Tag: Ukraine

…and Just Like That, the Nord Stream Pipelines Went Kaboom!

 

Last night, the twin pipelines supplying Russian natural gas to Germany blew up.  Specifically, they were both breached below the surface of the Baltic Sea, near Danish and Swedish territorial waters.  Almost certainly sabotage, based both on the time coincidence, and a Swedish seismologist’s estimate that at least 100kg of explosive was used.

This sabotage was not a trivial exercise.  It would presumably require a ROV, large underwater drone and/or a submarine to place the charges accurately.  There’s a limited supply of such equipment and expertise. And it would likely require a large enough team that it will eventually leak, even if there’s no obvious forensic information to be gathered.

Join Jim and Greg as they have a good time speculating about what caused the “leaks” in the Nordstream and Nordstream 2 pipelines and what it means for the war in Ukraine and for Europe’s energy supply this winter. They also roll their eyes as Sen. Amy Klobuchar suggests passing the Inflation Reduction Act will stop hurricanes in the future and the media seems eager to paint Gov. Ron DeSantis as a failure no matter what happens with Hurricane Ian. Finally, they discuss White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling for a “conversation” about whether the Atlanta Braves ought to change their name.

With Reason editor Stephanie Slade and Eric Kohn and Dan Hugger of the Acton Institute, Jack explores the mysteries, intricacies, tensions, and contradictions of national conservatism as filtered through the third National Conservatism Conference, held earlier this month in Miami. (This is a cross-posting of the Acton Unwind podcast.)

Join Jim and Greg as they marvel at Israel selling an air defense system to the UAE, demonstrating the success of the Abraham Accords and best chance at stability in the Middle East. They also cringe as Russian soldiers are going house to house in eastern Ukrainian provinces, forcing them to vote in favor of leaving Ukraine and joining Russia.  And that’s on top of Vladimir Putin threatening more directly than ever that he might use nukes. Finally, they call out the “gender-inclusive” insanity at the Air Force Academy, where cadets are encouraged to stop using words like mom, dad, boyfriend, and girlfriend.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the House GOP decision to put an agenda before the voters this year on the biggest issues where the Democrats have failed. They also discuss a former vice president from the EcoHealth Alliance stating under oath that COVID was a result of gain of function research in Wuhan funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. And they wince as Vladimir Putin orders 300,000 reservists to fight against Ukraine, while noting that these new soldiers are probably far less competent than the ones that have already failed.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Niall Ferguson, the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is the author of 16 books, including Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. Dr. Ferguson comments publicly for the first time on the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, and how we should teach about Britain’s wide impact – positive and negative – on the world in her era and over the last several hundred years, from the Magna Carta to Winston Churchill. Dr. Ferguson shares findings from his most recent book, which charts the history of disasters, from the 1346–1353 Black Death to COVID; whether our handling of these catastrophes – from both public health and economic standpoints – has improved; and how we can learn from mistakes to better prepare for the future. He describes the kind of education he imparts to his own children to help ensure they have the wisdom and resilience to live in a turbulent world. The interview concludes with Dr. Ferguson reading from his latest book.

Stories of the Week: Are schools of education helping future teachers develop content expertise, or are they too focused on pedagogy and ideology? In Philadelphia, the Martin Luther King High School is the city’s first school with Black faculty for all core freshmen subjects, a step forward in the effort to ensure students can benefit from diverse role models.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up one good martini and two crazy ones. After sharing their reflections on 21 years since the 9/11 attacks, they welcome the news that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is shoving Russian forces way back – in some cases all the way back to Russia. But Jim warns of a dark possibility after this good news. They also unload on Vice President Kamala Harris telling Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that the border is secure because the administration wants it to be secure – and that any problems are due to the Trump administration. Finally, they slam the door on the ludicrous argument of Democrats and other lefties that the January 6th riots were comparable to the 9/11 attacks or even worse.

 

In this Labor Day edition of “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and the author of The Polish Revolution: Solidarity. Professor Garton Ash shares insights on what both the public and students should know about Poland’s Solidarity movement, the first independent trade union (with 10 million members) behind the Iron Curtain, and its charismatic co-founder, Lech Walesa. They discuss the wide range of support for it, from U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to peace campaigners and socialists, and how it helped topple Soviet communism. He explains Poland’s role during World War II as ground zero of the Holocaust, how Allied decisions at Yalta set the stage for the Cold War, and lessons that we should remember in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The interview concludes with a reading from his book.

Stories of the Week: Loan forgiveness programs and other issues surrounding higher education are already political – but could politicos push the envelope by imposing tuition caps or outcome-based funding, interfere with autonomy in hiring, or target affirmative action programs? A new initiative is tackling big, structural problems in K-12 education, developing tools that can help parents with more flexible learning options, greater equity, and access to postsecondary college and career opportunities.

Test Drive: Lada Versus a Porsche

 

There are lots of military blogs that are written about the successes and failures of Ukrainian forces and Russian forces. That’s all well and good, but no matter who the blogger supports, they are not out on the battlefield. Let’s look at a weapons system Ukraine is using in its war with Russia, via Radio Free Europe.

