The Boy Who Cried “Bear!!”: a Norwegian Folk Tale

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The text has disappeared under the interpretation.”

Once upon a time, there was a Norwegian boy named Jens, from the town of Nato. Jens’ work was mostly tedious and boring, and often people did not pay very much attention to what he said or did – so, every once in awhile, he liked to liven things up, see if he could get a reaction, generate a little excitement. He would shout, “Bear!!! I saw a bear, right through those bushes! He is coming to kill us all!!”

At first the townspeople of Nato would rush to collective-defense readiness, shouting, “Get away, bear!! Go back to where you came from!! Leave our lands!!”, pointing their pitchforks and whatever weaponry they could carry in the direction Jens had said the bear was last seen. But after repeated alarms, the townspeople grew apathetic and resentful of Jens’ attempts to scare them, since no bear was ever actually sighted by any of them, and eventually they would not come running any more when he shouted his warnings. Consequently, nobody responded the day the bear really showed up, despite Jens’ frantic screams as the bear grabbed him and prepared to gobble him up. Or down, as the case may be. Fortunately for Jens, he tasted like frozen pizza (Norwegians are Europe’s highest per-capita consumers of this exotic dish), and the bear spat him out after only chewing on him a little, and went away. Jens learned absolutely no lessons from the experience, and went on exactly as before.

I suppose if there is a moral to this story – and all folk tales traditionally have a moral – it is that not everyone in Nato was an idiot, although there was a vigorous and vocal idiot demographic. But even idiots grow weary of constantly being prodded to take time from their busy lives to listen to alarming scary tales, and to contribute some of their salaries or savings toward fighting off imaginary threats. By the time Jens decided to change it up a little (although there is no evidence such a decision was motivated by anything more than wanting to regain lost attention), nobody was listening.

How art imitates life.

According to this optimistic headline, NATO – as personified by its Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg – desires fewer tensions and an improved relationship with Russia.

Well, that’s encouraging, surely? After all, relations could hardly be much worse short of war. At various junctures over the past couple of years, NATO has accused Russia of cheating in the Olympics, menacing the world’s civil aviation with its long-range aircraft by their act of leaving Russian airspace, rigging the American elections so the country was left with a President who makes Billy-Bob ‘Sling Blade’ Thornton look like a model of stability, and poisoning washed-up intelligence agents in Britain with Novichok, a nerve agent so deadly I shall probably have to boil and sandblast my tongue for having said its name.

Well, mustn’t dwell on the past, what? Let’s see what’s in this generous olive branch. Take a moment and read it through, and then come back and we’ll talk about it. For those who have already read it, enjoy this musical interlude while we wait for the rest to catch up.

Finished? What did you think? Yeah; I got that, too – where in that tale of how NATO must be able to dictate to the bear from a position of strength was there anything to do with reconciliation and mending fences?

And in this, too, there is a continuation of previous behaviour which has led to nothing but Russian suspicion of westerners, and a conviction that they are all chock-full of shit and not to be trusted. In the instances I cited above, the west first broadcast all-caps accusations in screaming headlines – Russia cheated in the Olympics and used doped-up cyborgs to win all its medals. It stole the American elections for Donald Trump. It poisoned the Skripals, and got such a kick from it that it has sent its assassins back at least once since then to poison more people who are not even former Russian agents (that we know of). The west then claimed to have proof; so much proof you wouldn’t even believe it – pick your superlative. Irrefutable, inescapable, undeniable absolutely no-bullshit proof, and lots of it.

You know where we’re going, don’t you? In the case of the Olympics, and international sport in general, the west provided nothing at all that could be properly called proof, but always continuing to maintain it had it, and lots of it – just you wait and see. Star witness Grigory Rodchenkov, PhD in serial fabrication, was discredited over and over, and had a bit of a meltdown during testimony before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Most of the medals confiscated from victorious Russian athletes had to be returned, and recently RUSADA was re-instated for drug-testing functions, to hoarse screams of rage from USADA head Travis T. Tygart. All these actions took place without Russia ever accepting the conclusions of the infamous McLaren Report, which was said to be a deal-breaker – no admission of guilt, no reinstatement. Yet Russia was reinstated. Draw your own conclusion from that, but I suggest it had much to do with there not ever having been any evidence, ironclad and unambiguous or otherwise. The western response, as typified by the United States, was the announcement of intention to form a new agency that could be relied upon not to fail embarrassingly as WADA did at doing its job – getting the Russians out and keeping them out and in as much disgrace as can be imagined.

Jens Stoltenberg himself had much to do with the broadcasting of the silly meme that Russian military aircraft on sovereignty patrols, intelligence-gathering or just taking a look at what’s going on in the world from the vantage point of international airspace are a danger to civil aviation. Back in 2014, he told us himself, “Russia’s growing military presence in the skies above the Baltic region is unjustified and its aircraft regularly fail to file flight plans or communicate with air controllers, and fly with their transponders off, posing a risk to civil aviation.

The ‘Baltic region’ is right next door to Russia; want to see a map? That’s like a complaint that too many American aircraft are flying over Canada.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Baltic_Sea_map.png

For the uninitiated, military aircraft of all nations typically do not fly with their IFF transponders on (squawking an international code; the west cannot read Russian national IFF anyway) unless they want to tell everyone with the equipment to read it that they are a military aircraft, and of what type. Military aircraft of Russia do not file flight plans, before departure, with NATO, because NATO is the enemy. I’m sure I don’t have to explain what it does to your likely chances of success on a military intelligence-gathering patrol if you tell the enemy what time you plan to leave and the route you will take to get there and back. Do NATO military aircraft file a flight plan with the Kremlin? Ha, ha; as if.

I’m not even going to get into the stupidity marathon of the Skripal affair and subsequent ‘poisonings’. Suffice it to say the British came up with a perfume bottle with a whacking great atomizer on top that looks like it was made by a talented five-year-old at Science Camp, while the resident British Chemical-Warfare expert – Hamish de Bretton-Gordon – told us all that it could only have been produced by Putin’s top scientists in their most sophisticated and top-secret lab. The Chemical-Warfare genius told the British newspapers that it must have cost the Kremlin ‘thousands’ (of pounds, presumably) to engineer the bottle from scratch. If that means melting the sand to make the glass, maybe, but making fake bottles has come quite a long way since the days of the Pharaohs. I don’t want to get into it any deeper than that, because I don’t want to insult the British people, many of whom I like. Besides, it looks to me to be more than probable that it is simply a regular Nina Ricci perfume bottle, not specially-engineered at all by anyone, with this stupid-looking ‘Thunderbirds’ plastic doohickey on top. The bottle certainly could not have been high-strength unbreakable ceramic as the experts suggest, because it supposedly broke in the hands of the hapless Charles Rowley, which is allegedly how he was exposed. If the British government is ever thinking of post-government employment, detective-novel authorship is out.

I don’t want to stray too far from the point, which is that the west, through the media, has manufactured a series of scandals fingering Russia as the culprit, all of which it claims to be able to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt. It has proven exactly none of them, while skeptics have roundly mocked their clumsiness on the internet and in social media. Accusations were not made more or less anonymously in the media, but directly from the mouths of western government leaders.

So you would sort of expect that a change of heart, such as the desire for better relations, would be marked by acknowledgement that things got a little crazy there for awhile, some things were said that probably should not have been, hope you can understand the pressures I was under at the time, bla, bla bla.

Not a bit of it. Instead, Stoltenberg blabbers that when NATO sees Russia behaving more aggressively and developing new weapon capabilities, why, NATO must ‘adapt’. Because Russia’s alleged behavior is “a pattern developed over years which needs a response.” NATO can only engage in dialogue with Russia, he says, when it is bristling with enough modern weapons that Russia knows right away it is not here to take any shit. Tell you what, Jens – if the missus and I ever have a major fight, remind me not to send you with my making-up offer.

The rest of NATO’s supposed let’s-be-friends-again overture is stiff with threats and jabber about more bases, more weapons, more capability. We can be friends with Russia again when it is clear to them that we could slap them into next week if they don’t accept our offer. Tell us again how you wooed Mrs. Stoltenberg; did you straightaway get her in a hammerlock and grind her cheek into the dirt, grunting, “Take me as your significant other, or it will be the worse for you!!”

I wouldn’t make any plans for the lifting of sanctions and any sort of return to sanity in the near future – not while the west remains unable to get over its ridiculous superiority complex, and its conviction that it holds all the cards in its showdown with an unschooled barbarian who only understands force and strength.

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1,488 thoughts on “The Boy Who Cried “Bear!!”: a Norwegian Folk Tale

  1. “The basic plans of nuclear war today are essentially the same as those developed in the 1960s, which is essentially a system of thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at Russian cities and military targets ready to be launched at a moment’s notice.
    The US strategy has always been for a first strike: not necessarily a surprise attack but not an attack which came “second” in a nuclear war.
    Every US president, all the way to Trump, has used the threat of nuclear war as deterrence to their adversaries.
    The US threat of nuclear attack has precluded any “effective nonproliferation campaign” among other nation-states which have decided to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.
    US nuclear war plans, and the hypothetical and real scenarios under which they unfold, are far more extensive than the public can imagine. Ellsberg writes how the public perception of a “nuclear button” with one finger on it, presumably the President’s, is a lie. In fact, there are many fingers on many buttons, to delegate authority to launch nuclear missiles in case the President and the leadership were incapacitated. These same systems exist in Russia, and probably other nuclear-armed powers as well.
    The Cuban Missile Crisis was even more dangerous than previously thought, as demonstrated in a highly classified study in 1964 which was never made public until this book.
    The strategic nuclear war systems are much more prone to “accidents” and false alarms than previously thought, risking the threat of unauthorized launchings.
    The potential risk of nuclear war has been systematically covered up from the public, including the aforementioned graph showing hundreds of millions of deaths, a third of the planet at the time. Ellsberg notes that in 1961 when the document was made, it was two decades before the concept of nuclear winter and nuclear famine were accepted, which meant that in reality most humans would die along with most other large species after a nuclear war.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/13/doom-o13.html

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    1. Can’t find the episode but I believe Homer Simpson had the briefcase that US Presidents use to control the US nuclear forces. It had three buttons:
      – First Strike
      – Retaliation Strike
      – “Accidental” Launch

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  2. CBC News: The National
    Published on 21 Sep 2018
    An investigation into so-called Golden Visas by Radio-Canada program Enquête reveals the extent some wealthy immigrants have gone to abuse a Quebec immigration program.

    Welcome to The National, the flagship nightly newscast of CBC News

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  3. A New Cold Front in Russia’s Information War

    “This spring, Berg himself added a new layer of intrigue when he admitted, through his lawyer, that he had actually been working with Norwegian military intelligence.”

    “The FSB has said little about the case, and Berg’s lawyers have had limited access to their client. But, according to the few details that have trickled out, he was mailing envelopes with cash and spying instructions to a woman called Natalia in Moscow, in return for information about Russia’s nuclear submarines in the Kola Peninsula. During an appearance in a Moscow court in February, reporters were granted the rare opportunity to ask him questions afterward, and a tearful Berg complained that he felt “really misused” by his handlers.”

    Western espionage in Russia does seem to be based on corrupting locals with envelopes of money. Going after the couriers might be an effective strategy to curb this, since there aren’t many Western nationals working in these industries. (Vastly different from how Chinese nationals infiltrate American industries.)

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  4. Naftogaz has now begun to help itself to money from Russia’s gas-transit payments, arguing that it is owed money from the Stockholm Arbitration ruling which Gazprom has refused to pay.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ukraine-takes-9mn-from-gazprom-penalty-payment-65062

    Apparently Russia is still paying the old rate, from before the ruling (because to do otherwise would be to recognize the debt and accept responsibility for it), which results in an overpayment since it is higher than Naftogaz would charge, if I understand correctly. So Naftogaz has decided to confiscate it as owing.

    This, obviously, sets the stage for another shutdown of European gas supplies, just as winter is coming on. Perhaps Ukraine has realized that nothing it can do or say is going to stop Nord Stream II from going ahead, and so it might as well recover what it can, and who cares if it results in a shutdown of Europe’s gas, regardless where the blame ends up? Once again Ukraine’s maneuvering puts Russia in a difficult spot – it can recognize the Stockholm award and pay Ukraine $2.6 Billion or whatever it was. Or it can accept that Ukraine will keep part of its transit payments against the debt until it can shut down gas transit across Ukraine altogether. Or it can shut off the gas now.

    If it were up to me, I would take the middle option. Let Ukraine congratulate itself on one-upping me with its native cleverness (assuming here that I am Russia), and let them keep $9 or $10 million of the transit fees each month; that would probably be a lot cheaper than acknowledging the Stockholm award and paying Ukraine billions, in view of the fact that Ukraine never paid back the money it was lent by Russia; Stockholm neatly solved that for them, by awarding them huge damages, part of which was understood to be the amount Ukraine owed. Okay, that goes toward Ukraine’s debt to Russia, and now you owe Ukraine $2.6 Billion more.

    I would just focus on getting Nord Stream II completed. Then I would not only stop gas transit through Ukraine, I would tell them to kiss my ass if they wanted to buy gas for themselves. You were so pleased with yourselves for not buying any gas from Russia last year – obviously you can get along fine without it. But I sure hope Europe is going to keep giving you money to buy European gas forever.

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  5. 11:05 6 931

    Порошенко отказал РПЦ в правах на Украину из-за «аннексии XVII века»

    Poroshenko refused the Russian Orthodox Church any rights in Ukraine because of “the XVII century annexation”.
    The President of Ukraine has announced to an audience believers in Kiev that a decision of the Ukraine Orthodox Church Ecumenical Patriarchate has confirmed the illegality of the “annexation” of the Keiv metropolis. The ROC has no rights in the Ukraine, he said


    Poroshenko with his pet patriarch.

    The Russian Orthodox Church has never had any Orthodox Church canonical rights in the Ukraine, said Petro Poroshenko. The President of the Ukraine stated this before thanksgiving prayers on St. Sophia Square in Kiev, informs “Interfax-Ukraine”.

    “The Ecumenical Patriarchate has at last declared Moscow’s end of the XVII century annexation of the Keiv metropolis as illegal. They clearly and unequivocally stated that the Russian Orthodox Church has no canonical rights of the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine” said the Ukrainian leader. Poroshenko stressed that “the Ukraine has not been, is not and will not be canonical territory of the Russian Church”.

    The President of Ukraine reminded that Patriarch Kirill [of the ROC — ME] prays for the Russian military at every service, which, Poroshenko said, ” kills Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. And in the Ukraine, unfortunately, we have churches that still recognize Patriarch Kirill’s authority… How can churches in which prayers are said for a patriarch who prays for the Russian army be called Ukrainian?” he asked the believers.

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    1. On October 11, a Synod meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided to “proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.” The Synod revoked a legally binding status of the 1686 letter, which empowered the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev. In addition, the Synod decided to re-establish the office of the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kiev, which means its head would be subordinate directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Moreover, the Synod lifted anathema from the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine – Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate, and Makary of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.

      The Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches view these decisions as hostile and illegitimate and warn they might trigger a split within the Eastern Orthodox Church.

      See: Attempts to destroy canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine will fail — Patriarch Kirill
      October 14, 3:51

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      1. Yup, tomorrow (October 15) is the big day when we get the response of the Moscow Synod to these shenagigans. On my own blog, I am predicting the Mummy Apocalypse.

        That is to say, I predict that the Banderites will start, either tomorrow or shortly thereafter, to seize the Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra, along with its hundreds of mummies emtombed therein.
        And I am also predicting (channeling Karl, sorry!) that Moscow will do nothing except complain to the European Court of Human Rights, or something lame like that.
        Not that I am advocating Russia send in the tanks, or anything like that.
        There is still a (faint) hope that Putin can work some last-minute deal with Erdogan, and maybe blackmail Bartholomew (?)

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              1. “In the mid-14th century, the Patriarch of Constantinople was Philotheos, of legendary Christian virtue and piety. One night, he had a vision of a radiant youth, who told him that [Caesar] Constantine gave Pope Sylvester I a white cowl for the glory of the Church. It was, for a time, in the possession of the Roman Catholic Popes in the West, but they eventually sent the cowl to Philotheos. The youth told Philotheos that he should accept the gift and immediately forward it to Novgorod, Russia before the corrupt Western Church could demand its return.
                The Pope did indeed demand the return of the Cowl, but the Patriarch of Constantinople wisely refused. Initially, the Patriarch wished to keep the holy relic in his own city, but the radiant youth appeared to him again and told him of the Empire’s impending doom at the hands of the Turks. The Patriarch saw the wisdom in this warning and promptly sent the Cowl on to Novgorod, where it arrived safely. It was presented the Archbishop Vasilii Kalika (1330–1352). The White Cowl or hood became a special symbol unique to the Archbishop of Novgorod. In fact, a church council in 1564 confirmed the right of the archbishops to wear the white cowl and use red wax seals on their correspondence (the latter privilege had previously been reserved for the grand prince and patriarch).
                Today the Patriarch and metropolitans wear white cowls. The archbishop of Novgorod wears a black cowl like other bishops. ”

                From The Tale of the White Cowl

                The only remaining question is: Who was that “radiant youth” who appeared to Philotheos in his vision?
                More than likely (with 90% probability) it was Ivan I, aka Grand Prince of Vladimir under the Khan.

                Also, this summary of the story from wiki does not include the best part, in which Pope Sylvester dies a gross death, with worms crawling out of his brains!

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          1. St. Barthlomew’s Day is the day when the Frog RCs decided to bump off the Froggie proddies – en masse, comme on dit in Froggish.

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          1. Pretty much so! And the Jesuits might even bring Grisha Otrepiev along with them as the False Dmitry. Hey, there are so many Pretenders already in this story, why not one more?

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        1. I don’t think Moscow will do anything either (besides condemning any violence). As cynical as it is, whatever repression that will happen will be in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine who are either silent/afraid or supporting what is happening in Donbass, and who claim Russia is an aggressor. Maybe this will wake the population up to what kind of government they have and what kind of thugs the banderites really are.

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      2. The next step may well be to (attempt to) unite all the Ukrainian churches under the new church – but you can bet the next step after that will be to maneuver an ideological heir to Filaret for selection, so that the Ukrainian president can control the church the way they say Putin does in Russia. Porky can probably do that now with Filaret, but he’s looking pretty old and creaky and it would be well to have a backup waiting in the wings.

        By the pricking of my thumbs…something wicked this way comes.

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    2. Yes, you can tell by his grin how pleased with himself he is. His methods will serve only to divide the country further, and lead to greater unrest, but the west will continue to support him because they see themselves as missionaries spreading the word of Christianity to the heathen.

      The utter stupidity of completely sealing yourself off in every respect from the country immediately next to you – trade, commerce, religion and culture – seems lost on him and his shock troops. In a way, this is in fact a repeat of the western shock therapy that was administered to Russia under Yeltsin. Look how that turned out.

      The marvel to me is that in the face of no evidence at all – evidence to the contrary, if anything – Porky still believes the west is going to come to Ukraine’s fiscal rescue, and make up the trade it once enjoyed with Russia. Ties may be restored at some future time under a different leader, but Ukrainians are going to get much poorer before their lives improve.

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  6. John Bolton

    In a tweet on October 11, Bolton said he would depart on October 20 for Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

    “On October 20th I’ll be traveling to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia to meet with my counterparts and other senior officials to advance American interests on a range of security issues,” Bolton tweeted.

    Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency on October 12 quoted a Russian source as saying Russia’s Security Council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, planned to meet with Bolton in Moscow on October 22-23.

    The scheduled Bolton visit to Russia comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria as well as alleged Kremlin interference in U.S. elections.

    // i predict that nothing good will come out of the meeting in Russia

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    1. That’s a pretty safe bet, sort of like, “I bet the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning.” Even if John Bolton ate one of those Harry Potter chocolates that made him fall in love with the first person he saw, if that person was Putin, he would probably drop dead of a brain embolism owing to the internal conflict.

      He’s only going so that he can give Putin America’s terms, which will be something like total capitulation or fuck-all, just like they were yesterday and just like they’ll be tomorrow. But it will be useful – for America – for its insult value. America likes to pretend to boss Russia around.

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  7. Just read this, referenced in “Irussianality”: THE INABILITY TO SEE:

    Discerning Vladimir Putin

    Spot on, as are Prof. Robinson’s comments, the Man from the Welsh Marches now resident in Canada, who runs that admirable site.

    Some extracts:

    Nikolai Mikhailovsky distinguished between level and type when he put Russia against the West. The
    Europeans had achieved a higher level of development by way of technological advances, labor productivity, and other such measures. There is no need of elaboration on this point. But Russia was a higher type of society precisely because it came late to capitalist development, Mikhailovsky considered. It still had attributes the Europeans had surrendered.What did so audacious an assertion mean? In what way was premodern,radically underdeveloped Russia superior as a society to the France of the Eiffel Tower, daguerreotypes, the Right Bank’s opulent arcades? Or the England of cotton mills and steam?

    The simplest way at this question is to consider the word pravda. We customarily translate it as “truth” and leave it at that, but this is not adequate, as any first-year language student can tell you. Pravda fuses verity—the facts of the matter—with what is just, rightness. It is naturally difficult to take this in, for there is no equivalent thought or term in English. The best we do is “moral truth,” which gets us only part way there. “Every time that word pravda comes into my head,” Mikhailovsky wrote in the late 1870s, “I cannot help but be enraptured with its wonderful inner beauty”.

    And there you get a glimpse into the “Russian soul”!

    “Truth” is not “pravda”: only shitwits like the late and not lamented McCain thought that the name of printed organ of the Bolsheviks meant “The Truth”. The Russian for “verity’, the facts of a matter, is istina, and following the indisputable facts of a matter when policy making or when choosing the right path in life is not necessarily the “right way”.

    The author of the above linked essay goes on to write:

    Some years ago I took a walk in central Moscow with a new acquaintance. It was my first time in the Russian capital, and I remarked on its dignity, the best of its architecture, the pride people took in their dress. I had not expected to see such things. We were along the Lubyansky Proyezd, not far from the Mayakovsky Museum and the old KGB headquarters. The Bolshoi and Red Square were a little farther on.

    My companion asked, “Do you know what you would have seen here when the century turned to 2000?” I did not and said so.

    “Empty bottles, syringes, petty thieves, homeless people. Empty lives everywhere.”

    This is a mere snapshot of what Boris Yeltsin handed Vladimir Putin when Yeltsin was effectively chased from office on New Year’s Eve in 1999. Putin won his first presidential election three months later. In the simplest terms, his inheritance was a nation at the edge of collapse for the second time in a decade—the third in less than a century. The facts of the case are well established: unemployment and poverty rates, while hard to measure, were respectively up to 50 percent and 75 percent. The large middle class of the Soviet era—yes, there was one—was destroyed. There was a “mortality crisis,” as one American scholar put it. Malnutrition, alcohol, drugs, disease, homicide, suicide: these had claimed several million lives, by accepted estimates. Life expectancy dropped by nearly ten years, to less than sixty. Corruption and kleptomania, like the bottles and syringes, were everywhere. The formidable national assets accumulated during the seventy-year Soviet period were—no other word—looted by a combination of local oligarchs and foreign investors.

    It is only mildly surprising that most Americans remain dimly aware, if at all, of the Yeltsin years’ tragedies. The wall of nonsense erected to obscure them was high, thick, swiftly in place, and remains so. Michael McFaul, the most brazenly dishonest American ambassador to serve in Moscow during my lifetime, said late in the Yeltsin era,“Basic arrows on all the big issues are pointing in the right direction.” By then Bill Clinton, as president, had already declared, “Yeltsin represents the direction toward the kind of Russia we want.” The Western press was unreservedly complicit in this immense deception. “We edited out the pain,” one correspondent later acknowledged.

    With no grasp of this history, we cannot hope to understand the forty-eight-year-old who took office in 2000. And we ought not pretend to. Putin’s immediate imperatives were plain. Highest among them was stabilizing national institutions to counter another threat of collapse. He had to redirect national wealth back to an impoverished citizenry. Reining in the oligarchs, putting millions back to work, reconstituting some form of political process, safeguarding nuclear stockpiles: all this and more was on Putin’s plate.

    On the ball as regards McFaul!

    And as regards the state of Russia in 2000: I well remember the year before, when my sister was my guest in Moscow. She had come to see our first born, and she and I were sitting on a bench facing the Kiev railway terminus. It was a beautifully warm Indian Summer day and I suggested we had a bottle of beer. While we were drinking our beer, my sister noticed the appearance of elderly women, who were keeping their distance from us, but watching us attentively. “Do they want something?” she asked.

    “Yes”, I replied, “our empty bottles”.

    All day, I explained to her, they will have been searching out empties, which they would then hand in at bottle depots for kopecks. The women were impoverished. And I told my sister that no doubt many of them would be able to converse with her in English, as in my experience, many beggars on the street in Moscow at that time were former members of the Soviet bourgeoisie, mostly former academics and teachers.

    Further:

    Yeltsin’s greatest error, apart from his incessant inebriation, was his craven eagerness for acceptance among Western neoliberals. In this essay’s terms, he acquiesced when Bill Clinton, along with legions of economists and investors, told him that to modernize was to Westernize. This left Putin with questions and problems that dated to the later czars. This is so for a simple reason: the Western-centric thesis is fatally wrong. It is crudely ridiculous or ridiculously crude, and I am back and forth as to which.

    To see Putin’s predicament properly, it is well to imagine ourselves looking out two windows giving onto present-day Russia. One will be in the Ararat Park Hyatt, not far from where I walked and had my history lesson. The other will be out of any train on a half-day’s journey from Moscow or St. Petersburg.

    My point may already be evident. From the former window one will see shops the match of any along the rue du Faubourg SaintHonoré. There will be bars and restaurants of many varieties. There will be stylish people and people carrying briefcases. These people will be exposed and (in one or another measure) disposed to the ways of the West. Some will be impatient with Putin’s program and altogether with Russia’s pace into the twenty-first century.

