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Mme. Defarge

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Member since: Tue Oct 18, 2005, 01:05 AM
Number of posts: 7,528

Journal Archives

Did Rep. Tlaib

give her speech tonight? Haven’t found any mention of it.

Russia Is a Potemkin Superpower

Beware, Vladimir Putin: Spring is coming. And when it does, you’ll lose much of whatever leverage you had left.


https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/opinion/putin-military-sanctions-weakness.html

Incidentally, one puzzle about Russia’s pre-Ukraine image of strength was how a kleptocratic regime managed to have an efficient, effective military. Maybe it didn’t?

Still, Putin has one remaining ace in the hole: Feckless policies have made Europe deeply dependent on Russian natural gas, potentially inhibiting the West’s response to his aggression.

But Europe mainly burns gas for heat; gas consumption is 2.5 times higher in the winter than it is in the summer. Well, winter will soon be over — and the European Union has time to prepare for another winter without Russian gas if it’s willing to make some hard choices.

As I said, Putin may well take Kyiv. But even if he does, he will have made himself weaker, not stronger. Russia now stands revealed as a Potemkin superpower, with far less real strength than meets the eye.

The sanctions strategy is f'ing BRILLIANT!

It has created an @MeToo moment - not just for any nation regardless of size, but for any group - even any individual to have a voice and an impact on how they will be governed going forward.



Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West's Liberal Order

Ukraine’s tenacity and creativity have ignited civil-society energy, corporate strength, and humanitarian assistance. The hacker group Anonymous has declared war on Russia, disrupting state TV and making public the defense ministry’s personnel rosters. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has promised to help keep Ukraine online. The chipmakers Intel and AMD have stopped sending supplies to Russia; BP is divesting from its stake in the Russian energy giant Rosneft; FedEx and UPS have suspended service to Russia. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is cutting all its investments in Russia. YouTube and Meta have demonetized Russian state media. (Even Pornhub is denying Russians access.) Belarusian hackers disrupted their country’s rail network to prevent their government from sending troops to support the Russian war. Polish citizens collected 100 tons of food for Ukraine in two days. Bars are pouring out Russian vodka. Iconic architecture in cities all over the free world is lit up with the colors of the Ukrainian flag to show solidarity. Sports teams are refusing to play Russia in international tournaments. The London Philharmonic opened its Saturday concert by playing the Ukrainian national anthem, and the Simpsons modeled Ukrainian flags. This is what free societies converging on an idea looks like. And the idea is this: Resist Putin’s evil.

Although we in the West sometimes lose faith that our values are universal, Putin certainly believes they are. Otherwise, why attempt to conquer a country to prevent it from succeeding? And why threaten prison sentences for Russians giving aid to Ukraine? Plenty of Russians seem to share our perspective: Protests took place in scores of Russian cities over the weekend, and thousands of people were arrested. The Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev wrote no war please on the lens of a TV camera during an interview. Russian soldiers are allowing civilian protesters to halt their tanks. Rumors abound that Putin has fired the chief of his military’s general staff. Reports have emerged that oligarchs such as Oleg Deripaska are calling for an end to the war.

Nor is the liberal international order just a project of the transatlantic alliance. The UN may not have been able to prevent Russian aggression, but it served its purpose of forcing accountability onto governments for their positions. Kenya’s ambassador to the UN reminded us all that smaller powers, countries that suffered imperial conquest, are some of the biggest beneficiaries of a system that affirms “the sovereign equality of states, and states’ inviolable rights to territorial integrity and political independence.” Japan has joined many of the Western sanctions against Russia, while Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore and Indonesia have condemned the invasion.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/putin-accidentally-revitalized-the-west-s-liberal-order/ar-AAUqeq0

Wooden Ships

Need advice on re-uploading an app

after deleting it from my Home Screen. I can still open the app in the App Store, but want to get it back on my screen now that it’s working properly again.

Suggestions?

DAMN, OKAY!!!

That’s all. 😎

East Side Story!

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/arts/frank-jacobs-dead.html

By Richard Sandomir, 04/14/21

Frank Jacobs, Mad Magazine Writer With a Lyrical Touch, Dies at 91

He deftly mocked pop culture, politics and more for 57 years. He also wrote new lyrics for familiar songs, which led to a lawsuit from Irving Berlin and others.

A fan of musical theater, Mr. Jacobs teamed with Mr. Drucker to turn “West Side Story” into “East Side Story,” a musical battle at the United Nations between gangs led by the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet premier (and gang leader) Nikita Khrushchev sang:

When you’re a Red
You’re a Red all the way
From your first Party purge
To your last power play!
When you’re a Red,
You’ve got agents galore;
You give prizes for peace
While they stir up a war.


Back in the day when I was a sophomore in high school I convinced our legendary drama teacher, Mrs. Sparks, to put together a production of the entire satirical Mad Magazine piece for a school assembly. It was pretty f*ing amazing.

Priorities

Workers, visitors still aren’t coming back to downtown Portland

Published: Feb. 16, 2022, 6:33 a.m.

The numbers suggest Portland still has significant work ahead in rebuilding downtown’s appeal.

By Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Nearly two years after COVID-19 shut down the city’s core, new data indicates that large numbers of visitors and workers still haven’t returned to downtown Portland.

But still, there’s this:

 “From a public health perspective, Portland has substantially outperformed most of the country during the pandemic. The Portland area has suffered 111 COVID-19 deaths for every 100,000 residents, less than half the national rate. Economists and public health experts attribute Portland’s success both to government health measures as well as vaccinations and other steps that residents took to reduce their risk from the virus.”



https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2022/02/workers-visitors-still-arent-coming-back-to-downtown-portland.html

Merci milles fois mes ami/es

for giving me hearts and including me in this fine DU tradition. They are much appreciated.
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