Ukraine and the refutation of so-called ‘realism’

See updates through June 11, 2022, at end of post.

The cruel irony at the core of the push to compromise is that it puts the burden of settlement on Ukraine. It is illogical that, after Russia invaded Ukraine, destroyed dozens of its cities and towns, killed and wounded some 40,000 Ukrainian civilians, Ukraine should cede 20 percent of its territory to soothe its tormentor. It is also deeply unjust. When [French president Emmanuel] Macron says that “we must not humiliate Russia,” there is no concern that Ukraine may be humiliated by being forced to reward its attacker.[1]

Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I’m deeply suspicious of the so-called “realist” case that Russia will win anyway so it’s better to cede territory, stop the war, and save lives. Julia Ioffe does a great job of tearing the argument apart on its merits;[2] my quotation by no means does her argument justice. But I think what’s really going on here is that some politicians are desperate to return to the way things were before the invasion where everybody made nice with Vladimir Putin and Putin pretended to play along.[3] Read more

  1. [1]Julia Ioffe, “The Case Against Appeasement,” Puck News, June 7, 2022,
  2. [2]Julia Ioffe, “The Case Against Appeasement,” Puck News, June 7, 2022,
  3. [3]Joe Barnes, “Germany ‘deliberately watering down’ EU embargo on Russian oil,” Telegraph, May 27, 2022,; Arne Delfs, “Merkel Warns of Isolating Russia After Putin’s ‘Big Mistake,’” Bloomberg, June 7, 2022,

The question should not be ‘Why Are Police So Bad at Their Jobs,’ but why is the criminal injustice system so bad at its job?

Sometimes when I see a headline, I’m just so disgusted I don’t go on to read the story. In this case, it[1] cropped up on my Twitter feed after I’d had time to get over the worst of my disgust. It’s actually pretty important stuff.

It seems that so-called “clearance rates” on crime have decreased. What this means is that the rate at which crime investigations lead to arrests is decreasing, even as police white supremacist gangster funding has dramatically increased.[2] Read more

  1. [1]Alexander Sammon, “Why Are Police So Bad at Their Jobs?” American Prospect, June 2, 2022,
  2. [2]Alexander Sammon, “Why Are Police So Bad at Their Jobs?” American Prospect, June 2, 2022,

Night time is the right time to confuse your gun for your penis

See updates through June 11, 2022, at end of post.

(With apologies to Ray Charles.[1])

I’ve described Pittsburgh’s South Side as the place where stupid people go to do stupid stuff. Like getting drunk. Like getting loud. Like lacking any socially redeeming value whatsoever.[2] Like getting tattoos: It seems like all of Pittsburgh’s tattoo parlors are in the South Side, which should tell you something both about tattoos, as in you have to go to a particular part of town to get them, and the South Side, as being that part of town. Read more

  1. [1]Ray Charles, “Night Time Is the Right Time,” YouTube, November 29, 2011,
  2. [2]Sean Collier, “The South Side Problem With No Solution,” Pittsburgh, May 24, 2021,

Pick your piss: A Pennsylvania latrine may help determine control of the U.S. Senate

More details are trickling out about John Fetterman’s atrial fibrillation and stroke, earlier reported.[1] A Philadelphia Inquirer story had suggested Fetterman’s condition was more serious, incorrectly reporting that implantable defibrillators are not used to treat atrial fibrillation.[2] In fact, they are and have been approved for this purpose since 2001.[3] Read more

  1. [1]David Cohen, “Fetterman discharged from hospital,” Politico, May 22, 2022,; Julia Terruso and Sean Collins Walsh, “John Fetterman suffered a stroke just days before Pa. Senate primary but says he’s recovering well,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 15, 2022,
  2. [2]Tom Avril and Julia Terruso, “John Fetterman got a defibrillator after his stroke. But doctors say the campaign’s story ‘doesn’t make sense,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2022,
  3. [3]Lisa Benton, “Atrial Defibrillation: A New Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation How Do We Best Manage These Patients?” EP Lab Digest, September 2002,; J. Christoph Geller et al. “Treatment of atrial fibrillation with an implantable atrial defibrillator — long term results,” European Heart Journal 24, no. 23 (2003): 2083–2089, doi: 10.1016/j.ehj.2003.09.033; University of California, San Francisco, “Atrial Fibrillation Treatments,” 2022,