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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘crimea

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Anthrodendum offers resources for understanding race in the US post-Charlottesville.
  • D-Brief notes that exoplanet WASP-12b is a hot Jupiter that is both super-hot and pitch-black.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining various models of ice-covered worlds and their oceans’ habitability.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the value placed by society on different methods of transport.
  • Far Outliers looks at how Chinese migrants were recruited in the 19th century.
  • Hornet Stories notes that the authorship of famously bad fanfic, “My Immortal”, has been claimed, by one Rose Christo.
  • Marginal Revolution notes one explanation for why men are not earning more. (Bad beginnings matter.)
  • Peter Watts has it with facile (and statistically ill-grounded) rhetoric about punching Nazis.
  • At the NYR Daily, Masha Gessen is worried by signs of degeneration in the American body politic.
  • Livejournal’s pollotenchegg maps the strength of Ukrainian political divisions in 2006 and 2010.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer is afraid what AI-enabled propaganda might do to American democracy in the foreseeable future.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes an enjoyable bagel breakfast at Pondichéry’s Auroville Café.
  • Drew Rowsome celebrates the introduction of ultra-low-cost carriers for flyers in Canada.
  • Strange Company notes the 19th century haunting of an English mill.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Crimean Tatars, and Muslims in Crimea, are facing more repression.
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[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Centauri Dreams reports on asteroid P/2016 G1, a world that, after splitting, is now showing signs of a cometary tail.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers outrage as a sociological phenomenon. What, exactly, does it do? What does it change?
  • Joe. My. God. reports on a new push for same-sex marriage in Germany, coming from the SPD.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the Alabama government’s disinterest in commemorating the Selma march for freedom.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at Oxford University’s attempt to recruit white British male students.
  • At the NYRB Daily, Masha Gessen warns against falling too readily into the trap of identifying conspiracies in dealing with Trump.
  • pollotenchegg maps the distribution of Muslims in Crimea according to the 1897 Russian census.
  • Savage Minds takes a brief look at ayahuasca, a ritual beverage of Andean indigenous peoples, and looks at how its legality in the United States remains complicated.
  • Elf Sternberg considers the problems of straight men with sex, and argues they might be especially trapped by a culture that makes it difficult for straight men to consider sex as anything but a birthright and an obligation.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers how the complexities of eminent domain might complicate the US-Mexican border wall.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on protests in Russia and argues Belarus is on the verge of something.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Dead Things looks at the health issues of a hadrosaur.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes close binary systems may not support planets very well.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Trump’s reaction to Obama’s statement that he was unfit.
  • The Map Room Blog notes Russia’s issues with Google over the non-recognition of Crimea’s annexation.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that driverless taxis are coming to Singapore.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer disproves arguments claiming that Pennsylvania is uniquely suited for Trump.
  • Peter Rukavina shares his schedule for the Island Fringe.
  • Spacing Toronto notes the problem of distracted cycling.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at language death in the North Caucasus.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers agriculture in space.
  • Crooked Timber examines the tribalisms which benefit Donald Trump.
  • Dangerous Minds notes an angry New York City television editorial criticizing the Sex Pistols.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the cycles of Mars’ north polar gap.
  • Language Log talks about Chinese script, starting with Ted Chiang’s criticisms.
  • The LRB Blog speculates about the future of a Labour Party that has lost its working-class support.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen likes the Chinese city of Qingdao.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the dispatch of the OSIRIS-REx probe to the launch pad.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders what solution Bernie Sanders is proposing for Puerto Rico.
  • Understanding Society describes sociological frameworks for writing biographies.
  • Window on Eurasia speculates the doping scandal may cost Russia not only the Olympics but FIFA in 2018, and is unsurprised by Gorbachev’s support of the annexation of Crimea.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Charlie Stross at Antipope wonders what subtle techniques could be used to sabotage a modern technology firm.
  • Bad Astronomy notes the work that went into determining the origins of a high-energy neutrino.
  • blogTO praises the Toronto Islands.
  • Imageo shares this unsettling graphic depicting rising global temperatures over time.
  • The Map Room notes, using Amazon’s controversy over same-day delivery being coincidentally limited largely to areas with non-black populations, the problems involved with being blind about data.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen makes the case for Britain staying in the imperfect European Union.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that the new Brazilian government’s all-male cabinet required some work, given the presence of women in Brazil’s business life.
  • Transit Toronto looks at plans for new GO Station construction in the GTA.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian coverage of Crimean Tatar Jamala’s song “1944” and her victory for Ukraine at Eurovision.