    From the train one will see less picturesque versions of the old, wonderful landscapes hanging in the Tretyakov, Moscow’s Louvre. Out this window will be a country that remains in many ways premodern. One will imagine the villages to be slightly updated versions of the obshchina. In the villages there will be churches—Orthodox, of course. There will be people among whom poverty is not uncommon. But they will be people who, in my limited exposure, seem remarkably à l’aise dans leurs peaux, as the French say—at ease in their skins. They want life to improve more than any other Russians, the surveys say. But they want little to do with Western neoliberalism, for they have had a taste of it and it is not, in any case, their idea. They are conservative to their marrow. They value order—the order of custom more than law—above democracy, for they have known disorder too well and do not see that democracy, in its Western manifestations, at any rate, does much to alleviate it.

    In all of this I mean to suggest something of the context so assiduously omitted from most Western accounts of Russia and its president. It is not properly described as a Western nation, but neither is it Asian. It has features of both and so is a third thing, unto itself. State and society intersect differently. A divide between city and village, now a century and a half old, persists. Russia has no democratic tradition in the Western sense, and most of its people (not all) are wise enough to understand democracy is desirable but does not travel well as an import item.

    Yes and yes again!!!

    I spend a lot of time in the country: have done for a quarter of a century. You don’t even have to travel more than 40 minutes from the centre of Moscow on a suburban train in order to see that “other” Russia. (My dacha is a 90 minute ride from the Belorussky terminus, 85 kms from Moscow city centre.) It is as the author says.

    I still work with fellow countrymen and US citizens who never venture forth from ther “comfort zone”, their cosmopolitan European Russian city.

    I say to them: “Have you still not been to Russia yet?”

    “Waddya mean?”

    “I mean out there, beyond the Moscow Belt Road. I mean “Mother Russia!”

    Like

  8. February 20, 2014:

    Креста на тебе нет! Сука, православный, блядь!

    You’re not wearing a cross, you bitch of an Orthodox whore!” — says the devout Ukrainian Eastern Orhodox Christian Poroshenko (Valtsman).

    And doesn’t he speak Russian really well!

    Like

      1. Horses for courses!

        If I am not mistaken, Poroshenko has been a member of every political party there has existed in post-UkSSR Ukraine.

        Like

        1. I can imagine Poroshenko being a member of every political party in the Ukraine at the same time, if he could find loopholes in the legislation governing funding of political parties in the country.

          Like

        2. Birthday greetings to the Party of Regions and all who are associated with it. I want to give a separate congratulation to one of the founding fathers of the party, Pyotr Alekseevich Poroshenko!

          PARTY OF REGIONS — FOR THE WHOLE OF THE UKRAINE

          Created in late 1997, the party of illegally ousted former President of the Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

          The party claims to ideologically defend and uphold the rights of ethnic Russians and speakers of the Russian language in the Ukraine.

          The electoral and financial base of the Party of Regions has always been located primarily in the east and south-east of the Ukraine, namely it is the party of the “Sovoks”, the “Moskaly”, the “Katzapy” etc.

          In the Donetsk Oblast, the party claimed in 2010 to have over 700,000 members.

          So why was Porky a member of the Party of Regions?

          Tough question!

          Let me hazard a guess …. money, the opportunity to pocket funds.

          Only a theory, mind you!

          Like

  9. The BBC enters hyperdrive …

    How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory
    By Nawal al-Maghafi
    BBC Panorama
    7 hours ago

    After seven devastating years of civil war in Syria, which have left more than 350,000 people dead, President Bashar al-Assad appears close to victory against the forces trying to overthrow him.

    So how has Mr Assad got so close to winning this bloody, brutal war?

    A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic shows for the first time the extent to which chemical weapons have been crucial to his war-winning strategy.

    A BBC “source”:

    “Chemical attacks are terrifying,” said Abu Jaafar, who lived in an opposition-held part of the city of Aleppo until it fell to government forces in 2016. “A barrel bomb or a rocket kills people instantly without them feeling it… but the chemicals suffocate. It’s a slow death, like drowning someone, depriving them of oxygen. It’s horrifying.”

    And what’s this I see tucked away at the end? …

    The BBC team were not allowed access to film on the ground in Syria and could not visit the scenes of reported incidents, and therefore were not able to categorically verify the evidence.

    However, they did weigh up the strength of the available evidence in each case, including the video footage and pictures from each incident, as well as the details of location and timing.

    Now throw in what I suspect are White Helmet pictures and Bob’s your uncle and the BBC’s your aunt!

    From the BBC article linked above:

    and

    See: Ordered Censored by Trump: Swedish Medical Associations Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos

    Like

    1. Wrong bloody link!!!!

      Again:

      How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory
      By Nawal al-Maghafi
      BBC Panorama
      7 hours ago

      Close to vicctory?

      Only “close”?

      Mard-arsing because Uncle Sam never won?

      Oh yeah .. and for some reason or other, the BBC reminds its readers what our girl at the UN thinks about chemical weaopns:

      Karen Pierce, the United Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN in New York, described the use of chemical weapons in Syria as “vile”.

      Well thank you for that astute observation, Karen, old thing!

      More interstingly, the BBC chooses to use the opinions of such “witnesses” to alleged Syrian chemical attacks as a certain Yasser al-Domani:

      Yasser al-Domani, an activist who visited the scene that night, said the people who died had foam around their mouths and appeared to have chemical burns.

      What exactly in this narrative is “an activist” ?

      Like

      1. This propaganda takes the cake for nonsense. I watched every one of those White Helmet productions on the suffering induced by Assad’s chemical attacks. I did not see any dead jihadis. This was not just a matter of editing. Unless they were hiding these casualties. (I know the whole show is staged.)

        So how did any of these chemical attacks help Assad militarily? We are not talking about Hiroshima and Nagasaki scale attacks. Vastly more civilians die and died from conventional fighting in built up areas. It is obvious that even if we pretend these attacks were real and not staged to give NATzO excuses to help the jihadis, that they had zero military value.

        Like

    2. Well, the Event Chronicle is a well-known source of disinformation….

      Sorry, that was just a little blast from the past. In fact it seems very decisive, and the complaint that the video of medical treatment supposedly being given to a stricken child features incorrect procedures was mentioned before; I remember the point about the plunger not ever being depressed on the syringe. This article features more detail, such as directions on how to position the child being overheard, and I’m sure we all remember video of the ‘dead’ girl opening her eyes a crack to see if she is still being filmed, not to mention that happy asshole in the hospital scene who is actually laughing at the manufactured wailing and pandemonium around him, until he realizes the camera is on him, whereupon he quickly adopts an injured expression and clutches his head.

      All, all a humiliating disgrace. There is an old saying that the truth will out, but old proverbs rarely are able to keep up with the sheer superficiality and manufactured reality of modern times, and the news is just a product like so many others. To what useful end is it if the truth trickles out in easily-absorbed dribbles on alternative media that the mainstream does not read or watch? Google contributes by down-ranking or hiding content which does not correspond to the official government narrative, which is that the west has once again rallied to the causes of democracy and freedom. like always – reassuring pablum for those who can’t take their nourishment too chunky.

      Sadly, unless there is some sort of integrity breakthrough – and I wouldn’t hold your breath – what most will take away is that the White Helmets are an organization of hero volunteers who selflessly dedicate themselves to human rights in difficult and dangerous conditions. Sadly, due to the partisan yapping of know-nothing charlatans like you and I, they fell short of collecting the Nobel Peace Prize they richly deserved. Next!

      Like

      1. The problem today is that people shop for the information (propaganda) that is music to their ears. It is just so much less stressful to live in a bubble of delusion than to swallow bitter reality pills. This indicates we are living in terminal times. When the masses and the leaders become detached from reality and progressively at that, then a time of reckoning (reset) is coming.

        Humanity is heading for a perfect storm to end global civilization. Climate change will destroy agricultural productivity, fossil fuel exhaustion (economically accessible reserves) will contribute to undoing the economy and any remediation options to deal with climate change impacts, and the mentality of the masses will be at its worst in terms of being able to deal with these problems. Coddled, isolated in delusional bubbles and incapable of dealing with hardship people do not last long when things go south. Global civilization will crash like no other previously. In the case of Rome, people reverted to being peasants working the fields. In our case there will be mass die off.

        Like

    3. Lest we forget, or ‘misremember’. (the Foreign & Commonwealth Office funded) BBC Arabic Service:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Arabic_Television#Funding

      BBC Arabic Television is run by the BBC World Service. Initially it was funded from a grant-in-aid from the British Foreign Office but in 2014 funding was switched to come from the television licence that is mainly used to fund the BBC’s domestic broadcasting. The service is based in the Peel Wing of Broadcasting House in London. 24-hour programming began 19 January 2009.

      In 2011, as the British government cut funding to the BBC, forcing the BBC World Service to close down its services in five languages, the government simultaneously increased funding to the BBC Arabic service, in the words of Foreign Secretary William Hague, to “assist the BBC Arabic Service to continue their valuable work in the region”.[4]

      &

      BBC World Service announces biggest expansion ‘since the 1940s’
      https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-37990220

      BBC World Service gets funding boost from government
      https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34902244
      23 November 2015

      The government is to invest £85m a year in enhancing BBC services around the world including in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Africa.

      The money is to help “build the global reach of the World Service” to half a billion people and “increase access to news and information”….

      …In 2010, the coalition government decided the £253 million spent on the World Service was coming to an end. The BBC would have to absorb the cost out of the licence fee.

      Five years later, Chancellor George Osborne has, partially, reversed that cut in return for the BBC expanding services in to North Korea, Russian speaking areas, the Middle East and Africa.

      Areas described as suffering from a “democratic deficit” – a shortage of impartial news.

      And while the Government will be helping to pay the bills – editorial control remains entirely with the BBC….
      ####

      ‘Conflict of interest?’ I hear you says? Nay! Al-Beeb s’Allah is fully independent of UK gov!

      Remember kids, ‘Hybrid Warfare’ is something others do is not just a media friendly phrase for something that has existed for a very, very long time already. New=Scary. Old=Boring! Easy.

      Like

    1. Unroll Evdokimova’s Tweet to get the full story.

      Too far fetched?

      I don’t think it is necessary to develop such a convoluted plot; just ask the following questions:

      Where is the traitor Skripal?

      Where is his daughter?

      Where is DC Bailey.

      Oh, and there’s another:

      Where is Charlie Rowley now?

      Where is the CCTV recordings made at the time of the alleged attempted assassination?

      And the big one: why did only Rowley’s partner die and no one else?

      Like

      1. It answers my previous rhetorical question as to how Bellingcat can move freely through Russian government databases which should be secure; Boshirov’s passports were all done by a private firm which specializes in ‘get it quick’ applications. Therefore the ominous ‘not to be disclosed to the public’ tag which was supposedly attached to the files of all these ‘GRU agents’ is probably nothing more than routine security cautions on private information.

        Like

        1. Yes, that theory does make a lot of sense. Given that hackers, when they hack into a database, usually get their hands on sequential data from a particular date range. For example, I have a friend at work whose social-security-number was stolen from the database of an employer she worked for a decade ago. She only found out, because the old employer sent her (and the other victims) a letter, stating that the range of SSN’s stolen from the database encompassed from a certain date to a certain date. Even though the hack took place a decade ago, they only just found out about it, and are obliged by American law to offer free identity-theft services. to the victims. Since their crappy database security at the time makes them partially responsible for the breach. The hack, like I said, was just a one-off and only touched on a certain snapshot of the database taken at a certain time.

          In this particular case, the stolen ID’s being employee social-security numbers would not have been sequential, they would have been random.
          However, in a database containing recently issued passports, it makes sense that the stolen numbers would be sequential. Like, all the numbers issued in the last month, or something like that.

          Like

      2. Last I heard any news of Charlie Rowley, he was supposed to be ill with meningitis. He seems to be currently in an incommunicado state. Perhaps the Met don’t want him going off the reservation with any more stories about Novichok in broken, unbroken or sealed-with-lead-to-prevent-release-of-kryptonite-radiation perfume bottles.

        Like

  10. I’ve been checking the headlines, but still no news of the “Mummy Apocalypse” in Kiev. Probably the big boys are still meeting in Synod in Moscow, trying to figure out what to do.

    Meanwhile, I did see this very good piece by Petr Akopov. Aside from the lede photo, which makes it look like Putin is about to join the priesthood, Akopov makes a well-reasoned historical analysis, linking Ukrainian Autocephaly with Westie sanctions and the drive to “isolate Russia” from the so-called civilized world.
    In this case, Westies have set up a rather clever play, in which Russia will be forced to declare Constantinople to be the heretic; but Westies will make it look like it is Russia who is the outcast. Even though Russia is the biggest hugest Orthodox country, not to mention spiritually the Third Rome.

    Some people say, What’s the big deal? Constantinople is tiny, Russia is huge. Russia should cut off Constantinople, it’s like a gorilla losing his pinky.
    Well, Akopov explains that too, and why Constantinople has a special weapon in its arsenal.
    You know how Saudi Arabia controls that sacred rock that everybody has to go to? And this is part of which gives the House of Saud its moxie.
    Similarly, Constantinople has jurisdiction over Mount Athos which (I come to learn) is one of the most sacred places of Christianity. It is because of this valuable piece of real estate, that the other Orthodox churches around the world, cannot risk splitting from Constantinople altogether. Apparently, according to Akopov, Athos is an ecumenical place where various monasteries all co-exist peacefully: Russian, Greek, Serbian, Gruzian, etc. Hence, it is this particular mountain which gives Patriarch Bartholomew his super-powers. And why he dares to embark on this outrageous Schism. Which is designed precisely to isolate Russia even from the spiritual world.

    Like

    1. :/ The Russian Orthodox Church breaks communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The decision was made by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church meeting in Minsk.

      Like

    2. The phrasing of the announcement is very interesting. It shows the Russian Orthodox Church in solidarity with Ukraine, not in conflict with it: “We call the Sacred Synods of the Local Orthodox Churches to properly evaluate the anticanonical acts of the Constantinople Patriarchate and jointly search for ways out of this hard crisis, tearing apart the body of the United Holy Church. We express our full support to the Blessed Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufriy and the entire unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in a particularly difficult time for her. We pray for the strengthening of her faithful children in their courageous stand for the truth and unity of canonical Church in Ukraine.” .
      («Призываем Предстоятелей и Священные Синоды Поместных Православных Церквей к надлежащей оценке вышеупомянутых антиканонических деяний Константинопольского Патриархата и совместному поиску путей выхода из тяжелейшего кризиса, раздирающего тело Единой Святой Соборной и Апостольской Церкви.
      Выражаем всестороннюю поддержку Блаженнейшему Митрополиту Киевскому и всея Украины Онуфрию и всей полноте Украинской Православной Церкви в особо трудное для неё время. Молимся об укреплении её верных чад в мужественном стоянии за истину и единство канонической Церкви в Украине.
      Просим архипастырей, духовенство, монашествующих и мирян всей Русской Православной Церкви усилить молитвы о единоверных братьях и сестрах в Украине. Молитвенный покров Пресвятой Царицы Небесной, преподобных отцов Киево-Печерских, преподобного Иова Почаевского, новомучеников, исповедников и всех святых Церкви Русской да пребудет над всеми нами.»)

      Like

      1. The Russian Orthodox Church has learned something from Moscow’s experience when the Russian Federation was banned from sending a team to the Winter Olympic Games this year over charges by WADA that Russian athletes were part of a state-run and funded doping scheme – so the Russian government appeared to acquiesce by accepting the ban and encouraging its athletes to compete under the Olympic Games flag. This tactic of being in solidarity with Ukrainian Orthodox Church clergy and congregations and appearing to support whatever they decide on individually and collectively looks like something similar.

        Like

      1. From Athos and other such places they fled over 500 years ago, when Byzantium fell to the Otomans.

        They fled to Moscow, not to Kiev; they fled to Mother Russia and declared that Moscow was the Third Rome that shall not fall.

        And in Muscovy they adopted the Greek term for their lands: Ρωσσία.

        They, those in the lands of Muscovy, were setting themselves free from the Tatar Yoke and gathering the Russian lands.

        Kiev had been razed by the Mongol-Tatar onslought some 200 years previously and the territories that the Kiev princes once lorded themselves over, after a fashion and when they were not murdering each other, was, at the fall of Byzantium, part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.pre

        The Svidomite shits say the Moskali “stole” their country’s name.

        Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

        Like

        1. Aramis: Aramis dumb enough to try and take on the Russkies?

          Amis: German slang for “die Amerikaner” (plural same as singular: “der Ami” – “the American”):

          Help, the Americans are coming!

          Like

        2. Porthos was my favourite character in the remake of The Three Musketeers. The three are in a carriage traveling at breakneck speed through a forest, pursued by the King’s men on horseback. Porthos sticks his head up through the roof hatch, where Aramis is trying to hold on, and yells, “Can I offer you some wine?”, waving the bottle. Aramis shouts back, “Porthos, we’re in the middle of a chase!!”, to which Porthos replies, “You’re right! Something red”, and disappears below.

          Like

  11. Navalny’s daughter, 17-years old Dasha Navalnaya, is now also trying her hand at politics under the guise of a social project. She says next year she’ll have to apply to universities, and since she wants to study abroad and US/UK universities usually look for outstanding applicants with significant extra-curriculum activities, she is starting a new project called “The voice of my generation” where she will ask young Russians questions such as why they go to meetings against the government and why they are not “afraid to protest” (she apparently doesn’t plan to interview any of the 86% of young people aged between 18-24 who support Putin according to a Levada poll). Her first interviewee is a young man who thinks Russians deserve their government as they are apathetic, that the OMON have inhuman eyes, that he wants to move abroad, and that he went to meetings but he thinks they are inefficient and Putin should be directly removed, no need to protest/negotiate with him (with a nice montage of Putin screaming while falling in a well). Such is Dasha Navalnaya’ social non-political project which she insists has nothing to do with her father or his views.

    As an aside, it’s ironic how last year the opposition were screaming that Putin supposedly wanted to impose his daughter as a successor and so he pushed Sobchak to participate to the presidential elections to get people used to a female president (honestly, he can’t do more of a disservice to women than by presenting Sobchak as an illustrative example). Instead, Putin daughters are completely invisible while Navalny’s daughter is waxing political wisdom at 17.

    Like

    1. The bullshitter Navalny is now out of nick after having spent 50 days in custody for having organized his last rubberduckian spree.

      The duma is now discussing legislation concerning the organization of minors to take part in protests, Anyway, breathing the heady air of freedom again, the Washington Stooge has taken up the challlenge from the chief of the Presidential Guard to a duel: not one of water-pistols at 20 paces, but a debate-dual.

      He must think he is as smart as he thinks he is. I have watched Navalny trying to debate: he’s crap! He has no policies and knows fuck-all.

      Sobchak made a monkey of him in a debate when he was trying to run for a president . He displayed a deep ignorance of the economy.

      Like

  12. In the ‘some sanctions, other sanctions ummm..‘ column, I present:

    AirCargoNews: AirBridgeCargo to set up its European hub at Liege Airport
    https://www.aircargonews.net/news/airport/single-view/news/airbridgecargo-to-set-up-its-european-hub-at-liege-airport.html

    …The agreement comes after a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Liege Airport and ABC parent, the Volga-Dnepr Group, during the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 in July. …

    …Under the Liege agreement ABC will lease warehouse premises for the total area of 25,000 sq m at the airport. The investment amounts to €25m and includes 2,000 sq m of office space.

    The project will be divided into two phases, with the first one to be launched in June 2019 when ABC will have its first 12,500 sq m warehouse. ..

    Like

  13. Interesting articles:

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201810151068905177-china-us-lng-supplies-halt/

    Beijing has put an end to its purchase of US liquefied natural gas (LNG), Reuters cited several sources as saying late last week.

    In his opinion piece for Sputnik, political analyst Dmitry Lekukh pointed out that the move will deal a “very serious blow to the US energy sector given that last year the Americans supplied about 3.6 million tons of LNG to the Chinese markets.”

    Lekukh recalled that in the past year, US LNG manufacturers have earned about one billion dollars per month from LNG exports to China.

    The article goes on to indicated that Europe will (obviously) go ahead with Nord Stream II and Turkish Stream and will continue to purchase gas via the Soviet era pipes presumably including Ukraine (they wish).

    That would then leave room for some LNG from the US. OTOH, Russian LNG should also be quite competitive so, personally, I don’t see much hope for significant US LNG in Europe – certainly not enough to compensate the loss of the huge Chinese market.

    Here is one company likely not happy with Trump:

    https://sputniknews.com/business/201802111061549282-us-china-lng-deal/

    US liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier Cheniere Energy will supply energy giant China National Petroleum with about 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually beginning this year and continuing through 2043, the American company announced Friday.

    The US first-ever long-term LNG supply and purchase agreements were built on a memorandum of understanding Cheniere signed with China’s state-owned energy company in November 2017.

    Presumably, the contract is gone with the wind.

    Like

    1. American politicians are utter clowns. Like the moron who threatened to use the US Navy to cut off Russia’s gas exports. Even if Russia was shipping LNG, its navy can sink every stinking US carrier and do terminal damage to the US navy. Only morons would run around making war to end all wars threats over some trivial trade ambitions. As I pointed out before, the US does not have any relevant export capacity and imports 85/5=17 times more than it could export from Canada alone.

      Like

  14. Why is it Israel can murder anyone they please in any country they want yet everyone makes a big deal with Saudi Arabia does it?

    I know none of the following is likely to happen but it is fun to read:

    https://www.rt.com/news/441270-saudi-retaliation-us-sanctions/

    n an op-ed published on Sunday, the insider said Saudi influence on the oil market alone puts it into position to badly hurt American interests. “If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure,” he wrote, adding that Riyadh may start pricing its crude in Chinese yuan rather than US dollar, dealing a blow to its status as a world reserve currency.

    The Saudis may make a geostrategic turn away from the US and towards its rival: China, Russia and Iran, Aldakhil added. “No one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk,” he said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s northwestern province located in a strategically valuable place near the Red Sea with its trade routes as well as Israel and Jordan.

    Like

  15. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 15 Oct 2018
    Ukraine’s foreign minister told Al Jazeera that he has condemned a nationalist website for publishing the personal details of more than 500 Ukrainians it claims obtained Hungarian passports.
    Dual citizenship is illegal in Ukraine, which has expelled a diplomat in a standoff with Hungary over the issue; Hungary retaliated in kind.

    Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reports from Berehova, Ukraine.

    Like

  16. Just this weekend I was thinking about Ms. Barr a little : I COUDA TOLD YA SO!!!!

    https://www.westernjournal.com/abc-regret-roseanne-firing-worried/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=mixi&utm_campaign=westernjournal

    Oh…I’m sure “The Conners’ will be a howling success…sorta like “I Love Lucy” without Ms. Ball……LOL!!!

    But if you wanna watch a bunch of gutless jerks all of whom owe their careers and fat bank accounts to Roseanne and who threw her under the bus…well be sure to watch the show!!!!!

    :O)

    Like

    1. That is going to be the last straw for some Ukrainians, perhaps many. It would serve that fat tub of shit right if he had another uprising on his hands, because you can bet there would be no sympathetic European leaders urging the protesters to bust loose and the police to go to their barracks and stay out of it, no Mutti Merkel telling Poroshenko he owed the protesters security and a warm room from which to plan their next move.

      Like

    2. Tisdall is a cnut. He’s been beating his Russophobe drum for yonks. When I was a Grauniad reader, he regularly wrote an “Opinion Piece”, which was usually a diatribe against Russia, Russians etc. These pieces usually appeared on Tuesdays, so whenever he kicked off ranting on about Mordor, CiF commenters used to write: See it’s Tuesday again!

      Like

  17. Meanwhile, here is the latest on the Church stuff, and also a shout-out to Nat for following this story as well…

    So, in breaking with Constantinople, the Russian Church did this the right way (IMHO), and not in the mealy-mouthed way that we might have feared. It’s a clean break. Russian Church even told their followers that they will no longer be able to go to Mount Athos in Greek and pray at the monasteries, etc. Since Mount Athos is under the jurdiscition of Bartholomew, and the Russian Church is totally serious about snubbing Bart. They are asking all Russian believers to make this sacrifice and abstain from visiting these holy sites in Greece, and from “participating in the secret rites”, etc.

    Which, by the way, is one of the things about religion that really bugs me. The idea that there are “secrets” and “secret rites”, and so on. This is why I prefer science: There are no secrets, everything is out there, completely transparent, for anybody who has the time and brains to study it. Not to mention reproducible. There are no “inner circles” and “secrets of the Holy Ark”, or any of that bullshit.

    But this being religion, there might be people who thirst to be members of a secret inner circle who (supposedly) know some important stuff that is not available to the hoi polloi. But any of that, if it exists on Mount Athos, is now off limit.
    Tough shit, Luke Skywalker! May the Force not be with you any more…

    Like

    1. Thanks Yalensis! I’m really surprised about Mount Athos. I had read the opposite today: That it is an autonomous Monastic Republic and only the monasteries (not the Mount) are under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople patriarchate. Interestingly, there is a Russian Monastery in Mont Athos, will it “close down” or is it faithful to Bartholomew?

      Like

    2. Btw Yalensis, concerning your issue with secret rites 😀 I think you translated “Таинство” into “secret/secret rite” but in fact it means sacrament. They are speaking about getting baptized, confirmed, confessing, communion, marriage and receiving the unction. Nothing secret or mysterious 😉 So now Orthodox Russians can’t do any of that in Mont Athos.

      Like

      1. Oh, thanks for that correction, Nat!
        Of course you are right, and once again I show my ignorance of religion.
        Having said that, when it comes to Mount Athos, I doubt they be doing many weddings there, since (according to my research on wiki) women are not even allowed to set a foot on that hill. So they are probably talking about communions and unctions and the other stuff that you mention!

        Like

          1. You went there, Jennifer, I didn’t!

            I came this close to posting a snotty comment about “gay weddings” and “unctions” on Athos, and then restrained myself, out of respect for the faithful…

            Like

      1. When I started reading, I thought this was machine translation. Then come to see it was supposedly “translated” by 2 humans, Ollie and Angelina. What a poor-ass translation! Did they just let google go at it, and then clean up a few mistakes?

