Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In a monologue on his Monday night show, Carlson did not directly address replacement theory. He claimed the Buffalo shooter’s manifesto was “not recognizably left wing or right-wing: it’s not really political at all”, despite the rambling document referencing a number of right-wing conspiracy theories.

    Carlson referred to the gunman as “mentally ill” and launched an attack on “professional Democrats” who had “begun a campaign to blame those murders on their political opponents.”

    “Would a reasonable viewer be coming here and thinking this is where I’m going to be hearing the news of the day?”

    -Fox News attorney Erin Murphy speaking in court about fcker carlson’s show.

    2
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. charon says:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/06/why-reporters-trust-tucker-carlson/619258/

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    According to my link, Tucker Carlson lies to everyone including journalists.

    When a flagrantly unreliable narrator narrated his own story, people across the media spectrum responded as if he could be trusted. Why?

    snip

    Why did Carlson’s exaggerations—if exaggerations is the right word—gain such instant credence? Carlson’s own lawyers have argued in court that he regularly speaks in ways that are “loose, figurative, or hyperbolic.” Carlson’s descriptions of events—including outright accusations of criminal conduct by named individuals “would not have been taken by reasonable listeners as factual pronouncements but simply as instances in which [people like Carlson] expressed their views over the air in the crude and hyperbolic manner that has, over the years, become their verbal stock in trade.”

    Yet when this flagrantly unreliable narrator narrated his own story, people across the media spectrum responded as if his personal narratives could be relied upon. Again, why?

    A story yesterday by The New York Times’ Ben Smith pulls back the curtain on part of the answer: One of America’s leading racial provocateurs is also one of the media world’s preferred sources of gossip from inside pro-Trump world. “I won’t talk here about any off-the-record conversations I may have had with him,” Smith writes. “But 16 other journalists (none from The Times; it would put my colleagues in a weird position if I asked them) told me on background that he has been, as three of them put it, ‘a great source.’” Smith indicates that The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender and CNN’s Brian Stelter are two of those 16. And, despite Smith’s demurral, the story clearly conveys that he himself was a 17th.

    As Smith makes clear, transactions between journalists and sources occur because they benefit both parties. Smith emphasizes one such benefit: protection. He quotes a “Washington journalist in [Carlson’s] orbit” as saying, “‘If you open yourself up as a resource to mainstream media reporters, you don’t even have to ask them to go soft on you.’”

    Our incestuous media, example n.

    2
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A headline I could have done without seeing: Arby’s manager accused of urinating in milkshake mix

    Thank dawg I haven’t eaten at an Arby’s since at least the 70s.

    1
  5. charon says:

    @charon:

    The bottom line:

    And yet even now, reporters pretend they are in control of this dangerous game. They are not. People who turn to an untrustworthy narrator for fabulous anecdotes get … untrustworthy anecdotes. The door was not cracked. No one threatened Carlson with a pipe bomb. The Times did not plot to terrorize Carlson’s children. And the self-aggrandizing, self-exculpating story just dispensed to the journalist looking to add a splash of color to the otherwise sinister record? If you can’t check the story, check the source.

    1
  6. charon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/05/lethal-threat-white-power-ideologues/629874/

    Some of us also know by now that although we might think these are attacks on specific victim groups—and they are attacks on Black, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh, Latino, and immigrant populations—the aforementioned examples have all been part of one movement. In each event, a white-power activist was the perpetrator. Several of the assailants wrote extensively about their motivations in manifestos that outlined a coherent political ideology. And in the United States, they have been backed by a broad social movement that our legislators have failed to condemn, that our court system has failed to prosecute, and that our society has not stopped.

    This means that these are not “lone wolf” attacks even when they may appear to be, and certainly not just because a shooter has claimed to have been operating alone. The white-power movement has, since the early 1980s, organized the disparate groups of the militant right (Klansmen, neo-Nazis, militiamen, and others) around cell-style terrorism. Activists deliberately obscure their connections with one another. Yet the historical record reveals an interwoven tapestry of people on the militant right who have united in common cause to target minority communities and to undermine American democracy, and who ultimately hope to provoke race war.

