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Posts Tagged ‘poland

[BLOG] Some politics-related links

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  • 3 Quarks Daily links to an essayist wondering why people talked about Gaza not the Yezidis as a way to dismiss Gaza.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly notes how Americans subsidize Walmart’s low wages by givibng its employees benefits.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Chinese plans to reforest Tibet could accelerate the dessication of its watershed since trees suck up water, observes the existence of a new Chinese ICBM and links to a report of a Chinese drone, notes that the ecologies of Europe are especially vulnerable to global warming owing to their physical fragmentation, and notes that Canadian-Mexican relations aren’t very friendly.
  • Eastern Approaches notes Russia’s reaction to the shootdown of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine and observes the issues with Poland’s coal industry.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis calls for American military intervention to protect the Yezidis from genocide.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the plight of the Yezidi, examines the undermining of liberal Zionism, wonders how Russian relations with Southeast Asia will evolve, and after noting the sympathy of some Americans on the left for Russia analyses the consequences of a Russian-Ukrainian war.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if Russia’s food import ban is a sign of a shift to a cold war mentality, notes the collapse of the Ukrainian economy, wonders about the strategy of Hamas, and comments on the weakness of the economy of Ghana.
  • The New APPS Blog comments on the implications of the firing of American academic Steven Salaita for his blog posts.
  • The Pagan Prattle looks at allegations of extensive coverups of pedophilia in the United Kingdom.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the decreasing dynamism of the ageing Australia economy.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer doesn’t think there’s much of a crisis in Argentina following the debt default, notes ridiculous American efforts to undermine Cuba that just hurt Cubans, examines implications of energy reform and property rights in Mexico, has a good strategy shared with other for dealing with the Islamic State.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little contends with Tyler Cowen’s arguments about changing global inequality, and studies the use of mechanisms in international relations theory.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy touches upon Palestine’s case at the ICC against Israel, looks at Argentina’s debt default, and wonders if Internet domain names are property.
  • Window on Eurasia has a huge set of links, pointing to the rivalry of Russian Jewish organizations in newly-acquired Crimea, looking at Ukrainian ethnic issues in Russia, suggests that the Donbas war is alienating many Ukrainians in the east from Russia, notes Islamization in Central Asia, suggests that Russia under sanctions could become as isolated as the former SOviet Union, suggests Ukrainian refugees are being settled in non-Russian republics, wonders if Ukraine and Georgia and Moldova will join Turkey as being perennial EU candidates, suggests that Belarusians are divided and claims that Belarusian national identity is challenging Russian influence, looks at the spread of Ukrainian nationalism among Russophones, looks at the consequences of Kurdish independence for the South Caucasus, and notes that one-tenth of young Russians are from the North Caucasus or descend from the region.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO’s Chris Bateman writes about the life of William Cawthra, a 19th century millionaire in Toronto who gave his name to–among other places–Church and Wellesley’s Cawthra Park.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of engines that can move stars and planets, drawn from science fiction.
  • Crooked Timber visits the topic of the First World War.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper suggesting TW Hydrae has a borderline brown dwarf in orbit, and to another paper suggesting that exoplanet 55 Cancri e is in a polar orbit of its star.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Greenland’s icecap is darkening, potentially accelerating the rate of its melt.
  • Eastern Approaches engages with Polish politics.
  • Far Outliers is exploring Soviet history, noting Communist enthusiasm for the Russian civil war and origins of totalitarianism in the war.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh notes that Japanese inflation is at a 32 year high, and that this isn’t good.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the suicide of a Tea Party leader in Mississippi who filmed the mentally ill wife of his Republican opponent.
  • Language Log approves of a shift to actual language use in the US Supreme Court.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money also discusses the First World War, noting that Serbian opinion isn’t very anti-war.
  • Marginal Revolution notes economic stagnation among African Americans.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are starting to join the same Russian mental category reserved for the Baltic States, for good and for ill.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Crooked Timber comments on Amanda Lepore’s essay in The New Yorker criticizing the idea of “disruption”.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of Gliese 832c, a super-terrestrial planet orbiting a red dwarf 16 light years away that is either a super-Earth or a super-Venus.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that one consequence of Scottish independence could be the United Kingdom’s nuclear disarmament.
  • The Financial Times‘s The World blog notes speculation that Russia could be behind the bugging of the Polish foreign minister.
  • Joe. My. God. observes that some American reactionaries see Russia as a refuge from liberalism.
  • Language Hat notes the ongoing controversy over the origins of the Yiddish language.
  • The Planetary Science Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla provides updates on Mercury’s Messenger probe and the Venus Express as well.
  • Savage Minds makes the argument that it’s better to engage with people not abstractions.
  • Steve Munro notes extensive construction around Spadina and Dundas this summer.
  • Towleroad links to an article about once-prominent ex-gay John Paulk.
  • Window on Eurasia notes high mortality in Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell wonders how Andy Coulson got his security clearance.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams hosts a speculative essay by one Adam Crowl imagining how life could endure for eons beyond the death of stars in an aging universe.
  • The Cranky Sociologists’s SocProf studies the interaction between national identity and team sports in an era of globalization and migration.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper analyzing the connection between a star’s metallicity and the likelihood of it hosting giant planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by itself lengthens the growing season, irrespective of warming.
  • Eastern Approaches looks at the scandal in Poland following the sharing of Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski’s impolitic words about NATO and the American alliance.
  • The Financial Times‘s The World blog wonders what the jeering of a female politician by her male peers means about gender equity in Japan.
  • Language Hat looks at the languages used in soccer.
  • Personal Approaches’ Jim Belshaw deplores the imprisonment of Australian journalist Peter Greste in Egypt.
  • At the Planetary Science Blog, Bill Dunford celebrates the many achievements of the Cassini probe at Saturn.
  • Van Waffle of the Speed River Journal writes about the return of bullfrogs to his local lake this year, in the context of issues for amphibians generally.
  • Torontoist features trans male Alex Abramovich’s writings about the personal and broader importance of pride.

