If Wishes Were Horses: Nina Khrushcheva’s Regime-Change Dream.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The greater the gap between self perception and reality, the more aggression is unleashed on those who point out the discrepancy.”

is a kreakl. We use that word here a lot, and perhaps not all the readers know what it means. It is a portmanteau of “Creative Class”, but makes use of the letter ‘k’, because the letter ‘c’ in Russian has a soft ‘s’ sound, so we use the hard ‘k’. The Creative Class, or so they styled themselves, were the intelligentsia of Soviet times; the free-thinking liberals who were convinced Russia’s best course lay in accommodating the west no matter its demands, in hope that it would then bless Russia with its secrets for prosperity and all the fruits of the American Dream.

A kreakl is a Russian liberal, often the child or grandchild of Soviet-era intellectuals who believed they knew better than anyone else how the country should be run. They express their disapproval of the current government in the most contemptuous way, interpret its defense of family values as homophobia, and consider its leadership – uniformly described by the west as ‘authoritarian’ – to be stifling their freedom. My position is that their often privileged upbringing insulates them from appreciating the value of hard work, and lets them sneer at patriotism, as they often consider themselves global citizens with a worldly grasp of foreign affairs far greater that of their groveling, sweaty countrymen. Their university educations allow them to rub shoulders with other pampered scions of post-Soviet affluence, and even worse are those who are sent abroad to attend western universities, where they internalize the notion that everyone in America and the UK lives like Skip and Buffy and their other college friends.

Not everyone who attends university or college turns out a snobbish brat, of course, and in Russia, at least, not everyone who gets the benefit of a superior education comes from wealth. A significant number are on scholarships, as both my nieces were. Some western students are in university or college on scholarships as well, and there are a good many in both places who are higher-education students because it was their parents dream that they would be, and they saved all their lives to make it happen.

But many of the Russian loudmouths are those who learned at their daddy’s knee that he coulda been a contendah, if only the money-grubbing, soulless monsters in the government hadn’t kept him down – could have been wealthy if it were not for the money pit of communism, could have taken a leadership role which would have moved the country forward had the leader who usurped power not filled all the seats with his cronies and sycophants.

Now, she’s Professor of International Affairs at The New School, New York, USA, and a Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute, New York. As you might imagine, The New School is a hotbed of liberal intellectualism; as its Wiki entry announces, “…dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry and a home for progressive thinkers”. So let’s see what a liberal and progressive thinker thinks about the current state of affairs vis-a-vis Russia and China, and their western opponents.

You sort of get an early feel for it from the title: “Putin and Xi are Gambling with their Countries’ Futures“. I sort of suspected, even before I read it, that it was not going to be a story about what a great job Putin and Xi are doing as leaders of their respective countries.

Just before we get into that a little deeper – what is the purpose of an ‘Opinion’ section in a newspaper? If it was ‘Facts’, then it would be news, because the reporter could substantiate it. As I best understand it, people read newspapers to learn about news – things that happened, to who, and where, when and why, documented by someone who either saw them happen, interviewed someone who did, or otherwise has researched the issue. ‘Opinion’ sections, then, allow partisans for various philosophies to present their conclusions as if they were facts, or to introduce disputed incidents from a standpoint which implies they are resolved and that the author’s view represents fact.

Well, hey; here’s an example, in the first paragraph – “Continuing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must be keeping Mr. Putin up at night, or they wouldn’t be dispersed with such unabated brutality.”

I suppose they have their fingers on the world’s pulse at The New School, but I haven’t seen any indication at all, anywhere, that either Mr. Putin or Mr. Xi are ‘spooked’ about anything. The protests in Hong Kong appear to be instigated at the urging of the USA – as usual – with reports that the protesters are receiving western funding, and photographs showing protest leaders apparently meeting with the US Consul-General. Nonetheless, despite the aggressive violence displayed by the protesters, who are certainly not peaceful, the issue seems to be mostly confined to Hong Kong, and there have been no indications I have seen that Beijing is ‘spooked’ about it at all. In fact, the position of the Chinese government seems fairly reasonable – it does not want to see Chinese criminals escape justice by fleeing to Hong Kong.

As to whether either protests are representative of a large number of people, it is difficult to say: organizers of the Hong Kong protests claim almost 2 million, while the police – responsible for crowd control – say there were no more than a tenth of that number. And if the Moscow protests really were the largest in years, those hoping to see Putin overthrown might want to keep quiet about that; organizers claim about 50,000 people, and organizers usually overestimate the crowd for their own reasons. Moscow is a city of over 13 million just within the city limits. So the massive crowd represents less than half of one percent of the city’s population. Polling of the protest crowd suggested more than half of them were from outside Moscow, where who is on the city council is no concern of theirs, since they cannot vote. And in an echo of the iconic Tahrir Square protests, an element of the ‘Arab Spring’ – probably the first mass demonstrations managed by social media – the Moscow protests appear to be managed and directed via social media links, where it is possible to exercise disproportionate influence on a targeted crowd of restless youth who have little or no personal investment in the country, and just want to be part of what’s cool.

Let’s move on. According to Khrushcheva, the protests are ‘being dispersed with unabated brutality’. That so? Show me. Bear in mind that all these protests are unauthorized, and those participating in them are breaking the law and in breach of the public peace. Flash violence is an objective of the demonstrations, because otherwise their numbers are insignificant, and if they play it by the book nobody pays them any mind. I’ve seen loads of pictures of the protesters in Moscow being hauled away to the paddywagons, and nobody is bloody or has their clothing ripped. Here are some examples (thanks, Moscow Exile).

https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-15.jpghttps://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-12.jpghttps://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-4.jpg

None of those adolescents looks old enough to vote. A video clip of a Chinese policeman using his beanbag gun to disperse protesters has been edited to omit the part where he was swarmed by protesters who were punching him. No citizens who are in high dudgeon at what they are being told is ‘unabated brutality’ would tolerate unauthorized protests by young hooligans in their own towns for a second, and would scorn any suggestion that they are pursuing noble goals such as freedom and democracy. Fellow demonstrators in these photos seem far more interested in capturing every bit of the action on their phones than in assisting their captured co-demonstrators.

By way of contrast, check out this clip of US police officers in New Jersey arresting a young woman on the beach because there was alcohol – apparently unopened – on the same beach blanket, which she claimed belonged to her aunt. A pretty small-potatoes issue, you would think, compared with the fearless defense of freedom and democracy. Yet the police officers, viewed here on their own body cameras, throw her to the ground and punch her in front of her child although she is obviously not drunk and their breathalyzer test does not register any alcohol on her breath. Bystanders gratuitously and repeatedly advise her, “Stop resisting”. People who complain about the way the girl is being handled are told, “Back off, or you’ll be locked up, too”. For what? Which of these looks like a police state, to you? Nina Lvovna? I’m talking to you.

The demonstrations, we are told, are a poignant sign of Putin’s declining popularity. Yes, poor old chap. In fact, Putin’s approval rating in 2019 was 64%; it was 70% in 2000, nearly 20 years ago. Just for info, Donald Trump, the Leader Of The Free World, had an approval rating with his own voters of 44% in 2018, and Macron was even worse at 26%. I guess a little Macron goes a long way – his current approval rating is only 28%. His fortunes have not improved much, you might say. Boris Johnson has not yet even properly taken the reins in the UK, but his people do not appear optimistic; about 35% speculate he is or will be a capable leader, while only 23% rate him more honest than most politicians. Enjoy those, BoJo; they represent a zenith born of unreasonable hope – The Economist describes these ratings as ‘surprisingly high’. In 2018, the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte had only 10% approval – and that was the highest of the ministers – while 34% disapproved. Apparently about half just didn’t care.

Look; Khrushcheva is talking out her ass. There just is no way to sugar-coat it. In 2015, Vladimir Putin was the most popular leader in the world with national voters. I daresay he is now, as well; with the state of the world, I find it hard to imagine any other leader has an approval rating higher than 64%. But feel free to look. Polling agencies carefully parse their questions so as to push the results in the direction they’d like to see, but when the question is reduced to a basic “Do you trust Putin? Yes or No?”, his approval rating goes higher than it is right now. Please note, that’s the reference supplied by Khrushcheva to substantiate her statement that fewer and fewer Russians now conflate their nation with its leader.

I don’t personally recall Putin ever saying he hoped Trump would improve relations with Russia, although it would not be an unreasonable wish had he said it. I think he was probably glad Hillary Clinton did not win, considering her shrill Russophobic rhetoric and fondness for military solutions to all problems, but Khrushcheva makes him sound like a doddering old fool who barely knows what century he is living in. I think Russia always hoped for better relations with America, because when any country’s relations with America are very bad, that country would be wise to prepare for war. Because that’s how America solves its problems with other countries. Washington already had a go at strangling Russia economically, and it failed spectacularly, and we’re getting down to the bottom of the toolbox.

Next, Khrushcheva informs us that Russia is in as weak a position to defeat the USA in a nuclear war as it was when it was the USSR. That’s true, in a roundabout way. For one, there would be no victors or defeated in a nuclear war. It would quickly escalate to a full-on exchange, and much of the planet would become uninhabitable. For another, Russia was always in a pretty good position to wax America’s ass in a nuclear exchange…and it still is. Russia still has about 6,800 nuclear weapons to the USA’s 6,500, and has continued to modernize and update its nuclear arsenal through the years. A Russian strike would be concentrated on a country about a third its size. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t like those odds. Mind you, if I were a free-thinking liberal professor who did not have a clue what I was talking about, I would laugh at the odds – ignorance seasoned with a superiority complex tends to make you act that way. Just as well that betting men mostly run the world, and not jackhole liberal professors.

The recent explosion at what was believed to be development of a new nuclear weapon in Russia is assessed by Khrushcheva to be a clear sign of incompetence, which is quite a diagnosis considering no investigation has even started yet. Somehow she missed the dramatic explosion of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, together with its multi-million-dollar satellite payload, back in 2016. Oh, never mind – Musk quickly explained that it was ‘an anomaly’. Well, that clears it all up. Must have; the US government has continued to throw money at Musk as if he were embarrassingly naked or something, and nobody seems prepared to suggest it was incompetent. While we’re on that subject, the whole reason SpaceX even exists is because the USA continues to use Russian RD-180 rockets developed in the 1960s to launch its satellites and space packages into orbit, because it doesn’t have anything better. I’d be careful where I tossed that ‘incompetent’ word around. Cheer up, though  the news isn’t all bad: just a bit more than a year ago, the most advanced commercial reactor designs from Europe and the United States just delivered their first megawatt-hours of electricity within one day of each other. Oh, wait. It is bad news. Because that took place in China. You know, that place where Xi in his unabated brutality is trampling upon the fair face of democracy. In fact, according to nuclear energy consultant Mycle Schneider, principal author of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, “The Chinese have a very large workforce that they move from one project to another, so their skills are actually getting better, whereas European and North American companies haven’t completed reactors in decades”.

Is that bad? Gee; it might be. “This loss of nuclear competence is being cited by nuclear and national security experts in both the U.S. and in Europe’s nuclear weapons states as a threat to their military nuclear programs. The White House cited this nuclear nexus in a May memo instructing Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, to force utilities to buy power from unprofitable nuclear and coal plants. The memo states that the “entire US nuclear enterprise” including nuclear weapons and naval propulsion, “depends on a robust civilian nuclear industry.” You see, Ninushka, competence in nuclear weapons is directly related to competence in nuclear engineering as a whole.

I hope she knows more about Russia than she does about China – in a single paragraph she has the Chinese government threatening to send in the army to crush protests, and standing aside while thugs beat up protesters – and both are bad. And of course, this threatened action/inaction had to have been sanctioned by Xi’s government. Why? Well, because everyone in Hong Kong knows it. Much of the rest of her reasoning – free thinking, I guess I should call it – on China is what Xi ‘might be contemplating’ or ‘could be considering’. Supported by nothing, apparently, except the liberal free-thinker’s gift of clairvoyance.

Hong Kong was always Chinese. The Qing dynasty ceded it to the British Empire in the Treaty of Nanjing, and it became a British Crown Colony. Britain was back for Kowloon in 1860, and leased what came to be known as The New Territories for 99 years, ending in 1997. Time’s up. The people of Hong Kong are Chinese; it’s not like they are some different and precious race that China aims to extinguish. I was there a decade after it returned to Chinese control, and it was largely independent; it had its own flag, the British street names were retained, and you can probably still stop on Gloucester Road and buy a Jaguar, if you have that kind of money. To a very large degree, China left it alone and minded its own business, but like I said; it’s Chinese. These ridiculous western attempts to split it off and make an independent nation of it are only making trouble for the people of Hong Kong and, as usual, appeal mostly to students who have never run anything much bigger than a bake sale, and ‘free-thinking liberals’.

China is not ‘isolated diplomatically’. Beijing is host city to 167 foreign embassies. There are only 10 more in Washington, which considers itself the Center of the Universe. Lately China has been spreading itself a little, muscling into Latin America, right in Uncle Sam’s backyard. Foreign Direct Investment into China increased 3.6 percent year-on-year to $78.8 billion USD in January-July 2019, and has increased steadily since that time, when it fell dramatically owing to Trump’s trade war. That has proved far more disastrous to the USA than to China, which is rapidly sourcing its imports from other suppliers and establishing new trading relationships which exclude the United States, probably for the long term. “China is isolated diplomatically” is precisely the sort of inane bibble-babble liberal free-thinkers tell each other because they want to believe it is true. It is not. Similarly – and, I would have thought, obviously – China is also not ‘increasingly regarded as an international pariah’. That’s another place she’s thinking of.

There is nothing Russia or China could do to please the United States and its increasingly lunatic governing administration, short of plucking out its eye and offering it for a bauble, like Benton Wolf in The Age of Miracles. The type of ‘reforms’ demanded by the US State Department suggest its current state is delusion, since they are patently designed to weaken the government and empower dissident groups – is that the essence of democracy? It sure as fuck is not. You can kind of tell by the way Washington pounces on its own dissident groups like Mike Pompeo on a jelly roll; the FBI investigated the Occupy Wall Street movement as a terrorist threat. Russia got a prescient preview of the kind of treatment it could expect from the west when it applied to join NATO, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The acceptance of the Soviet Union “would be incompatible with its democratic and defensive aims.”

So as most ordinary thinkers could have told you would happen, America’s hold-my-beer-and-watch-this hillbilly moves to split Russia and China apart have succeeded in driving them closer together; the world’s manufacturing and commercial giant and a major energy producer – a great mix, unless you are the enemy. The rest of the world is kind of watching America with its pants around its ankles, wondering what it will do next. It failed to wreck the Russian economy, failed to depose and replace Bashar al-Assad in Syria, failed to depose and replace Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, and it will fail to prevent a Sino-Russian axis which will reshape global trade to its own advantage at the expense of America. Because whenever it has an opportunity to seize upon a lucid moment, to turn away from its destructive course, it chooses instead to bullshit itself some more. To whisper what it wishes were true into its own ear.

And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

1,884 thoughts on “If Wishes Were Horses: Nina Khrushcheva’s Regime-Change Dream.

  1. Nina, Nina, Nina, what would happen in that ten cent hologram that passes for a brain were you to be exposed to the fact your (grand) daddy’s peace summit with Eisenhower was sabotaged by the very Western organization sponsoring today’s color revolutions? Oh Well.

    https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/

    Hillbillies & ‘pants around ankles’ … much appreciated Mark, I always love tossing in a relevant satire, I’ll put the link in a reply to this comment so it isn’t ‘spam-canned’

    Like

  2. In this National Geographic article dated 2014, Nina Khrushcheva explains that her dear (great) dedushko was married to a woman from western Ukraine.
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/3/140303-crimea-putin-russia-ukraine-khruschev-khruscheva-world/

    According to Nina K, Khrushchev made a gift of Crimea to Ukraine because it was the logical thing to do. She doesn’t explain why she thinks gifting Crimea to Ukraine was logical at all. Given that Crimea was majority-Russian, grafting the region from the RSFSR to Ukraine made no sense at all, and doing it without consulting the Duma and the upper house and / or calling for a parliamentary vote on the issue makes even less sense.

    Nina K claims Khrushchev was rewarding Ukraine with Crimea because of Stalin’s supposed Holodomor genocidal policies against Ukrainians in the early 1930s – even though a good chunk of western Ukraine was under Polish fascist rule at the time.

    Nina Khrushcheva, Kool-Aid drinker.

    Thanks for another sterling article, Mark – you’ve been on fire lately.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Jen! A theory I quoted some time ago suggested Khrushchev thought there might be future advantage in implanting a large population of ethnic Russians among the Ukrainians, but Nina remembers Grampie always having a fondness for Ukraine, as if it were his homeland, although he was not actually Ukrainian. She also has a bee in her bonnet about Stalin, because persistent rumor suggests her daddy was not shot down in the war at all, but executed by Stalin for Nazi sympathies.

      Like

    2. There were a couple of bright spots, such as her avowing that Khrushchev would have agreed with Putin about protecting Russian nationals – but then you have to remember many, many of Khrushchev’s friends and acquaintances were disappeared by Stalin without a word of demurral from Khrushchev, when he was an up-and-comer. Maybe she feels she must cover herself in sackcloth and ashes forever because of who she is, but I think instead that she is grooving on the admiration she gets for being ‘so brave’, throwing off the shackles of her Russian past to embrace the purity of American freedom. Fine, as long as she does not apologize for all Russians, like liberal emigres often do. But she does. Because it’s her living.

