Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
August 28, 2014, 06:16:52 pm
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 249
1  General Politics / Economics / Re: Gazprom to sell oil for rubles, yuan on: Today at 05:47:15 pm
I'm certain Gazprom would much rather get paid in yuan than rubles.  If the SHTF then the ruble is likely to fall considerably whereas the yuan should remain stable or even rise slightly in such a circumstance.

If I were Chinese, I would use it to sign some really nice long-term contracts in rubles Smiley Within 10 years they might be getting their oil and gaz for free Smiley
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: Today at 05:42:42 pm
As far as I am concerned (and, of course, this is a personal view), it is not merely the overreaction to whatever provocation, it goes deeper. Israeli governments in recent years have been obviously content with the status quo: Arabs behind the wall and closely guarded. If they misbehave they can be punished by bombing the hell out of them. No need to bother about any proposals for a settlement - there will be no settlement, and that is fine, because it avoids taking the tough decisions.

The problem with this line is that, as long as there is no settlement, Israel is the occupying power with millions of people at its mercy. One may say whatever one likes about Gaza not being Israeli responsibility anymore. But, unfortunately, as long as there is no settlement, it is still in charge - of, at the very least, most of external communication (and of the timing when to do the punishment). And as the power in charge, Israel remains responsible for the welfare of Gazans - as much as prison guards would be responsible for the welfare of prisoners.

I do not have any personal stake in what the settlement should be - I, honestly, do not much care, as long as it is consistent with my basic views on human and civil rights. But, at present, there seems to be only 2 plausible directions: either partition or integration. Partition would presume Israeli territorial sacrifice in the West Bank. Integration would presume Israeli ideological sacrifice either on its "Jewishness"or on its democracy. Neither seems acceptable to the current crop of Israeli leaders. They prefer the status quo to either solution. Ok, fine. But, then, they remain the de facto prison wardens of the population, both in the West Bank and in Gaza. They do not like the responsibility? Tough, they chose to keep it.
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: Today at 05:03:43 pm
The troops really keep complaining about their poor equipment, delivering weapons would make a big difference. There are other steps in between though, I don't know if we will eventually reach that stage or not.

Start with economically blockading Crimea. Aeroflot chooses to fly there - ban it from Europe, recall the leased planes, etc. Sheremetyevo Airport chooses to accept planes from Simferopol - stop accepting planes from Sheremeytevo. A bank opened an ATM there - put it on the sanctions list. Also, after Russia introduced its "anti-sanctions" against Western food, it made exceptions for things it cannot live without - take that list and make it stick. Finally, the diplomatic sanctions should be immediate: ambassadors should be recalled for consultations, Russian ambassadors expelled, Russian consulates closed. Broad financial sanctions can still wait - they should be the threat. Also, I would take a couple very well-known oligarchs who tend to spend a lot of time abroad and put them on the list personally - whatever it does to FC Chelsea and the like.

And, BTW, though it is outside any government's sphere of action, there is something that would sting a lot. Russian Football Union has allowed Crimean teams into the championship. They were very nervous about it - new clubs were formed, rather than Ukrainian accepted, and the clubs were registered outside Crimea. But they are named for Crimean towns and play in Crimea. I am pretty sure, this is grounds for kicking Russia out of the UEFA. This should be done.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: Today at 03:07:58 pm
This is very disconcerting to say the very least. What do you think we should do about it? 

Major across the board sanctions against Russia and active economic and military aid for the Ukrainian government. Sanctions should include very strict restrictions on all financial transactions with Russia (basically, each such transaction should be authorized individually); ban on all new investment there;  banning every airline that flies to Crimea from the European and American airspace, as well as stopping all regular flights from airports that receive flights from Crimea; prohibition on any ship entering any Crimea port from using European/American ports.  Also, I would suggest major military maneuvers all around the Russian frontiers - from the Northern Territories in the East to the Kola peninsula in the west. Supporting Lituania and Poland in cutting rail and road links to Kaliningrad. Recalling ambassadors, expelling Russian ambassadors and closing Russian consulates outside capital cities. Approaching China promising full support if it chooses to make any gains at Russian expense. Etc., etc., etc. There are many things that could be done.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: Today at 11:31:45 am
Poroshenko has confirmed the entry of Russian troops.

So has NATO. So, pretty much,  have the "rebels". At this point, this is about as well-established as anything could be well-established.

