nuclear stockpile

Understanding Scottish Independence: for Americans

It seems like a lot of Americans don’t understand the relationship between the UK and Scotland. Let me tell you a story to try to help you understand.

Imagine that Canada has a terrible disaster of some kind. They’re completely bankrupt. They can barely feed themselves. Maybe it was a huge meteor strike or something. Anyway, Canada is kind of lowkey screwed.

So America decides to help their little brother to the north. They offer to bail out Canada, as long as Canada joins the US, and the ten provinces and three territories of Canada become 13 new states.

For a while things are pretty okay. Canadian currency becomes American currency and every Canadian dollar is valued exactly like American dollars. The Canadian capitol in Ottawa is shut down, and Canada sends their representatives and senators to Washington DC. The old provinces can still collect state tax, but all the federal taxes get sent off to the IRS, and the Canadians get Federal funding the same as other states.

Not all Canadians are happy about the arrangement. They feel like their identity as Canadians is lost. It seems like there are more and more barbeque joints and fewer and fewer Tim Horton’s as time goes by. They want to still be Canadians, but everyone now calls them Americans. After all, they’re all from North America, right?

The problems start to arise when it comes to governing. The Americans draft a bill in congress that cuts all funding for French language education and television. The Canadians are incensed! They are told, “You have representatives in Congress. Just tell them to vote against it!”

They do, but there are only 26 Canadian Senators and 50 Canadian Representatives in Congress, while there are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives from the US. Even when Alaska and Minnesota vote with Canada, there are not nearly enough votes, so they lose all of their Federal funding for French tv and education.

That ends up just being the start. The US cuts funding for the Canadian socialised medicine and welfare programs. They decide it’s not fair for them to get better healthcare and welfare protection than the other states. They’re told that if they want to keep those things they’ll have to raise the money from their own state budgets and state taxes. But they have restrictions on how much they can raise in state tax, so services are strained.

There are little problems here and there as well. Whenever Canadians go down to the original states, the locals refuse to take their Canadian money or give them a hard time, even though it is legal US currency.

Most of the former members of the Canadian national hockey team are recruited into the US olympic hockey team. They do really well in the early rounds, and headlines scream “USA! USA!” When the Canadians point out that every player on the team is Canadian, the Americans scoff and say, “Quit being so nationalistic. We’re all Americans.” The team loses in the final to Russia. The headlines scream, “American Bid for Gold Destroyed by Incompetent Canadians.”

Canada is rich in oil and other natural resources, which are now owned by the US government. With so much land and so few people, per capita they contribute more money to the US budget than they get back in Federal spending. They ask to get more of it back to pay for healthcare and education, but they are outnumbered in congress as usual.

Socially, Canadians are just different. The Canadian states legalise gay marriage across the former Canada with little fuss and the only protests came from the south. They have strict firearm restrictions and they resent that Americans keep bringing in guns.

A war breaks out in Europe. Planeloads and boatloads of European refugees pour into North America from Britain, France, and Spain. The President immediately reacts and calls for restrictions on refugees, claiming that there is no space for them, and they’re too dangerous. Meanwhile, Canada wants to welcome as many refugees as possible. There is plenty of space in Canada, they love welcoming new cultures, and they want to help. Unfortunately, immigration is not a state-level power, so they are banned from accepting refugees.

The US decides to increase their military spending and starts wars all over the world, as usual. Canada pays their share and then some. Americans start to feel uncomfortable with all the nuclear stockpiles in the country, but they refuse to get rid of them. Instead, they park their entire store of nukes just outside Toronto. Not a single Canadian voted to approve the move.

Things start to break down. The Canadians have long recovered from their original crisis, and it just seems like they no longer have any power to govern themselves. They are socially far more liberal than the original states, but their votes don’t mean anything in Congress, so they are constantly saddled with an extremely conservative government.

They’ve been an independent country before. They know it’s possible. If they broke out of the US, they could bring back socialised medicine and welfare and the French language. They could spend more on health and education and less on the constant wars. They could make the Americans take their nukes back, so that they aren’t endangering their largest city.

The Americans don’t understand. “Your population is so small! You’re part of the greatest country in the world! You’ll never have that kind of global clout if you leave us.”

But the Canadians don’t want global power. They just want to take care of themselves and be Canadian again.

So that’s basically what the relationship between Scotland and England is like. Scotland doesn’t want an Empire like England does. We just want to take care of ourselves on our own terms. Our priorities and values are just fundamentally different.

wasn’t there an episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood that reflected on the cold war and the king was stockpiling nuclear weapons because someone else in the kingdom was stockpiling nuclear weapons

youtube

put a nuclear stockpile in their backyard and they wouldnt know what it looks like 

anonymous asked:

looks like RBA come from the ghettos and are going with this because the Mare offerended them freedom. They might or might not hold the beliefs of the Mare. And the Mare want the fossil fuels that are in the island. King Fritz really stuck to his "humanity ruled by titans" shit and there was no peace, Mare just couldn't attack due to their nuclear stockpiles of Titans. How do you feel about these developings?

yeah such a noble mission massacring a bunch of people for oil. why is zeke supporting these guys? maybe he wants to follow his own way and get te coordinate for himself? i can’t wait for him to explain himself

I’m trying myself to parse some sense in this chapter. From what I’ve got, the Erdian nation used to be the dominant one, as it wielded the power of titans. As they retreated, Mare’s technological advance became quite exceptional to the point their progress might even make titans obsolete shall they pump resources from Erdia.

