Category Archives: Sailing

Ukranian Drones Struck Russian Warships, Again Proving Elon Musk a Liar

Video grab from drone, moments before it hits a Russian ship. Source: Ukraine security services

Allegedly Elon Musk continuously lies about who told him to protect Russian warships and why he did it. Gaslighting, as usual, the unstable Musk has said both he personally stepped in to help Putin save the Russian ships, and also that he refused to step in and did nothing in order to help Putin save the Russian ships.

Either way, despite flip-flopping like a slimy “big fish” story out of water, it sure sounds like Logan Act time. If he really wants to be remembered in history as someone very unique, that looks like his best fit yet. And despite his self-dealing protests and complaints to silence independent expert reports, journalists are laying bare some actual truths about drone strikes in Crimea.

Here is the part you might not have heard, or not registered: The same team launched a similar attack again a few weeks later. On October 29, a fleet of guided sea drones packed with explosives did reach Sebastopol harbor, using a different communications system. They did hit their targets. They put one Russian frigate, the Admiral Makarov, out of commission. The team believes that they damaged at least one submarine and at least two other boats as well.

And then? Nuclear war did not follow. Despite Musk’s fears, in other words—fears put into his head by the Russian ambassador, or perhaps by Putin himself—World War III did not erupt as a result of this successful attack on a Crimean port. Instead, the Russian naval commanders were spooked by the attack, so much so that they stuck close to Sebastopol harbor over the following weeks.

What would happen if Ukrainian drones struck Russian warships?

They did strike.

We don’t have to wonder.

BBC Verify’s research suggests Ukraine has carried out at least 13 attacks with sea drones – targeting military ships, Russia’s naval base in Sevastopol, and Novorossiysk harbour. This is based on announcements by Russian and Ukrainian authorities, and local media reports.

And we certainly don’t have to listen to Elon Musk, a proven serial liar. We know he personally interfered with U.S. foreign policy by directly negotiating with Russian officials to undermine Ukrainian defenses. He has consistently been on the wrong side of history; because he never changes.

Signs of a private citizen politically manipulating service availability to favor certain foreign policy already had been there for all to see a year ago.

Ukrainian operators are both to credit for the mission, and also to be held responsible for entrusting Musk. Militant due diligence (anathema to the ignorance and impulsivity of coin-operated Musk) alerted Starlink’s wannabe-dictator to the existence of operations threatening Putin’s naval assets in Sebastopol harbor.

It was a simple and classic mistake. Ukrainians trusted a man who can never be trusted. They expected a rational response from a man who thrives on contrarian and cruel lies. It was like filing a support ticket with a Belorussian telephone company hoping old “war crimes” Lukashenko would do anything other than suck up to Russia.

Regrettably, just like many individuals who purchased a Tesla, someone fell victim to Elon Musk’s cunning manipulation (promising assistance but ultimately not delivering). This tactic is commonly referred to as advanced fee fraud. Musk’s actions included sporadic service provision combined with requesting full payments, all while pretending to “care” about Ukraine. Unfortunately, this was a fraudulent scheme that some mistook for genuine support for Ukrainian defense efforts.

Here is how and why Ukrainian intelligence was duped.

Areas in Ukraine occupied by Russia were being given a taste of intermittent network access on purpose by the duplicitous and compromised Starlink operation:

Starlink UP

  • RU occupied Kherson
  • RU occupied Zaporizhzhia
  • RU occupied Mykolaiv
  • RU occupied Kharkiv

Starlink FAIL

  • RU occupied Donetsk
  • RU occupied Luhansk
  • RU occupied Crimea

Political service map.

Shortly after Ukraine’s secret defense operation details for October 2022 were shared with the American company, meant to enhance network reliability under Starlink’s public commitments to assist in defense against Russia, Elon Musk seems to have employed this exact information to pursue a completely contrary agenda. He allegedly actively worked to undermine U.S. objectives, turned his assistance programs into a means to block operations, and promoted pro-Putin propaganda campaigns.

  • October 3, 2022 proposed a “George Blake peace” plan that involved Ukraine surrendering and ceding its territory to Russia
  • October 21, 2022 fraudulently asserted Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea should be taken away from Ukraine

Did I mention the Logan Act?

If this seems too simplistic, as if Musk doesn’t have a clear enough motive for personally interfering to block U.S. executive branch policy (e.g. appear so treasonous), blame China.

