Friday Open Thread

“A blunder at the right moment is better than cleverness at the wrong time.”

–Carolyn Wells

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Substitute for Barnes' recognitions………….

    "I had too much to dream last night, too much to dream. I'm not ready to face the light. I had too much to dream last night."

    Music by the Electric Prunes. 

  2. ParkHill says:

    Heather Cox-Richardson. (But I'm sure that ya'll already subscribe.)

    Now those extremists have themselves split into a business wing that wants small government to leave it alone and a theocratic wing that wants a strong government to enforce Christian beliefs on the country, but neither is moderate or willing to reach across the aisle and compromise with Democrats. Crenshaw might be more reasonable than Majewski, but he opposes abortion and Roe v. Wade, opposes gun control, wants to end the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and voted against both impeachments of former president Trump.

  3. ParkHill says:

    Very interesting commentary from Kamil Galeev on Moscow vs the Rest of Russia.

    This policy of exclusively giving the word to the Moscow establishment makes sense only if Moscow is truly the only subject in this country and all others are a cattle to be guided and disciplined. Who have no opinion of their own and if they do, it doesn't matter anyway 

    Like recently a German journalist told me that "we" don't see any evidence of wide discontent in Russia. The question is – who are "we" here. Apparently those who invested a lot of time and effort in not noticing any form of regions identity, agency or action 

    This determination to ignore the regional agency is reflected in the fact that when discussing the possible collapse and dismantling of Russia, Western analysts almost exclusively focus on ethnic minorities and ethnic republics. They completely ignore the non-ethnic regionalism 

    But really, the article is about why Russia hasn't been able to declare a total war.

    Now let's return to the prospects of a total or partial mobilisation which may be declared on May 9. The problem with the total mobilisation is that Russia has no capacity to do it properly. The USSR could, while Russia absolutely can't 

    Soviet military doctrine was designed for the total mobilisation. In practical terms it meant that the army and the military infrastructure was ready for the quick and enormous expansion of its ranks and the huge inflow of untrained or poorly trained conscripts 

    To sum up. Russia has the capacity to draft the enormous number of recruits via a mass mobilisation. It has no capacity to train them, provide them with required equipment or with officers' leadership. Which means that a mass mobilisation would be a really dumb decision 


    Declaring a mass mobilisation would be dumb. And yet, that does *not* mean that Putin wouldn't do it. He can. As a general rule, prognosing a leader's decisions based on "common sense" or on "logic" is largely counterproductive. A leader absolutely can do something dumb 

    And Consequences:

    In case of total mobilisation, we'll have barracks and training facilities overcrowded by the enormous number of poorly motivated recruits under a weak leadership. And these recruits know they'll be sent to Ukraine where they are likely to be KIA. That's a revolutionary situation 

    As a general rule, we tend to hugely exaggerate the role of unarmed civilians & underrate the role of people with guns in any civil conflict. That's partially wishful thinking and partially an ideology which deliberately focuses on "non-violent protests" and ignores anything else 

    Right now I estimate the probability of a *successful* mass revolt in Russia as close to zero. In case of the mass mobilisation however, it gonna skyrocket. You'll have tons of armed people with an immediate self-interest in overthrowing the regime. That's the scenario of 1917 

    • The realist says:

      Yes, interesting. Though I'm no expert on Russia, I suspect it would take even more than mass mobilization for the people to revolt. 

      • ParkHill says:

        Maybe it’s 1917 all over again. Very strong parallels.

        Read the whole article, because they add some historical insights as well. Their point is that the Russian “people” are disenfranchised and have no agency. However, 500,000 country bumpkins conscripted into fighting in Ukraine would have both guns & motive, and therefore agency.

        Not that it would happen, but that it would set up the conditions for it to happen.

        Galeev has had some other interesting articles. Here they talk about the cosmopolitan intellectuals of Moscow (including Navotny) vs provincial Russia. There are ethnic divisions, but there are also regional divisions. Galeev believes that regional interests, political and economic, provide agency to the people in the regions and therefore the centrifugal force to break Russia up.

        • Duke Cox says:

          May I point out an overlooked dynamic here?

          The success of the Ukranians in their struggle with Putins’ army, may add fuel to the fire that burns within our gun nut community who envision a citizen army willing to overthrow the evil Democrats and ” take” the government with their AR-15s. Um…no.

          Please take note guys. These people are fighting an invading foreign army. Not fighting their own government. And should they decide to square off with Uncle Sams’ army, where are the going to get the Javelins and Stingers, without which, this is a different story?

          Maybe it is a non-issue, but I thought it worth mentioning.



        • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

          "Very strong parallels."

          Not really.

          The casualty rate from the Special Military Operation war in Ukraine are nothing compared to the Russian casualties during World War I.

          And the economic turmoil caused by the nearly world-wide sanctions imposed on Russia are nothing compared to the lack of food and fuel which the Russian people were experiencing in 1917.