And? What are you planning to do, Mr. Chamberlain? And you, M. Daladier?
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 27, 2014, 09:15:01 am
Ok, lets go with "Only if assholes living in Gaza are allowed to rearm".  Better?

Unfortunately, I am afraid that you would be wrong even if Gaza simply disappeared tomorrow with all of its inhabitants. You still would have the West Bank. And I will be very pleasantly surprised if there is not another war there within reasonably short time: as far as I can see, the pressure-cooker there is not getting much relief.

That is even if we forget that the probability that some, as you call them "assholes", in Gaza will "rearm" (to the extent they are "armed" now) is pretty much 100% - at least, as long as Gaza is in its current state.

The problem is that the underlying causes of this conflict are not at all addressed at present. There is nothing that happened in the last few months that will decrease the probability of another similar conflict in reasonably short term. It was a complete waste of human lives - it pretty much changed nothing.
Indeed.  As long as Israel exists there will be bigots wanting it not to exist.  Bigots more than willing to kill themselves, their children and their neighbors to reach that goal.  Peace won't come until those bigots are dead or educated.

Tell me, please. Have you ever tried thinking where those "bigots" are coming from? Why are they "bigots"?

Let me just put it this way. From the standpoint of this ex-Soviet Jew, the true Jews in Israel are Israeli Arabs. They are the discriminated minority - they are the ones it is much easier to identify with. And Israeli Arabs are lucky. To the rest of the Palestinians Israel has never offered anything but minor improvements in prison regime.

So, I guess, you should start by getting your own education. Learn not to be an anti-semite. Learn to understand the real Jews.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 26, 2014, 11:45:08 pm
Ok, lets go with "Only if assholes living in Gaza are allowed to rearm".  Better?

Unfortunately, I am afraid that you would be wrong even if Gaza simply disappeared tomorrow with all of its inhabitants. You still would have the West Bank. And I will be very pleasantly surprised if there is not another war there within reasonably short time: as far as I can see, the pressure-cooker there is not getting much relief.

That is even if we forget that the probability that some, as you call them "assholes", in Gaza will "rearm" (to the extent they are "armed" now) is pretty much 100% - at least, as long as Gaza is in its current state.

The problem is that the underlying causes of this conflict are not at all addressed at present. There is nothing that happened in the last few months that will decrease the probability of another similar conflict in reasonably short term. It was a complete waste of human lives - it pretty much changed nothing.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Will VA (R) and North Carolina (D) ever again split in the opposite direction? on: August 26, 2014, 09:39:21 pm
They are close enough that a very popular Republican governor of Virginia running in an otherwise democratic year could do this. Especially, if he had done something to piss NC off Smiley
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 26, 2014, 09:30:29 pm
1. When I say they want Kiev,  I do not mean they want to be responsible for Kiev. A compliant impoverished regime would be enough.

2. In order to achieve that they want to destabilize the country as much as possible. As long as people keep dying in Ukraine that is good, as far as Putin is concerned.

3. Geographically, they need not so much Kiev (or Donbass, for that matter - it is worthless), but the corridor to Crimea and Transnistria. Which, of course, means pretty much all of the coast. If they could get it for free, they would. The question is, what is the maximal price they are willing to pay.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 26, 2014, 09:16:48 pm

Everybody in the west is expecting a hollywood invasion, a declare of war with tank brigades blowing through the board and conquering southeastern Ukraine in a week. Putin is much smarter than that. What we are seeing now is a slow motion invasion. The question is, what is Putin's end game. Does he just want to establish firm control over the Donbass region before coming to the negotiating table, or will we eventually see Russian paratroopers in Kiev?

I believe, at this point it only depends on the strength of resistance. So far, at least, Ukrainians have been able to inflict what appears substantial casualties on the Russian troops - sufficiently serious that it has become pretty much necessary to semi-acknowledge that Russian soldiers are there and that they are dying (at this point it is no longer possible to deny - too many funerals going on near major Russian military bases).  Still, this appears to be not at all enough to stop Putin - the assault accelerates. The longer-term goal, of course, is Kiev and beyond - the question is how big the damage has to be for it to be redefined.

Of course, given what we know of Ukrainian mood and history, once the army gets demolished (which may well happen), a major partisan war will start. And that will, probably, go on for decades.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 26, 2014, 09:11:57 pm
Seriously, it seems like a major Russian attack is under way. Ukrainian troops, according some reports, are facing major reverses, if not worse.  Clearly, they are giving some back - but they are facing what amounts to regular Russian units. Things are truly bad.

