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Thursday, November 17, 2022

UPDATE: Was the missile strike on Poland caused by a Russian data entry error?

Denys Davydov, the Ukrainian airline pilot who posts regularly on YouTube, and a number of other interested observers online, have pointed out that if you combine the latitude of Kyiv, Ukraine [50.4501N] with the longitude of Lviv, Ukraine [24.031E] you get a place in Poland, very near Przewodów  [50.47099N, 23.93432E] where a missile of disputed origins is said to have killed two farmers. Which is a very big coincidence!!!

Giving that a closer look, and using this photo published by the New York Times of the attack site:


I was able to find this location on Google maps, and determine that the exact location of the missile strike was at 50.474672N, 23.923390E: Updated to 50.47453N, 23.92314E, a change of 75 ft.


Tuesday was a busy day for the Russian data entry personnel programming the missile strikes on Ukraine. Russia had just lost Kherson, and Putin was pissed. The G20 was meeting that day. Putin didn't attend, but he wanted to make a point, so he ordered as many as a hundred missile strikes on Ukraine that day. It is said that this was a single day record. This also means it was the highest workload those programming the strikes had ever seen. [Update: Bellingcat published excellent research on the ~30 Russian missile engineers that program the strikes 3 weeks ago here.]

So, the question has to be asked: Did somebody fuck up? Going down the target list, did some data entry person accidentally pick one from row A and one from row B? In other words, did they inadvertently enter the latitude for a target in Kyiv and the longitude for a target in Lviv, and thus send the missile off to hit a target in Przewodów, Poland?

To further test this theory, I'm trying to find likely targets along 50.47453N in Kyiv, and along 23.92314E in Lviv, and here I have to ask for help because I can't read Ukrainian. So, finding likely targets is difficult.

We know that Russia has been focused knocking out Ukraine's electric power grid. In furtherance on his genocidal war, Putin is attempting plunge Ukraine into darkness ahead of the coming winter. Most of Tuesday's targets were along those lines, and so a likely place to look for these "missed opportunities."

I have determine that Kyyivsʹka Rayonna Elektrostantsiya, Kyiv's Hydroelectric power plant is located at 50.47984N, 30.51401E. That is only 1,818.05 ft (554.14 m) north of 50.47453N, the latitude of the Polish strike. 



That may not have been the exact target, but looking at the area around there—the plant is located on the Dnieper River—we find what looks to me what Maverick would call a "target rich environment" for anyone going after Kyiv electrical infrastructure. For example at exactly 50.474672N and ~30.52E we see what appears to be an industrial area along Elektrykiv St. [Electric St.] 


So, I'm thinking there are a number of power grid targets along 50.47453N in Kyiv.

Now, it's getting quite late, and given the urgency of the subject matter, I want to get this out tonight, before I go to bed, and before I do a more extensive search for likely targets in Lviv along 23.92314E. For that I need help from those that know Lviv, or can read Ukrainian labels on a map, but I did note this industrial area at ~49.8280N, 23.923390E:


So, as we can see, not only does the latitude of the missile strike in Poland match that for Kyiv, it most likely lines up with specific electrical grid targets in Kyiv. Ditto for the missile strike's longitude and, at a minimum, industrial areas in Lviv.

There's an old cop saying—never believe in coincidences. Now, the Biden-Poland-NATO explanation for the strike is a Ukrainian air defense missile inadvertently ended up hitting a target in Poland. But a ground-to-air S-300 missile is aimed at a moving target, not fixed coordinates. A ground-to-ground S-300 would be targeted using fixed coordinates. So, what are the chances that a Ukrainian air defense missile gone wrong would just happen to land at latitude that fits likely targets in Kyiv and a longitude that fits possible targets in Lviv? I hope to have updates on possible Lviv targets later today.

If my latest "conspiracy theory" holds water, and I think it does, it means Zelenskyy is speaking truth to power when he contradicts Biden & NATO, and insists it wan't a Ukrainian missile. It also raises the question of why Biden is trying to let Putin off the hook by claiming it was a Ukrainian missile.

More on that later,

Clay Claiborne
17 November 2022 

UPDATED 22:20
Using pictures available from a number of sources, I have updated the explosion coordinates in Poland to 50.47453N, 23.92314E, a change of 75 ft.

So far, my best potential missed target in the Lviv area is this major high voltage tower. It is less than 27 ft. from  the 23.92314E longitude line. Are they taking out HV towers with S-300s?




The search continues...

More on the S-300 Missile systems:

I am writing this on the same day that, after 8 years, a Dutch court has found Russia responsible for the deaths of 298 people when it shot down flight MH17. They also found that Russia runs Donbas. Thanks, we all knew that.

One might think that Russian air defense missiles should have built-in safety systems to abort hitting a commercial airliner, unless that was the target, of course. Such an accident could produce a grave international crisis. After all, many of those passengers were from NATO countries. They could have used it as the perfect excuse to intervene, if for no other reason than to pick up their dead, had they had a mind to intervene in Russia's attack on Ukraine at that time—July 2014. I came to the same conclusion as the Dutch court in 5 blog posts in the weeks following the shoot down—it was pretty obvious to anyone that took a careful look even at just the open source intel. Bellingcat did the heavy lifting. But NATO did nothing—just as they had done nothing when Russia annexed Crimea a few months earlier. The Al Jazeera reporter had to ask: If they had responded more strongly to MH17, would we even be here now?

Anyway, on the S-300. It was originally designed as a surface-to-air missile system in 1975, and first put into service in 1979. So, not exactly their newest system, which is the S-400 (2007). Of course, there have been many improvements over the years. Wikipedia lists 25 different models, with various ranges and other capabilities. But all those models have been exclusively ground-to-air systems.

As to targeting and guidance Wikipedia says: "The system is fully automated, though manual observation and operation are also possible." Air defense weapons shoot at a moving target. Fixed coordinates are useless. If it's not a human pointing and shooting, some sort of automation is absolutely necessary. As to its use in Russia's war on Ukraine, Wikipedia also says:
On 8 July, the governor of the Mykolaiv Oblast, Vitaly Kim, claimed that Russia has been using S-300 missiles in a land attack role by fitting them with GPS guidance and that some 12 missiles were fired this way.[102] On 30 September, The Wall Street Journal reported that 16 Russian S-300 missiles configured for ground attack struck near Zaporizhzhia, killing at least 30 civilians and wounding 50 others.[6] Debris from S-300 missiles was found after having struck buildings in Kharkiv on 8 October.[5] Analysts from McKenzie Intelligence Services and the Center for Strategic and International Studies said that these missiles were likely from Russian systems repurposed for ground attack due to dwindling stock of more precise dedicated anti-surface missiles.[5]
Since none of the 25 designated S-300 models lists a ground-to-ground capability [ correction—some had a secondary ground-to-ground mode], I think it very likely whatever the Russians jury-rigged in July to use GPS guidance and fixed co-ordinances wasn't the most well-tested, with few safeguards to protect against accidentally hitting the wrong target.

After hitting Ukraine's power infrastructure with 100 missiles on Tuesday, and Poland was hit as well, Russia observed an operational pause yesterday. Was it to figure out what went wrong, or to see how NATO would respond? In any case, they were back at it again today, adding gas storage facilities to the list with electrical infrastructure. This means we should be looking for gas storage facilities as well as electrical stuff along 50.47453N in Kyiv and , 23.92314E in Lviv to see if it was a Russian targeting error.

I think the best publicly available evidence points to a Russian screw up and a NATO cover up—and we all know why. But, so far, Zelenskyy is refusing to go along with the program.

More, later...

UPDATE 18 Nov 2022:

Reporting on Russia's attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, the Atlantic Council wrote:
Since early October, Russia has launched hundreds of missiles and kamikaze drones at key infrastructure targets including Ukrainian power plants, large substations which facilitate the flow of electricity to consumers, high-voltage transmission lines, and distribution lines across the country.
Vox has also reported "Russia is also targeting things like transmission lines that carry electricity, or transformers that transfer electricity from one circuity to another." The Washington Post also reported that previously "transmission lines came under attack." So, it's pretty clear that this lowly HV transmission tower may well have been a target.

As to what type of ground targets a S-300 missile might be used on, the UK MOD thinks one was used to attack a convoy in Zaporizhzhia in October.

I have found what appears to be a major electrical substation in Kyiv at 50.47453N, 30.41139E. This is exactly on the same longitude as the missile strike in Poland. Being it is Kyiv, I was even able to "walk" around, and "take" a few pictures with Google Street View.

The whole yard is fenced off, and surrounded by metal sheds, but you can see the tops of HV towers.

This shot, through what looks like a cheap motel, or storage yard, gives us the best look I found of what's inside the perimeter.

The white box shows what appears to be the electrical yard.As you can see the yard is quite large. It measures 2/3 mile around the perimeter. The red line is the 50.47453 N Line.

Could this have been the "missed opportunity" of a missile that was suppose to be headed to Kyiv?

More, later

My Polish Missile Strike Map:



This shows why Biden could quickly say it didn't come from Russia, once the missile had been identified as an S-300. The S-300 has a maximum range of 195 km. The circle on the map below shows a circle with a radius of 200 km. If the missile wasn't fired from Ukraine, Belarus is the only beligerent that it could have been launched from. Of course, that might be all the more reason to cover it up. If it proved to be a Russian missile fire from Belarus, then we are truly on our way to another world war.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

My "Conspiracy Theory" concerning Elon Musk & Putin CONFIRMED!!!

Last Friday I posted a blog that suggested there was more than a casual connection between the failure of Elon Musk's Putin-friendly "Ukraine-Russia Peace" deal poll on Twitter, and the Starlink Internet failures Ukrainians were reporting in precisely the areas where they were making the most progress against Russia. I ended that post by promising more, later... I can now report more:

  • Elon Musk spoke to Putin about Ukraine before he posted his Putin-friendly poll to Twitter. [Link] He later denied this. [Link] but source reconfirms. [Link]
  • Musk blocked Ukraine from using Starlink in Crimea because of Putin's nuclear threats. [Link]
  • Outages occurred last week in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk, all heavily contested. [Link]
  • As of today, SpaceX's Starlink is back up in Ukraine, possibly because of the outrage over the outages! Link]

Financial Times quotes former Ukrainian defense minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk about suspicions Musk was blocking Ukrainian Internet at a critical time in their liberation struggle:

“If he did, this was unacceptable as it means he has taken a direct part in the war by damaging our capabilities. It’s not up to private individuals or companies to decide what is escalatory and intrude into equipment our allies provided us with."

On Friday, I posted this, which also made the point that the US government paid for the Ukrainian Starlink connection Musk has been taking credit for:

My new Ukraine "Conspiracy Theory" concerns Elon Musk

Is Elon Musk the new Henry Ford?
... Elon Musk thinks he's so rich, he can buy Twitter for a snack—until he realized that he had swindled himself. He bid the share price at $54.20, haha. What was he smoking? Since then, lawyers have been paying to send their kids to law school with what he's been paying them to try to weasel out of the deal.

He also must think that being the richest man on Earth, he must be the smartest man on Earth, because in addition to running Tesla and SpaceX, and looking for bots on Twitter, he obviously has time to become knowledgeable enough to mouth-off about Ukraine—on Twitter, naturally.

On Monday, he put forward his own proposal for a "Ukraine-Russia Peace" deal, in a poll, on Twitter, naturally.

These were the terms:

- Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.

So, redo the elections under conditions of Russian occupation, but with UN supervision. Good, I'm sure that will eliminate the intimidation factor. The people still left in the occupied regions (those that haven't fled) can feel secure in the knowledge that the Russian troops probably won't take revenge until the UN supervisors have left. And who will they be supervising? The same pro-Russian forces that conducted the last election? And exactly who will make the Russian leave, if they decide to renege, and Musk-up the deal?

- Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).

Khrushchev’s mistake! I'm glad Elon settled that one for us. Putin thinks that accepting that Ukraine was its own nation, with its own Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Union, with a Right of Self-Determination was Lenin's mistake—corrected by Stalin. I would like to know if Elon agrees with that.

