Morning Ed: World {2017.04.27.Th}

Fintan O’Toole says what Brexit means for Ireland.

Well, belated but welcome.

Photos of children from around the world with their most priced possessions.

The life of a Kremlin Troll.

Canada is so weird.

Lyman Stone looks at the modern city-state, in the US and abroad.

Scott Ritter is back (hide your children), and he wants you to know Russia won the nuclear arms race.

Aww, Canada, we 2/3 like you, too! Philippines! And Germany, you break my heart. (These numbers are pre-Trump, though. Who knows where they are now.)


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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63 thoughts on “Morning Ed: World {2017.04.27.Th}

  1. Fintan O’Toole: This link doesn’t mention Brexit at all. It’s about removing the president of Ireland.

    Kremlin Troll: Yeah, you expected massive success? The Kremlin needs to do what the US does…set up a bunch of “good gov’t” NGOs and have them destabilize countries they are “helping”.

    Dude, you think this is innate to Canadian steers and beavers? The steers were simply curious. Probably never seen a beaver before.

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  2. It’s kinda odd that Scott Ritter thinks the problems that have bedeviled American missile defense efforts for a generation or more have somehow been solved by the Russians.

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    • I want to know how Russia managed to not only experience the breakthroughs in both materials science & rocket technology that would be necessary for this to be even close to true, and no one noticed.

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    • “It’s kinda odd that Scott Ritter thinks the problems that have bedeviled American missile defense efforts for a generation or more have somehow been solved by the Russians.”

      The RS-28 is not a defensive system. It is purely a first-strike counterforce weapon, the kind of thing that would have definitely started a war in the 1970s and has a really good chance of starting one now.

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      • Right, but this is in the piece near the end

        And Russia is on the verge of completing the deployment of its own anti-missile shield, one that will seal off its air space to bombers, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, negating in totality America’s nuclear triad.

        That’s a rather bold claim, and should be, if true, the main topic of discussion – not the RS-28.

        The Russians have *always* loved their super speed super weapons – e.g.Alphas, Svkal, that super MiG from the 70s – and they always get everyone’s attention. But nearly always, the super speed super weapons have jack squat in terms of reliabilty and/or accuracy, and so become expensive white elephants.

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        • The Russians were recently touting a supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that they said could fly at 4600 mph (Mach 6), and which our ships would be defenseless against. I crunched some numbers to compare its inevitable fuel consumption against an SR-71 flying at Mach 3 and 85,000 feet. At sea level, the relative drag at Mach 6 would be 222 times larger than for an object at Mach 3 and 85,000 feet. Thus their cruise missile would have a very, very short range. To reach anything at all, it’s going to have to stay high and dive on the target.

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  3. the general trendline was a small Obama bump when he got elected, then an erosion of positive feeling towards the US over the course of his term. But for the most part, countries have either liked or not liked the US on a consistent basis for the past 15 years.
    Some exceptions – Russia’s opinion of the US cratered late in the Obama presidency, and Spain’s opinion cratered late in Bush’s, but recovered after he was gone. (Which I’m pretty sure has everything to do with the Iraq war and the major terrorist attack on Spain in that time period)

    I would bet that the 2017 survey will see an average of a 10 point drop from any country with an existing net fav rating (and probably some small recovery in Russian opinion, but still sharply neg)

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  4. I’d like to see the 92/7 favorables with the Philippines benchmarked against other countries… From the many Filippinos (Filippini? Philippians?) I’ve met and know, I’m guessing 7% unfavorables might be really high…

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  5. What’s with Vietnam? We blew it up and still failed to save it from the Communists, who have controlled the schools and media for like 50 years. How hard can it be to get your people to hate America under those circumstances?

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    • In the intervening years they fought (and won) a war with the PRC.

      We’re allies now.

      It’s a strange old world.

      (Also, AIUI they’ve gone through a set of market reforms similar to the Chinese, and aren’t really communists anymore.)

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        • Seems plausible. The grinding poverty will be far enough in the rear view mirror that the “Communist” Party will no longer get much mileage out of raising hundreds of millions of people out of it, and the corruption and authoritarianism will seem like pure loss.

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      • Having a ton of your people escape to the US and stay in touch with family members back home probably has an effect. So does the fact that the US was fighting against their terrible government rather than installing it.

        Plus the people who remember how things were pre-communism are still around and not too old, which makes it a lot harder to replace actual history with propaganda. I think that in order to wash those memories out, you need to clamp down for generations, and the heavy-handed communist totalitarianism just didn’t last quite long enough to make it happen.

