At this point, there is no way one can assume government stupidity is responsible for the toxic outcome of the chemical train cars derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice.

Officials on Monday completed the release of toxic chemicals that had been carried on a train that derailed over the weekend in eastern Ohio. Officials had warned that the chemical could be deadly if inhaled.

The release of vinyl chloride, a toxic, flammable gas used to produce vehicle interiors and PVC piping, was completed late Monday afternoon after evacuations were expanded from East Palestine, Ohio, the site of Friday night’s derailment, to an adjacent community in Pennsylvania.

The release was “successfully completed,” according to the train’s operator, Norfolk Southern. A burn-off of material would continue past nightfall, it said.

A federal Emergency Alert System message on Monday urged residents in East Palestine and Pennsylvania’s Darlington Township to leave immediately.

There are various reports on social media of wildlife and pets dying and reporters being arrested, while the mainstream media has been covering the story in the most anodyne possible terms. It’s too soon, and the information is too restricted, for us to have any idea how bad the situation is, but it appears likely that the matter is more serious than has been initially reported.

The fact that the town is named “Palestine” may also be significant for symbolic reasons.


Unconfirmed Reports

But absolutely hysterical if true.

Very unconfirmed reports stating that the deputy head of the President of Ukraine, Kyrylo Timoshenko, fled to Israel, taking with him more than 600 million dollars. Take this with caution but could also be why Zelensky signed this restrictions on travel.

Now why would a Ukrainian government official go to Israel?

And I’m not a military expert or anything, but I tend to suspect that this sort of thing doesn’t bode well for the current state of the Ukrainian war effort.

UPDATE: In the meantime, these related reports are confirmed.

Multiple senior Ukrainian officials were relieved of their duties by the country’s government on Tuesday. The ongoing reshuffle was announced by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in his daily video address and affects officials “on different levels, in ministries and other bodies of central and provincial authority, and law enforcement.”

The government has dismissed deputy defense minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, deputy social policy minister Vitaly Muzychenko, as well as two deputies of the minister of regional development, Vyacheslav Negoda and Ivan Lukerya.

Shapovalov isn’t just the deputy defense minister, he is in charge of logistics for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. If the Ukrats in charge are beginning to take the cheese and run, this tends to imply that they know the Russians are going to launch a large-scale offensive soon.

UPDATE: The reports of Timoshenko’s flight to Israel are now partially confirmed.

Kirill Timoshenko has resigned as deputy head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, after the head of state pledged to shake up the government. The reshuffle, which the president announced in his daily video address on Tuesday morning, will affect officials “on different levels, in ministries and other bodies of central and provincial authority, and law enforcement.” Timoshenko is the most senior official whose removal from office has been confirmed so far.

UPDATE: The helicopter crash on January 18th is looking less and less like an accident.

The three main figures in Ukraine’s interior ministry have been killed in a helicopter crash beside a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv. Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 42, died alongside his first deputy minister and state secretary.

UPDATE: Speaking of unconfirmed reports, this one is potentially very big and may explain why the Ukrainian kleptocrats are fleeing the country.

“According to Russian sources, in the next few days, Putin will make an extremely important announcement. Moscow is expected to officially declare the start of a New Patriotic War.”


All US Flights Grounded

  • Early Wednesday morning, the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) system that notifies pilots about hazards or any changes to airport facility services suffered an outage that might result in a nationwide grounding. The FAA wrote in an advisory update that its NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system had “failed.” The aviation agency provided no immediate estimate for when it would return online.


Diversity Enhances Paris

Several people were injured in a stabbing attack at the Gare du Nord train station in central Paris on Wednesday morning, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said. The suspect was “quickly neutralized” by police, Darmanin wrote on Twitter, praising the officers for their “effective and courageous response.”

Six people suffered minor injuries in the attack and were provided medical care on site, according to BFTV. France Bleu has revealed more details of the incident, saying that the suspect, who reportedly spoke Arabic, began indiscriminately stabbing people at the station.

