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April 15th, 2014

12:46 am - grauniad is so grauniad

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March 20th, 2014

08:42 am - guideline to red lines
Across the pond POV:

Those who are calling for tougher actions against Russia in the form of troop deployments have not thought it through. They are using 1914 military doctrine when they live in 2014.

The great irony is that our high-priced militaries, built to deter Russia but fraudulently turned against Iraq, now turn out to also be incapable of performing their advertised purpose. Oh, they could still draw a red line closer to home that the Russians would respect, I give them that. But four nuclear submarines could do that.

We are told the EU is weak. But EU members' collective military spending is many times Russia's, never mind the crazy US spending. Together our armies outspend Russia more than ten to one. But none of this intimidates Russia, not even US conventional military power. Because Russia is secure behind its nuclear shield.

Every aspect of our relationship with Russia is conditioned by the nuclear balance. Those missiles are the unspoken context behind every thought, every conversation about Russia and Ukraine. They set the terms far more than Russia's gas exports do. Yet we hardly ever talk or think about them.

Again and again new weapons have fundamentally changed history. It was only with the invention of gunpowder that settled civilisations gained military primacy over the nomad (ie Genghis Khan). Yet we nowadays insist that the rules of the game haven't changed despite the introduction of a weapon that is clearly a game-changer.

We have believed the soldiers who insist that nuclear weapons haven't changed everything. The soldiers must say that because their profession depends on large conventional armies, on keeping the old game alive. Soldiers caress their fabulously expensive conventional weapons, but they detest nukes.

So the US ends up spending $700 trillion/year to achieve exact military parity with the Russians, who spend $90 billion but could still destroy the US in an afternoon. It is precisely because this bloated military machine is useless against serious actors like Russia and China that it instead gets used against unserious ones like Iraq.

The weapon has never been invented that has not been used. Nuclear weapons themselves were used within weeks of being invented, by a nation that was not even backed into a corner at the time. A real war between Russia and NATO would end in a nuclear exchange, just as the blue vs orange wargames fought between NATO officers used to end. The only question is whether such a war will happen.

Nuclear logic dictates that each side has ONE immovable red line, or line in the sand if you like, and that it be fairly close to home. Its position defines itself, as the line whose crossing is so unacceptable to you that you are willing to risk blowing yourself up if your enemy crosses it. Sweden, Poland and Germany are definitely inside our red line, Finland and Latvia probably are, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are not. Taking positions beyond your real red line is foolish because you won't hold them when push comes to shove, not if they are closer to the other guy's red line, to his vital interests.

The US actually had some troops in Georgia in 2008 (admittedly training/liaison not combat units) but they proved irrelevant as Russia had nicely calculated the limits of Western will. They were far beyond our real red line - so Bush told them to sit quietly in their base while outside the gates their Georgian Army proteges were being systematically crushed.

So all this talk of dispatching NATO forces here and there is meaningless symbolism. They will only deploy behind our real trigger line, the position of which will continue to be set by whom we are willing to blow ourselves up for.

And really, can you imagine US troops on the streets of these pro-Russian east Ukrainian cities? Of course not, they'd be attacked by the population. Same thing in Transnistria. So instead they will go to Latvia and Estonia and other places Putin wouldn't dream of touching, or they will pootle around the Black Sea in warships, while doing no good and possibly considerable harm.

It might be argued that by deploying conventional forces, we show Putin a red line he knows he really can't cross. But by showing who is behind our red line, we also show who is not behind it. And that latter group just happens to include all the places at the top of a Russian revanchist to-do list.

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May 7th, 2013

04:04 pm - thimc: still kicking
по давней традиции весну встречаем в не самых приятных местах. Пшепрашам, что давно не строчил. Прозит, панове.

[не дождетесь...]H68_01_05_2013.


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March 10th, 2013

05:43 pm - life is a bitch
праздничное...Collapse )
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February 11th, 2013

03:46 pm - давай, до свиданья

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January 11th, 2013

02:47 am - on exes
Of course, human tissue completely regenerates every seven years. ...Collapse )

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December 24th, 2011

04:33 pm - on modernization
“Merry X-mas, Andy. I absolutely hate you now.”

Tags: ,

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November 9th, 2011

04:27 pm - my favorite one

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June 12th, 2011

03:28 am - status upd
still breathing. thx

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November 21st, 2010

10:30 am - on allusions

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November 9th, 2010

03:54 pm - кто есть ху

чисто чтоб в горячке не позабыть, по ком слезы льем


November 4th, 2010

11:51 am - Куртка замшевая... Три.
лента.вру с утра жжет напалмом:

между тем первоисточники по обыкновению малость скромнее в своих аппетитах:

BBC: “Inside, police found more than 20 tonnes of marijuana.”
Reuters: “Agents recovered more than 25 metric tons of marijuana in seizures related to the investigation”.
Tags: ,

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October 27th, 2010

05:20 am - on suspension of disbelief
Посреди просторов подмосковных,
Прямо у излучины реки
[:|||||:]Collapse )
(Вспомнилось, в связи с недавно озвученными планами производства римейка «Бриллиантовой руки» небезысвестной группой клоунов).

