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joined 2022 September 06 14:31:18 UTC


User ID: 859



2 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 06 14:31:18 UTC


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User ID: 859

Would there be? Does NATO risk nuclear war for the sake of Estonia?

What if it's just a border incursion? The Russians penetrate some 20 or 30 km and then stop. What if it's just shelling or a few bombs dropped on military bases?

I don't think this is something particularly likely, but the Russians might think it valuable to test the waters on how united NATO really is, especially if Trump is elected again.

I think a significant part of it is simply staff size. A 10-man team can create a work of art. A 1000-man team is answering to shareholders first.

It might depend on what level of salami slicing is attempted. Estonia is a very soft target; there doesn't need to be some massive build-up of force to seize most or all of it. So let's say you have a normal force distribution at standard readiness in the Leningrad Military District. All of a sudden the wire comes in - ethnic Russians have been killed by the government of Estonia, and the rest need immediate protection to prevent the same! It's only a 200 km drive to Tallinn from the border. There are negligible forces in your way. How much preparation is actually needed at this point?

They sort of flip Jessica and Paul's eagerness with respect to the missionara protectiva prophecy; in the book Paul is all for it and Jessica reluctant. But in the movie it is Jessica who is the insistent one and Paul troubled with it. This makes Jessica seem much more manipulative and also lumps her in with the rest of the Bene Gesserit when she was supposed to be the black sheep

This makes it all the more peculiar that nobody has been able to experimentally demonstrate and therefore verify the greenhouse effect.

Experimentally proving the greenhouse effect is a common science class task for sixth graders. The author of this could probably do it with materials that exist in his house. This is a rather extreme self-imposed ignorance.

Churchill in this message was actually reusing some of the same words he had used in a message to Anthony Eden two days previously (in the context of learning about the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz):

"There is no doubt this is the most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world, and it has been done by scientific machinery by nominally civilised men in the name of a great State and one of the leading races of Europe. It is quite clear that all concerned in this crime who may fall into our hands, including the people who only obeyed orders by carrying out the butcheries, should be put to death after their association with the murders has been proved. I cannot therefore feel that this is the kind of ordinary case which is put through the Protecting Power, as, for instance, the lack of feeding or sanitary conditions in some particular prisoners' camp. There should therefore, in my opinion, be no negotiations of any kind on this subject. Declarations should be made in public, so that everyone connected with it will be hunted down and put to death." link

Ironically enough he torpedoes two denialist claims in this short message. No wonder they pretend it doesn't exist.

For some reason I was thinking about the OJ Simpson trial today, and it reminded me of your comment.

Even this analogy is somewhat inapt; it would require for OJ Simpson to have been unrepentantly open about killing them, with the defence team meanwhile trying and failing to construct alternative scenarios regardless.

Like I've said many times everytime SS starts beating this drum, Holocaust deniers never seem to come up with a convincing way to get around the fact that the Nazis were quite happy to admit they had killed millions of Jews. At best they would feign that they had somehow been coerced, or threatened, or were just following orders.

he says "puck". It's an old saying about why Wayne Gretzky was so good.

Anglo countries allow for individuals or groups to mount legal challenges to the state much more aggressively than other nations, and judges are much more likely to grant injunctions, freeze construction etc while those cases progress.

Amusing example recently from Toronto: the process is underway of electrifying the rail network in order to transform it into a German style S-bahn with frequent, fast, bi-directional service all day. This is legitimately maybe the most important public transport project in Canadian history, give or take the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions it might be the biggest individual project because it will displace tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of car trips yearly.

So it is totally rational for the project to have been delayed because a group of concerned citizens (who incidentally, live near the rail corridor) were worried that the electrification might affect a type of salamander in a nearby ravine. That is not to say the salamander actually lives in the ravine in question: but it might, and the electrification of the railway and the increased train traffic might affect it somehow. No, the salamander isn't endangered. But who knows: perhaps it one day will be?

A short post about Metrolinx, Ontario's incompetent transit authority

I enjoy talking about public transit. Not just because I advocate for it to be better, but also because I think it sits at the nexus of a number of problems in the Anglosphere: crushing regulatory barriers, unwieldy bureaucracy, land use and housing, GHG emissions, and the declining state capacity to envision and build projects that better the lives of its citizens. As has been discussed much before, the Anglosphere has a problem separate from other western countries with respect to its construction costs, and this is particularly egregious for transit. Similar projects to those accomplished in Spain or Norway or Italy are - when attempted in Canada, the UK, or the US - considerably more expensive (often 10x more, per km), take longer to build, and when finished have inferior performance. If you live in the Anglosphere and are barely aware of local issues you can probably think of a few local examples off the top of your head.