Musk caring about Russia invading Ukraine, which seems to have nothing to do with his stated “business” or even personal interests, actually parallels top concerns of his Chinese handlers (e.g. defense of Taiwan).

Taiwan is “not for sale”, the island’s foreign minister said in a stern rebuke to Elon Musk who asserted Taiwan was an integral part of China, as the billionaire again waded into the thorny issue of relations between Beijing and Taipei… Last October, he suggested that tensions between China and Taiwan could be resolved by handing over some control of Taiwan to Beijing, drawing a similarly strong reprimand from Taiwan.

Last October. See?

Musk does whatever China says. Ukraine is a proxy.

It’s no secret Russia is China’s strategic ally in these conflicts and also a present testing ground for undermining U.S. foreign policy (let alone actual defense operations) by compromising selfish and greedy American tech executives.

Musk’s behavior, clearly favoring enemies of the country he claims to call home, really is not far removed from stories about a serial liar in a U.S. company jailed on charges of treason and espionage.

In 2016, when Elon Musk was questioned about Tesla’s “Autopilot” potentially causing fatalities, his response was marked by anger and defensiveness. He argued that since millions of people die in car accidents, he shouldn’t be expected to care about individual deaths related to his product. Subsequently, he initiated a deceptive public relations effort claiming that his cars were the safest and would save more lives than any others, even though Tesla vehicles continued to be involved in fatal accidents, surpassing the combined total of all other electric vehicles.

Then, in 2022, when informed about the use of drones to prevent ships from bombing civilian areas, Musk intervened with network services to ensure these ships could continue their actions, which resulted in harm to hundreds or thousands of innocent people including children. He subsequently launched a fraudulent propaganda campaign, taking credit for preventing a fake potential world war by stopping drones, despite the simple fact that the drones still managed to target the ships.

There’s a consistency to his interference with U.S. policy, “grossly inflated sense of self worth“, hatred of humanity and greedy pattern of self-serving propaganda.

Who better for China to compromise?

Source: Twitter

Tesla 10x Worse Than OceanGate Disaster

Over 40 people have been killed by Tesla, according to the latest data.

Tesla Deaths Total as of 9/4/2023: 449 | Tesla Autopilot Deaths Count: 41

The primary difference of Tesla versus OceanGate, aside from 10X the fatalities, is only one CEO has not been killed yet by his own fraud.

To put it another way, a Tesla Model X weighs 5000 lbs (as much as a truck) and is priced for high-cost engineering, yet even a sub-compact Honda has far safer lower control arms.

“Nice $80k black hole for money that almost got us killed. Thanks a lot Elon.” Complaint filed for safety failure on brand new Tesla. Source: Jalopnik, which also includes a flurry of bizarre Twitter attacks on this complaint as context of “…you really have to hand it to Tesla for inspiring this degree of crazy, evidence-denying loyalty among their fans. […] It’s a strange part to fail, though, really. It is a part subject to intense stresses, but it’s not like it’s particularly complex or poorly understood—this is some Cars 101 shit right here. It’s a control arm. No need to call SpaceX to consult, because this is absolutely not rocket science. This is also the kind of failure, that, were it to happen at speed, could potentially cause a wreck that could result in, potentially, people getting hurt. A week-old car should not have problems like this. Hell, a car a decade or more old shouldn’t have control arms just snapping. This is ridiculous. and the idea that a car with no evidence of a major accident shouldn’t have this covered by warranty is absurd as well.”

The plastic Tesla accelerator pedal design snaps off like a twig… and on and on, it’s a brand riddled with known and unnecessary safety failures.

Musk was willing to let some quality issues slide…. Tesla was building the airplane as Musk was heading down the runway for takeoff.

A new Vanity Fair article details the management culture that caused OceanGate tragedy under sea, but really it is about the absurdity of Elon Musk.

Carbon fiber is great under tension (stretching) but not compression (squeezing), he told me, offering an example: “You can use a rope to pull a car. But try pushing a car with a rope.”

The entire premise of OceanGate was false. Just like the completely backwards Tesla AI “vision” for driverless has always been a fraud.

The Vanity Fair writer calls this an “avoidable inevitable” disaster, which is a disturbing oxymoronic phrase. It sounds like something that should not be set into motion that is set into motion, and kills people.

There is evidence these CEOs want failures, want to see deaths, and do it to prove life doesn’t matter to them (e.g. the way a slave owner used to torture someone to death as a spectacle, or the Edison used to cruelly murder animals in public).

