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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: It must have been just a minor childish prank, nothing serious on: Today at 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.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / The author has nothing to fear: he died some 100 years ago on: Today at 04:37:51 pm
For those who understand Russian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FLoKZQmJRk
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / It must have been just a minor childish prank, nothing serious on: Today at 04:27:38 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 ?!
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: Today at 11:43:24 am
Actually, it seems some of the first trucks are already on fire. They tried to get into Luhansk and have been stopped.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: Today at 11:41:02 am
Russia has unilaterally moved its "humanitarian convoy" into ukraine. The chances of the war becoming official has gone way up. All it will take is for "ukrainians" to bomb it.

They already bombed another Russian convoy last week.
That was one of the many undeclared military convoys, not to mention there is no proof that ukraine actually hit it chances are it was bluster. This is russias official white humanitarian trucks now.

Seems like the main objective of those trucks (carrying, according to those who managed to peak in some of them, mostly, clean Russian air - plus some small quantities of salt, bottled water, tea and the like) is to bring in their drivers, who are going to fight - and the trucks themselves that the "rebels" might find useful.

Once again it seems a major escalation is about to begin. Russians are concentrating on the border. Ukrainians are trying to concentrate whatever they have left. August 24 is Independence Day in Ukraine. They are planning a military parade in Kiev - with the troops to march from the parade straight to the front (conscious imitation of November 7, 1941 parade in Moscow, of course).
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the St. Louis County Police Department on: August 21, 2014, 04:37:20 pm
Seems fairly incompetent.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Religion in Latin America 2014 on: August 21, 2014, 10:28:30 am
Protestants are almost a plurality in Guatemala and Honduras? Now I knew that the Evangelicals were big there, but....

Interesting that the Protestant population is still so low for Mexico in comparison.


Mexico is uneven. In Chiapas the Catholics are, I believe, under 60% by now. In Guanajuato they are well over 90%. So, it is not that the border is sharp. Then, again, evangelicals are the biggest among the native and the poor. The wealthy and educated classes tend to stay Catholic (if nominally).

In northern Mexico and parts of central Mexico there are non-negligible numbers of Protestants that converted in the late 19th and early 20th century. This demographic is very middle class and was liberal/revolutionary in the early 20th century but now tends to support the PAN.
 

Well, there are also old Mormon and Mennonite settlements there as well. And, of course, sure, there is proselytism among the rich as well. My wife right now is having breakfast with a neighbor who is an upper-middle-class evangelical missionary here (and, from what I figure, only deals with trying to convert within this class). There are baptist and other evangelical churches in Polanco, for god's sake. But the overall correlation is very clear.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Religion in Latin America 2014 on: August 20, 2014, 06:03:11 pm
Protestants are almost a plurality in Guatemala and Honduras? Now I knew that the Evangelicals were big there, but....

Interesting that the Protestant population is still so low for Mexico in comparison.


Mexico is uneven. In Chiapas the Catholics are, I believe, under 60% by now. In Guanajuato they are well over 90%. So, it is not that the border is sharp. Then, again, evangelicals are the biggest among the native and the poor. The wealthy and educated classes tend to stay Catholic (if nominally).
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Death to the Jews"... on: August 20, 2014, 05:59:42 pm
Are you suggesting we are to rename Matamoros as well?

The next thing you know, you are going to ban Catholic Church Smiley
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 19, 2014, 03:51:06 pm
I have to disagree with you when you consider them negligible, and even more a myth. The proof is that it is enough for them to threaten Poroshenko for him to concede to their demands within one day.

And I am not the one who decided to give them so much importance. Whether it's because of an emphasis on them by the rebels and Russia, or thanks to good public relations, they somehow reached an importance much bigger that their number of fighters would indicate at first sight.


Well, considering that Russians tend to classifyl anybody who says "hi" in Ukrainian as a member of the "Right Sector", this is not surprising.  I will have to qualify my statement to say that, though nearly irrelevant in Ukraine, they are not irrelevant among those who get their news from (translated or not) Russian sources. Unfortunately, there is very little Ukrainians can do about it: it is not about Ukraine at all.

Once again: in Russian media these days ALL Ukrainians are fascists: simply by virtue of being Ukrainians. This includes Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Turchinov, Klichko and all their followers. Most Russians are now convinced of this. This has exactly nothing to do with Dmitry Yarosh and his few known followers. Short of committing suicide and ordering his troops to do the same there is nothing Poroshenko (or anybody else) could do to satisfy the Russian public opinion at this point. It would be a fools errand to try. Kill Yarosh - the Russians will ask why havenīt you killed Yatsenyuk.

