Dragon goes to Africa

25 Jul 2017 13:00
abomvubuso: (Groovy Kol)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
Dressed in neat military uniforms, sailing in hi-tech amphibious vehicles. That's how the troops of the first battalion China has sent overseas in 60 years look like. The unit will be sent to the new military base in Djibouti, on the east coast of Africa, just opposite Saudi Arabia across the Bay of Aden. The place is chosen deliberately of course, it's just next door to war-torn regions like Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, in a corner of huge strategic importance.

China changes the approach )

Dragon goes to Africa

25 Jul 2017 13:13
abomvubuso: (Groovy Kol)
[personal profile] abomvubuso posting in [community profile] talkpolitics

Dressed in neat military uniforms, sailing in hi-tech amphibious vehicles. That's how the troops of the first battalion China has sent overseas in 60 years look like. The unit will be sent to the new military base in Djibouti, on the east coast of Africa, just opposite Saudi Arabia across the Bay of Aden. The place is chosen deliberately of course, it's just next door to war-torn regions like Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, in a corner of huge strategic importance.

This mission shows just how much the Chinese have intensified their presence on this continent, which drastically contrasts to their non-intervention tradition that they've kept elsewhere. Since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, China has abruptly changed its foreign policy in a bid to boost their economic standing and their access to crucial resources around the world.

Read more... )

Not again...

24 Jul 2017 15:00
abomvubuso: (Pffft... oh noes!)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
The Stormers are out of the SuperRugby at the first playoff hurdle - getting knocked out by the Chiefs in Cape Town. Again. This time it was way closer, which makes it all the more painful. (source)

The Lafayette Law of Value

24 Jul 2017 09:13
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
I've been saying this for years, and commented on various 'blogs etc with this argument. It's well about time that I stated it in a single post.

Value is objective in supply.
Vale is subjective in demand.
Value is intersubjective in price.

That's the Lafayette Law of Value. Thank you.
nairiporter: (Default)
[personal profile] nairiporter posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Let me just start by reminding that last year, Erdogan and Merkel made a deal on the refugee issue. Back then, the migrant pressure on Europe was huge. Hundreds of thousands of refugees were flocking through the Aegean into Greece, and then using the so called Balkan route to go to West Europe, mostly Germany. Hundreds drowned in the Mediterranean. Merkel was forced to do something, or else she would lose her chancellor position. So in February last year she went to Turkey to meet with Erdogan. That mission was perceived by many as the most influential woman in Europe going to kneel before the Sultan, and beg for his help.

Then in March 2016 came the agreement with Turkey. It must have served its purpose well, because the number of refugees immediately dropped significantly. Turkey's part of the deal was to host the refugees, and in return it was promised two things: a political trump card, plus 3 billion euro for supporting the large refugee population.

Read more... )
mahnmut: (WTF-E?)
[personal profile] mahnmut posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
...They go around and kill themselves.

Elon Musk may've become the umpteenth high-profile hi-tech celebrity futurist who has cried doom and gloom about the potential threat from AIs taking over the world and eradicating humankind on a whim...

...But apparently we're still a long way from there, as shown by the fate of this poor little R2D2 who somehow decided he had had enough, and plunged himself to a swift electrocution death in a water fountain in DC the other day.

Caution, the footage can be disturbing for the more robo-love inclined... )
airiefairie: (Default)
[personal profile] airiefairie posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Today's portion of Friday nonsense features one Sequim, Washington resident who mowed the word AHOLE into their lawn so it could be viewed from space...



Oh, sweet neighbour relations...

Chaos in London

20 Jul 2017 13:28
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Here they are, the two negotiating sides on the Brexit. The folks on the left are the EU representatives, each prepared with a file of documents. On the right side, the British, gazing into the nothingness, empty-handed. Maybe they've memorized all details so they don't need any paper in front of them? Or maybe they're eco-minded and they're trying to save paper? Heh? All I know is, this picture pretty much sums up the whole situation: the EU has a clear vision of what it wants the Brexit to look like - in the meantime, the British side has no specifics on their side. You think those are normal negotiations? Well, think again.


Read more... )

Russia Minor!?

19 Jul 2017 10:54
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
The term has gone out of use for quite a while. In recent decades it was being seen as a disparaging term used by Russian nationalists and pro-Russian Ukrainian "traitors" who believe Ukraine should be part of neo-imperial Russia.

