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As a New Year’s present, here’s a new Open Thread for the Karlin commenting community, jump started with a few relocated comments from the previous thread.

— Ron Unz

 
• Tags: Blogging, Open Thread 
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  1. songbird says:

    Surprised that the Greens in Germany haven’t yet come out in support of mandating a transition to English and changing the country’s name to something more palatable to its members, like “Refugium” or “Queermany.”

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldlan
    • LOL: showmethereal
    • Replies: @A123
  2. songbird says:

    Interestingly, the mayor of Mexico City is a Jewish woman, Claudia Scheinbaum Pardo. There was some controversy this past year, as she had a 150 year old statue of Columbus taken down and replaced with an indigenous woman.

    She has been floated as a possible presidential candidate for 2024.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  3. A123 says: • Website
    @songbird

    Surprised that the Greens in Germany haven’t yet come out in support of mandating a transition to English

    You mean the language of CAPITALISM? That would never happen. Perhaps they would chose Arabic or Farsi. How about an invented language, like Esperanto?

    The image below is circulating, but I have not found a tie back to the original source. Based on Cem Özdemir’s record, the quote is highly plausible.

    PEACE 😇

     

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Barbarossa
  4. German_reader says:

    Many thanks to Ron Unz for creating another Open Thread for this community, it is much appreciated!

    • Agree: songbird, Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Emil Nikola Richard
  5. songbird says:
    @A123

    How about an invented language, like Esperanto?

    Once read a novel where the villains spoke Esperanto, and I thought it was a really clever idea. Though, a parasitical model of politics (which I think holds) would suggest that the Left would rather speak Sioux or Choctaw, as they have more speakers.

    Similarly, Farsi and Arabic would be terrible choices from their perspective. Only the Arab oil states have any money. The others are all dirt poor (it is amazing how poor Morocco and Algeria are), and there are a lot of antagonisms between bordering countries. They are not intellectual centers, so not much of an academic niche to exploit. Plus, the disadvantage of gendered words.

    What makes English attractive is that it is a language of maximization. You can exploit the most resources using English – the most money, the most minds. English has 1.348 billion first and second language speakers – that’s more than Mandarin, and it’s better than Mandarin because there is no Great Firewall, or censorship by the CCP.
    _____
    I wonder whether Cem Özdemir feels any sympathy for the price that his fellow Turks are paying for food in inflated currency. Or whether it is just his radical politics that are being shown. Probably if the Greens ever took total power there would be a worse famine than happened under Mao.

  6. German_reader says:
    @songbird

    Or whether it is just his radical politics that are being shown.

    It’s partly class snobbery. Greens are the party of well-off people employed by the state (civil servants, teachers etc.) who can afford buying expensive bio products and who look down on the proles who go shopping at cheap supermarkets like ALDI.

    • Replies: @Matra
    , @Yevardian
    , @Mr. Hack
  7. Matra says:

    Former commenter here Andrei Martyanov did an interview for Geopolitics & Empire. Long time commenters here probably won’t be shocked at how he laughs at NATO capabilities and says NATO will be easily defeated if it gets into a conventional with more advanced Russia. IIRC he fell out with AK over the latter’s disparaging remarks about sovoks or the USSR or something like that.

  8. @Matra

    Let’s just say that the road into Georgia in 2008 was lined with broken down Russian tanks (think Ukraine in 2014, bascically the same army). Since then Russia has more or less completely re equipped its conventional forces, 90% done in some categories, 70% in others. The trouble is, that antitank weapons are cheaper than tanks if fighting real NATO forces. = won’t happen. Also, the Russian army is perhaps the most corrupt institution in Russia. The Stavka successfully framed Medvedeev’s chosen Mr Reform for corruption hiself. The army hides behind the Great Patriotic War. The Air Force seems to be a lot better.

    The present burst of hysterical Russophobia is a product of the Ukrainian propaganda machine. In 2015, Congress voted \$750m for arming Ukraine. Neither Obama nor Trump released it. The present war hysteria is a Ukrainian bid for that money. Stopping NS2 is a secondary objective.

    • Thanks: Matra
    • Replies: @Barbarossa
  9. Interestingly, Putin has proposed lifting Gazprom’s monopoly on exporting pipeline gas to the EU. He has suggested that Rosneft, the state oil company, (Charman Gerhard Schroder, 2nd biggest shareholder BP at 20%), should supply gas to Europe through the Brotherhood pipeline that runs through Ukraine. As an oil company, Rosneft has more flexibility to play the spot market in gas than Gazprom (which may be blocked from offering competitive prices by contracts with China etc). As a private company it is more compatible with EU market philosophy. Also, as a private company, it adds an arms length relationship with Naftogaz of Ukraine so defusing the issues slightly.

    Rosneft is sanctioned by the US but not the EU.

    Meanwhile note that the UK received 29 shipments of LNG from Yamal in 2021 up from 22 in 2020. Until NS2 opens, the UK is Russia’s biggest buyer of gas in Europe as a some also comes via pipeline. In the other direction, Russia is the UK’s biggest foreign gas supplier (although the UK is not very dependent on foreign gas). Most reports on the matter only count pipeline gas so the LNG is missed.

  10. Matra says:
    @German_reader

    During my only ever visit to an Aldi (Munich-Schwanthalerhöhe) in 2019 I noticed when standing in the queue that I was the only white person in the store. They also had a security guard. Right after that I went to the Alnatura on Sonnenstraße – just a couple of minutes away. There, everybody was white, including the checkout staff. (Never saw a single automated checkout in Germany). No security guard either. It was like two different cities. I’m guessing Green voters shop at Alnatura.

    • Replies: @sher singh
  11. @German_reader

    Happy New Years to all! Thanks to Mr. Unz for he is a jolly good fellow.

  12. A few Open Threads ago, I forcefully argued that in the event of a Nazi Germany victory on mainland Europe, the world that we live in today would not have been materially different.

    I noted that capitalism has an internal logic of its own, following a rhythm not dependent on external exigencies or political preferences. This is playing out in China. Xi Jinping has been drumming on about ‘common prosperity’ but rhetoric aside, the most consequential economic policies have not substantially changed:

    Socialism and communism as economic systems appear to be dead. This so-called “Cold War 2.0” is decidedly more boring than the old one, for at least there was an ideological contest at stake back then. On issues like climate change, China and the US also see eye to eye. I am happy about this, but this also means that the ideological fervor of the 20th century has given way to a stale technocratic consensus, where the only real fight is who gets to be top dog in a system all agree to the basic ground rules rather than which set of ideas should rule. Yawn.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
    • Replies: @Derer
  13. @Matra

    Former commenter here Andrei Martyanov did an interview for Geopolitics & Empire. Long time commenters here probably won’t be shocked at how he laughs at NATO capabilities and says NATO will be easily defeated if it gets into a conventional with more advanced Russia. IIRC he fell out with AK over the latter’s disparaging remarks about sovoks or the USSR or something like that.

    Skimming the interview, at minutes 26-27 he starts ranting that he doesn’t care about “zeroes and ones” and computers and clearly displays his boomer tendencies. He thinks an economy should only be judged on things you can touch or eat. It is not hard to see why AK had disdain for him, even if I think AK himself is as a mediocre analyst, I can’t see him making these sorts of cardinal errors.

    As for “NATO easily defeated”, given reality of MAD the entire question is moot. There will never be a full conventional war for obvious reasons so making arguments based on a non-eventuality strikes me as a waste of time.

    In general, I find Martynov to be of limited utility. I would only read him on narrow technical topics like submarines or jets, and even then I’d use a pinch of salt or more since these discussions tend to be polluted by nationalist flag-waving, which cloud people’s judgements and prevents them from dispassionate analysis.

  14. @songbird

    don’t look now… now even Chile has elected a “left winger”… the mestizos and the indigenous have almost all taken taken back Latin America. If Bolsonaro gets voted out – it will be pretty much complete except Colombia and a couple of stragglers. US Monroe Doctrine is faltering… Which most of the brown and peach colored people below Texas are happy about.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @songbird
  15. sher singh says:
    @showmethereal

    America has been focused on Asia more or less since the 50s.
    Europe will always be the #1 focus but Asia has been the #2.

    The Western hemisphere will get fkd hard once USA retreats from Asia.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  16. sher singh says:
    @Matra

    Hmm, my only interest in the EU is getting Kirpan restrictions (3ft sword) rescinded & I guess hijab.
    Since, women covering up is good and it creates cultural space for others to do so.

    Otherwise, u get retarded homeless lvl wignats attacking women who cover their hair.. which is rape.

    This thread doesn’t show up on the Karlin blog but on Mr. Unz’s page btw.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

  17. Not Raul says:

    Happy New Year, Ron!

    • Agree: Barbarossa
  18. @Philip Owen

    the Russian army is perhaps the most corrupt institution in Russia.

    So, similar dynamic to the US, if accurate. I suppose that Russia can’t afford the scope of wasted military spending that the US seems addicted to.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  19. songbird says:
    @showmethereal

    Heard that the president of Uruguay is an open borders guy.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  20. @sher singh

    [from previous Op Th]

    Clannish people get it, Germanics who are individualist-universalist can’t. Only black-white thinking.

    If I take that to mean race is either everything or it’s nothing, then yeah, I agree.

    Or as I like to put it, when they were bad, they were bad; when they were good, they were very, very cucked.

    • Agree: sher singh
  21. @Thulean Friend

    As for “NATO easily defeated”, given reality of MAD the entire question is moot. There will never be a full conventional war for obvious reasons so making arguments based on a non-eventuality strikes me as a waste of time.

    I am not so sure about that at all. It only makes sense if you assume that a conventional war must be a war to the absolute finish. But why can’t there be a limited conventional war, fought over limited objectives? If there can be a limited war, then MAD logic would seem to hold – ie better to lose the limited war than effectuate MAD.

  22. songbird says:

    China just upped their timeline for lunar landing by 6 years, from 2033 to 2027. And their plan includes a one megawatt nuclear reactor, as well as a rover with a rage of 1000 km, and AI.

    NASA’s website still seems to say 2024, though Wikipedia gives 2025. Neither seems very reasonable to me. The official webpage for Artemis begins with this, right after “Artemis”:

    With Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. We will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.

    https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis/

    I hope the Chinese build a mass driver lickety-split, and send a few lunar rocks to NASA, boom-boom style, before they contaminate the moon with black lesbos.

  23. @A123

    On that German agriculture minister; I don’t find what he’s saying to be that outlandishly evil, at least from my perspective in the American food system.

    Food is cheap in the US, but artificially so, with things like corn and soy monocrops heavily government subsidized. We pay for the true cost alright, just not at the checkout. This does lead to a variety of negative effects on the environment, health, and farmer livelihood. This includes societal costs from the ever increasing push to consolidate farms into larger and larger entities.

    80 years ago or so, in my part of the world, a man could raise a respectable family on a 15 or 20 head dairy. Now a 500 cow dairy is considered too small to make it. This was a shift that was engineered and pushed at the government level, not something that “just happened”. Needless to say, it’s been a disaster for the vitality of rural communities and for the ability of young farmers to start up. Farm decentralization should be a big plank in the MAGA revitalization, if such a thing ever came to fruition.

    The dairy farmers that I know are loosing money badly right now. Fuel, grain, and other inputs are skyrocketing while the milk price keeps dropping. One farmer would sell his whole herd tomorrow, but there is no market to buy the cows. He’d be better off financially to sell them for beef, so he holds on while he can.

    So, I do think there is a strong argument that food should be more expensive to the consumer, but that the government should get out of the subsidies, so that we pay the true cost.

    I’m not sure what the agriculture policy in Germany looks like for context. Maybe German_Reader would have some idea?

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @songbird
    , @A123
    , @Philip Owen
  24. Dmitry says:

    Silviosilver said https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-171/#comment-5094372

    patriot like AK could very easily be embraced

    Almost nobody will care. Russia is a very antiracist and tolerant (in terms of nationality) culture.

    I have memories from school (this was in Russia, many years ago) when quite young, we were learning that the most important thing is to not judge people from appearance, to respect every culture. I remember we listen to stories on this theme in the meetings in the hall. It’s one of the things you learn if you were fortunate to go to school in Russia, this kind of moral message.

    It’s partly because of the Christian and European heritage of the culture, but it’s more because of being an imperial country, which has ruled and absorbed many nationalities, and with a sense of many years of success in this area. For example, there are historical periods where territory is conquered and the populations are managed with less events like genocides than in some comparable empires.

    Only a very small minority of people in Russia would be racist to AK. Probably the only group where a majority of people would be racist, are nationalists. Nationalists are also the most forbidden or illegal political groups in the Russian Federation, and even those who do no physical crime, can have parts of their life in prison. They really had to go underground, to the extent they can still exist at all today.

    As AK redefining of terms, and saying “I am a nationalist”. This is partly in concordance to the government’s strategy to try to remove nationalism from the political discourse, and replace it with imperialism, and to literally call the imperialists as “nationalists”. I’m not saying he is some kind of kremlinbot. It’s actually looks like a flex when he posts photos of himself and says “I am a Russian nationalist”, and you can see in the last blog posts (about Putin’s role as a “perfect nationalist”, who runs open borders and imprisons nationalists) he had such a dry sense of humor. It’s like Kubla Khan standing on the broken bones of the nationalists.

    It’s also indication he was starting to absorb the postmodernist culture of the postsoviet politics. There is in Russia a Jewish politician called “Zhirinovsky” (his family name is really “Eidelshtein”). He throws all kinds of wild imperialist views and calls for everyone who annoys him to sit in the prison. Meanwhile this is head of the “Liberal Democratic Party”. There are many other funny stories related to this politician, but the international audience can begin understand some of postsoviet Dada in terms of the definition of terms. It’s a kind of a masterpiece of comedy.

    hateful Hitler-worshiping skinhead types who would detest someone like

    It’s not only negative, for a nationalism based on the desire for self-determination of peoples, in an imperial state like Russia, which is occupying other nationalities

    While the imperialism has many pluses, a lot of things people can complain about are also a result of the Great Power imperialism.

    There are features of a great empire which can be probably effective structural features, like the always over-representation of minority nationalities in the country’s elite. This is a constant feature across different regimes and has likely helped to extend power of the Moscow. This is an effective feature in terms of power projection. But it might also be if not a cause, then at least a symptom, of how the country does not function like a normal European nation state even after divesting many of the territories after 1991.

    There is also a side of nationalism in the imperial state, that can rebel against the imperialist external policy. This imperialist external policy can often overextend and only be beneficial for the elites’ power, but not carry many benefits to the ordinary citizen. A view that people should stay in their country and not try to impose and occupy other nationalities, is not such an unsensible view in theory.

    Of course, history is not so simple, and great empire that supports its security interests against rival empires, is a more accurate description of Russia’s position in the early 21st century. Such great powers will need to defend imperial interests in countries like Ukraine, even if in the moral sense Ukraine should have self-determination by its majority nationality. Powerful countries have such additional rights and duties.

  25. songbird says:
    @Barbarossa

    Just my ignorant 2 cents:

    There is an egalitarian movement to drop subsidies, so that food production can be moved to the Third World. It seems seductive. Refrigerated shipping means that we can get fresh food. Maybe, they will stop coming, if we buy their produce, and make them richer. But that is not what explains their poverty. (America buying Chilean fruit just made them import Haitians to pick it, eventually they got tired of them and send them our way.)

    And less seductively, they can develop the farmland into tracts of housing for more Third Worlders, as they are already doing in much of Western Europe. (Think of how much that will grow the economy!) England is food negative, reliant on imports.

    It is inherently insane. We’ve just seen some pretty big supply interruptions with covid. The Pinkerian view of history seems obviously wrong. Why point a gun at our heads and then hand it over to the Third World?

    • Replies: @Barbarossa
  26. songbird says:

    Don’t know if there isn’t a better term than “Great Replacement.” Guess it doesn’t cover all the bases, but I do like the term “the Great Gibs Rush.”

  27. @songbird

    With Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.

    This will be entertaining as hell if nothing else. Hope she is hot like Liutenant Uhura.

    • Replies: @songbird
  28. Dmitry says:

    German Reader says

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-171/#comment-5092074

    October revolution and the civil war led to much greater discontinuities,

    In terms of changeover of elite, there is a full revolution, at least as much as in the French Revolution. And in terms of the more brutal, and also more competent, new managers of the company, can include former revolutionary bank robbers like Stalin.

    But the discontinuity of the political system from 1917 is less than you expect, if you had been naïve to believe the self-presentation of Soviet propaganda. They pretend to be representative of the hopes of the proletariat and a dawn of justice and equality promised in Marxist theory.

    Under the old management before February 1917 , was a weaker dictatorship of the Russian Empire, where you can go to prison camp if you criticize the authorities. Under the new management, a stronger dictatorship of the Soviet Union, where you can even more likely go to prison camp if you criticize the authorities.

    Lenin and Stalin understood that he they inherited the Russian Empire and work soon to rebuild its autocracy with stronger foundations, learning from the previous mistakes. For example, they are rapidly upgrading secret security services to a far higher level, with branches in every major city, so that the revolution would not be repeated. From blockage of the Bastille 1789, to Napoleon adding a crown on his head, is around 15 years. And in Stalin says to his mother that he is the Tsar around 17 years after October.

    As for the collapse of the Soviet Union. There is in some ways more of a break of structure, from a dictatorship to democracy, communism to capitalism, censorship to freedom of press.

    However, in reality, there is already not much of democracy by 1996. This is not an equal election in 1996. Freedom of press was a few more years, although always conditional under financial interests.

    One of the culture shocks today is to look at some television shows after the terrorist bombings in Moscow in 1999. There was an incident where FSB agents were burying a bomb. And in television after, they allow the audience to question the FSB representative and ask if they were responsible. Within a few months however, the oligarch who owns this television channel (Gusinsky) is arrested and goes to exile. Then Gazprom has a hostile takeover of the television channel . So, this is all around 2000.

    And already by 1996 there was a fake election.

    “nationalist” turn in Soviet culture in 1930s/40s is a bit surprising at first sight.
    (at least it seems to me, sorry if that’s a bit of a naive take)

    They aren’t promoting the immediately previous elite, but only the elite of some dozen generations ago. It’s not difficult for them to promote Nevsky as a great hero, that supported the Russian people, consistent with the narrative that the previous elite were parasitical imperialists.

    But there is something surprising for naïve people who had expected that the Soviet Union would be some kind of utopian futurist culture, and not just a change of management in one of the great empires.

    Although there were less naïve leftists in Europe like George Orwell, who enjoyed a lot this theme of “same difference”. If you remember in “Animal Farm”, at the end they don’t even continue with a change of name of the farm.

    • Thanks: German_reader
  29. A123 says: • Website
    @Barbarossa

    On that German agriculture minister; I don’t find what he’s saying to be that outlandishly evil, at least from my perspective in the American food system.

    GR makes a good point. There is a class perspective in play.

    Food prices have dramatic impact on quality of life for the working poor. It can be 20% of their budget. Food price inflation is particularly hard on these folks.

    For those with substantial disposable income, increased food price is a nuisance issue.

    Food is cheap in the US, but artificially so, with things like corn and soy monocrops heavily government subsidized.

    As concepts, I see the point you are trying to make. However, one cannot look simply at the farm end.

    Monoculture is very difficult to tackle. Food processors have equipment that is not easily adjustable, thus consistent inputs are required. The distribution chain needs long lasting products to reach the shelves for purchase and consumption.

    Government subsidies are also difficult to address. All of the major producers have Agriculture policies. For the U.S. to cut while other countries continue is the equivalent of “unilateral disarmament”.

    Farm decentralization should be a big plank in the MAGA revitalization, if such a thing ever came to fruition

    MAGA Reindustrialization can work on a small scale. Equipment is often flexible, so a small shop can be profitable. Over regulation and subsidized imports can be tackled by MAGA policy.

    Even for small shops there is an understanding that the nation is not headed back to 1960’s style production. New manufacturing is not going to be individual skilled craftsman. It will involve tasks like optimizing use of computer controlled machinery. Craft will still be required, but it has to be leveraged.
    ___

    Do you have specific policy proposals for small farms that would not mostly benefit the largest ones?

    “MAGA Family Farms” would be a good tag line. The % of shelf price reaching the farmer has been going down for years. BigAg processors & distributors use scale to their advantage when dealing with raw material inputs. However, I am not sure how to directly address that split.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Barbarossa
  30. china-russia-all-the-way says:
    @Thulean Friend

    It is not hard to see why AK had disdain for him, even if I think AK himself is as a mediocre analyst

    Nonsense. I haven’t come across a clearer thinking and more talented geopolitical analyst on the Internet as Karlin.

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @Mikhail
  31. @Thulean Friend

    Thule, in Russian territory out to the Atlantic, the Russian military can handle easily handle NATO. Further, Russia is not Saddam, Russia is NOT going to allow the U.S. a 7 month buildup. So NATO would have to cope, and given stern warning, Washington might call it a day. For decades it’s been speculated that the U.S. will NOT risk war (especially nuclear) with the SovietBloc/Russian entities. After all, it was Russia that really destroyed Hitler. The US collected their kills merely firebombing helpless victims in the German cities when it was all but over. The US ruling class knows better than to go all out against the people who beat Hitler.

  32. @songbird

    China recently disclosed that their fusion reactor had an uptime of nearly 17 minutes. The previous record was 100 seconds. They have several fusion projects, this was the so-called EAST reactor (Tokamak version).

    There’s an international effort in France on the same technology called ITER. It’s not even constructed yet (scheduled to happen in 2025 and likely after 2030 due to chronic delays). The budget went from \$6 billion to well past \$35 billion now.

    If this is an indication of the future, then I’d bet on China making it happen before NASA.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  33. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Agree all CR, except to add Andrei Martyanov to that class. I’ve wondered over the years if Anatoly and Mr. Martyanov have ever met. But the both of them have deep bases of writing and opinion. Andrei Martyanov is the go-to on military matters, equipment and states of military minds, he’s seen the inside of both sides, he’s certainly taken the measure of out American leaders. Anatoly being the traveler and much younger obviously gets the nod for social commentary as regards the yewts of Europe and Russia. Anatoly is also expert with his photography, St. Petersburg especially.

    I get different things from each. Except I wish Anatoly would stand further back from the ledges of tall buildings.

  34. China likely peaked demographically in 2021.

    Interestingly, the US population growth rate in 2021 was just 0.1%. The main attack on China is that they have “terrible demographics”. Maybe, but I don’t see the US doing much better.

    China also seems more internally stable to me than the US. Polarisation in the US is reaching comical levels, with even something as simple as vaccination campaigns becoming weaponised and politicised.

    Still think the US will have the upper hand vis-a-vis China given its alliance network but I just want to puncture the common attack themes against China since most of them make little sense.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @Dmitry
  35. Jeff Bezos lost \$40 billion in a divorce but he looks happier than ever.

    He also made the correct move of shaving his hair instead of trying to latch onto a fake toupé like Musk when he started to bald.

  36. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader

    It’s partly class snobbery. Greens are the party of well-off people employed by the state (civil servants, teachers etc.) who can afford buying expensive bio products and who look down on the proles who go shopping at cheap supermarkets like ALDI.

    Even mostly, I’ve witnessed too many conversations (e.g. forestry, a working-class guy mentioning how his father experienced green activists putting spikes in the sawmills and seriously injuring people, his interlocutor simply said with disgusting arrogance ‘ok.. I’m not having this conversation’) growing up not to notice it.

    It’s a shame that enviromentalism has been so totally commandeered by those on the cultural extreme-left (funny, considering it originated with romantic nationalists and conservatives), and now in reaction the mainstream right takes equally imbecilic takes.
    Not to mention, since all this global warming hysteria (I’m agnostic on the topic), every other major enviromental problem seems to have become relatively ignored. Most seriously, the still constantly-increasing amounts of plastic, which, even if the worst predictions of athropogenic global warming are true, I feel things like microplastics circulating everywhere, as far as the Mariana Trench, are much more concerning.

    I mean, evolution has dealt with rapid climatic changes dozens of times over, but the ubiquitousness of indistible and often toxic compouds breaking down far enough to be ingested by microscopic organisms seems unprecedented.

    But this isn’t really my area, I don’t know if anyone within the hard sciences regularly comments here, I mostly just get my takes on energy issues from Vaclav Smil.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
  37. Yevardian says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Jeff Bezos lost \$40 billion in a divorce but he looks happier than ever.

    Easy to remain content when you have as many billions remaining (and still underpay your workers), why post this? We don’t need to see any more of the tasteless lives of anodyne plutocrats and parasites, Dmitri posts enough already.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  38. Mr. Hack says:
    @German_reader

    I’m not sure just how “cheap” Aldis really are, perhaps, inexpensive would be a better term to describe them? I’ve been to Aldis twice in Minnesota, once in Fridley (a suburb of Minneapolis) and also in Hutchinson, a good sized town in the center of the state. I thought that there were a lot of good products on display all reasonably priced and a lot imported from Germany. A friend of mine just purchased a duck at Aldis and was not disappointed, paying half a much as he would at other food stores. There are now 2-3 in the Phoenix area. Perhaps, I should be aware of something first before shopping there? I’d be grateful to know, for they seem to sprouting up all over the US.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @German_reader
  39. @Thulean Friend

    He also made the correct move of shaving his hair instead of trying to latch onto a fake toupé like Musk when he started to bald.

    Even if it does make him look disturbingly like Lex Luther…

  40. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Aldi and Lidl are some of the best supermarkets in Europe. It’s really a good value shop. I’m such a fanboy of them that I would have posters of these German supermarkets in my walls.

    But when I young I actually had studied a little with such kind of German people whose family are billionaires owning such chains, and they were not exactly the less disruptive or most sympathetic classmates.

    I’m not really sure what to say about such divergence of the consumer and personal experience. But maybe I’m not the only one with such experiences or divided perceptions.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  41. So looks like the 5 eyes are ratcheting up their efforts against China

    is this the proverbial “carrot” that will be used to coerce Indians into the alliance?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  42. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    tasteless lives of anodyne plutocrats and parasites, Dmitri

    At least it is a post that describes real life though, as you can talk about the people directly, or become confused with discussions about the extremely indirect concepts (“political ideologies”, “countries”, “GDP growth”) which are just derived from that reality.

    In this forum, you often read people become comically lost in arguing about meaningless “teams” and concepts, which they were just fed to them by such people, and which already have a response “ready made”. The response of rightwing people, is already “readymade” or contained inside an opposing concept. Because they are built just like scripts.

    For example, when you see a large corporation, it seems very impressive and official. When a young graduate is joining on a graduate course, they might feel excited that they are joining a real institution. It feels like entering a great mansion or castle.

    But when they are old, they might know the managers and the operation, and will understand it is just some people with certain formal agreements between each other. There is not really this existing company with its symbols/icons, “corporate culture”, etc. It was all just a dream.

    It’s actually like animals throwing up some camouflage to seem larger than they are. And humans are very vulnerable to being lost in the patterns of the camouflage.

    And of course, these people (like all people) are also not the “mature adults” that are presented in their business life. They are the same kids you remember from your playground or classroom, and our adult persona is another camouflage.

    You’ll be very confused if you were trying to understand Amazon, from the code used in its website, or it’s symbols, corporate, ideology ,etc. On the other hand, it’s a just a person who is selling you some things. Bezos’ mother understands Amazon intuitively, if she remembers cleaning after her son as a child.

    And this is the same for much of the politics and history. People are very confused arguing about ideologies, political parties, and countries, as if they were real objects. This sounds very grandiose and prestigious, even magical. It’s of course, just indirect ways to refer to what some people are doing. And those behaviors you might understand intuitively when you were in the school playground.

    That’s not to say, that people will not learn from improving their understanding of political theory e.g. Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, etc, and should just read “Hello magazine”. But looking at what you rulers are really doing, would be healthy for the society, to prevent some of the confusions.

    • Agree: sher singh, Yellowface Anon
    • Thanks: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Yevardian
  43. German_reader says:
    @Yevardian

    Not to mention, since all this global warming hysteria (I’m agnostic on the topic)

    I think it’s real, the change in climate has been quite noticeable even over my lifetime, and I think it will indeed be a very serious issue (if the worst scenarios become reality, some regions might become entirely uninhabitable after all). Question is of course what to do about it, I don’t believe the German Greens (deeply stupid people imo) have any sensible ideas. But the full-on denial of climate change a lot of right-wingers have adopted is counter-productive.
    The plastics issue might indeed be pretty bad, I’m rather disturbed by those suggestions that the steadily declining sperm count of men in Western countries might be due to cellular damage caused by ubiquituous plastics, definitely an issue that should be urgently investigated to a much greater extent, since it could eventually evolve into an existential threat. More generally, there’s definitely a lot wrong with environmental influences in modern Western societies…I’m always surprised and somewhat baffled by how many people of my age seem to have pollen allergies and the like.
    Thanks for reminding me of Vaclav Smil, haven’t yet read any of his books, but I probably should.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
    • Replies: @A123
    , @Dmitry
    , @songbird
    , @Mikel
  44. German_reader says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Perhaps, I should be aware of something first before shopping there?

    I don’t think you need to worry more than about any other supermarket chain, generally the quality of their products should be fine, it’s just that it’s got a certain low-class image in Germany, because their prices are low and the assortment of wares is somewhat limited (also they sell a lot of cheaper ALDI knock-offs instead of more expensive brand articles).
    Of course the usual caveats apply, if you want quality meat, you’re probably better off to some butcher’s shop.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  45. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    From everything I was told, EU has relatively very strong regulations in terms of food safety. In the USA (perhaps not in California though), there is usually lower regulation in comparison.

    So Mr Hack buying food imported from Germany is not a bad idea at all. From my superficial experience, Aldi usually seems subjectively high quality products as well, if you are happy to eat non-organic products.

    Except there are some areas in EU agriculture like extra virgin olive oil, where there is apparently a lot of fraud in Europe where testing shows evidence of refining process in supposedly unprocessed products.

    I guess this is stereotypically expected considering the country of origin of olive oil are those stereotypically more corrupt EU countries like Spain, Italy and Greece, with perhaps relatively worse regulation enforcements.

    https://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/media/files/report2011three.pdf

    Similarly, Aldi is selling products like processed meat products from Poland, which apparently is often failing EU standards. So maybe avoid those products when you are shopping through Aldi (or just avoid processed meat from less regulated countries too much).

    want quality meat, you’re probably better off

    With meat, you are also exposing much more to those pollutants which accumulate in proteins higher in the food chain. But at least with private land there is more possibility to isolate it than with fish. If you can find at least organic, unprocessed meat.

    Fish is all sharing the same extremely polluted oceans, and you can see some studies where more expensive wild fish ocould measures even more pollutants than farmed one.

    It’s these areas which are a real “commons” – the air and the oceans, where the pollution can been often apparently with almost free impunity. And the real situation of pollution in the ocean and air, is probably far worse than we are usually presented in the media.

    • Replies: @LatW
  46. Pericles says:
    @Thulean Friend

    The US white population has even shrunk in absolute numbers, so I think they are overall demographically worse off and in a worse trend than China.

    NYT: “Census Shows Sharply Growing Numbers of Hispanic, Asian and Multiracial Americans”

    The white population [of America] declined for the first time in history. People who identify themselves as white on the census form have been decreasing as a share of the country’s population since the 1960s, when the United States lifted strict ethnic quotas aimed at keeping the country Northern and Western European.
    That drop, of 2.6 percent, was driven in part by the aging of the white population — the median age was 44 in 2019, compared with 30 for Hispanics — and a long-running decline in the birthrate. Some social scientists theorized that another potential reason for the decrease was that more Americans who previously identified as white on the census are now choosing more than one race.

    https://archive.ph/PYU9w

    (I don’t think the fake latinos and fake indigenes, while existent, are numerous enough to matter in raw numbers.)

    NYT: “It was a terrifying census for white nationalists”

    https://archive.ph/GaSml

  47. Pericles says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Ha ha ha, that’s a memorable picture if nothing else.

  48. A123 says: • Website
    @German_reader

    The Globalists have been pushing climate myths for elite enrichment. The scare story “only 10 years to act” has collapsed under its own weight after 50 years of inaction.

     

     

    If the climate hysterics were accurate, the human race ended decades ago.

    Did all humans die as they predicted?

    The time of False Prophets and their Global Cooling / Warming / Change doom calls is at an end. The hordes of private jets that descend on each climate event is an obvious display of Elite insincerity.

    Part of the MAGA platform needs to be total defunding of every university credentialed Science Denier that fabricated results in return for grant money. With no funding and no ability to publish fake science, the grifters of “faux academia” will no longer have sheeple to fleece.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: Alden
  49. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    ubiquituous plastics,

    With the plastic bottles alleged effect on male fertility, there could be an indicator by comparing to Russia or Poland. In many EU countries people can still feel confident to drink tap water. In Russia, in most cities you have to drink plastic bottle water. (In many cities, tap water is full of dangerous levels of trichlorethylenes, organochlorine, as they can send you tap water from a pond, which is later reported as an industrial wastewater site)

    Of few studies I could see sperm quality in Russia. For example, they only studied in the city of Arkhangelsk . “The sperm quality in Russian men was slightly worse than in men from Finland, Norway, Sweden, or Estonia, but very similar to that in men from Denmark or Poland.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1557988320939714

    In Denmark, there should be not people drinking from plastic bottles, as they still have clean tap water that people are confident to drink, whereas in Poland it’s common to drink water from plastic bottles as the tap water is becoming more dangerous. (Although even in the West, the water machines in offices are from plastic containers) So at least Russia, Poland and Denmark are all similar in that study.

    In all this, I guess I’m more comfortable to drink from a plastic bottle and suffer some microplastics, than from a pond which might be reported in a few years later that it was actually a wastewater site. Known carcinogens are also more concerning than potential health concerns or potential carcinogens of plastic bottles or food packaging.

    • Replies: @utu
  50. @songbird

    Not surprisingly, I would be extremely opposed to off shoring food production 0r using arable American land for more tract housing.
    I wholeheartedly agree about the vulnerabilities of a (more) off site food production system. It would be a step even further in the wrong direction.

    It rather parallels the same thought process that sold NAFTA to both US and Mexicans.
    Mexicans never really got the wage parity and great jobs that they were promised in Mexico, but the small scale corn farmers got decimated when the border was opened up to cheap US subsidized corn imports. This in turn drives collapse of rural economies and economic migration…to our very own El Norte where they can be used as pawns to depress the wages of American workers.

    https://thecounter.org/border-crisis-immigration-mexican-corn-nafta/
    This article ties it together pretty succinctly.

    Curiously, the only folks that get screwed over in this arrangement are the workers and the small farmers. The big guys make out just fine, as it was designed to deliver, naturally.
    It’s important to remember that NAFTA was just as disruptive to Mexicans culturally and economically as Americans.

    • Thanks: songbird
  51. @Pericles

    There’s a center-right German intellectual who I like quite a bit, named Gunnar Heinsohn. His latest analysis is available online. He has strong attention to detail but weak artistic skills, hence his graphs and charts are pretty messy and incoherent (typical German). But his core numbers are persuasive and strongly argued.

    I think the most important table is probably this one:

    (A full-sized image can be viewed here).

    A naïve extrapolation would indeed give a 40X difference in raw absolute math aces between China and the US, but this is unlikely. Chinese fertility is likely lower than reported. China also selects its best provinces while the weakest students (offspring of those without Hukou permits) are not tested. Nevertheless, if we put their per capita performance closer to Japan and adjust for lower fertility, you still get a 10 million number compared to barely 1 million for the US of top math aces.

    Mathematics is the queen of sciences, after all. The US position is stronger than the table indicates, given US being the net emigration destination for most of the world’s talent, but I don’t think they can bridge such a chasm.

    I counted all the European countries (ex Russia) and came out to 2.5 million people. America barely has 1 million math aces under the age of 15. This is the central Achilles’ heel of Europe. The talent is there, in fact more than twice as many as in USA, but it divided among too many countries, thus missing the crucial network effects. On top of just plain lower wages, leading to persistent brain drain.

    So when I hear about China going to 700 million by the end of this century, I just roll my eyes. What matters is what proportion of the top talent in the world that you have and China will have, and already has, a very large fraction of them. The key problem in China has been putting all those brains to good use. That was missing for most of the 20th and 19th centuries. It isn’t a problem now.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @Oscar C.
  52. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Drop in sperm count grows with popularity of oral and anal sex. The sperm just gets discourage as it finds it futile to be fertile.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  53. Pericles says:
    @Thulean Friend

    I wonder how many of the ‘brightest math 15 y/o’ in the US are ethnically Chinese? The US math olympiad teams of recent years tend to look that way, at least. See the slides for some examples.

    The slides were also interesting in another respect: I’m a lot more pessimistic than Heinsohn about his ‘western fortresses of competence’. Our experiences with these are mixed or bad, IMO. Any functioning fixes will instead have to be made internally.

  54. @sher singh

    Not sure what you mean by that… They US has sponsored coups – or invasions – or interfered in elections – in every single one of those countries since the 1950’s (Caribbean and Latin America). Many a right wing dictator or faux democratic ruler was propped up…. But in the past 20 years the tides have been turning. Even a coup in Nicaragua failed a couple of years ago… less famous than the attempt in Venezuela. But the people shrugged it off. And personally I never thought Chile would remain in the US orbit for the rest of my days… But that has just changed.

    But that was indeed an interesting video you posted…

    • Thanks: sher singh
  55. @songbird

    Not sure… But little by little Uruguay has been moving in it’s own direction. In fact it’s even upsetting Brazil and Argentina right now because they are negotiating an FTA with China on their own – and not part of Mercosur

    https://en.mercopress.com/2021/09/08/uruguay-brokers-one-on-one-free-trade-deal-with-china-hoping-it-will-not-affect-mercosur

    • Thanks: songbird
  56. @A123

    You are certainly correct that the American farming system would be difficult to turn around. It took decades of concerted effort to get to where it is and would require concerted effort to turn round.

    As I mentioned earlier, the centralizing push was concerted since the early 70’s and “Get big or get out!” Ag secretary Earl Butz. This has resulted in food producers who are inflexible, completely dependent on the banks and government, and trapped in a cycle of increasing their scale of production to desperately reach some level of security which never appears.

    This has absolutely destroyed the traditional rural backbone of America. 20 small farms make a town. 1 mega farm does not. The anti-social aspects of industry and agriculture consolidation are hard to overestimate and have done much to hollow out conservative America. Besides, I can tell you that farm kids are not going to be too susceptible to trans messaging and other liberal madness. Conservatism is rightfully based in reality, which must involve a connection to the natural world. The collapse of rural life and the rise in adoption of liberalism by the masses hardly seems unrelated. We have a world increasingly unmoored from any reality.

    I actually dispute the idea that industrial farming techniques are always more efficient than more traditional ones. It often depends on one’s metric of “efficiency”. For example, industrial meat production is a very grain heavy process, where corn and soy (grown on prime rich soil) get fed to animals in managed containment conditions.

    In the shift to industrial agriculture a corner of the country like mine has become abandoned. We don’t have much of the rich soil to grow corn or soy. What we can grow well is grass, and indeed the area was rich with independent sheep farmers and dairies until the post-WW2 shift.

    Cows and sheep have been blessed with rumens, those miraculous stomachs capable of turning grass and other roughage, which has no food use to humans at all, into meat and milk. However, in our constant quest for “mechanized efficiency” we would rather use our best land to feed animals and let our land suited for animals lie fallow.

    You are correct that the middle men are a massive amount of the issue. The dairy farmers that I know are virtual slaves to the milk coops who can dictate terms since a virtual monopoly exists.

    The dairy of the past could market directly to it’s community, banking on the evident quality of the product. Some farms would advertise that they kept Jersey or Guernsey cows for thick rich cream which the customer could clearly see. Modern milk is a commodity, one which the farmer has no ability to sell independently or set the price on. The middle men ought to be minimized.

    I agree with your point that food price hikes are hardest on the poor. There are a number of different ways to approach this. However, I don’t think there are as many poor as poor in spirit in this country. When I see families (term used loosely) with four wheelers, nicer cars than me, the newest smartphones with data plans etc., yet receiving food stamps, HEAP etc. I suspect that our metric of poor has become skewed. I don’t think it would hurt a lot of those folks to pay more for better food which supports a local community member. People could also garden more, especially poor people. A substantial amount of vegetable production used to happen in backyards, which is healthy and pro-social.

    Food as a percentage of total budget is as low as it’s ever been in human history, which is not sustainable when the farmers can’t make a living.

    My guess on where this is heading is that as the older farmer age out, which is rapidly happening, the younger generation will be unwilling or unable to make a smart of it. Increasingly larger scale agricultural land ownership and management will consolidate American agriculture ownership in a smaller and smaller pool of mega owners, such as Bill Gates is doing with his 242,000 acres ag holdings.

    • Thanks: sher singh
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  57. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    So Mr Hack buying food imported from Germany is not a bad idea at all.

    The higher end grocery stores in the US are of utmost quality. Especially smaller, local co-op type stores. They will mostly carry locally produced, very clean (non-GMO, no hormone, no corn syrup, organic, etc), often times family farm sourced, nicely packaged items, in a great variety. Including meat and seafood, good wines (both local and imported), higher quality supplements and cosmetics. But they will be a bit pricey. The way to go about this is to buy a smaller amount of higher quality items (they may be lower calorie and lower sugar content and more nutritionally dense at the same time). Unless you have a big family, ofc, but even then you can buy a lot of the produce, bulk staples at the co-op and maybe meat somewhere else. More commonly than in Europe, you can buy a lot of stuff in bulk, such as nuts, cereal, all types of exotic spices, teas, etc. So Mr Hack has nothing to worry about. 🙂 Of course, these shops also carry imported items, like German and French cosmetics, wine. Although American wine is the same quality but cheaper.

    And, of course, there is the same class delineation between the higher end stores and regular stores, which is just reality. There’s no need to trash the lower end stores, ofc, one just has to be more careful picking items there (read the contents).

    • Disagree: utu, Yevardian
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Dmitry
    , @AP
  58. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Barbarossa

    How corrupt is its US counterpart, seeing that America spends more than the next 7 leading countries in defense spending combined?

    • Replies: @Barbarossa
  59. Mikhail says: • Website
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    Numerous quality folks out there.

  60. @Barbarossa

    In the UK, the 20 dairy cows that delivered a decent living in the early 1970’s were heavily subsidised even than. The subsidy went tothe farmer so kept the smaller farmers going. Inside the EU, the subsidy moved to the product. Thanks to overproduction, the subsidy was cut. Smaller farms were squeezed. Now as you say, 100’s of cows aer needed.

    Meanwhile in Russia, 2000 milk cows and maybe 5000 animals are considered a minimum farm size. I talk to farms with 20,000 milkers. They are not for the Russian market but India, Thailand and China. Milk quality from Russian owned farms is still poor. Low levels of solids. Not much good for cheese.

  61. @Yevardian

    The British Tories have a green streak. Maggie Thatcher set up the Montreal Protocol, drove the IPCC into existence and put a moratorium on nuclear power. Johnson and his present wife have just promoted COP26 on climate change with vigour. Environmentalism is quite selfish. It is about self preservation, not the social good.

  62. @Thulean Friend

    Just for the record – I think western media got it confused about 2027 for the lunar base. What China said was that they would be working between 2022 and 2027 with Russia on how they will go about the lunar base and other space issues (I assume the Chinese space station that is currently being put into full usage). it is a China and Russia joint project… it doesn’t appear they were saying 2027. I think they are still shooting for 2030+

  63. @Pericles

    Yeah western Europe is basically only growing because of immigrants (Eastern Europe is in decline overall). The white population is going into decline in much of Europe…. I’m not sure why anyone thought the US would be different. Likewise Japan is declining – with South Korea not far behind (they are below replacement)…. China is heading that way (Chinese in Taiwan – Singapore – Hong Kong were already below replacement)….

    • Replies: @Pericles
  64. Mikhail says: • Website

    Re: https://www.trtworld.com/europe/russia-faces-backlash-over-closure-of-prominent-rights-group-memorial-53102

    Via Twitter, Karlin has been good at busting on the BS concerning Memorial’s status:

  65. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    also they sell a lot of cheaper ALDI knock-offs instead of more expensive brand articles

    Brand names have lost a lot of their prestige in my eyes, with globohomo, and so I feel an odd convergence with the Left, where they used to be saying stuff like CocaCola is bad because they are trying to buy up all the clean water in Africa and sell it to Africans, and I didn’t really care about it. Frankly, I prefer store brands now.

    What is interesting with supermarkets is that sometimes the lower end ones pay their workers the most.

    Don’t know much about Aldis specifically, but in America, in my little experience with it, the main detraction seems to be that they have big crowds and relatively few cashiers. I once saw evidence that rats had gnawed on a bag of flour, but I think that is pretty par for the course with supermarkets in general, in some locations – though most people wouldn’t like to think so.

  66. Yevardian says:
    @Dmitry

    When you explain it like that, you have a very good point, and it does certainly reflect how the vast majority of everyday people actually experience and view the world. But that’s easy to forget for most of us nerds and autistes (including our benevolent overlord himself?) commenting here, who naturally prefer to see everything in terms of abstractions and systems.
    But we do have a few bigbrains such as A123 who interpret politics et all in an extremely personalised manner, so it’s not all one-sided.

