Sanctimoneyous: Post-Brexit Britain Will Test-Drive a Conscience.

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Uncle Volodya says, “When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary; when mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable.”

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people we personally dislike.”

Oscar Wilde, from “An Ideal Husband”

“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”

William F. Buckley Jr.

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded,
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed;
Everybody knows that the war is over,
Everybody knows the good guys lost:
Everybody knows the fight was fixed,
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows…”

Leonard Cohen, from “Everybody Knows”

I wonder if you were as flabbergasted as I was to discover the sole reason Britain has not cracked down before now on the flood of dirty money lapping its shores is because…are you ready? Because the rest of Europe is so corrupt, Britain had to pretend to be corrupt, too, or else it might not fit in!! I’m not even kidding; read it for yourself.

“Brexit will free the UK to intensify its crackdown on dirty money sloshing through the City of London because the authorities will no longer have to win the approval of the rest of the EU.”

The article is The Telegraph’s ‘Premium content’, and so you can’t see the rest of it without being a subscriber – but for my part, I’ve seen enough. If that isn’t the most goodie-goodie, self-serving teacher’s-pet bullshit I’ve ever heard, it would certainly be in the top five.

As I’ve queried elsewhere, if the rest of Europe is perfectly happy rooting in its corrupt sty, while Britain holds its nose and plays at being the bad-ass so that the European hoodlums will accept it, what draws foreign robber-barons to London with cash that they need laundered? Why don’t they just go to Paris or Berlin? Can they not sense how uncomfortable Britain is with money that was not honestly earned by the sweat of one’s brow? Dear God, it makes me want to scream.

Let’s just dispense with the notion that Honest-John Bull yearns to boot out the rotten Russian oligarchs because of a deep-seated aversion to dirty money, right now. In fact, Uncle Sam told Britain back in the spring that it was going to have to cut the Russian oligarchs loose if it wants to have continued access to the US market. And considering the arsehole Britain is making of itself in Europe, it doesn’t actually have a lot of other friends. What would happen to Britain without the coziness of the Special Friendship? Like The Eagles sang in “Already Gone”, it would have to eat its lunch all by itself.

“Sigal P. Mandelker, a top American Treasury official in London to meet with her counterparts, said British banks could face “consequences” if they continued to carry out significant transactions on behalf of the 24 influential Russians sanctioned by Washington on Friday. The list includes the industrialists Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, along with Kirill Shamalov, who American officials have identified as President Vladimir V. Putin’s son-in-law.”

So I guess if Britain is going to have to bury its face in the pillow while Uncle Sam rides it from behind like a pile-driver, it might as well amuse itself – and everyone else – with the notion that showing the Russian rich the door to the cold outside was all its own idea. Yes; ‘course it was!

The welcome mat is still emphatically out for guys like Len Blavatnik, though, the richest man in Britain, with an estimated fortune of £15 billion. Because he’s from Odessa originally, and the last time I looked, that was in Ukraine. Even when it was prodding Britain to impose sanctions against certain Ukrainian oligarchs (never Poroshenko, of course, who is a ‘tycoon’, which is a different thing altogether), the USA made it clear that sanctioning Ukrainians was meant to pressure them to break with Viktor Yanukovich, not to punish them. Mr. Blavatnik had a spot of bother when he was accused of working through his connections with TNK-BP oil company in Russia to drive westerners – including Britons – out of Russia in a dispute between TNK-BP and BP. You would think critics’ attitude was a bit churlish, considering Mr. Blavatnik had just donated £75 million to Oxford University, the largest single donation in its history and one recognized publicly by the British Prime Minister. But Mr. Blavatnik knows how to spread money around; he is a patron not only of Oxford, but of the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the Royal Opera House, the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. He is a personal friend of Benjamin Netanyahu, and a generous supporter of both US political parties, although he leans heavily Republican. He could show up at a Royal Opera House performance of Anna Karenina with a human head in his lap and nobody would give it a second look.

Good thing they did not investigate far enough back to learn that Mr. Blavatnik outmaneuvered BP in an almost-identical riposte back in the late 90’s…except then he did it with the help of his Washington advisers.

Moreover, to secure the credit guarantees, Blavatnik and his Washington advisers have so far outmaneuvered a Goliath: BP-Amoco. The largest producer of oil and gas in the United States, the British-American giant is fighting to keep its interest in another rich Siberian field also coveted by Tyumen Oil. BP-Amoco contends that Tyumen’s takeover tactics there are unfair and could jeopardize its $571 million investment, one of the largest by a western company in Russia.

Well, enough of that; we’re not really here to talk about Mr. Blavatnik and his squeaky-clean money – we’re here to talk about the patently ridiculous announcement that Britain has an aversion to ‘dirty money’, and would have been much more a scourge of fiscal dishonesty if it had not been held back by its corrupt European partners.

The well-established facts suggest that Britain…how can I put this? A nice way to not be deliberately insulting would be to say that London’s financial centers do not discriminate against money based on its origins; there is no such thing as dirty money, or clean money, there is just money; how’s that? Or, to put it as the man who blew the whistle on the Naples crime syndicate, the Camorra – Robert Saviano – did back in 2016, “the UK is the most corrupt place on earth“. Not a lot of gray area there, I think you’ll agree.

“It’s not the bureaucracy, it’s not the police, it’s not the politics but what is corrupt is the financial capital.”

His assessment was backed by Transparency International, the outfit the UK worships whenever it is ripping on Russia for being an authoritarian hellhole ruled by an imp of Satan. The agency’s own UK head of advocacy and research had no argument with the allegation.

“It’s absolutely true that the UK is one of the leading financial centres for the laundering of corrupt money from overseas, whether through the property market, luxury goods or other sectors…The UK has been a prime location for stashing away illicitly gained wealth, as anti-money laundering systems are weak and sectors such as UK property represent a safe investment, as well as a place to hide corrupt money.”

All, all because the other European nations were mocking Britain for not being sufficiently corrupt, of course – what’s a country to do when its conscience says, “This is so wrong”, while the rest of the gang chants, “Scrub!! Scrub!! Launder that dirty money and pocket usurious profits, or you can’t be in the club!!” As if.

Oh, but wait! We don’t have complete agreement. The British Home Office – a term that, for me, always conjures an image of a crackling fire in a cozy fireplace, perhaps with a dog snoozing on the rug – said only this year that it was so darned proud that none other than, yes, Transparency International had ranked the UK the 8th least-corrupt country in the world!

How can those two realities co-exist?

Obviously, they cannot. I suggest the conundrum offers at least two considerations; one, the British Home Office has an obvious interest in refuting any talk about the UK being a festering swamp of corruption. Two, Transparency International cannot be relied upon to supply unbiased assessments so long as it is funded by, among others, the European Commission and the UK’s own Department of International Development. So you can consider their evaluations with the same gravitas you might accord a similar opinion expressed by the paper boy, or whoever cuts your hair – interesting, but not necessarily informed, and quite possibly influenced.

I’m sure most or all of you remember the “Panama Papers”; those who obtained the files gloated that the information revealed was going to be curtains for Putin, as it exposed his nefarious financial dealings that made him the richest person on earth. That turned out to be horseshit, as we have learned to expect – not because Putin would never do anything bad, but because of the ideological nutjobbery of those who make such promises, as if wishing really hard would make it true. Putin himself was not mentioned anywhere in the millions of documents, and attempts to link him to a few Russian accounts that were said to be those of ‘Putin’s cronies’ got no traction whatsoever.

However, the Mossack-Fonseca law firm’s stolen files did reveal some astonishing British connections, not least of which was the then-Prime-Minister of the UK’s father, who used an offshore account to evade British taxes. How do you guys feel about paying into his old-age pension now? But that was just a relatively-amusing diversion. This was the real money shot:

The Panama Papers leak – with 11.5 million documents the the largest leak in history so far – has implicated many of Britain’s biggest banks as well. HSBC, Coutts, and Rothschild were among the banks mentioned in the papers. Since the 1970s the Mossack Fonseca law firm set up over 3000 shell companies for the aforementioned banks. These shell companies allowed their clients to evade taxes, as well as allowing them to participate in criminal or corrupt activities.

Over 3000 shell companies set up, since the 1970’s, to allow HSBC, Coutts, and Rothschild – among others – to evade taxes and to engage in criminal or corrupt activities. Like money-laundering. Since the 1970’s, which mathematics bids me point out was at least 39 years ago. Kind of a long time to be striving for acceptance into the Corruption Club, don’t you think – what does a country have to do these days to receive its due acclaim?

Look; I don’t know who Britain thinks it’s fooling with that butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth wide-eyed innocence. But chances are good that it is not the US Department of State from whom Britain takes its orders, couched as ‘helpful suggestions’. The hash the British government is making of Brexit, coupled with the US State Department’s focus on squeezing only Russian oligarchs out of the money trough, virtually guarantees the whole effort will rebound on Britain in the worst kind of consequences.

Meanwhile, the fatuous premise that Britain was only pretending to walk the walk so that the mean kids in the gang wouldn’t beat it up for its lunch money is somewhere south of insulting.

 

 

 

 

 

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595 thoughts on “Sanctimoneyous: Post-Brexit Britain Will Test-Drive a Conscience.

  1. No grey areas in this excellent documentary “The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire” by Michael Oswald that’s been getting a lot of attention:
    https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/spider-web-britain-second-empire/

    Much of the documentary is based on Nicholas Shaxson’s book “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who stole the World” and he and some of his interviewees in the book are featured in the documentary.
    http://treasureislands.org/

    Thanks Mark for getting out this new post so quickly!

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  2. I’ve lately been wondering about the economics of being a big tax haven like the UK. A place like the Bahamas, I think benefits from it since there are so few citizens and it’s easy to bribe them, and it costs a lot less than paying taxes back home. But then you move on to Panama, and the grey area starts. Someone is getting rich there, but the population of Panama is a lot bigger than that of the Bahamas, and that population is not exactly rich. Does it create bigger class divisions and also retards politics in terms of trying to develop their own unique economy not dependent on servicing the rich foreign tax thieves?

    Then you get to London and the UK, with their absolutely enormous population. Most of the people outside of London will never see any of this money, and in London it creates a runaway housing crisis as the best investment for laundered money is thought to be real estate. Obviously there is investment in the local economy other than that, such as buying football clubs and stores, but I don’t think that money goes towards funding a pharma start-up or buying stock in a local car company.

    So it exacerbates inequality sure (London real estate is insane and out of reach of most locals), and creates a parallel society in the countryside that never see these money, but are the pros of having that money there and contributing to the economy outweigh these cons? It would if the money were invested with a view of making a profit from a factory, but I don’t think that happens in this case. What do you think?

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    1. I think it is an extremely interesting discussion point; one that I would not venture into without doing a bit of research, but right now I have to leave for work. It’s definitely something we could chew over for a bit, and I imagine Jen will have something for us on it.

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    2. Blatnoi, if you get hold of the Nicholas Shaxson book I mentioned before, I recall there’s a chapter that discusses the effect of being a tax haven has on the Channel Islands economy and Jersey Island in particular. The money that ends up there is in the pockets of a very few people who use it to buy and real estate as if it were shares on the stock market. The result is what we Australians call a two-speed economy or a split economy, where one sub-economy caters for the very rich (real estate agents specialising in luxury properties, lots of luxury hotels and playgrounds, boutique shops and restaurants) and the other sub-economy is hidden away, made up of local people who have to rent their homes because they can’t afford to buy their own homes, who have to hold down two or more jobs to survive and who supply the staff for the hotels, shops and restaurants frequented by the rich. Eventually the local people start disappearing to find better-paying jobs and the hotels, restaurants, etc start bringing in foreign labour to replace them.

      I certainly agree with you that a two-speed economy creates and exacerbates class divisions, and moreover destroys not only local economies in the areas where it operates but also local societies and cultures.

      Aha … I Googled “Shaxson”, “economy” and “Jersey” and out of what Google threw at me, I found this account by Bram Wanrooij of his time living in Jersey with his family for six years:
      View story at Medium.com

      An excerpt from Wanrooij’s post:

      “.. I have never been so aware of wealth discrepancies as I have in Jersey. And that says a lot, as I have lived in places like Kenya and Sudan when I was younger. Disparity is on full display, in combination with a shameless promotion of greed and privilege. Range Rovers wizz past you, their 4×4 engines sputtering out clouds of pollution, utterly useless on a small island with a decent infrastructure and no real elevation to speak of. You even see flashy sports cars; quite amusing when you consider the speed limit is 40 at most. What are these people trying to prove?

      The island caters to the very wealthy, especially reflected in everyday expenses and housing and travel costs. Getting off the island becomes ever more impossible as your family grows, with flights to England ridiculously expensive and ferries charging a small fortune for carrying you across the channel. In this way, Jersey has quickly become a financial and geographical prison for middle and low earners.

      In the six years I’ve lived here, my family has had to move six times and every time we had to rent a house which was slightly beyond our budget, even though both my wife and I are hard workers with honest professions. I have seen qualified, talented people leave because of this, a phenomenon which makes no sense, neither on a social, nor an economic level …”

      Comparisons between the Jersey-style financial two-speed economy and economies afflicted with so-called Dutch disease (typically economies like Saudi Arabia and others dependent on oil, gas and mineral exploitation) have been made. Characteristics of such economies are outlined in detail at this link:
      https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/11977/oil/dutch-disease/

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      1. Thanks for the information! I still think that the money must make it to the country’s economy somehow, but if you’ve got a democracy and as a result of the money a disenfranchised class, then you get things like votes for Brexit and ‘populists’.

        It’s still hard for me to think that there is not benefit for the country to be a tax haven, since so many places try to do it. Maybe the criminals who launder the money are very enterprising and smart people, so there is a chance they will start a legitimate business as well as buy expensive real estate… is probably how the thinking goes.

        My sister was living in a big Western city that has a huge problem with foreign capital investment into real estate. No young people there can afford a house. She recently moved to a much smaller city in the countryside with bad weather, but where she could afford a house and a job was available in her field. But I don’t think the issues were from foreign investors only. Also the zoning rules are very restrictive and it leads to price increases since it’s so hard to build new houses that people want. Then again, this is probably due to investor lobbying partly, since then house prices would go down and would not be that good of an investment.

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        1. Countries do not seek to be tax havens because of perceived benefit to their populations, but because their governments want to exercise a degree of control over the money supply. If your enemy’s money passes through a network of which you are a part, why, you can cut him off from his money. That was the whole point of the west falling upon Cyprus, destroying it as a tax haven – that they were going to disinherit the Russian wealthy overnight. It’s always Russians they’re after, and anyone else who gets caught in the net is collateral damage.

          http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/03/18/why-the-eu-is-right-on-cyprus/

          Germany told the EU that Russian billionaires had about $26 Billion in Cyprus – more than the total bailout package. It must have seemed like inspired genius to the Europeans (and doubtless to Washington as well) to seize a chunk of the Russians’ money and use it to bail out an EU country. Well, as we now know, that’s not what happened at all. The usual fatuous argument – offered also, predictably, by the author of the cited piece – is that Cyprus could be like Iceland, and a bit of tough love would be better for it in the long run. Of course nobody was going to say that the plan would mostly wipe out Russian wealth, while the rest of the world was free to go on using approved tax havens like London, as they do now. The two situations are completely different, and if anyone needs proof, they can take a look at how much Cyprus is like Iceland now.

          It’s still not clear to what extent Russians learned of the plan in advance and pulled their money out, and how much Russian money was never actually there at all, a figment of Germany’s fevered imagination. I imagine the ‘investigation’ was done by ‘journalists’, as seems to be de rigueur these days (when the actual investigative services just stay back at the office plotting and planning and drinking coffee, and cite the work of ‘journalists’ in their reports), but there’s an obvious hole in the technique. Journalists are interested in selling stories, and a story that nothing was discovered is boring. There is overwhelming pressure to sensationalize.

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    3. I’ve lived on the outskirts of London for many years and what I’ve seen is the city becoming increasingly hollowed out. You can walk around street after street at night and everywhere is in darkness – the lights are out because no-one is home, not that evening, not ever. London is permanently under construction; huge numbers of new buildings have gone up in recent years – all of them beyond the purchasing power of most Londoners – and huge numbers of those new buildings have been purchased off plan by overseas investors with no intention or interest in living in them.

      When the money moves in existing communities disintegrate, local councils seek to dump those in social housing on other, less fashionable boroughs (thus exacerbating housing problems in those areas) or even outside London so housing can be razed and the land sold to developers, those renting in the private sector are priced out, local businesses close down – their market has gone plus insane rent and rates increases etc etc. London used to have a bit of a ‘village’ feel to it – distinct areas with settled communities, traditional butcher-baker-candlestick maker high streets, a sense of community. All gone or going.

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      1. When I was last in London in 2016, I was with my family. My children quickly realized then that “papa” was one of a rare breed in the British capital and also the capital of England: an Englishman!

        We were living in Sussex Gardens, Paddington, which seems to be part of the Lebanon now. Nothing against the Lebanesse, nor any of the other immigrants really, as long as they are willing to adapt to the normalities of their host country: it is they, after all, who have made the effort to live in the UK. However, it seemed rather strange to me walking along the Edgeware Road towards Marble Arch and Hyde Park, passing on our way one Lebanese café after another, outside of which their clients were puffing away at hookahs.

        I should add that I am still rather fond of London — “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life …” and all that — but that fondness of mine is ever waning following my very infrequent visits to the place.

        The London in which I lived from 1967-69 is very different to the London of today. For one thing, in those days there was a race called “Cockneys” that lived in the East End. What’s left of them now is in Esssex, on a big reservation, I think: sort of like the Cherokee in Oklahoma or wherever.

        However, London oozes with history and hidden gems of interest, not to mention the museums, parks, theatres etc.

        To quote fully Doctor Johnson, which I partly have done above:

        “Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”.

        And there’s the rub, Samuel, old boy: there’s now precious litle in London now that an ordinary man or woman can afford!

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        1. When I worked in London 1989/90) it struck me as an agglomeration of medium sized towns, by and large, the huge cultural centres apart. Where we rented, Lee (SE) socialising was done normally in Blackheath. Our flat was about 500 yards from a major junction of the South Circular and my memory seared with the experience of queuing for well over two hours to get into Kent early morning on a Bank Holiday. Uptown nights out were a pain due to transport.
          When the first reports appeared (?in the Guardian) about people commuting from York to jobs in London my mind went to a chat I’d had with my host’s maid in Mexico City in 1982. She had a 2.5 hours each way commute. For the ordinary inhabitants, London is probably the 4th World.

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  3. ‘Billionaires Row’: inside Hampstead palaces left empty for decades
    On The Bishops Avenue houses worth tens of millions of pounds lay derelict in a spectacular example of waste and profligacy

    The multimillion-pound wrecks are evidence of a property culture in which the world’s richest people see British property as investments. One Hyde Park, a block of apartments in Knightsbridge, is another example where more than half the flats are registered with the council as empty or second homes.

    Rinat Akhmetov pays record £136.4m for apartment at One Hyde Park
    Ukraine’s richest man spends record amount for a UK home after buying two Knightsbridge flats totalling 25,000 sq ft

    He just loves the weather there!

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    1. Buying properties in hot-spot areas and leaving them empty – because you plan to trade and sell them if and when the prices rocket up to levels you want – would be typical behaviour of people who treat property portfolios like share portfolios. You want to be ready to sell when the price is right so you don’t move tenants into them. Getting rid of tenants can be a hassle if you want to sell quickly.

      Also buying property and deliberately leaving it to rot is a way of using it as a tax shelter to minimise land and other taxes, lower your income or claim a tax rebate on losses you make because you’re forking out more in land taxes, council rates and other rates than you are making on the property, depending on the taxation jurisdiction prevailing in the area or country where you have bought the property.

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  4. Thanks for a great article, Mark!

    Apparently, the U.S. authorities believe that by squeezing the corrupt Russian money out of the Great Britain, they would force those corrupt rich Russians to return their money home and remake the Russia as a modern Western nation with the rule of law and checks and balances.

    At least, that’s what I have heard at anti-Putin forums. So — and especially so in view of your article — that ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

    But if that’s indeed the idea — I’m skeptical that it would work. Definitely, it sounds alright, and if it were implemented, say, 30 years ago — it might have sort of worked, by preventing the corrupt Russians to move their assets abroad. Now, I think, they would just move their fortunes into some other friendly jurisdiction outside of the reach of Uncle Sam and Russia’s authorities.

    If getting at dirty money was that easy, I doubt that China would ever need to resort to such a complex operation as the “Fox Hunt”.

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    1. I think you’re probably right – although I never thought of such a devious motive as forcing Putin’s enemies (in some cases) back to Russia, where they would presumably start financing the opposition and making trouble, I agree it likely would not work according to plan. Very likely all it would accomplish is the withdrawal of their money from London, to be hidden somewhere else.

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  5. Закрытая презентация МИД Украины в ООН о милитаризации Крыма в 2014-2018 гг.

    A closed presentation by the Ukraine Foreign Ministry to the United Nations on the militarization of the Crimea, 2014-2018.

    Over the course of four years, the Crimea has been turned into an “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, a giant military base. The number of “green men” has risen to almost 32 thousand, the number of aircraft is as high as 122; there are up to 71 warships and 16 anti-aircraft batteries and there are 7 submarines there. Moreover, a nuclear weapon has probably been deployed in the Crimea …

    Has probably been deployed?

    Those murderously evil Moskali swine!

    Anybody would think that the Ukraine armed forces would attack the peninsula if it were not defended by the Russian invaders!

    Time was when the person who will very likely become the next president of Banderastan was shrieking for the Donbass to be nuked.

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    1. Banderatards can whine and whinge till they get blue in the face and die from a stroke. You twats never properly owned Crimea to begin with and now you will not get it back even if Uncle Scumbag starts a war on Russia.

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    2. “Over the course of four years, the Crimea has been turned into an “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, a giant military base. The number of “green men” has risen to almost 32 thousand, the number of aircraft is as high as 122; there are up to 71 warships and 16 anti-aircraft batteries and there are 7 submarines there. …”

      They say that like it’s bad thing!

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  6. I’m not surprised that you are such a fine shot with his harpoon considering your naval background, Mark! The UK is slowly sinking to its appropriate level of incompetence and self-delusion with the likes of former PM Dave Cameron declaring that he is ‘shit bored’ and would like to return to cabinet, preferably as Foreign Minister. That could be arranged, but as Foreign minister in Libya.

    Still, the whole ‘Russian corrupting in Britain’ is the British government’s perception management at its finest. As someone recently posted on the last thread, a Spanish case against RUSSIAN MAFIA collapsed for lack of evidence after ten years, which I suspect was partly provided by British Intelligence paid organized crime experts from Russia like Litvenenko & Skripal. Who’s been bilked then?

    Yes, this is a classic case of ‘LOOK OVER THERE!’ rather than the billions upon billions sunk in to London by the UK and the west’s bestest Gulf buddies, you know, the one’s who fear not their exposure for outrageous human rights abuses on a genocidal scale such as in Yemen, and a much smaller scale with the likes of their own citizens, sic Kashoggi. But, Chelsea & Westminster are such a fundamental part of British Life (coz its London, innit?) and does very well for itself. I have to admit, it is (mostly) nice around there where you can take a stroll along the Embankment, wander around Hyde Park and visit the museums.

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    1. But have you seen Shut-Up-And-Go-Away Gavin’s latest?

      UK Set to Open Major Permanent Base in Middle East

      British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson made the announcement after joining over 5,500 British troops in Oman in their largest war games exercise in nearly two decades.