Why? It seems that in America, there is a tendency to overlook clear failures in ensuring safety, all while allowing unchecked experimentation under the guise of anti-regulation, with individuals who lack expertise defending this approach by claiming false certainty about the future.

In 1776, America rejected scientific reasoning, rejected adherence to established rules, and actively resisted safety precautions in its pursuit of creating a new nation for perpetuating slavery, even as the rest of the world was moving towards abolition. This decision was driven by a small group of white men who fancied themselves as pioneers, disruptors, and rule-breakers, and were willing to disregard the value of human life to expand slavery. It is the kind of men highlighted again by this Vanity Fair article.

As the world now knows, Stockton Rush touted himself as a maverick, a disrupter, a breaker of rules. So far out on the visionary curve that, for him, safety regulations were mere suggestions. “If you’re not breaking things, you’re not innovating,” he declared at the 2022 GeekWire Summit. “If you’re operating within a known environment, as most submersible manufacturers do, they don’t break things. To me, the more stuff you’ve broken, the more innovative you’ve been.” In a culture that has adopted the ridiculous mantra “move fast and break things,” that type of arrogance can get a person far. But in the deep ocean, the price of admission is humility — and it’s nonnegotiable…

In December 2015, two years before the Titan was built, Rush had lowered a one third scale model of his 4,000-meter-sub-to-be into a pressure chamber and watched it implode at 4,000 psi, a pressure equivalent to only 2,740 meters. The test’s stated goal was to “validate that the pressure vessel design is capable of withstanding an external pressure of 6,000 psi — corresponding to…a depth of about 4,200 meters.” He might have changed course then, stood back for a moment and reconsidered. But he didn’t. Instead, OceanGate issued a press release stating that the test had been a resounding success because it “demonstrates that the benefits of carbon fiber are real.”

This is the “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters” brag applied to science, as if it’s just a coin-operated popularity contest. Gravity doesn’t bother tinpot dictators who buy media companies to peddle anti-gravity snake-oil. Henry Ford purchased the Dearborn Independent newspaper with the intent of promoting harmful racist ideologies and a callous disregard for human life. This effort succeeded in persuading fervent supporters, including Adolf Hitler, with a web of egregious falsehoods that led to genocide.

In this situation, it’s essential to identify who possesses clear authority to prevent a dangerous plan that rejects science, disregards regulations, and poses a significant threat to human lives. When an individual in America claims that they are merely joking or experimenting, similar to how a toddler might behave, it raises questions about accountability. Such “inevitable but avoidable” plans to cause harm disregard the rights protected by any recognized authority and instead assert the unilateral power to define truth, often arguing that experiments with almost certain fatal outcomes should not be held accountable.

Across the annals of history, a stark and recurring theme emerges: the dramatic elevation of the right to unjustly put people into harms way, frequently accompanied by an unwavering commitment to ignorance (akin to the abusive nativist “Know Nothing” movement), often taking precedence over any fundamental right to life.

When the OceanGate’s marine operations director issued an internal audit (Quality Control Inspection Report) filled with expert risk warnings, the CEO applied huge amounts of bogus legal pressure to kill it.

These included missing bolts and improperly secured batteries, components zip-tied to the outside of the sub. O-ring grooves were machined incorrectly (which could allow water ingress), seals were loose, a highly flammable, petroleum-based material lined the Titan’s interior… Yet even those deficiencies paled in comparison to what Lochridge observed on the hull. The carbon fiber filament was visibly coming apart, riddled with air gaps, delaminations, and Swiss cheese holes — and there was no way to fix that short of tossing the hull in a dumpster…

Rush’s response was to fire Lochridge immediately, serve him and his wife with a lawsuit (although Carole Lochridge didn’t work at OceanGate or even in the submersible industry) for breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation of trade secrets; threaten their immigration status; and seek to have them pay OceanGate’s legal fees.

Excellent reporting from Vanity Fair.

Regrettably, as many are aware, the unfortunate sequence of events that followed involved the CEO taking his own life, along with the lives of his customers, in a tragedy that seemed preventable but sadly unfolded in a cult-like Kool-Aid disaster.

Safety experts, responsible for establishing explicit guidelines and regulations, could only watch in dismay as both OceanGate and Tesla customers ended their lives unnecessarily. Henry Ford surely would be impressed, probably in the same way he allegedly inspired Hitler and contributed to millions of deaths.

