I Heart Anarchists, by T.H.E. West

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “Nothing goes so well with a hot fire and buttered crumpets as a wet day without and a good dose of comfortable horrors within. The heavier the lashing of the rain and the ghastlier the details, the better the flavour seems to be.”

“A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.”

Gilles Deleuze, from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

I often have to wonder if the media of the western democracies spends more time watching what’s going on in its own countries, or what’s going on in Russia. Because the minute something goes down in Russia, the western media is on it like a fox on a mouse, like Rush Limbaugh on an unsupervised cheeseburger. And the first question the western media asks itself as it’s putting the story together for its audience of desperate housewives, harassed junior executives and the great amorphous trusting blob of the workforce is, “How are we going to spin this so the Russians sound like the shitheels of the universe?”

You certainly don’t have to take my word for it: how many times, just in the last decade, has the west – represented for the purposes of its values by its media – discovered a sudden espoused camaraderie and good fellowship for rebels, elsewhere than in the western democracies themselves? The west loved them some Syrian rebels so much it did not even notice they were offshoots of the same group that drove airliners into the World Trade Center in 2001. One man’s terrorist is another man’s Swiss Army knife – it just depends on the situation. And terrorists – oops; I meant, “moderate rebels” – are often very useful for stirring up trouble in countries the west has made enemies of through its pigheaded behavior, prejudice and general assholery.

Consider the recent and convenient example of the arrest, trial and sentencing of the Russian group calling itself – or being referred to in the news as – Network. I’ve selected coverage by The Guardian, but western reporting on the group and its tribulations at the iron hand of monolithic Moscow is pretty uniformly on the side of those poor boys, so misunderstood. Let’s take a look – everyone’s outrage filters set to maximum? Let’s go.

Right out of the gate, the British newspaper labels the group “Anti-fascists” rather than anarchists, although they refer to them as anarchists in the body of the article; this is targeted at ‘busy’ people who only skim headlines, and the message is that if you don’t support the accused, you like fascism. Is the Russian government fascist? It might be helpful to look at the definition.

Fascism: a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control, and being extremely proud of country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed.

Well, that basically tells me nothing, since barring the final parameter, it sounds like every government that has ever been – let’s look at the current British government, captained by the blonde buffoon, Boris Johnson. Is he a very powerful leader? He certainly thinks he is, and he managed to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union albeit nearly half his electorate was vigorously opposed to it. That sounds powerful enough to me – and what kind of a ridiculous qualifier is that, anyway? What leader of what government is going to suggest he is a milquetoast rather than a powerful leader? Christ, Juan Guaido figures he is a powerful leader, and he’s head of a government that doesn’t even have a country. Next!

State control. Every western government employs state control to one degree or another. If you think that is inaccurate – and presuming you live in one of the western democracies – try an experiment. Start small; name a territory within the current boundaries of the region in which you live. If you want to be even more modest, pick just the street you live on. Announce to your city council that you are taking over your street in the name of the people and freedom, and henceforth you and individuals named by you will run it as a republic, and that its citizens will be answerable to you. I promise you that you will see an example of state control just about as quickly as you can deal with it.

Extremely proud of country and race. Boy, howdy; who isn’t? And I’d just like to insert here, if there’s anyone more hypocritical than the British, I have yet to see it. Perhaps I’m just reacting to the fact that the smarmy article defending those poor antifascist boys in Russia is in a British newspaper, but that’s as may be – the British continue to piss me off with their insufferable smugness. Here’s David “call me Dave” Cameron, former failed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, on being proud of being British.

“In the wake of Ofsted’s findings, Mr Cameron said “British values” included: “A belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law.”

These were “as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips,” he wrote in the newspaper article.”

Let’s be clear here, so there are no misunderstandings – every leader in every single political milieu invokes nationalist values when his or her ratings are going to hell, and he/she needs to rally the voters ’round the flag. It is as much a part of politics as the ballot box.

Is that why Putin exhorts Russians to be proud of being Russian and to hold tight to Russian values and culture? Because his ratings are in the toilet? Well, what do you think?  According to NDTV, Putin’s popularity rating ‘hovers around 70%’. Because it is obligatory for any English-speaking news resource to remain relentlessly negative on Russia, it hastens on to “..Putin seems to have understood that many Russians are displeased.” Are they really? What would the impression be of any western politician who had popularity ratings of around 70%? That many of his voters were displeased? Let me ask you another question – just how stupid do you think people can be and still make it unescorted to the corner store to buy a newspaper?

This month, February 2020, Boris Johnson is reckoned to be wildly popular in his home country. His ratings have ‘soared’, to a point that….47% of his electorate approves of his performance. Is that more than 70%? Less? Tick.tick.tick – would you like to buy a vowel?

How about that other straw-haired sideshow, Donald Trump? Well, this is a constantly-updating poll, so it might well say something different at the time you check it, and you’ll just have to take my word for it that the King of America is currently (as of writing) polling at…43.8% approval. Is that more than 70%? Less? Surely we’re not going to be served up with that absurd argument that of course Vladimir Putin is popular with his electorate – all his poll results are achieved at the point of a Kalashnikov? Anyone who still believes Russia is led by a tyrant who scores great ratings because his electorate fears his senseless brutality needs to have his pillow checked for loose teeth underneath it.

Putin does not need to call up imaginary threats to Russian culture or ethnicity; the threats are real enough. But he likewise does not need to wrap himself in the Russian flag like some kind of interpretive burrito, because he commands the respect and support of his people, the very great majority of them.

Which brings us to the last qualifier: “political opposition not allowed”.

In the 2018 Russian Presidential Election, there were 8 candidates on the ballot. The Russian president is directly elected, so theoretically it could be any of those candidates – they do not have to be the head of a powerful political party. Vladimir Putin was widely expected to win, and he did. That’s what advance polls said, and so far as I am aware, advance polls are pretty democratic, since they reflect who decided voters will cast their vote for. Do we have advance polls in western elections? We sure do – monotonous and constant.

In the British General Election, there were 10 candidates on the ballot, so Britain is obviously freer and more democratic than the Russians, innit? Although the results shook out pretty much the same – there was the winner, with 43.6% of the vote, a single strong opponent with 32.2%, and a motley pack of losers with dramatically less support, some so insignificant that only 5 parties appeared on the division-of-the-vote pie chart, while the remainder were lumped together in the dismal 8.7% garnered by ‘all others’. Boris Johnson was widely expected to win, and he did. He didn’t even need a Kalashnikov, or a chainsaw, or a bottle labeled “Novichok” or anything else that frightens the British people shitless.

How about America, the Shining City On A Hill? I think that’s actually Gondor, but never mind. In the Presidential Election of 2016, there were an incredible 17 candidates – Christ on a skateboard, is that ever a democracy! But really there were only two: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and nobody else was even close; because those two were their party’s nominees, their standard-bearers, and I don’t know that there has ever been a US election in which a Republican candidate won who was not the Republican nominee, for example – in this election, you knew if you voted Democrat, you were voting for Hillary Clinton. Occasionally when someone who was expected to win the overall election did not, that loser throws some other candidate under the bus by claiming they were a ‘spoiler’ who thwarted the people’s will.  I cannot remember a time when the victor in the US Presidential election was not either a Republican or a Democrat. But somehow that is the very essence of democracy, while consistent United Russia victories rather than the Russian people voting in Yabloko, or some other liberal US-State-Department supporting cast, is the inspiration for agonized screams about carousel voting and ballot-stuffing. Every time.

Well. I didn’t mean to get started. Anyway, back to The Network. The Russian government says they planned attempts to overthrow the government. The west, backed by Human-Rights group Memorial (unfailingly pointed out as the oldest human-rights group in Russia) claims they were tortured into confessing. It doesn’t come right out and say they never did anything, but it is careful to refer to them as ‘activists’ and ‘antifascists’, and to imply they were arrested for their ‘activism’. Is there a line between activism and plans to overthrow the government? I’m sure there is, but The Guardian clearly doesn’t see it.

A quick sidebar here: Memorial – yes, yes, I know, the oldest human-rights organization in Russia – was, toward the end of last year, fined for the 19th time for failing to label its online content as produced by an agent of a foreign government. Memorial accepts foreign financial support, and defiantly refuses to stop.

Memorial director Arseny Roginsky, quoted by the Russian news website Vesti, said it was “a complete check on everything concerned with our sources of funding”.

He insisted that the NGO law “will not change our position at all”. “We won’t refuse foreign donations, nor will we register as a ‘foreign agent’,” he said.

This might be a good place for a sidebar to the sidebar, because at least some people have probably forgotten what the law on Foreign Agents said. It says that if your activities are political in nature, but you do not accept foreign financial support, by all means carry on untroubled. If you accept foreign funding, but your activities are not political in nature, ditto. If your activities are political in nature and you accept foreign funding, you are a foreign agent. Your activities will be scrutinized by the national investigative services, and you must label all your products, real and virtual, as having originated with a foreign agent. Memorial refuses to do either.

And yet somehow, they’re all still alive. Here’s an idea – why doesn’t Putin just go in and kill them all? After all, it’s what he does with everyone who opposes him. Jesus Christ, must I think of everything?

No, of course not – instead, Memorial has been fined 19 times, obviously since 2013, because the NGO law did not exist before that. That’s an average of nearly 3 times a year. Equally obviously, the punishment is not onerous enough to get it to obey the law. The west pretends to revere the law, as long as it gets to make it up for everyone, including purpose-designed exceptions. The cheek of the Russian government, to think it can regulate conduct in the country it governs!

Presidential Human-Rights Council member Pavel Chikov complains, “it goes full circle across the whole spectrum – they’re trying to find as many violations as possible”. Yes, by golly, that is ignorant – in real law-abiding countries, the investigative services skip right over things that do not reflect well on the lawbreaker. Memorial’s fines are evidently paid by its foreign donors, so why should they worry?

Donors like the United States, in which more than half the country still recognizes and imposes the death penalty – 23 people in 8 states were executed by lethal injection in 2017. In Russia in 2017 there was no death penalty, just as there has not been since August of 1996.

Well, what is an anarchist, anyway – perhaps it’s harmless!

Uh, oh; guess not. According to Merriam-Webster, an anarchist is;

  1. a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power;
  2. a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy especially : one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order.

Mmmmm….rebels against any authority or ruling power, uses or advocates the use of violence to overthrow the established order. Certainly sounds an individual who would be welcome in the west, what? Especially if the Russian government tortured him. And of course they’re telling the truth; that’s a peculiarity among accused violent criminals – they are incapable of telling a lie.

