20 May 2022

Disney Seems Determined to Destroy the Marvel Franchise

The folks at Disney are focused on one thing, as Critical Drinker says, "The Message™." Good writing, story telling, characters that are not cut outs of the generic "Strong Female Character." And I LOVE stories with strong female characters. But the Disney and the MCU don't seem to know how to write those characters.

Of course you could say that Amazon is doing even worse stuff to Lord of the Rings. Actually I think that they are truly in a race to the bottom.

Did anyone in Hollywood pay attention to the flop that occured when they tried to retcon/gender-switch the original Ghost Busters from a few years ago? Apparently not.

Ultimately the memeing potential of a show like this is probably going to launch a 1000 shit-posting accounts.

And as Critical Drinker points out in the video, why bother to come up with new superheros with new origin stories and powers, when you can just piss all over the intellectual property and gender swap all the superheroes from the past? That's a lot less work.

This is Critical Drinker's video for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law - LOL, Nope!

Friday Links - 20 May

The Other McCain starts things moving with A Deadly Hate Crime That Liberals Probably Can’t Blame on Tucker Carlson

This reminds me of how anti-Semitic and anti-Asian hate crimes were spiking a few months ago, but because the perpetrators were black, liberals didn’t want to talk about the problem. You eventually must realize that Democrats only want to talk about “hate” when it can be used as a way to scapegoat Republicans. Certainly they don’t want to talk about violent crime as an issue, considering how crime is out of control in the very places where Democrats have the most political power.

19th Ward Chicago - The War on Cops presented by Kass and Mac Donald

The city of Chicago is being consumed by violence, anarchy, chaos, and lawlessness. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her allies on the left are in a panic. They released the furies by emboldening the lawlessness, after demoralizing the police, and by re-endorsing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. [SNIP]

At the famous “Bean,” at Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue –once a celebrated and civilized meeting place for tourists and all Chicagoans—has become the place where street gangs shoot at random into crowds and people die. So much for tourism. So much for Lightfoot’s Summer of Joy.

Freedom Rock Radio - Bill Maher slams Disinformation Governance Board. The was before the "pause."

Maher then referenced the Obamacare promise to Americans from former President Obama.

“Well, you could have said that about ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’” Maher suggested, recalling Obama’s vow that was proclaimed “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact in 2013.

The Gateway Pundit - TWITTER FACING FINANCIAL NIGHTMARE – Must Prove It Didn’t Lie in SEC Filings About Bots Only 5% – Elon Musk Is Waiting – Newsweek Reports Biden Account Made Up of 50% Bots. Elon may not have to buy Twitter force change.

[Twitter] is facing potentially devastating lawsuits for claiming less than 5% of its users were fake or bots in its filings with the SEC. To report lies to the SEC is enough to take down any company and cause it to go bankrupt. If investors make decisions based on a company’s financials, which they do, if found to be false, a company could be taken out.

Pirate's Cove - Your Fault: Ocean Currents Speeding Up From Hotcoldwetdry

Wait, didn’t they tell us that the ocean currents were all slowing down? I mean, like, just tell us this, and that it would lead to an ice age like in the movie The Day After Tomorrow?

The Last Tradition - Biden had time to visit Buffalo but he had no time to visit Waukesha Wisconsin

Joe Biden has a boatload of racially insensitive comments throughout his career in politics. He didn't have the time to visit Waukesha Wisconsin after a black assailment killed 6 White people, injuring 61! So his visit to Buffalo was all about naked politics to keep Blacks voting Democrat.

The Post Millennial - Western University deletes pro-LGBTQ post depicting women in hijabs following backlash from Muslim community

An image posted to Instagram by Western University depicting two women in hijabs about to kiss was deleted after being deemed "inappropriate" by the Muslim community.

On Tuesday, social media was flooded with posts marking "International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia," also known as "IDAHOTB."

Again from The Other McCain - Why Don’t We Trust the ‘Experts’?

The case of Anthony Fauci and COVID-19 illustrates my point that what Nichols calls The Death of Expertise is mostly a case of suicide — that is to say, the “experts” have discredited themselves, on issue after issue, in controversy after controversy, so that if people no long trust the “experts,” it is the experts, not the people, who are to blame.

