Saturday, June 04, 2022

Today's News: 100 days

It has now been 100 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. 
The yellow markings on this map from Australian Strategic Policy Institute researcher Nathan Ruser show how successful Ukraine has been in retaking its territory from the Russian invaders. Ruser notes that more than a thousand Ukrainian settlements have been saved from Russian occupation
And here is a fascinating video:
But some pundits in the West are getting bored -- they seem to want this war to end so they can get back to planning holidays at the lake. 
We're seeing articles now like this one in today's New York Magazine: The War in Ukraine Can Be Over If the U.S. Wants It -- written by a 32-year-old journalist Ross Barkan who has never done anything except write novels and cover New York politics. He describes a three month war as "dragging on" and says Kissinger and Chomsky are merely "facing reality" when they urge the West to give up on Ukraine. 
Here's the reaction to this article from war correspondent Danny Gold, who knows Ukraine: This Atlantic article, though it also talks about a truce, makes a little more sense: Former assistant defense secretary Andrew Exum writes:
 ...the economic costs of the war are starting to seriously concern American and other Western policy makers.
...The twin pressures of an ailing economy and surging populism will be on the minds of Western decision makers as they wrestle with a war that will continue to take a toll on the world’s leading economies. 
For that reason, the conversations between Ukraine and its supporters abroad are likely to grow harder, not easier, as the year progresses. 
Ukraine will come under more pressure, and not just from Henry Kissinger, to concede some territory and allow Russia to save face. Even a hasty termination of the conflict, however, seems unlikely to arrest the world’s slide into greater economic pain.... 
 But a premature truce won't resolve anything. For one thing, neither Ukraine nor the West can just give up on finding Ukraine's lost children: And Putin seems to be firing generals again:
Russia may not be winning much in the Battle of Donbas anymore: Here's an observation worth keeping in mind: Moving to other news, here's a final thought about the Ontario election: And a final thought about Elon Musk: It is Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee so lots of news coverage all over. Here's the nicest story: Yes, I can understand why this tourist didn't recognize the Queen - she isn't a particularly grandiose person. 
I met Queen Elizabeth once, when I was a journalist in Victoria BC 30-some years ago. She and Phillip were doing a tour and they visited Canada with the Royal Yacht Britannia and they held a reception there for journalists covering the visit so I got to go. 
It was all very thrilling and nicely done, and the Queen was very pleasant and charming, but she's not a tall or imposing person - to find her at the reception, you had to look for the place where the crowd was  thickest, and then find the centre of the crowd, and there she was. It struck me that she and Phillip had to spend far too much of their lives making inconsequential small-talk with awestruck strangers - they were both extremely good at it. 

Moving along - we subscribed to Disney+ so we could watch The Mandalorian (which is great!) and The Book of Boba Fett (which is pretty good) and now we've watched the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi.  
It's....not great. 
I can quite understand why fans are annoyed by Third Sister and child Princess Leia - the characterizations are both really annoying, and neither of the actors are good enough to make you forget it. So I appreciated this Irish Times review:
The author Patrick Freyne also wrote what has been described as the best opening paragraph to an article ever written. Here it is: 
Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it’s like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.