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When you're driving down the highway at night
And you're feelin' that wild turkey's bite
Don't give Johnny Walker a ride
'Cause Jack Black is right by your side
You might get taken to the jailhouse and find
You've been arrested for driving while blind

 

<insert Rev. Billy Gibbons guitar solo here>

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9 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia appears to be on the verge of going big.  Very scary developments.  

 

Yup. Russia can taste that empire. Ukraine is being occupied more and more, and I don't have much faith the UN will do much about it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

Yup. Russia can taste that empire. Ukraine is being occupied more and more, and I don't have much faith the UN will do much about it.

 

But at least you can count on the leader of the free world to stand up to Putin and...  (pfft... gak...)  Sorry, couldn't keep a straight face for that one.

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Yes, if Putin's going to make a grab for more "living space" (to borrow an unfortunate rationale from our last world war), he picked an opportune time. NATO is cracked due to an isolationist American president; the European Union is engrossed in Brexit, which has hobbled the UK government; Merkel is a lame-duck leader of a fragile coalition in Germany. Russia has already gotten away with flexing in Ukraine and Syria -- Putin undoubtedly wants to see how far he can push before the world pushes back.

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The German Chancellor is dependent on having enough votes in Parliament to support her/his government. Merkel's party is currently a minority in a coalition, so her ability to take decisive action is pretty limited. And she's been in power since 2005. In democracies the electorate usually starts itching for change if a government persists a long time, regardless of competence.

 

But Angela Merkel expended a lot of political capital in welcoming so many Syrian refugees into Germany. There was substantial support for that in Germany initially on humanitarian grounds; but nationalists have been using it to work people up against her.

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I guess I'm in the minority here; I don't want the US to stand up for Ukraine. I feel bad for them, but that's just what happens when a little country is next to a big country. Very bad things could happen if the US (or the EU) tried aligning itself with Ukraine.

 

Go team military isolationism.

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Except I'm the guy that thinks if the US had done a few things differently, it could have stayed out of WWII, and that would be a good thing.  

 

The Soviet Union would have won without US aid, and Britain was doing just fine holding the Germans at bay while the Soviets advanced. Without the US, Normandy might not have happened (maybe),  but that only means that France and all Germany become soviet client states, instead of just East Germany. Eventually the Soviet Union falls anyway because Communism fails every time, and France and Germany go free, no US intervention needed.

 

And the MS St Louis showed it was never a war about stopping the Holocaust. Just another European tribal conflict.

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15 hours ago, Badger said:

 

I don't trust the UN to be able to walk and chew gum simultaneously.

 

Eh, while the UN has its corruptions, ineptitudes and things it just can't do, it has its successes too. Only, they don't make the news. Nobody pays attention to the peacekeeping mission that successfully keeps peace or the vaccination campaign that doesn't rile up local crazies. Just like nobody reports on elections that happen without a hitch, or the neighboring ethnic groups that get along fine.

 

The UN can't stop Russia's bad behavior, because Russia has a veto in the Security Council. But that doesn't make the UN worthless. (Though of course it could still be improved.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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The United Nations has very little power to enforce peace between nations and good conduct within them. But it is a safe neutral space in which representatives of the nations of the world can meet, raise and discuss issues of mutual concern, and devise common strategies for dealing with a wide range of problems, usually away from potentially embarrassing media scrutiny. All member nations don't have an equal voice, but at least they have a voice. IMHO having the UN is better than having nothing like it at all, which is probably the only practical alternative.

 

BTW if you'll allow me a momentary tangent: One of the complaints I hear most often about the official Champions Universe is that its version of the UN is "unrealistically" effective, particularly its super-security agency, UNTIL. But it occurred to me that unlike real Earth, Champions Earth has faced multiple alien invasions, not to mention home-grown supervillains and super-terrorists, capable of literally conquering or destroying the planet, on a recurring basis over the past eighty years. That has to have impressed most national governments with the need for greater cooperation, just for collective survival.

 

The incident from CU history that I think most clearly illustrates that is Dr. Destroyer's leveling of Detroit in 1992. Prior to that the United States had not signed the Tribunal Treaty allowing UNTIL to operate with full authority on American soil, over concerns about foreign nationals compromising the country's security. However, when the American public learned UNTIL had mobilized its forces to help fight Destroyer, but that they were held up at the border due to bureaucratic red tape until too late, their outrage forced the US government to ratify the treaty.

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5 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

The United Nations has very little power to enforce peace between nations and good conduct within them. But it is a safe neutral space in which representatives of the nations of the world can meet, raise and discuss issues of mutual concern, and devise common strategies for dealing with a wide range of problems, usually away from potentially embarrassing media scrutiny. All member nations don't have an equal voice, but at least they have a voice. IMHO having the UN is better than having nothing like it at all, which is probably the only practical alternative.

 

BTW if you'll allow me a momentary tangent: One of the complaints I hear most often about the official Champions Universe is that its version of the UN is "unrealistically" effective, particularly its super-security agency, UNTIL. But it occurred to me that unlike real Earth, Champions Earth has faced multiple alien invasions, not to mention home-grown supervillains and super-terrorists, capable of literally conquering or destroying the planet, on a recurring basis over the past eighty years. That has to have impressed most national governments with the need for greater cooperation, just for collective survival.

 

The incident from CU history that I think most clearly illustrates that is Dr. Destroyer's leveling of Detroit in 1992. Prior to that the United States had not signed the Tribunal Treaty allowing UNTIL to operate with full authority on American soil, over concerns about foreign nationals compromising the country's security. However, when the American public learned UNTIL had mobilized its forces to help fight Destroyer, but that they were held up at the border due to bureaucratic red tape until too late, their outrage forced the US government to ratify the treaty.

Well sure.  Supervillains are the equivalent of terrorists with elite training and access to advanced military tech and even weapons of mass destruction(honestly, the ability to level a few city blocks in a matter of minutes is enough to qualify a super as a potential WMD).  They are truly independent operators and exactly the kind of threat that would require virtually every nation to cooperate and coordinate with each other. And that's before we get into alien and extradimensional incursions!

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