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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘military

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Al Jazeera warns about the militarization of the Ukrainian state, notes the alienation of Turkish Kurds from their goverment and wonders if northern Syria will become a Turkish protectorate, wishes Arab authors could travel to the United States more readily, wonders about the impact of immigrants on Catalonian separatism, and notes Wheaton College’s issue with new federal healthcare regulations.
  • Bloomberg observes the shrinkage of the American labour force, the success of the coffee crop in Vietnam, the emigration from ethnic Czechs from Ukraine to the Czech Republic, the successful retention of industry in Singapore, observes the debilitating toll of illegal fisheries off of the West African coast, and notes the call for an investigation into the treatment of the United States’ first Ebola victim.
  • Bloomberg View notes that Uber can succeed only in the context of a struggling labour market, looks at the economic issues of European petrostates, notes how political concerns override fears for the Russian economy, argues British cities also need autonomy, and via Faroese fish exports notes that sanctions may not have that much effort.
  • CBC notes Tanya Tagaq’s stalking by a sexually aggressive man in Winnipeg, and notes that Windsor is using cayenne peppers to deter squirrels from attacking the city’s tulips. (That last should work.)
  • The Inter Press Service notes the scale of Samoan emigration, observes the negative consequences of climate change for livestock farmers in the Caribbean, looks at the drought besetting Sao Paulo, looks at an economically questionable train line in Sri Lanka, considers how the Karabakh issue makes Armenian entry into the Eurasian Union problematic, and u>observes anti-Palestinian discrimination in housing in the Jerusalem area.
  • IWPR reports on growing Ukraine-related ethnic tensions in Kazakhstan and observes Georgia’s clampdown on immigration.
  • Open Democracy recommends a consistent policy of European Union opening to the western Balkans, notes the plight of Copts in Egypt, looks at ethnic tensions in North Ossetia between Ossetians and Ingush, examines Basque and Corsican separatisms, fears for the future of secularism in Mali and Senegal, and considers the dire demographics of Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Antipope Charlie Stross describes why he’s shifting from science fiction to fantasy: the latter better fits the black-box technological zeitgeist.
  • blogTO recommends thinks to do in Kensington Market and Chinatown.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at some proposals for interstellar drives.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes Indonesia’s participation in a South Korean fighter plane project.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a Jamaican newspaper poll that has found 91% want to keep laws against gay sex on the books.
  • Language Hat notes the conflict between traditional and vernacular registers of the Japanese language in the 19th century.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Pereltvsaig notes the depopulation of the Russian Far Eastern region of Magadan after 1989.
  • pollotenchegg maps out the divisions of Luhansk and Donetsk between government and separatist regimes.
  • Steve Munro writes about how the TTC should keep statistics about travel more readily available.
  • Towleroad notes Morrissey’s statement that he is being treated for cancer.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy lists more reasons to strike down same-sex marriage bans based on the recent Supreme Court ruling in the US.
  • Why I Love Toronto recommends a charming-sounding late-night antique crawl down on Queen Street West.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • BCer in Toronto’s Jeff Jedras comments on Justin Trudeau’s boycotting of Sun News after that organization’s Ezra Levant insulted his parents.
  • blogTO comments on last night’s wild mayoral debate. I will note that on Twitter the whole thing seemed like a mess.
  • Crooked Timber considers the endurance of myths like that surrounding the murder of Kitty Genovese.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper on stellar winds suggesting that habitable planets in orbit of orange dwarfs may be best of all, and links to another casting doubt on the existence of Gliese 667Cd.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that F-22as were used in combat for the first time against the Islamic State.
  • Joe. My. God. observes that one participant in a publicized gay-bashing in Philadelphia was the daughter of a local police chief.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money mocks Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion to raise a mercenary army to fight against the Islamic State.
  • pollotenchegg notes that the Ukrainian region of Donetsk was in a demographic free-fall even before the recent war.
  • Peter Rukavina notes how, in a low-key way, women got the vote on Prince Edward Island in 1922.
  • Tall Penguin celebrates her birthday.
  • Torontoist raves about the new Fort York visitor centre.
  • Towleroad features a Chinese gay man speaking out against gay conversion therapy.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little examines a mass survey of Chinese on what they think an ideal world should be like.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russian ignorance of Kazakh history and is skeptical of the idea of increasing religious content in public schools.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO shares photos of the Eaton Centre immediately after its opening in the 1970s.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram comes out in favour of a federal United Kingdom.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Australia is set to buy ten submarines from Japan.
  • Eastern Approaches picks up on the travails of the Crimean Tatars.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how Slovakia is a bad model for Scotland, not least because a large majority of Czechoslovaks wanted the country to survive.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a study that has a frankly optimistic projection for Iraq’s Christian community over the next half-century or so.
  • Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc describes Rob Ford’s trajectory as a Greek tragedy. I’m inclined to agree.
  • Torontoist and blogTO share reports of how Torontonians and others react to Rob Ford’s cancer diagnosis.
  • Towleroad notes European Union pressure on Serbia to improve its gay rights record.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the issues of Crimean Tatars as well and suggests that the Russian government maintains bad population statistics.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • Al Jazeera notes controversy over a proposed women-only beach in Turkey, suggests that Iraqi Sunnis are ready to fight against the Islamic State while observing Germany’s arming of the Kurds, notes the decision of France to halt its delivery of warships to Russia, warns of general concern in the Netherlands about Islamic State activism, notes the existential issues of a relatively declining American evangelical Christianity, and notes African immigration to Brazil.
  • Bloomberg suggests Russia wants to prevent Ukraine from integrating with the West, notes the strengthening of European Union sanctions against Russia, observes that Berlin has outstripped Rome as a tourist destination, examines Filipino insecurity vis-a-vis China, and looks at the booming Tokyo property market.
  • Bloomberg View, meanwhile argues that there is a job shortage not a “stagnation vacation” in developed countries, warns that right now closer links with NATO would harm Ukraine, and favours the strengthening of the European Union’s eastern perimeter.
  • MacLean’s notes NATO’s reorientation away from Afghanistan towards containing Russia.
  • National Geographic and Universe Today about both skeptical about reports of a meteorite impact in Nicaragua.
  • PBS notes a very unusual triple–possibly quadruple–star system.
  • Reuters notes Thailand’s efforts to encourage Chinese tourism.
  • Universe Today notes that planets in binary systems are more common than once thought and looks at the difficulties of landing Philae on its target comet.