All the info I'm seeing indicates several Ukrainian troop formations have been encircles by Russian/Separatist forces. There were also clashes along the southernmost point of the border by the Black Sea. Thousands of residents of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol have evacuated, fearing a Russian invasion.


That is exactly what I am seeing.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 26, 2014, 06:20:10 pm
Only if Hamas is allowed to rearm.

I am willing to bet that this is not the last time - even if every single Hamas guy dies of a heart attack tomorrow.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 26, 2014, 06:18:56 pm
Seriously, it seems like a major Russian attack is under way. Ukrainian troops, according some reports, are facing major reverses, if not worse.  Clearly, they are giving some back - but they are facing what amounts to regular Russian units. Things are truly bad.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 25, 2014, 06:09:37 pm
Summary of the latest from the Russian blogs. Ukrainians destroyed a motorized unit (well inside Ukraine, of course). Found documents with names. Nearly simultaneously, some family members of Russian servicemen with the same names posted on social media the death notices. Within a day those were taken down and replaced with happy family notices ("my husband is alive, celebrating our daughterīs baptism and such). Some newsmen claimed to have talked with the "dead people", who were supposed to be happily at home. However, some local journalists in the area (it is the province of Pskov - the unit in question is the local paratroop division, and some of the soldiers are natives), based on earlier social media posts managed to show up at the funeral. Much of the division was present - and, yes, those are the names on the fresh graves.

Also, Putin has just awarded the Pskov Paratroop Division with a war-time decoration.

Not that anybody has had any doubts for a while, but, still... Poor relatives.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: United States is "Ripper" on: August 25, 2014, 06:01:51 pm
Let us not feed the troll. This guys is, probably, being paid for what he writes. Ignore him.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 02:52:22 pm
Hamas is bad guys, and to put them in same league as Israel (or whatever party there you perceive I have some alliance with....which I find hilarious by t

You know, Aztecs ate other people. And in large numbers. They were, truly, very bad guys. Spaniards felt really disgusted. But, you know what: Aztecs were a lot less efficient at killing than those white-faced non-cannibals.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 02:47:22 pm
You think Israel would have killed a thousand plus Gazans had Hamas not broken the first ceasefire, I ain't acknowledging that you know the difference between your ass and a bucket of chicken.

I think, if necessary, it is fairly easy to provoke Hamas (or whoever else would do it) into launching a missile into thin air. This has been routinely done by Israel over the years - I do not see what is so different right now.

And, yes, I do think that killing 1000 Arabs is simply not something that anybody in Israeli leadership cares about much, except in so far that it helps domestically. Same, frankly, for having Jews killed.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 12:48:49 pm

So you're saying that if Hamas hadn't broken the first ceasefire Israel would have still killed a thousand Palestinians?  That's is complete bull spit and if you honestly believe that I don't know why I'm wasting my time.

Well, you ARE wasting your time.
Agreed.

Hence, relax and stop bothering commenting on Israel affairs. None, except of those already convinced, will pay much attention to you anyway - unless, that is, you decide to approach it very differently.

Good to know you don't pay much attention to anything that doesn't conform to your pre-existing views.  At least you admit it Tongue  Now the next step is to start acknowledging the existance facts that don't support your point of view.  I'm sure you'll get the hang of it someday Smiley  Who knows, you might even manage to develop a shred of objectivity!

I believe, even ded0man will acknowledge that, as far as factual knowledge is concerned here, I am not too off Smiley What I find not worth paying attention to is argumentative demolition of irrelevant points that nobody is making: the favorite passtime of pro-Israeli commentators everywhere Smiley
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 11:36:35 am

So you're saying that if Hamas hadn't broken the first ceasefire Israel would have still killed a thousand Palestinians?  That's is complete bull spit and if you honestly believe that I don't know why I'm wasting my time.

Well, you ARE wasting your time.
Agreed.

Hence, relax and stop bothering commenting on Israel affairs. None, except of those already convinced, will pay much attention to you anyway - unless, that is, you decide to approach it very differently.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 08:43:26 am

So you're saying that if Hamas hadn't broken the first ceasefire Israel would have still killed a thousand Palestinians?  That's is complete bull spit and if you honestly believe that I don't know why I'm wasting my time.