      Like

      1. Grandpa Khrushchev was knee-deep in Stalin’s crimes against innocent Communist Party cadres.

        Having said that, I have always maintained there was a quantum of logic for putting Crimea under Ukrainian administration; namely the fact that the waterways and electrical grid between mainland and peninsula were completely integrated; hence it kinda sorta made sense to have both entities report upward, in the chain of command, to the same upper leadership.
        It’s like one of those “bad experiments” when a company’s directors decide to merge two separate entities “for greater efficiency”; or maybe just as a way of liquidating some department they don’t like; or dismissing some manager they don’t care for, whatever.

        For the rest, even Ukrainian-sympathizer Khrushchev never, in his wildest dreams, would have put Sebastopol and the Soviet Navy at risk.

        It was just a bad mistake, nothing more really needs to be read into it. IMHO.
        Great post, Mark!

        Like

        1. Ah, of course, I had forgotten that in the 1950s, the water supply from Moscow to Crimea was going through Ukraine at the time. So when the pipeline crossed from the RSFSR to Ukraine in the north, one set of bureaucratic regulations had to approve that crossover and when the pipeline crossed a second border between Ukraine and Crimea, another set of papers had to approve that crossover as well. I suppose there was no other water pipeline alternative that would have circumvented Ukrainian territory at the time and gone directly from Russia to Crimea.

          Like

          1. Circumventing Ukrainian territory wasn’t even an issue at the time. No Soviet person in their wildest imaginations could have imagined a Ukrainian entity completely hostile to the Russian entity.
            Every water canal, every electrical station, every rocket factory that was built, just assumed that Ukraine and Russia were, like, twin cities. Which is why it sorta made sense, like I said, for just one set of government officials to supervise the main infrastructure, not two sets.

            What the Khrushchev apparatchiks overlooked, was the emotional element of the administrative reorg. Although it is a fact that Kh. posed the swap as a sort of “birthday present” to the Ukraine.

            Like

          2. I don’t know that it was ever a pipeline, although it may have been. But I recall that the main water supply to Crimea at the time it unplugged from Ukraine was via a canal – the Northern Crimean Channel – and the Ukrainians shut the gates upstream and cut them off from water.

            https://www.kyivpost.com/article/content/business/groysman-ukraine-shuts-off-crimeas-water-tap-345528.html

            Eventually they constructed a new dam. The Ukies were quite chuffed with themselves at the time, boasting that Russia could not supply Crimea with water. They’re still saying that.

            http://euromaidanpress.com/2019/07/23/russia-cant-solve-crimeas-water-problem/

            And the problem actually is still not solved, although Crimean authorities point out there are ample resources on the peninsula; about 300 lakes, some of them probably quite large, but they are widely dispersed and few are where population centers need them. A river was already diverted into the blocked section of the Northern Crimean Channel, but the problem seems resolvable through some new reservoir creation and water piping. The Ukies and the west love to make the problem look like a crisis which is going to force Russia to the bargaining table. For some reason, they never seem to fear Russia will simply invade them and seize all Ukrainian bodies of fresh water, although they constantly play up the threat of invasion when it suits their purpose.

            Like

  3. A superb essay, Mark.

    Giving Nina such a platform makes me wonder if the people in power in the USA are on the point of wearing togas and speaking Latin since conviction that they are the new Romans appears to be leading them to try to promote strife amongst the barbarians using princelings to threaten regime change. Those familiar with “I, Claudius” might recognise the scenarios possible. Some uppity king in a dreadful poxy Caucasian statelet gives lip to a visiting dignitary from Rome and next thing he knows, his moronic nephew resident in the Eternal City is fluffed up and presented as the legitimate heir of his granddaddy’s Kingdom which was usurped by wicked Uncle Gruz. And as guarantors of a rules-based international order, the Legions must march to remove the usurper and instal King Dumbass.

    No need for random Guaidos or thieving Navalnys when restoring the natural leadership.

    Sorry for rambling

    Like

    1. Thanks, Cortes. What always strikes me about the exuberant feting of Russian ‘defectors’ is the determination to cast them as heroes, as having been more discerning and demanding than their plodding fellow citizens. But it obviously does not work the other way – if Snowden could be lured back to the United States, he’d be jugged in less time than it takes to say it, and official America cannot say “Chomsky” without making a face like it has tasted something sour.

      Like

    1. That is an interesting piece – a concept I had not seen before is the suggestion that Israel bills itself as an influence-peddler to the United States in its dealings with Russia and China: play your cards right, boys, and with my help your problems may bey solved.

      I personally don’t think that is very likely, and I don’t think Russia or China would accept it as a genuine offer. But if accurate it would speak volumes about Israel’s confidence in its capability to manipulate the US government, which has made an enormous investment in demonizing both countries, although to a much greater extent with Russia.

      Like

      1. Over at the Moon of Alabama blog, one theme that surfaces now and again on comments forums there is the extent to which the Israeli govt is supposedly able to influence Moscow in taking certain actions (or not) against the jihadists or which favour Syria, as in Syria’s acquisition of the S-300 missile defence systems and the delays involved in that acquisition, and the role of the Israeli news media (which serve as sources of such news about the Israeli govt’s apparent influence on Russia to International media) in exaggerating such influence to make Israel look more important than it is in Middle Eastern affairs.

        Like

        1. It’s the “indispensable nation” schtik.

          We are the heartbeat of the world…

          Works fairly well with “the West.”

          But the rest of the world? Not so much. The Indians (dot), the Chinese and – most painfully – the Iranians are fortified by millenia of culture and are immune to the ludicrous supposed superiority of the delusions of a minor tribal group.

          Like

    1. Here’s a précis of the Bard’s play:

      Bonus points for comprehension (ME has handicap of 10 due to possible familiarity with accent). A classic.

      Like

      1. For the uninitiated:

        There was this king sitting in his garden all alane
        When his brother in his ear poured a wee bit of henbane.
        He stole his brother’s crown and his money and his widow.
        But the dead king walked and got his son and said “Hey listen, kiddo!

        “I’ve been killed, and it’s your duty then to take revenge on Claudius.
        Kill him quick and clean and show the nation what a fraud he is.”
        The boy said “Right, I’ll do it. But I’ll have to play it crafty.
        So no one will suspect me, I’ll kid on that I’m a dafty.”

        Then with all except Horatio, cuz he counts him as a friend,
        Hamlet, that’s the boy, puts on he’s round the bend.
        But because he was not ready for obligatory killing,
        He tried to make the king think he was tuppence off a shilling.

        Got a rise out of Polonius, treats poor Ophelia vile,
        Told Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Denmark’s a bloody jail.
        Then a troupe of travelling actors, like Seven Eighty-four,
        Arrived to do a special one night gig in Elsinore.

        Hamlet! Hamlet! Loved his mommy!
        Hamlet! Hamlet! Acting barmy!
        Hamlet! Hamlet! Hesitatin’,
        Wonders if the ghost’s a cheat
        And that is why he’s waitin’.

        Then Hamlet wrote a scene for the players to enact
        While Horatio and he watched to see if Claudius cracked.
        The play was called “The Mousetrap” (not the one that’s running now),
        And sure enough, the king walked out before the final bow.

        So Hamlet’s got the proof that Claudius gave his dad the dose.
        The only problem being, now, that Claudius knows he knows.
        So while Hamlet tells his mother her new husband’s not a fit one,
        Uncle Claude puts out a contract with the English king as hit man.

        And when Hamlet killed Polonius, the concealed corpus delecti,
        Was the king’s excuse to send him for an English hempen necktie.
        With Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to make sure he got there,
        Hamlet jumped the boat and put the finger on that pair.

        Meanwhile Leartes heard his dad had been stabbed through the arras.
        He came running back to Elsinore, toot-sweet, hotfoot from Paris.
        And Ophelia, with her dad killed by the man she wished to marry,
        After saying it with flowers, she committed hari-cari.

        Hamlet! Hamlet! Nae messin’!
        Hamlet! Hamlet! Learned his lesson!
        Hamlet! Hamlet! Yorick’s crust
        Convinced him that men, good or bad,
        At last must come to dust.

        Then Leartes lost his cool and was demanding retribution.
        The king said “Keep your head, and I’ll provide you a solution.”
        He arranged a sword fight for the interested parties,
        With a blunted sword for Hamlet, and a sharpened sword for Leartes.

        To make things double sure, the old “belt and braces” line,
        He fixed a poison sword tip, and a poison cup of wine.
        The poison sword got Hamlet, but Leartes went and muffed it,
        ‘Cause he got stabbed himself, and he confessed before he snuffed it.

        Then Hamlet’s mommy drank the wine, and as her face turned blue,
        Hamlet said “I think the king’s a baddie through and through.”
        “Incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,” he said to be precise,
        And made up for hesitating once by killing Claudius twice,

        For he stabbed him with the sword and forced the wine between his lips.
        He cried “The rest is silence,” and cashed in all his chips.
        They fired a volley over him that shook the topmost rafter.
        And Fortinbras, knee-deep in Danes, lived happily ever after.

        Hamlet! Hamlet! Oh so gory!
        Hamlet! Hamlet! End of story!
        Hamlet! Hamlet! I’m away!
        If you think this is boring,
        You should read the bloody play.

        Like

      2. Unfair! Sounds funny as hell, but I can’t understand a word through that thick Scottish accent!
        The only words I picked up were “Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern”,
        and “Hamlet jumped the boat and put a finger on that pair!”

        Like

          1. As a matter of fact, old bean, it’s not “real” English such as Lord Snooty and his chums and Boris the Buffoon and Call Me Dave etc. speak with their strangulated long and clipped vowels, but a watered down version of Lalands or Lowlands Scottish-English, which in its turn comes from a Northern Old English tongue (Northumbrian) and Old Norse.

            I should add that I used to be chief interpreter for a lad whom I worked with down the pit and who hailed from Paisley, Scotland.

            We were both on the same face team for a long time, but they opened a new face and organized a new team for it.

            This Paisley lad and I were part of the new team. So when he started chattering away to my fellow countrymen on this new team (almost fellow countrymen: there was a Pole in the team as well), no bugger could understand what he was saying, apart from me.

            I must have some gift for picking up the what other folk who speak differently say and I suppose that’s why I ended up here in Mordor by way of das Vaterland.

            So anyway, the other men used to say to me “What the fuck’s he saying?” and I’d repeat what he said, usually in a “far back” accent, just for a laugh, and the others would say “How the fuck do you know what he’s saying?” and I’d just tell them that it was a special skill that I had.

            Like

  4. Fellow Stooges:
    I just finished posting my series this morning on the Russian robot Fyodor who was sent to the space station.
    That post had barely rolled off the presses when I saw this follow-up in VZGLIAD about a mechanical glitch in the first attempt at the docking of the capsule with the space station.
    I’ll do a follow-up post tomorrow. Some pundits are blaming Fyodor, but not in the way you think. Fyodor the Robot was actually asleep at the wheel (literally), but pundits are mocking Rogozin and his whole idea of sending a robot into space. Just so much PR and AI-razzmatazz. I tend to agree with them, but deal more with those issues tomorrow…

    Like

  5. https://www.rbth.com/history/330855-soviet-codes-cryptographers-wwii
    Another profile in courage

    My point was to contrast the character and substance of GPW
    hero Elena and the German Skipper
    with that of Khrusheva , the
    subject of the current KS article.
    I think there is a bit of irony in the
    Juxtaposition of Elena and the German Skipper,which some of you may grasp….or not.
    I think women like Elena and the German Skipper deserve to be paid respect and honored on as many progressive net sites as possible.

    However since one of the two is not
    Russian please feel free to delete my post Mark, so as not to conceivably annoy or offend any Stooge.

    Like

  6. Stooges need to get thru your heads that the above video on Tulsi
    is what America is about….a pack of deranged venal corrupt shitstains who conspire to annoit their chosen
    POS as candidate….just like in 2016

    .

    Like

    1. I don’t have any problem accepting that the DNC does not want Gabbard to be the candidate, and that there is therefore zero hope that she will be. Although I would also point out that if the American people were actually foursquare behind Gabbard, the debates are not a vote. It would be eminently possible for Democratic voters to express their displeasure at the selection process, to suggest that they disagreed with the absurd rigged thresholds and the machinations to narrow it down to the DNC’s preferred candidate (which, ridiculous though it may sound, is Joe Biden, and he is well aware of it). The DNC carefully tracks the viewership of the debates, and if it was practically nothing, they would know they made a big mistake.

      However, you have to look at it from the DNC’s point of view, and all it cares about is who can beat Trump. Could Gabbard do it? Not a hope. Could Elizabeth Warren do it? Not a hope. I don’t think even Biden can do it, but that’s my personal opinion; the continued faith of groups like the farmers in Trump is weird and scary. They keep reiterating that Trump is standing up for America’s farmers and America in general, when what he is actually doing is eliminating markets they took decades courting…but it seems like nobody can see that. Somehow, Trump is going to make them buy American products, and make them buy even more than they did before. Ummm….he’s using sanctions to force them to buy a product they were never sure they wanted, a product that in most cases they can buy somewhere else, and he’s got basically nothing except falling on his knees with snot dripping down his face and tearfully begging if sanctions don’t work – ask yourself, what’s he got if sanctions don’t work? War. Is he going to take America to war against the world because he fucked up America’s markets and trade relationships? I’m afraid I don’t think so.

      Anyway, I don’t have any problem accepting the DNC is rigging the game. What I DO have a problem accepting is that if Gabbard miraculously got the nomination, and even more miraculously won, that she would usher in a revolutionary age of governance which completely changed the way America does business. That there would be no more rattling countries’ cages and threatening to sanction them back to the stone age if they did not comply. That America would treat other nations – and most of all its partners – with consideration and respect, and appeal to their better natures rather than coercing and bullying them. Ha, ha; as if. If President Tulsi tried any of those things, the unelected administration that really runs the country would quickly let her know that there is going to be none of that. She would not govern any differently, because Barrack Obama was going to change the way America related to the world, and the whole world believed he would do it…for about two weeks. He changed the square root of fuck-all, and even then he couldn’t get anything done because the Republicans would not cooperate. Have they suddenly lost their ability to hamstring the government, so that Gabbard – a surfer with about five minutes in politics – could accomplish what he couldn’t? They surely have not.

      Yes, I realize she’s a military veteran. That means exactly zip, unless you’re John McCain and lived in a rathole in Hanoi, and even then it turned out to mean not very much. Because America is run on a warrior culture (although they’re not as good as you might expect, given the amount of practice they’ve had), there is no shortage of military heroes, and Gabbard’s service is not going to give her a clear path to the brass ring. It might even be better for her long-term political chances if she is brushed aside now, if she chooses to stay in politics, because she’s not going to win now and if Jeriatric Joe gets the nomination and pooches it, Gabbard would have a great argument that it should have been her.

      So, to summarize what turned out to be a much longer rant than I planned, I have no problem ‘getting it through my head’ that the game is rigged against Gabbard. Of course it is – the DNC does not want her to be the candidate, much less America’s first female President; that’ll go to someone who is part of a lengthy political dynasty, which is why Hillary Clinton was perfect for that slot. So she won’t be, unless there is an absolutely unprecedented rebellion among Democratic voters. I DO have a problem getting it through my head that Gabbard would actually change anything, because she wouldn’t. She would not be allowed to. So what am I not getting through my head? Enlighten me.

      I like Gabbard. She has guts to burn, and radiates integrity – she spells leadership in its most positive sense. Is that going to get her anywhere? Not this time.

      Like

      1. I very much agree with you on Gabbard on how she would be as president, but I also believe that some of the policies that she will ultimately be governing on, no one will force her on it. Maybe I should pay more attention to politics and all the candidates, but I think as president she will herself throw any possible improvement of relations with Russia under the bus as a dog bone, and would on her own keep lots of troops overseas.

        I talk to soldiers pretty often in a local bar that I sometimes go to, and wanting troops out of Syria is a common theme, so Gabbard is hardly unique. Since she because a politician and is savvy about the kinds of compromises you have to make, those two are no brainers and will not cost her much. Andrew Yang is more of the type of outsider who could shake everything up, but there is no way he’s going to make it either.

        Like

  7. The great snowball that is the U.S. GWOT (Global War On Trade) is taking on new layers as it gathers speed. I had suggested much earlier that China might start kicking out American companies – looks like that might not be necessary. The Donald announced he will be ‘looking at the International Emergency Economic Power Act’, with a view to ordering major U.S. companies to leave China.

    That provoked a gleeful response from Editor-in-chief of the Global Times Hu Xijin; ” “Go back to the US, let each American family have 20 cars.” He announced that American automakers’ market share would be quickly lost to German and Japanese companies.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-starting-lose-china-says-182214066.html

    Don’t forget, the USA planned to sell large volumes of LNG to China. Not to put too fine a point on it, investment in the US LNG industry from some of the heavies depended on it.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2019/01/17/china-to-quadruple-lng-imports-will-u-s-exporters-benefit/#64f855d22102

    So the USA would not only lose out in the short term on LNG cargoes which are never shipped, it might be severely curtailed in its expansion plans.