It’s clear the talk about “evil” is pure propaganda, yet the warriors don’t mind reminding their initial beliefs at some times:

Bertolt and Reiner using the terms “devil” and “evil” respectively to describe the people inside the walls (ch. 49 and 77)

Amusingly, Mare adopts the classic tenants of imperialism: giving youth a reason to go to war. The only problem is King Fritz apparently threatening not only Erdia, but the whole world to be destroyed by CTs shall he ever be attacked. that’s why Mare didn’t use airforce. Meanwhile, during their mission, the warriors learned by themselves Erdians weren’t evil at the core, but mostly living in ignorance and fed with lies, just as they were under the Marean government.

As for Zeke, it’s been stated in chapter 77 he wanted to end this cursed history. Probably the one going on between Erdia and Mare:

Zeke stating his goal - Ch. 77

On the same page, he seemed equally done with the actual conflict going on. Reiner himself said more causalities weren’t needed. All they have to do is to retrieve their fellow shifters (Annie and Eren), the descendant of the enemy shifter (Historia) and they were done. Zeke seems definitely less judgmental than Eren and Grisha: he himself doesn’t want to shed any more blood than needed, didn’t get into the mindset than Erdians were rotted to the core when soldiers were charging at him but rather blamed the First King and got upset because of Grisha’s behavior. We don’t know in detail how his training was but it must have been harsh.

Fuck Tumblr for eating my post, fuck this connection and overall fuck my life.

catyuy  asked:

Hey, would you mind sharing your theory on Ross's original plan in CA:CW?

Oh yea! Sorry I completely forgot. Since I forgot I’ll break my hiatus but after that I’m still out

*coughs*

*rolls over to her wall of newspaper clippings and red string*

*takes a deep breath*

IT WAS ALL A FUCKING CONSPIRACY BY GENERAL ROSS TO GAIN POWER OVER THE AVENGERS IN THE WAKE OF NICK FURY’S DISAPPEARANCE.

That’s a whole lot of lead in to say that specifically, Ross waited until Tony stark was in his most emotionally compromised state to release the information about the Sokovia Accords to Tony. 

If you followed my blog at all you know that I’m not a TS fan like, at all. That said, his motives are pretty clear and predictable, to a point where anyone who has the wherewithal to try can pretty easily direct his actions. You know like Ross.

OK Crow we fucking get it. Tell us how it happened though?

Evidence Figure A: The Teleprompter

Any project/event manager worth their salt checks, double checks, triple checks, and quadruple checks the attendee list, especially when someone as high profile as Tony Stark & Pepper Potts, CEO of mother-fucking STARK INDUSTRIES is showing up to the shindig. 

There’s also this little thing called a contingency plan? If a homegrown convention with a big name actor showing up has a contingency in place should something happen, then one would assume that a fucking top-of-the-line school would have protocols for this, especially since Tony is definitely not the only or the biggest name-brand-celeb to show up at MIT. I just googled, Matt Damon was just there for commencement IRL. So like, this isn’t their first goddamn rodeo!

Lasty, it’s 2016. Teleprompters have had the ability to switch feeds midstream for YEARS. Literally every ‘this just in!’ update your local news personality does when live covering something is precisely what’s happening. The teleprompter is the information and the earpiece is the producer giving them any alternate queues. So, when Tony’s 45 minutes through his speech and immersing into his demo and it’s pretty fucking clear that the Big Pot has not entered the kitchem, maybe it’s time for some midstream reprompting?! 

No. 

So we have Tony Stark who’s in his patented Mental Self Flagellation Machine 4000 ™ and is already feeling down. While he’s trying to climb the endorphin high he gets from throwing money at people, the teleprompter shuts that right down.

Now we know Tony is feeling bad. He just wants to go curl up on his private jet and have FRIDAY play Adele while he stares at pictures of Pepper on his phone. And that would be nice-

Evidence Figure B: “I work for the State Department”  

So now Tony has been kicked twice in the nuts by his emotional anguish. He’s down and if we know anything about this dude is that he’s emotionally driven. You grab those heartstrings and you can pull him any which way. The grand orchestrator here (Ross) now has a good hold, but he’s going to lock it in. 

Enter your average ‘State Department’ admin. There’s no real answer as to which branch of the state department she’s in, or what she does or who she really works for. She could be in accounting, weapons acquisition, any number of deep-confidential branches (Spies have paperwork too), or Ross’ goddamn secretary. It doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s very strange that her lead in was a delineation of where she worked, as if it mattered. Taken out of context it’s as innocuous as saying ‘I work in real-estate’ or ‘I work in healthcare’. The story would have panned out either way. 

But no, she works for the state department. She probably has a work email that ends in .gov.us. She’s probably searchable in the inter-office directory, and potentially she’s got access to grief counseling and other psychiatric services provided through her workplace. 

Now we know that shit’s supposed to be confidential but I don’t think a man who’s going to make an extrajudicial underwater superhuman prison is a man with scruples about patient confidentiality. 

How easy would it be for Ross or one of his lackeys to approach this and other grieving workers until they find the one with a perfect hook to drag Tony by the nose?

How did your average State Department admin manage to find her way into an isolated walk path obviously made for personnel only, in a private building on a private campus with no one trying to stop her? 

Now, we know that college campuses unfortunately don’t have the best security in non-event situations. But Tony Stark well known trouble magnet and billionaire was showing up. Sure a police detail and private security can’t really do shit about another alien invasion but they can stop people from waiting around in isolated hallways for celebrities. (Why was he alone anyway? This is 100% against celebrity escort protocol. Beyonce doesn’t even go to the bathroom without a security detail, and for good fucking reason!)

How did she get down there? 

At just the right place and at just the right time to deliver a printed picture of her handsome, selfless, philanthropic, and dead-too-soon son to Tony Stark. 

Not to mention the very pointed speech.

Evidence Figure C: “I blame YOU Mr. Stark”

Well. Fuck.

Rule Number 1 of maintaining world peace, do NOT make Tony Stark feel guilty. 

What happened the last time Tony felt guilt?

Oh There ain’t no strings on me~

Whenever Tony feels even the slightest hint of guilt he essentially breaks out his screwdriver and tries to fix it all by himself in the world’s most expensive display of bad coping mechanisms ever witnessed.

Historically Pepper (AKA his lovely red headed chill button) was there and he was able to channel his angst into like, 87 new suits or something else constructive.

or like 8000 idfk

But Pepper’s gone, Nicky Fury (AKA the backup chill button) is MIA, and MCU Tony doesn’t actually listen to Rhodey.

Had there been no Sokovia Accords they probably would have to have fought a sentient protection robot that’s only goal was to lock all of humanity in a bubble where they couldn’t ever get hurt ever again or something. 

But… suspiciously… There was  a way for Tony to lift some of that guilt off his arc reactor. 

Evidence Figure D: “You have three days” 

Mother. fucker. I have a longer grace period on my goddamn rent than this. Did you see how thick that neat piece of legislation was? It would take a fast and legally genius reader at least a week or two to drag through that piece of work. 

This was extortion in it’s greatest effect, and they knew Tony would take the bait really easily once it was set up for him to see this as absolution for his guilt. 

Where were the Avengers’ lawyers? How the fuck did Tony run a business where no one read over his major contracts to assure that he wasn’t getting fucked over by a line in convoluted legalese? 

Steve at least cracks the thing open and gives it a glance, but three days isn’t long enough to review a ten page divorce agreement, let alone a 300 page document signing super-powered individuals under the jurisdiction of a singular but not unanimously agreed upon “ruling” body. (the UN doesn’t actually rule and is mainly a facilitator of multi lateral agreements and I could go on for days about the loopholes in that but I digress)

So general Ross chooses the day of (day after?, day before?) to present this document to Tony, giving him a very final due date with which to sign or be thrown in superhero prison. 

This document that is going to be ratified by the UN.

This document that somehow no one who is actually in close contact with superheroes has apparently heard of. 

-> DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO WRITE, REVISE, AND PRESENT A MOTION FOR RATIFICATION TO LITERALLY ANY LEGISLATIVE BODY?

Fucking FOREVER.

American children , remember this?:

It’s a long long way into the capitol city indeed

I just googled and the Average time for a bill to move through the legislative body in America last year was about 263 days. Now, that’s just America. This is the UN. 

That means that the same accords have to be written, revised, translated, documented, discussed, researched and presented to the 193 constituent countries of the UN with their myriad interests and legislative processes before coming to that one document. 

And Tony thinks they can just clean it up later? Of course he does.

Oh my god does he try. 

So far I’ve only been putting down the facts but not the motivations. 

What the actual fuCK Ross?

Well that’s simple really. Ross wants to run the world. He may not be HYDRA, he may not be a part of any organization (or maybe he’s the head of one). This man desires nothing more than power. After all, he’s a general in the goddamn US military. There’s not really anywhere else on earth you can get that level of a power high. The man knows where the nuclear codes are, for shit’s sake. 

That is, unless you’ve been clued in to powers that are stronger than nuclear stockpiles and trips to the moon. You’re clued in to men who can turn green and raze cities, that can bench press 2000 lbs and puppy eye the enemy to death, Sabrina the teenage witch,  an AI with a dubious color scheme who can shoot laser beams outta his noggin and like, some normal folks who can take a 3″ knife and a fucking Ford Fusion to a fight with terrorists and win

The real superhero of this operation

Fuck nuclear warheads. How easy would it be to control everything if you could just threaten to unleash the Hulk?

Ross has the money and the power to do it. But he’s just got to wait on the right conditions.

Or, like any self respecting hard working old fashioned American warmonger, he can make them his damn self. 

Tony Stark, the  billionaire playboy philanthropist and strictly technology based genius bank rolls the Avengers, providing them with food, housing, paychecks, and the ability to continue doing what they do under the private sector, after SHIELD/HYDRA was dissolved. Without Tony and the whole free-market ruling that makes the US government weak to corporations.

Boy oh boy is it a good thing that Tony Stark has an Atlas-complex big enough to heft a galaxy and is easily lead to bad decisions by his emotions. 

For Ross there was no way for it to go wrong. If they all signed then he’d have the full control of the Avengers through the UN. If any or some of them did not sign, then they go on a fucking all expenses paid Guantanamo-style torture Cruise already outfitted with anti superhero and anti magic technology… despite not having signed the accords and not having violated any other international laws.

Now remember this, Zemo-Bucky is not a main storyline on this. It’s a happy coincidence. The strife with the Accords would have probably occurred in a conference room instead of a goddamn Tesco-parking lot brawl. However, the consequences were exactly the same, even though by abstaining from signing, they would not have been violating any laws. 

You know how if you get a speeding ticket, you aren’t compelled by law to agree that you were speeding and sign it? You can contest it in court? Now this is not a particularly safe practice in our current climate, but that’s what the little print under the ticket says.  

But here Ross is stating that not signing is essentially a one-way ticket to Poseidon’s special hellhole.

What page of the Accords was that listed on?

Steve probably highlighted it. 

Sticky notes and highlighters weren’t invented till the ‘60′s ya know. Steve is probably as impressed with washi tape as I am. 

In summary

  1. Ross crafted the perfect conditions to take the entire fucking UN on an emotionally compromised piggy back ride in the wake of the fall of Sokovia in order to craft a legislative document and a zero-sum totalitarian punishment game.
  2. He then waited on Tony to be emotionally compromised and then took the seed of guilt that’s already planted in Tony and just twisted it in a little harder until the kingpin of the current Avengers operation was putty in his hands.
  3. And after all that happened, even a particularly competent terrorist’s personal vendetta only helped his goals and didn’t hinder them in the slightest. 

In this movie, Ross won. It wouldn’t have worked otherwise. Pepper would have called lawyers and Nick -it’s a stupid ass decision- Fury would have called bullshit before this ball could have even started rolling. 

Now as far as we know, Tony and assorted are under the jurisdiction of the accords, while Steve and his team are ostensibly international outlaws dependent on the benevolence of Wakanda and anyone else who can keep them from being sent back to fucking sea-jail (or space jail, seeing as they broke out of sea jail)


SO uh…

yea

CONFIRMED.

nytimes.com
Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan
A transcript of President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima, Japan.

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.

Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind. On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.

In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die. Men, women, children, no different than us. Shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death. There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism, graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity.

Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.

How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause.

Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.

Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats. But those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.

Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos, but those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.

The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.

That is why we come to this place. We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow.

Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

Some day, the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war. The nations of Europe built a union that replaced battlefields with bonds of commerce and democracy. Oppressed people and nations won liberation. An international community established institutions and treaties that work to avoid war and aspire to restrict and roll back and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.

Still, every act of aggression between nations, every act of terror and corruption and cruelty and oppression that we see around the world shows our work is never done. We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.

We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics.

And yet that is not enough. For we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs can serve up violence on a terrible scale. We must change our mind-set about war itself. To prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun. To see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation and not violent competition. To define our nations not by our capacity to destroy but by what we build. And perhaps, above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race.

For this, too, is what makes our species unique. We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted.

We see these stories in the hibakusha. The woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself. The man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.

My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans. The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family — that is the story that we all must tell.

That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.

Those who died, they are like us. Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it. When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders, reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.

The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child. That is a future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.

2

Two former radar operators have revealed how a UFO travelled 120 miles in less than EIGHT SECONDS, That’s a staggering 54,000 Miles per hour !

Jim Carey and Ike Barker (above) have given their first in-depth interviews since the incident at RAF Bentwaters, in Suffolk - hailed as the world’s best documented UFO case. They were on duty in the air traffic control tower when the unidentified target was tracked on radar during a spate of bizarre sightings in late December 1980. On December 26, a small team of security police officers reported seeing a triangular shaped craft land in Rendlesham Forest, just outside the base.

Meanwhile, reports came in over their radios that the UFO was firing beams into the weapons storage bunkers, which housed the biggest stockpile of nuclear missiles in Europe at that time. Halt (bottom right) later filed an official report to the UK Ministry of Defence - dubbed the ‘Halt Memo’ - giving details about the case, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act.

youtube

【超訳】2016.05.27オバマ大統領の広島演説(日英併記)

~大統領が本当に伝えたかったこと~
My take on what Obama really wanted to say, in Japanese

Source: Time.com via The New York Times (plus typo correction)


すべての戦没者の死を悼む場所

Place to mourn the dead from all wars


1. 71年前、雲一つない眩しい朝に、空から死がもたらされ、世界は一変しました。その閃光と炎の壁により、街は破壊され、人類は、自らを滅ぼす術を手に入れたことを思い知らされることになります。

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

2. なぜわれわれは、ここ広島を訪れるのか。それは、そう遠くない過去に、恐ろしい力を解放してしまったことに思いを馳せるため、そして10万人以上の日本の男女や子ども、何千人もの朝鮮人、12名のアメリカ人捕虜を含むすべての死者を悼むためです。

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.

3. 彼らの魂はわれわれに、自らを見つめ直すよう語りかけてきます。われわれは今どのような存在であり、どのような存在になり得るのかということを。  

Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

4. 広島での出来事が際立つのは、それが戦争の現実であるからではありません。歴史の遺物から、われわれは最初の人類が生まれた時から人が激しく争っていたことを学んでいます。石から刃を削り出し、木の枝から槍を作ることを学んだわれらが祖先たちは、これらを狩りのためだけでなく、己らと同じ種を攻撃するためにも使っていました。

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind.

5. それが穀物の不足によるものであるか、飢えによるものか、あるいは黄金を求めてのものか、それとも民族主義的な熱情によるものか、信仰の高まりによるものであるかにかかわらず、どの大陸においても、人類の歴史は戦争にまみれています。帝国が生まれては滅び、人びとは服従させられ、また解放されました。そのすべての節目において、もっとも苦しんだのは無数の無辜の民であり、彼らの名は歴史に刻まれることなく忘れ去られてゆきました。

On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

6. もっとも豊かでもっとも力ある国々のあいだで戦われた世界大戦は、広島と長崎に凄惨な結末をもたらしました。彼らの文明は世界に次々と偉大な都市を誕生させ、素晴らしい芸術を広めました。またすぐれた思想を育み、正義と調和、そして真実の探求に関する先進的な考えをこの世に送り出しました。にもかかわらず、彼らは紛争に明け暮れた昔の部族のように、支配や征服を求める本能に突き動かされ、戦争の種を生みだしてしまいました。そして、先進の技術と、制約のない社会に漕ぎ出したばかりだったため、これが増幅されてしまいました。 

The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.

人類に突きつけられた大いなる矛盾
The core contradiction of humanity

7. わずか数年のあいだに6000万もの人びとが犠牲になり、われわれと同じ普通の男女、子どもが、撃たれ、殴られ、行進させられ、爆撃され、投獄され、飢えさせられ、そしてガス室に送られました。この戦争の記憶を伝えるものが、世界中に溢れています。それは、勇敢で勇猛な人びとを称えるモニュメントであったり、言葉にできぬほどの悪行を伝える、集団墓地や空っぽの収容所であったりします。 

In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die. Men, women, children, no different than us. Shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death. There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism, graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity.

8. しかし、この日本の空に吹き上がったキノコ雲のは否応なく、われわれに人類の大いなる矛盾を突きつけました。それは、われわれを人類として輝かせる思考する力、想像する力、話す力、道具を操る力、自然を自由に操ることのできる力が、比類なき破壊をもたらす力でもあるという矛盾です。

Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.

9. 物質的な進歩や社会的な革新を求めるあまり、われわれはどれほど頻繁に、この事実に目を背けてきたのでしょうか。大義があるからと、われわれはどれほど容易く、暴力というものを正当化してきたのでしょうか。

How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause.

10. 偉大な信仰はいずれも、愛と平和と公正への道を説き、人びとを導こうとします。にもかかわらず、いずれの信仰においても、信仰の名において人を殺すことが許されてしまっているのは、なぜなのでしょうか。

Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.

11. 国家は、人びとに犠牲や協力を求める物語を創りあげることで偉業を成し遂げ、成長します。しかし、あまりにも多くの場合において、その同じ物語が、犠牲や協力を拒む者を抑圧し、その人間性を剥奪するために利用されることがあります。

Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats. But those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.

12. 科学はわれわれに、海を越えて意思を伝え合うことや、空を越えて旅をすること、病を治すこと、宇宙の真理を解き明かすことなどを可能にします。しかしこれらの発見はいずれも、より効率のよい殺戮兵器を生み出すために転化することもできます。

Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos, but those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.

13. 現代の戦争から、われわれはこの真実を学びとることができます。広島から、われわれはこの真実を学びとることができます。技術の世界の進歩に同等の人間社会の進歩が伴わなければ、われわれは破滅に追い込まれるかもしれないということです。つまり、原子の分裂を生み出した科学の革新には、倫理の革新が伴わなければならないということです。

The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.

「恐怖の論理」を乗り越える

Leaping out of the “logic of fear”

14. だからこそわれわれは、この場所を訪れるのです。この街の中心に立つことで、われわれは否応なしに、原爆が落とされたときのことを想像させられます。否応なしに、何が起きたのかすらわかっていない子どもたちの怯える心を感じとらざるを得なくなります。彼らの声なき声に耳を傾けざるを得なくなります。あの凄惨な戦争で亡くなったすべての無辜の人びとに思いを馳せ、それ以前の戦争、そしてその後の戦争にも思いを馳せてしまいます。

That is why we come to this place. We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow.

15. そのような苦しみに見合う言葉などありません。しかしわれわれには、歴史と向き合い、このような苦しみを二度と引き起こさないためには何が必要かを問い続けるという共通の責任があります。

Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

16. いつの日か、HIBAKUSHAたちの訴える声がわれわれに届かなくなる日が訪れるでしょう。しかし、1945年8月6日の朝というこの日の記憶だけは、けっして薄れさせてはなりません。この記憶こそが、繁栄に慢心してしまうわれわれを奮い立たせ、道義的な責任を思い起こさせ、われわれを変える力となってくれるのです。

Some day, the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.

17. あの運命の日を境に、われわれは希望の持てる選択を行ってきました。アメリカと日本は、同盟を築くだけでなく友情を育んできました。これは、わが国が戦争で勝ち取ろうとしてもけっして勝ち取れないものです。欧州の国々は、戦場にかわって連合を築き、通商交流と民主主義の絆によって結ばれました。抑圧された人びとや民族は自由を勝ち取りました。国際社会は戦争を回避し核兵器の数を制限、引き下げ、最終的に廃絶することを目指す国際機関や条約をつくりあげました。

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war. The nations of Europe built a union that replaced battlefields with bonds of commerce and democracy. Oppressed people and nations won liberation. An international community established institutions and treaties that work to avoid war and aspire to restrict and roll back and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.

18 .しかし、われわれの仕事は終わることがありません。世界には未だに、国家間の侵攻や、テロや腐敗、蛮行や抑圧などの悪行が蔓延しているからです。このような悪行を根絶することは容易ではないため、国家や同盟関係は、こうしたものから国家や同盟を守る手段を有する必要があります。しかしわが国アメリカのように核を保有する国は、「恐怖の論理」を跳び越え「核のない世界」を目指す勇気を持たなければなりません。

Still, every act of aggression between nations, every act of terror and corruption and cruelty and oppression that we see around the world shows our work is never done. We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.

19. この目標は私の生きている間には実現できないかもしれません。しかし、たゆまない努力を続けることで、人類を破滅の道から引き戻すことができるはずです。保有核の根絶に繋がるような計画を立て、核拡散の流れを止めて、危険な核物質が狂信者たちの手に渡らないようにするのです。

We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics.

戦争に対するマインドセットを変える

Changing mindset about war itself

20. しかし、それでも十分ではありません。なぜなら、未だに世界では、ライフルやたる爆弾などのひじょうに原始的な兵器で、凄まじい紛争を引き起こすことができるからです。だからわれわれは、戦争そのものに対するマインドセットを変えてゆかなければならないのです。

And yet that is not enough. For we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs can serve up violence on a terrible scale. We must change our mind-set about war itself.

21. そのために、外交を通じて紛争を予防し、紛争が起きてしまったならこれを早期に終結できるよう努力するようにしなければなりません。高まる相互依存的な関係を激しい競争の一因とするのではなく、平和的協力の理由としなければなりません。国家の強さを、破壊する力ではなく、構築する力で推し量るようにしなければなりません。そしてなによりも、人と人との繋がりというものを人類の一員としてひとりひとりが築き直さなければなりません。なぜなら、それこそがわれわれ人類の個性だからです。

To prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun. To see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation and not violent competition. To define our nations not by our capacity to destroy but by what we build. And perhaps, above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race. For this, too, is what makes our species unique.

22. われわれは遺伝子的に、過去の過ちを繰り返し破滅の道を進むよう宿命付けられているわけではありません。われわれは学びとることができます。選びとることができるのです。われわれは、人類に共通することや、戦争が非日常的であること、そして残虐行為が許容されない世界であるという、違う物語をわれわれの子どもたちに伝えることを選びとることができるのです。

We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted.

23. こうした物語は、HIBAKUSHAの人たちに見ることができます。ある女性は、原爆を落とした航空機のパイロットを許しました。戦争そのもの を憎んでいることに気付いたからでした。ある男性は、広島で亡くなったアメリカ人の家族を、まるで自分のことのように探し続けました。失ったものは同じであると気付いたからでした。

We see these stories in the hibakusha. The woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself. The man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.

自ら未来を選びとろう

Let us choose our own future


24. 私の国の物語はとても単純な言葉から始まりました。曰く、「すべての人間は生まれながらにして平等であり、その創造主によって生命、自由と幸福を追求する侵すことのできない権利を与えられている」というものです。しかし、国境の中でも、国民の間でも、この理想を実現することはそう容易くはありませんでした。けれども、この物語に忠実であることにこそ価値があるのです。理念の実現に邁進することに価値があり、この理念はあらゆる境界を越えて共有できるものだからです。

My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans.

25. あらゆる個人がかぎりなく希少な存在であるということ、すべての命が尊いという信念を堅持すること、われわれひとりひとりが、人類という一つの家族の一員であるという、過激で、でも必要な観念。これが、われわれがわれわれの子どもたちに伝えるべき物語なのです。

The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family — that is the story that we all must tell.

26. だからわれわれは、ここ広島を訪れるのです。そうして、愛する者のことを思い浮かべることができるからです。朝一番に見る子どもの笑顔。キッチン越しに伝わる愛する伴侶のぬくもり。親に抱きすくめられる時の、あのいいようのない心地よさ。どれも71年前、ここ広島の人びとが感じていた貴重な瞬間だったと思いを馳せることができることばかりです。

That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.

27. ここで亡くなった人びとはみな、われわれと同じ人間でした。誰もが普通に感じることだと思います。誰も戦争なんて望んでいません。誰でも科学の粋を集めて命を救うことを望み、命を奪うことなど望みません。

Those who died, they are like us. Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it.

28. このごく単純な知恵を、国家やその指導者が選択に生かせるようになれば、その時こそ、ここ広島での教訓が実を結んだことになります。

When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders, reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.

29. 世界はこの地から一変しました。しかし今日、この街の子どもたちは、平和な日々を過ごしています。とても貴重なことです。守る価値のあるものです。そしてすべての子どもたちに与えられるべきものです。

The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child.

30. われわれの選びとる未来は、そういう未来です。広島と長崎が核戦争のある世界へと繋がる場所を表すのではなく、われわれの目覚めへと繋がった場所として記憶されている未来です。

That is a future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.

Just when we said Brexit was the dumbest political decision of 2016, the Americans are going to beat us at the last minute.

So, with the UK’s nuclear weapons stockpile based within twenty miles of its largest city, the case for an independent, and nuclear weapons-free Scotland just got stronger.

Get rid of these fucking weapons. They cannot be a fucking deterrent, they can only be a target.

THE GOLDEN, RULE

Local police buying up old Russian nuclear warheads to stockpile in case teenager steals pocketbook. Local police hiring retired Nazi mad scientists to design nerveless Frankentroopers to combat illegal food truck scourge. Six Swat teams with grenade launchers brought in to apprehend Central Park flasher in filthy trench coat. Coca Cola factory protected by missile-launching police force from sugar addled Tweens with caffeine tracking apps. Local library closed and scrapped, paper smashed down into bullets for 100-round-a-second pellet guns to take out illiterate homeless mobs. You never know when you might need a sound cannon to take out a kid with a candy bar and a squirt gun. Close the schools, expand the prisons, fence off the water sources, levitate the rich off the surface, burn the ghettos let’s go why wait. The real Golden Rule: “keep them living in fear”

mr-blueface  asked:

What's your beef with Sam Harris? He seems pretty alright to me, but then I only have a couple of his books to go off of.