Radio Free Europe is a US government agency with reporters in the battlefield. Some of those reporters are embedded with Ukrainian forces, others report from Ukrainian cities that have endured battle damage.

Join Jim and Greg as they take Arizona GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters to task for significantly changing his official position on abortion just weeks after winning the primary. But they also encourage Republicans to go on offense over the radical Democratic position of any abortion at any time for any reason. They also shake their heads as European nations are about to pay through the nose for Russian energy this winter, despite longstanding U.S. warnings not to be dependent upon Russian energy. They also detail how Biden’s policies have U.S. energy prices poised to skyrocket right after the midterm elections. And they discuss how Hollywood’s drought of compelling stories may be linked to the entertainment industry adhering to woke ideology in its content.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the CIA drone killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan and recount the horrors he helped to inflict over the years. But they also wonder just how much Al Qaeda has reconstituted in Afghanistan. They also note the signs of a fraying relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine and whether the Biden administration is looking to end the war while Zelensky refuses. And they shake their heads as Trump endorses “ERIC” in the Missouri Senate race, since Eric Greitens is a scandal-ridden cancer on the GOP who could easily lose the general election and Eric Schmitt is a strong conservative who would win easily in November.

Our Cowardly Handling of Ukraine Could Come Back to Bite Us

 

If America has learned anything from foreign entanglements over the past century, surely it is this: enemy conflicts must be engaged only if our vital interests are at stake. A war worth fighting must have clear objectives and a path to victory.

Clearly in WWII, all options save winning were unthinkable. We did win and the modern classical liberal order was created.

We had no such resolve in Vietnam. Worried about riling China and with growing domestic programs to fund, we fought not to win but for containment and so lost to a determined foe. America was humiliated, forfeiting immense blood and treasure as well as our national self-confidence.

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Summary

A panel discussion was held and sponsored jointly by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Hungarian Migration Research Institute (MRI), which examined the challenges posed by the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unleashed a deluge of refugees on Europe comparable in size only to the massive displacement of people at the end of World War II. Front-line countries in Europe – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, and Romania – opened their borders to those fleeing Ukraine, and the EU in an historic decision offered them temporary protection, including the right to work. The United States has focused on helping Ukrainians where they are in Europe, pledging up to $5 billion in humanitarian assistance. In addition, however, the Biden administration has pledged to take in 100,000 Ukrainians, granted Temporary Protected Status to those already in the U.S., and created the “Unity for Ukraine” program to allow individuals to sponsor Ukrainians who don’t want to stay in the EU.

Member Post

 

All but 11 Republican Senators voted to borrow and spend $40 Billion (without any financial oversight) to defend a distant European country from invasion by another European country. $40 Billion dollars is roughly ten times the amount European countries have provided to Ukraine. Texas Republican senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have tweeted their support […]

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Member Post

 

The juxtaposition of two major spending bills in US Senate within hours of each other Thursday was not lost on the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC). President Biden signed into law Saturday legislation providing $40 billion in aid related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, $7 billion more than he requested. Only 11 Senate Republicans and 57 […]

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Theatre Fundraiser for Ukraine

 

Ricochet community – excited to be posting for the first time. Writing to tell you all about a project I’ve been working on recently. I’m putting on a staged reading of my first play, Lev of Leningrad, to raise funds for Ukrainian relief. If you’re in the Philadelphia area and want to see the show you can find tickets here.

Lev is a comedy-drama about (my close friends) Lev and Marina Furman, prominent Jewish refusniks in Leningrad in the 1980s. The Furmans were denied the right to emigrate from the former Soviet Union, which at the time included Kyiv where Marina was born. Last year, the play received a staged reading at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA, as a part of The Fulton’s inaugural ‘Stories of Diversity’ festival.

Join Jim and Greg as they breathe a tad easier after Vladimir Putin does not announce any escalation of the Ukraine war in his Victory Day speech. They also fume as the Biden administration still can’t find the courage to tell protesters to stay away from the homes of Supreme Court justices. And recently uncovered voting records add to their unease about the idea of Sen. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.

 

Jim Geraghty is back! Today, he and Greg get a kick out of the sleazy Lincoln Project vowing to help Democrat Tim Ryan win the Ohio Senate race and Ryan’s team makes it clear they don’t want the group anywhere near the campaign. Jim sounds off as the Biden administration publicly confirms even more intelligence work directly connected to Ukrainian military operations, including the sinking of the Moskva. And outgoing Press Secretary Jen Psaki refuses to tell abortion protesters to stay away from the private residences of Supreme Court justices.

Join Greg and Emily Jashinsky of The Federalist as they welcome signs from Sen. Susan Collins that she has no intention of ending the filibuster to pass abortion legislation but they also note how abortion could cause tension inside a GOP coalition that now includes a lot of people who don’t consider themselves social conservatives. They also wonder why U.S. officials would publicly confirm that American intelligence has been directly involved in tracking and targeting Russian generals killed by Ukraine. And they fire back as Biden climate adviser Gina McCarthy vows an aggressive green agenda – including more than a hundred regulations on appliances and severe demands for “sustainable airlines.”