    Bezos’ mother understands Amazon intuitively, if she remembers cleaning after her son as a child.

    Ok, but you can take this too far, that applies to understanding a man’s (and by extension, their company) drives and goals, but it doesn’t do much at all to explain the means, which is arguably more important.

    Since we’re on the topic of personalities, alongside extremely vain businesspeople or politicians that revel in the media spotlight (somewhat like a pig in a trough), there must also be many equally (or more) influential/powerful figures that the world simply never hears about, since they prefer to keep a low profile.

    Of course, politicians by definition are public and media-focused figures, but I wonder if anyone could point out businesspeople with personal convinctions that greatly affect the world we live in. I’d like to say there a probably dozens of private-minded Chinese billionaires or party-functionaries in this category, but that’s more likely due to our own ignorance about the country.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  67. songbird says:
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    IIRC, there were a couple of unexpected events with astronauts, where I don’t think that a diversity hire would have cut it. For example, on one lunar mission, there was some knob that they were supposed to turn, and it broke off, with only seconds to spare until liftoff. (maybe solved with digital controls?)
    ____
    It was funny when they made Sulu gay. I mean, obviously it was politics. But, the more I think of it now, he probably would be less gay in the Mirrorverse.

  68. @Mikhail

    Clearly there is no comparison in terms of total scope or scale. I was referring more what Philip Owen said as per the Russian army being the most corrupt institution in Russia.

    I would assume that military spending is somewhat universally among the more unaccountable and corrupt national expenditures due to it’s status as a political “sacred cow”.

    Don’t worry, if America spends as much as the next 7 combined, I’ll bet we can throw money away on pointless boondoggles more than the next 17 combined. The Pentagon is working hard to make certain that those Ruskies will never come close to closing the critical Pissing Money Away Gap!

  69. Yevardian says:
    @utu

    That sounds a bit puritan. I’m fairly confident that these practices (you seem to be implying yourself to be above such.. perversions) were as popular (if not moreso) in the past, due to reliable contraception not being available. And speaking of ‘futile emissions’, that sort of thing most be absolutely negligible when merely comparing to the epidemic levels of westoid inceldom, combined with the omnipresent ubiquity of free HD internet pornography, now accessible to any child with a ‘smartphone’, where practically anything can be found with a few illiterate fingertaps.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
  70. @Philip Owen

    I agree, it looks like a deeply desperate shot.

    What I don’t don’t get is why in the hell one would ditch your wife with whom you’ve had 4 kids, to take up with an overripe trollop who looks like shes had a couple too many plastic surgeries?! That’s just stupid, sad, and demonstrates poor taste. I honestly think that Bezo’s ex is better looking than his current tart.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @Showmethereal
  71. Derer says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Socialism and communism as economic systems appear to be dead.

    For some reason you forgot about 2009 one trillion “socialist” bailout of corrupt crony capitalists. Taxpayers paid twice to corporate bums. That just tells you who controls the government.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  72. Yevardian says:
    @Barbarossa

    Ok, since Dmitri and ‘Thulean’ Friend opened this can of worms, maybe the expert gossips could point out really powerful world leaders or prominent tycoons who do have demonstrated good taste (this naturally excludes Bibi, Bojo, Macron, Musk etc), without getting divorced (this excludes Sarkozy, Putin), in this regard?
    It’s definitely harder than it first appears.

    Also got me thinking about the practically co-ruling ‘power-couples’ of history, e.g. the Ceaușescus, the Perons, Akhenaton & Nefertiti, Justinian & Theodora, Ferdinand & Isabella, Catherine & the entire Russian officer corps, and so on.

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @Yahya
  73. LatW says:
    @Yevardian

    point out really powerful world leaders or prominent tycoons who do have demonstrated good taste

    Emperor Akihito & Empress Michiko.

  74. Dmitry says:

    Tesla increased its deliveries far more than expected. Its stock is going to open really high in the New York stock exchange (Monday) now, after the recording breaking deliveries, and likely climb over the week.

    Even I’m aware that the stocks are objectively overpriced. But this is a question of group psychology in the short run and these kinds of headlines cause a rapid climb if temporarily. It’s inevitable that the stock will rapidly climb in New York this week.

    It is funny to see watch how it pay for a few bottles of wine every time it happens after it dips, without condoning this.

    As for Tesla’s achievements (independently of its overpriced stocks). Factories do not open yet in Berlin and Texas, and yet they are already above a million cars a year production rates. It is following the optimistic scenario. I remember posting graphs on this forum almost 4 years ago, when they were producing the first 20,000 Model 3 cars.

    Tesla delivered 936,172 electric vehicles in 2021, with the fourth-quarter setting a new record

    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/02/tesla-tsla-q4-2021-vehicle-delivery-and-production-numbers.html

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  75. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    extremely vain businesspeople or politicians that revel in the media spotlight

    Lol well what about Emin? This “musical genius” responsible for building a lot of Moscow and creating some of the more funny parts of the Trump Russia conspiracy theory.

    Here is some of banal reality which underlies our grand talks about politics. Aliev’s son in law that builds New Moscow, wanted to make really bad music videos with Trump and sent to Trump’s hotel room prostitutes. Some years later, this will enter somekind of world mythology.

    This is when he made this video with Trump.

    low profile.. businesspeople with personal convinctions that greatly affect the world we live in

    Much of the wealthy and important people in Russia are quiet really and behave like cuttlefish. They are the people who mainly control politics, but much of their activities are not very publicized to the ordinary people.

    One of the “weird” or “suspicious” behaviors were doing is moving money outside Russia before 2014, so they are insulated from the devaluation, which was not fairly publicized to the ordinary people.

    I should have been so suspicious already a decade ago. Because I know a rich person and a decade ago, buying a coffee in the cafe, was with a Deutsche Bank card given by parents. That’s even small bank accounts for daily transactions are given to the children, have to be from a different country.

    Yet in the public media there was no talking about this. I guess you either knew this stuff or not and it should just seem obvious. Myself “not”, as a naive middle class person, category unfortunately.

    probably dozens of private-minded Chinese billionaires or party-functionaries in this category

    There was an interesting documentary on YouTube I posted before here in a different context, about the “migration” of some of the ruling class children to Canada (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZs2i3Bpxx4.) You can also see a lot of those people in London.

    Probably their activities, will probably not be too publicized in local media. As the local people are usually only shown a part of the activity. Canadians only see a very small part of it, and China’s public only another part. A “whole cycle” of their activity is more difficult for people to see.

  76. songbird says:

    What to make of this idea that Neanderthals were burning forests?
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2302065-neanderthals-may-have-cleared-a-european-forest-with-fire-or-tools/

    One of the wilder theories is that they were practicing an early form of agriculture.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  77. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    Why do utu and Yevardian disagree with LatW?

    • Agree: Barbarossa
    • Replies: @LatW
  78. AP says:
    @Thulean Friend

    His biography (publicly available) is that he was a junior Soviet military officer from a second tier military academy, who in the early 90s left for the USA and worked as a tutor for smart kids (someone his age should have done better in life, this doesn’t speak well for him). He is useful and interesting in the sense that not many actual Soviet military officers write and argue in English with people, so exposure to his POV is good. But take what he says with a big grain of salt and no need to idealize him.

    Commenter Twinkie easily bested him in a series of arguments about World War II.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Dmitry
  79. LatW says:
    @Mr. Hack

    They probably disagree that American wine is just as good as Italian or French.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  80. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    internally stable to me than the US

    It’s a predictable dynamic, as a result of the collapse of the USSR, American culture losing some of their sense of “cosmic role”.

    In the second half of the 20th century, a lot of their culture’s identity has been derived from their position in the Cold War.

    This is not just merger of cultural identity with capitalist ideology, but also some brutal aspects of capitalism could be accepted and sublimated with a sense of meaning into a clash of world civilization.

    When the Soviet Union is not longer pretending to act as a contrast or alternative, the sense of cosmic role of America is turning inwards, or lost in becoming a world culture.

    In Russia, is sadly now culturally on the trashheap of history, and only the authorities can robotically create fake acting, on non-important topics, as a vulgar form of opposition. Chinese culture unfortunately appears stillborn and doesn’t present sufficient contrast to stimulate the American culture sphere. My intuition is that Chinese culture will become much more productive by the middle of this century. But we might hope the Chinese will eventually contribute to culture at least like Japan.

    Perhaps it sounds funny, but the boycotted 1980s Olympic might be seen one day, as the premonitory goodbye for this 20th century “Agon”. Some symbolic moment of the world spirit, when people were suddenly expressing sadness as they were singing goodbye to the Olympic bear who flew away from Moscow, goes back to hide in the forest, and did not return.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Philip Owen
  81. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    I’m no wine connoisseur and generally try to buy a bottle in the \$10 range. I’ve come across a California wine company called Apothic, that puts out some interesting red wines that you can still find at around \$9/bottle. Last night I tried their cabernet sauvignon that was quite drinkable, IMHO. Others that I’ve tried in the past were pretty good too. I haven’t tried any of their white wines. They seem to be marketing towards a hipster and gay clientele, although they’ve captured my interest too. The regular website price for their wines is \$11 although you can find it at around \$8 -\$9 here in Phoenixland. Have you tried their output?

    https://www.apothic.com/

    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @LatW
  82. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Martyanov’s background and content are qualitatively better than the Moscow based Pavel Felgenhauer. For the purpose of having someone with more agreeable Western mass media/Western mass media influenced spin, Felgenhauer is the one typically getting airtime, unlike Martyanov and Mark Sleboda.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Aedib
  83. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    He was a very interesting commentator because he actually knows a lot of culture and literature. He walking all these books and writers he read, which very few other people have read those things or that quantity of literature. His political views were pretty crazy and bizarre, but that is true for many people even not his age. I didn’t realize he was quite so old though. Deserves some more respect from the netizens if just for his age alone. But then he was often writing angry and aggressively with political views, that is not where he senses much of what is really happening.

    It would prefer to read him, if he was writing more about literature or culture. Or about his first person experiences.

    • Replies: @AP
  84. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    I’m not totally following you here, Dmitry. I think that you had imbibed a little too much bubbly the night before? What you’re stating though sounds quite interesting about the upper class German kids
    though…Happy New Year!

    • Replies: @songbird
  85. LatW says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Have you tried their output?

    Yes, I’ve tried their red once or twice. Frankly, what stands out about this brand is their logo, it’s a little bit intense. One that I like and can recommend is Chateau St Michelle, they have a lot of wines in that price range but also more expensive ones. What is interesting, is that some New World grapes are actually grown in basalt soil.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
  86. Pericles says:
    @showmethereal

    Yeah, to take a close example, Sweden now has a population of about 10 million … but at least 2 million of those are non-Swedes. It’s difficult to be more precise because, for some reason, ethnical statistics are not tracked very carefully or at all.

    We also have France and Belgium in fairly deep demographic trouble, and, while I can’t recall the specifics at the moment, likely the UK too. There are presumably more but just those taken alone is pretty bad.

    • Thanks: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @sher singh
  87. @Dmitry

    It is still dwarfed by traditional (not just gasoline but also EV-building) automakers

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  88. @Derer

    corporate socialism is the opposite of socialism.

  89. @Svidomyatheart

    The rules for immigration from HK is loose enough.

  90. @Yellowface Anon

    It is still dwarfed by traditional (not just gasoline but also EV-building) automakers

    It’s an interesting situation. Tesla has larger market capitalization than the next 9 biggest automakers combined. So now that Tesla’s production rates starts increasing towards millions per year, is their market cap going to keep ballooning?

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  91. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Most educated Russians over 45 are well read. It was one of the few good features of the Soviet system. I remember fondly, back in the 90s, observing the people reading literature on the Moscow metro. Over time it devolved to trash books and finally phones.

    At a party back then my wife was once surprised to find an American with whom she could have an intelligent discussion of Latin American literature. Then the mystery was solved – the guy was a professor of that subject.

    So Martyianov is just a Russian guy over 45 who happens to have had a brief and mediocre (low rank) career in the Soviet military in his youth, who also writes in English and is willing to share his views with people who otherwise would never have encountered and interacted with a Soviet officer.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Philip Owen
  92. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    apotheca:

    “In ancient Greece and Rome, a storeroom of any kind, but esp. one for storing wine.”

    Intense name? Their wines do have an element of intenseness to them. I do think the correct term would be “fruit forward”. But I do like a wine where you can actually taste the grape from which it’s made from, the “tannins”, “coffee” “leathery” and “peppery” profiles are interesting, but less important to me. I’ll keep an eye out for the output of Chateu St Michelle, thanks for the tip! Apotheca’s “claim to fame” appears to be their ability to blend and marry different wine profiles into one unique wine.

  93. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    apotheca:

    “In ancient Greece and Rome, a storeroom of any kind, but esp. one for storing wine.”

    Intense name? I think that the word’s association with a pharmacy came later. Their wines do have an element of intenseness to them. I do think the correct term would be “fruit forward”. But I do like a wine where you can actually taste the grape from which it’s made from, the “tannins”, “coffee” “leathery” and “peppery” profiles are interesting, but less important to me. I’ll keep an eye out for the output of Chateu St Michelle, thanks for the tip! Apotheca’s “claim to fame” appears to be their ability to blend and marry different wine profiles together into one unique wine. I’ve tried their “red”, their “crush” :”black”and now their cabernet sauvignon, and they all seem to have an intenseness and I would say a richness to the taste that doesn’t inspire me to drink more than two glasses. I think that this is good. 🙂

    • Replies: @LatW
  94. AP says:
    @Mikhail

    I’m not familiar with Felgenhauer, but you are probably correct because Felgenhauer is popular with Americans and Americans are about as objective and accurate when they describe Russia, as Russian sources are when describing Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Aedib
  95. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Or Kiev regime/pro-Kiev regime sources describing Russia.

    • Replies: @AP
  96. Mikhail says: • Website

    How inaccurate is this Russian based source, who has roots on the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR?

    American neocons and some others downplay that Israel protested the above mentioned demonstration, in addition to voting for a Russian proposed UN General Assembly resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism. The US and Kiev regime were the only two voting against that resolution.

    Regarding what the BBC prefers to concentrate on:

    https://www.rt.com/russia/545020-uk-funding-influence-meddling-leak/

  97. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Felgenhauer is a biologist pretending to be an “expert on Russian military affairs” which predicted that Russia would be defeated in war against Georgia’s “NATO trained quite good military”. After the Russian army managed to defeat the Georgians in five days, he started to write some strange conspiracy theories to “explain” his wrong predictions. His predictions about the Donbass war were also systematically wrong.
    He just write pieces of wishful thinking for the Westerner audience that love reading about how bad the Russian military is. He also got furious several times when some commenters (probably Russians) on his articles ridiculed himself by remembering his consistently wrong predictions.

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

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @AP
  98. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Aedib

    A continued favorite nonetheless:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Pavel+Felgenhauer%22&source=lnms&tbm=nws&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2mYGK9pX1AhUul4kEHbEuA_0Q_AUoAXoECAIQAw&biw=1024&bih=643&dpr=1

    https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Pavel+Felgenhauer%22&tbm=vid&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiJq-eL9pX1AhVwkIkEHWUyDjgQ_AUoA3oECAEQBQ&biw=1024&bih=643&dpr=1

    CGTN has had its hare of anti-Russian leaning folks getting coddled treatment. This probably has a good deal to do with the Chinese higher ups not fully knowing what’s going on, while giving too much influence to Western mass media influenced folks – some of them transplanted from Western mass media.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  99. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    My intuition is that Chinese culture will become much more productive by the middle of this century. But we might hope the Chinese will eventually contribute to culture at least like Japan.

    Don’t know how common it is, but I’ve heard that some talented Japanese are beginning to jump ship to China because of stagnant wages and long hours – for instance, in anime.

    IMO, it is an interesting question, when most Americans will begin to feel like they are overshadowed by China and what will cause them to feel this way. Right now, short of some major change, it don’t think they will feel that way by watching Chinese movies, even though Hollywood ones are quite bad.

    Winning a race to the Moon would seem like the possibly easy way to do it. What will happen, if it doesn’t come easily? Maybe, war.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @Dmitry
  100. Yahya says:
    @Yevardian

    Ok, since Dmitri and ‘Thulean’ Friend opened this can of worms, maybe the expert gossips could point out really powerful world leaders or prominent tycoons who do have demonstrated good taste (this naturally excludes Bibi, Bojo, Macron, Musk etc), without getting divorced (this excludes Sarkozy, Putin), in this regard? It’s definitely harder than it first appears.

    I’d say both Bashar Al-Assad and King Abdullah of Jordan did a good job in the marital sphere.

    Queen Rania of Jordan. Business graduate of the American University in Cairo (AUC). Jordanian of Palestinian origin. Sunni Muslim. Married to Abdullah II of Jordan since 1993.

    Asma Al-Assad of Syria. Graduate of King’s College London with first-class honors in Computer Science and French literature. Sunni Muslim of Syrian origin. Speaks Enligh, Arabic, French and Spanish. Married to Bashar since 2000.

    In terms of looks, i’d say its a 2-way tie between the two. Frau Assad seems a bit more intelligent than Queen Rania.

    • Replies: @AP
  101. Aedib says:
    @Mikhail

    I’m sorry but I will not waste my time reading his rants. He seems too afraid about the prospect of a real Russian-Ukrainian war erasing his wishful based “analysis”.

    • Agree: Mikhail
  102. songbird says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I was once in the house of the mayor of a major German city, hanging out with his teenage daughter and her female friends, but I think they were only upper middle class, so Dmitry has me beat.

  103. AP says:
    @Mikhail

    Yes, those aren’t very objective either. Though no worse than what Russians claim about Ukrainian events.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  104. AP says:
    @Aedib

    I just looked through Google and Twitter. FWIW Felgenhauer claimed that Trump was Putin’s puppet, that Russia was poised to invade Turkey in 2016, and that Russia he made a decision to occupy Ukraine’s South in May 2021. Haven’t read what he has to say right now, and don’t watch videos.

    Came across this from 2019: “Pavel Felgenhauer on the shipment of Russia’s troubled new 40N6 missiles to China that was mysteriously “destroyed” by a storm: “Sinkings were a classic Soviet way of writing off defective equipment & parts. I signed such documents myself”

    Was he once involved in the Soviet defence industry?

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @Mikhail
  105. AP says:
    @Yahya

    Asma is far more attractive IMO. I saw her husband’s hacked e-mails – they are a very endearing couple. I wish them well.

  106. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    But the full-on denial of climate change a lot of right-wingers have adopted is counter-productive.

    I’m a skeptic. But putting that aside, it is hard to see the benefit of giving ground.

    They seem to be saying stuff like, “The equatorial zone will become uninhabitable, so we will need to accept hundreds of millions of Africans and Arabs, starting now. And you must begin eating bugs.”

    If they instead said, “We want your support for nuclear energy, in order to save the world. We are sorry about trying to drown you with Third Worlders and trying to turn everyone gay. To show our contrition, we are willing to deport all of the people you deem undesirable, starting with ourselves.” Then my ears would really perk up.

    • Agree: A123
    • LOL: sher singh, Emil Nikola Richard
    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @Beckow
    , @A123
  107. @Barbarossa

    Yeah she looks like shes had too much surgery and had sex with probably 50 too many men.. But if he was just Jeff the mailman – he probably wouldn’t make it into her next dozen or so count.. The poor guy is losing it..

  108. @Shortsword

    Yeah their stock price is completely ridiculous and are not based on any real market realities. It is basically based on Elong Musk as a sales person. Yes in some ways they have first mover advantage… But its not that much of an advantage…. The incumbents will be ramping up production more and more – meanwhile other startups sales are growing quickly too. Teslas market share is already being reduced and they will be squeezed more from both ends. There is no fundamental basis for their stock price to be where it is…

  109. @songbird

    It’s more like basic anime production like art being outsourced to China and South Korea, and direction staying in Japan. No one in the Japanese production team moving there, and probably some artists in Japan are thrown out of work.

    • Replies: @songbird
  110. @songbird

    Bug or lab-grown meat-eating is about caste, not anything environment or resource-conservational. It’s ultimately about assigning an aesthetically inferior option to the lower castes and reserving meat to the upper castes. In Archeofuturism, the peasants get to grow their meat and the city-dwellers eats industrial agricultural food, including bug feed, and this is why what the WEF wants is the spitting image of Archeofuturism. Which is to say, the horseshoe.

    I think you rank these two more pressing political subjects than the climate, but what do race and Globohomo have to do with the climate?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  111. Aedib says:
    @AP

    AFAIK, S-400 sold to China lack the 40N6 missile. He’s basically a liar.

    • Thanks: AP
  112. Beckow says:
    @songbird

    ….sorry about trying to drown you with Third Worlders and trying to turn everyone gay. To show our contrition…

    The liberals’ whole-existence is contrition: they are sorry, sorry for the good things they have and the things their ancestors did to assure the good things. But, as weak individuals that they are, they want to keep their own good stuff and give away others’ stuff to make themselves feel better. No St.Francis here. It is a form of mental collapse: deep regrets combined with massive incompetence, in the past we would just run them out of a tribe.

    Currently the liberals are scared of heat (also cold, actually any weather event scares them), procreation (the classical type, the fakes titillate their weak fancies), large white men, Russkies of any kind (Ukies also scare them, they are too close), Orban and circulating viruses.

    The key to understanding the liberals is that they are narcissists who have come to despise their own biology – often for a good reason, just look at them, that Bezos for God’s sake, what the f..k is that, shiny velvet with a plastic burping bubble? The end-of-a-line came for them, they know it, they are just too scared to leave, yet.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @songbird
    , @LatW
  113. sher singh says:
    @Beckow

    I think it’s Germano-nords from the interior trying to push out Judeo-Puritans, all else is incidental.

  114. songbird says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Don’t know how reliable this is, but this article suggests that not only are Japanese animators moving to Japan, but China is now outsourcing to Japanese studios.

    https://otakuusamagazine.com/chinese-animation-projects-outsource-japan/

    what do race and Globohomo have to do with the climate?

    Nothing intrinsically, but nevertheless rhetoric strongly links migration to global warming. And migration is linked to the gayness (ex: some NGO specializes in importing gays to Canada), and ideology links them both to global warming. If you asked Greta what she thinks, is there any doubt about what she would say?

  115. AP says:
    @sher singh

    Austria-Hungary not looking too bad but
    PLC even better.

  116. Aedib says:
    @Mikhail

    Martyanov and The Saker belong to the team “We Russians are soooooooo powerful” which is a sort of mirror of the way bigger “We Americans are soooooooo powerful” team played by Stratfor, The Heritage Foundation, etc.
    While both “stronk teams” exercise in wishful thinking, they are basically inoffensive. The danger may arise if some politicians take decisions about the real world based in such a type of delusions. It seems to me that Russia is led by people with a ferocious and pragmatic realism but current USA no so. People like Kissinger are out of the last administrations.
    I recognize that Martyanov have knowledge about weapon systems while Saker sometimes seems to be out of the reality. Some technical analysis from Martyanov are very interesting but for geopolitical analysis I prefer people like Alexander Mercouris (pro-Russian bias but within the real world) rather than Saker.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  117. songbird says:
    @Beckow

    in the past we would just run them out of a tribe.

    i think a lot of modern discord and dysfunction comes from lack of exiling people. It used to be something that was done virtually everywhere. There are still groups who do it today, in improbable places, like the slums of Lagos.

    Too much money is put into prisons. Prisons mostly seem like an attempt to make the streets safer. They don’t seem to do much in the way of encouraging pro-social behavior. They seem to be based on the idea that people can be reformed. (doesn’t acknowledge rates of recidivism. ) In most cases, we would be better off writing them a check to accept exile.

  118. @sher singh

    Are gypsies really the third of all newborns in Bulgaria???

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  119. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    educated Russians over 45 are well read

    I remember he was saying he doesn’t like Solzhenitsyn, because Solzhenitsyn is copying of all these other 20th century writers in different ways. I don’t think I know anyone who has read Solzhenitsyn books, and definitely not all the authors who Solzhenitsyn had copied.

    He definitely knows far more of 20th century literature, than any normal people. This is not typical. He’s a kind of 20th century literature connoisseur. Unfortunately, I haven’t read enough 20th century literature to write anything on those threads, when he had suddenly seemed interesting (i.e. when he was not boasting excitedly about who has the largest missile).

    Martyanov is just a Russian guy over 45

    He is nothing typical for Russian, except I guess he was an ordinary dude.

    He looks around 70 or 75 years old, so he perhaps moved to the USA because of his children have dragged him there, and this could explain why he seems to hate the USA.

    His idealization of Russian politicians is only really possible for rational people, if you weren’t living in Russia for the last decades or something.

    It’s probably some kind of brutal geographic dislocation in the biography, which created his political views, not that they are interesting.

    He’s probably a person who is interesting to listen to on a thousand different topics. But of course, politics is not one, as he seemed to be very unclose to anything happens in Russia. It’s often that political views are the least interesting aspect of a person.

    • Replies: @siberiancat
    , @AP
  120. @songbird

    Hunter gatherers burn forest to increase the amount of pasture for grazing animals.

    • Replies: @songbird
  121. https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgecalhoun/2022/01/02/beijing-is-intentionally-underreporting-chinas-covid-death-rate-part-1/?sh=27c339f44352

    An interesting read. I’ve thought that the Chinese official numbers seem clearly implausible, despite what Ron Unz says about the Uber-Chinese Covid Response. Even factoring in anti-Chinese motivations in a Western outlet, I find their estimate far more plausible that the Chinese self reporting.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  122. @Dmitry

    Russia dominates children’s animation. Niroshka TV and Masha and the Bear are in the top 5 (last time I looked) most watched children’s films on You Tube. Masha has often held #2 position. If Russia had sense they would build on this with coproductions et al.

  123. @AP

    The view from the bottom can reveal more than the view from the fast track even if what you say is true. Things are made to work or not in the middle.

  124. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    He’s if my not mistaken 71, which would make him Soviet era draft material. I’m reminded of this Twilight Zone character:

    Felgenhauer is saying and doing all this in Moscow, without any apparent hassle (no Intel knocks on the door or legal restrictions put on him) from the authorities.

    He’s also a blowhard:

    http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7937&IBLOCK_ID=35

  125. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Felgy has gotten his share of play in the now defunct Kyiv Post.

  126. songbird says:
    @Philip Owen

    It is interesting to ponder whether they may have planted any trees, for pine nuts, acorns, and walnuts.

  127. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    China currently appears weak culturally.

    It should improve in the future. For example, as it’s known that much of students in elite art colleges in Western Europe and America, are from China. So China will have a lot more trained creative professionals in the future.

    However, even if they develop more skilled workers and higher incomes, it’s possible that the political system will prevent much of a cultural production.

    This can be like investments. If the country’s politicians can crush you when they like, there is a significant weight carrying down its cultural workers.

    In the USSR, there was among the most skilled creative professionals in the world, but there were limits for creativity, and then in postsoviet time hare have been many years of almost empty harvests. When there is a talented film director like Zvyagintsev, then the lowest cultural level politicians will be sure to try to disrupt him.

    Chinese movies, even though Hollywood ones are quite bad.

    A lot of Hollywood films have or were funded by China (or Chinese state vehicles) .

    For example, 25% of Paramount films, had been financed from China. After Baywatch (2017), they seemed to cancel this at least, so perhaps they try to stop wasting so much money on America, and focus on funding more domestic films. https://news.cgtn.com/news/3449544f34597a6333566d54/share.html

    • Replies: @songbird
  128. Mikel says:
    @German_reader

    the change in climate has been quite noticeable even over my lifetime

    The change in climate has been noticeable over the lifetimes of everyone born in the last ~170 years, provided they lived past 3-4 decades.

    The planet began warming at the end of the Little Ice Age, in the mid 19th century. Records are less reliable in those early times but there are lots of land stations and maritime observations (sea water temperature logs collected by ships during decades while they traversed shipping lanes all over the globe) since the 19th century and sometimes earlier. The consensus estimate (from the IPCC itself) is that from 1850 to 1945 the global atmosphere warmed at a rate comparable to that of the most recent decades (less than a factor of 2 of difference):

    But we don’t know why this initial global warming took place. In its initial reports the IPCC attributed this early warming mainly to solar influences. But we now have much more precise data taken by satellites of how much solar irradiance varies between cycles of high to low solar activity and we know that it is not enough to alter the temperature significantly (which is why direct solar explanations for the current warming have also been discarded). The latest scientific reports of the IPCC (Working Group I) don’t include any consensus explanation for this initial global warming.

    One other interesting aspect of that graph is that when the actual concentration of CO2 and other anthropogenic greenhouse gases began to really rise in the atmosphere after the end of WWII, as observed at the Mauna Loa long-term observatory, the global temperature went down until the mid 70s. The usual explanation for this paradox is that the cooling was produced by sulfates and other industrial aerosols but this is debatable. This type of aerosols are short-lived, they get removed of the atmosphere by rain in a matter of days or weeks so they mostly affect the source regions and those downwind of them. However, the Southern Hemisphere, where these aerosols were practically absent, also cooled down from the mid 40s to the late 60s. Moreover, a strong cooling effect of sulfates that could more than compensate for the warming effect of GHGs would mean that nowadays we would be seeing strong cooling in regions heavily affected by aerosols, such as China, but we don’t see that.

    The media coverage of the climate change problem is abysmal. Biased, alarmist and politicized like on any other subject. Attributing all sorts of weather phenomena, such as a spat of tornadoes, to climate change is asinine. The frequency and intensity of tornadoes in the US has actually decreased over the past century. But it is impossible to get this kind of scientific facts from the MSM. One has to go to specialized blogs or, ironically, to the IPCC reports themselves.

    In summary, there are good grounds to be rather skeptical of the climate catastrophism. But at the same, time, we know from physical first principles that increasing amounts of CO2 and other long-lived GHGs must necessarily lead to a warmer global temperature. The question is how much warmer, what the effects will be and how logical it is with our present knowledge to reduce our wealth in order to try and combat these possible effects.

    In the mid 2000s Roger Pielke, a more or less skeptical climate researcher, argued that climate science was not being conducted as a real scientific discipline and asked what kind of observation would disprove specific claims made by the anthropogenic global warming theory, as is customary in all hard sciences.

    [MORE]

    A very interesting debate took place on the internet, far away from the mainstream discourse, and both skeptic and mainstream scientists agreed that in 2001, in the IPCC Third Assessment Report, a specific prediction was made of a global warming of 0.2C/decade from that date until the 3rd decade of this century, independent of the emissions scenario. The IPCC numerical models, taking into account the direct effects of the GHGs and the thermal lag of the oceans, showed that this would be the warming in the next 3 decades, largely independent of how much more CO2 we emitted.

    It soon became apparent that the models were overestimating the actual observed warming. In fact, from 2001 to 2015 all observational records, both surface and satellite-based, showed little or no warming during half of the period established in the IPCC 2001 prediction. This even led to the 5th Assessment Report to acknowledge the existence of a pause in global warming.

    But things changed dramatically in 2015-2016. First, a Super-Niño episode took place those years that moved the trend upwards and second, a paper was published in the literature arguing that the ocean part of the surface-based observational studies had important errors and the past global temperatures needed to be corrected downwards. This made the trend become more positive again. As a consequence of this paper, all surface records were corrected and now exhibited a trend line basically in agreement with the IPCC predictions. One of the two main satellite records (RSS) was also modified for different reasons to cool down the past and all but one satellite-based record (UAH) right now show broad agreement with the 0.2C/decade warming prediction.

    The models-observations discrepancy was solved in the worst possible way, by correcting the observations rather than by making the theory conform to the observed facts. But this is what the state of climate science is at present. If the global temperature continues warming at ~0.2/decade during the following 10 years and no more corrections are made to the observations, I think that one could more or less trust that the models are capturing the essence of how the atmosphere works with the current forcings. Making a successful prediction of how the global temperature will evolve in a period of 3 decades is a tremendous feat. But if we have another pause the conclusion will obviously have to be that mainstream climate science is exaggerating the global warming problem, which is probably the case even if that specific prediction pans out. The “Climategate” papers showing how the IPCC used to work for its initial reports show a disturbing picture of corrupt peer-review practices and generalized politicization.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @utu
  129. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    American wine

    But if you like less famous grapes, it seems countries like Italy and France have a lot of specific ones.

    I’m not at all knowledgeable about wine. But I mean e.g. if you like some taste of a specific grape like “Greco Di Tufo”, then it seems you need to buy the Italian wine.

    They probably disagree that American wine is just as good as Italian or French.

    Lol Utu is definitely somekind of upper class connoisseur. And Yevardian is from Armenia, so probably fussy if they don’t sell orange wine in Whole Foods.

    Then there is AaronB who will start writing about “terroir” if he was here. But how much of AaronB’s income is wasted on tariffs for imported EU wine from Campagna or Loire Valley. And then Trump has added things like 25% tariff on Scottish whisky in the USA (25%!).

    Again I don’t know anything about wine. I did remember like some Californian brands for Merlot tastes different to the South American ones? However, my knowledge and sample far too small to say this is “terroir”.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @LatW
  130. @AP

    Yeah but Austria’s birth rate is 1.46 and Hungary is 1.49… Basically the whole region is below replacement…

    • Replies: @AP
  131. A123 says: • Website
    @songbird

    it is hard to see the benefit of giving ground.

    They seem to be saying stuff like, “The equatorial zone will become uninhabitable, so we will need to accept hundreds of millions of Africans and Arabs, starting now. And you must begin eating bugs.”

    Small Modular Reactors [SMR] and Thorium fuel are obvious, science driven, choices to produce vast amounts of cheap, reliable. zero carbon electricity.

    Leftoids are highly emotional acolytes to faith based dogma. Wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars solve nothing. However, they are highly visible symbols for virtue signaling.

    The last thing that Science Deniers want is a potentially effective solution. That would deprive them of the opportunity to be, “Pious In Their Prius“.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: songbird
  132. @Barbarossa

    So you think the parties in Wuhan while the west was being ravaged was fake??? No they weren’t. Outsiders have to quarantine for 2 weeks in a hotel… When clusters erupt in a city there is mass testing and SERIOUS contact tracing…. If you had contact – you have to quarantine… it’s not an option. Enough cases in a city – they go into lockdown. No – you can’t even go to the supermarket. The supermarkets go to each housing area and delivers food to the people in a controlled environment. Unless you have been there or speak to someone who actually lives there – you wouldn’t understand. To even get on a domestic long distance train – you have to show Covid results… No such thing exists for domestic planes and trains in the US.
    Now in terms of reported cases – there is a difference because China only reports symptomatic cases… But the death rate??? Nope… They really take it that serious.

    The death rate in Hong Kong and Singapore was similar… Until South Korea began to open up and follow the west – it’s death rate was similar as well. What about “Taiwan”??? There death rate is the same. So those US friends death rates are not questionable?? No – the answer is they all handled it very similarly (until recently).

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  133. @AP

    Austria-Hungary not looking too bad

    Exactly. And we all know it’s only going to improve from here.

    Oh wait.

  134. Aedib says:
    @AP

    The Carolingian empire is screwed.

    • Agree: AP
  135. https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/elizabeth-holmes-decision

    She is guilty on four of the counts after 6 days of jury deliberation. I wonder if Gwern will update his opinion that she could be back doing startups real soon now.

    Who gets a longer sentence? Holmes or Maxwell?

  136. utu says:
    @Mikel

    “but one satellite-based record (UAH)” – UAH product is controlled by two outliers not belonging to the consensus: Roy Spencer and John Christy. As long as Spencer and Christi are there I have some hope that satellite data won’t be tweaked.

    I have serious doubts about the homogenization process and other corrections of the data from the past. It really seems that some data in some places were pushed down to show greater temperature gradients: “Who controls the past controls the future.” Satellite data that are true global data exist only since the end of the 1970s.

    “The media coverage of the climate change problem is abysmal. ” – At some point BBC, NYT and other important media outlets decided that there would no longer be any dispute about global warming and thus only pro global warming stories – sometimes very idiotic – are reported. All kinds of scum scientists in peripheral sciences jumped on the global warming bandwagon realizing that is where the money is. The public is bombarded with nonsense of irrelevant and false stories.

    You are right that there is some integrity left in science as counterclaims are being investigated to some degree and if only their results were reported and popularized we would have more cool heads about the global warming. However my personal experience of people from NOAA, NCAR, NASA and DOE who work on climate and atmospheric science do no make me too hopeful that some meaningful coalition of more reasonable skeptics would emerge from among them. Reasonable skeptics are still purged like Judith Curry. But life for atmospheric science practitioner was never that good as it is now as long as you go with the flow. Acid rain and ozone hole were just a prelude. Now they got drunk on power and prestige. They are like nuclear scientists in 1950s who won WWII and had power to destroy the whole world and thought that nuclear science and energy would answer all questions which led to hubris like nuclear planes. Most people were not aware that nuclear power was just the steam age technology where you would burn uranium instead of coal.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @Philip Owen
  137. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    I think that the Soviet film industry was hampered a lot by economics, which is a problem that China has already circumvented, to a large degree. That leaves the political – the political priority seems to be to emphasize Chinese culture and domestic consumption, as China is still in a period of economic growth. By 2025 China is expected to have 100,000 screens. (US has 44,000), and the idea is to fill those seats. Though I think exports are a secondary goal – not unconsidered, but something not in focus, right now.

    And part of it is beyond political – learning the craft and learning to export.

    It should improve in the future.

    In a kind of subliminal sense, I suspect that it is improving now. For example, Netflix did buy the exclusive rights for The Wandering Earth (bad movie, IMO) for probably some millions. And they have bought other Chinese films.

    [MORE]
    And though, I think HK is long past its heyday, the Chinese have been learning a lot of lessons by working with HK people. The number of films with HK influence is at an all time high, and some of them are the bigger hits.

    A lot of Hollywood films have or were funded by China

    There’s a lot of foreign money that goes into Hollywood movies. In a certain way, I guess it is strange that we consider them “American” movies, even if Hollywood (using term broadly) itself is considered weird to a lot of Americans. Maybe, the fact that Chinese movies are starting from a Chinese base, might be a strategic strength?

    I was really shocked when Wanda bought the AMC theater chain. Seemed like a horrible waste of money. I suspect that it was built on past perceptions of prestige. It seems like a lot of Americans stopped going to the theaters. They have nowhere near the same amount of seats, as when I was a kid. In 2022, I don’t even know where the local theater is – the closest one closed down and became an Amazon warehouse.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  138. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    “Lol Utu is definitely some kind of upper class connoisseur. ” – Fuck off and Fuck no, I disagreed because LatW’s post was too Pollyannish about the special food stores, no GMO and so on in the US and too uncritical about the alleged importance of differences between foods in stores of class A and class B in terms of health impact.

    Yes, if he lives in Boulder, CO which was the epicenter of health food stores boom where the most important of them like Wild Oats were taken over by The Whole Foods (and I am dubious about TWF) I can see his position but I do not think that Boulder experience is scalable and I do not believe that you necessarily can trust local farmers or mom-and-pop stores and sometimes even less than big suppliers.

    I do not care about wines this way or another. Most I ever drunk I did not enjoy and most people who style themselves to be some kind of wine connoisseurs I see as people who are unaware of their own silliness and pretentiousness. The same goes for beer and whisky connoisseurs and the most ridiculous are vodka connoisseurs.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Dmitry
  139. songbird says:

    Were the Scythians proto-Ukrainians? Or did the Slavs kill them off, like in the Russian movie The Scythian (2018)?

    And should we believe Herodotus, when he says that they wove marijuana into clothing, as well as bathed in its smoke? Not to mention, had capes made out of the scalps of their enemies?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Emil Nikola Richard
  140. AP says:
    @showmethereal

    That’s not good, but it is better than a higher birthrate in which non-natives are 30%. Better one’s own country but with a smaller population, than another country.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  141. AP says:
    @LatW

    At the start of Covid we switched to Wholefoods because the public there was much more likely to be masked, and noticed an improved quality in seafood and meats versus the regular grocery store. However, neighborhood butchers and local East European ethnic stores are as good or better than Wholefoods at a much lower price.

  142. songbird says:

    Could AK claim Italian citizenship based on their definition of jus sanguinis?

    And shouldn’t it be considered a structural flaw of the EU, as it seems to open up the possibility than tens of millions of Mestizos could immigrate to Europe? (not counting the millions who have come already)

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @Dmitry
  143. @AP

    Oh – I see what you mean… The origin of it though was those who talk of “demographic collapse” being a detriment to some countries – while seeming to leave out others with the same predicament… But I get you.

  144. AP says:
    @songbird

    Scythians and their cousins the Sarmatians made a genetic contribution to the proto-Slavs and several Slavic words came from their languages, but they were a different people. I guess a rough analogy might be to the Norse influence and settlement among the Gaels, they were thoroughly assimilated and the language borrowings are so ancient they don’t feel like foreign borrowings. But they are a different people.

    https://www.quora.com/How-many-Norse-loanwords-do-you-find-in-Irish

    This occurred before the Slavs spread out from their original homeland in northern Ukraine/southern Belarus/eastern Poland, so all the Slavs are a little bit Scythian (and Sarmatian) though Ukrainians perhaps more than the others because they stayed in the original homeland and didn’t mix with others as they moved out (like Russians mixed with Finnic peoples, Czechs with Germans).

    Details of the influence of Scythian and Sarmatian Iranic languages on proto-Slavic are here:

    https://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopaedia-iranica-online/slavic-iranian-contacts-linguistic-relations-COM_336467

    [MORE]

    The consensus within the current state of research holds that Iranian- and Slavic-speaking peoples came into contact in the second half of the first millennium BCE in the transition zone between steppe and forest to the north of the Black Sea.The Scythian language of these Iranians is known only fragmentarily, from names quoted by Herodotus and other ancient Greek authors and inscriptions from the northern coast of the Black Sea (see SCYTHIAN LANGUAGE); it has also left its trace in numerous place names, most famously the rivers Danube, Dniester, Dnieper, and Don (Ancient Gk. Tánais), all containing PIr. (Proto-Iranian) *dānu- ‘river’ (cf. Oss. don). The Scythians were dispersed westward by the arrival of the Sarmatians, who dominated the steppe in the last centuries BCE and early centuries CE. Commercial and military contacts between Iranians and Slavs intensified during this period, as successive waves of peoples moving westward from Asia pushed the Sarmatians and then the Alans west and north into the proximity of the Slavs’ home territory.

    That the religious and cultural worldview of the Iranians influenced the early Slavs is demonstrated by Slavic lexical items with solid PIE etymologies, but whose meanings are otherwise restricted to Iranian (Jakobson; Kuryłowicz; Benveniste, 1967): PSl. (Proto-Slavic) *slava ‘word’ (OCSl. [Old Church Slavonic] slovo) < OIr. *sravah- ‘glory, renown; word’ (Av. sravah-; contrast Ved. (Vedic) śrávas-, Gk. kléos ‘glory’); *bagu ‘riches, richness; god’ (OCSl. bogŭ; cf. bog-atŭ ‘rich,’ u-bogŭ ‘poor’; later replaced in the sense “richness” by bogatĭstvo) < OIr. *baga- ‘fortune; god’ (Av. baga- ‘share, lot; god,’ Sogd. βɣ- ‘god’; contrast Ved. bhága- ‘abundance; allocation (with reference to gods)’); and probably also *dīvu ‘demon, evil spirit of wilderness’ (OCSl. divŭ; cf. Old Rus. díviĭ, BCSM divlji ‘wild,’ Cz. divý ‘wild, mad,’ Bulg. div ‘wild, feral’) < OIr. *daiva- (q.v.) ‘demon, daēvic being’ (Av. daēva-, OPers. daiva-; contrast Ved. devá-, Lith. diẽvas, Lat. deus, Old Irish día ‘god’) and *rāji ‘paradise’ (OCSl. rajĭ) Arm. bagin ‘altar’; Reczek, 1987). The opposition of *bagu and *dīvu, and particularly the semantic depreciation of the latter from “god” to “demon,” suggest that the Iranians with whom the early Slavs came into contact adhered to a “primitive” version of Mazdaean dualism (Gołąb, 1975). However, despite the claims of Jakobson and others, no names of pagan Slavic deities may be definitively identified as Iranian borrowings.

