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2023.03.24 05:33 Ninisan I'm really interested in this 2007 accord. KBB is valuing it between 4-6k. Does this offer look safe?

I'm really interested in this 2007 accord. KBB is valuing it between 4-6k. Does this offer look safe? submitted by Ninisan to accord [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:27 stult Why has Ukraine continued to defend Bakhmut despite reports of heavy losses?

I posted this long multi-comment thread on the megathread last Sunday, and several people suggested that I make it its own post, so here goes. Note this post is lightly edited from the original comment to improve readability and preserve some arguments made by another commenter in that thread without me having to do the hard work of editing the whole post to reflect their well-taken counterpoints. For those who read the original, it hasn't changed in any significant way except that one link. This post is largely my own analysis supported by links to a variety of credible sources.
Dr. Sovietlove; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bakhmut
Many people on the daily megathread or on Twitter have been arguing that holding out in Bakhmut has caused enormous and unsustainable Ukrainian losses which will compromise their future offensive potential, and/or that Soviet-style leadership is the only reason the Ukrainians have held on to Bakhmut for so long. Much like during the Battle of Severodonetsk, I think a lot of people are overreacting to events in the Donbas and that the Ukrainians might have a perfectly reasonable strategic justification for continuing to defend Bakhmut. I have a few hypotheses about the situation and put together some analysis and sources to support those conclusions below.
My hypotheses in brief:
  1. Ukraine effectively has two armies, one post-Soviet and one NATO. UAF high commmand has recognized that they have to fight the Russians with an only partially modernized military which includes significant numbers of officers, soldiers, and equipment not suitable for NATO-style warfare. They recognize that you can't "beat a large Soviet army with a small one." They have therefore formulated a strategy to use the post-Soviet and NATO-style units where their particular strengths are most relevant, and are largely resourcing and employing them separately as a result.
  2. The UAF is aggressively applying economy of force principles, which dictate that an army should devote the maximum amount of resources to their primary effort, while allocating the smallest amount possible to any secondary efforts. Thus, the Ukrainians are committing the fewest possible resources to holding the line of contact in the Donbas while reserving as much as possible for their primary effort, which is the coming counteroffensive.
  3. Ukraine along with their allies and soft power proxies such as friendly journalists, whether knowingly or not, have been engaged in a disinformation campaign designed to lure Putin into committing the last of his mobilized reserves to an assault on Bakhmut in the last days of the mud season before the Ukrainian spring counteroffensive.
I'd like to emphasize that these are assessments backed by analysis and facts which you can check yourself below, but are definitely not by any means 100% certain.
Two Armies
The post-Soviet army can be characterized by its leadership, organization, and resources.
These units are generally not going to be as useful for offensives, but are certainly capable of holding a fortified defensive line, albeit likely at dreadfully high cost in some cases. Light infantry are surprisingly resilient to artillery fire when dug in properly, and so are an effective check against the (apparently declining) Russian artillery advantage. ATGMs and mines also make it possible for them to resist all but the most carefully coordinated combined arms assaults, which are a vanishingly rare occurence coming from the RuAF. And these units were relatively cheap to equip and quick to train. So they are well-suited for countering the three primary Russian numerical advantages in artillery, armor, and raw manpower, at least while fighting defensively in prepared positions.
On the other hand, their NATO-style forces are better suited for combined arms maneuver warfare and thus offensives. They emphasize distributed decision making, tactical flexibility, and robust communications between different units and levels of the command. That enables flexible coordination of multiple capabilities on the attack, such that defending against one capability makes defending against the others harder. e.g. suppressing entrenched infantry with artillery while mechanized units traverse open killing ground during an assault in order to bring their tank and IFV guns to bear on those infantry to suppress them after the artillery lets up. Ukraine is in the process of building out or deploying around 20-28 new brigades of this type. I feel a little bad sourcing to a comment from this megathread rather than a credible third-party source, but offogredux puts together truly excellent summaries of the current structure of Ukrainian forces, so why reinvent the wheel? Plus their information matches what I've seen elsewhere, including the less consolidated information available here on militaryland. Notably, some units are being built around smaller veteran battalion- or regiment-sized separate units that are upsized to brigades, while others are entirely new formations, but likely include substantial numbers of veteran leaders at all levels.
Ok, so where is this "NATO" army?
There are reports of extreme deficits of NATO-trained personnel at the front, which are typically presented as a sign of Ukrainian weakness (n.b., see below for more on why to treat any Ukrainian-sourced reports of Ukrainian weakness with a healthy dose of skepticism). Often sources attribute the deficit to high casualty rates among those personnel during the earlier stages of the war. Best estimates are that the Ukrainians have lost around 120k soldiers. They started the war with around 250k personnel, of whom perhaps 20k were US-trained veterans.
Since then, the UK, EU, and US have trained something like an additional 20k+ soldiers (possibly with some overlap with the other 20k, but likely insignificant numbers if so), with plans to expand training for tens of thousands of additional troops over the next year. So even if every single one of the pre-war NATO-trained personnel are casualties, the total number of NATO-trained personnel in the UAF has at worst remained constant, at best it has doubled, and in any case it will only continue to grow as the western training programs ramp up and the Ukrainians disseminate those skills by assigning NATO-trained personnel to their own training centers. (Note: when I first posted this, VigorousElk made an excellent counter-argument to this point here which is worth considering and I didn't want to cut out of the conversation by moving this to a text post. I don't think it undermines the overall thrust of the argument, though.)
However, the overall proportion of NATO-trained personnel in the UAF has almost certainly declined because mobilization has likely increased the total size of their forces by more than a factor of two, so the overall proprtion declined even if the total number of NATO-trained soldiers actually did double (which is very, very doubtful and the 40k number should be treated as an extremely loose upper bound). That proportion is probably even lower on the front lines if the UAF have allocated those soldiers to new unit formation and units held in reserve for the upcoming offensive. So even if the Ukrainians haven't experienced particularly high casualty rates among such soldiers, we should expect to see far fewer of them on the lines right now. Meaning we can't infer the execess casualty rate from the composition of front line units, as many commentators have, nor do we need a particularly high casualty rate to explain why there are so few of them at the front. Just the formation of so many new brigades must have sucked up all of the available experienced junior officers and NCOs, especially if the UAF are trying to concentrate NATO-trained personnel into specific units. Again that doesn't mean they haven't experienced high casualties, just that the issue probably isn't as bad as some of these articles have made out.
I suspect some of the authors of these articles have taken that position because of selection bias, e.g., Franz-Stefan Gad, who visited the front near Bakhmut with Michael Kofman recently. If you are only visiting the units that are intentionally being staffed with fewer NATO-trained personnel, you shouldn't be surprised to see fewer NATO-trained personnel. Their absence doesn't indicate permanent backsliding across the entire UAF, demonstrate the incompetence of the Ukrainians, nor prove that the Ukrainians have suffered anything near 100% casualties among their NATO-trained NCOs. Instead, it just reflects the relative prioritization of scarce resources by UAF command. In a recent War on the Rocks podcast episode, Kofman specifically pointed out that his visit (and by extension his companions' visits) did not involve any kind of general or systematic survey of the Ukrainian forces, and so any conclusions based on his observations should not be taken to be totally representative of what is happening across the entire UAF right now.
Cool. Where are the "Soviet" units then?
It helps to put yourself in Zaluzhny's shoes here. You have two big chunks of your armed forces that operate in very different ways and which are suitable for very different tasks. You are finding it difficult to encourage the newly mobilized senior officers to let go of their Soviet habits, but you also need them because there is no one else who is immediately prepared to lead newly mobilized formations. So you make the obvious, logical decision to use the Soviet-style mobilized commanders how and where you can best make use of them, while hopefully keeping their habits contained and isolated from your more professional units. The best place for those commanders in this war is probably on the defensive in the trenches, where rapid decision-making around complex maneuvers is less often necessary, light infantry can be effective at attriting enemy armored and maneuver forces, individual soldiers don't need as much training to be effective, combined arms operations are less frequent and more easily choreographed, the risk of catastrophic failure is less, and logistics are dramatically simpler than for an offensive force on the move with many vehicles requiring ammo, fuel, and maintenance.
The allocation of armored assets supports this conclusion. Per Oryx, Ukraine has received almost exactly the same number of Soviet-derived tanks from their western partners as they have lost so far in this war (488+ donated Soviet-variant tanks versus around 477 lost). Plus captured Russian equipment, they almost certainly have more armor available now than they did at the beginning of the war, not even taking into account the impending introduction of western tanks. Yet there are reports from the front lines that armor is relatively scarce and lightly used. It seems the UAF have combined multiple brigades into ad hoc corps or divisions along stretches of the line of contact (what Jomini calls a "defensive grouping") to fill in the gap left by the absence of real formations above brigade size in the Ukrainian ground forces TOE.
That grouping often consists of several lighter brigades holding the front line backed by a smaller number of more professionalized and/or heavily armored mech or armor brigades as the reserve. e.g., the UAF defensive grouping around Bakhmut in February, which consisted of two mech brigades backing two TDF brigades, one airmobile brigade, and one marine brigade, all equipped exclusively with Soviet-derived armor and IFVs, along with limited quantities of older western IMVs and APCs like the M113. So light infantry in the trenches, with armor in the rear to plug holes or provide indirect fire support. This approach allows the UAF to allocate the fewest number of regular mechanized and armored army units to the front, freeing up capacity for re-equiping and training for an offensive. It also puts the least amount of strain on their tank and IFV supplies, by making heaviest use of their soon-to-be legacy vehicles, which are also conveniently the ones more Soviet-minded commanders are most familiar with. Hence the relative dearth of armor at the front, even though we should expect more tanks and IFVs than were available at the beginning of the war. The reduced armor commitment comes at the expense of the light infantry in the trenches, who absorb Russian attacks without the benefit of enough tank or IFV support. Further evidence for the idea that lighter forces reliant more on IMVs/APCs form the bulk of forces around Bakhmut includes the UAF charging Russian lines riding M113s in the vicinty of Bakhmut literally yesterday. Which feels a bit like the modern equivalent to the apocryphal story about Polish cavalry charging tanks during WW2, but I guess they have to make do with the tools available.
Does the presence of Soviet-influenced commanders at the front indicate that the decision to hold Bakhmut was made by such officers blindly applying Soviet doctrine? I would argue probably not. Syrsky and Zaluzhny have long-established reputations as very much not that sort of officer, and both have reviewed and approved the decision to hold in Bakhmut. More importantly, and without relying on an appeal to their authority, there are sufficient strategic and operational justifications to continue the defense there, even if it is on less favorable terms than other defensive efforts across the front. Specifically, attriting Russian reserves to reduce their resistance to an offensive, much like what happened in Kharkiv last August.
If attriting Russian reserves is the goal, how can these conscript-heavy formations with Soviet-style leadership best do so?
Right now, Russia only has a single division held in reserve. That would be the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division, elements of which have likely been committed to combat already. This reserve exists to exploit any breakthroughs achieved by assaults on the Ukrainian defenses and to plug any holes in the Russian lines resulting from UAF attacks. If the reserve is depleted before the Ukrainian counter-offensive, the UAF will be able to achieve much more progress much more quickly. Once they breach the Russian lines, there is nothing to stop a penetration into operational depths. Even though the Russians have fortified extensive fallback positions on secondary lines throughout occupied Ukraine, they need reserves to hold those lines if the front lines are penetrated and the Russian units there are unable to withdraw to secondary positions in good order. Withdrawal under fire is a challenging task and one for which only the VDV has demonstrated any capacity on the Russian side. There is also no new wave of Russian mobilization yet to provide any further reserves any time in the near future. Thus, the more Russian reserves the UAF can burn through now, the better their chances on the offensive will be.
There's been a lot of talk about the loss ratio between the belligerents and how that ratio makes a retreat from Bakhmut likely necessary, but ultimately the loss ratio matters less than absolute numbers of Russian reserves attrited. Because the Russians are nearly out of reserves, a UAF attrition strategy may tip them into a full-on rout. If the Ukrainian leaders knew objectively they needed to inflict 1000 more casualties on the Russians to achieve victory, it would be worth losing many times as many Ukrainian soldiers to inflict those casualties. Achieving victory is often worth accepting unfavorable loss ratios, otherwise no one would ever go on the offensive. In any case, the friendly-to-enemy casualty ratios are still almost certainly in Ukraine's favor simply because they are defending, and there have been no serious reports at all that suggest any departure from that norm. So we aren't even talking about the Ukrainians suffering an unfavorable loss ratio at all, just a slightly less favorable one when compared to real ratios from different areas of the front or when compared to hypothesized loss ratios at proposed fallback defensive positions. Rob Lee and DefMon thus both make variations of the same error. They failed to compare the loss ratios around Bakhmut to the expected loss ratios for the offensive, because ultimately the Ukrainians face a choice between attriting the Russian reserves around Bakhmut now, or when they are on the offensive.
Why don't the Ukrainians retreat and get an even more favorable ratio in a better position?