Again from The Post Millennial - BREAKING: Biden admin to 'pause' Disinformation Governance Board after backlash

The Babylon Bee - Surprising Study Reveals Half Of Joe Biden's Twitter Followers Are Real. This joke literally wrote itself.

A recent study has audited Joe Biden's Twitter followers to determine whether or not they are in fact real followers. The results have left the world stunned as everyone discovered half of his followers are somehow real people.

The Gates of Vienna - How Dare You Criticize My Hijab!

A Swedish father is in trouble with the law for complaining that Muslim teachers at his daughter’s school are fully veiled while teaching in the classroom. His views are considered unacceptable in Sweden, and he is being prosecuted for his “hate speech”.

Again from The Other McCain - Bedlam in Bellingham

None of this would have come to my attention, were it not for the fact that school board member Mason decided to invite students to her shop!

And again from The Other McCain - Not His Lucky Day. He was accused of murder, but relased on bail, on Friday.

Friday the 13th, that is. Talk about your ominous coincidences . . .

By Saturday morning, Felton had been shot dead.

Police have not yet identified any suspects in Felton’s slaying, but as my brother Kirby says, “Karma has a Glock.”

Uber Will of Course Fire Her for Defending Herself

How dare she defend herself from a maniac! That is against Uber policy! Atlanta 911 call in driver shooting man who followed her

He tried to block her from exiting a parking lot after she dropped off her passenger. Then he followed her, and tried to force her off the road, eventually totaling her vehicle.

The call captures her panic after she's run off the road and in a confrontation with the man, telling him "you're not a f******* police officer!" and a "maniac" before the gunshots can be heard.

According to police, the man is facing charges including aggravated assault and impersonating an officer. The incident occurred earlier this week in Buckhead.

Buckhead being one of the nicest neighborhoods in Atlanta. Well, it is probably the nicest that I know of, anyway.

Uber put out a generic statement that the driver is not allowed to drive while the police investigate. But really, Uber's policy - being the good, woke, California company that they are - does not allow its drivers to be armed. So they would have preferred that this woman be defenseless, and so raped or murdered or whatever this maniac had in mind.

She should have depended entirely on the State for her protection, even though the state was not able to provide protection in this instance. Anything less is not progressive enough for Uber!

He Was Going to Speak Harshly to Them

You're doing it wrong. Video shows suspected car burglars shoot at Tennessee homeowner

I get that you are upset. I get that you want to tell them to go away. Embracing that almost got this guy killed.

A homeowner was shot on his porch just before 5 a.m. after going outside to confront people who appeared to be burglarizing cars, and the violent exchange was caught on camera.

The guy who got shot was hit in the neck and shoulder. He could have been shot in the head. He could have bled to death waiting for EMS. This was not a life-or-death situation. This was about stuff.

If you read this blog you know that I am all about self-defense. But I am also about being smart, and sometimes the smart thing to do is call 911 and let the cops deal with it.

The victim was reported to be in critical, but stable, condition

Pick your battles. Some things are worth fighting and dying for. Some things are not. (And it doesn't appear this homeowner was ready to fight in any case.)

How Do You Spell Corruption?

What's $850K between family? A Black Lives Matter cofounder used $840,000 of the group's funds to pay her brother for 'security services'

A cofounder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation used donated funds to pay her brother $840,000 for "professional security services," according to tax documents filed with the IRS.

The filing showed that Patrisse Cullors, the organization's one-time executive director, paid the sum to Cullors Protection, a company owned by her brother Paul Cullors. [SNIP]

According to the tax filing, the organization also paid more than $969,000 for live-event, design, and media production to Trap Heals LLC, a company founded by Damon Turner, who fathered a child with Patrisse Cullors.

I'm sure they did some things their donors meant to support, but it seems like some family members got rich along the way.

If I remember correctly, when Daley the Younger was mayor of Chicago, his brother in law, or 2nd cousin, or some relation was put in charge of either the Fire Department or Police Pensions. Maybe both. They lost a ton of equity, but the Daley relative made a sweet salary for those few years. Things never change.

Vangelis — 29 March 1943 to 17 May 2022

Do people know who Vagelis was? Vangelis, composer for ‘Chariots of Fire’ and ‘Blade Runner,’ dead at 79

Born in Greece, Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou became more well known to the world as Vangelis. He went on to create the scores for “Antarctica,” “The Bounty” and “Alexander.”

