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

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).


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. “Enter the DF-41, China’s ultimate shashoujian weapon. A three-stage, road-mobile ICBM equipped with between six and 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads, the DF-41 provides China with a nuclear deterrent capable of surviving an American nuclear first strike and delivering a nation-killing blow to the United States in retaliation.

    The DF-41 is a strategic game changer, allowing China to embrace the mutual assured destruction (MAD) nuclear deterrence posture previously the sole purview of the United States and Russia. ”

    Like you said Mark….The Chinese aren’t really the people to be fuckin’ with…..



    1. She already lost support with her anti BDS stance and her flip-flop on “ Medicare for all” and changing her mind on impeachment.


    1. I wonder if there is going to be something approaching a civil war, or at least a massive revolt, in the United States? I mean, it couldn’t be much of a war if the government continued to control the military, and I’m not sure who would make up the opposing forces. But it must be growing apparent to the American people that they actually have almost nothing to say about the election of public officials, and even if they did, it is not really that important because so much of the business of government is carried out by political appointees who are unelected.

      As scandal unrolls after scandal, the politicians have nothing to cling to but the ridiculous story that Russia is trying to destroy American democracy. What is left of it to destroy?


  2. “Ninety former national security officials under the Obama and Bush administrations—and three who served for a period under Donald Trump—have signed an “Open Letter to the American People” defending the CIA officer, ****as yet unidentified****, whose whistleblower complaint has become the basis for the House of Representatives opening an impeachment inquiry into the president.”

    “The signers include former CIA directors John Brennan, Michael Hayden and Michael Morell, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, former Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (Obama’s point-woman on Ukraine). Bush administration officials who signed the letter include Matthew G. Olsen, former head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Paul Rosenzweig, former deputy assistant secretary for policy, Department of Homeland Security. Among the former Trump aides who signed is Andrea Kendall-Taylor, former deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Security Council.

    These officials had a much different attitude toward genuine American whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and John Kiriakou, who exposed crimes of US imperialism. Manning supplied WikiLeaks with Pentagon files documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as State Department cables showing US conspiracies against governments around the world. Snowden brought to light NSA spying on the entire world. Kiriakou exposed CIA torture in secret overseas prisons during the “war on terror.”

    None of these genuine whistleblowers received any form of protection. On the contrary, they were rebuffed in their efforts to expose atrocities by the US military-intelligence apparatus and felt compelled to release the information to the public. For their courageous actions, they have been brutally persecuted.




    1. Michael Schwirtz was a close pal of our longtime Russia hand Julia Ioffe, the perennially-put-upon Russian Jewess who bitched that her passport identified her as a Jew when she was a child, and then when that notation disappeared on subsequent documentation, that the Russian state was purging her of her ethnic birthright. There was never any pleasing her where Russia was concerned, and anything that was red and white but was not Ded Moroz was Nashi, stalking her. I remember her saying that her buddy Mike Schwirtz, with whom she would hang out when in Moscow – they being two American triumphalists in a city where those are pretty thin on the ground – had just sent her this funny video, “Peredays”.

      It’s by the funniest Ukrainian in history, Alexander Revva, featuring a character he calls ‘Artur Pirozhkov’. Enjoy.

      I love Alexander Revva. My all-time favourite is his portrayal of a Ukrainian bodybuilder at a championship in New York, Alexander Shlystaplazov, who is from Donbas. I’m sure no slight against the people of Donbas was intended, as this dates to long before the crisis, and Revva might even be from there himself; he is very well-liked by Russian audiences. Anyway, the tape of the music which is supposed to accompany his routine is lost or damaged, and he furiously tells his assistant to just go with whatever he has at hand.


      1. It was Maria Gessen who bitched in the land to which she and her family had emigrated about the anti-Semitism in the land of her birth, to which she returned following the demise of the USSR, in that in her Russian passport under “Nationality” was written “yevreika” [Jewess]. I remember reading her bitching about this in “Moscow’s only daily English language newspaper”. But when the law as changed here and there was no “nationality” heading, only “Citizenship”, she kicked of whining again, saying that in doing so, the Russian state had denied her of her Jewish identity.


        1. Oh, yes; that’s right. But Ioffe was born a Soviet Jew, as was Miriam Elder, all three vociferous critics of Russia and defenders of the Exceptional Nation.

          Nothing wrong with being born Jewish, in Russia or anywhere else. But I can’t help noticing how many of Russia’s most strident critics are Jewish former Russians.


          1. Zionists have achieved great power/influence in the US but not in Russia. That’s why. And, that Russia is on the upswing without them. It really suck to be a Zionist.


            1. I’ve worked with plenty of Russian Jews here and I’ve never heard any bitching and whining off them as regards what bastards their ethnic Eastern Slav fellow citizens are. And as I have mentioned before, one local young Jew in his early 20s regularly “shaloms” me, because he thinks I’m a Rabbi, as I usually wear a big black fedora and a long black overcoat and sport a full set of grey whiskers. I don’t wear long plaits, though. I often wonder whether I should tell him to fuck off, because I’m officially a Catholic, but I think I’d better not.

              Strange as it may seem to some, before I came to Russia, I had never personally known any Jewish people. There was not a one in my home town, I’m sure. Plenty in Manchester, though.

              These lads below are all Manchester Jews. (Jesus on the drums!)

              I used to think 10CC were shit hot. Each song they did was different.

              I particularly liked “Rubber Bullets” (1973). Those bastards at the BBC didn’t like it though, and although they did not ban its airing, they limited its playing time. You see, the BBC (not government controlled, of course) thought that perhaps the song might be taken by some as referring to the use of rubber bullets by the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary against British citizens in the British province of Northern Ireland.

              It wasn’t: in fact, it was about the Attica State Prison riot (1971), New York State, where the National Guard and US cops had their usual fun and games.

              The New York State Special Commission on Attica wrote, “With the exception of Indian massacres in the late 19th century, the State Police assault which ended the four-day prison uprising was the bloodiest one-day encounter between Americans since the Civil War”.

              Way to go, Exceptional Nation!


              1. Yes, I remember 10cc very well. Their biggest hit – in North America, at least – was “I’m Not in Love”, and it still gets frequent airplay. I remember reading somewhere once that the name was derived from the fact that the average male ejaculate is 9cc. All things considered, I suppose. I believe they were all multi-instrumentalists as well.


    2. They don’t have to have any evidence. They just have to announce that this many intelligence agencies have concluded with a high degree of confidence that what they say is so. They’re supposed to be mysterious – nobody really expects them to show their evidence. Jeez, it might jeopardize National Security, or something.


    1. Very interesting information, Cortes. Long haul narrow body jets seem to be the future and the MC-21 is right there.


      1. Agreed; the gigantic flying whale that features couches where all its first-class passengers can stretch right out and lie down has lost public support before it even really got going. Narrow-body jets that can fly long distances thanks to technological advances are much more popular, although the first company to produce non-polluting jets with electric or other unconventional power is going to attract a lot of interest.


        1. I’m not convinced people will like being stuck in a narrow tube for so long. We’ll see as the Airbus A321XLR (240+ commitments since Paris 2019) can fly for ~9 hours…

          FlightGlobal: How will Boeing respond to A321XLR launch?


          A more recent item shows what else BoingBoing has in its bag:

          FlightGlobal: Boeing examines GEnx-powered 767-X for cargo and passenger roles

          …To accommodate the larger-fan engines, the aircraft would incorporate extended landing gear to provide the necessary ground clearance….

          …Beyond the re-engining and gear modifications, it is understood that the 767-XF study would be a minimum-change design using traditional structures. The projected in-service date would be around 2025….

          Though the 767 is not a narrow-body, it would be by far the cheapest and early to deliver aircraft.


          1. I find it hard to believe how much trouble Boeing has landed in because of only two crashes. Granted, there was considerable loss of life, but it still seems to me it was the way Boeing – and the United States government – handled it that provoked such a backlash, refusing to ground the aircraft until there ewas basically no place it could fly outside the USA. But we have grown to believe such huge American companies are untouchable monoliths, impregnable and careless of the market forces which plague lesser entities. It seems that’s not so at all.


            1. I think it is just another piece of empirical evidence that shows the stark divisions of how powerful the USA! USA! USA! thinks it is and what the rest of the world sees. Deaf (Leppard) by a thousand cuts! 😉 More and more p*ssant countries are either ignoring Washington’s threats/blackmail/pressure/whatever or just saying no – like the Norway no BMD piece I posted below.


            2. In the past, before the Internet, covering up the two crashes would have been easier for Boeing. It has been the access to information about the technical problems that caused the crash and the issue of Boeing’s work culture that allowed these problems to escalate the way they did, that has caused tremendous outrage against Boeing and the Federal Aviation Authority and this outrage in turn is affecting Boeing’s financial position through the sharemarkets. Not all of Boeing’s shareholders are big companies or Wall Street banks with no morals and some will be Boeing’s own employees who remember a time when Boeing’s work culture revolved around engineering quality and excellence.


    2. I wish I could be as optimistic as Martinov. The Il-96 400M still uses 4 engines. Regardless of how good they are, they will cost more in maintenance etc..

      The domestication of Russian made civil aircraft isn’t neither that quick nor cheap. As for the Chinese market, they’re going to keep a sizeable chunk for themselves, even buying hundreds of ARJ-100 turkeys (the plane China learned all its lessons on) and many more COMAC C919 narrow bodies in to the future. I’m not willing to quantify how far does neighborly love go.


      1. My point on that issue is that there is plenty of room in both markets – Russia and China – by simply buying their own aircraft instead of planes from Boeing and Airbus. Doing so would deny those two companies sales of more than 7000 aircraft over the next 18 years. China is the world’s major growth market for airliners, and if they stopped buying Boeing altogether it would be the finish of them. They would totter on for a few more years just filling their outstanding order book, but without growth they would inevitably begin to decline.

        Of course, Russia and China do not want to buy crap for any reason, so domestic aircraft must be at least as good as western designs. Not only for safety, but to forestall western snickering that the two bought their own aircraft because they care less about the traveling public than they do about spiting the west.


  3. Giuliani broadens Biden corruption with Romania mention
    10 Oct 2019
    The Duran
    93.1K subscribers
    The Duran Quick Take: Episode 332.

    What are Joe and Hunter Biden’s connections to Romania and it’s now exiled real estate oligarch Gabriel Popoviciu?

    Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani name dropped Romania, as the latest country entangled in the unfolding Obama White House corruption ring, with what appears to be former VP Joe Biden exerting influence, and earning big bucks in foreign business deals, via his loser son Hunter acting as proxy.


    1. Well, well; funny how reluctant the UK is to extradite accused criminals when they come from non-aligned countries. Poof!! Hunter ‘White Line’ Biden pops up again, and again in a job for which he has no previous training, but is presumably being paid quite a bit over the going rate. Some people are just born with a horseshoe up their ass.

      For his part, Joe Biden seems to have aged a couple of decades since he was VP, and in photos where his too-long hair sticks out in back like feathers, looks like an ancient bird of prey. I think the Democrats must recognize he has no chance of being elected, and putting him forward will only result in a Trump victory.


      1. Tactically, though, I wonder if Trump should have saved all this dirt for the October Surprise. Wouldn’t it be better if he waited until Biden got the nomination and then blew him away? If Biden is knocked out too soon, then the Dems might have time to put up somebody better.


        1. He’s trying to bait them into running Clinton again.

          The strategy is insultingly obvious, but it may still work.


      2. There’s been speculation that Joe Biden may be experiencing the onset of dementia, based on his recent behaviour and apparent forgetfulness. Some of that forgetfulness may be due to stress but that in itself will put his ability to withstand the arduous nature of having to campaign across a large country over several months under intense media scrutiny in doubt. It seems likely that he will have to drop out of the Democrat Presidential nominee selection race at some stage.


        1. Or else his aides will stand on either side of him and hold him up, like they had to do for the Klintonator a time or two. But I agree he will probably have some sort of episode and have to withdraw. A lot of the political dynasty are pretty old now. It’s also true, though, that you have trouble thinking straight when you’re tired, and sometimes you launch into an anecdote hoping the relevant part will come to you before you get to it, and it just doesn’t. It may be no more than that. We’ll see.


        2. Ronnie Reagan was well into dementia while still president:


          But while brother Michael Reagan has rushed to discredit the suggestion of impairment, calling it a slur on their father’s memory, many of the president’s former interviewers and colleagues have very similar recollections. Collectively, these attest to serious concern about his sharpness and overall presence of mind. On CBS Online today, for instance, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, in another new book on Reagan, describes a visit with her family to the White House in 1986, ending her time as a White House correspondent. She writes,

          “Reagan didn’t seem to know who I was. He gave me a distant look with those milky eyes and shook my hand weakly. Oh, my, he’s gonzo, I thought. I have to go out on the lawn tonight and tell my countrymen that the president of the United States is a doddering space cadet.”

