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. https://www.stalkerzone.org/a-cold-shower-for-siluanov-kudrin-the-privatisation-of-state-owned-companies-in-russia-is-cancelled/

    According to the Federal Antimonopoly Service, in 1998 the stake of the state in the Russian economy was 25%, in 2008 – 40-45%, by 2013 – more than 50%, and by 2017-18 – almost 70%.

    If Kudrin were dead, he would be turning over in his grave.

    70-80% seems like a good proportion. The balance could be small service companies, niche manufacturing, tech startups and agriculture.

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        1. At least a Shar-pei dog’s expression changes but Kudrin is more Easter Island statue than Shar-pei in those photos. That probably tells you something about how fast his brain reacts to changes around him.

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          1. Wonder how that little lippy blondie is, she who was so full of herself after “Yob-berg” McFaul had invited her and other 5th columnists to the US Embassy for coffee and cookies almost immediately on his arrival here as US Ambassador to Mordor?

            if I rightly recall, McFaul invited them to his place even before he’d presented his credentials to the present Orc tyrant.

            She’d already had enough with “this” country a good while back, and buggered off to one of the Baltic State non-countries — Latvia I think.

            Hope she’s having a wonderful time there.

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            1. Yeah, she and Shagger Nemtsov got on like a house on fire — I don’t think! — after he unwittingly let it slip when a mic was on that he thought she was a stupid bitch, after which they both did a big PR kiss-and-make-up display to show that all was well in the traitors’ opposition camp.

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            2. Zhenya Chirikova, the Khimki Forest wild child. In fact, McFaul was said to have arranged a meeting with prominent ‘opposition activists’ while the air was still warm around where he had been standing to present his credentials. So he did satisfy the bare minimum of etiquette first, but lost no time in getting into the mosh pit with the ‘opposition’. I don’t know what ever happened to Chirikova – let’s look.

              Mmmmm….’fled’ to Estonia four years ago. Where she’ll doubtless be talked to from the second floor as she is standing in the courtyard up to her ears in shit and dirt. Had to do it, though – the authorities were coming for her any day, and had already blackmailed her by using her children as leverage. The usual heavy-handed Kremlin persecution. And so Russia lost its leading environmentalist. Pity. Never mind; it still has its leading anti-corruption activist.

              https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/20/russias-leading-environmentalist-flees-to-estonia

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    1. For what it is worth- very little- I would prefer 60-70% but… What concerns me about the Russian economy are the low numbers of supercomputers and low numbers of robots in manufacturing. Also, the numbers of scientific papers and patents is very disappointing. Hopefully, the investment in science is not as miserable as this article suggests (I share ME’s sentiments regarding Kudrin.)
      https://tass.com/science/1087469
      On the other hand, the Russian economy seems to be bulletproof- the first reference is due to Patrick Armstrong and, I think, is especially interesting
      https://www.forbes.ru/finansy-i-investicii/386479-budet-neprosto-predlozhit-novogo-prezidenta-predskazavshiy-protesty
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2019/11/18/for-wall-street-russia-has-become-bullet-proof/#40ba57656ffd

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      1. A comment on US patents – most are worthless. I would be surprised if 10% ever approach commercialization. Regarding scientific papers in the area I am familiar with, most are generated to meet expectations of management or to justify trips to conference venues in resort/vacation areas. 70-80% of the papers are recycled or thinly disguised commercial pitches.

        Call for papers are a weekly occurrence in our business and these conferences are little more than commercial ventures to generate money for resorts and the sponsoring committees.

        Of course, there are many good research papers out there but there are a tiny minority of whats is published from my limited experience.

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        1. I accept without demur your general comments about patents but nevertheless my concerns stand. Here is a reference for the numbers of patents by country:
          https://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2019/article_0012.html
          As far as research papers go the quality depends on the discipline and where you look- pick up a decent journal publishing pure mathematics and you are likely to be impressed if you have enough background. I am sure that this is true about many other disciplines- certainly I believe that there are many researchers in “medical science” who are very serious If it is true that the US spends 33 times more on science than Russia does then that is surely a worry for Russian science. Andrei Martyanov is very laudatory about the Russian education system but he is blinded by the obvious weakness of parts of the US system. (He also seems too easily impressed by a little mathematics.)

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          1. As far as I’m aware, in terms of patents or patent applications , Russia is perfectly in line with the rate of patents per year submitted by the EU countries ( as a whole , although I don’t know if it excludes UK) – but not with the US and China who both dwarf Russia in patents submitted

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            1. As to academic papers, the very, very great majority of them are published in English. Those whose first language is English have an advantage over Russian academics, because it is a considerable body of work to translate professional papers – which are often lengthy and detailed and frequently include technical terminology which sometimes does not translate easily – so that only truly groundbreaking work is worthy of the effort.

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              1. A Russian paper outlined the basis of stealth technology:

                https://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/157481/aircraft-stealth%3A-the-view-from-russia.html

                Why didn’t the Soviet Union/Russia pursue stealth technology like the US?

                As recalled by Victor Chepkin, general designer for Lyulka-Saturn, stealth technology was well known to Soviet designers. “Together with various institutions we carefully analyzed stealth technology and the general principles of invisibility in combat and other contexts. We came to the conclusion, that the hyper-development of stealth – using stealth for stealth’s sake – greatly narrowed the range of an aircraft’s combat potential. Purely stealth aircraft could be used only in a specific set of combat operations and for a particular purpose, and this technology is very expensive,” he explained.

                Yup. The Su-57 has stealth but, unlike its American counterparts, did not compromise performance (like the F17, F-35) nor cost insane amounts of money (F-22).

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              2. “As to academic papers, the very, very great majority of them are published in English…”

                These statistics concerning the languages in which academic papers are published depend upon whether one is talking about the publication of academic papers on “hard” or “soft” sciences.

                English is generally considered to be the lingua franca of the scientific community. For example, roughly 80% of all the journals indexed in the abstract and citation database Scopus are published in English.

                The adoption of English as the universal language of science is due in part to historical political and economic factors which favoured English over other potential candidate languages such as Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Spanish. Indeed, German was actually the favoured language in scholarly communication for the first part of the 20th century. However, although English is now clearly established as the main language of international scientific communication, researchers continue to publish their work in other languages than English as well. Furthermore, research suggests that the extent to which researchers still publish in their native language, as opposed to English, differs across the disciplines. They seem to be more likely to publish in languages other than English within the Social Sciences, Applied Sciences and Humanities, than in the natural, theoretical and hard sciences. This article reports on a short study using Scopus data to determine (a) whether the use of languages other than English for scientific communication is increasing or decreasing, and (b) in which subject fields researchers publish most when publishing in their native languages instead of in English.

                Frm 1996 until 2011, the percentage of articles published in English, German and Russian were as follows:

                Hard Sciences
                Life Sciences
                English: 23.4; German: 7.3: Russian: 45.0.

                Physical Sciences
                English: 44.7; German: 34.5: Russian: 21.0.

                Soft Sciences
                Health Sciences
                English: 19.5; German: 32.5: Russian: 21.0.

                Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
                English: 10.7; German: 23.5: Russian: 8.4.

                Multi-disciplinary & Undefined
                English: 1.7; German: 2.2: Russian: 8.4.

                Source: The Language of (Future) Scientific Communication

                As regards translating academic papers, the difficulties when translating German metaphysical philosophical ramblings is hard to beat.

                Das Nichts nichtet” claimed Martin Heidegger in 1929, which translates as: “Nothing nothings”.

                This Heidegger statement was ridiculed years later by “logical positivist” Rudolph Carnap as the worst sort of meaningless metaphysical nonsense in an essay titled “Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language”.

                Carnap’s opinion as regards metaphysical nonsense, however, had been predated by some 200 years by Scotsman David Hume:

                “If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”

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                1. “Das Nichts nichtet” claimed Martin Heidegger in 1929, which translates as: “Nothing nothings”.

                  This Heidegger statement was ridiculed years later by “logical positivist” Rudolph Carnap as the worst sort of meaningless metaphysical nonsense in an essay titled “Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language”.

                  Reminds me of a fairy tale I read when I was young; “Nix Nought Nothing”.

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

                  That’s interesting; I didn’t realize so many papers are published in Russian. However, I stand by the statement that only the major research gets translated, so therefore the English-speaking world knows nothing of the others and it is as if they never existed.

                  My position derives from a defense mounted years and years ago against another of La Russophobe’s triumphant paeans that once again the list of top colleges and universities was out, and the top ones were all American and English, while Russia did not even make the top 300. This, of course, was relied upon to imply that Russians therefore are stupid and simple unless they can scrape together the money from illegal vodka sales to attend Harvard or Cambridge, where they can get a real education. I had run across a scholarly reference which explained at length why so few research papers are published in languages other than English, although I suppose the author meant how many are translated into English. At any rate, the author described the fierce competition to become a professor at the top American universities, and that once there, professors published like mad in order to gain tenure. In turn, one of the major determinant factors deciding your college or university’s rating, or score, is the number of research papers published by its staff members. So one feeds the other, and the process has a lot to do with why institutes of higher learning in foreign countries where the official language is other than English score so poorly on English-language college lists.

                  Usually when I find such a reference, I use it instantly in my rebuttal, and then move on without saving it. I just as often curse myself later for not having done so, as I could by now have assembled a formidable library of references to refute the ignorant, many of which I have never been able to find again. That one on colleges is one of my great regrets; another is the independent study done by some engineer – from one of the Scandinavian countries, I think – on the state of the Ukrainian gas transit system (GTS). It was a scathing indictment of indifferent maintenance and disrepair, a work which had taken him a couple of years of on-the-ground inspections rather than just blithely repeating the assurances of the Naftogaz senior engineer or whoever. His estimates of the scale of work required to bring it up to European standards, as well as the cost, were eye-popping. But I’ve never been able to find it again.

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                2. “Did you really read Carnap when down the mine?”

                  Nah, not allowed to take paper underground: classed as contraband, as is aluminium foil, batteries, tobacco, matches etc. That was why everyone was frisk searched before stepping int the cages.

                  No, I began to read philosophical works when a guest of Her Majesty at HMP strangeways. Started at the thin end of the wedge, of course, but for many a year I had been interested in these big philosophical questions like “What the fuck am I doing here?”

                  So, seeing as I had plenty of time on my hands in nick, after I had been tested for literacy upon entering the “Strangeways Hotel”, Manchester, a nice social-worker girl, having learnt that I was apparently more literate than most of my fellow inmates, asked me what I should like to read, as the stuff in the prison library was pretty mind-numbing. So I asked her for some German books (I had already started German evening classes before the strike) and some basic philosophy books. And I got hooked on philosophy.

                  Anyone can be a philosopher: you just think.

                  I still get pissed off thinking back about that time.

                  Why the hell did they abolish transportation?

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                3. Yeh, a pity that transportation was stopped. In the Australian context you would be unique for someone your age, though certainly not so for people born in the 1930s or earlier.

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          2. Your data is helpful and patent activity does suggest where money is being spent. Yet, I can’t help but wonder about efficiency of that spending. Just a few observations, the US may spend vastly more on medical science and, accordingly, one would expect that US health care would be the best in the world yet it is clearly not; perhaps even substandard.

            Military technology would seem to be a good indicator for the general state of high level engineering, advanced manufacturing, materials, computational analyses of all kinds, etc. Also, the US spends vastly more on its military and its weapons systems so the expectation would be that the US military would possess cutting edge weapons of every sort. Yet, it is Russia with the game-changing hypersonic missiles, advanced ICBMs, nuclear power technology, etc.

            The amount of money spent on whatever is never a good metric of progress. One more thing, Russia has a population of about 147 million while the US population is about 330 million and the EU of about 513 million. Population wise, Russia is relatively small but it punches far far beyond its size.

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            1. Well, I hope that you are right. You do touch on a longterm problem for Russia- its relatively small population. In the olden days, when I was working, I used to seek out Russian mathematics texts because they were generally motivated by down to earth problems in physics or elsewhere. And it’s probably still the case that Western researchers miss many 1st rate seminal Russian papers because of the language barrier. I often think that Russia is doing perhaps better strategically than one might have expected because of the sheer incompetence of the US political class. (The figures for the number of robots in Russian manufacturing is even more eyecatching though I cannot easily find them now. The funny thing is that Western countries generally don’t manufacture much.)

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              1. What is missing in regards to the amount of patents and papers published in the US is that many are part of rent seeking activities, ie. part of massive industry used to claim royalties on processes that the researcher often contributed very little to.
                The pharmaceutical industry is rife with this…

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                1. “Submarine patents” were one way to game the system – patent applications deliberately kept in limbo and unpublished for many years in hopes its area of technology will become commercially significant. Then, boom, the patent are issued when a company just invested large sums of money in making the technology real. That company may be forced to buy rights at an exorbitant cost. It’s just an IP ambush and shakedown. Patent law has been changed to address submarine patents but apparently they are still lurking beneath the waves:

                  http://www.acclaimip.com/17-years-after-trips-do-submarine-patents-still-lurk-in-the-depths-of-patent-data/

                  Submarine patents can be a financial windfall for their owners and a major cost of doing business for competitors who have been unknowingly infringing for decades.

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            2. It’s my understanding that a lot of patent applications are for no more than slight variations on the same theme. I would imagine a great many pharmaceutical and other medical applications are of this type where a slight change in the quantity of one ingredient compared to other ingredients, resulting in a slightly less (or perhaps slightly more) effective product. This would be one reason for the paradox where the amounts spent on medical research seem for the most part to disappear down the rabbit hole.

              I visited a photo library years ago and the major problem that the staff there had was the one where their clients would digitally cut and paste items from various photos they borrowed from the library (and for which they had to pay intellectual copyright fees for using) and combine them into new photos, and then claim that because these photos were their original work, they didn’t have to pay any fees at all.

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              1. What is and is not patentable depends on the skill of the patent attorney and the knowledge of patent examiner on the subject matter. In any event, the patent confers absolutely no protection other than the right to sue over a perceived infringement. Then, it can degenerate into a war of financial attrition in the courts.

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  2. WASHINGTON, Nov 24 – RIA Novosti. The improvement of relations between the USA and Russia depends on the commitment of Moscow to the Minsk agreement and subject to its non-interference in democratic processes in the United States. This position was expressed by the Deputy Secretary of State and candidate for the post of U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, at a meeting with Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Japan, reports the press service of the State Department.

    See: Будущий посол США назвал условия улучшения отношений с Россией

    The same old same old.

    Like a stuck needle.

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    1. Minsk means that both sides have to get rid of foreign weapons. That includes US weapons. Now what is Trump being impeached on?

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  3. The Yeltsin Family Comes Out of the Shadows
    November 24, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    Pozner —another two-faced cnut!

    Zelensky and “Totenkopf”
    November 23, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    “This cannot be called anything other than shameful. After having met Donbass civilians, who called on Zelensky to withdraw his troops from settlements, he visited a military unit of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine. During the ceremony of the meeting with military personnel, there was an episode that cannot be described without expletives.

    The command of the unit handed over to the President of the country a patch that is almost a complete copy of the emblem of the SS ‘Totenkopf‘ Division.

    ‘Class!’ said Zelensky, and allowed this patch to be attached to his sleeve.”

    Ukrainians Put Their Faith in Their “Holodomor” Genocide
    November 23, 2019
    Stalker Zone

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    1. It’s fairly straight forward for me. If it was a deliberate campaign of genocide against the ‘Ukranian people’, then Georgia should be held responsible. After all, Stalin was Georgian as were many of his most trusted acolytes and not to mention that Georgia essentially had a special status amongst the peoples of the USSR.

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      1. He is a self-confessed propagandist. He has publicly stated that he was a propaganda hireling in the USSR and that what he broadcast then was untrue.

        So what he broadcasts now in the RF is true?

        He is also a citizen of 3 countries: Russia, France, USA.

        I am always wary of those who possess multi-citizenships, albeit my children have British and Russian citizenship. If I applied for Irish citizenship, which I could do and have been thinking of doing so for a while now, because one of my my grandmothers was born in Ireland in 1869, then my offspring could have Irish citizenship as well, I should imagine.

        I suppose Pozner hangs on to his French passport (he was born in Paris to a French mother) so that he can freely jaunt around the EU without the necessity of applying for a visa, but why does he hang on to his US citizenship?

        I suppose he was granted US citizenship because he was a Jewish French citizen who had fled with his family to the USA when France was invaded by Nazi German forces in 1940.

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        1. but why does he hang on to his US citizenship?

          Especially considering the US is one of two countries (the other being Eritrea) that taxes its citizens even when they aren’t within USian borders. How can Pozner put up with paying taxes twice when he’s not in the USA?

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          1. Politkovskaya the journalist and “human rights activist” and Alekseevskaya, Member of the Moscow Helsinki Group and “human rights activist”, hung on tightly to their US citizenships as well.

            Wonder why?

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          2. The trick is to hide the US passport in a glass case with this sign plastered to it:

            – and maintain bank accounts under another name or in an offshore taxation jurisdiction.

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  4. В сенате США рассказали о способе заблокировать “Северный поток — 2”
    06:37 24.11.2019 (обновлено: 06:54 24.11.2019)

    In the U.S. Senate, they have spoken about how to block “Nord stream — 2”
    06:37 24.11.2019 (updated: 06:54 24.11.2019)

    MOSCOW, 24 Nov – RIA Novosti. The U.S. Congress intends to include sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline “Nord stream — 2” in the 2020 defence budget, says Jim Risch, head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, in the latest edition of “Defense News”.

    Sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the pipeline have been included in a draft law “On National Defense for 2020”, said Rish. “The reason for this step is that the window of opportunity is closings. Most of “Nord stream” has already been constructed”, said the Senator. However, he expressed the opinion that the sanctions “will convince” the construction company to stop work on the project because the American restrictions “will cost them dearly”.

    If sanctions are included in the US defence budget, companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 will close, and Russia will, supposedly, have to look for other contractors, says Riesch.
    However, he noted that the House of Representatives and the Senate have not yet reached a final agreement on the bill as a whole.

    The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in late July to pass a bill on sanctions against Nord Stream 2. It was prepared by Republican Senator Ted Cruise and Democrat Gene Shahin, and, in particular, involves a ban on the entry into the United States and the freezing of US assets under the jurisdiction of persons involved in the “sale, lease, provision or assistance in providing” ships for laying at sea Russian pipelines at a depth of 30 metres.

    For the bill to enter into force, it must be approved by the House of Representatives and the US Senate, as well as US President Donald Trump.

    Let the Liberty Bell ring out loud! —albeit that it is cracked and was never rung on 4th July, 1776, but, as usual, bullshit baffles brains!

    Like

    1. And that’d be Jean Shaheen; the translation managed to get both her name and her gender wrong.

      As I have said before now, the United States’ high-handedness is taking it dangerously close to making an enemy of Europe. It has made it clear it is trying to restrict Europe’s energy choices to American LNG or American LNG. There is nothing remotely fair about carving out markets for your product by eliminating all other choices. I realize Washington will say it is only trying to stop Nord Stream II so that Russia will be forced to transit gas across Ukraine and pay it exorbitant transit fees, and that it is doing Ukraine a favour while not restricting Europe from getting pipeline gas. But Washington still aims to control Ukraine and use it as a bastion against Russia, and if it can arrange things so that Russian gas must pass across Ukraine under American control, why, it can conjure stoppages and interruptions of service at its pleasure, as well as helping Ukraine to jack up transit fees…so that Russia must either raise its gas prices until American LNG is competitive, or sell at a loss. American strategy is always all about getting everyone else by the balls so that they have no choice but to accept American control and orders. That’s called American Global Leadership, which they figure is good for the world because it’s certainly good for American investors.

      Like

    1. Yeah, the Russian expert Fiona, daughter of a Durham coalfield miner, whose expertise here was acquired whilst studying in the USSR for 1 academic year in 1987 on a Russian studies degree course. And, curiously enough, as an undergraduate here, she interned for NBC News.

      Now how did she manage to do that, I wonder?

      By a strange parallel, I too arrived in the USSR at the same time in order to study Russian, and furthermore, until 1985 I had been a Lancashire coal miner.

      After having graduated, however, I came back here in 1993 and stayed; she, on the other hand, having graduated from St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, on the advice of an American academic, applied for a postgraduate course of studies at Harvard, where, in 1991, she got a master’s in Russian and history.

      After that, it seems the world has been her lobster as regards getting paid for her expertise on matters Russian.

      Now, where did I go wrong?


      above: Hill, seated to the left of Scumbag Bolton at a meeting with “Vlad”, Leader of the Orcs, June 27, 2018, Mordor..

      Like

  5. So now, it seems, the singing Svidomite septuagenarian Rotaru — who is now 72, by the way — is being persecuted in Russia “on order”, according to Sergei Lavrov, the director of the concert, where she is due to appear here at the New Year. Lavrov has also stated that Rotaru has never given money to the Ukrainian military and “anti-terrorist battalions” (СУГС — Слава Украине! Героям Слава!)

    Pushkov of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Orc legislature) has responded:

    “Никакого заказа на травлю Ротару, конечно же, нет. Но у нас устали от гастролеров, которые приезжают делать деньги в России, а у себя дома либо клянут ее почем зря, как Катамадзе, либо выдумывают сказки, будто им запрещено ездить в Крым, как Вайкуле. Вот и Ротару не очень рады.”