The Eglinton Crosstown is a classic example. Originally intended to open in time for Toronto's hosting of the 2015 Pan Am games, this light rail line was subsequently cancelled, revived, and redesigned before construction eventually began, with a greatly inflated budget. The project's completion date had previously been announced as 2020, then '21, then '22... in September 2023 a news conference was called by Metrolinx to announce they had no update for when it might be operational. Ostensibly it will be this year, but no one would bet on it. There is presumably some fault with the construction (informed speculation points to leakage and erosion in some of the stations near the intersection with the Yonge-University subway line) that is not being publicly announced due to legal wranglings with the P3 contractor. All in all it's a gross failure, and a pathetic one.

Which made it all the more unbelievable that Metrolinx decided to launch a PR campaign mocking those who complained about delays. Sometimes you get a glimpse of someone's personality by some action they take that seems to reveal in a moment all you need to know about them, and I get the feeling based on the public reaction this substantially hardened people's opinions. Now I know some people who have worked in or with Metrolinx, and I was aware of their general incompetence, their paralyzing bureaucratic approach, their malaise of indecision. I was not aware they were so contemptuous of the public. This 30 second advertisement and its accompanying campaign cost $2.25 million and was immediately pulled due to the response (all told, one of their more on-target projects).

But the real reason I wrote this is so I can share the amazing parody of the Metrolinx ad campaign that perfectly captures the passive-aggressive sanctimony.

There's a UK "quiz culture" and corresponding infrastructure; local leagues, regional leagues, prestigious competitions, popular club at universities, etc. It's just a much more popular pasttime from what I can tell.

it's some dude in the midwest who every time he has a bratwurst thinks "Heil Hitler, we must save the Fatherland"

I've been binging Only Connect, a game show people here might enjoy very much. The appeal of it is that it's a sort of hybrid of trivia and lateral thinking, which often forces contestants to combine different sorts of thought processes to find answers. It's delightful in that it is simultaneously unpretentious in its presentation and incredibly pretentious in its subject matter, is played for no money, and as far as I know in the English-language world it is the most difficult game show. If nothing else it will improve your knowledge of British geography. The (almost) full archives of it are on youtube allowing you a near-infinite back catalogue. If you want a taste here is the most recent series finale.

The sites died out because their format of pouring incandescent hot rage into your eyes has moved to youtube, tiktok, twitter, etc. Those offer either condensed format or visual augmentation, whereas for as bad as those former sites were for humanity they at least forced you to READ a bit.

The comments on youtube/tiktok/whatever are still largely unmoderated even if the more text-based social media sites are.

At the start of the 20th century, if you were forced to pick a country that you think would carry out a Holocaust-level atrocity in the next fifty years, everyone would have picked Russia. (Not necessarily with Jews as the target, they were just the most obvious target). No other state in Christian Europe was nearly so repressive.

You actually support Diocletian's reforms? umm, yikes.

I'm a progressive! (circa 2014)

This is actually a debate space to make progressives better at debunking alt-right trolls. TheMotte plays a critical part in deprogramming radicals.

(this isn't even necessarily untrue)

All the SBNation sites went downhill when they got monetized. Geez, I haven't been on SilverSeven for like 5-6 years now at least and it used to be a daily internet stop of mine.

Jokes are not a problem, pranks aren't a problem and you even noted yourself that the misogyny and homophobia is light hearted, which in a sane world would be another way of saying "not a problem". And then we get the kicker - repressed homoeroticism. No action involved is an issue, but there are problematic thoughts involved.

Yeah I don't think a lot of it is a problem. I'm not one to start an Inquisition over some "problematic" jokes or whatever. But when you're say, having all the veterans take turns pissing on cookies that you then force the rookies to eat, or you have all the veterans take turns teabagging the rookies, or you force the rookies to run a gauntlet of towel-whipping while nude... there's a point where this crosses a line into both homoeroticism and cruelty

It's hard to say exactly how much has filtered through to him on social media - I always hope that people in the public eye don't look at this kind of stuff, but you have to expect they do. The team itself always treated him very differently from Formenton - they gave him the A, he played a big part of media/promotion, etc. They clearly tried to establish without saying directly that he wasn't at fault. I think that makes the "guilty before even accused" behaviour worse, really. But it was also from a pretty small wedge of the fanbase, I wouldn't say all or even most of the "prog side" jumped in on this

Anatomy of a slow-moving scandal: Canada's 2018 WJ hockey team

The "World Juniors", the under-20 international hockey championship, is probably the third-biggest sporting event for Canadians after the NHL playoffs and the Olympics. Played immediately after Christmas each year, it gets massive TV ratings as people are home for the holidays. It helps that Canada wins more often than not, though its hold on being the undisputed champion of ice hockey becomes more precarious year-by-year. The brightest stars of junior hockey in Canada are often already household names before they go onto their professional careers, and people look back at certain years with specific fondness for their wealth of talent, in particular the 2005 team.