    Standing beside these religious borrowings or calques are potential examples related to social organization: PSl. *mīru ‘world, peace’ (OCSl. mirŭ; Old Rus. mirŭ ‘village community’) < PIr. *miθra- (Humbach, pp. 124-25); PSl. *gaspadi ‘lord’ (OCSl. gospodĭ) < Mid. Pers. *guspad < OIr. *wić-pati- (with the Middle Persian change of word-initial *wi-) or Mid. Ir. *gas(t)pad < OIr. *gasti-pati- (Szemerényi, pp. 384-86, with preference for the former; but gospodĭ could have been remodeled after svobodĭ ‘free’).Additional items with likely Iranian sources are OCSl. čaša ‘potḗrion,’ Rus. chásha ‘drinking glass, bowl,’ etc. < Ir. *čaša(ka)- (to the root of Mod. Pers. čašidan ‘taste’; cf. Skt. caṣaka- ‘cup, wine glass,’ Arm. čašak ‘drinking vessel’); Rus. sobáka ‘dog’ (also attested outside East Slavic in Pol. (dial.), Kashubian sobaka ‘lecherous man’), which despite doubts can hardly be separated from Av. spaka- ‘doglike,’ Median spáka ‘female dog’ (Herodotus); PSl. taparu ‘ax’ (OCSl. toporŭ, Rus. topór) < Mid. Ir. *tapara- (Mid. Pers. tabrak, Pers. tabar, cf. Arm. tapar; perhaps metathesized from the notorious Wanderwort attested in Oss. færæt, Khot. paḍa, Toch. B peret, A porat, Turk. balta, etc.; see Abaev, 1995, I, p. 451); and, among words beginning with x-, *xarnā ‘food, sustenance’ (OCSl. xrana, Bulg. khrana, BCSM hrana) < OIr. *xwarnah- (Av. xvarənah- ‘food, drink’; Reczek, 1968), *xvaru ‘sick’ (Rus. khvóryĭ ‘sickly,’ Pol. chory ‘sick’) < OIr. *xwara- (Av. xvara- ‘wound’), and perhaps the name of the Croats, *xŭrvatŭ, if from OIr. *(fšu-)harwatar- ‘pastoralist’ (cf. Av. pasuš.hauruua- ‘watching over sheep’; Vasmer, 1953-58, III, p. 261). Two words of Iranian origin which have spread far and wide beyond Slavic are *xumeli ‘hops’ (OCSl. xŭmelĭ, Rus. khmel’, Pol. chmiel) < OIr. *hauma-aryaka- ‘Aryan soma’ (Oss. xwymællæg, Digor xumællæg ‘hops’; also borrowed into Germanic, Finno-Ugric, and Turkic; see Abaev, 1995, IV, pp. 261-62) and OCSl. sapogŭ ‘hypódēma,’ Rus. sapóg ‘boot’ < Mid. Ir. *sapaga- ‘hoof’ (cf. Av. safa-, Oss. sæftæg), the source of Mong. sab, Manchu sabu ‘shoe’ (Vasmer, 1953-58, II, pp. 578).

    To the second period of Slavic-Iranian contacts belong specifically East Slavic lexical items of Iranian origin.Their number is modest, but three likely examples are Old Rus. íreĭ (also výreĭ, výraĭ) ‘a southern land to which birds of passage migrate, a fabled magical realm’ < OIr. *a(i)rya- ‘Aryan’ (cf. Av. airiia-, OPers. ariya-; Vasmer, 1913, pp. 176-77; idem. 1924, pp. 367 [1971, pp. 6, 172]), Rus. mórda ‘snout’ < OIr. *mr̥da- ‘head’ (cf. Av. kamərəδa- ‘head (daēvic),’ Skt. mūrdhán- ‘head, peak’), and Rus. Church Slavonic xoměstorŭ ‘hamster’ < Mid. Ir. *hamēstar- (cf. Av. hamaēstar- ‘the one who throws to the ground’).Other candidates are Rus. step’ ‘steppe,’ cf. Oss. t’æp’æn ‘flat, level’ (< PIr. *(s)tap-; Bailey, p. 87; Trubachev, p. 39); Rus. khoróshiĭ ‘good,’ cf. Oss. xorz (Digor xwarz, Alanic [Tzetzes] xas /xwarz/); and Ukr. kháta ‘hut,’ if from OIr. *kata- ‘room, chamber’ (Av. kata-; Trubachev, pp. 41).In contrast, the West Slavic Iranianisms claimed by Trubachev and others, including such common verbs as Pol. patrzeć, patrzyć ‘look (at),’ Cz. patřit ‘belong’; Pol. (dial.) szatrzyć ‘know, remember,’ Cz. šetřit ‘save, spare’; Pol. dbać, Cz. dbát ‘take care’; and the all-important title Pol. pan, Cz. pán (Old Cz. hpán) < PSl. *gŭpanŭ < OIr. *gu-pāna- ‘cowherd’ (cf. Av. pəšu.pāna- ‘bridge-guarding,’ CSogd. xwšp’ny < *fšu-pāna-ka- ‘shepherd,’ but why *gu- for OIr. *gau- ‘cow’?) must be regarded as extremely uncertain (for alternative etymologies, see the respective entries in Rejzek, Boryś) and how such influence of an Iranian variety on the western dialects of Slavic could be interpreted in historical terms is also far from obvious.

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

    Although the Slavs are partially Scythian/Sarmatian, the Ossetians are the last remaining "pure" speakers of that language.

    • Thanks: songbird
    • Replies: @songbird
  145. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    I didn’t mean for the conversation to veer towards just wine, it’s just your passive aggressive dig about how Mr Hack needs Aldi to eat clean kind of triggered me. 🙂 You’re really good at that. 🙂 When you said Mr Hack needs European stores with EU regulations to be protected and healthy it sounded a bit like when Andrei Martyanov said he won’t be buying German cars because they are “over engineered and overpriced”.

    High end grocery stores, especially the co-ops, are better than anything in Europe and Europe will probably never have anything of that quality or variety. And European stores, including in EE, are great. Btw, it’s good that the EU has those protective regulations. But in the US it’s less regulated (although I doubt it it’s the case with food), but people get to choose themselves what’s good for them or not. This is why religion was traditionally more important in the US, because religion helps you make more “healthy” lifestyle choices. You’re independent but still constrained by religion. Anyway, nowadays it’s a class thing. But it can make a difference, for instance, there is less sugar in the peanut butter and jelly that’s sold at the high end store vs the regular store. Over the long term, this can make a difference in your child’s weight.

    If Aldi is really as cheap as they say, then it speaks very well for Germany… not surprising as Germany is known for its cheap but good quality food, clothing and rents. When you take care of your population like that, that’s a sign of real wealth.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  146. LatW says:
    @Beckow

    Russkies of any kind (Ukies also scare them, they are too close)

    In a recent, rather depressing article on Ukraine Niall Ferguson speculated:

    “The Ukrainians not unreasonably complain that Romania and Bulgaria scarcely met all these [Copenhagen] criteria in 2006 (the year before they became EU members), to say nothing of 2000, when negotiations began. The fact that a current EU member — Hungary — today ranks not far above Ukraine in the Freedom House rankings of political freedom is also not lost on the Ukrainians.

    However, this is just an additional reason for EU foot-dragging [on supporting Ukraine’s accession]. So unpopular is Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Brussels these days that many European leaders and officials worry that admitting Ukraine would add another illiberal semi-autocracy within the EU fold, which might then join forces with Hungary, Poland and any other populist-led states against an increasingly woke European Commission.”

    Interesting that he knows the word “woke”.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  147. LatW says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Apotheca:

    “In ancient Greece and Rome, a storeroom of any kind, but esp. one for storing wine.”

    “A mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe,” according to owner.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean that the name was intense, but the design, label. It has a kind of a gothic design with a flashy, red letter A in the center. This brand is very popular, especially among the millennials, maybe partly because of the way the label looks, which is very different from a classic, more conservative look.

    They have wines called “Crush”, “Inferno”, “Dark”. This brand really stands out with its intense image. And it’s a mass product, not boutique.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  148. On environmentalism, so much of the discussion gets limited to energy forms while ignoring the wider social ramifications, such as the destruction of our cities.

    This degradation is invisible to those who were born into it, so they take it for granted or, worse, even defend it. But all over Europe there is a slow movement to reclaim our cities. Latest example from Austria, above.

    There is also the fact that our food supply system is deeply broken. A lot of diseases begin in animals due to factory farming and then jump to humans. I don’t eat meat, but even if I did I would be worried about this. As should everyone who cares about limited and preferably eliminating disease spread from animals to humans.

    Air pollution by coal is an obvious issue, but far less attention is given noise pollution, especially in big cities, where cars are a major problem. In other words, environmentalism isn’t just about crossing the baseline of “we should survive as a species”, which is pathetically low. It should be about “we must dramatically raise our standard of living and civilisation”.

    It’s natural that any progress will be opposed by reactionaries, because that is what reactionaries do. Given these realities, there is no alternative than just bulldozing any opposition. Should people have listened to those opposed to women’s right to vote? It’s not a serious argument. Anyone still holding those views understands well to keep them private since social ostracisation is now very strong, and rightfully so.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @songbird
  149. @utu

    I do not care about wines this way or another. Most I ever drunk I did not enjoy and most people who style themselves to be some kind of wine connoisseurs I see as people who are unaware of their own silliness and pretentiousness. The same goes for beer and whisky connoisseurs and the most ridiculous are vodka connoisseurs.

    Of course. They can discuss taste and flavor all day long, but if those beverages did not contain alcohol, virtually nobody would drink them.

    • Agree: utu, sher singh
  150. Yevardian says:
    @songbird

    I think that the Soviet film industry was hampered a lot by economics, which is a problem that China has already circumvented, to a large degree.

    What the hell are you talking about? The USSR made an extremely large proportion of the greatest films ever made. Soviet-era directors like Alexei German, Aleksandr Sokurov & Nikita Mikhalkov continued to make strong films even after the dissolution of the USSR, sometimes obtaining non-Russian funding on the strength of their reputations.
    Even the average output was of very high quality, there was little to no outright trash, no pandering to people’s worst instincts, and films of that era remain popular to this day in all the former states of the Soviet Union (perhaps with the exception of the Balts, which I can’t speak of, though I imagine cinema output crashed utterly there, as everywhere else in the region).

    Quality filmmaking, like airlines or non-profitable areas of scientific research, depends heavily on state-protectionism and funding, being as expensive and volatile as it is. Look at the total collapse of European film production outside of France (which continues to heavily subsidise its industry) since the 1980s, with most other European films being produced in conjuction with French funding and technical support.

    I don’t actually this is a trivial issue either, especially with the Western youth population becoming increasingly illiterate, states should put up some sort of effort to stall the total Americanisation of its coming generation.

    I can’t really say the same for Chinese films (I have seen about 30 odd, not a large number), certainly not in terms of artistic quality, though I understand that they do very well financially. Though that still says very little about their intrinsic merits, given China’s enormous internal market and its cultural distinctiveness.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @songbird
    , @Dmitry
  151. @sudden death

    Bulgaria has a sizeable number of Turks too. Turks and gypsies together makes up around 15-20% of the population. But I don’t think Bulgarian Turks have high fertility.

  152. Yevardian says:
    @Thulean Friend

    There is also the fact that our food supply system is deeply broken. A lot of diseases begin in animals due to factory farming and then jump to humans. I don’t eat meat, but even if I did I would be worried about this. As should everyone who cares about limited and preferably eliminating disease spread from animals to humans.

    I’m not a fan of factory farming, but there’s no need to jump the shark and forebear meat entirely, I instinctively distrust all vegetarians as misanthropic extinctionists. As for city-planning, especially considering the contribution of cars to noise pollution in ‘our’ cities, agreed. But this isn’t a left/right issue.

    It’s natural that any progress will be opposed by reactionaries, because that is what reactionaries do.

    The automobile was once seen as the vanguard of social ‘progress’ too. The word as you use it has no meaning. Progress over what, from where, to what end? Are you aware that the Nazis viewed themselves as ‘progressive’? And quite accurately, too?

    Given these realities, there is no alternative than just bulldozing any opposition. Should people have listened to those opposed to women’s right to vote?

    How typically progressive, you completely contradict yourself in just two sentences.

    Should people have listened to those opposed to women’s right to vote?

    It’s always the progressive’s prerogative to define what argument is ‘serious’ and therefore even worth debating at all. Such would-be open-minded “revolutionaries” invariably turn out to be the most narrow-minded and fanatical of people.

    Anyone still holding those views understands well to keep them private since social ostracisation is now very strong, and rightfully so.

    If you have actually read any pre-20th Century literature, you will notice that such ‘social ostracisation’ for any political view taken was practically unheard of. Even in strongly conservative states such as Tsarist Russia or the Hapsburg Empire, people with even the most radical views were generally looked upon fondly as curious eccentrics, unless they engaged in actual terrorism (and even then, they often remained admired, see how murderers of Tsarist state-officials had sentences commuted for ‘purity of motive’).
    Social shaming of people of dissenting views is recent phenomenon, it’s absolutely cowardly and pathetic, and absolutely a direct result of female political franchise, or simply the adoption of ‘mass’ politics of the hysterical mob.

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @utu
    , @AP
  153. @Yellowface Anon

    Aesthetically pleasing meat substitutes exist. It’s soy, the way East Asian vegans prepare it.

    https://i2.chuimg.com/c9a23953b7214b309266ac72631b1328_681w_783h.jpg?imageView2/2/w/660/interlace/1/q/90

    They can fit into the menu of all-you-can-eat restaurants:

    I don’t think lab-grown meat is all that different presentation-wise to industrial mystery meat. But unprepared bug paste and Soylent Green will be humiliating low caste food.

  154. @songbird

    “White Hispanic” Criollos (under the old colonial caste system) should definitely be able to claim Spanish & Portuguese citizenship.

    • Replies: @songbird
  155. @Yevardian

    The USSR made an extremely large proportion of the greatest films ever made. Soviet-era directors like Alexei German, Aleksandr Sokurov & Nikita Mikhalkov continued to make strong films even after the dissolution of the USSR, sometimes obtaining non-Russian funding on the strength of their reputations.
    Even the average output was of very high quality, there was little to no outright trash, no pandering to people’s worst instincts, and films of that era remain popular to this day in all the former states of the Soviet Union (perhaps with the exception of the Balts, which I can’t speak of, though I imagine cinema output crashed utterly there, as everywhere else in the region).

    The problem was low quantity. United States produced maybe as many films in a month as Soviet Union did in a year (counting only cinematic releases).

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @utu
  156. utu says:
    @Yevardian

    Reactionaries do not get respect from TF and his ilk and this is because they do not resort to drastic methods the so called progressives can openly talk in cafes. Would resorting to “escuadrones de la muerte” restore reactionaries respect in TF’s eyes? What about couple slashed throats and acid attacks on the most obnoxious progressive activists? At some point some people will do it and it is then when the reactionaries will have to make their most important decision.

  157. @showmethereal

    This is why it’s unsustainable in the face of Omicron, which is far more transmissible but less virulent and lethal. I can imagine the entirety of China under such kind of lockdown for months on end, which will crush the entire global supply chain and fulfill A123’s dream of total production onshoring. Xian citizens are already sending SOS messages of shortages as this kind of distribution system is starting to fail, now scale it up to 1.4 billion in a few months. It will be the Great Leap Forward 2.0, and I hope they have learnt their lesson in not being institutionally suicidal. We count on a strong China to counter a failing US, and if both of them fails, the WEF takes over.

    • Replies: @PedroAstra
    , @Showmethereal
  158. utu says:
    @Shortsword

    “maybe as many films in a month as Soviet Union did in a year” – Great overstatement. In mid 1980’s 150 feature films released in the USSR and about 500 in the US + Canada.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/187147/movie-releases-in-north-america-since-1980/

    https://www.psupress.org/books/titles/0-271-01982-4.html

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  159. @utu

    In mid 1980’s 150 feature films released in the USSR and about 500 in the US + Canada.

    That doesn’t sound right to me. I think you have to include tv films and such to get that number.

    You can find Soviet films by year here. They list about 90 per year in the 80s and that still includes a significant number of tv films and short films. There were probably more films than this made but this should at least include all proper “big release” films.

  160. AP says:
    @Yevardian

    Social shaming of people of dissenting views is recent phenomenon, it’s absolutely cowardly and pathetic, and absolutely a direct result of female political franchise, or simply the adoption of ‘mass’ politics of the hysterical mob

    It seems to have been common among the American Puritans for moral/religious reasons. Secularised Puritans view social and political issues in moral terms. So the phenomenon of social shaming for incorrect political beliefs is not feminisation so much as it is a form of Americanisation.

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Beckow
  161. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    Interestingly enough, I just got through looking over the Chateau St. Michelle website. Of the wines that I’d be interested in sampling, most were in the \$65/bottle range, some as high as \$200. I’m not currently interested in white wines, and for some reason don’t pursue merlot wines either, finding them somehow lacking the right notes for my palate. I did see their “everyday” cabernet sauvignon that was going for about \$12/bottle that I’ll definitely be looking for. Can you recommend any others that I may have missed for say under \$15/bottle? What are some of your favorites, even those going for \$200/bottle?

  162. Beckow says:
    @LatW

    …admitting Ukraine would add another illiberal semi-autocracy within the EU fold

    The plan was to make them liberal enough during the admission process – a lengthy rainbow ritual with Brussels freaks offering money for each additional act. They like that kind of stuff, to the likes of Neill Fergusson it brings back deep memories of the raj and the homo burdens they carried around the globe. (I will not speculate what Fergusson means by “woke“, with the anglo-Belgian perverts they probably reenact it.)

    Ukraine never had a chance to be in the EU: they missed the window and by 2014 it was all pretence. The EU cannot afford additional poor members (esp. large ones) and no rich ones are applying. Ukraine would bring down the average living standards in EU by 5-10% – that would had been manageable during the times of growth, but with the current stagnation it cannot be done. UK leaving was the last financial straw, the numbers just can’t be balanced.

    As all liberal global institutions they will stay around to provide illiberal benefits to their employees, issue verbiage and celebrate their anniversaries. A bit like the late-Middle Age Popes in Rome: jobs, money, parties, and ad maiorem dei gloriam…

    • Replies: @A123
    , @LatW
    , @Mikhail
  163. Mikel says:
    @utu

    As long as Spencer and Christi are there I have some hope that satellite data won’t be tweaked.

    To be fair, they also modified the UAH record. But they did it in both directions, which is what you expect from observational errors, that they will be random, and not always in the same direction, as we only seem to get from the “consensus” temperature series. Still, Steven Mosher, part of the Berkeley Earth team and former skeptical blogger, says that the net effect of the homogenization of land records is to reduce the historical warming.

    Reasonable skeptics are still purged like Judith Curry.

    Judith Curry committed the worst sin. She transitioned from part of consensus group to the skeptical camp and now doesn’t bother trying to publish. She explained that it’s not worth the effort, trying to circumvent the “peer-review” gatekeepers. Still, her latest papers were at least mentioned in the last IPCC report and she has been testifying before Congress several times.

    I think that the Working Group I reports of the IPCC (the scientific basis) have become quite reasonable, despite their pro-model bias, unlike the jokes of the WG-II, WG-III and the Summary for Policymakers, which is actually negotiated with the politicians themselves and often contains claims that are contradictory with the WG-I contents.

    I have an open mind to the global warming question but I’m old enough to remember how this scare began, right after the global cooling scare, and I’ve seen too many predictions that never materialized, such as part of Manhattan being under water by the year 2000 (James Hansen dixit). It is quite obvious that the climate science field is full of second-rate researchers who went to College with the intention of saving the world rather than the much more difficult task of understanding how nature really works.

    The most likely scenario while we trasition away from fossil fuels is a continuation of the benign warming that we have experienced up to now (both natural and man-made) but it has already become impossible to take rational measures based on a sane cost-benefit analysis. The Gretinist camp has won and I fear irrational politician’s actions more than global warming itself. They are clueless and, by their own words, they genuinely believe that we can stop floods and hurricanes from happening if we abandon fossil fuels.

    • Thanks: utu
    • Replies: @A123
  164. songbird says:
    @AP

    My snap impression is that there was potentially a lot of genetic turnover in the area of the Black Sea from Classical Greek times. Weren’t the Thracians (modern day Bulgaria) described as being red-haired and blue-eyed?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  165. Beckow says:
    @AP

    …social shaming for incorrect political beliefs is not feminisation so much as it is a form of Americanisation.

    A core value of the original Puritan mentality was conformism. Within a group, shaming is used to enforce conformism.

    With Americanisation everything over time becomes for sale, that has been the key invention of America: everything-is-for-sale universal philosophy, all activities are monetised. That puts an actual price on courage and during times of stress courage becomes more expensive, and rare.

    The price of courage has gone up, it has left most people behind.

  166. A123 says: • Website
    @Beckow

    Ukraine never had a chance to be in the EU: they missed the window and by 2014 it was all pretence. The EU cannot afford additional poor members (esp. large ones) and no rich ones are applying

    Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey are also on the list for EU expansion.

    In addition to money, there is a structural problem. Under the existing EU deal, every sovereign nation has a veto on matters requiring unanimous consent. The system is already hamstrung at 27 members. It is hard to imagine any expansion under the existing structure.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  167. A123 says: • Website
    @Mikel

    I have an open mind to the global warming question but I’m old enough to remember how this scare began, right after the global cooling scare, and I’ve seen too many predictions that never materialized

    The persistent hoaxes by Al Gore and his colleagues have permanently discredited and politicized the subject.

     

     

    The correct reaction to hysterical “Karens” panicked over climate mythology is pointing & laughing.

    Elites benefit from the non-science of Global Cooling / Warming / Change. Those at the top of the house set funding priorities. And, they will continue to channel grants to those who produce papers justfying their authoritarian ideology.
    ________

    It would be desirable to move the discussion out of the political realm, returning it to hard science. However, I do not see how to achieve that outcome.

    PEACE 😇

  168. songbird says:
    @Yevardian

    What the hell are you talking about? The USSR made an extremely large proportion of the greatest films ever made

    You think economics wasn’t a handicap? Well, the film Stalker was shot twice – the first time they messed up the film development because they weren’t used to working with Kodak 5247 stock. Wouldn’t have happened in the West.

    If you are a fan of Soviet film, perhaps, you should post a list.

    [MORE]

    Anyway, I am not talking about critics’ favorites. I am talking about audience favorites. And it seems probable that a lot of Soviet hits abroad were made with the aid of shady trade deals, and not by audience choice. The Soviet Union had nothing to compare with American blockbusters, like Star Wars or Aliens. The year the Soviet Union collapsed, Hollywood released T2. In a general way, The Soviet Union was bad at spectacle. (not that I am a fan of Hollywood, from my perspective they are cancerous)

    The Chinese definitely have a lot more potential to make waves. One reason being that they have more technology available to them. In theory, they could match Hollywood tit-for-tat when it comes to special effects. They could be very competitive in computer animation, whereas the Soviets were short on computers, and smuggling them in, was a way to make business deals.

    Even the average output was of very high quality, there was little to no outright trash, no pandering to people’s worst instincts

    I think you may be looking at it with rose-tinted glasses, to say “zero.” The film Zerograd (1988, have no seen it) has tits on the poster. Of course, that was after perestroika.

    Quality filmmaking, like airlines or non-profitable areas of scientific research, depends heavily on state-protectionism and funding, being as expensive

    I’ve never said that I am a free-trader when it comes to culture, and the Chinese, even with their rather large market, have’t taken precisely that position either.

    BTW, I’d actually go further than you and say quality film-making requires careful censorship and cultural themes.

    I can’t really say the same for Chinese films (I have seen about 30 odd, not a large number),

    If we were to compare Russian films or Hollywood films post-2010, to Chinese films, I would say that they were honestly all mostly crap.

    I see more potential for growth in Chinese quality than anywhere else. They don’t need to pander to diversity, unlike the US. One thing to keep in mind is that they are really trying to play economic catch-up. Yes, total box office has been exceeded, but they probably don’t have as many films that get above \$15 million. Right now, they are concerned more with growth than quality or export potential, but I expect that to change in a few years.

  169. @Yellowface Anon

    It seems to me (from talking to various contacts living there) that whatever Hong Kong is doing right now, is working, as far as non-suicidal zero-covid policies go. Is this your experience on the ground?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  170. songbird says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    “White Hispanic” Criollos (under the old colonial caste system) should definitely be able to claim Spanish & Portuguese citizenship.

    I agree, but I don’t know if there is a state in Europe with a rational system of Jus sanguinis (though in theory it is widespread). It seems like it is often one parent (who for instance could be an Arab or African). In the case of Italy, in theory, it could be like one GGG grandparent, who miscegenated with Africans. (indeed there are Eritreans who are suing to get in)

    It is pretty clear that Europeans crafted their systems when they were used to interacting with their near neighbors and not with Africans. Like France with Germans in Alsace-Lorraine.

    Any rational system would involve an understanding of genetic distance, color-signaling, and group co-evolution. It would acknowledge truths like someone who miscegenates is less related to their children than they are to other co-ethnics.

    • Replies: @Cutler
  171. @Yellowface Anon

    Oh well I was just addressing the issue of whether the death rate is true or not… But I make no judgements otherwise. The breakdown in supply chain happened least in China actually… Check the import/export and production numbers around the globe.
    As to the people in Xian— again not unique. Everywhere there was a lockdown in China some people complained..
    As to going forward – my GUESS is they are waiting as more managable strains work their way and the virus becomes “normal”. But I dont pretend to have specific insight as to what they will do.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  172. songbird says:
    @Thulean Friend

    but far less attention is given noise pollution, especially in big cities, where cars are a major problem.

    I agree completely, but would go further: sun-belt people, like Brazilians, increasingly are going for jaunts in the countryside, with their car speakers blazing horrible, tasteless music, which should be confined to eco-friendly zones of rap, like the hellscape of Somalia, where there is not much worthwhile wildlife to concern oneself about disturbing.

  173. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    USSR .. greatest films

    There are indeed wonderful films from the Soviet Union. And innovations of directors, especially Eisenshtein who had significant influence on even international 20th century film editing culture.

    But there was also downward pressure from the authorities, which actually ruins many films, creates many problematic changes to stories.

    You also said the name Tarkovsky, who has become an exile and his later films were produced in Italy, Sweden, etc, despite his cult popularity in the USSR. He was also possibly killed by industrial pollution in Estonia.

    There is this very dual pressures in the USSR, where the level of artistic training was possibly the highest in the world. But the potential is not always realized.

    Another mixed situation could be Mikhail Kalatozov. Incredibly talented director, but who produces very propagandistic film for Cuba “Soy Cuba” that can be a bit difficult to watch today.

    Then there are artists like Shostakovich, which could be an ambiguous example, where he wasn’t allowed to develop organically. But his most popular works (e.g. Fifth Symphony) sometimes came after the authorities bully him.

    But then Shostakovich has a very stressed life and perhaps we lost a couple symphonies at the end from his heart failure.

    heavily on state-protectionism and funding

    There are mixed situations on this topic in the Soviet Union.

    For example, Kurosawa’s “Dersu Uzala”, a wonderful film, funded by Mosfilm. On the other hand, ( fashionable cult director) Tarkovsky goes to exile, with last films funded by Gaumont.

    I agree that these artistic directors often require state funding, as there isn’t enough of popular to demand to realize private funding for their often expensive visions.

  174. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    I guess it’s interesting question, if Italy accepts those commercial DNA tests (I doubt it). Italy does give citizenship to anyone with an Italian ancestor. But the commercial DNA test can probably just misread people from small nationality who were not in their database. Are there any DNA experts here who can comment.

    Karlin’s said he is descended from Laks, which is a very small tribal nationality in Dagestan, with only a few thousand people. It’s possible the DNA test company simply doesn’t have an Lak people in its database. Maybe the company doesn’t want to provide refunds (they are just private money-makers) and assigns some Italian ancestry to the mystery DNA, as that had some similar patterns.

    It wouldn’t be surprising if Karlin was the first person from Lak nationality to apply for a DNA test.

    If you look at the interviews of a Lak at 1:09 in the video, they have identical twin of AK. Such a visual resemblance is perhaps more accurate than the commercial DNA test, for such a small nationality.

    This dude at 1:09 it looks visually identical to Karlin. So there is indeed probably the real nationality.

    It would be funny if you could attain Italian nationality though by such methods. Kind of absurd but it would be worth trying considering the potential reward would be so high.

    • Replies: @songbird
  175. @songbird

    How much of Thracian genes have stayed in modern Bulgaria?

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @AP
  176. @PedroAstra

    As far as every incoming flight is quarantined. And even then the floodgate has been opened after some air crew was exempt from quarantines.

    HK’s vaccination rate is close to the US, and serious mandates are coming. Just imagine installing a vaccine passport system right after the civil unrest of 2019 – you’ll see European levels of dysfunction.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  177. @Showmethereal

    I was actually imagining all, or even much of the country in lockdown. It nearly happened back in the first outbreak.

    They still plan for elimination judging by their eagerness to lock down over a handful of cases. They’ll probably change their mind very late, since they are thinking in terms of biosecurity.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  178. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    just wine,

    Lol what is so bad about talking wine? We can always return to more exciting topics of kale and mushrooms if you wish.

    Actually I didn’t like wine until a couple years ago. So many nights indoors with the pandemic, has pushed me to enjoy wine. I’m even not disliking red wines nowadays. What about you?

    I would agree with you about not needing to import EU wine in the USA. But then I just buy the cheapest wine bottles, so just here to add my opinion uselessly.

    I remember Aaron B was posting about “terroir” ( https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-168/#comment-4969089 ). And considering the style and organization of his posts, I’m assuming we should listen to his expertise as he knows more about wine than the rest of us. 🙂

    Aldi is really as cheap as they say, then it speaks very well for Germany…

    They also sell expensive luxury products, as well as cheaper less quality ones. But those luxury products are usually seeming good value relative to what product quality they sold.

    You know Mr Hack said they started to open Aldi in the USA and I was recommending it to him so he can eat more cleanly like the EU people. But it looks like they are selling a lot of American products there. Then there are some German wines like Riesling
    https://www.aldi.us/en/products/alcohol/white-wine/

  179. LatW says:
    @Beckow

    the plan was to make them liberal enough

    And hence lies the problem with Western liberals. How liberal is liberal enough? This Ferguson’s article is the first one I’ve seen openly admitting that Ukrainians might willingly swing illiberal and that the West might want to tread carefully here by investing too much in them. I will even insinuate further – let’s keep Poland separated from Ukraine (the wild East), we don’t want a whole group of large countries organizing because in that case the West will simply be unable to control them. They are wary of a larger illiberal Intermarium.

    These doubts from Ferguson, while valid, are not entirely fair to Ukraine since there are many democrats there. But they are typically center right liberals, not the woke type. The woke type would only develop much later from a small group of the European Solidarity types. Even the ones marching in remembrance of Stepan Bandera are mostly democrats in the sense of respecting and desiring the popular vote and national democrats. Very few even in that crowd are national socialists that support one man or one party rule.

    But it seems that it might not be liberal enough for certain Western types. Because if you’re a national Democrat you are still looking out for your own and may not be very open to globalists either economically or politically.

  180. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    From reading the subtext, I got the impression that AK could recognize an Italian surname in his tree somewhere.

    Though, I agree with you in principal that commercial tests often leave something to be desired – to do a really good job, IMO, you would have to spend more money on it than they did and even dig up 500 year old (or older) skeletons.

    One funny thing is all the Euro nationalists who think they are being gaslit, by the companies claiming they have trace Jewish roots. IMO, this probably isn’t intentional, but has to do with the models being flawed as Jews were really excited with the technology and probably participated more and were given more weight in the models.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  181. Mikel says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    you’ll see European levels of dysfunction.

    That was a cruel remark. Please be merciful with us when you finally become the world overlords.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  182. songbird says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    I suspect that they have been diluted and subsumed. Easy to hide recessive genes. When I look at images, it seems a surprising number of Bulgarians have light or red hair. Though, IIRC, AC Doyle observing Bulgarians POWs in WWI, described them as looking small (probably partly due to lower development), dark, and weak compared to British people.

  183. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Fuck no, I disagreed

    Ok you can still pretend you are not an upper class connoisseur.

    But lol there is some people here like AaronB definitely already betrayed they are not on the side of the working class, after that post he was writing about why he only eats Normandy butter and appreciates “Jasper Hill Farms in Vermont” https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-168/#comment-4969089

    health food stores boom where the most important of them like Wild Oats were taken over by The Whole Foods (and I am dubious about TWF)

    This Whole Foods chain was what they were referring in 0:30 in a Sacha Baron Cohen film “Dictator (2012)” (btw this film is not recommended even as a comedy film, although with some funny sections).

    vodka connoisseurs.

    Yes I felt like although there are great differences in the taste of vodka, it’s all because you buy a really too cheap bottle. As long as you didn’t buy a too cheap bottle, then it tastes not much better or worse. Although who knows maybe the connoisseurs notice more.

  184. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    Recently my relative has the commercial DNA results, we found significantly higher Jewish ancestry than expected. I have an official, documented Jewish ancestry. But the DNA said significantly higher than we know from documents.

    However, this is surely because Jews have been constantly bleeding into the population. This is the theme of Sholem Aleichem stories. Jews are running away and marrying into the population.

    So my documented Jewish ancestry is from Jews who didn’t run away from their community (which we know from our documents). But my additional undocumented Jewish ancestry points could be just from the background levels in the non-Jewish population.

    But only the documented Jewish ancestry has any value (the other additional DNA is considered meaningless from the Jews themselves). So you still can only really claim to be as Jewish to extent as your family documents can prove. I’m still probably not in a position to claim to be more Jewish.

    We also were shown a lot of Baltic ancestry in that tests. But probably just noise from the way they measure background population, rather than any interesting stories of secretly, undercover Baltic great-grandparents.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @songbird
    , @AP
  185. @songbird

    (fellow who made the video is a zealot! It’s a pretty decent video.)

    • Thanks: songbird
  186. @LatW

    In my neighborhood wine outlet they have a life size cardboard placard of Snoop Dogg peddling vintage red wine. It is bizarre. I’m pretty sure Snoop drinks Hennesey and Coke. His label is called Nineteen Crimes.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Dmitry
  187. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Beckow

    The plan was to make them liberal enough during the admission process – a lengthy rainbow ritual with Brussels freaks offering money for each additional act. They like that kind of stuff, to the likes of Neill Fergusson it brings back deep memories of the raj and the homo burdens they carried around the globe. (I will not speculate what Fergusson means by “woke“, with the anglo-Belgian perverts they probably reenact it.)

    Fergy is a pro-Brit Empire Scot, with little, if any appreciation for the Russian Empire.

  188. A123 says: • Website
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    The alcohol business attracts surprising participants.

    Racing legend Scott Pruett opened his own winery.
    https://www.pruettvineyard.com/

    Top Gear / Grand Tour host James May launched his own brand of gin.
    https://www.ginandtonicly.com/news/james-may-launches-his-own-craft-gin/

     

     

    PEACE 😇

     

    [MORE]

     

     

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  189. Dmitry says:
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    This is just a popular Australian blended red wine in the supermarkets in Europe. They signed some sponsorship with Snoop I guess.

    This wine usually markets by posting stories about Australian criminals on the bottle. I assume their marketing strategy is to seem “gangster” to attract slightly younger wine buyers, but also to represent the Australian heritage of the wine.

    It normally has some photos of impressive looking Australian gangsters and criminals on their bottle.

    I’m kind of a fan of some of Snoop Dogg’s early songs so would be their target demographic. I.e. people that buy cheap red wine in the supermarket and are fans of 1990s hip hop. But even I’m not gullible enough for such incoherent marketing to buy an Australian blended wine, because of an Californian rapper. At least Snoop should be on a Californian wine label.

    Have to appreciate, the graphic designers who made that bottle have some professional skill though.

    • Replies: @Emil Nikola Richard
  190. Mikhail says:
    @Dmitry

    Recently my relative has the commercial DNA results, we found significantly higher Jewish ancestry than expected. I have an official, documented Jewish ancestry. But the DNA said significantly higher than we know from documents.

    However, this is surely because Jews have been constantly bleeding into the population. This is the theme of Sholem Aleichem stories. Jews are running away and marrying into the population.

    So my documented Jewish ancestry is from Jews who didn’t run away from their community (which we know from our documents). But my additional undocumented Jewish ancestry points could be just from the background levels in the non-Jewish population.

    But only the documented Jewish ancestry has any value (the other additional DNA is considered meaningless from the Jews themselves). So you still can only really claim to be as Jewish to extent as your family documents can prove. I’m still probably not in a position to claim to be more Jewish.

    We also were shown a lot of Baltic ancestry in that tests. But probably just noise from the way they measure background population, rather than any interesting stories of secretly, undercover Baltic great-grandparents.

    Suspect a lot of people believing a Jewish or mostly Jewish background would get similar results. Syrian and other Jews from the Middle East typically look more Syrian than East European Jews. Comparatively speaking, the latter often looking like their non-Jew inhabitants from Eastern Europe.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  191. AP says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Probably a fair amount. Not many Slavic genes in that place though.

  192. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    So you still can only really claim to be as Jewish to extent as your family documents can prove.

    Probably anywhere in the Med would have to have really strict definitions, as there are wide cultural gaps, as well as some ancient gene transfer. Like Taleb is probably somewhat Greek, maybe quite a bit, but sometimes he really acts like an Arab.

    In the case of the Ashkenazim, I suspect that there is some Italian or German ancestry that has been misattributed to them, when really it is the reverse, which makes quite a bit of sense, when one considers that they are a bottleneck population. So, for example, the DNA that they got from some Italian woman, might appear more prototypically Jewish than it is prototypically Italian, because it appears in more Jews than Italians, even though its origin is Italian.

    In the case of Russians, I think Russians are more motley group, who may genuinely more often have trace Jewish DNA, and it is possibly easier to pick out than in Central Europeans, who in part form a root input into the Ashkenazim.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  193. @utu

    I will add my concerns about the probity of the Hadley Centre in the UK. It was set up by Mrs Thatcher (a CAGR believer with the data of the time, as was I) to confirm CAGR. It is colocated with the Meterological Office.

    • Replies: @utu
  194. @A123

    Well there is something I can agree with you on…. It doesn’t make any sense how the EU functions – trampling on each country’s sovereign rights. I think ASEAN is a better model of a bloc. Even Mercosur. In a way I can’t even blame the UK for leaving the EU. Trade and customs is one thing – but dictating individual laws and social structures is another.

  195. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    So my documented Jewish ancestry is from Jews who didn’t run away from their community (which we know from our documents). But my additional undocumented Jewish ancestry points could be just from the background levels in the non-Jewish population.

    AFAIK the database looks at reported ancestry and genetics. So therefore, if in the Middle Ages a Polish man had kids with a Jewish woman and they had numerous descendants, while meanwhile his siblings and cousins collectively had fewer descendants, his particular genetic type would be counted as Ashkenazi Jewish even though in reality it was not, because most people in the database with that fingerprint are Jews.

    [MORE]

    Something similar is probably true of small obscure nationalities that have mixed with larger ones. My wife is 1/8 Kalmyk, one can see her Asian features and stronger ones in her 1/4 Kalmyk father and very strong ones in her 1/2 Kalmyk grandfather (who completely looked like an Asian guy despite having had a blonde blue eyed Russian father). But according to 23andme she is 99.8% European. Probably this is because there are very few Kalmyks in the database but a lot of Russians of partial Kalmyk descent in the database, so Kalmyk genes are counted as Eastern European/Russian.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  196. @Yellowface Anon

    “They’ll probably change their mind very late, since they are thinking in terms of biosecurity.”

    Well that is absolutely what this is all about… Preparing for potential biowarfare from the west (which probably has already been going on agriculturally – which is why we saw in 2021 – food reserves were boosted as well – and grain production hit an all time high). No question about it.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  197. Just commented on Kazakhstan on Kevin Barrets’s Thread. Seemed more appropriate than here.

    Putin is now surrounded on three sides.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  198. Aedib says:

    What’s going on in Kazakhstan? True popular protests or a color revolution try?

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  199. @Aedib

    Government removed price caps on fuel. This resulted in people suddenly having to pay more than twice as much for it so many got angry.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  200. Mr. Hack says:
    @A123

    This is probably the most unbelievable commercial endorsing a cheap wine ever produced, with the blue blooded James Mason (a great actor) endorsing Thunderbird wine. T-bird wine was most notably known as a cheap wine that alcoholic bums (homeless transients) would drink along with other stellar choices such as “Ripple” “Mad Dog”, “Bali Hi” and some others too that now escape me. Our favorite was a sweet Spanish one called “Yago”, but we were teenagers, not English movie stars that undoubtedly had bankrolls that should have merited something all together on a higher plane. “Drink what you like” is taken to a whole new level here:

    “T-Bird wine has an unusual taste, all its own. An exceptional wine good for all occasions. Not quite like anything I’ve ever tasted…it has a delightful flavor…” Indeed. 🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  201. utu says:
    @Philip Owen

    The release of their emails was really damaging. There were two, iirc, official inquiries in the UK to whitewash it while in the US there was one so somebody quipped that American whitewash is stronger as application of one layer is enough.

  202. songbird says:

    We could also consult Greco-Roman historians in our search for less harmful superstitions to replace the modern ones in the West.

    I believe that the Romans whose civilization lasted almost uniquely long, used chickens as auguries.

    Why not combine advances in communication with those in farming to give each progressive their own flock, which they could monitor via remote cameras?

  203. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    23andme

    Your explanation seems plausible considering 23andme is banned or unavailable in Russia. So 23andme might have unusually limited samples from Russia, considering Russia is one of the few countries it is not available.

    The commercial genetic test people use in Russia is the Israel startup “MyHeritage”. I don’t know if it was more reliable, but I guess it would have samples from Russia.

    “MyHeritage” actually has a strategic partnership with the Mormon’s “FamilySearch” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilySearch). It even has an office in Salt Lake City. So it’s surprising how it is allowed and mainstream in Russia, while they do not allow 23andme for being American.

    Nobody is more paranoid about Mormons than in the Russian government, perhaps with some justification (if Mormon groups are really working for the CIA). But it’s perhaps possible they didn’t read enough to notice the connection with “FamilySearch”.

  204. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    There are times in modern European history, when Jewish villages had very high fertility rates, at the same moment that a significant proportion of the young villagers are escaping the villages, even changing their name, converting to Christianity and running away from Judaism.

    There were events like unvoluntary conscription of children from the Jewish villages to the army for decades, who then could not return to their villages, or when they return from the army would not be religious enough to be able to marry some rabbi’s daughter in their village.
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/cantonists

    There are also often Jewish prisoners and settlers being thrown to the Far East and Siberia, where they would almost never be able to marry Jewish women.

    So it’s possible that the commercial genetic tests are catching some of the traces of this very distant ancestry, from that historical outflow of people from Ashkenazi villages. This is aside from the more knowable ancestry people have from the 20th century.

    Of course, it’s also possible that the tests are simply unreliable. Either way, it’s considered meaningless from the viewpoint of the Jewish authorities.

    You need to prove you have Jewish ancestry with the documents and family research. It can cost quite a lot of money. Then you have send these documents to be inspected by their experts, who stamp that they are authentic (as a lot of people are trying with fake documents). ​

    In my family we were able to prove Jewish ancestry for my grandfather. But it was like a history research project. We had all the real documentation, chains of evidence. It’s fortunately not based from some unreliable commercial DNA tests, which seem partly designed for Influencers to post about themselves on Instagram.

    • Thanks: songbird
  205. Dmitry says:
    @Mikhail

    Middle East typically look more Syrian

    Yes you can see in Israel, the population is a mix of many races, although to be fair to Israel unlike in some claims the majority of people are (Jews and Muslims) immigrants directly from nearby regions of the Middle East, and this is evident in the appearance of the population.

    For genetics of European Jews, there would be surely pre-existing desire to discover their origin as native to the Middle East, as this would both match the secular political state-building, as well as religious narratives.

    So it’s understandable that conspiracy theorists can be questioning about genetic studies of European Jews, when the topic has a politically desired answer. But who knows? I’d like to believe scientists will try to be objective.

    In terms of the Russian DNA, it’s possible these commercial tests are discovering non-slavic ancestry, because the population of Russia which preceded the slavic tribes’ invasion/colonization in Russia.

    This is just my superficial, amateur speculation.

    But slavic tribes immigrated to Russia in the 8th-9th century. But when the slavic population flooded into the territory as described in the chronicles, there were many native tribes in Russia who are perhaps only displaced culturally, rather than genetically.

    These nationalities which existed before the slavic tribes flood into Russia, like the Ves, Chud Zavolochskaya. These became mostly extinct in the cultural sense, but surely not in the genetic one. Perhaps this is one reason for the confusion of commercial genetic tests are saying many Russian people are not having slavic ancestry.

    When you look at pre-slavic populations of Russia like Vepsy today, it’s not like we could visually distinguish them from the slavic (or slavicized) population.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @melanf
    , @melanf
  206. A123 says: • Website

    😁 Open Thread Humor 😂

    Only one item tonight. I need to gather up links for a larger post.

    PEACE 😇

  207. Dmitry says:

    For his New Year television show, Ivan Urgant’s show (it’s like David Letterman show in Russia) produces last couple of years a satire of an Italian 1980s New Year show.

    They study Italian and it sounds like they speak very fluently.

    Then at the end (1:09:40 in the video) they added an Italian speech by Putin as a deepfake. But there you can already see how sinister the deepfake of Putin is, in the difficulty to distinguish it from a real (Italian-speaking) Putin. In theory, Putin never needs to present a real speech for television again. He can just hire the people who made the deepfake for Urgant’s show. Even if a politician dies, they could continue to be present speeches to the media as being alive with such a production.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • LOL: Mikel
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Thulean Friend
  208. @Mikel

    Wait, what? Compradors-turned-emigrants becoming the Masters?