      Wonder what happened to that Nothing-East-of-Suez policy following the 1956 Suez debacle and the realization that Uncle Sam was not willing to entertain the UK’s imperial ambitions — not that it ever had intended to do this.

      Speaking from the UK Royal Navy’s Albion-class amphibious transport dock HMS Albion, which arrived in Oman in early October, he [Williamson] reportedly said: “The symbolism of this Omani British base opening as we exit the European Union I hope isn’t lost on people.”

      Meanwhile, in the real world recruitmen to the British armed forces flops. The British army currently has 78,000 troops, which is its smallest size since 1815.

      Which reminds me, the Frog navy is now larger than the Royal Navy, and the last time that occurred was in the 18th century.

      But the Frogs are now our pals: the Russians are our permanent enemy and their fleet is shite — isn’t it?

      A knackered STOL vessel that belches smoke is all those Orcs have, while we have this:

      Problem is, it has no aeroplanes.

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      1. Still, ne’ mind, eh? She’s a beauty to look at; strike fear into the hearts of Britain’s enemies, nae doot.

        They’re probably waiting for their sparkly F-35’s, to once again show their loyalty to Uncle Sam by buying American, although by the time anyone gets them they will have at least doubled in cost.

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        1. It’s now on an 11 week activity trial and was/is in the US:

          https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pictures-f-35bs-make-debut-appearance-aboard-uk-air-452328/

          I have to admit that I was deeply skeptical that it would be on time (and budget) but Bae appears to have managed it, painful as it was. If I recall correctly, the original plan was to design and build a common base design with the French, but the UK fuxxed it up by repeatedly changing their minds until the Frogs gave up. They’ve now launched their own carrier program. The irony is that some years back the UK & France boasted of their new defense agreement that would work for both countries, i.e. shared costs, bringing prices down etc. but clearly not in the carrier case.

          Unfortunately in Russia, the floating dock PD-50 holding the Kuznetsov that was undergoing maintenance sank after a crane collapsed and also put a hole in the carrier!

          Recent photos:
          https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3403576.html

          Original story:
          https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3398562.html

          There’s plenty of good news though, the latest being that India has bought another couple of Russian frigates.

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          1. The floating dock sank not because of the crane collapsing, that happened because of the sinking: it sank because of an onshore power failure which stopped the pumps working, causing the dock bouyancy tanks to flood. The Kuznetsov was damaged by the collapsing crane, but not seriously.

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              1. A great piece by the esteemed Norman Polmar on the wisdom of carriers. Plus, addresses the argument I’ve seen elsewhere calling for much smaller and more numerous mini-carriers in a much more efficient mix-and-match per mission rather than a huge carrier group cracking a nut with a sledgehammer:

                Defense News: The CVN, at Full Speed, But Going Where?
                https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2016/11/08/the-cvn-at-full-speed-but-going-where/

                ####

                So far the Brits, Frogs and Chinese are still addicted to mega expensive carriers (which the Chinese can afford), the former will hemorrhage UK defense funds for decades to come as they currently have a 7 billion quid per year defense black hole to fill to cover current commitments:

                https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46103293

                Like

                1. The carrier is a go-to solution if your country’s defense philosophy revolves around early establishment of air power or air superiority. It can be a floating airbase that moves air-superiority fighters within striking distance where they would otherwise be out of range. Currently the only nation that vests its entire defense philosophy on early establishment of airspace control is the United States. That’s possibly why its portable air-defense capability is pretty much shite. Europe prefers to put its striking weight in armor and artillery, and to take its air-defense systems with the ground forces because it knows they will be harassed by aircraft.

                  The carrier that is often worth its weight in gold is the assault carrier, with helicopters, maybe some jump-jets and a marine ground element. That’s the way to put a conclusive end to a brewing conflict. But the USA has not built any since the TARAWA Class. That’s what Russia wanted the MISTRALs for.

                  Like

          2. Doesn’t look like too much damage, although whoever secured that crane at its base is going to have some ‘splainin’ to do. But it just kind of toppled over and the force of its falling seems to have been distributed along its length.

            Now this…THIS was an accident.

            Like

  7. And the strongest army in Europe is ….

    See: Business Insider

    For some reason, the photograph accompanying the assessment of the Ukraine army (10th place, no matter what Porky might say) is this:

    beneath which it reads:

    Ukrainian troops from Donbass battalion train with small arms outside Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 13, 2015.

    So the Donbass Battalion is part of the Ukrainian army, is it?

    The Donbass battalion is part of the Ukraine National Guard, which is the Yukie national gendarmerie. It is under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    And the Donbass battalion has as its founder and commander this renowned cnut:

    Like

    1. Eventually all that hair will fall off and Semen Semenchenko will be revealed as the Sontaran he really is.

      Who else is an alien Sontaran among us?

      There he is, down the front!

      Like

      1. I think some members of the Labour Party dislike Corbyn because he was once caught tomming her (above) as is sat next to him on his left.

        On the floor he was doing it ‘an all, with his trousers round his ankles, the randy git!

        Don’t know whether he had taken his “lefty” socks and sandals off, though. Probably hadn’t: much too keen to get into action, I should imagine.

        Bear in mind, both he and she were much younger when they were caught in flagrante delicto.

        I confess that I would not have turned down the chance either, even though I am not entirely in agreement with her politics, but why should that sour a relationship?

        🙂

        Like

          1. Is she really?

            But they are like chalk and cheese politically, despite the fact that she paid for her son to be privately educated. She once described private “elite” schools as “indefensible” and “intellectually incoherent”.

            As regards Portillo, well, as I always say: “A standing cock has no conscience!”

            Like

        1. I was indeed referring to that Ukraine prick; my initial instinct was to suggest his wide-set tiny eyes and blank expression make him look like that kid the supermarket hires to bring in the carts people have left scattered around the parking lot, so the company can claim to offer fair employment to the mentally-challenged, but I thought better of it as it might have sounded like a cheap shot against the retarded. Which is not very nice, as they can’t help it, and are usually very good employees within their limits. As is Semyon himself, I daresay.

          Like

  8. Those awful Russians flying close to our sy aicraft near the Russian frontier!

    On Nov. 5, 2018, a U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27. This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, putting at risk the pilots and crew. The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second. The duration of the intercept was approximately 25 minutes.

    While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions.

    The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.

    Note:

    While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within international airspace…

    And what gives the USA the right to fly so close to Russian airspace openly on reconnaisance and over
    5, 000 miles from US air space?

    Like

    1. The United States of America has the right to fly around anywhere it pleases on this whole fucking planet! God bless America! And if you don’t like that, then you can just … you know…

      Like

    2. That’s the curious thing about international airspace – it extends right up to the Russian border, but stops at the Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) of western powers, and Russian aircraft flying close to western borders obviously mean harm, while western aircraft flying along the Russian border are just showing how a free people behave.

      Like

  9. Erstwhile FBI Director James Comey gave up his HSBC director seat to take the g-man top law-dawg job. His HSBC specialty appeared to have been ‘security’ … can’t have those head-chopping, special forces trained, Los Zetas international narcotics trafficking accounts compromised, now, can we?

    Sheepdog, standing in the rain
    Bullfrog, doing it again
    Some kind of happiness is
    Measured out in miles
    What makes you think you’re
    Something special when you smile
    Childlike no one understands
    Jackknife in your sweaty hands
    Some kind of innocence is
    Measured out in years
    You don’t know what it’s like
    To listen to your fears
    You can talk to me
    You can talk to me
    You can talk to me
    If you’re lonely, you can talk to me
    Big man (yeah) walking in the park
    Wigwam frightened of the dark
    Some kind of solitude is
    Measured out in you
    You think you know me, but you haven’t got a clue
    You can talk to me
    You can talk to me
    You can talk to me
    If you’re lonely, you can talk to me
    Hey hey
    Roar
    Hey, bulldog (hey bulldog)
    Woof
    Hey,…

    John Lennon’s “Hey Bulldog”

    Like

  10. A bit of an offtopic… In comments of the previous entry we have discussed some psychology. I’m currently reading Allport’s “Becoming”. And just have read a passage I believe many Stoogies could sympathize with:

    “Returning to the case of the explorer Amundsen whose steady progress toward a long-range goal began when he was fifteen years of age, it does not help to say that he was trying all his life to reduce the tension provoked in him at that age by reading the explorations of Sir John Franklin. Such casuistry would neglect the fact that for decades he fought every temptation to relax, to enjoy immediate gratifications that would impede his major effort; he fought the promptings of fatigue, discouragement, social ridicule. Like a true Faustian man he discovered that salvation comes only to him who ceaselessly bestirs himself in the pursuit of objectives that in the end are not fully attained.

    That’s f-word poetry.

    Humans are much more complex than economists believe them to be.

    Like

            1. The RAAF’s unofficial motto is something unintelligible along the lines of “You’re lucky you even have jets to steal – we’re still waiting for our f***ing F35s to be delivered!”

              Like

              1. We don’t, not since Helen ‘Alan’ Clark dissolved 75th Squadron and sent the RNZAF’s Skyhawks and Aermacchis to the scrapheap. At least your mob have your Hornets.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._75_Squadron_RNZAF

                ‘No. 75 Squadron RNZAF was an air combat squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. It was formed from the RAF’s World War II bomber squadron, No. 75 Squadron, which had been initially equipped by the New Zealand government and was largely manned by New Zealanders. The squadron was created when, in a unique gesture, the squadron number, colours and battle honours were transferred to the RNZAF in 1946. It had flown more sorties and suffered more casualties than any other in the European theatre.’

                You bloody don’t dissolve something like that, and you especially don’t do it for the sake of beancounting.

                Unless you’re the Right Honourable Helen ‘My beard has a beard’ Clark.

                Like

  11. Sorry….meant to post on this current thread…Mark…Will you delete the other one !!!

    “John Oakes
    Primal memory. Dancing with the skinny English girls at the Kimbolton Air Base to this song. Promising a young lass I’ll meet her in town first chance I get. Few days later taking off in a B-17 on the biggest mission of the war at that time. The Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission on August 17, 1943. My group, the 379th, went to Schweinfurt. My plane was shot down before it got to the target. No survivors. My spirit was born into this life about a year later. However, some memories are still vivid. Sometimes a song, as in this case, bring a memory back.”

    Veterans Day is coming up……not all of my fellow white americans were bad people:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Air_Force#Casualties_and_awards

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

    Like

    1. I know..Russia suffered far far more casualties. But being in a flying tin can filled with gas and 500 lb. bombs while strafed by FW-190s and Bf-109s and Nazi AA fire was no joke.
      No disrespect to Russia is intended.

      Like

  12. USA Psychopaths in Power WATCH:

    “Phil Collins
    The only thing that can stop this ever happening is if the american people stand up to these psychopaths running their country its called people power and would stop them in their tracks madmen now run the whitehouse”

    BTW VVP should NOT come to USA for a visit. The russophobic psycho vermin here would place his life in jeopardy.

    Like

  13. “Like in the Wild West, betting in the saloon is also common when it comes to Syria. The US State Department under Obama placed all its bets on some entity they invented, which they liked to call “moderate rebels” (why not “respectable terrorists” or “polite criminals”?). They lost. Numerous left-wing academics signed on to regime change years ago, and because they only pretend to be seasoned analysts for their day jobs, they did not foresee the collapse of the anti-government forces in Syria. That list included noted “post-colonial” scholars and anthropologists, united in their belief in “democracy promotion” and remaking Syria into something palatable to them, with the right leaders in place. Five years later and a smaller group—including feminists like Gloria Steinem and Judith Butler, anarchists like Noam Chomsky and the anthropologist David Graeber, the Marxist David Harvey, and advocates of recolonization like Michael Walzer—placed their bets on socialist Kurdish militias, presumably increasing the value of their bet by the important sign value of their brand name authority. Ironically, in the process of reimagining legendary Rojava as the site of a second Spanish Civil War, they were openly collaborating with Donald Trump (not naming him directly, since “the US government” was more convenient). These signatories were thus complicit with the very same commander-in-chief of the armed forces they were calling on for support of Syrian Kurds. They wanted “the US government,” whose President is Donald Trump, to impose sanctions on Turkey, and to develop a foreign policy that put Kurdish interests at the forefront. You can be sure that, elsewhere, in front of different crowds, they return to “the Resistance” by puffing up their little chests and sounding all “anti-Trump”—but when it came to cheering their favourite band of ethnic anarchists, they could dispense with appearances. Less “prestigious” characters, publishing in a less “prestigious” outlet, countered the call to “defend Rojava”, a call which appropriated “progressive” politics for the cause of imperialism (thus reigniting an old marriage). (David Harvey, by the way, having cashed in on abundant sales of his volume, The New Imperialism, has recently changed his mind: he has decided that imperialism is merely a metaphor, “rather than anything real”. Out of curiosity, we have to wonder if “capitalism” is also a metaphor, rather than anything real, seeing how Marxists have linked capitalism with imperialism. Perhaps even socialism is a metaphor, rather than anything real.”

    This Canadian has a lot to say…well worth reading!!!!!

    https://zeroanthropology.net/2018/10/06/syria-the-new-terra-nullius/

    https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/syria-the-new-terra-nullius/

    Like

  14. The Katerina Gandzyuk woman on Odessa:

    To summarise her Orc-gibberish, she’s in favour of it.

    Another timely reminder that there are no good or redeemable Maidanauts. Every one of them needs to die and go to hell as soon as possible.

    Like

    1. The “nationalists” are all f*cked in the head. Out of the whole history of the territory that is now known as Ukraine, they choose Stepan Bandera as their national hero. Seriously? A loser collaborator with the Nazi army of occupation. The Nazis didn’t even win the war for this clown to be elevated. But this then begs the question: did they elevate him because they finally “won” the war they lost in 1945? That seems to be a likely explanation, which then makes the Maidanuts, their supporters both domestic and foreign, as genuine 100% Nazis.

      Like

      1. They’re low-quality people with a shitty cause – they didn’t have a lot of heroes to choose from.

        Stepan Andreyevich really is the best they can do.

        Like

        1. That says a lot about them and their history of fighting for Banderastan. Europeans should cringe when Ukrs shout “Ukraina, tse Evropa!” But then, U-rope ain’t all that to begin with.

          Like

          1. I still believe there are a lot of good and decent people in Ukraine, perhaps most of them – it’s something they share with the United States; out-of-control loony governments with a base of equally-loony supporters. In Ukraine’s case, nationalist extremists with an ethnic-purification agenda, in the USA’s case, super-patriots who believe in America-uber-alles, and the business lobby which admires Trump’s tactic of forcing American trade down the world’s throat. But most of each population has little in common with those ideals, and just keeps its head down and waits for it to pass. Particularly in the case of Ukraine, speaking up can get you killed.

            Like

  15. MOSCOW, November 6 — RIA Novosti. The su-27 was scrambled to intercept an EP-3E US Navy aircraft approaching the Russian borders and followed it at a safe distance, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

    The airspace control on duty detected an unidentified object over the neutral waters of the Black Sea moving toward Russian territory.

    An Su-27 approached the aircraft at a safe distance, identified it and accompanied it, preventing the violation of Russian borders, they told the [news] agency.

    The EP-3 immediately changed its flight path and began to move away from the Russian borders; the Su-27 returned to its home airfield, the Defense Ministry reports.

    “Unsafe Intercept”

    The command of the United States Naval Forces stated that the Russian Su-27 allegedly “unsafely intercepted” an American reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea.
    It is alleged that the events unfolded on November 5 in international airspace over the Black Sea.

    As noted in the message, the Su-27 flew at high speed in the vicinity of the American aircraft, which is an unsafe manoeuvre and threatens the lives of American pilots. Then, according to the US military, the Su-27 again flew up to EP-3, came close to it and, making a turn with the use of its booster, moved off.

    The Defence Ministry, in turn, stressed that the escorting away of the US Navy aircraft was carried out in compliance with all necessary security measures.

    The US Navy has published a video in which the Su-27 intercepts the EP-3. The frame shows how a Russian aircraft flies around an American aircraft. At the same time, the fighter tips itswing, showing its weapon..

    From an irate Pindos:

    “This is not the first time a Chinese or Russian fighter pilot performs a Top Gun-like stunt or aggressively maneuvers close to a U.S. aircraft…

    See “The Aviationist”:

    Here’s The Video Of The Russian Su-27 That Performed An Unsafe Intercept On A U.S. EP-3E Aircraft Earlier Today

    The 6 (so far) comments to the above are interesting: 5 of them criticize US provocation, one such criticism being accompanied by this:

    However, a gung-ho Pindos, who calls himself Leroy, comments, :

    Russians seem awful afraid of American aircraft. Well, they should be because in a war, the Russian Air Force would be totally destroyed in very short order. Our 5th Gen F-22s and F-35s would chew old 4th gen Russian fighters to pieces. or at least that’s what the wreckage would look like after it hit the ground or water. Little itty-bitty pieces of crumpled aluminum, with the pilot probably in the same, well … you know (don’t want to get too graphic – I’ve been on-scene for a couple of fighter crashes. Not pretty. Neither would a shoot-down be).

    You tell ’em all how it is, Leroy!

    Although claiming to have been on the scene of a couple of fighter crashes, in my opinion Leroy writes more like a masturbatory youth fixated on PC war games such as Modern War.

    .

    Like

    1. I suppose the proper-form intercept according to US desires would be for the Russian fighter to tentatively move up to the beam of the American aircraft, and then wobble there at a safe distance of a mile or so, so that the American flight crew could have a good laugh at its timidity, and then confidently fly on in whatever direction they were headed, reassured that they would not be challenged.

      The aim of a physical intercept is to make clear to you that you are someplace your other sensors should have told you you would be unwelcome, and you are. And since your aim in being there is to see if somebody will come to chase you off, you may as well get your money’s worth.

      Like

  16. Yes, Blackheath, home of the first rugby club in the world! A favourite place of mine there. Greenwich is the top of my favourite places in London list. My wife and children like it as well. Of course, it was a separate township until quite modern times, but it still retains its own identity. It also has, in my opinion, the best Chinese restaurant (café really) in London: basic scrubbed, whitewood tables and benches and HUGE portions! But a sign of the times that I noticed when last there in 2016 (first time was with my then newly wedded wife in 1997) is a sign of the cash point: Cash only! No bank cards, no cheques!

    Like

    1. Chinese eateries (even big restaurants catering for families) accepting only cash are not unusual here in Sydney. They do this because they’ve caught their staff nicking customers’ credit card details from card readers. And cheque details can also be stolen.

      Like

  17. The Prosecutor General of the Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, speaking in Parliament on the murder of activist Catherine Gandzyuk, has announced that he is retiring.

    See: Луценко объявил об отставке с должности генпрокурора Украины

    And sweet FA in the Western media about the horrendous and cowardly attak that led to that woman’s death.

    Have a look!

    Nothing in the British rags, nothing in the US ones either.

    Type in “Catherine Gandzyuk New York Times” or “Washington Post” or “The Times” or “The Independent” or “The Guardian” and see what you get.

    Like

  18. €µ is scraping the barrel as his popularity tanks:

    Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): France’s Macron pushes for ‘true European army’
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46108633

    …”We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” he told French radio station Europe 1.

    “Who is the main victim? Europe and its security. I want to build a real security dialogue with Russia, which is a country I respect, a European country – but we must have a Europe that can defend itself on its own without relying only on the United States.”
    ####

    I think a European army is a good idea. Whether it will ‘work’ or not, or what exactly a ‘European army’ would be is also the question. Many thanks to UK gov’s withdrawal from the EU for making it possible!

    Like

    1. By the way, i wonder what happened to that pair of criminals, the israeli “model” and her British pornographer husband, who faked a poisoning at Zizzis?

      I thought the cops were thinking of making charges against them.

      Another story down the memory hole?

      Like

  19. (This From Bloomberg)

    Russia Puts Brave Face on Canceled Putin-Trump Talks in Paris
    Henry Meyer

    “Putin spokesman says leaders will ‘cross paths’ at WWI event

    The Kremlin sought to limit damage from another apparent snub after plans fell through for a meeting in Paris between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. leader Donald Trump.

    Russian officials have pinned their hopes on personal contacts between the two leaders to help achieve a long-sought warming in relations with the U.S. that plunged to their worst since the Cold War under Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. Instead, ties have deteriorated further as the Kremlin has faced repeated rounds of new sanctionsamid U.S. allegations of Russian election meddling.

    Putin and Trump can’t hold talks on the sidelines of Sunday’s centenary commemorations of the end of World War I as intended because the “schedule of the multilateral event doesn’t allow it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Instead, they will “cross paths” in a brief encounter and decide when to hold a full-scale meeting, Peskov said in a voice message.

    Trump said Monday that a meeting will “probably not” take place in Paris, though he expected to see Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of the month “and probably we’ll have a meeting after that.” He didn’t give a reason for the change of plans other than to say he’s “going to be in Paris for other reasons.”

    Bilateral Talks

    Putin and Trump held their first bilateral summit in Helsinki in July and met for more than two hours on the sidelines of the G-20 talks in Hamburg last year. They also spoke briefly at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam in November last year. Both Russian and U.S. officials had said the two leaders intended to hold talks in France, though the Kremlin said last week that the meeting would only be “brief.”

    “This is the second time we’ve been put into an awkward situation,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, which advises the Kremlin. At the APEC meeting, Putin had to content himself with casual contacts with Trump after the White House decided against a formal sit-down, he said.

    “Since we are making a big thing about holding talks at the highest level we come across as needy,” Lukyanov said by phone.

    All About the U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Putin’s Russia: QuickTake

    In Paris, Putin and Trump will likely discuss their plans to meet at the G-20, Peskov said. Putin pulled out of the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea later this month after Trump said he won’t attend.

    Meanwhile, there’s little prospect that the U.S. midterm elections taking place on Tuesday will lead to an easing of tensions with Russia, Peskov said. “We should not be deceived and believe that this will bring some clarity,” he told reporters on a conference call. “So far, there are no definite trends toward normalizing relations.”

    //these meetings make things worse //

    Like

    1. What do the Russians think about it? You’re quoting a western interpretation of what the Russians must think – they are hurt and snarling because the west pulled the rug out from under them AGAIN!! It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, they’re so trusting and stupid, it’s almost mean to trick them because it’s so easy. Does that reflect actual happenings, do you think? Washington and Brussels have pulled every trick out of their pockets so far except actual war to tip over the Russian economy, and nothing has worked. When the break first occurred, NATO announced it would no longer talk to Russia. The next thing we heard about it was a complaint by NATO that Russia was not responding to overtures to communicate. It is the west who are amateurs at Death By Diplomacy.

      These meetings make things worse for whom? For Russia? Please give examples.

      Like

        1. Yes, today’s the day when the Democrats will rise up and attain the power to impeach Trump right out of power. Or so they imagine. The Democrats are widely expected to take the House, whilst the Republicans are expected to tighten their control of the Senate. If all goes as forecast, the Democrats will be no further ahead, but the country will be more deeply divided. I don’t expect very much to change, really.

          Like

          1. Sorry for again re-posting tweets, but I can’t stop finding Julia Ioffe’s tweets hilariously funny . She tried to vote today but couldn’t at first. Whose fault it is? THE RUSSIANS of course!

            Then she checked with the precinct, and found out the actual reason (spoiler: her own mistake)

            Like

            1. Her mother’s theory; sure, I buy that. That’d be Julia’s first reaction, and she would have been delighted to think she might have stumbled onto a real story with genuine evidence. Better luck next time, toots.

              Like

              1. Seeing that Moscow-born Ioffe is able to pronounce Шереметьево, I am sure that she is aware what ГУЛаг means — and it does not mean “USSR forced labour camp”.

                On the other hand, she may quite well be interested in the Soviet prison administrative system.