Fun as this is, we’re simply going to have to cut to the chase – anarchists are not welcome in the UK. In 2014, a British court sentenced former British soldier and fifth-generation Army man Ryan McGee to two years imprisonment…for making a nail bomb. He didn’t blow anyone up – in fact, the bomb he made was never detonated. The court accepted that he was not a terrorist, nor harboured any intent to assist any terrorist group. So…uh…what was his crime?

Well, he was interested in the English Defense League. Not a member, mind you; just interested. He kept a sketchbook filled with drawings of guns and knives (duh. Army.) and paramilitary soldiers. Right-wing groups such as the KKK, the National Front and BNP were mentioned. He watched a video of men being executed under a swastika flag. He was a teenager when these events occurred, 20 years old when sent down for a deuce. Oh, and he admitted to having read “The Anarchist’s Cookbook”. Thank God he lived in a free country – he might have been tortured!

British soldier Aidan James was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for “attending a place used for terrorist training in Iraq, because the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had been present.” According to the Daily Sabah (because no mainstream news outlets are eager to talk about the subject), the United States of America supplied PKK affiliates with 3000 truckloads of arms and ammunition ‘of the latest technology’. No proof that they actually used any US-supplied arms, though, I guess, so the worst they could get would be two years in an English prison. American support for the group, however, is not in doubt despite the reluctance of western establishment media to discuss the matter – it simply referred to them as ‘the Kurds’ without making any distinction who was PKK/YPG and who was not.

And you know what? Anarchists are not welcome in the United States, either! See, anarchists refuse to accept any governing authority, and are committed to overthrowing it. The governing authority in the United States is the aptly-named United States Government, and it’s actually a crime to let overthrowing it make it outside your silent fantasies. True story – Title 18, Advocating Overthrow of the Government, from Chapter 115; Treason, Sedition and Subversive Activities. Gee – they make it sound sort of…bad.

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both…

Oh, there’s more stuff you can’t do, if you were looking into a career as an anarchist – no recruiting of new members, no expansion of existing clubs, classes or assemblies. Timothy McVeigh was an anarchist, and the US Government executed him, in 2001. Except they studiously referred to him as a ‘militant’ or a ‘domestic terrorist’. He deserved it – he blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring 684 more. But if you read over his history, he was an anarchist – he despised the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) particularly, but his issues were with his government and its authoritarianism. Still the US government never refers to him, now or since, as an anarchist. Because they’re noble. When they’re in other countries.

“The prosecution accused the men of allegedly planning attacks, but gave little concrete detail about when or where they would take place.” Dear me; where have I heard that before? Oh, I remember – Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, when he could not define ‘imminent’. Pompeo claimed the USA had to assassinate Iranian General Soleimani because he was planning ‘imminent’ attacks against American targets – the U.S. just didn’t know when or where. You could look up “imminent” yourself, but I could save you some trouble by telling you there is no provision for ‘but I don’t know when’ in it at all.

We could have covered this whole story in one paragraph, although I had a lot more fun doing it the way I did – cathartic, writing is. What the whole thing boils down to is that the west chooses to believe the word of accused criminals that they were tortured in order to extract confessions. And bemoans the fact that they are going to jail anyway. This is, I’m afraid, not a surprise in any way – despite considerable empirical evidence that the government of the Russian Federation is democratically elected and in most ways is no crueler or more authoritarian than those of ‘enlightened’ western nations, the west uniformly chooses to believe the very worst of it, and to announce with absolutely no knowledge of the proceedings that those convicted of any crime which is political in nature are innocent, and the charges against them fabricated.

1,133 thoughts on “I Heart Anarchists, by T.H.E. West

  1. Paging the troll!

    США и Украина обсуждают меры против «Северного потока – 2»
    12:40

    US and the Ukraine discuss measures against Nord Stream 2

    Kiev is negotiating with Washington to completely prevent Moscow from restoring the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

    “The game is not over yet. The Russians will try to create their own technical capabilities to complete the laying of the pipeline. We are now discussing, including here (in the USA), how to be sure that this project is completely buried”, said the head of Naftogaz of the Ukraine Andriy Kobolev.

    The US sanctions policy on the construction of the gas pipeline has become “one of the most important steps” in support of the Ukraine’s energy security, Kobolev said.

    “We hope that the US government will continue efforts in this direction”, he added.

    The US and the Sumerians have began to stir themselves because the Akademik Cherskiy vessel continues to move westwards and is heading towards the Egyptian port of Suez.

    After the Chersky left Sakhalin at the beginning of the year and headed to Singapore, there were speculations that she might be heading for repairs. Initially, it was stated that the vessel was “contracted in the Far East” and publications appeared that she was preparing for a long period of maintenance, for which replacement equipment had been purchased, etc.
     
    Then Sri Lanka became the destination of Academician Chersky, and now Suez — which is obviously very far from Sakhalin, but already quite close to Danish waters. There is reason to believe that Gazprom will soon have a pipe layer at hand for the completion of Nord Stream 2.

    I guess the reference to “Sumerians” is to take the piss out of Yukie dimwits, some of whose “historians” maintaining that the Ukrainian “nation” was the first civilized nation in history.

    And not the contradiction intended in the article:

    The Russians will try to create their own technical capabilities to complete the laying of the pipeline. and the Akademik Cherskiy vessel continues to move westwards.

    “Akademik Cherskiy” is, of course, a pipe-laying vessel.

    But are those dullard Orcs capable of operating it, because they really are stupid, you know,: not at all smart like Yukies are.

    Russian Ship’s Move Shows Option to Finish Sanctioned Pipeline
    February 14, 2020, 5:13 PM GMT+3

    The pipeline was just weeks away from completion, with 94% already constructed, when U.S. sanctions stopped work. There’s a small section in Denmark’s waters that needs to be finished. Before the halt, Nord Stream 2 hoped to finish by the end of 2019 or in the first few months of this year. That would allow gas deliveries in time to supply Europe by winter 2020-2021.

    Rainer Seele, chief executive officer of Austrian company OMV AG that has helped fund the project:

    “Pipe-laying, especially in the section of shallow waters, it isn’t a super-duper technology that you need,” Seele said in an interview in Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London on Friday. “It’s just the question of whether or not the setup of the ship fits for the pipe-laying activities.

    Too tricky an operation for those dumbass Russkies, though, innit?

    Like

    1. I just hope Europe will keep in mind what a great friend Ukraine is to it when it comes time once again to dole out the lolly with a lavish hand to piping cries of “Gib moneys!!”. Ukraine very much wants to be the gatekeeper over Russian gas flow to Europe, because of the rich opportunities for extortion of both using a resource it does not own.

      A reminder:

      https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/04/welcome-to-the-most-corrupt-nation-in-europe-ukraine

      The Germans claimed, when the American sanctions went into effect, that the pipeline could be finished – at a much slower pace, naturally – using divers. So I don’t see any way Washington can actually stop it short of military intervention; it has no say over the AKADEMIK CHERKSIY’s operations, and Russia has already shrugged off so many American sanctions that a few more will not make much difference. Delay, though, does allow ill-feeling directed at the USA to fester in Europe, and Ukraine’s joyous cheerleading is probably not helping its own case with anyone but the US State Department. Whom, I will add, will drop Ukraine like a hot rock as soon as it is no longer useful to American aims.

      Like

  2. Mail on Sunday: Time to Hear Both Sides. A and B respond to the OPCW’s attacks on them – the Full Rebuttal.

    Justice Denied – How Authority Tried to Ignore and then Bury Honest Dissent by Responsible Scientists

    At last, the full story of what happened at the UN’s Poison Gas Watchdog

    https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/02/a-and-b-respond-to-the-opcws-attacks-on-them-the-full-rebuttal.html
    #####

    Because there can’t be enough dissemination of information that is counter to the genocidal war crimes lying authorites and their media handmaiden/masters.

    Keep a copy.

    Like

    1. It will, but you can’t tell them that. The west will flatter Lukashenko that be is a great leader at least as fervently as they condemned him for perverting democracy by winning over and over again, allegedly without any credible opposition. As is my usual advice, give it a try, Lukashenko. You’ll find yourself regime-changed out of power so fast it will make your head spin, and replaced by an enthusiastic dissident liberal with western leanings. The USA is obsessed with surrounding Russia with a ring of hostile countries, and would gladly spend a ton of money to secure Belarus as a western captive. Lukashenko thinks he’s only flirting, but the blindly arrogant always think that.

      Like

  3. ZDnet via slashdot.org: Chinese security firm says CIA hacked Chinese targets for the past 11 years
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/chinese-security-firm-says-cia-hacked-chinese-targets-for-the-past-11-years/

    Qihoo 360 becomes second Chinese security vendor to blame the CIA for hacks against its civil aviation sector.

    …CIA hacking operations took place between September 2008 and June 2019, and most of the targets were located in Beijing, Guangdong, and Zhejiang, Qihoo researchers said…
    ####

    MATL

    I would at at least ‘between September 2008…’ I’m sure it took some time to put such software in to place and it would not have been activated at the same time (which would have aroused suspicion) but in fits and starts, i.e. whenever it would be least likely to be noticed.

    You may recall that Beijing bought a Boeing 767-300ER VIP jet back in 2002 to be used by the President Zemin and it started ’emitting’. It was found stuffed full of bugs.

    Al-Beeb s’Allah: Chinese leader’s plane ‘bugged’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1769642.stm

    Saturday, 19 January, 2002, 09:12 GMT

    Chinese intelligence officials are reported to have discovered more than 20 spying devices in a Boeing 767 purchased from the United States for use by President Jiang Zemin.

    Unnamed officials quoted by Britain’s Financial Times newspaper and the Washington Post say the tiny, satellite-controlled bugs were discovered when they emitted static during test flights in China last year. ..

    … According to the FT, the plane was built at the Boeing factory in Seattle, then fitted out with VIP features by other companies in Texas.

    The construction was under 24-hour Chinese surveillance throughout, with Chinese troops posted at the hangar, and the paper says that Beijing has now launched an investigation into how the work was handled. ..

    …A Chinese source said 27 bugs had been discovered on the plane since its delivery in August and it has never been used officially…
    ####

    But everyone has forgotten about that.

    Like

      1. And the plane was built by the same people who howl that Huawei is a tool of the Chinese state and would exploit a 5G opportunity to spy on Americans. Ha, ha! You couldn’t make this up.

        Like

  4. Input via Slashdot.org: Fraidycat lets you follow people on any social network, no sign in required
    https://www.inputmag.com/tech/we-finally-have-rss-successor-fraidycat-twitter-instagram-follow

    Someone finally did it. We can now follow who we want on our own terms and get that information chronologically. Fraidycat is an app and browser extension that allows just that. Though it launched in November 2019, Fraidycat recently got a massive update, widening its compatibility and adding a dark mode. The open-source tool, brought to you by Kicks Condor, is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows in addition to Mozilla Firefox and Chrome as an extension….
    ####

    More info at the link.