But the “Chariots” theme song, which reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, became his most famous work and won him an Oscar in 1982.

Besides Chariots of Fire, and Blade Runner, he was involved with the score of the 1984 movie Bounty with Mil Gibson as Fletcher Christian and Anthony Hopkins as William Bligh. And a bunch of stuff I've never heard of. Here's a link to IMDB.

I imagine that most people, if they include a song, will use the theme from Chariots of Fire, but I heard so much of it in the 80s, I am still tired of it.

This is "Love Theme" from the movie Blade Runner.

19 May 2022

Global Warming Versus Weather

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What happens when the weather doesn't line up with predictions. Global Warming Was Going to Destroy Skiing, Then the Snow Fell - Daniel Greenfield / Sultan Knish articles

Even as activists and resort owners were crying to the media that the entire skiing industry was about to disappear because there would be no more snow, it snowed for the first 9 out of 10 weeks of the year. That was the most starting snow that there had been in 63 years.

Denver matched a record for cold in Februrary that hasn't been seen since 1899. Then in March it matched record not seen since 1932.

It’s almost as if some higher power has made a point of mocking doomsday predictions by climate pagans who think the weather can be changed by raising taxes and driving Teslas.

Coal miners versus resort owners. (Guess which group has more pull in politics.) Realtors worried about the million dollar homes in Vail losing value.

The Left wants to economically destroy some of the poorest parts of the country in Appalachia to protect some of the wealthiest, like Vail and Aspen, from a crisis that isn’t even real.

Now that’s actual class warfare.

There is a lot more. Click thru.

Tesla Hack Enables the Stealing of Cars

When did it become a bother to use a key? Hackers can steal your Tesla Model 3, Y using new Bluetooth attack

Mechanical keys have their problems, but Bluetooth has mostly been a security disaster from the outset.

Security researchers at the NCC Group have developed a tool to carry out a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) relay attack that bypasses all existing protections to authenticate on target devices.

BLE technology is used in a wide spectrum of products, from electronics like laptops, mobile phones, smart locks, and building access control systems to cars like Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

And of course Tesla uses Bluetooth Low Energy as a the basis for an "entry system." Locks are an antiquated technology, beneath the view of Tesla engineers. They don't design locks. They design Entry Systems™.

Tesla is not the only company to have this particular fault. Kwikset brand's line of Kevo "smart locks" can also be overridden. And probably a whole bunch of other stuff that uses the same tech.

Here is the icing on the proverbial cake.

The Bluetooth Core Specification warns device makers about relay attacks and notes that proximity-based authentication shouldn’t be used for valuable assets.

I would say that securing my home and my car are two "valuable assets" and a higher grade of security is warranted. But hey, I'm not a Tesla Motors engineer.

This proves once again that engineers don't read specifications before blindly heading out to build something they think will be neato using the latest bit of tech they saw in their favorite magazine or saw on their favorite website or whatever. (It's the tech all the cool kids are using!)

Church Attack - Hate Crime Against Taiwanese

And he certainly seems to have some socialist leanings. Authorities: Hate against Taiwanese led to church attack

His family was expelled from Taiwan to the mainland. That is when it appears that his hate began, or possibly it began while he was living in Taiwan.

As for the Socialism he wanted.

He was angry that the government didn’t provide comfort in his retirement, and he may have been homeless.

And so of course it is the fault of those evil capitalist Taiwanese that he is in the state he finds himself. He isn't responsible. (The Democrats said so!) No one is responsible for their own circumstances. That would be just crazy talk.</sarcasm>

Of course there is the "he had mental problems" defense. That is all the rage today. (Several terrorist attacks in Germany recently are blamed on mentally-unstable Muslim extremists.) Maybe he had mental problems. If he did, I'm sure he would have found a way to do something, like the guy in Waukesha, Wisconsin who drove his SUV through a parade. Evil people will do evil stuff.

A Gator at a Florida School

Not the kind of Gator that hails from a well-known university and plays football. 6-foot alligator strategically places itself outside cafeteria door at Florida school

Mostly because I haven't had many (any?) alligator stories this spring...

A hungry alligator shamelessly stationed itself outside the cafeteria door of Florida elementary school, forcing police to hogtie the reptile and drag it away, video shows.

