Gaslighting the World; America in the Hurricane’s Eye.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”

Young traveler
The path you seek is in the heart you deny;
Go look there
You might be surprised at the treasure you find.
I remember being your age and completely blind;
Your compass is broken and it points to the sky
You’re always gonna wake in the hurricane’s eye

Jesse Roper, from “The Hurricane’s Eye”

Before we get started, a shout-out to local boy Jesse Roper for kicking things off; although he’s from just down the road, not 20 minutes drive from here, I have never seen him perform live. But that’s a deficit I plan to rectify.

I figured that since ‘gaslighting’ is a relatively new term, and although I already had a general idea what it meant from context,  it would be best to look it up. I was surprised to learn the concept of ‘gaslighting‘ has been around since 1938.

“a form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s belief.”

In America’s case, gaslighting – like charity – begins at home, and the full force of US government efforts to convince the skeptical that America is more powerful and influential than ever, is still kicking ass and taking names, is felt by Americans.

Don’t be deceived by the headline in the referenced piece; “Adapting to American Decline”.  You might get the impression that it is written from the standpoint of humility; that the author, recognizing America’s deteriorating standing in the world, seeks accommodation with it and is ready to listen to the advice of nations that were relatively far down the road of civilization when there was nothing much in America but beavers, trees and Indians. Not a bit of it.

Instead, the author refers to America’s allies as ‘adolescents’ only a couple of paragraphs after offering – reasonably – that treating allies like reckless teenagers is not the way to hold on to global leadership. Here’s the latter;

“Rather than treating allies like reckless teenagers who can’t be trusted without Uncle Sam’s constant supervision, or feckless weaklings that will jump at the chance to capitulate to rapacious neighbors, Washington should empower mature, like-minded states to deal with local challenges before they become regional or global crises.”

Washington should empower them, please note; there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell they could do it without assistance, of course. Nobody in the world could get off their dead ass without American show-how.

Here’s the former;

“Given their own domestic spending priorities and continued uncertainty about whether the United States will recommit to the old model, most American allies are likely to take a wait-and-see attitude. A gentle nudge might be needed to move them from comfortable adolescence to empowered adulthood.”

There’s that I’m-the-grownup-here tone again – America should provide the ‘gentle nudge’ required to turn global adolescents into functioning adults, although naturally they can never hope to have Washington’s maturity and good judgment. Tell me; what’s the difference between teenagers and adolescents? Well, apparently one label is insulting and patronizing and unlikely to win you much cooperation if used, while the other is just a reality that everyone should accept – the United States is an adult, and its allies lack its depth of experience and wisdom.

If you are not an American, that sort of talk might make you want to say something very rude. It certainly did me. In fact, people passing in the street inquired who was screaming, “Go fuck yourself!!” out the window, accompanied by the sounds of tearing clothing and smashing crockery. But let’s take a deep breath, and take a look at it.  Donald Trump, variously referred to as “That #@&%ing Trump”, “Tangerine Jesus”, and “The Talking Yam”, was elected to his country’s highest office on a promise to Make America Great Again, a slogan now so recognizable it is employed using only its initials, MAGA. His contract is coming up for renewal – how has he done so far?

The author – Christopher Preble of the Cato Institute, one of the many think tanks sprinkled about America mostly to give bitter conservative introvert bigheads a job (the baby always needs new shoes) and to imbue Americans with an abiding sense of their own humble greatness – is quite candid that the USA’s share of global output was around 50% at the end of World War II. It had shrunk to less than half that by 1985, is about 15% today and is projected to be around 13% by 2023. At the same time, the USA’s defense budget has averaged $561 Billion annually since 2001, and the Trump administration intends to increase that to $757 Billion a year by 2023. So by that magic year, the USA’s share of global output will be a third what it was at the end of the Second World War, while its defense spending will rise from around 5% of GDP at that time to more than twice that at around 14%. The US national debt has ballooned to $22 Trillion and climbing, and the largely-meaningless ‘debt ceiling’ has just been raised again. As the author of that piece points out, if spending cannot be controlled, no amount of economic growth can reduce the debt.

Is America great again? Depends what you mean by ‘great’. If you mean “a great big financial liability which realizes much of its spending money from asset-stripping and dedicates it to making the top 1% of Americans ever-more-wealthy”, then yes. It’s so great you can hardly believe it. Some demographics have improved – unemployment is down to its lowest level since the beginning of the millennium. Advances have been made in prison reform, and union representation in countries outside the USA (this means Mexico). Donald Trump promised to donate his salary, and he has done that, to a variety of causes. But, as the writer of that reference opines, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. Hugo Chavez reduced the poverty rate in his country by 20% in a single year, the last full year he was president of Venezuela. That was pretty great, but it didn’t even make the papers in Exceptional America, instead relegated to the navel-gazing records of the World Bank. Better not look for American Greatness in that sphere – while the American poverty rate declined for three straight years between 2014 and 2017 (as you’re aware, statistics lag, often until anything scary in them can be minimized or pass without notice), but at a total rate of 2.4%. Which is, when taken year-by-year, not statistically significant.

Let’s get back to the Times piece for a minute.

“The proliferation of various technologies — from crude explosives to advanced robotics — has made it easier for even relatively small and weak countries and nonstate actors to challenge the big and powerful United States. These days any truly determined country, even a very poor one like North Korea, can develop nuclear weapons to deter attacks.”

Image result for John Bolton memeI should point out here that ‘challenge’ as the writer uses it apparently means ‘fend off a busybody country determined to reshape its political landscape to one more to its own liking, often with implicit commercial advantages for America that make it quite excited about the changes.’ Neoconservative freakshow John Bolton was quite upfront that the United States would like very much for its energy companies to take over production of Venezuelan oil, and what a banquet it would be for American and international investors. Let’s keep in mind also that the American idea of a democratic transfer of power these days is to call up the leader and order him to step down or else, and select his replacement. Ol’ John had that covered, too – the situation in Venezuela was so urgent that these radical steps just had to be done…to protect the people.

Do you think the Venezuelan government wishes it had nuclear weapons now? I think it might. Would it be fair to say the USA’s blundering social engineering and self-interested political maneuvering are fostering a desire in non-aligned nations for a nuclear deterrent? I think it might.

Difficult as it is to imagine, the solution proposed by Mr. Preble is that if you want American global leadership – and you do, the very notion that you don’t is too ridiculous to contemplate – then…you’ll have to help pay for it.

Let’s take a look, for a second, on how the United States is positioned to lead the world. Have you ever seen that great rant Jeff Daniels does in response to the question, “Why is America the Greatest Country in the World“? He kicks off his statistics section with, “We’re seventh in literacy…”. Ha, ha; if only; you can tell that’s just Hollywood. According to the World Atlas, the United States of America is 125th in literacy, at 86%, behind countries like Botswana, Libya, Myanmar, Panama and Trinidad. Far, far behind the Russian Federation, at a statistical 100%, in 21st place. In the 2013 OECD rankings in Reading, Science and Mathematics, the United States placed below the OECD average in every category. China, target of American sneers for its alleged human-rights abuses, predatory business practices and disrespect for the rule of law, placed first in every category. I doubt there has been an epidemic of stupidity there since. The USA’s funding for The Arts has remained static at $148 million for some time; but it spent over $245 billion – with a ‘b’ – bailing out banks and financial institutions. In a 2016 ranking of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates, the USA was neck-and-neck with the Russian Federation (despite having more than twice the population) and so far behind China that its taillights were just twinkles in its imagination. Yet in the average American mind, they are still mostly bicycle-riding coolies in conical straw hats. Global leader? In anything? Please.

According to the Legatum Institute, an independent educational-charity think tank based in England, the USA ranked 11th in countries with the best government. Mind you, that was in 2017, before The Trumpkin’s social skilz had time to be truly felt. World governments were assessed with emphasis on the quality of governance – state of the public health-care system, educational programs, attention to levels of air and water pollution, freedom of speech, responsible exercise of self-defense, priority given to innovation, and economic stability. The category that torpedoed American chances – responsible exercise of self-defense – sort of jumps out at you there: you would be hard-pressed to name a war in the last 40 years that the United States has not either led or has been an enthusiastic participant. In this century alone, the United States has been involved in war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northwest Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Uganda, Syria and Yemen, where a US naval blockade in support of Saudi efforts to prevent arms from Iran from reaching Houthi rebels conveniently adds to Yemeni misery by interdicting shipping. During the Iran-Iraq war, the USA sold weapons to both sides. In Libya, the US-led coalition functioned as the de facto rebel air force, launching air strikes on the directions of flip-flop tribesmen on the ground. That culminated in the grisly murder of Gaddafi, and hasta-la-vista to the most progressive and secular country in Africa, in favour of fundamentalist religious nutjobs and a complete social collapse. Libya once again – to western shame, if it had anything like a conscience – features open slave markets in which West Africans are sold into servitude. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) describes modern-day Libya as ‘a vale of tears’. The United States, aided and abetted by ‘Sarko the American’, the Americophilic President of France, wrecked the most progressive and tolerant society in Africa – only one of the objectives George W. Bush’s administration identified for ruin.

Say – if you aspire to be the leader of the world, shouldn’t you at least pay lip service to international law? Like Maxwell in ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’, the USA paints testimonial pictures of violations of international law when it is describing the ‘annexation’ of Crimea by the Russian Federation (not at all like the NATO creation of an independent Kosovo, oh, no), but completely ignores international law when embarking on another of its madcap military adventures to rain misery on the local population. In Syria, the United States first invited itself in – because the human-rights situation was so tragic, of course, that it could not wait for approval from the stodgy UN – and then began supplying the rebel opposition with arms, money and training.

Let’s recap. Going back for a moment to the Legatum Institute’s criteria for good governance, from the viewpoint of the USA’s assumption that nobody else is fit to lead the world. State of the public health-care system – according to the agency which regularly ranks health care across developed countries, that of the USA is the worst and has been for 20 years. Educational programs? Can’t be too good, if the USA is 125 in literacy and below the OECD average is all assessed categories of the PISA test. Attention to environmental stewardship? Although individual states have some excellent programs and pursue responsible co-existence with admirable zeal, on a national level…well, just read the first line of this New York Times piece;

“In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century.”

Freedom of speech? Sure, if it’s defending it somewhere else because it likes the rhetoric of some dissident who is insulting the government of a nation targeted for regime change. Otherwise, not so much. Zealots have seized control of the First Amendment and co-opted it to their design; free speech is challenged daily by activists, on the grounds that it is ‘racist’. If you speak out against the deliberate and planned exclusion of white people from a public event, for example, based solely on their skin colour, you may be attacked.

“In an even more sensational confrontation, campus authorities at Evergreen State College refused to protect biology professor Bret Weinstein from physical threat by angry student activists after Weinstein, a self-avowed progressive in politics, questioned the wisdom of a day of racial “absence” that excluded white students from the Evergreen campus. In a foreshadowing of Rouse’s Constitution Day rationalization, the Evergreen activists insisted that Weinstein’s questioning violated the norms of Evergreen’s culture. “He has incited white supremacists and he has validated white supremacists and Nazis in our community and in the nation. And I don’t think that should be protected by free speech,” said one student in a Vice News interview on the protest.”

For the first time, a majority of American students surveyed believed the First Amendment does not protect free speech, and 20% of respondents maintained it acceptable to inflict physical harm on those deemed to have made “offensive and hurtful statements.”

We’ve already covered responsible use of the self-defense proviso; the United States routinely abuses it as an excuse to go to war against a country whose government it has already failed to topple by other means, and then proclaims wide-eyed innocence and avers it must be excused because its aims were noble. The best example is, of course, the Second Gulf War against Iraq, in which the US Secretary of Defense famously claimed to know exactly where the Weapons of Mass Destruction which were America’s cassus belli were located: “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” Which is as similar a phrasing  of “They could be anywhere on planet earth, but almost certainly not underwater” as I’ve ever seen. The US government later – eventually – admitted it had made up the claim. But that’s not an outlier. The USA regularly introduces a panicky scenario it knows full well is highly unlikely, presenting it instead as a virtual certainty to justify rapid action which will result in the momentum it seeks. Occasionally it results in farce which would be sidesplitting in less-destructive circumstances, such as the claim that Saddam Hussein was issuing crates of Viagra to his troops, so that they could maintain constant erections and rape more women. Completely unabashed, the US Ambassador to the United Nations tried to resurrect it in her drive to get a coalition together to wipe out Gaddafi and destroy Libya, an effort which was ultimately a wild success.Energy Efficient Windows

Any US claims to economic stability – the stock market is roaring like a chained tiger, unemployment is at near-record lows – must be balanced against the fact that the country owes its entire GDP plus a considerable amount in accumulated debt. And growing, if the source is reliable, at 36% faster than the US economy.

Look, we can bat this over the net a few more times, but I don’t see the point. Where I am going with it is probably abundantly clear – America’s claim to global leadership is based entirely on its perceived entitlement to the position by virtue of its exceptionalism. That’s it. What it brings to the table are its bloated military, which it is apparently willing to contract out as a mercenary force against anyone who ‘challenges’ it – and who will promptly be named ‘evildoers’ – and its stranglehold on international banking which enables it to sanction the shit out of anyone who defies its orders. A worse candidate to lead the world could hardly be imagined, and nations who support such a bid should be laughed out of the room for their naivete and willful stupidity. If the world actually needs a leader, it should spell out its terms; must be responsible, compassionate, fiscally solvent and financially conservative. Ten demerits each for pugnacity, lying, and advancing self-interest over the common good. Extra consideration potential for verifiable empathy, inspiration and advancement of cooperation over truculent use of force.

The Exceptional Nation would not even make the short list.

 

 

 

 

471 thoughts on “Gaslighting the World; America in the Hurricane’s Eye.

  1. Quite the tour de force Mark!

    We know all about the USA’s ‘gentle nudges’ enemies and allies alike. Putting limits on ‘NGOs’ that blatantly interfere in soverign nations is a red flag (sic Hungary’s ban on Soros/American University/foreign agents registration -sic Russia – even though the USA has been enforcing its own ancient FARA – Foreign Agents Registration Act – as a stick to beat others with!

    Like Maxwell in ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’…

    Inspired!

    Legatum Institute, an independent educational-charity think tank ..

    Yeh, ‘Legatum’. We’ve been around the Legatum bush mostly over its rancid Russophobia before here on this blog so it is worth reminding everyone:

    https://www.ft.com/content/fac8b53e-d840-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482

    http://powerbase.info/index.php/Legatum_Institute

    …Legatum says on its website that it is funded – its staff and premises in Mayfair – ‘by the generosity of our founders through the Legatum Foundation’. This is the ‘development arm’ of the Legatum Group, the Dubai-based hedge fund of New Zealander Christopher Chandler.

    According to Private Eye:

    With his brother Richard, [Christopher Chandler] turned a family inheritance of $10m into $5bn… The Chandlers’ Sovereign Global Investment made money by finding undervalued assets the rest of market ignored, Richard explained – “transition economies or distressed sectors where information is not easily available and standard metrics don’t apply”. Sovereign was one of the first funds to pile into Brazil when the country opened to outside investors in 1991. It moved into Russia after the collapse of communism, and bought up assets in Japan and Korea during the banking crisis of the early 2000s.'[25]

    After criticism of its dependence on one major donor, the Institute said it had a further 40 donors, whose names it does not disclose…. *
    ####

    For ref:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslight_(1944_film)

    * from the FT ‘most recommended’ Comments:

    Burke
    Dec 5, 2017

    Neither intellectual, nor a think tank and certainly not a charity but, in plain English, a political lobby group.

    kodojin
    Dec 5, 2017

    This is just a carbon copy of the Alt Right Cato and Heritage Foundations in the US. What they are after is making rich people flourish. To call its work “charitable” is the ultimate irony.

    RIW
    Dec 5, 2017

    Legatum has changed a lot in the last year or so. When I used to attend meetings there in earlier years you would have sitting around the table an investment billionaire or two, a Labour activist, a liberal publisher, academics of various hues. The house view was libertarian but the debate was broad. And there was a lot of attention paid to Russian interventions and propaganda. Then there was the power struggle last year, and all that changed. Look at the publications record and how it changed after October 2016. Now everything is tilted towards happy-clappy nation state rhetoric. Legatum is a casualty of the current polarization….

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    1. A casualty of the current polarization – very well put. Still and all, I found Legatum’s criteria for good governance broadly sensible; there are more indicators, to be sure, but the ones cited cover the basics – an extra layer might be found in this extract from The Farmer’s Cabinet newspaper, Amherst, New Hampshire in 1852:

      “But apart from spiritual motives, a man’s true claim to refinement of character and good sense, is better tested by scarcely any social incident, than by the way he treats his inferiors in life. Nothing shows a greater abjectness of spirit than an overbearing temper. To insult or to abuse those who cannot resist, or dare not resent the injury, is a sure mark of cowardice, as it would be to draw a sword upon a woman.”

      One might well attribute the same abjectness of spirit to one who spins invented claims from afar against another in a language not his own, as the USA does daily in attributing this air strike, that transgression, this atrocity to Russia with only the word of ‘activists’ who have a vested interest in its being true to support it. But overall I found Legatum’s standard for governance reasonable, and submit the Russian Federation would have little difficulty satisfying it to at least as high a standard as the United States, surpassing it in areas such as stability of the national economy and perhaps others, as it obviously does in public education. Now that I come to think of it, I’d like to see an OECD-type comparative test in which the only participants were the USA, UK and the Russian Federation. Just ordinary schoolkids from the appropriate grade levels, no ringers from higher or specialized education. Just products you could expect to find from average schools.