    I don’t use RSS or whatever but this looks like a good extension because it makes comments much easier to follow in one place, how you like it and you don’t need to sign up either.

    Install the right extension for your browser, click on the white cross in the pink circle (top right) and paste the url you want to follow (for example: https://thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com) and it will throw up two rss feeds check boxes, one for Mark (& guest’s) posts and another for comments. Select what you want, et voilà!

    Like

      1. It let’s you know who has commented (or made a blog post/updated a page), where and when – in real-time or less if you want – in an open tab on your browser, no other software required. It’s explained better at the link.

        Like

  5. KIEV, March 4. /TASS/. The Rada voted on Wednesday for the resignation of the Prime Minister of the Ukraine Alexey Goncharuk. This decision is supported by the 353 deputies in the required 226.

    In accordance with the Constitution of the Ukraine, this decision leads to the resignation of the entire government.

    TACC
    4 MAR, 17:49 Updated 18:17

    Like

  6. Remember what’s-his-name, the CIA guy behind the murder of General Qasem Soleimani? He was alleged to have been on the plane that was shot down (or crashed, take your pick) in Afghanistan. AFAIK, he has yet to make even a token public appearance to refute rumors of his death. I will take a positive view and assume that he was indeed on that plane.

    Like

    1. Michael d’Andrea’s Wikipedia entry is still in the present tense and still has no reference to Major General Qassem Soleymani’s assassination.

      Like

    2. The E-11A BACN he was on was worth $$$$ (claimed to be $1b), & the US Navy drone the i-Ran also shot down was claimed to cost around $250m. Money burned.

      Like

  7. Hey, NS, why do you guys go crazy for Joe Bidden?

    Most surprising to me is Biden’s popularity with African American voters in places like Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. This is the same Joe Biden that in regard to slavery, said he doesn’t “feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather” before suggesting that African Americans don’t know how to raise their children. This is also the same Biden widely credited with having a major role in the mass incarceration of African American people. He even referred to Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

    Jeez. Yet up until recently, Bernie Sanders struggled to maintain 12 percent of the black vote, with Biden miles ahead with 42 percent.

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/482298-biden-obama-super-tuesday/

    LOL!!!

    Like

    1. Wow! That would be awesome. Not one, Two! Two equally unqualified brain-dead sociopathic sick fucks in charge. God Bless America!!!!

      Like

    2. The fix is so plainly in to make Biden the nominee that nothing would surprise me. Suddenly – just after the American media maliciously circulates nutjobbety speculation that Russia is supporting Bernie Sanders’ campaign – Biden’s campaign grows rockets. I have zero sympathy for Sanders; he’s a fake progressive anyway and about as socialist as J.P. Morgan, he would make a terrible president and he was quick to trot out the Russophobia as soon as his handlers warned him the Russia label could hurt him. But Biden has no plan at all to win the Sanders ‘progressives’ to his side, and if Biden is the nominee they will simply vote for Trump or not vote at all, just like the last time the DNC fucked Sanders over. Consequently if Biden comes up against Trump, Biden will lose. If Sanders comes up against Trump, he will lose, too, because the DNC doesn’t want him and won’t help him even if the consequences of throwing him under the bus are another term for Trump. What a shower of shit. Trump is terrible, an imbecile who is so far out of his depth he needs a rebreather – but the Democrats deserve to lose.

      Speaking of those who deserve to lose, I saw in the paper that Benny Netanyahu pulled off a surprise ‘victory’ – he didn’t win, but he obliterated Ganz and is now looking for deserters to caucus with his Likudniks so he can go into his corruption trial with enough political clout to simply brush it aside.

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  8. This RT update on Idlib seems fairly well-balanced:

    https://www.rt.com/news/482341-syria-turkey-russia-idlib/

    As for the Syrian Army, it has managed to destroy 12 unmanned Anka aerial vehicles (UAVs) and seven Bayraktar UAVs in combat operations.

    In the first stage of the offensive, the Syrian Armed Forces didn’t have any effective weapons to take out the Turkish UAVs. Almost all Syrian air and missile defense troops equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems were concentrated around Damascus. When the Pantsir and Buk artillery systems were moved to the combat zone, the situation changed.

    The Turkish UAVs were now used during night only, and tried to stay out of reach of the Syrian anti-aircraft missile systems. Today, Turkish UAVs are mostly countered by Pantsir-S and Buk-M2E anti-aircraft systems. The Buk has proven to be a highly effective weapon, having the highest number of downed Turkish UAVs on its track record.

    Per Wikiepdia, Turkey possessed 25 Anka UAV therefor they have lost about 50% of their fleet.

    It would seem that the SAA was caught by surprise by the Turkish attack and use of UAVs. Considerable damage was done but the drone factor has been largely cancelled. Per the story the Jihadist forces are greatly diminished by battle field deaths and desertion. Will Putin read Erdogan the riot act or play nice?

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  9. https://www.anti-
    empire.com/2020-the-year-jim-clyburn-handed-trump-another-term/

    We all know it’s Joe mounting her
    from the rear while grabbing her pig tails….at least in his senile pervert
    imagination!!

    Like

    1. Brought to you by the producers of “Last Hospital In Aleppo”. Stay tuned for a few words from our sponsor, the US Department of State; here’s our spokeswoman, Albed Bana!

      (Bana) “Save…save the children of Syria”.

      Like

  10. Al-Beeb s’Allah: How Russia’s Putin became the go-to man on Syria
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51733595

    Jonathan Marcus
    Diplomatic correspondent
    ####

    Yet again, what is the point of the BBC when it default reporting is lying by omission? Russia didn’t try regime change in Syria. Russia didn’t overthrow Ghadaffi. Diplodocus Marcus’s piece seems to be rant that Russia has the temerity to interfere in the west’s backyard, without of course mentionining that the west shat all over it and was doing absolutely nothing.

    Is it the west’s responsibilities to look after their former colonies/protectorates decades after they have left or been kicked out? No. The west refuses to spill its own blood to get things done once it has kicked over can and jumped up and down on it.

    Remember that Diplodocus Marcus’s career and many others who are now in senior positions in the media parallelled the west’s regular used of bombing from on high to do something. From invading i-Rack – which was semi-successful because it was backed up with huge numbers of ground troops – to more bombing but without ground troops, i.e. nothing to back up and hold the ‘gains’, it has been like a hungry dog off the leash snapping at anything that looks tasty, little thought in to what happens after.

    What else does Diplodocus Marcus ignore? The obvious. That Syria, like i-Rack was attracting all sorts of scum jihadis as a terrorist training laboratory, i.e. bitter islamist Chechens and others who would go back battle hardened and start a terrorist campaign back home. The West’s argument is that ‘we fight them over there so that we don’t fight them over here’, yet Russia and other countries are denied that same arguments. Neither does he mention IS/ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/Whatever. Nor does he mention the west’s regime change operation in Kiev that tore up the West-Russia hands off agreement.

    There’s absolutely no questioning of the west’s right to intervene and throw its weight around, because that is considered ‘normal.’ No, this is not an analysis, but a lament for a declining and failing west, shot through with syphilis because its been shagging countries to death and still shagging them even after. It’s infected with its own poison and instead of going to the doctor and taking its prescribed medicines, it goes blithely on in to demented raging decline, it’s mainstream journalists publicly showing how they also have lost the plot and any semblance of objectivity.

    /rantover

    Like

    1. I can’t see any of it except the headline, unless I pay for a subscription. I used to have a subscription to FT back when all you had to do was register, and I should be grandfathered, but the same factor is bringing me down as did on the old blog – the subscription to FT was under an email address which is now defunct. I’m not about to pay for a subscription to something that only makes me furious when I read it, like FT or The Economist or the Washington Post.

      No mention of how the US military leveled Raqqa (probably after there were no jihadists left in it) or any of the other damage it wrought, including repeatedly attacking the Syrian Army, when it was not ever invited in and is a self-invited invasion force. The US military is incapable of committing war crimes, because it is inherently A Force For Good and even when it destroys things or kills the wrong people, it meant well, and that’s everything. I’ve never seen any documentation of these alleged ‘war crimes’ committed by Russia which did not originate with ‘activists’ or western mercenaries like the White Helmets. But that’s okay with Soros and the agencies his billions have paid to set up. The west is good, and there’s an end to it; it can never be anything else, and being critical of it is pointless.

      Like

  11. Defense News via Antwar.com: Push to base six US Navy destroyers in Spain could be gaining steam
    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/03/03/push-to-base-six-us-navy-destroyers-in-spain-could-be-gaining-steam/

    …. he number of U.S. Navy destroyers ported at Rota is restricted to four in a bilateral agreement initially struck in 1988 and amended in 2012 and 2015. Adding two more ships to the roster likely would be significant enough to warrant opening the deal for new negotiations….

    …Basing six destroyers at Rota would mean more breathing room for deterrence missions against Russia, especially in the Black Sea, said retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. Army forces on the continent.

    “We’ve got the be able to compete there,” he told Defense News.

    The move also would send a signal of support to Europe, “despite what the president says,” added Hodges, referring to President Donald Trump’s mixed messages to America’s allies in Europe.

    “The Navy is so important for projecting power. Six destroyers would be real capability,” Hodges said….
    ####

    MATL

    The agreement that was updated was bove I think is the SOFA (Status OF forces Agreement).*

    These are Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships (coz the land version doesn’t work), some of which sic Donald Cooke, have been practicing their ‘freedom of passage’ in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia, so no threat at all. The question here is, will Spain agree to this and if not, what next?

    AFP via Antiwar.com: US accuses Russia of breaking ‘Open Skies’ treaty
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-accuses-russia-breaking-open-skies-treaty-230729156.html

    …Esper told a congressional hearing Russia had been blocking the United States from conducting flights over the Baltic Sea city of Kaliningrad and near Georgia that are permitted by the 18-year-old agreement.

    “We’ve also been denied access to military exercise overflights,” he said. “I have a lot of concerns about the treaty as it stands now.”..
    ####

    The USA & NATO don’t hold all the cards. Neither is agreement capable. For Russia, what’s the point of theses treaties if the USA can pull out of them but u-Rope still gets to benefit? All or nothing. U-Rope has to get off the fence at some point and this is where maybe Russia & America are in agreement, but for opposite results.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_forces_agreement

    Like

    1. Two more destroyers probably won’t make a major difference, and a single Aegis destroyer can cover the whole of the Black Sea for air defense without leaving port, at least in terms of radar surveillance. But it’s the old American game of incremental increases, getting more US forces on the ground until one morning, you wake to find you’ve let them have a base and an air-defense brigade and everything that comes with it, storesies and a Base Exchange and a USO, and a little piece of America is growing in your country. And then, of course, they have to protect American interests there, because it’s American and they must exercise due diligence and so on. I believe leaders and influential figures in the US military recognize that Washington is losing its grip on Europe. While some of it is Trump and his boorish peasant behavior, some of it also is just America’s bullying ways and sanction-happy fuck-over of global trade and free will everywhere – if the US doesn’t like something about your electoral process (perhaps because their preferred candidate is not guaranteed to win), guess what? Sanctions.

      Spain wants to think it over very, very carefully, because once the American camel gets its nose under the tent, the rest of it quickly follows, and an increased American military presence in Spain affect all of Europe.

      As far as the Open Skies treaty goes, Russia should renegotiate all its major treaties with Europe, and point out that the Americans are no longer welcome. An open skies agreement between Russia and strictly-European military aviation, or no treaty at all.

      Like

  12. The Times: Erdogan is winning European support for a Syrian no-fly zone
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/erdogan-is-winning-european-support-for-a-syrian-no-fly-zone-c7wkvbwjt
    ####

    The Netherlands has called for a no-fly zone to be imposed over northwest Syria in a sign that President Erdogan’s threat not to stop migrants passing into Europe was having an effect…
    ####

    The Dutch and the Germans? How many of their troops are they willing to put in? What a joke. Especially entrusting it to the UN, considering its previous partizan (pro-western) efforts. The west is Not Agreement Capable (NACkerd). What deluded dutchies.

    Like

    1. Rutte is turning out to be a neoconservative’s wet dream, going along with whatever nonsense the US State Department wanted to hear on MH17, ignoring the emphatic ‘No’ vote in the 2016 referendum on closer ties between the EU and Ukraine (just as an aside, is there anything more pointless than a non-binding referendum?) and essentially acting as an emissary in wooden shoes for Uncle Sam.

      A no-fly zone cannot be imposed by the UN without a vote, and Russia will veto it if it gets that far. And how would such a zone be enforced? All the air-defense equipment currently in the country belongs to Syria or Russia. If I were a fighter pilot for NATO, I’d be nervous about going aloft knowing I would have to watch my ass all the time not only from Russian fighters, but from SAM systems on the ground. You know; accidents happen. And when the USA has an accident, like accidentally attacking the Syrian Arab Army, they expect to just say, “Gosh; we’re sure sorry about that”, and to suffer no further repercussions whatsoever. I’m not sure why everyone else shouldn’t be able to operate under the same rules of engagement.

      Really, though – how disgustingly low is the west going to stoop in its one-sided determination to add Syria to its string of conquests? First it encourages Turkey, supposedly with the second-largest military in NATO, to invite itself into Syria to directly oppose Syrian forces drawn down from five years of combat operations, in support of terrorist jihadists which it prefers to characterize as ‘moderate rebels’ who plan to settle down as farmers and bakers and taxi-drivers just as soon as they can get rid of Assad and form a government. Then when that doesn’t work, it proposes to tie the hands of the modern air force preventing the SAA’s defeat. Then the Syrians would be allowed to fight on alone, until they were decimated and forced to surrender, at which time a prick like Erdogan would get to offer terms. Pretty fucking disgraceful behavior, if you ask me. The kind that makes non-aligned nations build larger military forces and more powerful weapons, if you get my drift, so as not to be sent down the same road by a talking-shop of American partisans. NATO has nobody to blame but itself for the reversing of a trend toward arms reduction.

      Like

      1. And don’t forget all the jihadi headchopppers, their wives and childern (8,000 kids apparently) sitting in camps controlled by the Kurds in Syria. There are dribs and drabs of wives and kids allowed back in to u-Rope. The u-Ropean ‘solution’ is to talk big and throw a few euros about. Follow up? Not so much at all, because they’d have to explain why their own citizens went abroad to headchop and why they should be allowed back. Quite the hole.

        Like

    1. I never took dope when I played schools rugby at 16. For me, “dope” was what you used when making lakky-driven aeroplanes out of balsa wood and paper or what you called an idiot.

      At 16, I was playing with the big boys, 18-year-olds, as a second-row forward – in the county side an’ all.

      Me mum’s grub kept me fighting fit.

      Meat and two veg for dinner, porridge oats for breakfast.

      No McDonald’s then and KFC and pizza crap!

      Like

  13. VICE – Motherboard: Russia Is Building an Autonomous Arctic Base to Develop Futuristic Tech
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5dmjz3/russia-is-building-an-autonomous-arctic-base-to-develop-futuristic-tech

    The carbon-zero facility is meant to demonstrate autonomous renewable power and serve as a base for advanced research when initial construction is finished in 2022.
    ####

    O-Bomber once said something he and his fans thought was clever about Russia a few years back. When will they learn that words and actions don’t mean a thing?

    Like

  14. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/05/ukco-m05.html

    “While the government has admitted in a worse-case scenario that 80 percent of the population in the UK could be infected with the virus—over 50 million people—its plan states, “The majority of people with COVID-19 have recovered without the need for any specific treatment, as is the case for the common cold or seasonal flu. We expect that the vast majority of cases will best be managed at home, again as with seasonal colds and flu.”
    These claims are bogus. Coronavirus has a much higher death rate than flu—between 10 and 24 times depending on age.
    The government admits that were 80 percent of Britain’s population to be infected, up to 500,000 could die, with up to two million people requiring hospital treatment. According to researchers, between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with a best estimate of nine in 1,000 (about one percent). This week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government’s “very best assessment” was that the mortality rate was “2 percent or, likely, lower.”
    The death rate is still subject to much debate, with World Health Organization’s Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declaring Tuesday that “globally, about 3.4% of reported Covid-19 cases have died.”

    Meanwhile here in USA:
    https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/remove-pence-from-overseeing-us-coronavirus-response/

    Like

    1. Well, they don’t really know what the proportional death rate of the coronavirus is, because they don’t have an accurate global picture of how many cases there are. Bearing in mind that a difference of a fraction of a percent still might mean millions of people when extrapolated to a global scale, the coronavirus thus far looks only about as deadly as a bad seasonal flu season. A normal fatality rate for the seasonal flu is about 1.4 – 1.6% fatalities for the entire group affected, and so far the coronavirus is looking like about 2%. That’s bad enough, again considering the size of the numbers on a global scale, but it isn’t anything like 10 to 24 times as deadly, and it seems to be killing pretty much the same demographic the seasonal flu does; the elderly and the very young, and those who are already weakened from struggling against some other illness. Even if we give the WHO guy his 3.whatever figure, that’s not 10 to 24 times as fatal and it sounds more like a numbers game to me.

      They keep mentioning that they don’t have accurate numbers because there may be many more cases in which the afflicted show only very mild symptoms or perhaps none at all. What I would like to know is if you show no symptoms, never even know you have it, can you still infect other people and give them a potentially fatal sickness? That would be a nightmare, and potentially everyone would have to be inoculated. You might test negative, but that would not necessarily mean you haven’t already had it, transmitted it and recovered, all without knowing a thing.

      Like

  15. MoA: Syria – Another Ceasefire In Idleb – Erdogan Loses On All Points
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/syria-ceasefire-in-idleb-erdogan-loses-on-all-points.html

    ####

    The BBC says precisely f/k all. Any meaningful anal-cyst witheld.

    When Russia hands its enemies their arse, they usually spare the leaders who then pay homage and generally STFU from then onwards. I don’t care what Erd O’Grand says, but what he does. No-one expects this agreement to last but it is very clear this is the end of the line for his favors. His room for manoeuver is severely restricted. He may chose to go out in a blaze of glory, but like Nut&Yahoo, he is at heart a coward who will do and say anything to survive, even when the flames are tickling their feet. Speaking of the latter, no majority (so far) thus no new law giving him immunity from his prosecution for corruption. He’ll be in court on tv on March 17. It looks like events are nicely dovetailing…

    Like

  16. The Register: ‘Unfixable’ boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell ‘utter chaos’ for DRM, file encryption, etc
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/05/unfixable_intel_csme_flaw/

    Although exploitation is like shooting a lone fish in a tiny barrel 1,000 miles away
    ####

    Don’t forget to hit the comments.

    I’d forgotten about this but it has been reported on over the years that the intel Management Engine is as buggy as f/k and there’s no way of knowing how kosher or not it is. The point being, as mentioned above and in the comments, it is the first thing to function when you press your computer’s power button is completely independent and has full control of all hardware & the software that boots after it. You couldn’t ask for a better wide open back door, but there’s noway to tell if it has served as such a purpose.

    Like

  17. The Register: Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA’s password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/05/cia_leak_trial/?page=2

    Tales of terrible security, poor compartmentalization, and more, emerge from the Schulte hearings
    ####

    All at the link.

    Vault 7 CIA tools to attack other countries and a) hide the fact that they did it; b) make it look like someone else did. The whole story is extraordinary more so the really poor internal security practices in the CIA. If you’re eyebrows don’t raise when reading, well…

    Like

  18. <a href="https://iz.ru/983954/2020-03-06/novyi-premer-ukrainy-vystupil-za-podachu-vody-v-krym?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fyandex.ru%2Fnews&quot;
    6 марта 2020, 02:54

    The new Prime Minister of Ukraine has spoken out for the supply of water to the Crimea
     March 6, 2020, 02:54

    Denis Shmygal, appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine on March 4, has said that Kiev was not going to stop supplying water to Crimea.

    According to him, water supply is a matter of humanitarian responsibility. In addition, Kiev is supposed to be obliged to provide the peninsula with water, as the Crimea is a region of the Ukraine.

    “Ukrainians live in the Crimea: we will not block water for Ukrainians. The Crimea is the Ukraine: we are not going to stop supplying water to the Ukraine”, said Shmygal live on the TV channel 1 + 1.

    Earlier, Ukrainian politicians had repeatedly stated that Kiev would not and should not supply water to the Crimea until it was “de-occupied”. At the same time, the first president of the Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, noted that it was possible to resume water supply to the peninsula if Russia paid for it.

    On February 11, the head of the Ukrainian Rada faction “Servant of the People”, David Arahamia, proposed that during negotiations, water for the Crimea be exchanged for concessions in the Donbass.

    Like

    1. Mmm….I wonder if the recent resignation was a bit of a palace coup.

      At any rate, this is what Kuh-yiv should have been doing from the very beginning – being reasonable, playing up the fellow-countrymen angle and making Crimeans ask themselves if they were making a mistake. And the funny part is, it might have worked. But not only is there a lot of water under the bridge since the Ukrainian state chose entirely the wrong path, there’s actually even a new bridge, and it goes to Russia. A solid majority in Crimea wanted to be under Russian rule again since Crimea was gifted to Ukraine, and the bitter war of attrition waged by the Ukrainian state over the last 5 years has only hardened its resolve. I’d bet a similarly-solid majority would want Crimea to be friends with Ukraine, even now, But even considering that, Crimea would be wise to reject Ukraine’s offer – if accepted, Crimea would once again be dependent on Ukraine for its water supply, and it would be just as much a catastrophe in future if a subsequent administration withdrew it. If it doesn’t have to sign anything or compromise its sovereignty to get it, it could gratefully accept for the short term, but efforts to be truly resource-independent must continue.

      Like

      1. That forked-tongue again!

        Новый премьер Украины отказался от своих слов о поставке воды в Крым

        The new Prime Minister of the Ukraine has retracted his words about the supply of water to the Crimea.
        Previously, Denis Shmyhal had said that the Ukraine should supply water to the Crimea, but for the needs of Ukrainians living there, not for industrial facilities

        6 March, 09:35

        Kiev, March 6. /TASS/. New Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal has hastened to retract his words about restoring the water supply to the Crimea.

        Speaking on Thursday in the programme “Right to Government” on TV channel “1+1”, Shmygal said that the issue of the water supply to the Crimea was not a question of trade with the occupant nor a question of business. “It’s a matter of humanitarian responsibility to the people who live in the Crimea. Failure to supply water there will lead to a humanitarian disaster. We do not want to be its authors”, he said. The prime minister specified that it was about the supply of water, “which can be used by Ukrainians for their own needs, and not for industrial facilities. “We cannot refuse to supply water to Ukrainians. The Crimea is the Ukraine”, he concluded.

        This statement was widely distributed in the media. However, after a couple of hours, on Facebook the Prime Minister took back his words, noting that he was misunderstood, and “the format of the talk show is not the best to discuss complex issues, such as the water supply to the Crimea.

        “The position remains unchanged: we should like to supply water to our citizens, but we cannot and do not have the technical capacity to do so until the de-occupation of the peninsula and its return to the Ukraine”, Shmygal wrote, having added that thesis of his had been “in the studio noise”.

        A sudden about turn, or had some of the we-are-not-Nazis issued a warning to him.

        Nazi Galitsia runs the show in Banderastan, Shmygal, and don’t you forget it!

        No technical capacity?

        So what’s that Dnieper irrigation canal for – breeding frogs and mosquitos?

        Constructed by the Soviet Union as well.

        Like

        1. A Ukrainian Politician Recalled How the United States Nearly Captured Crimea
          March 5, 2020
          Stalker Zone

          They failed to construct USN Base Sevastopol, but the politician in question asks:

          “Who among you know about the construction of a closed military base in Ochakov? Nobody. And do you know that this military base is being built in the Ukraine for the second or third year in a row? It is being built exclusively by US military forces, and access to Ukrainian government officials is restricted there, on their own territory. The cordon is a kilometre away: the local population has no right to even walk close to it”, said the politician.

          Elena Bandarenko (in black above) is Ukrainian, has a Ukrainian family name and is a deputy in the Ukraine Supreme Rada, however, although she is asked questions in Ukrainian, she answers in Russian.

          New US Naval Base on Ukraine’s Black Sea Coast
          August 18, 2017

          Political analyst Eduard Popov describes the dangers posed by the new naval base the United States has begun constructing in Ochakov on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. The author frames this act of aggression in the context of the history of that port, of US legal and illegal arms supply to the post-coup regime in Kiev, and of the expansion of NATO toward Russia’s borders.

          Vladimir Putin must respond. But how?

          Nuke it!

          Russia weak!!!!!

          Like

          1. Actually, I remember when they broke ground to commence the project. But nobody called it a ‘base’ then; there was actually already a Ukrainian naval base there, and what the American engineers were constructing was a Maritime Operations Center, which would serve as a planning hub for future international operations and exercises with the Ukrainian navy.

            https://dninews.com/en/news/us-starts-building-strategic-black-sea-navy-base-to-ukraine/

            Probably some American naval officer attending some briefing or other couldn’t find any place to plug in his laptop that didn’t take one of those weirdo European 220 plugs, and decided a spanking-new building with American voltages and lots of outlets and mosaic anchors laid into the tile in the lobby would be a significant symbol of American accomplishment, not to mention a comforting touch of home for visiting US naval officers. And a handy place to park a few CIA agents on semi-permanent assignment, to augment those embedded with the SBU in Kuh-yiv. In summary, unless the project has been great;y misrepresented, it is a headquarters-type building at an existing Ukrainian naval facility, and not a wedge for a future Pearl Harbor in Ukraine complete with aircraft-carrier piers and loads of destroyers. It’s actually located on the Dneiper-Bug Estuary, the convergence of two rivers, and is not really on the Black Sea. And before anyone gets visions of squadrons of American steel tear-assing through the waves, the same problem prevails as plagues the Black Sea itself – shallow waters, The average depth in the Dneiper-Bug Estuary is only 6-7 meters. The ARLEIGH BURKE class the USN is fond of sending to represent them in the region draws 9.3 meters.

            Like

        2. As is typical of politicians, he ran an idea up the flagpole to see if anyone would salute it. Evidently not, and in fact you are probably right that angry nationalists let him know without delay and in no uncertain terms that nothing will be done for Crimea until it comes crawling back and begs to be taken in again. If you review his words, his intent was pretty plain, but he’s still going to pretend he was misunderstood. Ideological Western Ukraine is firmly in control of the remaining country, and would rather see it come to ruin than ever be friendly again with Russia or Russians. And it looks like they will probably get their wish.

          “The popular trope of a life-or-death struggle between democratic Ukraine and authoritarian Russia is premised on the idea that the Ukrainian people are united in their pursuit of western integration; nothing could be further from the reality of Ukrainian politics. In fact, contemporary Ukraine is what political scientist Dmitri Trenin calls a cleft state: a complex patchwork of mutually exclusive identities and clashing political loyalties, sewn and resewn over centuries of imperial competition in Eastern Europe…Ukrainian support for Euro-Atlantic integration on the one hand, and preference for the cultivation of Russian ties on the other, has remained remarkably consistent along regional lines. Western Ukrainians comprise around 20 percent of the population, but played an outsized role in the events of the Ukrainian Revolution and continue to comprise a large chunk of Ukraine’s political elite.”

          https://nationalinterest.org/feature/marvelous-misadventures-us-ukraine-relationship-129012

          Like

  19. Another long weekend in the offing here!

    Sunday is March 8th – International Women’s Day – so Monday is a day off work.

    Have to buy flowers at a rip-off price tomorrow, such are the “laws” of supply and demand.

    Like

        1. They are real women, not a platoon of trans-gender US marines.

          The first openly transgender soldier serving in the US military has said he is looking forward to being able to attend the annual Marine Corps Ball in an outfit he is comfortable in.

          Lance Corporal Aaron Wixson (above) recently wore female Dress Blues to the gala in Temecula, California but hopes he will be able to swap that for male attire next year after the repeal of The Pentagon’s ban on trans people serving in the military came into force last month.

          source

          Like

          1. My comment was meant as a compliment to your Russkie women ME. I know that they are not attracted to black guys!!! But this is the way I would
            hit it in the case of a couple of your hot Russian Mamas:

            Like

            1. They are not “my women”!

              I never doubted the complimentary nature of your comment above.

              I have no idea of the preferences of those women as regards their choice of partner, though clearly you seem to know their attitudes towards dark skinned men..

              As regards their body temperatures and whether they are mothers, I cannot comment.

              Like

            2. I wouldn’t say that; although Russians are predominantly a white race and although prejudice based on colour certainly does exist, many white women are attracted to black men just as many white men are attracted to black women, because they like the way the other race looks. My wife often mentioned how attractive she thinks black men are; for some reason, she was always particularly fond of Eddie Murphy. I was always particularly fond of Sade Adu.

              https://www.albumism.com/celebrations/happy-birthday-sade-adu

              While personal feelings on interracial relationships probably have not changed much, and we still like what we like for our own reasons, the social stigma no longer attaches so much to our choices, and a white woman with a black man on a bus in Moscow would not attract rude stares or insulting comments. People would be interested, because I don’t think they see many actual blacks in Russia. The Chechens and Dasgestanis are the blacks of Russia, although based on appearance I would have thought them a mix of Asian and Arab. My mother-in-law is from Stavropol, in the Caucasus, and would be considered ‘black’ by Russian standards. When I first visited Russia alone in 2001, it was summer and I was quite tanned, and looked dark in photos. One of my mother-in-law’s friends observed from a photo that I was ‘a little bit black’, and nothing could dissuade her. My hair was blonde when I was a child, and there is nothing even slightly black about me.

              Like

    1. South Korea has a case fatality ratio of less than 0.6%. Singapore is still at zero fatalities, despite being one of the earlier hotspots.

      The rate in the US is the most grim. They probably should not have gloated over China’s difficulties to contain it.

      Like

      1. “Refuting the White House’s criminally dishonest dismissal of the disease’s severity, the number of cases in the United States continues to rise rapidly. The response at every level of government has been negligent and incompetent, exposing a total lack of planning and preparation in the world’s richest capitalist country.

        Even as the White House was downplaying the lethality of the virus and equating it with the common flu, the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) reported on March 4 that 3.4 percent of people infected by the coronavirus had died.

        There is no way to accurately determine the extent of the infection in the United States because of the absence of testing equipment.

        The indifference of the Trump administration to the health of the population is no better, and perhaps worse, than the attitude of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the slaves. The media has spent far more time bemoaning the fall in share values on Wall Street than the loss of human life.”

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/06/pers-m06.html

        Like

        1. That’s going to look like a pretty stupid position to have taken if there is ever a serious dissection of the deliberate attempts to spread panic. If that ever happens, Trump’s refusal to run around like a headless chicken is going to look like the right response. And how is it that barbarian dictatorship China has a fatality rate of less than 1% of the total affected?

          Like

  20. I saw a clip on BBC tv about Syrian refugees. It ended with a jihadi bride complaining about not being allowed in to u-Rope. Why do I write ‘Jihadi bride’? Because she was wearing a full niqab with just two small slits for eyes. No comment by al-Beeb s’Allah of course. No comment about the thousands of IS/ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/Whatever families in camps under Kurdish control. Only a few (u-Ropean) have been allowed to return. The moral west is quite happy to leave them there if all they have to do is throw money at them.

    Like

  21. RusAviaInsider.com Gazpromneft-Aero extends its international refuelling reach
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/gazpromneft-aero-extends-its-international-refuelling-reach/

    It is the first Russian company to join the JIG, the organisation dedicated to the development of jet fuel standards

    On its strategic path to become one of the world’s top 10 largest aviation fuel operators, Gazpromneft-Aero, the aviation fuel arm of Russian oil giant Gazprom Neft, has extended its refuelling network to 13 airports to a total of 282 airports in 67 countries. Last year, the total volume of overseas refuelling increased by 26 per cent year-on-year and amounted to more than 310,000 tonnes.

    The improvement in the past year was achieved primarily by significant sales increases in the refuelling of both Russian and international carriers operating to and from destinations in China, Serbia, Montenegro, Spain, Thailand, India, Vietnam, South Korea and Malaysia, the company says…
    ####

    Moving in to downstream operations and diversifying profit sources is very good. Some may not like the competition, particularly those who wish Russia to only provide raw materials for ‘advanced countries.’ A previous link I posted on Sukhoi also mentioned a push for Russian gas turbine equipment for the extraction industry – i.e. also downstream competition for GM (LM2500 for example) etc. There’s no going back.

    Add to that Russia is building a global support network for its aerospace stuff sold abroad, Helicopter support in LATAM, ASIA etc. and also for airliners. Once up and running, there’ll be a much smoother introduction in to service of new Russian types than that of the Sukhoi SSJ.

    Like

  22. RusAviaInsider.com: Aeroflot Group is expecting the delivery of 55 new aircraft this year
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/aeroflot-group-is-expecting-the-delivery-of-55-new-aircraft-this-year/

    Russia’s largest airline conglomerate’s combined fleet will reach 400 aircraft by the end of 2020

    …In the regional segment, the group is counting on adding 26 aircraft made up of 22 Russian-built Superjet 100s and ..

    ####

    They’ve also turned a net profit last year for the first time in three years. The other good news is that they continue to support the SSJ at home which means that at some point hopefully in the near future they will launch another export drive for it.

    Like

    1. Disappointingly, some of those aircraft are from Boeing. Unfortunately, Mr. Putin chose not to listen to me. If it was a gesture of good faith, it’s 9 more new aircraft Russia won’t be able to get parts for if the USA has another shitfit over something nefarious Russia is supposed to have done. Once upon a time, most of those aircraft would have come from Boeing. In my opinion Russia is still too dependent on foreign manufacturers, but it is slowly making progress.

      Like

  23. RuAviation.com: Three planes preparing for emergency landing in Russia after anonymous “bomb” threat
    https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2020/3/5/14785/

    …Several planes had to change course this week over similar threats that turned out to be false.

    It is unclear if the incidents are linked to a series of fake anonymous threats that have been plaguing schools, shopping malls, train stations, and courts in various Russian cities of late. The authorities are investigating these threats.
    ####

    I can see why. It’s an ‘easy’ crime to commit. I wonder how long it will be before people are caught, particularly those who are dumb enough to think that they cannot be found.

    Like

  24. “Today [March 4] a U.S. fighter jet bombed a Taliban unit which was fighting with an Afghan government checkpoint.

    The air attack came just a day after U.S. President Trump had a telephone call with the Taliban leaders in Doha. The Taliban will likely see this as a breach of the recent ceasefire agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban.

    The Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov supports this view:

    “This is a treaty violation, because both the US and the Taliban entered into legally binding commitments not to attack. The Taliban did not attack the Americans or other foreign forces. If the US did that, they violated the agreement blatantly,” the diplomat pointed out.

    The Russians have called the U.S. “nedogovorosposobny” (недоговороспособны) which translate to “not-agreement capable” or unable to make and then abide by an agreement.

    Today’s attack again demonstrated that.”

    “nedogovorosposobny” (недоговороспособны)”….LOL!!!

    https://www.anti-empire.com/us-breaks-its-just-signed-agreement-with-the-taliban/

    Like

  25. “An appellate panel of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled Thursday that an investigation leading to the potential prosecution of US officials for war crimes during Washington’s nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan can move forward.

    Fatou Bensouda, the court’s Gambian-born chief prosecutor,
    ***whose US visa was revoked for her pursuit of the probe****,
    praised Thursday’s ruling, stating, “Today is an important day for the cause of justice in Afghanistan.”

    Goddamn African btch….WTF was she thinking?? Questioning Murica.. Sheeeesh!!!

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/06/afgh-m06.html

    Like

  26. В Чехии провели семинар по правам человека в Крыму
    6 марта 2020
    11:18

    A seminar on human rights in the Crimea has been held in the Czech Republic
    March 6, 2020
    11:18

    A seminar has been held in the Senate of the Czech Republic on the “6th anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the the Crimean peninsula”. Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, previously accused in Russia of preparing terrorist attacks, took part in it, Radio Prague reports.

    It is reported that Sentsov arrived in Prague to participate in the human rights festival “One World” (Jeden svět) and spoke in the Czech Senate at a seminar on the observance of human rights in the Crimea. In addition to him, the event was attended by Senator Jiri Dragosh, Chairman of the Committee on Education, Culture and Human Rights, Senator Marek Gilsher and a representative of the Crimean Tatars. During the seminar, it was stated that Russia “has occupied the Crimea”, and “repression against the Crimean Tatars” continues on the peninsula itself.

    As reported by EADaily, in the Ukraine Oleg Sentsov is called a “director”, although all his “creativity” is limited to one amateur movie tape, in which his acquaintances and random people starred. In the spring of 2014, Sentsov was arrested by Russian law enforcement officers, and later sentenced to 20 years in a maximum security penal colony for preparing terrorist attacks. At the same time, Sentsov himself pleaded not guilty and underwent a long hunger strike. On September 7, 2019, he was released as part of an exchange of prisoners between Russia and the Ukraine.

    Currently, he travels to different countries, meets with different politicians and, whenever possible, berates Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Recently, Oleg Sentsov complained in social networks about his ex-wife, saying that she had betrayed the Ukraine and “accepted the annexation of the Crimea”.

    Like

  27. Was looking for info on the Corona virus in Russia but found something much more worrisome.

    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/russia-travel-advisory.html

    Exercise increased caution in Russia due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

    Do Not Travel to:

    The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
    Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.

    Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

    U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel, who are visiting or residing in Russia have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained by Russian officials and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. For this reason, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has advised all U.S. government and Department of Defense personnel to consider carefully travel to Russia. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce the law against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.

    Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Russia nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from Russia.

    Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide services to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area

    Like

    1. The Orcs and their FSB and cops never bother me. Christ, it must be hell here for the Ham Shanks, who love liberty so!

      The Eyeties have also been warned by their government not to travel to the Evil Empire.

      Well, stick to strumming your mandolins and eating pasta, soft arses!

      I tell you, there is no hysteria here about this sickness that’s going to destroy the world.

      Like

      1. Rospotrebnadzor [The Federal Service for the |Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing in Russia] has published the latest data on coronavirus. Over the past day, Russian doctors confirmed the presence of the disease in six more people. One case was registered in Nizhny Novgorod, five in Moscow. The press service of the department reports that all six had arrived from Italy in the past two weeks.

        “All those hospitalized are in isolation units”, said the Rospotrebnadzor press service. The circle of persons with whom they made contact on the territory of the Russian Federation was immediately determined. Work is underway to place contact persons under medical supervision. Their laboratory tests are being carried out.

        To date, a total of 10 cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in Russia: two Chinese citizens (in Tyumen and Transbaikalia, both have been discharged), seven Russian citizens who had visited Italy (Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod dwellers), and one Italian citizen (he is being treated in St. Petersburg). In addition, three Russians evacuated to their homeland from the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan have transferred the coronavirus: all three have already been discharged.

        Coronavirus: what is known to date – 06.03.2020

        (98,118 fallen ill
        3,387 died
        54,965 recovered
        80 countries affected

        source

        Like

      2. I should add, however, that shortly after I had written the above, my wife and younger daughter were rather upset to learn that an excursion to Kaliningrad for a few days, which had been organized by my daughter’s school and was due to start on 8th April, had suddenly been cancelled because of that end-of-the-world plague that is causing hysteria far and wide.

        The excursion cost 10,000 rubles: they were refunded 8,000.

        I should have liked to have gone with them as well, and probably would have done. I have long wanted to visit Königsberg, if only to see this:

        Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect on them: The starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

        Immanuel Kant: Critique of Practical reason, 1788. Chapter 34. Conclusion.

        In my opinion, the next sentence that followed the above quote should have been added:

        Ich sehe sie beide vor mir und verknüpfe sie unmittelbar mit dem Bewusstsein meiner Existenz.

        I see them both before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.

        Clever Kant!

        But what if all that we perceive is only a dream?

        Is there really an external world of objects that have a causal relation to that which we perceive or is it only our perceptions that exists? Furthermore, those perceptions may only be mine, not “ours”, for how do I know that others whom I perceive do exist?

        Pure reason leads me to the conclusion that my belief in an external world of objects is unfounded: only perceptions exist.

        David Hume, help!

        Like

        1. Is there really an external world of objects that have a causal relation to that which we perceive or is it only our perceptions that exists? Furthermore, those perceptions may only be mine, not “ours”, for how do I know that others whom I perceive do exist?

          Yes.

          Actually, its mental masturbation. Just my two cents.

          Like

  28. AsiaTimes.com: Putin saves Erdogan from himself
    https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/putin-saves-erdogan-from-himself/

    Once again it was Russia that just prevented the threatened ‘Muslim invasion’ of Europe advertised by Erdogan

    by Pepe Escobar March 6, 2020

    …Putin said: “At the beginning of our meeting, I would like to once again express my sincere condolences over the death of your servicemen in Syria. Unfortunately, as I have already told you during our phone call, nobody, including Syrian troops, had known their whereabouts.”…
    ####

    This is my view: The West sees In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand as a write off, but still useful. Their strategy is for him to implode taking out good Turkey-Russia relations and shitting the bed (STB) in northern Syria to the West’s advantage, i.e. if we can’t have it, no-one can. A mini-Islamic state with all the western head-choppin’ jihadis and their families do not need to be repatriated and all the consequences therein.

    Despite all the blowhardin’ by the USA, the Turkish miltary has not missed scheduled NATO exercises, thus Erdo ultimately thinks he still has western backing.

    It all went a bit wrong when he got played by Russia. If you know about Russian history, for example when the Circassians/Chechens/whatever were finally beaten, their main leader Imam Shamil was brought to St. Petersberg, notably not in chains and treated as an honorable guest to show Alexander II’s magnanimity in victory, Alexander commenting “I am proudly honoured to host you at our table.”. Imam Shamil replie “I would feel honored, if I welcomed you at my table.”. Other people have noted the Cathering the Great statue in the meeting room along with the sculpture of Russia helping to liberate the Balkans from the Ottoman.

    InSultin’ Erd O’Grand clearly isn’t Imam Shamil and has gone home, but massively weakened. He is exiled back to the whims of his own country. How long he will last is anyone’s guess except to say don’t write him off lightly.

    I think it is inevitable that Turkey will swing back towards the west, though I doubt anywhere near to how it was before (considering its economic development/Turkstream etc. etc.). Russian politeness may seem like a bit of fancy theater, but compared to the public behavior of western officials it will be much better remembered over time. Yet again, another example of Russia playing the long game.

    Even if it all magically works out for the West, there has already been a fundamental shift in the Middle East. Even Nut&Yahoo cannot garner a working majority. These events mark but the end of another phase and the start of a new one!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamil,_3rd_Imam_of_Dagestan#Last_years

    https://www.rct.uk/collection/2935078/shamil-1797-1871-st-petersburg

    Like

    1. Following the news through gugl uk, there is very little reporting that gives Putin any credit over Syria. Since the Moscow meeting, there’s been very little put out. It’s as if they don’t know what to write, save a few brave souls who’s opinions range from ‘Putin got played’ to ‘Putin was a bit lucky’, or as I see the EuroNudes headline ‘Erdogan may have overplayed hand in Syria conflict., says security-expert.’ Meanwhile I note that pictures of supposed Syrian refugee men in their underpants are being pumped in to the press:

      https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/06/refugees-stripped-underwear-forced-back-turkey-12358308/
      ####

      This looks like clear propaganda designed to bypass governments and go straight to do something public. Just as the Turkish police have told refugees that ‘the border is open’ but not the Greek border and provided transportation, they have also helped directly push refugees towards the border.

      It was also reported (by the BBC tv itself) that they were offered to be taken to the river (EVROS) where I assume the photos in the linked article above were taken. Knowing all this, it’s almost a dead cert that the photos are staged/forced (no video of course!), yet Turkey threatens to take Greece to the European Court of Human Rights for their treatment of refugees! Why do the men need to be stripped? If the Turkish police have already transported them there and want them to successfully leave Turkey, then why not provide boats? I wonder how much lower the authorities can get and I assume they want some of these people to drown so that the bodies can be recorded and published. On the plus side (!), it really shows how desperate Erdogan down really are. It is truely disgusting behavior.

      Like

  29. RT.com: Congress slams ‘fundamentally flawed’ Boeing 737 MAX & ‘grossly insufficient’ FAA in scathing report
    https://www.rt.com/usa/482532-congress-blasts-boeing-faa-blunders/

    ####

    Oh, the irony! It’s congentially corrupt Congress suffed with corporate bankrolled congressmen and women that’s f/ked the FAA over the last thirty years and starved it of funds and thus any modicum of independence coz it was ‘too expensive’, i.e. costing Boeing money! I would say ‘Unbelieveable!’ but this is the USA after all.

    Like

    1. I’m not sure what their goal is. If it’s to showcase how honest Congress is, that it is absolutely impartial where assigning blame to an important American company, put it down as a fail. Congress is a monkey house, and I doubt those who are actually paying attention have forgotten how quickly Congress bought those clumsy fake photos which purported to show well-known Russian ‘Cossacks’ in Ukraine and heavy armor lined up on a road supposedly leading into Ukraine. Actual honesty would feel pretty lonely there. If it is to bring about the ruin of Boeing, WTF? For most of its history, Boeing has been a reliable blue chip dividend stock, and it is an important pillar of the Dow. If Congress frightens off buyers who own some of those 737’s shown parked as closely as they can safely be assembled on huge tarmac lots, what is the company going to do with all those unwanted aircraft? I’m far from an advocate for Boeing, but I find Congress’s behavior inexplicable.

      Like

    1. What they are going to do, if they keep it up, is completely destroy the US tourist industry, along with mass public transport. Revenue from the US cruise-ship industry was forecast to increase sharply to $31.5 Billion USD in 2020, from $23.2 Billion USD in 2015. Tourists are canceling vacation plans right and left, terrified to be in any crowd environment.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/317787/revenue-forecast-of-the-us-cruise-industry/

      American employees of the cruise-ship industry took a similarly sharp lurch upward in 2017, to 234,000 from 158.000 the year prior; the biggest increase since 2007 and possibly ever – the statistics offered only go back to 2007. Wages paid to North American employees of the cruise-ship industry amounted to $9.1 Billion USD in 2017, and were on a steady upward trend. And that’s just one industry. What about air travel? International conventions in the USA? Hotels? Trains?

      Like

      1. I’m facing panic reactions in our business. The HR recommendation is to ban essentially ALL travel for the next 30 days – no foreign travel, no US travel by air and no travel by any means to public gatherings such as trade shows or conferences. Another aspect is how to handle foreign visitors to the company – put masks on them when they enter the lobby or put masks on the designated team of employees who will be in close proximity? I suppose the next recommendation will be Haz-Mat suits for all employees with disinfectant spray stations every 20 feet.

        Due to privacy concerns, we can not inquire about where employees or their families take vacations (could be Italy). Nor can we ask if any family member has contracted the Virus.

        There is simply no way based on my (limited) knowledge that the US could avoid a pandemic if the Virus gains a foothold (unless it dies down on its own accord during warmer weather).

        Like

        1. To be fair, HR is driven by the risk of law suits against the company for not providing a safe workplace. Attorneys are likely preparing legal strategies on how to proceed with such lawsuits. Sure to be on TV ads soon:

          Have a fever? Coughing? Better call Saul at 1-800-GOT-SICK

          Like

    1. Frightening. I know the feeling – you know, how sometimes you start telling a story or anecdote, knowing full well when you start that there’s a big part of it you can’t remember, but counting on the familiarity of the beginning to make the rest of it come to you before you get to where you have to say it? And usually it works. But sometimes it doesn’t. But then again, I’m not running for president. Remember when they used to mockingly call Obama “President Teleprompter?” Well, there’s a powerful argument for never being without one. Unless as Creepy Uncle Joe’s brain slowly turns to mealy goo and runs out his ear while he sleeps, the ability to read also deserts him.

      Like

      1. Like to learn more? Visit this link for 22 Joe Biden gaffes:

        https://pjmedia.com/election/the-top-21-biden-gaffes-of-the-2020-campaign-so-far/

        In the pursuit of fairness, I searched “Putin Gaffes”. Here is the link to the most comprehensive list.

        https://www.rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/04/20/a-brief-history-of-president-putins-public-blunders_586469

        It is well known that Putin is able to store huge figures in his mind and recall them at will. He was taught to train his memory in such a way by the KGB and often amazes his interlocutors with this talent. However, the above incident is not the first factual error made by him in recent years.

        The KGB taught him that skill? Really? That training should be mandatory for every politician business leader and waitress in America.

        Regardless, the alleged Putin “gaffes” were minor. His “Gaffe Rate” is measured in gaffes/year (about 1-2) versus the typical US presidential candidate measured in gaffes/hour (1-2?).

        Putin can speak extemporaneously for hours fielding a broad range of questions without gaffes. Even presumed idiots like Boris Johnson appear to gaffe less than the average US presidential candidate . The promotion of mentally deranged presidential candidates tell all that is needed to know about how democracy is managed in the US.

        (ME, sorry for using gaffe both as a noun and verb but USA USA USA!)

        Like

        1. Using a noun as a verb?

          I’ll get some water to water the horse then ride a short ride on it to a nearby pub, which house houses some weird guests, but there I shall drink a drink to the amazing flexibility of my mother tongue, in which the form of its words often changes not with their function, thereby enabling, for example, the coach of the rugby team that I played in many years ago to rant and rave in the changing room following an ignominious defeat that “the f***ing ref wants f***ing well f***ing!”

          Anyway, in winter we usually winter in the city, but this winter we have not had to weather too serious winter weather and spring has already sprung here, so tomorrow I shall go to our country place where I shall place everything there in its place for the spring and summer and perhaps plant a plant or two.

          Like

          1. George W. Bush:

            “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again”.

            “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we”.

            “I think we agree, the past is over”.

            Like

    2. Here is another conjecture, it makes him more relatable to the average voter. That is a major reason Ronnie Regan won. He was just a gosh darn good American fumbling around (while doing exactly what his handlers wanted).

      Like

  30. Can there be a bigger difference in demeanor and rhetoric than Assad and Ergodgan? Here is Assad’s comments regarding Turkey:

    “What hostile action – big or small – did the Syrian people commit against the Turkish people? There is no such thing. There are Syrian-Turkish marriages, there are families, there are vital common interests. This mutual cultural interaction is historically determined, it is illogical that we have some serious disagreement between our countries”

    “Of course, we’re speaking about the Turkish people as a brotherly nation. I’m asking the Turkish people, what’s your problem with Syria? What’s the problem that Turkish citizens should die for?”

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/03/assad-syrian-army-to-focus-on-clearing-eastern-areas-of-terrorists-after-liberating-idlib/

    Assad did make it clear that Syria will retake all of its territory.

    Like

      1. And it’s tsaritsa [царица] not “tsarina”, as Helmer wrote above, which latter term is an English Russo-Latin hybrid, making use of the Latin regina.

        If you say “tsarina” to a Russian, he probably won’t know what you’re talking about.

        Like

  31. The US blocked UN backing for Putin’s deal with Erd O’Grand. Now they want UN backing for the US deal with the Taliban. I wish, just for once Russia would just say ‘F/k it. Quid pro quo baby!’ instead of turning the other cheek. The power in restraint is that when you do decide to let loose, no-one can say that it wasn’t coming or undeserved.

    Like

  32. Was this mentioned here?

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/putin-gives-respects-to-palestinian-color-guard-invites-abbas-to-victory-day/

    Vladimir Putin arrived in Israel on Thursday morning for events dedicated to International Holocaust Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army (in Poland), and in the evening of the same day visited Bethlehem, where he held talks with the head of Palestine. It was originally planned that Putin’s trip to Israel and Palestine would be a two-day one, but then they decided to reduce the visit of the head of state due to a change in the Russian government.

    Vladimir Putin previously invited Mahmoud Abbas to Moscow to celebrate Victory Day on May 9, 2020, and the Palestinian leader accepted this invitation.

    Leading members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party expressed outrage that the Russian president ‘blindsighted’ them with the visit to Abbas, which took on official dimensions of a state-state visit, reports Israeli media. The view was expressed that such an invitation towards commemorating the Holocaust would not have been extended had it been known that the Russian president planned to also visit “those who plan and work every day to bring another Holocaust to the Jewish people”. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not offer a response to Likud protests. [emphasis added]

    That should quiet down a lot bitching about Putin’s visit to Israel.