No worries, people of France. It’s good for the economy, see.

UPDATE: Freiburg also enjoyed enhancement by diversity today.

Woman killed in a knife attack, another seriously injured in Freiburg, Germany. Suspect detained.


The Soft Will Die

Karl Denninger is frustrated about the way foolish people are managing to get themselves killed by winter.

In the late 1970s and early 80s I lived in such a part of the country, near a big lake. There was no fuel injection; our cars had carburetors. By then we had advanced to the point that the choke was electric and “set” itself when it was cold with a slight press of the pedal. There was no electric fuel pump; it was driven by the engine. You got in the car, pumped the pedal once or twice so the accelerator pump would squirt the raw gas in the carb bowl into the intake, pressed it slightly one last time and released to make sure the choke was set and turned the key. If you did it right for the conditions and your battery was in decent shape the car would start, often firing on two or three cylinders originally and running extremely rough for the first few seconds until the rest of them lit up. If you got it wrong and flooded it you were screwed as there was insufficient battery power to keep cranking for very long, and if you left a discharged battery out in that cold it was very likely to freeze and split. Thus if the car failed to start you better either be able to get an immediate jump or have the tools to remove said battery and bring it inside so it wouldn’t freeze!

I didn’t have a garage; that was a luxury and I had no money. I was a young man. I had to park outside. After said car started you cleared the snow off (frequently a foot deep) and then you had to wait until the engine warmed up enough that you had cabin heat. Not for yourself; you had on a winter parka and long underwear under your pants but rather for the defroster because if you didn’t wait the first time you exhaled your breath would freeze on the INSIDE of the windshield and you couldn’t see a damned thing.

Phones were connected with wires and the closest one required a quarter to be deposited in the slot and was probably 10 or more miles away once you got in said car and started driving. There was a zero chance of you reaching it if you got out in 0F conditions and attempted to hike that; you were dead if you tried that stunt. If you went off the road and into the piled-high snow, often by February 10′ in height on both sides of said road, that had been previously removed from said road by twin-augur snowthrowers on the front of a dump truck filled with sand you’d be lucky if someone realized that hole was made by a car and the car is still in there; there was no way to call for help so your only hope was another vehicle that noticed as if wherever you were going called in your lack of arrival figuring out where you balled it up in those conditions was not going to be easy. You were quite carful to not have that happen because if it did they’d probably find your dead body in April. The mailboxes on said roads were hung on tall cantilevered chain rigs that would swing out of the way when hit because otherwise the first time said snow removal device came by it would destroy the mailbox.

You never went anywhere without good (ski-style) gloves in the winter months either on your hands or in the car, and you never went anywhere in the winter months without adequate clothing which included a thick knit hat for your head, gloves and emergency supplies in the vehicle, including plenty of blankets or other means of keeping warm (I was a broke young man so a pile of blankets it was; I didn’t have money for a cold-rated sleeping bag/bivvy sack), a source of minor heat (e.g. a candle and means of lighting it), and a small tin or other similar thing plus a set of road flares so IF you were off the road you could lay a trail TO YOU from the road and increase the odds someone driving by would see it, especially at night — assuming you could walk between the points, that is, which was by no means reasonably assured as there were no such things as airbags either so if you crashed odds were high you were BADLY hurt. Why the candle and plenty of matches? The candle wasn’t for heat for you; it was to melt snow in said tin so you could drink it without killing yourself via hypothermia, and the means of keeping warm without energy was so if you had a mechanical breakdown and could not use the engine for heat, or had an extended problem and ran out of gas you didn’t die.

You can’t change a tire in these sorts of conditions without decent gloves or you will lose fingers to frostbite. Never mind that all the other “sharps” risk associated with any sort of car work is always there so what are you doing driving around with no means of fixing that. Oh, you think its cool that modern cars often don’t even have spares? Yeah, that’s nice — what happens if you get a flat and its -10F outside? This sort of lack of preparedness involving a vehicle that is expected to be operated in all seasons is stupid and both can and will get you killed.

