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Messages - dubsartur

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Bongbong Marcos did indeed win the Philippine election. Grim news really. :(
I don't have access to global news, just the kinds of places, people, and events that the Guardian, the NYT, the CBC, and other Anglo Old Media talk about.  Does it look like Rodrigo Duerte picked a Marcos with his daughter as co-runner as a way of retiring to bowl at drug users' skulls or whatever old mass murderers do in retirement?

The situation in Sri Lanka is disturbing but its hard to understand why the economy is collapsing.

Welp, Alberta premier Jason Kenney has resigned after only getting 51% support among party members in a leadership review.  The man who would be Prime Minister is a one-term premier!

More skeevy things are coming out about RCMP behaviour before, during, and after the Portapique massacre (but not the underlying cause for the RCMP's strange behaviour).

And a hospital infection control officer, Dr. Jennifer Grant of UBC, has joined the Urgency of Normal anti-infection-control propaganda outfit We did not go back to pooping in the drinking water after cholera or doing surgery with unwashed hands after Semelweiss #urgencyOfFecalNormal

Canada's strong response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is encouraging, but also typical of Canadian foreign policy this century: Canadian governments are glad to send troops or weapons into any local war the US supports, as long as not too many Canadians will die, but not interested in learning about the local situation or making long-term plans.  Their world is very provincial even though Canadian is cosmopolitan.  Canadians have fought in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq (after the expulsion of the Americans), and Syria and none of those turned out great.  Ukraine is pretty safe for us, but if say China attacked Taiwan a Liberal or Tory government might do something foolish.

I wonder if Prince Charles' trip to Canada is preparation for Liz's death?  Reinforce monarchist sentiment in advance?

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: May Pub: Thursday 19th?
« on: May 11, 2022, 06:35:34 AM »
Having an income is better than the alternative!  And its about the only thing I do in a typical week where I talk to other living people face to face.  I had a job interview for a postdoc on 3 May and I am starting to have energy to apply for things locally which would pay a living wage.

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: May Pub: Thursday 19th?
« on: May 10, 2022, 12:23:02 AM »
I am provisionally available then (depends on when I am wanted at work).

In Northern Ireland, are unionists advocates of union with the rest of Ireland (and separation from union with the UK)?

Glad to see someone sticking it to the Tories.

I am seeing contradictory claims from Ukrainian officials about when Ukraine will counterattack east of Kharkiv: one source says now, another says in June.  A lot probably depends on what weapons and vehicles they get and how fast they can train people to use them.  And of course Ukraine has already counter-attacked around Kharkiv to push the Russians out of artillery range of the city centre.

I'm not sure what is happening around Kherson in the south-west, I think the Ukrainians have pushed forward a bit but the rest of the southern front is quiet. 

My understanding is that unless Moscow declares war, the current crop of conscripts will be able to return to civil life soon. And the closer that deadline comes, the harder it is to force conscripts to sign on as contractors by promising to make the rest of their time in service hell.

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: May Pub: Thursday 19th?
« on: May 04, 2022, 10:42:40 PM »
I don't know my work schedule that far in advance, but Thursday the 19th would probably work.

There are people compiling daily maps of territorial control in proper resolution (eg. and continually updated lists of lost and captured vehicles from open-source intelligence (eg.  Its pretty clear that the Ukrainians are pushing back the Russians from Kharkiv, the Russians are making small advances east of Kharkiv but losing equipment fast.  There are still no signs that they have dramatically increased the size of their forces in Ukraine, while Ukraine is training several hundred thousand volunteers and reservists and arms are flooding in from the west and south.

After the first week this has been Stellungskrieg not Bewegungskrieg, so its governed by the relative ability of the two sides to reinforce their own troops and destroy the enemy.  As I explained in a recent essay, its been hard to see how Russia could win a war like that since it became clear in March that the Russian military is not better than its opponents.  For all the hot air about drones and precision munitions and the design of Soviet armoured fighting vehicles, you can understand this war just fine with Xenophon, Maurice, an atlas, and a good economic history of either World War (plus one A4 sheet of paper with statistics on the countries and armed forces).

A historian of the Eastern Roman Empire is literally going through Emperor Leo's book on generalship from the 10th century and pointing out that the Russians are doing things which Leo says will bring defeat

Here is a weird human one: one of the Canadian forces generals accused of sexual misconduct with subordinates has resigned and says he is headed to Ukraine to help their armed forces.  That is an alternative to "spending more time with his family."

