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    You will have to excuse the paucity of posting this month. Many things going on. But I hope to get the Romania post out today. I predicted that Russia would win against Saudi Arabia and Egypt (both happened), but would lose against Uruguay. We'll see what happens tomorrow. * Turkey Presidential & legislative elections. My...
  • I noticed some noise in the Hungarian online press about alleged doping among Russian footballers.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    I noticed some noise in the Hungarian online press about alleged doping among Russian footballers.

    Russia’s team doctor has bristled at questions about doping checks at the World Cup, claiming the host side have been tested twice as often as England. The statement came in the wake of a report in The Daily Telegraph that found Russian players had covered more ground than any others during the tournament . . .

    Telegraph Sport found that Russia’s players have run further during their first two matches than any other team, 73 miles in their first game and 71 miles in their second . . .

    “Extraordinary performances demand additional tests,” Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, told The Daily Telegraph.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-cup/2018/06/22/russia-says-team-tested-two-times-england-amid-doping-questions/
     
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  • @Rattus Norwegius
    I looked up Romania on wikipedia, where i found an article on the demographics of Romania. There i saw one group called "Lipovans". The Lipovans are a Russian Old Believer denomination centered mostly around the Danube delta. Lipovans also live in Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria.

    The wikipedia says that there are around 35 thousand Lipovans in Romania.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipovans
    On the other hand a Russky Mir artivle says that there are 105 thousand Lipovans in Romania
    https://russkiymir.ru/en/publications/186501/
    This article also mentions that the population estimate of Lipovans in Romania varies between 35-100 thousand.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/7571310/Saving-the-souls-of-Russias-exiled-Lipovans.html

    Later i saw that the numbers of gypsises in many countries varies wildly. Turkey, Slovakia and Ukraine have wildy different lowest and highest estimate of the Roma population. In Ukraine the population estimate of the number of Romas varies from 47 thousand to 400 thousand.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

    I wonder if it is common in Eastern and Central European countries to exaggerate population sizes? Exxagerate as in claiming that some groups are either more or less numerical than their real numbers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2orn-fLZ0rE&index=144&list=PLfTrJjNuBvbbnxu92t8WS-_qIKIbbUIb0&t=0s

    It’s similar to some extent with other ethnic minorities. Remember that in that part of the world people were often killed, deported, or persecuted based on ethnicity within living memory.

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    • Replies: @Rattus Norwegius
    Minorities that claim to be part of the majority may have assimilated. This means that it may not be usefull to count a person as a ethnic minority if the person identify as part of the "national" population.


    Could not states count the ethnicity of their citizens based on personal identification numbers and previous censuses that have established the ethnicity of the ancestors of present day citizens?

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/minorities-in-turkey-tagged-by-race-codes-official-document-reveals-51849
    - An official document penned by the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate has surfaced, revealing that Turkey’s population administration system has been recording citizens who have Armenian, Jewish or Anatolian Greek (Rum) origins with secret “race codes.”
    - “Since 1923, identity registration certificates have a secret ‘race code,’” the document added.
    - An official from the population administration told daily Radikal that the practice was being conducted “to allow minority groups use their rights stemming the Lausanne Treaty,” signed between Turkey and Western countries, which led to the establishment of the modern Turkish Republic.
    - As part of the practice, Greeks were coded 1, Armenians were coded 2, and Jews were coded 3. Other minorities or groups are not coded, the official told daily Radikal.
    - “If there is such a thing going on, it is a big disaster. The state illegally profiling its own citizens based on ethnicity and religion, and doing this secretly, is a big catastrophe,” Tan said.

    Is it safe to assume that not many countries have a system of categorization similar to what Hurriyetdailynews describes?

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  • @Rattus Norwegius
    I looked up Romania on wikipedia, where i found an article on the demographics of Romania. There i saw one group called "Lipovans". The Lipovans are a Russian Old Believer denomination centered mostly around the Danube delta. Lipovans also live in Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria.

    The wikipedia says that there are around 35 thousand Lipovans in Romania.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipovans
    On the other hand a Russky Mir artivle says that there are 105 thousand Lipovans in Romania
    https://russkiymir.ru/en/publications/186501/
    This article also mentions that the population estimate of Lipovans in Romania varies between 35-100 thousand.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/7571310/Saving-the-souls-of-Russias-exiled-Lipovans.html

    Later i saw that the numbers of gypsises in many countries varies wildly. Turkey, Slovakia and Ukraine have wildy different lowest and highest estimate of the Roma population. In Ukraine the population estimate of the number of Romas varies from 47 thousand to 400 thousand.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

    I wonder if it is common in Eastern and Central European countries to exaggerate population sizes? Exxagerate as in claiming that some groups are either more or less numerical than their real numbers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2orn-fLZ0rE&index=144&list=PLfTrJjNuBvbbnxu92t8WS-_qIKIbbUIb0&t=0s

    Gypsies (why can’t iPhone learn this word?) are very difficult to count, because most of them insist to the census takers that they are Hungarian, Slovak, etc. The census takers are forbidden to write down their own impressions, which would be more accurate than what the Gypsies themselves say.

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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @German_reader
    I've looked up that book by Hugh Thomas I mentioned above. His interpretation is that the Spaniards under Pedro de Alvarado became concerned that the Aztecs were planning an uprising against them, and so decided to carry out a preemptive attack on the Aztec nobles gathered at that festival.
    He does think though that the Aztecs inteded to carry out their usual human sacrifice as part of that festival, despite the Spaniards' prohibition.

    That seems plausible. The greed explanation… not so much.

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  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • Some have questioned the importance of gtip strength.
    It can be very important.
    Imagine you’re a soldier on the march across the Steppe. You’re surrounded by hot,sweaty dirty men. You lay down at night under the stars and you’re thoughts turn naturally to home and your girlfriend, Suzy Slutnick.
    You think about the things you did…and well lets just say grip strength comes in handy.

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    • LOL: reiner Tor, Z-man
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  • You will have to excuse the paucity of posting this month. Many things going on. But I hope to get the Romania post out today. I predicted that Russia would win against Saudi Arabia and Egypt (both happened), but would lose against Uruguay. We'll see what happens tomorrow. * Turkey Presidential & legislative elections. My...
  • @Mikhail

    Romanians were fighting for territories occupied by the USSR.
     
    Moldova's territory had been part of the Russian Empire, with the area of Pridnestrovie (Transnistira and closely related spellings) pro-Russian and part of the Russian Empire as well, in addition to being with the USSR since its inception.

    Even if pre-WW II era Romania had no claims on Soviet held territory, it still would've probably carried on in the manner of Hungary, Slovakia and (if I'm not mistaken) Croatia, unlike Nazi allied Bulgaria, which made it a point to not declare war on the USSR.

    Of the Nazi allies on the Eastern Front, the Italians had a reputation for especially not wanting to be there - something which contributed to Mussolini's downfall.

    Moldova’s territory had been part of the Russian Empire

    For roughly a century. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think it had belonged to the Golden Horde for longer than that.

    unlike Nazi allied Bulgaria, which made it a point to not declare war on the USSR.

    Germany asked Bulgaria to represent its interests in the USSR for the duration of hostilities. So unlike Hungary, Slovakia or Croatia, the Nazis didn’t even expect them to declare war.

    Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman rule by the Russians. It also has a similar religion and even the language is related. The same is not true of Hungary (in fact, the only times Russian troops were in Hungary in 1849 and 1914, they were enemies), and at least most of these were untrue of Slovakia or Romania or Croatia.

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    • Replies: @Spisarevski

    the Nazis didn’t even expect them to declare war.
     
    Not true. We were repeatedly asked to send troops and our Tsar Boris III declined each time, his last decline being the reason he was poisoned by Hitler.

    In the summer of 1942 when Ribbentrop asked him to send troops to the Eastern Front, our Tsar said this:
    "My people fight only on the Balkans where we have our ethnic lands, they can't fight on other fronts. If I send my troops to the Volga, they will all join the Russians, everyone including the orchestra"
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  • @Beckow

    In Poland USA 70% positive - Russia only 24%; in Serbia Russia 90%, USA 24%. In Hungary USA 45%, Russia 38%.
     
    Seems about right. The differences in attitudes are quite dramatic. Czech Republic and Slovakia are roughly reversed, with Czechs about 20% more pro-USA and less pro-Russia than Slovaks. This has held since at least WWII and explains the country split in 1993.

    There are also strong within country variances: capitol cities are more pro-West (US) than provinces. Prague is crazily pro-US, rest of the country is evenly split.

    With these attitudes, only Poland could be relied on to be fully behind any attack on Russia. Even Romania, Hungary, Croatia are iffy, and they willingly participated in the WWII attack. I suspect we will get more devilish acts and more propaganda to fix the numbers. And yet, after 20+ years of in-house propaganda domination, if West can only count on the hapless Poles, what was the money spent on? And Poles were already itching to fight Russia, I am not sure all that propaganda has increased it by much.

    I sometimes think it is idiots from Washington, Berlin, Brussels trying to noisily manipulate the local morons, with most people standing aside. How far can they take this madness?

    Even Romania, Hungary, Croatia are iffy, and they willingly participated in the WWII attack.

    Why did you leave out Slovakia?

    Romanians were fighting for territories occupied by the USSR. Hungarians fought because they were afraid that if they didn’t join, the Germans would roll back all the territorial gains they made in the previous few years. They were also hoping to maybe gain some more, but explicitly weren’t interested in any areas of the USSR or Poland or any country or area not belonging to the Hungarian crown in 1900. Slovakia and Croatia were hoping to keep their independence, and either were hoping for territorial expansion or hoping to keep what they had.

    The soldiers weren’t very enthusiastic to fight deep inside of Russia in any of these countries, and they were hoping for the USSR to just collapse or the Germans to fight it out.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail

    Romanians were fighting for territories occupied by the USSR.
     
    Moldova's territory had been part of the Russian Empire, with the area of Pridnestrovie (Transnistira and closely related spellings) pro-Russian and part of the Russian Empire as well, in addition to being with the USSR since its inception.

    Even if pre-WW II era Romania had no claims on Soviet held territory, it still would've probably carried on in the manner of Hungary, Slovakia and (if I'm not mistaken) Croatia, unlike Nazi allied Bulgaria, which made it a point to not declare war on the USSR.

    Of the Nazi allies on the Eastern Front, the Italians had a reputation for especially not wanting to be there - something which contributed to Mussolini's downfall.

    , @bb.
    well as you say, even back than, the soldiers weren't very keen on fighting in Russia. The defection rate among Slovaks was pretty high. During the war it became obvious they couldn't be trusted, so were relegated to do military policing.
    From what I can say, it's not much better these days. Most of the silovikis(police, military) in Slovakia I know are pretty enthusiastically pro-Russian. The Slovak National Party (coalition member) are mostly pro-Russian. The core of the senor diplomatic staff are also pro-Russian but they are old school and I started to notice generational change there(MoFA), with the youngsters being full bent-over EU/NATO cucks.
    , @Niccolo Salo
    Croatian volunteers were very enthusiastic to fight against the Bolsheviks so much so that over 9,000 (not an internet reference/joke) volunteered for the 5,000 slots available. They earned their stripes at Kharkov and were the only foreign forces given the honour of entering Stalingrad itself where they got BTFO, mostly at the Red October Factory in the thick of the battle.
    , @utu

    Why did you leave out Slovakia?
     
    Yes. 50,000 Slovak troops invade Poland with Hitler on 1st Sept, 1939.
    , @Beckow

    Why did you leave out Slovakia?
     
    Ohmmm, not enough space? for the sake of brevity? ...ok, Slovaks belong on the list, you caught me :).

    There are things in our history - in all history - that are hard to understand. Only people of that era could really comprehend it. Looking back at something 75 years later is an artifice. When one looks at original sources, what people thought at that time is that Germany will win. My conclusion on why Romanians, Croats, Italians and others (clever, hm?) joined the German attack on Soviet Union is that they thought they would be on the winning side. That was it. When Germany started to lose, they started to think about bailing out, or even about switching sides. An under-appreciated dynamic in all human conflicts is this natural desire to be with the winners. In retrospect that is often hard to see.

    Of course, there are exceptions, for some strange psychological reasons, Poles crave being losers and often go to extreme lengths to make sure that they are prominently pitied. I really don't know why, maybe the misty plains?
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  • @Thorfinnsson
    Additionally I just ordered some Gucci horsebit crocodile skin loafers.

    https://www.gucci.com/us/en/pr/men/mens-shoes/mens-moccasins-loafers/1953-horsebit-crocodile-loafer-p-307929EC2001000?position=49&listName=PGUS4Cols&categoryPath=Men/Mens-Shoes/Mens-Moccasins-Loafers

    There is now no turning back. I have crossed the Rubicon. My life is forever changed.

    Looking forward to visiting India in September and informing people that my shoes cost more than their annual wages.

    Looking forward to visiting India in September and informing people that my shoes cost more than their annual wages.

    There is a Jewish joke.

    Kohn meets the famously wealthy and avaricious Grün in Budapest, and notices how shabby his clothes are. He asks him: “Why are you wearing these rags? You could easily afford good tailored suits.” “Who cares? No one knows me here anyway.”

    Next week they meet in Kisvárda (Nowhereville in Eastern Hungary, was heavily Jewish before the war), and Grün is wearing the exact same worn-out shabby clothes. “Why are you still wearing these?” “Who cares? Everyone knows me here anyway.”

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    • LOL: Rosie
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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • The Germans were really good in the second half. But I wonder how they’d have done if Sweden was awarded the penalty (and Boateng the well-deserved red card) already in the 16th minute. It’s very difficult to play with ten players for basically 80 minutes, and they’d needed two goals with only ten players.

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  • I will be extremely disappointed if Gündogan manages to score for Germany.

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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @AP

    Human sacrifice was common to almost all Eurasian civilizations, during the era of the god-kings
     
    Meso-Americans seem to have practiced it on a much larger, basically assembly-line scale, than any other ancient civilization.

    So I don’t know why AP is getting so emotional over the Aztecs doing it in the 15th century
     
    It highlights that the Spaniards did a very good thing by ending that civilization. And that their actions were reasonable and justified.

    To argue otherwise is to demonstrate a real deep resentment of Spaniards, Europeans, Catholics, or whatever.

    Almost certainly it would have faded away in consequent centuries and millennia, without European or Christian intervention.
     
    Maybe. However the Aztecs were conquering and raiding an increasing number of people to feed the sacrifices. Given the conservative estimate of 20,000 victims a year, 200,000 in ten years, 2 million in a hundred years, we'd be talking several millions of victims when - or if - they decided to stop.

    Sacrificing people just permeated all aspects of their religion. Here is a less dramatic example than ripping hearts out in public:

    "Archaeologists have found the remains of at least 42 children sacrificed to Tlaloc at the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. Many of the children suffered from serious injuries before their death, they would have to have been in significant pain as Tlaloc required the tears of the young as part of the sacrifice. The priests made the children cry during their way to immolation: a good omen that Tlaloc would wet the earth in the raining season.."

    It's completely understandable that Spaniards, hardened warriors as they were, found themselves utterly horrified by what they say, considered the Aztec gods demanding such sacrifices to be demons (how else could they be characterized?) and acted accordingly. People lamenting the end of the Aztec civilization probably couldn't stomach animals being treated, as Aztecs treated humans.

    I just read a bit on the conquest of Mexico. The Spaniards attacked the unsuspecting peaceful Aztecs celebrating a religious festival (I immediately suspected human sacrifice was part and parcel of the religious festival) and massacred maybe 8,000-10,000 of them.

    I checked what kind of festival it was, and it included a truly bizarre custom of sacrificing a guy (usually a war captive) who had been impersonating for a year the god for whom the festival was dedicated. He was well kept (like a god) during that year, and even given four maidens (virgins?) as wives (impersonating four goddesses). He lived with them for forty days before the festival (I guess he was having sex with them, though it’s not totally clear), and then walked up the stairs of the pyramid while playing the flute.

    Since it obviously required the cooperation of the sacrificial subject, this particular human sacrifice was closer to AaronB’s interpretation (where the person whose heart was about to be ripped out was supposed to feel some meaning to all this).

    Then he lied down on the altar, his heart was ripped out, he was flayed, his flesh was eaten by select Aztec aristocrats, and his successor for the next year (to impersonate the same god) was selected. Probably the successor also ate his flesh, and perhaps wore his skin. It’s likely that these impersonator sacrificial offerings were volunteers, probably they had the choice of playing this, or being killed immediately without the year as god, and without the four maidens. (It’s also unclear what happened to the four maidens. I guess the guy was having sex with them, but then they cannot have been maidens any longer. Were they sacrificed, too? Were they let free? Or kept captive? What happened if they got pregnant from the sacrificed impersonator? It’s actually quite likely that at least one, and possibly each of them got pregnant after a forty-day period of having sex with a young warrior who knew these were his last days to enjoy…)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxcatl#The_Festival

    It’s interesting that the Spaniards permitted the festival to go ahead on condition that there would be no human sacrifices. While there’s disagreement over what happened, and it seems obvious that greed could have played a role in the attack, the Spaniards’ own account says that they attacked to prevent human sacrifice.

    Simply reading a description of the Toxcatl Festival, it seems obvious that the whole festival made little sense without human sacrifice, because sacrificing the previous impersonator, and selecting the next one was the central theme of the whole festival. Has anyone read any detailed account of this?

    The claim that the Aztecs didn’t want to sacrifice anyone just doesn’t make sense. What’s easier to believe is that they promised the Spaniards not to sacrifice anyone, but then tried to go ahead with the sacrifice anyway. Maybe there was a misunderstanding, the Aztecs promising not to sacrifice anyone other than the selected impersonator (so no extra hearts ripped out), while the Spanish believed that the promise was not to kill anyone at all. It’s also possible that the Spaniards attacked for some other reason (like greed), though I’m not sure how much sense it makes: they must have understood their precarious position inside Tenochtitlan, with Cortés and a substantial portion of their comrades far away, unless they had a very low future orientation, they probably would’ve waited a few more weeks, until Cortés returned. They might have believed that the Aztecs were about to attack them.

    But the claim that this festival was going to be performed without a single human being sacrificed stretches the imagination.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_in_the_Great_Temple_of_Tenochtitlan

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    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Has anyone read any detailed account of this?
     
    I read Hugh Thomas' book (The conquest of Mexico) about this many years ago. I can't remember his interpretation of that particular incident, but you can pirate the book at that Russian site (libgen) AK linked to in his piracy post and look for yourself.
    I suppose it's quite possible the Spaniards were genuinely shocked and outraged about a human sacrifice and spontaneously committed that massacre out of indignation. It was a pretty dumb thing to do since it made their position in the city untenable and led to the withdrawal in La noche triste when their expedition was almost wiped out. So it may well have been an emotional reaction instead of a planned attack.
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  • @Anon
    Yes, and there still are. Getting a significant quantity of proteins from other human beings doesn't seem to make much sense to me, food-pyramid-wise, anyway.

    edit: unless you have a relatively small warrior caste which "farms" the rest of the population? But I don't think that was how historical cannibalism worked.

    unless you have a relatively small warrior caste which “farms” the rest of the population? But I don’t think that was how historical cannibalism worked.

    Well, that’s how it worked with the Aztecs.

    And they didn’t farm the population, only supplemented their diet with human flesh.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    Aren't there fishing cultures in the world who traditionally got a huge quantity of their protein from fish?

    It’s possible, of course. Though for example Polynesians often resorted to cannibalism anyway, especially because fisheries can be overharvested.

    But I never wrote it was impossible, only that there were some headwinds to abolishing it.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I did not know about Polynesian cannibalism, interesting. Do you know of any books on this?
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  • @Talha

    As far as I know, the Muslims didn’t care about Greek historiography or literature though, they just were interested in extracting philosophical and technical knowledge that could be adapted for Islamic purposes.
     
