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Everything posted by IheartIheartTesla

  1. PepsiCo is also shutting down sales of its beverage brands, but will still continue selling baby food/formula and dairy products. The other companies that have bailed out of Russia can be considered to be selling non-essential commodities, but cant argue with their decision to keep having formula available - although I'm not sure if Russian companies can fill the void themselves (probably not).
  2. Regarding the MiGs, the idea is for Slovakia and Bulgaria to do the same with their jets. Most analysts are skeptical about their efficacy as a game changer (although Zelensky et al seem to think it will make a big difference); but with the renewed assault on Kyiv 24-96 hours away every little bit should help.
  3. Yeah, digging into the information a bit more, it comes from a briefing by Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (not clear what that agency is) to the House Intel committee. He also said that analysts give the estimate low confidence, and it was based in part on information from “open sources,” which can mean media and social media reports. Edit: To place that number in context, I was shocked to learn that ~2500 American service members were killed in 2 decades in Afghanistan.
  4. FYI, the CIA head puts the death toll at closer to 2000-4000 Russians. But since I am an American I wouldnt put too much faith in the "I" of CIA (although its probably a good idea to temper the estimates of the Ukrainians). The CIA is sharing its information with their Ukrainian counterparts, so take that for what its worth.
  5. Sweden is a no to join NATO (in the near future I should note) because they dont want to exacerbate tensions at this time. Hopefully they are shoring up their defenses though.
  6. In a world gone mad, its good to see some things never change....in this case an England (and Wales) batting collapse.
  7. I thought I mentioned I was giving examples of middle class Indians having cultural affinity with the US. There are numerous other examples. To return to the topic at hand, Putin is also trying to create his own foreign legion (primarily Syrians). Some Russian mercenary outfits have apparently been arming their Syrian operatives to transfer into Ukraine. Another example of how the war isnt going great for him.
  8. The reaction of the government is strategic more than anything, and as I think I've mentioned before here, has to do with their need for Russian military hardware. The general public probably doesnt care much either way, although I doubt there is any significant souring of attitudes towards the West (middle class Indians in general love US universities a lot and consume quite a bit of 'trashy' TV from over here, just to give a few examples). Modi is also trying to position himself as a peace broker, much like Israel and Turkey are, so maybe he's trying to straddle some sort of line.
  9. I spoke with my parents over the weekend (who still live near Mumbai) and we are in fairly good agreement over the war. While Russia and China definitely control the flow of information from outside (the latter more so until recently), I doubt this is even possible within India. We've had access to services like the BBC and CNN since the early 90s, and journalism has a fairly robust tradition in India for quite a while. Cant control what people think about the conflict overall, but it isnt because a different story is being pushed on them. Its more what the geopolitical reality is there.
  10. Servant of the People is now on All 4 (Channel 4, I think) in the UK, if you arent getting your Zelensky fix from just the news.
  11. Yes, I think Iraq pretty much shattered that notion (Kofi Annan declared it an illegal war and the entire world just shrugged). But in retrospect it doesnt seem that unlikely that a permanent member of the security council could invade another sovereign nation - China and Taiwan come to mind. In that case too, the UN cant do much, and I dont believe the US has a treaty with Taiwan, so the situation is not that dissimilar. I still think an international body where nations gather together is a great idea, but perhaps not one forged in post-war times with different circumstances necessitating some of the rules in its Charter. A 'new UN' made in the 21st should look different.
  12. I was trying to see whether the UN can set up peacekeeping operations so troops could be sent into Ukraine, but apparently that is the role of the Security Council of which Russia has a veto role. I think COVID and this conflict (among others in recent past) have soured me a fair bit on the role of the UN. From the WHO's missteps to the fact that some countries can hold the Security Council hostage through veto, its utility in the world is becoming smaller and smaller.
  13. I would pay good money to read a graphic novel adaptation of the adventures of Lady Limpwood and the Hedge Knight
  14. Owosekun has a slightly bigger role in Disco S4, in particular the later episodes. And not to spoil anything, but there is a little bit of discussion of the Universal Translator later on. Maybe too much to hope for a Darmok redux?
  15. I've been posting in other threads, and completely missed this (frankly ludicrous) hypothetical about what would happen in a potential India-Pakistan war. This question wasnt raised about Ukrainians and Russians committing violence against each other while their armies were busy fighting each other, so there seems to be a fair bit of 'Other'-izing going on here with this particular scenario. The last serious conflict between India and Pakistan was probably in 1999 when I was still an Indian citizen and I didn't feel an overwhelming desire to go out and commit any acts of violence. In other words, I mostly agree with you. Anyway, the overarching theme here is that you cant ask foreign nationals to have some sort of purity test in order to continue to live here. Existing laws take care of giving aid and comfort to the enemy anyways. This is an awful lot of heavy lifting to be asked of for normal people who just want to go about their business.
  16. Yeah, and i think Book has some sort of non-American accent which I cant quite place but is probably from some big city in the UK. Otherwise it is quite depressingly non-representative of the state of the world as I imagine it in the future (keeping in mind I love all things Trek).
  17. Lets talk accents. The original TOS had stereotypical Scottish and Russian accents, while TNG had a fake French accent (although Sir Pat gave us classic British most of the times). After that, I'd say DS9 maybe had Bashir speaking in some sort of pseudo-Brit accent, but its pretty much been standard American most of the time. Am I correct in this, and Disco/Lower Decks continue this fine tradition of assuming everyone in the 24th century and beyond has succumbed to American cultural hegemony? I am struggling to think of any deviation from this norm since the early 2000s, to be honest.
  18. The US on its part has been courting Venezuela (partly to supplant Russian oil, but partly also to make sure Russian allies in Latin America dont become security threats). At least on this side of the pond there will be no overtures to Iran.
  19. Right, and you cant use VISA/Mastercard in Iran because of sanctions, pretty much. I didnt understand the distinction and still dont.
  20. Visa and Mastercard took this step shortly after being explicitly asked to do so by Zelensky in his address to members of the US Congress. Not just him, but also his vice PM etc and others have been calling a lot of people and putting pressure on them. Zelensky also personally chatted with Elon Musk to get him to have more Starlink terminals for Ukraine. Generally, I think he has been outstanding in this regard.
  21. This isnt a particularly contentious topic I believe. I will note that when I first read about the pact I was surprised since everything i had read till then indicated Hitler had made no secret of how much he hated communists (and had even began purging them). It was also a weird time, where a lot of moral relativism had to be applied (nothing like the current Ukrainian war). The Indian independence movement is a good example, although maybe a topic for another time.
  22. I am surprised at the number of companies Zelensky has convinced to stop operations in Russia (Apple, Visa, Mastercard among others stopped after entreaties from the Ukrainians). I'm somewhat surprised US sanctions for instance wouldnt bar them from operating there anyways. To give an example, the company that employs me cant do business in Iran. Doesnt make sense to me that Russia is different.
  23. Patton's Third Army in WWII made very little progress in WWII.in this campaign, among other things running out of gas (donated to Eisenhower or something), I think they made 50 miles in 3 months....much, much slower than the rapid advance across France.
  24. There are still over a thousand international students stuck in Ukraine trying to get out, but its getting harder and harder. Cant imagine all those Indian students still there and giving increasingly desperate calls to have them evacuated aren't having some effect on public opinion back in India (only one has died so far from Russian fire, as far as I can tell).
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