First, because the Russian offensive will culminate in Bakhmut (or it already has) and the RuAF will likely enter an operational pause because of depleted offensive power. That pause will likely last longer than the Ukrainians plan to wait for their counterattack. Basically, only the possibility of victory in Bakhmut can induce the Russians to continue wasting their soldiers lives so recklessly before the spring. Second, because the current loss ratios are pretty well understood and relatively predictable, which is not necessarily true if they retreat. Retreating under fire is challenging even for elite units, and results are naturally unpredictable. Assessing the hypothetical defensibility of any fallback positions is also challenging, especially with sufficient accuracy to be able to meaningfully predict what kind of loss ratio improvements you might gain from repositioning. Third--and this reason is entirely hypothetical--it is possible that the Ukrainians have sufficient intelligence about Russian reserves to know exactly how long they need to hold out, and so perceive the hopefully quite proximate end to a battle that appears to us as outsiders as a limitless meatgrinder that will continue to waste Ukrainian lives indefinitely into the far future. Essentially, they know the price they are paying and what they are getting for it more precisely than we do.
In contrast, on the offensive, the UAF will likely experience a loss ratio that favors the Russians, even if the offensive is generally successful. The exchange in Bakhmut will be particularly favorable if they are able to trade less well-trained conscript formations for the few remaining high quality Russian formations such as Wagner's assault units and the remnants of the VDV. Notably the VDV played a critical role in holding the line in Kherson and delaying the UAF's offensive there until the successful Russian withdrawal across the Dnipro, and it seems reasonable that the Ukrainians don't want to see a repeat delay that may buy time for subsequent waves of Russian force generation. Bottom line, the Ukrainians need to fight these Russian reserves no matter what, and it will nearly always be more favorable to fight them on the defensive than offensive. The challenge with fighting them on the defensive is that the Russians need to agree to go on the offensive first, which means the Ukrainians need to fool the Russians into thinking an attack benefits their strategic objectives. Blessedly, the "we are lucky they are so fucking stupid" guy continues to be the reigning champ of summarizing this war in a single laconic sentence and the Russians have been willing to oblige the Ukrainians with attacks all throughout the mud season.
But by "fool the Russians", I really mean fool Putin. He is micromanaging the war, even dictating decisions at the level of colonels or brigadiers such as when to commit reserves, and that likely includes the much more momentous decision to commit the very last of their available combat reserves. He has repeatedly pushed the RuAF to make objectively poor military decisions for political purposes, and he does not receive reliable information, because he has reduced his circle of confidants to only a couple of advisors who largely tell him what he wants to hear and he does little to gather his own independent information.
Putin is also a classic bully in the distinctive style of the KGB, as Yale professor of history Timothy Snyder describes in an interview here. Their method is always to look for an opponent's weaknesses, and then to ruthlessly expand and exploit those weaknesses. Probably worth mentioning that Timothy Snyder has met with and advised Zelensky directly, so his views aren't just an academic theory, they reflect and influence the views of the actual Ukrainian decisionmakers. Those decisionmakers clearly understand that Putin's instinct is to attack weakness with maximum force, and therefore carefully shape perceptions of Ukrainian weakness to mislead Putin into attacking the wrong targets. I mean, it's pretty widely accepted that the Ukrainains signal weakness intentionally when trying to attract western support, so why should it be surprising that they apply the same techniques to deceiving Putin?
And that is also another reason why the Ukrainians can't just throw their best troops into the battle. If there were no weakness around Bakhmut, the Russians would simply stop attacking with those critically valuable remaining high quality VDV formations.
What weaknesses should the Ukrainians use to mislead Putin?
Putin is not an idiot, so the UAF can't simply invent weaknesses out of thin air. Instead, they have to find ways to exaggerate some real weaknesses while downplaying others. In this case, I think they are combining their very real Soviet-hangover leadership weakness with their related difficulties around conscription to lure the Russians into attacking Bakhmut under unfavorable conditions. Specifically, I am referring to the stories around conscription problems which imply manpower deficits across the board for the UAF and stories suggesting the defense of Bakhmut will compromise future UAF counteroffensives. Playing up those particular weaknesses presents an ideal picture to appeal to Putin's prejudices and his desperation for a politically palatable conclusion to the hostilities. If you blame Soviet-style leadership, it makes the Ukrainians look dumb and incompetent for not retreating, and suggests they remain saddled by the same legacy that has so limited Russian military capabilities during this war, which plays to Putin's belief in Russian superiority. It also suggests to Putin that not only can he achieve the minimally viable political victory he so desperately needs by taking Bakhmut, he can also compromise the Ukrainian ability to conduct future counteroffensives with the very same blow, opening the way for a negotiated settlement that freezes the current lines (plus/minus changes around Bakhmut). It's really the best remaining even theoretically conceivable outcome for Putin, and many of the recent stories and leaks from Ukrainian-aligned media seem perfectly crafted to suggest continuing to attack Bakhmut could very well achieve that outcome. Suspiciously perfect, I would argue.
There have been few reports of widespread difficulty around draft dodging in Ukraine until quite recently, well into the battle for Bakhmut, when suddenly a flood of stories appeared in the media about people avoiding conscription and Ukrainian officials aggressively conscripting people against their will, e.g. from the Economist and Newsweek. Which struck me as odd, considering that the Ukrainians have more than a million reservists and earlier in the war had far more volunteers than capacity to train them for at least the first six months of the war. Even as recently as December, Zaluzhny said that the UAF does not have manpower issues so much as a need for armor and munitions. So where are the volunteers, why are the units around Bakhmut being reinforced with untrained conscripts, and why all the news stories about aggressive conscription? My hypothesis is that the volunteers are funneled into the more NATO-style units, most of which are currently in reserve or training behind the lines, while the Soviet-influenced commanders are given conscripts (at least as a preference if not as a hard rule) and are burning through them faster than other units, mostly in the Donbas meat grinders around Avdiivka and Bakhmut. The prioritization of allocating volunteers to the more NATO-oriented units makes a lot of sense in that context. Mission command requires motivation and self-direction, which you are more likely to find in volunteers. Conscripts can perform at wildly varying levels, and generally can't be relied on as much to take initiative, and so are a better fit for the top-down Soviet command style. This preference or bias could also come about naturally because of self-sorting, as more Soviet-style commanders may be more willing to take on reluctant conscripts than more NATO-oriented leaders, and older officers steeped in Soviet doctrine will have more relevant experience for leading formations with older Soviet kit.
If that's how recruits are being allocated, it explains some of the resistance to conscription, because conscripts are disproportionately funneled straight into the meat grinder by default. For example, the story that has made the rounds of a soldier who received only five days of training before being deployed to Bakhmut. That soldier's experience doesn't mean the regular army volunteer units are having difficulty filling out their TOE or training their soldiers, just that some of the units most reliant on conscripts are. Notably his formation was the 101st Brigade for the Protection of the General Staff, which may be just about the most irregular unit in the entire UAF command structure, outside whatever chaos-demon worship seems to be happening over in the Ministry of Interior. The 101st is actually directly part of the General Staff, rather than assigned to an operational command, unlike every single other combat unit in the regular army.
So I don't know that his experience can be considered particularly representative, although it very well might be for conscripts with the bad luck of ending up in a Soviet-style unit that also happens to be committed to intense combat operations. But that's not all the units by a long shot. It's likely that for every soldier like that around Bakhmut, there are multiple comparable conscripts assigned to relatively quiet or less intense AOs where they are given the opportunity to learn some basic military skills on the job from the more senior members of their unit. So this would actually be a good way to increase their training pipeline, if somehow they could both predict where attacks would come with 100% certainty to avoid allocating untrained conscripts there and yet still somehow need to maintain high force density throughout the front, which seem like mutually contradictory propositions. It's a morally questionable but potentially effective technique for growing the training pipeline if they allocate excess untrained conscripts evenly across the front without regard to the risk that they will be thrown into combat unprepared, which this story seems to suggest may be their practice. It would also be an excellent way to make use of excess conscripts who were recruited primarily to mislead Russia about the level of manpower issues the UAF are experiencing, too.
This strategy of allocating resources across units suggests losses around Bakhmut won't compromise any offensive, because the offensive units are drawing on entirely different recruitment streams, training resources, and equipment types than the defensive units are. The conscript-heavy formations on the frontline at this very moment are serving to absorb Russian attacks and burn through Russian reserves while the more professional units prepare for an offensive that has the potential to be decisive. If it seems unfair to give worse equipment to the people doing the harder fighting right now, just remember economy of force. Bakhmut is secondary to the offensive. In the longer term, the recruitment challenges won't matter as much once the current Russian reserves are exhausted because the meat grinder will be over, and the UAF will no longer need to feed it. By the time Russia can generate any further forces for their own offensives, the Ukrainians will be over the hump in terms of adopting western tanks, IFVs, and combined arms doctrine and will have slack to retrain the units currently holding the lines to meet the same standards.
But what about the spring offensive?
The only contrary evidence to that assessment are reports, usually sourced from anonymous US or NATO defense officials, that western officials are telling the UAF that defending Bakhmut may compromise their ability to conduct a spring counteroffensive. Which really makes no sense at all to me, based on what formations and equipment types are allocated to Bakhmut. The reports are anonymous and lack any supporting detail beyond the basic claim. As I described above, the units around Bakhmut aren't the kinds of units the Ukrainians are likely to use on an offensive in the near future. I therefore tend to dismiss those anonymous reports as leaks intended to spread disinformation, and in particular to invite the Russians to feel confident in committing their reserves to an attack on Bakhmut.
The Russians (and more to the point Putin) may conclude that it's worth burning through their reserves if doing so compromises the Ukrainian ability to counterattack, and these leaks seem suspiciously well designed to invite that conclusion. If the leaked reports about compromising the offensive were true, they probably would not have been leaked at all, because they reveal an actual Ukrainian weakness in a manner which does nothing to protect that weakness. Contrast that scenario to leaks about the dire need for more long range artillery from about a year ago. Russia could absolutely figure out that the Ukrainians needed better long range fires on its own, so the leaks didn't risk revealing new information, yet did actively invite a solution in the form of western donations. Whereas the leak about Bakhmut (if true) just airs Ukrainian dirty laundry, with no real hope of changing the Ukrainian decision or bringing in additional western support. Meaning, it would be a disloyal leak, of which we have not seen many if any from the US/NATO side during this war (potentially not including the general jockeying between the allies for position around major weapons contributions like tanks). Basically the leak was like saying, "Oh no, Putin, whatever you do please don't attack Bakhmut, anywhere but there!" Something tells me the Ukrainians aren't inclined to give Putin good advice about how to hurt them.
Playing the conscription issues up in the media only serves to draw Russian attention to that weakness, too. So why are the Ukrainians permitting these stories to leak, or at least not taking any measures to limit their impact on the information space? One such story was about a man with no hands being denied an exemption from conscription, despite having been classified officially as permanently disabled for his entire life. It is an insane and ridiculous story of bureaucratic incompetence, which if true I would have expected the Ukrainians to suppress during war time because it makes them look so incompetent (again, note how the whiff of corruption and incompetence appeals to Putin's preconceived notions about Ukrainians) and because it was limited enough in scope that it could have been kept away from western reporters (unlike something as pervasive as widespread resistance to conscription). Instead the story was almost actively promoted by UAF-friendly sources like the Economist, which I believe broke the story originally. The Economist is quite explicitly pro-Ukrainian and is also cozy enough with the Ukrainian leadership to have gotten exclusive in-depth interviews with Zelensky, Zaluzhny, Budanov, Syrsky, and others, some of which I even linked as sources above. So it is out of character for them to publish such a lurid anecdote of Ukrainian incompetence.
On the other hand, if the Ukrainians wanted to convince the Russians that they are having manpower issues, one of the easiest ways to do so would be to send out their recruiters and encourage them to employ excessive aggression. Then to leak, plant, falsify, or simply permit publication of stories about the absurd lengths those officials are going to conscript new troops. The Russians would then pick up on the stories and possibly inaccurately infer manpower deficits. Even if the Russian intelligence agencies interpret the stories differently, Putin is more likely to disregard them and rely on media reports than he would have been in past years, before the FSB's incredibly inaccurate pre-war assessments of Ukraine contributed to his decision to invade. It would not surprise me at all to learn that Putin regularly reviews Russia-related press clippings from the Economist to understand how critical issues are being presented in the western media, even if only as part of a larger security or political briefing packet. In fact it would surprise me if he doesn't review at least a sampling of stories from western media, likely heavily biased toward traditional print media with wide influence like the Economist. Which makes it a viable channel for shaping Putin's perceptions, and the man without hands seems like the perfect attention grabbing detail to make sure he sees that particular story.
So basically, propaganda cuts both ways. We are operating in an information space that is quite intentionally shaped by Ukraine, and so should be careful in our conclusions about what is happening beneath the fog of war. Although, I would suggest that it's probably a good starting assumption that the Ukrainian leaders have not become suddenly much less intelligent or less capable than they have been over the last year of this war. Which isn't to say they are perfect, or that we won't see them lose their edge over time. Just that a sudden, rapid, simultaneous decline in Zaluzhny's, Zelensky's, Syrsky's, Budanov's, and the rest of the Ukrainian leadership's intelligence, judgment, and ability would be extremely unlikely. Especially if that decline persisted for a long time, as the decision to hold Bakhmut has, with ample opportunity for correction based on the widespread alarm about UAF losses.
submitted by stult to CredibleDefense [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:25 MidniteMarauder13 2013 Audi RS5 18k miles

