Why the European Union Reform Treaty is Needed

It’s striking the EU is able to maintains an arms embargo against China,” a major trading partner China, but not their main strategic rival, Russia. It is a good thing that Russia is so militarily weak it needs French ships to intimidate Ukraine and Georgia, of course. It is bad it is strong enough to be able to get them.

Russia is close to buying a warship from France in its first deal to import military technology from a Nato state since the end of the Cold War.

Bernard Kouchner, France’s Foreign Minister, and Hervé Morin, the Defence Minister, made it clear that they supported the sale of a Mistral assault ship to Russia during talks in Moscow yesterday.

The move is likely to alarm other Nato states after Russia indicated that it was seeking a bigger deal to upgrade its armed forces with advanced Western technology. It could also raise tensions in the Black Sea, where Russia has threatened to act against Georgian naval vessels if they block ships from travelling to the separatist region of Abkhazia.

This is why the European Union Reform Treaty is needed, why it was such good when Ireland voted for it. This is why it would be a good thing for the Czech Republic and Poland will join too (meaning it becomes binding for all members of the European Union). Russia is able to play divide-and-conquer games with the European States, because of the weak nature of the European Union decision-making process, in a way that Russia could never do with the 50 united States.

When Europeans say global warming, they mean Russia.

When Europeans say European Union, they mean the Political Arm of NATO-in-Europe.

Stop “global warming.”

Strengthen the “European Union.”

Review of “Lost: Via Domus”

I celebrated my official assession to Doctoral Candidacy (and some other good news) by finishing LOST: Via Domus, which I began a while ago. Via Domus (translated as “The Way Home” in the game”), is composed of four “episodes” that take place parallel to the main action of LOST: Force Majeure, A New Day, Via Domus, Forty-Two, Hotel Persephone, Whatever It Takes, and Worth a Thousand Words, each with about an hour of gamepplay. The game concerns a character who wakes up shortly after the original airline crash, not knowing his name or why he was onboard.

The island is beautifully rendered, but unfortunately one cannot explore much of it. Like Half-Life 2, there is an invisible rail that guides the player. At all times, there is a right thing to do, and a right place to be. This can be annoying, as alternative solutions that do not fit within the pre-written story are generally impossible to execute. At times this is annoying, such as when your character refuses to take a little detour, and instead has to run away from a smoke monster while carrying dynamite.

However, while gameplay can be limiting, the writing is fantastic. In most games, you play through the protaganist. In via domus, you play as him. The first time I realized this I was perturbed, but then I realized it was an original perspective on gameplay. While the main character decides what he wants, it is your puppeteering that gets him there. This at times raises moral qualms. The ending is more satisfying than most video game endings, as well.

I enjoyed LOST: Via Domus. I recommend it to anyone with an XBOX 360 or a sufficiently powerful PC.

Seriously, Tom

During Russia’s invasion of Georgia, Tom insisted that he had a “Secret source” on the ground, highly credible, tell him things that were being suppressed by every major media outlet. In spite of this conspiracy, because of Tom’s inside connections, he knew the truth: Vladimir Putin was a world leader on par with Hu Jintao or George Bush, intervening in the lawless frontier to spread connectivity and establish modern rulesets.

When everything died out, the “Secret source” was revealed to be a thoroughly average reporter, whose reports (completely consistent with what everyone else had written) detailed the obvious: Russia invaded Georgia after a time of rising tension, which included the Russians violating Georgian airspace, and the Georgians shelling separatists who had been given Russian passports.

Let’s see some apologies
ARTICLE: Georgia Set Off War, Probe Finds, By Philip P. Pan, Washington Post, October 1, 2009
Ah, I can’t wait to hear all the bloggers’ mea culpas regarding the EU report on the start of the Russian-Georgian war.

Turns out we shouldn’t have all become Georgians then.

Once again, Tom is reporting news that everyone knew since August 9th, 2008. Catholicgauze reported it then. Duck of Minerva recapitulates it now.

When it comes to those who criticize Putin, Tom prefers terms like hysterics and freak-out. And indeed, there is a hysterical crowd that engages in cold-war thinking.

Such freak-outs seem limited to those in the oil services sector, though.

There’s more to life (and Russia) than Gazprom.

Ireland, State of Europe

Contrary to Helen at Chicago Boyz, the Irish should accept the EU referendum. If the Irish do not, Ireland should be expelled from the Union.

The European Union exists to provide a monetary, economic, and political way for the democracies of Europe to avoid being divided by Russia. Russia is able to use oil and natural gas politics to invade weaker countries and roll back democracy and liberty, using direct assaults that are impossible militarily (because of NATO).

The EU is the political, economic, and monetary arm of NATO in Europe.

Broadening and deepening the European Union is critical to the security of democracy and liberty of Europe.

Ireland should vote yes.