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Padraig

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  1. Fair enough. Maybe it was an emotional article for him than a logical one (and he does refer to his parents). Because you'd expect much better.
  2. Terribly written. I had to look up this guy. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Princeton University. Wow. I would have thought that was quite prestigious. I hope nobody here studied Political Science in Princeton. That would be embarrasing!
  3. But why would they not vaccinate? It allowed them to eventually relax restrictions. That is one of their main features. Did Japan's restrictions prevent an Omicron wave? No. Did they reduce cases (and deaths) up to then. Yes. Would I thus say they were successful? Yes. I'm not sure we are even disagreeing.
  4. The fact that its measures didn't work well against Omicron doesn't negate how well they worked up till then. I imagine the latter was Larry's point. It could have increased its restrictions significantly to fight Omicron too but it is a highly vaccinated country, while Omicron isn't as deadly as previous variants. The cost of increasing restrictions significantly probably didn't seem worth the benefits. And their peak for fatalities would be the same as many countries trough. So they continued to do very well (relatively).
  5. Yes. In ourworldindata, the UK's excess rate is almost double Germany's. The official numbers say that the UK has 50% more deaths (on a per population basis). So a reasonably consistent story. The WHO figures do seem very questionable. Italy had a major disadvantage, as it was hit first in Europe. Other countries had a little more time to react. Most didn't react well but at least they had a chance to do so. Sweeping statements can be somewhat misleading. A better analysis would also divide the data into pre-vaccination and post-vaccination (since you could do very well in 1 period but not in the other. Since most deaths occured in the initial period, a country could react poorly in the second period compared to other countries but that could get lost in the data otherwise). And you probably should divide the post-vaccination period in 2 also, as we move from still some restrictions to almost no restrictions.
  6. This is fair. But I think Werthead's point about the aggressor always being more liable to commit attrocities is key. If Ukraine did invade the Crimea or cross the old Donbass "border", maybe it will end up reaching the scale of Russia's brutalities. But in the current situation, it's implausible. So yes, if "complexity" comes from the fact that Ukraine fails a purity test, then people need to try harder. Reductive arguments will never win an argument. Right. I would find it very difficult to criticise Ukraine for this. That seizure broke international law and given that Russia also seized part of the Donbass, there is no way Ukraine could be accomodating. If Russia had actively tried to give back the Donbas and keep the Crimea, that would have been something, but its ambitions were always larger than that.
  7. You keep saying that. The Russian invasion is horrible on one hand but the situation is so complicated on the other. But you never tell us why its complex. Lets be clear here. There was this inference that we'll find out the truth about the Russian invasion in a few years and realise we made an error. Like we did in "other conflicts". But that "other conflict" is a figment of peoples' imaginations. Never happened. Its certainly not a "gotcha" moment.
  8. Hmm. That's very convenient for you. "This conflict is more complicated than we think. I can't tell you why at the moment but in a few years, we'll learn the truth". If you are thinking about the Iraq War (since that is normally the "great example"), it is important to note that the Iraq War was very controversial even before it started. Maybe not in certain circles in the US but certainly in most other places. In fact, it is worth considering that your "its complicated" narrative ends up being the "thing you used to believe which was very wrong". Its not like you can't find complexity in Ukraine. Figuring out what a reasonable grounds for peace would be given Crimea, the Donbass etc? That's difficult. But Putin's right to invade Ukraine? That's as simple as you are going to get in international relations. (And the fog of war is hiding some stuff. The true scale of Russian attrocities probably. But also the true scale of Ukrainian losses).
  9. Nearly everyone expects Putin to hold onto the Crimea. Is that appeasement? I suppose it is. The Crimea is legally Ukraine's. But do you really expect Ukraine to try to reconquer the Crimea? Are you advocating that? Nobody should want a long drawn out war as each side strives for absolute victory. That is why an off-ramp is important. That we reach a point where it is in Putin's interest to stop fighting rather than fighting some eternal war. It doesn't mean that Ukraine has to give away tracts of territory but it does mean some flexibility is required. (You are simply wishful thinking if you think that Russian forces are going to completely collapse in all of the Donbas and the Crimea. Right now, it is still inching forward even). Unfortunately, I don't think Putin is interested in peace at this time. But maybe at some stage.
  10. Assuming that Russia (pre current war) would accept Ukraine joining the EU is a major assumption. The 2014 conflict began because the Ukrainian President suddenly decided he wouldn't sign the EU/Ukraine Association agreement and would look to closer ties with Russia instead. Russia never wanted Ukraine to move out of its orbit. People keep saying that Putin's is determined to keep Ukraine there and you respond by saying there are mysterious other parties involved? Seriously? Ironically, the chances of Ukraine actually joining the EU were previously very small but Putin wasn't happy with even these closer ties. Maybe as a result of this conflict, Russia will accept it. But maybe not. It really seems like you have done some research but it is all veers towards the conspiracy angle. If anything they did was so dreadful, you don't think Putin would have ensured we'd all know about it by now? At worst, both sides got involved in ugly activities. Not that the Azoz battalion hasn't changed since 2014. You don't see a difference between seeking a conflict and reacting to a conflict? That's silly.
  11. Yeah. You have to parse what that article is trying to do. Almost, if you are under 50 and not immuno compromised (and preferably vaccinated) this article isn't for you (see graph by age group if unsure about why that is). But for those that were vulnerable pre-vaccine, then you are still vulnerable today. Your absolute level of vulnerability may have changed but it is important to know that you remain vulnerable. What vaccines do is allow you to live a more normal life again, but that still means you need to get boosted when allowed, need to wear a mask in certain situations, get tested quickly if you have sympthoms etc. The more vulnerable you are, the more important it is to follow that advice. The article probably could have been clearer on all of that. It is all there, just a little unclear. This paragraph is useful. If you look at Canadian hospitalisation rates, there probably is a "hidden wave" going on there. It has been going up over the last month and the current amount of hospitalisations is higher than at any point except for Dec 21/Jan 22. The US just doen't have that profile. It could obviously still happen though. But if I go back to vulnerability, for vulnerable people, the hospitalisation rate doesn't tell you a lot. For those people, you need to know how prevalent the disease is. The % of positive tests is probably the best metric to go with, but I agree that the lack of data isn't great for them. You end up having to be more careful than you need to be.
  12. You probably know far more about this than I (since you mention antivirals) but is Test to Treat the main approach in the US once you acquire COVID?
  13. Fair point. 10 years seems like the given timeline. Last last chance in 5 years then!
  14. I suppose the worry is that Macron is going to run the country into the ground over the next 5 years? But if parliamentary elections don't go his way, he will at least be quite constrained in what he can do? Also he can't run again, which hopefully means Le Pen loses the anti-Macron crowd. And those that abstained this time, should be more willing to vote next time. Of course, that depends on who emerges over the next 5 years. After 10 years of the right, that should give the left an opportunity? And the whole climate emergency has to become much more relevant over the next 5 years, which wouldn't do Le Pen any favourites either (but people were possibly saying the same thing 5 years ago). So, if whoever gets elected next time doesn't put things on a better path, then their attempted reelection would open the doors for another Le Pen. That might be where you get 10 years?
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