And no, Putin is not looking for an exit. He does not need a pretext to get out. I am not sure he wants to get in en force at this point (he might be reasonable enough to realize it would be too costly), but he wants Ukrainians to continue dying in large numbers for as long as possible, and for the area around Donetsk to stay miserable no-manīs land for as long as possible: for decades, if he can get his way. Ideally, he would do the same in the rest of Ukraine as well (and beyond) - as long as he cannot have the whole country to himself, that is. His goons are going to make sure that thousands more people die - the more the merrier.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 18, 2014, 03:31:13 pm
As for the "Right Sector" proper - these are, literally, at this point a few dozen fighters behind a not-very-charismatic leader. They are not even among the larger volunteer units in the field - there are several that are a lot bigger. Politically and militarily they are negligible. And no, they cannot create bloody mess in Kiev - they are too inconsequential for that.
It should not be too difficult to get rid of them then.

Get rid of whom? Of a myth?
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 18, 2014, 02:58:08 pm
The new "prime-minister of the DNR" Zakharchenko announced today (on camera, at the meeting of the "parliament") that they just got major reinforcements: 30 tanks, 120 armored vehicles, 1200 soldiers "that have been training in Russian Federation".

Huh

What makes you wonder?

They say it so blatantly?

And?
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 18, 2014, 02:54:29 pm
On something different, some members of Right Sector were arrested a few days ago. Two days ago the leaders of the group threatened to leave the eastern front and to walk on Kiev instead. After these threats, the members of the group were released today and some official at the Interior Ministry fired.

I think these groups are the key factor for a peace treaty. If Poroshenko manages to control them, it will allow the rebels and Putin to claim that the fascist threat has been stopped. But he cannot crack down on them too brutally, because they are still useful in the East and they are able to create a big mess in Kiev if they decide to.

Also, tens of civilian refugees fleeing Luhansk were killed when their convoy was attacked, both sides trade blame.

"Right sector" is near negligible, at this point. It us but one of many volunteer units fighting on the Ukrainian side. Many of these are, basically, groups of easterners, fighting in their own territory. They are, sometimes, insubordinate - but fascists they are not. As for the "Right Sector" proper - these are, literally, at this point a few dozen fighters behind a not-very-charismatic leader. They are not even among the larger volunteer units in the field - there are several that are a lot bigger. Politically and militarily they are negligible. And no, they cannot create bloody mess in Kiev - they are too inconsequential for that.

As for "fascists", etc. - this is hopeless. In the current Russian parlance EVERY Ukrainian is a fascist, unless he is in the pocket of the Russians. So is EVERY American, incidentally (unless his last name happens to be Snowden). Putin needs the "fascist threat" - he is not going to argue that it "has been stopped". Of course, the only true fascist threat in the world these days is presented by him and his government - and it HAS TO BE STOPPED.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 18, 2014, 11:36:02 am
Looks like in the last few days Russia brought in major reinforcements. Ukrainians are in real danger of a serious military defeat right now. At the very least, the war is escalating badly.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton Vs. Paul on: August 18, 2014, 01:15:31 am
Have to say: I would be sh**t-scared of Paul being US president.
16  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Satanists use Hobby Lobby decision to ask for exemption from anti-abortion laws on: August 17, 2014, 03:40:03 pm
Hell Scientology is actually a pretty legitimate religion in relation to Satanism. Satanism is as serious a "religion" as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I strenuously object to the unfounded disparagement of pastafarianism. It is as much of a religion, as that strange Jewish cult, insisting on worshiping the fake messiah that so many people here profess.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 16, 2014, 12:35:39 pm
The new "prime-minister of the DNR" Zakharchenko announced today (on camera, at the meeting of the "parliament") that they just got major reinforcements: 30 tanks, 120 armored vehicles, 1200 soldiers "that have been training in Russian Federation".

Huh

What makes you wonder?
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 08:19:32 pm
The new "prime-minister of the DNR" Zakharchenko announced today (on camera, at the meeting of the "parliament") that they just got major reinforcements: 30 tanks, 120 armored vehicles, 1200 soldiers "that have been training in Russian Federation".