    The recent litany of places hit is only the latest record of the white-power movement’s most craven acts of violence since its coming-out party at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. There is a longer list of sites of violence, including Oklahoma City, where in 1995 a white-power bomber killed 168 people in the nation’s largest act of domestic terrorism. There is also a longer list of smaller acts of violence, people killed in ones and twos, and a longer list of communities where this violence and intimidation still resonate.

    etc., etc.

    2
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I foresee a new “end of the earth” horror film: New US lab to create versions of atoms never recorded on Earth

    It’s actually pretty cool:

    “There are 285 isotopes of elements that exist on Earth, but we think that there are potentially 10,000 isotopes for the elements up to uranium,” said Prof Bradley Sherrill, the scientific director of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University, which officially opened on 2 May. “The goal of FRIB is to provide as wide of an access to this vast landscape of other isotopes as technology allows.”

    Some of these “rare isotopes” may drive reactions crucial to the formation of elements, so by studying them physicists hope to gain a better understanding of the chemical history of the universe – including how we got here.

    The vast majority of elements are thought to have been created within exploding stars, but “in many cases we don’t know which stars created which elements, because these reactions involve unstable isotopes – things we couldn’t readily get our hands on,” said Prof Gavin Lotay, a nuclear physicist at the University of Surrey, who plans to use the new facility to investigate common explosions called X-ray bursts within neutron stars.
    ………………………………….
    “Finally we have the tools to enable people to do research that they’ve been waiting 30 years to do,” said Sherrill. “It’s like having a new, bigger telescope that can see further into the universe than ever before – only we’ll be seeing further in the nuclear landscape than we’ve ever been able to look before. Whenever you have a new tool like that, there’s the potential for discovery.”

    Yes, it too is an accelerator but built for a different purpose than the Large Hadron Collider.

    1
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Albert Pujols had an absolute blast. And not at the plate this time, either. The longtime slugger made his first career pitching appearance on Sunday night, closing out a 15-6 blowout for the St Louis Cardinals over the San Francisco Giants.

    Pujols, the Cardinals’ designated hitter and a 10-time All Star, entered to pitch in the ninth inning for the first time in his 22-year career. His pitches topped out at around 55mph and he gave up a three-run homer to Luis Gonzalez and a solo shot to Joey Bart but managed to get the final three outs with plenty of margin to spare.

    “A dream come true to say that I did it,” said Pujols, whose 681 home runs are the fifth-most in MLB history. “It was fun. It wasn’t fun giving up two bombs. I think the fans had a good time. I’m sure the guys that took me deep did, too.”
    …………………………………..
    With the Cardinals ahead by 13 and the outcome all but decided, Pujols overheard manager Oliver Marmol asking for someone to throw the final inning so the team could avoid using another reliever. “They were looking and I was like, ‘I’ll do it. Why not?’” Pujols said.

    He took plenty of good-natured ribbing from teammates. “He’s got to keep the ball down,” catcher Yadiel Molina screamed in the locker room.

    Pujols had an explanation. “The thing is, I couldn’t even get it there. Every time I tried to keep it down, I was bouncing it,” he said.

    1
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    For Russians who have joked about the country’s return to Soviet isolation, the revival of the Moskvitch was the perfect punchline. “Russia has invented a time machine,” wrote one. “It can move the whole country through time, but only back into the Soviet Union.”

    The satirical website Panorama predicted the revival of the Moskvitch a month ago when it wrote a fake headline that the Renault factory had “assembled its first Moskvitch in 20 years”.

    “Panorama does not make predictions, we report exclusively on real news from the future,” it wrote on Monday after the deal was announced.

    Also:

    McDonald’s announced on Monday that it would be leaving the Russian market and selling its 850 locations to a local buyer………

    Russian state news agencies said the stores would reopen by mid-June. “McDonald’s will return to Russia in June under a new brand,” Tass cited a source as saying. “The restaurant chain and menu will be preserved, as will the jobs. More than 90% of suppliers are Russian, cooperation with them will continue. In fact, only the name will go.”

    Sure, snafu.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    Krugman has a good column in NYT today, From Voodoo to MAGA to Buffalo.

    So when I say that I miss voodoo economics, what I really mean is that I miss the illusion — which I shared — that the impact of its rise would mainly be limited to the politics of taxes and spending. What we now know is that the embrace of crank economics presaged the general moral collapse of the Republican establishment.

