Morning Ed: World {2017.04.27.Th}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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63 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    Fintan O’Toole: This link doesn’t mention Brexit at all. It’s about removing the president of Ireland.

    Kremlin Troll: Yeah, you expected massive success? The Kremlin needs to do what the US does…set up a bunch of “good gov’t” NGOs and have them destabilize countries they are “helping”.

    Dude, you think this is innate to Canadian steers and beavers? The steers were simply curious. Probably never seen a beaver before.Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    Prized possessions” not “priced possessions”. I opened the link expecting children with toys that were hideously expensive.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    It’s kinda odd that Scott Ritter thinks the problems that have bedeviled American missile defense efforts for a generation or more have somehow been solved by the Russians.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe says:

      I want to know how Russia managed to not only experience the breakthroughs in both materials science & rocket technology that would be necessary for this to be even close to true, and no one noticed.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Kolohe says:

      “It’s kinda odd that Scott Ritter thinks the problems that have bedeviled American missile defense efforts for a generation or more have somehow been solved by the Russians.”

      The RS-28 is not a defensive system. It is purely a first-strike counterforce weapon, the kind of thing that would have definitely started a war in the 1970s and has a really good chance of starting one now.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Right, but this is in the piece near the end

        And Russia is on the verge of completing the deployment of its own anti-missile shield, one that will seal off its air space to bombers, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, negating in totality America’s nuclear triad.

        That’s a rather bold claim, and should be, if true, the main topic of discussion – not the RS-28.

        The Russians have *always* loved their super speed super weapons – e.g.Alphas, Svkal, that super MiG from the 70s – and they always get everyone’s attention. But nearly always, the super speed super weapons have jack squat in terms of reliabilty and/or accuracy, and so become expensive white elephants.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Kolohe says:

          The Russians were recently touting a supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that they said could fly at 4600 mph (Mach 6), and which our ships would be defenseless against. I crunched some numbers to compare its inevitable fuel consumption against an SR-71 flying at Mach 3 and 85,000 feet. At sea level, the relative drag at Mach 6 would be 222 times larger than for an object at Mach 3 and 85,000 feet. Thus their cruise missile would have a very, very short range. To reach anything at all, it’s going to have to stay high and dive on the target.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    the general trendline was a small Obama bump when he got elected, then an erosion of positive feeling towards the US over the course of his term. But for the most part, countries have either liked or not liked the US on a consistent basis for the past 15 years.
    Some exceptions – Russia’s opinion of the US cratered late in the Obama presidency, and Spain’s opinion cratered late in Bush’s, but recovered after he was gone. (Which I’m pretty sure has everything to do with the Iraq war and the major terrorist attack on Spain in that time period)

    I would bet that the 2017 survey will see an average of a 10 point drop from any country with an existing net fav rating (and probably some small recovery in Russian opinion, but still sharply neg)Report

  5. Marchmaine says:

    I’d like to see the 92/7 favorables with the Philippines benchmarked against other countries… From the many Filippinos (Filippini? Philippians?) I’ve met and know, I’m guessing 7% unfavorables might be really high…Report

  6. Brandon Berg says:

    What’s with Vietnam? We blew it up and still failed to save it from the Communists, who have controlled the schools and media for like 50 years. How hard can it be to get your people to hate America under those circumstances?Report

    • pillsy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      In the intervening years they fought (and won) a war with the PRC.

      We’re allies now.

      It’s a strange old world.

      (Also, AIUI they’ve gone through a set of market reforms similar to the Chinese, and aren’t really communists anymore.)Report

      • Joe Sal in reply to pillsy says:

        My wager is that China will have 60% or more of the population willing to produce a armed civil revolt for a individualist republic by 2049.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Joe Sal says:

          Seems plausible. The grinding poverty will be far enough in the rear view mirror that the “Communist” Party will no longer get much mileage out of raising hundreds of millions of people out of it, and the corruption and authoritarianism will seem like pure loss.Report

          • Joe Sal in reply to pillsy says:

            I don’t know if poverty is a overarching parameter, just that there is about a hundred year life span from:
            “we’re all in this together, just let us vanguards take care of the big stuff”
            “meh, each commoner knows what’s best for their individual interest”.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Joe Sal says:

              Hell, most of the other worker’s paradises saw the wheels come off much faster than that.

              The USSR lasted about 70 years, and the PRC has been around just about the same length of time now.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to pillsy says:

                I don’t think China communism stabilized until 1949, also it takes about 15 years to embrace individualism after that particular leviathan bites the dust.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to pillsy says:

                The PRC managed the pivot (and the crackdown) where the USSR failed, right there in 1989.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to pillsy says:

                The USSR fell apart, but it’s not like Russia went all civil-rights-y and turned its back on authoritarianism and corruption.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to dragonfrog says:

                America is one of the more individualist nations, yet we are still fighting authoritarianism and corruption, well after getting all civil-rights-y.

                (100 years later, regulators mount up)Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Sure, nowhere is free of them.

                I don’t know how much of a meaningful embrace of individualism there’s been in Russia though. (it’s entirely possible there has been – I’m not Russian, nor could I plausibly play a Russian on television.)

                To be an authoritarian in the US, you at least have to be a bit sneaky about it, setting up your authoritarianism in a somewhat plausible language of individualism and liberty.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to dragonfrog says:

                Something I read indicated Russia was about 63% individualist now.

                America has real problems between the two freedoms.Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy says:

        Having a ton of your people escape to the US and stay in touch with family members back home probably has an effect. So does the fact that the US was fighting against their terrible government rather than installing it.