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        • Along the same lines, I wonder what a mess we’ll have on our hands when North Korea eventually returns to the rest of the world. That place has been a crazy alternative reality long enough that it must be hard find senior leadership who aren’t too soaked in propaganda to act effectively on the world stage.

          Keeping a lid on a country such that your people don’t even have enough information to form actual opinions about the rest of the world is hard, but North Korea seems to be the closest to actually pulling it off.

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          • Thing is, when Germany united, they got a bunch of hearty Germans. When Korea unites, they’re inheriting prison camp survivors. I read something estimating that, of the upcoming generation, 33% would be exempted from military service due to developmental malnutrition.

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            • That seems like the least of their problems, though (aside from the long term health care cost drain). It seems like the rough equivalent of grabbing a few million people from the 14th century and trying to integrate them into the greater Los Angles area. You’re going to have health problems, but there’s also the task of unteaching a lot of nonsense and trying to get them up to speed on how modern societies actually work and what’s going on in the world.

              Hopefully humans continue to be adaptable.

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      • Also, if you look at the actual complaints that led the YAF and UCR to give up, it’s actually pretty ridiculous, IMO.

        Like, if Berkeley had stuck to the cancellation they would be undeniably in the right. But a different venue a week later?

        Gimme a break.

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    • I don’t think you can really make the argument that they’ve been inconsistent on free speech. In fact, their actions and public statements always seem to be consistent with the core positions they’ve staked out. You may disagree with those core positions, but I don’t think you can really say that they’re hypocrites anywhere.

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        • Yes. The same “they” you were referring to.

          I don’t think Ann Coulter has a shortage of funds or supporters, so I’m not sure why they’d spend limited resources doing… whatever it is you think they should be doing.

          But like everybody else online, you have the mind reading skills to know that they don’t really mean what they say, even though nothing they’re doing is inconsistent with them meaning it. Those bastards.

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          • I wouldn’t necessarily make that assumption.

            Of course the ACLU calls Coulter’s speech hateful because (a) duh, and (b) they can more effectively protect that kind of speech on campus if they do. A lot of people who are on the fence about this are on the fence because they either (totally wrongly) believe that there’s a difference between “hate speech” and “free speech” [1], or because they have a sneaking suspicion that people defending the speech are doing so because they don’t think it’s that bad (which isn’t always wrong).

            The statement made by the ACLU clearly lays out the principle they’re defending while signaling to people who may be suspicious that they aren’t defending Coulter because they like her. People concerned about attempts to suppress right-wing speech on campus should be doing more of that, rather then less.

            (They should also be paying a lot more attention to attempts to suppress left-wing speech on campus, but that can wait for another comment.)

            [1] See Howard Dean for a particularly cringeworthy recent example.

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            • I think we fully agree here.

              The statement made by the ACLU clearly lays out the principle they’re defending while signaling to people who may be suspicious that they aren’t defending Coulter because they like her.

              It surprises me that people find this hard to accept. It’s like the “punching Nazis” debate when people on the far left were shocked to find out how many of their friends were actually big fans of Nazis. Or at least, that’s the conclusion they reached because they couldn’t understand that you can support a principle like, “Don’t physically hurt people for their political statements,” for everybody rather than just selectively.

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            • One of the signs that you’re not thinking clearly and are really just rooting for your team is when you can’t wrap your head around the idea that somebody from the other team agrees with you on something.

              There has to be a catch somewhere. Maybe it’s a false flag operation to make everybody think they believe in Ann Coulter’s right to speak but they’re somehow going to change it up on us when it really matters. It can’t just be that the ACLU, which consistently comes down on the side of free speech every single time, actually supports free speech for everybody.

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                • In any case, the ACLU has spent resources supporting Nazis, the KKK, the Westboro Baptist Church, Rush Limabaugh, and probably a bunch of other groups I’m not remembering. The idea that they’re not actively suing to support Coulter because she offends their delicate snowflake leftist sensibilities is just dumb. The more likely explanation is:

                  1) Ann Coulter has a bunch of money and doesn’t need free legal support. They might file something if there was an actual court case, but…
                  2) She lost her invitation, so she doesn’t really have standing to sue. It’s not clear what kind of legal action should be taken.

                  We don’t need to invoke 11-dimensional chess as described by Saul Alinsky and paid for by George Soros to understand the situation.

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