    Of course, there has been no order made that Rotaru be persecuted. However, we are tired of guest workers who come to make money in Russia, whilst at home they either curse her [Russia —ME] in vain, like Katamadze, or invent fairy tales, as Vaikule has, about their having been forbidden to travel to the Crimea . So Rotaru is not very happy.

    02:01, 24 ноября 2019
    Пушков ответил на обвинение в травле Ротару

    There has been no order for the persecution of singer Sofia Rotaru in Russia. About this in his Twitter account has written a member of the Federation Council, Alexei Pushkov, commenting on a corresponding statement made by the artist’s concert director, Sergei Lavrov.

    Pushkov explained that Russians were tired of guest performers coming for money and insulting Russia at home. He cited singers Nino Katamadze and Laima Vaikule as examples. “Rotaru is not very happy”, said the senator.

    The day before, on November 23, Lavrov stated that the baiting of Rotaru over her return to Russia was connected with an order made against her. He recalled that the singer had only once refused to participate in a Russian concert — because of martial law in the Ukraine.

    On November 17, it was reported that Rotaru would return to Russia. In particular, she is coming to Moscow in order to shoot at the “Song of the Year” music award and perform at the “Retro FM Legends” festival. Also, the artist is considering offers to speak at New Year corporate events.

    Following this report, the singer has been criticized in Russia. Thus, Senator Valery Ryazansky has proposed that concerts of performers who criticize Russia be ignored. Publicist and television presenter Anatoly Wasserman said that Rotaru wants to make money, some of which will be used to sponsor “Kiev terrorists”.

    Like

      1. On one of our trips in the lo-land-of-Po-land last summer we took the ‘WKD’ (Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa) train line from Warsaw central to the sticks, proudly funded by non-EU member…Switzerland!

        http://www.wkd-sppw.eu/index.php/en/o-projekcie

        Though not members of the EU, Switzerland pays approximately half a billion euros a year to Brussels to have the same benefits as a member state. This deal is being threatened with the axe by Brussels as the Swiss refuse to follow EU rules on migratory workers and rights.

        https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/faced-with-dogmatic-eu-switzerland-may-turn-to-uk-on-research-cooperation/

        Like

  6. Достойны звания иноагента: как ФБК обслуживает антироссийские санкции США
    vince_crane (vince_crane) wrote,
    2019-11-24 20:39:00

    Worthy of the title of foreign agent: how the FBK serves US anti-Russian sanctions

    Last May, work on the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline began. At the same time, various pseudo-experts appeared, including some from Russia, who began to say that the implementation of this project would seriously damage the country’s economy.

    In particular, Navalny’s associate Vladimir Milov has been doing this for a long time. He has actively been pumping the brains of the blogger’s [Navalny — ME] naive supporters with the idea that money spent on the construction of the pipeline could be better spent on more important projects.

    Well, of course, funds can always be spent on the development of health care, education and other important areas. However, Nord Stream 2 will fully pay for itself: firstly, it will make Russian gas supplies more reliable, because the Ukraine is not the most reliable transit country; secondly, this will create huge budget savings, as Kiev will no longer have to be paid for pumping Russian “blue fuel” to Europe; thirdly, Gazprom will be able to occupy an even larger part of the European gas market, which will displace US companies from there, increasing profits and tax deductions. By the way, in 2016 the company paid more than 2 trillion rubles in taxes to the budget, which went towards the construction of roads, kindergartens and schools in the country. Obviously, with NS -2, it will be possible to allocate even more funds for this, which will positively affect the lives of Russians.

    Apparently, Navalny’s speakers are not interested in this. Although this is not surprising, given the fact that they receive instructions directly from the US Congress, where they are ready to do anything so as keep Russia out of the gas market and force Europe into buying their more expensive shale gas.

    So, the other day, the head of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Jim Rich, gave an interview to “Defense News”. In it, he said that there plans to add to the bill on the US defense budget for 2020 a provision for sanctions against companies participating in the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project.

    If we compare the video [above] that was released earlier this year on the “Navalny Live” channel with the actions of the American Congress, there is no doubt that the so-called FBK [Fund to Fight Corruption] is working in Washington’s interest, and not in vain either: not so long ago the FBK received the status of a foreign agent.

    Like

    1. In the video clip above, Navalny’s henchman is saying, amongst other things, that the purpose of NS-2 is simply to enrich “the crooks and swindlers” — “And we all know who they are!” he says in a nudge-nudge, wink-wink way, the arsehole — who are stealing money off the people in order to finance the NS-2 project.

      You can switch on garbled English subtitles.

      Like

      1. Except when he says “we all”, he is talking about less than ten thousand people in a country of 147 million. Yes, few Russians get to breathe the rarefied air of true mental clarity.

        So far as I am aware, the latest offer on the table is still for a one-year extension of the current contract, although Russia did agree to drop legal claims and counter-claims between itself and Ukraine, in which Russia claimed Ukraine underpaid/did not pay at all for gas it received. Ukraine has thus far not replied.

        https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2019-11-18/gazprom-proposes-one-year-gas-deal-with-ukraine

        Moscow has made some concessions, but there has been no movement at all toward a long-term contract that I have seen. I maintain that a cold winter of frozen bums in Europe would offer a salutary effect. Russia is actually better-placed to deliver LNG by vessel than the USA, as well, as it is much closer.

        There must be a limit to European loyalty to the USA in the face of conditions so markedly against its interests, a limit to how much shit it will smear on its own face to keep its partner happy and amused.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Apparently U-ropean gas storage networks are full, not to mention that there has been heavy investment in the Austrian Baumgarten storage network, Germany, France, infact just about everywhere except the UK (coz the French will store it for them and sell the gas back at a nice mark up)…

          Like

          1. Ukraine has already stated publicly that although its own gas storage bunkers are full, that amount will not likely carry it through the winter if there is an interruption owing to non-renewal of the gas contract, and if the winter is cold and harsh as usual. I imagine Europe is the same; storage facilities are not so extensive that they could take the entire region through a cold winter.

            Like

      2. Not surprising that Navalny and his ilk oppose Nord Stream. They oppose anything that is good for Russia. They don’t seem to be interested in developing russia into a better place, but tear it apart and ruin it from within. It is rather odd that Russia has these types of people as “opposition politicians”. People who hate their own country and don’t even pretend to hide their hatred.
        I don’t see them that dangerous though because they seem to lack wider support and Russia is not currently facing any troubles that would turn people against the current rulers.
        And I’m not saying that Russia is ruled by a very competent government currently. The economy should be growing a lot faster than it has been growing for the past ten years. But the current government is still 100x better than Navalny would be. He would probably bring down Russia even worse than Yeltsin did.

        Like

  7. A href=”https://www.rt.com/news/474230-spiegel-magnitsky-browder-fraudster-west/”>Anti-Russian sanctions based on fraudster’s tales? Spiegel finds Magnitsky narrative fed to West by Browder is riddled with lies
    24 Nov, 2019 19:52 / Updated 11 hours ago

    Well you don’t say!

    Is that a pfennig I hear dropping?

    Has Spiegel only just realized that Browder has been lying through his teeth right from the very start, when he insisted that Magnitsky was his “lawyer”?

    How interesting that the Germans seem to be seeing the light as regards US machinations by means of the “Magnitsky Act” and so shortly after the Empire had announced its intent to shut down NS-2, no matter how much money has been pumped into the project and how near completion it is.

    Like

  8. The Spiegel article — behind a wall:

    Der Fall Magnitski
    Wie wahr ist die Geschichte, auf der die US-Sanktionen gegen Russland beruhen?
    Exklusiv für Abonnenten

    Mit seinen Aussagen zum Tod eines Whistleblowers brachte Bill Browder die Amerikaner gegen Putin auf. Doch seine Darstellung ist voller Widersprüche. Von Benjamin Bidder

    22. November 2019

    The Magnitsky Case
    How true is the story on which US sanctions against Russia are based?
    Exclusive for subscribers
    Bill Browder turned the Americans against Putin with his statements about the death of a whistleblower. However, his story is full of contradictions.

    I’m almost tempted to open the month’s trial Spiegel subscription on offer at the walled-off article, but why read a “revelation” about something that all true Kremlin Stooges the world over have known for years? — and, I daresay, there are also more than a few who are really in-the-know about the Magnitsky Case in the USA and in that state where piece-of-shit Browder is now a citizen.

    Like

    1. America eagerly embraced Browder’s fabrications and rubbish because his tale fit the image the United States is fond of cultivating of Russia, land of savagery and state repression – but also for a more practical reason; it wanted legislation on the books which would allow it to continue discriminating against Russia after the Jackson-Vanik Amendment was relaxed, as it legally had to be with Russia’s accession to the WTO. All members must be granted Permanent Normal Trading Relations (PNTR) status by all other members, and America wanted an instrument which would allow it to let Russia know things had not changed. So the Magnitsky Act was safely in place before Jackson-Vanik restrictions were lifted.

      Poking holes in Browder’s story, gratifying as it is, will not make any practical difference. As we are all aware, America will steamroller ahead as if nothing had happened, and continue broadcasting its untruths as if it had never been contradicted, and its allies will follow suit. The real glimmer of light is Germany’s increasingly restless relationship with the United States, and its implications for the completion of Nord Stream II. Once that’s done and dusted, either Russia or Germany can tell the USA to go fuck itself. It will take years for the fact that Uncle Sam routinely lies in order to support manipulative actions in its own interests to percolate through to the general public, because it mostly listens to whoever yells the loudest. But once that pipeline is through and Russia’s energy connection to Europe exclusive of Ukraine is secure, it’s just a matter of time before Uncle Sam loses his grip on the whole region.

      Like

  9. Here’s an article that I have found in another German publication that covers and criticizes the Spiegel “revelation” linked above:

    Browder und das Magnitski-Narrativ: Ende einer Desinformationskampagne
    24. November 2019 Florian Rötzer

    Browder and the Magnitsky Narrative: the end of a disinformation campaign?
    24. November 2019

    Der Spiegel has broken the anti-Russian story of the whistleblower’s murder. The lie construct has been known for some time: the scandal is that the media and politicians have spread it unquestioned

    Just over 10 years after the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison, a large news media organization has dared to write a critical article about this anti-Russian myth. Browder, a shrewd businessman who made his money with tricks and tax evasion in the 1990s, is another kind of Relotius [Claas-Hendrik Relotius: a former German journalist. He resigned from Der Spiegel in 2018 after having admitted to numerous instances of journalistic fraud — ME.], who has also demonstrated his stance by moving from the USA to Britain for tax avoidance. Persistent and eloquent, former hedge fund manager Bill Browder, who has allegedly turned himself into a selfless human rights activist, has portrayed his employee Magnitsky as a death-defying whistleblower and a fighter against the corrupt system of Vladimir Putin….

    The media and politicians believe in everything that fits in with their ideologies and interests. But that’s not Bidder’s theme: if it were, he would have had to critically question the role of Der Spiegel in this case as well …

    I any case, Bidder has not really been brave anyway. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had already made a decision about the Magnitsky Case: in September 2019, the court granted damages to Magnitsky’s family because of the conditions of his detention and his sentencing after his death, but it did not call his death murder, nor did the court speak of torture and it rejected key points in Browder’s story ….

    Even then the media could have listened, but it didn’t: it preferred to follow Browder’s misrepresentation, which stated, “The ECHR decision also completely destroys the lies and propaganda about Sergei Magnitsky that the Russian government and its paid smear campaigners in the West have been trying to spread for many years?

    The article goes on to say that Bidder presents his article as a revelation of the truth, and backs up this claim by publishing congratulatory Tweets from admiring subscribers to Der Spiegel But the article criticising the great revelation in Der Spiegel says nothing new has been published: what has been “revealed” by Bidder of Der Spiegel was already well known. The article discusses Nekrasov’s revelations and the blocking of the film he made exposing Browder, stressing that Nekrasov is in no way a Putin fan.

    The article critical of the Der Spiegel article says that Bidder’s “revelations” also reveal the ways of fake news story tellers, of how gullible audiences are manipulated, of how anti-Russian prejudices are vigorously stoked by politicians, governments, Nato and NGOs. The critical article also points out that the Council of Europe had looked at the case and blindly accepted the Browder team interpretation of events in the Magnitsky Case, without doing any independent research itself.

    The above-linked article by Florian Rötzer ends thus:

    Bill Browder, who otherwise reacts quickly, has not yet commented on the Der Spiegel article. The strange thing is that Deutsche Welle [ German World Service — not Bundestag controlled, aber natürlich!] has a report in Russian on the Spiegel article by Bidder, but not in German or English. Bidder does not question this fact either.

    Have the German powers-that-be given the green-light, then, that Browder be exposed so as to totally undermine the USA reason for imposing sanctions against the Evil Regime, including its attempts to stop NS-2, whereby the Evil Orcs wish to control the EU energy market, thereby enslaving the free and democratic satellite Western European satrap states of Uncle Sam?

    Like

  10. The Greyzone: Yes, Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election
    https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/23/yes-ukraine-interference-in-the-2016-presidential-election/

    Meddling in the 2016 US presidential election by Ukrainian politicians and government agencies did indeed happen. No amount of denial is going to change that.

    By Yasha Levine
    ####

    Vis Fiona Hill (as ME & Mark referenced earlier), does she really think everyone else is stupid?

    Anyway, it’s not what the partisan media reports that matters but what the American voter thinks. If it’s ‘A pox on both your houses’, then there will be plenty more shocks to the body politik to come and hopefully, real change.

    Like

    1. Thus the fierce struggle for regulation over the internet, and the flap about ‘fake news’ and how critical it is that you cede control over what you can see so that you can be ‘protected’ – it’s all ‘for your own safety’. A narrative can really only be driven home when the audience is not exposed to conflicting stories or evidence which does not fit the establishment tale.

      Like

  11. JohnHelmer.net: THE GOAT’S ENTRAILS FAIL AGAIN — MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY’S STORY DISMISSED IN THE BRITISH HIGH COURT
    http://johnhelmer.net/the-goats-entrails-fail-again-mikhail-khodorkovskys-story-dismissed-in-the-british-high-court/

    …In the new case of Yukos Finance and Yukos International versus Stephen Lynch, Stephen Jennings, Robert Reid, Richard Deitz and Robert Foresman, the verdict is “the Claimants’ claim against all five Defendants fails”…
    ####

    There’s plenty more at the link.

    Like

  12. Inside Bolivia’s murderous post-coup regime – with Wyatt Reed
    25 Nov 2019

    Moderate Rebels

    Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton speak with journalist Wyatt Reed, who is reporting on the ground in Bolivia after a US-backed far-right military coup against democratically elected leftist President Evo Morales. He describes the bloody repression of Indigenous protesters and the state of resistance.

    Like

    1. The aim of Washington – and I am sure it has people on the ground in Bolivia to ‘advise’ the coup government – will be to stabilize the situation and keep things quiet while Anez gets settled in and selects a cabinet and forms her organization. After that, it’ll just be the new reality, and everyone will have to get used to it.

      Frankly, it’s almost a pity there wasn’t a mercenary army for hire by victims of western-sponsored coups such as Ukraine and Bolivia. The military has remained mostly loyal to Maduro in Venezuela, so I did not include it. This army could be used to fight the disloyal police and military and restore order. But that’d be the wrong way to go, because it would quickly escalate and you can be sure the hired peacekeepers would be referred to as invaders rather than ‘moderate rebels’, so Washington would consider itself invited in militarily to ‘protect democracy’.

      Like

  13. Politico.eu: German minister defends criticism of ‘untrustworthy’ US as backlash grows
    https://www.politico.eu/article/german-minister-peter-altmaier-defends-criticism-of-untrustworthy-us-as-backlash-grows/

    US ambassador brands comments in debate over China and 5G ‘an insult.’

    …Asked about the comments by POLITICO on the sidelines of a technology conference in Berlin, Altmaier said he was “very upset” by what he termed mischaracterizations of his remarks…

    …But Altmaier added that it is “important to note” that regulation forcing companies to hand over data to state authorities under certain conditions “exist in many countries when it comes to law enforcement,” …

    …Dieter Kempf, the president of the German Federation of Industries, a powerful business lobby, said he saw no reason to treat Chinese companies any different from American ones…
    ####

    Can t-Rump resist temptation? I suspect that the attack against Huawei was not so much to ban it outright but slow its 5G enough that others have caught up, Samsung recently announcing that its 5G tech is now ready. Whether it competes on prices and features….

    Whatelse but:

    Like

    1. Note to Germany in general, and Altmaier in particular; it is not legal to listen in on private cellular communications without the knowledge of at least one of the parties to the conversation. Merkel did not know her phone was tapped, nor did any of the parties to whom she was speaking. Describing the USA as ‘a democracy which follows the rule of law’ is therefore itself a mischaracterization. It does so in a general way, but the law never stops the US government from doing something it has decided to do. It simply devises a way around it, or retroactively makes it legal after it is caught. Surveillance on Merkel’s phone is a drop in the ocean, and all European politicians of any real substance ought to be suspicious that Uncle Sam is listening in to everything they say. If you want secure communications in this day and age, go back to carrier pigeons, and watch out for falcons with the red-white-and-blue roundel on their wings.

      Like

      1. European politicians should send messages in their own languages and the messages translated at the recipient’s point – all using Gothic script. That would flummox any equipment the falcons carry to read any messages while the birds or the drones are destroying the pigeons.

        Like

    1. Did she say she would not vote for impeachment? Up to recently, I thought that, while she was the best of a bunch of fakers, clowns and idiots, her lack of experience and toughness were fatal flaws.. However, her ongoing performances suggests to me that she is capable of being a good president – the first in decades in my opinion.

      Like

    2. Starting to remind me more and more of JFK. She’s a natural at public speaking; I don’t think I’ve ever seen her lost for words, and while she must have prepared herself for many of these questions. she launches immediately into her response and does not use recovery pauses like “Ummm…” that break up the flow of her speech. She responds instantly and seemingly spontaneously, and delivers the whole message as a seamless package.

      Hillary did her a huge favour by taking her on.

      Like

  14. ‘Sherlock, super hearing’ Holmes & ‘Russia Did It’ Hill testimony reveals deep state panic
    24 Nov 2019

    The Duran

    The Duran Quick Take: Episode 382.

    The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Adam Schiff’s decision to call up a super hearing, lip-reading David Holmes and Russia hating bureaucrat Fiona Hill to close out the impeachment inquiry clown show.

    While their testimony was unable to prove a quid pro quo or machiavellian Trump bribery, it did reveal the extent to which the Democrat party and the Deep State are in panic mode, as Obama White House corruption investigations into loans provided to Ukraine ramp up, and Ukraine election meddling in 2016 have now taken center stage.

    Like

  15. Sooner or later there will be a USA
    Russia confrontation over the presence of US troops in Syria, unless this blatant obscene violation of International law is flat out denounced by the UN and the Americans are told to get the fuck out.

    Like

  16. So EXACTLY WTF is the situation..???
    I guess war criminal psycho sadist Gallagher suffers zero penaties…zip…nada…bcuz his fellow psycho POS-Esper- has his back!!!

    The JCS military top brass should close ranks and REFUSE to accept this BS from Esper….which sets a horrific precedent!!!

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/24/politics/pentagon-mark-esper-richard-spencer/index.html

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-navy-seal-eddie-gallagher-photo-body-pentagon-latest-updates-navy-secretary-a9216226.html?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=Feed

    Like

    1. And the award for the chutzpah moment goes to…

      “One reason US troops are as welcome as they are worldwide is because hosting nations “know the American military administers itself according to a very strict code of justice and we have a very good record of holding those troops accountable,” Kirby said, even for minor scrapes such as “drunken driving overseas or getting into a fistfight in a bar.”

      US troops are welcome, anywhere outside the United States? Is that so? I must confess I wondered where Admiral (Ret’d) Kirby had got to. He used to be, once upon a very short time ago, the spokesman for the US State Department, and frequentky featured in the colourful and highly-imaginative press conferences it regularly delivered.

      https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/admiral-kirby-buys-a-farm/

      Like

      1. Japanese and South Korean families who lost daughters as a result of stalking, rape and murder by US soldiers, or being run over on pedestrian crossings by drunken US soldiers, would certainly welcome Admiral Kirby if only to give him an ear bashing As would also the neighbours of the Iraqi family that was killed and all its members’ bodies burnt because a unit of US soldiers gang-raped the family’s teenage daughter in the family home and then tried to destroy all evidence of their deed and all witnesses as well.

        Like

    1. If I were a Russian, I shouldn’t give a flying fuck about the Olympic Games nor Russian banishment therefrom.

      I am, however, not Russian, and I don’t give a flying fuck about the Olympic Games.

      Like

        1. Yes, they put a big effort into the Sochi games, notwithstanding the West having tried to prevent Russia hosting the Winter Olympics there, and, after all Western efforts had failed to prevent them from taking place, Western propagandists persisted in denigrating the games before and whilst they took place, which actions included a “Pussy Riot” performance in Sochi, during which “Cossack” so-called auxiliary police used their whips against the poor dears.

          The same happened when Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2018, the attempted “murder” of a pardoned Russian traitor resident in the UK having been part of Western efforts to prevent the competition from taking place.

          Perhaps preventing Russian competitors from taking part in the Tokyo Olympics will be the final straw that will break the long suffering Russian public’s back and it will at last rise en masse to overthrow the tryant Putin?

          What do you think?

