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Everything posted by Maithanet

  1. Could you tell me more about this scenario? We can use PMs if you'd prefer. Because I do feel like the US going full authoritarian feels almost certain, and I would be interested to hear how you think this alternative breakup scenario would play out.
  2. I'd say we're coming for your democracy. Just like Russia doesn't want a successful Ukraine making them look bad, when the US goes full authoritarian, they aren't going to want Canada to continue to have nice things like civil rights and meaningful democracy. The CIA has plenty of practice with this sort of thing.
  3. Not exactly moot. People will still travel to get abortions, they'll just be traveling to Canada. And even more will be getting pills through the mail (although that will also be illegal).
  4. Texas has fines/penalties to anyone who "assists" someone in getting an out of state abortion, which includes things like lending your car. With AI advancements and cameras everywhere, it isn't that hard to identify if a woman is more than 20 weeks pregnant, even through her clothes. And then if she suddenly isn't pregnant two weeks later, she can be dragged in and interrogated about her recent travels (or if she's been using the mail again). If that doesn't sound like America, well, it is the America that Thomas and Barrett and Alito have in mind. And their opinion on the matter is law.
  5. It is not clear. But they're definitely going to try (Texas already has such a law I believe).
  6. Of course anyone who might need an abortion wasn't old enough to vote in 1988, and most of them couldn't vote in 2004 either.
  7. This is the first time in a long time (ever?) that after winning the WH and Congress, that over the next two years the laws decisively change against the victorious party. It's like the opposite of "elections have consequences". Elections had consequences, but now they don't matter anymore.
  8. Ukrainian forces retreated from Seiverodonetsk today. There weren't too many troops left there anyway. This marks 20 days since the big Ukrainian counteroffensive which temporarily seized much of the city. That is a pretty big setback to the Russian timetable, but nonethless this is another loss for Ukraine. The Ukrainians are now across the river in Lysychansk and hoping that they can continue to hold their supply routes from the grinding Russian offensive coming from the south. Fog of war remains strong at this point. The Russians are slowly, slowly grinding forward. They are taking losses to do so, although it is hard to know how severe those losses are anymore. There were some indications that the Russians were in a manpower (particularly infantry) crisis since the early weeks of the war, but they are still finding the troops to advance somehow. It's quite possible that this is the Russians final effort and they are one setback away from being forced on the defensive. It's also possible that it is the Ukrainians who are being worn down and the Russians can continue this type of offensive for many months. I hope not. Also the first video of US HIMARs being used in Ukraine came out this morning. Hopefully they hit something worthwhile.
  9. Everything I'm seeing is that Ivey will be the 4th pick, with some question as to whether some team puts together a trade package to get him.
  10. That makes it a bit more challenging, but trading away a top 10 player almost never gets a full return. The best offer Brooklyn is likely to get is something like 4 1st rounders and some middling players. I saw an article that the Suns should try and trade Ayton for Durant, which would be amusing. Paul/Booker/Durant sounds like a good idea, but they are gonna need their role players to play a lot of defense.
  11. It might further damage his reputation, but not as badly as wasting his prime playing .500 ball. If Durant wins another championship as the #1 guy, most NBA fans aren't gonna give a shit if he screwed over the Nets.
  12. You answered your own question. In the Mavs series Lebron played passive and they lost. And they never would have beaten the Bulls in the ECF without Lebron anyway (who played very well in that series). The Heat with Wade + Bosh was discussed for a few days before The Decision turned the duo into a trio, and everyone agreed that they were probably the 3rd or 4th best team in the East. Not real title contenders.
  13. I dunno, it's looking more and more like there is absolutely nothing in Brooklyn for KD. They got embarassed in the first round, and that was with Kyrie playing. If Simmons is in the fold could they realistically expect to beat Boston in a series? I doubt it. Could they beat Milwaukee? Also doubtful. I'm not at all surprised that KD wants out of this disaster. Yes, of course it was mostly of his own making, but being a top 5 player means never having to say you're sorry. Then the question becomes what teams KD will agree to go to, and which of those teams can put together a decent package in return. It might actually be a short list.
  14. In better news He didn't specify the number, but it is probably 4 as was announced earlier. If they have a strong established supply train of missiles in place, then even just 4 HIMARs could make some difference (along with other heavy arty the Ukrainians received). But if that supply train isn't in place, then these units are going to be mostly sitting around as juicy targets for the Russians.
  15. Update: Zolote has fallen. Ukraine pulled most of it's troops out yesterday. There's question about whether the rearguard troops made it out or not. Hopefully they did. This is a definite loss for Ukraine, it makes the Lysychansk pocket that much tighter. But it doesn't dramatically change the situation, as Ukraine is still hoping to use Lysychansk and Seiverodonetsk to delay and bleed the Russian army. It does make Russian and Ukrainian lines a great deal shorter though.
  16. Of all the people for KD to hitch his wagon to, I have no idea why he thought that Kyrie and Harden were the guys. Literally if I were making a list of top 30 guys to pair with KD, those two are the worst. I guess from a legacy perspective Lebron would probably be worse, although he'd at least be winning titles and probably more Finals MVPs. But really anyone else would be fine. If he wanted to pair himself with GIannis or Jokic or Embiid or Tatum or Kawhi, any of those teams would have made room for him and he would probably win a championship. But instead he's in Brooklyn, where Harden is already gone, Kyrie is on the way out and Durant's prime is just vanishing into thin air.
  17. I don't know that I'd call the 2016 Warriors full strength, Curry was not nearly as mobile in that Finals as he was prior to the ankle injury. And overall the Cavs and Warriors were 1-1 in Finals. It's possible the Cavs win in the rubber match in 2017, but I think it's more likely that the Warriors would prevail. And by 2018 the Cavs were blown up because of Kyrie. There's not question the Warriors might have lost in 2017 or 2018 without KD. But there's also no question that if KD hadn't joined the Warriors then GSW (not CLE) would have been the betting favorite going into the 2017 season, because they just came off a 73 win season. His presence changed the Warriors from betting favorites (like a 40% chance of winning a title) to "only injury can stop them", which is exactly how it went in 2017-2019.
  18. Kobe's game has never translated well into advanced stats. Thinking Basketball called him "the best difficult shotmaker ever" but too often he settled for difficult shots. Now I think that Curry is a far better shotmaker than Kobe, but I agree that Kobe's ability to make contested shot after contested shot was his biggest skill. Both guys played good defense. Both guys had great teammates but sometimes struggled with making his teammates better. I will say that KD's legacy right now is in complete ruins. He won two championships in Golden State, but that core has now won two championships without him. It is absolutely fair to wonder if the Warriors could have won those two rings even if Durant only came off the bench playing 15 minutes a game, or if they just resigned Harrison Barnes. I'm not saying they would have, but it's very possible. And that's really unusual. Could Lebron's teams have won any championships without him? Hell no, they would have been lucky to win a single game. What about Duncan? Definitely not. Shaq? Not even close. Durant needs another championship really badly. If he doesn't get one he's gonna be in the tier of guys who won a ring but everyone knows their team earned it for them, a la Dwight Howard.
  19. The supply lines to Slovyansk and Kramatorsk will be longer and more challenging than around Popasna/Lyman. Taking either or both of those will be extremely difficult. Agreed. I had really hoped that the Ukrainians would at this point have a mobile reserve force of 10k or so troops that they are deploying to quickly overwhelm local Russian forces and get offensives started. But that has not happened. I think that the bottleneck remains the ability to train and equip the territorial forces into a more capable fighting force, but it's unfortunate that they aren't ready 4 months into the war.
  20. The situation around Seiverodonetsk is indeed deteriorating. Ukraine is still holding Lysychansk, and a small portion of Seiverodonetsk, but to pocket is getting narrower. To the south of those two is Zolote, and that is now nearly surrounded. If the Ukrainians have to abandon Zolote, then the pocket gets much tighter and resupply that much more difficult. At some point you have to think that the Ukrainians will bring their troops out rather than risk getting completely cut off. They've held strong thus far, but it feels like only a matter of time.
  21. This is imperfect, but I feel like there's sort of like three eras of NBA basketball. Prior to the 3 point line (before 1979), then the grind it out era of 79-early 2000s, then the spacing era of the present day. Jordan was unquestionably the best player of the grind it out era, and Lebron is unquestionably the best player of the spacing era. So if you want to pick another player who could be an NBA GOAT, you need to look to the era before the 3 point line. The problem is that it's really hard to properly gauge and appreciate those players because the video quality sucks, plenty of games aren't available and the level of competition/coaching is just not what it is in the two later eras. Wilt, Kareem and Russell were all incredible athletes, as is obvious in their highlight reels. But a lot of the guys defending them were just random tall dudes, nothing like the depth of talent the NBA had in the 90s, let alone today. Nobody will score 100 ever again in the NBA, because NBA defenses are just too talented and have too much pride. If you started down that path, they'll give you a hard doubleteam all the time and make you pass the ball (or just hoist up a bunch of terrible shots and fail to get to 100 that way).
  22. ? You could definitely argue that Russell or Wilt are the best ever just as easily as Kareem. Most of Kareem's arguments for being the best (as opposed to merely amongst the best) is due to his career longevity, which doesn't really move the needle much for me in terms of best ever.
  23. Coming back to this comment, Russia's economy is in an unusual spot right now. This Youtube video has a good rundown of the issues, because there's a lot of strange contradictions. - Russia's economy in the short term is doing just fine. The economy is totally dependent of fossil fuels and right now prices are through the roof. Russia's oil is being sold at a discount (~15%) because Russian oil is the least desirable oil around due to politics. But if Russian oil is discounted 15% but oil prices increase 60%, that's still a big win. Russia's oil and gas production is actually falling a little due to the sanctions (lack of investment, parts and skilled labor) but this is not enough to make a material impact on the picture. Overall Russia is selling less oil and less gas but still making more money than ever. High fuel prices are a really, really good thing for Russia. - Russia's trade imbalance is ridiculous. The sanctions mean that Russia cannot import lots of things they need, like electronics, software, and spare parts. Russia wants to import things like microchips and cell phones through allies like China and India. But while those countries are willing to use Russia oil (Russia is a huge player), they are not really willing to do so for Russian purchases of electronics because Russia is just a tiny market compared to the US and EU. So Russia is exporting a ton of fossil fuels and importing virtually nothing. This trade imbalance is propping up the ruble. - However, without those imports, Russia's non-fossil fuel economy is dying. It is already in decline and that will continue/accelerate the longer sanctions remain in place. Russia was already super reliant on resource extraction in its economy, and that is only getting worse. In addition, if the sanctions are still in place in 12-18 months, that will start to really hinder Russia's fossil fuel economy as well. Russia's moment of maximum leverage is probably this winter. Russia's control of the European gas market will give them a very dangerous (non-nuclear) method of escalation against any European assistance to Ukraine. - Fossil fuel production is ramping up. He mentioned some short term problems with ramping up production in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the US, but those will get cleared up in months. Oil producers worldwide want a piece of these crazy profits. Given that Russian oil is the least desirable oil commodity right now, and Russia's ability to extract it cheaply declines the longer sanctions last (no new exploration and harder to maintain existing production), it is quite likely that the Russian oil/gas windfall will decline sharply over the next year. If this war is still going on a year from now (a big IF I know) then the Russian economy is likely to be in a much weaker position and have difficulty sustaining the war. The Russians know this, and will probably try to negotiate some sort of ceasefire/peace before that happens.
  24. I loathe Shaq's game, and I rooted against his teams for his entire post-Magic career. I think that to some extent officials just didn't know what to do with Shaq because every time he got the ball it was either a foul on him or his defender. So you either foul him out every game or let him play by a different set of rules, and they went with the latter. But unless you are handicapping him for officiating, it is really hard for me to place him outside the top 10. Very few guys ever dominated the league the way Shaq did.
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