I was trying to think of the best way to answer this, but one of my friends from college wrote a post a couple days ago that said it better than I ever could.

Link to the original post by Peter Sloan

Today I’m thinking about how best to not believe in God. Atheism, like feminism, anti-racism, socialism, and all other liberatory philosophical/political/social movements, comes in waves. The first wave in the West was brought on by the likes of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. These crusty, hirsute Germans dropped such devastating philosophical bombs on the history of theology that the resultant wake rushed outward in every direction for nearly 200 years unabated, obliterating centuries-old truisms and forever altering millennia-long modes of thought. And while theology has slowly regrouped and rebuilt around the damage, the intellectual landscape of the West has been irreparably altered. It’s no coincidence that, for most of the history of Western philosophy, almost every philosopher was a theist, of one sort or another, and that now almost all professional philosophers are atheists.

The second wave emanated from more literal carnage and devastation: the dust was still settling in lower Manhattan around 3,000 bodies and many more tons of twisted steel when Sam Harris released “The End of Faith,” opening the gates for a flood of “New Atheist” publications and sparking a mainstream dialogue over the role of religion in public life. Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens had nothing new to offer, philosophically, but theirs wasn’t a philosophical movement; it was social. They sold best-selling books written at an 8th grade level that pulled no punches in arguing their basic point: religion was a force for evil, not enlightenment. They marshaled incontrovertible evidence that, from funeral protestors to suicide bombers, normal people could be made to do extraordinarily heinous, reprehensible things they would never otherwise do by offering false promises of eternal rewards (or threats of unending torture) in a world that is separate from and better than the real one. They called religion “dangerous bullshit,” and millions of Americans said “damn right.” There are now hundreds of highly active college and community non-religious groups in every state in the country (I helped organize such a group at the University of Alabama), and proud, outspoken non-believers occupy almost every position in our society. The president of American Atheists regularly appears on cable news talk shows. We have a candidate for president who makes no attempt to pander to theocrats, telling applauding crowds that his “spirituality” is about “people helping each other,” and so far no one has batted an eye. In this way, it’s actually not wrong to thank the second wave atheists for *advancing* religious freedom in this country. They expanded the social space, and we all benefit.

But the second wave has crested. The reality of American imperialism, anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia complicates the narrative and compromises the position of wealthy white Western men telling us that religion is the sole source of our worldly woes (and specifically the religion of those brown people whose region we have, for lack of a more apt, appropriately brutal term, raped). Second wave atheism was a vital rising up against an oppressive social paradigm, but it becomes harder – untenable – to argue that blowhards like Bill Maher (a second wave-riding, derivative, insignificant charlatan of the most refined vintage) are punching up anymore as Mosques are burned and women in hijabs harassed, as college students are shot in cold blood in their own homes, as Obama’s drones routinely murder the innocent and teach young children, a world away, to fear the sky. Yes, the second wave atheists offered a necessary critique of the world. But the world has now replied, and the conversation continues.

So what’s the third wave? Like every social movement today, from climate justice to race- and class- conscious feminism, it must be intersectional. (If you don’t know what intersectionality is, open a Richard Dawkins book to any page to find an example of what it isn’t.) It’s sloppy, indefensible thinking to talk about the violence commanded in the Quran without mentioning the blood-soaked Torah. It’s naive – and, to take a page out of the second wave playbook, dangerous – to invoke the West’s centuries-long secularist project of moderating and mitigating that textual violence while ignoring our even longer-standing project of colonizing the world, seizing capital, and enslaving and subjugating peoples. You know Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee would be rigging car bombs right now if world history were flipped. Our religious liberalism is a direct function of our history of power. So we can only congratulate ourselves for being the biggest monkey, not the most sophisticated theologians or most tolerant, rational people, in the room. I’m not rushing to pat myself on my big hairy back over that.

Third wave atheism need not back down philosophically. Nietzsche is still right. Darwinism is still real. The hijackers really did believe in paradise and wouldn’t have acted as they did otherwise. A shocking percentage of American Christians and the God they believe in really do, still, “hate fags.” But we must condemn the frankly eliminativist tenor, historical naivety, and self-satisfied snark that saturates every sentence of second wave polemics. Sam Harris said some time ago that the best single change that could occur in the world would be for Islam to disappear. That’s immeasurably fucked up. Islam is not separable from Muslims. Substitute the words and read that sentence again, and then take a shower. The idea that an entire religion – its texts, its traditions, its people, its art – could or should somehow be made to “disappear” displays stunning and perhaps willful ignorance of the entanglement of personhood, society, and meaning, and ignores myriad other deep structural forces that manage knowledge, motivate behavior, and give rise to violence. And I don’t mean to single out Sam – anyone who argues that religion, simply, is the problem (and there are many) is thus implying that the solution is, simply, to burn it down. But what would be lost in the fire? Some of the most stunning art I have ever seen (only in pictures, and I hope I’m lucky enough to one day see these in person) are the ceiling mosaics in the ancient vaunted Mosques of Iran. What would my musical world be without the Lutheran Cantatas of J.S. Bach? Yes, Protestant thought was deployed to justify American slavery, but it’s also been the communal hymn sung in time with every step on the long walk to freedom. I’m unwilling to throw these immaculate babies out with the bathwater, no matter how rancid. I’m uninterested in erasing the real beauty that has not only been funded but inspired, deeply, by a profound faith, even as I cannot countenance the philosophical foundations of that faith. I can’t argue against hope, genuine, life-sustaining hope, in any of its forms. I don’t want to read anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that religion is an institutional expression of deep, indelible needs of the fragile and hopeful human heart. I just want to know how to decouple all that is good, beautiful, important, and necessary in religious traditions from Iron Age myth and manifest misogyny. Can’t we all agree on that? I want a sophisticated atheism and theism to meet, not in the middle, but on the other side as a sort of ecological humanism. I want not only a theology that takes the objective world seriously but also a philosophical materialism that takes the subjective world seriously. I want to live in the wide space between the false poles of fact and value until I find a new and fertile center. I want a spiritual practice that acknowledges – celebrates – Darwin’s insights and all their implications. I want to know how the ever loving fuck consciousness works. I want to know whether – and how – one can ever truly justify existence, which necessitates in every instance exerting power and seizing control. I want to learn how to let go, accept death, and embrace life.