    The least thing I’m preparing my descendents to be are Jews.

  209. @showmethereal

    Swine fever being weaponized against the Chinese meat industry is an open secret by now. It decimated hogs and made export barriers forbiddingly high.

    I heard there’s a forex shortage up there and serious controls of capital outflows + taxation. Provably they shouldn’t seriously damage their tax base by shutting downs the productive economy, instead commandeering and mobilizing it.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  210. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Hey, you don’t need to believe me, nor James Mason either. I think that this reviewer pretty much nailed this one right on the nose! He thinks that he’s getting ripped off at \$3.99 a bottle and feels that \$1.99 would be more in line and appropriate. I love his clincher, where he feels that Thunderbird would pair well with a total change in identity and lifestyle, while “jumping on a moving freight train”. 🙂 🙂

    • LOL: A123
  211. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Wonderful! Something surreal and Felliniesque about it all….

    What next? 🙂

  212. Aedib says:

    ColonelCassad about the color revolution try in Kazakhstan (in Russian)

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/7350408.html

  213. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Perhaps this is one reason for the confusion of commercial genetic tests are saying many Russian people are not having slavic ancestry.

    Averko is sliding here. He usually jumps on the opportunity to try and put genetic testing to rest, doubting its ability to accurately reflect ethnic lineages. He always falls flat on his face trying though. There’s no doubt that there’s a large Finnic sub-stratum within the make-up of the Russian nation. Just how large? I think that this question is fraught with political motivations. More analysis should be done, perhaps by outsiders. 🙂

    • Troll: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Mikhail
  214. @German_reader

    We shop at Aldi in both California and New Jersey and are quite satisfied. Ganz zufrieden.

    I have German heritage and used to speak some German. But like many white Americans, Germans are a pathetic, easily frightened, aging, dying people making systematically stupid decisions about immigration, energy, and culture and failing even to reproduce while lecturing the rest of us. Globalist Germans also manage to be both arrogant Besserwisser (know-it-alls) / bullies and self-hating at the same time — impressive. We have been socializing with German immigrants to the US for the better part of a decade here in SoCal and wow, half of them are willfully obtuse and confident in their suicidal naivete, counterfactual assertions, and enthusiasm for proven-disastrous prescriptions.

    Who gives a damn what Germans think? As the old joke about “modern” Western “liberals” goes, they wouldn’t take their own side in a fight. They’re not going to be around for long.

  215. @Barbarossa

    Perhaps we should limit the amount of agricultural land that can be owned by any one person (or married couple).

    We need to outright PROHIBIT corporations and non-citizens from owning agricultural land or residential rental property in our country.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
  216. @Dmitry

    Skimming the video, I chuckled when I saw the overdone Pepsi placements. People complain about modern YouTubers doing “in video ads” but that feels far more genuine – since it is honest and upfront – than this kind of kitschy product placement. It’d be interesting going back to watch various Swedish gameshows from the same era if they had these kinds of hamfisted product placements with terrible acting or if it was an Italian thing.

    While I know neither Russian nor Italian, the vibe I got was that they were bantering but never in a mean-spirited way. I felt they were praising it while simultaneously making fun of it, if that makes sense. Respectful satire?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  217. @Aedib

    The usual Russia watchers and “human rights enthusiasts” are jumping on it. That makes it “suspicious” I suppose. But I doubt this started as anything else but a simple angry mob protest (similar to say the recent protests in Chile or Colombia).

    Now there are probably forces that are trying to hijack it all. This would start with trying to present a group of people as leaders who have demands for the government. These people would likely come from some typical fake human rights organisation.

    Here’s a funny tweet which makes it look like that’s what happening

    I’m sure this is entirely made up though. But that could change.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  218. Kazakh protestor is interviewed: “We want to live like in Sweden or in Norway“.

    There is also a demand list floating about. It asks for a range of socio-economic measures. These demands should be seen in context:

    Kazakhstan basically never recovered after the 2014 oil crash, yet their population’s expectations didn’t adjust to the new reality.

    It is of course possible – maybe even probable – that there is foreign meddling involved, but you can’t get this kind of anger to explode without significant grievances simmering in the background.

    We can say for certain that major cities are seeing unrest, dozens are dead and massive property damage is ongoing. That doesn’t strike me as a surefire way to get to prosperity.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Yevardian
  219. Aedib says:
    @Shortsword

    It likely started as a spontaneous protest by the hike on energy prices. But that’s already gone. The Kazakh government backtracked on these hikes and the protests grew up. I think the protests are already hijacked by the usual suspects. Anyway, the Kazakh government just has to follow Batka’s example on how to drown the color revolution. If Tokayev goes by the Yanukovitch’ path, that’s his fault.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
  220. Beckow says:
    @Aedib

    …It likely started as a spontaneous protest by the hike on energy prices.

    Sure, most events are spontaneous. Oswald also took a spontaneous walk all those decades ago, too bad he was spontaneously shot. It happens, life is full of spontaneity.

    Opening a new front suggests that the West is either superbly confident or trapped. I don’t see much confidence in the Western behaviour: they have been talking way too much about paperwork, both the irrelevant and the missing types. A year ago they planned a ‘regime change‘ and thought they had the Belarus in the bag. They even flew in the pretender and pre-announced mass demos.

    They moved on to how the “German elections” will fix it, finally a kibosh: no pipes, no way to pay, Wehrmacht in Smolensk. Instead they got a British lesbo polishing metal on the Estonian border and Nato forward forces trapped in no-man’s land.

    So on to Almaty…this will go well, excited talkers confronting un-moveable objects. Maybe they will put some nasty graffiti all over and go home to collect a few more ‘human-rights‘ awards.

  221. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Considering similar aspects of the situation in the postsoviet space, it’s probably even predictable to generalize, without knowing too many local details.

    Most of all postsoviet countries have the similar political elite which is untrammeled in corruption, with very low bargaining power of ordinary citizens.

    When for Kazakhstan the oil price is high, there should be enough breadcrumbs from the table to maintain sufficient to manage the public, but when the commodity cycle turns down then even some of world’s most “cucked” populations to their elite (e.g. postsoviet populations) can sometimes begin to seem more difficult to managed.

    The authorities in the postsoviet space need to develop more strategies or political technologies to manage the population during a down turn in the commodity cycle, and some countries are cleverer in political technology to manage their public than other countries.

    Kazakhstan’s government is promoting a lot of anti-Russian agitation and jingoism. But their popular protests in recent years are going more against China. Perhaps popular protests there is more anti-Chinese, even while their official media tries to promote more anti-Russian views

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @Aedib
  222. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Respectful satire

    Yes they really know Italian language, and have according to Italian audiences a very strong understanding of Italian culture, the 1980s culture.

    Italians watching have reported they are shock that the Russian celebrities know so much Italian culture. It’s not that funny, but I don’t think David Letterman transform himself into an Italian man.

    Ivan Urgant speaks Italian so fluently and fast. But a large proportion of Russian celebrities, have houses in Italy.

    Urgant has a house in Italy and the celebrities are referencing sometimes in the show that they “remember when I saw you in Italy”. So maybe from their perspective of being often in Italy for vacations, it’s not that special to learn to speak Italian, watch some Italian television, copy some of the Italian body language.

  223. @Yellowface Anon

    I didn’t say this clearly to avoid offending some of your mildly Sinophile sensibilities, but wheels are coming off from the total lockdown regime in Xian. Anti-lockdowners need to guess why or see the agony of the residents in Xian, and Sinophobes are free to pick this as another evidence of an argument you’re familiar with.

    First off, their original goal was to cut off all social transmissions (that means no transmissions outside of those who have been quarantined centrally, and all contacts and contacts of contacts have been quarantined), by 1/4. It failed but the curve is starting to flatten, which means there’s still about 1-2 months to go.

    Before that, lots of things are falling apart:
    – Some people destined for centralized quarantine found out the lack of facilities at the site, which has no running water, electricity and heating, and attempted to return to their homes on feet.
    – For some time only potatoes and broccolis were distributed in some blocks.
    – Some patients weren’t attended at all and left outside medical facilities until it was too late.
    – The health code system malfunctioned twice.
    – Like in Wuhan, the usual anti-Chinese prop outlets are alleging a higher lockdown death count than those dead with COVID. Those who allegedly are dead from starvation or exposure were “socially removed”, unpersoned.

    All the above are likely real anecdotes except the last point, and there are Weibo evidence substantiating them. Now consider this is only the first 14 days and there’s still a long way to go before they start loosening things up.

    The Chinese medical leadership’s calculation might be like the Soviets in 1941- there is indeed an enemy, metaphorical in COVID’s case, and a large human cost is acceptable as far as the enemy is ultimately destroyed. The Soviet Union lost 20 million in the war, much of them needlessly and avoidable with better strategic planning or without earlier purges. But a mutating virus isn’t a country with leaders, generals and troops; Zero COVID is an unattainable goal. Of course, if you believe China has a part in the plans of the WEF, from the initial lab experiments and lockdowns, then more malicious explanations become possible.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  224. @Dmitry

    If Kazakhstan falls to the color revolutionaries, Russia is surrounded on all sides! The Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Japan, and Canada across the Arctic. Even worse, China is now surrounded too: the 1st Island Chain, Vietnam, India, and Kazakhstan. Mongolia could even be used as a wedge between the 2 powers – Inner Mongolian secessionism is going to see a resurgence.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  225. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    It possibly that descendants of these nationalities discussed in the chronicle of past years, like Chud are showing in these modern commercial DNA as Baltic. So perhaps this is the population before the slavic invasions, which could be descendants of the modern population. It’s something possible as a speculation anyway.

    The language category and the genetic category is not necessarily overlapping in every case.

    We just don’t have reliable source. The chronicle of past years is a very mentally simple text, like something which would be written by modern 12 year old children or younger.

    While the pagan population before the slavic tribes immigrated to Russia, were not writing, and so you can’t read anything.

    how large? I think that this question is fraught with political motivations.

    It’s more question of terminology or semantics probably.

  226. Dmitry says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    These protests in Kazakhstan are apparently showing more in anti-China sentiment rather than anti-Russian sentiment, according to journalists. Spontaneous anger in Kazakhstan seems more against China, than against Russia. But for the government in Kazakhstan it has been convenient to try to promote anti-Russian anger for their masses

    Kazakhstan’s situation in relation to Russia has similarities to Azerbaijan. This is the authorities try feed for their people an anti-Russian nationalism, but the country itself is far more of dependency of Russia. Kazakhstan’s government promotes anti-Russian views, while much of their elite and political class invest in Russia.

    Of course, the public in Kazakhstan has a good reason to be angry with their own authorities, considering it is seems typical of a postsoviet country, i.e. turned into a machine for harnessing money for their narrow elite.

    But this is different topic from its implications for other countries. In my opinion, the most serious aspect of Kazakhstan in Russia, because the opiates flood across the border from there, into some of the most important cities, and this has been like the fuel that feeds an HIV epidemic in these cities.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Shortsword
  227. Aedib says:
    @Dmitry

    No. Just look at this.

    Franak Viakorka, Bill Browder and the rest of this gang is now full steam with anti-Russian agitprop. I miss Jihadi Julian. LOL.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @Dmitry
  228. Aedib says:
    @Aedib

    Jihadi Julian started to rant

    LOL

  229. A123 says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    These protests in Kazakhstan are apparently showing more in anti-China sentiment rather than anti-Russian sentiment, according to journalists. Spontaneous anger in Kazakhstan seems more against China

    The CCP’s allegiance to Iran carries with it implications about Shia Islam and Persian ethnicity. Kazakhstan is primarily Sunni and definitely not Persian ethnic.

    Iran is a strategic competitor with Iran for Caspian Sea resources.

    Why would the people of Kazakhstan want ties to Shia & CCP regimes?
    ___

    There is no comparable reason to worry about Putin. Russia has little interest in Kazakhstan territory. While also on the Caspian Sea, they have more interesting opportunities in the Pacific Ocean, Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea.

    Russian ethnicity is ~20% of the Kazakhstan population. Kazakh standard rail is the same 1.5m gauge that exists in Russia. This allows for easy North-South flow of goods, especially with the population centers across the Northern border. Shared commerce and family connections are helpful in maintaining good relations.

    PEACE 😇

     

    • Replies: @sudden death
  230. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Averko is sliding here. He usually jumps on the opportunity to try and put genetic testing to rest, doubting its ability to accurately reflect ethnic lineages. He always falls flat on his face trying though. There’s no doubt that there’s a large Finnic sub-stratum within the make-up of the Russian nation. Just how large? I think that this question is fraught with political motivations. More analysis should be done, perhaps by outsiders.

    The aforementioned Finno-Ugric trait is large by what measurement? Like there’s no non-Slav DNA among numerous Ukrainians.

    DNA tests have given varied results on the same individual, in addition to entire populations not participating in them on the same scale as censuses. The point I made concerning Jews and DNA testing isn’t faulty.

  231. songbird says:

    My theory is that there is an algorithm in Youtube that, regardless of politics, promotes more feminine or gay-sounding men, like Linus Tech Tips, and shadow bans more masculine men, with squarer jaws and deeper voices, unless they are confirmed to be pozzed or black, or unless a lot of gays enjoy watching them.

  232. songbird says:

    IMO, one of the biggest signs of decadence in the East is anime about playing video games. Even the Chinese seem to be making them, or did, before the crackdown. Japan may be a worse case in some manner, since they have accepted video games as being a leg of their national identity.

  233. Mikhail says: • Website

    Dumb National Interest Article

    Re: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/moldova-illustrates-putins-plan-eastern-europe-198982

    Excerpt –

    One of the Putin regime’s favorite tricks is to support pro-Russian political parties while simultaneously doing everything possible to undermine the credibility of pro-Western parties and politicians. In some instances, Russian money has gone simultaneously to both pro-Russian and extreme nationalist parties. This would seem to be a self-contradicting strategy.

    Russia has a long history of interfering in Moldovan politics. Soon after Moldova split from the Soviet Union, Russia fomented a separatist movement in that country’s Transdniestria region, which is in the northeast along the border with Ukraine. The local government invited in Russian troops who have been there for more than two decades.

    At the above linked excerpt, the first two hyperlinks provide little, if any substantive support to what the author says.

    The Moldavian SSR was created when Soviet forces took much of that territory away from Romania in 1939. Prior to WW I, that land was part of the Russian Empire.

    “Transdniestria” (Pridnestrovie) was already part of the Soviet Union before 1939, as an “autonomous” part of Ukraine. When the Moldavian SSR was created, Pridnestrovie was undemocratically put into it.

    Upon the Soviet breakup, nationalist and pan-Romanian elements in Moldova prompted a backlash from the population in Pridnestrovie, which has a mostly pro-Russian outlook. The Russian troop presence in Pridnestrovie has arguably limited the severity of the short war which existed there.

    The above linked article is another example of a US establishment politico, downplaying the fact that not every former USSR dispute is primarily the fault of Russia. When Russia behaves like what’s described below, it’s called meddling:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/united-states-dodik-sanctions-expanded/31640889.html

  234. Mikhail says: • Website

    A neocon weenie gets roasted:

    • Replies: @Mikel
  235. Dmitry says:
    @Aedib

    The Kazakh government encourages rusophobia as part of a nationalist program (https://regnum.ru/news/3354590.html) or derussianization.

    However, the Kazakh elite is very invested in Russia and dependent on Russia. It’s quite analogous to the situation with Azerbaijan in relation to Russia.

    No. Just look at this.

    There are constant anti-Chinese protests in their Kazakhstan as the government concedes with China.

    In terms of anti-Russian actions, this anti-Russian sentiment is a program of the Kazakhstan government. Their project is to encourage Russian emigration and build a mono-ethnic state. ( https://www.politnavigator.net/zachem-tokaev-falsificiruet-istoriyu-i-razduvaet-rusofobskie-nastroeniya-v-kazakhstane.html )

    So if the anti-government and pro-government are not disagreeing on these topics. But as always in postsoviet space, the nationalism is a good distraction from the real problems of the country of corruption, inequality, asset stripping by the political class.

  236. @A123

    There is no comparable reason to worry about Putin. Russia has little interest in Kazakhstan territory. While also on the Caspian Sea, they have more interesting opportunities in the Pacific Ocean, Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea.

    Russian ethnicity is ~20% of the Kazakhstan population. Kazakh standard rail is the same 1.5m gauge that exists in Russia. This allows for easy North-South flow of goods, especially with the population centers across the Northern border. Shared commerce and family connections are helpful in maintaining good relations.

    Meanwhile in RF many, including AK, are drooling uncontrollably now at the mere thought of grabing land of Northern Kazakstan during current chaos where majority of those 20% Russians are living, just the timing may be little inconvenient for Putin in practice when he is quite preoccupied with military puffing&huffing games at the Ukraine border.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @sudden death
  237. songbird says:

    Roko is saying he would like custodianship of Elizabeth Holmes.

    She is way too creepy, IMO.

    • Agree: sher singh
  238. @sudden death

    The railroad to China passes through Nothern Kazakhstan where the Russian settlers live.

  239. songbird says:

    Now that Tony Blair has been finally knighted, the Queen should send him into the interior of Africa, to help establish Harry’s mineral kingdom.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  240. @Dmitry

    These protests in Kazakhstan are apparently showing more in anti-China sentiment rather than anti-Russian sentiment, according to journalists. Spontaneous anger in Kazakhstan seems more against China, than against Russia.

    I don’t think there is much anti-Russian sentiment in Kazakhstan. From any poll I’ve seen Russia is seen positively in Kazakhstan. But this could change. If people are continually told that Russia is at fault for Kazakhstan not being powerful/prosperous enough this will eventually change many people’s opinions. For example, the Kazakh famine could be weaponized for this purpose similar to how the Ukrainian famine is.

    Kazakhstan’s situation in relation to Russia has similarities to Azerbaijan. This is the authorities try feed for their people an anti-Russian nationalism, but the country itself is far more of dependency of Russia. Kazakhstan’s government promotes anti-Russian views, while much of their elite and political class invest in Russia.

    I’m not sure if this is true. Kazakhstan has a more careful approach. They do promote some anti-Russian views but the government but it’s not as overt. So for example, naturally independence is pushed as being amazing and wonderful but this is done without making it a story of national liberation from evil Russians.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dmitry
    , @A123
  241. @songbird

    Tony Blair pocketed 3.6 m GBP a year for advised Nursultan, former President of Kazakhstan. Isn’t that interesting?

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  242. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    Kazakhstan’s political class invests a lot for the UK. They invest a lot in London (but so does everyone in the postsoviet countries) and their elites are living there.

    Kazakhstan’s government has the friendly relations with the USA as well, with the US leading military exercises there.

    But unlike Uzbekistan they are still in CSTO, which might actually help them now, unlike some exercises with the USA.

  243. AP says:
    @Aedib

    It isn’t completely up to the the government, the people make a difference. What worked with Belarussians wouldn’t have worked in Ukraine and may or may not work in Kazakhstan. Less docile Kazakhs have already grabbed some arms depots, shot some soldiers, and taken over a bunch of buildings, so already this is a more serious event that what happened with docile Belarussians.

    Neither you nor I know if this is a popular revolution or not, or how popular it may be. But your idea that a so-called “color revolution” can not also be a popular revolt is mistaken (you write as if the two are somehow mutually exclusive).

    Will Russia answer Kazakhstan’s president’s call for help? What will be the impact on attitudes towards Russia by Kazakhs if they get killed by Russian soldiers? If the revolt is more anti-Chinese than anti-Russian as Dmitri says, then it will become anti-Russian if Russia comes to kill Kazakhs in order to keep the hated government in power (if it is indeed, hated by most of its people). How many Russian troops will have to be kept there in order to keep the allied government in power?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Aedib
  244. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    I don’t know much about Kazakhstan and don’t pretend to.

    IF the government is genuinely unpopular and this is truly a mass revolt, than if the revolt is crushed by Russian troops and the hated government is kept in power by Russians, Kazakhs will become anti-Russian even though they are not so now. In that case Russia will be in trouble: if it pulls out and is “defeated” the new government will be anti-Russian. Doubly so if Russia grabs Russian-populated territory in the North as it exits. If Russia stays to prop up the hated government, it will be invested as an occupying power for a long time.

    Of course, it may be that the revolt is not supported by majority of the Kazakhs and will be crushed locally without Russian help. Or the people may even be grateful for Russian help, if most of them support the government and the revolt is the work of a minority of troublemakers.

    Might pan-Turkicism play any role in any of this?

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @Shortsword
  245. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    much anti-Russian sentiment in Kazakhstan.

    Yes and I was talking to some Kazakhs in Western Europe a few months ago. Although my impression they have a negative view of politics or life in Russia, don’t even visit Russia for vacation, but of course they are in the Russian culture. They’re not going to escape that easy.

    Kazakhstan has a more careful approach

    Azerbaijan had a more brutal independence, but I wouldn’t say Kazakhstan’s politicians are more careful today.

    “Mono-ethnic state” is a common word of Kazakhstan politicians for years. Whereas Azerbaijan promotes multiculturalism, their royal family visits Ivanovka (collective farm in Azerbaijan) as a showcase. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o_-CAmkW-k.) Azerbaijan loves to promote the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Russian minorities in Azerbaijan are not complaining in the internet or media, whereas with Kazakhstan there are people complaining about the rising nationalism. There’s a lot on internet forums over the years where you read about the mild unease they feel with the official supported nationalism in Kazakhstan. Although I guess (just my very superficial impression) this is just in terms of their fear of the nationalism in words.

  246. @songbird

    English has 1.348 billion first and second language speakers – that’s more than Mandarin

    Mandarin is the spoken language, all the Sinitic languages / dialects are written in the same script, Chinese characters, hànzì 漢字.

    So it’s incorrect to say “It’s written in Mandarin”, only “It’s written in Chinese” since all the dialect speakers write using the same script.

    This is similar to Swiss German and other dialects are written in Standard German. But hànzì is logographic so can be used for vastly different languages, i.e. the agglutinative language Japanese.

    Someone fully literate in Chinese should be able to read 50 to 60% of a Japanese text. The reverse is somewhat less true since only mostly the educated knows kanji well, but still holds.

    So hànzì and kanji can be said to be used by ~1.5 billion people. (subject to Koreans reviving hanja which would increase that figure)

    • Thanks: songbird
  247. mal says:

    Soo… Baikonur – Ours!

    Or too soon? I don’t know much or care to know about Kazakh politics. I only care about the spaceport. Rogozin said it was calm last night but i was wondering more long term.

    Baikonur is a useful strategic place so if Russia decided to start securing things I would urge not to forget about it.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @AP
  248. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    For now, it is at least only for ODKB to go to help Tokaev. Pashinyan announced this.

    But indeed if you help too openly Tokaev, then you are invested that he does not lose his position. If there is a reversal, then the new government in Kazakhstan would likely exit from the security agreements. (As Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan exited already).

    On the other hand, if it helps Tokaev survive? Then in such a scenario, there is a new motive for the Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan to re-join the security agreement. It’s finally something useful as a security agreement, even if as an insurance policy for the postsoviet elites to control this kind of protest by their own people. Rather than to defend countries from non-member countries as e.g. Pashinyan would hope.

  249. @AP

    The CSTO assistance seems like a blunder no matter the result. Both from Kazakhstan and Russia. It just doesn’t look good.

  250. songbird says:
    @mal

    Hope they at least cut the rent.

  251. AP says:
    @mal

    Baikonur is a Russian enclave far south of the main Russian settlement area in northern Kazakhstan. The surrounding region is 96% Kazakh.

    Even the 4 northern provinces are only about 40%-55% East Slavic depending on province, so annexation would add a lot more Muslims to Russia’s population (unless those provinces were themselves split on ethnic lines).

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

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

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

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

    • Replies: @mal
    , @Dmitry
    , @Aedib
  252. A123 says: • Website
    @Shortsword

    I’m not sure if this is true. Kazakhstan has a more careful approach. They do promote some anti-Russian views but the government but it’s not as overt. So for example, naturally independence is pushed as being amazing and wonderful but this is done without making it a story of national liberation from evil Russians

    This seems about right. There is a great deal of “talk” about national unity, with ethnic overtones. However, there does not seem to be a great deal of “action” along those lines.

    — Would Putin intervene if ethnic Russians were threatened? Possibly.
    — Does he want to? Clearly not.

    The ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan are poorer that native Russians. Absorbing this region would be a resource challenge, much like assimilating Donbass or Belarus. Putin would rather deploy Russian assets elsewhere.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  253. mal says:
    @AP

    Good point. There are like 800,000 people in the province that hosts Baikonur, with population density of 3.5/km2. So don’t annex the whole thing, just secure Baikonur, declare E-38 highway some sort of “international safe transit zone”, +/- 100 km to either side to neutralize the hotheads with rocket launchers, and probably less than 100,000 tribals will have to move out of the way. Compensate them of course for loss of huts etc. Easily doable i think, and worth keeping the spaceport.

    As songbird mentioned rent savings alone will be worth it.

  254. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    more Muslims to Russia

    From what I could see, Kazakhs not usually such “fanatical Muslims” that you would scared of adding them in the country. It’s mostly a modernized, secular, educated population.

    Of course, any concept of annexing Kazakhstan territory to Russia, would be crazy. It would be a sign of senility.

    It might add some small territory and alienate thousands of kilometres of border, millions of people.

    If the opiates epidemic (which causes the HIV epidemic) is not difficult to control, it would be unseen floods of opiates if Kazakhstan would be not co-operating in its border policy.

    There is no option of “build a wall” and “Kazakhstan will pay for it” on this border. It requires not alienating Kazakhstan. Although Kazakhstan was more “closed borders” and strict monitoring on this border than in the Russian side. Kremlin policy in recent years has been to create an open border zone with Kazakhstan, which also requires co-operation from Kazakhstan. You need good relations for either policy,

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  255. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    that you would scared of adding them in the country

    That’s without saying, that the whole population of Kazakhstan are already like de facto Russian citizens now, with the policy of the Eurasian Economic Union for citizens of member states to have interchangeable movement and work rights.

    All Kazakhstan citizens can live and work freely in Russia without any need of permit, or to register anywhere. Except in terms of voting in elections, Kazakhstan citizen already have essentially the same position to live or work inside Russia as if they are Russian citizens.

  256. Dmitry says:
    @A123

    region would be a resource challenge

    Well, Kazakhstan has a lot of oil and natural resources. It can feed itself, at least when the commodity cycle is in uptrend. But you can assume they have a lot of corruption and lack of objective legal system that would allow development of competitive industries not connected to commodities market.

    assimilating Donbass or

    Donbass was a relatively economically strong region before 2014, with optimistic forecasts by professional economists’ reports (at least optimistic in regional standards, which are low of course). Donetsk had one of the highest incomes in Ukraine and second largest number of wealthy people after Kiev.

    It’s a strange feeling to read those old reports nowadays.

    You can see with each year after, what kind of pointless and terrible disaster 2014 has been for the region with the majority of its population now in poverty, a large proportion pensioners, with most of the younger population gone.

  257. mal says:

    And also, as a space hydrogen shill/troll, to people interested in the next SpaceX.

    For what it’s worth, Stoke plans to use liquid hydrogen as the fuel for its second stage, and methane for the first stage. Methane isn’t a carbon-neutral fuel, which runs counter to Breakthrough Energy Ventures’ zero-emission vision. But Lapsa argued that other carbon-based rocket fuels (like kerosene, for example) are worse.

    “The best thing you can do, if you’re using a hydrocarbon fuel, is use the simplest hydrocarbon possible — and that’s methane,” he said.

    Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy leads \$65M funding round for Stoke Space’s reusable rockets

    https://www.geekwire.com/2021/breakthrough-energy-ventures-leads-65m-funding-round-for-stoke-spaces-reusable-rocket-stages/

    The ultimate best rocket configuration is – lower stage methane, upper stage hydrogen, electric plasma accelerator for the rest.

    We are slowly getting around to this, which is good news. Whoever rules space will rule the planet.

  258. It’s still not fully clear to me how the security apparatus lost control so easily.

    Or maybe they didn’t. There are indications that there could be elements of an inside job at play:

    FWIW, some CSTO members have already expressed reservations about an intervention.

    As a general rule, when there is a sudden lack of enforcement of key critical institutions, then there is usually foul play involved from the inside. We saw that on Jan 6th in the US last year, as Capitol police would let in protestors. It seems fairly obvious that FBI and intelligence agencies were aware of what was going to happen and allowed it proceed, if not instigated it. We now also know that FBI had moles inside the mob, thanks to NYT disclosures.

    If this is true in America, then a sudden disappearance of security forces in Kazakhstan likely hews to the same script. The situation did escalate much more in Kazakhstan, but that is a risk in any high-stakes gamble. My reading of the history of civil unrest is that there is rarely any “spontaneous” uprisings on this scale and often requires elite intervention (whether domestic or foreign). The sudden disappearance of security forces makes the entire episode even more bizarre.

    • Replies: @mal
  259. mal says:
    @Thulean Friend

    It’s still not fully clear to me how the security apparatus lost control so easily.

    Easy. The Soros guys are needy and pushed too hard ahead of Russia – NATO summit. So they shot their load prematurely. It happens to the best of us. From Russian side, why interrupt your “esteemed Western partner” when they are making a mistake? No reason at all.

    Kazakhstan contains a strategic spaceport and like 40% of world supply of uranium. I think it desperately needs the presence of Russian peacekeepers, and now it will get them.

    So all is well and how it is supposed to be. Thank you revolutionaries.

  260. @Yellowface Anon

    More nuanced perspective:

  261. Yevardian says:
    @Thulean Friend

    “We want to live like in Sweden or in Norway“.

    Lol. This sort of retarded populist monkey logic is how useful idiots, incompetents and traitors like Saakashvili, Perón and Pashinyan get elected.

    NOTHING good will come of this, Central Asia only needs one big spark for that whole region to go off.

  262. @Yevardian

    There is nothing wrong with the desire itself. The masses, however, typically have outrageously unrealistic expectations of how quickly and easily that goal can be achieved, so they readily fall prey to political scammers who’ve mastered the lexicon of western liberalism but whose main aim is to enrich themselves no matter the cost to the country. (And Yellowface is right, Peron hardly fits this model.)

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  263. @silviosilver

    I don’t see why a former Latin American leader is listed between two Caucasian leaders.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  264. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Things are more complicated than docility or lack of docility necessary for a legitimate uprising or an inducted color revolution to triumph. By the way, in these events, the less docile people were the Donbass people that rose against the Maidan regime which, in turn, was the product of a color revolution. Docility and popularity are just two variables of a complex multivariable game that do not necessarily define the result. For example, you can have a popular color revolution failing (like in Iran) or you can have an unpopular color revolution triumph (like in Bolivia, 2019).
    These games tend to be defined in the upper echelons of the power pyramid and in the Turkic world thing are even more complex because of the infighting between the power clans. In Kazakhstan we have so far riots which seems ultranationalists, the usual Internet agitprop from the usual suspects (Nexta, etc), an ongoing intervention by CSTO, infighting(?) between Nazarbayev and Tokayev, local oligarchs maneuvering and, in addition, possible maneuvers also from China and Turkey. Things are not only multivariable. The complicated power management of Turkic cultures lead to intricate power games (also in Turkey which nowadays is not ethnically very Turkic, LOL).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  265. Aedib says:
    @AP

    These data shows that an Anschluss is no longer feasible. Jihadi Julian and the “Nexta team” are ringing the alarm bells about the “imminent takeover of South Siberia by Russia”. These are wild fantasies. What might happen, and as “last reaction”, are (de facto and not de jure) minor land grabs for ethical Russians to be saved from Khazak headchoppers and this is now very unlikely.

  266. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    Every postsoviet country (except Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania) has gone to this political dystopia for the median citizen, with the wealthy clans, “harvesting” the majority of the population for salaries which are multiples less than the salary of MacDonald’s workers in developed countries.

    If you would try to investigate the systems in any serious sense, you would go to a morgue. Meanwhile, governments are feeding every strange ideology to try to distract citizens (sometimes opposing their own life directly, as Aliev’s family lives in Russia, while promoting Turkey), while prioritizing investment in security services.

    If it was one or two countries, it would be funny. But every country with the same situation. You are in Armenia, so you know already. For someone from any postsoviet country, talks to someoneone thousands of kilometres, completely different climate or ethnicity, to someone from another postsoviet country, and it’s all the same situation.

    Of course, comparison postsoviet coutnries to Sweden and Norway, is absurd. Aside from their wealth and historical fortune, those countries have not been dictatorships since at least the 19th century.

    But perhaps Estonia would be interesting to study. E.g. It’s only 40 years ago, they possibly killed film director Tarkovsky with their levels of carcinogenic pollution. Nowadays, OECD is saying they have very low pollution.

    They are actually managing to develop somekind of responsible governance to their ordinary citizens in just three decades? Although perhaps Estonia has an older advantage itself. They were already vastly most educated population in the Russian Empire.

    Pashinyan get elected.

    Pashinyan is announcing the rescue mission to help Тokаev. But nobody even offers help for Pashinyan when his wife is “fighting” in a war against Azerbaijan (while thousands of soldiers are killed by drones for YouTube). Neither help for Armenian citizens are breaking to his office, stealing “multiple bottles” of his perfume.

    Pashinyan’s own election promise is about improving democracy in Armenia. But the benefit being demonstrated by CSTO support of Тokаev, is its ability to work as insurance for the postsoviet clan system.

    CSTO is finally, for the first time, showing that it is useful for the member countries. For Pashinyan though, it would imply he is hoping to be protected by this clan politics’ insurance policy. I wonder if he is buying a villa in Forte dei Marmi already, perhaps near Zelensky’s villa.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  267. Dmitry says:
    @Aedib

    Without wanting to depreciate the brutality of security services in Belarus (many protesters imprisoned and beaten), I agree with AP that it was quietly dissolved.

    Remember how the hi-tech workers in Belarus, supported the protest so strongly. But nowadays they just quietly emigrate.

    One reason Belarus is not so difficult to manage for the authorities, is a very aging population. This is bad for dependency ratio of future decades, but positive for the stability of the government.

    In the Russian Federation, it is a similar situation with an aging population (especially among the slavic population), which means it should be increasingly easy to manage with each year for the government. By the 2040s, it will be too late for any street protests of energetic youth to generate much energy, as only a small proportion of the public will have the energy of youth.

    However, there is currently a high flood of young people into the largest cities. So because of the flood of young people internal immigration, cities like Moscow have disproportionate populations of young people. This can be potentially difficult to manage for the authorities. Although I think they will have few problems overall, considering the strength of security systems.

    As for Kazakhstan. Like other central Asian countries, a high fertility rate, with upcoming larger youth population. This could be difficult for the government to survive. But there is at least an offpressure of emigration to Russia or even China. Uzbekistan can potentially use this offpressure even more, as much of their young people can emigrate to Russia and China.

    Without offpressure of emigration of youth, it could seem a very unstable future situation for the authorities to manage the population in Central Asia.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  268. Is cheap energy for consumers the mechanism that made for the Kazakstan bitcoin manufacturing market share?

    Is there an overlap between bitcoin big dogs and color revolution promoters?

  269. Truth says:

    Hey Tolly,

    I don’t know if you are still here, but if not maybe Ron can do it:

    The inherent depression that white men suffer depresses me. Maybe you should utilize this thread to teach non-Slavic whites (most of the readers) to enjoy life as much as the Russkies do…

    https://worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh2vOo220IWzp5oZZ0

  270. Beckow says:
    @Dmitry

    Kazakstan is basically a landlocked country – no outlets other than across the Caspian that can easily be blocked. You have millions of people cooped-up in a large, open space with no realistic way to go anywhere (esp. after corona). The local elites have been harvesting the resources and moving their wealth out. Of course the young riot. After the riots they will still be a landlocked backwater dominated by comprador elites .

    Maybe they are doing it out of ennui, the pure hopelessness of the situation, some plunder, a few will manage to escape (Sweden?). Or maybe a blood-bath, that always clears minds. Another way to go is to fight with each other, there are enough different groups. We are back to the premodern era, the countries consciously reject any responsibility for how their people live – that would be “socialism”, and we can’t have that. Markets rule – as they have since the stone age. Markets rule by the rule of a bigger wallet, or sometimes a bigger stick. The elites absolutely love it, they have both.

    This is what life is like after people give up, after they buy the liberal claptrap that “freedom” is all that matters, that material lives don’t have to managed, that the invisible hand in a divine fashion rules over us in the best of the all possible worlds. In reality, freedom is a simple neglect, and liberty is nothing else than elite accumulation of assets. Enjoy, at least the evil state is not keeping enterpreneurs from flourishing. This is good stuff, they say so, it must be. There is no alternative.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  271. Australia has the greatest tennis player ever under hotel arrest because of vaccination.**

    https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/exclusive-novak-djokovic-denied-entry-australia-seeking-injunction-stop-2022-01-05/

    “They are keeping him in captivity. They are stomping all over Novak to stomp all over Serbia,” said his father, who earlier described his son to local media as “the Spartacus of the new world”.

    ** that is the greatest ever so far.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  272. Mikel says:
    @Mikhail

    I haven’t been following Ukrainian politics much lately but Poroshenko being sought for arrest under the accusation of treason sounds like the Maidan revolution entering a Thermidor phase of sorts. Last time I checked he was the leader of the second party in Ukraine and in the elections he had represented a more revolutionary alternative to Zelensky, even accusing him of being a Putin stooge. I wonder if Poroshenko’s former friends in the EU will have anything to say this time. It’s not just pro-Russians and communists being prosecuted now.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  273. songbird says:

    Seems remarkable to me that Kazakhstan is the world’s largest Muslim country by area. Even bigger than Sudan before it split. Though, I suppose it is not very relevant, as a categorization.

  274. @Dmitry

    Of course, comparing post-Soviet countries to Sweden and Norway, is absurd. Aside from their wealth and historical fortune, those countries have not been dictatorships since at least the 19th century.

    Sweden was almost unique in Europe insofar as that our peasants had significant democratic rights early on. Secondly, a significant share nobility’s privileges – not to mention their wealth and estates – began to be dismantled and re-nationalised by Karl XI without barely a shot fired. Of course, some privileges were kept to maintain systemic stability, but they nevertheless faced considerable losses compared to what their used to have.

    Typically such convulsions require revolutions and massive civil wars, yet both changes went quietly.

    When we lost Norway in early 20th century, there was a lot of recalcitrant talk of massing a huge army and doing a hostile occupation. Thankfully, our government ignored such voices.

    I think this is a key difference between us and the Caucasoids/Balkanoids. We had plenty of opportunities to enter the same kind of meaningless bloodfeuds but we chose otherwise. We have our prosperity to thank for it.

    At root, it’s probably a difference in temperament. My impression is that we are considerably calmer and more collected than hotheaded Caucasoids/Balkanoids and thus better able to settle disputes in a formalised manner. Importantly, the losers are restrained when faced with their loss (as the nobility were when losing some of their privileges), which helps overall stability.

    CSTO is finally, for the first time, showing that it is useful for the member countries.

    That was a long time coming.

  275. @Emil Nikola Richard

    They are stomping all over Novak to stomp all over Serbia,” said his father,

    Lol, it’s probably not news to anyone here, but that sort of conspiratard thinking is sadly very widespread among Serbs (and related peoples). Pity for Novak, who seems like a nice guy (not that I know anything about him) and who you can easily imagine being embarrassed by such a fuckwit of a father. There was Serbian-Australian tennis player, Jelena Dokic, who made a bit of a splash about twenty years ago, whose father was cast from the same fuckwit mold as Novak’s, and who gave similarly embarrassing media interviews. You have to figure these people have no idea how nutty they sound to others, else they’d restrain themselves a bit.

    ** that is the greatest ever so far.

    Thanks for that clarification bro. For a minute I thought you might be visiting us from the distance future.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  276. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikel

    If I’m not mistaken, the basis against Porky is because he bought coal from Donbass. Whatever, the case, calling the Kiev regime a democracy is farcical.

    Farkas at it again:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1478936905278541825

  277. Yevardian says:
    @Thulean Friend

    I think this is a key difference between us and the Caucasoids/Balkanoids. We had plenty of opportunities to enter the same kind of meaningless bloodfeuds but we chose otherwise. We have our prosperity to thank for it.

    At root, it’s probably a difference in temperament. My impression is that we are considerably calmer and more collected than hotheaded Caucasoids/Balkanoids and thus better able to settle disputes in a formalised manner. Importantly, the losers are restrained when faced with their loss (as the nobility were when losing some of their privileges), which helps overall stability.

    How very in character when people in your demographic feel perfectly comfortable in blaming the national character of Balkans and Caucasian peoples for their middling levels of development, but when discussions of third-world immigration come up, India, the Arab world and Africa are purely the ‘victims’ of colonialism, and Europeans should feel obliged to take as many of them as possible.

    Unlike Scandinavia (and unlike the other regions I mentioned) the Balkans and Caucasus were submerged under alien rule for many hundreds of years, almost half a millennia in some instances such as Bulgaria. Those internecine Balkan feuds were also heavily stoked by external great power involvement (San Stefano, Austria’s annexation of Bosnia, etc.) upon their independence.

  278. Yevardian says:
    @silviosilver

    They are stomping all over Novak to stomp all over Serbia,” said his father,

    Classic Serbian mentality lol.

    But in general Tennis players tend to be self-centred primadonnas, even by the usual standards of sportsball, I suppose it comes from the extremely individual nature of the game. Jokovic himself seems like a nice regular guy, just very vain.

    I have no interest in spectator sports myself (admittedly, I have friends who follow it closely), but just off the top of my head I can think of the following tennis players with highly brash, hystrionic or arrogant personalities: Sharapova, Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Sabalenka etc. Humble and balanced players like Simona Halep or Federer are rather the exception.

  279. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    difference in temperament

    But look at Kazakhs. In some ways, they could seem like they should be very different to Ukrainians. Yet politically, Kazakhstan is behaving very analogous to Ukraine.

    It reminds of my discussion last week with Mikel, about Latin America, when he was writing that the region is dysfunctional partly because of indigenous nationalities. This postsoviet space (also postrussian Empire space) has a very wide range of ethnicities, with different cultural history, temperament, etc.

    Yet in terms of the political problems, all countries are behaving very similar, with very similar dysfunctions and problems. It’s an example where local differences of constituent nationalities seem less important than this wider situation.

    CSTO’s transition to a Warsaw Pact lite where it’s purpose is to maintain internal regime stability as opposed to external defense.

    Yes, but only a “transition” in terms of knowledge of ordinary people, learning that the purpose CSTO’s is to maintain internal regime stability of the member governments. This is always its real purpose, but in this example it is a little too obvious.

    You can not underestimate how gullible and easily controlled, postsoviet ordinary people are. For example, until the coronavirus pandemic, I didn’t understand that official data are so regularly faked. I was naively for years reading about such data, and believing it is serious because it is published in a respectable media (e.g. “Vedomosti”, “Kommersant”). But even the census is miscounting by millions of people and many cities are faking their population numbers. Patterns of official numbers in many areas of life, could only be understood by forensic accountants.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @AP
  280. @Thulean Friend

    Typically such convulsions require revolutions and massive civil wars, yet both changes went quietly.

    Yes, that’s what is most impressive to me about the Swedish achievement. Even though, based on available GDP data, Sweden was considerable poorer than the rest of western Europe, when at some in the latter 19th century it decided – in a nutshell – that prostrating oneself before kings and God was an altogether useless way to live, and that what really mattered was addressing the common man’s material needs, they set about accomplishing that end with remarkable speed and efficiency.

    At root, it’s probably a difference in temperament.

    I think that goes without saying, but the way that difference plays out in the world is a bit more subtle than “oh those balkanoid hotheads, you can’t expect anything good to ever come from them.” It’s not as if no one in that part of the world is conciliatory. For instance, Greco-Bulgarian reconciliation is on the level of Franco-German, in terms of the historical rivalry and bitterness it has overcome. (Of course, vigilance is required to maintain it, but the same is true of France and Germany.)

    You might also consider the vast numbers of homegrown communists who, for all their failings, made a very sincere effort to tamp down on ethnic hostilities. (They didn’t go hard enough; if I had been in charge, I’d have given those bastards a thousand Bleiburgs.)

    A simple model to understand the subtle difference is the boiling point analogy. Water boils at 100, but alcohol boils at 78. So if the germanics are water, balkanoids are alcohol – it takes less to set them off. But if you can maintain a suitable temperature, there’s no reason that things must boil over. In addition to that, the greater prevalence of outright shitheads among balkanoids means that, when the conditions arise, the balance is comparably more likely to be tipped towards narrow, unreasoning chauvinism.

    To me, the greatest problem is that, once tipped, the foregoing reasons also make it more likely that it will stay tipped. Since right action springs from right thought, the consequences of setting out with, and then rigidly maintaining – come what may – fallacious assumptions about reality can be utterly devastating. It’s like when humans begin with the question “what does God want?” instead of “what do humans need?”, literally thousands of years can be wasted in needless suffering because the latter question, far from being answered, is never even asked.

