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A key bit -- again, as I said, folks here are pretty bright -- is knowing not just where to get info, but when and from whom and how.

I can go to the New York Times and read what they have to say about any issue.  And 95% of it is garbage written by airhead reporters looking for an easy story to write.  Ditto the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the BBC, etc.

But I also know that I can read a few people and get some decent insight and analysis, or read stories and pick up what's not bad and what's bullshit.  Understanding the subtleties of the news industry is important.  I understand some, but I'm by no means an expert, because understanding it fully really requires a knowledge of culture and institutions that's above my pay grade when we get to a global scale.

From my perspective, here's what's happened (others feel free to chime in and correct me):  A large group of Ukrainians don't like Yanukovych.  A large group of Ukrainians disagree.  It sounds like the latter group is slightly larger than the former.  Yanukovych fled as the protests escalated.  The US and the EU somewhat supported the protesters.  Russia somewhat opposed them, albeit to a reater degree.

(I always have mixed feelings on that whenever such situations arise.  Obviously I support the right to protest, but elections were held, and Yanukovych won.  He should have the right to serve his term until he's removed by legal means without fear of violence.)

From there, an interim government took over.  Within that government, a lot of dangerous people seized sensitive positions in the defense and intelligence areas.  Right Sector and all of those thugs.  Putin responded by invading Crimea -- probably in part to protect the Russian population, probably in part to try to hold onto his sphere of influence, probably in part due to a whole bunch of other shit.

Putin then held a referendum with what appears to be a ridiculous result.  (C'mon, you can't get 90+% of people to agree on anything.)  The US and EU responded by freezing the assets of a few Russians.  And here we sit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 08:28:45 PM EST
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