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Worlds worst occupations
at 12:24 14 May 2022

In the attached is a diagram of the crew positions in a T72, 80 or 90. Is this the worlds worst job at the moment?
Russian Trousers and the RAF
at 07:33 9 May 2022

The RAF has been around for 104 years. The attached article describes the origin of the blue colour of RAF uniforms. Basically, they wanted something distinctive when formed. The company making uniforms had a warehouse full of blue cloth for Cossack trousers that was no longer needed due to WW1 and the Russian Revolution.

That’s my odd fact of the week.
Russia Victory Day
at 09:00 8 May 2022

For Russia, tomorrow is victory day marking the defeat of the Nazis. Russia lost 27m people in WW2. It undeniably ground up large chunks the German army and many argue that Russia won WW2. The Russians have erased the significance of other countries and modified history to their own ends to a far greater extent than US or U.K.

So USSR did win the war - along with the US, Britain and countries from all around the world, including Australia, NZ, SA, Canada, India, Caribbean, you name it.

Britain, US and the allies fought a world war. Germany and Russia didn’t. There’s was a European war. The U.K. and US also fought a mechanised war (we actually owe Chamberlain amongst others thanks for that). Russia and Germany didn’t.

They chose to re fight WW1. Germany economically couldn’t do it any other way. Stalin ensured it was the only way by erasing intelligentsia, generals, anyone considered a threat and the centralised system based on terror ensured that it would be fought with cannon fodder - not that Stalin cared about men. It’s why he pushed for an allied invasion before we were ready. The more dead the less threat was his modus operandi.

As an aside U.K. and US provided 4 million tons of kit to the USSR in the early years. Long since forgotten, along with the sacrifice of those providing it. It is thought Moscow might have fallen without it.

Campaigns are also erased. For example, we all know about Stalingrad. 800k Germans were killed, 91k captured. How many Russians know that in the sideline that was North Africa Germany lost 620k soldiers plus 250k captured?

Every country that fought Hitler made sacrifices felt to this day. Not just Russia. Unlike Russia, they also had to face the Japanese.

So Russia has every right to celebrate/mark tomorrow just as we do armistice day, but it should be about remembrance not the political and military tub thumping Putin will undoubtably make it.
Baked Beans
at 10:20 5 May 2022

As an aside for the thread about that berk Eustace’s idiotic comments, I’ve been thinking about baked beans. I believe them to be one of the gods of food. Flexible, nourishing, tasty, conveniently packaged, satisfaction guaranteed in every glorious, perfectly formed tin. So, the big questions of the day are:

1. Do you like baked beans
2. What is your favourite brand

For me, the king of the B Bean is Branstons. 4 for £2 (Asda), these gems are less sugary than Heinz, less watery than own brands, good bean count and work better with other things.

For me, a good use is in chilli instead of kidney beans. I’m ok with the k bean if I eat chilli out, but if we are making a chilli the baked boys go better.

Oddest eating was in Malaysia where I had them several times for breakfast with curry. Curiously the combo worked, mainly because breakfast curries there were quite mild. Add in a bit of bacon and toast and it was brekkie fit for a king. The misses was unimpressed, mind….

Sanctions - why bother?
at 17:42 28 Apr 2022

It looks like the main buyers of Russian energy are bending the knee to Putins orders. Caving in. The strongman has got his way and has Europe exactly where he wants it. I don’t see that Poland and Bulgaria will have much choice but to follow Germany’s lead.

Are sanctions on stuff bar the one thing that matters just a PR tokenism to make it look as if the west is doing something? If so, why bother? Everything Europe does (including the U.K.) looks weak and to be blowing up in its face. The money is rolling in to Putin like never before. £1bn a day from the EU alone.
Ukraine dismemberment
at 08:31 17 Apr 2022

There is an interesting article from todays Guardian

It basically highlights western countries fiddling while Rome (Ukraine) burns. Dismembered piece by piece all on tv as long as it doesn’t get in the way of Eastenders. Hand wringing, empty promises and words, or in Johnson’s case lies. Weakness and confusion in the face of the strongman.

What can the west, particularly the US, do? A lot more than it has. Putin will have to be faced one day. It’s not a question of if, but when. Hopefully when he is, it’ll be with people stronger than the current political nobodies.
Germany President unwelcome in Ukraine
at 09:01 13 Apr 2022

I noticed that some European bigwigs are visiting Kyiv (it’ll always be Kiev to me) and the German President Steinmeier has been told not to bother. The attached is from the German website DW and gives a good insight into why and their disastrous ties with Putin. Worth a read.

One thing struck me from it was that the blockers to Ukraine joining NATO in 2008 were Germany and France. Sarkozy and Merkel saw it as a provocation to Russia. That went well. Had Ukraine joined NATO, would Putin still have attacked? Possibly, but France and Germany’s actions made Putin’s decision far easier. If nothing else, they signalled that Ukraine didn’t matter.

Germany’s economy is by far the strongest in Europe. Their response of 5000 helmets and 1000 anti tank missiles that don’t work is the weakest. It makes me wonder if they are serious about opposing Putin or clinging on to their failed cozying up policy.

The other thing I note is that despite the German President’s disastrous policies that has possibly helped drop Ukraine in to this awful war, there is no pressure or sign of him resigning. That says a lot to me and I can understand why Zelensky has said stay away.
[Post edited 13 Apr 9:04]
Sweden and Finland
at 07:30 12 Apr 2022

Posted on the BBC website:

Responding to the news that the two Nordic neighbours could apply for Nato membership - Russia says any enlargement of the Western military alliance would not result in more stability.
"Further [Nato] expansion will not bring additional security to the European continent," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said to reporters.

So Russia is basically telling Finland and Sweden what to do or not to do. What additional security did not being part of Nato did Ukraine get? Oh sorry, I forgot, it’s not a sovereign country is it Mr Peskov. Tool.

The reality is that you should always do what your enemy don’t want you to do. As far as I’m concerned, if they want it Finland and Sweden should be brought into Nato by Good Friday and Mr Peskov and his master told to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Of course, Russia believes Finland doesn’t have a right to exist anyway so might well be on Putin’s shopping list. They proved that in the Winter War in 1940 where against a small army in winning, they managed to lose 400,000 men, not that Stalin cared.
[Post edited 12 Apr 7:31]
Medieval Siege
at 08:41 9 Apr 2022

The assault on Mariupol goes on.

Putin demands surrender to end the shelling. His deformed logic says the Ukrainians have brought misery upon themselves by not bending the knee. This form of assault and threat goes back through the ages to Caesar and way beyond. It was very much medieval convention too (e.g. 100 Years War) that if a town didn’t surrender immediately it would be sacked, the residents raped, massacred, carted off not least as a warning to the next town.

The only thing left of Mariupol after Putin has captured it and cleansed it will be the survivors’ tragic testimonies such as the attached link. After the truth has been re-engineered and people are tired, will the poor survivors be believed or taken seriously or will the only objective to be to forget it? I wouldn’t like to say.

On what the Russians have done in Mariupol alone this is a crime against humanity as far as I’m concerned. It’s as simple as that. Putin has to be held to account, regardless of the surrender agreement when it comes.

The only way to do it is to kill him, which is just about impossible. Alternatively isolate his country until there’s real change and they’ve paid for what they’ve done in Ukraine and other places.

[Post edited 9 Apr 8:43]
Biden calls Putin a war criminal again
at 16:05 4 Apr 2022

Biden was widely criticised for his words the other day. Just now he said:

“You may remember I got criticised for calling Putin a war criminal. Well, the truth of the matter, you saw what happened in Bucha, this warrants him... He is a war criminal.”
"We have to gather the information... we have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight, and we have to get all the detail so this can have a war crimes trial. "This guy is brutal.
"What's happened in Bucha is outrageous and everyone has seen it. I think it is a war crime.
"He should be held accountable."

I know plenty of people will worry this language might not be diplomatic and might annoy Putin and his allies in Hungary, India, China, but from what has emerged over the last few weeks and days, he is surely right and it should be publicly said, shouldn’t it?
Never go back
at 07:47 1 Apr 2022

This is a bit of a cliche, but i noticed that Defoe has jacked it in after 7 games and a couple of months. Apparently he trained, went home and announced it, to the surprise of the club and Alex Neil.

It was a waste of time and assuming he was paid £5k a week say £50k, Sunderland going anywhere near him. I’m not a fan of bringing back a hasbeen to ‘do a job’, because it rarely works. The one exception I can think of was John Wark who returned twice and was brilliant both times.

[Post edited 1 Apr 7:58]
Managing players the right way and wrong way
at 10:23 29 Mar 2022

There is a piece in the EADT today about Luke Woolfenden.

Two things struck me about it. Firstly, how fortunate it’s been that John McGreal has been at the club. I suspect he will be off to manage elsewhere at some point soon, but I really hope he stays at the club.

Secondly, it’s crystal clear to me now just how poor Cook was. He came here with a good reputation, success under his belt and I thought he would be great for the club. Wrong. He appears to be an ‘in or out’ merchant. Black and white. I’ve no problem with decisiveness, my way or the highway etc, but you have to be open minded and look for different ways to achieve an end. He was totally wrong for us.

To leave players out in the cold like Woolfenden, without looking to truly see what they can do was a criminal waste. Add in Donacien and what KM has got out of Jackson and you wonder just what’s been going on at this club. The difference between now and 4 months ago on the playing side is chalk and cheese.

Thank goodness the Lambert, Hurst, Cook era of epic incompetence is over.
[Post edited 29 Mar 10:24]
First ever away game
at 10:34 22 Mar 2022

I noticed this on the Sunderland forum. My first ever away game was Arsenal in 1972. We won 1-0. I was struck by how grand and big Highbury was compared to PR, but thought the open terrace Clock End looked a bit rubbish.
Russian War Protesters
at 19:16 13 Mar 2022

According to the BBC, 800 were arrested today in Russia. Just how brave are those people? I just can’t imagine what level of courage of convictions and strength you need to do what they are doing when you know the outcome is going to be at best dreadful.

Amazing people.
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