Benje Williams writes of an experience being stopped by a
police officer white supremacist gangster while riding his bicycle in Auburn, California, a medium-sized town in the Sierra Nevada foothills along Interstate 80. When I say there’s a lot going on here, and that it’s not just about race, I really do mean there’s a lot going on here. First, let’s get the point on which the white supremacist gangster happens to be right out of the way. Williams had run a stop sign on a deserted road: Read more
Past performance, as those financial advertisements reliably claim, does not indicate future results, but the Biden administration’s record on prognosticating what Russia may do in Ukraine has, very unfortunately, been pretty good. A little over a month ago, Julia Ioffe noted that
Over the last few weeks, the Biden administration has made a number of intelligence disclosures, aiming to preempt, expose, or disrupt various Russian plans. By Friday [February 18], it was clear that almost all of them have checked out.
See update for March 19, 2022, at end of post.
I have been infuriated by much of what I have seen on Twitter about Russia’s increasingly brutal invasion of Ukraine. A common formulation claims not to excuse Vladimir Putin or Russia but to somehow show that the U.S. or North Atlantic Treaty Organization are at fault; I have already refuted this, and have been blocking people who post such garbage and unfollowing people who retweet it, with the result that my Twitter feed is increasingly dominated by cat pictures with very little remaining of the sort of comment I once found interesting. Read more
See updates through August 17, 2023, at end of post.
Fig. 1. “The atomic cloud over Nagasaki 1945.” Photograph from Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Overseas Operations Branch, New York Office, News and Features Bureau, (12/17/1942 – 09/15/1945), by Charles Levy, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
As the situation in Ukraine deteriorates, I am increasingly persuaded that Vladimir Putin’s ambitions are not limited to Ukraine. The failure of economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure to alter Putin’s behavior combine with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s desperate attempt to avoid a likely nuclear World War III to reinforce Putin’s view of the West as weak. Read more
Fig. 1. “Handmaids protest abortion restrictions at a recent rally,” undated photograph by John O’Connor for the Associated Press, via The Well, fair use.
See updates through March 24, 2023, at end of post.
It is generally unwise, in fact, foolish, to forecast elections so far in advance as I am the 2024 general election in this post. And there is, in fact, only one reason I’m going public with this at this time.
I gather, okay, from my mother, that folks in more progressive parts of the world might doubt Donald Trump’s continued hold on the Republican Party and infer doubt from this about his prospects in 2024. After all, a certain Trump-loving segment of the Party has been expressing, um, outlandish views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that ought to be repugnant to any sane person. Read more
See updates through November 16, 2022, at end of post.
Fig. 1. Vladimir Putin in Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB) uniform, photograph from Kremlin.ru, circa 1980, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0.
Recall that Julia Ioffe, whose pessimism about Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine has so far proven, if anything, excessively optimistic, but who has been much closer to the mark than almost anyone else, has warned us “that you can’t rule anything out when Putin is involved and that the most pessimistic prediction is usually the right one.” In the wake of a Russian attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which set off an alarming blaze that set off fears of a calamity even worse than Chernobyl, which Russia has also seized, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary-general has announced that the organization is refusing to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
In her latest on what is now a fully-fledged if so far poorly executed invasion ordered by, by all accounts, a madman, Ioffe has written that Read more
See updates through October 16, 2022, at end of post.
Fig. 1. Image posted to Reddit, March 29, 2020, by a suspended user u/_c_u_m_ [pseud.], fair use.
Julia Ioffe is responding to a phenomenon on Twitter and elsewhere that has provoked my fury. While a number of people on the right seem to admire Vladimir Putin’s “strength” against Joe Biden’s alleged “weakness” and blame the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there are also a lot of people, who claim to be on the Left, who repeat the right-wing talking points at least in part. They necessarily assume that Russia has rights beyond its own borders, a position I continue to categorically reject. Read more