    I’ve observed before that Republicans lie a lot more than Democrats. Not because Democrats are better people, but because one can support Democratic causes without lying. One cannot support Republican causes without lying. It has, as Dr. K says, led to the complete moral rot of the whole conservative enterprise. So now they’re preparing to overturn elections and pretending they didn’t encourage the shooters they encouraged.

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  11. Scott says:

    Desperation results in resourcefulness.

    Ukraine is now using Russia’s own tanks against them

    As the war in Ukraine enters its fourth month and drags on, Ukrainian forces are getting new equipment in the form of Russian tanks. Mechanics in the city of Kharkiv have been repairing battle-damaged T-72 and T-80 tanks for redeployment.

    Those mechanics have been looking for any damaged piece of equipment in the city, including tanks pulled out from bogs. With the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv successful, those repurposed tanks are being actively used against the army they were recovered from. With Russian gear, the Times reported, they’re also looking for any intelligence information left in the vehicles. With equipment too damaged to repair and put back in the field, they’re stripped for parts. The ones repaired get fitted with new camouflage nets and get a test drive before being sent to the military.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    It turns out the California church shooting was an ethnic hate crime. The shooter is described as Chinese, with a wife and child in Taiwan. The sheriff says he left notes indicating a hatred for Taiwanese. The story still seems very confused. Maybe it’s really some family or personal thing, but right now it seems like a testament to how twisted ethnicity/nationality can be. That, as we used to say, I can’t tell them apart, doesn’t mean they can’t find something.

  13. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    According to the LATimes the shooter, David Chou, was a mainland Chinese native who didn’t believe Taiwan should be separate from China. He left notes in his car saying so.

    He also didn’t like the way the Taiwanese treated him when he lived in Taiwan. So he decided to shoot up the members of a Taiwanese Presbyterian church in California.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: The article I read at the Guardian says that as a child he was “forced” to move to Taiwan post WWII. For some reason he felt he was “mistreated” there and emigrated here.

    It also says his wife recently* left him and returned to Taiwan. Yeah, that sounds to me a whole lot more likely to be the source of his inchoate anger at the congregants of the church. Long ago resentments reawakened by a recent “abandonment.”

    Seeing as his ethnicity is the same as theirs, I would call it more of a Nationalist hate crime, but under the circumstances (assuming the Guardian article was accurate) even that is a stretch.

    * in the last 2 years or so.

  15. charon says:

    This is amazing, it was published in Russia back on February 3:

    https://nvo-ng-ru.translate.goog/realty/2022-02-03/3_1175_donbass.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=fr&_x_tr_pto=wapp

    Predictions of bloodthirsty political scientists

    About enthusiastic hawks and hasty cuckoos

    Mikhail Khodarenok

    About the author: Mikhail Mikhailovich Khodarenok – ex-head of the group of the 1st direction of the 1st directorate of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, Colonel

    snip

    Some representatives of the Russian political class today argue that Russia is able to inflict a crushing defeat on Ukraine in a few hours (and shorter periods are also mentioned) if a military conflict breaks out. Let’s see how such statements correspond to reality.

    snip

    Let’s start with the last one. To assert that no one in Ukraine will defend the regime means, in practice, complete ignorance of the military-political situation and the mood of the broad masses of the people in the neighboring state.

    Moreover, the degree of hatred (which, as you know, is the most effective fuel for armed struggle) in the neighboring republic in relation to Moscow is frankly underestimated. No one will meet the Russian army with bread, salt and flowers in Ukraine.

    snip

    Now with regard to the assertion that Western countries will not send a single soldier to die for Ukraine.

    It should be noted that this is likely to be the case. However, in the event of Russia’s invasion, this does not at all rule out massive assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the collective West with a wide variety of weapons and military equipment and bulk deliveries of all kinds of materiel. In this regard, the West has already shown a consolidated position, unprecedented until now, which, it seems, was not predicted in Moscow.

    There is no doubt that the United States and the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance will begin a kind of reincarnation of Lend-Lease, modeled after the Second World War, there is no doubt. An influx of volunteers from the West, which can be very numerous, is not ruled out.

    snip

    his conclusion:

    In general, there will be no Ukrainian blitzkrieg. The statements of some experts such as “The Russian army will defeat most of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 30-40 minutes”, “Russia is able to defeat Ukraine in 10 minutes in the event of a full-scale war”, “Russia will defeat Ukraine in eight minutes” have no serious grounds.

    And finally, the most important thing. An armed conflict with Ukraine is currently fundamentally not in Russia’s national interests. Therefore, it is best for some overexcited Russian experts to forget about their hatred fantasies. And in order to prevent further reputational losses, never remember again.

    Read the whole thing, it’s amazing. Found via Julia Davis via Kos.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/5/16/2098451/-Ukraine-Update-Russia-s-lone-truth-teller-strikes-again-so-why-does-Putin-keep-him-around

    3
  16. charon says:

    @charon:

    So even though this dude only a colonel, seems to have held a position in formulating strategy. If this is an indication of what the brass in Russia really thinks, one can see why Putin might not be real confident his military would go along with some of his more lurid escalation threats.

  17. Slugger says:

    I read that the U.S. House of Representatives is holding hearings about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs previously known as UFOs.) Is this true, or did I miscalculate my microdose of psilocybin?

    2
  18. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: Holy spit. Talk about seeing the future. There’s a WIKI page on the guy that seems to match the bio blurb on the article. Links to a WIKI page on this newspaper (I think, Cyrillic.) Which they say is an independent paper in Russia more moderate toward the government than most and maybe still publishing. Or at least WIKI hasn’t been updated to say it’s closed.

  19. CSK says:

    @Slugger:
    It’s true, according to multiple news sources.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: Is this true, or did I miscalculate my microdose of psilocybin?

    C) Both.

    3
  21. MarkedMan says:

    @Slugger:

    the U.S. House of Representatives is holding hearings about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs previously known as UFOs.)

    Yep. This is the latest round of “the government is hiding the Truth!” First manifested in the ‘50’s. Fundamentally, nothing has changed. No matter that todays cameras are much better than 1950’s cameras, and the virtually everyone on earth carries a pretty decent one with them at all times – we still get about the same number of pictures are they are still blurry and hard to make out. No matter that that there are orders of magnitude more civilian cameras than military trained on all manner of things all over the world, it is only ever the secret military photos that will finally provide the proof we need. Never mind that…. Well, I could go on and on. But if there is one thing that convinces me that “the government is hiding the TRUTH!” is a crock: I imagine the fame and attention that will be showered on the first President/Premier/Prime Minister who stands in front of the cameras and says, “Today I stand before you to tell you that we are being visited by beings from another planet”, and then try to imagine why not a single one in the past three quarters of a century decided that iconic video should be him or her. Think about it. Donald Trump supposedly knows this, and decides not to say anything?! Richard Nixon, about to lose his Presidency decides not to throw this out as a distraction? Tony Blair? Sylvio Berlesconi? C’mon!

    2
  22. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I’ve always wondered why UFO pix are so bad when pix of everything else are crystal clear.

    2
  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Seeing as his ethnicity is the same as theirs,

    It’s not. It’s not even close.

    You have to understand how ethnicity works in China–and among the Chinese population. There are dozens of ethnicities in China, and the Chinese see them as being very different. To Mainland Chinese, “Han” is “true Chinese”. Everyone else is a minority–even if they look exactly the same.

    Taiwanese hold a particular place in the social consciousness because they’re “refusing to be part of China” (even though Mainlanders will insist that they already are part of China; it’s confusing).

    2
  24. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but prior to the nationalists escaping to Taiwan, the existing population was then and is now, considered a distinct ethnic group.

    Given that the perp was moved to Taiwan as a child, indicates that his parents were nationalists and the nationalists basically suppressed the indigenous population. Perhaps his resentment of native Taiwanese stems from the superiority he feels he has over them, being mainland and he feels he doesn’t receive due deference.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The first year I was in China working for my US based company I had to fill out my normal corporate diversity forms. Number of women, number of minorities. I had several people working for me who were classified as official minorities by the Chinese government. I’m not sure what it meant, other that they were allowed to have two children even when everyone else only could have one. I wrote them down and got pinged by my boss on the next call, because all my employees were the same ethnic group, Chinese, and so they were all minorities, but that didn’t count when you were in China. He was a pretty sophisticated guy, but he thought I just made a simplistic mistake. I wasn’t going to argue as I had no dog in that fight. For whatever reason, my numbers didn’t count for or against my department so it wasn’t worth debating.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Oh, Taiwan is much more complicated than that. Yes, there were indigenous Han when the Kuo Ming Tang showed up, but there were lots of other ethnic groups too, some of which had been there for centuries, even millennia. They were all pushed aside and suppressed.

