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.

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

  1. Ukraine seeks to ‘diversify’ its gas supplies by purchasing LNG from the United States through Poland. Oleksandr Danylyuk, secretary of Ukraine’s national defense and security council, describes the pact as a ‘win-win-win’; good for Poland, good for Ukraine, and good for the United States.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-usa-ukraine/ukraine-looks-at-u-s-lng-as-part-of-diversification-plan-idUSKCN1VK2ET

    It seems to me he has forgotten someone…Oh, yes! The European taxpayers, who will have to pony up money through the IMF for Ukraine to buy gas from the Americans. So I guess it’s kind of a win-win-win-lose. Sorry, Europe. You win some, you lose some. Just look at it as an investment in freedom.

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      1. And it doesn’t mean “Those were the days, my friend”. Those were the words sung to the same melody by Paul McCartney’s “discovery”, Welsh girl Mary Hopkins, who had a big hit with it, in the UK at least, before retiring into oblivion. She didn’t want to be famous, I believe.

        Like

          1. You rode on a troika with sleigh bells,
            And in the distance lights flickered..
            If only I could follow you now
            I would dispel the grief in my soul!

            Chorus:
            By the long road, in the moon light,
            And with this song that flies off, ringing,
            And with this ancient, this ancient seven-string,
            That has so tormented me by night.

            But it turns out our song was futile,
            In vain we burned night in and night out.
            If we have finished with the old,
            Then those nights have also left us!

            Chorus:
            By the long road, in the moon light,

            Out into our native land, and by new paths,
            We have been fated to go now!
            …You rode on a troika with sleigh bells,
            [But] you’ve long since passed by!

            Chorus:
            By the long road, in the moon light,

            Like

    1. Yes it does, in my opinion, though I wasn’t in Berlin at the time.

      When I was in Berlin in the late ’80s, however, it was just as depraved.

      You should read “Goodbye to Berlin” (1939) by Christopher Isherwood, on which novel “Cabaret” was based.

      Like

    1. Russian woman Red Army traffic controller Berlin 1945:

      Лидия Овчаренко (Спивак) — Lidiya Ovcharenko, neé Spivak

      After the war, she became a teacher at a Donetsk school.
      Died in 1984, aged 59 years.

      Now don’t forget, folks: Russians never smile!

      But for god’s sake, they have good enough reason not to smile too often, in the light of the horrendous crimes committed against them in modern times!

      She says at 0.39: “What am I? I’m just an ordinary Soviet girl!”

      By the way, in 1945, my father, not grandfather or great-grandfather, was serving in the British 8th Army in Northern Italy.

      In 1945, my mother was 20 years old.

      My father was demobbed in 1946.

      Like

  2. Criag Murray: The Alex Salmond Fit-Up
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/08/the-alex-salmond-fit-up/

    This new report is from a friend of impeccable credentials with whom I am collaborating; it reveals stunning new facts on the Alex Salmond affair:

    Begins
    ####

    All at the link.

    It’s the first I’ve heard that Salmond has got a massive and total payout, let alone his victory against the Skittish government in his civil action for unlawful action etc.

    Like

    1. “New York, New York” is the film to watch if you like Liza Minnelli. Here she is in a scene from the film singing the the theme song that is usually associated with Frank Sinatra:

      I actually thought it was quite a good film even with all its flaws and meandering. It probably could have been a tighter film with better editing.

      Like

  3. Euractiv with Neuters: Georgian PM Bakhtadze steps down, warns against political divisions
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/georgian-pm-bakhtadze-steps-down-warns-against-political-divisions/

    Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced his resignation on Monday (2 September) after little more than a year in the job and said the country must not be riven by political divisions that could play into Russia’s hands.

    Bakhtadze’s resignation comes as the ruling Georgian Dream party’s popularity has sagged following the brutal dispersal of an anti-Kremlin protest in Tbilisi on 21 June. Parliamentary elections are due in October next year…

    …The government said police were right to use force as protesters were trying to storm parliament…

    #####

    Black is white and white is black. Now it is a matter of ‘opinon’ that a russophobic mob directly tried to storm the Georgian parliament despite direct visual evidence that is exactly what they were attempting to do and even declared themselves. The ex prime minister himslef has taken sides and is directly contributing to those divisions by resigning. But why lie about it?

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    1. Yes, it’s curious that western governments are justified in using whatever force they feel is necessary to put down anti-government protests, or just to keep order in general – reports abound of ordinary people not doing anything wrong meeting up with a mean cop who decides to slam them around a little in the process of establishing their identity, and the aversion of the American police to bystanders filming them is well-known. But in certain countries – and sometimes just certain governments in those countries – dispersal of protesters or those posing as peaceful protesters is always ‘brutal’. So it is in Hong Kong, where ‘pro-democracy protesters’ – which is a label used to justify pretty much any behavior – throw stones and gas bombs at police and destroy public property (rioting by another, more palatable name). Nothing Saakashvili did to put down protests was ever described by western media as ‘brutal’ in my recollection.

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  4. Good piece on how the DNC poll
    criteria are a clusterfuck of corrupt
    manipulated deceit and misrepresentation.
    Read the comments and replies

    Like

  5. al-Beeb s’Allah: Christian Coleman: US Anti-Doping Agency withdraws case against sprinter
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/49558809

    Coleman, 23, had been charged with missing three drugs tests and was facing an automatic one-year ban.

    Usada said it had withdrawn the charge after receiving guidance from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). …

    Under the ‘whereabouts’ system, athletes must let officials know where they will be for one hour every day as well as details of overnight accommodation and training.

    Failure to do so – a ‘filing failure – three times in a 12-month period could lead to a rule violation under the World Anti-Doping code…
    #####

    So, you see, he didn’t miss three anti-doping tests in ‘a year’ because they managed to back date the first one beyond 12 months. This is an outrage as he still missed three tests. If this doesn’t go for appeal WADA and the court for arbitration will be an even bigger joke than it already is. As for USADA batting for one of their own, their corruption stinks to high heaven but that is nothing new for the exceptional nation. It will be interesting to see if other athletes protest at Doha this september.

    Like

    1. If he is a top US athlete with a good chance of winning a gold medal for the Indispensable Nation, you can be sure he will be safeguarded and USADA will shield him to the very best of its ability. It is the crookedest agency in sports, while it raves on about how crooked everyone else is, especially the Russians.

      That said, I notice he has never failed a drug test, and his crime is actually for not disclosing his whereabouts for one hour every day so that, in theory, he could be spontaneously tested. He claims to not take any supplements – of course, he would, especially if he knew USADA had his back – and at this point there is no reason to disbelieve him that I’m aware of. He doesn’t look like a giant behemoth, and if he really is the fastest man in the world, good luck to him. Canada is certainly not in a position to criticize there – remember Ben Johnson? Dopers are always full of self-pity, and always claim it was just a mistake. That’s why when a genuine mistake does happen, it’s so hard to convince anyone.

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      1. I wouldn’t mind giving him benefit of the doubt, but the ground has significantly shifted since the US went after Russian atheletes – most of which were ultimately reinstated by CAS.

        This whole ‘falling through the cracks’ schtick simply shouldn’t fly.

        Maybe they don’t need to automatically ban him for a year but place him under ‘closer supervision’, i.e. more random checks over an 18 month period or so which would make it much harder for anyone gaming the system by taking advantage of the USA’s global lead in sports medicine (and ability to remain a step or two ahead of the testers) and also diminshing any physical benefits from it (sic ‘medals’). If there is little difference in his performance short of injury throughout the time period then his slate remains clean. If ‘he’ (sic gamers) manage to avoid sports somehow for the period, its still 18 odd months that they are out of the game and not winning medals/cash/endorsements/whatever.

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  6. Funny, all the times we discuss Venezuela, and all the times I’ve mentioned the oligarchs who deliberately caused shortages of staple foods in Venezuela in order to create desperate conditions which might result in demonstrations of unrest which could be bent to oust the leader in favour of a commerce-friendly western-oriented regime. I even mentioned the company which was chiefly responsible, back when we had a running fight going on the old blog with Matt-the-fake-Venezuelan; Polar Enterprises, importer of basic foodstuffs such as corn flour, used daily in Venezuelan meal preparation, deliberately stopped making those products available, with the intent of causing a crisis which might even escalate to starvation. I’m pretty sure I even mentioned its head; but the name just didn’t register, probably because I did not know at the time that he was also a politician.

    Leopoldo fucking Lopez, Juan Guaido’s bosom buddy and fellow ‘democracy activist’, is also the Chairman of the Board of Empresas Polar. Something about the name poked my memory, and I looked it up using the search term “Leopoldo Lopez Polar”. Sho’ nuff.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/19/sir-richard-bransons-venezuelan-border-pr-stunt/

    “While there is much mainstream media reporting about lengthy bread lines in Venezuela and the lack of flour for making bread, such reporting overlooks a crucial fact. Leopoldo Lopez is the Chairman of the Board for Empresas Polar, the private company that controls the majority of the flour production and distribution in Venezuela.

    To my knowledge, there’s been only one English-language report of this fact: FAIR (Feb. 8, 2019) reported, “Conspicuously, it’s the products that [Empresas] Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, Bloomberg, Washington Post, NPR) focusing on bread lines in the country.”

    Evidently, Leopoldo Lopez as Chairman of the company, could immediately change the situation of flour-scarcity and lengthy bread lines if he wanted to.”

    I was reminded of him because ‘Preznit’ Guaido has just appointed him a cabinet minister in his ‘shadow cabinet’ which is still hoping to wrest power from Maduro.

    https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Venezuela-s-Guaid-names-a-shadow-cabinet-to-14389547.php

    Leopoldo Lopez caused the shortage of basic foodstuffs which the opposition blames on Maduro – Empresas Polar has a monopoly on imports. And now he’s a minister in Guaido’s phony cabinet. Wonders never cease.

    Like

    1. That Counterpunch article seems to have confused Leopoldo López with Lorenzo Mendoza. Mendoza is the current CEO of Empresas Polar SA. The company was co-founded by Mendoza’s grandfather and two others, originally to produce beer.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo_Mendoza

      Mendoza happens to be the maiden name of López’s mother and López is a cousin of Lorenzo Mendoza’s wife Maria Alexandra Pulido. Mendoza happens to be the maiden name of Pulido’s mother as well. It’s a common surname throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Though I’d say in this particular case all the Mendozas belong to one big extended clan in the Venezuelan elite.

      Incidentally Juanny Bat-boy Guano appointed the son of an Empresas Polar senior executive to be in charge of humanitarian aid.
      https://orinocotribune.com/guaidos-coordinator-of-humanitarian-aid-is-son-of-general-director-of-polar

      Like

      1. Hmmmm….looks like you are right, and if so, that’s a major error. The article cites him as Chairman of the Board and not CEO, but I can’t find anything in which Lorenzo Mendoza – as CEO and owner – is not both. It must have been the similarity of the names, because that is what sent me on the same search. Lopez is indeed related to Lorenzo Mendoza through his mother, but that’s certainly not a strong enough connection to imply a controlling interest in Empresas Polar.

        So it was indeed Lorenzo Mendoza I was thinking of, and whom I cited when I was sparring with Matt over the Venezuelan food shortages. I noticed there were a few articles dated from two years ago in which people were allegedly urging him to run against Maduro, and which claimed he would win easily, but that doesn’t seem very likely to me. He declined, anyway. But it might have suited him to have a relative running the government. I also saw a couple of articles which billed him as the billionaire fighting for Venezuela’s food independence. That seems a bit of a stretch, and the remainder of the Counterpunch article is correct that Polar enjoys a virtual monopoly on food imports. That’s an area Chavez recognized as a vulnerability, but was unsuccessful at rectifying – he could not get Venezuelans really interested in growing their own food when imports were so cheap and Venezuela had plenty of money from oil. Both are now being used against it in an effort to break its will.

        Well done; excellent research!

        Like

    2. Leopoldo Lopez? Full name: Leopoldo Eduardo López Mendoza.

      Hmmm…

      That reminded me of another ‘democracy activist’.

      Thor Halvorssen. Full name: Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza.

      They are cousins.

      Jimmi Dore was invited to Norway to Thor Halvorssens “Oslo Freedom Forum” – for fake ‘democracy activists’.

      Guess who was there?

      Garry Kasparov Unhinged! – His Human Rights Scam Exposed w/Thor Halvorssen

      Max Blumenthal has written some articles about Thor Halvorssen.

      Like

  7. The meddling EU is at it again, ‘urging’ Serbia to not sign a pact with the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia was fine with Ukraine being a joint member of both, but it is the EU which is exclusionist and it is the EU today that attempts to persuade Serbia to mimic Ukraine and put all its eggs in the EU basket. I would counsel them to see how that worked out for Ukraine.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/eu-urges-serbia-sign-trade-pact-russia-led-65288209

    And it would not do to underestimate the role of Federica Mogherini;

    In an email statement, the office of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogerhini underlined that trade with Russia is less than 10% of Serbia’s total trade, compared to 63% for the 28-nation EU.

    The obvious implication is that Serbia must trade with one or the other, and if it chooses Russia it will be shut out of the EU. I hope Russia will remember that when trade returns to something like normal, and will tell the Poles to shove their apples up their arses, and the French to wipe their noses with their cheese.

    Serbia’s main export destination is Germany, and like Russia, it might be able to keep that country as an important business partner without having to kiss the asses of the entire EU. Germany is showing a bit of an independent streak these days, and can afford to tell the EU to put a sock in it as it is the union’s banker.

    Like

  8. Ukraine appears not to have noticed that its backing for the United States to persuade Europe to reject Nord Stream II is supporting American pressure for Europe to buy American LNG instead. Would they be transiting that to Europe through Ukraine? Hardly.

    https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-struggling-sense-trump-boltons-190111002.html

    President Trump has repeatedly criticized the project, saying it would make Germany “captive” to Russian interests, and urging the Europeans to buy fuel from the U.S. instead. During their talks in Kyiv this week, Danilyuk discussed this issue at length with Bolton, and he urged the U.S. government to block the project by imposing economic sanctions against it. “Bolton was very supportive,” Danilyuk says. “He understands that Nord Stream 2 is bad for the United States.”

    If – extremely unlikely – that initiative were ever successful, and the EU blew off Nord stream II in favour of American imported LNG…the Ukies would still be out $3 Billion a year in transit fees. The USA wants to replace Russian gas supplies to Europe, not supplement them.

    As usual, Ukraine is so eager to hurt Russia that it does not care if it hurts itself in doing it. Just the sort of ally the USA loves.

    Like

    1. …The Russian Defense Ministry’s desire for maximum secrecy is untenable given the pressure to provide specific information to the rest of the world..
      ####

      I beg to differ.

      1) radioactive release – no-comment on scale/effect etc. , i.e. negligible – which he ignores on purpose because a) he as bs to push & b) like much of the public we are conditioned to freak out at any word that includes or sounds like ‘nuclear’ despite the fact we’ve all experienced it… in hospital, for example.

      2) all this speculation is great for Russia. The more people freaking out about it – particularly Washington nutters – the better. After all, if Russia is working on some sort of invincible super weapon (TM), surely it would be in Washington’s interest to say, maybe have an international agreement to control dangerous weapons…? Oh, no, they’ve just dumped one!

      Like

      1. Comment from ‘mal’ to the Bershidsky piece:
        https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-02/hard-part-of-ending-inequality-is-paying-for-it#comment-4594884789

        …Here is the Rosgidromet statement:

        “Радионуклидный состав проб отобранных в Северодвинске, показал наличие короткоживущих техногенных радионуклидов 91Sr (T1/2=9,3 ч), 139Ba (T1/2=83 мин), 140Ba (T1/2=12,8 дней) и его дочернего радионуклида 140La (T1/2=40ч), которые являются продуктами распада инертных радиоактивных газов (ИРГ). Как указывалось ранее, ИРГ стали причиной кратковременного повышения МАЭД 8 августа 2019 года в г. Северодвинске.”

        Bershidsky omitted the last bit were they talk about decay products from inert radioactive gases that they had stated were the reason for radiation spike in a prior state. I guess it doesn’t fit the nice propaganda story Bershidsky is spinning.

        But lets say Bershidsky is right. In that case, Russians have invented a nuclear reactor that kills less people when it blows up than a ordinary utility pipeline explosion. That’s pretty amazing. Russia just solved all of the worlds energy problems with cheap safe nuclear power.

        Like

        1. Yes, I saw that; it was pretty good. A Russian nuclear reactor blew up, and five people were killed, or whatever it was. A couple more were exposed to some kind of radiation, but lived. That’s less casualties than the average school shooting in the USA.