    Anyway, strecan Bozic svima koji danas slave!

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  281. Yevardian says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Perón is arguably the example of a populist leader who managed to run his country into the ground by making outrageous promises to his mob (his followers were referred to as ‘los descamisados’, or ‘the shirtless’) with practically no chance of becoming reality. Perhaps to his ‘credit’ he did attempt to make good on his unrealistic promises, at the cost of radically polarising society, and totally dislocating the economy. At the end of his first period in power, as Argentina’s economy was imploding from hyperinflation and food-riots and street fights were breaking out, Perón made public statements urging his followers ‘to kill 5 for every dead Perónist’, which is when the military finally had enough and overthrew him to prevent civil war.

    The nature of his promises and ideology were so vague that his fanatical following immediately split off into far-left and far-right factions, with ‘Perónist’ urban guerillas and corrupt unions (and I am generally pro-union) plaguing the country for decades. In fact, his social and economic legacy left Argentina so unmanagable that the military actually invited Perón back in hope that he could tame the populist monster he’d created. Tragically, on his return, dozens of his avowed supporters actually managed to kill each other at a mass rally of his that degenerated into a brawl between leftist and rightist Peronistas.

    Perhaps I could have just shortened this by specificing that Perón exemplified incompetence, Pashinyan a traitor, and Saakashvili a useful idiot.

  282. @Thulean Friend

    We had plenty of opportunities to enter the same kind of meaningless bloodfeuds but we chose otherwise. We have our prosperity to thank for it.

    Not trying to grammar shame you, but… well, okay, I am, but since all’s fair in love and race war, if you’ll kindly permit me: I think you meant to say, you owe your prosperity to it. Otherwise, your statement is saying your prosperity is responsible for the fact that you have avoided meaningless bloodfeuds – which may even true, but I don’t think it’s what you intended to say.

  283. Dmitry says:
    @Beckow

    millions of people cooped

    Although Kazakhstan citizens are not really cooped, as they can live in Russia, just as easily as any Russian citizen.

    Eurasian Economic Union is like a nationality exchange program. If you are a Kazakhstan citizen, you can live and work in Russia without any paperwork, the same as any Russian citizen. Soon it is supposed to be able to even travel by plane between constituent countries without needing an external passport. It will be like traveling inside the same country. I believe the only difference of the citizenships, will be that Kazakh citizens cannot vote in the Russian election.

    So, with such kind of border and mutual trust, you can see how important it should be to not alienate the Kazakh popular viewpoint.

    local elites have been harvesting the resources and moving their wealth out

    Much of the money of their vast natural resources and oil wealth, will be in politicians’ \$500,000 watches, and in Monaco and London. Then it will re-enter Kazakhstan as “FDI”, but this “FDI” actually just Kazakhstan’s money returning after being cleaned through offshore accounts and assets.

    It’s completely predictable, but it shouldn’t be inevitable if people would be able to create a little more bargaining power.

    In Norway, a lot of vast profits from their oil, probably really will return to be invested in education or hospitals of the ordinary. It doesn’t require socialist revolution, but some reliable accountancy and transparency with administration.

    the evil state is not keeping enterpreneurs from flourishing. This is good stuff, they say so,

    But if the state doesn’t have any one to one relation to the people in the state. If it is built on self-interest of a few narrow clans or clique, and one person can have more influence in its direction than a hundred million citizens?

    Of course, state is not necessarily evil. Many problems of our collective life, can only be solved through a state. Food safety regulation or street lights, will not be too successful without a state. But how much would you trust it to have more control over you? If it’s not reasonable for you to trust them, then it can indeed be reasonable to celebrate for situation where state is more limited, has stricter rules to define it in relation to the public. It depends a lot on the nature of state, its contract with the public, whether there are self-correction mechanisms, or mechanisms for the population to correct it (which are hopefully not so destabilizing as blockading the Bastille).

  284. Dmitry says:
    @silviosilver

    balkanoid hotheads,

    Well since the 1990s, the Balkans is viewed like the “Africa of Europe” or “Middle East of Europe”. And this is also how it was seen in the later 19th century, as the most undeveloped and tribal region of Austro-Hungary’s Empire.

    But then in a different historical epoch, with a different system of Yugoslavia under dictator Tito, I believe it was viewed as one of Europe’s more quiet and peaceful regions. Yugoslavia has this much calm image in decades like 1960s or 1970s.

    Think about Ukraine today. The stereotypical image presented of Ukrainians which is in popular culture, is of angry, radical, nationalism and intolerance. But I remember just a decade in the past, the primary image of Ukrainians was presented as of charming and hospitable culture. Of course, it’s still the same Ukrainians (excluding some births and deaths). Just history turning the kaleidoscope on our view of them, as their country was thrown in chaos and civil war.

    Water boils at 100, but alcohol boils at 78. So if the germanics are water, balkanoids are alcohol

    Today Germans’ national temperament might appear to have “high boiling point”. But in the first half of the 20th century, it was the opposite situation, under unfortunate historical conditions.

    Japanese today have one of the world’s friendliest images, with anime and cat cafes. However, in 1930s Manchuria?

    It’s a reality where you need professional historians, who see a thousand different factors that determine the complexity of these situations. That’s not to say that we can’t see common “essentialist” aspects in nationalities. Japanese were drawing the same anime pictures in the 19th century, as today. But the results of their deeper habits, can be very nonpredictive on a longer time-horizon, and can be determined by extra-territorial events sometimes as easily as by some internal, endogenous trajectory.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  285. Mikel says:
    @Dmitry

    Kazakhstan is behaving very analogous to Ukraine.

    In fact, the protests in Kazakhstan have been very different from the ones in Ukraine and almost the opposite of what they were in Belarus.

    The may have started peacefully but in a matter of days escalated to an amazing level of armed violence that included widespread looting and vandalism. They actually remind me a lot of the Chilean street protests of the past years that were invariably followed by wanton looting and destruction. The recently elected president of Chile became famous as as a leader of this sort of protests. They used to start as marches demanding equality in education but always ended in pure vandalism. Incidentally, they also claimed to be fighting for a Scandinavian model 🙂

    Chileans spent years hearing discussions on the media about the merits of the Scandinavian education system and they even brought some Finish experts to counsel them on how to reform their model.

    In general, the aspiration to become like Scandinavians is incredibly widespread around the world. I remember Spanish politicians also promising to implement policies based on the Swedish model. For some reason, people in poorer countries seldom think about emulating Hong-Kong, Taiwan or Singapore in order to achieve higher levels of income. Redistributing wealth is much more popular than increasing it.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Pericles
  286. songbird says:

    “Someone irresponsible is not a citizen.” is perhaps the line that the French generals should take.

  287. Dmitry says:
    @Mikel

    very different from the ones in Ukraine

    I wasn’t talking about the rebellions though with my comment. Kazakhstan events are economic protests, without the nationalist aspect that was important in Ukraine and Belarus.

    Ukraine 2013-2014 was unfortunately very violent, more than what happens in Kazakhstan, at least unless things become terrible in Kazakhstan. I was following it by different Ukrainian resources on the internet at that time. Although it was slow in the beginning, then there was some exponential momentum and we were seeing unfortunately a very large quantity of videos of brutally violent, almost medieval events were happening in Ukraine.

    However, I mean that the total political situation of Kazakhstan is very similar to Ukraine, and also Russia and everywhere in the postsoviet space (except perhaps Latvia/Lithuania/Estonia).

    I was talking to some Kazakh students in Western Europe a few months ago. If you ask those young (in my opinion very wealthy) dudes “how is it in Kazakhstan”, the words are as you would be said if asked “how is in Russia”, or “how is in Ukraine”. It’s like everyone has been living in the same system. You just need to hear about 10 words and you can shrug with mutual sympathy.

    By the way, I read a funny comment on YouTube. He is saying that CSTO are like princes of old times, who send their knights to crush peasant insurrection in neighboring regions.

    This is very much the impression of the priorities, when you remember how uninterested CSTO reacts in October 2020, when Armenia is fighting Azerbaijan.

    Pashinyan’s wife was pretending to be a “soldier” for Facebook in Nagorno-Karabakh. Every day, hundreds of Armenian soldiers are killed for YouTube drone videos by an external enemy.

    But CSTO is not interested, says “don’t worry Armenia, we are monitoring the situation, as your army is being destroyed for YouTube audiences”.

    On the other hand, citizens internally protest against fuel prices in Kazakhstan. Within a few hours, CSTO sending combat soldiers in military planes.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @sudden death
  288. @Dmitry

    It’s a reality where you need professional historians, who see a thousand different factors that determine the complexity of these situations.

    Historians are as subject to biases as the rest of us. It hardly matters much that they might possess some special ability to see a thousand different factors if their biases determine which of those factors they give weight to.

    But in the first half of the 20th century, it was the opposite situation, under unfortunate historical conditions.

    Japanese today have one of the world’s friendliest images, with anime and cat cafes. However, in 1930s Manchuria?

    The temperature was above 100? Then a traumatic defeat imparted the lesson that they’re better off keeping the temperature under 100, and so they have done. That’s as good as anything that a historian might come up with.

    That’s not to say that we can’t see common “essentialist” aspects in nationalities. Japanese were drawing the same anime pictures in the 19th century, as today.

    I simply accept a hereditarian model based on evolutionary psychology which holds that individuals and groups tend to differ in evolutionarily influenced inclinations. If you think that the Japanese draw anime just as a beaver builds a dam, you are much more of an essentialist than I am.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  289. Mikel says:
    @Dmitry

    Ukraine 2013-2014 was unfortunately very violent, more than what happens in Kazakhstan

    If you’re talking about the events before the Donbass war, we must have been watching different videos. I can’t imagine Victoria Nuland flying to Almaty and handing out cookies to the heavily armed rioters that are beheading policemen.

  290. songbird says:

    It’s amazing how easily one can get a bad vibe from an area.

    Just seeing the overpowering color and dark shadows of a still is often enough to tell me that the place has killer heat and UV.

    Conversely, one could be blind and still hear the murderous cacophony of some places.

  291. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Yet politically, Kazakhstan is behaving very analogous to Ukraine.

    Other than in the sense that there is a popular uprising*, not really.

    Maidan was peaceful for about 2 months before the cycle of violence started – police beating protesters then vice versa, and sniper attacks. Even so, the death toll never exceeded 200. In only a few days there are dozens if not hundreds dead – mass shooting of protesters, police getting beheaded, etc. in Kazakhstan.

    There was no mass looting in Ukraine, it was more purely political in nature; there appears to be mass looting in Kazakhstan

    In Ukraine, the protesters were linked to political parties that had won the popular vote in the recent election. It’s much more murky in Kazakhstan.

    *Given the widespread nature of events and number of participants in Kazakhstan we can conclude that the uprising is popular; it isn’t a coup of some sort. I do not know whether it enjoys majority support in Kazakhstan, but it certainly enjoys widespread support.

  292. Biden at his best lively rhetorical performance since quite long ago:

    Make no mistake about it, we’re living at an inflection point in history, both at home and abroad. We’re engaged anew in a struggle between democracy and autocracy, between the aspirations of the many and the greed of the few. Between the people’s right of self-determination and self-seeking autocrat. From China to Russia and beyond, they’re betting the democracies’ days are numbered – they’ve actually told me democracy is too slow, too bogged down by division to succeed in today’s rapidly changing, complicated world.

    And they’re betting, they’re betting America will become more like them and less like like us. They’re betting in America is a place for the autocrat, the dictator, the strongman. I do not believe that. That is not who we are. That is not who we have ever been. And that is not who we should ever, ever be.

    Our founding fathers, as imperfect as they were, set in motion, an experiment that changed the world, literally changed the world. Here in America, the people would rule. Power would be transferred peacefully. Never the tip of a spear or the barrel of a gun. They committed paper and idea that couldn’t live up to – they couldn’t live up to, but an idea it couldn’t be constrained.

    Yes, in America, all people are created equal. Reject the view that if you, if you succeed, I fail. If you get ahead, I fall behind. If I hold you down, I somehow lift myself up.

    The former president who lies about this election and the mob that attacked this Capitol could not be further away from the core American values. They want to rule or they will ruin. Ruin when our country fought for at Lexington and Concord at Gettysburg and Omaha Beach, Seneca Falls, Selma, Alabama. What – and what we were fighting for: The right to vote. The right to govern ourselves. The right to determine our own destiny.

    With rights come responsibilities. The responsibility to see each other as neighbors. Maybe we disagree with that neighbor, but they’re not an adversary. The responsibility to accept defeat, then get back in the arena and try again the next time to make your case. The responsibility to see that America is an idea. An idea that requires vigilant stewardship.

    I did not seek this fight right to this Capitol year ago today, but I will not shrink from it either. I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation, and I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy. We will make sure the will of the people is heard. That the ballot prevails, not violence. That authority of this nation will always be peacefully transferred. I believe the power of the presidency and the purpose is to unite this nation, not divide it.

    To lift us up. Not tear us apart. It’s about us, not about me. Deep in the heart of America, burns a flame lit almost 250 years ago of liberty, freedom and equality. This is not the land of kings or dictators or autocrats.

    We’re a nation of laws of order, not chaos, of peace, not violence. Here in America, the people rule, through the ballot. And their will prevails. So let’s remember together, we’re one nation under God, indivisible, that today, tomorrow and forever, at our best, we are the United States of America.

    .

    https://www.npr.org/2022/01/06/1070931178/jan-6-anniversary-biden-speech-transcript

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @songbird
  293. Speaking of the Balkans…

    Bulgaria’s population fell by 11% from 2011-2011

    Bulgaria’s population stood at 6,520,314 as at September 7, 2021, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) told a news conference on Thursday. The last four censuses showed a population decline, the biggest being registered in the 2021 census: by 844,000 people, or by 11.5 per cent compared to 2011

    The share of people aged 65+ is higher by 5.4 percentage points compared to 2011 and by 9.6 percentage points compared to 1992. The number and relative share of children and people of active age is decreasing.

    Eurostat’s fairly pessimistic projections assumed Bulgaria would hit these numbers in 2025, so Bulgaria’s population is falling faster than even the pessimists thought.

    Romania will have a census this year and I expect it to be equally gory. Ukraine’s census numbers are wildly inflated and nobody believes them.

    This is but one of many reasons why I am skeptical of deluded claims that Eastern Europe has a bright future. Czechia is one of the few countries that has both high (relatively) fertility and low emigration, combined with reasonable prosperity. But they are very clearly a major outlier.

    I think the line where Europe ends and Turkey starts will gradually creep up as the decades roll along.

    • Replies: @AP
  294. One major underreported reason why Western economic systems look the way they do is because they faciliate the co-option of foreign elites.

    As Kazakhstan burns over inequality, the elite’s wealth is safe and sound in London

    I am reminded of stories of Saudi princes going on shopping sprees in LA and occasionally running over students from Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD with their Ferraris and Lambhorginis since they don’t view traffic rules fit for their bloodlines. It causes minor stirs but significant punishment is somehow always elusive because the larger objective of co-opting the spoiled offspring of foreign elites is simply too important to let up.

    That’s also why these “investigations” never go anywhere nor lead to meaningful action. If I am to be cynical, one might even suspect they are mainly published as leverage against said elites to keep the educated (and naïve) diaspora informed of their own elites’ corrupt dealings, even if the West shields them.

    This is also why China will struggle to win over corrupt elites from third- and second-world countries, since it has limited possibilities to let in foreign elites live and work in China. At any rate, it is an insular country with a hard language, so its relative attractiveness will always fade compared to English-speaking countries. One may recall how Huawei chairman’s daughter got ensared in Canada precisely because her family bought up plenty of properties as a hedge against any future crackdown in China. Little did she know…

  295. Cutler says:
    @sher singh

    iirc Italy’s non European/ non White births are less than 10% not 15%. Data is found on Istat Italian language sites.

  296. Cutler says:
    @songbird

    The majority of Jus Sanguinis applicants from Latin America are from Argentina and Southern Brazil and I would assume the vast majority are White/ Phenotypically European as most have ancestors who left Italy at the turn of the century who largely settled areas that were already heavily European ie Espirito Santo Parana Buenos Aires etc and mixed amongst themselves for the most part.
    The Brothers of Italy party are saying Italy should be finding its immigrants from the Italian diaspora rather than non Europeans from Africa Asia etc.

  297. AP says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Population decline in EE is certainly a negative, but fortunately those places have little immigration so they are at least set up for an eventual rebound. Ukraine might have the population it had in the 1920s, but it is still Ukraine and nothing but Ukraine. France, which is achieving the demographics of 1940s Lebanon, has a less bright future.

    Bulgaria has many Turks and gypsies; this is not true of Visegrad (Hungary and Slovakia have gypsies only), former PLC and Baltics.

  298. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Other than in the sense that there is a popular uprising

    I’m not talking about the uprising, as I already said to Mikel. I’m not sure why people are inferring that. I’m talking about the politics of the country. Considering both you and Mikel read my comment the same way, I’m assuming I need to improve my writing style though lol.

    Of course, political situation is very similar, from small details, to larger pictures. But except for Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania, all postsoviet countries are similar, so this is a minor point. Perhaps it’s more interesting to try to notice differences.

    In terms of postsoviet countries, Ukraine and Kazakhstan politics are not the closest in every way.

    For example, Kazakhstan’s dictatorship uses a cult of personality, like in Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. These cults of personality systems have a stronger obsession with presenting order, and they invest a lot in things in creating an ultra-clean impression in the center of the capital city* (importing Parisian streetlamps), or in their media.

    However, in terms of the national policy, Kazakhstan’s government is more in the cluster with postmaidan Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan. These are countries where the official policy has promoted a concept of turning into a mono-ethnic state. Whereas in Russia or Azerbaijan, the focus is promoting an image (and in Russia creating a reality) of multi-culturalism.

    Also Ukraine is in a different cluster, as there has been able to have some extent of elections that change its government from time to time. Whereas in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia (even 1996 election was mostly faked, although there were at least rival groups in the media and elite then, and still in 2000) and Belarus, there has been no change of government since the early 1990s.

    *Clean streets and chocolate bars named after him with cocoa levels proportional to his election victory percentages, are trademarks of Lukashenko.

    Maidan was peaceful for about 2 months before the cycle of violence started – police beating protesters then vice versa, and sniper attacks. Even so, the death toll never exceeded 200

    There were around 130 people killed in Kiev, mostly by intermittent sniper rifles, but within some months there were thousands killed in Ukraine. Artificially separated events in central Kiev, from the country, is something created years later.

    This isn’t related to my comment though. I didn’t never say the rebellion is the same, but the wider picture.

    hooting of protesters, police getting beheaded,

    I wouldn’t be so sure, especially if there is no video presented.

    You know Kazakhstan is a postsoviet country, it’s not a Benelux country. The proportion of fakes in the media can rise to a majority during these events. In 2014, there was the mainstream media reporting about how a boy was crucified by the Ukraine army.

    • Replies: @AP
  299. Mr. Hack says:

    Christmas Greetings to all who visit this site. I was looking for one nice Christmas card to share with everybody here, and lucked out and found this nice collage. Let’s all wish Anatoly Karlin greetings too, and hope that he come back to lead his flock of merry pranksters, after his long and well deserved sabbatical. Substack anybody?

    • Thanks: songbird
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  300. Dmitry says:
    @silviosilver

    Historians are as subject to biases

    Sure perhaps even more biased than most normal people, but if you look at a history book, in the European tradition, since at least the 18th century (actually even in Herodotus and Thucydides), they look at hundreds of variables. Perhaps even thousands, depending how you define them.

    The idea of this historical tradition, has been not to reduce details too much, but rather to overload details and particularities.

    This tradition of history has been useful because they are just talking about human reality, where the details are really more interesting and important, than our opinions or theories that can be added as a conclusion (not that models like Marxism have not been inspiring for historians). You can read history books where you disagree with the conclusion, but can be very interested in the details.

    as good as anything that a historian might come up with.

    And if you are writing about Yugoslavia history, you can add this opinion. And someone else can add fifty counter-examples. And if we are professional historians like German Reader, we might be able to get a university to pay for it, and call this the “historical conference”.

    But then in the discussion we would likely become more interested in the examples and counter-examples. Because that is the actually interesting thing we find in history – examples and details from the more complex reality, which we don’t necessarily understand too well.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  301. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This is probably my very favorite Ukrainian Christmas album. Check out the spectacular energy that is exhibited on the first carol featuring Jarema Cisaruk from the Detroit area. The whole album is a refined gem of Ukrainian artistry. Give it a spin, maybe you’ll get tingles up and down your spine like I do when I listen to it – Merry Christmas!

  302. A123 says: • Website

    The propaganda and ideological purity of the Fake Stream Media is now so vicious that even *Progressives* are too right wing. Both trust and viewership are at all time lows. Everyone is catching on to the endless string of misinformation.

    PEACE 😇

     

  303. Dmitry says:

    Pashinyan is sending 100 Armenian soldiers to help protect facilities of Kazakhstan from protests. But it was only a year in the past, Kazakhstan was celebrating Azerbaijan’s victory against Armenia.

    Although it is more multinational in terms of supporting their interests , as facilities CTSO will be possibly be defending, might include output of American (Chevron) operated oil fields in Kazakhstan. Much of the oil and mineral industry in Kazakhstan is extracted by American companies, while Turkish companies dominated their construction. Kazakhstan has also been having joint military exercises with the US and Turkey.

    First President of Kazakhstan congratulates Azerbaijani President on Victory

    First President of Kazakhstan, Honorary Chairman of the Turkish Council Nursultan Nazarbayev has congratulated Azerbaijani President on victory in his speech at non-formal Summit of Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States held on March 31 in a video format, APA reports.

    https://apa.az/en/xeber/foreign-news/First-President-of-Kazakhstan-congratulates-Azerbaijani-President-on-Victory-345757

    Kazakh President congratulates Azerbaijani President

    Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Republic of Kazakhstan has congratulated Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of November 8-Victory day, APA reports.

    https://apa.az/en/xeber/official-news/kazakh-president-congratulates-azerbaijani-president-361336

    Heads of large companies in Kazakhstan congratulate Azerbaijan on victory

    The heads of large companies of Kazakhstan operating in Azerbaijan congratulated the President and the people of Azerbaijan on the anniversary of the victory in the 44-day war.

    “While in Azerbaijan, we witnessed the unparalleled courage, will and determination of the Azerbaijani army, which, under your leadership, ensured the historic triumph of justice and returned the previously lost lands of Azerbaijan.

    The liberation of Karabakh was an achievement not only for Azerbaijan, but also a source of pride for all peoples of the Turkic world,” the appeal says.

    Armenia Sends 100 Soldiers to Kazakhstan as Part of CSTO “Peackeeping” Force

    On January 5, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev petitioned CSTO to send military assistance, which he said was needed “to help Kazakhstan overcome this terrorist threat.”

    Later that day, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, the current chair of the CSTO’s Collective Security Council, announced that the organization had agreed.

    “In light of the threats to national security and sovereignty to the Republic of Kazakhstan, including from external interference,” the CSTO agreed to send the organization’s collective peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan “for a limited period with the aim of stabilizing and normalizing the situation,” Pashinyan wrote in a Facebook post.

    In 2021, the CSTO rejected a request from Armenia to send troops after Azerbaijani military units made incursions into Armenian territory.

    https://hetq.am/en/article/139788

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Aedib
  304. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Further humiliation for Armenia. And it has no choice, otherwise Putin will let Azerbaijan grab more territory.

  305. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Of course, political situation is very similar, from small details, to larger pictures. But except for Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania, all postsoviet countries are similar, so this is a minor point. Perhaps it’s more interesting to try to notice differences…

    In terms of postsoviet countries, Ukraine and Kazakhstan politics are not the closest in every way.

    These two observations are contradictory. I don’t know much about Kazakhstan, but it seems to be very different from Ukraine and more like Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, etc. Within Ukraine, Donbas was within the same tradition (monolithinc power under Yanukovich) but the attempt to turn all of Ukraine into this style of rule ended in complete failure and defeat.

    For example, Kazakhstan’s dictatorship uses a cult of personality, like in Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. These cults of personality systems have a stronger obsession with presenting order, and they invest a lot in things in creating an ultra-clean impression in the center of the capital city* (importing Parisian streetlamps), or in their media.

    This is a characteristic feature of post-Soviet Eurasian states. Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and the Baltics don’t follow it. Russia, Russified Belarus, Russified Donbas, and the Turkic countries follow it. Political cultural legacy of the Tatars?

    The Baltics seem to be fully European. As is Galicia, within Ukraine. It’s not dominated by oligarchs, has a normal political system of parties with party programs (Svoboda like Austria’s Freedom Party, Samopomich a normal center-right party), rather than oligarch projects, its economy seems to be based on smaller businesses, IT startups and offshorers, and factories owned by Western European companies (again, like Central Europe) rather than huge inefficient Soviet-era industrial conglomerates controlled by oligarchs. If Galicia were independent it would be about the same as Poland, Hungary or Slovakia.

    However, in terms of the national policy, Kazakhstan’s government is more in the cluster with postmaidan Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan. These are countries where the official policy has promoted a concept of turning into a mono-ethnic state.

    But this is true not only of ex-Soviet republics, including the Baltics, but also Visegrad countries.

    Also Ukraine is in a different cluster, as there has been able to have some extent of elections that change its government from time to time. Whereas in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia (even 1996 election was mostly faked, although there were at least rival groups in the media and elite then, and still in 2000) and Belarus, there has been no change of government since the early 1990s.

    Correct, from this perspective Ukraine is more like the Baltics. Note that within Ukraine the eastern-style leaders such as Yanukovich and to a lesser extent Zelensky (house arrest of Medvedchuk in his mansion and freezing some of Poroshenko’s assets is not the same as throwing Tymoshenko and Lutsenko in prison) are more repressive than Yushchenko or Poroshenko.

    Basically, Ukraine has more European-style politics but outside Galicia has Soviet-style economics (oligarch domination, incredible corruption).

    There were around 130 people killed in Kiev, mostly by intermittent sniper rifles,

    Yes, after about two months of peaceful protests.

    but within some months there were thousands killed in Ukraine.

    This was the Russia-sustained civil war in Donbas, which was already post-revolutionary.

    You know Kazakhstan is a postsoviet country, it’s not a Benelux country. The proportion of fakes in the media can rise to a majority during these events. In 2014, there was the mainstream media reporting about how a boy was crucified by the Ukraine army.

    Good point. The mass looting of stores and property destruction seems to be corroborated by Western sources but the beheading is not.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  306. Pericles says:
    @Mikel

    In general, the aspiration to become like Scandinavians is incredibly widespread around the world. I remember Spanish politicians also promising to implement policies based on the Swedish model. For some reason, people in poorer countries seldom think about emulating Hong-Kong, Taiwan or Singapore in order to achieve higher levels of income. Redistributing wealth is much more popular than increasing it.

    Ironically enough, this redistributionist image of Sweden, at least, is built on the failed model of Olof Palme. Sweden had roughly a century of strong growth, from the 1850s — when the country switched from fruitless wars to industrialization — to the 1960s, where the taxes were low (20% of GDP) and the state worked to help Swedish companies industrialize and export. Then taxes skyrocketed (deliberately), the growth curve was broken and …

    Swedish GDP per Capita in Relation to World GDP per Capita, 1870-2004
    (Nine year moving averages)

    The slow down in Swedish growth from the 1970s may be considered in this perspective. While in most other countries growth from the 1970s fell only in relation to growth rates in the golden post-war ages, Swedish growth fell clearly below the historical long run growth trend. It also fell to a very low level internationally. The 1970s certainly meant the end to a number of successful growth trajectories in the industrial society. At the same time new growth forces appeared with the electronic revolution, as well as with the advance of a more service based economy. It may be the case that this structural change hit the Swedish economy harder than most other economies, at least of the industrial capitalist economies. Sweden was forced into a transformation of its industrial economy and of its political economy in the 1970s and the 1980s that was more profound than in most other Western economies.

    https://eh.net/encyclopedia/sweden-economic-growth-and-structural-change-1800-2000/

    Note that Palme also encouraged a lot of strange ties to the third world, a contributing reason to why he’s so respected there. But his socialistic experiment was basically what broke Sweden as an economic success story. There has been a lot of struggling to get out of that, and for whatever reason we haven’t resumed the high growth path even today.

  307. @AP

    There was no mass looting in Ukraine, it was more purely political in nature; there appears to be mass looting in Kazakhstan

    Maybe after the mass publicity of the BLM looters we have passed a milestone where all future domestic unrest anywhere anytime is going to have looting as a sideshow. It appeared to me that was new. It was widely mocked but people with authority were calling it mostly peaceful and House Speaker Pelosi was washing looters’ feet and begging forgiveness. If there is any historical precedent for that I would be interested to learn it.

    • Replies: @A123
  308. Pericles says:
    @sudden death

    Lol, the President-Legit furthermore appreciates the sacrifice of Minnesota, Portland and many other places in the struggle against racism and whiteness.

  309. Aedib says:
    @Dmitry

    The fact that Pashinyan, a man who reached Armenia’s presidency riding a color revolution, had to announce that the CSTO will act in Kazakhstan to abort another color revolution is a delicious irony.
    By the way, he should have accepted Putin’s initial offer to deploy Russian peacekeepers along the perimeter of Nagorno-Karabaj. This way he would have saved the whole exclave.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  310. songbird says:

    Did Chinese netizens nip Africanization in the bud, when they rejected the Three Squirrels advertisement with model Cai NiangNiang for having thick lips?

    (BTW, I agree with their rejection, as she has an ugly tattoo on her arm)

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202112/1243536.shtml

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  311. songbird says:

    TF’s antagonism towards cars is very understandable, if one supposes that he comes from Mumbai.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  312. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    two observations are contradictory

    It’s not intended to be contradictory. If you buy the new iphone, You know it’s interesting to talk about the differences in your new iphone compared to your other iphone. It doesn’t need to be said that your new iphone has more similarities than differences in total.

    feature of post-Soviet Eurasian states.

    Sure, with the presentation of the city centers, it’s like a “Potemkin village” strategy, kind of old in the region. At least it has not always bad results for the future of tourism (e.g. Saint-Petersburg). .

    It is interesting that we saw it now more strongly in the postsoviet countries, where there is also “cult of personality” of the leader. Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, etc.

    But remember how Poroshenko was trying to copy Putin/Lukashenko personality marketing, videos of him flying in planes, etc. I’m not so optimistic Ukraine has endogenous protection from cult of personality politics.

    Baltics seem to be fully European

    But not so much in the 1990s. You see they receive OECD reports every year, and OECD is writing about how responsive they are to the previous advice.

    For example, now in Lithuania there is still a lot of corruption in the state industry, and OECD reports are giving a lot of advice for how they should improve accountancy, install ways monitor the financial transactions within state sector.

    Those countries are in progressive transition from the postsoviet political life.

    also Visegrad countries.

    Visegrad countries are already mono-ethnic. In Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the project is “becoming mono-ethnic”. Language laws become an area of conflict. This is part of their state-building project, but it overshoots (in Ukraine, but potentially can in Kazakhstan) for Russian minorities.

    Good point. The mass looting of stores and property destruction seems to be corroborated by Western sources but the beheading is not.

    There are some videos of the protests, although not in large numbers like Ukraine.

    I’m not anything expert, but it looks like sometimes police must be shooting in the air or with not live ammunition. As in many videos with sounds of shooting, but groups of protesters run away without casualties.

    Hopefully, it’s not become too deadly there.

  313. songbird says:
    @sudden death

    Wonder whether they will continue to reference the Founding Fathers with negative qualifiers or whether we are just in a period of transition, before they try to re-articulate the founding completely.

    I’ve recently been amazed by the fact that almost the entire American space industry can now be understood to operate under a naked ideology of getting black women to the Moon. And I’m not even joking, it is just a theme that one sees again and again. Like Sierra Nevada Corp has CGI footage of a Dream Chaser (not even a moon vehicle) landing which ends with a black woman gazing smilingly up at the Moon.

  314. Dmitry says:
    @Aedib

    Recall that Pashinyan’s office was broken by protesters in 2020 and they stole his watch and perfume.

    Considering that CSTO’s priority seems to be to prevent against internal stability, rather than external enemies, perhaps it’s not really so ironic for Pashinyan. Who can say, he might need to call for the CSTO to protect his perfume next time.

    • Agree: Aedib
  315. @Pericles

    Your comment is an example of an old saying: most people’s economic preferences are ideological preferences. It is certainly true that growth in Sweden slowed down in the 1970s, but to draw a monocausal relationship to taxes is childish.

    It’s been some time since I read this history, but I recall that a major problem in the 1970s was that we used to have a significant shipping industry which was butchered by cheap Korean competition in the 1970s. Kockums still do decent high-end stuff, but not on the scale as they used to. Finland got battered badly as Nokia & their paper industry got hammered in the post-2008 crisis. Sometimes some countries get hit disproportionately since they are overexposed in some sectors.

    At any rate, the biggest crisis in modern Swedish history – even bigger than the 2008 crash – was the financial crisis of the early 1990s. That was driven by rampant neoliberalism and deregulation. Ironically, the initial steps were taken by the Social Democrats who nevertheless started to abandon their own legacy.

    FWIW, Denmark has among the highest tax-to-GDP ratio in the world, and higher than Sweden’s, yet is wealthier. It’s almost as if prosperity is driven by far more fundamental things than taxes. People shouldn’t confuse empiricism with personal preferences.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  316. A123 says: • Website
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    Maybe after the mass publicity of the BLM looters we have passed a milestone where all future domestic unrest anywhere anytime is going to have looting as a sideshow

    Looting & other types of misbehaviour are not unusual when law enforcement is unavailable or out matched. Look at the riots and car burnings experienced in “no-go” areas of France.

    The newness from recent U.S. events is local authorities *chosing* to intentionally allow the problems. Defund the Police, minimum \$1,000 to prosecute shoplifting, and other obvious malfeasance by George IslamoSoros’s hand picked DA’s.

    As long as the #NeverTrump crazies inflict damage on themselves and their communities, that is their choice. However, there has to be a solution that contains dystopian Leftoids. That solution is Chuck Norris Kyle Rittenhouse.

    PEACE 🤔 …. Through superior firepower 😇

  317. @songbird

    I thought the controversy centered around her thin eyes rather than her supposed thick lips?

    “I was born with eyes like that. They are even smaller in real life. Does that mean I should not be a model because I was born with small eyes?” the model involved posted on her Weibo account under the name Cainiangniang. “I am all for patriotism… but this is kind of morbid,” she added, calling on netizens to be reasonable.

    The image of “slanted eyes” and a “braid” comes from Western stereotypes of the Chinese in the 19th century, according to Zhu. It is not an objective description of the features of the Chinese people but a Western “label” for East Asians based on their sense of ideological superiority, Zhu said.

    Some voices from social media regard the advertisement as typical “orientalism,” with many artistic elements derived from Western stereotypes, which are based on the imagination of Westerners.

    “We do not blame the models themselves, we blame those companies which still insist on making promotions by using images that might offend Chinese to gain internet popularity or for catering to Western stereotypes about Asian people,” Zhu said, “A responsible brand should not do this.”

    It’s hard not to come away with the impression that Chinese people still carry an inferiority complex. As the model explained, she has even smaller eyes in real life than the ad portrayed it as. If a people is self-confident they wouldn’t obsess with how they are portrayed by Westerners, or try to shame innocent women for being born they way they are.

    It seems to be a problem in many other Asian countries. Korea is known for many women surgically making their eyes more oval and bigger, and changing their jaw lines. It’s sad.

    • Replies: @songbird
  318. @songbird

    TF’s antagonism towards cars is very understandable, if one supposes that he comes from Mumbai.

    I do not understand the fetishism that so many Americans have towards cars. Perhaps it is because so many of your cities were designed around cars, so another world does not seem possible.

    Moreover, I think you underestimate the sentiment in Europe, which is moving in my direction and not in yours. With some luck, even some American cities will slowly start turning towards a more prosperous future.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @AP
    , @Dmitry
  319. Aedib says:

    The ongoing Kazakh crisis has become a new example of destabilizing efforts of particular global players in the region. In the previous years, the Kazakh leadership tried to provide a ‘balanced foreign policy’ including advances with the US-led globalist bloc as well as the allowance of work of various ‘humanitarian and business organizations’, including the Turkish ones, in the country. Even this slight shift towards the US-led ‘democratic world’ created enough conditions for the gloomy prospects of ‘foreign-sponsored democratic transition’ that we currently see in Kazakhstan. In this situation, the Russian-led CSTO and Russia itself are the only de-facto allies of the country that are interested and ready to act to help the Kazakh leadership to repel the ongoing terrorist aggression.

    https://southfront.org/blood-and-chaos-in-kazakhstan-pro-globalist-forces-once-again-show-their-real-face/

  320. Pericles says:
    @Thulean Friend

    You can see the financial crisis of the 90s in the provided graph too. Did you experience the days of 300%+ interest rates yourself?

    The Palme years, apart from shocking raises on tax rates, also introduced the diabolical “Löntagarfonder”, where public companies had to pay an extra tax which then was used for these government funds buying shares in them. (I don’t think this involved private companies too, but I’m not sure.) This would mean the owners would have to pay for their own companies being socialized. It was a pretty universally hated measure, didn’t really and were soon wound down in the 1990s. Do you recall the famous written doggerel of the minister of finance when they were getting started?

    The 70s was also a period when entrepreneurs and elites were migrating out of the country en masse due to the aggression and greed of Skatteverket (IRS). IKEA is the most famous example, but you also have many companies that were started and owned from abroad, like Stenbeck’s Kinnevik holding company. Many individuals moved to London, made their tax-free nut and (sometimes) returned, like Penser, Lundbäck and many others less famous. So in this respect, Palme and the Social-Democrats contributed to a globalized thinking in these classes. But not to Swedish welfare. As we know, Sweden has long had a problem with generating large companies.

    The Swedish ship building industry had gotten a tiny problem of soaring labor costs, due to those raised taxes. Difficult to match the low-cost Koreans then. But we took those experiences and told ourselves we would instead only work with ever higher levels of the value chain. This led to the half-digested ideas of “kunskapssamhället”, the knowledge society, where we would outsource the lower parts of the value chain to India and China while reaping the high-level rewards ourselves. Didn’t really work, unless you count as a success being an e-commerce middle man selling crap manufactured in the aforementioned two countries.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  321. A123 says: • Website
    @Thulean Friend

    I do not understand the fetishism that so many Americans have towards cars.

    Americans do not understand the delusional, unearned faith in central government that leads to th European “public transit” fetish.

    Perhaps it is because so many of your cities were designed around \$10+/gal gasoline. A world with individually owned trucks must seem unaffordable.

    With some luck, even some American cities will slowly start turning towards a more prosperous future.

    The first step towards prosperity is jettisoning absurd solar and wind for electricity scams. The next step is discarding “public transit” debacles, such as high speed rail in California.

     

     

    A rail bridge to nowhere. Not unprecedented, but certainly af financial failure .
    ____

    The huge gains from ” remote work” will move business and tax revenue from Blue downtowns to Red suburbs. Underfunded, debt laden “public transit” systems will crush cities that were foolish.

    PEACE 😇

  322. AP says:
    @Thulean Friend

    I do not understand the fetishism that so many Americans have towards cars. Perhaps it is because so many of your cities were designed around cars, so another world does not seem possible.

    Dense large cities are better without cars, but most Americans prefer not to live in dense large cities but want their own yards, houses, etc. In suburban or rural areas cars are much more convenient.

  323. @Pericles

    Swedish GDP per Capita in Relation to World GDP per Capita, 1870-2004

    Although I agree with the overall point of the article, that is an absurdly tendentious metric. With the leading developing economies growing at breakneck speed, that graph would depict a “slowdown” even if Sweden had continued to grow at the same pace as the 50s and 60s. But it’s hard to see why China’s growth rate in its catch-up phase should have any bearing on Swedish policy decisions.

  324. Mikel says:
    @Pericles

    Yes, I remember the pro-market reforms in Sweden when the Scandinavian model showed signs of exhaustion in a liberalizing global economy. In the 90s I met a Swedish guy working in Scotland who told me about a 20%+ unemployment rate in his Gothenburg area.

    But you guys have managed to maintain some of the world’s highest per-capita incomes along with a generous welfare state and stable societies. It is little wonder that social-democrats of all countries look up to you.

    The EU open labor market, by the way, has disproportionately benefited eastern and southern European countries but it has also been an escape valve in times of distress for the wealthier northern ones, such as Germany during the reunification process and Sweden when unemployment increased, with the UK always bearing the brunt of the continental labor market dysfunctions. Little surprise that they eventually got tired of that role.

    • Replies: @mal
  325. songbird says:
    @Thulean Friend

    I thought the controversy centered around her thin eyes rather than her supposed thick lips?

    Yes, I was being a bit facetious. I don’t really get it, but wonder if it has something to do with American social contagion. (“stereotype”) Many Chinese go to American universities – though they usually pursue technical tracks, and not the social sciences.

    With some luck, even some American cities will slowly start turning

    Within my local area, many millions have been spent re-engineering the streets, over the past few years, to make them more bicycle friendly. Don’t know if it really makes a lot of sense. There’s only so much you can do, and the secondary streets are basically too narrow for anything, short of the place being nuked.

    Another pretty big constraint is White Flight. Coming soon to Europe, I think.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Dmitry
  326. @songbird

    Many Chinese go to American universities – though they usually pursue technical tracks, and not the social sciences.

    They are not fools, they are a people on the make. Forking out \$100k to have their heads filled with fake knowledge is not going to help them get ahead. That is the province of white libtards who can afford (or so they think) to indulge in luxury beliefs, and affirmative action negroids whose interests are directly advanced by it.

    Another pretty big constraint is White Flight. Coming soon to Europe, I think.

    That is thulean fag’s blind spot. In America, public transportation and city living means sharing close quarters with sullen, intersectional, white-hating negroids, and plenty of them. So few whites find that prospect appealing that white flight can be seen from the moon.

    • Agree: sher singh
  327. songbird says:
    @silviosilver

    Atlanta is definitely not a city that I would want to bicycle through.

  328. @Pericles

    Palme was also murdered (unsolved as near as I can tell). In one of the George Knapp interviews of Tom Delonge, George got the confused Tom to say (it’s been awhile since I heard this so it is not verbatim but I will use quotation marks anyway):

    “if the CIA assassinated John Kennedy I’m sure they had a good reason.”

    Were there a lot of Swedes who had to fake their mourning ritual for Palme?

  329. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Sure, pedestrianization level is one of the main things which determines if a city is enjoyable, or unpleasant for the senses.

    A city can have beautiful architecture, but if full of cars, pollution and noise, it’s not like many people can enjoy it.

    But you can’t say this is a specifically American disaster, as most of the cities in Europe were raped by the automobile in the 20th century.

    Have you watched Jacques Tati’s films?

    Tati is born in 1907, so Paris of his youth was still before the Paris we know which is flooded with cars.

    And just his sarcastic humor of when his city was flooded by cars in the 1950s/1960s.

    underestimate the sentiment in Europe,

    Probably in the 2030s, the situation will be improving, and reclaiming the beauty of the European city again. More electric cars will hopefully help by reducing the noise pollution level, as ride sharing and creating no-car zones.

    Lockdowns of 2020 during coronavirus pandemic, were (although sad to say considering how many people were dying), when the cities became the most beautiful they have been for around a century.

    Suddenly, few cars, few people, no tourists, and it was walking through a utopian paradise compared to the normally polluted, noisy cities of Europe.

  330. mal says:
    @Mikel

    But you guys have managed to maintain some of the world’s highest per-capita incomes along with a generous welfare state and stable societies. It is little wonder that social-democrats of all countries look up to you.

    Both countries appear to operate substantial banking/financial cartels so it’s no surprise.

    Sweden total debt to GDP ratio: 823%
    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/sweden/total-debt--of-gdp

    Denmark total debt to GDP ratio: 857%
    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/denmark/total-debt--of-gdp

    However, Denmark typically runs ~900% debt to GDP ratio and Sweden ~700% so higher GDP/capita in Denmark would be reasonable.

    Both countries have low and similar government debt, so that’s not a factor. Both countries are entirely powered by neoliberalism – private sector credit, and that model is exhausted, hence no growth in either country since 2008 – the last year of neoliberlism.

    Private non-financial credit Sweden – 274% GDP
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/QSEPAM770A

    Private non-financial credit Denmark – 237% GDP
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/QDKPAM770A

    Something like 500% GDP is international banking activity and maybe corporate registrations, who knows. This is what drives high incomes in those countries. But they don’t really own the banks so they suck.

    Sweden GDP 2008 – \$518 billion USD nominal. Sweden GDP 2020 – \$538 billion USD nominal.
    Denmark GDP 2008 – \$353 billion USD nominal. Denmark GDP 2020 – \$355 billion USD.

    And that’s with private sector debt pushing 250% GDP! Those countries are dead as far as growth is concerned.