Dealer does not realize you do not adding cost of upgrades to the car, those are lost (I'm a modder so I know). What would you offer for this? KBB says 40K max on private sale. May go for this but looking for opinions. Thanks!
I. Body - Sepang blue (most sought after color) - OEM Euro headlights from Germany (no orange sidelight) - Maxton design front/side splitterear canard - Balance It Tuning rear carbon fiber diffuser - Balance It Tuning rear carbon fiber Spoiler - Revozport vented carbon fiber hood - Wheels/Tires/Brakes - Volk Rays Forged G25 Edge 20x10.5 ET23 - Continental Extreme Contact DSW Oplus tires. - Installed at perfection tire less than a year ago. - Rotora BBK 8 piston FR 6 piston RR (Custom - Powder coated Porsche lime green) - Suspension (Air suspension) - Airlift 3H - (Endo CVT tank) with Viar 444c compressor - Eurocode FRR sway bars - Eurocode FRR adjustable end links - Eurocode Alu Kreuz Drivetrain brace - Canyon Run CR-15 Front strut tower brace
II. Performance - Eventuri carbon fiber intake - AWE track extreme exhaust (includes downpipes) - Custom Carbon fiber steering wheel(Flat bottom) - All OEM buttons work with upgraded steering wheel - Carbon fiber Audi R8 shift paddles - R8 start button - R8 oil and coolant caps - ECS transmission mount bushing - Antigravity lithium battery 15lbs vs. OEM 53lbs - JL Audio 10 inch sub upgrade with the special mat installed to get rid of the annoying vibration(even with the crappy stock sub) the sub upgrade is the only thing the B&O sound system needed. - Upgraded weather tech mats including the trunk Technology package (navigation, Bang and Olefson sound system, voice commands)
submitted by MidniteMarauder13 to Audi [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:02 billistenderchicken Control is fun, but I think I'm done with it.

So I just finished up Control, and I thought it was pretty fun. I went into it fairly blind and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Telekinesis was insanely fun, combined with levitate make for some great combat along with the other movement abilities.
The gunplay I thought was also very fun, with a lot of ways to shoot people. You effectively had a lot of different weapon types, and ways to transform those weapon types.
I came into this game expecting mediocre combat and a good story, but it came to be the opposite. The combat intrigued me the most, while the story was just serviceable for me. I also thought the gameplay loop of killing stuff, collecting stuff, crafting, upgrading your abilities, was very solid and had a nice flow.
Regarding the story: I enjoyed the mystery of the Bureau. I enjoyed reading everything I could get my hands on. Then suddenly right past half way through the game, I found the lore to be pretty exhausting. Honestly most of the lore in this game is:
It was charming at first but then after a while I just didn't care for it at all.
Characters have a slight personality but are basically just quest givers.
We are never given a reason to care about Jessie, or her brother, or anyone, and as I result I felt pretty cold about the world. Everything just felt like merri-go-round of vagueness and by the end of the game I was just exhausted of it. I didn't want the game to necessarily have all the answers for me, it is cosmic horror after all, but I wish the game just came down to reality a little bit instead of meandering into complete lunacy and hallucinations.
Solid 7/10 for me. The atmosphere, gunplay, abilities, were all very fun but slightly repetitive. Story was fine but I never really found it intriguing enough to care much about it. I will probably skip the DLC even though I've heard it was fun. I can understand why this game sort of got overlooked, it's a fairly solid game but ironically it's not really mind blowing in any particular way.
submitted by billistenderchicken to patientgamers [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 02:11 Doombawkz Tier list (with some comprehensive information)

Tier list (with some comprehensive information)
Hello! It's a pleasure to see and meet you all!
Below is a tier list, as you can see! I'd like to go through and explain my thoughts, but for the sake of the tl;dr: This is obviously an opinion piece derived from feedback and experience, so don't take this as gospel. I encourage open and civil discussion on things you agree or don't agree with. Characters are not ordered within their tiers, unless otherwise stated consider most of them to be generally on even ground. Most of the commentary will be below, but just to give a quick breakdown of what each tier is gauged on:

Dan tier - Dan is the man. This tier is not debatable, unless they add another Dan, then... maybe.
S tier - These are characters who, by and large, allow you to punch furthest above your weight class. Their existence increases your chances of success, and even if it breaks affinity advantage they're worthwhile to bring into a fight. Progression-necessities.
A tier - Strong characters whom either have an impactful and relevant niche, provide immense value in a PvP or PvE setting, or provide some highly coveted value that warrants their placement above others in their affinity. In general, these are safe picks you can easily justify placing into a composition.
B tier - Good characters who provide some form of interesting value, but are held back either by bugs or the existence of a more optimal option for their given role. That isn't to say you can't slot them, but you should consider these to be closer to "problem solvers" than characters that you'd bring to just any fight. Not bad by any means, all can be slotted and perform, but won't earn a spot over an A tier unless they're there for a very specific function.
C tier - Characters who have some form of value, but that value is overshadowed by their higher tiered counterparts. Functionally, these characters can provide one interesting aspect of their kit, but unlike the B tiers, those facets rarely operate as a complete means of negating an issue or as an enabler for a viable composition set. You can build around them and they'll work fine, but they're characters you *need to build around* to get the most value out of. Fine for punching laterally or down, but not great for punching up.
D tier - Characters who have a niche that just isn't going to warrant the investment into the team given other options on offer. You can slot them, but doing so over an option above them is typically going to be a suboptimal move. Usable, but at the end of the day, you'll usually be better off not.
Food tier - Delicious treats for your characters. Some B tier folks do have general usage, but the ones in here can be safely converted into upgrade fodder.
Unreleased Tier - What it says on the tin. When the characters release and data is available, they may be integrated in. Note fashion characters aren't on the list on account of not being a placable frame, but Fashion Sakura is in B tier and Fashion Blanka is probably in A. Charming Dudley is listed in B tier despite not being shown here.
Now for the long part-
Dan Tier
- Dan
Dan deserves it. Trust me.

S tier
- M. Bison
M. Bison is infamous for his ability to operate as an infinite health sponge, allowing you to utilize him as the ultimate in tanking technology. Paired with that health is a surprisingly large reservoir of damage output between his fighting spirit bonus and car bonus. Debatably the best character in the game (aside from Dan) as of this lists creation.

- Beast Zangief
The fastest character around in a game where the first hit meter bonus is huge, a decent healthpool, and an AoE stun that can let you gut the opponent damage by denying them combos and supers. Add in a good car bonus and a strong response to control, and you have a character who can let you punch far above your usual abilities. A strong all around character to consider, and a strong support as well.

- Rose
Debatably the strongest healer in the game, with access to strong debuff and buff effects in the form of silence and the tarot. While not as impactful as the likes of B. Gief and Bison in terms of raw cheese potential, her late game power cannot be denied. An easy slot into any team, especially with her master bonus allowing you to complete your affinity bonuses.

A tier
- MH Ken
The newest character on the scene as of this writing, MH Ken is undeniably the highest DPS in the game. His attacks come out for free, allowing you to craft your combo structure around him, and his DoT effect is hefty when paired with his car bonus and fighting spirit, causing an auto-fail for the opponent and a myriad of debuffs to go with it. Arguably you could put him into S or A, his large health pool makes him a sturdy option to turn to, but his lack of utility outside of raw damage and curse leaves some wanting. Consider him the A+ of the tier.

- Abel
While he may come off as underwhelming at first, an immunity shield can't be overstated as an incredibly strong mechanic to have access to. The ability to outright deny certain hits from the opponent can itself become a win condition, and his assist bonus is also strong as back-up. Pair into this his ability to stun and pass shields around and you have a character who can enable a team to become far more durable than it has any right to be.

- Adon
Adon is a reasonably strong character with an unreasonably strong mechanic: Hatred Mark. Thanks to his fighting spirit, this mark allows your entire team to crit harder and deal more damage to marked targets, which can allow you to quickly dismantle enemies who fall even slightly out of position. Of course a single passive does not a character make, and Adon has access to more value from his car bonus. Grave Injury, when applied to an opponent, will not only reduce their attack by a percentage, but also cause them to take true damage in retaliation whenever they attack with a super or combo. This can lend Adon a bit more use as a debuffer or support which is great when paired with his great damage output. As a final note, his Thousand Jaguars (combo 1) lasts a while, meaning you have a slightly larger window to time your follow-up in regards to your opponent.

- Zangief
Huge health, fantastic passive with percentage damage reduction to flame, thunder, and soul damage (which is very practical given the usual meta teams), an absolutely absurd Car 6 bonus to shut down passives along with giving him free healing while armored every 16 hits (and some characters hit a lot), taunt just removing a chunk of the opponents crit and effect accuracy, access to stun, access to true damage, access to super armor and the ability to give it to others, the character brings a ton to the table. His main downfall is that Bison exists.

- Chun Li
Fast, high damage, huge battery building potential, grants allies speed, debuffs the enemy with damage resist down, she's the ideal offensive character to pack into a wind-affinity composition. Her pairing with B. Gief (and his ability to give damage reduction back from the bonus speed) is fantastic, her pairing with MH Ken is great for more combo opportunities, there's really no one she doesn't provide a benefit for in some way.

- Dhalsim
While his combo 1 and car bonus leave a lot to be desired, no one can question the sheer output and magnitude of his combo 3 and his super. Burn debuff (and his ability to build up his own damage through tower), gigantic reach, short activation window allowing for combo weaving easily, all packed into a ranged backliner who can adjust position via super trigger to dodge certain attacks (like Viper Seismic). Probably the single strongest fire character in the game, at least in terms of raw damage. Outside of MH Ken's free swings, his AoE DPS is almost peerless.