- Water supply to Crimea assured.

Of, course nothing about Ukraine's borders being secured, Ukraine's Black Sea access being assured, Ukraine's people being protected from a Russian leader bent on their complete destruction as an independent nation. I just learned, a few hours ago from Timothy Snyder, that Putin is even having the word "Ukraine" removed from Russian history books!

- Ukraine remains neutral.

Neutral with regards to a country that has just invaded and raped it. Neutral with regards to a country bent on its destruction. Very good. Notice that the only thing Putin has to do to hold up his end of Musk's "Piece Deal" is allow some UN Supervisors in for an afternoon.

He has over 100 million followers on Twitter, but only 2,748,378 people voted in Musk's very pro-Putin poll, and almost 60% gave it the thumbs👎down!

Elon Musk fumed. He blamed it on the bots.

On Wednesday, after months of fighting it, Elon Musk says he is ready to buy Twitter again, at original $44 billion price. What made him change his mind? Did he suddenly feel the need to have more control over the platform?

And today, on Friday, we have this most troubling BREAKING NEWS from Yahoo News and others:
Frontline Ukraine troops are reportedly enduring Starlink outages

Kris Holt·Contributing Reporter
Fri, 7 October 2022 at 10:39 am

Ukrainian forces have reportedly been dealing with Starlink outages as they try to take back Russian-occupied areas. Some of the outages, which are said to have caused a severe loss of communication over the last several weeks, occurred as troops broke through the frontline into territory controlled by Russia as well as during battles, a Ukraine government official told The Financial TimesMore...

As the article says, Starlink is run by SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk. Musk got a pro-Ukrainian reputation, and a lot of good press, by floating the idea that Starlink was his $80 million gift to Ukraine, but this week it also came out that the whole thing was bankrolled by the US government. Elon Musk didn't become the richest man on Earth by giving stuff away. This might be another reason to be ticked-off about the whole Ukraine thing right now.

He may not be losing money on it, but his company still runs it, and now we know he's not quite as pro-Ukrainian as we may have been led to believe. There's an old cop saying: Never believe in coincidences. So, the question has to be asked: Is there a connection between Elon Musk's pro-Putin views and Starlink's outages in the combat zone?

Unlike the attacks on the already shutdown Nord Streams 1 & 2, these communication outages in the areas where Ukraine is rapidly liberating its territory, are probably costing lives right now.

Anyway, that's my conspiracy theory, and I think it bears more investigation, because it may turnout to be more than just a theory.

More, later.... 

Here are some updates: Newsweek posted this the same day:
Elon Musk Needs to Clarify Ukraine's Reported Starlink Outages: Kinzinger

By Kaitlin Lewis

Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger called on Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to release a statement Friday after a report that Ukrainian soldiers were having connectivity trouble with Starlink communication devices on the front lines.

Financial Times reported Friday that a Ukrainian government official said that recent outages from the Starlink internet systems had caused "catastrophic" loss of communication for troops on the front lines in Ukraine's war with Russia, resulting in "panicked calls" from some soldiers to helpline numbers.

Ukrainian officials said connectivity issues started when Ukrainian soldiers liberated territory that was once Russian-controlled and moved past the front lines, according to the report. More...

On Tuesday, Charles R. Davis, posting on Business Insider, confirmed the main element of my "Conspiracy Theory," .i.e., that Elon Musk personally was responsible for SpaceX's Putin-friendly Internet outages in Ukraine:
Elon Musk blocked Ukraine from using Starlink in Crimea over concern that Putin could use nuclear weapons, political analyst says

Elon Musk personally rejected a Ukrainian request to extend his satellite internet service to Crimea, fearing that an effort to retake the peninsula from Russian forces could lead to a nuclear war, the influential political analyst Ian Bremmer said in a newsletter published on Monday.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Musk — and the US government — provided Kyiv with thousands of Starlink systems, enabling Ukrainian forces to communicate in what had previously been dead zones. The low energy requirements of the service's satellite receivers have enabled connection to reconnaissance drones, providing valuable real-time intelligence on Russian movements and the ability to target them, Yahoo News reported in August.

But recently there have been problems. Last week, a senior Ukrainian government official told the Financial Times reported that the service was suffering "catastrophic" outages on the front lines, prompting speculation that it had been shut off in areas controlled by Russia — perhaps to prevent the Kremlin from exploiting the network.On Twitter, Musk said he could not comment on battlefield conditions, saying, "That's classified." But Bremmer, the founder and president of the political-risk research firm Eurasia Group, said on Monday that in a conversation with Musk in late September, Musk appeared to confirm that the satellite service was being intentionally disabled. More...
According to Business Insider on Tuesday:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke with Vladimir Putin before pitching his Ukraine peace plan on Twitter that repeated Kremlin talking points, political scientist says

By Rebecca Cohen and John Haltiwanger
Before tweeting a peace plan to end the war in Ukraine that parroted Russian demands, Elon Musk reportedly spoke privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a leading political analyst.

Eurasia Group founder and president Ian Bremmer in a Monday email to his organization's subscribers said that he spoke with Musk two weeks ago. At the time, Musk told Bremmer that Putin explicitly told him that he was "prepared to negotiate" under the conditions that Crimea remains under Russian control, that Ukraine remained neutral, and that Russia's annexations of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia were enforced.

According to Bremmer, Putin told Musk that these were goals he'd accomplish "no matter what," or else he would turn to "major escalation."

Bremmer also said that Musk told him Putin said if Zelenskyy "invaded Crimea, Russia would retaliate with a nuclear strike on Ukraine," adding, "Elon said everything needed to be done to avoid that outcome."  More...

Today, 13 October 2022, Datacenter Dynamics is reporting:
SpaceX's Starlink is back up in Ukraine


By Peter Judge

SpaceX's satellite Internet services are coming back online in Ukraine, as areas of the country are retaken from Russian occupation, according to reports.

Ukrainian troops using portable Starlink satellite terminals are finding that service is improving after earlier outages in intensely-contested areas such as the southern city of Kherson, according to the<Financial Times, which earlier reported significant outages in these areas. More...

This is good news, but it still leaves a lot of questions: Did Elon Musk use his control of SpaceX to interfere with the Starlink Internet service the US government had paid for at a critical time and place in the Ukrainian national liberation struggle against Russia?

More to come...

Clay Claiborne
13 October 2022 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

@DemocracyNow & @CodePink demand Biden make Ukraine surrender territory to Russia

In recent months, the armed forces of Ukraine has been waging a successful counter-offensive against Russian occupied territories in both the country's East and South, routing the badly demoralized Russian troops, and liberating an increasing number of Ukrainian cities, towns, and villages. To compensate for these battlefield loses, Putin has quickly annexed four additional Ukrainian Oblasts, including territory Russia doesn't occupy, as well as territory it's losing. He also could use a ceasefire right about now. So, he's calling for negotiations on his terms—acceptance of the Russian annexations—and threatening to go nuclear if he doesn't get his way. 

After Russia claimed a truck bomb coming out of Russia damaged the Kerch Bridge on Saturday, Putin used that as an excuse to target dozens of Ukrainian cities with missile attacks. This is the context in which Democracy Now began today's segment on Ukraine with its core complaint:

The Biden administration has ruled out the idea of pushing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia to end the war...

Amy Goodman lost no time in revealing her propaganda bias by uncritically quoting Putin calling the destruction of a key part of his military supply-line a "terrorist act," but failing to quote the dozens of prominent people that have called out Putin's massive terror campaign against Ukraine for what it is. Then, to seal the deal, she brings on Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies of Code Pink. They have a long history of promoting the Kremlin's outward-facing narrative on Ukraine.

