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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

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

  1. This piece from RT about Guano Gusano’s drug cartel associations; and, based on that one photo, I challenge anybody to prove to me that Gusano is not a python. I mean, the way the guy can unhinge his entire jaw before sucking in a goat or cow; that’s fairly impressive.

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  2. The MSM likes to call American oligarchs (like the Koch’s) “entrepreneurs” and Russian businessmen oligarchs.
    Ever notice that wikipedia is in on it too? They even do this with Ukrainian oligarchs. Compare the pages on Oleg Deripaska vs Mykola Zlochevsky.

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  3. The head of the White House, Donald Trump, declared that American policy towards the Ukraine was senseless of and added that Moscow should be a friend of Washington, and that no one cared about the Ukrainians. The day before, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the European Union was experiencing fatigue from the Ukraine.

    Source

    Media: Trump considers senseless US actions in Ukraine
    9/21/2019, 9:29:23 AM

    US President Donald Trump considers US actions in the Ukraine senseless, which actions at the same time aggravate relations with Russia, The Washington Post reports, citing a former senior White House official.

    According to the newspaper interlocutor, the president takes the position that “Russians should be our friends”.

    “What we do in the Ukraine is pointless and annoying Russia”, he said, describing the president’s opinion.

    Earlier, former US Vice President Joe Biden called on Trump to publish a transcript of a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

    So there you have it!

    Trump is a Kremlin Stooge.

    QED

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    1. Ukrainian Fatigue Syndrom (UFS) is a serious affliction. If you suffer from this affliction, ask your Doctor about Rid-Uk. Do not continue to take Rid-Uk if you experience the following side effects: Historical clarity, soundness of reasoning, logical interpretation, factual evidence, economic utility, diplomatic success.

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  4. Interesting how the most self righteous defenders of blackface are nearly without exception white.

    Apparently these white folks can live and interpret the black experience better that blacks!!!
    The fundamental premise of blackface -black physical characteristics are to be mocked ,demeaned and ridiculed for the amusement (and $$$$$) of whites–is by definition the essence of racism.
    Soooo…arguments that start from that premise and conclude that blackface practitoners aren’t racist are well….. kinda moronic.

    Ohhhh But let NS state anything that could be remotely construed as an insulting appeal to Serb or Slav stereotypes….and hear the KS howls of outrage about this American black guy who speaks with an authority on Serb/Slav matters as if he were born and raised in Belgrade or Moscow with blue eyes and blonde curly locks.
    “I’m as much a freakin’ authority on East European peoples and what they find offensive as you guys ”
    “You Stooges who ARE East European or Russian in ancestry …STFU”

    LOL!!!!

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    1. Well said!!!

      Blackface is racist full stop.
      Those that defend it really need to read American history and how blackface / minstrels etc were part of the systematic racism against black people.

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      1. A **thoughtful** article on matters related to blackface:

        “But in an era when the ruling administration’s single most vile act hinges on the ****dehumanization of outsiders****, it’s hard to laugh as a white comedian takes potshots at a “shithole country” for 86 minutes while exploiting stereotypes about the poor and uneducated. After all, Baron Cohen’s view of Borat isn’t too dissimilar from how white nationalists here and in Europe view immigrants and refugees: ignorant, violent, prone to sexual assault, unable or unwilling to assimilate. (Borat says he wants “cultural learnings” of America, but much of his behavior involves ignoring obvious social cues to comport how he would at home.) I”

        Dehumanization is one of the MAIN goals of blackface. Blackface intends to present blacks
        not as individuals each with their own nuances of personality ,but rather as an amorphous collection of freak ‘nigger’ caricatures essentially indistinguishable from one another, as opposed to variegated white humanity.
        https://slate.com/culture/2018/07/rewatching-sacha-baron-cohens-borat-in-the-era-of-who-is-america-and-trump.html

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        1. @ Yalensis
          One more thing:

          Go down to NYC’s Brighton Beach….bill yourself as a German entertainer

          But dress in clearly Russian attire

          Then start making cheap shot ‘jokes’ about Leningrad siege or Stalingrad or Russians killed in GPW….all the while taking vodka swigs and dancing around the stage in some exaggerated cossack routine…OK?

          See how that works out for ya’ !!!!!

          (Of course noeonazis would find your routine to be hilarious!!!)

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          1. Oi yoi yoi…

            NS are you, like, bipolar? ’cause sometimes your comments make sense, and other times you just fly off the handle and talk like a crazy person.
            And other times you read some stupid thing online, and it just triggers you into a crazy rant.
            Do you even have a sense of humor? You fly from one extreme to the other.
            For a while there, on this forum, you were attacking Jews and saying the most hateful things about them, and then Chinese, calling them “chinks”; and now suddenly you’re all self-righteous about racism.
            Hey, dude, you owe me an apology for that idiotic Brighton Beach comment, otherwise we become arch-enemies from this moment on. You really don’t want me as an arch-enemy, just sayin’….

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            1. Yalensis – you probably miss your old arch-enemy, Kirill, but you don’t need a new one! Life is too short for arch enemies. Friends come and go but enemies accumulate.

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                1. Well, sometimes I enjoy a good old-fashioned feud, that’s one of the reasons I signed up for the internet. 🙂

                  Just for the record: When it comes to debating “people who unfairly accuse other people of racism”, then I am not a bad candidate for the job, since my record on the American race issue is almost spotless.
                  Exhibit A, just one of many, when I scolded Russian op-ed pundit Akopov for taking Confederate side in Civil War and also, just in general, intefering in American public discourse on the side of the actual racists!

                  I can’t even figure out why NS suddenly decided to attack me in that “blackface” thread, since I wasn’t defending blackface at all. Was it the humorous crack about Shirley Temple?

                  In any case, I’m pretty much done with NS. He is either a troll or an unstable bipolar freak, take your pick. I got sick of his attacks against Jews, “faggots” and “chinks”, although I recall he did apologize for that last one, under peer pressure.

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                2. I guess when white people donate money to causes like the United Negro College Fund or the NAACP, they are doing so in order that they can later mock and degrade those people. While African-Americans definitely do give generously to such causes, whites still form the majority of the population, and the funds at the disposal of organizations which exclusively benefit black people could not have come only from the black community.

                  Click to access Diversity-in-Giving-Study-FINAL.pdf

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    2. Do you find it a bit of a contradiction that a person can wear a T-Shirt in downtown New York City that features stick figures in the doggy-style position, the one on top labeled “Me” and the one on the bottom labeled “Your Mom”, and if you object that it is offensive, you are infringing upon the wearer’s sacred freedom of expression?

      https://www.betterthanpants.com/me-and-your-mom-funny-shirt

      You can wear green hair, and nobody is offended, or if they are, they keep it to themselves. Asians can dye their hair blonde, in an obvious and completely unnatural imitation of whites, and nobody freaks out that they are insulting white people.

      https://www.popsugar.com.au/beauty/Blonde-Hair-Asian-Skin-Tones-38505954

      Charlie Hebdo can openly mock Muslims for their religion, Jews for their big noses, and crack jokes about Russian airliners being blown up, and blacks will join others in defending their right to do so.

      http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20150117-african-leaders-je-suis-charlie-march-paris

      But paint your face black when you’re not black, and you’re a hateful racist.

      For the record, I have never objected to any of your characterizations of Serbs. That’s probably PO, who is one. So i guess you’re extra-sensitive to any perceived slights of your own racial group. So be it. My own personal opinion is that blackface is not racist. But at least if I ever did it and someone accused me of racism, I could tell them to go fuck themselves. Because that’s protected under free speech laws.

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        1. I don’t think so. He’s certainly entitled to his beliefs, but the idea that white people who dress up as people of other races – including coloring their skin temporarily – must mean it in an insulting and derogatory manner and are therefore racist is ludicrous to me. The whole world is willing to take virtually everything else on a case-by-case basis: when is an investment a scam? Always? But not blackface. That is absolutely, always and ever, the intellectual property of those who are naturally black. A black person can play an Arab in a film role, an Asian can dye her hair blonde…but white people have to stay white. Because racism.

          I need hardly mention how that actually contributes to a permanent schism between the races. But by current logic, it’s the other way around – imitation of black is NEVER admiration, it’s always mockery.

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          1. The issue really should be what is intended when individuals put on blackface and the contexts in which they do it. But because of the overlay of racism in general over two centuries plus of American history, and how people these days use that history, often in ways that are understandable but yet not right or at least leaving a bad smell, teasing out people’s intentions when they don blackface ends up being tricky. Usually these days, most people in Western countries are sensitive enough to the feelings of black people not to do it, full stop.

            In Justin Bieber Trudeau’s case, putting on blackface was a thoughtless thing to do because (a) he was a teacher at the time, and (b) also at that time, most people in North America already were aware that blackface was offensive to most black people, because of the way it was used in the past to reinforce popular stereotypes about black people and often to make fun of them as a group of people who couldn’t fight back. As a group, teachers need to be most aware of changes in people’s attitudes and also to take the lead in encouraging people, especially young people, not to do things that cause or create unnecessary pain for others. That he did it for a party might seem to some people to excuse his behaviour but then he was the only person to have done it and given that his choice of fancy dress character was an Arab, most people would query why he needed to darken his face anyway. I should think these days hardly a day goes by that most people living in the 5-Eyes Anglophone nations don’t meet or pass a person of Arab (usually of Lebanese, Palestinian or Syrian Christian) ancestry in the street.

            That Trudeau seems to lack awareness or sensitivity about people’s feelings when he appropriates or nicks things from their cultures, without asking whether what he’s doing is right or not, was illustrated in that disastrous trip he made with his family to India in early 2018, supposedly to meet with PM Narendra Modi to talk foreign policy and trade, and ended up prancing around in the clothing of stereotypes of wealthy Indian maharajahs, turning up to ashrams and making “namaste” gestures. Much of this was done apparently to gain favour with the Indian diaspora (especially the Sikh community) in Canada. What this and probably the previous blackface and brownface episodes say about Trudeau is that he is as shallow as a teaspoon of water and he feels no shame in sucking up to the people who matter to him (and his electoral prospects) at the expense of the wider community. He clearly is out of his depth as Prime Minister and one has to ask who really wears the pants in his government – he certainly isn’t.

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            1. Jen, you make good points as usual. Especially about Justin’s utter shallowness and unfitness for office!
              The whole issue of Minstrel Shows is a complex one. From what I understand they were mostly a disgusting form of entertainment for poor whites to make fun of blacks.
              At the same time, there were some worthy musicians who came out of that subculture, both black and white.
              For example, Stephen Foster is called “The Father of American Music”. And by “American Music” we are talking mostly “Negro music”, although Foster himself was white. Foster composed many popular songs, based on Negro songs and melodies; his songs were used in minstrel shows and are still sung to this day by American schoolchidren, such as “Swanee River”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, and “Camptown Races”, among others.

              I recently became aware of “Camptown Races” when I overheard somebody singing “Doodah doodah” and asked them what it was. I had no idea that this song was originally written in Negro dialect (by Foster). When I googled it it gives the chorus as:

              Gwine to run all night!
              Gwine to run all day!
              I’ll bet my money on de bob-tail nag,
              Somebody bet on de bay.

              Just for the record:
              I know a lot of African-Americans, some of them even speak “the dialect” and I never once heard anybody say “gwine”. In other books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, when white writers try to transcribe Negro dialect, they also write “gwine”.
              I don’t think people talk like that any more, in America everybody, both black and white, would say “gonna”. Nobody says “going to” unless they are picking their words very carefully!
              On the other hand, people do actually say “de” and “da” instead of “the”. But they don’t say “gwine”.

              Oh, and by the way, I recall up further in the thread, our anti-racist Champion NS had posted an American song called “Sloopy”, which he apparently approves of; and I couldn’t help but notice that the (white) singers sometimes resort to Negro dialect, for example: “I don’t care what yo daddy do…”

              But I guess that’s okay, since he likes that particular song, so he forgives them if they appropriate black dialect and culture… Selective outrage, I reckon…
              🙂

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              1. Where I come from, a “doodah” is a synonym for “thingamajig” or just simply a “thingy”.

                Day talk like dat in Liverpool, doh, don’t dee?

                Dey do doh, don’t dee?

                Oh yeah, and as regards “gwine”, in my dialect one says: “Ah’m gooin wom nah!” [I am going home now], the “goo” in “gooin” being pronounced as /gu:/ and rhyming with “glue”.

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                1. That’s probably “doodad”, a common word in global English to signify “something ordinary whose exact name escapes me just now”. A word in naval slang which is used the same way is ‘Chummy”, as in, “I think it’s over there under the grey chummy” (a pretty safe bet in a warship, where nearly everything is grey or black). Liverpudlians may say it slightly differently owing to their peculiar accent.

                  I think in the Camptown Races context, “doo-dah’ was simply a nonsense couplet intended to mark tempo, much as modern music is stiff with ‘oh yeah’s’ and ‘baby’s’.

                  Like

                2. ME: A lot of American Southern dialect, including Negro dialect, obviously stems from certain regional dialects among the English, Scots and Irish. Now that you mention it, that “gooin” thing as in “gooin home”, I might have heard that in some Monty Python skits. Like the “4 Yorkshire men” skit.
                  Maybe that’s the original of “gwine”, who knows?

                  I should write my dissertation on the topic: “The Linguistic Connection Between Monty Python and 19th-century American Jive!” !!

                  Like

    3. Hi NS, I have brown hair and brown eyes and was born and live in the mid-West. I do travel a lot and have friends and associates in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. My company employs Blacks, Hispanics and Arab Muslims. I love and respect them all.

      Can you expand upon your complaints about me?

      Like

    1. Same way they minimize if not sweep under the rug the 28 million Russians/Slavs and 1 million Serbs murdered in WW II who actually fought the Nazi West. Not trying to push any buttons, just stating facts.

      Like

  5. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/21/iran-s21.html

    “The Russian Foreign Ministry issued an immediate response to the new US measures denouncing them as “illegitimate.”

    “This will not affect our approaches to Iran,” said Zamir Kabulov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Second Asian Department. “As we planned, we will continue to cooperate with Iran in the banking sector. This will have no effect [on Moscow’s position] …”

    While Beijing, which counts Saudi Arabia as its second-largest source of oil imports, was somewhat more circumspect, it is highly unlikely that any new measures will affect its own ties to Iran. China accounts for half of Iran’s sharply reduced oil exports, and Beijing and Tehran this month signed $400 billion worth of deals connected to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of which Iran is a key component.

    The sanctions imposed by the Trump administration after ripping up the nuclear agreement in May 2018 amount to an economic blockade, tantamount to a state of war. They have led to shortages of food and medicines, leaving cancer patients to die.”

    “Tehran has vehemently denied these accusations. The Houthi rebels, who control the bulk of Yemen, claimed responsibility, declaring the attacks an act of self-defense against the murderous US-backed war that the Saudi monarchy has waged against Yemen for nearly four-and-a-half years, killing nearly 100,000 Yemenis and driving 8 million more to the brink of starvation.”

    “The cost of the Patriot missile defense systems run into the billions while the price of each missile that they fire is estimated at $5 million. This massively expensive weaponry proved useless in countering drones costing a few thousand dollars that devastated the world’s largest oil refining facility.”

    “useless in countering drones”

    So why deploy more of the “useless” system???

    Like

  6. First rate article on this American Hero…
    https://www.wsws.org/asset/94b5c752-08cc-440c-83ca-9e358d9423ff?rendition=image320

    The comments
    “Authoritarian Western governments like the US, the UK, and Sweden preach an enlightened, exalted rhetorical reverence for “the rule of law” and absolute dedication to “justice”, civil rights and due process. Meanwhile, whenever it serves their interests, their actions are heinously and ruthlessly tyrannical, brutal, hypocritical, and capricious.
    As we have seen over and over with Julian Assange, governments and their ministers of (ostensible) justice will simply run roughshod over any technicalities and niceties that ordinarily compel the release of incarcerated persons.”

    …and their links are also spot on:
    e.g.
    https://qz.com/1655268/us-military-is-a-bigger-polluter-than-140-countries-combined/

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/21/pers-s21.html

    Like

  7. Interesting – apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact, it is safe to advance on that a little. Now Donald Trump actually asked Vladimir Putin to hack the emails of his democratic rival.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ukraine-if-youre-listening–how-trump-tries-to-quell-controversies-by-saying-the-quiet-part-out-loud/2019/09/20/8e68aad0-dbc1-11e9-adff-79254db7f766_story.html

    Curiously, the Washington Post’s recently-adopted new slogan is “Democracy dies in darkness”. So telling the readers any old shit that you made up and can offer no proof whatsoever is true…is infinitely better than darkness. And they wonder why academic standards are slipping, and why Americans faithfully believe things that few other countries accept as true. All the while they are cultivating a nation of dunces which believes anything it is told by its government.

    Like

    1. “apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact,”

      Mark, you are a very astute political observer!

      This is a very interesting process: no matter how absurd is the particular notion and how many contravening facts exist, the power of neoliberal MSM is such that soon enough it is viewed as an established and indisputable fact. As you aptly call it “an article of faith”.

      So we can state that neoliberal MSM are preforming part of functions that in Medieval Europe was performed by the Church. Kind of giant televangelism pulpit in the mega church .

      Like

        1. Absolutely mind bending. If I hadn’t heard it I wouldn’t have believed it. I was expecting a modern rock swipe at the military – religious complex – all those born-again christians amongst the US officer corps, that sort of thing

          Like

  8. ISIS ‘rebels’ have their backs up against the wall in Syria…and, whaddya know; the UN proposes a ceasefire. Just like it always does when Washington wants to buck up the ‘rebels’, resupply them with arms and ammunition and call up reinforcements.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/russia-blasted-carpet-bombing-syria-190919181519705.html

    Russia and China vetoed it, and put forward their own resolution which also addressed a ceasefire, but it was rejected. When Russia and China veto a UN resolution, the western press is at great pains to point them out as having voted against it. When a Russia/China resolution is shot down, it ‘failed to secure enough votes’. Those who voted against it are not identified.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Russia+China+resolution+ceasefire+Syria&t=ffsb&atb=v113-1&ia=web

    This tradition extends even to the UN website itself, where “Belgium, Germany and Kuwait tabled a draft proposing a humanitarian ceasefire, which garnered 12 out of 15 votes. Permanent members Russia and China used their right to veto, blocking its adoption.” Whereas “Their own resolution, which highlighted terrorism concerns by extremist groups operating inside the region, also failed to pass, with nine members voting against and four abstaining.” Who voted against? You tell me.

    https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/09/1046802

    This follows a well-established pattern of the USA using the UN Security Council to introduce resolutions which forestall the eradication of ISIS in Syria, and intervene on ‘humanitarian grounds’ to create an opportunity to resupply extremist forces and stave off their defeat, or even sometimes to evacuate them before they can be overrun, whereupon they pop up someplace else and the effort to wipe them out must begin again.

    Although the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs stipulated that “a unilateral ceasefire announced by Russia on 30 August has reportedly led to a decline in fighting in the northwestern region”, it evidently did not provide the degree of freedom to dabble sought by western nations, and the French twit currently in residence there complained that Russia is ‘carpet-bombing’ Syria. Apparently when Russia drops bombs, only civilians are killed.

    Like

  9. An old story has resurface. Russia has determined how that hole was made in a Soyuz capsule docked to the ISS:

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Putin_briefed_on_results_of_probe_into_hole_in_Soyuz_MS_09_999.html

    The surprise twist is that Russia will not disclose the cause. Speculation on my part but it was probably that crazy US astrowoman who was sabotaging equipment including the toilet on the US segment to get home early. Russia may have shown sensitivity on this matter to spare embarrassment to the US astronaut corps.

    Like

    1. I recall that the female astronaut (Hispanic name?) was suspected of tampering with the toilet on the module of the ISS to which US “partners” had access. And that the Russians refused access to their functioning toilet.

      Comedy gold.

      Like

      1. It was payback when the American side refused to allow Russians to use the toilet in the US segment. Seemed mean-spirited to me.

        http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US_Asks_Russia_to_Fix_Its_Broken_Toilet_on_ISS_999.html

        American astronauts had to use space diapers or poop bags. What a stink and mess in zero G! The toilet failure involved a water line becoming separated fron the toilet. Interestingly, the toilet was supplied by Russia after the US was unable to build a functioning unit.

        http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US_Asks_Russia_to_Fix_Its_Broken_Toilet_on_ISS_999.html

        Like

  10. I don’t have any complaints about you…or Serbs…or Russians etc.
    I was pointling out with analogy and sarcasm how if those ethnic groups were subjected to people who masqueraded as them in order to mock and demean them, they would not like it one goddamn bit…and rightfully so. That example I wrote about. Brighton beach and the German masquerading as a Russian….Mutatis Mutandis -White for German,Black for Russian-is the essence of Blackface. Pleased think thru that. ‘Russkieface’ example PO!!
    (And to those of you who think I may have misspelled Mutatis Mutandis…Fuck You.)
    (:O

    Like

    1. Once again, barking up the wrong tree, attacking the wrong people, and failing to apologize when an apology is due.
      I don’t think you have any friends on this forum any more, NS, except possibly for James, who is actually Karl in disguise.

      Like

  11. A thank you to blogger mark. I always enjoy reading your posts. AS a reader I feel like you never patronise or confuse me – you have got me – I think you are a real person, who is sane and fair and to me, intellectually bright – just the sort of person I want to be when I grow up. Love from Liverpool.
    To Mark’s commentators – I love reading your posts, often spending hours and hours reading every comment. You people have expanded my mind. To wit I have just started a ( very ) basic Russian course, which for me is a new frontier. I love the dialogue you people generate and feel priveleged to be able to witness it. Love and respect to all of you who make positive contributions here. As they say in Liverpool ” keep on keeping on”

    Like

  12. I apologized to Jen because I thought it the right thing to do.
    What peer pressure.?..Y?
    Puhleeese!!
    As for Zionist and Jews that support them…fuck em’. NS hasn’t shot any
    kids in the head or murdered young women protestors with bulldozers.
    If some of you want to selectively put on kid gloves with certain groups or regimes….that’s on you.

    As for the occasional use of the fag word…
    Guilty as charged…somewhat.
    I rarely comment on these people.
    From J Edgar to Rachel C….gays are NOT my friends.
    BTW…some of you don’t have any problem with the cnt word…so let’s
    not get too self righteous.

    Like

    1. “NS hasn’t shot any kids in the head or murdered young women protestors with bulldozers.”

      Oh really? I heard on the grapevine that you bulldized some kids, NS. Can you prove that you didn’t?

      “Guilty as charged!”

      Aha! so you admit it!

      Like

  13. 22 SEP, 12:25
    Alleged Novichok victim Rowley seeks to sue Russia for $1.25 mln
    According to Patrick Maguire, the lawyer of the British citizen, Rowley has continued to suffer from “serious side effects from the toxin he ingested”

    “This has affected my life in a huge way. I want justice” — Rowley.


    WARNING!Sudden death awaits anyone who dares venture beyond that fence unless fully togged out with a hazmat suit!

    Before anyone should wish to go to the above linked article, a question:

    What is the glaring give-away in the title of the above article that leads one to recognize immediately that the article is not from the Western news media?

    [I have had to edit the subheading above, because its syntax and punctuation leave much to be desired!]

    Like

      1. Bring it on!

        You’re full of shit, NS, as usual. You’re really barking up the wrong tree here with your Klan B.S. Do you truly believe that any other person on this blog is going to believe, just on your say-so, that I am a racist and belong to the Ku Klux Klan?

        I know that you went straight to google to try to find some shit to refute me on the Stephen Foster thing. Not that there is anything to refute, I was just making a tiny point about American musical legacy. That it isn’t all just one or the other. People could have racist attitudes sometimes but still be open to cultural influences, and still be able to produce great art. What is your opinion of “Porgy and Bess”, by the way? An opera written by two white guys about the lives of black people. I reckon you think the Gershwin Brothers secretly belonged to the Klan? What do think about the fact that the Metropolitan Opera is going to open its 2020 season with “Porgy and Bess” ? O the fake outrage, I can hardly wait!

        Anyhow, your outrage is selective and partially invented, as usual, in your pathetic attempt to make yourself look important and try to appear like a holier-than-thou and self-righteous victim of the blogosphere. Frankly, I am tired of your constant whining and paranoia. And I am sick of your attacks against other people and your trolling, in the line of “Hey, Stooges, what do you think about this…” [latest b.s. propaganda about, say, Assad or Maduro, that you read on some b.s. fake-news blogpost].

        Frankly, I don’t even believe that you are an African-American. I know a lot of African-Americans and, with only a couple of exceptions, none of them are as mentally unstable as you. Therefore I suspect that you are actually a white guy posing as an African-American to try to bully people in the blogosphere.

        If you actually ARE an African-American, then all you had to do was apologize to me for the inappropriate and unfair “Brighton Beach” comment. Instead you doubled down and added Ku Klux Klan, which is really a casus belli, you stupid wretch.