    The narrative of innocent indigenous and evil colonialist usually only gets the second half of that right. The Spanish were monsters, but the Incas practiced slavery and human sacrifice, including children. The US were butchers to the indigenous population, but the Comanche were butchers to, well, everyone that came across their path. And the British and Dutch were evil slavers in Ghana and the surrounding areas, but they mostly stayed on the coast and bought their slaves from the the indigenous people. People are evil (and some are good) and all ethnic groups, in the end, are comprised of people.

    3
  27. Mu Yixiao says:
  28. charon says:

    @charon:

    So he had not appeared on Russian TV since for a long time, but was on again recently saying similar stuff.

    So what does it mean the Russian PTB let him on the TV again, knowing what he would say?

    Tom Nichols has thoughts:

    https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1526344610087305220

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: You have to understand how ethnicity works in China–and among the Chinese population. There are dozens of ethnicities in China, and the Chinese see them as being very different.

    Yes I know. I was sloppy in my choice of language. My point, and I certainly should have been clearer, is that when the communists were routing the Nationalists, people were fleeing to Taiwan post haste. Everybody who ended up in Taiwan, at the very least, has some blood from the people who fled there post WWII. How much mixing of ethnicities is there? I certainly have no idea.

    As far as, “Taiwanese hold a particular place in the social consciousness because they’re “refusing to be part of China” that is exactly what I was referring to when I said, “I would call it more of a Nationalist hate crime,” which was also a poor choice of words because Chiang Kai-shek was actually the leader of the “Nationalists” and I was referring to the Communist mainlanders and their desire to absorb Taiwan into greater China and the strong feelings that come out of that.

    His ethnicity and his victims ethnicity was secondary to his hatred of Taiwan and from what I can tell, wholly beside the point.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    Should have mentioned that I tested positive for COVID last week. Hard to determine when, exactly, it started because of allergy season, but I had two pretty bad days with severe fatigue and head cold symptoms and then five more days of an epic runny nose and congestion with occasional fatigue. Again, hard to separate anything from those two days from allergy symptoms.

  31. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I was tempted to post about this threat by Erdogan.
    But a lot of experienced foreign policy folk seem to think he’s just putting a spoke in for domestic headlines and to extract a price.

    It’s infuriating though, because this WILL have been cleared with Turkey in the pre-announcement diplomacy.
    IMO Ankara is almost certainly reneging on private agreements made over the last three months.

    Erdogan should be very careful: at this point a lot of Europeans might prefer a suddenly announced new NATO-BWFT (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – But Without … Turkey)

    But most likely someone will pay whatever his price is to deal.

    2
  32. charon says:

    @JohnSF:

    But most likely someone will pay whatever his price is to deal.

    Turkey’s location is pretty strategic – for air bases, Black Sea access etc. etc.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    His ethnicity and his victims ethnicity was secondary to his hatred of Taiwan and from what I can tell, wholly beside the point.

    Gotcha.

    Until I lived there, I didn’t understand just how “fractured” the Chinese culture is. I mean… Us Yanks vary widely from region to region, but a lot of that comes from various ethnic and national groups coming over in waves and settling in the same areas. And… it doesn’t separate us (except when we’re at Summer Fest arguing about which of us has the best food for tailgating.

    When I was teaching my first year, several of my (adult) students felt it necessary to point out that another one of the students is Miaozu, rather the Hanzu.

  34. JohnSF says:

    @charon:
    Yes.
    But.
    Arguably Sweden/Finland is even better as a strategic asset: locks up the Baltic, puts NATO really close to the Murmansk/Kola bases, and not that far from Archangelsk, for that matter.
    BMD and anti-sub possibilities obvious.
    If forced to choose, I’d opt for the Baltic/Arctic advantage.

    OTOH, the current issues re grain shipping could get really major if this war drags on into autumn, let alone next year(“frozen conflict” pseudo ceasefire?) and Turks have the Montreaux Convention in their pocket.

    On the gripping hand, is Ankara really going to risk getting itself out on limb alliance-wise with regard to a Russia it can never really trust re. the Straits? And does not want Russia as China’s proxy in the Middle East either. (Erdogan want that bargaining chip for himself).

