Open Thread 2 June 2019

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13 Responses to Open Thread 2 June 2019

  1. Fred says:

    I see the French Senate has amended the bill to restore Notre Dame to how it was prior to the fire.
    With caveats of course. Restoration to be complete before the Olympics . Sure couldn’t disappoint the politicians with such a wonderful public relations opportunity coming in 2024.

  2. Jack says:

    Why have the establishment of both parties and President’s from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama given the Chinese Communist Party carte blanche?

    “This year China surpassed Japan as the United Nations’ second-biggest donor and Beijing has begun using its growing clout to undermine criticism of its human rights record, sponsor resolutions that reflect its world view and curb opposition to its policies at home.
    China’s law-enforcement agencies spend billions on facial-recognition technologies and big-data platforms to monitor citizens, especially in sensitive regions like Xinjiang and Tibet.”


    “The state spent about $180 billion on domestic security in 2017, exceeding the national defense budget by nearly 20 percent, according to an analysis of data from China’s Ministry of Finance by Adrian Zenz …..”
    The CCP spends more on internal security than on national defense. Implying they fear their own people more than any foreign adversary. I don’t understand why we coddle the totalitarian CCP, yet spend trillions deposing tin-pot dictators?

  3. Christian Chuba says:

    I’ve done a smattering of reading and watching of shows on Alexander the Great and and I was struck by how many attribute his success to things outside of his control.
    They would cite the Macedonian Phalanx and the infrastructure his father built. I’m certain that was a big advantage but you don’t go undefeated and run over the area he did without having some major skills. It reminded me of when I hear that some hall of fame QB wasn’t that good, he just had great receivers. I don’t buy it.
    I only did a quick survey but I’d say he took the route that led to the enemies jugular, never panicked, and had a knack for when to launch the attack, sometimes earlier than expected or sometimes waiting him out. He had a couple of tactical moves but nothing overly complicated and he was absolutely ruthless in finishing off the battle.
    I’m certain I am missing a lot, just saying if you gave other people the same tools Alexander had, most people would blow it.

  4. Eugene Owens says:

    All 57 member nations of the OIC at the Islamic Summit have rejected and condemned condemned “any illegal and irresponsible decision that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”. They also refused to accept Trump’s decision to change legal status of Syria’s Golan Heights. So much for Kooch’s so-called working relationship with MbS.
    They slipped it to Assad by endorsing the UN backed proposal for a transitional governing body in Syria integrating opposition elements. And there was no reinstatement of Syria as a member. Although there is much support for that among many members.

  5. Morongobill says:

    It took almost two centuries to build and they can do it exactly as it was by 2024? Where will they find the skilled craftsmen? Well at least it won’t be replaced by one of the day edifices. I hope.

  6. optimax says:

    After reading The Court of the Red Czar by Montefoire, an excellent book, followed by watching a Netflix dvd The Death of Stalin, a hilarious black comedy that closely follows the days before and after Stalin’s death. Some of the dialogue in the movie could have been lifted from the book.
    The scene of Krushchev, Molotov, Beria, and the rest of the court watching Stalin lay in a comma on the ground for over a day trying to figure out what to do with him before putting him on the sofa is an absurdity that wasn’t dreamed up by script writers. They were brought to inaction by fear of the consequences of Stalin either regaining consciousness or dying because of moving him. And the the best doctors, most were Jewish, had been arrested and tortured in the Doctors Plot. The movie extracted humor from the absurdity of the power dynamics among Stalin’s inner circle. Beria telling Polina Molotov she is free after years of exile in a labor camp shedding tears when he tells her Stalin is dead—actually she fainted—also wasn’t a created fiction. Polina loves Stalin like a father and knows her imprisonment and exile are justified by the impurity of her treasonous anti-Marxist thoughts. Such is the efficacy of combining propaganda with free floating terror.
    I recommend both book and movie.

  7. rjj says:

    >> Where will they find the skilled craftsmen?
    Facsimile. Fiberglass. Disney artisans or the Chinese could design and develop templates from which elements could be repeatedly generated. Replacement would be cheaper than maintenance of original materials.
    Holography is not there yet. Anyway the energy costs would be prohibitive.
    Or possibly VR????

  8. Barbara Ann says:

    I just happened across a fascinating series of lectures broadcast on the BBC World Service, delivered by UK High Court Judge (ret.) Jonathan Sumption. The subject is the relationship between law and politics, specifically the expansion of the former to fill the void left by a retreat of the latter and the creeping legislation of moral judgements hitherto in the realm of personal choice.
    In the 3rd lecture; “Human rights and wrongs”, broadcast today, Sumption describes democracy’s susceptibility to attack by “advocates of various value-based systems” and likens Communism and Islamism to Liberal Bolshevism, though he doesn’t use these words. Given the BBC and its World Service are ardently liberal organs, these views are unusual and refreshing.
    Thomas Hobbes gets a shout out in the first lecture and Mr Sumption is one of the most fascinating and articulate speakers you are likely to hear IMO. I heartily recommend it.
    Here is the link to the first of 5 episodes, two of which are yet to be broadcast (the next is America specific). Each is approx 35 mins and you need to skip a news bulletin half way through.

  9. In the past it was an unusual national defence. Mostly focused on internal security. The Han Chinese constitute the great majority and the others live in the huge areas outside. Roads run radially so that troops stationed ready can move quickly out to deal with trouble. Last I read they are now looking to complete perimeter roads in order to allow quick movement along the perimeter and also to make it easier to control ingress of terrorists from outside. The Uighurs are now being treated very badly and if half the stories are true it’s a scandal that dwarfs even Palestine.
    That was their main defence preoccupation. Keeping the big non-Han areas secure and stopping destabilisation from outside a serious concern. Now I suppose securing trade routes is getting more attention.
    And right now, ensuring that the Uighur Jihadis smuggled in through Turkey don’t come back to cause trouble. Apparently these Jihadis don’t have access to the secure communications that HTS does so they can be listened to by Chinese intepreters. That means they suffer badly in the fighting. I’m not sure how solid that “apparently” is so am looking forward to TTG’s next survey to see if that is so.

  10. JJackson says:

    Prior to SST’s flirtation with Discus you had a ‘recent comments’ section in the right hand panel. Would this be difficult to re-institute as I found it useful in finding replies to slightly older threads?

  11. turcopolier says:

    jjackson – Done

  12. JJackson says:

    I have been using it. Many thanks.

  13. Keith Harbaugh says:

    There was a discussion a while back about the role of money in winning elections and influence over policy.
    Strangely enough, at least IMO, that issue arose in a local election in Arlington County, Virginia for the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney.
    The incumbent, Theo Stamos, lost the race (on Tuesday, 2019-06-11), 48-52, to her challenger, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti.
    The challenger had a HUGE (over 4 to 1) advantage in funds, due largely to a PAC controlled by none-other-than George Soros.
    Who knew George Soros cared about who was the Commonwealth Attorney for Arlington Virginia?
    Anyhow, per a local news organization,

    All told, the incumbent [Stamos] raised $161,760 for her 2019 re-election bid compared to the $743,604 Tafti raised to unseat her. [743,604/161,760 = 4.6]

    For more details, see
    “Commonwealth’s Attorney Campaign Fundraising Skyrockets” and
    the immediate report on the results.
    Tafti ran on a left-wing platform, e.g.
    “Tafti, for instance, said she would not prosecute cases of simple marijuana possession.”, a quote from the second link above.
    Soros seems big on decriminalizing drug use == web search on “george soros decriminalizing drug use” for examples.

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