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joined 2022 September 05 08:02:59 UTC


User ID: 501



0 followers   follows 6 users   joined 2022 September 05 08:02:59 UTC


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User ID: 501

Getting back into Kissinger's Diplomacy after taking a break from it to read Goethe’s Faust.

Kissinger is fairly critical of the containment policy of the Cold War. Committing to fight the expansion of the communist states everywhere meant that the ball was in the Soviets’ court to pick the most inconvenient places possible to start crises which America would be morally obligated to intervene in. The book is just about to start on the Vietnam war and what’s interesting is that the Soviets have not yet purposefully exploited this supposed weak point (he has given hints that Khrushchev was very good at creating difficult situations for the Americans but equally bad at finishing them, there’s an echo to an earlier chapter about Napoleon III here).

Kissinger repeatedly says that the Soviets are simply confused by America’s universal moral declarations and they refuse to take anything other than realpolitik seriously. Stalin gives lukewarm support to the Korean War not because it’s an inconvenient place for the US to defend but because he thinks it just won’t be a big deal. The Americans have said as much when discussing core strategic areas, yet when the war breaks out it becomes a place worth fighting for purely because America is bound by the implications of its stated moral principles.

The core investigation of the book seems to be about how Wilson caused Western leaders to question the old balance of power model in favour of a model based on universal declarations of rights, personal goodwill between leaders, collective security organisations and alliances concerned just as much with agreeable domestic institutions as military advantage. Despite the initial failures of the League of Nations and the misplaced trust in Stalin the Wilsonian style of diplomacy never really went away, and the next decades show Britain being won over by this vision (with Churchill being a solidly old-school exception), America learning hard lessons which temper its idealism and the Soviets being terribly confused at what America is actually willing to start a war over. Kissinger is very critical of the Wilsonian vision but he does give it one piece of high praise: to sustain the kind of long term commitment that fighting the Cold War required the American public needed an ideal which could motivate them.

Not OP but Tim Dillon is usually pretty funny.

You'll probably see some xitter users proclaiming that results show a rise in republicanism due to Sinn Fein being the largest party, but the reality is a lot of the results appear to be down to petty squabbles related to power sharing and other administration-related issues.

The biggest reason the DUP lost is probably that their leader (up until 3 months ago) was recently charged with rape and 17 other sex related offences.

I'm not sure what the norm actually is in Ireland, there are plenty of houses with the rule and plenty without.

Sorry if it's weird to bring up an old comment but I was reading Gerald of Wales' 12th century Topographia Hibernica and I found it pretty funny how much his opinion on Irish looks lines up with yours:

Moreover, I have never seen in any other nation so many individuals who were born blind, so many lame, maimed or having some natural defect. The persons of those who are well-formed are indeed remarkably fine, nowhere better; but as those who are favoured with the gifts of nature grow up exceedingly handsome, those from whom she withholds them are frightfully ugly.

it's something that came out of the academy

Did it? It has been in place for over 100 years in Ireland ever since the UK wanted to boost the minority Unionist vote, maybe this all started with an academic paper but it seems like the academy got interested in something that already existed.

Both far left and far right would likely agree on official policies of banning books and jailing opponents of the regime,

Sure, but they probably wouldn’t agree on which books, and which opponents.

Surprisingly it was quite peaceful, the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848 was just a single shootout and was the first uprising in 40 years, the real violence started from the 1860s on as the Irish in America never shed their bitter feelings. The American Civil War changed a lot too because from then on you see things like ex-Union captains being executed in Britain for killing police officers.

It tended to be a common rhetorical device in countries which actually slid into violence too.

Yes, greatly, but while I’m sure something I did contributed to the change have no idea why it happened!

In Ireland it’s not uncommon for judges at sentencing to say something like “I have to judge in accordance with the law as it stands but the legislation needs updating on these points”.

Ireland is moving to recognize Palestinian statehood

Looks like the plan is to do it in concert with Spain, Slovenia and Malta.

Lady flashing her tits at the Times Square portal

On the Dublin side there was a guy showing photos of 9/11, another guy snorting coke, a guy showing his ass and a homeless woman raving before being taken away by police, it’ll be funny if some tit flashing is what gets remembered as the true scandal.

Sinn Fein is an explicitly socialist party, and advocated quasi-revolutionary socialism until relatively recently.

Sure, but Sinn Féin only represents a portion of Irish nationalism. Aside from the minority of socialists who took part in the fighting in 1916/1919-21 they are basically the only explicitly socialist Irish nationalists worth mentioning, and they had very little presence in the Republic of Ireland until quite recently.

There was some interesting overlap ( 1, 2 ) between the early zionists and Irish nationalists, back when both causes involved fighting the British (often it was the same British commanders and troops who fought in Ireland and then Palestine).