      The description of how the Chandler hedge-fund fortune came to be, identifying undervalued assets in transition economies or distressed sectors, might have been lifted straight from a brochure of William Browder’s Hermitage Capital Management. Except William Browder’s method extended to ‘creating’ distressed sectors through greenmail and whisper campaigns, so as to drive the company’s value down and make it an attractive target for government intervention to straighten it out. Perhaps Chandler’s did, as well. I can’t claim to know.

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    1. Horrific. I had read other accounts of the firebombing of Dresden in which the asphalt of the streets melted and was aflame; the referenced article suggests temperatures reached 1,400 degrees and the firestorm began to suck all the air out of the city (Hamburg). It also reports the USAF under ‘Bomber’ Harris sometimes carried mostly or only incendiaries because they were lighter, which would translate to more fuel embarked. Not just the USAF; all the allies under his command.

      It’s hard to imagine anyone could live through that hell. But people did. It would be comparatively easy to imagine it being firmly labeled a war crime if it had been wreaked upon an allied city, but the allies had still won. That’s the critical part – the victor gets to write the history.

      I also noticed this paragraph:

      “The Nazi civil defense machine rumbled into action. At 4:10 a.m. the fire department logged, Situation of Major Catastrophe declared, which placed every man and woman working in the city under Nazi Party control. Firefighters from Bremen, Kiel, Neumunster, Oldenburg and Eidelstedt were on their way, joined by Ukrainian Wehrmacht recruits from Training Corps VIII. In all, 35,000 men were soon at work quelling blazes. The fire department logged at 8:50 a.m., Eight large areas of fires are still without firefighting forces.”

      Note that in the first wave, Mosquito aircraft ‘marked out a 3 by 4 mile rectangle of downtown Hamburg’ with flares. The Blohm and Voss yards were on the water, and no essential military facilities were located downtown, where their location would imperil civilians.

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      1. I think many casualties were from oxygen starvation, the raging fire sucking up all the air from the ground so anyone hiding under the stairs, in a basement or underground couldn’t breathe.

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        1. Tokyo in 1923 (after the earthquake) and in 1945 experienced a similar catastrophe, in that fires that broke out across the city, fanned by flames and finding plenty of fuel (most buildings in the city were made of wood, many houses shared common roofs, people cooked on gas heaters), combined into a giant firestorm some hundreds of metres high over the city. Strong winds created not only sucked all the oxygen out of buildings but sucked anything and everything that was unsecured – including individuals running out in the open – into the inferno. In some parts of Tokyo, not only objects but also people were melted into the ground.

          US Air Force general Curtis LeMay acknowledged that more people were killed on the night of 9 March 1945 – hardly a month after the Dresden firebombing – than in the initial atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-09/tokyo-wwii-firebombing-remembered-70-years-on/6287486

          Thanks for yet another sterling article!

          Like

  2. Antiwar.com: Federal Judge Dismisses DNC Lawsuit Against Trump Campaign
    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/07/30/federal-judge-dismisses-dnc-lawsuit-against-trump-campaign/

    DNC Alleged Trump Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russian Government Conspired Together

    …Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, said, “In short, the DNC raises a number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected to the Russian Federation, but at no point does the DNC allege any facts … to show that any of the defendants — other than the Russian Federation — participated in the theft of the DNC’s information.”

    Koeltl also pointed out the danger of holding a publisher like WikiLeaks liable, “If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.” …

    …Although Koeltl does believe it was the Russian government who hacked the DNC, he holds firm that federal law prohibits suits against foreign governments except in “highly specific circumstances.”…
    ####

    As well as the earlier ruling on the Concord case.

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    1. I repeat the assessment of Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity (VIPS), to the effect that the hack – if you can call it that – could not have been carried out over the internet, as the data-transfer rate was far too high. In fact, it had all the fingerprints of a portable device such as a thumb drive, coupled directly to the server at a convenient USB port. And then Democratic staffer Seth Rich died, with no convincing explanation for his death. Conservative American techhies tried to explain it away with a barrage of bullshit about how that level of bandwidth could be realized over the internet and how various tags and suchlike proved it was the Russians, but the Russians certainly would know better by now than to leave those kinds of traces, and the US intelligence agencies are quite proud of their ability to insert identifiers to make a transmission appear to have originated someplace else. It’s kind of like how Israel and the Ukrainian SBU destroyed people’s faith in voice intercepts.

      Further musing, from the sublime

      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-01/if-there-really-was-evidence-russian-hacking-nsa-would-have-it

      To the attempt-to-have-one’s-cake-and-eat-it, decidedly less sublime.

      https://thefederalist.com/2017/03/21/russians-did-not-hack-election/

      The latter reference, despite its hopeful headline, merely argues the election was not ‘hacked’; it was ‘meddled with’, and since the Russians wanted Trump to win, they probably did get up to mischief, we’re pretty sure.

      This one even speculates that Russia wants American voters to know it can hack them anytime it likes.

      https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/election-cybersecurity/

      The electorate is now so polarized, demoralized and witless with fear and fury that voting in America is merely a knee-jerk homage to democracy. Nobody will be remotely surprised if the winner is not who they voted for, even if everyone says “Hey! I voted for him/her too!!” They will just look at each other, nod significantly, and whisper “The Russians”. And when you think about it, that’s just about where the US government wants them, except for the part about their legitimacy being conferred by Vladimir Putin. That’s going to be a hard one for the winner to spin away.

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      1. … US intelligence agencies are quite proud of their ability to insert identifiers to make a transmission appear to have originated someplace else. ..

        Yes, the famous ‘Vault 7’ set of NSA tools that were leaked, including a reversing tool so that they can check if someone is trying to pass off their sneaky cyber stuff as American when it’s not.

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      2. RT today:

        A probe has been launched into alleged money laundering by the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), an NGO led by an opposition activist Alexey Navalny. The announcement was made amid ongoing opposition protests in Moscow.

        $15 million they’re talking about.

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  3. Antiwar.com: US Denies Plan to Withdraw From Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/07/30/us-denies-plan-to-withdraw-from-nuclear-test-ban-treaty/

    US officials angrily rejected the prediction by a Russian envoy that the US would withdraw from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), saying the claim was “crafty, Soviet-like propaganda” and that the US wouldn’t do that.

    ####

    Quite smart of Russia to lay down this marker and also make ‘US officials angry’ – it’s straight out of the US playbook. Now that Washington has categorically denied it, it will look the most gigantic ass if (and when) t-Rump says the opposite Well played, Moscow, well played!

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  4. crAP via Antiwar.com: Brazilians show support for American journalist Greenwald
    https://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Brazilians-show-support-for-American-journalist-14268670.php

    Brazilian journalists, artists, politicians and others gathered to show support for American editor Glenn Greenwald, who was threatened with the possibility of jail by President Jair Bolsonaro for publishing hacked cellphone conversations between the justice minister when he was a judge and prosecutors…

    …On Saturday, the president also took aim at Greenwald. Bolsonaro said the journalist could not be expelled from Brazil under newly announced fast-track deportation rules for foreigners deemed to be “dangerous” because he is married to a Brazilian and has adopted Brazilian kids. But, Bolsonaro added, “he could be imprisoned” in Brazil…
    ####

    It’s not as if Bolsonaro and Moro need any more enemies. Idiots.

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    1. I love those guys; Patrick Armstrong always makes me want to stand up and cheer. I don’t get to Ottawa very often any more, although I used to go fairly regularly while I was still serving, particularly while I was working for the Target Cell. But if I do, I would not let it pass without at least trying to look them both up and buy them dinner. Preferably at D’arcy McGee’s, my favourite pub in Ottawa.

      https://www.darcymcgees.com/

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  5. “PART II: Gaslighting
    Author’s Note: Because “NATO” these days is little more than a box of spare parts out of which Washington assembles “coalitions of the willing”, it’s easier for me to write “NATO” than “Washington plus/minus these or those minions”.

    Both Devastating….Absolutely spot on devastating: (Above is excerpt from the first link)

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/psychoanalysing-nato-projection-and-gaslighting/

    “The majority of Americans accept mass murder under the pretext of the right to protect, because their ability to form rational and reasoned opinions has been engineered out of them. This is now the definition of US exceptionalism. It is their ability to manipulate the world into accepting their lawlessness and global hegemony agenda. In seeking to impose its own image upon our world the US has drifted so far from its founding principles, one wonders how they will ever return to them. They have employed a recognised form of torture to ensure capitulation to their mission of world domination which entails the mental, physical and spiritual torture of target civilian populations.

    In conclusion, the US has indeed achieved exceptionalism. The US has become an exceptional global executioner and persecutor of Humanity. Imperialism is a euphemism for the depths of abuse the US is inflicting upon the people of this world.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47139.htm

    Mark, Your piece is every bit as eloquent and relentless in denouncing the *absolutely* unredeemable, thus subject to that demanded by moral economy.

    Like

  6. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nato-russia-black-sea-ukraine-crimea-1.5232079

    Whenever Russia approaches close to NATO forces operating in its regional waters, it is ‘testing NATO’s resolve’. Considering the major NATO country with Black Sea frontage is Turkey, I would not say NATO had much claim to it, and remind everyone of the US Navy’s insistence on sailing ‘wherever and whenever it wills’: it seems kind of a hypocritical stance for NATO to adopt, considering where it is. You would kind of tend to think it was NATO testing Russia’s resolve by scheduling naval exercises there.

    Josée Kurtz was my Weapons Officer in HMCS VANCOUVER, except she was Josée Boisclair then, and a Lieutenant. I had heard talk at that time that she was being groomed for big things, and I guess it was accurate.

    I remember she sure could shake it on the dance floor – hypnotic – but I imagine she would rather be remembered for her professional skill as a naval officer. It certainly got her into the big leagues, because you can’t dance your way there.

    Like

  7. Порошенко попросил у США помощи с уголовными делами на Украине, пишут СМИ

    Poroshenko has asked the US for help with criminal cases in the Ukraine, writes media
    05:31
    MOSCOW, 1 Jul – RIA Novosti.
    The former President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is in Istanbul, where he has turned to American companies to lobby for protection from criminal cases, reports “Ukraine News” with reference to sources.

    It has been noted that in the Ukraine changes have been made as regards the criminal cases against Poroshenko. In particular, in May 2019, the former-president’s lawyer Igor Golovan stated that these criminal cases would not entail any legal consequences, but now Poroshenko’s entourage realizes that the criminal prosecution of the former president has noticeably intensified and may have consequences.

    Therefore, according to the newspaper, in Turkey Poroshenko has started to lobbying U.S. companies, in particular, the BGR group, for assistance in resolving these cases.

    “He is well aware that everything that happens in the RRG (State Bureau of investigation – trans. ed.) is taken very seriously, and he intends to defend himself against attacks. He can, for example, be expecting public support in Washington if there is an attempt made to arrest him”, said the source.

    In addition, the publication cites the words of Ukrainian political scientist Alexei Yakubin, who has noted that Poroshenko could repeat the “Saakashvili scenario”.

    “For example, he’ll leave for treatment in London, where part of his entourage has entrenched itself. But this model complicates the public protection of his business assets within the country, which assets might be seized”, he said.

    The case against Poroshenko
    Poroshenko has previously been involved in eleven criminal cases, in particular, as regards his abuse of power and his official position in the distribution of posts in “Tsentrenergo”, his treason in connection with the incident in the Kerch Strait, his usurpation of judicial power and his misappropriation of the TV channel “Direct”, his falsification of documents in the formation of Deputy factions in 2016, and his illegal appointment of a government, and the seizure of power.

    In addition, as a witness, he was questioned about civilian deaths during the Euromaidan protests in 2014.

    Poroshenko himself, speaking at the party congress of “European Business”, said that he is responsible only before the Ukrainian people and is not afraid of persecution.

    Like

    1. Quite right, old man; keep your chin up. I daresay they’re staying in quite prestigious digs in Istanbul, as befits visiting royalty. He seems to be labouring under a misapprehension that he is valuable somehow to Washington, whereas that would only be true if Washington were unwilling to work with Zelenskiy, and wanted him out of the way. So far as I can see, Washington is quite satisfied with Zelenskiy so far, while the people would not countenance a Poroshenko return. So he’s not really much use, is he? Especially if the USA wishes to publicly support Zelenskiy’s supposed battle with official corruption.

      I could see them having a quiet word with Zelenskiy, maybe leave the old man out of it, what do you say? But Washington is already accused – with substantial justification, I would say – of running the show in Ukraine, and there are limits to how much obvious interfering it can do; especially after Biden’s bragging about getting the state prosecutor fired.

      Like

      1. Is Istanbul safe for Porko? He might be accidented or just plain out whacked. It’s not as if there isn’t precedent, sic Hrant Dink & Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov, TuAF Su-24M shoot down in 2015. It’s quite the fashion.

        Like

        1. It probably depends on which side of Istanbul CBD he’s staying on and whether he can afford living in the area.

          An English-language website specialising in high-end properties on the Bosporus like this one could have told him where to go:
          https://peraproperty.com/advice/istanbul-s-most-expensive-districts.html

          Beşiktaş is the most expensive district of real estate in Istanbul and is the location of Dolmabahçe Palace and Yıldız Palace, both of which were used by the Ottoman sultan and his family as residences and places of administration from the mid-1800s onwards. If Porky Pig had his way, and security was not uppermost as a concern, this is the area where he might well be staying. The other possibility is that he’s staying at the Ukrainian consulate.

          Like

          1. Yes, I was sort of getting at the probability that Clan Poroshenko is just installed in a very nice hotel. I doubt he will want to be plunking down money for an actual property so long as the status of his assets still in Ukraine is still up in the air. I should imagine the Ukrainian government will take steps, if it has not already, to prevent his simply withdrawing their cash value.

            Like

      2. The thing about the pindosi, though, is that they always hedge their bets.
        I vangize that they will pressure Zel to pardon Porky. So that they have a spare.
        I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think I am.

        Like

        1. I doubt it, simply because it would kick the timbers right out from under Zelenskiy’s anti-corruption platform, which is the issue on which he was voted in, and there would be no way to do it under the radar. The Ukrainian people must be following Porky’s flight with great interest, and inferring that it means he has something to hide. Therefore an abrupt discontinuing of the pursuit, and a refocusing elsewhere, would tell them accountability is not attributed to the powerful and wealthy. Which is…uhhh…exactly the opposite of Zelenskiy’s message.

          Like

  8. An excellent read yet again: thanks, Mark.

    I love the caveat in

    “Any US claims to economic stability – the stock market is roaring like a chained tiger, unemployment is at near-record lows – must be balanced against the fact that the country owes its entire GDP plus a considerable amount in accumulated debt. And growing, if the source is reliable, at 36% faster than the US economy.”

    My immediate thought was of John Williams and his shadowstats.com site. The biographical sketch there outlines his motives for distrusting official US figures and his concerns about the decreasing reliability of said figures as a guide to what’s going on in the real world.

    As for the adults vs the kids theme, I’m inclined to believe that the Bourbon Court in France in the mid-1780s probably took the same nonchalant approach. The Immortals in Sean Connery’s greatest film (“Zardoz” catch it if you can – it’s unforgettable 🙂 ) certainly did…

    Like

    1. Damn!
      Tulsi sounds like some of the Stooges: “warmongers in power”
      “We must stop the insanity that could lead to nuclear holocaust”
      “End regime change meddling”
      Wow!!

      Like

    2. https://www.rt.com/usa/465579-kamala-harris-destroyed-tulsi/

      In under a minute, Gabbard shredded Harris to pieces for jailing more than 1,500 nonviolent marijuana offenders while admitting in a radio interview that she had smoked marijuana in college, and for her “tough-on-crime” stances. “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row… she kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor… and she fought to keep the cash bail system in place,” Gabbard continued, leaving Harris unable to counter.

      The MSM is having a difficult time ignoring her. She may have a chance. I will make another donation to her campaign.

      Like

  9. Independent latest Russia Shock-Horror story:

    How a girl reading the Russian constitution in front of Putin’s riot police became a symbol of resistance

    Olga Misik: Teenage girl reads constitution in front of Putin’s riot police during Moscow protestsShe is a lone teenage girl sat cross-legged and armed with nothing more than the Russian constitution.

    They are a line of Moscow’s notoriously brutal riot police, equipped with shields, batons and helmets.

    But the image of a young pro-democracy demonstrator single-handedly defying Vladimir Putin’s security forces looks set to become one of the most powerful symbols of resistance to the president’s autocracy.

    Olga Misik, 17, was photographed sitting in front of the officers reading out the country’s constitution – which affirms the right to peaceful gatherings – during protests on Saturday.

    Apparently unsure how to handle such a show of calm audacity, the police hold back.

    The image has gone viral across the world, being shared thousands of times, the peaceful defiance central to the photo faintly reminiscent of that present in the the iconic picture of Tiananmen Square’s Tank Man. It is now being used by Russian opposition to rally support in the face of continuing state oppression.

    Putin’s riot police?

    Moscow’s notoriously brutal riot police, equipped with shields, batons and helmets — unlike those nice riot police in Paris?

    Olga has “gone viral” — and will be forgotten in a month.

    As one commenter to the Independent advises, “watch the video and not the propaganda ‘Independent'”:

    More comments:

    The continuous attempt to say how bad Putin is and how perverse is Russia is really boring. I do not know of any country in which unauthorized demonstrations are allowed, moreover, the attitude of the Russian police is very soft compared, for example, with the US police against those of “occupy Wall Street”.

    The typical hypocrisy of the Anglo-Saxon press.By the way I´m not Russian, because the easy answer is ” you are a Russian troll”.

    But the usual “Kremlin Troll” comments dominate:

    Prigozhin trolls were already contaminating this site almost before the article has even been posted.
    Why does the Indie allow this filthy scum to basically commandeer their websites; it can’t just be because Gore & Co. welcome their rabid, typically Russian anti-Semitism.