          Like

          1. I watched a couple of the mythbuster videos and he made the totally obvious point (that never occured to me) that a burn from radiation is exactly the same as a burn from the sun, i.e. your body ably repairs itself unless it is severe. This of course makes sense as the body sheds burnt damadged skin and more imporantly, is not ingested where the body offers no protection at all (sic atomized depleted a-10 uranium anti-tank shells for example).

            Like

            1. Exposure does sometimes cause internal damage which worsens with time, though, such as tumors and anomalous growths. There was a scare years ago among fire-control technicians in the Canadian Navy who routinely worked on the STIR (Separate Tracking and Illumination Radar). Allegedly three were diagnosed with cancer, one died and another with whom I was personally acquainted had a large tumor removed which was compressing his lung. It might have been coincidental, but ionizing radiation from electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) is a known risk for damage to DNA and cells.

              Like

    1. That’s a good article; thanks for posting it. I admit when I first saw the title, I thought “Here we go again – another self-righteous pile of rubbish about defending freedom and democracy”.

      It should be noted that Canada’s effort in this is totally about helping the USA get its own way. There’s nothing in it for Canada that I’m aware of, no secret deals (well, if I knew, it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?) which would give Canada an edge in trade or anything of the sort. It’s total trust that Uncle Sam will ‘do right by us’ when he decides to divvy up the spoils. An apparent inability to learn from the past, be it ever so recent.

      Like

  9. Yahoo Nudes: Revealed: How a secret Dutch mole aided the U.S.-Israeli Stuxnet cyberattack on Iran
    https://news.yahoo.com/revealed-how-a-secret-dutch-mole-aided-the-us-israeli-stuxnet-cyber-attack-on-iran-160026018.html

    …AIVD’s cyber capabilities are well known now — last year it was revealed that AIVD was responsible for tipping off the FBI to the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee, knowledge it had acquired because its operatives had hacked into computers https://www.volkskrant.nl/wetenschap/dutch-agencies-provide-crucial-intel-about-russia-s-interference-in-us-elections~b4f8111b/ belonging to the Russian hacking group known as Cozy Bear in 2014 and were watching in 2015 when the Russians broke into computers at the U.S. State Department and the DNC…
    ####

    Ex-squeeze me? Did any of you see this story that AIVD fingered the Russians for the DNC’ break in’? I didn’t. As for the main story, it is no surprise that the US uses it’s allies, but we also know that the US sometimes due to their own ‘laws’ and sometimes for plausible deniablity attribute their own actions to other countries or carry them out from foreign territory (because apparently that is not in contravention of US laws).

    This article looks like classic misdirection considering what we know from Snowden about the CIA ‘s obfuscation ‘Vault 7’ tools designed to mimick other internet hacking groups including ‘Marble’ . That AIVD had been tracking CozyBear for years is neither here nor there, but if you are to mimic someone and lay a false trail you need to know enough about them to be able to do so. AIVD itself may well have supplied such info to the CIA so that it could ‘infiltrate’ the server and leave ‘CozyBear’ trails.

    I wouldn’t trust what AIVD says further than I could throw them. Even then, it was reported that all sorts of people/groups had passed through the misconfigured DNC server (honey trap perhaps) so all you then would have to do is point out the favored guilty part and ignore the others – some of the traces could well be genuine.

    There is only one rule anyone should follow about a story leaked about intelligence service activites when leaked by themselves/friends/pets/whatever: handle with extreme caution. Even if what they say is true, you can be certain of strategic omissions in that information, certainly anything that could provide for any other explanantion or possibility.

    Like

    1. The usual anarchist posing as an advocate for freedom and democracy. Demonstrations often give dirtbags like this the opportunity to express behavior which would get them locked up if they did it at any other time. I am told Russian prison is not Camp Cupcake, like the resort where Martha Stewart ‘did her time’, and I imagine there will be many lessons for Slava to learn. Unfortunately, they will not really teach him anything, as his character is warped and he is likely to come out more dangerous than when he went in. He will have to be watched for the rest of his life.

      Like

    1. Amazing; I had no idea Betsy Voss – advocate of for-profit charter schools (privatizing education) and The New Curriculum – and Eric Prince (advocate for privatizing war) are brother and sister. Blood will tell.

      Profiteering is naked and in the open now in the west, and public systems increasingly favour the wealthy – if you want better, you should be ready to pay for it. I guess that’s what all those tax cuts were about – shifting a burden off of the wealthy, so that now public services are pay-as-you-go because the government can’t afford to provide them for everyone. However, tax cuts also favoured the wealthy – gee, it almost makes you think the class system is coming back, dunnit?

      Like

      1. I recall Jeremy Scahill mentioning in his book on Blackwater (before it started changing its name faster than you can change your socks) that Erik Prince was related to Betsy deVos. This was long before Scahill turned his own name and reputation into mud when he walked out of a London conference back in 2012 or 2013 because the Syrian nun Agnes Mariam de la Croix, who was known to support President Assad at the time, was a guest speaker at the conference.

        Like

  10. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/02/yeme-s02.html

    “Saudi jets, armed with US and UK bombs and provided with targeting information by US military intelligence officers stationed in Saudi Arabia, have continued to carry out repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods, mosques, funerals and markets. The US had provided coalition jets with mid-air refueling until the end of last year, ensuring maximum carnage.”

    https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/current-members

    Like I was saying …Too bad the two foremost war criminal terrorist nations sit on the UNSC.

    Like

    1. WSWS,org’s reporting on the Hong Kong protests has been dismal and ideologically biased. To my knowledge, the protesters’ demands have never covered working conditions, housing conditions and the tremendous social inequalities (said to be the highest in the world). They have never covered the state of a tax haven economy used and abused by billionaires in mainland China to minimise their tax obligations to Beijing or to send money to other overseas tax havens through registering their offspring or other people as Hong Kong residents, resulting in money being poured into property speculation which itself has led to sky-high property prices and the inability of ordinary people to afford to buy or rent homes of a suitable space at reasonable prices.

      The protesters’ initial demands were to withdraw the extradition bill, to force Carrie Lam to resign as Chief Executive and to force her government to investigate what they claimed was police violence – in spite of the fact that most of the violence and sabotage (which has now extended to fighting with commuters and throwing things at them, vandalising MTR stations and throwing rocks and objects onto train lines) has been committed by protesters themselves – and (as if as a last thought) demanding universal suffrage.

      Photos and videos of protesters throwing rods onto a train line, and damaging ticket machines at MTR stations:
      https://mothership.sg/2019/09/hong-kong-protesters-train-tracks/

      Full 10-minute video of middle-aged and elderly commuters fighting with protesters, the incident that led to the Prince Edward MTR station staff calling in police over the August / September weekend to subdue and arrest protesters, some of whom attempted to evade arrest by changing clothes:

      Like

      1. Yes…You are correct in that wsws appears to be not on its game in its analysis of the HK situation,as was noted in some of the comments to the article. Addressing fundamental economic disparities in HK does not seem to feature in the agenda of the protesters.

        https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2120366/poverty-hong-kong-hits-7-year-high-one-five-people
        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-19/one-in-five-people-in-hong-kong-were-living-in-poverty

        As you know,Lam has done a volte-face on the extradition bill:
        https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/asia/hong-kong-carrie-lam-extradition-bill-intl-hnk/index.html

        But it’s not clear if that in itself will extinguish the protesters’ fires of various complaints.

        I’ve yet to see a cogent analysis of the dynamic interplay-with the potential for lethal conflict- between:

        The HK protesters
        The Super elite HK billionaires
        The Super elite mainland billionaire class
        The mainland population as a whole

        Like

        1. Can’t wait to see the Chinese headline: “Safe in Hong Kong, Chinese Accused Murderer Wei Tu Lukky says, ‘Thanks for the Democracy, Students!” Of course you’ll never see it, because no western paper would ever print it. As far as the west is concerned, it really is all about freedom and democracy. Like no such things as extradition treaties exist between democracies. Canada and the United States have an extradition treaty – aren’t they democracies? Aren’t they free?

          https://internationalextraditionblog.com/2011/04/12/canada-extradition-treaty-with-the-united-states/

          What it boils down to is that westerners like Bill Browder do not want to be snatched when they are passing through Hong Kong International Airport, and extradited to China. Westerners do not particularly care otherwise about the rule of law in China, but the usual troublemakers sense an opportunity to destabilize and create a problem for China. If China soft-pedals it, as they have done, it quickly gets out of hand to the point where they are dealing with rioters rather than protesters, smashing and destroying in an orgy of violence. Had they cracked down hard in the beginning and kicked out all western journalists reporting on the issue, the ‘protests’ would have been strangled in the cradle, and while the west would have gotten a little mileage out of the brutal Chinese authoritarianism, it would have been nowhere near as bad as it is now.

          The ‘student leaders’ of the ‘protests’, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, are 22. I suppose there might be a place somewhere in which 22-year-olds don’t feel like they know everything, but I’ve never heard of it. With political unit chief of the US Consulate Julie Eadeh stroking them and telling them she’s never seen anyone so brave, they can barely keep the grins off their faces and fancy they really are somebody important. Lam did indeed flip on the extradition issue, but it’s too late for that now. She is going to learn the Yanukovych lesson all over again – appeasing protesters, especially when it is part of a destabilization program, only leads to more demands and more protests.

          The Chinese government perhaps thought to go slow and not give the western media any money shots to make a big issue of. That might have worked, if this was a genuine one-issue protest. But it isn’t – as i just pointed out, extradition treaties have nothing to do with democracy and freedom, and if a bunch of students think they are going to have their own country to play Independence Doctor in, they have a big surprise coming. Remember when Poroshenko was justified in doing whatever he wanted, including taking students right out of the university parking lot and putting them on a bus to Army training, because he was ‘protecting his country’? Well, the Chinese government sees itself as having the same rights where a small group of students is causing a major problem, and is blatantly violating public order in an attempt to win western approbation; it is plainly not legal to throw stones and gas bombs at the police and smash up public infrastructure.

          You can’t give people whatever they want when they are acting like hooligans – it only makes them think of more things they want. And that’s just what is happening here. If they are not very careful, the entire Lam government is going to be replaced overnight with hardliners, and then heads will roll.

          Like

        2. Withdrawing the extradition bill is an easy move because Lam can always reintroduce it later (perhaps in a changed form) though perhaps when that happens, the guy who killed his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan on St Valentine’s Day in 2018, and used all her bank cards to clear his own debts will have already gone free and for all we know have left Hong Kong.

          Also by withdrawing the bill, Lam takes some of the wind out of the sails of the protest movement. If the protesters are not happy over the withdrawal and ratchet up their demands that Lam and her entire government resign, then Beijing knows this is a Color Revolution protest movement and might start to press Hong Kong to expel British and American consular staff stationed in the territory and shut down British and American NGOs and think-tanks using whatever the laws of Hong Kong permit Lam to use against them. Lam may not be able to stop the protests from escalating but she can slow them down by cutting off their funding, advice and support.

          Like

  11. Zelenskiy bends over for western corporate interests, and orders his government to get a law ready which will allow the sale of Ukrainian farmland. Bye-bye, black earth; if the investors can’t stay in Ukraine, they’ll take it with them, once they’ve bought it. Get ready for hammering on the door to let GMO agricultural imports in, Europe.

    https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-president-plans-land-reform-101448503.html

    Speaking of GMO, over 80% of soybeans and corn grown in the USA are GMO’s. Which strongly suggests the American soybeans Canada is buying to send to the crushers, since the Americans can’t get rid of them and have a year’s harvest already in storage, are GMO. And are muscling out Canadian-grown soybeans, so that we have to look for new markets for our own.

    Like

    1. Raids on farms to confiscate their land have increased a lot since the Maidan, so naturally land “reforms” were going to come through the pipe.

      Like

  12. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/germany-poland-80th-anniversary-world-war-ii-mike-pense-duda-steinmeier_n_5d6c8865e4b0110804512f92

    “The Polish president also criticized Western leaders who have been soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin after Moscow’s aggression in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.

    “We are still faced, even in Europe, with the return of imperialist tendencies. … Closing one’s eyes is not a recipe for peace,” he said. “It is a simple way … to give permission for further attacks.”

    Putin was not invited to the events”

    Hilarious….None of these simple fucks-particularly- Pence and Duda- bother to acknowledge that it was the Russians who cleansed Poland of the Nazis at a cost of who knows how many troops..

    Like

  13. Roger Waters performs Pink Floyd classic “Wish You Were Here” outside UK Home Office in London as part of protest against Julian Assange’s incarceration in Belmarsh Prison:

    The event was apparently ignored by British news media.

    Like

  14. More of Lyonya’s musings. I was quite surprised to learn, in this piece, of a letter – which is admitted by the Dutch government to exist – from Westerbeke to the government of Ukraine, suggesting that former Air Defense head of the DNR Volodymyr Tsemakh be held as a suspect rather than a witness.

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/09/03/a-prisoner-swap-with-russia-tests-ukraines-president-a67127

    I realize that the official narrative is just a patchwork of…well, of patches…but doesn’t the notion that Tsemakh personally participated tend to scupper the theory that a single Buk launcher scooted over the border under Russian control, shot down MH17 and then scooted back again? Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks as if Westerbeke is trying to shift the blame onto the rebels.

    I suppose western analysts will say there is no conflict at all, and that Tsemakh is of course to blame because he ordered up the Buk from the Russians, who then at least delivered it, maybe even took the fatal shot themselves. But you would think someone who was actually head of an air-defense network, never mind if it only consisted of some flak batteries (and if it was no better than that, it would not have been able to effectively ground the Ukrainian Air Force for the latter third of the war) would know you could not shoot down an airliner with a single Buk launcher.

    Anyway, it seems as if the Dutch aim is to so confuse everyone that no sense can ever be made of the story – they’re happy to lay some charges against people they know perfectly well will never be extradited to stand trial, and leave it at that. Justice dispensed, case closed. Nothing to see here: move along.

    Like

    1. As with the Litvinenko case: the British Crown Prosecution Service demanded that a Russian citizen be extradited on a murder charge, knowing full well that for the Russian government to do so would be against the Russian constitution, hence non-extradition meant admission of guilt.

      Case proven, m’lud!

      Like

      1. Except in the case when the Russian government wanted William Browder to appear in a Russian court for questioning. In that case, non-extradition meant he was innocent, and feared entrapment.

        Like

    2. Under ‘Most Read’ on the MT page, no.5 is ‘Opinion Mark Galeotti Why I Talked to RT.’ He’s at his precious ‘Moi! Moi! Moi!’ best. He’ll always be Mark ‘Gerasimov’ Galeotti for me.

      Like

  15. Which countries concluded agreements and treaties with Hitler and when:

    1933 – Great Britain, France, Italy – four-power pact
    1934 – Poland – Hitler-Pilsudski pact
    1935 – Great Britain – Anglo-German naval agreement
    1936 – Japan – Anti-Comintern pact
    1938, September – Great Britain – non-aggression pact
    1938, December – France – non-aggression pact
    1939, March – Romania – economic agreement
    1939, March – Lithuania – non-aggression pact
    1939, May – Italy – pact of friendship and alliance
    1939, May – Denmark – non-aggression pact
    1939, June – Estonia – non-aggression pact
    1939, June – Latvia – non-aggression pact
    1939, August – USSR – non-aggression pact

    Yet everyone only talks about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact …

    Like

    1. Well, people talk about Italy – they have to; it was one of the Axis powers, and the allies had to fight it to subdue it. But now Italy is totally rehabilitated and, aside from a certain carelessness with money, a valued friend. Just as Germany itself is totally rehabilitated. It is only Russia which remains a place of evil, because it will not admit its Stalinist guilt and pay Billions in reparations to the Ukrainians for starving them all to death, and atone as the west demands for its sins. Then it will be broke and helpless…but happy.

      Like

      1. You mean the one above about the treaties with those nasty Nazis?

        I forgot to source it myself.

        It was off some Russian blog. Can’t remember where now .

        Like

    1. Translation:

      The Battle of the Kursk Salient

      In the summer of 1943, there took place the great Battle of Kursk.

      Up to that time, the front line was shaped like a big curve.

      It got the historical name : “The Kursk Bulge”.

      The Wehrmacht had planned a lightning strike in order to encircle the Red Army.

      But helped by intelligence, the Soviet leadership knew about the German plans.

      When the Hitlerites started their attack, they were met with a storm of artillery fire.