You want to virtue signal and drive a Tesla or other EV? That’s a nice sports car suitable for decent conditions. It is utterly unsuitable for use in what is called winter because the range is wildly cut by said cold, you use prime moving power for heat in the cabin, you can’t recharge it in cold conditions as the battery pack cannot accept a charge if it is below freezing and thus if you get stuck in one you’re really in trouble — much more so than with a gasoline powered vehicle.

I think he’s referring to the recent deaths reported in New York, about which I am frankly dubious given the lack of specificity. But he’s right, as growing up in Minnesota required the awareness that winter would absolutely kill you if you were stupid or extremely unlucky. There’s nothing that reminds you of your mortality more than speeding across a frozen lake at 60 MPH on a snowmobile in the dark, knowing full well that your chances of seeing an open patch of water or a sizable log frozen into the ice in time to avoid it are slim to none.

Or spinning out on black ice and doing a 360 on the highway, wondering if you’d cleared enough distance from the semi you’d passed a few moments earlier to let it slow down before it t-boned your rapidly rotating vehicle. Winter is dangerous.

But there is really no excuse for freezing to death inside a vehicle, because that reflects nothing more than ignorance of winter combined with a fundamental lack of preparation for it.


We Don’t KNOW It Was the Vaxx

Okay, for once, it wasn’t the vaxx. Or at least, it probably wasn’t the vaxx:

A huge aquarium exploded inside a German hotel today, injuring two people and filling the lobby with 1,500 fish and a million litres of water. The 46ft-high tank in the foyer of the Radisson Blu hotel in central Berlin burst at around 5.50am.

The incident at the AquaDom aquarium left two people suffering injuries from glass shards and caused ‘incredible maritime damage’, German police said.

The explosion filled the hotel lobby with over a million litres of water and 1,500 tropical fish. The leaking water reached the outside of the complex, prompting police to close a nearby street.

I stayed there about 10 years ago for a technology event that was being held there. The aquarium absolutely towered over the lobby; it was massively gigantic and I can’t even fathom what it must have been like to see it explode.

Press F for the 1,500 fish.


Once is an Accident

Twitter just alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended. No details given as to why.
5:52 PM, 17 November 2022

Mauvais just addressed Twitter on her debut for DLN. Coincidence? Maybe…


UPDATE: Elon Musk is set to lose 75 percent of his remaining workforce after hundreds resigned following his 5pm ET deadline for employees to get ‘hardcore’ Musk sent an email to staff on Wednesday telling them to either commit to ‘long hours at high intensity’ or quit with three months severance.


Dark Lord News

After an extensive, nay, exhaustive, series of interviews, including everyone from Katie Couric to Keith Olbermann to the ghost of Dan Rather – courage – Unauthorized is pleased to announce that an announcer for Dark Lord News has finally been hired.

And while Mauvais will not admit to being excited about her new part-time job, she did say that she thinks her centuries of experience working with the Doom Lord on Metal Earth would be of great assistance in dealing with the idiosyncracies of the SDL. Don’t miss her debut on tonight’s Darkstream!


The Queen of England, RIP

It is the end of an era. And it’s official. The only Queen of England most of us have ever known is dead at the age of 96:

Queen Elizabeth II has died today aged 96.

Her son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, is now King. He will address the shocked nation imminently, as the world grieves Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

All her children had rushed to Balmoral after doctors became ‘concerned’ for her health. Hours later she died, surrounded by her family.

At 6.30pm her death was confirmed. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow’.

The Queen’s death will see Britain and her Commonwealth realms enter into a ten-day period of mourning as millions of her subjects in the UK and abroad come to terms with her passing.

And as her son accedes to the throne, there will also be a celebration of her historic 70-year reign that saw her reach her Platinum Jubilee this year – a landmark unlikely to be reached again by a British monarch.

I have a few thoughts on her reign and the British monarchy itself, but I shall save them for another time. In the meantime, my condolences to her former subjects.