    All in all, best find out what the SOBs price is, pay it, and do him a bad turn at some point in the future. (Assuming he continues to rule in Turkey post ’23)

    1
  35. CSK says:

    The author of this piece argues that even if Mark Esper had spilled the beans early on about the appalling things Trump wanted to do, it would not have mattered to his base. They probably would have applauded the atrocities. I think she’s right.

    http://www.slate.com/culture/2022/05/mark-esper-memoir-review-a-sacred-oath-trump.html

    1
  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Honestly, you can learn a lot about Chinese society by looking at the accommodations for Ayis in super expensive apartments in Shanghai. They often were little more than a cleared floor space with a mat in a cleaning closet. Their “bathing area” is just the sink used to wring out mops. This in an apartment going for $5-8K/month, USD.

    1
  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    Almost certainly a ploy to get something he wants (primary guess is dropping sanctions against Turkey).

    I’m more annoyed with the childishness of it–saying it publicly and making a big deal out of it, rather than negotiating behind closed doors and coming to an agreement.

  38. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I wonder how similar relations between ethnicities in China are to those of the different nations that make up Britain/UK.
    A lot of more chauvinistic English get weirdly upset when Welsh or Gaelic speakers want their languages used in their regions.

    And let’s not even start on relations between the English and the Irish…
    (Or between the Irish and the Irish, for that matter.)

  39. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’ve only had limited experience in the UK, but I don’t think it’s analogous. From what I’ve seen in the UK (correct me if I’m wrong), it’s more about “local pride”. In China it’s more about “otherness”.

    An Englishman will tease a Scotsman about being Scottish or eating fried foods. Chinese wil say “That person is not one of us, he’s a minority”.

  40. JohnSF says:

    @charon:
    My word.
    That anlysis by Khodaryonok is remarkable.
    Thank you for that.

    “But even the Russian-speaking population of this part of Ukraine (including such cities as Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Mariupol) did not support such plans in their vast majority.”

    That’s something I’ve been trying to get across to “realists” and other Putinverstehers since 2016, without that much success before March.
    Hardly surprising Khodaryonok didn’t have much luck in Moscow.

    But at least some of the Russian military/intelligence community aren’t residents of Planet Zarg.

    1
  41. Beth says:

    @JohnSF:

    That was one of the more wilder aspects of my dad before he went full fash. Any other language but English in the UK was an affront to existence. Even more odd was that my Grandmother was 100% Welsh. Que Scandalo! He also used to regale me with tales about how much he wanted to drag Ireland away (and sink it) and replace it with Jamaica.

    Oddly enough, in highsight, my (as I understand now) very racist father and maternal grandmother were first and foremost racist against the other white people they hated and then everyone else in a close second. People are weird.

    3
  42. senyordave says:

    Elon Musk watch:
    Elon Musk says we can’t let humankind end in ‘adult diapers’ and that the environment would be fine if we doubled our population
    Translation – I’m effin rich and worrying about stuff like climate change might cost me a few billion dollars so who cares if some loser country is underwater in 20 years.

    2
  43. CSK says:

    @Beth:
    But…but Jamaicans are…Black people. Did your father find them superior to the Irish?

  44. Beth says:

    @CSK:

    Yes. My family’s racist hierarchies really only made sense to them. Basically the only thing that united my Dad and Maternal Grandmother were their seething hatred of the Irish. I don’t think my grandmother actually ever met an “actual” Irish person.

  45. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    It’s usually good natured; but not always.
    There used to be nasty edge to English attitudes to the Irish, though it has faded somewhat.
    And English in Wales objecting to use of the Welsh language.
    More tensions the other way or between minorities: see the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Scottish nationalists etc.

    Multi-ethnic states and their tensions are common in Europe, in different ways.
    See former Yugoslavia, former Czechoslovakia, Spain and the Castilians vs non-Castilians; Flemish vs Walloon Belgians; Languedocais(?) and Bretons and Alsatians in France; Tyrolese in Italy; Finns Swedes and Lapps in Finland; Germans, French and Italians and Romansch in Switzerland.

    China at least has the unifying element of a shared ideographic script that is comprehensible across linguistic divides.