This is a story I tripped over while looking for something else. Hardly worth getting worked up about.

A 6-foot alligator is on the small side by Florida standards. On average, the species grows to 13 feet and 800 pounds in the state, according to the Key West Aquarium. The largest found was 17 feet 5 inches, and it was living in the Everglades National Park, the aquarium reports.

They released the gator into a canal a "short distance" from the school. Probably far enough to discourage its return, but maybe not. If you're in Florida, there are gators in the fresh water. (And in some brackish water as well.) Sharks are in the saltwater, just off-shore, and crocodiles are in the salt water in the extreme southern Everglades. (I always stayed in the boat.)

The image above is not related to this story; it is a generic alligator picture I keep for just such occasions. Click the link above for a photo of the alligator in question.

Armed Self-defense — South African Edition

Glenvista is just south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Suspect killed in Glenvista attempted armed robbery

They suffered a failure of the Victim-selection Process.

One suspect was shot and later died in what appears to be an attempted armed robbery last night, May 13 in Glenvista.

Francois Jansen, operation director for Fox Security said a resident shot one of the four armed robbers after they tried to rob him and his family on The Dome Street.

Three others escaped. I read that as, they ran like rabbits when they were met with armed resistance. See the statement on the victim-selection process above.

Law Enforcement folks are urging people in the area to be vigilant. Because when seconds count, police are only minutes away.

Self-defense is a human-right.

When Only Cops Have Guns...

Only cops will kill people in a jealous rage. NYPD officer fatally shoots man, self at Buffalo Wild Wings

Crazed off-duty Officer Sean Armstead, 36, had followed spouse Alexandra Vanderheyden, 35, and her 20-year-old beau, Edward Wilkins, to a La Quinta Inn in upstate Wallkill around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, sources said.

Vanderheyden told investigators she believes that Armstead tracked her through her cell phone, sources said.

He tracked them down, and shot the 20-year-old. He then killed himself.

Why can't people just accept that, "It's over," and get on with their lives? The "How dare you live without me" attitude never works out for anyone in the long run.

You Mean the Science Wasn't Settled?

Testing, testing - Is this thing on? Scientists now question the point of mass COVID-19 testing | National Post

Mass testing was supposed to help stop the pandemic. It was an epic failure. It did make some people extremely rich, which might have been the principle aim all along.

For many people worldwide, having cotton swabs thrust up their nose or down their throat to test for COVID-19 has become a routine and familiar annoyance.

But two years into the pandemic, health officials in some countries are questioning the merits of repeated, mass testing when it comes to containing infections, particularly considering the billions it costs.

Japan for example avoided mass testing, and came out relatively good in the end, in terms of death and hospitalization.

Denmark instituted one of the most extreme testing regimes. They are now wondering what they got for their money.

“We’ve tested so much more than other countries that we might have overdone it,” said Jens Lundgren, professor of infectious diseases at Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, and member of the government’s COVID advisory group.

But I thought every decision around COVID-19 was made based on science. Don't wear masks, then wear masks. Testing, testing, and more testing. Lockdowns. Whatever. Are you now admitting that you had no scientific data on which to base your decisions, and you were a standard fear-driven homo-sapiens, just like everyone else? Or were you just tools of the Power-hungry politicians who wanted to flex their muscle and make the population give up basic freedom? I don't see a third choice.

18 May 2022

Germany Laughed at Trump Over Dependence on Russian Oil

I don't think that they are laughing today. Wall Street Journal: How Germany Is Racing to Sever Dependence on Russian Energy

You can hate Trump, and despise everything he stands for, but even a broken watch is right once in a while. And he was right about Russia. (Remember when Obama laughed about Russia being the greatest foreign policy threat? He isn't laughing either, as far as I can tell. Though he paid no price for being spectacularly wrong.)

Days after taking office as Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister in December, Robert Habeck asked his most senior officials for a detailed assessment of his country’s dependence on Russian energy. The result shocked him.

The country heavily relied on Russian hydrocarbons to power vehicles and factories and heat homes, and there was no contingency plan to secure other supplies, Mr. Habeck said. The government had no viable alternative to Russian imports.

Habeck goes on to describe the situation as a catastrophe. One easily seen, if you could look at Russia with clarity, and not through the American mainstream media. Or European media (for the most part) as well.