    Or maybe it is.

    Either way, whilst every other news online new outlet is desperately trying to excise these crypto-fascist losers from their sites, the Indie and their so-called Mods spend most of their time deleting all comments warning readers of their disruptive presence.

    Why?

    Similarly, any comment which runs counter to the Kremlin line – despite the fact that we are in England – is flagged frantically by these hordes of Russian Putinite goons and thus automatically deleted.

    This means that virtually the entire comments sections in the Indie reflect the views of Putin rather than their bone fide readers from Britain and Western Europe.

    Leaving aside Gore & Co’s infatuation with attracting “clicks”, and their hatred of Britain and the (white) British, is this really what the Indie wants?

    To be the mouthpiece for a mass-murdering, homophobic, anti-democratic despot?

    Because that’s what this wokesome millennial whingers’ comic has become.

    Response from an alleged troll:

    Funny. I don’t see anyone commenting about “Putin and how wonderful Russia is and that everybody lives in harmony”. All I see are people recognising that the media is twisting truth again, making it seem Russia is doing something ’undemocratic’ that virtually all Western countries do – enact and enforce laws against unauthorised demonstrations, peaceful or otherwise.

    Tell me the truth, if you are capable. Do we, or do we not, have laws in London preventing unauthorised demonstrations? Do we, or do we not, have riot-uniformed police to enforce those laws when necessary?

    What is different then, about this situation in Moscow, except for the fact that Russia actually has a real written constitution, and we don’t?

    Countered by:

    I wonder what fate awaits Olga, Novichok on the doorhandle, a Public recant to save her family, exile away from prying eyes, murdered by some Kremlin errand boys or depression and an open window on the 7th floor? The only way to ensure her safety is publicity…

    Yes, I wonder?

    Cue “Prigozhin troll”:

    These 3 articles in 3 days on the subject of an unauthorised tiny demonstration over the issue of disputed local signatures for the Moscow council candidates reveals the depths the MSM will go to demonise Russia, even going so far to use the obviously staged photo of this young woman to encourage sympathy for the poor citizens of Moscow, who in this case are no more than the 5k ultra right followers of Navalny , who periodically uses these sort of demos to disrupt main thoroughfares in order to arouse sympathy in the compliant western media.

    The 77th brigade, Integrity Initiative members or just right wing sympathisers here and in America will pretend these sort of staged demonstrations are genuinely supported by Moscow citizens, when the opposite is actually true and the ’opposition leader’ Navalny has a rating of 3% at most in Russia. Search the real Navalny on the internet and his true nature as an ultra fascist in the service of some western agencies becomes obvious, as this journalist certainly knows.

    The aim, as always , is emotive publicity used to demonise the Russian government, which is strange as this is a local Moscow council affair, nothing to do with Putin.

    Remember the scams of the ’Dusty Boy’ of Syria,the Gay Girl of Damascus and the little 7 year old girl in Aleppo with perfect English, Bana Alabed, and you might start to wonder that the media are still so arrogant, trying to attract you to their agenda with such crude propaganda.

    Even this journalist and those here insisting this biased report is genuine, are secretly aware of its real intent but as it suits their neocon purpose, so must be defended as police brutality about to happen to a young woman, representing the downtrodden Moscow citizenry.

    Only 5k demonstrators in the largest city in Europe might suggest a different view of this affair, when this article won’t tell you that a 12k authorised demo went off last week without incident.

    BTW Indy, when’s the next report on the much more widespread weekly demos in France against Macron and your wonderful EU?

    The main stream media must think readers are still as gullible as they might have seemed before the arrival of the internet.

    Is that whole sitting down and reading of the constitution by a stuttering schoolgirl staged or not?

    Like

    1. My god, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel with that picture. Calling it contrived hardly touches its banality and fakeness. I wish i could unsee it.

      Like

    2. I think they are trying for a Tiananmen Square moment; you know, innocent unarmed demonstrator holds back massive force? If it was not actually staged, western reporters are jumping on the opportunity to try to inspire protests and demonstrations, like they always do. The Russian government and authorities long ago learned to recognize the fundamentals of a western-inspired regime-change action – if they try to put up tents, rip them down because if you don’t, a ‘tent city’ will appear like it did in Kuh-yiv on the occasion of the Orange Revolution. If they manage to embarrass the government into allowing the protesters to do anything they want, the west will bring in rent-a-crowds and you will have a violent riot on your hands. Such actions can quickly – with the enthusiastic support of the western media – snowball into a real problem. The best thing to do is to hold to the law and enforce it impartially. It is well-known that the western press will try to stage embarrassing moments, like cute girl demonstrators who throw themselves to the ground and writhe about screaming that thugs are beating them up, or provocative photographs that capture a moment in which a girl is being restrained like that rock-throwing bitch a few years back. Only one side will ever be shown in the west, and it will be the side which makes Russia look the worst. Russia cannot afford to care what the west thinks.

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      1. When she speaks to the reporter by the Yandex advertised taxi(?) she says (something like) “We gather here peacefully and they over they’ve gathered and are absolutely not peaceful.” Bizarre. Apparently we cannot trust our eyes when we see that OMON is not doing anything but standing with discipline and waiting for orders.

        Is this like the Hong Kong thing where demonstrators rampage and destroy stuff, demanding it as their ‘democratic right’ yet when some nutters go and beat them or launch fireworks at them they are then up in arms demanding that the police protect them and enforce the peace? Cake and eat it.

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    3. The end is nigh for the Tyrant!

      Police Detain Over 1,000 in Crackdown on Moscow Elections Protest

      The subsequent protest on Saturday was the latest in a rising tide of civil unrest across Russia sparked by dissatisfaction over declining living standards that has led to falling ratings for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the ruling United Russia party.

      Called by opposition leader Alexei Navalny to take place outside of City Hall, just a stone’s throw away from the Kremlin, the demonstration demanded that opposition candidates be allowed on the ballot in September’s Moscow City Duma elections.

      Even though the number of votes that they may have possibly achieved in the election would have been statistically insignificant and apart from the fact that their debarment from standing for election occurred because they could not acquire a minimum number of signatures of support in order to stand for election, which ruling just happens to be a matter of law.

      But it’s Putin CLAMPDOWN!!!!!

      Thank you, Moscow Times!

      And Moscow City Hall is about half a mile from the Kremlin.

      That’s some stone’s throw!

      Like

  10. The Tiananmen Square moment was China’s trial by fire. If the government had wavered, then they would have been overthrown, and China would have become a British colony again.
    Fortunately, the Chinese government figured out what it had to do.

    Like

      1. Everybody has learned a lot about colour revolutions, especially their likely targets, and Washington is helpful in that it continues to use the template long after an effective countering technique is available. The first time the Gene Sharp model was used, it was devastating, worked beyond the State Department’s wildest dreams. The next time it worked pretty well, too, because everyone on the other side said “Wait; they’re not using that same technique, are they?” By the time they got around to trying it on Lukashenko, he slammed the ball right back into their court by calling snap elections at the first sign of astroturfing, and steamrollered the fake opposition. I suppose eventually Washington will move on to something else, but just like the myth of democracy, it’s so hard to let go.

        Check out this ‘roadmap for peace’ by Doug Bandow. Although he works for the Cato Institute, I’ve usually found his writing quite reasonable and rational. He is an American, and so that carries with it the annoying presupposition that no major decisions can be made without American input – America is too important to be left out. I have my own feelings on that, and I don’t mind sharing that when America gets involved in a multinational project, it usually insists on rules that will turn the whole thing to American advantage, and insists on being the leader. All that notwithstanding, I was amused to note that most of the concessions Bandow’s plan would have Moscow yielding are things it is not actually doing, and therefore would be easy to give up.

        https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/time-for-ukraine-and-america-to-make-a-deal-with-russia/

        For instance, in exchange for Moscow’s promise to not ever again meddle with American elections, Washington would acknowledge its past political meddling and foreswear future interventions in Russian affairs, including funding private organizations involved in political activities. Washington would have to stop funding Russian political NGO’s and admit its meddling. Unfortunately, Russia would have to admit to meddling in the 2016 election; something it actually didn’t do, and the fact there is no real evidence of it would become irrelevant. But it almost seems a small price to pay. The west would agree to drop sanctions on Russia, but retain the legal authority to re-impose them should it become necessary – that seems quite a bit like legitimizing them, to me. There actually is no legal authority to impose sanctions – and threaten all your allies as to what will happen to them if they don’t go along – without ever providing proof of the grounds for establishing them.

        On the whole, it’s an interesting deal. Not that it will ever happen. Washington is not interested in deals where it has to give up something, because everything it does is for a lofty and holy reason.

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        1. The US has just announced more sanctions against Russia because of the alleged Skripal poisonings.

          The Skripals did not die — or did they?

          Where are the Skripals?

          And what about sanctions for the poisoning to death of the alkie mother of three?

          Don’t the lives of alkie Hampshire social inadequates count?

          Discrimination, that is!

          Like

        2. Deal or No Deal:
          If I were in charge in Russia, I would NOT take the deal. (Hint: IT’S A TRAP!)

          Especially if it meant “admitting” to something I didn’t do (like meddling in the 2016 elections). That is a typical pindos snare, as Gaddafi himself learned, too late.
          It’s also, by the way, how American cops operate to trick innocent people: “Sign this false confession, and you’ll be home for dinner…”
          20 years later, they are still rotting away in the pokey…

          Russia should offer counter-deal: You admit to all the meddling you did, and I admit to nothing. You big fat bully.

          Like

          1. I agree; I would not take the deal, either. Of course it would never actually be offered, because America will never admit to ‘meddling’ in anyone’s elections or politics – they’re ‘spreading democracy’, for which they will never apologize, since it is their duty as the Exceptional Nation. It just amused me that Bandow slyly phrased it in such a way that Moscow would not really have to give up anything; only promise to stop doing things it is not and has not been doing.

            Likewise, America is not ever going to enter into any sort of deal which would see broad autonomy for Eastern Ukraine and the possibility of recognizing Crimea as Russian if it passed a do-over referendum. That would mean…why, that would mean losing!

            Like

        1. That’s probably true, but there is often inflexibility on the part of the protesters as well, and in cases where they believe they have international backing – spelled U.S.A. – their demands rarely allow much room for compromise. The government must step down and yield governing power, usually to a group of ideologues and liberal activists, and the next step is well-known to everyone. The American ‘advisers’ are sent in, and state institutions are rapidly dismantled and privatized for international investment, as happened in Yeltsin’s Russia.

          In this case, the students wanted ‘more democracy’, and that right there suggests they really did not have any clear goals but change.

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          1. So true. When protesters claim to want “more democracy” but cannot even define what “democracy” means, then it’s clear they don’t know what they are talking about, and probably just American stooges.

            Like

        2. People in HK do have many grievances but many of their problems, like the insanely high property prices, the shortage of housing for people who are not billionaires, the pollution, the crappy infrastructure, the lack of jobs in any industry apart from buying and selling property, the dismal job prospects of people who have been through an education system that relies on rote learning and slaving through scads of homework, are problems arising from the capitalist system they still retain. Unfortunately, for most of its 20-year rule since the hand-back in 1997, the HK govt has been inept in handling most of these problems.

          The thing that sparked this year’s protests was the proposed extradition bill that would establish appropriate extradition arrangements between Hong Kong and every other state or territory that it currently does not have extradition agreements with, and this included Mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, in the wake of the 2018 St Valentine’s Day murder in which a 20-year-old HK woman was strangled by her 19-year-old HK boyfriend while holidaying in Taiwan, who then stuffed her body into a suitcase and left it at a train station in Taiwan while he returned to HK. The man is currently in jail on charges relating to stealing the woman’s money after her death (he took all her ATM cards and used them) and he is due to be freed this coming October. The HK govt has currently delayed a second reading of the extradition bill but haven’t withdrawn it entirely, which was one of the protesters’ demands.

          The fact that, even after the backdown on the extradition proposal, the protesters continued escalating their demands to the point of demanding current HK leader Carrie Lam’s removal, demonstrates that there is far more to the protesters’ agenda than the extradition proposal. Add to that the fact that protesters receive cash payments for protesting (with the amounts jacked up if protesters destroy or damage things) and a CIA operative, Brian Kern, has been identified as a ring-leader, and it is apparent that a Color Revolution regime-change operation is in full swing.

          https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/07/08/confucius-laozi-and-buddha-are-humbly-winning-against-the-imperial-west-in-troubled-hong-kong/

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          1. The cops in Hong Kong Crown Colony were unbelievably corrupt. I worked with a former Hong Kong policeman, a British European (the HK Crown Colony police had British senior officers and Chinese “other ranks”) who joined the force “to see the world”. He was an idealist and resigned. He could not stand the corruption that he witnessed there. His father, by the way, was the local cop where I lived: the “village bobby”, so to speak, complete with standard issue Raleigh bicycle and cycle clips, who was a decent, friendly bloke.

            Like

        3. Try:
          http://gregoryclark.net/page15/page15.html

          https://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2019/06/what-i-witnessed-in-1989-in-beijing.html
          There’s actually a lot of stuff out there that give a more nuanced account, and a more accurate one, than the sanitised Western one.

          Like

    1. She beat Harris like a red-headed stepchild. Her monotonous reiteration “I’m proud of my record” reminded me of the Breakfast Moment in Happy Gilmour, when Shooter McGavin mocks Happy for daring to challenge him in golf.

      Shooter: “Oh, you’re on. But you’re in big trouble, pal. I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.”

      Happy: “You eat pieces of shit for breakfast??”

      Shooter: ……”No”.

      Like

  11. It’s the 6th Division now!

    The Register: New British Army psyops unit fires rebrandogun, smoke clears to reveal… I’m sorry, Dave…
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/01/british_army_shows_us_its_cyber_ring/

    This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardise it

    …6 (UK) Division is the new organisational home for the Army’s “asymmetric edge”, comprising all things “Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence, Information Operations, Electronic Warfare, Cyber and Unconventional Warfare”.

    Launched this morning, 6 Div is a rebranding of the formation formerly known as Force Troops Command, which covered a hotchpotch of Royal Signals, Intelligence Corps and other units, including the infamous 77 Brigade…
    ####

    Don’t forget to hit the comments for hilarity!

    Also, the timing of the announcement says plenty, i.e. slipping it in to the news stream when people have already gone on holiday and all the BREXIT and other bollocks. I’ve not seen this reported on the tv in the UK – which is currently facing severe flooding etc.

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  12. Is it just me or is all the PPNN reporting that ‘Putin’s support has dropped to levels not seen since 2011!’. Of course they don’t actually give you any numbers and cherry pick dodgy poll numbers but there really is this Pavlovian reaction anytime there is a demonstration in Russia, like undertakers gathering at an allegedly dangerous road crossing waiting for some cyclist to be dragged under a trash lorry so that they can tut tut and then profit from the cyclist’s misfortune. Nix that, the PPNN are just professional versions of MacBeth’s witches, something which they don’t understand is a story.

    Like

    1. Putin is in as much danger of being unceremoniously chucked out of office as he is of choking to death on his grandmother’s knitting. The west is ever hopeful, and dutifully rallies to the glorification of every new dissident firebrand, but whether or not they know it, they are just going through the motions. The only group, and I mean the only one, that would benefit from Putin’s overthrow would be the disaffected kreakliy and the poncy forgotten semi-intellectuals. They would be feted by the west as political visionaries, and perhaps given minor government positions to satisfy their vanity. But who else would make out like a bandit? The military? Hardly – the west, after years of giggling about Russia’s decrepit military, lapsed into an uneasy silence on the subject just about the time that long-distance Kalibr cruise-missile attack took place from the Caspian Sea into Syria, and a west given meddling-room would want to disband the Russian military, if anything, down to a token force of absolutely-trustworthy sycophants who would probably be issued with American weapons. The oligarchs? Hardly – western business would be snapping up former state assets while simultaneously carrying out an ‘anti-corruption drive’ under the new President’s imprimatur. Small businesses? Hardly – corporate interest would be in melding large state interests into the Corporate Borg, and their method is to squeeze out small business in order to expand market share. The people? Hardly – Russia would be a convenient place to move all the refugee immigrants from that entire hemisphere, while the stubborn loyalty of the population to Putin would not be forgotten.

      It is no coincidence that it is always the same people who show up to bitch and carp about how dreadful Putin is, and how Russia needs American-style freedom and democracy and non-stop Pride parades and all the trappings of fresh admission to Club West. They are the only people who would stand to benefit from driving Putin out. Nobody else is interested.

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    2. They’re just trying to get some mileage out of Olga what’s-her-name, and make it look like a drop in Putin’s poll numbers happened exactly at the moment this young political firebrand emerged. Pretty sad, really, but you can’t tell ’em, and it wouldn’t make any difference. They have to try, it’s the same instinct that makes a dog lick its nose if you smear cheese on it. The western media would rush to interview and endorse a talking Russian toad if it said “I hate Putin”.

      Like

  13. Very cogent..
    A lot of the crucial but easily overlooked put on the table.
    Never underestimate the significance of the obvious!

    Like

      1. I think a lot of people DID see that coming, to the extent that the only behavior acceptable today in the American political milieu is a rehash of that sophomore’s question, “Can you say in one sentence or less what makes America the Greatest Country In The World?” The American media typically pleats that ‘the system is broken’, but not during election season. Then, America is the greatest and running on all cylinders, and the successful candidate is the one who will convince voters that, rather than fix the whatever system, he/she/ze/zir (it’s only a matter of time) will take a system that is the best in the world and make itr squeeze out even more happiness and satisfaction for Americans. Anyway, if you go off-message with that, you are under the soulless influence of the Russians.

        Anyway, it looks as if the democrats have gone to the well too often with that Russian bullshit, and people are starting to get impatient with the cop-out – it’s just an excuse for having no good answer. You can always say, “X is because Russia”. I think Harris just bit the dust, and will lose a lot of support over this and gradually drop out. I got a kick out of the “Gabbard is a non-issue, and won’t even make the second debates” or something to that effect. Whoever smugly said that was apparently asleep when a Ukrainian comedian who plays a president on TV won the presidency in a landslide. The incumbent once thought it was safe to laugh politely at him, because he was a non-issue, too.

        I saw this story also on the same site, although it was not necessary to click on it, for obvious reasons.

        “A salute to the bravery of Olga Misik, 17, who during recent bloody protests for free Moscow elections sat before Putin’s armed-to-the-teeth goons and calmly read aloud the Russian constitution, including Article 31 affirming the right to peaceful political assembly. She was later arrested and allegedly beaten. “Injustice always concerns everyone,” said Olga, who takes the long view of repression. “Today the Moscow City Duma, tomorrow the governor of the region…It is only a matter of time.”

        ‘Bloody protests for free Moscow elections’?? They were bloody? Really? and the issue was free Moscow elections? Not candidates being allowed to run despite having been disqualified for not reaching the signatory threshold? The game of coming up with enough signatures to demonstrate a valid support base is an old one, trawling the obituaries and all manner of dodges to come up with enough for people who don’t really have any support, but want a soapbox from which to squawk their message and then say they were cheated of victory by the Kremlin. Putin’s armed-to-the-teeth goons? Really? American police called to control demonstrations are unarmed? Since when? Does arming them make them goons? I can’t see their teeth – how does the reporter know they are armed to the teeth? Olga takes the long view of repression, does she? From the jaded pinnacle of 17? I’m surprised they did not ask her views on gay sex – she’s old enough. Just.

        Embarrassing western hyperbole – a Russian review of the PISA tests that descended to the same level might read, “A salute to the simple-mindedness of the Amerikantsi ‘students’, who must have gone to school at a mental institution, or been taught by the homeless lunatics that abound in and around Amerikantsi cities. Once again they managed to score so poorly that one might reasonably wonder if they arrived at the testing institution by accident, thinking instead that they were being taken to see one of the violence-and-profanity-riddled Amerikantsi movies that pollute the television and cause the Amerikantsi schoolchildren to shoot each other as if they lived inside a video game where it is not real blood. It’s difficult to imagine a sensible explanation for such a dismal performance, in which they finished below the OECD average in every category.”

        But you won’t see anything like that in a Russian newspaper, or hear it on a Russian news program. Because they don’t act like the country is run by hysterical 12-year-olds. However, if the Americans want to pin their new hopes for Putin’s political immolation on some 17-year-old attention-junkie bint, they should knock themselves out. They are merely hardening Russian opinion against them, and they may not care but some day they will. And then they will wail, “Why do they hate us? It must be because of our freedom!”

        I was particularly intrigued by the mention of the Democrats getting caught fabricating fake Russian troll accounts to pretend the Russians were trying to influence some state election or other, I forget what, supposedly reported in the Times. I didn’t see that, and I don’t recall anyone mentioning it here.

        Like

  14. al-Beeb s’Allah: INF nuclear treaty: Nato ‘to avoid arms race’ after US-Russia pact ends
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49207281

    ####

    Yet again, lying by omission. Their ‘Defense Correspondent’ Jonathan Marcus notes briefly that W. Bush pulled out of the ABM Treaty in 2002 and that Russia announce pulling out of it in 2007 but does not explain why, i.e. the combination of the following:

    a) expanding these ‘defensive’ ABM sites to the lo-land of Po-land & also Romania

    b) the universal Mk.41 launchers can also fire nuclear capable Tomahawk cruise missiles at Russia from much closer ranges = less reaction time = reduced deterrence effect = increases the chance of nuclear first strike against Russia, and thus

    c) denied/refused Russia any means to verify the non-use of nukes for the launchers just saying ‘Trust us!’ which is complete bs considering all the previous promises made and not kept.

    None of the linked articles therein mention Russia’s objections. But then Marcus is only a ‘Defence correspondent’ (such small details clearly aren’t important in the grand scheme of things) and he can always get a future job at NATO as a Spokesman like previous BBC journos Oana Lungescu & Mark Laity. In a fight between Jonathan Marcus & Mark Urban, who do you think would replace Oana? Or someone else? They all do sterling government service…

    Like

    1. Oooh, looky here! The BBC inches itself up the line which if crossed would constitute journalism. Why don’t they just jump on in? It’s safe as long as your patrons – Da Gov – and the intelligence services don’t go after you (Hello ‘Guardian’!):

      al-Beeb s’Allah: INF nuclear treaty: Trump says new pact should include China
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49213892

      …In an earlier statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said the US decision to withdraw was “a grave mistake”.

      It also accused America of violating the treaty by deploying MK-41 launchers in Europe, capable of firing intermediate-range cruise missiles…
      ####

      So the plus is, above they actually link to the Russian Foreign Ministry statement, but no further. The big minus is that they wrote far, far more about Russia’s ‘violations’.

      That t-Rump thinks Russia, let alone China is excited about joining a new deal, hahahahahahahah!

      We also discover that go to and favorite ‘defense expert’ (MGU Candidate of Sciences Biology degree!) for the Pork Pie News Networks Pavel Felgenhauer is not dead!

      Like

  15. Taibbi via Antiwar.com: The rise and fall of superhero Robert Mueller
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-rise-and-fall-of-superhero-robert

    The testimony of Robert Mueller should have marked the end of a national nightmare. Instead, a new legend was born

    …This myth died on television….

    …Mueller on the stand was a potted plant. Reporters saw Moses and Jesus. If you need evidence we’re in a religious mania, look no further. This was a pure exercise in restoring an idol for worship…

    …In mid-March, just before Mueller’s probe wrapped up, CNN found a whopping zero percent of Americans identified “Russian investigation” as their primary concern heading into 2020. The network wrote (emphasis mine):..,

    …ussiagate should be dead. Instead, it’s gaining new life, with impeachment looking like the New Testament phase of the religion…
    ####

    Much, much more at the link.

    Like

    1. Every time I read a piece by Matt Taibbi, I ask myself, “Why don’t you read Matt Taibbi more often?” By God, he can write – I nearly horked up a lung when he described John Brennan as a ‘paranoid outpatient’. His descriptions of the frantic dissembling amongst the Democrats create passages in which you can actually smell the despair and incoherent rage, like burnt hair.

      The whole Mueller testimonial dirge will turn out to have only divided Americans further. Republicans will chuckle with satisfaction at watching Mueller fly into a window like a careless jackdaw, while Democrats will sense that something crazy happened but that this is a time for blind loyalty. And never the twain shall meet. The fact that that was supposed to be East and West makes the irony but more pronounced.

      Like

  16. BTW, the i-Sreali papers are claiming that it was Nut&Yahoo who put particular pressure on t-Rump to drop Turkey from the F-35 program because Turkey was ‘no longer reliable and too close to the Russians’.

    This is curious because Nut&Yahoo (and others) valued Russian links but in the last few years others have spoken openly that Russia was more of a hindrance than a help. So it looks like the desperate ‘election/no-election/election’ Nut&Yahoo has shifted significantly his ground – or should that be burning his bridges. After all, if he and others cannot be bothered, then the calculation in Moscow changes too.

    Which leads us to a stragtegic shift/realignment, i.e. heading in to the unknown which is quite a risky bet more so Tel Aviv/Washington than Moscow.

    If you are interested in reading history, looking for clear events marking big shi(f)ts in international relations is part of the sothsaying and speculation. Is this one of them?

    Like

    1. That might well be true, but only a fucking retard would have listened to him unless he was proposing some kind of deal in which Israel would either buy another 100 F-35’s (a joke in itself, since it buys most of its American-made ‘defense’ equipment with American taxpayers’ money), or somehow otherwise make up for the financial loss. Not to mention that every F-35 cancellation – for whatever reason – increases the pressure on other uncertain buyers who have heard whispers about what a flying Coke machine it is to drop out. This is supposed to be America’s front-line fighter for the next thirty years, allowing for upgrades. And they just lost a couple of Billion in sales, and made the undelivered future airframes more expensive, because the money realized from sold aircraft is supposed to go straight back into production.

      Like

  17. National Interest via Antiwar.com: The U.S. Air Force’s Secret X-37B Space Plane: A War Machine?
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/us-air-forces-secret-x-37b-space-plane-war-machine-69861

    …The U.S. Air Force’s Secret X-37B Space Plane: A War Machine?..

    …The fifth and latest X-37B mission could send the mini-shuttle over large portions of Russian territory for the first time…

    ####

    I don’t like Axe and these NI clickbaity/excitable articles, but several things spring to mind. considering it flies lower than any satellited and takes advantage of aerodynamic drag to manoeuver (much more efficiently) quickly than any satellite and is testing thermal systems, is this also could be used in future as an Orbital Bomber, i.e. loaded up with nukes and dropped on new targets as needed and at short notice? It doesn’t need to make economic sense if it adds capabilities and there is profit to be made by LM/Boeing/Whomever.

    My other thought, is the USA dumb enough to fly this low over Russia which would be asking for it to be shot down? I doubt it, but stupid seems to be the rule rather than the except in the US. We’ve already seen over the Gulf of Hormuz that there is a de facto and recognized disctinction between shooting down an unmanned drone (Globalhawk) and a manned spy plane (P-8a), particularly near, by or over someone else’s borders. The X-37 is certainly no satellite and even for most of the Cold War the US did not fly a spy plane over the Soviet Union (apart from when they had the Brits do it for them instead – sic Gary Powers).

    Still, it’s interesting that it’s popped up now despite being in the news over the last few years, yet another news item treated as a curiousity rather noted by Defense correspondents as yet another potential US treaty violation… Optics, innit?

    Like

    1. I’d like to see Russia put up a giant flying garage, maneuver the X-37B into it, close the door and take it. Keep it for about a week, and then send it back with a bear painted on the side, wrapped in a giant diaper, with a poster in the window that reads “Crazy Igor’s Clearance Sale; Novichok Half Off! Everything Must Go!”. And when the Americans opened the door to retrieve the payload, a concealed audio player would play “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” in farts. Trolled enough?

      Like

  18. East-West Committee via Antiwar.com: Re-posting: Interview with Tulsi Gabbard
    https://eastwestaccord.com/re-posting-interview-with-tulsi-gabbard/

    james carden

    August 1, 2019

    On September 13, 2018, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took to the floor of the House to rebuke the administration, accusing President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of protecting “al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria,” all the while “threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists.”
    ####

    Plenty more timely reminder at the link.

    Like

  19. TheVerge via Antiwar.com: Edward Snowden’s memoir, Permanent Record, is coming out next month
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/1/20750383/edward-snowden-memoir-permanent-record-nsa-whistleblower

    The iconic whistleblower’s book is arriving September 17th

    ####

    How will this be received?

    I’ve been posting a lot recently because there seems to be plenty going on, so I’ll try to post less. I can’t promise though!

    Like

    1. Snowden: “When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals.”

      A true hero of our time. I can’t wait to read his book!

      Like

    2. Look out for the bad reviews from The Fraudian’s writers: Luke Harding can be relied on to add his 2 cents’ worth of conspiracy paranoid garbage, Shaun Walker will be parsing the book for dill references and non-Russia experts like Marina Hyde and Natalie Nougat-head will want a crack as well at reviewing the book.

      Probably the only half-decent reviews will be from Mary Dejevski and Prof. Stephen Cohen but theirs will be buried in a back page or inaccessible behind an Error 404 wall.

      Like

      1. “In a post-Maduro Venezuela, the U.S. will remove sanctions, foster pro-market and pro-business reforms and help rebuild confidence, Ross said. An immediate priority will be providing humanitarian aid, while a medium-term focus will be rolling back socialism, Ross said.”

        They are even promising to privatize garbage collection and sewer system! In the medium-term focus, of course. Immediate focus on reign of terror, while handing out tins of spam to the swarming masses. After that, setting up slave markets, just like in Tripoli!

        Like

        1. Cute – immediate goal, humanitarian aid so everybody gets a couple of free meals and some medicine. Next job, roll back socialism. At which time all the poor will not be able to afford to eat or get medicine. But who’ll give a fuck then, right? Because corporate America will already be in charge by then, kicking ass and taking names and privatizing everything so that even Guaido will not be able to say he owns anything in Venezuela but his house. And of course, the equation for Venezuelans has not changed a bit: Captain America really wants to help, but it has to be under Guaido – they’re really, really stuck on him for some reason. So it’s Guaido…or starvation. What’s it gonna be, Venezuela?

          I hope somebody else will help them out. I’d dearly love to see Venezuela get on its feet without American assistance, and then tell the entire Yoo Ess of Aye to kiss its ass. No more heavy crude for your refineries, maybe you can turn them into basket shops, what say? No thanks; we’ll buy our food elsewhere, if it’s all the same to you. Oh, and Bolsonaro? Eat a bag of shit. Invite your Colombian buddy over for dinner.

          Like

    1. Yes, I meant to remark on that as well. It’s funny that the western regime-change model relies on countries loaned huge amounts of money to be enslaved by their honesty, and actually pay it back.

      Like

    1. Best comment ever, in the form of a poem, from somebody named F.G. Sanford:

      The Ganja Queen bristled and sputtered with rage, her mirror implied she’d be fairest on stage.
      The debate left her rattled and kindled her wrath, apparently pollsters had fudged all the math.
      Jake Tapper had tapped her and baited the trap, then Snow White responded igniting a flap.
      The Queen would return to her mirror irate. Joe Biden got slack and Delaney would skate,
      Buttigieg seemed well prepared and astute, and Marianne Williams was hard to refute.
      “Anderson, Anderson, Cooper appear”, she summoned her mirror, suppressing a sneer.
      “You promised me triumph and said I was fair, the MSM pundits would treat me with care”!
      The mirror responded in tones to appease, “We rigged up the questions, but answers displease!
      When it comes to complexion you’re both the same shade, we had no idea she’d toss a grenade”!
      “Mirror, you must make amends with a fraud: you must claim Snow White is in love with Assad!
      He murders and tortures and bombs people too, with gusto just like those Republicans do!
      There’s Leningrad Lindsey and old Moscow Mitch, she’s a puppet for Putin, despicable…witch!
      Prison slave labor saves tax payer bucks, with progressive ‘tough love’ I can beat Donald’s…ducks”!
      “Your Highness we’ll do every thing that we can, we’ll shadow her Twitter, and Google will ban,
      We’ll keep all her Facebook friends tied up in knots, we’ll claim that they’re Putinoid Internet Bots.
      At Youtube she won’t get a monetized ad, we’ll troll her with click bait and praises from Vlad!
      The deep state is eager to make sure you run, those big defense budgets will pay for our fun!
      We’ll do all we can to get you in the race, if you lose we keep Trump, it’s the second best case!
      Snow White is fairest in all of the land, but…we’ll lose lots of money if she’s in command!

      Like

        1. “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
          “Tulsi, natch.”
          “You lying bitch mirror!” [scratches mirror to shreds with claw-like nails…]

          Like

          1. [Goes out and buys new mirror, for twice as much $$$]:

            “Mirror mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?”
            Mirror: “It’s still Tulsi, you imperialist hegemonist running-dog cow!”

            Like

    1. She’s a rich bitch, pure and simple. Part of the “old Venezuelan elite”, as the article points out. Her grandpapa bought an island resort. Of course she supports American invasion! These people fear socialism more than anything else in the world. Their fear has made them vicious.

      Like

  20. AsiaTimes.com: Attack on Iran would be an attack on Russia
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/attack-on-iran-would-be-an-attack-on-russia/

    Moscow is proposing a diametrically opposed vision to Western sanctions, threats and economic war, one that is drawing it ever closer to Tehran

    Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples….
    ####

    Good stuff from Pepe Discobar.

    The West offers gangster threats, Russia offers respect, discussion and solutions. It’s almost as if Washington is handing it to Russia on a plate… I also hope that there is a counter-Bolsornaro project in the works.

    Like

    1. I have stated on KS that a Russian
      led ME/Asian alliance is what is called for to counter Western terrorist organizations (NATO) or ‘coalitions’ of the mindless.
      Certainly the new kid on the strait
      or elsewhere as needed would have
      a provision similar to the NATO article 5.

      Like

    1. I will never get tired of posting it!

      Some of his other stuff is good too and his general ethos of Bras de honneur towards authority is to be applauded.

      Like

  21. French authorities reportedly said they will stop disturbers of the peace from accessing the city centre after the Yellow Vests movement said they would join the event.

    Compare and contrast with the report (above) by the Independent about “Putin’s brutal riot police” and the brave schoolgirl who held the beasts at bay by sitting down, cross-legged, on the street before their massed ranks and reading to them from the Russian Constitution.

    Like

  22. More on Copmala:
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/19/harr-j19.html

    “In part, Harris’s comparative lack of skill at populist posturing is rooted in her own life circumstances. She earned six-figure incomes for decades and is now a millionaire many times over. According to her tax returns, released in April, she and her husband, wealthy lawyer Douglas Emhoff, had an adjusted gross income of $1,884,319 in 2018, putting them comfortably in the top 0.1 percent. The bulk of this came from Emhoff’s entertainment law practice, while Harris made $157,352 in Senate salary and $320,125 in net profits from her campaign memoir.

    While Harris has been half-hearted and inconsistent in her attempts at social demagogy—not the natural bent of someone who spent most of her career putting people in jail or defending police atrocities against the working class—she has shown somewhat more energy in embracing identity politics, which she has previously invoked as the “first black and female” DA of San Francisco, the “first black and female” attorney general of California, and currently as the only black and female US senator.

