• 48 Posts
Joined 4Y ago
Cake day: May 15, 2019


Pingveno is Esperanto for penguin. I guess I get cuted to death.

There’s a difference between a country that has a monopoly on violence and can use that for enforcement, compared to a state that responds to people just making their voices heard with cannons and guns. A cat nipping my fingers is annoying. A lion gnawing my head off is deadly.

It’s a large number, but it’s hard to tell how large because the CPC keeps that information tightly under wraps. The official statement claimed just 200, but recently declassified diplomatic cables from the UK give an estimate of 10,000 dead (source). The original source was inside China’s State Council. It’s important to remember that the actions taken that day were far from universally supported even inside the party. There was a massive purge afterward of officials that were deemed to be sympathetic to the protestors.

Edit: This estimate likely has fog of war issues itself, though, since it was sent so shortly after the massacre. Other estimates are far lower, but still much higher than the official figures. The CPC does not want to admit the extent that it screwed up and killed its own citizens.

Speaking of the Marshall Plan, it had considerable push back at the time. It took a Soviet backed coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948 for Americans to realize that leaving Europe starved and in tatters would push Europe into the arms of the Soviets. The Marshall Plan was a relatively cheap way to win battles before they ever occurred.

Russia will not, of course, be the same as post-WW2 Nazi Germany. The victors must be Russians, not outsiders. But Westerners should be willing to give freely, maybe with some basic stipulations around rule of law so Russia doesn’t fall back into being a dictatorial kleptocracy that threatens its neighbors.

That answer is frankly a steaming pile of bullshit. Take this:

So this organization was built around the premise that the CIA could no longer operate and ‘promote democracy’ around the world the old fashioned way but now needed to use new methods and techniques which included the establishment of Non-Government Organizations to be able to continue to do without scrutiny by the public.

A plain reading of other quotes in the answer about the CIA is that the covert nature and problematic track record of the CIA is anathema to building open democratic institutions. The ideal of the NED is to be a more open and transparent organization. This pattern is repeated again and again: take a quote, then misread it to a level of incompetence that borders on malice.

They also equate the NED to the CIA multiple times without actually showing that is true. They show merely that the NED took over some functions that the CIA used to perform and do them in the clear. From what I understand, this happened in the 1970’s and 1980’s as the excesses of the CIA in the post-WW2 era were coming to light. Congress and the public demanded better behavior. The intelligence agencies have never gotten to be perfect angels, but on the plus side they stopped trying to mind control people with drugs (likely).

Then take this quote:

So here is an ‘NGO’ which is funded 99.4% by the US Government, doesn’t sound like much of a non-government organization.

This is a common structure in the US, notably with the RAND think tank. RAND is run separately from the US government but with a federal budget allocation. The advantage is having someone outside of government who can operate with some independence. RAND can produce ideas without being beholden to politicians or orthodoxy. China is looking into creating a similar think tank to generate ideas that would otherwise be shut down by the party. Given this person has no familiarity with this structure, my conclusion is they have no idea what they’re talking about.

The sources are also sometimes extremely questionable. Take Paul Craig Roberts, who they cite for multiple claims of CIA involvement on behalf of establishing military bases, including Ukraine in NATO, and profiteering by taking over Ukraine’s economy. Obviously the author’s only criteria for inclusion was “agrees with me”, because the guy is an absolute nutter. 9/11 truther, Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, and has rather revisionist views of the Holocaust.

By relying on an article, you rely on their vetting of sources. They showed that they freely used at least one unreliable source.

I hold no quarrel with their base in Crimea, as I have said numerous times on this post. The red line was sending special forces (“little green men”) to take over the government and later hold a sham election.

The timeline you’re proposing doesn’t even make sense. Yanukovych was out of power by February 22, 2014. Russia was laying the grounds for the annexation of Crimea at roughly the same time. The next day, protestors were in place in Crimea. In under a week, Russian special forces invaded. The central Ukrainian government was still trying to get its britches on. There was no time available to be “doing pograms”.

It’s probably why Russia invaded Crimea in the first place. Otherwise it’s not all that useful.

Yeah, that’s basically what I’m suggesting, plus security guarantees to avoid a repeat conflict. Before 2014, Russia was renting out the base.