          Like

          1. Lavrov has commented on the WADA recommendation that Russia be prevented from participating in the Tokyo Olympics:

            Лавров прокомментировал рекомендации WADA об отстранении России
            13:04 26.11.2019 (обновлено: 14:45 26.11.2019)

            Yesterday, the WADA compliance committee recommended that Russia be suspended from international competitions for four years, that it be banned from hosting major tournaments, that its national team be deprived of the opportunity to appear under its own flag, and that only “clean” athletes be allowed to compete.

            “Есть желающие поставить Россию в положение обороняющейся, в положение обвиняемой. Причем обвиняемой, по сути дела, во всем и повсюду, какую область международной жизни ни возьми: конфликты, экономика, энергетика, газопроводы везде Россия что-то нарушает или делает нечто, что невыгодно какой-то одной или нескольким западным странам,” — сказал министр.

            “There are those who want to put Russia in the position of one who has to defend oneself, in the position of the accused. Moreover, this accused party is, in fact, involved in everything everywhere, in whatever area of ​​international life you take: in conflicts, in the economy, in energy, in gas pipelines everywhere Russia violates something or does something that is disadvantageous to one or several Western countries”, the minister said.

            Like

          2. I think, that once Russia and then maybe China are prevented from participating in the Tokyo Olympics and future Olympics, the IOC will have to try to stave off the inevitable decline of interest around the world in the Olympic Games, as nation after nation decides not to compete any more if two of the largest sporting nations in the world are barred from competing, by introducing new sports into the program: American gridiron, cheer-leading, stock car racing and roller derby – sports that the US happens to excel in.

            Like

            1. Oh!! Don’t forget Hot-Dog Eatin’, Mechanical Bull Ridin’ and Wrasslin’!

              The announcer is the best – no event is too insignificant to turn on the patriotism tap and proclaim America the greatest nation on earth, not even epic gluttony. The hot dog hats are marvelous, as well, easy to see where the ‘pussy’ hats came from.

              Like

      1. Apparently there are also a lot of meth heads getting TUEs.

        Like

    2. Bla, bla, same-old, same-old. This is entirely due to pressure from the United States, and that in turn is almost entirely due to the efforts of Travis Tygart, head of USADA, who has made it his life’s mission to get the Russians excluded from every international sporting event forever. That’s because the Olympics have become essentially a political event, with the overall winner triumphant as if it had just won an actual blood-and-guts battle – if it is the United States, it is held aloft as evidence of the overall superiority of Americans and the country’s obvious suitability for global leadership. I’m not in the slightest interested in professional sport of any kind (except for attractive girl athletes), and it would not bother me if the Olympics were eliminated altogether. They’re all about America finding new ways to cheat its athletes to victory while screaming about the cheating Russians. Here’s a refresher.

      https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/rope-a-doper-american-style-dont-do-as-i-do-do-as-i-say/

      This latest effort is another of those endless prove-a-negative things that will provide ongoing fodder for western-media speculation until it’s too late to do anything about it. It devolves from an accusation that the records from the Moscow lab, which were demanded so they could be reviewed by WADA and other sporting officials, were tampered with before they were sent, altered, whatever. So now Russia is directed to prove that it didn’t. I’m not sure if Team America actually hopes the Russians will be barred from competing – or forced once again to compete as neutral “Athletes from Russia” without flag or country association, or simply to taint their performance with scandal and suspicion. Either way, it’s as usual all about glorifying America as the ideal and Russia as the polar opposite. We’ve arrived at a point where if America does not cheer itself on, nobody else will, so nobody should be surprised at its ridiculous antics.

      Like

  17. The Register: RISC-V business: Tech foundation moving to Switzerland because of geopolitical concerns
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/26/riscv_foundation_moving_from_usa_to_switzerland_because_of_geopolitical_landscape/

    Unanimous decision of board to up sticks from Delaware

    …”Incorporation in Switzerland has the effect of calming concerns of political disruption to the open collaboration model … the move reduces concern that a government would restrict the actions of an open source organization,” the group said…

    …the foundation insisted that it “is not incorporating in Switzerland based on any one country, company, government, or event” and that the decision was first announced at a summit in December 2018…
    ####

    I wonder what other effect US behavior is having on foreign businesses, i.e. having completely separate operations in the US and the rest of the world, or just none in the US? If growth is in the Asia-Pacific region, then why bother with the USA?

    In other news, ICANN is planning to sell .org domain name used for non-profits to a recently created ‘private equity’ firm ETHIOS Captial backed by Perot Holdings and Solemere Captial:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/26/org_selloff_internet/

    Like

  18. Tucker Carlson lets it all hang out:

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma “gas attack” fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he “rooted for Russia” over Ukraine. Was it a “betrayal,” or epic truth-trolling?

    Carlson boldly went where no mainstream TV host had gone before, unpacking the explosive story of April 2018’s Douma “chemical weapons attack.” While the “attack” was attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by an altered report from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, two whistleblowers within the group accused it of omitting evidence to craft a misleading narrative – a fact that has never crossed the lips of US media until Monday night.

    Must Watch @TuckerCarlson Segment Tonight: New Evidence Shows Syria’s Assad May Have Been Falsely Blamed for 2018 Chemical Attack”We’ve been lied to, we’ve been manipulated, we knew it at the time.” pic.twitter.com/vKw6YnphcT
    — The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) November 26, 2019

    The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency.

    “America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about,” Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he’d always been suspicious it had happened as reported.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/474372-tucker-carlson-syria-russia-ukraine/

    Like

    1. The next time Tulsi Gabbard is on Carlson’s show will be interesting. Can they now speak truth about Syria?

      Carlson is the most watched political commentator on US television. He is opening a new can of worms for the MSM.

      Like

      1. Carlson is politically astute and media smart. He would not make such statements unless he was sure they would not be excessively damaging, advance his message and boost his popularity. A real risk is Fox News pulling the plug though.

        Like

    2. Fortuitous indeed that I was not eating or drinking anything when he mentioned Samantha Power and ‘stupid decisions’; otherwise, there would have been a pressure-diffused spray of it everywhere. He did indeed let it all hang out – I continue to marvel at his transformation. Who would ever have imagined? I would once have liked to hear of him being roasted alive over a slow fire, back when he was snarking and smirking his way through defenses of the Bush administrations ham-fisted policy strangulation. Well, by God, whatever it takes, and hero biscuits to the medium. Rock on, Tucker.

      Like

  19. MoA presents a succinct summary of the impeachment options – only differences are the degree of damage to the Democrats and the size of Trump’s victory:

    If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

    – If the House votes down impeachment Donald Trump wins.
    – If the House holds no vote on the issue Donald Trump wins.
    – If the House votes for censure Donald Trump will have won on points and the issue will be over.

    If the House votes for impeachment the case goes to the Senate for trial.

    The Republican led Senate has two choices:

    – It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
    – It can open a impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.

    Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

    Given the Democratic field (including Bloomberg), Trump will likely be reelected. Veering into fantasy, perhaps Trump can pursue his original agenda of rapprochement with Russia and ending regime change wars. Going further into non-reality, I predict Gabbard as the Secretary of Defense.

    Like

    1. I’m personally hoping the impeachment goes through the house and proceeds with a trial in the Senate. Maybe this is just a personal fantasy, but I would like to see Trump’s team counterattack with everything they have against Hillary and the Biden clan! All the dirt about Ukraine being a giant money-laundering project.

      If the Dems are smart, they might see this coming and stop it now, before it goes any further. I’m hoping they are as dumb as they look.

      Like

      1. Dems will stop short of letting the Senate take over per MoA. They and the MSM will keep the spectacle going as long as possible and then censure Trump. As this was Plan B, I wonder what Plan C is.

        Like

  20. Time for a little nostalgic musical
    interlude.
    Always thought Rivers was not much of anything as an artist
    But this 4 Tops piece is kinda pleasant…and check out the women!

    Like

  21. Hmmmm…’.Unidentified’ aircraft lays a pasting on a group of oil tankers and facilities belonging to Turkish-backed militants in Syria, near Aleppo.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    https://southfront.org/unidentified-aircraft-devastated-militants-oil-tankers-facilities-in-northern-aleppo-videos/

    On a side note, “Allahu Akhbar” is kind of like the Arabic “Aloha”, which means both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. It apparently serves as a triumphant scream from those who launch an attack, and see evidence of its success, but also as a “We’re so fucked!” among those who are the targets of the attack. Consequently, it’s pretty difficult to assess which side you are hearing.

    Like

    1. The way the jihadists yell out “Allahu akbar!” in various situations whether they’re winning or losing seems to parallel the way Banderites use “Slava Ukraini! Heroyam slava!” as a greeting in some contexts and an outburst or even an expletive in others.

      Like

  22. BBC

    UK would be ‘outgunned’ in Russia conflict – think-tank
    5 hours ago

    Oh, how surprising!

    British ground forces would be “comprehensively outgunned” in a conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe, according to a defence think-tank.

    Research by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) found that the Army, as well as Nato allies, has a “critical shortage” of artillery and ammunition.

    It concluded that it could not maintain a credible defence position.

    And then they churn out the old line:

    The UK, along with other Nato members, has positioned military forces in Eastern Europe to deter any potential Russian aggression in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

    You know, that’s when the Russian army invaded the Crimea and then made the abject, conquered Crimeans vote “at the point of a Kalashnikov”, as Call-Me-Dave Dave said, that the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea within the Ukraine become part of the Russian Federation.

    But get this! Further down the BBC article it reads:

    “At present, there is a risk that the UK – unable to credibly fight – can be dominated lower down the escalation ladder by powers threatening escalation,” the report said.

    It said Britain is “comprehensively outgunned and outranged”, leaving enemy artillery free to defeat UK units.

    Russian artillery and rocket batteries have already proved to be potent, destroying two Ukrainian battalions in 2014 within minutes.

    Does the august Royal United Services Institute mean that the artillery and rocket batteries were Russian made or that they were operated by the Russian army in the breakaway areas of East Ukraine — you know, where Porky and the rest of the Kiev swinery have been insisting that a huge occupying Russian army has neen positioned there for several years now?

    However, when all is said done, and away from all the fluster and bluster of the Royal United Services Institute statement, there, tucked away in the middle of the article, about the report the article reads:

    It analysed military capabilities in the “unlikely” context of “a high-intensity conflict between Nato and Russia, in which the UK has promised to deliver a warfighting division”.

    They are talking about the “”unlikely” context of “a high-intensity conflict”.

    Tilting at windmills, perhaps?

    Like

    1. Just looking for more money for the defense budget, no doubt. But there’s only so much, and you can’t add on to the tax base by letting in a bunch of poor and untrained immigrants, and the people won’t take kindly to their own share of taxes being upped. Besides, the British press seems about evenly divided between John Bulls who trumpet how veddy threatening the ferocious British military is, and how it would give the Rooshians what-for, and those who are contemptuous of it and for whom new military equipment is just an excuse to make fun of it because of how crappy it is.

      So perhaps unwittingly, the press – whichever half of it we’re hearing from – has hit upon the truth. The British Army has not had to face a determined, well-equipped and well-trained military foe in yonks, and it’s pretty small as well. A conflict in Eastern Europe would leave the British with a long logistics chain, while the Russian side would be well-supported from nearby facilities. There’d be lots of wailing widows.

      But why the persistent chunnering about war with Russia? Is that likely to happen? Why? Because it won’t collapse like it’s meant to? Because it’s running a pipeline to Germany that German companies are partners in, and will bring gas to Europe that the UK would like to have as well? Or is it planning to warm its bum with Uncle Sam’s Freedom LNG? Nobody but quite a bit bigger idiot than Britain is, even now in the age of rampant idiocy, would start a war with a country that could brush your country off the map long-distance, without even having to march all the way there. The USA would do well to remember the same – Russia can easily reach the continental United States, and it would never be a matter of gallant dogfaces and doughboys assailing the Mongol-Tatar hordes in their rotten heartland while the folks back home watched baseball and bought war bonds. The folks back home would be just as much a target as those in the front line.

      Like

      1. My nephew has let it be read between the lines of his correspondence with me that morale is pretty low amongst his fellow Redcoats. He’s not got many years left in Her Majesty’s Royal Galloping 3rd/4th Dragoon Guards, or whatever his outfit is called, and with whom he has frequently paid visits to Suffield in wildest Alberta, where he spends his time stunning or killing prairie dogs when using live ammo on exercises.

        He has told me that although he has these past 20 years and more enjoyed soldiering, he’s glad he’s getting out soon, because if it comes to a shooting match with the Mongol-Tatar hordes, there’d be neowt down for Her Majesty’s gallant soldiers. He says this after having been in recent years on numerous exercises along the borders of the Evil Empire, from the far northern border in Norway, to the yapping-cur Baltic States and hyena Poland. He’s no man’s fool is my nephew. He is well aware of the military might of Russia and of the frailty of what dear old Kaiser Bill once described as Britain’s “contemptible little army”:

        Army Order Issued by Emperor William II, 19 August 1914
        It is my Royal and Imperial command that you concentrate your energies, for the immediate present, upon one single purpose, and that is that you address all your skill and all the valour of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English and walk over General French’s contemptible little army.

        The Western Command of the Russian armed forces might well issue a similar command if it came to engaging the defenders of freedom and democracy positioned on Russian western borders, the “contemptibles” in such a case consisting not only of the pathetically small British contingent, but also the rest of the NATO jackals operating with them, including the much vaunted forces of the USA.

        I’ve posted this picture below many times before:

        Narva, Estonia. Behind the bravest of the brave is the river that forms the frontier between yapping-cur Estonia and Mother Russia. The castle is on the Russian side of the river, in Ivangorod.

        I imagine many, if not all, of those in the picture told their folks back home that behind them in the photo lies Russia.

        All fucking 5, 600 miles of it to the Bering Strait — next stop, Alaska!

        And across that Narva river is the Western Military District of Russia.

        Ready when you are, idiots!

        Like

        1. Russia is pretty big, and incorporates just about every type of terrain there is. Consequently, there probably are areas of it which are like Suffield, Alberta. The parts of it I have seen are rolling grassland for miles (Meggitt Training Systems flies its air-target drones over Suffield, and it also supplies tank targets for the army, and I have been there a couple of times). I mean, it is the Prairies. But I wouldn’t count on finding terrain in Russia that is the same where you are sent to fight.

          The British Army is a pretty good outfit, all things considered, although like many western military forces, it suffers from a bit of a superiority complex. I guess that might be necessary if you are going to willingly put yourself in the way of enemies you know will be trying to kill you. But its equipment is often complex and unreliable in harsh environments, and it is important for soldiers to remember their small arms were made by the lowest bidder. The British Army will wait through a lot of retirement cycles if it waits for the Russian Army to come and attack it at home where its logistic chain is short. Ditto the USA. Consequently, if they insist on bringing the Russians to battle, they will be doing it on Russian home turf. What was that magic ratio of attacking forces to defending forces? That’s right – except in complete surprise attacks, the advantage lies with the defender, and attacking forces will need to plan to outnumber the defenders by about 3 to 1. It’s important to note that this applies strictly to being confident in the ability to break through the defender’s line at a strong point of defense, and has no relevance to the follow-on ability to exploit the breach.

          https://www.jstor.org/stable/2538780?seq=1

          All your attacking forces need to eat and drink, they will need medical care for the wounded and chaplains for the dying and technicians to fix broken equipment and tools and spares and ambulances and reinforcements and bridging equipment and loads of ammunition, and you have to bring all of it with you and position it within reach of the front. That’s pretty easy if there’s a base in the next town and the ammunition and systems there are the same as the ones your army uses…like will be the case in Russia. It’s an old truism that an army marches on its stomach, and broken logistics chains have been a factor in nearly every military defeat. Pretty much any army can overwhelm the defenses of pretty much anywhere – if only the attackers have unlimited soldiers, ammunition, food and water and capable leadership. But nobody ever has all those.

          Like

          1. The Brits more than had their hands full with the krauts back in the GPW:
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1985/05/05/their-wehrmacht-was-better-than-our-army/0b2cfe73-68f4-4bc3-a62d-7626f6382dbd/
            As we know the krauts were smashed by the Russkies:

            Soooo as far as Brits -or for that matter Americans- v Russkies go …
            Do the math!!

            Also Argentina gave the Crown a run for its money during the Malvinas war back in ’82….The Argies had Exocets…I think the Russkies current antiship missiles are a bit more advanced. So the main ships of the RN would suffer a HMS Hood fate within the opening hours of the conflict. Russian S-400/500 systems would neutralize any attempt to resupply troops on the ground (assuming they somehow got to mainland europe)

            So I just see the Russians toasting the capitulation/surrender of the Brits with vodka and champagne..

            Like

            1. Even over British soil, during the Battle of Britain, the RAF relied on hundreds of pilots from other nations’ air forces to help defeat the Luftwaffe. Of the 2,927 pilots who flew at least one authorised operational sortie from 10 July to 31 October 1941, 574 pilots (about 19.6%) were non-British pilots and a good 24% of those 574 were Polish pilots.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-British_personnel_in_the_RAF_during_the_Battle_of_Britain#Jamaica

              Like

  23. Long article on how USA uses Jesus to save Yukies:

    Interior Ministry of Ukraine, “Holy Fathers”, Dollars, & American Pastors From the FBI
    November 26, 2019 Stalker Zone

    It was the same here in the ’90s. I used to get pissed off with evangelical Holy Joes from the USA who were regularly trying to infiltrate English conversation clubs here. I could spot them a mile off! They used to join a club, displaying their permanent smile, and soon they got into a huddle and started their proselytizing.

    Fortunately, most Russians used to politely take no notice of them, but some fell for the bait. I knew a lovely, normal Soviet young woman in Voronezh in 1989, but when I returned there in 1993, a huge Baptist church had been built in that city and that girl had been got at. She got very angry with me when I asked her what percentage of her salary they demanded that she donate to the “church” every month.

    She did donate though. My paramour at the time told me so. She had a few girl friends who had been got at by the handsome young Baptist Holy Joes from the USA, who, metaphorically speaking, had parachuted into Voronezh post-1991.

    Like

    1. I preferred girls who were members of the КПСС such as Mrs. Exile was: level headed, practical, hard-working, constructively critical and totally respectful and obedient to the boss, namely me!

      🙂

      Like

      1. Well, that’s her new job. She will be or has been replaced as Foreign Minister, when Troodledeau shuffled his cabinet recently to stave off threats of western separatism; the liberals did not win a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan, and Alberta in particular is fighting mad over the continuing delays building the trans-mountain pipeline through British Columbia so that it can sell its black glue to the Asians. At present, as I have probably mentioned before, the USA is the only buyer, and consequently it gets our oil at a steep discount. It is in American interests for that practice to continue, particularly because the loss of the Venezuelan market meant US refineries need a steady supply of heavy crudes to keep operating. So the USA is in no hurry to see Trans-Mountain built, and might even be slipping a little money on the side to protest groups who oppose it.

        I was hoping Freeland would be out, and I would even have been okay with a Conservative win to see that happen. That’s a measure of how much I despise her, because the Conservatives are pro-American to a maudlin degree. Instead, her power and influence increased, and they may even be grooming her for a run for the national leadership when Troodles is finished.

        Like

        1. I’m sure Justin Bieber Turdeau can’t afford another scandal on the same scale as, and of a similar type to, the SNC-Lavalin scandal in which his government attempted to push Jody Wilson-Raybould, when she was Attorney General, to intervene in the bribery case against the company and then demoted her when she refused. There only has to be just one more major scandal like that and Turdeau would have to resign as PM and Freeland becomes PM. Even if she becomes caretaker PM and cannot start any new policies or change existing ones regarding Canada’s relationship with Ukraine, she would only have to continue what was already begun under Turdeau’s leadership and just increase the scale of those policies to achieve at least some if not all of what she wants.

          Like

          1. At least we would be spared that; if a meteorite struck Troodles as he was coming out of Collectible Stockings Company, the Governor-General would assume the office until a new PM could be appointed, following consultation with cabinet. However, she’d certainly be in with a chance at that point, and would rule until the next election with full powers.

            “The position, which is not officially mandated by the Constitution of Canada, is actually a relatively weak one in cabinet. When the prime minster is out of the country it is accepted that no major decisions will be made. Without a portfolio or a ministry, the deputy prime minister is far less powerful than individuals such as the finance minister. Because of this the deputy prime minister is often given other cabinet responsibilities.

            Unlike the Vice-President of the United States, the Deputy Prime Minister does not assume the Prime Minister’s office if he dies or resigns. The Governor General assumes the duties until he or she appoints a new Prime Minister in consultation with the Cabinet.”

            The serving Governor-General is Julie Payette. However, I seem to recall her being a bit of a squirrel in her own right, on the subject of Venezuela and Bolivia and the Americas.

            Like

  24. NATO is intellectually and financially bankrupt, saith Scott Ritter.

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-intellectual-and-financial-bankruptcy-of-nato/

    “The Franco-German political-economic duopoly that has held Europe together during the postwar period is fracturing, with Europe being pulled in different directions by the gravitational forces of these two incompatible economic models that are likely incapable of sustaining a singular economic union, let alone underwriting a geriatric military alliance that has lost its purpose and meaning. NATO is on life-support, and Europe is being asked to foot the bill to keep breathing life into an increasingly moribund alliance whose brain death is readily recognized, but rarely acknowledged.”