    Correct. They were interested mostly in Greek science, maths, works on logic, astronomy, medicine (big time) and to a degree philosophy. I don't think any of them cared much about preserving the Ilyiad or Euripides whatever. They had plenty of those epics from local Persian and Sumerian history around anyway if they were interested in that.

    the Islamic conquests must have led to the eventual loss of many ancient texts that might otherwise have been preserved
     
    Few things on this note:
    1) You can thank the Mongols for active destruction in that region.
    2) It's not the responsibility of the Muslims to preserve texts of other traditions - the dhimmi contract contains no such clause; we did a heck of a job preserving our stuff, other people can preserve their stuff if they think it is important (that's why people had their own millets and local administrations) - as long as Muslims didn't actively destroy other people's language, texts, records then we have no further obligation. The change of some local Christian denominations' liturgy to Arabic from their original language was a choice they made.
    3) Greek was also a non-native language of imperial administration.

    Byzantium would certainly have done a better job of that
     
    They did actually, which is why the Renaissance happened partially as a result of migrations of Greek-speakers westward after the loss of Constantinople. But some of the original exposure to the more Western lands came through Andalusia a few centuries earlier - this was in the realm of science, math, logic, etc. - not the poetry and plays and epics that came later.

    I think it was the other way round
     
    I don't think so...
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Diego-de-Landa

    "After realizing the error of his ways, de Landa decided to write a book on Mayan history, called Relación de las cosas de Yucatán in 1566. After destroying much of the Mayan language and culture, de Landa’s choice of chronicling the civilization is odd. It can be noted that de Landa actually felt remorse later for the way he treated the Mayan people while he was investigating their outlawed religious practices, and felt this was a way to correct his errors. The book was important in helping to decode the hieroglyphics that were written all over Mayan sites and in the discovered texts and artwork, because it provided the full Mayan alphabet as well as ways to sound out the words phonetically."
    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/04/25/diego-de-landa/

    Peace.

    Destroying the codices and other artifacts of their culture was bad, but as AP has pointed out, their religion truly had horrible elements. What I read is that despite a strict ban by the Spaniards, human sacrifice kept happening here and there for decades and perhaps centuries. Interestingly there are allegations of human sacrifice for the strange and morbid Santa Muerte folk saint by members of its cult. Such things must have been happening at a much higher frequency while Diego de Landa was still alive. Now of course de Landa was worried about all manifestations of their religious practices, not just human sacrifice, but wouldn’t you worry if instead of Muslim immigrants, your town would be full of people practicing a cult of Tlaloc, and it was well-known that as little as a few decades ago their priests were sacrificing children for Tlaloc?

    Now, if you were an official responsible for the well-being of an indigenous population, and such a crazy cult was claiming victims among said population (or there were persistent rumors of some humans being sacrificed here and there), what would you do? Probably destroying the documents and idols of the crazy cult was not the best idea, but is it possible that they reduced the incidence of human sacrifice? I don’t think it’s impossible that some Mayans might have recognized superiority of Christianity for the logical reason that their deities were powerless in the face of Christian persecution. And even if that was not the case, it might have seemed logical to de Landa.

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    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Anon
    Yes, I did some research on this topic at some time in the past when it came up on this site (and posted the results), and there were reports at the time of children being kidnapped and sacrificed (often crucified, in a sort of syncretism of horror).

    Talha's second link, msu.edu, is hopelessly biased, as I pointed out at the time:
    realizing the error of his ways, lol, it sounds like we may have found regular poster Corvinus in real life.

    Fr. de Landa was certainly excessive, but a) the Spanish put him on trial for it, though b) he was acquitted, and it's not like excess on the part of magistrates is a uniquely Spanish problem.
    , @German_reader
    Sure, Diego de Landa certainly had understandable reasons to feel repelled by the religion of the Maya and to act like he did. I still think he shouldn't have destroyed those codices, but maybe just confiscated them so they could later be studied. And however horrible the religion of the Maya may have been, their writing system was a genuine achievement, so a policy that led to it being forgotten (until its decipherment in the mid-20th century) seems like major cultural vandalism to me. But that judgement may of course be somewhat anachronistical and be too influenced by a modern point of view.
    , @Talha

    Destroying the codices and other artifacts of their culture was bad
     
    I believe that's all I'm (and maybe others) getting at here; the problem may have been handled excessively and can't be undone unfortunately. For me, there are the ends and the means and both need to be taken into account.

    I don’t think it’s impossible that some Mayans might have recognized superiority of Christianity for the logical reason that their deities were powerless in the face of Christian persecution.
     
    Sure - polytheism in general always seems to give way to monotheism. It wasn't just this, I believe they actually also found it to be a superior religion and culture. I certainly don't have a problem that most of South America is Christian - it is better than polytheism.

    Muslims tended not to care about the inner workings of other religions or cults, reading into their doctrines or anything else (other than to perhaps refute them). The deal was simple; military-age males pay jizyah, don't revolt, don't proselytize and we're good. I have no doubts they would have put a stop to human sacrifice though.

    Again, this is all speculation. I don't know if Muslims ever came across something that heinous, and if they had, what they would have done. Quite possible they would have gone postal (Shafi'i style) on it and quite possible they would have just stopped that practice and left the culture alone otherwise. If anything, there may have been something like this in West Africa in localized communities, but nothing on the scale of Aztec or Mayan society. This kind of stuff still happens in parts of Africa, but seems isolated to the Southeast and Central areas:
    http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-malawi-albinos-hunted-2017-story.html

    Peace.
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  • Interesting article. The Mesoamericans captured some Spaniards with some local allies, including women and children, and they sacrificed and ate them, including the horses. The only ones not eaten were the pigs, who were just killed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/10/conquistadors-sacrificed-eaten-aztec-acolhuas

    There’s a lot of hand-waving about how we cannot be sure if each of them was eaten or if this was a widespread practice (I mean, how did they even conceive of the idea if they had never done that before? or if it was only done on extremely special occasions in leap years?), but I think it’s pretty solid evidence that it was a widespread practice and that those killed were usually eaten. (As is usual practice with all kinds of sacrifice, including animal sacrifice. The deities were similar to citizens of communist countries: the latter drank French cognac through their elected representatives, while the former ate and drank the sacrificial foods and drinks through their priests and worshippers.)

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  • @Thorfinnsson

    The breeds of vegetarian dogs weren’t preserved
     
    Poor dogs.

    Yes, it’s possible to abstain from cannibalism even under such circumstances (I would certainly do so), but I think my point stands.
     
    Bring it on. Tasting the flesh of your enemies sounds like a source of incredible power. Perhaps even better than staring directly into the sun.

    My enemies are poisonous.

    Anyway, my point was simply that Mesoamericans needed cannibalism more than Eurasians, and probably would’ve found it harder to abandon it. It didn’t matter once European animals were introduced.

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  • @Mitleser

    Most people were almost vegetarians (and cannibals) because there were no domesticated animals
     

    Hernan Cortez remarked in 1519 when he arrived in the city of Tenochtitlan seeing "small gelded dogs which they breed for eating". Other Spanish sources site Aztec feasts serving 80-100 turkeys and 20-40 dogs, though the favorite meat of the Aztecs was wild deer.
     
    https://www.quora.com/What-Native-American-groups-traditionally-ate-dog-and-does-this-tradition-continue-today?share=1

    Wild deer would have been in even shorter supply than human flesh. The breeds of vegetarian dogs weren’t preserved (such dogs were bred by some Polynesians), unlike turkey, which tells you something about the tastefulness of this kind of dog meat. Human flesh reportedly tastes like pork.

    Now, some people just don’t get it why it’s easier to abandon cannibalism if you have identical tasting pork, than if the only alternatives are

    - insects
    - salamanders and other amphibians
    - seefood
    - fish
    - turkey
    - dog meat
    - very rarely wild deer

    Yes, it’s possible to abstain from cannibalism even under such circumstances (I would certainly do so), but I think my point stands.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    The breeds of vegetarian dogs weren’t preserved
     
    Poor dogs.

    Yes, it’s possible to abstain from cannibalism even under such circumstances (I would certainly do so), but I think my point stands.
     
    Bring it on. Tasting the flesh of your enemies sounds like a source of incredible power. Perhaps even better than staring directly into the sun.
    , @iffen
    Yes, it’s possible to abstain from cannibalism even under such circumstances (I would certainly do so)


    Apparently some of the Conquistadors partook of mystery meat stew a couple of times.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Aren't there fishing cultures in the world who traditionally got a huge quantity of their protein from fish?
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  • @German_reader
    I know they've found some bones from the Neolithic with clear signs of cannibalism, so it might well be true.
    Your explanation that this wasn't done just for ritualistic reasons, but for supplementing one's diet with meat is interesting. I suppose that's one of those issues where the established standard explanation among anthropologists and the like might not be terribly convincing if looked at closely.

    I think they had ritualistic reasons, too, but it was probably way easier to spread and way harder to restrict than in Eurasia.

    So my explanation is not that “they needed the proteins and so they ate humans” but rather that banishing or even restricting human sacrifice faced more considerable headwinds than elsewhere, because the elites liked the cannibalism and it was more difficult to convince them to abandon it in the absence of alternatives like pork, beef, mutton, etc.

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  • @German_reader

    cannibalism was widespread in Europe
     
    Do we actually know that? The Celts and Germanics certainly occasionally sacrificed people, but the evidence isn't easy to interpret (are those corpses found in bogs necessarily sacrificial victims? Or could they just have been normal murder victims, or executed criminals?) and I can't recall having heard of widespread cannibalism among them. Or are you thinking of even earlier times?

    Even earlier times.

    Cannibalism was widespread before agriculture.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I know they've found some bones from the Neolithic with clear signs of cannibalism, so it might well be true.
    Your explanation that this wasn't done just for ritualistic reasons, but for supplementing one's diet with meat is interesting. I suppose that's one of those issues where the established standard explanation among anthropologists and the like might not be terribly convincing if looked at closely.
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  • @Talha

    So basically what the Spanish did, except with more harems.
     
    Not so sure here. I completely agree that the (various) invasions of India were quite bloody and destructive, but the scale of what happened in the New World was simply not done. The Aztecs, Mayans and others lost a massive amount of their culture - and not just the bad parts mentioned by others. We are talking destruction of historical records, language being rooted out, large numbers of forced conversions, etc.

    The Muslims definitely subjugated Hindus, but Hindu civilization was not completely transformed. I men, they are still dealing with temple prostitution in certain parts.

    They would have looted and destroyed some temples, left others standing
     
    Correct - the Ghaznavids certainly loved to plunder in this fashion. One has to also assess the motivation behind this in India versus the New World. The person who has done the most thorough research on this topic is Prof. Richard Eaton. He points out that much of the later temple destruction (done by more thoroughly established Muslim sovereigns) was politically motivated, though some religious aspects obviously played into it. Hindu rulers built temples as prestige projects as a sign of their sovereignty and when other Hindu rulers took over their domain, it was often a practice to destroy the previous ruler's temple to let people know who was now boss. Of course the Hindu guys would often replace it with one of their own making, but certain Muslim rulers were also very pragmatic:
    "If the idea of conquest became manifest in the desecration of temples associated with former enemies, what happened once the land and the subjects of those enemies were integrated into an Indo-Muslim state? On this point, the data are quite clear: pragmatism as well as time honoured traditions of both Islamic and Indian statecraft dictated that temples lying within such states be left unmolested. We learn from a Sanskrit inscription, for example, that in 1326, thirteen years after he annexed the northern Deccan to the Tughluq empire, Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq appointed Muslim officials to repair a Siva temple in Kalyana (in Bidar District), thereby facilitating the resumption of normal worship that had been disrupted by local disturbances.42 According to that sultan's interpretation of Islamic Law, anybody who paid the poll-tax (jizya) could build temples in territories ruled by Muslims.4 "
    https://academic.oup.com/jis/article-pdf/11/3/283/1879718/11-3-283.pdf

    One can read his conclusion here, and also visit the link to see a thorough examination of the documented destroyed temples in the appendix:
    "One often hears that between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, Indo-Muslim states, driven by a Judaeo-Islamic 'theology of iconoclasm', by fanaticism, or by sheer lust for plunder, wantonly and indiscriminately indulged in the desecration of Hindu temples. Such a picture cannot, however, be sustained by evidence from original sources for the period after 1192. Had instances of temple desecration been driven by a 'theology of iconoclasm', as some have claimed,70 such a theology would have committed Muslims in India to destroying all temples everywhere, including ordinary village temples, as opposed to the highly selective operation that seems actually to have taken place. Rather, the original data associate instances of temple desecration with the annexation of newly conquered territories held by enemy kings whose domains lay on the path of moving military frontiers. Temple desecrations also occurred when Hindu patrons of prominent temples committed acts of treason or disloyalty to the Indo-Muslim states they served. Otherwise, temples lying within Indo-Muslim sovereign domains, viewed normally as protected state property, were left unmolested."

    To me, what happened with Spain in the New World was a combination of a couple of things; 1) the periodic penchant among various historic Christian kingdoms to go postal on pagans (see the Baltic Crusades for instance) in order to root it out, 2) being so far away that the ecclesiastical authorities had a difficulty in reigning in the practices of what was essentially governance by a military force.

    set up mosques to which the vast majority of the population would have adhered
     
    This is not accurate - as Prof. Eaton has pointed out, the place where Muslim power was most dominant, Islam penetrated the least - they were always in the minority where they had power - possibly due to pissing off the locals as invaders:
    “…those regions where the most dramatic Islamization occurred, such as eastern Bengal or western Punjab, lay on the fringes of Indo-Muslim rule, where the ‘sword’ was weakest, and where brute force could have exerted the least influence. In such regions the first accurate census reports put the Muslim population at between 70 and 90 percent of the total, whereas in the heartland of Muslim rule in the upper Gangetic Plain—the domain of the Delhi Fort and the Taj Mahal, where Muslim regimes had ruled the most intensively and for the longest period of time—the Muslim population ranged from only 10 to 15 percent. In other words, in the subcontinent as a whole there is an inverse relationship between the degree of Muslim political penetration and the degree of Islamization. Even within Bengal this principle holds true.”
    The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760 (Univ. CA Press)

    put down a lot of rebellions with a lot of bloodshed
     
    Big time. Even the Emperor Akbar, who is put up as some tolerant-hippy ruler would not brook rebellion and put it down hard.

    So while I agree with you that Muslims certainly often made a bloody mess of things in India (which was often religiously motivated) and definitely did hold the Hindu population under their thumb* the loss of indigenous culture and heritage was just not on the same scale as what happened in the New World (and in a shorter time frame).

    Peace.

    *Note: Even Mughals like Aurangzeb, who the BJP would love to erase from India's memory are not so clear cut, one-sided figures:
    "They omit altogether that Aurangzeb consulted with Hindu ascetics on health matters and employed more Hindus in his administration than any prior Mughal ruler by a substantial margin."
    https://www.sup.org/books/extra/?id=28067&i=Chapter%201.html

    language being rooted out

    Due to a lack of horses or wheels, Mesoamerican Indians had many small ethnic groups speaking diverse languages, which was not practical for a large-scale organized state.

    But the language of the Aztecs, Nahuatl, was actually spread by the Spanish, who used it as the official language of New Spain until the end of the 17th century.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahuatl#Colonial_period

    In 1570, King Philip II of Spain decreed that Nahuatl should become the official language of the colonies of New Spain in order to facilitate communication between the Spanish and natives of the colonies.[53] This led to Spanish missionaries teaching Nahuatl to Indians living as far south as Honduras and El Salvador. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Classical Nahuatl was used as a literary language, and a large corpus of texts from that period exists today. They include histories, chronicles, poetry, theatrical works, Christian canonical works, ethnographic descriptions, and administrative documents. The Spanish permitted a great deal of autonomy in the local administration of indigenous towns during this period, and in many Nahuatl-speaking towns the language was the de facto administrative language both in writing and speech. A large body of Nahuatl literature was composed during this period, including the Florentine Codex, a twelve-volume compendium of Aztec culture compiled by Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún; Crónica Mexicayotl, a chronicle of the royal lineage of Tenochtitlan by Fernando Alvarado Tezozómoc; Cantares Mexicanos, a collection of songs in Nahuatl; a Nahuatl-Spanish/Spanish-Nahuatl dictionary compiled by Alonso de Molina; and the Huei tlamahuiçoltica, a description in Nahuatl of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.[54]

    Grammars and dictionaries of indigenous languages were composed throughout the colonial period, but their quality was highest in the initial period.[55] The friars found that learning all the indigenous languages was impossible in practice, so they concentrated on Nahuatl. For a time, the linguistic situation in Mesoamerica remained relatively stable, but in 1696, Charles II of Spain issued a decree banning the use of any language other than Spanish throughout the Spanish Empire. In 1770, another decree, calling for the elimination of the indigenous languages, did away with Classical Nahuatl as a literary language.[53] Until Mexican Independence in 1821, the Spanish courts admitted Nahuatl testimony and documentation as evidence in lawsuits, with court translators rendering it in Spanish.[56]

    So “rooting out the language” was not something the Spanish conquerors did, at least not initially. One of the reasons they managed to spread Spanish so easily by the 18th century was that Spanish had much higher prestige.

    By the way, Talha, didn’t the Arab conquest also “root out” local languages like Coptic or Aramaic?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Well, I was speaking about the entire situation including the bans. Also including the destruction of much of the original records in the original codices, but they did preserve some of course. If I recall, the same priest who initially tried his best to destroy Mayan language that eventually felt bad and preserved it.

    There was no parallel effort after the Muslim conquests of destruction or bans. The administration of the empire was in local languages through dhimmi representatives and government employees. All one of the later Abassid or Ummayad (I forgot which one) caliphs did was change the language used in administration of the empire so anyone seeking a government job also needed to be fluent in Arabic (instead of the various languages like Syriac, Greek, Persian, Etc. that were previously used to keep records). And of course the Abbasids started the initiative of the massive translation of classical Greek works into Arabic which led to a revival of math, medicine and science in the region.

    Peace.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Indeed, one might also note that Tenochtitlan was almost an order of magnitude more populous than the largest Eurasian city at the equivalent point of technological development.

    Technological progress also seems to have happened faster in the Americas after corn was domesticated (which was a harder, much longer process than wheat).

    I suspect that the Americas would abandoned human sacrifice a millennium or two afterwards in an alt history where Eurasia was wiped out by a gamma ray burst, and would have advanced to an industrial revolution in another two or three.

    Technological progress also seems to have happened faster in the Americas after corn was domesticated (which was a harder, much longer process than wheat).

    But then it gave higher yields, as far as I know.

    There were also no horse-riding nomads to disrupt development. Most people were almost vegetarians (and cannibals) because there were no domesticated animals, so relative to the technological levels, higher population densities became possible.

    Human sacrifice was probably also a function of primitive savages suddenly achieving relatively high levels of organization and population density. Primitive savages everywhere were, well, primitive savages, cannibalism was widespread in Europe, for example. But they only had small-scale organizations, so even though Europeans a few tens of millennia ago were all cannibals, they didn’t have the organization to capture and kill so many slaves.

    There is the explanation that a lack of domesticated animals meant that human meat was an important part of elite diets (while the rest of the population suffered from a dearth of vital amino acids). I just checked Wikipedia, and didn’t find the counter-arguments terribly convincing. Yes, people could eat salamanders, but it’s difficult to extract a lot of meat from them, while human meat is much easier to consume.

