05/12/22

The Grinding Pound of Inflation

Ten minutes ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Producer Price Index numbers for April 2022 – this is, of course, a month in arrears. The print was 11% meaning the cost of final demand goods from producers was up 11% when compared to April 2021.

These are Jimmy Carter numbers.

This is the fifth month in a row in which the annualized increase was double digits — again, when compared to a year earlier. Continue reading

04/9/22

Act II, the Russian Despoilment of Ukraine

The Russians and the Puffer Coat Putin’s plan for Act I in the despoilment and depredation of Ukraine did not go according to plan.

 1. The Russian army, a thuggish collection of murderers, rapists, and criminals with vast amounts of weaponry and armor with piss poor leadership and comms failed to drive down from Belarus, shout BOO! at Kyiv, and take the capital and kill the President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy in the planned 4 days. Stupid Russians. Continue reading

04/6/22

Russian Bond Default Impending

In the midst of the bloody slaughter that is Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the multitude of war crimes, Ukrainians with hands wired behind their backs and a bullet in their head, tongues cut out, bodies left to decompose in the streets behind retreating Russian forces, wholesale rape of girls and women, and the imposition of crushing economic sanctions by the west — it isn’t enough — Russia continues the charade that it is a part of a modern, global, civilized, financial world.

The Russians are desperately trying to preserve their sovereign nation bonds and to prevent them from going into default. Continue reading

04/2/22

The Empire Strikes Back

Russia is feeling the pain of western sanctions and has begun to attempt to punch back. The problem is they have very limited power when they are financially ostracized by the west.

One more time: The Russian economy as measured by Gross Domestic Product is 25% smaller than Italy and its GDP is going to crater with the sanctions. This is the real problem. Russia economically is a pimple on the world’s economic ass. 

Russia is a gas station with a coal bin out back. Continue reading

04/1/22

Weaponizing The Cell Phone In Ukraine

In Ukraine, a Russian (particularly senior officers) or a Ukrainian soldier better think twice before calling a girlfriend or Mom. It could cost them or their platoon their lives.

Both sides are using cell phone tech — the cell phone’s search for a nearby tower or mast through which to connect to the cell system — to identify the location of the cell phone and the soldier.

With simple triangulation based on using drones — tower/mast simulating drones — to mimic cell phone towers both sides can pinpoint locations, listen in on calls, and identify units thereafter sending missiles, rockets, or artillery to kill the soldiers at that location.

The Russians use a bit of gear called a Leer – 3 composed of a command truck and two drones that can identify up to 2,000 cell phones in a 4 mile area. One of the challenges is that 4 miles puts the electronic warfare gear close to the fighting.

Russian Leer – 3 electronic warfare command truck with drone.

Not to be outdone, the Ukrainians target such vehicles and use drones to send them a rocket of their own. Continue reading

03/31/22

Bayraktar TB-2 — Technology, Drones, and Music Go To War and WIN

Technology can be a powerful force for good, but when used to create advanced killing machines, technology is a force for evil and death. How does the world combat this?

One answer is more technology such as the Turkish made Bayraktar TB-2 MALE UCAV (medium-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned, combat aerial vehicle) that the Ukrainians are using to kill Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks, missile launchers, command & control vehicles, artillery, and fuel trains.

One reason why those interminable convoys are stalled is because the Ukrainians are destroying fuel trains.

Continue reading