    Interesting heads-up in there; NATO Exercise Defender 2020 will be the third-largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War; 37,000 troops from 15 nations, including 20,000 of the American troops some American politicians maintain are welcomed throughout the world. However, the article points out the military muscle which will be on show

    “…pales in comparison with the scope of the U.S. commitment then when compared to now. In 1983, more than 250,000 U.S. troops were stationed in Germany, compared to approximately 35,000 now. The 20,000 troops the U.S. is flying in next year represents the maximum number the U.S. can deploy on short notice; the 19,000 flown in in 1983 were part of a larger force of over 350,000 earmarked for deployment should the need have arisen.”

    Like

  25. The US government is most definitely certifiable!

    Afraid Moscow might fix it? US dares complain about ‘destabilizing RUSSIAN presence’ in Libya wrecked by NATO regime change
    27 Nov, 2019 02:40

    WARNING! ABOVE-LINKED ARTICLE BY KREMLIN-CONTROLLED RT!

    Having sponsored the 2011 ‘humanitarian’ regime-change in Libya and reducing the North African country to chaos and civil war, the US is now protesting the alleged presence of Russian troops there as “incredibly destabilizing.”

    That was the claim on Tuesday by David Schenker, the assistant secretary for near eastern affairs at the State Department. He told reporters that Russian regulars were being sent to Libya “in significant numbers” to support the Libya National Army (LNA) and said that “raises the specter of large-scale casualties among the civilian population.”

    Schenker’s concern for the lives and well-being of Libyan civilians is especially touching, given that the US was one of the driving forces behind the regime-change operation in 2011 targeting the government of Col. Moammar Gaddafi. Few can forget then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cackling ghoulishly when she was informed of Gaddafi’s brutal murder at the hands of US-backed ‘moderate’ rebels.

    It has been estimated that some 25,000 Libyans were killed just between March and October 2011, and who knows how many more since, as the country went from one of the most prosperous in Africa to a chaotic wasteland dominated by warlords. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) was drawn to the chaos, and reporters even found open-air slave markets at one point.

    Even when the “humanitarian” fallout reached out to claim the lives of four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi in 2012, Washington shrugged. Their murders were blamed on a YouTube video and Clinton famously sneered at Congress, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”

    Now, however, as General Khalifa Haftar – who lived in the US for 20-plus years, mind you – and his LNA seem poised to reunite the country and brush aside the US-backed “national unity government” that clings on to the capital and not much more, Washington is suddenly concerned for Libyan lives? Please!

    Like

  26. The following article by Ben Aris at BNE contains more information on Rosatom’s “new” small, modular nuclear reactors than I have seen elsewhere. Seemingly, a triumph of Russian technology.
    https://www.intellinews.com/rosatom-rolls-out-the-small-modular-reactor-a-mini-nuclear-power-station-to-solve-some-big-problems-172117/?source=russia&inf_contact_key=80eb4fdaa4693ecbdf2731a82d311e0bf651f238aa2edbb9c8b7cff03e0b16a0
    “From all the SMR projects, Rosatom is arguably out in front. Unlike the other projects, the Russian flagship RITM-200 small modular reactor design of 50 MW capacity is already tried and tested is it is the reactor used to power Russia’s Arctic icebreakers that go into operation next year. So far six RITM-200 reactors are being installed on the icebreakers Arktika, Sibir and Ural. Two more nuclear powered icebreakers have already been commissioned.
    The two smaller KLT-40 reactors (35 MW) also went into the Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear power station that was towed to its permanent Chukotka location in August to start commercial operations next year. The logic of a floating version of an SMR is the same as the land-based version: to serve remote locations and allow for their industrialisation. Most of Russia’s northern coast is home to a cornucopia of natural resources but are at the same time thousands of kilometres away from any sort of infrastructure.”

    Russia earns more from the export of nuclear technology than from the export of arms. Carthago delenda est The US hopes to attain this technology 2026

    Like

    1. Very interesting, thanks for posting. As stated in the article, modular nuclear has a lot going for it and the Russians are the first to make it real. It can make a very positive impact on CO2 emissions.

      Their strategy of building, owning and operating the plants with revenue earned from the sale of electricity under long term contract is the same model now being adopted for large scale desalination in the Middle East. A large desal plant may cost well over one billion USD. Unlike nuclear, their operating costs are very sensitive to the cost of fuel so various clauses are built into the contract to allow adjustment of the selling price of the water to reflect changes in the cost of energy.

      Modular nuclear to generate electricity AND desalinate water would be a game change in many parts of the world.

      Like

      1. The safety features also caught my attention: “The Russian designs arguably feature more safety features than any other system as after Chernobyl post-communist Russia introduced even stricter regulations than in the west.” The main safety features are:
        pressurised water technology, which is common, “core catchers” and “accident tolerant fuel”. The idea of a core catcher is that if a meltdown does take place, it shouldn’t, then the reactor burns through a concrete floor and the whole reactor drops into a sealed sarcophagus. All Russian reactors are now built with this technology- the US considers this “overengineering”. They are also testing “accident tolerant fuel” next year, three years before similar US tests are scheduled.
        Meanwhile their move to fast neutron power reactors seems to be well underway. All very impressive.

        Like

        1. Nuclear power is extremely clean during operation, although of course radiation is a concern. But is it worse than belching great clouds of smoke into the sky, day after day? I don’t think so. LNG is a good fix for the medium term, as almost 100% of it is consumed in generating energy; the trick is never to allow an unburnt release, as methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. New battery technology shows great promise for automobiles. All in all, things are looking up.

          Except in Mudville, where Lyonya lives, and where Mighty Sam has struck out. Lyonya is of the opinion that it is now too late to stop Nord Stream II no matter what sanctions the Americans choose to apply. Interestingly – and I believe him on this – if sanctions went into effect tomorrow morning and the pipelaying ships all downed tools, Russia could complete it on its own with its own ship, the Akademik Cherksiy.

          https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/11/01/the-us-dithered-too-long-on-russias-nord-stream-2-project-a68007

          The time to put it in a box, Lyonya argues, was before construction even started; sanction the companies that own the pipelayers, and the project would have run into a wall before it ever passed ‘Go’. Now the USA is exposed as willing to spitefully move against an energy project solely to increase its own market share.

          Meanwhile Ukraine struts and prances and screams “SUGS!!!”, but still no gas deal and the likelihood of Russia signing the kind of deal Ukraine (and Brussels) wants looks slimmer every day.

          Like

  27. Well blow me down!

    The appeal court in Sweden has refused to satisfy the appeal of “Gazprom” in a dispute with the Ukrainian concern “Naftogaz”, according to Tass. Executive Director of “Naftogaz of Ukraine” Yuriy Vitrenko on “Facebook” called the decision a “complete victory”.

    “Complete victory, Ukraine wins again! We won the appeal at the first complaint of “Gazprom” the decision of the Stockholm arbitration!” said his statement.

    It is anticipated that decisions in two other cases in court between the same parties will be taken in 2020.

    The Stockholm arbitration court in December 2017 and February 2018 issued decisions on disputes between Gazprom and Naftogaz in respect of contracts for supply and transit of gas, obliging as a result, Russian the Ukrainian company to pay more than $ 2.5 billion. Gazprom appealed against the decision in March 2018, and in May demanded the complete abolition of the “transient” solution.

    See: Суд Швеции отказал по апелляции «Газпрома» в споре с «Нафтогазом»
    27 ноября 2019, 13:26

    Like

    1. What will that mean for the gas deal? Only 16 days remain.

      https://www.intellinews.com/ukraine-has-16-days-left-to-do-a-transit-deal-with-gazprom-172367/?source=russia

      Ukraine allegedly offered to do a deal in which they would not drop their claim of being owed $2.5 Billion by Gazprom, but would take it in free gas. They say they have not had a reply yet. The same article suggests Russia would be perfectly happy to just run out the clock. Even happier now, I would think.

      A few interesting figures are included in the article. For one, the author claims that in order to completely circumvent Ukraine for gas delivery to Europe, it would need pipeline capacity of 230 BcM. Here’s how it breaks down – Gazprom sent about 200 BcM to Europe last year, of which 70 BcM went via Ukraine. If Ukraine is completely cut out now, Gazprom could manage about 195 BcM, with every other available pipeline to Europe straining at the rivets. But you need a ‘technical reserve’ capability, which would take Russia’s requirement to 230 BcM. Obviously, the intent is that they should commit to sending this amount through Ukraine, forever.

      The other interesting figure is included in the claim that ‘Ukraine’s economy is growing nicely, but loss of transit income would shave 4% off of GDP.’ When the initial threat that eventually transit would be stopped was floated, Ukraine squealed that it would bilk it of 2% of GDP. But now somehow that loss would be double…but the economy is ‘growing nicely’? Ummm….how do you figure?

      The way I see it, Russia has a couple of options; it can just let the clock run out, carry on with Nord Stream II, and pump everything it can right to capacity, without any going through Ukraine. That would leave it about 5 BcM short, obviously with no reserve capability. The USA could be invited to make that shortfall up with its Molecules of Freedom. But that relies on Merkel not suddenly deciding to slap more restrictions on Nord Stream II so that it could not pump to its full capacity – she has apparently said all along that Nord Stream II will not be allowed unless some gas continues to go through Ukraine – the obvious clash of wills is that Russia is trying to ensure that amount is as small as possible, while the west and Ukraine are trying to ensure that amount is as large as possible.

      Another option is for Russia to speed up and intensify its own LNG-export capability, and perhaps it can make up the shortfall with its own LNG carriers. Either way, it is plain the Ukies think they have Russia by the balls, and can dictate terms as they like – perhaps they will even add the return of Crimea to their demands for a gas deal, they seem to feel so confident. Let’s see how it plays out; only a couple of weeks remain to get a deal done, and it’s everyone against Russia. The look on Vitrenko’s face will be priceless if the Russians just close up their briefcases and go home. Not to mention the look on Sefcovic’s face. Not to mention the jump in gas prices in Europe.

      Like

    2. RT.com: Swedish court rejects appeal by Russia’s Gazprom in gas transit dispute with Ukraine’s Naftogaz
      https://www.rt.com/business/474472-gazprom-naftogaz-sweden-court/

      …The court eventually satisfied some of the Ukrainian company’s demands, in particular by setting a minimum amount of gas that Naftogaz must buy from Gazprom annually (from 2018) at a volume that was 10 times lower than in the original contract. At the same time, it also obliged Gazprom to pay for the transit of the Russian gas through the Ukrainian territory between 2009 and 2017 even though the gas was not, in fact, transited over that period.

      The court justified its decision by referring to a difficult economic situation in Ukraine….
      ####

      WtAF? Is this the ‘odious debt’ lawfare scam that was dreamed up a few years back? What’s the point of a contract at all?

      https://www.domstol.se/nyheter/2019/11/arbitral-award-in-a-dispute-regarding-supply-of-natural-gas-remains-unchanged/

      Like

        1. Isn’t that an internal sovereign matter ME?

          As usual, I’d like to see the full published decision. In the past ‘victory’ has been claimed (sic Magnitsky @ECHR, Khordokovsky etc.). What is the legal basis of this decision. If it is yet again a creative use of the law, then it will be yet another western institution of long repute that has torpedoed itself.

          Like

      1. Basically, that’s accurate – the court pities Ukraine because it is in a difficult situation, and has decided to award it money because it needs it, not because it merits it owing to injustice. I’m confused by the transit argument, though – is the court saying no Russian gas was transited through Ukraine between 2009 and 2017, or just no gas for Ukraine’s own domestic use? The amount awarded alone would preclude the former – of course gas for Europe was transited, in massive volumes. But so far as I am aware, Ukraine took a substantial amount as well in the early part of that period. It was only quite recently that it started buying reverse-flowed supply from Europe. However, Russia does not pay transit fees for gas volumes which stay within Ukraine and are not transited across it. That clause completely throws me, I don’t get it. Russia has never been accused of not paying transit fees for volumes that actually crossed Ukraine to Europe.

        Like

  28. My post du jour , a piece from VESTI. Correspondent Stas Natanzon is covering the anti-coup demonstrators in Bolivia and also saves a cop from being lynched.
    The curious thing (to me), is why the Russian press has a slight “pro-coup” slant. At least, in my opinion.

    Like

  29. M11 opened today by the Evil One.

    The President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the very embodiment of evil in the world today, took part in the opening of the highway M-11 “Moscow-Saint-Petersburg”. This long-awaited event marked the opening of the first highway that has been built from scratch between the cities the first major Federal investment into a road project.

    Oh look, road signs in English as well!

    What was that Azeri philologist saying recently about Moscow, that he only saw Russian, a “cloacal language”, everywhere, such monolingualism being evidence of a backward society?

    Like

    1. Not in English but in Latin alphabet. Most Russian cities have universal names, meaning that they are the written and pronounced similarly whether the speaker is Russian, English, German or Finn.

      Finnish language have a few exceptions for historical reasons. Moscow is called “Moskova” and St.Petersburg is called “Pietari” in Finnish language. “Pietari” is quite close to “Piter” as Russians unofficially call their second city.

      Like

      1. I beg to differ, old chap!

        St. [Saint] Petersburg, as in the road sign above, is the English for that city which the Russians call С. [Санкт]- Петербург, which name, transliterated letter for letter from the Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet, is Sankt-Peterburg. Notice that there is no “s” in the Russian ” Петербург”.

        Likewise, “Moscow” is the English for Москва, which name transliterated letter for letter into the Latin alphabet is “Moskva”.

        Зеленоград, however, has been transliterated on the road sign above directly into the Latin alphabet as “Zelenograd”.

        You write: “Most Russian cities have universal names, meaning that they are the written and pronounced similarly whether the speaker is Russian, English, German or Finn.”

        So how do you think a native speaker of English would say Харьков, which is transliterated into the Latin alphabet as “Kharkov”?

        How do Russians pronounce Харьков, not to mention how speakers of Ukrainian pronounce the name of that city?

        And what about the soft-sign in Харьков? How is it transliterated into the Latin alphabet, if at all, and how would a native speaker pronounce “-рь-“?

        How do Russians pronounce Шереметьево?

        How would most native English speakers pronounce the name of that airport? Would they pronounce th “-ть-” correctly, do you think?

        Ask Yulia Ioffe, she knows how to pronounce Шереметьево, but her mother tongue is Russian.

        Like

  30. A fairly recent update on the Boeing situation. This is a lengthy and very comprehensive article which delves into the cultural shift at Boeing from an engineer-centric agency to an executive-dominated moneymaker, just before the production of the Dreamliner.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/18/the-case-against-boeing?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    “In December, 1996, Boeing announced that it was buying a struggling rival, McDonnell Douglas, for thirteen billion dollars. Sorscher is one of many Boeing employees who have identified the merger as the moment when Boeing went from being led by engineers to being led by business executives driven by stock performance.

    Sorscher recalled a labor-management breakfast, shortly before the merger, at which a top Boeing executive said that the company would reduce spending on a program that employed engineers to find improvements in the process of making planes. Sorscher, a member of the union’s bargaining unit at the time, pointed out how much money process improvement was saving the company.

    The executive tipped his head back, as if thinking how best to explain basic economics to a clueless scientist. Finally, as Sorscher recalled, the executive said, “The decisions I make have more influence over outcomes than all the decisions you make.” Sorscher told me, “It was: ‘I can’t help but make a billion dollars every time I pick up the phone. You people do things that save four hundred thousand dollars, that take one shift out of flow time—who gives a crap?’ ”

    Three years later, the engineers’ union went on strike over bonus pay and cuts in health coverage. James Dagnon, another Boeing executive, said that engineers had to accept that they were no longer the center of the universe. “We laughed,” Sorscher recalled. “This is an engineering company—these are complex, heavily engineered products. Of course we’re the center of the universe. But he wasn’t kidding. We didn’t get it. Who is the center of the universe? It’s the executives.”

    A fascinating read. The Dreamliner, the first project built under the new culture, was rolled out three years late and tens of billions over budget. The following year, persistent battery fires grounded the model for three months.

    And that’s not even making a dent in the arrogance of the company aristocracy – the previous CEO made $80 million in salary and bonuses in his final three years in the post – and the determination to stick with the corporate-economic model despite clear warnings that it was on a sled bound for hell. If you read the whole thing, you’ll have a much better understanding why we have not yet seen the triumphant return of the Max 8 to the air.

    Like

      1. “Bad for the rest of the world.”

        How?

        Warmer climate resulting in more evaporation from the oceans and more rain in deserts around the world?

        Like

        1. Global warming seems real enough but the projected effects are often wrong. Years ago, the expectation would be drier and hotter climate in the US Great Lakes region with prognostications suggesting Lake Erie will become a wetlands with a meandering river down the middle. So far, the reality has been consistently higher perception with Lake Erie at record high levels.

          Some science suggest that the Gulf stream may substantially weaken bringing much cooler climate to western Europe. The Guardian sounds the alarm:

          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/13/avoid-at-all-costs-gulf-streams-record-weakening-prompts-warnings-global-warming

          Serious disruption to the Gulf Stream ocean currents that are crucial in controlling global climate must be avoided “at all costs”, senior scientists have warned. The alert follows the revelation this week that the system is at its weakest ever recorded.

          Past collapses of the giant network have seen some of the most extreme impacts in climate history, with western Europe particularly vulnerable to a descent into freezing winters. A significantly weakened system is also likely to cause more severe storms in Europe, faster sea level rise on the east coast of the US and increasing drought in the Sahel in Africa.

          Russia best be ready to sell more gas to western Europe least thermal refugees march on their borders.

          Like

      2. It’s not good for anyone. Climate change is just that, and it is unpredictable. It does not mean this part will be warmer and that part will be colder and that one wetter. ‘Global warming’ convinced a lot of people that they would no longer have to worry about winter in their country, that they would be strolling in shorts under palm trees in November in Cincinnati. Hardly.

        Like

  31. The finger pointing by Banderastan has started!

    “Нафтогаз” пообещал не перекрывать газовый вентиль
    03:01 28.11.2019

    “Naftogaz” has promised turn off the gas valve
    03:01 28.11.2019 (updated: 10:45 28.11.2019)

    KIEV, November 28 – RIA Novosti. The Ukraine does not intend to shut off the gas valve, even if Russia fails to sign a new contract on gas transportation, Executive Director of “Naftogaz of the Ukraine”, Yuriy Vitrenko, has said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. In his opinion, the valve will be turned off by Gazprom, not Naftogaz.

    “But I remind you, that in a letter sent by Gazprom to Naftogaz, in black and white [it states] that on January 1st at 10 am Moscow time Gazprom has no reason to keep the gas flowing in the direction of the Ukraine”, he said.

    So you see, Russia is going to hold Europe to ransom, not the Ukraine, right?

    Has everyone got that message?

    Did you hear that EU, USA etc., etc?

    Like

    1. While Ukraine has indeed virtuously claimed it will not shut down the flow itself, it has made the less-publicized announcement that any gas which flows over its border once the contract expires without a new agreement will be pumped straight into its underground storage, labeled as ‘gas of unidentified owner’. Where it will be safe as houses, naturally, and not pilfered or drawn upon for national uses.

      https://112.international/politics/ukraine-not-to-shut-down-gas-flow-from-russia-even-if-sides-fail-to-make-transit-deal-46013.html

      Russia has zero incentive to make a gas deal with such a crooked country. Everyone who has a gas storage is cramming it full, in anticipation of gas being shut off. At which time, of course, stored gas will become a return on investment, as the prices jump far above what the government paid for it.

      Like

  32. People’s Love for Putin Shreds Cyber Trolls to Pieces
    November 27, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    Clearly written by a Kremlin Stooge!

    I do wish, though, that he had not written: “And when the president approaches his people, that respect is evident and visible to the naked eye”.

    They are not HIS people!

    They are his fellow citizens and he is their elected president, elected by universal popular suffrage by means of a secret ballot and not by some “electoral college” or by members of the legislature, as is the case with the president of he USA or the chancellor of Germany respectively.

    Like

    1. “your design and ideas, years of work and piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy… haha, that’s pretty rich. When they administered Crimea, the Ukies barely invested a single hryvna and let the place completely fall apart. Taking it back from them was almost like an act of mercy…

      Like

      1. FOLLOW THE BILLIONS INVESTED INTO A CRIMEAN CHILDREN’S CAMP
        Putin’s friends, the owner of GUM owner and a minor official are reviving a dream of a children’s camp.
        06.07.2017

        One of the mainstays of the Soviet Union was the Artek children’s camp, which every young pioneer dreamed of attending every Summer. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the camp became part of Ukraine and then ultimately fell back into Russian hands after the Maidan. Since reacquiring the camp, the Russian government has invested billions of rubles into the camp….

        After the collapse of the USSR, Artek was transferred to Ukraine. In 2004, the government planned a large-scale repair of the children’s camp and allocated $100 million for these needs. However, the money “disappeared without a trace,” after being absorbed by the Development and Reconstruction Fund of the camp the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office found. However, where the money went and what it was actually was used for was never determined and no construction works were carried out…

        The general director of the camp, Viktor Tsoklan, claimed that he did not even know about the existence of the fund. However, law enforcement agencies later found out that Tsoklan had received $500 thousand from the South-Western, Lvov and Donetsk railways, and used this money for purposes other than intended.

        After this revelation, further corruption story was revealed, it turned out that part of the territory of the children’s camp was sold to the Russian Vneshtorgbank for the construction of the Wisteria state villa (20.4 hectares) at a discounted cost, damages were estimated at $840,000. Additionally, 1,500 people illegally occupied 225 land plots belonging to the camp. As well, on the territory of Artek a gas pipeline, boats and hydrofoil disappeared.