    Like

    1. Oh, that is a Epic trolling of Nut&Yahoo. Yet again, it shows that when Russia makes a move it is well thought out. Quality over quantity. And the timing, when Nut&Yahoo has the largest party but no majority in the Knesset! To publicly deflate any claims that Russia is wrapped around Nut&Yahoo’s finger like this is a sweet F/k you!

      Inviting Abbas is to say the least, distasteful, but barely a drop in the ocean with Nut&Yahoo’s very public gladhanding of facists around the world simply to keep him in power. Abbas doesn’t even have to come and I guess he won’t. Still, what a massive and symbolic poke in the eye still. Is Nut&Yahoo going to declare Russia anti-semitic?

      Is this the start of Russia taking the gloves off? It really doesn’t need to, but a little public reminder here and there does the job almost as well.

      Like

      1. Yes it was great message to Israel that they are the ones who need to curry favor Russia. Another example of Russia’s understated soft power noted on MoA:

        Best thing for me from the Moscow meeting between Erdogan and Putin was the subservient stature of the Turkish delegation in front of Putin and standing under the statue of Catherine the Great who defeated the Turks several times during the XVIII century.

        Another commentator noted that the painting in the center of the picture was that of a Russian military leader who also defeated Turkey. I am sure the subtle digs were not missed by the Turkish delegation.

        Like

  33. Bloomturd via Antiwar.com: Oil plunges most since 2008 on unraveling Saudi-Russia alliance
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/oil-plunges-most-since-2008-on-unraveling-saudi-russia-alliance/ar-BB10P4ue

    …Futures plummeted more than 9% in London as talks between members of the OPEC+ group collapsed in Vienna. Producers in the alliance are free to pump at will starting next month, after Russia refused to bend to Saudi Arabia’s wish for output cuts aimed at offsetting the coronavirus crisis’s impact on demand……

    …Moscow is said to still be willing to have a meeting with OPEC and allies in June…
    ####

    Why should Russia help the Gulf subsidize jihadis in Idleb? What does Russia need from them? No-thing. This year the wheels are coming off in multiple places. I (madly) predict that by the end of this year things will be very different.

    Like

    1. Did not see your post before making my post below. Yes, why should Russia facilitate GCC war schemes via supporting higher oil prices?

      BTW, where are the MSM claims that Russia will collapse from low oil prices? Huh? Where? What? No claims? The sky is falling!

      Like

    2. Russia needs oil at about $45.00 per barrel to balance its budget; above that is profit. KSA needs oil at about $83.00 per barrel to balance its budget. The newspaper article which imparted that knowledge to me today also actually mentioned that KSA is completely reliant on oil revenues – and then mentioned Russia in the next sentence…without even implying that Russia is also totally reliant on energy exports! Cats lay down with dogs, the sky turned orange, and a rumbling voice from the heavens said “IT TASTES JUST LIKE BUTTER!!” I nearly fell off my bench. It is an article of faith in the western media that the keening of hungry Russian children can be heard from Sarah Palin’s house in Alaska when the price of oil goes down even a dollar, because Russia desperately relies on its oil exports to survive.

      Anyway, think about it; I’m sure the Saudis are – between $45.00 and about $80.00 per barrel, Russia is making money while Saudi Arabia is not yet even breaking even. Woe to the house of Saud. Not only that; when Russia makes money from energy exports, there is not a long vapor-trail of wealthy American investors behind them who are also getting fat on investments in Russian energy companies, because they are national assets and western ownership in them is strictly limited.

      Perhaps Russia is all done with bending over backward to be helpful, when it has proven to gain it nothing. Let the Americans bail out their Saudi pals.

      Like

  34. Antiwar.com: Envoy: US Divided on Support for Turkey in Syria
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/03/05/envoy-us-divided-on-support-for-turkey-in-syria/

    Says Turkey’s S-400 purchases remain a sore spot for US
    ####

    And production for the F-35 is being pulled from Turkey adding $$$ to each (who will absorb the difference?) as the US announces the 500th produced! US divided. Turkey divided. U-Rope divided. Russia & Syria united. The calculation in the west must have already reached the point where the returns for STB in Syria are much lower than letting Russia and Syria shut it down and Erd O’Grand put back in place. That is has gone this far is retarded enough as it is.

    Vis the power of the media, imagine the reporting about refugees trying to make it to U-Rope if the latter had any sympathy at all and saw it in there interests. The effective silence by the Pork Pie News Networks is stunning. It simply falls in line with the west’s foreign policy interests. Best of all, no-one bothers to point this out.

    Like

  35. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Turkey says EU statement shows bloc using migrants as political tools
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-syria-security-turkey-greece/turkey-says-eu-statement-shows-bloc-using-migrants-as-political-tools-idUKKBN20T2WB

    Turkey on Friday accused the European Union of using migrants as political tools and allowing international law to be “trampled”, after EU foreign ministers said they would work to stop illegal migration into the
    ####

    Maybe Turkish police did not strip enough foreigners to their underpants to make u-Ropeans weep? Now if they’d used cats or dogs…

    Like

  36. Guess who got kicked where it hurts:

    https://www.rt.com/business/482499-opec-russia-oil-production-cut/

    Cooperation between Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has got to an abrupt stop after Moscow refused to back new deeper cuts on oil output. The move has sent oil prices into a downward spiral.

    The OPEC and non-OPEC countries held the consultations on oil cuts consultations in Vienna on Friday, yet failed to agree on them.

    The talks followed the OPEC decision to cut the output by an extra 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter of this year — but only if Russia joins in. The new cuts were expected to come on top of the already existing cuts of 2.1 million bpd, becoming the largest ones since the 2008 financial crisis.

    Russia, however, has rejected the new cuts, calling only for extension of the already standing ones — and the disagreement within the so-called OPEC+ has effectively brought the existing system of restrictions down.

    GCC countries reliant on oil will suffer a lot (so will Venezuela and Iran unfortunately). Is this an example of Russia’s soft power gently urging the GCC to stop the exportation of war to Syria and Yemen?

    GCC economies are way overextended. Collapsing oil prices and the Corona virus impact to tourism (looking at UAE) may be an economic disaster.

    Meanwhile, fracking continues in its free fall into nothing.

    Like

    1. Yes, that’s an effect I completely forgot to mention when discussing the impact earlier – fracking relies on fairly high prices for oil in order to be profitable, and tumbling futures due to a failure to strike a production agreement, which will limit the production so the existing production remains profitable, is the kiss of death to US shale production.

      So much so, in fact, that Putin is being directly blamed for ‘starting a war on America’s shale oil industry’. I don’t know why I should be surprised – every decision Moscow makes is immediately assessed by America to have been formulated with malign intent.

      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/putin-dumps-mbs-start-war-172746296.html

      When you need a pithy comment which plays right down the middle of American foreign policy, it’s always a go-to to solicit the opinion of a liberal Russian think-tank. Alexander Dynkin, president of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow chirps, “.“The Kremlin has decided to sacrifice OPEC+ to stop U.S. shale producers and punish the U.S. for messing with Nord Stream 2.” Poor America!! It only wanted to bless Europe with a bountiful and reliable supply of its molecules of freedom, and this is its reward – stabbed in the back by the leprechaun of Leningrad. In fact, now that your pointing out of what I should have seen immediately – good catch! – has sent me down this avenue, the caterwauling is something to behold; ‘Doctor’ Fiona Hill – remember her? Never has a good word to say about Russia? – moans, “Putin has America exactly where he wants us”.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/07/politics/fiona-hill-russia-putin/index.html

      Mind you, she’s not talking specifically about the punch in the nutsack of Russia’s willingness to let oil prices sink further – she’s just wailing about America’s general helplessness to prevent Russia and Putin from toying with America and tinkering with its beloved freedom, which apparently can only flourish when Americans do as they are told and do not question or mock their government.

      QUITE an accomplishment for a country whose economy was in tatters under Obama’s punishing sanctions, isolated and friendless, drifting rudderless through stormy seas. Trump certainly must be in bed with Putin, because he made Russia great again. Karl will be so happy.

      Like

  37. Yalensis has an interesting post on the (alleged/purported/claimed, etc.) Katyń massacre; the first of several on this topic. Lots of historical background is given.

    Like

  38. Craig Murray: A Chink in the Wall 52
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/03/a-chink-in-the-wall/

    Is it not astonishing that the reviled Fox News will allow Roger Waters to put forward truths on the Assange extradition which are completely banned from the BBC, CNN, NBC and indeed from the entire rest of the mainstream media, both print and broadcast?
    ####

    Indeed. I already saw the video on Antiwar.com. When up is down and down is up and everything inbetween, what are most people to think? Is there really a point to anything? The ability of the West to burn to the ground every single principle they claimed to hold dear is nothing short of astonishing. Remember t-Rump & BloJo didn’t come out of nowhere. They are symptoms of a syphilitic decline and degeneration. We (!) still haven’t hit rock bottom.

    Like

    1. With the other candidates dropping out, it would have been untenable to have her sharing the stage with Bidden and Sanders and with the opportunity to speak at length to a very large audience.

      If Sanders were not such a weennie, he would demand that she be allowed to participate.

      Like

  39. J H Christ, its happening sooner than expected:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/saudi-arabia-as-new-budget-problems-arise-the-clown-prince-arrests-more-family-.html#more

    Saudi Arabia – As New Budget Problems Arise The Clown Prince Arrests More Family

    MbS is eliminating all rivals. Why? Something big is coming.

    Zero Hedge piles on:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/russia-just-told-world-no

    The reason U.S. [oil] production rates are unsustainable is because their costs are higher per barrel than the marginal price especially when all other prices are deflating. Simple, straightforward economics.

    If they were, on balance, profitable then the industry as a whole would not have burned through a few hundred billion in free cash flow over the past decade.

    That’s where the Russians’ power comes from. Russia is one of the lowest cost producers in the world. Even after paying their taxes to the government their costs are far lower, close to $20 per barrel break-even point, than anyone else in the world when one factors in external costs.

    When you don’t owe anyone anything you are free to tell them, “No.”

    Sure, the Saudis produce at similar cash costs to the Russians but once you factor in its budgetary needs, the numbers aren’t even close as they need something closer to $85 per barrel.

    They can’t tell their people, “No,” you have to do without. Because the populous will revolt.

    Russia can ride out, if not thrive, in this low price regime because :
    – the ruble floats to absorb price shocks in dollars.
    – A majority of their oil is now sold in non-dollar currencies – rubles, yuan, euros, etc. – to lessen their exposure to capital outflows
    – the major oil firms have little dollar-denominated debt
    – low extraction costs.
    – its primary governmental budget ebbs and flows with oil prices.

    All of this adds up to Russia holding the whip hand over the global market for oil.

    The collapse of the fracking bubble could push the button on the debt crisis. For personal reasons, I hope not now.

    Like

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