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joined 2022 October 15 17:30:54 UTC


User ID: 1662



1 follower   follows 3 users   joined 2022 October 15 17:30:54 UTC


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User ID: 1662

So it's not like this stuff just randomly came up, there seems to be an organized conservative effort now to headhunt these woke progressive leaders.

One big change that's happened since 2022 is that conservatives have an eye of Sauron now too.

Wow, those avatars are ugly.

Have you tried bird watching? It's like Pokemon Go in real life. It's a great excuse to go for walks and explore new areas. Want to scratch that collector itch? Everytime you see a new bird, add it to your life list. See how many you can collect. Also, birds are just amazing and beautiful unlike those fucking avatars.

If you want there's a free app called Merlin that will help identify birds and keep track of your list. It's totally free with no ads. I'd also recommend a pair of binoculars.

Otoh you have assholes like me who dropped out of work super early, living off capital gains, and pay almost nothing in taxes because the cap gains taxes are so low.

Paper assets have had quite the decade haven't they? The coming decade may see capital gains that are not much above inflation. Imagine earning 5% per year with 5% inflation and then paying "capital gains" when you sell. It's a back-door wealth tax.

I'd have no problem with higher capital gains taxes, but only on gains that exceed inflation.

Or the billionaires who just take out margin loans forever, then pass it all on to their heirs, who then get a stepped up basis with no capital gains.

This is the loophole that needs to be fixed. "Buy borrow die" is overpowered and needs to be neutered.

the Russians will not be kind masters as weirdly envisioned by anti-progressives.

Who is saying that? Maybe someone. On this forum, the idea that Russia is some sort of right-wing paradise has been debunked many times. For one, Russia practices a model of top-down state control that aligns tightly with the modern left. The reality is that Russia is neither right nor left by American standards and is not a useful model to either party.

You can be anti-war without being pro-Russia. And you can also recognize that Russian victory is preferable to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of additional Ukrainian men. And even if you don't recognize this, Russia might win anyway.

Will Russia be kind masters of Ukrainian territories? I don't know. It won't be a paradise. But it beats dying in a ditch. And even if you personally don't think so, you have no moral right to condemn other people to die in a ditch against their will.

Honestly, I think your comment is in bad faith. You are strawmanning a nuanced anti-war position in order to police an opinion you don't like and reducing it to a "bad take" and "pro RU". If you have an argument in favor of the Ukraine War make one.

This seems to be about what to expect for a topic that attracts agenda posters but lies outside of the specialisation of anyone producing the sort of deep dives that tend to cause productive discussion around here.

As the person who made the initial post, I'd like to push back on this. I guess I might have an "agenda". You'll have to take my word for it that my agenda is peace and the preservation of human life.

I think Ukraine is an important topic and one in which mainstream opinion is wrong. The intersection of these two makes it a great topic to discuss here. That's why I've posted about it twice now.

And, yeah, it seems to generate some heat, but I'd argue the amount of light is greater. How many people are even talking about conscription, either on the Motte, X, or on (shudder) mainstream media?

On the other hand, what I don't love about this forum is 5000 word "deep-dives" on some random game developer no one has ever heard of or cares about. I don't view those as productive in the slightest. The stakes couldn't be lower.

Since I think what gets said in places like this matters, I think it's important to discuss real issues.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: bleeding Russia is on sale right at an amazing discount right now, so we're buying a bit.

I think this is the rationale.

It doesn't seem to be working. The sanctions have failed. Utterly. It turns out that China, not the West, is the key trade partner of any commodity producer. Russian oil and commodities freely trade on the world market, and the West is actually afraid to sanction Russia more strongly because it hurts them more than Russia. Sanction Russian metals? Great, welcome to higher prices and China will scoop up all Russian production for cheap.

The bigger issue is that the Russian army is 15% larger than before the war and apparently Russia is outproducing the West in key armaments by large margins.

But even if this strategy was effective, killing 1 million people to "weaken" an adversary is just incredibly evil.

If a plantation has 60% free workers and 40% slaves, that hardly excuses the plantation owner does it?

Or comparing Belarus with Estonia.

Yeah, that's the fantasy. But it won't be the reality. Ukraine is a Slavic country that is culturally similar to Russia. Whether they are politically part of Russia that won't change.

Estonia, on the other hand, is demographically most similar to Finland. That's why they got rich and Ukraine didn't.

The Baltics are part of NATO.

Women used to have duties as well: to bear children and to raise them.

Without those duties, deference to the fairer sex may live on in our lizard brains but it serves no useful purpose.

Yeah, it's weird. To me there doesn't seem to be that much difference between Ukraine and Russia. They're both poor, corrupt, Slavic-speaking countries that share a lot of culture. Sure, a European-leaning Ukraine is probably better than a Russia-leaning one, but it's not a huge difference.

But nationalism fucks with people's brains. No one wants to be ruled by a foreign race, even if that foreign race is only superficially different.

I'm reminded of how Bosnians, Serbians, and Croats all speak the exact same language but insist that they speak different languages. I've heard of courtroom trials where the defendant insists on getting a translator because, as a Bosnian, he can't understand Serbian. And then the translator just recites the exact same sentence back.

The differences between Ukraine and Russia are much smaller than the differences between Ukraine and Germany. And that's perhaps why nubile Ukrainian women vastly prefer to stay in Germany.