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October 25th, 2010

06:12 am - on conforming to the stereotype
In an age of supposed globalization, when we are all allegedly becoming more alike — listening to the same American music, buying the same Chinese products — it is astonishing how absolutely British the British remain and how thoroughly French are the French. Both countries need to change state spending patterns and cut budgets to cope with economic crisis. Faced with this challenge, the British have stiffened their upper lips — while the French have taken to the streets.

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July 6th, 2010

05:49 am - умом Россию не понять
Сколково, говоришь. Модернизация-шмодернизация. Петрики-шметрики. Ну-ну.
    … 2009 год стал для жителей Пареня очень тяжелым. Осенью в селе кончились запасы еды, а следующий вертолет с продуктами должен был прилететь только летом. На “большой земле” не знали, что почти все продукты с шести барж, направленных в данный район за лето, скупили жители села Верхняя Парень Магаданской области.

    Из средств связи с внешним миром в Парене есть только таксофон, установленный в здании библиотеки. Однако той осенью у жителей села закончились карточки оплаты, поэтому они смогли лишь организовать около таксофона дежурство, надеясь, что им кто-нибудь позвонит (входящие звонки бесплатны). Спасительницей селян стала директор Корякского филиала Камчатского института повышения квалификации Раиса Авак. Она позвонила в село, чтобы узнать, преподают ли в местной школе корякский язык. Ей ответили, что преподавание национального языка - мягко говоря, не самая большая проблема паренцев.

    Благодаря “минуте славы” Пареня вся страна получила возможность узнать, что из 66 жителей села 47 трудоспособны, но работу имеют только 16 человек. В селе нет магазина. Жителям приходится запасать привезенную баржей или вертолетом еду, а когда запасы кончаются, люди переходят на питание рыбой. Медицинского работника в селе тоже нет. Ни один из восьми местных дошкольников не имеет прививок, большинство из них чем-то больны. Паспорта всех жителей Пареня давно просрочены. В населенном пункте нет ни газет, ни телевидения, ни даже радио. Электроэнергия подается на несколько часов утром и вечером. ( отсюда )

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June 20th, 2010

10:11 am - ну, вообще-то прально они тебя МСЯО называют

    (место действия — Иркутск)
    сорри, если уже [:||||||:]

на всякий пожарныйCollapse )
via startanik

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June 19th, 2010

11:21 am - крепчал, деревья гнулись
лента.ру жжет глаголом:

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June 1st, 2010

10:05 pm - bardzo smutne
хм, а полюбившееся здешним “Wiesz co, ogólnie rzecz biorac, to pizda tutaj jest”, по-русски оказывается-таки «полный каюк». Неожиданный тренд на фоне в целом закошмаренных феней и подмоченных по сортирам языковых тенденций.

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May 29th, 2010

08:56 am - on vox populi
blogger#1 complaining:
— I just went to “America Speaking Out”, the GOP's website that begs for ideas they can use on their new platform. I went there to “speak out”. This is the message I got back: “A very high volume of Americans are speaking out right now. Try again later.”

voice of reason from blogger#2:
— I'm sure the GOP is getting some brilliant ideas from the site... I just checked the American Values section and the top rated 'idea' on the page is currently — “mayonnaise is Christ's saliva”...

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May 28th, 2010

05:33 am - top kill
    Утром мажу бутерброд –
    Сразу мысль: а как народ?
    И икра не лезет в горло,
    И компот не льется в рот...
Obama sought to assure Americans that the government is in control and deflect criticism that his administration has left BP in charge.

“My job right now is just to make sure everybody in the Gulf understands: This is what I wake up to in the morning, and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about. The spill,” he said.

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May 24th, 2010

05:09 pm - то им серп туда засуну, то им молот покажу
    приплыли. батарея зрк пэтриот в ста км от Калининграда — ну и где хваленые искандеры, спрашивается.
    тьфу, блин, одни балаболы кругом.


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May 22nd, 2010

03:15 pm - Rest In Bits

20 May 2010 “Digital Death Day” event brought together the businesses of social networking, data management and death care. One of its organisers says: “We have reached a critical mass of personal data online.”

Billions of pages held by social networking sites, as well as blogs, online gaming sites... basically anything into which we put data... data which, in most cases, remains after we die. There are two types of value stored in your online accounts, economic and sentimental... So what should happen to it?

There's no standard practice across the industry yet. There are no norms for how digital assets are passed on to heirs.

Death was not much in the minds of social networking pioneers when they started. Most sites were originally aimed at young college students. But with hundreds of millions of users worldwide now, (Facebook alone has over 400 million) death is a daily occurrence. So what are they doing about people's digital assests?

