Ukraine sliding into a real war


A recurring feature of the Cold War was that the United States almost always placed great store on the optics of a Soviet-American affair while Moscow chose to concentrate on the end result. The Cuban Missile Crisis is the best known example where the denouement was about the publicised abandonment of the planned Soviet deployment of missiles in Cuba and a US public declaration and agreement not to invade Cuba again. But it later came to be known that there was also an unpublicised part, namely, the dismantling of all of the Jupiter ballistic missiles that had been deployed to Turkey.

The behavioural pattern remains the same in Ukraine. Per the western narrative, Russia is staring at the abyss of defeat amidst the “rout” in Kharkov Region. Interestingly, though, at the responsible levels in the Beltway, there is noticeable reticence about beating the drums presumably because of their awareness that the Ukrainian forces simply re-entered the Balakleysko-Izyum direction to occupy areas that Russians had planned to vacate.

Moscow is once again leaving the optics almost entirely to the American journalists while Moscow concentrates on the end result, which has had three dimensions: one, complete the ongoing evacuation from the Balakleysko-Izyum direction without loss of lives; two, exploit the Ukrainian troop movements to target the forces that came out into the open from well-fortified positions in the Kharkov Region; and, three, concentrate on the campaign in Donetsk.

Masks are not a small thing. They're not sensible and they're not normal

eugyppius: a plague chronicle

Triple-vaccinated and recently recovered German Health
Minister Karl Lauterbach votes for his Infection Protection Act,
while masked, just to be safe...

Reflections on mandates, as the German Bundestag extends the rules for another six months.

Masks are not a small thing. They're not sensible and they're not normal. They're ugly, they stink, many of them are full of carcinogens, and they're ruining our kids and our lives. It's time to stop.

Last week, the Bundestag finally passed the Infection Protection Act drawn up by Karl Lauterbach and Marco Buschmann. By the time these latest regulations expire, it will have been around 1100 days to flatten the curve, and there’s no promise that we’ll be done even then. The law primarily empowers the federal states to impose mask mandates during the winter-tyre season, between 1 October and Easter. At the end there were some final, insulting adjustments: The federal government withdrew the general mask mandates for airplanes, in exchange for German-wide FFP2 masking requirements at healthcare clinics.

We have been doing this for a very long time now. That is pretty much the only observation I have left in me. We have had two-and-a-half years of recurring all-day masking regimens for schoolchildren. We have had two-and-a-half years of masking in the hallways of our offices, but generally not at our desks. We have had two years of masking on the way to the toilet at the pub, but not at our tables. We have had two years of non-sealing FFP2 respirators instead of surgical masks, although we’ve known since the beginning that SARS-2 is transmitted primarily via aerosols. We have had two-and-a-half years of masks failing every natural experiment that they’ve been put to, two-and-a-half years of masks serving as a pretence to ban protests, two-and-a-half years of social anxiety and unnecessary arguments with confrontational terrified old people, two-and-a-half years of mandated social isolation and anonymity, and it has all been for nothing.

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