[LINK] “Who’ll Win the Fight Between Russia and Ukraine? Maybe China”

Vice‘s Ryan Faith argues that one beneficiary of the emergent Russo-Ukrainian war will be China. The disruption of the Soviet-era military industries shared by Russia and Ukraine will leave China, inheritor of much Soviet technology, in a great position to expand its market share in the arms trade.

The once-mighty Soviet Union has fallen on hard times, and has fragmented into a motley collection of countries, enclaves, vassal states, and fiefdoms. As a result, the vast network of factories, technical expertise, and supply chains that once powered the Soviet military machine has disintegrated. Previously intertwined industries are now divorced, living in different countries. Entire supply chains vital to one national military are in countries completely out of the control of that military.

In some cases, old armament factories operated as if little had changed except for the drop in production volume. Russia was, until this year, the biggest single export market for Ukrainian defense manufacturers, just as Ukrainian imports were the single biggest share of Russian defense imports. For example, most of Russia’s helicopters are powered by engines made by the Ukrainian company Motor Sich. Conversely, the biggest use of Motor Sich’s engines has been in Russian helicopters.

But once fighting broke out between Ukraine and Russia — or more accurately, a few months after fighting broke out — the defense trade between the countries ground to a halt.

Although China has grown in technological sophistication, a lot of the old standards and technologies have left their mark. Much of the equipment and parts still in production are compatible with Soviet-era standards, and China has close relationships with the defense industries of both Russia and Ukraine. But the rupture between the two countries — the engines powering the remnants of the Soviet military-industrial machine — has, as Jane’s points out, put China in a very advantageous position.

First, Ukrainian and Russian manufacturers alike are eager to replace revenue lost from the end of their relationships with one another, and will be looking to sell to China instead. In fact, Ukrainian and Russian companies could find themselves in competition for business while their governments compete on the battlefield and in the international political arena. This competition means it’s a buyer’s market for China, and may give Beijing access to a lot more technology and design expertise at lower cost than was previously possible.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes the continuing problems of Toronto’s food truck project.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the differences between transit and radial velocity detection methods for planets and the relative advantages for detecting planets in stellar habitable zones, and links to a paper describing how hot Jupiters can become super-Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the changing strategic situation of Australia.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that most of IKEA’s photo shoots are actually computer-assembled from stock imagery.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the impending retirement of Berlin’s gay mayor Klaus Wowereit.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that anti-Obamacare red states are hurting their poor citizens.
  • New APPS Blog considers the question of what makes happy children.
  • Towleroad notes anti-gay persecution by Lebanese police and quotes the mayor of Kazakhstan’s capital city talking badly about non-heterosexuals.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the emigration of Kazakhs and even Uighurs from Xinjiang to Kazakhstan, touches upon Western disillusionment with Russia, notes the possible impending defection of most of the Ukrainian churches of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and reports on the relocation of a Ukrainian factory to Russia.

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