Dr. Elaine Kasket, a counselling psychologist, has found that a surprising number of messages are written to the deceased as if they are still present and “logging on from some internet cafe in heaven”.

“It's perhaps the best example so far of continuing bonds after death,” she says. It has been suggested that the existence of this online presence after people die, plus the accessibility of online memorials, could draw out the grieving process.

But this may not be a bad thing, says Mark Dunn, a psychotherapist. He believes most of us in the developed world do not grieve for long enough and that the internet “may allow us to learn the mechanics of grieving again.”

Current Mood: apatheticapathetic

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May 19th, 2010

05:29 am - on maxims

… «Шератон» славился возрождением старых традиций; например, на каждом столе поблескивало серебро столовых приборов; раньше на ножах и вилках гравировалось Украдено в “Бристоле”, но в «Шератоне» подобных резкостей избегали: просто в серебре есть что-то такое, из-за чего двери поднимают тревогу при попытке выйти на улицу с вилкой в кармане. Увы, я сам убедился в этом, и пришлось потом долго оправдываться. Авторучку я оставил рядом со стаканом, а чайную ложку засунул в нагрудный карман; но это объяснение не успокоило надушенного лакея, потому что ложечка сияла, как вымытая, хотя я ел яйцо всмятку. Ну что ж, я ее облизал, такая у меня привычка, но я не хотел исповедоваться в своих интимных склонностях перед швейцарцем, убежденным, будто он говорит по-английски. Я счел инцидент исчерпанным, но когда — для развлечения — попросил у телевизора счет, он показал его с ценой одной серебряной ложечки; ошибиться было нельзя. Раз уж я за нее заплатил, она была моя, и за обедом я засунул в карман точно такую же, что вызвало новый скандал. «Шератон», объяснили мне, не магазин самообслуживания. Ложечка, хотя и включенная в счет, остается собственностью отеля. Это не наказание, а жест вежливости по отношению к гостю, так как судебные издержки стали бы мне дороже. Моя сутяжническая жилка была задета, я даже подумал о процессе с «Шератоном», но решил не портить себе настроение, ибо надеялся все же увидеть Швейцарию своей мечты.

    «Осмотр на месте», С. Лем

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May 13th, 2010

10:56 am - on goose-step
George Orwell, who knew totalitarianism when he saw it, succinctly articulated the menacing nature of the goose-step in his wartime essay The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941). Sitting in Britain, while "highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me," he wrote:
    “One rapid but fairly sure guide to the social atmosphere of a country is the parade-step of its army. … The goose-step, for instance, is one of the most horrible sights in the world, far more terrifying than a dive-bomber. It is simply an affirmation of naked power; contained in it, quite consciously and intentionally, is the vision of a boot crashing down on a face. Its ugliness is part of its essence, for what it is saying is "Yes, I am ugly, and you daren't laugh at me." … Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army.”
>>>Collapse )

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May 6th, 2010

03:43 pm - JFGI (terp's)
thx but no thx XD

PG advisedCollapse )
Current Mood: amusedamused

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April 27th, 2010

06:05 pm - on PPT
“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”

The news media sessions often last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes left at the end for questions from anyone still awake.

Current Mood: amusedamused

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April 7th, 2010

11:52 pm
Зойка, сеструха, сегодня без особой помпы умерла. А завтра у брательника день варенья. Надо ехать, но как тут не съехать. Ну и затейница ж эта судьба, сука.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed

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December 2nd, 2009

04:43 am - где ты—как ты
Меня крестил зюйд-вест в кипящих водах адских,
Как пробку десять дней меня швырял норд-ост,
Но не отыскивал я маяков дурацких,
Летя в кромешной тьме через морской погост.

Пробив сосновый борт, как хрупкую скорлупку,
Как детям яблоки зеленые вкусна,
Вода ворвалась в трюм, слизнула руль и рубку
И пятна сивые от желчи и вина.

Я погрузился в гул поэмы океана,
Густое зелье звезд, седое молоко
Иссиня-черных бездн, где юнга бездыханный
С улыбкой на волнах качается легко...
в общем, если кто вдруг интересовался, я пока еще снова тут, жив-здоров, готов топтать.
Current Mood: crappycrappy

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July 6th, 2009

09:49 pm - тихо и без суеты
«Затоварилась бочкотара, зацвела желтым цветком, затарилась, затюрилась и с места стронулась»... А без «Коллег» и «Звездного билета» вообще, считай, детства б не было. Эх, какого человечища не стало.
Current Mood: sadsad

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April 28th, 2009

08:32 am - omfg, they killed Kenny. bastards.
перцы из nbc таки наворотили из чака бартовски дежурного терминатора в оконцовке.
guys, i know kung fu, my ass. такую песню испортили, сволочи.
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic

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