          Other observers and commentators have noted how often Reagan confused films he’d made with political reality, including telling witnesses about concentration camps he’d helped to liberate in World War II, when the humbler truth was rather that he had made a movie or two about the topic.

          Then there’s the incident at a photoshoot at the president’s beloved ranch in Santa Barbara, also in 1984, when a reporter called out a question about arms control and received this response from the leader of the free world:

          R.R: “Well, we uh, well… I guess, uh, well, we uh …”
          Nancy Reagan: (sotto voce): “We’re doing the best we can.”
          R.R.: (with a big smile): “We’re doing the best we can!”

          These and many other troubling moments stand in marked contrast to the president many would prefer to remember for declaring ebulliently (and intelligently), “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

          Reagan was likely unbright being a Hollywood actor. But as an actor, he delivered the lines even though he likely did not understand the script. After the dementia set in, it was simply PR management until he could leave office. The deep state took care of the rest.


          1. A decision attributed to him which I admired at the time and afterward was to fire all the air traffic controllers who were on strike in 1981, and hire new ones, with a lifetime ban imposed on the rehiring of any who had been fired for non-compliance with an executive back-to-work order.


            There were pros and cons to it, of course, like there are to any controversial event. The ATC’s were protesting difficult working conditions and what they perceived as a lack of recognition of the difficulty of their jobs, but it always seemed to me that any prospective applicants must know it is a high-stress job with a significant turnover. Planes fly all day and all night, so sometimes you are going to have to work when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest ebb. To my mind at the time, it was a pivotal moment where if Reagan had weakened, the country would be mired in strike after strike, as this union and that union walked off the job for higher and higher pay and more perks.

            Overall I am a supporter of trade unions, and of course we cannot allow privatized business owners to run sweatshops for the lowest pay which will still attract workers – prosperity depends on earning a living wage. But as I understand it, the ATC strike was not really about money, and Reagan accurately identified it as an essential service that could not be allowed to be interrupted to air personal grievances.

            Now I wonder if it was even his decision. Perhaps an actor as President is the best of all possible worlds for the deep state manipulators.


            1. Reagan was generally anti-union desptie being head of the screen actors union. My understanding is that he used that position to root out commies and socialists.

              Regarding his dementia, it seemed that despite being essentially brain-dead during his entire second term (and highly impaired during his first term) his deeply ingrained acting reflexes (i.e. delivering lines without necessarily any comprehension) allowed him to appear functional in staged settings.


              1. And don’t forget that without his help, Thatcher would have found it immensely more difficult to bring down what he himself had labelled as “The Evil Empire”.

                Which “Evil Empire” has as its capital “The City of Satan”, or so thinks the late and not lamented John McCain’s daughter Meghan, who, during a TV link-in with erstwhile US Ambassador to Russia and his wife, Mary Kaye, said:

                John and Mary Kaye are doing the Lord’s work in the city of Satan. Thank you so much for your service to our country, that is a rough job and I for one as American am grateful that someone like you is doing it.


                1. I saw her photo and thought she looks like a dental hygienist (like every single one of those Bachelor contestants). Funnily enough, her bio says she was a dental assistant.


    1. The T-14 and related systems are amazing examples of technology by any measure. Just musing here on something obvious, the US, never having suffered a military invasion, sees defense spending as means to project power and to make money, Russia sees defense spending as vital to national survival.


      1. And that is a vital distinction. I personally do not think the USA even fears an invasion, surrounded as it is by allies, but its claims to need ever more ‘defense’ spending are simply greater investment in an instrument of coercive diplomacy to get its way elsewhere in the world.


  4. An interesting tidbit on an issue which has largely disappeared from the headlines, thanks to Trumps preoccupation elsewhere and the USA’s shit-the-bed-dramatic failure to successfully carry out regime change – Venzuela.


    The article is quite candid – I’ve noticed that about the USA lately; it’s such an overt robber and pariah that it does not seem to care any more about its image. It is the ruler of the world, and its subjects can like it or lump it. Anyway, it clearly states that Venezuela bought CITGO lock, stock and barrel; 50% of it in 1986, and the remainder in 1990. But the USA is poised to seize it, which is essentially stealing the money Venezuela paid for it. Meanwhile it allows hilarious shenanigans like the unelected-president Guaido appointing an unelected board of directors for CITGO which is unrecognized by anyone except the western regime-changers, and Guaido wants access to CITGO’s cash. Stupid decisions he makes are playing into American hands, and they’re quite happy to let their puppet step on his own dick as long as it means more change jingling in Uncle Sam’s pockets.

    If anyone needed still another lesson about the perils of doing business with the USA and investing in it, there it is. Outside interests need to help Venezuela a little more conspicuously, although the situation is not the mayhem it is described here by Cohen.


    1. Trump knows that if he is pinned down, gets boxed in, he loses.

      Trump gives everyone something to like about him except the MSM and the deep state – they are afraid of him.

      He does not play 5-D chess but he has instincts for the mass American mind like no other politician


    1. Wow. That woman is completely off the rails as far as mainstream goes. She will get zero help from the media now. But, looking at it rationally, the media never liked her much, and was only interested in helping the Democrats shoehorn Uncle Joe into the candidacy. Where he would lose. So Tulsi Gabbard is not really throwing away media support, because she never really had it.

      I have to say she kind of reminds me of Donald Trump, but only in that she makes bold decisions and sticks with them. That’s been a disaster for Trump, but it doesn’t have to be – he just makes bad decisions. It remains to be seen where this will take her, but you and I know she’s right – the Dems did rig the primary to make sure Clinton got the nod, while models derived from polling suggested Sanders could have beaten Trump.

      It will be interesting to see how far a campaign conducted almost exclusively on social media can take that candidate, without the support of the corporate media and perhaps even with its active opposition. She certainly is not a flake, or a quitter.


      1. Yeah..you are right..but I sooooo wanted to see her nail a couple of the upcoming debate clowns the way she nuked Harris!!!


          1. I notice she is getting a lot more press and attention now. Her methods might be unorthodox, but they seem to be paying dividends. She may have assessed that the people are fed up with negativity in debates and the candidates frantically attacking one another. The Harris takedown was absolutely legitimate and exquisitely executed, and there could be no complaints there (except, of course, from Team Harris). But the Canadian leadership debate of just a couple of days ago brought a storm of criticism that the candidates were not answering any of the questions, but instead were turning the response within the first phrases into an attack against the way their opponent does or would do the job. People want to know what YOU would do or what YOUR plan is, not what you or your research team has identified as a hole in the other guy’s plan. I didn’t watch it as I am totally oblivious as to who the next leader will be – to me, it makes no difference at all, since few campaign promises are ever kept and all of them end up governing the same way. But I read the commentary on the debate in the paper at work, and the overall reaction was disappointment.

            Anyway, if Ms. Gabbard perceives that her most likely role in the debate would be tearing down other candidates for their shortfalls and possible lies, she may be wise to skip it, especially if it turns into a free-for-all punchfest or totally lacking in substance. Viewers might decide the only candidate who still comes across as honest is the one who was not there. That’s if she decides to skip it; I understand she has not made up her mind yet.


  5. BBC Question Time viewers furious at Extinction Rebellion guest – ‘Block him getting in!’
    BBC Question Time sparked outrage after they invited a guest onto the show from protest group Extinction Rebellion, despite the chaos caused in the capital this week.

    Fri, Oct 11, 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

    BBC Question Time has come under fire after they invited an Extinction Rebellion guest on to the show after sparking chaos at London City Airport on Thursday. Extinction Rebellion’s spokesman Rupert Read was invited onto the show after the protest group vowed a “homage to the style of the Hong Kong democracy protesters”. On Thursday London City Airport was targeted, with one protester gluing himself to the top of a plane, and another plane demonstrator refusing to sit down, forcing a plane to return to its gate.

    Homage to the style of Hong Kong democracy protesters???


    1. He’s got the idea – they can’t have their cake and eat it. If the Hong Kong protesters who have occasionally paralyzed the city and snookered travel – filling the airport, all carrying their stupid umbrellas, until you can’t move for protesters and umbrellas – are noble and inspiring, then why are Extinction Rebellion just a bunch of poxy gits acting like spoiled children? I actually thought they might be sponsored by the state for a little while, with the aim of infuriating the people and turning them off protest, until he said that. If Extinction Rebellion are extremist swine, so are the vaunted Hong Kong hooligans. In each case, they know full well that nobody will pay attention to them if they confine their campaign to write-ins to Letters To The Editor.


    2. Fern’s comment earlier was totally correct about the dilettantes buggering up Londoners’ commute. The demonstrators are very fortunate to have been discreetly “minded” by the Met Police. Given half a chance I’d guess most frustrated travellers would disabuse the self righteous young arseholes of their smugness very quickly.

      (During the brief time I worked in London I had a very short distance to travel and it took ages – and I was struck by how considerate drivers were compared to smaller cities. London drivers would routinely allow you to enter main routes from side streets. Generally…not on bank holidays!)


  6. Ha, ha!! Here’s an interesting little factoid I stumbled upon while poking around – Russia donated zero dollars to the Trump campaign. Russia donated over $140 Million to the Clinton Foundation. But Trump is the one being investigated for ties to Russia.


    Oh, but the money went to the CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, and not to the Clintons! No connection there at all, then. Not with Chelsea Clinton as Vice-Chair.


    1. You mean the Clinton ‘Pay to Play’ Foundation charity, no? The Brits had ‘Cash for Questions’. I have ‘Cats for Questions’.


  7. Norway drops missile defense program

    Just weeks before meeting Russian officials in the northern city of Kirkenes, to celebrate how the former Soviet Union liberated Finnmark from Nazi German occupation n 1944, Norwegian government officials have made a concession to their neighbours. They won’t be going along with the US- and NATO-backed missile defense program after all…

    …Russia’s foreign minister will visit Norway later this month to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Finnmark… Finnmark residents remain grateful and want to stay on good terms with their Russian neighbours…

    I don’t see how this will be accepted. Surely Norway will be bombed until it complies with Freedom Missiles.

    For some reason F. F***edyamama springs to mind…


    1. It s called “making a concession” to a neighboring country by not deploying a missile system, sought by a hostile power, against them?


    1. add drugs to the list:


      Every day, about 500,000 doses of cocaine are consumed in London, with an estimated value of £2.75 million ($3.47 million), a study has found, as quoted by Sky News.

      This number is greater than in Europe’s three biggest drug-consuming cities combined, as in Barcelona it is 12.74 kg daily, in Amsterdam it’s 4.62 kg, and in Berlin it’s also 4.62 kg, reports say.

      If 500,000 is the daily average, the actual consumption pattern could be more likely a few million doses over the weekend with less during week days. It would seem a large fraction of Londoners are snorting or smoking or injecting cocaine. That is a stunning amount of drug use by the general population, if true.

      Some way that the British royal family is a kingpin in the drug trade.


      Today, they may simply be more discreet as the PR campaign continues to recast them as sweet and adorable.


      1. Of that large fraction of Londoners consuming cocaine, how many of them might be working in the City of London, where the major British banks and a number of foreign banks have their headquarters or main offices?


          1. Sold to the Japanese Asahi for 250 squid at the beginning of this year!

            Here in U-rope, the g/f pick me up a slovak slutty peasant* for me from the polski sklep. Romanian Timosoara & Urus are not bad either.


  8. a screenshot from an “Instagram Story” of an illiterate and extremely wealthy daughter of a vulgar and illiterate multi-millionaire, who is a “political advisor” to her father

    She can’t spell “neighbour” correctly either!



  9. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry gives the world the benefit of his vast knowledge of world affairs, to great acclaim from the yappy Balts. Nord Stream II will jeopardize European energy security…but continuing to transit large volumes of gas across Ukraine will not.


    Transiting Europe’s gas across a country which has twice in the past provoked shutdowns by helping itself to European supplies and daring Russia to do anything about it is more secure for Europe than transiting gas directly from Russia to Germany. Sure it is, Rick.

    “It would increase Russia’s leverage over Europe’s foreign policy and Europe’s vulnerability to a supply disruption,” Perry told an energy forum in the Lithuanian capital, reported The Baltic Times.”

    So it is better in principle for increased leverage over Europe’s foreign policy to remain with Ukraine. And transiting across Ukraine actually reduces the chance of a supply disruption – that what you’re saying? We are still talking about the same volume of gas; just whether or not it crosses Ukraine before getting to Europe.