    So I think human sacrifice would’ve stayed much longer, relative to development levels. And of course while neither cannibalism nor human sacrifice was widespread in ancient Rome, the gladiatorial games as spectacles don’t appear much more civilized to me. I understand that, contrary to popular belief, gladiators weren’t always killed, but they were killed often enough.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @German_reader

    cannibalism was widespread in Europe
     
    Do we actually know that? The Celts and Germanics certainly occasionally sacrificed people, but the evidence isn't easy to interpret (are those corpses found in bogs necessarily sacrificial victims? Or could they just have been normal murder victims, or executed criminals?) and I can't recall having heard of widespread cannibalism among them. Or are you thinking of even earlier times?
    , @Mitleser

    Most people were almost vegetarians (and cannibals) because there were no domesticated animals
     

    Hernan Cortez remarked in 1519 when he arrived in the city of Tenochtitlan seeing "small gelded dogs which they breed for eating". Other Spanish sources site Aztec feasts serving 80-100 turkeys and 20-40 dogs, though the favorite meat of the Aztecs was wild deer.
     
    https://www.quora.com/What-Native-American-groups-traditionally-ate-dog-and-does-this-tradition-continue-today?share=1
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  • @German_reader

    What Central Americans accomplished on their own the nordics
     
    Are you sure they did it on their own? They could have had help from the ancient black Egyptians. It's a striking parallel that they also had pyramids (what are the chances for such a coincidence?), and that giant Olmec head looks pretty Nubian to me.

    Some people don’t get jokes.

    The pyramid form requires relatively low levels of technology compared to, say, a gothic cathedral. So a society without the wheel (or rather, as has been pointed out, the axle), or iron, or any other developed technology, could still build huge and impressive pyramids.

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  • @AP

    If you are so concerned for victims of Aztecs, then why would you support someone who also massacred, in brutal reprisals – many (sometimes unarmed) non-Aztecs, like the Indians of Panuco, the Tepeyacanos, the Huastecs.
     
    This occurred in a war/invasion - the Aztec brutality was their way of life. Spanish colonial life wasn't full of massacres year after year. But Aztec horrors were a normal feature of their society.

    Mayans all practiced widespread human sacrifice, not only Aztecs. It was a widespread Meso-American thing. Aztecs were just the largest and most successful empire so their victim count was larger.

    betraying people (poor Cuauhtemoc)
     
    Cuauhtemoc as an Aztec ruler was a human sacrificer of hundreds if not thousands. How "terrible" that in the process of destroying the Aztec culture, one of its leaders was betrayed. Poor Cuauhtemoc!

    Typically post-modern to lament that this monster was betrayed.


    A more normal position would be something like that “invasion was often horrific, leading to mass deaths of innocent people, and almost always motivated by greed, but at least it had an unintended consequence of spreading Christianity to a society in which human sacrifice was existent”.
     
    You think spreading Christianity was an "unintended consequence?" This was why expeditions were stocked with priests?

    No, an objective position would be "Spain, motivated by a mixture of greed and religious zeal, conquered and converted the brutal Aztec Empire, engaging in massacres while doing so. As a result, a primitive society characterized by brutal mass sacrifice of people was replaced by a civilized, more humane, Europeanized Christian one."

    Of course, post-modern scholars don't like words such as "primitive" or "civilized" because they are microaggressions, and prefer that words such as "brutal" only be applied towards Europeans.


    Also I cannot see how this kind amoral attitude matches with your usual – justified – condemnation of crimes by Soviet Union against civilians, or crimes against the Ukrainian nation.
     
    1. Spanish massacres were no more cruel than Aztec ones. Their activities did not add cruelty to Meso-America. Aztecs also massacred - or worse, harvested for human sacrifice - people whom they invaded.

    2. Result of Spanish invasion was a society that was orders of magnitude more humane than the one prior to Spanish invasion. Literally millions of people were spared the fate of being sacrificed, as a result of the Spanish invasion. Spanish invasion also brought higher culture, literacy, etc. Soviet invasion, in contrast, resulted in a much more inhumane repressive society.

    If you want to make an analogy, use the Western Allied invasion of Nazi Germany. Yes, crimes such as terror bombing of civilians were made during this process or removing a mass murdering regime from the Earth. But to characterize the invasion of Nazi Germany as a war crime of terror bombing by sadists motivated to steal German stuff, and that eliminating Nazism was an unintended consequence, is absurd. Yet this is how anti-Europeans, anti-Catholics, and-Spaniards characterize the invasion of the Aztec empire by the Spanish. If even modern Spanish are doing this -shame on them, Spain has succumbed to Western self-hatred.


    But in terms of human sacrifice, even apologetics texts like Bernal Diaz Del Castillo are writing quite curiously and causally, coldly about it
     
    Cortes stated "They have a most horrid and abominable custom which truly ought to be punished and which until now we have seen in no other part, and this is that, whenever they wish to ask something of the idols, in order that their plea may find more acceptance, they take many girls and boys and even adults, and in the presence of these idols they open their chests while they are still alive and take out their hearts and entrails and burn them before the idols, offering the smoke as sacrifice. Some of us have seen this, and they say it is the most terrible and frightful thing they have ever witnessed"

    Doesn't look like he was casual about such horrors.

    As much to the point, if Dmitry doesn’t think the Aztecs were evil, why does he think the Spanish were evil? As he seems to speak from a general viewpoint of dialectical materialism, why does he think anybody is evil?

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    As much to the point, if Dmitry doesn’t think the Aztecs were evil, why does he think the Spanish were evil? As he seems to speak from a general viewpoint of dialectical materialism, why does he think anybody is evil?

     

    Where did I write anything about evil. Although if you will use this concept of evil - the proposal we should justify people going on expedition to do evil in other countries, motivated by a desire for gold (not only to take out of the country and send to finance their nation, but to finance their own personal wealth) - on the basis that there was also already existing evil in those other countries, and in the civilizations thereby destroyed. It is not convincing to me.

    AP's views on this topic are very unusual, but he has a right to the opinion. I will prefer to read history books/ watch documentaries, rather than persuade any other people to my view which arises intuitively and not necessarily in an objective way either.

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  • @Thorfinnsson
    Who installed this globohomo faggot anti-pope? I doubt the gerontocratic College of the Cardinals is naturally inclined to this level of poz.

    We know that the CIA helped install Carol Wotilja, so why not Soros for the installation of Bergoglio?

    I suppose I should be grateful for anything that discredits romish papism however.

    Its been quite a mystery to me how he got to Pope. This entire virtue signaling is particularly strange too – assuming that he did indeed believe in this crap, then he should be preaching to a Catholic country such as Poland where his position might actually hold value(although I hear sedevacantism is increasing there, rightfully).

    Rambling about Trump, who is not a Catholic, in regards to America, which is not a Catholic country, is completely nonsensical.

    That said, I am happy at least that Wikipedia has offered succor in this regard:

    List of people burned as heretics

    This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

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  • @AP
    Tank competition, in which the Ukraine team came in last.

    Ukraine apparently had two problems: team was given tanks with defect, and course was laid out to Ukraine's disadvantage (low dugout).

    Details, with video, about the first problem:

    http://defence-blog.com/army/ukraine-trying-hide-info-t-84-tanks-problems.html

    On 15 June, Captain Roman Bagaev, whose platoon is regularly declared to be the best tank platoon in Ukraine, told in an interview with a newspaper the Novynarniaabout serious problems with the upgraded Ukrainian T-84 main battle tanks.

    Ukraine’s tankmen with T-84s taken part in Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 annual training event designed to give participating nations a dynamic, productive and fun environment in which to foster military partnerships, form Soldier-level relationships, and share tactics, techniques and procedures. But in this year the Ukrainian team took the last place despite the use of the newest T-84 tanks.

    Captain Roman Bagaev said that the cause of losing in Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 competitions lie in serious problems with T-84 combat vehicles, modernized and overhauled at the SE “Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau” in Kharkiv.

    The T-84 main battle tank has seen a number of problems. The big issue has been breakdowns that leave the tank without a weapon stabilization system.

    The Novynarniahas released videos showing serious problems with T-84’s automatic loader for its 125-mm gun, fire control system and also problems related to insulated wiring.

    Ukrainian tanks were unable to hit targets at a distance of more than 1 km due to problems with stabilization of the main armament.

    “Each tank was given ten rounds, for all four tanks – forty. We were able to fire only 16 shells out of 40,” said Roman Bagaev.

    Also, he noted that at other stages of the competition, Ukrainian team scored a lot of points, but the firing gave up, and that was the most important thing.

    For its part, representatives of the plant accused the crew of the tanks in poor preparation. They at first did not even believe in problems with tanks and refused to accept comments about critical defects.

    According to the Malyshev Tank Factory, the T-84 is a modern vehicle, developed by the SE “Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau”. The T-84 has the latest gunner’s sight, detecting the target “tank” up to 3500 meters, and “infantryman” type target – up to 2,200 meters. Taking into account the 125-mm gun with a loader that allows firing at a rate of 8 rounds per minute, it ensures effective destruction of targets in a minimum amount of time.

    The main battle tank T-84 is more advanced, compared with the T-64BV, used by Ukrainian crew during international competitions in 2017.

    Needs to be noted that last year, the Ukrainian tankmen in ageing T-64BV tanks took 4th place out of five teams, placing ahead of the Polish team in their Leopard 2A5 vehicles.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::

    I guess it is good news that Ukraine still mostly uses upgraded T-64BV and T-64 BM tanks which perform better despite being older (T-64 originated in 1960s but T-64BV was from 1985 and T-64BM from 2005).

    According to wiki, Ukraine has about 700 T-64BVs, 100 T-64 BMs, 200 T-72s, 20 T-80s and only 10 T-84s in service.

    Because T-84s are expensive, Ukraine prioritized fixing and modernizing its T-64 BVs over building new T-84s for its military. Given the T-84s problems this may have been a good thing.

    As a comparison, Poland has about 700 tanks in service, a mix of Leopard 2A4 and 2A5, PT-91, and T-72s. Given that Ukraine's T-64BVs outperformed Poland's Leopard in 2017, it's probably fair to say that Ukraine has an edge over Poland with respect to its tank force.

    Hungary, meanwhile, has 34 tanks in service!

    Hungary, meanwhile, has 34 tanks in service!

    I think I have already complained about how we have no army to speak of. Our air force is also weak, but some of our neighbors have even less.

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  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @AP
    I'm not sure. 8:1 casualty ratio as at Kharkiv was much better than 4:1 as at Kursk. This would have been sustainable for Germany. Several more such battles, or if this tactic were expanded across the entire front, and likely there would have been a stalemate or even retreat. Of course, Soviets could have adapted and found an answer - we don't know.

    Twinkie is probably the most knowledgeable military historian who posts here (he is a veteran himself, and he taught the subject).

    He wrote, while demolishing Martyanov's claims:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/?highlight=elastic#comment-1205938

    and

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/?highlight=elastic#comment-1202004

    "By the late 1944, both the Western Allied and the Soviet combat-craft improved somewhat as many in the respective armies were combat veterans with significant experience, but not enough to overtake the Germans man-for-man. But given the strategic situation and the enormous manpower/materiel advantages they enjoyed, they didn’t have to be equal to the Germans one-on-one in order to beat them.

    And once Hitler forbade theater-wide elastic defense on the East as both von Manstein and Guderian advocated, the war was lost irrevocably for the Germans, as was bound to happen to snipers who are ordered to engage in knife fights, to use another metaphor. What von Manstein wanted to do was to repeat continually and theater-wide the Third Battle of Kharkov in 1943 (when the severely understrength Germans conducted a masterful elastic defense and destroyed some 50+ Soviet divisions and recaptured Kharkov). Happily for the Allies, Hitler instead threw away the last large reserve of the operationally mobile forces at Kursk (“Zitadelle”) and sealed his fate."

    8:1 casualty ratio as at Kharkiv was much better than 4:1 as at Kursk. This would have been sustainable for Germany.

    My problem is that the Soviets had been learning a lot before. For example, the Germans envisioned mass encirclements for Operation Barbarossa, and they largely succeeded. Hence, several millions of Soviet POWs in 1941 (who were criminally starved to death within months). However, in 1942 the Germans tried to replicate their successes from the previous years, and they didn’t manage to do so. The only large encirclement to succeed in 1942 was at Kharkov, where the Soviets attempted an offensive in May 1942. It must be noted that in late 1942 during Operation Mars (largely the same time as Stalingrad, an attempted Soviet offensive near Moscow), the Soviets failed, but Soviet losses were nowhere near their losses during the Second Battle of Kharkov, despite using similar forces. While German losses were higher (though still much lower than Soviet losses).

    In 1943 around Kharkov the Soviets overextended themselves: they were fighting almost a thousand kilometers from their starting point at Stalingrad. They were also dizzy with success, due to their previously unprecedented successful encirclement operations. It’s highly unlikely that such conditions would’ve continued. On the other hand, it’s highly likely that the ratio of forces would’ve become worse and worse for Germany.

    So, you (and Twinkie, and some others) are assuming that the German qualitative advantage would’ve remained the same. That’s highly unlikely: it had already diminished much by the summer of 1943. The German qualitative advantage was based on its highly trained officers and NCOs (and even ordinary soldiers). However, their losses could never be fully replenished, because wartime training was always of lower quality than peacetime training (there was no time to train them, while in peacetime officers had four years of training, during wartime it diminished to two, and then to just one year), and so replacements were bound to be of lower quality. As opposed to the Soviets, who had lower quality troops (in terms of training) to begin with, and so replacing them was less of a problem: you can easily replace a poorly trained officer with another poorly trained officer. Couple that with Soviet improvement of their tactics in light of wartime experience, and you can understand why Soviet troop quality was actually improving (albeit from a very low basis) throughout the war. Quality of German troops, on the other hand, was bound to decline as losses proved to be basically impossible to replace.

    Tl;dr

    I don’t think the Germans could’ve won the war without Zitadelle in summer 1943, or even fought it to a standstill. My best guess is they might have inflicted somewhat higher casualties on the Soviets, and held on a little longer to Kiev or Warsaw. Eventually, Berlin was to fall.

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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @utu
    It concurs with Karlin. What foundation owns Karlin?

    It concurs with Karlin.

    Only on the topic of the Russian team being weak.

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  • @Mitleser
    This has aged as well as certain other Russia predictions

    https://twitter.com/SamWallaceTel/status/1006793665539465218

    But The Moscow Times is not the Russian press. It’s owned by a Dutch foundation and written often by foreigners. It’s also English language, so probably not too typical.

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    • Replies: @utu
    It concurs with Karlin. What foundation owns Karlin?
    , @LondonBob
    I used to read it because it was free and in English, but I got bored of its relentless anti Putin bent. I remember hearing a newly arrived English girl in a bar comment about how the Moscow Times really seems to hate Putin. I even manged to get misquoted by them to give a negative spin on something.
    , @Dmitry
    Isn't Karlin's view on the football team before the tournament, the standard view of most media and sports journalists.

    His view of the tournament itself - is not sensible in my view (too negative).

    The reality is that two things can be true without contradiction.

    They were spending too much money (it is the most expensive over-spending for any World Cup), but it is also extremely successful for international relations, domestic atmosphere and tourism, and the team does not have to win the 1/6 round for this to be true.

    The hosting of the World Cup so far, succeeded on every level or competence, and even the residents of the host cities are contributing to improve the atmosphere for fans.

    But Karlin is pretty typical, no? So many people are now complaining online about ass licking of foreigners.

    The joke people are saying is that if you want to have good service now in Moscow, you just go to the shop and pretend to be a foreign fan, and pretend you cannot speak Russian, and suddenly they smile and give you excellent customer service.

    And then Karlin has not yet complained they are using the tournament as a distraction while raising his retirement age and VAT, so in some ways he is quite positive than the average.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @AP

    There’s no need to argue about Wehrmacht vs Red Army. They resolved this debate between each other – it ended in Berlin, 73 years ago.
     
    Kharkiv battle in early 1943 showed that the Germans still could have won the war by bleeding the Soviets dry using elastic defense:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Battle_of_Kharkov

    About 8 Soviet casualties to 1 German casualty.

    But Hitler interfered and overruled the generals - he wanted the Germans to stand their ground. This resulted in the Battle of Kursk, which really ended any chance of Germany winning the war (even though, in that battle, ratio of KIA was about 4 Soviets for every German).

    If the German military weren't better "pound for pound" it would not have been in a position to win a battle such as Kharkiv.

    Kharkiv battle in early 1943 showed that the Germans still could have won the war by bleeding the Soviets dry using elastic defense

    I disagree. The Soviets became overconfident in the wake of the Battle of Stalingrad. It’s unlikely that such results could have continued indefinitely. The Germans might have hoped for a stalemate, but the result of Kursk was a similarly lopsided loss ratio as at Kharkov. It’s only that the Germans couldn’t replace them, and they also had to send some of their troops to Italy. The main German problem was not the battle itself, but the Soviet offensive started afterwards. The Soviets would probably have waited longer if the Germans hadn’t attacked, but time was on their side, since they were able to build up their forces than the Germans. In fact, one of the main weakness of Hitler’s conduct during Zitadelle was his endless delays. But eventually the Soviets would’ve started the offensive anyway, and I fail to see how the Germans would’ve been any more successful against it than they were in August, since they had a better chance earlier.

    So while it’s true that Hitler’s meddling was unfortunate for the Germans, his generals couldn’t have changed the overall force ratios or the increasing Allied involvement in the war. I also don’t like the “genius generals vs. evil, stupid Hitler” dichotomy. Hitler made many mistakes, but he couldn’t have won the war in 1943 even with the wisest leadership. (Maybe in 1941? Perhaps still in 1942?)

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    • Replies: @AP
    I'm not sure. 8:1 casualty ratio as at Kharkiv was much better than 4:1 as at Kursk. This would have been sustainable for Germany. Several more such battles, or if this tactic were expanded across the entire front, and likely there would have been a stalemate or even retreat. Of course, Soviets could have adapted and found an answer - we don't know.

    Twinkie is probably the most knowledgeable military historian who posts here (he is a veteran himself, and he taught the subject).

    He wrote, while demolishing Martyanov's claims:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/?highlight=elastic#comment-1205938

    and

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/?highlight=elastic#comment-1202004

    "By the late 1944, both the Western Allied and the Soviet combat-craft improved somewhat as many in the respective armies were combat veterans with significant experience, but not enough to overtake the Germans man-for-man. But given the strategic situation and the enormous manpower/materiel advantages they enjoyed, they didn’t have to be equal to the Germans one-on-one in order to beat them.

    And once Hitler forbade theater-wide elastic defense on the East as both von Manstein and Guderian advocated, the war was lost irrevocably for the Germans, as was bound to happen to snipers who are ordered to engage in knife fights, to use another metaphor. What von Manstein wanted to do was to repeat continually and theater-wide the Third Battle of Kharkov in 1943 (when the severely understrength Germans conducted a masterful elastic defense and destroyed some 50+ Soviet divisions and recaptured Kharkov). Happily for the Allies, Hitler instead threw away the last large reserve of the operationally mobile forces at Kursk (“Zitadelle”) and sealed his fate."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @RaceRealist88
    I don't disagree. A good example is the deadlift. My grip gives out long before my whole body gives out (don't think I use straps or chalk---I don't). Grip is very important, especially due to the relationship with all-cause mortality.

    Nevertheless, I can have a weak grip but be strong. I've worked with people like that (though of course I got their grip stronger).

    But aren’t such people (strong, but with weak grip) the products of modern training methods (straps, machines, etc.)? I’d think it cannot have been typical before.

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    Yes that is one cause (one reason why I don't use straps or chalk when I deadlift).
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  • @Greasy William

    What does it have to do with nationalism (I am certainly not an “extreme nationalist” – I think you have confused with another user).
     
    nope. Here is your exact quote:

    In Operation Bagration, which itself was the product of the superior Russian intellect, the Russian Superman crushed the inferior German through superior will and blood, thereby saving the weak and decadent Anglo from extermination. All shall tremble before the infinite might of Mother Russia!
     
