Loose-Screw McKew, and America’s Learning Disability.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “Spoon-feeding, in the long run, teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.”

Well, then can I walk beside you? I have come to lose the smog;
And I feel myself a cog in something turning:
And maybe it’s the time of year; yes, and maybe it’s the time of man
And I don’t know who I am, but life is for learning.

We are stardust, we are golden; we are billion-year-old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden…

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, from “Woodstock

Life is for learning. Occasionally, as events of great moment pass us by without destroying the world, as they may have had the potential to do, we sigh with relief, and say, “There was a lesson that came at tremendous cost – I just hope the right people learned something from it”. And if the disaster was one which resulted from an unsafe situation such as a badly-planned intersection or a highway with inherent dangers, there’s every chance the right people will have learned something, and that the situation will be quickly addressed; municipal or federal governments frequently get sued for safety situations, often successfully.

Not in politics, though. Oh, people get sued in politics, too, from time to time. But politics is not what you would call a rich learning environment. People get used to doing things a certain way, and they keep on doing things that way. Party loyalty often inspires bizarre behavior and indefensible statements long after it is obvious they are indefensible. Fortunately – for politicians – it is the one forum in which people are seldom punished for being wrong, or for continuing to maintain they were right long after it is evident they were wrong. And no forum is more illustrative of this than American politics. Few examples are more illustrative than the ridiculous position – seized upon and promoted by the Democratic party – that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because the Russians rigged the election for Donald Trump.

The Mueller Report, recently released, tried its best to imply that there was collusion even as it stated baldly that the investigation had yielded no evidence of collusion. But what struck me with the most force was the manner in which the Democrats – and the entire crowd which has so much invested in having had an illegitimate president foisted upon them by the Godless Russians – simply shook its head, took a deep breath…and went right on blathering the same lunatic narrative. The Russians interfered with our democracy. Nothing is safe. Russia is the enemy of democracy, and will not suffer a democracy to live. Get the kids and pack up enough food for traveling, Mabel; we’re headed for the mountains – it’s “Red Dawn”, babycakes.

Amazing as it will sound, America has learned nothing.

Part of it, of course, is America’s belief in its own omnipotence; if something came out differently from the way it was planned to come out, then America was tricked. Hoodwinked, by unscrupulous actors. It cannot be that America is subject to the same vagaries and pressures and caprices as the rest of the world; America decides, and so it shall be. Part of it is the diligent pick-and-shovel work that America’s political forces do to preserve that illusion; that America is an unstoppable force, so much more than just a big rich country.

So, the premise endures. Russian trolls, acting on the personal orders of Vladimir Putin, generated a storm of hateful social-media messages on race relations in America, in a coordinated strike which included Russian release of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails, and America faltered. It scratched its head in doubt, and Donald Trump slipped past the worthy – and oh, so wronged – Mrs. Clinton to seize the presidency with his soiled hands.

Matt Taibbi did some excellent work on the subject, which I admit grudgingly, as I hoped to get something out on America’s inability to learn from its mistakes before the heavyweights. Taibbi’s writing will make you wonder whether you should laugh or cry, as you wonder how an influential country could survive the embarrassment of the past couple of years, encapsulated by a journalistic mantra which holds that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Russia is guilty as sin, and you can take that to the bank, so the very fact that Mueller will not leak any proof to us must mean that his findings are so devastating, so jaw-dropping, so “shut up!!” that they would break the media. The one possibility which was not considered a possibility at all was that there was nothing, and that the accusations had been fabrication and desperate damage control from the first.

But the frustrated narrative of Russian collusion is the only component which has been discredited to the point that Democrats and Russophobes of all political persuasions must admit there is no happy ending to the promise that Donald Trump was going to be fired so high he would need to go on oxygen. Mueller – probably deliberately – continued to hint that Russia had ‘meddled’ in the 2016 election, and that the effect had been important enough that democracy is under attack. No longer listening to anyone outside the party-faithful echo chamber, the Democrats now insist that US Attorney-General William Barr resign, for ‘misleading the American people about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia”.

“Barr’s news conference ultimately did nothing to help Trump, because the public has eyes. Americans could read the damning evidence of obstruction of justice and communications with Russians for themselves and make their own judgements.”

Democrats continue to try to make up in volume and intensity for the fact that there is no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, nor of obstruction of justice by Trump. The Republicans shout that the Democrats are on a senseless witch hunt, that the report makes clear there was no collusion between Trump and the Russians…but are perfectly happy to agree that Russia meddled in the election. For his part, Mueller is happy to drop hints that both obstruction and collusion probably took place – he just couldn’t find any proof.

All are loony. Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election at all, at least no further than Europe did. A lengthy list of European political leaders and former leaders publicly expressed their support for Mrs. Clinton’s election to the office of President of the United States. In 2008, just one is recorded as having done so; Mona Sahlin, leader of Sweden’s Social Democrats. Interestingly, in the same list of endorsements of Mrs. Clinton in 2008 – right after “Adult Entertainment Artists” – is this one: under “Well-Known Individuals”, “Businessman and television personality, Future Presidential Candidate & Rival for the United States presidential election 2016, future President of the United States Donald Trump”.

There’s gratitude for you.

The Presidents of Taiwan, Chile, France and Ukraine, the former Presidents of Mexico, France, Kosovo and Ecuador, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, France, Italy, New Zealand and Sweden and former Prime Ministers of Sweden, the UK, Canada, Australia and France all openly expressed their hope that Mrs. Clinton would be elected President of the United States. None of this was considered meddling. I don’t recall any official endorsement from Russia, although the international English-speaking media helpfully informed us that Putin hoped Trump would win, because he felt Trump would be more approachable for concessions and because he disliked Mrs. Clinton. When Trump did win, despite wrong guesses by just about every political analyst on the planet, it was considered ‘additional evidence’ that meddling had taken place, instigated by you-know-who.

Perhaps, in highlighting just how stupid America is making itself look with this painfully stubborn insistence that Russia rolled it in 2016, it would be useful to take another look at what American partisans claimed to already know, and could prove as easily as demonstrating that if you put your hand on a hot stove, you will burn it.

One of my favourite American partisans is the Duchess of Displacement, the Baroness of Bulk, Molly McKew. We took a look at her work a long time ago, on the old blog – just before Trump commenced his term, in fact – or perhaps I should say his first term, since the barking madness of the political landscape in today’s America makes it entirely possible he will serve a second, unbelievable as that may sound. In that article, we closed out like this; “Look, we’re getting close to the end of this, and it’s time for plain speaking. Americans are confused and don’t know fact from fiction because their own government feeds them bullshit with a side of spin day in, day out, and you’re part of it. There was no Russian interference in the American elections, and you know it.” My take on what happened has not changed a bit.

McKew is still regarded – highly, I should imagine, by her feeble-minded peers – as an ‘information-warfare expert’. Hardly amazing that she sees information-warfare attacks everywhere. Here’s what she claimed to know about Russian election interference and general friggin’ in the riggin’, a little over a year ago. She bases her conclusions on Mueller’s Grand Jury indictment, which was issued more than a year in advance of his report – an indictment in which Mueller claimed the Defendants (a variety of Russian advertising and research agencies operating both in Russia and the United States) “…knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.”

You know the old quote about how easy it is to get a Grand Jury to indict someone or something.

Something McKew claims is now – meaning as of early 2018 – “undeniable” is that Russia had, and has “a broad, sophisticated system that can influence American opinion, which cost tens of millions of dollars spent over several years to build.” She must be talking about RT, although I suggest her cost estimate is a little low. RT, which the west considers a ‘propaganda network’, cost $30 million to set up, in 2005. Its operating costs now are in the hundreds of millions annually, although 80% of the costs are incurred outside Russia, paying for partner networks who distribute its channels.

We kind of have to give her that one, because it is true that RT’s coverage is often at odds with the bullshit du jour that CNN and NBC and FOX are spreading. Bullshit, for example, like CNN’s non-stop yammering about the collusion that Mueller could find no evidence ever occurred, and said so. Bullshit like NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ recollections about his helicopter being shot down in Iraq – echoes of Hillary ‘sniper fire’ Clinton – ,which never happened. Williams is not a nobody; he was the nation’s longest-serving and top-rated news anchor.

I submit, however, that the American people are not subjected to RT’s ‘propaganda and disinformation’ about American propaganda and disinformation against their will; there is a button on the remote called “On/Off” that will free the American enslaved from malign Kremlin influence. Alternatively, they can switch to another channel. I would just point out, though, that if they switch to a popular US news channel, they are very likely to be listening to a broadcast which has been curated by its corporate owners, and who “are unlikely to report news that is broadly hostile to corporate capitalism and the American elite.” That’s according to a report entitled “Corporate Control of the Media” (in the USA), printed in 2009.

Warming to her subject, McKew goes on to claim “The Russian efforts described in the indictment focused on establishing deep, authenticated, long-term identities for individuals and groups within specific communities. This was underlaid by the establishment of servers and VPNs based in the US to mask the location of the individuals involved. US-based email accounts linked to fake or stolen US identity documents (driver licenses, social security numbers, and more) were used to back the online identities. These identities were also used to launder payments through PayPal and cryptocurrency accounts. All of this deception was designed to make it appear that these activities were being carried out by Americans.”

This might be a good point at which to suggest there is every reason to believe ‘these activities’ were carried out by Americans. Americans working for national intelligence agencies.

In March 2017, The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima had an article published which was entitled “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.” It detailed, among other things, a cyber tool called “Marble Framework”. This could be used, it was claimed, to re-assign attribution of material posted on the internet so that it appeared, for forensic purposes, to have originated from a different source. Test samples, it was reported, were included in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.

The report which encouraged President Trump to ask his CIA Director – Mike Pompeo, at the time, who is currently the National Security Advisor – what he knew about this was co-authored by Skip Folden, who for 25 years was the IT Program Manager for IBM. I think it is safe to say he has some credibility in the field of cyber-forensics. The authors of the report contended that the ‘hack’ of the DNC’s server was not actually a hack at all, but the at-source copying of data directly from the server using a storage device, probably a thumb drive. The data transfer rate, the authors claimed, was far too rapid to have occurred over the internet.

Since then I have seen a couple of ‘rebuttals’ which claimed that under certain conditions – like if nobody else was using the internet during that time – such copying from a remote source was possible. I never saw anything like proof. Like someone demonstrating how it could be done. Much like the old ‘clean pee swap’ the completely-discredited McLaren Report claimed the Russians performed on athletes’ urine samples; he claimed to know how it was done, but never demonstrated it, and appeared to be unable to do so, as it would have strongly supported his allegations.

Having taken us such an eye-blurring distance on the blarney rollercoaster, Molly at last falls apart. “So anyone trying to tell you there was little impact on political views from the tools the Russians used doesn’t know. Because none of us knows. No one has looked. Social media companies don’t want us to know, and they obfuscate and drag their feet rather than disclosing information. The analytical tools to quantify the impact don’t readily exist. But we know what we see, and what we heard—and the narratives pushed by the Russian information operation made it to all of our ears and eyes”, she tells us.

So if you saw advertising by Black Lives Matter, or perhaps some other civil-rights organization, pushing a false narrative that blacks are second-class citizens in their own country, then you were exposed to Kremlin propaganda. And it affected how you voted, if you’re an American. How much? Nobody knows. What everybody does know, or should, is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, although not the determinate vote in the electoral college – quite a trick for the Russians to manage.

Let’s summarize. Americans were supposedly pushed into voting for Donald Trump by the misuse of stolen data which was all true. The DNC did conspire to rig the primary so that Clinton was the Democratic candidate rather than Bernie Sanders; the Chair of the DNC resigned in disgrace because of the revelations which came to light. Her replacement, Donna Brazile, admitted to having fed the primary debate questions to Clinton in advance, giving her an advantage over Sanders, who was unaware of them as he should have been. At its very core, the Democratic party is as corrupt as the Nigerian prince who keeps e-mailing me to help him hide his ill-gotten fortune. American intelligence and technical professionals with no discernible benefit in making their country look bad insist that no hacking of the DNC’s server took place, and that the stolen information which kicked the Democrats’ feet out from under them on the eve of the election was not hacked, but stolen by direct physical transfer from the server using a portable storage device. Wikileaks insisted the information it released did not come from the Russians. The serving American intelligence services at the time of the 2016 election had a secret program which was capable of mimicking the origin of posted information on social media so that forensic investigation would find traces of  Russian authorship, or other non-American authorship. The CIA has vigorously denied any involvement whatsoever in various international events at the time they occurred, only to admit much later – when it would be pointless to punish it – that they did in fact play an influential role. Data from 2014 established that at that time, 27% of black Americans lived below the poverty line, compared with 11% of all Americans; 38% of black children lived in poverty compared with 22% of all American children. I have seen no compelling evidence that this situation has improved. According to the perfidious Kremlin mouthpiece RT, citing American sources, American blacks are incarcerated at a rate six times as high as the national average.

Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess, tells us that it is ‘undeniable’ that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, by making Americans doubt the integrity of their political candidates. In the case of the Democrats – which is by no means intended to spare the Republicans – they were demonstrated by their own repeatedly-verified and admitted shenanigans to understand ‘integrity’ about as well as the average crab fisherman understands how to calculate the mass of the sun. Everything they were accused of doing, they did. Candidate Hillary Clinton unambiguously lied – as she has done on other occasions – about the security classification of her ‘private’ emails and completely fabricated consent of the State Department for her to maintain a private email server for the sending and receiving of official message traffic. America does have an uneven scale of justice, law enforcement and standard of living based on race. There is no proof at all which has so far been made public that any of those situations were reported, compelled, exacerbated or invented by Russia, or by anyone from Russia. According to persistent revelations from Kiev, the American Democratic party energetically sought dirt on candidate Trump from Ukrainian sources, not Russian. McKew closes her soliloquy on election interference by maintaining that while it is undeniable that Russian interference occurred, nobody knows the extent to which it influenced the vote, which resulted in a popular win for the candidate who lost the election.

Let me posit another reality. Russia played no part at all in the outcome of the 2016 election, although it certainly was a surprise to most. There is no proof even offered that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials of any description, and no proof which could not have been fabricated that any coherent social-media campaign originating with Russian operatives took place, or that any such imaginary social-media campaign had anything to do with Trump’s victory. The Democrats, by sticking to their ridiculous and incredible narrative of Russian masterminds warping American democracy, are setting themselves up for having their headlights sucked out again by the passing Trump juggernaut in the next election, when they will be totally out of excuses if they do not wake up and do some serious retrenching.

But we are probably going to have to wait for history to teach that lesson to Americans.

 

 

 

 

1,643 thoughts on “Loose-Screw McKew, and America’s Learning Disability.

  1. Buttfeed, the intelligence services go to nu-media outlet who will publish any old shit (aka the ex-MI-6 officer Christopher Steel’s ‘Dossier’ of bs on Trump) , claims that Russia spied on the EU mission HQ in Moscow, citing documents from the usual ‘anonymous sources’. Of course EU NATO nations are free to fly up and down Russia’s borders, interfere in Russian politics and continue to spy for humanitarian reasons. Who could possibly complain?

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  2. Euractiv: Watad: The oil company that came from nowhere and became a key player in Syria
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/watad-the-oil-company-that-came-from-nowhere-and-became-a-key-player-in-syria/

    Life in rebel-held northwest Syria has, without a doubt, been made easier by Watad Petroleum’s presence. But with no information available publicly about who owns or runs it, there is a persistent suspicion about it, writes Haid Haid.

    Haid Haid is a research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London. He is also a consulting research fellow of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa program. He contributed this op-ed for the Syndication Bureau, an opinion and analysis article syndication service that focuses exclusively on the Middle East…

    …The first that anyone had heard of Watad was in January last year, when it was granted a monopoly over the fuel market in greater Idlib, with exclusive rights to import oil and gas from Turkey and to regulate their sale, price and distribution….
    ####

    Why so coy? Back in 2015 the Russian government named names:

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/211624-2/211624/
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34982951

    It’s no mystery at all then. So why does it continually amazes me that journalists refuse to join the dots or come to a conclusion? Deference to their governments? Self-censorship? How does ISIS/Al-Queda etc. get food, energy, supplies, armed Japanese 4x4s ( aka ‘technicals’) if they are not coming from Assad and the West and its allies control the other means? They just appear somehow by all sorts of byzantine means, never the most simple ones. Don’t ask, don’t write.

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  3. Oops! New York Times corrects Skripal story, says no ‘dead ducks’ or ‘sick kids’ from ‘Novichok’
    Published time: 6 Jun, 2019 19:39

    Meanwhile, I recall how British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt likes to roll out the line that the Russian response to British accusations is “fake news”, in that the Russians have so far offered 40 different accounts of what happened to the Skripals.

    And then there’s that “guy” at Porton Down who, according to Boris the Buffoon, said it was deffo Novichok what done the job.

    Here’s what those lying bastards at the Russian Embassy in London say:

    SALISBURY:

    A CLASSIFIED CASE

    What a load of bollocks!

    Who wants to wade through all that shite?

    Why don’t they just admit what everyone knows: they done it!!!!!

    Deny, deny, deny!

    That’s all as what them Russians and Vlad can do!

    You know what they say, of course:

    — How do you know when a Russian is lying?

    — When his lips move!

    How true! How vey true!

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    1. Dozens of false narratives and conspiracy theories began popping up almost immediately, the first of 46 bogus story lines put out by Russian-controlled media and Twitter accounts and even by senior Russian officials, according to a tabulation by The Washington Post — all of them sowing doubt about Russia’s involvement in the March 4 assassination attempt. Ranging from the plausible to the fantastical, the stories blamed a toxic spill, Ukrainian activists, the CIA, British Prime Minister Theresa May and even Skripal himself.Washington Post

      That door handle (above) was smeared with the most deadly nerve agent known to man by two Russian agents after the Skripals had left that house never to return, thereby endangering the lives of thousands of peaceful Salisbury citizens, including those 2 cops, who miraculously suffered no ill effects whatsoever from that vile agent of Russian mass murder!!!!!!

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      1. Vladimir Putin: Regarding the tragedy you have mentioned, I learned about it from the media. The first thing that comes to mind is that, had it been a warfare agent, the victims would have died immediately. It is an obvious fact, which must be taken into account. This is first.

        The second is that Russia does not have such chemical agents. We destroyed all our chemical weapons, and international observers monitored the destruction process. Moreover, we were the first to do this, unlike some of our partners who promised to destroy their chemical weapons but have not done so to this day, regrettably.

        Therefore, we are ready for cooperation, as we said immediately. We are ready to take part in any investigations necessary, provided the other side wants this too. We do not see their interest so far, but we have not removed the possibility of cooperation on this matter from the agenda.

        As for the overall situation, I believe that any reasonable person can see that this is total nonsense. It is unthinkable that anyone on Russia would do such a thing ahead of the presidential election and the FIFA World Cup. Absolutely unthinkable.

        However, we are ready for cooperation despite the above things. We are ready to discuss any issues and to deal with any problems.

        V.V.Putin in reply to a question asked of him by a journalist in Moscow, March 18, 2018, following the last presidential election.

        source

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        1. He did indirectly point the finger to those who find such an act very thinkable before the FIFA World Cup and Russian election.

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      2. One would have thought by now that those two police officers might need a bit of medical attention themselves from guarding the house for so long.

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    2. You have to feel really “sorry” for Julian Barnes, the NYT fella who was just doing his stenographer job, head down and tail up, back in April and then needing something like 50 days to work out where he made the error and how he made it. Here is his tweet:

      You have to click on his tweet to see the bucketing he gets from commenters with one guy likening him to showing up with a bucket of water long after the house has burnt down, and other folks saying to ask questions first and then shoot later.

      Surely a news item that mentions, among other things, some dead ducks and children sickened by a toxin that could have killed them merits extra careful research and consulting as many independent sources as possible to ascertain that the animals did die and the children were ill.

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      1. I followed the ‘J’accuse News’ tweet in response to Barnes’s mea post culpa and came across this:

        Corrupt “good guys,” Tax Justice Network kills podcast on Browder
        https://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2019/05/corrupt-good-guys-tax-justice-network-kills-podcast-on-browder/

        By Lucy Komisar
        May 11, 2019

        The Tax Justice Network, organized in 2003 to fight offshore tax evasion and corruption, has censored a podcast its founding director recorded when I spoke at the Offshore Alert Conference in November in London. I didn’t write about this before now, because I though the TJN leaders might change their minds. But it turns out they are either cowardly or corrupt.
        ####

        Browder’s tentacles run far, but only as far as his backers allow him, which leads me to ask ‘what would it take for them to drop him’? Browder has a shelf-life and at some point he will be surplus to requirement.

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        1. That’s a very sad story. You can really only take on someone like Browder when you have nothing to lose – it seems that as soon as you attract interest at an organizational level, it turns out that organization is afraid of losing its funding, and bows to the power which threatens to take it away. Note that he was not able to intimidate Nekrasov into not making his film, but he was able to browbeat theatres into not showing it.

          Sooner or later it will all come crashing down for Browder. But The USA will protect him until they have something to replace the Magnitsky Act so they can continue to legally discriminate against Russia. If Browder goes down, the act he worked so hard to get on the books will be revealed as partisan bullshit, and nobody in the west wants that.

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    1. Yes, an interesting footnote regarding the victory over Nazism. Just to put things in perspective, the average daily casualty rate for the Soviet Union (military and civilian) was approximately 15,000 – equivalent to about 6 D-Days everyday for five (5) years. This is not to diminish the sacrifice of those who died on D-Day or anytime/anywhere else fighting the Nazis. I did grow weary of much of the US news coverage hailing D-day as the turning point of the war. I may have missed it but there was no acknowledgement of the Soviet role in MSM coverage.

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      1. You expected something (refreshingly) different from the narcissistic miseducated morons and bimbos who comprise the American MSM personnel?

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    1. It was noticeable the the Russian President was not invited to the Normandy commemorations.

      Putin commented on this yesterday, saying that not everyone is invited to similar Russian celebrations either.

      The Russian Federation was represented at the Normandy commemorations by a diplomat, the Russian Ambassador to France if I am not mistaken.

      Of course, one should add that the Red Army did not participate in the 1944 Normandy landings.

      Neither did the German army of the Third Reich, for that matter, though it was present at the event — shooting down the allied troops on the beaches.

      I guess that’s why Merkel was invited.

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      1. The Frogs, apparently, did not invite the Russian head of state to the Normandy ceremonies because they were led by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, thereby suggesting that Putin was not invited because the head of the French government was leading the ceremony and not the head of state.

        So the heads of the UK and German governments were there, but the British head of state was not, though the next in line for her job was.

        And the United States head of state was at Normandy as well for the commemorative event because he is also head of government.

        The other day, the British head of state’s PR department dropped a huge bollock in a Tweet that suggested that Merkel represented one of the allied nations that took part in D-Day.

        The Tweet was later deleted, but not before it had aroused some comment:

        ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1136275514371518465&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsputniknews.com%2Feurope%2F201906061075699411-Royal-Family-Names-Germany-Allied-Nation-DDay%2F

        However, it would only be fair to say that without German participation at that historic event that took place 75 years ago on the Normandy beaches, there would have been no D-Day to celebrate at all.

        After all, it takes two to tango!