    Trump is the single most unhinged lunatic to ever even walk past the White House, never mind live in it. He is erratically and mindlessly overturning trade arrangements that took decades of careful cultivation to build, and reminding the world that all it takes is a nut at the American helm, and all bets are off, so relying on the USA for anything is a fool’s errand.

    Will America’s major corporations finally decide enough is enough, and rebel, refusing to sever their China links? Hard to say; Trump might tweet out a complete reversal tomorrow. But the longer the country pretends he’s in his right mind and knows what he’s doing. the worse it will get. And China is absolutely not kidding that it will replace American companies and cease trading with them. Not to mention the jaw-dropping display of American unreliability and flightiness in front of its other trading partners. In six months, if this keeps up, you couldn’t sell an American frying pan in China if there was nothing in the country but eggs and hot rocks. Great job, Mr. Trump – in fact, the greatest ever.

    Like

    1. That is quite hilarious. The plan was everyone else (more so Ru/Cn) were supposed to panic in response to t-Rump’s warmed up Nixon Crazy Man routine, but it has descended in to a strategy of bailing water faster from the boat that you’ve been puching holes in.

      The current thread over at Moon of Alabma covers this:
      https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/us-decoupling-from-china-forces-others-to-decouple-from-us.html
      ####

      I highly recommend ‘vk’ posts, if only that it is the first time I’ve seen someone else say (as I do) that the USSR peaked in 1959 and the USA in 1969 (more or less).

      Like

  8. The rest of the world is kind of watching America with its pants around its ankles, wondering what it will do next.

    Genuis Mark! As is the rest of it.

    Surely it can only be a matter of time before Nina ‘Grandaddy’s Ivory Tower’ Khruscheva and Megan ‘Daddy’s Bloviating Warmongering Magnificence in Droves’ McCaine team up. They could do a Netflix show together and I would watch it like a slow car crash occuring before my eyes. Now that would be entertainment! Is Nina a Democrat voter? That would be a plus, a Donkey Elephant chimera…

    My main bugbear about ‘opinion pieces’ is that some don’t put the contriubtors names at the top, but rather prefer to put their names at the bottom of the piece.

    Vis Putin, ‘juliana’ comments over at MoA that she sees him on the Plato side of life:
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/us-decoupling-from-china-forces-others-to-decouple-from-us.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a4a3d000200d#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a4a3d000200d

    As for Kreakles, they are the ultimate hypocrites. They are all human rights and stuff except for those that don’t agree with them or vote the same way! Their casual dismissal of others at home is one thing, but their selective blindness to widescale poverty and discrimination when they are abroad and being feted is inexcusable, but they don’t live in, let alone visit such parts by choice. For them it is an ‘more than acceptable the price to be paid’ to be the best. What disgusting individuals, one’s who never have to scrabble to survive. Kreakles are a Sarkozy reverse Racaille in my opinion.

    Like

  9. Vis HK protests, is this guy a spy/provocateur?

    The Scottish Sun: SAFE & SOUND Scottish Government consul Simon Cheng ‘back in Hong Kong safely’ after ‘arrest for soliciting prostitutes’
    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/4644105/simon-cheng-scottish-government-hong-kong/

    Simon Cheng Man-kit, who works for the Scottish Development International department, has been accused in the Chinese press of being detained for soliciting prostitutes….
    ####

    Or does it matter? Maybe the real question is that is the UK government dumb enough to be working behind the scenes with key protesters considering the consequences if caught? Clearly HK is super sensitive to any outside meddling.

    To continue with the speculation, I have little doubt that the UK has stay behinds since HK was considered its back yard and therefore probably does Washington favors in that neck of the woods (could they resist). So it looks to me like this arrest is a clear warning to London to keep the f/k out, regardless of whether he is involved or not.

    What it also shows us is that the authorities are thinking on their feet and have cunningly avoided what could have been a diplomatic incident, firstly by not accusing him of being involved but getting him on breaking the law on something that would be publicly humiliating and possibly blowing his cover to boot. The bonus is that the authorities could legitimately refuse him a return, though he would just be replaced by someone else, so maybe better to let him back on a short leash.

    For some reason the whole Moscow ‘Spy Rock’ story springs to mind that UK gov pooh poohed at the time before finally admitting the truth. Either way, we are not getting the full story:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-16614209

    …Jonathan Powell, then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, told a BBC documentary it was “embarrassing”, but “they had us bang to rights”.

    He added: “Clearly they had known about it for some time.”

    They had been “saving it up for a political purpose”, he said…

    Like

    1. If it was that clear that the Russians had known for some time, then ‘clearly’ they also knew the British were lying for some time. But they kept right on lying, so it could not have been that clear after all.

      Like

  10. Porky running off with the petty cash box?

    I think they’re getting their knees dirty in respect of their “heroes”, who fell on the field of glory whilst lobbing mortars into Donbas residential areas.

    Like

  11. Woo, MAKS 2019, 27/8-1/9!
    https://www.aviasalon.com/en/news/

    Lots of news.

    First Il-78M2 tanker has flown.
    First Forpost-R UAV has flown.
    MC-21 serial production will fly with Russian PD-14 geared turbofans and will first appear at MAKS.
    The stealthy S-70 Ohotnik-B UCAV has flown more than once.
    A new range of small PGMs has been revealed.
    The SukhoiSSJ 75 – short ass – version is still in the running as well as further Russification, not to mention it will share a logistics/support network with the MC-21.
    Il-112VE will be flying – so no more light Antonov transporters!
    Ryanair is looking to fly to Armenia – deal already done with Georgia (WizzAir already expanding).

    FlightGlobal.com: ANALYSIS: Rostec funds give lift to UEC’s civilian programmes
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-rostec-funds-give-lift-to-uecs-civilian-p-458905/

    &

    FlightGlobal.com: How Russian Helicopters is expanding its product line
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/how-russian-helicopters-is-expanding-its-product-lin-458275/

    Like

  12. msn via Antiwar.com: Venezuelan Opposition Leader Would Boycott Early Legislative Elections
    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/08/23/venezuelan-opposition-leader-would-boycott-early-legislative-elections/

    In an interview on Friday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido announced that he and the rest of the opposition would refuse to participate in any early legislative elections called by the Maduro government. ..
    ####

    It’s all very thumbs up thumbs down at the Colosseum. Who needs elections when a nobody has been elected by a foreign emperor?

    Like

    1. Guaido knows very well that in any fair election, UN-monitored and all, he would lose in a landslide. In fact. boycotting elections is how he came to be appointed Big Cheese in the first place; opposition figures boycotted the election and then announced they had not been allowed to run, the western media started up a noise campaign for the poor, disadvantaged opposition, beloved of so many, and the US government was inspired to make things fair for Guaido by declaring him the winner.

      He is noticeably not anxious to put his popularity to the test. So, no early elections. Then I guess itès business as usual, See you, Guaido; don’t take any wooden nickels.

      Like

  13. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Russia extends detention of ex-U.S. Marine accused of spying
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russia-usa-whelan/russia-extends-detention-of-ex-u-s-marine-accused-of-spying-idUKKCN1VD17B

    …The court ordered Paul Whelan held until the end of October, as Russian news agencies reported that authorities said they planned to wrap up their investigation into him in two weeks and present definitive accusations. ..

    …Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained by agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 after a Russian. acquaintance gave him a flash drive which his lawyer said he thought contained holiday photos, but which actually held classified information….
    ####

    What a poor princess. Someone remove that pea now!

    1: Denial.
    2: Claim injury.

    It’s the standard MO for fragile off-the-books spooks. You wonder if foreign intelligence services are still farming out jobs to freelancers (sic Edmond D. Pope) who are ‘misunderstood’ which if it is the case, then they’re all stupid, journos too. Either they are being very badly briefed, they’re stupid, they’re very well paid or a combination of the above.

    Like

  14. Like

    1. That seems strange as I just had a look at Alexander Yakovenko’s Twitter account to see if he had posted anything about his recall to Russia and there was nothing there.

      Like

  15. @Mark
    https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/new-deal
    If FDR was able to bring about the
    New Deal with America in the throes
    of the Depression and on the verge
    of revolution, I think Gabbard could
    implement most of her agenda without significant compromise or revision. Who would block her?
    If she is POTUS,then almost certainly the Dems would have won control of both the Senate and the House. If the fascists-hidden or MAGA cap wearing-pull a JFK on her,
    that would probably be America’s
    Bastille moment.

    Like

    1. FDR was well-connected, understood the challenges, had a population fed up with capitalism and the deep state was not nearly so deep. Kennedy, as well, had some factors going for him. Gabbard would have few friends in high places and her own party would fight her if she were to do the things she promised. I just can’t see how it would work barring a national catastrophe that would give her carte blanche; economic, natural (e.g major earthquake) or a significant military defeat.

      Like

      1. First I don’t see women Democrats -and significant numbers of non Dem women-working to undermine the first woman POTUS. She doesn’t have
        the baggage Killary had and she
        is a first class role model for their little soon to be women.

        If the elected Dems were to be stupid enough to attempt to thwart her…they would do so at their own peril: 2022 midterms.
        The electorate who put her in office can ultimately trump the
        self appointed self annointed self important assholes of the DNC, which needs to be cut down to size and put in its place in any event.

        Like

        1. All right. I see you are not going to be deterred. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Just keep in mind that an astonishing 78% of American farmers still support Trump, in the belief that his trade wars will ultimately make a positive impact on American agriculture, even as they are living on welfare. It really is not very difficult to get Americans to believe something that is not true.

          I maintain that her being squeezed out here is ultimately going to be good for her if she plays her cards right, especially if Biden gets the nod and completely shits the bed. Which is not only possible, but likely.

          Like

        2. I don’t think Tulsi Gabbard being female, Hindu and part-Samoan would matter a jot to many senior women Democrats if her agenda doesn’t align with the party’s agenda on foreign and domestic policy issues. If the Democrats are all for pursuing war or economic sanctions against Syria, Venezuela or any other country in Yosemite Sam Bolton’s radar sights, Gabbard’s anti-war messages can be turned against her. If she is in favour of single-payer universal health care coverage, that position could be turned into a stick to beat her as well.

          Donald Trump’s victory over the Klintonator was quite narrow in the 2016 elections and is still the subject of dispute (with regard as to whether Clinton really did win the popular vote) which means that she did carry quite a few states and a lot of electorates even with all the baggage and the health concerns she had.

          BTW, I don’t see the #MeToo movement going in to bat on behalf of Virginia Giuffre and all the other teenage victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking / blackmailing network – I suppose the fact that most of these girls came from poor or underprivileged families, some of them dysfunctional with histories of one parent being an alcoholic and/or having treated family members badly, means they were not worth the bother of defending.

          Like

  16. Tulsi WON the freakin debate according to Breitbart and Drudge of all people!!!
    Does her campaign have legs?
    Umm….yup…looks that way.
    Warren ,Sanders and Biden are her only potential obstacles.
    If she takes out either of the latter two in the next debate….she will be the nominee. (Of course one must bear in mind DNC slimeballs desperate Hail Mary attempts to derail her.)

    https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2019/07/31/tulsi-gabbard-winner-of-drudge-breitbart-polls-at-second-democrat-debate/

    Like

    1. I can’t convince myself that another rogue politician will be allowed to win unless its a Trojan horse scenario.

      Funny thing, though, is that she may have the best chance to beat Trump. The other democrats are without redeemig value.

      When Trump gives her a nickname then we will know she is for real; “surfer girl”, “hulu honey”, “Assad’s puppet”?

      Like

      1. That’s interesting – the more so because the western media works hard to create the impression that the Chinese do not really understand what intellectual property is, and whose accomplishments mostly consist of filching the secret technology of others. Not that they have never done that – they stole fighter-aircraft engine technology from Russia. Which they acquired from that pillar of intellectual property guardianship, Ukraine.

        Like

    1. From the above linked NS article:

      After reflection, the head of department and the director of “learning and teaching” had decided that, “our normal procedures… failed us. For this we apologise unreservedly”. The department had decided to “uplift all the marks… less at the top and more at the bottom”.

      Should that not be “fewer at the top”?

      Like

    2. I must admit my only current contact with universities is through continuing adult education courses offered by a sandstone university (in Australia, “sandstone universities” are so-called because their original buildings are made of sandstone and they happen to be the oldest and most prestigious universities) but I have noticed even in these courses there is a greater emphasis on business / commerce and IT-related courses, and even short psychology courses seem to emphasise a business or work-related aspect (as in, how to get along with difficult people at work or recognise the office sociopath). There is less emphasis on courses that offer knowledge for its own sake.

      Although the New Statesman article doesn’t actually say so, the core of the problem was staring at me as I was reading it, probably as a result of the (admittedly small) experience I have had myself, even though the courses I do are one-day courses that don’t involve exams or research, along with past experience of doing a postgraduate course with subjects that had barely changed in 10 years taught by lecturers suffering burn-out: universities these days are no longer institutions of study, research, debate and discussion, and taking students out of their comfort zones; they are expected to churn out, in the manner of old-fashioned Fordian assembly-line factories, graduates for employers and to make money. In Britain, the problem began with Margaret Thatcher (herself originally a chemistry graduate from Oxford University) and escalated from there, with former polytechnic colleges being upgraded to university status, university chancellors or vice-chancellors being hired straight from the business world rather than from within academia and learning university administration on the job or getting an MBA, academics as well as tutors being put on temporary one-year or two-year contracts rather than securing full-time jobs, and universities being forced continuously from one year to the next to cut back on supposedly useless spending, like spending on more tutors, more remedial classes in English and mathematics perhaps, or more learning materials and copying equipment for the libraries.

      Several of the problems identified in the New Statesman article afflicting British universities are also present in Australian universities, though the extent of the problem and the damages done may differ from one place to another. Australian universities are also being run like business enterprises, with students being treated as clients and academics treated as though they were sales assistants, with all the problems that presents: some former technical colleges offering practical courses upgraded to university status, or colleges being forced to merge and become universities; students wanting to upgrade from grade D to grade A even though they didn’t put in the work; academics quitting rather than compromise their standards; and university libraries forced to chuck out valuable books and research materials collected over decades but whose borrowing histories over the past couple of years are close to zero, in favour of lesser items more suitable for airport bookstalls.

      Australian universities have also suffered cutbacks in their funding so they have had to tout for business among prospective overseas students (this explains why after coal, Australia’s biggest export is higher education) as well as put up their fees, and as a result, in some faculties at particular universities, the complement of overseas students, mainly from China and India, is close to or even over 50%. These students then have to grapple with classes where the level of English instruction is far over their heads and writing essays and participating in class discussions and debates are either beyond their skill and experience or even alien to them. A university in Melbourne had an incident once in which an overseas student went “postal” and shot dead a couple of other students and wounded five other people.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monash_University_shooting

      There was also a big scandal a decade ago when Griffith University in Queensland was found to be accepting Saudi money for its, erm, Islamic Research Unit.
      https://www.news.com.au/news/uni-agent-of-extreme-islam/news-story/d4c8035765b1e503d6311238ffab7915?sv=f2c13b1cdba7e0331c6d5c1f95afebc2

      One result of all this is that young people have learned to game the system with the result that Australian universities no longer produce as many doctors, dentists or engineers as they used to do (because these courses are expensive, and their entry requirements are at a level that only overseas Chinese and Indian students are able to reach; essay writing is not a prerequisite for maths and engineering courses probably teach students how to write research papers) but on the other hand probably produce too many lawyers (most of whom never end up practising law) and commerce graduates.

      Like

      1. The same problems exist at at least one excellent Canadian Uni.

        A friend who runs his own lab in a leading edge STEM area attracting very high quality graduate students from around the world told me about how he had had to threaten to many a very public and noisy resignation to avoid the exam markings he’d made being adjusted by the Dean. The Dean was approached after my friend had considered a complaint and rejected it (the substance of the complaint related to the class rankings). *

        The notion that education is a commodity and therefore “the customer is always right” has corrupted almost the whole of the Anglophone higher education system. With the active connivance of most of the supposed guardians thereof.

        * In his field he does world class work and his resignation WOULD make tsunami waves.

        Like

    3. Monetization of Everything (TM). That Thatcher introduced it tells us all we need to know coz the Conservatives are all about small government, low government expense = low tax = getting elected regularly. The problem is that while the very basics are covered, everything else is extra. You pay one way or the other.

      The marketing to cover this dystopian Dickensian philosophy that is not fit for purpose is the Illusion of Choice (TM). It sounds great that you only pay for what you use trains or going to university) and it pulled the rug over the vast majority of the population who were ill equiped to wade through the huge number of choices bs – all designed to make it confusing and difficult for you to not pick the best option. The priviliged etc. all have very good advisors and have been playing the system for a long time, so no problem there then.

      When I started my degree at a UK university, it was the early days of Student Loans (aka, Let’s Copy America Lite). I knew foreign students from rich families who just wafted through despite repeatedly failing a year without being thrown out. By the time I graduated, it was clear that it didn’t have the same cachet as ones from before and we were already being encouraged to look at doing a Masters ($$$)to put yourself back up, again.

      Anyways, it is all very retrogressive. Look at South Korea, China, Japan and others. If your economy needs skills, it’s completely worth the early investment even if they don’t finish, particularly now that a lot of manual labor has been and is further being replaced by robots.*

      On the plus side, more people improving their education is very good, but considering the fact that we don’t all drop dead at 65 or less and Jobs for Life are less likely, front loading pressure on teenagers to have to go to university and that they’ll be useless if they don’t is pure rubbish. young people simply mature at different rates and cannot all be squeezed through the neck of a toothpaste tube all together.