        In January 2009, Artek temporarily halted operations due to financial problems. The government did not support the camp financially, nor did it enter into state contracts with the camp. Artek had to provide for itself, by offering tours. The camp slowly dying, their employees’ salaries were stopped and electricity was almost turned off due to non-payment. The general director of Artek, Boris Novozhilov, declared a hunger strike, he was subsequently hospitalized with a heart attack.

        In February 2009, the prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, allocated state money to Artek. In addition, the government decided to restart state contracts with the camp. Then, a new attempt to reconstruct Artek was undertaken by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. He allocated 140.5 million hryvnia for this, but how it was allocated and used is still unclear…

        After the Maidan, Artek was owned by the Republic of Crimea. In the summer of 2014, the Russian government allocated 895 million rubles for the development of the children’s camp. In autumn, the Council of Ministers of the peninsula handed over the camp to the use of the Russian President’s State Board.

        On March 31, 2015, Artek officially became Russian federal property. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a federal children’s camp development program for the following five years totaling 5.4 billion rubles to be allocated for development from the federal budget.

        The development program stated that as of June 1, 2014, more than 80 thousand square meters of buildings and constructions were completely worn out and more than 15 thousand meters of engineering networks were dilapidated. For summer season of 2014 out of 10 Artek camps only five were registered, two of them had only temporary permission for kids reception.

        By June 2017, the cost of reconstruction of the international children’s center has exceeded 11 billion rubles. Repairs are planned to be finished by 2020, with a total budget of 17 billion rubles.

        <“Imagine you’re crying out that your design and ideas, years of work and piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy” — Ukraine Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko on the Russian so-called annexation of the Crimea.

        Are all Banderastan government ministers such mendacious toerags?

        Like

  33. Apparently the government in Moldova is considering a Russian loan rather than the proposed IMF loan from the West. Time for a coup/overthrow/revolution expression of the people’s will?

    Like

      1. Karl – is Ayn Rand (AKA Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum) your role model? Forgiveness of debt has its place in the larger scheme of things.

        Like

  34. Aktuálně.cz via Euractiv: Czech Republic at the mercy of Chinese and Russian secret services
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/czech-republic-at-the-mercy-of-chinese-and-russian-secret-services/

    PRAGUE. Chinese and Russian intelligence activities pose a significant threat to the security of the Czech Republic. By using a wide range of methods, intelligence services from both countries tried to weaken Czech state institutions, influence official state positions related to international security and threaten the democratic system, the Czech intelligence service (BIS) warned in its annual report for 2018 published on Tuesday (26 November).

    The report was published only a few days after EURACTIV.cz media partner Aktuálně.cz revealed that China had funded a “propaganda” course at the Charles University in Prague and paid a trip to China for some of its best students. In response to the scandal, the leading Czech university decided to close its Czech-Chinese centre…

    …Czech president Miloš Zeman is well-known for his pro-Russian attitude. In response to the BIS report, Zeman’s spokesperson said that it is unacceptable that the BIS considers people with a different opinion to be spreading disinformation and blamed the country’s intelligence service for attempting to restrict freedom of expression.
    ####

    Apparently the ‘will of the people’, particularly those who don’t see Russia and Russians and happen to be Presidents down, is against democratic values.

    I don’t understand what is the point of this BIS report unless it is a prelude to censor and control the media and political scene. If that is not the case, then it will only be preaching to the converted. Or is it just to make Washington happy? Curiously it is not translated in to english…yet.

    This is the link from aktualny.cz that sets out the usual bs including the authors ‘if we read between the lines’ bit near the end in essence calling Zeman a traitor. Forgive me, but is this not precisely the meaning of fake news & hybrid warfare that such people complain about. Why can’t the BIS be direct and open? Perhaps because it has no actual evidence and that this is a political report, not that it bothers those reporting on it.

    Úhlavní nepřátelé Česka podle BIS? Rusko a Čína. Jim slouží Zeman a další rozkladači/
    The main enemies of the Czech Republic according to BIS? Russia and China. Jim serves Zeman and other breakers

    https://nazory.aktualne.cz/komentare/uhlavni-nepratele-ceska-podle-bis-rusko-a-cina-jim-slouzi-ze/r~93ad9596103c11ea82ef0cc47ab5f122/

    Martin Fendrych

    And this tripe filled blog post on the subject:

    BIS varuje před Kremlem, politici neposlouchají. Ignorace, nebo vědomá kolaborace?/
    BIS warns of the Kremlin, politicians do not listen. Ignore or conscious collaboration?

    blog.aktualne.cz/blogy/tenaruv-blog.php?itemid=35310

    Anna Arian

    The comment in the link above says that BIS is great because it started from scratch after the Cold War and is not haunted by a communist past or ‘selective blindness’ and points out that Russia has an ‘oversized’ presence in Cz (161 peeps, 100 diplo cars etc.) when Germany has 161 cars. That writer points out that Cz was awared the CIA’s ‘George Tenet prize’ for bestest foreign cooperation but somehow fails to draw that fact and Cz being the USA’s intelligence hub for the CEECs as to precisely why Russia has such a big presence. The author has his own blindspot large enough to drive 161 cars through.

    On a side note, this reminds me of the few times I’ve been to Cz. Didn’t understand a word they said, found it not difficult at all to read. Weird.

    Like

    1. It might be an alert to the military and other national services to get on board As we so recently saw in Bolivia, if it is possible to co-opt the national services independent of the president’s administration itself, and leave the latter isolated and alone, it is vulnerable to a coup using the national services alone, and provides for a relatively bloodless regime change which takes place literally overnight. It is interesting that China is more often included now in the campaign to make the two ‘other’. Once it was just Russia, but more often now they are lumped together as an Axis of Meddling. I personally think that is a significant mistake for the west. It seems to be making big sacrifices now just to keep relatively tiny countries under its own thumb. It would plainly like it very much if Zeman was removed in favour of a compliant toady, but would that really let it have much of a freer hand than it has already in the Czech Republic? Is it worth making an enemy of China? Is the USA seriously trying to prevent China from becoming a major economic power at the same time it considers China its biggest and most important growth market? How stupid does it think the Chinese are?

      Like


  35. Schweinstein (centre) and friends in Vilnius, where he is running the “Free Russia” forum that he has organised.

    All the same old faces there. Chirikova (“Stupid Bitch” according to the late Shagger Nemtsov) to the right

    In Vilnius the Russian “Non-Systemic Opposition” Buried Putin
    November 28, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    “They seriously discussed how they will equip Russia after the bloody regime collapses. They even made lists of people they would lustrate. They will sort out their life, run from one country to another, and throw mud at their motherland. Do they think they’re being treated well in the West? They [the West – ed] see perfectly well what they are. Time will pass, and they will not even be needed by the West.”

    Like

    1. What Nemtsov said about Chirikova on the ‘phone and was leaked was more like:

      “She is a fucking idiot, She doesn’t fucking listen”.

      In the videoclip below (2.00) can be heard a telephone conversation between Nemtsov and journalist Valery Panyushkin. Nemtsov expresses dissatisfaction with the fact that Chirikova has insisted on holding a rally on Revolution Square.

      Panyushkin asks why Nemtsov “could not talk to Chirikov.” “She is fucking stupid, but what can I do about it? How the hell can I get talking to her?” says Nemtsov. Panyushkin agrees with him: “Of course she’s fucking stupid!”

      And Nemtsov says “Fuck Chirikova, she just doesn’t listen!” and he explains what the organizers of the rally on December 10, who have been allowed to assemble on Revolution Square and march to Bolotnaya Square, have agreed upon. “This is fucked up. They are fucking nerds. They should put up a monument to me instead of Dzerzhinsky on Lubyanka Square… ”

      Like

    2. It’s probably a pretty good wheeze to keep the western cash flow going; nice restaurants are not giving food away for free, you know. Meanwhile,

      “And the order of action is proposed as follows: “Let us organise civil society from below, which will grow slowly and at some point will ripen”. In short, the work of the non-systemic Russian opposition has no end.”

      If ever there was a more emphatic endorsement for a government policy of restricting western-financed and supported NGO’s in a country, I’ve never heard it. An unabashed admission that if you only allow the do-gooders in to ‘help’, one day they will be tapped as political assets committed to your downfall. The only insurance against this is to lead your country down the paths the west sets out for it. Independent thought is not allowed, nor sovereign decisions. Get uppity, and it will be the worse for you.

      Like

    1. I call bs. As usual, a short edited video clip only shows us what the author wants. We all know from experience that the longer version needs to be shown. The Twatter also reposts ‘Guido Fawkes’ smeary shitturd bloke, so it’s yet another agenda driven twatter account.

      Like

  36. Well, well; look what else the frantic impeachment digging turned up – two well-connected friends and supporters of US Energy Secretary Rick Perry were awarded a ‘potentially lucrative’ gas contract in Ukraine even though their bid was millions less than their competition offered.

    https://www.oaoa.com/news/state/article_86d2b1f0-7499-5eed-97d7-238acca0a6b7.html?mode=story

    I suppose it’s hardly surprising, considering Perry himself offered a list to the incoming Zelinskiy government of candidates he thought would make good energy advisers. And only a week later, lo and behold, one of those candidates and his partner submitted a low bid, and only 3 weeks after that won a 50-year contract to drill. Mr. Perry, to the very best of my recollection, is not Ukrainian, or even of Ukrainian descent.

    America wags a stern finger at Ukraine and talks soberly to it of corruption, all the while the United States government is doing corrupt deals and negotiating sweetheart contracts for friends and family.

    Keep that in mind the next time you hear the American media gabbling about the opulent lifestyle of Yanukovych, or how many gajillions Putin has stashed away in secret accounts. Yanukoych and Putin are criminals, but Perry is just ‘icky’. Nothing to see here, folks; move along.

    Like

    1. AP via ZH: Hunter Biden hired because of his name: Burisma board member
      https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/ex-polish-president-kwasniewski-hunter-biden-burisma

      That is simply how the world of business works, ex-Polish president says

      …”I understand that if someone asks me to be part of some project it’s not only because I’m so good, it’s also because I am Kwasniewski and I am a former president of Poland,” he said. “And this is all interconnected. No-names are a nobody. Being Biden is not bad. It’s a good name.”…

      …”He was a normal member of this group,” he said. “We didn’t ask him — and he never said anything — about his father.”..

      …”He collected information,” Kwasniewski said. “He was useful for us because he knew something that we didn’t know.”…

      ####

      Yes, unfortunately that is true, but he is the son of the fomer US VP who on camera boasted that he got Kiev’s anti-corruption prosecutor fired, who also happened to be investigating the company Biden’s son was working for. How Dems think any of this is ok can only mean that they are ok with the ‘right kind’ of corruption.

      Like

      1. All the same, despite his “great name”, I would guess Hunter only got to keep a portion of his bloated salary. A lot of that salary-padding was just another means of laundering dirty money. The nation of Ukraine became a giant washing machine for America’s dirty money.

        Like

  37. WTF – Curt Doolittle, remember him, the perfect man living large in Ukraine or was it a Starbucks in Seattle? Apparently, he or his minions are tied up with Russia Insider in some manner – worship of German fascism and all. Its now makes sense…

    https://propertarianism.com/blog/

    Like

      1. It was posted by Doolittle, mentioned at the very top. He/cohorts are apparently setting up an online institute with courses and certifications to allow others to teach his philosophy of propertarianism. Once the talented individual have achieved that level, for additional fees, you can become a master of fakertarianism.

        The web site is advocating revolution in the US with a focus of red states seceding from the US by peaceful or not peaceful means.

        I think his shtick is to tap the market demographic of white supremacist, violence-prone gun nuts, right wing intellectual narcissists and the like. They will eagerly contribute money as well as to spread the word.

        Like

        1. One sinister aspect of that Propertarianism site is that it is silent on its sources of financing to be even able to offer any courses on what neo-Nazi rubbish it espouses. Some of the money must be coming from US and EU sources which would also help explain how Curt Doolittle came to be in Ukraine in the first place. Like those US-funded fundamentalist Christian church pastors who were active in the Hong Kong “protests”, Doolittle is a regime change agent, all the more so because, like those pastors, he is a fanatic who aspires to lead his own movement.

          Like

          1. I did think about his Ukraine connection but did not give it enough attention. He certainly has an advance messianic complex. In a “normal” society he would be on a street corner with a megaphone spewing his nonsense until the police move him along. However, in this inverted society, he is a useful if minor idiot for whatever schemes money people may have.

            What about the focus on breaking up the US? As trivial of a man Doolittle is, does he have a useful role in someone’s political chess game? Or is this just a part of his messianic vision in which he will be carried in a sedan chair by throngs of admirers to a massive marble building built just for him with beautiful women eager to serve their master? Something like that, I suspect.

            Like

            1. I’m sure the answers to two of the three questions are (1) yes, Doolittle has a useful role, and (2) the political chess game is part of his egocentric vision. People with such mindsets can be very useful idiots. So one scenario doesn’t necessarily exclude the other.

              As for the focus on balkanising the US, that could be part of a long-term plan to keep Americans at one another’s throats and generally keep societies in the separate parts unstable and vulnerable to a fascist takeover at a later date.

              Like

          2. It also explains a lot about his avowed love for Lviv/Lvov/Lwow whatever.

            Speaking of Hong Kong, the USA apparently passed a trade law which mandates an annual review of Hong Kong’s autonomy, and if Washington judges it is not autonomous enough from mainland China or has decreased since the last review, trade policies will be adjusted accordingly and there might be – you guessed it – more sanctions!

            https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/29/what-trump-bills-on-hong-kong-rights-protections-means-for-china-hk-and-us.html

            Washington loves having a free hand to dabble in Ukraine, since it is right on the border with Russia, and chances are good it would love just as much to have a little American protectorate cheek by jowl with China. as well. There seem to be very few adults among the protesters, even most of their visible leaders are just students, and chances are the adults in the movement work for the US Department of State.

            Here’s my prediction – if The Donald is re-elected to a second term, he will fuck up trade relations with China to the point that they are beyond repair, and America’s commercial relations with China will be minimal and decidedly disadvantageous to American vendors. There was a feature story in today’s paper on the Nova Scotia lobster fishery going into overdrive, at America’s expense, owing to Chinese demand for seafood that American tariffs make un-economical to buy from the USA.

            https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-the-us-china-trade-war-is-a-boon-for-atlantic-canadas-lobster/

            I would hazard a guess that this is a story repeated many times for other goods, not just cases in which Canadian manufacturers or fishermen are gaining market share at America’s expense, but other new partners around the world. The featured story is cautious, and written from the viewpoint of what might happen when America returns to the market – but what if it doesn’t? As we have discussed before now, market forces are fickle, and they tend to establish solid relationships with suppliers who are reliable even if they have to pay a little more. It’s worth it not to have to start all over again as soon as the latest mandarin who gets elected President starts throwing his/her weight around, and America would have to undercut prevailing prices by quite a bit in many fields before its competitive prices overcame a reluctance to do business with such an unreliable partner.

            For example, Germany and Japan are making large gains in the auto market in China, at the expense of American automakers, who have seen their sales in China decline for 15 straight months.

            https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2019/10/10/gm-china-sales-stock-baojun-buick/3929650002/

            U.S. farmers and their soybeans? “Even if a Phase One deal is struck, there may be a short-term rebound in prices but in the long-term China will develop its own supplies or turn to other countries to fill their demand.”

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2019/11/27/trumps-phase-one-china-trade-deal-may-not-save-soybean-farmers/#285bb7214b2b

            Huawei? An incredible 66% growth in China in the third quarter of this year. For every winner, there gotta be a loser, and it’s Apple. whose sales fell by 28% in the same quarter and its lowest level in 5 years.

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/11/24/apple-warned-over-new-huawei-threat-in-china-despite-iphone-11-sales-success/#24c0d8931875

            “Apple needs China. It is a vast sales market and its manufacturing hub. It also carries symbolism.”

            If Huawei plays its cards right and its 5G network is all it claims it will be, the iPhone might never reclaim market share in China. Customers tend to stick with a product they like, and which offers the prospect of continuing upgrades and increasing technological progress.

            Russia and China press forward with their alternative to SWIFT, SPFS. According to the Russian Central Bank, SPFS currently has 392 clients. Besides Russia and China, India is interested in plugging in, and Venezuela is also watching with interest. SWIFT? Losing market share.

            https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-russia-india-push-forward-102044240.html

            Like

          3. I would venture a guess that Curly is being financed by Right Sektor, they being ideological Nazis and stuff… Right Sektor, in turn, gets its funding from the U.S. State Department.

            Like

    1. “There should be nothing false in you! The Jew is dishonest. He is born that way and is ever full of deceit. You are born to be honest and to remain honest. Your face does not lie, your words are true, your actions are clear and can stand before all.”

      That’s pretty rich – Nazis accusing Jews of being dishonest. The Nazis were the world’s worst crooks and liars. They lied about everything and stole everything that wasn’t nailed down! And even some stuff that was (nailed down). Pshaw…

      Like

      1. You can be obsessed with making money and not necessarily be dishonest. I realize not all Jews are stereotypical bankers, but bankers are not necessarily dishonest. There are plenty of opportunities to make money from people’s stupidity and misfortune.

        Like

        1. It is theoretically possible I suppose but if the obsession is to make money (not just accumulate money such as a miser that saves his entire weekly paycheck) then it is extremely probable that the obsession will evolve into a rule-free single-minded drive.

          An obsession to make money is not a private affairs (other than for the miser living in a trailer). The accumulator is doing it to impress an audience of other accumulators so anything goes to put on the show. There may be the rare exception (some will think Warren Buffet).

          Like

        2. Being obsessed with making money is not a problem in itself; the problem comes with other motivations that may be behind an obsession with money. If accumulating money leads to opportunities to control and influence other people, and the obsessed person comes to believe that accumulating more money will give him/her more power and influence over others, then money as a symbol or representation of what the obsessed person really desires becomes the issue.

          Like

          1. Yrs, that’s true enough. But the point I hoped to make was that it is not exclusive to Jews. Perhaps I should have said, “An obsession with making money, whether good or evil, is not exclusive to Jews”.

            Like

  38. Analysts go back and forth on whether the American ‘gas boom’ is just starting to take flight, or the wheels are starting to come off. Each makes compelling arguments. But if anything speaks with authority in modern America, its money. And earlier this month Chesapeake Energy, once the nation’s largest gas supplier, warned that it may soon struggle to avoid bankruptcy. Laredo Petroleum Inc. and Oasis Petroleum Inc. are among at least six producers whose ability to secure short-term loans against their oil and natural gas reserves have dropped by 10% or more, according to data in earnings statements and filings. For the first time since 2016, an industry survey done prior to the review found most respondents expected to see declines. The noose is tightening at a time when producers have seen their market values plunge 21% this year. Meanwhile, at least 15 producers have already filed for bankruptcy during the year. None of that sounds like good news to me. Yet the yammering about being the world’s largest energy producer goes on as an article of faith.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/lack-of-credit-is-latest-blow-to-the-struggling-shale-industry/ar-BBXahaI?ocid=00000000

    Like

    1. It may be a crazy mix of market forces and risk taking with government foreign policy objectives stirring the pot. Add anti-fracking efforts and the New Greed Deal (yes, it was deliberate) – Presto! a hot mess.

      Like

  39. FlightGlobal.com: VIDEO & PICTURES: Irkut rolls out fourth test MC-21
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/video-pictures-irkut-rolls-out-fourth-test-mc-21-462605/

    Russian airframer Irkut has rolled out its fourth MC-21-300 flight-test aircraft from its Siberian manufacturing facilities.

    ####

    More details at the link.

    BMPD: Судостроительный завод «Пелла» построит новую верф
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3854596.html

    Как сообщила 25 ноября 2019 года администрация Санкт-Петербурга, объем инвестиций в строительство нового стапельного производства компании «Пелла-Стапель» [дочернее предприятие ОАО «Ленинградский судостроительный завод «Пелла»] составит 2 миллиарда 480 миллионов рублей. На совещании губернатора Санкт-Петербурга с членами городского правительства компании присвоен статус стратегического инвестора Санкт-Петербурга.

    …Завод «Пелла» работает с 60-х годов прошлого века. В 2015 году он приступил к обновлению мощностей. Первая очередь нового стапельного производства уже была запущена в 2015 году. Там ежегодно выпускаются 4-5 судов длиной до 70 метров. Вторая очередь на смежном участке должна расширить возможности судостроительного комплекса. Новое производство позволит выпускать высокотехнологичные морские суда длиной до 90 метров. Суммарное количество готовых судов увеличится почти в два раза – до 7-8 единиц в год….
    ####

    So a new 90 meter wharf thus effectively doubling production to 7-8 ships a year (longer ones too) as part of its modernization project.

    & an interesting piece on marine deisels:

    BMPD: Почему новейшие дизели не дошли до ВМФ России
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3854428.html

    ####

    In short, a lot of whingeing about the lack of large scale, on-time reliable Russian made marine diesels. But it’s not all bad and no-one expected it to be easy.

    Like

      1. Or install an translation extension/add-on for you browser where you just highlight the text and click on an icon and it will auto-translate for you. This is what Ido coz my Russian is v. bad and I don’t have a week to make a bad translation! 😉

        Yandex, Google and many others are available to use for free.

        https://www.ghacks.net/?s=translate

        Like

        1. All well and good, but can you understand the Google translation of this:

          29.11.2019, 23:21
          На Украине заявили о проблемах с взысканием долгов с «Газпрома» в трех странах

          Исполнительный директор «Нафтогаза Украины» Юрий Витренко заявил в эфире «Радио НВ» о проблемах с взысканием долгов с «Газпрома» по решению Стокгольмского арбитража в Германии, Польше и Молдавии.