        Translation aside, Ishchenko makes a good point, that the Banderites were expecting to get their own church and be, like the Fourth Rome. Instead, they have become the private fiefdom, or “Stauropygia” of Father Bart.
        And If “Stauropygia” sounds a lot like “Where I store my pigs,” then they got that right.

        Like

            1. MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The Russian Orthodox Church has recognized Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as a schismatic based on the Orthodox Church canons, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Russian church’s external relations, said on Rossiya’24 TV channel on Saturday.

              “The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has joined the schism himself by recognizing schismatic individuals. That is how the church canons work. Therefore, the Patriarch of Constantinople is a schismatic for us,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.

              Like

  18. TheRealNews
    Published on 15 Oct 2018
    The murder of Jamal Khashoggi should be denounced.
    Professor As`ad AbuKhalil says western media’s uncritical praise of Khashoggi is unworthy, he was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus and chose the wrong side of the House of Saud

    Like

    1. This is a good assessment of this issue with Jamal khasshogi.

      The silence of the western powers on this issue really highlights their hypocrisy.

      Saudi Arabia will be supported to manage this crisis and everyone will be paid to move on.

      Like

    1. He was called “Austere Insomniac”. His real name was Leos Tomicek, and yes, he was a Czech. I remember he had the greatest blogroll on the net, an assembly of sites and interests it must have taken years to put together.

      The guy who used to haunt his blog and tormented him into disappearing sounded very much like the comments-forum intellectual who liked to call himself “Professor Preobrazhezhenny” or something like that, beginning with “P”, and also quite a lot like the one who surfaced here at the old blog around the time of the glorious Maidan, calling himself AP. I suspect they were the same individual.

      I think you’re right; this sounds like Leos.

      Like

      1. Professor Preobrazhenskiy, perhaps?

        The adjective “preobrazhenskiy” (masculine nominative singular ending) is from the noun “preobrazheniye”, meaning “transfiguration”, as of (allegedly) Jesus Christ before his Apostles.

        The first place where I lived in Soviet Moscow was “Preobrazhenskaya Ploshchad’ (Transfiguration Square) – feminine nominative singular ending of the adjective because “square” in Russian is a feminine gender noun.

        Like

  19. Hurricane Michael may have destroyed up to 10% of F-22 fighters in the US Air Force inventory.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a23792532/f-22s-damaged-destroyed-hurricane-michael/

    The U.S. Air Force is assessing what damage more than a dozen F-22 Raptor fighters suffered when Tyndall Air Force Base sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. Up to $2 billion in fighter jets were trapped on the ground because of maintenance issues and forced to ride out the Category 4 hurricane. Photographs show the hangars where F-22s were parked suffered severe damage.

    The USAF had 2-3 days warning although the strength of the storm exceeded forecasts.

    Like

    1. Jamal Khashoggi was known to be a supporter of ISIS in Syria. His uncle was the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi (died 2017).

      Perhaps the reason the Saudis dealt with him in such a hideous and terrible way is that they perceive him to be a traitor and a turncoat, in criticising aspects of current Saudi governance under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (and thus MbS himself), and therefore more despicable and treacherous than if he had been a dissident all his life.

      Like

  20. Joint training with NATO # ClearSky2018 members is required to demonstrate that the price for Russia using its air force to attack the Ukraine will be very high.

    We are fighting for freedom; we are fighting for democracy. We very much appreciate the strong and reliable position demonstrated by our American and NATO partners.

    We do not ask Russia what we should do on our land!

    US pilot killed in Su-27 crash in Ukraine
    Oct 16, 2018 in Aviation, News

    The pilot of a United States Air National Guard was killed Tuesday when the Ukranian Su-27UB fighter jet crashed in west-central Ukraine field, according to Ukrainian General Staff reports.

    A Ukrainian Su-27UB twin-seat combat trainer / fighter jet with two pilots crashed during a training exercise on Tuesday.

    The accident occurred at around 5:00 PM local time on Oct. 16, 2018, near the village of Ulaniv, which is situated approximately 185 miles southwest of the Ukranian capital Kyiv.

    Like

    1. I was just about to make a near-identical comment; I saw a news item on the crash, and intended to preface it with some of Porky’s usual rhetoric-heavy flourishes;

      “The purpose of the exercises is to increase the level of interoperability of our combat aircraft with the air forces of the United States and other member states of the alliance,” he said. “Five years ago, our planes rusted on the ground and military pilots forgot about the sky. But today, each of you has an opportunity to see the professional skills of our pilots — soldiers, who carry out difficult tasks on an equal footing with their foreign counterparts.”

      https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/16/europe/ukraine-russia-us-confrontation-intl/index.html

      How’s that working out, so far?

      Where did the US Air National Guard pilot’s demise come into the picture? That sounds like a collision to me, although that’s not how it was reported.

      Like

        1. As was the one that was shown allegedy buzzing the mighty Yukie Sea of Azov fleet the other week, only it was a dastardly Russian one, provoking those freedom loving Ukrainians, wasn’t it?

          Like

        2. Meanwhile the Ukies are crowing about shooting down an RuAf Orlan-10 drone with an Mi-24:

          ####

          I counted 9 bursts of cannon fire and from pictures the drone was found largely intact.

          As a side note, India wants/wanted Russia to build a replacement for the Mi-24 gunship/troop carrier but Russia simply wasn’t interested, though much more recently as reported in Izvestia a replacement is already underway:

          https://iz.ru/781842/denis-komarovskii/letaiushchaia-bronia-pochemu-novyi-vertolet-dlia-vdv-nazvali-boevoi-mashinoi

          On a second side note, a Serbian Mi-8’s door gunner shot down a USAF Predator drone over Kosovo 19 years ago:

          The Russian Border guard service, MinDef & VIPs (to and from the Kremlin’s helipad) also fly the unarmed and latest version of the Mi-24, the Mi-35MS some of which include extra bumps:

          http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia-Border-Guard/Mil-Mi-35MS/2523644

          And Russia has recently returned Hungary’s Mi-24s, refurbished:

          Like

  21. American strategy and tactical coordination command and control of its forces in Syria:
    *****Total Cluster Fuck*****

    “TEHRAN (FNA)- The US military forces have retreated towards two energy-rich fields in Eastern Deir Ezzur after a number of American soldiers and the Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militants were kidnapped by ISIL, a Russian media outlet reported on Tuesday.

    The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted well-informed sources as reporting that the US army and other foreign forces, deployed in Eastern Deir Ezzur, have limited their presence in Konico and al-Umer oilfields.

    It further said that the move came after ISIL ambushed the US forces and their allies near al-Umer and in an SDF attack in al-Bahrah region and managed to capture four US soldiers and a number of SDF militias.”

    https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/us-army-retreats-towards-deir-ezzur-energy-rich-fields-after-daesh-kidnaps-american-soldiers/

    Hmmm…are the above referenced ISIL the same as these guys??? :
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/09/08/us-army-continues-rescue-operations-for-isil-in-eastern-syria/

    Like

  22. For the Stooges who still choose not to see Trump for what he is:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/republicans-are-adopting-the-proud-boys?ref=scroll
    Look at the red cap the little Scottish/Anglo Saxon(probably) racist POS on the left wears .

    http://gothamist.com/2018/10/15/new_video_antifa_proud_boys.php

    The NYC American Antifa need men who can teach the fascist vermin that in EVERY clash there will be at least as many Proud Boys left laying in the street in pools of their blood as Antifa.

    Now here are some Antifa who know how to fight and protest:

    Parts of the West are close to civil war….

    Like

  23. There has been news that a reporter for Amnesty International, Oleg Kozlovsky, was kidnapped, beaten, subjected to a mock execution and forced to strip and be photographed naked by a group of men claiming to be members of a local police security unit in Magas, Ingushetia.
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/russia-amnesty-researcher-abducted-and-subjected-to-mock-executions-in-ingushetia/

    Curious that this incident happens when Ingushetia and Chechnya have just agreed to a land swap and all of a sudden Western media attention focuses on the two republics. Most likely Kozlovsky’s kidnappers have nothing to do with the police or security forces in Ingushetia at all.

    Like

  24. Poland has signed a 20-year contract for the supply of LNG from the US
    17.10.2018, 10:09

    The Polish gas company PGNiG and U.S. Venture Global LNG have signed a long term contract for the supply of 2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually. The agreement is for 20 years, the head of the Polish company, Peter Wozniak, told reporters . He said that delivery will take place as per “free on board” (meaning that the shipping costs of the goods are borne by the seller).

    According to Mr. Wozniak, LNG from the US will cost Poland almost 30% cheaper than natural gas from Russia. “I realize that you are surprised, but we do business”, “RIA Novosti” has quoted the head of the Polish company as having said

    Never give a sucker an even break?

    Like

    1. From the Kommersant article linked above:

      … «free on board» (означает, что расходы по доставке товара ложатся на продавца).

      “free on board” (meaning that the shipping costs of the goods are borne by the seller).

      No it does not mean that the shipping costs are borne by the seller — not the total shipping costs!

      “Free on Board” is a term of sale under which the price invoiced or quoted by a seller includes all charges up to placing the goods on board a ship at the port of departure specified by the buyer.

      So the Poles are going to pay for the LNG shipping costs from the USA to the LNG terminal in Poland.

      And the LNG from Uncle Sam is still going to be 30% cheaper that that delivered by the evil Russians!

      Who are they trying to kid?

      Like

      1. And get this:

        Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has stated that US LNG would “boost” the country’s “sovereignty,” as well as its “competitiveness”.

        “Our predecessors wanted to sign a deal with Gazprom until 2037. That would have been gas handcuffs,” Morawiecki claimed.

        See: Polish PM Claims LNG Supplies From US Will ‘Boost Warsaw’s Sovereignty’.

        (They never seem to get those conditional statements right! In the Sputnik article, the Polish PM is quoted as having said: “It would be gas handcuffs”.

        And not “it” either: they overuse “it”.)

        Like

        1. I see. A 19-year contract with the Russians would be gas handcuffs, whereas a 20-year contract with the Americans is gas freedom. And I thought one of Washington’s main goals in agitating against Gazprom and Russian gas was to force Russia to abandon long-term contracts in favour of speculative spot-pricing at gas hubs. Is this another example of do as I say, not as I do?

          Maybe the Poles really are stupid, and all the cruel jokes were not simply unjustified mockery.

          Like

      2. Moscow Exile is correct: Free on Board (FOB for short) means that the seller’s shipping cost obligations including insurance end the moment the goods are placed on board the ship. From then on, the buyer becomes responsible for the shipping costs and insurance, though ownership may still remain with the seller. This could very well mean that if something happens to the goods while in transit, not only would Poland be responsible for paying all damages but the US as the owner could sue Poland for improper storage and shipment.

        The reporters shouldn’t be surprised – they should be rolling on the floor laughing their heads off at the stupidity of the Poles.

        If the Poles had any brains, they should have insisted on CIF (cost, insurance, freight) shipping terms so that the US covers the cost of shipment and marine insurance up to when the goods are being unloaded and the bill of lading is handed over.

        Like

        1. Is it really possible that the Polish businessmen did not understand what FOB meant, and assumed it was a great deal? Even I know what FOB means, and it’s NOT considered a great deal at all. Especially when the goods have to make a long journey by sea.

          Like

          1. Apparently the buyer is responsible for loading the LNG too.:

            http://lngxchange.com/lng-fob/

            ..In an LNG FOB contract, the buyer lifts the LNG from the liquefaction plant and is responsible for transporting the LNG to the receiving terminal…
            ####

            But, are such contracts a) unusual; b) common?

            https://www.wartsila.com/twentyfour7/in-detail/decoding-small-scale-lng-supply-contracts

            In large-scale LNG, the trend is towards increased destination flexibility. The buyers want FOB contracts instead of DES, so that they can divert cargoes to spot buyers in case they do not need them. This is not really applicable in the small-scale market, since LNG cannot be economically transported very far on small-scale carriers and there are few alternative customers. However, having the shipping component in one’s own hands might save some money for the buyer, but FOB contracts would also require the buyer to assume responsibility for ship charters, insurance, boil-off gas and port costs. In some cases, DES contracts are advantageous if the supplier can utilise the same ship for other customers and share the costs. Those new to the market would be better off with a DES contract. But to shave off some hidden cost, considering FOB may be a good option.

            &

            https://www.icis.com/resources/news/2016/05/10/9996497/cheniere-to-focus-on-des-lng-sales-to-bring-in-smaller-buyers/

            …The move comes at a time of global LNG oversupply and follows several agreements made by Asian contract buyers of US FOB to swap volumes with portfolio sellers to reduce their direct exposure to the US and to shipping. A common theme from sellers recently has been the seach for new buyers.

            In line with the trend for destination free US supply agreed in recent years,the operator of the recently-started US Sabine Pass liquefaction plant signed most of its contracts on an FOB basis. As a relatively small company starting out in LNG, FOB contracts were more reassuring to stakeholders…
            #####

            So I think the logic of Polish FOB contracts is that they can sell anything they don’t or can’t use and there are no hidden costs, i.e. almost total control. If I recall correctly Poland has/d a huge contract (government to government?) with Qatar but then realize it could neither use nor afford it and the contract was renegotiated. That would also explain the preference for FOB.

            https://www.reuters.com/article/poland-energy-lng/polands-energy-security-strategy-comes-at-high-cost-idUSL6N0H22WR20130909

            …Under an agreement signed in 2009, Poland’s gas monopoly PGNiG will buy 1 million tonnes of LNG annually for 20 years at a price closely correlated to crude oil…
            ####

            And that’s another point that leads from my comment above, the development of the LNG Spot Market sic the deleveraging of gas price from oil price.

            http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=733733857

            …This is supported by the recent historical trend; another example of Qatar forgiving a penalty to maintain a relationship, albeit in different circumstances, is with Poland’s PGNiG. Delays in the construction of Poland’s Swinoujscie regasification terminal meant that it was not ready to receive Qatargas cargoes in mid-2014, as originally contracted. Qatargas has repeatedly waived the take-or-pay penalty and, now that the terminal is finally ready, the first shipment is en route and set to arrive in Poland in mid-December…

            &

            https://www.reuters.com/article/qatar-poland-lng-idUSL5N1GR30N

            …The price in the side agreement was not revealed but PGNiG said pricing terms were “satisfactory” and expected to have a “positive impact” on its financial results.

            An industry source said Qatargas’s expanded deal with Poland likely came with a price discount – which PGNIG had been in talks to secure for several years after paying at the peak of the market last time around…
            ####

            So now Poland has signed a deal with the US, what of the Qatar deal? Wouldn’t they go low enough? It seems that now that there is more competition in LNG supply, it’s a buyer’s market particularly for longer contracts, but then it is normal for most long contracts that they buyer gets a heft discount.

            Like

            1. One small point: how far away is, say, the US Sabine Pass liquefaction plant, situated on the Texas/ Louisiana border, from the Polish Swinoujscie regasification terminal?

              How far away is the western frontier of Russia from Poland, not forgetting that the Russian port of Kaliningrad is but a cockstride from Poland?

              Answers:

              USA distance from Poland — 5,000 miles plus;

              the Kaliningrad oblast’ of the RU has a common frontier with Poland and the port of Kaliningrad is 25 miles from the Polish border;

              the frontier of the greater part of the Russian Federation is about 300 miles due east of the eastern frontier of Poland and east of Belorus.

              Like

              1. My only thought is that Asia pays top $ for LNG which is why most of it heads there. The Lo-land-of-Po-land may think that it can always sell at a decent profit, regardless. They clearly fancy themselves as playas. We’ll see.

                Like

                1. I see … the Poles figure they will be selling a large part of the LNG supplies they anticipate receiving to neighbouring countries and to Ukraine. Having Ukraine and parts of central and eastern Europe dependent on them for energy could form a basis for future Polish political influence. This would chime very well with Polish Intermarium ambitions.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Seas_Initiative

                  (Buried in that Wikipedia article on the Three Seas Initiative is mention of an LNG infrastructure network project that will include sea-based terminals for receiving LNG in Poland and Croatia.)
                  https://www.businessinsider.com/r-poland-hopes-to-tap-trumps-business-acumen-at-regional-summit-2017-7?IR=T

                  The main problem though is if the countries Poland expects to sell LNG to, decide to buy cheaper Russian gas from Germany. They will have to be browbeaten to buy from Poland instead.

                  Like

                2. That’s in fact exactly what they did with their first American-LNG cargo – sold it to Ukraine. Quite a nice little payment loop the USA has going on there; it sells its gas indirectly to Ukraine, who receives gas money from the IMF. Sort of like the transfer-of-money-from-the-taxpayer it has going with Israel, in which it transfers billions in foreign aid to Israel, which sends it right back in the form of weapons purchases from Lockheed-Martin and other US defense firms.

                  https://eadaily.com/en/news/2017/12/15/at-a-loss-why-has-poland-sold-its-lng-from-united-states-to-ukraine

                  Blissfully hypocritical. the US is pulling strings to allow it to sell more gas to Europe faster, and obviously envisions itself as becoming the dominant supplier – don’t ask me how it plans to do this, but at a guess I would say via the usual bullying and threatening sanctions against anyone who buys from Russia when US LNG is available.

                  “Meanwhile, a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in July would give North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries “an escape from Russia’s political coercion and manipulation,” in part by speeding approvals of U.S. natural gas exports.

                  In addition to requiring the Secretary of Energy to speed up approvals of LNG exports to NATO allies and other countries, the Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act (ESCAPE Act) would authorize mandatory U.S. sanctions on the development of Russian energy pipelines, direct U.S. representatives at NATO to work to achieve energy security for allies in Europe and Eurasia, and call for a comprehensive strategy to increase U.S. energy exports “to these countries that are being held hostage by Russia,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said.”

                  America claims all of Europe is hostage to a single supplier, but of course if everyone bought America’s freedom gas, that would be the opposite – energy diversification personified.

                  https://www.naturalgasintel.com/articles/115832-us-to-export-tremendous-amount-of-lng-to-poland-as-countries-seek-to-expand-energy-security

                  Amid all the inflammatory rhetoric from Russia-hating Poland, Gazprom’s exports to Poland increased almost 10% this year.

                  Washington is laughable – Russia is holding NATO countries hostage by supplying them with gas on terms agreed between them as a fair price for the product, which all authoritative sources agree is the cheapest available. The USA expects to swoop in and take over the supply business, at a higher price, and call it freedom.

                  Hopefully not everyone is as stupid as the Poles.

                  Like

                3. ET AL – If Poland tries to sell US LNG to China, presumably it would still be hit with the 10% tariff as the country of origin is the US. Perhaps Poland could off-load LNG into a storage facility and then reload with the manifest indicating a different country of origin. Even if the subterfuge works, the costs would significantly increase.

                  In any event, the cost of LNG from the US will be higher than the cost of pipe line gas from Russia – its simple physics and engineering. I do tend toward the belief that the LNG deal is more about off-taking US LNG than giving Poland gas freedom. That would fit Trump’s priority.

                  Of course, the US can dump LNG while losing money (which seems to be the case with most fracking operations already). Rambling on, the rising interest rates in the US will put most fracking operation in even greater financial peril. The government needs to find a way to subsidize fracking by transferring debt to the books of the Federal government; perhaps by guarantees for high risk loans. Or the US LNG supplier may be selling at break-even in exchange for other concessions arranged by the US government. There are many ways to hide a subsidy.

                  Like

                4. Agreed, and for the US, moving lots of product gives the illusion of bustling entrepreneurial capitalism even if it isn’t making any real money; people see cargoes leaving at regular intervals and are reassured that the economy is healthy, and spend more, and the wheel continues to turn. But household debt in the USA has reached a new high of $12.73 Trillion; at this juncture, an alarming amount of that figure is student loans, with the resulting ‘unintended consequence’ of removing home ownership – the Holy Grail of the American Dream – from the realm of possibility for young people.

                  Like

              2. Any ships bringing LNG to Swinoujscie also have to go through Denmark and Denmark is certain to try to compel Poland to pay for LNG ships going through the Kattegat or for construction of any canals or other waterways for LNG shipments through its territory that will affect or disrupt existing Danish traffic infrastructure, the environment and economy, and people’s lives generally.

                Like

            2. Highly informative, but the facts remain that shipborne LNG cannot be cheaper than Russian pipeline gas – particularly while Russia remains under economic sanctions which keep its ruble exchange rate weak and thus effectively lower its production costs in a market where energy is produced in rubles and sold in dollars – and Washington threw itself headlong into the battle to break the link between oil prices and long-term gas contracts. What was that all about? It is now attempting to negotiate precisely those terms for its own gas contracts.

              A market which is awash in cheap gas is an extremely poor environment for the United States to make a lunge for being a major global energy supplier, because its own production costs are relatively high and it does not have the ships to transport it. Gambling everything on a massive building program when the energy picture could change tomorrow seems inordinately risky. But America has to go through with it, because it cannot face the alternatives.

              Like

              1. An even better payment loop appears for the US with coal, with even more bizarre action from Poland. A coal-rich Poland doesn’t export much coal to Ukraine, even though there is a big market there, should be able to offer it cheaper- but somehow the US exports this to Ukraine now

                Poland get’s 80% of it’s oil from Russia, they spend billions more on this each year to Russia, then they do on gas- but they are somehow allowed to keep up with this “gas as a political weapon ” BS charade

                As resources go I don’t think natural gas is anywhere near as overpriced as many of the others

                Like

                1. Ah; well, I can answer that one – Ukraine’s furnaces are designed to burn only anthracite coal, which is the super-hard stuff like rock, rather than the softer bituminous coal. The former burns considerably hotter and produces considerably less soot. Ukraine had access to a plentiful supply, but now it’s all in enemy territory – the Donbas. For awhile it continued to buy anthracite coal from the east, but the nationalists yapped that it was giving aid and comfort to the enemy, so they stopped. Then they bought it from Russia for a bit – Russia also has a significant supply. But you know how popular that would be, so they stopped that, too. Now they buy from the USA, at a considerable markup; anthracite forms something like .2% of the USA’s coal supplies. Poland probably has none.

                  I imagine eventually Ukraine will replace all its heating plants and industrial furnaces so that they can burn bituminous coal, which is much more plentiful, although it is a greater polluter. Ukraine will not care, because its rich friends will likely give it money to do the transformation, in the interests of asserting their greater independence from Russia. Independence which it will regret one day, when the west tires of playing with it.

                  Like

                2. There’s a lot of anthracite in the UK, in the South Wales coalfield to be exact.

                  In fact, there are an estimated 400 years of coal reserves in the UK, and that’s winnable reserves using present day technology. There’s more deeper down. I worked at the limit in the deepest coal seams in the world at about 1,500 metres down. It was hot!

                  Margaret Thatcher put an end to it all though in 1984.

                  My old workmates still tell me that she was the best thing that ever happened to me!

                  Have to go now. Got to take my youngest to school.

                  Thanks Margaret, you old ratbag!

                  🙂

                  Like

                1. Thanks for that; I was just guessing. I’m sure if Poland had significant anthracite deposits it would be glad to sell some to Ukraine, although many of us understood that Ukraine was prodding Poland to give them coal for free. Interestingly, the article cites Poland as a top producer of ‘hard coal’, but it does indeed say they have no anthracite. I wonder what they mean, then, when they say ‘hard coal’? Anthracite is the hardest, with the lowest moisture content, and yields the hottest burn.

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. The translation “hard coal” was probably used for the Russian word каменный уголь [kamenniy ugol’] – literally “stone coal”, namely “solid combustible mineral, intermediate between brown coal and anthracite.” [твёрдое горючее полезное ископаемое, промежуточный между бурым углём и антрацитом] – Russian Wiki.

                  “Brown coal” is like hard turf: it burns very smokily and stinks. They used it a lot in the former German Democratic Republic.

                  The word уголь is generally used in context for “coal”, but it is also used for the stuff that is contained in the bag, photographed below:

                  It is charcoal for cooking shashlyk., which is notbarbecue“!

                  On the bag, it reads:

                  Coal
                  birchwood
                  2 kg

                  Like

          2. I still find it hard to believe Cheniere can put it on board the tanker, alongside in the United States, for 30% cheaper than Russian pipeline gas. The notion that it could be gotten all the way from the USA to Poland for that price was always ludicrous. But at the price quoted, FOB in the USA at 30% less than Russian pipeline gas, the USA still cannot be making a profit.

            Like

          3. Never think, where Poles are concerned, ‘they couldn’t be dumb enough to believe this!’ – they could be, and they are.

            Like

            1. Or maybe cunning like a fox. I saw this piece that indicates the Poles at least believe they scored a coup.

              If it wasn’t FOB format they would have had to bring the gas directly to Poland. But now, like Captain Ahab, they are free to sail around the world with their precious cargo of whale oil and ambergris, seeking the highest price they can find.

              I realize other commenters made this point too. But probably without the Moby Dick reference.

              Like

    2. One cubic meter of methane has a mass of 0.717 kg. So 2 million tons is equivalent to 2.789 billion cubic meters of natural gas. So the US is going to ship over half of its total export capacity to Poland alone.

      Like

    3. I will be more than surprised if LNG supplied via ships from the USA is cheaper at all than Russian gas, whether LNG or pipeline, never mind 30% cheaper. Because all the financial bigheads say that US-supplied LNG which is transported in tankers cannot be competitive with Russian pipeline gas for price, or else the Americans will be selling it at a loss. I know the USA is desperate to be a major force in the European energy market, but I find it just a little more than hard to believe that they will sell the gas for under cost, and – even more remarkably – do so for twenty years.

      The Japanese, in the early days of the free market, were known to sell televisions at a loss until they had driven domestic manufacturers out of business. But if the USA were able to supply 2 million tons of LNG for a hundred years at a loss, it would not drive Russia out of the gas-export business; it has plenty of markets, and the USA could not easily extend its sweetheart deal to others because of logistics.

      I’d want to see that one on paper, because the Americans cannot physically do it and still make money. Modern-day America is not in a financial position to do that.

      That’s not to say they would not let the Poles believe that’s what the deal says, because they certainly would, but I also find it hard to believe the Poles would be so stupid. Numbers are not that hard to understand, and you can’t offer one and charge another without breaking the contract. Regardless, it is not going to make up for the loss of the Chinese LNG market.