  46. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    I’ve encountered quite a few older Brits (mostly long gone now that I’m an older Brit) who were quite amiable (at least superficially) towards West Indians, but hostile toward Pakistanis, Bangladeshis or Indians.
    On grounds of language, dress, religion, customs etc. they seemed to feel that British and West Indians were not really that different, at least in comparison to Asians.

  47. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    And in Scotland you have sports team rivalries based on religion: Rangers (Protestant) versus Celtic (Catholic).

  48. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    Oh, yeah. “Paki-bashing” was a sport amongst the yobs, wasn’t it?

  49. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    I’ve also come across French people who a quite relaxed about Francophone, acculturated Africans, Indochinese or Arabs/Berbers in general, but detest Algerians.
    And especially French of Algerian descent who identify as Algerian.

  50. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    I’m reminded of the time when I was walking with a small group of friends along the side of a road in Wales, and a truck driver roared “Fucking Yanks!” out the window. How did he know? We were quite well-behaved.

    1
  51. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    Partly religion; partly ethnic.
    In central Scottish cities, and in Liverppol and manchester in England, the late 19th/early 20th century, you’d often have one team favoured by the numerous Irish (Catholic) population, another by the Scottish or English (or Welsh migrant) who were Protestants.
    In Lancashire complicated by that being the last bastion of English Catholicism.

    And in Scotland there were strong links to the Scottish settlers in Ulster relating also to anti-Jacobinism; the Orange Order was a force in Glasgow. And some Highlander migrants inclined to the Irish side versus Lowlanders.
    Not to mention the still older irony: the Scots in origin were Dark Ages Irish settlers who displaced or absorbed the Picts in most of the country.
    Plus the Welsh who inhabited most of south west Scotland! And the English who settled the south east, which is why the Scots largely came to speak English (after their own fashion 🙂 )
    (And William Wallace was an Anglo-Norman who spoke French!)
    British history can be very messy.

    2
  52. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    China at least has the unifying element of a shared ideographic script that is comprehensible across linguistic divides.

    Only to the degree that “Mandarin” has been forced on everyone in the country. The different dialects* actually use different words, which may be represented by different characters.

    The one that sticks in my mind is “I don’t know”. In Mandarin, it’s “bu zhi dao”. In one of the cities where I lived, it was “bu shao de”. I’m pretty sure the last two characters were different.

    =========
    Linguists argue about how to count them, but there are somewhere in the range of 400 distinct dialects in China–most of which are mutually unintelligible. To put it into context, someone from Liverpool and someone from Manchester might understand 50% of the other, but wouldn’t be able to understand a word of someone from Surry.

    Then again… I remember sitting in a pub in Manchester listening to the old men eating lunch and not being able to understand a damn word. 🙂

  53. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    Very perceptive, y Cymraeg.
    It’s the druid heritage, you see.
    🙂

  54. Mu Yixiao says:

    So I’ve been flipping through the “everybody in the world” feature on the OkCupid app, and I’ve noticed two things:

    1) Apparently Nairobi, Kenya is home to a lot of very attractive women.

    2) I’m astounded by the number of conservative Christians who are kinky and willing to break out the sex toys and get nasty on the first date.

    🙂

    1
  55. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    I know about the Scots being Irsh in origin. You’re doing a great job refreshing my ememoory of Scottish and English history. 🙂

    @JohnSF:
    That never happened in Scotland or England.

  56. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    But thing is, arguably the commonality at least in part of the ideographs,at least among the educated elite may have tended to retard linguistic absorption.
    It was not that long ago that the British Isles had about six or seven mutually unintelligible languages.

    And France had five or six.
    Similarly Spain, though there several sort of blurred into each other.
    And at one time “Germany” also; and Scandinavia.
    Thing is; withou the idographic common mode (or Latin in Medieval Europe) a standardised dialect tends to become the “attractor” and absorb the others.

    Similar things may be happening today in India, Indonesia, and the broadly “Arabic” world, where dominant dialects/languages seem to be tending to displace secondary ones.

    In the end, everyone may end up speaking English with an American accent 🙁

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Don’t belittle Zarg. It’s really nice during the summer there.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As at least one Englishman is attributed to have said, “You can’t compare the US civil rights issues to the Irish question. At least Blacks are human beings.”

  59. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    1) Apparently Nairobi, Kenya is home to a lot of very attractive women.