        In the piece you linked, one of the commenters sets straight that second racist verse never existed in the original. It was obviously inserted later by actual racists.
        Here are the actual original lyrics to that particular song, and they are not particularly racist, just describe the lives of certain ordinary individuals of that time period:


        I come from Alabama
        With a banjo on my knee ( “Banjo on my knee” he is a minstrel)
        I’m going to Louisiana
        My true love for to see
        It rained all night the day I left (the conflicting lyrics show how his life is upside down)
        The weather it was dry
        The sun so hot I froze myself
        Susanna, don’t you cry
        Oh! Susanna
        Oh! don’t you cry for me
        For I come from Alabama
        With my banjo on my knee

        I had a dream the other night
        When everything was still
        I thought I saw Susanna
        Coming down the hill
        The buckwheat cake was in her mouth (Buckwheat cake traditional southern wedding cake in the 1800’s. )
        The tear was in her eye (she is wedding to a man she does not truly love for the security of marriage)
        I said I’m coming from the South
        Susanna don’t you cry
        Oh! Susanna
        Oh! don’t you cry for me
        For I come from Alabama
        With my banjo on my knee
        Oh I soon will be in New Orleans and then I’ll look around
        And when I find my Susanna, I’ll fall upon the ground
        But if I do not find her, this man will surely die
        And when I’m dead and buried, Susanna don’t you cry (These lyrics are self explanatory if you view them as a love shattered)

        Oh! Susanna
        Oh! don’t you cry for me
        For I come from Alabama
        With my banjo on my knee

        The canonical song (without the inserted lyrics) is actually quite respectful, it is about an African-American travelling entertainer from Alabama who risks losing his girl to another man, if he can’t get there fast enough to rescue her from an unhappy marriage.

        Like

    1. Next time, just shoot the plane down. You can always claim afterward that it was a mistake and you were shooting at something else, or cleaning the missile launcher and it went off; something like that. It works great for the Israelis.

      Like

  14. AsiaTimes.com: Kazakhs oppose Chinese economic expansion
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/kazakhs-protest-against-chinese-economic-expansion/

    …The informal movement Oyan, Qazaqstan (“Wake Up, Kazakhstan”) said 24 people were sentenced to between two and 15 days in police detention, …

    …Saturday’s protest has been called by foreign-based regime opponent Mukhtar Ablyazov, whose Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK) movement was ruled extremist by a Kazakh court last year.

    Kazakhstan’s state prosecutor said Thursday that Ablyazov “misleads ordinary people, deliberately turns them into offenders” and asked the public not to believe his online addresses.

    “At the same time, he hides away in France, living on the money he had stolen in Kazakhstan and other countries,” the statement said…
    ####

    So as Kazakhstan opens up, scumbag ‘human rights’ NGOs pop up funded by bent citizens living abroad. Keep an eye on both.

    https://eurasianet.org/kazakhstan-waking-up-to-reform

    …Oyan, Qazaqstan has no leaders, but it does have some notable personalities. One is Dimash Alzhanov, a British university-educated politics geek and pro-democracy activist….
    ####

    Another ‘leaderless organization’, wot, just like the ‘leaderless organization’ in Hong Kong? It is interesting to see the morphing tactics of western backed color revolutions now aping militarized rebel groups.

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

    The Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan was founded as a result of a split within ruling elite that erupted into a full-scale crisis in November 2001. What the roots of the crisis were is not clear, yet it appears that conflicts of interest between a group of reformist bureaucrats, including the governor of the Pavlodar region, Galymzhan Zhakiyanov; the deputy premier, Oraz Zhandosov; a fugitive banker, Mukhtar Ablyazov; and President Nazarbayev’s son-in law, Rakhat Aliyev, prompted Mukhtar to declare the establishment of a pro-business, pro-reform movement called Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan…
    ####

    I was wrong about this one then and it has genuine origins, but no takers.

    Like

  15. Vis, ‘Oyan, Qazaqstan’, when you look it up, its media shows classic close shot photo/videography that is key to exaggerating the support for such groups in social media.

    Like

  16. I was just looking through my Intel links (Intel Today Blog: https://gosint.wordpress.com/2019/09/22/40-years-ago-the-vela-incident-september-22-1979/ ) and 22 September 1979, i-Srael & South Africa conducted a nuclear test in the South Atlantic (though further it says Indian Ocean), picked up by US satellites, though no comment about seismic monitors which one would assume would also have picked it up. Make sure you check out blog further – there’s lots of interesting stuff.

    The blog links to this article from last year on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists site:

    BAS: A double-flash from the past and Israel’s nuclear arsenal
    https://thebulletin.org/2018/08/a-double-flash-from-the-past-and-israels-nuclear-arsenal/

    Like

    1. Considering the anniversary, I’m surprised that the Tehrahn PR deparment hasn’t bigged this up as the US hypocrisy, covering up for its allies doing something massively illegal, but making up bs about i-Ran’s nuclear program.

      I also wonder if the Soviet Union detected it too. I don’t see how not. If so, it also remained quiet. Russia has been declassifying SU documents, so this is one to keep an eye out for.

      Like

  17. Speaking of gays, I just saw this astounding news in the Russian press, about Miley Cyrus.
    Apparently Miley left her hubby Liam Hemsworth for a girl named Kaitlynn Cartler [I never heard of neither of them], and then she and Kaitlynn split up soon thereafter.

    Can Miley ever find true love? One of the Russian commenters to the piece commented: “A tragedy of international proportions.”

    Before you laugh too much, I started thinking better of Miley when I watched her in an episode of the English sci-fi anthology “Black Mirror”. Miley actually did a good job of acting in that story, she played a pop singer (e.g., herself) who is put in a state of suspended animation so that her AI avatar can earn more bucks for her evil manager.

    Not a bad episode, overall. Actually included some humor, and not all horror.

    Like

    1. Semi-autobiographical no doubt.

      Cyrus has certainly been worked over not only by her father’s disgusting friends but by the army of perverts that inhabit American children’s television – It’s not her fault she’s insane.

      Like

      1. Yeah, I got the impression that the Black Mirror ep was based on MIley’s actual real life story. Just given a sci-fi twist. In the ep, Miley’s evil aunt is the one who steals all the money the girl made from her concert tours, then arranges to have her hooked up to a virtual reality machine while in a coma, so she can keep pushing out hits.
        A Scooby gang comes to the rescue, consisting of a nerdy fan, her sister, and a wise-cracking avatar Artificial Intelligence doll.
        Actually pretty entertaining, and I thought Miley did a credible job of acting.

        Like

        1. It had an uncharacteristically happy ending for Black Mirror. And the thing it describes is already happening to a degree – Hollywood can now produce reasonable-looking CGI doubles of dead actors like Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing. Something similar was done with Amy Winehouse.

          Striking Vipers was alot funnier though (I FUCKED A POLAR BEAR).

          Like

  18. Just to be clear, white-on-white racism is very much alive and well and with little official rebuke. The Nazi/Western invasion of the Soviet Union was, in part, due to a belief in the racial inferiority of the Slavs. It certainly continues to this day without any societal restraint.

    We discussed in the past the relative value of human life. which would appear to be a measure of racism. Admittedly a nonrandom sample but the discussion concluded that Russians and Serbs were the lowest of the low; on the B list of human life per Western values. If the Slavs did not develop its own technology base, including nuclear weapons, racism would have allowed an ongoing genocide that would only end when they were largely eliminated as a distinct racial group.

    Why is racism permitted against Russians, etc.? Simply because they are the designated enemy and must be described in demeaning and derogatory terms to justify efforts to defeat them. If the Russians became helpless, as they appeared in the 90’s, there would be lessening of the racial hatred as was the case. But, the Serbs resisted and became the new target of sanctioned racism. Now, Russia is back in the spotlight as a “race” incapable of being trustworthy, inherently violent and, LOL, being racist.

    Like

    1. In my opinion, once again, the current climate of seeing racism everywhere and the constant calls for more regulation against it actually make a powerful argument against multiculturalism. All my life I have argued to varying degrees for it, in the belief that living together will teach us tolerance and promote brotherhood. But it’s not working, and the longer we try the more vociferous the calls to apologize for this or that, until everyone’s so gun-shy they don’t dare to say anything for fear of causing offense.

      Like

      1. Mark, I still peronally believe in diversity in daily life, but I just think certain people are manipulating others, for their own advantage. Screaming “racism” where there no bad intent is a way of ignoring the real racism, which is embedded in the institutions.

        By the way, I saw this piece in RT . Westies and kreakles don’t quite know what to make of this. Pepe the Frog had become a symbol of the ALT-Right and American neo-racists (who truly are a despicable crew), and all the Libs including Hillary would froth at the mouth because of this frog.

        And now suddenly the frog has become the symbol of the Hong Kong protesters.
        What to do now? Is Pepe a racist, or is he a freedom-fighter? Quite a dilemma for the Libs.

        No dilemma for the likes of me: I hated Pepe then, and I hate him even more now, since I don’t support neither the ALT-right nor the Hong Kong Opps! – heheh, makes my job easier…

        Like

        1. I recall an older post from the old blog, in which I had included a link to a Ukrainian media activist who was explaining that the group in power in Ukraine tolerated open display of the swastika because it got young people interested – that it did not necessarily mean intolerance and hatred and violence, but was merely a symbol that a group could rally behind. I don’t think I could find it now, it was quite a long time ago, shortly after the Glorious Maidan commenced.

          I’ve cited before the example of when I first researched trying to get the La Russophobe website taken down, because I found it so hateful. That was before I ever started blogging. I learned from that research that, in America at least, in order for vitriolic discussion to qualify as hate speech, it must specifically address an individual rather than a broad demographic, and include at least the outline – with specifics such as identification, date and place – of a plan to do them harm. For instance, it would not have been enough for me to write “I wish someone would kill her”, even if someone did, after that. Not specific enough, and acting against such a vague threat would violate my freedom of speech and expression. Similarly, consideration of taking down her website although it daily expressed hatred of Russians of all descriptions would have been an infringement of her own rights to freedom of speech and expression.

          I also recall, and a few others here might as well, a heated argument on Mark Adomanis’s blog (when he had one, under the Forbes umbrella), in which he vigorously defended the absolute right of the ‘art collective’ known as Pussy Riot to loudly perform one of their scandalous and profanity-riddled routines in a Russian Orthodox church, while service was ongoing. Freedom of speech, you know. Westerners accept it as their birthright, but the poor Russians just don’t have freedom. Of anything. Quite a bit later, Mark Adomanis joined the ranks of the intelligence professionals who grated grimly that Edward Snowden should be given the ultimate penalty for revealing the secrets he had. He broke the law. It transpired almost immediately that Mark Adomanis had also worked as a consultant to Booz Allen Hamilton, as Snowden had. Once that information was revealed, the entire post was taken down. So it seems people are willing to throw their weight behind freedom of this or that…until it bumps up against a personal interest. At which point they are all for regulation which will prevent it.

          Under certain circumstances, of course, blackface is embraced and allowed. Like when it portrays the black character who is not really black as a dynamic and righteous action hero. Such as the transformation of iconic white Englishman James Bond to a woman of colour.

          https://thehardtimes.net/harddrive/scarlett-johansson-cast-as-first-black-james-bond/

          Scarlett Johansson is white as the non-black half of a zebra; her ancestry is Danish and Swedish, and there are not a lot of black people in the histories of those countries. More importantly, not a bit of it in her own genetic makeup. Complaints about Johansson’s appalling blackface ignorance, its hurtful and insulting implications? Zero. The Washington Post, a pretty white paper, speculates, “Is it time for a black James Bond? Of course”.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-it-time-for-a-black-james-bond-of-course/2018/08/14/8a1dc75e-9fe4-11e8-83d2-70203b8d7b44_story.html

          Freedom of speech and expression apparently only goes one way.

          Like

          1. Is that story for real? Scarlett in blackface in a “woke” reboot of James Bond?
            Hmm…
            According to the commenters, this story is satire, even though it’s not the Onion.
            They had me for maybe one second.

            Like

      2. You’d have to wonder then how ancient empires in the past managed to survive and thrive with all the different peoples, cultures, religions and languages they used. The Roman empire was quite typical of such empires, even with the different forms of government it went through: republican in its early days progressing to a mix of monarchy and oligarchy in its early imperial phase and then later absolute rule. Different religions and cults were tolerated within its boundaries and the main reason the Romans persecuted Christianity was that the Christians refused to publicly worship the official Roman state gods (the family of Jupiter) and the emperor, and to sacrifice to the state gods. Whatever the Christians did in the privacy of their homes, the Romans did not bother about. The issue was that if Roman citizens did not sacrifice to Jupiter and other state gods, they would not maintain imperial peace and prosperity. What felled the empire eventually was too much expenditure on costly wars against the Sassanid empire in Persia (itself a successor empire to multicultural empires in Persia beginning with the Achaemenids, continuing with Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Seleukids and then the Parthians) and the political and economic instability those wars encouraged. One irony about the Romans-versus-Persians conflict was that the worship of a Persian god, Mithras, was widespread in the Roman army.

        Even into modern times the Ottoman empire welded together different nationalities with different religions and languages under a monarchy served by a cabinet and ministers and a bureaucracy. Different religious groups administered their own laws under a system of millets: everyone belonged to a religious community (or millet) and villages belonging to the same millet was governed by that millet’s laws in matters like inheritance, marriage, business and criminal matters. As far as I know, the only time when the millet system came close to breaking point was during the 17th century when a messianic cult under the leadership of the Baal Shem Tov (hereafter BST) swept through Sephardic Jewish communities in Anatolia and the Balkans. Normally the leaders of the Jewish millet would have dealt with the heretics themselves but because the movement was so popular and widespread, they appealed to the Ottoman authorities to do something about it because it was creating conflict and unrest among the Jewish people. The Ottoman solution was to force the BST and his cult followers to convert to Islam and they were banished to the northern Arabian peninsula. This removed the cult from the Jewish community but if you believe Internet rumours, one of these heretics-turned-Islamic-converts was an ancestor of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab, the founder of the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam, and who formed an alliance with the forerunners of the Saudi royal family. Muhammad Abdul Wahhab’s descendants continue to provide Saudi Arabia with its foremost religious authorities and have intermarried with members of the Saudi royal family.

        Before the British arrived in the Indian subcontinent, a large part of that region was ruled by the Muslim Mughals who depended on a mostly Hindu bureaucracy to govern a huge number of people with different religions and languages. The Mughals tended to blow hot and cold however, with some emperors being tolerant of Hinduism and even encouraging it, and others persecuting Hinduism and Sikhism.

        Like

        1. Not to mention the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire, loathed by one of its Austro-German subjects because of its multi-ethnic nature, namely it was full of Jews and Slavs and Magyars.

          That Austro-Hungarian subject was none other than A. Hitler.

          Like

        2. Excellent historical perspective. I cannot even imagine how any large geographical Empire could NOT be multi-cultural, given the diversity of humans from one region to the next.
          Well, especially in the past, before there was mass communications and easy travel.

          Like

          1. Multiethnic empires were the norm since ancient times until the rise of the notion of nation-statehood in 19th century Europe.

            China, the inheritor of a multiethnic empire, has a dominant, majority Han nation, but several others, all united by a bureaucratic language such as was Latin in Western Europe until about 400 years ago, but to say that there is a Chinese language and that someone speaks Chinese is like saying that there is a European language and that someone speaks European,

            Considering their longevity, these empires seem to have been successful as regards their ability to control people.

            Perhaps that is why we are all writing in English on here.

            Like

    2. All true, except I don’t think there was any lessening of the racial hatred in the 90’s (when the Russians became helpless). If anything, the hatred increased, but the memes just shifted. Now every Russian man was a gangster, every Russian woman was a prostitute, and every Russian child was a crack-baby (or vodka-baby) orphan. Russia’s enemies shed crocodile tears pretending to be appalled by Russian poverty and collapse, but it was pretty clear they were delighted by it. Some of their hatred (born of fear) just turned into contempt.

      Like

      1. I married an Orcess, me, so I can’t be a racist: even got three Orc half-breeds! 🙂


        Vladimir Dennisovich: a Half-Orc

        Half-orc is a term used to describe the offspring of an orc or half-orc parent and a parent of any other species. Since the beginning of the First War, orcs have interbred with a number of species: mostly humans, but half-ogres and half-draenei are not unheard of. It most often refers to a half orc/human, but can also be used to refer to a half-orc half-ogre, or half-orc half-draenei.

        Like

          1. Nah, he’s more of a Transylvanian vampire, in that he sits up all night and sleeps all day. I had to get up twice last night to give hime a bollocking and tell him to shut his cake-hole. That was about 03:00. It is now 06:30 and the bugger only went to sleep about an hour ago.

            Like

  19. I was just sniffing around John Helmer’s site and a recent post referred to a previous 2014 posting of his nominally about what a faker Hemmingway was and then segues in to his modern day digilogues, spearing the Guardian, FT/Economist, Legatum Institute. So, it’s worth posting!

    Dances with Bears: THE HEMINGWAY OF LYING – FIGHTING WORDS FROM SPAIN TO UKRAINE
    http://johnhelmer.net/the-hemingway-of-lying-fighting-words-from-spain-to-ukraine/

    ####

    As for the Groanin Man, it’s precise value is that it is claimed to be ‘the world’s most read online newspaper’, i.e. massive propaganda reach. No wonder it can suck in the $$$ continually. Letting it collapse is almost unthinkable in this globalized and narrative driven fictional news.

    Like

    1. Most of The Fraudian’s online readers are probably its own writers or colleagues over at the BBC and similar organisations in other parts of the world, especially Australia.

      The writer David McIlwain detailed his painful experience at Off-Guardian.org of complaining to the Ombudsman at an Australian TV channel, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) – yes, I know, it sounds like the “Special Olympics” – over its reporting of the supposed CW attack on Douma hospital last year and the channel’s use of White Helmets propaganda videos (showing what amounted to child abuse, with White Helmets men forcing a child to take Ventolin and smacking it) and other material deliberately made to shock people, along with the failure to report the leak of the OPCW engineers’ assessment report which found that the Douma attack was most likely staged. The reply McIlwain got from the SBS Ombudsman after 60 days’ waiting was jaw-dropping in its incompetence and stupidity, and among other dubious sources reliance on the already discredited Fraudian puff piece written by the San Francisco digital “journalist” Olivia Solon.

      https://off-guardian.org/2019/09/22/white-helmets-black-lies/

      At least SBS was honest enough to name the various propaganda outlets it relies on for Middle East news coverage.

      Like

      1. Or the staged gas attack featuring hundreds of dead children. I recall a story that many of those children were kidnapped by ISIS and other white helmet affiliates. What a ghastly show aided and abetted by the MSM. There is no place in hell bad enough for these perpetrators.

        Like

  20. UK believes Iran was behind Saudi oil attacks – Johnson
    SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 / 8:08 AM / UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO

    “The UK is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran for the Aramco attacks. We think it very likely indeed that Iran was indeed responsible. We will be working with our American friends and our European friends to construct a response that tries to deescalate tensions in the Gulf region” — BoJo the Clown to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    Like

  21. ВАЖНО: На Парубия завели уголовное дело по преступлению в Одессе 2 мая
    23.09.2019 – 13:01

    IMPORTANT: Criminal case opened against Parubiy over May 2 criminal action in Odessa

    The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has opened a criminal case against the ex-speaker of the Supreme Rada, Andrei Parubiy, in that he factually created and coordinated the riots in Odessa on May 2, 2014.

    “The State Security Bureau has opened criminal proceedings against me. For organizing the defence of Odessa in the spring of 2014. True, in its letter the SBI calls this ‘mass riots’ …

    “The desperate opposition of the Ukrainian authorities and civil society to the hybrid capture by Putin’s Russia of our entire southeast — of eight Ukrainian regions through the seizure of power by pro-Russian forces in regional centres, including Odessa — has already been unambiguously stated that ‘Parubiy A. V. factually created and coordinated public armed groups with the aim of mass rioting 05/02/2014 in the city of Odessa’. In the SBI, this has already been affirmed as a fact”, Parubiy indignantly states on his social network page, attaching a photo of the document received from the SBI.

    Recall that at present, the ex-speaker of the Rada is an ordinary deputy of the Ukrainian parliament for the Poroshenko party “European Solidarity”.

    On May 2, 2014, as a result of arson by fascists, the House of Trade Unions in Odessa and 48 anti-Maidan activists who hoped to hide within from neo-Nazis were burnt alive and beaten to death. More than two hundred people were injured.

    Like

  22. Techdirt: You’d Think The FBI Would Be More Sensitive To Protecting Encrypted Communications Now That We Know The Russians Cracked The FBI’s Comms
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190916/17421043003/youd-think-fbi-would-be-more-sensitive-to-protecting-encrypted-communications-now-that-we-know-russians-cracked-fbis-comms.shtml

    On Monday, Yahoo News had a bit of a new bombshell in revealing that the closures of various Russian compounds in the US, along with the expulsion of a bunch of Russian diplomats — which many assumed had to do with alleged election interference — may have actually been a lot more about the Russians breaching a key FBI encrypted communications system. .. https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-russia-carried-out-a-stunning-breach-of-fbi-communications-system-escalating-the-spy-game-on-us-soil-090024212.html
    ####

    The ongoing story about encryption is important in its own right, but go read the long Yahoo piece. It’s a masterful piece of self-licking journalism.

    It goes to extraordinary lengths speculating what Russia may or may not have done with very partial information provided by yet again ‘unnamed sources’ or ‘former CIA’ etc. It really does tick all the boxes including a couple of frank quotes that ‘This is stuff that we do too’ & ‘the Russians have figured out how to exfiltrate air gapped data – something we pioneered’. There is so much omission in the article that looks to neatly tie everything up in a pretty bundle with a rainbow colored pony on top.

    What made me laugh the most was that claim that it was Russia that was sabotaging the 2009 ‘Re-set’ by continuing to spy! The Yahoo piece is nothing but a deep spunk.*

    Def: information fed by intelligence services to pleasure gullible readers and writers alike to lap it up by telling them what they want to hear and nothing more, full of omission and perverted framing.

    Like

      1. Good observation Mark. The Pork Pie News Networks MO of never admitting that they enjoy lying outrageously but shift their reasoning bit by bit over time.

        Like

  23. @Yalensis

    “If you actually ARE an African-American, then all you had to do was apologize to me for the inappropriate and unfair “Brighton Beach” comment. Instead you doubled down and added Ku Klux Klan, which is really a casus belli, you stupid wretch.”

    LOL!! It’s “inappropriate” and “unfair” (as you see it) bcuz I **nailed** your white bitch ass ..

    Again from you:

    “Once again, barking up the wrong tree, attacking the wrong people, and failing to apologize when an apology is due.
    I don’t think you have any friends on this forum any more, NS, except possibly for James, who is actually Karl in disguise”

    Motherfuck you Yalensis….”apology is due”?? According to your silly self appointed bitch ass.??
    LOL!!! Thus far the only Stooge filling their pants with ad hominem attacks against me is YOU!!!!
    Maybe there are others in some queue….I dunno….But in the last six months…year.. two years.. I don’t recall any Stooge declaring me as a troll.

    C’mon motherfucker..this chorus ..plethora of denunciations of NS…where was it..Huh??? LOL!!!

    You certainly have a lot of knowledge and expertise in Russian art and literature..I’ll give you that.
    (no sarcasm)

    But you are now establishing that when it come to questions of race in America you are just another silly white boy who feels the need to try and organize a KS gang to go after whoever offends you.

    *****I stand on the content of my posts of the last five years .****

    You my friend…I am a little disappointed in what you have shown yourself to be..but whatever.

    If Mark has a problem with my posts .. he knows my email or can just so state.on the blog.

    But cocksukker..this isn’t your blog..it’s Mark’s.

    So I propose we post nothing at all to one another…OK!!!

    Those who choose to continue to respond to my posts can do so, those who would rather not ….wasn’t a problem thus far…won’t become one.

    Like

    1. “So I propose we post nothing at all to one another…OK!!!”
      Are you asking for a truce?
      Okay, I’ll go for a truce but under the condition that you apologize to me, now for 3 things (they keep adding up):
      1. the Brighton Beach crack that started this whole thing,
      2. the Ku Klux Klan comment, and now also:
      3. calling me a cocksucker

      After that we can talk truce.

      Like

      1. Truce????
        On somebullshit lunancy you started…
        Apologize to you. LOL!!
        Fuck you in your mother’s ass.
        There’s your apology
        All better now?
        LOL!

        Like

        1. All right, guys; take it outside. You can fight it out on Yalensis’s blog if you want, but this isn’t the locker room, and other readers are not interested in your flame war and likely do not welcome the profanity, which is getting pretty disgusting.

          Like

          1. Understand this :
            I want nothing to do with Yalensis or his blog or him on this (KS )blog.

            Please be clear on this Mark:

            Yalensis started this horseshit out of the blue…unless you deleted them, his posts are there to read.

            I told him to STFU and move on….

            I haven’t been noticed of any personal problems with other Stooges for at least three years or so.. I’ve periodically discussed stuff I posted with Stooges including you. So don’t come at me as if I’ve been treated as some pariah.