  10. A BBC special for all the bourgeois luvvies who are suffering psychological trauma through worrying about the end of the world caused by climate changes:

    The harm from worrying about climate change

    Take her to a shrink!

    Climate Emotions

    This article is part of our Climate Emotions series. Climate change is harming the planet, and it may be harming our mental health too.

    From fear and anxiety to hope and healing, this series examines our complex responses to climate change, and how those responses will shape our ability to deal with the environmental challenge we face.

    I’m tellin’ ya: you’re all gonna die if you don’t end your wicked ways and revert to the simple life of your peasant forebears!”


    1. It is going to require a complex sorting of all advances made since we did everything by hand, to determine which were actually valuable progress and which merely laziness framed as convenience. That’s if it is done properly and without hysterics. We are not likely to go back to corn brooms because vacuum cleaners waste electricity, for example, but nobody needs a Roomba cruising around the house all day while they are at work. I could live a pretty long time without ever missing spray-on whipped cream (oh, except when I want to make a temporary bikini on the missus on Saturday nights). Doubtless a great deal of industry could be retooled so that it still makes the same products, but the energy which powers the fabrication is different and more efficient. However, current visions put almost all the responsibility on consumers to cut back and make sacrifices.

      I visited Mayne Island a month or two ago; it was my first visit to any of the Gulf Islands except Saltspring, although I arrive at each of them several times a day while working on the MAYNE QUEEN, because that is her route.


      I learned only a day or two before our visit that Mayne Island has no substantial lakes or rivers; it’s just a layer of dirt and coastal forest over a big rock. So the only water on the island for residential use is what the islanders can collect and store for their daily requirements. Our host had a huge plastic rain-collection tank at each corner of the house, at the height of the eaves and probably about an 18-foot diameter, and two more on the outbuilding that serves as the bunkhouse where we slept. Every household action is observant of water wastage. Yet I did not feel any particular sense of deprivation, or like I was living in the middle ages.


      1. What????

        Are you saying that have not got one of these (below) at home with your Russian gang and that you use a vacuum cleaner?

        A веник [vyeneek]!

        No Russian home is without one!

        And made from 100% disposable natural material..

        And hand made, too.

        Better than an Electrolux or Dyson or whatever, and much quieter too!


        1. Nope; we are dilettante liberals and have a central vac system. There are still several brooms in the house, of course, and I suppose we could do it entirely by hand because I have plenty of cheap labour, but the vacuum cleaner is an example of an advance I would vote to keep. I’d bet the average western kitchen has tons of appliances the owners never use, though, as soon as the novelty has worn off – bread-maker, pasta-maker, electric can-opener, and so forth.


            1. And the programmable washing machine, the unsung hero of the household!

              How well I remember washing-days in the ’50s and my mum hand-washing clothes in a dolly-tub using a dolly pin and her running wet clothes through a mangle, whose rollers I often turned, and wet clothes hanging in front of the open fire range.

              dolly tub and pin inside

              dolly pin


                1. I suppose Saint Greta the Hysteric would approve of all the above old washing paraphernalia, apart from the coal fire, because it has no carbon footprint, apart, that is, from the CO2 exhaled by its operators.


        2. Надо экономить!

          Buy your тесть and тёща a веник each, and set them to work!


          Russian terms for in-laws are unbelievably complex! The terminology varies, according to which side you look at the relationship from: either from the son-in-law or daughter-in-law’s side or from the mother-in-law or father-in-law’s side and whether the two latter are the bride’s parents or the groom’s.

          See: Кто есть кто по родственному

          To simplify the above, if that’s at all possible:

          Родители жены/мужа [ra-DEE-tye-lee zhee-NI/MOO-zha] in-laws

          Свёкр [SVYOKR] father-in-law to the wife (husband’s father)

          Тесть [TYEST’] father-in-law to the husband (wife’s father)

          Свекровь [sveek-ROF’] mother-in-law to the wife (husband’s mother)

          Тёща [TYO-scha] mother-in-law to the husband (wife’s mother)

          Зять [ZYAT’] son-in-law to the wife’s mother and father

          Невестка [nee-VYEST-ka] daughter-in-law to the husband’s father

          Сноха [snakh-AH] daughter-in-law to husband’s mother

          All this does my bloody head in!!!!!!

          Unfortunately, both my wife’s parents had died young before we met, her mother having died only a couple of years after her having been widowed. Such were the events during the “Glorious Yeltsin Years”! (Quotation marks because that’s how that cnut Navalny once described the ’90s here.) Anyway, shortly after I had married, when I was chatting about my wife to a Russian colleague, my interlocutor suddenly commented (in Russian-English): “So you have no Russian mother-in-law? You – happy man!”

          I always feel very unhappy about that comment. I sometimes ask my wife if her mum and dad would have liked me. She always assures me that they would have, but I shall never know.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. ME, I am sure your Russian in-laws would have been delighted with you; and thanks also for that vocabulary of in-law terms. I never fully understood the difference myself between the different terms.
            A linguistic note on Сноха (“daughter-in-law”), this is one of those key “old kinship terms” cited by every historical linguist who studies Slavic, or Indo-European in general.

            It’s a very old proto-Indo-European word reconstructed as *snusós from a proposed even earlier form snuséh₂ where H2 represents I-E (posited) Laryngeal consonant #2.

            The importance of this Slavic word in historical linguistics is as a relic of I-E “consonantal stems”, the ancient Greek version of the word is νυός (nu-os), showing the consonantal -s ending.
            Indo-Iranian reconstruction shows snušáH showing perhaps the original laryngeal consonant.

            Through a series of regular, and predictable, sound changes occuring in Proto-Slavic,
            *snusos becomes snŭx-a (a sound change that turns /s/ back into, ironically, a more laryngean /x/, and with the feminine ending -a tacked on, once people starting realizing that daughters-in-law are females), and then modern Russian snokh-a.

            It’s the poster-child example in every historical linguistics textbook of
            (1) /s/ turning in to /x/ after an /u/ type sound; and
            (2) relics of consontal stems in Proto I-E before they all start getting regularized into masculine-feminine-neuter.

            It makes sense that kinship terms are among the oldest words in any language, and perhaps most likely to survive more or less intact over the millenia, despite many language changes over the years.


          2. “Свекровь [sveek-ROF’] mother-in-law to the wife (husband’s mother)”

            “Suegro/a” = Castilian/Spanish for “father/mother-in-Law” [sway-grow/ah]


            1. Bingo, Cortes! This is apparently another ancient proto-Indo-European word descended from the mists of time.
              The Slavic variant reconstructed as *svekry, from an earlier *swekrus (long /u/), another old I-E consonantal noun, this time with the -us ending.
              Postulated even earlier version with the laryngean ending: *sweḱúrh₂,

              Albanian: *swexurā (assimilation from expected *swetsurā)
              Albanian: vjehërr
              Old Armenian: սկեսուր (skesur)
              Balto-Slavic: *swekrūˀ
              Slavic: *svekry (see there for further descendants)
              Celtic: *swekrū (see there for further descendants)
              Germanic: *swegrō (see there for further descendants)
              Hellenic: [Term?]
              Ancient Greek: ἑκυρά (hekurá)
              Indo-Iranian: *swaĉrúH
              Indo-Aryan: *swaśrúH
              Sanskrit: श्वश्रू (śvaśrū́)
              Italic: *swekrus
              Latin: socrus (see there for further descendants)

              We also have German/Yiddish Schwiegermutter.

              [Castilian would of course be descended from the Latin word, it goes without saying.]

              I love etymology. It just blows the mind to think that words descend through time like living creatures; although sometimes we can only guess at the original semantic connections.
              Nobody seems to know what the original word meant, or why it was put together with those particular morphemes. An unsolved mystery, apparently.


              1. I used to think that “bruja” was the Spanish word for “mother-in-law” before I discovered that “brujeria” (meaning “witchcraft”) was related to “bruja” and then somewhere inside my head, a penny dropped.


          3. Mmmmm. I LOVE my in-laws. They already work like slaves without being told, I have to implore them to take it easy, and my father-in-law does a janitorial job at the missus’s workplace as well (Neoptism!!!). He’s in the hospital at the moment for stomach trouble that the doctors don’t seem to think is very dangerous, and probably relishing the vacation – he has an e-reader and his books, wi-fi, a large private room with television and all the perks, steak for dinner and tomato-basil soup with an egg-salad sandwich for lunch, and seems to be pretty much living the life of Riley. My mother-in-law is a saint. Perhaps some of it is because we can’t talk to one another well enough to get involved in deep philosophical discussions or international politics, but at least some of it is her sunny nature and natural innate goodness. We all get along very well, and the house is spotless while our own workload is very much lightened by their presence. All that is without even factoring in what a boon to children it is to be raised with their grandparents.

            I’m sure not all marital relationships go so smoothly, and I am all the more grateful for my good fortune. I used up a whole lifetime of luck in that marriage, and anything else that goes well is just further evidence to me that the Creator is especially fond of me. Or Wotan, or whoever.


          4. It gets even more confusing when one talks in Russian about brothers- and sisters-in-law.

            For brother-in-law there is:

            зять (zyat’) for one’s sister’s husband, but the husband of one’s daughter is also зять;

            шурин (shurin) for one’s wife’s brother;

            деверь (dever’) for one’s husband’s brother;

            свояк (svoyak) for one’s wife’s sister’s husband.

            For sister-in-law:

            невестка (nevestka) for one’s brother’s wife, but невестка is also a daughter-in-law of a husband’s father, whereas she is the сноха of her husband’s mother;

            золвка (zolovka) is one’s husband’s sister;

            свояченица (svoyachenitsa) is one’s wife’s sister.

            Russians get confused over these terms as well, at least, it seems that many city dwellers, especially the younger generations thereof, do: they often say in Russian, for example, “my wife’s sister’s husband” instead of свояк.

            The mind boggles!!!!


  11. OK..
    For some while I’ve been wondering exactly how airlines pay for the craft in their airliner fleets.
    My point is I wonder how the following somewhat involved payment matrix affects Boeing’s situation:

    After all things aren’t lookin too good for whoever depends on the expectation of generating a stable ongoing revenue stream from 737 Max planes in the air carrying paying passengers,not sitting idle as a result of worldwide grounding.

    I guess I’m trying to get a handle on exactly how the currrent debacle may come to affect Boeing’s financial situation.


    1. Leasing aircraft makes sense: the idea is an extension of businesses leasing cars or trucks, as the article suggests and indeed most businesses lease office equipment like PCs, copiers and printers for a fixed period. This saves on having to pay upfront for equipment and then trying to decide what to do with outdated PCs after two or three years.

      One problem with lease arrangements of the sort described in The Points Guy article is that securitisation agreements can be abused by certain classes of investors (think Wall Street banks and hedge funds) in much the same way that mortgages and student loans have been abused, if they aren’t already as the article seems to imply in its discussion of Equipment Trust Certificates and Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates. Think of EETCs as sort of equivalent to subprime mortgage loan packages.


      1. Not to mention you won’t get your aircraft for a decade, owing to backlogged orders. When, presumably, what was cutting-edge technology when you ordered it becomes eclipsed by new technology and you take delivery of and obsolete aircraft.


  12. “The Pentagon confirmed Friday that 3,000 more US troops are being deployed to Saudi Arabia to defend the blood-soaked monarchy led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and prepare for war against Iran.
    The deployment includes two fighter squadrons, one Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW),
    two more Patriot missile batteries, and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).”


    Ummm…So are the Patriot batteries and the THAAD Systems a new and improved 2.0 variety
    that are actually capable of intercepting and destroying incoming missiles?

    Or are they like ..well …those other ones…you know …the ones that didn’t do to well a month or so ago…


  13. “On October 9, Segundo Inocencio Tucumbi Vega, an 50-year-old indigenous leader from the Cotopaxi province, was reportedly surrounded by police cavalry and beaten to death on the head. According to the human rights group Inredh, he was killed by the “excessive repression carried out by the public forces” in Quito. During the same protests in the capital, another indigenous demonstrator from the same town of Pijulí, José Rodrigo Chaluisa, was also killed.
    On Thursday, thousands of demonstrators, including students, workers and peasants, gathered in the Casa de la Cultura building in Ecuador to conduct a wake at the casket of Tucumbi Vega. At the event, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (CONAIE) announced that it had captured ten police officers that morning as prisoners. Four of the officials were forced to carry the casket to the stage of the building.

    Jaime Vargas, the CONAIE president, then appealed to the leadership of the armed forces to “join the people” and “don’t obey the orders of that traitor, liar and thief,” referring to Lenín Moreno.

