Opinion: Russia can lose this war

On Thursday Russia will celebrate Victory Day, its commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. Domestically, this is nostalgia. In the 1970s, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev created a cult of victory. Russia under Putin has continued the tradition.Abroad, this is intimidation. We are meant to think that Russia cannot lose.

And far too many of us, during Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, have believed that. In February 2022, when Russia undertook its full-scale invasion of its neighbor, the consensus was that Ukraine would fall within days.

Even today, when Ukraine has held its own for more than two years, the prevailing view among Russia’s friends in Congress and in the Senate is that Russia must eventually win. Moscow’s success is not on the battlefield, but in our minds.Russia can lose. And it should lose, for the sake of the world — and for its own sake.

Source: Opinion: Russia can lose this war

Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs | The Hill

Has the U.S. government secretly retrieved exotic craft of “non-human” origin? Newly declassified documents, along with extraordinary legislation, illustrate how two successive Democratic Senate majority leaders appear to have believed so.

Notably, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were not alone in their focus on UFOs. The Democratic heavyweights received critical support and encouragement from a bipartisan group of high-profile senators over the years, including former fighter pilot and famed astronaut John Glenn (D-Ohio); Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who observed a UFO as a World War II pilot; Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), then-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense; 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.).

In late 2011, for example, the top scientist at the Department of Homeland Security met with Lieberman, then chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Reid to discuss the establishment of an ultra-secret UFO program.

Source: Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs | The Hill

The Problem with Music | Steve Albini

I read this piece from Steve Albini years ago and it still resonates today. Steve died suddenly of a heart attack on Tuesday. The famed recording engineer (cough, producer) was sixty-one.

Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end, holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed.

Nobody can see what’s printed on the contract. It’s too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody’s eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there’s only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says, “Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim it again, please. Backstroke.”

And he does, of course.

Source: The Problem with Music | Steve Albini

US AC-130J Ghostrider Destroys Chinese ‘Fishing Boat’ In Rare Military Drills Targeting Notorious Vessels

The US used its legendary AC-130J Ghostrider gunship in an exercise that involved firing its left-side guns on targets simulating China’s notorious fishing boats. This was during Exercise Balikatan 24 with the Philippine military. The AC-130J, used by the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), is a unique plane with a 30-mm and a 105-mm cannon on its left (port-side) lower fuselage.

The plane circles overhead while providing direct fire support to ground troops. It can also carry air-to-ground weapons like the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, GBU-69 Small Glide Munition, AGM-114 Hellfire missile, and AGM-176 Griffin missile.

The aircraft is a C-130 Hercules transport plane. The plane’s target of a small fishing boat, too, assumes significance since China’s use of large swarms of fishing vessels to assert its maritime rights has often vexed military experts.

Source: US AC-130J Ghostrider Destroys Chinese ‘Fishing Boat’ In Rare Military Drills Targeting Notorious Vessels

The Pentagon is lying about UFOs | The Hill

According to Gaetz, fighter pilots tracked four unknown objects flying in a “clear diamond formation.” Notably, the incident occurred on a training range typically conspicuously free of any airborne clutter.

In a case resolution report published last week, the Pentagon’s UFO analysis office concluded with “moderate” confidence that the object observed by the pilot was a balloon, likely “a large commercial lighting balloon.”

This so-called explanation insults the intelligence of any reader who takes a few moments to review the details of the incident. It did not convince the world’s most prominent UFO skeptic. The pilot’s sketch of the object, described as akin to an “Apollo spacecraft,” bears no plausible resemblance to the design of any known industrial lighting balloon.

Source: The Pentagon is lying about UFOs | The Hill

With ATACMS In Hand, Ukraine Looks To Neutralize Putin’s Fortress In Crimea

There is now no place in Russian-occupied Crimea that isn’t safe from attacks from Ukraine. Let’s go.

Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, his armed forces have pounded Ukraine with missiles and drones fired from the relatively safe confines of Crimea.

Following his occupation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula in 2014, the Kremlin leader poured billions of dollars into militarizing Crimea, expanding bases and constructing depots and other infrastructure.Now fortress Crimea faces a significant new threat that could neutralize its crucial role in the 26-month-old war: U.S. long-range ATACMS, or Army Tactical Missile Systems. After nearly two years of hesitation, the United States earlier this month delivered versions of the powerful ballistic missiles that can travel 300 kilometers — essentially reaching any of the more than 100 military targets on the peninsula.