- E. Honda
Good bulky body, a fantastic car bonus and spirit bonus, soft enrage mode at low health, percentage damage negation for his team via sharing buff, and "the wall". The character is a bulky powerhouse who, much like Zangief, is solely hurt by the existence of Bison as an option. Debatably the best non-bison tank in the game, one should never underestimate the capability of this character to hang on by a thread and keep coming back for more, or the ability for his combo 3 wall to completely decimate certain compositions.

- Elena
Outside of Rose, far and away the best healer on offer. Good buffs for offense or defense, and a very impactful fighter spirit providing constant buffs to speed and attack while also healing her allies. Her car bonus allows you to start with a nice defense boost and meter advantage, and paired with fast chant can allow you to circumvent first hit bonus in some content. The only thing keeping her out of S tier is that Rose exists and just does it better overall thanks to tarot, but like Ken this could be considered an A+ character.

- Juri
Big damage, fantastic effects in defense ignoring and the clutch potential of her 3. Automatic engine activation is massive, her only real issue is she is made of paper and her range is typically limited to the first 2 in line. If she were a bit more sturdy I feel like she would be an easy S, but her tendency to die to heavy collateral damage and Bison existing as a front man to soak the hit I feel bring her down slightly in viability. Like Elena and Ken, you can consider her an A+ since beyond those small issues, her damage and effects can more than carry the weight.

- C. Viper
The backrow slayer, her ability to snipe people out behind bison easily gives her a lot of leeway in terms of ranking, but she takes it a step further with a super powerful car 6 effect and her massive combo 3. Her ability to apply the ever-useful shock and burn debuffs are very handy, and she even has a big potential strike in the form of Detonation on her combo 2. All in all, an offensive and targeted response to backline can absolutely cook any team who relies heavily on their frontline.

- Gen
In spite of needing a doctorate to understand his effects and a bug that is preventing his clone from acting properly, Gen is still a massive threat with access to strong damage and interrupt effects. His master affinity lets you maximize your bonuses, and the existence of his clone can sometimes cause targeting issues for certain enemy attacks. His value might not be apparent upfront, but after usage, you'll quickly find that he is a threat even with some of his kit being non-functional. If we assume his clone works properly, it wouldn't be hard to imagine an S tier argument for him, but for now he's in A.

B tier

- Blanka
A reasonably tanky individual with access to some of the better combo options in his 1 and 2, and the clumping potential in his super is a very powerful tool to have. His output can be high, his biggest issue is that he needs to maintain electrified to keep that output. This isn't per se difficult, but does cause his kit to become a bit one-dimensional. He just lacks the consistency and sheer power of those in the tier above him.

- Cammy
Cammy is a character defined by her damage, and in this regard she's one of the best. Spin knuckle displacement can allow you to hit a bit combo 3 on a mid-line character, she's reasonably fast, her bonus attacks can be devastating, she just lacks anything else. If you need raw power, she's a fine choice, but then so are a lot of characters. In this way, she falls short to the meter building power of Chun Li or the backline sniping C. Viper.

- Cody
But isn't Cody a B-grade unit? Yes, but he has access to one of the most cheese-creating features in the game: A free super. At that, the super is really good: Targets beyond backline, displaces the target, can stun and interrupt, and the cost (minus combo damage for 6 seconds) is easily worked around by just slow-rolling your supers. Mind you, he's only good insofar as your ability to win a fight with only 3 characters, but given some of the absurd output the A and S tiers have, that's not a hard bar to fill when you're chaining together 2-3 super combo chains in a row.

- Decapre
Strong execute damage, a great assist bonus, and her guardian mark can make soul damage teams pop like no other. Her biggest issue is that for her to maximize her potential, you really have to build with her in mind, but when you do she's almost second to none in terms of what she can enable. Paired with the likes of MH Ken and Bison, Guardian Mark and her execute effects can really make the team feel like a proper burst and drop comp. Beyond that, she's pretty good but not someone you can bring to any team.

- Dee Jay
Late game with the right assist, Dee Jay can be an absolute wall of a unit, soaking hits and dishing out stuns like a madman, but therein lies his issue: To utilize him to his maximum potential, he does need you to invest the support space for him to use. This can create some teambuilding issues where your support might've been better served elsewhere, and as such, Dee Jay might not find a spot on a team where you don't have that support to spare. That being said, if you can spare the support and put someone like Abel in his corner, Dee Jay can become a tank that can rival the likes of Honda and Gief.

- Guile
Strong AoE damage, good damage penetration through Saber, a super strong combo 3 and access to armor break are the defining factors of Guile. His main issue comes in the form of his combo 3 having a limited reach that you need to build around (and generally doing less than a lot of other characters combo 3s), and that outside of armor break he really doesn't provide much else for his team. Even with the benefit of his fighting spirit adding a ton of juice to his combo 3, he still comes out a bit lacking compared to the likes of Sim, Ken, Viper, or Juri.

- Hugo
Mr. Potato is a huge wall of health and regeneration, and to his credit, with the right build around he becomes a real menace to break down, but on his own he's just an average tank with some reasonably high niche potential in healing comps. Much like Dee Jay, with the right support in tow he becomes a lot harder to bring down, but that in itself creates issues. You could find worse tanks, but not many.

- Mad Ryu
Sacrilege, but I feel due to his current bugs and almost non-existent fighter spirit effects (sans his assist), he's nowhere near as potent as he used to be. Don't get me wrong, his damage is still absolutely absurd, easily the highest in this tier and competing with some of the best in the next, but his health burning (from max hp instead of current) and the shield seeming to amplify his damage taken hold him back a lot. Without heal support, he burns himself out quickly and falls to collateral damage easily. If fixed, he would probably be an easy A tier character, but until then...

- Makoto
A decently strong tank with good grouping abilities, a great passive in Qi focus, and the rare ability to get a guaranteed stun (albeit on a gate). All things considered, she's a character that you could argue is above anyone else in B tier, but the matter is "Is she as good as the tanks in A tier". I feel like defense bonuses are a lot weaker end game than flat percentage damage reduction, grouping isn't uncommon with the likes of B gief around, and while her stun is nice it's something gated on a low percentage chance to stack to get to the point where she might be able to snag the front and mid (and the animation stun doesn't come out until the end, much harder to utilize for interruptions than B Giefs spin). You can consider her B+ easily, I just don't see her on the level of shutting down passives or projectiles.

- Poison
Good access to debuffs in the form of shock and silence, decent damage, and an interesting passive effect enhancing her abilities against enemies based on gender. She's an all around solid pick, though if you want shock you can go with Viper, and for silence you have Rose. She's all of it in one package, but the overall power level is a fair bit lower than her contenders. For the trade off of the 100% chance, you're losing out on either a better super effect or a better combo 3. Her biggest problem is the same of a lot of other B tiers: Good, but there's someone better. If you want shock to always occur, though, she's the one to call.

- Guy
Like Viper, he's really good at slapping the backline, and like Mad Ryu, he's really good at capitalizing on kills. He's just not better than either of them at either of those things. He's solid, fast, and his fighting spirit can really maximize damage output. Putting him in an assist position is also a viable option. Like Makoto, he's a B+ character, standing above those around him for packaging naturally powerful effects together. He just doesn't provide the slaughterhouse potential of Viper, and thus has to contend for that position.

- Charming Dudley
A better version of regular Dudley, mainly due to his niche as a heal denial unit. Thanks to his fighting spirit, he absorbs 20% of the healing done to those characters, giving him some decent value against Rose and Elena comps which are somewhat common. His damage output is surprising, with him being able to fire off his super as soon as the battle starts and his combo 2 being deceptively damaging. His ability to spread Black Rose to enemies along with his 6 car bonus also means your entire team gets a decently hefty boost while also getting 75% of that healing he's stealing.
C tier

- Dudley
An interesting concept of a dodge tank and his super and combo 1 are decent, he synergizes with Grave Injury and can apply it but realistically doesn't get much value out of it like Adon does aside from upping his admittedly above average damage. He's alright in an interruption focused comp as a combo 1 stun for B. Gief, but he's admittedly worse in this role than someone like Honda who can provide the same thing. He's fine, just he's only fine in a game where every slot matters.

- Combat Guile
An interesting AoE fighter with good debuff removal effects, however most of his kit is tied to these and none of them are guaranteed. If that wasn't enough, his car bonus is basically just some flat attack and health stats and his fighting spirit is a middling amount of attack and health with a decent 30 to give his combo 3 a 20% chance per hit to purge something. When looking at all of this, it's not hard to see where other characters might be better suited to his role. He's a purger when such a thing isn't incredibly valuable, though if it becomes more valuable then naturally his stock will rise.

- Fei Long
Great in a fire composition, except "great" is a hard sell given you are restricting yourself from the best units in the game arguably. He does have a guaranteed stun on the frontline if they're a burning opponent, which is nice. He can apply burns and his fighting spirit helps to improve burn damage, his assist is actually very strong on a Dhalsim composition, and the bonus damage from his passive stacks up... But only if you're willing to functionally only run fire characters, which is arguably one of the weakest affinities. Still, Fei could somewhat be useful in something like a Bison/VipeSim composition where you just don't have Bison doing anything, and as a result I'd say he's a C+ character. His output just doesn't match the likes of Adon who would be a better use of that slot, or B. Gief who would be a better character overall to bring in any composition where Fei would fit.

- Ken
Another B grade unit with some form of utility thanks to his AoE aura. While he obviously doesn't exist late game like Cody might in some niche capacity, I'd be remiss not to mention him as probably the strongest B grade unit overall. If rented as a mercenary, his scaling is surprisingly good for his grade. Still, consider him a C- unit overall, and if you feel they belong in D or food then that's fair as well.

- Mayor Cody
S tier in terms of drip, but in terms of capability he falls short on almost all regards. His damage is ok but not great, all of his effects are done better by someone else, he would fall to D tier if not for his amazing assist giving the character a flat attack increase against the opponents highest attack unit. This can be especially deadly on characters who use executes or bypass frontlines like Viper or Guy. If you *had* to use him, he can be passable as a burn provider and hinder has some potential behind it.

- T. Hawk
Like Combat Guile, T. Hawk is a character who does a great job of dispelling effects when that isn't something that is highly valued in the game presently. Of course, also unlike Combat Guile, he does have some genuine utility in his effect resistance buff thanks to its ability to shut down stun attempts. He just doesn't provide enough as a tank to contend with those in the tier above, but he has a special place in my heart against Beast Gief opponents.

D tier
- Sakura
A healer who can last for a surprisingly long time in her role, she's immediately discardable once you get Elena and Rose. Not much else to say on her aside from that for the most part, like Ken her mercenary scales decently well so it's something to consider if for some reason you just lack other options.

- Yang / Yun
These two have the issue that part of their kit is tied with the other being there, and it's not an insignificant part of their kit. This means to use both characters to their best effectiveness, you're devoting two team slots, and arguably neither of them can contend with most options in this regard. Why would you ever use them when you could bring almost any other pair of characters. Between the two of them, Yang is superior by a large margin and could be a C or B tier on his own if he didn't make you saddle yourself with Yun to get his full kit online.


There you have it! As mentioned before, I welcome open and constructive discussion over it. Obviously there will be some folks who disagree with placements, but hopefully I did an alright job describing my justification on why each character are where they are. I feel like while Tier Lists themselves are a mostly pointless endeavor in a changing game, they incite some of the best discussion on balance and allow for people to display their character knowledge on what someone else may have missed or not considered.

Thanks for reading!
submitted by Doombawkz to streetfighterduel [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 00:28 DevelopedLogic [M720q USFF] NIC temperature issues, please help!

