How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth it is to Have a Thankless World

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “When I see an arrogant man, I see one less competitor.”

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!

William Shakespeare, from “King Lear”

How can we dance when our earth is turning;
How do we sleep when our beds are burning?

Midnight Oil, from “Beds Are Burning”

NATO is sad. Just when it seemed as if the world had been made safe for democracy, freedom and unbridled capitalism…some members of the alliance went squishy. One appeared – in the persona of its president – to have been smoking jimson weed, and taken leave of his senses. The other evidently aspires to be a pirate itself, and is little better than the ravening hordes it was admitted to the alliance to help hold at bay.

Or so Christian Leuprecht would have you believe, in an opinion piece the Munk Senior Fellow of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute penned for the Globe & Mail, entitled, “NATO has bigger problems than Trump”. The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is described online as ‘right-leaning’, but that may not do it justice – suffice it to say it includes Stephen Blank (Canada-US relations, North American economic integration and co-operation) and Nathan Law (Canada-Hong Kong policy) on its board of Experts. As well as being a registered charity in Canada, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute is supported by ‘a variety of foundations’; its international funding is not disclosed anywhere that I could find, but it is a partner in the Atlas Network, which associates it with the American Enterprise Institute, the America’s Future Foundation, the American Conservative Union Foundation, the American Principles Project, the Ayn Rand Institute, the Cato Institute and a variety of other do-gooders who seem, for one reason or another, to have the furthering of American foreign-policy goals at their heart.

I frequently start these posts with a bold declarative statement, which I invite the readers to disprove, and I’m going to do so on this occasion, as well. And it’s this: NATO in its current iteration exists to further the achievement of Washington’s aims and aspirations around the world. Perhaps it wasn’t always that way, and I’m still enough of a romantic to believe global organizations often started up in the framework of altruism and the betterment of the human social condition, regardless of country of residence. But if that was ever true of NATO, it is true no longer. NATO is an instrument of American policy, which Washington whistles up when it wants to internationalize a national goal or ambition, and so camouflage its pursuit of the interests of the investor class.

Let’s try an illustrative excerpt, shall we?

As NATO celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, we are reminded not only of its contribution to bringing down the wall by containing the Soviet threat, but its continued utility in preserving peace, security and prosperity.

Ha, ha! As I believe I mentioned before on other occasions, that kind of presumptive statement reminds me of the ‘zombie hunter’ meme. What do you do for a living? I kill zombies. You see any zombies around here? You’re welcome.

What evidence is offered for the assumption that NATO prevented Soviet attempts to dominate the west? As I’ve also mentioned before now, Russia applied to join NATO in 1954. Historians report that it expected to be rejected – which it was – and used the rejection to support its allegation that “the governments of the three powers will have exposed themselves, once again, as the organizers of a military bloc against other states and it would strengthen the position of social forces conducting a struggle against the formation of the European Defense Community”. The Soviet Union considered itself a part of Europe, which it most emphatically is; far more than the United States, which rarely shows interest in joining organizations it cannot run. But that wasn’t the last time. According to Russian president Vladimir Putin, he proposed Russia’s joining NATO to Bill Clinton on the occasion of Clinton’s 2000 visit to Moscow. In his words, “Clinton said ‘Why not?’ But the U.S. delegation got very nervous”. Was Putin serious? There’s no way of knowing, but the proposal – if such it was – obviously went nowhere.

Anyway, the Soviet Union never attacked a NATO country. Not even when NATO blasted the shit out of a Soviet ally, and broke it up into constituent republics. Although the Soviet Union possessed weapons which could strike countries around the world, there is no reason to believe such weapons were not solely for its own defense if we are to accept America’s assurances that its own long-range weapons are purely defensive. Let me know when Russia is caught lying more often than Washington.

Well, I just wanted to hold that statement up to the ridicule it richly deserves. NATO did not ‘contribute to bringing down the wall’ in any meaningful way other than restraining its saber-rattling enough that the Soviet Union believed peace was possible; the Soviets accepted American assurances that if it withheld objection to the reunification of Germany, there would be no further eastern encroachment of NATO. Almost immediately, NATO added the countries of the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland), followed by the Vilnius Group (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia) and finally the Adriatic Charter (Montenegro). A promise from Washington – and about $2.10 USD – will get you a large Americano at Starbucks.

Remember when the west was in love with Emmanuel Macron, the French president? I certainly do: the New York Times swooned that Macron had ‘handily’ won victory, ‘decisively’ defeating Marine Le Pen as voters ‘rejected her hard-right message’. The Macron triumph ‘offered significant relief to the European Union…his platform to loosen labor rules, make France more competitive globally and deepen ties with the European Union is also likely to reassure a global financial market that was jittery at the prospect of a Le Pen victory’. All these giddy modifiers are the west’s way of telling you it likes the cut of your jib – you never see western reports of Vladimir Putin ‘handily’ defeating his sad-sack opponent, whom the voters spurned like trash.

Oh, but then Macron shit the bed. In technicolor. He announced, in an interview with The Economist, that what we are currently experiencing is the ‘brain death of NATO’. Well, he instantly became like your crazy uncle who is chained to an old piece of farm machinery beside the barn. The Globe & Mail tried to soften it by suggesting he ‘quipped’ that NATO is brain-dead, making out that Macron was only joking. But the statement obviously sent shock-waves through the western community – France can no longer be trusted to uphold the Western Dream. Further, Leuprecht interprets Macron’s statement as ‘a jab at Donald Trump’.

What? Oh, I’m not unreceptive to the association of Donald Trump with brain death – in fact, the two go together like peas and carrots, as Forrest Gump was wont to say. But it seems far more likely to me that M. Macron views NATO as moribund in its current state, kept alive by machines which regulate its bodily functions, but unthinking and vegetative. His suggestion that Europe stands on the edge of a precipice, and must start thinking of itself strategically as a geopolitical power, argues if anything for much less influence from the United States and much more thinking for itself, with its own goals and plans which not necessarily echo Washington’s diktat.

The other weasel in the woodpile is Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has lately made several decisive moves which have upset the staid partners of NATO, such as agreeing to purchase the Russian S-400 air-defense missile system, compounding his error by not bursting into tears on being told Turkey was no longer allowed to buy the USA’s premiere fighter, the F35. Perhaps Mr. Erdogan shares a fairly broad opinion that the F35 is a fighter like a fishbowl is a helmet; he didn’t say, although he gave the pot another stir by musing that maybe Turkey will buy the Russian-built SU-35 instead.

But it’s not Erdogan’s eccentricities that piqued my amusement; no, it was the bristling outrage directed his way by Mr. Leuprecht for ‘invad[ing] a neighbouring country, in brazen violation of international law and the rules-based order NATO claims to defend’.

Well, I’ll be dipped. Invading a sovereign country is a brazen violation of international law! Who knew? I mean, because to the very best of my knowledge, Mr. Leuprecht said nothing at all when the United States of America brazenly invaded the sovereign state of Syria in September 2014, inviting its NATO pals (the UK, Turkey, France and Canada) along for the ride. Washington’s justification that it must intervene (remember that; it’s an ‘intervention’, not an ‘invasion’) was the Bush-era self-permission the USA granted itself to invade Iraq without national or international approval – that, by the way, was also against the law. And for at least two years prior to its ‘intervention’, the USA supplied Syrian ‘opposition’ groups – *cough* al Qaeda *cough* – with vehicles, logistic support, ammunition, weapons and money.

Here’s Leuprecht’s wrap-up: “The demise of NATO would deprive Canada of its most important multilateral institution. Without this force multiplier, Canada’s standing in the world, and its ability to assert its interests, would be vastly diminished. For France to gamble on collective defence is indefensible.”

Canada currently has more or less no ability at all to ‘assert its interests’ beyond the normal courtesies accorded to democratic countries by their fellow democratic countries, unless the United States endorses such assertion. It provides Canada with the occasional pat on the head, such as Trump’s offer to pursue the cases of Canadian detainees Spavor and Kovrig in his discussions with the Chinese leader, to reward Canada for illegally detaining Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and enabling her extradition to America to stand trial for whatever Washington decides to accuse her of having done. Maybe it never will – maybe she’s just a bargaining chip in Trump’s pursuit of a ‘deal’ with China. Whatever the case, faithful sidekick Canada blew its credibility and impartiality by playing along. If Trump actually did bring up Spavor and Kovrig’s captivity to China, it made no difference whatsoever.

NATO was formed to counter a military adversary in the Warsaw Pact. Well, actually, it happened pretty much the other way around – the Warsaw Pact was formed in 1955, six years after NATO, and owed its formation to a perception that the allied countries were organizing against the Soviet Union. I don’t know where they would ever have gotten such a crazy idea. But in the beginning, NATO sort of made sense; a powerful military alliance to counter another powerful military alliance.

However, the Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991. Suddenly, NATO found itself without a substantial reason for being. It had no perceived enemy which was anything like capable of matching the entire alliance. Gosh, what to do?

What it did do was quickly morph its purpose into battling international terrorism and sponsors of terror. That never proved a very satisfactory rationalization, and so the alliance had to invest in periodic invasions – sorry; interventions – such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, to sort of keep its hand in and stay in practice. That also proved to be a problem; the latter two military interventions were not only unauthorized, the western taxpayers began to muse out loud about why the fuck they pay taxes to the government if it is going to ignore their express will, and hare off abroad to bomb the shit out of some other hapless foe when the electorate was against it.

And so the ongoing and calculated campaign to set Russia and China up as a terrifying military enemy emerged. Or regained its momentum, since it never completely went away.

989 thoughts on “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth it is to Have a Thankless World

  1. Команда Зеленского выделила из бюджета 700 млн для семьи Порошенко
    03.12.19 AF-News

    Zelensky’s team has allocated 700 million from the budget for the Poroshenko family</b.
    03.12.19 AF-News

    Zelenski’s team has allocated 700 million from the budget for the Poroshenko family.
    In 2020, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation (UCF) headed by the wife of the fifth president Marina Poroshenko will definitely not be in trouble with the allocated amount of 697.4 million hryvnia.

    In an interview with the Dzerkalo Tyzhnya weekly, the head of the Ministry of Culture, Volodymyr Borodyanskyy, said that the financing of Poroshenko’s wife’s fund would double.

    According to him, last year this figure amounted to 250 million hryvnias, but next year it will amount to 500 million hryvnias.

    The head of the Ukraine Ministry of Culture noted that he positively assesses the work of Marina Anatolievna as the head of the UCF Supervisory Board. He stressed that she had done a lot to ensure that the foundation would be successful and that the public had a strong opinion about this organization as a very high-quality institution….

    It should be noted that Poroshenko Wife’s foundation was allocated 9 million hryvnias for the shooting of a comedy about the Donbass. The film “The Cat with Burning Eyes” was supposed to have been released in October, but has not appeared on the screens yet.


    Thank you, thank you!!!! We love you all!

    Like

  2. Estonia scored excellent results in the 2019 PISA rankings being the best “non-Chinese” country in the world: https://www.bbc.com/news/education-50590581

    Only mainland China, Macao and Hongkong scored better than Estonia.

    Estonia is in many ways the best success story of the FSU countries. A small country with no natural resources, but it has the gdp/capita of almost $20,000 which is almost twice bigger than Russia has. And as the PISA results indicate it has one of the best educational systems in the entire world.

    Estonia is not friendly with Russia but give them credit when its due.

    Like

    1. Interesting yet Estonia seems to be failing in other critical categories such as stopping the exodus. I suspect Estonia is truly having a brain drain. I suppose that Estonia made a big effort in this one area but was unable to afford or execute other, broader ,areas of improvement needed to achieve a stable population.

      A small country such as Estonia free of the burden of self-defense and living of the infrastructure developed by others can make progress in certain areas. As their infrastructure, for example, falls apart, where will their priorities shift? BTW, I wonder if the EU is propping them up a little. Just wondering. Perhaps you can do some research in this area.

      I supposed you are seeking a comparison with Russia in this area. Russia needs to devote much of their resources to the recovery from the 90’s, deal with harsh sanctions, a vast land with harsh climate and highly dispersed populations and maintain a military defense sufficient to deal with the Western Europe and the US.

      In prior discussion, IIRC, Russia did quite well in several international assessments of education in its population.

      I note that your comments generally are very superficial and following the pattern of lobbing out some news item that you think will be inflammatory. If you want to advance your point, you need to do a better job at providing evidence.

      Stunning that COMMUNIST China with well over one billion citizens, hugely varied demographics and some uneven development was able to beat Estonia and just about every one else.

      Like

      1. Estonia population 2019
        During 2019, the Estonia population was projected to decrease by 3,824 people and reach 1,292,524 at the beginning of 2020. The number of deaths will exceed the number of live births by 1,504, so the natural increase is expected to be negative. If external migration remains at the same level as during the previous year, then the population will decline by 2,320 owing to migration. This means that the number of people who leave Estonia to settle permanently in another country (emigrants) will prevail over the number of people who move into the country (to which they are not native) in order to settle there as permanent residents (immigrants).
        [edited from foreign “near English” into real English like what I talk — ME]

        Estonia — the successful little country that folk want to leave?

        Like

        1. (a) those numbers are probably inflated; and
          (b) if you take ethnicity into account, it looks even worse for the actual Estonians.
          According to wiki, the number of ethnic Estonians in 2019 was just over 900K. Once a people gets under a million, their language and culture is in danger of going extinct.

          I personally don’t wish the demise of any ethnos or language, but if it does happen to the Estonians, you gotta say they did it to themselves.
          As is the case for all these people, the Soviet Union did everything possible to keep them going, but they spat on the hand that nurtured them, so there is a kind of karma there.

          Like

          1. Estonia’s only notable contribution to history is a supporting role in the holocaust.

            Malignant things ought to go extinct.

            Like

          2. The Estonians – generally speaking, I don’t mean every single one – have a bit of a superiority complex and consider themselves far above the piglike Slavs. Stories abound of Estonians chuckling over having gotten the better of the Russians, including cheating them. The Estonians are not Slavs, a lesson I learned the hard way. They are Finno-Ugric.

            Like

    2. Estonia modelled its educational system on Finland’s educational system, and both countries also have a long tradition of mass literacy. A combination of Lutheran Christianity, long winters and native values that emphasise self-sufficiency, individualism and grit (present also in Finnish culture) – which Protestant belief reinforces as well – laid the foundations for public education in Estonia, in the rise of folk schools, even before the country became part of the Russian empire.

      Click to access Estonian-Education-System_1990-2016.pdf

      On the other hand, because it is such a small country with few natural resources, surrounded by other countries that already have their own manufacturing and other value-added industries, there are perhaps not very many economic reasons for Estonians to stick around in their own country. Doing everything online – even voting online – can only translate in oh-so-much work and oh-so-many jobs for people and those jobs needing very sophisticated IT skills and knowledge that have to be continually updated and which correspondingly make huge demands on a person’s time and energy. The country’s economy is dominated by banks (Swedish-owned banks, by the way) and transport and telecommunications companies, and the biggest employer of Estonians is a Lithuanian-owned retail chain: all companies operating in industries that require a high level of consumer custom and expenditure. Question is, where do those consumers work so they can earn the money to buy and use goods and services, and keep their accounts and purchase loans?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Estonia#The_economy_today

      At the same time that Estonia appears to be living on borrowed time (and money), there is also the phenomenon of Estonia having one of the highest rates of opioid addiction (in particular, fentanyl addiction) and death rates from opioid addiction in the world. Usually in most countries experiencing high rates of fentanyl and other opioid addictions, the underlying cause of the addiction is a social / economic / political context in which unemployment is high for certain kinds of work and lack of or failing social and economic support services leading to anger, frustration, loss of hope and despair.

      https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/11/12/how-estonia-became-the-drug-overdose-capital-of-europe

      Like

      1. Also, relatively small communities/organizations may focus their efforts to excel in a narrow area rather than being average in many. That sort of focus is risky if they make the wrong bet.