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      2. From the magnanimous Putin following the Frog snub:

        “По поводу приглашения или не приглашения: мы тоже не всех приглашаем и не на каждое мероприятие, почему меня должны обязательно везде приглашать? Я что, свадебный генерал, что ли? У меня своих дел хватает здесь. Это вообще не проблема”.

        source

        “As for invitation or no invitation, we do not invite everyone either, and not to every event. Why should I always be invited everywhere? Am I a wedding party celebrity or something? I have enough things to do here. This is not a problem at all. “

        Said by Putin at a fringe meeting with news agency heads during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

        Putin also ironically suggested that the Western leaders probably wanted to “exchange whispered secrets” before starting contacts with Russia.

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      3. Merkel was invited so they could do the cosplay reenactment afterwards. She would put on the costume of a Nazi sniper and try to shoot Donald Trump!

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      4. “Neither did the German army of the Third Reich, for that matter, though it was present at the event — shooting down the allied troops on the beaches.”

        Certainly some were so involved, however other members of the Reich were engaged in constructive agriculture projects in the East:

        :O)

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  4. Margarita Simonyan Taken to Hospital After Incident at Moscow Radio Station

    Rossiya Segodnya editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan was taken to a hospital after an incident with an opposition activist at the Moscow’s radio station “Echo of Moscow”, RT reported Thursday.

    According to RT, an opposition activist staged a provocation with a camera at the premises of the radio station. As a result, Simonyan immediately became ill and was taken to a local hospital

    Oppposition activist!

    Doncha just love ’em!

    More here from Russian RT:

    Маргарита Симоньян госпитализирована после инцидента с Любовью Соболь
    6 июня 2019, 23:14

    The chief editor of RT, Margarita Simonyan, admitted to hospital after an incident with candidate to the Moscow city Duma, Lyubov Sobol, in the editorial office of radio station “Echo of Moscow”.

    Earlier Simonyan said that she had gone to the radio station, where she was to go on air, but at the entrance she was met by Sobol, who began asking her questions about the Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin.

    “I went to go on air at “Echo” and at the entrance I was met by Lyubov Sobol, who had her camera switched on, and for some reason, she began asking me questions about Sobyanin. The “Echo” people say that they guarded me for half an hour at the entrance” wrote the chief editor of RT in Twitter.

    Simonyan said that Sobol followed her through the corridors until the radio station staff helped her hide in the office of the chief editor of the radio station, Alexei Venediktova.

    The RT editor-in-chief noted that “harassing pregnant women along the corridors of a radio station is not the best method of campaigning”.

    Sobol is one of unemployed “lawyer” Navalny’s team.

    From Russian Wiki:

    Соболь, Любовь Эдуардовна


    Sobol – Let freedom ring!

    Lyubov Eduardovna Sobol (maiden name Fedenyova; born September 13, 1987) — Russian political activist, lawyer at the “Anti-Corruption Fund” within the “Rospil” project [“Rospil” – “Russian Saw”, as in a carpenter’s tool: bullshitter Navalny’s Washington funded anti-corruption sham organisation — ME], member of the “Russia of the Future” party, member of the Coordination Council of the Russian opposition.

    That’s the coordinating council which one of its erstwhile and very short-lived members, Sergei Udaltsov, described, literally, as a council of wankers.

    Udaltsov ended up doing a lengthy period of time for rioting at Bolotnaya Square, from which riot Navalny sneaked off after speechifying on the square.

    Navalny promised to provide financial support for Udaltsov and chums’ families while the convicted rioters were doing time.

    They got fuck all off the bullshitter’s organisation.

    Udaltsov does not like Navalny now.

    By the way, the other week the unemployed “lawyer” was abroad on vacation again.

    Like

    1. I’m not sure I am on Simonyan’s side on this. For sure the Sobol is a kreakle Navalnyite freak, and she should roast in hell. On the other hand, the contrarian in me does not want to go along with the prevailing narrative.

      See, the Russian “establishment” press is all over this incident, pouring on the sympathy for Simonyan. Who is photographed in her bed at the hospital, where she says she got so upset that she almost had a miscarriage. If she had actually had the miscarriage, she would have blamed Sobol for it, no doubt. Fortunately, she seems to be fine, and gestating bairn as well.

      See, the Russian “establishment” press is all, using words like “attack” to describe what Sobol did to Simonyan. I searched a bit, but couldn’t find a video. So I’m not sure, but I don’t think there was a physical attack there. Just Sobol being a dick, lying in wait, and firing questions at Simonyan. If that is harassment, so be it, and I’m sure it’s rude, and one should always be polite to a pregnant woman.

      Still and all, Simonyan is the chief editor of a major pillar of the Russian media. Surely she should have a thicker skin and be prepared for verbal duels and even assaults? Verbal sparring and even yelling certainly doesn’t faze the likes of Soloviev although, to be sure, he is a big grizzled man and doesn’t have to worry about carrying a fetus to term.

      Like

      1. In Echo Moskvy studio after having been pestered by Sobol:

        After having been on air, Simonyan rose from her chair with difficulty and confessed that she needed to see a doctor. After that, she asked the presenter to have someone help her from the radio station to her car.

        Earlier, Simonyan wrote on “Telegram” that she had arrived at the radio station, where Sobol was waiting for her at the entrance with her camera turned on.

        In a video release, Sobol asks Simonyan to comment on the fact that the mayor had allegedly “been giving the apartments to his subordinates”.

        Simonyan refused to enter into conversation with her and added that the she should negotiate through the press service in order to have an interview.

        Sobol continued to insist on an answer, to which insistence Simonyan replied that she did not want to talk to her, and asked radio station staff to keep Sobol away from her as she should not be allowed to get into a nervous state.

        Social media users have been outraged by Sobol’s behaviour.

        “The end of Sobol’s parliamentary career”, said @pogovorim12.

        “You need to become a deputy, Margarita. Just look at this Sobol — she realizes that you will win at any level. Jealousy It is”, suggested Vladimir Ivlev on Facebook.

        “Lyuba, don’t do this anymore”, said one of Sobol’s supporters onTwitter.

        “Take care”, wrote Yulia Sasikova.

        “But, the most important thing is the health of mother and baby, ” concluded @bordelpoetov.</I

        source

        (above) Sobol insists that Simonyan answer her questions about Sobyanin’s alleged giving apartments to his underlings.

        Simonyan politely tells her to put forward these questions through the appropriate channels.

        Sobol insists that Sobyanin answer her.

        Simonyan politely, calmly and quietly tells Sobol that she does not wish to enter into a conversation with her.

        Sobol asks why she won’t say anything.

        Sobyanin says: “Basically, I don’t want to say anything to you!” Then Simonyan asks if she could be isolated from Sobol.

        And Sobol continues following Simonyan along the corridor, pressing her to make a comment, saying to her: “So you are not ready to make a comment?” whereupon Simonyan says again: “I am not at all ready to enter into a conversation with you“, adding: “because I don’t like you!”

        Like

        1. Cue the unemployed “lawyer”

          <Ha-ha-ha! Here is a lying swindler for you! The "incident" is in the video. These are normal questions from which the beaver-eater mocking Kreakle term for Simonyan following a Tweet she made about cooking and eating beaver shamefully ran away. At first she cheerfully wrote Tweets and now she was “sick” – trying to save face.

          Like

          1. Am I missing something in this story?

            -Why didn’t the reporter ask the Mayor about the flats ?
            -is margarita connected to the mayor?
            – Is Margarita a recipient of a flat ?

            It’s not clear why Margarita is involved and needed to be questioned on this issue.

            It is indeed harassment if she has no connection to the issue of the flats.

            Like

            1. Because for Navalnyites, everyone associated with the state, any state employee, any official in state organs, any member of the government or the duma who is not an “oppositionist” is, by definition, a swindler and a cheat. Hence Navalny’s mocking tone above.

              I repeat: Navalny does not earn a living: he says he is a lawyer, but has not once represented anyone in court of law apart from himself – once.

              He lives on donations from his often juvenile/immature, often “artistic” supporters and monies allocated him indirectly by the US Dept. of State and other benefactors, no least the ECHR.

              Navalny is also a convicted criminal, but according to Navalnyites, anyone convicted in Russian court of law is clearly innocent.

              Like

              1. Navalny is the crème de la sleaze. If Simonyan cannot verbally destroy his brain-dead minions, then she needs to take a much-needed vacation from the fray.

                Like

            2. Hey, James; welcome back, it’s good to see you.

              It looks to me as if Sobol hoped to draw a line between Sobyanin and Simonyan, since the latter is a fair booster of the former’s political career. Sobol apparently believes Simonyan knows something, and for her part, Simonyan did little to dispel that belief. Perhaps her pregnancy really is giving her the vapours, because normally Simonyan thrives on scenes like this. Instead, she appeared to have become almost hysterical. This is very likely to embolden Navalny’s disciples, and she can count on further harassment as she has made herself look like a soft target. And if she starts traveling with a bodyguard to keep the kreakliy away, she will only look more like she has something to hide. She’s taken much bigger than Sobol apart without breaking a sweat. What’s wrong with her?

              Of course her questions were actually directed at the mayor, but he does have a security detail and she would not be able to get near him. It’s easier to shout the questions at Simonyan and thus get them on the record, and Simonyan did nothing to make the questions look partisan and foolish. Consequently there will probably have to be some kind of statement from the Mayor’s office, which makes Sobol’s pestering effective and an overall success.

              Like

        2. Fucked up that translation of Navalny’s Tweet above — well, not the translation, the punctuation. I wanted to add something in parentheses to explain “beaver-eater”, but ballsed it up.

          The translation and parenthetical comment should have read thus:

          Ha-ha-ha! Here is a lying swindler for you! The “incident” is in the video. These are normal questions from which the beaver-eater [mocking Kreakle term for Simonyan following a Tweet she made about cooking and eating beaver] shamefully ran away. At first she cheerfully wrote Tweets and now she has become “sick” – trying to save face.

          I don’t think Simonyan is a beaver-eater any way: she’s a married woman expecting her first baby, which suggests to me that she prefers the company of men and all which that entails.

          But then again ….

          Like

          1. I don’t think that’s what he meant. But no insult is beneath Navalny, despite western characterizations – mostly by airheaded female journalists – of him as dazzlingly handsome and such a gentleman. I never did get the ‘handsome’ part, even when he was younger – he has a weak chin and a forehead so big it should more properly be called a fivehead; the two together must result from a skull shaped like a give-way sign. And his rantings might appear courageous if they were only delivered when the state appeared to be oppressing him – instead, he carries his own bubble of poor-me oppression around with him everywhere he goes, and can make going out to pick up a litre of milk seem like a one-way mission. What a candy-ass. As my first watch supervisor was fond of saying, and which I never forgot, “An insult from a fool is a compliment”. Simonyan should bask in his abuse. But she will have to get a stinging rejoinder together quickly, because the Navalnyites now perceive her as vulnerable, and will harass her every time she appears in public; forcing Simonyan into fearful retirement would be a rich prize for the west. And weeping about the safety and well-being of babies is not going to cut it.

            Like

      2. I agree. From descriptions of the event, Sobol was no jerkier than reporters usually are, and trying to roll your subject with a flurry of questions so that they appear flustered and defensive is a common enough tactic. You would think an experienced presenter like Simonyan would be able to handle that, even pregnant. She just needed to turn the tables on her, and say, “When would be convenient for you to do an interview? I’m a little busy right now”.

        Like

    1. I was curious about the picture from the press conference with Stoltenberg. It made him look like a candidate for the Lollipop Guild.

      Like

  5. Euractiv: Russian diplomat: Moscow does not feed Euroscepticism
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/russian-diplomat-moscow-does-not-feed-euroscepticism/

    MADRID

    In an interview with EURACTIV’s partner EFE http://euroefe.euractiv.es/5861_protagonistas/6169991_moscu-desea-que-la-nueva-ue-sea-mas-objetiva-en-sus-relaciones-con-rusia-afirma-el-embajador-korchagin.html on the eve of the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg (the “Russian Davos”), Russian ambassador to Spain Yuri Korchagin said Moscow is not behind rising Euroscepticism.

    “We want a united, prosperous, predictable and stable Europe. Therefore, we are not interested in any type of conflict or unpredictability in our neighbourhood. Eurosceptic trends have their origin in the society of their countries,” the Russian diplomat said.

    He added that sometimes it is said that in Russia there is fake news.

    “But what I read, even in the Spanish press, are 90% things that make a Russian laugh, or fear, because if they think this way, maybe they don’t understand anything. If we make the wrong decision that all Euroscepticism is fed by Russia, then they will never solve that problem,” the diplomat said.

    Korchagin added that Moscow hopes that the new heads of the EU Commission and Parliament will be “more objective” in the bloc’s relations with Russia and wished that the EU’s “coercive measures” against Moscow following the Crimea annexation will be revoked soon.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the Three Seas Initiative in Slovenia, former US General James L. Jones said the EU borders between the Baltic and the Black Sea should be strengthened.

    “There begins the defence of Europe, the threats need to be taken seriously and jointly respond to them,” he said, adding that the US administration strongly supports strategic co-operation and is willing to invest several billion dollars in investments in the region….
    ####

    A bit more at the link, and don’t forget to read the interview sic ‘Spain lost 785 million euros, when it stopped exporting fruits and vegetables to the Russian market..’

    You really have to laugh at what Bonehead Jones said in Slovenia (a well known naval power). The US ‘investing’ several billion dollars in the region? The US doesn’t do anything for free and has been whining about Europe picking up the defense spending for way before Trump, so now Jones tells us that Washington is going to pick up the bill?

    Like

  6. Euractiv: A Russian perspective: The EU’s only one way to succeed
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/opinion/a-russian-perspective-the-eus-only-one-way-to-succeed/

    The EU can achieve its goal maintaining its positions in the multipolar world of today and of tomorrow only by interacting with other pillars of its common Eurasian civilisation, including Russia, writes Vladimir Chizhov.

    …The sooner Brussels abandons the illusions of its “integration uniqueness”, the swifter our two unions will start getting dividends from strengthening pan-Eurasian connectivity that, I suppose, will be relevant both for EU member states and Russia with its Eurasian Economic Union partners in the modern highly competitive world…

    …The most quick-witted European politicians have already realised that sanctions against Russia are not working but they do not know how to get out of the trap they or their predecessors pushed themselves into back in 2014. Therefore, they simply suggest that we act according to the formula “help us to help you” – that is for Moscow to make a “goodwill gesture” towards Kiev within the settlement framework and then, they say, everything will start getting on track immediately. Well, everything can get on track should quite a different condition be met – should the Ukrainian side implement the Minsk Agreements that are known to have been formulated with active participation of major European powers – Germany and France…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Like

    1. Moscow is obviously not backing down on the Minsk issue, nor should they. But it gives you some idea of their supposed ‘desperation’ to get out from under sanctions. Doesn’t sound too desperate to me.

      Like

  7. TheHill.com: Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source
    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/447394-key-figure-that-mueller-report-linked-to-russia-was-a-state-department

    By John Solomon, opinion contributor

    In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

    But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters….
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    And what of questions unasked about Kilimnik, i.e. if he was providing intelligence to the US for such a long time and from inside the Yanukovic government, what role did he play (if any) in collapsing it via intel he may have provided multiple western governments? That I think is one of a number of key questions that should be asked. We can assume that he was just one strand of the West’s usual overthrow/coup/revolution schtick that they employ…

    Like

  8. Russia Accuses US Destroyer of Creating Dangerous Situation For Its Ship in South China Sea

    “Today, at 6:35 am Moscow time (3:35 GMT) while the Russian sea detachment of the Pacific Fleet moved along with the US carrier attack group, the USS Chancellorsville suddenly changed its course and crossed the path of the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov just 50 metres away from the ship”, a statement issued by the press-service said.

    I wonder why the US Navy has one of its warships named after a resounding victory over United States Army of the Potomac by the Confederate States of America Army of Northern Virginia in 1863?

    In 2013, the Chancellorsville had to undergo 6 months of repairs that cost $30 million as a result of damaged received by an errant target drone.

    Money to burn!

    Paper money, that is.

    Like

    1. Chancellorsville was a major victory for the “audacious” General Robert E. Lee, but the downside for the Confederacy was the fatal wounding of General Stonewall Jackson.

      Who was the hero of the famous poem by John Greenleaf Whittier:

      Like

    2. No, no, no!!!

      It was those awful subhuman Russians that steered towards us!

      And from the grammatically and lexically challenged:

      Smart looking, fast moving “rust tub” is that Russian cruiser!

      Like

      1. Evil Russian vessel left: USN vessel for freedom and democracy right.

        But surely the US warship had to give way?

        Comment off a shitwit to the above:

        Russia have [sic] clearly become overconfident with their domination of Ukraine.
        Probably will continue to be so until they get a slap

        And this gem from another US shitwit whose geographical knowledge is somewhat in need of improvement:


        They’re just getting their tan on for the tropical liberty port of Novorossiysk they’re about to pull in to.

        Like

        1. American-supporter commenters point to the two wakes as conclusive evidence that it was the Russian vessel which behaved aggressively and incorrectly. But all you can tell from the wakes is that two vessels proceeded on straight courses which must have concluded in a collision had one or the other not turned away. What you can see from the wake of the Russia vessel is that it was the one which changed course abruptly to starboard to avoid collision. Was that its responsibility? Not according to the international collision regulations, usually abbreviated ColRegs. These state that in a situation of converging courses such as this one, the vessel which has the other on her starboard, or right, side shall give way. There was nothing on the Russian vessel’s starboard side, as she turned hard to starboard. It was the responsibility of the American vessel to give way.

          A stupid game in any case – it appears from the photo that there were no other vessels around, so CHANCELLORSVILLE could not claim to be protecting a vulnerable and not-very-maneuverable large vessel like a tanker or an aircraft carrier. The enmity of the two nations is well-known, so they would be best-advised to remain well away from one another if safety is a concern, so there was no particular reason for the Russian ship to let the approach go on – it could have slowed, and the American ship would have passed harmlessly ahead. A hint is found in CHANCELLORSVILLE’s mission – exercise freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Get in there and show the Russians and the Chinese that the US Navy goes where it pleases, when it pleases. Even supposing it is thousands of miles from home waters, and in a region claimed by someone else. You are not likely to make much of an impression in that regard if you flee at the first sign of another warship.

          An obviously pro-American commenter who uses the side-number of an American Coast-Guard Cutter (WHEC) as his screen name claims to be able to see the ball-diamond-ball dayshapes on the CHANCELLORSVILLE’s yards in an enhanced photo, which would indicate she is operating under conditions of reduced maneuverability. However, if those are even actually present – I cannot see them – they could have been raised at any point, including after the alleged near-collision, and it makes no sense for a warship to be on sovereignty patrol while unaccompanied by any other high-value vessel, and then sail around all the time in open ocean under reduced maneuverability. A small possibility exists that they were having engine trouble and were down to one shaft, reducing their capability to steer by engine orders in an emergency. But a TICONDEROGA class cruiser has four engines. It seems unlikely.

          Like

          1. Pro-Russian commenters on the intertube forums point out, that the American sailors are in a state of panic; whereas the Russian sailors are languidly sunbathing and tanning themselves on the deck. Who is more calm in the face of battle?

            Like

              1. What struck me most about the coverage was scant mention of the USN’s track record regarding colliding with things of all sizes in the West Pacific.

                Perhaps the skipper was looking to redeem himself with a heroic encounter with a Ruskie rust bucket.

                Like

                1. Bernhard at MoA did mention in a recent post that the USS Chancellorsville is part of the US 7th Fleet, based in Yokosuka Bay near Tokyo, which apparently has a record of poor seamanship. There have been previous incidents of collisions and near-collisions involving the 7th Fleet. A Washington Post article that Bernhard cites points to continuous deployments and under-staffing leading to exhausted crews and lack of or erosion of basic navigation skills as some of the causes. The area covered by the 7th Fleet – it goes as far as Singapore – is far too much as well and includes busy sea lanes close to China or Chinese fleet operations
                  .https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/08/26/deadly-navy-accidents-in-the-pacific-raise-questions-over-a-force-stretched-too-thin/?utm_term=.f041ff560d88

                  MoA also linked to this article on the lack of training among officers and the workload they are burdened with which affects their ability to do their jobs properly and undermines their confidence in their skills:
                  https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/01/14/worse-than-you-thought-inside-the-secret-fitzgerald-probe-the-navy-doesnt-want-you-to-read/

                  Like

                2. Sorry, in that comment I just posted, I said “Yokosuka Bay near Tokyo” when actually it should have been Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay.

                  Also I just found that the US 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility extends to covering a major part of the Indian Ocean and extends all the way down to Antarctica past Australia and New Zealand. That area includes a great deal of sea traffic going to and from East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea) to the rest of the world.

                  Like

                3. It goes beyond excessive work loads and long deployments. In the case of one of collisions involving US fatalities, the bridge crew was simply incompetent and undisciplined. Need to dig a little to find the details. I can not begin to imagine the gales of laughter and tsunamis of smirking if a Russian vessel had a similar accident.

                  Like

                4. In the newspaper the excuse was offered that CHANCELLORSVILLE was operating her helicopter at the time, which would have reduced her maneuverability – assuming she was either landing it at the time or it was just taking off – because for her to launch or recover she must be pointed into the wind.

                  Like

              2. I remember we discussed this incident when it occurred. The BQM-74 is the US Navy’s front-line target drone. It is flown directly at the target ship, because many modern and highly-automated weapons systems will not engage a target which has a closest point of approach (CPA) of more than a half-mile. Such a threat will probably miss the ship altogether, so there is no need to engage it. Operators ashore are flying it, and customarily turn it away at a safe distance if it has not been successfully engaged, so that what happened will not happen – a ‘blind impact’ hit on the ship. Since the CHANCELLORSVILLE incident, ships running live-fire exercises against the BQM targets have to have ‘rogue drone’ backup preparations in effect, such as the CIWS automatic mount online, loaded and in a manual mode so it is monitoring the target, but will not automatically engage it. Previously, we used to have complete confidence that the operator could turn it away, and typically only the weapon meant to be used against it was online unless we wanted to do a layered engagement (missile salvo followed by a deck gun engagement).

                Which brings us to the symbology displayed. CHANCELLORSVILLE is wearing 3 “E” symbols, which denote ‘Excellence’ in certain areas of specialization, which are identified by their colour. The award is only good for a year, and if the ship does not qualify the following year it must be painted over. ‘Hash marks’ underneath the ‘E’ denote the ship has won the award previously and in the current year. Without further ado;

                1. The black ‘E’ indicates excellence in Maritime Warfare. It is current for the year the photo was taken.
                2. The red ‘E’ indicates excellence in Engineering, and is current as well as having been won for four consecutive years; and,
                3. The green ‘E’ indicates excellence in Combat Information Centers, or what is typically called the Operations Room in other navies.

                So the ship that failed to down an incoming drone in what presumably was a live-fire exercise had been recognized by the US Navy for excellence in the procedures and knowledge shown by its radar and fire control operators in the ship’s battle center, the CIO, as well as the excellence shown by its Maritime Warfare team, both won in the current year.

                https://www.navysite.de/what/bridgewing.htm

                Like

            1. The Russians, clearly!

              Those stalwart chaps above were photographed onshore in New York, 1863. They were part of the crews of a Russian Empire navy flotilla that had come to show Russian solidarity with the USA, which was then in the throes of secessionist civil war.

              Ironically, 1863 was the year of the battle of Chancellorsville.

              It was also the year of Gettysburg, as well, fought 2 months after Chancellorsville, which former slaughter had a far different result.

              Like

  9. 30 °C/90 °F in Moscow right now!

    The hottest June 7 since 1947!


    Now in the City of Satan!

    I think I’ll just go take a stroll along the beaches, looking at the peaches!

    Like

      1. What a bummer!

        My elder children love that song because one summer years ago, when eating shashlyk in our garden, my elder daughter asked me what the English is for шампур [shampyr]

        So I told them “skewer”, adding: “Could be worse: could be down a sewer or on the end of a skewer!”

        I translated, and then burst into a rendition of “Peaches”, which they loved.

        They still do, although it is quite vulgar.

        Like

        1. Damn! I misremembered the lyrics. It was a staple of my journey home from the joys of an Edinburgh office for a while. Fairly cheered me up as the horizontal rain lashed against the windscreen.

          Like

        2. I remember a bit of the chorus of another single The Stranglers released some time after “Peaches” – this was “Golden Brown”, their paean to heroin. “Never a frown, with Golden Brown …” – it plays like a sea shanty and has such an unforgettable tune.

          Like

  10. @ME in particular:

    Appears that wsws anticipated the concerns of you and others:

    “The D-Day invasion came out of a protracted struggle between the US and Britain over the course of the war and the opening of a “second front,” which the Soviet Union had called for over at least the previous two years.

    One of the most striking features of the D-Day anniversary commemorations, in both the UK and France, was the deliberate exclusion of Russia from the events. Whatever the undoubtable role played by the Normandy invasion in the defeat of the Third Reich in World War II, the overwhelming sacrifices and impact of the Red Army, which was responsible for 80 percent of the casualties inflicted upon German forces is undeniable. While the combat deaths of nearly 300,000 US military personnel was staggering, their numbers pale in comparison to the unfathomable toll of 26 million Soviet dead, military and civilian.

    It was the victories of the Red Army—and behind it the antifascist resistance of the Soviet masses—fighting along a front that extended over 1,000 miles, that pushed the US and Britain to carry out the D-Day invasion and finally open up the second front demanded by Moscow.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/07/pers-j07.html

    Like

    1. The largest offensive launched during WWII and which ended in a Soviet victory was Operation Bagration, 23 June to 19 August 1944., in which the Soviet Union deployed 1,670,300 combat and support personnel, approximately 32,718 artillery pieces and mortars, 5,818 tanks and assault guns and 7,799 aircraft against the Nazis and, by doing so, inflicted the biggest defeat in German military history in that the Red Army destroyed 28 out of 34 divisions of Army Group Centre and completely shattered the German front line, thereby liberating Belorussia and Polish territory from the invader.

      Compare and contrast:


      D Day landings, 6 june, 1944

      5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participated in the landings. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day,with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June.

      By July 21, Caen, a major objective for the allies, had still not fallen.

      If Bagration had not taken place or had not ended in a decisive victory, the Germans would have wiped the floor with the allies in Normandy.

      The German army never recovered from the crushing defeat that resulted from Bagration. The materiel and manpower losses sustained during Bagration amounted to almost 25% of German Eastern Front manpower, exceeding even the percentage of loss at Stalingrad.

      These Nazi losses included many experienced soldiers, NCOs and commissioned officers, which at this stage of the war the Wehrmacht could not replace. An indication of the completeness of the Soviet victory is that 31 of the 47 German divisional or corps commanders involved were killed or captured.

      In short: a Soviet defeat in the east would have meant either no allied invasion from the west or, if such an invasion had taken place without the Red Army being victorious in the east, the Nazis would have made short work of any western allied landings.

      Like

        1. The BBc on D-Day and Putin:

          D-Day anniversary: Putin says lack of invitation ‘not a problem’
          6 June 2019

          With this comment by Rosenberg, the BBC man in Moscow:

          Why does Russia see D-Day differently to the West?
          Analysis by Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow

          When countries argue about the present, they often disagree about the past, too. Take D-Day – British Prime Minister Theresa May called it the day that “determined the fate of generations to come”. But Russia’s Foreign Ministry sees things rather differently.

          “The Normandy landings did not have a decisive impact on the outcome of World War Two,” said its spokesperson Maria Zakharova this week. “It was inevitable after the Red Army victories at Stalingrad and Kursk.”

          Russia’s most popular newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda asked: “Why does the West want everyone to think that their front wasn’t just the second front, but the main one?”. It added that millions of Soviet soldiers had been killed while the USSR was waiting for the Allies to open the second front.

          Perhaps if President Putin had been invited to join the D-Day commemorations in Normandy, Russia’s viewpoint might be more positive.

          One Russian TV presenter declared: “There wouldn’t even have been a Normandy landing if it hadn’t been for the Soviet soldiers who’d died from 1941 onwards in the fight against fascism.”

          Moscow had been fighting German forces in the east for almost three years by the time of the D-Day operations that ultimately led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany.

          The Soviet Union lost more than 25 million lives in what was called the Great Patriotic War – more than any other nation. Russia holds a massive military parade every year to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War Two and remember the role of Soviet troops.

          What an absolute bloody shower those Russians are in their refusal to accept the facts as we interpret them in the Free World!

          Like

          1. Zakharova is not correct in saying that the allies were defeated in the Ardennes, though they suffered a temporary reverse there. There was no way, however, that the Ardennes offensive, the last in the West undertaken by the Nazis, would have resulted in victory for the Hitlerites.

            The allies were defeated at Arnhem though.

            A total cock up resulting through poor intelligence work.

            Like

            1. “Zakharova is not correct in saying that the allies were defeated in the Ardennes, ”

              Ahhhh… ME..ya’ beat me to it. I was just now upon reading her comment going to point that out!!
              General Weather-Blue Skies-enabled the Allies to get their Fighter bombers up and able to wreak havoc on the SS panzer formations and supply vehicles some of which were stalled on the roads having run out of petrol.
              https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/clear-skies-over-bastogne-pattons-prayers-answered/

              Like

          2. That implication that Russia might see things differently if it had not been insulted by Putin’s not being invited was unworthy even of such a cheap-shot vehicle as the state-sponsored BBC. Western re-jigging of historical events to its own benefit and to assuming unto itself the role of modest hero relies on its readership being unable or unwilling to comprehend cause and effect. Naturally every citizen everywhere wants to believe his or her country was brave and resolute, and soldiers of the Allied nations indeed did fight bravely against the Nazis; it’s brave just to show up and keep pressing forward when you know it is entirely possible and even likely that you will be killed. But there are plenty of western historical stipulations to the fact that the Soviet Union took the brunt of the Nazi attack, and was still taking it when the Normandy landings took place; during all that time, whilst the Allies were dithering and some were making their own pacts with Hitler, the Russians were getting pounded. Instead, the west and most offensively the British portray the German campaign against the Soviet Union as a falling-out among thieves, and squeak about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact until you can’t hear anything else. Wartime leaders among the allies acknowledged the indispensable nature of the Soviet defense and counterattacks to the eventual victory. But we have seen a slow airbrushing-out of the entire Soviet role in the conflict. Which is cheap and unworthy. Once again, and mark my words, if it goers on it will result in a smug certainty among western leaders that the inheritors of the Soviet mantle are not really fighters, more sulkers, and would be a pushover in war. A cakewalk, you might say; everyone will be home in time for supper, done and dusted. And the world will learn to its grief, if it even survives such a cataclysm, where listening to bullshit led it.

            Like

      1. The incredible power of General Winter.

        I just had another brief look at the Conclusions in David Glantz’s “August Storm” in which General Winter again played a decisive role in Manchuria. Who can withstand the General’s icy grasp?

        Like

    2. Quite a bit of research has confirmed British resistance to opening a second front for the purpose of keeping Nazi pressure on the Soviet Union if not its outright defeat. Eisenhower was, in particular, disgusted by the British describing their effort as a betrayal to the allied war effort. The examples of British treachery are endless.

      Top US military leadership to me seemed generally competent in WW II. Their abhorrence of the nuclear attack on Japan reflected well on their morality and character.

      Like

      1. The War Diaries of Allanbrooke (CIGS) are a good read.

        The assessment of Stalin by Allanbrooke is worth wading through a load of nonsense about Mme Chiang Kai Shek &c. And his recollection of Wavell making a poem about “No Second Front in ‘43” aboard the flight back from Moscow.

        Like

      2. “Their abhorrence of the nuclear attack on Japan reflected well on their morality and character.”

        Now THAT.. I didn’t know…but appears as if you are spot on corrrect:

        “Truman was advised not to use the atomic bombs by such figures as Adm. William D. Leahy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. We know from Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson’s diaries and other documents that the rush to use atomic bombs quickly, rather than follow other available courses, was intimately connected with the desire to end the conflict before the Soviet Union entered it on Aug. 15, 1945, and with the hope that the bomb would help in disputed European negotiations.
        …….But the central point was probably best put in General Eisenhower’s blunt formulation: ”It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” GAR ALPEROVITZ Washington, Oct. 4, 1988 The writer is author of ”Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam.”

        Like

        1. There have been theories and rumours over the decades that the US exploded the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a warning to the Soviet Union, and had little or nothing to do with Japanese refusal to surrender (itself a lie – the Japanese had been offering surrender to the US over previous months before August 1945, if they could keep Emperor Hirohito, and the US flat-out rejected these surrender offers because it would only accept surrender on the condition that Japan accept a total US makeover of its government including the abolition of the monarchy which would effectively turn Japan into a US colony) or the talk about a US invasion of Japan which might result in the deaths of several million US servicemen.

          At the time the Soviets had just declared war on Japan and were busy driving the Japanese out of Manchuria. The Japanese Army collapsed before the Soviet forces (the Soviets had better tank technology and Japan mainly relied on its navy rather than its army as its major attacking and defence force) and it was this that led Japan to formally surrender.

          Like

          1. My take on the nuclear attack in the order of importance:
            – Message to the Soviet Union
            – Opportunity for a “medical” experiment
            – Revenge/racism

            Like

          2. Updated – My take on the nuclear attack in the order of importance:
            – Message to the Soviet Union
            – Induce Japan to surrender to the US rather than to the Soviet Union
            – Opportunity for a “medical” experiment
            – Revenge/racism

            Like

        2. That isn’t even half of it. These military leaders expected that the nuclear attacks would be considers as among the most barbaric war crimes of WW II. The NYT, however, was one of the bigger cheerleaders on the attack. I wonder if the NYT will apologize for its 60 years of support of a horrific war crime. Wait, what was I thinking? Of course not.

          Like

          1. Interestingly, Freeman Dyson claims that it was not the use of the bomb that forced the surrender of Japan. Instead, he claims that it was the Soviets’ declaration of war on Japan that decided the matter. He discusses this about 10 minutes into this lecture.

            Like

  11. The Real News Network
    Published on 7 Jun 2019
    Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil says Saudis attempts to create a united front against Iran has dismally failed. Summits categorically reject the `deal of the century’ by Jared Kushner

    Like

  12. Financial Crimes: From Russian oil to rock’n’roll: the rise of Len Blavatnik
    https://www.ft.com/content/c1889f48-871a-11e9-a028-86cea8523dc2

    He made a fortune in the chaotic world of 1990s Russian capitalism, then took a place at the heart of the British establishment

    Striding the halls of an English stately home, dressed in full costume as Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, Len Blavatnik was celebrating his 60th birthday. Grammy-winner Bruno Mars sang. Guests — some in frock coats, others dressed as Leo Tolstoy, Rasputin or Chinese emissaries — mixed with rock stars, celebrities and business tycoons.

    Themed as an imaginary conference chaired by Disraeli, the June 2017 party was emblematic of Blavatnik’s extraordinary rise from his birth in Soviet Ukraine to one of the UK’s richest people…
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    So why did Abramovic get the bum rush? He’s kept his head down, not made waves, behaved himself and spent a lot of money in the UK (Chelsea FC) which the above FT article sniffs at as unworthy (snobs), but the Brit government still stiffed his visa and he hasn’t been back to the UK even though he now also has I-sraeli citizenship that affords him visa-free entry to the UK. Is it because the UK and others need some oligarchs on the side just in case their dream comes true and they need to parachute in some reliable Russians? That wouldn’t surprise me. Government in waiting. Maybe Abramovic said “No.” Wrong answer.

    Like

    1. Parachute in some reliable Russians???

      You mean “Sir” Leonard Blavatnik?

      Леонид Валентинович Блаватник (Сэр Леонард Блаватник; англ. Sir Leonard Blavatnik или Len Blavatnik; род. 14 июня 1957, Одесса — американский и британский предприниматель и промышленник еврейского происхождения. В 2015 году возглавил список богатейших людей Великобритании … Russian Wiki

      Leonid Valentinovich Blavatnik (Sir Leonard Blavatnik or Len Blavatnik); born 14 June 1957, Odessa – American and British entrepreneur and industrialist of Jewish ancestry. In 2015, headed a list of the richest people in Great Britain …

      Like

  13. Britain’s Prime Minister Hopeful Admits Taking Cocaine


    Whoopee! I really needed that fix!

    Michael Gove, one of the contenders for the Tory leadership, told the Daily Mail on Friday he took cocaine on “several social occasions” while he was young and has deep regrets about it.

    Gove, 51, who has been the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs since 2017, was quoted by the paper as saying:

    “I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years ago. At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake. I look back and I think, I wish I hadn’t done that”.

    Sniffing coke in Aberdeen?????

    So he admits to having broken the law and now wants to be that old woman’s chief minister?

    Like

    1. TheGrayZone: Top US journalists spread fake news claiming North Korean official was ‘purged’ – then he shows up on TV
      https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/03/us-journalists-fake-news-north-korean-official-purged/

      ####

      The Western media has long surpassed Orwell’s prescient ‘two minutes of hate‘. It’s now a profession of unofficial stenographers formerly known as the ‘free press’.

      Of course a few of them mention far down the article that previous reports ‘have turned out to be false’, but as we see still for example with the ISIS/Al-Queda/Whatever counter attack from Idlib in Syria, big names such as Neuters still headline such as ‘Rebels counter-attack’, leaving any mention of them being terrorist yet again far down the article. Sure, the writers do not a headline make (a click-bait sensationalist effort that was once the preserve of the more excitable media’), but they’re all responsible. It’s not my fault! It’s the system man! F.O.

      Like

      1. More good stuff at the link, inc.

        Facebook’s new public policy manager for Ukraine is nationalist hawk who volunteered with fascist party during US-backed coup

        https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/04/facebook-public-policy-manager-ukraine-kateryna-kruk/

        &

        With Russiagate, we Soviet immigrants were finally forced to reckon with the bigotry of America’s elite
        https://thegrayzone.com/2019/05/28/with-russiagate-we-soviet-immigrants-were-finally-forced-to-reckon-with-the-bigotry-of-americas-elite/

        We never knew what it was like to have the country’s media and political class brand people like us a possible threat. Until now.

        By Yasha Levine

        Like

        1. You can adopt a lot of things about society as given; people will always defend those they know against those they don’t. They will always defend their own even when they suspect or even know they are in the wrong. People will mostly help those who are in trouble if it costs them little or nothing to lend their support. And so on – people are mostly predictable as examples of collective will.

          And people will often champion the elevation to positions of power of radicals, so long as that person’s radical beliefs and policies further their own aims. Going beyond requires that we examine that society for cynicism and naivete. A naive society assumes that once the radical’s aims have been achieved – in this case, the joining of the European Union and NATO by Ukraine – the radical will be satisfied, and will become a peaceful and productive servant of freedom and democracy rather than a fierce adherent to his or her own radical policies, but now within European society, where they might not be so welcome. The cynic assumes the radical will be used as long as he or she is useful to reaching the goals the cynics have set for the country, and then shunted aside or otherwise marginalized if he or she is no longer useful.

          Which is it, do you think? I vote for cynicism, and I base that judgment on how smoothly the west transitioned from Nadya Savchenko the heroic martyr to Nadya Savchenko the radical anarchist who wanted to blow up the Rada.

          Like

        2. “But this belief in the infallibility of American institutions started taking a big nose dive right around [the time when] Donald Trump won the election.”

          It took these émigré moronsthat long to figure it out??

          Like

        3. Wonder if Yasha Levine has ever thought of discussing the points he raises in his above linked article with his erstwhile and also present-day fellow country persons Maria Gessen and Yulia “I-can-pronounce-Шереметьево” Ioffe?

          [I absolutely refuse to call Gessen “Masha” (Molly)! She’s not my pal!]

          Like

          1. Yasha should not kvetch so much, the current anti-Russian witch hunt won’t reach the likes of him. I know some Jewish Russian émigré families in the U.S., they can still skate by on their former “victimhood”: They were required to whine about Soviet anti-Semitism, now all that is needed is a supplementary “I hate Putin, Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and they’re good to go.

            These are the ones I actually despise the most, because they are ungrateful wretches. The Soviet Union saved their collective asses from Hitler, and look how they repayed the debt…
            I don’t begrudge them emigrating to the U.S. if they did so for career reasons, maybe they could find better job opportunities, better conditions to raise their kids, etc. They could do that, but nobody really forced them to slime their former country as viciously as they did. And taught their kids to hate everything Russian. Ingrates!

            Like

    2. I am moved to ask once again why the fuck anyone who wants to advance in government would ever confess to such a thing when the following conditions prevail; one, there is no reason whatsoever to imagine that anyone else still knows about it and is going to make a big deal about it, and two, that one has an identifiable opposition who is immediately going to seize upon the confession and use it to the worst effect.

      It turns out Bill Clinton was only one US President of many who tried marijuana,

      https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/these-11-u-s-presidents-smoked-marijuana/

      but he had the gift of the gab and could deflect opposition insinuations that he was an unstable pot-head as easily as he could brush off activist attempts to co-opt his use as support for legalization. If Gove imagines this admission will somehow make him appear ‘cool and with-it’, he is mistaken. He looks like too much of a dork to be adopted by the Cool Kidz, while he has just – entirely needlessly – earned the disapproval of the conservatives. Social conservatives, that is, not necessarily political conservatives.

      Like

      1. If you looked like a human gonk as Gove does, any gimmick excuse for being interesting would be deployed in pursuit of office.

        Failing politics, I imagine he could find work as a model for Mattel or other toy makers.

        Like

        1. I read in the local paper just this evening that BoJo is favoured to win by a wide margin. Difficult to imagine that he even made it into public office higher than the municipal level: I could see him being a modest success as the Mayor of Bognor Regis – just. His making it into federal politics is a bit like waking up to learn Pat ‘Wax On, Wax Off’ Morita is the new Emperor of Japan. But, the cherry on top of the Incredible Cake, after his complete embarrassment and cataclysmic failure as Foreign Minister, he is actually being considered for further political employment, never mind the country’s highest non-regal representative. Jesus Christ, maybe that’s next – put a 24-hour guard on the Queen to protect her health, against the possibility we will see Bojo’s windblown locks fluttering around the crown jewels. What the fuck is the matter with the English?? Can’t there be an uprising, or something? Are they just going to sit around like steamed puddings while the village idiot is sworn in as Prime Minister?

          Like

          1. Johnson seemed much disliked, at least by public transport workers, when I was last in London in June, 2016.

            On several occasions when I was trying to fathom out the cheapest way for me and my family to travel around the capital, very helpful London transport workers of many ethnicities, after having carefully and patiently explained to me the “Oyster Card” system, for example, always ended with: “You can blame Boris Johnson for all of this!”

            Johnson was once Mayor of London.

            Like

            1. Johnson was once Mayor of London.

              Yes, I remember it well.

              When we visited Shanghai in 2008 – ‘we’ being the crew of HMCS REGINA – we were given an Octopus Card which would be good for the duration of our visit, which was about 4 days if I recall correctly. It would work for all forms of public transit; bus, train, and ferries, could be reloaded with value if you chose to stay longer, and was quite cheap by our standards. I still have mine somewhere; I kept it as a souvenir. In Singapore the city had kiosks at all the transit stations for the train where you could buy a token card. The most expensive was about $2.50 at the time, which would take you to the furthest reaches of the line, all of which was city only. When you reached your destination, you went to another of the same kiosks and put your card back in the machine in a different slot, and it would give you back almost half your money. The cards could be wiped and used over and over, and the return was incentive to not just throw it in the garbage. Both systems were easy to use, and seemed brilliant to me at the time in comparison to our own public transit, which was comparatively expensive and not as service-oriented. When we were in Tokyo a few years before that, we were given a similar card to the Octopus, which worked more or less the same way, good for all public transit except, of course, taxis.

              Oops! The 2008 visit was Hong Kong – I was in Shanghai years before that. Except for that error, though, everything else is as I best remember it.

              Like

          2. Mark, you forgot to mention the scariest part: that BoJo the Klown might actually be the most competent of the bunch running for Prime Minister.

            Like

  14. It’s been a while since I looked at Peter Lee (aka ‘The China Hand’) China Matters site, so I’m glad I did.

    Vice”, Dick Cheney’s Ghost, and the Lies of America’s Team China War
    https://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2019/02/vice-dick-cheneys-legacy-and-china-war.html

    … The South China Sea is vital only as an essential waterway for transport of Middle East energy to southern Chinese refineries. Full stop.

    And the main impact of a conflict in the South China Sea would be to discombobulate PRC seaborne energy imports, which is why the PRC is keen to avoid a war in the SCS while the US Navy is keen to incite one.

    As to how could a conflict get started? I go there in this episode of China Watch, and note the interesting and sinister parallels between a provocation packaged as a US Navy FONOP adjacent to the South China Sea in 1964 and the current campaign to make the SCS FONOPS more provocative and more likely to spark an incident.

    The true story of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, only declassified in 2010 (46 years after the fact!) provides some guidelines on US intentions and tactics when the US Navy is tasked with inciting a war in Asia…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    I seem to recall (not reliable my memory) that a looong time ago, possible last century (!), I read about Cheney’s plans for America to build up Super Bastions in the Pacific region to help contain China, sic Diego Garcia, Guam etc. – the former recently in the news with the UN condemning the UK’s expulsion of Chagosians from their homes. These bases have been heavily upgraded since the 1990s to also support nuclear submarines, B-2s etc. etc.

    Like

  15. RT.com: What HBO got wrong: Chernobyl general gives hit TV show a reality check
    https://www.rt.com/news/461348-chernobyl-disaster-tarakanov-hbo/

    No one told rookie troops to shoot cows in Chernobyl and the miners there never worked naked, Major General Nikolai Tarakanov, who headed the real ‘liquidators’ in 1986, has told RT’s documentary channel.

    Tarakanov praised other aspects of the show, adding that the actor who played him in the HBO hit did a “great job.”

    Major General Tarakanov was one of the key participants of the events in Chernobyl in 1986, receiving a high dose of radiation while in charge of the troops working to decontaminate the ill-fated power plant…
    ####

    Interesting stuff!

    Like

  16. I’ve been watching the entire World at War series -again-and the Pincers episode depicts the Poles being abandoned or betrayed by EVERYBODY in the 1944 uprising:

    Stalin simply did not want a postwar Poland govern by Poles in a continuation of the rule of the exiled Polish government in London. !!!

    Like

    1. Even Overy’s “Ivan’s War” which is by no stretch of the imagination sympathetic to the USSR concedes that the Soviet advance had been exhausted and that the non-relief of Warsaw derived from sound operational decision making rather than the alleged anti Polish sentiment attributed thereanent by the “West.”

      Like

  17. Yet more terrorwashing by the free western media…

    al-Beeb s’Allah: Syria war: Abdel Basset al-Sarout dies after Hama clashes
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48568808

    A Syrian footballer who became a symbol of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has died of wounds sustained in clashes in the north-west.

    …His death was announced by a commander of the Jaish al-Izza rebel faction fighting in Hama….

    …To Assad supporters, Mr Sarout was just another terrorist – proof of the government’s claim that it had all along been battling an armed jihadist insurrection.

    There were rumours that Mr Sarout subsequently pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

    He denied this, but admitted he had considered the idea when IS seemed the only force strong enough to combat the government – a sign of how the rebel cause disintegrated. …
    ####

    So, we have to wait until para. 15+ for al-Beeb s’allah to bring up Sarout’s ‘alleged‘ allegiance to the Islamic State yet we are told about Jaish al-Izza, a clear IS branch, in para. 5. while al-Beeb s’Allah continues to spout bs about ‘rebels’ in Idlib. They’re only terrorists if such f/ks blow up British or other western citizens and even then it would be because they were ‘traumatized’. Shameless media scum.

    Like

  18. @ JEN

    I had no business using that term to characterize Asians by use of that racial slur.

    My apologies to you.
    (However I think we just to have to agree to disagree on the current state and history of Asian/Black relations)

    But as for the fascist racist warmonger lunatics here or abroad…..don’t hold your breath for an apology MFs.!!!

    :O)

    Like

    1. I accept your apologies.

      In the past, Asians and black Australians did get on well because both were discriminated against by the British, and each group knew the other was being shafted just as much. These days, with most East Asian people being recent migrants and most Australians having very little to do with Aboriginal people – it’s possible to live all your life in Australia and never meet a single Aboriginal person – and with the media here in Australia often scapegoating Aboriginal people and other black people like South Sudanese immigrants in Australia in negative ways (lazy, dirty, violent), the situation is very different and much more complicated.

      South Sudanese teenagers in Melbourne in particular are all portrayed as part of a mysterious Apex gang, to the extent that in 2018 the Victorian police had to issue a directive to all major Australian news media outlets in Melbourne to stop their reporters from approaching black youngsters and egging them on to start fights. When you come across stuff like this, you start to wonder whether most news reports of a South Sudanese crime wave in Melbourne have much basis in fact – especially as other cities around Australia also host South Sudanese immigrant communities whose young people don’t make any headlines at all.
      https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/vic/2018/01/11/melbourne-gangs-media/

      Other groups of non-white or non-Christian people in 19th-century Australian societies also got on well with Aboriginal people. Indian and Afghan Muslim camel-drivers who came to the colonies to take camel trains supplying goods to remote farms and cattle stations sometimes married Aboriginal women.

      I ask everyone here though, please don’t refer to Japanese as “Japs”. I know it’s a quick and convenient abbreviation when you’re typing fast or trying to get something in before you get told to refresh the page but the abbreviation has itself become a racist term of abuse from the way it’s been used in the past. (BTW I’m not Japanese.)

      Like

      1. Nicholas II called them “monkeys”.

        I should imagine a major reason for his rudeness towards the Japanese was that one of them tried to assassinate him when he was visiting Japan as Tsesarevich.

        Interestingly, in Hollywood war movies that dealt with the US Pacific War, racist terms directed towards the Japanese were commonplace. However, after PC had taken hold of US society and the blockbuster movie about Pearl Harbor was made, there is a charming scene in the cockpit of a Japanese airman’s warplane, in which he is shown flying low over a schoolyard, in which children are playing, whilst frantically gesticulating at the kids to flee before they get incinerated by Emperor Hirohito’s Air Force.

        As if!

        Like

          1. Kids up and early as well before school started on, erm, Sunday morning – the attack took place before 8am (local Hawaiian time).

            Like

              1. The scene that I recall occurs in the 2001 Disney “Pearl Harbor”.

                I was mistaken to say that the pilot in the Disney film warned children in a schoolyard, which mistake was quickly jumped on.

                Perhaps the Disney movie did portray the Japanese warning schoolchildren, but this Hollywood embellishment was based on this reminiscence:

                The first report of a Japanese plane by the U.S. military was made at 7:51am by Radio operator Dwayne L. Eskridge. He told National Geographic he heard some low-flying planes, tapped out “standby” in Morse code, and ran to the top of his two-story building. “I could clearly see airplanes with a red ball on each wing. I could see the pilots in the planes. I ran down stairs and sent a message that we were being bombed by Japanese planes. Then I went into the vault and got the only weapon I could find—a .45 pistol—and I ran back up to the roof and fired off a whole clip.” At 7:55am, just as the first bombs were dropped, a Japanese plane passed over a baseball field and the tail gunner on the plane waved his hand to warn the kids below to take cover before the bombs began falling.

                Now I wonder if it will be pointed out that no one plays baseball in Hawaii on a Sunday before 8 a.m.?

                There was a far more historically accurate Japanese film about Pearl Harbor made in 1970: “Tora! Tora! Tora!”

                Like

                1. I also recall that In that Disney Pearl Harbor movie there are twee PC comments off USN airmen made about their Japanese opponents that go along the following lines: Well, they are human beings just like us. It’s just that they have a different way of looking at things like the way we do.

                  As I said, in Hollywood B-movies about the Pacific War – and I watched loads of them as a kid in the ‘50s in our local flea pit – the US Hollywood heroes held no punches when it came to describing the “Japs” and I recall “monkeys” being commonly used to cast scorn upon their ethnicity.

                  Like

        1. As for Tsar Nicky’s racism: most of the tensions between Russia and Japan were more his own damned fault than Japan’s.

          Having said that, some of the Russian racist feelings towards Japanese were a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The song “The Sinking of the Variag” even includes a racist stanza which is omitted (for obvious reasons) when the song is performed nowadays:

          Из пристани верной мы в битву идем,
          Навстречу грозящей нам смерти,
          За родину в море открытом умрем,
          Где ждут желтолицые черти!


          From our reliable port we march into battle
          Towards Death which always threatens us.
          For our Fatherland we will die in the open ocean,
          Where the yellow-faced devils await us!

          (hee hee)
          Here, sans racism, is the current “canonical” version of the song, as performed, exhilaratingly, by the Red Army Chorus. History students alone will note the irony: That the sinking of the Variag became a major inspirational/patriotic theme for the Soviet Army; despite the fact that the Soviet founder and leader, Lenin, took (platonically at least) the Japanese side of that war and was thrilled whenever the Japs defeated the Russkies – haha!

          Like

  19. Strategic Culture: A Month in the Life of the World’s Richest Man
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/06/07/month-life-worlds-richest-man/

    Patrick Armstrong
    June 7, 2019

    Between one hundred billion and one hundred and sixty billion dollars. That’s a lot of moolah. Taking the lower number, that’s a line of thousand dollar bills half way to the Moon. Personal yacht? Buy the latest Princess cruise ship, staff it, have it all to yourself forever and still have 99 billion or so to fool around with. A brand new Italian super car every day for ten years wouldn’t make much of a dent…
    ####

    More at the link.

    Stas Belkovsky was Berezovsky’s cousin? WTaF?

    Like

    1. Yeah, I didn’t know that, either, but it explains a lot. Stas was all over the map – I recall when the wanker Coordinating Council was established, what the sarcastic referred to as the ‘Bolotnaya Politburo’, Belkovsky became upset because he was not being given his due as an expert and the Council did not seem interested in his opinions, and actually offered his loyalty to Putin. He claimed to have his grandaddy’s pistol at home and a canister of napalm or some such explosive, and that he was ready to join forces with Putin because Russia’s liberal liberators were so ‘ungrateful’. Yeah…here’s where it was;

      https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/russia-patterns-laws-on-those-of-western-democracies-surprise-thats-wrong-too/comment-page-1/#comment-16977

      It was a comment by Yalensis to the post “Russia Patterns its Laws on Those of Western Democracies. Surprise! That’s Wrong, Too!”. Belkovsky’s original post, unsurprisingly, has disappeared, but Yalensis helpfully copied the original Russian (Yay, Yalensis!). Here’s what it said, in English:

      “I am willing to offer Vladimir Vladimirovich my services in the struggle against the opposition, but with one condition: that, as president, he (should) pardon me. I am a person who worked with the opposition for many years, unpaid, and out of the goodness of my heart. I gave them money, not the other way around. Never in all my years have I encountered such lying, insincere swinish people…”

      Like

  20. Some of the comments on this thread touch upon the following article.

    I wondered if Churchill’s scheme might just amount to a complete clusterfuck backfire by tying up massive allied forces in europe fighting the Russians and hence unavailable to be transferred to the PTO for the schedule invasion(s) of Japan’s home islands. Unthinkable would have thrown a huge monkey wrench into any contemplated invasion of Japan.

    WTF was Churchill thinking????

    “Meanwhile, the Allies had to reckon on the war expanding as the Soviets attacked Norway, Greece and Turkey (ominously, British planners expected the Soviets to ally with Japan). As for the atom bomb, the United States only had two in the summer of 1945, and they were earmarked for Japan. By 1946, America had only nine bombs. Powerful as they were, they could only inflict a fraction of the punishment that the Soviet Union suffered at the hands of the Nazis—and still kept on fighting.”

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/operation-unthinkable-britains-secret-plan-invade-russia-22521

    Like

    1. Regardless of what Churchill was thinking, his actions showed an intent to help towasrd a Nazi victory over Russia if it did not jeopardize the British empire. I believe that top US military leadership would agree.

      Like

      1. And Churchill actually acknowledged – grudgingly, I’m sure, like he was being disemboweled with blubber hooks or something – that the Soviet Union did all the heavy lifting against Hitler’s armies. You can imagine how much the Americans hate and fear Russia, if they just pretend like it never happened.

        Like

        1. In WWII

          419,000 Americans died

          451,000 Britons died

          At least 26,000,000 Soviets died

          6200% more died in the USSR fighting the Nazis than did amongst the Western allies.

          Throughout most of World War II, the United States and the British were fighting 10 German divisions combined.

          The Soviets were fighting 200.

          That is to say, the Soviets fought 20 times more Nazis than did the UK and the USA.

          I have left the obvious, essential fact to this point, namely, that it is the Russian Armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the German army. In the air and on the oceans we could maintain our place, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being, except after several more years, that would have been able to maul and break the German army unless it had been subjected to the terrible slaughter and manhandling that has fallen to it through the strength of the Russian Soviet Armies.

          W. S. Churchill, House of Commons, 2nd August, 1944, in speech “War Situation”.

          But you tell the young uns of today and they just won’t believe ya!

          My father always used to tell me in the ‘50s that it was thanks to the Russians that the Germans were beaten, and he had served throughout WWII at the front in the British 8th Army in the Western Desert, Sicily and Italy.

          My father was not overly fond of Churchill and the rest of his ilk – nor was my grandfather – because of their inter-war employment or, better said, unemployment.

          Like

          1. Interesting factoid – the Nazi army deployed a division of 16 and 17 year old Nazi youth to fight the Western allies in France. Saw it on National Geographic channel just yesterday. Allegedly, they were quite savage but perhaps not very effective. One would suspect that the 10 divisions on the Western front were not top shelf.

            Like

            1. There were quite a few Osttruppen – many of them Ukrainian, natürlich, gunning down the allied troops on the Normandy beaches.

              Like

    2. For someone in his position who met Joseph Stalin quite a few times and who could have known something of the Soviet resistance to Nazi Germany and Soviet warfare strategies (if he had asked), and who prided himself as a student of military history and strategy, Churchill’s thinking not only bordered on derangement but on ignorance and stupidity.

      Had the British and Americans embarked on Operation Unthinkable, the strategy to use against them would have been to draw them into areas where their units could be cut off from their supply lines and let local forces and starvation do the rest. This is what was done to Napoleon I and his Grand Army back in 1812.

      Like

      1. Yes, Churchill had in equal measures hatefulness, racism, ignorance and cunningness. Oh, also an alcoholic.

        Like

      2. Russkies often tell me that at the Big Four wartime meetings, Stalin used to give Churchill a crate of the best Armenian brandy to keep the old drunkard fucking happy and under control.

        Must say, though, that that Armenian brandy is a drop of good stuff.

        Like

  21. Here is a good technical explanation of what lead to the Cherbynobl accident.

    Scott Manley has produced many informative videos on space and technology that are worth watching.

    Like

  22. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 8 Jun 2019
    China and Russia vow to further strengthen their ties, as both countries are engaged in standoffs with the U.S.

    China and Russia’s leaders say their countries are closer than they’ve ever been, and that’s partly due to what they see as a common threat.

    Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin’s meeting in St. Petersburg was a display of the strength of their relationship, and also a show of solidarity against the United States.
    Russia has been economically isolated for years due to Western sanctions over its invasion of Crimea in 2014.

    Meanwhile China is in the grip of a trade war with the U.S. that’s seen tariffs imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods.

    But is this a strategic partnership or a marriage of convenience?
    And can Moscow and Beijing build a united front against Washington?

    Presenter: Halla Mohieddeen

    Guests
    Viktor Olevich, political analyst and commentator on International Relations.
    Einar Tangen, political and economic affairs commentator specialising in China.
    Steven Rogers, U.S. military, security & defence analyst and member of the Donald Trump for President Advisory Board.

    Like

    1. ‘Economically isolated’ Russia had a trade surplus of $15.54 Billion USD in March of this year, a year-over-year advance on $15.03 Billion the same month of the previous year. ‘Trade-war battered’ China’s balance of trade was cut to about half its year-over-year monthly figure, to $13.84 Billion USD from the previous year’s $26.21 Billion.

      The mighty ass-kicking exceptional nation posted a ‘narrowed’ balance-of-trade DEFICIT of only $50.8 Billion in April 2019. But remember; deficits don’t matter – no less an economic analyst than Saint Ronnie Reagan said so. What he meant was, deficits don’t matter to the Greatest Economy On Earth, whereas they are fatal for anyone else.

      It is unsurprising that western analysts would speculate on Russia and China’s ‘marriage of convenience’, and I should have known they would choose that phrase. In their own minds, western rulers see their own alliances as based on mutual values and common altruistic goals, while other alliances are loose confederations of thieves formed ad hoc for nefarious purposes and abandoned as soon as those goals are achieved. Another example of ‘we are good; they are evil’ Manichean thinking. I’m still astounded that the west, led by the Exceptional Nation, blew through decades of carefully and patiently-built trade relationships in little more than the Obama and Trump presidencies, but western nations are still learning the long-term consequences of that folly, and have sadly not yet grasped the big picture.

      In fact, the Russians and the Chinese are no different than any other two societies you care to name in terms of their understanding of economics and their desire for uninterrupted and stable trade. If they cannot obtain reliable results from American and European partners, they will seek elsewhere – how much of a retard do you have to be to still not get that? Americans – some of them, anyway – still see The Donald’s pressure tactics and unpredictability as the last word in diplomacy; keep ’em off balance, Mr. President, you’re so kicking ass! What he is doing is lining up paradigm shifts in international trade that will see supply chains bypass and avoid the United States to the extent it is possible, because it has demonstrated that the law and past trade relationships mean nothing to a president who is determined to have his own way, while his own remaining hangers-on will do nothing to rein him in. That’s going to have consequences, and so long as neither China or Russia elects a national leader anything like Trump for the next decade, there is no reason not to believe a stable and enduring alliance the Americans will regret to the end of their days will ensue.

      But of course they will not blame themselves. They’ll be a victim, somehow, like always. How appropriate that the President of the America Winning Coalition is speaking from Nutley.

      Like

        1. As I often say, it plays to Russia’s long-term advantage if Americans think they are backward and venal, incapable of organization and unable to make anything beautiful or clever for themselves.

          Like

  23. Fox News
    Published on 6 Jun 2019
    Youtube says Crowder engaged in ‘egregious actions that harmed the broader community’ with his far-right videos; The Intercept co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald reacts on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’ #Tucker #FoxNews

    Like

    1. Remarkable; I literally never thought I would see the day Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald were on the same program and were not adversaries. Greenwald has never changed his position very much, but Tucker Carlson has done a complete one-eighty. And Greenwald’s point is right on the money – Americans and their allies do not look past the issue of ‘how contemptible is this person being censored’ to the larger issue of how much easier it will be to control the discourse in future once approval for censoring is registered.

      Like

  24. New China TV
    Published on 9 Jun 2019
    “Yesterday Alstom, today Huawei, and tomorrow?” Frederic Pierucci, a former executive of French company Alstom, says the U.S. uses so-called long-arm jurisdiction as a weapon to stymie competition.

    Like

  25. Fox Business
    Published on 7 Jun 2019
    Gen. Jack Keane on the near collision between Russian and U.S. warships in the East China Sea.

    FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York — the business capital of the world — FBN launched in October 2007 and is the leading business network on television, topping CNBC in Business Day viewers for the second consecutive year. The network is available in more than 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Owned by FOX, FBN has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and London.

    Like

  26. The Real News Network
    Published on 9 Jun 2019
    Specious claims that Russians plan to use disaffected African Americans in a covert war against the U.S. reveals the long history of corporate media blaming “outside agitators,” dismissing the Black freedom struggle

    Like

    1. And don’t forget the ‘Vaxers’; Russia and China are supporting them as well, in the hope that viral diseases long ago wiped out will make a comeback in western countries that are their enemies. Someone told me that one at work only yesterday, having seen it in print and copied the article, although I did not personally see it.

      The message is clear – if you have an issue you believe is worth demonstrating against in public, then you are working for the Godless Commies in Russia and China. Shut the fuck up, be a patriotic American, and go home.

      Like

  27. Got too narrow above:

    Baseball at 7:55 a.m.? The questions `Pearl’ leaves behind
    Robert K. Elder, Tribune staff reporter
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE
    May 29 2001

    who saw “Pearl Harbor” over the long holiday weekend, you probably are dealing with the movie’s versions of that fateful day on Dec. 7, 1941. Here we address some of the questions the movie raises.

    Q. In the film, as the Japanese planes descend on Pearl Harbor, children are playing baseball, men are golfing and women are putting up laundry. Didn’t the attack take place very early in the morning?

    A. The attack began at 7:55 on a Sunday morning. So men golfing and women putting up laundry is not implausible. And there are accounts of people readying themselves for church. But as for baseball, let’s call that “dramatic license.” “Can you emphatically tell me that absolutely nobody on Oahu was hanging up their laundry or playing baseball at 7:55 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941?” Jack Green, a staff curator for the Naval Historical Center and retired Air Force captain, who was a technical adviser throughout the production, said. “No, you can’t. I know I would’ve been sleeping, but hey, I’m not everybody.”

    Q. Speaking of that baseball scene, in it, one of the Japanese pilots waves his arm at the kids as he zips by, as if to warn them. What is that all about?

    A. Although he offered no documentation, producer Jerry Bruckheimer told the Los Angeles Daily News, “That was a true story. One gunner on a Japanese plane waved these kids on a ball field away. Look, we’re not saying that the movie’s 100 percent accurate — believe me, it’s not. But that happened to be a true story.”

    Like

    1. Hiccup on the middle!

      And the text should begin as:

      If you are one of the many who saw ….

      I’m writing this with my iPhone at our family estate way out in the sticks and far away from the City of Satan.

      Like

    2. It’s not implausible for people to have been up and early at 7:55 am in Hawaii on Sunday 7 December 1941. Hawaii is just south of the Tropic of Cancer so its climate is within the tropics. The sun would have risen at 6 am or just after, so people playing sport at 8 am before the day gets too hot makes sense.

      The children could have been playing a casual game of baseball on a baseball field but I haven’t seen “Pearl Harbor” so I don’t know if they had been portrayed as such.

      Like

            1. No excuse for not descending into sloth when opportunity affords. When I have a morning shift on MAYNE QUEEN, I have to get up at 3:15 to leave the house at 3:45 to be at work and ready to perform my duties at 4:45. I do that for four mornings in a row, then switch to afternoons for four. That first day, absent a compelling reason to be up earlier, I luxuriate in bed for as long as I can, usually about 9:30.

              I can get used to waking absurdly early and can stay alert during working hours, but right after supper I am nodding off and can’t muster much energy for evening.

              Like

              1. I do not like sleeping!

                Sleep is the brother of death!

                It is also a time waster.

                I seldom sleep more than 5 hours.

                Mrs. Exile thinks I am weird.

                And she gets bloody annoyed if I wake her up when I get up.

                My son, however, is a vampire, I am sure. He only gets up at about 3 in the afternoon if he has no lectures to attend and when I draw the curtains so as to encourage him to rise, he howls and writhes as the sunlight hits his pallid body.

                Like

                1. I enjoy it very much; probably to be expected as I am a dissipated western dilettante. The peasants are happy to let me slumber on undisturbed, as at least while I am asleep I am not oppressing and exploiting them and adding to their misery.

                  Like

                2. I pity you! Making the peasants’ crappy existence even crappier gives the propertied classes like what I am a purpose in life and at the same time it gives the shit-kicker dimwits the motivation to escape their bondage and seek richer pastures further afield.

                  Like

      1. The most mocked 2001 Pearl Harbor line, outside the United States at least, must be those spoken by Captain “Danny Walker in response to the Pearl Harbor attack, which took place two years after the German invasion of Poland: “I think World War II just started”

        Some dubbed versions of the Disney 2001 Pearl Harbor change Walker’s above line; for example in the Spanish version the line is: “They just brought us into World War II.”

        Like

  28. Real Vision Finance
    Published on 7 Jun 2019
    Kyle Bass, CIO of Hayman Capital, sits back down with Raoul Pal in order to finally reveal the opportunity that he called “the most asymmetric trade ever seen in my entire life.” Bass follows up on his earlier thoughts on China, and lays out the logic behind his thesis. He also delves into the relevant historical context, and discusses the risks to the financial system posed by an overvalued property market. Filmed on April 24, 2019 in New York.

    Like

    1. I stopped where he said “…let Jesus take the wheel, let the U.S. run my economy.” And it wasn’t the Jesus reference. When will people learn that when the USA is given economic control, it runs that economy for the benefit of Americans?

      Like

      1. Was Jesus a monetarist? Maybe. He did “coin” the phrase (pun – haha!): “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” having in mind a copper coin with Caesar’s snout on it.

        Like

        1. Of course he did not mean Jesus, literally; the significant part was ‘let the U.S. run my economy’. He invokes Jesus to suggest surrendering to a higher power when you let Uncle Sam take the reins. It’s good, in a way, that they included such an unabashed American supremacist on the panel – it lets people see what would be in store for them if they got cosy with America in a trade deal which let the USA gain whatever market share it felt comfortable with. And the first time you pissed them off – excuse me, ‘disappointed them’ – look out for your economy to be turned against you until you cooperated.

          Like

  29. The Duran
    Published on 9 Jun 2019
    The Duran Quick Take: Episode 197.

    The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the fact that the New York Times has corrected its CIA-Skripal story, saying that no ‘dead ducks’ or ‘sick kids’ in Salisbury due to the ‘Novichok’ nerve agent.

    Like

  30. Sky News
    Published on 9 Jun 2019
    Owen Jones has condemned Michael Gove for his hypocrisy in taking cocaine whilst imposing laws on teachers who take the drug.

    The environment secretary’s admission to drug use during his time as a journalist has rocked his Conservative leadership campaign.

    Like

    1. I strongly suspect that at least one other person knew about Gove’s previous coke habit and threatened to expose him or, at least, Gove had reason to believe exposure was likely. Breaking the story himself gives the opportunity of at least trying to frame his actions in a particular way which he’s hoping will do him the least damage. Always hard to tell with the Tories – his admission may cost him his seat as well as his already non-existent chances in the leadership election.

      Like

      1. Aren’t all MPs security ‘vetted’ (but not chipped!) beforehand and surely stuff left to slide such as ‘youthful indiscretions’ are no longer off the table if it comes to running for party member and more so PM? Joy in Doris’s camp no doubt as his mate Govey Gove stabbed him in the back during the race to replace that other massive failure as a PM, David Cameron…

        Like

        1. Naturally, when you are young and have no premonition that you might one day be groomed for political office in which your conduct must be above reproach, you are likely to indulge in some behaviours which would disqualify you for that office if they were still ongoing. I think the hypocrisy of this situation is not that he did it, but that he assumed a position in which he would regulate the behaviour of others and did not declare his conflict of interest. I don’t see any reason why you can’t enforce a policy of ‘drugs are bad’ if you admit you once took them yourself, but do so no longer because you were yourself convinced they are bad – nobody would object to a teacher who told kindergartners not to touch a hot stove, and admitted he knew it was dangerous because he had burned himself. Touching a hot stove is not against the law, and I appreciate there are certain differences, but most understand we often do bad things when we are young and reckless, with not much thought for the future.

          Fern is probably right that someone in his campaign-grooming team either knew or discovered his drug use, and advised him to get it out before it was more broadly known. Not that he was ever likely to win – although there are no practical rules which say a dork cannot become Prime Minister. But Bojo The Favourite is no improvement, and that is largely my point: upon what state have we arrived when the people of a nation have to sleepwalk into being led by an obvious fool, phony and fatuous twat simply because there is nothing else on offer? There are more omens every day that the west is approaching its Roman Moment, when all of politics is a cesspool of the deranged, the self-indulgent pleasure-seekers and the wicked?

          Like

      2. Gove is an odious and pretentious twat. He always seemed to have runny nose – now I understand why. I think Gove’s chances of becoming Tory leader were always slim. His betrayal of Boris, pro-May deal and delaying Brexit utterances has alienated the Tory grass roots.

        Gove’s coke habit was inevitably going to be used against him. As you said by breaking the coke snorting story himself, Gove thinks he can control the coverage and spin a narrative that won’t damage him so much. He is mistaken.

        Like

  31. Paul Allen’s legacy project to air-launch booster rockets has been permanently grounded. The carrier plane made just one flight. Many commentators have likened it to the Spruce Goose in that regard. It used six engines from 747s and had the longest wingspan of any aircraft. However there was little data available regarding its planned cargo capacity so that important metric remains a mystery.

    Why was this monstrosity built? The title of the article in the link below makes a suggestion:

    The end of the Egolauncher

    http://thespacereview.com/article/3726/1

    Like

  32. I note that some noted GPW history scholars have argued that it was totally unnecessary for the Reich to have occupied either Yugoslavia or Greece. All that was accomplished was the commitment of troops deployed in those countries that were sorely needed on the Eastern front. By late 1943 all the Germans need to have done was to advise the partisan fighters in both nations that German forces would be completely withdrawn in return for which both would declare a neutral noncombatant status wrt the overall conflict.
    The allies could not have objected. Hitler’s attempt to correct Mussolini’s. fuck up devolved ultimately into an ongoing waste of German resources and manpower .

    Like

    1. Germany offered a peace treaty to Yugoslavia in exchange for free passage. Public demonstrations in Serbia demanded rejection of the German offer. The government obliged and rejected the offer. Germany invaded Yugoslavia as a result. Yugoslavian gave them no choice but to invade.

      The invasion delayed the start of the invasion of the Soviet Union which may have significantly contributed to the SU’s eventual victory.

      The only significant underground resistance to Nazi occupation was in Yugoslavia and behind enemy lines in the Soviet Union. As for the rest of the occupied countries, it was lttle more than an upper management shake up.

      Like

    2. The Nazis invaded Yugoslavia because a Serb-Nationalist palace coup in Belgrade had ousted Prince-Regent Paul, a Nazi toady, and installed King Peter II, who was anti-Nazi.

      Like

  33. A real shame that Dr David Kelly took his own life. I’m sure he’d have been able to shed light on the latest news from Wiltshire:

    https://www.rt.com/uk/461463-novichok-bb-skripal-house/

    By this stage I wonder if all the neighbours aren’t all “ex” spooks from hither and yon. Who else would tolerate the nonsense they’ve been subjected to without reaching out to their learned friends? Good luck with putting a house on the market with that circus going on.

    Like

    1. Such stringent measures would surely not be taken by HM govt and British security if they had no evidence that those evil Russians had attempted to kill the Skripals with Novichok.

      Stands ter reason, don’t it?

      Like

    2. The whole premise just becomes more and more ridiculous – the house is now completely shrouded in tarpaulins, the roof has been removed, it has undergone extensive ‘decontamination’ – all, all of it obviously for show, for the yokels, because for weeks afterward police personnel guarded the residence while standing just feet away from the door handle which was supposedly the locus of infection. No chemical-warfare protection whatsoever was apparent; they didn’t even wear gloves unless it was cold.

      They might at least have made up some story that the Deadly Door Handle had been replaced, or even the entire door. Because everyone who went in or out of that house, and there must have been many, touched that door handle, at least some of them with their bare hand. And what ever became of the intrepid detective, Nick what’s-his-name? Wasn’t the state going to buy his home as well, even though he had scarcely been in it and had gone more or less straight to the hospital after being ‘infected’? Only to make a miraculous and complete recovery in days, and then drop off the public radar?

      Stupidity abounds. Yet the press just can’t let it go, and let it mercifully drop out of sight. It would just be too embarrassing to tacitly admit the British government made it up from start to finish, the entire operation. If the Skripals actually were poisoned with something, and not just acting a role for the British government, then that part must have been HM-government-supplied as well, because nobody who has any experience with police procedure is going to believe they had a culprit and a complete history of the crime in only a couple of hours after its discovery, and a foreign state was responsible.

      Like

      1. I don’t want to be an alarmist but if I had to guess I would say our good friend Officer Nick is probably partying it up with Sergei, Yulia, and their pets in Hades.

        Like

        1. You never know. He sort of dropped out of the public eye, and of all of them he seemed to be the one whose story would be picked apart first, although all of them were improbable. And I’m sure many, many were interested in interviewing him and questioning him further.

          He was released from hospital with no apparent ill effects more than a year ago, on March 23rd, 2018. According to the Telegraph, here,

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/15/police-officer-nick-bailey-returns-active-duty-10-months-salisbury/

          he returned to active duty the beginning of 2019, but the story has his Chief confirming this, it is not Bailey himself. That same story remembers that Dawn Sturgess “fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded.” But the perfume bottle described as having been ‘used in the attack on the Skripals’ was brand-new and still in its store packaging, not to any appearance unusual except for that weird plastic aerator fastened to the bottle. Which, now that I think of it, was supposed to have been not attached to the bottle at all; Charlie Rowley’s tale was that he broke the bottle trying to get the applicator on it, which is how he was exposed. But he still gave it to his paramour as a gift, and she was still apparently able to use it to spray herself.

          Anyway, so far as I can make out, DS Nick Bailey returned to duty with his former police department last winter, and since then not a peep has been heard from him. The Skripals are still incognito, and Sergei has never been seen again since going into hospital.

          Bailey’s parents apparently threw a wobbler when the Beeb decided to run a two-part television drama on the attacks, which would doubtless reinforce and reconfirm the government line although it is meant to showcase the quiet courage and resourcefulness of ‘ordinary heroes’.

          https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17673661.parents-of-ds-nick-bailey-hit-out-at-bbc-over-novichok-drama/

          No statement from Bailey himself. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to lead off a charity walk for the local hospital on July 7th. So we will see.

          https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17697751.detective-sergeant-nick-bailey-to-start-stars-appeal-walk-for-wards/

          Like

  34. Independent Man in Moscow Oliver Carroll doing what he’s paid to do, namely dishing the dirt on all things Russian:

    Skinhead vigilantes attack hipsters on Moscow’s streets to ‘uphold Russia’s moral code’
    Armed with pepper spray and punches, gang members prey on anyone perceived to be engaging in ‘vice’
    Oliver Carroll Moscow
    18 hours ago

    Known locally as “the pit”, the amphitheatre at Khokhlovsky square is a jewel in Moscow’s regeneration crown. Built around a fragment of the old city wall, the contemporary space is everything that the capital usually isn’t – simple, generous, public and free. Ever since it appeared in 2017, it has acted as a magnet for Moscow’s trendiest to gather and make merry.

    But last Friday, the capital’s hipsters came face to face with a very different side of contemporary Russia.

    “Everything that the capital usually isn’t – simple, generous, public and free”, says the man from Shithole Birkenhead, UK.


    Simple, generous, public and free!

    The usual shite comments follow, apart from this one:

    What Oliver Carroll never tells you, although he has dropped him from his script, is that his great hero Alexander Navalny, the so-called opposition to Putin and a CIA asset, is the supporter and leader of these sort of fascist groups.

    What do you say about Navalny these days,Carroll?

    Like

  35. Zelenskiy?

    Great hopes for him re. improvement of Russian-Ukrainian relations?

    He’s a fucking Yukie arsehole!

    Last week Zelenskiy, during a joint briefing with European Council head Donald Tusk in Brussels, said that “the Ukraine in the EU means the death of the Russian Imperial project”.

    Suck holing to a Polak who’d whip Galitsia from under his nose if he had half the chance!

    His fellow Yukie arsehole Poroshenko has now got a mard lip on because he says Zelenskiy stole his words.

    source

    Like

    1. I wondered how long he would play the game of telling everyone he spoke to what they want to hear, if that’s indeed what he’s doing. But what about all the folk who elected him on the expressed hope that he would make peace with Russia? That represents a significant part of the electorate, not necessarily because of ‘Russian sympathies’, but because they want to see a return to some sort of prosperity. What leads him to think the EU will provide that? Past performance? When?

      What are the circumstances necessary for to EU to pour money into Ukraine? Serious money, the kind that would bring general prosperity and commerce? First, the oligarchy has to go, or at least be hobbled so that investors’ money put into Ukraine doesn’t go straight into their pockets, with no measurable return, and the Ukrainian oligarchy has become accustomed to being rich without the cash-flow being two-way. Second, Ukraine must continue to be a significant transit state for European gas flow – it is of no strategic value if it cannot be used to introduce complications into Russia’s access so as to make it possible for speculators to make money on volatility. Three, it must become a consumer of European goods, and at present, Ukrainians cannot afford them. Four, it must have a trading relationship with Russia, so that the EU can use Ukraine as a corridor to ship its products to the Russian market even as sanctions prevail which make those products more attractive.

      I think Russia is prepared to write Ukraine off, so Zelenskiy is playing a dangerous game, because Russia still will not allow a militant NATO state right next door. That means spoiling actions which are not going to translate to smug, happy, prosperous Ukrainians.

      Like

  36. Speaking of investment, Ukraine is offering its first bond sale under the Zelenskiy government to European investors , underwritten by BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs. We’ll see what kind of interest it generates, considering Ukraine’s main source of income is still international financial support, and Zelenskiy has only been in the job 5 minutes and cannot possibly have crushed corruption already.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-plans-euro-denominated-bond-issue-this-week-11560183343

    Like

  37. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 10 Jun 2019

    Hong Kong’s government is pushing ahead with a controversial extradition law despite mass protests.
    Although it is a semi-autonomous part of China, Hong Kong does not have an extradition agreement with Beijing.

    A proposal would allow for criminal suspects to be sent to countries where there is no extradition treaty.
    On Sunday, an estimated one million people protested in Hong Kong in the biggest rally since Britain returned the territory to Chinese rule in 1997.

    Critics fear China could use the law to target political opponents, and see this as another sign of the mainland eroding the city’s independent judiciary and political system.
    Are people right to be worried? And what could this mean for Hong Kong’s future?

    Presenter: Martine Dennis

    Guests:
    Claudia Mo – Hong Kong legislator and pro-democracy activist.

    Victor Gao – Vice President of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think-tank.

    Andrew Leung – Hong Kong businessman and research fellow at Beijing Normal University.

    Like

  38. Channel 4 News
    Published on 10 Jun 2019

    And then there were ten: the Tory MPs left in the running to become the next Prime Minister. (Subscribe: https://bit.ly/C4_News_Subscribe)

    Five of them held campaign launches today, although not Boris Johnson, whose team have kept him away from the media so far. Of course that hasn’t stopped his rivals from weighing in with subtle, and not so subtle, jibes at his fitness for office, compared to their own. Conservative MPs have their first vote this Thursday and will continue to vote next week until the whole party membership gets to choose between the final two.

    Like

    1. I hope that The Brigadier and the rest of Dr Who’s sidekicks are on standby because the Sontaran is not the only alien life form in that lineup.

      The Sontaran, though, has eyes that promise the destruction of worlds.

      Like

    1. After the Russian icebreakers have opened a usable path, naturally.

      Like the stages of grief and loss, the west experiences stages of reaction to Russian policy. At first, it either does not notice a new development, or affects not to have noticed despite public announcements in Russia. Next – I guess that would be Stage 2 – the west ridicules it, has a good laugh at its expense and speculates the goal is unachievable. Third, it begins to report on the policy as if it had just been discovered. Finally, it interprets it as a direct threat to itself, and sets up the customary blabber about sanctions and retaliation.

      Like

  39. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/let-me-tell-you-why-china-obsessed-americas-aircraft-carriers-61917

    “The Third Taiwan Crisis was a brutal lesson for a China that had long prepared to fight wars inside of its own borders. Still, the PLA Navy deserves credit for learning from the incident and now, twenty-two years later, it is quite possible that China could ***seriously damage or even sink an American carrier. **Also unlike the United States, China is in the unique position of both seeing the value of carriers and building its own fleet while at the same time devoting a lot of time and resources to the subject of sinking them. The United States may soon find itself in the same position.”

    Ummmm….It would appear as if the DF-21D could ‘HMS Hood’ an American aircraft carrier:

    Like

    1. My guess is that the missile is essentially an IRBM like the SS-20 that includes sensors able to see through the plasma surrounding the warhead during reentry. It is unclear how much maneuvering the warhead can do to make it harder for a defensive missile to intercept. Still, it is very impressive and I suspect, as a total amateur in such matters, that it will be effective. Not sure if three missiles could sink a carrier but they would definitely knock it and its air wing out of action.

      The Khinzel may have an advantage as it is powered most or all of the way to the target rendering it highly maneuverable right up to the terminal phase.

      A prudent American admiral would keep the carriers out of harms way and rely on cruise missiles to do whatever they can. Not a good alternative given the limited delivered tonnage and susceptibility to being shot down. Better to just not start a war.

      Like

      1. It does not take much maneuvering to throw off defensive targeting, because anti-missile projectiles typically do not have onboard guidance; that would make them large and heavy. They are guided by a sensor on the ground which tracks both outgoing missile and incoming target, and sets up an intercept plan which will result in a collision. To do this, it uses predictive algorithms that forecast where the target it wants to hit will be in x amount of time assuming it maintains the same course and speed. A simple narrow weave is enough to present the sensor with a constantly-changing solution which will frequently result in a miss as the guidance is unable to accurately predict where the target will be.

        America needs to use carriers because its battle doctrine relies on achieving air superiority. You can’t do that with cruise missiles; those are used for what the USA terms a ‘decapitating strike’. But you need planes in the air to prevent the enemy from using his air force, and until you can capture one of his airfields and start flying groundbased stuff in, or use an allied neighbour’s airfields, that’s the job of carrier-based aviation.

        Like

        1. Those 100,000 tons of diplomacy are losing their ability to persuade just like those cruise missiles. Not directly related but the Chinese seemed to have tweaked long wave radar to better detect stealth aircraft.

          https://sputniknews.com/military/201906111075806988-first-line-of-defense-beijings-new-high-frequency-surface-wave-radar-can-detect-stealthy-f-35s/

          This is something Russia has been doing for quite some time. I sort of get why long waves can not provide accurate direction but at least it should provide accurate ranging simply by time measurement of the return signal. With two or three radars, it would seem accurate location can be obtained by triangulation. The article alluded to this but it seems so obvious that the Russians must have figured that out long ago. It would seem that the target location could be pinned down to thousands of feet which would be enough for a fighter to locate using thermal detection if not see the damn thing visually.

          Like

    1. Mmmm hmmmm….let me pretend it’s about Canada instead, and let’s see how complimentary it really is.

      1. In Canada, it’s an awesome place to be a man, because the women outnumber the men by a significant margin. So you can have your pick of lovers – if you can sober up long enough to get it up, that is. But don’t let any grass grow under your feet, because Canadian men begin to pop off at about 30 years of age, and by the time they’d be old enough to start collecting a pension, they’re nearly all dead.
      2. Beer. Canadians love beer; it’s unusual to see a Canadian without a beer in his hand, and you have to wade through drifts of empty cans when you get off the bus. They’re not too particular, I guess, and will use anything that is available to get drunk, but beer is the drink of choice. During the holiday season, Canadians spend an average of more than half their monthly wages on booze, based on no figures or studies I can cite. About 23,000 Canadians die every year from alcohol poisoning, and don’t even get me started on all the other drink-related ways these piss-tanks off themselves. Yet somehow there are more of them every year. Sooner or later, though, a demographic crisis will ensue, because the population will be entirely women.
      3. The most popular soft drink there is American.
      4. Canada has a colourful history in space, and rumor has it the government covered up the deaths of several of its astronauts in training accidents, probably because the Canadian government is just naturally sneaky and tries to hide its fuck-ups from the world. Naughty Canadians, keeping us guessing!
      5. English, as spoken by Canadians, has no ‘the’. Canadians cannot say “Pass me the gallon of beer”, because there is no ‘the’! How can they function? Probably the same way the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi and Urdu speakers do, since those languages also contain no articles. But they probably wish they had them.
      6. Canada is cold as a witch’s tit. Which is fortunate for them; virtually everyone who has tried to invade this nation of alcoholics has fallen short, because the intense cold protects them. It certainly isn’t fighting ability.
      7. Canada rooks tourists, making them pay more to visit prominent attractions than it charges the locals whose taxes paid for them to be established. This is not at all like progressive countries like America, where tourists pay less for a fishing or hunting license than locals. Just kidding.
      8. All Canadians have dash cameras in their cars to protect against all the cops who demand bribes, document crashes by all the drunken hammerheads, and prove that they actually show up for work once in awhile.
      9. Beer again. In fact, Canadians love alcohol so much, I just can’t stress enough how much, that alcohol is also number 11, 23, 27 and 32. Until 2011, Canadians marketed beer as if it were milk, to get kids to acquire a taste for it early. Not that it would matter, I suppose, since the cops are usually too drunk to drive, so as long as you can stay ahead of them for a quarter-mile or so, you’ll probably get away.
      10. There are stray dogs everywhere, although the drunks barely notice and the fact doesn’t get any press because so many journalists are murdered.

      I have figured out that you were being sarcastic.

      Like

                1. From Quora;

                  “The 11 point Canadian Maple Leaf on the modern day Canadian flag represents 10 provinces united under one nation.

                  The maple leaf wasn’t chosen at random. The importance of the maple leaf as an important Canadian symbol dates back to 1860. The prince of Wales was visiting Canada. The English wore their traditional roses, the Scots wore their traditional thistles, and Canadians needed something to wear as well, so they chose a maple leaf.

                  Red and white were proclaimed the official colors of Canada in 1921 by King George. White represents peace, purity, and honesty. Red represents hardiness, bravery, strength and valor.

                  The two red stripes adorning the left and right sides of the flag represent the Canadian lives sacrificed in WWI and WWII.

                  The modern flag was officially adopted by the Canadian Parliament Oct. 22, 1964, and the official inauguration ceremony took place Feb. 15, 1965 which to this day is celebrated as Canadian Flag Day. Ever since, Canada adopted its own independent flag, the maple leaf has been, and remains a symbol of Canadian pride.”

                  Like

                2. Go on, admit it Chief Stooge!

                  You miss the old red duster with the shield in the middle!

                  😄

                  Like

          1. OMG!!…There is just no pleasing you people (Slavs…..Russkies in particular….or those who have Slav/Russkie family))!!!!

            :O)

            Like

    2. One of the most distinct features of the Russian language is that there is no “the” or “a.” Not one of its 260 million speakers could say, “Take me to the movies.” Nor could someone demand in Russian, “I want a doughnut.”

      This is the main reason why Tolstoy had to write his masterpiece “War and Peace” mostly in French. As soon as he switched to Russian, it just sounded like Victor Frankenstein’s monster grunting:

      “Give me doughnut!” Pierre demanded.
      “No, Pierre, take me to movie,” Natasha cajoled.

      Like

      1. Absence of articles is common amongst other Slavic tongues and Puer puellam amat and Puella puerum amat means Boy loves girl and Girl loves boy respectively in Latin.

        Absence of articles didn’t seem to bother the Romans and the administrators of their empire much.

        What sort of uneducated dimwits concoct such stupid fucking articles about Russia and the Russians?

        Oh, I know! – Those who do not realise the inanity of saying “I could care less” instead of “I couldn’t care less” and who replace every variant of expressing degrees of probability and possibility with a simple “maybe”.

        Like

        1. I have been arguing, like forever, that SCIENTIFIC LINGUISTICS should be taught as early as middle school. And by SCIENTIFIC LINGUISTICS, I don’t mean grammar or, god help us, spelling!
          Oi. I should give up, it’s hopeless! People remain classically ignorant about the one thing that makes us all human.

          It’s like a curse! AHHHHHHHHHH! [screams of pain]

          Like

      2. They both sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least when he was learning English and playing Conan the Barbarian at the same time. No wonder Schwarzenegger later got to play a Russian detective in “Red Heat”.

        Like

        1. Russians can and often do determine a noun when necessary by using the demonstrative adjective “that”.

          For an indefinite article Russians may use the word for “one”, which is the case in most other European languages: “ein Mann” can mean “a man” or “one man” in German.

          The word “a” in English can also mean “one”, e.g. “I stayed for a week” or “Give me an apple!”

          The definite article in English was originally the demonstrative adjective in Old English: “ Faeder ure, thu the eart on heofonum …” is the beginning of the Lord’s [not Woden’s!] Prayer in Old English and translates literally as “Father our, thou that art in heaven …”

          The older Old English masculine singular nominative definite article was “se”, which, ironically, is how many Russians pronounce “the”.

          The Latin demonstrative article, nominative singular is “ille”. This demonstrative adjective began to be used more and more in speech, eventually becoming “le” in French.

          Likewise, the Latin feminine singular nominative demonstrative adjective “illa” became “la” in French.

          Articles are not absolutely necessary: “Lion kills man in zoo” could be an English newspaper headline; it is also literally what Russians would’ normally say, there being no articles in Russian, something which some dimwit writer of the above linked article about Russia and Russians apparently finds amazingly strange. For example:

          Каждый день в Африке, лев убивает мужчину! [Every day in Africa lion kills man.]

          How strange!

          Like

        2. Schwarzenegger would use articles in his German mother tongue, though, and exactly in the same way as a native speaker of English would: Der Junge liebt das Mädchen und das Mädchen liebt den Junge.

          Like

          1. По русски: Мальчик любит девочку и девочка любит мальчика.

            It’s those case endings what fucks up English speakers – not to mention the Russian verbal system that is dominated by the concept of verbal aspect.

            I wonder what the arsehole commenter about absence of articles in Russian would have to say about the declination of nouns in Russian?

            Not much, I suppose: such a matter would probably be way beyond his infantile comprehension.

            Like

          2. Well not exactly, because the German articles change according the function in the sentence of the noun that they determine, hence den Junge above because Junge in this instance is the masculine singular noun object of the verb.

            Like

      3. Yeah, but unlike in English, those imperatives in Russian can be uttered in a formal and polite way or in a friendly way, as when addressing relatives, colleagues, children etc.

        So when Pierre says “Give me a doughnut!” He can utter in Russian either:

        Дайте мне пончик!

        or

        Дай мне пончик!

        Neither of the above variants sound as rude to my ears as does “Give me …!!!”

        Pierre could also be extremely polite and say something like:

        Не будете ли вы так любезны передать мне пончик?

        Would you be so kind as to hand me a doughnut?

        Like

        1. Which could also be translated as “Would you be so kind as to hand me THE doughnut?”
          (Context where there is only one doughnut left, so now Pierre and Natasha are going to fight to the death for it!)

          Like

          1. They could be civilised and agree that one can have the doughnut and the other person can have the doughnut hole.

            🙂

            Like

    1. Not a fan of capital punishment but in this case….
      Wait, won’t they be reincarnated so perhaps a life term is harsher?

      Like

  40. And here’s yet another reason why the Ukraine’s refusal to be part of project Russian Empire should be celebrated:

    Remarkably, Ukraine is the only country in the world, apart from Israel, where both the president and prime minister are Jewish. And, according to a recent survey, it is also the least antisemitic state in eastern and central Europe, with the overwhelming majority of the population now welcoming the presence of a community which had previously faced prolonged persecution.

    See: A president for change – how Zelensky’s election in Ukraine is a blow against antisemitism

    What about the Valtsmann (Poroshenko)/Groisman partnership, pillock?

    Meanwhile, back in the “Exceptional nation”:

    Pompeo Tells Jewish Leaders He Will ‘Push Back’ Against Britain’s Corbyn

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Jewish leaders that he would “push back” against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn if he takes any actions against Britain’s Jews, even before he can be elected prime minister.

    What’s this? US interference in British domestic politics?

    Time was when the West sneered at the Soviet Union because it was allegedly founded and run by Jews.

    Funny old world, innit

    Like

    1. Sengupta is writing bollocks, i.e. the usual projection. The main reason ‘Ukrainians’ are not so bothered about Zelenisky/Jews/whatever is that a) they already killed most of them off so its not like there’s a large presence; b) the anti-Russia hysteria & prejudice is the main glue holding them together.

      That Sengupta injects that one of Putin’s advisors wrote something ‘antisemitic’ shows that he deliberately uses that as a foil to imply that Ukraine is better and Russia is worse (coz its at a high level), whereas the reality is that Russia extremely welcoming, quite a number of Russian Jews have returned and there is an active revival of Russia’s Jewish community life under way. The WJC would have told him that, but he isn’t interested of course.

      And may I make a major correction to the sub-heading which would make it accurate.

      Like much of central Europe, Ukraine has a dark and murky history in terms of its attitude to Jews.

      The West’s long and rank history of antisemitism is airbrushed, just like that! Oh, but we are talking about recent history! How convenient… There’s a general rise of antisemitism and it is certainly not limited to Central Europe.

      All these British lies of omission are the standard method to whitewash its past from any link to current or recent history.

      Like

      1. There’s also a Jewish Autonomous Republic that is a subject of the Russian Federation. Granted, it’s almost in China and way out in the Russian Far East.

        Hard that this may be for many to comprehend, the first Jews whom I associated with – actually spoke to and even lived with in the same students’ hostel – were here in Russia, in the USSR, to be exact.

        And the first native English speaker Jews whom I met and associated with were all American citizens who appeared in Yeltsin’s Russia in the early ‘90s and at about the same time when I dropped anchor here. These American citizens turned up here in order to take advantage of the feeding frenzy that was taking place at the trough into which was being poured former state assets.

        The big advantage that these American citizens had was that they had contacts here with their fellow Jews and could also speak Russian, learnt at grandma’s knee in New York City, no doubt.

        I well remember one very successful, young, New York Russian/Jewish couple who set up a chain of coffee houses called, in Cyrillic, Кофехаус.

        That was long before Starbucks landed here.

        Like

        1. The Soviet Jewish Republic (Birobaidjan) was set up to be specifically a center of Yiddish (not Hebrew) culture and language. I believe that Yiddish is the official language there still, although the Jewish National University also specializes in teaching Hebrew. This may be one of the few places left in the world where people still know Yiddish.

          Like

  41. Some perfect whataboutism:

    RT.com: Russian media solidarity for Golunov contrasts with loathsome US/UK press bootlicking over Assange
    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/461528-golunov-assange-media-arrest/

    If you express concern about Ivan Golunov, but not Julian Assange, yet speak of support for a free press, you are a hypocrite. And, what’s more, the reverse is also true.

    Solidarity with the Russian reporter, who was arrested on flimsy drugs charges, is welcome, but not from those trying to score geopolitical points while ignoring, or facilitating, attacks on journalism at home.

    Predictably, much of the US/UK media & political reaction to the arrest of Golunov has attempted to frame the episode as the Kremlin clamping down on press freedom…

    Two faces

    Finally, we can’t forget Jeremy Hunt. Britain’s foreign secretary, and wannabe prime minister, only last week told US TV he wouldn’t block Assange’s extradition to the US. However, on Sunday, he expressed his concern for Golunov, tweeting “we are following this case closely.” …
    ####

    Plenty More at the link.

    A very good piece by Byan MacDonald, particularly at the diminishing competence of real reporting about Russia.

    Like

  42. via Antiwar.com: North Korean Leader’s Slain Half-Brother Was a CIA Informant
    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/06/10/north-korean-leaders-slain-half-brother-was-a-cia-informant/

    US determined Kim Jong Nam was ‘ill-suited’ to take over North Korea

    Assassinated in February 2017 at a Malaysian airport, Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam has been revealed in new reports to have been a CIA informant, and had flown to the airport to meet with his CIA contact….
    ###

    Those crazy, irrational North Koreans/I-ranians [Please fill in here or select from the drop down list]…

    Like

    1. Kim Jong-nam’s killing makes more sense, if his usefulness to the CIA had come to an end. The two women who sprayed his face and then covered it with a cloth were patsies lured into a prank that could have endangered them as well.

      All these stories that come out about various prominent NK citizens being killed in weird and twisted ways (being killed with anti-aircraft guns / being incinerated by a flamethrower / being fed to 120 feral dogs / being dropped into a fish tank full of piranhas, James Bond movie style) indicate either deranged imaginations and wishful thinking on the part of intel agents and/or stenographer MSM reporters, or jokes played on a gullible Western MSM by Asian sources (who of course always are anonymous).

      https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/06/article/kims-killer-piranha-fake-news-on-north-korea/

      Like

        1. If Kim had been an informant and his usefulness to the CIA had come to an end, given that he’d been away from North Korea for a number of years so his knowledge of NK politics comes to a sudden halt in the year that he left the country, that background information certainly puts a new light on his murder. The two women implicated in his murder said they had been given the VX nerve agent and cloth by unnamed men who then scarpered off. Where would the women get the VX nerve agent and how would North Korea have acquired it? The stuff is made from organophosphates used in making pesticides. As far as I know, North Korean agriculture is still heavily dependent on organic fertiliser due in large part to trade sanctions the country has had to suffer since the 1950s.

          Also the women involved were not citizens of the country in which they were travelling (Malaysia) when they participated in the prank. Were they chosen because they were non-Malaysian and how would the people who chose them have known?

          It’s possible that other intel agencies (from China or Sth Korea) could have offed Kim Jong-nam but then the question of how they obtained VX nerve agent from Porton Down arises.

          Like

  43. CRap via Antiwar.com: Poland, US conclude talks on higher American troop presence
    https://apnews.com/35de6816a93a40da98bca1ca2abc2a21

    An aide to Polish President Andrzej Duda says that negotiations to increase the U.S. military presence in Poland have concluded and were a success…

    …An announcement is expected when Trump hosts Duda for talks Wednesday at the White House.
    ####

    Oh, this is going to be impressive! /sarc

    NATO is already undermining their existing agreement with Russia in spirit by having temporary yet a continual ‘rotational’ (FY!) presence near Russia’s borders so if PL/US announce a permanenent presence, it officially blows that up.

    Like

  44. Meanwhile the West is not outraged nor demands sanctions against Kazakhstan after Nazerbayev’s hand-picked successor, Jomart (don’t beam me up) Tokayev, romped to victory with over 71% of the vote.

    See, the West can be pragmatic and chose not to tapdance on rainbow colored unicorns while dispensing democracy glitter to show the world their virtues and strong stance on human rights, democracy and equality. Amazing.

    Like

  45. SkyNudes: MI5 ‘unlawfully’ handled bulk surveillance data, lawsuit reveals
    https://news.sky.com/story/mi5-unlawfully-handled-bulk-surveillance-data-lawsuit-reveals-11739729

    The security service is accused of breaking the law and documents state the “the task [of complying with it] was too large”.

    …”The documents show extraordinary and persistent illegality in MI5’s operations, apparently for many years,” said civil liberties organisation Liberty, which is bringing the case.

    “The existence of what MI5 itself calls ‘ungoverned spaces’ in which it holds and uses large volumes of private data is a serious failure of governance and oversight, especially when mass collection of data of innocent citizens is concerned.”…
    ####

    Incompetent? No. Don’t give a shit? Yes.

    It won’t make a blind bit of difference as the security service have broad brush surveillance powers and the ‘National Security’ exception behind them. At least they are not handing over that data to their terrorist sponsoring Gulf brothers… Oh, hang on, can’t rule anything out!

    Like

  46. The Real News Network
    Published on 11 Jun 2019
    Shir Hever discusses the dangers of privatizing security and intelligence, as a private company called Black Cube that claims to use Israeli Mossad procedures hires out its services to the highest bidder and goes after international as well as Israeli activists, business people, and politicians

    Like

  47. CGTN
    Published on 11 Jun 2019

    Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Russia was fruitful. A cruise tour on the Neva River with the Russian President, an honorary doctorate degree for President Xi from a Russian University, a trade memorandum and a 5G deal – they all hint at the willingness of the two neighboring countries to have more cooperation on the economy, diplomacy, security, tourism, and education, among other things. In his speech before the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, President Xi reiterated China’s firm belief in making a multilateral system work, in which all countries can prosper together and grow sustainably. Is the world moving closer to or away from that goal?

    Like

  48. For the Frogophones:

    Gilbert Doctorow: Liberté d’expression, la censure et la propagande: la télévision russe aujourd’hui
    https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2019/06/07/liberte-dexpression-la-censure-et-la-propagande-la-television-russe-aujourdhui/

    ####

    In short, he gives a run down of Russian talk shows (he is also a participant the last couple of years) and gives his observations. 1:) they’re a lot more open & broadcast direct – save the differences in time zone; 2: they have erudite and very well Russian speaking ‘enemies’ regularly on including Michael Bohm (MT), Thingy from WP etc.; 3) they are a bit obsessed about NATO/Ukraine etc. which he explains partly as a result of years of sanctions; 4) the month before the last presidential elections were the ‘most free’; 5) the reason Putin is on TV so much is not because of ‘control’, but because he is a very active President; 6) I’ve forgotten all the other points, so read it or pump it through an online translator. His site is definitely worth being on your list.

    Like

  49. The UOC-KP has nowhere else to go:

    Like

    1. To the delight of the Roman Catholic Church, I need hardly point out. The more fragmented and paranoid the Orthodox Church grows, the better the amassed western religions like it.

      Like

  50. And The South shall rise again..in the ME…..

    “The chief of Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees all of the Pentagon’s operations in the Middle East, claimed over the weekend that Iran continues to pose an “imminent” threat to Washington’s interests in the region and that a permanent military escalation against the country and its 82 million people may be required.
    Gen. Frank McKenzie during a tour of the region that included both Baghdad and the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, sailing in the north Arabian Sea, told reporters that he is “negotiating” with the Pentagon on plans for “bringing additional resources into the theater” to step up the military campaign against Iran.”

    You see Frank’s Alma Mater-The Citadel- is rooted in deep traditions forged by a long line of traitors, defenders of white supremacy and slavery.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_F._McKenzie_Jr.#Biography
    https://www.postandcourier.com/columnists/sapakoff-the-citadel-should-stop-kneeling-and-remove-the-confederate/article_d20fc42e-bfeb-11e7-a9e5-c7af5e793ece.html
    http://www.citadel.edu/citadel-history/war-deaths/war-between-the-states.html

    And of course we have the Confederate Generals whose portraits are no doubt prominently displayed throughout the campus……Oh!!! But Wait,,,They lost!!

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/11/iran-j11.html

    Like

    1. Wood Mackenzie started out in NE Scotland serving the North Sea oil industry. One of those enterprises content to fly below the radar of Joe Q Public I suspect.

      Repsol? A million years ago a fresh faced individual helped a Repsol technician through the process of familiarisation with a brand of lapping machinery. Traumatic all round. But well paid.

      Like

  51. For those who still look in occasionally on what is happening with Nord Stream II, the Americans are still blustering about killing it with new sanctions targeted against pipelaying vessels and those who finance them, insure them, and so on. Its typical dog-in-the-manger pressure is applied with a view to supplying Europe itself, with ‘freedom gas’. That, of course, is not using energy as a weapon – just so we’re clear. It’s trying to force Europe to buy higher-priced American gas by using economics as a weapon.

    Anyway, Germany is getting pretty fed up with it. Mutti Merkel has let the Americans know that they are not going to be able to stop the project. She has let it be known that the project already has European approval ‘in principle’, and that she is aware this is all about Ukraine and forcing Russia to continue gas transit through it and supplement its budget with transit fees. Germany’s Ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, has allegedly been even more pointed than that.

    “In particular, according to Bild, the German Ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, has sent a letter to the US Congress urging them to stop threatening Russian companies PJSC NOVATEK and PJSC Gazprom, operating in Germany, with new sanctions. In her words, such actions jeopardize the energy security of Germany and of the entire European Union.

    In her letter, Emily Haber points out that since countries of the European Union have adopted amendments to the Gas Directive, the issue of blocking the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline is closed for Europe: “All countries that criticized the Nord Stream-2 approved this document “. Given the situation, the German diplomat described any further steps that Washington might take in order to hinder the development of the project as counterproductive and potentially threatening the energy security of the EU.”

    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/05/26/us-strives-to-supply-europe-with-its-own-gas/

    Gosh; that reminds me – Chinese tariffs on American LNG more than doubled a couple of weeks ago. As of June 1st, the tariff went from 10% to 25%. Not having much of an effect, though – Chinese imports of American LNG have only dropped from 1.4 million tons during the first 4 months of last year to .3 million tons over the same period this year. The unclaimed LNG must be sold on the open market, and that drives the price down. Price has a direct effect on American production, and if it goes too low production must be reined in.

    You’re doing a great job, Mr. Trump – keep it up! Make America great again!

    Like

  52. By the way ….

    С Днём России!

    HAPPY RUSSIA DAY!

    Another state holiday!

    But we’re not free!

    And we live in a cruel tyranny.

    Like

      1. Another thing …

        As regards the Independent’s “man in Moskva*” Oliver Carroll’s statement in an above linked load of trash that he wrote about Moskva, namely that Khokhlovsky square is ” … everything that the capital usually isn’t – simple, generous, public and free”, all over the capital yesterday there took place a whole range of events, many of them free, for citizens of the City of Satan to enjoy on Russia Day:

        Moskva Events Calendar 2019
        BY BIGTIMEMOSKVA · PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 26, 2019 · UPDATED JUNE 10, 2019

        Moskva Events

        Moskva parks to celebrate Russia Day

        * As stated in an earlier posting today, henceforth in my comments, “Moskva” is the name of the city where I live and fuck “Kyiv”!

        Like

    1. I’m sure Moscow Exile Junior could turn that comment into a song. How’s his music progressing (or regressing)?

      Like

  53. Viz the MEK mentioned not so long ago here.

    The Intercept (via antiwar.com): An Iranian Activist Wrote Dozens of Articles for Right-Wing Outlets. But Is He a Real Person?
    https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/heshmat-alavi-fake-iran-mek/

    …The MEK has had the most success influencing the debate over Iran policy online through its aggressive social media presence. Any remarks about the group or even Iranian politics in general can be expected to be met by scores of MEK-supporters commenting through replies on Twitter and other social media. Many of the pro-MEK accounts will repeat the same messages, often word for word, swarming the mentions of any commentator…
    ####

    More at the link.

    Remember, this is not Hybrid Warfare. Only Russians do that.

    It’s an interesting development of the professionalization of exile groups supported by the United States and others in information warfare/psychological operations and how it feeds in to the PPNN echo chamber of self-justifying reporting that supports western intervention around the world.

    The account above was ultimately suspended by twitter after The Intercept report, but as we have seen elsewhere, the responsible media are more than happy to peddle and protect childwashing propaganda such as Bana Alabed, written by her parents who are prominent rebel supporters. I wonder what Bana thinks of the return of Armenian christians to Aleppo since the end of the ‘seige’ that her parents she tweeted about?

    Like

  54. There appears to be no sense in further discussion of a possible softening of relations between Russia and Ukraine; it is evident from recent developments that Zelenskiy is only Poroshenko Lite, and while he might not have such a penchant for thieving and running businesses on the side – and might even make an honest effort to tackle domestic issues like corruption – when it comes to international affairs he is in lockstep with the US State Department.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ukraine-panel-jurisdiction-hear-russia-case-63625398

    Kuh-yiv is once again trying to drag international arbitrators into the situation, and to get a ruling that Russia is encroaching upon Ukrainian mineral resources and fishing rights in the Black Sea and ‘other waters’. It is a pretty obvious attempt to get an international ruling on the legality of Russia’s claim to territorial waters off Crimea and in the Kerch Strait. Ukraine and its western backers know very well Russia would not recognize any such ruling if it were made, but then the United States would get its rule-of-law feathers all a-ruffle, and we would take another step closer to war.

    Zelenskiy has also appointed former Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius to the supervisory board of the state defence conglomerate Ukroboronprom. So that’s the Lithuanians back in government in Ukraine – can we look forward to Madame Jaresko making a reprise?

    I can’t claim to be disappointed, because there was never really much chance that Zelenskiy had any ambitions toward restoring relations with Russia, and if he had appeared to be squishy in that regard, there would likely have been a coup that would have ousted him in favour of a nationalist hardliner. Western influences seem to have decided Zelenskiy will do very well for the present. But it must be a disappointment to the large numbers of Ukrainians who hoped for peace and something like a return to normality, rather than just a resumption of the bolshie shoving match.

    So be it.

    Like

    1. Mikhail Saakashvili must be daring to hope that now that he has got back his Ukrainian citizenship, Zelenskiy might offer him a job. (It’d have to be a job that keeps the cravativore far away from Kiev or where he can’t be allowed to find and criticise any practices he perceives as corrupt or “corrupt”.)

      Like

  55. Well, well; look at that. Our old acquaintance Crowdstrike has gone public, and in its IPO debut, the stock surged to a market cap of over $12 Billion – worth nearly as much as Symantec, which has been around for nearly 40 years. Up 83% in a single day. Gee; I wonder who’s buying in? I guess we can look forward to more whispering about Russian cybercrime and internet invasion in the days to come. Stealing elections, even, maybe, hmmm?

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/12/crowdstrike-ipo-stock-starts-trading-on-the-nasdaq.html

    Surprisingly, Crowdstrike’s CEO – George Kurtz – does not have a background in the national intelligence services, or none that is immediately apparent. He seems to have worked mostly in private security, having gotten into it fairly early on, and is an accountant by trade; he seems to be the public face of the firm, and to be mostly involved in marketing. However, their president of services, Shawn Henry, is a former executive assistant director of the FBI, and I imagine its employees include quite a few former government spooks and ideologues.

    https://www.crowdstrike.com/about-crowdstrike/executive-team/george-kurtz/

    The other co-founder, though, is Dmitry Alperovitch.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2017/01/06/dnc-russian-hacking-conclusion-comes-google-linked-firm/

    He’s a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, a direct adviser to the US Department of Defense, connected to Hillary Clinton and runs a new corporation whose startup cash came from Google. There’s something even bigger than Google – corporations now seem more and more to be merging into what are essentially mini-states within the state itself – and it is called Alphabet Capital, Google’s parent company. The Chairman of Alphabet Capital is Eric Schmidt, and he was actively working for Hillary Clinton during the last election when she spectacularly failed to make the cut.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-24/what-crowdstrike-firm-hired-dnc-has-ties-hillary-clinton-ukrainian-billionaire-and-g

    Google, allegedly, is becoming more and more an arm of the Democratic Party in the USA.

    There is also another gap in play: The shrinking distance between Google and the Democratic Party. Former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign’s chief technology officer, and a host of ex-Googlers are currently employed as high-ranking technical staff at the Obama White House. Schmidt, for his part, is one of the most powerful donors in the Democratic Party—and his influence does not stem only from his wealth, estimated by Forbes at more than $10 billion.

    Wheels within wheels, and connections seen and unseen. Several security professionals and software developers have alluded to Crowdstrike’s reports on international hacking as being full of shit – but the American enforcement and intelligence services seem content to outsource their cyber work more or less exclusively to Crowdstrike. And the results of its IPO suggest high confidence on the part of investors that it is going to become ever-more-closely allied to the US government, font of government grants and funding which can be hard to trace.

    Like

    1. Here’s a colourful account of Crowdstrike’s exploits and their alleged track record of coming up with convenient narratives on demand.

      https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-russian-collusion-delusion-in-a-nutshell/

      For what it’s worth, the Crowdstrike story that Russian cyber-meddling had knocked out 80% of Ukrainian artillery systems was deemed bogus by several other sources, including the Ukrainian Army. At its most basic, artillery systems are large ballistic rifles that drop artillery shells on a predetermined position by looking the reference up on a gridded map and inputting corrections for elevation and azimuth; there is nothing computer-connected about them. Somewhere near the nearest elevated position in relation to the target there is a spotter, who notes the fall of shot and calls the corrections; “left two, up fifty”, or “in line, on for range; fire for effect”. The latter would be followed by a barrage on what the spotter had identified as a direct hit by the spotting rounds.

      Kaspersky Labs also took Crowdstrike apart,

      https://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/kasperskys-war-on-crowdstrike-evangelist-dmitri-alperovitch/

      and mention of Kaspersky reminded me the US government had used ‘advice’ from its security experts to determine Kaspersky products constituted a threat to US national security…just like Huawei, a connection I have not seen made yet elsewhere. Mmmm….I wonder if Crowdstrike is not being set up specifically to provide the US government with substantiation for banning technical products which have the potential to achieve dominant market share, but cannot be manipulated by Washington because they are owned by non-aligned countries?

      Like

      1. An MoA commenter calling himself Zachary Smith put up this link at the blog to an article citing a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University claiming that Joe Biden is leading in a head-2-head match-up with Donald Trump (53% to 40%) and that this lead is the biggest of the six major Democratic Party contenders in the 2020 US Presidential campaign.
        https://www.ibtimes.com/national-poll-shows-biden-leading-trump-landslide-2800170

        You can see the full results at this Quinnipiac University link:
        https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2627

        Zachary Smith doesn’t seem to think the Quinnipiac University polling results are genuine.

        I wonder if Crowdstrike has gone public to assist Joe Biden in some way during his campaigning so as to avoid having the direct links it had with Hillary Clinton (and thus avoid possible future investigations over its funding) while assisting her campaign in 2016?

        Like

        1. That’s possible, certainly. I saw a headline on another site recently that made me laugh out loud, claiming to quote Trump that he ‘hopes to run against Biden, he’s the weakest mentally’. Uncle Joe certainly is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and tends to rely on his folksy charisma and down-home-boy charm to get him through interviews while discussing as few facts and verifiable claims as possible.

          Yeah; here it is.

          https://news.yahoo.com/trump-biden-weakest-mentally-180648153.html

          It specifically addresses the Quinnipac polls. Trump doesn’t buy them, either. According to Trump. Biden intends to run on a platform of reversing Trump’s trade-war devastation of America’s farmers. You heard it here first – Joe Biden doesn’t give a tin weasel about America’s farmers. He just senses an issue where he could pry a corner up, because Trump did indeed promise his policies were going to result in so much improvement for America’s farmers, and it has been a disaster. This dairy farmer is in tears;

          https://www.cbsnews.com/news/viral-video-brings-to-light-struggles-of-american-dairy-farmers-mark-berg-facebook-2019-04-16/

          he repeats his father’s final comment from a recent fight – “I’ve worked here forty fuckin’ years, and I have less than I started with”. Later, he chokes, “It’s just not fair”. As I have mentioned before now, the United States had a supply-management system like Canada’s for 60 years – supply management ensures farmers get a reasonable price for their product by discouraging overproduction and setting quotas. But in the 70’s a new credo appeared: “Get big, or get out”, as a drive for ever-cheaper prices in the supermarket encouraged overproduction, huge herds and a few giant companies. The American farmer is feeling it now. But the notion that Joe Biden is a straw-chewin’ overalls-wearin’ farm champion is preposterous.

          As much as I refuse to support the American economy so that its repulsive government can increase its control over its allies, my heart goes out to that poor bastard in the dairy sweatshirt. What a sad state of affairs.

          Like

  56. CBC News
    Published on 12 Jun 2019
    Beijing ignored a personal attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this year to arrange a conversation with China’s premier in order to intervene on behalf of Canadians detained in China.
    To read more: http://cbc.ca/1.5172391

    Like

    1. I personally do not find that surprising. Both countries have made their positions very clear, and have left no middle ground for negotiation. China says two of the detainees are threats to its national security, veiled language for ‘spies’, and in the one case I would say that has quite a high probability of being accurate. The third is accused of being a drug smuggler, and Canada does not appear to dispute the charge – just its penalty, which is death. Canada’s argument is that the two ‘diplomats’ are the soul of innocence and that China is just getting snotty because of Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou also probably contains some truth; the Chinese are understandably pissed off that Canada was such a pushover for the Americans. And there is an implicit message in China’s actions – you claim to be a country of laws, and that you had to act as you did because you have an extradition treaty with the United States. Well, we have laws, too. Don’t expect us to just drop ours, as you obviously will not relax yours.

      Not much left to talk about, is there?

      Like

  57. MOSCOW, 13 Jun – RIA Novosti. The United States Council of Geographic Names has decided to change the spelling rule for writing “Kiev”, as reported in Facebook by the press service Ukraine Embassy to th USA .

    The statement has been sent for consideration to the Ambassador, Valeriy Chaly. The Council unanimously decided to replace the international name of the Ukrainian capital from “Kiev” to “Kyiv”.

    Database changes are to be made from June 17.

    The Embassy said that the decision is an important one and that the spelling of the Ukrainian capital around the world, including on international flights and at foreign airports, shall be changed.

    source

    Why does this spelling change now have to be made worldwide? The United States Council of Geographic names is not a world authority.

    The Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA) is an association of state and federal government agencies representing the official and recognized geographic names authorities in the United States who work to promote national standardization of the names of geographic features for official use throughout the country.

    [my stress]

    “The country” above is the USA, not the whole damned world!


    One nation, one state language — Ukrainian!!!

    One nation?

    I shall henceforth refer to capital of Russia as Moskva.

    Like

    1. What a stunning victory! Now write it in Ukrainian characters. Worldwide. I dare you. And why stop with Kuh-yiv? Make the Americans change the names of all Ukrainian towns to whatever you think they should be. Put Irina Farion in charge of re-naming Ukrainian cities so they are spelled in a way to please the nationalists.

      For some reason, “Russia for Russians” arouses cries of ‘nationalism! the country is a bunch of skinhead hooligans!’. But “Ukraine for Ukrainians” just makes sense.

      Doesn’t matter, really. The country is headed for oblivion, embroidered shirts and all. And Washington is eager to go along because it thinks it is putting a thumb in Putin’s eye. Putin could not care less about squabbling in the mud over Ukrainian spelling. But if it makes you feel good, by all means get on with it. What the country really needs is trade, employment and stability. But inflaming nationalist passions is nearly as good. Sure it is.

      Like

    1. Why this never ending barrage of animosity and black propaganda against Russia, aka “The Evil Empire”?

      Is it because the beacon of freedom and democracy and all that is right in the world feel it is duty bound to protect the rest of the world from the wiles of those in the City of Satan, who are hell-bent on eroding and overthrowing the one, true, Western way of life?

      Or is it more simply because the USA knows full well that Russia (and China) is/are the only state(s) in the world that is/are capable of disregarding the decrees of the Hegemon?

      Like

      1. Don’t know about you but I would buy some of those embroidered shirts as they could be worth a fortune as collector’s items.

        Like

        1. Was meant as a reply to Mark’s comments on the renaming of Kiev. Agreed though that those shirts should only be worn at folk festivals involving alchohol.

          Like

    2. I suppose that means if you would know what a country is really like, ask its enemies. I wonder what China, Russia and Iran could teach us about the real United States?

      Like

  58. Pretty big news here – two Japanese tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf; possibly one by torpedo.

    https://www.rt.com/news/461758-zarif-tanker-attack-suspicious/

    One tanker was carrying 25,000 tons of methanol. This chemical is used in the processing of heavy crude oil, exactly what Venezuela exports. Just saying.

    I suppose that the above is just another of the myriad and creative forms of US diplomacy.

    Like

    1. Lots of other players may have been involved per online speculation including Iran sending a message indicating the consequences of a blockade on Iran. I doubt that argument. Crazy days ahead.

      Like

      1. Yes, I heard it on the radio whilst driving the little ‘un to school. To most people it would seem an odd coincidence that Washington forecasts, “The Iranians might do this”, and only days later they do it, knowing full well the USA’s penchant for false-flag justifications and its eagerness for another war in the Middle East. But not to the mainstream media, apparently, where Washington’s uncanny ability to forecast events in no way implies involvement.

        If I had to put my money anywhere, it’d be on Iranian opposition figures with the help of US ‘advisers’. As always, “Cui bono?” points in the direction of those liberal Iranians who would like an intervention by the Americans which would ‘free’ Iran. Having it occur in such circumstances that it sours ties between Japan and Iran just as they might have been improving is a twofer. In fact, it virtually shouts “American covert operation”.

        Like

    2. The attacks took place just after or while the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited Iran and met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Pretty likely these attacks are false flags to be blamed on Iran.

      Like

    3. After seeing this report at Off-Guardian.org on the attacks on the Japanese oil tankers, I started to smell something whiffy about the attacks: the photos put up, no information about the crews and where they are, the fact the the US Fifth Fleet is nearby – something about these attacks reminds me of the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks. Perhaps it’s the way the incident is being shaped and played up for propaganda purposes to demonise Iran and justify an invasion of the country.
      https://off-guardian.org/2019/06/13/discuss-tankers-attacked-in-gulf-of-oman/

      Like

      1. Curiously the US has video of the i-Ranian navy removing an ‘unexploded limpet mine from the ships but has no video of anyone placing the limpet mined, in one of the most heavily surveilled waterways in the world. Even more curiously is where the limpet mines were placed, like the earlier ‘attacks’, above the water line. It’s as if the attackers didn’t want to sink the ships. No.1 suspect? Greenpeace!

        Like

        1. It is not easy to place a limpet mine; it is heavy and you have to carry it from wherever to the site you wish to mine. Placing it above the waterline is indeed odd, because along with apparently only wanting to cause ‘show damage’ rather than sinking the vessel, placing it above the waterline carries the highest risk of detection and being caught.

          Like

  59. The Duran
    Published on 13 Jun 2019
    The Duran Quick Take: Episode 203.

    The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss a recent RAND Corporation research paper which delivers a detailed road map as to how the United States can destabilize Russia, and systematically destroy the Russian Federation by employing economic, social-ideological, geopolitical and military tactics.

    Read full RAND Corp document here:

    https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html

    Like

    1. Astoundingly arrogant, not to mention immature. If Russia produced a study on how to destroy America, there would be screams of rage at the unmitigated evil which must motivate a national effort to wreck the economy of another, and cause misery and social collapse for millions of people who were completely innocent. But only the Exceptional Nation can discuss it impassively, as if the study were nothing more than a coffee-table book. Because, you know, it is destined to rule and to triumph over all. So many parallels to Rome, yes, yes.

      Americans were blessed with a wonderful, rich and bountiful country. Instead of being content with it, the repellent US government has set its sights on world domination so as to draw upon global wealth to increase American personal wealth and influence. It really sees itself as sitting at the pinnacle of a global empire in which all other countries are either vassals or resources. And the American people, while you could not really call them complicit, are mostly sold on the notion that this is their birthright as Americans, and that anyone who tries to forestall its unfolding in this fashion is trying to upset the natural order of things. Americans cannot be content with simply having America – they have to own and control it all. Oddly enough, the very ambition which was attributed to the Communists.

      Like

    2. This is an excellent summary of the MIC (Military-Industrial-Complex) agenda.
      The message, as the 2 Alexes point out is: “Spend tons of $$$$ on more and increasingly exotic offensive weapons!”
      Oi…

      Like

    3. The evil genius should never, repeat, never outline their fiendish plan before implementation. Have they not watched a Geico commercial ? Incredible!

      Like

  60. BBC Newsnight
    Published on 12 Jun 2019
    A proposed extradition law has resulted in some of the largest protests seen in Hong Kong.
    Subscribe to our channel here: https://goo.gl/31Q53F

    The Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, tells Mark Urban that China is upholding the principle of “one country, two systems” and that the British government has “no right to interfere with citizens of Hong Kong.”

    Violent clashes have broken out in Hong Kong amid protests against a controversial extradition bill.

    Lawmakers have postponed the second reading of the bill, which would make it easier to send people to mainland China to stand trial.

    Our international editor Gabriel Gatehouse reports from Hong Kong.

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

    Like

    1. Here’s a helpful timeline of how the proposed extradition law between Hong Kong (on one side) and China, Taiwan and Macau (on the other) starting with the Valentine Day’s murder of a 20-year-old woman by her boyfriend while holidaying in Taiwan, the boyfriend’s admission of murder and his return to Hong Kong, and Taiwanese police being unable to question and charge him because … Hong Kong does not have an extradition agreement with Taiwan:
      https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kongs-extradition-bill-from-a-grisly-murder-to-mass-protests

      Like

      1. I should have said: Here’s a helpful timeline of how the proposed extradition law between Hong Kong (on one side) and China, Taiwan and Macau (on the other) developed and changed over time under both internal HK and external foreign pressure, starting etc etc.

        Like

        1. Taiwan has rejected the Extradition Law that Hong Kong is proposing, on the grounds it is “political”. The Taiwanese President has cited Hong Kong as an example of how “two-systems one country” won’t work for Taiwan.

          Like

          1. The United States considers Taiwan more or less an American fief in Asia, like Japan, and gets all huffy as soon as any policymaking appears to be going on without America at the table. Although China attempts to have reasonable relations with Taiwan, the USA is always in there with helpful “Whoa – you gonna let him say that about your mother?” instigation to keep the climate frosty.

            Like

          2. That’s because the extradition law covers all Chinese states and territories that Hong Kong currently doesn’t have an extradition agreement with. Taiwan would probably prefer a separate extradition agreement with HK. But I don’t see HK offering such an agreement.

            Like

        2. It looks like Hong Kong wanted to cooperate, but as soon as the Americans arrived they got everybody stirred up. As usual. No sense asking what business it is of Washington’s, of course, because EVERYTHING is Washington’s business. And fuck off, Pompeo; fuck off today with that ‘rule of law’ bullshit. As if the murderer being charged with money laundering after leaving his dead girlfriend stuffed in a suitcase was justice. It’s just because it’s CHINA, and China is Washington’s enemy, so what should be a straightforward discussion between the two countries instead has to involve the pestilential Americans and their interpretation of the rule of law.

          Like

      2. Heard on NPR that the new law was instituted to deal with a Taiwanese guy wanted for murder and had fled to Honk Koing. Not sure of PRC’s interest unless the victim was a PRC national. Despite my ignorance of the nuances of the matter, it would seem reasonable to me to have mutual extradition agreements between the three parties.

        Like

        1. The issue is that Hong Kong’s proposed extradition agreement covers any and ALL states and territories that it currently has no extradition agreement with – and that includes the PRC as well as Taiwan and Macau. The original proposed legislation seems to have been quite wide-ranging but amendments have since been added to it (as would be expected after a first reading and debate). It is due for a second reading and debate in the HK Legislative Council some time this month or next month before being approved.
          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-47810723

          WSWS.org have posted some articles on the extradition agreement issue and these posts have attracted some interesting comments, a couple of which mentioned that the student protesters were receiving cash payments to protest. I have seen a comment on a Facebook group site (21SilkRoad) that says protesters are being paid the equivalent of US$230 to protest.

          Latest news is that the proposed bill has been suspended for the time being.

          Like

          1. I suppose if Washington can teach us anything about projection, it is that when Washington is scornful about a particular practice – such as paying for the public perception of support – and unfailingly attributes it to Russia (as it does when it trots out that old “Where I goes to get paid for voting for Putin?” dodge every single election), it is because Washington considers it a useful tactic.

            It’s a pretty safe bet that if China or Russia wants to do anything and Washington can generate a crowd to protest against it, it will. In the case of Russia it already has its pet crowd of perennially-discontented liberals and idealistic 14-year-olds, and probably does not even have to pay them.

            Like

    1. Nope, that was the ‘other moslems’, the i-Ranians with Bill Clinton’s blessing. Now Serbia and i-Ran are very good friends again due to their Non-aligned status. The Wahhabis came after the war and sprinkl(ed) their money about, including the gigantic Al-Fahd(?) mosque monstrosity built in Sarajevo. I’m not saying Saudi and other money wasn’t involved, but it was i-Ranian mujahedeen fighting for the ArBiH.

      Like

      1. Duh! I should have checked. The Mujaheddin in Bosnia came from several Arab states. Still, the iRanian element is the one that the Repubs liked to beat the Dems with and I’ve heard from several different sources that Bosnia has become popular with those from the gulf for second (more?) homes.

        Like

        1. I was down on Iran in those days as well. I suspect Iran was promoted as the boogeyman as more convenient that naming our good friends like KSA.

          Like

  61. Ze is Poroshenko 2.0, only he’s confirmed Jewish and a liberast. He appointed Iuliia Mendel to be his spokersperson even though Ukrainian Jews make up ~1% of the population.

    The idea that he would get anywhere near the presidency in a country where the CIA/MI6 run amok and fund dozens of NGOs/media outlets, and bribe everyone who matters, always stuck me as far-fetched.

    Mendel is a Yiddish variant and affectionate form of the Hebrew name Menachem and means “comforter”.

    His decision infers a strong sense of ethnic identity. The PM is also Jewish, making Ukraine the only country outside of Israel where both the PM and the President are Jewish.

    This is another reason I have little to no faith in Ze. Nepotistic Jews like him are well-connected and know very well that his co-ethnics rule the roost in the FUKUS whereas in Russia their actions are restricted by the Kremlin.

    The “Anglo-Zionists”, a term that Saker uses a lot, may sound like the two groups share equal power, but the truth is that the Anglos play a subordinate role.

    The way Ukraine is morphing into another Jewish fiefdom — with the moral decay that it entails — is fascinating for my trained eyes. Besides the nascent and artificial propping up of the LGBT mania, I expect feminism of the toxic kind, brought to fruition by dialectical conflict, to start gaining strength in the coming years. Subjects that people just don’t talk about soon find their way from the top (the hostile elites) to the masses. The Atlanticist dialectical approach to feminism (much like other hot social buttons they push) goes like this: “men are oppressing women” —> “men are not oppressing women!” —> “fuck you, yes they are!” … and soon voting patterns (or blocks) based on false victimism start to emerge based on these artificialities. The Atlanticisits, who I consider the modern Comintern, prefer those groups ideologically aligned with the Frankfurt School.

    The treatment of Corbyn in the Guardian (among others) is perhaps the most egregious example of phony leftist publications toeing the Zionist — that is, Jewish nationalist — line. Nowadays leftists are supposed to promote feminism, LGBT mania, demographic replacement, the white privilege myth, and other Jewish-approved causes. But his opposition to nationalism also extends to Zionism. Like the respectable left in the US, Corbyn was supposed to maintain a double standard. He didn’t get the memo.

    Meanwhile, Ze is pressing Rada to confirm former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Vadym Prystaiko, as new foreign minister.

    Like

    1. I don’t know that Zelenskiy is pursuing a ‘Jewish agenda”, and I saw no sign of it when he was just a performer; he did do that skit in leather pants and high heels, but it was pretty funny and I wouldn’t say his public experiences with gender themes constituted a position on gay rights. Trudeau is obsessed with gay rights and human rights in general, to the extent that he outsources foreign policy to Chrystia Freeland, and I think we will notice pretty quickly if Zelenskiy starts acting too much like Trudeau.

      I would agree, though, that Zelenskiy shows increasing comfort with being western-advised and directed. Consequently, I don’t expect there will be any change in the enmity between Ukraine and Russia, although the nationalists seem to be quieter than they were under Poroshenko. Russia is certainly not going to give back Crimea and step aside while the eastern republics are forcibly re-integrated, and Zelenskiy claims he will accept nothing less.

      The curious part is, Putin already stipulated that Moscow would not object to Ukraine joining the European Union. Oh, it was a different world then, and Ukraine was not a violent enemy embroiled in a civil war, of course. This was before the west’s full-bore propaganda onslaught against Russia, when the possibility still existed that the EU and Eurasian Union could co-exist, trade and do business with one another, to mutual benefit and profit. That Portuguese prick Barosso shot that possibility dead, and now he has gone on to his earthly reward as non-executive Chairman of Goldman-Sachs International – another way of saying he has a job where he can do the crossword puzzle all day and still take home a paycheck that makes him wonder if he is dreaming. Who says crime doesn’t pay? People who are afraid to try crime; that’s who.

      Anyway, Putin was cautious, but his words were not ambiguous – if the people of Ukraine genuinely want to join the EU, Russia, I think, would welcome this. And look where we are now: thousands of people dead, millions displaced, the Ukrainian economy in the toilet and new sanctions flying around every day, disrupting global supply chains and shutting off markets forever. Europe keeps signing on to another extension of sanctions, and Russia could not care less. Anything it has not already started up a domestic producer for, it has sourced elsewhere, and those markets are gone – European farmers are hopeful that sanctions will be lifted, but it will not make any real difference now if they are. European fruit growers and produce farmers are going to have to get used to the idea that the USA has pissed in their well, and those markets are not coming back.

      Like

    2. I disagree. The Anglo rulers employ the Zionist tribe as needed. Both are equally evil but not equally influential.

      The new kid on the block is Asia; largely untainted by the Anglo world outside of Japan. The Anglos are a wily bunch and are plotting how to spread their cancer to Asia now that they have largely destroyed their current hosts. However, as I said before, China may have figured out how to tame money so the Anglos will have a tough time ahead. Moreover, Russia is finding new strength in its old values.

      Like

      1. Why “Anglo rulers”?

        In 2016, 44 million US citizens were recorded as being German Americans. Deutschamerikaner are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by the US Census Bureau in its American Community Survey.

        The mass post-US Civil War migration from Europe displaced the “Anglos” in the USA. In fact, as early as the 1840s there was a growing reaction in the USA against the immigration of “undesirables” into the USA, namely of “Dagos”, “Spics”, “Paddies” etc, and most especially against those who were Papists: I am speaking of the reaction of the “Know Nothings“:


        An 1854 “Know Nothing” image of a “pure” Anglo whose race was being endangered by the immigration into the USA of “lesser races”.

        Yet the so-called ruling elite in the USA are still labelled as “Anglos”.

        Oi vey!

        Or should that be “Madre de Dios”?

        Or “Gott im Himmel”?

        Waes hael!

        Like

        1. Terminology:
          When it comes to our Reptilian Overlords, some people use the term “Atlanticists”.
          Jew-haters like Saker and AMB/ThatJ use “Anglo-Zionist” to emphasize Israeli role in this combination (but actually include all Jews in this, not just the 2%).

          I myself prefer to use the term “Westie”, it is meant to encompass all of “Western” type imperialist forces and various fauna of Reptilian Overlords without being ethnically or racially specific,

          Like

        2. I use “Anglo” out of habit to represent the rulers of the British Empire. There is no intention to lump together all citizens of the UK as part of that cabal just as when I bash American leadership I do not mean to impley that the majority of Americans are part of that cabal as well. No offense intended to any degree.

          Like

        3. That most white Americans have German, Scandinavian, Polish or other continental European ancestry is neither here nor there. Trump as we know is second-generation German-American on his father’s side and Mike Pompeo is Italian-American. The fact is that over the past 75 years at least nearly all Americans whose families have lived in the country for two, maybe three generations share in a common culture in which English is the dominant language and the values and beliefs of British elites have been promoted over the values and beliefs that the original migrants brought with them. In this respect, Hollywood film culture , the commercial music industry and the commercial news media have been powerful channels to spread elite ideas and values. In this respect, Patient Observer is right to speak of “Anglo rulers”.

          Like

          1. On his mother’s side DJT is “Taliban Presbyterian” ( (c) moi).

            I’ve been in the “village” the MOPOTUS ( (c) moi) grew up in. The notion that the values imparted to the children of such a woman can be discounted seems to me fanciful.

            Like

          2. British does not mean “English”, least of all in the national meaning of the word.

            Since the Act of Union, British governments have passed off the notion that “British” is a nationality.

            I am English and a British citizen. I cannot say that in England: in England, “English” is not a nationality.

            Like

  62. SOAS University of London
    Published on 21 Jan 2019

    This seminar titled “The Morals of the Market: Human Rights and the Rise of Neoliberalism” was given by Dr Jessica Whyte (University of Western Sydney) at the Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London on 20 November 2018

    Like

  63. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/12/mali-j12.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sharpspring&sslid=MzM0MzIyNzE2NTUyBgA&sseid=M7SwtDA0MLYwNAQA&jobid=e12274cb-2208-4d70-b35e-ae32fe203a61

    “The origins of the conflict must be sought most immediately in the 2011 NATO war in Libya, which, with the support of right-wing fundamentalist Islamist proxy forces, destroyed the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The outcome of this war was the complete destruction of Libyan society. The country is now run by rival militia groups tied to the imperialist powers, who have kept the country in a state of civil war for nearly a decade since the NATO intervention.

    Following the destruction of the Gaddafi regime, thousands of fighters poured out of Libya and across the Sahara, traveling to the Sahel region, including Mali. Various rival militias declared an independent or Islamic state in northern Mali.

    Paris reacted in 2013 by launching a new war to occupy its former colony, one of the poorest countries in the world, to save the Bamako regime and destroy the northern Mali militias. For six years now, Paris has sunk deeper into a quagmire in Mali. President Emmanuel Macron has continued the war, codenamed Operation Barkhane, initiated by Socialist Party (PS) President François Hollande, involving an occupation force of 4,500 French troops and troops from five former French colonies in the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

    As it rapidly moves to re-militarize its foreign policy, Berlin also approved military operations in support of the French only two months after the initial French invasion. Last month, the German parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend the military occupation of the country with 1,100 soldiers until 2020, at a yearly cost of 400 million euros.

    These operations have nothing to do with protecting the local population from Islamist militias, which were armed and funded by US and European intelligence agencies in Libya. They are aimed at propping up the puppet government in Bamako, suppressing the resistance of the impoverished rural population and workers to the government, and maintaining their control over the resource-rich region.

    The imperialist intervention in Mali led directly to the growth of ethnic tensions between the predominantly Muslim Fulani community and the Dogons. There are widespread suspicions of state involvement in the ethnic conflicts that are now erupting. The Malian government has utilized the Dogon militia in the French-led war against Islamist militias, which have recruited disproportionately among the Fulani.”

    Sounds as if what’s needed is a galvanizing 21st Century ‘Mahdi’ around whom black Africans could unify to bring about a replay of Dien Bien Phu for the French in Africa.
    The victory celebration festivities could conclude with a ‘Gordon in Khartoum’ reenactment…using one of the (volunteer) captured French command officers as the General.

    Like

    1. Never heard of the conflict before now. Likewise I did not know those tiny. poor countries were French colonies.

      What happened in Libya turned me against the west more than any other single incident; that truly was the crime of the century. It is doubly galling that the western ‘democracies’ trumpeted the intervention as a blow for freedom, and destroyed any vestige of freedom, security and prosperity the population had. It went overnight from the most progressive society in Africa to a backward, impoverished theocracy. Revolting.

      Like

      1. “What happened in Libya turned me against the west more than any other single incident; that truly was the crime of the century. ”

        Yes… As a result of the collapse of Libya, Subsaharan blacks are being sold as slaves by Libyan Arabs:

        Like

        1. It’s true. Gaddafi was trying to create an integrated society and even continent, in which Arabs and sub-Saharans could prosper together and finally be masters of their own destiny.
          Gaddafi’s theory was that, once Sub-Saharans had access to money and credit, then they could build successful economies and become educated people.

          This was one (of several) reasons that the Reptilian Overlords decided to overthrow him.
          The rule is that sub-Saharan Africans must never be allowed to succeed!

          Like

        1. Obviously I did not know that, either. I have heard Chad described as one of the world’s poorest countries, and Mali also had only four letters, so I assumed it was poor as well. Really, I don’t know much about that area of the world at all. My brain is only so big, and when I try to stuff too much into it, other stuff I probably needed to remember falls out the other side.

          Like

          1. How I laughed at the comment on the countries with four letters in their name. It reminded me of an observation in a Lawrence Block novel about unusual murder weapons like the epee or the kris.

            Like

            1. Well, I didn’t mean to make light of it, because obviously I did not know. But I’m used to hearing how poor Chad is, hearing it lumped in with Burkina Faso as countries you can’t imagine why anyone lives there, and I had no idea Mali was once wealthy. During the age when one mostly took what one wanted, I’d point out. Although I suppose for the USA, it’s those days still.

              Like

    1. The Americans alone are buying hundreds, maybe thousands of those flying pigs, and the nation seems heavily vested in a policy of having one jack-of-all-trades platform replace a diverse mix of legacy classes. The F35 replaces ground attack, air superiority and SAM suppression aircraft models, and they’re all going to rely on the same or similar electronics suites. If a hostile nation can jam one, it can jam them all, but America is blind to all other considerations when the possibility of being responsible for generating parts and maintenance for the entire free world’s fighter fleet is so close. Once everyone is using the F35, the USA can apply its beloved ‘leverage’ to any country which is not the soul of cooperation. As well, as one of the sites mentioned, foreign users of the F35 must send certain data captured by the aircraft during its mission back to the United States. Uncle Sam will be in the middle of the web, right where he loves to be.

      The USA did the same thing in the navy, where it phased out four or five warship classes and replaced them all with the ARLEIGH BURKE Class. That was not as immediately damaging as this will be, because the ships replaced were all frigates and destroyers similar in size and capability to the ARLEIGH BURKE. But they all use more or less the same radars and fire-control equipment, which cuts way down on the variety of electronic countermeasures employed to blind their sensors and introduce errors.

      As it is now, the F35 is envisioned as being a ground-attack aircraft in the second wave, when the air-superiority fighters have driven the enemy fighters from the skies so it is safe for the ground-attack birds to go in. But at some point the air-superiority fighters will be F35’s as well. And the F35 is an air-superiority fighter like a sardine is a breath freshener. Not so much.

      Like

      1. Of all of the ridiculous expectations for the F-35, using it for ground attack takes the cake. It is less maneuverable than a brick in free fall, can not carry external weapons without losing stealth, has limited loitering time, is super expensive to fly, requires extremely high levels of training to to fly and maintain and is just generally unsuited for purpose.

        Your mention that forcing our allies to put all of their eggs in the F-35 basket may be the real reason for its existence. It gives the US a kill switch on our allies should the need ever arise.

        Like

    1. Here is a different list that shows Russia at 90 billion USD net exports and ranked #6.

      But what is the deal with Ireland? Are those crazy high numbers related to its status as a preferred tax haven for corporations?

      Like

      1. Jameson’s Whiskey exports, perhaps?

        Nah!

        See Irish Times:

        Exports jump to a record high of €140bn for 2018
        Figures show imports also hit a new high, increasing by 14% or €10bn to €90.2bn
        Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 11:26

        According to the data, a third of all exports recorded in 2018 were of medical and pharmaceutical goods. Exports of these good totalled €46.3 billion, up 31 per cent or €10.9 billion on the prior year.

        See also Irish Central Statistics Office

        Like

          1. During the so-called Celtic Tiger years of 30-odd years ago (or more), for the first time since the massive depopulation of Ireland since the end of the 18th century, the Irish population started to grow again: they were staying at home.

            Not now though, It seems. Three old pals of mine, three first generation Irish brothers, all born in my old neck of the woods, went off to live in Ireland in the early 20s in the mid-70s. Only one remains there now. The other two didn’t come back to Merry England, though: they settled in Australia.

            Like

      2. Top ten exports of Ireland in 2018:

        Pharmaceuticals: US$53.3 billion (32.3% of total exports)
        Organic chemicals: $32.9 billion (19.9%)
        Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $15.3 billion (9.3%)
        Perfumes, cosmetics: $9.1 billion (5.5%)
        Machinery including computers: $8.9 billion (5.4%)
        Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.7 billion (5.3%)
        Aircraft, spacecraft: $5.6 billion (3.4%)
        Other chemical goods: $4.2 billion (2.6%)
        Meat: $3.7 billion (2.2%)
        Dairy, eggs, honey: $3 billion (1.8%)

        http://www.worldstopexports.com/irelands-top-10-exports/

        I would say that Patient Observer will be right with regard to some of these categories: the firms that own the Irish factories that produced the products may well have relocated to the Emerald Isle precisely to take advantage of a lower taxation regime, subsidies and various other incentives offered by the Irish government. An educated workforce that speaks English well and with technical knowledge and skills would be another advantage. Also there’d be plenty of rivers and lakes for some industries where manufacturing requires large amounts of water as a catalyst for chemical reactions perhaps, or for cleaning or sterilising products before they leave the factory floor.

        Like

      3. Last year the Russian trade surplus was $212 billion…
        https://www.intellinews.com/russia-s-goods-trade-surplus-up-20-in-2018-to-212bn-157253/
        Any stats on Russia are as likely as not to be out of date- you still see people claim that Russia’s homicide rate is 6 times that of the US, whereas in 2018, according to Rosstat, there were 7,067 murders and the homicide rate in Russia fell below the United States for the first time in recent history falling to 4.9 per 100,000 compared to the US rate of 5.3 per 100,000 in 2017. This was a 25% decline from the 2017 rate of 6.1 per 100,000. I would like to know what the current incarceration rate is- it seems to be heading South too:
        https://www.rt.com/russia/446488-russia-prisoners-record-low/

        Like

        1. Good news indeed, and hardly characteristic of an economy in tatters. In fact, a sidebar to that piece points out that the Russian Foreign Exchange/gold reserves topped $500 Billion for the first time in 5 years.

          https://www.intellinews.com/russia-s-fx-gold-reserves-tops-500bn-for-the-first-time-in-five-years-162812/?source=russia

          Must be dreadfully frustrating for Washington, trying so hard to wreck the country and humble its people until they beg for mercy, to see it succeed despite their best efforts. It would be nice to see the living standard come back up, but as far as the currency goes, I suspect a low ruble suits Russia for now.

          Like

        2. I’m glad you gave current figures. That $90 billion figure I mentioned seemed way low. Russia’s rapid improvement in so many metrics is often obscured by old data floating around the internet. Regarding incarceration, we had a discussion on those numbers a while back. IIRC, Russia now has a rate substantially lower than the US and is continuing to fall. I presume that this is due to less crime and reforms in the legal system.

          Like

  64. The writers of my unsolicited weekly Moscow Times bulletin are eagerly smacking their lips in anticipation yet again for their long hoped for popular uprising against the tyrant:

    A Journalist’s Arrest Shows the Cracks in Putin’s Regime
    The shock arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov — and his even more unexpected release — is revealing the unpredictability of late Putinism.

    We speak with Alexei Kovalev, Ivan’s editor, about what it took to get him free, and with Daily Beast reporter Anna Nemtsova about how the authorities tried to manage the outcry.

    Journalist freed after outcry, hundreds detained at protest
    Russia’s Interior Ministry dropped drug trafficking charges against Meduza investigative journalist Ivan Golunov after an unprecedented public backlash.

    Evgeny Feldman / Meduza
    — Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev suspended the police officers involved in Golunov’s arrest and President Vladimir Putin sacked two high-ranking police generals.

    — The next day, police detained more than 500 people at an unauthorized rally in support of Golunov in Moscow.

    Should you wish, you can read the arsewipe article here

    So the cops planted narcotics on someone they don’t like?

    Outstanding pedigree has the journalist whom they tried to set up, not that I condone the cops’ action — after all, they were only obeying Putin’s orders, weren’t they?

    Golunov has scribbled for Vedomosti, Forbes, RBK, Slon Magazine and on the TV channel Dozhd. At present, Golunov is a “special correspondent” for the online publication Meduza.

    Never happens in London, does that!

    I mean the Met planting dope on folk.

    By the way, it is my considered opinion that the vast majority of Russian citizens don’t give a flying fuck for Vedomosti, Forbes, RBK, Slon Magazine and on the TV channel Dozhd, nor do they give a fig for the likes of Golunov.

    The Wiki article on Golunov is now being fed by contributions made by kreakli:

    “Officers in riot gear clashed with protesters and hundreds of peoples ….”

    The expression “hundreds of peoples” is a dead give away for a native Russian speaker’s English.

    Like

    1. Only in that dreamworld would reversing the arrest and releasing the journalist, and dealing sternly with the police be a sign of weakness and imminent collapse. This is why the Russian regime-changers are consistently disappointed – their expectations are ridiculously unrealistic.

      Like

  65. Turns out HBO’s Chernobyl was full of shit. Only thing missing was White Helmets saving the victims of Soviet Russia aggression:

    Like

    1. My default position on anything that is scientific and produced for drama is BS! When I saw the trailer in standard Soviet Grey my impressions didn’t get any better. As the guy said in the video, the word ‘nuclear’ immediately makes most people a bit funny in the head (i.e. cluelessly terrified).

      Next time I run in to a chugger for Greenpeace or whatever, I’ll ask them what they think about nuclear power. My standard reply (sic safety of airplanes etc.) is that even staying in bed has its own risks and so does staying in a cave and refusing to use fire.. so the benefits….

      Like

      1. Nuclear energy is definitely the way to go, I agree.
        However, we still need to figure out a way to safely dispose of the waste.
        I’m a bit OCD about waste, and hate the idea of it piling up somewhere.

        My big idea was to put the waste into disposable rockets and shoot them into the sun.
        However, a friend of mine said that was a bad idea, because eventually the Earth would lose too much mass, after such repeated purges of matter.

        My answer to that is to fill the matter back in with space rocks, or something… What do you think?

        Like

        1. Every day, Earth is bombarded with more than 100 tons of dust and sand-sized particles.

          https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/asteroids/overview/fastfacts.html

          Earth is GAINING weight every day! Firing nuclear waste into the sun should partially address this concern.

          But seriously folks – many lower cost solutions are already at hand. Russia’s fast neutron reactors burn up waste while producing power. Eventually, fusion will come on line ushering in a new era of pollution-free abundance or the end of civilization if in the form of H-Bombs.

          Like

        2. “My answer to that is to fill the matter back in with space rocks”

          Well, Earth is a space rock.

          Could the radioactive material be pumped into the 3rd Rock from the Sun?

          Mix it with all that hot magma? (Not at hot spots where there is a risk of volcanic eruptions).

          Like

          1. I know that Earth is a space rock- duh! I just meant, bringing more rocks from the moon or something to make up for the lost mass. But Patient Observer addressed that concern by pointing out that Earth’s mass is always increasing anyhow.
            So, the real danger is that the Earth will get too big for its britches and lurch out of orbit?

            Like

                1. Fat is combustible so I guess solar flares are possible. Or, the fat mass could be too much and smother the sun. That would take care of global warming though.

                  Like

          2. Yup, encased in lava sounds good to me.

            Meanwhile I came across this ClubOrlov post via a comment to a piece in The Duran.

            Nuclear Meltdown at HBO
            https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2019/06/nuclear-meltdown-at-hbo.html

            There is no particular reason why you should be aware of this, but HBO, in collaboration with British Sky, has created a miniseries about the Chernobyl disaster. I have not watched it, but I have read multiple analyses and discussions of it by those who have, and who can also claim the Chernobyl disaster as their particular area of expertise. Based on their collective verdict, I will not watch it, because it is basically shit, and I have much better things to do with my time. So do you. The miniseries isn’t interesting; what is interesting is why and how it was made. Armed with this understanding, we will know what to look out for….
            ####

            Rest a the link.

            Like

            1. Shit masquerading as a historically accurate drama aimed at Russia/Soviet Union and nuclear power. Lots of effusive praise about how it got the trivia right such as how cars and appliances looked but got the science wrong and minimized the human courage. What else is new?

              Like

          3. I’ve wondered that myself. Apparently depositing waste at subduction zones is banned.

            But what about those rivers of flowing lava in Hawaii?

            Oh, and your quip about the McDonald poisoning was appreciated.

            Like

            1. Plus:

              Why is the police vehicle tagged for Rural Crime? Did the poisoning of the domestic animals require the attendance of a special unit?

              Like

        3. Surely something useful can be made of it. If it is still putting out radiation that will last for years, then it has not exhausted its capability to generate power. We simply have to figure out how to use it safely until it has completely decayed, and is harmless.

          Like

          1. Dmitry Orlov at the usual site, states either in his latest article (on Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima) or the Comments thereon, that Rosatom has managed to elaborate a method to exhaust most radioactivity from fuel.

            Like

    1. From a comment to the above wsws link:

      “One thing is certain. Nothing coming out of the mouth of Pompeo or anyone else in the US government—its Republican and Democratic representatives alike—or from its propaganda servants in the corporate media regarding the crisis in the Persian Gulf can be believed. The pretexts for war this time around will prove as fabricated as Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” or the lies about a US warship being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin that were used to justify the US war that killed over three-and-a-half million people in Indochina”

      Absolutely NOTHING they assert is to be believed. Both their lips and bowels issue nothing but shit.

      Like

      1. Yup…Exactly what I forecast on this Blog:

        “June 14 2019, 1:02 p.m.
        AS THE TRUMP administration ratchets up tensions with Iran, escalating fears that the United States is looking for a possible path to another war in the Middle East, several Democratic presidential contenders are standing firm in their rejection of the White House’s attempts to create a legal rationale for war.
        ****They were responding to comments Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made in a private meeting that suggested that the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, passed by Congress three days after 9/11 could provide a legal basis for a war with Iran. ***”

        https://theintercept.com/2019/06/14/mike-pompeo-iran-war-authorization/

        Like

        1. Excellent comment with link posted to above intercept article:

          “photosymbiosis
          1 hour ago
          Why no mention of Joe Biden? Is it because he’s obviously just as rabid of a war pig as the likes of Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Michele Flournoy, John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo?

          Here’s the corporate Democrat view on war, in this excellent little article from some random site recently:
          https://portside.org/2019-04-04/heres-how-2020-candidates-stack-war-and-peace
          Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war and vague promises for a new direction were enough to win him the presidency and the Nobel Peace Prize, but not to bring us peace. In the end, he spent more on the military than Bush and dropped more bombs on more countries, including a tenfold increase in CIA drone strikes. Obama’s main innovation was a doctrine of covert and proxy wars that reduced U.S. casualties and muted domestic opposition to war but brought new violence and chaos to Libya, Syria and Yemen. Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan, the fabled “graveyard of empires,” turned that war into the longest U.S. war since the U.S. conquest of Native America (1783–1924).
          The take on Trump is equally enlightening:
          Trump’s election was also boosted by false promises of peace, with recent war veterans delivering critical votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. But Trump quickly surrounded himself with generals and neocons; escalated the wars in Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan; and fully backed the Saudi-led war in Yemen. His hawkish advisers have so far ensured that any U.S. steps toward peace in Syria, Afghanistan or Korea remain symbolic, while U.S. efforts to destabilize Iran and Venezuela threaten the world with new wars.
          As far as the effort to smear Tulsi Gabbard because she “supports the global war on terror” is par for the Intercept’s repeated anti-Gabbard hatchet jobs; an honest reporter would have noted she recently re-introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” which is a pretty good first step in waging a global war on terror, wouldn’t you agree?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Arming_Terrorists_Act
          The Stop Arming Terrorists Act is a proposed Act of Congress that was originally sponsored by United States Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district Tulsi Gabbard and United States Senator for Kentucky Rand Paul in early 2017 to prohibit the use of United States Government funds to provide assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to countries supporting those organizations, and for other purposes.[1] As November 2017, only 14[1] other lawmakers out of 435 United States House of Representatives have co-sponsored Gabbard’s House bill.”

          Like

        2. My goodness! Al Qaeda is turning out to be just about the most useful group ever. The US only needs to say this country or that country ‘has a relationship with al Qaeda’, and presto! the USA is allowed to go to war with that country with no further discussion.

          Mike Pompeo has helped to crystalize for me the notion that the world would be better off without the United States. I mean, if it was just gone. For so long as it exists, it will be a danger to peace-loving people.

          Like

  66. The horror! The horror!

    Just another day in Mordor as the “Guardian” ( it isn’t the paper I used to read through when doing my paper round back in the day):

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/14/like-a-horror-film-vast-swarms-of-flies-plague-russian-villages

    Mrs Cortes worked for a while in a hotel in the Scottish Highlands and has photos of the window ledges four inches deep in the corpses of midges seeking blood – and of poor inexperienced hikers arriving weeping after being eaten alive by the midges for hours. I’m sure anywhere with warm damp conditions will have occasional if not permanent bug infestation like the newspaper story.

    Like

      1. Bog myrtle is the answer to midges. That or the mud pack and woad of ye olde Britons.

        PS the term of art hereabouts is “whataboutery.”

        PPS Midges are much more annoying and insidious than mere flies – almost invisible but attracted to mammalian blood at huge distance in the correct weather: little wind, warm and damp.

        Like

        1. In this they are related to the much-feared blackflies of the Canadian maritime provinces. A type of midge, they are small enough to go through a window screen like buckshot, are voracious feeders and do not make any noise as mosquitoes do. Consequently they are often able to feed on you undisturbed as you sleep, and you are a mess of itchy bites the next day while the bloated little bastards fly unsteadily off, unpunished.

          Like

    1. Russia does have mosquitoes like fighter planes, though – great leathery beasts that will carry you off if you are not careful. I remember we stopped near a monument outside Arseniev on our way home to Dalnegorsk on a visit to Russia some years ago, because the monument consisted of the vertical tail stabilizer of a Russian bomber which I thought might have been a Tupolev TU-22, based only on an estimate of its size. I wanted to read the plaque which accompanied the monument, and learned that it commemorated the remnants of the bomber crew which flew it into the ground so that it would not hit the city; it had been disabled somehow, and most of the crew was instructed to bail out, but the pilots flew it to its final destination.

      I also had to take a leak, and since it would have been unseemly to do it on the grounds of the monument, I took a few steps into the bushes. Immediately there arose such a flock of grey whining mosquitoes the size of pigeons that I could barely finish my business before fleeing with waving arms for the car. I’m sure one or two followed me inside; there couldn’t have been that many unwary travelers passing through, and their hunger made them cast caution to the winds.

      I customarily visited in the early summer – during the years we were battling with the Canadian immigration authorities – and we always stayed in an apartment in Vladivostok, using that as our base and making short trips from there, and since it was usually hot we left the balcony windows open at night. And at least one mosquito would always get in, and commence that murderous whine as soon as the lights were out. We were usually at least 9 floors up and often higher – what kind of insect is foraging for food at that altitude? One in league with Satan, if you ask me.

      Like

      1. I’d be curious to know if a longstanding Russian tradition to stop Russian mosquitoes from completely draining you of blood and leaving a withered husk behind … is to eat loads of … (drum roll) … DILL!

        Like

        1. Ha, ha! Not that I’m aware of, although it is great for repelling Guardian columnists. I am not aware of any natural remedies that keep mosquitoes away. I have heard that you can rub a good scotch on your skin and then sprinkle it lightly with sand. The mosquitoes land, get a load of the scotch, become drunk and start throwing rocks at one another.

          Like

          1. Those Russian mosquitoes are the bane of my life during their season here. As I have written before, they seem to have a preference for my blood when given a choice. However, this summer there seem to be noticeably fewer of them – at my country estate, where I am now living, at any rate.

            Guardian hacks! Get over here! There’s some good copy for you! You can suggest that there is a link between the Russian mozzie population decline and Chernobyl or whatever.

            Like

            1. I’ve heard of the Avon product’s efficacy also but also the bog myrtle oil is meant to be excellent. And there are theories that taking Vitamin B12 for a week prior to entering mosquito territory keeps the blighters away. Having a natural blonde around worked for me- Mrs C invariably ended up like an extra in a Black Death film with huge inflamed bite marks (from the mini-Stukas) whilst I was relatively unscathed.

              Here’s a time honoured Russian method:

              The comments include the suggestion that making a 2% solution of formic acid/water might be simpler.

              Like

          2. There is an American skin product called “Skin So soft” made by Avon. It is a moisturizing lotion which is said to, serendipitously, keep mosquitos away as well.
            Don’t know if that’s true, just throwin’ it out there…

            Like

            1. Could be; I always heard it was a good product for bathing your dog, because it killed fleas. Wow – an insecticide that softens your skin and smells nice! How is that not a winner?

              Like