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April 20, 2014, 08:31:59 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 03:28:54 pm

I think, it is pretty safe to say, under pretty much complete control. Russian intelligence officers are deployed there in force. Make your own conclusions.

Intelligence officers can be ignored or removed from the equation... sometimes permanently.

There is exactly no evidence of that happening. And ample evidence that they are very much in control. In fact, it is going far beyond intelligence officers: a lot of the people on the ground are simply Russian soldiers pretty much in uniform, just without insignia. This is pretty much documented at this point. In fact, at least some of these people seem to be the same as in Crimea last month - they have been recognized.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 11:32:23 am

I think, it is pretty safe to say, under pretty much complete control. Russian intelligence officers are deployed there in force. Make your own conclusions.

Problem is, those intelligence officers may have read more into their orders than they may have intended.  Even if they get privately punished later for doing so, the problem is Putin will likely find it impossible to undo they have done, since in order to do so he would effectively have to capitulate to the West.  However regardless of whether forces on the ground are exceeding their orders or they are following their orders, the effect is essentially the same.

I think, given the history of that gentleman, it is pretty safe to assume that the worst orders emanate directly from him (even if they are given in a way that makes them hard to trace). Thinking up any other theory is entirely unnecessary, as it would explain nothing that cannot be explained simply by assuming that Putin behaves as Putin normally does.

In particular, it is safe to assume that there is no promise, verbal or written, that Putin has not decided to violate exactly the moment before making that promise. That is his normal operating mode. So, if he promises you anything, you should assume that he is likely planning to do the opposite (if he has already decided on any course of action), or that his actions will be in no way constraint by the promise (if he has not).
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 09:40:00 am

I think, it is pretty safe to say, under pretty much complete control. Russian intelligence officers are deployed there in force. Make your own conclusions.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 12:34:32 am
Jews in the Donetsk PR are being told to register and provide a list of all their property. Meanwhile WSJ's Paul Sonne reports from Putin's long presser that Putin said eastern Ukraine is historically part of Russia and made a lot of sympathetic noises about Yanukovych. Combined with the Russian media reports that Yanukovych will be back in Donetsk in 2 weeks, I wouldn't be surprised if Putin militarily installed his puppet atop a puppet East Ukraine.

I doubt this is actually happening.

It's happening, but the odds are it's free agents causing trouble for the local Jews, rather than any organized persecution by the government.

Sure. For the moment the Russian government is not doing anything against the Jews as such - as long as they are loyal. Not that it would find anything objectionable in killing Jews (or, for that matter, Russians) if it somehow were useful for whatever other objectives it establishes. At this point, though, it isn't, and in that sense Putin is no Hitler - killing Jews is not a primary objective of intrinsic value for him.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 04:29:10 pm

Welcome to Munich, ladies and gentlemen.

Get ready for what follows.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 12:08:32 pm

No, that is not Russian position. Russian position is: Ukraine, for the moment, is Lviv; we might talk about Kiev - but we, probably, will not give up even that. Everything else is just to waste some more time.

Of course, once they get Kiev, they will go for Lviv as well.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 11:41:13 am
BBC reports Russia making calming statements about "de-escalation". This is really bad: this, probably, means invasion is going to happen really soon (whenever Puting says something seemingly informative, his intentions, usually, are exactly the opposite).
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 01:14:35 am
Ukrainians do not want to be the first to shed blood. The problem is, that, probably, means, that, eventually, there will be A LOT of blood.
9  General Politics / Economics / Re: Why don't more governments seek to create full employment? on: April 17, 2014, 01:05:51 am
Governments have ample resources and funds ...

That is the fallacy number 1. Should I continue, or would that be enough?

I think this is a good example of why this board is so uninteresting and stale. You shut down debate and try to make people feel stupid if they have a different angle on economics or economic policy than yourself instead of using your knowledge to facilitate a discussion.

I have, probably, done this in about a half dozen threads since the board started. Precisely, when I thought that the thread has no potential. I pretty much let almost all of it go through. And when I think there is something useful that can be said, I do participate in the conversation meaningfully.

In this particular case, I believe my initial point is sufficient. The first part of the original claim, most essential to the entire argument, is clearly not true. I pointed this out. What else do you suggest I contribute?

I merely suggest you contribute by backing off threats to lock the thread and allow debate to continue.

Have I ever locked a thread? Not once, actually. I always let the conversation continue. Even this one: however painful to watch it is.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 16, 2014, 11:24:32 pm
Am I in correct in thinking that no results are released until all the country has voted? Or do we get piece-by-piece info? And in the former case, are there leaks?

The way it works is the country votes in several different phases.  Only when all the voting is done will they start counting the votes.  As the count progresses there will be partial results released. This year there are not exit polls allowed to be released once the voting starts.  Once all the voters voted and before the counting begins exit polls are allowed to be published.

But the day of the count it will be fast. Voting is electronic, so there will be no hanging chads involved. Just adding up the info from electronic voting machines.
11  General Politics / Economics / Re: Why don't more governments seek to create full employment? on: April 12, 2014, 10:17:46 pm
Governments have ample resources and funds ...

That is the fallacy number 1. Should I continue, or would that be enough?

I think this is a good example of why this board is so uninteresting and stale. You shut down debate and try to make people feel stupid if they have a different angle on economics or economic policy than yourself instead of using your knowledge to facilitate a discussion.

I have, probably, done this in about a half dozen threads since the board started. Precisely, when I thought that the thread has no potential. I pretty much let almost all of it go through. And when I think there is something useful that can be said, I do participate in the conversation meaningfully.

In this particular case, I believe my initial point is sufficient. The first part of the original claim, most essential to the entire argument, is clearly not true. I pointed this out. What else do you suggest I contribute?
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 12, 2014, 06:32:35 pm
Regardless of the situation in Ukraine (for the record, Putin is clearly awful and I would strongly oppose any further incursion into Ukraine given that his support even in the heavily Russian areas is somewhat flimsy at best), but the Kuril Islands are unambiguously Russian territory under the San Francisco Treaty and Japan's continued claim on them is a bit worrying given the nationalist trends of its government and populace. At least Russia's claimed responsibility for Stalin's many crimes.

But the question is, are the Northern Territories part of the Kuril Islands or are they littoral islands of Hokkaido?  They never were under Russian/Soviet control before 1945.

And what if the (Ukrainian) population of those islands pronounces for Japan?

This is not a thing that will happen.

Depends on how you ask Smiley))
Aren't the Kurils majority Russian, though?

From 2010 Census: Kuril district (Iturup) - 4637 Russians, 349 Ukrainians (and I doubt that many of them can say a few words in Ukrainian...); South Kuril district (Kunashir, Shikotan, Habomai) - 7043 Russians, 466 Ukrainians. I don't know what people settled there after 1945, but even if most of them were Ukrainians, they assimilated long time ago.

If need comes, they will be Ukrainians. If need comes, they will be Hottentots, for god's sake Smiley

Good enough, at this point, that some people in Japan have already declared them Ukrainians Smiley
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: U.S denies visa to Hamid Abutalebi, Iranian choice for U.N Ambassador on: April 12, 2014, 08:49:39 am
they should have let him in. Allowing a one-time passage from JFK to the mission and a  ride from the mission to the UN and back at a fixed time and by a fixed route in a precleared vehicle (naturally, without leaving the car, opening the windows, and without stopping, except at street lights. All other movenents to require a prior authorization from the State department.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 12, 2014, 08:43:02 am
If you would like to become Bangladesh, you are welcome.

And no, Modi is in a league of his own. Riots in murders happen in India, it is true. Having the government in cold blood encourage, killing over 2000 people in mere days is much more rare.

Isn't that what happened in 1984 against the Sikhs?

Rajiv is dead. When Modi is dead I will be willing to let it go.

Umm, his wife currently runs the country and his son is running for PM. And she has personally protected congress party members who organized the riots.

Back then his son was a child and his wife was completely out of politics then and for years thereafter. She most definitely did not order murders. I have no objections to Jashodaben running for office 10 years after the SOB dies.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 12, 2014, 12:30:01 am
Regardless of the situation in Ukraine (for the record, Putin is clearly awful and I would strongly oppose any further incursion into Ukraine given that his support even in the heavily Russian areas is somewhat flimsy at best), but the Kuril Islands are unambiguously Russian territory under the San Francisco Treaty and Japan's continued claim on them is a bit worrying given the nationalist trends of its government and populace. At least Russia's claimed responsibility for Stalin's many crimes.

But the question is, are the Northern Territories part of the Kuril Islands or are they littoral islands of Hokkaido?  They never were under Russian/Soviet control before 1945.

And what if the (Ukrainian) population of those islands pronounces for Japan?

This is not a thing that will happen.

Depends on how you ask Smiley))
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 11, 2014, 11:04:39 pm
Regardless of the situation in Ukraine (for the record, Putin is clearly awful and I would strongly oppose any further incursion into Ukraine given that his support even in the heavily Russian areas is somewhat flimsy at best), but the Kuril Islands are unambiguously Russian territory under the San Francisco Treaty and Japan's continued claim on them is a bit worrying given the nationalist trends of its government and populace. At least Russia's claimed responsibility for Stalin's many crimes.

But the question is, are the Northern Territories part of the Kuril Islands or are they littoral islands of Hokkaido?  They never were under Russian/Soviet control before 1945.

And what if the (Ukrainian) population of those islands pronounces for Japan?
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 11, 2014, 08:58:46 pm
I
Regarding Japan I don't see the Japanese following a US/EU boycott of Russia. Especially not with the present leadership.

 

Yes, you are right. They will not follow US/EU. They will lead. If this particular government follows its natural inclinations it will be more radical then the rest of the West in confronting Russia.

You know, some Japanese politicians have already taken note that a substantial chunk of the current population of the Northern Territories happens to be Ukrainian. They might insist on their own referéndum Smiley
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 11, 2014, 08:57:41 pm

Technology only takes you so far. At the end of the day oil and gas are nonrenewable resources, so in the long run prices will increase (unless we have a breakthrough on renewable energy) and I am a pessimist on this. We will get a few decades of cheaper energy and then prices will increase again. Demand is just growing too fast.