[M720q USFF] NIC temperature issues, please help!
I've been using my new M720q since my last post and today I got my new thermometer to check what temperature the NIC upgrade is running at when loaded.
At 1Gbps, the card sits around 60-65°C and once pretty settled it seems to increase by 0.2°C every 15-30 minutes.
This is an HP rebranded I340-T4 which according to the spec sheet is rated at a maximum operating temperature of 55°C so unfortunately I'm out of bounds right now.
This case has quite strict size limits, so I'm trying to think of a good way to cool the card. It'd definitely need to be a blower style cooler like the CPU cooler is, and I'm thinking I'd place it where the SSD is currently sitting (see images. I'd have to hide that under the card instead) but the issue then is the fact there are no additional fan headers I can use, so I'd have to grab power from somewhere. And once I have power, I also need to control the fan speed somehow.
I think if I had a 5v blower fan with a built in thermometer I'd have a chance but ANY kind of blower fan seems few and far between...
I'm also wondering if I even need to care... I'd like to do something if possible but if it's only 5-10°C out of range I don't know how much it matters short term. I do know it'll cause a long term shorter lifespan.
Just to add some clarification before anyone suggests things, I do not want to modify the case at all (I can intake through front vent holes) and I would prefer not to modify the CPU cooler but that is not out of the question, though the exhaust air from it is pretty warm already.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
submitted by DevelopedLogic to homelab [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 00:19 thriftshopmusketeer Offering for acceleration or Reaper for value?

Offering for acceleration or Reaper for value? submitted by thriftshopmusketeer to slaythespire [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 22:46 Putzinator Need recommendations on a high airflow RGB fan that looks similar to Arctic's P12

I'm upgrading my current rig and decided on P12s for my intake and my air cooler. My old exhaust fan matched my old set and unfortunately Arctic doesn't seem to make an F12 with RGB to replace it with.
So as the title states I would like a high airflow fan to use as an exhaust. But more importantly I want it to look as close to Arctic's P12 in terms of RGB appearance.
The Phanteks F120SK looks like it would be very similar. But I heard their DRGB doesn't work with standard 12v RGB. So any recommendations are highly appreciated!
submitted by Putzinator to buildapc [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 22:00 EternalCanadian Operation PROMETHEUS; Or Why Alpha Fell