    After the funeral, the police officials were escorted by hundreds of demonstrators to downtown Quito where they were handed over to officials of the UN and the Ecuadorian Ombudsman’s Office.

    In Pijulí, about 60 miles south of Quito, neighbors captured three officials at the police station on Thursday, with the Interior minister confirming Friday morning that they remain prisoners of the indigenous community. A video from the same town captured Thursday and confirmed by radio station Lacatunga showed indigenous demonstrators intercepting an ambulance and a motorcycle carrying weapons, high-caliber munitions and tear gas cannisters.

    According to El País, 47 soldiers who invaded the indigenous community of Cochapamba in the same Cotopaxi province were captured and remain detained inside of the church “until the repression stops” and the “brothers arrested” are freed.

    This follows the capture of 50 soldiers and five police officials between Saturday and Monday in the southern Azuay province and the takeover of several power plants and oilfields in the northeast since the weekend, forcing the Ministry of Energy to shut down the country’s main pipeline on Tuesday.”

    We must all wish them the very very best in their struggle !!!!

    Pity Americans of today don’t have their guts.



    1. Good analysis and I appreciated the point that the primaries, not a rigged debate, should be the means to weed out the candidates. But, what she missed was that individual primaries greatly reduce the power of money and media support. How? Personal appearances seem disproportionately important relative to their costs in individual state primaries. Tulsi can make just as many appearances and reach out to just as many voters as Biden can. Its a much more level playing field. that way. The DNC learned that lesson with the Hag Clinton. Better to weed them out before the first debate.

      She made a good point that Tulsi could use the debate to take down the DNC for all its dirty tricks in the past (feeding, in advance, debate questions to the Hag Clinton for example). Now, that would give her enormous media coverage and electrify a lot of Americans. That would probably be the only reason for her to make an appearance.


      1. Forgot to mention that the DNC was criticized for giving the Hag debate questions yet I did not hear much criticism of the Hag accepting those questions.


        1. Yes, she could hardly pretend not to know that she had learned all the questions in advance. The individual who fed them to her confessed. There was so much hype that this was the history-making moment for the first female president that people just lost their heads and decided anything they had to do to make it happen was justified.


  14. Astounding that for the western press and the west’s loyalists in central America, for Venezuela to let Guaido take over would represent Venezuela’s ‘return to democracy’. How the fuck do you figure that?

    “Giammattei said in another video that in Caracas he planned to invite Guaidó to his inauguration in Guatemala and press for Venezuela’s return to democracy, including the release of political prisoners and the immediate call to elections.”

    So only when Venezuela legitimizes the rule of some pup who was hand-picked by the United States will it be democratic. Because Washington says the election won by Maduro was fraudulent, then that’s the way it was.

    Scroll down to the photo at the bottom of the article; Guaido is all ready to greet the visitor as the President-Elect of Guatemala…but Giammattei tried to get in on an Italian passsport, and claimed to be only visiting as a tourist. Tell me something – why does nobody in the west balk at all the sneaky shit Guaido tries to put over? Obviously no President elected by the will of the electorate has to try all those shenanigans, never mind continuing to live in the country under a protection order from a foreign country which demands that he not be arrested.



      1. Well, he’s not the president yet; he is the ‘President Elect’, meaning he is elected but has not yet been inaugurated – he was planning for Guaido to be a showpiece on that occasion. And he probably is Italian, with a name like that, although he must have dual citizenship to be elected to public office in Guatemala. If the passport had been fictional or illegal on top of everything else, they would surely have mentioned it. But my point is he tried to sneak in the door by pretending to be some low-profile Italian tourist nobody, and Guaido already had the stage prepared with banners and flowers, announcing the president-elect of Guatemala. In retrospect, that might well have contributed to his being intercepted at the airport – Johnny Guano is not known for his strategic quick-wittedness. I doubt Venezuela is getting tipoffs from outside the country. This was supposed to be a big diplomatic-recognition event for Guaido, and it was another failure. He can’t have too many clingy fans left in Venezuela – the wealthy oligarchs are known to be unsentimental, and kind of impatient when it comes to results.


      2. Giammattei must have been advised to use his Italian passport and pretend to be a tourist in order to meet with Guaido secretly. What part of the instruction about meeting in secret did Guaido not understand? By turning up at the airport, of course Guaido was bound to attract the attention of airport officials. Does he not have a brain in his head?

        The original plan must have been for Giammattei to enter Caracas and to meet Guaido at another location.

        Question now should be, will Giammattei invite Guaido to his inauguration in January next year? Sure as heck, he’ll have second thoughts about being associated with Juannie Bat-boy Guano.


        1. Oh, I think Giammattei was totally onboard with a dramatic public meeting at the airport or wherever, but intended to slip in under the radar pretending to be just an Italian tourist. Then he would pop up at the meeting, doubtless to be well-attended by foreign press, to show the world that Maduro is a non-entity who just won’t go away, while Johnny Guaido is the bold face of the future. But between them they cocked it up, and now look like impetuous and foolish co-conspirators.

          I think that Venezuela will recover slowly, despite American efforts to ruin it. Clearly things cannot be as bad as the western press makes out, because there is no way America would stand by idly and let hundreds of thousands starve to death while they futzed about trying a political coup. Especially when it would be America’s fault, both for creating the situation and then doing nothing about it.


    1. What do these kreakles expect Trump to do? Send in Captain Queeg on the USS Caine?
      Or maybe Captain “Starry” Vere along with Midshipman Billy Budd can offer some gunboat diplomacy…


      1. Perhaps if they painted bomb targets on their faces, now that wearing masks in demonstrations is illegal in their part of the world, maybe Insane McCain Version 2.0 (otherwise known as Meghan) will take notice and plead for HK to be bombed.


  15. Putin makes a smart move (again);


    Russia agreed to look into the September aerial attack on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities [at the request of Saudi Arabia] and will condemn whoever was behind it, but will not take sides in the feud between Riyadh and Tehran, President Vladimir Putin says.

    Implications includes:
    – no one knows, at least Saudi Arabia, who conducted the attack despite pronouncements by the US and Saudi Arabia
    – Russia is considered an honest/trusted party
    – US is marginalized again (although Saudi Arabia has agreed to host additional US troops and to purchase more weapons but that may be to blunt further Houthi attacks rather than anything to do with Iran)
    – If Russia concludes the attack was launched by the Houthi’s then KSA really needs to stop the war before they are hit again and de-escalate regarding Iran. I can’t see Russia condemning the Houthi as they are at war with KSA.

    I suspect Russia will not takes sides between KSA and Iran as Iran does not need Russian help to deal with KSA. However, Russia may intervene if the US takes serious military action against Iran. That possibility is exceedingly small in my opinion.


    1. I’m a big fan of Raymond Chandler’s ‘Philip Marlowe’, and periodically re-read his novels. Chandler was writing an eon ago but often describes scenes that could have been lifted from today’s newspapers. I recall one book where Marlowe explains his disdain for police methods by referring to the largely guiltless who’d been shot ‘through doors that didn’t open fast enough’. Shocking to reflect on how long the violence and lack of accountability has been going on.


    2. The usual – the police officer ‘perceived a threat’. He saw someone through a window, and apparently houses with people inside is sufficiently out of the ordinary in the United States that seeing such a thing is a good reason to cut loose the lead.

      I’m pretty sure nobody buys that “I felt threatened’ excuse any more. What it boils down to is the police are so disliked and feared that of course they feel threatened, everywhere they go in uniform.


  16. For opera lovers:

    Fellow Stooges, I posted a review of the Metropolitan Opera season-opener Turandot. As mentioned to my readers, I probably won’t be posting anything new for at least a couple of weeks, as I have to go away on family business. Will be back though and hopefully posting a review of the new production of Massenet’s Manon by the end of October.

    Executive summary of the Turandot review, for those who don’t have time to read (boo!)
    Puccini was familiar with some Swiss-made mechanical music boxes playing “Chinese” tunes, and he used these melodies in both Turandot and also Madame Butterfly! Very amazing story, for those who are interested in European musicology. The bad news is that Puccini didn’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese people. The good news is that he was a genius nonetheless.


    1. yalensis, not to pry but if your absence on family business is related to your mother being in hospital, I hope all is well with you.


    2. Yeah, Puccini was a star man on the opera scene, in my opinion. He certainly passes “the whistle test”, namely, if it’s a good tune, then you whistle it or hum it, if you can’t whistle, over and over after having heard it. Mozart’s the same.

      I always get irritated (I always get irritated period!) with those who, on hearing the word “opera”, automatically say: “I hate opera …!” etc.

      I recall when the round-ball game World Cup was being held in 1990 when I had just returned from the USSR and the BBC had chosen the “Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot” as sung by the late, great and much lamented by me, at least, Luciano Pavarotti, as the opening theme tune for its reports on the series, thereby, according to pundits of the time, “bringing opera to the masses”, because, as a result of the repeated airing of the great piece, Puccini’s aria caught on amongst the great unwashed in the UK.

      So, one day in the summer of 1990, at the time when “Nessun Dorma” had “amazingly” appeared in the charts, I heard this dickhead DJ on the BBC commenting on how “amazing” it was that a tune that had been written hundreds of years ago had suddenly entered the charts. In fact, “Turandot” had been premiered in 1926, having been unfinished by Puccini at the year of his death in 1924.

      The comment by that DJ ignoramus was typical: he played shite all morning on his show — infantile, repetitive, uninteresting noise to satisfy dullards for limited periods of time until another similarly uninteresting, pre-packed piece of shite replaced it and which certainly did not pass the whistle test.

      “”Nessun Dorma”, however, lives on!

      And no doubt, the ignoramus DJ had no idea why that aria had been chosen as the theme tune of that particular World Cup series: the climatic “vincerò” at the the end of the aria means “I will win!”

      And for those who do not know, very briefly the story of Puccini’s great oper “Turandot” runs thus:

      China: Calaf, an unknown prince, falls in love at first sight with stuck-up, bitch princess Turandot. According to royal edict, however, any suitor who wishes to marry her must correctly answer three riddles. Those who fail are killed. Calaf answers all three riddles correctly. But Turandot refuses to marry this stranger. She doesn’t even know his name. The prince then makes a deal with her: If she can figure out his name before dawn, he will gladly die. If she cannot, they will marry. Turandot agrees and the countdown begins.

      Late that night, the princess declares that no one shall sleep until she learns the name of her suitor. In fact, she cries out that everyone in the kingdom shall be killed if no one steps forward to reveal Calaf’s identity. Meanwhile, Calaf confidently sings “Nessun Dorma”—”Nobody shall sleep”:

      Italian Text
      Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
      Tu pure, o, Principessa,
      nella tua fredda stanza,
      guardi le stelle
      che tremano d’amore
      e di speranza.
      Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me,
      il nome mio nessun saprà!
      No, no, sulla tua bocca lo dirò
      quando la luce splenderà!
      Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio
      che ti fa mia!
      (Il nome suo nessun saprà!…
      e noi dovrem, ahime, morir!)
      Dilegua, o notte!
      Tramontate, stelle!
      Tramontate, stelle!
      All’alba vincerò!
      vincerò, vincerò!

      English Translation
      Nobody shall sleep!…
      Nobody shall sleep!
      Even you, oh Princess,
      in your cold room,
      watch the stars,
      that tremble with love and with hope.
      But my secret is hidden within me,
      my name no one shall know…
      On your mouth, I will tell it when the light shines.
      And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!…
      (No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
      Vanish, o night!
      Set, stars! Set, stars!
      At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!

      The bits in brackets is what a women’s chorus sings in the distance.


      1. I mean, who can not like this?

        Well, I suppose plenty do not like it.

        I fucking hate rap, for example.

        Each to his own, I suppose.

        Or as have already written previously:

        На вкус и цвет товарищей нет!


          1. Vova (Vladimir Denisovich) is still waiting for his first suicide, though!

            Some of you may recall that a couple of years ago I overheard my son delightedly telling his mother in the kitchen that he had got a comment on his site from one his fans, who has said that his latest dirge had made him think about bumping himself off. I said to Vova: “Great news! So soon you will be able to chalk up your first suicide!”

            As a matter of fact, Vova’s suicide-inspiring music-style seems to be in demand, so he’s providing a public service, sort of, for manic depressives.

            See: Songs To Commit Suicide To

            It certainly sometimes makes me want to jump out of the window.

            Our flat is on the 3rd floor (2nd floor in the UK).


        1. He had a beautiful voice, so clear and bright and with such phenomenal control. I wasn’t a fan of the music he started off with, with Wham, but he could turn his hand to anything.