Our time is genuinely urgent. From renewed nuclear stockpiling to the spiralling climate crisis, humanity has never before faced a more serious existential threat: ourselves. Our technologies and institutions are to blame, but they are driven, at bottom, by our beliefs, and a deep reassessment of humanity’s place in the world is our only hope and prospect for designing a just and sustainable future. Our resources are finite; may our imagination, creativity, and empathy never be. For the Universe so loved the Earth, It gave us our one and only Sun. May we live, together, in Light.

A glossary of 32 words, phrases, people and places you should probably know when following Ukraine’s crisis

Okay. The crisis in Ukraine has been going on for a while now, and things have gotten a little confusing. Whether you are a newcomer to the crisis and you want to catch up, or you have been following the situation for the past few months, we figured a quick glossary of the words, phrases, people and places involved would be appreciated.

For more on Ukraine’s crisis, check out our Q+A from January, our history of Crimea and our 486-word rundown of recent events.

  • Anti-protest laws: Measures Viktor Yanukovych passed Jan. 16 designed to limit protests. Dubbed the “Dictatorship Laws” by protesters, they led to a new level of violence in the Euromaidan protests and were repealed by parliament two weeks later.
  • Berkut: Descended from an elite force in Soviet times, the Berkut were riot police who operated under the Interior Ministry. At the center of much of the violence with Euromaidan protesters, they were disbanded on February 26. There have been reports that Russia is giving out passports to ex-Berkut officers.
  • Black Sea Fleet: A Russian naval unit based in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol in Crimea. It’s not a particularly powerful force. It consists of an aging guided-missile cruiser, the Moskva; a large, dated anti-submarine warfare cruiser; a destroyer; two frigates; landing ships; and a diesel-powered attack submarine. Yanukovych and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reached a deal to extend the lease on facilities in Crimea until 2042 in exchange for a discounted deal for natural gas.
  • The Budapest Memorandum: An agreement in 1994 that saw Russia, the United States and Great Britain agree to recognize the “independence and sovereignty” of Ukraine in exchange for it giving up its stockpile of nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin suggests now that this agreement is void, as Ukraine is no longer the same state it was in 1994.
  • Crimea: A peninsula jutting into the northern tip of the Black Sea. This strategically-located region has been  fought over many times over the course of its complicated history. Long a part of Russia, it was given to Ukraine in 1954 and, despite an ethnic Russian majority, a post-Soviet independence movement and a good dose of autonomy, it is still technically Ukrainian. However, for the past few days, what some say are Russian soldiers (and others say are armed militia) have been on the peninsula, surrounding Ukrainian military bases. They, and some of Crimea’s residents, say the region rejects the post-Maidan government and wants to become part of Russia.
  • Crimean War: A three-year war that started in 1853 and ended up with Russia keeping Crimea even though it lost the war. Russia fought an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia over disputes involving the Middle East and religion. It’s widely considered the beginning of modern warfare.
  • Crimean Tatars: A Sunni Muslim, Turkic ethnic group that has been in Crimea since before it became part of Russia. Notably, the entire population was deported  to Central Asia as punishment for collaboration with German forces during World War II. Since 1991, they have been coming back in droves: By Ukraine’s last census in 2001, they were said to make up 12 percent of the population. As you might imagine, they are said to be anti-Russian and largely supportive of the Euromaidan protests. NB: It's Tatar, not Tartar.
  • The demographic split: To put this very simply, thanks to a complicated history, Ukraine can broadly be split between a Ukrainian-speaking West that opposed Yanukovych, and a Russian-speaking East that supported him. Some have argued that this is an oversimplification (most things are), but it does still seem to hold weight.
  • Euromaidan: The name given to the anti-government protests that began on Nov. 21, 2013, and eventually led to the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych. The name comes from the hopes of further European integration many had, and the name of their central Kiev location, Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
  • “The family”: The name given to Viktor Yanukovych’s immediate family and other associates who are said to have enriched themselves through corruption and nepotism.
  • “Fascists”: Both Russia’s foreign ministry and Yanukovych have linked “fascist” elements to the Euromaidan protests. There is some truth to this – far-right Ukrainian nationalist groups, such as Svoboda or Pravy Sektor, have been a part of the protests. Maidan supporters, however, dispute the idea that the protests are at all dominated by these groups, and critics have accused the Kremlin of playing “political football” with (the very real threat) of antisemitism in Ukraine.

Read the rest here.