“The delivery of ATACMS is a big breakthrough. It could basically make Crimea militarily worthless,” Philip Karber, a Washington-based military analyst who focuses on Ukraine, told RFE/RL.

Source: With ATACMS In Hand, Ukraine Looks To Neutralize Putin’s Fortress In Crimea

Opinion: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests | CNN

In light of student arrests Monday morning — along with similar arrests at Columbia last week — campus clashes and concerns around antisemitism are once again in the news.

I do not deny that there has been a shocking and upsetting rise in antisemitism over the last few months, including several instances of antisemitism right at Yale and in New Haven. Last fall, one professor’s post on X (formerly Twitter) appearing to praise Hamas’ October 7th attack sparked a petition for her to be fired.

I have had countless painful conversations with close friends trying to explain to them how their rhetoric has at times minimized the killing and hostage-taking of Israeli Jews and how that language hurts their Jewish classmates, myself included.

But when people see pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at the same time as President Joe Biden and others are warning about a surge of antisemitism on college campuses, they apply the same tired framework — supposedly antisemitic pro-Palestine activists pitted against Jewish pro-Israel activists — to Yale. As a fourth-year Yale student, I find this characterization to be deeply frustrating, as it could not be further from the truth. At every turn, I have encountered a community of activists and organizers that is eager to listen, ready to learn and committed to including Jewish voices and perspectives.

Source: Opinion: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests | CNN

Southwest Air (LUV) Is Weighing Ditching Open Seating – Bloomberg

Nooooo. Southwest cannot become just another airline. Prices have gone way up, delays are rampant, and open seating is just about the only thing special about Southwest. Wall Street ruins everything.

Southwest Airlines Co. may ditch open seating, a classic hallmark of its business model, to offer assigned spots and premium seats in a bid to appeal to a younger generation of travelers. The move arguably would be the largest change undertaken by the carrier since it began flying in 1971.

“We are seriously studying customer preference around our seating and our cabin,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan said in an interview Thursday. “We’ve been doing that for awhile — you have to be committed to understanding and meeting customer expectations.”

Source: Southwest Air (LUV) Is Weighing Ditching Open Seating – Bloomberg

How Long Are You Contagious With COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, the duration of contagiousness can vary. This is because the virus can be shed (meaning released from the body through talking, exhaling, etc.) for anywhere from days to months depending on your age, vaccination status, immune status, severity of infection, and any preexisting conditions you may have.

Even so, the likelihood of transmission decreases as fewer viruses are shed over time. If you become infected with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you isolate at home until you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours (without the held of medications). It’s also recommended that you take additional precautions for five days following isolation.2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory virus guidance.

This article explains how long COVID-19 is contagious and the variables that can increase or decrease the duration. It also offers tips on how to protect others if you or someone know gets COVID-19.

Source: How Long Are You Contagious With COVID-19?

Vaccine breakthrough means no more chasing strains | UCR News | UC Riverside

Scientists at UC Riverside have demonstrated a new, RNA-based vaccine strategy that is effective against any strain of a virus and can be used safely even by babies or the immunocompromised. woman getting a vaccinePeopleimages/iStock/GettyEvery year, researchers try to predict the four influenza strains that are most likely to be prevalent during the upcoming flu season. And every year, people line up to get their updated vaccine, hoping the researchers formulated the shot correctly.

The same is true of COVID vaccines, which have been reformulated to target sub-variants of the most prevalent strains circulating in the U.S.

This new strategy would eliminate the need to create all these different shots, because it targets a part of the viral genome that is common to all strains of a virus. The vaccine, how it works, and a demonstration of its efficacy in mice is described in a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “What I want to emphasize about this vaccine strategy is that it is broad,” said UCR virologist and paper author Rong Hai. “It is broadly applicable to any number of viruses, broadly effective against any variant of a virus, and safe for a broad spectrum of people. This could be the universal vaccine that we have been looking for.”

Source: Vaccine breakthrough means no more chasing strains | UCR News | UC Riverside