me from getting Covid. I haven’t gotten Covid but I’ve recently had a very close calls. Four good friends of mine were vaccinated and all got Covid-19 in January. Three of them were at a family reunion with me. The good news is all of my friends recovered quickly and did not need to go to the hospital.

But, it was scary. Trump commented that Covid vaccines work because they keep you out of the hospital. Well, in general. One of my friends said she was having trouble breathing. She has two young children to take care which were unvaccinated. I tried to help her by preparing food for her and her kids. She improved greatly after 3 days of bed rest.

Lots of health related issues can make a mild case go to a severe one. Respiratory diseases like emphysema and asthma are obvious issues. Diabetes and obesity also put people in the high risk category. The list of risk factors is long.

Tests are free in the US, but not in many countries. So, I believe the current level of Covid cases outside the US is very under reported.

People want to travel to visit with family and friends. I think when staying in someone’s house, it is not an impolite question to ask if they have been vaccinated. Also, it is very understandable why we need Covid tests for international flights in and out of the US.

Your first line of defense is to be vaccinate. You are much more protected if everyone you contact is also vaccinated. Still, nothing is full proof with this disease.

Stay safe,

Dave

NY Times: Excellent Journalism

If done right, I know the reporter was there without a single picture as the words paint the scene, and give it life. And a little bit of humor goes a long way as Cara Buckley did so well in the coal mines to solar farm on January 2. “Peak stripped of coal to get a solar upgrade” the front page NYT story on January 2, from Martin County, Kentucky begins, “For a mountain that’s had its top blown off, the old Martiki coal mine is looking especially winsome these days. With vast stretches of emerald green grass dotted with hay stacks and ringed with blue-tinged peaks, and the wild horses and cattle that roam, it looks less like a shattered strip mine and more like an ad for organic milk.”

News with a bit of poetry, i.e., “Up at the now-flattened summit, the sky yawns big and wide.” Interviews with residents in the area gave mixed opinions to the idea of transforming the area to a solar farm. After all, this is coal country. See link.

Yes, this is not breaking news. It adds a bit of balance to the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, with local, national, and international stories on the front page.

“Tests predicting rare disorders in fetuses are usually wrong,” is another front page story in Sunday’s paper. As I read the article, I would have liked the headline to read, “Some initial tests … ” as there are tests which are highly accurate. Testing errors which fail to identify someone with a problem (false negative) is difficult to assess because the disorder is so rare. On the other hand, it’s easy to identify false positives (test gives a positive to someone who is negative) because so many patients would be negative.

I’m still on the front page, and yet to read, “Harsh backlash meets feminists in South Korea”, “Human toll of America’s Air Wars” (repeated from 12/19), and the swearing ceremony of Eric Adams, the new mayor of NYC.

On page 3, international new, art clashes with politics. Provocative art exhibits in the city of Diyarbakir, Turkey’s largest Kurdish city, caused the exhibition to be shut down. See link.

It’s tough to keep up. North Korea’s president promises better time, in South Africa, the sad news of Archbishop Tutu’s passing, (What a wonderful, passionate and powerful leader!) and an investigative story on how Nashville, TN is changing after the 2020 Christmas bombing. I’m just up to page 10.

Yes, these are not the CNN breaking news stuff. These stories go a bit deeper.

Got a lot to read in a very short time. Monday’s edition will be soon arriving.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

I’m not sure if all NYT articles can be read without an online subscription. All stories cited were in the print edition.

Jan 2 NYT Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way

Jan 2 NYT When They Warn of Rare Disorders, These Prenatal Tests Are Usually Wrong

Jan 2, NYT Human toll of America’s Air Wars

Jan 2 NYT An Exhibit Meant to Showcase Kurdish Suffering Provoked a Furor Instead

My Predictions – 2022

  1. Trump and his company will continue to file cases in court and lose every single one of them. The first loss will happen at the very end of January when the Supreme Court will reject the request by Trump to review the Jan 6 committee subpoena for documents from the National Archives and the documents will be in the hands of the committee by February.
  2. In the most recent lawsuit against Attorney General Letica James, it will be dismissed with harsh words, such as the lawsuit is frivolous and politically motivated.
  3. Devin Nunes is the CEO of Trump’s new social media company. Trump will fire him before the end of the year.
  4. Many countries in Europe will have higher percentage of their population vaccinated than in the US. This is a fairly easy prediction, and it is a sad fact that many Americans have doubts about the vaccines or believe popular but untrue conspiracy theories. Eastern Europe and Russia will catch up to the US.
  5. A new Iran nuclear deal will be agreed upon. Republicans will do everything they can to defeat it.
  6. Climate change will be very much present, as the northwest of the US will suffer from extreme heat and our hurricanes will be wetter, creating more flooding,

I think 6 predictions are enough for now. I’ll check back at the end of 2022 and see how I did. I did not make any predictions on the mid-term elections, but it’s certainly possible for both the House and the Senate to be controlled by Republicans.

Stay tuned,

Dave

It’s too late for you now

I think you know the question. Moderna, Pfizer or J&J shots can’t help someone who has Covid-19. It was tweeted by an ER nurse. The first line of defense against Covid-19 is vaccination. In the US, it is free and widely available. Yes, there is great progress being made on Covid-19 treatments, but I rather not get Covid-19 to begin with and a hospital bed is a lousy place to be trying to see what’s available.

Dave

Fight for Trump’s documents: End game.

On December 9, Donald Trump lost his case in the Circuit Court of Washington DC to bar the transfer of documents held in the National Archives from being handed over to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 siege of the Capital.

The end game depends on mid-term election in 2022.

Donald Trump will ask the Supreme Court to review the decision. He has been given 14 days to do this. He will wait until the last minute on December 23 to petition the Supreme Court.

Now, my prediction. How will all this end? In late January, 2022, the Supreme Court will decline to hear this case. The National Archive will comply with the subpoena. The legitimacy of the Committee and their efforts to obtain the necessary testimony and documents will be upheld.

The court said Trump failed to demonstrate the harm that would be caused by releasing the documents to the Committee. The harm is not to the country, but to Trump. It will show the extreme measures Trump will go to in order to promote himself. “Stop the steal” attack on the Capitol resulted in injuries and deaths to people doing their job.

Republicans are hoping to regain the majority in the House in the mid-term election, and then they will disband the January 6 investigation. The only way to prevent this, is to vote in Democratic representatives of Congress. The Jan 6 committee must be allowed to complete their work.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

CNN: Appeals court rejects Trump’s bid to keep January 6 documents from House committee