And now it's being resurrected, and in quite a quasi-official way:

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine

In comes one Alexander Zakharchenko...

Russia Minor!?

19 Jul 2017 10:51
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
The term has gone out of use for quite a while. In recent decades it was being seen as a disparaging term used by Russian nationalists and pro-Russian Ukrainian "traitors" who believe Ukraine should be part of neo-imperial Russia.

And now it's being resurrected, and in quite a quasi-official way:

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine

In comes one Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the separatist People's Republic of Donetsk, the runaway region in East Ukraine that no one, not even Russia has recognized as a state. His actions in proclaiming the creation of the Republic of Malorussia (Russia Minor) have come as a surprise even to the Kremlin. Naturally, the EU deems it unacceptable, and Kiev is vowing to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Read more... )
dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
I recently read an article elaborating on the fact that vaccines are so successful that we don't even realize how bad things would be without them any more.

It's a big question really, one I've often thought about: vaccines may've become a victim of their own success, you see. They're so successful in uprooting a number of deadly diseases that used to kill people by the thousands and millions, that we even don't realize how crucial they are. We've never seen the horror of an epidemic, and we don't realize how devastating it could be. On the other hand, in all fairness, there's the problem that the pharmaceutical industry tends to overhype the qualities of certain products to get more profit. And this naturally drives a lot of people away.

The article touches on these and a number of related issues, and concludes with the opinion that governments ought to be regulating pharmaceutical marketing as well, not just the vaccine market itself.

So my question is: should the state be regulating the pharmaceutical marketing, i.e. the way these sorts of medicines are being advertised? Should their side effects be clearly shown on the label, the way that's valid for cigarettes?

What about the marketing of various finance services, like loans for example? Should their riskier particularities be deliberately pointed out, for example the fact that if you take a loan of 1 units you'd eventually have to pay back, say, 2, 3 or more units depending on the loan period? This could make some potential customers reconsider using said service, which means a possible loss for the seller - but is it really acceptable to freely advertise all these trust-consuming sinkholes whose pushers somehow only present their good sides while keeping hush-hush about the potential pitfalls? Profit comes with a certain amount of responsibilities, after all.

How's that growth going?

18 Jul 2017 00:03
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
It seems the Trump plan for US economic growth relies almost exclusively on corporate tax cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy. A "let's put all our growth eggs in one basket and hope for the best" sort of approach. During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to create 25 million new jobs and generate an economy that trots along at a 4-6% annual growth rate. Apparently, neither Trump promise is going to happen any time soon:

Forecast of weak economic growth raises big questions about Trump’s populist agenda

Or it could be something else...

How's that growth going?

17 Jul 2017 23:02
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
It seems the Trump plan for US economic growth relies almost exclusively on corporate tax cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy. A "let's put all our growth eggs in one basket and hope for the best" sort of approach. During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to create 25 million new jobs and generate an economy that trots along at a 4-6% annual growth rate. Apparently, neither Trump promise is going to happen any time soon*:

Forecast of weak economic growth raises big questions about Trump’s populist agenda

Read more... )

Or it could be more about the fact that the third wave of recovery following the Carter bubble is taking a little long to come, hmm? Picking up international growth numbers might save us, but the rates were not corrected and there is a lot of money sloshing around. To prevent a recession might be rather difficult given the parameters and optimism that seems to be rather misplaced.

* That, and the fact that Trump's plan assumed that the RINO congress led by McConnell and Paul Ryan would be able to pass legislation, which it so far has been unable or unwilling to do.

Alvaro Soler: Animal

15 Jul 2017 22:00
abomvubuso: (Over the Edge)
[personal profile] abomvubuso


Khu! Khu! Khu!

16 Jul 2017 23:06
abomvubuso: (Johnny Bravo)
[personal profile] abomvubuso posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Those who are hyped up about tonight's Game of Thrones Season VII debut would know what the above reference is about. It's from a story that Tyrion the imp told his brother while being in a cell, about a dim-witted cousin whose only occupation was to crush little beetles with a stone just because he could: "Khu! Khu! Khuuu!" the stone went down, and the poor little beetles would die by the scores.

There was no reason to it, no intention behind it, no purpose. Just like in real life, the strong would crush the weak just because he could.


Read more... )

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