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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   2001. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4673847)
Jason, I know Israel exists in a state of extremely high tension, but don't you think it's possible that turning a likely fire and airplane crash in southeast Asia into a story about Israel's need to have a hair-trigger is rather pointlessly feeding that tension?


The gist of that article seems to be "Israel reserves the right to shoot down unidentified aircraft in Israeli airspace." That seems like a no-#### point. Not sure why anyone thinks it's a reason to write up as an article. You have a point about the instinct to turn a likely crashed-into-the-ocean airplane mystery(*) into a "Israel must be ever vigilant in defense of her borders" talking point. If the plane shows up again flying into Israeli airspace, they can and will shoot it down. The odds of that happening are pretty small, as it's most likely a deep water reef in the making at this point.

(*)the ocean is big; we overestimate our ability to not lose #### in it.
   2002. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4673849)
I don't know if you checked the news this morning, Lassus, but no one is dismissing the possibility that the plane landed on a remote landing strip somewhere


I'll put a B-REF sponsorship on the line to say it's not. It's at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. (Actual security services for various entities need to operate on the unlikely possibility that it's not, but we don't have to pretend that those odds are not very long.)
   2003. Greg K Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4673851)
it's most likely a deep water reef in the making at this point.

That's just what Charles Widmore wants you to think.
   2004. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4673853)
Quinn seemed the worst of both worlds, both a bad candidate and a bad governor.

Agreed. It's clear that Brady lost the '10 general election; Quinn sure didn't win it.
   2005. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4673854)
I'll put a B-REF sponsorship on the line to say it's not. It's at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. (Actual security services for various entities need to operate on the unlikely possibility that it's not, but we don't have to pretend that those odds are not very long.)

I said no one is dismissing the possibility, Sam, not that they view that scenario as the most likely.
   2006. BrianBrianson Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4673855)
If the plane shows up again flying into Israeli airspace, they can and will shoot it down


Sure, but it'd be a big talking point for the usual crowd of left-wing antisemites. (Can't imagine the right-wing ones could even halfhearted pretend to care that a plane full of Malaysians with Iranian fake passport users got shot down). So probably just trying to head it off at the pass.
   2007. Ron J2 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4673857)
#1966 I was on college campuses in the 1970s. I heard the idealistic rhetoric of the day from the young Marxists/Socialists.
   2008. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4673858)
I don't know if you checked the news this morning, Lassus, but no one is dismissing the possibility that the plane landed on a remote landing strip somewhere.

Plenty of people are dismissing this possibility. It's just that plenty are also imagining otherwise.

Listen, I clearly admitted Israel exists in a state of high tension. I'll further admit and accept (and always have) it has reason to. Given that, I'm pretty comfortable stating that this plane disappearing in southeast Asia as a reason why Israel needs to be even more tense about everything is simply pushing it, to my ears - hence my reaction to the posting/promotion of this Morgan piece. And I'm one of those who is on board with their default tension.
   2009. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4673862)
Sure, but it'd be a big talking point for the usual crowd of left-wing antisemites.


Such as? A plane goes missing for weeks, mysteriously shows up again at some later date flying dark into Israeli territory, they shoot it down, and you think it's going to be a big ERMHAGAH moment of talking points from the "left-wing" against Israel? I'm sure there would be an edge of neo-Nazis and some of those crazy-assed "no Jews went to work in the WTC on 9/11" Islamos who would push something stupid like that, but it would be less popular an insane conspiracy theory than 9/11 Trutherism. The vast majority of the "left" would be "yeah, you gotta shoot that one down." And if the bodies of passengers of the flight were found in the wreckage, pretty much everyone would rightly assume they were dead before they took off a second time.

The belief that this would be a big talking point that needs to be combatted proactively is itself paranoia.
   2010. BrianBrianson Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4673865)
Sure, most of the left is perfectly reasonable people (which is why we're rarely lacing into each other here), but the guys who stand in front of my local Sainsbury's with "Stop the genocide in Israel" are certainly going to be making up new banners. From a public relationships perspective, it's a good idea to pre-emptively get reasonable people to realise it's a reasonable thing for them to do.
   2011. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4673867)
Given that, I'm pretty comfortable stating that this plane disappearing in southeast Asia as a reason why Israel needs to be even more tense about everything is simply pushing it, to my ears - hence my reaction to the posting/promotion of this Morgan piece. And I'm one of those who is on board with their default tension.

1. Israeli government and aviation officials aren't jumping up and down yelling, "Lood at me! Look at me! It's all about us! It's all about us!" I can assure you they are infinitely more concerned with Obama's utopian views on Iran and Abbas.
2. Not only does Piers Morgan not write the content in his blog, the story references an interview between former Ambassador Oren and some dude who was guest hosting for Morgan.
   2012. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4673868)
but the guys who stand in front of my local Sainsbury's with "Stop the genocide in Israel" are certainly going to be making up new banners


College kids have a lot of spare time, man.
   2013. zonk Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4673875)
Eh, I'd take Quinn over Hynes (and did vote that way in the primary at the time).

Like I said, I harbored no illusions about Quinn coming in/when he took over for Blago... I do think the guy legitimately does have, at his core, the 'fight for the little guy' thing going... but - it's just been sort of scarred over by decades of liking his name in the paper, etc.

That said - I thought he was legitimately good as IL chief executive right up through his reelection. He inherited a shitstorm of a mess in a lot of ways, and I thought he was reasonably brave in dealing with them.

He went off the rails the last few years and got back to his showboating ways - the stupid pay denial to the legislature was bound to lose in the courts, wasn't necessary because the GA was actually closing in on a deal, and was just classic "Look at me! I did something tough!" Pat Quinn.

Complain about the Madigans and the like all you want - but the simple fact is that they're a fact of life in Illinois politics. They actually don't even mind when you occasionally use them as political punching bags (in some cases, they tend to relish it). But - Quinn's gone out of his way to antagonize him for no good reason.

Rauner's purported solution - basically term-limiting folks like Madigan out - would make things worse, not better. At least in the GA cage - he's subject to more scrutiny and rules... you always have the threat of a federal wiretap or investigation... Take him out of the GA - now he's an uncontrollable puppetmaster, by an large. The power of the machine has never really been having the ringleaders in office - at least, not since the Daley salad days - it's been running the wards, running the party, running the money spigots and foot soldiers.
   2014. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4673876)
#1966 I was on college campuses in the 1970s. I heard the idealistic rhetoric of the day from the young Marxists/Socialists.


Okay. Before my time. Nothing in Marx's theoretical tracts indicates a need for the perfection of man on Earth. Just that capitalism as a system can't support itself indefinitely into the future due to structural tensions, and that the "next stage" of human economic organization would be socialist. (Again, this theory has as much in common with Leninism or Stalinism as Putin's klepto-capitalism has in common with Adam Smith.) Marxism fails on a number of general fault lines, but being "utopian" isn't really one of them.
   2015. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4673878)
I make a point of not reducing you to a fascist cartoon, even though it would be very easy to do so, in order to carry on a conversation.


Wat? You've called me a fascist repeatedly. You've even gone to crazy lengths like equating Victorian-era conservatism with fascism. I just don't get all pissy about it, because I know you're talking nonsense.

I no more defend communism than you defend Putin. (In point of fact, your arguments are far more aligned with Putin's neo-fascist authoritarianism than anything I've argued for relates to "communism.")


Heh. Now I'm not saying you're a fascist or anything, but...

An intellectually honest man would return the favor. We see that you don't seem to manage that trick.


An intellectually honest man would tell the truth, not worry about whether people get butthurt when they're accurately described.
   2016. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4673880)
1. Israeli government and aviation officials aren't jumping up and down yelling, "Lood at me! Look at me! It's all about us! It's all about us!" I can assure they are infinitely more concerned with Obama's utopian views on Iran and Abbas.
2. Not only does Piers Morgan not write the content in his blog, the story references an interview between former Ambassador Oren and some dude who was guest hosting for Morgan.

Then why did you think it was important enough to bring up here?
   2017. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4673882)
Even Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines didn't accomplish this feat: SUV Crashes on Top of Q Train, NYPD Says
   2018. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4673883)
Heh. Now I'm not saying you're a fascist or anything, but...


You're certainly more of a fascist than I am a communist. So you have that going for you, Vlad.
   2019. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4673888)
Then why did you think it was important enough to bring up here?

Just because I think the story is interesting doesn't mean it should be given "whoa" status.
   2020. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4673892)
You're certainly more of a fascist than I am a communist. So you have that going for you, Vlad.


I've never said you were a communist. I've said you're a communist apologist, which you are. They are different things.
   2021. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4673893)
You're certainly more of a fascist than I am a communist.

Wasn't that one of your standard pick-up lines back in the day?
   2022. GregD Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4673894)
Eh, I'd take Quinn over Hynes (and did vote that way in the primary at the time).

Like I said, I harbored no illusions about Quinn coming in/when he took over for Blago... I do think the guy legitimately does have, at his core, the 'fight for the little guy' thing going... but - it's just been sort of scarred over by decades of liking his name in the paper, etc.

That said - I thought he was legitimately good as IL chief executive right up through his reelection. He inherited a shitstorm of a mess in a lot of ways, and I thought he was reasonably brave in dealing with them.

He went off the rails the last few years and got back to his showboating ways - the stupid pay denial to the legislature was bound to lose in the courts, wasn't necessary because the GA was actually closing in on a deal, and was just classic "Look at me! I did something tough!" Pat Quinn.

Complain about the Madigans and the like all you want - but the simple fact is that they're a fact of life in Illinois politics. They actually don't even mind when you occasionally use them as political punching bags (in some cases, they tend to relish it). But - Quinn's gone out of his way to antagonize him for no good reason.

Rauner's purported solution - basically term-limiting folks like Madigan out - would make things worse, not better. At least in the GA cage - he's subject to more scrutiny and rules... you always have the threat of a federal wiretap or investigation... Take him out of the GA - now he's an uncontrollable puppetmaster, by an large. The power of the machine has never really been having the ringleaders in office - at least, not since the Daley salad days - it's been running the wards, running the party, running the money spigots and foot soldiers.
You're there and I'm not, so I'll defer to your better-considered judgment. By 2010 we were gone so out of the loop. Quinn always seemed like a clown to me when you need a real pro in Illinois politics, but I also understand why Hynes was less than overwhelming candidate. I still haven't gotten over the voting in the 2002 Dem governor's primary!
   2023. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4673895)
Just because I think the story is interesting doesn't mean it should be given "whoa" status.

Well, fair enough, I guess. In the same regard, my reaction is exactly in response to the fact that it had enough interest to you to post it for others to see and contemplate.
   2024. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4673896)
Wasn't that one of your standard pick-up lines back in the day?


If she's hot enough, her politics are irrelevant.
   2025. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4673897)
Well, fair enough, I guess. In the same regard, my reaction is exactly in response to the fact that it had enough interest to you to post it for others to see and contemplate.

Does that mean you're also about to rake me over the coals for posting the story about the runaway SUV landing on top of the Q train? ;-)
   2026. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4673898)
I've never said you were a communist. I've said you're a communist apologist, which you are. They are different things.


Fine. You're a fascist apologist. Now we both have our names to call when we can't make a counterargument.
   2027. GregD Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4673905)
Does that mean you're also about to rake me over the coals for posting the story about the runaway SUV landing on top of the Q train? ;-)
Blatant scaremongering on behalf of the transit workers union!
   2028. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4673908)
Does that mean you're also about to rake me over the coals for posting the story about the runaway SUV landing on top of the Q train? ;-)

Don't be cute. As many of your posts on Israel, I took it seriously. I somehow doubt you didn't want it taken seriously, or you would have said so.

That said, I'm sorry for the poor Q train, it is the most useful and efficient line in the whole damned city.
   2029. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4673909)
Wasn't that one of your standard pick-up lines back in the day?


"Wanna see my means of production, baby?"
   2030. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4673910)
Does that mean you're also about to rake me over the coals for posting the story about the runaway SUV landing on top of the Q train? ;-)


Does NYC transit vocally reserve the right to shoot down any SUVs they see coming near a train again? Is that part of the new stop-and-frisk?
   2031. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4673911)
Fine. You're a fascist apologist.


You're gonna have to catch me making excuses for the excesses of a fascist regime first. That's kind of how this stuff works.

Now we both have our names to call when we can't make a counterargument.


Hell, I'm still waiting for an argument.

Wasn't that one of your standard pick-up lines back in the day?


"Wanna see my means of production, baby?"


RDF
   2032. tshipman Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4673914)
I'll put a B-REF sponsorship on the line to say it's not. It's at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. (Actual security services for various entities need to operate on the unlikely possibility that it's not, but we don't have to pretend that those odds are not very long.)


It's hard to say, but I would guesstimate at least a 10% chance that it's stashed somewhere. At this point, it clearly looks like an act of piracy by either the captain or first officer. If so, then it's at least somewhat likely that they landed it, given that they are 777 pilots.

Now, what they did with the passengers, or what happened to the plane, who knows? But it seems unlikely that a professional pilot highjacked a plane, and then crashed it.
   2033. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4673917)
But it seems unlikely that a professional pilot highjacked a plane, and then crashed it.


Agreed. I'm not sold on the pilot-hijacked theory yet.
   2034. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4673924)
But it seems unlikely that a professional pilot highjacked a plane, and then crashed it.
Agreed.


Really? If you want to start from "pilot highjacking", some non-stupid flight attendant eventually freaking out to the cabin who then rush the cockpit with the plane crashing in the confusion seems pretty likely to me.
   2035. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4673927)
Really? If you want to start from "pilot highjacking", some non-stupid flight attendant eventually freaking out to the cabin who then rush the cockpit with the plane crashing in the confusion seems pretty likely to me.


I'm simply saying that the pilot-hijacking scenario ends in the drink far less often (50%? 60%?) than any other scenario (99.999999...% of the time.)
   2036. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4673933)
Really? If you want to start from "pilot highjacking", some non-stupid flight attendant eventually freaking out to the cabin who then rush the cockpit with the plane crashing in the confusion seems pretty likely to me.


They could have climbed the plane to its operational limit and depressurized the cabin; at that altitude, everybody other than the pilots would be dead in minutes. Much easier and more humane than landing a hijacked plane and killing hundreds of terrified passengers shortly after landing. Keeping that many people alive and hidden is just too huge a logistical project; any way you slice it, those passengers are almost certainly all dead.
   2037. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4673947)
Well, at least our police departments are on the case.

Back in 2009, over 11,000 kits were found abandoned in a Detroit Police storage facility. After processing just 1,600 of them so far, Detroit has identified about 100 serial rapists and ten convicted rapists. Those perpetrators have moved on from Michigan to commit similar crimes in 23 other states.

Of course, Detroit is not alone. Nationwide, there are an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits.
   2038. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4673949)
Like everyone, I have no idea what happened to the plane. But I am >90% sure that some "fact" we're all operating with is wrong. That could be any number of things:

timeline of communication/termination of automated gear
radar detection and altitude reports
inmar sat "pings"

It's very hard to come up with a theory that accounts for all published information.

It seems hard to believe they could fly north, land and hide without being detected. But it's equally hard to believe that someone had the skill to hijack a plane, craftily avoided a lot of radar and then simply turn south to crash after flying for hours and hours. The assumption one has to make to conclude the plane didn't go north is that the nations involved (more nations the farther north and west you go) are capable of detecting and knowing they detected the plane. The assumption you have to make to conclude the plane didn't go south is that no hijacker would be so irrational.

Having said all that, I have two theories, both assuming the plane is in the drink in the far south Indian Ocean.

Both start this way: hijacker (one or both of the pilots or an actual person or persons who commandeer the plane) takes control of the flight, depressurizes the cabin and ascends. This requires that the hijacker(s) have some means to stay pressurized and explains the report that the plane went up and then down.

However, their plan to stay pressurized fails. The passengers die but the hijackers flying the plane remain alive but brain damaged. Being brain damaged, they retain some recall as to how to fly but not why or where, etc. They jink around for a bit before heading south where they crash. This scenario explains the weird paths and behavior and provides a rational reason for irrational behavior.

My second theory doesn't necessarily involve depressurization though that is the obvious way to pacify a large number of people. However, they, the passengers may well not have known headings, etc. Anyway, the turn south was to lose the plane with no trace with the goal of putting a dent in Boeing. A plane that crashes due to a mechanical problem is usually not a financial problem for the airline because people know crashes will happen and the industry has a good record of fixing problems that are found. But if no problem can be found, it can't be fixed. That could be bad for Boeing stock for a long time and cost them a lot of money in trying to find a nonexistent problem.

Anyway, the only thing I'm sure of is that probably something in the news we're all "sure" of is wrong. And that there is some key piece we don't know yet.
   2039. Gaelan Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4673953)
   2040. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4673956)

What about the electrical fire theory?