Russian companies controlled Germany's energy infrastructure, not just the supply. Refineries in Germany were not interested in refining non-Russian oil. It goes on from there.

“We’re suffering the consequences of allowing a Russian energy company to obtain such a strong influence on our supply,” a government report concluded this month, referring to Rosneft.

So, how did Germany react when President Trump pointed to these problems in 2018? FLASHBACK: Trump Warned UN About Relying On Russian Oil, Was Laughed At By German Delegation.

“Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers,” Trump continued as the camera then panned to the German delegation, who appeared to be laughing.

So how many of those laughing Germans are still in government? How many got promoted? How many will get promoted figuring out how to fix the mess that they thought was oh so funny, a few short years ago?

I would love to feel sorry of Germany, but like so many bone-headed decisions that were made under Merkel, they brought all this on themselves. As things stand, they are facing a recession for lack of energy, or from high energy prices.

It's the Machine's Fault

Blaming bad guys is so 20th Century. Ex-con who shot rifle into NYC crowd was free without bail

Norman has a history of emotional disturbance and a lengthy rap sheet that includes more than two dozen busts, a stint in state prison on an armed robbery conviction, and a pending Brooklyn gun case, according to records.

That's right. He was on bail for a gun crime when he was arrested for a gun crime. I can't even pretend to be shocked. Not about New York, where keeping people in jail is unfair. Or something.

It will be the gun's fault. (Just like I blame spoons for making me fat.) Not the fault of the bad guy, or the fault of the judge who gave him bail - he had no choice. And it certainly isn't the fault of the idiots in the State Assembly who decided that no one should be held on bail, because there are reasons, that's why you racist F*ck!

I doubt he will be held on bail for this incident, though I believe that he can be. (Holding people on bail is NOT FAIR.)

Wednesday Link Roundup - 18 May

Pirate's Cove is up first with Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup

  1. Pacific Pundit covers the baby killers “summer of rage”
  2. Outside The Beltway has thoughts on Star Trek going Woke

Bacon Time!!!! - Sunday Linkage

The Intrepid Reporter: Will He Have Three Names? UPDATED X5
Watts Up With That: Participate in the SurfaceStations Project – Version 2

Wombat-socho at The Other McCain - In The Mailbox: 05.16.22

American Power: Great Replacement Theory
American Thinker: Victor Davis Hanson’s Magnum Opus, also, Democrats Blame Inflation On Greed Instead Of Their Own Policies

Political Hat - News of the Week (May 15th, 2022)

Finland, Sweden to meet with Turkey over NATO
We were told to expect a decision “within days” as to Finland applying for membership in NATO, triggering a threatening response from the Kremlin.

Vlad Tepes - Afghanistan muslims remind us of what Islam really is, and the UN goes for total world control via the WHO: Links 1, May 16, 2022

2. Afghanistan face veil decree: ‘It feels like being a woman is a crime’
(In Islam it isn’t a crime to be female. It’s a crime to try and have the same basic rights as men.)
3. This power grab by thew UN Via the WHO is something everyone needs to understand

Maggie's Farm - Monday morning links

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Health Journalist Revealed the Real Purpose of Masks in 2018: Fear
White House Admits It Lied About Vaccines

Again from Wombat-socho - In The Mailbox: 05.17.22

American Conservative: Keep Finland & Sweden Out Of NATO
American Greatness: Biden Sending Troops Back To Somalia, also, #BLM Has Over $42 Million In Assets

Pixy Misa at Ace of Spades HQ - Daily Tech News 16 May 2022

In 500 metres, crash directly into the ground.
Crashed Russian aircraft in Ukraine allegedly have consumer grade GPS receivers taped to the flight console.

J.J. Sefton at Ace of Spades HQ - The Morning Report - 5/16/22

"Democrats look to resurrect a completely discredited economic policy."
Price Controls?!

Anonymous Conservative - News Briefs – 05/16/2022

Michael Flynn files $50 million claim against feds in prelude to lawsuit over Russia probe.
Kash highlights McCabe has notes admitting there was nothing to Russiagate, which puts the lie to the idea he was launching operations against Trump legitimately.