          «В Германии мы не можем, кстати, приступить к принудительному взысканию. И в Польше у нас проблемы, в Молдове у нас проблемы Мы видим, что в некоторых странах это лучше делать, в некоторых странах, скажем так дипломатически, сложнее»,— сказал господин Витренко (цитата по «Интерфаксу»).

          По его словам, для «Нафтогаза», однако, важнее результат, а не сам процесс. «В Германии те активы, которые есть, они не такие привлекательные для нас»,— отметил Юрий Витренко. Он также подчеркнул, что компании удалось добиться ареста имущества «Газпрома» в нескольких странах.

          Напомним, Стокгольмский арбитраж в 2017–2018 годах обязал «Газпром» выплатить украинской стороне $2,56 млрд. Вместе с этим «Нафтогаз» подал новый иск к «Газпрому» на $12 млрд. Россия ранее заявляла, что готова продлить контракт с Украиной на транзит газа (истекает 31 декабря) только при условии обнуления всех судебных требований.

          Апелляционный суд Швеции отказал «Газпрому» в попытке оспорить решение Стокгольмского арбитража по контракту по поставке газа от 2009 года. Это первая апелляционная жалоба «Газпрома» на вердикт арбитража — решение по наиболее важной второй жалобе, связанной с контрактом на транзит, ожидается в следующем году.

          11/29/2019, 23:21
          In Ukraine, announced problems with debt collection from Gazprom in three countries
                  
          The executive director of Naftogaz Ukrainy, Yuriy Vitrenko, announced on Radio Radio about problems with collecting debts from Gazprom by decision of the Stockholm arbitration in Germany, Poland and Moldova.

          “In Germany, we cannot, by the way, proceed with the enforcement of the penalty. And in Poland we have problems, in Moldova we have problems We see that in some countries it is better to do this, in some countries, let’s say so diplomatically, it’s more difficult, ”said Mr. Vitrenko (quoted by Interfax).

          According to him, for Naftogaz, however, the result is more important, not the process itself. “In Germany, those assets that are, they are not so attractive to us,” said Yuri Vitrenko. He also emphasized that the company managed to seize the property of Gazprom in several countries.

          Recall that the Stockholm arbitration in 2017-2018 obliged Gazprom to pay $ 2.56 billion to the Ukrainian side. At the same time, Naftogaz filed a new lawsuit against Gazprom for $ 12 billion. Russia previously stated that it was ready to extend the transit contract with Ukraine gas (expires December 31) only if all court claims are reset.

          The Swedish Court of Appeal denied Gazprom an attempt to challenge the decision of the Stockholm arbitration on a 2009 gas supply contract. This is Gazprom’s first appeal against the arbitration verdict – a decision on the most important second complaint related to the transit contract is expected next year.

          Google does not put the definite article before “Ukraine” because Svidomites don’t like that! 🙂

          Like

          1. In short, the Naftogaz boss has said that the arbitration court directive to Gazprom as regards its monies owed is all hot air, that implementing the collection of such Gazprom “debts” is another matter, but its not the money, it’s the thought that counts. You see, Banderastan has “won” yet again in the courts against the evil Moskali.

            Like

            1. And will you look at this!

              Die rosenfingrige Morgenröte kratzt schon ganz sachte am Horizont, als wir uns von Charkiw aus auf den Weg in das Kohlerevier des Donbass machen, derzeit Kriegsgebiet zwischen der Ukraine und Russland.

              From “Frankfurter Allgemeine“.

              Translated by Google thus:

              The pink-fingered dawn is already scratching gently on the horizon as we make our way from Kharkiv to the coal mining area of Donbass, currently a war zone between Ukraine and Russia.

              Google, acting politically correctly according to Banderite prescriptive English grammar, drops the German definite article [in this instance in the dative singular case as the article is governed by the preposition “zwischen” [between] standing before “Ukraine”, which preposition takes the dative case), otherwise the translation is spot on.

              But notice in the German text how the Ukrainian name for Харьков (Харків in Ukrainian) is transliterated into the Latin alphabet according to German orthography and not as it is transliterated according to the orthography of English, the so-called default for transliterating Russian words from the Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin one.

              In Soviet passports, they used to use French orthography for transliteration int the Latin alphabet, hence my wife’s maiden name Лапшина, in her old Soviet passport was given as “Lapchina” (there used to be Froggish in the old big blue British passports as well, e.g. Place of birth — Lieu de naissance; in her German visa that she once had 20 years ago, her surname was given as “Lapschina” (she did not change her maiden name until two years after we had married: her full name in her Russian passport now has my family name tagged on to her maiden name); in her present Russian passport she now has “Lapshina-Pennington”.

              Like

          2. Surely Ukraine does not expect it is going to benefit from a claim enforced only because it is in ‘a difficult financial situation’ whereby Russia is forced to give it a year’s worth of transit fees for nothing, or free gas equivalent…and then Russia is going to sign a lengthy renewal contract? It must be preparing for the end of transit, and is just trying to grab whatever it can get on the way out.

            Like

            1. If translate (I’ve looked at gugl, yandex etc.) is still barely more than passable, then what does that say about all the artificial insemination intelligence aka machine learning. It’s still shit. It’s a good thing that nobody’s life depends on it… F/king marketing bs!

              Like

              1. You may address your customer complaints to Alan Turing!

                Turing’s response: “I tried to tell them, but they wouldn’t listen… it’s just, basically a piece of tape and a read-write head… And they expect it to write poetry like Horace and prose like Julius Caesar…”

                Like

  40. A frankly astonishing piece from S & P Global/Platts on the evolving Russian gas industry. Although it contains a little of the typical American assumption of moral superiority – and Russia shut off gas transit through Ukraine twice, not three times – we probably shouldn’t read too much into that: when a US company takes a hard line and makes the buyers squeal, corporate America registers admiration for its application of ‘old-fashioned American muscle’. It is therefore nationalistic bias which precludes regarding Russian maneuvers in the same light, or implying approval of Russian commercial policymaking. Here’s a fairly representative paragraph:

    “The image of an unreactive monolith moving at a glacial pace, and any number of other stereotypes from what is now a bygone era, are no longer fit for purpose. The newly emerging, ambitious and commercially savvy Russian gas industry is no less ruthless or determined than it was before, but is now showing itself to be wiser and more mature.”

    Well worth reading in its entirety. With the recent shift in the third quarter away from US investments to global investments – largely European and Asian – you know that if American investors could get a piece of Gazprom at a price which would allow them to make money, they’d be all over it.

    https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/articles/an-evolving-russian-gas-industry-deserves-new-cliches

    Please note also the not-yet-opened Turkish Stream, with its western terminus in Italy – this will most likely introduce pipeline volumes of Russian gas to a region the USA hoped to target for European LNG exports.

    Like

    1. I concur – that was an eye-opening article. No so much from telling us things we already knew but in the acknowledgment that Russian thinking is sophisticated and logical. It is quite a shock to hear such words about Russia in western media.

      The article did miss the unprecedented and blatant US spectacle to bully Europe to stop Nordstream II. I guess the US strategy is based on the cliche that desperate times call for desperate measures.

      Like

  41. Kiev Was Ready to Hand Over Crimea as a US Colony – Scandalous Decade-Old Details Revealed
    November 29, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    Interestingly, in the embedded video, if I am not mistaken, the Ukraine TV channel presenter/interviewer speaks in Russian and asks questions in Russian, but the Svidomite arseholes answer in Ukrainian — because they cannot speak Russian?

    Reminds me of this funny scene from a very funny Soviet comedy film:

    Они совершенно не говорят по русски. Но всё понимают.

    They do not speak any Russian at all, but they understand everything.

    Like

    1. P.S. – that admission by former Foreign Minister Viktor Hang-Doggy is old news. Everybody knows the Americans were busy building infrastructure for their planned naval based in Sebastopol. They were building schools, hospitals, etc., for their sailors families.
      As Putin himself has said, if Crimea had not reunified with Russia when it did, then Sebastopol would now be a full-fledged American naval base, and the pindosi would control the Black Sea.

      Like

      1. Oh come now!

        “Everyone knows” means all Kremlin Stooges know!!!

        This idea of dear, kind old Uncle Sam planning to install a US Navy base at Sevastopol was a a typically
        Kremlin false-flag!

        Like

        1. Funny to watch Hang-Doggy struggling to speak mova. Whenever he can’t think of a mova word, he breaks into American English! “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” LOL!

          Like

          1. Let us not forget the US Army 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade (based in Bavaria) MQ-5B drone that was shot down over the Crimea in mid-march 2014. Just conspiracy theories of course Washington gifted (though incompetence/arrogance/assholiness) Crimea to Russia. There was no other conclusion to be drawn by Moscow considering the signals, words and behavior from both. Quite the unitentional solid. Pootie-Poot made the right call.

            https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/14/russia-claims-have-downed-us-drone-over-crimea-reg/

            Like

      1. Now you’re just being clever, Cortes. Oh, we know all about your love for word-play.
        And we know that “caper” is Latin for “goat”! (As in Capricorn – duh!)

        Like

  42. Another walking disaster of a US Ambassador hath spoken!

    Six European countries, among them US NATO allies, have joined an EU scheme to bypass Donald Trump’s sweeping sanctions, which ban all trade activities with Iran, raising the ire of a notorious American ambassador in Berlin.

    See: US envoy spews vitriol as 6 more EU nations defy sanctions bypass device INSTEX & urge saving Iran nuclear deal

    Like

  43. Try Google-translating ths:

    золотая осень 2019.

    GOLDEN AUTUMN 2019

    The traditional fair, dedicated to the Day of the Agriculture and Food Processing Industry Worker, was held on the territory of VDNKh for the 21st time.

    VDNKh: Exhibition of National Economy Achievements (Выставка достижений народного хозяйства: Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva)

    If you take the trouble to peruse the linked site, you will see for yourself what a parlous state the Russian agro-industry now finds itself in as a result of the Imperial sanctions.

    Like

    1. Only yesterday I was talking to a Russian agronomist who works for Bayer, here in Moscow, and he was telling me how the agro-industry in Mordor is booming.

      Until yesterday, I had thought that Bayer only dealt with pharmaceuticals, but the German firm has agronomic and veterinarian interests as well.

      Like

      1. No more Tu-134 on plinth at VDNKh!? I seem to recall that there was a full scale rocket there too, but that was back in the mid-1990s. Time to visit again. Even then, the fountain was still fablous and and the golden couple above the entry arch holding the sheaves, inspirational!

        Like

        1. Last time I was there there was a rocket and a Tupolev aeroplane.

          Filmed in 2017, when the place was undergoing major renovation.

          That stirring song used to be one of my party pieces, but then my kids got older and began to tell me to shut up.

          13 APRIL 2018
          The new space point in Moscow — the Cosmonautics and Aviation Centre at VDNH — was opened for visitors on April 13

          Last year: renovated.

          The rocket is still there [4.06], and the Tu-134 [4.14].

          She makes the usual mistake in believing that “Na zdorovye” means “Cheers!”.

          За здоровье! [za zda-ro-vye] means “Cheers!”

          Like

            1. Yeah, a commenter to the 2nd of the above VDNKh videos writes:

              Na zdorovje” is a kind of answers if someone says “spasibo” (“thank you”). Another option to answer is “pozhaluysta”. People use “na zdorovje” as “cheers” only in stupid American movies. Russian people NEVER say like this! They can use the phrase “vashe zdorovje” or “za [your or somebody’s] zdorovje” as “cheers” if they drink something. “Vashe zdorovje” is equal to “I wish you to stay healthy”

              Like

              1. I find it strange that the second of the above clips has a title, in which VDNKh is described as a “Moscow park only locals know”.

                When on 23 August of this year my old workmate of over 30 years ago arrived here with his wife after having cruised south from St Petersburg, one of the organised tours that they went on was to that park.

                As regards the woman in the 2nd clip not getting into the Ostankino TV tower because she had not brought her passport with her, more fool her!

                She should have done her homework as regards local custom and practice.

                It bugs me no end and I don’t like doing it, but I have to carry my passport with me all day and every day in order to enter the premises where I work, such as Deutsche Bank, Bayer, Rosneft, Pfizer etc., etc.

                And it is not true what she says in the clip, namely that you must show your passport in order to get into the Kremlin: you just buy a ticket at a ticket kiosk.

                If I lose my passport, I shall be in deep shit, not to mention losing my permanent residence permit, which I always carry around with me because very often the security men who check my passport have difficulties understanding what is written in it, so I give them my residency permit, in which everything is written in Russian.

                Despite shock horror tales (largely fabricated, in my opinion) that I sometimes read in Western rags about police harassment of foreign tourists here (similar to to the regular tales in the US press that I see, in which black Americans claim that passengers on the Moscow metro glared at them and were generally hostile towards them), in the course of 25 years I have only been asked 3 times by cops to show my ID, and the last time I was asked to do so was over 10 years ago.

                My non-harassment is probably because they often think I am one of them.

                Can’t imagine why: I don’t think I look like a Tatar-Mongol subhuman.

                [For those who “don’t do irony”, the last statement above is meant to be ironical.]

                Like

                1. Based on your photo, ME, you do sort of, actually, look Mongolian. Which is probably why you pass so easily for subhuman on the Russian subway!

                  I might have mentioned before that my late Dad, a true-blooded Russian Slav (or so he claimed!) started looking more and more Mongolian as he got older. We, his kids, would tease him and call him “The King of Siam”, or somesuch. He didn’t appreciate that. We were bad, rotten kids.

                  I myself, as I get older, start looking less Slavic and more Baltic, or something like that. During my last trip to Russia people thought I was Estonian. I have very pale skin, but still kind of slanty eyes.

                  Like

                2. As regards my looking like Tatar-Mongol Untermensch ….

                  I’ve changed my image!

                  I don’t look like a Tatar-Mongol no more. That photo was taken in 2016, I think, when I looked like Emperor Ming the Merciless of the Planet Mongo.

                  I now once again sport a full set have become completely grey.

                  I have been working hard these past 10 years to develop into an old grump, with great success, I think, though I say it myself.

                  The new picture was taken in June 2019 at my country estate in deepest Mordor.

                  Like

                3. Mrs. Exile is always telling me to get clean shaven because she says my grey whiskers make me look old.

                  I tell her that the reason why I look old is not because of my grey beard: I tell her that the reason I look old is because I am bloody old!

                  Slav nitwit!

                  Like

                4. You could always tell Mrs Moscow Exile that you’re thinking of developing a new career as a Sean Connery impersonator. Start brushing up that thick Scottish accent and save up for a kilt!

                  Like

                5. Mrs. Exile has always said I resemble Mr. Connery. I don’t think so, but as well as my wife, many others have commented on this apparent resemblance. And I can, in my opinion, do a fair imitation of Edinburgerish, as well; and I can take off a Weegie too. Well, my faux Jock accents sometimes fool many English folk — more exactly, those from the South-East and South of England — but not those in my old neck of the woods.

                  As regards looking Irish, my maternal grandfather was from Co. Waterford and my paternal grandmother was from Co. Cork. And the baccy that I was smoking when that picture was taken was Irish — Peterson’s of Dublin.

                  Maybe someday I’ll go back again to Ireland,
                  If my dear old wife would only pass away!
                  She’s nearly got my heart broke with her nagging,
                  She’s got a mouth as big as Galway Bay.

                  See her drinking sixteen pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon
                  And then she can walk home without a sway;
                  If the sea was beer instead of salty water
                  She would live and die in Galway Bay.

                  See her drinking sixteen pints at Pat Joe Murphy’s
                  The barman says, “I think it’s time you go.”
                  Well, she doesn’t try to answer him in Gaelic
                  But in language that the clergy do not know.

                  On her back she has tattooed a map of Ireland
                  And when she takes her bath on Saturday,
                  She rubs the Sunlight Soap around by Claddagh
                  Just to watch the suds go down by Galway Bay.

                  Another of my party pieces sung over 40 years ago when I was in my cups.

                  Like

    2. Impressive trade show (and a very nice web site) by any measure. The translation appeared to be good. These positive images automatically triggered counter images in my mind (in gray scale of course) of old Soviet tractors stuck in muddy fields with surly peasents standing around. Come to think of it, I really do not recall where those images came from; perhaps World History class in high school.

      In fact, my imagery of the Soviet Union and Russia was ALWAYS IN GRAY SCALE! I wonder if the West’s advertising/brainwashing expertise is so subtle that it can create a general belief system in the average Joe that, on its own, generates the necessary (gray scale) images – basically creating false memories triggered in response to something contrary to that belief system. It’s the persistence of these belief systems that need explanation. Just humorous speculation of course.

      Like

      1. Well, the Soviet agriculture and economy as a whole was badly mismanaged. Some would call the Soviet system as “idiocracy”. Despite possessing far more agricultural land than any other country the Soviet Union could never even feed itself. It is my opinion that the Soviet Union could have been preserved if its agriculture was managed adequately, even if the rest of the economy was mismanaged. Those empty food shelves in the 1980s was the biggest reason why the country fell apart. Thank you Lenin, Stalin, Khruschev, Gorbachev…

        Like

        1. Wrong, no, incorrect, etc. The vast majority of Soviet citizens would disagree with your assertion. They did not want the Soviet Union to breakup (and more so if they had an inkling of what the breakup would bring). The breakout was driven from the top – the idiocy of Gorbachev, Western meddling and leadership who drank the western Kool Aid. The citizens did not seek nor want what happened to them. Got it?

          I do agree that Soviet agriculture needed improvement but it was hardly a cause of the breakup. Leave it to you to find a negative interpretation of any and all events associated with Russia.

          Like

          1. Notwithstanding what the Western media always churned out as regards various “opposition” protests as having been the “largest” since the break up of the USSR, this was the largest anti-government protest that has ever taken place in Russia:

            Manezh Square, Moscow, Sunday, March 19, 1991. Protesters demanding that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and his fellow Communists give up power. The crowd, estimated at 500,000, was the biggest anti-government demonstration in the 73 years since the Communists took power, and came a week before the nationwide referendum on Gorbachev’s union treaty. (AP Photo/Dominique Mollard)

            Like

            1. Per Karl: Those empty food shelves in the 1980s was the biggest reason why the country fell apart. Thank you Lenin, Stalin, Khruschev

              Yes, that was the referendum that showed a strong majority for the Soviet Union remaining as the Soviet Union.

              Like

            2. Compare and contrast:

              Moscow protests: is this the start of the Russian Spring?
              Young Russians are starting to turn against Putin’s stranglehold on power and the West should not ignore them, says Tony Brenton.

              By Tony Brenton 6:49AM GMT 12 Dec 2011


              Protesters gathering at Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: AFP/GETTY

              This has not been a good year for despots. It has seen the presidents of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya fall, and placed those of Yemen and Syria on life support. Is the rising tide of democracy now lapping at Vladimir Putin’s shoes? His almost casual announcement that next March he will replace Dmitri Medvedev as Russia’s president provoked widespread anger. Normally unpolitical Russians saw this as an unusually blatant example of the way their ostensibly democratic political system is manipulated from above.

              The governing party – dubbed “the Party of Thieves and Swindlers” for its immersion in corruption – then suffered a huge setback in elections a week ago. Even its shrunken vote was achieved only as a result of massive fraud. The fraud itself was not unfamiliar (as befits a nation of chessplayers, Russia’s mathematicians have regularly demonstrated the statistical impossibility of the country’s vote counts).

              But this time the ballot stuffing and other shenanigans were filmed by protesters and put on the internet. The upshot has been the largest series of public protests since the fall of the Soviet Union.

              My stress

              The largest since “the fall” of the USSR maybe, but it pales into insignificance when compared with the March 1991 protest made against the break up of the Soviet Union, even when one includes all those who gathered in various cities outside of Moscow at the same time as when the Bolotnaya protest of December 2011 took place.

              Furthermore, the protests that Brenton was coming in his pants over became smaller and smaller in number as the year wore on.

              And that Telegraph article was penned by Tony We-Have-No-Spy-Rocks Brenton, by the way: former British Ambassador to Russia.

              Like

              1. Putin never, ever announced – casually or otherwise – that he would ‘replace Dmitri Medvedev as Russia’s president’. I don’t even remember if he made the announcement personally, but it was that he would replace Dmitri Medvedev as the head of the United Russia Party, and as such would be the presidential candidate for that party. He still had to win an election, and did, without even breaking a sweat. American electoral rules had Bush-era Attorney-General John Ashcroft lose an election to a dead man – how much stupider could Russian politics be than that?

                https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/missouri-elects-dead-man-as-senator-623222.html

                Mind you, it WAS a squeaker – the corpse almost lost. Maybe his campaign could have had more spirit. Well, lesson learned for next time. Oh, wait…

                Like


        2. United States Department of Agriculture
          Economic Research Service
          April 25, 2017

          Agricultural Recovery in Russia and the Rise of Its South

          Russia’s transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy began in the early 1990s. In the Soviet planned economy, farms received specific allocations of inputs tied to mandated output targets from central planners. In Russia’s market economy, however, farms have had not only the potential to earn profit but also the decision making freedom over the choice of output and stronger managerial control to improve labor incentives. The decline of state subsidies during the economic transition contributed to a severe drop in the inputs used in production, and, therefore, agricultural output. However, by the late 1990s, the agricultural output decline had bottomed out and growth resumed.

