This week’s Open Thread.
* Russian sanctions
“Trump doesn’t want to be friends with China, the elites won’t let him be friends with Russia, and the EU doesn’t want to be friends with Trump.” – Egor Kholmogorov.
As pithy a summary of this last week’s clusterfuck as any.
Germany (!) considers the US sanctions to be in violation of international law, and has told the European Commission to look at countermeasures.
Russia expelling 755 US diplomats and seizure of US diplomatic compounds is a delayed reaction to Obama’s analogous step at the tail end of his Presidency. The response had been suspended to give Trump time to normalize relations, but with the prospect of that going out of the window with the Senate’s 98-2 vote in favor of widening Russian sanctions, there was no longer any point to holding it off.
Russia’s response to the actual US sanctions are a different matter and will be formulated as the situation develops.
* Alexander Mercouris reviews How I Lost by Hillary Clinton, by Joe Lauria.
This is a guy in his 60s who posts pepe memes. Based boomer?
* Mikheil Saakashvili has been deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship, formally on the basis of him having neglecting to inform the authorities he was wanted in Georgia. Since the Georgians had stripped him of his Georgian citizenship in 2015 by dint of him having received Ukrainian citizenship, this effectively makes him a stateless person.
His mistake was to take Maidanist rhetoric about reform and the war against corruption at face value. As Ukraine’s most popular (least unpopular) major political figure, his increasing oppositionalism to the Poroshenko clan must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Latest word is he is now living with his relatives in the Bronx (as an undocumented alien?). How the mighty are fallen.
* Eighty years ago Stalin launched the Great Terror.
* North Korea
The past few weeks have seen a spate of North Korean missile testing successes, so much so that there I have been saying many comments to the effect that China or Russia must be helping them out (even though its evident that neither supports the nuclearization of the Korean peninsula).
For HBD-aware people, there’s a much more succinct explanation: The average IQ of North Korea must be close to 100. And of course a huge percentage of North Korea’s brighest are engaged in military R&D. This is why Israel, South Africa(n whites), and now North Korea have been successful at developing a nuclear deterrent – while the likes of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and even Iran, who are a standard deviation lower – have failed at it.
* Who funds the Press Freedom Index? The usual suspects.
* Sperm counts fall by 50% in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand between 1973 and 2011 – but not in Asia, Africa, or South America. The hypotheses put forth there don’t seem all that likely.
* So it seems that Game of Thrones has basically stopped paying any heed to logistics or manpower realities.
* Hilarious Wheel of Time review.
* Best defense of corruption ever?