      Like

      1. Another detail is that the US does not have the capacity (LNG liquefaction plants and port facilities) to ship 2.8 bcm per year via LNG tanker. Poland is going to be supplied by 3rd party LNG until the US can supply its own. Poland sure loves to bend over and take it. This includes from the Germans. But Poles hate Russians.

        Like

        1. I have met and worked with some who don’t – not many, mind.

          Coincidentally, the other day when walking past my local metro station, a tall, healthy looking middle-aged man with a military demeanour politely asked me for directions to the Veterans’ Hospital, which is situated near my house. I directed him there. He thanked me, and then he said: “Are you a Pole?”

          I told him I was an Englishman, whereupon he said: “Really? My friend has a dacha neighbour who is an Englishman”.

          I then asked him if his friend was a former paratrooper called Dmitri. “Why, yes!” he said with great surprise.

          “Well, I must be that self-same Englishman whom your friend has spoken to you about!” I said.

          What a coincidence to have taken place in a city having a population of at least 14 million and in view of the fact that Dmitri’s dacha and mine are situated some 60 miles from Moscow!

          But the thing is that my interlocutor displayed no animosity towards me whatsoever when he thought I was a Pole; nor did he on learning that I am, in fact, an Englishman, the persistent hatred that both Poles and my fellow countrymen have directed over centuries against Russia and the Russians notwithstanding.

          And I was chuffed that he thought I was perhaps a Pole and had not identified my accent as being that spoken by an Englishman.

          This often happens: they (the Orcs) have often taken me for a Serb and a Bulgarian as well.

          Once, however, a What-Is-The-Weather-Like-Today-In-St.Petersburg arsehole of a Guardian “Comment is Free” commenter wrote that “for a Russian, my English is quite good”, which statement, truth be told, cut me to the quick: only “quite good”?

          Мудак!

          Like

  25. Politico: Bernie Sanders Is Quietly Remaking the Democrats’ Foreign Policy In His Own Image
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/17/bernie-sanders-is-quietly-remaking-the-democrats-foreign-policy-in-his-own-image-221313

    …“With what we started to understand about Russia late in the campaign, you saw very quickly that while Sanders was someone who ran on a balanced foreign policy toward Russia, and who still isn’t interested in going to war, [that attitude] shifted after what we’d understood Russia had done. With the way in which those strands became highly salient and highly visible, we had more information by early 2017, and it came together quite naturally for someone concerned with domestic inequality, capital mobility and how they undermine liberal values,” Nexon said…

    …Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group and a former Obama national security official with whom Sanders (and other Democrats) have consulted on foreign policy, described how Sanders has grown into a role where he assuages the worst fears of the center-left while maintaining his progressive bona fides…
    ####

    More disturbing yet unsurprising stuff at the link.

    Yes, they boast about how they ‘turned’ Bernie (it clearly wasn’t difficult) all based on the ‘Russia wot got Trump elected’ myth, so what happens when the Meuller investigation concludes with very little apart from warmed up porridge? It goes to show how the Neocons plan ahead for any future Presidential prospects who may wander off the reserve and do something normal.

    Like

    1. Sanders is not concerned with evidence – so long as a fig leaf is supplied which allows him to make policy according to the American model (which is that Russia is the USA’s Number One Geopolitical Enemy), he will be quite happy to make or maintain policy to that effect with the satisfaction that someone told him there were good reasons for doing it. Let’s face it – no prospective leader of the United States of America, from any party or any independent status, is going to be allowed to take office with the acknowledgement that America’s global clout and its national wealth are simultaneously in decline, and far more on paper than they are real. The USA is overextended in every way, has voluntarily abandoned all the soft power which might once have inspired sympathy and a willingness to help in favour of cracking the whip, being an international prick and showing every inclination to take whatever it wants if it will not be willingly offered up.

      Any prospective president is going to have to assure Americans once again that deficits don’t matter – that America can continue to spend like there’s no tomorrow while steadily and incrementally reducing taxes, and that past and present behavior which has incurred international resentment and dislike for America are irrelevant, because when the chips are down the world will rally behind the stars and stripes just like it always has. And Sanders will do that in order to get elected (I don’t for a minute think that’s going to happen, but let’s just say) because he is just like all the rest, and America has embarked upon a course it cannot reverse. It is committed to remaining the shining city on a hill until there is not a single soul left who believes it.

      Like

      1. I’m not sure the USA can exist without external enemies. It’s an ideal and convenient way of deflecting from so much domestic ill you’d be a fool (or not a politician) to do so.

        Like

        1. Well, it seems to be kicking ass in that department; Pew’s Global Indicators Database reports that Canadian attitudes toward the USA went from a 2016 “Unfavourable” rating of 30% to 51% the following year. “Unfavourable” combines the responses “very unfavourable” and “somewhat unfavourable”.

          http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/1/survey/all/response/Unfavorable/

          Proceeding from that standpoint, it is unsurprising that the “Favourable” rating in Canada – which combines “somewhat” and “very” as in the foregoing category – went from 65% in 2016 to 43%.

          http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/1/survey/all/

          Nor do we seem to be an outlier; in the “Favourable” category, Australia went from 60% to 48%, France from 63% to 46%, Germany from 57% to 35%, Japan from 72% to 57%, Spain from 59% to 31%. Even in the Land of the Diehard Poodle, the UK, the favourable rating slipped from 61% to 50% in a single year – bear in mind that this result is for 2017, while Trump pushed the asshole accelerator steadily further toward the floormat throughout 2018, and that Canada’s ratings are certainly much lower now based on the recently-concluded Free Trade Agreement.

          Who’s left that loves them some ‘Murkins? Well, other Americans, of course; the ‘favourable’ rating of itself went from 83% in 2016 to 85% in 2017. Oh, and Poland and Israel. I suppose we should not be a bit surprised.

          Like

          1. Canada’s in for more pressure. As the USA has banned Huawei from any 5G networks and just about everything else, as I think someone her already wrote, Canada has it under control, but riddle me this: If Canada and USA are joined at the hip and also members of Five Asses, won’t Canada’s adoption of Chinese 5G tech be seen as a cyber-attack entry point to the USA, i.e. a ‘weak spot’? It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, but logically the USA must demand that Canada doesn’t use Huawei. Maybe it already has but it has not become public as 5G is not yet quite ready to go. Keep an ear and an eye out for this!

            Like

            1. Indeed, Canada has already been pressured to ban Huawei, and so far as I know Washington has not gotten the answer it wants because it continues to hector and inveigle.

              https://www.totaltele.com/501328/US-pushes-Canada-on-Huawei-5G-ban

              The consensus in the industry is that Canada will probably cave in to demands, because Australia already folded.

              http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2018/08/24/china-telecom-giant-spy-concern/

              Of course the reason cited is the protection of ‘national security’, the one-eyed Jack they pull out of the deck every time they don’t have an explanation that will stand up to scrutiny, but in all probability it is to protect American networks, since Huawei promises much faster connections and data-streaming. The implication is that other Five-Eyelets might not share intelligence information with Canada if it does not step up and support its partners in their blatant protectionism and anti-free-trade action. My question is this: if western intelligence now consists of “The Russians stole the presidential election for Trump!!” and “The GRU poisoned the Skripals with the world’s deadliest nerve agent!!”, should Canada be worried if the door to the clubhouse has “No Canada” written on it?

              Western Canada is practically Asian, there are so many Chinese, and I am wondering if they are going to endure this quietly. And what of China itself? Is it going to ban Apple? I’m guessing that would hurt.

              If I were them, I would mention the possibility that Apple might have to move its operations back to Vermont or Wisconsin or wherever, and pay American workers triple or so the wages to do the work that allows the company to reap such massive profits.

              China plans to lead the world with 5G networking. And you can see why Washington wants to put a stick through their spokes.

              “The 5G market is expected to have such a significant impact on the Chinese economy that it could account for 3.2% of Mainland China’s entire GDP in 2025, generate 8 million jobs, and add 2.9 trillion yuan in economic value by 2030. As demand for 5G services heightens, there will be a boom in new companies, employment opportunities, and sales of equipment.

              China’s 5G focus will play a big role domestically in terms of driving mobile usage. 5G’s ability to transmit data roughly 10 times faster than 4G, the current standard, according to Ericsson’s annual Mobility Report, will enable consumers to conduct more standard mobile activities and also add in data-heavy ones, like smartphone-based VR streaming and using artificial intelligence assistants.

              But perhaps more importantly, China’s ambitious pursuit of pervasive 5G connectivity could help advance global efforts. While China diverted from global network norms in its 3G standard, it’s now working on developing 5G standards with global compatibility in mind, according to a report from FierceWireless. 5G is expected to hit the consumer market sometime around 2020, according to the GSMA. “

              https://www.businessinsider.com/china-plans-to-lead-5g-network-adoption-by-2030-2017-6

              3.2% of the national GDP in revenues. 8 MILLION jobs. 10 times faster than 4G. Global reach and utility. You don’t have to be Robert Mueller to understand why Washington needs to pull out all the stops to block it. But China is being far too passive on the issue; play some fucking hardball, for God’s sake. Get it out there that if Huawei is forestalled in its ambitions, Apple goes back to being a Mom-and-Pop shop operating out of the USA, and overnight loses a couple of billion subscribers in Asia. Stir up its international diasporas, and get them to ask loudly why certain countries have to use yesterday’s technology while the USA catches up.

              Like

          2. https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/themes/oies-theme//images/svg/logo.svg

            The Oxford institute for Energy Studies
            A recognized independent centre of the University of Oxford

            US LNG vs Russian Pipeline Gas: impact on prices
            Thierry Bros on the impact of the arrival of a new competitor (US LNG) on European prices where Gazprom has a sizeable market share and hence real market power, at the November 2017 Energetika Conference in St Petersburg.

            By: Thierry Bros
            Downloaded pdf file contained at above linked site

            Like

            1. That “Europe Import Needs At Record High” slide needs to be tattooed on Sijbren de Jong’s forehead in reverse, so that he has to look at it in the mirror every time he shaves. Because it is the opposite of what he swears is true – Europe does not need more gas, because its efficiency is making gains and its consumption is dropping. That’s technically true, but it is extremely dishonest to draw a conclusion from it without figuring in that its domestic production is declining much faster, and accelerating steadily.

              Like

    2. Sanders was a played out faux progresssive-much less radical-POS before 2016 as he continues to be and will remain so until the Reaper’s cane yanks his vaudville BS act off the Bard’s stage…

      Like

  26. Euractiv with AP: Poland attacks EU’s Gazprom deal in court
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/poland-attacks-eus-gazprom-deal-in-court/

    Poland’s state-run gas firm PGNiG said on Tuesday (16 October) it filed a complaint with the EU’s top court against a controversial deal by the European Commission to settle an anti-trust case against Gazprom, the Kremlin-backed energy giant.

    …But PGNiG alleged in a Tuesday statement that Gazprom has “not ceased to violate EU law” and that the settlement has allowed it to “continue to inflate gas prices to its recipients in Central and Eastern Europe.”..

    …PGNiG said in an emailed statement that it had “appealed to the European Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg against the May 24, 2018 decision of the European Commission ending years of anti-trust proceedings against Gazprom.

    It added that the “commission failed to exercise due diligence” preparing its decision that was “issued in gross conflict with the evidence collected and in breach of a number of provisions of EU law.”..
    ####

    Mummy, it’s not fair!

    Like

    1. Gazprom is not an EU legal entity and thus EU laws do not apply to it. All of these politically motivated attacks on Russia from the NATzO are transparent and lame. Note that they could not launch an anti-trust case against any Gazprom subsidiary in the EU since they could never make any case. They use Gazporm’s gas export pipelines to mis-apply EU laws against it. Just because Gazprom uses export pipelines does not make it an EU vassal. For obvious reasons Gazporm wants to operate the pipelines beyond its borders since selling gas at the border is moronic (i.e. why should Gazprom build billions of dollars worth of border storage tanks and have some shop front to sell gas in batches to customers.)

      Like

      1. It also means that Gazprom doesn’t have EU standard protections, only at WTO levels and the lik which all have a ‘National Security’ get out clause. But, it does have offices in the EU and there are some obligations it can and does impose on its territory, however paltry they are.

        As we know, the EU doesn’t actually give a shit about ‘rule of law’ when it comes to its own interests (let us not forget that its sees fit to designate any off-shore pipeline as a ‘field pipe’ when it is in its favor and thus easily circumvents its own rules when it sees fit, not to mention TAP’s rolling exemption from the Third Energy Package etc. The only reason Brussels hasn’t got anywhere with Gazprom’s it because the latter holds all the cards – cost, environmental impact (CO2), reliability and quantity. Thus Gazprom’s theme song should be:

        But, as you pointed out, it’s not for want of trying (sic that asshole Borissov – still in power – who folded and ultimately shafted South Stream that directly lead to NordStream II benefiting Germany, and TurkStream, benefiting a non-EU state that is considered a Bad Boy). The phrase ‘cutting off one’s nose to save face’ comes to mind.

        It may be called the ‘European Union’, but when the big boys throw their weight around and only the north benefits… The south hasn’t forgotten. Those are big political cleavages that were created by the cancellation of South Stream.

        Like

  27. Add this to the dribbly bullshit grist mill:

    Euractiv with Neuters: Hackers accused of ties to Russia hit 3 East European companies: cybersecurity firm
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/cybersecurity/news/hackers-accused-of-ties-to-russia-hit-3-east-european-companies-cybersecurity-firm/

    Hackers have infected three energy and transport companies in Ukraine and Poland with sophisticated new malware and may be planning destructive cyberattacks, a software security firm said on Wednesday (17 October).

    Like

    1. As discussed here numerous times, it is basically impossible to determine the origin of hacks. I am quite sure that none of these security firms were running reverse-hacking operations across multiple countries. They just looked at the system logs of the hacked servers. These logs are 100% worthless since they log IPs that are spoofed and none of these servers runs reverse hacking software. Reverse hacking is not trivial and can’t be written into a script or program as part of the standard security features enabled on commercial servers.

      Like

  28. SkyNudes: 17 dead in shooting at Crimea college
    https://news.sky.com/story/ten-dead-in-bombing-at-crimea-college-11528004

    Russia has named the suspect as Vladislav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student at the vocational school, who also killed himself.

    Though was initially thought to be a possible terror attack, Russia is currently treating the incident, in the Black Sea city of Kerch, as mass murder.

    The state’s investigative committee has said that all of those killed died of gunshot wounds, in contrast with earlier reports that the explosion had killed some students.
    Bomb blast at Kerch college in Crimea…

    Like

      1. Police will have to seize any computers or cellphones Roslyakov had at the time of his death and check them for possible contacts with Banderite radicalism.

        Other more prosaic possibilities are that a girlfriend had just left him or a group of students was picking on him. Why would he have planted the bomb in the school cafeteria, if it was not to avenge himself against other kids in his year?

        Like

        1. Why aren’t those Russians who want their country to be more like America celebrating this?

          The BBC had their ‘expert’ Olga Ivishina of the BBC Russian Service on again (I’ve posted about her before) and some way in to the reporting, news anchor Nick Wiles (sp?) posed her this question:

          It seems that this was entirely unconnected with the annexation of Crimea. It wasn’t a politically motivated crime, but are there any changes in society there that might have made this more likely?

          She replied with this:

          After the annexation, many people in Crimea were very hopeful towards changes. They though that annexation would bring them, I don’t know, economical prosperity, new perspectives, social lifts, but unfortunately this didn’t actually happen.

          Secondly you know, after the annexation we could see, sort of, change of mood on state tv and still most of Russians get their news from tv. And there is a lot of aggressive behavior broadcasted on state tv. There is a lot of aggressive behavior broadcasted in the internet.

          Young people they don’t watch the tv that much but they watch youtube and social networks and people in Crimea of course see lot of footage from eastern Ukraine where conflict is still ongoing and there is a lot of shooting.

          Of course this sort of lowers this barriers of resistance towards violence. Violence becomes something, something more and more acceptable. But in that particular case it seems that that guy was really interested in Columbine, in this US shooting.

          He was, as far as we can see now from the footage which comes from the from the CCTV, he was even replicating the clothes which Columbine assassins used to wear. The white t-shirt, the way he holds his rifle and a few weeks before the shooting he said that he really hated the college and wanted to do some revenge towards teachers.
          ###

          Yes, that’s the BBC ‘expert’ tying it all together (coz she’s a psychologist too!) in a nice pretty little package with a bow on top. A) people in Crimea have lost hope after annexation; B) aggressive language on Russian tv/internet begets violence; C) because of Russia being involved in the Ukraine; D) ergo violence is ‘acceptable’; and finally E) which has nothing to do with the actual event that occurred.

          The systematic methodology of prepping any bad news with ‘it’s all due to Russian intervention in Ukraine’ is of course reflected in the article except it is upfront rather than at the end ** The BBC really has no shame at all. Total mofo scum.

          * The Newsroom 17/10/2018 GMT @ 20:06 GMT
          From 3:40 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172w4hwk8s2dp3

          ** Crimea attack: Gun attack at Kerch college kills 19
          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45891201

          At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a shooting at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea.

          An 18-year-old student ran through the Kerch technical college firing at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian investigators say.

          Witnesses have also spoken of at least one blast caused by an unidentified explosive. The motive is unclear.

          Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a move condemned by many Western powers.

          The annexation marked the start of a simmering conflict involving Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine that goes on to this day.

          What happened at the college?

          Like

          1. English people might be snookered by the likes of the BBC, but I think Americans, when they read this story, will know exactly what happened: a rotten murderous kid who decided to kill other kids for no particular reason.

            Like

            1. Well, having looked in vain for some coverage of this horrible event in the lead news pages of the online Guardian it seems to me almost like “the dog that didn’t bark” (in “Silver Blaze”). The lone rogue teenager may have done this but it’d be a good cover story to put out pending the outcome of investigation.

              Like

            2. His classmates said he liked to torture animals such as cats. That really explains it all. That is a huge warning sign that a person is a psychopath.

              Like

                1. Western-particularly American-cancer of the soul and psych has been metastasizing throughout the world for some time.

                  The descendants of Mayan people teens who don khakis and bear USA automatic weapons to Death squad mass murder and terrorize the indigenous people of Guatemala..their own people.

                  The machete wielding automatic weapon bearing child soldiers of subsaharan Africa

                  The eager and willing teen USA army soldiers in Vietnam or Iraq enabling murdering war crimes to no end..

                  They are all cut from the same bolt as this mass murdering kid in Kerch.

                  Like

                2. For that matter teen members of the Hitler Jugend who fought tenaciously in Berlin In 1945 were just as programmed as this Kerch kid…different type of programming but with the same end result. A willingness to submit to fanatical murderous rage.

                  Like

                3. I think there was considerable confusion initially as to what was going on – first responders said there might have been an explosion, and indeed Putin was saying there had been an explosion just about the time the police were making their report that there was not, and that it was a lone gunman and that it was probably not terrorism.

                  I’m sure the press would love to go to town on this story, play up that this is how it is in crazy authoritarian Russia, but can’t figure out how to do it without drawing unfavourable comparisons to the United States.

                  Like

                4. @ Mark: There was indeed an explosion. The student first placed an explosive device in the school’s library, then shot at people.

                  @Cortes: Western media have been mostly silent because they struggle at how to present it without acknowledging that Crimea is Russian. Who is conducting the investigation? Russian Investigative Committee. Who deals with the treatment of the wounded? The Russian emergency staff. Which country’s official reacted to the tragedy? Russia’s President, deputies, etc. Who mourned the victims across the country, bringing flowers and lighting candles? Russians. Ukraine’s reaction has been very tepid. No shock, no drama, no collective mourning.

                  Like

                5. Thanks, Nat; western reporting used the two sources of information – Putin’s announcement and the near-simultaneous report of the initial police investigation – to suggest that Putin was confused and really didn’t have too much of a grip on what happened. Although, to be fair, they were not particularly mean about it, and seemed tpo acknowledge the twin imperatives of getting reliable information, and making a public announcement. Putin seemed to think the dead were killed in an explosion, but the police announced almost immediately that all the dead were killed by gunshot wounds. It seems a little unusual that the police would not inform the president first before going public, but perhaps they did and he thought there was nothing to be served by him making a second announcement.

                  Excellent point that it is a complicated problem for western reporters, and also about the muted Ukrainian reaction; Ukraine, at least, seems on the whole to believe it happened in another country.

                  Like

                6. @Nat, that is an excellent analysis of Westie media response to the mass-shooting.
                  On the one hand, they can’t bring it up without inserting their standard tag about “Crimea belongs to the Ukraine”. On the other hand, when they do that, they know they will be accused of politicizing a non-political crime.

                  President Porky went there (but he is never shy): He kept insisting that Western government present their condolences to him and not to Putin, since the victims are “Ukrainian citizens”, yeah right.

                  Like

                7. @Yalensis: Yeah, we can count on Poroshenko to think an appropriate reaction to a tragic event is to make it all about himself.

                  As for the condolences, the few foreign officials who presented them faced the same dilemma as the media: Offer their condolences to Russia or Ukraine? EU leaders chose neutrality, they presented their condolences to Crimeans: The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland: “I extend my condolences to all close to the victims of the killing in Crimea today”, Merkel: ” Devastating reports of the attack on a school in Crimea, We mourn the many lost lives. Our sympathy is for the families of the victims and all the injured”, the Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas: “My deepest condolences to families and friends of those who died as a result of the tragedy in Crimea. I wish swift recovery to those who were injured.”, Finland’s Foreign Ministry:” Our deepest condolences to the families of victims of today’s horrible tragedy in Kerch.”.

                  Surprisingly, it has been reported that the US Defense Minister Mattis extended his condolences to Shoigu in the ASEAN meeting. He expressed condolences over the deadly attack in Crimea and noted that similar situations had happened in the United States, so US nationals could sympathize with Russians over such a tragedy.

                  Like

  29. RE; Poland and LNG from Calcasieu:

    First.. It ain’t 2019 yet
    http://venturegloballng.com/calcasieu-pass/#.W8fF7mhKjct

    The necessary Permits and approvals are yet to be issued

    “Venture Global’s applications to export those same volumes of LNG to non-FTA countries are pending and ***expected*** to be approved upon completion of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) review. View regulatory filings here.”

    http://venturegloballng.com/calcasieu-pass/regulatory/#.W8fJj2hKjcs

    https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/01/f19/Sierra%20Clubs%20Venture%20DOE%20phase%202%20MTI_0.pdf (You may wish to consider the Sierra Clubs filings particularly if some of the local Louisiana environmental folk get fired up against the proposed facility)

    Some of the money ain’t firm ..yet

    Oh yeah…the Hurricane seasons are expected to continue to 2023 and into the foreseeable future

    Like

  30. Antiwar.com: Koreans Hold Talks With UN on Demilitarizing the Border
    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/10/17/koreans-hold-talks-with-un-on-demilitarizing-the-border/

    …Discussions centered on early practical issues like reducing military personnel on either side, while withdrawing weapons and some of the guard posts. Officials say they are encouraged by the progress made at the talks.

    These are attempts to dial back the military presence along the demilitarized zone as other deals are reached between the two Koreas. In previous talks, the two sides agreed to work toward restoring rail and road links between the two….

    &

    Antiwar.com: Koreas Agree to Reconnect Rail, Road Links
    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/10/16/koreas-agree-to-reconnect-rail-road-links/

    …This is good news for everybody, except apparent the Trump Administration, which is expressing “concern” about the rate of progress being made in Korean diplomacy, interfering with US plans to keep sanctions against North Korea tightly in place…
    ####

    Peace is strategically bad for the US.

    Like

    1. You just have to shake your head in wonder at how people don’t burst out laughing whenever Washington bills itself as ‘the world’s peacemaker’, or ‘global cop’. It seems a surreal concept, but you are actually bang-on for center; a world in which everyone is given equal weight and there are no bad guys is bad for the United States, because in such a world it cannot force those it chooses as its friends to take sides.

      Like

  31. CBC News: The National
    Published on 10 Oct 2018
    While many Western observers would consider Russia’s authoritarian political system repressive, when it comes to public spaces the people in the capital are experiencing a new freedom. The country is in the midst of a new kind of perestroika, and much of the work has been done by some the top urban minds of the West.

    Welcome to The National, the flagship nightly newscast of CBC News

    Like

    1. Orwellian newspeak drones the CBC. Russians have way more choices on their presidential ballot than do Americans. Third party candidates are outright repressed in the USA as in the case of Ralf Nader who was stricken from ballots on the whim of local electoral committees dominated by Republicans and Democrats. Russia has participation limits but they are objective and are clearly meant to filter out marginal support noise. I have never seen the CBC to paint the US system as authoritarian even though it is basically a one-party state. The CBC also never complained about Japan’s one-party rule for decades following WWII.

      The CBC is a political mouthpiece and does not engage in objective journalism. I recall their documentary squad filming a rural outhouse interior to prove how backward Russia was. As if no such outhouses existed in Canada. The CBC should film some of those aboriginal reservation ghettos.

      Like

    2. Oh, well; as long as we can get a good plug for the west in there, with its great urban minds. Why do we keep doing nice things for Russia, out of the goodness of our hearts, when they are so vile to us?

      Like

  32. More juxtaposed hilarity and pathos from World is Flat moron:

    “Leave it to Thomas Friedman, the New York Times’ chief foreign affairs commentator, to outdo his colleagues at the nation’s foremost sounding board for CIA propaganda when it comes to hypocrisy and deceit. This he has achieved in an op-ed piece on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi published in Wednesday’s print edition under the headline “America’s Dilemma in Saudi Arabia.”

    Friedman played a key role in promoting the unprovoked and illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, a war crime that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and laid waste to the entire country. He cavalierly shifted from one pretext to another, penning columns promoting the war as a key front in the post-9/11 “war on terror,” a crusade for democracy in the Middle East and a naked war for oil.

    He has since backed every US act of military aggression, including the wars for regime-change in Libya and Syria, which have killed tens of thousands more innocent people, turned millions into homeless refugees, and transformed the entire region into a killing field. He maintains a complicit silence on the US drone murder program and Washington’s key role in the Saudi-led bloodbath in Yemen, which has already killed upwards of 50,000 people and threatens another 14.1 million with starvation, according to the United Nations.

