The Piker at the Gates of Dawn; Yearning to be in the Big Leagues, the Beaver is Crushed Between the Eagle and the Dragon.

Uncle Volodya says, “Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but leave him when he is wrong.”

Hey, you; out there in the cold
getting lonely, getting old – can you feel me?
Hey, you; standing in the aisles
with itchy feet and fading smiles – can you feel me?
Hey, you, don’t help them to bury the light…
Don’t give in without a fight.

From, Hey You, by Pink Floyd

The arrest and detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International, as she was changing flights for Mexico, was a deliberate slap in the face to China. The fact that it was executed even as US President Donald Trump – I still can’t say that phrase without a vertiginous feeling of unreality, like “Marriage Counselor Harvey Weinstein”, or “noted philanthropist Imelda Marcos” or “Senator James Inhoffe” – was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get the latter’s agreement to a truce in the trade war between the two countries makes it appear to have been a carefully-coordinated backstab meant to extract the maximum in humiliation. It infuriated China and its people, and the effects are only beginning to make themselves felt. To get a little perspective, imagine the American reaction if China had arranged to have the late Steve Jobs arrested in Singapore for jaywalking, and insisted on its right to extradite and try him.

Before we go any further, let’s put the conclusion before the analysis – this is all about kicking the feet out from underneath Huawei in North America. Huawei was already blowing the doors off of Apple in smartphone sales, and it cannot be allowed to get a 5G network foothold in North America. To quote the voice of America’s wireless community, CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker, “The race to lead the world in 5G is on, and the competition is intense. Every country knows wireless leadership creates jobs, investments, and innovation. They’re taking action because they want to win. We do too.” She further forecast that 5G would add three million jobs and $500 Billion to the US economy. The sort of prize Washington would do just about anything to keep for itself. Huawei is a direct threat to Apple, and Apple was the USA’s most profitable company for the third year in a row in 2017. It’s not that America will not tolerate competition in a fair market – it will just not tolerate competition from China, which it considers a heretic enemy. Unfortunately for America, many of its most lucrative expansion opportunities for American companies – like Apple – are in China, so it mostly kept such thoughts to itself. Until recently.

We’ll get back to Apple in a second. But first, I’m not sure how many people realize what a brilliant strategy it was on Washington’s part to have Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada, by Canadian officials, jailed in Canada and conditionally released on posting a crazy $7.5 million bail by a Canadian court. At a single stroke, it wrecked Canada’s plans for a trade deal with China which was outside American review and manipulation, damaged brand Canada in China for existing trade, and – incredibly – allowed the USA to position itself as Canada’s friend with its vow to intercede on behalf of Canadians detained in China. Quite a coup at a time when Canada’s relationship with its southern neighbour is as uncomfortable as it has been since Canadians burned the White House.

Seen in that context, the headline I chose is a bit misleading; Canada does want to be seen as playing in the same league as the Big Boys, and in that sense, the fallout it is experiencing is its own fault. However, Canada has an extradition treaty with the United States, and is bound by law to arrest and detain an individual the USA says is subject to arrest and detention to prevent that individual’s escaping extradition proceedings. It is pretty hard to believe an important executive like Meng Wanzhou never flies via US airports, where the USA could arrest her itself, especially considering the offense she is alleged to have committed is a decade old, and hardly urgent. Doubly so considering that master diplomat, Donald Trump, has mused that he might intervene in the issue if it means a trade deal with China more to American advantage than Xi Jinping was previously willing to consider, thereby shouting to the rooftops that the entire arrest scheme was politically motivated, and the purpose is to apply leverage to China for trade concessions.

Another article I read blamed the United States, and suggested the USA manipulates allies into doing its dirty work, so that it never gets any of the punishment itself, and that is what is happening now; sales of Canada’s iconic Canada Goose luxury winter jackets fell like a rock in China, losing 20% in four days, and there have been calls by Chinese activists to boycott other Canadian brands.

Which brings us back to Apple, suggesting that point of view at least is inaccurate. China is mad as hell at Canada for being Washington’s lackey, but a good part of the blame is going right where it belongs. Apple’s planned expansion in China has hit a wall – no pun intended – while a growing list of companies in China argue for practical support of Huawei by requiring only Huawei software and equipment for company upgrades, and others offer deals for employees purchasing Huawei phones. At least one company announced it would punish employees who bought an iPhone. Such policies have serious potential to not only endure, but to spread to other products associated with America.

Well, let’s take a look at the case Washington has against Meng Wanzhou. Sorry to keep using the full name, but I’m never sure with foreign names which one is the family name, and don’t want to accidentally pretend that she and I are on a chatty first-name basis.

First off, according to CNN, Washington signed off on her arrest warrant months ago. Which once again begs the question why they had to have her nabbed by Canadians in Canada, rather than arresting her themselves in the United States. I’m sure such a high-powered executive racks up quite a few frequent-flier miles, and I will once again point out it is hard to believe she never passes through American airports. Next, the alleged offense – lying to HSBC Bank to imply that Skycom, a Huawei subsidiary based in Hong King, was a separate company and to so bypass American sanctions on Iran – occurred not earlier than 4 years ago and perhaps as far back as 9 years. Next, what gives America the right to order the rest of the world to not do business with Iran? If the USA has a problem with it, it can order Americans not to do business with Iran. It can even threaten to penalize the American operations of foreign companies who do business in the USA. But ordering the extraterritorial arrest of a foreign company’s CFO is way, way over the line. To cite just one reason, American trade sanctions are not international law.

But even if we assume the accusation is true… so what? HSBC is not an American bank. America has no legal right to order Chinese companies to not do business with this country or that country, and in fact it smacks pretty strongly of juvenile playground behavior: I order you not to be friends with David, because you’re friends with me. Also, if it turned out to be accurate, Huawei could join a long and distinguished list of companies who thumbed their noses at American sanctions and continued to do business with both America and Iran. A list which includes Baker Hughes, BASF, Canon, BP, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Caterpillar, Conoco-Phillips, Hewlett-Packard, Exxon-Mobil (what a surprise), Ingersoll Rand and Samsung. HSBC is also listed, and the information accompanying reads, “HSBC, a banking and financial services giant headquartered in London, opened a representative office in Iran in November 1999. The bank has provided various loans to Iranian business over the decade, including a $108 million loan to the National Petrochemical Company of Iran in 2003. Dr. Nasser Homapour, senior representative for HSBC in Iran, said at the time, “The completion of this sizable transaction represents an important step in HSBC’s progressive engagement with Iran in general, and NPC in particular.’ Due to pressure by the United States and other governments, the bank announced in 2007 that it would not seek any new business in Iran, but the company continues to maintain an office in Iran and service existing customers. “We will honor all existing binding commitments where permitted,” said HSBC spokesman, Ahmad Othman.” So HSBC basically already told the USA to go fuck itself with its sanctions, it maintains 229 branches in the United States with total impunity…but Washington has decided to go after Huawei? Something…uhhh…smell funny to you?

Oh, whoops. I forgot somebody. Halliburton. You remember – Dick Cheney’s old company. While ol’ Dick was the ramrod of the company, in a position much like Meng Wanzhou’s present office, Halliburton provided oil and gas drilling services to Iran through foreign subsidiaries, exactly as Huawei is accused of doing but for the difference in services provided. How was Halliburton punished for its conscious subversion of American sanctions? Why, with a multibillion-dollar no-bid contract to rebuild Iraq’s oil sector after the United States military blasted the shit out of Iraq on totally fabricated grounds which it admitted it simply made up. And what about ol’ Dick – how was he punished? Well, Washington helped him become the most powerful Vice-President in American history, leading to half-serious jokes that if the actual President disappeared, most would not even notice.

I think at this point we can safely set aside any notion that the United States of America judiciously and even-handedly took action against international companies who violated American sanctions against Iran. Which, just by the bye, is the backbone of their case against Meng Wanzhou and Huawei.

Oh; that, and Huawei would use a 5G network to spy on western countries and steal their secrets. Because that’s just the way the Chinese are – sneaky.

Allow me to laugh my reaction for you. Ha, ha. The USA, which would be happy to provide western countries and anybody else with all the 5G networks it could use, is the spyingest, snoopiest country on the planet, bar none. The United States government spies on its own citizens – perhaps just to keep in practice – without the requirement for a warrant and without judicial oversight. The US Intelligence Services tap and monitor the phones of world leaders. The NSA needs a database just to remind it of all the databases it has full of people’s private information. Since 2013, the US government has been the biggest buyer of malware, and according to a report by Der Spiegel based on internal NSA documents, the agency routinely intercepts shipments of computer equipment bought online and installs malware which can allow remote access by American intelligence agencies. In fact, a possible motive for shutting out Huawei is that the US government does not want Americans using a network it cannot infiltrate; how ironic would it be if using a Chinese network prevented Americans from constant surveillance in private by their own government?

But that’s kind of farfetched. And although American efforts to portray the Chinese as villains is almost cartoonish in its naked self-interest, it would be difficult to argue the Chinese are completely disinterested in obtaining American technological secrets and proprietary information. But the way to prevent that is simply to improve security, and not to fall for dumb phishing scams. Don’t use lazy passwords like “password”. Compete fairly; if Huawei can supply a quality network for a competitive price, the vaunted free-market laws America worships dictate that it is a cheat to use national-security grounds to keep them out – especially when Apple expects to go on selling more and more of its products to China. Although that issue may already be out of everyone’s hands, especially Apple’s.

As the Washington Post discusses, trying to decouple technology from international trade is not only not going to work, trying is liable to leave the USA in a much weaker position trade-wise, with sluggish innovation and suspicion attached to its products.

At the same time, it’s becoming harder and harder for Western multinational firms to ignore technological developments in China. Research and development spending by Chinese firms rose by 12.5 percent in 2017, with much of it directed at next-generation technologies such as 5G wireless networks.

Such investment creates the risk that Chinese firms might leave U.S. companies in the dust when it comes to the digitization of the developing world. Under plans such as the “Digital Silk Road,” the Chinese government and state-owned enterprises are making a major push to build both hardware and software across Asia, Africa and Latin America. If U.S. companies are frozen out of these ecosystems, they may face limited market share in some of the world’s fastest-growing countries.

Instead of mature trade discussion and internal security procedures to protect sensitive material, the USA is taking the lazy way out, and trying a two-front approach of forcing its competitors out of the domestic market, while criminalizing their operations and frightening consumers that foreign networks will spy on them more than their own government already does. Like everyone else, Canada is being asked to take sides, and to make sacrifices for which, to all appearances, there will be no reward for loyalty. In fact, Canada has something in common with China; both countries are being kept at arm’s length by the US government and are the targets of American tariffs for ostensible national-security reasons. At the same time, America demands ever-greater access to both markets for its own products and services.

This is not a time for sloganeering and blind loyalty.




368 thoughts on “The Piker at the Gates of Dawn; Yearning to be in the Big Leagues, the Beaver is Crushed Between the Eagle and the Dragon.

        1. Mine is a basic smartphone, an LG K4. Before that I actually still had a flip-phone, an old Samsung. My daughter gave it to me for Christmas, saying that I was the last person in North America without a cellphone. It did not make me any more accessible because I hardly ever turned it on (but the battery lasted forever). She told the salesperson, “Something rugged, because he’ll probably drop it a lot. It doesn’t need any games on it, because he’ll never play them”.

          My son gave me my current LG for my birthday a couple of years back. I have to leave this one on all the time, though, because it’s the number my employer has and I am on call, so they could phone any time. I still don’t use it for games, but I do use a couple of the other features, like texting and there are a couple of reminders saved on it, a contact list and so on. But I’m sure I don’t use a tenth of its capabilities, and this one is about as basic as you can get.

          Culturally and economically, though, the smartphone was a phenomenon equal to the introduction of the personal computer, if not bigger. Everybody has one, and I am constantly amazed by what you can do with them. Yesterday we did not sail at all because of high winds; no ferries ended up leaving the island all day.

          For us it does not seem like bad weather, really, because Swartz Bay is sheltered by hills. For us the deciding factor is if the Spirit of British Columbia can sail from Tsawwassen on the Vancouver side, which is on the Salish Sea and unprotected from winds; higher than 40 knots, and it’s not safe. If we managed to get there – which I’m sure we could – there would be no berth for us to unload, because the Spirit of British Columbia would be in it. While we waited, the deckhands were checking the winds at Tsawwassen with their phones; there is an application called WindyApp which will give you real-time winds pretty much anywhere you need to know.

          So a deckhand has the same information available as the General Manager of the company.Whoops; 42 knots gusting to 51, we’re not going anywhere, boys and girls. I remember being amazed more than 15 years ago that an application for smartphones existed where you could just point the phone down any street in North America, and it could tell you every restaurant on the street and what kind of cuisine it specialized in. The smartphone now is an indispensable tool and a vital component western society could not live without. But you pay a price for that level of connectivity, because you lose your anonymity.


          1. Anonymity is generally a small price to pay. Not many people actually need it, though some do. Although I did have to quit Facebook: the amount of personal info they demanded to unlock my account (blocked on spam suspicion, apparently) was absolutely ridiculous.

            >a vital component western society could not live without.

            Not just Western btw. I would say “urban” instead, in any or almost any country. Although I can only claim to somewhat know Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic customs among non-Western, they all fit here.


            1. Yes, agreed; I should have said ‘society’. The smartphone has put personal-computing power and global accessibility in the hands of every urbanite, as you say. It’s limited only by being able to get a signal, and that’s not much of a problem in any major city, although rural coverage remains spotty to non-existent in some countries.


  1. “U.S. authorities allege she used a Huawei subsidiary to do business in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions and lied to bankers about the corporation’s ties with the subsidiary.”

    So what???

    Who the F is the USA and her european lapdog nations to insist that third parties-e.g China- respect western sanction against Iran?


  2. CBC News
    Published on 20 Dec 2018
    Sarah McIver, the third Canadian detained in China this month, has been sentenced to administrative punishment for illegal employment, according to a spokesperson for the Chinese government. Her arrest isn’t linked to national security issues, as is the case with the other two Canadian detentions, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.


  3. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 20 Dec 2018
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared the poisoning of a double agent in the UK to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    Britain imposed sanctions on Russia after accusing it of using a nerve agent to attack Sergei Skripal in March.
    Putin says Western countries used the Skripal case as a pretext to punish Russia, while Saudi Arabia has faced few penalties over Khashoggi’s murder.
    Alexey Khlebnikov, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council, talks to Al Jazeera about what he sees a case of “double standards”.


  4. When does Justin the boy become a man? So far his diplomatic chops haven’t been tested, but they are now. Bets anyone?

    Vis Huawei, I read somewhere (in a fairly detailed article a couple of weeks ago) that it has invested over ~$(equiv) 10b in to 5G, the nearest competitor being Ericksson at ~$2.4b and that they have filed ~10 IP on 5G.

    As for mobes, I like the cut of Xiaomi*, which is now coming to U-Rope and has generally garnered very good reviews and is more like a consumer goods department store. You can order direct too:

    Huawei mobs used to be the go to for hackers and modders because the phone bootloader was unlocked by default allowing you to install custom Android roms such as Cyanogen/LineageOS, but it looks like that party is over.

    * which I learned from Qui Xialong’s (he’s a Chinese kreakl and lives in America since 1989) Inspector Chen novels means ‘little secretary’ (小秘书 – Xiǎo mìshū) , though more commonly used as a euphemism for prostitute.


    1. Indeed. I have great respect for William Engdahl’s insights, but I maintain that this time a major objective was to wreck Canada’s plans for greatly-increased trade with China, and keep Canada a captive market for American goods. How could Trump not know of the arrest plans if they had been in the works for months? Trudeau admitted to knowing days in advance. Is it possible US authorities knew of the plan in advance and told other world leaders, but did not inform their own president even as he was going into trade talks with China? And Trump’s response upon finding out was to smoothly assert that he might intervene in order to get a better deal with China? Sure. Heads would roll; you know Trunp’s penchant for firing people as soon as they piss him off. Or embarrass him. He knew.

      The one thing that does make it look like the motive was to ruin the trade talks is that Trump got pretty much everything he wanted from China simply by chatting with its President – there was no need at all to arrest a prominent Chinese executive for additional leverage. I’m confident, however, that having the arrest carried out by Canada was part of the Washington plan.

      Soros. I should have known that pickled old prick was at the bottom of the ICG – he just loves to fund destabilization groups.


  5. BBC Newsnight
    Published on 18 Dec 2018
    Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz government.
    Subscribe to our channel here:

    Protests have reached fever pitch in objection to the government’s controversial new labour law – which will see workers doing more overtime.

    The state broadcaster has been targeted by those demanding the scale of the demonstration be clearly shown.

    Newsnight’s Mark Urban reports on a wider mistrust in an increasingly illiberal Viktor Orban government

    Times journalist Edward Lucas joins Emily Maitlis in the studio.

    Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.


    1. Theresa May as Home Secretary having British citizens of Jamaican origin and others deported to a country they haven’t been for decades is somehow not considered illiberal? WTFoF? Or just the general racism/anti-antisemitism/whatever of the conservative party that through fear of being outflanked by even more right-wing populism (like ‘WHO?”), has taken it upon themselves to take up those cudgels because the Conservative Party can be trusted. Unless you are poor, unemployed, homeless, black etc.

      As for Hungary, I don’t know much apart from Orban received a Soros grant for his studies n which he graduated in 1989(?), was a neo-liberal a**hole up to a point before swinging the other way, ignoring IMF/austerity advice, ergo the Hungarian economy has been is doing quite well and won the elections again last year.* It is an interesting country in that it wants to do its own thing and chafes against rulez wot spoilz itz fun. Slightly bonkers. They’re also the only European country to send a Roma MEP to Brussels. As for anti-semitism, I think it is overblown but Orban is a playa and will swing back and forth as convenient. I think that is borne out by his actions even though apparently contradictory (Horthy v. strong support for Israel for example).

      * Published on Sic Semper Tyrannis


    2. Yes, the west would dearly love to see Orban gone, and a pliant western puppet in his place who would shut off threats to sabotage Ukraine’s European overtures. But so far Orban has shown no sign of being stupid, and every leader in his shoes should have learned a lesson from Yanukoych’s noisy removal – giving the protesters what they say they want will not shut off the protests, but redouble their fervor. Carefully, deliberately and transparently enforce the law. That’s the way to go.

      If protests have ‘reached a fever pitch’ and the protesters are still just thousands, there is no particular reason for Orban to fire up the Presidential escape pod just yet.


  6. BTW, former Ukrainian PM Mykola Azarov has just won an appeal against Brussels sanctions for ‘corruption against him freezing his assets, as a judge ruled that it did not follow due process. This is not the first time that Brussels has has to cancel sanctions against ‘pro-Russian’ officials/businessmen they have casually put on their list.*

    Eat *&#% Brussels.

    In other news, a judge has ruled in favor of ButtFeedUK in a US defamation case over the Steele Dossier. Dead phuck McCain sent a USDoS official to BFUK with the Steele dossier but had to leave the room ‘temporarily’ at which point he claimed that the BFUK journalist photographed the report even though he was asked not to. The fact that McCain sent USDoS official direcly to BFUK with the file tells us precisely that he wanted it to be published, probably because no one else would touch it with a barge pole:


    So as we learned only a day or two ago (I posted in the last thread), that Steele said before a judge that the point of his ‘dossier’ was to provide Hillary/DNC ammunition against Trump, it looks like the whole house of cards** is starting to come down.


    ** I’ve seen the original British version. Highly recommended.


  7. Meng is the family name. Family surnames always come first in Chinese names. Meng Wanzhou is also known as Sabrina Meng, if that helps.

    Another complication is that she uses her mother’s maiden surname. Her father’s name is Ren Zhengfei. Funnily, all Ren’s children use their mothers’ maiden surnames. Ren’s children by his first wife use her maiden surname (Meng), his daughter Annabel uses her mother’s surname (Yao).

    “Sabrina Meng Wanzhou and Annabel Yao: Huawei founder’s two daughters”


  8. Thanks for a most helpful walk-through the Meng brouhaha. It is imminently logical that protecting Apple is a key component as well as controlling the adoption of 5G technology is the US (I am skeptical of the alleged level of economic benefit though). Other US business protectorates include SpaceX and Boeing. As was the case of the US schemes to use economic warfare against Russia, this attack on China is likely to fail for the reasons listed in your post. Well done.


    1. Seconded!

      The chutzpah coming out of Washington is not a sign of intelligence. It is a sign of serious mental deficiency. China’s consumer market was one of the central pillars for pushing globalism. India is developing fast as well and the rest of the world will eventually offer up billions of consumers (let’s not get into details for now). By harassing China and inducing a backlash from the Chinese people (not government), the USA is literally shooting itself in the head. It can’t fall back onto the US market since there are substantially fewer consumers. This bullying behaviour is souring the planet and the massive potential market on the US (and its minions like Canada).

      Perhaps people will forget past transgressions and this incident will not matter. But the problem is that this is not the only incident and the US is clearly ratcheting up the tension against China (e.g. South China sea, Africa, etc.). I see no evidence that the US globalists have thrown in the towel and will downsize their expectations. In fact, they can’t even transition back to the 1960s economic order since they have offshored production and jobs. Bring these jobs back is not easy and would easily take over 20 years. But perhaps the deciders think that robotics will solve the problem by returning the production but not the jobs. They even get to make bigger profits from not having to pay the robots any wages. This seems a bit too good to be true for now and the loss of a huge global market would not be very appealing to the US elites.


      1. “In fact, they can’t even transition back to the 1960s economic order since they have offshored production and jobs. Bring these jobs back is not easy and would easily take over 20 years.”

        Including Apple itself, to a large extent – iPhones are made in China. Well, not just China, but it is assembled in China.

        Moreover, the late Steve Jobs allegedly told Barack Obama that the iPhone would never be made in America, because nothing in America could match China’s speed and flexibility – such as the ability to hire thousands of workers overnight, and to house some of them on site so they are available 24 hours a day for emergency shifts to fit fixes and other such short-notice requirements.

        That’s interesting, because Trump apparently does not get that at all, and believes Apple should shift its production to the US because it has complained about Washington-imposed tariffs making its products more expensive.

        Or maybe someone explained it to him, and he’s just too arrogant to admit he didn’t get it, because easing the shock for Apple would be a pretty believable motive for Trump’s sudden ambivalence on raising the tariffs as he once bragged he would.


  9. Tucker Calrson on Russian meddling:

    “Barking mad” comes to mind regarding the MSNBC piece highlighted by Carlson.

    Speaking of barking mad, Secretary of Defense Mad Dog Mattis has turned in his resignation due, in part, to Trump’s plan withdraw US forces from Syria. That action likely means that Trump will actually do it.


    1. Spreading blood libel about Russia is the easiest thing to do in America. And it is the fake PC “left” that is the core of the credulous, Russophobic saps. Somebody told them that Russia suppresses the “gender fluid” or something.


    2. Who could have guessed, a few years back, that Tuck would evolve into the only sane man on American TV?
      P.S. I like his theory that the D.C. crowd are infected with “ergotism”, same as medieval French witchhunters – LOL!


      1. Carlson is also the most watched/highest rated of the cable news commentators. But, you would have to wade through a lot of anti-Carlson links from Google search results on “Tucker Carlson Ratings::

        Search Results
        Top stories
        CNN’s Chris
        Cuomo Denounces
        Tucker Carlson: “I
        Don’t Consider Him A Colleague”

        2 days ago
        The Brands Pulling
        Their Ads From
        Tucker Carlson
        Tonight Aren’t Suspending Their Relationships With Fox News

        2 days ago
        More for tucker carlson ratings

        CNN’s Chris
        Cuomo Denounces
        Tucker Carlson: “I
        Don’t Consider …

        Tucker Carlson
        lead Fox News to
        huge ratings victory
        Yahoo Finance – Nov 29, 2018

        Advertisers flee
        Tucker Carlson


    1. The link mentions a possible Afghanistan pullout is being contemplated by Trump
      If so, this is huge.. Well at least for the immediate future.


      1. I have a supposition about Trump. He initial tweets on a major topic are often his true position. Then, after his “advisors” get done with him, he walks back the tweets.

        For example, his defense spending tweets saying that the US defense budget was excessive and that arms control with China and Russia needs to be pursued. Then he walked back after “consultation”.

        Pulling out of Syria was always a stated objective of Trump but he often walked back and launched cruise missile on several occasions after media outrage. Now, his “true” beliefs are being asserted with a little help from Erdogan.


      1. That would be sweet. Perhaps her desire to serve could outweigh her, her family and all associated being put through hell.


  10. BTW I don’t think the headline “The Piker at the Gates of Dawn” – a play on the title of Pink Floyd’s first album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” – is misleading: because the word “piker” has so many different meanings, it can also be construed to refer to the United States in its actions towards Huawei and Sabrina Meng, and more so if it turns out that the US directed Canada to arrest Meng if she were passing through Canadian territory – which she might not actually have done if she never set foot outside Vancouver International Airport and was changing planes on her way to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires – with the intention of eventually using Meng as part of an underhand horse-trading deal in which Huawei would have to agree to certain restrictions or rules. If this was so, both the Canadian act and the US pressure on Canada were spiteful and low.


    1. Well, I intended it to mean that Canada is a piker on the world stage in comparison with global powers like the USA and China. But I would rescind that if it turned out the government grudgingly carried out the arrest rather than enthusiastically tried to please its Washington puppeteer. That might be the case, but Canadian conservatives quickly got on board with articles like “Canada Must Stand Up to China the Bully”.

      Incidentally, that was the article I referred to – although I did not cite it – when I referred to the opinion that the United States gets others to do its dirty work, and then distances itself while its allies weather the blame. I don’t think that’s true in this case, and Apple’s losses are likely to amount to considerably more than anything felt by Canada Goose. More to the point, Chinese on the street who were interviewed were so angry they said they were ready for China to go to war with the United States. If Russia and China were the global bullies the USA is, they would capitalize on public fury to wipe out the USA as a global force, which there is no doubt they could do together.

      While “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is indeed a Pink Floyd album (well done, investigator), it was a chapter in “The Wind in the Willows” long before there ever was a Pink Floyd, and it was from there I (and probably Pink Floyd, if the truth were known; it’s an odd phrase to come up with by pure coincidence) took it.


          1. The line that always made me snicker (well, not when “Leave it to Beaver” was still on the air, because I was too young to get the joke), along with my immature compatriots, was June Cleaver’s “Ward, you were a little hard on the Beaver last night”.


            1. In fact, Ward was so tough on June’s Beaver, that she eventually left him. She moved into the ghetto, learned to speak jive, and eventually re-married to a gang-banger.
              Meanwhile, the Beave himself became anti-social in his teenage years. When his mom abandoned their family, he became a serial rapist, known as the “Beaver Cleaver”.

              I’m NOT making this up!


              1. Fortunately, the Beave eventually settled down, when he fell in love with his Russian mail-order bride Katya. They had a son together, whom they named Igor.
                Whenever he travels to Russia on business, Igor is referred to respectfully by his name and patronymic, e.g., Igor Beaver-ovich.

                [drumroll for setup of best bilingual pun ever!]


                1. Oh yes, that’s true. And then Justin Beaver-ovich grew up to become Prime Minister of Canada! First changing his surname to some poncy French thing, ’cause he was ashamed of being the son of the notorious Beaver Cleaver.


                2. Justin couldn’t entirely erase his notorious ancestry as the Ottawa bureaucrats insisted he still had to use his middle name (his patronym, of course) but they agreed to clean it up a little to remove the stain of his origins so that’s why his full name is now Justin Bieber Trudeau.


                1. Stolen.

                  My own favourite seasonal one:

                  What was Bruce Lee’s favourite Christmas present?

                  [Delivered with appropriate screaming face and punch gestures] A TOY!!!


                2. I was told that one by a British theatre type named Jo Gater, years ago, she was a chum of the second Mrs. Stooge (although I weren’t a Kremlin stooge then). She was a veritable font of jokes I had never heard, from the rude to the ridiculous. An example of the latter;

                  What’s blue and white and extremely cool?

                  A refrigerator in a denim jacket.

                  And the former;

                  What’s the difference between Joan Collins and a Kit-Kat bar?

                  You can only get four fingers in a Kit-Kat.



      1. I know one of the songs (“See Emily Play”) from the Pink Floyd album from way back in my childhood but did not know of “The Wind in the WIllows” connection. That would make sense, as the novel used to be popular children’s reading and my old high school even had it as set reading for junior high school English literature study.


  11. Another brilliant move by distinguished hater strategist Andriy Parubiy in Ukraine – a law that would force the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to call itself “The Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”. Naturally, a lot fewer Ukrainians would dare attend in public, lest they be branded separatists or sympathizers, and have their names and addresses added to Nationalist hit lists.

    The church petitioned Poroshenko to veto it, which will make Parubiy all kinds of happy. The Moscow Patriarchate suggested it could have ‘unpredictable consequences’, and I’m with them. I think this will backfire spectacularly on Parubiy and the Nationalist weirdos. The west is steadily losing interest in bringing Ukraine into the western fold, and the more provocative it acts, the less likely it will ever be a part of NATO or the EU. Neither entity wants a war with Russia, which Ukraine would instantly drag both into as soon as they guaranteed its membership. That means that one day the west will abandon it – when even the western tacticians who want to use it as a scourge against Russia give it up – and when that day comes, it will be just a poverty-stricken Ukraine…and Russia. On that day, the Nationalists and Parubiy, if he’s still alive, will be easy to find.


  12. >UK media watchdog says Russian broadcaster RT broke impartiality rules

    >Ofcom said RT had failed to give sufficient weight to a range of views in seven current affairs discussion or news items.

    Ahaha, they are totally projecting. “Failed to give sufficient weight to a range of views”, nice formula they’ve got there.


        1. Роскомнадзор начал проверку в отношении канала BBC World News
          21 декабря 2018, 10:19

          Roskomnadzor has begun a review of BBC World News
          21 December 2018, 10:19

          Roskomnadzor has begun a review of BBC World News in connection with the decision of the British regulator OFCOM in relation to RT, as reported on the departmental website .

          The Supervisory authority will examine the information disseminated by foreign media on the territory of Russia, including the Internet, for compliance of materials to the legislation of the Russian Federation Later, the Agency will announce the results of the review.

          On 20 December it became known that OFCOM had recognized RT as being guilty of violating broadcasting regulations in the UK. The media regulator said that the Russian TV channel allegedly did not observe impartiality in several items on the Ukraine, Syria and the “Skripal Case”. In the statement, the supervisory body said that the offender faces a fine of up to £250 million (about $320 thousand at the current rate) or to an amount of 5% of the income from the British TV licence.

          In turn, RT press service emphasized that its broadcasting meets the requirements of the supervisory authority of the United Kingdom. It noted that OFCOM did not consider the arguments that were voiced by the media during the investigation. In the near future, the TV channel will review the findings of the regulator, and then decide on further steps.

          In March this year, the British media regulator wrote to the autonomous nonprofit organization “TV-Novosti”, which is the licensee of the TV channel RT, about the possible introduction of restrictions on broadcasting in connection with the statement by the Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May, regarding the poisoning of the British agent and former Colonel of the Main intelligence Directorate (GRU) Sergei Skripal. On April 18, Ofcom reported its having conducted seven investigations against the channel.

          Oh my, Roskomnadzor will certainly find it hard to prove bias in BBC reporting, paragon of journalistic rectitude that the BBC is!


          1. A reminder once again of BBC impartiality when dealing with matters Russian:

            Having watched the above video, I wrote the following comment to the clip, which is amongst many comments sent by those who were angered by the bias exhibited in that BBC travel “documentary”:

            I am English and have lived in Moscow for 25 years. I have been married to a Muscovite for 21 years. For the first 5 years of my married life here, I lived in a khrushchyovka …

            We moved to our present accommodation in the next street, into a block built in 1977.

            My wife was brought up in the old khrushchyovka, which her parents had been given ownership of on the dissolution of the Soviet Union. (She faintly remembers from her childhood the old wooden houses that used to be here, in which there were communal apartments: Russians called them “workers’ barracks”.) That’s how former Soviet citizens became owner occupiers at the stroke of a pen.

            My wife still owns the old khrushchyovka 2-room flat. It is not in line for demolition, though others situated not that far away in another precinct, but not in the Moscow Central Administrative District, are. The reason for this is that despite the small size of the flats, the location of a house is of paramount importance and can greatly increase the value of the property. Our old khrushchyovka is situated not 2 kms as the crow flies from the Kremlin.

            In fact, word got round last year that the old place was being considered for demolition. The residents there had the right to discuss the matter publicly at the local Taganskiy Precinct administration offices, and a very large majority of them voted that the house not be demolished. It is still standing.

            If one has to move from a khrushchyovka because a majority of its residents accept that it be demolished, the new flat that one is allocated cannot be situated more than 1 km from where one previously lived. Those who do not wish to be relocated can receive sizeable monetary compensation.

            The BBC ignores these facts: they clearly do not fit in with its Mordor propaganda programme.

            Mr. Phillips very quickly replied to my comment, thanking me for having made it.


          2. RT

            ‘Institute for Statecraft’ behind Ofcom’s targeting of RT? Sleuths point to yes
            published time: 21 Dec, 2018 23:46

            Ofcom makes it public when a broadcast receives ten or more more complaints. Yet the purported complaints about RT shows are nowhere to be seen on its website, as former Scotland Yard detective Charles Shoebridge points out.


    1. Max Blumenthal, and Charles Shoebridge, have been discussing this on Twitter. (Sorry can’t post links)

      They look at whether this attack on RT links to the “integrity initiative”

      In the leaked documents about this UK funded anti Russia organisation, part of the strategy is to target RT with complaints.

      -Crosstalk is targeted Ofcom have pages on the comments of the guests on the discussion show,
      – a report on Ukrainian nazis is alledged not to be balanced and
      -the reports on the Skripal incident.

      It’s clear that they want RT to be banned like Press TV.


    2. How cute. A CNN reporter told off one of the posters on Twitter or Facebook (I forget) that it is not CNN’s job to present the viewpoint of the Assad regime. So if someone wants information about chlorine gas attacks by the “rebels” (aka foreign jihadi militants) one has to look outside of CNN (and pals). But RT is supposed to blend in NATzO propaganda into its broadcast to be “balanced”.

      Well, OFCOM, it is not RT’s job to spread the viewpoints of NATzO propaganda voices.


    3. Uh huh. Putin ordered the hit on the Skripals. Russia shot down MH17 with a missile it sneaked into Ukraine, then scrammed out again. Russian athletes doped to win. How do we know this? Because the British press said the evidence was overwhelming. The opposing view was limited to “Moscow (of course) denies it”.


  13. Is there no end to this madness?

    21 декабря 201818:25
    Рада просит Порошенко объявить войну России

    Rada asks Poroshenko to declare war against Russia

    In the Verkhovna Rada there has been drafted an appeal to the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, requesting that he declare war against Russia. The author of the document is Rada Deputy Vitaliy Kupriy.

    The appeal proposes that war be declared against the Russian Federation and diplomatic relations and transport links with it broken. There is no such appeal documented in Ukrainian parliament electronic database yet.

    Previously, such initiatives have been repeatedly brought to the attention of the Ukrainian Parliament, however, a debate on this matter has not gained the required number of votes, reminds TASS.

    Brain dead Banderatards.


      1. For people with a clue, these clowns are laughingstocks. Only they think that the sanctions are having any impact of note. In the real world, the sanctions are making the Russian economy independent of NATzO influence.


    1. They think they will win because the USA is at their back. Russia isn’t Iraq or Syria. It can kick Uncle Scumbag’s ass. So any attempt to operate NATzO jets over the Donbass will be offset by deployment and use of S-400 systems on Russian territory. I am sure that NATzO and its Kiev quislings will try to involve some civilian aircraft in the warfare like MH17. Russia should force all international air traffic to stop over Ukraine by explicitly threatening to treat it as collateral damage. That will stop any false flag tricks from the Exceptionalistanis.


      1. If Trump can pull off the Syrian withdrawal then that could signal an end to military support of Ukraine. One can have hope anyway.


        1. “Warmongers on the Left and Right are united in their fury at President Donald Trump’s extraordinarily bold and brave decision immediately to begin withdrawing all US troops from Syria. For those of us who prefer peace, it is a sure sign that Trump deserves our unconditional support and gratitude, no matter how we view the rest of his presidency. After all, the only other time Trump united the neocons and liberal hawks was when he launched a futile cruise missile barrage last year at an empty Syrian airfield in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians.

          It is a sad reflection on the state of the Western media that it is only by unleashing deadly weapons against a sovereign Arab country that – in the infamous words of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria at the time – the Commander-in-Chief can appear ‘presidential’. A year later, we still have no incontrovertible evidence that a chemical attack had in fact been carried out or, if it was, who was responsible. Now Zakaria is whining that Trump’s latest decision to remove troops from Syria feels worse than the moment former President George W. Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq – an invasion, incredibly, Zakaria’s lies helped pave the way for.”

          Ahhh….truer words were never spoken (written)…except by me a couple of days ago!!!


  14. TheRealNews
    Published on 20 Dec 2018
    Now that Argentina received the International Monetary Fund’s largest loan ever, of $56 billion, it is recommending more austerity, which, as the data so far shows, will only prolong the country’s economic crisis, says CEPR’s Mark Weisbrot


    1. Can it be that the IMF simply doesn’t understand economics? It’s hard to imagine it would loan out $56 Billion, and make the loan conditional on pursuing policies which would make it unlikely the money could ever be repaid. Does it mean that much to enslave Argentina forevermore? How important is that, and what’s the goal? I sure do wish somebody who has a good understanding of economics (I don’t) would step up to do a post here on the IMF’s predatory lunacy and what might be behind it. How many loans has the IMF ever recouped? Does it always just give away money in exchange for the government’s adoption of policies which will crash the country and make it insolvent? What’s the purpose of that? Any takers?


      1. Actually the IMF is structured like a giant co-op or mutual fund. IMF members contribute money to a pool of funds and the amounts they contribute depend on the size of their economies. Their voting rights in the IMF in turn depend on how much they contribute to the pool of funds. It’s from this pool of funds, plus loan and loan interest payments the IMF receives, that the IMF lends out money.

        In addition, the amount of money a country is entitled to borrow is based in part on how much it contributes to the pool of funds. Theoretically anyway.

        I recall very vaguely that we had some discussion in the past about IMF’s sources of funding and how the amount a member country contributes to the pool of funds is linked to the level of influence it has in the IMF’s decision-making, and that with China and Russia starting to become significant contributors to the central pool of funding, their level of influence on IMF lending policy could increase.

        Quota and voting shares of major IMF members:

        “Why IMF Loans always get repaid”

        Investopedia article

        BTW Argentina paid off all its IMF loans (principal amounts, not interest payments though) in the early 2000s when Nestor Kirchner was President. Got a feeling though that President Maurizio Macri has agreed on paying the interest payments that were earlier cancelled or pardoned because there are individual creditors in the US hell bent on getting their money back.


      2. It is not about economics and finance it is about politics. Loading Argentina with a big loan creates leverage for neo-liberal forces inside Argentina to follow the IMF’s neocon policies and incessantly yammer about the obligation of Argentina to pay it off. The IMF is backed by the US and its Pancho Villa fiat which can be printed at the rate of a trillion per hour. It does not care if it “loses” its loan money. The main thing is to skew domestic politics in yet another Latin American country away from the path of socialism.

        A successful socialist economy in Latin America would a be a disaster for US imperialists. It would divert Latin American wealth to the locals instead of racketing it offshore.


        1. Yes, it’s an investment meant to gain control. A certainty is that publicly owned infrastructure such as water treatment facilities, mass transit, prisons, health care, etc. .will need to be sold to private interests to service the debt. So, any vestige of social onnwership for the public good will become firmly in the hands of private entities, many/most foreign owned.

          In essence, the IMF loan simply finances the transfer of public assets to the hands of private interests using austerity to ensure the need for the asset sell-off (at bargain prices).

          Serbia was screwed over in a different way but with the same objectives in mind. After years of extraordinarily severe economic sanctions, high quality industrial assets in Serbia were forced into bankruptcy. Not to worry, Germany firms came to the rescue buying them for pennies to the dollar. Who says government and big business are opponents? They play rather nice together.


            1. It is the thesis of Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”. Russia was saddled with a $20 billion IMF loan under Yeltsin which facilitated the monetarist agenda. But Putin paid it off. Interestingly the loan was looted like the smaller IMF loans in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine were on the same path to oblivion in the 1990s. But Russia woke up and got a good leader.


      3. Often the country that “loans” the money never get any of the money.

        The loan is transferred by IMF to an IMF-account named after the country they are going to
        “help”. IMF then decides who gets the money.

        The money often goes to finance a western company that has an idiotic idea to build a bridge or a road or something that the country has no use for.


          1. We vikings from norvays do not speak good englisk.

            But we will take your vimmanfolk and have fun with tehm at our winterblot.

            God Jul.


  15. What can you do with the British press but laugh at its foolishness? Classic shirt-fronter and all-round British tough guy Gavin Williamson is in Ukraine today, and he brought HMS Echo along with him as ‘a show of strength’. But it’s…uhhh…unarmed.

    That’s ’cause it’s a spy ship, though. Except it’s not – the Ministry said.

    What’s the use in having a spy ship if you admit that it’s a spy ship? Comes to that, when world leaders all know what Vladimir Putin is thinking because they can read his mind, what the fuck is the use of having spy ships at all? To prove that world leaders were right when they read Putin’s mind? Right, then – first assignment. According to The Sun, Russian military hardware has been ‘pouring’ into ‘occupied Crimea’. Prove it. Put that spy ship to work, and get some pictures.

    Oh, wait – I see a problem. Crimea is part of Russia. Are there going to be any journalism awards for discovering Russian military hardware in Russia? Mmmmm….unlikely.

    Not unless you can portray it as an ‘invasion force’ primed to seize all of Ukraine. ‘Cause, you know, it’s so valuable. Speaking of precious Ukraine, it plans another naval foray into the Sea of Azov, to prove that the mighty Ukrainian Navy does not let anyone tell it where it can go. As insurance – I have to admit I love this part – Kuh-yiv has invited the OSCE to put its representatives on board the Ukrainian vessels. I can see diplomats lining up for that cruise, knowing that Ukraine deliberately provokes Russian forces to shoot at it. As proof of its mental stability, Ukraine announces that it has missiles on shore that can easily destroy the Crimea bridge. Does Russia really have to say that it has missiles on shore that can easily destroy Ukraine? What does the west thin of Ukraine’s plans to destroy a bridge that has no real military application, but is used daily by thousands of civilians?


    1. According to a Tweet linked to in The Sun article, HMS Echo is a multi-role hydrographic survey / oceanographic survey ship. So how useful would all that cutting-edge spy technology on the ship be if the Russian military equipment going into Crimea is land-based?


      1. It is a spy ship, only the UK does not have spy ships.

        Likewise, the UK had no secret intelligence service for years and years, until this place appeared on the South Bank, London. Now the UK officially has secret intelligence service operatives.

        And this place is just for government communications: you know, for when the UK government wants to communicate with somebody or other …


        1. Well, it’s not really a spy ship. Britain cannot afford to have a couple of ships that are only good for spying, and otherwise just lie about doing nothing. I daresay its actual designed role is oceanographic/hydrographic research, with a secondary communications-monitoring role. But as I said, all nations know by now that their every word is being monitored unless it is transmitted by secure voice, which scrambles the communication signal as it leaves the transmitter and then reassembles it at the receiver. Consequently, those with important secrets are typically careful about how they discuss them. Except when nations get arrogant and assume they are immune to monitoring, as Ms. Nuland and Mr. Pyatt apparently did on the occasion of the Glorious Maidan, blathering about American strategy for the formation of the new Ukrainian government on cellphones, which are known by American government personnel to be insecure since America is the world’s biggest interceptor and analyst of global cellular communications. But stupidity is always the joker in the deck, isn’t it?

          Ships and land stations which specialize in communications intercept would be handy for monitoring battlefield communications, when radio security typically is abandoned in favour of clarity and speed. But I need hardly point out that if there is an active battlefield, you might have bigger problems than figuring out what the enemy is thinking. On top of all that, the west has a definite tendency to project what the enemy is thinking to the point that it begins to believe it actually heard them say so out loud, when what it wants to hear is not what is going on in enemy-land at all. As if that were not enough, the enemy routinely says apparently-careless things which are meant to be intercepted, and which are called disinformation.


      2. I imagine they have a pretty good communications-monitoring facility aboard; often such ships can be purpose-fitted for that role, and bring aboard specialist personnel for the voyage who speak the language. When we did WESTPLOY 98 we carried some extra radio gear and 2 Chinese language specialists and one Russian, all military. But there is not much in the way of communications traffic that they might intercept that could not be gotten by some other means without having a local presence, and most people have learned to be careful what they say on an uncovered net, even in their own language. That’s why it’s so hilarious to hear these perfectly-incriminating voice intercepts the SBU keeps picking up from Russians – “Oh my God; I’ve shot down a civilian airliner! There are bodies everywhere! What a horrible crime; how am I going to cover this up? Boys, get that Buk missile launcher covered up, quick; we have to scram for the border!!” or “Boris, I need to rig the referendum question so that our candidate will win – any suggestions? Say; I hope nobody is listening, because this would be totally reprehensible and would probably turn the world against us”.

        You can fit a communications suite like that on just about any ship – the specialists bring their own radio gear and antennae and so forth, and stand their own watches independent of the crew. But space is at a premium on a warship, and Echo probably has some extra space due to her multi-role design. Russia has communications-jamming equipment that would probably tie their stuff in knots, and I’m thinking that’s what the British are hoping for – a look at what the enemy capability might be, probably they are ready to record it as well so they can take it apart later in analysis and perhaps engineer a countermeasure. But it’s a no-lose situation for them – if they don’t pick up anything of any particular interest, the public stance will be that the ship’s presence shut down the transfer of military equipment, which argues for a strong and continuous British naval presence, bla, bla, bla. Russia is perfectly capable of sinking anything in the Black Sea without anyone having to leave their desks; it’s not very big. But if you keep shuttling warships in and there is an increased atmosphere of belligerence, sooner or later something will happen.

        Then world leaders approached for comment will say “How could this happen? Nobody could have predicted it!! The Russians are just so trigger-happy and confrontational, we were only there to spread peace! There must be a strong response to this unprovoked aggression!!!”


      3. The Register did a puff* piece a few weeks ago about her sister ship the HMS Enterprise and ne’er a squeak that mapping the seabeds is extremely useful for submarine warfare. The Chinese Navy got very uppity quite some time ago by USGS catamarans in and around the South China Seas, and caused them some problems.

        There seems to be an uptick in military propaganda the last couple of years in the media with much more to come.



      4. According to Wikipedia, the HMS Echo is designed to support naval activities.

        Echo and her sister ship are designed to conduct survey operations in support of submarines or amphibious operations. She can provide almost real-time tailored environmental information, and also has a secondary role as a mine countermeasure tasking authority platform, for which she is capable of embarking a dedicated mine counter measures command team.[4]


  16. 22.12.2018, 04:26
    США выделят Украине $10 млн после инцидента в Керченском проливе

    The US is to allocate $ 10 million to the Ukraine after the Kerch Strait incident.

    The United States is allocate $ 10 million for additional assistance to the Ukrainian Navy following the Kerch Strait incident, said the head of the US State Department press service, Robert Palladino. The tranche has first to be approved by the US Congress.

    “We are doing this together with Lithuania and the UK, who are also planning to increase assistance to the Ukraine in the field of security”, RIA Novosti quotes Mr. Palladino.

    Let freedom ring out!


    Sucker US taxpayers, more like!

    Meanwhile, Poroshenko’s wealth increases.


    1. $10 million is peanuts. To an individual, it’s a fortune, but to a state it is diddly – those scabby little Gurza-class riverboats like the two Russia captured recently probably cost more than $10 million apiece. And while we’re on that subject, the navy refused to take delivery of the first two following sea trials, because of numerous structural defects. Then the contract was withdrawn (I think it was for 6 units, or maybe 9, which is just a 6 upside-down)…and then suddenly it was on again, full confidence, 20 units which will ‘form the backbone of the Ukrainian navy’. They cannot go to sea in more than a 4-foot swell and cannot fire weapons in more than 2. But the Leninska Kuznya shipyard which builds them is owned by…can you guess?


  17. Defence secretary Gavin Williamson meets families of Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia

    Britain’s defence secretary met the families of Ukrainian sailors captured by Russian forces in the Black Sea during a visit to the home port of the boats seized in last month’s dramatic confrontation.

    Gavin Williamson’s arrival in Odessa, a city under martial law, came at a time of spiralling tension between Kiev and Moscow two days after the Ukrainian government announced that it intended to send warships into the Sea to assert freedom of navigation to its ports which it says are effectively under blockade.

    [My stress as this is a blatant lie!]

    Mr Williamson, however, stated that he intended to send a Royal Navy warship into the Black Sea next year because of “concerns about what Russia is trying to do”.

    He said it was “incumbent on all free nations, all Nato nations, all European Union nations need to be standing side by side in this”.

    He added: “We also want to demonstrate our rights to be able to come to ports such as Odessa, for freedom of navigation, for freedom for navies to be able to operate in the Black Sea. This isn’t Russia’s sea, this is an international sea. We need to demonstrate our right to be able to come to ports such as Odessa, for freedom of navigation, for freedom for navies to be able to operate in the Black Sea. This isn’t Russia’s sea, this is an international sea.”

    I think the sad twat should first discuss this matter with the Turkish government when he tries to send units of Britain’s mighty fleet through the Bosphorus.

    Some of the families of the captured Ukrainian crew members said they welcomed the show of support from the UK. They have written letters to the Queen and Theresa May seeking their help in getting the men, some of whom were injured when their boats were boarded by Russian forces.

    The letter to the Queen, which was handed to Judith Gough, the British ambassador to Ukraine states: “Madam, we ask your help and support in seeking the release of our sons, husbands and fathers from Russian captivity. We simply all sincerely hope that your reputation and humanitarian influence will be heard and our loved ones will return safe and sound. We ask you dear madam to use your indisputable authority for the quick return home of our relatives illegal captured by the Russian Federation.”

    Don’t they know that when first addressing the British monarch, it is the done thing to say “Your Royal Highness” and after that: “ma’am”?

    Reply from Mrs. Windsor:

    “Eow dooo fak awf!”

    Then again, maybe not.


    1. Yes, I’ll just bet they wrote to the Queen and to Theresa May to please bring their brave boys home. What rubbish. As if the Queen holds sway over anyone now, and Theresa May? Pfffft – don’t make me laugh.

      Britain can send a warship into the Black Sea any time it likes – provided it first arranges for its passage through the Bosporus in accordance with the Montreux Convention, and does not overstay its visit. It’s not as if doing so is a thumb in Putin’s eye, although Gavin Williamson would have you believe it is. I daresay if a group of western ships shows up in the Black Sea but remains out of Russian territorial waters, it would not be molested, although a Russian ship would likely come out to keep an eye on things. But you would never see the hysterical strutting and chest-beating in the Russian press about ‘seeing the bastards off’ that you do in the English papers whenever a Russian vessel enters the English Channel. I daresay there would be overflights as well. But if neither of those showed up, it might be premature for NATO to crow that it had at last ensured freedom of the Black Sea for all who pass upon their lawful occasions; Russia can easily cover all of the Black Sea with landbased weapons alone.

      Russia has never registered any objection to British vessels visiting Odessa, and Williamson knows it. He is just posturing for the locals and the folks back home, who get a nostalgic tear in their eye when they see mighty Britain protecting the weak.


      1. I doubt it very much. Williamson’s function when he visits anywhere seems to be to make such an ass of himself that the visit gets attention far out of proportion to its importance. The UK has far bigger problems right now than defending Ukraine, which it could maybe do for a day or so even if it were allowed to put all its warships into the Black Sea at once.


    2. It would appear the crew’s family members must have had the same English language proficiency as Litvinenko in his later years.


  18. Furthermore, is Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Ukraine really unaware of the fact that the so-called constitutional monarch of the UK is not allowed to play politics, whose activities are strictly limited to those of a non-partisan function, and that the handing of such a letter to the old woman in Buckingham Palace is a major faux pas, if indeed such a letter has been presented to some lackey at Buck House?


    1. I assume Judith Gough would pass the letter on to the UK Foreign Office and the people there would just keep the Queen’s Private Secretary in the loop. A letter petitioning the Queen to do or say something would not be unusual at all, and I would guess Buckingham Palace receives hundreds of such letters each week. The Private Secretary’s office would send the letter on to the appropriate govt department, depending on its contents.


      1. Yes, they plainly want to milk it for as much public-relations value as they can get out of it, but I very much doubt the Queen will do anything concrete about it, as she is supposed to be above politics. So is the US President, if the truth be known, excepting the most banal and non-committal statements. But Trump blew that out of the water, if it hadn’t already been done, to the point you can get into a Twitter war with him at 2:00 AM on an argument you had with the mayor of your town.


  19. CBC News
    Published on 21 Dec 2018
    Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China as retaliation for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, according to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.


    1. But the real inside story here is that Clarence does not know how to make a decent tuna casserole, even though it is quite easy to do. Instead, he always has his wife make the casserole, and then passes it off as his own work. The reason why he needed the date to be January 18 is because his wife would be able to make the casserole for him. HIs wife Myrtle is actually going out of town to visit her relatives on January 11, so would not be able to make the casserole. Unless she made it ahead of time and then froze it. But the parishioners are very savvy foodies, you can’t fool them with a pre-frozen casserole, and Clarence would have been exposed as the fraud that he is. His only recourse was to blame Putin and the Russians for hacking the vote. This way he can still show up for the potluck, sans casserole, eat until he chokes, and pretend that he is boycotting the casserole event to protest Russian collusion. A cunning plan, indeed, Clarence! But the Russophiles are onto you and your little tricks…


        1. Tuna helper, pshaw! Only rednecks use tuna helper.

          Here is my secret recipe for the best tuna casserole ever:
          Boil water in a pot, and toss in pasta (e.g., shells or whatever).
          When pasta is soft drain off excess water, then stir in a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, plus a can of tuna (in olive oil).
          Stir until all mushed up and hot to trot.
          Put in baking dish and add grated cheese on top. Or, if you’re too lazy to grate cheese, just toss some cheese slices on, the more the better.
          Some people add breadcrumbs, but I think that’s philistine, so don’t do it.
          Pop in oven and bake a few minutes until cheese melts.
          Serve to your white trash friends with a side of ricotta cheese and a fine red wine from a cardbox box.



          1. Wait, you’re going too fast. First, need more details on how to boil water.

            BTW, I understand that Trump is making America grate again.

            I am comfortable with being a deplorable BTW.


            1. Very droll, PO. I don’t diss the Campbell soup idea – a can of mushroom soup plays a key role in a Thanksgiving dish – a green bean casserole – which always appears on a friend’s Christmas table ever since she tried it while on a visit to the US. It sometimes appears on mine but I replace it with fresh mushrooms, sautéed in oil and butter with a splash of wine and cream.


              1. “fresh mushrooms, sautéed in oil and butter with a splash of wine and cream” — but, Fern, that’s the exact same recipe that Campbell uses! Also, I forget to mention, that the green bean casserole must have tinned dried out onion rings on top. Don’t even try making your own gourmet onion rings!

                Meanwhile, PO is also correct that we need to “make America grate again” – the only problem being that it is all too easy to grate one’s knuckles along with the cheese. Being a classy chef ain’t easy.


              2. I always looked forward to my mom’s green bean casserole made from Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup and fried onion rings, stove top stuffing, soft warm dinner rolls smothered in real butter, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and turkey when it was juicy but not in that order. If it were snowing outside it would be a perfect Thanksgiving dinner.


  20. BBC News
    Published on 19 Dec 2018
    China is the number one national security threat the US faces by far, Bill Evanina the Director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center told the BBC’s Security Correspondent Gordon Corera.
    It comes amid growing pressure from Washington on Beijing and claims of economic espionage.

    And Washington’s concern extends beyond espionage to the influence China is exerting (even in Hollywood)– with similar concerns in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keep it up, boys. You wouldn’t listen when people said pushing Russia and China into an alliance was a bad idea. Now you seem to think cementing that alliance against a common enemy is an even better idea. Let’s see; one of the world’s biggest energy suppliers – and a nuclear power to boot – allied with a bottomless pool of manpower, huge land forces and the world’s biggest single economy. Which just happens to hold trillions in western debt. Yup, sounds like a good idea to me – let’s antagonize them, what say?


      1. It is hard to see this is as a sober policy. It looks like a panic induced by the collective realization in NATzO elites that China’s elites are not going to be good poodles. Of course we never hear about this angle. NATzO expects the world to function as NATzO: USA on top and bootlick quisling regimes in the EU. Russian and Chinese elites are doing the natural thing and rejecting this absurd US colonial model.


  21. Gavin Williamson: UK ship in Ukraine ‘sends message to Russia’

    HMS Echo docked in the Black Sea on Friday, before Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson visited

    A Royal Navy warship which has been sent to Ukraine will send a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the UK’s defence secretary says.

    HMS Echo was sent into the Black Sea earlier this month, after Russia seized three ships belonging to Ukraine’s navy and their crews.

    Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has visited the ship in the port of Odessa.

    He said the presence of the British ship shows support for Ukraine in the face of increased Russian aggression.

    It will be followed by other warships as part of a more constant British presence, he said.

    Nato has recently stepped up its operations in the Black Sea with increased warship patrols.


    1. He might be able to send an entire fleet of HMS Echoes, depending on how the Montreux Convention defines ‘warship’. Those vessels are unarmed, so far as I can make out. If the Convention (and I haven’t looked, I’m just guessing) specifies a vessel is a warship if it is part of a nation’s navy, then it would be regulated accordingly. If it must carry fitted weapons, Williamson could send in as many as he liked, although I would not think they would provide much of a ‘show of strength’. But perhaps that’s just me, being cynical.


      1. As a ship that is specialized for detecting naval mines, it may also be good at finding locations to place mines to help Ukraine when they get the gumption to mine the area.

        It would be a nice provocation. A Russian merchant ship blows up and sinks (2 or 3 meters I guess). The Western media smirks at those exploding junk Russian ships so Russia either bites its tongue or launches a strike against Ukraine. Admittedly, quite a chain of speculation but you never know what can happen nowadays.


  22. What message? The only message that is being sent is the cheesy propaganda one to the residents of NATzO states. NATzO’s full support of the Nazis in Kiev is clear already since 2014.


  23. A favorite topic:

    2018 was the year the oil and gas industry promised that its darling, the shale fracking revolution, would stop focusing on endless production and instead turn a profit for its investors. But as the year winds to a close, it’s clear that hasn’t happened.

    Instead, the fracking industry has helped set new records for U.S. oil production while continuing to lose huge amounts of money — and that was before the recent crash in oil prices.

    The article has a little fun with a puff piece on fracking by Reuters::

    However, Reuters recently analyzed 32 fracking companies and declared that “U.S. shale firms are more profitable than ever after a strong third quarter.” How is this possible?

    Reading a bit further reveals what Reuters considers “profits.”

    “The group’s cash flow deficit has narrowed to $945 million as U.S. benchmark crude hit $70 a barrel and production soared,” reported Reuters.

    So, “more profitable than ever” means that those 32 companies are running a deficit of nearly $1 billion. That does not meet the accepted definition of profit.

    So, “more profitable than ever” in the above means “not losing as much money than before”. And, that was at $70/bbl oil.

    I think many of us suspect that the fracking bubble is not being maintained just because some banks are making profits from loans or transaction fees. A more fundamental reason is that the US government needs to see those production figures to advance its geopolitical agenda. Wall Street is more than willing to do its patriotic part (sarcasm) to fund those schemes. So, add the fracking industry to SpaceX, Apple and Boeing as government/deep state tools. Others may include Facebook and Google.


    1. Indeed. The self-designated home of “free enterprise” is engaging in full bore “socialist” subsidy of the fracking operations. A lot of those “profits” (i.e. non zero revenues) come from land flipping. Fracking operators have to deal with real estate transactions on a regular basis. Real estate speculation helps them offset the red ink that underpins their whole business model.

      At the end of the day, fracked wells have vastly less productivity than conventional wells. They deplete much faster and in particular have thin-tail production attenuation. So the all-time integrated production is smaller than from conventional wells even if scaled. Compensating for poor productivity wells with many more wells drilled is a why this industry is in the red. Drilling and fracking is expensive. There is no way that tight oil and gas extraction can be treated as conventional oil and gas extraction. The word “tight” says it all.


  24. And another thing:

    Germany has been rocked by a scandal involving one of the top reporters writing for the reputable Der Spiegel magazine, who turned out to be a fraudster. What made a fabulst into a star? Let’s look at some of his stories.

    Claas Relotius, the ‘brilliant reporter’-turned-fabricator, carved his way to pages of some of the most prestigious German newspapers with curious, sentimental and touching human stories from everyday life. Although, some of these intimate private stories clearly had some political angle.

    Saying there was a political angle was an understatement. The cited fraudulent stories involved heroic Syrian civilians fighting the monster Assad, children made orphans by the evil Assad, and innocent immigrants yearning to free in the US targeted by pro-Trump militias.
    … all fabricated stories covering many years of “reporting”.

    My take is that the reporter did not receive “orders” to generate the lies. Rather, he realized what the editors, media bosses and news analysts wanted to see. So, he simply filled a marketing need. That is how propaganda is done in a market economy. Wave around money and the potential for fame and the rest takes care of itself. Same for Hollywood movies, the network news etc.

    Yes, that would be a good research paper – The Effects of Money on Media Content in a Market Economy”


    1. And if a fellow journalist had not noticed his magic touch and begun to keep tabs on his ‘references’, the poor fellow would still be suffering from his sickness, and still be one of the most widely-published and highly-paid reporters in Europe. I hope I might be forgiven for imagining a shiver of anger going through der Spiegel, not at the fabricating ‘sick’ reporter, but at the one who exposed him and shut off his magical tales.


    2. An example of Claas Relotius’ writing and how it fed stereotypes Der Spiegel was peddling to its readers (in this case, stereotypes about rural townfolk in Midwest America) is this March 2017 story on Fergus Falls in Minnesota. The only things Relotius got right were basic stats that anyone can look up on Wikipedia or on online encyclopaedias:


      1. This makes for a fascinating read. It seems apparent that Spiegel dispatched Relotius to Minnesota in order to write slime on a majority Trump-voting county. Either that, or they wanted a “human interest” story of a “get to know the enemy” type. As in WHAT IS WRONG with these people who don’t follow our Atlanticist agenda? In which case, they didn’t necessarily need the reporter to slime the people, just to explain their mentality with some whimsical stories.

        And he could have written a halfway decent piece with tons of human interest stories and not even touched on politics, and received a handsome paycheck for his efforts.
        Instead, he was simply too lazy to do the shoe-leather work and just sat back in his hotel room and made shit up! Argg, WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!!!???


      2. Relotius should have started his story with “Highly likely”.

        Stories about dictator Assad, the Syrian “regime” and poison gas attacks against civilians should immediately be placed under scrutiny by Der Speigel but of course they won’t.

        Der Speigel, you have been warned:


  25. A quote from an MOA article:

    For at least two decades, the Department of Defense has explicitly defined its mission on its website as providing “the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.” But earlier this year, it quietly changed that statement, perhaps suggesting a more ominous approach to national security.

    The Pentagon’s official website now defines its mission this way: “The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad.”

    Emphasis added. There you have it. The honesty is appreciated.


    1. The sustainment of American influence abroad will be banjaxed beyond repair by even the mighty Pentagon if Trump wins another term. He has managed to make George W. Bush look statesmanlike by comparison, and his crudity and lack of refinement have sent a deep shudder through Europe. American soft power has been more or less wiped out, and much of the world now just suffers Americans out of pity for them for being represented by such a moron. the idea of anyone ‘envying Americans for their freedom’ looks pretty ridiculous, and flattering their culture by imitation seems to be kind of short on examples.

      But it was nice of them to own up to the truth that part of the military mission – perhaps the most important part – is to spread American influence by force of arms, frequently where it is not welcomed.


      1. I still maintain much of Trump’s crudity is simply honesty. Was there any US president that would hesitate to take an action that would knowingly cause a thousand children to die if it advanced whatever agenda at hand?

        Trump is a bull in the house of propaganda mirrors.

        American soft power, I suspect, is rooted in American dollars. Once that money loses its luster so does the soft power. Trump has made it harder for the money grubbers to hide behind the shining image of moral superiority simply because he is casting a shadow over that image.

        Another way to look at it is to consider that Trump understands the Show. He is there to tear down the globalist Show to substitute his own. Egotistical? Yes. But it’s a better Show that Hilary’s.

        Not sure if the foregoing makes any sense but it felt right.


        1. Trump may indeed be honest, according to his own lights, but he is far from a philanthropist in that he sees global problems in the context of how solving them will contribute to the Glory Of Trump – they said it couldn’t be done, but by God, I did it. I would not dispute that his egotism is probably less dangerous to global stability than Hillary’s would have been, but Trump is destroying the United States rather than the whole world. That just has to be a matter of concern to some, and most of them are probably the people who have to share America with him.

          The President of the United States, except as a symbol, has almost nothing to do with American soft power; that is the province of the State Department and various NGO’s such as the Peace Corps. Exchange programs such as the one run by Yale, from which the Boy Wonder Alexey Navalny benefited, Fulbright scholarships and various other exchange programs facilitate understanding between the USA and other countries, and – coincidentally – help the State Department spot emerging talent that might one day be useful for regime change back home once the student has finished his studies.


          1. Technically speaking, I don’t think the Yale program is an exchange program, because I don’t think there is anything comparable on the other side. For example, Navalny went to the U.S. from Russia, but I don’t think there was a corresponding Russian who went to Moscow to study for a semester.

            Also, the Yale program recruits “talent” from various nations around the world, not just Russia. The students, who could be any age, study for one semester in New Haven, Connecticut and learn how to speak the jive and do color revolutions and stuff like that.
            I personally believe (can’t prove it, ’cause it’s all hush-hush!) that, from time to time a student is picked out of the herd for “special treatment”. Like they are invited to a secret meeting off-campus, or maybe a dinner in the old Skull and Bones Lodge, and then a CIA officer just strolls in nonchalantly and recruits them on the spot, directly to the CIA. Most of the students probably just come and go without being aware of this. Although they sort of “know” what is expected of them, once they get back home.


            1. Prime examples of US recruited “talent” for the rebuilding of post-Soviet bloc states:

              Toomas Hendrik Ilves (born 1953), 4th president of Estonia 2006-2016, born Stockholm 1953, after parents had fled invading Soviets (must have preferred living under the Nazi invaders). Raised and educated in the USA, worked for RL/RFE, Munich, then became US Ambassador to Estonia, then became Estonian Foreign Ministerr, then President of Estonia.

              Valdas Adamkus (born 1926), President of Lithuania 1993-2003. Parents also fled Soviet invaders, moving to Nazi Germany. Adamkus ended up in Chicago in 1949 as a displaced person. He faced legal opposition in Lithuanian courts following doubts as regards his elegibility to run for presidency because of the length of time he had spent abroad. A court resolved the case in Adamkus’ favour and no other obstacles remained other than his U.S. citizenship, which he officially renounced at the American Embassy in Vilnius.

              Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (born 1937), whose parents also fled to Nazi Germany in order to escape the Soviet invaders. Began her education in Germany, then in French colonial Morocco and then her family moved to Toronto in 1954. Graduated from University of Toronto. Returned to Latvia in 1998, where she became president of that state the following year.

              Apparently, no Latvian, Lithuanian or Estonian citizen who had not only been born and bred, but had also lived all their adult lives in those lands, were considered competent enough to attain the highest office of state.


              1. Vīķe-Freiberga obtained a PhD in psychology at McGill University in 1965, at the same time that Ewen Cameron was working there, carrying out experiments on mentally ill patients (without their consent) that involved erasing their memories and reprogramming their minds to be receptive to new memories. The experiments included the use of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, electroshock therapy, sleep deprivation and putting people into comas that lasted weeks while playing tape loops of statements. These experiments either ended up as part of, or were included from the outset in, the CIA’s MK Ultra project.

                Vīķe-Freiberga must have known about these projects; her Wikipedia entry states that from 1965 to 1998 she worked in the Department of Psychology at the University of Montreal where among other things she did experimental research on memory processes and language, and – get this – the influence of drugs on cognitive processes.

                Liked by 1 person

            2. Yes, I don’t know the system well, but what you have described sounds reasonable. I imagine there are true exchanges of students for educational immersion purposes, although of course the Yale program is not one of those.


  26. The EU should be placed on a suicide watch:

    The very same [EU] nations that blasted the White House for deciding to pull out of the landmark 1987 INF Treaty have now helped to defeat the UN resolution calling for its support, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out.

    I guess that there is a blanket order to vote against all Russian UN initiatives, you know, to prove its political isolation.


    1. Not all, to be fair. They didn’t vote against the (Russian) resolution against heroization of nazism. Only two countries did actually.


            1. Canada voted against it. I’m pretty confident it did so to please its dominant American partner, but it had a lot of weasely reasons like ‘things in the resolution limited the freedom of expression’. Most other countries – including Israel! – voted for it (I suppose they could hardly have done otherwise), but only Canada, the USA and Ukraine voted against it. So I guess it infringed on Ukraine’s right to express itself as a Nazi fan, or something. Canada is very sensitive about such things – more sensitive than France, the UK and Italy, obviously, who are tramplers of human rights.

              I’m being sarcastic because it infuriated me that Canada could not show even that little bit of spine and independence. But in fact the American laws on hate speech are very specific; I think I mentioned before that I investigated making a complaint against La Russophobe for her Russophobia. She would pretty much have had to say “Let’s go over to X’s house (identifying specific people in place of X) on Thursday night and burn it down because they are Russians” in order for it to qualify as hate speech. You’re always walking a very fine line between protecting citizens against hate speech, and restricting people’s freedom to insult other people they don’t like because of their ethnicity.

              But whenever Ukrainians are caught red-handed sporting Nazi symbols, they go into that impossible-to-resist cute act where they are all shocked and stuff, and say “What???SS??? The skull and crossbones are associated with the WW II German military? Wow; I totally thought I was coming off as a pirate, like Jake and Izzy!!” And everybody (in NATO) says, “Oh, my gosh – Walter, isn’t that so cute? Don’t you just love their unspoiled innocence? Send them some more money for defensive weapons”.


            1. Ah. I thought it was a one-time deal. I guess Freeland must have called in sick that day, or couldn’t persuade Trudeau to let her support it. Because it would not matter what it was – if Ukraine is for it, then so is she.


  27. Neuters via Russia asks Swedish diplomat to leave country – Swedish foreign ministry

    Russia has asked a Swedish diplomat in Moscow to leave the country after Stockholm rejected two Russian applications for diplomatic visas, the Swedish foreign ministry said on Friday.

    A press officer at the ministry, declining to provide further details, said that Sweden regretted Russia’s decision.

    But that’s not fair?


    1. Reuters does not know the English language. Russia told him to leave. As in ordered to get his ass out of the country. It did not give him a choice to stay which is implied in “ask”.

      I know that Reuters does understand. But they are spinning any case involving anti-Russian activity by NATzO angels as some sort of Russian misunderstanding or malice.


  28. For all the PC worms who worship the “gender fluid” BS. How cute for the PC drones to ignore the reality and engage in fantasy.


    1. Imma gonna not take sides in the controversy. However she does look a little ‘trannyish’ to me.
      Anyway here is another take on gender benders:


    2. Any side that Kirill is on, I have the impulse to take the opposite side. Especially when he calls people who don’t agree with him “worms”. In the past he has called me a worm too, by the way, plus lots of other names.
      What an aggressive self-righteous sod!
      Kirill is a lunatic, by the way. Even more so than these pathetic trannies. At least some of them are kind and decent people, albeit mentally troubled. Not Kirill, though. He is mentally troubled and also hostile and hateful. A true misanthropist, and a disgrace to the Russophile community.


      1. So you are now an expert in genetics, poser. I guess XX and XY chromosome pairs and the ensuing 6500 physical differences between males and females are a “social construct”. Also, all the people who think they are handicapped in normal bodies should have their “inner essence” released and have their handicaps realized. You need also to somehow to get Trotsky into this subject because he is the creator of the PC reality.


        1. No, I am not an expert in genetics, and neither are you, Otto! I said that some trannies are kind and decent people. I personally encountered a trannie (who works at a gas station) who really helped me out of a jam a few weeks back, when I had an empty tank and was kind of desperate. She not only helped me, but helped another customer at the same time, who was also in a different jam. A very nice and caring person, although admittedly rather odd looking.

          From saying that some trannies are “kind and decent people”, you read into that, that I claim to be an expert in genetics?????

          Pure projection, mon ami. YOU are the one who claims to be an expert in every subject under the sun. You claim to be a phD physicist. Okay, maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. (Personally, I doubt it.)
          But then, in previous thread, you are discoursing about Economics, and whether 2% is better than 4%, or whatever. So, you claim to be an expert in Economics too. In other threads, you have discoursed on various topics, always with an authoritative tone, as if people should hang on your every opinion.

          I only claim to be versed in 2 topics: Linguistics and SQL Databases.
          It was due to my studies of the former, that I was able to expose you as a fraud when you attempted to discourse on a topic (=Linguistics) that you clearly have no clue about.

          Your problem, Otto, is that when you pontificate, it is simply impossible to tell (unless one has professional knowledge) whether you actually know what you are talking about, or just pure bullshitting. You always pontificate in the same assertive mode, you never say, “I think that…” or express doubts, you pass yourself off as an expert, you never admit that you are factually wrong about anything, and you explode in violence whenever anybody challenges you on the facts.

          I get the impression that this is how you have been able to bully your way through life, by bullshitting and intimating other people. Maybe you never met anyone before who dared to challenge you, given your violent temper?

          Trotsky is the creator of this PC reality????? Ludicrous! Your Trotsky obsession makes you certifiable. All of Trotsky’s writings are online and all translated into English, in case your Russian is too rusty to read. I challenge you to find a single word, anywhere in Trotsky’s writings, where he wrote about transgender issues. Trotsky himself was a normal heterosexual male (quite so!) If he had any opinions about gender issues, then they would have been just the standard ones that all Marxists believe in, namely the equality between men and women. Even simple homosexuality, let alone transgender issues, were not on the radar in those days. The fact that you are obsessed about this issue, simply shows that … you are consumed with doubts about your own sexuality, you project your doubts and obsessions onto “PC Trotskyites’, and basically you are a mad-dog barking crazy person. Not to mention a complete tosser!


          1. He’s said to have had an affair with the artist Frida Kahlo, some time after she and her husband Diego Rivera invited the Trotskys to come live in Mexico City after they obtained asylum in Mexico. The Trotskys lived in Kahlo’s childhood home (known as The Blue House – it’s now a museum dedicated to Kahlo’s life and work).


            1. Trotsky’s affair with Frida is almost certainly factual, even Trotsky’s grandson Esteban Volkov practically admitted it (not in the below link, but a different link). Trotsky’s wife Natalia was quite upset about it, of course. Here is an interesting link I found on Esteban, by the way, Interesting to see that he still holds to the socialist ideals: “Capitalism is a total disaster, completely unable to solve humanity’s problems. It is an obsolete system.”

              And here is something on Trotsky’s “romantic” life as a heterosexual male. He was married twice and probably had affairs, with women, it goes without saying.

              Like I said before, the Bolsheviks thought and wrote very little on gender affairs, beyond the basic women’s lib philosophy that they inherited from Marx and Engels. I believe they briefly de-criminalized homosexuality in the Soviet Union (only to be reinstated under Stalin), but certainly not out of any “PC” convictions. Non-traditional sexuality is an issue that all modern societies wrestle with. Among the Bolsheviks, Kollontai was possibly the most radical voice on the gender front, and even her “radicalism” looks pretty tame by modern standards!


  29. “The Democrats and the media are openly appealing to the military and the intelligence agencies to act against Trump. NBC news Friday stated that US military commanders were “outraged” by Trump’s decisions, while the Washington Post quoted an unnamed “former senior administration official” who stated,

    **** “There’s going to be an intervention. Jim Mattis just sent a shot across the bow.” This is the language of military coups.****

    Anyone who believes that Trump’s decisions regarding Syria and Afghanistan signal a new era of peace in the Middle East or anywhere else on the planet is in for rude shocks.”

    Well…Possibly a version of Seven Days in May where ‘President Lyman’ does not prevail
    a ‘One Day in November’ could occur…..But either scenario could easily descend into civil war since Trump hasn’t alienated his MAGA blue collar base:


    1. Ah ha ha ha!!! The left’s activists see Trump as Big Brother??? You’re kidding me! After Bush and his Total Information Awareness database, the one they were ordered to scrap because it was so grossly invasive, but which only went underground after that?

      TIA may be the closest thing to a true “Big Brother” program that has ever been seriously contemplated in the United States. It is based on a vision of pulling together as much information as possible about as many people as possible into an “ultra-large-scale” database, making that information available to government officials, and sorting through it to try to identify terrorists. Since the amount of public and private information on our lives is growing by leaps and bounds every week, a government project that seeks to put all that information together is a radical and frightening thing.

      Trump is a boob who only cares what’s going on with Trump. The extensive coterie of ‘advisers’ around him who actually run the government is another story, but it’s a little late – if you’ll forgive my pointing it out – for America to try to push its skirts down and re-assume a modicum of individual freedom. The US government has been in the business of covertly compiling extensive files of personal information on its citizens, prying into their phone calls and online browsing habits and even what they check out from the library – ostensibly to prevent terrorism – for years and years. Where the fuck have the lefties been?


      1. “… secure the cooperation of Vice President Pence…” That should be about as difficult as convincing a 5 year old child to take a piece of candy. Some speculated that Pence was selected for the specific purpose of replacing Trump after the inevitable successful impeachment (or “accident” or whatever).

        I do think that the Syrian pullout could be his undoing unless he goes full neocon somewhere else – stopping Nord Stream II, signing a mutual defense agreement with Taiwan, etc. An outlier possibility is a military action against Iran.


    1. The BBC piece just needs a bit of additional editing:

      “Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat PROMOTE IS, brought his departure forward from February.
      Before Mr Trump’s announcement he had insisted that the US would continue working against PROMOTING IS in Syria.”


      1. Eh, I wouldn’t put it like that. It’s more like “trying to manage” rather than either defeat or promote. Coalition did cause huge damage to ISIS, especially during the defense of Kobane, just as well as it did close it’s eyes on the flow of fighters and money into the caliphate. They wanted ISIS to cause maximum damage to Assad and Syria in general, but they didn’t want it to win. Their attempts at managing it were often unsuccessful tho. It’s sweeping gains in Iraq was a surprise to everyone.


        1. Yes, I think Washington’s plan always was that ISIS would do all the heavy lifting and take all the casualties, while America skirmished with them on the fringes of their movement and pretended to fight them. When ISIS overthrew Assad, perhaps killing him, and was on the verge of taking the capital, Team America would swoop in and annihilate them, just that little bit too late to save the Syrian government. Oh, dear; what will we do now? Well, why don’t we set up another, from the highly-qualified people who have been waiting outside the country for this very moment, to lead Syria into the whatever century it is now. ISIS would be wiped out, the USA would be a global hero, and dead men tell no tales.


          1. Oh, no questions here. But it was on the road to succeeeding before those pesky Russians went in. SAA was grossly overstretched and couldn’t hold frontlines very well, a situation where ISIS raiding tactics were incredibly efficient.


            1. Too true. Without Russian intervention, I think Assad would have met the same fate as Gaddafi.
              By the way, Aule, continuing that other linguistic thread (on my blog) about grammatical gender declensions, I just happened to see this perfect example from RIA.
              If you can stomach the photo of Junker cuddling with May, then the headline, interestingly, is:

              Британский министр осудила поведение Юнкера на саммите ЕС.

              “The British Minister condemned Junker’s behavior at the EU summit.”
              Note how you can say this in English without giving away the fact that the British Prime Minister is a woman (sort of)…

              In the Russian utterance, the adjective (“Britansky”) is masculine, to agree with the masculine noun “Minister”.
              And yet the verb is feminine, giving away the fact that May is a woman! (more or less).
              Which would seem to indicate that, in languages with grammatical gender, well, in Slavic languages at least, the verb is the decider! Although, if you said this in the present tense, then you wouldn’t guess this fact, without additional contextual information at your disposal.

              This whole issue of “context” is one of the reasons (and this is something that Chomsky didn’t get at the time, as a result of which AI “Natural Language Processing” wasted 10 years going down a blind path) why “natural languages” cannot be parsed in the same way as Turing languages.
              It was only after AI threw away the Chomsky model and just went with massive databases, “training algorithms” based on millions of observations, and statistical algorithms, that “natural language processing” was able to come up with better results.
              Still not great, but better than before!


              1. I see that Russian appears ill-equipped to deal with 3+ genders. Come to think of it, so are all other languages as far as I know. That fact should tell us something.


                1. Well, Russian (like German) still maintains the “Neuter” gender that it inherited from the Proto-Indo-European mother tongue. So, technically Russian grammar can handle 3 genders, just not much more than that!

                  As I mentioned in my blogpost, German regards a “young girl” or a “little wife” as grammatically Neuter, as in Papageno’s famous aria from The Magic Flute:

                  Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen
                  Wünscht Papageno sich!

                  (“Papageno wants a young girl or little wife for himself” — either one Neuter!)

                  Of course, the plot thickens here, because Papageno is half-bird half-man. Hence, we have some inter-species shenanigans going on, in addition to the gender-bending! Forget about Trotsky, it was Mozart who was on the cutting edge of PC gender fluidity!


                2. Russian acquaintances are usually surprised when I tell them that a very young babe in arms is an “it” in English, even to its mother, e.g. “What’s its name? Is it a boy or a girl?”

                  But then I tell them that all infants are male gender in Russian, be they boys or girls, i.e. ребенок.

                  In German, diminutives ending in “-chen” are neuter. Therefore das Mädchen (n) [the maiden] and die Magd (f) [the maid], cf. девушка and дева.

                  — Wo ist dein Mädchen?
                  — Es ist in der Toilette.


                  — Where is your girl?
                  — It is in the toilet.


                3. And I just remembered this headline from a RIA piece of a couple of weeks ago. This example contradicts the previous example where “Prime Minister (May)” was endowed with a masculine adjective but a feminine verb.

                  In this example: Звезда киевского Майдана ввязалась в побоища в Париже.
                  “The Star of the Kiev Maidan jumped into the Paris fray.”

                  Because the past-tense verb is feminine (ввязалась), one assumes this “star” they are writing about is a woman.
                  But then, when one reads further, they are writing about none other than Bernard-Henri Lévy!
                  Who is a man! (the type of man who likes to unbutton his shirt and show off his hairy chest).
                  And no, giving him a feminine verb is not meant as mockery. The verb is simply obeying the noun ending of the word “star” (Звезда) which is feminine in Russian!
                  I’m not sure that the Russian reporter even had a choice in this case, since it would sound somewhat unnatural to say or write the utterance: “Звезда ввязался” with a masculine verb.


              2. In the US we now say “he/she” or “she/he” (sounds like a donkey sneezing).

                Fortunately, the first Google search result for he/she pronouns provided numerous option for LGBT? friendly pronouns:


                … the dichotomy of “he and she” in English does not leave room for other gender identities, which is a source of frustration to the transgender and gender queer communities.

                People who are limited by languages which do not include gender neutral pronouns have attempted to create them, in the interest of greater equality.
                zie zim zir zis zieself
                sie sie hir hirs hirself
                ey em eir eirs eirself
                ve ver vis vers verself
                tey ter tem ters terself
                e em eir eirs emself

                Hope that table format is maintained after posting.

                What was it called? oh, Newspeak.


                1. In German, sie/Sie sounds like “zee”: sie can mean either “she” or “they”, whereas Sie is a polite “you”, singular or plural.

                  And in German, ihr can mean either possessive pronoun, nominative singular case “her”, governing a masculine or neuter noun, nominative singular, as in ihr Mann [her husband (m)] or ihr Kind [her child (n)], or it can be the informal plural personal pronoun, meaning “you” in English, as in Kinder, habt ihr alle schon gegessen? [Children, have you all already eaten?] cf. formal Sehr geehrte Gäste, haben Sie alle schon gegessen? [Most respected guests, have you all already eaten?]


                2. In modern American colloquial, people are trying to use “they” and “them” more for mixed company, e.g., “Every person should take their seat.” (instead of the canonically correct “Every person should take his seat.”)
                  This works out pretty well, but leads to confusion between singular and plural. I have heard (with my own ears) native speakers start a sentence like, “Here are the cookies, every person should help them…” and then the person hesitates, not sure if it is correct to say “themself” which would be logical, albeit non-canonical. Because canonical only supports a plural here: “themselves”
                  I am trying to do my little part by attempting to popularize “themself” as a usable form, as it would help out tremendously with this grammatical issue. I think it would be far preferably to use “they” and “themself” for mixed company, as these words already have a familiarity. I think it’s just stupid to make up pronouns like “zir” when you already have an existing pronoun like “them”.


                3. Yalensis – you are right, we end up using “their” or “themselves” when a singular 3rd party pronoun would otherwise be correct. It has only gotten worse with the need to maintain gender neutrality at all times.

                  We used to say draftsman but now we say drafter (which is fine with me). “Chairman” has become the awkward “Chairperson”. Why can’t we accept words in use for centuries without the need for a juvenile reaction if the word contains “man”?

                  Or profanity embedded in the spelling? The town, Scunthorpe, in England had a difficult time in cyperspace because of its spelling. The “Scunthorpe problem” now refers to the general issue of embedded offensive words:


                  The focus on “nonbinaries” is reaching absurdity as evidenced by this magazine aimed at teenage girls:


                  Gender-inclusive language isn’t typically something you learn in school, but its use is incredibly important to make life easier for nonbinary peers.

                  There are ways to practice gender-inclusive language beyond just respecting gender-neutral pronouns. For instance, replacing “ladies and gentlemen” with “everybody” helps include people who do not identify as ladies or gentlemen.

                  “Using gendered terms — such as “ladies [and] gentlemen” — is highly presumptuous, especially in today’s society, in which many persons are aware that they don’t identify as male or female and therefore are uncomfortable with this type of language,” Dara Hoffman-Fox, LPC, explains.

                  Boldface text above was added to illustrate Mark’s point about that word now becoming a must to show our total support of whatever least someone think we do not show enough fervor.


                4. One could always use “one” if one does not wish to appear insensitive to others in one’s company who may not want to be identified as strictly male or female. However, one does occasionally hear speakers of US English who do not follow the grammatical rule in the use of the impersonal pronoun, namely that one must use “one” throughout a sentence if one chooses to use “one” and one should never replace “one” with another personal pronoun, as illustrated as follows: One should never talk about his private life in public, for if you do, you might find yourself in deep shit.


                5. Last year, I was asked to replace a teacher who had returned home, and during one of the first lessons with this advanced English group, during a conversation about the theatre, I said that my wife and I seldom went to theatre, though we often did before we started a family. Whereupon a young woman, fluent in English, told me that the previous teacher had told the class that constructions such as “my wife and I” were wrong”, albeit that that was the usage she had been taught as “correct” at school. So I asked her what had her teacher told them was “correct” usage. ” ‘Me and my wife’ informally”, she said, “and ‘my wife and myself’ in more formal, official style”.

                  Needless to say, the previous teacher was from the USA.

                  I told them that me myself thought that their previous teacher had been talking crap as regards his usage of the reflexive pronoun, though “me and my wife” certainly is colloquial English.


                6. True, although it is dead informal, almost colloquial slang, and more often includes a like reference to your wife, such as ‘Me and the missus”, or “Me and the old ball and chain”. I was always taught it was impolite to put yourself before anyone in a sentence, and the pronoun you choose should make sense in the remainder of the sentence if the second person was removed. For that reason I have never been comfortable with the use of ‘myself’, because it is simply awkward. In a sentence such as “My wife and myself attended the gala dinner at a popular restaurant”, if the wife was removed you would be left with “Myself attended the gala dinner at a popular restaurant”, whereas “I” would make perfect sense in that context.

                  But sometimes English is just awkward. When you use a singular word such as ‘crowd’ to describe many people, for example, the proper use would be “A crowd of people is waiting for you”. But ‘are’ always feels more natural, although it is incorrect, and if the modifier “of people” was removed you would be left with “A crowd are waiting for you”.


    2. Dear God.

      In his resignation letter, seen by AP news agency, Mr McGurk said that IS militants in Syria were on the run but not yet defeated. He said that withdrawing US forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS.

      Withdrawing US forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS. Does the US government really think nobody can remember what happened more than a few weeks ago? The west – but mostly the USA – armed and funded IS. A US intelligence report in 2012 forecast the establishment in eastern Syria of a ‘Salafist state’, and it has been doing its level best since before that to make it happen.

      Jesus wept; do they think we’re stupid?


      1. Arggg, yes, it is maddening sometimes to have to live in a world where people say the exact opposite of something and claim it is true. E.g., “The U.S. is fighting against ISIS” when the truth is “The U.S. build ISIS and continues to fight for its survival.”
        It’s like Bizarro World, in which everything is the opposite.
        And, oh yes, a world in which everybody suffers from memory loss, so people only remember something that happened in the last 5 minutes, like that movie “Memento”.


        1. If you follow MoA, the Saker, SyPer and others, every now and then they post the Syria livemap of the front lines and compare multiple version of them over time. The ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition may be bombing, they may be not, but you can clearly see that the territory held by ISIS has barely changed over quite some periods and in direct contradiction of the claims. Now that can either be a lack of ground troops to hold territory, i.e. the SDF (aka ‘Da Kurds) really don’t trust anyone and will not go fools rushing in on cue, or and far more likely as the rest of you have commented, the anti-ISIS coalition want ISIS still in the field.

          Of course, none-of the bright, independent and fair Pork Pie News Networks ask how ISIS seems not only to have enough food though out the year, but also arms, fuel and are also able to benefit from R&R. They simply don’t mention that the bulk of ISIS are paid mercenaries by the usual state sponsors of terrorism in the Gulf. It took the PPNN a week to take its cue from officials after the Kashoggi murder. To be a fly on the wall of the editorial meetings…


          1. The areas controlled by ISIS in northeast Syria may not have changed much over the last 4 years, that’s true, but these areas are mostly sparsely populated desert with only one major river (the Euphrates) going through. Apart from towns like Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor, there was no need for the SAA and their allies to take on ISIS over what was basically swathes of empty land and every need to throw out ISIS from the more populated and developed western parts of the country and restore communications between Damascus and Aleppo.


  30. The good ship Helge Ingstad of the Norwegian navy slippith beneath the waves allegedly because it used hollow propeller shafts (actually it sank due to incompetence of the bridge crew but that would make the story too embarrassing to an ally).

    According to a preliminary report issued by the Accident Investigation Board of Norway, Ingstad suffered heavy flooding after water gushed through the hollow propeller shafts into otherwise secured parts of the ship.

    A hollow shaft does save weight for the same torque rating as a solid shaft although bigger in diameter. You got to wonder why they did not place solid bulkheads spaced along the length of the shaft. Stupid engineering..


    1. There are actually propellers on the ends of the propeller shafts, when everything is working properly (meaning when you have not run the vessel aground on a rock shelf), so that water ingress is effectively denied, and it does not matter if the shaft is hollow or made of green kryptonite. If you do run the ship up on a rock shelf and rip off the screws, chances are good the stern glands through which the shaft passes into the hull and on to the drive motors will rupture, and voila! A seawater colonic.

      Ingstad suffered heavy flooding after the sea monkeys who were driving her ran her straight into a tanker, the shape of whose hull ensured that Ingstad was torn open below the waterline – the long gash above the waterline was possibly caused by the flukes of the suspended anchor of the tanker. Ingstad would have sustained severe damage below the waterline because the hull of a tanker is bell-shaped, looking at it from the front, and swells outward near the bottom. If Ingstad was close enough to tear open part of her superstructure on the anchor, she would have had plating displaced and ruptured below the surface. Whatever the case, if she had not been run aground she would have sunk much faster, albeit not a drop would have entered through the propeller shafts. That’s just an attempt to blame innate idiocy and carelessness on the designers/builders rather than the operators.


  31. Well, whaddya know? The IMF is so pleased with all the revolutionary westernizing reforms Ukraine has completed that it has signed off on the next tranche of lolly, $1.4 Billion right away of a $3.9 Billion package. Poroshenko of course trumpeted it as great news, just in time for Christmas, and recognition of what a thoroughly reformin’ country Ukraine has become. Unfortunately, the government had to jack up gas prices again (hint; the only real reform the IMF was expecting, unless Ukraine wanted to shoot the moon and lift the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land to foreigners).

    I wonder what ordinary Ukrainians think of Poroshernko’s reform crusade, considering they will see fuck-all of the money. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of it went straight toward the purchase of some more Gurza-class patrol boats – built by Poroshenko’s shipyard. You know; to replace the ones Russia stole, and besides, it’s clear Ukraine needs a strong navy.


    1. Well, I’m sure that IMF money will warm the cockles of Yukies’ hearts, albeit they have no central heating because of those evil Moskali.

      Blizzard warning here yesterday, and snowing steadily now at 12:17.

      As I have mentioned many times before, I fell madly in love with the Soviet cartoon Snow Queen when I first saw her as an 8-year-old in 1957. How I wished I could have been Kay, cuddled up so snugly to her! I would have never left her, and would have told Gerda to bugger off when she came to “rescue” me.

      So, with the Snow Queen in mind, here’s some advice from her to the Yukies who must surely now be feeling the cold:

      — Cold, little child?

      — Very.

      — You should dress for the weather, you stylish f*cker, you!


      1. Those Soviet cartoons were notoriously rude and vulgar – how many little children must have wept to hear their beloved Snow Queen criticize their wardrobe choices…!


  32. Donald Trump’s administration of loonies and zealots claims an early victory in its war against Nord Stream II, announcing that Europe is beginning to warm to the idea of importing American LNG instead. Of course that was never the reason for American opposition to Nord Stream II; Washington was just concerned in a fraternal way about Europe’s energy security. But hey; if you’re looking to buy LNG, we’ve got lots of it for sale, and there’s lots more where it came from.

    Slowly but surely, European leaders are coming around to Trump’s view that they should diversify away from Russian energy, according to the administration.

    Brouillette said the deal between the U.S. energy company Sempra and Poland on Wednesday highlights the European resolve to begin backing away from Russia.

    For starters, nobody in Europe is ‘coming around to Trump’s view’, although it is unsurprising that someone with the massive ego he has would think so. Poland is anxious to show off its anti-Russian chops, and regularly grovels before Washington, but it also has a far-right government which is hardly representative of ‘European leaders’. Similarly, Germany’s announcement that it will construct an LNG terminal to receive shipborne cargoes is interpreted to mean they have at least one foot in the American-LNG camp. Is that the case? We’ll see, but I cannot help noting Wilhelmshaven – where the new terminal is planned – is only a bit over 1000 km from Kaliningrad, while it is 8 times as far from Sabine Pass and Cheniere Energy’s LNG embarkation point. The Kaliningrad LNG terminal, according to Platts analysts, will start operations next month, January 2019.

    At present it is only an import terminal, to increase the enclave’s energy security. But a regasification and storage facility suggests the possibility of exports, and Russia’s interest in LNG is piqued; its LNG exports doubled in the first 2 months of 2018.

    Russian ports are much closer to Germany than American ports. Additionally, Russian gas has much lower production costs, and it stands to reason its gas would be considerably cheaper.

    I imagine Germany will buy a few LNG cargoes from the Americans, just to keep them happy and to shut up their yapping about Nord Stream II. But what we have seen so far provides no evidence at all that Europe is ‘coming around’ to the Donald’s proposals. That’s just wishful thinking. We all indulge in it, but most of us don’t make foreign-policy decisions based on it.


  33. Ha! The Yukie knobheads have proposed that Her Majesty’s pop-gun armed frigate HMS Echo pass through the Kerch strait.

    But who said she may not?


    But she’ll have to announce her intent and course to the Russian coast guards and accept a pilot whilst in passage through the channel, as does evey vessel under any flag.

    На Украине предложили отправить в Керченский пролив британский корабль

    Ukrainian Deputy Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, Yury Hrymchak, proposed on the TV channel “Direct” that a ship of the Royal Navy be sent to the Kerch Strait.

    Hrymchak also noted that the British ship HMS Echo has no weapons and is not subject to the Montreux Convention on the status of the black sea Straits, according to which the duration of stay of warships of non-States is limited to 21 days.

    So HMS Echo is not a warship?


    Is she a hospital ship, then?

    Why, then, does HMS Echo have on board:

    2 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
    3 × Miniguns
    4 × General purpose machine guns


    To take pot shots at seagulls so as to deter them from shitting on her pristine decks?


    1. Yes, the Ukies are probably perfectly willing that the British be pawns of their ‘great game’ with Russia. To be fair, the British are probably up for it as well – you know, freedom of navigation and all that, taking back the sea. It remains to be seen if she will try to force her way through, which is what it would amount to, but I frankly doubt it, and if she were to ask permission and have it granted (as it likely would be), the whole exercise would backfire on the Ukrainians and make them look foolish.

      All the weaponry listed is of a self-defense nature, and although you most certainly could kill people with it, it is not considered as offensive armament. A fleet of machine-gun-armed British boats is not going to seize control of the Black Sea, although they are welcome to try. I suspected it would be something like that, although various passages have stricter criteria. HMCS Protecteur, a replenishment tanker, had her 20mm guns removed (mostly because they rarely worked, they were an up-mod with longer barrels, which resulted in a mounting too heavy for the drive motors) with the vision that she could pass through the Panama Canal without being classified as a warship, but I am told that did not make her any points at all.

      This latest example is just the UK looking heroic from not really doing anything at all, making copy for the folks back home and showcasing the latest episode of British pluck. It lets Williamson swagger and affect an eye-patch and a parrot, and be a naval hero. If HMS Echo attempts to just cruise through as if it were in home waters, there will be an incident, and so it is safe to say if they go ahead with it, causing an incident is their intent. If their aim likewise is to suggest all waters are free-passage zones, we can look forward to an end of the Bolshie rhetoric whenever Russian vessels of any classification sail ‘near UK waters’, innit? Whatever the case, Britain is not ‘solving the problem’ in favour of Ukraine; it is just messing about and looking for copy inches.


        1. It could, but unlikely – she only draws 5.5 meters, and the depth in the channel is considerably deeper as it has to accommodate much bigger vessels; she’s just a weensie little thing. But it would have a Ukrainian pilot aboard who had made the trip many times, and would know better than to get out of the channel. But what’s the point of all this huffing and puffing? If the Royal Navy wants to visit Mariupol, it is quite welcome to do so, provided it already has permission to access the Black Sea. Why does it not tut and splutter that the Black Sea is not a Turkish sea, it is an International Sea? They had to solicit Turkey’s permission to get into the Black Sea – what’s the problem asking permission to pass through a strait that is entirely Russian on both sides?

          Ah, but therein lies the problem – Britain refuses to recognize reality, and wants to play make-believe that the Crimean side is still Ukrainian. And of course the Ukrainians have enthusiastically granted Echo permission to transit the Kerch Strait. Tell you what – if you have a big ass, refuse to acknowledge it. Say to yourself, “I do not have a big ass, and that’s real”. Then take a full-length shot of yourself, and see if that makes your ass smaller. I guarantee it will not. Just like refusing to change your map to recognize that a piece of territory no longer belongs to the country that once held it within its boundaries.

          If you’re not too tired of experiments, try this one – take your merchant ship into American territorial waters, and announce you will transit the strait between Coronado and Point Loma into San Diego Bay. When they say you can’t, say you refuse to recognize American ownership of Coronado. You don’t give a fuck what the map says. See if that gets you permission to pass.

          I suppose the Ukrainians hope HMS Echo will try it, saying that it has Ukraine’s permission to transit the Kerch Strait. But back when one side of the Kerch Strait was Ukrainian. they would still have needed to get Russian permission for the transit. Now it is Ukrainian permission which is superfluous. And if they insist on pretending Crimea is still Ukraine, they will soon learn this is not a game.


          1. The Russian Foreign Ministry could put out a Tweet or an announcement at a press conference saying that HMS Echo is always welcome to enter Kerch Strait with Russian coastguard accompaniment or whatever else is standard for ships of its size and type to pass through. The British would then either have to swallow their pride and accept the invitation, or refuse to accept at the risk of becoming the laughing-stock of the world.


            1. That could work, but the British only want to pass through the Kerch Strait if they must fight their way through, facing fearful odds, and cover themselves with glory. And the Ukrainians are okay with that. And it must be done, or the Red Menace will gobble up Mariupol as well, gaining that ‘critically strategic’ land bridge to Mariupol, the last, greatest outpost of Ukrainian culture.

              More importantly, Ukraine would have no seacoast left at all, save for Odessa.

              And more importantly still, all the disputed regions save Crimea would likely have returned to Ukrainian hands already if (1) their concerns had been listened to in the first place, and they had received the impression of anything other than implacable force to accept the new order. and (2) Ukraine had become a model of prosperity as a western project.

              Obviously, neither of those conditions prevail.


      1. Parrot? Williamson would feed the parrot to Cronus.



  34. American frauds and industry shills have skewed modern medicine and public perceptions. America is a rotten toilet that has the Midas touch of excrement. The land of eugenics and Trotskyist academia (so-called cultural-Marxists although Marx has nothing to do with it) pushing the PC agenda.

    Whether “left” or right the US is exceptionally rabid and that hate always ends up targeting Russia. Yalensis pushes the PC agenda so at his very core he is a Russia hater. Posing as some Russophile while enabling Russophobia.


    1. Kirill, you really need to seek treatment for your serious mental illness, your obsession with gender issues, with excrement, with sexual violence, not to mention your Tourette’s syndrome and your constant parroting of abusive tropes. Please get some help, before it’s too late, and you choke to death on your own bile!


  35. One approach to the history of political correctness. The obsession with “gender” is clear.

    Equality does not mean uniformity (no two people are identical regardless of gender). Anyone pushing the notion that they are equivalent is part of the freakish PC cult.


    1. The RD-180 is just a two nozzle variant of the RD-170. It is the four nozzle RD-170 which was used by the Energiya rocket that is brilliant and it was developed during the 1970s and 1980s. One of the problems of the N1 is that the USSR did not have a large rocket engine so they had to use many small ones. This aggravated the plumbing and destructive resonance problems. The Saturn V lucked out on having fewer large engines. Calculating resonance modes of rockets is hard, especially during the 1960s before the advent of computers powerful enough to do full structure simulations.


      1. That was exactly the problem from what I have read. The SU moon effort was not properly funded as it was almost an after-thought. One victim due to under funding was building a full scale test rig which could have allowed diagnosis and correction of the vibration and fluid control problems.

        The NK-33 was far more advanced than the F-1 in performance (specific impulse to be exact). The US effort focused on lower tech but larger engine designs which may have been a better choice due to reduction in the number of engines as mentioned. It was a shame that the SU canceled the N-1 effort even thought it was apparent that the engineers likely solved the problems. The SU could have maintained an ongoing lunar exploration program including a lunar base.


        1. I fully agree. Even if the USSR got to the Moon second it would not be a forgotten effort and over time the whole “who was first” infantilism would fade away. Giving up was a mistake. But then Brezhnev was a corrupt idiot.


    1. That’s very kind of you, David, and thank you for it; Merry Christmas to you and yours, and to all of you here at the Kremlin Stooge. It’s been a fun year, and the next will be better. Safe and wonderful holidays to all!


        1. Damn, she’s a good-looking woman.

          We see here, Comrades, the inferior quality of American construction even in their most sacrosanct of public buildings – notice that the White House has snow upon the floors where gaps in the walls have let it in. They must have to wrap themselves in bearskins and lie on the stove all night.


          1. Are you sure that’s not foam sprayed over the trees or some unusual soap-bubble latex stuff oozing from inside the bark of the trees, of a species or a fusion of species that we don’t know about?


        2. I keep trying to convince myself that the above offical Christmas (or should that be “Holiday” as in “Happy Holidays!”) photograph of the President of the USA and his wife is much more preferable than having an official seasonal photograph of “Madame President” Hilary Clinton and her spouse.


      1. Merry Xmas, Jen! May Father Frost not find you freezing in the forest… Or, if he does, then take you into his warm hut and give you lots of lolly and a fine-looking troika!


  36. Poroshenko again honours the OUN and the UPA. Some of it is his usual pandering to the Nationalists, but I have to believe some of it also is indulging his hobby of sticking a finger in Russia’s eye.

    So statues and mementos honouring those who fought against the Nazis are pulled down and vandalized, while those who fought on the side of the Nazis are feted and admired. And the west refuses to call Ukraine on it. What have you got to say about this, Chrystia Freeland?


  37. From British PM’s Christmas address to UK armed forces:

    Time and again you have stood up to aggression and those who flout the rules-based international order. You should be incredibly proud of all that you do — just as the whole country is proud of you … [for] playing a vital role in cleaning up after a sickening nerve agent attack on the streets of Salisbury ….[and for] protecting our waters and our skies from Russian intrusion and strengthening our allies in Eastern Europe ….

    Along with our US and French allies, UK forces are sending a message to the Assad regime that we will not stand by while chemical weapons are used, as they were in April on families, including young children …

    To UK troops stationed in Cyprus, the Times of India reports that she said:

    Just three years ago, Daesh declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, but today, thanks in very large part to your efforts, the so-called caliphate has been crushed and no longer holds significant territory in Iraq and Syria.

    You should be incredibly proud of that achievement.

    Proud of doing fuck all???



  38. This article clears up confusion regarding why Iran was reluctant to purchase the SSJ-100 from Russia:

    The Sukhoi Superjet 100 has been a top contender to replace the Iran’s aging aircraft lineup, but talks have stalled over Iranian concerns that the Superjet 100 is composed of over 10 percent U.S. parts and therefore runs afoul of American sanctions against Iran.

    The SSJ100R’s sole major distinction from its predecessor is its reduction of foreign components by 10-15 percent, according to SCAC director Alexander Roubstov. Notably, the SCAC is planning to replace the SaM146 engine with the fully Russian-made Aviadvigatel PD-14.

    The new SSJ100R marks Russia’s entry into the burgeoning market of countries looking to purchase modern airliners while skirting around both current and prospective American sanctions, with Iran being first in line. Iran is looking to purchase 500 new aircraft, according to Abedzadeh. It is not clear how many of these prospective orders can be filled by the SSJ100R and over what timespan, but Russia’s recent procurement of 100 of these aircraft can be taken as a clear signal of their intention to become Iran’s primary supplier.

    I was flummoxed by Iran’s consideration of purchasing US civilian aircraft but with Russia soon able to provide a sanction-proof airliner, Iran seems to prefer Russian supply. The MC-21, when available, should also have a strong market in Iran,


    1. The USA’s position is now that it will lose ‘part of the Russian market’, but that market is small. So they say. But when China and Russia are up to full production, both Boeing and Airbus should expect to lose 10% of sales. Is that small? For companies who have to keep increasing market share, or commence the cycle of laying off workers and idling production that spells malaise? You tell me.

      I suspect the USA is banking on both Russia and China continuing to buy at least some Boeing aircraft to retain international credibility. Look for American media to commence a campaign of scare stories against the MC21 and Chinese aircraft.


  39. Dark Docs
    Published on 30 Nov 2018
    At the end of 1918, as World War I drew to a close on the Western Front, thousands of American troops were suddenly repositioned in the remote tundra of North Russia. Their surprising directive was issued to help the British and French in a standoff with the Russian Red Army, the newly-formed rebel communist fighting force that had grown in the wake of revolution in Russia. As civil war gripped the country, the American soldiers waited out the harsh winter in fear and confusion of what was to come when the frozen landscape thawed…


    1. Michigan ‘Polar Bears’: The WWI force who fought Russian Bolsheviks for months after armistice

      November 11th is Veterans Day.

      The national holiday was formerly known as Armistice Day, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the very bloody stalemate of World War I.

      But for one group of American soldiers — known as the Michigan Polar Bears — the fighting did not cease.


        1. The audio story at that link was interesting. Rather than an “invasion” it was described by the Western powers as a benign effort to influence Russia to reopen the eastern front against Germany (even after the Armistice apparently), to protect bank loans and something about democracy (I suspect that rationale was introduced like yesterday).

          One of the people in the tape said the invasion was largely downplayed by the West as it did not fit the narrative of spreading goodness (my words) but, far more importantly in my opinion, it was minimized as it was an abject failure.


  40. I think most of Iran’s current civilian airliner fleet is American in origin anyway but the planes are all very old (all bought before 1979, when US sanctions began because the Iranians had the hide to eject the Shah) and moreover have aged badly because of the conditions they have to fly in, Iran being a mostly mountainous country in a region where the dominant climate is hot desert and where maximum and minimum temperature ranges over a calendar year can be extreme. So the Iranians have long been in the position of needing spare parts from US companies for their fleet.

    Much the same could be said for cars in Iran: I went to a talk recently given by a woman who visited Iran as a tourist (as part of a group of 20 people) and she said that she saw many mechanics working on cars or advertising for business while travelling through Tehran by coach. Again, the reason is that sanctions prevent Iran from importing cars from the US, or from any other country for that matter.

    Tourism is becoming a major earner for Iran as well – there are some companies in Sydney that now organise tour groups to Iran – and for that, the Iranians need good planes. From what the woman said in her talk, I gather distances between cities and major tourist sites in Iran can be considerable.


    1. Bush and his newspaper admirers never got tired of telling us – as an explanation for America’s inability to find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq – that Iraq is ‘a country the size of California’. Well, Iran is bigger.

      I think the American sanctions against Russia – not to mention the threat to apply sanctions against European companies who do business with Russia or Iran – have been a propaganda gold mine in terms of introducing caution about committing critical industries to using American products. You never know when your dependence on American-made machinery or software or financial instruments will be leveraged against you in exchange for political concessions, and it is a wise government that insulates itself from such leverage.


  41. Россия гарантировала поставки газа в Европу и без соглашения с Киевом

    Yeah, fuck Kiev!

    Russia has guaranteed gas supplies to Europe and without agreement with Kiev
    December 25, 2018, 02:43

    Russia is ready to supply gas under long-term contracts to Europe under any circumstances, even if an agreement on the transit of fuel through the Ukraine has not been reached. This was stated by the head of the Energy Ministry of Russia, Alexander Novak.

    The agreement on the transit of Russian gas via the Ukraine expires in December 2019.

    “Under all circumstances, we ensure the supply of Russian gas as signed by Gazprom in long-term contracts. This means that European consumers will be provided with the necessary volume”, said the Minister in an interview to the newspaper “Kommersant”.

    Novak noted that Moscow had repeatedly stated its readiness to continue the transit of gas through the Ukraine, but the volume had to be discussed.

    At the same time, a constructive dialogue on the conclusion of a transit contract has been hindered by the constant attempts of Kiev to recover funds from Gazprom in the course of Naftogaz proceedings against the Russian company.

    PS Snowing continuously here at 09:30: minus 10°C [14°F].

    Merry Christmas, Uniate Banderite twats! Hope your balls freeze off!

    Waes hael!


    1. Russia has little choice regardless of the provocations by Ukraine. Even a hint of displeasure about Ukraine’s actions would be amplified into:

      Russia is an unreliable supplier playing politics – Stop Nord Stream II !!!!!!”.


      1. Yes, their strategy is probably just to stall on signing any new agreement with Ukraine until the existing contract runs out. And they have a perfectly good reason – Naftogaz is trying – with the enthusiastic support of the west – to attach Gazprom assets all over the world until it recoups the $2.5 Billion awarded it by the arbitration court. Russia is hardly going to pay Ukraine the money awarded by a foreign court and then hand it a fat gas contract as well. And Ukraine knows it – that’s why they are trying to seize as much money as they can before the taps are turned off.


    1. Grants are available for
      Concerts, performances, operas, DJ-sets, music installations and other types of events (of any genre) taking place in Russia that will involve inviting and collaborating with UK musicians, groups, conductors, orchestras, composers etc, as the main element of the planned activity. Multiple performances are encouraged.

      There must be a lot of money available, because staging an opera don’t come cheap.
      Here is my suggestion: Some provincial Russian singers should apply for a generous grant to stage Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” at the local amateur theater club Why not? It could be good!


      1. Russia can use its own money to make a YouTube clip featuring some attractive young Russian girl to say calmly, over a Gregorian chant “We cannot be friends. We cannot even be allies. You are tiny. But we are grand.”


    2. I have an idea – why not make it the UK-UK Year of Music? Pretty funny to imagine a tiny bone once in awhile is enough to make up for years of foaming vitriol. Keep your money, put it into research on a Novochok antidote.

      But I’m sure Russia will gratefully accept, because it’s what polite people do, in spite of all the foregoing hatred.


      1. My first trip to Russia (actually the Soviet Union when I visited) was as part of a tour group. One of the fellow travelers was “smuggling” jazz music tapes. Even with my naiveté on a lot of things back then, this kid reeked of being a junior league provocateur; perhaps an amateur trying to add to his resume towards some State Department job.

        As mentioned before, many American youth are caught up in the excitement and allure of being an “international agent” by spreading American values American music seems to be a favorite mode as it fits in the the mentality of pointlessly rebellious youth. Rap now appears to be the chief American value aimed at the youth of the world.


        1. I’m sure the British press will have a similar reaction – any applications for the grant will be billed as desperate Russian intellectuals yearning for the sweet music of freedom played with a free people whom they envy with every breath they draw.


  42. Oh what larks in the failed Nazi-State:

    Deputy of the Ukraine Supreme Rada. Igor Mosiychuk, during the programme “The Epicentre of Ukrainian Politics” attacked with his walking stick an expert, Doctor of Political Sciences Alexander Semchenko, who was questioning the adequacy of the People’s Deputy.

    A video of the scuffle video was posted by NewsOne on YouTube.

    During the broadcast, Mosiychuk categorically disagreed with Semchenko’s arguments and accused him of working for Russia, calling him a “Kremlin propagandist”.

    In response, the expert noted that the parliamentarian was insane and who, for unknown reasons, had ended up in the Ukrainian parliament.

    After that, Mosiychuk, who walks around with the assistance of a stick, attacked his opponent, striking him with his walking stick and threatening to kill him.



    1. It’s hard to see in the brief Greco-Roman scuffle, but I believe that a referee would have granted to the point to Semchenko. It looks like he got Igor into a half-nelson and ended up on top (?)


    1. The prat seems to have no difficulty when walking determinedly towards his opponent, clutching his aid to walking in his right hand with intent to use it as a weapon.

      Wnen his opponent states at the beginning that the half-wit is in need of psychiaric treatment, he gets some applause from the audience.

      Kremlin Stooges within the Kiev citadel?


    2. Agree; his pretense to infirmity is just an excuse to carry a stick. In a civilized country he would be told that if he used it as a weapon it would be taken from him, and if he were seen with a replacement he would be arrested.


  43. The Otto Warmbier story just won’t go away.

    The father, as discussed before, seems far more interested in exploiting his son’s death for fame and fortune rather than grieving.

    The timing of the $500 million judgement against NK has been noted by some as suspicious given the attempts by Trump to revive discussions.

    Just as a reminder, the doctor who performed an autopsy of Warmber found no signs of torture yet the torture meme continues unabated.

    I know its Christmas for many but this BS story needs to be called out.


    1. Who represented North Korea in the judicial proceedings? Or did an American judge simply award damages based on the story he/she was told by the prosecution? That seems like a pretty good gig if you can get it. I’d be interested in having a Canadian judge award me a half-a-billion or so from Kinder Morgan because of the trauma I suffered from their attempts to ram through a pipeline the people of British Columbia didn’t want, but you can be sure that would never happen, because (a) a Canadian judge would not be so arrogant as to assume his jurisdiction extended around the world, as the American legal system seems to think of itself, and (b) America would shoot a hole in it right away, because it is only interested in imposing fantastic judgments outside of America.

      It’s terrible what happened to their boy, but we are only hearing one side of the story. I’m reminded of the radical discrepancies in the stories told by the US government and the Iraqi doctors in the case of Jessica Lynch.

      The official story:

      Full of ass-raping and splintered bones.

      What really happened:

      Iraqi hospital staff donated their own blood to save her, and when they tried to return her to her own side in an ambulance, US Marines fired on the vehicle.


      1. What a swamp of lies of every type! I did appreciate learning of the connection with the movie “Wag the Dog” with the Rendon Group. I had wondered if that movie was inspired by something or someone and it indeed was. The article called out other fake news stories such as the Kosovo rape camps.

        No matter how cynical I become regarding the “honesty” of the media, I am still shocked by sheer sociopathic scale of such examples. Frankly, I now believe nothing is true regarding the history of the US or Western Europe as told by official” historians and academics. They are whores selling lies to perpetuate their miserable existence.


        1. Yes; I was kind of being sarcastic and mocking the biggetiness of American courts that believe they have the jurisdiction to order foreign governments to compensate private citizens. The alleged offense did not take place in the United States, and if people would sneer and say “Of course they have no chance of getting justice in North Korea”, I would point out that there is virtually no chance that an American court would rule against the plaintiffs, provided (a) the country they are ruling against is a strategic enemy of the United States, and (b) the United States has no power or responsibility of enforcement of the judgment. Now it is up to the family to present the judgment to North Korea, and be told to go pound sand. So the newspaper circus will go on and on, as we are no closer to a conclusion at all. But the family thinks the sun shines out of America’s butt, and that it is the place to go for real justice.


    2. Were she to hear of this news, Marina Litvinenko would be green with envy and wishing that Judge Beryl A Howell had been presiding over the inquest over her husband’s death in the UK. Instead all she gets is some strange reasoning that Putin most probably ordered Alexander Litvinenko’s death, therefore he did order the fellow’s death.


  44. CBC News
    Published on 24 Dec 2018
    China has condemned Canada and its global partners, accusing them of “hypocrisy” and “double standards” on human rights. The statement comes after the U.S., the U.K. and the EU criticized China’s detention of two Canadian citizens in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.


    1. Note that China reported, somewhat tongue in cheek, that it had taken ‘compulsory’ reactions to Kovrig’s alleged actions prejudicial to Chinese national security. This is subtle mockery of Canada’s insistence that it is an unbiased conduit here, and that it had to react as it did in the arrest of Meng because it is just following the law.



    In an interview with CNN, [Wesley] Clark specifically singled out the lack of “any strategic rationale for the decision”, which he said prods people to ask why the move was made.

    “People around the world are asking this and some of our friends and our allies in the Middle East are asking, did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff or something? Why would a guy make a decision like this? Because all the recommendations were against it,” Clark pointed out.

    Recommendations of nut-jobs? Nut-jobs with a track record of strategic blunders? Yeah, right.


    1. Yes, that’s just what Trump needs – a bribe.

      But at least Clark is honest in the context of his own beliefs. He’s just never seen a problem that would not be quickly solved by American military action. If such action is already present, add more.


  46. RT
    Published on 25 Dec 2018

    The Times has hit a new Russia-bashing low, publishing a hit piece on the Moscow funded outlet Sputnik. The ‘name and shame’ article lists eight employees of Sputnik, complete with their photos and full names.


    1. Why should they be ‘shamed’? Are they reporting lies? Then prove that they are lies. Judith Miller of the New York Times wrote lies on top of lies for that paper during the invasion and occupation of Iraq; she went to jail for refusing to divulge that Scooter Libby was her source on a controversial story, and received the Society of Professional Journalists’ “First Amendment Award” for her courage. She’s back at work now for Fox News, itself a liar extraordinaire which has been surpassed in its near non-stop lying by previously-iconic liberal outlets, so that – remarkably – Fox looks candid and honest by comparison. There’s no penalty for being a liar in the American media – you just have to sit a half-period on the bench, and then you’re back in play with the gravitas of a veteran reporter.


      1. Not really “shamed”, but it is pretty dangerous. Should a “anti-maga bomber” send them real explosives, would they see timely help from British authorities?


        1. Yes, I think that was the intention – to identify them as clearly as possible to make easier targets for a lone gunman or something equivalent. At the very least, it is a form of intimation; a “I know where you live and where your children go to school”.


  47. NBC News reported tonight that evidence suggest the hole drilled in the Soyuz capsule docked at the ISS was drilled from the inside suggesting the hole was made after docking.

    Wow, It could that mad American spaceperson really did it (or another American cohort) to force an early return. She was apparently suffering psychological problems and likely sabotaged the only toilet in the US section in another misguided effort to force an early return.

    IIRC, the non-Russian astronauts were forced to wear diapers as the Russians were not willing to share their toilet. However, there is more to the story as the Americans may have launched the first shot in the toilet wars during a somewhat earlier incident:


    1. I think the cosmonaut is simply being nice and seeking to maintain a positive working relationship with the US crew. He seems to reflect how Russia (at least its government) deals with irritating and troublesome Western partners – with politeness regardless of the asinine behavior.

      Can you imagine the reaction in the US press and perhaps even on the ISS if the Russians were under suspicion?

      Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev on Monday dismissed rumours on social networks about the ISS crew in the light of the situation with the hole in the Soyuz MS-09 spaceship.

      “A lot has already been said about it on social networks, but I want to assure you that everything that is written on social networks, almost everything is not true and you should not think badly about the crew.

      “Everything is fine, we interacted very well, including in the process of getting out of this emergency operation. The crew worked so well that we really can’t complain,” Prokopyev said at the post-flight press conference.


  48. For those interested in religious mysteries: I started a new series today translating the Vovan-Lexus punking of Ukrainian Metropolitan Epiphany. The lads did their usual shtick, prank phone call, etc. In this case, they were pretending to be an EU Parliament Deputy, congratulating Epiphany on his new gig as head of the Ukrainian Microcephalous Church!


  49. A relatively frank article about the rigged US economy:

    There is no magic bullet to remedy a problem as deep-rooted as America’s inequality. Its origins are largely political, so it is hard to imagine meaningful change without a concerted effort to take money out of politics—through, for instance, campaign finance reform. Blocking the revolving doors by which regulators and other government officials come from and return to the same industries they regulate and work with is also essential.

    Beyond that, we need more progressive taxation and high-quality federally funded public education, including affordable access to universities for all, no ruinous loans required. We need modern competition laws to deal with the problems posed by 21st-century market power and stronger enforcement of the laws we do have. We need labor laws that protect workers and their rights to unionize. We need corporate governance laws that curb exorbitant salaries bestowed on chief executives, and we need stronger financial regulations that will prevent banks from engaging in the exploitative practices that have become their hallmark. We need better enforcement of antidiscrimination laws: it is unconscionable that women and minorities get paid a mere fraction of what their white male counterparts receive. We also need more sensible inheritance laws that will reduce the intergenerational transmission of advantage and disadvantage.

    I like to be optimistic but the above will not happen, When people go hungry and get their noses out of their phones then there could be a chance for change. However, even hunger may not be enough – the self-absorbed snow flakes may be incapable of shared risk and sacrifice.


    1. The wealthy encourage the anger of women and minorities over getting paid less than white men, although it is typically less than a dollar an hour difference, because fighting that battle keeps them from getting interested in tax reform or anything which might threaten unregulated accumulation of wealth. What a great scheme, coming off like a liberal battler, while really protecting one’s own fat nest egg.

      It isn’t fair for women and minorities to get paid less than white men, provided they are doing exactly the same job at exactly the same qualification level. But winning that battle is unlikely to result in a greatly enhanced standard of living for the masses, because often the white guys are just getting by themselves. Meanwhile the wealthy control who gets elected and, more importantly, who gets appointed after that. Because the appointments are usually the ones who write the laws, and often if they are sufficiently appreciative of those who arranged for their appointment through vigorous lobbying, they allow industry to write the policies that will regulate it.


      1. All may not agree with Jordan Peterson but he makes a convincing argument that there is there is no significant pay discrepancy between men and women, especially in higher level positions.

        The apparent discrepancy between men and women compensation rates is really about differences in personalities. Men, on average, are more aggressive and less concerned about the well being of others (perfect for the corporate board room). Women who display those characteristics do equally as well as their male counter parts, It just that women tend to more often display other characteristics that align better with health care, teaching and less so for corporate leadership roles.

        Personality test results were mapped against “success” (mostly defined by earnings) which showed minimal sex based discrimination. From my point of view, the real problem is the hyper focus on aggressive behavior as an indicator of business leadership aptitude.


        1. Whatever “progress” has been achieved in the employment space, there are still different job types which do not have identical pay. For example supermarket checkout counters vs. engineering. I see more women in these low paying jobs than men. I know I am not engaging in a real study of the employment of men women. But I see one sample which contributes to the pay gap. So the pay gap is not in the same job class but in the distribution of men and women in different employment types.

          In universities women tend to go for degrees that do not have good job prospects unless they can enter into academia. But as in the sciences, the number of PhD graduates to professorial jobs is over 10 to 1. So the vast majority will never become professors or stay in academia.

          I am not sure that everything is so fair and dandy for women these days. It is true that there are real differences in the preferences of men and women (in the aggregate, individually there are many women in science and mathematics and then there are male nurses and checkout counter workers, etc.) but that does not mean that society delivers unbiased choices to individuals.

          I will never side fully with the right since they have a lot of idiotic core beliefs such as the supposed primacy of the individual over their fate. As if the rest of reality and society does not exist or has some negligible influence. This is patent BS. And such BS taints the philosophizing on the right. But then we have the SJW lunatics and the new lynch mob hysteria in the name of “goodness”. These are total slime and they make the right look sane and balanced. Perhaps here we see why we need for a plurality of opinions in society. There has to be some balancing process when one faction goes full retard.


          1. An HR challenge is to compare jobs involving sharply different educational, skills, job danger and stress levels. Should compensation for a heavy equipment operator (skill danger and stress) earn more than a school teacher (education, stress?).

            The Soviet Union seems to have had a quite different philosophy on job compensation relative to the West. An underground miner could be paid significantly more than a doctor and an engineer more than an accountant. Also, I believe that they sought to minimize job barriers based on gender (the stereotype Soviet woman tractor driver comes to mind).

            Women traditionally have been associated with raising children. I think the problem is that this critical task has been minimized if not trashed by the PC police (who insist that there is NO difference between a man and a woman). As I just implied, family formation and the raising of children must be elevated to a level matching any job out there.


            1. I believe that a being a house-wife is a full time job. I am not being a toxic male misogynist. That society looks down upon this type of unpaid work is society smelling as usual. And the male taking on the role of house-husband does not seem bizarre to me. Raising children properly instead of letting their brains shrivel up in front of the idiot box is something of substantial value. But society does not put any value on it. Society prepares the way for its own demise.


        2. I remember an argument from the film, “Boiler Room”. The adviser said, “In every sales pitch, a deal is made. Either you sell him some stock, or he sells you on a reason why he can’t buy”. And it’s certainly a fact that most fields of business – certainly those whose main function is selling – devote a lot of effort to psychology and subtle pressure, to narrowing your options the longer the conversation goes on so that you are eventually persuaded to buy whatever it is they’re selling. Their sales people learn to anticipate and counter every reasonable argument you might make to get out of it, and you can see where an aggressive personality and an ability to keep your eye on the ball would serve you well in such an endeavor.

          I had to learn to just hang up if anyone was trying to sell me something over the phone; you can’t be polite the way you used to be able to do, because your courtesy will be used against you to make you buy something you don’t really want or need, just to get rid of the salesperson. I typically do not even answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number. As far as sales pitches made in person, I don’t answer the door if I’m not expecting someone (or I send the missus, who has no compunction about just holding up a hand to stop them and saying “No, thanks”), and if it’s out somewhere, I just walk away. But I think it’s pretty rotten that you can’t even be pleasant and polite any more and still say “No”.


    2. The bottom graph is excellent. You can see the onset of the neo-liberal era under Reagan and Thatcher. Canada was clearly part of this trickle down wave of BS. It seems like the 2008 financial crisis affected Uncle Scumbag’s minions worse than himself. That is in terms of the standing of the elites. The graph does not show the damage done to the working class since the 1980s.


  50. Israel could not resist on attacking during Christmas:

    Missile defense systems have been activated against targets over Damascus, according to Syrian state agency. It added that incoming missiles came from Lebanese airspace, which reportedly was earlier violated by Israeli aircraft.

    The raid came in several waves and reportedly lasted for at least an hour-and-a-half, yet damage from it was somewhat limited, as the majority of missiles were intercepted before they reached their targets. According to a military source cited by SANA, an ammunition depot was damaged in the attack and three servicemen sustained injuries.

    Information is sparse and often contradictory. Israeli jets were reportedly flying quite low in Lebanese airspace at which point they may have fired missiles. The low altitude should place them below the radar horizon of Syrian anti-air systems. Videos of mid-air explosions suggest missile intercepts. The attack lasted for over an hour suggesting a fairly massive effort by Israel. Syria acknowledge three injuries and some damage. My guess is that the bulk of the missiles were destroyed.

    Now, will Syria carry out its promise for a matching counter-strike?


    1. I’d like to think so. Their experience with Palestinian stovepipe rockets cobbled together out of junk has made them feel like they are on another technological plane than their enemies. It would be quite a shock for them to be attacked by a country that actually has both a professional and organized military and some capable weaponry.


      1. Per RT the attack seemed sort of a dud:

        The Israeli military put two civilian airliners in immediate danger, Igor Konashenkov, the Defense Ministry spokesman, told reporters. “Provocative acts by the Israeli Air Force endangered two passenger jets when six of their F-16s carried out airstrikes on Syria from Lebanese airspace.”

        The IDF’s F-16 flew in as civilian jets were landing at Beirut and Damascus airport. The Syrian military didn’t deploy surface-to-air missiles and electronic jamming “to prevent a tragedy” and let Damascus air traffic control divert one of the passenger jets to a reserve airport in Khmeimim.

        The Israeli Air Force used as many as 16 US-made laser-guided GBU-39 bombs, but only two of them reached their targets. Most were intercepted by Syria’s air defenses, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

        Two precision munitions hit a logistics compound 7km away from Damascus, injuring three personnel there.

        Those darn Israelis are using their favorite stunt – using unarmed aircraft for cover, Anyway, destroying 14 of 16 bombs is pretty good considering the complication of civilian aircraft in the area. It was highly likely that Israel was hoping for another accidental shoot-down so they can get their smirk on.

        Waiting for the other shoe to drop.


      1. Perhaps Syria will retaliate during the next Jewish holiday to achieve full reciprocity, But, frankly I would be surprised if there is retaliation given the limited results and the likely mental breakdown of Israeli leadership following a successful Syrian retaliation.

        Russia and Syria certainly must factor the psychology of the opponent in such matters. Still, a single Iskander missile targeting an Israeli air base would seem to be appropriate and measured.


        1. Don’t forget that Israel is always looking for an excuse to go to war in Syria, as it knows it would be backed by the USA. It would serve several agendas, not least distracting Israelis from Netanyahu’s leadership crisis and the recent defection of Avigdor Lieberman. Also, Israel would be assessed as having been horribly provoked by Syria, while Israeli attacks on Syria are not viewed as provocations at all – Israel essentially has a free pass, written by Washington, to do whatever it likes.

          A far better solution would be some catastrophic event which could be blamed on someone else, or an event which did a tremendous amount of damage (we don’t want to advocate for killing or hurting anyone, though, because it’s almost never the ones who deserve it most) but whose author is not immediately obvious. The Israelis would quickly put it together that it was the Syrians, but accusations are not proof.

          I think you’re probably right that nothing much will happen since the attack did not really achieve anything of any significance, and doing nothing about it merely highlights what a fail it was.


  51. Wow; here’s an eye-opener for you that I bet you didn’t know.

    “U.S. law prohibits the funding of opposition leaders and movements, and there have been no violations of this law in Ukraine.”

    That’s a quote. I bet it got some laughs even from the Moscow Times’ hackneyed audience.

    It’s funny how US journalists smirk and gobble about how this or that latest initiative by Washington or Kiev must have ‘made Putin furious’ or ’caused fuming in the Kremlin’, but when Russia even trolls them just a little bit, they totally lose their shit.


  52. Gee; they’re early this year. Usually the luminaries of the western media such as The Daily Beast and other such icons of responsible reporting wait until the new year to start up with that “Russia’s best and brightest are leaving in droves” stuff – you know, to start out on the right note of desperation and tragedy for Russia.

    Would you like to know who they’re talking about? Yulia Latynina. Yes, she’s slipped the surly bonds of the surveillance state for the rustle of breezes in the palm fronds and the breath of bougainvillea. But she asked The Beast not to reveal her whereabouts. You know, because Putin will book a flight the same day he finds out, and come with his suitcase of KGB snuff weaponry, and kill her.

    Oh, and the duo of Maksakova and Voronenkov, amazing talents that Russia could ill afford to lose. The latter got himself shot in Kiev, but of course it was the Kremlin’s finger on the trigger; Putin might as well have dropped his passport at the scene. And Evgenia Chirikova, living incognito in Estonia, where they love a good I-hate-Russia story.

    Looks like there’s no stopping the exodus of human national treasure from the sulfurous fumes of Mordor – who will be next? Gifted opposition wunderkind Alexey Navalny? Sexy it-girl Ksenya Sobchak? Kremlin-insider super-sleuth Stas Belkovsky? Is there no hope, no hope left in Russia at all?


    1. Unfortunately for Russia, now these clowns can be offed by NATzO operatives and it will get blamed. These has beens have lost their propaganda value like Politkovskaya and are more useful to their handlers dead than alive.

      But at this stage I and most Russians don’t give a flying f*ck about what false flag smear NATzO engages in. It is clear that NATzO has a genocide agenda against Russia. So Russia must be ready to glass it and glass it hard.


  53. Rest easy, Ukraine! Your mortal foe has been deterred and martial law, therefore, has been lifted.

    На Украине заканчивается военное положение
    26.12.2018 | 08:57

    Martial law has ended in the Ukraine

    The deadline for martial law.In the Ukraine — December 26.

    The 30-day period of martial law was introduced on 26 November in 10 regions of the country on the initiative of President Petro Poroshenko after the incident in the Kerch Strait.

    The special legal regime was imposed in the Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions of the country, the internal waters of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch maritime area.

    Initially, the Rada proposed that a period of 60 days of martial law be introduced on the territory of the Ukraine. In the Verkhovna Rada they then suspected that Poroshenko was trying to use martial law to cancel the March elections and refused to endorse it.

    Love the ‘на” before “the Ukraine” because it just bugs those Yukie sods! They insist on having the preposition “в” [meaning “in”] before “the Ukraine, as “на” literally means “on”, thereby implying, according to Yukie-Bandera-Nationalist arseholes, that their figment of a country is a mere territory. In fact, when these prescriptive grammatical declarations began to be issued from Banderastan, the Russians complied, but now the press has reverted to the traditional usage of prepositions, as do all Russian speakers whom I know (principally my wife and children).

    This is, of course, a matter concerning Russian/Ukrainian grammar, wherein, as far as I know, these prepositions have identical usage. However, those hard faced Bandera bastards also try to prescribe “correct” English grammar usage, namely that of articles, which Ukrainian does not have.

    Martial law has been lifted, but winter has not been suspended!

    It’s snowing heavily here in the heart of Mordor, and in Kiev:

    (above) Kiev yesterday, December 25, 2018

    Blizzard alert in Ukraine: Snowstorm warning announced for Dec 25
    11:30, 24 December 2018

    No gas?

    No central heating?

    Tough shit!


    1. В Украине дальше будут осадки, но не везде – синоптики

      In the Ukraine, there will be more precipitation, but not everywhere – weather forecasters
      [Note the prepostion before “the Ukraine”? That’s because they are “free”, see!]

      Ukrainian and western weather forecasters are warning about the continuation of cyclone activity in most regions of the Ukraine, which is causing precipitation in the form of snow or sleet and rain. “Today, December 26, another cyclone will shower snow and snowstorms on us. First, in the West, the North and the Vinnitsa region, and by the end of the day – in most areas, except the southern part, there will be calm weather”, says forecaster Natalia Didenko. ©

      Thanks, Radio Freedom for telling the free Ukraine that they are going to freeze!

      Trouble is, Mrs. Exile keeps on opening the bloody window: she says she’s too hot in our flat.


    2. Well, Ukrainian is a very fungible language, and lots of leeway is permitted. For example, the Wolfsangel or “Wolf’s hook” which was adopted as the divisional symbol of a number of SS units also means “N'” in Ukrainian, although they already have a Cyrillic symbol for “N” which is “H”, as in Russian. It should not be taken, if observed, as an indicator that the wearer is a Nazi fan or affiliated with a neo-Nazi group.

      In case it is not obvious, I am being sarcastic.


  54. The Russian Defence Ministry has made a tongue-in cheek calendar with pages ssuch as these:

    Some women can blow your head away

    Cargo delivery to anywhere in the world

    Shooting a glance: the Kremlin’s secret weapon

    A sturdy Russian electrical waffle-maker

    Enter the rabid British “Daily Mail”:

    ‘Some women can blow your head away’: Russian military issues chilling Christmas warning with 2019 calendar featuring female soldiers aiming guns alongside explosions and intercontinental missiles

    Russian military issues 2019 calendar with soldiers, explosions and missiles

    Vladimir Putin’s military machine showcased as warning to West on Christmas

    Calendar shows female soldiers pointing guns and missiles being transported

    Caption alongside September reads: ‘Some women can blow your head away’

    A chilling Christmas greeting to the West has come from Vladimir Putin today in the form of a 2019 calendar from his burgeoning military machine.

    From Putin.


    You have been warned!

    Or, to use a cliché much favoured by some:

    Be afraid: be very afraid!


    They are afraid of Russian female logistics cadets?

    And of tank-turret hatches, jokingly described as waffle makers?



    1. It’s all part of a western meme where Vladimir Putin the Mad Dictator is constantly threatening the west with attack, and sooner or later the west must defend itself. They’ve learned a thing or two from the Iraq War – when the paper trail of a rush to war was all too clear – and are carefully laying a backstory that spells out how patient the west was, how it refused to react under non-stop provocations and slaps in the face, until finally it decided enough was enough.


    2. I think that last photo is a retractable dish array for a weapon-control radar. If it were a turret hatch it would most likely have a handle and some associated locking mechanism on the back for manually securing it from the inside.


      1. Looks like a missile silo lid to me.

        Doesn’t just about every military release something like this? I remember seeing plenty of Marines and Air Force calendars showing off cool gadgets and action shots. Personnel not usually as pretty though.

        The idea that a typical armed forces themed calendar is issued as some kind of direct threat to another country is a stretch at best and delusional paranoid projection at worst. But it is the norm these days I guess.


        1. “Looks like a missile silo lid to me.”

          Yes, that’s a possibility as well; no interior handle necessary as it would be opened and closed by hydraulics. It would be helpful if we could see a little more of the object it is fitted in. It looks like some sort of hull or platform; not the typical view of a silo cap for a large missile such as an ICBM.


          1. Whatever it is, it is not one of these:

            and in suggesting that it is constitutes a dire threat made by “Putin” against the “International Community” .

            Well, according to the Daily mail it does.


    3. The above caption reads:

      Kornet is not a rank, Kornet is a vocation

      The oh-so-sensitive Daily Mail took this as a mocking dig at the British Army, whose awe-inspiring might and expertise those dastardly Russians are only too well ware of and against which their only weapon is mockery.

      The 9M133 Kornet is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile intended for use against main battle tanks. Cornet was originally the third and lowest grade of commissioned officer in a British cavalry troop squeals the Mail.

      Apparently, In its Russophobic hysteria the Daily Mail takes this naming of a Russian anti-tank weapon as a slight against an obsolete rank in the British Army, in which a cornet was usually a boy not long out of school.

      Among the many thinly-veiled threats the tabloid has discovered within the calendar’s glitzy pages, it even unearthed a personal insult directed at Britain – the Russians have dared to name their new anti-tank missile Kornet. Surely they were mocking the cornets of the old British cavalry (a rank abolished in 1871) and were not actually honoring the cornets of the Russian imperial army (abolished in 1917 along with the Russian Empire)?RT.

      However, rather than getting all hot and bothered about perceived Russian slights against the British Army, the Mail presstitutes would better concern themselves about the real capabilities of a Russian 9M133 Kornet:

      Near Mosul.

      That’s a Kornet.

      And that’s an Abrams.


              1. I love the joy in the voices of children when skunk-trucks fall down….

                Israeli occupation “skunk truck” crashes in occupied Jerusalem:


              2. Also, the Jihadists fighting the SU in Afghanistan were lionized in Western media for shouting “Ali Akbar”. They had so much in common with us you see; a belief in God and fighting for freedom of all humankind.


  55. I think I shall post the Mail a picture that I have of my litle girl, taken at a military museum, where she was photographed peering down a Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 sniper’s rifle, and tell them that this is how the regime indoctrinates 10-year-old girls and that for this reason, I want to go “home” to that land of arseholes, where people read Daily Mail, Guardian and Telegraph etc. shite and pay licence fees to the BBC.


  56. A test launch of the new Avangaard heavy ICBM. Note the fast ascent.

    This should leave some brown stains in the panties of NATzO planners. Their magic ABM and attempts at boost phase interception will not work as planned. BTW, a first strike is the delusion of imbeciles. The point of early warning radars and satellites is to detect any large scale first strike attempt. Count the seconds for the launch of the Avangaard. There is no way in Hell that any NATzO warhead could reach these silos before their ICBMs are safely launched.


  57. “In the aftermath of Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria and cut troop levels in Afghanistan, and the ensuing resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Military Times reported that Blackwater USA, which no longer is linked to Prince, and other contractors might be used to fill the void left by the drawdown of conventional forces. It noted that Blackwater USA has taken out a full-page ad in the January/February 2019 issue of Recoil, a gun and hunting magazine, featuring the Blackwater logo and a single sentence: “We are coming.”

    OK…But who-what entity- would then pay these bloodthirsty vermin???


    1. Supposedly the Kabul regime in the case of Afghanistan. But deploying mercs is essentially a fail. They do not perform well as a replacement for the army. They are basically pseudo-irregulars that facilitate dirty operations by armies. But as a stand alone replacement they are inadequate. We see this in the case of the Saudi invasion of Yemen. The Saudis simply do not have a real army and use mercenaries instead. The Yemenis who are out-gunned and out-supplied (millions are starving), are managing to score some spectacular pain on the Saudi occupants.


      1. Good points. I now recall where I recently read where the Saudi troops in Yemen are not worth a damn…

        However the US senate did vote to not continue funding the KSA ‘s ongoing Yemen war crime(s)

        I guess (fervently hope) this is still the situation….


        1. Also, US air power will be withdrawn from the Syrian operation (so they say). Without air power, Western troops and most certainly chicken shit mercenaries will stay out of harm’s way.


    2. More to the point, mercenary forces are stateless, and do not enjoy the official backing of any nation. Although it is clear whose interests they are serving, there is nothing stopping the SAA from moving against them and wiping them out. They also do not typically have armored forces or air cover. But the United States cannot scream “Stop! You’re attacking our forces!! Any further attacks will be met with the full retaliatory power of the US military!” the way they could when the US military was officially in Syria, even though they had no right or permission to be there. In a sustained attack, the SAA could wipe out Blackwater in a day, since they typically only have light combat vehicles and perhaps some helicopters. They’re mostly meant to be guards or interdictory forces, with some light-infantry capability.


    1. Well, it’d be longer than that – for several reasons, large among them that the Ukrainian leadership now is comprised of fanatics and ideologues who would be less likely to make a sensible decision which might prevent large-scale loss of life. So long as they themselves were not imperiled, I believe they would count on western reinforcement and commit whatever resources they thought were necessary to hold on until rescue by the west. Consequently, the death toll would be much higher than simple inevitability would dictate.


    1. I imagine China will continue to buy some amount of LNG from the USA, to maintain reasonable relations and as long as it remains economically feasible. But there is plenty of room for American gas sales in China without denting Russian imports at all. China’s gas consumption is only going to grow, while the USA is struggling and drilling like mad to keep increasing production, and feed the feelgood meme that there is an enormous supply of natural gas in the USA that is going to make it the world’s biggest exporter. Even if it were, shipborne LNG is not going to displace pipeline gas. Not ever. The only thing that is going to displace pipeline gas is running out of pipeline gas. And that will happen one day. And when it does, shipborne LNG will still not be in a position to replace it.


  58. Here’s an interesting ‘dying Russia’ video from Russia. Interestingly, a lot of his comments on how companies are run can be applied to the US and the biotech industry. I wonder if it’s not just a revolution in new technologies that is happening and leaving these old people behind. Still, there is tremendous waste and lying by CEOs who strip their company of all assets all over the world. Apparently Russia is extra bad at this because the political leadership is extra incompetent in helping manufacturing businesses, but this person only has the viewpoint from inside Russia.


    1. Apparently Russia is extra bad at this because the political leadership is extra incompetent in helping manufacturing businesses…

      One more “extra” and you would have had me convinced:)


      1. Well, I’m not trying to convince you. It’s just a general question since I don’t live in Russia and can’t really base my opinion on news about it since it’s so polarized. Normally links on this blog are polarized too to be pro-Russia, but I’m fine with this. This program is from inside the country and it criticizes industry practice there heavily. I was surprised by this program since it’s very negative and in contrast to economic indicators and other links on this blog. My wife hasn’t’ lived there for more than 10 years, so I can’t really ask her what the current situation is…

        I’m just generally wondering if the state of Russian manufacturing is really dire and if it’s due to incompetent governors and politicians in general who sell out domestic manufacturing in favor of foreign firms, as well as general greed and lack of good practical education like what is said in the interview, so that the interviewee says 65 years olds are his ideal workers since they are the ones who actually know anything and are not likely to leave and care about their jobs and country.

        Now the problems are that this person could be extra bitter and maybe the market changed the way it works and he hasn’t… although I see it as well in the US. It’s savage and short-term and you don’t get much respect for your knowledge. At least you get a high salary until you’re laid off. And he does adapt to the market and says he now makes agriculture, so it’s not like he’s clueless. The other problem is that this is in Russian and not everybody at this site can speak it and there don’t seem to be subtitles.


        1. It’s a 30-minute video, I don’t have time to watch it just now, but I will watch it later, I promise.
          Although my insights may not be that great, since I know very little about business and economics.


        2. contradicts about 90% of the “Russia is doomed” drivel out there. Nobody would be investing billions of rubles to open up new production facilities or capacity if the end was nigh.

          The transformation of Russian industry from 2004 until today is spectacular. From disintegrating factories to complete rebuilds and restarting of production. It sounds too good to be true because Russia is crawling out of the Yeltsin toilet. Eventually the pace of revamping and growth will slow down. But that will not be soon since the room for import substitution and domestic demand growth remains.

          If someone wants to seriously criticize the state of Russian business, then they should start with the CBR and Nabiullina’s insane high interest policy. I know something about the stag-flation of the 1970s and 1980s in Latin America and North America. Jacking up the prime rate did not have miraculous impacts. In fact, an excessive prime rate would amplify the inflationary pressure. Nabiullina is snorting crack laced with crystal meth. The inflation spike in the wake of the late 2014 ruble forex slide last a whopping 5 months and was over by the end of March 2015 (the total CPI for 2015 was about 15% which for Russia means nothing since it saw such levels for most of the 2000s). That it spike had this strong forced-damped response has nothing to do with the CBR increasing the prime rate to 17%. It reflects the fact that the growth dynamic in Russia is sterilizing any “excess money” and Russia is far from a stagnation regime where such sterilization is lacking. Nabiullina is giving herself credit where she deserves none. She is, in fact, forcing the CPI to be higher and suppressing small and medium sized business growth by foisting higher money costs. SMB owners have complained that the CBR’s ludicrous policies are increasing their costs by 30%. That is direct inflationary pressure and it is 100% the fault of the monetarist loons at the CBR.


          1. I also forgot to mention that Russia is not a banana republic and does not rely massively on imports. So the impact of the ruble forex rate change was minimal since domestically produced goods and services do not care about the forex rate. It is imported goods and services prices that are directly linked to the forex rate. Most of the 2015 recession was the result of the price spike which spooked both producers and consumers. But the recession was over by late 2015 since there was no serious problem with Russia’s finances and economic activity.


      2. To be clear to everyone, I am far more “pro sanity” than simply pro Russian or pro Serb or pro Syrian. It is simply that the insanity of the West shows its twisted side most clearly when interacting with the foregoing. Plus, this site has a fun bunch of intelligent and witty commentators moderated by a master of wit and insight. Any questions?


  59. Yes, master! At your command, master!

    From the BBC:

    Huawei’s kit removed from emergency services 4G network
    24 December 2018

    BT [British Telecom — ME] has confirmed that equipment made by Huawei is being removed from the heart of a communication system being developed for the UK’s police forces and other emergency services.

    It follows a statement from BT earlier this month that it was swapping out the Chinese firm’s kit from the “core” of its 3G and 4G mobile networks.

    The Sunday Telegraph was first to report the latest development.

    It said the move could extend work on the late-running £2.3bn project.

    BT is covering the cost of the switch. It does not believe the changeover will lead to a further delay….

    BT has not been explicit about the reasons behind its policy.

    But security concerns have been raised about the use of Huawei’s network infrastructure products, with the chief of MI6 Alex Younger recently saying Britain needed to decide how comfortable it was “with Chinese ownership of these technologies”. [My stress — ME]

    Even so, the Financial Times reported last week that telecoms executives are opposed to an outright ban, warning that such a move would set back deployment of 5G in the UK by up to a year.

    Huawei has repeatedly rejected suggestions that it poses a risk and denies having ties to the Chinese government beyond those of being a law-abiding taxpayer.


    1. Little risk to the British, because the UK does not make a smartphone or any communications gear which is sold in China, on whose sales the parent company relies heavily for increasing market share. Like, say, Apple does.

      Bad news for the USA, though, as this move will almost certainly be attributed (and rightly so) to American pressure. I suspect American marketing is going to have a very bad year in China in 2019. Because when you think about it, the Chinese make a domestic competitor to just about everything American sold in China – cars, phones, electronics…and I suspect Apple is going to be first among losers.

      Let’s pick a state at random; Arizona. Arizona relied on exports to China to support 13,400 American jobs in 2016. Growth in exports of goods to China was anemic in 2017, but just maintaining the existing figure was not insignificant – China was the third-highest destination for exports from Arizona. But services – well, that was something else again. Growth in services supplied to China by Arizona was 323% in 2017. The state’s growth in the services sector supplied to the rest of the world was a relatively-paltry 38%.

      Oh, dear. Arizona’s top export in goods to China was semiconductors and components. Does China have a fairly brisk domestic market in semiconductors and components? Why, yes; yes, it does. Arizona’s top services export to China was travel – tourism. I can see that maybe taking a bit of a hit, too.

      Just for fun, check out California’s exposure to China. California’s top export for goods to China in 2017 was cars, to the tune of $2 Billion. Uh oh. And the top services export was once again travel and tourism, for a pretty significant $2.9 Billion. California’s exports to China supported 121,600 American jobs in 2016.

      Appetite for a boycott of Apple also seems to be gathering momentum, even in some cases by businesses who are not in anything related to telecommunications; a brewer in China offered anyone bringing in a receipt for a Huawei purchase free alcohol up to 30% of the purchase price.


  60. Well, well; that must be some storm. Ukraine has run down its gas reserves to 46% since the beginning of November. That’s up as far as December 24th, just before the blizzard hit.

    Never mind, though – if they run out, the IMF will just front them some more gas money, so they can buy reverse-flowed Russian gas from Slovakia at a big markup, while congratulating themselves for being off the Russian gas tit and while buying gas with someone else’s money. So they don’t really care how much it costs. Especially since if they can’t pay it back, they’ll just default.

    And the parameters don’t look good; quite apart from the unemployment situation and the dearth of good high-paying jobs, the population continues to slip away. Western demographers apparently do not notice – probably too busy babbling about the ‘Russian cross’ and making up scary stories about the exodus of Russia’s smart people from the country – but the population of Ukraine has shrunk by about 4 million since 2008.

    Not much need of superimposing a trend line on that, is there? But it has passed more or less completely unobserved by western demographers and the customary clutch of ‘experts’ that feeds the western bullshit machine its daily copy. If not unobserved, certainly unremarked.


  61. Anyone care to point out where the Ukraine is on this map below?

    The Mongol-Tatar Invasion

    I can seee the Kiev, Ryazan, Chernigov, Myrom, Smolensk, Vladimir Principalities etc. and the Republic of Novgorod, but where is the Ukraine or “Kiev Rus'”?


    1. The name Ukraine is utterly missing from any western historical atlas for this period as well. Banderites are basically stealing Russian history and claiming that the core of Kiev Rus Slavs are some sort of “Ugro-Mongol” horde. This is pure racist shit and deserves to be treated as such. There were no Ukrainians in 1200 or any time before.


      1. London only became the capital of England about 50 years the Norman invasion of 1066. Before that, Winchester, the main city of the West Saxons, was the main city in England following the rise to predominance of the West Saxons. Before that, the other 7 Old English kingdoms had their own centres of government, which were often not permanent. And before the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians etc. arrived in the island of Britain, the Roman capital was Colchester (Brythonic Celtic – Camulodunon), the Romans gradually moving its administration to London after the town had been sacked during the Boudicca rebellion; besides, the tidal Thames was far better for navigation. The reasons why the East Saxons, South Saxons and West Saxons did not have London as their main city was because of that navigability of the tidal Thames: the Danes could get well inland along it in their longboats.


  62. Part III of my prank call transcription.
    The big reveal here is that the prankers got Epiphany to say that (1) he will bless the Ukie troops as they fight against Donbass Seps; and (2) that he supports Poroshenko in the election.

    This is taking longer than usual, if it was straight translation from Russian to English, I have gotten so adept at that, I can do that in a flash. But I found that the “official transcript” provided is not 100% accurate, so I am going more the route of dictation/transcription (in both Russian and English) which is more time-consuming that text translation.
    The hilarious thing here, is that the pranksters, who speak Russian fluently, are struggling with their pidgin English; and Epiphany (whose native tongue is most likely Ukrainian, since he is from Lvov) is struggling with his Russian! Despite these linguistic hurdles, the semantic content is clear as a bell.


  63. Saudi reshuffle: ‘Riyadh signals to US foes that it’s ready to cooperate’

    Saudi Arabia has made a major reshuffle of its top officials. The move is meant to make the cabinet more efficient and loyal to the King and the crown prince in the face of US pressure, a Middle East expert told RT.

    King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday issued a number of royal decrees, reforming some parts of the Saudi cabinet and appointing different individuals to various offices. It’s the second major reshuffle by the king after Saudi Arabia changed the way power is transferred in the monarchy and made his son Mohammed bin Salman the heir to the throne, Grigory Lukyanov, a Middle East analyst and senior lecturer at the Russian Higher School of Economics, told RT.