    If you aren't just trolling and seriously don't see how that statement is extremely nationalistic, then I really don't know what to tell you. Maybe that is just how everybody talks in Russia, I don't know. But in most parts of the world that would be considered an ultra jingoistic statement.

    Wanted to press LOL. Maybe later I’ll come back to fix it.

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  • What does it have to do with nationalism (I am certainly not an “extreme nationalist” – I think you have confused with another user).

    nope. Here is your exact quote:

    In Operation Bagration, which itself was the product of the superior Russian intellect, the Russian Superman crushed the inferior German through superior will and blood, thereby saving the weak and decadent Anglo from extermination. All shall tremble before the infinite might of Mother Russia!

    If you aren’t just trolling and seriously don’t see how that statement is extremely nationalistic, then I really don’t know what to tell you. Maybe that is just how everybody talks in Russia, I don’t know. But in most parts of the world that would be considered an ultra jingoistic statement.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor, Dmitry
    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    In Operation Bagration, which itself was the product of the superior Russian intellect, the Russian Superman crushed the inferior German through superior will and blood, thereby saving the weak and decadent Anglo from extermination. All shall tremble before the infinite might of Mother Russia!

     

    Lol.

    I feared the lack of video evidence, to make the claims more persuasive to a general audience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mciwwbeog_o
    , @reiner Tor
    Wanted to press LOL. Maybe later I’ll come back to fix it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • These comical own goals are getting annoying.

    Anyway, at least Russia is performing above expectations.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @Dmitry
    It depends very much on the stage of the war.

    In 1941, Red Army was indeed totally incompetent.

    By summer of 1944 (Operation Bagration), Red Army was probably the strongest land army that has ever been observed in world history (in any historical era).

    The transformation (also perhaps the most brutal any army has encountered, and certainly in terms of number of deaths) occurs in these intervening 4 years (1941-1944).

    That’s just 3 years, not 4.

    But qualitatively speaking, the Red Army was still worse than the German army.

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  • @Jaakko Raipala
    You can argue that the outcome of WWII was already determined once the coalition against Germany included the United States, Britain and Russia with overwhelming industrial production and manpower advantages, but actually that just makes the case for quality of soldiers - Germany was able to get so far against overwhelming odds while the USSR suffered enormous casualties despite its strategic and material advantages.

    Despite the eventual loss, the German performance in World War II was awe inspiring and the Soviet performance was awful. If any general today was offered a time machine to recruit a division from the past, he would definitely consider WWII Germans and definitely not WWII Russians. The ideology and values that Germany had adopted under Hitler were actually good for fighting wars while the ideology and values adopted by Russia were not very good and Russia would have done better if it had national socialism instead of an ideology of throwing away men's lives in human waves while writing puff pieces about the exploits of female supersoldiers.

    Most of the world is still clearly under the same impression. Everybody wants their neighbor to adopt international socialism. Nobody wants their neighbor to adopt national socialism. Not many here would freak out if Russia adopted communism again - we might get another chance to make Greater Finland if Russia wrecks itself again. But everyone would freak out if Russia adopted national socialism.

    (Of course I will admit that extreme nationalism has some serious disadvantages, most notably the difficulty of making allies and finding agents and sympathizers in other nations, something that the communists were good at.)

    I partly disagree about Soviet performance. The Soviets had a very hastily expanded and so largely untrained peasant army with inexperienced and uneducated officers. Even what they had was destroyed within a few months.

    After that, they managed to build a new and relatively high quality army (it was probably higher quality than for example what Hungary had at the time). Though of course they partially embraced nationalism, too.

    throwing away men’s lives in human waves

    That’s an oversimplification. Russians/Soviets of course well understood the possibility of bypassing enemy strongpoints, but they deliberately chose not to, because their early experience taught them that the Germans were masters of mobile warfare, and they simply cut off advancing Soviet forces from the strongpoints. For example this is what happened at Kharkov in May 1942.

    So they started to attack strongpoints frontally, which, costly as it was in terms of losses, at least denied the Germans to use their superb mobile warfare capabilities.

    Of course it was always understood as not ideal.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    After that, they managed to build a new and relatively high quality army (it was probably higher quality than for example what Hungary had at the time).

     

    In 1941.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    I partly disagree about Soviet performance. The Soviets had ... inexperienced and uneducated officers.

     

    ... because they shot the experienced ones.

    Initial point still stands, time-machine general isn't going to pick Russians. If your society persecutes competent officers for political reasons, your society isn't going to perform well in war.

    killed parents...judge...mercy...orphan
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  • @RaceRealist88
    Sure it does but grip strength does not equal overall strength.

    No, but normally you cannot use your overall strength if you don’t have grip strength. I mean, outside a gym, you need to grip something in order to be able to move it. So it’s actually a kind of basic strength, without which all other muscles are mostly useless.

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    I don't disagree. A good example is the deadlift. My grip gives out long before my whole body gives out (don't think I use straps or chalk---I don't). Grip is very important, especially due to the relationship with all-cause mortality.

    Nevertheless, I can have a weak grip but be strong. I've worked with people like that (though of course I got their grip stronger).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @Matra
    I don't know if anyone here is actually watching the football but Poland, right now, against Senegal (70 minutes in), seriously letting down the white race.

    No offense to the Polish commenters, and I know it sounds harsh, but they reminded me of the Hungarian national team.

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    • Replies: @utu
    Germany and Poland the only two that lost to non-European teams.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I don’t know if anyone here is actually watching the football but Poland, right now, against Senegal (70 minutes in), seriously letting down the white race.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    No offense to the Polish commenters, and I know it sounds harsh, but they reminded me of the Hungarian national team.
    , @John Pepple
    Senegal's goals against Poland were a matter of luck, while Poland's goal against Senegal was a matter of skill, so Poland didn't let down the white race.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • Turkish F-35 gets blocked by Congress?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/senate-approves-bill-block-f35-transfer-turkey-180619085252727.html

    It might be good for the Su-57 project that both India and Turkey could be blocked from acquiring the F-36 and so might turn to Russia, if for nothing else then to spite the Americans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=2&vote=00128

    The 85 Senators who voted for this are TRAITORS who are directly contributing to America's ongoing current account deficit.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @Toronto Russian
    The Flynn effect for strength is an interesting thing that wasn't brought up here before. Here's a piece of archeological excavation report from a 17th century Russian graveyard. The villagers would certainly have their strength impaired, not unlike today's Nigerians.

    Everyone in the village had osteoporosis, including the kind that affects bones of the skull. The reason was likely nutrition (lack of calcium). Not uncommon were signs of periosteum inflammation, caused mostly by hypothermia, malnutrition and lack of vitamins in food. That was also the reason for poor healing of wounds and musculoskeletal system injuries.

    ...Men are long-armed, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped. Faces are rather flat, massive jaws. Average height is 168.7 cm (5'6"). Thanks to plowing and walking, muscles that are responsible for work of shoulders and hips are well developed. Women: somewhat short-legged, long-armed, rather broad-shouldered (try carrying shoulder-yokes - you'll understand). Height is about 155 cm (5'1").

    https://radadar.livejournal.com/150667.html
     
    The blog title is "Dedicated to the lovers of the natural way of life" :)

    The Flynn effect for strength

    This might have been true for some overpopulated Malthusian areas, but the trend is less clear. For example I have seen sacks used to store and transport wheat or flour in a Hungarian mill. The sacks could only be grabbed at their mouths, and the peasants threw them on their carts. They would’ve weighed something like 50-60 kilos, which is very close to their estimated body weights. They needed to be extremely strong (especially for their sizes, but even for bigger people today) to be able to grab those sacks and then throw them onto their carts. Present day populations would be unable to operate those carts, we’d need basically Olympic lifters or powerlifters to be able to do that.

    I read somewhere that in England during the industrial revolution, in a foundry there was a huge metal ladle, which for some distance had to be carried in hand by four people. More people couldn’t access it, and there were handles for exactly four people. Those people had to be extremely strong by today’s standards, I can’t recall the weight of it, but it was very heavy, and today probably only groups of powerlifters and similar people could even attempt to lift it. The issue was, it was also extremely hot. So, English iron workers (probably only the very strongest of those were employed for this job) had to be extremely strong by today’s standards.

    That’s actually to answer the points raised about child labor in English factories in the early 19th century: where I read it (I can find the book if requested) it was mentioned that people working in these jobs started at the factory floor at a very early age as small children, and while initially given physically easier tasks, their workloads progressively increased. Since they were paid well, they could easily afford quality food (including meats and vegetables) and even feed their families, and their bodies adapted.

    It must be noted that many late 19th century strongmen started out as child workers in factories. So working at an early age might not have been so unhealthy as some people here seem to believe. Sitting at the school or in front of computers might produce less healthy humans. (Fortunately we have antibiotics and even better treatments for cancer, and so we live longer nevertheless.)

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    • Replies: @Greasy William
    I don't know what it is like in Hungary, but in America our high school boys are often shockingly frail looking. Look up anti gun douchebag David Hogg. Have you ever seen a Hungarian boy that frail?

    On the other hand, our pro athletes keep getting bigger and stronger. And even our frail, girly man, kids seem to be growing ever taller.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    We actually have studies to support this:

    Today’s men are not nearly as strong as their dads were, researchers say

    Surely to the delight of leftists everywhere.
    , @Dmitry
    Villagers of 17th century Russia, for example, would surely be far tougher in many areas (as a result of psychological brutalization), compared to modern men with a gym membership, and even able to do physical tasks you would not expect.

    At the same time, they were a lot smaller, less healthy and underfed, compared to modern men - expressed in all kinds of data like height, bone density, life-expectancy.

    So there are contradictions. If you leave the villagers alone in a difficult countryside environment, without food or water or buildings - we would surely predict the small and underfed villagers would survive better than the healthy, more physically developed modern people.

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  • @Hippopotamusdrome


    Mongolian advantage was ... superior logictic

     

    Superior logictic = no logistics. Horses graze steppe, soldiers survive off pillage. No supply train necessary.

    soldiers survive off pillage

    Even that requires a lot of organization, because the army needed to be moved around inhabited areas for pillage to be even possible. But for a long time, they didn’t even need this.

    - they live off the milk or the meat of their horses (an average warrior had several horses with him, and could kill and eat one of those)
    - even when both milk and meat were in short supply, they could survive and be combat capable much longer than any other soldier, due to their ketogenic diets

    Now the second had something to do with the individual qualities of the soldiers (their ability to fight under conditions of starvation, when all other soldiers from other cultures would’ve been incapable of fighting).

    It must also be noted that their bows needed considerable strength levels to shoot. So even their strength was a factor.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    Fitness(including strength) impacts a lot of things; I agreed with Duke that explosive strength has limited utility and cardio generally matters more than strength. But being able to reach a target in time, being able to control burst, and the overall threat profile all have something to do with fitness.

    Even something like accuracy is physical on some level: reaction time(is something happening?), target distinguishment(Something is happening. Is it an enemy?) and execution of action(Something is happening. It is an enemy. I will shoot him.) is all affected by biological factors. We know there are gender differences because at least two of the three above have been tested for as part of intelligence testing.

    None of the above, of course, is as important as actually making anything akin to correct decisions, and on a larger level, the planning/tactical ability of the unit(war isn't really much of a singles activity). It doesn't matter how fast you can run if you are running in the wrong direction, for example.

    Which returns to the original point I made about the importance of decision-making under stress in combat, and why I indicated the lack of female pro-gamers suggested their weakness there and in SK, pro-gamers were indeed hired by the military in order to help design wargames so that suggests decision-making under pressure and speed to be valued by the military.

    Of course, of all of the above, drugged child soldiers led by dubious "commanders" are probably scraping the bottom of the barrel for competence on any level. Still quite good at murdering the defenseless, unfortunately.

    A couple year ago I read an article about a US journalist embedded with a US infantry platoon during Iraq 2003. She had run marathons, and considered herself reasonably fit. But on her first march during the war, she couldn’t handle the backpack and maybe some body armor and helmet. She didn’t have to carry weapons, so had a lighter load than the soldiers. After some time (maybe an hour; I’m writing off the top of my head and I’m lazy to look it up), she felt totally exhausted. A soldier noticed and politely asked her if she minded if he would carry her backpack. She barely had the strength to say a thank you…

    Obviously you don’t need to be anywhere near professional powerlifter strength levels (it would be beneficial, if it weren’t for the negative tradeoffs), but you need to be reasonably strong for a guy. Now a woman can reach that level, but for a woman it already comes at a price, because for the same strength level she’d be much closer to the (female) powerlifter level than a guy.

    The problem is that endurance at lower levels isn’t totally antithetical to strength, by improving strength you can initially easily improve your endurance as well. Initially. For women, the “initially” means much lower levels than for guys.

    I guess the child soldiers didn’t have a lot of body armor or even ammunition or whatever. They were disposable. But a well-trained soldier is worth way more than an untrained child soldier, and then not having the strength will be a problem, because a well-trained soldier without carrying ammo will be worth much less than one with a lot of ammo. Similarly, having a well-trained soldier wear body armor will be way more worthy than one without body armor, due to his higher life expectancy on the battlefield.

    I guess physical strength might mean less in the future, once we have things like robot infantry or very strong exoskeletons. But I think the discussion was originally about warfare in the past and present.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    A couple year ago I read an article about a US journalist embedded with a US infantry platoon during Iraq 2003. She had run marathons, and considered herself reasonably fit. But on her first march during the war, she couldn’t handle the backpack and maybe some body armor and helmet. She didn’t have to carry weapons, so had a lighter load than the soldiers. After some time (maybe an hour; I’m writing off the top of my head and I’m lazy to look it up), she felt totally exhausted. A soldier noticed and politely asked her if she minded if he would carry her backpack. She barely had the strength to say a thank you…

     

    They are elite professional soldiers, who spend years training and exercising and see this as a professional career, have probably an excellent diet. These soldiers might have the same health level of athletes.

    The average soldiers in the Second World War, were not necessarily having long training periods before combat, and often very badly fed and physically feeling very weak, and their favorite hobby was smoking cigarettes (if they were lucky enough to encounter them).

    Their health was not necessarily very important in the result. Generally if you read about the war, the determining factor is equipment, experience, tactics of the leadership, and all kind of ability to survive painful/stressful situations, living for days rolling in freezing mud, and even having sometimes suicidal obedience (psychology).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh

    I think we know the argument here doesn’t make sense since the invention of firearms – there is no special ability to hold a gun and shoot it.

    A child (given a rifle) could be a successful soldier – if you found a suitably mature-thinking one.
     
    This is increasingly spinning into nonsense.

    Modern war is not some situation where a child can pick up an AK-47 and be highly effective if all fear was removed from him(not even sure what is this magical mature-thinking is present). You could look up the war history in Rhodesia for the effectiveness of child soldiers where they fought trained white government soldiers, and this was largely a bush war, infantry against infantry. Essentially the child soldiers accomplished nothing except against the defenseless. Off the top of my head, their weaknesses included:

    1) Engaging too far. Child soldiers usually lacked patience to engage targets at a reasonable range, and therefore gave away their position far too early.

    2) Abysmal situational awareness. Child soldiers had terrible decision making in regards to what was defensible, or what wasn't.

    3) Terrible accuracy. Lack of discipline on the field reflected lack of discipline off the field, child soldiers did not practice avidly.

    Such child soldiers did not lack in rifles, nor in courage(many were drugged). They did not accomplish very much against trained soldiers, even with numerical superiority.

    In the end, the best African opposition came from tribes that were traditionally militant, such as the Zulu, largely using tactics similar to what worked historically, but updated for modern times such as close ambushes at ranges below 100 yards. As in many things, past performance is often the best predictor of future performance.

    However, you seem to agree with him that physical strength doesn’t matter for soldiers any more. I think the “mature-thinking” part by Dmitry exactly meant that they’d avoid these three types of problem.

    To which an interesting thought experiment. Let’s assume you are on a patrol with a comrade. You get injured. Does it matter how strong your comrade is? Does it matter if it’s a 60kg reasonably lean and fit woman or an 80kg reasonably lean and fit guy? After all, if your comrade is not strong enough, he/she can always just leave you there…

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Fitness(including strength) impacts a lot of things; I agreed with Duke that explosive strength has limited utility and cardio generally matters more than strength. But being able to reach a target in time, being able to control burst, and the overall threat profile all have something to do with fitness.

    Even something like accuracy is physical on some level: reaction time(is something happening?), target distinguishment(Something is happening. Is it an enemy?) and execution of action(Something is happening. It is an enemy. I will shoot him.) is all affected by biological factors. We know there are gender differences because at least two of the three above have been tested for as part of intelligence testing.

    None of the above, of course, is as important as actually making anything akin to correct decisions, and on a larger level, the planning/tactical ability of the unit(war isn't really much of a singles activity). It doesn't matter how fast you can run if you are running in the wrong direction, for example.

    Which returns to the original point I made about the importance of decision-making under stress in combat, and why I indicated the lack of female pro-gamers suggested their weakness there and in SK, pro-gamers were indeed hired by the military in order to help design wargames so that suggests decision-making under pressure and speed to be valued by the military.

    Of course, of all of the above, drugged child soldiers led by dubious "commanders" are probably scraping the bottom of the barrel for competence on any level. Still quite good at murdering the defenseless, unfortunately.
    , @Dmitry

    However, you seem to agree with him that physical strength doesn’t matter for soldiers any more. I think the “mature-thinking” part by Dmitry exactly meant that they’d avoid these three types of problem.

     

    A physical requirement exists - but for practical purposes is not necessarily very high.

    During the Second World War, a lot of the time the soldiers were very weak (because of being underfed/underslept, etc), and yet still winning battles.

    The distinguishing traits (on the soldier level) were to an extent psychological.

    And the psychological traits that distinguished the soldiers were often deeply maladaptive ones from the perspective of civilian life (not caring about your own life, being able to ignore pain/discomfort, and having extreme obedience - even agreeing to many missions which were certain to kill you).

    -

    If you can't "test" the soldiers in battle, the difficult part will be know if they have the psychological traits to perform obediently during a deadly situation. And this is where the technological situation will improve, as the physically observable correlates of psychological traits will be understood.

    Interestingly, quite strange mentally people, like poets such as Lermontov have been unusually brave in war.

    -

    This story seems relevant.
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4285705,00.html


    One female soldier has performed successfully and attacked/killed the opponent, while another has been "hiding" inside a tree for hours.

    Aside from gender (or the strange case of these being women soldiers), the issue for recruitment technology will be to know in advance, who is the former and who is the latter.

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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @Felix Keverich
    You may have seen various numbers, but if you are writing an article on the subject, it shouldn't hard to find the latest official number - it's 67,5 years for men in 2017
    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/demo/demo26.xlsx

    Besides, most people won't even read past the headline, and the headlines look like this:


    "Retire Never? Russia Sets Age of Retirement After Death"
    "Russia propose raising retirement age above life expectancy"
     
    Those are intentionally misleading and factually wrong.

    I usually assume that any bad news about Russia is just bullshit. It’s a much safer bet than the opposite.

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  • Israel is criminalizing the filming of its soldiers if the resulting video shows them in a bad light.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/ministers-expected-to-back-bill-criminalizing-filming-soldiers/

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  • The US seems to be complaining that it’s losing the ability to replace its ammunition stockpile. I think it’s probably a bit of an exaggeration.

    https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/05/22/the-us-is-running-out-of-bombs-and-it-may-soon-struggle-to-make-more/

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    It seems as though they dumped half of their ammunition stockpile on the city of Raqqa last year. US might need to change its approach to warfare in the future.

    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/yweknx/the-us-destroyed-raqqa-to-defeat-isis-locals-dont-know-if-theyll-ever-rebuild-it
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  • @Felix Keverich
    Their hypocrisy is not the worst part for me here. The worst part is that they deliberately lie to make the reform appear more drastic, than it actually is. The current life expectancy in Russia is 73 years. It's lower for men, but even so as of today 57% of men in Russia are expected to live past the age of 65. It's simply not true to say that Russians will not be living to retirement, and yet this is what many Western headlines say.

    http://www.newsweek.com/russia-proposes-raising-retirement-age-above-life-expectancy-980448
    Newsweek is a neocon publication, that's big on warning US public about the dangers of Russian "fake news". So, naturally, they are doing the very thing that they accuse Russians of doing.

    To be fair, the life expectancy of Russian men does seem to be below 65, I’ve seen 63 and 64 (close to 65) mentioned, and they do write that two fifth of men may not live to see it. These are factually correct claims.

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    You may have seen various numbers, but if you are writing an article on the subject, it shouldn't hard to find the latest official number - it's 67,5 years for men in 2017
    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/demo/demo26.xlsx

    Besides, most people won't even read past the headline, and the headlines look like this:


    "Retire Never? Russia Sets Age of Retirement After Death"
    "Russia propose raising retirement age above life expectancy"
     
    Those are intentionally misleading and factually wrong.
    , @Dmitry

    To be fair, the life expectancy of Russian men does seem to be below 65, I’ve seen 63 and 64 (close to 65) mentioned, and they do write that two fifth of men may not live to see it. These are factually correct claims.

     

    It's not the relevant datapoint, since it is the life expectancy from birth.

    For the retirement argument, you need to look at the life-expectancy for a person about to retire (after they have survived to this age). Such a life expectancy level will be far higher, than the life-expectancy from birth figures.

    The life-expectancy at 60 in Russian Federation is 17 years (i.e. a person at 60 years old, has a life-expectancy of living to 77 years old).

    http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/population-ageing-data/life-expectancy-at-60/
    , @for-the-record
    To be fair, the life expectancy of Russian men does seem to be below 65

    When Social Security was enacted in the US in 1935, with 65 as a retirement age, life expectancy was 62 (60 for men, 64 for women). So in that sense this all seems simply to be much ado about nothing, or more accurately simply standard Russia-bashing.
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  • So I just noticed the American concentration camps for children in the Hungarian news.

    Also apparently Melania just missed a great opportunity to keep her mouth shut.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Have you or your loved ones have been affected by border separations? Tell CNN.


    Have you or someone you know been affected by family separations at the US border? CNN's reporters want to hear about it.

    You can reach us by sending a text, WhatsApp message or iMessage to CNN at +1 347-322-0415.
     
    Someone troll this line.
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  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @Daniel Chieh
    A "real history" of events, for a given value of "real." The notion that Pavlichenko's numbers were padded or mythical is hardly even new, and it is obviously in the favor of the governments in question to manufacture such a myth, especially of lone kills. In contrast, the person who is considered the greatest sniper of history, Simo Hayha, stated that:


    I can only speak of my personal experiences during the Winter War and my later life, but in my personal case, there was absolutely not any actual 'confirmation' of those who I killed - indeed, contrary to the absurd myths that have built up around me, I wasn't even a 'sniper,' but rather a section leader of an infantry unit. I was not a lone wolf, lurking alone and picking off Soviet soldiers - just an infantryman who fought alongside my comrades in defence of our homeland.

    Nobody was keeping count. We were fighting a war, not shooting game - and the people I killed were people, not numbers.
     
    So no, as far as I am concerned, scientific controlled studies are far superior to ancedotal propaganda. it seems silly to even have to argue otherwise.

    Can you provide a link to Häyhä’s quote? I could only find a Reddit comment.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The reddit comment is what I'm working from, though he's said similar things in person up until his death and mentioned he never ever counted his kills for obvious reasons of trying to survive and thought his legend was quite exaggerated. The most recent historical count by Risto Marjomaa puts his kills around 200, rather than 542 which was by a single source and almost certainly wartime propaganda.
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  • @Dmitry
    This is history of an actual war, of a kind of seriousness America has never experienced.

    I prefer looking at the real events of history, when there was a serious war, than opinions of friends in peaceful America, which did not seem relevant to the argument (nobody claims that women on average are a more suitable recruiting population than men).

    If you have evidence that e.g. Kovshova did not kill German soldiers, please post them.

    A “real history” of events, for a given value of “real.” The notion that Pavlichenko’s numbers were padded or mythical is hardly even new, and it is obviously in the favor of the governments in question to manufacture such a myth, especially of lone kills. In contrast, the person who is considered the greatest sniper of history, Simo Hayha, stated that:

    I can only speak of my personal experiences during the Winter War and my later life, but in my personal case, there was absolutely not any actual ‘confirmation’ of those who I killed – indeed, contrary to the absurd myths that have built up around me, I wasn’t even a ‘sniper,’ but rather a section leader of an infantry unit. I was not a lone wolf, lurking alone and picking off Soviet soldiers – just an infantryman who fought alongside my comrades in defence of our homeland.

    Nobody was keeping count. We were fighting a war, not shooting game – and the people I killed were people, not numbers.

    So no, as far as I am concerned, scientific controlled studies are far superior to ancedotal propaganda. it seems silly to even have to argue otherwise.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    We have a historical record, with examples of many Russian women who have distinguished combat service in a war which had a level of brutality America has never experienced (and whose population might potentially not survive).

    You mention one particular sniper who is recorded as killing over 300 German soldiers, that maybe they killed less? How does taking this single record, even if you want to reduce the numbers she killed, compare to the record of the average soldier?

    Because you need to argue that she was - and all the other women heroes of Great Patriotic War - a failures as a soldier, given our argument is nothing about population distributions, but about absolutes.

    For your argument to make any sense, you'll have to go over every one, and claim that their war record is below the average level.

    (Because if not, then their recruitment and combat record, you will have to acknowledge, was a success).


    In contrast, the person who is considered the greatest sniper of history, Simo Hayha, stated that

     

    But you are arguing the theory that people's war-records cannot be trusted, and therefore Simo Hayha has lost the status of a privileged source.


    And we have claims like...


    If women had “psychological strength” of any significance, they would have at least more than the most minimal of representation in top video gamers.
     
    Based on computer games.

    Most presentations of "female soldiers" are gross exaggerations comparing vastly unequal quality of training; the presence and effect of hormones should not be understated, being far more akin to a brutal strike to the brain for one set of behaviors or another.

     

    Except the war, was not America of 2018. It took decades in the Soviet Union before many of the women were awarded for heroism, as the bias was in the opposite direction than in America of 2018.

    Note again - we are not talking about the America of 2018 (An area of no interest to my posts).

    , @reiner Tor
    Can you provide a link to Häyhä’s quote? I could only find a Reddit comment.
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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • I just read that Zimbardo’s famous Stanford prison experiment was fake. That’s interesting.

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  • @Thorfinnsson
    There's a separate '80s music in the form of power rock, glam metal, hair metal, etc. This was a straight forward lineal evolution of music from the '70s, rather than a radically new genre like New Wave.

    This music isn't '80s (despite chronologically being in the '80s), but it is also its own cultural episode. The rock musical Rock of Ages starring Tom Cruise as the fictional rock star "Stacy Jaxx" is a great depiction of this.

    Who knew in 1987 when Welcome to the Jungle was released that in only a few years the stadium-filling rock stars who had bestrode the world like gods since Elvis first appeared that rock music would end only a few years later with the suicide of Kurt Cobain?

    I don't know that the '80s were a better time to come of age than the postwar era as lots of rot had already set in. But it provides a suitable white aesthetic which is recognizably modern and technological while still inducing nostalgia (including those of us like me who were born too late for it).

    A lot of this also comes through in the industrial design of the period.

    Hence why there are lots of alt-right Millennial and Generation Zyklon artists producing brand new synthwave music today.

    The 1980s saw the development of extreme metal, which was quite different from earlier forms of heavy metal. Thrash metal broke into the mainstream with Metallica, which to this day is probably the biggest remaining rock band.

    Hip hop music was basically also a 1980s development, though it had its roots earlier. It had its roots in reggae. (In pop music, nothing is completely new.) Gangsta hip hop originated in the 1980s, though its popularity wasn’t recognized until the 1990s. With the SoundScan era after 1991 it turned out that the biggest gangsta hip hop performers (as well as Metallica) were already in superstar status. But regular hip hop was already fully mainstream in the 1980s.

    It’s not very important. I think other than supporting the availability and composition of classical music (the latter is tricky because a lot of the new compositions are useless, and they all have to compete against the very greatest of the last several centuries), music should be left to the proles to choose. Nazi Germany even promoted some very American sounding music which they usually denounced as degenerate, because that was popular. Hitler wanted to force the proles to listen to classical music, but that’s impossible due to IQ issues. IQ aside, for example during workouts some form of pop music (in the broadest possible meaning, including everything, like hip hop and metal) is better than classical.

    People are passionate about their favorite music (even if it’s shitty and ephemeral by any objective standard), so the government telling people what to listen to will only result in the government losing popularity. It can probably be influenced to an extent, but stupid trends from abroad will always exist and it’s futile to resist them.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Music is of lower importance than immigration, but not irrelevant. We're fighting for truth and beauty.

    I agree that directly controlling music Soviet-style is a bad idea, but one can subtly guide what people listen to simply by setting one's thumb on the scales.
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  • @Felix Keverich
    These are the headlines I've been seeing in Western media lately:

    Russia propose raising retirement age above life expectancy
    https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-44495136

    The very definition of fake news. Coming from a state-owned media outlet no less.

    The very people making fun of this would be praising it as some bold reform if someone like Yeltsin was implementing it.

    They also don’t mention that these reforms take a decade to implement due to grandfathering of those already retired or just about to retire. You cannot just tell a 59-year-old that he won’t be retiring next year, only in 2024, so a five year increase takes at least ten years. In ten years the life expectancy could increase.

    In Hungary male life expectancy was 69 years (and roughly unchanged since 1960!) when a similar increase of 60 to 65 was announced around 1960, and people were criticizing that there will be only a few years left to enjoy. But it’s a fallacy, because most who don’t survive to 65 die before 60 either, while those who reach 65 have a longer remaining life expectancy.

    Anyway, it’s interesting that the Hungarian reform was praised by the same people who are now condemning the Russian one. Similarly, I bet you these very same people would love to cut social security spending in the US or raising the retirement age in any western country. Like they were praising Macron.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Their hypocrisy is not the worst part for me here. The worst part is that they deliberately lie to make the reform appear more drastic, than it actually is. The current life expectancy in Russia is 73 years. It's lower for men, but even so as of today 57% of men in Russia are expected to live past the age of 65. It's simply not true to say that Russians will not be living to retirement, and yet this is what many Western headlines say.

    http://www.newsweek.com/russia-proposes-raising-retirement-age-above-life-expectancy-980448
    Newsweek is a neocon publication, that's big on warning US public about the dangers of Russian "fake news". So, naturally, they are doing the very thing that they accuse Russians of doing.

    , @Dmitry
    Reinor this week it's huge numbers of people in Russia complaining about this proposal. The complaining is not from the West (who don't have any interest in retirement ages).

    At the same time, most analysts understand that it is a good and necessary policy to raise the retirement age.

    It's a hallmark example of 'bitter medicine' (you don't like the taste, but it's good for you).

    -

    However, raising the VAT to 20% is not supported by analysts.

    On the VAT issue, the government already has access to inconceivably vast amounts of money. The direction should not be to transfer more money from citizens (and all citizens have to pay VAT) to the government. The direction should be the opposite: for the government to be more efficient in managing its spending.

    This is a debate occurring and interesting in many countries. I remember seeing a discussion during the American Presidential election debates in 2012 (Romney vs Obama) - Romney was arguing government "should return money to citizens" - as the way of describing a policy of not taxing so much.

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  • These are the headlines I’ve been seeing in Western media lately:

    Russia propose raising retirement age above life expectancy

    https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-44495136

    The very definition of fake news. Coming from a state-owned media outlet no less.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The very people making fun of this would be praising it as some bold reform if someone like Yeltsin was implementing it.

    They also don’t mention that these reforms take a decade to implement due to grandfathering of those already retired or just about to retire. You cannot just tell a 59-year-old that he won’t be retiring next year, only in 2024, so a five year increase takes at least ten years. In ten years the life expectancy could increase.

    In Hungary male life expectancy was 69 years (and roughly unchanged since 1960!) when a similar increase of 60 to 65 was announced around 1960, and people were criticizing that there will be only a few years left to enjoy. But it’s a fallacy, because most who don’t survive to 65 die before 60 either, while those who reach 65 have a longer remaining life expectancy.

    Anyway, it’s interesting that the Hungarian reform was praised by the same people who are now condemning the Russian one. Similarly, I bet you these very same people would love to cut social security spending in the US or raising the retirement age in any western country. Like they were praising Macron.
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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • Coutinho.

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  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @German_reader
    I don't think they've got Sulla's skull, the reconstruction must be based on a bust (though it's of course questionable how secure any attribution can be).
    The info about skin tone, hair and eye color presumably comes from Plutarch's life.

    Or from the original painting of those sculptures.

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  • @RaceRealist88
    How do the reconstructors know what the soft tissue looked like since soft tissue doesn't fossilize? Don't fall for facial "reconstructions", there are a few fallacies associated with facial "reconstructions":

    http://sci-hub.tw/10.1016/s1355-0306(03)71776-6

    Sulla had sculptures of his head, so it might be based on those. Even the color might simply be based on the original color of the sculpture.

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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @for-the-record
    I don’t currently have a TV, so the only match I’ve seen

    You don't need a television, if you have VPN you can always find a live broadcast, and in many cases also replay all or parts of a recorded match (BBC iPlayer is particularly good in this respect).

    By the way, have Hungarians recovered yet from the Wunder von Bern (not sure how that translates into Hungarian . . .)?

    I don’t spend much time upstairs (where my computer is), watching TV was possible while having a family life. I think I’ll buy a TV next week (wanted to already since April when I sent my older one to my brother who needed an extra TV and I was about to buy a newer one anyway).

    Regarding the final in Bern, Hungarian football has been going downhill ever since. The only real improvement in my lifetime has been 2014-16, but it was short-lived, so, whatever. I occasionally hear it referred to in Hungarian as the “berni csoda” (wonder of Bern), but only as a reference to how the Germans call it.

    It’s occasionally lamented that there was a disqualified goal by Puskás which was, according to some analysis of the video, was not offside (and which would’ve equalized the score), or that the Germans were doping at least some of their players with methamphetamine (though I think it was not formally prohibited back then), or they had better Adidas shoes, or whatever.

    It’s not the highest on the list of our football disasters (which are not in short supply in recent decades), that honor going to Irapuato, which is the name of the Mexican city where we lost 6-0 to the Soviets in 1986. After this, the Hungarian national football team failed to win any important matches anywhere, with the notable exception of 2014-16. We haven’t qualified for the World Cup ever since, for example, and we only qualified for the Euro Cup in 2016 because the number of teams has been raised to 24 from 16. Anyway, at least we beat Norway in the playoffs, so I’m still happy with it.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    It’s not the highest on the list of our football disasters (which are not in short supply in recent decades).

    So it would appear!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZkL1Ce-JPU
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  • Here is how the cliodynamician Peter Turchin, in his book War and Peace and War (which I reviewed here), describes the outcomes of different pit-fight scenarios between the Romans and the Gauls: Upon inquiry, it emerged that this assessment wasn't backed up by statistical evidence: Even so, the stereotype that Northerners are stronger than Southerners...
  • @Dmitry

    It seems very intuitive that more strength would very much translate into better fighting capability (with or without weapons), all else equal.

     

    But as a parallel symptom of another underlying variable.

    For example, if we say health of the organism is an underlying variable. A healthy person might have higher cardiovascular stamina, be more aggressive, and be faster and have more explosive strength, and incidentally better at weight-lifting.

    But the weight-lifting strength would be the most irrelevant factor of those listed in e.g. a boxing fight.

    Weight-lifting strength would also be a useful symptom of boxing strength (if you were using it to select winners), as it will also correlate with things like physical weight (i.e. more direct determinants of the winner in the boxing fight).

    -
    As for group differences which are likely genetic, and distinguish people in the highest percentage - it can change dramatically on the particular activity.

    It seems intuitive that black people are - as a group - better at running (the joke that they are running from lions). But in fact group advantage in long-distance running has a different basis from group advantage in short-distance running.

    So Ethiopian populations will have a group advantage, other things equal, in 10,000 metre run, but a group disadvantage, other things equal, in 100 metre runs.

    Similarly, group advantages in weight lifting, could easily have a different basis from group advantages in e.g. punching strength and speed (that would be relevant in boxing fights).

    But the weight-lifting strength would be the most irrelevant factor of those listed in e.g. a boxing fight.

    Maybe, but there’s probably a reason why there are weight groups in boxing. While they never become professional powerlifters, they do a considerable amount of weight training themselves.

    Also boxing is a highly unnatural way of fighting. Wrestlers will defeat boxers any workday and on the weekends and holidays, too. And with wrestling, strength matters probably more than with boxing. (Of course, being strong is never enough, but all else being equal, strength means a lot.)

    In ancient times stamina, a strong immune system, the ability to withstand cold, the ability to go hungry for days on end, etc. might all have been important, but a lot of these (like the part about cold or hunger) could’ve been overcome by better organization. A more developed civilization could provide its soldiers with better weapons or armor and shield, which was also very important in a fight.

    So on balance, the individual size and strength and other physical qualities of soldiers were often insignificant, but I’d be surprised if it never played any role at all. We know for sure that many campaigns of Genghis or Timur needed the ketogenic diets of their soldiers, so at least there are some examples.

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    • Replies: @gT
    Correct, there are weight groups in boxing because a good, big guy will always dominate a good, small guy. So to make fights more even there are weight groups, this is the case even with MMA / UFC. The Klitschko's were always just average, very big guys who were able to better the good, smaller guys and they made boxing boring in the process.

    Heavy weight boxing should also have weigh limits to prevent the useless, skill-less giants from dominating the smaller guys. Mike Tyson was best at 95kg, he always struggled against the bigger blokes. Should have heavy weight, super heavy weight, super super heavy weight categories, etc.

    If you take 100 average blacks guys and train them up and take 100 average white guys and train them up the 100 blacks guys would always win in adverse conditions due to superior genetics (more explosive, higher bone density, etc). Icelanders might be strong but I haven't seen a white guy in the hundred meter Olympic final for a long time.

    In the video the smaller guy with weaker grip strength murdered the bigger guy with stronger grip strength. Its just down to training and conditioning. If the bigger guy had just 1 month's MMA training he would have broken the smaller guy in half. Conditioning can make small guys hard and strong, just like those Dagestan MMA fighters, it helps to be Muslim and not to drink and just train all the time, but anyone can be trained up in a few months to be able to give a good account of themselves.

    I recall reading that the Roman gladiators invariably carried some extra weight around the stomach region because a skilled, heavier gladiator was a better gladiator.
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  • @myself

    Why? In Ancient warfare, isn’t it knowledge of all military historians that group organization, coolness and organization of supplies are the secret to victory (and at a higher level organization of tactics).
     
    Though just an interested layman (as in, I read this stuff, that's all), the above is the overwhelming consensus of the professional experts (the actual soldiers and warriors) throughout human history.

    And not just in Ancient warfare, in conflict situations from the prehistoric (think tribal warfare in ancient Eurasia, fought with stone-tipped spears, clubs and simple bows) to the present day. Okay, maybe not really the supplies part for the prehistoric, but group coordination, keeping your wits, and directed, instead of wild, aggression always apply.