American autoworkers and their children in 1941 protest Ford’s relationship with Hitler. Source: Wayne State

The best phrase to describe both OceanGate and Tesla comes from 2018, when Vanity Fair says a science expert was asked for advice on the design:

Do not get in…. He is going to have a major accident.

More like hundreds or more accidents. If the OceanGate CEO hadn’t been killed so early, his death chart likely would have looked like the tragedy of Tesla (which infamously stoked wildly large investments by claiming their unique vision would eliminate all deaths):

Tesla attracted investors by promising it would revolutionize car safety. Immediately the reverse happened as it started killing more people than other brands. Today it is an outlier with its extremely high death tolls; one out of every ten “Autopilot” crashes being fatal. Source:

The USN DSEND: “a one person submarine”

The Navy Times reports a new hard diving suit is under development to better enable long and deep underwater operations.

“With the suit, we can drop the guy down to the bottom, and he can work for up to six hours, and then come right back up,” McMurtrie said. “He gets out of the suit. Next guy jumps in. Boom. He’s back down for another six hours. […] The DSEND system ”is, in essence, a one-person submarine, but form-fitted to the point where the person can operate like a diver,” Chapman told Navy Times.

It reminds me of what Ford said a few years ago, that the automobile is really an augmentation suit.

British Ship Money: 1630s Origins of “Taxation Without Representation”

Where does the popular phrase “no taxation without representation” really come from? John Hampden, who ignited a resistance against the King of England, is arguably the source. The modern belief — a government should not tax its populace unless represented — was developed in the years leading to English Civil War, following Hampden’s very public and political refusal to pay “ship money”.

Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) had reintroduced an uncontroversial and old tax called “ship money” to fund England’s navy during a perceived need of defense. Then, under King Charles I, this tax was revived for very controversial and widely distrusted reasons. Charles aimed to finance expensive attacks and build a large navy, but high-profile military blunders and unpopular decisions led to resistance from Parliament and the public. John Hampden challenged his King’s authority to impose “ship money”, leading to a legal case and explosive discontent. Ultimately, “ship money” was banned in 1641, and the tax became a symbolic breaking point for opposition to unregulated monarchy. The tensions surrounding “ship money” contributed to the outbreak of the English Civil War.

Queen Elizabeth I had used a tax on “maritime places” to provide “ship money” in times of war to fund a navy for defense. The Spanish Armada in 1588, for example, posed a huge challenge forcing her to expand England’s naval defense. Elizabeth also sent ships to attack the Spanish, such as her 1596 raid on Cadiz, but overall the tax fit within an obvious emergency framework.

Either ships had to be leased from a vulnerable seaport or they had to give money so a navy could sail. Elizabeth expanded the request for money to the entire county of a seaport town as matter of defense. And it kind of made sense when you think about it. The crown said they needed ships if they were going to protect a town on the water from destruction.

Fast forward then to King Charles I (1625-1649). His attempt to restart the same tax became his undoing. The reasons behind his decision are intriguing due to their evident flaws.

He had come to power simply as a result of his father James I dying and leaving nobody better to rule. That was the usual monarchical nonsense, but it was accentuated by him throwing the crown’s army and navy at the Thirty Year’s War of religion, a particularly destructive conflict in European history.

Prince Charles in 1624 pressured Parliament to fund a ruthless campaign meant to plunder Spanish ships and towns. Why? Mainly he wanted revenge for his sister “Elizabeth of Bohemia” being pushed out of “Palatinate” by Spain, and also because his hand had been denied by the sister of King Philip IV of Spain. Charles married instead the daughter of French King Henri IV and soon after inherited the throne when his father died.

Charles basically was trying to insist Parliament approve expensive attacks meant to enrich England with stolen Spanish loot, when instead in 1625 he delivered humiliating defeats on sea and land. Cadiz, Spain was such a rout that the new King of England came to decide he would throw the old concept of “ship money” at an ill-conceived offensive campaign of revenge and plunder.

Parliament in the face of the disaster levied objections, resisting funds for any war or large navy projects. By 1628 Charles wasn’t interested in objections and moved to a model where he simply dissolved Parliament.

There were many obvious problems with this “personal rule” initiating a ship tax.

First, the idea that England was in danger was backwards. It had debts from a flexing into an ill-conceived attack on a Spanish port. Even more cynically, Charles drummed up tales of protecting trade routes and defeating piracy, while planning to generate piracy and attack Spanish trade routes.

Second, Charles didn’t really prefer leasing ships at all, saying he was looking for money. Third, perhaps cementing the first and second points above that his idea of “emergency defense” taxation was something very different, by 1635 Charles said he needed every county to pay him “ship money” and not only the maritime ones. Fourth, again cementing the lack of connection to any threat, the “ship money” would not be for a fixed time but instead a permanent national tax recurring annually.

The King wanted more money for more ships, a “naval defense” fund paid by all towns even the inland ones, enforced by a county sheriff. Whereas Queen Elizabeth hadn’t amassed much “ship money”, Charles was en route in the 1630s to generate huge money from it (although not enough to pay for his ambitions). And he wasn’t messing around, claiming he would build a massive navy. If people refused to pay, Sheriffs were ordered to break into homes and seize assets to sell for “ship money”.

Order in Council, reciting that the Recorder, some of the Aldermen, and the Sheriffs of the City, had attended the Board, with an account of their proceedings in levying and collecting the moneys assessed for the setting out of shipping, and had also stated that divers persons not only gave dilatory answers, but refused to make payments, and that, as the King would not suffer such undutiful courses to be practised by any, he had commanded the Sheriffs and Officers of the City to enter the houses of such persons, take their goods in distress, and sell them for satisfying the sums assessed upon them.
Whitehall, 21st February, 1635.

Such for-profit policing sounds like something right out of modern day America, but I digress.

It all came crashing back to reality when, in 1637, a notable politician and tax expert named John Hampden dared to challenge his King in a court case, arguing Parliament could be the only true authority allowed to reinstate “ship money” and only when in a naval emergency.

Had John Hampden wished he could have purchased advancement in the court, but he chose instead to resist Charles I’s arbitrary government. As a result he earned the title, ‘Patriae Pater‘ – the Father of the People.

Charles’ unpopular decision to dissolve Parliament was biting him. He was not effective as a leader asking for the money necessary to run the monarchy and the country, because he refused to accept any obligations or even make a compromise when taking the money.

The King officially countered these accusations with lawyers who argued it takes his kingdom so long to build a ship, his constant taxes were necessary far in advance of any naval emergency, such that even peace time qualified as naval emergency tax time; and also if he called something a naval emergency (e.g. an obvious land war with the Scots) nobody should be allowed to disagree. He was the King, after all (not good at compromise).

His lawyers remind me of Tesla, but I digress.

The King technically won this initial legal challenge, he was the King after all, yet he also foolishly allowed Hampdon’s political proceedings to grow into a campaign. And he didn’t win in a decisive way, with some decisions even going against him. Morale plummeted more, Sheriffs no longer were as brutal to levy the tax, some even gave up trying.

‘I do not care a fart for this warrant’, he declared when the high sheriff’s man pressed him with his authority to collect King Charles’s latest revenue-raiser, Ship Money. With his boot, Napper pointed to a straw lying in the filth-strewn market place. ‘I care no more for the high sheriff [Henry Hodge] and his warrant than for that straw!’

The tax came to represent so much discontent it exploded into a metaphor for everything everyone had ever disliked about an unpopualr Charles I… his newly funded fleets never saw battle, despite their rushed development during a huge continental war. Finally “ship money” was banned by 1641.

Perhaps even more to the point, Charles’ abuse of the public trust came into a phrase that even today opposes the concept of monarchy: “no taxation without representation”.

What happened to Hampden, given he lit the fuse that grew into an abrupt end to the taxation? He became legendary, larger than life. Civil War broke out at the end of 1642 and in June 1643 Colonel John Hampden was mortally wounded by two bullets to his shoulder at the Battle of Chalgrove. His body and grave were kept a secret, to deny the King any sense of victory. This had the effect of expanding him to heroic proportions, someone that everyone for 100s of years would learn about… until the Americans copied him and tried to steal credit.

All food for thought when you realize why British Parliament in the 1700s thought the American colonists should start to pay taxes to cover the cost of local defense.

…the single most important reason for the British government’s unprecedented decision to leave ten thousand troops in North America after the Seven Years’ War was not to guard the colonists against Indian incursions. Just the opposite. It was to protect the Indians from the colonists. […] So it made practical and financial sense to send the bill for the ten thousand troops not to British taxpayers but to the colonists.

When it’s put like that, of course the colonists didn’t want to pay a tax that would help Britain defend Native Americans from the colonists. In that sense the American complaint wasn’t about monarchy or liberty at all, it was purely about rapid profit in deregulated markets for ruthless exploitation. The American colonists were set to go to war to prevent the Native Americans from gaining British representation.