I wonder if it’s a case of anti-Israel sentiment in Ireland is just not considered any different to disapproval of the actions of other countries? The American government was hated as much in Ireland for the Iraq war as the Israeli government is in Gaza (anger over American troops passing through Shannon airport was an issue for years), same for Russia in Ukraine, but nobody treats this as some moral failing.

I was in Belfast in January, and when driving through heavily Catholic districts of the city (e.g. the Falls road), I saw Palestinian flags hanging from every pub, which were conspicuous by their absence in the Protestant districts

In the more loyalist areas (I think more moderate Protestants are kind of embarrassed by all the flag-waving) you’ll also see Israeli flags being flown in response to this.

Went to an Irish-language primary school, a Gaelscoil (though I've got terrible Irish these days). We went to church a lot and started every day off with a prayer. The local priest used to come in and give talks and he was very entertaining, he went off to Rome and the next priest wasn't as entertaining but was also a nice fellow. There was a big focus on music which I unfortunately didn't take advantage of so I just did the mandatory tin-whistle playing and singing (the whole class was a church choir). Sports were soccer, handball and (not competitively) rounders though almost everyone was involved in GAA outside of school, I never got the hang of a hurl so I stuck to handball. Nearly all the teachers were female, there were three very strict ones I didn't like and the rest were very friendly. For the final two years we got a male teacher and he was well liked by everyone, our rowdy stage hit around age 12 and we eventually betrayed him on the last day of school by pretending one kid was hurt and showering the teacher in water when he ran over to help.

My main trouble was not having the in-group status most of the other kids shared, I'm Irish but everyone's else's family knew and lived beside everyone else's family for decades and my parents not being locals meant I had to hang out with the Welsh kid, the Scottish kid and the slow kid from Kerry. Eventually I was told I was now part of the cool group, I made one years long friendship out of that and the others I lost contact with as they went to the Irish language secondary school.

My parents made a lot of effort to get me into different secondary schools but left the choice up to me, the school I picked had the worst reputation out of the three but the friend I mentioned was going there and it wasn't on the other side of town so I was happy to go. The new principle was quickly cleaning the place up but there was still a rowdiness among the students that we feared as first years, learned to enjoy in second year and did our best to instill into the younger students in the following years. First years would be thrown into bins, shirt pockets would be torn off and kept as trophies and we had a version of rugby that had no teams and consisted of everyone chasing and throwing rocks at whoever had the ball. Some classes had their disruptive students but as time went on the school did a decent job of separating people into honours and ordinary level classes. I remember voluntarily spending 2 weeks in the ordinary level maths class because I was pessimistic about my upcoming exam results and it's hard to see how anyone could do any learning there, luckily I actually did well on the exam and I quickly got put back into the honours class.

Still reading Kissinger's Diplomacy. A few surprising things I found out (coming from a background of not knowing much about WW2):

  • America was already attacking German submarines in the Atlantic before Pearl Harbour
  • Roosevelt intitially overestimated Britain's post-war potential and planned to pull American troops out of Europe while letting British garrisons pick up the slack.
  • Stalin was proposing post-war plans while German troops were outside of Moscow.
  • Churchill consistently tried to convince Roosevelt on the need to take land before the Soviets got to it, and he was consistently ignored. One plan was for D-Day to include the Balkans.

Aside from that I'm doing more 'reading' than ever by listening to audiobooks at work, I'm on my 30th this year. It's mostly light reading, classic sci-fi, horror and now Sherlock Holmes novels.

This is just a pathological level of oversocialization, to have even had these thoughts occur in your mind

I phrased it in the abstract but this was a real situation which led to an argument with an angry old woman!

The whole point of a queue is to serve in order of arrival, and you arrived first. . . You WANT the system to reward good judgement and punish bad judgement!!!

I agree my judgment was better and put me in the right. though technically I arrived at the correct stop first whereas everyone else was waiting in the rain before I showed up.

Jesus Christ. I wish I knew you, so I could take advantage of you.

What do you want me to say to this, what's your deadlift 1rm?

There's a few minutes between the bus pulling up and the doors opening, enough time to argue with an old woman is less abstract terms than I have phrased it above.

Yep, it's a central bus station so all the stops are beside each other but they go to different towns and cities.

The other stop is 10 feet away (I’m bad with feet, more like 5 metres) but clearly a distinct stop. Think of a bunch of separate queues and a few empty stops in between, like an intercity bus station.

You’re waiting at a bus station and there’s a big queue beside you at the next stop. Your bus pulls up and the big queue realises they’ve been waiting at the wrong stop the whole time and shuffle over.

In this situation are you in the right to take your place at the head of the new queue and reap the rewards for your good judgment or should you respect the misdirected queue and move to the back?

Maybe I’m just squeamish but I didn’t find my visit to a slaughterhouse to be very pleasant (though the actual farmers I was with thought it was nasty business too).

The suffering of the worker in doing an extremely bloody and dirty job is something I don’t think we’d lose much in getting rid of, there’s no self-reliance or virtue of the hunt in a series of bolt gun shots.