    Do stronger, faster, tougher (able to take more pain, function on less supply etc) soldiers, all things equal, ever hurt a military force? No, of course not, and no one has ever said that, far as I know.

    It's just that, provided you are not pitting "actual hobbits versus Uruk Hai" (okay, geeky reference, my apologies), sheer physical factors (brute strength, height, speed, endurance) have historically taken a far backseat to morale, organization, leadership, tactics and other "less quantifiable factors" in group fighting.

    I saw a documentary once, in which a Marine sergeant instructor was being interviewed. He said, in his estimation, that at least 95% of fully grown men, on the entire planet (this guy had in the past trained third-world conscripts), were able to be molded to be deployable infantrymen.

    "You give the Corps anyone, any skinny third-world kid, who's not clinically retarded. I literally don't care about his background. We take him and put him through the system. I can practically guarantee you a usable Marine private after we're done with him. That kid WILL make the cut - and it's my job to make it so". This is from memory - words to that effect.

    That was an eye-opening interview.

    Why? In Ancient warfare, isn’t it knowledge of all military historians that group organization, coolness and organization of supplies are the secret to victory (and at a higher level organization of tactics).

    Though just an interested layman (as in, I read this stuff, that’s all), the above is the overwhelming consensus of the professional experts (the actual soldiers and warriors) throughout human history.

    Well, the ketogenic diet of nomads enabled them to stay alive in the winter without food. (By the way their horses were also way better adapted to the winter steppe, without much food, either.) They didn’t need to organize supplies that much, because their supplies were carried in their bodies. If military historians are dismissing this, then they are just dismissing a very important explanation for nomads’ success. For example it’s impossible to understand Timur’s campaigns against the Golden Horde without understanding the soldiers’ and the horses’ individual ability to withstand starvation in the winter.

    I’m also not sure which experts you’re talking about. For example it’s a well-known fact (mentioned by Martin van Creveld, to cite at least one expert dissenting from that alleged consensus), that modern militaries in the first half of the 20th century always preferred farm boys for soldiers. When farm boys were in short supply, they were going for blue collar workers, preferably from smaller towns or cities (these provided the backbone of the Germany armed forces in both world wars, though they were in somewhat shorter supply by 1939 than they had been in 1914), working class from big cities were the next (i.e. relatively low) on the list preferred soldiers, and only once the supply of these dried up (the working class was often protected from conscription during wartime because they were doing essential work in war production), did they resort to people with white collar backgrounds like clerks etc. These were usually thought to be the worst soldiers, and present-day first world populations are usually similar to these.

    Martin van Creveld mentions that nomads were always considered better soldiers on the individual level than even farm boys, and that hunter-gatherers were similarly considered more formidable warriors than any civilized soldier. The one disadvantage of these two groups was that they were often lacking in discipline, which was especially true of hunter-gatherers. However, if anyone could instill discipline into nomads, then he had a truly formidable army indeed, the two most famous examples being Genghis Khan and Timur. Hunter-gatherers were also lacking in numbers, which after industrialization started to become a problem for nomads as well. Until modern times nomads had enough numbers given their much higher ratio of warriors relative to their population.

    Marine sergeant instructor… said

    He would say that, wouldn’t he? He’s not going to say that the material he had to work with has deteriorated considerably from what they had back in the 1960s (soldiers are apparently often unable to properly squat), or that as a result soldiers are way worse now than they had been before.

    By the way there’s a huge ideological push for saying that physical qualities like strength don’t matter, because then they can say that women can be just as good soldiers as men, provided they go through the magic of the “system” and thus become disciplined. I have seen articles where various supposed experts (including active military officers and soldiers) all said how having female (Muslim, etc.) soldiers was the next best thing since sliced bread. It doesn’t mean it’s true.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    because then they can say that women can be just as good soldiers as men, provided they go through the magic of the “system” and thus become disciplined.
     
    Some women will be better candidates than most men as soldiers, - because modern warfare, the key distinguishing factor is psychological, and relevant psychological attributes can be found distributed in both population groups (although in different proportions).

    Many physically strong, externally people will break and become useless when confronted with a battlefield, although statistically it may be a lower number than for women.

    Other personalities can be tortured to death, and not lose their minds duing the process.

    The difficult part will be to find the mentally suitable soldiers. And this why in the future they will be using brain scans and assigning different roles based on the brain scans (that indicate level of fear, reaction to stress, cold heartedness, etc - many traits may be a little similar to psychopaths) .

    I'll copy some random links I had posted earlier on the Sailer forum (

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyudmila_Pavlichenko

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariya_Bayda

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Litvyak

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larisa_Litvinova

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalya_Meklin

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manshuk_Mametova

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalya_Kovshova

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kseniya_Konstantinova

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roza_Shanina

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandra_Samusenko

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanya_Baramzina

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinaida_Portnova

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariya_Tsukanova

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandra_Boiko

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliya_Moldagulova

    , @myself

    because then they can say that women can be just as good soldiers as men
     
    I actually have never heard ANY serious soldier anywhere (emphasis on serious - no careerist, PC, SJW "right-think" mindset) say that females are proper raw material for soldiers. The man in the interview said males, after all.

    A skinny, third-world-raised fully grown man is still an adult man, after all.

    And the statistical over-lap, in terms of strength, between large samples of males and females, regardless of ethnicity or nutrition, is I believe very small - which is why very strong females are noteworthy, while very strong males are much less so. (We just take them for granted).

    , @myself

    I’m also not sure which experts you’re talking about. For example it’s a well-known fact (mentioned by Martin van Creveld, to cite at least one expert dissenting from that alleged consensus), that modern militaries in the first half of the 20th century always preferred farm boys for soldiers. When farm boys were in short supply, they were going for blue collar workers, preferably from smaller towns or cities (these provided the backbone of the Germany armed forces in both world wars, though they were in somewhat shorter supply by 1939 than they had been in 1914)
     
    The writer of whom I was thinking was John Keegan, though yeah I definitely respect Martin Van Creveld. (Let's not call either of these guys experts, and reserve that term for victorious commanders and good junior leaders.)

    As per Keegan, he broadly agrees with your statement above, but reversed the preference, in regards to recruiting pools.

    While farmers' sons made good soldiers, young men drafted from towns and cities, who worked in occupations like steel smelting, mining, construction, manufacturing and transport were the first preference.

    The pre-industrial equivalents, say in Medieval Europe, were black-smithing, mining, carpentry, logging (requiring tools, so were town-centric not "rural"), tanning, and large-scale droving.

    And the reason? While young men on the farms and the rural ares were obviously fit, the young men who worked physical occupations in cities and towns were also quite fit, educated and (maybe most importantly) already used to discipline, schedules, hierarchy and regimentation.

    Their urban lifestyles were already organized for efficiency, and streamlined for carrying out orders, from their bosses on the workshop floors, smithies and construction sites.

    So, while the outdoor life made for better individual warriors (hunting, trapping, survival skills), town and small city life made for better disciplined soldiers , and more crucially organized units.

    When we talk about city dwellers, don't think about fast-food munching service workers or white-collar desk jockeys, think rather physical manufacturing, construction, utilities maintenance, machinery operation, and plumbing/carpentry - requiring physical exertion AND at least trade-school level education.

    Since I only read, I just go by what seems reasonable. John Keegan seemed to make a good point in his writings about the classic preference for townsfolk as soldier material.
    , @Talha

    Martin van Creveld mentions that nomads were always considered better soldiers
     
    The Rashidun gave certain groups of people like this (Turkic tribes like Jarajma, groups of Daylamis and certain Arabs) exemption from the jizyah in lieu of help defending the borders. Assyrian cobblers, bakers and others that would be considered doughboys and a liability on the battlefield we’re not considered.

    Creveld is absolutely awesome on these subjects.

    Peace.
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  • @Guy Lombardo
    Who said ancient Romans were the same as modern Italians?

    A lot of them are described as blue eyed, light haired.

    Reconstruction of Lucius Sulla

    http://www.luciuscorneliussylla.fr/image/fondsylla.png

    More likely, modern Italians are more similar to the ancient, pre-Indo European Etruscans, rather than the lighter, probably more northerly shifted Romans of the martial and ruling classes.

    Who said ancient Romans were the same as modern Italians?
    A lot of them are described as blue eyed, light haired.

    As I remember, modern Italians Bellini, Verdi and Vivaldi were described as blue eyed, light haired.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  • @Guy Lombardo
    Who said ancient Romans were the same as modern Italians?

    A lot of them are described as blue eyed, light haired.

    Reconstruction of Lucius Sulla

    http://www.luciuscorneliussylla.fr/image/fondsylla.png

    More likely, modern Italians are more similar to the ancient, pre-Indo European Etruscans, rather than the lighter, probably more northerly shifted Romans of the martial and ruling classes.

    A lot of Italians look like this guy today, even in Southern Italy. Not all Italians look like Al Pacino.

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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @for-the-record
    Can we get the thread back on-topic please? I was expecting to see some comments on Spain v Portugal, not 200 posts on Islamic history.

    Nobody here seems to care much about the World Cup except Dmitry and me. Ronaldo's free kick in the 87th minute to tie Spain (his 3rd goal on the night) will certainly wind up on the highlight films for this World Cup, and perhaps as the "goal". Here it is from something like 16 different angles:

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6lz7e9

    I don’t currently have a TV, so the only match I’ve seen was the Croatia-Nigeria yesterday. In the company of Croats, so not a bad thing. Objectively speaking, it wasn’t a very good match, I expected more from the Croatian midfield, but the result was good enough.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    I don’t currently have a TV, so the only match I’ve seen

    You don't need a television, if you have VPN you can always find a live broadcast, and in many cases also replay all or parts of a recorded match (BBC iPlayer is particularly good in this respect).

    By the way, have Hungarians recovered yet from the Wunder von Bern (not sure how that translates into Hungarian . . .)?
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  • @German_reader

    So you wouldn’t mind if a movement started, like in the US, to tear down their statues right?
     
    I'm in general against tearing down historical monuments (even ones that are somewhat irritating, like the Soviet victory monuments in Berlin). But I'm not even aware there are that many Charlemagne statues. There's that stupid EU price named after him...that could be abolished as far as I'm concerned. Charlemagne with his empire-building and wars even against fellow Christians like the Lombards couldn't be a model for a united Europe anyway.
    I admit though that by world historical standards Mohammed was hardly the most evil man ever, and probably even had some positive qualities. There's not much reason to like him or his deeds though from a non-Muslim perspective.

    You know, you have tried to put words in my mouth before and it’s not respectable conduct nor appreciated.
     
    I'm not putting words into your mouth, I'm just giving a somewhat polemical rendering of your views as I interpret them. It's a very consistent theme in your comments that you regard the West as decadent, because of too much tolerance for homos, no patriarchy, materialism etc. You've also made clear that your ideal version of society would be some kind of Islamic state with fairly harsh punishments for blasphemy, homo sex and presumably other offences. And as you write in your comment directly above, you think Islam is the solution to our alleged ills.
    I can't even really blame you for all that, obviously it's what you're supposed to believe as a devout Muslim. It's just not a view I can have even the slightest sympathy for.

    I’m in general against tearing down historical monuments (even ones that are somewhat irritating, like the Soviet victory monuments in Berlin).

    My father was of the same opinion. However, except for a few which were protected by international agreements (the Soviets insisted on keeping a large monument at the center of Budapest), most monuments or statues reminding us of the Soviet occupation or communism have been removed, the most prominent of them to a dedicated park of such monuments and statues.

    The Soviets and communists themselves often had a similar attitude, a number of monuments and statues have been removed, many irrevocably lost. In Germany after 1945, some statues have been irrevocably lost, like many of the statues of the Reich Chancellery building. The building itself survived the war largely intact, but was destroyed after the war anyway.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I think the monuments in Berlin are protected by agreements with Russia as well, and iirc some of them are even connected to cemeteries, so they couldn't be easily removed anyway (I wouldn't be in favour of it). In any case, at least they're interesting as historical relics, a reminder of the lost Soviet civilization. That stupid Holocaust memorial they built in the 1990s is much more irritating imo.
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  • @ussr andy
    This is witty and all but pretty dildo as far as philosophy and anti-science sentiment goes. Also I sense class hang-ups and bitterness for the "Austria that we lost" (when was this written?) and physics envy. Anyway, there's better philosophy in NRx. Or CS Lewis in The Abolition of Man. Or the SETI people. Am I barbarian? No, the harpies who scream "dead white may-uhls!!!" are barbarians, I just DGAF and in any case my own capacity to visit barbarism on Western civ. is limited. And also the aesthetics of the Dual monarchy were top-notch, if they had programmable electronic computers I'd regard it for all purposes as peak civilization.

    the Dual monarchy

    Hungarians often remember it fondly (okay, that’s kind of collective remembrance, since basically no one alive today can have many conscious memories of it), but of course we had our nationalism and the multicultural empire 2 in 1. It was interesting, for example in Hungary lots of streets were named after Kossuth (the leader of the 1848 anti-Habsburg revolution and the lost war for independence) or other 1848-49 heroes, and there were many monuments dedicated to same. The king (and emperor) Franz Joseph didn’t care, because it was the law that the municipalities could erect monuments or rename streets. Interestingly he supported to bring home and rebury in Hungary the body of Rákóczi, the leader of another lost war for independence (against the Habsburgs) in the early 18th century, who died in exile.

    However, Franz Joseph did insist to erect a monument in the Buda Castle to Hentzi, the Austrian commander of Buda Castle, who held the castle in 1849 against the Hungarian forces almost literally to the last bullet, and fell in battle. In Hungary Hentzi wasn’t quite popular, not only because he fought for the enemy (i.e. the Habsburgs), but also because he ordered to destroy the Pest side with artillery fire during the siege. This was the second destruction of Budapest (then still two separate cities, Buda and Pest), the first being the 1686 siege, when the Christian armies liberated it from almost 150 years of Ottoman rule. (Then it was destroyed again in 1945, and there was a lot of destruction in 1956, too.)

    So you had monuments in Budapest to both sides of the conflict. Hungarians were fond of the good king Franz Joseph, but they were also fond of their anti-Habsburg heroes.

    I like that attitude.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    So you had monuments in Budapest to both sides of the conflict

    Like the US of A, in the old days.
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  • @Anon
    Sometimes it doesn't.

    A qualitative observation which could help here is that Muslim religion/ideology is probably intrinsically more less interesting
     
    Is this supposed to be "much less interesting"? I think so but am not sure.

    Is there any other possible meaning? I can’t think of any.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    After reading Hyper. I agree, but my mind naturally scans "more less" as "more or less" and that makes hash of the rest of the sentence--it doesn't help that the idea doesn't make that much sense to begin with. Nobody except idiots or AaronB types adheres to a religion because it's "interesting"; normal intelligent people do so either because they they think it's true or for personal reasons like love or coercion or whatever, so Dmitry's criterion should have the opposite effect.

    My take on why Islam has a relatively large proportion of relatively stupid people:

    1. Geography/slavery: Muslims conquered people close to them and imported a lot of black slaves.

    (etc., but edit window is somehow applied)

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  • Vladislav Pravdin - GREAT STALIN (1949). It is our joy that during the hard years of the war the Red Army and the Soviet people were led by the wise and experienced leader of the Soviet Union - the GREAT STALIN. And now for something completely different. Instead of snippets from larger works, here’s Egor...
  • @utu
    I wonder if you have any reflections on what one should do when meeting extreme trolls like the entity #411. He feeds off you and keeps escalating. He is unconstrained by logic and reality. My first position is to ignore. Polite discussion based on facts will not mitigate him. One could try escalation and hitting where it might really hurt him (Russians and Soviets have some very soft spots) but then you lower yourself to his level. Besides you would not want to do it on the blog run by a Russian blogger with many Russian commentators who seem to be decent people.

    In other words, I shouldn’t have fed the troll for so long. I agree, so I’ll just ignore him from now on.

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  • @Anon

    Not sacrificing yourself to save others is far from being an “accomplice.”
     
    It starts at least with cowardice and looks despicable without any other facts, just for being a Hitler's b*tch. Yet you keep omitting the fact that deathcamps in Poland were not surrounded by vacuum, ostracized, or any rebellion or at least one local strike took place. Polish deathcams were fully supplyed locally with anything from firewood to burn millions of Jewish victims to Polish flesh for entertaining their custodians.

    Soviets didn’t save anyone before 1941
     
    The Soviets saved many Jews in Western Ukraine and Belarus, liberating them from Polish occupation. If Germans occupied that lands in 1939, absolutely all Jews woud go to deathcamps. USSR gave them chance to evacuate, and many managed to flee to the East. Moreover, many were provided with means of evacuation, e.g. children.

    accusing Poles of being accomplices in the crimes which the Germans did while also murdering Poles by the millions.
     
    Besides Polish incantations of victimhood and betrayal, you have no statistics of how 'Soviets murdered millions of Poles' - that's deliberate lie. The population gap in pre- and postwar Poland is about 6 mln - that is so close for Jewish victims that were at least left to die by Poles. Many modern Poles live in houses built and owned by Jews, occupying them right after the previous family were taken away by Gestapo. Someone had to report them, qui bono.

    ‘Soviets murdered millions of Poles’

    I didn’t write that, though maybe it was possible to attribute that meaning to what I wrote. I meant that the Germans murdered millions of Poles, as is obvious to anyone familiar with the issue. The Soviets themselves murdered a lot of Poles, though maybe only in the tens of thousands, and not in the millions.

    Anyway, you are impervious to reason. If any other commenter wishes to get an answer to any part of this comment #927 (or any other comment by Anon #411), then please let me know. Otherwise I’ll just ignore anything else he wrote.

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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @Mitleser
    Japanese business is trying to ruin Japan.

    But businesses have long lobbied for looser rules, saying they struggle to find workers in a country where unemployment hovers around 2.5 percent and there are 159 job offers to every 100 job seekers.

    Hiroaki Nakanishi, head of the influential Keidanren business lobby, told reporters earlier this week that the policy was about more than addressing labor shortages.

    "Increasing diversity is inevitable for improving Japan's industrial competitiveness and research and academic levels," he said.
     
    http://archive.is/mYwd3#selection-925.0-937.128

    They have samurai swords. The business leaders have necks. The former should be applied to the latter.

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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • Climatic factors mean that Russians are simply not cut out for football, as I explained in Why Is Russia Bad at Football?

    This theory of the Karlin blog does not feel so explanatorily strong.

    Otherwise, why are most of the top footballers not from South Russia.

    And also, South Russia has a population of around 26 million citizens. Which is the same size as the total population of Belgium, Portugal and Denmark combined (i.e. enough for the two of the strongest World Cup teams, and then one mediocre one combined).

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Which is the same size as the total population of Belgium, Portugal and Denmark combined

    You could have Iceland as statistical error (1%), currently ranked 22 by FIFA.
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  • Transylvanian Morning. I have been unable to follow most of the last week's comments, and probably won't catch up. But FWIW, I enjoyed the gearhead debates at Thorfinnsson's Take on Tesla, the Dmitry vs. Polish Perspective debate on who was or was not in Israel, and reiner Tor's instructions on cold showers. Now that I...
  • @iffen
    Stalin considered even his most loyal servants to be disposable

    I go with this position. The greatest leaders have to be able to cut anyone lose if it is in the best interest of his people or nation. Of course you have to deal with question of whether it is best for the nation or the leader, and that leads straight to the question of whether the leader has merged the well-being of the nation with his survival.

    The greatest leaders have to be able to cut anyone lose if it is in the best interest of his people or nation.

    Perhaps. But how often did Hitler do that to his loyal subordinates, and how often did Stalin.

    An example.