Electrical fire maybe, and it may be the most plausible explanation yet, though pulling circuit breakers and shutting down systems usually takes care of the problem. A tire fire is far less plausible, as there are sensors in the wheel well to detect such a situation. Unless that system failed simultaneously with the fire (a huge coincidence), the crew would have been warned well before it could get out of hand.
   2041. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4673960)
My second theory doesn't necessarily involve depressurization though that is the obvious way to pacify a large number of people. However, they, the passengers may well not have known headings, etc. Anyway, the turn south was to lose the plane with no trace with the goal of putting a dent in Boeing. A plane that crashes due to a mechanical problem is usually not a financial problem for the airline because people know crashes will happen and the industry has a good record of fixing problems that are found. But if no problem can be found, it can't be fixed. That could be bad for Boeing stock for a long time and cost them a lot of money in trying to find a nonexistent problem.

An effort to depress Boeing's stock price doesn't require one or more individuals to take such extreme measures.
   2042. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4673962)
Like everyone, I have no idea what happened to the plane. But I am >90% sure that some "fact" we're all operating with is wrong.


Agreed. It's not uncommon in any kind of investigation to have a certain proportion of the data simply not compatible with the rest of the known facts. There are always anomalies. Some people use them to spin conspiracy theories.
   2043. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4673963)
I think every nation has the right to shoot down planes in its territory. That is kind how it works. If you shoot down a plane though there will be repercussions, even if you are Israel, at a state of high tension. People will complain to various levels, even those that are not anti-semitic. Shooting down planes is not something that should be done lightly.

Nothing regarding the truly odd malaysian flight changes any of that.
   2044. GregD Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4673967)
What about the electrical fire theory?


This Slate response to that theory is interesting
   2045. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4673969)
Jason, I made it sound like hurting their stock price was the only goal. I'm thinking more a disgruntled employee type situation. It doesn't fit well but I'm at a loss as to why to fly way the hell south just to crash (the fire theory, with some tweaks could answer that (see below) but you have to assume an in-flight disaster that incapacitates the pilots and/or controls but allows the plane to fly on for six or seven hours after several course corrections).

As to the fire theory, the problems I see:

1) as Duck says, a tire fire would trip sensors. I would think most fires capable of the needed damage would.

2) I get turning back toward the nearest airport but a) they overfly it and continue to maneuver, b) the turn was apparently made by inputting a code into the computer - that requires power and, I would think (I'm not a pilot) wouldn't be the quickest way to turn. Such a fire would (wouldn't it?) disengage the autopilot, requiring the pilot to manually fly the plane, which I'd think would also be the quickest way to turn. Now, I can imagine that having overflown the field (though it doesn't seem they got anywhere near that field), one might be tempted to turn again to come back and that might put them on course for the inmar sat ping arcs. But a single turn toward the field and then everyone passes out doesn't fit the ping data arcs. And then you have to assume a fire that incapacitates everyone but doesn't affect the integrity of the plane such that it flies on for six hours. That takes some weirdness. Though, obviously, weird is probably in order in this case.

Again, throw out the pings or throw out the fact that the turn was inputted into the computer and the fire theory looks better. That may actually be the way to bet: fire/decompression but they aren't on the arcs derived from the satellite pings.*


I do agree with that pilot with the fire theory that concluding the pilots were the bad guys isn't fair without a lot more data and corroboration. IF you conclude foul play is involved, it's a lot easier to imagine an external agent than an internal agent.

My reasoning for concluding foul play was involved is the timeline. If any of the timeline data is wrong, that probably moves accident up the list.

It's an interesting question why so many are so interested. I guess everyone loves a mystery.


* In which case, that plane is never getting found.
   2046. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4673976)
I do agree with that pilot with the fire theory that concluding the pilots were the bad guys isn't fair without a lot more data and corroboration. IF you conclude foul play is involved, it's a lot easier to imagine an external agent than an internal agent.

With the addition of armor-plated doors industry-wide, I would think the opposite is true.
   2047. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4673978)
Eliana Johnson weighs in on candidate Rauner:
Rauner’s targets didn’t take it lying down: The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Democratic Governors Association spent north of $3 million attacking him and trying to divert votes to one of Rauner’s primary opponents, state senator Kirk Dillard.

That’s far more than Democrats spent — $1.2 million — trying to steer Republican votes to Todd Akin in the 2012 Senate primary in Missouri, where Akin was viewed as the weakest candidate to take on vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill.

In the Illinois race, Dillard not only received money and support from some Democrats, but he also earned the endorsement of one big union. “My advice is that, if you are a suburban or downstate Democrat or independent and you care about public education, you should vote in the Republican primary for Kirk Dillard,” Illinois Education Association president Cindy Klickna told union members. The union also sent pamphlets to its members urging them to support Dillard. Almost twice as many votes were cast in the Republican primary this year than the Democratic one — though Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn was essentially unopposed, the healthier GOP turnout suggests some union members may have crossed the aisle to cast votes. Rauner beat Dillard 40 percent to 37. ...

Illinois unions are petrified that a Rauner victory could bring similar reforms to President Obama’s home state, where Democrats have maintained control of the governor’s office and both legislative chambers for over a decade. “Illinois is the last holdout for labor power,” says a senior Rauner adviser. “It has the highest unemployment rate and the worst pension labor debt. Rauner is taking this fight on. None of the other Republicans are willing to do that because they fear the power of labor.” ...

On the stump, Rauner is straightforward, even cheeky. Given his success in private equity, he’s often been compared to his party’s 2012 presidential nominee, even getting tagged the “Mitt Romney of Illinois.”

“I am a very different person from Mitt Romney,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I drink beer. I smoke a cigar. I use a gun. I ride a Harley. My grandparents lived in a double-wide trailer. I’m a salesman. He’s an analyst.” He describes himself as a feisty guy and calls Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels his political mentors.
   2048. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4673980)
With the addition of armor-plated doors industry-wide, I would think the opposite is true.

The talk in the press is that non-US pilots are not particularly vigilant about locking those doors. I have no idea if that is true.
   2049. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4673989)
The talk in the press is that non-US pilots are not particularly vigilant about looking those doors. I have no idea if that is true.

I have never flown Malaysia or any other East Asia-based airline, but haven't noticed any deviations from proper procedure on board discount carriers Pegasus, AtlasJet, and AirBaltic.
   2050. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4673990)
I'm not saying one shouldn't investigate the pilots. If you conclude foul play was involved, they should be a suspect, obviously. I just think it a lot more likely the perp is someone else.
   2051. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4673992)
I have never flown Malaysia or any other East Asia-based airline, but haven't noticed any deviations from proper procedure on board discount carriers Pegasus, AtlasJet, and AirBaltic.

You really flew on those airlines, or did you just make those names up now? If they're real, your a braver man than I am, Gunga Din.
   2052. Ron J2 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4673997)
A turn that will surprise none of the regulars here: Kevin Trudeau gets 10 years (for violating a court order about deceptive weight loss infomercials.)
   2053. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4673998)
You really flew on those airlines, or did you just make those names up now? If they're real, your a braver man than I am, Gunga Din.


Or he's travelling regionally around Turkey and the Baltics. Which he does. Pegasus is a pretty big Turkish carrier.
   2054. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4674006)
Leonid Bershidsky on Putin's Crimean theater speech.

Then it was time to attack the U.S. "Our Western partners headed by the United States of America prefer, in their practical policies, to rely not on international law but on the right of the strong," he thundered. "They came to believe in being the chosen, in their exclusivity, in being allowed to determine the world's destinies, in always being right. They act as they choose: Here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions on the principle of whoever is not for us is against us."


   2055. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4674013)
Pilot hijacking is uncommon, but pilot suicide is not. One of my side hobbies is air crash forensics, and it looks like the smart money is that the plane was flown out to the middle of the Indian Ocean to run out of gas and crash.
   2056. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4674016)
The only people here misreading my overall contributions are people ideologically incented to pretend that I'm arguing for "communism" and "totalitarianism." Namely, you, Snapper, SugarBear and the GOP operatives (Clapper, Kehoskie.)

I've never once suggested or insinuated that you're arguing for communism or totalitarianism.

What I have suggested and insinuated -- and I'll repeat -- is that your words and thoughts are the words and thoughts of a 21st century fellow traveler whose sentimental ancestors are found in the fellow travelers of the 30s and 40s, who also never found an apologia or justification for Russian aggression and oppression that they couldn't adopt. Moreover, you've oft-adopted the cynical sophistry -- "America invades places, too!!" -- so beloved of Putin and his apologists and currently on display in virtually every utterance they make.

If there's "complexity" in those words and thoughts that make that a false conclusion, it's incumbent on the communicator and not the reader to clarify.
   2057. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4674017)
zop, can you give some cites for commercial aviators who have committed suicide? I know of two cases. I know of dozens of hijackings and attempted hijackings.

EDIT: sorry, I see you said, "Pilot hijacking". Sure, I think it's unprecedented if you exclude the two pilot suicides. Still, I leave my first sentence because I would be interested in that reading.
   2058. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4674019)
Suicide is difficult enough to understand; slow-motion suicide as described above seems incomprehensible.
   2059. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4674020)
Leonid Bershidsky on Putin's Crimean theater speech.

He scored some rhetorical points against the US, but he also lied and lied and lied and lied -- as he's done since Ukraine began flaring up. Almost everything he says about it, and has his lackeys say, is a lie.

Shall we hear from you a cataloging of these lies? Or do you have nothing more to offer than "America's done some bad stuff, too"?
   2060. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4674021)
I am so ####### thrilled I get to listen to all this for a month before I fly to Mexico. I hate flying.
   2061. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4674022)
Moreover, you've oft-adopted the cynical sophistry -- "America invades places, too!!" -- so beloved of Putin and his apologists and currently on display in virtually every utterance they make.


If Actor X routinely flaunts international law and convention when it suits them, because they have the power to do so, any complaint they have about Actor Y flaunting international law and convention when they have the will and the power to do so is, by definition, undermined. In short, "America invades places too" isn't a defense of invading places. It's a relevant point as to why the world in general doesn't take America seriously when she complains that Russia invades places. Read the excerpt and link @2054. Vlad Putin is more or less quoting W. Bush in his propaganda piece about "protecting Russians" in Crimea. The point isn't to defend rampant imperialism. The point is that a nation who is notorious worldwide for her rampant imperialism over the last 15 years has no moral authority to ##### and moan when the other guy does the same thing.

No, your claims that US imperialism isn't really imperialism because "reasons and stuff" is still weightless fluff and wishcasting.
   2062. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4674025)
Shall we hear from you a cataloging of these lies? Or do you have nothing more to offer than "America's done some bad stuff, too"?


You mean like linking to an article where Bershidsky explicitly calls Putin's lies out? I mean, would that count as cataloging, or do I have to copy and paste all of Bershidsky's points here so you get the Rickey! screen name in front of them?

Jesus.
   2063. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4674027)
never found an apologia or justification


There is a difference between explaining someone's actions and what their motivation is and "apologia and justification".

Do you have examples of Rickey! in apologia mode? Because mostly I remember him stating why Putin was acting the way he was, rather than trying to say it was OK why he was acting that way.

Explaining why a suicide bomber acts the way they do (in more nuanced terms than "them's bad") is light years from saying it is OK that they act that way.

EDIT: Or Rickey! can handle this and I will go back to sobbing at my PC as my lovely project is caught up in hell.
   2064. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4674028)
It's a relevant point as to why the world in general doesn't take America seriously when she complains that Russia invades places.

We're not talking about the rest of the world and their thoughts. We're talking about the people on the board and their thoughts.

Do American actions in the past justify what Russia has done in Crimea and Ukraine?

The point is that a nation who has notorious worldwide for her rampant imperialism over the last 15 years has no moral authority to ##### and moan when the other guy does the same thing.


So like I said, your first impulse is to find an apologia for Russian lies and aggression and adopt it. That's the impulse of the fellow traveler.

And you're of course entirely wrong on the merits. The United States hasn't invaded and annexed the territory of another nation in any of our lifetimes (or way before, if memory serves).
   2065. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4674029)
If Actor X routinely flaunts international law and convention when it suits them, because they have the power to do so, any complaint they have about Actor Y flaunting international law and convention when they have the will and the power to do so is, by definition, undermined. In short, "America invades places too" isn't a defense of invading places. It's a relevant point as to why the world in general doesn't take America seriously when she complains that Russia invades places. Read the excerpt and link @2054. Vlad Putin is more or less quoting W. Bush in his propaganda piece about "protecting Russians" in Crimea. The point isn't to defend rampant imperialism. The point is that a nation who is notorious worldwide for her rampant imperialism over the last 15 years has no moral authority to ##### and moan when the other guy does the same thing.


I endorse this as a reasonable argument that I generally agree with.

   2066. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4674031)
Do American actions in the past justify what Russia has done in Crimea and Ukraine?


No, #######. Putin's Crimean power play is as immoral and wrong as our invasion of Iraq. Though to date, less bloody.

The United States hasn't invaded and annexed the territory of another nation in any of our lifetimes (or way before, if memory serves).


Willfully defining imperialism down so that it doesn't include the type of imperialism the US practices doesn't make US methods less imperial. It just makes you the apologist for imperialism (by us) while whinging about imperialism (by them.)
   2067. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4674036)
Willfully defining imperialism down so that it doesn't include the type of imperialism the US practices doesn't make US methods less imperial. It just makes you the apologist for imperialism (by us) while whinging about imperialism (by them.)

I write and think more precisely than in sloganeering terms like "imperialism." When you do that, you're better able to tease out the similarities and differences between things to see if they're, you know, actually similar or different. You should try it some time; it's quite liberating.

Putin's Crimean power play is as immoral and wrong as our invasion of Iraq.

It's more immoral and wrong. Plus, the two things don't have much to do with each other. Putin didn't say to himself, "Well, the US invaded Iraq, I think I'll invade Crimea tomorrow." He's using it as an ex post justification to do something entirely unrelated -- and his fellow travelers and amen chorus are gleefully joining in.

   2068. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4674038)
Do American actions in the past justify what Russia has done in Crimea and Ukraine?



No, #######. Putin's Crimean power play is as immoral and wrong as our invasion of Iraq. Though to date, less bloody.


Wait. Let me walk that back a bit. While Putin's annexation of Crimea is morally wrong and to be condemned (which I have done repeatedly for anyone actually reading my posts,) Russia actually has more interest and business in Crimea and Ukraine than the US had in Iraq. While both actions are morally repugnant on their own merits, our Iraqi adventure was actually more imperial than Russia's reclaiming Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. There's actually some history and a plurality of Crimeans who honestly embrace Russia as a "liberator." Not as many as the show-trial of a "vote" would indicate, but probably enough to have carried the resolution in a fairly contested vote nonetheless.
   2069. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4674039)
I write and think more precisely than in terms like "imperialism."


No you don't.
   2070. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4674040)
There's actually some history and a plurality of Crimeans who honestly embrace Russia as a "liberator." Not as many as the show-trial of a "vote" would indicate, but probably enough to have carried the resolution in a fairly contested vote nonetheless.

No there's not. Just shy of 60% of Crimeans voted for independence in the 1991 referendum and the most recent serious poll (a couple years old) showed that sentiment essentially unchanged. I've cited both polls more than once in this thread -- and they're easily accessible for anyone who wants to find them.

So in other words, you're making #### up and lying again. The only reason people do that is that they want to believe in what they're lying and making #### up about. When people lie and make #### up to believe in Vladimir Putin, they're quite reasonably called fellow travelers.



   2071. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4674041)

I have never flown Malaysia or any other East Asia-based airline, but haven't noticed any deviations from proper procedure on board discount carriers Pegasus, AtlasJet, and AirBaltic.

There was apparently an actual incident of deviation from proper procedure involving the co-pilot of this very Malaysia Airlines flight.
   2072. Publius Publicola Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4674043)
I flew Air Malaysia once in the early nineties, going from Taipai to KL via Kota Kinabalu. It was a 747 and the landing in Kita was the HARDEST I've ever experienced. The plane felt like it was dropped straight down on the Tarmac from a 15 ft platform. Scary. I can't imagine the landing hear could survive too many of those.

The other thing I remember is that the food was really good. Even in coach, the steak was filet and you could have all the French red wine you wanted gratis.
   2073. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4674048)
No there's not. Just shy of 60% of Crimeans voted for independence in the 1991 referendum


1991 is not 2014.
   2074. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4674050)
No there's not. Just shy of 60% of Crimeans voted for independence in the 1991 referendum and the most recent serious poll (a couple years old) showed that sentiment essentially unchanged.


So your argument against the idea that a plurality of Crimeans wanted to separate from the Ukraine is two polls that say a majority of Crimeans wanted to separate from the Ukraine?
   2075. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4674053)
So your argument against the idea that a plurality of Crimeans wanted to separate from the Ukraine is two polls that say a majority of Crimeans wanted to separate from the Ukraine?


We would also need to see the breakdown of the crosstabs, no? If the referedum was for Crimean independence and 30% or whatever opposed independence not because they wanted to be Ukrainians, but because they wanted to be Russians. It's similar to the argument that a majority opposes the ACA without noting that some significant percentage of opposition comes from people who oppose it because it's not universal single payer.
   2076. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4674054)
1991 is not 2014.

The other poll was in 2012 and sentiment was actually less in Crimea then. To repeat, the polls are easily accessible.

Your assertion that a referendum to go to Russia would have carried in a fair election is a complete invention and your desire to believe that speaks volumes.
   2077. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4674056)
Putin's Crimean power play is as immoral and wrong as our invasion of Iraq.

It's more immoral and wrong.


How so?
   2078. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4674057)
We would also need to see the breakdown of the crosstabs, no?


the new 538.com has a couple of articles on polling in Crimea
   2079. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4674059)
Your assertion that a referendum to go to Russia would have carried in a fair election is a complete invention and your desire to believe that speaks volumes.


I'm actually quoting a knowledgeable source. Again, from the Bershidsky link above:

Having witnessed the winter revolution in Kiev, I will never accept the assertion that former president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown by Western-trained "neo-Nazis." I saw ordinary Ukrainians armed with sticks and makeshift shields manning the barricades. It is similarly hard to accept as genuine the hasty Crimean referendum held in an area occupied by Russian troops posing as "Crimean self-defense forces," to use Putin's term. A fair, well-organized and properly observed vote would have yielded the same results, but it was not held.


But you keep trying to write that reality out of the picture, because it suits your ideological needs. I refuse to ignore the world. You may continue to pretend that Russian leaning citizens don't exist in numbers in both Crimea and eastern Ukraine if you like. It's nothing but delusion, but I guess you value your stories about the world more than you do reality.
   2080. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4674060)
Well at least no one is trying to argue that the Iraqis wanted the US to invade.

Honestly I don't think people wanting an invasion really has any bearing on the matter though. I support Crimea and its people the ability to become independent if they want, and I think independent nations can join other nations if they want. I think that is different than joining Russia after the tanks have rolled.

But seriously SBB what is the difference between the US invading Iraq and Russia invading Crimea. There are differences, but I am interested in what you think the significant ones are.
   2081. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4674065)
the new 538.com has a couple of articles on polling in Crimea


I'm not really sure what the point of this article is.
   2082. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4674066)
So your argument against the idea that a plurality of Crimeans wanted to separate from the Ukraine is two polls that say a majority of Crimeans wanted to separate from the Ukraine?

Huh? The vote in Crimea for Ukrainian independence from Russia in 1991 was almost 60%. It was way higher everywhere else, including E. Ukraine, which you and Sam (and others) are also lying and making #### up about.
   2083. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4674067)
Crimea might like to be independent but the fact is, it can't be. It simply isn't strong enough to keep Russia out. It isn't strong enough to keep the Ukraine out, either, for that matter. Their choice is pretty much Ukraine or Russia. If I were them, I'd probably want to be Russian, too.

I think all the moral/immoral talk is crap. That isn't the way the world works. Morality is a nice talking point for the politicians but who holds what territory goes well beyond that, even today. Neither Europe nor the USA are going to war to keep Crimea free. If Russia wants it, it's there. There aren't enough sanctions to prevent it, either. The moral discussion is PR - justification for Putin, outrage for the US. I'm surprised anyone takes moral imperatives seriously in foreign relations. Nations - the US, Russia, Serbia, New Zealand, etc. - decide what is in their best interest, do it, and then justify it using whichever popular argument they can come up with. In the 19th century, Christians had to be protected. Today it's citizens. But the game is played well before the speeches get made.
   2084. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4674068)
But you keep trying to write that reality out of the picture, because it suits your ideological needs.

That isn't reality; it's one guy's speculation. Jesus, you don't even know what reality is.

Yeah, once Russia started agitating, the numbers in Crimea might have changed from 2012. The numbers in E. Ukraine will probably change with Russian agitation and propaganda and lies -- that's a big reason Russia is agitating and propagandizing and lying.

But only apologists or fellow travelers would cite the speculative, agitated numbers as representing anything "real."
   2085. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4674069)
Putin's Crimean power play is as immoral and wrong as our invasion of Iraq.

It's more immoral and wrong.

How so?


Crimea isn't threatening Russia with its weapons of mass destruction.
   2086. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4674071)
Crimea might like to be independent but the fact is, it can't be. It simply isn't strong enough to keep Russia out. It isn't strong enough to keep the Ukraine out, either, for that matter. Their choice is pretty much Ukraine or Russia. If I were them, I'd probably want to be Russian, too.


Why? Ukraine's government has been hopelessly corrupt but it was never as thuggish as Putin's.

Anyway, it seems that Ukraine has decided to pull its troops out of Crimea (which makes military sense since basically they are just [potential] hostages now.
Plus, the Ukrainophones in charge in Kiev now are probably not upset over losing Crimea (never lose a national election to a Russophone again is what they're thinking)- Kiev is worried about whether Russia will stop at the Crimea, and they are also concerned about continued interference in Ukraine's domestic politics.
   2087. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4674073)
That isn't reality; it's one guy's speculation. Jesus, you don't even know what reality is.


I have the instincts of a guy friendly to the Ukrainian position who was on the ground in Kiev during the Maiden demonstrations. You have a poll from 2012 and a vote in 1991. I think I'm comfortable with being the guy that's reality based here.
   2088. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4674074)
But only apologists or fellow travelers would cite the speculative, agitated numbers as representing anything "real."


So all of the US polls showing massive support for the Iraqi invasion in 2002 weren't "real" because they were based on propaganda and lies?
   2089. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4674076)
I have the instincts of a guy friendly to the Ukrainian position who was on the ground in Kiev during the Maiden demonstrations.

You obviously can't read. The fact that the numbers may have changed from 2012 and 1991 was stipulated.

(And, yes, polls are a far better measurement than one guy -- and it's laughable to suggest otherwise, lest Joe K. or Peggy Noonan's vibrations be the "reality" of the 2012 election -- but that's rather beside the point.)
   2090. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4674077)
So all of the US polls showing massive support for the Iraqi invasion in 2002 weren't "real" because they were based on propaganda and lies?

They were agitated numbers, clearly. What else were they?
   2091. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4674080)
They were agitated numbers, clearly. What else were they?


I'm just trying to establish how universal your opposition to "agitation" is. It seems that any attempt to persuade and change opinions is "agitation" of some sort or another.
   2092. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4674081)

Huh? The vote in Crimea for Ukrainian independence from Russia in 1991 was almost 60%.


Ah, I thought you were talking about the 1991 vote regarding whether Crimea ought to separate from Ukraine, which got 91% support.
   2093. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4674082)
I'm just trying to establish how universal your opposition to "agitation" is.

Pretty universal apparently.

Was that some kind of gotcha? Nationalistic, patriotic, militaristic fervor and propaganda changes poll numbers and opinion. This is a shock?

Russia is trying (and likely succeeding) to #### disturb public opinion to its side. Who would possibly accept a public opinion poll in this atmosphere as measuring anything other than fleeting and temporary, if not outright irrational?

   2094. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4674085)
Russia is trying (and likely succeeding) to #### disturb public opinion to its side. Who would possibly accept a public opinion poll in this atmosphere as measuring anything other than fleeting and temporary, if not outright irrational?


Deciders.
   2095. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4674087)
Nationalistic, patriotic, militaristic fervor and propaganda changes poll numbers and opinion. This is a shock?


No. But when, exactly, is patriotic fervor not surging when a polity is deciding their very national identity. The only question that matters is "do a majority of Crimeans prefer Russia to Ukraine?" That may or may not be the case, and Russia clearly didn't wait to have a real referendum, but to pretend that the answer is obviously "no" is blindered propaganda the other way.
   2096. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4674091)
The only question that matters is "do a majority of Crimeans prefer Russia to Ukraine?" That may or may not be the case, and Russia clearly didn't wait to have a real referendum, but to pretend that the answer is obviously "no" is blindered propaganda the other way.

I'm "pretending" no such thing. The case that the answer is "no" is far stronger than the counter-case, given the 1991 and 2012 polls, both having to do with Crimea's "very national identity."

None of which answers any important question anyway. The referendum was entirely illegal, and conducted at the point of a gun.(*) A nation doesn't get to invade the territory of another nation, hold a sham referendum in said territory, and take said territory for itself.

(*) AT GUNPOINT!!!!
   2097. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4674093)
A nation doesn't get to invade the territory of another nation, hold a sham referendum in said territory, and take said territory for itself.


Apparently it does.
   2098. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4674096)
A nation doesn't get to invade the territory of another nation, hold a sham referendum in said territory, and take said territory for itself.


What am I missing here? The puppet government or the celebratory photo-op on an aircraft carrier?
   2099. Srul Itza Posted: March 19, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4674098)
And the Great Power Game goes on and on.

Europe seeks to bind the Ukraine to it by treaty and trade.

Putin counters by co-opting freely elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych with aid and who knows what else.

Europe counters by re-offering trade and supporting Europhiliac/Russophobic* protesters.

Putin counters by encouraging/directing Yanukovych to crack down on the protesters, which he does with live ammunition.

This display of cold-blooded suppression backfires, big time, and now everybody want Yanukovych's scalp. Europe takes advantage by threatening sanctions against Yanukovych and supporting the rest of the power structure in Kiev, which ditches Yanukovych and turn more to Europe, while Yanukovych flees one step ahead of a Truth Commission/International Court of Justice War Crimes Panel/Lynch Mob.

Putin counters by sending troops to seize the Crimea and agitating against the rest of Ukraine. He says he is not going to try to take any more Ukrainian territory. And Putin is an honorable man. They are all, all, honorable men. Still, I wouldn't invest in Eastern Ukrainian Real Estate at this moment.

The West counters by being shocked, shocked that Putin would do in Crimea what he did in South Ossetia. They (and we) threaten pusillanimous sanctions, while probably calculating that (a) this is a fait accompli; (b) at least we get the rest of the Ukraine out of it; and (c) as noted above, with Crimea gone, the balance in the country tips more Western.

So Russia now has the Crimea, a prize it has coveted for centuries, but was never able to get its hand on . . . except for the actual and effective control it has had over it for over 200 years, control it was never going to relinquish in anyone's wildest dreams. Meanwhile, we have an opportunity to reverse defense budget cuts and build up Nato forces in Russia's "near abroad", and nobody is going to say "but we can't do that, because it would upset relations with Putin," and we also have a chance to speed up Europe's efforts to wean itself from dependence on Russian energy supplies. Whether we actually seize the opportunity to do any of that, of course, is an open question.

Frankly, I am very concerned that we will miss this opportunity to weaken Russia in the long run, while giving up nothing but a Crimean Peninsula that Russia was never going to relinquish. But the chance is there.




*Not to suggest that Russophobia is irrational. A healthy dose of Russophobia is a good thing.

   2100. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4674110)
Frankly, I am very concerned that we will miss this opportunity to weaken Russia in the long run, while giving up nothing but a Crimean Peninsula that Russia was never going to relinquish. But the chance is there.


Appeaser.
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