        Plus the people who remember how things were pre-communism are still around and not too old, which makes it a lot harder to replace actual history with propaganda. I think that in order to wash those memories out, you need to clamp down for generations, and the heavy-handed communist totalitarianism just didn’t last quite long enough to make it happen.Report

        • Troublesome Frog in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

          Along the same lines, I wonder what a mess we’ll have on our hands when North Korea eventually returns to the rest of the world. That place has been a crazy alternative reality long enough that it must be hard find senior leadership who aren’t too soaked in propaganda to act effectively on the world stage.

          Keeping a lid on a country such that your people don’t even have enough information to form actual opinions about the rest of the world is hard, but North Korea seems to be the closest to actually pulling it off.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

            Thing is, when Germany united, they got a bunch of hearty Germans. When Korea unites, they’re inheriting prison camp survivors. I read something estimating that, of the upcoming generation, 33% would be exempted from military service due to developmental malnutrition.Report

            • Troublesome Frog in reply to Pinky says:

              That seems like the least of their problems, though (aside from the long term health care cost drain). It seems like the rough equivalent of grabbing a few million people from the 14th century and trying to integrate them into the greater Los Angles area. You’re going to have health problems, but there’s also the task of unteaching a lot of nonsense and trying to get them up to speed on how modern societies actually work and what’s going on in the world.

              Hopefully humans continue to be adaptable.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      We have great approval rates among countries near China and the old Soviet Union. That should tell you that your narrative is false.Report

  7. notme says:

    ACLU defends Coulter: ‘We must protect speech’ via Tweet.

    I’m glad they can at least give lip service to this issue.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to notme says:

      Liberals are either violently blocking free speech or paying mere lip service to its defense.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Also, if you look at the actual complaints that led the YAF and UCR to give up, it’s actually pretty ridiculous, IMO.

        Like, if Berkeley had stuck to the cancellation they would be undeniably in the right. But a different venue a week later?

        Gimme a break.Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

      I don’t think you can really make the argument that they’ve been inconsistent on free speech. In fact, their actions and public statements always seem to be consistent with the core positions they’ve staked out. You may disagree with those core positions, but I don’t think you can really say that they’re hypocrites anywhere.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        Sure he can – isn’t “hypocrite” just a synonym for “liberal”?Report

      • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        Do you mean the ACLU? I think the amount of energy the ACLU is willing to put into Ann Coulter’s speech issue is less then for other groups they favor more. The ACLU put out a milquetoast statement to appear to be relevant.Report

        • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

          Yes. The same “they” you were referring to.

          I don’t think Ann Coulter has a shortage of funds or supporters, so I’m not sure why they’d spend limited resources doing… whatever it is you think they should be doing.

          But like everybody else online, you have the mind reading skills to know that they don’t really mean what they say, even though nothing they’re doing is inconsistent with them meaning it. Those bastards.Report

          • pillsy in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

            I wouldn’t necessarily make that assumption.

            Of course the ACLU calls Coulter’s speech hateful because (a) duh, and (b) they can more effectively protect that kind of speech on campus if they do. A lot of people who are on the fence about this are on the fence because they either (totally wrongly) believe that there’s a difference between “hate speech” and “free speech” [1], or because they have a sneaking suspicion that people defending the speech are doing so because they don’t think it’s that bad (which isn’t always wrong).

            The statement made by the ACLU clearly lays out the principle they’re defending while signaling to people who may be suspicious that they aren’t defending Coulter because they like her. People concerned about attempts to suppress right-wing speech on campus should be doing more of that, rather then less.

            (They should also be paying a lot more attention to attempts to suppress left-wing speech on campus, but that can wait for another comment.)

            [1] See Howard Dean for a particularly cringeworthy recent example.Report

            • Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy says:

              I think we fully agree here.

              The statement made by the ACLU clearly lays out the principle they’re defending while signaling to people who may be suspicious that they aren’t defending Coulter because they like her.

              It surprises me that people find this hard to accept. It’s like the “punching Nazis” debate when people on the far left were shocked to find out how many of their friends were actually big fans of Nazis. Or at least, that’s the conclusion they reached because they couldn’t understand that you can support a principle like, “Don’t physically hurt people for their political statements,” for everybody rather than just selectively.Report

          • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

            I’ve seen the ACLU host press conferences and file lawsuits for things they really believe in. I think the level of their interest depends on whose speech is at issue.Report

            • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

              One of the signs that you’re not thinking clearly and are really just rooting for your team is when you can’t wrap your head around the idea that somebody from the other team agrees with you on something.

              There has to be a catch somewhere. Maybe it’s a false flag operation to make everybody think they believe in Ann Coulter’s right to speak but they’re somehow going to change it up on us when it really matters. It can’t just be that the ACLU, which consistently comes down on the side of free speech every single time, actually supports free speech for everybody.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                Yah, this.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Stillwater says:

                In any case, the ACLU has spent resources supporting Nazis, the KKK, the Westboro Baptist Church, Rush Limabaugh, and probably a bunch of other groups I’m not remembering. The idea that they’re not actively suing to support Coulter because she offends their delicate snowflake leftist sensibilities is just dumb. The more likely explanation is:

                1) Ann Coulter has a bunch of money and doesn’t need free legal support. They might file something if there was an actual court case, but…
                2) She lost her invitation, so she doesn’t really have standing to sue. It’s not clear what kind of legal action should be taken.

                We don’t need to invoke 11-dimensional chess as described by Saul Alinsky and paid for by George Soros to understand the situation.Report