But is it so important to have that patch of ground in Crimea? It would also give Ukraine a snap back mechanism if Russia ever reneges on a deal. Fund separatists or start a Russia-backed coup and bombs could be raining down on Russia’s precious warships within minutes. Stick to the deal and everything stays nice and peaceful indefinitely. The price is minor, since Russia already had the base in 2014. The change is that there would need to be a formal treaty that obliges Russia to non-interference in Ukrainian affairs and obliges Ukraine to allow supplies through to the Black Sea fleet. This was previously maintained by having a friendly/neutral Ukrainian government, but now terms must be in writing.

I fully agree that Russia crawling away with their tail between their legs would be the ideal solution. But at what price? Russia would be willing to spill a lot of blood over that base, even compared to an already bloody war. The reality is that starting negotiations with the assumption that the end agreement will include guarantees around Sevastopol will save a lot of lives without making a huge change from the 2014 status quo.

Ukraine will at least need to make some sort of compromise over the port at Sevastopol. From what I understand, that’s the only port available for Russia’s Black Sea fleet. Russia has historically held a naval base there and would likely be unyielding on that point. Forcing Russia to butt out is one thing, but them losing significant amounts of their defense capability is another.

Yogurt dill dip. I use this recipe. It’s an incredibly flavorful dip, sauce, or salad dressing. I made a batch of six cups recently for a family & friends dinner where it worked as dip for pita chips, topping for meat, dressing for salad, and topping for broccoli.

Up until not too long ago, it seemed like if the leading proprietary tool was half baked, the open source tool was a quarter baked. Take office suites. OpenOffice was pretty consistently ten years behind MS Office. Or GIMP was constantly lagging behind Photoshop in usability, but now is a very good photo editor. The exception has always been development tools, where you get a nice confluence of motivation to volunteer and people knowing what they want.


Save that word for when it’s accurate. You’re using it so much that it becomes threadbare for when the real fascists pop up. Don’t cry wolf.

Ukraine and Taiwan with US puppet regimes are on Russia’s and China’s footsteps respectively.

There are other NATO countries on Russia’s border. They have not invaded Russia. Ukraine only very recently started supporting anti-regime elements, and even that is highly limited compared to Russia’s invasion and extensive bombing of Ukraine.

As for Taiwan, regardless of what fantasy world Taiwan’s constitution lives in, ROC has no chance of returning to rule over China. They are no threat.

The US doesn’t want fighting to break out between Taiwan and China either. That’s just part of this narrative that’s taken hold (with much encouragement by China) of the US as just warmongers. The truth is that the US currently is trying to avert an invasion. That’s being achieved by a number of measures:

  • Arm Taiwan to make it an unappealing target
  • Build up ability and forces in the region so that China knows it cannot easily defeat Taiwan
  • Build a network of allies
  • Make it clear to Taiwan that if Taiwan tries to officially declare independence, it’s on its own, acknowledging that that is a red line for China.


Respond to war crimes and ethnic cleansing? NATO’s execution was off, but some “meddling” was needed.


God forbid the US and Europe respond to an invasion of conquest on their front door.

It depends on what form it takes. Best case, it means Taiwan is deterred from pursuing nuclear weapons with a policy of only using it as mutually assured destruction. As it stands, I’m sure Taiwan is sorely tempted to get some nukes as a deterrence measure. After all, China has millions of citizens with only 100 miles of Taiwan Strait in between them and the shores of Taiwan. That said, it does inch closer to officially recognizing the reality of Taiwan as its own self-governed country.

VS Code, with vim when I need to work in the console.

The positive with Reddit (and Lemmy) is that most of the rules are specific to a community. If you just can’t live with the rules of one community, you can always split off and form your own. The area where is this breaks down is site-wide rules, especially when Reddit has poorly defined rules that get enforced haphazardly by “Anti-Evil Operations”.

Every time the US tries to ask Israel to show restraint, Israel tells the US to not “interfere with internal affairs”. Sounds good to me. In that case, the US should stop sticking out its neck on Israel’s behalf. We’ve done so for far too long.

The problem with Russia is that there is a pattern of behavior that started with the Russo-Georgian War and continuing with the Crimean and 2022 invasions. They invade a country drifting from Russia’s sphere of influence, claiming to be protecting ethnic Russians. In Georgia, Russia has maintained an occupation to this day. Same with Crimea, when there was little international response. That’s why there has been such a forceful response in the rest of Ukraine. The West realized standing on the sidelines was just going to get more bad behavior. They needed to engage somehow to stop Russia from continuing to menace its neighbors.