      The enemy advanced was stopped and they literally could not defend themselves.

      Soon there began our counterattack.

      During the Battle of Kursk, there took place near the village of Prokhorovka a major tank battle.

      The numbers involved were unbelievable: about 1,000 tanks and 200,000 men clashed.

      Altogether during the Battle of Kursk more than 6,000 tanks were in action.

      There has never been an engagement of such a scale throughout world history.

      The battle lasted for 49 days.

      Thirty-five German divisions were destroyed and 42 put out of action.

      Wehrmacht losses in personnel amounted to half a million men.

      On the Soviet side, more than a quarter of a million fell.

      The defeat at Kursk was a shock for Hitler.

      The Führer was furious and went crazy.

      This was the beginning of the victorious advance of the Red Army.

      The German forces were unable to stop it right up to the end of the war.

      During the battle, Oryol and Belgorod were liberated.

      In honour of this they organised an artillery salute in Moscow, the first of such during the whole war.

      75
      Victory!
      1945-2020

      Like

  16. MiddleEast Eye via Antiwar.com: ‘I curse myself’: Yemeni mercenaries say their Saudi fighting days are over
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/i-curse-myself-everyday-yemeni-mercenaries-say-their-saudi-fighting-days-are-over

    The war took their jobs from them, so they fought for the Saudis. Now Yemen’s mercenaries have had enough

    ####
    It looks like the wheels are coming of KSA’s mercenary army! But, I’m sure there are plenty of others willing to pick up cudgels for $$$. Still, the ground has shifted and the costs have significantly mounted for KSA & friends. I hope they collapse.

    Like

  17. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Quick win for Zelenskiy as Ukraine parliament strips lawmakers` immunity
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-parliament-immunity/quick-win-for-zelenskiy-as-ukraine-parliament-strips-lawmakers-immunity-idUKKCN1VO0W9

    …But the new measure passed easily by 373 votes in the 450-seat parliament…

    …A pre-election survey by the National Democratic Institute in May said only 5% of Ukrainians thought political parties represented citizens’ interests and just 3% said politicians met their expectations. On the other hand, 87% believed political parties were engaged in corruption…

    Like

    1. Yes, I saw that, too. He’s making all the right noises, but at bottom he is just like Poroshenko in that he is the west’s man, and will do its bidding. In Poroshenko’s case it was so he could grow richer, but Zeklenskiy probably figures it’s the right thing to do. Poroshenko was a grifter, Zelenskiy an ideologue. But the result is the same for Russia. Ukraine will be lost to Ukrainians.

      Like

      1. The Ukraine has failed to fulfill the Minsk agreements

        In 2014-2015, the Ukraine suffered a number of devastating defeats in the hot phase of hostilities in the Donbas, in connection with which it had to conclude the Minsk agreements, which agreements, by the way, Kiev is still trying to evade.

        On February 12, 2015 in Minsk, a set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements was agreed upon with the heads of the countries of the “Norman Four” (Russia, Germany, France and the Ukraine). The UN Security Council on February 17, 2015 by resolution No. 2202 approved the Set of Measures, which became appendix No. 1 to this resolution. The UN Security Council also called on all parties to ensure the full implementation of the package of measures. The document provides for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line and the beginning of a dialogue on the restoration of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbas. Unfortunately, over the next few years, the Ukraine has been trying not only to evade by all means the implementation of key provisions of the Minsk Agreements, but also refuses to establish a direct dialogue with the LPR and the DPR. An example of this is the reluctance of the Ukrainian side to engage in dialogue with the LPR on the issue of repairing the bridge in Stanitsa Luganskaya, despite the fact that during the meeting of the Contact Group participants on July 17 in Minsk, representatives of the LPR and Kiev agreed on a procedure for repairing the Stanichny Bridge, which provides provides for the simultaneous carrying out work. After that, under various pretexts, the Ukraine deliberately delayed demining, dismantling of fortifications and other stages of preparation for the restoration of the bridge.

        Thus, the Ukraine shows its unwillingness to move forward in the implementation of key provisions of the Minsk Agreements and to move from hostilities to dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

        What does the Western puppet in Kiev say to the above, I wonder?

        Like

    1. It’s a “love” story, with a big fight going on in the background..

      Some didn’t like that in Russia. Some felt that the film should have concentrated on the participants in the battle and less on special effects and certainly not on the story of the love that one of the Red Army defenders of a ruined block has for a girl whom they have found within.

      The film story is based loosely on the defence of the the Pavlov House in Stalingrad, where, needless to say, there was no girl hiding and whom the house defenders were all ganting for.

      Like

  18. Add this to the O-Bomber ‘Russia wot don’t make nothin” file.

    FlightGlobal: PD-14 case produced through additive laser technology
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pd-14-case-produced-through-additive-laser-technolog-460630/

    ####

    According to (privately owned) S7 airlines, the proposed short-ass 75 seat Sukhoi SuperJet that it says would be very good for regional inter-Russia flights has been shelved and accuses the makers of ignoring its 75 SSJ 75 orders preferring to push the current 100 seat variant to (subsidized state owned) Aeroflot. So ‘Boo!’. I suspect United Aircraft Corporation looked at the numbers and couldn’t make it work, especially as UAC is currently looking for a rather large financial injection from the Russian government to stabilize the holding. Apart from that, there’s still plenty of other stuff being done.

    Like

    1. Injection moulded, reducing machining to almost nothing, component weighs a third of what it did, and an engine block can be completed in 3 hours vice 2 weeks. What might this mean to someone like BMW? Would auto manufacturers like their engine blocks to weigh a third what they do now? I guess maybe they would. Good thing Russia has a solid lock on titanium production at the same time as developing this technology. It will have to be tested now, of course, to ensure it does not come apart under pressure or temperature – titanium is tremendously strong, but it is brittle, which I presume is why it is alloyed with a substrate. If it endures at least as well as current technology, Russia will have completed an engineering marvel – the heaviest component of an engine could now weigh two-thirds less. Think what that translates to in mileage, for aircraft.

      This news, though, is of course completely eclipsed by the American announcement that Poland is going to buy the super-stealthy and much-admired F35!

      https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-outlines-f-35-production-plan-for-poland-460644/

      The Poles already make the landing gear and some of the ammunition, and with this volume buy, who knows? They could even upholster the seats, make the floor-mats, or…well, I don’t know, but obviously the sky is the limit. Clever marketing by the Americans has offset some of the loss of planes to be supplied to Turkey. Which Turkey is not even considering; even though the President said it was, the Foreign Minister said Turkey is still part of the F35 program. Obviously the Foreign Minister knows better than the President. And besides, Turkey is trembling in its boots and hoping that in a year or so, US anger will subside and it will again get the pat on the head to buy the F35.

      https://ahvalnews.com/turkish-air-force/russian-jet-fighters-not-realistic-option-turkey

      As if that were not enough, Michael Kofman – director of the Russian Studies Program at CNA, a U.S. research and analysis organisation – says that Turkey probably does not want to further disrupt its relationship with the United States. Take that, Russia! Game, set and match to Uncle Sam!

      Like

      1. In light of the recent issues Boeing is having with its 737MAX jets, some of which arise from past adjustments to the balance of previous 737 models when they were fitted with heavier engines (but the design of the rest of the plane did not change, so Boeing would not have to pass the changes through FAA inspection again), how and where would aircraft design engineers, in designing and building planes with engines two-thirds lighter than older planes, balance the new planes so their tails don’t dip?

        Like

        1. “… how and where would aircraft design engineers, in designing and building planes with engines two-thirds lighter than older planes ..”.

          Eeek, meant to say “how and where would aircraft design engineers, in designing and building planes with engines two-thirds lighter than their counterparts in older planes”.

          Just realised also that new planes with lighter engines would not necessarily tip backwards either, if in a stationary position on the tarmac … you can tell I’ve never designed a plane in my life!

          Like

        2. Well, that would be their problem, but as you have alluded, such engines would have to be part of a new design. It would be well worth it, I’d imagine, because the lighter they are in machine components, the more fuel they can carry and the further they can fly. Virtually no measure that saves weight is deemed not worth it; aircraft structural cross-members already have holes cut out of them (lightening holes) so that they have pretty much the same strength across a given axis, but weigh a bit less.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightening_holes

          Like

  19. There are certain Stooges-who know who they are-who are compelled to revisit a GPW battle
    in every thread.
    This is an example of that stuff:

    Like

    1. I liked Bernie Sanders back when he was getting shafted by the Clinton juggernaut, but since then a lot of information on his voting record has come to light – not that it was ferreted out, it’s all public information for anyone who chooses to look for it – and I have become convinced he is just another lifelong political mouthpiece whose first concern upon getting elected would be getting re-elected. So I don’t really care much for him now, and I think that if he were president, his policies would differ little from those of Barack Obama, and he would support any war that appeared to have enough public backing to get it off the ground. His main concern, obviously – and it will be for anyone who is elected – is preserving US dominance of global affairs, and trade relationships which gain the United States significant advantages. Re-establishing a more cooperative relationship between the United States and its allies and partners is not on anyone’s radar. The USA has made its choice, and it likes the idea of sitting on the throne and detailing off its minions to do busy stuff. Gabbard might have very slightly different ideas about polishing America’s global image so it is not viewed as quite so much of a bossy prick and grabby selfish jerk, but if she were elected, America’s corporate elite would waste no time in making sure she understood any president who is not going to be zealous in standing up for expansion of American business would be a one-termer at best.

      Like

  20. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/04/pers-s04.html

    Great article..details the pervasive and growing extent of neo-nazism in the aspiring Fourth Reich: Germany 2019

    “Sebouh80 • 10 hours ago
    The German holocaust silence and not mentioning about the decisive role the Soviet Red Army had played against Nazis are all part of the prevailing political climate. In fact, it was George Santanyana who had once said that those who cannot remember or let alone learn the lessons of the past are condemned to repeat it again.”

    Like

    1. That’s a viewpoint. Just keep in mind that the west absolutely does not want any kind of partnership between Russia and Germany, business or otherwise, and has a considerable interest in driving a wedge between them. For its own part, America is satisfied that Germany has apologized enough. Something else to keep in mind is that when the west says “rise of the far right’, it also means parties like Marine le Pen’s National Rally (formerly the National Front). The west would be happy to see France have Macron as leader forever. Governments it considers ‘far-right’ often are Euroskeptic parties who would like to see a new Europe quite a bit like the old Europe, before the European Union.

      Like

  21. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/03/proj-a03.html
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/04/1619-s04.html

    Excellent articles spanning the interconnectedness of racial ,economic,political and cultural themes throughout the planet over the last 300 years or so.

    e.g.
    “But, in its most significant and telling omission, the 1619 Project says nothing about the event that had the greatest impact on the social condition of African-Americans—the Russian Revolution of 1917. Not only did this arouse and inspire broad sections of the African-American population—including countless black intellectuals, writers, and artists, among them W.E.B. Du Bois, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Paul Robeson and Lorraine Hansberry—the Revolution undermined the political foundations of American racial apartheid.”

    Like

  22. Vesti News
    Published on 4 Sep 2019
    Subscribe to Vesti News
    And now, Hollywood. As we all know, Hollywood is located in Los Angeles, which has its peculiarities. Hollywood is usually associated with glamor and glitter. But in fact, the biggest and richest metropolis in the American West is very different.

    Like

    1. Homelessness and people sleeping in the streets has ballooned in the UK.

      Where I live we used to have 10 or more people sleeping under a bridge before the council put up fencing.

      It just seems to have happened in the last 5 years or so. I’ve visited friends in other parts of the UK and they see the same thing across their cities.

      Most of the people appear to be young in their 20s – which is very sad indeed.

      The UK for three years has been arguing about Brexit! while the domestic agenda has just been left.

      Like

      1. I have seen complaints to the local newspaper from visitors that the character of downtown Victoria has roughened, and that the number of homeless sleeping rough on the sidewalks and trying to carve out little neighbourhoods for themselves has made the area unpleasant for tourism. I don’t see it as I almost never go downtown. The climate in Victoria is sufficiently mild that homeless people can live on the streets all year, theoretically; at one time, other governments explored the solution for their own homeless of giving them a one-way bus ticket to British Columbia.

        https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/saskatchewan-government-hands-two-homeless-men-bus-tickets-to-bc/article29122846/

        Additionally, ‘tent cities’ sometimes spring up as political protests, just like in Kiev.

        https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-on-hook-for-55000-legal-bill-from-victoria-tent-city-case

        In this creative instance, someone discovered the grounds of the Law Courts were not covered by a city bylaw which prevented daytime camping, and a tent city sprang up like mushrooms after a rain until it was finally evicted, after which the cleanup bill was horrendous as the land had been all but ruined.

        Most of the hardcore homeless in Victoria seem to be drug addicts and the like, although there are some young people among them. But the case cited in the referenced article of the man who lost his home when he fell behind on payments, but who was perfectly employable, was very sad if he presented it accurately. Banks here are likely just as heartless as anywhere else, but I believe eviction is the absolute last measure and they try everything else first.

        Like

        1. Similar problem here in Sydney with increasing numbers of people, many of them young as well, becoming homeless and sleeping on the streets. As in Mark’s part of Canada, homeless people can live on the streets here in Sydney for most of the year due to a very benign climate in which extremes of temperature are moderated by oceanic influences (the city centre being centred around a harbour and located close to the Pacific Ocean). There used to be a little group of men who camped around Martin Place near the train station there (they even sometimes had a little soup kitchen and a little fruit market going) but two sets of construction work in the area have forced them to move away.

          Belmore Park (at the south end of the Sydney Central Business District) had a small tent city of homeless people for a while but the area has been cleared out periodically since 2017.

          Like

    2. In the part of the U.S. where I dwell, you can’t drive up to any major intersection or highway exit without seeing some homeless guy standing there with his cardboard sign. Soliciting for $20 bills, mostly, or anything they can get.
      I think these guys have a system to divide up the various patches.
      Not sure all of them are kosher, but the fact remains that you didn’t use to see this kind of blatant street-begging so much in previous years. The in-your-face poverty is definitely increasing.

      Like

      1. Every Orc whom I have met and who has visited the Exceptional Nation in recent years has commented to me about the begging in the USA.

        It’s the healthy appearance and young age of many beggars in the US that intrigues them, not the bums and junkies who beg.

        There are bums and junkies a-plenty here.

        Like

  23. «Это дорогого стоит»: Госдума оценила готовность американского посла прийти поговорить после интервью «Комсомолке»
    С Джоном Хантсманом хотят обсудить иностранное вмешательство в московские протесты

    “It will be well worth while”: the state Duma has praised the willingness of the American Ambassador to come and have a talk following his interview “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

    Okhotny Ryad [address of State Duma — ME] is now waiting for the Ambassador of the USA to Russia, following his interview with “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. We shall remind you, that Jon huntsman, who, following his resignation, is leaving in October, has stressed that he is ready to discuss allegations of interference (here he was talking about the publication on Twitter by his Embassy of the announcement of the rally and a map of its route, together with a request that these places be avoided these), but there has yet been no invitation made that he do so.

    I would be very happy to discuss this with anyone, but nobody has invited me and I think I have not been invited because people know the truth, and it consists of the fact that on the eve of the demonstrations, the Embassy should publish a consular alert and warn its citizens to stay away from the places where they are to take place. My first responsibility is to ensure the safety of American citizens. And if I do not tell people, I would thereby have demonstrated neglect of my duty, and my official duties. So I did what I did in all other cases – what I was doing in China and what to do in Singapore when I was Ambassador there: we took documents already in the public domain, and warned U.S. citizens that they should stay away from specific locations, and published a map of where these places were marked. That is what all this is really about, and I am very surprised that the standard function of the Embassy has been presented as something unusual”, said the Ambassador.”

    (above) 02.20 2011, Beijing: Huntsman staying away from a specific place that the US Embassy to China considered as being potentially dangerous to US citizens.

    Like

    1. Why, does McDonald’s in Beijing not use imported American ingredients like GMO soy meal in the buns and chlorinated chicken mixed with other “meats” (I can’t remember what the term is) in the chicken nuggets?

      Like

  24. Trying to locate the first hour

    All things considered, what these
    men state as their respective positions on economic interdependency is worth a listen.

    Like

    1. Like I said; withdrawal of the extradition bill is no longer good enough. Now there is a list of new demands, and if those were satisfied there would be more. Hooligans and their western backers are never satisfied, because the goal is destabilization.

      Like

      1. In situations like this, targeted for regime-change governments, should do the opposite of what they are demanded.
        If protesters say cancel the extradition bill, then the government should implement a double super-secret probation extradition bill.

        Like

        1. If Carrie Lam had half a brain, she could always threaten to bring back the extradition bill with a new provision that people who damage essential infrastructure like railway lines and roads, and who target police with rocks, laser beams and grenades shot from portable grenade launchers will be extradited to Beijing to stand trial for their misdeeds, if the protesters keep changing and ramping up their demands.

          Like

          1. Carrie Lam chose to play it like Yanukovych, and to give the protesters what they asked for. That resulted in Yanukovych running for his life, and Lam might well find herself in the same situation if the police don’t get a handle on the hoodlums that are smashing the place up and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails. Appeasing protesters only makes them feel empowered, and that empowerment causes them to wonder why they should be satisfied with only what they originally demanded. That’s a natural effect, and this is not a natural protest, but a destabilization effort instigated and nurtured by foreign interests. So the protesters’ demands are just going to grow and grow, because the goal is either a violent clash with the police or complete government capitulation. China is not going to let the latter happen.

            Lam has said already that there will be no negotiation with groups that destroy public property, but protesters have vowed not to give an inch. The ball is in Lam’s court, and if she does not harden up and present a credible defense, she will be removed either by China or by the protesters. Hong Kong is not going to become a democratic independent country – China is not going to let it be snatched away under their noses. Firm action right now might be able to get the situation under control with a minimum of violence, but if it goes on much longer, people are going to be killed And there is zero the west could do to stop it, as it is a domestic Chinese matter, so their continued egging on of the protesters shows how little it cares for their lives.

            Like

  25. Well, well – the United States allegedly IS considering buying Ukraine’s distressed Motor Sich in order to keep it out of Chinese hands.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/Ukraine-is-new-battleground-in-US-China-fight-for-influence

    The buy, if it happens, would be in favour of ‘a US company through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)’. If you were wondering what that is, it’s just like it sounds – a branch of the US Treasury, used to invest taxpayer money in snapping up foreign companies for US interests, and finance American influence-peddling operations abroad which further its foreign-policy goals.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2007/3/13/311246/-

    Like

  26. AsiaTimes.com: Afghanistan: Ahmad Massoud seizes father’s torch
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/afghanistan-ahmad-massoud-seizes-fathers-torch/

    Son of famed commander Ahmad Shah Massoud steps into political arena as US says it is on the verge of an accord with the Taliban
    ####

    All at the link.

    Can the US resist? I would say no. US troops leave, the US backs the son of the Lion of the Panjshir, that way they can have a hand in the region, which would mean Russia and others would have to take part, maybe in silent co-operation. Afghanistan may be the graveyard of emipires, but it is also the graveyard of many Afghanis. It doesn’t look like this will change.

    Like

    1. Mmmmmm…yes, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. Onetime associate of Zbigniew Brzezinski for Operation Cyclone, the US covert op that supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets. In fact, he developed the international program which promoted a mujahideen-led Afghanistan following the eviction of the Soviets. Former US State Department staffer during the 80’s. Rand Corporation think-tanker, former US negotiator with the Taliban for the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline Network which would have run from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, and Project for the New American Century ideologue.

      Unless memory fails me, the US occupation of Afghanistan was all about bringing freedom and democracy to that benighted land, so little Afghan girls could go to school, vote and hold a driver’s license, and live free of Sharia law. Is America acknowledging it cannot achieve that goal? It surely looks like it.

      In fact, the USA has nothing in principle against the Taliban, or any other potential business partner who has money or strategic assets and is willing to help America reach its foreign policy objectives. On the other hand, it may have another war somewhere else in mind, for which it needs the troops currently deployed in Afghanistan.

      Like

      1. It looks like they’re not waiting to find out.

        Antiwar.com: Taliban Launches Massive Offensive in West Afghanistan
        https://news.antiwar.com/2019/09/06/taliban-launches-massive-offensive-in-west-afghanistan/

        Fighters bid to capture Farah City

        With the Taliban already engaging in several offensives across Afghanistan, they’ve really got the government on the defensive. Friday, they added to the fighting, with a new offensive against Farah City in Western Afghanistan. ..

        Like

  27. Xinhuanet via Antiwar.com: Russia, India agree to boost joint military production, trade cooperation
    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/05/c_138365558.htm

    … Russia and India on Wednesday agreed to promote cooperation in a wide range of fields including joint production of military equipment as well as trade and investment, after the leaders and delegations of the two countries met on the sidelines of the fifth Eastern Economic Forum…

    …The Russian and Indian parties also signed a strategy for the enhancement of Russian-Indian trade, economic and investment cooperation.

    The two sides agreed to remove barriers in mutual trade and reduce restrictive measures through dialogue. In particular, Putin told a press conference after the talks that the first round of negotiations on an agreement to create a free trade zone between India and the Eurasian Economic Union will be held soon.

    In addition, the two sides signed documents covering expansion of cooperation in the oil and gas sector, road transport and infrastructure; the development of maritime communications between Russia’s Vladivostok and India’s Chennai; investment cooperation in coking coal mining, LNG supplies and combating customs violations.

    They also agreed to continue the work to ease visa travel regimes and to increase interaction in the Russian Arctic and the Far East….

    ####

    So much for American threats:

    Ministry for External Affairs Government of India:

    https://www.mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/31795/India++Russia+Joint+Statement+during+visit+of+Prime+Minister+to+Vladivostok

    India – Russia Joint Statement during visit of Prime Minister to Vladivostok

    September 05, 2019

    “REACHING NEW HEIGHTS OF COOPERATION THROUGH TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP”
    ###

    81 paras. at the link.

    Like

    1. The Pepster’s covered it already:

      AsiaTimes.com: Welcome to the Indo-Russia maritime Silk Road
      https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/welcome-to-the-indo-russia-maritime-silk-road/

      Modi and Putin discuss business and joint ventures at an economic conference in the Far East
      ####

      Though he repeats various critiques brought up by others.

      Elsewhere on AsiaTimes it was claimed that China signed an exclusive 30 deal to Cambodia’s ‘Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand’.

      Like

  28. ‘Klitch’ is history as Mayor of Kuh-yiv, or whatever he was – the article says head of the Kuh-yiv City State Administration – and Leatherface is also history as Health Minister. I don’t expect the ministry to start issuing any less-wacky directives or analyses, but at least they will be done by a different minister.

    https://www.unian.info/kiev/10673241-ukraine-s-cabinet-greenlights-klitschko-s-dismissal-as-head-of-kyiv-administration.html

    Like

    1. “In accordance with the Law of Ukraine ‘On local state administrations,’ the heads of the local state administrations are designated by the president of Ukraine upon submission of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for the term of the cadence of president of Ukraine.”

      Local officials appointed instead of elected? That sounds very undemocratic to me!

      Like

  29. A Ukrainian blogger claims the Kerch Strait Bridge is ‘sagging’, which is making the strait shallower and causing environmental problems. I’m probably making light of his perfectly serious complaint, because it’s fun, but what he likely means (I’m guessing here) is that spoil is falling back into the dredged channel, so that it is shallower. The channel has to be regularly dredged to keep the shipping route in the middle open, otherwise the natural strait would be too shallow for anything much bigger than a canoe.

    https://www.unian.info/society/10672731-kerch-strait-bridge-sags-increasingly-environmental-problems-inevitable-social-networks.html

    This, obviously, has nothing to do with the bridge, and if it actually was ‘sagging’, that would indicate a serious structural failure and the Ukies would be wild with joy. Since Ukrainian shipping uses it, there is nothing to stop them dredging it out, although if it follows what looks increasingly like Ukrainian policy, they will just bitch that it is Russia’s responsibility, while claiming the whole thing is their property.

    Like

    1. The blogger Crimea Station has just now noticed that Kerch Strait is being dredged to keep the shipping routes open? Was CS keeping an eagle eye trained on the strait before the bridge’s construction began, to see what activity was going on then?

      It’s more likely that dredging has always been done since ships started coming and going, and the frequency of dredging in the area has always depended very much on the level of shipping activity there: the more ships that use the strait, the more frequent dredging that needs to be done. Rivers entering a large body of water like the Sea of Azov always bring silt and currents from the Black Sea may bring more silt as well.

      Like

      1. The shipping channel has indeed always been dredged, or it wouldn’t be there. Crimea Station has just affected to notice that the strait is getting shallower, which he blames on the bridge, although how that would have any effect on it is beyond me. Are the pilings raising the bottom of the strait, or something. And I’m pretty confident the bridge is not sagging at all, else traffic over it would be shut down, and the Ukies would certainly not let that pass without comment.

        I’m only guessing that his bitching is focused on something real, and if the strait actually were getting shallower in spots, it would likely be due to silting and subsidence. But the channel would not be there at all if it had not been dredged into being, and I’m pretty sure regular maintenance and dredging it out is left to Russia.

        Like

        1. Well waddya know!

          From as far back as 2006!

          Ukraine tells Russia to stop dredging in Kerch Strait
          19:32 17.01.2006

          KIEV, January 17 (RIA Novosti)The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Tuesday condemned as illegal Russia’s dredging of the seabed in the Kerch Strait, the Soviet-era border between the two countries.
          Deputy Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ogryzko said: “Unfortunately, work unauthorized [by Ukraine] has been conducted in the Kerch Strait for several days.” The ministry had already written to Russian diplomats demanding that Russia stop the work, he said.

          Ukraine was, however, open to a constructive and mutually beneficial dialog with Russia, since “Russia has always been, remains, and will be our strategic partner,” he added.

          Kiev’s displeasure with the dredging work, conducted by the dredger Urengoi to deepen the seabed, comes on the back of the dispute between Russia and Ukraine over a Black Sea lighthouse, in Ukrainian territory but leased by the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which Ukrainian officials seized five days ago. Ukraine said it had the rights to the lighthouse, while Russia’s Navy Command called the move a “provocation”.

          Russia and Ukraine have an agreement authorizing Russia to lease the Crimean base at Sevastopol until 2017, but some Ukrainian politicians called for a revision of the contract terms after relations between the two countries deteriorated amid a row over gas supplies.

          Ukraine’s move recalls tensions in 2003 between Russia and Ukraine over Tuzla Island in the Kerch Strait, when Russia’s attempt to construct a dam there provoked a bitter three-month dispute with its neighbor.

          And now Tuzla Island is par t of the Kerch Strait bridge complex that affords access to the crossing point at the narrowest part of the strait.

          What a shower of peevish, whinging cnuts those true Slav inheritors of “Kievan” Rus’ are!

          Like

          1. And going back even further, to 2003:

            Ukraine conducts no dredging operations in Kerch strait
            28.10.2003 07:20

            Ukainian border guards haven’t yet launched any dredging operations in the Kerch strait, which divides Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and Russia’s Taman Peninsula.

            Talking to RIA Novosti, Sergei Poddubny, spokesman for the state Ukrainian border-control service’s Azov – Black Sea regional department, noted that a dredge, which was now located in the strait, had been switched on several times. However, no large-scale dredging operations got underway, he added.

            In Poddubny’s words, two 38-meter lighters must be removed for the sake of dredging operations; meanwhile both vessels are now located along the state border opposite a Russian dam, which was constructed not so long ago.

            Talking to RIA-NOVOSTI a bit earlier, officials at the Crimean emergency-situations ministry said that the dredge and four excavators will be activated, in case the dam crosses the Ukrainian-Russian border.

            Ukrainian border guards continue to stay on Tuzla island, Poddubny noted. In his words, about 40 units of equipment are increasing the dam’s height and breadth rather actively round the clock. Meanwhile the Russian side stopped extending the dam October 23; the dam is now located 102 meters from the state border.

            Russian and Ukrainian Prime Ministers Mikhail Kasyanov and Victor Yanukovich negotiated in Moscow October 24.

            Yanukovich said, after arriving in Kiev, that Ukraine will examine a Russian proposal on withdrawing border guards from Tuzla island at expert level. In his words, the decision to set up a border outpost on Tuzla island is a defensive measure, which was provoked by the Russian side’s refusal to stop building the dam.

            The Ukrainian Government’s press center issued a statement the other day, noting that Ukraine had no intention to withdraw its border troops from Tuzla island posthaste.

            Ukrainian and Russian Foreign Ministers Konstantin Grishchenko and Igor Ivanov are to meet each other October 30 in Kiev, discussing the situation in the Kerch strait, as well as some issues.

            Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov!

            Remember that twat, now “Oppositionist”?

            When he was Minister of Finance, Kasyanov earned himself the soubriquet “Mike 2 percent”:

            Allegations that Kasyanov took a two percent commission in exchange for ignoring bribes and illegal business ventures whilst he was working at the Ministry of Finance between 1993 and 1999 were made in the “state-controlled” Russian media which branded him as “Misha 2 percent” . In an article by Peter J. Stavrakis entitled “Russia’s evolution as a predatory state” (part of a compilation entitled “Russia’s uncertain economic future”, written for the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee), the allegations are described as credible. A Spiegel article from 2007 notes that Kasyanov insists that his only earnings as a public servant was his government salary and he was only involved in private business venture for “one year” since leaving the post of prime minister. The same article also claims that Kasyanov purchased the state-owned dacha of former Communist Party of the Soviet Union ideologue Mikhail Suslov which was worth several million euros.

            On 11 July 2005, the Russian Office of Public Prosecutor started to investigate the privatization of two houses formerly owned by the government. According to allegations first made by the journalist and State Duma member Aleksandr Hinshtein, two luxury government houses had been put up for sale in 2003 by a Kasyanov decree. According to the court verdict of 16 March 2007, he was to return a house and pay 108,135,000 rubles in damages to the government for using the property illegally (approx. USD 4,150,000 or €3,130,000). In 2007, Kasyanov was still planning to appeal.

            Wiki

            “Russia’s uncertain economic future”, written for the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee?

            Ha!

            Like

            1. Bear in mind, that corrupt twat Kasyanov’s activities pale into insignificance when compared with those of former Yukie Prime Minister Lazarenko, aka “Mr. 50 percent”.

              Pavlo Ivanovych Lazarenko was eventually convicted in August 2006 and sentenced to 9 years prison in the United States for money laundering, wire fraud and extortion.

              He set up Yooooolia as boss of the Yukie gas industry, for 50% of the takings, I presume.

              In the 2004 Global Corruption Report, Lazarenko made it into the list of the World’s Most Corrupt Leaders. He was listed eighth and was said to have amassed between $114 million to $200 million — Wiki.

              Glory to the hero!

              Like

              1. They tried to get that sly cow Timoshenko to stand trial in California as an accessory to Lazarenko’s misdoings, but she got let off the hook through her claim that she was a victim of Lazarenko as well, because she had to pay off part of her takings at Naftogaz to Lazarenko.

                Poor thing! She could barely make ends meet because of Lazarenko’s extortion racket!

                That’s why she was called “The Gas Princess” — but a princess in rags?

                Like

            2. I would imagine that Ukraine had never dredged the maritime territory around Crimea while Crimea was part of its territory for lack of money while the Russians always kept their maritime territory in the Sea of Azov dredged, depending on the funding available at the time and taking the level of shipping activity going in and out of the sea into account as well.

              Like

              1. Exactly!

                When I first visited the Crimea in 2004, the amenities and infrastructure were most definitely run-down.

                We went there each time by train. The last time was in 2011. We could then travel across the Ukraine by train. As soon as you crossed the Russia/Ukraine border, the impoverishment and decrepitude of the Ukraine was immediately visible: the railway station platforms swarmed with poor folk offering home-made dishes and locally caught fish (smoked), fruit (peaches and melons galore) and bottles of beer to the Moskali passengers.

                Like

                1. What tosh! Ukraine’s economic growth has been steady since the Glorious Maidan, and Zelenskiy indicated this year that he thought Ukraine’s economy should grow by 5%. Mind you, Canada’s forecast for 2020 is 1.5% for its own economic growth, so perhaps Zelenskiy is a little optimistic. On the other hand, Poroshenko was forever going on about all the reforms Ukraine was making and how dynamic its performance, so maybe the economy really was growing mightily. On the other other hand, losing Russian transit fees is going to cost Ukraine between 2% and 3% of its GDP, which just about matched Poroshenko’s growth forecasts, so without those transit fees, growth would be zero or negative.

                  Gee; I don’t know what to believe.

                  Like

          2. They just want to be recognized as the true rulers of the region, and it tickles them no end to be asked for permission instead of reminded of their responsibilities. Good thing they will be joining the EU, which will let them run the show and do as they like.