          The production rebound has had major consequences for U.S. and world agricultural trade. As grain production rose steadily after the late 1990s, Russia switched from being a small grain importer to a major exporter. The country currently exports about 35 million metric tons (mmt) of grain a year. In 2015-16, Russia supplied 10 percent of total world grain exports and 15 percent of wheat exports. In comparison, the United States supplied 24 percent of total world grain exports and 14 percent of wheat exports…

          Russia’s grain exports to exceed 47mn in 2019-2020 season
          By bne IntelliNews September 23, 2019

          Russia is now earning some $20bn a year from grain exports – more than it earns from arms exports. Combined exports of agricultural products grew 20% to $25.9bn in 2018, almost twice as much as exports of arms and weapons.

          Pretty good for a gas station with missiles!

          Like

          1. Yeeh haw! The south shall rise again?

            I lived for a while in the Black Earth region of the south. The soil there is wondrously fertile. I used to visit a friend’s dacha in Voronezh Province and once I planted broccoli seeds there that I had fetched with me from Misty Albion. I am particularly partial to broccoli and the Voronezhers had never seen that tasty vegetable before, at least those with whom I was acquainted with hadn’t, and it absolutely shot up. We had loads of it on our plot of land: you just need to chuck seeds into that black earth and stand back and watch things grow.

            Like

          2. Yes, good to see Russian kulak on the rise again.

            Bolsheviks exterminated all the Russian kulaks and destroyed Russian agriculture for a century. Hopefully the same idiocracy is not allowed to rise again.

            Like

            1. Completely unfactual b.s., Karl. The Bolsheviks modernized Russian agriculture and ended famine. You should read Jen’s comment, below, on the topic. You clearly don’t know what you are talking about, I bet you never even read a book on the topic, and you’re just spouting Westie propaganda. Like a kulak with a plow and no tractor, was going to be the solution? Bah!

              Like

                1. I will take a shot. SU was increasing meat production at a fast pace which takes a lot of grain. So, they likely optimized the growth in meat production by absorbing domestic grain production with some imports to provide resiliency in the supply chain. Straight forward stuff.

                  They had made considerable progress and certainly the devastation of WW II added enormously to the challenge. I would say the following suggests success:

                  https://www.quora.com/How-widely-available-was-meat-in-the-Soviet-Union-and-how-much-did-an-average-person-consume

                  Certainly additional research can provide a more complete answer. Karl, are you up for it?

                  Like

                2. World War I

                  Civil War

                  Bad harvests brought on by adverse weather.

                  The little matter of the nazi invasion

                  Throughout most, if not all the period when it was the leading industrial nation, the “Workshop of the World”, the UK could not feed itself and imported grain.

                  Why was that?

                  Like

                3. Putin is somewhat in Karl’s camp here, and, again for what it is worth I agree with Putin. He again touched on this recently when comparing the EU and Soviet Union From the translation at 2:56 “The Soviet Union did nothing of the kind, and the results of an ineffective economic policy hit the political sphere

                  Like

                4. At the same time the Soviet Union was importing grain, it was also exporting grain. So you have to look at exactly what grain the USSR was growing, that it had a surplus for export; and at the grain it was importing, what that grain was being used for, and why the Soviets deliberately decided to buy it rather than grow it themselves. There are different types of wheat and within each type there are different grades, with some grades being suitable for human consumption and others used for feeding cattle. Some of these may have been cheaper to buy rather than produce, and by standard of the classical David Ricardo theory of international trade and comparative economics, the Soviets were actually doing the right thing.

                  My understanding from quickly perusing various blogs and Q&A forums (and trying to cut out the propaganda), is that the USSR did not grow winter wheat to the extent that North American countries usually grow winter wheat. (Winter wheat is planted during the autumn, stays in a vegetative state over winter, starts growing again in spring and is ready for harvesting in the summer or early autumn.) Also the grain that was imported into the USSR was mainly used as feedlot. This chimes with Patient Observer’s comment that during the period the Soviet Union was also increasing meat production. Using cheap imported grain to feed animals frees up your own land to produce grain for bread and that is actually a more efficient way of using land.

                  Like

                5. Regarding Putin’s comments, they were not relevant to Karl’s assertion that: Those empty food shelves in the 1980s was the biggest reason why the country fell apart.

                  Gorby allowed the system to unravel based on a stupid committment to never use force to enforce civil order. He opened the doors to the greedy and opportunistic elements within any organization and the rest is history.

                  Again, most SU citizens did not want the breakup and most who are old enough to remember the good old days wish it never happened, IIRC regarding opinion polls. It was a result of runaway greed aided and abetted by the West. I don’t know the relevancy of the high fraction of Jews in the group that led the destruction of the SU.

                  Like

                6. In addition to the other points made, there was also a problem with the distribution system.
                  In some years the harvests were very good, but the grain could not be distributed in a timely fashion, due to poor roads and lack of refrigerated railway cars.
                  I’m not saying there weren’t any problems, but collectivization and the destruction of the kulak class were definitely NOT the cause of these problems. Those two factors were only positive, which completely destroys Karl’s debating point. Karl is basically saying that agriculture only succeeds when you have a kulak class. Everything in the 20th-century history shows the opposite, not only in Communist societies, but also capitalist societies as well. Modern agriculture is based on large agribusiness models, not on individual family farms.

                  As for the “Putin agrees” debating point offered by David, that’s B.S. too.

                  Like

                7. On a different tack: can you explain why the worlds’ greatest, richest, freest, most munificent and kindest and mightiest and friendliest nation fears Russian wheat exports?

                  Struggling U.S. Farmers Worry About a Resurgent Russia
                  Russian wheat exports are booming despite a crushing price slump, as the country’s farmers finally emerge from decades of neglect

                  Sept. 23, 2018

                  From WSJ no less.

                  Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of wheat during 2018.
                  Russia: US$8.4 billion (21.1% of total wheat exports)
                  Canada: $5.7 billion (14.2%)
                  United States: $5.4 billion (13.6%)

                  Source
                  October 19, 2019

                  Keep them sanctions coming Uncle Sam!

                  Like

                8. Show me the Soviet Union had to import grain ‘for most of its existence’. Immediately following the war the country was smashed to bits, and much of the fertile regions had only recently been battlefields. Hardly any farming equipment remained. And so on. The nationalization of the grain crop in order to export nearly the whole of it was the essence of the effort to industrialize.

                  Like

                9. Actually, Putin can be surprisingly sarcastic about the weaknesses of the Soviet economy. But whatever you say, Yalensis.

                  Like

    1. Indeed. If Byelorossia could return to the RF before Putin retires it really would be the icing on his cake. I don’t hold out much hope at all, but neither I do not underestimate the massive incompetence and short term thinking of A west (DO SOMETHING!) who wouldn’t be able to stop themselves pushing for yet another colon revolution (again). Just imagine the result: a nice long border with the EU, via member state Poland. Oooh!

      Like

        1. First comment on the blog: Just when you think the prospect of an invasion of Ukraine seems less and less likely… this would make it considerably easier.

          I suppose the commentator meant that a successful invasion would take 24 hours rather than 36 hours.

          Like

    2. I’d be frankly skeptical so long as Lukashenko is running the show – he seems too fond of flirting with whatever side he thinks will give him the best deal, rather than what would be best for the country. When the missus and I were on a cruise out of Miami a couple of years ago, we met a girl on the ship who was from Belarus. She worked on board, in one of the restaurants. She had been a schoolteacher in Belarus, and she said she sometimes used to cry when she received her salary, because it was so small she could not imagine ever being able to live independently on it. It’s hard to imagine someone giving up a career as a teacher because the pay working in a restaurant was better.

      Mind you, we have nothing to shout about – teachers in British Columbia are among the lowest-paid in Canada, while the cost of living is among the highest.

      Like

  44. I’ve written a micro-review of a book previously commented on by Mark Chapman. Frankly, didn’t have a lot to say on the topic.

    View at Medium.com

    Thanks for the book recommendation!

    Also, if you ever need my email for any purposes: filatovev (at) mail (dot) ru.

    Like

        1. Simenon’s claim to have preferred to pay the women with whom he cavorted for an average of five minutes reminded me of a joke one of the engineers told me.

          “I’ve been working on my sexual stamina. I’m now up to an hour and 40 seconds!

          Thank God for Daylight Saving Time.”

          Like

      1. Thanks, Cortes, but I will pass on that. I’m currently reading Remarque, he has only written 10 something novels in a lifetime, which seems to be much more worthwhile. Meanwhile, Remarque did have some curious Russian characters, such as Count Orlov in “Three Comrades”.

        Like

    1. Thanks, Evgeny! I have been a bit busy, but I finally got around to reading your piece, and I remember my recommendation. It still would have been much cheaper for me to just loan you my copy, but now you have your own and can read it again any time you like.

      I was intrigued by your characterization of the overall tone as “an account by a journalist who emphasized superiority of the American system as compared to the Soviet one”, because that was my take on it as well. White writes like a newspaper reporter, and expands colourfully on events he obviously was not present to witness. I suppose he must have worked from notes he compiled from interviews, but even so he got – and offered – a very one-sided view in which the Soviet system richly deserved being overthrown because its result was such a cheerless and predictable society.

      Dennis (Moscow Exile) has remarked before on that stereotypical view of Russians as a people who do not understand what fun is, because they do not grin simplemindedly at everyone they meet. I don’t think anyone really does that. Canada is reputedly a very polite and friendly society, and I regularly smile as a greeting to a stranger if I happen to catch their eye when passing, but I don’t go around grinning like a rodeo clown at everyone and neither does anyone else. And that’s in my own city. When I visit the United States, which is full of kind and friendly people, I don’t smile at strangers unless I also speak to them. such as when checking into a hotel or having a meal in a restaurant.

      When you visit another country, it is extremely helpful if you already know someone there. Then you are regarded by the friends of that person as one of their friends also, and it is a lot easier to meet people. But no American city I ever visited featured citizens who went around smiling at strangers. I don’t know where that idea got started.

      You have a comment at your review from someone who is trying to contact you.

      Like

      1. Indeed, living cheap is challenging. But I’m making progress. Recently I’ve refused an impulse to buy a second chainsaw, haha.

        Russian economist Yegor Gaidar has written a book “Collapse of an Empire: Lessons for Modern Russia”. I haven’t read it, but in the introduction Gaidar said that the Soviet Union could be preserved if market reforms have been initiated as early as 1960s. Perhaps if the “Little Toy Dog” has been translated into Russian that time, it might have made an impact, because its many points of criticism (private ownership of means of production, freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom of conscience) are precisely the sort of changes experienced by Russia in late 1980s – early 1990s.

        I concur with you that the book provides an one-sided view. Probably because McKone and Olmstead have stayed in prison / solitary confinement for most of their time in Russia. But also owing to the author’s “system vs system” perspective. I wonder what kind of the story could be written by crew members themselves. For instance, in October 24, 1960 letter to his wife (pp. 236-237) John McKone has written about his little girl Cathy and mentioned that “All the Russians liked her picture.” That betrays a kind of a personal story which apparently didn’t quite fit in the book.

        As regards smiling, I have mentioned before that I’ve attended military classes in my college. The pinnacle of it has been a month-long term of a service in a Russian military unit, with my fellow students. The first two weeks have been hard. Everyone has been very supportive of me, asked me if I’m okay, so on. Then one morning I’ve seen my (rather unhappy) reflection in the mirror and told myself: “I’m not seeing that face again”. So I started to grin simplemindedly at everyone I’ve met. The rest of the service has been easy. 😉

        The guy you’ve mentioned was interested in my previous piece on the Russian apartment bombings, as regards his own writing. He has actually followed the references! I’ve promised him to answer any questions on that topic if he has any.

        Like

    1. The Ukies imagine they are so clever! They will waive a claim they have pretty much no chance of ever being awarded, in return for a lesser amount of guaranteed cold, hard cash plus a transit deal which will commit Russia to giving them at least another $20 Billion in transit fees over 10 years. Russia should pretend to consider it, just to wind them up, and run out the clock on the signing of a new contract. Then say, “I’ve decided not to after all, old chap”.

      Like

      1. Curiously the 43 or so billion award Stockholm awarded the Ukrain is fairly close to the $3 or so billion debt to Russia that the Ukraine had defaulted on…

        Like

          1. I’ve been a ZZ fan for a long while. I like Puccini and Mozart and Debussy, amongst many other classicists, as well. And I like jazz and swing. Funny that, ain’t it?

            I still think rap is crap, though.

            Like

            1. As have I – I meant the song “Tush” made an instant fan of me the year it hit the radio, in 1975. As quickly as might be I bought a copy of ‘Fandango”, and it remains my favourite ZZ Top album. They were essentially a guitar power trio, and they kind of lost me when they started adding synthesized bass and tarting up their sound, as they did starting with ‘Eliminator’. Billy Gibbons was an early master of hitting the harmonic with the strength of his attack and simultaneously overdriving the pickup, and since the emergence of the persistent background track which features in ‘Legs’ and many others, the only song I’ve really liked was “Rough Boy”.

              Like

  45. Обнаружены доказательства иностранного финансирования избирательной кампании Соболь

    Evidence Discovered of Foreign Funding of the Sobol Election Campaign

    Fierce “fighter against the regime ” and lawyer of the “Fund for Fighting Corruption” ФБК Lyubov Sobol is threatening to take pride of place in the list of foreign agents. Evidence of her receiving funds from abroad during the activist’s campaign has turned up….

    Sobol is unlikely to be able to explain from where during her Moscow City Duma election campaign she [has received monies] in a Sberbank account and in three in Alfa Bank, accounts, two of which are in foreign currency.

    The law is straightforward: transactions between citizens of the Russian Federation may be carried out in rubles, and accounts opened for foreign currency are obviously intended for foreign sponsors. However, given that the law on foreign agents appeared later, it is impossible to bring to justice this vociferous woman in red, since in this case a law with retroactive force is inoperable. Nevertheless, the Federal News Agency has already appealed to the Russian Federal service for Financial Monitoring with a request to check the accounts mentioned, so that Sobol will be punished accordingly.

    Like

    1. First, they’re conflating two issues; the unrest in Iraq is not owed to Iranian militias, and unrest in Iran has nothing to do with Iraq. But whose interests does it serve to promote unrest and division in the region? As usual…

      https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/10/05/537530/Iraq-Kurdistan-secession-Iran-Turkey-US-Israel

      https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/07/world/meast/iraq-division-lister/index.html

      Co-sponsor of ‘The Biden Plan for Iraq’ was Leslie Gelb, Jewish-American think-tanker and political animal pretty much all his life.

      Oh, but the plan to separate Iraq into sectarian republics goes much further back than that.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/dec/02/afghanistan.iraq

      “Bush is said to have issued instructions about the proposals, which are now at a detailed stage, to his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, three weeks ago. But Pentagon sources say that a plan for attacking Iraq was developed by the time Bush’s order was sent to the Pentagon, drawn up by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, chairman of the joint chiefs General Richard Myers, and Franks.

      The plan is to work with a combination of three political forces: Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq, radical Sunni Muslim groups in and around Baghdad, and, most controversially, the Shia opposition in the south.”

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rosiegray/bush-era-advocates-of-splitting-iraq-into-three-parts-say-i

      When the Americans say, “We want to help unite the country and its people”, and start softly singing ‘Kumbaya”, that’s the time to watch your back. They mean the opposite of what they say on so many occasions that it’s probably a good rule of thumb to just assume that’s the case. And if your catastrophic national disintegration would further Israeli objectives, duplicity is almost a given.

      Like

  46. Кудрин заявил о важности налаживания диалога с протестующими в России

    Kudrin has stated the importance of establishing a dialogue with protesters in Russia


    Жопа

    Aleksei Kudrin, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, has stated that the topic of protests in Russia is particularly important and noted the need to establish a dialogue with the participants of rallies. In recent months, the number of protests has increased: the reasons were the construction of a park, landfills, environmental problems, the construction of a large church and elections, Kudrin noted. According to him, this reaction of citizens is normal.

    However, it is very important that Russia has institutions and mechanisms to build a dialogue and determine the general opinion, continued Kudrin. “It is important for us not to come head-on into conflict, but to come to an agreement, to find among the many opinions, very diverse positions, some common things that unite us and which allow us to solve our problems every day”, he said at the opening of the All-Russia Civil Forum.

    Kudrin was the initiator of the first All-Russia Civil Forum in 2013. This year’s forum is held under the motto “A Real Future”. The event is attended by independent experts, leaders and activists of civil associations, projects and NGOs, well-known scientists, journalists, bloggers and entrepreneurs from most regions of Russia.

    About these protesters, with whom two-faced arsehole of an enemy within Kudrin wishes to discuss common ground, what percentage of the Russian population do they represent?

    Does Kudrin not think that, perish the thought, these protesters, whose reactions he maintains are purely normal, if not altruistic, are not encouraged to make their protests by, dare I say, outside organisers, by agents of a foreign state perhaps, whose interest in Russia consists solely in emasculating the sovereignty of the Russian Federation and creating out of it an arse-licking satrap, as are very many of the states in the “world community”?

    A word in your ear, if I may, Vladimir Vladimirovich: How about fucking this twat off?

    Like

    1. ОГФ

      Комитет гражданских инициатив

      The Committee of civil initiatives

      The Committee of Civil Initiatives — liberal community politicians, experts and public figures, positioning themselves as a non-partisan association of professionals in key areas of life (economy, science, education, health, culture) “around the idea of modernizing the country and strengthening democratic institutions”. Created 5 APR 2012 Alexei Kudrin and a number of other politicians and public figures “to determine and implement the best variant of development of the country”.

      Prerequisites for the Committee’s December events — the 2011 elections and the subsequent rallies on Bolotnaya square December 10 and on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow 24 Dec 2011. “The elections demonstrated the desire of citizens to really influence the situation in our country, to choose the course of its development” the statement on creation of Committee of civil initiatives, published on the official website Alexei Kudrin.

      The cnut keeps on working hard for his masters, always lurking around in the background, giving the US hirelings an air of legitimacy ….

      From the rag “Moscow Times”:

      Kudrin Creates Committee of Civil Initiatives
      April 5, 2012

      Several public figures have expressed support for the initiative, including Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh, former Union of Right Forces co-leader Leonid Gozman, and a number of economists, political analysts and prominent media figures, including Vladimir Pozner.

      ROFL

      Like

      1. Kudrin holds the record as longest serving Minister of Finance EVER —be it in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union or the present Russian Federation.

        When he was Finance Minister, he would not authorize an increase in social welfare benefits, pensions etc. because he was a serious economist who knew of the necessity to economise and fiscal restraints.

        Now, however, having been allowed back into the citadel after having been thrown out on his ear, he is Mister Munificence himself, always saying how terrible it is that there is so much poverty in Russia and that pensions are so low.

        Like

        1. Lyndon Johnson was reported to have said the following about one of his political enemies whom he brought into his administration – Better to have him inside the tent and pissing out the tent rather than the other way.

          Like

      2. Again, there is nothing in principle wrong with a citizens’ committee which is truly representative of society, comprised of tradesmen and artisans, civil servants and business people, proposing new or alternative ideas to government which it is free to adopt or reject as it chooses, with the public as a whole paying attention so as to chastise the government for rejecting useful suggestion out of perceived self-interest. But look at the rabble-rousers who are rallying behind it. So this is nothing more than an attempt, led by Kudrin, to re-establish or replace the ‘civil society’ the Russian government kicked out for its political meddling and attempts to organize regime change.

        In that light it is hardly surprising, because the west has traditionally leaned heavily on its in-country NGO’s to foment discontent and grow the opposition. And the former NGO community in Russia used to be especially active, funding the legal defense of malcontents who were arrested and/or detained so that they might continue to be a nuisance to government, holding classes and seminars in how to effectively protest, and showcasing various studies for young Russians who wanted to learn what a prick Stalin really was and how they could best express their shame on behalf of their country. That list was drawn from memory of the no-longer-published list of activities of organizations supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It was held up so often as an example of western meddling in Russian political affairs that they stopped publishing where their grant money goes.

        Like

    2. There is nothing inherently wrong with dissent, as it is normal for a given initiative or plan to not meet with the wholehearted approval of everyone. Even people who regularly come out in support of feeding and housing the homeless get a different perspective on the problem if they learn the government plans to build a homeless shelter directly across the street from their home. And I daresay Russian newspapers feature a “Letters to the Editor” section such as you would find in any western newspaper, where citizens sound off on issues they celebrate or condemn – or is it actually true that Putin has everyone killed who dares disagree with him.

      And there would be nothing at all wrong with polling the public to gauge its support or rejection of various policy positions – indeed, organizations such as Levada regularly do, and if everyone who disagreed with the government was killed, there would be no shortage of houses and rental accommodations in Moscow now.

      But Kudrin is not interested in stopping there – he wants to give those opposing the government the status of a political party and for the government to deal with them as an equal based on that status. The Russian government would never be able to get anything done if it had to constantly reach consensus with an ever-changing equivalent Duma of pissed-off citizens.

      Kudrin is at heart a liberal westerner, and he and Chubais together pine for a market democracy in which everyone can follow the Russian equivalent of The American Dream, where if you just knuckle down and try hard, and keep your eye on the main chance, you will become rich. The trouble is, that’s an illusion, and for the very great majority it always has been. There isn’t room in America for a couple of hundred million independent business executives, and the American capitalist system could neither rise nor endure without a majority component of wage slaves who will be wage slaves all their lives. The liveliest peddlers of the American Dream are the oligarchs, who want everyone to believe they will be an executive themselves one day if only they work hard and are loyal to the company. A few of them probably will reach mid-level management before they die, because the system needs and searches out mid-level talent. But the top-level executives usually got there through legacies or connections.

      I sometimes think Putin is the success he is because he is immune to flattery. Kudrin is an excellent example of a Russian who thrives on and swells under the influence of western flattery – the more the western press paints him as some sort of economic Jedi Master, the more entitlement he feels.

      Like

      1. Four US cops would have fired 30 shot, hit the knife guy with five and injured a bystander. Using that branch was good improvisation and teamwork by the cops.

        That was a funny line when the cop said he forgot his taser.

        Like

  47. A link to a very interesting article (which I came across on one of the MoA comments threads) on how Ukrainian kulaks themselves played a part in starting the 1932 famine in Soviet Ukraine and how Nazi propaganda and US yellow-journalism newspaper publisher William Hearst helped cook up the narrative that the famine was part of a deliberate policy of genocide against Ukrainians on the part of Joseph Stalin:

    Björk Stáliðsdóttir, “The Holodomor Story”
    https://kopamaros.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/the-holodomor-story/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    The Icelandic writer demonstrates that the main causes of the famine were environmental factors which resulted in a domino effect: unusually warm and humid weather, with heavy rainfall in parts of the country > plant diseases like rust affecting grain + insect infestation > disastrous harvests across many parts of the Soviet Union including the Volga region. The kulaks’ slaughtering of horses, still needed for much agricultural work in parts of the country, and other animals would have compounded the harvest failure.

    The significant thing to be noted is that after the collectivisation of agriculture, there were no more famines.

    Like

    1. All good arguments regarding the upsides collectivization. In spite of a strong socialist bent, I do think family farms have a positive contribution in the mix of food production and society in general. For example, they create a reservoir of people who are close to nature and not afraid of work.

      Like

      1. Historically small family farms (as opposed to large family farms that can be structured like corporations with limited liability and sometimes are no different from agribusinesses in their day-2-day operations) have tended to be generalist in what they produce, ie they don’t specialise in one product or a narrow range of related products, and also engage in value-added activities in what they produce. For example, family-run dairy farms don’t just produce milk, they also produce butter, cheese and other dairy by-products, and may also engage in other activities either related to dairy farming (growing grass and making hay, some of which can be sold if there is a surplus) or not (running a hen coop, taking in tourists or allowing people to camp on their properties for a set fee during slow periods).

        Like

        1. Despite my pro-collectivist debating points, I do think there is still a role for small family farms. In producing boutique and specialized products like honey, dairy products, mushrooms, organic vegetables, etc. They can’t feed the world, but they can produce good stuff for better-off people who are willing to spend more money on healthier produce, and also supply high-end restaurants, etc. They should be supported as much as is feasible.

          Like

    2. All points well substantiated. But, as I have said before now, at least as big a part was played by the west, which united behind legislation that mandated the only exchange it would accept from Russia as payment for the western machinery Stalin needed for Russia to industrialize would be oil, timber and grain. Russia wanted to pay for it with gold, using the gold ruble called the Chervonets,

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chervonets#Golden_Chervonets

      but the west would not accept it because it did not want to support a foreign currency backed by gold which might be a rival to the dollar and the pound sterling. Stalin was therefore presented with the choice of trading grain in huge volumes for machinery needed to industrialize after the ravages of war, or for Russia to remain a mostly agrarian state suitable only for exporting agricultural products and raw materials.

      https://orientalreview.org/2012/12/17/episodes-10-who-organised-famine-in-the-ussr-in-1932-1933/

      Like

  48. Looks like Brown Noser Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcrap organisation may have finally met their match in a real investigative journalist, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, who (some of us may recall) has done sterling work in tracing movements of weapons from the Balkan countries to Turkey and Azerbaijan with their ultimate destination being Syria to be used by ISIS jihadis, and for which she was sacked by her newspaper employer in Bulgaria.

    “Exposed: Bellingcat fabricate evidence, deliberately hide documents in new ‘Russian spy plot’”
    https://armswatch.com/exposed-bellingcat-fabricate-evidence-deliberately-hide-documents-in-new-russian-spy-plot/

    Does anyone imagine that the Brown Noser will have the courage and fortitude to respond to legal action brought against him and Bellingcrap? Will his Atlantic Council employers support him or has he passed his use-by date and become a liability?

    Like

    1. Her arguments why she would be the best candidate to beat Trump are valid. And her voice is so smooth….yet commanding.

      Like

    2. Nothing seems to throw her off stride, and yet her responses still do not sound like on-message talking points. She sounds spontaneous and real. I’m becoming a believer. If the DNC actually united behind her instead of trying to sideline her in favour of absolutely anybody else, I really believe she would clinch the nomination without even breathing hard. As to whether she could beat Trump, I reserve judgment for now.

      Like

      1. She would gain the vote of many who voted for Trump including yours truly. She should do very well with the female voter as well as minorities and those voters who want the US to disengage from eternal wars. Heck, she would do well with veterans as well. If the economy is anything less than booming, she would win I believe. Of course, her chance of winning the nomination is still slim but improving..

        Like

  49. Forgive me if somebody else already posted this:

    https://www.rt.com/news/474756-hong-kong-protests-china-us/

    Good piece from RT about the Hong Kong situation, including a history of the opium war, and Britain stealing Hong Kong from China, etc.

    Now that China is the target of this new violent Color Revolution, they should have learned the lessons from previous case studies. Namely, no concessions. The Chinese government should refuse all the demands of the violent protesters, reinstate the extradition law, and use it to extradite/prosecute rioters who have used acts of violence against police and citizens.

    A harsh crackdown is the only way to stop these Western-sponsored color revolutions; any concessions just fuel the violence.

    Like

    1. Unless the signs carried by demonstrators were photoshopped in, they were all in English. I did not see any protest signs in Chinese characters (Hong Kong people speak Cantonese). While English is an official language in Hong Kong, it is far from widely used.

      https://www.tripsavvy.com/do-people-in-hong-kong-speak-english-1535867

      Protest signs in English where the lingua franca is other than English are usually a flag of protests which are purpose-made to resonate with English-speaking foreigners, together with their ‘give us democracy’ tone in messages like “Listen to the people!!!” and “Do you hear our voices?”.

      Ukraine in 2014 was perhaps the best example in recent memory of what happens to leaders who try to seriously and publicly heed violent protesters’ demands. Yanukovych gave the opposition everything it asked for except his immediate resignation, and at that he conceded to early elections which would have taken place in only a couple of months. The opposition violently overthrew him anyway. You are dead on that publicly giving in to demonstrators’ demands merely emboldens them to demand further concessions until they are running the place.

      The window for China to get a grip on the situation is narrowing, and in fact the protest organizers are getting the message that the demonstrations are working, and that all they need to win are greater numbers and more destruction. Both are no problem if the protests are being managed externally and the bulk of the protesters is made up of young college-age ideologues.

      Like

      1. The purpose of this project is obviously to split Hong Kong away from China and make it a British/American colony (again).
        As pointed out in the vid, the American government has voted “free visas” to America for any protesters, even those with criminal records. This, in essence, encourages the protesters to commit crimes and emboldens them with the thought that, worst case scenario, they can find refuge in the U.S.

        I don’t see any way out for the Chinese government except to do a Tienamen Square type crack-down, send in the tanks, etc., and annul Hong Kong’s special status.
        Either that, or they better be prepared to kiss HK goodbye.

        Like

        1. For clarity, there was no massacre as such in Tiernamen square and the killing that took place away from the square was triggered by the fire bombing of buses carrying PLA soldiers. This, I beleve, is an accurate account of what happened.
          http://gregoryclark.net/page15/page15.html
          I have posted the following link before but I will do so again because it “explains” many things about the problems in Hong Kong
          https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/26/viral-in-china-a-bittersweet-farewell-to-hong-kong/#return
          In the recent elections the “pro-democracy” candidates obtained about 55% of the vote whilst the “pro-Beijing” about 41% How these figures change as the HK economy nose dives remains to be seen. Some people, for example, Alexander Mercouris, argue that Beijing and the HK government have managed the situation badly but I think that no compromise would have worked. It is imperative that Beijing refrains from using its military if at all possible- the protestors’ strategy seems designed to provoke exactly this.
          Despite that I put Beijing’s case here I wish they would change much of their behaviour, reforming their legal system and negotiating in a meaningful way wiith other countries about the South China sea. On the other hand, most changes in the country are truly impressive. This article caught my eye
          https://palladiummag.com/2019/10/11/the-american-dream-is-alive-in-china/

          Like

          1. Thanks for the clarification about the Tienamen Square incident. I see that I used the term wrongly to describe what I think needs to happen.
            Theoretically, the “two-system” thing could have worked, and Hong Kong people given their democratic choice. A peaceful resolution could have been possible without the foreign meddling.
            Unfortunately, we see the U.S./Great Britain knocking over the apple cart once again, by sticking their noses in and attempting a violent regime-change color revolution.

            History shows that these color change revolutions/coups can only be defeated by superior military force. Which is what Janukovych should have done, IMHO. With the police and army allowed to fight back. The other side has American-trained mercenaries and coup specialists trained by the CIA. What is the Beijing government supposed to do? Just sit back and watch as Hong Kong is ripped away from them by these violent criminals?

            Like

    1. Not bad but went quiet on the US and UK who organized the Rat Lines.

      Religion again played a grossly underappreciated role as the Vatican was the key facilitator of the Nazi rise to power, hatred of the Eastern Slavs (in particular, the Serb) and the eventual “rescue” of the Croatian genocidal murderers.

      Defying all what is good in humanity, the Vatican is in the process of making the religions leader of the Serb genocide, Archbishop Stepinac into a Saint!. Per a water-downed Wikipedia article:

      In a verdict that polarized public opinion both in Yugoslavia and beyond,[5][6] the Yugoslav authorities found him guilty on the charge of high treason (for collaboration with the fascist Ustaše regime), as well as complicity in the forced conversions of Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism.[7] He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but served only five at Lepoglava before being transferred to house arrest with his movements confined to his home parish of Krašić.

      In 1952 he was designated for elevation to cardinal by Pope Pius XII. He was unable to participate in the 1958 conclave due to the house arrest to which he had been sentenced.

      The Vatican defenders fear Serbs may try to meddle in promoting Stepinac to Sainthood:

      https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2017/07/croatians-fear-serbians-may-try-block-stepinac-canonization/

      And so the 2nd Why the West hates the Eastern Slavs:

      Because they are Orthodox

      It may seem weird in the largely atheistic West that religion can still play a dominant role but religious institution are seats of enormous emotional, political and monetary power.

      The Saker has quite a bit of historical analyses on the Vatican. The first surprise to me was that the Vatican was NOT the successor of the Roman Empire. Rather, the schism and the rise of the Vatican was of Germanic origins. That can explain a lot.

      Like

    2. It’s my understanding that in the 1940s and 50s President Juan Peron and his wife Eva Duarte Peron actively encouraged Nazi German officers to come to Argentina because many of them were educated people with technical knowledge and skills. There was a large German community already in Argentina as well (though other South American countries like Brazil and Chile also had large German communities before WWII). Plus much of Argentina is in a temperate to temperate-cold climatic zone, it’s a big country with a variety of environments, plenty of space and in the days before large-scale civilian air travel, it was as far away from Europe as could be.

      Like

  50. The link below discusses the consequences of faulty research on the effects of diet on heart disease. Well, not faulty research but rather the effects of ego and empire building that likely has led to tens of millions of early deaths of US and British citizens. Not explicitly addressed but the US diet exported around the world has killed tens of millions.

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-sugar-conspiracy?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Also, the article briefly touches on how the internet allows dissenting views to be heard. Yes.

    The article is longish but interesting throughout. I had the impression that the author may have excessively personalized some of the conflicts to add more emotion to the story. Still a good and informative read in my opinion.

    The main takeaway is FAT GOOD, SUGAR BAD.

    Like

  51. Hey, Banderite shitwits!

    You seen this? …
    Путин и Эрдоган вместе откроют «Турецкий поток» 8-ого января

    December 1 2019, 20:56
    Putin and Erdogan together will open the “Turkish stream” on 8th of January
    Turkish leader Recep tayp Erdogan said that “Turkish stream” will be officially opened on 8th of January. Erdogan gave this news at an event dedicated to the launch of another pipeline, called TANAP, in the province of Edirne.

    According to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin will take part in the opening ceremony together with Erdogan. This was agreed upon by the leaders of both countries by phone, said Peskov.

    Earlier it became known that the pipeline is finishing its commissioning works. Both lines are filled with gas along the entire length of the pipeline from Anapa to the receiving point near Kyiikeikei on the Turkish coast, said representatives of Gazprom.

    Two “Turkish Stream” pipelines, each passing about 16 billion cubic metres, run along the bed of the Black Sea. One pipeline of gas will supply Turkish customers, the other will go to the countries of Southern and South-Eastern Europe.

    The energy resource from the Turkish Stream will be transported to Europe via a gas pipeline that is being built in Serbia from the Bulgarian border to Hungary. This branch will cover a distance of more than 400 kilometres and will carry about 13 billion cubic meters of gas.

    Like

    1. Unless and until Kim Iversen tells us who her sources are, where she is getting her information from, what the actual figures are of the proportion of Iranians who want to change their government, and which populations of Iranians were sampled (were they young or old? are they Iranians actually living in Iran or was the Iranian diaspora population in the US polled?), we have to reserve judgement on her statement. Commentators who were all for overthrowing President Assad in Syria have made similar claims about the Syrian public wanting regime change and then adding that they (the commentators) did not support foreign interventions of any sort.

      Like

    2. She claims to be representing the opinion of ‘the majority of Iranians who wrote in to the show’, after soliciting comments regarding ‘what’s really going on in Iran’. And of course a disproportionate volume of responses will come from organized activists who are pushing change for political reasons. However, she does point out that the show must present what it believes to be the truth regardless whether it happens to be the narrative we like to believe, or even if it matches the western-media clacking about the unpopularity of the government of Iran.

      She also highlights that the Iranian people might very well, as a strong majority, want a change in government without begging for the American military to parachute in and kill their leader, and then impose a government chosen in Washington. The mood of complaint seems to be based on economic hardship and a perception the government could do much better, as well as the discomfort of living in an imposed theocracy which used to be a broadly tolerant secular democracy. She also pointed out that Iranian commenters smelled something funny going on with the organized, masked agitators – exactly like Hong Kong – operating as a group and burning and wrecking stuff and behaving very violently.

      If the west truly wants to help – ha, ha, yes, I know – it could support transparent polling in Iran with a view to demonstrating that a solid majority wants a change in government, and ensuring the message of opposition politicians who have a sensible and moderately progressive agenda is promoted, discouraging violence and biased activism and making it clear the west has no intention of effecting violent regime change, as she suggests in her closing comments. But the west is (a) impatient, it doesn’t have time for the jungle-bunnies to sort themselves out, it wants change nownownow, and (b) dominated by opportunists who see an opening for establishing western control over the Iranian economy, and turning it into a docile cash cow for investors. That almost never works in the interest of the inhabitants.

      Like

    1. BREXIT is opposed in the UK almost entirely by commercial interests, who see the opportunities of the investor class and of business mobility being hampered by border regulations which do not currently exist, as well as common safety nets a separate Britain would have to establish on its own on a national basis, at considerable cost. I don’t need to point out to anyone, I’m sure, how much influence commercial interests have in the UK, as they do in every western democracy, and while a progressive country cannot function without business and trade and the opportunity to better oneself and enjoy a decent standard of living, the line between business and politics quickly blurs.

      Therefore, commercial interests have secured another delay in the breakup, as well as assurance that an election will take place before it is considered again. Those commercial interests plainly plan to guide the election so that the incoming government is uniformly opposed to BREXIT and will take steps to reverse it. At the same time, that government will take all the blame for subverting the will of the people, so that no commercial interests will be harmed thereby, and the makers of money can go on happily making money as if nothing had happened. And that’s probably how it will shake out. The hardest part was stopping the momentum the first time. Now BREXIT has essentially fizzled out, and it should be fairly easy to dismantle the entire initiative. If the government decides on a second referendum, that will indicate it has learned from its first mistake, and will not again propose public decision-making when it is not completely secure in which way the decision is going to go.

      Like

    1. Now look here! Russia is a SHITHOLE!!!!!!

      If you don’t believe me, let Oliver Carroll of the Independent once again remind you of this:

      Three decades after ‘Western HIV plague’ hit USSR, this tiny community is still coming to terms with the devastation and lost children
      World Aids Day 2019: In 1988, a children’s hospital in the provincial town of Elista became the epicentre of the Soviet Union’s first ever HIV crisis. A total of over 270 children were eventually diagnosed with the virus– but for the families it was only the start of a savage injustice, writes Oliver Carroll.

      Below is an academic report from Oxford University Press on the Elista epidemic:

      The 1988 Elista outbreak and the epidemiology of HIV subtype G in Russia

      One of the first major outbreaks of HIV-1 in Russia happened in Elista in 1988. About 270 patients, mostly children, were nosocomially infected with HIV subtype G in seventeen hospitals in 1988–1989. The infection was mainly transmitted between children through contaminated catheters and needles, and from children to mothers through breast-feeding. Since then the infection was transferred both vertically and horizontally. The source of the outbreak was the husband of one of the infected mothers who was previously infected in Congo. Before the end of 1990s, all samples of HIV subtype G in Russia were considered to originate from that outbreak. ..

      Wouldn’t have happened the UK, would it, Ollie?

      By the way, Elista is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Kalmykia, which is noted for having the largest Buddhist community in Europe

      As a matter of fact, it’s in the Ukraine, really: the Russians stole Kalmykia off the Yukies:

      See: В Киеве выразили готовность «принять пару областей» России

      In Kiev expressed readiness “to take a couple of areas” of Russia
      2 Dec 2019, 07:32

      Volodin threatens the withdrawal of oblasts from the Ukraine. I am forced to upset him: no one is going anywhere. Instead, we are ready to accept a couple of Russian regions in order to restore historical justice, democratic governance and the introduction of European standards of living

      The above map of Yukeretardia that the Banderaretard chose to support his argument was a map showing the proposed resettlement of “Ukrainians” freed from the Tsarist yoke by their ever-loving friend the Habsburg Emperor of Austria-Hungary, which map was drawn by Lvov geographer Stepan Rudnicki and printed in Austria-Hungary in the midst of the First World War.

      Like

      1. The UK version of it was in the news not so long ago:

        al-Beeb s’Allah: What is the contaminated blood scandal?
        https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48596605

        The infection of up to 30,000 people with contaminated blood has been called the biggest treatment disaster in NHS history. Thousands have died.

        A public inquiry is now under way – but what is already known about the scandal?…

        Like

      2. Oh, my ribs!! When he offered to introduce Russian regions to a ‘European standard of living!” You can certainly tell he is not particularly well-traveled if he thinks present-day Ukraine represents a European standard of living.

        Like

    1. Meanwhile police in the area are checking with all medical clinics and emergency wards in hospitals and asking if they’ve just had a patient complaining of a burst eardrum or constant ringing in his ears …

      Like

  52. Members of the Azov Battalion have been spotted and photographed in Hong Kong:

    https://www.facebook.com/serhii.filimonov.98

    The Chinese embassy in Kiev has already complained to Zelensky’s government about the activities of the Free Hong Kong Center and one other “pro-democracy” group in sending Nazis … whoops, activists to Hong Kong.

    Like

  53. В США закончился «золотой век» сланцевой добычи нефти, заключили в ОПЕК

    In the USA, the golden age of shale oil production ended, concluded in OPEC

    WASHINGTON, 3 December 2019, 06:57 – REGNUM Ministers of the member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have concluded that the golden age of shale oil production in the United States has ended. This was reported by Bloomberg agency on December 2 with reference to sources in the organization.

    It is noted that the reason for such a conclusion was the forecast of a slowdown in the growth rate of shale oil production in the U.S. Thus, according to analysts of Vitol Group, to which the publication refers, oil production in the United States in the period from December 2019 to December 2020 will increase by 700 thousand barrels per day compared to the growth of 1.1 million barrels from the end of 2018 to the end of 2019.

    Well who’d a thowt!

    Like

  54. Waddya think, Banderaretards …. ?

    3 декабря 2019, 12:57

    Газовая война 2020 – с чем стороны подошли к ее началу

    Gas War 2020 – how have the parties drawn themselves up for its beginning?

    So, it’s December and it’s time to weigh things up, to take stock of preparations for the decisive struggle for the European gas market, one of the key battles of which is scheduled for January next year.

    The gas flows from Russia are essentially at the finish line and nothing can stop them from starting operation. But the “partners” of the Ukraine, on which she has very strongly counted, her “ally”, has, to put it mildly, ditched her ….

    Like

    1. The gas flows from Russia are essentially at the finish line and nothing can stop them from starting operation. But the “partners” of the Ukraine, on which she has very strongly counted, and her “ally”, have, to put it mildly, ditched her ….

      The “ally” in inverted commas is the USA, where the gobshites in Congress regularly refer to the Ukraine as an “ally” of the USA.

      Banderastan is neither an ally of the USA nor a member of NATO.

      Like