      2. ME, Interesting that you mention Pavarotti. The version that I saw a couple of days ago at the Live in HD Met, featured tenor Yusif Eyvazov, who is some kind of Azerbaijani-Russian mixture. (They refer to him as “Azerbaijani”, but in the backstage bits you could hear him chattering away in Russian.)

        Yusif is an amazing singer, and is also married to Russian diva Anna Netrebko! Anyhow, during the backstage interviews (which are often the best part of the show in this series!) Yusif told the hostess that his inspiration and role model was Pavarotti! The hostess, by the way, for this season, is Angel Blue, whom we shall see a bit later in the season, as Bess, in Porgy and Bess. Great stuff!


      3. P.S. – Turandot is definitely one of my faves and, like I said in my post, watching a good production is like eating candy for 4 hours!
        One thing I could never figure out, though… Are the 3 riddles always the same, for every suitor? Or does Turandot make up new riddles for each one?
        As the story opens we see a Prince from Persia failing the Ice Princess Challenge and subsequently his head raised up on a stick. Undeterred, Calaf decides to accept the challenge.
        The 3 Chinese Ministers, Ping, Pang and Pong tell Calaf that over 13 princes have died in the challenge, 8 just this past year.
        Later we see the Ministers carrying scrolls which contain the answers to the riddles.
        My personal opinion is that the riddles never vary. It’s just that Calaf is the very first guy who ever got past Riddle #1. The first riddle is posed in such a way (“What rises above the clouds at night and sets at dawn?” that most people would guess: “The moon.”)
        Calaf is the first guy who answered correctly: “Hope.” In the context of Turandot’s challenges, of course.
        Next Calaf answers the second riddle, spoiler alert, the answer is “Blood.” Also referring to Turandot’s challenges.

        I love the way Puccini staged the third riddle: Calaf is actually stumped, and Turandot will not give him a lifeline, or let him call a friend. But instead, she actually gives him a hint, sort of subtlely pointing to herself.
        And then Calaf finally gets it, and realizes the answer: “Turandot” herself!


        1. Yeah, the ice-cold bitch asks Calaf something like “What ice lights a fire but cannot put it out?”

          And the answer is “It’s you! It’s you, you ice-cold, frigid bitch! It’s you! It’s you! I”ve got the hots for you!!!!”

          You can see why that Soviet Union cartoon of Anderson’s “The Ice Queen” turned me on.

          I think I need to see a shrink.


          1. The part that still bothers me the most is when Calaf just stands there, like a log, while the b***tch Turandot is torturing Calaf’s loyal slave girl Liu: “Tell me his name, you little hussy!”
            And Calaf just stands there, saying nothing, even when the professional torturer is brought out. And Liu, who can endure having her arm twisted behind her back but realizing that she can’t stand up to real torture, grabs a knife and kills herself.

            A real man would go: “Leave my employee alone, you b****tch! Okay, I’ll tell you my name, it’s Calaf, are you happy now, you cold-hearted blippity blip? Just get your damned dirty ape paws off that sweet girl!”

            In Puccini’s defense, the Maestro died before completing Turandot, and it is said he was unhappy with that scene of Liu’s death. He kept tinkering with it, but couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

            Here is my proposed fix: Calaf is offstage, he is on the lam and doesn’t know that the Chinese guards have captured Timur and Liu. He is not present for the torture scene, but gets captured and dragged in just moments too late, after Liu has just stabbed herself. Then his chiding of Turandot, Turandot’s remorse, and the rest of it.

            Easy fix.

            P.S. – it also bothers me that Poppa Timur does not appear to be present at the grandiose wedding of Calaf and Turandot. Did he also die of shock, or is his continued presence just an inconvenience for the new power couple?


    3. And another work from the opera genre, though an intermezzo — so no one can use the usual anti-opera wail: “I don’t know what they are saying!” — that always fills me with such pleasurable sadness is this:

      I think that opera, Cavalleria Rusticana, is hardly ever presented these days but its intermezzo lives on.

      Them Eyeties can certainly conjure up good tunes!


      1. I read that when Verdi was in his waning years, the question on everyone’s lips was: “Who will replace Verdi as the King of Italian opera?” Mascagni was considered one of the contenders, only to be eclipsed by Puccini’s bigger, and more complex, body of work. Both Mascagni and Puccini were considered adherents of the “verismo” or “realism” genre,

        Which is kind of funny thinking of Puccini as a realist when, for example, Turandot is a fairy tale, basically. But Puccini wrote lots of other stuff involving ordinary people, who just happen to have lush and amazing voices. One of these days I hope to see a really good Trittico.


        1. I have a soft spot for Puccini because he rated a local lad and distant relative, a certain Tom Burke “The Lancashire Caruso”, and gave him his big break in opera. Tom Burke worked down one of the local coalmines before he was “discovered”.

          Prima Donna Dame Nellie Melba “heard Burke sing the Duke in Rigoletto in 1918, and wrote magisterially to Covent Garden to say that he would sing there with her the following year, with Beecham conducting.

          On Monday the 12th May 1919, her plans became reality. Burke was a qualified success with the critics who, as was customary, avoided enthusiasm, perhaps in the hope that some people might construe this decorous behavior as evidence of superior knowledge. The audience however loved him and Columbia rushed in with a record contract which resulted in fourteen single-sided records being issued very quickly, of which five were ballads and nine operatic excerpts. They sold well, and still turn up today.

          In the following weeks he shared concert platforms with Melba and de Pachmann. He was heard and coached by Puccini who said to the Covent Garden management “Let him do Il Trittico as well as Manon Lescaut. It is well established that Marie Burke heard Puccini say of her husband’s performance in the latter work “I have never heard my music more beautifully sung.” Burke had arrived. In the next Covent Garden season he sang in Les pêcheurs de perles with Graziella Pareto; the love duet must have been wonderful. Melba then invited him to join her touring opera company but he declined the invitation, for his sights were already set on America”.

          See:The Career of Tom Burke

          I think tha sung that aw reet, Tommeh, eowd lad!


  17. “Let no-one sleep!”

    “Dorma ” looks subjunctive making it “Let nobody sleep!” Or “Nobody should sleep!”

    As a veteran of finding some of the catchier tunes of my adolescent tastes having been filched from the classics * I agree with your sentiments.

    * Recently was wondering how the funeral part of Wagner was so familiar and was gratified to recall eventually the short song “We Want Your Brains To Pay For Further Education” from Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come album “Galactic Zoo Dossier.” And no, I’m serious.


    1. Cortes: I don’t know Italian, but I think the subjective element is contained in the word “nessun”. I would translate as “Nobody gets any sleep around here” (until I learn the name of this bastard who bested me in my own riddles – grrr!)


      1. No! I take that back. I just googled it, “nessun” just means “nobody”.
        So you’re right, the subjective must be contained in the verb “dorma” (shall sleep).


        1. The modal auxiliary verb “shall” in my usage thereof, when directed by the speaker to a 2nd (you) or 3rd person (he, she, it, they), means that the speaker desires/wishes/intends etc. that the person/persons addressed do [subjunctice mood] something.

          In other words, the speaker is passing on an obligation [fundamental meaning of “shall”] to the person addressed, e.g. “You shall do as I say and do not argue!”

          Therefore, “No one shall sleep” is not a certain prediction, namely “No one will sleep”, but an expression of the speaker’s desire that no one sleep [subjunctive mood].

          One can recognized the obligation contained within “shall” when asking questions: “Will I help you?” does not mean “Shall I help you?

          “Shall I help you?”, fundamentally asking the person addressed if one is obligated to help, would be “Вам помочь?” in Russian, using the {perfective} infinite of “help”, because there ain’t no modal auxiliaries in Russian, apart from мочь [can].

          No problem in Germanic tongues,though:

          Soll ich dir helfen?


          1. In equipment specifications, “shall” is equivalent to “must”. For example, “The motor shall have class F insulation” means it must have class F insulation if you know what’s good for you!


            1. “Shall” does not mean “must”.

              “You shall do as I say” does not mean “You must do as I say”.

              “I shall die” does not mean “I will die”, nor does it mean “I must die”.

              “You shall die” does not mean “You will die”, nor does it mean “You must die”.

              “Boots shall be polished” means that the person or body that makes this statement intends that the polishing of boots be done: the statement is regulation, a requirement.

              “Boots will be polished” is an affirmation that something be done: the person or body making that statement fully expects that that the polishing of boots be done.

              I spend a lot of time proofreading contracts written in “English” by Russians. They seem fond of using “should” in their contracts, thinking that this word is used to express the necessity of an action. I get sick of telling them that when I am told that I should do something, I can either agree to do it or say “fuck it!”

              I also regularly hear claims of surprise from Russians with degrees in English when they see “shall” in contracts, most especially in US contracts: they express such surprise because they have repeatedly been told that nobody now says “shall” amongst native English speakers in the USA, and that the modal auxiliary verb “will” is a “future tense” auxiliary verb.

              I tell them that there is no “future tense” in English, but they don’t believe me. So I ask them whether “I may meet you tomorrow” refers to a future action, as does “I will see you tomorrow”, and if it does, then why is “may” not a “future tense auxiliary verb”.

              And then I tell them that if they go to the British consulate here in order to apply for a right of abode in the UK, they will be given a document written in English and without a translation into Russian, wherein may be read the following:

              3. Who has the right of abode?
              3.1 Under Section 2 of the Immigration Act 1971 (which was amended by section 39 of the British Nationality Act 1981), all British citizens and certain Commonwealth citizens have the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

              People who became British citizens on 1 January 1983
              3.2 You will have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983 (when the British Nationality Act 1981 came into force), and will therefore have the right of abode in the United Kingdom if, immediately before that date:

              a) you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and had your citizenship by being born, adopted, naturalised or registered (see Note 4) in the United Kingdom; or

              b) (i) you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies with a parent (see Note 2) who, at the time of your birth, was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by being born, adopted, naturalised or registered (see Note 4) in the United Kingdom; or

              (ii) you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies whose parent (see Note 2) qualified for the right of abode under b(i) above; or

              c) you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who, at any time before 31 December 1982, had been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom (see Note 1) for a continuous period of 5 years or more and, during that period, you were not in breach of the immigration laws and, at the end of that period, you did not have any time limit attached to your stay; or

              d) you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and were then, or had previously been, the wife of a man with the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

              My stress above.

              1st January, 1983,was most certainly in the past, so why the use of the so-called future auxiliary verb “will” in “You will have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983″?

              I know why.

              Russians don’t, because they repeatedly tell me that ” ‘will’ is the future tense” .


            1. Edward Van Halen and guitarists who subscribe to his style of lead guitar play lifted their licks from Paganini. Examples are Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. The best display of the latter is the sweeping arpeggios in the solo ‘played’ by Ralph Macchio in “Crossroads” climactic duel (Steve Vai actually played both parts, and also acted the part of Jack Butler; it must have been difficult for him to pretend to be baffled and unable to duplicate the solo).

              For an eye-popping display of arpeggio sweep soloing, check out Laura Lace (I think it’s pronounced ‘La-che’), from Latvia. She makes Eddie Van Halen look like he’s playing on Novocaine. Have a look at the blazing sweep at 1:45. Easily the best female guitarist in her style, and probably among the world’s top 5 overall.


          2. In military-speak, ‘shall’ and ‘will’ are interchangeable. “Shoes shall be clean, black and highly shone”. “You will have a haircut before 08:00 hours tomorrow”. If there are options – rarely – the operative word is ‘may’. The first two imply that if the condition described is not met, discipline and/or punishment will follow. ‘May’ leaves a little more room for interpretation. A lot of trade unions have adopted similar phrasing.


    1. Correct; fourth and final hull of the KIROV class. I suppose he thought anything which looked so menacing must belong to the US Navy.

      Or perhaps he just has a really off-the-wall sense of humour.

      At any rate, it wouldn’t be the first time. I remember it was mentioned on the old blog at the time it happened, and we all had a good laugh, back in 2012.



  18. I did say when Aleppo fell that ALL of Syria must be under the control of Damascus in order for the nation to completely revitalize.

    “The Kurdish-led SDF militias in Syria, vastly outgunned by Turkish forces and vulnerable to air strikes, warned US officials in talks leaked by CNN that they would appeal for Russia to attack Turkey and protect SDF and Syrian army forces. As Turkey is legally a NATO ally of Washington and the European powers, such an attack could compel the United States and its European allies to either break the 70-year-old NATO alliance or go to war with Russia to protect Turkey.”