            Yes, it was certainly unwise of Russia to construct pipelines so as to bypass the territory of such accommodating neighbours.

            Like

        2. A fast-flowing river, especially if it is long, would bring and deposit more silt than a slow-moving one into a body of water. This is how deltas of major rivers like the Nile and the Mississippi are created and built up in the areas where they enter the sea.

          Like

          1. I used to swim in the Don near Voronezh and I often got tired of walking back to where I had taken the plunge: the current used to sweep me so far away down river from where the shashlyk party/booze up was being held on a beach that we often visited.

            That was back in the USSR.

            Like

  30. Uh oh; here comes Russian LNG, and it looks like it means business. The global LNG market is expected to hit a supply deficit by 2030, and Russia plans to boost its share of the global market from 8% to 20% by not much later than that. Two planned new export plants could double Russia’s capacity to 26 million tons a year.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-05/russia-lng-ambitions-advance-with-plans-for-remotest-regions

    Russian projects coming on line have depressed Asian spot LNG prices to about 60% below where they were a year ago. Russia’s extraction costs are low, and its logistics chain is much shorter than America’s, so Russia can sell for much less and still make money.

    I think it’s time for a prediction! Not only is American LNG not going to make much of a dent in Russian supplies to Europe; if the USA is not nimble and flexible, it is going to be crowded out of the Asian market.

    Like

  31. MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS. Russian fighter jets have been scrambled 23 times on interception missions near Russian borders in the past week, the Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper cited the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.

    According to the defense ministry, 31 foreign aircraft were conducting reconnaissance near Russian borders. The ministry added that violations of the Russian airspace were prevented.

    The defense ministry said that Russian pilots performed 273 sorties at 75 aerodromes in the past week.

    I wonder if those RAF chaps could manage as many sorties a week if those damned Commies tried snooping around the UK as frequently as the guardians of democracy do in the vicinity of the Evil Empire air space?

    Could the British free media manage to breathlessly report such frequent derring do if the RAF fly-boys had to soar away into the skies so often?

    Worry not, you limp-wristed Limey faggots: if you can’t face such a challenge, the USAF certainly can:

    What stirring words!

    Nothing can stop the US Air Force!


    Canopy, ejection seat and wing of F-117, serial number 82-0806, shot down over Serbia in 1999; Belgrade Aviation Museum, Serbia

    Like

    1. Serbia taught Russia that NATO was was not invulnerable. And they hit three (3) of those clay pigeons with one crashing in Serbia and the other two damaged to the point of being scrapped.

      Chickenshit NATO tried to use Albanian forces to seize Kosovo during the bombing but that did not work out so well. It would have been so much easier for NATO to have had a success Albanian invasion under the mantle of justice and human rights rather than the messy situation that exists to this day.

      Like

      1. The US Army also discovered that their Apache helicopters couldn’t cope with mountains. If only someone had though of that before shipping them out to northern Albania! Speaking of which, more than one airstrip/base is still under US control and also a base i-Ranian terrorists, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) near Durres for easier infiltration to the region. I wonder what other scumbag terrorist groups are being kept warm in Albania?

        Like

  32. First €µ, now Haavisto:

    Financial Crimes: Finland urges EU to step up efforts to improve Russia ties
    https://www.ft.com/content/ffa75a2c-ce54-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f

    Move essential to boost European security, says foreign minister Pekka Haavisto

    …“It’s very difficult to imagine a solution [to global crises] without Russia — or a solution that Russia is not somehow an active partner on,” Pekka Haavisto told the Financial Times in an interview…

    …Analysts say Finnish officials enjoy a level of respect from Russian counterparts not often extended to their EU colleagues…

    Like

    1. I imagine the Finnish market misses the money from all the cheese and dairy products it used to export to Russia, just like the EU farmers and businessmen are fretting that they have lost their market share in Russia and the longer it goes on, the less chance of ever getting it back.

      Just keep those sanctions on, westerners. Ukraine and Uncle Sam want you to, and neither cares what damage it is wreaking on your exports. Russia has largely replaced everything it used to buy from the EU. Don’t pay any attention to Pekka Head.

      Like

  33. More great imaginative reporting by RFE/RL. Actual happenings are so boring; let’s spice it up a little.

    Accordingly, rather than Ukraine being eager to see the back of Volodymyr Tsemakh, to the point they released him on bail prior to the prisoner exchange, the non-transfer of Tsemakh to Russian hands is a deal-breaker that could queer the whole thing. Moscow has never actually mentioned him…but RFE/RL can read its silence. This is the biggest test so far of Zelenskiy’s presidency!!

    “But the highly anticipated exchange may hinge on whether Zelenskiy opts to include a Ukrainian man whom the Kremlin has never mentioned — but is reportedly adamant about seeing on Russian soil.”

    https://www.rferl.org/a/in-negotiating-prisoner-swap-with-russia-ukraine-zelenskiy-faces-tough-decision/30150568.html

    Yes, it’s confirmed – the very fact that Russia has not mentioned Tsemakh indicates the depth of its passion, and their anxiety to get Tsemakh out of Ukraine’s clutches before he can implicate Russia in the downing of MH17 has made them recklessly ‘back Zelenskiy into a corner.’

    What are you supposed to do with reporting like this? The less you talk about something, the more an imperative it is for you, and your declining to mention it is proof of how bad you want it. Allll abooooaaarrrd the wacko train.

    Actually, this is nothing more than a western influence op to convince Ukraine to hold onto him, because anything else is a victory for Putin and a display of Zelenskiy’s weakness. Because Washington wants him held. But it’s so blatant it’s hard to believe Ukraine will buy it

    Like

  34. The subject itself is v. interesting but I’m only posting this because, well you’ll see from the brief section below:

    The Groaning Man: From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA’s darkest secrets
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-how-a-deadly-fall-revealed-the-cias-darkest-secrets

    …Olson’s doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant….
    ####

    That’s very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not ‘going as far’ as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of ‘fairness’. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn’t for the US’ relative openness.

    Like

  35. Vesti News
    Published on 6 Sep 2019
    Subscribe to Vesti News
    Ted Cruz, US senator: “John McCain once described Russia as a gas station with a country attached. If the pipeline is built, it’ll make Putin rich and harm Europe and America. It’ll make Europe even more dependent on Russia.”
    All that anti-Russian rhetoric is clear.

    Rafael Cruz the Cuban-Canadian cretin can’t even quote McCain correctly. McCain said: “Russia was a gas station masquerading as a country”.

    This latest attempt by the US to thwart Nord Stream 2 will fail like the other attempts. Europe wants to buy Russian gas; for the simple reason that it is much cheaper than any other alternative – namely US liquefied natural gas.

    Like

  36. Here is something I find fascinating….

    “Terrifying, completely terrifying. My daughter just started screaming and I was just thinking in my head, ‘The water, please just don’t go in the water, like please,'” said Holland.

    “Then we hit the water.”

    LISTEN: Ashley Holland tells CBC’s Mainstreet how she saved her daughter
    As the car rolled, her daughter Macy kept screaming, ***”Mom, I’m going to die!” ***The car initially landed on its roof and both passenger side windows smashed to pieces on impact. ”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/car-crash-rescue-emergency-1.4987135

    Namely for a four year old to have a clear conceptualization of death, so much so that she comprehends that she is in an actual lethal circumstance.

    I think it calls into question what we bring into the world cognitively upon birth and what is subsequently learned.

    What is her frame of reference for recognizing situations that could lead to her death?
    After all children all to often rush into traffic apparently unmindful of their pacing their lives
    at risk.

    Like

    1. There is some literature, based on interviews done by an English researcher decades ago (I forget the fellow’s name – might have been Stephens or Stephenson?) with children aged 9 years and under, that suggests that reincarnation may be a real possibility. One thing the researcher found was that most children’s recollections of past lives and deaths involved violent deaths, so it may be that a child is more likely to remember a previous existence (and perhaps even carry some trauma from it) if that existence ended violently, than if it ended peacefully. The research also suggested that recollections of past lives fade over time and by the age of 9 years, children no longer recall past existences.

      This is possibly one answer and maybe not even a correct answer but it might explain why some young children understand what death is, while others are completely oblivious to it.

      Like

    1. Bojo is certainly not an inspirational leader, but I can’t disagree with everything he says. For instance, when he says “I’d rather die in a ditch”, I find myself in complete accord with him.

      Like

      1. No doubt there’ll be plenty of fellow Brits happy to help him along – and find and prepare a suitable ditch for him – should Brexit be extended beyond Halloween. It would certainly save on the cost of finding a large enough coffin.

        Like

    1. Elsewhere I have read January, which would put paid to any idea of the model flying again this year. I guess we’ll see. But Boeing knows every week that goes by is another incentive for airlines to offload their 737’s rather than try to keep them in airworthy condition, starting them up once a week and keeping maintenance crews on them, etc… If they weren’t such an expensive piece of kit, I’m sure some airlines would have cut their losses already, and if it wasn’t banned worldwide, some airlines would probably try to cut a deal with selling them to places they were allowed to fly. It certainly is hardening attitudes against it, and I would venture to say such a prolonged pillorying is unprecedented – normally companies and entities are very sensitive to anything which might hurt Brand America, and tend to downplay anxieties. It would hardly be surprising if some customers are afraid to fly in them after this, and maybe they’re even going a bit overboard. It is especially unusual for Europe to be seen to not take the USA at its word.

      Like

      1. It would be an even longer wait to received new Airbuses before the MAXes are ‘fixed’ considering the rather large backlog of both Boeing & Airbus. Airlines don’t have a huge amount of choice so a waiting + a Boeing pay-off is most likely:

        https://dsm.forecastinternational.com/wordpress/2019/07/16/airbus-and-boeing-report-june-2019-commercial-aircraft-orders-and-deliveries/

        On June 30, 2019, Airbus’ backlog was 7,276 jets (of which 6,344, or 87%, are A220 and A320ceo/neo family narrowbodies), not far below the company’s all-time backlog record high of 7,577 jets set in December 2018. By the end of June 2019, Boeing’s backlog (total unfilled orders after ASC 606 adjustments) was 5,733 aircraft (of which 4,601, or 80%, are 737 NG/MAX narrowbody jets). Boeing’s all-time backlog high of 5,964 aircraft was set in August 2018. The number of Airbus aircraft to be built and delivered represents 9.1 years of shipments at the 2018 production level. In comparison, Boeing’s backlog would “only” last 7.1 years. This year to date, Boeing’s book-to-bill ratio, calculated as orders divided by deliveries, is negative. Airbus’ book-to-bill ratio is 0.23. In 2018, Boeing boasted a book-to-bill ratio of 1.11, with Airbus at 0.93. In 2017, Boeing booked 912 net new orders, for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.20. That same year, Airbus booked 1,109 net new orders, for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.54.

        Like

  37. During the time I am away, KS does both a book review and coverage of Nina Khrushcheva? ))

    Dr. Khrushcheva maintains a WordPress blog, which also doubles as her official webpage for the New School. It is…amusing?

    Once, still in grad school and a misanthropic Russian to boot (given our totalitarian history most Russians are unhappy), I wrote a very sad novel Small World, published in Moscow and quickly out of print. But that was a fluke, living in New York I am much happier now. And all in all, my favorite theme is political culture in Russia and America. Politicians lie all the time, but culture never lies about politics. Culture and politics are symbiotically linked like the famous double-headed Russian eagle that used to be on the front of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and now is rotting in the backyard of the city’s museum of architecture. It is the perfect symbol of Russia’s former political and cultural grandeur and current decay. American eagle is just one-headed, of course, yet this country is no less interesting in its own idiosyncratic relations between culture and politics.

    (source)

    I (with the architect colleague Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss) have curated an exhibition titled Romancing True Power: D20. It ran February 12-26, 2015 at Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue (between 12th and 13th St). In the meantime my amazing research assistant and student Yiqing Wang (who really should be running not-a-small country) and I have produced a supplement to the exhibition, a D20 Journal, in which we put together thoughts on true power, dicktatroship, dicktatorial fashion, economics, philosophy, body count and other stats.
    D20 (modeled on G20, group of most industrialized nations) is a selective list of leaders from present and recent past across continents and different political systems. Romancing True Power investigates an idea of power: autocratic, authoritarian and dictatorial. This type of power–the Dick power–could be found in both dictatorships and democracies. The exhibition looks at dicktatorial construct, its typology and trappings. What constitutes a “strong leader”? Why does the public often prefer one? Since everyone’s list of dicktators is subjective, at the show visitors were invited to PYOD (Pick Your Own Dick). For the Dick winners and more information check out the D20 Facebook page.
    Other topics I am fond of include politics, and mostly Russian politics, and, of course, movies. But whatever I do, all fits neatly into the last line of Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic Some Like it Hot, the best ever, “Nobody’s perfect.”

    (source: see hyperlink above)

    I do not intend to slam the IMO legitimate topic – only the content and tone of this “analysis.” You have a PhD in Comp Lit (Princeton, 1998). You shouldn’t be writing like a second-year undergrad.

    Like

    1. Hey, JT – welcome back, where you been? Yes, that attitude is familiar among the emigre Russian Jews, the too-smart-to-believe Ashkenazim that make American jaws drop with their brilliance: Russians in Russia are miserable and always unhappy, but put them in America and they shine like diamonds, they’re so fucking hap-hap-happy you’d better just get out of the way. I don’t believe Khrushchev was Jewish, but the complaining sounds just like all the Jewish ‘refugees’ like Miriam Elder and Julia Ioffe; Russia was a drag, man – but New Yawk, Dahling, now there’s a city! It’s almost as if they feel denigrating the country of their birth is the price of acceptance. Perhaps it is – for a people who snap to attention whenever they see the American flag, Americans are awfully smitten with Russians who dump on Russia, as if it affirms their own beliefs.

      Khrushcheva seems very stuck on herself, but perhaps she simply believes all the hype. For my part, I find her mean-spirited and shallow, prone to go for the cheap laugh, and most comfortable in a crowd of like-minded ‘free thinkers’. It amazes me that anyone who classified him/herself as a free thinker could see American-style democracy as the last word in human development, but perhaps I’m just thick.

      Like

      1. Between a lecture Dr. Khruscheva gave at my university a year or so ago and an attempted reading of her book, In Putin’s Footsteps, I have concluded that she is the kind of writer who takes advantage of an absence of consistent critical voices to let her opinions run wild, untethered from factual backing, theory, or academic standards.

        She lectured at my university with the backing of some powerful people within “Russia-Watching” (quite literally in this case, as one sat behind her while she lectured). Although she made her argument sloppily, painting in broad brushstrokes, no one challenged the argument during Q&A.
        Read the preview of In Putin’s Footsteps on A’zon. It’s ridiculous. The same generalizing commentary as before but sprinkled on what reads like an extended TripAdvisor review.

        For whatever reason, academia and editors give her a free pass. The resulting writing, while insightful re: how she thinks, is not useful [to me] in any professional sense.

        Hey, JT – welcome back, where you been?

        Haha…I’ve been doing the blog equivalent of breathing into a brown paper bag. Now that I’m back at uni with a capstone/distinction project, Russia Reviewed will hopefully regain its previous sense of direction.

        Like

  38. Yes, Russians are so miserable, never smile and are permanently depressed at thought of their misfortune of having been born in Russia and, therefore, condemned to a life of woe under an authoritarian regime.

    I mean, just look at all those sad bastards who have been celebrating “Moskva Day” since Thursday, 5 September this year.

    I wish I could send you some clips that my permanently depressed because he is a Russian son sent me late yesterday evening from Red Square: a big firework display and sad looking Russians pretending to be enjoying themselves.

    Most of them, I am sure, had been ordered to go to Tversksya Street and walk down to Red Square.

    Tverskaya has been closed to traffic since Thursday (the bogus celebrations end this evening) and along its length are the usual Soviet-style distractions that the oppressed multitudes pretend are so much fun.

    Since 5 September until the 8th inclusive the city is celebrating the founding of Moskva in 1147.

    Well, not its founding, really, but the earliest date that they have a written record of a place called “Moskva” – in a letter from the Prince of the city of Vladimir, Yuri Dolgoruki, to his brother, inviting him to visit him in Moskva. (Remember, this was when Kiev was the centre of world civilisation.)

    It was during the first of these “Moskva Day” celebrations, held 22 years ago, when on 7 September 1997 I asked Mrs. Exile if she wished to marry me.

    It was our first date.

    I don’t like to waste time over important matters.

    She jumped at the offer, of course.

    No holding her back!

    Luckiest break she’s ever had, I reckon, for my ebullient presence in her life has most certainly rescued her from the pit of permanent gloom that would most certainly have accompanied her living under this regime and from the likelihood of her being wed to a brute of a balalaika strumming, vodka swilling Russian husband.

    Limp-wristed, tea sipping Englishmen are much more preferable!

    Like

  39. It’s also polling day in Moskva today for the sham democratic election of Moskva Duma thief-and-scoundrel deputies.

    How can this election be democratic when they won’t allow folk to stand for election, such as that nice Lyubov Sobol, even though hardly anyone wants to vote for them, as is abundantly clear through these barred candidates’ failure to collect the legally necessary number of signatures in support of their application for candidacy?

    I am at the dacha now (12:45 Moskva time) with Mrs. Exile, who is getting ready to go back to the City of Satan in order to vote.

    The polling stations close at 20:00 today.

    She really believes that she lives in a democratic society.

    Silly Russian woman!

    I’m not going back early though! I am not allowed to vote.

    Just shows you you how undemocratic these Russians are!

    Like

    1. They should just pick the names out of a big drum: western critics are always condemning the lack of choice in Russian ‘elections’, so surely the more choice you have, the more democratic you are – let everyone have a go.

      Like

      1. Well, I got this from my bank not 1 hour ago:

        Деннис Майкл, сегодня – день выборов депутатов Московской городской Думы. Избирательные участки работают до 20.00. Проявите свою гражданскую позицию и проголосуйте! Банк ВТБ (ПАО)

        It reads:

        Dear Dennis Michael, today is Election Day for deputies of the Moskva City Duma. The polling stations are open until 8 p. m. Exercise your right as a citizen and vote! VTB Bank.

        Somebody’s dropped a bollock as regards my social position in the Evil Empire!

        Like

          1. Moscow. September 9. INTERFAX.RUthe Turnout at the latest September 8 elections for the seventh assembly of city Duma deputies was higher than in the previous elections of 2014 – 21,66%, a member of the Moskva Region Election Committee Dmitry told Reuters reporters on Monday.

            “After processing more than 98% of the ballot papers, the turnout is 21,66%. This is higher than the turnout in the last election”, he said.

            Raut added that in 2014, 21,04% of the voters voted in the capital cit Duma election.

            Voter apathy?

            Or, as I am sure some of the Western media will state, Muscovites know that the elections are sham and, therefore, a waste of time. But if this argument is used, that would mean that the Orcs are not as politically dumb as the are made out to be in the Bastion of Democracy, especially by those former Russian citizens resident there, who make their livings out of endlessly throwing shit at all things Russian.

            Like

        1. He kind of sold me when he pointed out it is like jury duty. I was only being sarcastic, because such a model would never work for a presidential election where there might be millions of candidates, and obviously every one of them could not campaign. On the other hand, political campaigns are just a glorified way of buying elections, and the candidate who raises and spends the most money nearly always wins, at least in American elections. Also, they are an incredible waste of money. And by God, he’s right: if it’s good enough to decide a trial where the defendant could get the death penalty, it’s good enough to pick political leadership for four years.\

          Thanks for that reply; it was very interesting and informative.

          Like

  40. Check out the Lee Camp monologue on Universal Basic Income (UBI) concept.
    It like I have been trying to tell people my whole life:
    The main cause of poverty is not having enough money.
    And the cure (or at least mitigation) is to give poor people more money.

    Lee himself knows that it is a hopeless cause though, in the U.S. I never met one single American person, however “enlightened” or “liberal” they regard themselves, who would support such a program. Even if it were proved to reduce poverty and crime, and raise indicators such as health, education and nutrition among children. Whom the liberals pretend to care about.

    Most Americans would literally rather spend the same amount of money on the entire repressive apparatus, including the prison system and Social Services, and all the ancillary repressive systems, even if it were proved to them, both factually and mathematically, that UBI was a better solution.
    They simply cannot tolerate the thought of somebody getting something for nothing, even if it was no skin off their own backs.

    I amend my opinion slightly: The American middle class will never support this. However, it could still happen if it became a plank in the platform of a mass movement.

    Like

    1. “they’ll never support giving something for nothing”

      Unless their parasitic, exploitative,
      capitalistic worthless asses are the recipients

      Like

      1. Exactly. If the super-wealthy receive additional bennies galore, then it’s okay.
        Underneath it all, IMHO, is a seething racism which people don’t want to admit to.
        Example: at my work place, this past summer, employees were roped into this campaign to get people to donate boxes of cereal for inner-city kids who might not get a breakfast once the school year was over. (Some of them get a free breakfast when they attend school.)

        People were acting very pious about wanting to help inner-city black kids, many of whom suffer from horrific symptoms of sickle-cell anemia. Weall-meaning people were told to go to the grocery store, buy boxes of cereal, and place them in special boxes set up in the major departments, so that the families could come and pick them up.

        I was the only person in my department who didn’t act thrilled about this charity project. My alternative suggestion was: Let’s just get people to open their checkbooks, donate cash and give the $$$ to the parents so they can buy more groceries over the summer.

        People were horrified: “No, they’ll just use the money to buy booze.”
        “No doubt, some will. But you honestly believe that most of the parents will buy booze instead of try to feed their kids in a healthy way?”
        Ironically, no restrictions were placed on the type of cereals that people were supposed to buy. It could be healthy cereals, or it could be sugary Count Chocula type cereals.

        In the end, after countless man-hours and much inefficiencies, project managers were able to fill several crates with boxes of cereals. And, from what I heard, quite a lot of cereal was left over, because the parents were simply not interested, or didn’t have the time to come and pick them up. I could see that: A lot of these families don’t own cars. They take the bus everywhere. Were they supposed to spend $20 for a cab or Uber to come to the central location to pick up 2 boxes of Count Chocula for their kiddies?

        The total irrationality and inefficiencies of charity drives… Much ado with little product to show in the end. I can see this, why can’t most people? I think the bourgeois see what they want to see, even when the science and statistics are against them. They think it’s about THEM, and not about the people they claim to care about.

        Like

    1. I don’t see that as a very likely possibility. After Gabbard kicked her feet out from under her in that debate, her star has sunk steadily. I wonder how aggressively material like this would be promoted if that had not happened. Obviously people knew about it before Gabbard brought it up – but that seemed to make it safe to talk about as an item in the public interest.

      On that same site, James Mattis thinks internal strife in America and the contempt supporters of one party hold for supporters of the other are as big a national security threat as Russia and China.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/mattis-pinpoints-increasing-contempt-between-americans-as-major-national-security-threat

      But that’s Russia and China’s fault, too – check out the last paragraph. ‘Authoritarian regimes’ outside America are making Americans hate one another. First they got Trump elected, and now they’re making Americans hate each other. The casual observer must have two near-simultaneous thoughts; one, these people will not take personal responsibility for ANYTHING; everything is someone else’s fault. Two, Russia sure swings a lot of influence for a country that is friendless and isolated and has an economy in tatters.

      Like

  41. Spot the writing of new history into common wisdom.

    https://www.ft.com/content/cdc80784-d243-11e9-8367-807ebd53ab77

    “Stef Blok, Dutch foreign minister, said the Netherlands had urged Ukrainian authorities not to include Mr Tsemakh in the deal. Kiev had delayed the exchange to allow Dutch prosecutors to interview him again but had then pressed ahead with his release, Mr Blok added in a letter to the Netherlands’ parliament.

    “The government greatly regrets Mr Tsemakh’s inclusion, under pressure from the Russian Federation, in this prisoner exchange,” Mr Blok wrote. ‘

    Only yesterday we learned from RFE/RL that the Kremlin had never mentioned Tsemakh, but that ‘reports’ nonetheless insisted that Russia was desperate to get him back. What reports? And now FT kicks it up a notch by reporting that Zelenskiy yielded to ‘pressure from the Russian Federation’. Examples? None, of course. But it will pass that way into history, no doubt, just like Russia shot down MH17 and doped all its athletes before and during the Sochi games. The west is collectively a serial liar that just cannot stop lying.

    Like

    1. Well what the Russian Federation is doing for Volodymyr Zelensky is playing an extended version of the famous John Cage experimental music masterpiece 4’33”.

      Death metal band’s performance of the same:

      Piano performance of the same:

      A cappella cover of the same:

      NOLA the cat’s version:

      Can’t fault the Russians for superior taste in music!

      Like

      1. Of all of those performers, I think the cat does the best job.
        He is a true artist. The way he moves and flicks his tail shows that he really “gets it”.
        Or is it just because that other cat is being held hostage right behind him? Maybe his muse.

        Like

    2. Over at MoA, not ‘Stef Blok’ writes:

      …If you read the accident investigation report, on page 239 it clearly states that the Ukrainian army was active with heavy anti-aircraft installations in the eastern part of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian army has BUK rockets of the type that downed MH17.

      The Ukraine had the means and a motive, they should have been treated as a criminal suspect, yet without further investigation they were promoted to member of the JIT that does the criminal investigation…

      https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/09/ukraine-reuters-cnn-and-hrw-make-false-russian-prisoners-claims.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a480da79200c#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a480da79200c

      ####

      More at the link, obvs.

      Not to mention that Ukranian TV itself showed Ukranian air defense BUKs on manoeuvers in Eastern Ukraine.

      Like

  42. ОСТОРОЖНО! Обменянный психбольной Панов – в Киеве!

    CAUTION! Exchanged Psychopath Panov – in Kiev!

    Exchanged by Russia for political prisoners held in the Ukraine, Arthur Panov, born 1998, is a little-known, young future psychopath or maniac. Already since childhood he had already proved himself to be a social inadequate with the desire to kill people, especially by blowing them up, and because in Russia they can neither bury nor poison him nor send him to hell, then to preserve the peace of peaceful Russians, Arthur was shipped over to us in Kiev.

    A psychiatric diagnosis of Panov has already been made by doctors.

    I can just imagine how joyful it was [to send him back here]. I believe that Shoigu himself stood at the gangway and was happily smiling. Only here, our mothers, children, and I do not advise you to calmly walk in Kiev, and not only I give this advice, because the “boy” loves to blow up all sorts of things …

    And this is just the beginning!

    Tolya Shary will speak further on this. I assure you, this will interest everyone:

    In short, Shary says the little cnut is from Lugansk and tried to set up a “Red Army Faction” modelled on the urban West German terrorist organisation of the same name, in order to carry out political assassinations. He attempted to rob a bank, by threatening to blow it up if he was not handed money to fund his terrorist bombing enterprise.

    Shary points out that the Yukies argue that the wannabe terrorist, who wanted to plant a bomb in a Rostov-on-Don theatre or shopping mall, was not really a dangerous terrorist because his bombs were not powerful ones and, therefore, few people would have suffered serious injuries by their explosion.

    But the fact is that the little rat went to Rostov (a city situated in a country that is waging war against Banderastan, remember — a strange “enemy” country in a war during which a person from a belligerent state can freely pass from warring nation into another), and some Yukie human rights activists are angered over the fact that this little shit has been classed as a political prisoner of the Evil Orcs.

    The murderous little bastard was arrested in Rostov, and Yukie apologists for Panov say he is psychological disturbed and he should be released by the murderous Orcs in order that he receive psychiatric treatment in his mother country of Banderastan.

    Like

  43. Euractiv with AFP: Ex-interior minister Gakharia confirmed as Georgian PM
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/ex-interior-minister-gakharia-confirmed-as-georgian-pm/

    Georgia’s parliament on Sunday (8 September) confirmed an ex-interior minister accused of cracking down on protesters as the country’s new prime minister, fuelling political tensions in the ex-Soviet nation.

    …Lawmakers voted 98-0 to confirm Giorgi Gakharia as premier in a vote boycotted by the opposition…

    …Opposition supporters have dubbed Gakharia “Moscow’s man” in Tbilisi and accused him of taking orders from Russia, which supports two breakaway regions of Georgia and fought a war with the country in 2008.

    He rejected those claims in a speech before his approval, saying Georgia remained on its path towards closer ties with the European Union and NATO…
    ####

    So the new guy pledges fealty to the West but even that is not good enough for The Precious!

    As for the report itself, yet again corporate lying by omission by not mentioning ‘The Opposition’ tried to violently and illegally storm the Georigan parliament. Apparently the police are only supposed to enforce the law for the right kind of people, the ones more equal than others…

    Like

  44. What great pictures:

    Apparently Russian Foreign & Defense ministers are holding a live press conference with their Frog equivalents. I wonder what crumbs the Frogs are offering Russia?

    SputnikNews: Russian Foreign and Defence Ministers Hold Press Conference With French Counterparts – Video
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909091076756690-russian-foreign-and-defence-ministers-hold-press-conference-with-french-counterparts—video/

    A 2×2 format meeting between the foreign and defence ministers of Russia and France is expected to be a major step in restoring Russia-France relations, which is one of the main goals of French President Emmanuel Macron, who previously proposed changing the G7 back to G8 by bringing Moscow back to the negotiating table.
    ####

    It looks to me that the Kremlin is sounding out the Frogs to see if they are serious and what’s on the table. ‘Fancy rolling everything back to 2007 and you splitting with China’ per chance?

    The Frogs simply cannot be trusted (sic i-Ran ‘we’re you friends so just give up you space industry and maybe Washington will play nice), and I speculate that they are more than happy to take point because the UK will not because of the drizzles of sh*t they’ve been pouring on Russia over the years.

    Like

    1. The Russians would be wise either not to take up any French offers of technology or military exchanges or to have written into any agreements that reneging by either party (even if under pressure from a third party) would result in major legal action costing the guilty party gazillions in payment, on top of the losses the guilty party accrues by either not paying for the technology or (more likely, in wake of the Mistral helicopter carrier non-delivery debacle) facing industrial unrest and loss of reputation for reliability.

      Like

      1. Exactament. The Russians likely remember how les grenouilles reversed themselves even after Russia had paid for the order, on the command of the American State Department. The modernizers who thought Russia should buy military equipment abroad are no longer in favour at court, but purchase of military equipment from France would likely be a non-starter even if it were offered.

        I read in the paper today that the USA is determined to shut off Iran’s income from oil sales entirely, until it capitulates. No more waivers will be granted, and the USA promises to sanction any country which buys Iranian oil. Iran is not a member of the WTO, but nonetheless it seems unlikely that the United States has the authority to threaten the business entities of other nations in the USA with sanctions if they buy oil from Iran; it looks too much like the United States is trying to create a market for its own energy products by removing all competition – if it is successful this time, what is to prevent it from threatening to sanction any country which buys gas from the Russians?

        https://www.indiatoday.in/business/story/us-will-sanction-whoever-purchases-iran-oil-official-1596993-2019-09-09

        I read the story in the Globe and Mail, but that outfit has joined the full-court press by newspapers to force readers to buy a subscription in order to read any of their content, even days or weeks after it is the day’s news. Anyway, the reference is the same story. This Sigal Mandelker – born where else? Israel – is the terrifying-sounding US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence: what peace-loving country needs a position like that? When is the world going to stand up to American bullying in order to protect the incomes of its ridiculously wealthy?

        Mandelker poses rhetorically, “Companies and governments understand that between the choice of doing business with Iran or doing business with the US it’s a no-brainer”.

        Is it? Why? Well, because governments of its allies are afraid of being the first to say,”Go fuck yourself, then, if you want to be that way”. Especially over Iran, which is just a bunch of those hijab-wearin’ Ay-rabs anyway. But they’re missing a couple of points: one, if everyone said “Go ahead. I dare you”, the USA could not do it. If it sanctioned every allied business asset in the USA, and those nations discontinued doing business with the USA, global trade would collapse. That would include American trade. Even if it merely sanctioned all German business assets in the United States, and Germany withdrew them all, US trade would stagger. The USA exports 80% of the agricultural products it sells abroad to Canada. It is as vulnerable to a boycott as anyone, and more so than many. Two, if it is successful in strangling Iran and the world lets it happen, that will be America’s new template for dealing with nations who piss it off. Can any country afford to let the USA dictate where it is allowed to shop, who it is allowed to trade with? You could see them leaning that way even during the new NAFTA agreement, the one the loathsome Trump refers to as USMCA, where they wrote language into it which appeared to forbid Canada and Mexico from signing any sort of free-trade agreement with China without American permission.

        Some would argue the United States is only trying to protect its own businesses, and ensuring markets for its own products, and perhaps it is. But it cannot continue to call itself a free-market democracy while it eliminates competition – such policies, eventually and left unchallenged, would set the stage for the USA ordering other countries to buy its LNG at whatever price it chose to levy, or risk being cut off from the American market.

        If the USA’s allies will not stand up to it, they face ever more self-interested demands until they are nothing more than captive markets for American goods, and mercantiling by diktat.

        Like

  45. I only mentioned Mark ‘Gerasimov’ Galeotti recently linked to a MT source one of you posted and hey, presto…

    Dances With Bears: MARK GALEOTTI IS A FACT FAKER – HIS BOOK ON RUSSIAN CRIME IS A HATE CRIME, A WAR CRIME
    http://johnhelmer.net/mark-galeotti-is-a-fact-faker-his-book-on-russian-crime-is-a-hate-crime-a-war-crime/

    Repeating lies over and over makes old-fashioned Joseph Goebbels-type propaganda. Repeating lies, then contradicting them; moving them from one government-paid think-tank to another; footnoting a new lie to an older version; quoting policemen and gangsters saying fatuities; adding slang and the words of pop songs—this is still Goebbels-type but stretched out and product-diversified to make its author more money. This is Mark Galeotti’s method….
    ####

    The rest at the link and a deep dive on Galeotti himself.

    Like

  46. A bit old but interesting stuff on Mongolia:

    Tass: Press review: Putin signs landmark deal with Mongolia and what’s Macron offering Iran
    https://tass.com/pressreview/1076327

    Top stories in the Russian press on Wednesday, September 4

    Kommersant: Putin’s visit ushers in new era in Russian-Mongolian relations

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid an official visit to Mongolia where he attended celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of the victory at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol and signed a new intergovernmental accord on friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership with Ulan Bator, Kommersant writes.

    According to Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, cooperation between the two countries is entering a new era after the signing of this pact.

    “The new agreement is an updated version of the 1993 treaty on friendly relations and cooperation, the underlying document, on which relations between the two countries rely,” Vladimir Grayvoronsky, Head of the Mongolia Department at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, explained to Kommersant. The expert noted that Russia had been the only strategic partner of Mongolia until 2014, when Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership with Ulan Bator.

    “So the current document officially raises Mongolia’s partnership with Russia to the level of its partnership with China,” Grayvoronsky went on to say. “Given its strategic location between Russia and China and the reserves of undiscovered and discovered resources, Mongolia is trying to strike a balance between major powers, having signed accords on strategic partnership with the United States, India and Japan.”…
    ####

    Good stuff. Russia is not neglecting its ‘back yard’.

    Elsewhere I’ve read today that Russia has agreed an advantegeous gas price for Moldova…

    Like

  47. FlightGlobal.com: MH17: Dutch fail to keep key witness out of prisoner swap

    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mh17-dutch-fail-to-keep-key-witness-out-of-prisoner-460735/

    …Blok says the Ukrainian side offered to “postpone” the exchange to give Dutch prosecutors the opportunity to interview Tsemach again, and adds that this questioning subsequently took place…

    …Investigators directing the criminal probe into MH17’s loss have previously identified four individuals – three Russians and a Ukrainian, none of which is Tsemach – who they are seeking to prosecute over the attack.
    ####

    ‘interview again‘. To repeat the f/king obvious, surely if there was sufficient intelligence/evidence/coffee grounds/magda the gypsy/whatever, then Tsemach would have been handed over. Did they honestly thing that having another crack at him would have provided something? Weak as piss.

    Of course the Pork Pie New Networks despite being rather more careful than usual in their reporting of this are having their cake and eating it, i.e. not using phraes like ‘smoking gun‘ but happy with ‘key witness’ with no qualifier or anything to back this up. The insinuation is there, but not the actual words. Spineless mofos.

    Like

    1. They’re just having so much fun with the ridiculous narrative that Russia moved behind the scenes to ensure he was included in the prisoner swap – before you know it, the entire exchange will have been engineered to get Tsemakh out of Ukrainian hands. Why? Well, you know – where there’s smoke, there’s a crashed airliner, wink, wink.

      Moscow never mentioned Tsemakh; if they sent Ukraine a list of prisoners recommended for exchange, he was not on it. But the western media planted the seed that his inclusion in the slate of transferred prisoners was owed to Russian pressure, and it just gets wilder as it goes along.

      Like

    2. I’d have thought that the Dutch investigators would try to persuade the Banderites to keep Tsemakh in custody on the pretence that his life would be in danger if he were to be returned to Russia, because Lord Vlademort would be displeased that Tsemakh might have let something valuable slip from his lips, let alone be inconsiderate enough as to be arrested in the first place.

      Later on in the distant future, after Tsemakh has been transported to The Hague or Rome, as the court case date draws near, or when Tsemakh is supposed to appear as a “witness” in court, he can always suddenly and unexpectedly expire in prison from some hitherto undiagnosed heart condition.

      Like

      1. Ukraine released him on bail before the prisoner swap. Obviously they either considered him an insignificant flight risk – given how difficult it must be to collect a bail bond in Ukraine – or knew that he had no information which would be useful to anyone. They might even be using him to spread disinformation in Russia, and all the teeth-grinding from the west all for show, to make the bait sweeter. You never know. But under normal circumstances, when a European country said “Jump”, Ukraine’s response would be “How high”?

        Like

  48. THIS was published by Yahoo……Hmmm

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/09/fbir-s09.html

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/9/5/1883496/-FBI-devotes-memo-to-anarchist-extremist-border-threat-while-far-right-vigilantes-get-a-pass

    https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-document-reveals-the-fbi-is-tracking-border-protest-groups-as-extremist-organizations-170050594.html?soc_src=newsroom&soc_trk=com.apple.UIKit.activity.CopyToPasteboard&.tsrc=newsroom

    “Charles • 2 hours ago • edited
    The US government is creating a situation where opposition to fascism has to be necessarily opposition to the state apparatus. As the state aligns itself more and more openly with the fascists and racists and becomes the protectors of fascist paramilitaries, it puts itself ever more openly in the way of the path of democracy and solidarity. The state itself through these actions is necessitating that all opposition becomes revolutionary opposition. It is creating a revolutionary situation.

    jason bates • 2 hours ago
    the USG, for several reasons, will be forced to direct more attention to warfare on the domestic front. the subversive methods they deploy in Hong Kong, Syria, etc., will be more openly deployed in the “homeland” as more direct military interventions internationally result only in massive expenditures of cash & loss of life with no discernible objective achieved beyond chaos & disruption. This includes the strategy of arming various factions of the domestic populace against each other & getting one faction in particular arguing and arguing and arguing for the same gov’t arming the populace to disarm the populace. Or arming the drug cartels Uncle Sam is supposedly fighting against, as in “Operation Fast & Furious.”

    as if a society raising a generation of meth heads should do anything other than take its leaders out & execute them. if possible, after a trial. but, as the USG looks at the “homeland” as a battle front & its own citizens as the enemy b/c they don’t want kids in concentration camps, it’s time to return the favor.”

    Like

    1. You know, there might be something to it. It was explained to me in terms like, you know how far apart cell towers are now, right? Imagine a cellular tower (equivalent) on every fifth telephone pole along the highway. In order to ensure instant connectivity worldwide, the planet is going to have to be covered in antennas. That can’t be good for living tissue. But my chief objection to it is that it is going to be used as a surveillance tool to the point that barely your thoughts are your own; the government will know everything about you if you own a smartphone. Forget about where you live – they’ll know if you’re home, and if you’re not, where you are. Probably even where in the house you are. This, I continue to believe, is the basis of the USA’s fierce resistance to Huawei and its determination not to allow it a significant foothold in America – the US government is not going to be given carte blanche to snoop using Huawei technology. Nokia will be happy to bend over for Uncle Sam; ditto Emmerson. They’re allies, and they understand the need for the government to have a handle on things. And Washington would very much prefer its allies not use Huawei either, because whatever it says about privacy, the USA loves to snoop on its allies, too – politics is far too important to be left up to the people.

      Like

    2. There certainly are health concerns involved because 5G electromagnetic waves have a higher frequency and shorter wavelengths which mean they can’t penetrate solid objects as effectively as 4G electromagnetic waves and therefore more 5G antenna towers are needed to boost their signal in a given area than would be needed for 4G technology.
      https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/what-experts-say-on-the-radiation-safety-of-5g-network/11143020

      As Mark says, all that exposure wouldn’t be good for living tissue, especially living tissue in children, to say nothing of how plants, animals, ecosystems generally and even global weather and climate systems might be affected by changes in the earth’s electromagnetic systems if 5G electromagnetic waves are beamed from satellites above the atmosphere.

      Like

  49. Another Pole moron yapping about how the USA can play China against Russia!! Hilarious!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janusz_Bugajski
    https://thehill.com/opinion/international/460535-the-us-can-play-china-against-russia

    “In the worst-case scenario, a grand alliance between Russia and China would prolong Russia’s threatening posture, enable China to expand its economic influence operations in Europe, extend both Russian and Chinese military deployments and disperse American capabilities”

    Ummmm…EXACTLY!!!!!…(dumb bastard)…

    Like

    1. Bugajski’s job title is “Opinion Contributor”. Sounds like a sweet gig for a dumb Polack.
      Read the comments. With one exception, they are all written by clear idiots who think they know something about geopolitics. The number of certifiable morons in the U.S. continues to rise every year at an exponential rate.

      Like

      1. One reaction Americans are unaccustomed to is pity. When I meet them on the boats, traveling, I am always extra nice to them, because I feel sorry for them. They have to go back. They’re nice people, mostly, they’ve never done anything to me personally. But sooner or later, they have to go back to where those license plates were issued. They can’t stay here. And I’m sorry for them. But I would imagine most of them feel they are envied, and their citizenship is coveted by the less-fortunate. That might be true in some third-world hellholes where people would go anywhere to get out, but it certainly isn’t so here.

        The stars-and-stripes-wavers you meet in comment forums are usually blissfully ignorant, happy in their fool’s paradise where everyone wants to be an American, and resistance to Uncle Sam’s ruthless bullying is inspired by jealousy and inadequacy. For them, simply acknowledging that Washington sometimes makes mistakes – which it’s allowed to do, because it’s exceptional – is the essence of responsibility and fairness. There, I said we aren’t always right – what could be more fair? But when America invades a country that did nothing to provoke it except refuse when it was ordered to do this or that, sometimes things it couldn’t do, like abandon the nuclear weapons program it didn’t have…well, that was a mistake, but it was an honest mistake because no end of smart people the world over agreed they did indeed have a nuclear weapons program. I mean, if you don’t do something quick, the consequences could be a mushroom cloud, ya know. And when it orders the democratically-elected president of a country to stand down and make way for a hand-picked replacement, it’s not being arrogant. No; it’s taking necessary on behalf of that leader’s benighted people, who suffer awful oppression at his hands, and America only wants them to be free to make good choices.

        A lot of those comments go unanswered; some because many of those forums now insist you sign in with Facebook so they can go behind the scenes and see who and where you are and gain all sorts of personal information about you, because dimwits love to blabber their entire personal lives on Facebook. But some go unanswered simply because there is no real use in trying to change such made-up minds. You will never dent the my-country-right-or-wrong blathering of ignorant people who know nothing beyond what they see on CNN.

        Like

  50. Pamela Anderson crushes Insane McCain – the Maniac Meghan version, that is – and the rest of The View panel, in defending Julian Assange:

    The producers and the panel members obviously thought Anderson would be an easy pushover.

    Like

      1. Well, she did stick to her guns, and she did not allow McCain to employ the beloved talk-show tactic of simply talking over you until the politer person stops speaking, leaving the rude cow to make her points, applause, applause, move on, your chance to adjust the balance gone. But when Behar was questioning her, and supplying background information Americans now regard as fact, “When the Russians were passing information to Assange on Hillary Clinton…interfering in the election…” and Pamela is just going “Yep…Yep….”, and I am saying to myself, “What the fuck???” Nobody, apparently, is going to challenge the American official narrative that Assange received the information he posted on Wikileaks from the Russians, or that the Russian government rigged the US presidential election, costing Clinton her rightful victory. Neither of those is true. But apparently only fringe blogs are ever going to say so.

        Like

        1. I’m pretty sure Pamela wasn’t agreeing with Meghan when she kept murmuring, “Yeh, yeh..” I think it’s just the equivalent of “uh huh”, when somebody is saying something stupid and you’re gearing up to refute them. But in the end, Pamela was just too classy to engage in a full-out shouting match with those bitches. Instead, she showed by her body language that she thought Meghan was full of shit. And Pamela got some appause too, there were some sane people in that studio audience, believe it or not.

          Like

  51. У России не осталось чистого государственного долга
    06:54 10.09.2019 (обновлено: 07:26 10.09.2019)

    Russia has no net public debt left
    06:54 09/10/2019 (updated: 07:26 09/10/2019)

    MOSCOW, Sep 10 – RIA News. The net public debt of Russia has become negative for the first time since the introduction of the first sanctions for the annexation of the Crimea and the fall in oil prices in 2014, RBC writes, with reference to Ministry of Finance and Central Bank data.

    As of August 1, the volume of public debt of the federal government, regions and municipalities, including state guarantees for enterprise loans, amounted to 16.2 trillion rubles.

    At the same time, the liquid assets of the state – federal authorities, regions and extrabudgetary state funds – totalled 17.6 trillion ruble son the same date.

    Thus, in the widest sense, the public debt since mid-2019 has become less than the liquid assets of the “expanded government”, the publication indicates.

    As noted, this has became possible owing to record reserves that have fully covered the state debt. That is to say, if Russia needed to immediately pay off all existing debts, this could be done at the expense of only government deposits with the Central Bank and commercial banks.

    As the Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, emphasized, “what has been done in Russian macroeconomics from 2014 to 2019 will definitely fall into the textbooks”, At the same time, the flip side of such a tough approach is the lack of fiscal incentives for economic development.

    Over to you Bloomberg, WSJ, FT etc., etc!

    Waddya say to that, arseholes?

    And think on this, you happy folk of the Exceptional Nation who prosper ever onwards:

    MOSCOW, 16 August 2019/ Radio Sputnik. Russia continues to reduce investments in US bonds in June, reducing their size to 10.8 billion dollars, the United States Ministry of Finance has reported.

    According to Finance Department data, 5,296 billion dollars of this amount is for long-term securities and 5,552 billion are short – term.

    For comparison, in may, the total amount was $ 12 billion.

    As part of the de-dollarization course for Russia, other financial instruments are gaining importance: gold and investments in European and Asian securities, chief expert of FinEk agency Mikhail Belyaev said on Sputnik radio.

    According to the economist, the instability of the US economy also contributes to the withdrawal of Russian assets from it.

    Like

    1. Good catch; you were first with that blockbuster. You know who would be a good replacement? Tulsi Gabbard. It would please those who moan the government is too partisan, it would remove the only real non-ideologue from the Democratic slate, and leave them with doddering Uncle Joe and a bunch of no-ideas bobbleheads. Few would dare question her lack of foreign-policy experience, given her actual experience of being at the sharp end of it with the military. The American people claim to be sick of war – although not sick enough of it to do any real protesting against it – and Gabbard is anti-war. She’s easy on the eyes, but if Trump tried his grab-‘er-by-the-pussy move, he would find himself only needing one glove this winter; her obvious toughness would appeal to feminists. I think she’d take it if asked, because although she despises Trump and his government, she would not be able to resist the opportunity to shape America’s foreign policy. She would eat news outlets who tried to portray her as an apologist for terror or Putin or whatever for lunch.

      Like

      1. Nope….Major Gabbard is needed as America’s CIC aka POTUS.

        Nothing short of that is called for.

        To implement even partially achieve (implement) her agenda she needs the full weight and authority of the Oval office.

        BTW Tulsi has the skills to totally fuck up bashers of women:

        Like

            1. Tulsi is covering her cute ass. It’s the old ritualistic, “Sure he’s a dictator, but…”
              In secret, Tulsi adores Assad and lusts for his manly body, including his pointy ears…
              Unless she’s gay (?)

              Like

              1. It was Bashar al Assad’s birthday yesterday (11 September) and he received an unexpected birthday present while attending a performance at the Damascus Opera House with his wife (who is recovering from breast cancer treatment):

                Happy Birthday, Mr President!

                Well now that Yalensis mentioned it, Assad does have (sort of) pointy ears.

                Like

        1. Well, she was not on the short list of names I saw for potential Bolton replacements. I don’t see her making president, though, her support base is just not big enough. But if the Democrats put all their eggs in the Burnout Joe basket, he will in all probability lose to Trump. Trump’s support has eroded, but not so far that very many people want to see Joe Biden running the country.

          Like

    2. It’s pathetic how Bolton tries to save face (=his walrus face, such as it is) by insisting that he quit instead of being fired. It’s that old canard, “You can’t fire me ’cause I quit!” [snif sob]
      A variant of “You didn’t break up with ME, I broke up with YOU!” [snif sob]

      Like

  52. The Real News Network
    348K subscribers
    In what many analysts saw as a test for Vladimir Putin’s rule, the Moscow election was a setback of sorts, but the opposition’s orientation towards capitalism undermines its own anti-corruption platform, says Tony Wood

    Like

      1. See how that online rag “Meduza” plays with words:

        HEADLINE

        Moscow’s election results The opposition wins nearly half the City Duma seats, and United Russia’s local leader loses his seat
        12:54 pm, September 9, 2019

        LEAD
        Members of Russia’s “systemic opposition” (registered parties and candidates that ostensibly oppose the ruling party, United Russia) won 20 of the Moscow City Duma’s 45 seats. In Moscow’s September 8 parliamentary elections, the Communist Party won in 13 precincts, the liberal opposition party “Yabloko” won in four, and “Just Russia” won in three.

        See! In the headline, “opposition”does not mean the foreign agent Navalny and chums, it means the “parliamentary opposition”, known in the UK as “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”, whose duty it is to criticize and oppose an incumbent government’s policies.

        But this is not about the government: it’s about Moscow Town hall!!!!!

        When Thatcher was British Prime Minister, the Greater London Council was socialist (in name).

        Thatcher was PM for 11 bloody years!

        And she dissolved the GLC.

        That’s democracy UK style for you!

        Since the demise of the USSR, in the Russian Federation the “loyal opposition”, as it were, the government opposition in the legislature, the State Duma, has always been the Communist Party, namely the second largest party in the State Duma.

        THE BODY OF THE TEXT
        The authorities’ winning candidates were nine active members of United Russia who ran for Moscow City Duma seats as independents, as well as three incumbents from the pro-government “My Moscow” association. Additionally, the capital’s parliament will welcome another 13 independent winners whom Meduza and BBC Russian Service have identified as candidates promoted by the Moscow Mayor’s Office. According to Andrey Turchak (the party’s General Council secretary), United Russia’s faction in the City Duma will be made up of independent candidates and include 24-25 deputies.

        Twenty candidates endorsed by Alexey Navalny’s “Smart Vote” system won their elections. The anti-corruption activist called the results a “fantastic” success for his initiative to rally voters behind United Russia’s most credible rivals. After midnight on September 9, Navalny tweeted that the ruling political party lost in 24 of 45 precincts (he accuses the authorities of “stealing” four races through election fraud).

        In some races, candidates with the support of the Mayor’s Office won by very narrow margins. In the city’s 36th precinct, for example, Olga Sharapova beat Communist Party candidate Sergey Kurgansky by just 26 (twenty-six!) votes.

        Not quite what the headline implies!

        And United Russia is still the governing party in the State Duma and Vladimir Vladimir Putin is still President of Russia.

        Like

    1. Bla, bla, bla. I stopped listening where he assessed that the Communists had made gains because voting for Navalny’s opposition candidates was not an option. It’s true that the greatest strength of opposition ideologues who believe Russia should just do as the west tells it to do so everyone could settle down to making money and being happy is in the major cites of Moscow and St Petersburg. But suggestion that people voted for the Communists because they couldn’t vote for Navalny is absurd – the two platforms are nothing alike, and if anything, a vote for the Communists reflects a desire for a stronger return to traditional values rather than a wish to get along better with the west on its terms. United Russia still dominates, and the aspirations of the Communists for Russia are not too different from those of United Russia; if I were the west (well, I am, but you know what I mean), I would not be crowing, because an increase in influence of the Communists certainly does not mean it’s open doors again for western NGO’s and interfering diplomats bearing gifts from meddling ideologues. Quite the opposite. The Communists might even do some good for the domestic agenda, but I don’t see anyone among them with the character and dynamics to affect the course of foreign policy. And that’s all the west really cares about. It doesn’t look as if Tony Wood read the Communists’ platform.

      http://cprf.ru/party-program/

      I submit there is little in it which would encourage western regime-changers, and nothing at all which would encourage belief that its gains reflect a wish for more candidates who espouse Navalny’s values. When he speaks of ‘the opposition’s orientation towards capitalism’, he sounds as if he is talking about a different election altogether. The ‘opposition’ which is ostensibly oriented towards capitalism did not get to stand for election because its candidates could not demonstrate they had crossed the support threshold. The Communists look down and spit on the ground like Paul Simon’s mother in “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” when they hear the word ‘capitalism’. Permit me to quote from their platform:

      “Capitalism, which today prevails on most of the globe, is a society where material and spiritual production is governed by the market laws of deriving maximum profits and accumulation of capital. Everything turns into a commodity, money being the main criterion in the relationships among people. The capitalist mode of production means unbridled exploitation of human and natural resources without any concern about the harmful consequences for the life of future generations and for the environment.

      The Leninist teaching about imperialism as the highest and final stage of capitalism is being vindicated. The process of concentration of capital in the early 20th century created huge monopoly alliances. Bank and industrial capitals have merged. The ever more acute struggle for redividing the markets caused two world wars which claimed untold human victims, and a multitude of local armed conflicts.

      In the second half of the 20th century, having enriched itself by predatory exploitation of the planet’s resources, financial speculations, wars and new sophisticated methods of colonization a group of developed capitalist countries, the so-called “golden billion”, entered a period called “the consumer society”. Instead of being a natural human function, consumption becomes a “sacred goal”, with the individual’s social status depending on how zealously he/ she pursues that goal. In effect it is super-exploitation and market expansion through aggressive advertising and other methods of psychological pressure. Using the latest technologies imperialism is turning the world’s population into zombies. It seeks to spread its information web throughout the world, to inculcate egoism, violence, crass materialism and cosmopolitanism.”

      I have to say I see very little in there which would foster a belief that the opposition which is actually in elected seats is oriented toward capitalism. If anything, I see some fights ahead to get joint ventures approved which have the potential to result in state profit. The Communists will be adamantly opposed to projects which have a western partner.

      Like

    1. Though my “roots” are English, I am are both anti-monarchical and anti-establishment, meaning I abhor the British ruling elite and all its trappings and privileges, which attitude of mine is not uncommon in the part of England where I come from.

      I shall return from exile when England is a republic, or, to use the term when this last occurred and which I much prefer: a commonwealth.

      As regards the other indigenous nations of the British Isles, what they decide to do about how their countries are governed is their own affair.

      Like

      1. The participants at the Putney Debates were also English.

        In August 1647, soldiers of the New Model Army, which had defeated the forces of the crown, set up its headquarters at Putney, in the county of Surrey (now in South West London).

        The debates began on 28 October 1647 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, but moved to the nearby lodgings of Thomas Grosvenor, Quartermaster General of Foot, the following day. The debates lasted until 11 November.

        In short, the soldiers there assembled were disgruntled about the fact that the victorious leaders of the parliamentarians, Oliver Cromwell (then Member of Parliament for Cambridge) and Henry Ireton (Cromwell’s son-in-law) and other officers, known as the Grandees, were negotiating with the defeated royalists and attempting to return to the status quo ante bellum, namely that the monarchy and House of Lords would have retained a power of veto over the House of Commons and that the king would be restored before the issues of the soldiers’ indemnity and arrears were entrenched in law.

        These negotiations led to the loss of the support for the Parliamentary Army chiefs amongst the more radical elements of the military and civilian populations.

        The radicals wanted a constitution based upon manhood suffrage, biennial Parliaments and a reorganisation of parliamentary constituencies. Authority was to be vested in the House of Commons rather than the King and Lords. Certain “native rights” were declared sacrosanct for all Englishmen: freedom of conscience, freedom from impressment into the armed forces and equality before the law.

        Cromwell chaired the debates and flatly refused to accept any compromise in which the King was overthrown. Furthermore, Ireton made it clear that he considered the call for male suffrage to be nothing short of anarchy. Instead, he and Cromwell suggested that suffrage should be limited only to landholders.

        Both Cromwell and Ireton, of course, were wealthy landowners, of course.

        In response to this, “Agitator” Thomas Rainsborough famously argued:

        “For really I think that the poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest hee; and therefore truly, Sr, I think itt clear, that every Man that is to live under a Government ought first by his own Consent to put himself under that Government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put Himself under.

        (The debates were recorded by clerks. Spelling at that time was pretty free and easy!)

        To which Ireton responded:

        “No man hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing of the affairs of the kingdom… that hath not a permanent fixed interest in this kingdom.”

        The debate was eventually sidelined: firstly by a proposal to set up a commission to review these issues, a familiar trick even today.

        The “Levellers“, those who believed that all men were equal before the law, were faced with the choice of mutinying or submitting and seeing their movement effectively destroyed.

        At least three mutinies broke out. 1,500 Levellers were camped at Burford in the Cotswolds and Cromwell personally led a surprise night time attack on them.

        Some were briefly imprisoned in the parish church and three who refused to recant their views were court-martialled, sentenced to death and shot by firing squad in the churchyard.

        The marks made by the musket balls can still be seen. The date was 15 May 1649.

        The struggle went on though, and the events of 1776 in British North America were an overseas extension of it.

        … I am sure that there was no man born marked by God above another; for none comes into this world with a saddle on his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him…

        From the last words of Richard Rumbold, another Cromwellian soldier, spoken on the scaffold in 1685, after his being sentenced to death for plotting to assassinate the restored monarch King Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland.

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    1. America claimed to have learned and grown from the experience of Japanese internment, and recognizes it now as having been uncalled-for at the very least and insulting racism at worst. If it does it again, the lesson will be that America really does not learn anything from its mistakes, although I think we have pretty strong evidence of that already. At least when the Amnesty Internationals and the Freedom House types are on TV blathering and moaning about injustice and doing good, we can with a good conscience change the channel to the football game, for those interested in sports, and not waste time listening.

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    1. Yeah, I read that, too, and I think Bolton is probably telling the truth. It just sounds exactly like what Trump would do – stall it off for a day so he could make a big dramatic firing out of it rather than accepting a quiet resignation. I don’t feel sorry for Bolton, but it just sounds like Trump’s passion for making theatre out of everything.

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  53. Ha, ha!! Classic narrative management – we are supposed to believe a Ukrainian investigation of Motor Sich when it was about to be sold to a Chinese company ‘triggered’ concern in Washington. Sure it did. I would bet quite a bit that concern in Washington triggered the Ukrainian investigation. And I frankly doubt there were any subversive plans to sell engines or engine components to Russia. That was just the excuse used to nix the sale due to an investigation. But it sends a clear message both to Ukrainian companies and the Ukrainian administration – the United States very much wants extensive privatization of state assets; let’s get those companies thinking profits instead of subsidies. But the privatization must be carried out so that western investors get first crack; after all, they’ve been feeding Ukraine subsistence ‘loans’ for 5 years now. Only when westerners have decided a company or asset is of no value may it be considered for sale to outsiders.

    https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-politics/ukraine-defense-firm-caught-us-china-rivalry-probed-subversion

    Like

    1. As far as I can see, Motor Sich is as good as dead, unless the Chinese are allowed to buy it. It only benefits from current installed base and future projects – of which there is nothing of note. Russia’s future platforms will have indigenous designs and old platforms will become obsolete, so even if Motor Sich does somehow survive it will be competing with Russia (and not western designs) which is far more sustainable. Who else makes economic sense but China? The best case for a western buyer that I can see is if it is used as a low-cost second tier component manufacturer and also take advantage of what little local expertize remains.

      Like

      1. But the west – like the oil companies we discussed who buy the design rights to fuel-saving technologies and then shelve them, or so they are reputed to do – would be perfectly content to see Motor Sich become a low-level component manufacturer, or disappear altogether, so long as it is taken off the board where a Chinese buy is concerned. It has become a symbol now out of all proportion to its actual worth, in a ball-swinging contest which will see it interpreted as a Chinese victory if it ends up with control, and a western victory if it manages to prevent such a buy. What happens to the Ukrainians employed there is of no concern to anyone but themselves. I guess there’s no need to mention how little effect the Ukrainian government has on how it will come out.

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      2. Motor Sich won’t just be a low-cost second-tier component manufacturer, it’ll also be a useful tax shelter for whichever Western company buys it to park profits that can be taxed at a low percentage rate in Ukraine and the income of which (Motor Sich, that is) doesn’t need to be declared in the country where the Western country is domiciled.

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        1. Cunning, Jen, cunning!

          I read that the lo-land of Po-land now has a big fat contract to provide explosive for American bombs, all part of a new turbo-charged love in with Washington. What if they ask Poland to buy Motor Sich/buy it for them? They already have an aerospace cluster in the south east that already provides low-cost manufacture for western suppliers.*

          http://www.dolinalotnicza.pl/en/
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_Valley

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  54. Neuters via Antiar.com: Ukraine ruling party gets impeachment law through parliament
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-president-lawmaking/ukraine-ruling-party-gets-impeachment-law-through-parliament-idUKKCN1VV1I3

    Ukraine’s ruling party on Tuesday passed legislation that allows a sitting president to be impeached if they break the law, acting on an election pledge by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the campaign trail this year…

    …But opponents of Tuesday’s vote said the legislation was rushed through without proper consultation and that the law itself was so convoluted as to be meaningless.

    The law was passed at a first reading and then immediately voted on again a second time. Typically, legislation is sent to a committee for further scrutiny before being voted on again…
    ####

    Meaningless? It’s on the books. If there is confusion then it will be up the to judicia branch to make sense of it, but knowing the expresse intent should go most of the way.

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    1. It’s not meaningless, because in all probability it will be retroactively applied to the illegal ouster of Yanukovych. Several sources pointed out, after the Junta appointed itself and graced the nation with Wabbit Senya as Prime Minister, that Yanukovych was still the legal president of Ukraine, as he had never been legally and properly impeached, and could not after he was driven from power.

      Like

    2. Who are these opponents of the impeachment law? The article doesn’t say. Presumably the opponents are those politicians allied to the previous Porky Pig president. Saying that the bill was “rushed” through the Verkhovna Rada without “proper consultation” (meaning: the bill has to be watered down through endless debate and discussion and inspection with microscopes and tweezers to throw out annoying bits to the point where it has all water and none of the substance of the original bill) and that the law is half-baked is just a ploy to try to stop it from being passed.

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  55. Neuters via a Antiwar.com: Bulgarian NGO official charged with spying for Russia
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bulgaria-russia-espionage/bulgarian-ngo-official-charged-with-spying-for-russia-idUKKCN1VV1WD

    …“Nikolai Malinov has been charged with putting himself in the service of foreign organisations to work for them as a spy,” Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev told reporters. …

    …Prosecutors said they had found a Russian-language document prepared by Malinov that spoke of “the necessary geopolitical re-orientation of Bulgaria”.

    “The document outlines the steps needed to be taken to completely overhaul the geopolitical orientation of Bulgaria away from the West towards Russia,” Geshev said.

    The prosecutors did not say when the document was written. ..

    …The prosecutors also said on Tuesday they had banned a veteran Russian foreign intelligence official, Leonid Reshetnikov, from entering Bulgaria for 10 years. Reshetnikov is deputy chair of the Double-Headed Eagle and the former head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies…
    ####

    Is this part of the US’s ‘re-engagement’ in the Balkans to help the locals make the right decisions? So how did then know to raid him or that such a document (date/whatever) was there??? I’m not entirely sure what the difference between this ‘NGO’ and the usual NGOs is. ‘Human wrongs’?

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  56. I see the French Ambassador to Ukraine expects ‘Normandy Four’ meetings to resume by the end of this month. Just to make sure everyone knows not to actually expect any progress, the Rada issued an official statement on non-recognition of elections held in ‘occupied Crimea’. The people of Crimea – as far as Kuh-yiv is concerned – can have a say in who local leaders should be once they have pledged fealty to Kuh-yiv, and not until.

    https://www.unian.info/politics/10682310-ukraine-s-parliament-issues-statement-on-non-recognition-of-local-elections-in-occupied-crimea.html

    Actually, Ukraine is just using Crimea, which it knows it is never going to get back again, as a reason not to fulfill any of its own obligations under the Minsk Accords. And so the Normandy Four sessions will resume with no hope of ever seeing any results; it’s just a chance to get away from the wife and kiddies for a couple of days, fly First Class and have a couple of meals in nice restaurants and stay in a comfortable hotel, all in exchange for spending a few hours in conversations that might as well be barked like dogs for all the actual use they will be.

    Like

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