Shorter post than usual, and probably a needless one, or at least out of date, but I figured it would be good to get down, “just in case”.
A (thankfully not as common now) misconception is that Spartan III Alpha Company’s destruction was avoidable, that if they had been trained better, equipped better, they might have survived PROMETHEUS. This is refutably false, and this post is intended to demonstrate that their demise was almost completely out of their control, and, primarily, to show that Kurt couldn’t have done anything better to save them.
(Admittedly, there is a bit of theory crafting coming near the end of this post, and I’m not sure if it’s warranted, I wouldn’t mind Haruspis’ comments, if you do see this post, as it seems to be something brought up initially in MJOLNIR and now with SPI. I doubt I’ll get a response though, and I admit I may be making this a bigger issue than it needs to be or is intended to be with its inclusion, but I’m adding it in as another (potential) factor. That’ll be Point III, and clearly labeled as theory crafting.)
With that said, let’s begin with a deep dive into Operation PROMETHEUS:[1]
PART I: Sent from the sky
The Spartan III program has had more than a few threads made about it to deal with general misconceptions (I think we’re at like, 4 and counting now) so I’ll let those stand.
Alpha Company in general though hasn’t been delved into with much detail. Admittedly we know the least amount of their training, and etc, but we know it was both harder than their predecessors and an improvement of the Spartan II training, or at least, as mentioned by the Encyclopedia, it mirrored it in many ways:
Secretly based on the hidden world of Onyx, the SPARTAN-Ill program was operated and facilitated at Camp Currahee. a military site hidden deep within the planet's dense jungles. Much of the training regimen conducted at Currahee mirrored that of SPARTAN-II training, with intense physical and team-based exercises, as well as an advanced education conducted by an onsite Al.
  • Halo Encyclopedia 2022 edition
We know the first night of their training was drastically different from the II’s. The first night of the II’s training is detailed in chapter 3 of The Fall of Reach, the chapter notes the date and time as 2300 hours, September 23rd 2517.
In this chapter Doctor Halsey gives the II’s a speech about why they’re at Reach, why they’ve been chosen, and etc….and then they go to bed.
Chapter 4 begins at 0530 hours, September 24th, 2517, around 6 hours later. The trainees are woken up by stun baton if they didn’t wake by voice alone:
”Wake up, trainee!”
John rolled over in his cot and went back to sleep. He was dimly aware that this wasn’t his room, and that there were other people here.
A shock jolted him—from his bare feet to the base of his spine. He yelled in surprise and fell off the cot. He shook off the disorientation from being nearly asleep and got up.
“I said up, boot! You know which way up is?”
A man in a camouflage uniform stood over John. His hair was shorn and gray at his temples. His dark eyes didn’t look human—too big and black and they didn’t blink. He held a silver baton in one hand; he flicked it toward John and it sparked.
John backed away. He wasn’t afraid of anything. Only little kids were afraid . . . but his body instinctively moved as far away from the instrument as possible.
Dozens of other men roused the rest of the children. Seventy-four boys and girls screamed and jumped out of their cots.
  • The Fall of Reach, chapter 4
Comparatively, this is the first thing the III’s of Alpha Company do after their speech by Kurt:
”We cannot accept everyone, though," Kurt continued. "There are five hundred of you. We have three hundred training slots. So tonight. Senior Chief Petty Officer Mendez"—he nodded to the Chief—"has devised a way to separate those who truly want this opportunity from those who do not."
Kurt handed him a tablet reader. "Chief?" To his credit Mendez registered shock for only a split second. He scanned the tablet, frowned, but nodded.
"Yes, sir," he whispered.
Mendez yelled at the children, "You want to be Spartans? Then get back on those ships." They stood shocked, staring at him.
*"No? I guess we found a few washouts. You." He pointed to one child at random. "You. And you." The chosen kids looked at each other, at the ground, and then shook their heads. "No?" Mendez said. "Then get on those Pelicans."
They did so, and so did the others, a slow shuffling procession.
"Drill instructors," Mendez said.
Three dozen NCOs snapped to attention.*
"You will find Falcon Wing aerial descent units on the field. Load them ASAP and make sure your trainees are properly fit-led. Their safe deployment is now your responsibility."
The DIs nodded and ran toward the bundled Falcon Wing backpacks.
The Chief turned back to Kurt. "You're going to make them drop?" He raised both eyebrows in surprise. "At night?"
"The Falcons are the safest drop units," Kurt replied.
"With respect, sir, some of them are only four years old."
"Motivation, Chief. If they can do this, they'll be ready for what we have to put them through.”
  • Halo Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 6
Anyone who didn’t jump was disqualified from the program immediately:
A girl with pigtails and missing her front teeth stepped forward. "I'll go first, sir," she yelled.
"Good girl," he said. "Go right to the edge; hang on to the guide line."
She took the tiniest baby steps to the edge of the Pelican, then froze. She took three deep breaths and then with a squeak, she jumped. The wind caught her.
She vanished into the dark.
"Next!" the old Navy man said.
All the kids, Shane included, slowly formed a line. He couldn't believe they were doing this. It was nuts.
The next boy got to the edge, looked down, and screamed. He fell backward, and scrambled away. "No!" he said. "No way!"
"Next!" the man called, and didn't give the kid cowering on the deck another glance.
The next boy jumped without even looking. And the next.
  • Halo Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 6
Now, admittedly we don’t know what happened during their first morning, but I’d wager it would have been classroom instruction or some “light” activities. Even so, their first real activity was much more intense than their predecessors.
Their first test, in many respects, mirrored their deployment: dropped into unfamiliar terrain, forced to rely on their equipment and comrades above all else. They rely on each other, on the knowledge that they would not be alone when they reached the ground.
In later, proper, missions, sealed in armour, with the knowledge that their operations had to succeed, the knowledge that they had completed that first jump might have provided some small bit of comfort. If they could do that, maybe they could do anything.
This would be their main method of deployment, using droppods to get deep behind enemy lines, Strike targets of critical opportunity in places others couldn’t reach.
This is presumably how Operation FIREBRAND, IRON GREAVE, and the majority of their other operations were carried out. The standout and exception seems to be Operation HWACHA, which saw Alpha Company operating as boarding and counterboarding teams against Covenant fleet elements in zero-gee.
Whatever the case, the hallmark of a Spartan III deployment in future seemed to be a sudden, abrupt storm of drop pods appearing without warning to those on the ground.
PART II: Nightmares
A big element to why the Alphas seemed to be killed en-masse was, as Kurt puts it, “a loss of unit cohesion”. He notes that, as the battle continued on, Spartan III’s began to drastically deviate from standard formations and understood tactical doctrines. They would go at things alone, or neglect to cover their teammates, or be caught in a bad position that they should have seen and avoided:
The video from a helmet camera showed a dozen SPARTAN-IIIs limping and falling on a smoldering landscape of twisted metal. There was no unit cohesion. No two-man teams covering one another. In the heat-blurred background, Elites took up superior positions with good cover.
This was his fault. He had failed them. His training hadn't prepared them. He should have rectified the flaws in their Mark-I PR suits and fixed them faster.
  • Halo Ghosts of Onyx chapter 8
Kurt puts this down to poor training and a lack of upgrades and rectified fixes to their armour (more on this latter point in Part III), and while this is his motivation to push Beta and Gamma harder, I’m not sure it was their training, truncated as it was, that was the cause.
Instead, Halo Oblivion, either intentionally or unintentionally, might give us a reason for why this situation happened:
Altered mental states were a symptom of combat fatigue, especially in exhausted soldiers who were using too many stim-packs in an effort to maintain alertness.
John knew from his combat psychology training back on Reach that too much combat stress could sometimes result in mindless, murderous rages. But such episodes were heat-of-the-moment events that erupted without warning—not carefully prepared actions like the commanders were suggesting now. He turned to Bah’d. “What kind of combat stimulants are you using?”
“Stimulants?” Bah’d narrowed her eyes. “Be careful what you imply, John.”
“Major, I never imply.” John was puzzled by Bah’d’s testy reaction. Stim-packs were standard issue for UNSC special operations troops—who often had to fight for days at a time without sleep—but they were easy to overuse in the heat of a long battle. “Your commanders are focus-locked on a pointless goal. That’s a classic sign of stim-pack overdose.”
The human brain needed sleep to flush out the toxins that accumulated during periods of wakeful activity, and John knew that going even twenty-four hours without rest could lead to concentration and memory problems. After forty-eight hours, the brain started to shut down for microsleeps, which lasted anywhere from half a second to half a minute—all followed by short periods of confusion and disorientation that could prove disastrous in a combat situation. By seventy-two hours, the brain’s toxin load grew so acute that severe lapses in concentration, motivation, and memory were inevitable—and hallucinatory episodes were common.
The only way to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation was to temporarily increase the signal-carrying capacity of the brain’s synapses.
That was how stim-packs worked—and why they were sometimes necessary in combat. If there were natural methods for accomplishing the same thing, John had never heard of them.
  • Halo Oblivion, chapter 1
To reiterate, Operation PROMETHEUS occurred from 0700 July 27th to an unspecified hour on August 2nd, or, in short, 7 days, though it was likely much longer, as Alpha Company would have spent hours in Slipspace and free fall before the first Spartan hit the ground.
In terms of hours, that’s 168 hours minimum.
Because of the operation’s location and lack of other UNSC assets in the area, Alpha Company had no safe spaces to hide, or to rest. While it’s possible fireteams took up sentry in “secure” positions, only some of the teams could sleep, and if those members not sleeping were using stim-packs, they might not have been able to sleep once it was their turn. This would undoubtedly cause a rolling, cascading issue as teams were forced to abuse their stims in order to stay awake and functional, but it had the debilitating issue of impacting their higher brain functions.
In the end, the last ones standing were probably so hopped up on stimulants they’d have probably died from cardiac arrest even if they could be extracted.
Comparatively, Covenant forces were constantly rotating in fresh troops as reinforcements were brought in from existing ground units, and then troops stationed in orbit:
"After two days," the Admiral said, "seven rectors were rendered inoperative and a counterforce was finally organized by existing Covenant units."
”The Covenant counterresponse was neutralized," the Rear Admiral continued, "and over the next three days. Alpha Company destroyed thirteen more reactors."
”But," the Rear Admiral said, "a massive counterforce appeared in orbit and descended to the surface."
  • Halo Ghosts of Onyx chapter 8
This is, also, not taking into account that the final extraction craft were destroyed by the final day,if not earlier, trapping the Spartans on the asteroid. There was no escape, nowhere to run to, nowhere to go.[2]
Which is where part III comes in.
Part III: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
I’ve been a pretty big proponent of SPI armour over the years, one of the most notable (if not the most notable) on the subreddit, I think (and I don’t make that claim lightly). Admittedly, a lot of that has been via a steady increase of information gathered piece-meal from various sources. If you search up SPI in Halostory’s search bar, a lot of posts with comments will have me in there, defending or clarifying something based off of tthe information we have.
But I might have been misinformed, or at least, misjudged some of the information.
How does this relate to Alpha Company and their deaths? Well, I’ve sort of touched on it above, but this recent canon fodder has sort of cemented the idea in my mind:
SPI has lost its purpose and become the antithesis of what it was meant to be, and in an attempt to make it more interesting, it’s actually been made worse.
That is to say, over the years, we’ve learned that SPI isn’t an individual armour, but a program, a suite, of different armours all under the same umbrella of “Semi-Power-Infiltration”.
It’s noted in a few places (Encyclopedia, Mythos, various Canon Fodders) as being a stable of armour with different variants optimized for different needs. The most recent canon fodder took a look at some of those variants…kind of.
Initially, this might seem like a good thing, giving the armour more variants broadens it’s potential as a warfighting platform, increasing individual operators capabilities and providing synergy amongst team members’ individual specialities, and allows characters who wear it to stand out from one another in visual media (which I personally find rather humorous, considering the Armour’s intended purpose.)
But while it might be a good idea from an artistic standpoint, it’s a very bad idea from a logistical/in-universe one.
The newest canon fodder describes SPI as:
Though not as robust as mainline Mjolnir suits, SPI armor has proven to be an excellent platform for testing a variety of field attachments and upgrades that would be far more costly (and at greater risk of destruction) applied to Spartan-exclusive missions.
  • Canon Fodder: New Year, New Lore
It also goes into description of the different appearances we’ve seen over the years. Of particular note is this depiction from Mythos describing Operation PROMETHEUS. (I know, it’s long winded, but we’re finally back on topic).
The canon fodder goes on to say this about the image:
The top-right depiction of Operation: PROMETHEUS—the mission that saw the annihilation of Alpha Company (the first batch of three-hundred Spartan-IIIs)—seen in Halo Mythos likewise showcases two different variants. The central Spartan’s armor is notably more angular, lacking the traditional curves of the “baseline” Mark-I SPI, while the dead Spartan on the ground has a design which conforms more to baseline but has a much thinner “jaw” and lacks defogging vents.
  • Canon Fodder: Nee Year, New Lore
Here’s where this is a problem, jotted out for ease of reading:
  • You have 300 people sent very far away from any logistics and resupply points, sent to an area surrounded by enemies on all sides.
  • You have limited space in the drop pods that these 300 people are deployed in. Likely this is filled with weapons, ammunition. Stuff they can carry on their person.
  • You can send…some number of supply pods (as seen in The Cole Protocol). Larger pods, likely carrying additional explosives, heavy weapons, and, most likely, extra armour to replace damaged ones in the field.
  • You have these 300 people wearing unique special armour that - to work effectively - must have the plating overlap * perfectly* to achieve proper camouflage. They may all need replacement parts and pieces.
  • You’ve given some of them unique variants that do not conform to baseline and require different armour plating to work effectively.
I think where I’m going with this is obvious.
Their own specializations and uniqueness (seem to have) killed them….or at least could have contributed to their deaths.
If you’ve just been fighting for a day or two, and your team (or several) makes their way to a supply pod full of armour, and you crack it open to find armour pieces for “SPI Mark I Type B” suits…what do you do if you’ve got Type A? The Type B plating won’t work with your armour. Sure, it might “connect” and have the panels activate, but the plating won’t properly fit, it will give you a bad “seal”, and your camouflage capabilities will be compromised. What does this mean? In short, you must isolate yourself from your comrades in order to not give their positions away, but it leaves you vulnerable.
This isn’t like traditional paradrops of today or the past, this armour is fully sealed, it needs to be to function. It is the only thing keeping you alive. The more variation, the harder it is to supply, the harder it is to supply, the more people die.
It’s especially egregious when the differences seem so….minor. It seems almost needless, at least with what we see in Mythos. What benefit did that one more angular variant provide over the usual baseline? What benefit does it give that a supplemental attachment didn’t? Was it worth the trade off for added logistical woes?[3]
Additionally, though likely not intended (despite actually being noted in several points in the books) any particular variation based off specialty or designation would be a hinderance because it enables enemy commanders and intelligence teams to paint a picture of your capabilities.
If you can figure out that Squad leaders are wearing a particular type of armour, say, CENTURION, all you need to do is (generally speaking) target them, kill them, then kill their second in commands, then in the words of a damn fine soldier, “you can kill any poor bastard you like”.
Anything that makes you look like a more important target makes you a dead target - and for an armour based off stealth and invisibility, that’s a terrible idea.
You would think Kurt noticed this and immediately put a stop to it, because it’s getting his men and women killed…but we can see that it continues to happen in various forms
Admittedly, and to reiterate, this is likely just something we kind of need to accept as necessary for Halo’s visual media and how they’ve decided to design characters, but it still feels noteworthy to mention, especially because characters in universe mention it;[4]
The second companion made a beeline for Hamm. There was no rank insignia on his armor— it was never smart to help snipers identify high-value targets —but the name stenciled on his breast was CUVIER.
The company captain.
Cuvier stopped halfway between John and Hamm. Nobody saluted, but Hamm stood slightly more erect. Had one of John’s Spartan snipers been an enemy watching through a scope, even the subtle shift of posture would have been enough to get the captain’s helmet blown off.
  • Halo Silent Storm 8
Jones was only halfway up the side of the hill, but that was high enough to see the top of theopposite hill, and the tiny figures who stood there. Not the Grunts who were running this way and that, not the Jackals who lined the edge of the summit, but the shiny armor of the Elites. Those were the targets he wanted, and they seemed to leap forward as the Marine increased the magnification on his scope, and let the barrel drift slightly. Which life should he take? The one on the left with the blue armor? Or the one on the right, the shiny gold bastard? At that moment in time, in that particular place, Lance Corporal Jones was God.
He clicked the sniper rifle’s safety catch, and lightly rested his finger on the trigger.
  • Halo The Flood, chapter 6
New information that’s come to light regarding the operation comes from recent Halo Infinite Intel, about how Deep Winter had select Spartans pulled in secret ahead of PROMETHEUS.
Admittedly, this likely wouldn’t have drastically changed anything, but as John notes in Silent Storm, Spartan effectiveness is dramatically increased and heightened when at optimal team strength, and it seems Deep Winter pulled Spartans to make use of their individual skill sets, a cascading ripple occurs as teams would need to reshuffle and reorganize to fill in and make up to the gaps. The more Spartans removed, the less effective the Company will be, the less ground they can cover, and the greater chance of failure and death, noted here by John:
If the Spartans were attacking separate targets, they wouldn’t be able to support each other—and the efficiency of a Spartan team decreased exponentially each time a member was removed. Dr. Halsey estimated that a Spartan operating alone was only one-sixteenth as effective as a four-member team . . . and sixteen times as likely to get killed.
  • Halo Silent Storm, chapter 5
As Kurt himself notes, Deep Winter often operated from a perspective of basic morality functions, which Kurt considered inadequate and a sort of weakness:
What could an AI possibly know what it was like on a real mission? Bullets zinging so close over your head that you didn't so much as hear them hut felt them pass. Or what it was like to get hit, but still have to keep going, bleeding, because if you didn't everyone on your team would die?
  • Halo Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 9
Again, little likely changed, but the organizational hurdles and missing members might have effected how Alpha went about their mission, and how quickly they could have completed it.
Which leads us to our conclusion.
TLDR: Alpha Company faced a number of factors that led to their demise during Operation PROMETHEUS, and it wasn’t really due to a lack of training, or any sort of deficiency with the Spartans themselves, at least, not that we can see.
Instead, their deaths occurred due to stim-pack overdose, overwhelming enemy reinforcements, and difficult to maintain logistics hampered by additional, and unnecessary issues. While not technically a reason, the loss of select members saved by Deep Winter also probably had an effect on the Company’s overall performance,
In the end, the situation was doomed once the extraction craft were destroyed, and that only hastened Alpha Company’s demise. Kurt, despite his guilt, had nothing to be ashamed of, and their deaths couldn’t be placed on him or the others in the program. At the end of the day, Alpha Company died to factors outside their control and through no obvious faults of their own.
They may have died, cut off and alone, but they did what any Spartan would do, what any Spartan could do;
The impossible.
  • [1]: PROMETHEUS references the Greek God of the same name. A Titan who stole the fire of the gods and gave hope to humanity. In much the same way that Alpha Company gave hope to humanity by delaying the Covenant advance. Of course, this sacrifice went unknown by everyone. Interestingly, Alpha Company’s operations all involve fire in some way. PROMETHEUS has been explained. HWACHA refers to a Korean siege weapon from the 15th century, a cart with dozens of arrows/rockets that would be shot at a target, usually causing mass confusion and panic. Akin to a canister or grapeshot from a cannon. FIREBRAND doesn’t really need an explanation (but seeing as it was their most notable Anti-Insurrectionist operation…yikes, lol). While IRON GRAVE might seem out of place, it harkens back to Prometheus(the deity, not the operation) and his role as a smith. Iron needs to be forged into armour or tools, and based off the timeline, IRON GREAVE might have been Alpha’s first foray against the Covenant proper, hence, its akin to a baptismal experience, or a case of the Company being forged under fire.
  • [2]: The Mythos artwork depicts a battlefield covered in smoke and ash, but from what I can see, the ground is more or less completely flat with very little deviation on terrain, this means Alpha would need to belly crawl until they arrived at one of the reactors to make best use of their PR systems, slowing them down significantly and, at the same time, meant that once combat was initiated, moving from Reactor Complex to Reactor Complex would have been both incredibly exposed and provided no cover.
  • [3]: Mirage’s introduction to Infinte also introduces us to the AAP/K-ROC Ordinance Pack, an up-armoured cuirass noted to be cheap and easily available and intended to be worn by Mark I and II SPI. The overall shape makes it seem like it would have fit both Mythos depictions of SPI, and it’s almost certain everyone would have been wearing it, which would have mitigated some of the logistical issues. Assuming a Spartan needed only to replace this aspect of their armour, or their shoulder pauldrons were removed without compromising the rest of the suit’s stealth integrity, logistics issues might have been less of an issue. Other supplemental attachments, like RS/MOONGLOW, rather than entirely different helmets, would have also helped.
  • [4]: I go into further detail of Spartan appearances and their differing looks (sort of) in this post
With that, we conclude another “essay”. Next up (timeline permitted) a character study and a look at love.
~ EternalCanadian
submitted by EternalCanadian to HaloStory [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:45 eortiz_cobblehill Save Cobble Hill / No Public Safety Building