[LINK] “Turkey Seen Seeking to Reanimate GUAM as Anti-Russian Alliance”

Window on Eurasia’s Paul Goble notes a Russian article suggesting that Turkey might interested in pushing the GUAM alliance into forming an alliance against Russia.

The Turkish government is seeking to revive GUAM in order to form an alliance of states against Russia broader than the pan-Turkic groupings it had promoted in the past, Aleksey Fenenko says; but he adds that Ankara faces real difficulties in doing so and that Moscow has the means to block any such geopolitical effort.

In today’s “Nezavisimaya gazeta,” the instructor on world politics at Moscow State University says that “Turkish diplomacy is trying to revive a block like GU(U)AM” consisting of “countries which have difficulties with Russia” and which thus could help Ankara in its conflict with Moscow (ng.ru/cis/2016-02-26/3_kartblansh.html).

GUAM was formed by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Uzbekistan later joined and left the organization: hence, its acronym. Like Latvia, Turkey already has observer status in the group and like its members it wants to make the organization into “an alternative” to the Moscow-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The idea of creating such a grouping of states arose in the mid-1990s. In June 1996, Moldova and Georgia issued a joint statement. And in October 1997, they were joined by Azerbaijan and Ukraine in calling for a system of mutual consultations in order to “’counter Russian hegemony.’” That became GUAM at a meeting in Yalta on July 7, 2001.

But despite the aspirations of its organizers, the group has not become a truly effective grouping of states, Fenenko says. They are divided on many issues, and Uzbekistan has pointed to its dissolution by leaving as a result of differences with the others over relations with the United States.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

[LINK] “Why Russia Stopped at Crimea”

Bloomberg View’s Leonid Bershidsky notes why Ukrainian leaders in early 2014 chose not to respond militarily to the Russian invasion of Crimea, and why Russia did what it did.

The news site Pravda.com.ua has published the transcript of a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council that took place Feb. 28, 2014. The previous day, Russian troops without identifying insignia helped pro-Moscow activists take over Crimea’s parliament and government. The following day, the Russian parliament authorized Putin to start military operations in Ukraine.

The meeting’s attendees, officials swept into power by Ukraine’s “Revolution of Dignity,” vainly sought to prevent the loss of Crimea to Russia, but effectively decided to give up the peninsula, believing the alternative would be worse.

Oleksandr Turchynov, the acting president and parliament speaker, raised the possibility of fighting back. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk — who still is in office, unlike many others who came to power directly after the February 2014 revolution — opposed a counteroffensive.

“We’re talking about declaring war on Russia,” he said, according to the transcript. “Right after we do this, there will be a Russian statement ‘On defending Russian citizens and Russian speakers who have ethnic ties with Russia.’ That is the script the Russians have written, and we’re playing to that script.”

Yatsenyuk pointed out that the Finance Ministry’s bank account was empty and that, according to the Defense Ministry, Ukraine had no military resources to defend Kiev if Russia invaded. Besides, Yatsenyuk said that there would be “an acute ethnic conflict” in Crimea and that the Ukrainian government would be blamed for failing to prevent it. He called for political negotiations through foreign intermediaries to grant Crimea more autonomy and in the meantime to try to rebuild the military.

Other attendees who spoke up against fighting back were acting National Bank Chairman Stepan Kubiv and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been freed from prison in the final days of the revolution. Tymoshenko argued that Putin wanted to play out the same scenario that unfolded during the 2008 Russian-Georgian war: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attacked pro-Russian forces that held the rebellious region of South Ossetia, but Russia intervened and steamrolled the Georgian army[.]

Written by Randy McDonald

February 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm