A Tale of Two Tyrants: They’re Using Our Own Laws Against Us!!

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, Humor is essential to a successful tactician, for the most potent weapons known to mankind are satire and ridicule”.”

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary,
Out by the gas fires of the refinery;
I’m ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go…

Bruce Springsteen, from, Born in the USA

Leafing through Forbes or Fortune Magazine is like reading the operating manual of some strangely sanctimonious pirate ship.

Adam Gopnik

I have reached the conclusion – late, but better late than never, they say – that there is no pleasing the west where its ideological foes are concerned. If they do bad things, they are evil. If they do halfway-decent things, they are only pretending to be good so they can get close enough to whip out the evil. If their economy is tanking, they are incompetent. If their economy is doing well despite efforts to ruin it, they are manipulative and deceitful, and not ever to be trusted. If they break the law, they are reckless criminals – if they hew to the law and nevertheless achieve their objective, they are exploiting loopholes to bring about the downfall of all that’s good. It was kind of the latter I wanted to talk about today. Because if there’s anything that makes the west hot under the collar, it is being put in a position where it looks hypocritical and childish, and cannot avail itself of its customary lofty sanctimony. The moral high ground is sometimes hard to hold, but it’s harder if you are full of shit.

First on deck is the Hungarian Vampire suckling at the Helpless White Throat of Democracy, Victor Orban. Mr. Orban long since turned into a bad smell on the wind for western leaders, owing to some pro-Russian positions and his resistance to western portrayals of Ukraine as The Crucible Of Good Decisions – he is invariably portrayed in western accounts as a ‘strongman’ who just makes up new laws as soon as he comes up against one which inconveniences his ruthless plundering of the state. Keep that ‘strongman’ cliche in mind for a moment, because we’re going to come back to it fairly soon.

Readers will have to be satisfied with a stub as a reference, because it’s from The Economist, which wants you to subscribe – yes, I know, and for money! – to read the whole thing. I would be as likely to do that as I would be to punch the next person who asks me what time it is in the face, because its analysis is typically little better than what you might find in the National Enquirer, and accurately foretells world developments about as often as chicken soup gives you an upset stomach.

“Take Hungary, where Fidesz, the ruling party, has used its parliamentary majority to capture regulators, dominate business, control the courts, buy the media and manipulate the rules for elections. As our briefing explains, the prime minister, Viktor Orban, does not have to break the law, because he can get parliament to change it instead. He does not need secret police to take his enemies away in the night. They can be cut down to size without violence, by the tame press or the taxman. In form, Hungary is a thriving democracy; in spirit, it is a one-party state.”

The thrust of the article is that populism is strangling democracy. Let’s take a quick look at a definition of ‘populism’ – perhaps it really is bad.  Hmmmm…. according to the dictionary, it’s ” A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite.”

Well, the nerve! The people should be glad to have jobs, never mind voting, and perhaps subverting the wishes of their betters, since it’s no fun being a corrupt elite if they are the majority and common as muck. ‘The people’ – generally held to be the poor and the middle clases – greatly outnumber the elites, because being a member of the elite is exclusive, like having a special badge or unlimited free ice cream. All right, let’s take a look at what The Economist is complaining about.

Oh, dear; the party headed by Orban won 133 of 199 seats in the 2018 election – a supermajority, and what is usually described as a ‘landslide’. He was helped – the snake! – by a strong economy. Which became so under his leadership, if that isn’t too inconvenient. Fidesz won 49% of the popular vote, against the 44% it captured in the 2014 election. Which, to most who can work simple numbers, suggests the party became more popular rather than less. Its victory, and Orban’s, was ‘helped by deep divisions among opposition parties’. In a one-party state, if you take my meaning. Are you adding two and two and getting three? Me, too. Was the election monitored? Sure was. In what was termed a ‘damning report’, the monitoring body complained of ‘intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias and opaque campaign financing”. Say – did you hear that in the campaign that’s going on right now in America to determine the Democratic nominee, CNN’s ‘analyst’ Bakari Sellers claimed there was ‘no question’ that military veteran and serving National Guard Major Tulsi Gabbard, democratic presidential candidate, is an agent of the Russian government? How’s that for intimidating rhetoric? Did he inform the intelligence services of his suspicions? Why, no; he didn’t. Because he has no evidence whatsoever, and is basing his ridiculous allegations on dislike of Gabbard’s campaign thus far, which is not sufficiently my-country-right-or-wrong to suit him. Quite a bit like the ‘investigation’ of the Hungarian election conducted by ‘Unhack Democracy Europe’, that determined widespread vote-buying and other dirty tricks based on evidence which…it released exclusively to Open Democracy. Sure; I’ll buy that. Everyone knows it’s an international law-enforcement agency. What? It isn’t? So evidence proving vote-rigging was given to…a deep-pockets think-tank?

Let’s not forget that Orban is a ‘strongman’. If he doesn’t like the law, he just gets Parliament to rewrite it so he does like it.

Say – anyone remember Francois Hollande? You know; serious glasses, a fivehead, spent $10,000.00 a month of the taxpayers’ money on hair styling and still managed to look like he’d just been dragged through a hedge backwards? Image result for Francois HollandeNobody who does remember him would describe him as a ‘strongman’, and in fact he looked like he could not tear a cocktail napkin crossways unless it was spritzed with Evian to weaken it. But Francois Hollande, in a “Fuck les voters” gesture breathtaking in its undemocracy, rammed through a labour reform package that nobody wanted – except the all-the-way-across-town-from-populist elite – which made it easier for employers to fire workers without due cause without even running it past parliament. The western governments declined to pay it much attention, and nobody called for the strongman’s head on a platter or a pike.

Let’s get something straight – the liberals despise Orban because of his immigration policies, which are that you should not accept waves of immigrants for whom you have no jobs, under the rubric of human rights. Show me a European country that is happy with its immigrant population taken in when Mutti Merkel threw the gates wide to refugees. Germany? Nein. France? Mais non. The Netherlands? Nee.

The above notwithstanding, let’s go back for a moment, and look at the litany of complaints. Fidesz – and by extension, Victor Orban – used its parliamentary majority. How did it get that? In a democratic vote which was plainly the will of the people, despite squawking about xenophobia and hate speech. So, it used its parliamentary majority, we’re told, to ‘capture regulators, dominate business, control the courts, buy the media and manipulate the rules for elections’. Behaved like a government, in other words. The regulators work for the government. If the government does not like the way the regulators regulate, it changes the way they operate, through parliament. If the people, in turn, do not like the changes the government made, they toss it out on its ear in the next election. I believe we already mentioned Fidesz increased its take of the vote and has a solid parliamentary majority. What government would have a majority and not use it? Well, okay, Obama. But what sensible government? What is the reason for pursuing power, if not to exercise it?

Does anyone remember the previous US Republican practice of using recess appointments to stack the courts with controversial judges? Yes, some people – notably the Democrats, who had previously blocked these appointments – complained. But is it legal? Sure is, or the decision would have been forcibly rescinded. Oh, but that was in a free democracy, so it’s allowed. Is it relatively common practice among British MP’s to use their staffing allowance to hire their wives for positions like research assistant, at salaries upwards of £40,000 a year? Why, yes; yes, it is. Buying the media? Well, that’s not strictly necessary in the UK – the BBC is a state organ. Although the government does not directly underwrite it, the BBC is entirely funded by a fee levied against every British household with a television. Who controls the disbursement of public funds? The government. US government control of the media is a well-established fact. From the premise that if it is against the law it would be abolished, all these practices must be legal. When carried out in The Democracy Klub, there seems to be little resistance to them. When carried out in more or less exactly the same fashion in governments which are in popular disfavour, such policies are thuggish and unethical. Set Sheep Filter to ‘On’.

Orban has been head of the Fidesz Party, and Prime Minister of Hungary, since 2010. Let’s take a look at how the country has performed economically during that time. When he took over, GDP growth was a record low of -7.9%. Global financial crash; you can’t really blame it on his predecessor. But by the end of 2012 it was at about 2.3%, and currently stands at 4.9% (measured quarterly, first quarter of 2019, figures lag a bit in all economic readings). Remember the part about not admitting floods of immigrants for whom you have no jobs? Hungary’s unemployment rate is 3.4% (August 2019, most recent figures). By way of unpleasant contrast, the unemployment rate in France is almost triple that at 8.5%, Italy 9.5%, Poland 5.2%, and even economic powerhouse Germany is at 3.1%. The overall economic picture of a nation is of course quite complicated, but I don’t see any of the disastrous performance that could be attributed to an out-of-control dictator.

Speaking of dictators, the second tyrant in the crosshairs is that perennial favourite, Vladimir Putin. Well, the Russian state, actually, but Putin has been synonymous with Russia for so long that the two are – for western media purposes – inseparable.

Ashland, Kentucky, USA. 6.2% unemployment, well above the average of a struggling state and nearly double the national average. But all that was about to change. There was a plan to build the biggest aluminum mill the United States had seen in 40 years, an outfit that would provide 600 full-time jobs at twice the region’s average wage, and 18,000 associated jobs in the state. The company with the big ideas, Braidy Industries, planned to partner with Rusal, the Russian aluminum giant.

And then there was a problem. A problem named Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska, billionaire owner of Rusal, was under investigation by Robert Mueller in the stupid vanity project the Clintons kicked off to assuage Hillary’s hurt feelings over losing to Trump – for reasons only a brave psychiatrist could explain, it was necessary for Americans to accept that the 2016 election was derailed by Russian hackers working for Putin, who was determined to put Donald Trump in the White House.

I leave it to ‘veteran diplomat’ (another way of saying ‘slow learner who does not want to work for a living’) Daniel Fried to sum up western thinking on taking dirty money from the Russians – “That’s just what the Russians do. They insert themselves into a foreign economy and then start to influence its politics from the inside.”

This is yet another example of a moment when the next thing that should have happened would be a surprised look crossing Daniel Fried’s face, and a puff of smoke from his lips, followed by his blazing tongue being ejected from his mouth. It’s what we in the business call an Incendiary Hypocrisy Event. If ever there was a country more characterized by inserting itself into foreign economies, and then trying to leverage that economic interest as investors to influence national politics than the United States of America, I’ve never heard of it and frankly cannot imagine it. The Bush presidency even formalized the imperative of encouraging the flow of American investments to Iraq as a Presidential signing statement.

Have you ever seen a more loyal lapdog to American policy than Australia? Yes, okay, except for Canada. All four of Australia’s biggest banks are majority-owned by American investors. The nation’s biggest company – the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is 60% owned by American investors. The United States and its investors use Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses to formalize rights for US investors that citizens of the country in which the investments are held cannot exercise; an American investor can sue the Australian government for compensation in an international tribunal if that government makes any change in law or policy that “harms” an investment. I think you can sort of see how that might translate to political influence.

Anyway, back to Ashland, Kentucky. Deripaska and Rusal used a variety of legal stratagems to get around the sanctions. ‘Legal’ being the key word – everything meets the letter of the law. Which brings a wail from Heather Conley, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under President George W. Bush; “They use our laws, our rules, our banks, our lawyers, our lobbyists—it’s a strategy from within.”

Image result for russophobiaAmerica’s hearty, good ole boy business credo has always been, “The U.S. benefits from economic ties to foreign powers as long as everyone plays by our rules”. Or it used to be. Now it has apparently become, “Foreign investment is dandy so long as we get to say who is playing by the rules, even when everyone is playing by the rules”. The complaint, if you can believe it, is that a firm like Rusal uses American laws, rules, banks, lawyers and lobbyists…and still somehow has not been excluded. Therefore, it must be excluded under the Discomfort Clause, more commonly known as ‘National Security’. Playing by the rules and acting in accordance with American law are no longer enough. All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

Let’s encapsulate what ethics and business in America have become, under the current climate of Russophobia and situation-driven fearmongering, in a personal example – Braidy Industries’ CEO, Craig Bouchard. He’s the one trying to get this whole deal rolling, to save Ashland, the region it’s in and maybe even the cash-strapped state. In 2008, Bouchard and his younger brother sold their steel mill to a Russian oligarch, Alexey Mordashov, for more than $750 million. Bouchard became rich.

And then made a few bucks more, from a book he co-authored; “America For Sale”, which warned that foreign investors pose a threat to America’s economic and national security. “If Putin harbors a nasty wish to throw a wrench into the works of the U.S. economy, then he now has acquired the means to do so,” Bouchard wrote. When it comes to industries vital to defense, like steel and aluminum, “the bottom line is that we believe it is risky business to trust Russian oligarchs,” the book concluded.

Ask yourself if a country that fucked up deserves to succeed. Or be anyone’s business partner.

1,014 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Tyrants: They’re Using Our Own Laws Against Us!!


  1. 4th November
    DAY OF NATIONAL UNITY

    A public holiday!!!!

    🙂

    Parades and displays here in the City of Satan and all over the Empire of Evil since Saturday 2nd.


    A “typical” Russian Eastern Slav on parade yesterday. Behind him are Cossacks, who are not an ethnic group!


    Saturday, 2nd November, 2019: Bottom of Tverskaya Street, along which Babchenko intends to roll atop his “Abrams”.


    Horrid Slavs, backed up by Asiatic fellow countrymen on Tversakaya on Saturday, 2nd November, 2019.


    The banner reads: “Centuries old union of brotherly peoples” — it’s a line from the Russian national anthem. And no: the folk above have not been allowed off the reservation!

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  2. Has the penny finally dropped?….

    Ukraine Corruption Concerns Stall IMF Bailout
    Fund wants president to recoup billions—including money that vanished from a supporter’s bank

    By Ian Talley in Washington and Alan Cullison in Kyiv, Ukraine
    Oct. 31, 2019 11:17 am ET

    “Wall Street Journal” no less!

    The International Monetary Fund has put off a bailout for Ukraine because it is worried the country’s president won’t recoup billions of dollars allegedly looted from banks—including one once controlled by a close supporter—according to people familiar with the negotiations.

    The IMF told President Volodymyr Zelensky he must aggressively pursue the missing money to deliver on his vow to clean up a financial system sapped by fraud, money laundering and theft

    Shop Closed: The IMF Refused to Lend to Ukraine
    November 3, 2019 Stalker Zone


    Porky: Fuck me! A real zombie!!!!

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    1. Meanwhile, back in Banderastan:

      1 ноября 201912:22
      Украина подсчитала потери от сокращения транзита российского газа

      1 Nov 2019 12:22
      The Ukraine has estimated losses from the reduction of Russian gas transit

      Direct losses to Kiev caused by the reduction of the transit of Russian gas will amount to 0.6% and 0.9% of GDP in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

      It was noted that from the “blue” fuel from Russia to Europe via the Ukraine, Kiev annually receives about three billion dollars.

      It has been stated that currently the gas supply amounts to 90 billion cubic metres per year. It is expected that in 2020 the supply will be reduced to 50 billion, and down to 30 billion in 2021.

      According to the regulator, this will not only lead to a sharp decrease in foreign exchange income but also create a risk for the functioning of related sectors of the economy and the gas supply to the Ukraine.

      Existing contracts between Moscow and Kiev on the transit and supply of gas expire at the end of 2019. At this time, in order to bypass the Ukraine Russia is laying two gas pipelines, “Nord stream-2” and “Turkish stream”. Moscow, Kiev and the European Commission have been conducting tripartite consultations on the continuation of supplies to the EU through the Ukraine, but to no avail.

      And Naftogaz has gone whining to the Stockholm arbitration joke shop again so as to squeeze more dosh out of Gazprom.

      And the Evil One has said that without Russian gas being pumped through the decrepit shambles of the Yukie gas transit system, the whole heap of junk will collapse.


      And she’s probably landed a job in a Hamburg whore house!

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      1. YEKATERINBURG, November 3. /TASS/. Russia has no plans for stopping the transit of natural gas across the Ukraine even in spite of having alternative routes, but Kiev shows unwillingness to reach an agreement on the issue, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a televised interview on the Rossiya 1 channel programme “Moscow – The Kremlin – Putin” on Sunday.

        “Now Russia will have every opportunity to ensure the required supplies to Western consumers because of alternative routes. Will Russia take advantage of this? Definitely not”, he said. “President Putin has reiterated that we are not refusing transit via the Ukraine, but we cannot do this if our Ukrainian counterparts do not want it.”

        Peskov emphasized that the Ukraine needs continuing gas transit across its territory.

        “Talks were held this week between representatives of Gazprom, its Ukrainian counterparts and representatives of the European Commission over transit via Ukraine. The question is ‘Should we transit across the Ukraine?’ Well, we definitely need to, and it is obvious that we need to”, he stressed. “If there is no transit, the Ukraine gas transportation system will simply collapse.”

        “And what is more, how can we hold talks and seek certain agreements when mayhem is underway at the [Stockholm] Arbitration Institute. Putin clearly said: “Listen, you men: let’s first drop some rather absurd demands and then start to negotiate”, Peskov added.

        The current 10-year contract for the transit of Russian gas across the Ukraine expires at the end of 2019. By this time, Russia plans to launch two gas pipelines bypassing the Ukraine: Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream. Kiev fears that after the launch of gas pipelines at full capacity, Russian natural gas transit across the country’s territory will be stopped completely, which could cause losses worth $3 billion annually to the Ukraine budget. Nonetheless, the new capacities are still not enough to replace the capacities of gas pipelines running via the Ukraine.

        [proofread by ME]

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        1. Moscow has said several times that it will continue to transit some gas through Ukraine if it makes economic sense to do so. That means if it makes economic sense for Russia, I thought it was probably unnecessary to clarify. If Russia can transit gas across Ukraine economically, it will probably do so, but Ukraine wants a situation in which Russia has no choice, so they can put the screws to it. That situation just is not reality any more. Ukraine liked it when it could build that $3 Billion into the budget, rather than having to negotiate for it, and when it could pour shit on Russia in the press while taking its money. The idea of having to moderate their language and possibly offer value for money is intolerable to the proud Nazis.

          What hurts the west most, though, is being unable to start trouble between Ukraine and Russia whenever it wants to destabilize Russia, or the western majors want to drive the price of gas up. Ukraine has lost its strategic value. Now it’s just another big poor country.

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      2. Dear me! Nobody could have foreseen this; what an unanticipated calamity.

        That picture is from archives, they love to show it as an expression of Ukrainian defiance. Well, I’ll tell you what they could do – they could make a deal with Russia. I’m not talking about having Maros Sefcovic there to fight their corner. I mean a real deal, just between Russia and Ukraine, and drop these foolish notions of being a part of the crumbling EU. But it’s probably too late for that – the Ukrainian nationalists have the bit in their teeth, and are determined to build a fascist anti-Russian republic which is somehow at the same time perfectly in synch with Yurrupean values and prosperous as the day is long. Best to leave them to it, and Europe to fix what it has broken. A big part of Ukraine’s hopes rested on continued Russian transit because it wants Russian rubles to maintain the pipeline network, and that was always Europe’s plan, too. Unfortunately, Russia did not cooperate willingly as stupid Slavs would do when confronted with the superior European mind, and were somehow never forced into the desperate position where they had to capitulate. The GTS will indeed collapse without a massive infusion of cash to fix it, which Europe kept downplaying for cost because they thought Russia would pay. It is far more money than the EU can afford, and I predict Washington will not be very interested. The Ukrainians will become just another failed western project, and it’s quite predictable – it all depends on momentum. If it isn’t there, and things bog down, the west quickly loses interest and wants to move on to the next do-goodie project.

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        1. Just imagine if instead of Porky Pig eyeing Christine Lagarde suspiciously, Mikhaeil Saakashvili had been the one standing next to her with that strange expression in his eyes.

          Actually now that I said that, the realisation dawned on me that the next few moments after that photograph had been taken would have been more interesting, though Lagarde’s scarf would not have survived and there’d be a lot of icky splashy stuff all over the corner walls.

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    2. He’s probably wondering if that’s a real human being or a reptilian humanoid alien. Considering Christine Lagarta’s background as former IMF head and now head of the European Central Bank, I’d say Porky has reason to think she’s the latter and he hopes she won’t try eating him for breakfast.

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      1. As a reptilian species, Christine Lagarde is most akin to a Python. Eyeing Porky, she would do the calculation in her reptilian brain: If I swallow this bloated pig whole , will I (a) survive and thrive; or (b) explode in mid-meal?

        Either way, she has to make her decision and stick with it. For a python, once you attack and start the process of swallowing, there is no going back.

        For Porky, on the other hand, his calculation is more visceral: Shall I flee this instant? Will it make me look stupid and weak? But if I remain here one more moment while this snake unhinges her jaws…

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    3. WHAT!!??? The IMF is using ‘loan’ money as leverage to compel the Ukrainian government to take a desired action?? Impeach them, at once!!

      Somehow Washington failed to notice the disappearance of the money when PorkyCo was actually stealing it, and instead raved on about all the wonderful progress Ukraine was achieving with borrowed western dollars. I guess that was all a wonderful illusion – perfidious Ukraine, for deceiving the nice Americans! Now it falls to poor Zelenskiy to track the stolen money, which his predecessor has likely now safely salted away somewhere nobody will ever find it, since he is up-close familiar with western tracing techniques, having already been caught once. Luckily for him, the fantastically corrupt Rada declined to even investigate, never mind convict. Not that Porky stole it all, because his corrupt friends certainly made out like bandits as well.

      You never know with the west, wheels within wheels and all that, and things are almost never exactly what they seem. On the face of it it looks like they just wised up too late, and are looking for stolen money. But I cannot help noticing it puts the government which claims it wants to end the war in a very bad position, and cannot help wondering if Washington’s aim – through the IMF – is to make the Zelenskiy government collapse so that a more martial-minded one could replace it.

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      1. Oh, rumours are already afoot in Banderastan about the attempted outing the joker president because of his alleged betrayal of the nation by capitulating to the occupying Orcs.

        На Украине заявили о попытке свержения президента Зеленского

        On the Ukraine television channel “112”, it was been announced that there had been an attempt to oust Zelensky

        Former Minister of Justice of Ukraine Yelena Lukash said that there had been attempts to overthrow the president of the country, Zelensky.

        Lukash pointed out that serious political forces had been involved in this process. The reason for the removal of the president from power will have been the withdrawal of forces in the south-east of Ukraine. The ex-head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice pointed out that the settlement process that began in the Donbass could be presented as a surrender and the surrender of territories to the enemy.

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  3. THE BBC “Man in Moscow” Rosenburg, interviews the traitor Gorbachev, whilst at the same time pulling patronising faces at the geriatric and nodding in agreement with the old duffer:

    Mikhail Gorbachev tells the BBC: World in ‘colossal danger’

    It’s in danger partly because of your being taken to the cleaners by the Ham Shanks, you traitorous old fool: you did not ask the Soviet people whether the USSR should be dissolved. If you had done so, they would have told you where to go!

    In the clip enclosed in the linked-above BBC article, at 00:07 it reads:

    One of Gorbachev’s biggest achievements was ending the arms race with America. He and President Reagan agreed a deal to slash their nuclear arsenals. But the arms race has reignited. Recently, both the US and Russia pulled out of that treaty.

    How very true, BBC!

    But why did you not say that the USA first unilaterally pulled out, causing Russia to respond?

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    1. If it had been Russia who did it, you can be sure that’s the way it would have been reported. See? You can spin even the truth. If the other guy does something bad and you react, you were helpless to do anything else but what you did, sorrowfully and with great regret for the injustice you were made to serve. If you were the one who precipitated the tit-for-tat, spin it so you are both equally guilty, or even so that the reader might believe it was the other guy’s fault. The west is a pro.

      Gorby has been croaking his apocalyptic warnings for some time now. Not that he isn’t right, but how bright would you have to be to feel the danger of the direction the west has chosen to take? It’s not as if he’s a psychic or something – your barber could tell you as much.

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  4. Russian Aviation: To St. Petersburg via an electronic visa
    https://www.ruaviation.com/docs/12/2019/10/31/258/

    Electronic visas for citizens of 53 countries are available in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region

    From October 1, 2019, foreigners will be able to get short-term single-entry business, tourist, and humanitarian visas for visiting Russia for free, remotely, and in just four days if they enter the country through St. Petersburg or the Leningrad Region.

    Now citizens of 53 countries can enter and leave the country through checkpoints in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region on the basis of ordinary single-entry business, tourist and humanitarian visas in the form of electronic documents. The list of foreign countries is identical to the list of countries whose citizens are currently applying for electronic visas in the Kaliningrad region. These include European countries, as well as Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Iran, Qatar, China (including Taiwan), the DPRK, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, the Philippines and Japan.

    According to the established procedure, an electronic visa is valid for 30 days from the date of its issuance with an authorised stay of no more than eight days in Russia. For this type of visa a consular fee is not charged, while foreign citizens arriving in the Russian Federation through checkpoints on the basis of electronic visas have the right to freedom of movement within the territories of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region….
    ####

    Free!

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    1. Russia’s liberalization of visa applications is a step in the right direction. Will certainly bring in more tourist dollars!
      From what I understand, the list of countries eligible for this explicitly excludes the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Great Britain! (gee, I wonder why)

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    1. “Many thought that Reagan’s electoral wave signaled a sixth party system, yet it failed to take root. After 1992, the parties have alternated presidents every eight years, and with each succeeding administration, the political milieu has grown yet more rancorous and divided. There is no relationship between parties now — save as sworn enemies — let alone a “system.”

      There is no relationship between parties…except that when either is in power, it acts exactly like the other in all but the most mundane respects. The Republicans might be spenders where the Democrats are more fiscally responsible, but one party behaves just like the other in terms of foreign policy and international trade. What else matters to the rest of the world?

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      1. Ecosophia had an interesting take on the rancorous relationship between the Dem and the Repubs – it has about as much substance as college football rivalries. We Michigan fans simply hate those no-good Ohio State clowns and with plenty of good reason. They are soo smug but we LET THEM WIN. They can all go to hell!

        The rancor seems to fill a human need to blame someone/something for all the things going wrong with the US. Of course, said rancor is carefully directed least people discover the true sources of their discontent.

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  5. Ion Ceban, the Socialist Party candidate standing for mayoral election for Chisinau won yesterday. Back in the saddle again?

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  6. New Eastern Outlooke: Nord Stream 2 Crosses the Danish Finish Line
    https://journal-neo.org/2019/11/04/bc-drive-to-replace-russian-gas-supplies-to-eu-intensifies/

    …Denmark’s Energy Agency said it was “obliged to allow the construction of transit pipelines” under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea….
    ####

    I’d not seen this bit. Still, as I wrote earlier, this retreat comes after Brussels changed its rules and discriminates only against Germany’s Opal pipeline. The question is, how far will Brussels go before it retreats?

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    1. Ahhhh….memories. Even then (2015), many knew Norway’s gas supply capability had peaked, but they went on blathering about Norway increasing its supply just as if saying so would make it true. What this does provide, though, is a useful primer on how the United States simply cannot help itself, and is pathologically driven to military solutions whenever it cannot succeed diplomatically. It planned at various junctures to partner with Iraq, Libya and Iran to supply an ideologically-correct flow of gas to Europe and break its dependence on Russia, but it could not stand to do the long-term schmooze thing. It got impatient, and decided to attack each of them instead, and use their resources to achieve its ends without their compliance. And it failed every time.

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  7. FlightGlobal: Crippled SmartLynx A329 nursed home after runway strike
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/crippled-smartlynx-a320-nursed-home-after-runway-str-461983/

    Investigators have described the extraordinary effort to control an airborne SmartLynx Airbus A320 using stabiliser trim and thrust from its badly-damaged engines, after the aircraft struck the runway with its engine pods during a failed touch-and-go exercise.

    ####

    Serious Squeaky bum time to quote Sir Alex Ferguson! The full accident report will make for interesting reading but one thing it does show is how the back up sytems still worked well and the flight control computers in Direct Law mode.

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    1. Flight Global: Airbus revises A230 logic after touch-and-go Accident
      https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/airbus-revises-a320-logic-after-touch-and-go-acciden-462014/

      …But the inquiry found that the wrong sort of oil – with twice the viscosity of the oil required – was used in the override mechanism, resulting in a “non-standard” friction curve of the mechanism’s clutch, and incorrect microswitch activation…

      …But OJK also found that a “design flaw” allowed a single event – a shallow rebound during the landing – to trigger a consolidation logic discrepancy between the spoiler elevator computer’s two channels, with one computing elevator orders in ‘flight’ law and the other computing orders in ‘ground’ law….
      ####

      More at the link.

      wrong sort of oil FFS!

      Like

  8. TASS Press Review 1 November: ‘Witness’ says he has no information about MH17 air disaster over Donbass
    https://tass.com/society/1086595

    …The Ukrainian secret services who kidnapped him last summer and also investigative officials from Australia and the Netherlands who questioned him were trying to make him testify Russia and the Donetsk militia were involved in the loss of flight MH17. Tsemakh said he was threatened with a life sentence for participating in the Donetsk militia and promised that if he agreed to make the desirable statements, he would be made immune from punishment and provided with housing in the Netherlands. However, he refused to make the expected depositions. Tsemakh was released in a Russia-Ukraine swap of held persons in the summer of 2019…

    Like

    1. Not just stooges of colour – I am kind of a pinkie myself, but I have always loved Wilson Pickett. Incidentally, I did not realize that expression “Let your backbone slip” was so old. I don’t know how James Brown managed to poach the Godfather of Soul crown from Pickett, who rightly deserved it.

      That phrase was used in music as recently as the late 90’s, by one of my favourite Canadian guitarists, Colin James.

      Mind you, “Let’s Shout” is a remake of the Jackie Wilson hit, “Baby Work Out”, which dates back to 1963.

      Like

  9. Fellow Stooges, I started a new blogpost on the events in Odessa. And the issues surrounding calls upon the Odessan people to rise up against their nazi overlords.
    I’ll get to the point eventually, but the main point being that the healthy “pro-Russian” component of the Odessan people, are deep behind enemy lines! And you don’t call on people to rise up against their own army, unless you can ensure that a different, stronger, army is marching in and on the way to help them. That’s just standard.

    Like

    1. Don’t call it over yet. The USA will be glad to drop Guaido and embrace whatever ‘leader’ who pops up so long as he/she calls for a foreign military intervention.

      “Now we must allow the minorities in Parliament who do represent the feelings of Venezuelans, who agree with foreign intervention, and who will advocate for receiving the help we really need to end this aberrant and perennial agony.”

      Like

  10. Euractiv: Ukraine ready in case transit of Russian gas stops
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/ukraine-ready-to-stop-the-transit-of-russian-gas/

    Ukraine is ready for the gas transportation being stopped on the Ukrainian territory in case a new gas transit contract with Moscow is not negotiated, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Oleksiy Orzhel announced on Monday (4 November). The current gas contract expires on 31 December.

    …“We are ready for the situation of gas transportation being stopped on the Ukrainian territory”, Orzhel said during a television appearance, as quoted by Ukrainian media. Ukraine is ready for the heating season and “will be able to go through the winter without transportation and supply of gas.”

    However, the minister underscored that finding a solution remains important. “It is a priority for Ukraine to receive funds for the transit. We are working very actively with our European partners to sign a contract with Gazprom according to new European rules.”…
    ####

    The Ukies getting their excuses in early, on tv.

    Like

    1. How are the Banderites ready, have they chopped down all the forests in Ukraine or is there now a global rubber-tyre shortage plus a burgeoning black market in second-hand rubber tyres with criminal gangs cashing in?

      Like

      1. I think they probably mean that they craftily filled all their underground storage bunkers chock-a-block. They do that on the cusp of every winter, and then caper and throw their poo and chatter how they fooled everyone and are really, really ready. Then they blow through it in a month and a half, and wail for help.

        Like

  11. Euractiv: Germany decries Iran’s move to speed up nuclear work, urges return to accord
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/germany-decries-irans-move-to-speed-up-nuclear-work-urges-return-to-accord/

    Iran’s announcement that it has developed advanced machines to speed up uranium enrichment jeopardises a 2015 accord with world powers, Germany’s foreign minister said on Monday (4 November), urging Tehran to return to the pact.
    ####

    That’s the finger from Tehran. Any bets we’ll still see the year out peacefully? The EU can complain as much as it wants but itself is not compliant with JCPOA and is incapable of standing up to the USA which has quit the deal. It’s not a functional agreement if one side has direcly pulled out, another does nothing but expects the remaining party to stick to it. It’s not as if i-Ran is trying to join the EU. Interesting timing though!

    Like

  12. Neuters: Ukraine to fire prosecutor who discussed Bidens with Giuliani – source
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-impeachment-prosecutor-excl/exclusive-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-who-discussed-bidens-with-giuliani-source-idUKKBN1XE20E

    …blah blah blah…

    …Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka has already fired more than 400 prosecutors, or around a third of all staff.

    Some prosecutors have told Reuters that many of those sacked had refused to sit the exam in protest at what they see as a purge designed to cement new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s political control of the service. …

    …In April, Kulyk gave an interview to the columnist John Solomon at The Hill newspaper in Washington. In that article, Kulyk said he and other prosecutors were investigating allegations concerning Shokin’s dismissal.

    Kulyk told The Hill that Ukrainian officials had unsuccessfully tried to pass on evidence on this and other probes to the U.S. authorities before looking for other people, including Giuliani, to present their findings.
    ####

    So it looks like the process to clean up Ukrainian judiciary is also being used to remove anyone who provides embarrassing information. Now that’s quite western…

    Like

    1. This confirms my theory that Zelensky has basically chosen the side of Hillary Clinton against Trump. Zelensky has read all the garish news reports coming out of the U.S. and has decided that Trump is toast, that Trump will be impeached and removed; and that he, Zelensky, should ride the coat-tails of the winning horse.

      All of this shows that Zelensky is an idiot who has no understanding of American politics. He backed the wrong horse in this! I predict that Trump will win this battle. Trump will not be convicted. Zelensky will be left with egg on his face. I bet one million dollars.

      Like

      1. Some additional info that backs my theory.
        So, Kurt Volker testified at Trump’s impeachment hearing. According to Volker, Trump simply does not believe that the Ukrainian government has any intention to fight corruption, and that Zelensky is surrounded by “rather dreadful people”, in Trump’s words. Trump is being brainwashed briefed by Rudi Giuliani, who is telling him all these awful things about the Ukrainians – gasp!

        “They are all corrupt, and they are all trying to overthrow me!” Trump complained.
        For once in his wretched life, getting everything exactly right.
        Once again, just underlying one more time, that Zelensky HAS PUT HIS MONEY ON THE WRONG HORSE – egads!

        Like

        1. The Democrats and their supporters seem to think having John Bolton testify will be the game-changer they are looking for. John Bolton hates Trump, but he hates Democrats even more and is not going to knowingly do anything to help them. He is a hardcore conservative ideologue, and the only way he would ever assist the Democrats is if he thought Hillary could be president. Then he could dabble in wars around the globe to his black heart’s content. But he must know that isn’t going to happen, and the other candidates except for Gabbard are milquetoasts.

          Like

          1. The one interesting detail I picked up was that the Department of Justice has said it would not be legal for those subpoenaed to appear before the democrat impeachment panel to go without legal representation.

            Like

      2. I don’t have that kind of money to throw around, but I wouldn’t bet against it in any case; I agree Trump will not be impeached. There is any number of examples, some more recent than the earth-shattering Trump phone call, in which the USA leveraged loans to obtain political concessions, while lobbyists essentially purchase political favours every day. The Republicans certainly are not going to back overthrowing Trump so as to usher in a Democratic transformation.

        But I think Zelenskiy’s fiddling with the judiciary probably represents a genuine anti-corruption purge. I have no trouble at all believing more than a third of the currently-serving judiciary is corrupt, in a country where it is pretty routine for them to get you out of town for a couple of days and completely rebuild your business as someone else’s property, with all the correct documents and licenses. That continued to happen throughout Porky’s reign.

        Like

    1. This was a decent show twenty years or so ago… before McLaughlin
      died…..
      Listen to senile ass Eleanor Cliff
      babble about how Russia and Ukraine are in a “hot” war!!!!
      LOL!!!

      Like

    2. They all intone ‘the whistleblower’ as if it were some saint whose name is prohibited from public utterance owing to his holiness. His name is probably being kept secret because it keeps Trump off balance rather than any real faith in the purity of his testimony – the longer they keep his identity secret, the harder it is for Trump to attack his testimony.

      It’s rare to see so many holier-than-thou butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth types in one place. Especially Clift, with her stupid “Consciousness is guilt” mantra. What the fuck does that mean?

      Like

  13. Slashdot: New Clean-Combustion ‘Ducted Fuel Injection’ Could Eliminate Soot From Diesel Engines
    https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/11/02/0125241/new-clean-combustion-ducted-fuel-injection-could-eliminate-soot-from-diesel-engines

    Ducted fuel injection, developed by Chuck Mueller at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, is able to fine-tune the amount of diesel used in an engine to the point of eliminating between 50 and 100% of the soot… https://www.sandia.gov/news/publications/labnews/articles/2019/08-30/ducted_fuel_injection.html
    ####

    If you hit the Sandia link, it couldn’t be explained more simply.

    As usual, is this affordable outside the lab? With additive layer /3D printing cost much lower, it could well be. I do like simple, elegant solutions to things. Sometimes I think we are mentally trained from early on to look for complex solutions to problems…

    Like

    1. Modern diesels use soot filters which must be periodically regenerated. This process consumes energy and can, in some cases, damage the engine if there is a malfunction. Elimination of soot generation would be a nice breakthrough if reliable and affordable. Diesels have been getting a bad rap yet, due to their efficiency, consume perhaps 30-40% less fuel and emit less CO2 than a gasoline engine of similar power. My car, now 10 years old, still averages 32 mpg and well over 40 mpg on the highway.

      Like

  14. The US Marine Corp televised recruiting advertisements are, to say the least, disconcerting. They often feature gung ho marines invading some bombed-out middle eastern village, firing weapons, and bursting into rooms. The videos have a distinct video game appearance. I wonder if that is deliberate.

    Like

    1. It sounds very much like subliminal advertising at work. Companies that make military-themed video games (with pumped-up marines or lone rebel Rambo-style soldiers) are likely to be working closely with the Pentagon and consultants with military backgrounds to make their products look and sound “real”. The strategies incorporated into such games may be based on actual strategies used by the Pentagon (regardless of whether they would actually work in real life). So it would not be a great stretch of the imagination for military recruiting advertisements to look like video games because video games themselves already look like advertisements for the armed forces: the thin red line between the two was made to disappear ages ago.

      Like

      1. Yes, that would be a reasonable conclusion. First person shooting games in particular embolden youth to be aggressive and have a sense of invulnerability – perfect for recruiting cannon fodder. One thing for sure, the Pentagon’s stench is heavy in violent military games with Call of Duty being the most perfect example.

        https://theconversation.com/how-the-us-military-is-using-violent-chaotic-beautiful-video-games-to-train-soldiers-73826

        https://thegrayzone.com/2019/04/15/video-how-the-pentagon-and-cia-push-venezuelan-regime-change-propaganda-through-first-person-shooter-games/

        https://taskandpurpose.com/us-militarys-close-history-video-games

        Like

        1. I suppose the perfect outcome is building violent youths who get off on killing as if there were no rules, and then making sure they themselves are killed in war. Because when they come home from a bout of blowing people out of their shoes with no repercussions, consequences or accountability, the results are fairly predictable.

          Like

          1. That is one of the saddest videos I have ever seen. That cop should be tortured by a machine (no human interaction to spare another human contact with such filth) and then executed with his body hung out to rot.

            Like

            1. Yes, it was posted here quite some time ago, when it was still relatively new. If I recall correctly, the police officer in question was an Afghanistan vet. He was a veteran of some US war, anyway, and had fetishized his weapon by naming and decorating it as soldiers sometimes do. You can certainly see from his manner that he is eager to kill and it is apparent he enjoyed putting people in circumstances where they were completely terrified for their lives. In this instance the ‘terrorist’ was some guy who worked for a pest-control company. He was showing someone a pellet rifle used in his work in his hotel room, and someone glimpsed it through the window and called the police.

              When war vets come home from Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever, they often end up working for the police. I’m only guessing and have no statistics to back it up, but I’d speculate it is about half the initiative of police forces, which likely want to hire ex-military and maybe even feel it is a patriotic duty to do so, and half the initiative of the ex-soldiers seeking a line of work where they will be able to carry a weapon and terrify people, with the occasional opportunity to kill them.

              Like

              1. My opinion, based on limited data, is that significant fraction of the “voluntary” army (why call them volunteers when they are hired?) seek opportunities to rape, steal and kill without consequences. Certainly terrorizing helpless people is a perk. This article sheds some light on the topic of vets becoming police officers:

                https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/03/30/when-warriors-put-on-the-badge

                Today just 6 percent of the population at large has served in the military, but 19 percent of police officers are veterans, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data performed by Gregory B. Lewis and Rahul Pathak of Georgia State University for The Marshall Project. It is the third most common occupation for vets behind truck driving and management.

                To the obvious question — are veterans quicker to resort to force in policing situations? — there is no conclusive answer. Our investigation obtained data from two major-city law enforcement agencies, and considerable anecdotal evidence, suggesting veterans are more likely to get physical, and some police executives agree.

                But any large-scale comparison of the use of force by vets and non-vets is hampered by a chronic lack of reliable official record-keeping on issues of police violence.

                Some other conclusions about veteran-cops emerged more clearly:

                – Veterans who work as police are more vulnerable to self-destructive behavior — alcohol abuse, drugs and, like William Thomas, attempted suicide.

                – Most law enforcement agencies, because of factors including a culture of machismo and a number of legal restraints, do little or no mental health screening for cops who return from military deployment, and provide little in the way of treatment.

                – Hiring preferences for former service members that tend to benefit whites disproportionately make it harder to build police forces that resemble and understand diverse communities.

                The thing is that US deep-seated values are largely OK with police terrorism as long as it affects only the poor, non-whites and malcontents.

                Like

  15. Ha, ha!! The USA really seems unconscious of how hypocritical it sounds on the issue of Russian gas supplies to Europe and European ‘energy security’.

    “Our concerns have been regularly expressed. We see this as a tool through which Russia seeks to use energy to advance Russia’s geopolitical agenda,” the official told VOA on Tuesday during a background briefing.

    That official added Nord Stream 2 “jeopardizes” the priority of energy security by “making European countries and our allies more reliant on single country sources of energy.”

    Ha, ha!! Oh, my ribs! Washington officials would turn somersaults of delight if Europe single-sourced its energy from the United States – that would not constitute a vulnerability; my, no. And US energy supplies would never, ever be used to advance America’s geopolitical agenda – why, it doesn’t even have one!

    Single-source providers of energy are accessed when…can you guess? When they have surplus energy for sale!!! Isn’t that wild? Europe would have been just as glad as glad to buy all its energy from Norway if it had that capability, and the USA would never have let out a peep, because Norway is a reliable ally. But Norway doesn’t have that capability. Russia can supply Europe for a good few years, and cheaper than America can do it. That’s the real bottom line.

    https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-warns-germany-russian-threat-anniversary-berlin-walls-fall-nears

    Like

  16. Tom Dispatch via Antwar.com: Bases, Bases, Everywhere, and Not a Base in Sight
    https://original.antiwar.com/Nick_Turse/2019/11/05/bases-bases-everywhere-and-not-a-base-in-sight/

    by Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt

    In January 2004, Chalmers Johnson wrote this about what he called America’s “empire of bases” or its “Baseworld”:

    “As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize – or do not want to recognize – that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire – an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can’t begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.”…
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    When is a base not a ‘base’? Indeed.

    Like

        1. That works. Mind-boggling. The USA just blatantly stirs up wars all over the planet, and helps some of the worst people in the world crush their enemies. Meanwhile it brags daily about what a model of freedom and democracy and decency the USA is.

          Like

  17. American Ashkenazi Jews -who for the most part own MSM -circled the wagons around the billionaire pedophile jew sex trafficker..

    Like

    1. Another article shows the unveiling of a 600 kph prototype maglev train. For us Americans, the train speed is about 370 mph. Considering that most regional air flights have an average speed somewhat less than that (waiting at the gate, taxiing, waiting for take off, climb out and the reverse at the other end), such a train would provide faster service even including several stops (lasting just a few minutes) along the way to serve smaller communities (not feasible with air transport).

      https://www.checkpointasia.net/china-unveils-600-km-h-magnetic-levitation-train-prototype/

      Having been a passenger on Chinese high speed trains including the Shanghai maglev (indicated speed of 450 kph), there is simply no comparison in terms of passenger comfort – spacious seats, work areas, internet access and use of cell phones plus beer.

      Needless to say, high speed trains scarcely exists in the US despite torturing the definition of high speed rail to include trains with a top speed of 90 mph.

      Like

      1. On the topic of trains, they announced here the other day the schedules of the new train service to the Crimea, which route takes advantage of that “illegal” bridge that couldn’t be built. And they published the ticket price list as well. I cannot remember the data now, but already thousands of such tickets have been sold, they say.

        Started sale of tickets for trains to Crimea
        By Andry Kut – 08.11.2019

        Продажа билетов на поезда в Крым
        08.11.2019


        What a crappy train!


        Platzkart — the low budget way of railway travel here. Western smart-arse commenters love to mock platzkart, but I used it before I got wed and started to do my little bit for the Russian “demographic crisis”.

        Neowt wrong wi’ platzkart in my opinion, though doubtless Shaun of the Dill and others of his ilk loath and mock it.

        Like


        1. A four-berth coupé, as Russians, displaying their love of Froggisms, call a sleeping compartment.

          I have travelled with Mrs. Exile in a 2-berth coupé with en suite (an English Froggism that sometimes puzzles Frogs) bathroom with shower. Just the job for nocturnal romance as the train rocks and rolls along.

          Obviously, we travelled in such a 2-berth compartment before our offspring appeared.

          Like


          1. There ya go! A filthy Russian train bathroom. The toilet is vacuum operated as in an aeroplane.


            The Crimea train is a double-decked affair, as can be seen by the staircase to the left.

            When in operation, the bar-stool equipped area will, no doubt, be filled with balalaika-strumming, pissed-out-of-shape, vodka-swilling bearded Russkies in the company of their ever-willing-to-offer-sexual-favours floozies.

            Like

            1. Here you go O’bummer! What do you reckon about this Russian crap?

              These double-deckers have been rolling along for quite a while now. My gang and I went by double decker to Sochi in 2014. My wife and daughters slept in one sleeping compartment and Vova and I slept in an adjacent one. Neither my wife and daughters nor my son and I had to share our compartments with strangers as the train was not fully booked.

              Although the lad, Sergei, in the clip above says the burgers provided were “low quality”, I did not find that to be the case. You can either go to the restaurant car to eat, or order “room service” as it were. We all ate in our sleeping compartments. Young women railway staff who were wearing attractive, new railway uniforms, brought us the food.

              As regards the ability to charge one’s smart phone, about which the presenters in the clip are very impressed, one has now been been able to do that for quite a few years on Moscow metro trains, which also provide free Wi-Fi access, and also on suburban trains.

              I find it strange that they comment that although it is the middle of February, there is little snow to be seen as they approach Sochi. That’s like expressing surprise at seeing mid-February little snow in Florida, although, if I rightly recall, spring came early in 2014.

              No, I was mistaken! Just checked on my hard drive, where there are photographs taken on 19th March, 2014 of me and Vova in deep snow in his school yard.

              Sochi has a sub-tropical climate, but if, in winter, you go up the mountains that rear up behind of the city, then there are snowfields, despite the Western mass-media mockery at the time of holding the 2014 Winter Olympics there.

              Now don’t you folks go and forget now — Russia is a third-world shithole!

              Like

              1. I remember how the Russophobes fell about with helpless laughter at the announcement the winter Olympics would be in Sochi, a near-tropical city. It would never work, they sneered. It was how I got started in blogging; sparring with idiots by pointing out that you could go downhill skiing in Dubai. This, too, was greeted with roars of laughter, as someone suggested I had actually recommended they hold the winter Olympics indoors. Of course I never said that – I just pointed out a hot climate did not mean you could not enjoy winter sports if you had the will and the money.

                https://www.skidxb.com/

                I then pointed out the mountains behind Sochi, and the fact there was already a thriving winter-sports industry there, before the Olympics would ever come to town. Of course, everyone knew better than me. I made a bet with a chap who called himself Felix, for a case of beer, that there would be more than 20 separate winter sports events held in Sochi for the winter Olympics, and of course there were. My attempts to contact him after that met with no success. But I was told to go start my own blog. So I did.

                Like

                1. I once had a US colleague who was a downhill skiing freak and he revelled in going on skiing vacations at Russian ski-centres such as the Altai and Sochi because they were not overrun with the European/USA skiing fraternity, the Alpine elite.

                  These Russian ski resorts were a Russian big secret that he did not wish to share with the mob, so he was rather miffed when word got out about Sochi.

                  His fears were unfounded, I think: most Westerners still believe that Russia is such a shithole that going on skiing holiday there would be unthinkable.

                  Like

              1. Meanwhile, in Banderastan …

                From Микита Колобродов і Укрзалізниця [Nikita Kolobrodov and Ukrzaliznytsya. Ukrzaliznytsya = Українська залізниця, Ukrainian Railways]

                To be fair, the above is standard Soviet long-distance railway carriage toilet layout, which is apparently still commonplace in “Independent” Ukraine.

                Above: Yukie platzkart passengers, all bound for the “Aggressor State” no doubt, or Poland.

                “Укрзалізниця” значно підвищила вартість постільної білизни та напоїв у потягах”Ukrzaliznytsya” has significantly increased the cost of bed and drink in the trains
                Комплект постелі відтепер коштує від 50 до 60 грн залежно від поїзда
                18.01.2019

                Ukrzaliznytsya” has significantly increased the cost of bed and drink in the trains
                Bedding now costs from 50 to 60 UAH, depending on the train

                As in Russia, passengers are provided with a pillow, pillow case and two bed sheets, all straight from the laundry and in sealed plastic bags. Woolen blankets are available in each coupé.

                Like

                1. Oh, I missed that!

                  Interesting reading.

                  I tell you, when I first ventured into the Ukraine by train in 2004, as soon as we had started rolling into what became Banderastan I could notice the decrepitude of the Yukie railway system: dilapidated infrastructure, rusty rolling stock with paint peeling off it; old diesel locos belching out thick, black unburnt diesel-oil exhaust.

                  I blame Putin!

                  Like

        2. Assuming that The Fraudian’s Dill Detractor would deign to travel economy class on the new Crimea train service, I can just picture him falling off the seat under the bed (because he’d be too fat to get up into the bed overhead so he’d have to sleep on the seat) due to his size, and then on his way to the dining-room carriage’s refrigerator for his regular midnight raid, he’d get stuck in the doorway.

          Then he would return to London and punch out an op-ed on how he was forced to starve almost to death because of the excess of dill on everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner (omitting of course to mention his 2:00 am snacking) and how the design of the trains reflects the difficulties of daily life in Mordor, with everyone living on the breadline (or the rotten cabbage and fish-head equivalent) and as a result few fat Orcs to be found.

          Like

          1. And of course while Shaun Walker remained stuck and bawling in the doorway, and his fellow passengers were trying to pull him through, the Russian army nipped across the border, seized Donetsk and Lugansk regions and made them part of the Russian Federation, and nipped back across the border just moments before “BANG!” and Walker crashes through the doorway, flattening one and all, and slides halfway across the carriage to the dining-room car.

            Damn! Walker has to write his report all based on second and third-hand sources … and not one photograph either!

            Like

  18. Tulsi goes on “The View” to debate against white trash and other idiots:

    In other news, Albert Einstein decided to expound his theory of relativity against a panel of grunting cavemen.

    Like

    1. P.S. – white trash idiot Joy Behar made one tiny good point, when she asked, defensively: “Did you believe in the Iraq war?” and Tulsi was forced to answer, “I believed in the lies.”

      That might hurt her. It’s like Mitt Romney admitting that he had been brainwashed by the Military-Industrial Complex.

      Fact is, back in 2003, even an idiot like me knew that the Iraq invasion was bullshit. So, how come Tulsi had not figured it out yet, even given that she is way smarter than me? Well, I am sure there is a logical explanation, and maybe she just didn’t know a couple of things yet.

      Like

      1. “white trash idiot Joy Behar ”

        Exactly!!!!!
        LOL!!!

        OK….she was misled about Iraq..she has apparently owned her mistake in judgement..

        However I think this is what’s important about her here and now:
        https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/11/tulsi-gabbard-groundwork-force-vote-syria-withdrawal.html

        “But Gabbard has also developed a checkered reputation on Syria due to her past statements widely viewed as supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The resolution also has zero co-sponsors and lawmakers involved in the Yemen war powers push have not yet jumped on board. ”

        You know we had motherfucking war criminals like Obongo and Bush each of whom has the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands….and yet people continue to whine about Assad.

        Like

      2. Correction: it was George Romney, former governor of Michigan referring to being brainwashed about the Vietnam war. Regarding Gabbard’s “believing” in the Iraq war, that is where her patriotism briefly blinded her. Also, politicians are in the cross-hairs of MSM and deep state propaganda so I can forgive her for not seeing things as clearly or quickly as us folks viewing the shit storm from afar.

        I must say, she kept her cool in front of that barking mad buffoon. She may not be nominated as the democratic candidate but she is nevertheless creating a political base in this country.

        Like

        1. Ooops, thanks for the factual correction!

          And yes, I noticed that the View audience applauded Tulsi just about every time she opened her mouth. I think she is gaining traction.

          Like

          1. I hope not, because that would be rather dishonest. That’s exactly what she’s not supposed to be about. If she thinks Assad is a cruel dictator, she should stop meeting with him and denounce him. If she wants to say that whoever is leader of Syria is up to the Syrian people – which I think is her larger point – then say that.

            I personally think she does not have to qualify every mention of him with “Sure, he’s a cruel thug, but…”, and could simply say, “What I think of him personally is a complete non-issue. It is not up to America to replace every leader it personally dislikes, and those who chose that leader democratically do not welcome it. It is time for a major change in how we relate to other countries and their leaders. That means no more wars for regime change”. The Democrats could argue with that at their peril, because anyone who does looks like a warmonger.

            Like

            1. I agree. But unfortunately, Tulsi has to follow certain rituals of American politics. One is that you can’t mention the name of an “enemy dictator” such as Saddam, Putin or Assad without the ritualistic spitting over your shoulder, to show your contempt.
              And the other third rail, of course, is Israel. You can never criticize Israel. Which is why you’ll probably never see Tulsi do that either. Even Tucker Carlson never goes there.

              Like

              1. Then the supposed honesty is mostly sham. If she is brave enough to kick Hillary Clinton in the pants in front of everyone, she should disavow labeling for the simple ritual of labeling, and say that the personal opinion of American leaders about dictators is irrelevant so long as they are prepared to do business with them. She’s already more than halfway there with her public criticism of KSA.

                Like

        1. She also describes Hilary in similar terms to the degree permissible without being banned from political life. Frankly, I think she may secretly admire Assad as a patriotic leader of his country.

          There is an interesting contrast go’n on here. In Russia, the politicians refer to their main adversaries as “partners” while our politicians are forced to call them “animals, thugs and murders” to maintain media credibility. It’s just a stupid, annoying and adolescent game foisted on anyone who needs MSM access.

          Like

  19. “Iraqi protesters and security forces clashed at the edge of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone Monday, leaving at least another six demonstrators dead and scores more wounded as the mass protests that have gripped the country continued into their second month.

    The latest killing brings the known death toll since the start of the demonstrations in early October to over 260, with thousands of protesters wounded, in some cases grievously injured by live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters fired directly at demonstrators.

    Friday saw the largest mass demonstrations since the US invasion of 2003, with crowds filling Baghdad’s Tahrir Square as well as wide avenues funneling into it. It was organized in defiance of the Iraqi military, which attempted to clamp down on the protests by imposing a nightly curfew. Ignoring the order, crowds remained in the square overnight, erecting tents and occupying an 18-story building overlooking the area, which has been dubbed “Revolution Mountain.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/05/iraq-n05.html

    Like

    1. Is this another orchestrated regime change movement that seeks to hijack and redirect legitimate grievances? Just because people march in the streets does not automatically confer nobility of purpose. People marched in the streets of Kiev that resulted in the illegal overthrow of an elected government and installation of fascistic elements beholding to a foreign power. The WSWS needs to stop their knee-jerk reactions in such matters.

      Like

      1. Yeah, just because people march in the streets doesn’t mean anything. They could be the good guys marching in the streets, or they could be the bad guys marching in the streets.

        It’s not possible to know one way or another, until (a) we get a look at their political manifesto, and (b) find out whether they are supported or opposed by the U.S.

        Point (b) being the real litmus test!

        Like

  20. Iraq should continue to be featured as a prime example of yet another
    war crime monster birthed by the American warmonger school of ‘foreign policy’.
    The 260 dead in a month caught my attention…. It underlines that
    Iraq remains to a large extent broken and unhealed from the 2003
    invasion.

    Like

    1. Excellent – this is why they hate RT and are forever agitating to exclude it by whatever means necessary, all the while gibbering about free speech. Schumer is quoted supporting completely opposite points of view – what the fuck is up with that? Can the American people not get that? Is there some doubt that Schumer said both? No? Then where’s the propaganda? Ohhh…I get it. Washington gets to decide if you are a ‘whistleblower’ or a ‘traitor’, and that depends entirely on whether the information you are revealing helps the Washington elite or is inconvenient and hurtful to it.

      Like

    1. Remember when the US loved Macron? They were ecstatic when he won the French election, over the moon, because the alternative was Marine le Pen, and they most definitely did not want her. But lately the impertinent sprog Macron has dared to have opinions of his own! Mmmm….better give him some problems to keep him busy. Have we any contacts with ze opposition? Maybe some riots? An embarrassing love affair?

      Like

      1. The embarrassing love affair would have to be with someone his wife really would be jealous of. Someone like Catherine Deneuve: older than the missus and at her age still not bad-looking.

        Like

          1. So she did indeed – right in the middle of making another film. Incredible how Deneuve still gets a lot of work for an actor in her late 70s though it’s likely that the films she appears in these days are scripted with roles written specifically for her. On the other hand there may not be very many French actresses of Deneuve’s generation with the stamina and good health needed to keep making films left.

            Like

  21. This certainly would be a shock to the tender sensibilities of the liberatti.

    In news that may shock many outside the Korean Peninsula, a recent survey found that, were conflict to erupt between Pyongyang and Tokyo, the majority of South Koreans would side with their neighbor to the North.

    The survey, titled “The Situation in Northeast Asia and South Koreans’ Perception,” found that 45.5 percent of respondents would support North Korea, while just 15.1 percent would support Japan, while 39.4 were undecided.

    Of course, the Koran government would do as instructed by the US if war were to break out.

    Like

    1. Wow, that was pretty good! I was surprised though that Buttigieg’s biggest support was from the 55+ crowd. I guess he plays well to the vanity of that generation wrapped in a warm cocoon of optimism while the younger generations struggle with opioids, student loans, unaffordable health care and sky high housing prices. And voting for a homosexual automatically entitles one to the irrefutable claim of moral superiority. Gawd, so many Americans are stupid.

      Like

  22. Tulsi will be in debate 5!

    She has to decide who to nuke!

    Offhand I say take it the millennial
    trash and the oldster.
    The pedophile and Poco are already on the verge of capsizing .

    Like

  23. “From the very beginning it was known that this very poor country (Yemen) was heavily dependent on foreign food imports for their survival and that the state of war would immediately propel masses to famine. And so it has.

    So you see, the war is un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and genocidal all at the same time. It is as bad as Iraq War II at least. When the whole thing is finally over, we are virtually certain to find that the “excess death rate” for the Yemeni people during this time equates to over a million dead.

    But Donald Trump could have stopped the war almost three years ago. He could stop it right now with one simple phone call to the secretary of defense. Instead he crows about how much money “we’re” making helping Saudi’s government kill.

    This is the same reason why I have supported impeachment and removal against George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama before Trump: war crimes.

    Not only should Trump be removed from office for this wanton murder, he should have to share a Supermax cell with his buddy Barack Obama for the rest of their lives over it too.

    That would be the law and justice being applied to the powerful equally like in the theories they teach us in high school civics class about how our system is supposed to work.”

    “But folks. Come on now. That is not what this current impeachment scandal is at all. America’s secret police, formerly under John “Jabhat al Nusra” Brennan, are leading a coup against the elected leader of the national government. Cry as they might about how uncouth Trump is, the real motive for the entire Russiagate setup was their fear that he might actually mean some of the good things he said about “getting along with Russia,” his disregard for the NATO alliance and unwillingness to continue America’s indefinite catastrophe in the Middle East.”

    “After failing to stop Trump’s inauguration with their false accusations that he conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election, and chucking the possibility that they could get his cabinet to overthrow him by invoking the 25th amendment, the feds settled on a project to “reign him in” at the very least by dragging out the fake Russia caper as long as they could.

    Like the fools who believed in him, all the hawks took what Trump said at face value and went crazy. Treat the Palestinians “fairly”?! Red Alert! DEFCON 1! Treason Summit!

    But Trump has escalated every single one of the wars he inherited from Barack Obama in 2017. He’s done everything the Israelis want. But it’s just not enough. Trump doesn’t believe in America’s divine mission to dominate the planet earth – er, “lead” it – until the end of time. He doesn’t demand the rest of us do either. His terrible trade policies also are “disruptive” to our system of permanent alliances around the world. That is why the “deep state” is out to get him.”

    Once the special council threw in the towel after another year of false Russiagate accusations, they switched to Plan B. Now that it’s clear that the “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, formerly worked for Brennan, this entire thing should be cancelled. It doesn’t matter that Trump was caught acting unethically with the Ukrainians, the presumption must be that Ciaramella was acting as a spy for the CIA against the elected president, sent there to find something, anything that could be used against Trump to take him down. Wait around a little while. It won’t take long.

    (Isn’t it funny how most of the media still won’t say the man’s name, Eric Ciaramella, after it’s already been published. Isn’t their job now to either confirm it’s true or not that he’s the one who started this? Oh, no, they just love and want to protect whistleblowers now, right? That must be what’s behind all the recent fawning coverage of Chelsea Manning’s current sacrifice in federal prison.)

    Opposing the U.S. coups in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014 and U.S. support of any kind for their Nazi-infested military forces, and being absolutely against Joe Biden and everything about him, and his scumbag, crackhead son and their roles in Ukraine after the last coup, I am therefore also very dubious about just what a terrible crime it is supposed to be that Trump would hold up this “vital” aid to Ukraine under these or any other circumstances.

    This is the narrative, you’ve noticed: Americans – you – owe Ukraine’s government loyalty forever. To fail to give them the weapons they need to restart the horrible war against their countrymen in the east would be an unpardonable sin and so-forth. Call it another clue as to what is really going on around here.

    To allow the CIA this win – after they’ve gotten away with using torture to lie us into war in Iraq and their presumption to challenge the authority of the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee by spying on her and attempting to have the Department of Justice prosecute her staffers for investigating that torture; after the revelations of their lawless NSA-like spying on Americans in the Vault 7 leak; after their supporting al Nusra in Syria for 4 years leading to the rise of the Islamic State “caliphate” and Iraq War III; after they lied that the president of the United States was a guilty traitor who stole the 2016 election with the help of the Kremlin – would be no victory for justice at all.

    After racking up a president’s head as a trophy for their wall (a second?), just think what these monsters would be like then.
    It’s pretty easy to tell when there’s a CIA coup going on. When they openly boast about it, as former acting CIA director John McLaughlin recently did, then you should be on the right side of it, against.

    Any real effort to hold all politicians accountable for their crimes under the equal rule of law should be welcomed and supported. We’ll believe it when we see Obama’s indictment right next to Trump’s.”

    https://www.checkpointasia.net/trump-is-a-genocide-perpetrator-constitution-shredder-and-benedict-arnold-but-this-is-just-a-cia-coup/

    Yup!!!!

    Like

  24. Englishwoman talking about “Washa” and “Kwemlin Stooges”:

    Polly Boiko is the Londoner’s name. Ukrainian ancestry, perhaps?

    Whatever, she is, it seems. a Twitter Twat (more fool her), on which social network she has been accused of taking “Putin bribes” for spreading the Evil One’s foul lies about Russia not shooting down MH-17, which everyone, of course, knows it did — on Putin’s orders, as well! Proven fact, innit?

    Like

      1. Me, too; I think she’s cute. And funny. She makes a good point, too – it is impossible in Britain to say you respect the Russian leader without being immediately labeled a covert GRU asset, and the more you vilify the nation and the Russian leader, the more solidly reliable and British you are.

        Like

  25. WSJ via BMPD: США пытаются сорвать сделку по приобретению «Мотор Сич» китайскими компаниями
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3827633.html

    Эрик Принс, основатель частной военной компании Academi (ранее Blackwater) и неофициальный советник президента США Дональда Трампа, ведет переговоры о покупке украинского предприятия «Мотор Сич», которое США пытаются помешать приобрести Китаю, сообщает газета The Wall Street Journal со ссылкой на официальные источники…

    …Администрация Трампа также обсуждала возможное приобретение «Мотор Сич» с Максимом Поляковым, владельцем компании Firefly Aerospace, производящей и эксплуатирующей космические ракеты-носители. «Пока рано говорить о покупке акций “Мотор Сич”», – заявил г-н Поляков…

    …Выступая перед собранием представителей крупных аэрокосмических компаний, подполковник армии США Александр Виндман, специалист по Украине в Совете национальной безопасности, подчеркнул важность недопущения приобретения «Мотор Сич» китайцами…

    Антимонопольный комитет Украины еще не вынес постановления о продаже. По словам представителей украинского правительства, китайский консорциум фактически приобрел «Мотор Сич», осуществив перевод платежей и установив контроль над оффшорными компаниями, которые в совокупности составляют контрольный пакет акций производителя….
    ####

    So, a company that has technically already been sold to a Chinese one is not allowed an the US is desperate to keep it from China’s paws, hence sending US’s no.1 mercentary company owner Eric Prince as one of several to buy something that has already been sold. Clearly the pressure is on the Ukranian antimonopoly commission to cancel the sale which I would assume would make China very angry. A very dumb move. Maybe one way around this it that China keeps the IP and rights to manufacture in perpetuetam and the US can buy what’s left?

    Remember kids, Washington & Kiev are allies, the former wishing to take-over one of Kiev’s last crown jewels that will probably linger on a few more sad years for appearance sake rather than having massive chinese investment and growth guaranteeing its future for decades to come… I would guess that China already has technical drawings, samples etc.

    Like

    1. That’s the key factor, for sure; the USA is not interested in Ukrainian companies so that it can develop and improve them, it just wants to deny them to China. And if the Ukrainians bow to American will, they are the fools and deserve whatever happens.

      Like

    2. Alexander Vindman – that name rings a bell? Isn’t he the supposed “whistle-blower” trying to impeach Trump? Another one of those Banderite diaspora types, the curse of the human race..

      Like

  26. JohnHelmer.net: SKRIPAL-STURGESS CASE CORONER BACKS DOWN – NEW INQUEST HEARING ANNOUNCED FOR NEXT FEBRUARY, NO NEW POLICE EVIDENCE ACKNOWLEDGED
    http://johnhelmer.net/skripal-sturgess-case-coroner-backs-down-new-inquest-hearing-announced-for-next-february-no-new-police-evidence-acknowledged/

    Under threat of formal investigation for breaking the law and lying to the press, David Ridley (lead image), the English county coroner in charge of investigating the alleged Novichok poisoning death of Dawn Sturgess, has announced a new inquest hearing. This week through the coroner’s office in Salisbury, a new date was confirmed: the next court session is scheduled to take place on February 18, 2020. Sturgess died on July 8, 2018.

    Asked to explain his reason for another four months of delay, Ridley refused to say that fresh evidence in the case has been found, or is expected to be uncovered by continuing police investigation….
    ####

    More at the link.

    I can’t remember if someone here already posted the item back in October from Rob Slaine’s The Blog Mire, but I think it’s worth an ‘up’ with this more recent Helmer post.

    The only thing that springs to mind is the unopened bottle is a put up job by the security services. Just as the CIA placed Swiss circuit-board at Lockerbie to ‘prove’ Libyan guilt, just like Guccifer 2.0 was created after the leaks of DNC/Hillary emails to deliberately muddy the waters and point to the Russians, the only thing that makes sense (Occam’s razor) is that evidence was placed after the fact. The whole thing stinks to high heaven and anything spook related should be taken with multiple cellars of salt, unlike the Pork Pie News Networks who take every syllable uttered from the security services as complete fact.

    Like

  27. al-Beeb s’Allah: Pompeo attacks Russia and China in Berlin speech
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50350545

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned of the dangers posed by Russia and China, and called on Nato to grow and confront “the challenges of today”.

    Blah blah blah blah…

    …A rallying cry – but not everyone agrees

    Analysis

    By Jonathan Marcus

    Defence Correspondent

    …Relations between Washington and Moscow plummeted after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from neighbouring Ukraine in 2014…
    ####

    It’s all the little lies like the one above by Marcus that show what utter shite, biased, narrow-minded fuckheads they are.

    It all started with Crimea? Really? Not when yet another western sponsored coup of months using trained, molotov cocktail armed mobs and invisible snipers shootin police – let alone protesters in the back, not Brussels telling Moscow to FTFO about it concerns that its DCFTA with Kiev would f/k up it’s much closer trading relationship with Russia and that it would cost Kiev far, far more economically to jump ship? Nor Kiev’s threat to kick out the Russian Navy from Crimea. Nope, Russia has nothing to fear from NATO with a long rubber glove and plenty of lubricants on its border! It’s just a kink thing.

    It’s not either as if it has affected the careers of Tusk, Ashton, van Rompuy, Nuland and all those other f/kturds who were up to their necks in it. Someone else gets to pick up the (body) pieces. How convenient.

    I only pick this up because while we are all aware of the Big Lie that is repeated ad nauseum so that people repeat it without thinking or even questioning it, it is also a series of small linking lies that together are much larger than the whole and all essential to the narrative. What Marcus’s sentence there actually says is that it only ever matters what the West thinks. The Russians are nothing but a bunch of drama queens. Whether this is active or passive on his behalf, it is clearly telling.

    Yes, I know this is nothing new at all considering that being impartial has become passé since the break up of Yugoslavia (Martin ‘Fekin’ Bell – the story is also about how ‘we’ journalists feel too!), but I think it is worth highlighting how far what they call journalism has strayed from even the pretence of being interested in any other view than the official one. What’s the point then? Bills to pay?

    Like

    1. Meagan’s pneumatic giant boobs look like they’re about to lift her off the chair and float her away. It’s distracting. Good on Tulsi for appearing with such a manifestly hostile audience as the hosts are. Behar is a Clinton partisan. One thing I liked is Tulsi’s refusal to be talked over – that’s a typical tactic on such shows. Host asks guest a question, interrupts the answer with a talking point, audience applauds; guest is merely serving as a pitcher to put low, slow balls over the plate so the host can hit ’em out of the park. The View’s harpies didn’t get much satisfaction here. I think Creepy Uncle Joe is still the favourite, though, certainly from the Democratic establishment’s viewpoint.

      I read in the paper this morning that Mike Bloomberg is toying with the idea of getting into the race as well, obviously as a Democrat. He claims to upset that the field is so weak.

      Like

      1. Joy Behar has just been accused of ‘black face’ and even shared a photo of herself on the same program a while back, dressed up as a ‘beautiful african lady’ in the 1970s for Halloween. It’s definately not black face, but there’s more than a hint of hypocrisy in the air.

        The howls of outrage from one side at the merest hint, is now met by howls of outrage from t’other. Rationality, reasoned discourse and anything normal has long been discarded in the winds by the media too which has more than happily played along with all this to boost their ratings/sales/whatever. After all, they’re just a medium and not actually reponsible for anything. It’s entertainment.

        Like

  28. I wonder if Call of Duty will add human trafficking to duties of its virtuous video heroes:

    https://sputniknews.com/military/201911081077260455-watch-mass-arrest-of-us-marines-accused-of-participating-in-human-smuggling-ring/

    New footage from the US Marines Corps Communication Office shows the arrest of 15 Marines by dozens of Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents earlier this year following an investigation into a human smuggling ring at the US-Mexico border.

    How the the marines were arrested was interesting in itself.

    Like

      1. I saw a young guy in service dress at Dallas airport smile at a fat old man in a business suit who said that to him and scowl as he walked away. Circa 2014. Both white.

        Like

    1. There was another article I read yesterday (I lost the link) in which the Japanese govt complained about the behaviour and lack of discipline among US marines – behaviour such as taking selfies or reading (pretending to read?) a novel called “The Great Santini” – in relation to an Investigation into a mid-air collision resulting involving US marines.

      Like

  29. Hope springs eternal within the Ukrainian breast, as Kuh-yiv theorizes that a new gas contract could be signed with Russia ‘in the last days of December’. In the last days that it could be signed, since it runs out end-December.

    https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2019-11-05/ukraine-russia-may-sign-gas-transit-deal-in-late-december-minister

    Look at Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksiy Orzhel, and see if he looks like someone who has a fat gas contract in the bag. What he looks like is someone coming off a five-day drunk.

    Ukraine is still holding out for a long-term contract (ten years) which will see guaranteed minimums of transit volume close to previous annual totals of around 80+ BcM – minimum 60, with additional flexibility built in to take it as high as 90 BcM. As I have pointed out before, if Russia is willing to transit around 80 BcM of gas through Ukraine, it might as well scrap Nord Stream II, because it would be quite a few years before they needed it to transit more than the ‘agreed’ 90 BcM.

    I am not really concerned that Russia is going to agree to terms like that; Moscow is not stupid. What I do worry about is that it will be moved at the last minute to pity for brother Slavs, and sign a contract for maybe half that – 5 years, minimum 40 BcM annually. If it does that, somebody is going to be on the hook for fixing the Ukrainian GTS, which is a corroded mess that will not last another 5 years with no maintenance, as has been its lot since the glorious Maidan – no money has been spent on it because they were too busy stealing it, and throwing it at the Ukrainian Army. Also, if a pity contract is signed, the USA will straightaway intensify its campaign against Nord Stream, shouting that it is unnecessary and lobbying for further restrictions on it to ensure it is never used, although it is probably too late to stop it from being completed.

    The whole purpose of Nord Stream II is to eliminate Ukrainian leverage over gas delivery to Europe. Russia must restrain any pity, and cut Kuh-yiv out of the transit business completely. Some volumes for domestic consumption might still go through the GTS if Ukraine needs it and can pay for it in advance. But no more transit to international buyers.

    Like

  30. Speaking of gas pipelines, a Ukrainian news site reports that Germany has drafted an amendment which would protect the Nord Stream II pipeline from EU lawmaking which was plainly written to apply only to it, slapping restrictions on it which assert – as the EU has long tried to implement against Russian pipelines – that the same company cannot own the pipeline and the gas which is transited through it. The language which demonstrates it was written specifically for Nord Stream II makes exceptions for ‘all pipelines which were built before May 23rd, 2019’, neatly making exceptions for all its own pipelines, just as it used to do with the phony designation, “Field Pipes”.

    https://112.international/finance/german-government-ready-to-help-nord-stream-2-bypass-eu-gas-directive–media-45267.html

    The German amendment removes the clause “before May 23rd, 2019” and replaces it with ‘existing investment’, which would extend the exemption to Nord Stream II as well.

    Brussels, as expected, announced quickly that the amendment is unacceptable. It will be interesting to see if Germany – which is going to be a major gas hub for Europe and a supplier of more than a third of its gas – will let itself be bossed around by Brussels. Because it has considerable leverage to simply suggest it will break its association with Belgium and negotiate new gas-supply agreements with European countries directly. Not that I think that would ever really happen, but Brussels has no alternative supplies it could use to stop Germany from doing just that, and European countries would sign up, because what the EU has in its underground storage will not take it through a hard winter.

    Pretty funny to see the country that Washington was going to isolate until it begged to ‘make a deal’ with America now prevailing over Europe so that France suggests NATO is brain-dead, and Germany publicly defies EU policymakers. Without actually doing anything threatening to it. Russia has remained fairly aloof, and overtures such as returning it to the Council of Europe were made to Moscow, not by it.

    Like

    1. «Газпром» поставил жесткие условия нового контракта по газу с Украиной
      07 ноября 2019, 07:03

      Gazprom has set stringent conditions for a new gas contract with Ukraine

      The head of the Russian Corporation “Gazprom” Alexey Miller has put forward to “Naftogaz” of the Ukraine a tough condition for the conclusion of a new contract for gas transit: a mutual rejection of claims and litigation.

      According to RIA Novosti, Miller discussed the issue with the German government’s Commissioner for gas transit through the Ukraine, Graf [“Count”? I thought Germany was a republic! — ME]Waldersee, stressing the need to settle legal disputes.

      In particular, Moscow expects the Antimonopoly Committee of the Ukraine to cancel a fine for seven billion dollars demanded off Gazprom for alleged abuse of a monopoly in the Ukrainian gas transit market, as well as the restoration of Gazprom property rights in the country.

      Miller’s demands might have been a response to the head of the national Ukrainian gas company “Naftogaz” Andrei KOBOLEV, who recently said that the total amount of claims against Gazprom is $ 22 billion and Kiev is not going to “forgive” Moscow.

      “The Russian side is proposing to “Naftogaz” the nullification of almost three billion dollars that was set according to a decision of the Stockholm arbitration and that the claim for another twelve billion be abandoned. In addition, it has been proposed that the AMCU [Antimonopoly Committee of the Ukraine] to waive a fine of about seven billion dollars, a total of 22 billion ” to understand and forgive”. “I have been seeking and have not found in the proposals voiced in the media any counter proposals made by Russia for comparable amounts. Is this what the “nullification” of mutual claims looks like? said Kobolyev.

      Earlier, the head of the Russian Ministry of Energy Alexander Novak suggested that the Ukrainian side reset mutual claims and “not give birth to new, absurd claims”. A similar statement was made by President Vladimir Putin.

      Recall that the current ten-year contract between the Ukraine and Russia for gas transit ends at the end of 2019. At the end of October, the fourth meeting of the trilateral consultations between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union on gas was held in Brussels. According to Russian energy Minister Alexander Novak, the parties are set to “ensure reliable gas transit from January 1, 2020”. In Kiev, the resumption of direct purchases of fuel from Gazprom have not ben ruled out. At the same time, Deputy head of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic expressed disappointment at the lack of specific agreements.

      They’ve got you by the short and curlies, haven’t they, you arseholes?

      Poland and the inconsequential Baltic states say that they are working with Banderastan so as to find ways of halting Nord Stream II.

      I suggest they have a chat with the above mentioned German “Graf” about this matter.

      Like

  31. Gazprom Coerces Ukraine Into Peace
    November 7, 2019 Stalker Zone

    And on another topic:

    Pompeo attacks Russia and China in Berlin speech
    8 November 2019
    BBC

    On a visit to Berlin, Mr Pompeo said methods used by China to suppress its own people would be “horrifyingly familiar” to East Germans.

    And he accused Russia of invading its neighbours and crushing dissent.

    “Today, Russia – led by a former KGB officer once stationed in Dresden [President Vladimir Putin] – invades its neighbours and slays political opponents.”

    Remember, this is the No.1 US diplomat, the US Secretary of State, speaking in public with another head of state.

    Meanwhile, Russian diplomats, not to mention the president of Russia himself, refer to heaps of shite such as Pompeo is as “partners”.


    Mike Pompeo has held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to Berlin

    above: a cnt and arsehole in close proximity, as nature intended.

    Like

      1. He surely knows enough to play up to such an influential figure – remember when they were billing her as ‘Chancellor of the Free World’, and the most powerful woman in it? That didn’t last, sadly, because it was contingent on her playing the kind of politics Washington likes and it was mostly Washington’s opinion which put her in that fictitious position.

        I believe it is simply his innate courtesy, and perhaps he personally does have a soft spot for Mutti Merkel. who looks like a beefy Dutch farmer in drag and likely does not receive too many bouquets from men. I cannot imagine anyone of either gender (I’m old-fashioned, I’m afraid, and only acknowledge two) who would prefer the courtly manner of a Pompeo, which consists in equal parts of threatening annihilation for non-compliance and pious proselytizing. He might be the single worst advertisement for American ‘statesmanship’ since John Kerry.

        Like

        1. Politico.eu: The last East German
          https://www.politico.eu/article/last-east-german-egon-krenz-communism-berlin-wall-anniversary/

          Egon Krenz has a simple message: ‘I told you so.’

          BERLIN — Egon Krenz is sure he’s been here before.

          Standing in the vast lobby of the landmark Hotel de Rome in central Berlin, the last leader of the German Democratic Republic turns in frustration to a passing employee. “What was this place?” he asks the young woman.

          Unaware of who Krenz is, she explains that it was originally a private bank and the central bank of the GDR, the communist East German dictatorship created by the Soviet Union after World War II.

          “I didn’t come here very often,” he confides to me, flashing his trademark toothy grin…
          ####

          More at the link.

          Like

    1. As to the placement of the orifices, reminds me of an old joke [please forgive me, those who have heard this one before]:

      So, a mathematician, an engineer, and an architect (all male) are sitting in a bar and watching the asses of the women walking by. (Backstory: they are attending some kind of convention and are all pickled by this point and missing their wives).

      Mathematician (wistfully): “We know that God must be a mathematician, because he created a woman’s body in the perfect proportions of the Golden Mean.”
      Engineer: “Au contraire. God must be an engineer, because he made the woman’s body move with perfect precision.”
      Architect: [says nothing]

      The other 2 guys look at the architect, expecting him to make analogous argument, but he remains silent. Finally, they prompt him: “Well, aren’t you going to say that God must be an architect?”

      Architect: “No rational God would design a habitation in which the recreational area was positioned so close to the waste disposal site.”

      Like

          1. He’s a bit bulked up on Iðunn’s golden apples, isn’t he? Maybe they’ve started glowing in the dark?

            For those unfamiliar with Germanic mythology or who don’t follow the Marvel flicks about Thor, the gods of Asgard eat the golden apples of Iðunn to maintain their youth and good looks.

            An apple a day keeps old age away!

            Like

                1. Now such be truly golden news to hear and I fear that the Asgardians will be so enraptured by the gilt cupcakes with their snowy vanilla filling that eternal mischief-maker Loki will find some way to sport with the gods’ addiction and sprint off with Thor’s hammer at the behest of the giants. And Thor will have to play bride again (with Loki as the bridesmaid) to get it back.

                  Though one supposes as a fitting punishment Loki must play the bride and Thor the bridesmaid – and Thor leaves Loki with whichever giant Loki marries after he flattens the bridal party and the guest list with the retrieved hammer.

                  Like

      1. Sarcasm, creating a deliberate contrast with American boorish behavior and to infuriate said Americans, me thinks.

        Like

    1. Actually, the Tu-160 flying weight is much more than indicated:
      Empty weight: 110,000 kg (242,508 lb)
      Gross weight: 267,600 kg (589,957 lb)
      Max takeoff weight: 275,000 kg (606,271 lb)

      The Tu-160 has a maximum speed is slightly over Mach 2 while the F-35 is alleged to have a maximum speed of 1.8. The F-35 is mediocre in so many ways.

      The Tu-160 is the largest combat aircraft ever built and somewhat bigger than the lumbering B-52. Russia does fly the propeller-driven Tu-95 long range bomber for various missions and expect it to remain in service to 2040.

      All per Wikipedia.

      Like

      1. Range for the classic at mach 1.5 is about 1,100 nautical miles. The 16 Tu-160s flying have apparently been upgraded in the last few years to M standard. The new M2 standard Completely new builds should be arriving next year and I would assume the earlier M’s will be upgraded to the same level. The M2’s are expected to add 1,000km in range (subsonic I assume) but there’s no way to know and every reason to be economical with the figures.*

        * https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2018/3/21/11047/

        Like

  32. The Register: Senior GitLab exec resigns over plan to stop hiring engineers in China and Russia
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/09/gitlab_exec_resigns/

    Code hosting company considers risk of pressure to betray customer data too great

    …”It seems odd that we proclaim that we will accept any customer not prohibited by law (b5a35716) but we are implementing controls that impact employees based on a perceived political climate,” Ciresi wrote.

    “This is contradictory. If the concern is the contribution of employees from these regions, could we not find a more moderate solution such as ensuring that the contributions of those employees are vetted before release?”

    Rejoining the discussion a week ago, she called out the arbitrariness of the proposed restrictions on hiring in China and Russia, noting,”The highest risk countries for hackers are: Romania, Brazil, Taiwan, Russia, Turkey, China and the United States. …If hackers are the basis for restricting employees, then we would be foolish to not exclude the US for future hiring.”..
    ####

    The fish rots from the head down and it doesn’t take much in the land of the free.

    In other news, apparently the US is leaning on the Dutch not to sell Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) chipmaking lithography tech to China, coz, right, China’s not allowed to buy stuff from another country if the USA says so. So, another US allhy expected to throw itself under a bus to prove its loyalty, which is all one way…

    Like

    1. The USA is a rogue nation, crazy on the smell of its own imagined greatness. You cannot expect it to behave like other countries, because it believes itself greater than all others, and born to rule over them.

      Like

  33. Russia is falling – suicide epidemic, drug overdoses killings nearly 100,000 EVERY YEAR, crumbling infrastructure, millions in jail, increasing isolation, out of control military spending and the laughing stock of the world – NOT

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/473021-russia-construction-boom-predictions/

    One of life’s simple pleasures is to watch the pundits get Russia so wrong. Their job function was to simply influence public perceptions about Russia (and especially within Russia to fuel discontent). Miserable failures they are.

    Our gracious host has done exceptional service in highlighting the absurdities and idiocies of their work.

    The RT article however keeps alive the myth of a relatively tiny Russian economy – twice the size of the Netherlands. Remove the financial rubbish and look at the physical economy (the ability to innovate/make/build/grow things). Russia is in the top 3 or 4 countries in the world in that regard yet with the smallest population unless Japan is counted in that group.

    Like

    1. Kremlin Winter:

      https://www.ft.com/content/d9532266-e6be-11e9-b8e0-026e07cbe5b4

      Hold your noses:
      As Service shows in Kremlin Winter, Putin’s Russia is “modern” in name only. Yes, there is a surface gloss of prosperity, with shiny new buildings in some cities. But venture outside Moscow or St Petersburg and there is scarcity reminiscent of the Soviet era. Russians can travel freely as never before and own property — as long as high politics or the Kremlin’s big business chums have no stake in the enterprise. They can read books and use the internet and social media relatively freely, but TV — still the most potent medium in Russia — and the press are essentially state-controlled. For all the great power posturing, Russia’s economy is around the same size as that of the Netherlands. It manufactures little and remains almost wholly dependent on oil and gas.

      The wrongness/word metric is impressively high.

      Like

      1. An old workmate and his wife visited Russia in August. He is not an “educated’ man. He is now 65. He left school at 15 and worked as a coal miner with his father and brother, and also with me from 1980 until 1985, until the large-scale deep mining of coal was ended in the UK in the late ’80s, when he and I, together with 170, 000 British coal miners, were swiftly thrown out of work.

        My wife and I met up with him and his wife when they arrived in Moscow from Sankt- Peterburg. He still writes, saying how wonderfully impressed he and his wife were with what they saw and experienced in Russia. They want to come back again.

        On their voyage by cruise ship to Moscow by river and canals — the canals constructed by slave-labour, of course, by political prisoners from the “Gulag” — and along the way, he and his fellow passengers were taken on several excursions into that other Russia which the FT describes, to villages with monasteries and ancient churches; to that the big-city hinterland which is hidden from tourists to Moscow and Sankt-Petersburg, according to the FT and others “in the know”, to that Russia beyond the big cities, where everyone lives in abject poverty and which has not changed since Soviet times.

        However, my old workmate did not seee that “other Russia”, that hidden, “real” Russia which the Western media so loves to reveal to those who have never been here.

        Like

          1. Come to think of it, I must one of the biggest, if not the greatest, of such “idiots, in view of the fact that I have lived in Mordor for more than a quarter of a century and am apparently still blinded by Kremlin propaganda.

            Like

  34. The impeachment circus starts next week.
    I thought this is worth reposting.

    “The strategy of the U.S.-Saudi campaign has been to target Yemen’s water, electric and sewage systems, hospitals, markets and farms – where they bomb the grain silos, flocks of sheep in the field, irrigation systems and whatever else they can target to destroy the basic infrastructure supporting the lives of the civilian population, especially in the north of the country. During the last world’s worst cholera outbreak in history before the current one, the U.S.A. and their Saudi friends bombed the cholera hospitals just to be sure to kill as many babies as possible.

    All the while the U.S. Navy helps the Saudis and UAE keep the place under blockade, preventing virtually all international trade, and limiting the availability of humanitarian aid.

    The most powerful nation in world history, barely hiding behind its proxy, is decimating the poorest, weakest country in the Middle East.

    Yemen is not a country that ever attacked us or threatened us. Even the Houthis’ anti-American slogans were only adopted to embarrass their then-enemy and later-ally, dictator Abdullah Saleh, for being so close to the George W. Bush administration in the 2000s.

    As referenced above, the Houthis were helping the Obama government fight al Qaeda at the time he started bombing them. And he only did it to “placate the Saudis” over their unease about the possibility of a new (absolutely out of the question) American slant back toward Iran while negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal.

    The latest numbers from the group ACLED Data have it that over 100,000 people have been killed in the violence of the war, while the UN recently said that more than 133,000 additional people had died in the war due to deprivation (starvation, otherwise easily treatable diseases, etc.). This includes 85,000 children under 5 years old, many thousands of whom died of cholera. That is, they vomited and defecated themselves to death.

    From the very beginning it was known that this very poor country was heavily dependent on foreign food imports for their survival and that the state of war would immediately propel masses to famine. And so it has.

    So you see, the war is un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and genocidal all at the same time. It is as bad as Iraq War II at least. When the whole thing is finally over, we are virtually certain to find that the “excess death rate” for the Yemeni people during this time equates to over a million dead.