On December 15, 2021, I submitted my first Reddit post very worried about how the City's Planning Department was gaslighting the Cobble Hill Apartments community. To be honest, I found great support in seeing how many Somerville residents cared enough to comment. Thank you!
Since my posting, the Mayor completed her community “listening sessions” and formed a Citizen Advisory Committee to move ahead as planned. As an abutter with so much to lose, nothing really changed other than the Mayor is moving close to achieving a severely flawed vision for 90 Washington Street.
This represents my second Reddit posting. This time, I want to share with you a copy of an open letter I sent on behalf of Cobble Hill residents to each of the 11 Somerville City Councilor who will decide the fate of 90 Washington Street. In doing so, it is my hope the Somerville Reddit community will come to better understand the conflict and then support Cobble Hill by reaching out to your Councilors and let your thoughts be known in this election year.
Cobble Hill Apartments is not against the development of 90 Washington Street. We are against any new neighbor that is designed to create 2,263 annual emergency sirens along with any plan that plows under our green space, cuts down 84 mature trees, and takes away our parking lot and alleyway to our trash dumpster.
I imagine every Ward 1 resident would be very concerned about the loss of Cobble Hill’s biggest parking lot at 74 Washington Street, which the city took by eminent domain for private development. Without this parking lot, three dozen Cobble Hill residents and visitors will need to forage for parking on public streets where parking is already extremely limited. Look out Franklin St., Myrtle St., Oliver Ave., & Florence St.!
If you have a soft spot for 300 low-income elders, you probably also care about what happens when parking availability is removed for homecare, visiting nurses and family guests. Separately, if you worry about the responsible distribution of finite government resources, you should be horrified by the new $102 million price tag to build a public safety building when the 2019 approvals were based on a projection half that expense. And if you care about urban planning issues around public transportation portals, you likely think putting a public safety building with a multi-story 200-unit parking garage next to a new GLX subway stop is a really terrible idea.
For most Somerville residents, there is plenty to dislike if you expect government transparency and an honest community process. We should all be upset by the false justifications that were provided in both the 2018 Site Selection Study and the 2019 Demonstration Plan Project that chose 90 Washington Street. And lastly – because Green Initiatives always seem get the short end of the straw - if you care about Urban Green Space, why not preserve the green space and 84 mature trees that are to be plowed under if the city’s plans go forward.
The city’s plans don’t work for Cobble Hill. They don’t work for Ward 1. And they don’t work for Somerville.
My letter to Somerville's 11 City Counselors is as follows:
Dear Honorable Members of Somerville City Council:
It is our understanding Somerville City Council, not the former Mayor, not the Planning Department, and not the current Mayor, will be the final “decider” on the future of 90 Washington Street. With this in mind, I hope that each of you will vote against cutting down 84 mature trees, plowing under well-manicured green space, and removing a parcel of land that for 40-years has provided both resident parking and hauling access to Cobble Hill’s trash facility.
I have worked at Cobble Hill for 21 years and find it beyond belief city government removed quality of life assets from 300 affordable elders. I am not a public person, nor do I enjoy my new public role in defending Cobble Hill Apartments. That said, I find it more distasteful to do nothing when truly bad decisions are being made and Cobble Hill residents are in urgent need of advocacy.
And so, I first sought out advice from residents, co-workers and community activists to help me understand why this was happening. And as we chipped away at the untruths we were told by city officials; we responded each time with a letter writing campaign to report the facts. It has been exhaustive, but I believe we have completed everyone’s homework. Our hopes to stop this mistake from happening now rests with Somerville City Council.
Perhaps, it could be helpful to know 44% of Cobble Hill’s 224 units own a registered vehicle. When we lose our parking lot at 74 Washington Street, three dozen elderly households along with homecare workers, visiting nurses, and family members will need to play the cruel game of Ward 1 “musical cars” due to the immediate loss of off-street parking. I have yet to meet anyone who thinks Cobble Hill’s spillover parking requirements can be absorbed by street parking.
Currently, Cobble Hill’s parking is tight but workable. Absolutely nothing good will come from having Cobble Hill elders and their service providers compete for Ward 1’s severely limited street parking.
Likewise, you should be interested to know the alleyway behind 84 Washington Street was designed four decades ago to allow garbage truck removal of multiple two-yard trash receptacles and one large trash dumpster. The architect designed the dumpsters to be next to the building’s trash chute compactor room. If at any point garbage trucks lose access to the alleyway, the twice-a-week pick-up of compacted trash will no longer be possible because the bins are much too large to be rolled out any door other than the one that presents to the alleyway. And if this happens, I will need to permanently lock the hallway trash chutes at 84 Washington Street and instruct the 97 residents to dispose of their household trash in a perimeter dumpster outside the building.
This is not a small problem to be ignored as the average Cobble Hill senior is 75 years old and at varying stages of health and mobility. It is my experience the trash chutes conveniently located on every floor are difficult enough for many elders who struggle to live independently. Requiring frail seniors to use perimeter dumpsters is an unnecessary burden.
We now imagine the then-City Council voted for the Demonstration Plan Project without a full understanding of these consequences. Given how much Cobble Hill has been gaslighted in our cry for advocacy, we suspect the Planning Department failed to tell City Council these collateral hardships as well. Indeed, how else would any City Counselor have known these details because there was not one public hearing about the land-taking before the City Council vote.
As disturbing, the alleyway behind 84 Washington Street is frequently used for a more convenient vehicular drop-off when seniors return from shopping or when they ambulate with walkers. This makes sense of course because it is the closest point of access as the building’s front entrance is set back considerably from the street requiring more mobility. The routine requirements of life will be more difficult for seniors when this building access point is needlessly taken away.
These examples of unjustifiable hardship are the causal effects of poor decision making. They are also infuriating because they were created by the former mayor’s overreach without public input. Cobble Hill’s legitimate concerns were easily anticipated, easily prevented, and sadly just as easily ignored.
Absent a public community process, the Planning Department wasn’t asked to explain how the taking of these assets might diminish Cobble Hill Apartment’s quality of life. Nor were Planning Department officials ever asked if all four of the acres they took qualified as “blight”. They were not! Instead, Cobble Hill Apartments discovered a much darker lesson about Somerville’s “community process”. If facts and public scrutiny prove inconvenient, they are to be circumvented. And when facts do not align with the Planning Department’s narrative and/or the deeply flawed Site Selection Study and equally flawed Demonstration Plan Project, it is best to ignore them altogether and keep moving forward. How else to explain no written responses to Cobble Hill’s letters and the absence of our expressed concerns on the redevelopment website?
To say the City’s outreach to date has been dismissive, insensitive, and anti-community is prologue. So much so it is reasonable to wonder if the Planning Department made the cold calculation that Cobble Hill is comprised of low-income residents who are powerless to stop them. Whatever the truth, I would wager Cobble Hill’s now endangered “quality of life” that nothing so bold would have occurred if Cobble Hill Apartments were a high-end market rental or homeowner community.
Fortunately, it is not too late. The Administration’s request for bond funding requires City Council approval. We respectfully and urgently ask you to vote no. Voting against this request should not be hard. The 2018 Site Selection Study and the 2019 Demonstration Plan Project made clear the proposed Public Safety Building required a land parcel no larger than 30,000 sq ft with a projected construction cost of between $36 and $48.5 million. Inexplicably, this grandiose plan has since been put on steroids. City Council is now being asked to approve a previously unimaginable price tag of $102 million to include a land parcel almost five times the size of the need that was projected. This amount will very likely climb once again when the pro tanto stage of the land value dispute is resolved.
Now is the time for City Council to show awareness and fiduciary responsibility. The original plans for 90 Washington Street were poorly justified and should not have been predicated on the taking of quality-of-life assets from low-income elders. We ask instead for City Council to adopt Councilor McLaughlin’s promise to Cobble Hill residents that no parking or alleyway will be taken, and the green space and trees will be preserved.
In addition, at the core of our public dispute is whether 90 Washington Street is the very best location for the City’s new Public Safety Building. It is not. The vacant lot at 90 Washington Street is steps from a MBTA GLX subway stop that should be destined for far better purposes than an upgraded police & fire building. We believe 90 Washington Street could inspire a new hub of activity on a rare and immensely valuable parcel next to a subway stop.
On the contrary, proposing a Public Safety Building for 90 Washington Street might be the very worst idea as it will forevermore disturb a community of 300 elders with 2,262 annual siren alarms. Unlike our neighbors who go to school and/or work and spend weekends away from home, Cobble Hill residents are largely homebound 24/7 and will hear every one of the sirens as they wail their way each day and night through heavy traffic on Washington St. It is our firm belief that building a siren producing “noise machine” next to Cobble Hill Apartments is a very bad fit. The following link is a compilation of protest letters written by residents, and emails I have distributed that define why Cobble Hill Apartments is so upset with the City’s plans.
Please let us know what more we can do to save our quality of life, and to support Somerville with better options. We are counting on you, and again ask that you vote against authorizing this plan to move forward.
Evelyn Ortiz
Property Administrator Cobble Hill Apartments
submitted by eortiz_cobblehill to u/eortiz_cobblehill [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:32 BPx4 Got some upgrades (New Exhaust, and Rain Guards put on today) :) feeling super happy

Got some upgrades (New Exhaust, and Rain Guards put on today) :) feeling super happy submitted by BPx4 to COROLLA [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:14 Help_meORnot Best Honda prelude Sh cat back exhaust that’s under 600$

Looking for one with preferably a deep note
submitted by Help_meORnot to hondaprelude [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:05 Flame_half TUF GAMING FX505G Wifi card issues worse after replacement

So I read around on forums, and here on reddit, to find that a lot of people with TUF Gaming were having issues with the Wifi cards. I had seen people claim to fix it by upgrading to the Intel Wifi-6 AX200 160 MHz card. So I decided to try that after exhausting every other fix. It worked for a month or so without a single issue, but now it's even worse, and this time I'm getting a switch off between the Bluetooth and Wifi dropping out. Code 10, Code 45 all of it. Sometimes the Wifi will drop out for a few seconds and come back, sometimes it will be gone until I restart or run a network reset. Sometimes multiple restarts before wifi is working. The functionality will completely disappear to the point where the bluetooth or wifi, or both at once, will completely disappear from the device manager.
Anyone find a good fix for this? I'm running Windows 10. I've tried reinstalling drivers, clean install of drivers, resetting bios, etc. As I'm typing this, I have wifi, but bluetooth is completely gone. It was working 15 minutes ago but now my device manager doesn't even show that I have bluetooth functionality. Thanks in advance.
Edit: I did have a weird thing happen a few months ago before the first time this happened, where I opened the laptop to the blue screen saying windows had to do a clean install. I think my problems started after that.
Edit 2: I just went into device manager and noticed that there was a code 10 on a random unknown usb device. When I disabled and enabled that it disappeared from the universal serial bus tree and the bluetooth tree reappeared. Bluetooth is working now. Weird.
submitted by Flame_half to ASUS [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 19:32 ISieferVII Help Buying Used Bose Soundbar (Bose 600? Or older?)

I've been thinking of upgrading from my TV speakers and have been searching for good used deals in my local listings. At first, I was going the home theater route but the search became exhausting and I decided I could probably get away with a mid range soundbar in my small apartment for now.
Can anyone help me pick the best sound for my buck among these choices I've been considering from my local listings?
LG SL9YG with sub and 2 rear speakers. Going for $250 or best offer. Thoughts: Not sure how much it not having eARC is bad. Looks like it was recently reduced from $300 OBO to $250 OBO.
Vizio SB36512-F6 for $200. Thoughts: Also includes subwoofer and 2 surround speakers. I like the price, but once again, don't think it has eARC either.
Samsung HW-Q70T for $265 Thoughts: i think this is newer than the ones above so should have eARC now. Only comes with a subwoofer, though.
Bose Smart Soundbar 600 + Bose Subwoofer Module 500 for $650 Also found Bose Smart Soundbar 600 for $300 Thoughts: These seem the newest and the most tempting, especially the latter deal. Plus I've seen a lot of talk on here about the Bose Soundbar 600, so I'm guessing it's good. Should I jump on this ASAP?
Any advice would be appreciated. Should I grab the newer soundbar at the bottom, or grab one of the older models above with the additional accessories, maybe even try to negotiate those for less? Not sure how much the sound has improved year to year or how important eARC capability is. Thanks!
submitted by ISieferVII to Soundbars [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 19:01 AT42022 Before and After - 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited AT4

- Vision Wheels - Warrior - 20 x 9 - +18 off set
- Nitto Grappler Recon Tires - 285/55/20 - no rub
- Rough Country AT4 1.75" Leveling Kit
- S&B Filters Cold Air Intake
- MBRP Catback Exhaust - moderate
- WeatherTech Rain Guards
- Ronin Bullet Antenna
- Putco Tailgate Light Bar
- BakFlip TriFold Tonneau Cover
- GMC Tow Hitch Cover
- Starlight Headliner
- Black Emblem Overlays
- Tint - 35% windshield, 15% front, 15% over 5% back

Stock - November 2022
Upgraded - March 2023
submitted by AT42022 to gmcsierra [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 18:41 KaptainKlein Building my first PC. Is equalized pressure (3 intake/3 exhaust) a good setup? I see lots of talk about positive vs negative.