    None of this phases him. He—and his newspaper—are ruthless and ardent exponents of the violent drive by US imperialism to establish its hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/18/frie-o18.html

    Like

    1. Come, come: we must not judge Mr. Friedman too harshly. After all, he did once write a very informative and enthusiastic piece about the toilets of Denmark.

      Well, the toilets of Greenland, actually. But right after being blown away by Greenland’s amazing twin-gear toilets, he flew back to Denmark, and the amazement just kept unrolling.

      Like

        1. Apparently he had not, at least at that time; it’s not a new article. Friedman is the type who seizes upon any new thing as if he had invented it himself. He eagerly yearns toward the healthy and environmentally-friendly Scandinavian lifestyle, but the two-gear toilet epitomizes it for him because he could embrace it without having to make any lifestyle changes himself.

          Like

  33. Anatoly Karlin in today’s RI on the Patriarch of Constantinople:

    The Istanbul Patriarch Plays at Pope and Falls Under Anathema
    “Now is the perfect time for Russia to reemerge as the Third Rome and take leadership of Orthodox Christendom”

    Comparing the power relationship of the Roman Pope at the time of the 1054 Great Schism between the Western and Eastern (Orthodox) churches with the power relationship that exists now between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Patriarch of the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church in Moscow, Karlin writes:

    As quasi-monarch of the European core, who could command European kings to crawl to him on their knees in penance, the Pope [in 1054] could afford to forget the “pares” part of “primus inter pares”. In contrast, Bartholomew I – His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch, not to mention reserve officer in the Turkish Army – is ensconced in an infidel country and presides over a local flock of a few hundred ageing Greeks … This is something that Bartholomew I has patently ignored with his disastrous decision to enter communion with Ukrainian schismatics.

    Karlin points out, as did Zhirinovsky the other day in the state Duma, that if carried out, then this illegal revocation of the Synodal letter of 1686, which granted the Patriarch of Moscow the right to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev, could only lead to the autocephaly of those seven eparchies that were under Kiev church jurisdiction before 1686, namely those of Kiev, Chernigov, Lutsk, Lvov, Przemysl, Polotsk, and Mogilev, all situated in what is now west and central Ukraine, parts of Poland and Belorussia.

    Kiev church jurisdiction would then not apply to Kharkov, which in 1685 was within the Russian Empire, as was the then Novorossiya.

    Karlin ponts out that if the Constantinople revocation goes through, then the Patriarch of Constantinople would have just as many rights over the bulk of what is now eastern Ukraine as he has over the Eastern Orthodox Church in Vladivostok – namely none!


    Bartholomew I – not in his Turkish army officer uniform!


    Valtsman greets Bartholomew


    Bartholomew with his pal Joe in Istanbul

    The shit hit the Orthodox fan when Bartholomew bestowed upon kiddie-fondler Biden the highest award bestowed by the Greek Orthodox Church, the Athenagoras Human Rights Award.

    Biden is a pro-abortionist, pro-sterilization and “gay” rights campaigner. He also professes to be a Roman Catholic.

    Like

    1. re. the above linked RI Karlin article, I think Anatoly must have had an attack of the typos, as often happens to me, when writing this paragraph:

      It would be an exceedingly sad and ignominious end to see the lingering remnant of a glorious empire do give in to blackmail and foreign pressure. We can only hope that God will not punish them as severely as for the Council of Florence,

      which, I daresay, should have read as follows:

      It would be an exceedingly sad and ignominious end to see the lingering remnant of a glorious empire give in to blackmail and foreign pressure. We can only hope that God will not punish them as severely as did the Council of Florence.

      The “glorious empire” that he refers to is Byzantium.

      As regards the Council of Florence, which took place when Europe was under severe threat from the Ottoman Empire, Byzantium and its capital Constantinople, the “City of Caesar” (aka Царьград [Tsar’grad] in Russian — “City of Caesar”), then being the remnant of the Eastern Roman empire and situated at the immediate receiving end of said threat, and when reunification of the Eastern and Western churches was mooted so as to help face the Ottoman onslaught :

      The Council had meanwhile successfully negotiated reunification with several Eastern Churches, reaching agreements on such matters as the Western insertion of the phrase “Filioque” to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed [“and of the son”: the Nicene Creed, in using this term, implied that the “Holy Ghost” came from the “Father (and the Son)”, which, of course, is anathema to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, because they are all the same, three-in-one, aren’t they, and which phrasing immediately led to the Great Schism:

      Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem:
      qui ex Patre ⟨Filioque⟩ procedit
      Qui cum Patre, et Filio simul adoratur, et cum glorificatur.

      I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, the giver of life,
      who proceedeth from the Father ⟨and the Son⟩.
      Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.

      ME, ] the definition and number of the sacraments, and the doctrine of Purgatory.

      Another key issue was papal primacy, which involved the universal and supreme jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church, including the national Churches of the East (Serbian, Greek, Moldo-Wallachian, Bulgarian, Russian, Georgian, Armenian etc.) and nonreligious matters such as the promise of military assistance against the Ottomans.

      The final decree of union was a signed document called the Laetentur Caeli, “Let the Heavens Rejoice”.

      Some bishops, perhaps feeling political pressure from the Byzantine Emperor, accepted the decrees of the Council and reluctantly signed. Others did so by sincere conviction, such as Isidore of Kiev, who subsequently suffered greatly for it. Only one Eastern Bishop, Mark of Ephesus, refused to accept the union and became the leader of opposition back in Byzantium.

      The Russians, upon learning of the union, angrily rejected it and ousted any prelate who was even remotely sympathetic to it, declaring the Russian Orthodox Church as autocephalus (i.e., as having its “own head”).

      Despite the religious union, Western military assistance to Byzantium was ultimately insufficient, and the fall of Constantinople occurred in May 1453Wiki.

      Non of this arsing around about the gods and their pecking order in Asgard, of course, where Woden is the boss and Thor came from Mrs. Woden (Frige in Old English) after old Woden had humped her. There were other godly Woden offspring as well, and other lesser gods.

      Waes hael!

      🙂

      Like

    2. Karlin’s article about the autocephaly is admittedly good. But every time I link to RI I feel like I have to take a shower afterwards. What a piece of work it is (along with Unz), cesspools of Jew-hating and Red-baiting. Not to mention the usual claque of holocaust-deniers and neo-Nazis.

      Like

      1. I feel the same way. I am trying my best to avoid it but I regularly have a snoop to see if there is anything worthwile there and I think Karlin’s piece on the wheelings and dealings as regards the Constantinople patriarch are interesting.

        Like

        1. if Trond’s question is addressed to me: both.

          Very often there appear articles that are nothing less than rabid jew-baiting and would have been given front page in “Der Stürmer”. And there is a clientele, a commentariat if you will, of US readers who look upon Russia as the last bastion of “white, Christian civilization” against the worldwide onslaught of lesser breeds, which Kulturkampf is organized by world Jewry.

          In short, many of the commenters are dickheads. And trolling is rampant as well.

          Like

    3. But who’s the overall winner? The west, overwhelmingly Christian and rubbing its hands in enjoyment of the writhing and quarreling among the Orthodoxy, and the deepening of the rift between Russia and Ukraine.

      Like

      1. Many doubt that the West is Christian, much less overwhelmingly. But, yes, whatever they are, they may well be rubbing their hands in glee for the moment.

        Like

        1. No friends is better than bad friends. Let Ukrstan wallow in pig shit. Given the history of the last 1000 years, it will reach total dissolution at one point.

          Like

        2. But the Ukraine has always had religious dissent between east and west, Uniate and Eastern Orthodox, ever since that time when the seeds of Ukrainian nationalism were planted by the Roman Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century, when Austria was scared shitless of Russian imperial expansion westwards into the vacuum then being created by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, into teritories that k.u.k Austria deemed to be its own patch.

          The situation was not helped in any way post-WWII by the UkSSR having “Polish” Ukrainians (Galitsians, mostly) tagged onto what Svidomites believe to be that territory that is the direct descendant of “Kievan” Rus’.

          And in the 17th/18th centuries, when what is now that part of the Ukraine situated mostly west of the Dnepr was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Eastern Orthodox Church was given a hard time by the Catholic authorities and serious attempts were made to persuade Orthodox Christians to “Latinize”.

          “Uniate” Yukies are raised to hate the Moskali Orthodox Church and its faithful. I know: I’ve met such “Uniates”, even sat at the same table with them when on holiday in the former UkSSR. They suck-holed up to me because they thought I was a typically English wanker that supports them. The same happens to me regularly here with Rubberduckians (some of my son’s pals are such) and Kreakly.

          I know a Ukrainian woman doctor from Odessa, an ethnic Russian who is ROC, who tells me that when she, as a child, was visiting Lvov with her mother, they were walking around a an RC cathedral in that city, when they were asked by irate Lvov worshippers to leave the church after they had been overheard speaking in Russian to each other. That happened in the 1970s.

          In the early days of the present Ukrainian civil war, it was very noticible (to me, at least) how Uniate murderers engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Eastern Ukraine during their so-called anti-terrorist operations, had dangling from their tunic pockets Uniate rosary beads.


          Как записаться в батальон “Донбасс”
          How to sign up for the Donbass Battalion

          Furthermore, the evil bastard who kicked the whole ATO off, the “Bloody Pastor”, is a Baptist.

          There are a lot of Baptists in Banderastan.

          Quite a few of the above worshippers’ grandfathers were guards at Nazi extermination camps, I should imagine.


          “In the Ukraine, there are no Nazis: this is all Kremlin propoganda!!!”
          Sergey Linnik (nickname: “To the Manner Born”, “Congenital”.)

          Like

          1. Baptists are everywhere. Met some in Romania during a family visit many years ago. They are the tip of the spear in spreading Western values. Most Orthodox Romanians have a good laugh at these shiny people high on Jesus.

            Like

            1. Same here, though I know one Russian Baptist who is a decent bloke — reformed sinner, boozer, womanizer etc. Get’s his fix now on Jesus — but he’s OK.

              Way back when McDonald’s were not long arrived at Pushkin Square, some of my English class used to attend English language discussion clubs that had begun to spring up in Moscow cafés as the expat community here began to grow. However, after a short while, some of my former class told me they had stopped attending these clubs because of friendly, beaming US citizens there who were constantly approaching them , wishing to inform them of the “Good News” of jesus dying for their sins in order that their souls be saved.

              The Baptist Task force had landed!

              Like

              1. Basically, they are another NGO.

                A sort-of friend, US born but with a strong western Ukrainian heritage, told me that he hopes that Christianity will spread to Russia. We stopped talking about such matter but we both know what we think of each other. Actually, that friendship has essentially ended as he was simply insincere on just about everything.

                Like

          2. Western Ukraine is only useful to the west as an exporter of nationalistic and religious hate: nobody really wants it, to absorb such a loose cannon into its own society and state. Even the Poles don’t want it – who in their right mind would want to take on a big bunch of underemployed working-age men who have accustomed themselves to a lawless state, compelled only by its own politically-unacceptable beliefs, with no gun control? I can’t imagine what could go wrong there.

            The west likes to keep West Ukraine a simmering hotbed of violence and rage, because it helps to keep the rest of rump Ukraine committed to an anti-Russian course. As is usual when NATO embarks upon a course of meddling and tweaking, it gives no thought whatsoever to the potential unintended consequences of liberating fascist nationalist sentiment and allowing it to form doctrine and formulate policy. Note to NATO – these people now have the bit in their teeth, and cannot be expected to go back to being simple farmers and postal clerks and switchboard operators. They like walking around carrying automatic weapons and playing war all day long. For them, the war will never end until either Russia capitulates to them – another way of saying never – or they are wiped out. NATO opened the Ukrainian Pandora’s box, and let out all the ugliness and evil, and the first thing it did was to gang up on Hope, hidden in the bottom, and strangle the life out of it. There will not be any putting the Nazis back in their box.

            Which is precisely why Russia should just dump what’s left of Ukraine to its fate. Pull out all investment, send the guest workers home, seal the borders and conduct scrupulous immigration checks to prevent Ukrainians from entering Russia. Move those borders up to the current limits of Novorossiya – not colonizing it with Russians, it should keep the same inhabitants, but using it as a buffer state to keep the non-ethnic-Russian Ukrainians out. No trade with Ukraine, let NATO subsidize it. It would collapse in nothing flat. Make sure Russia has no further responsibility for it. It’s sad that the NATO experiment was so successful at turning Slavs against one another, but in the end it will have its punishment as it is forced to accept the lunatics as its own.

            Like

  34. Bravo!!! If I still smoked, I would be holding up my lighter, waving it from side to side in recognition of a tour-de-force performance. Scott McConnell for President!

    “At the time of this writing, an Orioles-White Sox game in Baltimore has been cancelled because of rioting in the city, while on Saturday 37,000 fans were confined inside the stadium for hours after a game ended because of mayhem outside. The state, which cannot protect crowds of dating couples and parents with children outside of Camden Yards, is not going to make eastern Ukraine safe for neoliberalism.”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-american-century-is-over/

    If you are an American, this should make you weep with rage at the creeping co-opting of a country which once established the model for independence.

    Like

  35. More sagacity and acuity in the indictment(s) of TPTB elite and their lackeys ,courtesy of Kalen Chief Justice of Truths and Facts that make them Crazy:

    “What is actually wrong is entire educational system serving war and imperial interests from scientists who build weapons engineers who build guns, to managers who exploited workers to build guns and weapons, accountants that cook the books to pay for death Industry by looting population, to priests of religion who tell us that god is guiding guided weapons and gurus of media who would prove any lie for money, as trained in Harvard and other institutions of imperial brainwashing.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/19/pers-o19.html

    BTW Here’s another connection between today’s Ivory Tower bunch and their deep historical bonds with the slave holding aristocracy of the Confederacy:
    http://time.com/5013728/slavery-universities-america/

    Like

      1. “Yale inherited a small slave plantation in Rhode Island that it used to fund its first graduate programs and its first scholarships,” Wilder says. “It aggressively sought out opportunities to benefit from the slave economies of New England and the broader Atlantic world.
        To date, there is no single accounting of how much money flowed from the slave economy into coffers of American higher education. But Wilder says most American colleges founded before the Civil War relied on money derived from slavery. He suspects that many institutions are reluctant to examine this past. “There’s not a lot of upside for them. You know these aren’t great fundraising stories,” Wilder says.

        Yup, you won’t see that little tidbit in the Harvard and Yale alumni newsletters!

        Like

          1. Which is why popular anger and resentment must constantly be directed outward, at an external enemy. Wake up, Americans – Russia and China are robbing you of your American Dream!! It’s their fault, not that of your own elites and/or the political system that assures their place!!

            In at least one area, though, Unz is full of it.

            This perhaps explains why so many sons and daughters of top Chinese leaders attend college in the West: enrolling them at a third-rate Chinese university would be a tremendous humiliation, while our own corrupt admissions practices get them an easy spot at Harvard or Stanford, sitting side by side with the children of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and George W. Bush.

            It is not as easy as he makes out, as a timely lawsuit suggests – Asian-Americans often have to tiptoe through an admissions minefield whose process is exquisitely designed to discover their ethnic background, so that Asian admissions can be limited. According to this reference, basing its conclusions on an internal study conducted by Harvard itself, if that institution looked only at academic standards when filling its admissions, Asians and Asian-Americans would make up 43% of its student body. Instead, it’s maybe half that.

            https://abovethelaw.com/2018/10/asian-american-affirmative-action-lawsuit-against-harvard-has-always-been-on-behalf-of-mediocre-white-people/

            It is uniquely-American irony that the driving force behind the initiative is Ed Blum, about as far from a populist as you could get, who is pushing the lawsuit as a means of wrecking any correction of the system; it’s designed to lose.

            Like

            1. Unz did indicate that the Ivy league schools found ways to throttle Asian enrollment to about 15% after some initial fine tuning.

              Like

                1. In Australia here anyway, some universities have very large international student intakes to the extent that in some institutions, overseas students (mostly from China and India) constitute as much as or more than 40% of the entire student population.
                  http://www.universityrankings.com.au/international-student-numbers.html

                  A major part of the reason must be that as government funding to universities here continues to decrease, universities are forced to make up the shortfall by relying on full fee-paying students and international students and their families can be exploited in this way by being forced to pay upfront for their education.

                  No doubt, being private educational institutions, Ivy League universities view the children of Chinese political elites as similar gold mines and the admission standards required of such potential students are likely to be very different from what is applied to students coming out of American high schools.

                  Like

          2. Dear Patient Observer: I try to give credit where credit is due; so any sociological theory that is factual and based on mathematics deserves to be aired in public.
            My beef with Unz is their overall fascist slant. Some of the articles are so viciously anti-Jewish, that one is simply forced to ask: “What is your end game? A second Holocaust?” (which the more Nazi of the commenters are forced into Zugzwang, because they deny the first one even happened, and yet call for a second one…)
            Having said that, I call upon people to perform a simple thought experiment: Imagine it were actually proved scientifically factual (beyond a statistical doubt) that certain ethnic groups were intellectual “smarter” in the arena of, say, college success. (For example, Jews or “Asians”.) Then what should be the policy ensuing? Should governments institute quotas to make sure the “dumber” ethnos get their share of the college degrees? Or just let nature take its course?
            I reckon the answer would depend on the government in question, and the whole damn history. When the Soviet Union decided (in the late 70’s and 1980’s) to limit Jews to certain quotas in university admissions, they were raked over the coals by Westies. And yet when Westie institutions attempt to set ethnic quotas, then it might be reasonable.

            Where do I stand on this issue? I honestly don’t know… but I admit that I don’t have the answers…

            Like

            1. I told this story before but will do so again as it has relevancy. My 2nd term calculus graduate assistance was a young woman; perhaps 18 years old. Her name was Stern or Sternberg. She was socially awkward, clearly uncomfortable in the classroom and not good at teaching

              A few years later, I read a story in a regional newspaper about her. The headline was something like “Is this Perfection?”. Anyway, the story indicated that she graduated from the University at the age of 16. She was the product of an experiment by her parents. From conception onward, she was exposed to every sort of stimulation to build her intellectual development – classical music played while in the womb, every sort of pre-school educational stimulation and constant urging to excel in academics.

              My take is most “ethnic” intellectual achievement is the product of sociological factors. Overbearing Jewish moms or Asian tiger moms are likely a major factor in such academic achievements. In my value system, that behavior is destructive to the kids psychological well-being. Not worth it in the long run I believe.

              Like

              1. Asians I personally know tell me that Asian kids are not genetically smarter than anyone else. Their parents value education, and make them work harder than most western kids do. Got spare time? Study. Already mastered the subject? Take up another. When you’re good at all of them, then you can take a break.

                A friend of mine who was a junior officer in the Navy is Chinese. She consented to be interviewed by a Chinese magazine, because of her position as a military officer, but it was clear to her that her interviewers were a little disappointed that she was not fluent in Mandarin. When they proceeded with the interview in English, they wanted to know, “Why you no doctor? Why you no Rawyer?”

                Like

                1. In Sydney at least, it is typical (though not universal) of Asian parents to enroll their children in tutorial classes after school so that whatever kids learn in school gets drummed into their heads a second time. University students often earn money tutoring high school kids in subjects like maths, physics and chemistry during holiday breaks or just before major exams. These practices may be common in Vancouver too.

                  One curiosity that always emerges after high school matriculation results are announced publicly (through newspapers) each year is the dominance of Chinese and Indian students in seemingly irrelevant and esoteric subjects like Ancient Greek.

                  Like

              2. Dear Patient Observer: That is my experience too, that “ethnic” achievement is the result of rigorous training from youth onward. I personally doubt if genetics plays that much of a role. I just leave open for the possibility that some neo-Nazis might somehow prove scientifically that, on average, say, Race A is smarter (or dumber) than the average bear.

                What then? What should be the policy of governments in regard to Race A? Official discrimination? Quotas?

                Leave the fascists to it, and we know exactly what they will do to, say, Africans.
                Of course, the Unzian type fascists have a dilemma when it comes to the Jews. On the one hand they believe that Jews are smarter, better, and have a hive-mind. On the other hand, they want to eliminate all Jews from the face of the earth. Which would leave the rest of us humans (according to their own ideology) dumber, worser, and less coordinated in our collective activities.

                Like

              3. Further to this discussion, last night I saw a brief post on some current affairs TV program on a guy who runs a retail shop selling pianos. He told the interviewer the huge majority of his customers were Asians and Chinese customers in particular. Asian parents are all suckers for the news about how learning to play a musical instrument like the piano stimulates young children’s brain development, so much so it’s become an urban myth.

                Like

                1. I do have three nieces (all sisters) who learned to play piano when they were small and they’re all very brainy. The youngest child copied the older girls and was reading basic sheet music and playing simple tunes before she started kindergarten.

                  Incidentally music education in Finland starts very early – often when children are babies – and is compulsory during the primary school age years.
                  https://musicaustralia.org.au/2017/06/finlands-music-education-system-how-it-works/

                  One result is that Finland has more heavy metal bands per capita than any other country in the world.

                  Like

                2. All my Anglo-Mongol-Tatar-Finno-Ugric-Slav mixed breed brood learnt/are learning musical instruments. They attended (in Sasha’s case, still attends) a music school up the road.

                  I took Sasha there after school yesterday, and she’ll be there again on Thursday. A pianoforte teacher comes here twice a week as well to give Sasha extra tuition on the Old Joanna. (It’s a new, “sit-up-and-beg” one, as a matter of fact.)

                  They all had/have to study what Russians call “solfege’ — the theory of music, and it is bloody hard and they hated/hate it! All the Russians I know say they hated solfege. In adddition, Vova learnt to play the oboe, Lena the flute, and get this: Sasha’s started drum tuition! She started the other week: she came home with drumsticks and xylophone hammers. She likes it.

                  I thought her mother was kidding me when she told me she was going to have drum lessons.

                  She wasn’t kidding.

                  Vova and Lena also play the guitar well. Vova also has an electric guitar. Oh, and he has a monstous sound system set up in his room and plugged ino his PC and woofers and mics and whatever, in his studio as it were, where he creates the most abominable noise, which he calls “music”.

                  There’s a big electronic keyboard here that is great, as well, and an accordion and a clarinet.

                  Mrs. Exile also plays the piano and the guitar.

                  And Lena has singing lessons. Her repertoire ranges from Queen’s “I want to break free” to Mozart’s aria “Die Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” — from the ridiculous to the sublime, I should say — and she really can hit the high notes!

                  I play fuck all, because I’m an uncultured English lout, as my vulgarity at the beginning of this sentence only proves too well.

                  I played rugby 40-odd years ago, though.

                  This is their music school:

                  ГБУДО г.Москвы “ДМШ им. М.М.Ипполитова-Иванова”

                  The City of Moscow State Budgeted Institute of Further Education “M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov” Children’s Music School

                  It’s like the Bedlam School of Music when you go in: kids blasting/strumming/drumming away at their instruments, a labrynthine building full of practice rooms, classrooms and a big concert hall. And added to this istrumental cacaphony is the sound of young, hopeful operatic prima donnnas torturing their tonsils as they go up and down the scale.

                  Oh yeah — and it’s free!


                  That’s old Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov‘s image at the back of the rostrum. He used to be top man at the Conservatoire here. Every year at the end of term, Sasha, as my other two had to, plays a set piece on that piano in front of the senior staff so as to pass muster. The boss piano teacher is a crazy old bird, in my opinion, especially when she bangs out the odd Chopin number.

                  In the M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov Children’s Music School in Moscow, free training is provided for children aged 6-18 years in the direction of “Musical art”. Curriculum: the art of musical theatre, vocals, percussion, stringed orchestral, brass and orchestral stringed folk instruments, pop-jazz orchestrl instruments, accordion and bayan. Also at the school there are various creative groups*: choirs (junior, intermediate and senior), ensembles for accordion, cello, domra-players, violinists and flutists, a chamber orchestra, an orchestra of wind instruments etc.

                  Such an uncivilized dump is Mordor!

                  *творческие коллективы

                  Creative groups?

                  A school for juvenile Kreakly!!!!!

                  😦

                  Like

                3. I’ll bet that Moscow Exile Junior has already downloaded software (some of it free) featuring programmed drum and percussion rhythms and rhythm loops and samples. These links lead to a tiny sample of what is available for free (or upon payment of a small donation) for musicians who do not need or cannot afford proper old-school drum kits:
                  https://www.musictech.net/2016/10/freeware-drum-machines/
                  https://www.wavealchemy.co.uk/sys-100-drums/pid183/

                  So if you think his sound system LOOKS monstrous, what’s inside will be several times more so!

                  One-man bedroom bands (especially one-man bedroom heavy metal bands) are very common right across the globe thanks to software that allows them to create, replicate and store drumming rhythm loops. All the bands listed in the link below are solo projects:
                  http://www.metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=3154

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. But isn’t the selection of African or Asian students who may study in Europe or the USA based more on class? Surely, if you are a Chinese or African – black, brown, sky-blue-with-pink-polka-dots or whatever, you must be bourgeois if you have been allowed to study at Yale or Oxford etc.

              In the UK, the working class is becoming increasingly uneducated, and class is not ethnicity.

              Like

            3. I think quotas can safely be abolished when ethnic groups which prove to be inordinately clever result in leaders who work for the betterment of everyone who falls under their responsibility; people have little to fear from leaders who do not concentrate on favouring their own ethnicity in their policies and regulations. And groups like AIPAC suggest the Jews are not quite there yet, as they consistently try to manipulate America into fighting Israel’s wars for it, keeping a steady flow of American dollars into Israel’s coffers and selling their most sensitive military equipment to Israel, which it pays for with American foreign aid.