    Russia should shut Turkey the fuck down , NATO member or not. Erdogan should be made to understand that Ankara will be the first on the glassing list and if some of the NATO powers want some of the same…that can be arranged. Turkey must be made to completely and permanently withdraw from Syria. Unless there are Kurds in Turkey who want to remain there and are welcome -which sounds totally crazy to me-then all the Turkish Kurds can relocate to Syria.

    (The comments to the wsws article are well researched and cross referenced in case you need a refresher on this stuff)

    “The beginning of the operation has been devastating. Airstrikes immediately targeted civilian towns along the 250-mile border between Turkey and the SDF-controlled region of Syria where ***Kurds, Arabs and Syriacs live together.*** Casualties and war crimes have been reported. Thousands of people have fled their homes, uncertain as to where they will go. Just hours after Turkish officials announced the operation would begin imminently, Isis cells in Raqqa also launched an attack on SDF personnel. The Kurds are now in the process of striking a deal with the Syrian government to stave off the assault and further humanitarian crises.”



    Iran ,Russia and Syria should attempt to promote the idea of these disparate groups continuing to at least tolerate one another and live more or less ‘together’ in Syria”

    Spot on commentaries on the history of Kurd/USA dealings and the recurrent dumb fuck lapses of judgement displayed by the USA including ALL of Obongo’s term.




    1. Russia will not attack Turkey because there will be no need. After the Kurds get their heads out of their collective ass, they will realize the US promise of a Kurdistan carved out of Syria was a trick to get them to do the fighting. In fact, Kurds have apparently already asked for Syrian help and the Syrians have obliged by making massive troop deployments apparently to block further Turk advances.

      MOA, as usually, is on target with his analysis of how it will all play out. Kurd forces will be integrated into the Syrian military, Turkey will withdraw and the Kurdistan dream will be no more. There will be no autonomy either.

      The wailing and tears of the US “reporters” as the Syrian “regime” invaded….their own country was a joyous sound.


    2. The present situation actually looks like a win-win for most parties. This would suggest the whole exercise was arranged over the past several weeks as MoA says.

      The Kurds are forced into realising that the US and the EU were never their friends in the first place and were only using them, that their best chance of surviving is to accept that they are part of Syria and to give up their dream of their own state, which was probably never going to be viable anyway, given that it would be an entirely landlocked and mostly mountainous entity liable to break up into mini-Kurdish statelets. (Which would suit the US, the British and the French just fine.) Syria will be able to regain its northern and northeast territories with the oil and gas resources. Turkey gets rid of most jihadists still resident in its territory by encouraging them to attack the Kurds.

      Russia does not have to fight. Attacking Turkey would be the worst thing to do because then the rest of NATO would be obliged to come to Turkey’s defence on the most ethically dubious pretext and World War III would break out in Europe and the Middle East at the same time.


    3. Everybody on here and the old blog said the United States would drop the Kurds like a hot rock as soon as they outlived their usefulness to America. I’m pretty sure they will get no help from Russia, which would not have to cast its memory back very far to recall when ‘ethnic Turkmen’ of Syria machine-gunned a Russian pilot to death as he hung in his parachute straps after the treacherous Turks shot down his aircraft.


      The ‘Turkmen’ mentioned feature several military units who allied themselves with the US-created Free Syrian Army (FSA), as well as various al-Qaeda groups, while the Sultan Selim Brigade is actually formally allied with the US-supported Kurdish militia who call themselves the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).


      Putin pulls off some crazy moves, but I canmt see him rushing to the assistance of the opposition to Russian and SAA forces in Syria just because Uncle Sam has decided to throw them under the bus. In case it has not already been observed, that happens all the time. The USA has a history of abandoning its allies as soon as they become inconvenient or embarrassing.


  19. How can Russia and Saudi Arabia be partners, friends, and foes at the same time?
    14 Oct 2019

    Russia defends Iran, backs Bashar Assad in Syria and criticizes Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Riyadh would seem a risky balancing act – but is instead a pragmatic move rooted in mutual interest.

    Putin arrives in Saudi Arabia on Monday, his second visit to the country after his 2007 trip. Just days earlier, Riyadh ignored his proposal (though apparently made in jest) to buy Russian air defense systems, and even more recently, approved the United States’ deployment of about 3,000 troops on its territory, including fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air-defense personnel.

    The signs are clear that Riyadh remains firmly in the orbit of Washington’s influence, at least when it comes to security and defense. But Moscow doesn’t seem to hold it against Riyadh – in fact, relations with the Saudis have never been better. Putin has been seen chatting cordially with Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at international meetings, and has spoken about his personal rapport with both MBS and with the Saudi king himself. The friendship has been well echoed in economics: trade turnover, while still comparatively low, is on a quickening rise (it grew by 15 percent in 2018 and by 38 percent so far in 2019), there’s talk of a $1-billion joint oil facility, and further investment deals are expected to be inked this week.

    At the same time, Moscow is an ally of America’s public enemy number one: Iran. Saudi Arabia has blamed the regime in Tehran for strikes on two of its oil facilities last month, and hosts US troops on its soil to deter any supposed Iranian aggression. Riyadh is embroiled in a devastating military conflict against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, and is on the opposite side to Moscow in the Syrian civil war, where the Saudis arm anti-government rebel militias, while the Russians aid the government of Bashar al-Assad.


  20. Yet another BBC feature exposing Russians for the evil swine that they are:

    Who really owns borsch?

    Well, I’ll tell you: nobody, you childish arseholes!

    The soup war boiled over into social media this year, when @Russia (the official Twitter account for the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs) tweeted: “A timeless classic, #Borsch is one of Russia’s most famous & beloved #dishes & a symbol of traditional cuisine”.

    To the average Twitter skimmer, Russians broadcasting about borsch may seem obvious and innocuous, but for Ukrainians, who consider borsch to be their national dish, the Russian tweet is wartime propaganda, especially considering the current occupation of Crimea and the latest territorial conflict in eastern Ukraine that’s been raging since 2014. The Ukrainian Twittersphere responded with anger and humour, with comments like “As if stealing Crimea wasn’t enough, you had to go and steal borsch from Ukraine as well”.

    What pathetically meaningless lives these Svidomites lead! Who in the wider world outside of Banderastan gives a flying fuck about where borsch originated?


    1. Next, the Banderites will complain that chicken Kiev is a Ukrainian dish because it has the word “Kiev” in its name. And then they’ll object to the “Kiev” bit and insist on “Kiyiv”.


  21. Sonny, Putin Stole Everything From You
    October 15, 2019 Stalker Zone

    Sonny! Putin has stolen from you all that should rightfully belong to you.

    After all, you deserve it.

    Putin has stolen from you your red “Ferrari”, which “grateful Russia” was supposed to give to you just for the fact that you have made this country happy with your gracious appearance in it, and not somewhere, say, in the US, where this desired “Ferrari” would be immediately brought to you, together with the latest model iPhone.

    After all, you deserve it.

    Putin has stolen from you your ocean-class yacht, which you no doubt would have now if it weren’t for crafty Putin.

    After all, you deserve it.

    Putin has stolen from you your lawful “oil rent” [the difference between the value of crude oil production at world prices and total costs of production — ME], through which you could live without getting up from the sofa, drinking beer, and glorifying me, the President of Russia, Navalny.

    After all, you deserve it.

    Putin has stole from you your pension, which you should have been paid so well and wonderfully right from the first day after your birth.

    After all, you deserve it.

    And they don’t pay it solely because Putin has stolen it from you, and spent it on a war in Syria that isn’t needed by anyone.

    And your classmate Svetlana, whom you so covet, does not look at you just because Putin has stolen her from you.

    Come out onto the streets sonny; bring down the “bloody regime” of crafty Putin, and you will have all this. And the same Svetlana will be glad to jump into bed with you.

    [Edited by ME because the use of the past-simple instead of the present-perfect bugged me as did the use of adjectives instead of adverbs and the absence of the subjunctive mood where it was necessary — Grammatikführer ME]


  22. But here’s the thing sonny: don’t forget to transfer your donation to my account. I’m on the Canary Islands with very young female followers. I wanted to have a rest, and it costs a lot.

    What do you mean: “My parents don’t give me money”? Steal it, because you are in power here.

    We are in power here!

    [And some of the punctuation bugged me as well! — ME]



    1. Er… my personal pet peeve about translating the Russian word власть as “power”, that is not a correct translation, IMHO, at least in this context. What Navalny was actually saying was “WE are the government here.”
      Just like, when Lenin said “вся власть советам”, he wasn’t actually saying “All power to the Soviets” as Westies commonly translate; he was actually saying, “The government should be switched [from the Parliament] to the Soviets.”

      I have dedicated my life to correcting that mistranslation, and trying to get people to translate власть as “government”, which is the common definition among Russians, and has been for centuries. It only means “power” in more abstract contexts like “Power Rangers”, etc.


      1. I agree but that translation was not mine: it was “Stalker’s” translation, or of whomever wrote the piece for the Stalker site, whom I suspect is a Russian native speaker because of his continuous use of the past-simlple, he not once using the present-perfect.


    1. Of course not. Because they want a long-term contract, minimum ten years, minimum 50-60 BcM annual volume. They know a year with no guaranteed volumes is just a sop to placate the EU, which is yelling that Ukraine’s transit revenue must be preserved. If Russia holds firm – no long-term contract, we might transit some volumes through Ukraine, don’t call us we’ll call you – it will win out. Europe cannot replace the volumes previously transited through Ukraine, from any combination of sources, and would be left with the unattractive options of going to another fuel source (*cough* coal *cough*), reversing its phase-out of nuclear power or paying a great deal more for outside gas shipments which would be nail-biters as to whether they would arrive in time to prevent a major crisis, every time. Washington is absolutely correct that Europe is dependent on Russian gas; Russia just doesn’t like to present it in those terms, and continues to charge Europe as if it had realistic options, while Washington merely wants – exceptionalist ambition at its finest, since they could not even make a dent in doing it – to replace Russian volumes with American LNG at vastly higher prices. Then Europe would be dependent on American gas instead of Russian gas. Ask yourself if America’s recent behavior over the last decade suggests it would not leverage dependence for political and economic concessions to its own liking.

      “The existing 10-year deal expires in January and Kiev is concerned that Moscow, which wants a short-term deal, could stop using Ukraine as a transit route when other pipelines are completed, leaving some Ukrainian regions without gas in winter. “


      What’s up with that? Ukraine might not be able to supply some regions with freedom gas on its own? You don’t say. What, then, was the purpose of that ceremony in which Ukraine showed off what it claimed was the last cubic meter of Russian gas, encapsulated in a keepsake brass cylinder? I know I wasn’t hallucinating; I saw it, I think it was on RFE/RL. But searches now turn up nothing, since they would inevitably result in mockery. Kuh-yiv knew even then that the gas it was being gifted with by the IMF was Russian gas reverse-flowed from Slovakia, but it was perfectly content to call it ‘European gas’. So the simple truth of the matter is Ukraine is every bit as dependent on Russian gas as it ever was, it just trusted the EU had its back, and thought it was safe to mouth off. It is slowly realizing that ‘Ukraine is Europe’ was a temporary political project that relied on quick and demonstrable success for continued support. Gradually it is sinking in that Crimea is lost to it forever, including the offshore resources in contiguous waters; it invited the ‘international community’ to get on board its position that gas extracted from the seabed off Crimea is gas stolen from Ukraine – from the standpoint that the ‘whole world’ declines to recognize Russia’s claim to Crimea – and the response was exactly nothing. The ‘international community’ knows there was nothing illegal about it. If there was, it would have challenged it in court long since now.


      You would think the EU’s ‘leaders’ would be embarrassed at themselves for the way they are now yelling for a new long-term gas deal, after the self-congratulatory orgy of back-slapping when they claimed Ukraine had ‘weaned itself off the Russian gas tit’. Now no less a political figure than the completely detestable Maros Sefcovic is championing “a new 10-year contract guaranteeing a minimum annual transit volume of 60 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, with flexibility for an additional 30 bcm.” I need hardly point out that would be a contract virtually identical to the one Yulia Tymoshenko signed with Russia, that every European politician who was awake or sober enough to speak screamed was a betrayal of Ukraine and a document so chock-full of cheating that it should burst into flames of its own accord. They might even lock in an agreement that Ukraine could never jack the transit fees throughout the contract’s term, they are that desperate to get a signature. I need not also point out that if Russia signed such a contract, it could forget about Nord Stream II, because there would be no need for it unless EU consumption of Russian gas doubled. 90 BcM of gas is about as much as has ever gone through Ukraine.