He's already attacking Ukraine, so I don't know how this would be worse.

Yeah, there has been a massive effort to manufacture consensus for the Ukraine War, framing it in apocalyptic terms and launching ad-hominem attacks against anyone who spoke up.

But I believe the tone has changed. People like David Sacks are openly speaking up against the war and not being canceled. Accusations of being a "Russian bot" are no longer sticking. The narrative is collapsing.

The Ukrainian people and government want to fight

Maybe the government wants this war. Maybe even the people do too. But not enough to go fight and die. That's why Ukraine is rounding up men and forcing them to fight against their will.

The people who seem to want this war the most are those for whom it costs nothing.

Ukrainian women are... people? They are not the property of Ukrainian men. They are not obliged to restrain from forming relationships or otherwise trying to live their lives because they happen to be refugees.

Ukraine is already taking away its male citizens right to life. Taking away its female citizens right to date German men is a small step in comparison.

If the government is going to conscript men and send them to the front to die, then all citizens should chip in and help. Women should be working in arms plants, farms, and in support roles in the military. And, yes, they should be there to form families with the returning soldiers when the war is over.

And if these women would prefer not to, shouldn't Ukrainian men get to opt out as well?

What's bizarre is the Western world asking Ukrainian men to bear nearly the entire brunt of this conflict as if their lives have no value.

The idea that Ukrainians are only fighting out because mean old NATO made them do it is absurd.

It's one thing to support a war in the abstract. It's another to volunteer to actually fight the war. There is not sufficient volunteer manpower, so Ukraine is forced to round up men at gunpoint and force them to serve.

I do not believe that the continued prosecution of the war (for what aims?) can justify the human rights tragedy that is unfolding.

I'm also pro-West. Putin and Russia don't provide a convincing alternative to a better future. But just because Putin is evil and wrong doesn't mean we can't make peace for pragmatic reasons.

This is not Munich in 1938. Russia is a wounded animal, encircled by NATO. People saying "if we don't stop him now, he'll take Poland" are fabulists. This is not a realistic scenario.

On the other hand, I think the lives of Ukrainian conscripts (and yes, even Russian conscripts) have non-zero value.

Well, why do you think they fight?

Increasingly, they fight because they are conscripted and forced to. Ukrainian men are being treated as if their lives have no value.

A Tone-Shift in the Ukraine War

Lately, I've noticed that the tone of the discussion regarding Ukraine both on the Motte and on X has changed considerably. Notably, it seems that people are taking a much more pessimistic view of Ukraine's chances. The default assumption now is that Ukraine will lose the war.

I think a stalemate is still quite possible, but the more optimistic assumptions that Ukraine would regain lost territory (or comically, Crimea) are now a dead letter. So what, exactly, are our leaders thinking? Recently, Macron went off-narrative a bit, suggesting that France could send troops into Ukraine. More ominously, Secretary of State Blinken said that Ukraine will join NATO.

Perhaps Western leaders view this sabre-rattling as good for their electoral chances. And, until recently, the war was seen as a relatively cost-effective way to weaken Russia. (Sadly, this seems to have failed as Russia has freely exported oil to India and China and is making armaments in great numbers).

But what of Ukrainians themselves? Will they tire of being NATO's cat's paw? It's impossible to find good numbers on how many Ukrainian men have been killed so far in this war. It's likely in the hundreds of thousands. Towns and villages throughout the country are devoid of men, as the men (hunted by conscription) either flee, hide, or are sent to the fronts.

User @Sloot shared this nuclear-grade propoganda. While Ukrainian men fight and die in some trench, an increasing number of Ukrainian women are finding new homes (and Tinder dates) in Germany. Concern about female fidelity has always been a prominent feature of wartime propaganda. But, this takes it to a new level, since the women are in a different country, making new, better lives for themselves. How many will ever even return to Ukraine?

Ukrainian men are getting a raw deal in an effort to reconquer lost territory, whose residents probably want to be part of Russia anyway. Why should Ukrainians fight and die for some abstract geopolitical goal of NATO?

I don't know. Is a full blown war between Iran and Israel even possible? Does either nation have the capability to deploy and maintain a substantial force on the ground of the other,

No. Not even close.

or is the worst that can happen a full air exchange?

Yes. Iran's max damage is probably 10k Israeli civilians.

Israeli could do a lot worse. They could probably kill Iran's leaders and cripple their oil infrastructure. At the far extreme they could nuke Tehran but obviously they won't do that for game theoretical reasons.

I think you're right, but it's not super obvious to most people. I'll spell it out to save people time.

Let's say both sides are equal. In that case, "deterrent to future attacks" is equivalent to "tit for tat forever". This obviously doesn't work.

However, since Israel is much stronger than Iran, deterrence actually works since they can impose costs on Iran which Iran can't impose in return. I'll assume this is what you meant.

Agree on all counts. I retract all my baby boom statements about Ukraine.

Maybe Russia.

Ah, the old Walter White method. I've heard the Russians have some pretty tricky ways to kill people too. Surprised the Israelis haven't made a heart attack gun yet.

In any case, if Israeli can reduce the life expectancy of an average Iranian nuclear scientist to less than 10 years, I think that should do the trick. The rest should take care of itself. "What are we making nukes for anyway, Reza? You ever wonder what would happen if we just.. didn't".

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