              We have had a couple of Chinese leaders here up as far as the Lieutenant-Governor level, and the gentleman of whom I speak was a model of integrity to the best of my recollection – he was generous with his wealth and left bequests which were for the good of all citizens. I say ‘was’ because he died in 2010.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lam

              I met him once, he and his missus, in the most peripheral way; they were guests aboard HMCS HURON when I served there, when that ship first came to the west coast and was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. He seemed humble, quiet and dignified, and you would certainly not ever see him smirking to his buddies about grabbing women by the pussy or laughing about how he made up ‘facts’ when dealing with other allied leaders. We could certainly have done far worse. But that may have had nothing to do with his ethnicity and everything to do with his personal character.

              Like

            4. Malaysia had a similar problem in that when the country first became independent, the Chinese population there was more educated and dominated Malaysian commerce. The government started the so-called bumiputra policy to give preference to ethnic Malay students for places in universities in the country.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumiputera_(Malaysia)

              As a result of this policy, Chinese families in Malaysia have often had to send their children to universities overseas. The practice of students completing Year 11 at home, then going to Australia to resit Year 11 and then do Year 12, so that they qualify for university entry in Australia became usual. I met a few kids at school like that when I was in my final HS years.

              Like

        1. How I wish I had known this back when La Russophobe was in her heyday – whenever the global university rankings for the year came out, she would embark on a carnival of spite, chuckling up a fit because no Russian universities were even in the top 300 or whatever. It would have been child’s play to make her boil over using references to legendary American colleges funding their educational excellence with slave labour.

          Like

  36. “The United States continues to invest in weapons of mass destruction. The NATO bases in Turkey, Germany and Italy will receive the new bombs in 2020,” Russian nuclear expert Alexandr Jilin was quoted as saying by the agency.
    The United States has a total of 150 nuclear weapons in five NATO member countries, including Turkey, according to a report on worldwide nuclear arms prepared by the Turkish Parliament in October 2017.”

    An obvious question is to what extent do local commanders have access to the nukes and the capability
    activate them for use **without** American/NATO authorization.

    https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/10/19/alert-us-nato-sending-next-generation-nuclear-weapons-to-turkey/

    Like

  37. Obviously intimidated by USA/NATO awesome might…The Russians are plainly eager to placate the West:

    “As for the U.S., he said that “empires often think they can make some little mistakes … because they’re so powerful. But when the number of these mistakes keeps growing, it reaches a level they cannot sustain.”

    He added: “A country can get the sense from impunity that you can do anything. This is the result of the monopoly from a unipolar world … . Luckily this monopoly is disappearing. It’s almost done.”

    Putin also boasted that Russia’s “hypersonic” weapon system will be the best in the world within months. Such a system would allow missile speeds of at least five times the speed of sound, or about one mile per second, CNBC reported. The U.S. is currently incapable of defending itself against such a system, CNBC said.

    Putin said Russia’s nuclear weapons would be used only to retaliate against an enemy strike. “We have no concept of a preemptive strike,” Putin said in response to a question, Agence France-Presse reported. “The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.”

    “we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.”
    Hmm…That choice of words is a bit ….unsettling !!! :O)

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/putin-fall-of-us-hegemony-mistakes_us_5bc91ac9e4b0a8f17eeaabce

    Like

    1. I fact-checked the original Russian format of the quote, just to make sure it was valid.
      The quote (and translation) are accurate enough but lack the correct context; I think this is just another case of Putin’s bizarre sense of humor. He was asked this question in the course of the Valdai press conference, and he tends to get jokey when peppered with so many questions.

      Here is the original Russian quote:

      «возмездие неизбежно». «Мы жертвы агрессии, мы как мученики попадем в рай. А они просто сдохнут. Потому что даже раскаяться не успеют!»

      “Retaliation [would be] inevitable. As victims of the aggression, we as martyrs will go to heaven. And they will simply croak, because they won’t even have time to repent!”

      It is noted that the audience chuckled at the response, getting that it was partly black humor.

      Also should be noted, that the “no preemptive strike” clause is not exactly accurate. The actual policy, as previously stated by Putin himself, is that Russia WOULD consider a preemptive nuclear strike, in the extreme circumstance when actual Russian statehood and sovereignty was in immediate peril. Aside from that exception, Russia would only use nukes in retaliation for a first strike, as stated.

      Like

  38. Why are Russian authorities letting “Putin’s chef” give the US deep state excuses to smear Russia and undermine global peace and stability? WTF would a Russian citizen need to run any sorts of political agitation/advertising in the US on any subject?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-19/doj-accuses-russian-national-tampering-midterm-vote

    Even though such “meddling” has zero impact, it is not serving Russia’s interests. As in NATzO, Russian citizens do not get to over-ride the national interests of Russia.

    Like

  39. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-19/bolton-pushes-trump-drop-1987-treaty-after-russia-unveils-advanced-nukes

    Bolton pushes for the US to break out of the 1987 INF Treaty. Not surprising considering that all those ABM components they are deploying around Russia are dual use and violate the INF. The INF is also a joke (showing us what a comprador Gorby was) since it allows the US to deploy unlimited range nuclear missiles in its Naval assets. So Russia cannot have any land based intermediate range nukes, but the US can park its ships in EU harbours and deploy unlimited amounts of the “banned” class of missiles.

    I say let the US break the INF. The INF helps the USA and its NATzO minions more than it helps Russia.

    Like

    1. There may be several motivations for Bolton
      – an attempt to force Russia into a ruinously expensive arms race;
      – to create a regional Cold War to reverse the nascent rapprochement between Western Europe and Russia;
      – an attempt to limit war to the European/Russian region as much as possible if a war against Russia is needed by the US.

      Bolton is an idiot carrying out a moron’s strategy. What could go wrong?

      Like

      1. Why not? It worked before. As I suggested before, a massive conventional war fought across Europe that left both sides in ruins, but which left North America untouched besides its wartime dead in Europe – hey, lots of jobs back home and plenty of room for expansion – would be an answer to Washington’s prayers. It’s already done this once, and would have a better idea where the pitfalls lie in the second go-round.

        Like

        1. I like to think China would side with Russia and squeeze the US like an overripe tomato or banana or squash. Kick the crap out of Japan and force the US presence out of the Western pacific. Economic warfare may be moot at that point but cutting off all exports to the US would devastate Walmart (just kidding on that one).

          Russia would shutdown oil imports and basically all international trade to the US. The strategic petroleum reserve combined with domestic production could suffice for a while. The biggest problem facing the US in a protracted general world war is its population. Too unfit, too jaded and too self-absorbed to sustain a war with massive losses. True, there will be some rally-around-the-flag moments but will the forgotten tens of millions of Americans care enough to die for a leadership that despises them?

          The fundamental problem is that Russia has stated that if its existence as a nation is threatened by invasion, it will go full nuclear – a world without Russia is a world not worth having. Europe knows this and does not want to be vaporized to please the US. For that reason, Europe will likely resist the Bolton Plan.

          Assuming that the US financial system is as shaky as it looks, Russia simple needs to avoid falling for provocations as it builds its military and economic strengths. In 5 to 10 years, it may no longer matter what the US wants.

          Like

      2. Bolton is a certified retard if he thinks he will bankrupt Russia with an arms race.

        1) I find the theory that the USSR couldn’t afford the 1970-80s arms race and went bankrupt to be of zero credibility. The USSR was a command economy and various estimates of how much it allegedly spent on the economy to be ridiculous western attempts to impose their capitalist accounting on a command economy. The USSR collapsed due to internal political rot and not some “budget deficit” which was meaningless in command economics and never exiting in reality anyway. The only valid metrics of deficits in command economies if there are labour shortages in various industries. The USSR had more than enough engineers, researchers, workers and material resources to keep up with the arms race. This is why command economics is vastly superior to capitalist profiteering. Capitalism only triumphs because humans are genetically deficient to live optimally under a command economy since they need all sorts of superfluous incentives and feel-good junk.

        2) Nuclear weapons are the cheapest option out of all military costs. Tanks, ships and armed troops are much more expensive. In the current rocket era, these expensive options are outdated and much less potent. Russia can neutralize any US move by deploying appropriately designed missiles and warheads.

        Like

            1. But it is the US itself that clamours for them when it feels disadvantaged. Russia needs to learn this lesson and sign no more limitation treaties with the rogue state called America. Cranking up warhead and launcher numbers can hammer the truth nail into the skull of these freaks that no ABM will ever enable a winnable nuclear war.

              Like

              1. The west in general is like that – you never hear any calls for a cease-fire when the west’s proxy forces are winning, or at least you don’t hear them from the west. As we have discussed before, efforts to get a cease-fire when western proxy forces are winning are arrogantly and condescendingly batted aside. It is when western proxies are losing and in danger of being wiped out that the west frantically lobbies for an immediate cease-fire, so that it can extract its pet rebels, dust them off, rest them up and resupply them with arms and ammunition.

                Like

                1. Here is the specific reason why the USA wanted the INF:

                  Mindstorm wrote:

                  Rocket 15Ж57, of middle of ’80 years, from Chukotka was capable to strike from there literally any single cm of US soil – from West to East side -, over the ocean was so crushingly behind under a strict technological point of view to be forced to place……subsonic cruise missiles…..on the other place of the balance to provide some type of makeshift cover for the begging to elimitate ,through diplomatic measures the immense menace represented by of our РСД-10.

                  zg18 wrote:

                  True, US signed INF for this reason above. It was massively beneficial for US but with China in the picture everything has turned upside down for them.

                  My hunch is that US doesn`t actually want to collapse INF but wants to force China to be part of it.

                  The way they are doing it is incredibly stupid, they should be honest and public about it.

                  ————————————————–

                  Russia no longer has to use Kaliningrad as a base for its missiles. It can station IRBMs along its Arctic coast. America has f*cked itself.

                  Like

                2. One of the benefits of treaties is that during the years they are in effect, those who are bound by them tend to actually read them (which they seldom seem to do before signing) and arm themselves with knowledge against signing a disadvantageous agreement next time. If this treaty falls apart and it’s every man for himself, Russia is still in no more of a precarious position than it was before, and could in theory greatly strengthen its position before anyone brought up the possibility of a new treaty. It would also – again, in theory – have seen such examples of perfidy and untrustworthy behavior by the United States that it would be much less likely to take part in any new agreements with that country.

                  When the INF Treaty was signed, Russia was still the Soviet Union, and America still pretended it had no designs on the breakup of the Soviet Union, expanding NATO or anything other than arriving at a common agreement to manage a dangerous situation. Although the situation is in many ways far more dangerous now, with the US government openly threatening nuclear war, simply broadcasting night and day that the west is honest and reliable and has loads of ‘values’ would not fool anyone now, not in Russia or anywhere else.

                  Trump is actually doing Russia a favour by disbanding all the treaties, agreements and institutions under which Russia agreed to trust its American counterpart. Conversely, the USA is in a much worse position to make new deals, reeling as it is with debt that it cannot pay and having divested itself of all its soft power and most of its global influence. Nobody would now be at all surprised to see Russia refuse to sign new agreements with the USA, and the press would get nowhere with “Can you believe the ingratitude of those peace-hating Russkies?” arguments.

                  Keep on rolling, Donald; you’re doing a heckuva job.

                  Like

              2. Trump is actually doing Russia a favor by disbanding all the treaties, agreements and institutions under which Russia agreed to trust its American counterpart.

                That’s exactly what the expert from the British American Security Council (BASIC) said on RT when he was interviewed. Oh, and they’re quite happy for the US to take the PR flack and Russia will just go through the motions of protesting.

                Vis China, one of Trumps complaints is that it didn’t include China. I don’t get it. IRBM’s are not intercontinential. China is 11,000 or so kilometers from the USA. Or does Trump mean the USA’s allies? India? Vice-versa? But isn’t in Indian-Chinese interests to sort such an agreement out between themselves? Or can’t they do it without Washington?

                Like

                1. Next thing you know is that Trump will charge a 25% tariff on any Russian or Chinese missile that lands on US soil.

                  Like

          1. In Trump’s infantile imagination, the US has ‘a lot of money’ to play with all kinds of things, including its military. Develop the weapons all you like, Donald, you simpleminded idiot. The USA is far behind in rocket technology, and its attempts to catch up will indeed require ‘a lot of money’, which Lockheed-Martin and other wealthy weapons manufacturers will be glad to pocket. By all means let’s have another global arms race, with the would-be leaders’ funds going to develop more and more weapons so we can kill all life on earth a hundred times over. Russia already has all it needs to defend itself, and the USA ringing it with concentric circles of inward-pointing missiles will not keep the USA safe from attack, even if Russia does not spend another kopeck on its nuclear forces.

            Like

            1. Trump does have a history of running his businesses into bankruptcy. But with the US, there is, in his mind, a limitless supply of new money so he will win his bets given enough time. Doubling down ad infinitum.

              Like

  40. Ukraine government hikes gas prices for population by quarter as part of deal with IMF
    Published time: 20 Oct, 2018 05:50

    Starting from November 1, gas prices will increase only by 23.5 percent. Not by 60 percent. This is what we managed to achieve with incredible efforts as a result of negotiations”, Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman said on Friday [20 october, 2018].

    So consider yourselves lucky!


    I should be cold this winter?

    Like

    1. What’s the deal with the US flag? Eagerly subjugating oneself so publicly is embarrassing. It sends the message that the US is the dominatrix and Ukraine the slave.

      Like

      1. When your economy dictates that you must constantly beg for money to stay afloat, no display of loyalty is too demeaning and pride is an unaffordable commodity. Mind you, it’s probably not the same thought process for somebody like Groysman; for him and others of the Ukrainian political class, displaying American symbols is like borrowing American power, and using it to threaten your enemies. Mess with me, and my big brother will clean your clock.

        Like

        1. Крым. За нами Америка! С такими криками на автоматы идут Украинские военные
          The Crimea. America is for us! With such cries, Ukrainian military walk towards automatic weapons.

          This happened shortly after the “invasion”. It is at a former Yukie airbase on the peninsula, whence the Yukies had promptly scarpered.

          However, later on, some of the base personnel, after having been fortified by booze and encouraged by and in the company of journalists, marched back to the base. Warning shots were fired by the “polite men”, and they all buggered off.

          Ironically, the Yukie air force men brought along a Soviet air force banner that had been displayed at the Yalta Conference, 1945, and has since remained in the Yalta Conference museum.

          Why they brought it along, I just don’t know.

          “America is is for us!” they cry, and they carry a Soviet banner!

          Where they trying to say: “We were once all Soviet citizens and shame on you Russians for taking over a former Soviet airbase”?

          Surely, to identify oneself as having a common interest with Moskali, not to mention the fact that Stalin hosted said conference where the banner had been displayed all these years, is anathema in Banderastan?

          Like

  41. Nuclear war between NATO/USA and Russia:
    We are no longer in Kansas…matter of fact there ain’t any Kansas:
    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/19/17873822/nuclear-war-weapons-bombs-how-kill

    As for a non-nuclear war between Russia and USA/NATO waged in Western Europe.
    @PO and Mark …and other stooges

    I don’t see how one is possible. Unless Scotty et al with working teleporter equipment are able to teleport NATO armor and troops into Russia , their columns moving through Belarus ,Ukraine and Poland would be massacred. There wouldn’t be much left by the time they got to the Russian frontier. where waiting Russian armor and artillery would have all routes of approach thoroughly zeroed in and sighted. Not to mention waves of Iskander and cruise missile strikes together with attacks from Russian aircraft . The NATO forces would almost certainly not have the crucial element of air superiority thanks to Russian S-400 systems.

    https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/su25/
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russias-deadly-su-27-the-plane-terrifies-nato-buzzes-its-25642
    “The Iskander is not a strategic weapon—it’s a tactical ballistic missile. During combat operations, it would be used to destroy both stationary and moving targets. Targets would range from surface-to-air missile batteries, enemy short-range missiles, airfields, ports, command and communication centers, factories and other hardened targets.”
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-russias-iskander-missile-killer-26216

    The Russians wouldn’t have to actually DO anything on the offensive other than to show up at the signing of the surrender document by Stoltenberg, Merkel ,Morawiecki ,May and Bolton.
    (France capitulated within 72 hours of the start of hostilities )
    I just don’t see a NATO conventional attack on Russia as even remotely feasible.
    Just my opinion….

    Like

    1. Well, the way it is supposed to work, you don’t start at Day One with your forces deep inside enemy territory. You start on your own side, and one attacks the other and each tries to prevent penetration by the other (if you’ll forgive such an image) while achieving penetration into enemy territory himself, usually only seizing territory which follow-up forces are available to hold, so as not to be encircled and wiped out. It is demonstrably quite possible for huge amounts of US forces and armor to be assembled in England and the Netherlands and France and so forth, because it has already been done once on that scale. Likewise, Russia would not start out with troops in any of those countries.

      Missiles are dandy for wiping out enemy forces at the touch of a button, but you still have to seize that territory, once vacated, and prevent the enemy from simply flowing into the vacuum and re-taking it. That sort of doctrine is pretty much like the US vision of air superiority, where the USAF would simply fly over and bomb the shit out of everything, no troops required. That’s how it was supposed to go in Iraq, except it didn’t. Fortunately, I guess, because otherwise the phrase “Boots on the ground” might never have been coined, and then what would journalists say when they wanted to appear salty and battle-jaded?

      A conventional attack on Russia is not preferred – let’s just get that up front. But I don’t see any other way for the west to have a war with Russia (and it has run out of ways short of war to assert its control) without it going nuclear. And Washington is not quite that crazy yet. It still wants Europe to be around afterward to be a consumer of American goods and services.

      Like

  42. For anyone here interested in parochial Australian politics: we now have a hung parliament as a result of the Saturday by-election in Wentworth electorate to find a new rep for the House of Representatives to replace Malcolm Turnbull, the former Prime Minister who resigned shortly after his demotion and left for the United States. For the first time since Australian federation in 1901, the voters in Wentworth voted for someone who was not a Liberal Party candidate.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/wentworth-by-election-as-it-happened

    The Liberal Party is now left with egg all over its face, having tried to bribe Jewish voters in the electorate (which has a sizable Jewish population) with a proposal to move the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    That particular genie may well prove difficult to put back into its bottle and it should never have been released at all, given that by the time the proposal was made public, most Jewish voters had probably already cast their votes well ahead of the Saturday Sabbath day.

    Like

      1. That should be interesting because a previous Australian PM Tony Abbott is part of that advisory council and they hate each other’s guts.

        Like

    1. And that may well happen. But from my high-school memories, marijuana is a depressant and I don’t recall anyone speeding or driving recklessly from THC. They were so paranoid of the cops that they attracted attention by driving too slowly and carefully, sure they were going to get stopped and searched.

      Most of the people who are euphoric over the opportunity to smoke weed legally already smoke it, and I have not heard of anyone prominent or influential who says they couldn’t wait for it to be legalized so they could smoke as much as they want.

      Like

      1. Driving slowly on the highway is dangerous driving. Dope is not better than alcohol for road safety since it impairs judgement and that is what the statistics are now showing.

        Like

        1. I agree; I never suggested being stoned makes you a better driver. I’m simply suggesting people who are wasted are far less likely to pass out behind the wheel, or drive up on the sidewalk and kill a bunch of people while under the impression they are actually driving straight and normal as drunk people often do.

          Like

  43. Nazis?

    Where? What Nazis?

    20 октября 2018
    14:01
    Латышский «нацик»: жаль, что нацистская Германия не объединилась с США

    20 Oct 2018
    14:01
    Latvian Nazi: it is a pity that Nazi Germany had not joined with the US

    The right-wing National Bloc deputy in the Latvia legislature Alexander Kirstein wrote in Twitter about how it would have been nice if Nazi Germany had in its time united with the USA against the USSR.

    The “History of Conflict” channel had published a photograph showing the exchange of prisoners of war in 1944. “German and American officers greet each other during an exchange of prisoners of war. Lorient, November 1944”, reads the caption beneath the photograph. “When necessary, the Americans and the Germans perfectly understood each other. It is a pity that they were unable to unite in a common struggle against the Bolsheviks”, wrote Alexander Kirstein.

    We should remind readers that this Latvian politician is known for his provocative Russophobic statements. Thus, last summer, “in the name of peace in Europe”, he proposed that Russia be divided up into small States. Kirstein later wrote on Twitter: “The Legionnaires [Waffen-SS Foreign Legion members — ME] and Nationalist Partisans preferred agrarian questions rather than integration — the more invaders there were buried in the earth, the greater did the state benefit”. Kirstein post was accompanied by a photo of his former National Bloc colleague of many years, legislature deputy Visvaldis Lacis in his youth, when he served in the SS Latvian Legion of the .

    Nazis indeed!

    Kremlin prpaganda!

    Like

    1. In a similar vein, the 14th of this month marked an annual commemoration in Ukraine of the UPA. This source notes, rather nervously, that the UPA ‘sometimes acted in collaboration with Nazi forces’.

      https://lancasteronline.com/news/world/ukrainian-nationalists-honor-wwii-era-paramilitary-group/article_df4defb3-aba9-5114-a313-c78ba51d84b1.html

      The marchers – no press efforts to double or triple their numbers, you notice – chanted, “We are returning Ukraine to Ukrainians”. I remember well how western analysts such as Julia Ioffe used to blanch when she allegedly heard anyone in Russia shout “Russia for Russians!”, and whisper “Nashi”, in tones of hushed loathing. No comment from Ms. Ioffe on the UPA march; probably busy somewhere else making jokes on how you could pave the Olympic road to Sochi with caviar for the money they spent on it.

      Keep going, Ukrainian nationalist nutjobs. You are welcome to Ukraine for the right sort of white and committed Ukrainians, just as long as you understand it will be impoverished, smaller and there will be a lot fewer of you.

      Like

  44. China may launch “artificial moons” to provide cities with night time illumination:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/china-launch-artificial-moon-illuminate-city-streets-181019071407280.html

    Each moon would provide about 8 times the illumination of the full “real” moon using reflected sunlight. The idea is to allow elimination of use of street lights. Cloudy nights would present a problem unless the lights are maintained and turned on for such occurrences.

    The moons could also be used to illuminate disaster areas to aid in search, rescue and rebuilding.

    From various articles, four moons may be needed with each “new” moon coming over the city in question as the orbit of the “old” moon takes it out of range. Each China moon would transit the sky in 3-4 hours as a guess.

    Sunlight is 400,000 times brighter than moonlight per the internet or 50,00 time brighter than the China moon. The China moon is to illuminate an area of 50 km in diameter or an area of about 2,000 km2. The area of the China moon disc would need to be about 0.04 km2 assuming 100% reflectivity and perfect focus. The disc would need to be about 0.22 km in diameter (about 750 feet).

    This could be a scam like that super bus that was to straddle traffic lanes. If not, it is really really audacious. Trump will declare that we are losing the moon war as further justification of the US Space Force.

    Like

    1. One more problem, the disc would have a very small angular size so its appearance in the night sky would not be much different than that of a welding arc (no safety issues but definitely distracting).

      Like

      1. I wonder then how an artificial satellite might affect passenger jet movements in and out of major airports especially if and when there is an emergency (or maybe even several emergencies at once) and the light or its direction might need to be moved about to the area/s of the most urgent need.

        Like

        1. Reminds me of that CCR song “Bad Moon Rising”

          A business colleague from China visited today. He did not know of the China moon. He indicated that the city in question is about the 6th largest in China and is located relatively close to the Tibet border.

          He also indicated that China is building military bases at a furious rate and that there is serious talk of war in certain circles if the US were to send an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan straits (I think that the US already does that).

          Like

      1. Why are they transferred to Constantinople by the way? I thought autocephaly meant Ukrainian Church will be a Patriarchate on its own, not a church under the Patriarchate of Constantinople?

        Like

        1. It seems, to me at least, to be a conciliatory gesture of fealty by Kiev to Bartholomew. They’re just saying, hey, it’s yours to use any time you want to stop by for a visit, make it real soon, don’t be a stranger. Porky is a big fan of giving gifts which he interprets as binding the receiver to Ukraine’s cause. Also, Apostle Andrew is by legend the founder of the Russian Orthodox Church, so there’s a little bit of rubbing salt in there, which is also trademark Poroshenko.

          The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is generally thought to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and numbers about half (150 million) of all the adherents of the Eastern Orthodox churches worldwide. And the patriarch of Constantinople has just lost all the Russian churches in exchange for maybe conducting the occasional service at St. Andrews, and the servile bootlicking of the Ukrainians.

          Hope it was worth it, Bart.

          Like

        2. From what I understand, Bart is playing a very subtle game here: He lets the dumb Ukrainians believe they are getting Autocephaly, but what he is actually doing (and actually said out loud) is that he is instituting Stauropigia. That’s Greek for “Here I store my pigs place my cross!”

          Kidding aside, Stauropygia (Russian Stavropygia) means that property has been placed aside from the usual hierarchy of ownership. There may indeed be a misunderstanding, with Filaret thinking he is now the owner of all these goodies, but it turns out to be a land grab by Bart!

          And what it actually means is that all these bases are now belong to him!

          Like

          1. They made the heretic Filaret chief honcho at Lavra №1, namely Kiev Pechersk Lavra, the other day though.

            Russia still has the other two: Holy Trinity-St.Sergius at Sergiev-Posad and St. Alexander Nevsky in St. Petersburg.

            Like

            1. Mark my words, men dressed in “sportive attire” will be playing tug-at-war with the ikons and the mummies.
              Yes, it will come to that, I promise.
              This is the Ukraine, after all.

              Like

          2. There is actually a rift going on about the St.Andrews Church transfer. So there are three Orthodox Churches in Ukraine: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate UOC-MP led by Metropolitan Onufriy and recognized by the majority of canonical Orthodox Churches, the Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate UOC-KP led by Filaret, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church UAOC led by Makariy.

            The St. Andrews Church is the cathedral of the UAOC not of the UOC-MP, and Makariy is loudly protesting the transfer of “his” church to Constantinople, while no church of the UOC-MP or UOC-KP is affected so far. This makes him question the whole schism. Today he said: “They wouldn’t transfer the UOC-MP churches, but they transfer the only cathedral of the UAOC. They pretend to want to unite us and I hope this will happen, but now I doubt it. I didn’t have any doubt before, but after this Sunday I have doubts”. (« Московские храмы не будут передавать, а единственный кафедральный собор УАПЦ — можно передать. Хотят всех объединить, так торжественно, на весь мир. Дай Бог, чтобы так произошло, но я теперь уже сомневаюсь. У меня не было сомнений, а после воскресенья – есть».) I think he is starting to sense he is being thrown under the bus for the benefit of Filaret (who will subsequently be thrown under the next bus for Bart).

