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  1. The coup being defeated is a sign that US democracy isn't quite dead. *There being a coup in the first place* is a sign of it's weakness. Coups themselves are destabilizing, and even in cases of successful coups there were often failed earlier iterations. Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch is a good example.
  2. I think that's not *quite* Putin's beef with the US, but rather the sense that the US set up a rules-based order that it then choses to ignore, while at the same time preventing Russia from doing (what he views as) the same thing. The Iraq War was a genuine snub not because he cares about Iraq but because it showed clearly that the US wasn't treating Russia as an equal. (which, to be fair, it isn't, by just about any metric)
  3. I would like to point out that democracy *in general* isn't very old: Depending on how you define it, only about a century, maybe two if you stretch it, in most cases. And those are only a handful of examples, and often involves quite a bit of fudging to make the longest-ones fit into the definition of democracy.
  4. A combination of repression, and I think the very simple fact that while most chinese would probably agree that things aren't *ideal* they are "getting better", or at least not worse. Which is generally enough to keep a regime going: So long as things are on an upward trend people can suffer through a lot, it's when things are looking like they'll get worse people start to grumble. (see also: Putin's Russia)
  5. Something that Bret Deveraux brought up in his talk about WWI is how the ratio of value from capital investment vs. war has changed: In the middle ages investments gave relatively little benefits compared to just shanking some guy and taking his land, in an industrial society the basis has changed: Not only are economic investments more valuable, but the destructive power of modern weaponry means that unless the war is *extremely* lopsided, or you can offload the costs on to someone else, war just... doesen't pay. LIke, for WWI, it's not just a matter of not even the winners coming out ahead, but that there was *no practical way anyone (of the main belligerents) could come out ahead*. Obviously doesen't end war as a concept, but it changes the dynamic rather drastically.
  6. So are we going to do a watch together thing? Here? On discord? Somewhere?
  7. As a swede, if you're going to have children's books then I'd expect at least a nod to Jansson or Lindgren.
  8. I think most of the omissions are somewhat understandable, but no Pratchett just feels bizarre even within the context they seem to be working.
  9. Katarin personally can actually get her ice Guard cheaper than kossars, and get their MD up to 60, making them reasonably tanky halberd infantry along with their shootiness. It's pretty great.
  10. What. It does not take 2-3 hours. Like, 1 hour tops for me, and I've beaten it three times.
  11. After 5 years of waiting and losing 23 kg's I've finally gotten a time for the surgery to fix the hernia I got from my last surgery. Still kinda nervous since last time it was when my appendix burst and it got real bad, hopefully this won't be as much of a problem. The surgery is in Gällivare of all places though, which is a pain.
  12. My old dog (13 year old, completely deaf) has a nasty udder infection, it doesen't seem to actually hurt her (other than being annoying) but it's basically a fist-sized lump on one of her teat (as well as some smaller ones in the other ones) vet was basically "Well, she's too old to operate on, so just leave it as it is, try to keep it clean if it bursts (which it has once) and if she starts suffering we'll put her down." So that's sad.
  13. I do note, the Ukrainian ultras are somewhat unique becuase of when the options were "Your country is occupied by the USSR and invaded by the Nazis, do you fight A) The nazis The Soviets C) The Poles D) other ukrainian nationalists E) Your own jewish population or F) All of the above" they picked F.
  14. There's a big expansion of citizenship in the late republic with the Social War, and then in the mid-empire everyone gets made a citizen. (though in the meanwhile there's been a steady increase in the number of citizens from manumission, legionary service, etc.)
  15. While I do note that it's not an interpretation I share, the fact that the narrator is unreliable does in a sense cast doubt on everything in the book, including the idea that he is a pedophile. (and of course, as Nabokov points out, in a sense, he isn't, because he doesen't exist except as a character) That kind of reading kinda calls into question the very funadmentals of fiction, though.
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