        A sign of a narrow, intolerant and depressing community lacking in opportunity may be linked to the opioid epidemic. Telling the population to fear and hate a powerful neighbor with a rich culture just makes it worse. Time to get out of Dodge.

        Like

        1. Saker interview with Michael Hudson on the post-Soviet economies of the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) from October this year: Hudson explains how these countries, and Latvia in particular, became economic colonies of the West and the only attractions these countries now have for Western investment are real estate and forests (for cutting down):
          https://thesaker.is/the-saker-interviews-michael-hudson-2/

          Like

  3. Украина и Россия продлили договор на транзит нефти

    The Ukraine and Russia extend oil transit agreement
    17:26

    “Ukrtransnafta” and “Transneft” have extended the agreement on oil transit through the Ukraine for ten years. This is stated in a statement published by the press service of the Ukrainian company.

    As noted, on December 3, the companies entered into an additional agreement to the agreement on the provision of oil transportation services on Ukrainian territory.

    This is for the period from January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2030.

    “The signing of the document took place in accordance with the decision of Naftogaz of the Ukraine, the shareholder of Ukrtransnafta JSC, dated November 27, 2019,” says Facebook.

    Reportedly, the additional agreement also updates a number of provisions.

    Why????????????

    Like

        1. Seems to me we had this discussion at least once before. Oil and natural gas are transported through different pipeline networks which are not interchangeable; gas is classified as gas and oil is classified as a hazardous liquid.

          Click to access AWARE-Issue-2-122014.pdf

          “While truck, rail and ship are all methods for transporting CO2, oil and natural gas, statistically the safest and most effective mode is via pipeline. In the United States alone there are over 2.5 million miles of pipelines, enough to circle the earth over 10 times! Within the classification of regulated pipelines there are two main types -hazardous liquids pipelines and gas pipelines. Though CO2is non-toxic in small amounts, both crude oil and CO2are recognized within the family of hazardous liquids pipelines. In 2013, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reported there were over 350,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, and 192,396 miles of hazardous liquids pipelines. CO2 pipelines account for 4,500 miles within the hazardous liquids pipeline category.”

          I’m pretty sure that if a gas transit agreement had been signed, Maros Sefcovic would be doing the happy dance on every social media network to which he belongs, while Ukrainian social media would be screaming “SUGS!!!SUGS!!! Total, blinding victory for Ukraine!! SUGS!!!”. I…ummm…didn’t see anything like that. The ‘news’ for the gas transit contract is still several days old and merely reflects Brussels’ discontent with the lack of urgency which seems to characterize Russia’s position.

          I sometimes wonder if misleading releases like this are deliberate, so as to cause a jump in the market as all the rubes try to get ahead of the trend, while those in the know chuckle and pocket a juicy dividend, while rationalizing the loss for the dozy as the cost of learning to look before you leap.

          Natural gas transported by pipeline is reduced in volume 600 times, at which point it becomes a liquid, or LNG, the same as that transported by sea in LNG tankers. Natural gas pipelines must be able to withstand the necessary pressure.

          It is apparent, however, that ME agrees it was unnecessary, and signing any kind of transit agreement with Ukraine constitutes a vulnerability for Russia. Perhaps they rationalize that it would be more difficult for the Bander-log to tamper with oil pipelines, as those are usually buried. But there must still be a transit fee, although I am guessing it is probably lower. Maybe there has not been a similar urgency to circumvent oil transport through Ukraine, and there are no pipelines ready to substitute for Ukrainian transit; I would think an oil pipeline which must usually be buried would be more invasive and difficult to construct. Anyway, I daresay we will hear more in the fullness of time. Additionally, no more gas talks were scheduled for this time, not until later this month, while I think the 13th was the drop-dead date by which if a new contract had not been signed, it would be too late for such a deal to be concluded without affecting deliveries. So such an announcement would have come literally out of the blue.

          Like

          1. Just a quick take based on this article below:
            – Russia is rapidly shifting its oil exports to China forcing Europe to buy more from the Middle East
            – An unknown but apparently large amount of Russian oil to Europe goes by tanker.

            Until the oil transit volume through the Ukraine is known, the significance of the agreement is questionable.

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-30/russia-sends-oil-to-china-at-europe-s-expense-as-trades-upended

            Like

            1. What is the difference between “Ukraine” and “the Ukraine”? I understand that many people who feel negatively towards current Ukrainian state call the country as “the Ukraine”. But where is the insult?

              Like

              1. The insult is in your having been told not to say “The Ukraine”, and continuing to do it even though you have been made aware they (the nationalists) don’t like it. They remonstrate “You don’t say that for any other country; you don’t say ‘The Russia’ or ‘The France’.” However, you do say “The Netherlands” and “The United States” for countries which are indicated in the plural…as is the case with The Ukraine, which means, “The Borderlands”. Nationalists are extremely sensitive to insult where others couldn’t give a flip; I suspect the cultural police have a section dedicated to nothing more than poring over mapping applications all day, to see who is designating the Crimea as a part of Russia. The Crimea was part of Ukraine for only a heartbeat in its history, but never mind – it is Ukrainian, and to imply anything else is an insult, The world screams that the reunification of Crimea with Russia was a blatant violation of international law, and they keep screeching about the Budapest Memorandum as if it were international law – but nobody seems willing to bring a case in court against this blatant lawbreaking, or cite exactly which law was broken.

                However, it is completely wrong to suggest that primarily people who feel negatively toward….that country…call it ‘The Ukraine”, as if they were being deliberately offensive for the enjoyment it brings them. People call it what they learned in school – I learned in geography class that it was called “the Ukraine”. I don’t even remember who taught geography, but I’m pretty sure he or she was not biased against the country and it was certainly long before it was independent, as I finished school in the 1970’s.

                The same people who get in a tizzy when they hear ‘The Ukraine” are the ones who like to march through the streets of Lviv/Lvov/Lwow carrying torches and Stepan Bandera’s picture. They like people to think, “Oh, that’s just part of their culture; we should mind our own business”.

                Ukraine has yet to realize that it lost its value to NATO when it lost Crimea. The USA would very much have liked to establish a NATO navy base there, and to have a constant presence in the Black Sea, as well as something of its own to defend so that it could lay down a lot of new rulers and zones that Russia must not enter, else there would be a military response, bla, bla, bla. The west will continue to coyly tease and hint that it wants Ukraine in NATO, but it really would be far more a liability than an asset.

                Like

              2. I say “The Borders” in English, and every native speaker of British English knows where I mean; likewise when I speak of “The Marches”.

                English, by the way, is my mother tongue: it is not the mother tongue of Yukies, by and large, whose language has no</b grammatical articles, either definite or indefinite.

                When I say "The Ukraine", I mean that (definite article!) “Borderland” which everyone knows of.

                There are many places in the Slavic-speaking world that have words with край as their root and the preposition у [by/near], but when I say the Ukraine (Borderland), I mean Banderastan.

                Their are plenty of places that are below (nether) sea level: there are such places in England; when I say “The Netherlands”, however, folk know where I mean, and Dutchmen, in my experience don’t start shrieking that by my using the definite article before “Netherlands”, I am implying that their country is still part of the Spanish-Habsburg Empire.

                Like

                1. And though I have said that English is my mother tongue, the sentence that I wrote above which begins thus: “Their are plenty of places that are below (nether) sea level …”, it might appear to some that it had been written by a semi-literate person.

                  A mere typo, I hope.

                  Like

                2. The rule that Yukies love to state concerning a language which is not their mother tongue is that one does not use articles before names of countries.

                  Really? That a fact?

                  The England that I grew up in is not the England of today, and the Russia that I first began to live in, the Russia of Yeltsin’s time, is much different to the Russia of today.

                  By using articles above before “England” and “Russia”, I am defining which England and which Russia I am referring to: I am defining those places that existed at a specific time.

                  So when I say “The Ukraine”, I m defining Banderastan and not any old border region; I am stating that the borderland in question is that borderland which is a country.

                  I remember well when this prescriptive grammar was first imposed by Yukies on the English speaking world and I am sure it was Canadian Yukies that kicked the whole thing off, because I remember having a flame-war with a woman (better said, she started screaming at me [block capitals]), who “shouted” at me that, “You don’t say ‘the Canada’ so why ‘the Ukraine’???”

                  I replied that the Canada that existed before 1867 is not the Canada that exists today, constitutionally speaking.

                  Like

                3. I suppose it has been pointed out to them that if they simply changed the name to “Banderaland”, nobody would use an article before it, in ignorance or otherwise. It just does not lend itself to ‘the’. And think how it would tickle the nationalists! The date upon which the change went into effect would be good for a torchlight march for decades to come.

                  Like

                4. As regards that North American woman who was so abusive to me many years ago about my article usage with the noun “Ukraine”, I had to bear in mind that when she was in her hysterics, she, like very many North Americans of European descent, spoke English as a second language, without having a mother tongue of her own.

                  🙂

                  Like

                5. Interestingly, those Ukrainians who wish to prescribe rules of English grammar, albeit that English is not their mother tongue, seem not the least bit interested in prescribing German grammatical rules.

                  Below: an extract from the German language Wiki:

                  Die Ukraine … ist ein Staat in Osteuropa. Mit einer Fläche von 603.700 Quadratkilometern ist sie der größte Staat, dessen Grenzen vollständig in Europa liegen. Sie verfügt nach Russland über das zweitgrößte Staatsgebiet in Europa. Die Ukraine grenzt an Russland im Nordosten und Osten, Weißrussland im Norden, Polen, die Slowakei und Ungarn im Westen, Rumänien und Moldau im Südwesten sowie an das Schwarze Meer und das Asowsche Meer im Süden. Die Hauptstadt und größte Metropole des Landes ist Kiew, weitere Ballungszentren sind Charkiw, Dnipro, Donezk und Odessa.

                  In thick type above: German definite article (feminine gender, nominative case, singular) before “Ukraine”.

                  Oh and look! How non-PC of the Germans! They write “White Russia” (Weißrussland) and not “Belorus”.

                  How gross of them to do so!

                  From Frankfurter Allgemeine:

                  Warum die Ukraine Amerikas Militärhilfe braucht
                  21.11.2019-15:12

                  Why the Ukraine needs America’s military help

                  Die amerikanische Militärhilfe für die Ukraine steht im Mittelpunkt des Impeachment-Verfahrens gegen Donald Trump. Die Demokraten werfen dem Präsidenten vor, deren Auszahlung davon abhängig gemacht zu haben, dass die Ukraine Ermittlungen gegen den demokratischen Präsidentschaftsbewerber Joe Biden und dessen Sohn Hunter aufnimmt. Diesen Vorwurf bekräftigte der ehemalige Botschafter bei der Europäischen Union, Gordon Sondland, am Mittwoch vor dem Kongress: Es habe ein „quid pro quo“ gegeben.

                  Again, definite article “die” before “Ukraine” in bold.

                  I hear no squeals of anguish from Svidomite shitwits over this German grammatical usage!

                  The paragraph from the above FAZ article reads as follows:

                  American military aid for the Ukraine is the focus of the impeachment trial against Donald Trump. The Democrats are accusing the president of having made his pay-outs conditional on the Ukraine initiating investigations against the democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The former ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, confirmed this accusation on Wednesday before Congress: there had been a “quid pro quo”.

                  Like

                6. I think all Romance languages have a definite article before the name of a country — Vive l’Ukraine libre! and all that.

                  The curious thing about German is that article usage before names of countries is much the same as in English — Gott strafe England! Deutschland über alles!

                  And names of countries in German are usually neuter in grammatical gender in German because Land in German is neuter: das Land. However, there are a few countries whose grammatical gender is feminine in German, and these countries take a definite article:

                  die Ukraine
                  die Schweiz
                  die Türkei

                  Ask a Fritz why!

                  Or better still, in the case of die Ukraine, ask a shitwit Svidomite prescriptive grammarian!

                  Like

                7. There’s another country with femine grammatical gender and, therefore, preceded by a definite article in that German Wiki exract: die Slovakei.

                  I wonder if Slovaks are offended by that use of a definite article before the German word for “Slovakia”, whether they think such usage is a remnant of when Slovakia was part of Hungary, wich, in its turn, was part of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire?

                  And look! The Germans have the temerity of spelling the name of the Banderastan capital as “Kiew” and not as “Kyiv”, as it must be spelt.

                  The German “Kiew” is a direct transliteration of the Moskal Киев from Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet, of course, using German orthography — and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong, the Banderites tell you!!!!!

                  What a pathetic shower of nationalistic wankers they are!

                  Frogs call London “Londres” and it don’t bother me none, and they call Regensburg in Germany “Ratisbon” and Mainz “Mayence”, but Old Fritz ain’t bothered either.

                  Like

          1. It was noted that the basic principles of cooperation between companies remain unchanged, including payment procedure for services and the mechanism of interaction at the level of technical services of the two oil transportation operators.

            Like

  4. Gazprom has zero interest in shale gas development in Russia and they see very little interest outside of the US as well yet Russia has likely the largest shale gas formations on the planet. The reason is simple – conventional gas fields provide lower cost gas and with less environmental impact.

    It is expected that shale gas production outside North America will not have a significant impact on the global gas market configuration and future export activities of Gazprom even by 2030.

    It was noted at the meeting that earthquakes in the United Kingdom – the only country in Europe that, until recently, had been making attempts to launch development of shale gas on an industrial scale – led to a number of statutory bans precluding commercial production of gas from shale in the country.

    For Gazprom, shale gas production is unfeasible both in the medium and long term, given the significant economic and environmental benefits of natural gas from conventional fields, as well as the volume of its proven reserves.

    http://www.globalenergyworld.com/news/traditional-energy/2019/11/19/board-ofdirectors-reviews-prospects-ofshale-gas-lng-industry

    Regarding the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China:

    http://www.globalenergyworld.com/news/traditional-energy/2019/12/02/gazprom-commences-pipeline-supplies-ofrussian-gas-tochina

    The scale of engineering was breathtaking and the project incorporated a number of innovations according to the article.

    Like

    1. Speaking of gas:

      http://www.globalenergyworld.com/news/traditional-energy/2019/07/16/gaspowered-kamaz-finishes-among-top-five-trucks-insilk-way-international-rally-2019

      The Silk Way International Rally 2019 came to a close today in the city of Dunhuang, China. The gas-powered KAMAZ crew led by Sergey Kupriyanov finished among the top five in the truck category.

      The category featured 15 trucks produced by domestic and foreign companies, such as KAMAZ, GAZ, MAZ, Renault, HINO, DAF, and IVECO. The KAMAZ truck was the only vehicle powered by natural gas.

      Kamaz seems to dominate these rallies.

      Like

      1. And speaking of innovative propulsion, the world’s first electrically-powered commercial aircraft will make its first test flight here in just a few days.

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/world-s-first-all-electric-commercial-plane-set-for-takeoff-in-richmond-1.5378163

        It will still be some time before it is allowed to carry passengers, though, lots more testing. I remember mentioning it awhile ago, but it has now advanced to being nearly ready to take to the air.

        Like

  5. Neuters via Antiwar.com: UPDATE 2-Putin and Xi oversee launch of landmark Russian gas pipeline to China
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/1-putin-xi-oversee-launch-094706544.html

    Pipeline is major boost to ties between Moscow and Beijing

    * Russia is trying to forge close ties with East

    * Gas flows via new pipeline to rise to 38 bcm in 2025

    * Talks on other gas routes to China from Russia continue (Adds details, quotes, background)
    ####

    More at the link.

    FYI, I’ve discovered a new search site via comments on ghacks.net: https://swisscows.ch
    It claims to anonymize google queries…

    Like

    1. The “US’s huge Arctic gas reserves” had better all be within 14 miles of its coastline, because it has no title to anything beyond that. Since the USA is pretty much the only remaining country which has not ratified the UNCLOS, it does not even have a legal basis to file a claim to seabed beyond the baseline national limit. 14 miles, 12 nautical miles, 22 kilometers.

      Like

  6. AsiaTimes.com: Chechnya’s dancing strongman extends deadly reach
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/12/article/chechnyas-dancing-strongman-extends-deadly-reach/

    Ramzan Kadyrov is exerting influence over Chechens in Europe and the Middle East to strengthen his rule, legitimacy and political heft
    #####

    While there are legitimate reasons to criticize Kadyrov (& everyone), this is quite a curious piece. It goes to some effort to ‘reach out’ but hollistically is very al-Beeb s’Allah, i.e. guilty of egregious lies of ommission. Ne’er a word is writ about Chechen jihadist head choppers doing loyal service in Syria, allowed like a flood of others free passage through Turkey, Jordan etc. to fight the Syrian Arab Republic. WtAF?!

    AsiaTimes over the last year or so has been producing more crap like this that is little more than filler. Again, WtAF?

    As for Russian strategy vis Chechnya, it worked well in the past. Pray do tell human rights lovers how they would square such a circle or is independence of absolutely every territory (of course only in Russia/China/official enemies of the west) the golden answer? When the west fails, they are excused as ‘unwinnable wars’. When they succeed it is used as succour for the next ‘DO SOMETHING’ adventure and not look at too closely as to how it succeeded. Much deserved whataboutism is very much due indeed.

    As for the assertion that Kadyrov’s reach abroad is powerful and strong, let alone that he leads Putin by the nose, evidence much? Not a f/king crumb. Not that I would draw a comparison with Afghanistan, but stability v. thieving violent bastards has a powerful quality all of its own.

    The reason the Taliban became so popular was because the famous anti-Soviet Mujaheen turned against each-other after the Russians left and continued war and destruction, even devastating much of Kabul and it didn’t stop until the Lion of the Panshir valley rode in leading the Northern Alliance (backed by the US, Russia and others). Then they sat on their laurels…

    Chechens abroad have much more value to western services sponsoring terrorism (sorry ‘humanitarian intervention/liberation/enculeur revolution’) than they do to Kadyrov. They have nothing to lose except their lives in return for insane jihadist dreams. Again, WTF? In who’s interests is it for Chechens to be running around blowing shit up? Not Kadyrov’s.

    Like

    1. Saw it on NBC news. They cited a Joe Biden putdown as shaking her campaign but nary a world on Gabbard’s demolition of that pretentious faker.

      Like

    1. The Saker picked Gabbard as “Man of the Year” but not in a pejorative way. He admires her courage (far more than the vast majority of male politicians) her smarts, strength of character, feminine good looks, speaking ability, etc. She did cave in to some pressure but all in all did what she had to do to keep in the race.

      If Trump wins, she would make a great Secretary of Defense but her life would likely be a living hell. On the other hand, the Force is strong in this one and her sense of duty would prevail.

      https://thesaker.is/2019-saker-man-of-the-year-tulsi-gabbard-and-donald-trump-runner-up/

      Like

    2. The sooner the DNC realizes it has to stop trying to shovel dirt over Gabbard’s campaign, and at least give the appearance of approval, the better it will be for them. They don’t seem to get that their constantly denigrating her is winning her support.

      Like

  7. Tulsi needs to take out the Bidens In the December debate… It’s carpe diem time for Tulsi…If nominated she WILL win…TPTB need to understand that if anything’ at all happens to her…It will be flat out civil War.

    Like

      1. Quite a few American businesses are getting impatient with The Donald’s grandstanding. The Chinese do not really really want a deal badly enough to give away a major strategic or economic advantage to the USA, and those hanging on waiting for one are going to be sorely disappointed.

        Like

  8. duh…
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/2018-russia-unveiled-its-deadly-avangard-hypersonic-missile-101272

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s March 1, 2018 annual annual state-of-the-nation address became his most-cited since his 2007 Munich speech. “Listen to us now,” he warned NATO after unveiling several hypersonic, nuclear-capable weapons: the Kinzhal missile system, Sarmat ICBM, and the Avangard glide vehicle.

    The March 1st adress fell under a similar criticism: the Kremlin is bluffing, signaling capabilities that it doesn’t have to drive NATO to the negotiating table on terms favorable to Russia. But subsequent developments have borne out an altogether different truth: these weapons are, in fact, quite real, and pose varying levels of strategic threat.

    Like

  9. “The War Must Continue!”: Poroshenko & Co Issued an Ultimatum to Zelensky on the Eve of the Normandy Format Meeting
    December 3, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    Parliamentarians from the Rada rostrum read out the following demands:

    No compromises on a unitary state and federalisation.

    No compromises on the European and Euro-Atlantic course.

    No political actions, in particular elections in the “temporarily occupied territories of Donbass” before the “withdrawal of Russian troops”, disarmament of “illegal armed groups”, and the establishment of control over the state border.

    No compromises on the “de-occupation” and return of Crimea.

    No stoppages regarding international trials against Russia.

    Like

  10. Germany getting ready to tell the Ukraine where to go?

    4 декабря 201904:21
    Бундестаг: позиция Украины по “Северному потоку – 2” неприемлема

    4 December 2019 04:21
    Bundestag: The Ukraine position on Nord Stream 2 is unacceptable

    Klaus Ernst, head of the Bundestag Committee for the Economy and Energy, believes that the Ukraine, which supports the U.S. position on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, risks being left without the help of the European Union. He called Kiev’s actions unacceptable.

    On the one hand, the Ukraine receives a lot of political and financial support from the EU, Ernst said. On the other hand, the Ukraine advocates US extraterritorial sanctions that torpedo the European economy. This position calls into question the assistance Kiev receives from the EU, RIA Novosti reported.

    Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal said that Kiev wanted to use the U.S. sanctions against the NS-2 as a tool for negotiations over the transit of Russian gas. The US sanctions may prevent the launch of the gas pipeline, she added.

    Like

  11. One of the comments:
    “Tulsi has already hobbled Mayor
    Pete. . she’ll put him out of his misery at the next debate”
    LOL!

    Like

    1. That’s pretty funny. The picture of her at the very apex of Chris Cilizza’s ‘power rankings’ shows a quite pretty woman, but the picture of her at the top of the article – presumably announcing the abandonment of her campaign – looks quite a bit like Michael Jackson in the last years of his life. Disappointment seasoned with entitlement can do funny things to you.

      Tulsi Ga-BARD is excellent at defending the positions she has taken based on what she believes to be the truth, which are in turned based on what she sees and is able to measure. I’d like to see if she will listen when it is explained to her that one or more of those positions is based on flawed information. I don’t have any examples; perhaps all her positions are accurate. But it would not be much of an improvement to have a messianic leader completely convinced of her own rightness on every issue. A leader must listen to advisors and make wise decisions based on what he/she is told, because it is not possible for any one person to know everything. Right now Gabbard has the luxury of concentrating on wedge issues and knowing them inside out. But the President is drawn daily into a shitstorm of mundane and mind-numbing issues and problems, in each of which the protagonists and antagonists are going to present their positions with endearing sincerity. Trump seems to base his decisions on which side showed the most emotion, cried and flung themselves to the floor. But that’s not a very solid metric. I’d like to see an example in which someone patiently introduced new information, solidly backed up with verifiable facts, and Gabbard changed her position.

      Admittedly, the campaign trail and debates are not likely environments in which to see that happen. Gabbard seems solidly anti-war, despite knowing far more about the military option than any of the other candidates with the possible exception of Biden. But the American people would not want to wake up to find they had elected a president whose mind cannot be changed once it is made up, or who changes it based on dramatics.

      Like

      1. I tried to keep the dirty old man factor out of this Mark…so it’s on you.
        My interest in Ms. Martin is totally platonic…I wouldn’t for a moment imagine nailing the F out of her.

        Like

        1. Well, I wouldn’t go that far. But I do find her extremely attractive. Of course I was exaggerating – I’m pretty confident I could restrain myself from involuntarily drooling; at least I have always been able to up to now. although I am getting older. But I imagine I might have a hard time keeping my mind on the conversation. Which would be a pity – there were loads of provocative points in there. I imagine most of us were aware on some level that the last couple of American administrations have at least doubled the prison population: but how many were wise to the modification that they had also greatly increased sentences? I certainly wasn’t, but as soon as you know it, it makes perfect sense that the prison population is growing by leaps and bounds; some is because of new intakes, but some also is because prisoners already incarcerated remain incarcerated for longer.

          Like

  12. Breaking news , just saw this piece in VZGLIAD. Apparently Westies found a way to stop Nord Stream 2 at the last minute.
    The German govt decided that the Russian govt is guilty of assassinating Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, and are calling it the “German Skripal” case.
    Next on the menu are sanctions that end the construction of Nord Stream 2.
    At the very last minute…
    Gosh, nobody could have ever seen this one coming!

    Like

        1. Yep, Skripal replay!

          From Der Spiegel:

          Deutschland weist russische Botschaftsmitarbeiter aus

          Germany expels Russian embassy employees
          Russia is suspected of ordering the murder of a Georgian in Berlin. The case now lies with the Federal Attorney General. Germany has expelled two Russian embassy employees from the country.

          According to the Federal Attorney General, there is “sufficient factual evidence” that the “state authorities” of Russia or Chechnya, which is part of Russia, ordered the murder. Because of the “special significance” of the crime, Karlsruhe [where the German Federal Court of Justice is situated — ME] had therefore now taken over and commissioned the Federal Criminal Police Office with further investigations.

          This gives the proceedings a new quality. The highest criminal prosecution authority suspects Russia of state terrorism on German soil.

          My stress.

          Russian state terrorism has already been seen on the streets of Salisbury, England.

          Now into Berlin has the Evil Empire stretched its hideous, murderous tentacles.

          Is nowhere safe from this vile monster of a state?

          Like

          1. I would just note that there is a considerable distance between ‘murdering’ and ‘ordering the murder of’, and that the latter would be extremely hard to disprove. All you need to make a case is to show motivation – the Russian state would not have been unhappy if he met an untimely demise – and a mook who will say he was ordered by some Russian guy to kill the target.

            This is interesting, because the Skripal Model will certainly have been set up entirely by political forces through compliant intelligence officials. We will therefore see a collision of political and economic interests. Economic interests want the Nord Stream II pipeline deal to get done as quickly as may be effected. Political interests whose strings are being tickled by Washington want it stopped. We will see who prevails. I’m betting the pipeline will be completed, although the phony assassination might be used to order ever more strict regulation so Uncle Sam is still in with a chance. But, as I have often said, I wouldn’t mind too much if it was stalled for a year or two so that Washington could thrash about and try to make up the difference. It would be funny to watch, and ordinary Europeans who like to come home to a warm house and a hot dinner would be chagrined, to say the very least. The immeasurable value of the teachable moment, and all that. But it would only work if Russia refused to transit gas through Ukraine. If a long-term deal was signed with Ukraine, then we would be back to square one, right where Washington wants the situation, and Nord stream II would just quietly rust away.

            Somehow the utter improbability of the Russian state ‘ordering’ or brazenly carrying out the assassination of some nobody under circumstances in which political repercussions are a virtual certainty, in a country with which that same Russian state is trying to do a very controversial deal, just never comes up. Presumably the Russians are so savage and ungovernable that when the blood-lust is on them, they don’t have the moral fibre to tamp it down. They just have to be Russians.

            Like

            1. Like the considerable disconnect between the fact that Politkova was shot dead on Putin’s birthday. Nevertheless, I have yet to see an article about her death in which it is not stated that she was murdered on Putin’s birthday.

              I wonder why the outbreak of the US Civil War and Gagarin’s space flight took place on my sister’s birthday? She wasn’t alive for the former, though she was 11 when the latter event took place. There must be some kind of connection there, mustn’t there?

              Like

              1. On my birthday, in 1945, the cruiser INDIANAPOLIS left San Francisco with the atomic bomb on board. As everyone knows, she never reached her destination, and most of her crew were killed by sharks because her mission was so secret nobody noticed when she was overdue. But it’s not technically fair to claim a connection with an event which took place before you were born. So, let’s see….Ah! on my birthday in 1979, al-Bakr of Iraq was succeeded by Saddam Hussein. Beat that for evil. Oh, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles performed their final live show. Ronald Reagan was nominated for presidential candidate by Detroit Republicans – a tie for evil with Saddam Hussein. And Shukuni Sasaki spun 72 plates simultaneously. Try and say that fast. The latter did not happen at the Detroit Republican convention, just to avoid confusion. But all these events are obviously connected to me. Except the one that happened before I was born.

                Like

                1. I beg to differ; whilst you were most certainly already alive and on that momentous day, Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale hit his second opening-day home run, and Dutch Prince Bernhard visited a Lockheed factory. And “Anyone Can Whistle” closed at the Majestic Theatre in New York after only 9 performances. An act of mercy, I’ll bet.

                  Like

            2. “I would just note that there is a considerable distance between ‘murdering’ and ‘ordering the murder of’…” — witness St. Thomas of Canterbury, some over zealous knights and an irate king of England.

              Like

              1. Mmmmm, yes, but he is supposed to have uttered loudly and before witnesses, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest???” Arguably, that instance of having ordered a murder would not be very difficult to prove. In more recent cases the press feels free to come right out and say this and that were most likely ordered by the Russian head of state because they are confident that while nobody could prove it true, nobody could prove it false, either.

                Like

                1. Well, I wasn’t there. But so history records. No reason to believe it’s not accurate, I suppose. Although if you look at recorded events of the last 10 years as they will appear to students 100 years from now, it kind of makes you wonder how much truth there actually is in history. It will doubtless reflect, for example, that Russia shot down MH17 although it makes absolutely no sense for it to have done so, and that Crimea was intimidated by armed force into rejoining the Russian Federation.

                  Like

    1. What possible (credible) motive would the Russians have to kill Khangoshvili?

      If none can be articulated….then how fucking stupid must the krauts be to think the Russians killed him. The Russians should find out who actually killed him and then drop bodies left and right as object lessons which can and will be repeated if necessary.

      Like

    2. Fret not folks … Bellingcrap are already onto the case and decided that one Vadim Krasikov was using the Sokolov alias to hunt down and kill Zelimkhan Khangoshvili.

      Higgins and company must have used the same Russian passport database to identify the killer as they did to identify Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov as Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Myshkin. Someone must have hacked into it and handed Bellingcrap the information.

      I wonder how it is possible to be able to shoot someone dead while riding a bicycle … wouldn’t the recoil from the gun as the bullet leaves be powerful enough to knock the rider off?

      Like

      1. I don’t really see the necessity of western governments staffing and paying expensive intelligence departments when they can just collectively benefit from the crack investigations done by Bellingcat and Higgins’ volunteer citizen army. Who identified the troops who shot down MH-17? Bellingcat. Who identified the murderers of Sergei Skripal and his daughter (who didn’t actually die, but were ‘disappeared’ for their own safety)? Bellingcat. The intelligence doughheads routinely chimed in that they had mountains of evidence – all of it leading to only one conclusion, Russia – but they never offered any of it for public review, instead asking to be taken at their word. But all the frontline pick-and-shovel work was done by Bellingcat, and the national intelligence services mostly just provided a Greek chorus of “So say we; so say we all”. In my opinion, they should all be turned out into the private sector, to find gainful employment, rather than suckling at the taxpayers’ teats. What good are they? Citizens will do it for free, and provide much faster results. And there’s obviously no need for oversight, as the papers just print the Bellingcat solution, so that politicians can quote it. Think of the money we’ll save!!

        Like

      2. From FAZ:

        Der Killer, der aus Moskau kam
        04.12.2019-20:55
        Nicht nur die große Übereinstimmung der Bilder von Krassikow und „Sokolow“ hat die Ermittler dazu gebracht, einen Anfangsverdacht wegen Staatsterrorimus zu bejahen. Schon der Pass, der auf Sokolow ausgestellt war, wies auf den militärischen Auslandsdienst GRU hin – die Registrierungsnummer ähnelte Nummern von Pässen anderer in kriminelle Fälle verwickelter Russen im Ausland, bei denen die GRU als Urheber verdächtigt wurde. Zu „Sokolow“ fiel den Ermittlern zudem eine ganze Reihe Ungereimtheiten auf: So flog er am 17. August mit einem Schengen-Visum, das die französische Botschaft ausgestellt hatte, nach Paris.

        Not only has the great similarity of the pictures of Krasikov and “Sokolov” led the investigators to affirm their initial suspicion of state terrorism, even the passport issued to Sokolov pointed to GRU military foreign service – the registration number resembled numbers of passports of other Russians abroad involved in criminal cases where the GRU was suspected of being the instigator.

        My stress!

        Jolly decent of those Russian chappies to do that, wasn’t it?

        I mean, have specific serial numbers for the passports of those who work in state security.

        Funny they haven’t found Putin’s passport in the Tiergarten!

        Oh look!

        They have!

        How careless of him to lose it at the scene of the crime!

        Like

        1. The untranslated bit of German above, namely:

          Zu „Sokolow“ fiel den Ermittlern zudem eine ganze Reihe Ungereimtheiten auf: So flog er am 17. August mit einem Schengen-Visum, das die französische Botschaft ausgestellt hatte, nach Paris.

          Reads as follows:

          The investigators also noticed a number of inconsistencies about “Sokolov”: on 17 August he flew to Paris with a Schengen visa issued by the French embassy….

          And so on und so weiter

          Like

        2. I tell you, if the Russians ever figure out that they could simply run the target down in the street with a nondescript, common-type sedan of local manufacture and escape the scene in the same vehicle, so that the killer was never even seen, the west is in serious trouble. It is only due to their careless stupidity in carrying out assassinations immediately after a declaration that they sure better not assassinate somebody, or else steps will have to be taken, and then do it so clumsily that the fightin’ keyboarders of Bellingcat have their number almost before the story can get out, that they are always and ignominiously fingered.

          Like

          1. Which only proves that so-called “AI Facial Recognition Software” is not 100% accurate.

            Which reminds me: the latest iPhone has facial recognition software that unlocks your phone if you present your face to it. And millions of idiots are going along with this scam, offering their insipid faces for inclusion in the Deep State databank. God forbid you should ever, in the future, be photographed at any event or demonstration that actually challenges the system. You’re toast, Morons!

            Like

    3. They have to scrub the internet of those pics of him wearing the black flag of Al Qaeda. How many Germans are really upset to see a jihadist taken from their midst?

      I don’t think its a very sympathetic choice of victim. If the media pushes further on this, then it could backfire if people start asking why the German government is giving out benefits and hugs to Islamists.

      Like

    1. Now the thing to do by the Persians and the Syrians is to be nice and nicer to the good people of France ..Totally fucks up the American ME game plan.

      Like

    1. I find the whole Kangoshvili thing truly bizzarre. Firstly, that the German Federal Prosecutor only now takes up the case is somewhat strange, given it’s purported importance. Crucially, opening up a media storm around Kangoshvili opens up an enormous can of worms for the West: the history around him is murky to the point of being almost incredible, featuring terrorism, islamic fanatism, criminal gangs, Georgian special services, Saakashvili!, betrayal, the war on terror etc. People might start asking questions about how such a deserving blameless refugee was allowed free access and probably subsidy in Germany, about terrorist ratlines to/from Chechnya/Pankisi Gorge and the West. Despite the significant power of media-whitewashing I don’t think the West wants to openly admit the underhanded alliance it had with the Chechen terrorists: their crimes are too revolting and well-proven: as such they will have a tricky time walking a tight line between condeming the “evil Russian assassin” (Chechen) and too blatantly crying over spilt terrorist milk. I sincerely hope the German officials have fallen into a trap, Europeans should have a right to know about terrorists being sheltered in our midst.

      Like

            1. Russian billionaire killed in mystery Surrey car crash while walking his dog is linked to murky dealings in his native Volgograd where his business partner is behind bars

              A Russian billionaire has died after he was knocked down by a car while out walking his dog near his Surrey home – as a friend said he could have been the victim of a targeted hit.

              Surrey Police have confirmed only that a man in his 40s was knocked down in Oxshott and later died – but Russian media last night named him as Dmitry Obretetsky, a 49-year-old tycoon.

              Obretetsky’s friend Pavel Borovkov today questioned whether he was deliberately killed, telling Russian news outlet Life: ‘You know, people drive cars very carefully in (Britain)… I don’t exclude that he was specially knocked down.’

              It emerged this evening that a business partner of Obretetsky is currently behind bars in Russia after he was extradited over claims he conned his workers out of 26million roubles (£300,000).

              Like

              1. “Obretetsky’s friend Pavel Borovkov today questioned whether he was deliberately killed, telling Russian news outlet Life: ‘You know, people drive cars very carefully in (Britain)… I don’t exclude that he was specially knocked down.’”

                My, yes, they do: in 2013, only 1,713 people were killed in Britain in road accidents, the lowest figure since national records began in 1926. That marks a decrease of 6% over the previous year. Careful to a fault, the Britons are. In Canada that figure is closer to 3000 per year. But we are just a bunch of hayseed colonials; lucky most of us don’t even have cars.

                Click to access rrcgb2013-00.pdf

                https://www.thestar.com/sponsored_sections/2018/05/09/car-accident-facts-and-figures-in-canada.html

                Like

                1. More British citizens (“subjects” of King George VI, to be accurate) died through road accidents during WWII than did during the London “Blitz”. It was the Luftwaffe, indirectly, that caused these road deaths, though: the “blackout”, see.

                  Bear in mind, though, the duration of WWII hostilities was much longer than the orchestrated activities of Hermann Goering’s finest.

                  Like

                2. Well, British subjects learned to be scrupulously careful drivers after that, obviously, because they were allies of the filthy Russians at that particular moment in history. How could Britain know then how insidiously it would one day be betrayed?

                  Like

                3. The total is likely to rise in future in the UK, since observance of trifling matters such as red lights at busy junctions appears to be becoming almost elective. The other day I watched, horrified, as a lorry hurtled through a light which had been at red for at least three or four seconds.

                  Like

      1. Under lock and key? Most likely their own lock and key in a neighbourhood in a provincial British town or city, waiting for when they get called out to participate in some simulation emergency exercise that – whoops! – turns into an actual terrorist incident just ahead of a general election.

        Like

        1. And maybe, just maybe, the takeaway element of the incident will carry eerie similarities to vignettes from literature like the narwhal tusk from HMS Surprise.

          Like

  13. The US government gets steadily more and more ridiculous as it attempts to rationalize away other nations’ obvious and blatant editorializing for Hillary Clinton, while still insisting that Russia made life-changing assaults on the American electoral system.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/03/john-kennedy-ukraine-impeachment-074916

    Any attempts to introduce Ukraine as a possible meddler on the side of Mrs. Clinton are resolutely squashed before they can take on any momentum at all; nope, nope – Ukraine just wouldn’t do something like that, and it’s no use even looking into it.

    “Many Senate Republicans won’t criticize Kennedy directly, though they made clear that Russia, not Ukraine, presents the actual threat to the United States. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) cited testimony from State Department officials.

    “They said there’s no evidence that Ukraine interfered in our election,” the Utah Republican said. “Of course leaders in other countries are pulling for one candidate or another. That’s to be expected but there’s a big difference between pulling for someone … and interfering in the way Russia did.”

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed that it’s common for countries to prefer one presidential candidate over another.

    “I think it’s important to distinguish op-eds… from the systemic effort to undermine our election systems,” Rubio said. “There’s no way to compare any other efforts to what Russia did in 2016. … There’s nothing that compares not even in the same universe.”

    Interfering in the way Russia did. What Russia did. What is Russia actually accused of doing in the 2016 election? Forget all that nonsense about Russia being behind Black Lives Matter and trying to promote division between voters – that was simple opportunism and a ride on the ‘Blame Russia’ train – if you support social equity for blacks, you’re a Russian agent. No, the real harm Russia is accused of having perpetrated is the theft of incriminating emails from the DNC server, and their subsequent publication by Wikileaks.

    As I have suggested before, the data transfer rate was far too high to have occurred over the internet. How else are 12 random Russian soldiers supposed to have brought that off? Pretended to be a tour group of computer techs on an authorized but unaccompanied visit to the DNC server? Because the stolen data was saved in a File Allocation Table (FAT) format, which is consistent with a local storage device such as a thumb drive. Wide-ranging experiments which attempted to duplicate the transfer speed (in excess of 40 megabytes per second (MBPS) yielded a high transfer rate of 12 MBPS, less than a quarter the speed required to match the rate at which the stolen emails were copied. It could not have been done over the internet.

    https://newspunch.com/report-dnc-not-hacked-russians/

    Naysayers’ defense against this allegation have been along the lines of “There are ways to get that kind of speed over the internet”. Really? How? Put out a bulletin that the internet is broken, and that everyone in the world is to stay off it between the hours of x and y, while it is repaired?

    The US government’s obvious and resolute determination to not even look at Ukraine, to not even mention it in any negative context, reminds me of the Ukrainian government’s equally resolute determination to not conduct any kind of investigation at all into Poroshenko’s financial dealings after his name came up in the Panama Papers. There was plenty of justification to investigate, in both cases, but in both cases the two sides seem to be adamant that no such investigation will take place.

    Like

  14. Post-strike analysis by Bellingcat is now also routine and accepted as if the organization were a bona-fide intelligence agency of long standing with all the bells and whistles state-funded agencies have, rather than just a conduit such agencies use to leak reports to the press for their own ends.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/04/us-forces-kill-jihadist-leader-syria-precision-ninja-missile/

    This report is less than a day old, but already Bellingcat knows the identity of the target, the group he led (which nobody has ever heard of; the ‘Red Bands?’), and the weapon that ‘took him out’.

    Like

  15. I wondered how dumb NATO is and the conclusion of their 70th ‘GaGa’ Anniversary (early onset dementia ~ 1990) have declared that China is the enemy!

    Well I guess that if you don’t have one, you have to make one. That U-rope is wholeheartedly aboard but wants Chinese investment but only it want shows how ridiculous NATO’s threat is for plenty of other reasons too. Imagine a U-ropean military flotilla in the South China Seas. It won’t happen.

    U-Rope yet again as a adjunct to the USA. For all its talk of a global identity, it’s not behaving as one. Again more big words for the sake of the appearance of eunuchity. Who are they kidding? It’s the same old cracks that NATO has been papering over since the 1990s and re-papering with words of ‘It’s NATO’s credibility on the line’. Not, the defense and safety of U-ropean citizens, but credibility of an organization that should have picked up its pipe, put on its slippers and spent its last few years doing the gardening and looking at porn in the shed just to get a bit of peace and quiet away from the wife indoors.

    Like

    1. Excellent! Stunningly evocative prose. Take the rest of the day off, as reward.

      There is no shortage of analysis which suggests that Washington’s driving Russia into China’s embrace was a mistake of such monumental proportions that the kack-handed invasion of Iraq pales to insignificance by comparison. Plenty of factors also suggest Washington is going to be too busy with its own problems in the short-to-medium term to take time out to rue the day it committed such a stunning blunder. But the day will come.

      Like

      1. It’s even worse though. We’ve been hearing the last year or so even from the Blob and higher echelons that a Reverse Nixon is needed, i.e. peel Russia away from China so that China can be more easily contained, but then this NATO summit happens and it’s as if they’ve forgotten the plan. If anything, NATO has done Russia quite a solid by threatening China just to paper over NATO’s unity crackz.

        Now if I wuz China, I would look to expand and build up my nuclear deterrence fleet and factor in U-rope as a strategic threat vector. So how does NATO make u-Rope safe again? Unless its just about the MIC $$$€€€.

        On the other side of ‘increases in defense spending’ in u-Rope, some of their stuff needs to be replaced (as it is so old), renewed and updated anyway – like the AWACS fleet based on the old four engined Boeing 707 airliner – if it is to maintain (let alone increase) it’s own military capability. We’ve seen the example of the German armed forces. So more spending though marketed as ‘beefing up u-Ropean defense’ is not necessarily the case. It’s certainly nowhere near enough to allow u-Rope to operate its own aggressive military campaign on a large scale and for a decent time without collapsing in on itself. For defense it may function, but for attack it can do little without the USA doing the walking and trying to chew gum. Even then…

        Like

        1. And the Frogs. €µ is pushing for NATO to have a much wider role in Africa, to support French and Malian forces against the local jihadists for example. He wouldn’t have mentioned this unless there was already some resistance to expand and dilute(/mission creep fear) NATO.

          I read an article last week (which I’ve just found again*) that purports to be an expert view and background on the Malian jihadi crisis, but like €µ, there is a curious yet critical omission from the piece, all of which include a map of the region. Pop-quiz: which country does Mali share a long border on its north east? Libya of course, the country that France led the NATO charge to bomb in to regime change with the full support of which well known U-Ro atlantic organization? Yep, NATO! That this little success led to the widespread looting of huge amounts of Libyan army weapons that then spread throughout Africa and also in to Mali is not mentioned in the article, but that is hardly a surprise as it was written by Paul Melly is a consulting fellow with the UK-based think-tank Chatham House and a journalist who specialises in Francophone Africa.

          Before I forget, there was a small piece of news that I forgot to post. Apparently African nations are looking to drop the ‘Françafrique’ (€µ pegged obvs) as their reserve currency. As RotW not in U-rope takes steps to drop the dollar, thus undermining any supporting role, the same looks to be happening to the Françafrique.* This article may be overtly critical and a bit snobby, but it also signifies a shift in Africa towards more integration and cohesion which I can only cheer. They have to do it for themsleves as everyone else has their own interests first.

          * al-Beeb s’Allah: Why France is focused on fighting jihadists in Mali
          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-50558972

          * https://www.theafricareport.com/20326/the-french-colonial-tax-a-misleading-heuristic-for-understanding-francafrique/

          Like

          1. Silly me. Mali shares its north east border with… ALGERIA. Big geography brainfart on my side. Still, the fact remains that huge quantities of looted Libyan weapons have made it in to the hands of jihadists in Mali and other African countries, boosting insurgencies, attacks and increasing destabilization in the region.

            Like

        2. In addition, China should be looking at ways to maintain its economic foothold in the west by disguising the country of origin of its products which are shipped to and sold in the west. The kind of things that China could suddenly withdraw and cause shortages, such as was done in Venezuela, shipped in as if they had come from somewhere else, as was attempted in Russia through Ukraine. Take a page from the enemy’s book.

          Trump constantly moans about how the USA is getting screwed on trade, at the same time he brags that it is the world’s biggest economy. Wait a minute – it’s the world’s biggest economy, but it could be even bigger? Well, how much of a lead on the rest of the world does he want? How comfortable do America’s rich have to be in comparison to the world’s billions scrabbling for a living – and, let’s face it, nothing makes being rich so sweet as knowing others are struggling – before he is satisfied?

          Like

  16. Oh, look! The latest from the gender police, in which ‘Hey, guys” is recommended to be excised from the language in favour of the much more ze-zur-zit-friendly and inclusive “Y’all”. Yes, indeed – sound like a Texan without ever leaving your living-room.

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-problem-with-hey-guys?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Here’s a tip – if you did not feel included in “Hey, guys”, you probably weren’t.

    Like

    1. Speaking of the gender police, is RCN calling its ships “it”?

      They tried to do that in the UK recently, but I think the RN knocked the idea on the head, so all Betty Windsor’s warships are still girls.

      Best decision the Senior Service has made in modern times, I reckon, and they’ve not made many, and none as worse as abolishing the rum ration, so my CPO Weapons Artificer cousin Joe used to moan.

      Those artificers are history: they’re called “Weapons Engineers” now.

      Well, I reckon it’s easier to say “Weapons Engineer” than it is to say “Weapons Artificer”.

      I bet it was hard to say “artificer” after you’d downed your rum ration.

      Like

      1. I’ll bet it was. The tot was still authorized on worthy occasions from time to time during my service, although it was officially abolished before I joined, March 30th 1972; I joined in 1977. Canada was the last Commonwealth navy to bid farewell to the tot. Here, it is immortalized in verse:

        “You soothed my nerves and warmed my limbs
        And cheered my dismal heart,
        Procured my wants, obliged my whims
        And now it’s time to part.
        ‘Mid endless perils of the deep
        And miseries untold
        You summoned sweet forgetful sleep,
        Cocooned me from the cold.

        Ten years ago, the “pound o’ leaf”,
        That cast its fragrant spell
        About the ship, expired in grief
        And sadness of farewell
        Though guests might find the pantry bare,
        Whene’er they choose to come
        Your hospitality was there:
        A tot of Pussers rum.

        Two hundred years and more you filled
        The storm-tossed sailor’s need.
        Now you’ve been killed by spite distilled
        From jealousy and greed,
        And petty clerks with scrawny necks
        Who never saw a wave,
        Nor felt the spray nor heaving decks,
        Consign you to your grave.

        Alas! However I protest
        To save myself from hurt,
        They tell me that it’s for the best
        To keep us all alert.
        And so the time has come, old friend,
        To take the final sup.
        Our tears are shed. This is the end.
        Goodbye, and bottoms up!”

        By the time the tot disappeared it had been reduced to one ounce of neat rum from two and a half, to be consumed at noon. Among reasons for its abolition was the fear that it would cause unsteady hands around machinery, and so it might have done in girls and young men under 15. A more likely reason was that some would keep their tot rather than consuming it, and trade or sell it, so that some sailors got considerably more than the one-ounce mandate. On the two occasions I can remember an official shipboard rum issue – both due to hard work performed in severe weather in winter – the issue was carried out in the regulating-office flats by the Coxswain, and those who chose to receive it had to drink it on the spot.

        Like

        1. Yeah, Joe used to tell me about “rum bums” who managed to hoard their tots. He did. As I mentioned long ago, I sometimes found my dad and his elder brother Jim (our families lived a few doors fro each other in the same street of terraced houses), Joe’s dad, in their cups when Joe paid a visit whilst on leave.

          He also used to bring home navy issue tobacco, which was good stuff an’ all. I was only a kid then, but both my dad and uncle Jim were pipe smokers, as was I from my mid-20s until I got wed.

          I packed the weed in then because Mrs. Exile used to nag me about my smelling of pipe tobacco and she hid all my pipes away somewhere. However, this time last year, I mentioned to my son that although I have not drunk alcohol for 12 years now and have no yearning to do so again, I still miss puffing my pipes.

          So last Christmas, much to my surprise and his mother’s dismay, Vova presented me with a pipe. But she’s been giving me earache again about my smoking all bloody year, so I’ll have to pack it in again, until at least the next dacha season, as it’s hard to smoke a pipe in winter here.

          I have to smoke outside, and if I give my bowl a good fill, I can puff away for a good 20 minutes or so, but then my bloody nose and fingers get frozen stiff.

          Like

      2. I got a hunch that the word “artificer” was dropped from official job titles in favour of “engineer” because after people had downed their rum rations and tried to pronounce the word in polite conversation with their superiors, it came out as another word with the “ɑ” vowel and the “k” stop consonant somewhere in the middle.

        Like

        1. The Engineering Chief Petty Officer in RCN ships is still called the Chief ERA, for ‘Engine Room Artificer’. Those who work in his department, though, who were once ERA’s as well, are now just ‘stokers’. But even that term should have gone out with the coal-burners. The Navy is fond of tradition.

          Like

        2. I think the term was eventually dropped because it is an old-fashioned, Victorian term, first introduced into Queen Victoria’s navy in the 1860s, and, therefore, no bugger knows what it means.

          If you check the term out on Google Search, the first hit you get is this:

          Artificer. Masters of unlocking magic in everyday objects, artificers are supreme inventors. They see magic as a complex system waiting to be decoded and controlled. Artificers use tools to channel arcane power, crafting temporary and permanent magical objects.

          “Dungeons and Dragons” FFS!

          My CPO Weapons Artificer RN cousin Joe used to tell me that in the USN there was rank designated as “Ice Cream and Soda Machine Mechanic”. I used to think he was just taking the piss, but now, I am having second thoughts …

          From Naval Training Bulletin:

          The U. S. Navy Ship’s Servicemen School (Navy Exchange Management) Class C-1 … Repair Shops, Soda Fountain and Snack Bars, Ice Cream Manufacturing …

          Like

          1. No, you’re not!

            It’s been bugging me as well for a couple of days.

            Here’s a test run to show you what I mean:

            “Did he really tell you to fuck off”, I asked him.

            “”Yes”, he replied, “His exact words were: ‘Fuck off!'”.

            Like

                1. Oh, sure; blame me. In fact, I have not changed any settings since I set up the blog, except for restoring it to 100 % magnification some time ago because I had accidentally changed it to a lower setting and the print was so tiny I would have my nose up against the screen to read what I just said. I am kind of ashamed to admit it went on for something like two months before I realized what the problem was.

                  I have not seen any messing with the quotation marks before, and the text I see looks normal to me except sometimes there is an extra quotation mark. I often put that down to the user forgetting, when they want to quote something, that there is already a quotation mark in the included text, and sometimes do it myself.

                  WordPress does, though, frequently mess up coding for italics or bold text, and I often go in to fix Moscow Exile’s mess-ups only to find the original coding is perfectly correct. In such cases, I just wipe out the italicized text, and re-italicize it myself, and it comes out correctly. But there was nothing visibly wrong with it in the first place.

                  Like

  17. RT.com: Moscow anti-doping lab’s database was tampered with from the US, independent Russian experts say after WADA finds no interference
    https://www.rt.com/sport/475117-russia-wada-doping-database-rodchenkov/

    Moscow anti-doping lab’s database was tampered with from the US, independent Russian experts say after WADA finds no interference…

    …The agency claims it found no traces of interference with the LIMS after November 2015 …

    …But independent Russian experts reject WADA’s conclusions, saying their probe established numerous instances of changes and modifications made to the Moscow laboratory’s files. Their 12-page report prepared in late November was obtained by Tass news agency.

    After Rodchenkov and his associates – Oleg Migachev and Timofey Sobolevsky – fled to the US, the LIMS was “actually administered via the Internet from Los Angeles (with administrator privileges allowing to make any type of changes and deletions, including making falsifications without leaving evidence.)”

    The manipulations were made between November 2015 and June 2016 – when the database was switched off from the internet. They came from an account called olegmigachev, which had an IP-address registered in California, the report said.

    According to the experts, the version of the LIMS stolen by Rodchenkov from the Moscow laboratory, wasn’t used in routine mode in the US, but kept on a data storage device, which opened it up for use by interested parties in attempts to back their “high-profile doping revelations.”…
    ####

    That’s sloppy IT admin to leave disgruntled ex-employees with admin rights to say the least. That WADA, USADA and others aren’t willing to look any further than it’s obvious the Russians wot dun it is hardly a surprise. Now if only they bothered looking in to the common used of Therapeutic Use Exemptions by US athletes (as some of you pointed out recently) but with the police policing themselves there’s not much chance.

    Like

    1. “That’s sloppy IT admin to leave disgruntled ex-employees with admin rights to say the least. ”

      If true, once again Russia let its enemies to sabotate it too easily. It looks like Russia will be completely shut out of international sports for many years to come. And all because of Russia’s internal weakness (traitors like Rodchenkov and sloppy IT security).

      Why does Russia produce so many traitors anyway? I don’t know any other country where the opposition’s main goal is to destroy their own country (and they don’t even try to hide it) and where government officials and wealthy businessmen betray their own countrn and flee to the West in large numbers.

      Like

      1. You just don’t know any other country where that sort of behavior is encouraged and rewarded, as it is in the west. You don’t see Russia trying to develop American assets who will say what a horrible country America is, and that its leadership should be overthrown. Is it because such people do not exist in the west? You tell me.

        Like

      2. “Why does Russia produce so many traitors anyway?”
        We already explained this to you in the past, Karl.
        It’s because the CIA pays these people to behave this way.
        Is such a simple thing so hard to comprehend?

        Like

  18. From The Washington Examiner’s regular feature on energy issues:

    “TRUMP TIP TOES AROUND NORD STREAM 2 SANCTIONS: Trump is demurring on whether his administration plans to sanction Russia’s Nord Stream II natural gas pipeline to Germany.

    “We haven’t really determined that yet,” the president said Wednesday before a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “I do think it’s a problem, but it’s a problem that Germany is going to have to work out for themselves. And maybe for Germany it won’t be a problem. I hope it’s not, actually.” His comments come after Republicans in Congress, such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have criticized the administration for not applying sanctions to the pipeline, which is expected to be completed within months.

    The Energy Department, however, has signaled the administration has moved on from the idea of sanctions, and is instead focused on expanding U.S. LNG into Europe to give countries other options instead of relying chiefly on Russian energy.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/daily-on-energy-presented-by-renew-biodiesel-forget-100-by-50-gop-plugs-12-in-20-short-term-climate-plan

    Cruz must be apoplectic. Had the USA consistently pursued a policy vis-a-vis Europe of merely offering options, there would not be the perception there is; that Washington is attempting to force American LNG on Europe by removing its competition. Russia has pretty consistently said there is plenty of room for both in the European energy market, but it was always a State Department priority to squeeze Russia out.

    I wonder what Naftogaz thinks of Trump’s essentially ignoring the issue? Mind you, he might say something completely different tomorrow, once the home team takes him to task, as has happened many times before.

    Like

    1. The fellow who figured out part of Biden’s corruption by accusing him of selling “access for the President” needed to have asked maybe a couple more questions about what Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma Holdings was and what he was doing, and how much he was raking in each month, and Biden would have spilled the beans on how proud he was of Junior and all his accomplishments. Of course that would all have to be captured on video while he’s having the seizure and a translation of the multi-lingual babble would be needed as well.

      Like

  19. The Register: How to fool infosec wonks into pinning a cyber attack on China, Russia, Iran, whomever
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/12/05/fooling_attribution_breadcrumbs/

    Learning points, not an instruction manual

    …Policy and corporate leadership don’t understand how easy it is to fake digital evidence,” Williams said. The key is making sure you leave a trail of breadcrumbs that are detected by your target and then lead investigators in the right (wrong) direction.

    “Know what your target has available,” continued the one-time US Army veteran and SANS instructor. “I don’t want to create false flag artefacts that my target can’t see. What can your target see? If they can’t see it, it doesn’t matter if you falsify that evidence.”…

    …”I can buy infrastructure in Iran very easily, it turns out,” he said. “That’s not 26 servers; that’s 26 different VPS providers that, with a credit card or Bitcoin, I can go ahead and buy servers in Iran that I can send traffic through. It’s going to be awesome!”..
    #####

    I disagree. Policy makers do know – sic Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and London 45 minutes away from being hit. They just don’t care. When it comes to foreign policy in democracies, the public just have to suck it up unless they do anything more than change channels or watch netflix in response.

    AS for misatribution, we all know this from the Vault 7 Leaks and the Marble de/obfuscation toolz already. It’s worth a reminder. The US has just announce anohter 14,000 troops for ‘the Middle East’ in a ‘if we add them bit by bit no-one will notice once we have enough to bomb i-Ran in to the stone age’. The number of ‘threats from i-Ran’ being reported is increasing (recent ‘i-Ran is preparing to attack American troops in the region’ stories) too so they may still be seriously unlucky to be bombed before the end of 2019, but 2020 looks far more like a full on Major Kong ‘Yee Haw!’.

    Like

    1. Or Bellend Cat. They’ll quite happily tell us that after their ‘forensic investigation’, that they know where it comes from. Who needs to go to a launderette when there is one who can do it for free! CALL 9200-BELLINGCAT4BS to get your free quote now.*

      * Applicable to the Pork Pie News Networks, intelligence front companies and lazy f/ks.

      Like

        1. And I’ll use this opportunity to post again a previous example of how Bellend Cat’s ‘expertise’ was kebaped by actual experts :

          German Image Forensics Expert Scoffs at Bellingcat’s Allegations of Doctored MH17 Photos
          https://ballingcat-moses.blogspot.com/2015/06/german-image-forensics-expert-scoffs-at.html
          https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/expert-criticizes-allegations-of-russian-mh17-manipulation-a-1037125.html

          Even the creator of the forensics tools used by Bellingcat has distanced himself from their faulty analysis

          Like

          1. “Most are created under time pressure, which leads to small mistakes. But no one would be reckless enough to use Photoshop of all things and then not clean up the metadata. There are very different variants, and I think the intelligence services know a few of them.”

            Yet the Russians are constantly getting caught by clever Americans, when they hack US elections and steal American private emails, and then carelessly leave Cyrillic characters in their coding and carry out the hacking during working hours in Moscow.

            Like

        1. PO.. Exactly WTF are you talking about? I post something laudatory about the Serbs and other Yugoslavian people who fought the Nazis and that somehow is offensive to you??? I don’t get it. No fucking clue. No clue…none. Why don’t we just stay out of one another’s posts and leave it at that. OK
          Christ on a fucking bike!!!

          Like

          1. We had a rather long exchange on this a while back. To refresh your memory, the Partisans were the creation of British Intelligence to suppress knowledge of Croatian atrocities against Serbs, Jews and Roma for reasons that were previously explained.

            You should have noticed that I expressed appreciation for the video that you posted regarding Yugoslavia/Serbia.

            Like

  20. ‘Evil Corp’: Russian hackers indicted in the US
    6 Dec 2019

    Al Jazeera English

    The United States has charged two Russians for allegedly running a global hacking group called “Evil Corp” from their basements.

    Indictments against Igor Turashev and Maksim Yakubets were issued on Thursday, accusing them of using malware to steal millions of dollars.

    A $5m bounty has been offered for information leading to Yakubet’s arrest and prosecution – the largest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal.

    Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat reports.

    Like

    1. Yes, I read that elsewhere; said acts of computer malfeasance having been ongoing since 2009. Ten years. Nobody can say America doesn’t take its time about developing a case until they’re absolutely sure.

      Like

  21. Euractiv mit Neuters: Czech taxpayers should return EU subsidies due to PM’s business conflict
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/czech-taxpayers-should-return-eu-subsidies-due-to-pms-business-conflict/

    The European Commission has determined that the Czech Republic must return hundreds of millions of crowns in EU subsidies as Prime Minister Andrej Babiš did not sufficiently separate himself from holdings that received the funds, Czech news websites reported.
    ####

    Brussels and friends haven’t given up. This is an overtly political attack by conflating Babiš’s private business (which is in trust) and the Czech public – note the should in the title. This is not backed by law especially as Brussels clearly doesn’t have sufficient legal weight (I’m not talking about evidence) to get the money from Babiš’s company otherwise they would already have succeeded. They are in effect accusing Babiš & the public being one and the same.

    I don’t see how this interference works except to preach to the converted, let along actually backing up such a conclusion with with EU legal instruments. Are they dumb enough to try? Then again we’ve seen with Nord Stream II that there is nothing to stop a legal process ping-ponging between courts for years and ‘reinterpreting’ your own rules in your favor. The point being to keep the issue in the public eye and erode trust in the PM and thus attempt to influence future elections.

    That the ‘preliminary conclusions’ were already leaked back in June shows that this is hybrid warfare against and elected EU head of state. Apparently you are not allowed to vote for the wrong people or party in an election. Quite the slippery slope. It seems that u-Rope’s biggest enemy is itself, yet again!

    Like

  22. Usual BBC shite about a kreakl nonentity, whom that non-government-controlled British propagandistic organisation describes as a “popular young Russian opposition activist”

    Zhukov case: Young symbol of Russian opposition avoids jail
    1 hour ago

    A popular young Russian opposition activist has been convicted in Moscow of “inciting extremism” for political blogs he posted years ago.

    But Yegor Zhukov, 21, received a suspended sentence of three years.

    A leading figure in recent opposition protests, he said in court that the authorities only respected “autocracy”.

    Funny that: I get the distinct impression that very few here give a rat’s arse about Zhukov and the rest of his kreakl arsehole kind.

    And the BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford throws in that “the verdict is as close as you get to “not guilty” in Russian courts these days”.

    These days?

    Not really, my dear!

    When one is found not guilty in court here, the term “not guilty” is used.

    УПК РФ Статья 14. Презумпция невиновности

    1. Обвиняемый считается невиновным, пока его виновность в совершении преступления не будет доказана в предусмотренном настоящим Кодексом порядке и установлена вступившим в законную силу приговором суда.
    2. Подозреваемый или обвиняемый не обязан доказывать свою невиновность. Бремя доказывания обвинения и опровержения доводов, приводимых в защиту подозреваемого или обвиняемого, лежит на стороне обвинения.
    3. Все сомнения в виновности обвиняемого, которые не могут быть устранены в порядке, установленном настоящим Кодексом, толкуются в пользу обвиняемого.
    4. Обвинительный приговор не может быть основан на предположениях.

    Code of Criminal Procedure Article 14. Presumption of innocence

    1. The accused shall be considered innocent until his guilt in committing a crime has been proven in accordance with the procedure provided for by the present Code and has been established by a verdict of the court which has come into force.
    2. The suspect or the accused shall not be obliged to prove his innocence. The burden of proving the prosecution and refuting the arguments put forward in defence of the suspect or accused rests with the prosecution.
    3. All doubts in the guilt of the accused which cannot be eliminated in the order established by the present Code, shall be interpreted in favour of the accused.
    4. A guilty verdict may not be based on assumptions.

    По итогам суда он был признан невиновным translates as “At his trial he was found not guilty”.

    Zhukov was found guilty and given a suspended sentence.

    Why does Rainsford want to play games with the verdict by saying the verdict of guilty and the sentence he received meant that he was innocent of all charges?

    Like

    1. This was Moscow’s Only English Daily Arsewipe on Zhukov last summer:

      Aug 5, 2019 – Moscow police have detained students picketing in support of a schoolmate who faces a maximum prison sentence of eight years after taking part in recent opposition demonstrations that have rocked the capital. Yegor Zhukov, a student at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics …

      Rocked the capital????

      The BBC last August:

      Moscow protests: Students fighting for democracy in Russia …

      Fighting for democracy!!!!

      FT fulminating last August:

      Russians feel the pain of Vladimir Putin’s regime

      The Guardian groaning last August:

      Moscow’s peaceful protests enrage the Kremlin

      To quote (almost) the words of a former idiot of a British Minister of Defence: They should all just shut up ad fuck off.

      Because nobody gives a flying fuck about these pampered student HSE tossers!


      Freedom! Democracy!


      How awful!

      Like

        1. They’re going gaga in the Western prestitutocracy and the kreakl blogosphere about Zhukov’s emotional bullshit declaration before the court:

          In his closing statement on Wednesday, quoted by the Moscow Times, Zhukov told the court that “the only traditional value that the current Russian state truly honours and strengthens is autocracy.

          “Autocracy that tries to break the life of anyone who sincerely wishes the best for their homeland, who doesn’t hesitate to love and take responsibility,” he said.

          “I look ahead beyond the horizon of the years, and I see a Russia filled with responsible and loving people. This will be a truly happy place. Let everyone imagine this kind of Russia. And let this image drive you and your activities in the same way that it drives me,” he added.

          See, his and his kreakl chums’ lives are being broken by the Putin autocracy. They want to love and be loved, they want to be allowed to do what they want, just like one is free to do what one wants to do in the community of nations, from which the Evil Regime is isolated.

          Pampered bourgeois HSE arsehole of a student!

          And he is “unhappy”.

          Watch his videos and see!

          Like

          1. Yes, it’s easy to believe a teenager like Zhukov knows what’s best for his homeland, well-versed as he is in dealing with the manipulative efforts of foreign politicians.

            I can’t help noting it would be pretty easy for him to go and live somewhere that the values he espouses prevail. Isn’t it a little selfish of him to want to change a whole country whose voting patterns indicate it does not agree with him, just so he can be happy? I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do that here, and I like to think this place is pretty free.

            Sobol must be put out that her own moment in the spotlight was so brief.

            Like

      1. The Moscow Higher School of Economics is an assembly line for dissident fuckoffs. If they hate Russia so much, why don’t they fuck off out of it and go live somewhere else? Nobody’s stopping them. They probably come from money, unless they’re on a scholarship, and could afford to go live in The Land Of Milk And Honey they’re forever idealizing.

        Like

    1. Speaking of Nazis, Canada is a little bit closer to deporting its last remaining Nazi (that it knows of). Oberlander was a translator for what is described as “a Nazi killing squad in Ukraine and Russia”, and it’s a sort of race now to deport him before he croaks; he’s 95. The country has tried four times now to kick him out.

      https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadas-last-nazi-denied-a-supreme-court-appeal-of-revoked-citizenship

      It occurs to me that if Russia and Ukraine are never friends again, and are even enemies for generations to come, it will be because of Ukraine’s fascination with Nazi war criminals far more than its pathetic flirting with the west. Nazi worship is something the great majority of Russians simply will not tolerate.

      Like

  23. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Resolution recognising Armenian genocide blocked in U.S. Senate
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-turkey-armenia/resolution-recognising-armenian-genocide-blocked-in-u-s-senate-idUKKBN1Y92KN

    …Congressional aides said the White House does not want the legislation to move ahead while it negotiates with Ankara on sensitive issues such as Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria and the NATO ally’s purchase of an S-400 missile defence system from Russia, which could provoke U.S. sanctions. …
    ####

    I completely forgot that it only passed in the House and not the Senate. It looks like for all the Bluff and Bluster over Turkey, powder is being kept dry…

    Like

  24. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Russia suspends revamp work at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-nuclear-russia/russia-suspends-revamp-work-at-irans-fordow-nuclear-plant-idUKKBN1Y91XD

    …“Uranium enrichment and the production of stable isotopes cannot be carried out in the same room,” TVEL said in a statement, adding that it was “technologically impossible” to implement the project at this time…

    …“To resume this work, we must stop and dismantle the cascades, where uranium enrichment takes place and thoroughly clean the premises and equipment,” said TVEL, which specialises in uranium mining and production of nuclear fuel.

    “Until these conditions are met, works on the project from the Russian side are suspended.” …
    ####

    Strange things are afoot at the CircleK. It looks like a plan to buy breathing space without any side losing face.

    Like

  25. crAP via Antiwar.com: Iran accuses France, Germany and UK of false missile claims
    https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article238089134.html

    Iran accused France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Thursday of “a desperate falsehood” for saying its missile program goes against a U.N. resolution calling on Tehran not to undertake any activity related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles….
    ####

    Oh, it’s this old i-Rack (maigret de) canard (Quack! Quack!) back from the dead. Everything is potentially dual-use ffs! Your toothbrush? It can take an eye out even if not sharpened.

    Remember in the run up to bombing i-Rack yet again the west came up with a regular laundry list of stuff that could be used for nuclear weapons, like aluminium tubes that were alleged to be centrifuges for purifying uranium hexoflouride gas in to the good stuff.* What about the famous Yellow Cake raw uranium oxide mined in Niger?** More bs.

    Either way, the other news is that six more countries have joined the less than useless EU INSTEX financial mechanizm designed to keep trade going with i-Ran inspite of US sanctions.

    Wheels within wheels at a poker game at the devil’s high table. What was that Bergmann film???

    * https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/evidence-iraqs-aluminum-tubes-misrepresented

    ** https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Yellowcake_forgery

    Like

    1. And who wants to see more sanctions and a harder line against Iran? Why, Ambassador Danny Danon, of the sovereign state created of other people’s land – Israel. But of course. The grubby-faced tot continues to peek out from behind its Papa’s pants leg, and squeal, “Get ‘im, Daddy!!”

      Like

  26. Russia’s leading oppositionist and Putin’s fiercest critic:


    A guy’s got to take a rest once in a while, hasn’t he?

    The blogger Navalny spent well in 2019. Overseas vacations for him and his family cost a lot of money: a little more than 22 million rubles for all the trips. More recently, the blogger was questioned about where he travelled so often. However, Navalny replied that all his trips were exclusively “for business”.

    But we note that he did not choose the most low-cost of destinations for his business trips. About one million rubles sometimes went out on a flight, and for the entire “working” holidays, the amount spent easily reached several million.

    With this money, it would have been possible to provide better legal assistance for those detained during the protests in Moscow, but Navalny somehow did not care. He had more important things to do.

    Aleksei took the money for overseas holidays from his bitcoin wallets. The blogger has two of them, and all operations can be viewed in the public domain.

    https://www.blockchain.com/en/btc/address/3QzYvaRFY6bakFBW4YBRrzmwzTnfZcaA6E?filter=1

    https://www.blockchain.com/en/btc/address/3MQTRzttkMtsMEy9dRq4Sf1xiSsWKgQkyH

    New year 2019 began in style for Navalny. In January, he and his family vacationed in Thailand and spent 4.2 million rubles there, relaxing in a hotel deluxe room. And they flew there on Aeroflot business class at a cost of 1.2 million rubles.

    According to transaction information, at that time, namely January 14, 9.8 bitcoins (3,330,000 rubles) were withdrawn from his bitcoin wallet.

    Source

    Like

      1. When members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment posed with the body of Somali teenager Shidane Arone, whom they had tortured and beaten to death for sneaking into the Canadian compound in Somalia to steal food, the entire regiment was disbanded.

        https://www.upi.com/Archives/1995/01/23/Disgraced-airborne-regiment-disbanded/5605790837200/

        The regiment had been getting out of hand for some time before that, and many say that’s what happens when you send people trained to kill violently on a peacekeeping mission where they must show restraint, but that was the final straw.

        Like

  27. This is no different than the BBC, Grauniad, et al. aligning with neo-Nazis in the Ukraine and Trump supporters in Hong Kong. There is no sincerity behind their words. It is all schadenfreude.

    Like

    1. Another comment, further down;

      “A perfectly fair case, actually.
      Zhukov has called to “collapse” the capital of Russia. This is undeniably extremist and he was justly found guilty for the violation of the law. Thanks to the absence of severe consequences of his actions, he was sentenced just to probation.”

      His light sentence is influenced by the fact that there were no serious consequences of his actions, which in no way suggests his views are recognized as harmless.

      Like

    2. re. “crowd is growing crazy” above.

      The “crowd” in the main consisted of students, kreakls certain other categories of young, bourgeois wankers — and “journalists”, of course.


      The rapturous crowd that awaited Zhukov outside the court and below, a less flattering view of the crowd of student tossers that had gathered outside the court in order greet and congratulate their hero on his having received a lenient sentence, which sentence Rainsford of the British Bullshitting Corporation wrote was “as close as you get to ‘not guilty”in Russian courts these days”:

      The great kreakl HSE student speaks:

      Россия будет свободной!Russia will be free!: clip courtesy Радио Свобода [Freedom Radio], because that’s the slogan they love to hear such tossers chanting, which promotes the message “Freedom Radio” wishes to give the “free” world, namely that Russia is an undemocratic, authoritarian “regime” and is, therefore, by its very nature, hostile to the free and democratic world that basks in the glow of USA magnificence and rests easy under Pax Americana.

      And you had better believe it!


      We believe ya, bro! We wanna believe ya!

      Why don’t gopniki heed the HSE students’ call for freedom and love and justice for all?


      Because we hate fucking posh students, that’s why!


      Our new pals don’t like them either!

      🙂

      Like

    1. Thanks for that DavidT! It looks like Russia will be using the technologies developed for the Su-57 – new NATO name ‘Felon’ and there won’t be a huge production run, rather it will be in part used as a stepping stone to a 6th generation aircraft to help them keep abreast western developments but at an affordable price compared to the Platinum Plated F-22 and the F-35 Turkey, i.e. Russia has an eye to a lot more sales in future. Very shrewd indeed!

      One of the big interesting changes over the last thirty years, avionics/systems etc. now evolve much more quickly with the growth of semi-conductors & the adoption of Commercial Off-The Shelf equipment (COTS) than an airframe which is now expected to be in service a minimum of 35 years – through probably with reinforcement/strengthening at some point and multiple avionics updates.

      I’ve also read that 6gen jet engines are supposed to have a ‘third stream’ capability, i.e. introduce/block whatever air mass wherever necessary depending on mission, such as thermal profile, supercruise (aka more than Mach 1 ~1.5 without burner) profile, more range or more thrust or a combination of all of the above.* As for supercruising, the Mig-31 development of the Mig-25 has by far the best range (save the long retired USAF SR-71) of 720km/450mi at Mach 2.35 (on burners)** – much further than any currently operational western kerosene fueled aircraft and that was before the recent upgrades which if the latest ones included the turbine, could add ~20% in range or more depending on how deep the upgrade is.

      * https://aviationweek.com/defense/ge-details-sixth-generation-adaptive-fighter-engine-plan
      ** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-31#Specifications_(MiG-31)

      Like

      1. Thanks for the Aviation Week reference. You clearly understand this stuff better than I do. It always seemed to me that the MIG-41 program made sense provided it wasn’t overly expensive, and that the general decision to produce military jets in relatively low production runs was sensible. Missiles seemed to be a better area in which to put your money, especially considering the breakthroughs that emanated there. I remember that 50 or so years ago that the Soviets went for unmanned rocket development rather than manned, and that seemed sensible at the time.

        Like

  28. Profiles in real.courage
    Mark…you should read the whole thing… American cruelty…but I guess it applies to all armies throughout the ages

    Like

    1. They will go ahead with it, because they know if they don’t strike now it will be too late to get it on the agenda and it will just fade away. So they will try, and it will fail. Because they don’t have any real evidence, just a lot of creative interpretation of what they think various conversations mean. Their strongest plank seems to be that Trump threatened to withhold aid if Zelenskiy would not investigate the Bidens, and several witnesses have testified the decision to put a hold on aid predates Trump’s conversation with Zelenskiy.

      The Democrats passively tolerated much worse from Bush, because they were terrified of him.

      Like

    1. Those street scenes above are not in Russia: probably in Latvia. They are carrying a Latvian flag in some street scenes. Even at the very end, where the German officer is calling out in Russian for his opponents to surrender, saying that it is senseless to resist, the street signs are in the Latin alphabet and the language Latvian, I think.

      Like

  29. Tory minister says ‘we should be concerned’ about Russian meddling – but report still can’t be released
    Johnson has repeatedly refused to publish Commons intelligence report into alleged Russian interference in British politics

    See: House of Commons Hansard: Intelligence and Security Committee Report on Russia
    05 November 2019 Volume 667

    The House of Windbaggery and Obfuscation at its best!

    Better than those lame-brains in the US Congress, though … I think.

    Like

      1. She was quick to say she is not from the UK and does not have a role in decision-making, right after she laid out the plan they must follow and seasoned it with a teaser that there is plenty of evidence the Russians interfered in the BREXIT referendum, of which there is not or they would have shown it. That’s become the western political party-piece now; insistence that mounds of evidence exists but cannot be shown to the public because National Security has substituted for the existence of actual evidence. But in the days we are living, you can interfere as much as you like just as long as you make a public statement that you are not interfering. Not to be confused with Moscow’s ‘denials’, which are nothing but lies.

        https://imgflip.com/i/26o6pk

        Like

  30. Putin, star man!

    “What’s the matter?” [in German} “At a meeting with German business, the translation stopped and Putin switched to German himself.

    He says in German:

    “Have you not …? Oh, yes .. . Hmm-hmm. Why? [chuckles ] I’ll tell you later then. [laughs] It’s not really interesting what they will say.”.

    Like

    1. The recently released movie Battle of Midway looks at both sides leading up to Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.

      The movie indicated that the US was seeking to strangle Japan by denying access to oil. I used the term “strangle” but it sounds so ugly. I should have said “sanctions” which has a nice legal ring and sort of a tough love tone.

      The movie depicted heroism on both sides, criticism of both sides, but of course, it focused on the America and their heroes; fair enough.

      The movie is well worth watching. The CG was excellent if over the top with multiple planes on fire with simultaneous multiple bomb explosions during various battle scenes but I suppose trying to compress a 30 minute attack into a few minutes could justify such.

      The US was damn lucky at catching the Japanese carriers largely unable to defend themselves in the midst of rearming their aircraft. My naval historian consultant pointed out a Japanese blunder of not having their battleships with their enormous anti-aircraft capabilities to guard the carriers. Also, the Japanese could have pressed the attack against Midway with their surface fleet pounding the island.

      Also learned that the Pearl Harbor attack was not as successful as it could have been as some commanders sought glory by attacking US battle ships when they should have been bombing their assigned targets including fuel depots. If they did such, the US fleet would have been forced to withdraw to west coast ports for many months.

      Like

      1. The movie indicated that the US was seeking to strangle Japan by denying access to oil.

        You bet it was!

        The US imposed … wait for it! … sanctions on Japan.

        The U.S. froze Japanese assets on July 26, 1941, and on August 1 established an embargo on oil and petrol exports to Japan.

        To stop Japanese imperial expansion, see, because then as now, the Nips have sweet FA as regards energy resources.

        So what did the little bleeders go and do in response?

        Why, they headed off for the then Dutch East Indies, where there was and still is plenty of the black stuff, and the US colony that is the Philippine archipelago and also, while they were at it, attempted to banjax the US Pacific Fleet so as to keep it off the Imperial Japanese Navy back.

        Worked a treat, did the US sanctions!

        They always do, don’t they?

        Luckily for the Ham Shanks, the Japs didn’t quite fully pull off what they had intended at Pearl Harbor.

        Like

      2. It makes me laugh to see western source material refer to “Japan’s alleged “divine right” to unify Asia under Hirohito’s rule.” As if Japan were nutso to claim it was operating under other-worldly guidance. The United States’ leaders frequently avow to be inspired by heavenly messages – Bush the Younger regularly resorted to such claims – and more circumspect presidents choose to call it ‘exceptionalism’, which is simply an invented world to encompass God’s personal blessing on America’s earthly machinations. But when the leader of some other nation makes similar claims, he is of course a crackpot, because Uncle Sam already has a lock on God, and He would never approve someone else’s ambitions. Especially if they contradicted American aims.

        There is evidence, which sometimes even comes out in western accounts of the strike, that the Japanese intended the attack on Pearl Harbour to be honourable according to the laws of war, although they intended to pare the warning to the shortest possible allowance for reaction. The Japanese Ambassador who was to present the formal declaration of war to the US government was kept waiting for an audience, and consequently the presentation of the declaration was delayed until after the attack had already begun.

        Like

  31. Prof Wolff on tariffs on Argentina and Brazil
    6 Dec 2019

    Prof. Wolff responds to Trump’s latest imposition of tariffs on steel from Argentina and Brazil. What is really behind these tariffs? Prof. Wolff explains.

    The US Empire has fallen out of love of capitalism and “free markets” now that is a serious competitor in the shape of the People’s Republic of China.

    Russian capitalists need a strong state and government to protect them from the US Empire that will not hesitate to use state powers and instruments to undermine foreign competitors for the benefit of US Empire companies.

    Like

    1. They have to, because it’s all about Moving America Forward, which is really all about Keeping America From Falling Backward, and maintaining its stranglehold on world affairs. Never mind how reprehensible it is that the United States claims the right to decide what is best for Europe, and is intent on making it buy American gas by denying it all other sources, and trying to make Russia assume a caretaker role for Ukraine by transiting gas through its shitty collapsing system so that it must pay it transit fees to keep it alive. As previously discussed, it is too late now to stop Russia from completing the pipeline, although stoppage of work by companies presently occupied in construction would probably delay it by half a year. Once more, that would take Europe through a winter of gas uncertainty, which would offer a valuable lesson – unless Russia completely lost its head and signed a new long-term transit agreement with Ukraine, which is a secondary objective of American sanctions – and promote dislike of and rebellion against American influence such as has not been seen for a long, long time. But the pipeline will still be completed; Russia working alone can do that, and Uncle Sam has already shot his wad on sanctions against Russia.

      Sanctions is really all America has left. It’s not going to attack Europe to make it buy American gas, and production is falling off anyway; does it make sense to gamble everything on making more people dependent on a supply that is already getting harder to deliver, when it hasn’t even gotten off the ground?

      https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-10-15/how-us-oil-output-went-from-explosive-to-sluggish

      It isn’t going to attack Russia, either. Oh, it rattles its sabre and makes noises like it would dearly love to do it, but in the end it is America’s allies who would pay the cost, and they are not nearly as crazy as Uncle Sam. America is just flailing, trying to make itself appear more relevant and critically important for mostly a domestic audience. If dithery Europe, under the leadership of demagogues like Stoltenberg and Sefcovic, doesn’t lose its nerve and run weeping into Uncle Sam’s arms, begging to be forgiven because it’s been SO naughty, Nord Stream II will be completed reasonably close to on schedule, while pipelaying companies will have lost out on millions in revenue because they obeyed the Dog In The Manger’s orders to stop work on a project that will be completed without them.

      The biggest casualty of the effort will be American credibility – already in short supply – because since at least the middle of the Obama presidency, America gave up on pretending its decisions are based on anything other than self-interest. It’s not trying to stop Nord Stream II because the pipeline has ‘divided Europe’ – the USA doesn’t give a fuck if Europe is as divided as a pizza, just as long as all the pieces are buying American gas and oil, and the ideologues pulling the strings of the Orange Peckerhead don’t give a fuck how united NATO is just as long as everyone is spending a minimum of 2% of GDP on buying weapons and ammunition from the world’s biggest arms dealer, which just happens to be Uncle Sam. Simple economics – if the USA wants to go on living large, it has to increasingly dominate decision-making in every corner of the world, because its appetite (not to mention its debt) has grown so huge that nothing less will do.

      Like

      1. …because it’s all about Moving America Forward, which is really all about Keeping America From Falling Backward..
        ####

        Yes, it’s all about momentum.

        As we here on your esteemed blog have covered and commented many times, the hollowing out of available expertise is a key factor. Professionals with decades of experience have felt pressured/forced/threatened if they did not sign on fully to whatever crazy plan had been hatched over whisky on the rocks in the Ovum Office. These ‘realists/what if/’people have voted with their feet, quietly and collected their pensions or moved on. The Ovum Office’s (well before t-Rump) pool is now only filled with genetically modfied goldfish/piranha. It’s a reality horror B-movie.

        Like

  32. Адвокат студента ВШЭ Жукова признался в финансировании ВСУ
    7 декабря 2019

    HSE student Zhukov’s lawyer has admitted to financing Ukraine armed forces

    Lawyer Ilya Novikov, a former participant in the television game “What? Where? When?”, who represented the interests of Yegor Zhukov, a student at the Higher School of Economics, has admitted to giving financial support to the Ukrainian armed forces.

    “Unlike Yegor, I believe in the effectiveness of violence”, said the lawyer, adding that “a ruble” he will receive for Zhukov’s defence will be transferred “to support the ZSY”, writes “Tsargrad”.

    “And another 99,999 [rubles] are from me, because it’s their holiday on December 6”, added the lawyer.

    In comments under Novikov’s Facebook postings, he was asked what the ZSU is. “The Armed Forces of the Ukraine. Zbroyni sili Ukrainy“, users wrote in response.,/i>

    Like


  33. left: Zhukov, advocate of non-violent overthrow of legitimate government.
    right: Zhukov’s defence lawyer, an advocate who advocates and financially supports violence meted out by the Ukraine armed forces [SUGS!] against Ukrainian civilians.

    Like

  34. The making of a new leader of the “Opposition”?

    «Дирижёр беспорядков»:
    Что известно об участнике протестов Егоре Жукове

    <b "Conductor of the riots"
    What is known about the protests participant Yegor Zhukov?
    student, blogger, libertarian?
    23 August 2019


    Zhukov telling his fellow arseholes on campus about the meaning of life, the universe and things …

    Libertarian blogger Egor Zhukov completed the third year of the Political Science course at the Higher School of Economics this summer. He entered university with the help of the All-Russian Olympiad in Social Sciences – he is a graduate of Moscow lyceum 1535, where students regularly become winners and prize-winners of the Olympiad, which gives applicants the right to enter any university without exams….

    … Egor Zhukov has been a frequent participant in policy conferences. For example, he visited the “Young Leaders Forum” in Montenegro and the Mikhail Khodorkovsky conference “Open Russia” in Riga. Pro-Kremlin blogs and the media provide this comment: “At the forums, from time to time he discussed the overthrow of the Russian government”.

    … Egor’s classmate Vika Byelaya says that Zhukov gathered around him students who wanted to learn something about political science and politics. “He was a leader amongst the freshmen. Even organized a reading club, although I did not last very long there — Egor is very peculiar in his political tastes, but this did not prevent us from communicating”, says the girl. “According to Egor, it was evident that he must express his point of view, otherwise it would boil up inside him….”

    We don’t need any advice!

    Lo, a star is born in the hegemon firmament!

    Like

    1. Wonder who put up the money for his shiny brochures with his smiling, confident face on them?

      Borya ‘Shagger’ Nemtsov once commented that he had become a ‘Dyedushka’ in the opposition movement, and that the real youngbloods were those like the ‘fiery’ Alexey Navalny. Who has become a bit of a dyedushka himself, did he but realize it. The west is quick to shift its fawning affection to whoever looks like the most obnoxious squealer of the day.

      Like

          1. He resembles my son Vladimir, only my Vova has blue eyes and fair hair, he being only a half-Orc Untermensch or Mischling, to use the Nazi terminology.

            His other half is, of course, Aryan.

            Gott sei dank!

            🙂

            [irony]

            Like

            1. And my son is only 1 year and 3 days younger than Zhukov is and most certainly would not see eye-to-eye with him should they ever meet.

              My son is also a student, but unlike Zhukov, he does not attend and speak at forums in Montenegro and Riga, for example, organized by such vermin as Weinstein and Khodorkovsky: he spends his free time making that awful racket that he calls music and right now, at 11:41 FFS, he’s shacked up with his girlfriend, who is also a student and part-time model.

              I mean what used to be called a “mannequin”, not one of them who gets them out for the lads.

              Like

        1. Sentenced in a criminal court to 3 years in custody (suspended) for incitement on the Internet to public disorder. And that, the opinion of Sarah Rainsford of the BBC notwithstanding, is a verdict of “guilty”!

          This incitement to rioting, by the way, fits into one of the academic discipline programmes taught at the HSE, which is called “ЭРР” [ERR — “Economic Development of Russia”], a course of lectures read by the Vice-rector of the HSE — Valeria Alexandrovna Kasamara.

          Like

          1. Under Kasamara’s professional interests (see above link) she lists the following:

            political nostalgia; collective memory; historical memory; political culture; political perceptions; students political perceptions

            Political perceptions amongst Russian youth
            Political perceptions in Russian society
            Political culture, historical memory, political myths
            Political nostalgia
            Politics and the arts

            Like


            1. I’m interested to know what your political perceptions are, Vanya, Lyosha — I mean, have you any post-modernistic interpretations concerning political perceptions in Russian society, or are you of the opinion that we are in an era of neo-modernism that is a negation of post-modernism?

              Like

              1. Have you ever seen a grown man naked? Do you ever hang around the gymnasium? Do you like movies about gladiators?

                – snippets from the movie Aiplane

                Like

    2. At the forums, from time to time he discussed the overthrow of the Russian government.

      Zhukov’s videos constantly propose the overthrow of the government. He stresses, however, that he does not advocate the violent overthrow of “the regime”, and this assertion of his non-violent intent is usually made on video against a projected backdrop of his fellow-blogger and “oppositionist” Navalny, whom Zhukov then criticizes for advocating violence.

      The chattering arsewipes in Russia constantly whine on the blogosphere of the horrendous nature of the “autocratic regime”, in that Zhukov was charged for repeatedly advocating the overthrow the government and organising non-sanctioned demonstrations that led to breaches of public order.

      How frightful!

      That would never happen in the free and fair West!

      Would it?

      When Berezovsky had been allowed by a judge to remain in the UK after that wanted-in-Russia criminal had persuaded a London court that he would not get a fair trial in his Mother Country should he have to return there, that he feared that his life would even be in danger should he have to return to Russia, following a British Home Office ruling that return he must, that the period of validity of his UK visa had expired, the “Russian Oligarch” started getting too cocky and openly boasted that he was funding from the UK anti-government movements in Russia, whose objective was the overthrow of the “Putin Regime”.

      Following Berezovsky’s boasting in a Guardian interview, then British Home Secretary Jack Straw landed on him like a pile of bricks and warned him that if continued to organize from the UK the overthrow of a legitimate state, he would be extradited.

      BBC:
      Straw’s warning to Russian tycoon
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4756880.stm

      The slimy bastard took no notice, though:

      Guardian:
      ‘I am plotting a new Russian revolution’
      Fri 13 Apr 2007

      FT:
      Oligarch denies backing violent overthrow [wall]

      Boris Berezovsky has said that he never advocated the violent overthrow of the Russian government – though he is pressing for a bloodless regime change …

      Seems that if one advocates publicly and repeatedly the overthrow of a government, be that overthrow violent or not, one is likely to fall foul of the law.

      However, if the government to be overthrown is the Russian one, well… that’s a horse of a different colour!

      As regards breach of public order and the organising thereof: that is what I was sent down for in the UK in 1985.

      The offence that I was found guilty of committing, is covered by Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which, in fact, was slightly modified the year after after I had been sent down because the powers-that-be had had a whale of a time using it during the year-long British miners’ strike 1985-185, in which thousands of men had been criminalized by means of “Section 5”.

      Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. Section 5(1) provides: “(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he/she: (a) uses threatening [or abusive] words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or. … within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”

      Now, according to section 5, Zhukov would not have had a leg to stand on — in the “free and democratic world” with which he is apparently so enamoured.

      Like

      1. As a matter of fact, the judge who sent me down waxed lyrically before his giving me a custodial sentence. I remember word for word what he said then: “You have been found guilty of planning and organizing reckless and vindictive attacks against the police, National Coal Board property and men, whose only wish was to go to work”.

        He then said that it was necessary that society be protected from me, and sent me to the slammer.

        I had to hold my tongue, for I was solely tempted to answer back that I had, in fact, been found guilty of breach of Section 5, and that there had been no discussion during my trial about whether I had been guilty of attacking cops and the blacklegs that they had been escorting into colliery premises, not to mention attacks against such premises organized by me, be they reckless or vindictive or not. But the key thing was that the during my trial, the cops insisted that I was the ringleader of the striking miners’ picket.

        And that’s what Zhukov was arrested for: he was identified as a “ringleader” of the kreakl protesters.

        And he was!

        Like

        1. Compare and contrast Western arsehole presstitute commentators’ opinions concerning “Putin’s Authoritarian Regime” and protests in France:

          MOSCOW
          30,000
          people went out onto the streets

          19
          criminal cases

          5
          custodial sentences

          “Moscow protests”

          FRANCE
          27,000
          people went out onto the streets

          3,128
          criminal cases

          412
          custodial sentences

          “Yellow Vest Movement”

          Like

  35. Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): US and Iranian men released in prisoner swap
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50698017

    …Hours later, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Thank you to Iran on a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together!”…

    …Both have thanked the Swiss government for its assistance as an intermediary facilitator….
    ####

    Not that it means anything but maybe we have to wait for an US/i-Srael war against i-Ran until after the next US election.

    Like

    1. Horseshit. Iran will be allowed to ‘rejoin the international community’ when it accepts that its politics and policies will be dictated by Israel through the United States.

      Like

    1. I could run over Pompeo with a bulldozer – how stupid does he think people are, with that same old pablum about ‘people seeking freedom’ and ‘kleptocrats’? It’s so formulaic he doesn’t even have to think about it – he just opens his festering piehole and it rolls right out, preformed. Whenever the USA is warming up for another regime-change operation – this time clearly at Israel’s bequest – it always gets inordinately concerned about someone’s freedom. Does anyone, anywhere, still buy that ridiculous and patronizing bullshit?

      Russia and perhaps China are planning to hold joint military drills and ‘war games’ in the region with Iran this month.

      https://www.newsweek.com/iran-regional-coalition-war-games-russia-china-1475115

      Like

      1. Folks conditioned by a life in a capitalistic society that has reached its end state (such as the West) must, for sheer survival, learn how to kid themselves and to avert their eyes. We are indeed the walking dead. Well, most of us.

        And the bastards know it. They must laugh long and hard whenever they spew shit and we pretend to believe (with little conscious awareness that we are pretending).

        Like

    1. Well, not so simply as that. But of course companies owned outright by oligarchs, or companies in which oligarchs have significant investments, will be given contracts which will ‘accelerate economic growth’. That’s pretty much unavoidable, considering that oligarchs directly control somewhere in the neighbourhood of 70% of Ukraine’s GDP. That mightn’t be such a crime, if the money actually went to accelerating economic growth. But instead it will be sunk into failing ventures in which the investors will benefit but the public will see sweet fuck all, as usual. And that’s how you steal without it being too obvious. I suppose that money was a ‘loan’, which will be ‘paid back’, like the rest that went before.

      Like

  36. From Carroll of the Independent:

    Volodymyr, meet Vladimir: Can Ukraine dare to dream of peace?
    On Monday, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin will meet for the first time with the purpose of negotiating peace – but it’s the Russian leader who holds all the cards, says Oliver Carroll
    [wall]

    From the day of his inauguration in May, Mr Zelensky has pushed for a summit of the ‘Normandy’ quartet of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. Meeting with his opposite number in the Kremlin was, as the rookie president saw it, a crucial part of his pre-election pitch to end Ukraine’s five-year war in 12 months.

    War? A civil war, that is: a war between Ukraine government forces, aided by privately funded “punishment battalions'” and separatist Ukrainian citizens in eastern Ukraine provinces, and only parts thereof at that! But Carroll implies that the war is one waged between “Ukraine” and Russia.

    But throughout that war – which has cost thousands of lives – Vladimir Putin has demonstrated a knack of only ever negotiating while on on the front foot.

    No mention, as usual, of the fact that the vast majority of casualties have been suffered by Ukrainian civilians at the hands of their fellow citizens, either their own army or murderous Banderite nationalists.

    Funny how Carroll makes no mention of the massive Russian army that is firmly entrenched in Eastern Ukraine. That mendacious criminal swine Poroshenko never stopped talking about its presence.

    Like

    1. Further to the above:

      The US Senate will consider a draft bill that will oblige the State Department to check whether Russia can be recognised as a “state sponsor of terrorism”. The document was submitted by Republican Cory Gardner. The draft bill also suggests that the State Department will answer another question: whether “Russian-controlled armed formations” in Donbass can be considered “terrorists”. At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly noted that it is not a party to the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine and does not provide military support to the DPR and the LPR. According to experts, Gardner’s initiative became another element of the anti-Russian course of the American establishment.

      Source: The US Will Consider a Draft Bill on the Possibility of Recognising Russia as a “Sponsor of Terrorism”
      December 8, 2019
      Stalker Zone

      Like

      1. Bla, bla, bla, so what? The self-relevance a dying empire accords itself. Russia should respond with an offer for a joint effort with the United States which obliges the State Department and the Russian equivalent to meet annually to discuss whether the moon is still made of green cheese. The only suitable response to such pompous pronouncements is gentle mockery, as Washington gathers its ragged cloak about its skinny shanks and tries to put on an imperial face. It’s not nice to make fun of crazy people, but what can you do?

        This will, however, have the net effect – if it is carried out – of ensuring that Russia and the USA are never friends again under any combination of administrations for our lifetimes. So Russia could drop that absurd “Our American colleagues” or “partners”, or whatever. I imagine there are toilers in the deep state who have made it their life’s work to ensure this conclusion comes to pass.

        Like

    2. How, I should like to know, is Vladimir Putin ever on the front foot? How is it possible for Russia’s president to be dealing from a position of strength when he has the entirety of the western world against him and his economy is in tatters from brutally effective American sanctions?

      Like

    3. Can we call him Oliver ‘Wonderland‘ Carroll? Or maybe just ‘Olive’? He’s oval, has a big hole that facts fall through easily, and is afraid (green) of being challenged for proof of his claims (sic that he witnessed a “Russian army incursion in the the Ukraine”).

      Like

  37. EP.822: New Russian UK Amb.: NATO Build-Up on Russia’s Borders is Bad for Europe’s Security!
    7 Dec 2019

    On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to the new Russian Ambassador to the U.K. Andrei Kelin. He discusses Russia-NATO relations and the rising tensions of NATO positioning soldiers and armaments along Russia’s borders, the reasons for poor UK-Russia relations historically and why the Russia-UK relationship has held despite this, the impact of Brexit and Scottish nationalism in weakening the UK’s global standing compared to Russia’s and allegations of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and cyber-attacks. He also discusses allegations of Russia aiding the US-UK trade talk leaks on the NHS presented by Jeremy Corbyn, alleged Russian assistance to Boris Johnson, the collapse of the INF Treaty and the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) and more!

    Like

    1. The crime looks worse than it appears and the shooting may have actually been deliberate as a warning to Vyacheslav Sobolev. It looks as if the killers knew there was a child in the car and they targeted the boy instead.

      “ATO Monsters: In Ukraine a Market of Hired Serial Killers Appeared”
      https://www.stalkerzone.org/ato-monsters-in-ukraine-a-market-of-hired-serial-killers-appeared/

      “ ‘Right Sector’ Nazis Were Officially Linked With the Murder of a Deputy’s 3-Year-Old Son”
      https://www.stalkerzone.org/right-sector-nazis-were-officially-linked-with-the-murder-of-a-deputys-3-year-old-son/

      I’m sure Lavrega and Semenov will be sent to Hong Kong soon enough if the Azov Battalion thugs already there don’t succeed in their mission.

      Like

      1. Yes, Lavrega was supposed to have been a sniper. He’d have to be quite the dyslexic sniper if he thought the driver was in the rear seat. Mind you, the car could have been still when he fired and then moved; depending on the distance, the time of flight of a bullet can be significant.

        I wrote the above before I read your reference which included the killer’s confession. Having done so, it does look deliberate.

        Like

  38. This has got to be fake!

    Leah Akhedzhakova nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

    Actress Liya Akhedzhakova may become a laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020. The name of the Russian woman was included in the shortlist of nominees for the prestigious award thanks to the support of the Russian human rights foundation Civic Initiative and USAID (US Agency for International Development).

    source

    Like

    1. I wouldn’t count on it; never underestimate the pettiness and childish motivations of the US State Department, and they look for moments that might infuriate the Russian public due to a perception that a traitor is being elevated to a position of respect. Remember ‘Icarus’, and the attempt to canonize Grigory Rodchenkov, ‘noble whistleblower’? Remember the renaming of the Washington street on which the Russian Embassy was formerly located “Andrei Sakharov Plaza’? Americans have a history of schoolboy behavior in international politics, giggling and shoving each other.

      Like

  39. 18:33, 8 декабря 2019
    Глава администрации Ельцина раскрыл просьбу Крыма и Донбасса в 1991 году

    The head of Yeltsin’s administration has revealed a 1991 request of the Crimea and the DonbassDelegations from the Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk in 1991 asked to stay in Russia and not to be handed over to the Ukraine. This was stated by the former head of the presidential administration of Boris Yeltsin, Sergei Filatov, writes the newspaper “Vzglyad”.

    “Of course, this was originally our land, they just gave it to Kiev. They understood that they were in an unequal situation with the Ukrainians; in the Ukraine, nationalism was very strongly developed. A war is still going on over these issues, and not only these. Now they are talking about the fact that we shall take other areas into Russia as well”, he said.

    According to Filatov, Yeltsin’s team “had no time” to conduct negotiations with Kiev over the subject of the rights of these regions and to hold a referendum on their fate. As told by the former head of the Yeltsin administration, they were then wondering “how Russia would even survive”.

    Yeltsin, the USA’s favourite Russian president!

    Like

  40. The earthworm has to be shocked with light (earthworms are scared of light) into making the right decision (turn left or right) at each fork in the maze. Not the sort of learning experiment among others the CIA spooks should have been sponsoring at McGill University in Montreal during their Project Artichoke / MK ULTRA heyday.

    Incidentally a former Latvian President, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (the red-haired clone equivalent of Dalia Grybauskaitė in Lithuania, now ex-President), studied a postgraduate degree in psychology there at about the same time (early 1960s).

    Like

  41. Сергей Собянин. Действующие лица с Наилей Аскер-заде – Россия 24
    8 Dec 2019

    Последние новости России и мира, политика, экономика, бизнес, курсы валют, культура, технологии, спорт, интервью, специальные репортажи, происшествия и многое другое.

    Официальный YouTube канал ВГТРК.
    Россия 24 – это единственный российский информационный канал, вещающий 24 часа в сутки. Мировые новости и новости регионов России. Экономическая аналитика и интервью с влиятельнейшими персонами.

    I’m glad that Navalny’s latest “expose” hasn’t effected her personally or her career.

    Like

    1. Out of curiosity, is Nailya Asker-Zade of Georgian extraction? She has a Georgian sounding name, many Georgian surnames have the suffix zade. Also she does have a “dark” complexion/disposition; in that she is a brunette with black/brown eyes. Again this fitting with what Georgian women generally look like. E.g. Tina Kandelaki with her girl/friend Ksenia Sobchak.

      Like

      1. The suffix “-zade” or “-zadeh” is a Persian suffix and functions as a patronym (“son of”). I used to know two Iranian sisters whose surname was Farokhzadeh (meaning in Persian, “son of the fortunate and happy one”). It’s a common suffix in Iranian and Azerbaijani surnames, and if it appears in surnames in neighbouring countries (like Georgia) then those surnames are probably originally Iranian or Azerbaijani.

        Like

        1. Apropos of nothing, ‘ito’ is a Spanish suffix, meaning ‘little’. I saw a cartoon today which speculated that the trade name “Doritos” must imply there is a giant tortilla chip the size of a pizza wedge, called a ‘Doro”.

          El Doro from memes

          Like

        2. The cartoonist would be amazed that a burro is not a larger-sized version of a burrito, and that rather than trying to squeeze a burro into your pocket the way you might do with a burrito, you actually can ride a burro.

          Like

  42. Will there be peace in eastern Ukraine? | Inside Story
    8 Dec 2019
    Al Jazeera English

    Ukraine elected a president in April whose top priority was to end the conflict in the East.
    More than 13,000 people have been killed during the fighting between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed separatists.
    And now for the first time since he came into office, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin.
    French and German leaders are mediating the talks taking place in Paris on monday.
    The so-called normandy group last met to discuss ways to end the fighting more than three years ago.
    President Zelenskyy is optimistic he can bring peace to eastern Ukraine.
    But his critics see him as a political novice and fear he might give away too much to end the conflict.
    His opponents have been protesting ahead of the Paris meeting.

    So, what’s at stake for Russia and Ukraine?

    Presenter: Halla Mohiedeen.

    Guests:
    Oleksiy Haran – Professor of Comparative Politics at Kiev Mohyla Academy.

    Viktor Olevich – Lead Analyst at the Moscow-based think tank Centre for Actual Politics.

    Anna Matveeva – Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London.

    Like

  43. *Bookspam incoming*

    GUYS. Book 11 in Ted Bell’s Alexander Hawke series has been announced…and there’s no Russia.

    December 8, 1941, Washington, D.C.
    The new Chinese ambassador to the United States, Tiger Tang, meets with President Roosevelt one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the next four years, China and the U.S. will be wartime allies, but the charming, sophisticated ambassador may be playing his own treacherous game.

    Today, The Bahamas
    Alex Hawke is recovering from serious injuries incurred during a battle with a malevolent enemy. His recuperation is interrupted by a desperate call from the Queen. Her favorite grandson has disappeared in the Bahamas. Lord Hawke is the only man she trusts with a mission this sensitive. All she knows is that the young prince was last seen at the exclusive Dragonfire nightclub owned by the nefarious Tang brothers, grandsons of Ambassador Tiger Tang.

    (source)

    It looks like some other blogger will have to roast this installment.

    Like

    1. Could have been worse: Betty Windsor’s favourite grandson could have ended up on Little St James in the US Virgin Islands, in which case Hawke would have been trying to rescue him from being blackmailed by the sinister US financier billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, and the good aristocrat himself having to fend off Epstein’s secret weapons swarming all over him!

      Like

      1. But it could have been better, too. Hawke and Putin could have been locked in a martial arts battle to the death on the helipad of the infamous Black Sea Mansion with Putin’s wolfhounds watching on the sidelines, before realizing that they are both products of the same ugly system and kissing and making up or something.

        Like

  44. Thought you’d never hear that “Overwhelming evidence” tag again from the western media? Well, apparently it’s too good to let go. Ladeeez and GENTLEmen, direct from Bolivia, it’s the Organization of American States (OAS), with ‘overwhelming evidence’ (teaser, including ‘hidden servers’, those would be hard to fake, right?) of Morales’ cheating to unfairly win the election! Who would have thought it?? And the ‘quiet services’ of the Yoo-nighted states roll up another country, glory to investment.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50685335

    Of course you’ll never see any of this evidence, because while you and I might not know a computer fake from a ham hock. some very bright people would likely see it and spot the fakery in a minute, as has happened over and over again when the west tried to publish ‘evidence’ (Skripals, anyone?). So now they go with having mountains of evidence they cannot show you, because National Security.

    They can’t settle for just shunting Morales aside and stealing his country, no doubt to be followed by asset-stripping and some big US firm getting a sweetheart contract to extract lithium. No, they have to make him out to have been a crook all along, as well. Who would have thought the big dumb Indio was so crafty, eh? I guess you just never know people.

    Like

    1. Overwhelming evidence of electoral fraud in Bolivia? That must mean there was electoral fraud in some other country’s recent elections and a crook just got in or is trying to get in as President or Prime Minister. Don’t look over here, look over there!

      Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s