They play a video in which Biden makes clear his position on negotiations with Putin about Ukraine, "Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine." I take this to mean, he won't go behind Ukraine's back, and make a deal with Russia about Ukraine without Ukraine, the way the imperialists always do, the Sykes-Picot way!  I think that is the proper position for the United States to take. We should support Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion, including with weapons—that is our internationalist humanitarian duty—but we shouldn't be telling them how to fight, what to settle for, and certainly not when to give up. The Vietnamese had to fight for thirty years—against the Japanese, the French, and finally the Americans, but they won their independence! DN is so opposed to this stance, they get it backwards in their transcript ( "nothing about Ukraine with Ukraine" ) I had to roll the tape again to make sure I heard it right the first time:

"Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine"

Goodman goes on, "Despite Biden’s comments, there are growing calls for the U.S. to push for negotiations." Like, from Democracy Now and Code Pink, and other prominent members of this "peace" caucus, for example. What they don't say out loud is that if Zelensky continues to win victories, and refuses to meet Putin's tyrannical terms of negotiation, including Ukrainian recognition of the newly annexed "Russian" territory, and Crimea, they think Biden should make a unilateral deal with Putin, and enforce it by cutting off support to Ukraine. You see, things just aren't working out all that well for Putin on the battlefield. He needs their help.

It's a strange thing to see so-called anti-imperialists demand that an imperialist country bully an oppressed nation into submitting to its will. 

It's easy enough to understand why Henry Kissinger, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump, and the other overt right-wing cheerleaders of imperialism take this position, but Democracy Now and Code Pink are suppose to be Left voices

Benjamin peddles her new book promoting Putin's narrative: western-back coup in 2014, Nazis attacked Donbas, Crimea was a mistake, NATO expansion, etc., etc., all the way up to the current fable about Boris Johnson and the "torpedoed" negotiations. Never mind all the fables about Nazis running Ukraine, or the allegiances of the Russian speakers, have been disproved by the realities on the ground. Just as is the notion that Putin has been motivated by fear of NATO invasion. If he really feared that, he never would have committed so much of Russia's reserves to subjugating Ukraine.

It's that goal of subjugating and erasing Ukraine from existence that the Code Pink - Democracy Now "anti-imperialists" want desperately to hide from view. They ignore all of Putin's speeches and writings that claim Ukraine has no right to exist. Ukraine was Lenin's creation and Lenin's mistake. Ukraine was created on stolen Russian land, etc., etc. All of that amount to arguments for genocide, which explains why Putin takes down the Ukraine flag, and puts up the Russian one wherever he can, why he deports, and puts Ukrainian children up for adoption to Russian parents, why he is removing Ukraine from Russian history, and why he has no problem slaughtering Ukrainians en masse. These so-called peace activists hide all that and try to sell us the Kremlin front page that they were "forced" to do these things to Ukraine because of Nazis inside of Ukraine, and NATO expansion outside of Ukraine. They've even written a whole book about it, and if you try to follow their logic, it is, indeed, a senseless conflict. 

Finally, Medea Benjamin says what they're all implying, that Ukraine must be forced to allow parts of Ukraine to to be converted to Russia:

So, I don’t think that it is realistic to think that there is going to be a clear victory by the Ukrainians that are going to be able to get back every inch of territory like they’re now saying, including Crimea and all of Donbas. There has to be compromises on both sides.
Is the Russian compromise not getting all of Ukraine, while the Ukrainian compromise is not keeping all of Ukraine? Somehow, that doesn't seem fair. It's like the courts allowing the thief to keep half of what he stole from you in the name of "compromise." Putin's goal for Ukraine is nothing short of genocide. What compromise would Medea Benjamin have them make with genocide? How many Ukrainians is she willing to surrender? Those demanding such a "compromise" must stop claiming they are fighting for social justice.

So, that's the situation. Russia is losing the territory its trying to steal from Ukraine. It's trying to force more Russian conscripts into its trenches, in the hope that more cannon fodder can turn things around. In the meantime, it badly needs a timeout, or ceasefire, NOW! It needs a cut-off of weapons and support to Ukraine, and it badly needs the other imperialist powers to united around a "compromise" that gives it the pieces of Ukraine it's having a problem stealing outright.

No Way!