          Finally, there was serious concern that the Imperial family was compromised with German sympathizers in 1917 since the Czarina was German. Putin has been playing the patriotism card to the hilt and will reach a crescendo on May 9.

          • ParkHill says:

            You make good points. Read the article, so you can address Galeev's arguments rather than my attempts to summarize them.

          • NOV GOP meltdown says:

            My Romanian part of the family (close to the Ukranian border) is pretty concerned about May 9 Victory Day. FWIW they think some sort of large-scale attack will happen during or right after the Russian saber rattling and chest thumping. Not just a formal declaration of war. We will see.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        A couple of Russian historians have offered opinions based on previous "revolts" of the Russian people.  One of the recurrent elements I found fascinating:  the existing leader becoming unwilling to call on the security forces (police or military) because he knows those forces have power (weapons) and fears the forces would join in the revolt.  

        Various Western intelligence agencies ramping up their announcements to heighten speculation of inside military opposition (leaks, unofficial announcements of deaths & injuries among Russian officers), security institutions with conflicts & breakdowns, oligarchs publicly criticizing, and so on…. here's hoping they are able to stimulate Putin's paranoia.


  4. gertie97 says:

    Don't count on a revolt in Russia fixing anything. The country is ruled by autocrats, whether czars, Soviet premiers or Russian presidents. If one is deposed, another autocrat takes over. Russians have no history of anything else.


  5. ParkHill says:

    I woke up thinking about how the Supreme Court declared it an unconstitutional restriction of freedom of speech to have a 35 foot limit to keep protestors from harassing women at abortion clinics. 

    Also the Proud Boys are trying to instigate violent incidents in protest marches by women's rights and LGBTQ supporters. 

  6. ParkHill says:

    Who could have guessed!  Lucy, I mean Senator Susan Collins, is opposed to the right to an abortion.

    • ParkHill says:

      Yes! It's terrible. Time to take away the punch bowl before all those minimum wage workers get drunk on their newfound wealth.

      The US economy added 428,000 new jobs. Unemployment at 3.6%. It's horrible. Now PP will have to pay even higher wages to attract truck drivers to a difficult, shitty job.

      The only thing to do is to jack interest rates up to 10 of 15% and cause a recession to get unemployment back up to 10% so that employers don't have to raise wages.

      Obviously sarcasm/irony, but the economy works in complex ways.

      You would certainly expect some things to become more expensive when the wages of the lower-paid workers increase. If you raised taxes on the wealthy and made the stock market crater, then possible the wealthy would stop spending on second homes.

  7. Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

    This is delicious to watch …

    Pompeo holds briefing to raise concerns over Trump-backed Senate candidate in Pennsylvania | The Hill

    What the hell did Mehmet Oz, MD expect to happen when he decided to run for elected office in the Party of Xenophobia? 

  8. Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

    No trigger locks on guns but warning labels on reruns of Modern Family …..

    GOP senators call on TV ratings board to help parents shield kids from LGBTQ characters | The Hill

    A government small enough to drown in the bathtub but not so small as to be unable to censor TV shows.

  9. ParkHill says:

    Ian Milhiser at Vox on the "Threat to Other Unenumerated Rights"

    I can't do it justice. There are a lot of interesting arguments.

    Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade, which was leaked to Politico and revealed to the public Monday night, is more than just an attack on abortion. It is a manifesto laying out a comprehensive theory of which rights are protected by the Constitution and which rights should not be enforced by the courts.

    And Alito’s opinion is also a warning that, after Roe falls, the Court’s Republican majority may come for landmark LGBTQ rights decisions next, such as the marriage equality decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) or the sexual autonomy decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

  10. ParkHill says:

    TPM. Alito's Common Law legal foundation is based on withcraft, impossibility of marital rape.

    When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in a draft opinion obtained and published this week by Politico, detailed his justifications for overturning Roe v. Wade, he invoked a surprising name given the case’s subject. In writing about abortion, a matter inextricably tied to a woman’s control over her body, Alito chose to quote from Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th-century English jurist whose writings and reasonings have caused enduring damage to women for hundreds of years.

    The so-called marital rape exemption — the legal notion that a married woman cannot be raped by her husband — traces to Hale. So does a long-used instruction to jurors to be skeptical of reports of rape. So, in a way, do the infamous Salem witch trials, in which women (and some men) were hanged on or near Gallows Hill.

    Some observers have been taken aback that Alito referenced Hale. But not everyone was surprised. Eileen Hunt, a Notre Dame political science professor who has written extensively about Mary Wollstonecraft, author of the path-breaking 1792 treatise “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” tweeted:

    “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a conservative Supreme Court justice will cherry-pick an Enlightenment-era man as a timeless authority on reproductive rights but ignore #Wollstonecraft’s pivotal philosophical views on women, mothering, and the sexual double standard.”

  11. Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

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