Most armed forces have a "moral turptitude" clause in their expectations of recruits don't they?  They often have to accept some less than ideal recruits.

Macleans has a long piece on a notorious illegal fisher in BC.

Bigosaur / Re: Crypto Miner Tycoon Simulator
« on: April 22, 2022, 04:08:38 AM »
I don't play computer games very often these days, but I love the "Arcade Tycoon + Dunning-Kruggerands" concept!

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: April Pub: Friday 22nd
« on: April 16, 2022, 09:18:26 PM »
I am working that part of that day too.

Ooh which dragon fight did you get stuck at in Neverwinter Nights? I remember being very frustrated by one in one of the games, then going back much later and loading with a very advanced character, just so I could absolutely wipe the floor with the dragon in revenge!
I think it was the fight with the red dragon on the "dragon level."  There is an option to pick an unnecessary fight with a smaller dragon instead, but that goes against my principles.  No unnecessary draconicide!

I liked the idea of the 'level builder' in Neverwinter Nights although I never played with it.

So the news now, and the pretty clear message of the below-linked speech by Russian commanders, is that Russia is now claiming to be refocusing on the east and Donestsk - presumably as an attempted face-save and trying to scale back the war to something achievable. If it is indeed achievable for them, which we'll see, I guess.
Yes, the problem is that Russian forces in Ukraine have already suffered serious casualties, and they don't have a strategic reserve ready to deploy.  More than 10,000 dead is a lot when you had less than 200,000 troops to start with.  Even if they can extract troops from the northern and southern fronts, they have a long way to travel to the new area of operations, and they are already tired and hungry and disillusioned with lost or broken kit.

In addition, there is a rule of thumb "never reinforce failure."  The attack from the Donbass has failed, and the attack east of Kharkiv hit its logistical limits a few weeks ago.  Maaybe they can take Mariupol but that will take a lot of their remaining infantry.

I don't know if that video of police arresting a passer-by trying to give foreign reporters a pro-Putin statement at the Kremlin is authentic, but it would be a complete change in style for Putin to try to put the nation behind his war.  And I don't know if that would help before the economy collapses from sanctions or the army collapses from sheer bloody ineptitude and lack of manpower to protect its supply lines and hold the areas it is operating in.

I still have not heard anything about proposals to vastly increase NATO munitions production starting yesterday, so there will probably be a "shell crisis" in the spring unless the Russian army collapses by the middle of April.  Some people say the Russians are already running out of guided bombs and missiles.

Edit: and if we want a poem here is one ...

On fut suld be all Scottis weire, // weire = Wehr, defense
By hyll and mosse themself to reare. // reare: roar? an earlier edition has weire “defend”
Lat woods for wallis be bow and speire,
That innymeis do them na deire.
In strait placis gar keep all store,
And byrnen ye planeland thaim before.
Thane sall thai pass away in haist
Wenn that thai find na thing but waist.
With wykes and waykings of the nyght // wyke: wake
And mekill noyis maid on hytht, // mekill: big, large
Thaime sall ye turnen with gret affrai, // affray: fright, alarm
As thai ware chassit with swerd away.
This is the counsall and intent
Of gud King Robert’s testiment.

That was how the Crimean Tartars defeated the Russian invasions in 1687 and 1689.  The Russians have been making the kind of mistakes which you don't need Clausewitz to recognize, you just need a King's Mirror and some folk poetry.  "Don't surround yourself with flatterers who say only what they think you want to hear" is autocrat 101, "hope for the best but plan for the worst" is just as fundamental.

Pro Jubali: the federal Liberals and NDP have signed a Confidence and Supply agreement.  The list of priorities is very Canadian.  And a local Communist party (which is a party in the same sense that neighbourhood ten-year-olds and the Montreal Canadiens are both hockey teams) gets tangled in a knot about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Edit: oh, and the next Ontario election will probably be in May or June.  Rob Ford may not be tossed out of office for mishandling the pandemic.

Edit: ouch, Alberta premier Jason Kenney told his caucus staff "I will not let this mainstream conservative party become an agent for extreme, hateful, intolerant, bigoted and crazy views. Sorry to be so blunt with you but you need to understand what the stakes are here.  The lunatics are trying to take over the asylum. And I'm not going to let them." (The UCP was Kenney's creation so what does that say about him?)

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