Slava Ukraini,

Clay Claiborne

12 October 2022

Friday, October 7, 2022

My new Ukraine "Conspiracy Theory" concerns Elon Musk

 

Some say Elon Musk is the new Henry Ford.
When it comes to conspiracy theories related to Putin's invasion of Ukraine, why should the Nord Stream crowd have all the fun? So, I'd like to propose a brand new one, and it implicates the richest man on Earth.

Elon Musk thinks he's so rich, he can buy Twitter for a snack—until he realized that he had swindled himself. He bid the share price at $54.20, haha. What was he smoking? Since then, lawyers have been paying to send their kids to law school with what he's been paying them to try to weasel out of the deal.

He also must think that being the richest man on Earth, he must be the smartest man on Earth, because in addition to running Tesla and SpaceX, and looking for bots on Twitter, he obviously has time to become knowledgeable enough to mouthoff about Ukraine—on Twitter, naturally.

On Monday, he put forward his own proposal for a "Ukraine-Russia Peace" deal, in a poll, on Twitter, naturally.

These were the terms:

- Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.

So, redo the elections under conditions of Russian occupation, but with UN supervision. Good, I'm sure that will eliminate the intimidation factor. The people still left in the occupied regions (those that haven't fled) can feel secure in the knowledge that the Russian troops probably won't take revenge until the UN supervisors have left. And who will they be supervising? The same pro-Russian forces that conducted the last election? And exactly who will make the Russian leave, if they decide to renege, and Musk-up the deal?

- Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).

Khrushchev’s mistake! I'm glad Elon settled that one for us. Putin thinks that accepting that Ukraine was its own nation, with its own Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Union, with a Right of Self-Determination was Lenin's mistake—corrected by Stalin. I would like to know if Elon agrees with that.

- Water supply to Crimea assured.

Of, course nothing about Ukraine's borders being secured, Ukraine's Black Sea access being assured, Ukraine's people being protected from a Russian leader bent on their complete destruction as an independent nation. I just learned, a few hours ago from Timothy Snyder, that Putin is even having the word "Ukraine" removed from Russian history books!

- Ukraine remains neutral.

Neutral with regards to a country that has just invaded and raped it. Neutral with regards to a country bent on its destruction. Very good. Notice that the only thing Putin has to do to hold up his end of Musk's "Piece Deal" is allow some UN Supervisors in for an afternoon.

He has over 100 million followers on Twitter, but only 2,748,378 people voted in Musk's very pro-Putin poll, and almost 60% gave it the thumbs👎down!

Elon Musk fumed. He blamed it on the bots.

On Wednesday, after months of fighting it, Elon Musk says he is ready to buy Twitter again, at original $44 billion price. What made him change his mind? Did he suddenly feel the need to have more control over the platform?

And today, on Friday, we have this most troubling BREAKING NEWS from Yahoo News and others:
Frontline Ukraine troops are reportedly enduring Starlink outages

Kris Holt·Contributing Reporter
Fri, 7 October 2022 at 10:39 am

Ukrainian forces have reportedly been dealing with Starlink outages as they try to take back Russian-occupied areas. Some of the outages, which are said to have caused a severe loss of communication over the last several weeks, occurred as troops broke through the frontline into territory controlled by Russia as well as during battles, a Ukraine government official told The Financial Times.

The cause of the apparent outages are not yet known. Engadget has contacted Starlink owner SpaceX for comment.

Starlink outages were reported in the four regions that Russia annexed last month following referendums, the legitimacy of which have been disputed. As the Financial Times notes, there's a significant Ukrainian counteroffensive in those areas.

As the article says, Starlink is run by SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk. Musk got a pro-Ukrainian reputation, and a lot of good press, by floating the idea that Starlink was his $80 million gift to Ukraine, but this week it also came out that the whole thing was bankrolled by the US government. Elon Musk didn't become the richest man on Earth by giving stuff away. This might be another reason to be ticked-off about the whole Ukraine thing right now.

He may not be losing money on it, but his company still runs it, and now we know he's not quite as pro-Ukrainian as we may have been led to believe. There's an old cop saying: Never believe in coincidences. So, the question has to be asked: Is there a connection between Elon Musk's pro-Putin views and Starlink's outages in the combat zone?

Unlike the attacks on the already shutdown Nord Streams 1 & 2, these communication outages in the areas where Ukraine is rapidly liberating its territory, are probably costing lives right now.

Anyway, that's my conspiracy theory, and I think it bears more investigation, because it may turnout to be more than just a theory.

More, later....

Clay Claiborne

7 October 2022


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Meet Code Pink's new allies

Recently, the Ukrainian armed forces have been liberating Ukrainian cities and towns at a rapid rate as a result of their very successful counter-offensive against the Russian invaders. Their soldiers have been cheered as liberators.and the war crimes evidence left behind by the fleeing Russians tells us why. 
While Ukraine, with the help of western arms, has been making great progress in turning the tide of the Russian invasion, Code Pink and others in the misnamed "Peace in Ukraine Coalition" hope to put a stop to that. They just wrapped up a week of actions around these demands:
CEASEFIRE Now.
DIPLOMACY to End the War in Ukraine
$$$ for Climate, Jobs, Healthcare, & Housing
NOT Weapons for Endless War
DO NOT RISK NUCLEAR WAR! 

They are demanding a ceasefire in place so that the current Ukrainian counter-offensive has to stop and no more Ukrainian lands will be liberated, except through negotiations. Elsewhere they make clear that by DIPLOMACY, they mean Biden should overrule Zelenskyy and make a deal directly with Putin. They also oppose any weapons or military support for Ukraine, and they amplify Putin's nuclear saber-rattling at every opportunity. Others in this white Left coalition include Veterans for Peace, Democratic Socialists of America IC, and United National Antiwar Coalition. They should more aptly be called the "Piece of Ukraine Coalition" because not one member envisions a peace agreement that doesn't involve Ukraine making some territorial concessions to Russian, and not necessarily limited to Crimea and the Donbas.

Well, they should be embarrassed to know they have many notable allies on the extreme right. Most prominent among them is probably Fox New's Tucker Carlson. The Friday before Ukraine kicked off the current counter-offensive, Carlson had on his show military "expert" Doug MacGregor who said the Russians were clearly winning, and predicted that by the end of September, 

"this entire war may be over. Right now things are going very, very badly, which is why Ukrainians are so desperate...But this desperation is very dangerous right now because they're losing once again just south of Kharkiv, and people in Washington are talking about "What else can we do?"

He sure got that wrong! But Carlson used that false picture to argue against the Biden administration funding the Ukrainian liberation effort, asking:

"Where's all this money going? Where are the weapons going? Why are we doing this?"

Before introducing MacGregor to explain how it was all so futile.  Tucker Carlson, like Code Pink, opposes any weapons shipments to Ukraine, and wants Biden to step in and enforce a DIPLOMATIC solution. He says, 

"Why not settle this war, return energy prices to normal, and stop the economic catastrophe we're facing?"

The Heritage Foundation also opposes weapons for Ukraine and echos these coalition demands: "money for climate, jobs, healthcare, & housing not weapons for endless war" Executive director Jessica Anderson put it this way:
“America is struggling with record-setting inflation, debt, a porous border, crime and energy depletion, yet progressives in Washington are prioritizing a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine.”

Even among Republican Senators, only eleven took the Code Pink position on the Ukrainian aid package, but they are among the most Trumpyist and include Josh Hawley "What America needs is not nation-building, but nationalism." (Mo.), Rand Paul (Ky), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Mike Lee (Utah), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), and Mike Braun (Ind). All of them Putin supporters and white supremacists to the core. Is it any surprise that they support great Russian chauvinism in Ukraine?

The same can be said of the 69 Republic Congressional representatives that, like Code Pink et al. oppose US military aid to Ukraine. Is it any wonder that they include the most extreme election deniers and Trump supporters, and include Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ken Buck (R-CO), Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY)?

The Proud Boys also support the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with many member pretending they were going there to fight along side Russian troops. Oathkeepers also parrot Putin's line on Ukraine by republishing ZeroHedge, a known Putin mouthpiece. 

Code Pink—It's said that you are known by the company you keep. These are your new allies.


Clay Claiborne

20 September 2022