            Like

  45. http://johnhelmer.net/kremlin-endorses-kudrin-capitulation-to-us-restrictions/

    By John Helmer, Moscow

    The Kremlin through Dmitry Peskov, the President’s spokesman, has endorsed Alexei Kudrin’s call for changing Russia’s foreign and defence policy to save the country from American sanctions. “We can perhaps agree with the point of view [of Kudrin],” Peskov said, “   except [that the reason] is not the foreign policy of Russia, but the international situation that is developing – the situation of pressure on Russia, unilateral actions in the trade and economic field, illegal restrictions and the terrorist threat.”
    Peskov also wished Kudrin many happy returns for his 58th birthday.
    Putin’s spokesman was responding on Friday to reporters’ questions about a speech Kudrin gave to the oligarch lobby, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), in Moscow two days earlier.  Kudrin had said then: “Today Russia’s foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tension in our relations with other countries and, at least, to the preservation or reduction of the sanctions regime, not to the build-up. Today I would measure the effectiveness of our foreign policy on these indicators. We do not have such global problems for Russia —  risks of military and political importance which would require increasing tension with other countries.”

    Like

    1. Another article from John Helmer

      http://johnhelmer.net/kudrin-bids-for-oligarch-support-captain-alexei-america-versus-general-sergei-of-the-russian-army/

      Anglo-American candidate to be President of Russia, replacing Vladimir Putin, reprivatizing Russia’s resource assets, and emasculating the country’s defences, has made a fresh pitch.
      Alexei Kudrin, sacked as Finance Minister,  demoted as presidential economic adviser, then appointed  Chairman of the Accounting Chamber five months ago,  gave a speech to the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) in Moscow on Wednesday. “Today”, Kudrin declared, “Russia’s foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tension in our relations with other countries and, at least, to the preservation or reduction of the sanctions regime, not to the build-up. Today I would measure the effectiveness of our foreign policy on these indicators. We do not have such global problems for Russia —  risks of military and political importance which would require increasing tension with other countries.”
      By other countries, Kudrin means the United States. By subordinating Russian foreign policy, Kudrin means withdrawal from Syria; from Crimea and the Donbass; and capitulation to US sanctions. By reduction of tension, Kudrin means regime change in the Kremlin – himself instead of Putin.
      Kudrin’s speech was a deviation from his official role as the state auditor that is unprecedented for the post; Kudrin’s predecessors, Sergei Stepashin and Tatiana Golikova, had been ambitious politicians and ministers of state in their time, but they did not advocate their own views on foreign and defence policy outside the state budget that is the Chamber’s remit. Kudrin’s speech was at the invitation of the executive council of the RUIE; that’s the Russian business lobby. The speech was Kudrin’s opening bid – he’s opened this bidding before — for the oligarchs to back him against the Russian military and security establishment.  
      The Accounting Chamber, the RUIE, and Kudrin’s personal political tribune,  the Civil Initiatives Committee, were asked for a transcript of his speech. All refused.

      // would this guy seriously end up President? //

      Like

        1. I don’t think he will. I maintain that Kudrin and his treasonous murmurings are far too valuable an illustration of how openly the Putin administration tolerates dissent as compared to pretty much anywhere on earth. Look at how the UK ruling hierarchy treats Corbyn – it looks like a gulag compared to Russia. So long as there is no danger whatever of Kudrin achieving any of his goals, he is extremely useful where he is, and he is a useful lightning rod for public anger. If he actually began to gather any sort of following, it would be too easy – not to mention believable – to announce that, so sorry, it had been discovered that Kudrin was a secret mole for the CIA. He would be toast, and all his most ardent followers would be nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.

          Like

      1. Helmer is great, and his resources are matchless, but he has a few blind spots like anyone else. Kudrin could barely get elected dogcatcher in a popular vote in Russia. Oligarchs who are worthy of the name made their fortunes otherwise than by simple brute force, and anyone who has a schmick of sense these days knows that nobody responsible for the internal overthrow of someone as popular as Putin would stand a chance of ruling in his stead. I daresay there are many things about the way Putin runs the economy which grate on the oligarchs and impinge upon their ability to coin money by various legal and barely-legal means, and that the oligarchs do not care what concessions Russia would have to make to be able to trade freely again with the world. But there cannot be too many people in Russia who are stupid enough to imagine that the oligarchs want what is best for all Russians, and all of those are liberals.

        Like

      2. Alexei Kudrin is kind of just Inspector General of the Audit Office and that position would hold no great influence or decision-making importance in the Kremlin. Kudrin has been given this position because it allows him to think he’s still important and to give presentations and speeches that can be monitored. Better than to shut him out entirely and into a situation where he could be recruited and groomed by foreign NGOs and think-tanks, and led to believe he can lead a shadow government waiting to take over from the current Russian government.

        Like

    2. I think Russian government policy continues to be to create every outward sign of cooperation and conciliation, but to limit actions to those which will benefit Russia while denying Washington any of the advantages it used to enjoy in formerly more open relations – such as its proliferation of activist NGO’s and its unchallenged press tropes.

      There’s nothing inherently wrong with listening to Kudrin, who remains a very well-educated and intelligent man. His biggest problem is not his lack of understanding of the situation, but his blind and instinctive trust of the west and its purported good intentions. Good and useful suggestions can still come from Kudrin, so long as the government does not share his adoration of western values that are mostly just notional rather than demonstrated. I don’t think there’s much danger of a Kudrin cult of personality under the present circumstances, while he remains an extremely useful symbol of Russian willingness to listen to liberal voices. There is absolutely zero equivalency in the west as far as voices supporting the Russian position, except for fringe social media.

      Kudrin is an economist, and he believes totally in the ebb and flow of market forces in the formulation of state policy. That would be suicide for Russia, and while theoretically it would be economically better off if it were to capitulate in exchange for concessions, in practice it would be cheated out of any perceived economic advantage, while the west would be quick to exploit its own new position. The aim has never really changed at all – get rid of Putin, and then stamp out any trace of his influence. Replace the head of the Russian state with a western-friendly liberal, and dismantle and privatize all state institutions. Gain overwhelming economic leverage against Russia through majority shareholder control of former state institutions, so that any resurgence of independence in decision-making could be quickly and effectively crushed by the threat of economic calamity. Gradually reorient the Russian economy so that the bulk of its wealth is transferred to the control of international shareholders.

      Russia’s present policies probably cause it to miss some financial opportunities which are too risky, but overall it is making remarkable progress while retaining its independence from western meddling. The western sanctions probably hurt a little, but for the most part Russians go on about their daily lives little affected by western attempts at manipulation.

      I think I mentioned, a little while ago, a book excerpt which appeared in the National Post, authored by Canada’s former Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Although I agreed and agree with almost nothing he says, it’s still well worth reading.

      https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/exclusive-stephen-harper-book-excerpt?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter

      But more to the point, his characterization of the people he calls ‘Anywheres’, those who worship (highly leveraged) Free Trade and the God of The Market, and have an increasingly-tenuous connection to the nation-state, is a brilliant description of the sort of Russians Kudrin represents, and to whom the west addresses its appeals.

      Imagine yourself as someone who works for an international consulting firm or in a globally focused academic career. You can wake up in New York, London, or Singapore and feel at home. You may rent or even own regular accommodation in all of these places. Your work is not subjected to import competition or threat of technological dislocation. You may attend (or aspire to attend) the Davos conference. You probably read The Economist and, like Thomas Friedman, believe that the world really is flat. Your spouse or partner has a similar professional background, although he or she is from somewhere else in the world. You are motivated by climate change and suspicious of religion. You are unequivocally pro–free trade and support high levels of immigration. Your values can broadly be described as “cosmopolitan.”

      Such cosmopolitans, or “Anywheres,” or just plain “globalists” have an increasingly weak attachment to the nation-state. Their professional, personal, and even familial relationships are increasingly with people like themselves from a range of countries. The examples I give may be rooted in stereotypes, but there are many less extreme cases among people who work, study, or join online communities that cross boundaries.

      Like

      1. “Built in the 18th century on a picturesque hill in the centre of the Ukrainian capital….” Yahoo coyly omits that the church was built by Italian architect Rastrelli, on a commission from Russian Empress Elizabeth I.
        Just another valuable asset that the Ukraine inherited from Russia as part of its dowry. Which it has now handed over to a Turkish gangster!

        Like

    3. “The Kremlin through Dmitry Peskov, the President’s spokesman, has endorsed Alexei Kudrin’s call for changing Russia’s foreign and defence policy to save the country from American sanctions. ”

      What a lie from John Helmer. Peskov was not partially agreeing with Kudrin’s statement about changing Russia’s foreign policy, he was partially agreeing with Kudrin’s statement that “an increase in sanctions against Russia could affect its economy”, which is obviously true. Here is Peskov statement in full: “The pressure on Russia, the adoption of illegal restrictions, unilateral actions in the trade and economic channel, of course, all this is a challenge from the point of view of our development plans. Up to now, Russia has successfully coped with all these challenges. So we can partially agree with Kudrin, except it is not our foreign policy that has a significant influence, but the international situation, namely the illegal actions of a number of western countries”. How did Helmer understood “it is not our foreign policy that has a significant influence” to mean “We endorse the call to change our foreign policy”?

      Like

  46. Happened on 5 October, 2018:

    US soldiers under investigation after late-night brawl in Poland
    October 16, 2018


    Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st
    Cavalry Division, stand in formation alongside the Polish 11th “Lubuska” Armored Cavalry Division soldiers during a ceremony to observe the Black Division Day in Zielona Gora, Poland, Sept. 21, 2018.
    LISA VINES/U.S. ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

    (Is that kid with the flag the one who used to run around with Rin Tin Tin? He’s not grown any since I last saw him over 60 years ago! Or is he just a very short-arsed US cavalry trooper?)

    STUTTGART, Germany — The U.S. Army said it is cooperating with a Polish investigation into allegations that soldiers on Friday beat up a local dentist and two of his sons in the western Poland city of Skwierzyna.

    Polish authorities are investigating whether at least three U.S. soldiers based in the area were involved in the fight, which local media said resulted from a late-night dispute outside an apartment building.

    U.S. troops have become a steady presence in various western Poland towns, which serve as outposts for rotational U.S.-based armored brigades carrying out missions in Europe. The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, has units based in the Polish towns of Skwierzyna, Boleslawiec, Torun and Zagan.

    The altercation happened about 60 miles from Poznan, where the U.S. Army keeps a tactical headquarters to oversee the roughly 5,000 ground troops that operate along NATO’s eastern flank in a mission to deter potential Russian aggression.

    “We take any allegation of Soldier misconduct seriously and are fully cooperating with Polish authorities to help determine the facts of this incident and ensure that appropriate action is taken,” Master Sgt. Nathan Hoskins, a spokesman for the Poznan-based Mission Command Element, said Tuesday in an email.

    Hoskins said he couldn’t confirm how many soldiers were involved or what might have sparked that altercation. The soldiers under investigation remain on duty while the probe continues, he said.

    Deputy district prosecutor Renata Szynszewska told the Polish news site Super Express that at least three American soldiers were suspects.

    The skirmish happened on Friday outside an apartment complex, according to local media reports.

    The soldiers caused a disturbance when they pounded on an apartment door at a late hour. The doctor and sons attempted to calm the situation, according to local media reports. A fight ensued and all three Polish men were injured in the brawl, media reports stated.

    The soldiers then fled the scene while locals called an ambulance, according to the reports.

    Hoskins said the Army is committed to being “good neighbors” and that more information will become available as the investigation continues. For now, the Poles are leading the investigation.

    “We are invited guests of Poland, and the Polish authorities have jurisdiction over any cases like this that occur within their country,” Hoskins said. I can’t speculate on whether or not they will release jurisdiction to U.S. authorities.”

    During the past four years, the U.S. has beefed up operations in Poland, which Army leaders have described as a new “center of gravity” in Europe because of its strategic location along NATO’s eastern borders.

    Poland also has long sought a larger and more permanent U.S. military presence in the country and has offered to fund a permanent base there.

    During an appearance at the White House last month with President Donald Trump, Polish President Andrzej Duda said a new base could be called “Fort Trump.”

    Trump said a base in Poland is worth consideration.

    Like

    1. I think the one you are referring to is actually a girl. And I completely get the importance of regimental regalia, but I’m sorry – those hats make everyone wearing them look like the idealized Southern cops in a Huckleberry Hound cartoon.

      There’s just something about Americans – particularly American military-age men – when they get together in a group that dictates they have some ethic to prove. There was a big group aboard the COASTAL CELEBRATION last night, some sort of sports team, might even have been rugby, although I don’t know that Americans are big on rugby. I did definitely see someone with a rugby ball, it’s very different from an American-style football, although the physiques of the players are often similar in the two games. They arrived aboard on a bus, and gathered in a group on the sun deck (although this was after dark). They were loud and boisterous, but no more so than a group of young men in the prime of physical condition from anywhere. Pretty soon, though, they began arm-wrestling on the tables, and then gathering in a circle around the combatants with the outer ring standing on the tables to see, and eventually shouting “U-S-A!! U-S-A!!!” all together, like they cannot seem to resist doing, as if any advertisement were needed. No real harm done, I don’t suppose, but it amazes me that they cannot see the resentment it incurs in observers who are not Americans.

      Like

      1. The girl in question is Rin Tin Tin’s trainer. She was taking the pooch to see his dentist, not understanding that the Polish dentist in question was not a veterinarian. Just a big misunderstanding…
        Rin is still waiting for somebody qualified to scrape the plaque off his fangs.

        Like

      2. They partly resurrected the US Civil War uniform a few years ago. Officers in dress uniform now have civil-war style bars on their shoulders, sort of like those that Ulysses S. Grant toted:

        Good job the South didn’t win, otherwise those cavalrymen might now be wearing hats bedecked with ostrich feathers, J.E.B.Stuart style.

        Like

        1. Well, thank goodness they are returning the U.S. army to the standards of Ulysses S. Grant!
          Next step is to reinstate the daily grog.
          It is said that President Lincoln’s “other generals” went crying to him complaining of Grant’s excessive drinking.
          Lincoln allegedly retorted, “Find out exactly what Grant is drinking, and feed this to my other generals!”

          Like

      3. Тупой и толстая: Какими солдатами Америка будет драться с Россией
        Пентагон очень недоволен головами и фигурами своих военных
        22 октября 13:34

        Thick and fat: what American soldiers who will fight against Russia are like
        The Pentagon is very dissatisfied with its army chiefs and personnel

        Changes that have been occuring in the United States army can be called revolutionary. And since United States defence doctrine considers Russia as enemy No. 1, everything connected with the Pentagon is of great interest to us. American soldiers deserve special attention, because military units of the militant superpower stand at the borders of the Russian Federation. And if, God forbid, a war happens, they will represent an immediate threat to the Russian military and the population.

        Each soldier of the US Army is rated according to a point system in accordance with a new test — the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), which testing began in October of the current year and will be introduced as a mandatory standard in 2020. A previous combat fitness test had operated since 1980 and in many respects justified itself. But it was decided to update it in the light of modern approaches to health.

        So, Rangers, having passed the ACFT, get a total score, according to which the commanders evaluate their individual capabilities. This is something analogous to our exam, but in physical education. Fighters with the highest possible points in the US army are elevated to the rank of “heroes”.

        The system of relationships between American soldiers is built in such a way that they envy and imitate precisely those who have “max” in ACFT. Thus, in the opinion of Pentagon generals, they motivate physically weak servicemen, especially recruits, to train.

        We also should add that in the US Army, ACFT tests are conducted twice a year, regardless of the location of the units. Special sports equipment is not needed for this, as it does not take much time. An infantry company commander can check all of his 150 soldiers in less than two hours. According to the old standard, men and women had their parameters adjusted according to their age. However, it now turns out that the ACFT regulations were a mere formality.

        Despite this, the workloads in the ACFT process often led to injuries and even disabilities. Physical tests ultimately account for 70% of the medical dismissals of all American soldiers. For example, a significant number of squats, which many Rangers undertook in pursuit of points, led to spinal injuries. This information led to the creation of the US State Center for Army Health, which then became the initiator of the ACFT modification.

        So, the new combat fitness test consists of 6 exercises with two-minute breaks, which a Ranger has to complete in a time not less than 50 minutes:

        – chinning a bar from a standing position from 50 to 190 kg;

        – three throws of a 4.5 kg ball from behind of the head, the longest distance is chosen;

        – push-ups from the ground on the hands: time – 3 minutes;

        – timed “sprint-drag-transfer”: 4 jogs of 25 metres, each with different weights, the heaviest of which are two weights, one in each hand;

        – abdominal test on the bar in the form of lifting the legs bent at the knees: time – 2 minutes;

        – a brisk 3-km walk to be completed within 20 minutes.

        In the new ACFT, the standards will be the same for men and women without any adjustments for age. The Pentagon argues that this is done so that generals can perform the same physical exercises as the ordinary young men in their brigade. This fully applies to female military personnel. As a result, it becomes clear whether the whole team will be able to accomplish a “mission with heavy, very heavy or moderate loads”.

        However, as army analysts Lt. Gen. David Barno and Professor of Medicine Nora Bensachel say, in practice, the vast majority of Rangers, including female soldiers (20% of the US Army consists of women), can only manage the walking, and not in the alloted time either. As for the ladies with epaulettes, the lion’s share of them has substantial excess weight. They turn up at work, where they sit in front of a computer all day. Many of them are simply not part of offensive operations, which, nevertheless, the Pentagon insists that they should be.

        Nora Bensakhel argues that every soldier has a limit of physical and mental capabilities. Today, owing to the American way of life in childhood and youth, these abilities have been drastically reduced, and overcoming this decline in abilities leads, contrarywise, only to a negative result. In this regard, she and her colleague David Barno have already called the Pentagon generals, who have introduced the new ACFT tests, stupid.

        In short, the American nation can no longer provide its army with the necessary number of real fighters, although they do not want to admit this medical fact on the political Olympian heights. They advise that the technical capabilities of innovative weaponry be concentrated on and that the powerful army not get involved with its boots on the ground.

        If the new standard becomes mandatory, then the commanders will have to sacrifice considerable time, which is now spent on combat training. At the same time, the fear of losing a job (it is an army of contracted personnel) will lead to an even greater number of injuries, but no results will be achieved anyway.

        In 2018, the White House think tank, the RAND Corporation, published a report in which analysts painted an even darker picture of the physical and mental state of American soldiers. The document provides data on 18 thousand randomly selected military personnel, of which 66% were overweight. Most of the fat ones are in the ground forces (69.4%), followed by the Coast Guard (67.8%), the Navy (64.6%), the Air Force (63.1%) and even the marines (60.9%). Consequently, they are not likely to pass the ACFT standard or may even cripple themselves.

        This year, the Pentagon hopes to attract 80,000 new recruits. The problem is that in 2017, they only managed to recruit 69,000, and then only after having rejected those who had not passed through the mental health filter, whilst turning a blind eye to those with physical problems. It has now become necessary that four-star generals reduce their demands by infusing a huge number of overtly stupid young people into the ranks of the army.

        Well, that shouldn’t be too hard to do!

        Like

          1. I think I saw a headline the other day noting that 18% of the British Army is ‘overweight’.

            Maybe the plan is to use them as cannon fodder* to mop up all the ammo so the fit people behind them can then storm the enemy whilst they are reloading?

            * Of course they are all cannon fodder if they go to war against Russia…

            Like

        1. The major US television networks are flooded with military recruiting ads. The ads have several motifs:
          – learn skills that have value after leaving the service
          – follow your calling
          – disaster relief
          – hang out with cool people
          – rappel from a helicopter and shoot up some foreign-looking people.

          Appeals to patriotism are rather muted but there is a lot of bragging that the US military is all-powerful and that power will rub off on anyone who joins.

          Like

          1. Reminds me of the old 1960s “Peacenik” spoof made at the expense of a British army recruiting poster of the time:

            JOIN THE ARMY!

            SEE THE WORLD!

            MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE!

            KILL THEM!

            Like

    2. Oh silly sexist me! I forgot that they let girls play at soldiers now in that man’s army.

      Same in the UK. When last in London in 2016, I took photos of my two daughters at Horse Guards, where there was a tiny, juvenile King’s Troop Royal Horse Artlillery trooper standing on guard and I thought: “I should ring the cruelty man! It’s criminal allowing such a child to face shot and shell”.

      My two girls were both taller than this trooper, whose sabre, sloped over his shoulder, was longer than his height, I am sure. And the more I looked, I wondered at how remarkably pretty he was.

      It was only when back in Mordor and I was looking through all the photos that I had taken did I realize that the trooper was a young woman.

      I learnt later that you can sort the girl troopers from the boys because the former usually have their hair in a bun when wearing their busbies.

      In fact, I think all three RHA tropers in the photo below are women:

      But they are normal size women above: the diddy-trooper that I saw at Horse Guards was smaller than my 10-year-old Sasha.


      I’m sure that’s her again above!

      She should be home cooking dinner or having babies or whatever!

      🙂

      Like

      1. I watched the video and no explanation was offered regarding the fight. One Polish soldier was apparently charged and will be jailed for quite some time. Two Americans were injured; one seriously. There is a better than even chance one of the Amerindian soldiers was overweight lard bucket and likely felt exceptional.

        Like

        1. I wonder why the Polish soldiers (pictured earlier alongside US cavalrymen with their Annie Oakley mascot) have got cravattes in the Yukie colours?

          I must say, that the Polacks look considerably more soldiery than the their US chums.

          Poles, in my experience, are usually charmers with the ladies and very consevative in their manners and appearance: “Old World charm” as some US citizens used to say.

          I should add that I have associated with many Poles who could knock it back as well and in this respect, were the equals of those whom they proffess to hate.

          Like

  47. Surprising nobody here, I’m sure, the IMF announced the next disbursement of aid to Ukraine hours after Groysman agreed to jack the gas rates by a quarter. That’s another $3.9 Billion, and although both the IMF and the Ukrainian authorities portray it as just a steadying influence which will reassure investors, so that money will be pouring into Ukraine from all directions any day now, the sad fact is that this new money is all that stands in the way of default. And at that, it only puts it off for a couple of months, while most of the $3.9 Billion will go straight out again for debt servicing.

    https://m.investing.com/news/economy-news/ukraine-secures-new-39-billion-imf-deal-after-gas-price-hike-1652054?ampMode=1

    The article is worth reading to sample the opposition’s anger . The legitimate opposition, I mean. Yulia Tymoshenko, with her customary fake-populist over-the-top drama, called it ‘a genocide against Ukrainians’ and demanded an emergency parliamentary debate.

    If you missed it, don’t worry; in a couple of months we’ll do it all over again.

    Like

    1. In a couple of months we’ll be trying very hard to miss Yooolia’s declaration that she’ll invade the Verkhovna Rada and machine-gun or bayonet everyone there dead if they don’t demand more money from the IMF over and above the next loan tranche.

      Like

    2. Well, they say that timing is everything in comedy. And every comedy duo needs its straight man. Dr Evil, famously, had Mini-Me. It’s beginning to look like VVP has a Maxi-Me in Lukashenko:

      http://thesaker.is/putin-took-away-lukashenkos-chance-to-sell-russian-oil-to-poroshenko-by-ruslan-ostashko/

      So, having wittingly allowed a bit of profit taking from the Belarus side for the past few years – or turning a blind eye thereto – and thereby encouraging Porky and the Piglets to consider that they’d secured a reliably cheap source of motor oil AND stuck one to Ivan into the bargain, the party is over. The autocephaly decision is linked in the article with the closure of the cheap fuel route via Belarus. And to efforts to “suffocate” Banderastan.

      Like

  48. Say; anyone ever wonder what happened to that devil-may-care democratic dynamo, Mikheil Saakashvili? The western lens on this super-reformer sort of went dark about the time he started to act like a loose cannon, forcing his stateless way across the Ukrainian border and calling President Poroshenko corrupt and all that. Perfectly true, of course, but it was getting harder and harder to portray Saakashvili as anything other than a nutbag, so the western press kind of cut its losses.

    That’s a shame, because Saakashvili – who never does things by halves – has been engineering nothing less than a return to the leadership of his beloved Georgia! Yeah, I knew you’d be amazed.

    http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Saakashvili-faces-life-imprisonment.html

    You might be wondering how Saakashvili is actually the leader of the Georgian opposition although he lives in the Netherlands; I must confess, I was wondering a little bit about that myself. It looks to me as if he is trying to maneuver his handpicked stooge – Grigol Vashadze – into the presidential slot, whereupon (if successful), he will enact some sort of all-is-forgiven pass which will open the way for Saakashvili’s triumphant return! And all this is coming up in just a few days; the election is October 28th!! Where the hell were we??

    So the incumbent government, Georgian Dream, has sentenced Saakashvili to life imprisonment, for crimes which you can read all about yourself, none of which have yet been proven. Unsurprisingly, Saakashvili says the charges are nonsense, and that if they knew all this ages ago, why did they wait until now to bring it up? Oh, yes – something I must tell you: too titillating to let you find it yourself. These charges stem from when Saakashvili actually was President of Georgia, which is going back some time now. He is accused of plotting with Interior Ministry officials to murder businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili by having a cleaner smear a deadly poison on his door handle, whereupon – once contacting it – he would die in minutes!! Hey, Skripal investigators!! Who’s got form??

    Like

  49. Yukie smart-arse flyer …

    On the Internet there has appeared a video of the flight of anSu-25 Ukrainian air force warplane flying at an extremely low altitude. The 11-ton aircraft swept a few metres above the concrete airstrip.

    See: Экстремальный полет украинского штурмовика сняли на видео

    Keep it up, chumps! You’re impressing no one with your childishness. And don’t forget: if you prang just one of your toys, the fighting strength of ypur glorious airforce, which has already proved its mettle to all by strafing civilians, will be sizably reduced.

    Like

    1. The dispshit knows nothing about aerodynamics even though it is critical for his survival. Just as you can get extra lift from WIG effects with the right wing design, you can get driven into the ground if you fly too low. This moron would be carbonized meat if the weather conditions and his altitude were a bit different.

      Recall the Smolensk crash of the Tu-154, it could not get any lift as it was plowing through the tree tops.

      Like

  50. US Hopes to Palm off 40-Year-Old Frigates on Kiev as ‘Military Aid’
    Rust buckets which will otherwise be scrapped

    What is notable about the offer of Oliver Hazard Perry Class warships is the platform’s age – which given the sophistication of Russia’s own naval and anti ship assets means that they will likely have a negligible impact in the event of a Ukrainian-Russian conflict in the Black or Azov seas.

    Entering service in 1975, the Perry Class was largely developed with exports in mind in the final days of the Vietnam War – with the Iranian government of Mohamed Reza Shah expected to be the first major customer.

    Today the majority of ships of the class have been retired, and their capabilities are effectively obsolete for modern naval warfare.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!


    above: one of the 50 obsolete USN destroyers given in 194O to Royal Navy exchange for land rights on British possessions and the esablishmement of US bases there.

    The bases were at:

    Bermuda
    Newfoundland
    Antigua
    The Bahamas
    British Guiana
    Jamaica
    Saint Lucia
    Trinidad

    Most closed in 1949, one in the ’50s, three in the ’60s, two in the ’70s and 3 in the ’90s, the last having closed in Bermuda in 1995.

    Like

    1. That class of ship was to designed to have low capability and it apparently achieved its design objective. Per Wikipedia:

      In Admiral Elmo Zumwalt’s “high low fleet plan”, the FFG-7s were the low capability ships with the Spruance-class destroyers serving as the high capability ships.

      IIRC, there was criticism of its single screw design.

      Like

      1. The OHP’s were designed to be built quickly and cheaply, to fill gaps left by several classes being retired simultaneously. They were intended as general-purpose frigates, although there was a degree of modularity which would allow a range of configurations. They are indeed a single-screw design, and I think they have a little egg-beater bow prop for maneuvering alongside the jetty or getting underway, a sort of bow thruster.

        I think the stupidest feature of its design was the placement of the 76mm deck gun; it’s high on top of the superstructure on the uppermost deck, just forward of the funnel and the helicopter hangar. If you could see it from directly overhead you would see its firing arcs are wooded by the funnel facing aft (except at elevations above something like 20 degrees) and by the mast and sensors facing forward. It is really only wide-open on either beam. I suppose they figure it has a CIWS rapid-fire anti-air mount aft and a missile launcher forward to deal with threats from those directions, but why even bother putting a gun on it?

        http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16035/navys-rationale-for-swatting-down-perry-class-frigate-reactivation-doesnt-float

        Like

    2. The Ukies will happily accept them, Poroshenko will make all sorts of portentous announcements about how this means the USA recognizes Ukraine as an equal and a mighty warrior and that surely NATO membership cannot be far away…and then they’ll flog them on eBay.

      Like

  51. Out of all the takes on the Khashoggi story, the cringiest one may be Julia Ioffe’s (she who pronounces Sheremetyevo flawlessly). As with Poroshenko, way to make everything about her and the evilness of Russia.

    Like

    1. This worm is just broadcasting her sociopathy and psychopathy. The only reason she has any attention is because the rotten, racist western MSM loves such vermin to enable its anti-Russian crusade.

      Like

    2. I wonder if Julia forgot about all those journalists killed and broadcast centers destroyed by US or allied military action.

      Like

    3. Ioffe’s reaction is hilarious: who does she think would attack her in the US embassy in Moscow or a US consulate in St Petersburg or some other major city in Russia?

      Of course the US government’s reaction to Jamal Khashoggi’s death should be cautious: he was not a US citizen after all, he was a supporter of the Saudi government for most of his career as a “journalist” and it’s not as if Turkey does not have something to gain or to try to extract out of both the US and Saudi Arabia. A major part of the reason for the consternation over JK’s murder is that he was a regular writer for the Washington Post and it’s not hard to imagine WaPo trying to keep his death on the front pages to flog its sales. The New York Times got in on the act to kick up its own sales by getting JK’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz (herself a journalist with indirect connections to ISIS and al Qaeda through working for charity organisation IHH, headed by Fehmi Bülent Yıldırım) to write an opinion piece for it.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fehmi_B%C3%BClent_Y%C4%B1ld%C4%B1r%C4%B1m

      I’m sorry that JK died in such a horrific way and that his body may never be recovered which would make proving the mode of his murder difficult in a trial or an inquiry.

      Like

  52. The US Congress to the rescue for Tesla:

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/a23933874/new-bill-nevada-tesla-tax-credit/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_pop&utm_medium=email&date=102218

    It’s not hard to see why Heller would be the one to support this legislation. Tesla built its gigafactory in Nevada and now employs more than 3,000 people there, and Elon Musk’s company is the clearest beneficiary of rewriting the rules in this way.

    I think EVs are good in general but Musk seems to be the beneficiary of many poorly justified direct or indirect subsidies such as the foregoing.

    Like

    1. Tesla and SpaceX are government subsidized enterprises that contradict the US propaganda about independent private enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit of American capitalists. In the real world this pap is just vapid pap lapped up by credulous lemmings. I am glad to see that under Putin’s watch, Russia has been busy living in the real world and not trying to impose American mythology on itself. This is a very good advancement for Russia, since it was drinking the 1917 imported koolaid for much longer.

      Like

  53. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-22/trump-warns-us-will-increase-nukes-until-russia-china-come-their-senses

    It is confirmed: Trump and the rest of the US leadership are full on retards.

    Trumpy actually thinks he can “out-nuke” Russia. What an imbecile. Russia can deploy tens of thousands of ***advanced*** warheads. And it will not crash Russia’s budget. In fact, I bet that it will be the US that will have a ballooning deficit since its rotten procurement process means that they overpay for warheads and missiles by 10x or more.

    Like

    1. in Trump-land, an uncapped arms race will provide a limitless river of cash to the MIC and create a lot of high paying jobs. I suspect that fact and swagger rights are the limit of Trump’s strategy. As for international consequences, he will wing it.

      Part of the incredible inefficiency of the MIC (beyond massive looting) is that know how and core industrial capability is greatly diminished making even relatively simple projects expensive and prone to delays and design defects.

      Like

    1. Calling Hunter Killer stupid would do a disservice to the word “stupid”

      BTW, just saw my first television commercial for lesbian wedding rings. These were the good looking ones.

      Like

          1. How about “Lesbian Vampire Hunter Killers from Outer Space”? Less ambiguous and should have even greater box office appeal.

            Like

        1. Yeah, it was an ambiguous statement. Here is the commercial in question although what I saw may have been a 15 second (or so) segment featuring the fire and the happy couple.

          Like

  54. EUObserver: Russian oligarch takes Nordic banks to court
    https://euobserver.com/tickers/143174

    A confidante of Russian president Vladimir Putin, billionaire Boris Rotenberg, has taken four Nordic banks – Nordea, Danske Bank, Handelsbanken and Finland’s OP Corporate Bank – to court for breaching service agreements as a result of US sanctions imposed on him in 2014. According to Bloomberg, he filed a suit with the Helsinki District court on 4 October. Rotenberg is not currently a target of EU sanctions.
    ####

    The thing with all these opinions presented as proof so casually via ‘Social Media’, Bell-end Crap, US officials ‘n’ all, is that they have to put up in a court of law via Discovery if those who were slandered aren’t intimidated. It’s already happened by that Russian computer dude guy who was publicly fingered (not sexually) by Ferris Meuller (not) . Now we see Rotenberg also partaking in Lawfare. Put up or shut up. The free bs party is hitting the buffers. I just wonder how long it will take the message to get through.

    Like

      1. If it signifies the high-water mark of the silliness, it will have been worth it.

        “There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.”

        Kurt Vonnegut, from “The Sirens of Titan”

        Like

      2. I was thinking more of the dissuasive effect the threat would be. Sure, for the hardcore, well backed usual suspects I doubt it would make much difference in the short term, but to the legions of idiots, organizations, groups and others who don’t have such resources, even if it doesn’t actually go to court, they’ll have to get together at board level and think about putting money aside just in case – it would be disruptive and not free of risk that it has been so far.

        When you strip away the legions of ‘me too’ groups who back the claims, then not only does it make the claims look much less supported by others, it exposes the same actors behind the claims so that their names become very clearly linked to Russia (or whomever) and if that goes to court and doesn’t turn out well for them – i.e. start waffling or saying they have been ‘misinterpreted’, then it is on their record as legal fact, not just opinion masquerading as fact.

        This of course is helpful as anti-propaganda measures, undermining the ingredient that requires ‘multiple sources’ saying the same thing to underpin the credibility of the claim/s, where there’s smoke, there’s fire and ‘my neighbor says so too’.

        I think that even in this Concord case, the Meuller investigation has had to make more than just casual note of the PR-Propaganda fluff they are spouting and have to be more careful. Not only can trickles turn in to floods, but the investigation won’t want something that casts their ‘credibility’ in doubt and certainly not in a court of law. Sure, any such loss will be airbrushed and ignored by the Pork Pie News Networks or simply mentioned as a ‘minor setback’, but it will be on record.

        I’m also thinking about what would be needed for effective countermeasures for mobmedia paranoia fests and propaganda. Lawfare looks like one useful strand to this, speaking of which, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has ‘strongly come out’ against Bloomberg’s Chinese bugging story but has not threatened it legally…

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  55. Oh, dear; Porky is feeling the heat from Yooooolia, who demands that he stop raising gas prices for households – you’ll remember that yesterday she referred to it as a ‘genocide of Ukrainians’. Sort of like the Holodomor, then, I guess; gee, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that.

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/539483.html

    So Porky in his turn exhorts his countrymen to not believe the honeyed words of ‘populists’ who would return Ukraine to ‘Russian gas bondage’ – he will never allow that; by God, no!!!

    Oh, be assured, fat one, that Ukraine’s days in Russian gas bondage are over for good – Ukraine is welcome to instead buy Russian gas which has been washed through Europe’s anti-corruption filters, available at a considerable markup.

    Of course Yoooolia is just being dramatic – it’s truly the only thing she does well. That I know of. Ukrainians will elect her in the not-too-distant future, inspired by her tigress fury and moral rectitude. And then she will raise gas prices further, saying “I honestly didn’t know – this is something we must do in order to qualify for any more money”. If that doesn’t work, she will fall to her knees and scream “People of Ukraine, forgive me!!!”

    Like

    1. Yoooolia is under the terminal delusion that she can make a deal with Putin. That ship sailed in 2014 and she was one of the prime reasons for this departure. I guess Yoooolia also thinks that she will get charity from her precious U-rope in terms of Russian gas resales. She should ask herself why none of that charity has been apparent so far.

      Like

      1. Yooolia lives for the moment – she is the classic opportunist who will adopt any position in order to get elected, but spares no consideration whatsoever for how the promises will be kept, and often it is frankly not possible. She is a self-styled populist who believes – or affects to believe – that everyone should have a comfortable life with spacious accommodations and plenty of money regardless the national circumstances, but has no understanding at all of budgeting or GDP. I well remember James Sherr’s criticism of her, he who treats with kid gloves anyone who is an enemy of Russia; he said her proposal to give all civil servants a 50% raise ‘flies in the face of reality’. And that was back in the glory days of the Orange Revolution, when Ukraine still had a little money of its own and do-gooder democracy activists like Soros and Berezovsky were throwing banknotes at it.

        Her campaigning is simplicity itself – listen for five minutes to see what the people in the streets are bitching about, and then come out swinging in their behalf. If Ukrainians were bitching about the earth being too round, Yoooolia would be a tigress for a flatter earth. Never mind that that is not an achievable goal – people will remember Yoolia championed it, and vote for her. Once she’s in the big chair, she’ll reconsider; her experts tell her, she will say, that despite her genuine desire to make it happen, the resources to do so just do not exist. We must all tighten our belts (except her; once in a while she might appear in public wearing the same coat she had last winter, but in private hers will always be a life of luxury and comfort) for the greater good of the Glorious Ukraine.

        Like

  56. Gazprom operated in winter mode over the summer in its deliveries to Europe, owing to declining European production. Volumes are nearing 205 million cubic meters annually, the maximum allowable under all Gazprom’s contractual obligations to Europe. It’s short; here’s the whole thing for those who cannot follow the subscriber link.

    Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe were at winter levels over the summer, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in the annual autumn briefing October 18.

    He said Gazprom’s preparations for the upcoming winter have been accompanied by a rising demand for gas both domestically and abroad.

    In the domestic market, Gazprom’s supplies to consumers from the national gas transmission system in the first nine and a half months of 2018 grew by 7.5bn m³ against the same period of 2017. This is a 4.5% increase from last year, Miller said.

    “The export figures are even better. Our deliveries to Europe over the course of nine and a half months rose by 8bn m³ against the same period of 2017. There is no doubt that, at the year’s end, we will set a new record for gas deliveries to Europe. We will exceed the level of 200bn m³ after last year’s record of 194.4bn m³. Moreover, we are nearing 205bn m³/yr. Those are the maximum annual amounts under all of our contractual obligations for supplying gas to Europe. Without a doubt, this achievement creates a new frame of reference for further co-operation in the gas sector with our consumers in Europe.”

    This has prompted a rise in output of 24.5bn m³, or 6.8%, year-on-year. We are coming close to producing 500bn m³/yr, he added.

    “It should be noted that the preparations for winter were made in the summer period amid the export negotiations on the daily amounts, which, in essence, were as large as winter exports instead of the usual summer amounts. This is linked to a decline in gas production in Europe. One should above all mention the Groningen field in the Netherlands. Generally, there is a decrease in gas production across all main production centres,” he said.

    Norwegian production, nearly all of which goes to Europe by pipeline, was also down marginally over the first nine months of the year, according to data released October 19 by the offshore regulator.

    At home, Gazprom has injected 72.2bn m³ into underground storage facilities and the company’s daily deliverability is at an all-time high of 812.5mn m³, which is up by 7.2mn m³ over last year. In the past eight years, Gazprom boosted its daily deliverability as of the start of the withdrawal period by 31%, Miller concluded.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/gazprom-thrives-as-dutch-turn-down-groningen-miller-65348?#signin

    Like

    1. The clowns in Washington hope to make the EU dependent on LNG and thereby cripple the economies of all of its competitors. If the EU was going to import over 150 bcm of LNG per year, the price would shoot up for the EU and East Asia. This would suppress their economies. Russia would lose about $30 billion per year in export revenues and hence have less GDP potential.

      I am hoping that only Poland and the Baltic chihuahuas swallow this agenda and enjoy the ass rape.

      Like

      1. US hopes in this regard are simply not realistic. It’s fine to hope, but as they say, hope is not a plan. LNG supplied by tanker is simply not competitive with pipeline gas for price, reliability or the capacity to increase supply rapidly in the short term to cover a crisis. Russian supply is already nearing the upper limit for its contractual obligations with the EU. Whatever LNG the USA supplied to Europe would be a pinprick, although of course Team America would dance and sing as if it had scored the winning touchdown. Once again, LNG supplied by tanker cannot be sold for the same price as pipeline gas and still make money. America is not set up to sell at a loss, as its LNG industry is mostly funded by borrowed money. If the government took it over and paid for it with taxpayers’ money, and ran it at a loss for 20 years to drive Russia out of the energy business, it still couldn’t do it.

        Here’s a paragraph from the print copy of today’s National Post, Business Section:

        Once operational, LNG Canada will have the advantage of being closer to Asia’s North Asian consumer hubs than US facilities, saving freight costs, while also avoiding fees for using the Panama Canal that current US LNG exporters must pay.

        An average LNG tanker can hold about 3.1 Billion Cubic Feet, over 87 million cubic meters (m3) of liquefied gas.

        https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/All-You-Need-to-Know-About-LNG.html

        New prices for the Panama Canal for 2016 (they’ve got a loyalty program!!) are $2.50 per cubic meter for the first 60,000 m3, $2.15 for the next 30k, $2.07 for the next 30k, and $1.96 for the rest.

        http://www.pancanal.com/peajes/ApprovedTollsTables.pdf

        Math is not my favourite subject, so someone else can work out the toll for taking 87 million m3 of LNG through the Panama canal, but it ain’t cheap. China has slapped a tariff on American LNG imports, and I would bet the USA had already shaved costs to the bone in exchange for market share, so that a 10% tariff would make it completely unprofitable. I encourage America to think this through.

        Like

        1. An LNG tanker (plus size) holds about 130,000 m3 of LNG which, after vaporization yields about 91,000,000 m3. Nord Stream II does about 55 billion m3/year; equivalent to 604 LNG tankers. I think that we may have done these numbers before. Assuming a tanker takes 6 weeks for a round trip, 70 tankers in continuous service would be needed to haul that gas volume. At $200 million per tanker, the construction cost totals to about $14 billion. Billions more needed for liquification and vaporization facilities and for port development. All that hardware will also require huge OPEX expense.

          The Nord Stream II cost is about $12 billion with relatively little OPEX.

          LNG shipping costs per the internet:

          1) Liquification plant $1.1 per Mcf +/- $0.20 = $3.5 million to liquify a tank load

          2) Shipping costs (LNG tankers and operating costs) $0.70 per Mcf +/- $0.30 depending on distance.= at least $3,250,000 to ship

          3) Cost for regasification $0.35 per Mcf. = $1.1 million per tanker

          Total shipping costs per tanker is at least $8 million. Shipping costs of 604 tankers equals about $5 billion per year. SAG numbers on depreciation on shore and ship equipment could add another $3 billion per year. The $8 billion costs equates to about $0.15 per m3 of gas.

          This number could be wrong but a m3 of Russian gas delivered to Germany seems to be about $0.12. Thus Russian gas is less expensive than just the SHIPPING cost of LNG gas. The US, even if it charged zero for the gas at the shipping point, would cost Germany more than Russian gas.

          I am done for tonight.

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          1. Liquefaction is the cost-intensive part; NG must be cooled to -160 degrees and maintained at that temperature to achieve liquefaction, which reduces its volume 600 times. But all that is necessary for regasification is to let it rise by less than 2 degrees in temperature, whereupon it will return to gaseous state. Of course its volume must be managed throughout, but liquefaction is the hard part.

            Also, all steel which comes in contact with LNG must be stainless steel, with its necessarily-high nickel content. Mild steel contacted by LNG undergoes instant embrittlement, and may develop instant and destabilizing cracks. I don’t have to tell you how much stainless steel costs – just drop by a marine-supply shop and purchase a single small sailboat cleat for turning up lines or sheets. All valves in the bunkering system, including pressure-relief valves, must be stainless steel. Piping must be stainless steel with expansion loops and double walls. Tanks must be double walled, because LNG systems use a vacuum as an insulator; any presence of moisture could provide a conduit which would allow the temperature to rise and permit regasification, resulting in overpressure which would blow the relief valves. Myriad detectors and Emergency Shutdown systems are necessary for safe operation; all, again, stainless steel at their contact surfaces.

            By the way, I am on an LNG course in Maple Ridge, outside Vancouver; I probably should have mentioned that.

            Like

            1. I tip my hat! There is nothing inherently “wrong” with LNG but the US hype over fracking and its methods of “marketing” LNG are bring the world a little closer to economic suicide.

              Like

              1. Natural Gas and LNG are exactly the same thing – natural gas cooled to -161 degrees C becomes a liquid, at which time it can be reduced 600 times in volume. LNG by weight produces slightly more energy than Marine Diesel, so it is more cost-effective there, but it is slightly less by volume so you have to carry more of it to go the same distance. The difference is made up in reduced maintenance costs, because it is clean-burning. LNG tanks onboard are cylinders because you need the structural strength to contain the pressure and the shape to prevent sloshing from ship’s movement. A pressure buildup evaporator converts LNG to NG and forces it back into the tank, to maintain a constant pressure which forces LNG out the fuel lines; the main gas evaporator converts LNG to NG and feeds it to the main engines. A similar process is used by LNG tankers to discharge their fuel load, except they use cryogenic pumps. So far Canada is the only country in the world to bring an LNG fuel tanker truck onboard to bunker its fuel tanks; the rest do it from ashore. It is potentially hazardous like any fueling operation, with the added hazard that NG in its natural state is colourless and odourless and an asphyxiant. That stinky ingredient, mercaptan, is added to commercial NG to give it that rotten-egg smell as a warning of a gas leak, but you can’t do that with LNG because the extreme cold causes the mercaptan to separate. And as I mentioned before, all the metal which comes in contact with LNG must be stainless steel or brass; some valve heads are made of brass. But overall the operation is very safe, and firefighting is pretty easy. The flame from burning LNG is ‘lazy’, like a candle flame, not the roaring inferno of a fuel fire. We use sodium bicarbonate in the training extinguishers because potassium bicarbonate (sometimes called Purple K) is too expensive for that role, but sodium bicarbonate does a pretty good job and potassium bicarbonate – which is in all the operational extinguishers and fitted systems – is even more effective. The big difference for firefighting is that you must never discharge water directly at LNG.

                Russia can obtain loads of LNG without fracking. So can anyone who has large recoverable deposits of natural gas. LNG is simply NG frozen to a liquid state.

                Like

            2. Did somebody mention nickel?

              Is Norilsk Nickel too big to sanction?
              Russian metal producer’s size may be key in White House’s decision

              London APRIL 19, 2018

              Is Norilsk Nickel too big to sanction? That is a question on the lips of investors and analysts as they ponder which companies might be next on the White House’s Russian sanctions list…

              With 40 per cent of world output in palladium and vast exports that make it a global force as well as one of Russia’s most important companies, chief operating officer Sergey Dyachenko says there is no reason to think Mr Trump is about to target the group…

              Jonathan Butler, an analyst at Mitsubishi, says the strategic importance of Norilsk, with its mines that run up to 2km below the frozen permafrost, makes sanctions “reasonably unlikely”.

              “Nickel and palladium are much more strategic metals for the US than aluminium,” he says.

              “A ban on trading with Norilsk, or Norilsk branded metal would have profound implications for global carmakers and other industrial users, and the risk of damage to US industry from this may stay the hand of the Treasury Department.”

              Yep, to expand Obama’s statement that Russia produces Sweet Fanny Adams, when was the last time you saw Russian products on WalMart shelves? — Not that anyone rolls up at a WalMart checkout with several billets of pure nickel in the trolley.

              Like

              1. Where as Billary/Blair etc. speaking fees literally for hot air are quite large. It really is the Hot Air Economy (HAE – (TM)). In 2007 Blair was paid serious change to give a talk to Guandong and left the hosts deflated as they had expected something of consequence and not the waffle he served up instead. Since then Blair has been a fixer, about ~ 2% for a Chinese-Saudi oil deal for example:

                https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3565311/How-Tony-Blair-pressed-flesh-Chinese-leadership-behalf-Saudi-oil-firm-return-41-000-month-2-deals-done.html

                Like

      2. Any number of articles on the current profitability of fracking conclude fracking, despite high current oil prices, is still losing billions. Most articles focused on oil but I suppose natural gas frack operations are likewise not profitable. Here is one of many articles:

        https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/05/04/wall-street-shale-oil-fracking-revolution-losing-billions-continental-resources

        I suspect that one reason and perhaps the major reason is that the choicest formations have been tapped out.

        Like

        1. It is nothing short of astounding that this is so well-known, and yet nobody does anything about it. It’s like standing on the tracks when you can hear the train coming. The banks always make money, and when everything goes to hell they get a bailout.

          Like

  57. http://johnhelmer.net/medvedev-nixes-notched-picks-peaked-lapels-point-to-prime-minister-for-life/print/

    By John Helmer, Moscow
    For as long as President Vladimir Putin (lead image, right) intends to remain president, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) intends to remain his successor in waiting. He made this visibly obvious  in an appearance (lead image)  in Brussels last Thursday and Friday, though it’s not yet officially so.
    The signal the two Russian leaders have chosen – a unique one in the history of European and American leaders of state —  is one which kings display on their chests. That’s peaked lapels instead of notched lapels on their suit jackets. Until Putin in February 2017, and now Medvedev, the last president in Moscow to wear peaked lapels was Mikhail Gorbachev. But by the time he did that in August 1991, he had just five months left in power. “

    //oh dear, if this article is true god help Russia.

    Like

    1. Maybe Helmer needs to take a little vacation, or perhaps he is just making a joke. I can’t believe the Russian government is using suit-jacket lapels to telegraph its intentions under the radar, and I can’t imagine Helmer really believes it, either. But Putin could do much worse than Medvedev for Prime Minister. He has liberal tendencies, but he is loyal to a fault and learning all the time from experience. I’d rather a Medvedev who has learned from the master for a decade than a Rogozin who just came in through the back door with his own ideas.

      I think Putin will run – and win – once more, which means they should be grooming his successor now. It probably won’t be Medvedev, although he makes a pretty good Prime Minister. Lavrov would be good, but he’s too old. Maybe Shoigu, or maybe even Zakharova.

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      1. Putin’s current term should be his last. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances that would warrant his serving a third consecutive term, he will have to step down after the 2024 Presidential elections. He could run again in 2030 but he might be feeling a little elderly by then.

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        1. Yes, I tend to get a little hazy on how often he has been elected and which term this is; but you’re right – he was just recently re-elected to what is likely his final term. Which makes it all the more imperative his successor is being groomed early. Wouldn’t do to tip their hand too soon; that would only start the west agitating against whoever it will be. But I should think not Medvedev. as I said, I think he makes a good and loyal Prime Minister, but he would not be a fitting successor to Putin as President. My favourites are still Lavrov and Zakharova. I think the latter has what it takes in terms of diplomatic chops, but it’s hard to say what kind of political support she could muster. And whoever it will be must command the kind of loyalty from the Russian people that Putin does, else the west will be in there with its old divide-and-conquer bullshit.

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          1. Shoigu or Zakharova for me. Lavrov is a heavy smoker and unless he has extraordinary resistance, his health with go sooner rather than later. Whether he is a ‘keen sportsman’ or not, smoking is still damaging in so many ways.

            I suspect though that some relatively unknow