                Like

                1. She just likes her many Twitter followers to believe she spends all her free time researching neo-Soviet atrocities and looking for modern authoritarian parallels – you know, being a full-time dissident. Yearning for the day when Russia will break free and discover fast food, the 50-year mortgage and reality television.

                  Like

            2. The shrill whine of the criminal. It is the USA and its kreakl sycophants that are meddling in Russia. Yet they act like Russia is raping them and their dignity in the USA. Basically a form of paranoia where the likelihood of the victim using the tactics of the victimizer is not excluded.

              American meddler have drawn first blood. Russia is within its rights to retaliate. Of course, Russia is not doing this but the screeching by America-associated vermin is beyond tolerance.

              Like

            3. Poor Old Julia, she is such an unredeemable narcissist.
              And why did she need the sticker anyhow? To prove to the hoi polloi that she is a good person?
              (Which she isn’t, she is actually a terrible human being.)

              Like

              1. The sticker is for the staff at other polling stations, so they can tell if someone is trying to vote twice.

                See, when Julia voted, she would have been asked “Would you like a sticker?” and she would have said “What for?” to which the polling staff say “To show everyone you’re a good person!” She would have replied “YAY! I’m a good person, I’ll have a sticker!” and they would say “Wear it with PRIDE!”

                🙂

                Like

              2. Yes, Yalensis, exactly! Almost everyone is replying back to her that getting a sticker is the best part and that they are wearing it with pride the whole day to show they voted. (best part, as in better than voting for their representative). But the winner in this category is this: “I had to make my own sticker. My polling place didn’t have them.” US adult citizens seem to be back to grade school.

                Like

                1. You are being catty, Cortes.
                  Julia’s sole point in voting was so that she could post those narcissitic selfies, of herself, her jaw, her bony knee, and her voting sticker!

                  Like

                2. She was once extremely attractive, as Russian women often are, but I have seen descriptions of her lately as ‘past her prime’, which was adjudged to have been when she was still writing ‘The Moscow Diaries’ for True/Slant. That was taken over by Forbes, and Julia began her rise to wherever she is now. While still occupied with The Moscow Diaries, she endowed herself with encyclopedic knowledge of all things Russian, but did nothing much but bitch about the place and how unfavourably it compares with New York, which apparently is the Waiting Room of Heaven for Russian Jews. It must be because of all the European delis. She was often joined in her tirade of imprecations regarding Russia’s imperfections by Miriam Elder, who appears to be just a Jew without the cosmetic benefits of being also a Russian.

                  I see from Wikipedia that the latter is now Foreign and National Security Editor for Buzzfeed. An article I wrote in response to her screeching about the deplorable state of dry-cleaning in Russia was once a reference for her Wikipedia entry (I don’t know who put it in, but it wasn’t me), but I see that has since been removed.

                  Both Elder and Ioffe came to the approving attention of La Russophobe for their constant criticism of Russia, and she frequently featured both in ‘posts’ which were nothing more than copy-pasting their harangues in their entirety.

                  Like

  20. Why a “brave face”?

    Why “limit damage from an apparent snub”?

    Who would like to be seen in the company of that vulgar gobshite fuckwit of a president and his foul minions?

    I shouldn’t be seen dead in his moronic company!

    Like

  21. RusAviaInsider: INSIGHT: Aeroflot Group focuses on Asia-Europe transit, LCC and premium products
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/insight-aeroflot-group-strategy-focuses-asia-europe-low-cost-premium-products/

    …It is Pobeda, Russia’s only LCC, which is set to deliver the biggest boost – a breath-taking 428 per cent improvement over next five years, the equivalent of a 34 per cent annual growth rate. By 2023, the budget airline that caters for cost-conscious passengers, is expected to carry some 25-30 million annually, compared to the estimated seven million for 2018…
    ####

    Moe at the link.

    I only heard of Pobeda a few weeks ago for the first time. Anyways, here are the current carrier figures for Russia:

    RusAviaInsider: Passenger traffic between Russia and the CIS grew by 16 per cent in September
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/passenger-traffic-russian-airlines-russia-cis-grew-16-per-cent/

    …The top five Russian airlines’ passenger traffic, by millions, Jan-Sept. 2018:

    1 Aeroflot 26.77 (up eight per cent year-on-year)

    2 Rossiya Airlines 9.045 (up 0.3 per cent)

    3 Sibir (S7 Airlines) 8.95 (up 17.8 per cent)

    4 Ural Airlines 6.99 (up 14.3 per cent)

    5 Utair 5.79 (up 5.5 per cent)…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Like

      1. Unfortunately not:

        FlightGlobal: Pobeda deal for 20 737 Max includes high-density option
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pobeda-deal-for-20-737-max-includes-high-density-opt-453081/
        ###

        S7 is also taking the Max. OTOH, Aeroflot has committed to taking 100 SuperJets and lease 50 MC-21s. I think I saw an Embraer (soon to be Boeing) deal somewhere recently.

        In China-Russia CR929 news, though only a PD-35 demonstrator around 2023:

        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-cr929-programme-picks-up-speed-452163/

        Like

        1. What the hell??? What is the matter with those people, that they keep acquiring assets from their avowed enemy?? Do they not realize the great joy it will bring to the heart of Washington to shut off their parts and maintenance chain at some future point, for some imagined slight or transgression? Nobody buys airliners that they expect to operate only for 3-5 years; that’s a long-term commitment to Boeing. I hope they signed the contract only so they could cancel it.

          I tried a query; “Why does Russia continue to buy Boeing aircraft?” and got this answer.

          https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Aeroflot-no-longer-use-Russian-built-aircraft-other-than-the-Sukhoi-Superjet-Did-all-the-great-Russian-airliners-Tupolev-and-Ilyushin-mainly-become-obsolete

          Money, according to the author – it is more cost-effective to operate western aircraft because they are more fuel-efficient, so Russia adopts a policy of ‘spend less, earn more’. An advantage, I might add, which could quickly be reversed by denying the west titanium and making them build their planes of steel. The Superjet, according to the same author, is not bad but is mostly a learning experience.

          It still looks stupid to me to buy brand-new Boeings when you know you will have to operate them for 15 years to get your money’s worth out of them. That’s 15 years with Boeing’s foot on your neck and constant threats to cut you off from parts if you don’t behave.

          Like

          1. They all look like they are to be leased, but we don’t know how long for. It looks likes part of their LCC strategy. Pobeda currently has 23 leased 737-800 NGs with an average age of 2.4 years taken in the last four years directly from its parent, Aeroflot.* I assume that they must be much cheaper end of line models considering the MAX is in the process of replacing it (much like the re-engined Airbus NEO models are now replaing the end of line Classics on the production line). Switching up would save Pobeda on model retraining/non-familiarity costs by taking the next model up. Apparently they’ve just started flying to London-Stanstead in the last few weeks.

            * https://www.planespotters.net/airline/Pobeda

            Like

            1. FlightGlobal: Sukhoi studies lower-weight Superjet wing designs
              https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sukhoi-studies-lower-weight-superjet-wing-designs-453423/

              …“Tests have confirmed the benefits,” says the institute.

              Preliminary data point to a near-10% improvement in the aircraft’s fuel efficiency. The wing modifications could be introduced to enhance future Superjet design, the institute adds, although no timeline has been indicated….
              ####

              That’s pretty good!

              Geared fans like the PD-35 are all the rage. Not only is it the basis of the new P&W model, Rolls Royce has adopted a different version of it as the basis for future Ultrafan super high bypass propulsion:

              https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2018-07-16/rolls-royce-ultrafan-design-frozen

              .., Rolls-Royce is targeting a bypass ratio of 15:1, an overall pressure ratio of 70:1, and a 25 percent fuel burn improvement over the first-generation Trent engines…

              Like

          1. Yup, though I’d be wary of the media reporting of aircraft accidents that always points to simple causes. Many are usually due to a chain of events and so far this one looks like poor maintenance along with other factors.

            Not so long ago, there were a few cases of erroneous pitot readings that turned out to be because of flying beasites making nests in the tubes while the aircraft were parked/under maintenance…

            Like

            1. Ooooh!

              FlightGlobal.com: FAA order tells how 737 pilots should arrest ‘runaway stabiliser’
              https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faa-order-tells-how-737-pilots-should-arrest-runawa-453443/

              … But, an analysis by Boeing found that the flight control computer, should it receive faulty readings from one of the angle-of-attack sensors, can cause “repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabiliser”.

              The aircraft might pitch down “in increments lasting up to 10sec”, says the order.

              When that happens, the cockpit might erupt with warnings.

              Those could include continuous control column shaking and low airspeed warnings – but only on one side of the aircraft, says the order.

              The pilots might also receive alerts warning that the computer has detected conflicting airspeed, altitude and angle-of-attack readings. Also, the autopilot might disengage, the FAA says…
              ####

              Similar stuff has happened in the fly-by-wire Airbus family (AF447?). Training only goes so far and even an experienced crew will struggle to figure out what is going on:

              https://hbr.org/2017/09/the-tragic-crash-of-flight-af447-shows-the-unlikely-but-catastrophic-consequences-of-automation

              Like

      1. The last James Bond flick came out in 2015 but the scriptwriters still have to eat and it so happened Agence France Presse had a job opening for creative editing.

        Like

        1. I knew a former Royal Tank Regiment bloke who swore blind that when he was based in Hong Kong he had a Chinese servant or whatever, a Hong Kong version of a dhobi wallah, who was called Fuk Yu.

          Like

  22. Here’s the corruption-conscious UK trying to figure out a way to keep Venezuela’s gold, which it deposited in the Bank of England in good faith and now wants back.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/11/05/uk-danger-helping-venezuelan-oligarchs-line-pockets-mps-warn/amp/

    Of course if the British keep it, it will not be used to ‘line anyone’s pockets’; it will be put to good use for MP’s pensions, or something worthy like that.

    Like

  23. Oh, dear; one of the primary sources used by Transparency International to compile its index is The World Bank. You remember; that outfit once run by American neocon Paul Wolfowitz. He left under a bit of a cloud, after having given his girlfriend a promotion and a big pay raise, which he tried to conceal from the agency’s ethics and legal departments.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=3152373&page=1

    Speaking for myself, I was most gobsmacked by the idea that Paul Wolfowitz could get a girl to sleep with him; so much so that it took a long time to accept it, because he is so repulsively ugly that I could believe a girl who woke up next to him would chew off her own arm so as to get away without waking him. I was soon to learn that I was not alone in my astonishment.

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/world-shocked-that-wolfowitz-has-girlfriend/

    With those vast, soaring ears that make him look like he has a couple of pink shoes stapled to his head, and his undead complexion, Wolfowitz is a flinch-inducing spectacle.

    http://www.chartwellspeakers.com/speaker/paul-wolfowitz/

    Anyway, the World Bank avoids declaring its favourite countries as corrupt by redefining corruption so that practices countries such as the UK regularly follow are not included.

    “The City of London, operating with the help of British overseas territories and crown dependencies, is the world’s leading tax haven, controlling 24% of all offshore financial services. It offers global capital an elaborate secrecy regime, assisting not just tax evaders but also smugglers, sanctions- busters and money-launderers. As the French investigating magistrate Eva Joly has complained, the City “has never transmitted even the smallest piece of usable evidence to a foreign magistrate”. The UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg and Germany are all ranked by Transparency International as among the least corrupt nations in the world. They are also listed by the Tax Justice Network as among the worst secrecy regimes and tax havens. For some reason, though, that doesn’t count.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/18/corruption-rife-britain

    Like

  24. This was the sculpture in the front of the German pavillion at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris.

    Was going to make some snide comment but…. what can you even say to something like this?

    Like

  25. 1937, you say?

    4 years after Hitler had become Reichskanzler and the passing of the Enabling Act, which allowed Hitler to enact laws without Rechstag approval, so the grotesque Third Reich Monument coud have been called: “When Was the Last Time You had an Election?”

    Like

  26. Almost as bad as “Liverpool Resurgent” in “De Pool”, on Lewis’s department store, and affectionally known to the locals as “Nobby Lewis” or “The Cock of th North”.

    The resurgence alludes to the post-WWII rebuilding of the city centre and docks, razed as a result of visits by Hermann Goering’s airborne demolition sqad.

    Like

  27. Another one suffering from Ioffe Syndrome:

    He thinks that the Democrat victory in the mid-tems is one on the nose for VVP.

    I wonder why?

    McFaul, a word in your shell-like ear:

    You are a fucking moron!

    Nobody gives a flying fuck in Russia about your poxy, sham US “democracy”, least of all Владимир Владимирович Путин / Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!

    Like

    1. Poor McFaul, always misunderstood – he went to Russia to bring them the precious gifts of freedom and friendship, but was rudely shown the door. He does not mention that he began agitating for the opposition to replace the government as soon as he arrived. Considering the government at the time was quite popular with the general population, and remains so, that could hardly have been said to be an act of friendship.

      Like

    2. McFail, you ended up Russians’ foe by openly backing the lunatic fringe minority trying to take over the country with full NATzO support. You yap about democracy while trying to deny Russians their right to vote for the candidates they choose.

      Like

  28. And Poroshenko has almost blown them all: he’s introduced a law whereby Russians who illegally enter the Uraine shall be fined:

    The Criminal Code of the country has now listed a new article, No. 332: “Illegal crossing of the state border”. In the article, persons having the nationality of an aggressor state or acting in its interests and who attempt to enter the territory of the Ukraine, bypassing checkpoints or through them, but without proper documents or with invalid ID data, shall be prosecuted and may be imprisoned for up to three years.

    The foul lump of lard is also demanding that representatives of the ROC leave his shithole of an “independent” Banderastan.

    Freedom of worship, anyone?

    His last act, his last fuse to be blown, before he gets fucked off is, I presume, to attack the Crimea in a “liberation”war.

    Like

    1. He’s still trying to please the most vocal but proportionately very small group of nationalists. It will be interesting to see if he remains in Ukraine after he gets his ass kicked in the next elections. If Ukrainians elect Tymoshenko, as they seem determined to do, she is very vindictive and will want Poroshenko taken off the board for self-preservation; she will not want his cronies agitating against her rule.

      Like

      1. You never know: he might fall off a balcony. Such things happen with remarkable frequency to those in Yukieland who have fallen out of favour with the powers that be — whoever they may be.

        Like

      2. No doubt as soon as the voters dump Poroshenko in next year’s elections, the UN will suddenly find a job vacancy that involves a lot of public speaking and constant air travel away from Ukraine.

        Like

  29. I shall have to keep my eyes open for this publication:

    The Ukraine: Russophobia, Repression, Genocide (2014 – 2015)
    Material for a coming tribunal

    Yelena Semyonova

    On May 26, three Gorlovka civilians, including an 11-year-old girl and her father, became victims of the punitive squads.

    11-12 June shelling of the town was carried out almost around the clock. Five civilians died, four children were wounded, one of them went into a coma. Residential buildings, a hospital and a kindergarten were damaged.

    On the same day, the Oktyabrskiy suburb of Donetsk was under fire. Nine people were killed.

    On the same day, Ukrainian artillery fire again fell on Pervomaisk. The firing came from tanks in a residential area. An 83-year-old pensioner died on the spot; two more local residents were wounded. A dead elderly woman had been torn to pieces: a shell had fallen a metre away from her. During the shelling, the pensioner was hurrying home, carrying water.

    Witness testimony

    ” ‘I was standing near the cellar, heard the explosions, went out into the street, and the woman was already dead … They are hammering away at us. What are we? Are we not people? Are we fighting, really? Who are we fighting?’ asks local resident Alexander.

    One of the residents of Pervomaisk, Svetlana, said that she and her family had barely managed to hide. A woman with her son and daughter in law, hearing the shell bursts, ran into the cellar. As a result of the shelling, the summer kitchen, the shed and part of the house were completely destroyed.

    ‘These jackals shelled my yard. I managed to hide, and if had not, I would be lying out there now. What for? What for? What for? ‘ Vladimir, a Pervomaisk resident, repeats sadly.

    One of the shells exploded in the middle of the street between the houses. The blast cut through the four facades of a house. In one of the residential buildings, a woman was wounded in the head by splinters; another pensioner was hit by pieces of metal, she is in intensive care.

    ‘How can you live in fear, not sleep at night, everyone on pills and injections; hungry, not eating anything’, complains one of the residents of the shelled town.

    Judging by the craters that the LifeNews film crew counted, more than ten salvos had been fired at houses in a residential area” …read more

    Like

    1. All the more reason – from the western point of view – that Porky must be successful at overrunning the Donbas and returning it to Ukrainian control. It would never do to have such accounts brought before the UN (if it ever got that far) and it became obvious the west had continued to back him knowing his army was deliberately shelling civilian areas. It would be a stake through the heart of the west’s lighthearted ‘freedom will out’ narrative and all that silly blabber about freedom of choice. If Kiev managed to get the separatist areas back under its control, you could be sure no such whispers would reach anyone’s ears.

      Even now, if the book were ever to be published in English, western ‘analysts’ would be quick to discredit it as a tapestry of lies, and most would believe their account. I would suggest not to look for any truth about Porky’s murderous ATO campaign for about another 10 years, maybe not even until after he’s dead.

      Like

      1. Acosta is a piece of shit like the rest of CNN. Trump’s inadequacies do not elevate vermin at CNN. So this story is all about the thug propagandists at the Crap News Network.

        Like

  30. Putin Sees and Hears it all: How Russia’s Intelligence Agencies Menace The UK

    5th November 2018
    By Dr Andrew Foxall

    A new report from the Henry Jackson Society think tank – endorsed by the former Director-General of MI6 – makes explosive claims about the scale of Russian espionage in the UK. The report is based upon confidential interviews with high-level dissident, defector, and intelligence sources and sets out both banal and brazen examples of what it says is Vladimir Putin’s ongoing menacing of our streets. As well as chilling anecdotes of open interference in our affairs, the report includes unto-now unpublished assessments of the scale of Russian espionage in the British capital.

    Amongst the report’s findings are:

    Russia’s intelligence and security services are as much as 52 times the size of their British equivalents.
    There are up to five times the number of Russian case officers in the UK as there were in 2010. These 200 ‘case officers’ are handling up to 500 agents.
    Out of an estimated population of 150,000 Russian ex-pats living in London, up to half are said to be FSB, GRU, or SVR informants – potentially, some 75,000 assets.
    As many as half of Russian Embassy diplomats are actively engaged in intelligence work, with as many – if not more – said to be working in Russia’s Trade Delegation.
    The UK’s “Warnings Index” – relied upon by Border Control to flag persons of interest, including spies – has proved fatally ineffective at preventing Russian officers from freely entering the country in order to execute hostile operations.

    https://henryjacksonsociety.org/publications/as-many-as-200-russian-case-officers-in-london-handling-up-to-500-agents-and-75000-informants-report-finds/

    Like

    1. Does anyone believe Britain’s frantic screaming any more? That Russia’s intelligence service is 52 times the size of the UK’s? According to Wiki, MI6 had 2,594 employees as of 2016 – that’d be 129,700 agents and administration!! Do they just pick these numbers out of a hat? And obviously the intent of insisting such a high percentage of diplomats and trade attaches are actually spies is to prevent anyone from talking to them. And we are supposed to believe Britain is helpless to prevent their entry?

      Once again, I devoutly hope that post-Brexit, Russia will refuse to sell gas to Britain. Of course they will get it, by buying it from an EU nation, but hopefully that benefactor will charge them a markup that will make their eyes pop. Or else they can be a captive market for Uncle Sugar’s LNG.

      Like

  31. CaspianReport
    Published on 4 Nov 2018

    BAKU – When the government can grant or restrict a reporter’s access to places and people, is even possible to write real stories? What if the authorities provide press releases with photos, phone numbers and descriptions, are such prepackaged stories even objective? What about the news agencies themselves, are they public servants or are they in the business of news since their revenues depend on advertisers? Questions like these sit at the heart of People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East by Joris Luyendijk, as it delivers a compelling narrative of the gap between image and reality in the Middle East.

    Like

  32. Daily Fail: ‘We’re leaving Britain because London is too dangerous’: Family of 21-year-old Romanian who was stabbed to death three weeks after moving to UK return home to escape capital’s epidemic of violence
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6363101/Relatives-London-murder-victim-Romania-think-violent.html

    …The three killers were today jailed for almost 50 years in total. Ukrainian Valdyslav Yakymchuk, 23, who had been in the UK for just two years, admitted murder…
    ####

    My Visit London tagline:

    Love freedom? Love knives? Visit London!

    Like

    1. Incidents like this murder and other murders listed in that Daily Mail article are a consequence of what Fern said earlier in this comments thread: a loss of community feeling in parts of London as a result of the constant property speculation and rise in property prices fuelled by the finance economy that Blatnoi was referring to at the start. This leads to people being forced to rent, eventually to flee when they can’t afford to rent (because rents themselves are being pushed up higher by landlords paying off greater mortgages and loans themselves) and entire communities with long histories disappearing from London. All of these communities then being replaced by immigrants trying to find their niches and failing to do so because of the lack of meaningful work or because the work they manage to get doesn’t pay enough to support the rising cost of living.

      Like

      1. In the hermetically sealed world that is mainstream UK news media, Russians use sneaky methods to get rid of people such as poisoning them, and then cover their tracks in such a way that the UK police are quickly onto their trail. Almost as if they want to be found out but still be able to deny any culpability. And they do the dastardly deed in pairs.

        Of course they’d never put themselves into situations where they despatch the victim directly, get blood on their hands and be unable to shift the blame onto someone else.

        Like

        1. Nor would they use their own passports, rent cars in their own name, rent hotels in their own name and swan about on main streets like tourists in the CCTV capital of the world, and then (attempt to) kill somebody with an agent which would be traced straight back to Russia.

          Like

  33. Moldopress: Moldovan-Russian inter-ministerial political consultations to be held in Moscow this week
    https://www.moldpres.md/en/news/2018/11/06/18009918

    …According to the Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry’s (MAEIE) public diplomacy, strategic communication and media interaction service, Moldova’s delegation will be led by a MAEIE state secretary, Tatiana Molcean, and the Russian one – by state secretary, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Grigory Karasin.

    During consultations, the sides are to consider a wide spectrum of topical subjects of the Moldovan-Russian relations, especially the advancement of the political dialogue, deepening the cooperation in the trade, economic and social sectors, interaction in the cultural and humanitarian fields.

    At a suggestion by the Moldovan side, the participants in the consultations will tackle also problematic subjects of the bilateral relations, including the difficulties faced at travels to Russia by high-ranking Moldovan officials. ..
    ####

    So Moldova has discovered that kissy kissy from the West doesn’t make up for bad Russia ties? What took so long?

    Like

    1. Are they really going to try that again? Last time, Iran demonstrated it can manage without SWIFT, and two Iranian banks successfully sued later, proving they were not a part of any terrorist network and that sanctions against them were unjustified.

      I see SWIFT bowed once again to American pressure – that should enhance confidence in SWIFT. In my crystal ball, I see nations thinking over an alternative system such as Russia and China have, which is immune to Washington’s meddling.

      Washington and the US government are a cancer on the world.

      https://www.rt.com/business/443315-swift-iran-us-sanctions/

      Last week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned SWIFT it could be penalized if it doesn’t cut off financial services to entities and individuals doing business with Iran. However, by complying with Washington, SWIFT now faces the threat of punitive action from Brussels.

      Ha, ha!! Like that will happen. Brussels and Washington are like two peas in a pod, and the most Brussels will do is make some uncomfortable noises as a show of defiance. Washington’s decisions will still stand.

      Like

  34. Murdering vermin continue to mass murder:

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/07/pers-n07.html

    “Kalen • 4 hours ago
    Most appalling for me is position of dancing, on Washington wire, Trudeau, with his skin thick liberalism, touchy feely and phony progressiveness of “burn baby burn and kill baby kill” when he defended Tar Sands disaster and financial fiasco and Canada’s $12 billion deal with Saudi murderers, as excusing himself by lamenting that his hands are being tied by legal international obligation… to support illegal genocidal war in Yemen.

    I remember when in 2016 I was attacked by Canadian leftist and progressives as too harsh in criticizing Trudeau calling, instead of judgment, for more time for him to establish himself as true progressive liberal.

    Time past and what he actually established himself as, after reneging on ALL electoral commitments that had him elected, was dancing clown of Global oligarchy.

    A puny fearful weasel, a pet of Trump, as he was trained in cosmopolitanism and fashionable cocophony of post-truth, post post modernism by his father.”

    puny fearful weasel….fuckin’ A !!!!!

    Like

  35. The Dutch announce the complete shutdown of the Groningen gas field by 2030, deleting domestic production the equivalent of the entire annual output of Nord Stream I operating at full capacity.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ggp-groningen-and-the-iberian-solution-65358?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Natural%20Gas%20World%20-%20Latest%20News&utm_content=Daily%20Natural%20Gas%20World%20-%20Latest%20News+CID_171253cbfdf56abfc9f30e47ebc3eac5&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Groningen%20and%20the%20Iberian%20Solution%20GGP

    The predicament they are in seems slowly to be dawning on the Europeans.

    Gazprom argues that it can come to the rescue with Nord Stream 2. However, on closer examination, the “Nord Stream 2 to the rescue” story does not add up. Gazprom is promising that additional natural gas will reach Western Europe. However, the history of Nord Stream 1 shows that when it was brought online, gas flows via Ukraine fell. In other words, it was just a diversionary gasline. There was in fact no new additional gas supply. Given that Ukraine and Russia are de facto in an armed conflict over the occupied Donbass, it is difficult to believe that Nord Stream 2 is likely to be anything more than a diversionary gasline. By merely switching lines, Russia could undermine Ukrainian finances, which last year made $2 billion from Russian gas transiting via its “Brotherhood” gasline. Therefore it is extremely unlikely that Nord Stream 2 is going to help close the Groningen supply gap.

    Ahem…pardon me; wasn’t it your favourite go-to analyst, Sijbren de Jong, kept getting all kinds of airplay with his nonsense that the existing Nord Stream line was only running at half-capacity, and therefore a second line was not really needed – Europe is awash in gas? Let’s see – I make it that if Nord Stream I was run at full capacity plus a second line added, that will more than make up for the loss of the Groningen field. Of course, that’s not the case, though, is it? Because Nord Stream I was already running flat out, and Sijbren de Jong is a lying turd.

    Instead, both Nord Stream lines running at full capacity will be needed to make up for the loss of Groningen. Europe can keep on taking gas through Ukraine if it wants to, but that should be delivered and paid for at the border of Ukraine and Russia, so that Europe pays the transit fees, plus deals with Ukraine’s occasional tantrums and paddies when it feels it is not making enough money or that it should be given free gas. If that doesn’t sound like a good deal to you, well, then, buy American LNG.

    What goes around comes around, Farquads. How does that feel?

    Like

  36. Meanwhile in Nazis? I see no Nazis!-Ukraine, that awfully nice Parubiy has been mouthing it off over this issue:

    MOSCOW, Nov. 8 – RIA Novosti. The Ukraine has warned Europe against participating in the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andrei Parubiy said at the conference “Lessons of the hybrid decade: what you need to know in order to successfully move forward,” Ukrinform reports.

    “Because we, more than anyone else, know how Russia can use the energy whip in order to corrupt and influence the political elite”, he added.

    In addition, Parubiy proposed that the United States be invited to use the Ukraine gas transmission system (GTS) so as to protect it from Russia.

    “Personally, I am taking the initiative here, whereby the Ukrainian GTS, which is currently the main element of transit, has a shared platform with our American colleagues, so that the energy strategy of Russia to take control of the Ukrainian GTS never be realized in any way”, he explained.

    So what are you waiting for, Uncle Sam? Start pumping money into that economic powerhouse that is the squeakily clean, corruption-free state of Banderastan, and make loadsa lolly there, whilst at the same time poking the Russian Bear in the eye!

    You know it makes sense and is also in your very best interests!

    Let the Liberty Bell ring in the Ukraine!

    Source: Украина предостерегла Европу от участия в проекте “Северный поток — 2”

    Like

    1. What a perfect peach of an idea. Uncle Sam can take over operation of the Ukrainian GTS, and use it to pump gas to Europe from….oh, wait. I see a problem.

      Parubiy fits in so well with the Washington crowd because he is just like them, except for being a Nazi, and I’m not even sure about that – Nazis certainly don’t seem to bother Washington, to the point that they become invisible. But he certainly speaks their language; that of pure self-interest and maudlin victimization. The USA should come to Ukraine and take over security duty on the pipeline…for what? The only thing that makes it more than a worthless pile of rusting scrap is the gas that flows through it, and that belongs to someone else! However, if the US military protected the pipeline, there is a greatly elevated chance for a regional war that could hardly turn out to Ukraine’s disadvantage, at least from Parubiy’s point of view. He apparently believes the Americans could kick the shit out of the Russians without breaking a sweat, and be home in time for lunch. If he’s off by a little, so what? The place is already a wreck, they could hardly make it worse.

      And the cheesy tears over how Russia created the oligarchy in Ukraine!! Dear God, cry me a river!! Yulia Tymoshenko is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg…because the Russians made her that way! The ‘energy whip’ that Russia allegedly ‘uses to corrupt the political elite’ in Ukraine is the opportunity to make money on a staggering scale, and it’s Russia’s fault that weak people take advantage of it! What ill in the world are the Russians NOT responsible for?

      Surely to God you can see that the quickest and most reliable way to stop Russia from corrupting the political elite of Ukraine with the Energy Whip is to remove gas transit through Ukraine?? No energy whip; no corruption! Go on and make it work, Parubiy, there’s a good chap.

      Like

  37. Greetings, Stooges, I was startled this morning to see a pingback on my blog, my name (or call-sign yalensis) was actually mentioned in John Helmer’s new blogpost . Helmer’s piece is quite good and lays bare the purpose of the Putin-Kirill “Sobor” held last week.

    I was flattered that Helmer named me as one of the few dissenters to this creeping ideological coup:
    A search of Russian radio, television, print and internet media has found many endorsements of Putin’s Sobor speech, and one sardonic review in English. The author, an anonymous blogger using the Latin call-sign Yalensis (from Yale University in Connecticut), acknowledges that Kirill’s “forum” had been “founded by the Russian Orthodox Church leadership with the purpose of providing the masses with a new ideology, and a new purpose, other than Communism.” The media search has not found a single published objection to Putin’s identification of the national ideology of Russians with the Church.

    Helmer got one thing wrong, though. My call-sign “yalensis” does not refer to Yale University, that’s just a coincidence. Well, maybe there is a slight connection, as I explained here once before. I picked the nik randomly from some kind of ornithology textbook, but then it made sense because I was already starting to specialize in Navalnyism (at the time), and Navalny of course attended Yale.

    The rest of Helmer’s piece goes on to list the things that Russians themselves actually regard as national symbols, and very few of them pick the Church. Yury Gagarin is still more popular than Jesus Christ – yay!

    Like

    1. I often think that the average Russian’s attitude towards the ROC is much the same as that of the average Englishman (and I stress Englishman) towards the Church of England:

      “Am I a Christian? Well … yes, I suppose so. Yeah, I believe in God. Denomination? C of E. Do I go to church? Nah! No time. it’s boring.”

      My wife was christened into the ROC when she was only a few days old and almost a quarter-century before the end of the USSR, notwithstanding the fact that all her folks were CP members, as indeed she was as an adult: her granddad had even been a Red Guard in Petrograd. He was still alive when she was christened.

      She has some weird ideas about Christianity, though. For one thing, she thinks that the Carpenter from Galilee was a man, who only became God when he died. And he is a different God to that old bloke with the long beard who lives in heaven, who is his father.

      I told her not to tell the priest at our church across the road that this is what she believes, otherwise he’ll start collecting firewood for a big bonfire, and he’ll want to stick her on top of it.

      She still wants a church wedding.

      Old Rasputin across the road tells her were not really married because we got married in a state registry office. And to get married in church, I shall have to be baptized as an ROC Christian.

      I said OK. Anything for a laugh.

      I’ve had a talk with Woden at the grove about this. He says it’s OK by him.

      Waes hael!

      Like

        1. I’m sure Moscow Exile realises what is ahead of him if he consents to being baptised in the Russian Orthodox Church.

          If Woden says it’s OK by him, perhaps his devotee in his sacred grove at the bottom of the dacha outside Moscow has underestimated his deity’s wicked sense of humour.

          Like

              1. I think the full dunking is one reason why in the past some Russian babies were christened a long time after their births. It must have been unthinkable to christen a baby in, say, Yakutsk in January, where in winter temperatures often fall to well below minus 40°C, which just happens to be minus 40°F as well and which is brass monkeys!

                My elder girl Lena was only christened wnen she was 18 months old, which lateness of the event didn’t seem to bother my wife.

                Like

              2. I was envisioning at least a big old wooden tub with iron staves, like a giant washtub. It beats me how they can have the walls covered with all this glittery bric-a-brac and the entire interior reflecting dignity and faith, and then have this blue plastic “Mr. Fish” wading pool as the font. It’s even a Sevylor, which is a subdivision of American company Coleman, and manufactures inflatable boats.

                https://www.sevylor-europe.com/

                Like

                1. The original was probably smashed during the anti-religion frenzy of the Bolsheviks and they still haven’t got round to buying a new one.

                  Here’s a normal font out in the sticks:

                  The font in which my son and younger daughter were dunked in the church near our house is very similar to the one shown below:

                  Like

                1. Who could say no to a boat full of water?? Getting there, but this is more like what I had in mind.

                  https://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=https://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f318d8b6bb3f7564f000023-750.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.businessinsider.com/9-fancy-mansions-with-incredible-bathtubs-2012-2&h=300&w=400&tbnid=L6iZLZ-TD6EntM&tbnh=194&tbnw=259&usg=AI4_-kQRIEgq56GrVFbq2n9PW3dYEBpzVw&vet=1&docid=kBbgM7WZd32zwM

                  Solemn, dignified, solid granite and over a ton. Bit over most church budgets, though, I suspect, at more than $14 million.

                  Like

          1. Oh yeah, I’m well aware that I’m in for a full dunking. It’s the same for for babes; none of this soft-arse Western namby-pamby shite: the little rascals go right under the water surface in a big tub of a baptismal font and do not simply receive a splash of water on their bonces off the priest.

            The ROC does other weird, ritualist things at christenings as well. The priest snips off four locks of hair from the child’s head, which locks symbolize the child’s gift to God in appreciation of his being the recipient of this first sacrament in his life. The priest makes a smalll cross out of the hair, I believe. I think the hair is a symbol of strength — linked with the Samson story in the Old Testament, I reckon — and so the gift of hair symbolizes the child’s promise to God to serve Him with all his strength. And the Orthodox priest annoints the forehead, chest, back, hands, feet, ears, and mouth of the person/baby to be baptized.

            After the dunking, the lucky new member of the ROC is annointed again, after which “chrismation”, he is allowed to don new clothes.

            When the christened baby has his christening gown put on, the poor bugger is, of course, bawling his head off, and the priest says in Church Slavonic: “Clothed is the servant of God (name) with the garment of righteousness, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen”.

            Oh, it really is a laugh a minute at an ROC baptism — and bloody noisy as well. When my elder daughter was christened in a village church (we were living in the country then), there were 5 or 6 other poor little buggers that received the same treatment as she did, and when all was done, it was deafening inside of the place.


            Half-drowning some poor little Russian babe iat an ROC baptism

            Like

      1. I used to work with a fundamentalist Presbyterian guy who referred to the C of E as “second division Papes” – he wasn’t wrong.

        Like

      2. Our daughter was baptized ROC in a wooden church in some little town in the Russian Far East; Kavaliereva, maybe, I’m not sure. It was chosen for its picturesque location and overall solemn ambience. I waited outside as I am not a believer. I guess that’s why; I was told I would not understand the ceremony (I spoke almost no Russian then) and it would be boring for me. As an aside, I can imagine that, since I attended a Ukrainian Orthodox christening here in British Columbia, years ago, and it was interminable and excruciating with all the incomprehensible chanting. I thought it would never end and that it could be used to wring confessions from criminals.

        So yeah, I waited outside, but I felt as if that was for my benefit, and not that I was being excluded, although perhaps that was the case; I’m not sure of the rules. Alina was six months old, and I am told she did not even cry when she was dunked; just spluttered a bit.

        I was baptized Anglican as an infant, and was a faithful attendee at Sunday School when I was a child, but once I hit my teens I never darkened the door of a church of any denomination again except to get married from time to time, and after that to attend the occasional rare Christmas Eve service with my English missus.

        Like

      3. There are labels for what Mrs Moscow Exile believes about the nature of Jesus and his relationship to God and the Holy Ghost, because Christian theologians have been arguing about the nature of the Holy Trinity and of Jesus’ status as a human and as a divine being since Constantine I brought them all together in the one Council at Nicaea in Turkey and told them that since he was making Christianity the new state religion of the Roman empire, they had to sort out what the great unwashed were supposed to believe.

        The belief that Jesus is a separate entity from God and the Holy Spirit is called nontrinitarianism. A whole stack of Protestant Christian denominations and groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) essentially have this belief though the details of it differ from one denomination to the next.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarianism

        The notion that Christ had two separate natures, human and divine, that excluded each other with the human nature coming first, and the divine later, is the essence of Nestorianism. This form of Christianity was resisted and persecuted by Orthodox Christianity in the Middle East but found a foothold in Sassanian Persia, Central Asia and parts of China and India. It probably laid the foundation for conversion to Islam since a human Christ who becomes divine after death is not far from being just one in a line of prophets that culminates in Mohammed.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism

        Like

        1. That’s a subject that has intrigued me for years — not from a theological point of view: it’s the history of the whole con-trick that organized religion is that interests me. I firmly believe the Jewish sect that eventually became the state religion of the Roman Empire was manipulated and changed to suit the benefit of said organization, hence the Emperor being God’s number one agent on earth and the vicar of Rome being the pontifex; the idolatory, the little household statues in niches, icons etc. The main mover of all of this was the Roman citizen and Jew, Paul of Tarsus: his oppenents were the apostles under the leadership of James the Elder, who believed that first and foremost one had to be of the Jewish before one could be a Christian. So it is to Paul that I must show my gratitude for my being the proud possesor of a prepuce!

          🙂

          Like

    2. I am pea-green with envy. You have become a blogger of real note, and entirely on your own merit; well done, Sir. In fairness, I should like to point out that I liked your stuff from the first.

      Like

    3. Helmer:

      According to the Sobor’s website, this one was set up just before the Kremlin launched its military assault on the Russian parliament. “The World Russian National Council (VRNS) has been created in May 1993. The birth of VRNS has taken place during the difficult period of national history when the Russian people were in great need in association.”

      Is Helmer a native English speaker?

      The translation of what is written on the WRNC site should be:

      The world Russian National Council (WRNC) was established in may 1993. The birth of the WRNC was held during a difficult period of national history when the Russian people were in desperate need of unification.

      I am used to Russians not grasping the idea of the English present perfect, but an Australian?

      On second thoughts …

      🙂

      Like

      1. Could be a typo and what Helmer meant to say was “The birth of the WRNC had taken place during the difficult period of national history …”

        🙂

        Like

        1. But even if he had wanted to use the past perfect and his use of present perfect was just a typo, that would have been wrong, because he wasn’t reporting indirectly what had been said, but quoting directly – sequence of tense rules and all that.

          Like

  38. Dejevsky presented a long read in yesterday’s Independent, one of those that appear monthly, it seems, to show that that rag is unbiased in its reporting about matters Russia.

    Her piece is called:

    The Cold War is over: Why can’t the west accept it?
    Four decades ago, Mary Dejevsky spent a year as an exchange student in the Soviet Union. On her return this year, she found much had changed for the better and wonders why western narratives about Russia are still stuck in the past

    It seems she once studied in the USSR where I did: Voronezh, but some 10 years before I arrived there.

    Her article is walled off, but I have managed to enter.

    It begins thus:

    Sure as night follows day, every new presumed Russian atrocity – the Skripal poisoning, for instance – brings the hoary old accusation in its wake. Russia is on a fast track back to the Cold War Soviet Union, or indeed – woe is us – is already there. The claim comes with various adornments: today’s Russia is a totalitarian dictatorship; Vladimir Putin is a latter-day Stalin. Russia’s double objective, so it goes on, is to oppress its own people and divide and conquer the west in the shape of Nato or the European Union.

    Today’s more discerning cold warriors accept that the present ice age is different in many respects from the old. But they still insist that the confrontation of two blocs representing diametrically opposed values systems (open vs closed, altruistic vs selfish, defensive vs aggressive, free vs enslaved, good vs bad) is in essence the same. A bear may smile and wave its paws in the air, but it is still a bear.

    Let me start with an admission. I have never, ever, understood how anyone can reasonably argue this case – if, that is, they have ever experienced both the real Soviet Union and today’s Russia firsthand. Maybe the comparison can be forgiven when made by those born after, say, 1985, whose only knowledge of the USSR comes from an old map or a history textbook or from those who left the Soviet Union and have never been back to Russia. But my indulgence stops there.

    For anyone who has experienced both the old Soviet Union and today’s Russia, the contrast is little short of astonishing. It was brought home to me once again recently when I travelled back to the provincial city where I had spent a year as a British exchange student in the 1970s – the years of Brezhnev’s “stagnation” and the height in many ways of the Cold War.

    Then, unless you held an often precarious position of privilege, daily life was a perpetual struggle. The million-strong central Russian city of Voronezh that I arrived in at the start of the autumn of 1972 was closed in almost every possible way. Outsiders needed permits even to travel there; no flying in (you might see a “secret” object), no rail travel by day for the same reason. Soviet news was a rehash of the day’s Pravda articles; and Pravda and its stable mates were the only “news” source available, unless you were lucky enough to alight on a rare copy of the Morning Star.

    All very true: I was there too, in Voronezh, but from 1989 t0 1990, when the USSR was in its death throes, but not one “Russian expert” acknowledged this fact at that time, though they all do now — with the benefit of hindsight.

    She goes on to describe her return to Voronezh in recent, post-Soviet years and of the unbelievable changes in both the city and society that she witnessed.

    And then she continues:

    Now, it is fair to ask whether I am not placing an undue emphasis on material wellbeing at the expense of the life of the intellect and the soul – which some Russians, especially those we westerners tend to meet – would lament is no longer valued as it was. To which I would respond that a life where the basics of a tolerable existence are lacking, or obtainable only by privilege or corrupt means, is no life. Those needs were not met, and they are now for the vast majority – with knock-on effects for public civility. That does not seem to be backwards in any way, least of all to the Cold War.

    But why, if Russians are infinitely better provided for, better informed and no longer living in fear, is the west so convinced that Vladimir Putin is out to get us, and Russians remain the eternal enemy? …

    Old habits – old Soviet-era habits – it has to be said, die hard; on both sides. But to argue that Russia at the state level, in the shape of Putin or the Kremlin, sees its chief objective as undermining, even destroying, the west, smacks of a dangerously self-reinforcing prejudice and a profound misreading of Russia’s aims.

    And then, as usual, she begins to sing for her supper:

    The west’s charge sheet against Russia is familiar: it was read out again by Theresa May in her 5 September demarche in the House of Commons on the Skripal case. But it barely changes from year to year. According to May, “this chemical weapons attack… was part of a wider pattern of Russian behaviour that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world. They have fomented conflict in the Donbas, illegally annexed Crimea, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and election interference. They were behind a violent attempted coup in Montenegro. And a Russian-made missile, launched from territory held by Russian-backed separatists, brought down MH17.”

    Mostly true?

    Really?

    The violation of “the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and election interference. They were behind a violent attempted coup in Montenegro. And a Russian-made missile, launched from territory held by Russian-backed separatists, brought down MH17”?

    Really?

    And scrolling further down, she continues in like manner, doing her usual thing, namely suck-holing to the owner/s of the rag she works for:

    This is not to let Russia off the hook – even though Kremlin responsibility for either the Skripal or Litvinenko poisonings has not, at least in my mind, been proved (the conclusion of the judge, Sir Robert Owen, in the latter case was no more than that “the FSB operation to kill Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev [then head of the FSB] and also by President Putin”; and that there was “a strong probability” that Andrei Lugovoy poisoned Litvinenko “under the direction of the FSB”). Nor has any Russian “collusion” in Donald Trump’s election, or the Brexit referendum in the UK.

    Nonetheless, Russia waged a brutal war against separatists in Chechnya; it has intimidated its neighbours; it set a dangerous precedent when it annexed Crimea; it is meddling in eastern Ukraine; and Putin is responsible for creating a climate in which some opposition figures, including journalists and politicians, feel threatened. That is wrong; but to regard today’s Russia as gripped by a new Stalinist terror is to sanitise the real horror of Stalinism and to forget how closed Russia was until 1991.

    Is that what you had to write so as to publish the rest, Ms Dejevsky?

    However, she rounds off as follows:

    If the west took more trouble to consider what motivates Russia today – and that includes its eternal quest for security and a craving for respect after what is seen as the humiliation of the Soviet collapse – then much else would fit into place, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia might seem less of a threat.

    Alas, the day when such understanding will dawn still seems a very long way off.

    Is it really so strange that a sovereign state seek to maintain its security? Is that not, after all, the prime purpose of a sovereign state, namely to continue to exist, just as the purpose of life is to live?

    In other words, to quote W.S. Churchill’s repeated ad nauseam aphorism about the Russian “enigma” in full, something which very seldom occurs:

    I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. It cannot be in accordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south eastern Europe, That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia.” — BBC broadcast,
    1st October 1939.

    Or can it really not be against the national interest of Russia that the USA and its satrap states manoeuvre close to Russian national boundaries and that the USAF goes on regular jaunts very close to Russian national airspace?

    Like

    1. Where does she say the litany of charges against Russia, as read out again by Ms. May, is ‘mostly true’?

      And I can’t vouch for conditions in the Soviet Union in the 70’s; I was first in Russia in the late 90’s. Some things then were very different, for sure – you still had a regional residency and travel was monitored. But western analysts make out like travel was restricted as a matter of course. To the best of my experience it was not, and people traveled about at their pleasure. How many people who live in Florida can stay in Coral Gables for longer than the day, shopping? There’s no residency permit to keep you away, but you can’t afford it. If you were from St Petersburg and wanted to stay a week with relatives in Vladivostok, I don’t recall that it was ever a problem. Their refrigerators were tiny by western standards, but so were those in England. I didn’t notice any Russians grumbling about how deprived they were and wishing aloud for westerners to free them from their terrible lives. I thought most of them believed they had things pretty good.

      Like

      1. I lived there, in Voronezh, 7 years after Dejensky had done so. Officially, I wasn’t supposed to travel more than 20 kms distant from my residence in Voronezh. I did: I soon went on very long fishing trips with my new Russian pals. I palled up with the locals very quickly. That was why I was an extremely popular man there. However, my arsehole fellow countrymen, who were 20 years younger than I was then and all, bar 2, were young women from the Home Counties, lived a semi-monastic life because they were scared shitless of the natives because of what the had been told by a foreign office wanker in a briefing they had in Whitehall before setting off for the Evil Empire.

        One of the direst of the Whitehall warnings was never, ever accept an invitation off a Soviet citizen to stop overnight at their residence. Better still, do not even enter such a residence. And the hypocritical bastards strengthened their warning by saying that not only would the foreign guest be under threat of being set up, but the host would suffer dire consequrences as well.

        Well fuck that for a gameo soldiers, thought I. Soon I was shacked up with Natasha No.1 and was sleeping in a proper bed, her widowed mother in the next room.

        Be that as it may, nobody tried to make a scandal out of my extra-mural studies there, and I was shagging the locals for the best part of 10 months. Funny how nobody in the KGB noticed this. And all the neighbours in Natasha No. 1’s block knew of her English friend who slept at her place.

        And Dejensky never mentions the fact that the limititaion of movement that foreigners had imposed upon them also applied to the very few Soviet students who studied in the UK at that time.

        One year after the USSR had ended, I returned to Voronezh. Before that, In 1990, Natasha No. 1 had been my guest in the UK for 6 months. Again, funny how they allowed her out of the Soviet prison of nations.

        .I went back to her in Voronezh in 1993 and was strolling with her along the main drag in the city centre, Prospekt Revolyutsiya, when I heard shouting from across the very wide streeet: someone was waving his arms and shouting my name. he ran across to me. It was one of my old Soviet boozing buddies, an Afghan vet, a former paratrooper. He hugged me and stepping back, beamed at me. then said: “We knew you would come back! Only you would come back!”

        Perhaps his joy on seeing me was what triggered my decision to be where I am now — but with Natasha No. 4 of course!

        🙂

        Like

        1. Is this part of the cunning foreign policy strategy of doing it over there so they don’t do it over here? I take my hat off to you ME, but not my socks!

          Like

    1. “The bloodshed was the latest in what seems to be a never-ending string of mass shootings that are happening with terrifying frequency across the United States.

      It was the nation’s deadliest such attack since 17 students and teachers were killed at a Parkland, Florida, high school nine months ago. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.”

      Like

    2. In the Los Angeles suburb called Thousand Oaks, a former US marine who fought in Afghanistan and who was suffering from PTSD issues opens fire with a handgun and a smoke bomb in a college bar playing country music.

      I don’t think the so-called “Wild Wild West” that inspired a zillion Hollywood movie and TV westerns was ever so wild as the US is now.
      https://listverse.com/2013/02/18/9-crazy-truths-about-the-wild-west/

      As long as the US keeps training and throwing soldiers into more wars around the planet but fails to treat them properly when they break down physically and psychologically, they will keep bringing the wars back home.

      Like

      1. “I don’t think the so-called “Wild Wild West” that inspired a zillion Hollywood movie and TV westerns was ever so wild as the US is now.
        https://listverse.com/2013/02/18/9-crazy-truths-about-the-wild-west/

        19th Century America was a land of mass murder genocide carried out against the NA indigenous peoples:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_Creek_massacre

        and the systematic campaign of terror carried out against the black population:

        https://books.google.com/books?id=0km_frJZALIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

        The sophomoric depiction of 19th Century America given in your link is indeed “crazy” and pathetic.

        The fulminating racist hatred in the bellies of some whites against people(s) of color has ALWAYS been present…..these American psycho white guy murderers of 2018 are nothing new.

        Like

        1. The difference is that the majority of massacres against Native Americans in the territory of the United States in the 19th century were carried out by units of the US army after 1865. The Sand Creek massacre mentioned in the link is one example of such a genocide. Generals like Tecumseh Sherman who fought on the Union side during the Civil War advocated total war against Native Americans and brought scorched earth tactics used against the Confederate side to the Native American cultures in the Plains region.
          https://www.history.com/news/shermans-war-on-native-americans

          While it’s true that black people suffered under slavery in the period before the 1860s, attitudes among white people in the South hardened against black people as a result of the failure of Reconstruction to achieve reconciliation, improve economic conditions for white and black people alike, and prevent people with their own agendas and axes to grind from taking over political legislatures in the South.

          Like

  39. Where does she say the litany of charges against Russia, as read out again by Ms. May, is ‘mostly true’?

    Drat!

    I didn’t put that paragraph in where she says that!

    Here:

    Old habits – old Soviet-era habits – it has to be said, die hard; on both sides. But to argue that Russia at the state level, in the shape of Putin or the Kremlin, sees its chief objective as undermining, even destroying, the west, smacks of a dangerously self-reinforcing prejudice and a profound misreading of Russia’s aims.

    The perceived threat posed by today’s Russia is nothing like that posed by the Soviet Union, where two competing military and ideological blocs faced off and Mutually Assured Destruction was the name of the game

    The west’s charge sheet against Russia is familiar: it was read out again by Theresa May in her 5 September demarche in the House of Commons on the Skripal case. But it barely changes from year to year. According to May, “this chemical weapons attack… was part of a wider pattern of Russian behaviour that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world. They have fomented conflict in the Donbas, illegally annexed Crimea, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and election interference. They were behind a violent attempted coup in Montenegro. And a Russian-made missile, launched from territory held by Russian-backed separatists, brought down MH17.”

    Most of this is true, or almost true. But Russia would have its own post-Cold War charge sheet against the west, which would begin with the expansion of Nato to Russia’s borders, the bombing of its Slavonic brethren in Serbia, the intervention in Iraq and the abuse of a UN Security Council resolution on Libya to topple Gaddafi with similarly anarchic results as the war in Iraq. Russia would also argue that its actions – including the annexation (which it calls “reintegration”) of Crimea – were defensive, not offensive, moves in response to actions by the west.

    Like

    1. They don’t say who the tanker belongs to, only that it is ‘Maltese flagged’. It is a mystery to me how something as agile as a frigate can get rammed by something as slow-moving as a tanker. Unless perhaps it was at anchor or alongside, stopped; apparently the accident occurred at 4:00 AM, in harbour.

      Whatever the case, that ship is toast. She’s probably not badly holed, and could be repaired and pumped out. But they would have to replace every foot of control cables in her; they’re usually braided steel, and it wicks seawater the whole length of the cable. Then you get corrosion and a torrent of electronic problems that never end. We had the same thing happen to HMCS ALGONQUIN while she was alongside in Halifax harbour. They were counter-flooding some tanks, and a valve somewhere was put in backward, or at least that’s my understanding of what happened. Anyway, she took tons of seawater inside, and they had no end of problems with her after that. Somebody established a standard that 10 feet should be cut off every control cable and new cable spliced in, but that was wishful thinking. She continued to serve but was a neverending maintenance nightmare. That happened in the early 90’s, during stability tests – by a miracle of good fortune, she tipped toward the jetty instead of away from it, otherwise she might have capsized.

      Like

    2. Wow, that frigate is right on its side in the water.

      The fable of the race between the rabbit and the tortoise comes to mind, with the alteration being that the tortoise slowly steamrolls into the bounding bunny and the buck-toothed one lands in casualty ward in hospital all wrapped up in plaster while the tortoise scoops first prize.

      Like

  40. DefenseNudes: Dassault withdraws from Canada’s fighter jet competition
    https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/11/07/dassault-withdraws-from-canadas-fighter-jet-competition/

    …Dassault Aviation has withdrawn from Canada’s competition to buy 88 new fighter jets over concerns that interoperability and intelligence sharing requirements were too extensive, according to industry sources….

    …Dassault, however, reviewed the draft request for proposals and determined the Canadian requirements for intelligence data sharing and interoperability, particularly with U.S. forces, would be difficult to meet, sources noted…

    ####

    But but but La Frogland is a fully paid up member of NATO, courtesy of Nik ‘The Tea’ Cozy!

    Clearly the demands were well beyond the pale. Even the ever so supple French were not willing to bend over that far.

    Looks like the beginning of the end for Bombardier as an airframe manufacturer of note:

    FlightGlobal: Bombardier shifts focus away from commercial aircraft
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/bombardier-shifts-focus-away-from-commercial-aircraf-453473/

    …Longview Aviation Capital, an affiliate of British Columbia-based Viking Air, has agreed to purchase the Dash 8 programme, including the Q400, for $300 million. Viking Air in 2016 purchased Bombardier’s CL line of water bombers…
    ####

    On the plus side, VikingAir (also of Canada) is doing great things with the former TwinOtter (-400), new Canadair firefighters (CL-415EAF/515) and now taking on the Dash-8/Q-400 line. They also have AeroGeo as their Russia based servicing center. Meanwhile Embraer’s civil line is not far off becoming 80% Boeing. It’s sad to see the smaller players going this way.

    Like

    1. Which leads to the question, for all the close defense cooperation agreements between the UK poodle and the French, what is there to show ,& if France is unwilling to drop its underpants to win in Canada (to the benefit of the US), then why should they do it for the UK?

      France may be one of the few nations to be able to design and produce a 100% national product, but if it cannot sell in significant numbers, that is irrelevant. Only relatively recently have Rafale sales significantly picked up, but the Franco-German program has the Germans holding the purse strings (just like the EU)! Compromise or is a Gaullist Non! still so deeply ingrained????

      Like

    2. Poor Canada! It wants a new fighter jet, but they’re expensive, and its insistence on technology transfers with the USA for interoperability requirements seems to have given the Europeans cold feet. At the same time, it is crazy to think interoperability with the USA would not be required, considering we share the world’s longest undefended border. So it will talk and talk and try to please everyone, and by and by there will be a massive attention-getting accident with one or more of its ancient Hornets, and the issue will be forced. Then we will probably buy an American fighter, assuming we have sulked long enough for appearance’s sake. But God only knows what it’ll be, because the F-35 is a political non-starter, while the USA has thrown everything behind the F-35 being a broad replacement for pretty much everything they plan to retire. I suppose it’s no use my reiterating that we should buy the PAK-FA T-50, if the Russians would sell it to us: I imagine there might be some interoperability issues there, as well.

      Yes, it’s a shame to see the smaller companies gobbled up by the majors, but eventually everything in the west will be owned by either Boeing or Airbus. Bombardier will remain Canadian, and I think I mentioned once before that affiliated CAE build something like 60% of the commercial-aviation flight simulators in the world. But once you let an industry like that go, it’s gone forever, because it’s too expensive to start up again from scratch; all the talent pool moves on, most to work for the majors in another country, and the machinery requirement is both extensive and expensive. It’s just easier and cheaper to buy your commercial aircraft from one of the majors, and put up with their tantrums and their political leveraging of your vulnerability. You know; the sort of coercion you expect from Putin’s authoritarian Russia.

      Like

  41. Lest we forget, a year ago August, the USS John S. McCain got T-boned in the Malacca Straits by oil tanker Alnic MC two months after a collision between USS Fitzgerald and MV ACX Crystal* , so I checked up to see how the DDG has been doing since (from the same link *) As of April 2018, John S. McCain is undergoing drydock repairs at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. But more recent info tells us that…

    However, a crack developed in McCain’s hull while being transported to Japan on a heavy lift transport. Due to the 4-inch crack amidship on McCain’s starboard side and bad weather from a Typhoon, McCain’s transit to Japan took a detour to the Philippines.

    In December, McCain arrived in Japan to begin an estimated year-long, $223-million repair job to make the ship seaworthy again. This project will be one of the largest to occur at U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center, according to the Navy. **

    $256m is about 12% the price a new Arleigh Burke (est. $1.8b)!

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_John_S._McCain_(DDG-56)

    ** https://news.usni.org/2018/08/21/35947

    Like

  42. Let me share a curious viewpoint…

    “Today we are witnessing the frightening things that political leaders with one-channeled minds can do. What alarms us is their simplicist view of social and political reality. They know only one solution; and this solution is totalitarian and spurious. Their lack of tolerance and fear of dissent reflect their own lack of freedom. One-channeled minds can never comprehend that truth may have many channels.”

    Well — doesn’t everybody say that? Sounds totally unoriginal. Why to bring it up?

    Except that it’s another quote from Allport’s “Becoming”. That was first published in 1955 — and the renewed edition was published in 1983.

    Like

    1. Perhaps that’s because the world – politically – is a lot now like it was in 1955. It underwent brief interludes of flirtation with modernization and what the west likes to call ‘reforms’, but in the last decade Washington has wrenched us all firmly back into the Cold War. And once again, as Mary Dejevsky alluded earlier, the media rhetoric is one-sided and uninformed, little more than a cold-war recitation of Russia’s many crimes and misdemeanors, without any rebuttal, indoctrination of the ignorant and incurious.

      I mentioned before that I acquired a copy of “The Little Toy Dog”, a journalist’s account, from interviews, of the shootdown of an American RB-47 reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of Russia, and the capture and subsequent incarceration of USAF Captains John R. McKone and Freeman B. Olmstead, in the summer of 1960. The descriptions of Russia and the captured flyers’ treatment are awful, and I think you would see some parallels between their treatment by the Russians and the treatment of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib by their American jailers, particularly in the alleged expressions of contempt for their religion. I don’t know anything about what Russia was like as the Soviet Union of the 1960’s, I was a kid then, but it is impossible to reconcile my own experiences in the late 90’s/early 2000’s with the Russia described in the book. Much of it is nothing more than crude sterotypes, and few who have never visited Russia could imagine how frustrating it must be to be a Russian living in Russia and to know that the country is so badly misunderstood.

      That book now is well over $100.00 for a used copy, long out of print. I got it free at the Base Library, from the giveaway cart, along with some other excellent but very old references on the Soviet Union and its military capabilities and alleged intentions.

      I think it would be interesting for you to read. I’ll be in touch by email in a little bit, and if you can give me a mailing address, I’ll send you my copy. Just send it back when you’re finished.

      Much of the American outrage centers on where the US aircraft was when it was shot down. The Americans maintain it was well outside Soviet airspace as defined at the time. The Russians said they tried to ride the American plane out of Soviet airspace and took no action until it failed to respond. Memorandums and notes of telephone conversations released much later show the Americans were much less sure than they let on.

      Like

      1. Mark, thanks for a suggestion — I love nonfiction!

        Thanks for a kind offer too — I could actually give you my mailing address; however there’s also a chance the book might be lost in the process.

        But I buy a lot of books. So, I’ve purchased a copy from Abebooks (which I totally recommend for used books, because you can usually get a better price compared to Amazon).

        I will let you know what I think about the book when I read it. Well — I was born in 1986, so don’t expect much of an insight, too. 😉 That said, judging by the description, the book seems to be mostly about the Russian prison in 1960s, and I don’t expect it to be too much different from 1940s, which was extensively described by Solzhenitsyn.

        Also, the RB-47 incident seems to be less familiar than the famous U-2 incident. Might be interesting to look at!

        That said, the USSR was clearly different from post-Soviet Russia or other countries. The typical mistake made by Western authors today is to presume that the modern Russia is a straightforward continuation of the Soviet Union. So whether or not that account of the Soviet Union was accurate — things have likely changed a lot since that time.

        Like

      2. From your link Mark:

        …Meanwhile, because the RB – 47 flight originated in the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union sent a protest note to the British Government…
        ####

        Perfidious Albatross, makes Russians very cross!

        Yet again, the British state at the forefront of Russophobia. When I was in the UK, there were lots of pubs named ‘The Alma’. Near the Alma river the allied British, French, and Ottoman armies defeated the Russians under Prince Aleksandr Sergeevich Menshikov on 20 September 1854. Who says history is in the past?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alma_River_(Crimea)

        Like

  43. Lutsenko is resigning over the Ukrainian acid-attack death.

    http://amp.idahostatesman.com/news/nation-world/article221190530.html

    I suppose Poroshenko could always refuse to accept it. Or Lutsenko spies something more unpalatable coming over the horizon, and wants out before he gets rolled over. But the least likely conclusion is that he genuinely feels responsible and wants to show that even people at the top must be accountable, like he says is the reason.

    Like

  44. Always looking for ways to up the ante – and perhaps look strong and uncompromising going into an election, although I can’t imagine he realistically thinks he could win, given his cratering ratings – Porky Poroshenko has signed a bill which will criminalize entering Crimea for anyone from Russia, either by flying in or driving there across the new bridge. They could be punished by up to three years in prison.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/europe/ukraine-threatens-russian-visitors-to-crimea-with-prison/2018/11/07/6ff3b0fc-e27c-11e8-ba30-a7ded04d8fac_story.html

    I have a question, please, Miss; how does Porky propose to identify all the Russians crossing into Crimea? Russia is not obligated to provide them with a manifest of airline passengers on domestic flights. And is he going to have someone hover over the bridge in a helicopter and take pictures of every driver and their passengers through the windshield?

    Here’s a tune for you, Porky.

    Like

  45. Apologies for my density, but there was an essential truth about Ukraine’s obligation to raise domestic gas prices to market rates that I was missing. Before, I would just toss off the phrase without grasping an essential element, and that is Ukraine’s domestic consumers must pay for their gas what it costs the government to buy it. Well, I’m sure it is not quite that simple, and the government likely makes a little lolly for its trouble – can’t expect them to work so hard for the country for free, after all. But it’s clear now that so long as the government of Ukraine goes around with its nose in the air and blows an extra $78 Million or so every year on reverse-flowed Russian gas from some EU country at a substantial markup, that comes out of the people’s pockets.

    I just imagined there was some set rate, probably an average or mean, which was ‘market rate’. But if the Ukrainian government makes a bad deal economically because of pride, everybody pays.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-naftogaz-partnership-exclusiv/exclusive-naftogaz-courting-partners-to-develop-ukraine-gas-fields-idUSKCN1ML1ZP

    Fancy that.

    Like

    1. Депутат Рады предложил запретить зиму из-за дорожающего газа
      06:01, 9 ноября 2018

      A Rada Deputy has proposed that winter be prohibitedd because of gas becoming more expensive

      Former Ukraine Minister of Economy, Supreme Rada Deputy Viktor Pinzenyk, has criticized the plans of parliamentarians to ban gas prices for the population. He has written about this in his Facebook.

      “In Parliament there is being drafted another moratorium. This new document will prohibit the raising gas and community utility prices. Do we expect that gas suppliers from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary or other countries, frightened by such a decision, will immediately reduce their prices in order to please Ukrainian politicians? We shall have to wait a long time”, he commented.

      In the Ukraine, on November 1, gas prices for the population were increased by 23.5 percent . This need arose because of the Ukraine debts to its international partners, otherwise the country would default. In total, up to May 2020, Ukrainians will have to raise the price of gas threefold. In the second stage, prices will be increased from May 1 to December 31, 2019; in the third stage, from January 1 to May 1, 2020.

      On November 1, Verkhovna Rada Deputy Alexander Vilkul said that as regards utility bills, the debts of the country’s residents amounts to 38 billion hryvnia (more than 88 billion rubles[$1.3 billion / £1 billion – ME]). “Debts on communal services have increased sevenfold over the past five years. And not because people do not want to pay, or because people are bad, but because people simply have no money”.

      Wonder if Porky can pay his gas bills?

      Or Yulia hers?

      Like

      1. That should have been above:

        Former Ukraine Minister of Economy, Supreme Rada Deputy Viktor Pinzenyk, has criticized the plans of parliamentarians to ban increases in gas prices for the population. He has written about this in his Facebook.

        Бывший министр экономики Украины, депутат Верховной рады Виктор Пинзеник раскритиковал планы парламентариев запретить повышение цен на газ для населения. Об этом он написал в своем Facebook.

        Bloody typo!

        I’m sick of them.

        Must be Alzheimer’s.

        Like

      2. I wonder if the people of Kiev hoarsely cry “Yurrup!!” to one another as they pass on the street – is that ol’ Maidan spirit still alive, looking at the complete hash both the Kiev guv’mint and its western handlers have made of the economy? It’s not going to turn around, boys; no miracle is waiting in the wings. The west expects Ukraine to become a ‘prosperous’ – according to the western concept of the word, which most certainly does allow for the poor and for a middle class that is always on the edge of bankruptcy – satellite of the west with only the minimum assistance of the west in terms of money, while it must sever its trading relationship with its previous largest trading partner. The west does not want or need Ukraine’s goods except in very select instances, and buys a little bit from it only so as to encourage it onward. Essentially, the west just wants to see if this transformation is possible; it has no more idea about how to make it happen than anyone else, but is just hoping that a booming economy will develop from nothing if only you reduce the peoples options to nothing but hard choices.

        But at the very heart of the unexploded bomb that is Ukraine is a basic misunderstanding – the government believes, deep in its heart, that if the west cannot or will not be talked out of more resources and more initiatives, Ukraine can always go back to Russia, and it will be welcomed. All the trash-talk and hostilities and actual violence will be forgiven, and the two can settle into a new relationship which will not be just like the old, but at least polite and businesslike – after all, they are brothers. It’s not the desirable solution, obviously, but it’s always there: Plan B. If it needs gas and can’t pay for it at the crazy rates insisted upon by its handlers, well, Russia will help it out of its travail.

        And I don’t think it will. I would not be surprised to see the west holding a gigantic “Ukraine Aid” charity rock concert in a few years to try and raise money to alleviate the suffering, because the country is going to collapse. Not all the simple-minded bombast in the world, not all of the government’s Canute-like ordering the tide not to flood, is going to prevent that.

        Like

    2. When you look at the yearly breakdown report of your gas bill, the transmission fees are not to be sniffed at. So it is the market price+maintenance of infrastructure+administration costs+anything else they fancy adding on. Fortunately there are online energy comparison sites and it is easy to switch suppliers.

      Over here in U-rope, it’s been the law for quite a few years that only super efficient sealed condenser type heating systems can be installed. As for electric, incandescent is almost phased out and halogen has been given its last rites. The problem is that LEDs are still quite expensive comparatively even though they use a tenth of the power and last much longer.

      Like

    3. Erm, I always assumed “market rates” for gas to mean the rates set by suppliers, based on the interplay of supply and demand, in the market in which a particular buyer – in this context, Ukraine – must buy its gas. This market being the market Ukraine chooses to buy its gas in, subject to a combination of what is possible for Ukraine to do, what Ukraine can afford, and what other constraints limit Ukraine’s ability to choose its supplier/s. You’d assume that Ukraine would try to find and negotiate the best prices for its end users from suppliers based on past purchases and usage, predictions of future usage and the availability and reliability of suppliers. Suppliers themselves would offer long-term plans based on their predictions of supply and their experience with their customers. Then they factor in the costs associated with the extraction, transport and delivery of gas and the cost of the infrastructure required to do all that. There is always haggling involved and predicting future supply and usage may well be more art than science because it depends on the statistical models used to work out past trends in supply and usage and using those to make predictions.

      I suppose also that hedge markets (in which you try to figure what gas prices will be in the future based on future supply trends, and work out long-term [let’s say, five-year] deals to buy gas at the prices you predict, and that way shield yourself and your end users from unexpected price rises in the future – but this also means you lose if future prices drop) exist for natural gas.

      In fact I just did a Google search right now and indeed futures markets for natural gas do exist.

      Like

      1. I think I always believed it was ‘the price Europe pays’, which is the standard the IMF regularly demands be enforced in Ukraine. Of course all of Europe does not pay the same price for gas, so I assumed it was some sort of arbitrary average. I don’t think I grasped that the price Ukraine pays for gas must be directly passed on to the consumer, so that everything comes out even-Steven. And it is that the IMF has long agitated for – that the Ukrainian gas subsidy be done away with. And it made sense; first, you can never dig yourself out of an economic hole if you are paying considerably more for a commodity than the price at which you are selling it. As another consideration, it devalues the product – people are getting it for almost nothing, so they are careless of it and waste it.

        But the gas subsidy was sleight-of-hand designed to compensate the people for a much lower standard of living than is common in Europe. Consequently there was no real reward for crushing increases in gas prices without a commensurate increase in the living standard – who can’t grasp that? The reward is instead deferred; accept penury and hardship now, and perhaps your children will be Europeans and live in prosperity. Perhaps. But the only way to get there is sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice some more. In such circumstances it must be hard indeed to listen to the government’s boastful rhetoric about weaning the country off of cheap gas in favour of terrifically expensive gas – paid for with crippling gas price increases even though the government regularly receives gas money from the EU/IMF – because it dislikes the supplier.

        Like

  46. The car in which the Belgian and British prime ministers were travelling to a WWI memorial service in Mons, Belgium, was rammed by a so far unkown assailant today.

    The Kremlin is, no doubt, believed to have been involved in the incident

    Like

  47. LONDON (Reuters) – Spoof billboards celebrating Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “contribution” to Brexit have been put up in London by a satirical group which says it wants to secure recognition for the role Russian military intelligence played in the referendum.


    A man walks past a billboard poster in London, Britain, November 8, 2018

    Like

    1. Yes, naturally – if you don’t do as your government tells you is the right thing to do, you’re simply playing into Putin’s hands. So do as the government says. This has been a paid political announcement by George Orwell.

      Like

      1. Funny how these self-absorbed f*cks think that Brexit actually matters to Russia. Last time I checked, NATzO is still around so the argument about “divisions” is an utter crock. And the EU has serious financial and management issues associated with grotesque bureaucratic over-reach from Bruxelles. So one could even argue that Brexit helps NATzO.

        Like

      1. Bernhard is very good and usually brings out details either not known, ignored or manipulated (in this case the metadata – though that in itself an easily be bs). I don’t really know what to think of the story and to be honest, I don’t really care. It’s irrelevant.

        SocialMedia may be used to stoke vapid outrage in the West, but it rarely has any effect apart from against panicking people and organizations who are incapable or unwilling of holding their own.

        Still, it is interesting to see the time, energy and money still being spent on such peripheral games that make no difference rather than expending actual blood, sweat and tears on the ground. Shirking violets (violence?). I guess what it does show is that such shrill vapidness comfortably segues from all the West’s easy victories throughout the 1990s and early 2000s such as the myth of Victory comes easily From the Air. They can prance about and do exercises with each other off Norway, but they’d be morons not to understand that they’d be little more than dog meat if they had to do it for real against Russia, but putting on a performance is what it is all about. For the audiences back home.

        Like

        1. I must admit I thought this Proud Bear business was pretty funny until the possibility that Proud Bear were actually serious about pushing for a Mueller-type investigation into the funding of the Brexit referendum to expose supposed Russian infiltration and influence dawned on me and then I sobered up. These Proud Bear activists are asking for crowdfunding as well and people are actually making contributions. I would not be surprised if Proud Bear turn out to have a connection with the same mob behind Bellingcrap, Crowdstrike and the Atlantic Council.

          Like

  48. Tass: Meduza news chief editor steps down amid sexual harassment accusations
    http://tass.com/society/1030146

    van Kolpakov, Editor-in-Chief of the Meduza Russian-language news website, has announced that he is leaving his post following accusations against him coming from a co-worker’s wife

    …According to the news website, the reason behind his move was Kolpakov’s inappropriate behavior towards one of the guests at a staff party. He was dismissed for the period of the probe into the incident. On November 6, Meduza reported that a decision had been made to let Kolpakov stay in office….

    …Kolpakov said that he categorically denied the sexual harassment accusations. “However, I found myself in a situation where it is impossible and pointless to defend myself,” he added….
    ####

    So it was not considered a hanging offense and he still went? Pushed out by Meduza backers? I hope this becomes even more poisonous!

    Like

    1. Although I despise Meduza and everything they stand for, I feel for him. He may well be guilty, he may not, but I totally understand the reality of being ‘in a situation where it is impossible and pointless to defend oneself’ in today’s climate of pitchforks and torches.

      Like

      1. This story has been one of the main subjects on the Russian blogosphere/telegram community. Before more of you feel for him, I will add some details since I find the Tass recap (“inappropriate behavior”, “he denied the sexual harassment accusation”) too blurry in facts in a way that ends up in Kolpakov’s favor .

        A factual recap of what went down. The man in the story is Meduza Chief editor. At an office party, he groped the wife of one of his employees. He grabbed her ass telling her “You are the only one here I can harass without anything happening to me” . Later at home, the wife told her husband, who reported it at work. Kolpakov issued an apology to the employee and his wife, but besides that and as he predicted, nothing at all happened to him despite the employee’s formal complaint. For even more justice, the employee who complained (i.e. the husband whose wife was groped) lost his job. Meduza’s CEO explained it on her facebook post as: “I discussed with the employee and I offered him three options: To continue working, to leave the job on mutual agreement with a compensation, or to quit. He chose the third option. I have nothing more to say”. First of all, duh! The three “options” she generously offered him are what any employee anywhere can do (continue to work or not continue to work, either by quitting or by leaving on mutually agreed terms). It makes no sense to randomly list these options to him unless the context is essentially threatening the employee. She presented it as “we offered him”, but common sense and logic says that the discussion that went down was more along the lines of ” we are not taking any actions against Kolpakov, so either you move on and stop talking about this or you leave”. The man chose to quit. Meduza CEO made it clear in her post that she had no sympathy for the husband at all and that she thought he was being difficult for no reason, or on purpose to discredit Meduza. Tass says Kolpakov denies the harassment charges, without clarifying a point: He did not deny groping his employee’s wife ass, he denied it constitutes harassment. This glosses over the fact that he told her he could harass her with impunity since he was her husband’s boss. This glosses over the fact that the abuse of position goes more than her fearing her husband may lose his job and salary: reports say the couple’s Schengen Visa (Meduza’s offices are in Latvia) is a work visa and dependent on the husband’s job, so they lose the permit to stay if he loses his position.

        When you know that he took advantage of his position to grope the woman and actually followed through both with nothing happening to him and having the employee quit, the fact that Meduza’s board and Kolpakov manage to present this story under the light “I am the persecuted victim of ruthless pitchforks and it is just pointless to defend myself so I step down” is quite the bold move.

        Like

        1. Too bad there is no editing function on WordPress! Just to add to my previous comment, any other Russian media outlet could claim they are not aware of this new-wave sexual harassment #metoo thing, that groping a woman’s ass is no big deal and just harmless fun, that a mountain is being made of a molehill, etc, except the progressive and liberal Meduza had its own set of torches and pitchforks all set in March of this year, being one of the fiercest advocates for the firing of Leonid Slutsky, a Russian deputy who has been accused of attempting to grope and kiss two journalists against their will. I don’t know if attempting means he didn’t succeed (which Meduza’s Chief Editor did) or if it is just phrasing, anyway Meduza published an editorial stating this: “Leonid Slutsky has worked in the Russian parliament since 1999 (…) His behavior shows that he thinks he enjoys complete impunity, (…) he doesn’t care, because he’s certain there will be no consequences. The term “harassment” doesn’t even exist in Russian law.(..) We know, which means they also know, that Slutsky doesn’t even recognize these allegations, ridiculing his accusers and refusing to apologize. We know, which means the Sate Duma also know, that Slutsky will continue to harass women again and again, if he keeps his seat and faces no consequences. And it won’t only be Slutsky. And we know, which means the State Duma also knows, that Leonid Slutsky must step down on his own or be forced to resign.” This apparent hypocrisy from Meduza is one more reason why the Kolpakov story was widely reported.

          Like

          1. Then the revulsion toward him is entirely justified. However, I stand by my original statement; just about the worst thing you can be in the developed world today is a straight white male. I’m certainly not arguing that he should get a pass for his disgraceful behavior – in fact, it is exactly the sort of behavior that is used as justification for the ongoing persecution of men and the feminization of the workplace.

            If you are a straight white male who has never harassed anyone and you complain about baseless harassment allegations and hysteria about MeToo and all that, you get, “Oh, you poor muffin! Now you know what women have felt like for hundreds of years!”

            I see. So the proper way to address a longstanding prejudice is to flip it and then enjoy the fuck out of being on top.

            Kolpakov should get his ass handed to him, and I hope the evidence of his owning this is widely published, if there is evidence, so everyone will know he deserves what he’s getting. I just didn’t want to assume he deserves it because I loathe Meduza and their preachy moralizing.

            Like

            1. I understand your general point about straight white males now being frequent targets, but I think that is restricted to the US and maybe UK/Canada, not even EU (and maybe you don’t count Russia as a developed country). In Russia by far men are white anyway and women are feminists while also being feminine, so in Russia’s case, “just about the worst thing you can be is a straight white male” misses by a mile.

              Like

              1. There has been a case here in Sydney in which the actor Geoffrey Rush is suing The Daily Telegraph (Murdoch-owned newspaper, no relation to London’s Daily Telegraph) for defamation for claiming that he groped an actress during a past Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear. The lawyers for both the plaintiff and defendant have already cross-examined witnesses. The newspaper has behaved quite strangely (and in my view, despicably) during the whole affair starting when it first made its allegations. The trial has finished and the judge is yet to make his decision.
                https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/08/daily-telegraph-articles-on-geoffrey-rush-irresponsible-journalism-court-told

                Even if the judge finds in Rush’s favour and awards him millions in damages against the newspaper, Rush’s career is damaged as Hollywood will not dare touch him with this case staining his reputation. The newspaper is likely to continue hounding him by making more insinuations about his past conduct. The actress who played Cordelia in the production may also never be able to work again as her identity is now public. I do not know who leaked the information of the actress’s complaint to the STC about what Rush supposedly did to her while he carried her and held her during the play’s last act (in which Lear brings the body of his beloved youngest daughter onto the stage after she has been hanged by their enemies, and himself dies from grief) to the newspaper. That person is likely to get off scot-free.

                Like

        2. I should think the real issue is Meduza’s own hypocrisy in its claim of supporting “liberal” and “progressive” values while condoning bullying and harassment among its own staff. The groping incident may have been the initial incident and should have stayed that way had the Meduza CEO supported the victim’s husband when he made the complaint against Kolpakov. Instead she bullies the husband into making a choice between staying in his job and putting up with continued humiliation, and leaving the company and facing deportation from Latvia. Kolpakov not only gets away with the incident but will be emboldened to prey on female employees and male employees’ wives and girlfriends.

          If the rest of Meduza’s employees aren’t downing tools, walking out on strike in protest at the CEO’s actions in condoning Kolpakov’s behaviour, and demanding that Kolpakov either should be sacked or arrested, there’s something very wrong with them.

          Like

            1. And good riddance to him! This incident proves the point I was making a few weeks back, namely, that people who complain about sexual harassment (whether men or women) are treated like whistleblowers and frequently suffer the pangs of retribution. In capitalist institutions, power is centered in management, who generally can do whatever they please (most of the time). The top bosses may not feel comfortable that their underling managers are pigs, but they usually cannot find it within them to take the Peon’s side against the Lord.
              In the Kolpakov case, publicity helped bring about some (rare) justice.

              Like

          1. Yes, I would entirely agree with that, providing – as always, when there is an assumption that wrongdoing has taken place – there is supporting evidence. There seems to be acknowledgement from the Meduza CEO that there is. We do not want to get into a situation in which we must believe an accuser because of their gender.

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            1. Given everything the accusers had to lose (and lost) and the absence of anything they would gain, I don’t see why they would have invented this accusation.

              Like

              1. As well, the behaviour of the editor supports their version. It seems unlikely he would have left the position without a fight. The forgotten component in all of this is the CEO, who appeared to support him despite having the whole of the story, or as much as was revealed, as well as presenting the husband who brought the complaint with quitting as an option. It seems likely she will go unpunished.

                Like

                1. The CEO is his friend and completely supports him. As a response to what he did, she posted “who can look at themselves in the mirror and say that they have never made mistakes in their life, did not commit nasty actions or stupid things”. So handy, I’m using this as an argument for every future bad thing I commit in my life.

                  Like

                2. It’s okay to make a mistake where there is no guidance and there are no apparent rules – how are you supposed to know? But in situations like the one described in which the subject is openly advertising his power over subordinates and his intention to abuse it, along with the several decades of education we have had worldwide on workplace behaviour, there can be no excuse. Therefore, not only should the editor be punished, so should the CEO. Especially given her unrepentance and her attempts to justify his behaviour.

                  Like

                3. It’s such a typical story, and jibes with everything that I have ever learned, or encountered, during my life in the highly caste-based American workplace. Several weeks back I commented about my friend X and her encounters with a sexual predator who attempted to break up her marriage — this guy used to be an ordinary programmer (not a very good one), then was promoted out of the pool, first into a Lead, and then being groomed for a management position. After he became her (and my) boss, a bunch of us had to leave and find other jobs. Thank god we are programmers and jobs are easy to find. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I were in a more limited career, like a reporter or TV personality!

                  Anyhow, once this guy knew that he was being groomed for management, he used to strut around and brag that he could harass people as he pleased. And so he could. With impunity. In the lunchroom, in the conference room, in the hallway…

                  This guy was old friends and clique-mates with the Human Resources gal whose job it was to hear sexual harassment complaints. This was also a typical scenario, that a man who harasses some women, also typically has female friends or followers who take his side and testify on his behalf. ALT-Righties and other insecure males believe that all women support each other, like a hive of queen bees, but this isn’t true at all. Women very rarely support each other. This fact aids harassers and helps to muddy the waters, because HR can always fall back on, “Well, there are women who say he is a perfect gentleman.”
                  I have seen the other side of that coin, too, in which a powerful female boss has male followers or underlings who back her against her victims, which include less powerful males.

                  I’ve said it before 100 times: It’s not about race or gender, it’s all about the privileges of management vs ordinary workers. Once a person, male or female, is promoted into management, then they are pretty much free to do whatever they want, to whomever they want. The people who are abused by them, always have the option of leaving, of finding another job. That’s something at least, but it’s not comforting to those in professions where jobs are scarce.

                  Like

            2. The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre is with Ivan Kopaklkov
              24 February, 2016
              At the Yeltsin Centre in Ekaterinburg, Ivan Kolpakov, the editior-in0chief of one the most popular mas media sites Meduza conducts a master class “Fundamentals of Modern Journalism”.

              I spy a typical product of post-Soviet Russia, someone too young to remember the USSR or the heady days of the ’90s, when there was loadsa lolly to be made before the present Putin regime kicked off and spoilt everything for such arseholes.

              Kopalkov was born in 1993 — and you can tell!


              I wanna be free from this tyrannical rule that reigns supreme in the gas station with missiles that masquerades as a state!!

              He’s another one of them Sontarans!

              Like

              1. What a laugh!

                Fundamentals of modern journalism?

                Open a funded by Washington foreign-language (in this case: Russian) web site in a foreign state (in this case: Latvia), and target the state whose language you publish your site in (in this case: Russia) for relentless criticism, which criticism is directed by agencies of that state that finances your site (in this case: the USA).

                Like

                1. if I get Russian citizenship, I’ll stand for president and my ticket will be: Destroy the Yeltsin Centre!!!

                  What a nest of vipers it is!

                  The place is an abomination! It mocks all those who suffered and died as a result of that drunken bastard’s regime. And some that cnut’s acolytes are still in power, most notably Chubais.

                  Like

  49. This is the same scumbag MSM that put out the sped-up Grdelica bridge bombing video from 1999 without any questions. Poor little NATzO pilots “inadvertently” bombed a passenger train because it was going to fast. NATzO propagandists are banking on the audience having an IQ under 50.

    Like

    1. Yeah, but. It looks pretty plain to me that he already had his arm up and was pointing or something to emphasize what he was saying. The staffer sort of stepped into his arms, trying to get the microphone back. He resisted to the extent that he didn’t give it to her, but there is nothing to this comical statement that he ‘put his hands on a woman’. He didn’t grab or push her, he didn’t even close his hand.

      Acosta is a toad, but he didn’t do anything wrong here. If the rules now are when a woman approaches you, put whatever you’re holding on the ground and step back or you’re going to jail, all of law enforcement would be women. Trump is used to press conferences where he does all the talking, endows everything he thinks he has done with superlatives like ‘the greatest XXXX in the world’, and everyone else just listens respectfully. They’re just looking for an excuse to move Acosta along because Trump doesn’t like being questioned.

      Like

      1. This is the type of accosting that Trump specializes in …

        On the other hand, I don’t think even he would grab that old ratbag May’s crotch in the way that he has boasted of doing with other women.

        Like

      2. Acosta must have had self-defense training, because that block he uses against the staffer is a classic chop-block, from what I understand. It’s a defensive move: He was trying to keep hold of the mic!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Really? It looks to me as if he’s trying to get his arm free, but can’t do it because the woman has her arms entangled with his, trying to get the microphone away from him. I didn’t see any ‘chopping’ motion, and his fingers remain apart and relaxed throughout. If it was a ‘classic chop block’, he must be pretty weak. And of course he was trying to keep hold of the microphone; he hadn’t finished speaking, and the only quality that dictated he should stop asking questions was that it was making Trump angry. Is it too much to expect that he answer the question he was asked?

          It may have been rude of Acosta to pre-empt the conference for his own purposes, but in those circumstances it might have been wiser of Trump to offer him the chance of an interview on the subject afterward, so they could move things along. It’s difficult to argue with a zealot because they are always sure they know everything and their attitude can make it appear they do, but Trump would have been better prepared to deal with the issue if he had some time to focus on that and nothing else, as Acosta plainly wanted him to do.

          Like

          1. Surely by now DJT and the White House admin staff know what sort of reporter Jim Acosta is and the kinds of questions he asks Trump? Acosta would ask his question only after the President invites him to do so. They’ve surely had other clashes in the past. Is there a possibility Acosta was set up by the WH staff so that he would be denied permission to attend future WH press conferences?

            Like

            1. Entirely possible, although I don’t think the female staffer was part of any such effort; her actions seem genuine. I think they’re just looking for an excuse. But it is all elementary, because Acosta is equally a wretch, and there are no heroes in this exchange.

              Like

              1. After watching the vid several times, I actually think the Trump female staffer behaved appropriately and is beyond reproach. She only tried to grab the mic when issued a direct order to do so, by the Commander in Chief!
                When Acosta resisted her (with what I still maintain was a reflexive defensive chop to block her arm), she immediately retreated and sat down. This was also a correct move, based on the kung fu philosophy and intended to de-escalate the conflict via retreat. (Her only other option being to get into a violent cat-fight with Acosta, as they sparred for the mic!)

                Like

                1. P.S. – I do think it is hilarious that the ALT-Righties like Infowars are taking the side of a woman against a white male! What happened to the oppression of white males?
                  I reckon it all depends whose ox is being gored.

                  Like

      3. Acosta is engaged in trumpeting the CNN agenda and not engaging in legitimate questions at these news conferences.

        My issue is with the whole “doctored video” propaganda spew from the MSM. Acosta is not really the issue. The MSM uses doctored video when it suits its own agenda and then screeches about doctored video when that video contradicts its agenda.

        Like

        1. PS. I have seen several time where the NATzO MSM has accused Russia and others of faking videos. This sort of technology does not exist. CGI is just not good enough no matter how realistic it looks. The only faking that can be done is creative cutting and pasting. But the accusations were literally claiming full forgery.

          Like

          1. Well, there are faked videos in which what is taking place looks real, but is actually being performed by actors pretending to be injured, dead or distraught when they are actually just playing a part, covered with dust and fake blood. Because that’s the essence of White Helmets video clips, and those are not CGI fakes, they’re deliberately enacted performances.

            Note that you never see the actual explosion that caused the damage in White Helmets videos; you see the aftermath – rubble, dust-caked children being carried from the disaster by clean men.

            Like

    1. 1) Apparently the discovery of almost 7000 dead civilians in just 2% of Raqqa (which was razed to the ground by US bombing) is not newsworthy in the west.

      2) Zakharova is referring to the level of US politicians and not to their “positions”. She is dissing them hard.

      3) As I have said numerous times, US propagandists are assuming that people are retards and will lap up some BS like that ridiculous map showing or purporting to show that NATzO is not a threat to Russia.

      Like

  50. Straight white working class males often seem to despised in the UK by the chattering classes. The parliamentary British Labour Party in paticular loathes them because they are, by definition, all white, racist, sexist pigs — and white, working class boys in the UK have long been identified as amongst the worst underachievers.

    The white working class. It’s a phrase that has become so commonplace that few recognise the sheer oddness, and indeed odiousness, of the concept. It denotes both pity and contempt. On the one hand, it is a description of the “left behind”, sections of the population that have lost out through globalisation and deindustrialisation. On the other, it is shorthand for the uneducated and the bigoted, people who support Donald Trump or Brexit, and are hostile to immigration and foreigners.

    The discussion reveals how differently we imagine white and non-white populations. Whites are seen as divided by class, non-whites as belonging to classless communities. It’s a perspective that ignores social divisions within minority groups while also racialising class distinctions.source

    Brexit appealed to white working-class men who feel society no longer values them —LSE.

    What about white, working class women then?

    Labour: ‘Tackling sex and race discrimination has left white working-class boys’ results behind’

    Like

    1. The above should have been “up there”, in reply to this, below, from Nat:

      I understand your general point about straight white males now being frequent targets, but I think that is restricted to the US and maybe UK/Canada, not even EU (and maybe you don’t count Russia as a developed country). In Russia by far men are white anyway and women are feminists while also being feminine, so in Russia’s case, “just about the worst thing you can be is a straight white male” misses by a mile.

      And the multicultis’ opinions notwithstanding, only 6% of the population in th UK is made up of immigrants , 59% of whom now being Poles.

      The vast majority of immigrants are in London, which gives a skewed image of the demography of the UK. My hometown in the northwest of England was, according to the last census, 98.8% “white British”. It was also classed as the most Christian town in England, in that 98% of its residents identified themselves as Christians.

      I once pointed these statistics out to a fellow-countrywoman, who is middle-class, well educated and hails from the leafy suburbs of London. She said my hometown was 98.8% “white British” because its inhabitants are racists and whose hostility deters immigrants from settling there.

      Like

      1. Even in the U.S., the “white men” meme misses the mark. On the one hand, sometimes, black males (like Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, etc.) find they are not given a pass any more, when it comes to harassing women. On the other hand, retribution is rare, somewhat randomized, and the American workplace continues to be a cesspool of employee harassment. Very few people (of any skin color) ever pay a price for abusing their underlings.
        Those ALT-Righties who cry about the alleged oppression of “white men” should be handed a tissue, and laughed out of the room.

        Like

          1. I would never put you in the alt-right category Mark, it’s just that some of your statements are a little overblown and probably a reaction to the stories that have been on the news lately. I mean, come on, really you think that straight white men have it the WORST? Or that there is an ongoing persecution of men and a feminization of the workplace” Both are overdoing it. There are some stories that are appearing on the news cycle, and because the subject is trendy and public, the bosses involved (more often than not, white men, but not always) are dealt with in a certain manner, justly or unjustly. However there are much more non-publicized stories where the outcome is very different and systematically in favor of the boss (white, black, man, woman, straight, etc.). There is no persecution going on. There are some public stories who get publicity because the people involved are famous, but for everyone else having a regular job, issues of harassment are routinely swept under the rug.

            Like

            1. Yes, it’s quite possible that I’m just overreacting to current news stories which make me angry. However, I’m not kidding that it erodes support significantly for ‘women’s issues’ when the most visible group advocating is a bunch of bitchy activists swaggering about and saying men are this and men are that.

              And I think there are more stories than you’re aware of which are featured in local news that do not go international, regarding men who were forced to leave their jobs because of accusations by women. In many cases the men involved have publicly apologized, so there must have been a real issue, but also in many of those cases the actual behaviour which was the subject of the complaint seems to have been well short of what you could reasonably call ‘harassment’ and more like a clumsy overture that could have been stopped dead in its tracks by a “not interested, thanks”.

              Anyway, as I said, it’s a very complicated subject, and just seems to get people’s backs up with no real resolution anywhere in sight. Sexual dynamics are always going to be part of every situation in which men and women who are not married to one another work together. More women in the workplace, a regular topic of advocacy, is going to mean more friction and not less, so we should be prepared for that. The core of my grievance is that the solution is adamantly not to adopt the attitude of the previous transgressors – whatever is happening to you, you deserve it.

              Like

            2. You are engaging in smear logic. Existence of workplace harassment does not validate claims by minority racists (and their white enablers) that I am a racist because I am white. In fact, I am a Slav and the western whites that compose American whites treat Slavs like “white n*ggers” and that was explicit in the ideology of the Nazis. There was a lot of sympathy in the US for Nazi ideology and that was natural since eugenics originated in the USA.

              Lumping all “whites” into a single category is racist. Claiming that anyone in this BS category is racist and daily living off of oppression and discrimination against blacks and other minorities in NATzO is grotesque blood libel. If you clowns are going to go down this road, then admit that it is the parasitism of the whole planet by NATzO that is resulting in trickle down gain for NATzO residents. But that trickle down is benefiting the repressed minorities as well. As is evidenced by difference in the standard of living (including social support by the sate) of blacks in Haiti and Africa.

              Like

              1. I am doing nothing of the sort, and I never said you are a racist, or that all white people are. What I am trying to get across is that our opinion of race relations – yours and mine – does not matter much to black people because we are not in any position to advance their social condition. It seems clear to me – as demonstrated by evidence – that American employers discriminate against black job applicants because they do. Our solidarity with black people is essentially meaningless unless some new fairness doctrine – other than affirmative action, which we agree doesn’t work – comes to a vote, when we might support it. And it is already illegal to discriminate against job applicants because of their colour. But employers can say “I didn’t hire him because he didn’t have any experience”, or any one of a hundred reasons other than that he was black. Maybe they think that’s the truth. But the research demonstrated that employers – in America; I’m not sure how relevant it is in Canada, where blacks make up only about 2.5% of the population – make hiring decisions that cannot be based on anything other than colour, because everything else about the applicants was exactly the same; same education, same resume, same overall appearance other than colour.

                Similarly, the research demonstrated that whites in America (again, the effect is certainly less in Canada, although it probably exists) benefited from prejudice against blacks, because they did. More than twice as many white applicants were offered jobs, although there was no difference in the quality of the applicants other than their colour. Assuming people of both ethnicities want jobs, then clearly the white side does benefit. It’s not anything we do consciously – what are we going to do; not apply for jobs? Say, “No – give that job to a black person”? I have no doubt you believe the only qualification should be who is right for the job, and that it should have nothing to do with a person’s colour, as I also believe. But we have no control over it at all, because we are not business owners or government hiring honchos.

                You’re not a racist. Neither am I. And I’m not sure what else can be done to address racism that demonstrably does exist. It’s not fair, but it’s there, you might say. And it is already against the law to discriminate on the basis of colour, as well as a host of other qualities. Affirmative Action plainly was a desperate attempt to address an inequity which cannot be legislated against, because nobody can prove any employer gave a black applicant a pass because of their colour, unless he or she is dumb enough to say so when they don’t have to explain their decision.

                Like

    2. Whites are the indigenous majority. Since when do immigrant rights trump their rights? If the immigrants are not happy, then they are free to bugger on off to wherever they came from. Since they stay, the implicitly sign a waver to abide.

      I have lot of sympathy for the plight of US blacks in the US apartheid period extending to the 1960s (and still existing de facto), but racism and system abuse of minorities does not give those minorities the right to abuse the majority. And the vast majority of whites are not in the driver’s seat when it comes to regime policies of repression and segregation. Whites were agitated by the elites against blacks in the USA. In the case of the UK the abuse level was lower since there was no post-slavery official apartheid. And the issue is mostly with South Asian immigrants. So we are not dealing with slavery like in the case of the USA.

      PC totalitarians are manifestly lunatics.

      Like

    3. That’s more a class distinction, though, and what I am talking about is a gender distinction which is being driven by political correctness. All a female employee needs do these days is testify that the boss groped her or made obvious sexual advances to her, and he will more often than not be forced to step down even if he denies it and it is just her word against his, with no witnesses. We have entered a climate of politically-correct hysteria in which everyone wants to be seen as good to the marrow of their bones, although as Nat suggests, this may be confined to North America. Women have gone from being undervalued – which they definitely were, for years – to being overvalued to the point the company will let a highly-qualified administrator with decades of experience go on the word of a low-level clerk if the former is a man and the latter a woman. Sexual politics sometimes work against the ladies as well, although harassment actions by men against women are extremely rare and the women in such cases seem to be allowed a great deal more leeway to tell their stories, whether or not they are believed.

      It’s a very, very complicated subject, and one likely to arouse tempers on both sides. As in the Kavanaugh case so recently concluded – one in which there were no good outcomes – the woman’s recollections of the incident were so foggy and contradictory that it is difficult to imagine someone being convicted of having stolen a candy bar on such evidence, never mind having their career cut short, yet women everywhere screamed she must be believed without question; to do so was a slap in the face to ‘healing’.

      Then, too, there’s the awkwardness it has brought to the most mundane relations between men and women – men now feel they have to be studiously cold and detached, lest they be construed as trying to be intimate, trying to get laid. As some literature points out, the ‘No means no’ is not as simple as it sounds, since ‘consent’ has never been interpreted to mean men must ask if a woman would like to have sex as if they were asking if she would like a cup of coffee. It’s a little difficult to imagine a steamy romantic coupling after that.

      “Enabling some of this murkiness is a long-standing cultural trope that sex is hotter in silence. Our romantic comedies, erotic thrillers, songs, and literature are steeped in the idea that explicitly asking someone what she wants—whether she wants—will mean sacrificing the mystery, the seductiveness, the sexiness of sex. Others maintain that such transparency simply isn’t feasible. Laura Kipnis, a Northwestern University cultural theorist, makes the argument in her 2017 book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, that attempts to stamp out all unwanted sexual experiences from young women’s lives are doomed to fail because women “are often experimenting to find out what they do and don’t want or like.” (The 2015 essay on which the book is based sparked student protests after its publication.) Students’ sexual experiences are awkward, full of fumblings, ambivalent motivations, and unequal power dynamics, she writes; people don’t know whether they want sex or not, and they may change their minds about it afterwards. As a result, she argues, “this makes anyone who’s ever had sex a potential rapist.”

      https://thewalrus.ca/what-consent-means-in-the-age-of-metoo/

      Before we go any further with this discussion, the actions of the Meduza editor or whatever he was, if they took place as described, are reprehensible and his firing is completely justified. I don’t want the discussion to make it appear I am defending him. What I object to in what I described as the current climate of torches and pitchforks is the assumption that whenever a man is accused by a woman, she must be believed. That does not necessarily say in so many words that he must, by extension, be guilty – but what other conclusion can you draw? There must have been ‘something there’, or the accusation would never have been made. The implication is that a woman would never use an accusation of improper behaviour to gain a promotion, remove a rival or simply to get rid of someone she doesn’t like in the workplace.

      This assumes that women – as a class and type – aspire to and guard a higher moral standard than men, as a class and type. And that is simply not true. There are instances of moral reprehensibility on both sides, and that they are surely much greater on the part of men, that simply reflects the current – and rapidly shifting – power dynamic in employment situations; men are much better placed to coerce female employees because the boss is more often the man. But there is absolutely no reason to believe women do not and will not abuse a relationship in which they hold all the cards, because their gender forbids such impulses. Meanwhile, the current atmosphere of militancy and political correctness is damaging workplace relationships between men and women who are not remotely interested in actually having sex with each other, and eroding support for fairness initiatives among the great majority of men who are not rapists and harassers.

      Like

      1. Having worked in a public library in the past where the majority of people in top and middle level management, and at worker-bee level, were women, and men made up 20 – 30% of the people there, I can say that gossip and rumour can be rife, cliquey behaviour is common, and male employees very frequently get the short end of the stick from fellow employees and managers even in situations when they should be getting support when customers make false accusations against them. Anyone who believes in the innate goodness of human beings ought to work in a public library and deal with borrowers who tell you that the books they’re returning with babies’ teeth marks or tyre tracks all over them had the offending defects at the time they borrowed them.

        Back in the 1990s there was a situation in Kogarah public library in southern Sydney where two male librarians were continually picked on by the managers there for no reason other than they were male. If the two applied for jobs or promotions within the library, their applications were turned down even when it was obvious to others that they were qualified for those jobs. One of them applied for a job which initially did not require a driver’s licence; after he applied, then the requirement was attached to the job and presto, he did not get the job as he didn’t have a driver’s licence. The two men took their complaints to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal after they got sacked and won damages against the library. I would have linked to the Sydney Morning Herald articles that discuss this case but unfortunately they’ve been archived (because the case is old) and I no longer read the SMH regularly enough that I would sign up as a subscriber to link to them so you just have to take my word for this.

        Quite often in work environments dominated by women, the most absurd situations and forms of discrimination are present: married women are preferred over single women for jobs, and married women with children are preferred over childless married women regardless of actual work experience, skills and qualifications. Gay men are often hired over heterosexual men. Even when “reverse” discrimination (where people from traditionally disadvantaged minority groups are favoured) exists, other traditional forms of discrimination can still carry on, as though some women managers believe that laws outlawing discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, etc only apply to male managers and not to them.

        The only thing that has changed in my view is that people are now starting to realise that work cultures and environments dominated by women are not healthy and the best environments to work in are those where the gender balance approximates 50:50.

        Like

    1. He’s just playing to all the usual stereotypes for his yokel audience; it’s hard to know what a good comedian really believes, because he makes fun of everyone and everything for laughs. But it can tell you a lot about his audience.

      I personally like this car a lot; I saw one in Vladivostok and took some pictures of it, its owner seemed quite proud of it. It was not in quite as good shape as this one, there were a few little blemishes, but it had been well taken care of and was driven as daily transport. His was not the same model as this and seemed slightly bigger but that could be just the effect of being close-up to it, and it was a sort of pinkish colour, maybe a faded light brown.

      We had conversations on the old blog about the legendary durability of Soviet cars, starting in 50-below winter conditions and so on, and while they are obviously not hand-built Ferraris, they served their purpose admirably. Russia was not a well-known builder of sports cars, but America has nothing to boast about there. German and Italian cars make the Chevrolet Corvette look pretty sick if you want to be a car snob, although I always liked the ‘Vette (especially the old ones) and the Mustang. But Soviet citizens were not big street racers either; what do you need a car that will do 120 for if the maximum speed limit is 60? And I would bet you there are more people in America today who cannot afford a car of any type than there are in Russia.

      Like

    2. This car would have competed against Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles and Buicks and Ford Galaxy 500 XLs, like my dad’s 7-litre …

      No it wouldn’t have, dickhead!

      There was no competitive car market in the USSR; you didn’t go shopping around for what was on offer in Soviet car showrooms: you put your name down on a waiting list for car. The average waiting time was 12 years. That’s why second-hand cars were more expensive than new ordered ones: you could get hold of them! There were no Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles and Buicks etc. cruising around Soviet cities then or on sale in showrooms.

      And what a surprise! The dickhead points out that the Volga has a very effective heater. Now I wonder why that should be so — in Russia of all places? And a brochure — in colour!!!!

      Another surprise: the underseal is “pretty good”. He’s obviously never been to Russia before this decade — if ever — when rock salt wa always used on the winter roads; salt that had been mined, no doubt in his dimwit opinion, by “political prisoners” in “GULags”.

      And why his harping on about automatic transmission? I always consider automatic transmission to have been invented for those who can never get the hang of using a clutch — not too mention double clutching.

      And he also keeps mentioning thar the KGB used the Volga.

      So nobody else did?

      I used to see them everywhere — still do, occasionally — and they were not always driven by slab-faced KGB goons, such as Soviet state security operatives are always stereotypically portrayed in the “Free West”. In fact, there is one regularly parked up in front of my block. They are still pretty commonplace. Soviet nostalgia, perhaps?

      The Volgas were built like tanks though, and they seemed to be just as heavy. Unfortunately, they were not track-laying vehicles: that’s why I often saw tactors pullig them out of mud and ditches during rasputitsa.

      Like

      1. And now that your spot of mockery under the glare of the spotlight has ended, arsehole, take a look at this review — by a Russian:

        GAZ 21 “Volga” 1969. Test drive on the channel “Let’s Ckeck It Out!” (Volga 21)

        Today we shall become acquainted the legendary Volga GAZ 21.
        The car has been excellently restored and handles nicely on the road.

        Like

      2. The rasputitsa demonstrated a few days ago by Lars, the Dane whose “Survival Russia” channel is quite interesting:

        He planes the surface of the driveway just before the heavy frost arrives.

        Like

        1. Yep, that’s just how it was last weekend at the dacha, where I went to close everything down for winter, which means draining off all the water from the pipes, tipping over the water butts, covering plants and shrubs, as you can see in the video that Lars has done, etc. etc.

          No bulldozer though: just britches-arse steam!

          Like

    1. Why would Russia deploy military intelligence to supposedly “take out” some turn coat spy in the UK. The operation does not require the skills that “GRU” agents have. It can be sub contracted to basically any freaking assassin and they would do a vastly better job than dabbing some “exotic” nerve agent on a door knob and carrying a whole prefume bottle full of it which they just dump in a park instead of down a sewer grate.

      Like

      1. The whole concept is just ridiculous, and as that Israeli alleged covert-operations expert pointed out, Russian intelligence is not some bumbling Keystone Cops outfit that carries out operations differently than every other country does; assassins don’t just pop in on the night flight, do the target and boogie out the next morning, they stay away from surveillance cameras and don’t rent cars and hotel rooms in their own name, and they don’t use some distinctive and unique vector of elimination that will point the finger in only one direction. I did not believe any of it from the starting gun and it only got progressively more ridiculous after that. The UK is lying non-stop and every time it does, it makes more stupid mistakes and punches more holes in its story. For me the height of absurdity was reached with that comical perfume bottle with the clumsy industrial-style sprayer on the top, while Hamish de Bretton Gordon solemnly intoned that it had taken the Kremlin months and thousands of pounds to design and build it, when they could have just run Skripal over in the street with a Ford Fiesta and nobody would have been the wiser. The notion that Russian hit teams are compelled to personalize their operations runs completely counter to the entire doctrine.

        The unraveling continues:

        http://www.theblogmire.com/curiouser-and-curiouser-cried-alice-as-she-stared-at-the-door-handle/

        Like

  51. Another must read -unless you get stopped by the Vanity Fair pay/subscription wall

    “The April 19, 1993, show at Waco proved to be the largest massacre of Americans by their own government since 1890, when a number of Native Americans were slaughtered at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Thus the ante keeps upping.
    Although McVeigh was soon to indicate that he had acted in retaliation for what had happened at Waco (he had even picked the second anniversary of the slaughter, April 19, for his act of retribution), our government’s secret police, together with its allies in the Media, put, as it were, a heavy fist upon the scales. There was to be only one story: one man of incredible innate evil wanted to destroy innocent lives for no reason other than a spontaneous joy in evildoing. From the beginning, it was ordained that McVeigh was to have no coherent motive for what he had done other than a Shakespearean motiveless malignity. Iago is now back in town, with a bomb, not a handkerchief. More to the point, he and the prosecution agreed that he had no serious accomplices.”

    If you weren’t aware of the above , then that should tell you how absolutely little you have been permitted to know.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2001/09/mcveigh200109

    Like

  52. RE: The above discussion about “white privilege”

    Here this clown attempts to establish that there is no such thing as “white privilege’ and as a matter of fact it’s white guys who are the actual victims:

    “In the documentary, D’Souza accuses the modern Democratic Party of racism, and attempts to demonstrate how Democrats have used accusations of racism, white supremacy, and fascism as a tool to discredit the *political right*. (read as : white guys) ”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_a_Nation:_Can_We_Save_America_a_Second_Time%3F

    BTW:
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/04/dinesh-dsouza-video-life-after-conviction

    Like

    1. Some Dead-Enders still fighting the Civil War.
      Others still fighting the Culture Wars of the 1960’s!
      Longing for a simpler time when men were men, and n-words knew their place.

      Like

    2. America is not the universe. Nobody denies blacks or other minorities in Ontario access to education and as proven by the fact that in Toronto and elsewhere jobs are not segregated, there is no wall stopping from climbing all the way up to the top. Meanwhile in the Boston area you have de facto segregation (South Boston) which does not exist in Toronto or the rest of Canada. This true for most of the USA. In America, poverty restricts the poor from opportunities. This includes lack of access to higher education. And, BTW, this applies to poor whites. If you are going to invoke this white privilege BS, then you better explain white poverty and the fact that Asians (Orientals) do quite well in America.

      The white privilege myth is designed to incite racial strife.

      Like

      1. Canada did not practice caste-based slavery or Jim Crow, so they have a clean record, in this respect.
        Many Southern American slaves escaped from the plantations and made their way to Canada to find freedom, as was documented by Beecher-Stowe and others.

        Like

        1. Many black would-be immigrants to Canada also were turned away because they had Tuberculosis – a virtually guaranteed diagnosis since white Canadian surgeons on duty at borders to carry out inspections were paid a nominal sum for every black person they turned away.

          Pretty much no country is blameless in behaviours which will not stand public scrutiny. But that does not equate to everyone of a certain ethnicity being a racist or a supporter of slavery, as indeed all whites or all Canadians or all Americans are not. Were it not for the efforts of white Americans, slavery might be going on still. That’s probably why people are outraged at being labeled when they have never done anything to support the practice which is the subject of the grievance.

          Like

          1. The white privilege libel is based on the claim that any white has their status (economic, social) at the expense of blacks (and other minorities). This is grossly offensive to me. Nobody rubber stamped my tests and exams and other whites (including Slavs) did not do as well as I did and did not work their way to a PhD. I encountered brilliant black students in university but for some reason they were not from Canada or the USA. I and others like me have not kept blacks down directly or indirectly in our lives.

            Cute how affirmative action is being totally ignored by these racist accusers. Affirmative action is real and substantial. No female or minority that does well in the education system is denied opportunity. That some dump in the southern US may be discriminating against blacks (please, someone provide examples) has utterly nothing to do with me or Canadians for that matter.

            Like

            1. The primary beneficiaries of affirmative action over the last 40 years or so are white WOMEN and jewish
              women in particular. White **women** (and some white male cohorts) took Gold, Silver and Bronze in the AA Olympics.

              “Statistics show that white women benefit immensely from affirmative action, but according to Vox, they are also among those who most want to see it abolished.

              The numbers prove it: After two decades of affirmative action, it was white women who held the majority of managerial jobs, compared to African American, Latino, and Asian American women (the supposed beneficiaries of these policies), according to a 1995 report by the California Senate Government Organization Committee. Across the board, affirmative action helped women obtain success in the labor market. Today, women are more educated and successful in the workforce than ever before, while married women are taking over as household breadwinners.”

              https://www.bustle.com/p/who-does-affirmative-action-benefit-white-women-are-some-of-its-biggest-opponents-74034
              https://www.vox.com/2016/5/25/11682950/fisher-supreme-court-white-women-affirmative-action
              https://www.pulitzer.org/article/who-are-real-beneficiaries-affirmative-action

              Like

            2. Dear Kirill: Only a marginal sect and a teensy-tiny number of certain people in the U.S. believe in that idiotic “white privilege” meme.
              You say you, as a white male Slav, are grossly offended by this, and yet you live in Canada, and apparently nobody has oppressed you there, despite the fact that you rant and bark like a mad dog.

              Like

              1. Yalensis, you write that only “a teensy-tiny number of certain people in the US believe in the idiotic ‘white privilege’ meme”. I’m not so sure it such a tiny minority. I’m certainly encountering it more and more in the UK. Talking heads on TV shows spout it, books are being written about, ‘progressive’ organisations are sending their staff on ‘check your white privilege’ training courses etc, etc. All the signs are that it’s getting a grip on culture.

                Like

                1. Fern, if that is the case in the UK, then it is unfortunate and should be countered by debate. Unfortunately, the American Right and ALT-Right are not in the position to counter this particular ideological deviation. All they do is offer shrill philippics against “Political Correctness” (as if politeness is a bad thing), or “Social Justice Warriors” (as if Social Justice is a bad thing).

                  I don’t know about the UK, but in America, these ALT-Righties are basically still fighting the Civil War (on the wrong side), as well as the Culture Wars of the 1960’s (also on the wrong side). I don’t know much about their English counterparts, but I suspect that both sides are full of s**t.

                  Anyhow, I think the only intelligent response to such political deviations as “white skin privilege” and the like, is to continue to reaffirm the principles of equality and fraternity. Not to mention socialism! Call me old-fashioned…

                  Like

            3. I’m sure you are telling the truth…as you see it. I don’t have a lot of empirical research about alleged racism in Canada, although there is reason to believe blacks in Canada are subject to what is referred to as ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations’. Not likely to the degree seen in America, but it would be interesting to see Devah Pager’s experiment repeated in Canada.

              She died a few days ago, aged only 46, of pancreatic cancer, when she was on the very threshold of being elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her research; she would have been the youngest woman ever to hold such a position.

              She assembled a group of college students, neat and well-dressed young men all the same height, as alike as she was able to achieve except that half were black and half white. Working in teams of two, they were given identical resumes, and sent out to apply for entry-level jobs in Milwaukee. At each job application each team interviewed for, one of them (they alternated roles for each application) would say they had served an 18-month sentence for cocaine possession.

              The results were inescapable. Only 5 percent of the black applicants who claimed a criminal record received callbacks from the employer, and only 14 percent who did not claim any criminal record received a callback. The white students received callbacks at rates of 17 percent and 34 percent under the same conditions. Science doesn’t lie. The research shocked even serious professionals in the field, but there was no getting around it. That’s why I’d be interested to see something like that tried in Canada. But I am afraid I don’t think the results would be much different.

              You and I don’t see it, because we deal with black people on a personal level. I’m not an employer, and I have no control over hiring or company policy in any capacity. I don’t believe I treat blacks any differently than I do anyone else, and I probably don’t, but my exchanges with them are mostly greetings, maybe jockeying for a position in line at the post office or something. If I were in charge of hiring and firing, would I be as fair? Or would I apply that soft bigotry of low expectations, and tell myself I was rejecting a black applicant because he seemed lazy, or not very quick on the uptake, any reason other than that he was black? I’m afraid I don’t know – I’d like to think I wouldn’t, but I’ve never been in that position and I don’t imagine I ever will.

              Affirmative-action programs for either blacks or women are counter-productive, and force employers to hire a percentage even if the labor pool contains no really good choices. That simply breeds resentment in the workplace, and productivity suffers. I’m not aware of any programs in Canada which fund job creation for blacks only, but there certainly are such programs for which only women are eligible – the ongoing effort to get more women into ‘the trades’ being just one of them.

              https://www.itabc.ca/women-trades/overview

              You might argue that this merely offers a needed helping hand to a demographic which is underrepresented in the trades. But I would point out there is nothing whatsoever which prevents women from competing for jobs under existing job-training programs. So those, theoretically, are forbidden from discriminating against women who apply because of their gender, while there is a parallel highway which is open only to women.

              Like

    1. He tried to get all of his wealth out of Russia so he could be accepted as a “Westerner.” I guess that proves they will lynch any old Russian if they can’t get to the one they want.

      Like

  53. Now that Naftogaz Ukrainy is holding back money from Gazprom as payment on the $2.6 Billion the Stockholm Arbitration Court said Gazprom owes Ukraine (Naftogaz held back $9 Million per month for two months, on an overpayment Gazprom made for transit fees), and the state sees that it is getting some actual cash, the state tax service announced that Naftogaz owes $.6 Billion in underreported taxes on the full amount.

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/543779.html

    I need hardly say that Naftogaz does not welcome this news. The same source points out that since Naftogaz itself is to be liquidated in 6 years, that may hamper its ability to recover the fine it says it is owed. Especially if Gazprom is not transiting any gas through Ukraine.

    Like

  54. Ha, ha: what’d I say? Poroshenko has refused Lutsenko’s offer of resignation, he will remain as Prosecutor-General, and that was the big gesture of atonement for the acid death of the activist Handzyuk. Now everyone is looking elsewhere, and nobody will be punished unless the Ukrainian investigative services have someone they wanted to get rid of anyway. If that’s the case, they’ll be blamed and arrested.

    https://www.unian.info/politics/10332042-poroshenko-turns-down-prosecutor-general-s-resignation-letter.html

    The same source suggests Russia is preparing to shut off Ukraine’s fuel supplies via sanctions.

    https://economics.unian.info/10331805-petrol-war-russia-threatens-to-block-fuel-supplies-to-ukraine.html

    This seems to have originated with a television show with a guest panel, on which people argued that Russia has put up with Ukraine’s foolishness for long enough, and should hasten its collapse by sanctioning its fuel supply. There is no corroborating evidence that I saw which suggests the ‘threat’ is anything more than an opinion show on TV.

    It would make them gasp, though, if it was real.

    Like

  55. Well, well; Russia has struck a deal with Iran, in which Russia will trade machinery and food for Iranian oil, which it will then use domestically. This frees up Russian crude to be sold to former buyers of Iranian oil.

    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/russia-is-surprise-beneficiary-of-iranian-oil-ban-1541609785

    Of course the Wall Street Journal characterizes this as ‘stealing Iran’s oil customers’, when the honourable and right thing to do would be to leave Iran to its own devices under American sanctions. And this is the country Russian liberals moan that Russia must mend its differences with at once, so as to once again enjoy its favour.

    “The new, Washington-imposed sanctions take specific aim at Iranian oil exports, that country’s most important economic pillar. U.S. officials want to cork up all 2.2 million barrels a day of Iranian crude-export capacity, threatening buyers with sanctions. Many purchasers, because they use the U.S. banking system, are vulnerable to such sanctions and are already pulling back. Russia is less vulnerable to Washington’s retaliation, since it already is under U.S. sanctions and its economy and financial system are less tied to the U.S. than Western European countries.”

    Yes, Russia’s efforts to get out from under Washington’s thumb were foolish., weren’t they? Divorcing oneself from the monetary system controlled by Washington is the only thing that allows Russia to operate independently to a degree, and hopefully it will continue with the job by getting off of SWIFT altogether.

    Like

  56. Euractiv: Finland becomes tenth participant country in European Intervention Initiative
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/finland-becomes-tenth-country-to-join-the-european-intervention-initiative/

    …The meeting was the first of its kind since EI2 was launched on 25 June this summer.

    In addition to welcoming the new participant, the agenda of the nine defence representatives (from France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Estonia, Portugal and the United Kingdom) focused on setting policy guidelines for future joint action outside of existing structures, such as the NATO and the EU…
    ####

    BREXIT does have benefits… for the rest of U-rope!

    Like

  57. The US MSM is bald faced lying. And they are treating their audience as if it is composed of individuals with an IQ less than 50. Now, what credibility do these media scumbags have on any other question?

    Like

    1. They are trying to make a big deal of the fact that Acosta did, in fact, touch her. I’m sure what he meant was that he did not accost or attack her, but the video evidence that there actually was contact is now being used to spin it that Acosta lied about this, he must be lying about everything. He is probably going to have to apologize to this woman because he did not immediately hand her the microphone and step back, while ANY CONTACT AT ALL with a woman is potentially violent and must not ever happen, even if she is in your face and trying to grab something out of your hand.

      You can also see that his left arm is already moving downward before she grabs for the mike; he is lecturing Trump by sort of shaking his finger at him, not trying to block her or shove her away. Whether or not the video is sped up or zoomed in is irrelevant to what it shows.

      I personally do not care if Acosta is banned from coming within 100 yards of the White House like he is a rabid dog or something, because he is a self-righteous twat and certainly is not above such tactics himself if they will serve his agenda. But the liberal media would not be hysterical about this if the staffer had been a man, even if the two had ended up wrestling on the floor over the microphone – nope, it’s because it’s a woman, frail and delicate and easily bruised, brave little thing, and because her gender can be exploited to make Acosta look like a brute. And tomorrow they’ll be back to shouting that women must be treated just the same way men are because to do otherwise is sexist. Parallels abound in this nuthouse world. Roll on Armageddon.

      Like

      1. I think both sides of this story are simply ridiculous. And I actually think neither side technically did anything wrong (at least in the context of this incident).
        If somebody reaches out and tries to grab something from you, that is nominally an aggressive act, to which the other person has the right to defend himself. For example, if somebody tries to grab your wallet, you have the right to push them away.
        Hence, when the intern aggressively reached for the mike, Acosta had the right to defend his possession of the mike.

        Why are both sides blameless, in my view?
        Why was the intern blameless? Because she was following the direct order of her Commander in Chief, who ordered her to take the mic.
        Why was Acosta blameless? Because he used the least amount of resistance (just a slight deflection of his hand) to keep the aggressor at bay and maintain his possession of the mic.

        In other words, nobody did anything wrong here, and this is all just a tempest in a teapot.
        Both the Liberals and the ALT-Righties are playing this piece of nothing for all its worth and trying to start WWIII. Reasonable people should not take the bait. We should not take sides.
        Especially since both sides are ideologically scumbags. Acosta is a Liberal war-mongerer, and the intern is a Trumpie!

        Like

      2. Acosta is without a doubt, a twat and a shamefully unprofessional one to boot. Trump is no surprise. I don’t know why people still are.

        I’m not so interested in the details rather than as evidence of wider symptoms of the spreading implosion of the country.

        When the institutions start to be questioned by many people and trust is being lost, it is very hard to regain.

        When those who consider themselves the checks and balances on the system become partizan, then that feeds all the way down to the bottom.

        There’s little to hear about just fixing stuff that needs to be fixed, and everyone should be worried.

        It might not be as bad as presented though as the news along with social media amplify and drown out any hopeful information or common sense. Still, all the domestic noise also covers the evil being committed abroad, with the notable exception of what happened to Kashoggi, which is only important because he was a journalist based in the USA and worked an American paper. The fissures are all already there and studiously ignored by all the corporate media. Kashoggi cracked that. It’s interesting to see Washington trying to figure out where it’s backstop position is. Hopefully they’ll screw it up.

        Like

        1. The British papers say that FM Jeremy Hunt is going to give Riyadh a strict talking to about the Kashoggi affair! Considering how successful he was in in his last job (NHS), then we can expect to hear the slurp of large amounts of cash leaving London. Well, the property market bubble economy does need a kicking. Or more likely Downing Street knows which side its bread is buttered and it will be tea and biscuits with an added order of Eurofighters!

          Like

    2. That blue-eyed boy with the annoying English accent is almost as irritating as a creature spawned by some unnatural liason between Trump and Acosta. Oh, of course he is technically correct about the Lib media and their lies about the “doctoring” of the vid and so on. But Jesus Christ, give us a break and spare us from ALT-Rightie self-righteousness. If the woman had been a Hillary supporter and Acosta a Trumpie, this blue-eyed marvel would have been all over the gal for her “aggressiveness”. These ALT-rightie creeps are almost as annoying as the Liberals themselves.

      A plague on both their houses!

      Like

      1. Why is his Watson’s Sheffield, Yorkshire, accent accent annoying?

        His pronuniation of the letter “u” is typical of that heard in much of the English Midlands and the Northern English counties and is the same as that which that his fellow Yorkshireman, twat of a UK defence minister Gavin Williamson uttered when advising that Russia “shut up and go way”.

        In fact, my accent is very similar to that of the blue-eyed boy, but I have grey eyes and am considerably older than he is.

        At least neither he nor I speak with a Hooray Henry, public school, Bullingdon Boy accent such as notable cnuts Boris Johnson and Call-Me-Dave Cameron do.

        Like

        1. As a matter of fact, I think Watson’s eye-colour is the same as mine.

          Watson always claims that he not an ALT-Rightie.

          One thing for sure, though, is that he dislikes Hillary Clinton and preferred that Trump become president, so in that respect, both Watson and I had similar opinions, although I have since had nagging doubts about Clinton’s defeat having been such a good thing, for as time passes, I witness more and more how excruciatingly loathsome, vulgar and incompetent Trump is.

          But then I see things like this (below), which reassure me that Trump, despicable though he is, is by far the lesser of two evils:

          Like

        2. Oops, is that a Sheffield accent? Sorry, then, I meant to say it is absolutely lovely!

          Seriously, I don’t mind if the blue-eyed boy is a Trump supporter, I actually felt some mental relief myself when Trump was elected. Even though officially neutral, but I subconsciously tilted to Trump simply because my hatred of Hillary was like unto a murderous rage!
          Blue-eyes irritates me mostly because he keeps driving the same point ad nauseam.
          And again, the hypocrisy is astounding. The woman in the vid clearly is the aggressor: She grabs for the mic and lays her hands on Acosta. She “touches” him before he “touches” her. If she had been a Hillary supporter and Acosta a Trumpie, then Blue-Eyes would have been all over her and burned her at the stake.

          It’s the old double standard at work: If you support my political views, then you are the victim. If you don’t, then you are the aggressor. In every individual incident!

          Like I said before, I don’t think anyone technically is even to blame in this particular incident. It’s just a big nothing. But the Alt-Right are trying to make hay from it by posing as the chivalrous defenders of womanhood. They, who usually scream “Feminist Bitch!” at women they don’t care for.

          Like

          1. Oh, I agree aboutTrump’s loyal little servant! She was a busy little bee in her attempts to stop Acosta’s comments going through the mic. Acasta is a certainly no one to be be admired, but she was out of order trying to take the mic off him and then squatting below him, poised ready to lunge at the opportunity to do so.

            Like

            1. Yeah, from the vid it is clear that once Acosta blocked the girl, she instantly retreated (which I think was the right thing to do). But you can see her immediately look up to Trump, trying to make eye contact, as if seeking further orders from her boss. Then she crouches there, ready to leap into the fray, if ordered! What a pill – Ha ha!

              Like

  58. This racist tub of dark colored lard should just STFU. Not only have most whites nothing to do with AMERICAN slavery and racism, even most American whites have nothing to do with them either. Mississippi is not the whole USA and when blacks were being imported from Africa after being sold by other blacks, whites were subject to indentured servitude. Only utterly ignorant morons would laugh this off. Indentured servants were not property like blacks so their “owners” abused them without a second thought. Indentured servant women were often raped since that allowed the “owners” to extend their “ownership” period.

    Today’s view of the reality of the 1840s is tainted by agendas and cannot be taken as the refined truth. The racist clown in the above photo would have everyone believe that every US white owned black slaves. And that present day black ghetto problems have nothing to do with blacks but are all about the BS myth known as “white privilege”.

    My Russian and Ukrainian ancestors didn’t own any black or other slaves. So would all you American f*cks take your internal political problems and shove them, please.

    Like

  59. BBC:

    California wildfires: Death toll reaches grim milestone
    18 minutes ago

    The death toll in wildfires sweeping California has risen to 31, with more than 200 people still unaccounted for, officials have said.

    Six more people were confirmed killed in the Camp Fire in the north of the state, taking the toll there to 29.

    That fire now equals the deadliest on record in California – the 1933 Griffith Park disaster in Los Angeles.

    In the south, the Woolsey Fire has claimed two lives as it damaged beach resorts including Malibu.

    An estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major blazes in the state.

    Moscow Times:

    Aug. 04 2010 – 00:08
    Putin Sang Songs While Russia Burned
    Since the first wildfires started a month ago, 125,000 hectares of Russia’s forest have been destroyed in 17 regions, and 40 people have died.

    Russia’s statistics on casualties from fires have always differed drastically from those in the West. For example, four firefighters died during wildfires in Washington state in 2001. Nine firefighters died in Colorado in 2002. Eleven firefighters died during Spain’s fires of 2005. Only one firefighter has died during this summer’s fires in Russia.

    In developed countries, citizens don’t perish in fires. Firefighters perish. In Russia, it is directly the opposite, and there is a very good reason for this. In so many cases, there are no firefighters to put out the fires. Take, for example, the village of Verkhnyaya Vereya in the Nizhny Novgorod region, where all of its 341 houses burned to the ground and seven people died. There was no fire station in the village, and the two firefighting vehicles on watch drove the other way when they were called to duty.

    People don’t die this way in Europe or the United States. This is how people die in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    I wonder what Latynina is doing these days — not that I miss her any!

    Like

    1. She’s still ranting away on Ekho Moskvy: she’s boring the arses off folk in Germany now, it seems, though not those arses of the German Arschlöcher who have paid to listen to her, I suppose.

      Navalny is still blogging away there to his Rubberduckians and associate kreakly (he has just been forbidden to leave Russia, so the Libtards are duly getting their knickers into a collective twist about this) and so is the bibulous Albats, whose “New Times” that nobody read died a death the other week and who has been whacked with a huge fine for not disclosing for the past 2 years her NGO sources of income.

      Such is the tyrannical Putin, neo-Soviet regime!

      Like

  60. Antiwar.com: The Pentagon as a Herd of Elephants
    https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2018/11/07/the-pentagon-as-a-herd-of-elephants/
    William J. Astore

    …As Sjursen put it:

    So long as there is no conscription of Americans’ sons and daughters, and so long as taxes don’t rise (we simply put our wars on the national credit card), the people are quite content to allow less than 1% of the population [to] fight the nation’s failing wars – with no questions asked. Both mainstream wings of the Republicans and Democrats like it that way. They practice the politics of distraction and go on tacitly supporting one indecisive intervention after another, all the while basking in the embarrassment of riches bestowed upon them by the corporate military industrial complex. Everyone wins, except, that is, the soldiers doing multiple tours of combat duty, and – dare I say – the people of the Greater Middle East, who live in an utterly destabilized nightmare of a region…
    ###

    More at the link.

    Like

  61. 04:52 141 877
    Theresa May Expresses Readiness for “Other” Relations with Russia
    British Prime Minister declares Britain’s readiness to change relations with Russia, urging Moscow to abandon “undermining international security”

    The UK is open to “other” relations with Russia, British Prime Minister Theresa May says in a statement. The prime minister plans to make this statement at the City of London Lord Mayor’s banquet on Monday, but her text has now already been circulated in the media.

    Britain is “ready to respond in a benevolent vein” if Russia shows signs of willingness to cooperate on its part and displays interest in the appearance of international stability. The “Independent” quotes from the statement. “We remain open to other relations, in which Russia rejects attacks that undermine international treaties and security” — May.

    See: https://ria.ru/amp/world/20181112/1532577483.html

    If I were a spokesman for the Russian state, I would tell May to go get her shrew-like face fucked.

    It’s the same old: confess your guilt ploy: confess, and we’ll drop all (groundless) charges!

    Meanwhile, after this if-you-confess-your-guilt-then-there’ll-be-no-hard-feelings charade, do you and your filthy liars of cabinet ministers intend to reveal the whereabouts of the Skripals, you fucking lying bitch?

    And if you get an admission of guilt off those Evil Russians, you, no doubt, believing that they yearn so for “normality” as regards relations with your shithole of a state, will your government and British state security goons then allow the Skripals to enter public life; will they then be allowed to have an interview with intenational journalists and not simply make a statement, prepared for them by British security service goons?

    And will Yulia Skripal, a Russian citizen, be allowed to go home if she so wishes, which wish she long ago stated that she was desirous of fulfilling?

    What say you, you lying old bag of shite?

    Like

    1. Cheap lies designed to make the UK look like it is making concession in the name of peace and good relations. In reality these maggots are stoking a war on Russia and engaged in blood libel smear.

      Like

    2. Nice try, Theresa. I doubt anyone in Russia is greatly interested in better relations with the country that has told non-stop whoppers about it for a couple of decades, and it’s not like England produces anything Russia cannot buy somewhere else. The recipe for Yorkshire Pud is widely available in the public domain, so Britain has lost whatever leverage it might once have had. Britain, however, is not self-sufficient in gas.

      Like

  62. Agence France Pête: Macron snubs US arms in defence spat with Trump
    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Macron_snubs_US_arms_in_defence_spat_with_Trump_999.html

    But Macron told CNN: “To be very direct with you, what I don’t want to see is European countries increasing the budget in defence in order to buy American and other arms or materials coming from your industry.”….
    ####

    That certainly follows on from earlier reports that France is seeking to replace (cheaper) US components in its systems. So more trouble t’U-ropean mill ≠ $$$?

    Like

    1. It would be nice if Micron actually delivered on this “threat”. This is just another quisling politician the US colony known as the EU posing to his people to look like he cares about their interests.

      Like

      1. As cynical as I am and would agree with you, I made a while ago about France replacing US components in its stuff because they would otherwise need US authorization. Can’t find it but these will do :

        Neuters: France says it must use fewer U.S. parts in its weapons systems

        September 6, 2018
        https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-defence/france-says-it-must-use-fewer-u-s-parts-in-its-weapons-systems-idUKKCN1LM2D6

        ..Washington has this year blocked the sale to Egypt of French-made SCALP cruise missiles, which contain a U.S. part.
        ####

        But in October:

        Mattis says US-France in talks about loosening export limits on cruise missile
        https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/10/02/mattis-offers-easing-of-us-export-limits-on-french-cruise-missile/

        ####

        All quiet since then but the Frogs would be morons to trust Washington and €µ states that EU spending should be for EU weapons. We’ll see…

        In topical news:

        FlightGlobal.com: Beriev wins separate deals for up to 15 Be-200s
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/beriev-wins-separate-deals-for-up-to-15-be-200s-451788/

        10 September, 2018

        …The largest of the two deals, for four firm aircraft and six options, is with US firm Seaplane Global Air Services, which will use the jets for firefighting missions.

        An initial pair of Be-200s will be delivered with Ivchenko-Progress D-436TP engines, while the remainder will be equipped with SaM146s from NPO Saturn-Safran joint venture PowerJet….
        ####

        http://taganrogcity.com/pr_beriev_be-200_santa_maria_california_2016.html

        …If all goes according to plan, Airbus Industries will build the Be-200s and they will be maintained at a Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility to be built in Santa Maria, California…
        ####

        WTF? Sanctions?

        I remember here years ago we discussed the US should buy Russian firefighters and I think the state of California wanted to but was blocked from above (or something). Too little too late, no? I wonder if the Ukrainians will stiff Global Air Services for the engines or just Beriev?

        2014:
        http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/usafac-promotes-us-built-beriev-be-200-firefighter-1951241.htm

        2012:
        https://fireplanes.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/iab-evaluating-beriev-be-200-air-tanker-in-russia/

        Who says USA is no logical or efficient?

        Like

    2. Dear me; he’s not much like Sarko the American, is he? Never mind – wait until Trump gets out the stick. Talk is cheap now, but we’ll see how salty Micron is when he starts getting a little pushback. So far it’s pretty much a free ride.

      Like

  63. The Beriev situation is surprising since talk about always comes up during major US fires and then the US acts as if it would be lowering itself by buying technology from Russia. It makes all the US posturing about being number one in the world in terms of technology so much BS.

    As for Micron. I hope that EU residents wake up and smell the coffee since any nuclear war will be hitting them hard, but I just have not seen enough evidence to justify any optimism. Again, it would be nice if real spines were developed and middle fingers given to Uncle Scumbag.

    Like

    1. This is hardly new news actually: back in 2014, Professor Theodore Postol (the same fellow who has said that the Syrian government did not use CWs in the Khan Sheykhoun airstrike in 2017 or in East Ghouta in August 2013) criticised Iron Dome’s effectiveness as a nation-wide rocket-based defence system.
      https://www.technologyreview.com/s/528916/israeli-rocket-defense-system-is-failing-at-crucial-task-expert-analysts-say/#comments

      Earlier in 2018, Iron Dome fired off ten missiles costing a total of US$500,000 at supposed rocket launches that turned out to be machine gun fire in southern Israel.
      https://www.businessinsider.com.au/israel-blows-hundreds-of-thousands-in-iron-dome-missile-mistake-2018-3

      So the system works when it’s not supposed to, and doesn’t work when it should.

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  64. Free Trade, Freedom and Democracy anyone? We got it!

    США и Украина договорились противодействовать «Северному потоку — 2»

    The United States and the Ukraine have agreed to counter “Nord Stream — 2”
    13 Nov 03:01
    The Ukraine Minister of foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin, and the USA Minister of Energy, Rick Perry, have agreed on joint opposition to the implementation of the Russian project “Northern Stream — 2”. This is stated on the website of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry. Construction of the pipeline “Nord stream — 2” undermines energy security and stability of Europe, the report says following the meeting of ministers.

    Perry also met with the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. At the meeting, there was announced the beginning of a Ukrainian-US strategic energy dialogue . The parties expect to establish “close cooperation” between Ukrainian and American companies and organizations. “Noted the need for further counter-project “Northern stream — 2″, as well as diversification of energy sources — in particular, by expanding opportunities for the supply of liquefied gas from the USA”, is stated in a message on the the Ukrainian leader’s website.

    Keep trying, arsholes!

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    1. Typos, typos, will no one rid me of these accursed typos!

      Although I do think my keyboard is at fault sometimes, in that some of thekeys sometimes do not respond.

      However, as regards the above posting, I noticed again something that has long intrigued me and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand. It is this: Why is the pipeline project called Nord Stream -2 and not North Stream-2?

      The word “Nord” is German for “north”. Why this hybrid German-English term?

      The Russian for “Nord Stream-2” is Северный поток-2 — , which literally translates as “Northern Stream-2”, but in Russian texts there usually appears this annotation: англ. «Nord Stream 2» (Eng. “Nord Stream 2”), which is not the English translation at all: “Nord” is German!

      Perhaps some might think the term uses a German word so as to suck-hole up to the Germans — after all, former German Chancellor Schröder has long been on the Gazprom team. However, I think not, because about 5 years ago I started working at the former TNK oil company spanking new HQ, situated in a new, business centre tower called “Nord Star”. (TNK then had a joint venture with BP, the firm having become TNK-BP, and then about 2 years ago, Rosneft took over, and I and many others quit.)

      In Russian, the tower is called: Нордстар Тауэр, which is a hybrid of a German word (Nord, transliterated into Cyrillic as Норд) and two English words (“star” and “tower”, transliterated into Cyrillic as стар and Тауэр respectively). Why?

      See: Нордстар Тауэр


      North Star Tower or NordStar Tower or Нордстар Тауэр?

      I ask Russians why this is so. They don’t know.

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      1. Oh, it’s very, very simple. Russian language simply doesn’t have the “th” sound. You can’t, therefore, write “North” in Russian transliteration and make it sound good. The closest would be Норс – “Nors”, which is not the same, and, to boot, ends with the same letter as “Stream” and “Star” start. Nordstream is simply a better name than Norsstream.

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        1. Watch out a certain member of this board will attack you for claiming that different languages have distinct sounds. I was making the point about “th” a while back and got assaulted for spreading misinformation about linguistics. Apparently, in the USA it is popular for linguists to believe that all languages (written and verbal) are isomorphic. Of course, this patent BS, but that does not stop the self-anointed exceptional people.

          Like