    Stalin had a villa in Sukhumi, in Abkhazia. (Currently unrecognized quasi-Russian protectorate, internationally recognized as part of Russia.) In the 1930s he often spent his summers there. He was always given a nice reception by the Abkhazian first secretary, who was also his neighbor in Sukhumi with a villa next to his. The Abkhazian first secretary often visited him during his stays there, and they often drank together local wines well into the night.

    It all went well, until one day, during the winter or fall (when Stalin was not there), he was arrested and, despite his many letters to Stalin protesting his innocence, he was shot. Stalin did receive his letters, but didn’t answer them, and personally approved his execution.

    This is characteristic of Stalin, but Hitler rarely killed or even allowed the execution of old comrades.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    In this Stalin is behaving like a traditional absolute monarch. Normally the benefit of this is that the murderous impulse of power spends itself on those nearest the top, but unfortunately at that time there was more than enough to go around.
    , @iffen
    This is characteristic of Stalin, but Hitler rarely killed or even allowed the execution of old comrades.

    I will defer to your more extensive erudition on the subject. I do know that it took H. several days to finally order the execution of E. Rohm. He purged him once and then brought him back. Maybe H. was smarter and didn’t kill anyone he didn’t have to because they might be of some use in the future.

    I think the difference might be accounted for by the extensive history of ideological purges by the Bolsheviks. There was no Marx, Engels and Lenin for the Nazis. Their ideology was rather shallow and sparse so they didn’t have a history of killing ideological opponents. They just went after the other like Jews and commies, and then H. eliminated political threats to his power.

    If I understand correctly, the Bolsheviks believed in and exercised terror and killing at the group level as a means of control and power assertion so why wouldn’t they believe in it at the individual level?
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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @The Big Red Scary

    They didn’t convert many locals before the Islamic conquest, and it’s not quite likely that they converted many afterwards.
     
    Really? It might be availability bias, but I thought the whole Mediterranean was thoroughly Christianized before the Islamic conquest. Julian tried to Make Paganism Great Again in the middle of the 4th century, but Justinian pretty much killed it in the middle of the 6th century, no?

    It was Christian, but not Orthodox. The question was whether the Greek Orthodox community Taleb descends from has anything to do with the Greeks of antiquity. What can be reasonably established at this point is that they are the continuation of the ethnically Greek Orthodox Christians of the late Roman Empire. They didn’t manage to convert non-Greeks to Orthodoxy then, and certainly not after the Islamic Conquest.

    So it’s quite plausible that Taleb is indeed descended from the Greeks of antiquity.

    Another point he makes is that the Lebanese are mostly descendants of the ancient Phoenicians. He also makes the point that the ancient Middle East was pretty similar to ancient Greece, genetically and to an extent culturally.

    I think he somewhat exaggerates the cultural similarity, but the genetic similarity was likely there. Hence his point about both Melkites (Greek Orthodox) and other Lebanese being different from other Arabs and more similar to Greeks.

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  • @AP
    Sure, but the bottom line is that they were all Christians before the Muslim conquest.

    Yes, but it was originally about Taleb, who as a Greek Orthodox (if that’s what he is) would prsumably be descended from Greek-speaking city dwellers. I think that’s what reiner tor meant.

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  • From the Phoenix New Times: Arizona Legislator: 'There Aren't Enough White Kids to Go Around' in State Schools ANTONIA NOORI FARZAN | JUNE 13, 2018 | 11:33AM Update, June 14: After the publication of this story, Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines, and Arizona Chamber of Commerce CEO Glenn Hamer released statements...
  • @istevefan

    But it is good for Democrats to say that. It is bad, though, for Stringer to say that: just look at him.
     
    You may state such truths so long as you salivate with anticipation about the coming change. If you state the truth with any longing for the way it was, you are in violation. So Bill Clinton was in the right when he spoke with anticipation of the day whites become a minority. But Pat Buchanan was fired for writing that said displacement was not good.

    Both men expressed accepted fact. However, one endorsed it while the other lamented it.

    It’s like that with a lot of things. If you say “There wouldn’t be many blacks at Harvard, if not for Affirmative Action”, you’re a racist. But if you say, “Eliminating Affirmative Action would be a disaster for racial equity”, you’re a progressive. If you say, “Left to themselves and among themselves, blacks create dysfunctional hellholes like Baltimore and Haiti”, you’re racist. If you say, “Segregation produces crime, poverty and unemployment”, you’re a progressive.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    An excellent insight.
    , @AnotherDad
    Good example set. Thanks.
    , @benjaminl
    Yes, great post. Same deal with women, right?

    "Women are frail creatures and need to be protected from rough and tumble males" = bad. "Men need to shape up and behave properly, civilly and decently around women" = good.

    "Women are emotional creatures and tend to act based on that" = bad. "Men are too unemotional and ought to be more emotionally sensitive, like women" = good.

    "Women generally aren't able to reach male peaks of achievement on their own" = bad. "We need to revisit and reevaluate our standards so that we aren't unfairly disadvantaging women" = good.

    "Women tend to be quite good with the people skills" = good. "Men tend to be quite good with quantitative skills" = bad.

    ad nauseam
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  • From my new book review in Taki's Magazine: Blood Simple by Steve Sailer June 13, 2018 Once the reelected Obama administration gave the okay for the diversity industry to begin shaking down Silicon Valley like it does everybody else, we began to read over and over that the reason there are few female tech founders...
  • @Anonym
    Did the writer dig into her past, before she hit Stanford? I’d be curious about stories from her youth. My guess is she ran a lot of minor cons as a teen and while in college.

    That's insightful. The fact she had retained so much ownership indicates she wasn't a dupe of Balwani.

    The fact she had retained so much ownership indicates she wasn’t a dupe of Balwani.

    But the ownership is totally worthless. The more powerful Holmes looks, the higher share of the blame she’s going to take. Balwani got to screw her, he got the Lamborghini, he could live like a rich and important guy, and then he gets to blame someone else. He perfectly understood that it’s better for him to stay in the background.

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  • @Lot
    And Iran Contra failed to stay secret! It is instructive, elites fight among themselves and have a motivation to expose their rivals' crimes.

    Or we get to know some of the secrets because of infighting, but it doesn’t mean that they cannot keep secrets at all, only that there are secrets which were exposed due to infighting.

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  • Transylvanian Morning. I have been unable to follow most of the last week's comments, and probably won't catch up. But FWIW, I enjoyed the gearhead debates at Thorfinnsson's Take on Tesla, the Dmitry vs. Polish Perspective debate on who was or was not in Israel, and reiner Tor's instructions on cold showers. Now that I...
  • @iffen
    Thinking about it, I doubt it happened.

    Thanks for taking the time to consider the question. It does seem unlikely to me as well, but she does use quotes: “help the wounded in ice and snow,” but there is no footnote. The next paragraph is about the Aktion T4 program, although she doesn’t use that program name.

    This is the only book of hers that I have read and I didn’t get the impression that she would be the type to make up something like this.

    Third, not even Stalin’s USSR did anything like that.

    LOL, not even Stalin, some subjects are eternal here at the Unz Enquirer.

    not even Stalin

    Unlike Hitler, Stalin considered even his most loyal servants to be disposable, so such an idea was more likely to occur to him than to Hitler. To my knowledge, there’s not the slightest evidence that such a thought ever occurred to either of them. Definitely not to Hitler, who himself was once a German soldier, and strongly identified with German soldiers. Arguably Hitler never felt bad about anyone killed by his henchmen if it was a non-German or a political enemy or a defective (a mentally ill person) to be culled from the gene pool, but he felt serious responsibility for Germans – for example when the husband of her secretary (an SS soldier) was killed, he felt really bad about having to tell her. His subordinates wanted to relieve him of it, sending another SS officer to tell her, but he insisted that he had to tell her personally. He well understood that he was personally responsible for the death of the guy.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Stalin considered even his most loyal servants to be disposable

    I go with this position. The greatest leaders have to be able to cut anyone lose if it is in the best interest of his people or nation. Of course you have to deal with question of whether it is best for the nation or the leader, and that leads straight to the question of whether the leader has merged the well-being of the nation with his survival.
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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @Dmitry

    Domestic tourism is useful economic activity, like producing cars and then selling them for your own population. Why do you only consider exports to be valuable economic activity? I don’t get it.

     

    It's the same economic fallacy as people who say "New Year's expenses are helping the economy". If the money spent on a holiday was not spent on that consumption, then it would be spent on another consumption in the same economy, or available to the same economy as savings/investments.

    I doubt there is any paper which finds any connection between domestic tourism and economic growth on a national (as opposed to regional level), except through the import substitution mechanism you mention (where people are substituting foreign holidays for a domestic holiday).

    There are papers arguing for connection between foreign tourist arrivals and economic growth.


    I’m also unconvinced that the people traveling there would’ve only chosen domestic destinations or they wouldn’t have traveled at all. I think it’s very likely that those visiting Sochi would’ve gone abroad instead, so it’s probably a net positive for the Russian balance of payments.
     
    For a proportion of the visits, it may be substituting (for example, they have some luxury things in Krasnaya Polyana which can substitute for the Alps resorts in Switzerland/Austria/France).

    But the majority of the visits will surely not be substituting for a foreign holiday.

    If the money spent on a holiday was not spent on that consumption, then it would be spent on another consumption in the same economy

    So it’s worthless to develop a car industry, if it will only be producing for the domestic market?

    But the majority of the visits will surely not be substituting for a foreign holiday.

    Instead? Would they be traveling inside Russia? Where? Is there a similar destination with similar weather within Russia? (Maybe Crimea in the summer. But it’s not yet as developed. Are there similarly developed skiing destinations in Russia?) Or are you proposing these people would not be traveling anywhere?

    I get the impression that most people traveling there would be traveling abroad, simply because there’s no similar destination within Russia at all.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    So it’s worthless to develop a car industry, if it will only be producing for the domestic market?

     

    We could all go to the neighbouring city next week, live and spend there, instead of here. It will make the neighbouring city richer, but not the country, as the money spent there will not be spent here.

    If you show a paper linking domestic tourism with economic growth, I would be corrected. I'm not an economist (although I know and can ask a professional economist this question).

    The only mechanism though that makes sense logically here is the import substitution one.

    Instead? Would they be traveling inside Russia? Where? Is there a similar destination with similar weather within Russia? (Maybe Crimea in the summer. But it’s not yet as developed. Are there similarly developed skiing destinations in Russia?) Or are you proposing these people would not be traveling anywhere?

    I get the impression that most people traveling there would be traveling abroad, simply because there’s no similar destination within Russia at all.
     
    There's a lot of nice tourist resorts in the summer, even in the Urals for example, there are beautiful lakes with pebbly beaches.

    And there are around 2 million state employees who come under the ban in travelling abroad, so they have to go somewhere.

    Sochi is becoming a little expensive and fashionable though, with luxury restaurants - so in some sense it is a unique holiday resort.

    But I don't think many people would substitute e.g. a holiday in Thailand, or in Europe, or even in Turkey, for Sochi.

    Imagine you are interested in seeing Sochi, but you would not substitute a visit Cuba or Thailand, for that.

    The only reason foreign travel fell in the last period was the economic recession and the devaluation of currency.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • AaronB with his idiotic comments (I’m unsure if he thinks they are profound or just made in jest, but I don’t care) simply disrupts communication, and it’s annoying. His comments about “spirituality” are very similar to what one can read on any stupid postmodern esoteric website with empty phrases like “as sparks from the divine flame, we are all destined for greatness.” He reminds of the “spiritual” people I knew while at university, reading horoscopes, esoteric books, etc., all the while being hedonistic (i.e. drinking, doing drugs, and f*cking) all the same.

    Anyway, the main point is that commenting here is both a pastime and a venue of communication with likeminded people, and his trolling us with his empty and meaningless comments is just annoying.

    one can separate real people from personae

    I understand that in person he might be nice company, but I find it unlikely. He’s either at least somewhat serious (in which case he’s more or less a windbag, as you put it), or he’s just fully trolling, and I’m having a hard time imagining what kind of person would find such an empty entertainment as trolling like this on such a website. Besides, I don’t really care what kind of person he is. I just find his comments annoying, that’s it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    He reminds of the “spiritual” people I knew while at university, reading horoscopes, esoteric books, etc., all the while being hedonistic (i.e. drinking, doing drugs, and f*cking) all the same.
     
    I cannot speak to AaronB in this vein, but mark my words; historically, without a legal framework like the Shariah (or equivalent non-Muslim one) to keep it in check, mysticism leads to the poz (or it’s historical equivalent)...always.

    Peace.
    , @AaronB

    I just find his comments annoying, that’s it
     
    You have no idea how well this speaks for you. Vital signs are not dead.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @Talha
    Yeah, I respect a lot of what Taleb has to say; I’ve referenced him before.

    I guess I misunderstood, I thought he was claiming Phoenician heritage.

    Peace.

    I thought he was claiming Phoenician heritage.

    You made me a little doubt myself. I’ll read into his exact position when I’ll have time later. But I firmly believed that he was talking about other Lebanese, and that he thought that both Greeks and Phoenicians were part of the Levant.

    Interestingly he’s quite opposed to the Saudi Arabian version of Islam, but has respect for certain forms of Islam, like Shia Islam. I can imagine he’d approve of your brand of Islam, too.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    From what I’ve seen, many Arab Christians are fairly cool with traditional (and especially Sufi-oriented) Islam - obviously they prefer secularism above all options. I’ve referenced plenty of these guys before; Profs. Najib Saliba, George Saliba, not sure if I referenced Robert Haddad, etc.

    But they generally hate the Salafi-Wahhabi with a passion - for very good reason - if I were them, I would too. There are exceptions; I’ve read Hamas is fairly good to local Christians.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @Dmitry

    As others have pointed out, domestic tourism is also worth a lot, if it’s money otherwise spent abroad. Basically like import substitution. Instead of going to a Turkish resort, those very same tourists are now traveling to Sochi instead: it’s a huge win for Russia.
     
    It's mainly not substitution for foreign holidays - I don't know anyone who substitutes a foreign trip by going to Sochi.

    For example, Turkey and Sochi are not a typical substitute (it is a lot cheaper to go on holiday in Turkey).

    Likewise, people like certain state workers are not usually going on foreign holidays.

    As for domestic tourism contributing to the economy. I would like to see a paper showing evidence of this. It contributes to regional economy, but not to the national one.

    From a national economic perspective (as opposed to local economic perspective) the important thing is to get foreign tourists (carrying foreign money) to visit, as this boosts countries' exports category.

    The secret will be increasing the foreign tourists.

    From a local economic perspective, surely the local authorities are happy when money moves in some domestic travel from one part of a country to another part. But if local skiers go to Sochi, instead of Dombai - this does not create an economic benefit on a national level, but only a regional one.

    Domestic tourism is useful economic activity, like producing cars and then selling them for your own population. Why do you only consider exports to be valuable economic activity? I don’t get it.

    I’m also unconvinced that the people traveling there would’ve only chosen domestic destinations or they wouldn’t have traveled at all. I think it’s very likely that those visiting Sochi would’ve gone abroad instead, so it’s probably a net positive for the Russian balance of payments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Domestic tourism is useful economic activity, like producing cars and then selling them for your own population. Why do you only consider exports to be valuable economic activity? I don’t get it.

     

    It's the same economic fallacy as people who say "New Year's expenses are helping the economy". If the money spent on a holiday was not spent on that consumption, then it would be spent on another consumption in the same economy, or available to the same economy as savings/investments.

    I doubt there is any paper which finds any connection between domestic tourism and economic growth on a national (as opposed to regional level), except through the import substitution mechanism you mention (where people are substituting foreign holidays for a domestic holiday).

    There are papers arguing for connection between foreign tourist arrivals and economic growth.


    I’m also unconvinced that the people traveling there would’ve only chosen domestic destinations or they wouldn’t have traveled at all. I think it’s very likely that those visiting Sochi would’ve gone abroad instead, so it’s probably a net positive for the Russian balance of payments.
     
    For a proportion of the visits, it may be substituting (for example, they have some luxury things in Krasnaya Polyana which can substitute for the Alps resorts in Switzerland/Austria/France).

    But the majority of the visits will surely not be substituting for a foreign holiday.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Beckow

    It’d be better if he built roads
     
    Yes, and upgrade the Budapest subway. I am not a big fan of military spending. It is mostly pure waste and silly posturing. One can see it as entertainment and sometimes I do, but people get hurt. For Russia having nuclear weapons seems sufficient. I agree it helps with technology.

    My basic point is that we have become too obsessed with managing down, with foregoing experiences because of the so-called 'cost'. Having Olympics, World Cups, decent trains and airports is better for the economy than the endless public and private activities that we currently eagerly sponsor. More cheap crap imported in a container from Asia? Woopie, more the better, it 'increases GNP'. But spending money on local activities, sports, culture, infrastructure is often described as waste. We have it upside down. We are not using the incredible possibilities that our very efficient societies with enough material goods to go around would allow us to do. And in that respect Russia mimics West and both are wrong.

    I strongly disagree about the military. The military is something like an insurance: it’s rarely needed, but the consequences of not having it could be catastrophic. I also don’t understand how building stadiums could be more (as opposed to less) useful than developing your military. The military could at least conceivably be useful. Stadiums are entertainment only.

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    Well, I didn't say no military spending. But there should be a limit, beyond certain point it is just a show. With nukes that limit is relatively low.

    I have a weak spot for entertainment and comfortable architecture. It has an immediate impact. Most gadgets are junk, we produce too much of it - and military spending produces a lot of material gadgets. None of that lasts. My country is about tp spend 2.6 billion euros for 14 fighter planes - about 500 Euros per taxpayer. Plus the annual maintenance and training for decades. We can't fly them too much at home because they are noisy and scare cattle. This happens all the time - nobody thinks it through and does the numbers. The planes cannot be used to stop the migrants marching into Europe, our only real threat.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Vladislav Pravdin - GREAT STALIN (1949). It is our joy that during the hard years of the war the Red Army and the Soviet people were led by the wise and experienced leader of the Soviet Union - the GREAT STALIN. And now for something completely different. Instead of snippets from larger works, here’s Egor...
  • @Thorfinnsson
    Probably the H-man's antagonists would have figured out quite quickly how to make nerve gas.

    That said nerve gas perhaps could've been used as a war winner during Operation Barbarossa.

    In which case you and I would presumably have different things to complain about.

    Probably the H-man’s antagonists would have figured out quite quickly how to make nerve gas.

    But how much worse would it be to get your cities gassed if they were also getting nuked anyway?

    I think getting the nuke above German cities might still have been a considerable difficulty in case they had won Barbarossa. And the Germans would’ve had a lot of resources to devote to nuclear development themselves. They’d also have worked overtime to just move their industries and populations (especially the children) inland, far away from the nukes. Nukes are not very effective against dispersed troops, so they could still control the territory.

    So I’m actually unconvinced if the US could’ve won the war solely by using nukes.

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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @Bliss

    I have the strong impression that at least in Germany having a half-westafrican child makes people rather look UP to you.
     
    That actually makes sense if you think about it. Just look at the greatest “Germans”, whose names will never be forgotten: Beethoven, Einstein, Marx. What did they have in common? They were all part african:

    https://78.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lypdk5KnkH1qglqe6.jpg

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/05/03/16/4BCD9CDB00000578-5687445-A_16_year_old_Albert_Einstein_in_1895-a-64_1525359896736.jpg

    https://i1.wp.com/thecharnelhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/le_jeune_karl_marx_01-copy.jpeg?fit=440%2C476&ssl=1

    Don’t forget other Africans, like Jerry Seinfeld:

    Emperor Hirohito of Japan:

    Rose McGowan:

    Etc.

