2022.02.15

Russia Georga South Ossetia tanks

A global macro strategy is a hedge fund or mutual fund strategy that bases its holdings primarily on the overall economic and political views of various countries or their macroeconomic principles.

Is this yet another reason to go cash/oil gang? The Ukraine saga has taken a few interesting turns since last time.

For one, Russia has kept up the propaganda about NATO being an aggressor. Assuming this move has been planned for years, it paints all of the last administration's anti-NATO rhetoric in a new light. Perhaps Putin expected a more destabilized NATO and figured he'd go ahead with the stress test anyway.

People talk about Crimea, but this seems to echo the Georgia playbook a bit more closely:

During the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008, American president George W. Bush campaigned for offering a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine. However, Germany and France said that offering a MAP to Ukraine and Georgia would be "an unnecessary offence" for Russia... Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Bucharest during the summit. At the conclusion of the summit on 4 April, Putin said that NATO's enlargement towards Russia "would be taken in Russia as a direct threat to the security of our country". Following the Bucharest summit, Russian hostility increased and Russia started to actively prepare for the invasion of Georgia.

On 15 July, the United States and Russia began two parallel military trainings in the Caucasus, though Russia denied that the identical timing was intentional... The Russian exercise was named Caucasus 2008 and units of the North Caucasus Military District, including the 58th Army, took part... Russian troops stayed near the border with Georgia after the end of their exercise on 2 August, instead of going back to their barracks. Later, Dale Herspring, an expert on Russian military affairs at Kansas State University, described the Russian exercise as "exactly what they executed in Georgia just a few weeks later [...] a complete dress rehearsal."

How did that one play out? Russia crossed the border to supposedly quell unrest. With Georgian loyalists sufficiently disrupted, Russia agreed to a ceasefire and withdrawal. They then recognized the separatists government and returned to provide military assistance. Elegant.

Last week, NATO-affiliated intelligence services claimed to have solid information on a casus belli plot by Russia, much like their Chechen thing.


/u/pretend_writer_
This is a brilliant counterintelligence operation by the US and its allies. They normally don't publish or leak this much detail but they're trying to limit Putin's course of action (remove the power of a false flag attack), deprive him of the element of surprise, remove the effect of misinformation and propaganda, and raise the domestic cost on European countries that might be wavering (Germany) by socializing their publics about the risks of a Russian invasion thereby fortifying the western alliance.

Or, the Polandball take:

Polandball Reddit Russia Ukraine comic
Click for the full strip.

For a little while today, it looked like NATO's strategy had worked. Russia had announced a troop withdrawal. But then a janky-sounding IED was found in Donbass and Putin denounced a 'genocide' there. The Olympics aren't yet over, so we have some time.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Final Sacrifice Rowsdower
Source. Putin, the US and Canada distracted by freedom convoys? Rowsdower would have never abided.
Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven Steam Temple of the Seer Quartermaster stone golem

Ted retired and unlocked the bear dude, so we're heavy on tanks and DPS, light on healing.

thumbnail Gloomhaven Steam Scoundrel Brute Quartermaster cannons thumbnail Gloomhaven Steam Quartermaster bear Scoundrel thumbnail Gloomhaven Steam cannon loot invisible Scoundrel Lost Island

Quartermaster build

Gloomhaven Steam Quartermaster build DPS equipment

I played Quartermaster on the tabletop edition and thought he was an okay support character. On Steam, my level six build went a completely different direction and is pretty great. At low levels, he doesn't do much damage until you unlock his Attack 5 card. Even then, he's kind of meh.

But then you get the Proficiency/Reinforced Steel combination that is probably how he's meant to be played. There may be some better late-campaign items, but having continuously-refreshing Eagle-Eye Goggles with a +1 modifier (for item use) is quite nice. Adding to that:
With the Quartermaster's card retrieval actions, he can get by just fine having burned two cards for their persistent effects.
Instruments

Instrument flash cards Ocarina Zelda

My surprise when the instrument flash cards had an ocarina, triforce included.