      ***Update*** According to the European Commission’s Energy Policy Officer, Monika Zsigri, Ukraine is likely to sign a shorter contract despite its purported rocklike stance on a long-term agreement. Because it hasn’t any choice – if Russia declines to renew the deal and there is no new contract at all, the EU will be left scrambling, and it will beg before it will do that. The EC is acknowledging (a) that it cannot force Russia to change its position, and (b) it will accept a short-term contract if Russia will not budge. Anyone on the Russian side who pooches a setup like that deserves to be shot.


      Russia is perfectly aware that a new contract with Ukraine would be under new European rules. So will any new agreement regarding Nord Stream II. What Ukraine is losing is the option of bargaining directly with Russia under the old rules if the ‘Ukraine is Europe’ project fails, or perhaps I should say continues to fail. What kind of dolt would sign a ten-year contract with Ukraine in circumstances which would restore all the negotiating power to Ukraine?


  23. Nice one, Lukashenko!

    11:38, 15 октября 2019
    В Минске задержана попавшая под санкции США россиянка

    US sanctioned Russian woman detained in Minsk

    Anna Bogacheva, an employee of the Internet Research Agency, who was subject to US sanctions in 2018, has been detained in Minsk. This is reported by RIA Novosti.

    “Bogacheva was detained at a hotel in Minsk the day before yesterday at about 22:00. Her husband and a small child were with her – they had gone on vacation”, the source said.

    Bogacheva’s lawyer claims that the girl was detained at the request of the United States in the case of interference in the presidential election. According to the defendant, she has already contacted the Russian consulate. There is no official confirmation of information about her detention yet.

    Anna Bogacheva is one of 13 Russians whom the United States accused of interfering in the presidential election. The US Treasury is confident that in 2014 from April to June she was in the United States and collected information.

    Earlier, on September 30, the United States imposed new sanctions against two Russians, three companies, a yacht and three aircraft associated with the “Internet Research Agency” – the so-called “troll factory”, which was accused of interfering in the 2016 US elections. The creation of the organization is attributed to the Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. The media billionaire is also called the “Putin’s cook” and the owner of the Wagner Private Military Company.

    In April, U.S. Attorney General Robert Muller published his report on Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, which Donald Trump won. It says that Moscow did interfere in the American electoral process, but it was not possible to confirm the existing suspicions about the connection between the Russian side and Trump.

    Investigators claimed that the Internet Research Agency was fueling protests among Americans, and Russian hackers affiliated with Russian military intelligence broke into several mailboxes of the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s headquarters. The Washington Federal Court later ruled that the connection between the “troll factory” and the Kremlin had not been proven.

    I hope Putin does not forget that Minsk shit’s weasley tricks with the Banderaretards and Pindosi.


  24. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/15/ftaj-o15.html

    “Ort • 5 hours ago
    Another déjà vu-inducing tragic case of a Texas police officer apparently committing cold-blooded murder in the course of his duties.

    Preliminary indications suggest that the circumstances of this homicide don’t leave much room for “reasonable doubt”; further investigation may reveal additional mitigating facts, but so far there’s no claim of exculpatory circumstances that a judge or jury might seize upon to acquit the shooter.

    Texas has recently set a new precedent for adjudicating police homicide; if ex-officer Dean is tried and convicted, expect a relatively light sentence-(six months house arrest with ankle monitor followed by 100 hours community service)- and hugs all around! “


  25. Re: Turkey’s attack on Syria:

    Some Stooges have expressed the view that the situation in NE Syria is actually little more than the tempest in a teapot….As a matter of fact in the twinkle of an eye all involved-Kurds, Russians, Turkish, Syrians- will be sitting around campfires shitfaced and singing songs of camaraderie!!!

    I don’t think so…..

    “Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr meanwhile said in a post on Twitter there seemed to be “serious differences” between Moscow and Ankara over the issue
    #Russia says it doesn’t approve Turkey’s military moves in #Syria and won’t accept its permanent presence. There seems to be serious differences between two countries who are supposed to be working together in Syria but diplomatic channels remain open
    2:51 PM – Oct 15, 2019″


    “Russia’s principal interests in Syria include “mounting a successful defense of its Syrian ally in Damascus, restoring Damascus’ writ and sovereignty over the entire territory of Syria, and then additionally reconciling the Syrian government with its regional and international surroundings,” said Sam Heller, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. Russia’s effort to normalize Syria’s relationships have included promoting a 20-year-old agreement between Ankara and Damascus intended to address Turkey’s security concerns — an accord that could eventually lead to restoring relations between the two governments. (So far so good)

    **But** Turkey’s plans to control a swath of Syrian territory, for an undetermined period of time, appeared to clash with Russia’s aims. And despite Moscow’s announcement Tuesday of peacekeeping efforts, fighting around Manbij continued, according to several reports. ”


    VVP and Lavrov et al aren’t gonna be able to diplomatically finesse an (enduring) cessation of hostilities.
    There is an overall Kurd problem in the ME…NOT a patchwork of ‘Here’s a Kurd..there’s a Kurd’ debacles in different nations. Shotgun weddings between factions that have hated one another for a century or more ain’t gonna solve a thing.


    1. Thus spoke Al Jazeera!

      It is a pretty big deal but there will not be a Russia/NATO war and Turkey will eventually withdraw from Syria and ISIS will be ground to dust by the SAA, Russia and Hezbollah.

      The truth is that Trump had no choice but the MSM will make hay out of the inevitable US pullback. The evening news shows had heartrending stories of terrorized Kurds and abandoned US bases with half-eaten meals and personal belongings now in the possession of smirking Russians.

      The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.


      1. Turkey wants the Kurds eliminated, as it considers them (for official purposes) a terrorist organization. The USA wants a Kurdish state carved out of Syria, right on the border with Turkey. Neither Turkey nor Syria is ready to entertain that. However, Syria is not interested in Turkey gobbling up more Syrian land, either, in the interests of ‘national security’. Washington just might find itself covertly supporting Assad – wouldn’t that be a turn-up for the books?


        1. Washington’s strategy is to try to herd cats. The MSM forgot that every single faction in Northern Syria was their ally.


  26. “The dogs bark but the caravan moves on”
    Is that a PO original?
    So in the thread rheroric..
    You have ‘match’
    ….For now..


  27. Putin reacts to US Treasury ‘Kremlin List’: ‘Dogs bark but the caravan moves on’
    30 Jan, 2018 12:03 / Updated 1 year ago

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has weighed in on the US Treasury’s recently released ‘Kremlin List,’ saying the action borders on “stupidity” because it shows inconsistency in Washington’s policies.

    “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” Putin said on Tuesday, several hours after the report featuring the entire Russian government and scores of prominent Russian business people was issued.

    The list of 210 people fails to mention the Russian leader – much to his ‘distress’.

    (1.07) “Собака лает – караван идет” [sabaka lie-yet – caravan eedyot]


    1. That’s your take on it. But you have to be aware that many, many Americans will think he got the best of her and that his view is the correct one – because his message resonates with them. America keeps its word, no matter what. The good guys know it, and the bad guys know it. It’s cheap theatre and not even close to true, but that’s not what Americans want to hear. They’re not interested in feeling bad about themselves, or their country.


      1. I’LL ask the Princess to forgive you Mark…. she’s kind and understanding like that!!
        He was retreating into repetitive
        platitudes and warmonger talking points…a couple of minutes more, she would have nuked the F out of him with known fact and cold logic.


        1. Yes, that’s quite possible; for my part, I already agreed with her. But repeating bumper-sticker slogans is a tactic so frequently availed of in American politics for a straightforward reason – it works on a large demographic. It’s for sure, though, that nobody even on her own side wants to debate her. I’d be interested to see her response if someone she pinned to the wall like that agreed with her – you know, I never really saw it that way. You’re right; I could have handled it a lot better. If she just shifted gears and went after something else, it might mark her as merely an attack dog, trying to draw blood. If she commiserated, perhaps said a few lines on how important it is to recognize fault in oneself, we might be looking at a whole new leadership template.

          Just an idle mental exercise, as you will probably never see it – nobody admits they were wrong in politics, they were always misled by some worthless cretin or unscrupulous operator. Also, being understanding and empathetic would only work once; if it got an enthusiastic public response, everybody would do it and it would just become one more fake in the plastic landscape of politics.


            1. Buttigieg is in an unusually safe position – he has no voting record. When someone in politics says “I did not support the war in Iraq” and they are a Senator or Congressman, the words hardly need to be out of their mouth before someone with an iPhone wants to know why they voted for it, then. So far, the legislative body does not ask the Mayors of America what it should do in the case of potentially attacking a sovereign nation that has not attacked the United States, without the support of the United Nations, of which it is a member with responsibilities. Buttigieg can invent policy positions he espoused and nobody can contradict him, unless they can find a speech he made which did so.

              Advisors have doubtless told Buttigieg what he thinks and what position he took on all major issues – his previous relative obscurity is a gift that only a fool would not use to advantage. Gabbard cannot claim to have felt this or that in the past so long as it conflicts with any votes of which she was a part.

              Buttigieg is probably just a flash in the pan, and I can’t believe he has enough support to actually go all the way, considering the chattering class so deeply values experience and he has even less than Gabbard. Democratic voters in particular are very unlikely to support a candidate from outside the political class, seeing what a fiasco that was with Trump. It’s all very well to say you believe in this and don’t support that, but voters know they have only your word for that if they can’t see any record of how you voted on such issues in the past.


              1. If I were Tulsi, my response to ‘We keep our word’ would be something along the lines of, That’s like punching dogs. That’s bad enough, but we shouldn’t be punching dogs in the first place. It’s wrong, but you want to ‘keep your word’ for the sake of it.

                She needs to use straight forward words that immediately captures the imagination of the average person and emphasizes the stupidity of the other person’s argument. There’s nothing to disagree with. Short, simple, sweet! #DogPuncher #YouMissedDaBus! It also deflates the tv ‘experts’ who are skilled in deconstructing longer, more political explanations and moving the focus of her argument. Her authenticity is that of actually having served and much closer to most americans – much as in the same way (god forgive me), George Bush Junior’s simple, speak like you schtick worked for his campaign. People like good, plain (respectful) speaking and it cuts through the wafting long hot gas of other candidates.


                1. Once we, as Americans, commit to an action so obviously self-serving that we had to make up the reason for doing it….by God, we don’t quit until the job is done.


          1. It must be said also that Pete Buttigieg was allowed to have the last word and the fellow (Cooper) chairing the debate did not support Tulsi Gabbard in insisting that Buttigieg should answer her question on whether he would continue with the policy of regime-change wars. This of course would have been deliberate: social psychology tells us that first impressions and last impressions, especially if the latter are augmented with repetitions of a particular message, make the most … uh, impression on a TV-watching audience. I can’t imagine that these “political debates” on television are not structured and pored over without the help of psychologists.


          2. George Romney had a promising run as a presidential candidate in 1968 until he returned from a fact finding trip to Vietnam. He switched from pro-war to anti-war saying that he was brainwashed by pro-war propaganda. That “brainwash” admission was spun as evidence of indecisiveness and his run ended shortly thereafter. Americans don’t like wishy-washy I’m not sure and I need more information types. The foregoing is subject to the accuracy of my memory from a long ago era.


            1. No, that’s pretty accurate. Similar stereotypes which have survived are that a successful presidential candidate should be married, to all appearances happily and probably to a person of the opposite sex (in most opinions), and that he/she should not wear glasses or offer any other outward sign of weakness or infirmity. That’s where Sanders is toast; some must wonder if he will live through the debate season, or whether landing the nomination might be too much for his struggling heart. Ditto Uncle Joe Biden, who no longer has what it would take to appear vigorous and untiring on the campaign trail – they probably had to shoot adrenaline straight into the place in the chest cavity where a heart would be in a normal person to keep the Klintonator’s eyes from rolling back in her skull last time around. They’d have to have an aide standing by with the paddles hooked up to a rolling start-cart for Unca Joe, and his presidential debate responses would be punctuated by shouts of “Clear!!!”, a snapping sound and whiffs of ozone.


                1. There’ll be a joke resurrected about the two heart surgeons on their hands and knees in the grounds of the hospital who, when quizzed by a visitor, reply that they’re looking for a stone big enough to put into Slow Joe’s chest cavity.


    1. That’s just Russian disinformation, smearing honest Ukrainians. Nobody in the west believes there is any real fondness for Nazi policies in Ukraine – they’re just having a little fun, and annoying the Russians. Funny, isn’t it? Ha, ha!


    1. I’m reminded of the way ‘Boaty McBoatface’ took off in the UK after the government blithely announced the new research vessel would be named whatever the public rallied behind. After it expressed hesitation over ‘Boaty McBoatface’, the public truculently responded that this was indeed its choice, and of course the government went off on a blabber about foreign perception of the seriousness of the British people and immaturity and not-the-done-thing and so forth. In the end it had to choose the name itself, because the voters had drawn a line in the sand. If American democrats get behind Gabbard like that, the party will have little choice – either nominate her, or acknowledge that voter opinion really doesn’t have anything to do with who gets the nomination.

      Yappy know-nothings blue-skying brainless speculations are more likely to do her good than harm. It allows her to make a public show out of daring him to take his charges formal – at which point he would obviously have to back down – while avoiding discussion of points on which she is not as sure or confident, because everyone will be captivated at the spectacle of her running another opponent through the juice blender. Sellers is vulnerable on more than a personal front, as well; AIPAC is wedded to getting America to fight its wars for it, and an anti-war candidate with any sense at all could not fail to skewer Sellers with that sword.


  28. Croatia’s Presidential elections, set for January next year, might become more attention-getting, perhaps for the wrong reasons:

    a) in the red corner, the current President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

    b) in the blue corner, Ava Karabatic (if she can squeeze in among the other contenders)

    I hope I haven’t got the two mixed up.


  29. TASS:

    [I have made changes to the text below, the original of which having been linked by me, because, good as those journalists at TASS might think their command of English is, they continually fuck up correct tense usage, notably that of the present perfect, which is a bugbear to speakers of Russian as a mother-tongue, and article usage, of course, which repeated errors bug me!!!!]

    17 OCT, 00:40
    IMF expects Russian budget to face deficit again in 2020 — report
    The Russian budget had a surplus of 2.7% of GDP in 2019 for the first time since 2011

    WASHINGTON, October 16. /TASS/. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the Russian federal budget will have a deficit again 2020, the Fund said in its report on Wednesday.

    Deficit of the Russian budget will be 0.1% of GDP in 2020 and will then grow from 0.3% of GDP in 2021 to 0.6% in 2022 and 0.8% in 2024, IMF says. Conclusions of IMF analysts are based on the fiscal rule in Russia and oil price forecasts.

    The Russian budget had a surplus of 2.7% of GDP in 2019 for the first time since 2011.

    According to a draft budget prepared by the Russian government, a surplus of 0.8%, 0.5% and 0.2% of GDP is respectively planned for 2020-2022.

    The surplus of the Russian budget will be 1% of GDP in 2019, according to the IMF forecast.

    So what Russian economists predict runs counter to those made by the great and the good at IMF!

    I wonder what the IMF predicts as regards deficits /surpluses in the Ukraine economy?

    Last I heard as regards this matter, was that they say everything there is going hunky-dory and according to plan, in that the population of Banderastan is being forced into penury, notwithstanding the fact that that foul swine Poroshenko’s wealth was reported to have increased elevenfold last year, in order to satisfy the terms and conditions set by the IMF for the provision of loans to the out-and-out criminals that run the Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. “Extinction Rebellion” arseholes getting their arses kicked in London!

    Members of the bourgeoise thinking elite being attacked by the stinking lumpenproletariat, whose only wish is to go to work in order to earn its daily crust and which is collectively too dull to realize that the world is going to end soon and that the protests of the “intelligentsia” against government non-action concerning our impending doom are for the proles’ own good.

    Extinction Rebellion protests – live: Parts of London Underground shut down as furious mob of commuters drag protesters from Tube train

    Theme song for members of “Extreme Rebellion”, worshippers of St Greta the Doom-Laden-Hysteric and others of their ilk.


    1. Ya know, subways are the greenest of green ways to move people. So, it gives the lie to the agenda of these pampered punks. They just want attention and influence by creating chaos. Next time, toss the tossers on the tracks!


      1. The woman in the clip above says that the train is City bound and, therefore, allowing it to run serves the interests of Mammon.

        I can’t see any bankers, brokers and other fat-cat, city-slickers on the platform: I only see folk whose wish to go work is being impeded by these self-righteous tossers. Fat-cats don’t get the first train in the morning to get to the City: those on the platform are ordinary Joe Soaps and Jane Soaps, and also multi-ethnic, but all united in the anger over these tossers’ actions.


        1. I’d be more sympathetic (as well as amazed) if those brave demonstrators glued themselves to the doors of the vehicles of the rich and super rich at Royal Ascot, Hurlingham, Newport RI &c.

          I did consult the Cortes crystal ball recently and forecast just such an incident of “consumer feedback” as occurred on the London Tube. What would’ve happened at Glasgow Central or one of the London mainline stations serving people commuting intercity ought to give pause for thought. Quite a lot of folks travel to London jobs by train from well over 100 miles away and then have Tube journeys too.

          And how telling that instant protection materialised.


      2. One of the frustrated commuters made this point to the XR group – that, in targeting public transport they were attacking environmentally friendly ways of moving large numbers of people from A to B. He asked “how f***ing stupid are you guys? It’s no surprise you ain’t got jobs”. And, of course, the time-rich nature of XR folk is interesting – so how do they live?


  31. Nazis?

    In the Ukraine?


    One juvenile little wanker of a wannabe Nazi shit!

    Ukrainian Nazis Wearing SS Symbols Attended a Bandera “Memorial Evening” in Kiev

    October 16, 2019 Stalker Zone

    “Kiev” [Киев] or Kyiv [Київ]?

    Maybe “Kiew” would be better: that’s how the Germans spell the name of the place, as seen below:

    Auf dem Bahnhof Kiew 1942: Frauen und Kinder werden zur Zwangsarbeit nach Deutschland verladen.
    Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R70660.

    Kiev railway terminus 1942: Women and children being loaded for slave labour in Germany.
    Federal Archive, photograph

    And then came November 6th, 1944:

    The liberation of Kiev by Soviet troops is what the Banderashites call the beginning of the Russian occupation.

    Note how the announcer says “The Ukraine”. You see, that’s before “Ukraine” became a “real country” rather than a borderland, or so Svidomites say.


    1. So how did the relationship between
      the peoples of Ukraine and Russia
      go from the brother/sisterhood depicted in your 1944 clip to today’s
      lethal enmity?
      Did the German Nazis consider some select Ukraine people to be
      their racial equals?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Again: because Galitsia, Western Ukraine, formerly part of the Habsburg Empire, after the dissolution of said empire in 1918, became in 1923 part of the resurrected Poland that had been partitioned for the final and third time by Prussia, the Hapsburg Empire and the Russian Empire in the late 18th century, and thereafte became part of the USSR on October 22, 1939, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

        Galitsians are also mostly Greek Uniate Church or RC. They don’t like anybody: Poles, Austrians, Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians and, least of all, Russians, because they are brain-dead, peasant shitkickers. when the Nazis invaded the USSR on May 22 1941, these shitkickers were as happy as Larry because they thought the fascist freaks would give the Soviet Union a good hiding, as they had only recently done to the Poles. So they sided with the forces of the Master Race, for “Ukrainian freedom”, and also set about killing Poles, Russians, fellow Galitsian bolsheviks (not that many of them, anyway) and Jews — plenty of them, though, whom the Galitsians also hate with a vengeance, of course, because they killed their “Saviour”.
        Everything began to come unstuck, though, at the Battle of Moscow (1941-42), Stalingrad (1942-43) and Kursk (1943). So a lot of them fucked off to Canada.

        Now how many times do you have to have this explained to you?


        1. Thank You

          Por favor…I can’t remember
          everything…. only most things.
          But in future I’ll be certain to
          remain a spectator from afar
          rather than an inquisitive visitor.


          1. From 1921 to 1939, the area of Galicia (Galitsia) aka Volhynia was ruled by Poland which subjected the inhabitants there to forced Polonisation. That explains the hatred the Banderites had for Polish people during the war once the Nazis had overrun Poland and the Polish government was forced to flee to London. During that period, several countries in central and eastern Europe, not only Germany and Italy, became more fascist in their politics and cultures and tried to impose their cultures and languages on their minorities.

            Before WW1, Galicia had been divided among the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Russian empire. The Austro-Hungarian part had been neglected over the years and was in fact the poorest part of that empire throughout the 19th century. It was a source of migrants to the New World in the late 1800s. The Jewish and Ukrainian diasporas that emerged in the United States, Canada and parts of Latin America (especially Brazil and Argentina) during that period and the early 20th century came from Galicia.

            Indeed the unfortunate history of Banderite and Jewish interactions (pogroms, genocide, mutual hatred and dislike) goes as far back as 1648 when Bogdan Khmelnitski led a Cossack uprising over pay against the Polish aristocracy in the area of modern western Ukraine. The Cossack revolt spread to the countryside, the Polish aristocrats and their wealthy Jewish lackeys fled and the only people left for disgruntled and exploited peasants to wallop and kill were poor Jews in the towns, villages and their own farms.


  32. Brexit deal done!

    All together now ! ….

    Yes, it’s about England, not the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and is called “Jerusalem” to boot!

    Mention of NI leads me to point out that the Democratic Unionist Party of NI is against the deal: from “No Popery!” to “No Brexit!”?


    1. I think it should also be pointed out, as some commenters to the above youtube video have done, that the man who wrote “Jerusalem”, the visionary William Blake, held by many in his time to be crazy, was considered a seditious and dangerous revolutionary; he supported the French revolution and was abhorred by the destruction of Britain by industrial capitalism, which, in his time, was clearly turning parts of the United Kingdom into a hell-on-earth through its inherent abuse and exploitation of the newly formed proletariat, about which Engels wrote in his “The Conditions of the Working Class in England” some 40 years after Blake’s “Jerusalem” had appeared.


      1. The Lamb, by William Blake:

        Little Lamb who made thee
        Dost thou know who made thee
        Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
        By the stream & o’er the mead;
        Gave thee clothing of delight,
        Softest clothing wooly bright;
        Gave thee such a tender voice,
        Making all the vales rejoice!
        Little Lamb who made thee?
        Dost thou know who made thee?

        Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
        Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
        He is called by thy name,
        For he calls himself a Lamb:
        He is meek & he is mild,
        He became a little child:
        I a child & thou a lamb,
        We are called by his name.
        Little Lamb God bless thee.
        Little Lamb God bless thee.


              1. Thine own eldest lambkin hath surely made a goodly recent contribution to thy grumpiness with his nocturnal musical yodelling and mucking about in his bedroom studio.


  33. London
    By William Blake

    I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
    Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
    And mark in every face I meet
    Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

    In every cry of every Man,
    In every Infants cry of fear,
    In every voice: in every ban,
    The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

    How the Chimney-sweepers cry
    Every blackning Church appalls,
    And the hapless Soldiers sigh
    Runs in blood down Palace walls

    But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
    How the youthful Harlots curse
    Blasts the new-born Infants tear
    And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse


    1. Jimmy pulls together issue thread’s discussed on KS with related Tulsi stuff…the comments
      are useful with some international


    2. I completely agree, although I find it hard to take their assessment of Hawaii as an ‘incubator’ for world-class politicians seriously. Gabbard is not exciting because she is Hawaiian (actually, I believe she is ethnically Samoan and only geographically Hawaiian). She is exciting because she could be a female president who blew right past the ‘girl power’ labels and the feminist bumper-sticker bullshit and lead from the front without threatening anybody. She does her homework and speaks from a basis of facts instead of winging it like so many politicians – including the last three presidents – are fond of doing. That suggests decision-making informed by deliberation and a willingness to listen to advice and reason.


      1. @Mark..
        You’re a numbers guy… especially with economic stuff…

        The checkpoint asia China article (link supra) has a ton of data on the expected (developing) Chinese economic footprint on the global economic terrain!


  34. These articles are obviously interrelated but not duplicative.

    Martin appears to defame and lie about Tulsi by marginalizing and/or ignoring the essence of her debate participation in the first-‘Cross party support’- article but he redeems himself in the second-‘Rare moment’- which is all about how she demolished Bendover’s nonsense.

    The comments are most instructive..some with good links.





    IMO Gabbard is far from the perfect ideal candidate …..

    However she is light years beyond the corrupt, senile , racist, elitist, MIC/Intel community owned, bitches of Corporate America that comprise the other contenders for the nomination.


    1. Maybe Buttigieg is super-popular in the polls, which I admittedly have not been following. But she seems to be saying that even though Gabbard called him out as just another establishment hack, an establishment hack is just what the country needs now, or perhaps that he would appear to be an establishment hack during the debates but, once elected, blossom into this progressive leader you never would have expected. Either way, I just don’t see him being the nominee.


  35. Let me know when Khruscheva starts piously sermonizing on behalf of the Gilets Jaunes, or the protesters in Chile or Egypt.


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