This could be positive, but it shouldn’t be premature. As-is, Russia is occupying part of Ukraine. A “peace” that leaves Russia with a sizeable chunk of Ukraine tells Russia that invasions will be rewarded. A peace created by rewarding bad behavior is not a peace that will last.

I love seeing post/comment language tags!
It's a good reminder to use the language feature.

I’m not too upset about the ones inside Russia. Russia is waging a bombing campaign that is killing civilians across Ukraine. Propagandists are an integral part of Russia’s war effort. They have made themselves a legitimate target. No one is safe in Ukraine, so why should propagandists in Russia expect anything different?

I am more upset about reports of targeting of people who have alleged sympathies toward Russia in areas that have been retaken by Ukraine. Regardless of what happened, it’s more important that Ukraine set itself up for unity and peace. Punishing people for alleged collaboration sets that goal back.

A liberal democracy is an electoral democracy plus:

…judicial and legislative constraints on the executive along with the protection of civil liberties and equality before the law.

Closed autocracies are defined as:

No multiparty elections for the executive; absence of fundamental democratic components such as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free and fair elections.

They have more on their criteria here. But based on that criteria, it’s pretty hard to argue that the country that’s unabashedly responsible for the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and built the Great Firewall allows freedom of expression or freedom of association.

I don’t know, I hear it’s as long as it takes for everyone to get tired of figuring out when to meet next.

You could at least check your claim against the map. There are as many exceptions to that rule as nations that fit that rule.

Your logic is so deep and unassailable that I cannot comprehend it.

How consequential is this? In the US, student body elections are barely impactful inside the higher education system, let alone having an impact on broader life.

I keep hearing how valuable a simple locking door is. Having nothing but a tent means there’s the constant stress that anything you don’t have literally strapped to your body can be taken at any time. A locking door means being able to leave possessions at home and reasonably expect they will be there when you come back.

Our local newspaper did a great piece on some of the successes of a “safe rest” program that the City of Portland has been working on. The article isn’t shy that the central example in the story has struggled with Xanax addiction, but is improving with help. It also discusses another safe rest area purposefully placed next to a methadone clinic. The local businesses were maybe not so happy, but what of it? Better some well organized tiny home villages than the mess of ugly tents in our parks and on our sidewalks.

Looks like I’m going back to the web client. Thunderbird kept crashing my computer because it wants to download all of my hundreds of thousands of messages.

Normally I just use Gmail’s web client, but maybe I should give Thunderbird a go. Last time I tried it, I felt like a second class citizen because everything was working through SMTP and IMAP. Generic protocols inevitably lose some functionality.

VanillaOS has a very basic core system (currently Debian) and builds a completely vanilla GNOME desktop using Nix, .deb, Flatpak, or AppImage. Various package managers can be used to build an application inside of a container. I haven’t used it yet, but I’m planning to give it a try.

Edit: I wasn’t completely correct. It relies on Flatpak or AppImage for the desktop, but allows you to install packages from Arch and Fedora in containers that get exposed to the host OS. Nix is not yet supported.

Huh, the South Koreans don’t seem to have much noticed how evil their American occupiers are. 84% approval rating of the US from one typical poll I found.

First, Russia is already in a proxy war with the US and winning.

Russia is engaging with its own troops. NATO is only working on supplies and support. Given that Russia has already had its newest tanks defeated and is relying on museum pieces, I wouldn’t exactly call it a great success.

high command knows that the DPRK will be difficult to provoke

There is no scenario where the US pursues a fight with North Korea. The US gets nothing out of it and it stirs a pot that could get really nasty. For that matter, the US doesn’t particularly want Kim Jung-un dead because of the power struggle that would cause. Given the already fragile state of North Korea, that would lead to a massive refugee crisis.

The most likely scenario is instead that a series of small escalations lead to all-out war.

While the peninsula as a whole is Korean, sure. Doesn’t mean the North Korean government has any legitimate jurisdiction over South Korea or grounds to complain if South Korea invites US troops to be stationed in South Korea. And if North Korea wanted to claim that it was peaceful, maybe it wouldn’t have artillery trained on the world’s 4th largest metropolis, no?

[what's new](https://docs.python.org/3.11/whatsnew/3.11.html#what-s-new-in-python-3-11)

Blocking on instance level?
Is there a way to block posts from an instance from showing up on my post feed? Lemmygrad has gotten to be a bit much over the past week or so. I know I can block communities, but I would rather not play wack a mole there.