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  1. Lamar Jackson really does play like the Varsity offspring of Michael Vick, Fran Tarkenton, and Steve Young. While there is always the risk of some sort of catastrophic injury, outside of that, he ought to be paid more than Watson.
  2. Well, the Russians have started mobilizing Crimeans. Now I know that life under Russian rule is hard, but from the pictures, a fair number of their new recruits are coffin-dodgers older than me. And there are numerous reports, including from recent POWs, that the Russians are giving their recently mobilized troops no training whatsoever, just feeding them straight into the front. On the plus side, some of these new recruits are calling the phone numbers listed on local signs and attempting to immediately surrender to Ukraine upon their arrival. Unfortunately, the local sewage management board or city tax authority usually has to pass them on to more qualified caretakers.
  3. Did you enjoy the HoopVision "Game from Every Decade" video, where he shows the evolution of the game play and officiating? I thought it was terrific.
  4. Denys is pumped that NASAMS have arrived in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian operators have completed their training on the weapon in the US.
  5. An economist looks at the cost of the mobilization. Thread by @ABarbashin on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App
  6. Two economists assess the effect of the new mobilization on Russian demographics. Thread by @ChrisO_wiki on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App
  7. This weekend I wrapped up Tim Hannigan's A Brief History of Indonesia: Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia's Largest Nation. Derek Perkins is an outstanding reader, and he does a really credible job of pronouncing the Melayu and Bahasa Indonesia, both place names and personal names as well as other vocabulary throughout. This is a popular history, so it varies from the Great Man approach when talking about leaders like Sukarno to the social history approach when talking about the influx of Buddhist Hinduism and later Islam. But if you were planning a visit to the archipelago, this would be a good precis to give you some basis for understanding. During the colonial era, the book does focus on the efforts and activities of the colonial masters from Britain, Portugal and the Netherlands, as well as the place in society of their mixed-race offspring. For this portion of history, the reader doesn't have much insight into the people of the Nusantara, given the space for the colonizers. However, it is also true coincidentally these interlopers, as well as a couple of Americans, wrote very colorfully and perceptively about the history and science of the time, so it would be a shame to miss out on their input. On a couple of occasions, the geographic descriptions of one place in terms of another are backwards. For instance, you go "down" to Bogor from Bandung, not "up", and Probolinggo is east of Ponorogo and Madiun, but otherwise the main thrust of the thread of history is well told and easy to digest. The story of The Year of Living Dangerously is told from the viewpoint that seeks to be objective, and the uprising of the PKI and the slaughter of the communists and Chinese on Java just sort of happens. Personally I think that is understates the influence of both the CIA and the fundamentalist Muslims. Instead, the author pins most of the blame for the ongoing, year-long efforts to wipe out Abangan, Nusa Tengara Christians, Balinese caste deniers and communists on Wibowo, which seems a bit too specific. However, since we will probably never know the truth about the reasons and political decisions behind the deaths, it is a reasonable way to approach the sad blemish on history. The book doesn't say much about this current century beyond a description of the 2004 tsunami, and it also omits the rise of fundamentalist Islam and the turn towards a homogeneous Satri practice. It omits the huge influx of religious preachers from the Arabian peninsula who, funded by their home governments, flooded Java and Sumatra in the 1990s and 2000s, and so obviously changed the syncretic practice of Islam from a social religion to a fundamentalist one. And it omits the way the Sailendra-, Sanjaya- and Majapahit-era Hindu structures have been neglected and run down since that change, other than Prambanan and Borobudur, which generate so much tourist revenue. However, both of those are pretty sensitive political and social topics, so I can see why the author steered clear of them for the most part, given that this is intended to be a general, popular history. Another group that gets a huge pass, barely being mentioned at all, is the IMF, who drove the response to the 1997 Asian currency crisis with a single-minded focus on repaying debt owed to the US banks at the expense of the population. The devastation of the savings and living standards of regular Indonesians so that bankers in New York could realize their projected profits is truly evil. But again, probably not the mission of this book. Good stuff, all around, and recommended reading. Excellent audiobook reader.
  8. Two different accounts are saying that the top-tier Russian units are departing from the nearly encircled Lyman by night, leaving only the conscripts to defend the town.
  9. Is Russian really the top weapons supplier to Ukraine, and if so, does it matter? Perun has the answer for you.
  10. The joke doing the rounds here is that the reason the T-62s were shot to pieces as soon as they arrived is that the Ukrainians don't want to be bothered with capturing and refitting such old tat.
  11. On the one hand, I specifically don't have much empathy for a lot of the fans who follow England, as they often demonstrate the sort of bad behaviors I associate with football fans of the past. And in general, internationals usually generate lower-quality matches than league games, and fan behaviors of other national teams (Mexico and their piss-bags, Hungary and their ultras, etc.) are similarly unappetizing. On the other hand, absolutely no one should be surprised that this whole moveable feast is a $hitshow, since a.) assigning the competition to Qatar and b.) moving it to winter is stupid as hell and motivated purely as a cash grab for FIFA. Qatar hosting the World Cup is 1:1 with Donald Trump as US President; inappropriate, ineffective, and potentially dangerous. If I was a player in one of the sides playing in the WC, I would not bring my family to Qatar. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent your country at the WC, but Qatar is going to be a rough ride for everyone involved. Players are putting their health at risk playing in the heat and humidity. Fans are being put at risk by the lack of proper infrastructure. It won't be good.
  12. So true. In the West, executives will grouse and complain about whistleblowers and troublemakers within an organization. But the truth is, a majority of the time the "problem child" has the same ostensible goal as the executive, and the whistleblower acts as a means to better achieve the common goal more efficiently or more ethically. The perceptual division between executive and maverick in the West is one of means rather than ends. This is entirely different from the procedural obedience KalVsWade describes in Russia, or similar face-saving compliance an institution will see in Asia. In those cases, the underlings usually know that they are wasting their time achieving their individual assigned goal, but they do it anyway. Even though they know full well that achieving that goal will harm the overall collective effort. So when Russian media complains about "the West", we also have to understand that a lot of Russian society do not share our Western worldview, and they don't value individuality or independent thinking or freedom of action. At all.
  13. It will be to all the fans' benefit to no longer have Sarver wandering around the arena during Suns games, glad-handing the powerful and blocking the view of the plebes and generally oblivious to the action on the court. The guy is really insufferable when it comes to game time etiquette, beyond all the other truly evil stuff, and even if he was a saint outside of game time, he would annoy me just for his performances when I have been trying to watch a game. And then his bankster staff and buddies also engage in a lot of behavior that I find odious, just on a social level, so having fewer opportunities to encounter that whole crew will improve everyone's live just a little bit. But then the question is, "Will a new owner be an improvement?" Whoever is next has to be better, right? But next in line in the Phoenix ownership group is Najafi. Maybe he will only be insufferable and pretentious, and he will leave out the harassment and racism. I guess that will be better.
  14. Enjoy a Trent Telenko rant that starts off with prefabricated concrete structures and ends with a call to supply Ukraine with ATACMS, Abrams, F-16s, etc. Thread by @TrentTelenko on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App I am on board with this.
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