    In the same way that Lagos, Nigeria, is home to a lot of generous men with pressing financial issues to resolve?

    2) I’m astounded by the number of conservative Christians who are kinky and willing to break out the sex toys and get nasty on the first date.

    Eeek!
    Too much information!

    (Files away for future reference. “Hi, baby, are you *ahem* conservative?”)

    4
  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And remember the Highland Clearings were about getting rid of sub-human creatures to make room for…

    …sheep.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I thought it still is, but I don’t try to keep up.

  62. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The different dialects* actually use different words

    I see what you did there. Given how different Shanghai-ese was from Han Mandarin, even after centuries of trying to make it disappear, I always assumed calling these different languages “dialects” was some kind of Mao era truce. “Everyone must speak Mandarin or you will be sent to a reeducation camp. By the way, the way you are talking? That’s now a dialect of Mandarin.”

  63. charon says:

    @Beth:

    Recent genetic analysis of “Anglo-Saxon” English shows they are really 90% Celtic. So how much difference is there, really, between 100% Celtic Welsh and 90% Celtic English?

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “2) I’m astounded by the number of conservative Christians who are kinky and willing to break out the sex toys and get nasty on the first date.”

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. Evangelicals seem to have, not particularly gradually, moved into the “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” camp. And also the “sin more, so that grace can all the more abound” camp, too. It’s becoming difficult to be an evangelical if you have principles these days.

    2
  65. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Mind you, some recent Scottish historians argue that in fact as much “clearance” took place in the Scottish Lowlands, and for that matter in the Enclosures in large parts of England.
    It was not the ethnicity of the inhabitants that was the issue, for most of the Highland landlords remained Scots, and of Highland origin at that (except where the former clan lords sold parts to Lowlander investors).

    It was the fact that the damn peasants, whether in Highland Scotland or Midland England, got in the way of making the maximum amount of money.

    “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”

    2
  66. JohnSF says:

    @charon:
    Ah, but thaey didn’t ralise it.
    My maternal grandfather was from Shropshire, one of the Welsh Marches counties.
    And his surname was almost certainly of Welsh origin (if you know your surnames).
    But he would vehemently deny being Welsh in any way whatsoever. 🙂

    Not to the point of bigotry though; maternal grandmother’s mother was thoroughly Welsh; as fluent in Welsh as English, I’ve been told.

  67. JohnSF says:

    @charon:
    I’ve often meant to check, but never got round to it, on the differences, if any, between mitochondrial and Y-chromosome ancestral plots in the UK population.

  68. Sleeping Dog says:

    If the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce can keep this fellow and a few of his friends around for the summer, it could address the shark issue. Orcas aren’t big on Gray Seals, which is a favorite meal of White Sharks, but Orcas do love them some shark liver. The sharks know this and avoid waters that have Orcas present.

  69. Kurtz says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The US were butchers to the indigenous population, but the Comanche were butchers to, well, everyone that came across their path

    Reminds me of this scene.

    2
  70. Beth says:

    @charon:

    Lol, that kind of esoteric thinking won’t penetrate a racists brain. In his mind, my dad was 100% perfect English. Notwithstanding his very Welsh mother. Lol, I didn’t know my Grandfather’s name wasn’t “Tommy” for the longest time due to the scandal caused by the grumpy Englishman stealing away the pure Welsh lass. Or some nonsense.

    With all respect to JohnSF and my heritage, the English are weird.

    Reminds me of the time I drove from Chicago to LA to Vancouver Island to go to my cousin’s wedding. The English were horrified by that drive. And these were people that hated English weather and people so the moved thousands of miles to live on an island with similar weather and tons of English people.

    Humanity is weird.

    2
  71. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:
    Great reference. Great scene. Ben Foster is one of my very favorite actors. Depending on the day, my absolute favorite.

    1
  72. Mister Bluster says:

    Whenever anyone starts up about outer space aliens all I say is: “Bring me one.”
    I’m still waiting.

  73. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: The government must have kept this quiet to keep some deep dark secret. It couldn’t possibly be they kept quiet because they had nothing and didn’t want to look stupid.

  74. Jax says:

    I didn’t want to jinx us, given that it’s Primary Tuesday….but widdle Maddie Cawthorn appears to have lost his primary.

    He was one of my favorites to lose, so it’s a good night. 🙂

    1