Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bits and Pieces - March 29, 2014

I'm still writing about Ukraine and posting links to stuff I think is worth reading at Nuclear Diner. It's looking like Vladimir Putin feels he's in a strong enough position to negotiate. We'll see what comes of it.

This is worth thinking about: If Vladimir Putin is worried about "Nazis" in Kiev, why is he supporting far-right groups across Europe? And we can consider his claim to be leading the conservatives of the world in gay-bashing and other things. The simple answer is that a) he really is conservative in many senses of the word and b) he is opportunist enough to use whatever levers he can against people he considers enemies.

I've been following the adventures of the snowy owl who came to DC and got hit by a truck. She's in Minnesota now, having a feather transplant. She's also on Twitter: @DCSnowyOwl. And here's the chicken from hell!

In New Mexico, a Tea Partyish congressman hires a vituperative tweeter as his pr person.

If you want to know what's going on in space - auroras, meteor showers, satellites - this is the place to find out.

This is a cool idea and something I'd like to see lots of bloggers writing, but first I have about thirty other posts I'm thinking about...

I am really irritated by the MSM's practice of revising their breaking stories without appending a notice that the story is changed. Apparently others are too - and they've come up with a solution.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The President Of All The Russias Speaks

Before he signed a measure incorporating the Crimea into the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin gave a speech (official English translation). The speech lays out his justification for annexing Crimea and lists a number of grievances and a few promises. It is shot through with misstatements of fact. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, gives the factual content of the speech four pinocchios, indicating a high degree of inaccuracy. I can find a number of other inaccuracies, but that is not my focus. Links at the beginning of quotes should take you to that part of the speech.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bits and Pieces - March 18, 2014

I keep meaning to cross-post these three here, and just don't get to it. Maybe tomorrow.
War With No Hope
Soviet Economics
Russian Exceptionalism

Trapping and tracking the mysterious snowy owl.

Like those maps that show countries' characteristics by distorting the physical size of the countries? This is the site for you!

Some history to remind us that once upon a time, women dominated computer programming. Not misogynistic boys.

I don't want to insult anyone, so if you can tell me what LinkedIn is good for, I will apologize.

A science quiz that is somewhat more difficult than the run of the mill. With a link to another one.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Bits and Pieces - Ukraine Edition, 1 March 2014

I've been selecting some of the better articles to read on the situation in Ukraine and writing a bit about how I understand things. That's been at Nuclear Diner - too much happening this week to cross-post. Here are those posts and some additional reading.

Yanukovych out, officials flee to Russia

Ukraine update - 24 February

Ukraine update - 26 February

Ukraine update - 28 February

Plus some background I've written:

Ukraine historical background with maps

Russia as winner - not so much actually, with more damage likely.

Leadership without leaders

And we post political cartoons every Sunday morning. Articles from others:

Explainer: The Budapest Memorandum And Its Relevance To Crimea

The Russian Duma has approved the use of military force in Ukraine. Here's the resolution.

Some basics of Crimean history.

A wide-ranging commentary on Russia's thinking from Strobe Talbott, who was a special advisor to the US State Department dealing with the former Soviet space after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Timothy Snyder's articles are very worth reading. The part of the world between Germany and Russia is poorly understood by many Western commentators. You really need to spend some time on it, even live there for a bit, to understand the contradictions to some of our common wisdom.

Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine

Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda