In The News...

A rose is a rose is a rose.

Actually, just by using the term: " Special operation" Andreij is being political.

It is a goddamned war!!!
But if he had said, "I don't want to talk about the WAR," he wouldn't have been political and you would have respectfully left him out of the discussion?

That's a bit unfair, don't you think? He's Russian; naturally, he's going to call it what most people in his country call it. It doesn't mean he's taking a position; it means he's using the terms he's used to hearing in his homeland. It's not as if they're feeding them truths over there. Try giving him the benefit of the doubt. Espeically since he could be imprisoned for calling it anything other than a Special Operation.
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You obviously haven't been around long enough to know the things Andreij has been calling me around the start of the special operation, for talking against his beloved dictator.
Benefit of doubt, my ass.
You obviously haven't been around long enough to know the things Andreij has been calling me around the start of the special operation, for talking against his beloved dictator.
Benefit of doubt, my ass.
Well, if that is truth be told, then I apologize. I haven't been around very long and perhaps I misunderstood the situation. I'm not here to create drama; I saw someone who I thought was being treated unfairly, but perhaps I have been misled. I reserve the right to be inccorect, but as far as I can tell, the situation is ambiguous. I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm saying I just don't know. Furthermore, I no longer care. Again, I abhor politics for this very reason. What is important is that you know I meant no disrespect. Staying out of it now.
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"The U.S. had intelligence that Prigozhin had been building up his forces near the border with Russia for some time. That conflicts with Prigozhin’s claim that his rebellion was a response to an attack on his field camps in Ukraine on Friday by the Russian military that he said killed a large number of his men. The Defense Ministry denied attacking the camps. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said Prigozhin’s march on Moscow appeared to have been planned in advance."
More interesting information about the Titan sub incident...

"BBC News reported that in March 2018, Rob McCallum, a leading deep sea exploration specialist, emailed Rush to warn him he was potentially risking his clients' safety and advised against the submersible's use for commercial purposes until it had been independently tested and classified: "I implore you to take every care in your testing and sea trials and to be very, very conservative." In response, Rush replied that he was "tired of industry players who try to use a safety argument to stop innovation". McCallum then sent Rush another email in which he said: "I think you are potentially placing yourself and your clients in a dangerous dynamic. In your race to [the] Titanic you are mirroring that famous catch cry: 'She is unsinkable'". This prompted OceanGate's lawyers to threaten McCallum with legal action.[56]"

That last part was pretty apt.

I happened to find the email the other day on reddit
I can’t imagine how the people in Ukraine are dealing with the emotional and physical stresses visited upon them by this war. This article impressed me with the overview of what is playing out:

“The events playing out in Russia feel like the trailer for the next James Bond movie: Vladimir Putin’s ex-chef/ex-cyberhacker/recent mercenary army leader, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, goes rogue.
Prigozhin, a character straight out of “Dr. No,” leads a convoy of ex-convicts and soldiers of fortune on a madcap dash to seize the Russian capital, shooting down a few Russian military helicopters along the way. They meet so little resistance that the internet is full of pictures of his mercenaries waiting patiently in line to buy coffee: “Hey, could you put a lid on that? I don’t want it to spill on my tank!”
But then, just as suddenly, as Prigozhin’s men got within 120 miles of Moscow, he apparently caught wind that his convoy on the open highway would be sitting ducks to a determined air attack. So Prigozhin opted for a plea bargain, arranged by the president of Belarus, and called off his revolution — sorry, didn’t mean it, I was just trying to point out some problems with the Russian Army — and everyone called it a day.
It’s still not clear if the stone-hearted Putin conveyed any direct threat to his old pal Prigozhin, but as Putin’s former bag man, Prigozhin clearly wasn’t taking any chances. With good reason. As the ever-helpful president of Belarus, where Prigozhin reportedly surfaced on Tuesday, said, the Russian president told him that he wanted to kill his traitorous mercenary commander, to “squash him like a bug.”