[LINK] “Will the Visegrad Four Survive Ukraine?”

Transition Online‘s Martin Ehl writes about the possibility that the Visegrád Group–a post-Communist association of the four central European countries of Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary–might not survive differences over Ukraine.

On the one side, there is Poland, which has asked the United States to station thousands of troops on its soil. On the other, there is Hungary, which has signed a very suspicious deal with Russia for a loan to build two new nuclear reactors that will tie Budapest to Moscow for the next three decades. The Czech Republic and Slovakia are somewhere in between, but both strongly reject an additional NATO (read U.S.) military presence in their countries.

Polish diplomats present at recent conferences such as Globsec, where the prime ministers of the four countries openly disagreed, or at the Wroclaw Global Forum, have started to ask whether the country should invest so much energy into regional cooperation that does not reflect their basic national interests.

Milan Nic, director of the Central European Policy Institute in Bratislava, said that considering the Czech and Slovak prime ministers’ rejection of an American military presence, Poles “have to wonder about our attitudes and if Poland would be better off giving more attention to cooperation with Romania, the Baltic countries, and some Scandinavian ones, which see the threat from the east likewise.”

The Polish propensity to push their partners into a corner and entertain even the worst-case scenarios is viewed in Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest as hysteria, according to Nic. “The level of our strategic dialogue and understanding was not prepared for such a grave crisis as the Ukrainian one,” Nic said.

[. . .]

Mateusz Gniazdowski, director of the Central European department at the Polish governmental think tank, the Center for Eastern Studies has noted, “Above all, in Poland the opinion prevails quite often that countries with a common heritage and who are neighbors on a map have common interests.” While EU members obviously have varied histories, one would have thought their current priorities in regard to Russia would align more frequently than they do.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 19, 2014 at 7:18 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Crooked Timber continues its immigration and open borders symposium, wondering about the European Union.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that brown dwarfs will also form planets out of their discs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales tracks the Ukrainian conflict.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that, despite continued warm feelings for the United States, Poland is now becoming concerned with its affairs as a European power.
  • Language Hat notes how for many Russians in the 19th century, Francophilia was seen as a shame, a betrayal.
  • At Language of the World, Asya Perelstvaig notes efforts among some local Christian Arabs to revive the Aramaic language.
  • James Nicoll of More Words, Deeper Hole reviews fondly the Joan Vinge classic novel Psion.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Bill Dunford shares photos of the tracks of Mars rovers taken by the rovers themselves.
  • Steve Munro links to John Lorinc’s series of articles at Spacing on the neglect of transit to the benefit of talking in Scarborough.
  • Towleroad notes a recent meeting held in Vienna, funded by a Russian oligarch, aimed at fighting gays.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the role played by Facebook in coordinating recent anti-government protests in Abkhazia and observes fears for the Crimean Tatars among scholars.

[LINK] “Playing with Fire”

Transition Online’s Martin Ehl reports on the ill-timing of Hungary’s push for self-government for the Magyar minority in Ukraine.

Last week, leaders of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland competed at a security conference in Bratislava in the political categories of cynicism and hypocrisy. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban proved himself the master. He defended his call, several days old, for the 200,000-strong Hungarian minority in Ukraine to be granted autonomy. At a time when some of that country’s eastern regions are attempting to secede, such comments were considered, to say the least, inappropriate and playing to Russian efforts to make Ukraine as chaotic as possible before the presidential elections there on 25 May.

[. . .]

On 16 May, Orban added a few more things during a television interview. He said in the European Union there are many types of autonomy, from which Hungarians living in Ukraine can simply choose. And any government in Ukraine must be aware that the Hungarian state will support the request of the Hungarian minority. Now is a good time for such a request, he said, when a new Ukraine is being built. Only at the end did Orban say, in so far as Russian actions are considered, that of course Hungary supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

In Bratislava Orban called on his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, to be equally hard on Ukraine. Tusk nearly blew up right then and there, in public. The Polish approach to its troubled neighbor has been the exact opposite, because the Poles are not playing with fire like the Hungarians. Even if they could, the Polish government is well aware of the direct threat flowing from an unstable Ukraine. Warsaw is thus trying to help the Ukrainians on the European scene – without opening up old wounds. Officially 150,000 members of the Polish minority live in Ukraine and historians are still analyzing the details of their mutual massacres, which are only 70 years old.

On the sidelines of the conference, Hungarian government officials tried to defend the prime minister by saying that his words were meant primarily for a domestic audience. But it did not occur to them that this is exactly the danger threatening Europe as the European Parliament elections approach: the extent to which politicians concentrate more on the domestic audience and omit, intentionally or not, the broader context – the importance of the stability and prosperity of neighboring countries and, accordingly, of the entire continent.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 28, 2014 at 7:53 pm

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