      I would at least recommend partial government subsidized training through life. I’ve read that countries like Norway are far more helpful. Just like in medicine whereby they’re rediscovering following the patient through life and early intervention than turning up late and sometimes too late, education (nor employers) shouldn’t write any one off (age/skills/etc.).

      * https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2d/Maria_from_the_film_Metropolis%2C_on_display_at_the_Robot_Hall_of_Fame.jpg/160px-Maria_from_the_film_Metropolis%2C_on_display_at_the_Robot_Hall_of_Fame.jpg

      Just remember to say ‘Hello’ & ‘Thank You’ to the machine that takes you bottle empties!

      Like

  17. Yup…they did comparatively fare
    better by a fat margin at that!

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11926364/Nobel-Prize-winners-Which-country-has-the-most-Nobel-laureates.html
    Since nearly all research is carried out in institutions (universities),
    the Nobel prize stats suggest that the UK institutions themselves are
    first rate.
    So I don’t quite know what to make of the devaluation of degrees awarded by these same institutions.
    Or maybe I’m just too dense to sort
    It out! LOL!

    Like

    1. Nobel Prizes in science are usually awarded to people who have worked for decades in their chosen fields and tend to be close to the end of their working lives. Usually the significant discovery or work they have done, was achieved a long time ago and is only recognised now because a new generation of scientists has benefited from it or the practical / technological applications of that work have started producing results. So I think you will find that in the years to come, Nobel Prizes going to scientists in the UK, the US and maybe some other Western countries will start decreasing, and Nobel Prizes going to scientists in Asia, Latin America and Africa will start to increase – but slowly.

      Also most of the devaluation in the degrees offered by Western institutions tends to be in humanities, law and economics / business studies / commerce faculties because these attract the largest numbers of students. Science and engineering faculties are more resistant to ideological fads and they tend to have the reputation of catering for “nerds” or foreigners who can be ignored.

      Like

      1. A great deal of weight also, in the decision to award the Nobel as well as in the global impact of a candidate’s research, is accorded to how many research papers the candidate has published on the subject. And a disproportionate weight is placed on research papers published in English, since it is the international language. The work of Russian and Asian scientists, consequently, often does not even appear on the radar if they published in their own language, and might be considered only if they made such a momentous discovery that it had global implications impossible to ignore.

        I remember stumbling across that in research I did for an argument against La Russophobe’s annual cry of triumph that, once again, American universities were the most important and widely-recognized on the planet, while Russia’s universities did not even make the top 300, or whatever number it was for that year.

        Like

  18. Who was VP in 2015?
    Obongo set the foundation for the economic crimes against humanity being carried out against the Venezuelan people. His senile clown VP had no problem with it.

    Like

  19. AsiaTimes.com: Donald Trump’s dance of defeat
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/donald-trumps-dance-of-defeat/

    China has already won the critical engagement in the conflict between Washington and Beijing

    …Intelligence agencies

    On July 7 I revealed in this publication that the new 5G systems would embed quantum cryptography, preventing US intelligence agencies from eavesdropping on the world’s communications and destroying a key American advantage.

    That is why the intelligence community prevailed on the Trump administration to derail Huawei’s 5G rollout at all costs…

    ####

    ‘Spengler’, aka Philip P. Goldman does like to blow his own trumpet (and I’ve read AsiaTimes for quite a long time), but credit where credit is due on the quantum cryptography thing.

    My only comments are: be wary of technological silver bullets. Claims that something is ‘unhackable’, ‘impervious’ etc. are usually found to be not true, though it may be the case to be true for a period of time before others figure it out; and even without that tidbit, the fact that regardless a key foreign techonolgy it would always ‘pose a challenge’ to Five Eyes surveillance state democracies and others ability to hoover up everything with ease and a loss of potential leverage, not that they would ever use it because of freedom or something or unless you are foreign or….

    On a slight tangent, vis cutting of Huawei from Google, there’s been a curious selective silence from Brussels. Google is quite clearly dominant and one thing the Commission could do is order Google to allow its system to accept other app stores by default. It has not demanded this obvious move. Why?

    Like

    1. That’s very interesting; I had already speculated that much of America’s crusade against Huawei was due to its reluctance to lose the mass surveillance capability it enjoys with the iPhone, but my calculation was based only on the probability that Huawei would not cooperate. I had no idea that America could not likely penetrate it even if Huawei said no. That certainly makes their network more desirable, and America has nobody to blame but itself and its compulsive snoopiness.

      We were discussing at work today the overall magnitude of Trump’s stupidity in ordering American companies out of China. The American business community is appalled at the idea of losing networks and contacts it spent decades building, and Trump is almost certainly going to be made to back down. Then he looks like a weak and divisive leader to the Chinese, one who speaks before getting the backing of his business community, and there will be further efforts to divide them. But the backdown, when it happens, will be all the sweeter because the Chinese already trolled Trump immediately after his decision, and told American companies to go on, beat it, nobody will miss you. And now America will have to ask for reconsideration. What a humiliation; and it is not going to make American products more competitive or desirable.

      Like

      1. One of the ideas that is being propose in the States is a ban/severe restrictions on megacorps simply buying out start ups, which they usually do and rebrand as their own or just as often kill off. This seems like a sensible strategy but megacorps aren’t dumb and will find a way around it.

        Like

        1. Quite a bit like the urban-legend carburetor of my youth, which was coincident with the age of the muscle car. This carburetor, which was designed by some unknown genius, was an improvement on the original design which would allow the user to get phenomenal mileage, like 80 miles to the gallon, something like that, in a car which was demonstrably inefficient, at a time when the average price of leaded gasoline was about 40 cents a gallon. But it never saw the light of day, of course, because the gasoline companies would always buy up the design and shelve it, because they had a good thing going.

          I guess so, because it’s sold in liters here now, and the lowest grade unleaded (leaded fuel vanished in the 80’s) costs about $1.32 a liter. Whether or not the miracle carburetor ever existed – and it’s hard to imagine something like it couldn’t be re-engineered for much greater efficiency – the principle is the same; big money can either put its own name on progress, or halt it altogether, whichever suits it, because the creation of wealth is its own business.

          Like

          1. Politico.eu: To take on Big Tech, US can learn antitrust lessons from Europe
            https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-us-big-tech-competition-antitrust-apple-google-facebook-amazon/

            Europe’s long experience regulating Silicon Valley offers plenty of lessons — including on what to avoid.

            …”Vestager was the beginning of the techlash,” said a senior U.S. tech executive, whose company has had repeated dealings with both U.S. and European competition authorities. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because of ongoing regulatory cases on both sides of the Atlantic. “The U.S. is poised to follow Europe’s and Vestager’s lead.”…

            …They’ve also moved more quickly than their EU counterparts to impose so-called interim measures, or early-stage sanctions before full antitrust cases are completed, to allow smaller rivals the chance to compete while regulators decide if companies have broken antitrust rules….

            ….Authorities “must be creative and act much faster,” said Jacques Crémer, an antitrust expert who co-authored a recent review of Europe’s digital competition policies sponsored by the Commission.

            “The companies aren’t going to stop,” he added. “If we’re not careful, by the time competition authorities act, the world will be divided up between these companies.”
            ####

            Yes.

            Like

  20. AsiaTimes.com: Seoul holds military drills on contested islets
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/seoul-holds-military-drills-on-contested-islets/

    New game in play after Russia leveraged islets as a wedge between US allies in Northeast Asia

    …“Combined China-Russia air patrols may look to stir up trouble between South Korea and Japan,” Easley said. “More than that, they may seek to drive a wedge between Washington and its allies” which would create a “complication for Japanese and Korean national security.”

    “Certainly, it was clever of the Russians to do the fly past as a way to antagonize the South Korean and Japanese to go off at each other,” Pinkston added. “The Russians accomplished what they had wanted to do.”…
    ####

    To get a foot in the door, you don’t need to get a member to leave an alliance, it’s enough to get them vacillating or not responding promptly. For example, Turkey is still in NATO and takes part in all the usual military exercises, even though In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand is jiving like a bunny on speed. (Apparent) Unpredictability makes it more difficult for the exisiting structures to dismiss scenarios and possibilities which all suck up time, money and expertize from somewhere else…

    Like

    1. I see. Now Russian aircraft flying are a provocation, and in order to demonstrate their peaceful intent, they must stay on the ground.

      Just for everyone’s information, the islet of Takeshima/Dokdo lies 215 km from the Korean mainland and 250 km from Japan. Nobody’s national airspace extends that far from their coast, and the contested nature of its nationality means Russia can overfly it at its pleasure.

      https://www.dokdo-takeshima.com/

      It looks quite pretty – perhaps Trump should offer to buy it, and settle the whole thing. Just by the bye, while looking for salient facts on airspace, I came across this:

      Moreover, the U.S. Navy’s Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations states the ADIZ applies only to commercial aircraft intending to enter U.S. sovereign airspace, with a basis in international law of “the right of a nation to establish reasonable conditions of entry into its territory”.[4] The manual specifically instructs U.S. military aircraft to ignore the ADIZ of other states when operating in coastal areas:

      The United States does not recognize the right of a coastal nation to apply its ADIZ procedures to foreign aircraft not intending to enter national airspace nor does the United States apply its ADIZ procedures to foreign aircraft not intending to enter U.S. airspace. Accordingly, U.S. military aircraft not intending to enter national airspace should not identify themselves or otherwise comply with ADIZ procedures established by other nations, unless the United States has specifically agreed to do so.

      A U.S. Air Force university dissertation states:

      These regulations do not pertain to military aircraft, but to enter US airspace, without inducing the scrambling of fighter interceptors, these rules must be complied with and followed. The US does not claim sovereignty over these zones per se, but does closely monitor and request information of all objects entering the zone.

      Got that? The US Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) applies only to commercial aircraft intending to enter US national airspace. It does not exercise any regulatory effect over military aircraft of other nations. The ADIZ also is not a ‘keep out’; it merely directs that commercial aircraft penetrating the zone establish radio contact and state their intentions.

      Moreover, the directives order US military aircraft to ignore the ADIZ of other countries as if it did not exist.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Defense_Identification_Zone_%28North_America%29

      National airspace (Class A) extends outward 12 miles from the nation’s coastline.

      Like

    1. There is no longer any reason for China to put up with America’s shenanigans for another moment. This is especially true now that a Chinese tariff has been placed on US crude imports, making them less competitive. There is no reason they (China) cannot increase their importation of oil from anywhere they please, and be prepared to challenge American sanctions at the UN at the first sign of American action, since they are illegal – the United States has zero authority to shut off a nation’s commerce over a personal dispute, and order all other nations to obey its will or risk sanctions themselves for non-compliance; where the fuck is the WTO in this?

      Any threatening moves by the USA against seaborne commerce would likely be met by national warship escort of oil tankers, and it would be only a matter of time before there was a ‘misunderstanding’ that resulted in gunfire. America has completely lost its mind and cannot get over itself.

      Like

  21. A primer on the gay guy candidate
    mayor of South Bendover some state in the Midwest.

    Stooges need to understand that one of the people running for POTUS
    will wield the power of life and death decision making over stuff YOU care
    about, both here and abroad including Russia. For the most part they are corrupt moronic trash.

    Like

    1. The democratic voters are all in confusion, as you might expect when they are being asked to back a candidate in a race in which there are no good ones (excluding Gabbard). They may wish they had included her, if only so they can claim the American people rejected her. But a President Sanders or a President Warren would not govern any differently. Companies are not going to let Bernie soak them for a $15.00-an-hour minimum wage, and he never met a war he didn’t vote for. He is a progressive like his ass is a star; he just looks progressive compared with the rest of the baying pack. And Warren would not be allowed to implement a progressive agenda if she had one.

      Like

  22. MintPress:
    https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/

    …First founded in the late 1940s, SAT from 1960 until 1973 was directly owned by the CIA, which sought to use the company as a cover for covert operations. After 1973, the company was placed in private hands, although all of its subsequent owners would have CIA ties, including James Bastian, a former lawyer for the CIA, who owned SAT at the time of its relocation to Ohio.

    SAT was intimately involved in the Iran-Contra affair, having been used to funnel weapons and drugs to and from the Nicaraguan Contras under the guise of delivering “humanitarian aid,” while also sending American weapons to Israel that were then sold to Iran in violation of the U.S. arms embargo. In 1986 alone, SAT transported from Texas to Israel 90 tons of TOW anti-tank missiles, which were then sold to Iran by Israel and Mossad-linked intermediaries like Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

    Even though the airline’s CIA links were well known, Leslie Wexner’s company, The Limited, sought to coax SAT to relocate its headquarters from Miami, Florida to Columbus, Ohio, a move that was realized in 1995. When Edmund James, president of James and Donohew Development Services, told the Columbus Dispatch in March 1995 that SAT was relocating to Columbus’ Rickenbacker airfield, he stated that “Southern Air’s new presence at Rickenbacker begins in April with two regularly scheduled 747 cargo flights a week from Hong Kong,” citing SAT President William Langton. “By fall, that could increase to four a week. Negotiations are underway for flights out of Rickenbacker to the Far East…

    …to bring SAT to Columbus in order to please powerful Ohio businessmen like Wexner. Orchestrated by Governor George Voinovich’s then-Chief of Staff Paul Mifsud,…
    ####

    Very interesting (all of it) but no mention of the i-Ranian Mujahedeen sent to Bosnia to fight for Sarajevo on the authorization of one Bill Clinton as was also reported i-Ranian 747s full of weapons transported there too!!! The Washington-Tehran lovein timing all ties in.

    The whole series of articles is all but a brief glimpse in to how the world really works (depending on how accurate it is – sic absense of info/disinfo). Considering the names mentioned, wil it be ignored or disappeared? Proper investigative journalism, not something we see often in the Pork Pie News Networks!

    Like

  23. The American Conservative: The Media’s Russian Radiation Story Implodes Upon Scrutiny
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-medias-russian-radiation-story-implodes-upon-scrutiny/

    By Scott Ritter

    What really happened at Nenoska was less explosive than everyone, including Trump, wanted you to believe.

    How the mainstream media reported an August 8 accident at a top-secret missile test facility in northern Russia should serve as a cautionary tale regarding the dangers of rushed judgments via institutional bias….

    …They’re all wrong. Here’s the real story of what actually happened at Nenoksa.

    Liquid-fuel ballistic missiles are tricky things. Most Russian liquid-fueled missiles make use of hypergolic fuels, consisting of a fuel (in most cases asymmetrical dimethylhydrazine, or heptyl) and an oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide), which, when combined, spontaneously combust. …
    ####

    ! A lot more at the link. Spotted via Mark Ames’s twatter feed.

    Vis the Russian 9M730 Burevestnik aka SSC-X-9- NATO codename ‘Skyfall’, someone’s a fan of James Bond films. My respect for Jeffrey Lewis (who I discovered years ago via his Arms Control Wonk blog, has fallen off a cliff), but if I am being charitable, no-one is 100%, particularly if they are to promote themsleves ($$$).

    Like

    1. A cryptocurrency like Libra might ’cause US regulators to lose control over the flow of money’ – but I wouldn’t feel any more comfortable knowing it was under the control of Facebook. I don’t have a Facebook account for a reason.

      Like

    1. Some corporate media is reporting it too, though in the middle of everything else:

      Politico.eu: Russia violated whistleblower Magnitsky’s human rights, says court
      https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-violated-whistleblower-sergei-magnitsky-human-rights-echr/

      Judges in Strasbourg said the auditor, who died in jail in 2009, had been ill-treated in prison.

      … The judges rejected a complaint that Magnitsky’s arrest and detention had been “ill-founded,” however, arguing that there had been enough evidence to suspect him of tax evasion…
      ####

      And they’ve got finally got round to calling him an auditor, i.e. not a laywer as everyone else had before. Progress I suppose.

      Like

      1. Even al-Beeb s’Allah who follows the same format as politico above:

        Magnitsky wins Russian rights battle 10 years after his death
        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49481471

        …However, the court rejected a complaint that his arrest and detention were ill-founded.

        Russia can appeal against the ruling, which requires the state to pay Magnitsky’s widow and mother €34,000.

        The Russian ministry of justice said it would decide in the coming months whether to make an appeal. It also stressed that no violation was found in connection with Magnitsky’s arrest and detention, and there was no ruling requiring a review of the subsequent court case…
        ####

        Neither of course dares to go further in explaining why Magnitisky was under investigation because…[please fill in here]. Still, a bit hard to ignore that the ECHR says there was sufficient evidence to investigate Magnitsky. It should give some pause for thought…

        Like

          1. We learned that ages ago, when they claimed the relevant ECHR decision a tremendous,resounding victory for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, although its text said that the latter could not claim every persecution of him was politically motivated simply because it was inconvenient for him to be prosecuted, and that there were sound reasons to believe he had broken the law.

            Like

            1. Silly me, I missed it, but on the BBC News home page, the like to the article reads as ‘Dead Russian lawyer wins 10-year rights battle‘. Someone’s been asleep and hasn’t dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s. Yes kids, as we all know, they just move from one to the other without admitting their bs.

              https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://www.bbc.com/news

              It shows from the 18:35:28 & subsequent snapshots and disappears in the last 21:16:02 snapshot of the day, having shifted around the home page and making the top ten ‘most read’ but the Russian Berlin biker killer story has eventually bumped it off the page:

              al-Beeb s’Allah: Berlin Chechen shooting: Russian assassination suspected
              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49483090

              ####

              Make sure you read the whole article above.

              Like

              1. Okay, AL, you decided me to do a post on this Russian assassin in Berlin thing. I was debating, because I have a juicy story about this from Krutikov. Working through a Krutikov story is a lot of work, and I was feeling lazy and didn’t really want to do it. This one in particular has a lot of tribal names and stuff I never heard of, and will need to google, etc.
                But still, I reckon it must be done, since some people are saying this could be the “German Skripal” case.
                So, Fellow Stooges, look for it as my next blogpost, maybe just not today….

                Like

                1. Do it as an opera. That way you will enjoy it more. It’s all about perspective. After all, it has a story, character, history, betrayal, hitmen, foreign help and motorbikes!

                  Like

                2. Great idea!! Here’s the first verse:

                  “O I approached upon my two-wheeled steed
                  and put five rounds in his me-lon;
                  he fell upon the grass whence I capped his ass,
                  and I sped off like a fe-lon!”

                  Caruso would have been perfect for it, but he’s snuffed it, more’s the pity. I would accept Andrea Bocelli (better hurry, before he snuffs it, too). All royalties from my songwriting should be donated to the Dmitry Medvedev Get A Clue Foundation.

                  Like

                3. Who’s gonna be the fat lady who sings at the end?

                  That’s what Apfelstrudel does to a girl after her having moved to Austria.

                  “Shit hot performance!” — Moscow Exile, Opera critic for the “Beano”.

                  Like

                4. And though I say it myself, my elder daughter can do that!

                  Her music teacher, an ancient soprano, is always mithering my wife to send her to the conservatory here.

                  I won’t allow it!

                  No daughter of mine shall be a conservative!

                  Like

                5. A handmaiden of Woden, maybe, or a barmaid in Valhalla would be fine with me!

                  She’s suitably qualified: blonde with blue eyes and tall.

                  Like

              2. O I approached upon my two-wheeled steed
                and put five rounds in his me-lon;
                he fell upon the grass whence I capped his ass,
                and I sped off like a fe-lon!

                But the German police are on my tail,
                Through a city just crawling with cameras,
                All sweaty I flee, toss my gun in the Spree,
                This criminal life ain’t so glamorous!

                The coppers keep coming and riding my ass,
                With sirens a’wailin’ and horns a’tootin’.
                They grab me. “Wer bist du?” they ask.
                I with dignity respond: “Sirs, I am Putin.”

                Like

                1. The suspect is a Chechen, anyway, but the Western media describes him as a “Russian”, which he is: a Russian citizen.

                  It really bugs me when they do that, in much the same way as I am bugged when all British citizens are considered by many to be “English” and that the British Empire was solely an English enterprise.

                  Like

                2. Yes, Mark, I feel the chemistry! We can write rhyming lyrics together, and somebody talented can write the music.

                  Anyhow, Here is my take on the story so far, using Krutikov as my postulate. The people in question are actually members of the Kistintsy tribe of Caucasians, who are sort of half-Chechen and half-Ingush.

                  Tis a tale of three terrorists and three white feathers, each redeemed at the cost of a life…

                  Like

      2. (1) Sorry I misspelled Strasbourg it won’t happen again;
        (2) 34K Euros is around $38K dollars. Chump change for Russia. But they should still refuse to pay it, as a matter of principle!

        Like

      3. “Judges at the Strasbourg-based court found that Magnitsky had been mistreated by prison guards. In their verdict, they added that the medical care Magnitsky received “had been inadequate and had led to his death.”

        Umm….I thought he was chained to his bed and beaten to death.

        Like

    1. I have long maintained this; for as long as I realized it, at least. But the author goes to great lengths to avoid saying too much positive about the Soviet system. Itchy, hot uniforms, remember, comrade.

      Like

    2. I’m damned sure my childhood schooling in the UK was better than US schooling today as well.

      I went to a grammar school, though, from the age of 11. They almost no longer exist now.

      Katya Sedgwic [Mom, wife, grad school dropout. Refugee from a socialist paradise. Am Jewish. Identify as an amateur wino] from San Francisco Bay Area, and “forever thankful” to the USA “for taking me in and for giving me liberty”, displays an amazing memory when she writes: “Of course, Soviet schools like mine in childhood had their lion’s share of problems. Curriculum was infused with ideology, and teachers presented history through the Marxist-Leninist prism as the struggle of social classes defined by material condition. From time to time, a comrade would vanish from textbooks”.

      She definitely was living in the SU as late as 1986:

      I Lived In The USSR When Chernobyl Exploded. Here’s What I Remember

      I wonder what comrades vanished from her textbooks during her school years?

      Like

    3. “Teachers presented history through the Marxist-Leninist prism as the struggle of social classes defined by material condition.”
      Horrors, the teachers should never do that! They should teach History as a series of individual triumphs carried out by “great men” operating in a complete vacuum.

      Like

      1. Or perhaps ‘core new history’, teaching that there is no one way to view an event such as war, that loser and winner are abstract terms and that the loser might actually have also been the winner.

        Like

        1. Or the causes of war, the beginning and endings of wars, and their consequences are also abstract terms and what looks like the beginning of a war is actually the ending of that war.

          Like

            1. The Bible is wrong. It should start: In the beginning, there was war. Why? Well it all started with a gigantic explosion. Who did it? Why?

              Like

              1. What a ridiculous question. Russia did it. A Russian team was photographed landing at a nearby airport just a week before the explosion, doing a recon of the immediate area just 2 days prior, and partying with whores the night before. Although there is reason to believe the latter was just a front and that they are actually gay. They just can’t let on, because of Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws. They made a bunch of Facebook posts of kitty pictures immediately before the explosion, to throw off investigators, but meta-data of the posts proved they originated in Russia during working hours for Moscow.

                Like

  24. For those Stooges who THINK they
    know about the rape of Nanking.
    Read the comments. Some issues
    very pertinent to 2019 therein.

    Like

  25. I must have arrived in the USSR not long after she and her gang had fucked off to the US of A.

    Like Katya, I too am forever thankful to the country that took me in and also gave the likes of Katya her “liberty”.

    Wonder what Berezovskiy, Abramovich, Chubais etc. though about their lack of liberty in USSR?

    Like

  26. Brussels has told Serbia that it must quit the Eurasian Union (EEU) before it joins the EU in 2025. Then again, they were insisting that Serbia align its foreign policy (such as go along with Sanctions on Russia) long before any date (not) given and Belgrade gave Brussels the finger on that.

    I doubt Serbia will join in 2025 unless there is a significant EU reform (LOL!). So what will Brussels do to Serbia if it ultimately says ‘No’? Is the West dumb enough to try another color revolution in Belgrade to get what they want? Belgrade is certainly hedging its bets and benefiting from the growing strength of Russia and others, so it may no want to give up such a position.

    Like

    1. Further demonstration that Brussels will not allow any country to be a member of both – this is what Yanukovych proposed Ukraine do, and that it could have been a bridge between the two. Brussels was having none of it. Had it accepted the proposal, it would have been much harder for Russia to stop the flow of cheap goods from Europe stovepiped through Ukraine and marked “Made in Ukraine” so as to take advantage of the customs exemption, so Brussels actually dd Russia a favour.

      It remains to be seen what Serbia will do, but any Slavic nation accepted into the EU will have to offer an apology to all other members for being a Slavic nation, and constantly kneel and acknowledge its barbarian inferiority before them. I don’t see as how it would be any kind of deal. Mind you, the EU is a little like America in its conviction that it is loved and admired, and that people would do anything, make any sacrifice demanded, to be accepted by it.

      Like

      1. FY Bru?

        Politoco.eu: Serbia stands by plans to extend Russia trade ties despite Brussels’ warning
        https://www.politico.eu/article/serbia-stands-by-plans-to-extend-russia-trade-ties-despite-brussels-warning/

        The Balkan country says it has to look after its ‘own interests.’

        …Belgrade has had a trade agreement with Moscow since 2000 and plans to sign an additional agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, whose members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, on October 25….

        …The Serbian official stressed that talks on becoming a member of the bloc had only advanced slowly recently.

        “It doesn’t seem likely we will be able to join the EU in the next 2-3 years,” the official said. “In the meantime, we have to look have at our own interests. We have a good relationship with Russia.”
        ####

        Is Belgrade’s cunning plan to undermine support for joining the EU by provoking a response from Brussels that looks like their usual colonial bullying? Put up or shut up? Very good! Brussels further threats sic moving 2025 furthe to the left would also be self-defeating. In short, Belgrade has set Brussels a deadline.

        Like

  27. Gilbert Doctorow: Letter from Orlino, August 2019
    https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2019/08/04/letter-from-orlino-august-2019/

    For the past several years, it has become a tradition for my wife and me to spend at least a month of summer at a house in the country south of St Petersburg. We settle down to a regimen of heavy gardening on a 1400 square meter property administratively designated for“subsistence farming” in the hamlet of Orlino, population 400, which falls within the Gatchina district of Leningradskaya Oblast….

    …Just as I was despairing of extracting something of political or socio-economic importance from our 2019 experience of rural life in the Russian Northwest, Le Monde Diplomatique plumped in my lap an article entitled “Dachas fall from favour as holiday homes. Russia’s vanishing summerfolk” by journalist Christophe Trontin to which I can now respond drawing upon latest first-hand impressions. See https://mondediplo.com/2019/08/10dacha
    ####

    A LOT more at the link. Projection by the corporate media at its best!

    Say ME, is going to your datcha by electrichka cheaper or more expensive than going on holiday to Thailand? There’s a correspondent over at Le Monde Crottlomatique who doesn’t want to know…

    Like

    1. Our dacha is situated 52 miles WSW from Moskva. A single suburban electric train ticket to there costs 184 ₽.

      My wife and youngest child returned to the capital from there on 22 August as school starts on 2 September everywhere in the Evil Empire., but she and I shall still be there every weekend until late October, and the children as well if we have an Indian Summer.

      My. wife will still be busy there for several more weeks to come, making apple juice and jams and preserves.

      We were both there this last weekend, doing garden work etc. I laid a new path in the garden last Sunday.

      Before winter sets in, I shall have all the water pipes drained and then I shall shut down the dacha until mid-April.

      On our return to the City of Satan last Sunday evening, I noticed no dearth of fellow dachniki on the train.

      I had a rucksack full of sweet, red apples and a big bag with 2 large pumpkins in it and my wife had a bag with large кабачок (squash). Our fellow travellers were similarly laden.

      Poor bastards! They must be starving!!!

      Life is hell here!

      Oh how I yearn for the freedom and the good-life that those fortunates in the West take so much for granted!

      Like

      1. Thanks ME for your sacrifice! I would pray for you and your familiy but me and god (lower case) have a non-existent relationship. Fortunately I have the Po-lish good stuff thanks to the g/f in rotten U-rope! It’s much appreciated. Her sister does similar stuff (in da village) including the production of rocket fuel based Spiritus – with real cherries! It might not get you in to space but possibly gasping for air….

        I just remembered that you are a Wotanist. So much for (singular) god(s)! Thanks again for your full reply.

        Like

      2. Makes me nostalgic for my in-laws’ dacha. Although it was their ‘summer house’, you could see the roof of it from their flat; it was not far from their home, less than a mile. But my mother-in-law had an apricot tree, they had bushes that were hung about with a tubular purple fruit called zhimalist that I have never seen here, which fruit is squeezed so that its juices make a lovely cold drink, or is mixed with yogurt or sour cream to be eaten with bliniy. There were strawberries, rows of raspberry canes, green beans and lettuce, and flowers everywhere. Papa built a sauna in one corner of the garden, and it was almost submerged under a grapevine. A huge Kamaz tire filled with dirt held tomatoes. We had wonderful meals from the fruit and vegetables, but everyone had to work, too. There was a potato patch opposite the sauna, containing probably ten rows of potatoes, each maybe 15 feet long. Papa had a simple plowshare, with a harness. But he needed a horse. This was explained to me, so that it was clear I was going to volunteer. So I got in the harness, and strained for the end of each row, while Papa smirked and dug in the plow to the center of the earth, it felt like. At about the end of each second row I would have to stop to get my breath, my heart hammering and sweat pouring off me.

        I was quite pleased with myself for having contributed such heavy labour – how did they manage without me? The missus soon set me straight. “When you are not here”, she told me, “Mama does it”.

        Like

          1. He didn’t need one; that smirk every time I had to stop was lash enough. Or maybe it was a friendly smile of encouragement; it’s hard to tell, he has a very Russian face.

            Like

      3. Oh, I forgot to add that I pay sweet FA for all public transport in Moscow and the Moscow Province because I have the status of “multichild-father” (3 or more little Ivans/Natashas are required to achieve such a status: I have sired a Vova, a Lyena and a Sasha).

        I have been rewarded in this way for doing my bit for Mother Russia in making my Russian wife a mother.

        It was a tough task to fulfil, but I soldiered on for the sake of Russia.

        Like

        1. Life must be very hard, soldiering as you do, in the Land of Mordor, with nought but cabbages and fish-heads for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and few rewards apart from free public transport for popping three sprogs and praying to Wotan in the little shrine on your country estate when you are not whipping the serfs.

          Like

          1. Yeah, Bojo the Buffoon has finally put the dampers on any thoughts of mine concerning my possible joyous return to the land of my birth from my self-imposed exile and the expected rapturous welcome that I should receive when doing so.

            Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue parliament for five weeks is the longest suspension of the British legislature since 1945 and appears designed to evade scrutiny of his plans for Brexit or any new deal with the EU, constitutional experts have said….

            Meg Russell, a senior fellow of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative and the director of the constitution unit at University College of London, said: “What he’s doing, frankly, is hiding from parliamentary scrutiny: denying MPs the opportunity to question him and to hold him to account, and potentially denying them the opportunity to express no confidence in him.”

            She continued: “He’s daring MPs to vote him out of office.

            “If our constitution has one overriding principle, it’s parliamentary sovereignty: the government only is the government because it has the support of parliament.

            “Boris Johnson was prime minister for not much more than 24 hours when parliament broke for the summer recess. He has faced no parliamentary scrutiny for the entire period since then.

            “We’re looking at an unprecedentedly long prorogation, at a time when we are in the middle of the biggest political crisis since the second world war, and the prime minister has only been in office five minutes. It’s putting the Queen in a very difficult situation.”

            Source: The Arsewipe”

            Another one of those “Senior Fellows” I see!

            Doesn’t she know there is no written UK constitution, no codified list of procedural rules, which means that the “constitution” is open to multifarious interpretations?

            UK Constitution my arse!

            Whither the expression “Get it down in writing!”?

            Nowt written down means it’s worth sweet FA!

            Like

  28. Update:

    Sputnik News: New Delhi in Talks With Moscow Over Rocket Engines for Indian Space Programme – ISRO Chief
    https://sputniknews.com/science/201908261076639128-new-delhi-in-talks-with-moscow-over-rocket-engines-for-indian-space-programme—isro-chief/

    New Delhi and Moscow are negotiating the organisation of the India-based production of semi-cryogenic rocket engines using Russian technology for the South Asian country’s space programme, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan said in an interview…

    …According to the official, this issue is currently under discussion, and no specific agreements have been reached yet…

    Like

  29. By the way, last Saturday, 24 August, was “Russia Flag Day”, a celebration to honour the 350th anniversary of the Russian tri-colour.

    Over 100,000 people gathered on Academika Sakharova Avenue, Moskva, to take part in a rally-concert, organised on the occasion of the celebration.

    Yes, that’s the same place where the liberal arseholes are often allowed to gather.

    And yes, last Saturday about 100,000 gathered there, where recently there was a Sobol rally: you know, a rally for the Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund lawyer Lyubov Sobol, she who got knocked back from standing for election to the Moskva Duma because she had gathered too few signatures in support of her candidacy, and even then the authenticity of some of those signatures was dubious.

    And the Liberasts began howling and wailing and gnashing their teeth in the social media over the reported numbers that celebrated Russia Flag Day and they did their damdedst to play down the event and criticize the attendance figures on Saturday. And of course, there were claims that those at the Flag Day event had been paid to attend, had been bused in etc., etc…

    FLAG DAY SOBOL DAY
    From the whole country there assembled 25, 000 people at the Liberasts rally.

    The Communists scraped up 4,865 people for their rally.

    For the Day of the Russian Flag festival there gathered 91, 000 people.

    Though unable to explain why their rally event was a failure, at the same time the Liberasts and Communists consider the people’s joy for Russia a totally bad.

    And this below, taken from a Liberast blog, is a typical reaction to the Flag Day event from one of the “Why was I so unfortunate to have been born a Russian????” crowd:

    source

    Like

    1. Saturday, 24 August, was “Russia Flag Day”, a celebration to honour the 350th anniversary of the Russian tri-colour. – snort I don’t see it that way.
      It’s to celebrate the bloody Yeltsin coup in 1991! Check the dates.

      The tri-color is the Kerensky flag. It’s not my flag.
      (Not that I sympathize with the Liberast kreakles, that goes without saying. But you won’t see me waving that rag either….)

      Like

    2. 24 August, 2019, Moskva.

      Anyone seen this or similar pictures in the Western rags?

      Anything about this rally on the BBC, CNN, Fox News, Deutsche Welle ….?

      In General, the Russian liberal is a very strange creature. He hates the country in which he lives, but does not leave; admires the distant West, but does not go there.

      And even if the leave (as did Khodorkovsky and Kasparov), instead of rebuilding their lives in a new place …, they continue to speak and write nasty things about Russia, stating that they “wish to remake Russia, to change wrong into right.”

      source

      Like

  30. Vis turning points in history, are we close upon another. I read that Nut&Yahoo has bombed i-Rack, Lebanon & Syria very recently, an election in i-Srael within the next month. i-Rack has told USA that it will hold the USA responsible (rumored that the i-Sraeli attack was launched from an American base in i-Rack) and has banned any flights by US aircraft not pre-authorized by Baghdad. Lebanon is weenie, but important. They’re pissed off too. The West doesn’t give a shit about Syria.

    So, will Nut&Yahoo go Full Saakashvili believing that Washington has his back and will Washington refrain, pause or whatever for long enough? My prediction is that something’s gonna break before the year’s out. It may be somewhere entirely different, but strange things are afoot at the CircleK.

    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/08/25/netanyahu-hits-iraq-syria-and-lebanon-in-desperate-reelection-bid/

    Like

  31. The public slap down:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Kremlin to Turkey: Syrian militant attacks must be stamped out
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-syria-security-turkey-kremlin/kremlin-to-turkey-syrian-militant-attacks-must-be-stamped-out-idUKKCN1VG0Y3

    The Kremlin said on Monday that President Vladimir Putin understood the concerns of his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, but that he was equally concerned about attacks by militants from Syria’s Idlib that needed to be stamped out.

    Erdogan told Putin on Friday that attacks by Syria’s Russian-backed army in northwest Syria were causing a humanitarian crisis and threatening Turkey’s national security, the Turkish presidency said.

    “Putin has repeatedly said he understands the concerns of our Turkish colleagues … but at the same time the president remains … concerned about the activisation of action by terrorist elements from Idlib that cannot be (left) without being stamped out and destroyed,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
    ####

    What I’ve read elsewhere previously is that the agreement with Turkey (Vinyard the Saker?) included Turkey pressuring the ‘rebels’ to pull back from a neutral zone that would have opened the M5 highway. Turkey has done no such thing and continued to supply the resident Al-Queda franchise Jaish al-Whatever with arms and men, probably intel etc. whilst keeping its ‘observation posts’ in place. In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand’s time and room for manoeuver continues to shrink…

    Like

    1. Euractiv with Neuters: Putin, Erdogan agree steps to tackle militants in Syria’s Idlib
      https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/putin-erdogan-agree-steps-to-tackle-militants-in-syrias-idlib/

      …Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russian air power, have been waging an offensive in the Idlib region, the last remaining rebel-held territory in Syria. Much of the region is controlled by jihadists linked to the former Nusra Front, which was linked to al Qaeda….
      ####

      WOW! Neuters has upgrades Al-Queda/whatever headchoppers to the fourth paragraph! Bring it on Cool and the Gang!

      Like

        1. Sooner or later the point must be addressed that Erdogan has grabbed hundreds of miles of Syrian territory as a Turkish protectorate where he aims to keep his troublemakers. That land does not belong to Turkey, and has only Erdogan’s say-so to legitimize the Turks’ exercise of sovereignty over it. You’ll recall the Russian fighter-bomber the Turks shot down was inside this belt, but not actually in Turkish airspace. I still would not trust Erdogan an inch; he appears to be defiant toward the west, and I believe that is genuine, but only because it continues to try bullying Turkey into compliance with threats rather than sweet-talking it.

          Like

  32. Hmmm….nobody was more surprised to learn of China’s desperate calls to the Trump administration to come back to the negotiating table…than China. It looks as though Captain Cheeto simply made it up, like he frequently does when he needs to make a bad situation look like a victory. Like now, when he shot off his big fat mouth and said he was ordering American companies out of China, and China said “See ya!!”

    So naturally Trump said – probably via Twitter, his official communications medium – that China had called the White House, begging to get taken to the cleaners by the Americans, just as long as they got a deal. Total capitulation, the noodle-eaters pwned by The Donald. Best. Trade. Negotiation. Ever.

    But of course it did not happen like that, because if ever there was a bigger bullshitter than Donald Trump, the host nation kept it a dark secret.

    https://beta.canada.com/news/economy/chinese-officials-prepare-for-worst-on-trade-say-trumps-credibility-stands-in-way-of-lasting-deal/wcm/ea1cd7f6-fe78-4bbd-8b78-4684adbe103d/amp/

    In fact, China is preparing for a no-deal conclusion, and going about the business of decoupling from the United States, and Trump’s latest bombastic broadside merely affirms for them that it’s the right thing to do in the circumstances, because America cannot be trusted to keep any agreement it enters into. Tangerine Jesus will just slap tariffs on whatever he likes, no matter what he said or what he signed, whenever he feels the need to show some segment of the ever-gullible American electorate what a tough bastard he is. And China don’t play dat.

    America, incredible as it might have sounded even a couple of weeks ago, is going to get shut out of the Chinese market, one of the three biggest on the planet and one of the fastest-growing. And it is all down to Trump’s big mouth, and his ‘art of the deal’ expertise that tells him the deal ain’t done until the other party has been completely crushed. China might well be interested in making a deal – probably is – but it is not going to do it entirely on Trump’s terms and the negotiations are probably over until after the US election. That’s more than a year away. What new partners are going to be found, what new trade relationships established, in a year? What is going to be the net effect on an American economy mortgaged to the hilt if it experiences a bad year across virtually all sectors, with the hardest-hit being manufacturing and farming?

    Like

      1. Democratic senator Chris Murphy wanted to visit Russia – probably to hobnob with opposition figures and bitch about the restrictions on US political NGO’s there – and was told by Moscow to fuck off, basically.

        https://news.yahoo.com/russia-denies-visa-u-senator-160043068.html

        They would have liked to make this all about Russia getting back into the G8, but fortunately the Russian government had already said just what I hoped it would, making clear that it is not in any hurry for such an ‘honour’, and would not consider it unless all members were in support of the idea. They know very well it will be a long time before that ever happens. Meanwhile Russia is still a member of the G20, of which all the G7 are also members. It would gain nothing by being back in the G8, while it would be expected to contribute financially to G8 initiatives.

        Whatever happened to “The United States Navy will go where it wishes, when it wishes”? I guess Tsingtao is not on that list.

        Like

        1. It cracks me up when these Senators whine about not getting a Russian visa, after they voted for sanctions against Russia. It’s like their mothers never actually sat them down and taught them that actions have consequences.

          Like

      1. Did you get a feeling, toward the middle of the post or so, how much a United States modified according to Orlov’s tinkering would look like China? One-party rule, states amalgamated into regions, and so forth?

        I suppose it was deliberate.

        Like

  33. Neuters via Antiwar.com: U.S. advisor Bolton arrives in Ukraine for talks
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-usa-bolton/u-s-advisor-bolton-arrives-in-ukraine-for-talks-idUKKCN1VH0TP

    John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, travelled to Kiev on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy said, the first visit to Ukraine by a top U.S. official since the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy…

    …“Ambassador Bolton is here to underscore U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic path. He looks forward to productive meetings with Ukrainian officials,” the U.S. Embassy in Kiev wrote on Twitter.

    ####

    Any ideas? I go with “Protect America to the last Ukranian standing,” or maybe “Dance, baby dance!”?

    Like

    1. I am encouraged. The west has mostly run out of ideas on how to use Ukraine as a stone frigate against Russia, because Russia will not cooperate by getting excited and attacking it. Meanwhile, Ukraine is still helpless to get on its own feet, and continues to bleed the west of aid dollars, even though it doles out the bare minimum. The point is that it is not getting any value for its money. But Yosemite Bolton’s visit (thanks, Jen) suggests Washington at least has not given up hope, and might be induced to pour even more money it doesn’t have into Kuh-yiv’s coffers.

      They keep staging boring provocations – which they quickly publish as having ‘made Putin furious’ – like the stupid Ukrainian Church; I guess Putin is going to have to wear a T-shirt to the next G-20 Summit which reads “I could not give less of a fuck what happens in Ukraine”. But as long as Washington thinks it is annoying Putin, it will continue to pour money into Ukraine, and Bolton’s visit implies Washington is not discouraged enough yet to walk away from it.

      Like

    1. We’ll see. I tend to agree with her that the ten-candidates-all-on-one-stage format will be a zoo, and that it will be the worst possible format to assess the relative strengths or weaknesses of the candidates, as each will be reduced to bumper-sticker sound bites and the applause meter. The likely reason is to conceal the overall weakness of Joe Biden; Uncle Joe probably already has a zinger or two ready to go, and the DNC likely has the audience liberally seeded with duty applause generators. Joe steps to the mike, the crowd goes wild, it’s in the bag. Who knows if Gabbard could even be free to attend, anyway. But as I said before, not being included in the debates is not a DOA verdict even though the media will try to steer voters on to Uncle Joe, give him some Joe-mentum, you might say. If the DNC ever got the idea that their pool of voters was going to stay home unless Gabbard was on the ticket, she’d be there. Because at the bottom line, it’s all about getting a Democrat into the White House, and getting Trump out. But the DNC would obviously prefer that it be Joe Biden, a connected lifelong politician already loyal to his donors, the MIC and corporate interests. They’d much rather it not be Gabbard, who is an unknown quantity who does not owe the DNC anything and might not listen to its guidance and advice.

      Like

  34. From the Department of “I’m pulling things from my ass because I’m a journalist” Larry O’Donnell made the totally unsubstantiated claim that Trump had Russian cosigners on his loans at Deutsche Bank and it’s been trending all day. I’d really like for them to use fact checking, but then he knows there is no penalty for doing this. Cream of the Crap Luke Harding is still working for the Guardian and he’s probably “researching” his next book now even though he’s had multiple strikes against his record.

    Like

          1. No, I mean, didn’t I say Checkpoint Asia was run by Marko, who is also a contributor at Russia Insider? I’m sure I did; let me look.

            Yes, I did. I found the comment, about six pages back, I started talking about soybeans. But it must be linked to the previous post. The new WordPress format sucks, I don’t like it at all. I used to be able to search comments by name, and now I can’t. I could have just plugged in my name, and gotten only my own comments or those that mentioned me by name, it made searching a lot easier. Also, I can’t link comments from the administrator view even when I can find them; it just posts a link to the blog itself rather than the comment. I have to go into the post the same as everyone else does, search through all the comments until I find the right one, and link it.

            Anyway, yes, I did say that Marko started Checkpoint Asia (although there are several authors now), used to be hoct at Hero Of Crappy Town blog, and is now also a deputy editor at Russia Insider.

            Like

            1. Ah, you did too, only a few days ago, and the comment was indeed linked to the Robert Kagan post. I missed the tail-end of that conversation where Northern Star had started recommending Checkpoint Asia.

              Like

      1. P.S. – this incident will put Zelensky’s Libertarian Ayn Randite philosophy to a test. As a Randite he believes that a company should be able to sell to whomever unshackled by government restrictions – LOL.

        Like

      2. I suspect that there are all sorts of way around not selling it to the Chinese, sic licenses/MRO center in China etc. We’ve seen with India and others the problems caused for their military equipment (sic An-32 upgrade program and others) them by the Russia/Ukraine split.

        What China needs is support of current stuff. For future stuff Russia is a much better bet but having Motor-Sich’s IP would still be very useful for domestic development of their own engines as no-one else is investing anything significant in to the Ukrainian company which will die otherwise. Speaking of which:

        FlightGlobal.com: Ilyushin to design modernised An-124 with Russian components
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/ilyushin-to-design-modernised-an-124-with-russian-co-460475/

        Over the past two years, the design bureau has been working on development of an extensively modernised An-124-100M variant, the national minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov disclosed at the MAKS air show in Moscow…

        …There are 16 An-124s in service with the Russian air force and a dozen with the charter division of Volga-Dnepr Group. All are powered by Ivchenko-Progress D-18T turbofans produced by Ukrainian engine maker Motor-Sich…

        …Borisov believes that the key to the fate of An-124s lies in the development of a new heavy-thrust PD-35 engine. “If it is available, we’ll simply re-motorise and digitize our An-124s. Then their service life would be at least until 2050.”
        #####

        That’s quite an expensive proposition, buuuut keeping aerospace skills and encouraging new generations of employment is of strategic interest. Once those skills and capability have gone, then that’s it. Rebuilding them would cost many times more.

        FlightGlobal.com: MAKS: US sanctions make air forces wary of Russian jets
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/maks-us-sanctions-make-air-forces-wary-of-russian-460538/

        The USA’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) is making air forces wary of buying Russian aircraft and other weapons.

        ####

        Translation, CAATSA is about using any means necessary to protect US sales to other countries. Considering that India has spent $$$ and just inducted Ah-64Es, you would think Washington wouldn’t shit on New Delhi. Normal rules do not apply! On the plus side, Washington continues to lose friends and Russia continues to immunize itself from US threats and blackmails. CAATSA is all rather self-defeating except for chest beating (metaphorical) dick swinging American politicians!

        Meanwhile, Russian air transport is collapsing. Wait!

        FlightGlobal.com: Sheremetyevo sets date for third runway opening
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sheremetyevo-sets-date-for-third-runway-opening-460521/
        Moscow Sheremetyevo airport’s operator is formally to open the Russian hub’s third runway on 1 September.
        ####

        In other news, an Su-57 pilot popped his (RuPaul) drag chutes before he landed! Showing off, tactical landing or a mistake?

        BMPD: Демонстрация опытных образцов истребителя Су-57 накануне МАКС-2019
        https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3751828.html

        Like

      3. I suppose the Americans will throw some more money at them to persuade them to keep it Ukrainian. So in that respect, it will still be a moneymaker since every time they need money, they can threaten to sell it. It was quite profitable and influential when they had Russia for a customer. But the USA can’t buy it, because GE and McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed-Martin are not interested in making room for another aero-engine maker. Also, it’s a major employer in Ukraine, and it runs counter to US purpose for, say, Lockheed-Martin to buy it and move all its moveable assets to the USA. It needs to keep employing Ukrainians. The rest of the western nations, ditto – their own aircraft manufacturers do not want their nation buying Ukrainian engines. Russia needs to be the buyer, and finance Ukrainian recovery, but it’s not going according to the American plan. Moreover, it never will, because Russia is becoming its own manufacturer of aircraft engines, probably with quite a few Ukrainian engineers.

        Like

  35. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2020-contenders-slam-dnc-debates

    Yang shows how is able to multitask…Simultaneously both the moron and the tool, besides his obvious flat out total lack of qualifications for POTUS.
    Beto…..nothing like a known Senate run loser in his home state to run for POTUS…
    Klobuchar..the Reps favorite Dem plus her POTUS qualifications portfolio is fat…like those of Yang and Beto.
    The Bendover guy…yeah right.If nominated he will not win,if somehow elected he’s unfit to serve anything other than coffee to his husband.
    Setting aside Warren and Sanders,the others are equally ridiculous as a potential POTUS.
    Tulsi 2020

    Like

    1. Again, we’ll see. But my position is the USA passed its last chance to pull out of its power dive about three Presidents ago. The elite corporatists are firmly in control now, and their only interest is in cornering more of American and global wealth for themselves. The public and the military only exist to legitimize their getting what they want, and provide the means of seizing it, in that order. Tulsi Gabbard, regardless the depth of her sincerity, cannot affect that.

      Like

  36. Euractiv: France’s Macron makes Russia a top diplomatic priority
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/frances-macron-makes-russia-a-top-diplomatic-priority/

    President Emmanuel Macron placed great emphasis on Russia during his annual speech in front of French diplomats on Tuesday (27 August), telling ambassadors that “Europe would disappear” if it fails to rethink its strategy towards Russia. EURACTIV France reports.
    https://www.euractiv.fr/section/politique/news/la-russie-une-priorite-francaise/

    Considering that the US, Russia and China are all fighting for hegemony, Macron stressed that Europe could either decide to be “minority allies of one or the other, or to take its part in the game”.

    “We cannot rebuild Europe without rebuilding a connection with Russia, otherwise Russia will move closer to other powers,” he said, a few days after welcoming Vladimir Putin to the Fort of Brégançon, an invitation some observers deemed unnecessary…
    ####

    More bollocks at the link.

    You put the dick in the coconut and shake them both together, You put the dick in the coconut and shake them both up and ooh oooh (€µ!)*

    Really? Putin asked for a strategic agreement with the EU back in 2007 at the Munich Security Conference. They laughed at him. Now its all going to be kisses, cuddles and water under the bridge? Oh do f/o! Apologies? No. Compensation? No. First nuclear strike capable ‘missile defense’ removed from Romania and soon Po-land? No. NATO stepping back from threatening Russia? No. An end to color revolutions and direct interference? No. Sanctions? Yes. Etc. etc.

    You can only assume that this is a message for Macron’s domestic audience. If relations do improve with Russia, it won’t be because of kind words, a cup of hot chocolate and a traditional French orgy.

    It’s one thing for individual member states to say they want better relations, piece-meal but Brussels? The EU has shown it cannot be trusted and its stuffed with russophobes (EP) even though there has been a large turn over in the most recent elections (sic now more by default Green russophobes). I don’t think it is capable of doing so in any meaningful way.

    * My apologies to Nilsson.

    Like

    1. Macron is possibly less popular than Hollande was; Russia ought to be looking to what his probable successor thinks. But I agree completely; there is no need for Russia to be moved by late-breaking sincerity on the heels of years of imagining the USA was actually going to be able to pull it off. And that’s all this is – realization that they put the grocery money on the wrong horse. Europe believed the invincible Washington was going to put the screws to Russia, and it would collapse. It would not be rolled under; oh, no, it is needed. Under a cooperative liberal leadership, it is needed to be a consumer base for European products, and that was to be Europe’s reward, while Washington would be happy to have its premier strategic foe taken off the board. With the west firmly in control of Gazprom and Russian energy assets, the Chinese would fall into line. It was such a beautiful plan. And Putin ruined it.

      Like

  37. Ah, the sweet smell of freedom!

    Freed again to fuck around and just in time for new unauthorized rally of his to take place on August 31, and to agitate his little-kid supporters to participate in the action.

    A latter-day Father Gapon?

    The tactics of Navalny are no different from the priest Gapon – an employee of the secret police, who incited the people to revolt in 1905 and, as a result, died at the hands of the revolutionaries themselves for conducting a “secret game”. Gapon was a double agent and got his own fingers in this business.

    Navalny also gathers around him protesting youth, forcing them to go on unauthorized actions. And while people are rebelling, the blogger winds up in a remand centre, and then he flies off to somewhere or other on vacation.

    So it was before the rally on July 27 in Moscow: Navalny incited people to take to the streets, and then he he sat in gaol for 30 days until 3 days before an unauthorized rally started. Fresh and rested, Aleksey with a calm soul left the remand centre, but to his supporters, oh, this didn’t matter all that much.

    Following the rally, criminal cases were opened against 14 people and 384 people were fined a total of 6.5 million rubles. Among them there is even Lyuba Sobol, whose fine is almost a million rubles.

    Now Navalny again plans to take youth to the streets for the sake of provocations, riots and, of course, mass detentions. And these things will happen, because the event has not been agreed upon and on that day is especially going to be held before “The Day of Knowledge”, when in the centre of Moscow there will be a maximum concentration of schoolchildren and students. [The academic year 2019 – 2020 starts 2 September — ME]

    Do not be surprised if today or tomorrow Navalny is again detained in order to protect him from participating in the rally and, as a result, from criminal punishment following his punishment for breach of a few administrative regulations and the imposition on him of a suspended sentence. And so Aleksey will then simply fly away on vacation or to his daughter in the United States, as he has already done so many times, especially since there is probably something left in bitcoin wallets.

    Navalny long ago planned out this ploy: summon a rally – do some time on remand – fly off somewhere. So he will just be following his well beaten track: he hardly wants to be in a “real prison”, as they say..

    source

    Like

    1. The opposition is in safe hands with Navalny; under his dipshit leadership, it will never amount to anything, and his peevish complaints might move admiring westerners to rhapsodize how he makes the Kremlin tremble like a pudding – but both are well-satisfied.

      Like

  38. The Real News Network
    Published on 29 Aug 2019
    Shir Hever discusses how the upcoming Israeli elections demonstrate the secular/religious divide on major issues like gender segregation, separation of church and state, public transportation during the Shabbath, and the conscription of women and ultra-Orthodox to the military

    Like

    1. The reason that Israel is having new Knesset elections in mid-September is that after the April elections, the parties that were to form Satanyahu’s coalition government fell out over the issue of whether or not ultra-Orthodox / haredi Jews should be subject to the military draft. Needless to say, the parties representing the interests of the ultra-Orthodox community say no, while everyone else thinks they should be, given that so many ultra-Orthodox people live in poverty (the men are expected to study and not work, their wives work for slave wages, and they have large families) and rely on social services paid for by Israeli taxpayers.
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/how-the-ultra-orthodox-could-bring-down-israel-s-economy-1.5432497

      Like

  39. It’s being reported today that Chinese tanks are on a planned ‘rotation’ in HK. Didn’t I say a cunning plan would be an in and out op to put the shits up the protestors? Maybe Beijing took notice of NATO’s ‘rotation’ of forces in the lo-land of Po-land every six months as a permanent increase would have killed the Conventional Forces Treaty (CFE) signed with Russia stone cold dead?

    Beeb 2 is broadcasting at the moment another one of its government propaganda hit jobs ‘China: A New World Order’ about ‘the rise of Xi Jingping’:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007znv

    Six years ago, a man largely unknown in the west was given one of the most important jobs in the world. China’s new president, Xi Jinping, became the leader of a rising superpower, commander of a formidable military, and the head of an economy that’s crucial to people’s lives around the world.

    This programme tells the extraordinary story of his controversial six-year rule, and how he set about transforming China into a tightly controlled state where loyalty to the Communist Party appears to be valued above everything else.

    It’s a three farter. Remember kids, YELLOW PERIL! – just Chinese rather than Japanese. Don’t they get tired of this shit?

    I watched too much beeb today. With all the coverage of Doris Johnson’s latest moves, it’s striking how they’ve said nothing about it all being a self-inflicted existential crisis of the party. If those tory ‘rebels’ really wanted a deal with Brussels then they could collapse the government at any time and forced an election, but they won’t because they fear being wiped out by Farage’s grey army. They’d rather blow up the UK than have it run by Labor. It’s the same schtik that ‘crazy’ cop Martin plays in the Lethal Weapon films when he doesn’t get what he wants by threatening to kill himself and thus frightening others in to complying. Pathetic.

    Like

  40. The myth persists that Donald Trump is a master negotiator and economic idiot savant, and that the American economy is red-hot under his steady hand. Meanwhile, China ratchets up the reciprocation, and American farmers groan with pain again. Farmers debt has increased 30% since 2013. Yes, Trump is quite the whizz.

    https://news.yahoo.com/china-keeps-calling-trumps-bluff-175612751.html

    Gosh; look at that – Trump made the world safe for U.S. Steel by slapping tariffs on everyone else. So U.S. steel must be soaring, right? Actually, no.

    https://articles2.marketrealist.com/2019/08/us-steel-companies-buffetts-prophesy-coming-true/?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=feed&yptr=yahoo

    More Trump genius. How much more getting great again can America stand?

    Like

    1. Now Bolt.on is in the lo-land of Po-land arranging six new ‘temporary’ bases for US troops – adding 1,000 odd troops. I’m confused though, why the f doesn’t Washington want to blow up the Conventional Forces Treaty (CFE) too? They’ve already broken its spirit but in the dumbest way possible, rotating foreign forces every six months at great expense. Can that be included in the 2% GDP NATO defense spending commitments?

      Like

  41. Euractiv: EU calls ‘unacceptable’ the tensions at Georgia occupation line
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/eastern-europe/news/eu-calls-unacceptable-the-tensions-at-georgia-occupation-line/

    The ambassador of the EU to Georgia called “unacceptable” on Friday (30 August) the tensions and confrontational language at the “border” between Georgia and its occupied territory of South Ossetia.

    Ambassador Carl Hartzell twitted that he expects that “all sides” would show maximum restraint and use their influence to ensure that the situation doesn’t escalate..
    ####

    More at the link.

    “all sides”? What about ‘Russian provocation’? Has the EU gone soft?

    Like

    1. ” The Hong Kong rebellion is part of a global resurgence of the working class, which includes strikes in mainland China, overwhelming strike votes by US auto workers, huge demonstrations in Puerto Rico and the ongoing anti-austerity “yellow vest” movement in France.”

      I see. So the democracy protests in Hong Kong ARE a genuine groundswell of humans yearning to be free and have the opportunity to make pots of money through the invisible hand of the market. Not a US State-Department campaign to destabilize China using mostly students who expect to go back to school at state expense in a week. Why, their cause is actually just like that of American auto-workers and the anti-austerity movement in France! Who knew? I would not have thought there would be many college students among the United Auto Workers. Well, live and learn.

      Oh, speaking of the invisible hand of the market, Boeing stock is down again, another 3% in August and a 21.7% decline since the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

      https://articles2.marketrealist.com/2019/08/boeing-china-retaliation-trade-war-escalates/

      China did not order any planes from Boeing throughout 2018 or 2019, despite a previous policy of dividing its orders evenly between Airbus and Boeing. But Xi Jinping ordered 300 planes from Airbus last spring, with a price tag overall of some $35 Billion. Apple, Caterpillar and FedEx also have significant China exposure, and all have posted noticeable market declines recently.

      Jason Kennedy’s comment on the WSWS article might be pertinent as well.

      Like

        1. The pity is that if HK reformed its taxation laws so that it is no longer a tax haven for rich Chinese billionaires to park their money in accounts set up in their offspring’s names (by changing said offspring’s residency status to HK-based) and then using those accounts to send money to other tax havens around the world like St Kitts and Nevis or the Channel Islands), then the HK govt would receive enough taxation revenue to finance mass public housing projects so that ordinary working people in HK would not need to live in apartments the size of rat-holes and people in their 20s and 30s could establish their own households and start families without huge debt burdens.

          Incidentally I recall that in Nicholas Shaxson’s book “Treasure Islands”, a whole chapter was devoted to describing and analysing the economy of Jersey, a tax haven in the Channel Islands. Jersey has the same problems as HK does: billionaire money sloshing through its economy and poured into property speculation, resulting in sky-high property prices and local people on being priced out of buying homes or even being able to rent and having to leave the place that their families had long called home.

          Like

  42. Sadistic thug vermin. Shit like this lshould be flushed out of the system.
    Fired and NEVER to work in Law Enforcement.
    Ahhhh…wonder will there be an outcry from the Mile High City bourgeoises. Affluent white women.
    Probably too busy watching Reality TV shows…But you better not fuck with Roe v Wade

    Like

    1. I can’t get the GD explanatory text to come along with the vid.
      She’s a Latina in Denver Colorado.
      Google the vid title and you can read the entire accompanying text,
      if this link doesn’t bring it along.

      Like

    1. Interesting snapshot of life in Nazi Germany before the start of the Nazi war of aggression in Europe on September 1st, 1939:

      Ernst Busch: Die Moorsoldaten (The Peat Bog Soldiers)

      This song was written in 1933 by two prisoners in Börgermoor, a Nazi moorland labour camp in Lower Saxony, Germany. The words were written by Johann Esser (a miner) and Wolfgang Langhoff (an actor); the music was composed by Rudi Goguel and was later adapted by Hanns Eisler and Ernst Busch

      It was used as a marching song by the German volunteers of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War

      This song comes from “Six Songs for Democracy,” by Ernst Busch, which was recorded during the bombing of Barcelona.

      Literal translation from the German:

      Everywhere you look
      Bog and marshes all around
      The chirping of the birds does not please us
      Oaks are standing bare and crooked

      We are the bog soldiers
      And we move with a spade into the bog
      We are Bog soldiers
      And we move with a spade into the bog

      Here inside this barren marshland
      Has been constructed our camp.
      Where we are far off from every joy
      Locked up behind barbed wire.

      We are the bog soldiers etc

      In the morning all of us
      Go to work in the bog.
      Digging under the searing sun,
      But our thoughts are of home.

      We are the bog soldiers etc

      Homeward, homeward we are yearning
      for parents, wife and children,
      some chests are widened with a sigh,
      because we are locked up here.

      We are the bog soldiers etc

      Up and down the guards are walking
      Nobody, nobody can get away.
      Escape will cost your life
      The fortress camp is fourfold secured.

      We are the bog soldiers etc

      In spite of all we won’t complain,
      It can’t be an endless winter.
      One day we’ll happily say
      That our home belongs to us again.

      Then the bog soldiers will never take
      Their spades to the bog again.
      Then the bog soldiers will never take
      Their spades to the bog again.

      Those who were incarcerated in such forced labour camps consisted in the main of workers who were socialists. The industrial heartlands of Germany resisted to the last the incursion of the Nazis, whose breeding ground was the rural, conservative Roman Catholic south.

      Pre-war resistance to the Nazi regime in Germany, 1933–39:

      During this period, the SPD [German Socialist Party] and the KPD [German Communist Party] managed to maintain underground networks, although the legacy of pre-1933 conflicts between the two parties meant that they were unable to co-operate. The Gestapo frequently infiltrated these networks, and the rate of arrests and executions of SPD and KPD activists was high, but the networks continued to be able recruit new members from the industrial working class, who resented the stringent labour discipline imposed by the regime during its race to rearm. The exiled SPD leadership in Prague received and published accurate reports of events inside Germany. But beyond maintaining their existence and fomenting industrial unrest, sometimes resulting in short-lived strikes, these networks were able to achieve little.

      source

      Like

      1. A comment written 10 years ago by a 16-year-old to the above clip:

        Verflucht sei die NS Diktatur!
        Ich bin 16 und muss sagen das muss einfach von jederman als Kulturgut anerkannt werden!
        Ich und einer meiner freunde singen es öfter mal wenn wir draußen sind und das sollten mehr Leute machen.

        Nazi dictatorship be damned!
        I am 16 years old and I have to say this has to be recognized by everyone as a cultural asset!
        One of my friends and I sing it more and more when we are outside and more people should do so.

        Like

      2. “breeding ground was the rural Conservative Roman Catholic South”
        Hmmmm…..
        Change Roman Catholic to Xtian
        Fundamentalist…and what do we see?

        Like

        1. Yes, and the mostly Lutheran protestant church in the north and east usually worked hand in glove with the Nazis. There were exceptions to this, of course, in both the RC and Lutheran ministries.

          Like

          1. I still suspect that whatever is in Angela Merkel’s file at the NSA (National Security Agency), that she is so deathly frightened of, relates to her father Horst Kasner’s work as a Lutheran pastor in a community in East Germany (East Berlin initially). Merkel was born in West Germany but while she was still a baby, her father took up a position to minister to this community in the otherwise ostensibly atheist East Germany where all religions supposedly had to go underground. Kasner may have been in a good position to act as an informant for the Stasi as his duties may have included listening to people’s confessions – but who knows really?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst_Kasner

            In Nazi Germany, I should think the exceptions in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran ministries were individual priests acting in accordance with their consciences. Most of them would have suffered not only from Nazi German persecution and torture leading to death but also from being hung out or ignored by their own church hierarchies.

            Like

      3. Pastor Martin Neimoller 1946:

        First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

        Because I was not a socialist.

        Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a trade unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
        #####

        Of course nothing like that is happening now. Democratic countries are not fitting up patsies for political purposes (aka ‘Do Something’) with entrapment and claiming they’ve caught terrorists. Democratic journalists are not keeping silent when one of their own is banged up in Belmarsh prison. Democratic governments are not surveilling anything that breathes because they can and ‘just in case’.

        The irony and hypocrisy is that those who shout the loudest about protecting freedom and democracy have absolutely no problem denying it to the ‘wrong kind’ of others.

        Like

  43. Novara Media
    Streamed live on 28 Aug 2019
    🚨SUBSCRIBE TO THIS CHANNEL FOR MORE EMERGENCY PODCASTS 🚨
    Boris Johnson has announced parliament will be suspended in order to implement Brexit, deal or no deal. Is this a coup? Aaron Bastani and Michael Walker convene for an emergency #TyskySour to discuss.

    Like

    1. Ok ME
      But if you go out for a walk and see a newspaper dated August 31 2018..
      Don’t come running back here all
      panic stricken…
      (O:

      Like

  44. Navalny’s unsanctioned rally against “political repression” kicked off late today at 14:20 at the Griboyedov monument at Chistye Prudy.

    Journalists say that about 2, 000 gathered at the start point. Many of those gathered were journalists, writes a journalist:

    Шествие против политических репрессий в Москве.

    March against political repressions in Moscow.
    According to estimates of the “Vedomosti” correspondent, there were gathered at the start of the march at the Alexander Griboyedov monument about 2,000 people, including many journalists.


    Spot the protestor!


    I wonder if she above can recall the glorious Yeltsin years?


    Oh, look! More journalists!!!


    Lyubov Sobol (above), a Navalny staffer, who thinks she is politically repressed because her candidacy application to stand for election to the Moscow City Duma was turned down because she was not able to gather enough signatures off Muscovites in support of said candidacy.


    There must be zillions of the blighters!


    Onwards, onwards, ye politically oppressed! Onwards along Sretensky Boulevard towards your termination point, Pushkin Square! And forget ye not! Ye are many and they are few! I think.

    A nice 1.5 mile stroll — because they have fuck all else better to do.

    Like

    1. Yes, I read this story in the Globe & Mail, and it’s essentially the same – Biden told an emotional story which played up his affection and respect for the military (as well as his own dismissal of danger), and none of it was accurate. The Mail story also pointed out, though, that he has told more or less the same story three different times, and it has been different each time, including his own part in it. If he really doesn’t remember what he was – the Vice-President or just a Senator – at the time, then he’s probably too dotty to be president.

      Sadly, all politicians lie, and the insertion of oneself into a moving, amusing or otherwise interesting story is one of the most common tricks to appear ‘folksy’ and a man of the people. I read Walter Cronkite’s book, “A Reporter’s Story”, and he recounted in it an event in which he was reporting ‘live’ in a play-by-play of a baseball game which he could not actually see; the booth was getting a live feed from the game. At some point they lost it, for whatever reason, and Cronkite filled what would otherwise have been an embarrassing silence by simply making up the plays, and the players from memory. When the feed was restored, nothing major had happened that he would have to account for, and he was able to segue back into live feed of the actual game without having to adjust the score.

      He related this story to Ronald Reagan, an acquaintance who was just getting started in politics…and later heard him recount it almost word-for-word, only with himself as the sports announcer instead of Cronkite. Everybody seems willing to let politicians away with a certain amount of bullshit, reasoning that nobody tells the unvarnished truth all of the time. But it seems to escape them that these anecdotes often are used to foster an impression of the character of the politician that does not actually exist; bravery, or compassion, for instance.

      I don’t doubt Biden is as brave as the next guy, but it is hardly courageous to attempt gaining office by using a made-up story tailored to tug at the heartstrings of the voters and move them to give you another chance. Especially Biden, who has been in politics pretty much all his life, and has never been in the military.

      Like

  45. The Real News Network
    Published on 31 Aug 2019
    Author/Activist Yves Engler describes RCMP intimidation tactics after he heckled Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau

    Like

    1. Yep, we’re getting more and more like the USA every day. Publicly in favour of peaceful dissent, but privately marking down its leaders as troublemakers and public nuisances. Soon you won’t be able to tell us apart.

      Like

      1. Don’t worry, we’ll still be able to tell Americans apart from Canadians.
        The test is to have them read this sentence out loud:

        “While walking about, she started to shout, and then to pout…”

        Like

        1. I too pronounce the letters -ou- in those words as do many Canadians: this is a feature of the pronunciation in my old neck of the woods.

          I remember talking to a Canadian years ago in a pub in England, and at first I thought he had emigrated to Canada years ago from Lancashire, England, because of the way he pronounced -ou- .

          That was well before I had ever left the UK and knew sweet FA, really.

          Like

          1. I frankly do not know where the idea originated that Canadians say “aboot” for ‘about’ and ‘shoot’ for ‘shout’. There are loads of regional accents, but I never heard that one anywhere. After my sister moved from Nova Scotia where we grew up to the prairie of Alberta, I noticed she tended to say ‘cor’ for ‘car’, and I have no idea where she picked that up, but can only guess it was imitation of someone she admired, because she learned to say it like anyone else in Nova Scotia.

            Newfoundland and Cape Breton (which is actually a part of Nova Scotia and not a province) are rich with regional expressions such as “Stay where you’re to, and I’ll come to where you’re at”, and all males are addressed as ‘my son’ and all females as ‘m’darlin’, but even those are mostly observed in small villages, whereas in large cities such as St Johns (Newfoundland) and Sydney (Cape Breton) people tend to have the same vocabulary as their countrymen. The latter two provinces also have a noticeable accent that tells you where they are from, but I could not tell a person from Alberta or Manitoba from someone from Ontario or Saskatchewan from hearing them speak. People from Quebec also have an accent, obviously, because the dominant language is French.

            Like


  46. Lyubov Sobol

    By the way, Sobol is most definitely unlovely by nature!

    Her name means “love” in Russian, cognate with dated English girl’s name “Charity”.

    As you know, last month Lyubov Sobol was refused registration of her candidacy to participate in the elections to the Moscow City Duma. The decision of the election commission was quite logical, since data on long-dead or nonexistent people were found in her signature sheets. Despite this, since then the lawyer of the so-called Anti-Corruption Foundation has done everything to attract attention to herself. Firstly, she went on an imaginary hunger strike, which she herself soon stopped. Now, Navalny’s companion in pursuit of hype has decided to go even further and has, figuratively speaking, eaten “shit”.

    So, on August 29, on her social network page, Sobol reported that right near her house, when she was getting into a taxi, an unknown person ran up and threw some shit at her.

    My signature gatherers were attacked with shit whilst campaigning for the Moscow Duma election. Anyhow, they got the signatures. And now I am being attacked on the eve of the 31 August march. I am not scared. I will still be there at 14:00 at Chistye Prudy.

    It is curious that even in such a situation, Sobol did not miss the opportunity to once again call on her few supporters to participate in an unauthorized rally on Chistye Prudy on August 31.

    It is worth noting that similar incidents have happened recently. True, the victim of the “shit attack” was not Lyuba herself, but her signature collectors: unknowns doused her subordinates with shit. However, instead of sending the poor fellows away so that they be cleaned up, she forced them to spend a long time having their photographs taken.

    By the way, this technique is not new. Two years ago, opposition journalist Yulia Latynina had shit poured over her from a container. This incident created a lot of noise on the web. So, apparently, Sobol has decided to repeat the success of her colleague in the liberal workshop, so that her name also be on the front pages of the media. But the point is not only the desire to become a “hypernaut”. [Russian slang: Резко стать популярным в чём-то — to suddenly and dramatically achieve popularity over something or other — ME].

    At the moment, the so-called lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Foundation is in a difficult situation. Its boss, Alexei Navalny, fearing that he be arrested again, has decided to lie low and has not yet participated in calls for illegal actions. Sobol, because of the presence with her of a young child, does not fear arrest, so all the responsibility for a rally taking place on August 31 will rest on her shoulders.

    The Internet and social networks are unlikely to help Lyuba in this matter. Yes, the number of subscribers she has is impressive. However, most of them are tied up with a special programme. Sobol is trying to draw attention to herself with such a dirty method in all senses of the word. Well, it is unlikely that with such an approach she will manage to organize a rally of any worth.

    #войнапосредиговна: зачем Соболь решила отведать «пирог-фекалий»?

    #Warinthemidstofshit: why Sobol decided to try some “shit pie”?

    Like

  47. Another stunning Liberast failure!

    Полиция насчитала около 750 участников несогласованной акции в Москве

    The police counted about 750 participants in the unsanctioned action in Moscow

    Moscow. August 31. INTERFAX.RU – About 750 people attended an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow on Saturday, the press service of the Moscow Central Police Directorate has reported to “Interfax” t

    Earlier on Saturday it was reported that the police had not detained any participants of the event in support of unregistered candidates to the Moscow city Duma. The procession started from Chistye Prudy on the Boulevard ring in the direction of Pushkin square. The opposition wanted to march along Tverskaya Street towards the centre, but the police blocked their way.

    A few days ago, the lawyer of the Fund Against Corruption and unregistered candidate to the Moscow city Duma, Lyubov Sobol, announced that there would be in central Moscow a march “Against political repression”. The Prosecutor’s office in turn warned about responsibility for participation in unapproved rallies in the center of the capital.

    Nevertheless, the participants gathered on Saturday afternoon . . .


    Old Griboyedov looks on … The placard reads: “Russia must be saved”.

    Too right — from those tossers!

    https://im3.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/CORP/2019/08/31/KMO_172601_00012_1_t222_162054.jpgFaFascists!


    A stroll along the boulevard.


    Free political prisoners!

    Like

          1. This is the Freakle group to which the facially studded Freakle above may have belonged to: a glimpse of her can just be seen at the very beginning of the clip.

            The one doing the talking says he is from Voronezh.

            The bloke who is talking says, basically, that he had just come to Moscow for the ride.

            Voronezh is about 300 miles south of Moscow.

            Like

    1. I know exactly what Griboedov is thinking:


      Вон из Москвы! сюда я больше не ездок.
      Бегу, не оглянусь, пойду искать по свету,
      Где оскорблённому есть чувству уголок!..
      Карету мне, карету!

      (Get me out of Moscow, you’ll never see me here again.
      I’ll flee without a backward glance, I’ll search the world,
      There must be some haven for my offended sensibilities..
      Bring me my carriage! My carriage!)

      Like

  48. The organizer of a bus shopping tour tries to bribe people to participate in the rally:

    She promises a group of mostly elderly women, it seems, to pay 2000 rubles for participation in the protest march. She tells them that the rally will be held with the permission of the authorities.

    And though certainly not elderly, this participant (below) in the rally says straight out in a “Radio Freedom” interview that she and her companion are not from Moscow, but from Dmitrov:

    — Are you going to vote on the 8th, to take part in the elections in some way?

    — Of course.

    — A great number of observers have been registered.

    — Yes, we’ll be voting. As a matter of fact, we’re from the regions, Dima and I, and, basically, we don’t really know whether we’ll be voting or not.

    — You mean you’ve come here from New Moscow [a new Moscow territorial extension and administrative district of the city — ME] ?

    — No, not from New Moscow: fom the city of Dmitrov.

    — So you’ll have your own choices to make there?

    — Yes, we’ll have our own choices to make there, but we basically have nothing to do with Moscow affairs.

    №11 above is the Novomoskovsky Administrative District. It is where the Multifunctional Moscow City Migration Centre is situated in the village of Sakhorovo, way out on the south-westernmost edge. of this new administrative district of the capital.

    I know it well. It’s open country consisting of forests and villages.

    Like

    1. Not “choices” above, but “votes”:

      — So you’ll have your own elections there?

      — Yes, we’ll have our own elections there, but we basically have nothing to do with Moscow affairs.

      The Russian word выбор [vybor] means “choice” in the singular but in the plural, as spoken in the clip, it can mean “choices” or “elections”, according to context.

      Like

  49. As we move to the days of early September,
    for some these articles are worth reading:

    “Given the unfathomable scale of the crimes committed by the Nazis, the fact that there are today substantial political forces in Germany that seek to justify and legitimize these crimes constitutes a deadly warning to the international working class.

    The racist Alternative für Deutschland, whose principal leader recently dismissed the Nazi atrocities as insignificant “bird poop” that should not detract from a thousand years of “glorious” German history, has emerged as the main opposition party in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. Right-wing terrorists operate with impunity in Germany, enjoying the protection of the country’s intelligence agencies.

    Hitler himself is undergoing a process of rehabilitation. One of the most prominent and politically influential academics in the country, Professor Jörg Baberowski, is outspoken in his trivializiation of Nazi bestialities. He stated in an interview published in Der Spiegel in February 2014. “Hitler was not a psychopath. He was not cruel. He did not like to hear of the extermination of the Jews at his table.”
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/08/31/pers-a31.html
    *************************************************************************************************
    “David North delivered the following lecture at San Diego State University on October 5, 2009, marking the 70 th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War and the staggering annihilation of millions of human beings a mere 25 years after the “war to end all wars” of 1914–18.
    We are republishing the lecture today ahead of the 80 th anniversary of the outbreak of the war on September 1.
    This lecture appears as a chapter in David North’s The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century, available from Mehring Books.
    The main concern of this lecture is not the specific conflicts and events that triggered World War II, but rather the war’s more general causes.

    Given the massive scale of the cataclysm that unfolded between 1939 and 1945, it is simplistic, even absurd, to seek the causes of the war primarily in the diplomatic conflicts that led up to the hostilities—such as the dispute over the Danzig Corridor—apart from their broader historical context.
    Any consideration of the causes of World War II must proceed from the fact that the development of global military conflict between 1939 and 1945 followed by only twenty-five years the first global military conflict, which occurred between 1914 and 1918. Only twenty-one years passed between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II. Another way of looking at it is that within the space of just thirty-one years, two catastrophic global wars were fought.”
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/08/31/caus-a31.html

    Like

    1. The first global military conflict was the Seven Years’ War, 1756-1763, which involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines.

      Like

      1. I watched the whole video, to get a feeling for this person.

        Tulsi has a nice engaging smile. She is a capable campaigner. She is clearly very intelligent and has deep opinions that she wants to communicate in a gracious and logical way, not just blasting them out there. I like that bit, near the end, where somebody brought up Saudi Arabia.
        Tulsi says something like, “In the Senate, Saudi Arabia is called a major ally of the United States, and a key ally in the fight against terrorism around the world.” She pauses for a second, and then says, “What a joke!” and you can see the tiniest glint of anger in her eyes.

        I think she is the real deal and has real beliefs. Politically she is a centrist, not a fringe whacko. It’s a long shot, but I think she could actually make it all the way to the White House, if she doesn’t get assassinated first.

        Like

    1. It certainly is! Sung at all gatherings and very often by my wife, my children and me in our dacha kitchen.

      An updated version with edited a clip from the Soviet war film “Ivan’s Childhood” (Иваново детство), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (Mosfilm, 1962):

      Катюша

      Расцветали яблони и груши,
      Поплыли туманы над рекой.
      Выходила на берег Катюша,
      На высокий берег на крутой.

      Выходила, песню заводила
      Про степного, сизого орла,
      Про того, которого любила,
      Про того, чьи письма берегла.

      Ой ты, песня, песенка девичья,
      Ты лети за ясным солнцем вслед.
      И бойцу на дальнем пограничье
      От Катюши передай привет.

      Пусть он вспомнит девушку простую,
      Пусть услышит, как она поёт,
      Пусть он землю бережёт родную,
      А любовь Катюша сбережёт.

      My English translation:

      Apple and pear trees they were all a-blooming.
      Over the river mist slowly rolled.
      On steep banks Katyusha was a-walking,
      On a high bank slowly she strode.

      As she walked a song she was a-singing,
      Of the silver eagle of the steppe,
      Of the one whom she loved so dearly,
      Of the one whose letters she had kept

      Oh you song, little song of a young girl,
      Fly away towards the sunlight’s glow,
      To that soldier far beyond the border,
      From Katyushka say “Hello!” to him.

      Let him recall that ordinary young girl,
      Let him hear how she is singing now,
      Let him stand guard over his homeland,
      And Katyusha will guard her love.

      “Katyushka” translates as “Little Katy” or “Katykins” if you will.

      Like

      1. “Katyusha”, not “Katyushka” in the song, though the diminutive with a “k” is certainly possible!

        It’s the equivalent of “-kins” in English, but has sometimes a slightly pejorative tone.

        For example, from Ivan (Иван – John):

        Diminutives:
        Ва́ня (Vánja)

        Endearing forms:
        Ваню́ша (Vanjúša)
        Ва́нечка (Vánečka)
        Ваню́шечка (Vanjúšečka)
        Ваню́шка (Vanjúška)
        Ива́нушка (Ivánuška)

        Pejorative forms:
        Ва́нька (Vánʹka)
        Ива́шка (Iváška)

        Saying “Gdye Vanka?” is like saying with some irritation: “Where is that (bloody) Johnny?”

        When I was a student in the USSR, I had a good pal called Ivan, who was my room mate. He was, however, a tired bugger and every morning his Russian classmates used to try and rouse him, saying “Вставай, Ваня!” (Get up, Johnny!”), but always angrily ending up saying: “Вставай, Ванька!”, which to me sounded like: “Get up, you wanker!”

        🙂

        Like


  50. Happy first day of autumn!


    I shall return! Summer.

    I feel pretty sad about summer ending, albeit this summer has been really disappointing.

    They say, however, that we’re going to have an indian Summer and 26 °C (79 °F) is forecast for the end of this month.

    Like

    1. The summer has been disappointing for you, and yet you don’t want it to end!
      Reminds me of that old Woody Allen joke:

      I took my Jewish aunt to this new restaurant. At once she started complaining: “The food here is terrible. And the portions are so small!”

      Like

      1. But it’s been warm and sunny this past week! In July it was cold and wet almost the whole month.

        June arrived in a blaze of glory, but soon petered out into persistently gloomy and cold weather. At the beginning of August was recorded the coldest August temperature in 70 years — 9 °C (48 °F).

        The reason why I’m sorry that summer is at an end is that school and institutes of higher education all start their academic year tomorrow, which means that I won’t be able to relax in the bosom of my family at the place I love best until next summer..

        Like

          1. No chance! He never stops. He has a weird regime – or he did las year. So whenever he gets the opportunity, he kicks off making his noise.

            Like

            1. Today is observed here as “The Day of Knowledge”, namely the first day of the academic year when an estimated 19 million schoolchildren/students return to their schoolwork/studies.

              My 2 daughters were both away to their school/university this morning at 07:30, but not Vova!

              He’s still asleep now as I write at noon, Moskva time.

              Like

        1. Or the Scots shopkeeper who realized his last customer had forgotten his change on the counter. His natural integrity did brief battle with his native thrift, and he knocked sharply on the window… with a sponge.

          Like

  51. A mostly-new slate in the Ukrainian Rada, although somehow Arsen Avakov kept his job. I wonder what it is he does better than anybody.

    https://apnews.com/98a4c475dbd74f61a3fd48a7f4246882

    Everybody pledges to wipe out corruption and graft, and according to Zelenskiy, the public still expects the return of Crimea. Good luck with that. The Canadian Foreign Minister for Ukraine will doubtless be delighted to see her bosom chum Pristaiko pick up the Foreign Minister spot; they are already muy sympatico. He’s probably not as cuddly as Rumpelklimkin was, but I daresay he will do.

    Like

      1. It was reported a couple of day or so ago that t-Rump is ‘slow walking $250 million’ in defense donations to the Ukraine. That would make sense if Washington wasn’t yet sure of Kiev’s intentions, i.e. to continue to take orders and remain strategically onside. That is probably the message that Bolt.on/whomever passed on to make sure the ‘right people’ remained in the right jobs.

        Like

      2. You think? Why would the State Department – the most likely agency to be involved – pick mostly new political figures with no previous experience, some of whom are intensely loyal to Zelenskiy? I’d have thought they would want to get rid of him as quickly as possible, and get another oligarch back in the big chair. Those are the people they’re most comfortable with, as they can easily be bought.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s