    For reference, another fairly neoliberal country, Russia, had to eat a nominal USD GDP decline from ~\$1.66 trillion to about ~\$1.5 trillion during the same time period of 2008-2020 due to commodity price decline, but they did it with private sector credit base of only 105% GDP and no international banking due to sanctions.
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/QRUPAM770A

    For another reference, it looks like Zimbabwe private sector debt spiked at around 80% around 2003…
    https://tradingeconomics.com/zimbabwe/domestic-credit-to-private-sector-percent-of-gdp-wb-data.html

    Just when Cargill Corporation was printing fake currency.

    . (SBU) Repeatedly, we marvel at the private sector’s
    ingenuity in coping with Zimbabwe’s peculiar challenges –
    in this case, an economy sans banknotes. Thanks to its
    scrip, Cargill perseveres. In fact, execs quietly
    concede the firm is making a killing on the “float,”
    putting off actual payment until scrip is cashed in.
    With bank lines blocks long, few recipients go that
    route. When scrip finally does trickle in, Zimbabwe’s
    365-percent inflation will have reduced its value – and
    Cargill’s payout – precipitously. That makes monopoly
    money even better business than cotton in this oddball
    economy.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WL0308/S00142/cablegate-cargill-makes-bootleg-currency.htm

    Same thing happened in Russia in the 1990’s.

    Anyway, Zimbabwe debt to GDP is 71% for government, and like 120% GDP total.

    The \$11 billion that Zimbabwe owes to foreign lenders amounts to about 71 percent of the country’s GDP. Some \$6.5 billion of the total is payments that are in arrears.

    https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210912-seeking-to-change-deadbeat-image-zimbabwe-pays-debt

    Compared to 250-900% Debt to GDP ratios for Scandinavia, that’s nothing.

    This illustrates the amazing power of neoliberlism (private sector credit) to lift people out of poverty. But it also shows how dead that model has been since 2008. Just some food for thought.

    Anyway, i wish Sweden and Denmark best of luck in the future. Would be a shame if something happened to their banking sector.

    • Troll: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Mikel
  331. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    White Flight. Coming soon to Europe

    In Europe, it’s like the poor (non-elite) immigrants go to areas which are already not-fashionable.

    Although which areas are not-fashionable varies by country. In Spanish cities, it’s often in the historical center, where housing is aesthetically beautiful, but not convenient.

    Whereas in France, it is banlieues outside of the city.

    In Russia, where the internal immigration is even larger than the external immigration, immigrants can flood into the same areas, as the internal immigrants. (For Russian readers, journalists complain about how multicultural the area of Moscow AK lives is becoming https://moskvichmag.ru/gorod/odin-den-v-lyublino-zhizn-s-cherkizonom/ )

    Also there is a reverse “white flight” when areas become fashionable in Europe, then the immigrant populations can be displaced by the wealthy hipsters.

    For example, in the traditional Bangladesh immigrant area of London, the upper class English people are immigrating. If you look at this area, there are not really many people from Bangladesh now, but you can see the evidence of the wealthy hipster invasion (graffiti, electric bicycles)

    Meanwhile, Wikipedia writes about the area
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brick_Lane

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @songbird
  332. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Meanwhile, Wikipedia writes about the area
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brick_Lane

    BBC headline like there is a nationality specific genocide, although the BBC report it is more a process which removed the proletariat from other areas of London (something about an end of charity housing) than any specific “reverse white flight”. Poor people of all colors will be eventually stripped from central places of the city.

  333. Mikel says:
    @mal

    Oh yes, your old magical recipes to make countries rich. Sadly, no one is telling your good news to poor countries in Africa and Latin America, that all they have to do to become like Scandinavia is accumulate massive debts and print unlimited amounts of money. Well, in Argentina they heard of that strategy a very long time ago but somehow it didn’t work very well.

    Btw, I hope you are enjoying our finally reasonable inflation levels. Who doesn’t like seeing his income reduced a 6% annually while his bank deposits are rewarded a -6% interest rate?

    • Replies: @mal
  334. mal says:
    @Mikel

    Well, in Argentina they heard of that strategy a very long time ago but somehow it didn’t work very well.

    Argentina private sector debt to GDP – 25%.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/QARPAM770A

    I don’t know what they heard, but they clearly haven’t tried it. Their private sector debt is 10 times lower than Sweden/Denmark, which is why Argentina is poor and Sweden/Denmark are not.

    Btw, I hope you are enjoying our finally reasonable inflation levels. Who doesn’t like seeing his income reduced a 6% annually while his bank deposits are rewarded a -6% interest rate?

    Majority of people in the US don’t have savings to speak of, so bank deposits are completely irrelevant to them. Low debt payments thanks to low interest rates are vastly more important.

    I love inflation because I would much rather inflate the debt away than have my taxes and loan rates go up 6% every year to pay off insane total debts.

    So i’m loving this inflation and so does any other sane person who sees the immense amount of debt due. Compared to that, income considerations are very much secondary.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  335. Dmitry says:
    @silviosilver

    not fools,

    There are different kinds of Chinese students though. You can see the hardworking immigrants and normal people, that study normal topics in university vs. children of China’s political class that study more elite topics.

    Art and music schools in Western Europe, also flooded with more elite Chinese students. It’s the same with postsoviet students, Nigerian students.

    But with the Chinese there are just also a flood of more socioeconomically normal students which are not from their political class. So you think Chinese students are more financially normal. Whereas postsoviet students don’t have much of that component.

    province of white libtards who can afford (or so they think) to indulge in luxury beliefs

    Lol there is the reality of “social mobility” and “meritocracy” among the youth in certain bourgeois democracies. Of course, going to study gender theory in \$100k universities, because in many of their cases, fees are like a small token, and they don’t need technically skilled professions after they complete an education.

    A couple years ago in Europe, I remember looking at bicycle shops. Instead of a normal working man’s shop, I looked at a student hipster bicycle shop.

    Bicycles in the hipster shop look like something old women use in the early 20th century. But prices were in a range of an annual doctor’s salary in an medium income country.
    Bicycle seats (just the seat on the top of the bicycle) in the hipster shop, can cost a factory workers’ weekly salary.

    Looking now at those bicycle seats online, it’s not like they are expensive for leather products (hipsters’ leather bags can cost many times more than their bicycle seats). The culture shock, is just that the hipsters are buying leather bicycle seat.

    Did you ever think about the kind of vegetable tanned leather you want in your bicycle seat? What was wrong with the plastic one.
    https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/b17-special-titanium.html

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  336. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    they don’t need technically skilled professions after they complete an education.

    An interesting aspect of 21st century economically elite youth (hipsters), is that their professions can often seem less abstract, less cognitive, and more physical, than the skilled middle class (middle class slaves like computer scientists/engineers, accountants, lawyers).

    So, their stereotypical professions commonly sounds like, renovating their friends apartments, installing rare houseplants, sewing of cashmere dresses, making globes.*

    Of course studying in art, fashion or film school, is a lot less abstract than the lower class students studying computer science or actuarial science.

    Art students (which are the most expensive students in the USA https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2014/03/28/the-most-expensive-colleges-in-the-country-are-art-schools-not-ivies/) are even using their hands, as if in parody of the proletariat in the factory.

    Here is reminding a lot of Marx’s belief that in communist society, we will be working as fishermen. Just that in our late capitalism mostly it is the children of the bourgeoisie, who more often will have enough finances to enter physical nonalienated labor.

    Art students can use their hands according to their own direction, while the factory worker’s movements are meaninglessly predetermined by the machinery.

    * Making of handmade globes looks like a very cool, kind of nonalienated labor. But those with venture capital to start such professions? It is probably predictable, that they are such hipster looking workers.

    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
  337. mal says:

    … And to continue on the subject of monetary policy. Bitcoin dogs coin etc. – I admit i have no expertise there, but i find it curious that the first Silk Road guy got a life in prison (Ross Ulbicht??), and the Silk Road 2.0 guy who was a SpaceX employee got a slap on the wrist…

    You don’t get into SpaceX without military vetting.

    There’s nothing wrong with Bitcoin – it trades as a risk asset like NASDAQ stock and so it’s subject to interest rate fluctuations which makes it no different from US government bonds. It’s all good and Bitcoin will have a bright future. We have no choice but to support risk assets via liquidity injections.

    But on a philosophical level, Silk Road made Bitcoin money. As in, currency to exchange goods and services for. Now, Bitcoin is just a speculative token at the mercy of Central Bank liquidity. So i wonder why 1.0 and 2.0 guys got different treatment.

    Not saying that there’s anything wrong with Bitcoin. Just saying that anybody who thinks it’s independent of government will be disappointed. Then again, i could be wrong 🙂

  338. @Pericles

    The Palme years, apart from shocking raises on tax rates, also introduced the diabolical “Löntagarfonder”, where public companies had to pay an extra tax which then was used for these government funds buying shares in them. (I don’t think this involved private companies too, but I’m not sure.) This would mean the owners would have to pay for their own companies being socialized. It was a pretty universally hated measure, didn’t really and were soon wound down in the 1990s. Do you recall the famous written doggerel of the minister of finance when they were getting started?

    I remember reading about the debate of Löntagarfonder. They were withdrawn in the face of immense elite pressure. “Universally hated” is simply not accurate. The idea certainly had a base of support among the workers, but there was gigantic pressure to rescind them, including from the private media (which is owned by major corporations).

    The Social Democrats have often fielded right-leaning finance ministers. Göran Persson belong to the right flank of his party and he was FM before he was PM. The current PM was FM and she, too, has pursued a fiscally conservative policy. So given this long pattern, it isn’t surprising to me that the FM at the time was hostile. That’s part and parcel of the Social Democrats long history, they’ve always tried to mollify big business. Palme was a genuine socialist and paid for it with his life.

    The 70s was also a period when entrepreneurs and elites were migrating out of the country en masse due to the aggression and greed of Skatteverket (IRS)

    Translation: the offshore tax “industry” took off all over the world and Sweden was no exception. You are describing global phenomena as if they were uniquely Swedish when it was simply a global trend. IIRC, Italy’s communist became the single largest party in their parliament during the early 1970s.

    I recall reading about “p5” or some similar-sounding group in a book about the Sicilian mafia. Major Italian industrialists formed secret societies which worked very hard to undermine communists. Andreotti played both sides. I wouldn’t be surprised if similar groupings took off in Sweden.

    As we know, Sweden has long had a problem with generating large companies.

    This is a problem in Europe in general, look at Germany. I’ve had this debate before. Basically, it was possible to create global giants when the global economy only consisted of USA+Western Europe. The Anglo offshoots were too small, Eastern Europe didn’t exist as independent countries for the most part and the East Asians weren’t even in the game.

    Since the 1950s, the world has gotten bigger and the amount of rich countries far more numerous. Europe has failed to federalise, which has meant low returns to scale. This is also related to why there aren’t many big tech companies in Europe. The domestic market is too fragmented, especially in services. This has nothing to do with taxes.

    The Swedish ship building industry had gotten a tiny problem of soaring labor costs, due to those raised taxes. Difficult to match the low-cost Koreans then. But we took those experiences and told ourselves we would instead only work with ever higher levels of the value chain.

    A lot of things to respond to here. First, the Swedish shipping industry got out-competed for structural reasons. Nothing to do with taxes. We have to remember that our country sailed through WWII virutally unscathed. If I recall correctly, we were among the richest five countries in the mid-1960s and that was never going to realistically last. Today, the richest countries tend to be entrepôts like Singapore, tax havens like Ireland/Switzerland or oil states like Qatar. A geographically large country like Sweden with a significant industrial base was never going to be a serious contender.

    Super-cheap competitors like Korea would have destroyed the Swedish shipping industry simply because a lot of it was still mass manufacturing, where Korean low labour costs could never have been countered by low Swedish taxes. We’re talking about a five-fold or more difference in wages. You’re living in la-la land if you think we had a shot. It was going to happen, regardless of taxation levels.

    Second, the 1970s was a period of stagnation for most of the world economy. Ask Americans and the word “staglation” comes up fast. The UK even went to the IMF (!!!), as their economic crisis was far worse than ours. The 1970s, then, was a global period of cooling off.

    The early 1990s crisis was homegrown, and it was due to neoliberalism and deregulation. An unforced error.

    This led to the half-digested ideas of “kunskapssamhället”, the knowledge society, where we would outsource the lower parts of the value chain to India and China while reaping the high-level rewards ourselves. Didn’t really work, unless you count as a success being an e-commerce middle man selling crap manufactured in the aforementioned two countries.

    Last I looked, Indian per capita GDP is ~25X lower than Sweden. I don’t think you understand basic economics if you think our two countries are even competing in the same sphere. China’s wages are closer to ~5X lower. I am skeptical they will ever reach our level of wealth.

    That said, I am somewhat sympathetic to the idea that premature and self-imposed de-industrialisation was an error that could have been avoided in the West. Ha-Joon chang writes a lot about this, given that the UK went the furthest in abandoning its industrial base in favour of a service economy. Germany did not, and reaped the rewards.

    Nevertheless, the idea that low-value add manufacturing can forever be produced in rich countries due to low taxes is, frankly, stupid. Countries don’t get rich by doing that. Textile manufacturing – unless it is high-end exports like Prada – is never going to be viable. The same is true within industries like the aforementioned shipping industry. Why did the call centers move to India? Cheap labour costs. Low taxes has nothing to do with it, since the labour arbitrage differential is too extreme to be bridged, even if you put taxation at 0%.

    I think this idea that the West could have kept all the low-end manufacturing forever is a major fantasy that we see in the right-wing today, among Trumpers in the USA and republicans more generally. I wish more people read trade economists. At any rate, the most significant force in all of this is technology and that’s a secular trend that no taxation level can overcome. That having been said, the fatalism of the UK isn’t wise either. I tend to think highly of Germany, and they adapted to the new world by offshoring their low-end stuff to Eastern Europe while keeping the high value-add for themselves pretty successfully.

    In a way, for Germany, Eastern Europe was their China. You can read more here:

    https://voxeu.org/article/china-shock-why-germany-different

    As for “kunskapssamhället”, I think a bigger problem has been the destruction of the Swedish school system. When I was growing up (late 90s and early 2000s), it wasn’t uncommong to have teachers who didn’t even have an education as such. I even had a literal bouncer (!) as a stand-in for several months. There was also a de-emphasis on grading and useless fluff like “self-learning”. Ask any Swedish professor and they will tell you about the declining standards in things like basic math.

    I supported the recent educational reforms under Björklund, but it will be many years before we see the fruits of that. One should also keep in mind that the demographic mix has changed, so it becomes harder to keep comparisons with the past consistent. Low educational standards and poor immigration policies are the two main barriers to further Swedish success. Not taxation.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  339. @silviosilver

    In America, public transportation and city living means sharing close quarters with sullen, intersectional, white-hating negroids, and plenty of them. So few whites find that prospect appealing that white flight can be seen from the moon.

    Yet D.C. has gentrified and become much less black than in the 1970s. Cities like Atlanta have also become more white in recent years. Maybe whites in the US aren’t as big pussies as you? 🙂

    As I noted, I recently moved to an immigrant-heavy neighbourhood that’s seen as semi-rough (cars were burned here as late as a few years ago). Most of my neighbours are of non-European origin, however this is changing fast. I am probably part of a gentrification wave, but I never planned it. I picked this area because it was cheap for someone my age, I could get a big apartment while being decently close to the city center. Finally, I was tired of living in my parent’s house in a middle-class area, where I’d be surrounded by carbon copies of myself.

    All of which is to say, many white people don’t fear diversity. Crime levels have risen in Stockholm in recent years, in part due to failed past immigration policies, but that hasn’t led to a major exodus. Some young are leaving as they get children due to expensive housing costs, but that’s a separate debate. Housing costs are crazy all over the world, so it isn’t a Swedish-exclusive issue. Just live with a partner who likes big cities, as I do, and the issue will resolve itself.

    It’s time to stop hiding behind “diversity” as an excuse to continue destroying Western cities due to cancerous car-centric urban policies.

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • Disagree: A123
    • Replies: @A123
    , @Dmitry
    , @silviosilver
  340. Yevardian says:
    @mal

    I don’t know what they heard, but they clearly haven’t tried it. Their private sector debt is 10 times lower than Sweden/Denmark, which is why Argentina is poor and Sweden/Denmark are not.

    You’re just a gullible brainwashed idiot.
    In countries like Romania, Armenia or Argentina (or frankly, most of the world), ordinary people often simply have no choice but to go steeply steeply into debt in order to survive (I’m talking about rent/food costs here) during a global market downturn. Governments are given similar choices, when the alternative option is mass unemployment or permanent loss of complex industries. This even happens in the US as well. It’s not about ‘consumer responsibility’ ‘tightening belts’ and other such nonsense buzzwords.
    Many if not most of the world’s poorer nations regularly go into debt simply because their export earnings are overwhelmingly dominated by a few or even a single commodity. Diversification of such economies is in practice impossible without taking upon enormous loans, which can quickly go bad when (say) the price of copper, beef or other primary commodities crashes on the global market.

    I love inflation because I would much rather inflate the debt away than have my taxes and loan rates go up 6% every year to pay off insane total debts.

    You’re quite welcome to try living in a country that with such a mentality, which isn’t also a global superpower commanding the world’s reserve currency.

    • Replies: @mal
  341. Yevardian says:
    @Philip Owen

    Is Kevin Barret really all the only person on this site who’s writing on this Kazakhstan mess, other than Andrew Anglin? Karlin really did choose an inaspaucious time to virtually quit blogging to chase the crypto-‘currency’-dragon…

  342. mal says:
    @Yevardian

    You’re just a gullible brainwashed idiot.

    Perhaps, but i follow the numbers and numbers don’t lie.

    You’re quite welcome to try living in a country that with such a mentality, which isn’t also a global superpower commanding the world’s reserve currency.

    I grew up in the 1980’s -1990’s Russia and weighted 130 lbs before coming to US because we couldn’t afford food in 1998, so trust me, i have experienced all sorts of conditions. But that’s irrelevant to macroeconomic calculations. US does have advantages, but the arithmetic i’m describing is universal – we live in a fiat currency world, so somebody has to buck up and print the currency. We are merely arguing about the distribution. There’s nothing magical about US dollar – debt mechanics work the same in US as they do everywhere else if managed properly.

    Governments are given similar choices, when the alternative option is mass unemployment or permanent loss of complex industries. This even happens in the US as well. It’s not about ‘consumer responsibility’ ‘tightening belts’ and other such nonsense buzzwords.

    Credit is supposed to supply production growth. Granted, this doesn’t always happen, nor is it the growth driver in the modern world, but at least that’s the textbook theory. I agree that pumping credit into a commodity price downturn can get commodity dependent countries into trouble (see Russia in 2014).

    That said, to create diversified industries, you must have credit. Example – China. Their debt is like 300% GDP. That investment created the industries they needed to escape commodity trap. This is the only way. Sorry to say.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  343. Let’s say a Trumpist government in 2024 declares UN to be an illegitimate institution, confiscates the land where the UN headquarter is, and then using it & deep-Blue Manhattan (after evacuating registered Republicans) as missile practice targets. WWIII ensues when Russia and China proclaim themselves as defenders of the UN-based international order and strives to contain the US. Zemmour, after an initial honeymoon with “Trump”, realizes France’s existence is at stake from Anglo-American aggression and joins on Russia’s side. England (Scotland has left the UK and joined the hollowed-out EU) is strong-armed into America’s side. 1984 comes 40 years late.

    I’m not a novelist and someone can do justice to this idea. If A123 doesn’t oppose any of the above, then it will happen. (And Putin won’t wish Trump good luck, because this is totally reckless and he’ll know he’s next)

    • Replies: @A123
  344. @mal

    I’ve come to realize the real nature of Austrian “sound money” – a inter-temporally trustworthy money. If you have stable institutions and you do fiat, you can work almost as well as gold. All the hyperinflationary episodes are because people are losing trust in the underlying institutions of the economies.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  345. @Thulean Friend

    Italy’s communist became the single largest party in their parliament during the early 1970s.

    Why didn’t they align themselves with the Eastern Bloc like Czechoslovakia did after elections, back in 1945? Is it because of NATO & EEC membership?

    I think this idea that the West could have kept all the low-end manufacturing forever is a major fantasy that we see in the right-wing today, among Trumpers in the USA and republicans more generally.

    It is never about economics, and they know those are anti-economical (if being economical means being efficient). The Soviets knew it too and had a full industrial ecology where most sectors are inefficient, but strategic and subsidized. China somewhat knows it too despite some degree of premature deindustrialization. The GOP aren’t liberals but nationalists at least.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  346. A123 says: • Website
    @Thulean Friend

    Atlanta have also become more white in recent years

    I do not believe this is accurate. Do you have a citation for your assertion about Atlanta demographics?

    Atlanta is about to become less white and much poorer due to the Buckhead succession. (1)

    File this under “Thanks, Democrats.”

    Due to an explosion of violent crime in Atlanta, Georgia that has encroached into one of the city’s most prosperous districts, residents are now seeking sucession—yes succession—as well as their own police force.

    So much for “social justice.”

    Newswars reports that crime in the stylish Buckhead neighborhood has gotten so bad, officials are exploring how they might be able to separate from Atlanta after the force lost almost 200 officers in 2020 alone.

    Residents of Buckhead profess to be “genuinely concerned for their safety” as violent attacks have spiked. One horrific example was the shooting death of a seven-year-old girl who was Christmas shopping with her family in December.

    ______

    It’s time to stop hiding behind “diversity” as an excuse to continue destroying Western cities due to cancerous car-centric urban policies

    Let me Fix That For You:

    It’s time to stop hiding behind “cars” as an excuse to continue destroying Western culture with cancerous urban-centric policies.

    The horror of long distance daily commuting to urban centers is just as soul crushing on buses & trains. The close proximity of individuals on public transit helps accelerate the spread of diseases like WUHAN-19. And, there are safety concerns. (2)

    Surveillance footage showed Fiston Ngoy, 35, who has been charged with rape in Wednesday’s sickening attack aboard a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train, spent nearly 45 minutes harassing the woman and touched her breast at one point, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Police said the rape lasted about six minutes as other passengers looked on while holding their cellphones, but didn’t use the devices to call 911, SEPTA’s police chief said Monday.

    Urban culture is at work among those who recorded the event for personal viewing pleasure. Why did no one intervene? Could it be fear of urban culture lawsuits?

    This is not a new problem. Public transit has been undermining Western values, like the right to self-defense, for decades. Remember the Bernhard Goetz trial from 1984.

     

     

    De-Urbanization Is The Answer

    Moving work out of urban centers ends the need for hours of daily commuting. Many white collar jobs allow “work from home” arrangements. For occupations where gathering is required, accumulating in car friendly suburbs is much less taxing than travel to dehumanizing, violent urban centers.

    PEACE 😇
    ___________

    (1) https://rightcountry.com/the-wealthy-atlanta-district-that-wants-to-succeed-amid-violent-crime-surge/

    (2) https://nypost.com/2021/10/19/passengers-held-up-phones-during-philadelphia-septa-rape/

  347. A123 says: • Website
    @Yellowface Anon

    The UN is an illegitimate institution. This has nothing to do with MAGA. It is driven by corrupt agencies like UNHRC and UNRWA. The associated vile NGO’s, funded by George IslamoSoros, compound & magnify UN/NWO anti-Semitic culture.

    I believe that the land at Turtle Bay will revert to NYC ownership when the UN is abolished. This was popularized in the film/comic Heavy Metal, with the buildings repurposed as low income housing.

    The rest of your suggestions are too implausible for serious drama. Perhaps, they could be used in a Mel Brooks style light comedy? The UN and associated Leftoid, anti-American institutions provide ample targets for parody.
    ___

    For a serious novel — Brussels EU HQ is nuked. The people of Europe celebrate their liberation. France rises, under Zemmour, driven by Champagne consumption. Muslims evacuate the country fleeing the robust, alcohol driven economy. This lack of an underclass, accelerates Paris as a center of American/European Judeo-Christian culture. A new golden age!

    I do not know if it would be marketable, as today’s novels are quite grim. A positive future for French Christians would have difficulty getting published.

    PEACE 😇

  348. @Dmitry

    Today on my morning walk I passed an old lady with two beagles on leashes. I cheerfully said “snoopy dogs!”

    She harrrumffd at me. : (

  349. German_reader says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Why didn’t they align themselves with the Eastern Bloc like Czechoslovakia did after elections, back in 1945?

    Because they were kept out of government (iirc Aldo Moro thought of an alliance with the communists, but of course he was killed by the Red Brigades, and iirc there are various theories that the Christian Democrat establishment let him die out of opposition to this policy). And while the PCI did get substantial funds from the Soviet Union right until the late 1980s, by the 1970s they had adopted a somewhat more distanced position towards the Soviets (“Eurocommunism”). The Soviet Union had lost much of its attraction to the West European left by that time compared to the immediate post-war era.

  350. German_reader says:
    @A123

    Public transit has been undermining Western values, like the right to self-defense, for decades.

    Don’t be such a cuck. The problem is dysfunctional American blacks and the excessive sympathy towards them which many whites have adopted. Public transit by itself is a mark of civilization and works perfectly well, if trouble-making demographics are kept out or harshly disciplined.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Dmitry
  351. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Crime levels have risen

    Who knows with our multinational discussion though, as we are from radically different national origins.

    Songbird is from the USA, where in many areas crime is much higher than anywhere in Western Europe. Where is Silviosilver from (Latin America?).

    Levels of personal safety related to nationality could really be a problem for them. I remember AaronB writing that he was beaten by black people as a teenager in 1990s New York. Although he says he feels safe in New York nowadays.

    You are from Sweden, which is of course one of the world’s safer countries in terms of crime.

    . Crime levels have risen in Stockholm in recent years,

    Unfiltered immigrants can be rising the level, but as it’s known from a low base.

    Playing with World Bank’s site again, can you see a possible indication of Germany’s immigration policy, on the homicide rate?

    For myself, actually I was a youth in cities with double the homicide rate of Russia. I didn’t feel very gangster. It still wasn’t very dangerous on average for any normal people.

    Still I understand from my youth, why I will not notice so much “dangerous” in Western Europe, even their media reports.

    But if you zoomed in enough on the chart, then maybe there was around 40% increase in the figures Germany reported for intentional homicide 2016 compared to 2015.

    With proviso, this kind of data is an area you really need professionals in crime statistics to analyze this data, rather than untrained amateurs. It’s still interesting to read those charts.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  352. German_reader says:

    More nonsense from integralist Adrian Vermeule (who’s now whinging about neo-colonialism, because 1 billion Nigerians is such a great prospect):

    • Replies: @Barbarossa
  353. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    Why would you need their opinion? I’m confident you can write something better yourself.

    At least, you sound like someone who likes reading books, literature, etc. And you’re from Armenia, so you already know most of what is happening in Kazakhstan by generalization from the local situation. On the other hand, for that reason, maybe it’s more of a waste of time and cause of depression, as those of us from the region already know the much of this screenplay, and there is a limit to how many times to see it.

  354. A123 says: • Website
    @German_reader

    Don’t be such a cuck

    Is there some why you are regressing back to negativity?

    I understand your emotional rage at Germany’s rapid decline and failing government. You live in a cuck-tastrophe created by Open Muslim Borders. However lashing out at Christians, such as myself, is badly misplaced anger.

    The problem is dysfunctional American blacks and the excessive sympathy towards them which many whites have adopted. Public transit by itself is a mark of civilization and works perfectly well, if trouble-making demographics are kept out or harshly disciplined.

    All fauna become more aggressive when they experience overcrowding. Humans are no different. The population density associated with public transit is inherently destructive.

    Law enforcement and demographic control can mitigate the worst of the problems. However, limiting human density reduces (or eliminates) many issues before they begin. All of these methods can work together to maintain civilization.

    PEACE 😇

  355. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    if trouble-making demographics are kept out or harshly disciplined.

    Homeless people that piss on the public transit in the USA, are still multinational. African-Americans seem disproportionately high among the homeless drug addicts, but you can’t say they are the only ones. Trying to say it’s only their responsible does not seem very accurate.

    Also the public transport in the USA like buses are good value for money, but they operate a very irregular service. My experience of sitting in the American bus, is that you can feel like many of your fellow travelers are meth addicts making unpredictable movements.

    You also feel like you know some of the other passengers well, because you were sitting near them at the bus stop waiting for interminable minutes for the late bus to arrive. Buses sometimes arriving only once per hour.

    Otherwise I think I remember there seems to be mostly sober, hardworking looking people who use the bus, and indeed it seemed like more often they are Latino and African-American people.

    And then I enjoyed using the Amtrak train in California (actually a good service). But I think I remember other passengers looked like mostly Latino-Americans. Passengers loudly speaking Spanish in the trains.

    • Agree: A123
    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @A123
  356. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    In the Bernie Goetz case A123 was referencing it was black muggers (who then pretended to be victims of an unjustified racist attack), and I’d be rather surprised if that kind of crime on New York public transit in the 1970s and 1980s hadn’t been something committed mostly by black perpetrators.
    imo it’s absurd to pretend that public transit itself is necessarily a cause of violence as A123 does. There apparently were some stabbing attacks on the Tokyo metro in recent years, but in general the system there seems to work fine, with little violent crime, so mass transit itself isn’t the issue imo. It’s specific groups that can turn public transit into a terrible experience.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @A123
    , @Dmitry
  357. AP says:
    @German_reader

    imo it’s absurd to pretend that public transit itself is necessarily a cause of violence as A123 does.

    Correct. Public transit seems fine in a place like Boston. I remember taking a late subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn, sometime after midnight, during Bloomberg’s last years of rule (2011 or so) and it was totally safe. Basically a bunch of friendly and tipsy partiers. I’m not sure I would risk that now.

    Public transit doesn’t cause problems. Rather, if problems exist, public transport enables them to spread to places where they would not otherwise be. Public transport is like elimination of mask mandates. Good if no one is infected, bad during a period of sickness.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @songbird
  358. A123 says: • Website
    @German_reader

    it’s absurd to pretend that public transit itself is necessarily a cause of violence as A123 does

    To clarify, I believe that high population density is the problem.

    Public transit is an exacerbating factor, not the direct cause.

    There apparently were some stabbing attacks on the Tokyo metro in recent years, but in general the system there seems to work fine, with little violent crime

    Japanese society is not just a monoculture. It is also a uniquely repressive & conformist one. Reproducing Japanese behaviour with a different population is unlikely to be successful.
    _____

    As a thought experiment — What do you think would happen if you collected WN’s and compacted them into Tokyo level density as “Stormfront-landia”? Do you believe that public transit would be a hallmark of Stormfront civilization?

    Despite the WN monoculture, I would expect public transit there to be unpleasant and probably dangerous.

    PEACE 😇

  359. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Yes to claim that public transit causes violence seems pretty absurd.

    But in America, public transport is not usually like some middle class system. New York is a bit different, but in other areas it’s mostly already poor people who are using public transit.

    So, in California, the main customers of the public transit seem like Latino-Americans and African-Americans.

    AP was even claiming to me a couple years ago, that he believed probably much of the upper class in Los Angeles might have never even used the bus system in their life. I don’t know how true this is.

    Still, I don’t think you can say like African-Americans are maliciously ruining the system for the other nationalities. It feels more like a system for the poor people there, which therefore has a high proportion of African-Americans (as they are more overrepresented in the proletariat).

    It’s also possible a lot of problems in the public transit (pissing on seats, etc) are from the drug addicts, who are a group which has a high ratio of African Americans, but also many of the other nationalities as well.*

    Tokyo metro in recent years, but in general the system there seems to work fine, with little violent crime

    Japan as a country is so radically different than America, not just in this topic, but in most other ways.

    Public transport is like the mainstream path in Japan’s culture, whereas in America (since at least the 1950s) it’s more of a niche. Within this niche, it’s indeed more of the African-Americans and Latinos who are the main customers of the public transport.

    I haven’t read any history books about this, but you can see in the 1940s how it was still normal for American people to go to work by train. Many of these trains rapidly removed in early postwar times.

    Japanese indeed also seem to make the public transport civilized to an extent that is a result of their cultural training. Passengers behaving like nerdy, introverted kids, are sitting in the school library.

    Notice also with the coronavirus rates there, how disciplined the people in Japan must be behaving in terms of hygiene in crowded spaces. You can see walking videos in Japan and 99% of the Japanese people wear masks even walking outside.

    *It’s like the Zombies of Philadelphia can appear more multiethnic than most of American society.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  360. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    There are also countries like UK and Ireland, where people seem to behave well in public transit, but the system is still very bad for other reasons. It’s just badly organized, slow, systems there, where trains move sometimes for a long time at walking speed, or stop in a field for an hour during your journey. And yet the ticket prices are crazy high.

    On the other hand, public transit seems so good in Japan (excluding the high prices), not just because of people behaving well. It must be also excellent design of their systems, the vast investment, engineering and organizational ability.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  361. Beckow says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    ….Austrian “sound money”: …If you have stable institutions and you do fiat, you can work almost as well as gold.

    At the beginning it works better than gold, gold is more messy. But how far can you go? A trusted institution that can issue (in effect: guarantee) a few trillion in fiat money, may look wobbly if it reaches 100 trillion.

    Numbers and ratios matter, we are at a point when the numbers simply don’t add up. Money is a representation of wealth, and wealth is a summa summarum of what we manage to consume while alive. Each “debt” represents two or more owners of the same asset. The only clean way that debt can be managed is if it is paid back and the asset ownership becomes singular again.

    That is clearly not going to happen with today’s debts – they are too large in comparison to the actual economic activity in the West (servants and soldiers don’t count for much). That leaves inflation to devalue the debts, repossessing the assets, or possibly a financial collapse. Those are the choices and no amount of “trust in institutions” can change that.

    • Agree: mal
  362. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Still, I don’t think you can say like African-Americans are maliciously ruining the system for the other nationalities.

    I suppose my original comment could be interpreted as overly harsh, as if I had suggested American blacks in general ought to be banned from public transit. That wasn’t my intention. But I don’t think we need to be overly pc here either, young black underclass men in America are a disproportionately crime-prone group, whatever reason you may attribute that to.

    But in America, public transport is not usually like some middle class system. New York is a bit different, but in other areas it’s mostly already poor people who are using public transit.

    Yes, but you could say that this is a manifestation of America’s racial and class divisions, and its fairly high levels of violent crime by developed world standards. Now this isn’t a pleasant subject, and maybe I should have kept quiet about it, but it just seems absurd to me how A123 tiptoes around those issues (like many American right-wingers do) and instead pretends that public transit itself is the problem. I suppose admitting the reality would be too painful.

    • Replies: @A123
  363. A123 says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    Homeless people that piss on the public transit in the USA, are still multinational. African-Americans seem disproportionately high among the homeless drug addicts, but you can’t say they are the only ones. Trying to say it’s only their responsible does not seem very accurate.

    My experience of sitting in the American bus, is that you can feel like many of your fellow travelers are meth addicts making unpredictable movements.

    GR seems determined to misrepresent my position.

    Your depiction of the situation is more accurate. Public transit in the U S. is cheap, often highly government subsidized. In terms of timing, it is not particularly reliable. Sometimes the bus never comes. And, the ridership is mostly lower class, some good while others are troubled.

    You would get where you are going more reliably and have fewer interactions with undesirables in a car. However, you would also schedule your transit to avoid urban density, especially downtown rush hour traffic.

    There is nothing virtuous about public transit that makes it a necessary symbol of “civilization”. In the U.S. it is more a burden and often the choice of last resort. There are of course exceptions to this. The Amtrak corridor in the East Coast goes head to head with airlines. Ticket prices are high enough to eliminate derelicts. Timing is pretty reliable. Everything is kept reasonably clean.

    Where GR willfully attempts to derail the conversation is, dishonestly holding up the few exceptions while ignoring the 99%+ that most accurately represents the situation.

    PEACE 😇

  364. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    The decrepit state of the railway system in Britain is usually attributed to the botched privatization in the 1990s. But Japan’s former state railway system was apparently also privatized in the late 1980s, yet still seems to work quite well. Would be interesting to know what explains the contrast.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  365. songbird says:
    @AP

    Public transit seems fine in a place like Boston.

    On a US-relative scale. Due largely to scale (NYC has a massive system that runs 24/7, Boston doesn’t), and the fact that Boston has a large college population, which acts as a counterbalance to resident demographics. But, nevertheless, I would not advise you to get out at certain stations, at night. (not places you would be going to anyway, unless by some mistake).

    Where it really hurts more, IMO, is in the way things are run. Massive levels of corruption, incompetence, and malfeasance. I don’t know if you have ever been in a broken down train after midnight, but it is an unpleasant experience. The trains and stations are really dirty. There is not good access to public bathrooms. I think it falls short of anything that one would see as ideal. It compares unfavorably to experience in certain German cities.

    I don’t want to blame a single ethnic group. I think diversity increases corruption in a general way, but it should be noted that it is basically a jobs program for blacks. Some of them are surly and unpleasant. A few are quite congenial, but unable to do the most basic math, or advise you on routes.

    My ideal conception of mass transit, would be something that is well-run, clean, with public bathrooms, and not a jobs program (automation, where possible.) It seems amazing to me how badly run it is in many cities, when one considers that there are so many world examples, and so much history that one would think it would be possible to refine it to a science, publish data, and adapt best practices, at best cost. And I think that is a really significant observation, which demolishes this Pinkerian argument that we are all headed towards best practices.

    • Replies: @AP
  366. A123 says: • Website
    @German_reader

    A123 tiptoes around those issues (like many American right-wingers do) and instead pretends that public transit itself is the problem

    The problem is that you do not grasp U.S. politics and are thus combining things in a manner that is inapplicable to the American situation.

    In the U.S., mass transit is wielded by the Elite as a weapon of decarbonization, much like wind & solar power. It obtains huge government expenditures that would be better deployed elsewhere. And, given that people live in disbursed suburbs, these boondoggles never deliver the results that Elites claim they will deliver.

    Even in places where race is not an issue, public transit fails to deliver. Most public transit in the U.S. is politically funded and highly undesirable.

    As a government service, it could also be used as an instrument of authoritarian control. Imagine a WUHAN-19 passport scanner needed to board a train or bus. The Elites cannot impose that type of Orwellian restriction on individually owned cars.

    No matter how much you duck, you cannot escape the truth. The more you twist what I say, the more you concede the accuracy of my stance. Using silly accusations like “cuck” also makes my position stronger.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @German_reader
  367. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Also there is a reverse “white flight” when areas become fashionable in Europe, then the immigrant populations can be displaced by the wealthy hipsters.

    Should still be considered as a demographic loss, as the people who move out (originally) are more likely to have families than the ones that move in.

    It is funny how this is portrayed in America, as whites conquering areas, when they were originally white to start with, only a few decades ago. I think in Europe they have tried to walk the line where they avoid giving it a racial angle, as it would be too grating.

    It is amazing to consider how impactful the Great Migration was on American society, but to realize that, if only in a technical sense, it was very geographically constrained. I consider pre-2000 migration into Europe a rough analogy – if not exactly the same, due to population differences.

    But looking around America now, I really get the sense that we are running out of space. The white areas today, would not have been considered white, by the old standards. With open borders, you just run out of room to manage and shuffle people, and I think that is also happening now in Europe.

  368. German_reader says:
    @A123

    The Elites cannot impose that type of Orwellian restriction on individually owned cars.

    They could just ban certain types of cars or make gas prices too high for most consumers. If there’s a will to create a tyranny, your SUV won’t save you.
    However, I will admit that in a polarized society like the US is today it may make sense to oppose funding for public transport from your point of view, since it’s likely to be only beneficial for mostly left-leaning urbanites.

    • Replies: @A123
  369. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Some years ago, I was in the UK, and I had to a use a train journey a few times between two cities.

    The first time I tried this journey I was just surprised how slow it travels. Often the train moving at walking speed, other times it might accelerate to the speed of a bus.

    After a couple of journeys, I was somehow habituated and just atmospheric, how slow we travel across the attractive English landscapes, how much time there is to read a book.

    Then I remember a final journey, this same train stops for two hours in the night.

    Announcement from the driver “Sorry we are empty of fuel and we are waiting a fuel train to be sent to refill our diesel”. Then half an hour later “Don’t worry I was speaking to the station and they said there is a fuel train available to send to you soon”.

    When the train is finally refilled with the fuel, then the driver said we can apply for a refund if we write an application letter to their company’s email. Obviously it’s too much work to write special letters to the train company.

    So, that’s the English trains. They don’t calculate how much fuel they will need to complete the journey.

    Britain is usually attributed to the botched privatization in the 1990s.

    The irony is that some British railway companies are owned by partnerships including Japanese rail.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Midlands_Trains

    But trains in Republic of Ireland are also very expensive tickets and slow, but they are not privatized.

    Perhaps British trains had been already bad, before privatization. Maybe privatization was some response to pre-existing problems, which made a bad situation become worse. I guess Philip Owen might have some knowledge.

    Japan’s former state railway system was apparently also privatized in the late 1980s, yet still seems to work quite well.

    Japanese trains are the “crème de la crème” of the world (with predictable prices).

    But many countries can at least run basically working trains, not just in EU, but even in postsoviet countries we have trains which are electric and regular, moving at least usually faster than walking speed. Even Israel organizes normal working trains which are comfortable and cheap, and they have a land border with Africa.

    Probably, there are African countries, which remember to refill their trains with adequate fuel. Perhaps there is some masonic conspiracy that England pretends it installed the train system in India, but it was actually the other way around.

  370. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Perhaps British trains had been already bad, before privatization.

    I think there was a marked deterioriation after privatization, because not enough was invested in maintenance of the railway network. There are similar issues in Germany (a sort of semi-privatized system), so trains often have to slow down on certain sections and you can never rely on trains arriving on time. The new government will probably make things even worse, total mockery of their supposed support for public transport.
    I wonder how the Japanese did it, but of course one can’t expect incompetent European governments to actually learn something from them.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Vishnugupta
  371. AP says:
    @songbird

    Where it really hurts more, IMO, is in the way things are run. Massive levels of corruption, incompetence, and malfeasance. I don’t know if you have ever been in a broken down train after midnight, but it is an unpleasant experience.

    I’ve rarely taken the NYC subway; more often, I’ve taken Metro North into Grand Central Station. Those trains are fine and the station is beautiful. Until 2014, Metro North commuter trains even had a bar car for middle class people to unwind after work with a few drinks!

    The state of public transportation depends on the nature of the public using them.

    • Thanks: songbird
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  372. A123 says: • Website
    @German_reader

    They could just ban certain types of cars or make gas prices too high for most consumers. If there’s a will to create a tyranny, your SUV won’t save you.

    The tyranny is already lurking. I wanted an F-250. When faced with the outrageous cost premium mark up on Utes, I settled for a car.

    in a polarized society like the US is today it may make sense to oppose funding for public transport from your point of view, since it’s likely to be only beneficial for mostly left-leaning urbanites.

    The folly of public transit does not even benefit left urbanites. As AP has pointed out, the wealthy left in Los Angeles abjures buses. Stepping foot on a train, outside of staged PR, would be unthinkable.

    — How many Hollywood Elites arrived at the Oscar Awards on public transit?
    — How many arrived in displays of conspicuous hydrocarbon consumption?

    I seem to remember a rapper complete with entourage showing up to the Academy Awards on the back of a tricked out, flat bed semi.

    Public transit in the U.S. is about transferring wealth from workers to Globalist Elites.
    ___

    Perhaps Europe is different, but I suspect graft is also ubiquitous.

    Public transit does work in Japan. However, that does not translate elsewhere.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Barbarossa
  373. @A123

    I do not believe this is accurate. Do you have a citation for your assertion about Atlanta demographics?

    Yeah I think the only sensible thing for white Atlanteans is to Get the Flux Out. Outside the city limits ain’t far enough. Start with outside the 285 loop. Any real estate developers putting big skyscrapers on the plans for central Atlanta?

    • Replies: @A123
  374. Aedib says:

    Fugitive banker Ablyazov would have been Vicky Nuland’s “our man” if the failed Kazakh Maidan have triumphed. Some sentences by him.

    “If [the West does] not [act] then Kazakhstan will turn into Belarus and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will methodically impose his programme: the recreation of a structure like the Soviet Union,”

    “I am urging people to organize strikes and block roads to protest their [Russian and other foreign troops] presence in the country,” he was also cited as saying, adding: “The more Putin intervenes, the more Kazakhstan will become like Ukraine—an enemy state for Russia.”

    More
    https://www.intellinews.com/fugitive-banker-ablyazov-lays-claim-to-filling-opposition-vacuum-in-kazakhstan-as-president-says-forces-will-shoot-to-kill-231151/?source=armenia

    More evidence start to surface.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  375. @Yevardian

    The rest have now caught up. I still can’t see what is really happening. I am astonished at the amount of British involvement. There is even a Prince Andrew story from Kazakhstan. Apparently while acting as front man for a British trade delgation, he made a negative remark about the French at a dinner. An American diplomat heard and reported it (revealed in Cablegote so a long time ago now). The British Royals have been making negative remarks about the French since 1066 so I don’t know why this was remarkable.

    Anyway.
    Blair paid many millions by Nazerbayev.
    The Kazak officer corps trained in the UK.
    Prince Andrew promoting trade.