I do not think, at present, we have any reason to believe that oil and gas will be close to running out within the lifespan of anybody currently alive - or, for that matter, within the lifespan of their grandchildren. And if they do, then other technologies will become cost-effective and will replace oil and gas. I think it is a fairly safe prediction that the average oil and gas prices over the next century will be below those recently. Just notice how within a few years breakthroughs in shale gas and oil happened and what they are doing.

Finiteness of the non-renewable resources is undisputable. So is finiteness of life on Earth (this por planet will most certainly be eventually swallowed by the expanding Sun, you know). As far as the present discussion goes, both are equally relevant Smiley
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 11, 2014, 10:14:21 am
If you would like to become Bangladesh, you are welcome.

And no, Modi is in a league of his own. Riots in murders happen in India, it is true. Having the government in cold blood encourage, killing over 2000 people in mere days is much more rare.

Isn't that what happened in 1984 against the Sikhs?

Rajiv is dead. When Modi is dead I will be willing to let it go.
20  General Politics / Economics / Re: Why don't more governments seek to create full employment? on: April 10, 2014, 11:56:27 pm
It is not my fault that the texas dude decided to make it a partisan hackery fest. I am just wondering why more governments don't seek to solve unemployment the way they did during the depression years.

And they were remarkably successful, in fact. In good moments the unemployment was just twice what it is now (in bad moments it was bit worse). Until, in fact, WWII came about and took care of that particular problem.

Hell, if you showed the current US employment numbers to FDR in 1937, he would say that there is full employment already Smiley
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 11:21:32 pm
If you would like to become Bangladesh, you are welcome.

And no, Modi is in a league of his own. Riots in murders happen in India, it is true. Having the government in cold blood encourage, killing over 2000 people in mere days is much more rare.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 08:07:37 pm
Olga Bogomolets endorsed by the Socialist Party of Ukraine. I'm liking her more and more.

Has she also been endorsed by the US Anti-Masonic party? What about the good old Constitutional Democratic Party that did so well in the First Russian Duma back in 1905?

Socialist party of Ukraine has for a while been a cold dead corpse.

BTW, nothing against Madame Bogomolets herself. My dad, actually, knows her personally, it seems Smiley
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 08:00:08 pm
Also speaking of riots, are you guys aware of what went on in Muzzafarnagar last year? When you take into account how the riots were handled by the muslim friendly SP who rule the state, why shouldn't Hindus vote for the BJP?

There is a difference between incompetence and deliberate murder. Aside even from the minor fact that in Gujarat there were, what, 50 times as many victims?

Deliberate murder by whom though? BJP cadres or was Modi in the streets?  Here it looks like it was SP party folks, or at least their cherished vote bank. Is Akilesh Yadav a murderer as well? You can say that in Gujarat the police did nothing, thus implying murder by the government itself. The same thing happened here. Or should this be held to a different standard?

 I was pretty surprised actually...I really didn't know that is what happened in Muzaffarnagar. All I knew about it was that people were killed (I assumed muslims) and that people were homeless. Anyways, the BJP strength in UP is starting to make more sense to me now.

I do remember 2002 pretty damn well. Everything at the time indicated that police was deliberately held off from stopping the massacres. Yes, they were never able to prove Modi guilty beyond doubt - he is smart, he would not give such orders directly. But he IS guilty as hell. And he never really denied he did it. At the time, all Mr. Modi had to say was something along the lines of: "Well, you know... Action creates counteraction".  Times of India back then wrote: "Narendra ´Newton´Modi has a lot to answer for". Alas, nobody has ever insisted he does answer.

I haven´t been born yesterday. I know that many Indian politicians resort to inciting or even provoking communal violence when it suites their electoral needs. But what Modi did was outrageous by any standards. He is a mass murderer - if there ever was a mass murderer on this planet.

Narendra Modi is a cold-blooded mass murderer, who has never recanted (even symbolically). You are not buying an unknown bag of goods. There is very much truth in advertising here. We all have known who Narendra Modi is for a long time. The decision is being made consiously.  No way to pretend your compatriots do not know what they are doing.

Good luck. I wish it - do not believe in it, though.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 07:55:05 pm
Also, for those of you who seem to think India treats its religious minorities so horribly, would you be happy if they got the same type of treatment religious minorities get in muslim countries surrounding India?

1. I never said India treated minorities horribly. Unlike, it seems, you, I do not consider Modi to be India.

2. What do Muslim-Shmuslim countries have to do with this conversation? We do not talk about Saudi Arabia here. Frankly, I do not care a fruck for Saudi Arabia. We are talking about India. And, yes, in the US they used to lynch the Negroes. Another very relevant point you could make.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 06:55:23 pm
There are so many things so wrong on so many counts... I just hope, Indian democracy can survive 5 years lf it.



Relax, man. If it survived Indira, it can survive anything.

I wouldn´t be so sure. Indira was many (bad) things, but a fascist thug she wasn´t.
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