            Yalesis pulled this shit with kirill…you see how that worked out. kirill was NOT my friend but he was a very valuable knowledgeable voice . I dunno…maybe he left bcuz of me…but I’m not the first with whom Yalensis has had an ugly blowup.

            So I will continue to respect your blog. However there is nothing for this guy-NS-to take outside. If Yalensis wants to pull a Clint on his Blog and set up an empty cyber chair to rant at…
            God Bless!!!

            ** But I am done with this thing with him here on KS that was NOT initiated by me and that should cover your concerns with me.**

            Anything else at this point is between you and Yalensis.

            Like

  24. @PO
    This was my response to a question you posed to me:
    Apparently you overlooked it.

    “I don’t have any complaints about you…or Serbs…or Russians etc.
    I was pointing out with analogy and sarcasm how if those ethnic groups were subjected to people who masqueraded as them in order to mock and demean them, they would not like it one goddamn bit…and rightfully so. That example I wrote about. Brighton beach and the German masquerading as a Russian….Mutatis Mutandis -White for German,Black for Russian-is the essence of Blackface. Pleased think thru that. ‘Russkieface’ example PO!!
    (And to those of you who think I may have misspelled Mutatis Mutandis…Fuck You.)
    (:O ”

    Based on their posts, most Stooges think that the antics of kreakles are as funny as metastatic cancer..

    American Blacks feel the same way about practitioners of Blackface ….notwithstanding a small minority of ‘house niggers’ for whom ‘massa’ can do no wrong!!!!

    Like

      1. Well, you do realize that this blog is focused on misinformation (to put it kindly) regarding Russia and Russians? Of course, the people who post here (other than the random troll) will take exception with commentary that is flat our wrong. I have never made a negative comment about any racial group although I can be quite critical of Americans and Western Europeans.

        As I said before, I know fat, lazy and dishonest Serbs. But I also know Serb history to some extent so when someone takes a cheap shot equating Serbs with Nazis, I will likely react. Let me see… it would be like me characterizing blacks as racist oppressors; something so outlandish that either its ignored as that of a blithering idiot or aggressively challenged,

        Like

    1. IIRC, Saturday Night Live had several sketches portraying Russians as stupid, alcoholic and lazy. This was high profile and widely watched television show that set the official world view of America’s youth. This was not some idiots in blackface at a drunken fraternity party.

      I recall a “Wendy’s” commercial portraying a Russian fashion show featuring a loud mouth incredibly obese woman parading in comical work clothes with a flashlight. Yup, prime time again.

      Or, a political cartoon in the leading Chicago newspaper showed an overturned outhouse with pigs in the shit labeled “Serb”. Nothing subtle there. This was another example of sanctioned racism against Slavs. No outrage, no defenders from any other group came to our aid, Nope, Slavs who resist are at the bottom of the pile. Its official. This is said not in an attempt to minimize the plight of blacks but said to better comprehend the full scope of the war against those who resist.

      Like

  25. Progress isn’t a black James Bond, basically a fictional assassin of the Western power elite

    Progress would be stopping the nearly daily murders
    of blacks-mainly male youths-by racist white cops whose badge serves as a license to murder without consequence (a few exceptions notwithstanding)

    Like

    1. I agree that much of “progress” in racial matters is more misdirection than anything else. Just as the “me too” fad, it’s top-down inflation of a societal issue (as if a black James Bond offsets the injustice you mentioned) far out of proportion to keep our attention from drifting over to the real issues of vast economic injustice, wars of conquest and other abuses of humanity.

      Like

    1. I will take a shot. On general principles, whenever the MSM show strong unity on an issue, especially involving other nations, it is a safe bet that they are shoring up some nefarious scheme of empire. Based on the foregoing, I place little value in this particular WSW article. It seems to be mostly a knee-jerk reaction against anything Trump. There are more specific reasons to look askance at this article but I have already invested enough energy in it.

      Like

      1. @PO
        If you are referring to this wsws article:

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/23/ukra-s23.html
        The following is an excerpt:

        “As the WSWS has repeatedly explained, the anti-Russia campaign is a conflict between two equally reactionary factions within the US ruling elite, driven largely by differences over foreign policy. The Democrats, with the backing of much of the military-intelligence apparatus and the press, oppose any lessening of the confrontational posture towards Russia that was adopted during Obama’s second term and found particularly reactionary expression in Ukraine, the Syrian civil war and the NATO build-up across Eastern Europe.

        While Trump employs increasingly authoritarian methods of rule, shown in the Ukraine affair but far more ominously in his attacks on democratic rights, particularly those of immigrants and refugees, the Democrats have employed the anti-Russia campaign to push for a crackdown against dissent on the internet, claiming that the social divisions in America are being created by Russian bots and trolls, not by ever-deepening economic inequality in the most unequal of the major capitalist countries.”

        I dunno PO , that mirrors many of the sentiments expressed on KS by different Stooges.
        It is certain;ly not anti Russian.

        wsws has its shortcomings like any publication,but its articles are well written and cross-referenced with straight up facts.

        But that’s just my view…..

        Like

        1. I agree with much of WSW says. I do take exception regarding the right to protect national borders from uncontrolled immigration. If our “thought leaders” in the MSM were really driven by humanitarian concerns, they would focus on eliminating brutal and exploitative dictatorships that force people to flee. Yet they remain curiously quiet almost, as if…. they seek to disrupt American society, divide its population and prevent coherent action in more meaningful areas via misdirection and false priorities. The WSW needs to broaden their views to place the elimination of the aforementioned human abuses as their top priority and drop arguments over the control of borders- exactly the opposite of what the MSM and their masters want.

          Like

    2. NS: I can’t speak for Mark, but I would imagine it’s not an either/or type decision on his part.

      Hmm: Either we all put our heads together to discuss these amazing wsws posts, OR we indulge cocksucker…
      Are those 2 things mutually exclusive?

      Like

      1. re. the WSW take on the Ukraine, Dejevsky thinks things are on the up in Banderastan:

        Ukraine is changing faster and more profoundly than ever – will it last?
        Once dismissed abroad as a lightweight celebrity, Volodymyr Zelensky is breathing new life into a country hungry for change. But there are some very tough choices ahead

        Mary Dejevsky @IndyVoices
        4 days ago

        One has to be a subscriber to the Independent like what I am to read the “opinion”, but one can have a couple of free peeks at these pieces if one signs in as a a sort of limited access reader.

        I shall not copy and paste her opinion piece in full, but here are its opening and last paragraphs:

        Kiev looks and feels its best in the early autumn sunshine. The trees are just starting to turn; the golden domes glisten, and happy people throng the central streets and cafes. In such surroundings, it’s easy to be carried away by what feels like a tangible change of mood since Volodymyr Zelensky was elected Ukraine’s president just as the late winter turned to a frigid spring. But for once, this upbeat first impression may be more than just superficial….

        For the time being, Kiev seems cheerful and upbeat. Any excitement about Ukraine’s prospects, though, must still be tempered. Enthusing under the auburn chestnut trees about the post-election mood change, I was interrupted by a German professor who had just had his wallet snatched on the underground. I remain optimistic. But it was a salutary warning to be careful – and not just when using Kiev’s aged public transport.

        I think she must have been necking the gorilka when she was in Kiev!

        I used to be partial to a drop of that lotion before I took the pledge!

        Like

        1. Without reading all the stuff which makes up the body between those paragraphs, it is more or less interchangeable with the optimistic fluff penned as the new Poroshenko government took over. Viewed now through the lens of hindsight, that didn’t work out too well at all. And it IS mostly fluff, or those paragraphs are – all about the mood that is in the air. As we are all aware, that can change faster than it takes to say it, and based upon a single incident: some naturally occurring, some staged for exactly that purpose.

          Like

  26. Some good news from Banderastan: former Verkhovna Rada Chairman (equivalent to Speaker for House of Representatives or Commons in Anglophone nations) Andriy Parubiy is now subject to criminal proceedings for having organised the attack on activists marching for a federal Ukraine in Odessa on 2 May 2014, which forced them to take shelter in a government building where neo-Nazis were lying in wait to beat them up, torture and kill them, and then later torch the building to hide evidence of their brutality.

    https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/criminal-case-opened-against-ex-speaker-of-parliament-due-to-organization-of-mass-unrest-in-odesa-in-2014-43819.html

    Like

  27. City AM: Brexit: NCA finds ‘no evidence’ of criminal activity by Arron Banks or Leave.EU
    https://www.cityam.com/brexit-nca-finds-no-evidence-of-criminal-activity-by-arron-banks-or-leave-eu/

    Tuesday 24 September 2019 9:58 am
    ####

    Lest we forget from the Boyz who cry Russian!:

    Financial Crimes: Arron Banks and the mystery Brexit campaign funds
    https://www.ft.com/content/4610a4be-dde2-11e8-9f04-38d397e6661c

    November 5, 2018
    ####

    There was another piece by an odious piece of trash and so-called journalist (sounds like) Puke Farting published around the same time, but I couldn’t bring myself to post that link.

    Like

    1. Here’s a Channel 4 ‘investigation’ from March of this year:

      Channel 4 News: The Banks Files: How Brexit ‘bad boy’ Arron Banks was eyeing a massive Russian gold deal
      https://www.channel4.com/news/the-banks-files-how-brexit-bad-boy-arron-banks-was-eyeing-a-massive-russian-gold-deal

      ####

      There will be no introspection, questioning or other and will no doubt will ‘stand by their reporting’. Never admit. Scum. We see the same kind of widespread smear against Danske Bank where most of the PPNN don’t draw a distinction between normal trading – i.e. what banks do – and abuse, which always occurs. They deliberately conflated the two and say that the potential for billions and billions to have been laundered by the bank. Jaundice/Yellow media at its worst.

      Like

      1. Always the same; the ‘Stay’ campaign – or whatever is the issue of the moment upon which the establishment elites take a particular position – is allowed to accept funding from Soros organizations and the like, because they are ‘pro-democracy’, which is another way of saying ‘pro-keeping-things-as-they-are-with-the-same-people-in-charge’ when the crisis is inter-democracy. The opposite side is supposed to fail because it is underfunded and constantly under siege from the press, but if it does manage to come up with some money…it’s from Putin. Why…he’s trying to overthrow our Soros-funded democracy!! The honest pursuit of happiness free from government oppression hangs by a hair! Aux barricades, mes amis!!

        I’d like to think everyone sees through it by now, but that’d be a foolish assumption.

        Like

  28. Russia has announced at the UN that it is signing up to the Paris Climate Accords.

    The Barents Observer: Murmansk launches construction of Russia’s biggest wind power park
    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic-industry-and-energy/2019/09/murmansk-launches-construction-russias-biggest-wind-power-park

    …It is the Italian company Enel and its subsidiary Enel Green Power that will build the the Kolskaya Wind Farm. By year 2021, the 201 MW park will be in operation. It will be able to produce up to 750 GWh per year.

    It will the biggest wind park in Russia and one of the biggest in the world north of the Arctic Circle…
    ####

    Not to mention a significant investment in nuclear power stations.

    Like

  29. Neuters via Antiwar.com: European powers back U.S. in blaming Iran for Saudi oil attack, urge broader talks
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-iran-un/after-saudi-attack-johnson-proposes-new-negotiation-on-iran-deal-idUKKBN1W81QE

    …“The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles programme and other means of delivery,” Britain, France and Germany said. …
    ####

    The European pretence is finally over. One more step towards another ‘accidental’ war. They seem to have forgotten that China, Russia and others are not the push over they used to be.

    Like

    1. They also seem to have forgotten their brief moment of opposition to Washington, and the desire that Europe should stand on its own feet and have foreign-policy positions which differ from those of Washington. There they are again, tumbling over one another like eager puppies in their eagerness to follow the leader. All friends together again; what satisfaction that must bring in Neoconia.

      Like

  30. Craig Murray: Dedicated to David Allen Green, Joshua Rosenberg, Joan Smith, Hadley Freeman, Jess Phillips, David Aaronovitch and the entire staff of the Guardian/Observer
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/dedicated-to-david-allen-green-joshua-rosenberg-joan-smith-hadley-freeman-jess-phillips-david-aaronovitch-and-the-entire-staff-of-the-guardian-observer/

    As of today Julian Assange has finished his jail sentence for missing police bail. There is no Swedish charge or request for his extradition, those risibly flimsy sexual allegations no longer being needed by the state.

    As of today, Julian Assange is in prison purely and simply for publishing secrets of the US state, revealing war crimes and the dirtiest of diplomacy…

    …So now Julian is a political prisoner, a journalist in a maximum security prison,..
    ####

    Don’t worry, it’s not in the public interest.

    Like

    1. Strategic Culture: They’re Murdering My Son – Julian Assange’s Father Tells of Pain and Anguish
      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/24/theyre-murdering-my-son-julian-assanges-father-tells-of-pain-and-anguish/

      …Julian can receive two, two-hour social visits per month. My visit was double-booked with another thus cancelled. A week later, in company with Ai Wei Wei, we visited Julian. Sitting in the prisoners’ meeting room for 46 minutes, upon complaining we were told Julian could not be found. Couple of minutes later Julian was brought in…
      ####

      So on the one hand we have a lauded Chinese Artist Aei Wei Wei who the west likes to stroke forth as having been a political prisoner in China, but now the self-same bearer of light has now gone to see Julian Assange in Belmarsh prision, i.e. one political prisoner meeting another. Why are the powers that be and those that are supposed to hold them to account so reluctant to advertize this?

      Like

  31. First train crosses the bridge that couldn’t be built/is falling down/is illegal etc., etc. …

    Published on 24 Sep 2019

    A video has appeared on the web, showing the first passage of a diesel locomotive travelling along the railway part of the Crimea Bridge. The video was published in the telegram channel of RIA Novosti.

    It carried journalists.

    Earlier, it was reported that the first test launch of the diesel locomotive took place today. The train travelled from Taman Passenger Station to South Kerch.

    Note that the railway part of the Crimean bridge is planned to open in December 2019.

    По Крымскому мосту проехал тестовый поезд
    24.09.2019 14:57

    First train-test drives across Crimea Bridge

    Some comments in Yukie to the YouTube clip above state the clip is a fake.

    A diesel railcar and travelled across the Crimea Bridge with the leaders of several federal Russian media outlets, who were shown the construction being prepared for commissioning. This was reported to “RG” by the information centre “Crimea Bridge”.

    The journey of the test train from Taman to the Kerch coast took about 30 minutes, stated the information centre.

    After the laying of rails on the Crimea Bridge had been completed, installation of automatic control and train control systems began, which should be completed by the end of October. However, technical services trains have already crossed the strait – with their help, construction materials and structures needed to complete the railway approach to the bridge have been delivered to the peninsula.

    Like

      1. BTW Moscow Exile, I’m sure you will know the answer to this. For over a decade and a half on Russian television he was introduced as “Vladimir Zelensky”. In the run-up to his election the English and US media were referring to him as Vladimir as well.
        Then the US/UK media seem to have switched to ‘Volodymyr’ , which isn’t a regional/phonetic difference as Olga/olha or Hitler/Gitler – but a different name to Vladimir, well- the Ukrop version.

        Do you know if his birth certificate is “Vladimir” or “Volodymyr”?, which one did his parents, his friends, his wife call him?- and which of these names have they been addressing him as in Kiev, Kharkov or wherever in Ukraine? What has he been calling himself?!!

        To me , it all sounds very messed up. I know recently they ukrainised the last names ending in ‘oy” except for Tolstoy.

        Like

        1. “Volodymyr” [Володимир] in Ukrainian and “Vladimir” [Владимир]in Russian are not different names: both forms stem from the Old Russian “Volodimer” [Володимѣръ], which consists of two words: “power” and “great”.

          The diminutives of Vladimir are many, including: Volodya (and variants with diminutive suffixes, e.g. Volodka, Volodyen’ka, etc.), Vova (and diminutives, e.g. Vovka, Vovochka, etc.), Vovchik and Vovan.

          There is a Polish form of Vladimir: Włodzimierz, which sounds something like “Vwodzheemersh”, and a German form: Waldemar, in which the German “W” sounds like an English “V”.

          Russian Wiki: Зеленский, Владимир Александрович

          Banderastan Wiki: Зеленський Володимир Олександрович

          I should imagine that the president of the Ukraine uses both forms, Ukrainian and Russian, depending on the company he is keeping.

          Like

          1. OK thanks- but I am still confused. There is only one name he has – as written on his birth certificate. As far as I hear Olga/Olha or Olexander/Alexander is just a regional/dialect disparity but Vladimir/Volodymyr are different language names of Russian & Ukrainian ( like Paul/Pavlo/Paolo/Pablo)

            Even in Italy /Spain they aren’t going to inter-change Paolo/Pablo for the same person depending on which country they are in – that is what I meant by different name.

            So my point is, seeing as he was brought up in a Russian-speaking family, presumably he has a birth certificate specifying clearly either “Vladimir” or “Volodymyr” – surely there is absolutely no justification for anybody having ever calling him Volodymyr, no matter which part of Ukraine he is in? Or I am i misreading it all completely? Likewise, for somebody brought up in a “Ukrainian” speaking house in Lvov who has named their kid “volodymyr”

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            1. 1987 Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic birth certificate: entries written in Ukrainian; certificate printed in Russian and Ukrainian and with the Russian above the Ukrainian.


              1962 Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic birth certificate: entries written in Russian; certificate printed in Russian and Ukrainian and with the Ukrainian above the Russian.

              Like

              1. Many thanks for that Mr Exile!
                Funny to note that apart from the word for “father ” there is practically zero need for two languages, everything different is practically only variations on a theme – that could be easily used in Russian anyway.

                So the conclusion is that Vladimir to Volodymyr Zelensky has nothing to do with svidomy in this instance.

                Like

                1. Funny to note that apart from the word for “father ” there is practically zero need for two languages…

                  At first sight, that may seem to be the case: Ukrainian батько [bat’ko] does not look or sound like Russian отец [otyets]. However, in Russian there is батюшка [batyushka], which also means “father” (a diminutive because of the “-yushka” suffix), which is used when speaking tenderly, as it were, about one’s dear dad; батюшка is also used when addressing an Orthodox priest in the same way do Catholics address their priests “father”. In the Russian Empire, peasants also called the Tsar “batyushka”, the “Little Father” in Sankt-Peterburg, who loved and cared for his family, his people, his nation.

                  Like

                2. Makes me wonder if Zel has to spell his name a certain way when boarding a plane.
                  For example, if he flew into America, the Pindosi are very strict about the spelling of your name on the manifest should be identical to your birth certificate and/or passport – LOL!

                  Like

                3. And Zelenskiy was born in Kiev — or should that be Kyiv?

                  I wonder what the US immigration authorities think?

                  I used to get sick of PC types from the US who occasionally told me that I should not say “Peking” but “Beijing”.

                  I respond by asking them what this city is called. They said “Mos-cow”..

                  I retorted: “No it’s not: its ‘Moskva'”!

                  And this place (below) is not “Hotel Beijing, Moscow, but “Отель Пекин Москва”:

                  Like

  32. The Grey Zone: Bomb-plotting extremist American soldier tried to join US-backed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine
    https://thegrayzone.com/2019/09/23/bomb-extremist-us-soldier-fbi-ukrainian-nazi-azov/

    A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government
    By Ben Norton

    A far-right soldier in the United States Army has been arrested by the FBI for plotting bomb attacks targeting American media outlets and Democratic politicians.

    While serving in the US military, this right-wing extremist gave fascist militants in Ukraine and other countries information on how to build bombs, including what he called “cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans.”

    The FBI said he had also planned to travel to Ukraine in order to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that has for years been directly supported by the US government….
    ####

    More at the link.

    All fits in to Little Nazis Good, Big Nazis…Bad(ish) that the West has no problem with.

    Like

  33. Anyone here thinking of relocating to Salisbury, UK? I have a hot property tip for you. You’ll all be glad to know Sergei Skripal’s home has now been declared safe, after a cleanup which took 18 months. Some cynics might ask what it was about the house which mandated such an expensive effort – apparently for free, since he can now either sell it to the British government or is clear to sell it privately. Yes, that is curious, innit? Considering it would have been much cheaper, not to mention safer, to have simply bulldozed or burnt the place and then paid Skripal market value. Instead, he apparently gets to trade on the place’s notoriety, with a chance of realizing far more – thanks, British government!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7442969/Sergei-Skripals-Salisbury-home-declared-safe-following-18-month-clean-up.html

    Notice that the deadly nerve agent’s locus has morphed once again – now having been smeared on his letterbox – although they were evidently too lazy to change the photograph, which still shows the doorknob circled. So both Sergei and his beloved offspring checked the mail at roughly the same time that morning, since both were overcome at approximately the same time, and the agent would require direct contact as it was not a spray.

    Like

    1. Wasn’t the house originally bought by the British govt for Sergei Skripal to live in? It would not be his to sell privately.

      Also if you look at the first photograph and then the fourth photograph down, in the first photo the house is completely covered and in the fourth photo, the front door is boarded up. So the opportunity to take the door with its contaminated knob together with the roof was present, and both probably now are in the same dimension of material existence as the Zizzi restaurant dining table and the Skripal cat and guinea pigs.

      The fact that the house wasn’t bulldozed and the entire site, including the garden and backyard and the soil beneath, decontaminated and instead the house’s structure has been renovated speaks volumes for the Novichok story being a load of garbage.

      Like

      1. Wasn’t the house originally bought by the British govt for Sergei Skripal to live in? It would not be his to sell privately.
        ####

        If he has ownership papers, then the house is still legally his unless the government has declared it ‘national security’ situation legal get out. It’s really not in the government’s interest to shaft him. Now if he was only a tenant… But then wtf would anyone foreign provide ‘help’ to British Intelligence if they can be turfed out at will at some future date? They’re not dealing with morons.

        They’ve clearly dragged out and obfuscated the ‘decontamination’ with a major pr focal point to draw in the papers whenever the government wishes to draw attention to (and also away) from whatever. Ghoulish or what? As a neighbor, even with a decent understanding of science, I would want to be sure it was completely safe, so it looks like the governement has gone overboard with gusto to also reassure the public, in much the same way they do with anything with the words nuclear or radioactive, regardless of the actual science and facts. In short, this has been milked to within a cats whisker by the government.

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  34. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/24/tff4-s24.html

    “As the WSWS wrote: “The United States is run by a gigantic military-intelligence apparatus that acts outside of any legal restraint. This apparatus works in close alliance with a financial aristocracy that is no less immune from accountability for its actions than the CIA torturers. The entire state is implicated in a criminal conspiracy against the social and democratic rights of the people, internationally and within the United States.”

    The Report would have the viewer believe that the criminal activity by the Bush administration and the Republicans was put a stop to—perhaps haltingly and inadequately—by Obama and the Democrats. In clichéd Hollywood manner, Dan Jones is elevated to the stature of a solitary American hero who saved the day.

    This flies in the face of social and political reality. The American war drive continued under Obama using somewhat different tactics and techniques—drone strikes, “kill lists” and the prosecution of new wars in Libya and Syria. The daily headlines, of course, reveal that the eruption of imperialist violence continues under Donald Trump.

    The Achilles heel of Hollywood liberal and “left” filmmaking continues to lie in its alliance with one of the parties fully complicit in the crimes and oppression of the American capitalist social order.”

    Spot on..regardless of who or what says it

    Like

  35. THIS is an example of why wsws is worth keeping tabs on:
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/23/kaep-s23.html
    Most Americans have heard of former NFL-now sidelined- Kaepernick’s noble ‘take a knee’ saga
    Well folks it ain’t that simple..

    Read the eloquent comments of SQ..

    I had no idea….!!! LOL!!!

    If what SQ writes is true…there is a lesson here for all.
    Once again the delusion -that there exists an abundance of genuine self sacrificing commitment to revolutionary change-springs eternal.

    Like

    1. Yes, the papers are full of it as well. She’s very dramatic, and I suspect it will be easy to dismiss her for that reason, although of course leaders will pretend to court and support her. But they will be confident that playing to her will satisfy her ego without the necessity of really making any changes.

      We’ll have to see. I hesitate to laugh at her because she seems extremely bright for her age, and I support whatever science concludes must be done in our efforts to avert global warming. I have no doubt climate change brought on by pollution and human intervention is real, but I am optimistic we can slow or arrest it. However, our current leaders are mostly just dithering, and most pay it lip service but are done listening as soon as mention is made of the things we will have to reduce or give up.

      Like

  36. If at first you don’r secede:

    “A Second Secession Referendum

    Scotland’s regional government under First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is relentlessly pursuing its campaign for a second secession referendum. Prior to the referendum on September 18, 2014, Scottish nationalists, including Sturgeon, had repeatedly declared that the population’s decision at the ballot box should be valid for one generation. However, when a clear majority of 55.3 percent voted in favor of remaining in the UK, Sturgeon immediately declared that, by no means, would she content herself with that outcome, and would eventually seek a new vote. The occasion presented itself with the Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016, when a majority of 51.9 percent in the UK voted to leave the EU, while a clear majority of 62 percent in Scotland voted to remain. This discrepancy was an opportunity for Sturgeon – whose regional government has so far only rudimentarily implemented its election promises concerning the social and health sectors [1] – to not only reiterate her idea of a second referendum, but to directly link the perspective of Scotland’s secession with that of remaining in the EU.”

    https://www.checkpointasia.net/germany-is-advancing-the-partition-of-britain/

    Like

    1. The EU is very disturbed by European regional independence movements so I suspect Ms Sturgeon has read this particular situation wrongly. An independent Scotland would likely galvanise similar movements in Catalonia, the Basque region, Belgium, Italy, even parts of Germany. Not good news for Brussels.

      Like

  37. https://www.checkpointasia.net/we-dont-need-aircraft-carriers-we-need-weapons-to-sink-them-with-russian-defense-minister/

    “But the man in charge of the Russian Defense Ministry says his fellow Russians have no reasons to worry, because their taxpayer rubles are well spent.

    “The US spends huge amounts of money on private military contractors, on aircraft carriers. Well, does Russia really need five to ten aircraft carrier strike groups, considering that we do not intend to attack anyone?” Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told a Russian newspaper.

    “We need the means we could use against the enemy’s carrier strike groups should our country come under attack. They are far less costly and more efficient.”

    The minister also criticized Washington for its habit of justifying its military interventions throughout the world by the interests of the people living in the nations it targets.

    “In which of the nations they went ‘to bring democracy’ did democracy flourish? Was that Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria?” Shoigu said. “And one certainly can forget about sovereignty and independence after American involvement.”

    Like

    1. Aircraft Carriers and the task group they travel with are a means to project state power abroad; they are a way of moving a US airbase right next to an area (assuming it is fairly close to the sea) from where its air group can carry out attacks and even perhaps achieve air superiority over the region if it is not too heavily defended.

      If Russia is not interested in projecting state power abroad, it probably doesn’t need aircraft carriers, and what Shoigu says is sensible. There are plenty of weapons in the Russian arsenal which would make the Americans nervous about moving a carrier group within striking range if there truly were hostilities with Russia. It would not be the cakewalk America is used to, with an enemy who usually has more emotion than defenses. Additionally, much of Russia’s air-defense capability is mobile and rugged and can be shifted quickly to crisis points. But it also has weaponry which could be used to sink a carrier, which would be a symbolic loss America would find it hard to sustain and move forward from. It did not even lose its carriers in the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor – they were at sea. And the Russians know very well where the carrier will be – it’s always at the center of the screen, for maximum protection. There’s probably a tanker or two in there as well, but that also is a high-value unit, and hitting it by mistake while trying to get the carrier would also be an important loss for the group.

      I don’t see America using a carrier group against Russia – it would be too risky. They’d be more likely to try and secure bases in countries around Russia, and fly in airstrikes from there. But even that mission would be fraught with peril, as the Russian air-defense network is very capable. There would be losses.

      Like

  38. This is interesting.
    Russian press is reporting that Trump has achieved a small victory. Namely, he was able to get Zelensky to agree that they publish the transcription of their phone conversation.

    Trump is getting smarter. Dems continue to accuse him of treason and of applying unconscionable pressure on Ukraine to cough up dirt on the Biden family.
    To refute that, Trump apparently got Zelensky to agree to disclose their entire phone conversation, so that he could refute the Dems.

    Looks like Trump also got Zel onboard for the anti-Biden investigation.
    In return for unfreezing “military aid” dollars!

    Like

    1. It’s possible that Zelensky’s government did not need much persuasion to agree to publish the phone conversation transcript. The Ukrainians may want their own revenge on Joe Biden for threatening to withhold $1.1 billion in US loans unless Viktor Shokin, then Prosecutor General, was sacked.

      Like

      1. Understood. But, at the same time, Zel is in a bit of a bind. He is probably calculating in his head: maybe 50/50 chance that Biden will be the next Prez! And then would exact revenge if Zel doesn’t take his side now, or at least stay neutral. O which horse to bet on?

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        1. Biden is extremely unlikely to win. But then, they said that about Trump; I did, too. However, Zelinskiy is not really in a bad position; a vengeful Biden would have to argue that he had held back elements of the conversation which implicated Trump. How could he ever prove that? If what Zelenskiy says is the entire conversation is there and there is no appearance of criminal impropriety, Biden would simply appear to be compelling perjury for his own political ends.

          Like

    2. He’ll need it, because the Democrats have finally unleashed their impeachment proceedings, after months of threats. Pelosi waffled on about The Donald breaching his oath to the American people, bla, bla, more in that vein, but she ‘went there’ and mentioned election interference, which the Democrats could never prove and still can’t unless they completely fabricate the evidence. They just don’t have anything.

      It looks likely to me to blow up in their faces. Trump angrily dismissed it and accused the Democrats of just trying to ruin the progress he allegedly made at the UN, but he for sure does not sound like a guy who is scared of his secret relationship with Putin being exposed. The Democrats have grabbed a live rail, and they will live to regret it. It is likely to energize his base, while the Democrats don’t really have anyone charismatic and compelling to rally around. Joe Biden? Please. Trump will kick their asses and leave only scorched earth behind.

      Like

  39. Been waiting for this story:

    https://www.rt.com/business/469477-saudi-aramco-oil-industry/

    Aramco, the contractors told the Wall Street Journal, is in urgent talks with equipment manufacturers and service providers and is willing to pay premium rates for faster delivery and installation. Still, the repairs work could last months because the equipment has to yet be manufactured, delivered and installed, and this could take as long as a year, the WSJ’s Summer Said noted, quoting Saudi officials.

    A year downtime would be realistic with the possibility of partial production a little earlier. Heck, it takes 9-10 weeks by ocean from the US to a Saudi location including inland transportation (assuming US-based manufacturers provide the replacement equipment). And that is for a container. Likely much of the equipment would be shipped as deck cargo which could add further time.

    Refinery equipment such as relatively small pumps typically have 26 to 32 week lead times. Highly specialized large refinery equipment can take a year even when expedited. Limited field repair could restore some functionality but judging by the pictures, it will take more than a few pipes and welding.

    Assuming the lost production is 5,000,000 bbl for 180 days. lost sales will be 750,000,000 bbl. At $70/bbl, the lost revenue will be about 52.5 billion USD. Who will bail out Saudi Arabia? I suppose the US could given how much money Saudi Arabia has spent on US weapons but the optics will look bad and Trump will take a hit in his presidential campaign. But, I bet the MSM would support a Saudi bailout.

    Or, an orange swan event would be a US-led invasion of Yemen to stop the terrorism or at least a massive US aerial intervention (more likely). Many may say Iran should be attacked but those folks are stupid.

    Like

    1. Wow. Saudi Arabia blew off the attack like it was not much of anything, and claimed to have restored over half their lost capability within a couple of days. That’s why the cruise missile story sounded more to me like an excuse to blame it on Iran than a genuine case of significant damage. I suppose that was also an effort to keep oil prices from shooting up. Well, we’ll see what story emerges.

      Like

      1. Perhaps most importantly, the success of the IPO for Saudi ARAMCO is now strongly dependent on restoring production and providing assurance to potential investors such a strike can not happen again. The more I think about the strike, the more I realize its cleverness on all levels.

        As far as I know, no one was killed in the strike yet it delivered a crippling blow to Saudi Arabia. Anther attack with similar success could capsize the Saudi economy. MbS is walking a tight rope over a canyon full of burning oil.

        Saudi Arabia is also in a multiyear process to privatize major desalination operations. Perceived instability will hurt this effort.

        Like

        1. The fact that no-one died in the strike on the Aramco facilities tells you it could not have been carried out by the US. US “precision” strikes without exception incur “collateral damage”.

          To think that drones made from scrap metal by rebel forces on shoestring budgets using instructions relayed by cellphone or from Arabic or Farsi-language websites or Youtube channels can achieve better precision than US drones and missiles costing hundreds of millions certainly concentrates the mind … though some minds tend to concentrate on Iran being the culprit instead, otherwise US taxpayers will be wanting their taxes back.

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          1. And that these drones could not be detected by wall-to-wall US radars is just as amazing. The rebels may have some help but that does not diminish their military achievement.

            Iran must be blamed to blunt criticism of ineffective detection and protection by US systems but that is a 2-edge sword as it makes Iran even more formidable.

            My wild speculation is that the US will be called upon to use drones and airstrikes to suppress further drone attacks with the “byproduct” of helping the Saudi’s in their war against the Houthi – something like the Libya scenario.

            Like

  40. China in the dehumanization crosshairs:

    China is killing religious and ethnic minorities and harvesting their organs, UN Human Rights Council told
    Lawyers for independent China Tribunal say UN member states have ‘legal obligation’ to act

    10 hours ago

    The Chinese government is harvesting and selling organs from persecuted religious and ethnic minorities on an industrial scale, the UN Human Rights Council has been told.

    Speaking at the council’s headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday, lawyer Hamid Sabi presented the findings of the China Tribunal, an independent tribunal on allegations of forced organ harvesting.

    The China Tribunal was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia who led the case against Slobodan Milošević, and heard evidence from human rights investigators, medical experts and witnesses.

    It concluded that there was clear evidence China had been extracting organs from, and thereby killing, members of the Falun Gong spiritual group for at least 20 years, and that the practice was ongoing today.

    Detainees were “killed to order… cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale”, the tribunal’s final judgement said.

    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength

    Like

    1. The problem is that nearly all that evidence for forced organ extraction from Falun Gong members seems to come only from Falun Gong or its associated organisations and media (like The Epoch Times). A practice that has been going on for 20 years should have (by now) been verified independently by people not associated with Falun Gong.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Moscow Exile I could not play the video – the image and your Orwell quote ( ? ) was enough to give me the ” horrors ” and I had to move on quickly. I recently read an article about Falun Gong and it’s leader. It has left me agreeing with Jen . I’d even go further and say the organisation has no credibility what so ever . The leader seems to claim he is from a higher dimension or some such nonsense and of course, he is ” better ” than everyone else or whatnot – in other words, the usual schtick. If one thought he believed his own words, one would think him crackers. I didn’t, just hearing the ancient, seemingly eternal pitch of the snake oil salesperson – and a very low class one at that ! People who can find a spiritual rendering for their faults, can fool a lot of people when it is projected back at the world as a mystical, religious doctrine, it seems to me. I’m sure history is full of such mass interactions and I seriously can say that for me, Adolf Hitler comes to mind as the classic modern example of that peculiar and destructive type.

      Cheers pmu

      ps thanks for the points on Poland earlier on this thread – a lot of that was new to me and I am going to enjoy filling in the details over the coming time.

      Like

        1. Funny you should make that point Yalensis – the reporter made a very similar point to the leader of Falun Gong. It was the only time during the interview the guy retreated into complete mystical doggerel, minus even the sales pitch the rest of his inane insanities were heavily larded with . Cognitive load is a good metric with which to measure truth. I feel bad for any individual caught up in the machinery of this geopolitical weapon masquerading as a fraudulent cult. How sad.

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          1. Oi… sometimes all it takes is for one child to say, “The Emperor has no pants on!”

            I am forced to note, also, that most of the “Free Tibet” crowd have no idea that their blessed Dalai Lama stems from an evil line of serf-beaters. And that the majority of Tibet’s working people and peasants were much better off under Communism than under the brutal rule of the elite land-owning Lamas!
            That whole Tibet thing and Falun Gong are just hobbies of over-privileged kreakle youth, following their upper-class instincts into somebody else’s backyard.

            Like

            1. Secret life of the Dalai Lama I: for years he was on the CIA payroll (but you probably already knew that) and moreover he elevated members of his family, their spouses and children to important positions in the Tibetan government-in-exile where they had access to huge amounts of money:
              https://www.theage.com.au/business/behind-dalai-lamas-holy-cloak-20070523-ge4yfk.html

              Secret life of the Dalai Lama II: for a long time he knew of incidents in which Buddhist monks were physically and/or sexually abusing novices, especially child novices, in monasteries but was not perturbed about them, even though Buddhism in all its forms requires monks to be celibate and to refrain from sexual activity (because it is linked to and generates desire on the material plane of existence):
              https://latinamericanpost.com/23490-i-already-knew-those-things-dalai-lama-about-sexual-abuse-cases

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              1. Hi, Jen, I’ve been thinking about your post for a couple of days. I found the two articles equally distressing as regards the activities of a major religion, albeit for very different reasons. The sexual abuse charges outlined in thelatinamericanpost seem to be of the type where an authority figure uses their authority to abuse people who are in their care/area of responsibility. The bit about breaking down the ego rang bells in me. I’ve come across this idea, shorn of its religious/spiritual connotations, in other cases of sexual abuse I have read about – harrying, demeaning, belittling, are all elements in the dehumanisation process mentioned by Moscow Exile further down the thread – it is used there in the context of the production of racism but here so an abuser will meet less resistance in perpetrating abuse – either way both usages are repellent. The article also mentions an abuse scandal in Chile involving the local Catholic church . I think the article mentions a potential conspiracy involving 170 members of the Catholic hierarchy to abuse children. That for me is the difference between the Buddhist scandal and the Catholic scandal. The abuse in the Chilean Catholic church is of an industrial nature – from what I read the Buddhist scandal has not reached that level of obscenity. As you probably know, uncovering these crimes is dependent on some very brave people – the ones who were abused, often as children, who have the strength to come forward and incriminate their abusers, sometimes at great cost, psychologically speaking, for themselves.
                I saw a quote from Alan Dershowitz, someone who is accused of abuse in relation to the Epstein conspiracy, where he was saying that the fourteen year old girl , who has grown into a young adult woman making the accusations should be considered untrustworthy, because at that time she was a savvy operator who knew what she was getting involved in, a prostitute and was paid for sex – this all said of a 14 year old girl. Unbelievable. Very little media criticism was made of Mr Dershowitz remarks, sadly. I also note that in the latest release of court papers concerning the Epstein jet flight logs , Charles Windsor is mentioned several times. Commentators believe this refers to prince Charles, eldest son of the British queen This adds to the already well known relationship that prince Andrew, second son of the British queen had with Geoffrey Epstein. These victims have my moral support, it cannot be easy to oppose such powerful people, whatever religion these abusers profess. Sadly yours pmu

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                1. Who would of thought that Penn and Teller were deep cover, commie moles. I was wondering what year the clip was from? It says 2008 as the date at youtube, does that sound right? In the current climate ( A decade long two minute hate, at least? ) , the production of such slavish Chinese propaganda , would be impossible , fortunately ! The complete success of Operation Mockingbird has saved the West from divergent and divisive thought, Even the light entertainment genre is carefully patrolled. You would be pilloried as a Chinese stooge , an apologist for genocide, a shill for mass murder – if you tried to make a similar point regarding the issue today. From Penn and Teller’s ” The enemy of my enemy is not my friend ” to today’s ” you are either with us or against “. This loss of nuance , of any subtlety in public discourse, is evidence of state expansion. In most areas of domestic life the state is in general retreat, as much to the forces of corporate power as the forces of inertia yet in the manufacture of consent all hands are on deck, ship shape and ready for action. To squander so much human talent, and scarce resources on the perception of problems and so little of either on the actual problems seems terminal – a point of no return. Society has been transformed into a for-profit panopticon that cannot reform itself, as the last iteration has just proven. ( Serbia, Iraq, Abu Gharib, drones and endless wedding bombings, 2008 crash, Epstein and ” friends ” etc ) There is just too much money involved. I assume this cycle is meant to be permanent, barring unforeseen circumstances.

                  Like

        2. Falun Gong leader Li Hongzhi is indeed from a higher dimension, that being an apartment somewhere in Manhattan or Queens in New York. I presume that abode of peace and tranquillity has very nice views over the Hudson River.

          Like

        1. No problem friend. Don’t tell my fellow Liverpudlians I was actually born in Tameside at Hyde. Even though we moved to Liverpool 3 months after my birth, technically speaking , I’m a “Wooly” too. Not a Moscow ” Wooly ” but a Scouse “Wooly”. Cheers!

          Like

    1. I watched the reopening of parliament on tv.

      The government’s strategy is clear. No apology. As Cox said ‘the advice given at the time was lawful’. When challenged on actually providing the full advice etc. he hid behind the government’s prerogative to keep such papers private though he did say that may be they would be published in a few days once he looks through them again. He was in essence having his cake and eating it in the most boastful and loud manner possible. If I were there, I would have been shouting ELEVEN – NIL! repeatedly. You have to admit that he’s very good at bluster and playing to his strengths, but that’s a decent lawyer for you, regardless of which side they are on.

      It’s his own party that is the disgrace with three years of nothingburger even after they $$$billions to the Ulster Unionists to get a working parliamentary majority. Blaming the opposition for not doing them a solid is nonsensical and a dishonest attempt to spread the blame – a pox on both your houses if you will. Let us not forget that this is the party that imploded over U-rope and ended Mrs. Thatcher as PM. Now it is an existential crisis, with a large part of the party believing that back to the future is the answer, i.e. small government, small expense, even more limited light touch regulation and permanent low tax. That’s their answer to the 21st century globalization.

      Like

  41. Cracks emerge in NATO confrontation of Russia
    Published on 24 Sep 2019

    The Grayzone
    Pushback with Aaron Maté

    Stephen F. Cohen argues that cracks are emerging within the NATO-led consensus that has pushed Moscow from the West.

    Guest: Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, contributing editor at The Nation, and author of several “War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.”

    Like

    1. It will be a sad day when Stephen Cohen is gone, because he speaks with absolute authority as an historian and academic, and the screechy Washington crowd cannot refute what he says. They choose instead to ignore him and hope nobody listens to him, and given how little publication his views get, are largely successful. For me, at least, Stephen Cohen will always stand as a reminder of the relationship America could have had with Russia, but willfully rejected in favour of the usual Washington attempts to bring it under American control, because it will have no peers. Putin never said a truer word than when he offered that the United States does not have allies, but vassals.

      Like

  42. AsiaTimes.com: How Yemen’s Houthis are bringing down a Goliath
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/how-yemens-houthis-are-bringing-down-a-goliath/

    ‘From a military perspective, nobody ever took our forces in Yemen seriously,’ scholar says

    ByPepe Escobar, Beirut
    ####

    Another, ‘Trust us and don’t look for any details.’ Are Britian, France & Germany actually being racist here, not in the reinterpretive sense but by omission? Do they actually think that the Houthis with decades of experience in operating, maintining and modifying rocketry are simply incapable of (comparitively) organizing a swarm attack of drones?

    I think not as this is all well known, but pushing the public line that no-one else could have done it but i-Ran is clearly a cold and calculated effort to minimize the Houthis and sieze a PR advantage whilst completely ignoring their direct military support (weapons, training, special forces/whatever) for Saudi Arabia & Qatar’s genocidal campaign in Yemen, and are at minimum accomplices in mass crimes against humanity. I guess it helps that two of the three have the power of veto at the UN…

    Like

  43. Typically Banderite shite in the Russian blogosphere:

    Латвия в ООН: Пренебрежение РФ международным правом нельзя принимать как “новую норму”

    Latvia at the UN: the Neglect of the Russian Federation international law cannot be accepted as the new normal
    The international community in any case can not tolerate Russia’s violation of the principle of territorial integrity of other States.


    AGGRESSOR

    This was stated by the President of Latvia, Egil Levits, in his address to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, reports the correspondent of UKRINFORM reports.

    “I must point out Russia’s open disrespect for the principles of international law, as evidenced by the long-term violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Georgia. Such a blatant disregard for international law cannot be accepted as the ‘new norm'”, said Levits.

    He noted that “multilateral world order requires that territorial integrity and sovereignty, as defined in the UN Charter, be respected by all member States”.

    Fear not, Svidomite scum, Latvia stands by you in your struggle against the “aggressor”!

    The blogger has a Ukrainian family name and uses a filthy Banderastan news agency as his source, but he may be Russian, or a Russian speaking Banderaretard: the above linked site is in Russian.

    Whatever he is, here is the blogger’s avatar:


    No Russians! or Russians are pigs! etc. — a symbol much beloved by those who run blogs such as this.

    Another example of kreakl or Banderite shite on the Russian-language blogosphere:

    Dream on, idiots!

    Like

    1. It always gives me a feeling of satisfaction, when I see hateful vitriol like this, to glance at the population graph of Latvia and be able to foretell when it will cease to be as a valid state because of emigration and the gradual – but steady – depletion of its population.

      Like

      1. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!


        Exposed to the world’s contempt.Illustration shows a larger-than-life “Spirit of Civilization” pointing with contempt to a man on a pedestal labeled “Russia”; standing around the pedestal are John Bull, Uncle Sam, and symbolic representatives of other nations.
        Puck Magazine, 17 June 1903

        Like

        1. ALT-Interpretation:

          Spirit of Civilization: “Step up onto the podium, Peasant Ivan. You are the winner of A BRAND NEW CAR!”

          Ivan: “Thank you very much much.”

          Crowd of Nations: “He found the lucky ticket under his seat! bzz bzz what a guy!”
          Turk: “He’s so handsome I am swooning.”
          English lady: “I’m in love!”
          Japanese lady: “I really wanted to win that car…”
          French guy: “Maybe he can let me drive it once in a while…”

          Like

          1. Is the Slav a Neanderthal throwback, I wonder?

            In the 19th century, in both the USA and the then Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, they used to be fond of depicting the Irish as having simian features.

            All part of the dehumanizing game.

            Like

            1. Moscow Exile your half way there for me but I’m also picking up huge wafts of cruel and inhuman boyar as well as neanderthal. At least he has got a nice pair of boots on. I know some old people ( gosh what a suprise ) who can remember the sign saying ” No Blacks, no Dogs ,no Irish ” Oh and by the way, is that Ben Kingsley dressed as ” Johnny Turk ” – I heard he got the Lenin role in the coming Hollywood blockbuster ” Brother can you spare a dime for the Revolution ” ,. I thought you said, after ” Ghandi ” he was not getting involved another geopoltical, cinematic clusterfuck – maybe he needs the money !?

              Like

          2. Yalensis, or could that be

            Spirit of Civilization: “Step up onto the podium, Peasant Ivan. You are the winner of A BRAND NEW CZAR!” We don’t like the one you have currently got ( not enough money as far as we are concerned ) and you should not. What about Czar Boris the second – he is totally pissed and so bent, he’s straight ( If you know what I mean. Wink. Wink ). Just what any group of stupid serfs need, I am sure you will agree ? No , where are you going ? Come back, come back – I’ll give you a cut price deal on a special two for one deal on inebriated, incompetent autocrats…………….” ( Thinks to hers self ” What is wrong with these people. It is almost like they know what is in their best interest – how odd , thank heaven for the free and united west , the people there have not got a scoobie, they will buy anything there !” )

            Like

  44. TheHill.com: Gabbard qualifies for fourth presidential debate
    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/462789-gabbard-qualifies-for-fourth-presidential-debate

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) became the 12th Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the party’s October primary debate on Tuesday after a new poll showed her with 2 percent support in New Hampshire.

    To qualify for the October debate, candidates have to collect contributions from 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent in four Democratic National Committee-approval polls. ..

    …The DNC announced on Monday that to make the cut for the fifth debate in November, candidates will have to amass the support for at least 165,000 donors and score 3 percent or higher in four qualifying polls or at least 5 percent in two approved early-state polls…

    Like

  45. The New Arab via Antiwar.com: Half of EU countries refused to condemn Saudi rights abuses in UN vote
    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/9/24/half-of-eu-countries-refused-to-condemn-saudi-abuses

    Only 15 of the European Union’s 28 member states signed a UN statement condemning human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia on Monday…

    …Among the 24 countries leading the censure of Saudi Arabia were the UK, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Peru.

    Notably, however, was the silence of 13 EU countries, including France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland and Greece, to sign the statement, which a leading human rights group described as “highly disappointing”…
    ####

    The only major European country that still has suspended weapons sales to KSA is Germany. France ‘Liberté ,Egalité ,Fraternité ‘ have increased their sales by 50% in 2018.* €µ says big words, but his actions when €€€ is doing the talking.

    * https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-defence-arms/french-weapons-sales-to-saudi-jumped-50-percent-last-year-idUSKCN1T51C0

    Like

  46. ShadowProof via Antiwar.com: Government Moves To Block Alleged Drone Whistleblower’s Defense In Espionage Act Case
    https://shadowproof.com/2019/09/23/government-moves-to-block-alleged-drone-whistleblowers-defense-in-espionage-act-case/

    …The United States government has moved to block Daniel Hale, a former U.S. Air Force language analyst, from presenting any evidence that he had “good motives” when he allegedly disclosed documents to a reporter that exposed a targeted assassination program involving armed drones…

    …In October 2015, The Intercept published a “cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.” The media organization said the documents were provided by a whistleblower and offered “unprecedented glimpse into [President Barack] Obama’s drone wars.” They were called “The Drone Papers.”…
    ####

    t-Rump’s terrible war against whistleblowers continues! Wait a minute! This occured under President Obama!

    Meet the new boss,
    Same as the old boss

    Like

  47. The western media is growing suspicious of Zelenskiy – more accurately, of his near-total disregard of it, as a media personality himself, completely comfortable with taking his message to the electorate directly. He is his own lobbyist, and his softball interviews thus far have been remarkable for their almost-complete lack of outside media input – this is communication and message management on a new level. Zelenskiy does not hold press conferences, and the media is now mostly excluded from government deliberation.

    What does the media make of this? Well, the answer may surprise you. The media is suddenly all about ‘rigorous journalism’, sniffing out corruption, and fact-checking official statements!

    I knew that last one would make you fall over, kicking and clawing at your throat. So I’ll quote.

    Journalism is supposed to act as a check on abuse of power by measuring leaders’ words against their actions, and stopping them from rewriting the record. Democracies everywhere are struggling to define the role of journalism in a world where the flow of information is relentless, giving the illusion of total transparency. In countries dealing with war and endemic corruption, such as Ukraine, the cost of that can be devastating. “Without rigorous journalism,” Matthew Schaaf, the director of Freedom House Ukraine, told me, “officials’ statements will go unchecked, corruption will remain hidden, human-rights abuses will continue, and the public will be left in the dark.”

    https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/598774/

    Because that worked so effectively during the Poroshenko administration; the roly-poly tycoon was allowed to fatten his coffers to his heart’s content without rigorous western journalism pestering him about selling off his commercial assets, or even continuing to manage them while he was the president, adding steadily to his portfolio. Rigorous journalists like Elizabeth Piper, Timothy Heritage and Philippa Fletcher made excuses for him – he couldn’t sell his business, they wept, because Putin froze his assets.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/r-no-respite-for-candy-factory-caught-up-in-russia-ukraine-crisis-2015-5

    The traditional media is like a repeat offender who continually begs to be given another chance, although every time it is granted, he uses the opportunity to commit more crimes.

    Like

    1. Journalism is supposed to act as a check on abuse of power by measuring leaders’ words against their actions, and stopping them from rewriting the record. Democracies everywhere are struggling to define the role of journalism in a world where the flow of information is relentless, giving the illusion of total transparency. In countries dealing with war and endemic corruption, such as Ukraine, the cost of that can be devastating. “Without rigorous journalism,” Matthew Schaaf, the director of Freedom House Ukraine, told me, “officials’ statements will go unchecked, corruption will remain hidden, human-rights abuses will continue, and the public will be left in the dark.

      What a comical statement! I had to take a break from work to vent. Journalism is either a for-hire transaction based or an in-house operation with the sole purpose of doing the exact opposite of its purported purpose of bringing truth. There is no profit in truth. Why would journalism be any different from any other organization seeking to make money and to grow its influence in the market?

      Wait, there is one difference. Some companies thrive on supplying a quality product with tangible benefits to the customer. Journalism thrives on providing defective information to the customer to prevent them from making informed choices harmful to their owners/masters. The true customer of journalism is their owner. It is so GD obvious.

      Like

    1. I think Bibi will eke out a narrow win. Washington loves it some Bibi, and it is the master of rigging the vote in foreign countries; the scenario it actually prefers is when the vote is very close, because a managed win looks a lot like a real one. Bibi is in the mood to promise anything in exchange for a win, because if he loses he is likely to be investigated for corruption.

      Like

  48. https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/463083-gabbard-rails-against-dnc-debate-criteria-despite-making-next-debate-stage
    Let’s see…who should Tulsi target whose blitzing by her would be of maximum strategic value in her road to nomination.

    Biden He is currently in the process of flushing himself down the bowl.

    Sanders or Warren???

    Sanders. If Tulsi devastates Sanders…..Warren will fold.

    Tulsi can then carry out mop up operations in the fifth November debate, buoyed and further empowered by her fourth debate blitz.

    With the two as now BFF, Killary’s lingering political miasma will help to seal Warren’s nomination as NHE. (not happening..ever).

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/462789-gabbard-qualifies-for-fourth-presidential-debate

    Like

  49. Well so much for these three,particularly France and Germany wanting to preserve the JCPOA and cultivate mutually beneficial trade and commerce with the Persians.

    “The contrast between the European powers’ response to the US war drives in 2003 and today is stark. In 2003, when the Bush administration lied, claiming it had to invade Iraq because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and planned to give them to Al Qaeda to carry out nuclear terrorist attacks, Germany and France jointly opposed it. France threatened to veto US resolutions authorizing military aggression against Iraq at the UN Security Council.

    Then-Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin disputed the lies Washington was using to justify its war in a February 14, 2003 speech to the UN Security Council. He said, “Ten days ago, the US Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, reported the alleged links between Al Qaeda and the regime in Baghdad. Given the present state of our research and intelligence, in liaison with our allies, nothing allows us to establish such links. On the other hand, we must assess the impact that disputed military action would have …”

    Today, the European powers not only rush to judgment before any “further details” about the attacks in Saudi Arabia are known, but claim that everyone must agree with Trump’s rush to blame Iran, as there is supposedly no “plausible” alternative.

    The 16 years since Villepin’s speech have provided a bitter lesson in the bankruptcy of attempts to oppose war based on supporting Washington’s imperialist rivals. Not only did Washington attack Iraq, but the European imperialist powers, calculating on the basis of their commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and their fear of growing anti-imperialist sentiment internationally, soon turned 180 degrees. Paris and Berlin repaired relations with the Bush administration, sending oil companies and troop deployments to US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/25/euir-s25.html

    Like

  50. Hmmm….smells a bit like a framing of pilots of color by a racist nutjob..

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/24/boei-s24.html

    Well, Let’s see ….has this guy on prior occasions shown a proclivity to this kinda stuff??

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-atlantics-william-langewiesche-dusts-off-discredited-conspiracy-theory-to-accuse-mh370-pilot-of-hijacking

    Let’s try a little logic:

    **If **pilot error-or gross incompetence (with obvious correctable remedies)-were at the bottom of the 737 Max 8 debacle …

    **Then** why the fuck would the international commercial airline industry continue down a
    tortuous convoluted intricate path of seemingly never ending investigations seeking to identify and correct technical flaws in a globally grounded fleet of aircraft???????

    Ding Ding……RQDAR lights up (Racist QuackDAR)

    Like

    1. MOA takes apart the pilot error claims quite well. In particular, the Ethiopian pilots followed the proper procedures to perfection but the plane still crashed. But, not to worry, if it were Russian pilots, they would be blamed to the same degree, that I am sure.

      Like

    1. A good Onion-type article but the issues is not whether they are Christian but whether they resist the empire. 30 Russian killed in a US drone strike (with Russia being a predominantly Christian country) would create a sense pride rather than shame/humiliation in the West. Nothing gets American blood pumping faster than dead Russians. There was a bogus story about, what, a hundred Russian mercenaries killed in Syria by an American air strike about a year ago or so. The laptop bombardiers creamed their pants over that story.

      Like

  51. Flightglobal.com: FAA denies misleading Congress on 737 Max
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faa-denies-misleading-congress-on-737-max-461090/

    Lawmakers on 25 September scrutinised the US Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of the aircraft safety certification process, including whether the agency misled the US Senate about the qualifications of inspectors to certify and assess pilot training for Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
    ####

    Flightglobal.com: ANALYSIS: Boeing set for overhaul aimed at improved safety
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-boeing-set-for-overhaul-aimed-at-improved-461089/

    Boeing seems set to undergo a broad internal overhaul to conform with several safety recommendations handed down by the company’s board of directors.
    ####

    Like

    1. Really, this is getting much, much bigger than two crashes. Even if they occurred close together, even if there was significant loss of life, that plane should have been back in the air months ago. It’s not as if there’s a crisis of confidence, either – customers would buy the Max if they could get a deal, and I have not seen any major airlines trying to unload their 737’s. Canada has one flying now, to maintain pilot and crew proficiency, with the stipulation that it is not allowed to carry passengers. Airbus is not dancing on Boeing’s corpse. A firm show of confidence by Boeing, and the USA’s allies would step up again and buy it. But Boeing keeps spluttering and tripping over its own feet.

      What’s really going on?

      Like

      1. Others have pointed out the ‘recent’ 200 MAX order by IAG. Big orders mean big discounts, something which Ryanair did with its order of last generation 737NGs and now has 450+ of the Dash 800 versions and a decent order for the MAX. It’s still wait and see for airlines as backlogs for both are for years and years for any new orders.

        I can imagine a t-Rump administration threatening European regulators over not giving Boeing an easy pass over re-certifying the MAX if there is a significant difference in timeframe. That would be dumbly(!) & suicidal.

        17 December 2018
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-completes-ryanair-737-800-deliveries-454481/

        02 August 2019.
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/iag-contemplates-earlier-737-max-introduction-460069/

        Like

        1. From what I have been reading over at Moon of Alabama, there seem to be a number of technical problems with the Boeing 737 MAX going back to previous generations of the Boeing 737 and the MCAS / Angle of Attack sensor issue happened to be the top exposed one-eighth of the otherwise submerged proverbial iceberg that came to public attention with the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes. Civil aviation regulators in Europe and Asia are starting to come down hard on Boeing to demonstrate that it is serious about rectifying these issues.

          Some if not most or even all of the technical issues stem from Boeing’s apparent current culture in which sales revenues and profit count for more than safety and engineering standards, leading to a technical culture in which design redundancies (for the sake of safety) are weeded out and flaws are dealt with not by re-designing for a safer or better-performing jet but by being papered over with a software solution that, over the years, is papered over by more software solutions by successive generations of engineers.

          Like

          1. I’ve been following that/those threads too. Ever been in a 737 cockpit? They all have the same 1950s dimensions so it is pretty cramped, especially compared to more modern Airbus standards. Boeing also has higher passenger floors than Airbus, to carry more airfreight and provide more income for airlines.

            I wonder if Flight Engineers hadn’t been engineered out of a job whether more crashes would have been avoided.

            If there is one use I can think of for AI (aka ‘machine learning’) is a virtual Flight Engineer that could act as a third crew person and take up some slack when the pilot/co-pilot are overwhelmed, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish. Which reminds me, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to an avaition museum so I will make a point of doing so and paying more attention to the cockpits.

            Like

  52. Euractiv: Nord Stream 2 seeks arbitration in dispute with EU Commission
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/nord-stream-2-seeks-arbitration-in-dispute-with-eu-commission/

    The Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium filed a notice on Thursday (26 September), asking a tribunal of private arbiters to determine whether the European Union is in breach of its obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

    …By amending its Gas Directive, Nord Stream 2 believes the EU has breached its obligations under Articles 10 and 13 of the Energy Charter Treaty, a legally-binding treaty originally signed in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    In particular, the consortium argues that the amended directive discriminates against Nord Stream 2, in breach of the EU’s Article 10(1) obligation not to take such discriminatory action, and in breach of the EU’s general obligation to guarantee fair and equitable treatment for investors…

    …Legal experts have recently argued that the amendment is drafted in such a way that all existing pipelines can enjoy a derogation from EU gas market rules under the updated Gas Directive, except Nord Stream 2…
    ####

    Trigger pulled.

    Like

    1. Maybe that’ll work. But I maintain a key principle is that Russia not sign a long-term fat gas contract with Ukraine, committing to transit some 60 BcM annually. That’s exactly what this latest legal dodge is trying to force it into. If Russia stands firm and the EU perceives it is going to have to tighten its belt for supplies, it will reverse its decision out of self-interest.

      Like

      1. Yet again, time is on Russia’s side and it has become used to practising strategic patience while the west’s squirming and wriggling to gain only minor advantages makes them strategic patients.

        Much more importantly, those robot hoovers look quite good (and are now much more reasonably priced), especially if you have pets.

        Like

      2. From the Hyena of Europe:

        04:36, 27 сентября 2019
        В Польше назвали трагедией работу «Газпрома»

        04:36, September 27, 2019
        In Poland the work of Gazprom has been labelled as a tragedy

        The head of the Polish oil and gas company PGNIG Piotr Wozniak has said that the restriction for Gazprom on the use of the Opal European gas pipeline had saved Poland from a gas tragedy, reports “Biznis Alert”.

        Wozniak believes that if Gazprom had continued to use Opal at full capacity, this would have led to “tragic interruptions” in gas supplies in the south-east of the country. The head of the company emphasized that it had been important to limit access to Opal this year.

        According to Wozniak, because of these restrictions, Gazprom will have to send the volumes of fuel denied access to Opal through the territory of the Ukraine, from where they will go to Poland.

        A 50 percent Opal limit on Gazprom came into effect on the morning of September 14th, following which, the transit of Russian gas through the Ukraine has increased.

        The reason for the ban was a victory for Poland in a lawsuit against a European Commission decree of 2016, which allowed Gazprom to use Opal almost completely. The gas pipeline is an onshore continuation of the Nord Stream pipeline, therefore, other suppliers do not claim use of it, but it was the desire to facilitate their access that became a formal reason for the European Court to find for appellant. Nevertheless, the Polish side did not conceal that the real purpose of appealing against the decision was the desire to maintain the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.

        Currently, Gazprom has the right to pump no more than 12.8 billion cubic metres per year via Opal. Prior to this, deliveries could have reached 23 billion cubic metres.

        Must help the Yukies or it would have been a tragedy for the Martyr of Europe!

        Martyr or Hyena?

        Chameleon, maybe?

        So the EU court, knowing the real reason for the Polish appeal, made a political decision in reaching its finding?

        Talk of a Polish “tragedy” is just bullshit.

        Like

        1. Ummmm….excuse me for bringing it up, but…weren’t both the Poles and the Ukrainians dancing and singing in the streets about getting off of Russian gas, and slapping themselves on the back for their powerful independence?

          Poland has its magical LNG terminal, and Ukraine gets reverse-flowed gas for free from the EU – or free to the extent that it is given money with which to buy gas.

          Thing is, if you depend on transit fees from Russian gas for growth in your economy…aren’t you still dependent on Russian gas?

          I am hoping Russia will simply agree with using the capacity of Opal it has been awarded by the court decision, but change nothing else – no new gas agreement with Ukraine, no massive volumes pumped across handout-land with resultant large transit fees. It will not take Brussels long to realize that Europe is going to have a significant gas shortage, and prices will go up steeply. It is also curious that Germany is going along with it, considering it is never going to be much of a gas hub with such piddling amounts to sell, less than half of what it planned on receiving. But Russia simply needs to remember that nobody else has the gas to make up the difference; the EU can blabber on about diversity of supplies all it likes, but there is no swing capability left in Norway. The Dutch are not going to lift the cap on the Groningen field, and it would make little difference if they did. Uncle Sam will make all sorts of promises to flood Europe with cheap LNG, but it cannot deliver it at anything like the volumes which are needed. Pity, because it would do Europe a world of good to be dependent on America for its gas supply for a few years. It would soon see that Uncle Sam likes to have things his way when he has you by the balls. And ‘his way’ is always what’s good for America, without necessarily being good for anyone else.

          Like

          1. Another hyena state?

            Конец «Дружбе»: Лукашенко заменит российскую нефть?
            Лукашенко заявил о поиске альтернатив российской нефти
            26.09.2019, 16:02

            End of Friendship: Will Lukashenko replace Russian oil?
            Lukashenko has announced a search for alternatives to Russian oil

            09/26/2019, 16:02

            Accumulated contradictions and new scandals have prompted Belarus to search for alternative oil suppliers. The idea is not new – Lukashenko previously gave the command to buy fuel on the world market. Currently, Minsk is considering the option of deliveries from the Gulf states. And all due to the fact that Lukashenko cannot negotiate with Moscow. As a result, Russia could lose a market of 20-25 million tons, as calculated in Belarus.

            Belarus is considering options for importing oil from alternative markets to Russia, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday, September 26, at a meeting with representatives of Ukrainian media.

            According to him, the country is forced to look for alternative options for fuel supplies. He includes a tax manoeuvre in the oil sector, which was introduced by Russia, as a reason for this search for alternative suppliers.

            “They introduced this tax manoeuvre … This means that our two oil refineries were at a disadvantage compared to their refineries … We have been led to a world price, to which I publicly said in St. Petersburg for the last time: “If so, then we will have to buy oil from the market” … These are not levers of pressure. This is a search for an alternative”, said Lukashenko.

            Thus, if Moscow brings Belarus to go for the world oil price, Minsk will be forced to purchase it from other countries. Moreover, Lukashenko noted that Russian Urals oil is not of the highest quality in the world.

            At the same time, the head of state recognizes Belarus energy dependence on Russia, but does not consider it critical. “But today is not a disaster. The tax manoeuvre threw us off balance”, said Lukashenko ….

            More at the linked article.

            He thinks he’s so smart playing one side against the other.

            Like

            1. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Russia complains over Belarus’s refusal to host air base
              https://uk.reuters.com/article/russia-belarus-airbase/russia-complains-over-belaruss-refusal-to-host-air-base-idUKKBN1WB2J4

              …The Kremlin mounted a bid to set up the air base in Belarus in 2015 and hoped it would host Su-27 fighter jets, but the former Soviet republic, which serves as a buffer between Russia and NATO’s east European states, snubbed Moscow. ..

              …“This really (was) an unpleasant episode,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said when asked about the snub in an interview with the Kommersant daily newspaper on Thursday.

              “But content, not form is most important. And in terms of content, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said many times that … Russia is a 100% ally,” Lavrov said…
              ####

              Well Lukashenko won’t get stiffed by Moscow, but Warsaw/Washington. I doubt that the latter can resist, Warsaw probably being more than happy to lend its hand, particularly under PiS even though earlier governments have been caught out in their efforts to elevate the issue of the ‘Polish minority’ in Belarus through their various front organizations..

              From the belly of the beast, 2010:

              https://www.rferl.org/a/Belarusian_Crackdown_On_Polish_Minority_Puts_EU_Relations_At_Risk/1961039.html

              Like

              1. Lukashenko’s juggling of hot potatoes is going to end in burnt fingers sooner or later. Belarus, like Ukraine, is an extremely poor country, and could not stand to have its standard of living depressed further, as happened to Ukraine when it took on the west as partners.

                Like

                1. Amputation, in my opinion. No-one can say how it will all shake out but it Belarus does formally become part of the Russian Federation or some special territory, I’ll thoroughly enjoy Warsaw totally freaking out with sharing a border with Russia, tank to tank. Washington will love it as they’ll protect the lo-land of Po-land to the last pole… just as they have done with all their other little yapping allies who were eager to take bites out of Russia. There’s really nobody else to blame but themselves.

                  Like

                2. Nobody seems to think about the possibility that if Lukashenko keeps on with his foolishness, Russia is perfectly capable of engineering regime change in Belarus.

                  https://belarusinfocus.info/society-and-politics/kremlin-not-yet-interested-pro-russian-opposition-belarus

                  Quite a bit easier than Washington could do it, I suspect. Lukashenko has made many of the same noises the Ukrainian junta once did, about bigging up the national language and squeezing out the Russian influence. He has made no secret of his ambition to court the west as well as Russia, but he is too wily to cut off his own nose to spite his face, and will not do anything too radical which might jeopardize Belarusian trade with Russia. He might, though, if the EU cut him a sweet trade deal. That’s not likely to happen, but mostly because the EU is so full of itself that it believes prospective members have to do all the wooing, while it remains aloof and discards suitors who are not sufficiently amorous.

                  Like

                3. There’s a province/oblast’ in the west of Belorus that has a majority population of Polish mother-tongue speakers, so the Poles kick up a lot of shit over this and say it should be part of Poland.

                  When the post-Versailles resurrected Polish Republic was prowling around Eastern Europe hyena-like between the two world wars, they had no qualms about seizing what they thought rightfully theirs: Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1920 (always a Polish city, see: majority population of ethnic Poles who spoke Polish as their mother tongue) and post-Munich, when the West betrayed the Republic of Czechoslovakia, handing it on a plate to the Nazis, Poland seize the Czech city of Cieszyn and its surrounds (Polish majority, see, always part of Poland, citizens wanted to be Polish etc.)

                  But when the majority population of the Crimea peninsula, ethnic Russians whose mother-tongue is Russian, which peninsula had been part of the Russian Empire/ RSFSR from 1783 until 1956 and of the USSR until 1991, world outcry over Russian breach of “international law”.

                  Like

  53. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/26/porg-s26.html

    However let’ s take a peek at what the apologists for the racist P&B would rather shove way under the footlights:

    Shall we…..

    “In 1925, DuBose Heyward, a white South Carolinian, wrote the fictitious Porgy, about a group of Blacks living in a ghetto enclave called Catfish Row.

    Its main characters were Porgy, a crippled beggar who travels about in a goat-drawn cart; Bess, a woman of easy virtues; Crown, her violent and possessive lover who murders a man; and Sportin’ Life, a drug dealer. (The embodiment of racist stereotypical portrayals of American Blacks as shiftless lowlifes))

    Heyward and his wife Dorothy later transformed the book into a play of the same name. Enter Jakob Bruskin Gershvin better known as George Gershwin, who is Jewish.”

    “Michael Walsh wrote in Time Magazine (18 April 1983), that Gershwin considered his work in Porgy as “the greatest music composed in America.”

    Outstanding music does not negate the inherent racism of Porgy and Bess.

    Composer Robert Wagner died long before Adolph Hitler rose to power. Since Hitler was a fan of Wagner, and Wagner’s music was played in concentration camps, no self-respecting Jew will play Wagner or attend a concert where the works of Wagner would be performed. Pointing out the beauty of the music in Porgy and Bess does not mitigate its damage.

    Despite being deemed an American classic, there is no literary or artistic merit in Gershwin Porgy and Bess. Porgy and Bess plays to the tastes and values — racism of the white majority population.

    Porgy and Bess markets the suffering, ills, distortion of self, and deformed and twisted psyche of brutalized, disenfranchised, and poor Blacks — to a white audience.

    Porgy and Bess demands its Black actors engage in racial self-mutilation.

    Rooted in the “single story” meme that demeans, racially insult, and infantilises African Americans, and by extension all Blacks, Porgy and Bess belongs to the cultural matrix that sustains white supremacy and white racism.

    Great and classic plays like classic literature and classic songs transcend ethnicity, and are oft performed by different ethnic groups, even in different languages. Ira Gershwin stipulated that only Blacks are allowed to play the lead roles in Porgy and Bess.”

    “And it is precisely that stereotype of “singing Blacks” that have white folks and others believing and articulating that slavery wasn’t that bad an evil. Blacks enjoyed a gay ole time under it. Having the white police officers in Porgy and Bess sing does not make for good racial politics.

    Nazism extols Aryan/white supremacy. The Nazis engaged in the industrial slaughter of all those who didn’t conform to their racial template, including Blacks.

    During the Nazi occupation of Holland, on March 27, 1943, Porgy and Bess, as a slice of “Black life” in America, had its European debut in Copenhagen, and pandered to the racist beliefs and taste of the audience. It took to the stage with an all-white cast in blackface.

    That Porgy and Bess was done in blackface negates its tooting of embracing a universal story; universal aspects of the human condition. Better yet, blackface makes that story line inconsequential, for it spotlights race — the otherness, the perceived cultural primitivism of Blacks.

    Blackface is racist in construct. Blackface ignores the crucible that forges dysfunction in order to execute Black caricatures and stereotypes, to ape and exaggerate how Blacks talk, act, sing and dance.
    Blackface derides and makes fun of Blacks.
    Given the social status, contempt and derision to which people of African descent were held, blackface allowed whites to pimp blackness, make money by indulging in pretend blackness for the entertainment of whites.
    Known for his blackface, Lithuanian Al Jolson, born Asa Yoelson, Jewish, is credited as the person that shaped Black musical history; as single-handedly introducing Black music to White audiences.”

    “Jewish producers/playwrights/composers have repeatedly used slavery and the cultural dysfunction and psychological disfigurement arising out of it and the Antebellum Era in the United States as a source for comedic and sexual material, film and musical operas, and have refrained from doing so with the Holocaust.

    In 2011, the Globe and Mail told the story of Howard and Nancy Kleinberg of Toronto, two teenagers who in the ashes of the Holocaust found love. Live! With Regis and Kelly television show billed their story that started in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as the “world’s greatest love story.”

    In 2007, The New York Times recounted the story of “Jack and Ina Polak who found love in a concentration camp during World War II even though Jack was married to another woman at the time.”

    You would never see a Holocaust era film, play, or opera in which Jewish slave labourers suddenly burst into song the minute Nazi guards turned their backs, or hear songs along the lines of “How I got My Groove on In Auschwitz” or “I found love in Dachau.” But we have tons of plays and films featuring Blacks where those things are the norm.”

    Plenty more facts at the link:

    http://www.nojimzilikazi.com/index.php/2014/02/25/pimping-blackness-porgy-and-bess-is-racially-offensive/

    Othello ,for example was about universally recognized tragedies wrought by jealousy , deceit ,lust and betrayal , **it wasn’t about race.** Apologists for Gershwin’s nonsense attack as self contradicting hypocrites those who dismiss P&B but not Othello,yet out of another side of their mouths proclaim P&B as an exquisitely artful homage to the Black experience and culture. LOL!!! Ya’ can’t have it both ways.!!!!
    I can appreciate the Moor of Venice precisely because it speaks to tragic ironies of life to which we all
    can relate ..NOT some ‘MOOR experience’ in Italy.

    Like

    1. One problem with Mzilikazi’s essay is that it judges George and Ira Gershwin and the opera “Porgy and Bess” by current standards rather than look at what actually motivated them to write the opera in the first place. My understanding is that the source novel on which the opera is based, and a lot of the music in the opera, is based on and inspired by the Gullah community living in South Carolina and its music. Because of a history of relative isolation from the white community in working on rice plantations in South Carolina, in areas where malaria was rife, the Gullah people managed to escape some of the worst atrocities of the slave experience and to preserve the heritage of their homelands in Africa.

      As for the opera’s focus on poor people screwing up their lives in various ways for the entertainment of wealthy people who have the money, the education and the resources to consider more carefully the consequences of whatever rash actions they might want to take, the same can be said of other operas, musicals, dramas and films made all over the world. The opera and the novel portray a group of people oppressed by poverty, class and racism, and doing what they can to survive: whether these works intend to belittle blacks or portray in fictional form how a group of people at the time these works were done (1930s), perhaps with the aim of awakening people’s attention to social problems long ignored by governments and the media, and to deal with them, we don’t know because the authors of these works are dead.

      In recent years, “Porgy and Bess” has been performed by a South African opera company who changed the setting of the opera to a South African township during the apartheid era. The company and the performers must have seen something in the opera that resonated with their own lives and experience.
      https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-africans-remake-porgy-and-bess-musical

      What Mzilikazi fails to see, that the South African performers can see, is that “Porgy and Bess”, like the best operas, can be adapted to different times and contexts because it addresses issues that go beyond the original politics of the opera.

      Like

      1. I never heard of Mzilikazi before, so I googled him apparently he is a Canadian:

        N Oji Mzilikazi is the president of The Council For Black Aging Community Montreal Inc. and draws his experience not only from others, but also from his wealth of experiences. He has worked as a schoolteacher and a Hatha Yoga instructor for over 10 years.

        On the other hand, maybe it’s a different guy, because his blog says he is from the Islands, and that he is a poet:

        Shards of Glass is rooted in social commentary, spiritual awareness and matters of the heart; love, sex and relationships. It taps into the joys, hopes, frustrations and experiences common to all, and explores themes extracted from Mr. Mzilikazi’s island culture. Themes that along with the vision, perspective, and strength of language contained therein, add a unique colour and lustre not found in other poetic works.

        Either way, he sounds like an okay-guy and fairly benign, I was maybe expecting some fiery “cultural nationalist” type. Mzilikazi is certainly entitled to his opinions about “Porgy and Bess”, but there are other points of view, including in the African-American community. World-class opera singers like Eric Owens and Speedo Green would not have agreed to do this performance if they did not believe in the value and quality of the music. In his radio interview, Owens called this work a “masterpiece” and noted that Ira Gershwin really set out to create something of quality here, using a book that he totally believed in. He was not at all setting out to demean African-Americans, quite the opposite.

        I have seen several different productions; in my own humble opinion it’s one of just a handful of American pieces that can actually be considered a world-class opera. Maybe not at the level of a Puccini, but still right up there; and an authentic piece of Americana, in its own way.

        Anybody who watches this opera: Take careful note of “the baby”. There is a baby in the opera who appears at crucial plot points, but other than that doesn’t have much to say for itself.
        Reminds me of the character of Constance Duclos in Adrienne Lecouvreur: a character who is behind every major plot in the play/opera and yet is never actually seen onstage!

        Like

        1. ” Either way, he sounds like an okay-guy and fairly benign…. ”
          I like the way you put that. I have never seen ” Porgy and Bess ” but between Northern Star, Jen and your good self you have intrigued me enough to watch it and given me a basic primer in the themes and issues raised by the work, which will allow to make my own decision about it merits or otherwise. It is definitely not the sort of thing ( opera/musical ) I would normally watch, so thanks.

          Like

          1. This particular opera is not everybody’s cup of tea. I personally like it because it doesn’t pull any punches. In that sense (not musically) it reminds me of Bertolt Brecht’s “3-penny opera”. For example, Brecht (who was a dedicated Communist) does not glamorize the working class or lumpenproletariat.

            Nor do Dorothy and DuBose Heyward glamorize the struggling denizens of Catfish Row. The hero, Porgy, is basically a good man, he is a real human being but definitely not a saint. (In fact, he even commits a murder in the course of the story.) African-American characters like Crown and Sportin’ Life are fairly negative, one is a pimp and the other a drug-dealer. But even they are given their humanity, in a way. It’s definitely not saccharine at all. The humanist angle is that all the people in the cast are shown as people, whatever their failings and their struggles to survive in a very unforgiving society. Even the 2 white characters, the Sheriff and the Deputy are not so bad, they’re just trying to do their job.

            Here is a very interesting piece that includes an interview with Eric Owens, who sings Porgy in this new production. I had not realized that he sang this role before, in the past. Interesting also that Owens is also focused on the issue that Porgy is physically disabled, which drives his character probably more than the fact that he is African-American during the Jim Crow era:

            Like

            1. Suprise, suprise – I knew a lot of the songs, from popular covers – I just didn’t know they were from ” Porgy and Bess “. I definitely would watch it now. Those popular covers were played a lot in the house I grew up in , my ma must have been a fan – though probably not of the opera . I think the music and lyrics must have spoke to her. Eric Owens and his fellow cast members come over very well in the above PBS piece – a group of people doing something they like to do and getting paid for it, don’t often come over so sympathetically.

              Like

    2. In this case the wsws.org review gets it right, and the other one (Mzilikazi) gets it stupid, peddling the b.s. notion of “cultural appropriation”.

      I like the wsws review, it makes a lot of good points:
      “In more recent decades, with the domination of racial and identity politics on the campuses and within what passes for the American intelligentsia, its promotion by the Democratic Party and elevation as an ideological bulwark of bourgeois rule, the opera has been repeatedly accused of denigrating and exploiting black people. It is, according to the terminology of African American Studies departments and a well-funded industry that—with the aid of pseudo-left organizations—churns out racialist propaganda, a prime example of “cultural appropriation.”

      “There are charges of stereotyping and caricature of the inhabitants of Catfish Row, but the real problem of the opera, the irredeemable original sin of Porgy and Bess that every reviewer is duty-bound to raise, is the fact that its creators were white. (Even worse, three of the four—George and Ira Gershwin and Dubose Heyward—were men.)”

      Horrors, men should never be allowed to write about women, and white men should never be allowed to write about African-Americans. Idea: A “woke” reboot, in which Porgy is a Chinese samurai woman with super-powers. And Bess is a trannie with a drug problem, but she gets help and overcomes.

      “The very fact that the race, gender or nationality of the artist is today uncritically presented as a central issue in evaluating a work testifies to the degeneration of bourgeois thought in general and the terrible damage inflicted over many years by identity and racial politics. The use of such criteria in past periods was associated with the political right, which employed them to promote anti-democratic and racist agendas.”

      HEAR HEAR!

      “While today the attack on Porgy and Bess on grounds of the “whiteness” of its creators is cloaked in the supposedly “left” trappings of Democratic Party politics and post-modernist (that is, anti-Marxist) criticism, the earlier practitioners of such an approach were more frank in giving vent to its ugly sources and implications.”

      Well, Philistines will be Philistines, after all… and will cloak their philistinism in the veil of self-righteousness.

      Just a couple of days ago I listened to a radio interview by Eric Owens, the baritone who sings Porgy in this production.
      Little known fact, according to Owens: Al Johnson loved Gershwin’s opera and wanted to sing Porgy in blackface.
      The Gershwin brothers said no, instead, had it written into the contract, that every single role (except for the Sheriff and his deputy) had to be performed by African-American singers. That stipulation continues to this day; and was much welcomed by the African-American artistic community of the time, who were able to get employment thereby, and play the roles they were suited for.

      Owens also pointed out in his interview that the Gershwins (well-meaning lefties of the time) insisted that the Washington D.C. premier be conducted in an integrated theater. Prior to that this particular theater was segregated. So, they did some good there too.

      Modern fake zealots forget all the good that the Gershwins did, not to mention their overall good intentions. Fake left and other peddlers of b.s. just trying to split the working class along racial lines.

      I myself certainly intend to go see this opera, I am very excited about it, and I will most likely write a review on my blog. Owens is one of my favorite opera stars. Speedo is also in it, I think he sings the role of Crown. Viva Catfish Row!

      Like

    3. Northern Star you make some good points. I found this paragraph,

      ” You would never see a Holocaust era film, play, or opera in which Jewish slave labourers suddenly burst into song the minute Nazi guards turned their backs, or hear songs along the lines of “How I got My Groove on In Auschwitz” or “I found love in Dachau.” But we have tons of plays and films featuring Blacks where those things are the norm.”

      particularly persuasive. I don’t know if you intended to make me laugh but “How I got My Groove on In Auschwitz” certainly did make me laugh. I reckon there is probably a lot more to be said on the comparison you raise here between ” the Jewish experience ” and ” the Black experience ” in the mass media, particularly in this modern period. So if you have any further thoughts it might be interesting to hear ( read) them. cheers pmu

      Like

      1. I was quoting Mzilikazi the author of the linked article…but I certainly agree with him.
        ( I think he’s a guy!!!! :O)

        One of my main points as I stated it was:

        “Othello ,for example was about universally recognized tragedies wrought by jealousy , deceit ,lust and betrayal , **it wasn’t about race.** Apologists for Gershwin’s nonsense attack as self contradicting hypocrites those who dismiss P&B but not Othello,yet out of another side of their mouths proclaim P&B as an exquisitely artful homage to the Black experience and culture. LOL!!! Ya’ can’t have it both ways.!!!!
        I can appreciate the Moor of Venice precisely because it speaks to tragic ironies of life to which we all
        can relate ..NOT some ‘MOOR experience’ in Italy.”

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

        Along the same spirit is Dvorak’s New World Symphony
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton%C3%ADn_Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k

        Like

        1. Sorry I misread you but thanks for pointing it out. Regarding the Merchant of Venice, what is your take on the representation of Shylock. I can’t imagine Jeremy Corbyn ( the most famous anti-semite alive today . ha! ) getting away with tweets or whatever concerning Shylock wanting his pound of flesh. Disclaimer ; I’m not that familar with the play, I have only seen the Laurence Fishburne film version, quite a while ago.

          Like

      2. Well, Catfish Row is not exactly Auschwitz, so that is not a fair comparison.
        Catfish Row is a black ghetto in Charleston, South Carolina circa the 1920’s. The inhabitants are workers, fishermen, beggars, and some roving criminal elements. Their lives are not easy, but they are not prisoners and are not slated to be killed in gas chambers. So people who make that comparison are being dishonest.

        The play, and opera, are a work of art, there is a chorus, yes, there is singing and dancing, as in any opera. This is a genuine work of art, it is performed all over the world, and people all over the world respond to this work (assuming they get to see a good production with talented performers) with positive emotions. They may not know about American history or politics, but they respond to great art and great music.

        Porgy was first introduced to Soviet audiencesin 1956, the piece was very modern and like nothing some of the audience had ever seen before.

        Here is Paul Robeson singing the famous song “It ain’t necessarily so” by the bad-guy character Sportin’ Life, the song is important because it mocks religion:

        Like

        1. Wow. Heard the song before but not like that. How revolutionary is ” …the things you read in the bible, it ain’t necessarily so “. I’m guessing biblical literalists would not like this opera. I was more aware of Robeson as a political activist than a singer – I will have to revise that to ” singer and political activist “.
          Got this from wiki ;
          ” Paul Leroy Robeson was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University, he was also a star athlete in his youth.”. ?

          What a megastar.

          ” The last will be first and the first will be last….. ”

          ” …..and the lion will lie down with the lamb ”

          It seems he really lived the dream of being a human being !

          Like

          1. Paul Robeson was awesome, a true American musician/artist superstar and dedicated Communist.
            My only (personal) beef against him is that he was a fervent Stalinist, but what can you do, he took that side in the big faction fight. Either side would have killed to have him on their side. And Robeson took his licks from the McCarthyites as one can imagine.

            Anyhow, in the Porgy context, there is a lot of misinformation being delivered by people who never (a) read Heyward’s book, nor (b) actually saw the opera. I guarantee a lot of the ideological nay-sayers would be won over by the power of art, if they were fortunate enough to see a good production.

            Example of misinformation: Fake cultural warriors (who never saw the opera) cite Porgy’s aria “I got plenty of nothin” as racist; like it’s the traditional “happy go-lucky n-word” song. But they don’t know the context:

            Porgy has been a cripple all his life. It is possible that he has never actually been with a woman. For years he has pined for Bess, who spurns his love. And then finally a miracle: Due to a series of circumstances, Bess actually hooks up with him, and they spend their first night together in Porgy’s modest hovel on Catfish Row.

            The following morning, in a state of ecstasy over finally finding love and getting the girl he always wanted, Porgy breaks into his famous aria where he celebrates: “Got my girl… got my soul…”

            Like

    4. Speaking of Othello: Here is a great performance by Jonas Kaufmann as the jealous Moor in the opera version by Verdi. Here Jonas performs the famous aria Dio! Mi potevi scagliar.

      I won’t say that they put German hunk Jonas in blackface, but maybe, well, in tan-face, as normally he is a paler kind of guy, looks like they also kinked up his hair, O shock!

      Like

  54. Patrick Armstrong: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 26 SEPTEMBER 2019
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2019/09/26/russian-federation-sitrep-26-september-2019/

    …BROWDER. Magnitskiy’s family (remember him? Browder’s honest lawyer murdered in jail by corrupt cops?) brought a case against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights. It was thrown out: read it here “This judgement utterly explodes the accepted narrative, and does it very succinctly“ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/the-magnitskiy-myth-exploded/ . Bet your local news outfit never tells you that the entire base of the “Magnitskiy” case has been punctured by a Western court. Not the first time that a pillar of the anti-Russia mindset has been exploded in a real court https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/31/khodorkovsky-trial-not-political-european-court . Here’s another ruling by the same court. Good betting assumption for analysts: Moscow tells the truth much more often than Western governments or media do…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Like

    1. And there it is – unimpeachable recognition that Magnitsky had indeed purchased airline tickets to Kuh-yiv, and there was therefore every reason to believe he was about to do a flit. You can’t imagine for how long and how restlessly I looked for that since I first saw it mentioned.

      Kovane, our long-lost brother, wrote the original story for the old Kremlin Stooge, way back in the second year of its existence, here;

      https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/sergei-magnitsky-bill-browder-hermitage-capital-management-and-wondrous-metamorphoses/

      In it, Kovane alluded to Magnitsky having made photos for a visa and booked air tickets to Kiev (back when they were still calling it that, before the Azov Battalion narrative that the city was the actual ground zero of civilization gained, if not credibility, wide western media acceptance). I could not find any confirmation for that in the English-speaking media, a link was not included with the story, and when asked, Kovane could not recall where he had seen it. Therefore I could not use it in rebuttals, because I couldn’t prove it. Significantly, that piece in The Kremlin Stooge was compiled almost exclusively from Russian sources at a time when nobody was listening to Russia, western sources were eager to scream it was lying as usual, and resistance to Browder advancing a personal agenda was collapsing like dominoes.

      Thank you very much for that great catch.

      Like

      1. Let me stick the page with the direct ECHR PDF link here, just. in. case.

        https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#%22itemid%22:%5B%22003-6486375-8551786%22%5D
        ###

        This web friendly link setting out the full case in detail is even more useful:
        https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%22itemid%22:%5B%22001-195527%22%5D

        ####
        It is dates 27.08 but if you check the press reporting of it at the time, it completely ignores the dismissal, preferring only to note the violations, including the much promoted ‘NGO’ OCCRP (Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Network), not that it is any surprise to us.

        https://news.google.com/search?q=european%20court%20of%20human%20rights%20magnitsky%20ruling&hl=en-GB&gl=GB&ceid=GB%3Aen

        Like

        1. I’ll say it again Mark. You and this blog (and the old one) are the equivalent of the Big Lebowski’s rug that ties the room together. It’s disturbingly accurate. Thanks for having us.

          Like

      2. I quite like Natylies Place- she doesn’t write very much and few people comment on her articles- but often she has little gems of information. I am sure that other people had observed that Craig Murray often includes some throw away, false comments regarding Russia, but here is a nice rebuttal of one. This rebuttal contains some useful information about the Russian legal system, a topic on which she has written before.
        http://natyliesbaldwin.com/2019/09/craig-murray-reports-that-european-court-of-human-rights-ruling-undermines-bill-browders-and-u-s-establishments-narrative-of-magnitsky-story-but-murray-still-gets-some-things-about-russia-wr/#comments
        (In a recent interview Putin mentioned that he placed the seat of the Supreme Court in St Petersburg to distance itself from the seat of government in Moscow.)

        Like

        1. Yeah, having experienced first-hand the UK prison and legal system, I was irritated by that comment maideby Murray that the Russian prison and legal system was a “disgrace”.

          I recall that in the Khodorkovsky appeal, one of the abuses of his human rights that the ECHR stated and declared that the Russian should compensate St. Mikhail of the Gulag for, was that when he was spending lengthy periods of time in a court cell during his trials in Moscow, he had to piss in a bucket.

          I was banged up with 3 others in a Manchester prison cell designed in the 1880s for one inmate. I was there for several months. our toilet facilities consisted of a 2 gallon bucket with lid and into which we pissed and shat. I was there for a long time. One of us in turns sluiced the shit-bucket on our prison landing at 7 a.m. every day.

          When appearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in London, I was transported from Brixton Prison to that court in shackles, having first been transported to London from Manchester handcuffed to one of the two prison officers that accompanied me. As I crossed the court-yard on the Strand, I remember seeing London office girls looking down out of office windows and giggling at the sight of the chain-gang that I was part of as we shuffled across the enclosed yard.

          I was imprisoned because, basically, I was a striking miner.

          Prior to my conviction, I had never committed any crime whatsoever in my life. I was themn 35 years old.

          European Court of Human Rights?

          Horseshit!

          Like

          1. Your anger is righteous. For some peculiar reason your writing often makes me think of Blake’s line “Tyger, Tyger, burning bright”. I had a mate, ex amateur league player from Manchester, who used to be furious about the English class system. He had the last laugh- he got a Chair at Oxford and a knighthood to boot. I often wonder whether in a different life that might have been your lot. If you ever come to Oz I could put you up and take you to a game.

            Like

            1. Thanks for the invite, DAVIDT, but I reckon I’ll toss-tail over here before I could take the opportunity to travel to Australia, where, by the way, I have loads of relatives whom I have never met.

              My cousin Joe, my dad’s sister’s eldest, emigrated to Australia as soon as he had come out his time as an apprentice fitter down one of the coal mines that were scattered around my home town. I faintly remember the farewell party (I was about 5 years-old then) before he set off for Tilbury docks, London, where he was to board the migrants’ ship. He emigrated, of course, using the UK government’s £10 assisted passage scheme.

              When Joe arrived at Euston Station, London (the station for Northwest England and Glasgow, Scotland), some lousy bastard there stole his suitcase. Joe only had £5 in his wallet: everything else that he possessed had gone. What could he do: go back home or press on? He decided to press on, and sailed all the way to Sydney with only £5 in his pocket.

              Anyway, having arrived in Australia, he quickly found work and lived the rest of his life there. He married an Australian girl and they had a raft of kids. And Joe’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren, one of whom latter I briefly met in the UK in the ’90s, are now scattered all over Australia. I remember saying to that lad whom I met in the ’90s that his great-great-grandma was my auntie, my father’s eldest sister, which statement made me feel bloody old!

              I last saw my cousin Joe in 1983, when he was making a farewell tour to the old country. He was working in Queensland then. He urged me to go back with him, saying I’d get a job straight away. But I had a job there in the UK. Only a few weeks before Joe tried to persuade me to emigrate, my pit manager had told me that I would be able to work at that pit until my retirement age (then it was 65) as there were over 30 years of winnable reserves below ground.

              I stayed in the UK and the government closed my pit in 1985.

              And I couldn’t emigrate to Australia because by that time — irony of ironies! — I had a criminal record.

              Anyway, I emigrated to “mainland Europe” because there was nothing down for me work-wise in Merry England.

              So I lost contact with “home” and I can’t remember the last RL match I watched at the Knowsley Road ground, which doesn’t exist any more.

              One of my big regrets was my not having had the opportunity of seeing Mal Meninga play for the Saints in the 1984-1985 season. I was impoverished then because I was on strike for one year. The strike started in March ’84 and 2 weeks before it ended in 1985, I was in prison. When I had done my time, Meninga had gone back home and I buggered off to Germany. So I never saw him live in action.

              Like

              1. If you get the opportunity this Sunday’s grand final should be worth watching. Meninga’s old club is playing Easts. Whereas most NRL clubs rely on New Zealanders or islanders, the Raiders have picked up 3 outstanding forwards from England- John Bateman (ex Wigan), Elliot Whitehead (ex Bradford) and Josh Hodgson (ex Hull) Bateman reminds me a bit of Dick Huddart. Mal Meninga is everyone’s hero- here he is launching and ending his political career:

                Like

                1. Mal Meninga is very well thought of by many of the folks back “home”:

                  JOIN MAL MENINGA!

                  Just shows you how out of touch I am now: “Langtree Park” is the Saints new home ground.

                  I had to check it out on Google FFS!

                  Michael Pennington, AKA “Johnny Vegas”, is a dickhead and no relation to me, though he probably is, but distant — very distant, I hope!

                  Like

                2. Oh, I knew Mal Meninga was very likely a descendant of Islander sugar cane cutters, who were indentured to do such backbreaking work in the scorching heat of Queensland.

                  Its them bloody big fat ugly cane toads that would put me off having a bash at cane cutting!

                  Like

                3. Further to Michael Pennington, he is the Saints most famous fan. He’s from “The Heath”, aka “Donkey Common”— Thatto Heath, where my mother was from.

                  Her paternal grandmother’s name was Pennington, as was my father’s name.

                  They’re quite interbred on the Heath, see.

                  On the Heath is St Austin’s Church and School, the latter being the local Rugby League Academy.

                  Famous sons of St Austin’s include Alec Murphy, Eric Ashton, Austin Rhodes and many others, including Michael Pennington, but he didn’t play rugby.

                  My mother also went to St Austin’s.

                  She was a great loose-forward, second only to Vinny Karalius, but he was from Widnes.

                  Like

                4. I see plenty of cane toads when I visit my daughter in Trinity Beach, just north of Cairns. The place is lousy with snakes, mostly non-venomous, though they can be huge- scrub pythons. On the other side of her hill, there are supposed to be Taipans. (Unfortunately, Taipans don’t eat cane toads for if they did they would die.) They are aggressive and deadly- I have had one strike at me. There is an effective anti-venom but If you don’t get medical attention quickly then you die. That’s one reason why cane cutting used to be as dangerous as working in the pits. (My daughter sees her fair share of snake bite victims in Intensive Care.) In the olden days cane fields were torched partly to drive out any snakes- today, it is highly mechanized cutting.
                  Your mother would have been handy at St George this year. Don’t I remember a study by Steven and Hilary Rose who found that most sons who escaped the English pits did so because of a strong mother? Well, in your case I guess Thatcher was a tough bird too.
                  (John Bateman won the award for the NRL’s best 2nd rower last night)

                  Like

                5. Oh, that’s good news! Well done Bateman, even though he is a “Pie-Eater”!

                  Yeah, the person who turned D.H. Lawrence into a kreakl who wrote dirty stories was his mum. She thought she’d married beneath herself, in that Lawrence’s dad was collier. So Lawrence didn’t end up working alongside his dad in his pit stall as he should have done, but went to Nottingham Art School, FFS!

                  As it happens, I knew a lad who moved from the Lancashire coalfield so as to work in the Notts. field and he lived in same place where the Lawrences had lived. He told me that there were still some old codgers there who remembered old man Lawrence and they all said it was a load of crap what his arty-tarty son had written about him as regards his uncouthness, that he had been, in fact, a “gentleman”.

                  Bear in mind, for them, “being a gentleman” probably meant he went out into the street so as to goz out his chewing-tobacco juice rather than directing it at the back of the fireplace.

                  When my granddad gozzed into the back of the fire, it all crackled because of the coal dust in his phlegm. I kid you not!

                  Like

                6. I was brought up in Newcastle, NSW. As you would surmise there were collieries, your pits, everywhere, especially up in the Hunter valley- so that mine subsidence was a problem. I only knew a couple of miners- they had hard lives. Virtually all underground mining has ended, replaced by huge open cut mines- much of the valley has been ruined. My best friend’s dad was a miner whose health was destroyed by working underground. On the other hand, my mate made a monsa- he had the contract to do the quality control on the coal being shipped out of the port. I’ve counted over 50 big coal carriers off the coast waiting to load. Most of it goes to China, which explains our ambivalent attitude to China. (Our economic prosperity depends on China, but “we” don’t like their economic and military power. There’s a fair bit of anti-Chinese racism here in Sydney.)
                  I like watching the English forwards in the Canberra team- they are tough and skillful, and don’t know when they are beaten. Josh Hodgson, their hooker, is close to the best in the world. (This might amuse you. When Bateman did an ad for a Canberra car company they were forced to use subtitles so that people could understand him.)

                  Like

  55. There appears to be something happening in Egypt.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190923-egypt-military-calls-for-sisi-to-be-ousted/

    I don’t know the middleeastmonitor well nor how trustworthy it is, only looking very occasionally but the significance of the headline is in the illumination of open dissent against Sisi. There are a series of articles charting the rise of this dissent at that site. I think the article says a large demonstration took place last Friday. It doesn’t say how large. I saw nothing about in the British media. Almost predictably, social media has focused the dissent. The articles claim that Sisi is building a lot of palaces!? They make the point Egypt is chock full of palaces, why would they need more of these highly useful social assets? I love palaces (especially if they are mine )as much as the next person but I do tend to agree that one can have too much of a good thing.

    Like

  56. Sciencemag via Antiwar.com: Scientists clash over paper that questions Syrian government’s role in sarin attack
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/scientists-clash-over-paper-questions-syrian-government-s-role-sarin-attack

    …Now, a manuscript questioning that conclusion https://d3ba7j4nna908t.cloudfront.net/attachments/Attachment+4+-+Computational+Forensic+Analysis+for+the+Chemical+Weapons+Attack+at+Khan+Sheikhoun+on+April+4.+2017_S.pdf has caused a heated dispute among U.S. scientists. Until this week, the paper was scheduled for publication by Science & Global Security (SGS), a prestigious journal based at Princeton University. But as Science went to press, SGS’s editors suspended publication amid fierce criticism and warnings that the paper would help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Russian government. Both have denied that Syria is responsible.

    The paper’s most prominent author is Theodore Postol, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and a respected expert on missile defense and nuclear weapons. …
    ####

    It’s good to see this back again. That the editors of the journal were intimidated in to pulling it speaks volumes and shows how afraid The Blob is. What skin is it off their nose that the paper is published? If it is weak or wrong then that would reflect on Postol and the other authors, but to shut it down and not see the light of day…

    Like

    1. …SGS’s editors suspended publication amid fierce criticism and warnings that the paper would help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Russian government.

      The scientific method – always been mindful of where the grant money comes from.

      Like

      1. The western promoters who disagreed with the paper seemed far more concerned that its publication would ‘help Assad and Russia’ than whether it was true and accurate. Pretty much the antithesis of the scientific method. This is probably what the Bible statement “the love of money is the root of all evil” was getting at. It sometimes leads to conclusions that science must bow to politics ‘for the greater good’, so that scientists can go on sciencing rather than running out of funding.

        Like

        1. A very well documented example is the Manhattan Project – General Leslie Groves marshalled a disparate group of scientists, who were present through a hugely varied set of circumstances and motivations and hammered them into obedience. A lot of the scientists involved wrote memoirs, which include many painful anecdotes and recollections concerning the subservience of science to politics. Groves was a dictator who didn’t suffer geniuses gladly. He had ” a reputation as a doer, a driver, and a stickler for duty ” ( otherwise known as a ” twat ” ) before he was appointed to head the atomic project.

          Like

    2. For all the world like Nekrasov and his film. The official narrative is on such shaky ground that it relies on not being challenged. And the Great Beacons Of Freedom with all their screeching and fluff about the sanctity of dissent cannot tolerate its actual exercise – it’s far better in the abstract, the conceptual, so they can continue to pose as models of free speech. Bullshit, is what that is. I have to say, the public lauding of Bellingcat is one of the things that bothers me most – it just makes people look stupid, so obviously being fed a narrative which is shaped by a political imperative.

      Like

  57. Sends a nice message to the US and to the remaining jihadist terrorists:

    https://www.rt.com/news/469715-khmeimim-russia-airbase-syria-renovations/

    The Russian airbase in Syria has been boosted with hangars to shelter planes from drone attacks and a centralized fuel system, the Defense Ministry said. The upgrade will also allow for additional aircraft at the strategic base.

    He said the reconstruction of the second landing strip is now in full swing, and the capacity of the airbase will be boosted upon its completion.

    New hangars for those planes have now been put into service, aimed at protecting the aircraft in case of drone attacks, which frequently target the Russian base, but have failed to cause any damage thanks to its air defenses. The hangars’ other purpose is sheltering the hardware from roasting in the hot Syrian sun and prolonging the lifespan of both planes and service equipment. The shade has also improved working conditions for the mechanics, the official noted.

    Like

  58. Another load of bollocks from the BBC about Russia!

    One man’s 3,000km march to oust Putin

    In Russia, any opposition to the government is often severely clamped down upon, so it’s surprising that a self-styled shaman or spiritual leader was allowed to walk across the country for six months.

    Alexander Gabyshev wanted to reach Moscow to confront the Russian President Vladimir Putin but was stopped by the authorities.

    The BBC met him on the road before his journey was halted.

    27 Sep 2019

    Just read this again: “In Russia, any opposition to the government is often severely clamped down upon”.

    Has the BBC no correspondents in, say, France?

    Is there only “opposition” to heads of state in Russia that is “often severely clamped upon”?

    Those “gulags” [Главное управление лагерей и мест заключения (ГУЛаг]— Main Directory for Camps and Places of Detention, a Soviet prison administrative body, not a prison or prison camp!] must be really overcrowded by now.

    Has the BBC nothing better to do?

    Nobody here gives a monkey’s about this “shaman”!

    Like

  59. Here is how the “clampdown” on the “shaman” and his supporters was reported by TASS:

    TASS, September 25th. Supporters of the shaman Alexander Gabyshev, who, along with his detachment, were walking from Yakutia to Moscow, have decided to stop their campaign, which they had previously intended to continue despite the detention of Gabyshev himself on September 19. This was reported to TASS by supporters of the shaman.

    Gabyshev, who was going on foot from Yakutia to Moscow, was detained on September 19 in Buryatia. A criminal case has been brought against him under Part 1 of Art. 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Public calls for extremist activities”). He is under written orders not to travel any further.

    “The members of the detachment discussed everything and decided to stop the campaign. The day before they were brought to the police in connection with a violation of traffic rules and they decided to disperse,” the agency’s interlocutor said.

    Earlier, TASS reported that six persons who identified themselves as supporters of the shaman had been taken to a police station after appeals by motorists in the Slyudyansky district of the Irkutsk region. They had been walked along the roadway. Charges were drawn up against the shaman’s supporters, and then they were released.

    But not before the BBC had flown in a correspondent and camera crew to film the protesters and interview local folk who think everything is wonderful in the West, whereas they live in shitsville.

    Like

      1. Listen Yalensis, don’t think you’ve got a chance to entrap me in some kind Democrat FBI Mueller type probe. I won’t fall for it, or be a sucker(!). As for any Octopus related filth, I cannot say, but I suspect that they’ll at least want a screen credit and 15% of all box office takings. Tough customers!

        Like

          1. Soundtrack?

            Bill Withers:

            When I wake up in the morning, love,
            And your tentacle creeps up my thigh,
            ….Just one look at you,
            And I know it’s gonna be,
            A suckky day,…

            I’m available for weddings, funerals, baptizms, bar/t mitzvahs, NY Stock Exchange, The Oscars, etc, but not in the morning.

            Like

    1. She is the only exciting candidate. But I still don’t see her making it this time. The crowd just doesn’t have that worked-up mob feeling at her speeches, and the applause seems as much polite as it is enthusiastic. I think she’s firing on all cylinders, but still doesn’t have mass appeal. But she’s sounding more and more like a leader, and she’s making incremental gains.

      Like

        1. I think it’s going to be a case of Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg shooting themselves in their respective feet before Tulsi Gabbard comes to the fore. Plus Gabbard has her own house-cleaning to do, such as explaining her friendship with Indian PM Narendra Modi and her office staff personnel’s associations (in particular, her Chief of Staff Kainoa Penaroza) with the Science of Identity group within the Hare Krishna movement. If she did become the Democrat candidate, the media and the Republican Party are going to zoom in onto those associations.

          Like

          1. Tulsi might need to quit the Hare Krishna movement if she wants to become Prez.
            Ordinary Americans don’t want to see Tulsi’s Krishna people schnoring at national airports:

            They would rather fly in the skies with wholesome American folk singers:

            Like

    2. She would, at the very least, make a great US ambassador to the UN if Trump could get his act together on Russia. I know she is a democrat but it could still happen albeit a long shot.

      I don’t have much hope for for 2020 but for 2024 – Tulsi! Tulsi! Tulsi!

      Like

  60. The mantra that economic (class) based considerations should form the basis of cohesive soldarity amongst the rank of the wretched is obvious horseshit since the actual agents of oppression are themselves racit in application. American health care is system of corrupt incompetent pimping of death and dying as commodities to be exploite d. But basic morbidity/mortality stats from cradle to grave age cohorts establish that blacks are was way more fucked over by this system to which comparatively they have the least access.

    In America the average white household net worth is 144G.
    For blacks…11G…11 not 111…11G.

    Incarceration rates in American prisons?
    Really…Seriously…?? Who could be so stupid or purposefully blind to need that spelled out.

    The list goes on….

    Maybe all Americans -other than the elite 10%-are in deep shit. But for some the shit is and has been wàaaaay deeper than for others,
    particularly those who are white.

    We’re all in this together…..??

    Umm…kinda….
    BTW….wanna talk about political alliances that transcend race?Let’s start that discussion off with the topic of how white women have repeatedly thrown black women under the bus as the Women’s movement started to galvanize from the late 60s on. This goes back to the antebellum nineteenth century and the bitter split between the abolitionist and suffragette forces …Many white women looked out for number 1…..need I tell you who that was. Circle the wagons and close ranks. That’s not narrow minded race or gender or whatever based thinking. It’s anthropology 101.

    Like

    1. I read somewhere. that by 1914, in Britain the remnants of the Suffragette movement had morphed into the white feather movement – they spent their time handing out white feathers to men of fighting age, who were not at the front, as evinced by the men’s presence on home soil. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, it seems. The activity is described in the film “The Four Feathers” (many versions)
      The stats you cite make grim reading and are incredibly extreme. I remember being told, by a book about the for-profit prison system, that black male residents of Louisiana have a 33 percent chance of prison time (2 years or more) in the course of their lives. I don’t believe that black males from Louisiana are anymore criminal than the general population (individual and social contexts notwithstanding). Are there any other distinct social groups in the whole world facing such odds?

      Like

      1. Aboriginal people in Western Australia have very high rates of imprisonment compared even to other Aboriginal people living in the rest of Australia including the Northern Territory. In 2017, the rate at which WA Aboriginal people were imprisoned was over 4,000 per 100,000 people and the rates at which Aboriginal people in Australia generally were imprisoned were higher (2,440 per 100,000) than the rate at which African-American people in the US generally were imprisoned (2,207 per 100,000).
        https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/aboriginal-prison-rates

        Of course, figures alone can present a distorted view as the Aboriginal populations in WA and NT are small (together, they are less than 25% of the total Aboriginal population in Australia) so even if one WA Aboriginal person got arrested and thrown into jail, that person would represent a bigger percentage fraction of the state’s Aboriginal population, than one white person thrown into jail would for his/her ethnic group in the same state.

        Like

      2. Similarly, in the U.S., the women’s suffrage movement (which evolved out of the female wing of the Slavery-Abolitionist movement), once they got the vote, they used it to pass Alcohol Prohibition Laws.
        Road to hell paved with … (indeed)

        Like

  61. CNN: Курт Волкер подал в отставку

    CNN: Kurt Walker resigned
    01:52 09/28/2019 (updated: 06:51 09/28/2019)

    WASHINGTON, Sep 28 – RIA News. US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Walker is resigning, CNN reported on Saturday citing three sources.
    This happened a day after his name was mentioned in a complaint published on Thursday by an anonymous informant about alleged pressure from US President Donald Trump on Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. Walker was then summoned to the US Congress, where Trump’s impeachment procedure was launched.
    According to CNN, information about the resignation of Walker has already been confirmed by three sources.

    Like

    1. I think that’s ‘Volker’. It just looks like ‘Walker’ in Russian. But Kurt Volker is the US Special Representative for Ukraine, the envoy sent by Washington to alleviate the unbearableness of the United States being left out of the Normandy Four format, an d consequently not at the negotiating table where it could ‘take a hard line’ and fuck things up. Good riddance – he was a jerk, like so many American diplomats, and plainly only in Ukraine to advance American interests.

      Like

      1. From the Groaning Man piece today:

        …The Washington Post reported that further restrictions were placed on details from a 2017 meeting between Trump, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergei Kislyak, in which Trump is reported to have said he was not bothered by Moscow interference in the 2016 election because the US did the same kind of thing in other countries. ..
        ####

        I suspect that some people (the liberal exceptionalists) is that the real crime is a) t-Rump said that the USA does it too; b) he said it more or less publicly, a bit like the Wizard of OZ revealing to all his great admirers that he/the job is a sham/trick/smoke and mirrors or the Emperor revealing that he knows he has no clothes and doesn’t give a f***.

        Following the new ‘impeachment’ schtick, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, i.e. the timing of the response that if it is unforgivable and a crime to ask a foreign power to dig up dirt on opponents, then why is it ok for O-Bomber to do so (sic Russiagate/Christopher Steel etc/)?’.

        Publicly hanging t-Rump is hanging the Democrats publicly too as they invite yet again the public to look at all the lies they published and were outed to be false.

        Pelosi and the impeachment crowd are complete morons. Rather than focusing on policy and how they’ll improve America, they are splitting their messages, energy, time and money all over the place. Keep It Simple, Stupid!

        Like

        1. Just saw the Google News (UK) article headlines about this and I laughed out loud to the one by The Sun who’s long title was hilariously shortened to:

          ‘CLOSE TO A SPY’ Donald Trump hints at death penalty for ‘treason’ of Ukraine scandal whistleblower – who’s revealed to be a ‘C

          ####

          Or is it just me who found this funny?

          Like

          1. Just remember that all this drama plays to the Democrats’ desire to make this into a major global event. People who want to see a Democrat as the next president are very excited about it. I am not among them. I could not possibly care less who is the next president.

            Like

          2. That must have been the point at which The Sun chief editor ran into the printing room and yelled out: “I’ve just received a D-notice from Westminster telling us not to reveal the ‘C’ feller’s identity and job!”

            Like

        2. Yeah, I continue to be amazed by the sheer moronics of the Dems. They had 4 effing years to hammer out a semi-attractive platform and try to cough up a candidate who isn’t a total disaster. And what did they do? They wasted every second of those 4 years.
          Imbeciles! I’m kind of glad, though. Not that I like Trump one bit. But he’s still a lesser evil than the Dems.

          Like

          1. They spent about 3.7 years screeching that Clinton was cheated out of the presidency by nefarious means, which they tried to nail down in several different ways. This is just another attempt to portray Trump as a slimy behind-the-scenes trickster who bilked an honest woman out of the nation’s highest office, and to ensure that no matter when he leaves, he does so in disgrace. The Democrats trying to portray someone else as a disgrace – in favour of a Clinton, no less – ….well, I just can’t think of an appropriately ludicrous comparison.

            Like

        3. What infuriates the Americans who buy into the election-meddling nonsense is the trivializing of it by Trump, as if it were no more than Putin saying publicly, ‘I hope Trump wins’. Of course he never said that anywhere, and the Russian government is careful to keep its official statements to something about ‘being ready to work with the winner, whoever it might be’. But that might make folk think about the European leaders and their enthusiastic endorsements of Madame Clinton, whom they spoke of as if she were already the president, which they were clearly confident she would be. Europe doesn’t want any more reminders in the public eye of how they uniformly panned Trump and snickered over his impending trouncing by Clinton, and besides, if the one is election meddling, then so is the other.

          Like

  62. crAP via Antiwar.com: Russian military in Syria says it downed dozens of drones
    https://www.dailyinterlake.com/article/20190927/AP/309279931

    …Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that so far in 2019 the military has shot down 58 drones and 27 rockets that targeted the Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s Mediterranean province of Latakia…

    …Konashenkov said that most of the drone attacks were launched from Khan Sheikhoun and Latamna in the northwestern province of Idlib. The Syrian army captured those areas last month following weeks of a sweeping offensive backed by Russia…
    ####

    Not a penny for reconstruction of historical sites blown up the the West’s terrorist allies either.

    Press review: Chirac’s legacy and the IMF’s recommendation on Ukrainian aid
    Top stories in the Russian press on Friday, September 27
    https://tass.com/pressreview/1080159

    …Izvestia: Russia seeks to diversify defense industry

    …Experts are also positive about the defense industry’s diversification rates. However, according to them, the main task is to find solutions that would be in demand on the civilian market…

    …It is no coincidence therefore that the diversification process covers areas such as healthcare, transport and city infrastructure development projects, Kozyulin said.
    ####

    This is something they really, really need to put a lot of energy in to and pushed hard to make it much easier to support civilian spin-offs, especially with new tech.

    Like

    1. I am ideologically pure and would rather freeze in the free market – to have the freedom to freeze, if you will, than be wrapped in that nice warm blanket provided by the “socialist nanny-state” that is clearly making you soft. Even though you live in a cold country, we will out-freeze you. If you think those Ruskies are gonna win this new cold war, you under-estimate the ideological fervency of the poor and dispossessed, who to a person are willing to freeze to death for capitalism.

      Wonderful capitalist energy market!

      Like

        1. That is a nice turn of phrase. I like your philosophy. We are always recruiting in the “paid shill” department and it appears you meet the strict and exacting criteria demanded of applicants. So, if you will at least consider getting well paid for some old rope, you maybe should give us a call?

          Like

        1. Yeah, well if the magnetic poles suddenly reversed and the hemispheres switched seasons, then you’d be up a creek in that Moscow nanny state. The bureaucrats would turn the heat on just as summer was starting to get hot; and switch it off just as Father Frost came nipping at your thighs.
          Mark my words, this will happen someday…

          Like

          1. Yeah exactly – Moscow Exile what do think HARPE is for. I bet that will wipe the smirk of your smug mug. If we can get it done by Christmas, heat exhaustion may well intervene long before the end of May 2020. Won’t be so chipper then will you? The bad news? General Winter has defected to the free west, As you well know, the General is always looking for “recruits” to his “army” and he figures we’ll supply him more “troopers” than you guys ever did – 1812 and 1941 were flukes, we can supply him with year in, year out increases, all predicted on economic forecasts – it’s a no-brainer for any investor. That and a few juicy, plump directorships allowed the General to see thru the ideological smokescreen and perceive the underlying moral reality.

            Like

                1. Temperatures in Quebec City frequently reach -30 C once per winter, at night. I never experienced winter in Quebec; although I was posted to Valcartier (an Army base just outside Quebec City) for three years, the missus’s arrival from Russia (finally) intervened, and I only ended up serving there for a few months. I left for British Columbia again December 15th, 2005, and she arrived in Victoria 2 days later. But I remember on the day I left, when I was walking to catch the ride that would take me to the airport, when I breathed in the sides of my nostrils briefly froze together. Block heaters and the receptacles to power them are a must for vehicles left outside.

                  https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/Quebec/Places/quebec-city-temperatures-by-month-average.php

                  Like

              1. Proves nothing. You claim to live in Moscow, yes? Yet you expect to me believe you have never heard of photoshop/deep fakes, do you think me gullible? Obviously you do! The first photo, removing the crappy snow effects and Cyrillic props, looks suspiciously like St Helens railway station last winter but, admittedly I am not that familar with the actual station. The second photo is clearly in a studio, just with a lot fake snow liberally applied, you will have to do better than this, if you want me to be happy about your central heating coming on . Sorry.

                Like

        2. I am. I’m freezing right now and it is fucking brilliant. You, you wouldn’t understand what it means to be free, being merely, another………… kremlin stooge. “Boom Boom” ( the catch phrase of that great, free market philosopher, Basil Brush. The old ones are the best!) Cheers

          Like

  63. And now this:
    https://www.rt.com/news/469837-yemen-houthi-najran-saudis-captured/

    Houthis have launched a major operation against Saudi forces near the kingdom’s southern region of Najran, capturing or killing a significant number of troops, their spokesman said. Riyadh has yet to confirm or deny the claim.

    In a televised address on Saturday, the group’s spokesman said they’d inflicted heavy losses on the Saudi forces, capturing several high-ranking officers and a large cache of weaponry, including armored vehicles. He also claimed several hundreds of Saudi troops, including some high-ranking officers, have been killed or taken prisoner by the Houthis.

    Narjan city is just north of the Yeman border with a population of 500,000 per wikipedia. One would suspect that satellite intelligence may be available to the Houthi to facilitate a major and apparently successful cross-border raid.

    Like

  64. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/28/inco-s28.html

    “All of American bourgeois politics is geared toward satisfying the material needs of and working out the differences within the various elements of this privileged top 10 percent, whose interests are directly opposed to the great masses of people.

    Bourgeois politicians from both parties—who are almost all personally wealthy—are sponsored by corporations and billionaire donors who control the political system. The corporate media sets the tone of political “discourse” and seeks to manipulate popular consciousness to protect the interests of the rich.
    *****Practically all discussion of the great social problems that confront the bottom 90 percent of the population are censored and kept out of sight.”****

    Yup….That’s why they want that pesky Internet to be shut the fuck up as much as possible.

    Like

      1. It’s true. The erosion of kindness and compassion (not counting feigned liberal compassion) in America is shocking. Since everything has been monetized, there is diminished interest in doing the “right thing”. Just my impression but I think when the phrase “take the money and run” became popular, that was a visible turning point in American society at the grassroots level.

        I know some will say Americans are generous and some still are but how much of that is for a Facebook show or similar “look at me and how wonderful I am” stunt?

        Remember hitchhikers? It was a common sight and I have certainly picked up my share as well as hitchhiking a few times myself. Now, we look askance at anyone on foot walking along the road. What is their problem? Probably a criminal or, worse, homeless.

        Just curious, was/is hitchhiking common in the UK or other parts of Europe?

        Like

        1. Yes it was quite noticeable, till the eighties. I guess it is still going on today, though with much less frequency. I don’t spend much time on roads these days, not being a driver, so I wouldn’t quote me. On the wider point of “…kindness and compassion…”, I get the feeling it is less harsh here in Britain than America. There are hardly any guns here and people seem to value that state of affairs, in general, IMO. Hatred of the poor and downtrodden waxes and wanes, dependent on the current political context. I noticed a big change in 1980’s, as Mrs Thatcher instituted the first phase of the neo-liberal program here, which had been running as a pilot project in General Pinochet’s Chile since 1973. Think tanks and newspaper leader columns started speaking about “the deserving poor” and “the undeserving poor”, previously speaking only of “the poor”. We queue, happily, for whatever – there being a whole subculture of “the politics of queuing”. I was in a huge, seething early morning queue onetime – we were all hoping to receive some free legal advice and I , and I guess everyone else, had legal problems and no cash. Spontaneously, some guy popped out of the queue and diagnosed society’s obvious problems, really simply and clearly – it got a great response from the queue. His last point was that we had allowed a system that would destroy any person of good intent who attempted to improve things as one of the systematic functions of our democracy. He was brilliant and could have made a great leader- you know, make complex things easy for the mass to understand, modest and with an honest face – far better than anything we get offered in the “democratic process”. That took place about fifteen years ago and I have never seen this guy ever again, even though it all took place at a local free advice shop and by his voice, he was a local. Ah yes we love our queues. Cheers! pmu

          Like

          1. Hitchhiking virtually disappeared in the mid-70’s to early 80’s after some high profile crimes involving hitchhikers (both as perpetrator and victims). I never connected the disappearance of hitchhiking with politics but the recasting of the poor as inherently suspicious/defective characters certainly was part of the cause. Thank you for that observation. It seemed to be an early sign of the growing appeal of being wealthy and successful versus being an ordinary person who seeks nothing more than to have a decent life and raising a good family.

            From my few visits to England and Scotland, I did gain a distinct impression that the people are kinder and less guarded but not necessarily with smiles plastered on their faces.

            There was a book written a number of years ago titled “A Nation of Salesman” which explored selling and marketing in the US. Adding in my own interpretation, many in the US are walking/talking advertisements taking their cue from various media sources on how to best sell themselves. They are socially acceptable streetwalkers whoring their brains for whomever would pay them to complete some dirty and deceptive deed (a little vague there but you know what I mean).

            Like

            1. Britain is an old country, the USA much younger. The point being, the “folk by-ways” are much more deeply engraved on the people and the land in older countries. The “folk by-ways” are personal and community responses to the ever- changing scene of power as it inscribed on the national palimpsest ( something which is perpetually redrawn,re-written etc) , over unnumbered generations unto millennia. Every youth is given access to this treasure as their mind grows to perceive it and in the end accommodates and replicates it according to each individual nature .
              I’m sure you will be aware that Soviet citizens responded in a variety of ways, to perceived failings in governance and bureaucracy – anything from strict legal obedience to flagrant criminality – these responses are communicated as “news” or “gossip”, (information) to others using nuance in speech and behaviour. What people omit from spoken utterances is , holistically speaking, just as important as what they say. How someone “says” something provides a lot more information than just the “information itself. Eighty odd percent of any speech act is non-verbal. These continuous and ever changing states of affairs are coded, informally, into the vast matrix of information that the “folk by-ways” contain. Snatches of nursery rhymes, verses of folk songs, names of ships, even tank names (Churchill tank, Josef Stalin tank , Sherman tank, nickname “Ronsons” etc). Some are officially sanctioned (Sherman) , many not (Ronson). All this information represents the cultural heritage of a given individual, as defined by questions of scale, context and perception. Shermans were nicknamed “Ronsons” due to their habit of bursting into flame (like a Ronson lighter), even when hit by shells which should not of destroyed the tank due to its armour. A design fault in industrial production, coded into the “folk by-ways” as a “Ronson” and of course, as a Sherman (the official designation). I heard a folk song that was from the Napoleonic period entitled “I ran a race with a cannonball”, the hero of the song lost the race and his legs. This is the “folk by-ways” writ large.
              Life in Britain is not that easy for the mass. We muddle thru. In the last five generations nearly every male in my family has been conscripted to fight in Britain’s imperial wars, often spending some their best years wearing imperial “khaki”, thru no choice of their own. The average health of the lower classes was worse on conscription in WW2 than on conscription in WW1 – a fact cited by William Beveridge in 1945, when he presented his report – establishing the welfare state in Britain, to the government of the day.
              Empathy, charity (Caritas -New Testament charity not the “charity” of the “great and good”), kindness – these are as universally human as excrement and rubbish tips. We are a mixed bag – how we do things is how we do things, it was ever thus but change does occur. I am so glad that I have not had to sling a Lee-Enfield ( a famous British rifle, like the Russian Mosin-Nagant,) for my “queen”. This kind of change may be slow, relying as it does on the hidden power of the “folk by-ways” but to me it is all we have, outside of Mao’s all-encompassing (and annihilatory) dictum, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Cheers pmu

              Like

  65. Back to the American Reality Show:

    “In light of a US refusal to issue visas to a part of the Russian delegation traveling to participate in various activities of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that the time had come to raise the question of the location of the UN headquarters.”

    “When a visa was not issued to the head of the relevant Non-Proliferation and Arms Control department, who was supposed to go to a meeting of the UN Disarmament Commission in April this year, we formally proposed not to hold a Commission session in the United States, if all delegations were not entitled to send the person who is considered necessary to promote their positions and defend their interests. Now, apparently, we will have to raise the question of what to do with the UN headquarters”, Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant newspaper.
    Lavrov promised that Moscow would respond harshly to Washington’s refusal to issue visas for part of the Russian delegation traveling to the UN General Assembly.”

    “Séamus Ó Néill • a day ago
    America continually exposes its true reality, a tyrannical dictatorship, devoid of any respect for international norms, laws or treaties. It always was a warmongering psychopathic entity, but it morphed into an amoral satanic abomination as it couldn’t contain its lust and self-consuming greed. Oblivious to the world’s detestation and loathing for its bullying and conceited belief of its own exceptionalism, it continues, foolishly but eagerly, in this madness which will ultimately lead to its own destruction. Its hijacking of the UN, SWIFT, IMF, WHO, etc,etc also means that, imminently, the rest of the world has to devise new structures and mechanisms to deal with rogue nations. America has to be held accountable for is innumerable war crimes, its incessant destruction of sovereign nations, its worldwide genocide and theft of natural resources etc,etc.”

    https://www.checkpointasia.net/lavrov-says-moscow-will-raise-issue-of-un-location-after-russian-delegates-denied-visas/

    Like

  66. Our colleague, Paul Robinson of Irrussianality, has had an article published in Russian in the Russian journal “Neprikosnovennyi zapas”. He helpfully discusses it in English at his blog.

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/bruised-but-not-broken/

    Its title, “Bruised But Not Broken” refers to the international order, which his optimism sees as still largely intact despite the china-shop blundering-about by the United States (blame assigned by me, not him; in his explanation at least, things ensued without any particular attribution, although they may be different in the article itself). Some treaties have been abrogated, some institutions co-opted, but many with which most of us are not conversant remain intact, and there remains reason for hope.

    It sounds interesting, and I’m glad to see his international acceptance widening. Congratulations, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The article begs the question, of course, that “democracy” is the sine qua non of governmental systems and is desired by all and the spread of “democracy” worldwide is to be lauded, whereas in reality what is called democracy in western legislatures is a sham.

      For example, in a UK referendum, a majority, albeit a small one, voted to leave the EU. In the UK parliament, however, a large majority of MPs wish to stay in the EU and do not give a flying fuck as regards what the plebs think about this matter.

      Like

      1. Which is why BoJo feels himself on solid ground by declaring that if the date arrives and no deal has been struck, a delay shall be effected. They just plan to keep kicking the can down the road until the impulse passes, or until a deal is struck which will have all the same components as Britain remaining within the EU.

        A common saying in politics is never publicly ask a question to which you do not already know all the possible answers, and an unsaid extension of that is, ‘and to be confident the answer which is forthcoming will be the one you want’. Call-Me-Dave broke that cardinal rule, and asked “Do you want to stay, or go?” when he had – obviously – grossly misunderstood the public mood. He got overconfident in democracy, you might say. So a spate of excuses emerged in which the people did not really want to leave, but were deceived by the meddling of a foreign power, tricked by scurrilous agents of Jeremy Corbyn, and so on. When you can’t stand the answer, create the appearance that the answer was never the real one. Maybe that should be a common saying as well.

        Like

  67. Sky News catches up with Boris Johnson’s top aide
    27 Sep 2019

    Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings faces five minutes of questioning from Sky News’ Lewis Goodall on Brexit dates and the language used by the PM.

    He insists the government will observe the law in relation to the Benn Act, which requires an extension to be sought in the event of a no-deal #Brexit.

    Like

  68. Syria orders American and Turkish forces out. Or else.

    https://www.apnews.com/1960ad151cb04171b2df9b80892d917d

    Can’t wait for the official American response; “the United States of America reserves the right to impose its military presence where and when it will, regardless the wishes of sovereign elected governments” – that sound about right? Because the USA has no actual reason to be there other than its own interests, and it knows it.

    First it was there ‘to fight ISIS’. Its manifestly dismal record of success, since under its relentless attacks ISIS grew and flourished and gobbled up more and more territory (until they were forced into retreat by the air forces of the Russian Federation), suggests it was instead there to prevent an ISIS defeat until it had achieved their joint objective of overthrowing Assad. That fig leaf fell by the wayside, and now the US is busily trying to carve out a small state on Syrian land where ISIS can recuperate, although it refers to it as a ‘safe zone’, and pretends to be worried about civilian casualties. For so long as the US military remains in Syria, it will be up to Washington’s mischief. As for Turkey, Erdogan is also serving his own interests, trying to keep the Kurds on the other side of the border and establish a buffer between Turkey and Syria, at Syria’s expense. But he, at least, can be reasoned with by Russia, since he very much wants the clout for Turkey of being a regional gas hub. The United States always gets the bit in its teeth, and thenceforth will not listen to anyone but the Washington ideologues.

    Like

    1. Probably more of a coincidence but a significant enlargement of the Russian airbase in Syria was announced a few days ago as previously reported.

      Like

    2. Whither the US base at Al-Tanaf by the border of Jordan? At what point are they going to figure out that the costs are far higher than the benefits (minimal to non-existent)?

      Like

      1. Well, it kind of follows that if the US military presence in Syria is illegal – and it is, US forces were never invited in, and the fig-leaf of ‘fighting ISIS’ is gone – then the US had no right to build a base on sovereign terrritory. Likewise, if the forces the base supports are to leave, there is no reason for a base to support them. According to the Wiki entry, Al Tanf as of 2019 continues to serve as the headquarters of the Revolutionary Commando Army, which used to be the New Syrian Army rebel group, and probably contains most or all of the original Free Syrian Army. Five will get you ten most of them are also Jhabat-al-Nusra fighters or some other ISIS affiliate. Of course the USA wants to keep the remaining forces safe and trained and armed rather than annihilated. assimilated or driven out of Syria, because it wants to maintain some leverage with which to continue destabilizing Syria and prevent it from ever achieving anything like real peace.

        When Syrians native to the area indicate they want their own state, it might be time to talk about it. As was the case in other areas, I imagine the local inhabitants are compelled to do the bidding of the occupiers and are prevented from leaving. Under those circumstances, the territory must be returned to the control of the Syrian government.

        Like

  69. Now its the Boeing 737 NG:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/faa-asks-airlines-inspect-boeing-737-ng-jets-121200781–abc-news-topstories.html

    The cracks have been found in a part called a “pickle fork,” which helps attach a plane’s fuselage to its wing structure, reported Seattle ABC station KOMO. The part helps manage the forces between the wings and the jet’s body.

    A retired Boeing engineer told KOMO that “it’s unusual to have a crack in the pickle fork.”

    “It’s not designed to crack that way at all,” the engineer added. “Period.”

    The FAA said Friday it will “instruct operators to conduct specific inspections, make any necessary repairs and to report their findings to the agency immediately.”

    Like

  70. No shit, Sherlock:

    Former Director of the Israel Missile Defence Organisation Uzi Rubin has revealed in an interview with the Defence News media outlet that Saudi air defences, namely Patriot systems, failed to repel the combined drone and missile attack on the country’s oil facilities in September due to the aerial assailants flying below the horizon. According to him, the defences were not prepared to detect such targets.

    “When it comes to missiles, missile defence sensors will aim above the horizon because the missile is above it and you don’t want clutter. So when it comes to guarding, the issue is things that can sneak in near the ground”, he said.

    Rubin said that it’s difficult to close this radar “gap”, through which low-flying objects can slip, but not impossible. He added that all the Saudis need to do is establish proper local defences.

    He elaborated that no “fancy” systems are needed for this and that the quite simple and battle-proven Russian Pantsir S1 (NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound) systems with dual 2A38M 30 millimetre automatic cannons equipped with infrared direction finders would do the trick. Russia has been successfully using Pantsirs to repel frequent massive drone attacks on its Hmeymim base in Syria carried out by local militant groups.

    https://sputniknews.com/military/201909281076913239-israeli-defence-engineer-reveals-why-saudi-defences-failed-to-repel-aramco-attacks-/

    Like

    1. Mmmmm…..horseshit. Drones could not fly nap-of-the-earth all the way, because they would lose link with their controller, unless it was an aircraft orbiting above. No accounts suggested there was. Cruise missiles were supposed to have formed a very damaging component of the attack – these typically ‘pop up’ a quarter-mile or so from the target so as to have a descending angle of attack . The terminal phase is precisely the phase of the attack where Patriot is designed to save the day. The army’s information advertises it as an ‘all-altitude’ weapon, and I’m pretty sure if the designers said “except for down low, where it loses targets in the clutter”, nobody would buy such a useless piece of shit. It is sufficiently easy to filter out clutter that bargain-basement radars do it, by means of Moving Target Indicator (MTI) filters. The computer simply instructs the radar display circuitry to disregard all returns which are not moving at or above a speed which you can set yourself. Say, 80 miles per hour. Anything slower than that, or stationary, will not show up. The operator sees only targets which are moving, and at more than 80 mph.

      Also, Saudi Arabia was approved in 2014 to buy the PAC3 missile, the ‘advanced capability’ version. It is not using creaky old Patriots from the early 90’s, but the latest upgrade with a low-noise oscillator for the detection of low Radar-Cross-Section (RCS) targets. Like drones.

      https://www.army-technology.com/projects/patriot/

      Face, meet egg.

      Like

      1. I was imagining flat terrain with the GPS simply following a preset course to the target. I suppose GPS can also provide altitude data that could be used to fly over higher terrain but that would require a terrain map in the drone’s computer which may not be easy to do.

        In any event, the Patriot missile seems remarkable limited. Regarding ground clutter, even weather radar accessible through the internet has an option to hide ground clutter. And, as you say, ground clutter tends to remain stationary hence can be filtered out.

        But the point about staying below the horizon was valid as well as using point defense such as cannon fire. As far as I know, the Pantsir uses radar rather than infrared to aim its weapons.

        Like

        1. Well, you know, that is possible; the terrain is in fact quite flat. Typically such missiles or drones do not just fly 30 feet above the ground and straight into the target – you’d need more information than that, because GPS information is not accurate enough to fly a drone into the side of a gas rig from more than a hundred miles away. The US Tomahawk uses DSMAC – Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation, software which compares what an onboard camera is seeing with an actual picture/map of the target, so that it can reputedly fly through a chosen window of a building.

          https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/smart/bgm-109.htm

          When I mentioned the long flight followed by a pop-up, the flight portion is usually conducted purely on GPS; getting close to the target is good enough, and when it pops up, an onboard sensor switches on for precision guidance to the chosen point of impact. Usually the missile or drone has to be high to get a broad picture of the area; it can’t see that from 30 feet. And it is when it pops up to switch on the sensor for attack that it should be vulnerable to Patriot, because that’s what it was designed for.

          A lot of clutter is due to weather and atmospherics; clouds contain a lot of moisture and will provide a fuzzy return on radar. Waves at sea contribute to clutter at ground level. But if you set the filter to just above wind speed, clouds will drop out of the picture because they cannot be moving at faster than wind speed.

          Like

  71. Natylie Baldwin barbecues the impeachment probe, suggesting it will only empower Trump and has virtually no possibility of removing him from office. Of course she jumped on the Democrats’ own footsie-game with Ukraine, trying to build a case against Trump using dodgy information like the Steele dossier; several of us did as well. But she also has an exquisite memory for relevant detail – consequently, she introduced Nancy Pelosi’s pledge to the American people in 2006, to the effect that impeachment was ‘off the table’ against George Dubya Bush for the Iraq War, founded on exposed lies and with a butcher’s bill of over 4000 American lives.

    Here’s a teaser: “So, according to Nancy Pelosi, if a president starts an illegal war based on lies which leads to the killing of hundreds of thousands (or even more than a million, depending on which estimates you look at) and the destabilization of an entire region, impeachment will not be considered. Period. But if a president goes after one of her party’s leaders in an inappropriate manner, then the impeachment option will be used.

    Let that sink in for a moment. If impeachment is not reserved for the most egregious crimes then – as analyst Kim Iverson has noted – the American people will simply view it as a message from the political class: “you made the wrong choice and we’re going to step in and fix it for you.”

    http://natyliesbaldwin.com/2019/09/why-i-dont-support-the-latest-impeachment-effort/

    Like

      1. I think the whole thing hinges on whether Biden Senior directed Ukraine to dismiss its prosecutor to protect his son from investigation. There can be no doubt the elder Biden coerced the firing of Shokin – he bragged about it; I ordered them to fire him – no firing, no money – and son of a bitch, he got fired. But now the focus has narrowed to why. Forget the extremely inappropriate action of a senior American diplomat ordering the dismissal of an appointed public servant of a foreign country, and threatening to withhold financial aid if his orders are not carried out. That alone would make the American people foam with fury if it were ever carried out against an American public servant by the government of a foreign nation. Forget the ridiculously disproportionate salary young coke-head Biden was pulling down for basically doing nothing – Hunter Biden claimed in his own statement, upon being ‘hired’, if you can call it that, “As a new member of the board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-whistleblower-burisma-factb/factbox-burisma-the-obscure-ukrainian-gas-company-at-the-heart-of-us-political-row-idUSKBN1W91UG

        How many of those things did he do, for $50,000.00 a month (which, to be fair, he did not make every month; presumably that was the maximum)? Transparency? Burisma does not disclose any of its financial returns – the presumption of profits of $400 million in 2018 is merely a guess, based on the amount of gas generated and the going rate. That is based on a very modest production increase to 1.3 BcM per year over 0.1 BcM 8 years ago. So I guess that covers international expansion, as well – zip, as all the gas Burisma produces is sold in Ukraine. Biden seems to have had zero net effect on corporate governance; besides pocketing a salary…well, let’s work it out. The average monthly wage in Ukraine, according to Trading Economics – sourced from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine – is 2,382 Hryvnia.

        https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/wages

        According to today’s rates, that’s $98.41 USD.

        https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=UAH&To=USD

        Let’s see…50,000 over 98.41…that’s…508 times what the average Ukrainian working man takes home, per month. Gee; I wonder if all the staff were as well-paid. As Jimmy Dore or someone discussing the issue pointed out, I’m pretty sure if the overpaid executive in question was named Hunter Trump, nobody would have much trouble calling it corruption. The very thing about Ukraine that Uncle Joe Biden and all the US government claimed to be committed to stamping out in Ukraine.

        But all that’s as may be. The Democrats are now attempting – largely successfully – to wrench the focus onto a very narrow question: was Joe Biden pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire the Chief Prosecutor in order to derail an investigation of his son? And there is apparently no evidence to substantiate that. The Ukrainians deny any such investigation was going on, and of course the US government was not very concerned at the idea of an American with no experience in the country where he was working making more than 500 times the average monthly salary for doing not much of anything – Mister, that’s the very heart and soul of entrepreneurship. Forget corruption. Was Biden intervening inappropriately to protect his son? Prove it.

        Like

      1. The comment from shantamanyabove reads:

        Yes, Alex! That’s great! Your daughter is studying in California! That’s wonderful, but why not in Russia, which you are really trying so hard to save?

        Meanwhile, having arrived back in Russia, it was back to the daily grind for the Saviour of Russia and “Putin’s fiercest critic”:

        На митинг в Москве приехал Алексей Навальный
        вчера в 15:27

        To the Moscow rally came Aleksei Navalny
        yesterday at 15:27

        Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has arrived at Sakharov Avenue in Moscow, where a rally in support of those involved in the “Moscow affair” is taking place at that moment.

        Together with Navalny came his wife Julia, and the Navalny HQ volunteer staffers Lyubov Sobol and Alexey Minyailo, who have been released from custody, also arrived.

        According to the “White Counter” [system for checking attendance figures at mass meetings], about 9 thousand participants are present at the rally, said Aleksei Venediktov in his telegram channel. They are linking arms and demanding the release of unauthorized action participants who have been detained.


        Some of the fuckwits present at yesterday’s AUTHORIZED Moscow rally.

        No arrests made! Authorized. But arsehole Navalny had to stick his nose in.

        Komsomolskaya Pravda, 29 September, 18:04:

        In Moscow, on Academician Sakharov Avenue, another rally of the non-systematic opposition has been held. The rally had been made in agreement with the authorities, so people went to it without any fear. By the beginning of the rally, the number of participants had not exceeded 9 thousand people, but people kept on arriving for almost another hour, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs counted about 20 thousand at the peak of the event. The organizers, of course, announced no less than 50 thousand. And those who complained about the lack of numbers, necessarily pointed to the bad weather — drizzling rain, which had completely stopped by the beginning of the rally. Already at the end of the rally, it was announced that the “White Counter” had recorded about 24 thousand people.

        The theme of the rally was the struggle for the release of so-called “political prisoners” awaiting trial or appeals against sentences for actions committed during uncoordinated protests in Moscow this summer during the election campaign for the Moscow City Duma. The banners of Solidarity, Parnassus, Right Block, Yabloko, Left Front, etc. fluttered in the crowd. And from Instead of “Let’s go!” the slogan changed to: “Let them go!”

        The speeches alternated with the performances of musicians[kreakly!!!], the most famous of whom being the leader of “Accident”, Alexei Kortnev. But they gave way to the young. The HADN DADN group performed several of their compositions, and the alternatively vocal-gifted soloist caused an ambiguous reaction from the audience with the semantic content of the works. For example, with this text:

        “We are at home today
        Also at home tomorrow
        The day after tomorrow at home
        After the day after tomorrow, also at home
        Leave there for us
        Take a walk there for us.”

        It is quite possible that another composition in the same performance was more understandable to the audience:

        “I’ll do my homework, do it all, but later.
        Let me go for a walk now, mum,
        Nothing can stop me from going for a walk.
        I really so want to go for a walk.”

        True, for the sake of justice, it is worth noting that, unlike previous actions, obvious minors among the rally participants were extremely rare. Which is quite understandable, for the school year has begun and is gaining momentum.

        Politicians and people who consider themselves as such not only appeared on the stage, but also generously shared their ideas with correspondents of liberal and foreign television channels. The familiar faces of Ilya Yashin, who flew in from the USA just the other day with Alexei Navalny and his wife, organizer Mikhail Svetov, Lyubov Sobol, Tatyana Lazareva, performing artists who managed to grab her for 5 minutes by her coat tails and who performed with political statements and so on. The meaning of their speeches came down to expressing their confidence that they would definitely win, expel the current government and arrange lustration for all those who should require it. But for now, fear not! Do not be afraid of going out in order to and fight; do not be afraid of not winning in the end. And so they all shouted in chorus: “Let’s go!”.

        There was some puzzlement as regards what Alexey Minyailo, who was released from a pre-trial detention centre on Thursday and who was urging that the former head of the Serpukhov district, Alexander Shestun, not be forgotten, he who, following his arrest, had had his assers seized, which assets were worth more than 10 billion rubles, as well as journalist Ilya Azar, who urged that they more actively fight for the release of blogger Vladislav Sinitsa, sentenced to 5 years for, as his defenders say, “a line on Twitter”. At the same time, his defenders prefer not to specify what exactly that line was. And it was very specific advice, almost an instruction, on what to do with the children of the security forces: “They will look at cute happy family photos, study geolocation, and then the child of the valiant law enforcement officer simply does not come from school one day. Instead of a child, a snuff video CD comes in the mail”. A “snuff video”, for those who do not know, is a video of a real rape and subsequent murder. In other posts, this blogger reported that other people’s children are “bed meat” for him, and also expressed a desire to commit a sexual act with the bowels of a murdered person. But, as Azar said, he believes there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech. So for him, apparently, everything is normal.

        Less than two hours after the start of the meeting, the rally ended after the appearance and speech of Svetov, who tried to frighten the government with a scary and well-modulated voice from the stage, crying out: “Lustration! Lustrrrrrrrrrrrrration!” But it wasn’t scary. And then everyone dispersed so as to wait for the day when they are called by their organizers to picket the Presidential Administration and the courthouses, where the cases of protesters will be considered.


        Freedom for all political prisoners!


        Kreakly!!!

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        1. I could tell that family photo was not taken in Russia. Easy clue-fresh-squeezed orange juice on the table. The slaves of Mordor can only dream of such elixir, which is impossible to get in Russia.

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          1. Yeah, and no cheese, no French wine, no consumer gods etc., etc.

            In the supermarket near our house there is a freshly squeezed orange juice machine and you can fill up plastic bottles provided with the juice as youwatch the oranges being squeezed. So on the one hand you have the clean, green dream-world of Western technological excellence, whilst on the other hand you are encouraged to pollute the environment with bloody awful plastic bottles.

            I often see such machines in the City of Satan supermarkets as well in the kitchens provided for the staff at some firms were I teach in-house.

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        1. A fizzle in the drizzle!

          I was coming home with Mrs. Exile from the dacha on Sunday afternoon and got pissed wet through waiting for the electric train and tramping from the dacha with rucksacks laden with fruit and vegetables. And the train was packed with likewise burdened dachniki, and in the City of Satan folk were scurrying around doing their own business and trying to keep dry.

          Not a kreakl in sight and no talk whatsoever about the rally and of bullshitting foreign agent Navalny.

          Non-event.

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  72. Ukrainian Headbanger Larisa Nitsoi complains about a Kiev taxi driver who insisted on yakking away in Russian.

    The taxi company is called Uklon which is the Ukrainian version of Uber.
    The name is sort of ironic, in this context of this story. I’m not sure sure what the word means in Ukrainian, but in Russian one of the possible meanings is “to decline”, as in, say Bartleby the Scrivener’s “I prefer not to…”

    Apparently the chatty driver was just going on in Russian until Nitsoi, at the end of her endurance, demanded of him: “Have you never tried to converse with your customers in Ukrainian?”
    The driver’s response caused her, in her own words, to go numb and almost have a nervous breakdown:

    “Why should I speak in Ukrainian?” the taxi driver continued in Russian. “I don’t need to. This is fine for me. Are you trying to say you don’t understand me? What difference does it make, which language I use?” the driver concluded, showing a rather sophisticated grasp of Scientific Linguistics.

    Upon arriving home Nitsoi promptly phoned the Uklon company to complain about the driver. It was explained to her that the company cannot demand of their drivers, that they speak Ukrainian. “But it’s the state official language!” she complained. The company representative just shrugged over the phone.

    Nitsoi then tried a different tack, accusing the driver of raping her. Well, virtually at least: “What would you say if I reported that I was picked up by a rapist? Or a thief, or a murderer? Would you just shrug it off and tell me this is irrelevant?”

    The response of the Uklon management to this hypothetical question has not been recorded.

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