    The UK seems to have big interests there. I’d like to know what exactly. Backing Nazerbayev was never very bright. Dictators collapse eventually.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @mal
  376. @Dmitry

    This tradition of history has been useful because they are just talking about human reality, where the details are really more interesting and important, than our opinions or theories that can be added as a conclusion

    Whether one finds the details more interesting is a matter of individual taste and not something worth arguing about. But the study of the past is socially important because it helps us to understand the present, and to plot a course for the future, so I cannot see how the details – the ‘raw facts’ (in as much as there can be such a thing) – could possibly be more important than our interpretation of them.

    If hereditary factors are important part of our human reality and historians choose ignore them, then historians are doing us a disservice and handicapping our ability to understand both past and present. Imagine some race-denying libtard sack of shit writing a history of the BLM riots in 2020. His ‘explanation’ will make no mention of blacks’ lower average intelligence and greater impulsivity and criminality. Such a history would be fit for little besides wiping your butt with. So sometimes we have no choice but to ignore the blathering of historians and rely upon understandings drawn from other fields in order to understand various historical phenomena.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  377. Dmitry says:
    @Aedib

    Kazakhstan’s government has been pro-Western. They also prefer to give contracts for resource extraction mainly to Western companies. Lukoil just has a small share of Karachaganak.

    For examples. Tengiz – Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell. Karachaganak – ExxonMobil, Lukoil (18%), Shell. Kashagan – Eni, Shell, Total, ExxonMobil.

    So, it’s not too surprising that some Western external ministries will be panicking if Russia increases influence in Kazakhstan, but this is in a reactionary way as they might lose some of their influence. This is if support from Russia during protests encourage Tokaev to begin less pro-Western policy than predecessor Nazarbaev.

    My writing all sounds very cynical though. Of course, whether their protests would improve anything or not (probably not), all sympathies for the working class of Kazakhstan, whose resources of their country more often stolen by a narrow elite, than re-invested into improving their future.

    • Replies: @melanf
  378. @Thulean Friend

    Yet D.C. has gentrified and become much less black than in the 1970s. Cities like Atlanta have also become more white in recent years.

    I concede that numerous cities have undergone a gentrifying influx of whites over the last twenty years. This site used to be a handy reference that allowed you to zoom down to city block level and get data on racial demographic changes from 2000 to 2010, before that feature was unfortunately removed. Jared Taylor used to troll libtards with the question “can you name just one majority-black neighborhood you’d like to move to?” That’s still useful rhetoric, but libtards unfortunately can now answer forthrightly that yes, they can.

    This hardly disconfirms the broad trend, however. That a relatively small number of shitlibs can manage to practice what they preach cannot put a dent in the reality that when the race changes, everything else changes too. In fact, in their own way, shitlib gentrifiers confirm the truth of that dictum. And needless to say, many of them only get into the gentrification game because they hope to profit financially and socially from other whites following in their footsteps.

    All of which is to say, many white people don’t fear diversity

    Neither do I. If you’ll pardon me for tooting my own horn for a moment, I have zero doubt that I have vastly more experience with it than you. If you had told me as recently as fifteen years ago that I’d some day be talking about race as I now do, I’d have thought you utterly insane. It’s entirely fairly to say I was a good little diversity-celebrating anti-racist way before it was cool. It’s not out of “fear” that I now eschew it (except when it comes to negroids, and even then it’s only a “statistical” fear, based on their numbers, rather than fear of any particular individuals; too many blacks is always bad news). It’s that I’m unable to experience a shared sense of identity with people who are too culturally or racially different to me, and that I have belatedly recognized the importance of this.

    Just consider. If my favorite bar turns from whatever it is today – 70%, 80%, 90% white? I’m not exactly counting – to 90% black or asian or indian, wtf would I bother going there for anymore? They may be perfectly nice people (unless they’re black, which experience teaches me far too many of them won’t be), but I find the idea of socializing with them a monumental waste of time. Life is short. Why shouldn’t I want to spend it around people I actually enjoy interacting with, rather than spend it around people whose presence I merely tolerate? This example of a local bar can be extended to every other area of life.

    • Agree: sher singh
  379. @Dmitry

    Songbird is from the USA, where in many areas crime is much higher than anywhere in Western Europe. Where is Silviosilver from (Latin America?).

    Australia, but I have lived in America.

  380. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    incompetent European governments to actually learn something from them.

    Perhaps European countries might eventually try to learn from them in some areas.

    We saw with the coronavirus pandemic, that Japan installed tens of thousands of air filtering systems into their buildings in 2020, while for months Western countries could not even talk about masks. But perhaps after the crisis, epidemiologists will report about why Japan had better anti-pandemic policies.

    I was looking recently at an old book (pre-2011) by a European author which included text about how incompetent and corrupt it must be in Japan because they build concrete walls on the beaches, damaging the aesthetics of the beaches.

    If I recall, it was using Japan as an example of state capture. That is, that Japan is building concrete walls on the beaches, because of state capture by the construction industry. That this is a tragedy because the concrete walls damage the beach ecosystem, but it shows a pure, meaningless payment to the lobby of the construction industry or concrete industry.

    Of course, these concrete walls on beaches are intended to be “tsunami walls”. In 2011, it was shown that rather than too little tsunami walls, there was not enough tsunami walls. Almost 20,000 people were killed by a tsunami in March 2011 and maybe it could be that more could be killed if there were not any walls.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  381. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    We saw with the coronavirus pandemic

    tbh I don’t understand at all what’s going on with Corona in Japan, it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue there. Official number of deaths according to Worldometer isn’t even 20 000, and I haven’t seen any claims that the Japanese are falsifying the numbers on a massive scale.
    In Germany a lot of people in the “educated” classes (younger women especially) have really become rather unhinged imo…triple-vaxxed, and yet still hysterical about how they feel endangered by the unvaccinated (who must be “punished”). And of course the government is stoking that kind of sentiment with its plans for general mandatory vaccination.

    I was looking recently at an old book (pre-2011) by a European author which included text about how incompetent and corrupt it must be in Japan because they build concrete walls on the beaches

    That sounds really stupid, given the well-known risks of earthquakes and tsunamis to Japan, it’s one of the fundamental facts about the country.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Yevardian
  382. Dmitry says:
    @silviosilver

    If you look at history books, they often add some speculations about ancestry.

    Thucydides describes barbarians’ (Thracians) as inherently violent, which has explained certain massacres. He viewed a hereditary violence of the barbarians, as one of the influences or causes of events.

    But the explanation of the events (which is not determined by the events), is far less interesting to read than the detail of the events themselves. This is even with Thucydides, whose speculations will be more intelligent than those of all of us.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  383. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Official number of deaths according to Worldometer isn’t even 20 000

    And recall Worldometer is just looking at officially reported deaths. For example, in Russia, more than a million citizens have been killed by coronavirus, but less than a third of the real reality have been officially reported. https://github.com/dkobak/excess-mortality

    On the opposite hand, in Japan, there have been negative excess deaths. So, the coronavirus pandemic, has resulted in less people dying, than would be in a normal, non-pandemic year.

    doesn’t seem to be much of an issue there

    I wrote a post last year when I was wondering about it and will just copy-paste from that.

    Japan apparently didn’t have strict lockdowns in a European sense, because the government does not have legal power to impose them.

    It seems perhaps as a result of the inability of the government to have real lockdowns, they had to focus more on “engineering solutions” to reduce spread of the virus. These policies were probably more sensible overall and less expensive.

    If you watch walking videos on YouTube, you can see they ventilated spaces by removing the front windows of their shops even in winter. (You can see how almost every shop has an open door or removed front window https://youtu.be/3PeHnWIJLNI?t=156.)

    They installed tens of thousands of HVAC systems into the buildings. Japan introduced in April 2020, 10 million yen subsidy (\$92000) to each business to install ventilation systems.

    In the trains, they have high enough levels air-changes per hour, that infection risk should be small anyway.

    At 0:40 in the video it explains, Shinkensen has 8,6 air changes per hour. https://youtu.be/SHkwEr-mOn4?t=37.

    In the regulation for airborne infection isolation rooms in hospitals in the USA, it is 6 air changes per hour. Japanese trains should transmit less airborne disease than specialist, airborne infection isolation rooms in US hospitals.

    This is sensible policy anyway. as a lot of working hours are lost from colds and flu. If you can change air more often in public transport, then you should reduce amount of illness days for the workers.

    That sounds really stupid, given the well-known risks of earthquakes and tsunamis to Japan, it’s one of the fundamental facts about the country.

    I guess before 2011, it could appear shocking. A whole country replacing their beaches with concrete wall. My conspiracist thoughts if it was Russia, would be state capture, and saying “wow the concrete oligarchs have a lot of influence”.

    But after seeing that the walls were only too short in 2011 (and people became too confident about the sea), it seems incredibly stupid to use as an example of state capture.

    • Thanks: German_reader
  384. On Japanese public transportation. I’ve talked to people who lived in Tokyo and they have lamented that the system is a mess, since there are numerous private operators and you need a different card for each one instead of a unified one. For a newcomer, there can also be bewildering moments as it isn’t always clear when to exit the metro and enter a new train since some operators mostly just service light rail.

    Still, Japan being Japan means that the system is probably far more efficient than it would have been elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean the system design is good. How it is outside of Tokyo, I don’t know. Maybe it’s much better.

    Housing prices are now increasing faster than before the 2008 GFC.

    I repeat my calls for making cheap housing a civilisational mission, as often the most interesting people are rarely the richest. A housing market tilted in favour of the well-off will lead to lower cultural dynamism. And yes, I am aware of my own role as a gentrifier. But what choice do I have in the current system? This should be a collective effort. Housing, like transportation or health, should be a public undertaking. Cheap housing is by nature not very profitable, which is why private firms aren’t willing to invest. It’s not about regulations, it’s about profit margins.

    Another aspect is the “infinity QE” policies of central banks. They have pushed asset prices to record highs all over the world. We’ve seen it in the stock market, as it has gone completely parabolic and decoupled from the real economy. Clearly, there must be spillovers into the housing market also.

    Having come back from London and ruminated on my visit, I’ve noticed another difference. I saw a *lot* more women in niqabs or burqas there. London is a much more popular tourist destination than Stockholm is for rich Gulf Arabs, who tend to be very socially conservative, so it is hard to disentangle who is a native and who is not. Nevertheless, even I took the train to the center from my residential area, I noticed women in such attire on several train stations along the way, suggesting it wasn’t an entirely imported theme.

    You can find some of these women in the worst ghettos of Stockholm, but even in Rinkeby or Akalla, it is typically hijab which predominates. My impression is that Sweden has as many moslems, and possibly even more, than the UK has as a percentage of the population. Why would UK moslems be more radical? If they are. Seems like a puzzle worth pondering over.

    Here in Stockholm, I often see scenes of an older woman in a hijab with younger daughters with free-flowing hair and sometimes even skirts. Many of these girls are often late teens and early 20s, so long past the age when hijab is seen as “appropriate”.

  385. @German_reader

    My limited understanding of this issue is that UK privatization was a short term asset stripping venture in which massive amounts of real estate owned by the railways was sold to private firms for one time payment and the money was never reinvested back in upgrading the track infrastructure etc and the railways no longer had sufficient revenues to cover O&M expenses which led to a massive increase in ticket prices with no corresponding improvement in services for the average commuter though if you can afford it some trains like Virgin Pendolino etc are a very significant improvement over what was previously available.

    JR privatization was much better thought out with the government leasing the land while retaining ownership and carefully reinvesting the new revenue stream in system wide upgrades.

    • Thanks: German_reader
  386. @Dmitry

    But the explanation of the events (which is not determined by the events), is far less interesting to read than the detail of the events themselves.

    It mystifies me how you can make an absolute statement like this. If you find the details of events more interesting than interpretations of their significance, great, I’m happy for you. But you have no right to insist that everybody else does too. Speaking for myself, I often find the details a dreadful bore.

  387. Mr. Hack says:

    It looks to me that the Bandurist Christmas album I presented in comment #315 didn’t attract many listeners. Perhaps this video clip of the Ukrainian Symphonic Orchestra’s rendition of Skoryk and Nebesnys rendition of Ukrainian Christmas Carols renders more appreciation.

    Christmas is celebrated officially for three days in the Orthodox world, so for the last time “Merry Christmas” to all.

    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @Yahya
  388. @Thulean Friend

    Because British Muslims are often Pakistanis who have Political Islam, instead of slightly more moderate Iraqis in Sweden?

  389. A123 says: • Website
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    I do not believe this is accurate. Do you have a citation for your assertion about Atlanta demographics?

    Yeah I think the only sensible thing for white Atlanteans is to Get the Flux Out. Outside the city limits ain’t far enough. Start with outside the 285 loop. Any real estate developers putting big skyscrapers on the plans for central Atlanta?

    I am curious about TF’s source. Large % Hispanic population means that it would be plausible for Atlanta to simultaneously become less Black & less White. The actual numbers would be interesting.
    ___

    I don’t think that there are many skyscrapers going up in the U.S. Existing large buildings are under occupied. The CCP’s coronavirus + subsequent mutations are keeping employees at home or smaller sites. Why build tower that will simply remain vacant.
    ___

    I find it perplexing that people claim WUHAN-19 was a “bioweapon”. The key characteristic of a weapon is the ability to target the enemy without hitting friendlies. It is hard to see any plausible weapons development plan choosing coronavirus. High spread rate guarantees everyone will be hit friend & foe alike. Trying mass immunization immediately before a release gives away the source of the WMD. Plus, rapid mutation means that any countermeasure could fail by surprise.

    There is a silver lining to all of this. The CCP has accidentally undermined the scourge of civilization — overcrowding. Without the *cause* (overcrowding), the *#1 symbol* (mass transit) of uncivilized existence is taking a justified hit.

    PEACE 😇

  390. mal says:
    @Philip Owen

    The UK seems to have big interests there. I’d like to know what exactly. Backing Nazerbayev was never very bright. Dictators collapse eventually

    .

    Well 40% of uranium comes from there and like half of Kazakhstan is owned by Canada (including Russian operations like Rosatom Canada/Uranium One or whatever).

    That’s the big interest. Why now though? I thought nuclear power was bad, and the West was phasing it out and shutting down nuclear power plants? Germans are closing nuke plants down etc. So why does it matter who controls uranium if you aren’t going to use it anyway?

    Or did the view change recently? If nuclear power became a viable option as part of energy policy all of a sudden, then yeah, who runs Kazakhstan suddenly becomes important.

  391. @Dmitry

    Well you did ask.

    In the display case in my living room there are three silver plated cups awarded to my grandfather (a permanent way inspector) for having the best maintained section of railway line in British Rail in the late 1950’s. They stopped him competing after the 3rd year. I spent happy hours as a child walking the tracks with him looking for defects.

    The railways had received almost no new investment since 1913. There was war, recession, war. As a younger man he was the Ganger (foreman) building the last new piece of railway line in the UK. It was a bypass for Bristol. All the best young men were put to work on it so the railways could remember how to build new track. The railway companies were nationalised in 1947. Post war the government spent its money on atom bombs, missiles, aircraft carriers and especially aircraft. Nationalised firms like rail, steel and coal had not access to capital. Things improved by the late 1950s.
    One of the two lines on his patch was scheduled to be upgraded. It took industrial raw materials from the port in Swansea to Northern England. The wooden sleepers for the 2nd tract were actually being delivered. Then there was a total reversal of policy. Instead of upgrading, the Government’s special consultant, Dr Beeching, an research scientist and efficiency speciaist from the chemical firm ICI. Beeching decided on wholesale closures of little used lines on a purely commercial basis. So there was no regard for keeping open small sections of unprofitable line that provided connections that gave the network efficiency and connected larger traffic flows. The tracks were ripped up for scrap. My grandfather spent his last year or so organizing the return of land to the previous landowners (most having been purchased by compulsion). In urban areas that land was quickly built on. Rural railines and interregional expresses disappeared and have still not really come back. Such routes are still a start-stop experience. The railway became a commuter service for London and in a much weaker form for a few other big cities. Commuter services have always made a profit but destinations and line capacity largely remain pre 1913. There was a big success. Express trains to London and the few surviving interregional expresses were rebranded “Intercity”. It was originally based on the newly electrified route to the Midlands put in place from 1966 onwards. (Electrification of the UK system is still not complete).

    British Rail built no new track nor important extra capacity. It did invest modestly in electrification. It also set out to design a new locomotive for Intercity electric routes. This was the APT which was designed to cope with the sharp curves of the Victorian railway by tilting. It was to be faster than the French Train grand Vitesse (TGV). British Rail deliberately excluded existing locomotive designers from the team. Most of the engineers were from the aeronautical and automotive industries. It was a disaster. The passengers didn’t like the tilting. The system was unreliable. The trains often broke down (three were built).

    Meanwhile what was left of the experienced locomotive design team had been asked to design a design a diesel locomotive for the (few it was thought) lines not to be electrified. The trainset they designed, the High Speed Train (HST), was outstanding if not quite as fast as the TGV. 125 miles per hour was still good. These started operation in 1976 and are still running although now being withdrawn. Their success meant that plans for electrification were cut (it was the 1970’s and government budgets were tight). Investment in capacity, stations (for example no new car parks), most signalling stagnated. Commuter trains were not replaced. Goods services used a mixture of hand-me-down passenger locomotives. The Thatcher government continued the squeeze. Passenger numbers and freight volumes continued to decline.

    Then the railways were privatised in 1994 by the Major government. Privatisation has been an outstanding success for the system. instead of decades of decline, passenger numbers have more than doubled (!) as train operators have run trains tailored to passenger demand. Stations have been upgraded. The US firm Wisconsin Central bought all the main freight operators and took then into profit by replacing all the locomotives with one standard type, hugly cutting maintenance costs. Deutsche Bahn bought the company, by then called EWS in 2007. Recently, the closure of UK coal fired power stations and reduction in steel production has resulted in losses although the long distance cargo business is still growing partly due to locomotives that can run through the channel tunnel as far as Poland. But again, Ford who were a large user of the service have closed down UK manufacturing, for example the engine plant in Bridgend. Brexit looms.

    The privatisation of the permanent way was less succesful. There had been no investment in track capacity or even refurbishment for decades bar extending the electrified lines to Scotland. The private owners of Network Rail planned new capacity, even signalling and focussed on cost cutting. Meanwhile locomotive owners were doing the same thing. Track condition became dangerous. My grandfather must have turned in his grave many times. There were two major accidents (one a rail failure the other a signalling issue) and Network Rail was renationalized. Since then money has been found for new capacity: HS1, Crossrail, now HS2′ station modernisation, electrification of the railway west of London. However, this is still not directed at the regional and rural routes or the commuter lines for cities outside London. The North or Wales get refurbished trains from London, even converted tube trains. Wales and Scotland did get access to EU funds to add new capacity. Such schemes all exceeded predicted passenger numbers quickly and by large margins. The English regions have not been so lucky.

    The railway does not lack demand. It lacks capacity, stations in expanded towns and modern destinations.

    I guess you were trying to travel between English destinations that did not include London. Those lines are still configured for 1913. The expresses get priority if access to a mainline is required. As signalling is basic on branch lines, this can mean long delays. The longest delay I ever suffered was due to leaves on the line. I am horrified by the train running out of fuel though.

    • Thanks: German_reader, Dmitry, Barbarossa
    • Replies: @LondonBob
  392. A123 says: • Website

    Important science in the debate between Manda-Vaxxers versus Vaxx-Realists: (1)

    Oddly, the mainstream media didn’t cover this at all. I just can’t figure out why.

    In short, these vaccines have more adverse reactions than all vaccines combined in the 30 year history of VAERS (over 70 vaccines). They are the most deadly vaccines ever created and have likely killed over 150,000 Americans.

    In the past 30 years, the experimental WUHAN-19 jab is more lethal than all other vaccines combined. The are rational, science based reasons to be concerned about the new mRNA technique. And, good grounds to refuse vaccination of children who are at little to no risk from WUHAN-19.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/milestone-over-1m-adverse-event-reports

     

  393. Yahya says:
    @Mr. Hack

    It looks to me that the Bandurist Christmas album I presented in comment #315 didn’t attract many listeners. Perhaps this video clip of the Ukrainian Symphonic Orchestra’s rendition of Skoryk and Nebesnys rendition of Ukrainian Christmas Carols renders more appreciation.

    Thanks for the music. Excellent melody and harmony. Ukrainians seem to be a musically gifted people. I recently found out Carol of the Bells, which is perhaps one of the best Christmas songs, was composed by one Ukrainian Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych. Here’s an Arabic rendition by the Greek Orthodox community in Lebanon:

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  394. Yevardian says:

    Question for Mikel, or anyone else who happens to speak Spanish. Are there any Spanish blogs or newssites that you could recommend as interesting, or simply giving a perspective lacking in the Anglophone media?
    In Russian that sort of thing is pretty easy to come by (obviously, the default media narrative is still considerably different), but so far every Spanish news outlet I’ve encountered simply just gives practically verbatim-translated boilerplate annalistic accounts, and/or generic opinions that you could find in any MSM English reporting. It reminds me why I never had any interest in learning German, even if many past classic histories or linguistics papers were written in it (although admittedly I never found it very euphonious either).

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Mikel
  395. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader

    tbh I don’t understand at all what’s going on with Corona in Japan, it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue there. Official number of deaths according to Worldometer isn’t even 20 000, and I haven’t seen any claims that the Japanese are falsifying the numbers on a massive scale.

    Lol, have you compared to Australia or NZ? It’s currently still under 2.500 casualties, but you would never have guessed from the hysterical local media reporting of the pandemic. The international borders (in & out, as in, it has been illegal to even leave the country for most) have been shut during almost the entire pandemic.
    Despite the government having handled things overall quite well, the general fear-mongering has been as bad as anywhere in Europe, and now with a preparation to ‘re-open’ internationally, the tone has now gone into overdrive.
    Honestly though, I don’t really care about the issue, it’s just been personal inconvenience. I waited a while to see how the vaccination drive went, didn’t see any real any real evidence against the jab (despite millions of words of rants), at this stage it appears its just nutcases ranting to each other remaining (see Godfree Roberts, lol).

    From the Japanese (or Korean) perspective, I wonder if there’s even a strong incentive to change things as they are now. Their people naturally follow the ‘rules’, and it’s not as if their politics have long since totally reorientated around immigration, as they have in the Greater Europe/’The West’.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @German_reader
  396. Yevardian says:

    Lol, have you compared to Australia or NZ? It’s currently still under 2.500 casualties

    Sorry, realised I kept that figure in my head for ages, since cases had flatlined for some time. Just re-checked since a few months ago (shows how little interest I’ve had in it, I suppose), it’s *now* up to nearly a million at this point. It was static for quite some time, but the increase has been almost entirely in the 2 months or so, since internal borders re-opened, and the new variant blabla.

  397. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    Yes Australia and New Zealand are other very successful countries (together with countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Norway, etc).

    You can see which are the most competent countries during pandemics.

    Although Australia/New Zealand/Taiwan were much more strict than Japan with lockdowns and travel bans before vaccination. Whereas in Japan the virus was not able to spread much 2020-2021, even without much of lockdowns or travel bans, and Tokyo full of people living normal life.

    So, in my opinion, Japan is probably one of the most interesting successes. The virus never spread very much, even without such strong lockdowns and travel bans.

    On the opposite side of the spectrum, Bulgaria, Russia and Serbia are the countries with the most deaths from coronavirus relative to population. In Russia, is one of the only places where the apocalyptical predictions have come. Coronavirus has killed over a million Russian citizens, resulted in a fall in life expectancy in the country back to the same level as 1970.

  398. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Tokyo system is a mess

    If you mean the metro in Tokyo? I’ve been in Tokyo twice (wish I go again soon), but not recently. I remember buying the tickets separately for each journey in a machine. Otherwise, it seemed to be an easy to use metro and not too expensive. That’s how you make a comfortable city.

    ow it is outside of Tokyo, I don’t know.

    Probably you have to buy another ticket for each journey. When I was there for vacation we had a Japan rail pass.

    I think Japanese people not be able to buy this rail pass. Maybe it is only for tourists.

    But with the rail pass, this is the best transport system in the world. You can go anywhere in Japan you want, just choose from the map. It’s all super fast and not that expensive (with the rail pass).

    You’ll fall in love with those trains (when you don’t have to pay for the tickets).

    Although I think they said for Japanese citizens without the rail pass, Shinkansen is crazy expensive.

    Gulf Arabs, who tend to be very socially conservative

    Although I think in London, wealthy Arabs are often going to be live more socially liberal. They have socially conservative home countries. When they go to London in their summer homes, it’s obviously partly so they can relax together, in a more liberal culture.

    I would believe Islamist sin London, are more often from poor immigrants, than the wealthy tourists.

    Note there is a lot of social divergence between the tourist Muslims and the local Muslims. The wealthy Arabs in London, are some of the most rich people anywhere in the world.

    But the local Muslim population, are the poorest religious group in London.

    Wealthy Arabs who fill London streets with hundreds (thousands?) of the most rare Ferraris and Lamborghinis each summer, cannot have so much socioeconomic compatibility with the city’s local Muslim population.

    For example, it seems like London’s local Muslim population have the most economically difficulties or underprivilege of the London religious groups.
    https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/news/inequalities-and-disadvantage-london-focus-religion-and-belief/

    • Replies: @songbird
  399. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    These in the train look like Wall Street workers? I imagine they are low level Wall Street workers or financial professionals. My first impression of the photos, is that it is a working class of Wall Street who drink beer after their stressful day.

    It’s funny you can guess from expression of peoples’ faces in the photos that they are not upper management people – they look too happy to be escaping the office.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @utu
  400. Mr. Hack says:
    @Yahya

    “Carol of the Bells” is technically not a Ukrainian Christmas carol, but a song/greeting sung to commemorate the New Year. There are many such “schedryks” included within the video clip in #402. It’s great to see that different holiday songs are shared around the world, including Lebanon. Yesterday, I watched another concert of Ukrainian carols held in Calgary where a Marionite Catholic choir also took part, singing some of their native song too. Christ was often hailed as the “Prince of Peace” sent to unite the world in a peacful movement.

    • LOL: sher singh
  401. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Most of them don’t appear to be “working class.” The train has stops in some of the richest towns in America:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/15/connecticut-gold-coast-life-afford

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  402. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Air China advises that travelers to London be wary of areas populated mostly by blacks, Pakis, and Indians. By the last, I assume they are referring to Muslim Indians.

    Sensible advice, no doubt.

    • Replies: @songbird
  403. songbird says:
    @Yevardian

    (although admittedly I never found it very euphonious either).

    Beautiful girls speaking German is very pleasing to the ear.

    Though not so pleasing as beautiful girls singing traditional songs in Irish.

  404. German_reader says:
    @Yevardian

    Lol, have you compared to Australia or NZ?

    Sure, but Japan is a really massive country (more than 120 million people), and I don’t think they’ve had travel restrictions/mandatory quarantine for travellers quite as strict as Australia and NZ, so imo it’s pretty remarkable that they’ve only got 20 000 official Corona deaths (EDIT: checked, apparently they also have a sort of 14-day quarantine for travellers coming from abroad, that might be an important factor). This is something I’d like to see explained, but Western mainstram media don’t seem to pay much attention to it (Dmitry’s comment here is the best explanation I’ve seen so far, so thanks to him for doing the job journalists should do).

    Honestly though, I don’t really care about the issue

    I’m not absorbed by it, but I can’t ignore it either, both because I’m still somewhat worried about the virus (more regarding my father than myself), and increasingly because the entire debate in Germany has gotten totally unhinged. I’ve probably got somewhat authoritarian inclinations myself, but apparently still less so than many of my countrymen who seem to enjoy living in an endless “We need more restrictions! The unvaccinated must be punished” hysteria.

    • Replies: @utu
  405. LondonBob says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Arabs used to go to Lebanon, they don’t anymore because of their inferiority complex towards Hezbollah, Cameron also lowered the standards for giving them short term visas. Very noticeable the number holidaying in London for a few months since around 2011.

    • LOL: A123
    • Replies: @A123
    , @Yahya
    , @Dmitry
  406. LondonBob says:
    @Philip Owen

    I think the surge in passengers played the biggest role, overcrowding on the roads, privatisation making no real difference. Unlike Spain we didn’t get EU funds, and despite being the oldest rail system it compares favourably with the likes of Germany and Sweden.

  407. LondonBob says:
    @Yevardian

    What will get to \$2000 first, bitcoin or gold?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  408. A123 says: • Website
    @LondonBob

    Iranian Hezbollah has spent several decades turning Lebanon into a failed state. The Nasrallah-shima port blast killed hundreds, injured thousands, and plunged the Lebanese economy into collapse. It is not just Arabs, almost everyone avoids Hezbollah contamination by going elsewhere.

    The only hope for Lebanese revival is the expulsion of Iran, including their proxies Hezbollah and Hamas. The future will almost certainly bring a partition establishing a Christian Lebanon free from Iranian corruption & violence.

    PEACE 😇

  409. Yahya says:
    @LondonBob

    Arabs used to go to Lebanon

    True. My Saudi grandfather would regularly make excursions to Lebanon (“Switzerland of the Middle East”) with his friends back in 50s-70s (he also had a second home in Egypt). That pretty much stopped when the civil war erupted and the economy went down the drain (Lebanon is now the Venezuela of the Middle East). Hasn’t returned since. It’s a shame; Lebanon has some beautiful scenery.

    They don’t anymore because of their inferiority complex towards Hezbollah,

    Not true. I don’t think it’s possible for Gulf Arabs to have an inferiority complex to anyone really; so long as the oil flows. As Dmitry mentioned, they are not only the wealthiest of the MENA region, but one of the wealthiest people in the entire planet. If anything, Gulf Arabs are known for their toxic sense of arrogance and superiority.

    I would believe Islamist sin London, are more often from poor immigrants, than the wealthy tourists. Note there is a lot of social divergence between the tourist Muslims and the local Muslims. The wealthy Arabs in London, are some of the most rich people anywhere in the world. But the local Muslim population, are the poorest religious group in London.

    Muslims in London are predominantly of working-class Indian, Pakistani and Bengali origin. Not only are they poorer than Gulf Arabs, but they are of a different race (for the most part; some Pakistanis/North Indians can pass for Gulf Arab). It’d be a mistake to think they are part of the same group just because they are “Muslims”. Gulf Arabs are known to be racist towards South Asians. On the other hand, Gulf Arabs are also acquainted with South Asian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia; who mostly come from the same backgrounds as British-Muslims; so they are not as alien to each other as you might expect.

    British Muslims, like most other poor Muslims around the globe, have mixed feelings towards Gulf Arabs. On the one hand, they have a deep disdain for the opulent, ostentatious and what they view as decadent lifestyle of the rich Arabs of the Gulf. On the other hand, they have an ingrained, reluctant respect for Arabs because, as Razib Khan once put it, Arabs are the herrenvolk of Islam. God speaks their language. The Prophet was of their stock. British Muslims can trash-talk Gulf Arabs for days on end behind the walls of their homes, but if an Arab walks through their mosque, they will reflexively tip their hats in respect. The situation is not unlike the relationship between working-class Britons and the aristocracy of old.

    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    , @LondonBob
  410. AP says:
    @Yahya

    British Muslims, like most other poor Muslims around the globe, have mixed feelings towards Gulf Arabs. On the one hand, they have a deep disdain for the opulent, ostentatious and what they view as decadent lifestyle of the rich Arabs of the Gulf. On the other hand, they have an ingrained, reluctant respect for Arabs because, as Razib Khan once put it, Arabs are the herrenvolk of Islam. God speaks their language. The Prophet was of their stock. British Muslims can trash-talk Gulf Arabs for days on end behind the walls of their homes, but if an Arab walks through their mosque, they will reflexively tip their hats in respect. The situation is not unlike the relationship between working-class Britons and the aristocracy of old.

    Interesting observation. Persians, Chaldeans and Lebanese Christians often express haughty disdain for Muslim Arabs in general – does this extend towards the rich Gulf Arabs?

    • Replies: @Yahya
  411. @LondonBob

    Have you been living under a rock for the last 4-5 years?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  412. AP says:

    Started reading Thomas Mann’s Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man while on Covid quarantine. It is full of powerful takes. “..A world democracy would leave nothing of the German character: the world democracy, the imperium of civilization, the “society of mankind,”could have a character that is more Latin or more Anglo-Saxon – the German spirit would dissolve and disappear in it…Richard Wagner once declared that civilization disappears before music like mist before the sun. He never dreamed that one day, for its part, music would disappear before civilization, before democracy, like mist before the sun.”

    • Replies: @A123
    , @songbird
    , @German_reader
  413. A123 says: • Website
    @AP

    A world democracy would leave nothing of the German character

    How is “German Character” defined?

    The people of Germany backed Merkel’s SJW Globalist democracy for almost two decades. Now they are backing the Scholz and his UN/NWO ideals. This leaves only two possibilities:

    1) Merkel, Scholz, and those who overwhelmingly elected those world democracy policies do not have “German Character”. Or,

    2) Thomas Mann is badly out-of-date. Modern “German Character” is indistinguishable from UN/NWO world democracy.

    It’s rather suspect it is #2. It is hard to see the German dominated EU and WEF as anything other than near perfect forms of German world democratic character.
    ____

    Perhaps Mann is talking about a historical “German Character” that is now extinct?

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @AP
  414. AP says:
    @A123

    This was written right after World War I.

    • Replies: @A123
  415. A123 says: • Website
    @AP

    This was written right after World War I.

    OK. That makes sense as a timeline..

    Modern (Merkel/Scholz) German Character steamrollers anything resembling traditional values. If Mann was available today, presumably he would identify Merkel & Scholz as existential threats to Classical German Character.

    Thanks.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @AP
  416. Yahya says:
    @AP

    Interesting observation. Persians, Chaldeans and Lebanese Christians often express haughty disdain for Muslim Arabs in general

    Like any topic related to ethnicity/religion in the Middle East – it’s complicated. Before I begin, i’d like to mention that most of my observations are impressionistic; as the nature of the topic does not lend itself to rigorous scientific investigation. As such, the accuracy of my observations are constrained by my personal experiences – which by their nature are inherently limited.

    Since I’m Egyptian (of Muslim background, though secular in outlook), my first-hand experiences with Middle East Christians consists of a few childhood friendships/acquaintances with Coptic Christians; and some familiarity with Lebanese/Syrian Christians, since they are in the same cultural-linguistic sphere as Egypt. I grew up with and know intimately two Coptic Egyptians and one Coptic-Maronite (Father is Egyptian, Mother is Lebanese). Most of us got along well with each other, though because we attended an elite-type school, our amicable relations may not be representative of Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt or the Arab world at large.

    I haven’t personally seen or experienced any form of disdain from Copts towards Muslims; but I’m aware that some Copts hate Muslims and see them as invaders who took over the country. This is of course incorrect, as Muslim Egyptians are descended from Coptic converts to Islam, rather than Arabs from Arabia (see my post on Egyptian genetics here: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-170/#comment-5057453).

    As for Lebanese Christians; well they famously like to dissociate themselves from Arabs, though my impression is that this does not extend to Lebanese Muslims, to whom they have an affinity to. According to Pew, 82% of Lebanese Christians had a favorable view of Lebanese Muslims (and vice-versa):

    Despite widespread sectarian violence during their country’s 1975-1990 civil war, today Lebanese Muslims and Christians generally have positive attitudes toward one another. Fully 86% of Muslims have a favorable opinion of Christians, by far the highest rating of Christians by any Muslim public. At the same time, 82% of Christians have a positive view of Muslims.

    Attitudes toward Jews, however, are quite another matter. Even before the current conflict, negative sentiments about Jews and Israel were widespread in Lebanon, and they were not confined to the Muslim community. Indeed, no one in our Lebanese sample, Muslim, Christian, Druze, or otherwise, said they had a favorable view of Jews. Of course, negative attitudes towards Jews are not uncommon in the region — in neighboring Jordan, zero respondents had a favorable view of Jews, and Morocco and Pakistan also posted favorable ratings for Jews in the single digits.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/2006/07/26/lebanons-muslims-relatively-secular-and-prochristian/

    – does this extend towards the rich Gulf Arabs?

    High-caste Persians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Copts, Lebanese Christians, Ionian Turks etc. are what you might call the “sophisticated people” of the Middle East. They are the descendants of the people who created the glorious civilizations of Antiquity (Ancient Egypt, Persia, Phoenicia, Babylon, Byzantium etc.). They are intelligent (~100 average IQ), good-looking, well-educated, cultured and sophisticated. They are certainly far more intelligent and better looking than Gulf Arabs; who are known to be the hicks of the Arab world – even among Muslim Arabs. But, as sophisticated as they may be – Gulf Arabs are still wealthier than they are, on average, and therein lies the complication.

    While nerds like us may put emphasis on intellect, knowledge and IQ when according status-points to others; most people around the world do not. Wealth, not IQ, is the chief determinant of status. It’s tough to feel contempt for people who are wealthier than you – it’s not given to human psychology. As such, when a sophisticated person feels disdain towards a person wealthier than he is, it takes on the form of envy, not contempt. Contempt being the feeling of disdain you have for people of lower status; envy the feeling of disdain towards people of higher status.

    While Persians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Copts, Lebanese Christians, Ionian Turks (i.e. the sophisticated people) can feel contempt for poor Muslim Arabs in places like Iraq, Egypt or Syria; it’s well-nigh impossible for them to do so with Gulf Arabs. If any disdain is targeted towards Gulf Arabs, it takes on the form of envy. The situation is not unlike French attitudes towards Americans. While the sophisticated French people may fancy themselves culturally superior to the backward American hillbilly hicks; even the most redneck districts in the American South are still richer than much of France. The French can’t stand the fact that these hillbilly upstarts are wealthier than they are. Same can be said of the sophisticated people of the Middle East vis-a-vis Gulf Arabs.

    • Thanks: AP, Mikel
    • LOL: sher singh
  417. @Yahya

    Thanks for a comprehensive comment. I both agree and disagree.

    High-caste Persians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Copts, Lebanese Christians, Ionian Turks etc. are what you might call the “sophisticated people” of the Middle East.

    I don’t know which religious group Lebanon’s former foreign minister belongs to, but he certainly seems to view his people as culturally superior to Saudis.

    Charbel Wehbe said in a televised debate on Monday that the Islamic State group’s rise in the region had been engineered by Gulf states, prompting Lebanese ambassadors in several countries to be summoned.

    The Gulf’s relations with Lebanon have become frostier over the rising political influence of the Shiite group Hezbollah but Beirut is seeking fresh financial support from its former allies.

    After his altercation with a Saudi guest on Al-Hurra TV on Monday, Wehbe stormed off the set saying he would not be “insulted by a Bedouin”.

    You then wrote:

    While Persians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Copts, Lebanese Christians, Ionian Turks (i.e. the sophisticated people)

    Having some experience with Armenians, I can’t say they came across as too sophisticated nor as especially intelligent. As for Chaldeans, I think you mean Assyrians? I have personal experience with multiple people of that ancestry and they never appeared as too different in their behaviour or attitudes, let alone intellectual capacity, from moslem of the same region. They were more ingratiating, though, possibly a sign of a different survival strategy.

    I would agree with Persians, we certainly imported a substantial fraction of Iran’s elite in the 70s, 80 and early 90s. My impression is that their socio-economic outcomes are above that of the median Swede’s and they lack any ethnic or religious hostility (which can sometimes co-exist with economic success among some minorities).

    They are the descendants of the people who created the glorious civilizations of Antiquity (Ancient Egypt, Persia, Phoenicia, Babylon, Byzantium etc.). They are intelligent (~100 average IQ), good-looking, well-educated, cultured and sophisticated.

    I’m not as hostile to HBD as Dmitry is, but I am somewhat vary of these generalisations. I think many of these peoples are essentially minorities in their countries (Chaldeans, Copts) or they are surrounded by all sides (Persians). When people live in such a tenous environment, they tend to overperform in educational metrics simply as a matter of necessity; minorities have to study more powerful people than them in order to survive in a brutal surrounding. For e.g. Sunni Egyptians, no such pressure exists, therefore the impulse to education becomes less driven by necessity than by curiosity, and hence overall educational levels fall.

    You can see this in most minority groups. This is not always true in the West, since many of the offspring of dominant majorities become minorities here, and thus their attitudes don’t really change in a generation or two. It might further down the line. Conversely, the relatively lax attitudes of white natives towards education and self-improvement should be seen in this light.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  418. songbird says:
    @AP

    That is quite curious. I’ve never read Mann as my impression was that he was very pozzed. (once heard him promoted in his native town, so that made me suspicious of him). But here he is seemingly expressing a more essentialist vision than Goethe, who lived a hundred years before.

    I wonder if it had something to do with the national school system or the war.

    Shortly before WWI, I seem to recall a lot of Europe had passport-free travel.

    • Replies: @AP
  419. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob

    Arabs were going to Lebanon because the banks in Lebanon were giving up to 10% interest rates.

    In 2019, Lebanese banks almost collapsed and locked their deposits.

    It would have been always gambling to invest in Lebanon, but if a historically prestigious (in the Arab world) bank promises you 10% interest rates? It’s a difficult offer to resist.

    Very noticeable the number holidaying in London

    It’s because Arabs are one of the largest groups which own the property of London. They could own almost as much London property as Russia’s political class, Perhaps China’s position in London will become similar as well.

    In the summer, Gulf Arabs’ political class come to London and often transport their unusual supercars. This is social life, as they arrive in large groups from the different countries. So you can imagine the Saudis, can be friends or rivals with Qataris, or Emiratis.

    For people from the Gulf, London in summer would also be considered probably a pleasant, refreshing climate. So they can probably escape summer heat in London. Also the elites of the other nationalities (like Russians) are often less in London during the summer, so perhaps Arabs can feel like they have more of the elite spaces in London during summer season.

    It’s similar how the political class of the postsoviet countries are in the summer Monaco, Riviera, Marbella, Florida, depending on time of year. In another season, Russian and Ukrainian elite have amnesty in Courchevel. New Year, politicians’ families are often in Monaco. Or they host rival events in Monaco during the summer vacation.

    Bozhena Rynska used to always publicize about this funny social life, until she received some kin of complaining and stopped reporting it about 5 years ago. Postsoviet political classes are moving together during the summer as kind of herd, grazing in different territories at the same times. It’s because “networking” is a kind of part-time at least kind of work. Even friendship between wives, is some useful thing in the business deals in postsoviet billionaires’ culture.

  420. LondonBob says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Bitcoin might skip \$2000 altogether and go straight to zero.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  421. Dmitry says:
    @Yahya

    disdain is targeted towards Gulf Arab

    Gulf Arab countries might have some of the more stereotypical “religious redneck” population, at least for their income levels.

    Gulf Arabs are the world’s greatest addicts of American fast food, and have “food deserts” similar to Southern states in the USA. They have some of the world’s highest obesity rate.

    They also operate a more multinational version of a slave labor system, reminding of antebellum Southern USA States, relying on the gastarbaiters from across the world (engineers from Germany, accountants from England, prostitutes from Russia/Ukraine, construction workers from India, cleaners from Phillipines).

    These are countries with a youth on YouTube, driving dune buggies, or destroying their cars by idiotically drifting in circles.

    But these Arab monarchies are also surprising competent in many ways, despite population which should create an idiocracy. For example, compare propaganda skills of Al Jazeera with Russia Today. Latter is only competent for stealing money from budget, whereas Al Jazeera is actually very effective propaganda, that influences Western views.

    Similarly, look at how aristocratic Arab monarchies manage coronavirus. Or how they manage multi-vector diplomacy.

    By comparison, secular Arab dictators, have almost always all destroyed Arab countries. Maybe el-Sisi can be some kind of exception, for now (but it’s still early years to assess his position).

    sophisticated as they may be – Gulf Arabs are still wealthier than they are, on average

    Sophistication is mostly just a lagging indicator of wealth.

    When there is mismatch of sophistication and wealth, it’s where there is a historical crossovers between current and previous wealth levels.

    Due to oil, Gulf countries have world’s most recent and rapid ascent from Bedouin tribes, to the international super wealthy. So there is a crossover, where wealth is higher than sophistication. .

    Lebanon was wealthier than Gulf countries until around 1960s, which is within the memory of the “Arab boomers”. So there is the crossover where sophistication is higher than wealth.

    Some places like Buenos Aires can even maintain their sophistication for many decades after their wealth has fallen.

    Psychologically, I wonder how must be feeling the “Arab boomers”, who can remember life in the1960s?

    Arab boomers, would imagine that Egypt should be centre of Arab power and culture, while Lebanon is the centre of Arab wealth and banking? Gulf Arab countries should be still Bedouin deserts with some potential oil prospect.

    Emotionally, Arab boomers might be still questioning if they need to choose between an alliance with the USA or the Soviet Union, which is perhaps a bit seen in multi-vector policy of Arab countries between USA and Russia.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @Yahya
    , @Yahya
  422. LondonBob says:
    @Yahya

    Somewhat tongue in cheek, of course much more had to do with the Sunni Shia rift sparked by the Syrian War.