    Harris jumped on the #MeToo bandwagon, being among the first to call for the resignation of Minnesota Senator Al Franken over accusations of sexual misconduct. These demands were made in spite of the fact that none of the allegations had been proven and even if they had, none would have risen even to the level of a misdemeanor criminal charge.”

    Like

    1. The missile cruiser which enjoys pride of place in the centre of the festivities is the SLAVA Class cruiser ‘MOSKVA”. I have seen her sister, the VARYAG, up close, in Vladivostok. I watched the assembly of the Pacific Fleet for Navy Day in Golden Horn Bay in Vladivostok from an apartment balcony in 2006, and it was pretty awe-inspiring. MOSKVA belongs to the Black Sea Fleet.

      Interesting to see the clip differentiate sharply between the western Ukrainians and their preposterous comic-book dribbling, and the rest of Ukraine. If I was a western Ukrainian, that would worry me, because if any sort of rapprochement between Russia and Ukraine ever comes about, it sounds as if Russia would be just as happy if western Ukraine was…ahhh…no longer part of it. And if it doesn’t, Ukraine will be in an economic state that making trouble for Russia will be the least of their concerns.

      Like

    2. Fuck off, you snivelling, brain-dead Yukie Svidomite arseholes!

      Together with Moskva and Sankt-Peterburg, Sevastopol is a federal city within the Russian Federation, whose population is, and always has been since its foundation in the late 18th century in the Russian Empire, predominantly ethnic Russian and whose mother tongue was and still is Russian; the rest of the population of Sevastopol consisted and consists of a small minority, which speaks as its mother tongue either variations of the dialect of shit-kicker Ruthenians, former serfs of Polish lords and subject peoples of Habsburg Kronländer or the Turkic tongue of the descendants of Crimea Tatar Khanate slave traders, which Crimea Tatars my Kazan Tatar neighbours deride as “not real Tatars” but Turks.

      And why does the American (?) translator of the original, written in Russian article adhere to the diktat of prescriptive Svidomite grammarians (most likely Canadian Yukies) of the English language by omitting the definite article before “Ukraine” and “Crimea”?

      Like

  23. News breaking of another local USA shooting, this time at Dayton, Ohio – 10 victims reported.

    This follows hard on the heels of yesterday’s El Paso shooting with its 20 victims

    USA! USA! USA! .

    Like

      1. Gee; wonder what the NRA’s recommendation will be this time. Guns should be issued as soon as a child is big enough to carry one without the muzzle leaving a trail in the dust? When everyone is armed, won’t nobody dare throw down on nobody else?

        Like

        1. No child is too young to carry a gun!
          NRA will develop a medical procedure to insert a machine gun into the mom’s womb, that way the fetus can arm and defend itself.

          Like

    1. He says: “We have always considered that Russians and Ukrainians are one nation: I have always thought that …”

      Sorry, Vladimir Vladimirovich, but I cannot totally agree with you. I have met Nazi Galitsian Svidomite shitwits from Lvov and Ivano – Frankivsk: they’re usually as nice as nine pence with me, thinking that as an Englishman, I am, therefore, by definition, as rabid a Russophobe as they are, so they have often opened up their black hearts to me, regaling me about how deep is their hatred of Russia and Russians.

      Vladimir Vladimirovich, when you have a cancerous growth in the body, when all other treatments fail, you cut it out – with the knife!

      After all, this what Svidomites frequently publicly utter what they literally wish to do with Russians – all Russians, my wife and children included.

      Like

      1. That’s the west Ukrainians, though. Even in the infancy of the Glorious Maidan, when Azov Battalion and its fellow militia wideboys were still being formed, I remember a few Ukrainians still dared to speak out. Mostly women, I’m afraid, and older women at that, to say that what the guy giving the speech was saying was rot, and that the Russians and Ukrainians are friends.

        Zelenskiy was elected largely on a platform of resolving the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which is nowhere near as hostile and complex as Porky made it out to be – Ukraine is simply not getting Crimea back, should never have had it in the first place and didn’t give a fig for it while it had it. It’s only ‘Our Krim’ since they lost it, and Crimeans were uncomfortable Ukrainians ever since Khrushchev handed it over. Likewise, the east wants autonomy because it doesn’t trust Ukrainian leaders not to ram through a language law that won’t let them speak Russian. The issue of who shot down MH-17 is going to have to be straightened out, because Russia is not going to cop to it in order that Ukraine can have peace. If those things can be resolved, probably the relationship could resume much as it was before, but the west Ukrainians will probably have to go, because they will never accept a resolution which brings peace with Russia. They’ve always hated it, like the Nazis they are, and they are just having the mostest fun now that the two are enemies. Let Poland have them.

        Like

    1. What Tom Luongo does not get is that the Empire is NOT on the line, and if Gabbard somehow won she would learn very quickly that a maverick president determined to right a bunch of wrongs in a single term cannot get anything done because of the myriad obstructions thrown up to stop her. Going to war without Congressional approval, for example, can be made to happen with the snap of fingers for a George Bush, because the insiders and corporate lobbyists approved of the war – good for business, good for American power. But it took Obama nearly two whole terms to get his health-care plan through, and by then it was so stripped down and truncated it wasn’t worth the effort. A President Gabbard would find out all the tiny little rules of procedure that can be thrown up in your way to prevent you from getting anything done, while a warmonger can leap ahead to square 30 just like that.

      Like

      1. Yes, that is indeed the case, War will not be stopped by the President or the US voters. But she can mitigate the damage and create an opportunity for further change. Trump ran on a platform including peace with Russia and an end of US military aggression. But his credentials sucked and his grasp of things other than formation of public opinion was non-existent.

        Gabbard with her military record and being the first female president (assuming she gets there) would provide support Trump never had. She also is forewarned by what happened to Trump as well as the incessant attacks on her regarding meeting with Animal Assad.. She refuses to apologize for that meeting nor does she wish to remove materials from her web site allegedly questioning the claims of gas attacks by the Syrian government.

        And here is good news for Tulsi:
        https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/456026-gabbard-reaches-donor-threshold-for-fall-debates

        But she still needs to increase her poll numbers to qualify for the next round of debates. Call me skeptical but polling data may not be fully transparent. The fact she has been the most searched candidate after each debate performance suggests a high level of interest by voters not reflected in the poll results.

        Like

        1. I’m pretty confident she will make it – if for no other reason, because the public will suspect the fix is in if she doesn’t make it. They likely want to see her again, not so much as presidential material as to see if last time was a one-off, and she just got lucky.

          Some credit must go also to the Harris campaign, which played its own role perfectly. It could have defused the whole thing by acknowledging she had a point, and the candidate herself could have made some noises about looking at past cases, and if an apology was actually due, she would make it. Instead, she hit the loser jackpot by trying to send voters down the Moscow trail, implying Gabbard is a Russian agent. She probably screwed herself right there, and it might be her who does not make the September debate; she had to have lost supporters in a big way.

          Voters probably want to see if Gabbard can pull it off again, skewering someone else with the kind of verifiable accusation that makes them squirm and squeal. Harris did not call her on anything because she sensed if she did, Gabbard would bang the information down on the moderator’s podium right then and there. And she looked visibly guilty as a result. Voters want to see a repeat.

          Like

          1. Read somewhere that as as high profile prosecutor, Harris was inexperienced with opponents who could hit back. She came across as a bully who picked on the wrong person.

            Like

      1. I cannot think of a job or profession that they do not have a congratulatory day for here, but I am pretty sure that they have no day for bankers or brokers etc.

        They have no day for politicians or prostitutes either.

        Like

        1. A Politicians AND Prostitutes Day would be appropriate if the prostitutes do not objected to be grouped with politicians.

          Like

  24. Russia Today is showing a documentary piece on the interrogation tactics used by American fed and state LEO to entrap and frame people. Worth watching….it’s on now…if the link doesn’t go to the piece….just go to the rt channel on youtube.

    Like

  25. EXTRY, EXTRY! Breaking news!

    Russian TV (Russian state-funded, state-operated propaganda outfit) is reporting that Kiev ex-Mayor and pugilist Vitaly Klichko has fled the coop, not long after his Patron, Pan Poroshenko.
    This is breaking news, just happened this morning (August 4).
    Klichko was spotted on an airplane heading either for Antalya (Turkey), or Tallinn, reporters aren’t sure which, as both planes departed at the same time.
    Klichko was wearing a baseball cap which failed to disguise his ugly mug.
    Last week, July 26 Klichko was a no-show at a hearing, to which he was summoned by the GBR (Ukrainian version of the American FBI and successor agency to the domestic KGB) to ‘splain his illegal and crooked activities in some real estate deals.
    Wringing their hands ineffectually and not knowing what the do, the GBR simply set a second date and asked Klichko to bring himself in.
    Instead, Klichko hopped into a plane and flew away.

    Exactly the same thing happened a couple of weeks ago, with Poroshenko!

    Like

    1. Perhaps they will set up the Turkish chapter of the Dynamic Duo of Ukrainian Opposition. Think of the US dollars that would bring in; Washington loved Poroshenko, and probably had a bit of a guilt complex where ‘Klitch’ is concerned since they threw him publicly under the bus and agreed he should ‘stay outside and do his homework’.

      Like

    1. Actually it were Western scientists at work:

      Researchers from the Salk Institute in the US and the Murcia Catholic University (UCAM) in Spain genetically modified monkey embryos to deactivate specific genes used in the formation of organs. The group then injected human stem cells into the embryo. If left to its own devices, the embryo would have grown into a monkey with human cells. However, in keeping with ethical standards, the scientists stopped the process long before the embryo was able to develop a central nervous system. Still, the team had to travel to China to conduct the procedure, as it was in violation of Spanish law.

      Monkey genes would improve the likes of Bolton and Pompeo.

      Like

  26. I think I read where the El Paso murdering POS had published online some kind of anti Hispanic
    manifesto.
    Yup….that was just confirmed on Face the Nation which I’m watching
    One of those murdered was a 25 year old mom of an infant…I think I heard that….
    .
    .

    Like

  27. From time to time my comments are delayed ranging from seconds to perhaps several hours. I an sure it is not moderation at work. It is extremely unlikely that Mark would deliberately impose moderation given clowns, buffoons and hateful jerks who have posted here before.

    In other news, 20 dead in El Paso and 9 dead in Dayton, Ohio. Saw a comment suggesting dark forces described in a way suggesting Russia was at work. What else could possibly explain how a peace loving and humane country like the US could spawn mass murder? IT MUST BE RUSSIA.

    Like

    1. I’ve explained it over and over – moderation is automatic through the anti-spam program which is part of WordPress. Sometimes it just doesn’t like a comment, for no reason I can fathom, although it’s usually because it contains a lot of links. Anyway, it doesn’t usually send it to the spam filter – although that has happened – and usually just holds it for approval. All I have to do is select ‘approved’, which I do as soon as I see it, but I work at least 8 hours a day and sometimes more. That might start as early as 4:35 AM or as late as 14:45 PM.

      But immediately, every time, NS wants to know why he is being moderated, as if the explanation I make every time is no longer valid, and I suddenly decided to selectively censor his comments out, just to wind him up.

      Like

  28. His rampage lasted only a minute apparently. His body count was not high but his kill rate of 9/minute was impressive. Why didn’t he join the army and win a medal and perhaps be the subject of a major Hollywood movie? Sad.

    In any event, the US population is getting a tiny taste of what it ignores. The loss of life is unfortunate to the families involved just as for the (ignored) families of the victims of our bombs, blockades and death squads in other countries. Or am I trying to connect too many dots?

    Like

    1. There are more dots(read American war crimes) in Heaven and
      Earth PO than are dreamt of in your
      Philosophy
      (read people of the planet drafted criminal indictment)

      Like

  29. Mark’s Gaslight analogy resonates strongly with me. It may be the most apt way to describe how the MSM create new realities in the mind of Americans.

    Like

          1. She did a good job of not allowing interruptions, because telejournalists must attend special classes to teach them how to go “Abbada abbada abbada..” until you stop talking and they can segue to their own talking points and make it look like you just got served. Television interviews are no place for politeness, because if you politely stop every time you are interrupted, what the audience will hear is the interviewer’s redirection, and nothing you said except that you looked flustered and lacked conviction.

            Like

    1. You must have accidentally clicked a link that said, “inform me when someone posts a reply”. Some people who make a hobby of flame wars on blogs and news items like to know as soon as someone has replied to them, so they can simultaneously bicker with people on several different forums. It would be a useful tool for professional trolls as well, so as to ensure they always had the last word, always useful when the other person gives up and goes away, because the troll can do a little victory dance. Whatever the case, I can assure you it is nothing I did, and I see the blog in an entirely different view to you. I have no idea what kind of advertising or embedding goes on because that’s up to WordPress. That’s just the most likely explanation I can think of.

      Like

    2. Sometimes at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, where you would direct the arrow so you can continue scrolling down, there appears a “Follow” pop-up and you may have clicked on that accidentally.

      Like

      1. It’s the fault of the pygmy in the Kremlin, or one of his faceless bureaucrats whom you’ve been slagging off. It’s the latest weapon developed in Basement VV of the Lubyanka.

        Like

  30. TASS

    4 AUG, 21:54
    Moscow to file protests to US, Germany over interference in Russia’s politics – diplomat
    According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the US embassy to Russia was involved in the unauthorized rallies held in Moscow on August 3

    “As for Saturday’s strolls, the embassy of the United States was most closely involved in that activity,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

    “The US embassy in Moscow had published a route of that so-called stroll planned for Saturday,” she explained. “Item by item, minute by minute was the itinerary set out: what time it starts, what time it ends and so on and so forth,” she added noting that a request was published at the end of the document asking not to follow the given route.

    “As we understand, 90% of that information appealed to people to join the event,” Zakharova said.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman mentioned the public comments voiced by the US embassy’s spokesperson after the banned protest.

    “You merely compromise people who take to the streets and speak out what they think about Russia’s future. You are setting them up,” Zakharova said addressing the US embassy’s diplomats.

    She pointed out that along with western diplomats, some media outlets attempted to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs. She named Germany’s Deutsche Welle news channel among them

    Zakharova dubbed as a “phenomenal gaffe” the channel’s call on Muscovites to take to the streets made in the Russian language.

    She forgets that the US Embassy promotes freedom and democracy in Russia.

    So she’s against freedom and democracy?

    Like

  31. Oliver Carroll, the Independent’s “man in Moscow”, focuses his beady eye on Yukiestan:

    Volodymyr Zelensky’s Ukraine: first a revolution, now a purge?
    As Ukraine operates with a one-party government for the first time in its post-Soviet history, opponents accuse the new administration of taking out revenge

    Comments:

    “Not even Viktor Yanukovych, the disgraced former president who tried to build a dictatorship before being overthrown, managed it.”

    Oh Mr. Carroll, please stop it. With the knowledge of what kind of degenerative scumbags replaced Yanukovich, this assertion is overly cynical even for a Western correspondent deployed to Moscow.

    The Independent keeps on banging its drum, but many of its readers do not dance to its rhythm, it seems.

    However, the regular Independent Russophobic commenters have not yet risen, I suspect. You know the ones: those who like commenting to comments such as the above, addressing the “Putin troll” as “Ivan” and/or “tovarishch”.

    Another “Putin troll” comment:

    It’s simple enough.

    75% of the Ukrainian population voted for Zelensky, obviously keen to see a rapprochement with Russia and an end to the stalemate in the Donbass and conflict over the secession of Crimea.
    This contrasts with only 25% voting for the former western backed Poroshenko, hence Carroll’s barely disguised unease and attempted obfuscation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lWOJIetDu4

    There was another comment that immediately following the first below Carroll’s article that appeared yesterday, but it has been deleted without any notification of this having been done.

    The deleted comment addressed the first commenter, who wrote: “Oh Mr. Carroll, please stop it” with something like: “Why are you surprised? Carroll’s only following the usual Independent line, as usual”.

    Like

        1. It was painful to watch that man’s failure to obtain justice for the horrendous things done to him. The Vatican and its army of pedophile servants have killed millions including nearly a million Serbs in WW II. No justice there either.

          Kamala Harris is someone’s bitch. I can’t help but feel she was being groomed to be a more righteous and less tainted version of Hilary Clinton. Gabbard knew what she was doing in taking Harris down and was ready to accept the inevitable wrath of the MSM if not personal danger .

          Like

    1. At least the brown noser was honest for once in admitting his effort at writing an essay (while trying to keep his mouth closed and his tongue from hanging out) is really bad.

      Like

    2. Lots of twatters had fun with Eliot’s basic intro: “I just wrote 4000 words on [Tulsi’s report], Dear Reader, it’s really bad.”

      Yep, Eliot, what you wrote is really bad.

      Like

  32. I do apologize for making an offtopic comment, but there’s a — somewhat morbid — story I’d love to share. The relation to Russia is obscure, though. Kinda like, I wanted to emphasize the aspect of Russians as the people who could, once in a while, use a chainsaw.

    View at Medium.com

    Like

    1. It was indeed a well-written and a very true to life article on the joys and challengers of using chainsaws. The tip on cutting four shallow grooves to find the side under compression was good. I had one serious accident. Somehow, I thought I had killed myself but after a few minutes it was apparent that my skull was not cracked and after an hour or so, no signs of concussion. A large dead branch had gotten hung up in the tree I was cutting and it fell squarely on the head (this type of accident is called a widow maker). Without any connection to the aforementioned incident, my wife just bought me a new chainsaw.

      A guy at work is an absolute artist with a chainsaw. His carvings include eagles, fish, bears, etc. What a talent!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m flattered by your assessment of my humble piece of writing. Glad that you’ve liked it!

        It’s a good luck to have escaped a widowmaker incident without a serious injury! The Wikipedia page says that widowmakers are responsible for 11% of all fatal chainsaw incidents. I’ll definitely need to get one of those protective helmets.

        Chainsaw carving is a fascinating art! I don’t even know how it is possible at all. My top achievement so far has been cutting a four-legged stool from a short log. It’s fairly straightforward. I learned that trick from one of Alexander Ivchenko’s videos:

        Like

        1. Two dead ash trees, killed by beetles, had partially inter-meshing branches. I noted that one branch had broken off and was laying among the branches of the tree I was cutting down. Like a dunce, I forgot about that little fact. As I was backing way from the falling tree (and proud that it was falling where expected) I swear I sensed something about to clobber me like I had eyes on the top of my head. I came to laying on my back with the chainsaw across my legs but, fortunately, the chain had stopped (I don’t recall if the engine was running). I may have been out for perhaps 10-20 seconds but that is a guess, The first thing I thought was that I just killed myself. The branch was big – perhaps 10 feet long and weighing perhaps 50 pounds and likely fell about 50 feet. It certainly had enough kinetic energy to be fatal so its fall must have been impeded before hitting me. Lesson learned.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Chainsaw sculptor Cherie Currie hard at work carving a block:

        If her name sounds familiar, yes, 40 years ago she used to be the lead singer for The Runaways (the band where Joan Jett and Lita Ford got their start) for a couple of years and then took up acting.

        Like

        1. She still looks pretty good for the age she must be. I think they all do; I always liked the bassist, Jackie Fox. I looked her up on the net about 10 years ago, just to see if she was still around, and she still looked quite attractive. I think only two of them, Ford and Jett, actually made a career of music. I always did have a thing for girl bassists, like Melissa auf der Maur, once of Courtney Love’s terrible band Hole, and also of the Smashing Pumpkins.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/0a87ad5f-728a-4a0f-b461-5ab84f63cd94

          Like

          1. Yes that’s correct, Lita Ford and Joan Jett were the only ones who were able to forge successful careers as guitarists / singers with their own bands in their genres (metal and new wave / punk respectively) at a time when women performing in their own right as guitarists and leading their own bands was rare.
            The drummer Sandy West did try as well but with much less success. She died from cancer in 2006.

            The Runaways went through quite a slew of bass players. Jackie Fox left the band about the same time Cherie Currie did and gave away music to study law at university.

            I met members of the British death metal band Bolt Thrower at an autograph signing in 1991, when they were touring Australia. They have always had the one bass player, Jo Bench, from the late 1980s right up to when the band split a couple of years (the members decided to call it a day when the drummer died). I remember thinking she was very petite when I saw her. Here’s the band performing in Helsinki in 2013.

            Come to think of it, David Bowie employed a female bass player (Gail Ann Dorsey) in his live band from 1997 onwards until his death. You can see her cracking up laughing in this Top of the Tops video (filmed 2002) of “I Took a Trip in a Gemini Spacecraft”.

            Incidentally Bowie covered this song because the original writer, Norman Odam aka the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, of whom Bowie had been an early fan back in the 1960s, was broke and needed the royalties.

            Like

              1. Suzi Quatro’s older sister used to play in an all-female band called Fanny which was led by two sisters (lead and slide guitarist, bassist) of part-Filipino ancestry. An early line-up of the band (without Quatro) appears in this early 1970s film clip where they perform a cover of the song “Ain’t that peculiar?”

                Like

                1. Sometimes it was a communal container for hot drinks for one’s messdeck, such as hot chocolate, in the Royal Navy. Although I am well aware of the more common meaning.

                  Like

                2. They’re actually not bad. Considering it’s live, their harmonies are pretty tight, and their tempo is also quite solid. There is a tendency to speed up when performing live, probably from excitement. Mind you, they are not performing in front of an audience, this is more of a sound check. But just the same, not bad at all. The keyboard player seems to be the most accomplished musician.

                  Like

      2. Koro is a good artist, and I’m immensely grateful to her!
        I don’t have any doubts that the story of Azninsky is true. A good reminder that working with a chainsaw is prohibited in case of alcohol intoxication, for safety reasons. Actually a manual for operating a chainsaw for a large part consists of warnings, and each of them makes sense.

        Like

  33. Royal Navy deployed as Chinese warship steams through English Channel
    THE Royal Navy has been deployed after a Chinese warship was seen lurking in the English Channel arousing suspicion from the UK.
    PUBLISHED: 16:52, Sat, Aug 3, 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05, Sat, Aug 3, 2019

    LURKING!!!!!

    In the ENGLISH Channel!!!!

    The cunning Asiatic devils!

    Don’t know about “lurking”, but the Chinese warship was returning to her home waters from Sankt-Peterburg, where she had been a guest on Russian Navy Day.

    Like

    1. The Chinese warship was obviously lurking in the English Channel in broad daylight so as to arouse the suspicion of the Royal Navy. What a devious Celestial tactic!

      Like

      1. I believe that a ship has several speeds:
        – flank
        – full
        – amble
        – dawdle
        – lurk

        The Russian ship was obviously at lurk speed hence the Royal Navy acted appropriately.

        Like

          1. Well, big, clapped out ships no longer fit for sea going service can be a hulk, so why not a skulk?

            My illustrious forebears used to clap North American colonial upstarts in irons and send them to old wooden hulks anchored off New York City, and there were plenty of prison hulks in the Thames and Medway that temporarily housed those who were to found the Australian nation, albeit unwillingly, even though they got free passage there off H. M. Government.

            Like

    2. “If the Iranians want to come out of the dark and be accepted as a responsible member of the intentional community they need to adhere to rules-based system of the international community…you cannot go about detaining unlawfully foreign vessels.”

      Dreadfully sorry, old man, but it is you who is in the dark on illegal detention. Stephen Lendman points out that the American sanctions against shipment of Iranian oil anywhere it pleases are in fact illegal, as they were not imposed by the UN Security Council; individual states have no authority to order international sanctions, or to threaten all states who do not obey.

      https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/29/599727/US-Sanctions-Iran-Lendman-Interview

      And damn me, Sir, if he isn’t right.

      https://news.un.org/en/story/2016/05/528382-un-sanctions-what-they-are-how-they-work-and-who-uses-them

      Moreover, when the UN Security Council does impose sanctions, it does so with what it describes as ‘due regard for human rights’. I find it difficult to imagine there is any room in that criteria for zeroing out an oil-exporting nation’s exports when that is their primary source of income. The mad-as-a-hatter United States of America proudly announces its intention to cut off an entire country from its income, knowing full well it will cause starvation, even as it did to Venezuela. Washington has obviously ceased shaving, because it certainly could not look at itself in the mirror. The nation that routinely reduces itself to sentimental tears as it blathers on about freedom and democracy starves little kids to death in order to get its way on the international stage. And its gutless, craven allies go along with it. Iranian shipping carrying oil to Syria is none of anyone’s fucking business unless the UN Security Council declares it under sanctions, and it could not do so and claim to be having any regard for human rights – sanctioning energy exports is Using Energy As A Weapon, which potential has the west moaning with distress as long as it considers Russia is doing it. Even more bizarre, it blubbers that Russia is Using Energy As A Weapon because it wants to build a pipeline expansion which will double the gas exports to Europe, for prices lower than tanker-borne LNG. But it is apparently just hunky-dory with Europe if the United States reduces Iranian oil exports to zero – that’s not Using Energy As A Weapon.

      Mind your own business, America. And you, Europe, and other American allies, you gutless worms. You make me sick.

      Like

    3. Probably just as well the ‘deployed’ British warship got in close right away and hung on like a bloodhound, where the weapons of the two ships would be more evenly matched. HMS WESTMINSTER carries the American Harpoon SSM, which is good for maybe 90 miles on a good day – depends how much fuel is in them and the wind direction and so forth; the manufacturer guarantees them for 75. She carries 8, in two quad launchers.

      XI’AN carries 8 YJ-62 Eagle Strike SSM’s good for 250 miles. If the two decided to go toe-to-toe with their secondary armament, they could use anti-air missiles. They are not ideal for surface use, but all modern shipboard SAM’s have a secondary SSM capability. WESTMINSTER has 32 Sea Wolf missiles, range about 10 km. XI’AN has 48 HHQ-9A’s, range about 90 km. The missile itself is good for 200 km, but is limited by tracking range of the guidance sensor. Using it against a surface contact would bring it down still more, but it is quite safe to say the Chinese destroyer has a distinct range advantage. And more missiles.

      http://www.deagel.com/Protection-Systems/HHQ-9A_a001835001.aspx

      A little before the time when she was detected skulking about in British waters, XI’AN was visiting Toulon, France, for a 5-day military exchange, during which she somehow evaded British detection.

      https://defpost.com/chinese-pla-navy-destroyer-xian-arrives-in-toulon-france/

      Like

  34. The image has gone viral across the world, being shared thousands of times, the peaceful defiance central to the photo faintly reminiscent of that present in the the iconic picture of Tiananmen Square’s Tank Man. It is now being used by Russian opposition to rally support in the face of continuing state oppression.

    The Independent, 4 days ago.

    The All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (ARPORC) published the data of an opinion poll, according to which most Russians supported the government’s drastic measures for the suppression of the unsanctioned rally in Moscow on July 27th.

    “61% of Moscow residents agree with the government’s tough actions in the situation of an unsanctioned rally, among Russians in general – 69%,” it is said in the statement posted on the website of the organisation.

    The opposite opinion was expressed by 26% of the polled Moscow residents and 23% of Russians. In general, 83% of the residents of the capital knew about the protest action that took place on July 27th in Moscow, compared to 59% of the inhabitants of other regions.

    source

    Like

        1. Soon she’ll be sending out tweets beseeching the West to bomb the Kremlin and kill the Eeevul Lord Vlademort so the Russian people can finally be liberated and come to know Freedumb ‘n’ Dumbocracy. Once her mum is allowed to join her from Idlib province, that is.

          Like

          1. A little bit, but she plainly does speak fluent Russian. She’ll turn out to be the daughter of some Russian executive in an American firm, or some such child of the intelligentsia.

            Like

  35. Here’s a novel discussion point that most definitely would not fly in the USA – America should be broken into smaller countries with common interests.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/political-confessional-the-man-who-thinks-the-u-s-is-better-off-as-a-bunch-of-separate-countries/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    But…how we’s gonna influence and control the world, what be’s our destiny, iffen we’s just a buncha li’l bitty countries, like?

    While I did greatly enjoy the interview subject’s analogy to rivers and the river control system (something with which I am completely unfamiliar – did anyone else know there is serious competition for the Mississippi’s water?), I think he is forgetting something which would make such an idea a non-starter, and I can capture it in two words – nuclear nation. As nutty as the United States is as a single nation, it would be a couple of removes nuttier if it was Redland and Blueland, both with Noo-kyoo-lar weapons. Why do you suppose Washington regularly advocates breaking up Russia into smaller ethnic nation-states? Because it’d be quaint and more neat places to visit? Of course not. So they could fight with one another, and destroy any sense of national identity and loyalty.

    Like

    1. Access to water is the theme of a good recent dystopian novel

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Water_Knife

      and my guess is that a good bet for primary target status in the event of serious hostilities would be dams and levees on US river systems.

      Hmm. Maybe the cunning plan behind exports of LNG to Europe is to disguise imports from there of Evian, Fontvella and other mineral waters?

      Like

      1. That looks interesting; I’ll look for it. In reality, the USA has access to abundant water supplies, and it would take some doing to cut them off nationally. Regionally, maybe; California, as well as being increasingly dry, consumes an incredible amount of water both because of its large population, and its massive agricultural industry. But it is blessed with large and very long rivers, just as the USA itself is blessed with abundant fresh water; it is on the other half of the Great Lakes. I remember driving down to San Diego years ago with my daughter’s car. She had moved to California for work that was wrapping up, had gone down there on a bus and still had the return ticket. We arranged that I would drive her car down and come back on the bus, so she could take her time coming home and enjoy the drive. When I first crossed the Sacramento River, I thought, wow, I’m making good time; I must be almost to Sacramento already. Well, the Sacramento is California’s longest river (that lies entirely within the state) at 447 miles, and it crosses the highway a bazillion times. I got bored with it after awhile, as well as disillusioned with its value as a proximity barometer for Sacramento. The Colorado is indeed the biggest, but only one of many, and there are some massive lakes such as Shasta Lake, which is California’s largest man-made reservoir.

        So terrorists or enemies would have to be pretty well-organized to cut off the United States from its water supply, certainly on a national basis. But it is a US government habit to plan for the securing of supplies for Americans that are not actually in America, and free trade agreements with the USA have to be consistently and diligently parsed to ensure they have not slipped in a clause which mandates shipments of fresh water from Canada to the USA. As I mentioned before a couple of times, once something is signed on to in a free-trade agreement, the level of supply agreed to becomes the benchmark, and the shipping country may not go below that level of supply without the agreement of both partners, even if you suffer domestic shortages yourself as the shipping country.

        Like

        1. Access to water has been key in Californian politics. Those who wish to limit growth preach conservation and resist bringing in water via pipeline or desalination. Just as is the case with nuclear power, they have been largely successful through the court systems and via fear mongering.

          According to a friend who operates a small trucking company, Imperial valley in California is a shadow of its former agricultural power house days. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are now trucked across the border Mexico way. California is dying. A major earthquake in a populated area will finish it off.

          Like

          1. There’s an exceptional essay on California water rights hierarchy in Counterpunch from around 2012/3 (before Counterpunch became rubbish). Shades of Jake in “Chinatown”…

            And the Bacigalupi novel does suppose the fracture of the former USA and Canada into a whole bunch of competing states…

            JM Greer seems to suppose such a possible future and if I recall properly the first “World Made By Hand” novel by JH Kunstler does too.

            Like

            1. JM Greer did indeed depict a shattered US with the only sane and functional fragment being the Great Lakes region with Toledo, Ohio, as its capital.. He also penned the novel, IIRC, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” about a disastrous (for the US) military encounter with the Chinese. The Saker was extremely impressed by the author’s grasp of military affairs. He was quite surprised that the author lived somewhere in Ohio/Pennsylvania area (I think), never served in the military, was a Druid and had no relevant military training. Greer is one smart cookie.

              As mentioned before, Greer believes the full expression of Russian civilization is still at least a century away as it sheds invasive and unneeded European values.

              Like

        2. It’s my understanding that to some extent Hollywood bears some responsibility for wasting huge amounts of water in the past and the present. In the past when films were recorded onto celluloid film, the manufacture of celluloid itself necessitated the use of huge amounts of water and chemicals to clean impurities from the raw cotton that supplied the cellulose. Plus the film itself degraded over time and anything recorded on it could end up lost or degraded itself. The use of digital media now to record, transport and store films has likely reduced the demand for celluloid film manufacture in most countries around the world to near-zero. People these days would only be using that medium if they want to achieve a certain effect or historical ambience.

          On top of all this, flying film crews halfway around the world to take advantage of film industry subsidies wangled by governments desperate for money (and to evade sustainability practices at home) and/or using movie sets that can’t be recycled or reused (and themselves made from materials that needed lots of water in their manufacture) doesn’t give Hollywood a good reputation either.

          Like

  36. Hey; here’s one advantage of having a parliament comprised of thirty-somethings with no previous political experience – they have bold, revolutionary new ideas! Like…well, like selling off state companies in exchange for IMF loans! Wow – I wonder who put that in their heads?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-30/ukraine-turns-to-blueprint-that-transformed-ex-communist-europe

    Look – here’s some guys who thought it was a hell of a success in another place where it was tried; the ‘most successful reform in Russia’, they called it.

    Click to access privatizing_russia.pdf

    The people who lived there saw it a little differently. I did, too – I visited there in 1995, and saw kids trading their fathers’ war medals for individual servings of peanut butter. Families saw their savings wiped out overnight by runaway inflation, and the new oligarchs bought up entire industries at fire-sale prices. These oligarchs cared only about making usurious profits, and owed no especial loyalty to their homeland – when Putin arrived to clear up the mess, many of them decamped with as much of their money as they could transfer, and fled to the UK where they apparently felt more at home.

    Hey – wait a minute. Do you suppose the idea was proposed for Ukraine with exactly that sort of cataclysmic collapse in mind? Because if ever there were true words spoken, it was that there is nothing new under the sun, and that fools insist on learning from their own experiences rather than the disasters experienced by others.

    Like

    1. When Pompeo said “deploying our resources around the world to ensure and promote stability is something we’re always looking at”, his tongue should have burst into flames. Once upon a time, long ago, the USA might have been able to successfully sell the idea that its actions promoted stability rather than its polar opposite. But not now, and that state has prevailed for some time.

      Like

      1. Russian cannon fodder, overstretched German supply lines, Hitler errors, Russian mud, rail gauges, General Winter, Germans tired of easy killing and Stalin ordering Russians to die, that was why they lost. Did I mention Russia cannon fodder was the key to the Russian “victory”.meh. The BS did subside at around 21:00.

        Like

  37. Huntsman resigns:

    “While much what divides us is irreconcilable …”

    So long! You won’t be missed!

    Will they ever tire of sending such arseholes here to act as US Ambassador to Russia?

    Like

    1. Not to mention, “Through our diplomacy, we have worked to stabilize years of acrimony and incertitude with the hope of a better relationship”. I think there’s a typo in there; ‘stabilize’ should actually be ‘promote’. I can recall seeing lots of Russians who were eager to embrace American ‘culture’; it’s fads and music and films and fashions. I don’t remember ever seeing an American interested in similar pursuits for Russia beyond a couple of people wearing ‘USSR’ T-shirts, and who knew what that meant? Moscow was once stiff with American fast-food joints like McDonalds, and the USA was fond of bragging about how after the first such restaurant opened, Russians were lined up around the block to tender their meagre wages for a taste of the American Good Life. Russia always, and I mean always, went further than halfway in an attempt to have a good relationship with the USA, and the USA always – and I mean always – abused it. From Bubba Clinton’s meaningless promises to not extend the NATO alliance eastward to John Kerry’s barefaced lies about America having satellite proof of Russia’s culpability in shooting down MH17, the USA has continually used the tenuous relationship as an opportunity to mock and demean Russia, and to take advantage of it where possible. The loudest and bolshiest argument for banning Russian athletes from the Olympics as drug cheats was the United States – the world’s biggest drug cheat in sports – and the fallout from that has still not settled. The United States will employ any subterfuge, no matter how cheap or low or inhuman, to bring down Russia and gain control over it, and it would be well to never forget it. Hey, here’s an idea; don’t send a replacement. Russia needs a US Ambassador like a frog needs stiletto heels.

      Like

      1. Putin was getting some traction among the deplorables until we learned he meddled in US elections. I still use my Putin coffee mug but it no longer has gravitas like it once did.

        Like

    2. Life in Mordor, eh?

      I’m reminded of the scene in “Galaxy Quest” when the aliens reacted to a reference to “Gilligan’s Island”:

      “Those poor people!”

      Like

      1. To their credit, the Galaxy Quest aliens were true humanitarians. Unlike American diplomats, they did actually care about human suffering! And they could see with their own eyes how tough life is, when all you have to eat is coconuts.

        Like

          1. “This serves no useful purpose!, why is this here?! This show was badly written – whoever wrote this episode should die!!” — hilarious!

            Personally, I believe that every corridor in every office building should have CHOMPERS.
            This will help keep the population of office plankton in check- LOL!

            Like

  38. Russian Foreign Ministry:

    “This is a decision of the administration in Washington. Therefore, his performance should be assessed by the US side as well. Huntsman is a professional …”

    TASS

    A professional what?

    “Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy” Huntsman said as a professional US diplomat in a statement to the US Navy’s 6th Fleet.

    “When you have 200,000 tons of diplomacy that is cruising in the Mediterranean – this is what I call diplomacy, this is forward operating diplomacy – nothing else needs to be said”— Huntsman the professional US diplomat to CNN.

    source

    Like

    1. Yes, that sentence did read oddly as if something had been deliberately cut out (because the original writer had second thoughts perhaps about including the word) after the word “professional”.

      If there had been been an omission, the impression left is that Huntsman is a professional in the sense that if you do something (usually illegal or at the very least bordering on shady and pornographic) often enough, you become quite “professional” at it.

      Like

      1. In my salad days, I used to think that “pro” meant “prostitute”, which cause me some confusion whenever I heard expressions such as: “She was an old pro”.

        Bear in mind, I suppose one could be a professional prostitute, or, at least, one could follow one’s métier in a professional fashion, albeit having no diploma proving one’s expertise in shagging for money.

        Like

  39. The Saker is back on his high horse – criticizing Gabbard for not going down in flames as she tries to navigate the myriad of traps laid out the the US Government and MSM.

    http://thesaker.is/what-tulsi-gabbards-caving-in-to-the-israel-lobby-really-shows/

    The Saker also strongly criticized Milosevic for seeking an accommodation with the West after sustaining a brutal 70+ day all-out aerial assault by NATO and ground assault by Albania. He was silent on Russia’s cowardly abandonment of Serbia leaving it to face the West utterly alone.

    The Saker can deliver a good analysis from time to time but can fail spectacularly as well. IIRC, he predicted that no one in Ukraine would lift a finger to stop Western domination (wrong), completely missed Crimea (just about everyone missed that in his defense) and that Russia would never intervene in Syria as it had no compelling national interest to protect (wrong again). He is right just enough to remain interesting.

    Like

    1. I don’t follow the Saker, but the following progressive American shows all expressed disappointment in Tulsi Gabbard for the anti BDS vote.

      Jimmy Dore show
      Kyle Kulinksi secular talk,
      Humanist report: Mike Figueroa
      Jamarl Thomas Progressive SoapBox

      Also a link was posted here to an article by Paul Craig Roberts article on Tulsi Gabbard giving into the Israel lobby, the article sets this anti BDS vote in the geopolitical context.

      Like

        1. Exactly. Assad is not a murderous dictator at all, and his political positions vis-a-vis the resident population of Syria are not too much different from those in the most democratic of democracies. In the west’s eyes, if you won’t hold a Gay Pride Parade down main street at the drop of a rainbow hat and allow a host of western NGO’s to flourish in the ashes of your leadership, you’re a dictator. Justin Trudeau is not a dictator, because he’s never too busy to march in a Gay Pride Parade or get involved in a lighthearted interview about his sock collection and what it means to him. He mostly yields to American ‘persuasion’. Bashar al-Assad is a dictator.

          Like

        2. Her tone and body language suggests she does not believe what she is saying and logic tells us she knows better as well. But, if she were to go heretical and say Assad is not a murderous dictator then its game over.

          She is taking chances every day with her anti-regime change message.

          I don’t give a shit about Israel – a miserable place inhabited by a depressed, angry, racist and/or psychotic population. I feel for the Palestinians but they are only one among many oppressed groups.

          Obama was a fake from start to finish but no so Gabbard in my opinion.

          Like

            1. Agreed. Her only chance for success would be part of a bottom-up revolution that would, to say the least, need to be aggressive and persistent. I can not imagine the form of that revolution but it would be centered on desperation of the 80%. (The balance may be too heavily invested psychologically to give up their self-perceived specialness).

              However, the American population has been largely conditioned to be submissive. Heck, we can not even muster a small anti-war rally or any other physical act of resistance. The best we can do is rants from behind computer screens and keyboards.

              Gabbard may be doing her patriotic duty which is to be commended but she is likely on a death march.

              Like

      1. Did Tulsi actually cave to the Israel lobby, or does she perhaps actually believe in what she voted for? It’s hard to say. “Progressives” also can’t wrap their heads around the fact that Putin is also very pro-Israel. “Is a paradox”, as the King of Siam used to say.

        Like

        1. Tulsi Gabbard explains why she voted for House Resolution 246 which opposes the global BDS movement:
          https://www.tulsi2020.com/a/why-i-voted-hres-246

          Considering that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were among those 17 Democratic Party legislators who voted against House Resolution 246, I would say Gabbard probably did her presidential campaign a favour by not being seen to be aligned with those legislators, their agendas and their behaviour. But then one could argue she could have abstained from voting altogether and done some more research that would have led her to realise that the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine is not at all feasible. The Israelis keep stealing land from the Palestinians and Palestinian communities are being fragmented so they cannot form a proper state with proper infrastructure links at all.

          Like

        2. Tulsi’s and Putin’s relationships to Israel are completely non comparable.
          Tulsi is an American citizen
          who as an officer has sworn
          to uphold protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign
          and domestic.That includes the gutting of the First Amendment by the dictates and interests of Zionist mass murdering vermin.
          Putin’s political discourse
          with the Israelis as the Russian head of state is of an entirely different nature
          and does not require him to
          disavow or renounce something that is fundamental to the core rights and dignity of the Russian people.
          On this issue Tulsi fucked
          up. As was pointed out in one of the links…if she folds to Zionists on this open and shut travesty….she isn’t able to fight against their far greater levels of deceit and
          treachery promoting discord and ME warmongering to promote the Zionist agenda.

          Like

          1. I am not sure that Vladimir Putin is really all that pro-Israel. Sure, he supports the Jewish community in Russia and its organisations (some of which may be receiving funding in carefully discrete amounts from abroad, so as to fly under the law requiring them to register as NGOs) but in the same way that he supports other religious communities in Russia. Much of the news about him being pro-Israel, giving in to Satanyahu or the Israeli government’s demands in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, and delaying the delivery of the S300 missile defence systems to Syria, comes from Israeli or pro-Israeli media sources eager to exaggerate the level of influence that Satanyahu has in the Kremlin and give the impression that Israel is still a major force to be reckoned with in the Middle East.

            Watch this video of Satanyahu gatecrashing the Victory Day parade in Russia in 2018 (not disallowed by the way – Russia extends open invitations to all world leaders to attend the annual Victory Day parade) and tell me Satanyahu has a good relationship with Putin compared with Putin’s relationship with the Serbian president Alexander Vucic who was also present.

            Like

            1. The Saker did a good analysis on the Russian/Israeli relationship.:

              http://thesaker.is/debunking-the-rumors-about-russia-caving-in-to-israel/

              Per Russia:
              Russia, the United States and Israel should join their efforts to help peace to return to Syria.

              In the context of the statements made by our partners with regard to a major regional power, namely Iran, I would like to say the following: Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on bilateral basis and within multilateral formats,

              This is why we believe that it is inadmissible to describe Iran as the major threat to the regional security and, moreover, to put it on par with the Islamic State or any other terrorist organization, Especially, since Iran contributes substantial efforts to bring peace to Syria and to stabilize the situation in Syria.

              We have called on our partners to show restraint and readiness for reciprocal steps, which must serve as the basis for the consistent advancement towards the easing of tensions in the Israeli-Iranian relations”

              Russia has declared Iran an ally.

              Like

              1. @PO &JEN
                You two are preaching to the choir.
                I was responding to
                Yalensis characterizing Putin as “pro Israel”. l’m the one who expressed the view that Putin would not sell out the Russian people to curry favor with Israel.

                Like

      2. These agencies do not seem to grasp that nobody is going to get anywhere in American politics unless they pledge undying loyalty to Israel, and undying enmity to Russia. And very often those who do so just to advance, while cultivating a leftist following below the radar, grow to be convinced that those are actually correct positions – that there is no practical alternative to propping up Israel in the Middle East, because it is a peacemaker that keeps the Arabs and Persians from killing each other and everybody else, kind of a little America, and that if you give the uppity Russians an inch they will take a mile, because they are just predisposed to take advantage of softness and trust.

        I’m just now reading Mr. Nuland’s (Robert Kagan) book, “The Jungle Grows Back”. You would of course expect a book essentially written by the US State Department to argue that there is no alternative to American world leadership, and indeed it is excerpted from his 2012 work, “The World America Made”. But you would have to read it to grasp the overriding presumption that governs deep-state thinking. The entire world would quickly slide back into warring tribal factions – like a giant Libya – were it not for America’s gentle but firm hand. There is no place in this sugarplum-fairyland depiction of benign and exceptionalist American power for bare-knuckle tactics such as ordering the elected president of Venezuela to cede power to a hand-picked replacement with plans to immediately invite in the American oil majors, and privatize all state assets; no, America does not threaten and assault. It persuades and encourages. And if you were to pin him down so that you spoke only of the recent America-vs-Venezuela conflict and America’s actions in it, so that he could not escape into candy-spinning visions of American selflessness, he probably would concede that the very occasional and minimal exercise of force is necessary to preserve the global order, for the common good. America reluctantly exercises force when all other techniques have failed, and then never in its own interests. While American business has a right to get a little something for the expense of American blood and treasure, that’s never the reason they send in the Marines – my, no.

        You probably could argue there are lots of Americans who are appalled and disgusted by the USA’s bullying ways, and there are. But they have zero political influence, while virtually every important advisory/administrative/academic government-appointed position is held by a neoconservative, a neoliberal (the views of the two differ about as much as the foreign policies of the Democrats and Republicans, which is to say they are almost interchangeable) or some other America-firster ideologue. The immensely influential Department of State is practically owned by them. Sure, the farmers are crying for Trump to back off the trade war destruction – the market posted its biggest losses in a decade yesterday, as Tangerine Jesus yet again tweeted out another ratcheting-up of the tarriffs, China ceased buying American agricultural products altogether. But nobody cares what the farmers say until it’s time to ask for their vote, and practically speaking, you can tell them anything you want in order to get it. Once you have your term in office nailed down, you can simply claim to have been ‘overtaken by events’ or some other such bullshit, and there’s nothing they can do.

        Any presidential candidate who miraculously made it to the highest office with his/her progressive one-love-one-world visions intact would learn quickly that the entirety of American political power is vested in the body of unelected officials and appointees who ‘serve’ the government. The President can kick off a war and appear to have exercised such power completely arbitrarily, but in reality he or she will have been funneled down that corridor by his/her advisors and enablers, because they determined that war would be just the thing in the circumstances. What the people think, for reasons already discussed, is irrelevant.

        It is technically possible that Tulsi Gabbard could be elected on a wave of Zelenskiy-like incongruity. But just as Zelenskiy is learning his decision-making is very limited and the office is subject to pressures he never knew existed, so would Gabbard learn. If she did not, a convenient scandal would be arranged and she would be impeached. The one thing that would never happen is that she would get in, clean house and start throwing progressive bouquets to the world. The shadow government in the USA is so firmly-entrenched and idealistic that nothing short of a complete American teardown could ever remove it. And it is built of ideologues like Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland, who actually believe today’s Free World is an American creation built of America’s inspired and inspirational leadership of the reluctant and naive and unimaginative. If Gabbard somehow got in, whatever progressive agenda she might have brought with her would quickly be co-opted by the unelected power structure, and before you know it, she would be featured in kissy-snaps with Bibi Netanyahu and cracking the whip over Russia. I actually thought Obama was going to be the one to turn America around, and now my beliefs in that direction are dead and cold.

        Like

          1. Thanks very much, Patrick; I’m flattered. I was completely wrong about Obama. I guess I could always take the easy way out and say he tricked me with his rhetoric, but it really was a little like that – I wanted to believe it, and he sounded sincere. Even partway through his first term, when he couldn’t get anything done because of Republican obstruction, I blamed the Republicans for holding up his progressive agenda and the global re-acceptance of a re-energized America. But with the first of his speeches touting an exceptionalist America, the indispensable nation, I thought, uh oh: here we go again. And everything after that was the same old, same old; just like every American leader since Jimmy Carter. Now, like I said, I’m all out of belief and just foresee continued decline and increased grabbiness and entitlement.

            Obama killed optimism in many, worldwide. But Trump is actually doing serious economic damage in addition to loathing of American grandstanding and insistence on always having the leadership role, as if everyone else is incompetent. As I mentioned, China has completely ceased buying American agricultural products, and has once again devalued the yuan to make its currency more competitive against the dollar in terms of production costs. That’s worked very nicely for Russia as well, which produces in rubles but sells in dollars and euros. Both currencies can get under the dollar no matter how far Trump tries to drive it down. But his ego and belief in himself as the guy who knows the art of the deal better than anyone anywhere is leading him to always double down when he should be looking at how much further there is to fall.

            Like

                1. Comical. In this clip, he reminds me of nobody as much as Sarah Palin, with her disconnected phrasing and dizzying leaps of logic. Her campaign tried to portray it as a symptom of a brilliant and restless mind that moved far in advance of its host’s mouth. The Obama campaign was able to sell a similar philosophy much more successfully.

                  He was obviously not as stupid as Palin is – but his critics who said his strongest skill was delivering inspiring speeches that he did not really understand himself were deadly accurate, although I disagreed with it at the time. For me, Obama was the biggest failure of promises in my personal experience with the United States, which would have begun with…let’s see…the re-election of Dwight D. Eisenhower. I really have no idea how far back the modern American political custom of unctuous feting of freedom and democracy slathered with liberalism – accompanied by naked self-interest below the surface – goes, because I was politically naive and partly indifferent for a long time, to say nothing of an unabashed admirer of America. I think George W. Bush was – for me, at least – the great unmasker of the American Deception, and I really thought Obama was going to repudiate all the wrongs he perpetrated. Quite a few people worldwide apparently thought so, too, judging by the expression of optimism in global polling.

                  Like

              1. Trump reminds me strongly of Dubya Bush in his careless disregard of actual happenings, signs and portents in favour of ‘going with his gut’. In retrospect, it probably was far more efficacious than his brain, but in Trump’s case the tendency is most evident in his trade policies and actions. After his staff spend hours and days carefully building consensus with their Chinese counterparts, and cautious optimism for a trade deal emerges, Trump blasts the whole effort to hell with some dyspeptic three-am tweet that his ego and gut tell him will show the Chinks who is boss. People on a normal and predictable emotional and intellectual keel do not behave that way, and Trump actually seems to revel in his unpredictability, as if it were a badge of his exceptional leadership. In no venue is predictability so valuable as economics. But it’s only slightly less so in foreign policy. As other sources have pointed out, nations with which the USA has issues are simply waiting Trump out on the assumption he will not be re-elected, reasoning it is useless to engage with such an unpredictable leader. Russia, I believe, is far in the vanguard here with its breaking from western supply chains and trading partners to the extent it is possible and practical. The Chinese still have far too much invested in American trade to take such drastic action, but I think you will see a very rapid unraveling in that arrangement if Trump is re-elected. And, amazingly, he might be. Not so much by his own appeal as by the Democrats incoherence and inability to field a charismatic and credible challenger.

                Like

  40. Corruption runs deep at AT&T:

    https://sputniknews.com/us/201908071076486752-att-employees-bribed-up-to-1-million-to-unlock-over-2-million-phones-from-inside/

    A 34-year old Pakistani man has been found to have given up to $1 million in bribes to AT&T employees to fraudulently unlock over 2 million phones, according to an indictment from the Department of Justice (DOJ) released on Monday.

    The man was extradited from Hong Kong to the US in Friday for cyber crimes committed over a period of 5 years, from 2012 – 2017.

    Muhammad Fahd and his co-conspirator Ghulam Jiwani have been accused of paying up $420,000 individually to AT&T staff at a call centre in Boswell, Washington.

    Wait, Hong Kong extradited someone? Hope that there was a violent protest or is that only reserved if Hong Kong seeks to extradite a murderer to mainland China?

    Like

  41. Porky’s back in town!

    Arrived in the middle of the night without the rest of his family.

    Apparently, he had flown from Dubai.

    It is noted that the aeroplane that Poroshenko used had taken off in the evening from Dubai and landed at Zhuliany airport at 02:30.

    “The aircraft registration number was OH-WIK. [Finnish registration – ME], the flight number: JEF11. Apparently, the aircraft had been in the Maldives. After Dubai, it disappeared from the radar and has not been used anywhere else”, says the publication, quoting a State Border Service source.

    Like

  42. 2 things:
    (1) This morning (Wednesday 8/7) Zelensky phoned Putin on the hotline to whine about 4 Ukie soldiers being killed on the Donbass front line.
    (2) For a different side of the story, my latest series of posts just concluded about so-called Black Lenin of the Donbass. In his interview Aijo mentions how the Ukrainian shelling and other aggression has increased quite a lot since Zelensky was inaugurated. DPR people are being killed and wounded every single day. Things are getting especially hot along the Mariupol line, which the VZGLIAD piece also mentions.

    Like

  43. Well I never! …

    Met police examine Vladimir Putin’s role in Salisbury attack
    Russian president is assessed as ‘likely’ to have approved of nerve agent attack on Skripals

    Putin: Bring me the head of Sergei Skripal! MWWAAAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    The Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said the investigation into the attack was continuing.

    Basu said the issues involved in bringing charges over the attack were complex. “You’d have to prove he [Putin] was directly involved,” he said.

    “In order to get an EAW [European arrest warrant], you have to have a case capable of being charged in this country. We haven’t got a case capable of being charged.

    “We’re police officers, so we have to go for evidence. There has been a huge amount of speculation about who is responsible, who gave the orders, all based on people’s expert knowledge of Russia. I have to go with evidence.”

    I may be slow on the uptake, but how do the cop’s words quoted above lead to the “conclusion” that Putin has been “assessed by UK intelligence agencies as having been ‘likely’ to have approved of the attack in March 2018 on Sergei Skripal,“?

    And what’s with this EAW?

    Hasn’t that cnut Browder regularly dodged these almighty warrants?

    Like

    1. Neil Basu is obviously unfamiliar with the way the British High Court operates, and in particular he is unacquainted with the thinking of such like Sir Robert Owen, for whom the probability of Putin having ordered something be done is evidence enough that the All-Seeing, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, All-Singing-and-All-Dancing Dark Lord of Mordor did indeed order the dastardly deed. But then, Neil Basu is only a police officer after all, so what would he know?

      Like

  44. And what are the plods suggesting when speaking of an EAW?

    The possible arrest of the Russian president, Milošević style, and putting him on trial in the so-called International Court of Justice in the Hague?

    If they think they can do that with the Russian head of state, then they have another think coming!

    They must be bigger stupid fucking chumps at “The Yard” than I had ever thought.

    Like

    1. Unfortunately, in the UK nowadays, there is no public service that has not been politicised and, consequently, diminished. Police officers with brains, honesty and integrity simply don’t get into top positions – the system weeds out them out. It’s the deeply compliant, those with little or no principles who will bend whichever way the wind blows who get on. Sadly, it is the same story with almost all of our institutions. There must be senior medical staff at Salisbury hospital who know the Skripal story is not as it has been told in the MSM and yet they remain silent even though our government has made an international incident of it. Our once independent judiciary would once have spoken out about the treatment of Julian Assange; instead they remain silent while the judge who presided over his case refuses to recuse herself even though her husband has a beef with Wikileaks. It’s a sad state of affairs and may already have passed beyond the point of no return.

      Like

    2. London Spreads Misinformation, Hides Skripal Case Details, Russian Embassy Says
      02:39 08.08.2019

      “Nearly a year and a half after the events in Salisbury with the former Russian military intelligence officer and his daughter, the Russian side [has] never received any intelligible information about the investigation into the incident despite the more than 80 requests we [have] sent through diplomatic channels. Trying to fill this vacuum, the British stubbornly continue to invent various stories and myths, passing them off as confirmed facts”, the embassy stated.

      “All the arguments on the basis of which the so-called evidence of Russia’s involvement in this mysterious incident was built and which the former British Prime Minister Theresa May loudly stated, failed miserably. Obviously, the reason for this behaviour lies in the fact that the disclosure of all the details of this dark history is not in the interests of official London.”

      (Them Russians can never get the use of present perfect right! :-))

      Like

      1. They also made a spelling error; ‘dark’ history should properly have been ‘dork’ history. But perhaps it was intentional – just because my correction is physiologically and academically accurate does not mean it would be diplomatically acceptable.

        Like

    1. Comments ridiculing the ww2 clip I posted on the ’41 Nazi drive on Moscow were-IMO-cheap shots having little to do with the actual combat or what wad actually in the film footage.
      Here -to be posted-are a few observations based on perhaps vexing to you FACTS.

      Like

        1. The assumption of the person who asked that question five years ago could be wrong: capturing Moscow was part of a broader German strategy not just to take out Moscow and Leningrad but also to capture the Ukraine and southern Russia, and secure German access to the Black Sea, the Caucasus region, the Caspian Sea (oil and gas resources there) and ultimately Iran.

          Attacking Russia in three main areas (Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev) at once with a huge army made up not only of Germans but soldiers from other countries (Finland and Romania among others participated in Operation Barbarossa as well) sounds like a foolhardy strategy only with 20/20 hindsight vision: the Germans were counting on the element of surprise and on their experience in attacking and overcoming Poland and France.

          Like

          1. The strategy of the Wehrmacht was to envelop the Red Army near the frontier and destroy it in a Kesselschlag, after having first destroyed Soviet air power on the ground in a surprise attack, launched at 04:00, June 22nd, 1941.

            The Red Air Force was destroyed according to plan, and there were Kesselschläger [cauldron battles], most notably around Kiev, but the Red Army was not destroyed.

            The envelopment of the Red Army/Armies was implemented by rapid thrusts of German armoured divisions, acting independently and ahead of the infantry.

            This is what worked in Western Europe: this was Blitzkrieg — the rapid envelopment of enemy ground forces by armoured divisions and their destruction following the elimination of enemy air forces.

            It worked in France. The French army was not destroyed, however: the French government just threw the towel in before it was. It took the Wehrmacht 6 weeks to defeat in this way the then largest army in Europe.

            It only took days to defeat the Netherlands and Denmark; it took a little longer to defeat and occupy Norway, and a matter of only hours to march into and occupy Luxemburg: with Russia it was a whole different ball game, not least because of the size of Russia and its vast room for manoeuvre, but also because of the size of its land forces.

            Oh yes: and Russians are stubborn buggers!

            Also the very fact that the Soviets knew full well that they were fighting for survival, not just the armed forces but the whole nation of what the German nazis termed as Untermenschen — subhumans who were to be exterminated — helped in their determination not to be defeated.

            Buonaparte with his allies from the rest of French controlled/occupied Europe had the same idea in 1812 as regards invading Russia and defeating its army: a quick knock-out blow following a surprise attack made by superior forces.

            Buonaparte did not decisively defeat Russian armies on or near to the Western frontier of the Russian Empire either, and as a result, had to march ever deeper into the vastness of Russia.

            By the fall of 1941, the Germans were fucked, and many of their General staff knew it: Blitzkrieg in Russia had not worked and they were in for a hiding sooner or later.

            At the battle of Moscow, December 1941 – January 1942, the German army suffered its first defeat since the onset of Hitler’s wars of aggression that had begun in Europe on September 1st, 1939.

            By 1942 Leningrad was besieged and never, in fact, fell: Moscow had not fallen and the Red Army was still a force to be reckoned with and was being reinforced by troops from the Russian Far East, where the Russians knew full well that the Japanese Empire was not going to launch an attack against the USSR.

            The Germans had run out of time and were rapidly running out of resources, most noticeably fuel for their mechanised armies and their airforce, so Operation Blau was launched — a thrust to the south east, towards the Caucasus and Azerbaijan oilfield around Baku on the Caspian Sea.

            Operation Blau got unstuck at a place called Stalingrad.

            The rest is history.

            Like

            1. By the way, as regards a comment that I made above, namely that what in Russia is known as The Great Patriotic War 1941 – 1945, namely that that most bloody of wars was waged between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and not Russia, I should like to add that modern research shows that, contrary to Soviet propaganda, which stressed that the war was between the Soviet peoples and National Socialist Germany and its fascist allies, the fact is that the vast majority of combat personnel in the Red Army 1941-1945 were Eastern Slavs, namely Belorussians, Ukrainians and Russians.

              Of course, there were personnel in the Red Army, Air Force and Soviet Navy who were citizens of the Soviet Republics and territories, but the bulk of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War 1941 – 1945 consisted of ethnic Eastern Slavs.

              The smallest ethnic group in the Red Army during that most horrendous of wars was from Chechnya: the largest, surprisingly, consisted of Buryats.

              Buryats come from slap bang in the middle of Siberia, south of Lake Baikal — next stop south: Mongolia.

              Buryats are clearly Asiatic and, if they have a religious faith, then they are mostly Buddhists.

              I’ve worked with a Buryat: he was a great lad! And old pals of mine who served in the Russian Army in Afghanistan used to tell me that Buryats were good mates and comrades-in-arms.

              They’re only little buggers though!

              I reckon they must be like Ghurkas in the British army.

              Like

              1. Further to this Buryat thing: I wonder if that’s why the Yukies and the “opposition” press in Russia made a big thing out of the alleged participation of a Buryat manned Russian Army tank regiment at Debaltseve, where the Yukies got stonked by separatists in a cauldron battle — you know, shades of the Red Army?

                See:

                «Мы все знали, на что идем и что может быть»

                “We all knew what was going on and what might happen”

                Enter Bellingcat:

                On March 2, Elena Kostyuchenko of the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an explosive interview (English) with Dorzhi Batomunkuyev, a 20-year old tankist from Mogoytuy in the Zabaykalsky Krai, bordering Buryatia. Batomunkuyev is a member of military unit 46108, the 5th Tank Brigade, based out of Buryatia, lying between Lake Baikal and Mongolia in the far east of Siberia. However, Batomunkuyev is far from home, now recovering from serious injuries in Rostov after being transferred from a burn recovery unit in a Donetsk, Ukraine hospital. Like many other Russian soldiers, Batomunkuyev sustained injuries while fighting against Ukrainian soldiers in eastern Ukraine. In this case, the Mogoytoy native and his fellow 5th Tank Brigade soldiers were firing upon Ukrainian soldiers in the “Debaltseve pocket” on February 19.

                This report will verify and expand upon the claims made in the Novaya Gazeta report through open source information, including satellite photos, social media reports, and photographs from reporters working in and near Debaltseve in mid-February. [My stress — ME.] Each claim from either Batomunkuyev, the Russian tankist, or Novaya Gazeta is presented below in bold. The English translation of the interview from Euromaidan press is used in each quotation.

                Firstly, there is the issue of Batomunkuyev himself. Was he truly a Russian tankist in the 5th Tank Brigade, and if so, was the injured man that Novaya Gazeta spoke to really Dorzhi Batomunkuyev?

                On February 27, the local news site Zabmedia.ru reported that the mother of Batomunkuyev was traveling to Rostov to see her injured son, who sustained injuries while fighting Ukraine. This news release was published a week before the Novaya Gazeta interview came to light. Additionally, as mentioned in the Novaya Gazeta report, the Russian singer Iosif Kobzon did indeed visit Batomunkuyev in a Donetsk burn ward on February 23. A video of this meeting, showing Batomunkuyev in the same bed as in the Novaya Gazeta report, can be viewed here [warning: graphic content]. Lastly, many online sleuths quickly confirmed the tankist’s identity after the Novaya Gazeta interview surfaced by finding Batomunkuyev’s VK (VKontakte) profile. Batomunkuyev’s VK profile has since been deleted, but numerous screenshots and archived versions of the profile are available:

                (Novaya Gazeta) I know he was wounded in Lohvynove. Lohvynove – the bottleneck of the Debaltseve pocket – was cleared and secured in the early morning of February 9 by a DNR special forces company (90% of which were Russian organized volunteers). The pocket was closed so fast that Ukrainian soldiers in Debaltseve didn’t know that. In the next few hours the troops of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic burned cars running from Debaltseve with impunity. This is how a deputy ATO head was killed.

                The claim that 90% of the soldiers were Russian cannot be verified or disproved. [My stress — ME] However, it can be confirmed that heavy fighting took place in Lohvynove on February 9, as seen in a documentary from Russian state television on “Vesti.”

                Does one really need to read on then?

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              2. I should add that the number of Buryats participating in the war against the Nazis was highest as regards the percentage of the Buryat population that were combatants as compared with other Soviet Union ethnic groups.

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        2. The short answer is that the Germans are an inferior race with an ego vastly out of proportion to their abilities. Hitler’s carefully considered judgment was that they deserved to disappear and nobody has ever produced a cogent counter-argument.

          Their inability to win the war despite their massive and unearned opening advantage (perfidy and numerical superiority) is the most obvious proof of this. We could also cite their inability to develop a practical successor to the Panzer Mk IV, or the curious case of the Heinkel He-177 Greif – the Reich’s attempt to develop its very own heavy bomber comparable to the B-17 or the Lancaster, crippled by the German air ministry’s insistence that it be capable of dive bombing.

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          1. The short answer is that the Germans are an inferior race with an ego vastly out of proportion to their abilities. Hitler’s carefully considered judgment was that they deserved to disappear

            Do you have any evidence to back up this claim? Certainly an “inferior” race, if there ever was such a thing, would never have invented, for instance, the first modern internal combustion engine.

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      1. Yes, the Nazis and its many allies defeated themselves. The Soviets/Russians were just standing around and dying per the expert Western commentators.

        An alternative explanation is that, despite having virtually every advantage, the Nazis were outfought and outthought resulting in their crushing defeat.

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    1. Comment by magicmirror from link posted by Cortes about Western disrespect for Russian valor and sacrifice in GPW:

      “carrot is wasted on Brit and co.
      Stick only is understood”

      One of the best comments ever!

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  45. Statement by the Foreign Secretary during his first bilateral trip to Canada and following his meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland

    Canada was a stalwart ally in our defence after the Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury last year. We appreciated that solidarity and appreciate those moments when you stand shoulder to shoulder with us in defence of our shared values.

    Good job British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab’s father fled Czechoslovakia as a 6-year-old in 1938 and, therefore, never had the misfortune to run into Freeland’s grandfather’s chums in Cracow a few years later.

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    1. Meaning Canada went along – enthusiastically, rather than being coerced, it must be said – with the push by the United States to get Russian diplomats expelled from all allied nations. All these made-up crises are all about isolating Russia and cutting it off from all support and trade; MH17 was about rolling over resistance to international sanctions for the ‘annexation’ of Crimea, and the Great Salisbury Novichok Poisoning was all about the expulsion of Russian diplomats. You can’t just do shit like that, not if you pretend to be liberal and the guardian of democracy and freedom. So if Russia will not cooperate and give you a reason, you have to initiate one yourself and blame it on them, and then stick to it, no matter how the preposterous story unravels.

      If there’s any satisfaction to be had from it, it’s that no good will come of it, and the odds of a full-blown financial crisis increase by the day. If and when it all falls down, those countries the least dependent on the United States and its allies and Europe will be the best insulated from damage. Washington has become accustomed to bullying the world into new arrangements which benefit American economic or foreign policy, or both. But it is going to find, when the dust settles, that global supply chains have realigned and its power to dabble has become that much less. Unfortunately for Americans, it will be small and medium operations which suffer the most, as the big multinationals will simply rebrand themselves as the operations of a different nation, and carry on.

      The more Canada pledges itself to American service, the more likely it will always be so, as its economy becomes more and more a slave to America’s fortunes. If America fails, so too will we.

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  46. O happy day!! Zelenskiy The Progressive announces Ukraine will lift the moratorium this year on the sale of farmland – known, naturally, as ‘land reform’, because putting ‘reform’ after anything is almost as good as putting ‘freedom’ in front of it – and his government will carry out ‘extensive privatization’. Because that worked so well for Russia in the 90’s. This will be the in that American agricultural monoliths like Monsanto have been waiting for, to get their hands on that rich black earth – why, with that and American GMO know-how, they’ll be the produce supplier to Europe before you know it. A tomato will be able to gobble like a turkey and feed an entire family!

    Actually, I envision some sort of phased offering, so that the land might be offered first to Ukrainian buyers, That would give the oligarchs time to buy up as much of it as they had money for, so as to do a tidy profit on selling it to the big multinationals.

    But you can’t tell people anything when they are determined to make a terrible mistake. You can only watch. Washington must be asking itself why it put up with that crook Poroshenko for so long – why, that nice young comedian kid is the very heart and soul of cooperation.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-08-08/ukraine-president-plans-to-implement-land-reform-this-year

    Welcome to being tenants on your own land again, peasants. Why, it’ll be just like the days of Hetman this and Pan that – Huzza for the honest working life!!

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  47. Re-drawing international borders is just something modern civilized nations do not do…unless, of course, you are NATO. In which instance it is perfectly acceptable to appropriate miles of another nation’s territory to be designated a ‘safe zone’, which is defined as an area patrolled, controlled and enforced by your troops and from which the actual owners of the land are excluded.

    https://www.mrt.com/news/world/article/Damascus-decries-US-Turkish-deal-on-safe-zone-14289388.php

    This is why I say Erdogan must be constantly watched and never trusted. He is in the game for Erdogan and nobody else, regardless his occasional ‘standing up’ to NATO and America. As soon as someone approaches him with a deal he likes, he doesn’t care who they are.

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