What else is Russia supposed to do for the invasion to be official? Have Putin notify Merkel in person?
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 08:10:40 pm
I really don't care about imaginary lines on a map. The South Kuril's inhabitants want to be Russian and would suffer under a very xenophobic Japanese government and culture. The Donetsk and Luhansk provinces only have a vocal minority which wants to join Russia, and should not be annexed.

Google what is Haishenwai Smiley
Has Japan ever seriously claimed that area beyond their Russian Civil War misadventures?

Did I say anything about Japan?
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 04:52:07 pm
I really don't care about imaginary lines on a map. The South Kuril's inhabitants want to be Russian and would suffer under a very xenophobic Japanese government and culture. The Donetsk and Luhansk provinces only have a vocal minority which wants to join Russia, and should not be annexed.

Google what is Haishenwai Smiley
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Is the Republican's problem that they're too Southern? on: August 15, 2014, 03:44:03 pm
Yes, it is a big problem. South is both an asset and a liability. And, whereas in the olden days Dems managed to maintain the clearly separate wings, the Republican party these days is too frequently viewed as the Southern White Party. Of course, Southerners do not get nominated too frequently - but that could be simply suicidal under the circumstances. But too strong magnolia flavor there is for sure.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 03:30:49 pm
In related news, US to deploy M1 Abrams to Estonia in October and are now backing Japanese ownership of the South Kuril Islands.

So now we're hopping on board with the xenophobic militarists who openly want to revive the empire and abandoning the San Francisco Treaty and the will of the ethnic Russians in the Kurils? That's not hypocritical at all (and it certainly won't help curry favor with China).

He, who has sown shall reap. At this point I would also consider supporting the restitution of Boli and Haishenwai Smiley

I think you can understand the difference between the situations in Eastern Ukraine (for the record I don't support Putin's incursion there, though I couldn't care less about Crimea) and the Kuril Islands.

Yes, I see the difference. Russia many times solemnly pledged to recognize and protect the borders of Ukraine (including Crimea) whereas Japan has always claimed the Northern Territories (South Kurils is the Russian name - the Japanese have never acknowledged the four islands to be a part of the Kurils). If anything, the Japanese claim seems a lot stronger.

In any case, how about Haishenwai? Would take care of any Chinese objections that one, that is for sure Smiley
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 02:47:40 pm
In related news, US to deploy M1 Abrams to Estonia in October and are now backing Japanese ownership of the South Kuril Islands.

So now we're hopping on board with the xenophobic militarists who openly want to revive the empire and abandoning the San Francisco Treaty and the will of the ethnic Russians in the Kurils? That's not hypocritical at all (and it certainly won't help curry favor with China).

He, who has sown shall reap. At this point I would also consider supporting the restitution of Boli and Haishenwai Smiley
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 11:23:55 am

That part of the  border on Ukrainian side is under full "rebel"/Russian control. Ukrainians tried to take it over, got surrounded (naturally, they were hit from one side by the "rebels", and on the other side by the Russians, against whom they could not respond for fear of being accused of attacking Russia) and almost wiped out (with great difficulty they managed to extricate part of the troops; a few more had to go into Russia, where some are still detained; a lot are missing).  They are now trying to severe Donetsk from Luhansk well within their own territory - they, basically, cannot operate near the Russian border at all (they claim that Russian artillery, based on Russian territory, has been in active action for quite a while - just out of sight of the Western media).
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 15, 2014, 09:28:00 am
Pretty much totally agree with this except for the "not 100% false part." Why are you keeping up that nonsense? Svoboda isn't even in government anymore.
Groups like Pravy Sektor and other militias are still fighting along with the Ukranian army. They are a small minority, but being the most fanatical, they are always on the frontline. If you prefer "fascists" rather than "neo-nazis", I am also fine with it, it does not make much of a different anyway.

The rebels may surrender to the regular Ukrainian army, but they will never surrender to these militias.

Most pro-Ukrainian irregular militias are, actually, composed of Donetsk amd Luhansk natives (batallions Donetsk, Azov, Aydar, ets.), who chose to fight the Russians. They are also the most ruthless. Pravy Sektor  proper is a tiny group. Yes, they are also fighting, but they are infinitecimal. Of course, this does not prevent their opponents from calling everybody "pravy sektor". But, then, again, they claim that everyone who has ever said "thank you" in Ukrainian is a fascist.
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