    But Donald Trump could have stopped the war almost three years ago. He could stop it right now with one simple phone call to the secretary of defense. Instead he crows about how much money “we’re” making helping Saudi’s government kill.

    This is the same reason why I have supported impeachment and removal against George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama before Trump: war crimes.

    Not only should Trump be removed from office for this wanton murder, he should have to share a Supermax cell with his buddy Barack Obama for the rest of their lives over it too.

    That would be the law and justice being applied to the powerful equally like in the theories they teach us in high school civics class about how our system is supposed to work.

    But folks. Come on now. That is not what this current impeachment scandal is at all. America’s secret police, formerly under John “Jabhat al Nusra” Brennan, are leading a coup against the elected leader of the national government. Cry as they might about how uncouth Trump is, the real motive for the entire Russiagate setup was their fear that he might actually mean some of the good things he said about “getting along with Russia,” his disregard for the NATO alliance and unwillingness to continue America’s indefinite catastrophe in the Middle East.
    Like the fools who believed in him, all the hawks took what Trump said at face value and went crazy. Treat the Palestinians “fairly”?! Red Alert! DEFCON 1! Treason Summit!

    But Trump has escalated every single one of the wars he inherited from Barack Obama in 2017. He’s done everything the Israelis want. But it’s just not enough. Trump doesn’t believe in America’s divine mission to dominate the planet earth – er, “lead” it – until the end of time. He doesn’t demand the rest of us do either. His terrible trade policies also are “disruptive” to our system of permanent alliances around the world. That is why the “deep state” is out to get him.

    After failing to stop Trump’s inauguration with their false accusations that he conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election, and chucking the possibility that they could get his cabinet to overthrow him by invoking the 25th amendment, the feds settled on a project to “reign him in” at the very least by dragging out the fake Russia caper as long as they could.

    Once the special council threw in the towel after another year of false Russiagate accusations, they switched to Plan B. Now that it’s clear that the “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, formerly worked for Brennan, this entire thing should be cancelled. It doesn’t matter that Trump was caught acting unethically with the Ukrainians, the presumption must be that Ciaramella was acting as a spy for the CIA against the elected president, sent there to find something, anything that could be used against Trump to take him down. Wait around a little while. It won’t take long.

    (Isn’t it funny how most of the media still won’t say the man’s name, Eric Ciaramella, after it’s already been published. Isn’t their job now to either confirm it’s true or not that he’s the one who started this? Oh, no, they just love and want to protect whistleblowers now, right? That must be what’s behind all the recent fawning coverage of Chelsea Manning’s current sacrifice in federal prison.)

    Opposing the U.S. coups in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014 and U.S. support of any kind for their Nazi-infested military forces, and being absolutely against Joe Biden and everything about him, and his scumbag, crackhead son and their roles in Ukraine after the last coup, I am therefore also very dubious about just what a terrible crime it is supposed to be that Trump would hold up this “vital” aid to Ukraine under these or any other circumstances.

    This is the narrative, you’ve noticed: Americans – you – owe Ukraine’s government loyalty forever. To fail to give them the weapons they need to restart the horrible war against their countrymen in the east would be an unpardonable sin and so-forth. Call it another clue as to what is really going on around here.

    To allow the CIA this win – after they’ve gotten away with using torture to lie us into war in Iraq and their presumption to challenge the authority of the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee by spying on her and attempting to have the Department of Justice prosecute her staffers for investigating that torture; after the revelations of their lawless NSA-like spying on Americans in the Vault 7 leak; after their supporting al Nusra in Syria for 4 years leading to the rise of the Islamic State “caliphate” and Iraq War III; after they lied that the president of the United States was a guilty traitor who stole the 2016 election with the help of the Kremlin – would be no victory for justice at all.”

    Nope That would not be any species of justice …which is why two words keep recurring with increasing frequency in American political discourse: Civil War

    https://www.checkpointasia.net/trump-is-a-genocide-perpetrator-constitution-shredder-and-benedict-arnold-but-this-is-just-a-cia-coup/

    Like

    1. Moore talks about the rotten system that gave us Trump. But, is it not true that the rotten system is the biggest enemy of Trump?

      Things are not as simple as Bernie fans like to think.

      Like

    2. Yeah, uhhh….good luck crushing that rotten, corrupt system, after you crush Trump. That rotten, corrupt system owns America lock, stock and barrel. And Bernie Sanders is as much a part of it as dirty money. I wonder if most people grasp the utter futility of voting when every candidate is a part of the system. You pays your money and you takes your chances, but whoever you get is going to rail against ‘the system’ while tacitly acknowledging that modern America cannot function without it. The rich will continue to get richer and the poor to get at least more numerous if not poorer. Nobody is riding to the rescue on a white charger, from stage left.

      Like

    1. I have the impression that cops are trained that way – use force to obtain total obedience regardless of the situation just to have total obedience .- break down the person, humiliate and force them to cower. It seems to be their MO; other words, jack booted thugs. So even “good cops” are expected to act that way.

      There was a movie many years ago with a scene, IIRC, where a cop confronted an obviously mentally ill individual brandishing a knife. The cop assumed a ridiculous pose and demeanor which confused the guy at which point the cop disarmed him. Only in the movies. Such an event today would result in 4-5 cops emptying their service revolvers into the unfortunate human.

      And another thing, I am tired of hearing about our heroic first responders. It’s just a job and not particularly dangerous. They have good pay and a pension that is insanely high. A cop can easily pull down $80K pension after 30 years. Most working saps are stuck with social security at around $20-35K/year at the age of 65.

      As discussed before, cops/first responders are not expected to risk their lives under any circumstances. A good example was the crash of a passenger plane in the Potomac river near Washington DC many years ago. Cops and firefighters just stood there as a flight attendant was drowning in the icy water perhaps all of 40 feet from shore. A bystander jumped in and pulled her to shore at which point the first responders sprung into action – the heroism!

      In fairness, the helicopter crew (a news helicopter to be specific) took chances but the cops and firemen on shore were less interested in helping than bystanders. Rant over.

      Like

      1. It would be interesting to see how crime statistics in those parts of the US (Vermont state, Northampton in Massachusetts and Durham in North Carolina) where the police departments now do not send trainees to Israel for their training, compare with other parts of the country, and then to compare the levels of police violence against civilians in Vermont and those two communities mentioned with police violence elsewhere in the country.

        Why on earth do state and city police depts in the US agree to send their police to train with Israeli security forces whose experience of “policing” is in harassing Palestinians, rather than train with their proper Israeli police equivalents? What benefits accrue to the Anti-Defamation League for encouraging and sponsoring police training with Israeli security forces?

        “Why We Should Be Alarmed That Israeli Forces and U.S. Police Are Training Together”
        https://fpif.org/why-we-should-be-alarmed-that-israeli-forces-and-u-s-police-are-training-together/

        “UNDER PRESSURE, NEW ENGLAND POLICE PULL OUT OF TRAINING PROGRAM IN ISRAEL”
        https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Under-pressure-New-England-police-pull-out-of-training-program-in-Israel-573868

        “ADL’s Leadership Seminar in Israel”
        https://www.adl.org/who-we-are/our-organization/signature-programs/law-enforcement-trainings/leadership-seminar-in-israel

        Like

        1. I mentioned this before. We had a police officer provide our company “active shooter” trainer. The guy wandered off topic repeatedly as he reminisced about his days in Iraq shooting at various things. He gave us invaluable advice such as shooting under a vehicle to get ricochet shots against anyone hiding behind that vehicle. He was quite proud of his Israeli training although he could not go into details, you know, hush hush stuff.

          He also told us that Muslims children are trained to kill by starting off with animals before working up to people. I was relieved that our Muslim employees were not there to hear that shit.

          If we every had an active shooter, that cop would be the last one I would hope to show up. He would be more likely to kill an innocent bystander than to protect anyone.

          Like

  35. My golden apples grow on my country estate. I have just been told by Mrs Exile to fare me hence to yon garden, whence I should bring another bloody big backpack of the buggers. Whilst there, I shall, of course, visit my sacred grove and leave an offering there.

    I must say, though, that I do not object to eating the apple pies that she makes from the apples. And there are several litres of apple juice here that she made in the country as well. Good stuff, it is too!

    Like

    1. Bollocks! The above should have been further up, but when I first attempted to post it beneath Jen’s Asgard comments, the link with Word Press failed. So I reposted it and it ended up out on a limb down here.

      Like

      1. Yea, thou must visit Woden’s shrine on thy estate more often and be sure to leave the best of the apple crop and a hearty jug of cider. He’ll send out his ravens to see that thou’rt an obedient servant and if they report back favourably, thou shalt suddenly see that WordPress problem-free will be.

        Like

    1. Yeah, I was reading about this in the Kremlin-controlled propagandistic rags here.

      Apparently, he visited the Kharkov tank plant and, to put it mildly, was dismayed by what he saw there.

      However, the Kyiv Post backs up the lying Russian rags’ story, so it must be true, because the Ukraine is a legal state and a full-blown democracy, formed in the image of its Uncle Sam and has, therefore, a truthful press:

      ‘One tank in 10 years?’: Zelensky outraged during visit to UkrOboronProm factory
      Published Nov. 6. Updated Nov. 6 at 6:56 pm

      “UkrOboronProm”is one of those portmanteau words formed from the Russian words meaning “Ukraine”. “defence” and “industry”.

      Like

      1. Yeah, but note how Kyiv Post manages to tilt blame away from the Poroshenko regime and back onto Yanukovych. Also uses the propaganda meme of “admitting the problem” in order to draw the wrong lessons: That the solution is closer NATO integration. (And more private investment! yeah right, in the military sector.)

        Like

      2. This is precisely the way Putin behaved when he took over, and he has continued hands-on supervision since, parachuting in (so to speak, it means “showing up with no prior notice”) to visit factories and production centers and sometimes firing someone’s ass so high it needs to go on oxygen. The western press quickly spun it so that Putin hates competition, and likes to keep things on a tight rein because he plans to steal it all himself. But the comments rave on about what a hero Zik-Zik is, how noble, how straight-arrow. He would never think of stealing. And he probably wouldn’t; he likely does genuinely want to get Ukraine back on the rails. It’s just annoying to see it spun one way for one leader, and the total opposite for the other. No matter what Putin does, he always has ulterior motives which are completely transparent to the intrepid western media.

        Like

  36. Gets some things rights, goes stereotype in other areas, simplified complex issues and simply ignores other major factors. But,it is correct about one thing: The American Dream (and the associated exceptionalism) is over:

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-american-dream-is-killing-us

    They barely mentioned slavery and ignored the genocide the Native Americans (best the article could muster was that the land was barely inhabited). Still, they got the part right about the Dream is Dead.

    Like

  37. «Форум Свободной России»: русофобы и дегенараты собрались в Вильнюсе

    “Forum of Free Russia”: Russophobes and degenerates gathered in Vilnius

    Vilnius
    Russophobes, some of whom having a hatred of Russia that is pathological, will hold their next gathering in the capital of Lithuania. They have called their event “Forum of Free Russia”, and it will be held on November 9 and 10.

    Among the participants at the gathering, there can be noted such active haters of Russia as Maria Alekhina from Pussy Riot, the “unkilled” in Kiev journalist Arkady Babchenko, and the recently exchanged “director”-terrorist Oleg Sentsov …

    Other Russophobes present were (it’s now already over) former cell-phone network owner Evgeny Chichvarkin, now resident in London, where he fled after a thieving spree in Russia; Luke Harding (natch!); Berezovskiy’s former right-hand man in London, now long-time based in New York, Aleksander Goldfarb, LGBT activist and full-time horror-comic, Masha Gessen and Garry Kasparov.

    Many of these people have not only been involved in Russophobic activities, but also in very specific criminal offences. For example, Alfred Koch, the former head of the State Property Committee during the period of “wild privatization”, got his hands on billions of dollars at the expense of the state.

    Everyone knows the story of Oleg Sentsov. In 2014, this not quite a movie director was preparing with his accomplices a terrorist attack in several cities at once – in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta, for which preparations he was sentenced to 20 years in prison and subsequently exchanged. He currently resides in the Ukraine.

    And as regards the moral qualities and level of intelligence of Maria Alekhina, her most well known act was a punk prayer held in a cathedral.

    The issues on the agenda sound very “solid” and they say that questions such as: “Has a new political era arrived in Russia?” and “Is the West ready for an International Public Tribunal on the crimes of the Putin regime?” shall be discussed.

    You can also take note of a seminar entitled: “Who Will the West Help?” and speak out on the topic: “Why do Western countries strengthen the NATO bloc, but at the same time build Nord Stream-2?”

    It’s clear that the issues for discussion have been agreed with the sponsors of the event, which include the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US federal government agency USAID.

    Note that the word “free”, which appears in the name of the forum, is interpreted by the organizers of the gathering in a very peculiar way. So, they not only did not allow Izvestia newspaper employees to cover the course of the event, but also set the police on them, which police officers took away the journalists’ documents.

    So it turns out that marginals and degenerates have gathered in Vilnius, who, in a narrow clique, will decide how they need to act so that the West will pay their Russophobia as generously as possible ….

    Like

  38. Morales gives up and chickens out.
    After he won the election, but then was targeted for regime change by Washington, Morales decided to give up.
    Thus abandoning and throwing under the bus, his employees who remained loyal to him. “I just hope,” Morales tosses out cavalierly, “that the new regime won’t target or attack them.”
    The Opps who lost the election, Washington’s stooges, will now take over the Bolivian government.
    And probably unleash a reign of terror, I am predicting.
    I hope I’m wrong.

    Like

    1. No, I’m pretty sure you’re right; a victory for Washington, who loathed Morales, and the new regime will quickly shout it as a victory over socialism and a new age of prosperity for Bolivians, although of course it will be no such thing. Just what Washington needed in its war of attrition against Maduro, too, as Chile begins to go sideways.

      Like

    2. Morales might not have had much choice and significantly it was the Bolivian armed forces who asked him to resign. This is an indication that he did not have their support. Morales was not an army guy as Hugo Chavez had been and I am guessing he was not able to cultivate a militia network among the people in their towns and villages that could support him to the extent that Chavez and later Maduro were able to do in Venezuela. The other problem too is that when Morales first came to power 14 years ago, his supporters were very much poorer and less educated than the people Chavez and Maduro relied on as their base.

      Bolivia’s opposition is based in Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia. Santa Cruz has the largest territory and population, with most people being white or mixed, and is the wealthiest part of the country with reserves of natural gas. The indigenous people who live in Santa Cruz are completely different from the highland indigenous people (mostly Aymara and Quechua) who form Morales’ base.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivian_gas_conflict

      The timing of the coup may be very significant too. Mauricio Macri just lost the presidential elections in Argentina to Alberto Fernández with Cristina Fernández Kirchner (no relation as far as I can see, Fernández is one of the most common surnames in the Spanish-speaking world) in Vice President position; and in Brazil, Lula has just been released from prison. In Ecuador, Lenin Moreno remains holed up in Guayaquil. Then of course there are the ongoing protests in most parts of Chile.

      Like

      1. Morales had no choice but to go -the military and the police withdrew support for Morales. This is in effect a coup.

        The military have taken control

        The “opposition” also began burning and ransacking the homes of Morales and his family and other officials.

        This is going to get bloody as now the army and police will attack and arrest the Morales supporters.

        Very sad and frustrating how history keeps repeating itself and the poor are always the losers.

        Like

        1. The reason it is not immediately clearer how well ‘lower animals’ learn from their mistakes is that they often do not survive them. Rats display a much better ability to learn from mistakes than humans. I have a private theory that it is mostly down to communications – animals cannot speak, and so are not confused by bullshit. In cases like this, the western regime-changers always chatter about their bandar-log visions of a capitalist paradise, investment, bla-bla-bla. The dozy western public gets stars in its eyes and goes along with it. These lofty aspirations will rapidly turn out to be another example of a few rich people getting in early, asset-stripping and then getting out, but by then it will be a different political administration and will all be blamed on previous ones, while the locals endure another generation of servitude.

          Perhaps a long time ago, coups happened through public dissatisfaction, like revolutions. More and more commonly, almost uniformly these days, a coup is a vehicle to remove a leader the western elite does not like, but whom they have been unable to dislodge by any other means. I can’t think of an example in which putting the military in charge of the country ever turned out well. Libya, perhaps – Gaddafi came to power in 1969 through a military coup and became an extremely popular and visionary leader. He was not maneuvered into his position by the west, though: far from it.

          Like

  39. Remember this from Shaun of the Dead?

    The city has also doubled in population since the Olympics. Some ghost town…

    Like

      1. And it works every time, because people are suckers for religion and authority!
        If only everybody became an atheist and anti-authoritarian, then these tactics would stop working, duh…

        Like

      2. Yes, that is how the Austrians and the Poles were able to separate those Orthodox churches in Galicia from the rest of eastern Orthodoxy and those Galician-based churches (the Greek Catholics from then on) then pledged allegiance to the Vatican. Stepan Bandera was the son of a Greek Catholic priest.

        Like

    1. They are selling their birthright for a handful of silver and a pat on the head. Think what the USA could accomplish if it actually did turn its efforts to beneficial initiatives for all instead of simply trying to gain more power and influence for the small group of corporate barons who run it.

      Like

    1. I note that the RT.com and Sputnik news reports mentioned that James le Mesurier had been taking anti-depressant pills (I wonder why? 🙂 ) and he and his wife had taken sleeping tablets before going to bed. Le Mesurier must have woken up during the night and gone out to the balcony for some reason.

      Seems strange that the wife learned of her husband’s accident and death after the police knocked on the door of the house to inform her. So who would have contacted the police and told them of the fall?

      Le Mesurier’s home is in Beyoglu district in Istanbul, not far from the British consulate. Beyoglu is the area where European countries maintained embassies since the 1500s at least when Istanbul was the capital of Ottoman Turkey and most major European nations including Russia still have consulates in that area.

      Like

        1. Steady on there, when the authorities decide to grant a press conference, who do you think might walk in and announce that the whole scheme had been a set-up because of a fear that he’d been targeted for assassination by being thrown off the balcony at his home?

          Like

    2. Yeah, a little house cleaning per ET AL. It will make recruiting a replacement more difficult.

      I suppose there will be a movie, documentaries and eulogies up the wazoo. He will be a martyr who could not go on – he was unable to stop the monster Assad. He will sit at the right hand of McCain.

      They say you relive the feelings and consequences of your life just before death. I wonder if he enjoyed the show.

      Like

    1. He makes some good points which translate very well to times which long outlived him, and what Malcolm X perceived as a negro problem is now a middle-class problem which encompasses Americans of all colours; politicians talk a good fight for social change and sharing the wealth so that a rising tide lifts all boats…but it’s always bullshit, every single time. And enough people fall for it – every time – to keep that system alive and siphoning up more of the country’s wealth for the rich, over and over again. The blabber about freedom is just so you will be grateful you don’t live in one of those horrible places which are not free, and shut your fucking trap and not complain about how you will work all your life just to make out, and leave nothing behind to mark your passing. The rich give a couple of million to build a library or another wing on a school, and it bears their name while they live in luxury all their lives and leave enough that their kids are even richer.

      Like

      1. Madame Le Mesurier probably found a Nina Ricci Premier Jour perfume bottle delivered in cellophane at the front door with no return address on it.

        Like

  40. MOA: The MoA Week In Review – Open Thread 2019-66
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/the-moa-week-in-review-open-thread-2019-66.html

    #####

    There’s so much stuff in this week’s MOA links/news roundup!

    I’ll post just two from the above.

    Rollingstone.com: Why Is Christopher Steele Still a Thing?
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/christopher-steele-britain-insanity-909539/

    Matt Taibbi

    The ex-spy and infamous “dossier” author posits yet another elaborate theory of foreign infiltration
    ####

    Does the corrupt media really think everyone has forgotten about him already? They really are running out of ideas.’

    And this.

    crAP: Jordan retakes lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord
    https://apnews.com/c3756737fbd64a2b881caf05a4681953

    Jordan’s king announced Sunday that his country is retaking “full sovereignty” over two pieces of land leased by Israel, reflecting the cool relations between the neighboring countries as they mark the 25th anniversary of their landmark peace deal.

    King Abdullah II had said last year that he wouldn’t renew the parts of the 1994 treaty that gave Israel a 25-year lease of the two small areas, Baqura and Ghamr. Even amid mistrust and a looming deadline, Israel was hoping a solution could be found.

    But in a speech to parliament, the king appeared to put an end to that…
    ####

    It may not mean much, but as the war in Syria is winding down, it looks to me that countries in the nighborhood at looking to the future and stepping away from entanglements. No-one likes a loser. The timing is curious and it may be a) to test the water; b) due to the failure of any government being formed in i-Sreal.

    Like

    1. Via Antiwar.com

      Xinghua: Israel says land lease deal with Jordan extended
      http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/10/c_138544167.htm

      A decades-long deal enabling Israel to lease a Jordanian border territory has been extended by six months, the Israeli military said Sunday….

      …A military spokesperson said the lease had been extended with new terms through April 2020. Under the agreement, the territory was declared “a closed military zone” with access allowed only to farmers…i>

      &

      Jordanian detained by Israel says he was used as ‘bargaining chip’ for Jordan Valley lands
      https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/11/9/jordanian-detainee-used-as-israels-bargaining-chip

      Miri is one of two Jordanians detained for months without charge by Israel [AFP]

      …According to Arabi21, Miri said the Jordanian consulate in Tel Aviv informed him that Israel was trying to “blackmail Jordan over Baqura and Ghamar”.

      “I told the [Israeli] interrogator that we are steadfast and I hope to stay in prison until the demise of the Wadi Araba treaty,” he said…

      …Their release came a week after Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel over their detention.

      The former head of Israeli security Avi Dichter has said that the pair’s release was after a deal was reached between the countries’ political leadership…
      ####

      Pretty stupid behavior from Tel Aviv. Who needs enemies when they make their own?

      Like

      1. It’s why America loves it some Israel – they are both on the same page when it comes to naked abuse of power. If you want something, take it. If it belongs to someone else, fuck ’em. If they won’t give it to you, get some leverage against them and use it.

        The world is slowly but surely polarizing – on one side, America and its bandit allies, some of whom genuinely love and worship it, and some who reluctantly go along for economic reasons. On the other, Russia, China, Iran and their allies who know that if they allow the USA Bloc to run their affairs, they will be brought to destruction. Eventually all countries will belong to one bloc or the other, because it will be you’re either with us, or you’re with the terraists.

        But there’s still time for some to change the side they’re on. France and Germany are looking squishy, and are getting increasingly uncomfortable with American bossing.

        Like

    2. Here’s a juicy story I read in today’s paper, as well; geological engineers for Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran, have discovered a massive new oilfield which is estimated to hold 50 billion recoverable barrels, and which would be the country’s second-largest.

      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/article-new-oil-field-found-in-iran-with-more-than-50-billion-barrels/

      Of course, like all newspapers now (there really is an international community of journalism which makes such decisions for the benefit of all its members), the Globe & Mail wants you to subscribe to read. It might not be much money, at least not at first, but it’s going to be more than buying the print edition by subscription, and it’s getting harder to read news on the internet without buying a subscription. And naturally a subscription to the Globe & Mail doesn’t let you read the Washington Post – you have to buy a subscription there, too. So by and by you find you are spending ten times as much subscribing to all these newspapers as you did subscribing to one, and then looking up other references about the story on the internet.

      Anyway, you’ll have to be satisfied with a stub; I bought the hard copy, because I had a couple of hours to kill waiting for the ship. It had quite a lot of interesting stories in it, including some detail about Morales’ resignation; apparently the opposition and the Organization of American States (OAS, a western-corporation-friendly troublemaker if ever there was one) demanded new elections, and Morales agreed. Almost instantly, the opposition decided that wasn’t good enough, and Morales must resign. Because they weren’t sure he wouldn’t win again. Just like Yanukovych and his offer to make the opposition part of the government. Lesson? Appeasement never works, and the opposition has already planned (usually with western collusion) for your departure.

      Anyway, where I was going with that is how it goes back and forth – one day NATO has a great day, with Morales being driven out of government, and the next its nemesis discovers massive new oil deposits. I see Spain’s socialists prevailed in the Spanish election, as well. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour?

      Like

      1. Plus Mexico has done a naughty thing in offering Evo Morales political asylum. Morales is already on his way!

        Like

        1. Apparently several of his government ministers preceded him, and others may follow; some said their families were threatened, and a rush of ministers quitting probably helped Morales make up his mind. I doubt the US deep state will be very happy with him in Mexico – probably preferring that he be killed in an unfortunate but completely-understandable flare of violence by ‘protesters’ – because so long as he lives there is the possibility of a comeback once the foreign-investor asset-stripping commences and the promise of progress and ‘more democracy’ turns out to be illusory. But they can always reach him in Mexico.

          According to the newspaper account, people in La Paz chanted “This is not Cuba, nor Venezuela. This is Bolivia, and Bolivia is respected”. You’ll soon see how much, when you get a government of handpicked exiles and oppositionists and the foreign investors have free rein. And of course, that perennial demonstrator was found who said emotionally, “We are celebrating that Bolivia is free”. Uh huh; it’s always about freedom, you ever notice that? Freedom from the responsibility to look out for the weaker members of society, freedom to plunder to your heart’s content until there’s nothing left worth having, freedom to depart for more attractive climes about the time international organizations begin to become ‘concerned’ that Bolivia is not living up to its potential as a flourishing western-oriented market democracy, which is always half-past too late.

          Like

          1. Unfortunately the new Argentine President Alberto Fernandez does not start until 10 December 2019 and a month is too long a time for Morales to have waited until Fernandez might have been able to offer him asylum. Argentina would have been a far better place than Mexico; for one thing, US officials have to learn how to read maps in order to find Argentina, whereas they know that Mexico is just south of the US border.

            Like

            1. The plane looks quite comfortable (big leather seats). Looks like MAF VIP transport. All the better that it is empty. No Gin & Tonic though! I expected him to be in the back of a cold, empty and very noisy C-130. I had a look on shittypedia and it is either a MAF VIP 757 or… 787 which last December President Obrador promised to sell.

              Just found some interior photos:

              Morales flew on the MAF VIP 757 then!

              Like

      2. You win some, you lose some…
        I made a similar point in my post this morning .

        About Mike Pompeo having a “most excellent week” in which he (1) Overthrew the government of Bolivia; and (2) split the Russian Orthodox Church! And all before even mid-week!

        Now Pompeo can die a happy man and be called up to Rapture by Jesus.

        Like

    1. Smart move by Gabbard. Clinton, at some point, will need to apologize and retract her statement making Gabbard her equal in the court of public opinion. And people wonder why Clinton lost.

      Like

    2. You go, Tulsi! That debate is going to be interesting, and it will be an unwise candidate who does not direct his/her staffers, “Prepare me for anything Gabbard might throw at me”. I am afraid her free ride is over, where she could astound other candidates with the jaw-dropping gut-punch. Everybody will be watching out for her now, and there will be no more flabbergasted Kamala Harris moments. All the candidates’ staffs will be reviewing their records, looking for vulnerabilities and preparing defenses. That won’t stop her, of course, but it will make her work harder, and if she lasts beyond this debate, they’ll start to form factions to gang up on her.

      Like

      1. More likely the candidates will instruct their staffers to find dirt on Gabbard that they can throw at her and make stick. If they can’t debate Gabbard on the issues that matter to Americans, they’ll go for the low blows. Gabbard needs to be prepared to answer any questions or accusations about her religious background, her staff’s religious backgrounds, her friendship with Narendra Modi and her father’s social and religious conservatism.

        Like

  41. Ha, ha, ha!!! Best laugh I’ve had all day! The EU – as represented by James Wilson – has become gravely concerned that the concerns of environmental activists are being ‘rode over roughshod’. They should be listened to at once, and…Nord Stream II should be stopped because of its environmental risks to the Baltic!

    https://eutoday.net/news/environment/2019/nord-stream-2

    Best line of the overall comedic article? “We are ten minutes past midnight, but it is not too late to start putting the environment first, wean Europeans off their addiction to fossil fuels and stop all unnecessary investment into infrastructure for increasing the capacity for the distribution of gas.”

    Oh, ‘pon my word, yes; by all means let’s start putting the environment first. Who is James Wilson, you’re probably wondering. Well, in addition to – apparently – sterling work as an environmental warrior, he’s the founder and CEO of the Kyiv Brussels Network, an organization “dedicated to promoting business links between the EU and Ukraine”, and a volunteer at the Ukraine Freedom Fund.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-wilson-614339a8/

    I guess he’s all right with gas so long as it’s transited across Ukraine. Although, to be fair, he seems to be a booster of nuclear power to the extent it limits the consumption of fossil fuels.

    Like

    1. Yes I participated in the Off-Guardian BTL discussion and this was probably my most valuable contribution there regarding the barrister Mark Summers:

      “But there is a possibility of a conflict of interest involved for Mark Summers in that he is acting for a client (Julian Assange) against another client (the United States government) in an extradition matter. The Bar Standards Board Handbook has this to say:

      A barrister must not accept instructions to act in a particular matter if:

      There is a conflict of interest between the barrister’s own personal interests and the interests of the prospective client in respect of the particular matter.

      There is a conflict of interest between the prospective client and one or more of the barrister’s former or existing clients in respect of the particular matter, unless all of the clients who have an interest in the particular matter give their informed consent to the barrister acting in such circumstances.

      https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/7-633-7078?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1

      Do we have any way of knowing if either Julian Assange or the US gave his/their informed consent to their respective solicitors or Mark Summers?

      I had actually thought about contacting Alex Mercouris over at The Duran on whether there is a conflict of interest for the barrister to be representing Julian Assange in an extradition case while representing Assange’s adversary the United States government / Department of Justice on another extradition case involving three Credit Suisse bankers resident in Britain who are wanted on fraud charges; and there appears to be such a conflict. We do not know either if Julian Assange had given his informed consent; given that his physical and mental health has been under severe strain over the past several years, was he ever in a position where he could have given fully informed consent?

      Like

    1. ‘Twas Mark Urban who made that crack about eevull Rooskies being involved. Which former colleague gave him that tip? Is the BBC not allowed to mention his name – has a D-notice been issued to the UK press not to refer to him?

      Like

    2. I’d be interested in seeing the balcony from which it is ‘impossible to fall’, yet still qualifies as a balcony. I’ve seen a few in Russia which have been completely boxed in by walls and windows, but now it’s not a balcony any more – it’s an extra room that happens to stick out from the side of the building. It’d be a strange option to see in Istanbul, which is uniformly pretty warm. But of course any possibility to start a conspiracy theory. I note one of the proponents of Mesurier having been an MI-6 agent was Zakharova, and she usually checks pretty thoroughly before taking a position on an issue.

      Like

      1. Apparently this is the scene where Le Mesurier’s body was found.

        If you look at the top left-hand corner of the photograph, you will see a structure that looks a bit like a makeshift barrier for a balcony on the roof. This structure is above a window (difficult to see) that has a grid barrier on the outside.

        Here’s another photo of the same building:

        Le Mesurier’s arms and legs were reportedly broken and his face apparently had a gash on it. If he fell on top of the pointy-headed box structure, he could have sustained some very serious injuries.

        Unfortunately in both photos the roof immediately above the semi-barred window (above the box structure, clearly labelled “Kozde Kahve”; “kahve” is the Turkish word for “coffee”) has been cropped so you can’t tell if there’s a similar balcony structure just above that window.

        Like

        1. Not really much of a drop, though, is it? If you made even a token attempt to save yourself rather than swan-diving face-first into the pavement, it’s hard to see a fall of that distance as a probable fatality.

          Like

          1. Le Mesurier’s widow is on record as having said that he was on anti-depressants and the two of them had taken sleeping tablets before going to bed at 4 am according to one newspaper source I have seen (might have been The Daily Telegraph, the British newspaper).

            At 4:30 am, Le Mesurier’s body was found in the street by local people walking to a mosque for early morning prayer and worship. The widow claimed that the first she knew that something was amiss was when the police came to the apartment to inform her of her husband’s fall and death.

            The autopsy results, if made public, should be very interesting. No doubt the British govt will try to hush them up. How did Le Mesurier come by so much trauma to his arms and legs and to his face as well? What odd substances will be found in his body? Was he even still alive before he fell and hit the ground? Neighbours apparently told police they heard a number of voices at the couple’s apartment during the night and an argument had been in progress.

            Like

                1. Dunnit or not dunnit, Mrs Le Mesurier aka Emma Winberg is hardly an innocent. She is a Director of MayDay Rescue, the organisation founded by hubby to funnel money from various European govts and the US contractor organisation Chemonics International (on behalf of USAID) and provide training to the White Helmets in Syria.

                  Winberg’s bio at Skoll.org:
                  http://skoll.org/contributor/emma-winberg/

                  As a Director of Mayday Rescue Foundation my focus is on developing new solutions for building upstream grassroots community resilience in the context of global threats from issues such as forced migration, violent extremism and climate change.

                  I believe that by empowering vulnerable communities and equipping them with a basic and versatile toolkit of skills and means to prepare for, respond to and adapt to the man-made and natural threats that they face, we can increase their intrinsic resilience. By fostering networks of these communities through the shared language, philosophy and approach of community resilience-building we can help transcend ethnic, sectarian and cultural divisions.

                  My background is in security, stabilisation and peace building in states that are entering, enduring and emerging from conflict. My postings have been in Kabul, Damascus, East Jerusalem, Istanbul and Erbil [capital of Iraqi Kurdistan] with shorter postings in Yemen and East Africa.

                  I have been working in the Middle East and South Asia for the past ten years, first as a member of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and subsequently in the fields of strategic communications and community resilience. I am fluent in English, Swedish and Arabic.

                  She apparently worked for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2007 – 2014) as a political officer. Her LinkedIn account seems to have gone into a black hole – unsurprisingly.

                  Like

  42. How the Fifth Column in Russia Turns Universities Into a Hotbed of Protest Sentiment
    November 11, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    Another liberast piece of shit!

    He’s not a Russian, of course, though he is a Russian citizen.

    His name Гасан Гусейнов, which means Hasan son-of Hasan.

    He was born in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    He’s a philologist, graduated from MSU.

    Now what kind of philologist describes any tongue as a “gutter language”?

    At the end of October 2019, Guseinov wrote in Facebook that in Moscow “невозможно днём с огнём найти ничего на других языках, кроме того убогого клоачного русского, на котором сейчас говорит и пишет эта страна”.

    His actual description of Russian was that it was “cloacal”, namely it comes from the shithole. My translation of the above that he wrote in Russsian (not in Azeri, mind you!) is:

    “In moscow, it is absolutely impossible to find anything in any other languages besides that wretched cloacal Russian that this country now speaks and writes”.

    Rising outrage has led to the removal of his Facebook messages and the HSE Ethical
    Committeehas advised Guseinov to apologize, but the philologist has declared to journalists that he was not going to apologize to anyone because he was talking about the language of aggression and hatred used in social networks and the media.

    Source: Гусейнов, Гасан Чингизович

    Well, here’s some cloacal Russian from me, Hasan, old chum:

    ПИЗДА ТЕБЕ ХАЧ ЕБАНЫЙ

    Like

    1. Of course this kreakle is a so-called “philologist”.

      Philology is to Linguistics
      as Alchemy is to Chemistry
      as Astrology is to Astronomy
      as Numerology is to Mathematics (etc.)

      Like

        1. I shall repeat at far greater length the missing comment about which I have referred above:

          That Azeri philologist who disparagingly refers to Russia as “this country” and who thinks that Russian is a shitty language clearly does not use the Moscow metro, for if he did, he would surely notice that all the signs in the transport system are now in Russian and English, as are the station announcements heard in the metro carriages, which announcements in English are made in plummy British English accents that really bug me, e.g. “The next station is ‘Tagaaaahnskaya'” and, to my mind, the atrocious “The next station is ‘Ulitsa nineteen-oh-five goda'”.

          Even at country stations way out in the sticks, such as the one where I alight in order to reach our dacha, which is situated some 55 miles WSW of Moscow, the station names are transliterated in the Latin alphabet and beneath the Russian notices that indicate the directions of trains, is written in English: “Trains to Moscow” and: “Trains to Mozhaisk, Borodino and Gagarin”.

          Such bilingual notices on the metro and the suburban railway system have been evident for at least 10 years, in my opinion.

          So the Azeri philologist, educated at MGU, is a lying cnut.

          Like

            1. Above: Welcome to 3rd-world Russia!

              The southernmost end-station of “my” metro line.

              My local station on the same line is Пролетарская/Proletarskaya, which name, no doubt, irates kreakl twats because it has not been de-communistified.

              And, horror of horrors, the next station from my local one going into town is Ulitsa Marksistskaya — Marxist Street — would you believe, though I have to add that a street adjacent to it was, until quite recently, called Great Communist Street, but they changed its name a couple of years ago to Solzhenitsyn Street, named after that person who educated the world as regards the GULag, which Soviet prison administrative system abbreviation is now believed in the West to mean a prison for political prisoners.

              If you watch the video carefully, you just might see some English amidst the swathes of shitty Russian script!

              Oh look! At 05:15, a young woman stands up in order to get off at an approaching station and smiles at the camera!!!

              And another young woman smiles at 07:05!!!!

              Nevertheless, the rest of the miserable Russians in the carriages remain po-faced! Not one of them grins inanely at the camera and wave as the cameraman passes by them!

              You see, Russians don’t smile because they are not free!

              What a shithole!

              What a shitty transport system!

              What a shitty language!!!!

              Like

      1. @YALENSIS:

        MGU doesn’t seem to think so!

        Faculty of Philology

        For many years after I had first set foot in the Evil Empire, Russians always translated into English the full name of the Moscow State University as: “The Moscow State University named after Lomonosov”, which is a word-for-word translation of the Russian, just as was the official name of the Moscow metro, namely: “The Moscow Metropolitan Railway named after V. I. Lenin”.

        I spent years pointing out to them that one should say: “The Lomonosov Moscow State University.

        About 10 years ago, somebody must have heard me and the title of the place is now in “real” English.

        My little personal victory against the “shitty” Russian language!

        The official title of the metro is now “The Moscow Rapid Transport System”.

        Whither Lenin?

        🙂

        Like

          1. Yes, his mortal remains were, but whither his name as in Метрополитен им. Ленина?

            Shall his name not live for evermore?

            Ленин жил.
            Ленин живет.
            Ленин будет жить.

            Lenin lived.
            Lenin lives.
            Lenin shall live.

            Like

              1. But it’s like weight loss. Pretty much anyone can shed those extra pounds with a decent diet and willpower. It’s keeping it off that is the challenge. If a socialist government rides a wave of popular unrest to a victory, the west straightaway claims if you are as free and open as you say, you will not object to a few NGO’s who only want to help you and to do good. And as soon as they are in place, they start searching out and cultivating the political opposition, and grooming a candidate to overthrow you. The quality of life of the proles is of no consequence to the investor class, which is interested only in growing ever richer and controlling more capital.

                Like

    1. ‘Shameful’ not to publish the Russia Report. ‘Shameful’ to publish the Snowden disclosures which revealed some of the extent of America’s obsessive and illegal surveillance. To publish or to not publish, is that the question? Or is ‘shameful’ in the eye of the beholder?

      Like

      1. A news item that displeases the Klintonator with any other issue would smell as sweet to the rest of us, to paraphrase another popular Shakespearean quotation (this time from “Romeo and Juliet”).

        Like

  43. Here’s the above Independent article {I am a limited subscriber, so I can log into a couple of their opinion pieces every week):

    The Syrian Civil Defence, better known by their uniform and nickname “the White Helmets”, first burst on to the scene in 2013, as a group of volunteer first responders in one of the world’s bloodiest war zones.

    They were created in Turkey with the help of James Le Mesurier, an ex-British army officer and director of Mayday Rescue charity, who helped train the teams.

    Le Mesurier, 48, was found dead near to his flat in Istanbul early Monday morning, just days after he was accused of being a spy by the Russian foreign ministry that also lashed out at the White Helmets.

    Initial reports suggest he had fallen from his balcony.

    In 2013, when the White Helmets were launched, the Syrian revolution had morphed into a horrific messy civil war.

    There were few international aid organisations or local ones able to access the worst-hit rebel areas under fierce bombardment from Damascus and its Russian Iranian allies.

    Since then the organisation has grown to 2,900 male and female volunteers. Speaking to The Independent, White Helmets chief Raed al-Salah claims the group have saved more than more 119,000 people and have lost over 270 members.

    They have also been among the few groups able to properly document much of the indiscriminate regime attacks on civilians.

    For this they have secured worldwide support and funding from the US and European government, including the UK.

    Just last week Andrew Murrison, the minister for the Middle East, met White Helmets’ chief Salah to discuss Idlib and praised their work.

    They were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 and in the same year won the Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel Prize” for their work.

    A year later a documentary film about their work in Aleppo was awarded an Oscar.

    But as their fame has grown so has a fervent campaign of criticism from supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its allies who have accused them of supporting terrorist groups, staging air and artillery strikes for the camera and even faking chemical attacks.

    In fact, after the Oscar win the Russian embassy in the UK tweeted: “They are actors serving an agenda, not rescuers”.

    Several photos and videos, many of them fake, have been shared online as “evidence”.

    It has been complicated by the arrival of jihadi fighters among the rebel ranks, particularly right now in Idlib, the latest frontline.

    But the White Helmets maintain their mission is to try to lives and help, no matter who is hurt.

    “This propaganda is aimed at our work which the regime doesn’t like. We document war crimes,” Salah told The Independent.

    On Friday Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, zeroed in on the group once again signalling out Le Mesurier in particular.

    She said her comments were in reaction to Dr Murrison’s claims that the group continues to be subjected to “a massive disinformation campaign by the Syrian regime and the Russian government”.

    After the meeting with Salah, the British minister heavily criticised Damascus and Moscow.

    “These deceitful tactics are a brazen attempt to divert attention from the barrage of appalling attacks against the Syrian people, which has included the use of chemical weapons,” he said.

    A furious Ms Zakharva accused Le Mesurier of working with MI6 and al-Qaeda.

    She said White Helmets volunteers, meanwhile, “stage provocations, help most dangerous terrorist groups”.

    Experts on Syria who support the White Helmets’ work repeatedly deny the regime and Russian claims.

    Hamish de Bretton Jordan, a chemical weapons expert who has investigated regime attacks from within Syria, said the criticism was “deliberate”.

    “When people are being bombed every day and you take out the hospitals, the White Helmets are the only one helping out. That is why they are being so viciously attacked. It is part of demoralising and crushing the Syrian public,” he told The Independent.

    “They are purely just first responders, and I can vouch for that,” he added.

    Note: “Several photos and videos, many of them fake, have been shared online as “evidence”.

    Right!

    So you make an assertion without presenting evidence to support your claim that “several photos and videos are fake”?

    Oh, right!

    The Russians have said that the White Helmets are fake, so the White helmets must be genuine humanitarian voluntary first responders!

    QED

    Like

    1. It’s actually a very badly-written piece, claiming that Zakharova is ‘furious’ when it is interpreting from a written statement from which emotion cannot be deduced (a pretty common tactic, really, in which the noble west has won a victory because it caused Zakharova to lose her temper), and that she ‘signalled out’ le Mersurier when the meaning must surely have been ‘singled out’. Likewise the claim that he was found dead ‘near to’ his flat, and the author even got the legendary Hamish de Bretton Gordon’s name wrong. Hastily-scribbled crap, really, although it was precise in its objective, which is that anyone who disagrees with the claimed performance of the White Helmets is a supporter of Assad and Russia.

      “But as their fame has grown so has a fervent campaign of criticism from supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its allies who have accused them of supporting terrorist groups, staging air and artillery strikes for the camera and even faking chemical attacks.”

      Their ‘fame’ has in fact not ‘grown’, it has been relentlessly hyped in the western press as part of a determined campaign to legitimize the group. Actual captures of clumsy fakes are themselves derided as fakes of real events, and each such slip-up teaches the White Helmets what not to repeat; they will get better at their moviemaking, and not leave so many obvious clues of their fakery.

      Like

  44. He, the philologist, certainly can’t be a user of the Moscow metro, where next-station announcements in the carriages are in Russian and plummy British English with bloody awful pronunciation of the station names, the worst being: “The next station is ‘Ulitsa nineteen-oh-five goda’”.

    Utterly cringeworthy!!!

    Also, at suburban railway stations, way out in the sticks, such as the one for my dacha, some 55 miles WSW of Moscow, the station names are transliterated from the Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet and beneath the Russian one can read “Trains to Moscow” and “Trains to Mozhaisk, Borodino and Gagarin”.

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    1. One will get you ten the militias will be strong-arming the population into voting for the sale of farmland to foreign interests; they want Ukraine to be a western satellite, because they believe that way lies plenty of money, and assume – correctly, this time – that western patronage will guarantee more fighting against Russia.

      Why is the assumption made that ‘potential for enormous foreign investment’ is necessarily going to mean Ukrainians will make pots of money? How many foreign investors do you know who are more interested in making money for the inhabitants of the country they are investing in than in making money for themselves? Once foreign investors own the farmland, it’s theirs – they can sell it to someone else, or they can sell it back to the Ukrainians for much more than they paid for it, after they’ve sucked the life out of it overproducing grain and corn. But you can’t tell people; you have to let them make their own mistakes. That’s the sad part, because there’s a whole investor class out there that grows ever richer by profiting from the mistakes people reliably make after being softened up by siren songs about let’s-all-prosper-together.

      Like

    2. One needs to keep in mind that Zel is, ideologically, an Ayn Rand Libertarian. Hence, it is safe to guess that he supports any private ownership of anything, even in foreign hands..
      I would reckon the referendum is to alleviate himself of personal responsibility for selling off the land, in case the vote goes that way.
      I haven’t seen any polls, so I have no idea how the vote would go. My feeling is that the majority of Ukrainians would be opposed to it; but I can’t know for sure.

      Like

  45. AINOnline.com: EC ‘Stops the Clock’ in Boeing-Embraer Merger Probe
    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2019-11-11/ec-stops-clock-boeing-embraer-merger-probe

    … “This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, important information that the Commission has requested from them,” a Commission spokesperson told AIN, confirming a report first revealed by Bloomberg. Failure to provide the requested information will lead the European Union’s antitrust regulator to stop the clock. Once the parties supply the missing information, the clock re-starts and the deadline for the Commission’s decision gets adjusted accordingly…

    …The Commission launched the Phase II probe because its initial investigation raised concern the tie-up may remove Embraer as “a small but important competitive force in the concentrated overall single-aisle market.” It said it believed potential entrants from China, Japan, and Russia seem to face high barriers to entry and expansion and wouldn’t likely replicate within the next five or even 10 years the competitive constraint currently exerted by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer…
    ####

    A bump or a rock in the road? Any reaction from Washington?

    Like

  46. The odds of major shit hitting the fan thanks to i-Sreal has just gone up a notch with the IAF’s first assassination of a major Palestinan militant in the last few years.

    I’ve been speculating that Nut&Yahoo/the Crazies see themselves approaching a ‘now or never’ (a la Saakashiti) moment as the balance of power in the region continues to shift away from the nutjobs.

    With i-Ran upping the stakes recently by announcing it will increase enrichment as Europe is refusing to respect the terms of the i-Ran-UN nuclear deal that the US has quit and saliva flowing from the warmongers in Washington, no wonder the nutters in Tel Aviv are tempted and hope that if something kicks off, both the US and the EU will be fully and actively on side in the hope of escalating it in to war with i-Ran.

    I don’t see 100% support considering t-Rump does not want a war in the run up to the 2020 Presidential elections though others may try and force him in to one- though it would be used against him, and the EU’s usual response when divided to do nothing but offer warm words. I would expect Russia to stay ‘neutral’ and request each side to ‘calm down’. For Putin & co. only a reasoned and fairly brief response looks likely, leaving the EU & USA to squeal. After all as we have seen in Syria, Russia is the only trusted ‘partner’ in the ‘hood, whether they agree with it or not.

    In a mystery of timing, the European Court of Justice has just ruled that all grown/produced on palestinian occupied territory/i-Sreali settlements, marketed and sold to the EU by i-Sreal must be labeled as such. That’s a massive defeat for the crazies.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/products-from-the-occupied-territories-must-be-labelled-says-eu-top-court/

    The Luxembourg-based court ruled that the “place of provenance of a foodstuff must… be indicated where failure to indicate this might mislead consumers into believing that a foodstuff has a country of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin or place of provenance”.

    It added that without such labelling, “consumers have no way of knowing, in the absence of any information capable of enlightening them in that respect.”

    The case came to court after an Israeli winery based in a settlement near Jerusalem contested France’s application of a previous ECJ ruling on labelling…
    ####

    Appropriate music video:

    Like

    1. I should add, having looking through mulitple reports, the framing from the PPNN is more or less the same, i.e. the assassinated palestinian militant is a ‘rogue’, so in the last year or so he has been acting outside the control and orders of Hamas. So why is this a problem? Because i-Srael likes to have fully gamed the scene.

      The assassinated dude has spoiled their gamification that i-Srael can assassinate people and know for sure that while there will be some response, it will be limited and predictable in scope. What this shows us is that the establishment is decidedly conservative and not confident of being able to deal with wild cards short of extreme measures.

      To me it looks like it exposes the i-Sreali security establishment actually having limited imagination and confidence in itself despite its repeated public procalmations that it can handle anything (sic Assad is a bigger threat than having the Islamic State in Syria as has been reported more than once in the i-Sraeli media). Either way, time is running out on the status quo. Yet again, classic Six degrees of grief behavior. There’ll be plenty of rude awakenings to come.

      Like

      1. The unsaid being that I don’t find it hard to imagine that Nut&Yahoo threatening to use nukes against i-Ran unless the US is fully onboard. You hope that there are people in the i-Sraeli military prepared to pull the plug on such things should N&Y go for it…

        Like

        1. MIddleEastEye: Israel calls up reserve soldiers as Gaza death toll mounts
          https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-calls-reserve-soldiers-gaza-death-toll-continues-rise

          The Israeli government has called up several hundred reserve soldiers, as the Israeli army continues to strike the Gaza Strip following the assassination of a senior Islamic Jihad military leader in the besieged Palestinian territory….
          ####

          Every time N&Y pulls one of his stunts, the more chance there is that neither he nor his opposite number can put the genie back in the bottle. As things are heating up over JCPOA etc. it won’t take much for it to become a passenger event. I’ve got a very bad feeling about all this.

          Like

    1. God, I hope so. I would have said she didn’t have a hope, and never would have made it as far as she has, but that was before Hillary called her a Russian asset, and she responded with just the right combination of indignation and mockery. 6% still isn’t much, but Mayor Pete is going to fall by the wayside any day now – eventually people will realize he’s just mouthing whatever platitudes his popularity weathervane tells him to and cruising on his sexuality; he’s got nothing. If she’s lucky, the pace of campaigning will make Grampa Joe have a stroke or something, like Sanders, and remind the voters what an ancient walnut he is.

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      1. The Klintonator would have turned into a giant toad after Gabbard got the nomination as Democratic party candidate. All that would remain would be for HRC to drown in her own foetid swamp.

        Like

  47. For those of you who have been following the Trump lynching effort,you know who Vindman is:
    The Ukrainian born jew Colonel in The US Army who sat on the National Security Council.
    Here’s a brushup on this guy….The main rat/stool pigeon/snitch who ran to his buddies in the deep state crying that-in HIS opinion- the substance of Trump’s phone call to Zelensky was grounds to certifty that Trump is an incompetent threat to American national security.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/analysis-democrats-have-a-col-vindman-problem

    Some more exposing of Colonel “Obergruppenfuhrer’ Vindman:
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/12/alex-vindman-is-living-breathing-proof-that-the-deep-state-exists-and-it-is-corrupt/

    OK…Now while on the NSC Russophobe Fiona Hill was Trump’s chief Russia expert:
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/14/politics/who-is-fiona-hill/index.html
    Clearly Hill and Vindman were (are) on the same page when it come to matters involving Russia and/or Ukraine.

    However Fiona thinks that Russians are just too goddamn stupid to even figure out where to locate their people and develope resources!!!!

    Read the first few pages of ” The Great Errors”:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=7BuGiPZfeWoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Fiona+Hill&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiszcPXp7DlAhXQhOAKHff8Co8Q6AEwAXoECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=Fiona%20Hill&f=false

    See how it all fits together?

    Like

    1. Nice catch, Karl; a very interesting story, and I think most readers can quickly discern its fit in a modern pattern.

      German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has urged German industries to secure raw materials for electric batteries to reduce dependence on Asian suppliers.

      Morales has sought to avoid lithium being exported only as a raw material, and Germany’s willingness to build production facilities in the country helped it secure the joint venture over seven rivals from Canada, Russia and China.

      I’m not sure why the coup was necessary in this instance, though, unless Germany changed its mind about investing in the region in order to gain security of supply. Of course they would rather have the raw materials and do the processing in the west, which would shift nearly all the profit to the west. I’m sure there’s more to the story. But I had no idea (a) lithium was so important, or (b) that most of the world’s supply is in Bolivia. Well done!

      Like

      1. The lithium angle may be a little overblown as Bolivia doe not show up in a list of lithium reserves by nation. The leaders are Chile, Argentina, Australia and China. Some stories mention North Korea and Afghanistan as having potentially large reserves (yet to be proven).

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/268790/countries-with-the-largest-lithium-reserves-worldwide/

        So, if any country would be a target for Western interests, it would be Chile. So far, Chile is in the grasp of Western interests.

        Like

              1. China’s leverage against the USA is entirely economic. America’s specialty is inveigling opportunities within your economy for its own investors through creative use of international laws it writes itself. China is America’s growth market in many important fields. It simply needs to devise ways of balking American financial ambitions and advances. Not only in China, but also in countries where China has gained a foothold. It can’t be that hard, since laws cannot make every allowance for creativity. When you have a president as ignorant and egotistical as Trump is, where every deal he makes is The Greatest Ever, and every relaxation in the trade war is promptly overturned by some stupid tweet from him, congratulating himself on having kicked Chinese ass, it should not even be very difficult. Perhaps the law is not an accustomed Chinese battleground, but I’m sure they can learn to be as skilled at it as anyone. And they could benefit from Russian experience and advice as well.

                Like

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