Doug Ross - Larwyn’s Linx: Another COVID-19 Spending Bill Would Fuel More Inflationary Fire

• Endless clips of Biden’s new press secretary calling literally everything racist Scoop
• Sunday Talks, Bartiromo Interviews Nunes and Patel About Sussmann Trial CTH

I leave you with Sunday Memes … from MaddMedic, Sunday Funnies from Flopping Aces, A Muster Of Memes.... from The Feral Irishman, and F*cking Mondays... from Wirecutter.

How's That Criminal Justice Reform Working Out?

Not too well, if you go by the count of victims. Gang leader who got $1,000 bail for a stolen gun (4 days after getting out of federal prison) is behind mass shooting, Chicago police say - CWB Chicago

4 days - count 'em, four - after getting out of federal lockup, he is arrested with a stolen gun.

The judge gives him cash bail, of which he had to come up with $1000. Why? Because keeping violent criminals in jail is unfair.

“The risk assessment on violent offenders by our judges needs to get better,” Brown said Wednesday.

Now he is implicated in a multiple shooting that left 1 dead and 4 injured. But hey, Social Justice was delivered, just not any real justice.

LA's Finest

This would almost be funny, if wasn't so completely screwed up. LAPD overlooked 3 dead children inside home for 7 hours after mother taken away

She was arrested/detained or whatever they call it when they determine she needed "medical assistance" for being a disturbed person.

So far, so good.

But she was not arrested at home, and LAPD, and the fire department neglected to check on the well-being of her children.

So police arrived again to the block seven hours later and made a grim discovery: All three children — two boys and a girl — were dead.

They would notice a flashing neon light. Maybe it wouldn't even need to be flashing. Anything else, well they're cops, not geniuses.

It remains to be seen whether the children were already dead when authorities found Flores in her neighbor's yard. Asked whether there was a possibility the children were clinging to life when officers arrived Saturday night, LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said he did not know and noted the medical examiner would determine what happened.

Bets on whether the official story is they were dead? Bets on whether anyone will be reprimanded? Bets on whether or not this is the stupidest thing done by LAPD in 2022?

LAPD Brass is not answering questions, so much as deflecting. Everything is under investigation "at this time." Whatever.

And to think, it is becoming HARDER to recruit cops in the past few years. OK. This kind of insanity will probably become more common as they scrape the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

Mars, the Bringer of War

Today's song was mentioned by Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold, in a Rick Beato interview when he was discussing the writing of "Shepard Of Fire." I had not heard "The Planets" by Holst in a very long time, not since college, at least, and maybe not since I was in high school. I thought I should listen to it again.

Considering that it was written during World War I, it sounds strangely contemporary, at least as far as symphonic music goes. It could be the soundtrack to a summer blockbuster movie. Listening to it again, it sounds like part of the soundtrack of Star Wars. I quite like it.

This is "Mars, the Bringer of War" by Gustav Holst. It is the first movement in "The Planets," which was composed between 1914 and 1917. This version is by James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2006.

After I wrote this post, I tripped over a Rick Beato video: John Williams vs Gustav Holst or Star Wars Vs The Planets. In which Rick compares "Mars, The Bringer of War" and the "Main Titles Theme" from Star Wars in some detail.

Note that this is only a reaction to the interview with Synyster Gates, and not a commentary on the geopolitical situation in Europe or elsewhere.

17 May 2022

The Lone Voice In Russia Is Still Speaking

I am surprised that they keep having this guy on Russian TV. And to be fair, he isn't the ONLY voice in Russia... Ukraine war: Retired colonel tells Russian state media 'the whole world is against us' | Daily Mail Online. That would be Mikhail Khodarenok.

Russian state media's trumped-up narrative of Putin's glorious war in Ukraine was last night shattered by a retired colonel who gave an unusually frank and damning assessment of the situation on the frontlines and world stage.

Mikhail Khodarenok, a former air defence commander and graduate of some of the Soviet Union's top military schools, used his platform on one of Russia's most-watched talk shows to warn that the war is going badly and is likely to get worse

This is not the first time Mikhail Khodaryonok has spoken up as a voice of dissent. I would love to believe that his latest remarks - at length, on a popular TV show - mean that something is afoot in the Kremlin. But I doubt it.

There is more, on the propaganda arm of the Russian media, on a few admissions of failure coming from official Russian sources, and some genuine updates on the fighting, including the fact that it appears Putin is now micromanaging the fighting at the level usually handled by brigadiers or colonels. Click thru.