Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Real Causes of Gout, and Practical Solutions

I've been struggling with gout for years. There is so much contridictory information out there, about gout and it's causes. These videos by Dr. Kim, make more sense than many things I've seen. It seems like sound, relatively easy advice to follow, so it's my current guide on the subject:

I've already been doing some of these things, but I think it's a question of finding the right balance, and keeping an eye on the larger picture, of how many things work together.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Ukraine's goals, and NATO's goals, are not identical

And pretending that they are, is dangerous for all concerned. From the Cato Institute:
We're Not All Ukrainians Now
[...] Ukraine, with its independence on the line, wants all the NATO help it can get — escalation serves its interests. NATO countries on the other hand, sensibly wary of Russia and its nuclear arsenal, rightly resist.

So, a gap has opened in Western capitals between deeds that suggest an outer limit of involvement and words that suggest a harmony of interests.

In large part, this is just politics. Leaders of democracies tend to oversell the stakes to promote policies that entail great risk. But such a gap is dangerous.

For one, it attracts domestic calls for escalation, including demands for maximal war aims, from the restoration of Crimea to direct military intervention. Secondly, the White House’s rhetoric also undermines its own refusal to comply with Ukraine’s demands for high‐​risk assistance in the form of no‐​fly zones, the complete economic shutdown of Russia or actual troop deployments, undercutting its own restraint.

But if Western stakes were indeed as dire as Ukraine’s, if the future of the world order hung on the course of this conflict and our democracy was at stake along with Ukraine’s, then why wouldn’t NATO be willing to join the fight for it?

Crucially, this rhetoric‐​policy gap could also raise excessive Ukrainian expectations of support. But those insisting the West should give Ukraine whatever it wants ignore that what Ukraine wants partly depends on what the West will give them — or at least what it says it will. And claims of fully aligned interests may fuel Ukrainian dreams of total victory that are probably untenable and only conducive to prolonging war.

Though peace talks are now at a standstill, they may revive when Russia’s Donbas push either succeeds or ends in stalemate, and Ukraine may again be presented with an unpleasant peace offering — lose Crimea, accept more autonomy for much of the Donbas, commit to neutrality. If Kyiv thinks Western support is endless, or likely to grow more direct, it may end up rejecting a deal it should have taken and suffer for it when the help it banked on doesn’t materialize.

The problem here isn’t helping Ukraine, it’s pretending the help is unconditional. [...]

In short, pretending Western interests are fully aligned with Kyiv’s risks further escalating and prolonging this dangerous war, with consequences far beyond the borders of the countries directly involved. Read the whole article, for embedded links and more.