    When I was in Istanbul in around 2015 or so the Turkish taxi driver was also fed up with Gulf Arabs who had also started coming to Istanbul, much to do with the rich Arab mentality.

    Pakistan has nuclear weapons and the Arab states rent out their far more competent military, of course Pakistan does not have oil.

  423. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob

    Bitcoin can perhaps go to zero, or it can perhaps go \$100,000. Or it can do both, in either order. Probably it will just make a up and down pattern, although the up and down pattern will eventually arrive likely at lower price levels than nowadays.

    A number of future cycles with extreme movement for cryptocurrency should be limited, because the high prices at the moment is mostly fresh money arriving from gullible amateur investors who do not have thinking skills, and don’t understand the real value of the product is very low.

    “Cryptocurrency” is currently mostly unregulated area, with a marketing system that relies on fresh money from gullible people who don’t understand technology, or look at the product – i.e. cryptocurrency doesn’t have anything interesting technologically or economically, but only legally and psychologically.

    “Cryptocurrency” temporary high prices, will be as high as the psychological moods of these gullible “get rich fast while lazy” amateur investors can be. But after a few cycles, this audience will exit for some other “get rich fast while lazy” trend.

    Then you will have remaining money, which can use the product as a volatile money laundering system or for gambling between each other for zero-sum profits from its price changes.

    Neither money laundering or gambling are small industries, so perhaps even the long-term value of cryptocurrency should never go to zero (unless there is some serious regulation against it, which could be in another decade or so after digital currencies are introduced by central banks).

  424. AP says:
    @songbird

    He changed a lot later in life. He was very based in this work, when he was still in his thirties (?).

  425. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    minorities .. overperform in educational

    It’s mostly because in Empires, you often use a minority to cover administrative functions.

    In Lebanon, the traditional upper class are Sunni Muslims, as this is how the Ottoman Empire was ruling there.

    France used Alawites as the administrative class or even upper class in Syria.

    In Algeria or Morocco, France used a lot of Arab Jews as the educated middle class for administration.

    In Zimbabwe, British used Indian Hindus to manage as a bureaucracy class.

    In Soviet times, in Central Asia, Russians and Jews are going often manage engineering or industrial projects.

    In the Middle East, there is a difference in terms of religious regulations for business (for example, banking) or areas like alcohol. So sometimes only Christians and Jews, are able to manage things like banking or alcohol.

    There are also just regional and radical lifestyle differences which create these differences. Berbers in North Africa, or Druze in Levant, can be living in the mountain hinterland for safety, where there is not much economic activity.

    Whereas Bedouins are living in a very ancient tribal way in the desert itself, which of course will not create or prioritize any modern educational or cultural achievements. They are a kind of animal herder not changed much since ancient times.

  426. AP says:
    @A123

    Yes. 1918 Thomas Mann would probably let SATs that in 2022 Germany is completely dead and gone.

    :::::::

    I don’t know enough about Mann to know how much of a nationalist he was. In overthrowing the power and authority of the Churches and the aristocracy, nationalists opened the door to the democracy and Nazism that both destroyed Germany.

  427. German_reader says:
    @AP

    But as you write yourself, he changed later, became a supporter of the Weimar republic. And for personal reasons, the Nazis couldn’t have been that attractive to him anyway (his wife came from a Jewish family, and Mann’s own mother was Brazilian).
    I have to admit I haven’t read that much of Mann’s work, only the Magic mountain, and iirc also The holy sinner and Mario and the magician (I’ve probably become sort of a philistine, don’t really read novels anymore). Magic mountain was published in 1924, and as far as I can remember there’s a clear sense of nostalgia for the pre-1914 world. Two prominent characters are Settembrini, a 19th century liberal, and Naphta, a Jesuit of Jewish origin who has a sort of Bolshevik mentality and stands for the coming age. Settembrini is clearly the more sympathetic character. So already by the early 1920s Mann was somewhat of a liberal.

    In overthrowing the power and authority of the Churches and the aristocracy, nationalists opened the door to the democracy and Nazism that both destroyed Germany.

    The Weimar republic wasn’t that bad (certainly much better than today’s Germany, which is really more and more of an “antifascist”, highly ideological state), and its failure probably wasn’t inevitable.
    And your assessment of the aristocracy is too rosy imo. It’s true that there was a populist, petty bourgeois character to Nazism, but the (former) aristocracy as a class wasn’t anti-Nazi, indeed in many cases rather the opposite.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @AP
  428. German_reader says:
    @German_reader

    And for personal reasons, the Nazis couldn’t have been that attractive to him anyway

    More to the point, Mann didn’t belong to the non-Nazi right during the Weimar republic either (e.g. men like Edgar Julius Jung, who was killed by the Nazis in the night of the long knives, which wasn’t just directed against the SA, but also against conservative right-wingers). He supported the DDP, a left-liberal party.
    Btw, one of Mann’s grandsons has written a book about defending democracy (presumably against right-wing populism):

    The subtitle (Confessions of a cosmopolitan) is probably an allusion to his grandfather’s book.

    • Replies: @songbird
  429. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    In 2018, the German government bought Mann’s house of exile in LA for \$13 million (not including \$5 million spent on renovations.) He only lived in it for ten years.

    https://www.dw.com/en/german-president-opens-thomas-mann-house-in-la/a-44274404

    To be fair, it is an interesting-looking house. But I don’t quite understand why Germany needs two author-houses in L.A., to serve as residences for woke artists and intellectuals. Couldn’t they do the same, for cheaper, with a single barracks-style building in one of the slums of Lagos?

    I’ve probably become sort of a philistine, don’t really read novels anymore

    I’m convinced that the big name novels are only so for their signaling value.

    That said, I do think that storytelling is an art that has always had a strong cultural value. It seems nearly impossible to find anything modern that isn’t woke or trash, but, at the same time, books remove a lot of the layers of complexity of production that afflict other cultural products. And, so if there is any hope for a cultural turnaround, it might come from novels, at least in theory.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  430. Mikel says:
    @Yevardian

    I don’t think I’ll be able to help much. My browsing these days is essentially on the English speaking internet, except for some very niche sites in Spanish unlikely to be of your interest and some Russian ones since 2014.

    Major Spanish news sites are indeed an ideological carbon copy of what you can find elsewhere, although El Pais used to have some good cultural and literature sections. If you convince them that you’re browsing from the Americas they will also treat you to plenty of Latin American content but maybe you’re better off reading Latin American sources for that content rather than El Pais’ leftist/neocon angle.

    Perhaps you could try http://www.libertaddigital.com. I used to read it regularly in the past, before they became too Spanish nationalist while I was becoming too Basque independentist. They are a “liberal” publication in the Spanish sense of the term, which is almost the opposite of the English one. Liberalism (liberalismo) in Spain is an old political movement with its roots in the 19th century and is associated with the defense of political and economic freedoms. Today this translates to anything from Libertarianism to neocon/conservatism and that is what you will find in their treatment of the news and their opinion pieces.

  431. AP says:
    @German_reader

    The Weimar republic wasn’t that bad (certainly much better than today’s Germany, which is really more and more of an “antifascist”, highly ideological state) and its failure probably wasn’t inevitable.

    Correct, but it’s existence opened the door to the Nazi state.

    And your assessment of the aristocracy is too rosy imo. It’s true that there was a populist, petty bourgeois character to Nazism, but the (former) aristocracy as a class wasn’t anti-Nazi, indeed in many cases rather the opposite.

    Both groups disliked democracy, and there were numerous Nazi supporters among the nobility of course, but more so than among the general German population? Stauffenberg and his circle were obvious examples of dislike for Nazism which was essentially a populist, egalitarian, modernist movement.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  432. German_reader says:
    @songbird

    But I don’t quite understand why Germany needs two author-houses in L.A., to serve as residences for woke artists and intellectuals.

    Because Germany’s woke elites deserve such perks, don’t you know? I could write more about the kind of people invited to this Thomas Mann house (if you want some especially egregious examples google Max Czollek and Mohamed Amjahid), but then I’d risk having to vomit all over my keyboard.

    And, so if there is any hope for a cultural turnaround, it might come from novels, at least in theory.

    The only contemporary author I can think of who might give some support to this idea is Houllebecq (whom I haven’t read myself). But apart from that contemporary novels seem utterly irrelevant to me tbh.

    • Thanks: songbird
  433. Mikel says:
    @Yahya

    Thanks for those insights.

    I lived in Chile for some time and people of Christian Arab descent, generally Palestinians and Syrians, were definitely one of the most economically successful communities. They also tend to look more Caucasian than the general population there.

    If you don’t mind my asking, why do so many Muslims try to emigrate to Europe or other Western countries instead of the rich countries of the Arabian peninsula, which look more culturally similar? Is it that these countries are not viewed so desirable for living or is it that they have more strict immigration policies?

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @Yahya
  434. German_reader says:
    @AP

    but more so than among the general German population?

    Probably not, but I also doubt it was significantly less.
    But you do have a point about the general character of Nazism, which certainly didn’t have recreating the pre-1914 world as its goal. Not sure though I would call it egalitarian (there was a pronounced emphasis on “natural” hierarchies after all), more like there was an ideal of meritocracy transcending class divisions within the racially defined community.

  435. @Dmitry

    Arab boomers’ mental map of the Middle East is closer to the 16th or 19th centuries than the modern day, except all those Ottoman possessions were replaced by postcolonial states.

  436. Yahya says:
    @Dmitry

    Gulf Arab countries might have some of the more stereotypical “religious redneck” population, at least for their income levels.

    Gulf Arabs are rednecks on steroids.

    They also operate a more multinational version of a slave labor system, reminding of antebellum Southern USA States, relying on the gastarbaiters from across the world (engineers from Germany, accountants from England, prostitutes from Russia/Ukraine, construction workers from India, cleaners from Phillipines).

    This is a perceptive observation. The current model of many Gulf Arab states is certainly very interesting and unique – not many places like it. I would define the Gulf model as “redneck cosmopolitanism”; they are a deeply conservative and traditional places in many ways, but surprisingly cosmopolitan (Saudi Arabia’s foreign population is 38% – more than the UK, US, Germany or France. Kuwait and UAE are somewhere around the 80s – no-one can beat them in cosmopolitanism).

    But these Arab monarchies are also surprising competent in many ways, despite population which should create an idiocracy. For example, compare propaganda skills of Al Jazeera with Russia Today. Latter is only competent for stealing money from budget, whereas Al Jazeera is actually very effective propaganda, that influences Western views. Similarly, look at how aristocratic Arab monarchies manage coronavirus. Or how they manage multi-vector diplomacy.

    The competency of Arab monarchies is indeed notable given the competence of the general population is fairly low. Likewise, one can also say Germany, for instance, which obviously has a highly functional population, has surprisingly incompetent leaders. The average intelligence of a population doesn’t necessarily correlate with competence in government.

    Of course the word “competent” is itself multi-faceted and requires an a-priori agreement on what it means. I would define a competent leader as someone who successfully advances the long-term interests of his/her people. “Competence” is not synonymous with “Intelligence” or “IQ”, since highly intelligent leaders like Angela Merkel or Mao Zedong can fail spectacularly in advancing the interests of their people; while less intelligent leaders like Sultan Qaboos or Mohammad bin Rashid can do a good job with the cards they are dealt.

    What is more important than IQ, in my view, is (a) the desire to advance the interests of your people, (b) the ability to select competent ministers to execute on your intentions, and (c) a minimum level of sanity and personal morality to prevent any Cultural Revolution-type or Woke-style immigration madness. A competent leader also need not necessarily be the most moral leader (i.e. Cardinal Richelieu, Deng Xiaoping, Pyotr Stolypin, Muhammad Ali Pasha etc). He need only accurately discern what is needed to ensure the prosperity of his people over the long-run, and pursue these objectives adroitly and successfully.

    Germany, like almost every other Western country, is patently failing at selecting leaders who can advance the long-term interests of their people. This is probably cultural rather than genetic. Germans and other childless Western Europeans don’t seem to much care about their posterity – and this is being reflected in governmental policy.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  437. Yevardian says:
    @Yahya

    High-caste Persians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Copts, Lebanese Christians, Ionian Turks etc. are what you might call the “sophisticated people” of the Middle East. They are the descendants of the people who created the glorious civilizations of Antiquity (Ancient Egypt, Persia, Phoenicia, Babylon, Byzantium etc.). They are intelligent (~100 average IQ), good-looking, well-educated, cultured and sophisticated.

    Thank you sir.

    While nerds like us may put emphasis on intellect, knowledge and IQ when according status-points to others; most people around the world do not. Wealth, not IQ, is the chief determinant of status. It’s tough to feel contempt for people who are wealthier than you – it’s not given to human psychology.

    I think the shift in this thinking was probably completed with the destruction of the old aristocracy, with wealth generally being both mostly inherited or obtained through marriage, aspects like bloodline (which really, is just the Ancients’ version of an HBD/genetics-based worldview) and, honour, and personal charm were of foremost importance.

    The situation is not unlike French attitudes towards Americans. While the sophisticated French people may fancy themselves culturally superior to the backward American hillbilly hicks; even the most redneck districts in the American South are still richer than much of France. The French can’t stand the fact that these hillbilly upstarts are wealthier than they are. Same can be said of the sophisticated people of the Middle East vis-a-vis Gulf Arabs.

    That seems extremely doubtful to me, in fact it left me practically incredulous. It’s not the 1950s anymore.
    There’s absolutely no place in France (if we exclude Paris or Lyon Banlieues, which are isolated pockets, not regions) that can remotely compare with vast areas of the US characterised by mass-illiteracy, cultural desert, tent-cities, gang violence or 3rd-world infrastructure, e.g. the Mississippi Delta, Detroit, Saint-Louis, West Virginia, rural Michican, or any Indian Reservation.
    Even the ‘bleakest’ French departments like Britanny, Normandy or south-central still have very much 1st-world problems, you couldn’t mistake yourself having woken up in El Salvador or Kosovo, as in the US.

    @Dmitri

    Arab boomers, would imagine that Egypt should be centre of Arab power and culture, while Lebanon is the centre of Arab wealth and banking? Gulf Arab countries should be still Bedouin deserts with some potential oil prospect.

    Egypt very much still is considered the centre of Arab culture, if not power, it hardly could be otherwise given its enormous population. But Lebanon has certainly lost practically any allure it once had, financial or otherwise.

    Emotionally, Arab boomers might be still questioning if they need to choose between an alliance with the USA or the Soviet Union, which is perhaps a bit seen in multi-vector policy of Arab countries between USA and Russia.

    I think that’s rather a red herring.
    Much more relevant is how the US and Israel left countries like Lebanon, Iraq and Syria as smouldering craters (even if their native regimes were highly disliked by other Arabs), now exporting nothing but waves of refugees and terrorism.
    I really don’t think this can be overstated. Taking a random example, Shimon Peres, in an attempt to appear ‘tough’ to his doubting electorate, gave the go ahead to “Operation Grapes of Wrath”, the purpose of which was to create an uncontrollable refugee crisis both the Lebanese state and neighboring Syria, by shelling southern Lebanon to ash.
    Or of course the Lavon Affair, where the Mossad bombed civilian targets and American buildings in Egypt, in a (failed) attempt to blame the attacks on native Arabs, in order to alienate the US from them. And so on. Yes, the Gulf States have become increasingly open about their crypto-alliance with Israel, but ordinary people of those countries nonetheless despise them for that.

    Going back to the USSR/Russia, probably something else that’s noticed is they understand loyalty. Russia scarcely ever abandons leaders its pledged to support (arguably to the detriment of their own interests), the Assads are the last secular dynasty to remain from 70s era, and Russia also backed Gadaffi until the end, though Putin had to override Medvedev on that point (probably the key moment in the collapse of the ‘tandem’).

    Russia has played its card extraordinarily well in the Middle-East over the past decade, Russia somehow managed to successfully present itself as a fair and effective power-broker in the region. Though unfortunately the same can’t be said of Putin’s moves in Europe, perhaps rather the opposite.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @LondonBob
  438. Yevardian says:
    @Mikel

    I lived in Chile for some time and people of Christian Arab descent, generally Palestinians and Syrians, were definitely one of the most economically successful communities. They also tend to look more Caucasian than the general population there.

    Yes, many Iraqi Christians (and Jews) actually appear paler than average southern Europeans. The difference in appearance from the general surrounding Arab population can be so starkly obvious, it does force you to seriously doubt claims of pre-Islamic cultural/genetic continuity and the like.

    If you don’t mind my asking, why do so many Muslims try to emigrate to Europe or other Western countries instead of the rich countries of the Arabian peninsula, which look more culturally similar? Is it that these countries are not viewed so desirable for living or is it that they have more strict immigration policies?

    Other than the simple answer of the extremely tight immigration/citizenship policies of the Oil-States themselves, there is another major factor that should be personally familiar to you, as someone who’s been to Latin America.
    Arab cultures are extremely status-conscious and hierarchical, whether someone lower in the employment chain is a ‘fellow Arab’ makes very little difference, in practice any penurious Palestinian or Syrian will be treated as abominably and inhumanly as any Pajeet or Bangladeshi, though being natively Arabic does give the former some agency denied to the latter.

    Actually, for many Saudis and the like, behaving towards migrant workers with any sort of humanity, or engaging in fraternisation, can adversely impact their own social standing. So even an otherwise normal man feels compelled to lord over and degrade others below a certain social strata, in order to preserve his own ‘honour’ and avoid any potential ‘shame’ that could tar him by association.
    For instance, even outside of the Gulf, there remains a strong stigma against any sort of manual labour, even skilled, as personal engagment in such things is seen as ‘dishonourable’. Again, you can see similar attitudes in tradional Spain, albeit to a much lesser degree.

    Incidentally, before Europe opened up to ‘guest-workers’ and non-European migration in general, Saudi Arabia in particular hosted vast numbers of temporary Egyptian workers. When Nasser got involved in his Yemen adventure, they were either expelled or treated even worse than they already were. Word gets around about this sort of thing quickly, Arabs from poor countries prefer not to work in rich Arab countries if they can at all help it. This is course means that nowadays, only the poorest and most disadvantaged Arabs choose to work in places like the UAE or Saudi.
    Obtaining citizenship on the Peninsula is also almost impossible for the non-rich, Kuwait being a (very) partial exception, although iirc they did slightly relax conditions for their enormous Palestinian migrant population, due to pressure from Saddam Hussein.

    Anyway, I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

    • Replies: @Yahya
  439. Dmitry says:
    @Yahya

    Gulf Arabs are rednecks on steroids.

    Lol yes

    You have to feel jealous they apparently can be living, like we dreamed when we were 12 years old.

    Also something being a wealthy Arab redneck – children and women are not allowed near your toys.

    Kuwait and UAE are somewhere around the 80s – no-one can beat them in cosmopolitanism

    It reminds a bit of a more brutal, slavery, version of gastarbaiters in Switzerland, Singapore.

    Although even poorer Arab countries seem can be like this. For example, Kafala system in Lebanon.

    competency of Arab monarchies is indeed notable given the competence of the general population is fairly low

    I wondering monarchies’ strength, is partly related to experience level? Monarchies can have multi-generations of managing their tribal alliances, and over time they should learn some moderation and balance in their external and internal policies.

    But the secular Arab dictators also develop experience across decades, and yet they always historically collapse in civil war.

    It was probably worse in the long run that Syria’s monarchy was removed by France https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Kingdom_of_Syria
    And Egypt lost its monarchy with military coup d’etat 1952
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_revolution_of_1952

    Germany, like almost every other Western

    Although in wider perspective, Germany’s government is still more competent than most governments in the world.

    Would you prefer to live with governments of Latin America, Africa, or the postsoviet space?

    Much of the world’s governments are mainly focused on “harvesting” their population, and moving assets to Monaco.

    Of course, Germany has some of this. Their response to demographic problems, by importing gastarbaiters from Turkey and Poland. Their virtue signaling policies for immigration. Their transfers of loans to Southern Europe used as recycled tax money for supporting German private industrialists. Etc.

    Germans and other childless Western European

    Although Western Europe has more children, than Eastern Europe, East Asia, Singapore, etc.

    Of those, Singapore has one of the world’s most competent governments (for example, look at Singapore’s solution for housing problems), while having the world’s lowest fertility rate.

  440. Yahya says:
    @Dmitry

    Lebanon was wealthier than Gulf countries until around 1960s, which is within the memory of the “Arab boomers”. So there is the crossover where sophistication is higher than wealth.

    Gulf Arab elites are getting noticeably more sophisticated as education has improved considerably over the previous few decades. Sultan Qaboos inaugurated a world-class opera house in Oman a decade ago, for instance. Saudi Arabia is producing some sophisticated musicians like Muhammad Abdu, Abdul Majeed Abdullah and Talal Maddah. Though Gulf Arab elites are still nowhere near elite Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Iraqis, Maghrebis etc. in cultural production; whether it is in movies, music, or literature.

    Arab cinema, for example, was pioneered in Egypt, which today still produces the highest number of films at 2,500 feature films. During the 1950s and 1960s Lebanon produced 180 feature films. Syria produced around 150 films, Tunisia approximately 130, 100 films produced from each of Algeria and Iraq, Morocco almost 70, and Jordan’s productions were less than 12. While Kuwait only produced 2, and Bahrain only 1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_cinema).

    Likewise, most “high” Arabic music was and continues to be composed by Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians etc. like Muhammad Abdelwahab (Egyptian Muslim), Baligh Hamdi (Egyptian Muslim), Rahbanni Brothers (Lebanese Christians) etc. and of course the Maghreb has a deep repertoire of Classical Andalusian Music.

    Some of the best Arab singers include: Umm Kulthum (Egyptian Muslim), Fairouz (Lebanese Christian), Julia Boutros (Lebanese-Palestinian-Armenian Christian), Sabah Fakhry (Syrian Muslim), Amal Murkus (Palestinian Christian), Faia Younan (Assyrian Christian), Nai Barghouti (Palestinian Muslim), Dalal Abu-Amneh (Palestinian Muslim), Nidal Ibourk (Moroccan Muslim), Amal Maher (Egyptian Muslim), Ghada Becheir (Syriac Christian), Muhammad Abdu (Saudi Muslim), Angham (Egyptian Muslim) Majda Al-Roumi (Lebanese Christian), Asmahan (Syrian Druze), Mai Farouk (Coptic Egyptian) etc.

    (For more on Arabic music, see my post here: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/mental-populations/#comment-4623097)

    As you can see, most of them are from the traditional civilizational centers of the Arab world. In addition, the sciences are also dominated by people from the same regions of the Arab world. Though the Arab world is an inhospitable environment for the sciences; many diaspora Arabs have made contributions to STEM fields, particularly in the US and France.

    [MORE]

    Egypt
    *Ahmed Zewail, Egyptian-American chemist, 1999 Nobel Prize laureate
    *Hassan K. Khalil, Egyptian-American scientist and a University Distinguished Professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) of Michigan State University.
    *Abbas El Gamal, Egyptian electrical engineer, information theorist and the 2012 recipient of Claude E. Shannon Award.
    *Ali Moustafa Mosharafa, Egyptian theoretical physicist and professor of applied mathematics.
    *Mohamed Atalla, Egyptian engineer and physical chemist, inventor of the MOSFET (MOS transistor), and National Inventors Hall of Fame laureate.[33]
    *Mourad Ismail, Egyptian mathematician, known for Rogers–Askey–Ismail polynomials, Al-Salam–Ismail polynomials and Chihara–Ismail polynomials[36]

    Lebanon
    *Elias James Corey, Lebanese-American organic chemist. The recipient of 1990 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.[16]
    *Huda Zoghbi, Lebanese geneticist and medical researcher, the recipient of 2016 Shaw Prize in medicine.[23]
    *M. Amin Arnaout, Lebanese physician-scientist and nephrologist, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
    *Ali Chamseddine, Lebanese physicist known for his contributions to particle physics, general relativity and mathematical physics.
    *Amin J. Barakat, Lebanese-American physician, known for the diagnosis of Barakat syndrome.
    *Charles Elachi, Lebanese-American professor of electrical engineering and planetary science at the California Institute of Technology. Former Center Director of NASA.[12]
    *Michael Atiyah, Lebanese-British leading mathematician of the 20 century. Recipient of both Fields Medal and Abel Prize.[38]

    Syria-Palestine
    *Dina Katabi, Syrian-American Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.[13]
    *Hunein Maassab, Syrian-American professor of Epidemiology, inventor of Live attenuated influenza vaccine[21]
    *Huda Akil, Syrian neuroscientist and a Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School.[24]
    *Nadia Awni Sakati, Syrian pediatrician known for Sakati–Nyhan–Tisdale syndrome, Sanjad-Sakati syndrome and Woodhouse-Sakati syndrome.[40]
    *Ali H. Nayfeh, Palestinian-Jordanian-American mechanical engineer and the inaugural winner of the Thomas K. Caughey Dynamics Award.
    *Munir Nayfeh, Palestinian-American particle physicist, renowned for his pioneering work in nanotechnology.[31]
    *Omar M. Yaghi, world-known Jordanian-American chemist, the recipient of the 2018 Wolf Prize in Chemistry.[42]

    Iraq & Maghreb
    *Waleed Al-Salam, Iraqi mathematician who introduced Al-Salam–Chihara polynomials, Al-Salam–Carlitz polynomials, q-Konhauser polynomials, and Al-Salam–Ismail polynomials.[54]
    *Abdul Jerri, Iraqi American mathematician.
    *Omar Fakhri, Iraqi medical scientist.
    *Kamal Benslama, Moroccan-Swiss Experimental Particle Physicist. He is known for his contributions to the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. In 2020, he received the award “Person of Extra-Ordinary Ability in Science” from the US Government.
    *Rachid Yazami, Moroccan engineer and scientist, and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery.[45]
    *Zoghman Mebkhout, French-Algerian mathematician known for his work in algebraic analysis, geometry, and representation theory.[58]

    Gulf States
    *Adah Almutairi, Saudi chemist and inventor, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at University of California.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_Arab_scientists_and_engineers)

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @sher singh
  441. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    In the photos, they look like how imagine the “working class of Wall Street”. They’re drinking beer, watch some baseball. They are way too happy they escape the office at the end of the day, to be the managers.

    I’m myself in the “working class” of the Western tech industry. So you can let me imagine that I have intuition for seeing other “working classes” of the economically overhyped sectors. Every month it feels like I saw another person who has bought a Porsche Taycan. Meanwhile I’m carefully applying for the travel expense refund for my bus ticket.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/15/connecticut-gold-coast-life-afford

    Well, surely, New York/Wall Street salary is still not that bad, even for the normal workers there. “The average 2018 salary, including bonuses, for New York City’s securities industry employees was \$398,600. That was down from \$422,500 in 2017,” https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/average-wall-street-salary-dropped-399-000-last-year-n1072101

  442. sher singh says:
    @Yahya

  443. AP says:
    @Yevardian

    There’s absolutely no place in France (if we exclude Paris or Lyon Banlieues, which are isolated pockets, not regions) that can remotely compare with vast areas of the US characterised by mass-illiteracy, cultural desert, tent-cities, gang violence or 3rd-world infrastructure, e.g. the Mississippi Delta, Detroit, Saint-Louis, West Virginia, rural Michican, or any Indian Reservation.

    Maybe, but only three US states are poorer than France: West Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_GDP_per_capita

    Several American states have almost double France’s per capita GDP of \$45,000.

    France has only about 80% of Michigan’s GDP per capita.

    France has inherited wonderful architecture and its people are educated and cultured, but it is a lot poorer than the USA.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  444. @Yahya

    It’s tough to feel contempt for people who are wealthier than you – it’s not given to human psychology.

    It may not come easily, especially for the masses and especially in a media age where the trappings of wealth are flaunted every which way you look, but it’s far from true to say it cannot come at all.

    Looking inward, I can definitely state that I am contemptuous of any number of people far wealthier than me. Yes they are wealthy and yes they’ve achieved that wealth via honorable means, but who are they are as people, what are their values, how do they generally conduct themselves? When I answer these questions, I can’t help feeling contempt towards them. So I find the idea that a cultured but penniless Frenchman could be contemptuous of a rich hillbilly perfectly plausible.

    And anyway, I can’t see any reason that contempt is incompatible with envy. So even if I “really” am envious (despite what I might think), it seems to me I can be simultaneously contemptuous.

    • Replies: @sher singh
  445. @AP

    French per capita income when adjusted for hours worked is almost equal.

    Also the way nominal GDP is calculated distorted in a way that inflates US figures.

    French on average enjoy better medical care with measurably superior outcomes than Americans.You are allowed a consultation for even a third opinion at state expense. But because it is more efficiently run around 10% of French GDP is spent on healthcare compared to about 20% in the case of the US. This is obviously a good thing.

    But in terms of nominal GDP calculations this state of affairs penalizes France relative the US.

    Same is true for public school education where French teachers are better qualified but paid lesser than their US counterparts.

    US is in terms of material standard of living the best industrialized country to live in if you are in the top 15-20% of the income distribution, for the bottom 80% there are many others that are arguably better.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @AP
  446. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    When you look at pre-slavic populations of Russia like Vepsy today, it’s not like we could visually distinguish them from the slavic (or slavicized) population.

    At the level of individual people, it is impossible to know nationality by face. Bashir Assad’s family will easily fit into any European nation up to the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, although the Asads are definitely not Europeans

    But slavic tribes immigrated to Russia in the 8th-9th century.

    Where native speakers of the Slavic language lived before the 6th century is a riddle of riddles (perhaps somewhere in the territory of European Russia). But in any case, they appeared on the territory of Russia earlier than the 8th century

  447. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    If you remove the national costume – an ordinary Northern European face

  448. Mikhail says: • Website

    Power packed, If not already up, the audio will be available shortly:

    https://twitter.com/frankmorano/status/1480772268754194432/photo/1

  449. sher singh says:
    @silviosilver

    Ambani can’t carry a Sword, a Singh can.
    What’s there to envy? :shrug:

  450. sher singh says:
    @Yahya

    Your entire rant on Arab music in the other thread was posting a disproportionate amount of Christians playing European Classical music.

    You’re gay, if you haven’t noticed Europeans worship the homo now but I guess you’re far ahead of them in that aspect with Gelmen & the like.

    You admit you’re a nerd though, so I’ll give you that.

    Please continue posting as you’re honest about it, and out of respect for Hera & the words of the prophet ie the meat is poison and the milk is medicine, don’t eat beef and you can be human||

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

  451. LondonBob says:
    @Yevardian

    The EU wanted the Ukraine and Belarus, Russia cannot be a fair and effective power broker, and their mistake in the Ukraine (and Libya)(and perhaps Syria) was trying to be so, the Kremlin does seem to have learnt that lesson now with Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as with natural gas.

    • Replies: @A123
  452. AP says:
    @Vishnugupta

    French on average enjoy better medical care with measurably superior outcomes than Americans

    1. Outcome measures don’t match exactly because in France (as in most of Europe) stricter cost-benefit limits mean that expensive medical procedures are done less often on people with a lower chance of success than in the USA.

    2. Due to poor lifestyle choices Americans are much more obese and unhealthy than the French.

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

    I don’t have time to look it up now but I suspect measures such as number and cost of automobiles per household, size and quality of housing, various other consumer indicators would reflect that Americans on average are a lot wealthier materially than are the French.

    Generally speaking, materially the top 20% live much better in the USA, the bottom 10% live better in France, the middle have trade offs with things being better the lower you go. USA is still better materially for someone in the 50th percentile.

  453. Yahya says:
    @Yevardian

    Yes, many Iraqi Christians (and Jews) actually appear paler than average southern Europeans. The difference in appearance from the general surrounding Arab population can be so starkly obvious, it does force you to seriously doubt claims of pre-Islamic cultural/genetic continuity and the like.

    Personal observations of phenotypes, and the availability biases inherent in them, are no substitute for genetic studies.

    Razib Khan:

    This seems to establish basic continuity between the Bronze Age and the modern period. Totally unsurprising. Remember that Italy exhibits deep population structure that dates back to at least 2,000 years ago, and probably earlier. It is likely that much of the same applies to the Near East. Though looking at Muslim populations one can see minor and non-trivial contributions of populations which moved in after Islam (Sub-Saharan and East Asia segments are clear signs of slavery impacting Muslims that would not apply to ethno-religious minorities), most of the ancestry broadly is deeply rooted back to antiquity.
    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2017/05/26/the-canaanites-walk-among-us/

    Even though the majority of the population of the core Middle Eastern nation is descended from the peoples of antiquity, they now consider themselves by and large Arab. The Arabs were also present in antiquity, and are mentioned early on as a group on the margins of the ancient world (and sometimes at the center). But it seems implausible that the antique Arabs had the demographic heft to overrun so many peoples across the Fertile Crescent, let alone Egypt.
    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2011/01/17/the-assyrians-and-jews-3000-years-of-common-history/

    but the overall point is that “indo-european” is as much of a race as “arab” is, it isn’t. arabs aren’t united by a racial affinity, as the arab language spread mostly via cultural diffusion, not the migrations of tribes out of the arabian peninsula. the latter did occur, but they do not explain the preponderance of the arab language in egypt, the maghreb or the levant. there is little genetic difference between christian egyptians and muslims that can not be explained by geography (copts are concentrated to a greater extent in upper egypt). same with the christians and muslims in the levant (though there might be some more exogenous ancestry in the muslims [desert arab, caucasian, turk and black], it is not dominant in any way).

    https://www.unz.com/gnxp/norwegian-y-chromosomal-profile/#comment-634873

    As Razib mentioned, there is little difference between Muslim and Christians that can’t be explained by geography (Christians are concentrated in specific areas). Moreover, though Muslim Arabs in the Fertile Crescent (Egypt to Iraq) did receive 10-20% exogenous ancestry (Arabian, Caucasian, Turkish, SSA) which is not present in ethno-religious minorities; the “foreign” admixture is not dominant in anyway. Muslims in the Fertile Crescent still cluster closer to their Christian counterparts than they do to desert Arabs. More importantly, they are still 80-85%+ descended from their ancient ancestors, which by any reasonable definition constitutes continuity.


    [MORE]

    As for phenotypes; I can easily bring up several examples of Muslim Arabs being lighter than Southern Europeans and their Christian Arab counterparts.

    Palestinian Christian:

    Palestinian Muslim:

    Carmen Suleiman (Coptic Egyptian):

    Donia Samir Ghanim (Muslim Egyptian):

    Julia Boutros (Lebanese Christian):

    Amal Clooney (Lebanese Muslim):

  454. @Dmitry

    Every month it feels like I saw another person who has bought a Porsche Taycan.

    Way over 50% of new upscale cars are leased not purchased and way over 50% of your colleagues with new upscale cars are sucking on debt.

    Look at the lease payments on google and your envy quotient may drop to 0 degrees kelvin or whatever the units for that are.

    • Agree: Barbarossa
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  455. @Dmitry

    Isn’t the tech industry on fire this year? From what I’ve seen, compensation packages are getting to be hilariously inflated with new grads getting 250k offers.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  456. A123 says: • Website
    @LondonBob

    The EU wanted the Ukraine and Belarus

    The EU also “said” it wanted Turkey. Does anyone believe that they actually do?

    Realistically, EU expansion is over. The system is stagnant and beset by internal conflicts. Adding more members with veto powers is extraordinarily improbable.

    the Kremlin does seem to have learnt that lesson now with Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as with natural gas.

    Belarus and Kazakhstan are in the Russian sphere of influence. Prioritizing them is not huge “lesson”.

    Attempting to blackmail Europe by being an unreliable gas supplier has backfired badly. The chances of NS2 starting are decreasing by the month. The race to establish reliable suppliers and supporting pipelines is on. EastMed will provide large amounts of gas from Cypriot and Israeli fields. Possibly Egyptian fields as well, depending on exploration & development.

    The big lesson that Russian needs to absorb is that dealing with Iran inevitably backfires. There is no way to get Turkey (and its proxies) out of Syria as long as Iran (and its proxies, such as Hezbollah) remain.

    PEACE 😇

  457. @German_reader

    There is a very valid critique of America’s imperial style contained there.

    America requires that you buy into an alien ideological framework in exchange for aid. The Chinese just seek a profitable economic investment. The Chinese method of exerting influence seems far less detrimental to the nations becoming clients, as well as a far more secure and durable arrangement for the Chinese, since the quid pro quo is fairly transparent, rather than all the American froth about “supporting Democracy” and “supporting the rights of the Trans Somali Pirate community” or what have you.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  458. @A123

    I wanted an F-250. When faced with the outrageous cost premium mark up on Utes, I settled for a car.

    I’m running three trucks with my business and there is a reason that the newest one is a 2000 F250. I can’t even believe the stupid prices for pickup trucks. Even before the current price inflation, I couldn’t stomach paying 70k for a stupid truck.

    Plus I would rather pay my in-house maintenance guy to keep everything running than to send my money far away to some car company. It seems more pro-social to provide a job.

    Also, running older equipment can have important environmental benefits since a massive amount of a vehicle’s total energy footprint is in manufacturing. I once read that it’s nearly an even split with the lifetime fuel consumption being around 50% of total embodied energy consumption.

    Naturally, there is a point where environmental returns diminish by running older equipment. If one’s daily driver is a 53 Chevy Bel Air, it may be good to upgrade!

  459. German_reader says:
    @Barbarossa

    That’s true, and after I had published the comment, I thought about it and came to the conclusion that indeed it would be morally problematic if aid was tied to the legalization, let alone promotion, of abortion.
    However, tbh I have no such compunctions at all about contraceptives or other forms of family planning. Frankly, I think the prospect of 1 billion Nigerians is horrifying, since undoubtedly many of them will seek to immigrate to Europe. And apart from some abstract collective genetic level, this population growth won’t even have positive results for many Nigerians, quite the opposite.
    More generally, I think it’s pretty absurd to claim that the primary problem of African countries today is a “neocolonialism” seeking to restrict African population growth. imo Vermeule is a total nutcase, and not even in an especially interesting way.


  460. I’ve remarked previously that conservatives bragging about higher fertility (“we will outbreed the liberals!”) shows their usual stupidity as they do not understand the importance of controlling cultural institutions.

    An ex of mine used to complain about she called “trend bi’s”. What she meant was girls who will claim to be bi but mostly just kiss other girls at parties. Their serious relationships were typically exclusive with men. (This ex swore she was a real bi, yet her dating history told you otherwise 😉 ).

    I don’t think this girl, given her young age, is honest about her sexuality. It’s more a reflection of which cultural values are dominant and her adjusting accordingly.

  461. German_reader says:
    @Thulean Friend

    bisexual is pretty harmless given today’s cultural climate, would be really bad if she had announced she’s trans and wants to get mastectomies.
    And Ted Cruz deserves to be trolled anyway, terrible person (though more so for his foreign policy activism than anything else).

    • Replies: @A123
  462. On Hindu Twitter, there have been ongoing fights between ‘Trads’ and ‘Raitas’ . To use a Westernised lexicon, the difference between Alt-Right ideological die-hards and MAGA Trumpers who “trust the plan”.

    This has now been picked up by the left-leaning media. Obviously a lot of these self-styled “Trads” are disgusting misogynists and many are open casteists.

    Yet, them of them have an interesting critique. They correctly view India’s embrace of the US as far more dangerous than anything China does, if you’re a conservative. They look at the personality cult surrounding Modi as toxic, and reject all claims to support the BJP blindly. If you’re curious of some of their critiques/takes, there’s a good telegram account to follow.

    https://t.me/s/frontier_indica

    Raitas by comparison are pragmatists, who view an embrace of the US as necessity but for strategic reasons (China) as well for economic ones (FDI, tech, trade). I’ve noted before that Hindutva has surprisingly liberal elements. Modi is an OBC caste, which is a far cry from what BJP used to be (an UC party mostly dominated by people from the Gangetic plain). Dalits are more welcome in the BJP than ever. Women empowerment isn’t as vigorously pursued as by the Congress party but with far more gusto than it used to.

    As BJP has been in power for almost 8 years and its dominance looks set to continue, it seems obvious that these fissures had to come up sooner rather than later.

    India’s elites are very Westernised. Even young right-wingers often borrow heavily from Western lingo. Can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen dudes in the late teens and early twenties with IIT/NIT in their bios on Twitter and using known memes from 4chan and Western internet culture but with Indian adaptations. Yet it is precisely because of this Westernisation that many of them understand how toxic a tight embrace with the US is. America, after all, is the primary exporter of Woke culture.

    FWIW, I think they will fail. India’s embrace with the US will continue. It’s underlying culture will shift accordingly. BJP will remain politically dominant just as the GOP controlled the WH during the entire 1980s and early 1990s yet failed to change the cultural direction. Raita’s pragmatism also has an example across the border (Pakistan) where the local trads won and now its economy is in tatters with bearded terrorists (TTP) running amok in the streets.

    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
  463. @Thulean Friend

    The latest Tim Dillon interview of Joe Rogan is hilarious. He ridicules the entire generation behind him of gay and bi and trans people.

    They spend their entire life on line. None of them have even ever had sex!

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  464. America may be woke, but at least it’s rich. Being poor but copying American cultural values into government policy is the worst of both worlds.

    • LOL: silviosilver
  465. @Emil Nikola Richard

    My impression is that gay people have tons and tons of sex. Certainly men do. It may be politically incorrect to say this now, but isn’t that how the AIDS epidemic started?

    Lesbians are a different breed. Women in general tend to have much lower sex drives than men, and I doubt if that’s new or culturally contingent. Seems to be a stable pattern, suggesting it has genetic underpinnings.

    Sailer was writing about ‘Lesbian bed death’ way back in the Aughts. He was lamenting how the term itself was used in the 1990s before it became impolite to use it. I read one of his old columns by chance a few days ago. I’m too lazy and insufficiently autistic to look it up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the terminology had a lot of congruity with reality. I’m sure some researchers did some studies on this years ago.

    FWIW, I don’t care how much sex people have. I think it’s a silly status symbol, and not a healthy sign for our society. I care more about people being in meaningful relationships that last for long.

  466. A123 says: • Website
    @German_reader

    bisexual is pretty harmless given today’s cultural climate, would be really bad if she had announced she’s trans and wants to get mastectomies.

    I concur.

    She is still a “she”, and she could still get married and have kids. Not much of an issue.

    And Ted Cruz deserves to be trolled anyway, terrible person (though more so for his foreign policy activism than anything else).

    Cruz has made some severe gaffes on the domestic front. For example, calling January 6 peaceful protesters “terrorists”. His attempt to walk that back is not going well. (1)

    He is still popular in Texas, and that is a must win “Red” state. That lets him wander further astray than some other individuals. I would use the term maverick, except it has been tainted by association to a specific, former Senator.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2022/01/06/self-imolated-cruz-appears-with-tucker-carlson-in-attempt-to-regain-credibility-fails-miserably/

  467. Yahya says:
    @Mikel

    I lived in Chile for some time and people of Christian Arab descent, generally Palestinians and Syrians, were definitely one of the most economically successful communities.

    Christian Arabs succeed wherever they go. In places like the US, they are overrepresented in almost all prestigious occupations (medicine, academia, government, banking etc.); and in Israel, Christian schools outscore Jewish ones on standardized tests. As I wrote in a post a few months ago:

    Arab-American (63% of whom are Christians) median household income is roughly 10% higher than the American average. 40% of Arab-Americans have a college degree, compared to 24% for Americans at large. Some prominent Arab Christians in the US include Nicolas Nassim Taleb (author/intellctual), Edward Said (author/intellectual), Mitch Daniels (governor, author), Elias Chorey (Nobel Prize chemist), Micheal DeBakey (eminent surgeon), Joe Jumail (billionaire lawyer), George Joseph (billionaire entrepreneur), Joseph Mack (CEO of Morgan Stanley) etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_Americans

    In certain metrics such as physicians per capita, they are even more over-represented than the mighty Ashkenazim:

    https://i1.wp.com/copticvoiceus.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/image-2.png?fit=512%2C400

    They definitely rank up there as the one of the smartest ethnicities in the world. This shouldn’t be surprising given they are the most direct descendants of the people who invented the world’s first and most advanced civilization for ~4,000 years (approx 3300BC-1300AD); as well as the major Abrahamic religions which have effectively colonized the planet.

    They also don’t have the SSA admixture, cousin marriage practices, malnutrition & poverty, or the inhibiting cultural values of Arab Muslims.

    If I were to rank the top 5 smartest ethnicities; I’d say it would be the following, in order:
    (1) Ashkenazi Jews
    (2) Christian Arabs
    (3) Tamil Brahmins
    (4) UMC WASPs
    (5) Diaspora Chinese

    In terms of IQ, the Ashkenazi are up there on a class of their own. The other 4 are roughly equal; though Christian Arabs and Tamil Brahmins have more “creativity” and “gumption”; UMC WASPs in the middle; and Diaspora Chinese at the bottom.

    They also tend to look more Caucasian than the general population there.

    Arabs are Caucasians; scientifically speaking. So it’s no surprise they look more Caucasian than the general mestizo population in Latin America. Levantine Arabs in particular don’t look too different than Iberians; most people who are unfamiliar with Iberians & Levantines would not be able to spot the difference. Though of course a familiar and discerning eye could differentiate between them.

    One of my favorite hobbies is to