Well, you ARE wasting your time. Because this is the point that is shared by most people outside the comfy right-wing Zionist circle. And, unless you seriously address it, you are not likely to convince anyone of anything. Unfortunately, I am afraid, if you try to seriously address, and, hence, research and think about it, you might be in for some serious lifetime disappointments.

In fact, this is one of the major reasons for why Israeli propaganda is so ineffective. Israelis like to think of themselves as a tiny precarious state under sustained attack from the world. The rest of the world sees Israel as an ultra-powerful military machine lashing out at all those around it at (at best) slightest provocation. Any attempt to argue that "we are just defending ourselves", which is not taking into account the perceived balance of forces is not going to be effective. Trust me.

This is not the only problem with Israeli propaganda. And most of these have to do with rather similar distinctions in perception. Unless Israelis (and their supporters) figure out how they are perceived from the outside, they will always be fighting propaganda battles with imaginary adversaries. Easy to win those battles. Pity, defeating imaginary opponent convinces nobody.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 08:02:15 am
In the same way me and Micheal Jordan are both basketball players.

True: Likud succeeds where Hamas fails.

Yes, of course, Likudniks appear somewhat civilized and sane, whereas Hamasniks are a collection of medeival fanatics. But it is the matter of strength. And because of that the former organization is much more dangerous for all involved than the latter.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 25, 2014, 07:59:41 am
ag, I am making some effort but I still don't understand why you are so afraid of Russia. Wink Were you alive during the Cold War? Were you somehow involved?

Yes, I was alive Smiley Dreadfully scared as a kid that Americans would nuke my home Smiley

I am not afraid of Russia per se. I am afraid pf a country with nukes but without any checks or ballances.  Give Russia a reasonable set of institutions, and I would be ok - even with the same Putin elected. But at this point I am simply being aware of real dangers.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 25, 2014, 01:27:54 am
It appears that following several days of artillery bombardment from the Russian territory, there is a major invasion going on substantially south of where the "rebel"-controlled area has been, in the direction of Telmanove - Novoazovsk (closer to the sea). The border station is overwhelmed and at least 4 tanks have entered FROM RUSSIA. Once again, there is no DNR-held territory immediately adjacent, the attack is  conducted from the territory of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

Anyways, I guess NATO is going to wait till the Russians are crossing the Danube.
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 25, 2014, 12:45:35 am
Do you know how many more Gazans would be alive if Hamas had not broken the first ceasefire?

That Hamas is evil is not at issue here. Yes, they are a gang of fanatics, who donīt much care about the lives of their people. No dispute there.

However, the point is, they have been quite successfully neutralized years ago. The disparity in actual military and intelligence capacity is so humongous, that these day a pretty much necessary precondition for them to be able to hurt any Israeli is for Israel to send troops into Gaza (occasional rocket escaping the shield notwithstanding - pretty much anybody living in any big city in the world, probably, has a higher chance of being murdered while strolling in the park, than an Israeli has of being hit by that rocket). Israel is completely in control of the situation. Hence, it is pretty much irrelevant what Hamas is. Yes, they are SOBīs - and they do not, really, threaten anybody, except for their own people.

It is because of this degree of control over the situation that Israel is exercising at will that it is going to be blamed for whatever happens. Hamas "provoking" whatever is a joke - they are imprisoned within Gaza. Israeli leaders have the full luxury of deciding when and what to do. Hence, it is obvious to anyone paying even token attention that they happily use whatever "provocation" Hamas gives them for domestic political reasons. Frankly, I have long been under suspicion that they take care of provoking the impotent Hamas reaction wherever they need it - and send in the troops when it suites them that a few Jews get killed for a political effect. In fact, I am not going to be surprised if it turns out that Hamas is being consciously kept in power in Gaza to make this easier.

To sum up: yes, Hamas are a bunch of evil SOBs. We do not expect anything but ugliness from them. But they are irrelevant. The guy giving the orders to kill Jews is not any Hamasnik, but PM Netanyahu. And he does it whenever it suites him.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: It must have been just a minor childish prank, nothing serious on: August 22, 2014, 04:39:07 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/world/europe/russia-moves-artillery-units-into-ukraine-nato-says.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=LedeSum&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Ok. Now this is acknowledged officially.  Russian troops are attacking Ukrainian Army from Ukrainian territory: NATO knows it. What the hell are they planning to do about it ?!


Probably nothing. Its not their responsibility to assist Ukraine.

I know. They are planning to wait till it is their job. Doesn't matter if it means extra millions of their citizens' lives taken.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 249


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines