* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

9583 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers

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Re: Presumbly the UK has similar plans

How a country responds to being attacked is entirely its own decision.

There are no rules that say killing has to be responded to in kind.

True. However passive resistance may not always be the best option. It depends on your enemy and their plans.

I remember a lot of scepticism, shading to laughing, back in January when the CIA and MI6 suggested the Russians had prepared death lists and death squads for Ukraine. Didn't look so funny after Bucha and Irpin had been liberated - and the Russians had killed all the fighting age men they could find, and quite a lot of the others. Of course there were the killings from random looting and raping that the Russian army has become notorious for. But you don't randomly tie peoples' wrists and shoot them in the back of the head. And ill-disciplined troops on a killing spree don't dig mass graves. Plus we've all the information coming out from around Kherson, where mayors have been systematically kidnapped, if they're not willing to collabarate. And then we've all the Ukrainians who've been send to "filtration camps" in Russia - and then distributed to various parts of Russia - which is straight out of the Stalin genocidal mass movement of people's playbook.

Oh, and now the Russians are buring books in Ukrainian in occupied territories. Erasing a national identity, another sign that fighting may be the better option.

To quote Heinrich Heine, "Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too." His books were burned by the Nazis in 1933, being a German poet was no good as he was also Jewish.

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Re: Presumbly the UK has similar plans

Jellied Eel,

The Crimean population voted a long time ago to become part of Russia.

No they didn't. The Crimean Parliament voted to hold a referendum while surrounded by armed Russian troops, and a "referendum" was held in polling stations also surrounded by armed Russian soldiers.

There wasn't free campaigning or international monitoring and there wasn't an option to keep the status quo.

It should also be pointed out that Russia claimed a 97% vote to join Russia. Which is odd because in the national referendum held in Ukraine back in the 90s on separating from Russia, which was monitored, everywhere voted to leave Russia including Crimea. Although I think Crimea was the closest, with it only be a small majority - but it seems unlikely that it changed from a small majority one way to almost a totality the other. And election rigging, therefore seems a much more likely option.

But then you already knew that.

Seizing Russian citizens assets is entirely legal. Sanctions laws have been around for ages. The assets get frozen and returned at some future point when sanctions are lifted.

Seizing the money from Russia's Central Bank is a whole different ball game. The legality under international law is a whole lot murkier. Although the problem with international law is that it's semi-fictional. You can have law, but if there's no court to enforce it or interpret it, then it's not real law. What if two tenets of international law conflict? That conflict would have to be decided by a court, that doesn't exist. Therefore two states or groups of lawyers could write reasonable sounding opinions on the matter that disagree - and there'd be nowhere to finally settle the dispute.

And then there's the general wisdom of suggesting we give all the seized money to one of the world's most corrupt nations.

You're right. You are arguing the money can't be returned to Russia, yes?

Oh, you mean Ukraine. True, Ukraine has got some serious corruption problems, and giving Russia's Central Bank reserves to them is even more legally dubious than just freezing them. However I don't think we should be giving them back to Russia anytime soon either. And if Russia wants concessions out of Ukraine after slaughtering its population and destroying its cities, well that money could be a useful way of doing it. Some sort of 100 year lease on Crimea in exchange for money seems like a realistic deal with international precedent behind it. And Crimea could be promised a genuinely free and fair referendum on the outcome, in say 50 years when the Russian government is hopefully a bit more reasonable, and a bit less prone to fixing elections.

It's only one suggestion mind. But $300 billion is a lot of weapons for Russia to throw at Ukraine, so in all conscience, I don't see how we can unfreeze that money without very good reason. I doubt Russia is going to pull out of Crimea, and while I think the Ukrainian army is going to be a lot stronger next month or two, once they've got their mobilised troops and new equipment sorted out, I'd be amazed if re-taking Crimea is possible. Also, unlike the Donbas, it's not already semi-destroyed - so taking it back by force would be a tragedy - even though that means condemning the population to Russia's increasingly authoritarian personalist dictatorship.

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Re: Presumbly the UK has similar plans

Jason Bloomberg,

If it helps, think Servelan. In one of her more, leathery outfits…

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Re: Presumbly the UK has similar plans

In the UK, I'd suspect we’d stockpiled enough masks, about 22 million from memory, but not enough disposable clothing. But there were also distribution problems. I read that they were shipping planned amounts to all hospitals, but some were using way more than others, as they prioritised where to send patients. And that left some of the busier hospitals running out. But that was info from the early pandemic, which might be wrong.

Our mask stockpile must have started running low in early June. I guess this because a friend of mine is in charge of reporting mask fitting training for our NHS Trust. Which he’d been reporting daily since January 2020, before the pandemic started, as the plan kicked in. All frontline staff had to have mask fitting training. A process which they had to restart in June because Trump had banned the export of the 3M mask the NHS used, so they had to train everyone on whatever the new one was, which fit slightly differently. The big shortages were in March and April. So I suspect it was logistics.

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Re: Presumbly the UK has similar plans

President Zelensky has already been negotiating. Though nothing has come of them since the Bucha massacres came to light. He has also said that he will agree a ceasefire and negotiate if Russian troops return to their pre-war February positions. Given Russia have repeatedly proved they don’t respect heir own ceasefire agreements, and have been engaging in massacres and mass deportations of Ukrainian civilians in occupied areas, that’s a pretty moderate position to have taken.

They’ve also said they won’t officially accept the occupation of Crimea as a permanent situation. Which I suspect they’ll have to, to make a permaent peace deal, rather than just a ceasefire and long term frozen conflict, like the Korean War. Which has never officially ended. But then Putin might re-invade at any moment anyway. No permanent treaty is worth anything with him in power.

If we take the position that we won’t remove sanctions without Ukraine’s say so, then we give them leverage in any talks. And we’ve got $300 billion of frozen Russian government money. So if they want to keep Crimea on a legal basis, they can buy it. That support also gives us leverage over Ukraine's negotiating position, though we should be careful using it.

UK government reviewing stake in BT owned by French tycoon Patrick Drahi

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Re: Nadine will save us!

You say breakfast gin like it's a bad thing?

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Re: What about the water / energy companies???

If the foreigners own a bunch of your power plants and start messing around, then you send in the police to sieze them. Woohoo! Free nationalisation! And company have lost all their investment. Most of the workers aren't local, this would be pretty easy to do.

If the nasty foreigners own your major telecoms network, they might start spying on it. And if they don't have to disrupt things and risk their investment in order to gain advantage. Traditionally spying on other peoples' communications has been what we do to foreigners. And after all, everyone knows you can't trust the French...

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Re: Um...

There is a policy position somewhere between state ownership and owned by nasty old foreigners you know.

Also, this government didn't put it on the stock market, it was already there when they came to power. So again, there is a perfectly reasonable policy position between giving somewhat of a shit who owns it, without wanting to control it through government.

Personally I quite like the compromise of saying some companies run important infrastructure, so they can be on the stock market, but can't be controlled by anywone without approval - and are also highly regulated.

The water companies for example did a lot more dumping of raw sewage when they were owned by the government. Because the government was both in charge of regulating them, and in charge of providing the money for better sewage treatment. Hence it went easy on regulating them, as the cheaper choice. Now the government has more of an incentive to regulate them properly, because the Treasury don't have to stump up the cash - which they might rather spend on popular things like tax cuts or NHS spending.

Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op

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Not to get into the argument on the merits of the B word, but I wouldn't mind seeing any posts using the terms Brexshit, Remoaner, EUSSR non-ironically being banned. Or sheeple, LibLabCon and NWO, come to think of it.

Admittedly they do serve a purpose of being an excellent sign of a post that's probably not worth reading any more of.

I do also get a bit annoyed by the argument that Brexit is 100% all bad (has no possible upsides to set against any of the obvious downsides) and all right thinking people agree with me that this is so. And therefore you're either stupid or a Putin shill. Admittedly that's a caricature of your argument, which you put a good deal more politely, but still your comment that "most people with their heads screwed on said it was a bad idea". After all, many of those same people also said that not joining the Euro would be a disaster for the British economy. When in fact the Euro is the single worst policy the EU has bequeathed us. Not that you couldn't fairly argue that the good bits of the EU outweigh that policy clusterfuck.

There are a couple of reasons to take a more reasonable middle ground. Firstly because this issue has been divisive enough. Secondly because implying the people who disagree with you haven't got their heads screwed on is a poor way to persuade them to change their minds. Thirdly because saying you can't think of a single good point about Brexit suggests you probably haven't thought about it very much (surely there must be something you can manage).

And lastly, and linked to that second point, most voters in this country aren't particular fans of the EU, or particular haters of it. Things have got more polarised since the referendum and subsequent crisis of course. But most voters were in the middle and were persuadable either way. I'm pretty sure we'd have stil been members had there not been a badly handled Eurozone crisis and refugee crisis at the same time as the vote. Or maybe if the Remain campaign had been more positive and less "you'll regret it if you do". A lot of those voters could have gone either way, and see points on both sides. So if you start from the premise of leave = bad (and probably not very bright), you're alienating a lot more than just people who voted leave. I think that's possibly the reason that those post-referendum polls that've shown a narrow remain win if the vote were re-run now, also often show that only about 30%ish of voters actually wanted another referendum.

I guess, like much of politics, the voters are often more in the centre ground than the activists or party members either side of them. I think it's only law-and-order (and used to be capital punishment) where the general public are to the right of most politicians and activists.

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Re: Can't find it on Google

That seems to be the fate of advisors on film and telly. I remember Dr Brian Cox talking about being totally ignored during the making of Sunshine. Not even sure why they hired him really.

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If El Reg's esteemed Mods start banning commentards for posting bollocks, then there'll be none of us left after about two weeks…

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Re: Sowing Division

Surely pigeons?

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Re: Russian government's favourite playbook

p.s. nothing will come out of 'this' (as in: to Russian advantage

Depends what you see as Russia's advantage. I think the clearest thing we've learnt from the invasion of Ukraine is that Putin sees Russia's interest as anything that keeps Putin in power. I think he does probably have some sort of twisted love for his country, but it all flows through him now - and maybe it always has.

One ex-diplomat, whose blog I used to read said he used the Joker from the Dark Knight films as his illustration for Putin. At one point the Joker's blowing something up and his justification is, "chaos is fair." For Putin and his crew of ex-KGB guys, they're still angry at losing the Cold War. Probably, like the Nazis, they're not just angry at the people who beat them, but also at their own politicians who supposedly let them down by giving up while they still had fight in them. They didn't of course, but why let reality get in the way.

So if they can't have global power, a system that works and nice things, why should anybody else? They've no comforting ideology to defend anymore. Even though they must have known that Soviet Communism was a sick joke, by the time they joined the KGB in the 70s and 80s.

So what they've got left is to make everything equally shit. What they'r'e selling is nihilism. They smirk and say w're the good guys, and we're not really doing all these bad things. But why not just shoot Litvinenko and Skripal? Because they also want everyone to know that they damned well did it. So everyone can be appropriately afraid of them. Because they know they're not the good guys. So their tactics are fear, pressure and whataboutism. Sure we're horrible, but so's everyone else, so it's fine.

So if they can't outcompete us, and they can't scare us - they can at least try and fuck our lives up a bit.

Upthread we've got people on both sides of the Brexit debate calling each other traitors. That's what Putin would like. If I remember right, investigations after the election of Trump showed that Russian controlled Facebook accounts had been supporting both sides. I can't remember if it's ever been proved that the emails leaked to Assange were from Russia. But I doubt they seriously thought they could swing the election. What they wanted was division, as the only thing they could plausibly achieve. So there were Russian controlled Facebook accounts trying to organise pro-Trump and pro-Clinton demonstrations at the same time and place, to try and get fights started. Mostly they attacked Clinton, as Putin personally didn't like her. But the Russians expected her to win, so their real objective was just dog-in-the-manger stuff. Because otherwise they have to admit that western democracy is a much better system than theirs. Which it is. Our system's strength is that we wash our dirty laundry in public. Doesn't make us look so good.

Whatever the faults of our system, there has been accountability. We now know pretty much what Boris Johnson got up to. He'll have to face the electorate eventually. I personally think most voters knew what they were getting, and saw him as the lesser of two evils. But whatever, I think his "lovable bumbler" routine is dead in the water. All Labour need to do is put up a decent opposition. Which might be a struggle if their leader has also lied about lockdown parties - which looks increasingly likely.

To be honest Westminster has always had a boozy culture problem. Which is true of many industries where people work extremely long hours and are under constant pressure. Maybe one answer is to expect a bit less of our politicians, so we don't drive them to drink? In the old golden era of politics we didn't scrutinise them enough. Now everything is instantly their fault and they should resign now! There's much less tolerance for fair disagreement and the fact that government being complicated it will always fuck things up. And so their answer is too often that if they can't fix it, maybe they can cover it up?

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Re: Sowing Division

How many times do I have to tell you!?!? They're not wedges of cheese in Trivial Pursuit! They're pieces of pie!

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Presumably if you've got access to one account, you can decrypt all their emails. And that includes the chain of all the conversations they're also copied into. Which given they were supposedly using it for planning their strategy means lots of emails are going to copy in multiple people.

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Re: Russian government's favourite playbook

When haven't politicians lied to cover up when they've done something wrong?

So far he's lied to cover up that he's an arse who had parties when he shouldn't have. Along with a bunch of other people who also should have known better. To be honest I don't really care about this story, though I'm still not sure if that isn't a moral failing on my behalf. But I know a lot of people who broke lockdowon rules, and in fact I'm not sure I know many people who didn't break lockdown rules. So I find it hard to summon up much outrage.

In an older, better era of politics he might have resigned. Maybe he should? But then in this era of politics someone is telling someone else to resign pretty much every day. And I think that sadly shame has diminished as a tool to compel better behaviour from politicians partly because people try to overuse it. Also there probably never was a golden era in politics - just the scandals were different. There was also a lot less constant media scrutiny back in the day.

But also, I'm not sure what partying in Downing Street has to do with these emails. So far, all we know is there's some leaked emails from people legitimately campaigning on a political issue. We still await the revelation of any actual wrongdoing. Who leaked the emails doesn't matter, as long as they've not hidden fake stuff in there.

But I'm a bit wary that we'll get stories of evil bad wrongdoing that actually are little more than - "some people I disagree with campaigned for something I don't like".

I used the example of the Russian leak of TUIs in sport because I think its pertinent. Russia unequivocally did something wrong, they were using state sponsored doping. They even used their state security organisations (the FSB) to break into science labs to change doping test samples. So they then hacked into global anti-doping bodies to steal the medical records of innocent athletes, and released that data as if they'd done something wrong. And an eager press jumped on the bandwagon - in some cases just reporting, but in some clearly accusing athletes of cheating because it had been leaked that they were allowed to use asthma drugs or allergy drugs which would otherwise be banned. The sort of "no smoke without fire" shit that you get from the media. If someone leaked it, there must be a cover-up, it must be bad. We shall see if anything really comes of this. But I suspect it's just to create political turmoil, on an issue that gets lots of people angry.

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It's not just Dearlove that said it was the Russians. To quote the article:

Shane Huntley, director of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), said the email security breach appears to be the handiwork of Cold River, a government-backed group in Russia also known as Callisto.

This is also out of the Russian government's favourite playbook. Not that this proves anything of course, but the Russians have done a lot of hacking email archives around controversial subjects in order to either cause general trouble or distract from their own wrongdoings. Hence all the emails about therapeutic use exemptions for drug testing got released by "FancyBears" as Russia were being accused of state sponsored doping in sport. It's all part of the Russian government's policy of: well yes we're murderous shits with no redeeming features, but look at your guys who aren't very nice either. In the Soviet days that Putin's regime hark back to, they could at least pretend they had a positive ideology that they were fighting for. Now, all they have left is whataboutery and destructiveness.

Beijing needs the ability to 'destroy' Starlink, say Chinese researchers

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Re: @Pete 2 - wolf in sheeps clothing

It’s called historiography. The study of the study of history.

My school textbooks in the late 80s and early 90s were written ten to twenty years before. So for example the revisionist view of WWI dominated. So quite a lot of lions led by donkeys type bollocks, but also blaming Germany for starting the war.

More modern historians are much kinder to the generals, just as historians just after the conflict were. Although I think quite a lot of that was ideological, particularly in the 60s. But Russian info on the causes of the war wasn’t available until Soviet archives opened up in the mid 90s. So modern takes still blame the Germans for planning to conquer large bits of France, and recklessly giving Austria-Hungary unqualified backing. But the Russians were the first to mobilise, and lied about it. Making any attempt to stop the war basically impossible. Information not available outside Russia when I was at university.

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Re: @Pete 2 - wolf in sheeps clothing

They did try to tell the Americans what was incoming but... the Americans weren't listening.


I don't think that's true. Although I've never read into the matter, and one of the problems with history is that things change - as more papers come to light and more research is done. So something you once knew, may turn out to have been disproved by later historians.

But as I understand it, the Japanese embassy were using their most secret codes and restricting who was allowed to see the decoded text, i.e. not using the good, fast typists. And they were still decrypting the telegram from Tokyo when the attack on Pearl Harbour happened - so weren't in a position to go and see the Americans yet. The Japanese ambassador found out about the declaration of war from the attack on Pearl Harbour being announced - because that part of the telegram hadn't been decrypted yet.

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Re: On a more serious note....

"we're living in a paradise never achieved before in human history."

You need to wake your ass up.


Are you sure it's not you who needs to wake your arse up and take a look at what's actually happening in the world around you?

Tell me another time in history when:

Fewer people in the world have been living in absolute poverty

Modern medicine existed

More people have had at least some democratic control of their governments

Global life expectancy has been higher

More people have been vaccinated (global vaccine rates for things like polio, measles and diptheria are c. 90%)

Gobal education levels have been higher

Obviously we've had a big global recession and a pandemic in the last 15 years. We've not put an end to war. Globalisation and global trade have taken a bit of a knock. So it's possible that the actual statistically best time to be alive was somewhere around 2006-7, but I doubt it because the developing world has still had a lot of growth since then.

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Re: On a more serious note....

and the military responsible for the most civilian deaths this century is also the US

As they say on that there Wikipedia, citation needed.

Most of the civillians killed in Iraq after 2003, were killled by other Iraqis. Because it was an Iraqi civil war, as you might expect after a dictatorship has been in power for 40-odd years with one ethnic group (the mostly Sunni tribes of central Iraq) oppressing all the others. A bunch of them invited Al Qaeda in to help rid them of the Americans, and one of the reasons the civil war calmed down is because they realised Al Qaeda were even worse than having their country conquered and actually made a deal with the Americans to help them kick Al Qaeda out. You also had a civil war between some of the Iranian backed bits of the marjority Shia South and Eastern population areas against various of the Sunni tribes but also the US and those from their own Shia areas who didn't fancy being dominated by Iran any more than they liked having the Americans around. It was complicated.

Rather like Afghanistan, which was a multi-ethnic multi-regional civil ware when the US joined in back in 2001. The Taliban were already starting to lose that war, the Northern Alliance had pushed them back to the outskirts of Kabul already and so it didn't take more than special forces and airstrikes to finish them off. The Taliban having no scruples, and not caring who they killed were as likely to kill their own natural supporters in order to force them not to deal with NATO troops, as they were to kill members of opposing tribes or NATO forces directly. In a rather similar way to the Viet Cong - who terrorirsed the very people they were supposedly trying to liberate.

Also though, have you actually bothered to check - or just assumed that the US are the bad guys because it's what you see on telly? For example, have you heard of the Second Congo War? OK, it started in 1998, so doesn't quite meet your 21st Century deadline, but it went on until 2003. It killed over 5 million people, and is the bloodiest war since World War II - and it was both vicious and did a lot of targetting of civilians. So there are probably several armies involved in that who top the list.

Also of course, you're ignoring Syria. Also a complex, multi-regional, multi-ethnic, multi-party civil war. But has killed 500,000 people. Hard to pin the deaths down to one army though, because the Syrian government had help from Iran's Revolutionary Guard (their own troops plus a milia they recruited from Afghan refugees), Hizbollah militia (from Lebanon), Russian special forces and Wagner Group mercenaries (who are basically the same people) - which they had to use because Syria didn't have much infantry. They confined all but the elite bits of their army to barracks for fear they'd turn coat and join the rebels.

The Syrian forces used chemical weapons on suburbs of their own capital city (and other places) and broke into their cities using tactics the Russians are using in Ukraine - which is besiege and destroy everything with artillery and air strikes only sending in your limited ground troops once attrition and starvation have done their work. So although ISIS killings of civiilians and civilians turned into rebel troops will account for a good deal of that deathtoll, it's pretty certain that hundreds of thousands of ciivilains were killed in places like Homs, Dera and Aleppo directly by the Syrian army or the international militias that it used to kill its own people.

The Myanmar (ex Burmese) army might have a call in the top ten killers of the century too - given they've been killing their own civillians to keep the military regime in place for decades now - as well as starting their own genocide - of the Rohingya people - to add to the numbers.

Sorry about the long post, but sometimes these rhetorical cheap shots require a proper answer.

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Re: @Pete 2 - wolf in sheeps clothing

Russia still has not delivered a declaration of war despite it lasting 3 months already.

Formal declarations of war have fallen out of favour for various reasons.

The reason that Pearl Harbour was considered a day of infamy was that Japan hadn't given some kind of formal last warning and were still in negotiations with the US. Plus of course, they attacked us.

In the case of the Falkland Islands conflict (note not war), again Argentina were in negotiations over sovereignty and then launched a surprise attack. Whereas Britain gave them a deadline when if negotiations hadn't achieved them leaving the islands again, we would feel free to do bad things. So they didn't declare war because they were being sneaky. We didn't declare war because we had the limited objective of removing Argentinian forces from the islands and weren't planning to do anything further after that.

Putin is somewhere in the middle. I'm pretty sure he made a public statement just before the invasion actually happened, so it wasn't a sneak attack. And he'd obviously made threats and attempted to negotiate, though from Russian demands most anaysts I've read believe that the demands were just for show, the decision to have a war had already been made - and the demands were designed to be rejected. They weren't even designed to be a maximalist first offer, to be negotiated down later.

Obviously the ideal is that country A says to country B - you're doing this thing that annoys me. Stop. Or else! They have a bit of a negotiate, to no effect. So country A says, I'm setting a deadline, and if you've not given me stuff by then - then I really mean "or else"! Which obviously gives country B the chance to back down, knowing country A really means it. After said deadline you then get a declaration of war.

However war is a bit maximalist and requires a peace to be agreed by both sides. If the objective is limited in some way, you might not want to declare war. Say in the Falkands, we didn't attack Argentina. Or their interests around the world, we simply made an exclusion zone around the Falkands and said we'll kill anything in that and reserve the right to kill anything threatening it. So we did hunt down the Argentinian aircraft carrier, for example, which never even entered the exclusion zone. But we didn't attack Argentinian coastal shipping, or their airbases - from which they were launching attacks on our ships. Also their carrier went back into territorial waters to hide, and the British government ordered the submarine tracking it not to follow, or to attack it while there. So the amount of violence was quite calibrated. The other advantage of not declaring war here being, that once you've recaptured the islands, there's no need for a peace conference, which the Argentinian junta might have refused to take part in. Leaving us in a formal state of war for who knows how long, as North and South Korea are still stuck in - they've only signed a ceasefire.

Hence the whine above about Grenada. Who would the US and the RSS (Carribbean Regional Security treaty countries) have declared war on? Grenada's legitimate government had been overthrown in a coup - so they were going in to restore it. They did so (it wasn't just the US), and then left. Therefore they couldn't declare war on Grenada - and they didn't recognise the legitimacy of the coup regime, so they would have been declaring war on the very government they recognised and were going in to restore.

The alternative would be to declare war on Cuba, who had sent troops in to back the new regime. But why do that when you don't want a war with Cuba. Kick their troops out and they'll get the message just as well. And with the old government restored, there's nothing left to fight over.

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Re: On a more serious note....


In comparison to the Russian or Chinese governments most governments are good. The Russian and Chinese governments are bad, to put it in simplistic terms.

I'd be a bit more hesitant about calling us the good guys, because we sometimes do things out of self-interest that aren't good. And we also often talk the talk of being good but don't back it up by our actions. For example we eventually stopped the "genocidal" wars in the former Yugoslavia, but conveniently ignored the much more obvious genocide (on a much larger scale too) happening in Rwanda at the same time. And we're not exactly doing much about China's genocidal policies in Xinjiang either.

But in terms of a system allowing a population to live broadly freely, with reasonable amounts of legal and economic fairness, governments that respond to their citizens needs and a foreign policy that often does unrewarded good, and doesn't often do bad things to foreigners - we're living in a paradise never achieved before in human history. At least if you're living in a "Western-style" democracy, with liberal/free -ish markets, rule-of-law and other such fripperies.

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Re: On a more serious note....

Be careful of those monkey butlers. The WHO have just told us that monkeypox is spread by sexual intercourse - and once you start dressing monkeys up in human clothing you're going to tempt even more people to start doing it.

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Re: @Pete 2 - wolf in sheeps clothing

Surely the first victim of war is usually the poor border guards - standing by their stripey poles as a column of tanks suddenly approaches?

Unless you were fighting the old Imperial Japan. In which case their declaration of war was delivered to your fleet, in harbour. Then the embassy would handle the niceties a few hours later. Although admittedly in the case of Pearl Harbour that was by mistake rather than design and the embassy were supposed to give a few minutes warning.

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Re: Like all totalitarian regemes

Russia's great firewall isn't very good - and they've barely done much to control the internet until recently. Wheras China have been pouring resources into their Great Firewall for a couple of decades now - and it's a hell of a lot more effective. Although not totally. But cheap satellite internet would completely destroy that effort.

Although I don't know how easy it would be to just jam the signals. I don't know what else that would interfere with.

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Re: Like all totalitarian regemes

Wasn't it Charles Chilton? Writer (and producer) of Journey Into Space for the BBC in the mid-50s. Which a quick look-up is (at least according the Wikipedia) the last evening radio show to get bigger audiences than TV. Jet Morgan launches on his Space Force ship from Australia to go and sort out some nasty aliens on Mars.

He was also the producer for a bunch of The Goon Show episodes.

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Gotta fight satellites with satellites here

I'm imagining some Chinese air force bunker - with an old Atari console and joystick linked to a massive wall covering screen. Using Asteroids as the user interface for a Chinese anti-Starlink satellite.

Trusting in the power of 18 year old gamer recruits, energy drinks and junk food.

Google says it would release its photorealistic DALL-E 2 rival – but this AI is too prejudiced for you to use

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Also, they're going to absorb all that water and sink. Plus no teddy ever quite recovers from being dunked in a swimming pool.

SAP attracts further criticism for Russia presence, despite promise to leave

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If McCain had known this would happen, he'd probably have left instructions in his will that his corpse be dug up and shipped to Russia. Just to piss Putin off.

Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans

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Re: just a stop gap

So Amazon Terminators then. They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be bargained with. And they cannot be stopped from dumping your parcel in your wheelie bin.

John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine

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Re: DRM and theft prevention

As I recall, the Atlantic Conveyor was sunk by an Exocet fired at one of the carriers by a Super Etendard. It was decoyed by chaff.

However they didn’t play as much part in the battle, as the Argentinian Navy basically ran back to port, as soon as the General Belgrano was sunk. Their carrier didn’t come out to play again, after that.

I once read a very angry article by an Argentinian airforce colonel about his experiences in the war. It wasn’t us he was angry with, but their navy, who he felt left the army and airforce in the lurch. Their airforce took heavy casualties. The Belgrano was the biggest loss, but in percentage terms the aircrew suffered worse.

DARPA says US hypersonic missile is ready for real world

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Re: What the heck was Pershing II then?

Chairman of the bored,

Most ballistic missiles are hypersonic. I think quite a few of the larger surface to air missiles also get above mach 5. But in both cases they have a large booster to get them up to speed, and then coast. In the case of ballistic missiles the really fast bit is done on the way back down.

Lots of the press don't get this, so don't clearly understand either.

But a proper hypersonic missile is able to achieve its mach 5 in level flight and then sustain it with its engines, rather than just coasting after being boosted to high speed. Plus they're supposed to be steerable, though I do wonder about that.

I'm a bit more sceptical of the claims of stuff doing hypersonic speeds at sea-level without melting. The US tests I've read about have been achieving top speed in the upper atmosphere, so you then wonder how much different they are to ballistic missiles in their final attack phase?

How much is hype and how much is really hypersonic?

For example if they've got a plasma shockwave in front of them that's impervious to radar (supposed "plasma-stealth") - surely that in itself is detectable? There's an area of superheated plasma moving towards us at mach 10 sir, shall I ignore it?...

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Re: Next breakthrough

The British Starstreak SAM already hits nearly Mach 4. And that's a shoulder-launched (or tripod launched) man portable surface to air missile. Stick a slightly bigger booster rocket on it and maybe you could go even fast, just not be able to carry it. As it happens that's actually 3 little foot long tungsten steerable darts rather than one missile.

But actually quite a lot of SAMs already go more than mach 5. As do lots of ballistic missiles when coming down. I think what makes you properly hypersonic is the ability to maintain that mach 5+ speed, rather than just having a booster and then coasting/falling.

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You have to wonder about cooling for a device that's supposed to be both sea-skimming and capable of mach 10. The SR71 Blackbird was capable of acheiving speeds that would start to melt it (even at high altitude) - and that was about mach 4 and a bit. OK, bigger surface area, but also flying at 80,000 feet.

So I wonder if those claimed ridiculous speeds are when flown in a ballistic flight-path - when anybody can be hypersonic? For example the Kinzhal missile that Russia lobbed at Western Ukraine last week was breathlessly claimed to be hypersonic. But it's just an air-launched version of their normal Iskander tactical ballistic missile. And not exactly super-accurate either. So good enough for attacking large fixed ground targets, but not much use at killing aircraft carriers - which have the distressing tendency to move about.

This is why Russia has failed to neutralise Ukraine's air defences. Yes they've got massive firepower. But airbases are large, and their missiles aren't quite precise enough to guarantee hitting the important things like planes on the ground or the actual runway. Which means you'd have to fire lots at the airfield. They also aren't accurate enough to hit individual SAM launchers and radars They've got shorter-ranged air launched stuff but that has to be fired from within missile range which they either can't do - or don't want to take the required aircraft losses to do so.

Elon Musk buys 9.2% of Twitter, sends share price to the Moon

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Re: Culty

Musk also has spaceships. Which is surely a point in his favour…

Biden issues Executive Order to tame digital currencies

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Central banks don't serve private banks. They regulate them. Because of the basic design problem with banks, that they can be solvent and well run and still get destroyed by a bank run, central banks are also there to act as lender of last resort. As was done in 2008 when the Bank of England printed something like £2 trillion and forced all UK banks to take that as loans - and then all the money was paid back within 3 months and unprinted/destroyed. Similar policies were enacted by other major Central Banks. But this wasn't corporate welfare, as it was firstly necessary to save the economy, and secondly the banks were charged interest. So it effectively ended up as a tax on all banks - given none had a choice about taking it.

The role of a central bank is to make sure your banks are well run, and then be there to bail them out when a massive financial crisis hits. The problem before the crisis is that the UK government had removed the role of bank regulation from the Bank of England and given it to an separate regulator. Although given other jurisdictions did equally badly, I suspect the real problem was the lack of institutional paranoia, as nobody was around with direct memory of even the 1970s crises - let alone the 1930s So I guess we'll need to start seriously worrying about bank regulation in about 2050.

That was separate to the money given to the failing banks, eg. RBS and Lloyds/TSB. The Bank of England couldn't bail them out, because they didn't have sufficient assets, and the normal rule of central banking is you lend at slightly punitive interest to any bank that can provide assets to put up as collaterol (lender of last resort) - and wind-up any bank that can't. In the case of RBS and Lloyds/TSB they were considered too big to fail, so the government forced them to take large amounts of money, and took shares in return. Again, not corporate welfare, as the government ended up owning large chunks of them, in exchange for the cash. It's at least five years since we sold off the last bits of Lloyds/TSB at a profit to the taxpayer. So again, no corporate welfare in sight.

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Re: over a decade trying to get inflation up from its perilously low level


To add to Len's post, there are other problems with deflation. The biggest one is debt. It's debt that makes deflation spirals so intractable economically destructive and horrible. And politically desabilising.

Firstly it destroys investment. Todays investment is tomorrow's economic growth. So lets say I borrow a million quid to buy a machine tool. But there's 10% deflation. Assuming no depreciation, next year my tool is now only worth £900,000. But I still owe £1m on it. But worse, I've got to pay interest on that loan. So this year perhaps I need to sell 100 gubbins to pay off my interest. Next year, that'll be 110 gubbins. The year after 121. The year after that 133. And each year the value of my machine tool has dropped by 10% and the amount of my loan has effectively increased by 10% because money is getting more valuable.

This is called the debt denominator effect. If I borrow a million quid and there's 10% inflation, then that million is effectively getting 10% smaller every year. Fine if inflation is predictable, because the bank will just charge me 15% interest. But it encourages investment in growing the future economy, because it reduces the risk of debt. Reverse that process and borrowing to invest becomes horrendously risky. And the debt overhang gets bigger, and more crushing, year after year.

Add in the fact that deflation tends to be linked to economic recessions - actually depressions because historically it takes years to fix - and you can see that investing in the future is even less attractive during a depression.

The debt denominator effect plus recession combines to crush people and businesses with existing debts, which means you get sequences of business failures, causing cascades of failure taking out their customer businesses, until so many loans go bad that the banks start collapsing, which destroys economic confidence leading to a spiral of depression.

This is why despite Roosevelt's New Deal and government stimulus the US economy didn't really pull out of the 1930s depression (which started in 1929 of course) until that ultimate economic stimulus package: World War II. The huge demand for weapons took up the slack in the economy and caused it to boom.

One of the foremost academic experts on the 1930s Depression happened to be Ben Bernanke. Who just happened to be governor of the Federal Reserve in 2007. Which is one reason why the world ended up with QE - which was good for the world economy. Because the short answer is that inflation is way better than deflation.

Moscow to issue HTTPS certs to Russian websites

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It only requires 3 countries to put sanctions on the UK to bring us to our knees! If Kenya, India and Sri Lanka should ever form any kind of alliance - then they would have control of our tea supplies. And the tea must flow! The idea is too horrible to contemplate!

Personally I think we need to create an inhospitable isolated hellhole, devoid of any kind of softness or pleasure, where life can only barely be scratched with utmost willpower and cooperation. Then populate it with criminals and very fit aggressive people and leave them there for a few generations to breed an army of super-human abilities - which we can send in to fight for out tea supplies. Should that dire need ever arise. I suggest we call this place, Skegness...

Where are the (serious) Russian cyberattacks?

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Re: What about us?

You glossed over the legality of bombing hospitals though. What, specifically, makes it a war crime? Russia's done it, we've done it, not much in the way of successful prosecutions though.

Jellied Eel,

No, I didn't gloss over the legality. I mentioned it. I'll now clarify. International law is broadly based on English common law. In order for something to be a crime, you usually have to prove mens rea (latin for guilty mind / guilty thoughts). Something not done deliberately is not usually a crime. Although you have to take negligence into account here. So bombing a hospital need not be a warcrime.

After all, if killing a civilian was a war crime, war would become illegal. Which would be no bad thing, except that banning war is very unlikely to stop war. This invasion of Ukraine is unarguably illegal after all, and yet has still happened. What is a war crime, is the deliberate targetting of civilians.

So bomb one hospital it's impossible to know if you meant it. Bomb every hospital, as Russia and Syria did in Aleppo, and it's bloody obvious.

Equally if you drop a well targetted bomb in a city at a legitimate military target, not a war crime even if you miss. Say in the Belgrade bombing over Kosovo when NATO hit the Chinese embassy (ooops!). So long as you made a serious effort to be accurate and employed a method that had a reasonably good chance of succeeding. Use unguided rocket artillery on a city centre - definite war crime.

Russia have only so far bombed a few hospitals in Ukraine. But it's a tactic they used consistently in Syria and Russia aren't getting the benefit of the doubt due to their illegal war of aggression. So we're all leaping to the conclusion that this is a war crime too. But there's currently doubt.

However the use of unguided rocket artillery in cities, which has been shown by various journalists on the ground in Ukraine in Mariupol and Kharkiv is undoubtedly and definitively a war crime.

The US and UK both have rocket artillery. It was deployed to Iraq in 1991, I don't know about 2003. It wasn't used on cities - I don't even know if was used on the Iraqi army - though I doubt they'd have taken it and not used it. But when they plan airstrikes the UK have a staff officer on the planning group whose job is minimizing civilian casualties. And US and US airmen are trained to employ the best weapon for the job in relation to what collaterol damage it will cause. In fact a lot of modern NATO weapons have smaller warheads and are more accurate for this very reason.

Russia on the other hand deliberately target civilians. Terror is part of their military objectives. They've realised they've not got the manpower for taking cities and so have decided that heavy bombardment and terror tactics are their best way to achieve the objective. Hence the trick of opening civilian evacuation corridors and then shelling them as soon as civilians start to evacuated down them - now done at least 3 times in Mariupol and again straight out of the Syria playbook.

So criticise Iraq and Afghanistan if you like. Although in both cases the governments were told what they could do to avoid war, and chose not to. In the case of Sadam of course the tragedy was that he seems to have destroyed a bunch of his chemical weapons on his own, after throwing out the UN weaspons inspectors in the 90s, and so was unable to prove that he'd already complied in 2003. I'm not quite sure why you're blaming the West for the huge death toll in Syria. That's down to the Syrian, Russian and Iranian governments. The western powers were only peripherally involved in the main action, they were fighting ISIS in Iraq and in the bits of Syria where the government had already pulled out - the massive death toll in Syria was around Damscus, in Homs, Idlib and Aleppo. Where Russia were fighting to protect a government that would rather shoot (and or use chemical weapons on) its own people in order to stay in power.

But this is the first post where I can remember you deploying the "the West are as bad as Putin" argument, rather than justifying Putin's actions. Which are different arguments. But the difference between our governments and Putin is night and day. If you look at the political aims of conflict, or the methods of achieving them - you can see that Putin is a vicious tyrant, employing the most brutal methods in order to achieve basically fuck all of any use. He's either fighting a war of aggression to conquer and annex Ukraine to Russia or a pointless war of aggression in order stop Ukraine being a relatively free and successful democracy which is a threat to his personal rule. And using barbaric methods to achieve that. It should be an obvious difference.

One thing we might agree on though. International law is a bit of a fiction. Given that large chunks of it require the cooperation of the UN Security Council that has 5, often self-interested, permanent members with vetoes. And there's often no court to decide. The US/UK justification for invading Iraq in 2003 was basically that it was in violation of the ceasefire agreement from 1991 - where it promised to disarm it's chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs. Which we had proof that it hadn't done as of 1998, when the UN weapons inspectors were thrown out. But of course you can say that's a legal justification for war, but without a court to test it you can also claim its an illegal war using different legal opinions.

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Re: What about us?

Jellied Eel,

Merkel worked alongside them when she was in the Stasi.

Merkel wasn't in the Stasi. She was an academic. Putin did voluntarily join the KGB in 1975. What was your first line about whataboutery again? You know the KGB? State security organisation that spied on ordinary Russians for 50 years, tortured a few, murdered a few, ran a chain of Gulags in Siberia. Slightly "better" than the SS because they killed and tortured more people and also ran death camps, but didn't deliberately commit a genocide. Remember them?

But Kiev doesn't look like Grozny, yet. Which might suggest Putin's showing restraint.

Mariupol, Kharkiv and Chernihiv do. Perhaps the reason Kyiv doesn't yet is because the Russian army have so fucked up their supply lines that they can't get sufficient ammunition to the front lines to do it. Again, though, more whataboutery from you, which you should be ashamed of. Destroying Grozny was a war crime. As for Aleppo, although that was to be fair a joint effort with Syria and Iran. As are the destruction of cities in Ukraine that are currently ongoing.

I'm by no means a Russian apologist

No. You are a Russian apologist. It's literally what you've been doing on threads about Ukraine, both before and after the invasion.

It's very simple. Nobody is perfect. But Putin is actually, genuinely and unambigously evil. When he orders the slaughter of thousands of civilians at a time, he's not doing it by mistake. It's coldly calculated and deliberate policy. Admittedly often counterproductive and stupid, but still deliberately calculated policy. Killing civilians in the normal persuit of war is legal, deliberately targetting civilians is not.

And what makes it worse? He claims to be doing it for Russia. But that's a lie. He doesn't care about keeping NATO out of Ukraine. That was achieved ten years ago with the annexation of Crimea and the intervention in Donbas. To be honest it was always unlikely, because France and Germany were both against. The reason he's attacking Ukraine now is personal. The fear of having an increasingly well-functioning democracy next door, full of Russian speakers. Which might tempt the poor downtrodden Russians that he oppresses to think about getting rid of him. That's a lot of blood so one old man can avoid enforced retirement.

As I said above, you should be ashamed of yourself.

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Re: "Putin may not be insane"


So given that the country is vast in both area and resources with a relatively tiny population you realize that they've already got more than they can use, its not really interested in expansion, its just had a history of people trying to bite bits off it which makes it a bit paranoid and have a tendency to have friendly or neutral buffer states between it and the serial offenders. (Germany, France....aka, "the EU")

It's one historical perspective I suppose. But I'm not sure it's a very good one. Russia is no unique victim-state. We don't justify Hitler's actions with all the invasions of Germany over the preceeding centuries. So why is Russia so special?

For example poor innocent Russia has got nothing in the invasion stakes compared with say Poland. Which has been the victim of aggression repeatedly in the last couple of hundred years - including a lot from Russia. Russia has unprovokedly invaded Poland twice in living memory! In the first case in alliance with the Nazis in 1939 and then in the second case "liberating" it from the Nazis - but as they never planned to leave and imposed a repressive government backed by Russian military force I'd call that an invasion too.

Putin rages against the expansion of NATO, as if us evil Western types forced Eastern Europe at the point of a gun. But they joined NATO because they don't trust the Russian government. Perhaps with some reason.

Every country in Europe has been the victim of multiple invasions - and also the perpetrator of multiple invasions. It's called history. But there's been no threat of an invasion of Russia since 1945 - but there have been multiple invasions of other countries by Russia since then. And the Soviet Union, and now Russia have kept an outsized army on other peoples' borders and threatened to invade various other countries too.

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Re: What about us?

Putin is just evil.

Jellied Eel,

Well amongst all the crap you've posted on this topic in the last few weeks, at least you've got one bit right. Yup Vladimir Putin is just evil. My evidence:

He voluntarily joined the KGB in the 1970s. Becoming a Chekist in the heady early revolutionary days of communist ideology and heroically fighting for the revolution against the foreigners is understandable. But everybody knew what the KBG was by the 1970s. And despite all the ex KGB types still mythologising their history as being the supermen beating Western intelligence in the Cold War - which was at least somewhat true up until the 1950s when the ideological shine had worn off the Soviet Union - what the KGB did was spy on, imprison and murder Soviet citizens. Yes it spied on foreigners, but most of its time and resources was spent oppressing Russians. That's why it was the Sword and Shield of the Party. If you'd willingly join the KGB in the 70s, you'd have joined the SS in 1940.

When Putin was Prime Minister, and then President, he used the 2nd Chechen war to gain him notoriety and popularity to get that promotion. Let's say we disbelieve the evidence that the FSB deliberatly blew up those apartments in Russia as a casus belli on Putin's orders. That's not been proved. But Putin was in charge when Grozny was levelled. Killing thousands of not only civilians, but supposedly Russian citizens. After all, that's what the war as about.

And Putin was in charge when the Russian army spent the next few years occupying Chechnya and kidnapping, looting and raping their way across Russian territory.

We have the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. They might have joined NATO in ten years they might not, but it wasn't going to happen tomorrow. And if Putin was worried about it, he could have saved his invasion until it was actually possible it might happen.

We have the murder of opposition leaders in Russia, journalists, and the odd person abroad. The use of polonium and Novichok as weapons of terror. I could forgive murdering Litvinenko, who was actively out to get Putin if they'd just shot him. But oh no! They had to be all Bond villain and do it with a hideous radioactive poison that the incompetent FSB operatives in question then spread all around London risking the lives of thousands of others.

Skripal though was a reitred double agent, who wasn't doing any more harm. Putin had personally pardonned him - he was part of an agent exchange. I don't think the KGB in the Cold War ever "broke the rules" and tried to murder an agent once traded away. And to do it with a nerve agent randomly spread on a door handle that killed one innocent party and did lifelong damage to two others is unforgiveably careless.

Then we can add to the war crimes. I've seen the footage of Russian rocket artillery strikes on the centre of Mariupol and Kharkiv. One with cluster munitions. That's not precision fire in order to attack enemy combatants, that's the use of indiscriminate weapons against civilian targets. Putin's in charge. He's sacked no generals for doing it. Ergo he's a war criminal. Seeing as he has recently claimed that all Ukrainians are really Russians he's yet again proving his willingness to murder his own citizens.

Oh talking of war crimes, we've also noticed that Putin has a penchant for bombing hospitals. Again, he's at the top of the military chain of command, so he's the war criminal in charge. It was done throughout the Russian intervention in Syria and is now starting in Ukraine. Everybody fucks up in war, and hitting civilian targets after a serious attempt to avoid it is not a war crime. A deliberate campaign to bomb hospitals and first aid posts, as the Syrians and Russians did in Aleppo is. It's hard to attribute, but the Russians actually proved it at the end of last year. An Aleppo hospital was bombed in 2016. It was done with a dumb bomb, so couldn't be attributed to either Syria or Russia and could have been a mistake, except they bombed all the hospitals repeatedly. Until the middle of last year, when the Russian Ministry of Defence put out a fancy video, showing the heroic pilots of the Russian air force blowing stuff up. And they used the video of that strike in it. A nice confession.

You are defending the indefensible. And should be ashamed of some of your posts.

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Re: Maybe we've got it all wrong


I certainly agree with you on the diplomatic solution. It looks like Russia are now trying diplomacy, because perhaps they've realised it's all gone a bit wrong. I'm convinced their pre-war diplomatic efforts were entirely fake - demanding bizarre levels of concessions for nothing in return. I think US/UK intelligence was right, and Putin had decided on war last year.

As Ukraine are in no fit state to counter-attack and push them out, they'll hopefully be willing to make concessions. As long as both sides recognise reality - but that's not a given for Putin, even yet.

I think there's a good chance Ukraine can hold out on the defensive - even if Russia commit fully. But that means a few thousand dead civilians a week. Russia have made good progress on several axes of advance, but they've only got at most 200,000 troops (and about 50,000 of those are Rosvgardia paramilitaries and irregulars from Donbas. This also means their front lines are massive! And their vulnerable rear areas even more so. If Ukraine can keep troops behind the lines hitting logistics convoys - then not only won't Russia be able to conduct complex operations, they won't even be able to shell the cities effectively. It takes one truck to reload one multiple rocket launcher, and there are 27 in a battalion. So that's 27 supply trucks for one salvo of rockets that have got to drive 100km to the unit, unload, then back to a supply depot, load and drive back. Plus maintenance, refuelling and dinner for the driver. Artillery shells are smaller, but you don't get the same high impact of a massed rocket strike.

And those front lines are going to be increasingly porous, the more territory the Russians take - and their huge advances down the South coast have made the front line twice as long. That was always Hitler and Stalin's mistake - going for territory. Defeat the enemy army, then you can go wherever you like. That could be the front that overwhelms Ukraine, or the one that fatally over-extends Russia.

Plus if Russia tries to storm a city, their casualty rates are going to sky-rocket. But if they don't, they're going to struggle to shorten their lines. Without access to better data than the open source intelligence bods on Twitter, it's impossible to know the real situation. But the Russians have failed to fully break through anywhere and conduct what the Soviets used to call deep operations - probably because they've attacked Ukraine at too many points where they're strong. I don't know how mobile the Ukrainian army was to start with, and how mobile it still is now. So Russia could break through decisively tomorrow, or never. Although taking a major city might still be beyond them without a prolonged siege and strarving it out, and I'm still not sure they can sustain this level of operations for long enough. The Germans were under-manned in Ukraine in 1941 and had over a million troops...

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Re: There are several answers to this.

I put my brain on the 90° program, and it is a good deal whiter now. But sadly it shrank in the wash. Can I take it back to the shop for a refund?

China's chip-making ambitions face setbacks

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Re: Why manufacture in China?

I lazily took Google's first result last time. Just checked on 2021 figures and it's now China 17.7 USA 22.99. So still a way to go. And China's growth rates are dropping and it's just beginning to suffer from the same sort of demographic problems of the developed economies in Europe, but without being a developed economy yet.

There's still a good chance that China's economy will overtake the US soon - but I don't think it's a certainty. The US is still very productive and manages higher growth than the developed ecomomies in Europe do.

The question is also whether we're going to go back to globalisation-as-usual. Or whether the supply shocks of Covid coupled with the political shocks of China and particularly Russia's more aggressive foreign policy lead the developed economies to get a bit more self-protective. The US have been trying to for the last couple of years, if not in any organised way. But Europe has been talking about strategic equidistance between them and the US and how more trade will lead China to westernise more and become less aggressive. But Germany just entirely re-wrote their last 50 years of foreign policy last week, over Russia's invasion of Ukraine - so I don't think it's a certainty that foreign investment in China is going to continue at the previous pace. Even if our economies don't try to bring work back home, we might try to diversify our outsourcing to places like Vietnam, India and Indonesia. To cut dependence on China. Or maybe European politicians will just go back to sleep. I think it would be a fool that made firm predictions.

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Re: 'Made in Japan' used to be a sign of cheap tat...

The difference is that China is not currently run by a friendly government. It's also a very autocratic government. This could have several effects. It could reduce China's ability to develop economically by fucking things up. There are some signs of that already. There's also the problem of dictatorships tolerating their friends stealing loads of the money, which if allowed to get to Russian levels destroys future investment in the economy.

Next you have the problem that if you keep pissing off all the foreigners, they might gang up on you. And given what's just happened with Russia, and the fact that the US had already started to build mechanisms to stop technology transfer - this again could limit China's potential growth. And it's not just the US, but Japan, Korea and Taiwan, Australia, the UK and the EU may also join the party after their experiences with Russia.

Also if Xi Xinping continues on his current path, he's making China less of an attractive place to live. Already lots of bright Chinese people go abroad to study, but many of them don't bring that knowledge back to China, since they prefer to live somewhere less repressive. And he may also drive out potential foreign investment.

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Re: Why manufacture in China?

China's economy is currently about the same size as the US economy

No it isn't. 2020 US GDP was a shade under $21 trillion. China's $14.7tr. That's with a population 4 times the size of the US. While China has faster growth rates, they are steadily falling. And a smaller percentage of a large pie is still a very large number.

China might still catch up and overtake. But that requires the Communist Party of China not to fuck things up. And I don't think that's guaranteed.

Internet backbone provider Lumen quits Russia

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Re: "Those are rather different reasons to those expressed by fellow backbone provider Cogent"


That is stoatily irrelevant…

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Re: "Those are rather different reasons to those expressed by fellow backbone provider Cogent"

Ah, but as the saying goes, "Eagles may soar. But weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."


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