Like the sinister Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the Bond villain who leads the international criminal syndicate SPECTRE and was often seen petting his white cat while plotting mayhem, Putin is often seen at his 20-foot-long white table, with visitors usually seated at the far end, where, you suspect, a trapdoor waits, ready to swallow anyone who gets out of line.
My first reaction — watching this drama unfold on CNN and then replayed over the past few days — was to wonder: Was this whole thing for real? I am not a conspiracy buff, but “Live and Let Die” had nothing on this Mutiny on the Moskva script — a script that is still playing out, as the analog Putin tries to keep pace on state-run Russian TV while the digitally savvy Prigozhin continues to run circles around him on Telegram.
To the question many readers have asked me — “What happens to Putin now?” — it is impossible to predict. I would be careful, though, about writing Putin off so fast. Remember: Blofeld appeared in six Bond movies before 007 finally eliminated him.
All one can do for the moment, I believe, is to try to calculate the different balances of power shaping this story and analyze who can do what in the coming months.

Let me start with the biggest balance of power that should never be lost sight of. President Biden, please come onstage and take a bow. It was the broad and sustained coalition Biden assembled to confront Putin in Ukraine that ripped the facade off Putin’s Potemkin village.
I like how Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli diplomat in the United States, described it in Haaretz this week: Biden understood from the start that Putin “is the epicenter of an anti-American, antidemocratic, fascist constellation that needs to be defeated, not negotiated with.” Prigozhin’s mutiny “essentially did what Biden has been doing for the past 18 months: exposing Putin’s weaknesses, puncturing his already impaled veneer of supposed strategic genius and aura of invincibility.”
Putin has long ruled with two instruments: fear and money, covered with a cloak of nationalism. He bought those whom he could buy — and jailed or killed those whom he couldn’t. Some Russia watchers, though, argue that fear has now left the building in Moscow. With Putin’s aura of invincibility having at least taken a hit, others could soon challenge him. We’ll see.
If I were Prigozhin or one of his allies, I’d still stay away from anyone walking along a Belarusian sidewalk with an umbrella when the sun is shining. Putin has done a pretty effective job of eliminating his critics, and one should never underestimate the deep fears of Russians about any return to the early 1990s chaos after the fall of the Soviet Union and how grateful many still are for the order that Putin restored.

It’s Putin’s balance of power with the rest of the world where things get complicated, because we in the West have as much to fear from Putin’s weakness as his strength.
There is no sign yet that the Prigozhin mutiny, or the Ukrainian counteroffensive, has led to any significant collapse of Russian forces in Ukraine, but it is too soon to draw any final conclusions.
U.S. officials argue that Putin’s strategy is to exhaust the Ukrainian Army of its 155-millimeter howitzer artillery shells, the mainstay of its ground forces, as well as of its antiaircraft interceptors, so its ground forces would be naked to Russian airpower and then try to hold on until the Western allies are exhausted or Donald Trump gets re-elected and Putin can get a dirty deal where he saves face in Ukraine.
It’s not a crazy strategy. Ukraine fires off so many 155 rounds — as many as 8,000 per day — that the Biden team is now scrambling to find more stocks before the new factories making them come online in 2024.
Logistics matter. So does whether you are playing defense or offense, because offense is harder and the Russians are now really dug in and have laid mines all across their defense lines, which is why the Ukrainian counteroffensive has been off to a slow start.
As Ivan Krastev, a Russia expert and the chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Bulgaria, told me: “In the first year of this war, when Russia was on the offensive, every day that it was not winning, it was losing. In the second year, every day that Ukraine is not winning it, it is losing.”
We should not underestimate the courage of Ukrainians. Nor should we underestimate how exhausted they have to be as a society.
And as has happened in history, the Russian Army has been learning from its mistakes, John Arquilla, a longtime professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California and the author of “Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyber Warfare,” explained to me, “The Russians suffer, but they always learn.”
Putin’s army has gotten better at pushing authority down to the officers on the front lines and using drones extensively, Arquilla argued. At the same time, the Ukrainian Army has drifted somewhat from its early strategy emphasizing small, mobile units, armed with intelligence and smart weapons, attacking the lumbering Russian Army — to adopting a bigger, heavier profile and using more tanks.
“The Ukrainians were winning with small units, swift-flowing information and smart munitions,” Arquilla said. “Now they look a lot more like the Russian Army they were defeating.” The battlefield will tell us whether this is the right strategy.
All that said, we should be worried as much by the prospect of Putin’s defeat as by any victory. What if he is toppled? This is not like the last days of the Soviet Union. There is no nice, decent Yeltsin-like or Gorbachev-like figure with the power and standing to immediately take over.
“The old Soviet Union had institutions — there were party and state organs, central and provincial — which were responsible for maintaining their bailiwicks, as well as some order of succession,” Leon Aron, a Russia scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, whose book about Putin’s Russia is being published in October, remarked to me. “When Putin came in, he bulldozed or subverted all political and social structures outside the Kremlin.”
But Russian history does offer some surprising twists, Aron added: “Longer term, historically, successors to Russia’s reactionary rulers are often more liberal, especially early in their term: Alexander I after Paul I, Alexander II after Nicholas I, Khrushchev after Stalin, Gorbachev after Andropov. So if we can get through a transition from Putin, there is some hope.”
In the near term, though, if Putin is ousted, we could well end up with someone worse. How would you feel if Prigozhin had been in the Kremlin this morning, commanding Russia’s nuclear arsenal?
You could also get disorder or civil war and the crackup of Russia into warlord/oligarch fiefs. As much as I detest Putin, I detest disorder even more, because when a big state cracks apart, it is very hard to put it back together. The nuclear weapons and criminality that could spill out of a disintegrated Russia would change the world.
This is not a defense of Putin. It is an expression of rage at what he did to his country, making it into a ticking time bomb spread across 11 time zones. Putin has taken the whole world hostage.
If he wins, the Russian people lose. But if he loses and his successor is disorder, the whole world loses.”

This Week in Decadence​

We study whether anger fuels the rise of populism. Anger as an emotion tends to act as a call to action against individuals or groups that are blamed for negative situations, making it conducive to voting for populist politicians. Using a unique data set tracking emotions for a large sample of respondents from 2008 to 2017, we explore the relationship between anger and the populist vote share across U.S. counties. More angry counties displayed stronger preferences for populist candidates during the 2016 presidential primaries and elections. However, once we control for other negative emotions and life satisfaction, anger no longer operates as a separate channel in driving the populist vote share. Instead, our results indicate that a more complex sense of malaise and gloom, rather than anger per se, drives the rise in populism.​
— Omer Ali, Klaus Desmet and Romain Wacziarg, “Does Anger Drive Populism?” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (June 2023)​
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For Schweiz, that was an absolutely MASSIVE riot :lol:

Show me just one western country where the Muslim immigrants aren't a problem.
Just one....................................................can't be that hard to find.
‘What can we do to distract the public from our disastrous policies at home?’

’show some riots from another country, exaggerate it a bit, the fools will swallow it whole, that’ll make them feel superior‘

’sounds like a plan’
I couldn't tell you, but it is an undeniable fact.


Yep, lets quote Eric Zemmour, that'll add some gravity and truth to our posts.
How about some Daniel Murphy next :lol:
Street riots in France, Switzerland and Belgium at the same time - At 00:23-00:27 seconds, all the details are visible. The driver just had to get out of the car, and everything would have ended without a tragedy. The scenario develops in the same way as in the USA with BLM.

At least the officer apologized to the family. You wouldn't catch any law enforcement apologizing to the families publicly in the US during any similar scandals (which may or may not actually be scandals), whether they ought to or not. That's one classy officer. As to whether or not he f*cked up, I don't know anything about this story. It could be a she of course. I just don't know. In the US, an apology to the family would be an admission of guilt...even though it isn't actually an admission of guilt. That's how the police departments view it..
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JC= just curious. Using the abbreviation was a bit of a stretch for a non native speaker, and non teenager.
That was funny! :rockhard:

JC, is it the religion that makes the folks 'bad' or are a certain kind of 'bad' people/genes attracted to that religion?
It’s not so much the religion, more their ‘otherness’

The North Africans here are often an underclass, stuck in publicly provided housing, difficult to get jobs, drugs etc.

So periodically this happens, someone gets shot or whatever, then social disorder for a few nights, 99% of the people committing the crime don’t give a toss about society, just in it for the laughs and what they can steal.

In my nearest big town they set fire to their own community centre!

Its a similar scenario to what happens in the US.
With one difference: America imported their negros as slaves and has treated them like dirt since.
Our muslims just kind of drifted up here by themselves, because we were too stupid and naive to shut the door.

We are paying the price for that now.