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    • LOL: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @songbird
    One of the war aims of Japan was to conquer the rich watermelon-growing land of SE Asia.
    , @Mr. Hack
    Woody Allen's Zelig did a fine transformation (chameleon like) when in the company of a New Orleans jazz band. :-)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @Talha
    Yeah, I’ve seen the genetic studies that show a demarcation between Muslims and non-Muslims of the area. Makes sense, since intermarriage is highly discouraged and only goes one way (Muslim men can marry their females - People of the Book - and not vice versa).

    Melkites (a term that was used by some as a pejorative to connote “king’s men”) were seen as occupiers by many native non-Chalcedonian Christians. A fact that made the Muslim conquests that much easier...oh and (as Prof. Robert Hoyland points out) the fact that Muslims could offer them a reduction in taxes. Something quite easy to do if you are a semi-nomadic, spartan-like desert people establishing garrison cities instead of a bloated bureaucratic empire.

    Peace.

    I didn’t say Greeks conducted smart policies before the conquest, just that Taleb doesn’t say that he personally was descended from Phoenicians (he’s a proud descendant of the Greeks), and that his theories generally make more sense than the pyramids built by blacks or Beethoven being black.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Yeah, I respect a lot of what Taleb has to say; I’ve referenced him before.

    I guess I misunderstood, I thought he was claiming Phoenician heritage.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Vladislav Pravdin - GREAT STALIN (1949). It is our joy that during the hard years of the war the Red Army and the Soviet people were led by the wise and experienced leader of the Soviet Union - the GREAT STALIN. And now for something completely different. Instead of snippets from larger works, here’s Egor...
  • @Anon

    Poland is perhaps the only country where no real collaboration ever existed on a significant scale
     
    Repeating again? In a 30-mln Poland, there were located the major Nazi deathcamps, none of them being liberated by local 'Resistance' or 'partisans' or any permanent escape mechanism elaborated by locals. Who supplied deathcamps with firewood and coal, food and other supplies? Hosting a 6-mln death industry is a serious business.As well as providing Nazi with war material and maintaining the long communications network on Eastern Front.

    Not sacrificing yourself to save others is far from being an “accomplice.” Soviets didn’t save anyone before 1941, when the Germans already started cramping Jews into ghettos, instead they kept supplying them with raw materials necessary for the war.

    Hosting a 6-mln death industry

    That’s what I call chutzpah. The USSR assisted Germany when it attacked Poland, then stabbed Poland in the back by attacking it after its armed forces had been destroyed by the Germans, killing tens of thousands and deporting hundreds of thousands, supplying Germany with raw materials for another two years, and now Sovoks are accusing Poles of being accomplices in the crimes which the Germans did while also murdering Poles by the millions.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    Not sacrificing yourself to save others is far from being an “accomplice.”
     
    It starts at least with cowardice and looks despicable without any other facts, just for being a Hitler's b*tch. Yet you keep omitting the fact that deathcamps in Poland were not surrounded by vacuum, ostracized, or any rebellion or at least one local strike took place. Polish deathcams were fully supplyed locally with anything from firewood to burn millions of Jewish victims to Polish flesh for entertaining their custodians.

    Soviets didn’t save anyone before 1941
     
    The Soviets saved many Jews in Western Ukraine and Belarus, liberating them from Polish occupation. If Germans occupied that lands in 1939, absolutely all Jews woud go to deathcamps. USSR gave them chance to evacuate, and many managed to flee to the East. Moreover, many were provided with means of evacuation, e.g. children.

    accusing Poles of being accomplices in the crimes which the Germans did while also murdering Poles by the millions.
     
    Besides Polish incantations of victimhood and betrayal, you have no statistics of how 'Soviets murdered millions of Poles' - that's deliberate lie. The population gap in pre- and postwar Poland is about 6 mln - that is so close for Jewish victims that were at least left to die by Poles. Many modern Poles live in houses built and owned by Jews, occupying them right after the previous family were taken away by Gestapo. Someone had to report them, qui bono.
    , @utu
    I wonder if you have any reflections on what one should do when meeting extreme trolls like the entity #411. He feeds off you and keeps escalating. He is unconstrained by logic and reality. My first position is to ignore. Polite discussion based on facts will not mitigate him. One could try escalation and hitting where it might really hurt him (Russians and Soviets have some very soft spots) but then you lower yourself to his level. Besides you would not want to do it on the blog run by a Russian blogger with many Russian commentators who seem to be decent people.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Transylvanian Morning. I have been unable to follow most of the last week's comments, and probably won't catch up. But FWIW, I enjoyed the gearhead debates at Thorfinnsson's Take on Tesla, the Dmitry vs. Polish Perspective debate on who was or was not in Israel, and reiner Tor's instructions on cold showers. Now that I...
  • @iffen
    Yes, she was saying it was an established policy by the Germans to kill their seriously wounded rather than making resources available for their treatment. And she wasn't talking about a mercy killing by soldiers to ease the suffering of a dying comrade which I assume happens in all armies and wars.


    I had never heard anything like this before and I know that you have an extensive reading of WWII and thought that you might have heard of it before.

    Thinking about it, I doubt it happened.

    First, there were no ideological reasons to kill wounded soldiers. Unlike the mentally ill (whose mental illness was considered to be the probable result of a genetic defect) or Jews (who were considered impossible to assimilate and with harmful Jewish genes), wounded soldiers were considered to be of superior racial stock (ethnic Germans who risked their lives for the Fatherland and got wounded while doing so). Assuming they were still capable of reproduction, their reproduction would be encouraged by the Nazis rather than made impossible by killing them. They were also considered to be a loyal member of the “people’s community” (Volksgemeinschaft) who fulfilled their duty, and as such, worthy of protection.

    Second, the Nazis were mindful of the mood of both the soldiers and the German population. That’s the main reason they didn’t outright murder half-Jews or Jews with Aryan spouses or half-Aryan children, because it was assumed that their murder would create resentment among their Aryan relatives. Similarly, the mass murder of the mentally ill was halted (or made more covert, it’s unclear) after there were some protests against it: the Nazi regime realized that it would’ve affected the morale of the population negatively.

    Deliberately killing seriously wounded soldiers was something which, if it ever got out (and the Nazis were not very good at keeping secrets, there were persistent rumors both about the holocaust and about the euthanasia murders), would’ve devastated the morale of both the armed forces and the population at large, and would’ve probably turned even many fanatical Nazis against the regime.

    Third, not even Stalin’s USSR did anything like that. Wounded soldiers were treated well in the USSR, even if they were crippled and thus useless, they gave them and their families benefits. They couldn’t give much, but murdering them outright to save hospital or pension costs was a thought which didn’t even occur to Stalin.

    Overall, I highly doubt the thought even occurred to anyone in the Nazi regime. I wonder where Arendt got it.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Thinking about it, I doubt it happened.

    Thanks for taking the time to consider the question. It does seem unlikely to me as well, but she does use quotes: “help the wounded in ice and snow,” but there is no footnote. The next paragraph is about the Aktion T4 program, although she doesn’t use that program name.

    This is the only book of hers that I have read and I didn’t get the impression that she would be the type to make up something like this.

    Third, not even Stalin’s USSR did anything like that.

    LOL, not even Stalin, some subjects are eternal here at the Unz Enquirer.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Vladislav Pravdin - GREAT STALIN (1949). It is our joy that during the hard years of the war the Red Army and the Soviet people were led by the wise and experienced leader of the Soviet Union - the GREAT STALIN. And now for something completely different. Instead of snippets from larger works, here’s Egor...
  • @AnonFromTN
    Well, in contrast to Latvia, Estonia, and Ukraine, there were no Polish Waffen SS divisions. Then again, there were volunteers serving in Hitler’s army. Donald Tusk’s grandfather was one of those: he tried to deny it and finally gave up.

    Józef Tusk spent time in a German concentration camp as a “dangerous, fanatical Polish nationalist,” but was released later during the war. In 1944, as Germany was getting desperate, he was conscripted to the Wehrmacht, because he was Kahsubian, and they were considered “Polonized Germans” by the Nazis. After a few months, he surrendered to the Western Allies. It’s unclear if he joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West, or if he was just put into a POW camp. The circumstances of his capture are also unclear, whether it was desertion, just a lack of resolve (at that time the Allies captured very few Germans, so statistically speaking, it was quite an unlikely event), or bad (good?) luck.

    So, he wasn’t a collaborator, he wasn’t a volunteer, he wasn’t exactly Polish, but you got at least one fact correct here (that he did serve in the Wehrmacht), even if his service was probably a net negative for the Germans, and if refusal to serve would’ve been considered desertion and so punishment both for himself and especially for his family.

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  • @ploni almoni
    You say "It’s also well known that Hitler was unaware of German chemical superiority, which made him opposed to the usage of chemical weapons (except in mass murder)." Is this what they call "Doublethink?"

    No. Hitler didn’t want to use chemical weapons because he found them abhorrent and feared retaliation in kind. He didn’t fear camp inmates retaliating in kind.

    He didn’t know that neither the Soviets nor the Anglos could retaliate in kind. (I.e. they didn’t have nerve gases like tabun or sarin.)

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Probably the H-man's antagonists would have figured out quite quickly how to make nerve gas.

    That said nerve gas perhaps could've been used as a war winner during Operation Barbarossa.

    In which case you and I would presumably have different things to complain about.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @ploni almoni
    Russia has no friends. Never did, never will. Look at them: Freedom loving people all. the British, the French, the Germans, the Americans. Whose friends are they?

    Countries usually don’t have friends. Except the US has Israel.

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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @Bliss

    I have the strong impression that at least in Germany having a half-westafrican child makes people rather look UP to you.
     
    That actually makes sense if you think about it. Just look at the greatest “Germans”, whose names will never be forgotten: Beethoven, Einstein, Marx. What did they have in common? They were all part african:

    https://78.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lypdk5KnkH1qglqe6.jpg

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/05/03/16/4BCD9CDB00000578-5687445-A_16_year_old_Albert_Einstein_in_1895-a-64_1525359896736.jpg

    https://i1.wp.com/thecharnelhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/le_jeune_karl_marx_01-copy.jpeg?fit=440%2C476&ssl=1

    Actually Beethoven, Einstein and Marx were all women who had to pretend to be men to make careers in man dominated society.

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    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • LOL: reiner Tor
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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • @Thorfinnsson
    Tesla Update

    Polish Perspective is looking good now, as Tesla shares have climbed to $355. Not too far from its 52 week high of $389.

    My thesis remains unchanged, and I am now short. I have not suffered a margin call yet.

    Also credit due to Musk's shill Ross Gerber, who agreed to appear on Quoth the Raven Research's podcast.

    Meanwhile Exxon Mobil refuses to come unglued from its stubborn 80ish position despite a good oil price and surging production (company is about to hit 4 million barrels per day--that's double Norway's output).

    Many consumer staples are a great buy at the moment. Get long Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Hormel, Kimberly Clark, Clorox, and Unilever. Take a pass on Pepsi and Colgate Palmolive.

    I am also coming to the point of view that traditional automakers may be systematically undervalued. The case for their low earnings multiples is that the auto business is cyclical. But I do not believe repeats of the last two recessions will occur. These were artifacts of deepening globalization and "neoliberalism". The "system" is now complete and thus future recessions will be "normal".

    Bank stocks are definitely undervalued for the same reason. They're all cheap other than Deutsche Bank which you couldn't pay me to own. Deutsche Bank is an absolute disgrace.

    There’s the news of the many Model 3 cancellations.

    But as I wrote in the other thread, an acquaintance in NYC just got his Model 3 delivered to him, and he’s totally happy with it, posting it on FB (which he rarely does about anything else), etc.

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  • @Talha
    Taleb:

    “We wuz fo’neeshunzzz...”

    Peace.

    He’s Greek Orthodox, likely to a large portion descended from the original Greeks. (They didn’t convert many locals before the Islamic conquest, and it’s not quite likely that they converted many afterwards.)

    But he says that Lebanese Arabs (especially the non-Muslims, and probably among Muslims the Shia) are mostly descendants of Phoenicians, i.e. they are Arabized Phoenicians. That’s quite a bit more plausible than the African Beethoven and similar stories. Actually, there are genetic studies which seem to confirm that.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Yeah, I’ve seen the genetic studies that show a demarcation between Muslims and non-Muslims of the area. Makes sense, since intermarriage is highly discouraged and only goes one way (Muslim men can marry their females - People of the Book - and not vice versa).

    Melkites (a term that was used by some as a pejorative to connote “king’s men”) were seen as occupiers by many native non-Chalcedonian Christians. A fact that made the Muslim conquests that much easier...oh and (as Prof. Robert Hoyland points out) the fact that Muslims could offer them a reduction in taxes. Something quite easy to do if you are a semi-nomadic, spartan-like desert people establishing garrison cities instead of a bloated bureaucratic empire.

    Peace.

    , @The Big Red Scary

    They didn’t convert many locals before the Islamic conquest, and it’s not quite likely that they converted many afterwards.
     
    Really? It might be availability bias, but I thought the whole Mediterranean was thoroughly Christianized before the Islamic conquest. Julian tried to Make Paganism Great Again in the middle of the 4th century, but Justinian pretty much killed it in the middle of the 6th century, no?
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  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @Erik Sieven
    "A single mother with an obvious darkish looking child ( she doesn’t say refer to colour) will be looked down upon more than a single mother with the same race child….."
    I have the strong impression that at least in Germany having a half-westafrican child makes people rather look UP to you.

    I have the strong impression that at least in Germany having a half-westafrican child makes people rather look UP to you.

    That actually makes sense if you think about it. Just look at the greatest “Germans”, whose names will never be forgotten: Beethoven, Einstein, Marx. What did they have in common? They were all part african:

    https://i1.wp.com/thecharnelhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/le_jeune_karl_marx_01-copy.jpeg?fit=440%2C476&ssl=1

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    • LOL: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @utu
    Actually Beethoven, Einstein and Marx were all women who had to pretend to be men to make careers in man dominated society.
    , @AP
    Don't forget other Africans, like Jerry Seinfeld:

    http://moveablefest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DyingLaughingJerrySeinfeld.jpg

    Emperor Hirohito of Japan:

    https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/v1492196419/cheats/2014/09/09/emperor-warned-against-u-s-wwii-attack/140909-emperor-hirohito-cheat_dfsehs.jpg

    Rose McGowan:

    https://www.billboard.com/files/media/rose-mcgowan-june-2-2018-billboard-1548.jpg

    Etc.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    I now understand that you'r joshing us with your we wuz kangz posts.

    That said I can't resist.

    We wuz Junkerz 'n sheet :)
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  • @DFH
    Greek and Latin have been the biggest hindrances to European civilisation.

    Even if you argue that they impeded the cultivation and use of the vernacular which is true, that seems excessively harsh.
    It’s bad enough that we’ve got only fragments of ancient civilization. Imagine if all that were gone and we’d only have the Bible, with the pre-Christian past nothing but some barely recognizable negative foil for the true faith. We would be like Muslims, and it would be horrible.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Disagree: utu
    • Replies: @utu
    Ignoramuses are always proud of their ignorance. And nobody can be as haughty as Anglos.
    , @DFH

    Even if you argue that they impeded the cultivation and use of the vernacular which is true, that seems excessively harsh.
     
    Having Latin as an international language, although useful in some ways, probably also delayed the development of national consciousness. I also think (although this is, I will admit, difficult to demonstrate) that they pointed people towards a pointless dream world, as Christianity is often accused of doing. The attitudes of the British ruling class certainly deteriorated after proper Classics teaching was reintroduced in the 19th century.

    I doubt that Greek philosophy and Roman law are as significant as the previous commenter made out. Post-Cartesian philosphy (which is probably not very significant anyway tbh) has very little to do with Greek philosphy, and in Northern Europe Roman law only survived in some concepts which would have been developed anyway.

    It’s bad enough that we’ve got only fragments of ancient civilization.
     
    We have most of the actually good and important stuff in terms of literature, philosophy and history.

    Imagine if all that were gone and we’d only have the Bible, with the pre-Christian past nothing but some barely recognizable negative foil for the true faith. We would be like Muslims, and it would be horrible.

     

    That is a good point, although something like that happened anyway up till about 1450 and it was aided by Classical authorities like Aristotle.I think European culture would have broken out of it anyway, as the classical influences on vernacular philosophy and vernacular literature were relatively superficial.
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  • My Romania post will hopefully be up in a few days. In the meantime, I'll share my impressions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which I flew for the first time on the way back from Bucharest. Overall impressions: Meh. As densely packed as any Airbus, and way more vibrations and creaking sounds than the average...
  • Russian MOD claims the US and Syrian militants are preparing for a false flag gas attack provocation to prepare for further military strikes on Syria.

    http://tass.com/defense/1009105

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    While the strikes are certainly aggressive, it doesn't seem like the previous ones have really affected the progress of the recapturing of land, so it appears to be more an expression of hostile intent.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Untold billions of dollars spent on new football stadiums. Lavish spending on football players. The hiring of some of Europe's most expensive and prestigious coaches. Results? Russia is 45th in the football Elo rankings Russia is 70th in the FIFA rankings The Russian team has never been weaker in its entire history. My guess is...
  • @utu
    Russia won 5:0! Does AK have insight what is the psychological comfort he and many other Russians get from the gloom and doom defeatism?

    I can speak only for myself, and only in relation to the Hungarian national football team. I had always been pessimistic, so that they won’t disappoint me. Any surprise will be to the upside. It’s psychologically much easier to prepare for the worst and then occasionally get a positive surprise than preparing for the best and then nearly always get my dreams thrashed by reality.

    Then I changed my stance to a more realistic approach after Dárdai became the manager in 2014, because at least he knew what he was doing, unfortunately had to go back to Hertha BSC. Then came Storck, and he led us to the Euro Cup by beating Norway. I became cautiously optimistic. It was great. But then Storck lost to Andorra (he was playing the B team or rather C team for some reason), and so I reverted to pessimism. It’s better to expect nothing.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @utu
    I think this might be the mechanism that develops when there were too many disappointments so lowering expectations is a natural response. When I was growing up the great successes of Hungarian team were still very much remembered, so I was very disappointed by their performance in the 1978 World Cup when they totally fell apart to the point of having tantrums. I do not remember who did the play against. It was clearly psychological because they started well but some setback broke them. A very sad and embarrassing spectacle to watch. I stopped watching soccer about 15 years ago but sometimes I do when forced by social circumstances. German friends made me watch Germany team during the Word Cup in South Africa. They were quite good so I was greatly disappointed that they were totally helpless against Spain. They were awful. Very un-German. Germany almost never falls apart. At first I suspected that they sold the game or that some drugs were involved but then I have learned that their coach Joachim Löw was totally at awe with Barcelona and considered them the apex of football achievement and the Spain's team was 90% Barcelona. So I thought that he somehow passed this belief onto his team. They did not believe they could win.
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  • @AaronB
    I think you misunderstood. I was responding to Anatkolys last line - that he is called a ziocuck for suggesting there is something to learn from Jews.

    I have noticed certain commenters turn viciously against me when I started suggesting whites have much to relearn from Jews, Muslims, and Asians, and I was told whites really need to just double down - because have been going so well lately, you know.

    It's just petty jealousy and resentment and denial - rigor mortis.

    Ironically, a necessary precondition for greatness is actually humility!

    The mystical "union of opposites", as much as it baffles and irritates the Western mind, is actually the deepest expression of reality.

    Ironically, a necessary precondition for greatness is actually humility!

    Judging from your comments on this blog, you’re probably not destined for true greatness if that’s true.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @AaronB
    As sparks from the divine flame, we are all destined for greatness - including you, GR. Though you will kick and scream against it.

    And even including utu, who my Great Eye Of Compassion does not neglect. And that, btw, was one of my most serious comments ever, though you see nothing but frivolity in it.
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