My motherboard died on my 5 year old prebuilt so I'm doing a partial upgrade of my mobo/cpu/psu and coming back to the GPU later.
Looking to have the following parts:
Case: Fractal Meshify 2 Compact -- comes with 3 front intake and one rear exhaust fan, all 120MM. By all accounts I've seen they're solid.
Processor: Intel i7 12700k
Cooler: AIO Liquid cooler, currently eyeballing a Kraken X53 240mm to top-mount
Mobo: MSI Pro Z790-P DDR4
GPU: GTX 1060, my old GPU that I'll upgrade later.
I'm fairly certain everything will fit together (might need to get some new low-profile RAM for clearance concerns with the cooler) but if I have my AIO running exhaust to prioritize case temp over CPU temp (planning ahead for a 4070 or similar GPU) I end up with 3 fans in and 3 fans out.
I've seen a lot of discussion on the merits of positive vs negative pressure, is there anything wrong with a neutral pressure? I haven't seen much talk in my searching but a buddy told me people felt very strongly about it when he built his last PC but was willing to admit "It was a big topic back when I was into it but like most things on the internet the importance was probably over exaggerated at the time."
submitted by KaptainKlein to buildapc [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 17:07 90blacktsiawd Here's my daily driven 540 whp sti

This is my first foray into the Subaru world though not my first trip into the turbo 4 cyl awd world as my name might hint at. I've built a few dsm's, a z32 tt 300zx, svt cobra and s13 in the past. I always liked wrx's but knew myself well enough to know anything short of a STI wouldn't keep me happy for long. I picked up my current car off ebay right before covid shut everything down. 107k miles, intake, cat back, AP3 installed, supposedly low compression in 1 cylinder, $8k plus shipping from the west coast. The car showed up maybe a week before the initial covid shut downs took place. First start had smoke billowing out of the exhaust and what sounded like popcorn popping under the hood. I'm not completely inept when it comes to cars but i knew doing the motor was going to be more than i was prepared to tackle. Stopped at a few places while waiting for the car to arrive and was shocked at the costs i was being given to prep something to break 400 whp after a turbo upgrade down the road.
I ended up settling on a local place called Area1320 in Nazareth PA to do the work. They're the closest Subaru specialty shop and they're an IAG certified installer. I started collecting parts as i found deals on them as my date to go in for the build was still several months off. Unfortunately due to all the shut downs shipping delays and places just plain being out of stock meant what was supposed to be a 2-3 month long build turned into a 2 year build. Over this time as i kept doing research and finding deals on more parts the build just kept growing. It was always intend to be a full street car. Something responsive that is a joy to take on my favorite back roads and to the autocross when they come to town.
When they finally cracked into my motor it was pretty clear that there were more problems besides 1 cylinder with low compression. 1 piston had a cracked ring land. Another has the edge of the piston crown literally explode. Metal chunks damaged 1 head beyond repair, turbo was smoked and tons of oil in the tmic.
There isn't an area of the car that hasn't been touched at this point. To the best of my knowledge this list of parts below is accurate.

submitted by 90blacktsiawd to WRXSTi [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 14:29 JonBritt101 Finally maxed out with all S6’s and fusions!🙌🏻

Finally maxed out with all S6’s and fusions!🙌🏻 submitted by JonBritt101 to CSRRacing2 [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 12:02 DirtyWasrs I’m in New Orleans untill the 28th anyone have any 8th gen si parts or 18x9.5+35 ish spec wheels for sale?

I’m in New Orleans untill the 28th anyone have any 8th gen si parts or 18x9.5+35 ish spec wheels for sale? submitted by DirtyWasrs to CivicSi [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 11:00 psnk123 9th gen exhaust options

Looking to upgrade my exhaust on my 1st gen ILX 6MT. I'm posting here giving that our cars are similar and most performance parts are interchangeable, and the ILX sub seems to be really small, makes me susp that the manual owners are a rare breed.
Anyway, not sure if I should do a catback or just an axleback. And what brands are the best sounding too. Pricing would also play a role, because if an axle back is just a few bucks less than a catback, then might as well get the cat back.
submitted by psnk123 to CivicSi [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 09:37 Artorian- Motor swap hypothetical

Ok ladies and gents want your input. I have a 2009 fz6r. Love the bike, everything about it. It's stock save for some bars, power commander and full two brothers exhaust. And some other knick knacks, frame guards, pegs ect.. So, I feel as though I'd like some more umph get up and go power. Now I've had this thing screaming doing 140. But it takes it a hot freaking minute to get there lol. My hypothetical is can a same generation fuel injected r6 engine fit in my bike? I've heard the get an r6 argument. But honestly I dunno that I could. Between the back problems made worse by the aggressive position and my ass feeling like it's on a piece of wood I almost feel like I wouldn't be able to stand it. But with the way my fz6r is set up I've ridden it all day and not felt any pain. Are there any other performance upgrades I could make that wouldn't destroy this stupid reliable and long lasting engine? Or is this r6 swap possible with an engine, fuel system, Guage cluster, wiring harness switch, or is it way more complicated? Anyone ever done it before?
submitted by Artorian- to motorcycles [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 08:00 AutoModerator Daily Advice Thread 23/03/2023

Welcome to the DAT, summoner! Post questions regarding team composition, content progression, game mechanics, or anything else in this thread. If you are able to help your fellow summoners, please take some time to contribute to the community and answer some questions yourself as well!
A lot of helpful guides and resources can be found in the subreddit mega wiki.

If you ask a question please give ALL relevant information!

  • Your monster box: Upload a screenshot to Reddit directly or an image hosting site like imgur or use swarfarm. Sort your box by "Grade" and try to include all 4*s and LD nat 3*s.
  • Your current progression: Where you currently are in the game, what your teams are, what content you need help with and what you have tried so far.
  • For ToA, which enemies are on the floor you're stuck on.
  • For PvP, indicate what rank you are trying to achieve, i.e. currently F3 want to get C1 Arena. For RTA also share your rank percentage.
The less people have to clarify or look up to help you, the more likely you will get a fast response.

Beginner friendly/farmable PvE teams

Recommended progression: GB10 -> ToAN -> GB12 -> ToAH -> (DB11 ->) NB12 -> R5 and Rifts
Fast progression: GB12 -> (DB11 ->) NB12 -> BJ5 -> Tricaru DB12
Note that for NB12 a few violent sets (especially on twins) are making things a lot easier so before tackling Necropolis you might want to farm a little bit of DB11, it also gives you Guard runes for Tricaru.
  • GB10: Vero (L), Fran, Loren, Lapis, Shannon/second awakened (2A) Kro
  • Legacy GB10 teams typically include Belladeon, Bernard, or Darion. These units are outdated and can be skipped.
  • GB12: Vero (L), Fran, Loren, 2A Kro, Shannon/Lapis/2A Naomi
  • DB12: Verde (L), Fran, Loren, Sig, Elsharion or Verde (L), Vero, Fran, Loren, Spectra (2A)
  • PB10: Verde (L), Colleen/Fran, 2A Raoq, 2A Kro, 2A Spectra/Yen/Pang. You can also use 2A Jultan to tank the boss (on multiple Will sets).
  • SB10: Fran, Loren, 2A Kro, 2A Raoq, Ling Ling
  • NB12: Lapis (L), Colleen/Fran, Loren, 2A Raoq, 2A Kro/Raoq (NB10 guide). Twins are a much better choice and should be used if possible. You can also directly use Tricaru.
  • ToA(H): Fran (L), Lapis, Verde, Loren, Vero/2A Kro/2A Spectra. Use Tyron if you have him. 2A Sath/Thrain are good options if you want to go for a dot team, do not use Baretta as he's terribly outdated.
  • R5: Front Line: Xiong Fei, Darion Back Line: Colleen, 2A Kro, Tesa, Theo/Xiao Lin/Belladeon
  • R5 stat minimum: You need 25k HP and 1.5k DEF for FL units and 20k HP and 0.8-1k DEF for BL units. Healers and your cleanser should have 100% RES after lead.
  • Rift unit options: Xiao Lin, Theomars, Fran, Colleen, and 2A Kro can be used in most of your rift teams. FL Mav/Bernard is good for Water rift and Lapis is good for Fire and Dark rifts. Twins are great in all rifts.
You still need appropriate rune quality and turn order! Do not expect to beat a dungeon just by having these units

Common speed teams

  • R5 - BJ5: Colleen, Baleygr, Janssen, Dagora, Loren, lead unit (BJ5 guide)
  • DB12 - Tricaru: Verde (L), 2A Icaru, 2A Icaru, 2A Icaru (guide (Note: DEF requirement is 3300)) (Cheatsheet) (Calculator)
  • NB12 - Tricaru: Either add Astar or replace Verde with her (on vamp, same stats). Adding Astar and Lushen to clear waves first also works.
  • GB12 - dots dots dots: 2A Sath, Mellia, Mellia, 2A Tatu, dot unit/Lushen (guide)
  • PB10 - Tricaru: Kill towers first (usually L>R>B but some people reported R>L>B working better for them).
  • SB10 - dots dots dots: 2A Sath, Mellia, Mellia, 2A Tatu, dot unit/Lushen

PvE accuracy requirements

Rifts need no ACC. R5 needs 15%. SB10 needs 25%. PB10 39%. ToA(H), GB10, and NB10 45%. DB10, GB12, NB12 and ToA Hell 55%. DB12 needs 65%.

General tips and answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

  • NEVER feed non-farmable monsters! (you can feed dupes for skill ups)
  • Save your devilmons! In general you do not want to give devilmon to 4* units, Sigmarus and Jeanne are the best early game candidates. Veromos does not need devilmon.
  • Best summon stone targets: Tyron, Lushen, Shaina, Sabrina, Talia. For PvP Khmun, Skogul, Galleon.
  • Check the events for free energy, mana, and other beneficial stuff. To find the current event pages use the button below the energy/mana counter in-game.
  • Lapis can farm Faimon Hell on the free 6* level 15 vampire/revenge runes provided by the challenges. She should be your first 5* and probably 6* as well.
  • Shield sets can reduce the HP/DEF requirements on other units and multiple shield sets will stack to form one larger total shield. Each set contributes a shield equal to 15% of the base HP of the monster they are equipped on.
  • White artifacts from B2 are cheap to upgrade and can give you a massive stat boost early.
  • Hall of Heroes (HoH) should be attempted as high as you can climb. Reps like Rica or Verad can help a lot. Mid/late game players can get 5 extra copies of the HoH monster using almighty scroll pieces after each floor at the small cost of 2000 guild points for each extra monster.
  • Most nat 5*s are PvP exclusive and should be set aside in storage till you make some progress on PvE. Some exceptions are CC units like Rica for ToA, cleansers like Anavel for starter R5, and Perna for rifts.
  • Dimensional hole energy should be spent as soon as possible, always try to stay under the energy cap (recharge rate: 1 per 2h). 2A Kro first, then Spectra or Raoq.
  • Need advice on RTA? Check this post first
  • Looking for ToA Hell guidance? Take a look at this FAQ post.
  • Swarfarm provides a bestiary for monster stats and data logs.
For more information please check out the more exhaustive FAQ.
If you see someone using monster icons, you can learn how to use them yourself: .
To set your user flair please visit the Reddit website (do not use the mobile app) and edit it there (example picture).
submitted by AutoModerator to summonerswar [link] [comments]