Well no one is going to look back at the 2018 team with much fondness: five of its members have been ordered to surrender to police to face charges for the gang rape of a woman after a celebratory gala in June 2018 to commemorate their victory. The move towards criminal prosecution has been somewhat glacial; an investigation was briefly opened in February 2019, but was closed and the story never reached the press. In 2022 the victim sued Hockey Canada; they settled with her out of court, and it was this settlement that sparked media attention as news of the incident had never reached the public. The settlement ignited a real public scrutiny on Hockey Canada, which was revealed to have a special unmarked fund for compensating victims of sexual assault by its players, and using government funds to do so. The criminal case into the affair was re-opened, and the problem of sexual assault within Hockey Canada and hockey culture in general became a national debate.

Hockey culture is kind of weird. I grew up somewhat alongside it; I was good enough to play rep hockey, but my parents were too busy for it so apart from a summer when I was 12 I never got too deep into it. But I knew the guys who played AAA or junior hockey and a few future NHLers, and I got enough taste of the locker-room culture to put me off it. It's really not too dissimilar, from my understanding, to the culture of similar macho, competitive sports like American football; a mix of jokes and pranks and lighthearted misogyny and homophobia (with an undercurrent of repressed homoeroticism). For the really competitive teams hazing was common and could get quite severe, bordering on sexual assault of new players. If you're a really good player (not necessarily a future NHLer, but maybe a pro in Europe or somewhere) you leave your family at 14 or 15 to go play junior hockey in the CHL. Education is very much a lesser priority, you probably don't go to university, and there's generally few people telling you you're anything but hot shit. If you make it to the Canadian WJ team you're practically a national celebrity if only for a brief period of time. I think all of these things add together in not necessarily the most wholesome of ways.

So that this kind of scandal would happen, or that it would be swept under the rug only to eventually reappear later, is not entirely shocking. "Hockey Canada sexual assault scandal a real shock to anyone who has never met a junior hockey player" says The Beaverton, the Canadian equivalent of The Onion, and yeah that pretty much sums it up.

Since the coming to light of the incident in 2022 there's been a flurry of speculation about who might have done it: my understanding was only two of the players (including superstar Cale Makar) had airtight alibis as far as internet sleuths could tell. Every time news came out about one of the 2018 WJC players there was speculation it was somehow linked: a player being traded, or not being re-signed by their team, or rumours about locker room problems, etc. My team (the Ottawa Senators) didn't re-sign a player, Alex Formenton, from the 2018 WJC who had had a good season the year before, and so speculation swirled that everyone behind the scenes knew what was up. There have apparently been a few hunches confirmed: in the past day and a bit five players have been announced by their teams to be taking "indefinite leaves of absence." All five were semi-regular NHLers (except for the aforementioned Formenton who was now playing in Italy). I wonder whether there will be pushback against the teams that employed them, presumably knowing this was coming for a while.

There's no statute of limitations in Canada (except for treason, bizarrely: 3 years!). Presumably the London Police feel they have a strong enough case here: besides the woman there were apparently three others who saw and did not take part. As of yet I've seen no sort of arguments that the alleged victim was lying or something, but there are some conflicting details and perhaps more that will emerge as prosecution moves further along. This is after all what the criminal justice system is for. So as of yet this case has sort-of ignited a culture war debate, without yet succumbing to culture war neuroses quite yet. The last big sexual assault case that got national attention in Canada was gigantic clusterfuck (Jian Ghomeshi, if you're interested) and pretty badly damaged the credibility of the media. We'll see where this goes.

Man, if only they had somehow tracked the guy who wrote those Wannsee minutes down. Maybe interrogated him, or had a big trial or something. What an incredibly insightful process that would have been. Shame it didn't happen.

Your hate is too obvious, it makes the shtick too visible. You need to apply a few more layers of lacquer or something. I don't get the point of it all either, it's too effortful to be merely the product of some kind of stubborn contrarianism. I know you're lying, you know you're lying, you know I know you're lying, what's the point?

If the Western Allies had refused to ally with the Soviet Union, there would have been no war between Germany and Western Europe.

I cannot fathom what you mean by this. Like I cannot tell if you are being deliberately dishonest or if you have a perplexing, gigantic gap of knowledge. Who was the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact signed by? Who made a deal split Poland, and all Eastern Europe? Who was allied right up until the point tanks began crossing the border on June 22 1941? Because it sure as shit wasn't the western allies and the Soviets.

If you accept the Revisionist interpretation, that the plan was for resettlement East ahead of the post-war creation of a Jewish state, then these plans by the AfD are absolutely comparable to what the Nazis did. And in particular, if it turns out the Wannsee conference really was all about resettlement as a plain reading of the minutes show, and not codewords for an extermination policy, then the Wannsee Conference is comparable to secret conferences planning for mass resettlement of migrants to their homelands or to a separate colony of some sort.

Is this where you pretend that Eichmann doesn't exist again? This is well trod territory by now. I'm trying to keep my wording compliant in order to avoid a warning by the mods, but your particular fixation wouldn't be so annoying if it were just merely dishonest - it's that you have to constantly bring it up as well.